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I FEEL LIKE OCTOBER WAS THE BEST MONTH OF MY TRAINING SO FAR. MY GOAL WAS TO RUN 131 MILES AND I ENDED UP FINISHING THE  MONTH UP AT 143.45 MILES! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? THAT IS A LOT OF TIME, ENERGY, AND SWEAT FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER {I MUST HAVE KNOWN HOW MUCH HALLOWEEN CANDY I WAS GOING TO CONSUME}!

THIS MONTH PROVED ITSELF TO BE AWESOME! I RAN TWO TWENTY MILE RUNS {ONE OF WHICH WAS ALONG SIDE MY BEST FRIEND, MY HUSBAND BRANDON {THANKS TINA!!!} ALSO, I RAN THE KANSAS CITY HALF MARATHON THIS MONTH AND SMASHED MY PR BY 6 MINUTES! YOU CAN READ ABOUT IT HERE. MY SHORTEST RUN WAS A 2.5 MILE RUN ONE SUNDAY TO THE PARK AND BACK WITH THE FAMILY! 

JUST LIKE LAST MONTH THE MID-WEEK LONGER RUNS ARE PROVING THEMSELVES TO BE HARD TO GET IN. I'VE HAD TO SPLIT MOST OF THEM UP RUNNING A FEW MILES ON THE TREADMILL AT THE LOCAL YMCA IN THE MORNING AND FINISHING IT OUT IN THE AFTERNOON AFTER BRANDON GETS HOME! WE ARE MAKING IT WORK THOUGH!

HERE IS MY TOTAL MILEAGE:
JANUARY: 25.45 MILES
FEBRUARY: 0
MARCH: 15.2 MILES
APRIL: 50.2 MILES
MAY: 69.1 MILES
JUNE: 86.55 MILES
JULY: 83.4 MILES
AUGUST: 139.6 MILES
SEPTEMBER: 137 MILES
OCTOBER: 143.45 MILES

TOTAL FOR THE YEAR: 749.95

I HAVE 250 MILES LEFT TO RUN THIS YEAR.
BIG GOALS REQUIRE HARD WORK, AND I CAN'T WAIT TO CROSS THIS FINISH LINE KNOWING I WORKED HARD TO ACCOMPLISH THIS GOAL!




 
 
SOMETHING I AM RE-LEARNING EVERY WEEKEND WHEN I TRY TO FIT IN MY LONG RUNS IS THAT MARATHON TRAINING IS HARD. 3 PLUS SOLID HOURS OF RUNNING IS A LOT OF TIME WHEN THERE IS A HANDSOME MAN, AND 2 YOUNG BABIES WAITING FOR YOU AT HOME. ESPECIALLY WITH ONE BABY THAT IS STILL NOT SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT AND IS BREASTFEEDING.

MARATHON TRAINING BEGAN, ALARMS STARTED BEING SET FOR 5 OR 5:30 ON SATURDAY FOR BRANDON BEFORE HIS BIG RACE AND MY SCHEDULE CHANGES EVERY WEEKEND DEPENDING ON WHEN GRAYSON WAKES UP TO EAT. A FEW WEEKENDS I HAVE BEEN UP AT 4:00 TO FEED HIM AND OUT THE DOOR BY 4:45 TO HIT THE ROAD. 

MARATHON TRAINING IS HARD.
MARATHON TRAINING WITH A 8 MONTH OLD AND A 2 YEAR OLD IS EVEN HARDER.
SOMETHING I LEARNING EACH WEEKEND AS I POUND OUT 10, 15, 18+ MILES IS THAT MARATHON TRAINING IS WORTH IT,
EVEN THE EARLY WAKE UP CALLS.
 
 
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I ran my first marathon in April 2007, with little intention of ever running another. Little did I know that the drug had already been released. For those that have experienced what I am talking about you can understand where I am coming from. One race is never enough; you want to improve your time, you want to travel to different cities, you want to join a fanatic group….and so the addiction begins.

I am honored and humbled all together to say that this past weekend I crossed my 5th Marathon finish line. It did not come simply; there was much struggle and frustration. My preparation was not at all what I hoped it would be and planned for it be. I think that is why this is so much more of a notable accomplishment in my mind is the fact that I really didn’t think I would be running the full 26.2 miles because I did not feel as though I was physically prepared.

