Hau oli Makahiki Hou!! (That’s Happy New Year in Hawaiian!)

As 2011 ends, I’m feeling a bit reflective as I usually do when the holidays draw to a close and a new year’s possibilities are just around the corner.

I’ve had two crazy “pinch me” moments recently. The first was in line at Subway. The girl behind me in line struck up a conversation about my shoes (Vibram) and then asked if I was a marathoner. With a wide grin, it dawns on me. “Yes, I am in fact a marathoner!” And while that short conversation lasted only a moment – it was so significant. The look of awe on her face was amazing. And then she said, “I could never do that.”

I remember thinking the same way. I don’t think that way anymore. Now I ask, “Why not?”

And the other moment came when we took the kiddos to see the Christmas lights downtown. They have wonderful displays and a couple of small little rides. Eric did a ride with Jake while Hannah and I watched. Then afterwards I asked Eric if he thought the ride would hold my weight so I could ride with him also. He just looked at me funny. Then it dawns on me that I don’t weigh more than him anymore!! And when I looked at the pictures – it was awesome -just a mom riding a ride with her son!

 Daddy and his mini-me!


Ever the safety mom, checking the seatbelt!
A bit blurry as it was pretty dark and my camera is smarter than me!

This has been such an incredible year both physically and emotionally. I still can’t believe the things of which I am capable; the things I once thought impossible have become reality, and the confidence that it has brought. I no longer sit on the sidelines of my life. I live.

I have been more open to new people, made some incredible friends, and grown in my role as a mother.

I’m extremely proud of the accomplishments made this year and look forward to new and exciting adventures in our new location!

Happy Happy New Year!!


Michael Phelps and a Grumpy Curmudgeon!

So while preparing for my biathlon next month, I decided to swim at Hickam beach. It’s gorgeous out there and not a whole heck of a lot of people because, well let’s face it – it is the day after Christmas and only CRAZY people like me are training for biathlons instead of shopping!

So as I am swimming what I think is a 1k (when actually it was 1250 meters! More of my mad addition skills hard at work!) I notice an older gentlemen doing some water walking laps. I am swimming up by him and catch his eye. Now the old me would have just smiled and kept on my merry way keeping to myself and doing my thing assuming he doesn’t need to be bothered.

But no, I smile all big (while simultaneously trying not to swallow the ocean that keeps biffing me upside the head) and say, “Is it just me, or do they keep moving these buoys farther away?!” Basically just making light small talk and acknowledging that we are both CRAZIES out here working out the day after Christmas. Yes, I am taking lessons from my hubby Neighbor Ned, and trying to become more Neighbor Nan-like!

So he hesitates for a minute, looks at me, and says, “No. It’s you.”

No smile.

No funny wink.

Dead pan serious. This dude apparently did not want to talk to Neighbor Nan today. So dumbfounded me – I keep swimming and lap him a time or two (yeah, it was twice. I counted!) thinking as I passed him each time, “You grumpy old fart! It wouldn’t have killed you to just smile and just say ‘Yeah!”

So as I’m nearing my 10th and final lap, I notice a lady walking along the beach with a walker. And then I realize its probably his wife. He slowly comes out of the water to retrieve the walker and make the uneven  journey up the sandy beach.

Yeah, ok. I suppose if I had to walk with a walker and get exercise in the water and some flippant little squirt came swimming by me, I’d probably want to not make chit chat either.

My big lessons of the day? Well, you never know what’s underneath the surface. He may have just had a bad day, or maybe he was in pain. Perhaps missing his family over the holidays. Whatever the reason – I’m still gonna be me and chat people up, even if they don’t respond. Secondly – to never take my health and abilities for granted.  I can swim well enough to save my own life. I look like a complete idiot doing it, but physically – I CAN swim. I CAN run. I  CAN bike. My body is young and strong. I will not take it for granted.

And finally – I am never gonna be Michael Phelps!

Have you ever felt foolish while trying to engage a stranger to make small talk?

So often we focus on what we aren’t able to do. What CAN you do?

Ever been on the other side of the coin and known that you’d made someone feel like an idiot when they tried to engage you?

What I’ve been doing

I’ve been asked by a few people what I’ve done and how I’ve eaten over the last six months to lose the weight. So in lieu of writing everyone individually – I thought I’d make it easier on myself and just do a brief overview here….. (or, you know, not so brief!)

