I even made a video myself. (click the highlighted words to take you to the videos.) Enjoy!
My Facebook friends know that I read the book 29 Gifts last month and I completed a month of giving.
It came very easy to me and I loved each and every day. The gifts ended up giving back to me. I learned that even though I am a glass half full kind of girl and very giving by nature, by giving with intention it opens my heart to peace and joy beyond compare!
My husband Ron and I started on July 8th. Each of us are giving away 8 things on the 8th of July and then 9 things on the 9th of July and so forth. I added it up and when it is all said and done each of us will have either trashed, recycled, given away or sold 496 things each. That’s almost 1000 items! Last year we read, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing so Ron and I do have a head start and have paired down so much already. We are very excited! If you are interested, there is a movie on NetFlix right now that can inspire you.
Well what no one knows yet is what has been happening to me since.
When I sit down at night, Ron is usually already sitting in his Lazyboy and has some History Channel or NatGeo show on. I often love those shows but sometimes I want to watch the latest episode of Alone or The Pioneer Woman. Ron is not a fan of either of those but he will watch them with me on occasion. On Monday night I was all caught up on Alone and PW so when I set down, I asked him if we could switch to Apple TV and watch YouTube videos on minimalism. Every video we pulled up was good to me but Ron wasn’t in to it at all. Somehow we ended up on this channel: Living with Lucie and we proceeded to watch for goodness knows how long! Lucie is young. We could be her parents. I have no idea what in the world compelled us to keep watching but we both loved her! I asked our 22 year old daughter Lydia about Lucie and she knew her well. I think Lucie must be a big deal with Millennials.
We watched the video when Lucie didn’t wash her hair for 2 weeks. We watched when she lived on $50 one week. (She lives in NYC) We watched when she went without her phone for 5 days. We watched when she tried to produce no trash for 5 days. We watched when she wore the same outfit for 5 days. And of course, we watched when she tried minimalism for 5 days.
So what do I proceed to do on Tuesday morning? I immediately tried to see if I could go without my phone for 5 days. I did have a caveat that I could use it only for phone calls and for texts from people that didn’t know I was trying to not use my phone. I also allowed myself to use it for Audible when I was driving only.
I made it okay through Tuesday.
However, today I have failed. I was eating lunch in the break-room and I was at a table by myself. There were 2 young females (I guess you would call them Millennials) that I did not know that were sitting at a table beside me. The first thing I noticed was that one of them had a cloth napkin in her lap. I was so impressed and knew this was something that I was going to try to incorporate so I wouldn’t have to waste the company paper towels. I already do not use the plastic cutlery and bring my own silverware from home. I even brought an old cutting board from home today to leave at work so I could cut my apple. (Yay for getting rid of a home item and yay for having something to use to cut my apple on each day and not waste a paper plate!) I was feeling so good.
However, since I didn’t have my phone, I had to listen in to their conversation. They proceeded to talk constantly about how much stuff their parents had and how they didn’t want any of it. I started to feel uncomfortable and I couldn’t take it any longer. I had to do something! I reached for my phone and started scrolling. I challenge you. Try it! See if you can sit alone and eat beside other people that are talking and do nothing.
Anyway, due to this conversation I overheard, I’m really going to try and not push my stuff off on Andie and Lydia. I told my FB freinds that I had to save some cookbooks that I was going through for Andie but I’m really going to try and not give anything else.
What is so sentimental to me, is not to them!
Last year after The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I made a lot of progress. I took pictures of the girls’ homemade Christmas ornaments that they had made in Girl Scouts and school. After I photographed them, I gave the ornaments a kiss and put them in the trash. I thanked the ornaments for the joy they had given me and said goodbye. (Please don’t think I’m crazy….that is what the book says to do.) We hadn’t used them in years on the tree and I don’t know why I was hanging on to them for so long.
Anyway, I guess to sum it up. I’m trying to be more conscious about everything. I’m trying to use my phone less. I’m trying to produce less trash. But someone, please tell me that there is research out there somewhere that says that by not using the paper towels at work and washing my own cloth napkins it s better for the environment. I’m already wondering if the little bit of dish soap and water I use at work to wash my lunch dishes is better then just bringing my lunch in disposable containers. It must be. I hope! I know my lunches are way healthier than a frozen dinner anyway.
Tonight I’m tackling the VCR tapes and the DVDs. My biggest number so far that I’ve gotten rid of has been 32 Playdough containers. I had a big plastic tub filled with small Playdough containers and loads of cookie cutters for my grandchildren. Since the Playdough was pretty dried out anyway and since the grandchildren have moved so far away, this was an easy decision. I kept all the cookie cutters though! Also, you’ll be proud to know that I trashed the Playdough but I recycled all the little containers.
