Friday, March 30, 2018

Unwanted Photographs

What is it with dudes wanting to send pictures of their wieners to girls?

What. Is. It?

I do not understand. I do not know of a single woman who admits to getting all hot and bothered when she is involuntarily subjected to this nonsense.

I’ve had the brother of a guy I dated send me a wiener picture. He was engaged at the time.

I’ve had a former student send me one. (scarred for life; my eyes cannot unsee this)

I just do not understand.

Last year I went out a few times (really we hung out, as I paid for myself because I wasn’t sure of my interest level) with this dude who just seemed and acted really young and innocent in a lot of ways.

He didn’t get my sense of humor, and really just didn’t give me the vibe that he could keep up with any of what I was saying, to be honest. Mostly he lacked a lot of confidence and seemed to be super insecure with me.

But at some point I made a smart remark in passing like, “As long as you never send me a dick picture, it’ll all be OK.”

He laughed, so I figured it was an, “obviously I wouldn’t do that,” kind of laugh. I mean, my comment was just meant to be funny, because it goes without saying that I do not want a picture of your wiener. Neither does anyone else.

There were several strange requests via text for me to wear a certain pair of jeggings on our next outing, and to send him a picture of my rear end. So I knew he wasn’t as innocent as he was making himself out to be. I told him anything on my Instagram was about as good as it was going to get.

At one point things just got wildly strange. He must have thought I was incredibly naïve. This dude tried to pull a big one over on me. Nope. Not this girl.

Honestly, if I had it to do over again, I probably would have been much more rude and harsh in my response. But in not wanting to hurt his feelings in case he was being serious (he wasn’t), I responded calmly and seriously.

Are you ready for this madness?

Out of the blue on a Sunday, after interest had subsided substantially, dude says he has a very serious question for me. He’s researched it online and still hasn’t been able to figure out the answer. He even has done an image search. And he sincerely couldn’t figure out if he was circumcised or not. And could he please send me a picture so I could tell him if he was or not.

Are. You. Serious?

No. You’re not serious. This is ridiculous. Dude is in the army reserves. He’s grown up in male locker rooms. Sorry, but you’d know it if you weren’t circumcised. There’s no way you’d make it to almost 30 and not know. No way.

After being totally taken aback, I first called out the obvious—that it’s basically impossible that he wouldn’t know this already, and so I don’t feel like I should gratify his question with a response. But in case he was being serious, I would attempt an answer. Yes ladies and gentlemen, I actually took the time to explain these things—that other boys would have made him aware LONG AGO if he weren’t circumcised. And that he would have had to take extra steps in his hygiene if he weren’t. And it’s pretty standard at most births. And why don’t you just ask your mother? (because we don’t have a good relationship, was his answer to that)

And NO YOU CANNOT SEND ME A PICTURE OF YOUR WIENER. I believe I explicitly mentioned that a long time ago. If this is a ploy to interest me, you’ve got the wrong girl.

Somehow I even got into the Biblical discussion of circumcision, though I don’t remember how it got there. He acted ignorant of all the religious implications as well.

But in the very SLIM case that this guy was serious, I actually took the time to discuss it. I successfully dodged the picture. I guess it says something that he respected my response enough not to send me a picture anyway, right?

Needless to say, we didn’t talk after that. Though he did try to text me a month or two ago, apologizing for how long it had been since we had talked. Bro, no apology needed. I didn’t miss you.

Or your wiener.

Only me, you guys. Only. Me.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

My Drinking Problem


I need to confess it here and now.

I have a drinking problem.

That’s right. The problem REALLY all started about three years ago when I started counting macros. When you have only budgeted a certain amount for carbohydrates, you don’t want to waste them on soda or juice. Not that these things aren’t delicious, but you’re still hungry and now you’re out 35g carbs for your day (and you only get 165g to begin with!). Thanks, but no thanks!

So I started learning the true joy in drinking things other than water. Which, don’t mistake that last sentence, I LOVE water. But sometimes you just want to switch it up, you know? 

To be honest, my love of calorie free drinks was spurred when I was about 20 years old and dating my first fiancée. His family did diet sodas. My first real diet love was Diet Dr. Pepper. To me it tasted as close to the regular soda as it could have, so it didn’t “taste like diet” to me. I loved it. 

From there I gained an appreciation for Diet Coke Plus, which soon disappeared. I guess people just didn’t appreciate the added vitamins in a nutrient deficient beverage. 

