Thursday, November 5, 2015

Disney World

We arrived.

Today was kind of a surreal day for me. I headed out the door, like most people do in the morning, but with my Mom. I headed to the airport, which is so not normal.
We landed in Orlando, which is an amazing airport with ok bathrooms. We did not have to get our bags, because they would magically appear in our room later that evening (SO AMAZING). We ate enormous meals that were already paid for. I ran for thirty minutes around a beautiful lake with loads of smokers getting their fix, which was not so helpful or beautiful, but at least they were all friendly.
(As a little side note, running in 90% humidity and 78° is no joke my friends. Hoping I acclimate before Saturday night.)

I am at Disney World. Hard to believe after all the planning and reserving and paying, we are really really here.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Together Again

Let's see if I can reignite this blogging thing. NaBloPoMo, I'm coming for you.

Short and sweet today.

It was a nice day. Fast Sundays usually are though. Testimony meeting never disappoints. Lots of changes in the dynamics in the ward I am in, including new move-in's, new presidency in Relief Society, and of course growing children. Had an enjoyable dinner and evening with my sister and nephews. Now off to bed to sleep off the daylight savings time hangover.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

How to Run Injury Free: A Beginning Runner's Point of View Part 1

I am by no means a professional runner. I am not even a decent runner at this point. I am what you would call a beginner.

That being said, I have learned quite a few things already about running, and would like to pass this information on to the masses of people (I've had over 12,000 pageviews, so that I consider to be the masses) who read this blog.

FIRST: Walk. Walking is one of the first things we learn to do with our bodies. First comes walking, THEN comes running. If you don't walk well, you will not run well. If you walk well, you WILL run well.
The first track where I walked the mile, rather than ran it, as a kid.

Every distance race I have done so far (5k, 10k, 10 Miler, Half Marathon), I first walked. With one exception. The 10 Miler. And my legs paid for that DEARLY.

So make sure you can walk the distance first. And not just a casual walking pace. Make it an active walk. No, not the speed walking craziness! Although, if that is your cup of tea, by all means. Just a good paced walk for you that elevates your heart rate. If you are a beginner walker (as in, not able to walk long distances yet), work up to a weekly or daily tally of miles or steps. Pedometers are excellent trackers and encourage-ers. They are regularly available on smartphones, and you can even find some pretty cheap deals at your local discount store for good pedometers if you don't carry your phone everywhere like I do.

(Tip: check out or your local TJMAXX/Ross/ can find some GREAT deals at all of these places).

SECOND: Strengthen. Walking is all great and good, but running requires landing with all of your weight on your legs. If you have weak knees, ankles, hips, even your gluteus maximus and back, running is going to be SUPER rough.

Strengthen your core!! (AKA, back and abdomens) Something has to hold them up. Believe me, after 10 miles, you just want to fall right on over if you haven't worked on these muscles. Get those crunches going!

Strengthen your butt!! It connects the bottom half of your body to the top half...all of which are involved in running. So in many ways, it's the most important thing to strengthen. According to one of my physical therapists, strengthening your butt will reduce your chance for legs injuries significantly. She actually gave me a percentage, but I don't remember the actual number she told me, AND I believe most percentages are made up anyways. But logically, it totally makes sense. So work on that booty!

Strengthen your thighs! Quads, hamstrings, and all the muscles in between. And make sure you stretch them as well. ESPECIALLY your IT Band! After my half marathon, the only things that truly were in pain were my IT Bands. I would definitely consult a physical therapist for good stretches and exercises in this area. IT Bands can be tricky to truly stretch. And those youtube videos...yeah, they don't work for me.

Find a great walking path in your area to train. 
Strengthen your calf muscles!! They attach to your knees, right along with your quads and hamstrings, so they are just as important. And by doing this, you will help keep from having shin splints! I have only experienced shin splints once, so this really and truly helps. Do not over do the calf muscle exercises though, if you are a beginner. Start slow and light weights.

Strengthen your feet and toes!! Yes, this sounds kind of weird. We were not taught foot exercises in PE. But think about it. What is physically hitting the ground and propelling yourself forward? Where is all your leg strength focused? YOUR FEET!!

First of all, before we go any further, let me remind you that I am NOT a medical professional. So don't take my advice and blame me for anything wrong that happens. Because I am not even going to pretend to be the leading expert on this advice.

But your local family general practioner is! DEFINITELY check in with her/him and FOLLOW THEIR ADVICE...or get a second opinion if you don't like their advice. :D

Lucky for me, after having multiple knee and ankle injuries, I know a number of exercises taught to me by my wonderful physical therapists. If you don't have a physical therapist, you should. They are wonderful people who are all about REMOVING pain from your body. Yes, by inflicting it, but the long term benefits are GREAT! In the future I may share some exercises that have helped me. But again, I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL!! The beginner flag could not be waved any more, could it?

THIRD: Walk. I know, I said that already. But this one is different.

When I first was forced...yes, forced!... to run, I would get side stitches, cramps in my feet, cramps all over my legs, and could barely breath.