I began my training in July, with my only time to run during the week being in the afternoon heat, I struggled to get majority of my weekday workouts in. Therefore I lived and died by my weekend long runs. This is not at all the ideal situation, however I am privileged to teach some bodyweight fitness classes and lead a running group through our local YMCA which served as my XT days and I believe that is what carried me.

Megan signed us up for the Kansas City Marathon back in March, she received a coupon code from a previous race and we thought it would be a great experience. We would definitely recommend this event to anyone. Our experience with the packet pick up Friday evening was great, and the fitness expo was loaded with plenty of quality vendors and information. The event itself was held on Saturday which is the first marathon I have run on a Saturday. The weather was perfect, 34 at gun time and around 58 when I crossed the finish. The families and citizens of KC that lined the streets were some of the best I have ever witnessed. I even received some exuberant ovations from some incredible front yard watch parties, and plenty of free bananas along the way. The course was laced with plenty of aid stations, staffed with unbelievable volunteers. An experience I won’t forget crossing that finish line, having a medal placed on my neck, a mylar blanket around my back and a hot barbeque sandwich in my hand. Kansas City is a beautiful city with a great culture and atmosphere. We will be back.

I am very thankful for my wife, Megan, who is so supportive of me running marathons. The time and demand that training requires is a major toll on a family and she is so supportive of us staying active. So I can’t say enough how much I appreciate her.

This journey to 5 has been long it seems however, I already of visions of how I will make it to 10.

 
 
FRIDAY AFTERNOON WHEN BRANDON GOT OFF WORK WE HURRIED  OUT THE DOOR HEADED NORTH TO THE WADDELL & REED KANSAS CITY MARATHON . EARLIER IN THE DAY I HEARD THAT IT WAS SNOWING IN KANSAS AND BEGAN GETTING EXTREMELY NERVOUS ABOUT RACE DAY AND THE CLOTHING OPTIONS WE HAD PACKED. LAST MINUTE I THREW IN 2 THROW-AWAY LONG SLEEVE SHIRTS AND WE WERE OUT THE DOOR.

AFTER A LONG DRIVE IN THE RAIN & SNOW WE ARRIVED AT THE EXPO 30 MINUTES BEFORE IT SHUT DOWN SO WE DIDN'T HAVE MUCH TIME TO LOOK AROUND, BUT THE EXPO WAS IN A GREAT LOCATION WITH FREE PARKING. WE PICKED UP OUR PACKETS, BIBS, TECH SHIRTS, BBQ SAUCE, AND LOOKED AROUND FOR JUST A FEW MINUTES. WE DIDN'T STICK AROUND LONG BECAUSE WE WERE STARVING! 

WE JUMPED BACK ON 1-35 AND FOUND A PIZZA HUT JUST A FEW MILES AWAY FROM WHERE WE WERE STAYING FOR THE NIGHT. WE ATE PIZZA, DRANK A BIG CUP OF WATER AND HEADED TO MY AUNTS HOUSE WHERE WE WERE STAYING THE NIGHT. WE LAID OUT ALL OF OUR RACE DAY CLOTHES AND FUEL AND HIT THE SACK AROUND 10:00 HOPING FOR A GREAT NIGHT SLEEP. 

OUR ALARM WAS SET FOR 4:00AM. THAT WOULD GIVE US PLENTY OF TIME TO GET AROUND, FEED GRAYSON, AND HEAD OUT THE DOOR AROUND 5:00AM. G-MAN HAD OTHER PLANS. HE WOKE UP AROUND 3;00AM AND STAYED AWAKE UNTIL 4;30AM OR SO. OUR SLEEP WAS CUT SHORT (OH THE JOY OF TRAVELING WITH A BABY!) AND B AND I WERE PRETTY TIRED. WE LACED UP OUR RUNNING SHOES AND WE WERE OUT THE DOOR A LITTLE EARLY, READY TO RUN.

WE GOT DOWNTOWN AND AFTER FINDING OUR EXIT WAS CLOSED AND NOT REALLY KNOWING WHERE WE WERE GOING WE FOLLOWED SOME OTHER CARS AND ENDED UP EXACTLY WHERE WE NEEDED TO BE. FREE PARKING JUST A FEW BLOCKS FROM THE START/FINISH LINE. WE ARRIVED WITH OVER A  HOUR BEFORE RACE TIME AND IT WAS SO COLD OUTSIDE SO WE WAITED IN THE CAR FOR A BIT BEFORE WE MADE OUR WAY TO THE CROWN CENTER TO FIND THE RESTROOMS AND WAIT UNTIL RACE TIME. 