Vanilla Coke Zero was an equal favorite in college. I loved getting a 12 pack as a present from my close friends. 

Even as a lover of diet soda, it was a pretty rare thing for me. It was never daily. It was 1-2 times per week. I’ve never been one to do anything excessively. I even had lots of diet soda expire because I wouldn’t drink it in time. Also, I’m aware that diet soda is terrible for you. But if it’s not a frequent thing, then I don’t see it as a major problem. Plus, especially during calorie deficits, it’s just a really great treat, you know? 

For a little while, I went on a coffee kick. I still love coffee with all the sinews of my being. I would usually get a nonfat latte. I’d sweeten it with stevia, and my favorite part was the milk foam. To me, it was (is) a lot healthier than soda. But I had other priorities spiritually, so I gave it up and went back to soda. 

Fast forward to working at Alpine in 2016, during the summer, where Swig was located right around the corner. Yikes. I own not one, but two refillable mugs from Swig, and their cookies are man’s greatest creation. But while tracking, I have to do my own sodas. So, I make my own Diet Dr. Pepper with Torani sugar free vanilla, and 1-2 tablespoons of coconut creamer. I can make it pretty close if the soda comes out of a fountain. I have been known to refill my DDP at a restaurant on my way back to work, and add my other stuff at work. 

I wanted to share my other favorite zero or low calorie beverages:
- Low calorie hot chocolate (1 cup almond milk, unsweetened, 1.5 tablespoons cocoa powder, and sugar free peppermint syrup, or stevia)
- Bai drinks (Molokai coconut)
- Bai Bubbles (Waikiki coconut lime)
- Core drinks (tropical coconut)
- Vitamin Water Zero (pineapple coconut, strawberry lemonade, lemonade)
- Minute Maid Light
- Pero (3/4 cup hot water, ¼ cup almond milk [coconut milk is better], stevia)
- Tea (Yogi vanilla spice, Bigelow mint medley, Celestial candy cane lane, Celestial Bengal spice, or 1/2 Earl Grey and 1/2 warm almond milk)
- Protein water (70 cals each, pink grapefruit flavor)
- BCAAs (Optimum Nutrition fruit punch)
- Bolero (exotic flavor powder, add to water)
- Perk Chill (mint hot chocolate, 100 calories, at bedtime)

Protein water


I’ve recently tried some IdealBoost water flavors: tropical punch was the best one. Coconut wasn’t very good; it tasted chemically. The hot chocolate and hazelnut hot chocolate are 10 calories each. They aren’t awesome tasting, but they can get the job done if you’re counting and need a sweet tooth fix. 

The short of this is that I have come to appreciate beverages in the last few years. They bring me some guilt-free variety and joy. What are your favorite calorie free beverages?

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Made Whole

From January 7 to February 17 I participated in a six week long cleanse of body and soul led by my lovely friend Mary of Made Whole. She's an amazing, empathetic healer. She emanates light and love, and she makes you feel like she will accept you in all your obnoxious imperfections.

I reached out to Mary after three months of battling sinus issues during training, and with a host of other emotional stresses I wanted help managing. She sent me information on her cleanse, with no pressure at all, and encouraged me to ask questions and decide if this was right for me at the right time.

Here is what she says about the purposes of her program:

The first intention of this program is to help you rewire your neural pathways by creating your Ideal Life Vision, which you will create in our I AM workshop on January 6th, 2018, and which I will help you refine throughout our six weeks together. Your IdealLife Vision is a written manifest of the life your heart desires, with great detail and purpose. I will guide you through the steps to make it as powerful as possible, and will teach you how to use it to support your creation of the life you envision. This will help to diffuse the negative thought patterns or beliefs that may be keeping you from leading your life with your strengths and fulfilling your potential. Our work together will help you be very clear about the life you are going to live and create in the next year to eighteen months.

The second intention of this program is to support your body’s ability to cleanse itself of many toxins and patterns that may be causing inflammation, fatigue, mood swings and imbalances, fogginess and excess weight. We focus on cleansing the organs of synthetic buildup, heavy metals and parasites (we all have them). We will do this through a diet designed to restore the nutritional deficiencies you may be suffering from, as these deficiencies often play a great role in your emotional and physical wellness; we will also use supplements, oils and emotion work to support your detox.

The third and highest intention is, through the assignments and cleanse given, that you will trust yourself- with food, with your dreams and potential, in your body, and step towards the vibrant, fulfilled life that has been ordained to you.