I think the VCR tapes and the DVDs will out number the Playdough tubs! So excited!
I know I’m behind on race reports and I have them in my draft mode. I promise to get them up soon. I’ve got to do a post on my Slim in 6 video challenge too. I’m doing pretty good but I haven’t’ been perfect with it.
So long for now! Happy Running! Happy Eating! Happy DeCluttering! and now Happy using our phones less, and Happy producing less trash!
Make sure you have your stainless steel straw too in your purse! Go strawless!
PS… go check out Lucie and get inspired!
I got the chance to slip over to the gardens today at lunch. It was so beautiful! I work very close to this awesome spot and I’m really going to try to enjoy it more often. I know it is most beautiful when these azaleas are in bloom but I bet it is peaceful year round.
Be sure to check it out if you can!
Forgive me for these race recaps being so close together but I’m trying to get them posted before this weekend. If I don’t I’ll be 3 race recaps behind. LOL This grandma is one busy lady!
Oak Island Marathon is part of a race series called The Big A$$ Medal Series. Again, my good friend Lisa, put me up to this series. She’s always finding the best races! The cool thing about the medals are not only are they really big but they all connect together making one Ginormous medal! Crazy Big!
Here I am all showered up after the run sporting the cool shirt and the medal. If you like bling, this is the series for you.
Oak Island was first and was held on February 18th. It is the only race in the series that has a full marathon option. The other 3 are all half marathons. The next race is in May and it will be on Sunset Beach. Then comes Holden Beach and Ocean Isle in September and October. Ron and I have never vacationed in this area so we are really excited to get to know the region.
We headed down to Oak Island on Friday and were there in just over 2 hours. The expo was super little but very well organized. We were in and out of there in minutes flat.
For the rest of the series, we may not worry so much about getting the day off on Friday and just head down after work and pick up our bibs the morning of the race.
After the expo, we drove out to the Oak Island Lighthouse. It is a cute little lighthouse and it is right beside the road. You can climb it in the summer months but you have to make a reservation.
Next after checking into the hotel we headed out in search of pizza and pasta. This little gem popped up on Yelp for me and we loved it. Great pizza. Great spaghetti. And great craft beer for Ron.
It was getting close to dusk by this point and the wind had picked up a bit but we still enjoyed a short walk on the beach.
Check out Ron doing Tai Chi on the beach!
The hotel (Holiday Inn Express) had a comfy bed and quite rooms. My rest was blissful! Ron slept very well too.
Since I had had such a bad run in Charleston and overheated, even though it was a little cool at the start, I opted for running in a singlet. I had my new one from Vac & Dash and since I knew it would be quite sunny, it proved to be perfect.
The only thing I didn’t think of was my headlamp. Ron told me that the race organizers had told us plenty of times to be ready for the dark start but for some reason, I missed that. The run in the beginning was through some neighborhoods and I was fearful of tripping in a pot hole or something. I really wished I had my light. On the other hand though, I’m glad I didn’t have to carry it with me for the rest of the race. I like to run with only the bare essentials. I don’t even like running with my phone. I’ve got to change this because I love all the pictures that all my friends capture.
Check out this gorgeous sunrise my good friend Jordan shot.
That was 2 weekends in a row that I ran and got to see the sunrise. So Pretty!
The first part of the run for me went well again. I really enjoyed running over the bridge and running to the lighthouse.
Around the half, you run by the finish line area and usually I get down when I hear all the partying knowing I have 13 miles to go. This time it didn’t bother me. I kept running and I didn’t really know it at that time but I was slowing down big time. I felt really good and was in good spirits until around mile 23. With only 3 miles to go my legs started to buckle under me. What! I got really scared and thought I was going to faint or something. I wasn’t dehydrated and I had had 3 Gus so I should have been fine. I started walking at this point and must have walked about a quarter of a mile or so. I sucked it up and before long I saw Ron and my good friend Claudia and her husband. They ran me in and Claudia handed me a beer and a slice of pizza. Claudia was so thoughtful to wait on me. She had finished about an hour before me and had qualified for Boston! She’s turning 60 this year and is my hero! I want to be like her when I grow up! LOL
(Claudia’s husband got a picture of us but I don’t have it yet. I’ll post as soon as I can.)
Here I am at the finish line. I look happier than I felt!
Here’s a shot of my other good friend, Jordan and me. I was right with Jordan at mile 23 but she beat me by 10 minutes over those last 3 miles.