WHILE IN THE CROWN CENTER WE STUMBLED UPON THE PACE GROUPS AND THAT IS WHEN I MADE THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISION OF THE DAY: I DECIDED TO JUMP IN WITH THE 2HOUR PACE GROUP. ABOUT 6;45AM WE WALKED OUT TO THE START LINE, I KISSED BRANDON GOODBYE AND SENT HIM ON AHEAD WITH THE 3;45 MARATHON PACE GROUP. MY NERVES WEREN'T TOO BAD. I WAS PRETTY RELAXED, AND MET SOME AWESOME RUNNERS. ONE GUY WAS RUNNING HIS FIRST 1/2 AND HIS GOAL WAS TO COME IN UNDER 2 HOURS, ANOTHER GIRL FROM TULSA WAS RUNNING WITH THE SAME GOAL. OUR PACE GROUP LEADERS GATHERED US AROUND AND TOLD US THE MANTRA: 2 HOURS 2 DAY WAS GOING TO CARRY US THROUGH, AND IT DID!

THE FIRST 6 MILES LITERALLY FLEW BY. THE BIGGEST HILL OF THE RACE, LIBERTY MEMORIAL HILL WAS AT MILE 3 AND IT WAS PRETTY BRUTAL. THERE WAS A TURN AROUND POINT AFTER THE BIG HILL AND I SAW BRANDON IN THE SEA OF RUNNERS AND IT BROUGHT TEARS TO MY EYES. THE MILES JUST STARTED ROLLING BY. ONE HILL AT A TIME. MILE 8 IS WHEN THE RACE SPLIT, THE HALF MARATHONERS TURNED LEFT AND WE SENT THE MARATHONERS ON STRAIGHT. MILES 8-11 WERE PRETTY MENTALLY TOUGH FOR ME. MY LEGS WERE BEGINNING TO FEEL IT AND I WAS STARTING TO HUFF AND PUFF PRETTY HARD WHEN WE WOULD ENCOUNTER HILLS. APRIL, THE PACE GROUP LEADER SAVED THE DAY FOR ME. SHE WAS SO ENCOURAGING, HELPFUL, TOLD FUNNY STORIES ABOUT HER 9 MONTH OLD BABY BOY, SHE KNEW THE COURSE SO WELL, WARNED US ABOUT UPCOMING HILLS, REMINDED US TO BREATH, AND SHE WAS ONE OF THE REASONS I FINISHED THE RACE UNDER MY GOAL TIME. 

MILES 11-13.1 WERE ALL DOWN HILL OR FLAT AND IT WAS EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED TO PUSH THROUGH AND FINISH STRONG. AT THIS POINT I WAS AN EMOTIONAL MESS AND EVERY TIME I SAW A BABY CHEERING IN THE CROWD TEARS WOULD FLOOD MY EYES KNOWING MY BABIES WILL ONE DAY STAND IN THE CROWD TO WATCH ME ACCOMPLISH BIGGER GOALS, AND THEN HOPEFULLY I WILL GET TO STAND IN THE CROWD TO WATCH THEM ONE DAY TOO. 

THE FINISH WAS GREAT. WE TURNED ONTO GRAND AND THE STREET WAS LINED WITH SPECTATORS CHEERING. I CROSSED THE FINISH LINE WITH A TIME OF 1 HOUR, 59 MINUTES, AND 18 SECONDS. JUST SECONDS BEFORE MY GOAL TIME OF 2 HOURS, AND A 6 MINUTE PERSONAL BEST TIME!