Now, I need you all to know (and for those who follow me on Instagram, you know my general approach to health and wellness) that I was skeptical and expressed my skepticism to Mary. Juice cleanses, detoxes, and "allowing your gut to rest," and things like that really aren't backed by science. There are lots of anecdotes, but not a lot of science. Thankfully, I am also of the opinion that if it works for you, makes you feel good, and doesn't hurt you and your health, do what you need to do. I'm not a fan of any extreme measures, as I like to find sustainable approaches that work for people to feel great and confident. Nevertheless, I felt pretty strongly that this was something I needed to do. This was largely BECAUSE of the discomfort this entire idea caused me. I figured the guilty take the truth to be hard, and this was something I would benefit from.

I had a couple of obstacles come up that really tested whether this was something I wanted to do. First, I got accepted to Trainer Lindsey's free 8 week group. She picked four applicants to go through her program and get all of Ideal's supplements for free, with weekly check-ins. It was an amazing, amazing opportunity. I cried and contacted Lindsey and told her the situation. In the end, I passed up this opportunity. I do feel that it would have been great for me in different ways, and Mary's cleanse was great for me in different ways.

After taking our blood sugar and pH level in the morning to send to Mary, the group started on January 6 by spending an entire day creating our "Life Vision." Herein was another conflict. I had volunteered to teach a free class at Core Life Eatery on this date, not knowing when the workshop would be, or what time or how long. I sheepishly had to back out of teaching at Core Life even though they had already printed posters and created the event. I felt awful. But I knew that this workshop would be an important part of the cleanse, so I went ahead and backed out of teaching.

The workshop is where we had to get raw and brave and real with ourselves and unabashedly write what we wanted most in the areas of spiritual, physical, relationships, business/finance, personal growth, and giving back. We met at Mary's family friend's beautiful home in South Jordan. This is where I first met everyone--Mary's sister Lauren, Mary's cousin Chelsea, Mary's DoTerra coach Kindra, and Mary's friend Natalie.

Allow me to tell you how hard this day was. It was so, so hard. In the relationship section, you're meant to focus on all the relationships that matter to you. This means romantic relationships, friendships, family relationships, and your relationship with yourself. I had an especially awful meltdown in this area. I had to leave the house. I walked up and down the side walk and ugly cried. I was out of control and imagine I was loud enough that the neighbors could hear me. To describe my pain to you, I would basically have you imagine that a close relative, someone important in your life, had passed away. It was a grieving moment.

That day didn't get any easier. Having been in health and fitness for seven years now, I knew the work that this cleanse would entail--way more than this anti-food prepper wanted to do. I knew it would be hard. I knew what I was giving up. I knew I'd be hungry and grumpy and emotional. So when I had to shop at Sprouts (and spend a lot of money there) and Harmon's for ingredients for my juice, not knowing what some of the ingredients even looked like, or how much juice these ingredients would make, or how much of each thing to get, I was really stressed and frustrated. Walking to my car in the parking lot, I stopped in my tracks and broke down in tears again. I was so overwhelmed. But I knew I needed to do this.

The first day, January 7, we had to do a salt flush. It was terrible. If you ever need to poop your brains out, or pee out your bum, I'll give you the recipe. Four cups of warm water with pink Himalayan sea salt, chugged within ten minutes. Terrible. Clearly, I didn't go to church. I made my first juice that day, just one serving to test out my juicer and see what the juice was like. I had all day to make more, after all.

The first week consisted of just juice. My juice was pretty spicy due to black beet and ginger and radish. It wasn't awful, but man it was strong, and bless anyone who had to smell my breath.

During the week, I made my juice in the morning, which took a long time and made me late to work. I tried plastic cups with straws for a couple days, but ended up using glass Mason jars and took an ice chest to work so I didn't have to stink up the fridge with my juice. During this phase we were also allowed to have herbal tea, thank goodness. It was hard, and I was hungry, but I think since I already had my meltdown beforehand, I didn't do too bad. I had some moments where I asked myself why I was doing this, reminded myself that science didn't support this, and this wasn't why I contacted Mary in the first place. Thankfully I had Natalie in my group to support me and keep me focused.