For me the key has been working out in a group setting. There is just something about working out with others battling it out that is such a great dynamic. Another key for me has been to incorporate clean and healthy eating AND exercise. I’ve done one or the other for limited amounts of time but not getting lasting results – or a lifestyle I could sustain.  Below are the three main components I feel are what made the biggest differences:

Clean and Healthy Eating:

I don’t eat past 7:30pm. I carb load in the morning and taper the amount of carbs throughout the day. I eat 3 meals, plus 2-3 snacks. More working out + more snacks (There is incentive right there!) The more you eat (small meals – not feasts!) the more your metabolism will increase. Don’t skip meals! I cut out most refined carbohydrates, so we now eat quinoa, whole wheat pasta, brown rice (made with chicken stock in a rice cooker! YUM!!!) oats, whole grain breads, pitas and tortillas. A TON of veggies and lots of fruits. I cut out juice and other beverages (soda, alcohol, etc.). I drink water with all meals and sip water throughout the day. For dinner its lean meat (chicken, ground turkey, pork loin, etc.) with roasted veggies and salads. I’ve been able to most nights incorporate and adapt the meals to suit my family’s tastes as well. Sometimes I do cook something a little different or adapt it to fit my kids’ needs, but essentially we all eat the same things. I also take good multivitamins.
This is just the guideline. I have had a glass of wine here and there. I have cheated. But it’s moderate – not a full on binge! A good friend told me that “Sometimes you have to bend so you don’t break”. But of course that doesn’t mean I go down and eat a whole pizza either. 🙂 (And I used to do that! ; / )


I work out 6 days a week. Ok – now before you freak out and think – “OMG! I could never do that!” Hear me out. I started slow. I worked into that. I joined a bootcamp class (Check it out! Here!)
Working out in a group setting is SOOOO much more motivating than doing it alone. (Especially when alone at home is in front of a video when that couch is way too enticing!) I started going 2 days a week, then I upped that to 3 days a week after I’d been doing it awhile. On the off days, I would run. I started out by walking. I did whatever I could for about an hour. (That’s about as long as I felt comfortable asking the kids to stay in the stroller. Their reward for “working out” with Mama was a LONG time at the playground to run around and be silly!) I started jogging until I thought my lungs would explode out of my chest, then I’d take a break and walk. Then when I’d catch my breath, I’d jog a little more. Over and over and over. It took time. And I was REALLY out of shape. Two babies and an insatiable appetite for yummy food will do that to you!

I also began signing up for races. I signed up for a 10k, a few 5ks, and then eventually a half marathon, as well as a full marathon. That helped motivate my training. Knowing each month or so I had an event helped me stay focused. And now I’m signed up for two biathlons…..and am trying to wrap my head around doing a triathlon sometime next year…..but we will see!

I also have THE BEST accountability partner. Some people can have their significant other be their partner, but for me it was my good friend who actually was the one who suggested we do this crazy bootcamp thing! She has been my rock and I really don’t think this would have been possible without her. We have slugged through this weight loss process together, getting stronger everyday. We text or call when we are having bad days, bad workout days, or bad parenting days. Having a battle buddy is ESSENTIAL! We help motivate each other when the other one needs it. We are genuinely excited for each other as each milestone is reached. We celebrate it together.

Other Stuff:

For me a lot of this process has been about personal growth. The pain of staying fat and unfit and unhappy was greater than the pain of change. Only, I didn’t realize that I wasn’t happy. I knew I had gained some weight, but I just didn’t want to face it. (For more of the emotional stuff, see this, then click on “testimonials”).

Facing it was the first step.

And every step since has been out of my comfort zone to some extent. But I’m learning to like it out here!! 😉 Basically I keep striving for new things – new times when running, new distances, new challenges and ways to incorporate the kids into daily fitness. I’ve tried some things and loved them, tried others and realized they just weren’t for me. Yoga, swimming, biking, running, trail running, hiking, even paddle boarding!

So – really not so brief, but now its out there and I can refer people to it instead of typing this out every time someone asks, “So how did you do it?”

It’s been an incredible journey and I’m very thankful for my battle buddy, my trail running buddy and my facebook peeps that help keep me so motivated! And a special shout out to my hubbs who holds down the fort and the two kiddos so I can do these amazing things!!

More From the Marathon….

They finally made the professional photos available for download from the Honolulu Marathon!


Some of the pictures included in the package were various shots in and around Waikiki and the areas where we ran……

The early morning ceremonies were spectacular!

This truly is a stunning place to live. There is much I am going to miss about living here.

The downtown Christmas lights were on full display as we ran!

And there were various photographers along the run capturing us in all our glory…

….and in tougher moments….this was taken about mile 22-24.

Smiling pretty for the camera….

And the finish line!!! I was in so much pain and I was so relieved that it was finally over! Almost 7 hours of running/walking was INSANE!!!




Unforgettable moments and an unbelievable experience! So glad I pushed through and did it!