AFTER I FINISHED I HAD GRAND PLANS ON HEADING BACK TO MILE 22 TO CHEER ON BRANDON BEFORE HIS BIG FINISH, BUT I GOT TURNED AROUND AND COULDN'T FIND THE STREET I NEEDED TO HEAD DOWN, I GOT EXTREMELY COLD AND DECIDED TO STAY NEAR THE FINISH LINE AND WARM UP IN A NEAR BY BUILDING UNTIL IT WAS TIME TO SEE B COME ACROSS THE FINISH LINE. IT TOOK BRANDON 3HOURS 45MINUTES AND 4SECONDS TO FINISH HIS 5TH MARATHON AND I AM SO EXTREMELY PROUD OF HIM FOR PUSHING THROUGH AND HAVING A GREAT TIME DESPITE BIG HILLS AND TOUGH TRAINING. HE IS ONE OF THE STRONGEST MEN I KNOW, AND I HOPE I GET TO SEE HIM CROSS FINISH LINES FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES! (STAY TUNED, MR. ARMSTRONG MIGHT WRITE A RACE RECAP OF HIS OWN LATER THIS WEEK!)

AFTER B FINISHED WE ENJOYED OUR FREE BBQ SANDWICH, STOPPED AT PANERA FOR SOMETHING WARM TO DRINK AND HEADED BACK TO OUR BABY. WHAT A SUCCESSFUL DAY WE HAD IN KC!

OVERALL THE RACE WAS GREAT. THE COURSE WAS BEAUTIFUL. THE HILLS WERE TOUGH. RUNNING THROUGH THE DISTRICTS OF KANSAS CITY WAS ENTERTAINING. THE CROWD WAS GREAT. EVERYTHING WAS WELL ORGANIZED AND WE WOULD RECOMMEND THIS RACE TO ANYONE! 

I WORE A CHAMPION ZIP UP TOP, AND CHAMPION PANTS FROM TARGET, A NIKE SLEEVE OVER THAT, AND MY UNDER ARMOR GLOVES I ENDED UP TAKING OFF AND CARRYING ON MY HANDHELD NATHAN WATER BOTTLE. I FUELED WITH THIS BAR, THESE ENERGY BEANS, AND NUUN

I WOULD LIKE TO THANK BRANDON'S MOM FOR MAKING THE TRIP WITH US. FOR DRIVING WHEN WE WERE TIRED AND WATCHING GRAYSON WHILE WE RAN. ALSO, THANKS AUNT BARBARA FOR LETTING US STAY AT YOUR HOUSE AND FOR FEEDING US LUNCH AFTER THE RACE! THANKS TO MY MOMMA AND DAD FOR WATCHING MISS A, THE WILD ONE! LAST BUT NOT LEAST, THANKS TO EVERYONE THAT CHEERED US ON BACK HERE AT HOME! YOUR SUPPORT MEANS THE WORLD TO US! 

 
 
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MY GOAL IN SEPTEMBER WAS TO RUN 162 MILES AND I ENDED UP RUNNING 137 MILES. 

I OBVIOUSLY DID NOT REACH MY MILEAGE GOAL FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER AND FOR GOOD REASON.  ON SEPTEMBER 17TH I HAD A HUGE CRICK IN MY NECK AND THAT SIDE LINED ME FOR A COUPLE DAYS. ALSO, I GAVE UP ONE OF MY LONG RUNS SO MY HANDSOME GROOM COULD GET HIS IN.

DESPITE NOT REACHING MY 1,000 MILE PROJECT GOAL, THIS MOUTH WAS AWESOME FOR ME. I FELT GREAT ON MY LONG RUNS AND EVEN RAN MY LONGEST MID-WEEK RUN OF MARATHON TRAINING {10 MILES} 5 ON THE TREADMILL AND 5 PUSHING GRAYSON IN THE STROLLER. THE MID-WEEK LONG RUNS ARE PROVING TO BE THE HARDEST TO GET IN, BUT WE ARE MAKING IT WORK!

MY SHORTEST RUN WAS 3 MILES AND MY LONGEST WAS 22. {WHICH I HAD TO SPLIT INTO 2 RUNS ON SATURDAY THE 28TH, I CALLED IT QUITS AT MILE 9 ON THAT SATURDAY DUE TO RAIN, BUT FINISHED IT OUT LATER THAT AFTERNOON}. I RAN IN TWO 5K'S THIS MONTH AND YOU CAN READ ABOUT THEM HERE & HERE

HERE IS MY TOTAL MILEAGE:
JANUARY: 25.45 MILES
FEBRUARY: 0
MARCH: 15.2 MILES
APRIL: 50.2 MILES
MAY: 69.1 MILES
JUNE: 86.55 MILES
JULY: 83.4 MILES
AUGUST: 139.6 MILES
SEPTEMBER: 137 MILES

TOTAL FOR THE YEAR: 606.5 MILES

SO, I HAVE A LITTLE UNDER 400 MILES LEFT TO RUN THIS YEAR! 
THERE ARE ONLY 12 WEEKS LEFT IN 2013, 
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH THESE 12 WEEKS? 
YOU CAN FIND ME POUNDING THE PAVEMENT.