That week was especially hard with workouts. I could barely lift any weight. My muscles felt weak, and my energy was suffering. On Saturday, January 13, I went to an Ideal Fit event with my friend Brittney. I had to scale back and take it easy, having only had juice for the six days prior. I made it through by trying places like Ivie Juice in Orem, Pulp Lifestyle Kitchen's juice (with Brittney after the Ideal event), Just Organic Juice in Draper, and Vive Juicery in Draper. I matched my juice choices there as closely as I could to our juice, and it really saved the day and changed things up for me.

On Sunday, January 14, we had yet another salt flush. It was as bad as you'd imagine, not having had any food in a whole week. I believe I went to church and left early. That night was really hard for me. My grandma made chicken paprikas, our family's favorite dish from Hungary, for my mom's birthday. I couldn't have any, but I did get to have bone broth that night. I saved it specifically for dinner while everyone was eating. I was sorely disappointed and sad about my bone broth. I had a small meltdown that night where I told my mom how hungry I was and how tired I was. But thankfully that week, we got to add bone broth, apple juice, and olive oil. This was to prepare for the gall stone flush the following Sunday. The added calories made my body very happy, and my workouts were a little easier.

On Sunday, January 21, we had our gall stone flush. This consisted of Epsom salt water the night prior, along with chugging some olive oil combined with grapefruit juice and lemon juice (I forgot the lemon--oops) and going straight to bed. The next morning was more painful than the two salt flushes prior. I will leave it at that. I didn't end up going to stake conference that day, seeing as I had to jump out of the shower to go to the bathroom and didn't know what the rest of the day would be like.

That day was amazing. We got to reintroduce soft foods, including kefir with Flax oil and berries, steamed veggies, and steamed fruit. I overate that day and got really bloated, but it was so nice to be able to chew. Those foods were our foods for the next few days until we had a good, solid bowel movement. Sorry if that's TMI.

Goat's milk kefir, berries, and flax

Pineapple and apples

Veggies for steaming

After our BM, Mary sent us our recipes. This was the week of smoothies, salads, and soups, designed for our individual nutrient deficiencies. This felt normal to me, as I always have shakes for breakfast and salads for lunch. But the immense amount of fiber made me feel pretty bloated this entire week. I think it was the black bean soup, which was freaking AMAZING by the way. So, so yummy. I didn't get sick of it. I actually ate more than I was supposed to because it was so good. We also got to have boiled eggs for snacks, and trail mix. I ran out of the black bean soup with a couple of days left, and not knowing what foods would be in the next phase, I made a half batch and ended up freezing some of it.

So excited for my first salad in weeks (at Core Life Eatery)

The hardest thing about the cleanse in that period was not knowing when each phase would end and how much food to buy. I ended up wasting a lot of food because we were done juicing, and then before I knew it, the smoothie/salad/soup phase was done, and I had some of that left as well.

The last phase was the least personalized. Mary introduced a lot of fat in this phase. I ate quite a few eggs, and quite a few avocados, and a lot of chopped up vegetables. I didn't want to go to the trouble of making hummus when I'm not a huge fan (I don't hate it, but I don't love it). And the other recipes didn't appeal to me much either. I loved the juice in this phase, which I had 2-3 times and actually am planning on making again soon. It was so yummy. My coconut curry recipe was pretty tasty. This was another frustrating moment because I ran out of the curry with a couple of days left, but two days before I could eat salmon, and making a huge batch of veggie spaghetti seemed like it might end up being wasteful. I made it anyway, and did end up throwing a lot of it away because I didn't like it very much, and it made a lot. We had the option of salad for lunch or dinner as well, so I should have just done that instead of making spaghetti.

Omelet and sweet potato

Veggies and guac


Quinoa was a breakfast option for 1-2 days if we didn't want an omelet
February 10 was my birthday, and I did well all day with my food, but ended up having that chimney that I won the giveaway for. So I was "done" a little sooner than everyone else.

On Sunday, February 11, we had our story night at Natalie's house. We got together for the first time since January 6 and shared formative experiences from our lives, and what we could glean from those to share with the group. It was really emotional, and Mary brought in two ladies who weren't in the group to share their experiences as well. We brought healthyish treats to share. I brought oatmeal applesauce cookies and PB2 brownies with coconut whipped cream. Mary brought almond joys. Chelsea brought no bake cookies. And I had already had some Dove chocolate earlier in the day since I had that treat the night before. This day was a little out of control free for all for me, to be honest.

That whole next week, we were supposed to slowly reintroduce things. I had every intention of doing that, but I also had all my birthday freebies rolling in by email. On Monday night, February 12, I got myself some theater popcorn. That actually went OK in terms of how my body dealt with it, but I felt really sad afterward. That was kind of weird. It wasn't guilt or illness. It was sadness. So bizarre.

