Friday, August 15, 2014

the super run: ann arbor and lansing race entry giveaway!

the super run is a national series of family events, with a super hero theme, of course! this 5k and 1k event partners with local charities to raise awareness and funds for their causes. the run acts as a platform for multiple charities to benefit, instead of having to enter a race for each charity you might want to support. it's a pretty smart idea, really! why haven't we been doing this all along?? 

the super run is coming to ann arbor on september 6th (and lansing on september 27th), and i have a free entry to giveaway for both races! the host charity for both of these events is the lutheran social services of michigan, the largest private foster care agency in michigan (check out their awesome super hero video about being a foster parent). this event will also support the following amazing charities and more:

  • world animal awareness society
  • american association for cancer research
  • children's hospital of michigan foundation

since this is a family fun event, there will also be awesome activities like moon bounces, face painting, magicians, and vendors to check out. overall, it's just an event that is trying to raise awareness for some great causes in a very fun and super way. 

here are the details:

what: the super run
when: september 6th, 2014
where: gallop park, ann arbor

what: the super run
when: september 27th, 2014
where: hawk island park, lansing

and here are the discounts!
  • get 20% off your super hero gear and costumes at by using the discount code: SUPERRUNFAN  (can anyone say early halloween shopping??)
  • get $5 off an adult race registration for the super run by using the discount code: SRBLOG7

and, if you want a chance for a free entry to the race, make sure you enter my giveaway using rafflecopter below (and let me know which city you'd like to race in)! there will be one winner per location. hope to see you on september 6th in ann arbor!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

the splitting of the jeans

last week tried to run me over with the struggle bus.

never mind that i had one blissful day at lake michigan to soothe away my overworked and tired soul... the peace i felt went right out the door when i returned to work the next day. 

this is pure michigan, folks

taking a vacation in my new job is really tough and it adds more stress to my life than if i had just stayed at work. needless to say, having to work for a few hours while i tried to make my way to the lake on my vacation day put me in a pretty sour mood.

and the rest of the week, aside from that blissful 24 hour lake period, followed suit. i had to drop my car off tuesday to the body shop, because some delightful person hit my car in the parking lot and decided not to leave a note. gee, thanks. so i picked up a rental tuesday and felt very thankful that i had insurance to help with all of this. 

enter thursday. my first day back from vacation. our company picnic is scheduled for the afternoon and my day turns into a crap show. i'm not able to go to the picnic because i have to stay at work and clean up messes, so to speak. my first work picnic in 6 1/2 years i've missed. i'm utterly bummed and frustrated. i drive home that night only to notice something in the corner of my eye in the windshield of the rental.

it's a freaking chip. a chip in the windshield of the rental. you've got to be freaking kidding me. insert anxiety attack here. i frantically look through the rental papers and sure enough, there is no chip marked on the damage report when i picked the car up. wonderful.

so now, i have my car in the shop and i will also now be liable for the chip in the windshield of this rental. i thought good karma was supposed to happen to me, not bad???

now it's friday morning. i'm dreading taking the car back to the rental place because i don't want them to say that i will have yet another deductible to pay (that would make for a total of $1,000 in deductibles between the two cars, for the record). who has $1,000 just lying around to flush down the toilet? not me. anyway, i'm getting ready for the day and i grab my favorite pair of jeans. they are my only designer brand jeans, 7 for all mankind, and i got them on clearance in las vegas at nordstrom (i remember all this because i was so excited to find a pair of these jeans on sale and that actually fit. my confidence soared when i bought these jeans). 

i'm tugging them on, as i usually do, because they are skinny fit and i hear, "riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip!"

my heart stopped. i'm pretty sure. i didn't want to look down at my jeans, but i did anyway. sure enough, my beautiful, favorite jeans had ripped. 

my poor, beautiful jeans

i flung myself onto the bed and sobbed for a solid twenty minutes. not quiet tears, but full on ugly baby crying tears. if you want to make a woman feel bad about herself and life, this is the way to do it, folks. few things tear at my self esteem than my favorite article of clothing ripping when i'm trying to put it on. i tried to call brandon for emotional support but he couldn't understand me over the sound of my hysterical sobs. that rip in my jeans was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak. i had reached my capacity for crap and it was coming out of my body in big, wet tears.