 
 
I ASKED MY AWESOME SISTER-IN-LAW SARAH TO SHARE HER KNOCKED^UP RUNNER STORY. SHE IS AN AWESOME SUPPORTIVE WIFE TO MY BROTHER, A SUPER-MOM, AND A MOTHER RUNNER THAT MOTIVATES ME EVERYDAY! HERE IS HER STORY: 

Well, I guess I will start from the beginning...

Growing up I played multiple sports & most of the time running was a punishment so, therefore, it was not something I ever really looked forward to doing... at all.  It wasn't until college that I really learned to embrace running. I didn't go overboard in the beginning by any means. I would run 3-4 miles at a time, max. It wasn't until after having our first son, Jace, that I really jumped in with both feet to the running world.

During both of my pregnancies I stayed very active & ran almost throughout the whole 9 months. I have to say though, working out for the first few times post baby was the hardest thing I have ever had to do . I couldn't sit on the toilet for weeks! Seriously, high fives for all you momma's out there that get out there & work out after having a baby! Its not easy but let me tell you something… its so worth it! Way to go!! (insert those high fives here)

After finishing my first 5k post baby I realized that there isn't anything much better than seeing your babies at the finish line. I believe it represents more than just a good run but being a leader. You might not be a mom yet & that's ok. You are inspiring friends, family, co-workers, etc. & maybe someday your babies. For all you momma's out there you might be able to relate to me. It allows me to show my kids work ethic, endurance, passion, mental toughness, sacrifices, healthy & active lifestyle, self discipline., etc. I know that every time I lace up my shoes to go for a run that little eyes will be watching me. My son, Jace, who is 3 yrs old now loves to tell people when they ask us what we do that we "run" in our family. Although, most people mean occupation with that question it makes for a good laugh & secretly makes this momma proud! 

My first full marathon was a complete disaster… or so I thought. I got the first stage of hypothermia at mile 20 & was pulled off the race due to my conditions. It was humiliating to say the least. What I found though was that it didn't make me the failure I felt I had become. It was an opportunity to show my son & others that just because you get knocked down doesn't mean you can't get back up. You aren't a failure when you are knocked down but when you quit. I wasn't quitting. On October 13th, 2013 I will be running a full marathon again & will be crossing the finish line. I so badly wanted to throw in my "mommy running towel" after my first experience with a full marathon but chose not to give up. Wherever you are in life right now remember that just because you have a set back doesn't make you a failure. If you ate that piece of cake or missed your run or whatever it might be do better tomorrow. Make a small shift & get focused again! You can do it!

"You aren't big steps from anything, only small shifts from everything." -Keith Kochner

Not only do I run to influence my kids & others but I run for myself. I have learned to embrace the long runs & allow this time of running to be "me time". Most days I don't even get to go to the bathroom alone so going for a run is a treat. Can I get an amen mom's?  Sometimes I run with music & other times I let it be quiet. When I get my run in for the day I feel as if I am better for it. Lately I have enjoyed running my long runs on the weekends with friends. It's been a great way to pass time & have someone push you to finish what you set out to get done that day! Or just to make sure you wake up & get there! :) 

Running is something that I don't ever want to take lightly.  I love the diversity of a race & the simple miles around my neighborhood. I love the adrenaline of running with people cheering you on for 26.2 miles & the stillness of the mornings when no one else is awake yet. It doesn't matter how far or how slow you go, you still lapped someone today who didn't get out & do it! I hope that this post inspires you to get going, keep going, or be confident in where you are going!  If you are a mom my prayer is that you are inspired to influence your kids in a positive way with your actions & not just words. It doesn't have to be running but remember that you are their biggest influence & their little eyes are watching you! 

"Tough runs don't last. Tough mothers do!" -Unknown

Thank you Megan for allowing me to share! I am blessed to call you my sister-in-law! 