It took me a few days to reintroduce meat. It took me a few days to reintroduce soda also, which I've only had a couple of times since. I ate an entire thing of cheesy bread from Marco's, which was delicious. I continued to have salads for lunch and a few nights had salad for dinner as well. I had a Firehouse Sub, and a Pizza Studio pizza (both free). I just didn't take it slow, to be honest. I've put on a lot of weight--I don't even know how much--which I knew would happen the minute we were done and could reintroduce food. I had sushi and dessert on the 17th for my birthday, and the same on Sunday the 18th--chicken and dumplings and cake.

So now I'm in a weird stage where I know what foods my body does well with, what foods reduce inflammation and help me feel light and good, and what foods don't make me feel so good. And trying to find some self-control and choose my body over my taste buds. I go to sleep and wake up with intentions of making better choices, but then we have dessert day at work, or I have cake that my best friend made, and it's just so hard to choose my body and well-being.

That week of reintroducing foods caused my skin to freak out, made me bloated, made me gain weight, and disrupted my sleep. My improved sleep was one of the biggest benefits of the juicing portion. I just was really irresponsible and too quick about putting all the processed foods back in. And I kind of knew I would be, which is why I am skeptical of extreme measures. Because I know what happens when I restrict for too long--it's totally counterproductive. It makes me frustrated because after all the time, money, effort, and energy put into everything, to just so quickly give up everything I had gained makes me feel annoyed with myself.

In this process, I gained new, amazing friends. I had three emotion work sessions with Mary where we released some emotions in order to break down my heart wall. It was a weird and cool experience. The second and third sessions were better for me than the first. I learned that I can do some incredibly difficult things. I reaffirmed what an amazing machine my body is, and reminded myself how good I can feel by eating the right foods. I've learned that I can invest a little bit more time in my own food preparation, and that I deserve the effort, and the extra money for better ingredients.

I was looking to regain balance, for connectedness in my mind and body. I felt overall that the stress of the food (the shopping, the preparation, etc.) kind of overtook the more spiritual and emotional aspects of the cleanse for me. I also had a meltdown on January 31 about the cost of the groceries on top of the program--I probably tripled or quadrupled my normal food budget. I understand that we learn more about our bodies, and reconnect to our bodies, when we are treating them well. But I needed to devote more time to peace and meditation and processing through my issues. So whatever this program didn't deliver was due to my own inability to muster up the energy and time after dealing with all the food challenges and remembering all the supplements and when to take them.

Still, it was definitely valuable. The friends I gained are probably the biggest benefit for me, second only to the self-love I gained. I'm grateful for Mary and her leadership as well as the encouragement and strength of the other ladies in the group. Mostly I am grateful for myself--for my body's ability to push through and heal itself, for my discipline in completing the assignments, for the effort I put in to loving myself. I DO love myself and am worth the time and effort to have the health and life I want. I am worthy of blessings and of the desires of my heart. And if you don't know your own worth and worthiness, then this program would be a powerful experience for you.

31st Birthday

The day of my actual birthday was one of the best days I had had in a long time.

I did all my cleaning, laundry, and grocery shopping on Friday night so as to have the day off from adulting.

I woke up, took a picture of my legs, and had my last mandatory cup of warm lemon water. I followed that up with some vanilla spice tea with cinnamon, stevia, and almond milk.

I ran five miles. It felt easy. The snow got in my face and eyes, and the wind pushed against me no matter what direction I was going. But my body did not struggle with the run.

I followed my run with my cardio flow workout on 80 Day Obsession.

I showered and prepared a long Facebook post while I got ready to go to breakfast. As I was rushing out the door, I made a plant based protein shake for myself.

Brittney and I pulled up to Pulp Lifestyle Kitchen at the same time. Kristen and Julie were in the car waiting. Then Laura Turley came. Then Kathryn, and then Rachel.

I love all these ladies so much and am so grateful they gave me an hour of their day.

Rachel asked if we should all share some affirmations—things they love about me or about being friends with me. It was so special and lovely. It meant so much.

Rachel said we’ve been friends for 12 years, and she’s seen me in a lot of different situations. Her favorite thing about our friendship is that even if we don’t talk or see each other that often, she knows I am always there for her. She mentioned my thoughtfulness, and how I just randomly brought her a cactus plant one time. She said how I just do what I want and that I don’t let anyone tell me what to do.

