Being Brave And Making The Change

I have been mulling this post over in my head for awhile now.  I guess it’s been at the back of my thoughts for at least a few months, but I kept pushing it away.  I didn’t want to deal with it and ignoring things always makes them go away, right?

If only it did.Being Brave And Making The Change | Life Healthfully Lived

So last week when I wrote about my theme for 2016, I knew that I would finally have to deal with this issue.  If I really want to grow and mature I have to actually grow and mature.  Profound thoughts guys, I know.  But for me, it was kind of profound.

I’m not dying, in fact, no one is dying.  No one is sick, nothing is horribly or awfully wrong.  So don’t worry about that.  But there is a big change coming for me and I’m a little nervous.  I’m putting on my big girl panties and telling myself, “What’s the worst that could happen?”

I’m taking a break from running.

All of you reading this are probably cursing me because who cares if I’m taking a break from running?  It doesn’t affect the vast majority of people and this isn’t a life-altering announcement.  Except that it is.  For me.Being Brave And Making The Change | Life Healthfully Lived

You have heard me rave about running and how it has given me so much.  I am proud to call myself a runner and join the ranks of thousands who log their miles with their feet.  I have talked about finally running a marathon, I love watching races, and I love getting outside and hitting the trail.

Until a few months ago that is.  Lately, I have been struggling with my running.  Instead of waking up excited to head out for my run, I’m dreading it.  I find myself dawdling longer and longer before finally motivating myself to get out the door.  At first, I thought it was just a down week.  All runners have them.  Those days or weeks where it’s just a little tougher to get out the door than usual.  I thought it would pass, I would get back to my usual enthusiasm soon enough.  But that enthusiasm hasn’t returned.Being Brave And Making The Change | Life Healthfully Lived

My immediate reaction was to just push through.  I’m a runner.  This is what I do.  This is what I have done for the past eight years.  This is how it is.  I was just going to keep running and ignore that little voice in the back of my mind that was telling me something just isn’t quite right.  And then Adam got a cold right before the new year.

He took a week off from running because he is much better at resting when he knows he needs it most.  And because he likes to take any excuse to not run :).  I still kept up with my normal running schedule, but I started to sleep in a little with him and go on my run later in the morning.  Then I started to get the sniffles on my rest day and when I woke up on Monday, I did not feel like running.  Even more than I had in the past few months.  So I did something that I rarely if ever do: I decided not to run.

It was a little tough at first and I found a different workout to do inside just so I had some movement.  But it wasn’t horrible and I found myself feeling ok about my decision.  As it stands right now, I haven’t run in over a week.  That’s the longest I’ve gone since I hurt my knee a few years ago.   And I’m going to keep not running for the foreseeable future.

Am I giving up running completely?  No.  I am eternally grateful for everything that running has given me.  It totally changed me inside and out and that is truly amazing.  It’s because of that that I’m taking this hiatus.  I don’t want to keep running until I totally hate it and I give it up for good.  I want to find that feeling that I used to have and in order to do that I have to let go.Being Brave And Making The Change | Life Healthfully Lived

I’m also not giving up exercise altogether.  This decision is opening doors for me to explore other areas of fitness that I had previously neglected.  I’ve been doing Fitness Blender’s 5-Day Fit Challenge and I have been excited for every new day.  I’ve missed that excitement when it comes to working out.

So what can you take away from this really long winded post?  Just because something scares you or you’ve been doing something for years doesn’t mean you can’t change.  You are not a tree.  If you don’t like something get up and move.  Switch directions.  Try a new approach.  I have no idea what my relationship with running will look like in the coming months but it will always be there, waiting for me.

Besides, what’s the worst that could happen?

Being Brave And Making The Change | Life Healthfully Lived

The best is yet to come…

Things That Are Making Me Happy Right Now

I don’t know about you, but I had a pretty great weekend.  It was filled with family, laughs, and covered bridges.  Adam and I spent the weekend in Brazil, Indiana and I got to experience the covered bridge festival for the first time.

Yes, there was a covered bridge.  There was also a ton of food, crafty things, and pretty much anything else you could think of.  I had a good time and was glad for the time to relax. Things That Are Making Me Happy Right Now | Life Healthfully Lived

So while covered bridges have made me happy, I thought I would share a few other things that are making me happy right now.

Changing Leaves

It felt like fall would never really come this year.  For most of October, our neighborhood has been surrounded by green leaves and summertime vibes.  Just in the past week or so we have finally had leaves falling and changing color.  I love how pretty this city gets in the fall!

Fall Running PaceThings That Are Making Me Happy Right Now | Life Healthfully Lived

I love the beginning of fall and the cooler temps because it means I run even faster than normal.  I can’t seem to slow down for the first few weeks of fall running and that’s just fine with me.  I love feeling like I’m flying down the Lake Shore Trail.