The First Run….After

I went for my first run today since the marathon and I have to admit, I was a little bit nervous. During the marathon I had such crazy pains in my ankles, calves and knees that I think I was a little fearful that it would take so long to recover that I’d basically have to start from scratch again.

Well, I did just over three miles and it felt AMAZING! My body was seriously craving some endorphins! I felt so good and it was just a nice easy jog with the double stroller and it was over before I knew it…three miles flies right by when the last three long runs were 13.1 and 26.2!

With the holidays (and indulgent food) upon us, and three weeks without bootcamp to help me stay focused, I feel like it’s a real test for when we move back to Washington state and my hubbs is deployed. I still have to get out there and get moving – with the kiddos. No excuses. I will not go back to complacency. It feels to good right now and I just don’t want to lose this! If all else fails – I’ll do my silly Jillian Michaels’ videos 🙂

As I was bundling up my sick kiddos (one cold, one ear infection) into the double stroller, I realized that my son must have had a growth spurt because he doesn’t fit anymore! The straps couldn’t buckle him in and I had them slid to the longest length they would go! I had a moment of awe when I realized that I probably won’t be using that jogger anymore and I will have to find other ways to stay fit with the kids.
Is it weird that I was actually a bit sad? To be attached to a stroller?! That stroller has given me so much. The ability to spend time with my kids while I work out had made me a stronger runner. When I run without it, I almost feel naked. There is no doubt that without that stroller I would not be as physically fit as I am right now.

I have been doing some research and have found that Burley makes a great bike trailer that will convert to a double jogger -and t’s much bigger for my man-child! In the meantime, I will push the single and have Jake ride his bike while I run. Exercise for him, exercise for me – its a win-win! I think I’ll give that a try as soon as he is well.

170 Miles

Wow. I just calculated my mileage from imapmyrun.com and I’ve run about 170.5 miles since I started tracking mileage in September with my iphone! WOWSA! That’s just crazy to wrap my mind around.  I’m excited to see what mileage I will have next year tracking it for the entire year instead of just a few months. That would be an average of 42 miles a month. Multiply that by 12 months and I’ll have 500 + miles.


500 miles on legs.

Pushing a stroller more often than not.

With it being the week before Christmas and all the hoopla (and junk food), I’ve felt very unmotivated the last couple of days. I made it to spin class and our last day at bootcamp class for the year rocked. But somehow knowing that I have three weeks off until January’s session of classes start – I keep procrastinating. Today is my second “rest day” and I usually only rest one day a week. I know it doesn’t seem like much but since I’ve been going so “balls to the wall” it really does make a difference. I’ve also been dealing with sick kiddos which is hard.

I think I’m going to have to pop them in the stroller (bundled up) tomorrow and run. I am missing it. Bad.

And after seeing my crazy miles – I just want to add too it!

Time for bed so I can hit the road in the morning! Happy running!


Over the past 6 months I have done things I never thought I would. Things I never thought I could. in addition to losing almost 45 pounds, 20+ inches, and seemingly shedding sizes weekly, I’ve gained an incredible amount of confidence. And it’s not just confidence in appearance, although there is that too.

It’s more about little stuff. Like when a friend visited this fall and we decided to go paddle boarding. I’d never done that before. Previously, that would be something I would have not done out of fear. Fear of failing, looking stupid, or not knowing what I am doing. That and fear of falling. Ha! Now it’s, “Great! Let’s go try that! Who cares what we look like?! If we fall in – no big deal. We get wet, we get back up on the board!”

Or little stuff like chatting up another mom at the playground. Before I would have waited until she said hello first. Not anymore. I’ll chat with her. No fear.

I like not being afraid.

And if I fall on my face? Yeah, well, it’s happened. And it will happen again.

I’ll just have to get up again.

And now as I look forward to my next event, I’m a little unsure of myself. I signed up for a biathlon. No, I signed up for TWO biathlons! One in January and one in February. They are both 5k races followed by a 1k swim.

Um, have I mentioned that I don’t even own a swim cap? Or a one piece competitive bathing suit yet? I think I may have goggles around here somewhere. And do they make swim caps large enough for my big hair?!!! Ha!

No fear.

Will I look like I don’t know what I’m doing? Yeah, probably. Am I going to have fun and learn to do something new? (And step out of my comfort zone yet again?)

You bet! And I can’t wait!

26.2 Miles

Well, I can't believe it. I did it. I ran a marathon! 26.2 miles - Woohoo!!! It's still a little surreal and hard to fathom that I did it... 

 It was so intense both physically and mentally. I think other than giving birth, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I am so glad I did it and I got the t-shirt!!