Laura seconded my thoughtfulness, saying how one time I had brought hyer a “get well kit” as her visiting teacher. She loves how I am so great at managing lots of things, and reminded her about our visiting teachee Kaitlyn’s birthday. She said being more thoughtful is something she aspires to.

Julie went next and said she admires that I overcome anything that is put in my way. Whether I chose to take on something like a race, or it’s work or my family, I choose to tackle things head on. She loves my attitude and how I won’t be defeated. I think Kristen chimed in with the word “enduring.”

Brittney didn’t want to say anything because she was getting too emotional.

Kristen went next and said that when she thinks of me, she thinks of empathy. She got emotional also and said that anything she talks to me about something that is bothering her or that she is experiencing, she knows that I understand without her even needing to explain it.

Kathryn went next and was also very emotional. She explained how she met me teaching, and she always respected what I did in my classroom and how I managed my students. She said she had students tell her what they had learned in my class on a number of occasions. The biggest thing she said was when I brought big health changes into her life. She said I've rchanged her life and that she wouldn’t be where she is today without me. Bless her. She cried. I cried.

Breakfast was also so good! I got the skinny jeans as a scramble without the wheat wrap. It was yummy. Laura got the same as me. Kristen got the Pan-a-cea which are coconut quinoa pancakes. Rachel just got some almond milk. Kathryn got some kind of egg scramble with fruit and sausage stuff on the side. Julie and Brittney both got the Skinny Jeans also, as a wrap. I just love Pulp. It’s so reasonably priced and such light, good food.

I deposited my birthday money at the bank and took a movie back to Redbox, then checked the mail. I got my Power Greens from Beachbody, my “I am enough” rings for me and Brittney, a package from Allyn, and my Kitchen Aid ice cream maker was waiting on my doorstep. Such a good day.

Carmen called me, and we chatted for ten minutes. Other phone calls came from Brittney, Jon Hiller, and my brother.

Mom and grandma came over and did an Instagram live video of me opening presents.

Grandpa Gabe: sent a card and $50
Grandpa Mike: sent a card and $25
Carmen: sent a card and $10 for Kohl’s
Claire: Core Life eatery gift card
Allyn: aged vanilla
Kathryn: neutral lip balm, wrist cuff, Harry Potter book marks
Brittney: Firehouse gift card, workout outfit
Julie and Kristen: Fandango gift card
Kelsey: Balloons and Waffle Love gift cards
Ashleigh: Sprouts gift card
Patrick: vinyl album, bath salts, Pop socket and mount, dinner at Sawadee
Grandma: flowers, candle, workout bottoms, hoodie, Epsom salts
Mom: clipboards, B map, glasses case, nail polish, plum lip balm, socks, shell jar, juice glass with measuring spoons
Dad: Groot Chia, scarf, new dishes

Kelsey came over. She brought me balloons and a Waffle Love gift card. We went to Costa Vida, where I accidentally got rice instead of beans, and tried to pick the tortilla strips off my salad. But it was really good!

I opened those and then read my letter from my dad, which was really special. I went to Sawadee for dinner. I had coconut soup and shared green curry. I won a giveaway from Sweet Chimneys, and a drink from Thirst. I had a Biscoff and Heath chimney. I did not feel good after I ate that. It was a lot for my body to do after six weeks of nothing like that.

I started my Groot Chia pet, which is sprouting little green leaves now.

During the week, my friend Jon stopped at my work to bring me presents from my Amazon wish list: an oil diffuser and a new purse! I was so grateful and excited. Those things were at the top of my list.

On the 17th, we did my sushi dinner at Itto. Chelsea from my cleanse group came with me after I trained her. Kristine showed up next, then Kelsey. Kristen and Julie came. Rachel thought dinner was at 7, so she came a little late. Dinner was so good. Again I was just filled with gratitude that people would give up their time on a Saturday night to hang out with me. As I get older I realize time is the most valuable thing people can give. People have things to do and places to be, so when they give you their time (which they'll never get back), they're giving you the greatest gift.

Everyone else had to head home, but Chelsea, Rachel, and I went to Draper for dessert at The Last Course. Oh my. I sampled a few gelatos. The salted caramel was good, the pear and blue cheese, and the maple bacon. The pear one would be good in the summer. I got the Foster's Banana Tacos. Rachel got the limited time vanilla lava cake, and Chelsea got the German Chocolate Cake. So good. We had great conversation, and were interrupted by the ladies at our table who overheard us and wanted to thank us for the discussion we were having. I don't want to go into detail here, but it was a really special, cool moment.