The mile 13 marker...before the race
I was never taught how to actually run. There is an actual form to running. Now, everyone has their own style, and there are many ways that work well as far as 'form' running is concerned. So you have to find what works best for you. Once you find what form works best for you, this is what I recommend:

Practice walking using that form.

Novel, right?

Pump your arms the same way you would running. Raise your knees about to where they would raise to if you were running. BREATH the way you would if you were running (if you do paced breathing for example, in for three steps, out for 2 steps). Land on your feet the way you would if you were running (flat, front of the foot, midstrike, whatever). If you can do that for 3.1 miles, then you can run it.

I am a musician by trade, so this seriously resonates with me. If you can play it correctly slowly, you can do the same thing quickly. If you haven't learned how to do it slowly, with correct form, correct positioning, in the world can you do it quickly?

I know, I sound like slow and steady wins the race. Well, it's a very true statement.

That's my advice for now. Feel free to comment/share/judge. Well, you could choose to not harshly judge...but giving your own recommendations for things you disagree with, I'm totally OK with!

Like I said, I'm a BEGINNER! I love being a beginner, and I will love being an intermediate soon!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Why are you in such a positive mood?

Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. -Charles Swindoll

Today, someone replied to a comment I made in a rather mean-spirited way and completely misunderstood what I meant. It took me by surprise, and initially I felt a little pain from the comment. But then I realized that 1)the person was probably having a bad day, 2)obviously totally misunderstood my intentions. So I replied by simply clarifying, without any accusations or false modesty, and left it at that.

The original author of the post then contacted me, apologized for that person, etc., and I gave the above reasons for not being really hurt and made it clear I was more than happy to forgive the person of their snarky comment. I kept throwing all these 'happys' back at him, and he asked 'Why are you in such a positive mood? Any particular reason?'

This took me by surprise. I realized that I sounded like this insanely, maybe even annoyingly positive person throughout our chat. I assure you I am truly not, though I suppose I can be at times. I gave him some generic answer of 'well, I guess I am just at peace with my lot today.' But really, in other cases, from a different mouth, or on a different day, that comment might have really hurt me and festered unholy thoughts.

I have been pondering why on earth I was so happy to let that comment go as just an ill-written reply rather than going into a rather involved argument with this person who exists out there in the universe, whom I might add I do not even know.

Once upon a time ago, I had a relationship that was really really great. Until we didn't see each other face to face for a long time. And then it was really great, then just great, going on to good, and then...

I blame 50% of the problems we started having on the fact that we couldn't see each other. Face to face interactions are so essential. Phone calls, text messages, emails, letters...they all can be totally misconstrued. And they were. Facial expressions, tone of voice, the spirit in which you are talking with; they all are so very essential.

The relationship failed. My world came spiraling down. I was in bad shape.

It's been years, but I have come to some peace about what happened. And I decided that forgiveness is a wonderful, wonderful gift. And it produces peace, joy and happiness.

The gospel of Jesus Christ, it is about repentance, yes...but I really believe that it really is about forgiveness. To repent at all, you must forgive others, yourself, the powers and influences that caused the sin or transgression or cup to fall and break or broken arm...or a Facebook comment. The ability to let go of the pain, the hatred, the guilt...they all can be swept away and replaced by the most amazing gift God can give...His love. His joy, peace, happiness. And make it possible for you to love this enigma who is having a bad day.

Who knew such a small thing would create some immense reflection for me today.

Thursday, January 1, 2015


Happy New Year!

Totally did not keep any of my resolutions last year. So. Putting up some basics, some simplistic resolutions, things that are way doable.

Resolved: That I will floss my teeth at least one every day.

Resolved: That I will put the toilet paper roll on the toilet paper ring every time a new roll is needed.

Resolved: That I will get ready for the day within an hour of waking up, regardless of if I have do go out the door that day. (Exception: actual, honest to goodness sick days)

Resolved: That I will memorize a poem a week. A poem that is meaningful to me. Scripture may be put in place of a poem.

Resolved: To find a way to perform music in public at least once every two months. Cannot use Church twice in a row.

Resolved: To write. To write a story. To write my story.

Resolved: To choose happiness. Every day. To have joy. Every day. And to share this happiness and joy every single day with someone else.

Resolved: To get healthier. Mind, spirit, and body. To do a little better with these three areas every day. Just a little.

Resolved: To report on this progress on the first of every month. On this forum.

Yes, I am resolved.

What are you resolved to do this year?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


I have this lovely app on my phone that tells me how many steps I've taken that day.  And so far, it's been let accurate.
Over 20,000 steps so far for the last two days.

My legs feel great.

My feet do not.

So, we'll see how tomorrow goes!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Conquering Mountains

Disneyland has a number of rides that are mountains. I rode all of them today. I actually want expecting that, especially since Space Mountain was slated to be closed today.
Big Thunder was the first mountain I conquered. Then Matterhorn, Space, and of course ending with Splash.
My poor shoes. I had planned on wearing them this entire trip. But they are sopping wet from having been on Splash Mountain twice today. Love the ride. Hate what it does to my shoes.
California Adventure tomorrow. :) Should be fun!