And here Ron and I are. Ron had a good half marathon but had to give the after party a thumbs down. My beer lovin’ husband won’t touch an American lager. LOL
Here’s Ron is coming in! All smiles!
I’m really excited for the rest of the series and even though I’m bummed about my 2 recent marathon times, I’m trying to stay positive and see if I can figure out what is going on. My gut is telling me I’m not running enough. I love going to Camp Gladiator on MWF and I think it is healthy for me. I just think if I am going to get faster, I have to get more miles and more fast miles under my feet. I think I am training myself to run slow. I’ve got to run fast in my training runs if I ever am going to run fast in races. Good news is my LifeTime Fitness Run group is offering a speed class beginning in May. 8 weeks with the awesome Coach Kelly. I am very excited for this.
Here’s my training calendar leading up to the race. I had high hopes of doing so much better.
Here are my splits. (My Garmin measured it at 26.43)
I’m not giving up on the full distance but I am definitely giving it a rest for a while. I’ve got the Tobacco Road half coming up this Sunday and then I’ve got the other 3 halfs in the BAM series. I also am registered for the Kiawah Island half in December.
I am toying with the idea of maybe signing up for the Richmond full in November. All my running friends tell me it is a great marathon so I might give it a try.
Happy Running Friends!
My sister lives near Morrow Mountain State Park so I’ve known about the Albemarle area for over 40 years. In fact, my niece got married on the top of Morrow Mountain. What I didn’t know about this area until I got into running was this awesome running store called Vac & Dash. Vac & Dash is a unique store. They sell vacuum cleaners and running shoes. They also are a UPS shipping outlet, sell and repair bikes, time races and sell disc golf supplies.
Back in 2012 when I was doing a race a month, I stumbled upon Vac & Dash and the awesome Run the Valley half marathon. I was very intrigued about running to the top of Morrow Mountain. I signed up and ran with a new friend from my Galloway running group. I wasn’t at all concerned with speed at that time so I went into that race with a very relaxed attitude. It was a hoot! Beautiful scenery and very well run race. It is the only race to date that I have placed in my age group. (disclaimer: I got 3rd place in my age group…and there were only 3 of us in the group. I got a trophy though. LOL)
Fast forward 5 years and my oldest and one of my dearest running friends, Lisa, messaged me and ask me to join her in the Fellowship of the Idiot Run. The Fellowship of the Idiot Run started back in 2003 with a few friends getting together for their last long run before the Myrtle Beach Marathon. They started at the YMCA in Albemarle and ran to the top of Morrow Mountain and back. Every year since then, idiots have gotten together for this awesome long run. This year there were 174 runners making it over 600 official idiots since the run’s inception. Fellowship was 19.7 miles and there was a hard cut-off at 2 hours to make it the top. I jumped at the chance to run such a fun run with such a great friend and said yes immediately. However, when I learned about that hard cut-off, I worked myself up and became very anxious. That meant I had to average about a 12:00 minute mile. Not too much of a worry on a flat course but going up the mountain…. Hmmmm, I didn’t know if I could make it or not.
I really, really wanted to become an Official Idiot and earn my shirt. I tried to keep a positive attitude and tried very hard to just enjoy the run and not stress so much about pace. My good friend Claudia told me to run 30:30 intervals if I had to on the steepest incline (30 second run: 30 second walk). So that was my plan.
The run starts at 5:30am and since my sister lives about 25 minutes from the start, we traveled to her house on Friday night. I stayed up way too late visiting but somehow managed to wake up at 4:00 and make it out the door by 4:30. I was in Albemarle just before 5:00 and had plenty of time to use the bathroom, find Lisa, and check in.
Peter, the owner of Vac & Dash, welcomed us all, said a few words and then it was a simple, Ready, Set, and Go. We were off! Here we are just before the start.
The first few miles were in the small town of Albemarle. Since it was so early there wasn’t anyone on the streets except us. It was very dark. I had my reflective vest on for safety and I also wore my new headlamp. By the way, I highly recommend the Petzl Headlamp. I love the USB charging feature and it is very comfortable. It stays put on my forehead and doesn’t bounce at all. The only thing I wish is that it had a blinking feature on the back some way. That would be cool and even safer. There was one hill early on in the run and it was very tough. Lisa and I were talking and I was having trouble completing my sentences.
The next miles passed effortlessly. We talked and talked and enjoyed meeting other idiots out for this 19.7 mile run so early in the morning. Before long, we started seeing the sun begin to rise. It was a beautiful orange. The weather was on the chilly side but not too bad. I like chilly for a run so I was in heaven. There really wasn’t a wind to speak of at all.