I have to say that along the 24.2 miles it definitely wasn’t lost on me just how far I’ve come in a relatively short amount of time. It’s really incredible. And yes, I am taking a minute to toot my own horn. :) Since July of 2011 I have lost 43 lbs, gained an incredible amount of strength and confidence, lost inches, gone down 4+ sizes and gained some amazing friendships. It seems like just yesterday I was celebrating the fact that I could run one mile (ONE MILE!!) without stopping. And now I just did 26.2!  

With all that said and as proud as I am of myself for accomplishing such a daunting feat, I don’t know that I will ever do another marathon. It’s taken me a week to recuperate and feel somewhat functional again. I love running and I love challenging myself in new ways, but I think half marathons are crazy enough for this girl!
Looking for Eric and Katy
 Still scanning the crowds for my peeps….
 Finally I spot them!!
 And then I become an emotional wreck!
Hiccuping and trying to catch my breath…
As Jacob would say, “WHEW! I made it!”

My First Half

Today I ran a half marathon. I just need to breathe that in for a moment. Wow.

I woke up this morning full of adrenaline and anticipation (having slept very lightly as my mind was racing all night long!) I have been looking forward to this race for sometime - even before I had actually signed up. It has been a goal of mine for awhile, but even as I got dressed at o'dark thirty and ate some breakfast, I still thought to myself, "Can I actually do this?!" Today that answer was a resounding YES!

I have ran distances like this before, but there is something inspiring about being in an event with 1000+ other runners of all different athletic abilities. The other runners inspire me. The faster ones whom I hope to one day be like, and the slower pacers whom I was just a few short months ago. That is one thing I love about the running community. We are out there encouraging each other whether we realize it or not. Whether its deliberate or not. And there is room for all fitness levels. We walk before we jog, we jog before we run, we run before we sprint. Bill Murray was right - Baby steps!!!

On the run itself there were moments of euphoria and moments where I was asking myself why the hell am I doing this?! The euphoric moments cannot be beat! When I look up and see Diamondhead crater to my right and never ending ocean on my left. No - you can't beat that. I feel powerful in those moments. I can do this. I can do anything I set my mind to. The, shall we say, "less than euphoric" moments were hard. Some runners call that hitting the wall. I feel like 75% of this is mental. The whole "if you think you can or you can't - you're right" definitely applies. I try to learn from the hard moments too. Focus on breathing. In and out. I repeat my weightloss goals...I listen to music. Whatever it takes to push the focus from pain and negativity to whatever thought will get me to another one of those euphoric moments! They just can't be beat!

I love running with music. So much so that I really doubt I would run as far or as fast without it. I love the shuffle feature on the iPod...it never fails to have THE most perfect song come up just when I need it!

But all of these thoughts aside, this run for me means so much more. I crossed the finish line (SPRINTING) with my battle buddy who has been on this fitness journey with me. We have cried and laughed and achieved goals together that neither of us thought were possible.

I had given up. I was just going to be a mom. Just a mom. I am learning that while I strive to be the best mom I can be, I do also need other things in my life, some that are just for me. Running is that "just for me" thing. I crave it. When I get that time to work on me. It makes me a better mom, a better wife, and a better friend. It is possible. It can be done. I can dream big. Without holding back. I did it.

Now - time to take a nap!
 Me and my battle buddy Katy!
 We’re almost to the finish line!


 …and this is where I start becoming emotional 🙂
 Sprinting to the finish line!!
 Relief! It’s over!


And it hits me that we actually did this!
 Very emotional!
 I am so grateful for these two ladies! They inspire and teach me everyday!!


Well…it’s been a crazy couple of weeks!
This week will conclude the fourth month of bootcamp – and what a difference 4 months makes…
Here is my before/after shots:


It really is amazing to me how fast a body will adapt if you just work out and eat clean and healthy. Not always perfect, but since I have stuck with it – the results are well worth it!  If I can do it – ANYONE can! It’s amazing how it is much more than just weight loss. I’ve learned so much about myself in the past year it’s incredible. Still have a little ways to go and I’m sure the weight loss will start to taper as I get to my goal weight. What a journey! I’m actually going to be running not 1, but 2 half marathons in the next month. It’s crazy and I can’t even believe it. Perhaps a full marathon sometime next year….hmmm….I’ll let you know!
And then I took the opportunity to have a little photo session with my two favorite subjects!!!


 Fun on the slide!!


 Hannah being a cutie pie!


 Fun!! I just love to watch them play together!
 Rolling down the hill!
Hannah is always running to try to keep up with her big brother! It’s adorable and melts my heart! I love it when they play together!
Jacob had his 3 year check up today and did great! So much better than last year! He is now weighing in at 36 lbs and he is 34 inches tall putting him in the 90th percentile for both height and weight. Growing like a weed!!
Not much else is going on….and moving is just around the corner so we are starting to gear up for that!
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