so what's the point of this story, of this post? aside from the relief i get from sharing, this story ends by me deciding to do something different in response to all the crap i felt had been dumped on me. even though i felt that i was at my wit's end (because i was), i decided that i would try to keep it together because there was no sense in letting all of this pull me apart. i had my 20 minute melt down, my 20 minute emotional release and then i needed to pick myself up, find another pair of pants and tackle my day. and that's exactly what i did. yes, i had a chip on my shoulder the entire day (and in the windshield of my rental car). yes, i still was upset and stressed and mad at the world. but i went to the rental car place and dealt with my windshield responsibility. i picked up my car and paid my deductible. i went to work and i managed the crap out of all the things i had to do. and when i got home that night, i looked at my poor pair of jeans and said a very sad goodbye. 

i think part of what makes me a strong person is the ability to have emotion and allow for the release when it is needed, but to also know when it's time to take care of business and not let something drag me down. i spent a lot of my life allowing myself to play the "victim" if you will. but it never got me very far or made me feel any better. by taking charge of my day that friday, i did feel a little more in control and less like a victim of bad things that had happened to me.

i should note that my insurance company ended up waiving my deductible, the rental car place had an amazing manager who saw my distress and only charged me to fill the windshield chip, and i managed to conquer all the craziness at work. when it rains, eventually the sun has to come out again :)

Monday, August 11, 2014

motivation monday: will this help me get to my goal?

everyday we have to make small choices that can either immediately impact our ability to be successful, or over time, impact our ability to be successful. it's usually easy to spot the decisions that will have immediate consequences, good or bad; if i choose to run on my injured foot, i'm likely not going to be able to run in the race tomorrow, or if i go out and have five drinks the night before a race i probably won't feel great while running the next day. but i think it's the smaller decisions, the ones that seem harmless in the short term, but add up over time, that are hard to identify as potential goal inhibitors.

i've been thinking about different ways to help myself stay on track to reach my goals. how can i stay motivated to get up and workout in the morning? or even get that workout in after work? how can i stop myself from having that extra handful of popcorn or chocolate or limit my soda intake? it's not easy when i can't see how each of these decisions add up over time. sure, an extra handful of chocolate one day isn't bad, but what if i do that every other day for a week? that one extra handful is now 3-4 extra handfuls and that adds up. the same goes with missing one workout but workouts are a little easier to keep track of compared to the little extra handfuls of food we can eat throughout the day. 

i've been trying to figure out a way that will help me get back to racing weight without being super obsessive and micro managing what i'm eating. one day last week, i was faced with one of those common decisions we all can face on a daily basis (granted it was not about losing weight or working out). i have been feeling incredibly tired for the past month and it was 2pm (that all too common afternoon energy crash time) and i was about to reach for a second cup of coffee to try and make it through the work day. note, i have been only drinking decaf since getting off the LEAP diet, and i was considering doing full caffeine at this point. i stopped and asked myself, "alicia, will this second cup of coffee help you sleep better tonight?" while it might have helped perk me up in the short term, i knew that the second cup of coffee would keep me from falling asleep that night and thus ultimately leave me feeling more groggy the next day. focusing on that decision, in that moment and it's impact on what i'm trying to achieve made the decision easy. i didn't have that cup of coffee.

i realized, though, if i slowed down and asked myself this question for every decision i needed to make, i would likely make a different decision than if i had acted impulsively on my short term wants, versus long term needs. the idea is so simple, but it works. if i ask myself the question, "will this get me closer to my goals" for each decision i have to make, i will ultimately end up making a better decision because i really have to think about the impact the micro decisions i make add up in the long haul. and if you focus on "yes" or "no" as your only possible answers, it will help you prevent yourself from making a convincing argument that might lean in favor of short term wants.

this isn't a new concept, but it is one i have overlooked for a long time. we can be so driven by immediate satisfaction, short term gratification, that we can impulsively make decisions without even thinking about how they will impact us overall and what we are trying to achieve.

will sitting on the couch after work for the 2nd day in a row help me get in better shape for my 5k goals? no, probably not.

will this extra helping of chips help me get back down to my racing weight? nope, not this week. 

will this fancy adult beverage take the edge off a long week? yes, of course, you deserve it. will i be glad i had it in the morning? well no, probably not. so do i really need it? no, not really. 

should i take the stairs today? no, i don't want to. will it kill me to take the stairs? no, likely not. am i just being lazy? yes, take the stairs.

i think we need to have better and more conversations with ourselves to stay on track. ask yourself questions when faced with a decision that you are struggling with or when you are prone to making a decision that gets you off track. i'm going to try this method over the course of the next few months to see if it really does help me stay on course to reach my goals. it's helped me make better decisions so far; i can't imagine it won't help long term!

how do you stay on track to reach your goals? what helps you when you're torn between instant gratification and holding out for long term success? do you talk to yourself and ask yourself questions, like i do? :)