Lisa’s whole family came out to support her and they were blasting cool songs and ringing cow bells, and hootin’ and hollerin’ and pretty much being the very best supporters ever!
We stopped a few times for pictures and I walked a few steps when I was drinking or taking a Gu but for the most part, I ran all the way. I didn’t even have to use the 30:30 plan to make it up the mountain. I was so surprised I was able to run the whole way up. I was all smiles coming in at the top of the mountain!
Here’s a shot that Lisa’s husband, Wes, captured of me.
And here we are at the top. This shot was from the race site and we must have been looking at Wes.
And just look at this amazing shot Wes got of the sunrise! Breathtaking! We really ran to heaven that morning!
After these photos and a quick Gu and bathroom break, we headed back down the mountain. The run back was just as awesome. Morrow Mountain State Park is so peaceful.
The roads were a little busier when we got back into Albemarle but not too bad. The directions were clearly marked and before we knew it we were back at the Y. We had earned our shirts and now were official idiots!
Note, In years past someone was pictured holding their shirt upside down by mistake and now everyone does it. An Idiot Tradition!
From the race you get that awesome shirt and a funny idiot certificate. Wes however, couldn’t have us complete a run of this magnitude and not get a medal. He designed this medal and got them for us. Lisa was Idiot 1 and I was Idiot 2. Lisa’s daughter made the buttons for us.
I had the most fun ever. Thank you so much to Lisa and her whole family for including me!
Thanks so much to Peter from Vac&Dash and thank you to all the volunteers that make the run possible year after year. I certainly want to be a returning Idiot next year and beyond!
When you are planning your 2018 race calendar, you really should include Fellowship of the Idiot Run. If something comes up and you can’t make it, you can’t get a refund. But somehow I think you’ll be okay with that. There isn’t a race fee at all. Completely free!
Do however, make sure to make a donation to help support this remarkable run. Make sure to save some time after the run and go on down street to Vac & Dash. If you’re lucky like me you might just find something on the clearance rack!
A Hinson Singlet with the year I ran on it! Woot Woot! Best $4 I’ve ever spent! (Vac & Dash does the apparel for Hinson.) I also got the red one and it was only $4 as well. I’ll be stylin’ for sure this summer!
Happy Running Friends!
Let’s start off with a cool new breakfast idea. Look at this yummy egg and banana pancake. I found the recipe on an old blog that I just keep reading year after year. Love KathEats!
It looks like a huge breakfast but it is really only 2 eggs and 1 banana. (and some chia seeds, vanilla, and cinnamon)
All you do is mash the banana up and stir in the eggs and other ingredients. Then fry it up on a lightly greased pan.
Boy was it delicious!
It is a rainy day here in North Carolina so I’ve got some time to jot down a race recap from last weekend’s Charleston Marathon. Let me start off by saying Charleston is a wonderful city and the race was very well organized. We stayed near the convention center and boy was this area hoppin’. You will find every imaginable chain restaurant and store that you could ever want. The cool thing is this area is only 3.5 miles from the finish area so it is very convenient. The finish area is actually the coolest area though. This is where you’ll find nice restaurants that are not of the chain sort. We had Italian Friday night and then after the race we went to a seafood restaurant. I just love visiting new cities and exploring. The weather was on the warm side and we even dined outside on Friday night. Dining al fresco is my favorite!
Let me give you all the normal recap stuff and then I’ll go into more detail of what happened in my race.
Expo – on the small side but well organized
Shirt – nice! Long sleeved tech shirt.
Medal – nice as well!
Course – Flat! Pretty nice scenery. We got to run by the water and to the end of a dock. I had heard that the 2nd half would be lonely but that didn’t prove true at all. I was never alone. There are plenty of full marathoners and even after the split at mile 10 there were so many other runners to keep me company.
After race party – Very good. They had shrimp and grits, boiled peanuts, mimosas, and a good craft IPA beer.
Here’s my flat Melissa for the race. I was being so superstitious and I have no idea why. I wore my OBX hat to help me remember I can do hard things. One year at OBX there was a monsoon and it was very tough. I wore my Lifetime training shirt to honor coach Kelly and all my running buddies. Also because I hope to run for the rest of my Lifetime. And those gray running shorts are the ones I wore in my very first marathon. (I can’t believe I still have these. LOL)
My race was not what I had hoped for. My time was 6:04:51. My second slowest time ever. My slowest was a 6:05 at City of Oaks back in 2012. How could I have repeated this? My IT band didn’t hurt this time and Charleston was flat! City of Oaks was very hilly! It really doesn’t make any sense to me at all. All of 2016 I really focused hard on speed and I felt I was prepared for Charleston. In late 2015 and early 2016 I posted the best half marathon times of my life. I cross trained and I had lost a little weight. I ran all my long runs. Charleston should not have been a 6 hour marathon.