On the 18th, Rachel brought me over my cake that she made for me. It was so beautiful and so good. It had layers of chocolate cake with a layer of chocolate buttercream and layers of coconut buttercream. Amazing.

The 18th was my family birthday dinner. My mom made chicken and dumplings. My grandma made me a chocolate lovers' bundt cake, and made a German chocolate cake and funfetti cake for the kids. The food was so good, of course.

My grandma got me a few MORE presents to add to the previous weekend. She's too much. She got me a mini fondue set with melting wafers and a big container of strawberries, plus a bag of coffee M&Ms. My uncle Dave and aunt Jess got me some peppermint body scrub. My aunt April and uncle Tyler got me some essential oil body scrub and lotion.

Anyway, this birthday was so good. I am blessed with really great people in my life. I'm still figuring things out, but overall I am happy and always working for more of that.

Friday, November 3, 2017


Well, I did it. I trained for and ran a marathon on October 21, 2017.

Out of 79 planned training runs, I missed two. That’s 77 runs from May 29, 2017 to October 20, 2017. My actual race makes 78 runs.

Just some data and numbers for you in case you’re impressed with those: 
- 631 miles 
- 101.4 hours = 4.23 days of running
- 10ish treadmill runs (maybe more, maybe less)
9ish runs with hill sprints
At least 70 runs were dark or early in the morning
20 weeks 
- Three illnesses 
- Three pairs of shoes 
- Four periods 
- Four different states (Utah, California, Louisiana, Nevada)

I’ve experienced tear-inducing chafing on my back, hips, and bikini area.

I’ve had blood-filled toenails. I only actually lost one toenail. It usually just was lifted and discolored from blood.

I’ve had muscle cramps and stomach cramps (thankfully only one time was severe).

I’ve gotten sunburned and attacked by the wind.

I’ve had severe foot pain.

I gave up 20 Saturday mornings.

I’ve used lots of Ben Gay.

And the good?

I rarely had knee pain. I could still run through my illnesses. I accomplished more than I would have ever thought myself capable of.

Here’s my recount:

As for the race itself, it was freezing up at the top. I tried to stay ahead of the 4:30 pacer because I wanted to be done by 11:15am. For a majority of the race, even up to mile 20, I was able to stay ahead of that pacer. But at mile 20 is where I really started to struggle. I just couldn’t make my body go any faster to catch up to them, and I was falling farther and farther behind. That was actually my biggest mental struggle, that although I was trying my very hardest, I wasn’t going to make my goal. All this struggle and all this training and all this pain only to not reach my goal was very disappointing for me. I almost lost my will to keep running.

At mile 10 one of my bosses was there (since the course was about a mile from his home), as was another friend. It was so fun to see both of them and have them cheer me on during my race. At mile 10 I was still going strong and still feeling good.

The race was frustrating and much hillier than I expected. I trained on hills, but these were long. And the north to south and south to north running made it feel really repetitive, with the same sights in the distance. It felt like running in place.

By mile 22, I felt like I was walking more than I was running.

My quads started to lock up really bad. I never had that happen during training, so it took me by surprise and was yet another mental struggle for me—really discouraging. My legs are pretty strong, and the most trouble I had during training were tight glutes and pain in my left foot. So the quad pain was quite unexpected.

At one of the last fuel stops/bathroom stops, a teenage kid was there. His encouragement was so genuine. He told me to keep going, that I was doing great, and to finish strong. He said it like he knew the pain I was in. I was so thankful for him. 

By the time I got to the Jordan River Parkway, I was done, mentally and physically. I just did not want to do any more. I was walking a lot. I almost cried (happy tears) because I had a three separate people heading the opposite direction, total strangers, who weren’t in the race but knew what was ahead, who told me I was doing great, to keep going, and that I was almost there. Their encouragement was so nice. I don’t know if they had any idea what I was up against in my head. So it was really thoughtful of them to encourage me.

I was so tired, and my legs were so stiff that I really struggled to run. I walked most of the parkway, or at least it felt that way.

One frustrating thing was that I started my run on my app right when they said go. This meant I started early. So I was hitting each mile marker about a tenth of a mile ahead of time. This also meant that I finished 26.2 miles quite a bit before the finish line. This also did a number on me because in my head I was already done. But the finish line was still ahead, and I still had to get there.