XO, 
Sarah (aka: another knocked up runner)


P.S. I WOULD LOVE TO SHARE YOUR STORY TOO. IF YOU ARE A RUNNER, KNOCKED^UP OR NOT AND HAVE SOME ENCOURAGING WORDS TO SHARE EMAIL ME @ MEG.ARMSTRONG@LIVE.COM,
 
 
HELLO, IN HONOR OF IT OFFICIALLY BEING FALL I THOUGHT I WOULD SHARE A RECIPE THAT ALIVIA AND I MADE LAST WEEK. RIGHT NOW IN THE MIDDLE OF MARATHON TRAINING FOOD IS ON THE BRAIN, SO I HAVE BEEN MAKING OATMEAL BARS EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE FOR BRANDON AND I TO SNACK ON AND TO USE AS TRAINING FUEL. THESE ARE SO YUMMY AND WILL HIT THE PUMPKIN SIZE SPOT IN YOUR BELLY. 

PUMPKIN PIE OATMEAL BARS

INGREDIENTS:
2 CUPS OATS
1/2 CUP SHREDDED COCONUT
1/2 CUP NUTS (I USED 1/4 CUP CHOPPED WALNUTS AND 1/4 CUP SHAVED ALMONDS, BUT USE WHAT YOU HAVE OR LIKE)
1 CUP PUMPKIN PUREE
1 tsp VANILLA
1 tsp CINNAMON
1/2 tsp GINGER
1/2 tsp NUTMEG

DIRECTIONS:
(1) PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 350 DEGREES
(2) COMBINE EVERYTHING INTO A BIG BOWL UNTIL MIXED WELL
(3) PRESS INTO A WELL SPRAYED 9X9 BAKING PAN
(4) SPRINKLE CINNAMON ON THE TOP
(5) BAKE FOR 30 MINS
(6) COOL ON A WIRE RACK
(7) CUT INTO BARS & ENJOY!

HAPPY FALL,  
 
 
THIS PAST SUNDAY I LACED UP MY SHOES FOR THE 2ND ANNUAL HOT MAMAS RUN IN EDMOND OKLAHOMA. THE RACE WAS HELD AT MITCH PARK, AND IS A GREAT LOCATION FOR A 5K. THE RACE DIDN'T START UNTIL 2;00PM AND I WAS JOINED BY MY MOM, MY SISTER IN LAW, AND MY COUSIN FOR THIS RACE! 

IF YOU HAVEN'T HEARD OF THE HOT MAMAS RUN I WOULD RECOMMEND CHECKING OUT THEIR WEBSITE HERE. IT IS AN AWESOME WOMEN-ONLY EVENT THAT ENCOURAGES WOMEN (MAMA OR NOT) TO GET MOVING! THERE IS SOMETHING SO POWERFUL ABOUT SEEING WOMEN SET GOALS, PURSUE THEM, AND CROSS THE FINISH LINE TOGETHER AS A GROUP. NEEDLESS TO SAY IT IS AWESOME!

SOMETHING UNIQUE ABOUT THIS EVENT IS THAT IT IS HELD IN THE AFTERNOON, WHICH IS PRETTY RISKY BUSINESS IF YOU ASK ME FOR SEPTEMBER IN OKLAHOMA. WITH THAT BEING SAID SUNDAY WAS PRETTY WARM! I HAVE A CRAZY TANK TOP SUNBURN TO PROVE IT! THE WEATHER WAS WARM, BUT THERE WERE 3 WATER STOPS ALONG THE COURSE, AND PLENTY OF ICE COLD WATER WAITING FOR US AT THE START/FINISH OF THE RACE. 
 
I WORE A HOT PINK TANK FROM WALMART {GIRL POWER}, OLD NAVY RUNNING SHORTS, MY IFITNESS BELT (WHICH IS GREAT SO I DON'T POKE HOLES IN MY SHIRTS WITH THE SAFETY PINS THEY GIVE YOU FOR YOUR BIB, EVEN THOUGH I LOOK LIKE A GRANNY WEARING IT AROUND MY WAIST), I ACCIDENTALLY GRABBED BRANDON'S NIKE HAT INSTEAD OF MINE, BUT IT WORKED GREAT! AS I MENTIONED ABOVE, IT IS LOCATED AT A PARK SO THE RACE IS HELD ON PARK TRAILS. THEY WERE NARROW,  AND AT THE BEGINNING VERY CONGESTED, BUT AFTER THE FIRST MILE OR SO PEOPLE BEGIN TO SPREAD OUT. THE TRAILS ARE VERY NICELY PAVED BUT PRETTY HILLY THROUGHOUT THE 5K. 