New Quilted Sheet SetThings That Are Making Me Happy Right Now | Life Healthfully Lived

This is how I know that I’m an adult.  I am super excited about a brand sheet set.  This was a covered bridge find and an early birthday present (12 days and counting).  I have been wanting to change up our bedspread for awhile now to something more bright and cheery.  I love the grey and yellow together and I think that Dot approves as well.

All The BakingThings That Are Making Me Happy Right Now | Life Healthfully Lived

Now that it isn’t torture to turn on the oven, baking all the things can commence.  I am not a strong baker, so I am always trying to improve.  I gave you some carrot cake cookies last week and I’m working on a fall banana bread for you guys this week.  You can also check out my cranberry coffee cake over on Girlish.  Yay baked goods!

Kuri Squash

I am all about fall/winter squash and I’m always excited to try new to me varieties.  I found this one at Whole Foods the other day and figured I would give it a go.  Whelp, now I’m obsessed with it.  I love that you don’t have to peel it, just scoop out the seeds, cut into chunks, and roast it at 425 with a little oil and your favorite seasonings.  It’s creamy and a little sweet like butternut squash.  I bet it would be great in soup or my gnocchi.

The CubsThings That Are Making Me Happy Right Now | Life Healthfully Lived

I was born a Cubs fan and have always hoped that maybe next year would be their year.  It’s looking like 2015 could be it… I will be cautiously optimistic and just keep rooting for my Cubbies.


I don’t know why but turning 28 is sounding pretty good to me.  I think there are some good things in store for my 28th year on this big blue marble we call Earth.  Can’t wait to see what they are…

Run The Mile You’re In

1 mile down, 6 to go. 

Only 45 minutes left.  40…35…30…

TheRun The Mile You're In | Life Healthfully Lived minute I cross the street and go from walking to running, I am counting down.  I love running, I really do, but there is a struggle between my mind and my body.  Some days my mind is fully prepared to run, it urges my tired and leaden legs forward.  Other days my legs are ready to go 100 miles, but my mind wants nothing to do with the pavement beneath my feet.

There are good running days and there are bad running days.  The bad running days are brutal and each step, each labored breath, each drop of sweat pleads for me to stop.  On those days I am only looking forward to the second that my run is over and I can move onto better things, easier tasks, and just take a shower and wash the bad run juju off my body.

But then I think of a quote from Scott Jurek’s book, Eat And Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness.

Run the mile you are in. 

Run The Mile You're In | Life Healthfully Lived

It’s so simple yet so powerful.  Run the mile you are in.  Be there.  Be totally present for THAT mile, right now.  Notice the air on your face, the sites around you.  Take inventory of your body and see where you are in that moment.  Don’t think about the tough hill in that next mile, stop longing for the finish line, and run the mile you are in.

Run The Mile You're In | Life Healthfully Lived

Take this mantra and apply it to all areas of your life.  Having a hard time eating better and incorporating more healthy food?  Run the mile you are in.  Don’t think of all the things you have to give up, focus on what you can do today to make a better choice.  In the middle of a tough project at work?  Run the mile you are in.  Stop thinking about what will happen if you don’t meet the deadline, accomplish one task at a time until you reach the end.  Finding your life in a rough patch?  Run the mile you are in.  While the suffering might hurt, learn as much as you can from this experience so you can grow as a person and help others with similar problems.

Run The Mile You're In | Life Healthfully Lived

My tough run is making me a stronger person.  I need to be there for every single mile of that tough run to get the full effect of it’s lessons.  I need to be present for all moments of my life instead of wishing and waiting for better things.  Often the better things are passing us by in those moments we are wishing were over sooner.

Run The Mile You're In | Life Healthfully Lived

I’m running my 7th mile and it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t run the other 6.  

My Month of No Running… A Year Later


This past Thursday, I came back home after housesitting in Sycamore for two and a half weeks.  Other than seeing my husband and my cats, I was most excited to run along the lake again.  It’s an awesome experience.  To one side you have the lake and the beaches, and (if you run as early as I do) the beautiful sunset.  On the other side you have lake shore drive and all the early morning commuters zooming by.

It’s the perfect balance of zen and chaos.  I love it. 


Friday morning rolled around and I popped right out of bed when my alarm went off at 5:30 am.  Yes folks, I wake up that early on weekdays.  It was the perfect day for a run.  Not too hot but not too cold.  There was a slight breeze, not the winter gale force wind I had been experiencing for months and there was a gorgeous sunrise.  It was one of those runs where you don’t even realize you’re running because everything is just perfect.


As I was blissing out over this run, I started to think back to last year.  About this time last year as I was on one of my runs my left knee started to hurt.  Then it started to really hurt.  Then I had to stop running and walk and then sit down in the middle of a country road and wonder how I was going to get back home.  It was the first time that I had a real running injury.  I had gotten my share of blisters and chafing and other running maladies but I had never had a full-blown, can’t run it hurts so bad injury.