You can tell by my splits which miles were hard
The time I got on my app versus the official race time has a discrepancy since I started my app early.

Time I got on my app

4:36:45 official time

When I came around the final corner, there was a lady walking with her baby along the finish line, which I thought was really weird. It seemed she was kind of clueless. My friend Kristen yelled at her to get out of the way, which I heard in a video later. So funny.

All my people were cheering for me at the finish line. I probably had the biggest support group there. Of course, I shamelessly solicited for everyone to come. My mom and grandma were there, Julie ran the half and stuck around after, Kristen and her friend Tina were there, Brittney and Kristine, and Rachel and Cara. The cheering and support meant so much.

I could barely walk afterward. I wanted to hug everyone, even though I was sweaty and gross. I was fighting back tears of pain and pride and disappointment. I was hobbling. We took some pictures in the field area. Then we took pictures with the race backdrop, me with everyone, and me alone.

While my mom and grandma went to get my donuts (from Lehi bakery!) and my presents, which they didn’t need to do, I tried out a couple Kodiak pancakes they we remaking for the finishers. They weren’t very good.

Kristen, Julie, and Tina left because they had already been waiting around for me forever! Kristine had to take off because her husband and baby were there. Rachel and Cara got themselves a Waffle Love and then took off afterward to get on with their weekends. Brittney hung around, watched me open presents from my mom and grandma, and helped me carry stuff to my car. My grandma got me some cookies, candy/soda, jerky, and coconut almonds. My mom got me a loofah sponge, a couple of cute notebooks, and an awesome insulated cup. They both brought me flowers and balloons. They're too much. 

The rest of that day went on like a normal Saturday. I switched some laundry over. I showered, picked up my groceries (thank you ClickList, I couldn’t walk), and got a massage. The shower was especially painful because of the chafing I didn’t know I had. It was especially bad around my bikini area. It was completely raw, like a burn. I had to waddle like a penguin, and the skin was raw and weeping so bad that my cotton underwear kept getting stuck to my skin. It was awful. After my massage, I got dinner at Mo Bettah with Brittney, and we watched Wonder Woman at my place. And ate more donuts, obviously. I used some A&D on my chafed areas, which really helped by the next day. I took pictures (with underwear on) just so I could get a better view of it; it was pretty gross.

Everything was hurting besides my legs. My ribs and sternum hurt. My shoulders hurt. Thankfully, my knees did not. But it really just felt like everything hurt. You can watch me emotionally recount the whole thing here:

Sunday was kind of a nightmare of pain. I could barely get myself out of bed. I hobbled very slowly to the bathroom. Walking felt impossible. I had to try and hoist myself up anytime I wanted to get off the couch or from a low sitting position. My legs weren’t working. I often had to lift them up or position them where I wanted them.

I did take two laps around the block (at separate times). They were very slow and laborious. I’m sure that anyone who saw me was wondering why a young woman was shuffling like an elderly person. But I figured I needed some movement to keep my muscles moving. I spent the day on my couch watching movies and reading.

On Monday I was still hurting but was functional enough to go to work and walk at a reasonable pace. On Tuesday I probably could have done a simple cardio workout like Cize or something, but I just didn’t want to get up. Exercise has been a struggle since my race. I find myself not wanting to do much of anything since there’s no plan I have to stick to. But I did wake up a few mornings this week, so I’m making some progress and trying to remember my love of running.

When people have asked, “How was it? Would you do another one?” I have lowered my eyes and shaken my head. I honestly can’t recommend a marathon to anyone. I know some people do one every weekend, and I just don’t know how that is enjoyable or sustainable. I think if I had met my goal time of 4:22, I would have been happier about all the time and sacrifice I put in—having achieved what I set out to do. Having invested 20 weeks and 101 hours and a lot of sweat, I don’t know if it was worth it. I don’t even really feel proud of myself because of how those last 6 miles went.

I think I’ll stick with half marathons because 12 weeks of training is more fun and doable. And it won’t impress people the way a marathon will, but it will still be work to reach that point again. 

A lot of amazing people have reached out and have been so supportive. They want me to pat myself on the back and remind me that I “did a freaking marathon.” And yeah. I did. I just am having trouble feeling enthusiastic about it, even almost two weeks later.

But I did it. And it’s worth documenting. And I know now more than ever that I can do hard things. 

And don't worry. I ordered my 26.2 sticker today.