Here are my splits:
As you can see, I was doing okay up until the half. This was what was written on my hand and I had such high hopes of really knocking this race out of the park!
I started slowing down a bit but not too much. At mile 16 I had planned to get my music going. I hadn’t walked at all up until this point and I was trying to get my music started while I was running. I have an old iPod and even though I had charged it fully when I turned it on before the race it was dead. I charged it while we were driving to the start and it was about 50% charged when we lined up for the race. However at mile 16, it was dead again. I tried hard to not let this bother me and I really can’t blame what happened next on the music.
I mentioned that it was warm and it was. The race didn’t start until 8:00am. I enjoyed not having to get up so early but that late of a start meant I was in full sun for quite some time. I got a little dizzy around this time and I think I started psyching myself out. I decided to walk a little. I saw the 4:45 pace group go by me and my plan was to stick with them like glue. Well that was a laugh. They seemed to fly by me!
Then the 5:00 pace group leader passed. I knew him and he stopped and gave me a hug. He was all smiles and running effortlessly. No sticking with him by any means.
Then not long after that the 5:30 group passed. They were doing intervals and I kept up with them through 2 walk breaks. They were flying as well.
I started calculating how long it would take me to finish if I continued with 20 minute miles. Oh my gracious. Was it ever hard. I wasn’t hurting and after a few Gatorade stops I wasn’t dizzy anymore. What was going on? Well I say I wasn’t hurting. I was a little. I have a bunion on each foot and they always tend to hurt when I run very long distances. My left bunion was burning but I just chalked it up to the normal hurt that it always does. After the race when I tried to take my sock off I realized it wasn’t the normal hurt. This time I had a blood blister and my sock was stuck to my skin. I know, I know, Yuck! But that’s what happened. My socks were good ones so I have no earthly idea what the cause could have been.
Here I am with Ron at the finish. It was a hard race for me but Ron did great! I was so jealous. He hardly trains at all and seemed to be out for a walk in the park. Ron isn’t fast by any means but it amazes me how effortlessly he runs.
The good news is I have another marathon on February 18th. Maybe this can be my redemption marathon. It’s at Oak Island so it should be flat as well. Maybe I’ll try intervals from the beginning. What I do know is that for the next 4 weeks, I’m going to focus on cross training. I haven’t been going to Camp Gladiator and this is going to change. I promise to go 3x a week for the next month.
I’m also going to work on push-ups and planks. Every single day. And yoga and my ITB routine. I’ve got 4 weeks and I’m going to make the best of it.
Tomorrow I’m heading out for 10 miles and then the week after that 14. On February 11th I shouldn’t be running 20 miles but I’m going to. I’m an idiot for sure. I won’t kill me and even though every running coach out there would tell me to taper, I’m not gonna. If I can eat right, focus on getting a good night’s sleep each night, drink plenty of water, cross train, and run, I think Oak Island is going to be mine!
Let’s get to it!
PS…I put a bandage on my blister area and went out for a slow 5 mile run last night. I felt good. My bunion burned a little but there is no new damage.
I eat a lot of oats. And I get a lot of questions about them. I’ve had friends text me while they were in WalMart looking for rolled oats. I’ve had questions as to if I eat them cold. And….do I really put beans in them now?
Well here you go. This is my go to recipe for what I eat most every morning. Let me preface this by letting you know that I have been eating these for about 6 years and my taste buds have changed a lot. If you’re not into oats yet, start out with them warm and make them the whipped banana oatmeal way. These are the bomb! Put a little shredded coconut on top and a little White Chocolate Wonderful Peanut Butter. Oh man! Delish!
But if you are ready to go hard core, follow these simple directions.
Get out a 4 cup glass bowl. Slice up one ripe banana into the bowl. Add in 1/4 cup of Cannellini beans well rinsed. Now take out a potato masher and mash the banana and the beans together. Add 1/3 cup of old fashioned oats and 1/2-3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk. (depending on how thick or thin you want your oats) Drop in a few drops of vanilla extract. Stir well, cover, and refrigerate overnight. If you don’t mind the banana getting brown, it can last in the fridge for one week as long as you put them in glass containers.
I make 5 of these at a time almost every Sunday. (The other 5 glass bowls are my chopped salads.)