I was devastated.

Not because I was hurt or because it was really painful but because I could NOT run.  I tried to trick myself and took a few days off thinking I would be fine after the weekend.  Yeah, no dice.  There was no way I was going to be able to keep my regular running schedule with that knee.


It was a really hard month.  I was mopey and crabby and pouty.  Adam should get a medal for being around me because I was not a pleasant person to be around. Running felt like the only thing that defined me as far as physical activity.  I had fallen in love with running and it had helped changed me inside and out and to suddenly have it ripped away really took it’s toll on me.


It sounds dramatic, but I know other runners will feel me on this one.

But here I am a year later, running along Lake Shore Trail despite my dark moments of despair when I would cry and ask Adam if I would ever run again.  That month of no running taught me a lot of things and they have stuck.


1. I am not just a runner.  I have so many other things going for me

2. I don’t have to run every single day to be physically fit, in fact I shouldn’t run every single day

3. Running isn’t the only form of exercise that I enjoy.  I actually like lifting heavy weights and want to lift even heavier

4. I can handle adversity, but I need to learn how to do it with a little more grace.

5. I need to be thankful every run that I can do because sometimes I can’t

Sometimes things happen in life that knock you down so that you can pick yourself up and be stronger.


I think experiencing a month of no running helped me to get to where I am right now.  And where I am right now is pretty awesome.  I am truly blessed to be living the life I am and I love being able to do things that I believe in and help others.  I have an amazing support system and I learn new things each day.  I have pushed my limits more than I thought I could and I am ready to go even further past my comfort zone.  Running has given me so much but not running gave me more than I thought possible.

I can’t wait to see what happens next.


My Weekend

I don’t know about you, but I had a jam packed weekend!  Last week Adam was able to get me a free entry into the Chicago Hot Chocolate 15k/5k race and the race was this Sunday.  I had wanted to run this race, but found out about it too late and the race fee was just a little too much for us so I was super excited when I found out I would get to run.  This was my first Chicago race and it was a pretty good experience.  On Saturday we went to breakfast at Anne Sathers Bakery and had a delicious meal and then we headed to the McCormick place to check out the race expo and pick up my bib.  We of course stocked up on all the free goodies and Adam had copious amounts of chocolate.  I have never been in a race this size so it was a bit overwhelming to see so many people!  While we were downtown, we also went to a modern photography exhibit, hit up Barnes and Noble, and then headed back to our neighborhood and did a little shopping.

Adam's breakfast which was 2 cinnamon rolls stuffed with mascarpone. He may have slipped into a sugar coma...

Adam’s breakfast which was 2 cinnamon rolls stuffed with mascarpone. He may have slipped into a sugar coma…

At the race expo

At the race expo

Sunday morning we got up bright and early to head to the race.  It was just a little (ok a lot) chilly and because I was in the second wave of runners we ended up standing around for a little over an hour.  I will admit, I was slightly cranky by the time that I finally got to the starting line but that was mostly because my hands and feet were blocks of ice!  Once I started running though I was able to warm up.  It was really neat to run through downtown Chicago, but I did have to fight through the slower runners/walkers.  Once I got used to weaving in and out of the walkers, it was really cool to run through streets that are usually busy with cars.  I ended up with a time of about 30 minutes and while that is a little slower than my normal pace, I was still pretty happy with my finish.  Next year I hope to run the 15k part which will be my longest race yet.

Up early for the race!

Up early for the race!


Trying to stay warm while waiting to run!

Trying to stay warm while waiting to run!

Ok, now for the mushy part of my post today.  Today is Adam and my two year anniversary.  I know it’s cliche, but it feels like it was yesterday that I was getting ready to walk down the aisle.  The memories from that day are so vivid in my mind and I still have to pinch myself to remind me that it actually happened.  I got to marry the man of my dreams and these past two years have been amazing.

photo 1

Adam supports me in everything I do, plus he wakes up at 5:30 on a Sunday to come and stand out in the cold while I run a race.  He loves me unconditionally and accept all my little weird quirks and shortcomings.  He makes me laugh daily and always puts a smile on my face even when I’m having a bad day.  Whether we are out and about or sitting quietly next to each other on the couch reading, I enjoy each minute with him.  I’ve heard that the first two years of marriage are some of the hardest, and while every single second isn’t absolute perfection, I’m still waiting for all this hard stuff that people talk about.  Maybe Adam and I are lucky, but I think it’s more that we are totally committed to each other and making this marriage strong.  We both promised that we were in this for the long haul and that no matter what we would do what needed to be done.  I mean it as much as I did two years ago, I love my husband and can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with him!  Thanks for saying I do Adam!