MY SISTER-IN-LAW SARAH (WHO IS CURRENTLY AN AWESOME MOTHER RUNNER AND A 2-TIME KNOCKED^UP RUNNER), MY MOM, AND I RAN TOGETHER FOR MY MOM'S BIRTHDAY AND WE HAD A GREAT TIME. PACE IS NOT ALWAYS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU ARE RUNNING IN THE CONDITIONS WE HAD YESTERDAY! MY MOM DID GREAT AGAIN, AND I AM SO PROUD OF HER! 

AT PACKET PICK UP (WHICH YOU CAN DO THE DAY OF, WHICH IS REALLY NICE WHEN YOU LIVE OUT OF TOWN!) YOU RECEIVE A BAG WITH YOUR BIB, TIMING CHIP, AND AN AWESOME FITTED WOMAN'S SHIRT WHICH IS PICTURED ABOVE! ALSO THE SNACK SELECTION AFTER THE RACE WAS AWESOME. GRANOLA BARS, LARA BARS, TRAIL MIX, AND CHIPS WERE AMONG THE SNACKS WE GOT TO CHOOSE FROM. ALSO GREAT WE COULD GRAB SOME FOR OUR HUNGRY BABIES! THIS RACE IS KID FRIENDLY WITH A PARK NEAR BY TO PLAY AT. 

SHOUT OUT TO THE MEN IN OUR LIVES. MY BROTHER AND MY HANDSOME HUSBAND WATCHED THE KIDDOS WHILE WE RAN! THEY KEPT THE KIDS IN THE SHADE AND CHEERED US ON WHILE WE RAN. MY DAD COULDN'T BE AT THE RACE BECAUSE HE HAD CLINICALS, BUT HE WAS THERE IN SPIRIT!

ONCE AGAIN I AM JUST SO OVERWHELMED AND THANKFUL FOR AN AWESOME EVENT THAT MY FAMILY COULD BE APART OF! 
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AFTER LAST YEARS HOT MAMAS RUN. ALIVIA WAS 17 MONTHS OLD AND I WAS 22 WEEKS PREGNANT WITH GRAYSON!
 
 
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ALIVIA AND I MADE THIS YESTERDAY AND IT WAS SO EASY AND YUMMY! WE IMMEDIATELY ATE A LITTLE PIECE FOR A SNACK AND CONTINUED TO NIBBLE ON IT THROUGHOUT THE DAY. IF YOU DO DECIDE TO MAKE THIS BREAD DON'T BE EXPECTING A VERY SWEET TASTE LIKE NORMAL BANANA NUT BREAD, BECAUSE IT IS NOT OVERLY SWEET. BUT THIS BREAD IS VERY DENSE AND IS EVEN BETTER WITH A TABLESPOON OF CRUNCHY PEANUT BUTTER ON TOP. ENJOY!



OAT FLOUR BANANA NUT BREAD

INGREDIENTS:
2 CUPS OAT FLOUR (WE USE A BLINDER TO GRIND UP OLD FASHION OATS TO MAKE OUR OAT FLOUR)
1/2 CUPS OLD FASHIONED OATS
1 tsp BAKING POWDER
1 tsp BAKING SODA
1/2 tsp CINNAMON
1/2 tsp SALT
1 EGG
1/2 CUP BROWN SUGAR
1/2 CUP CHOPPED WALNUTS
3-4 RIPE BANANAS MASHED

DIRECTIONS:
(1) PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES
(2) IN A LARGE BOWL COMBINE: OAT FLOUR, OATS, BAKING POWDER, BAKING SODA & SALT. SIT ASIDE.
(3) IN ANOTHER BOWL MASH BANANAS WELL. BEAT IN EGG. ADD BROWN SUGAR & CINNAMON, MIX WELL.
(4) COMBINE BANANA MIXTURE INTO THE DRY INGREDIENTS AND MIX UNTIL JUST COMBINED. FOLD IN WALNUTS, PECANS, BLUEBERRIES, DATES, CHOCOLATE CHIPS... OR WHATEVER ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE! 
(5) POUR INTO A GREASED LOAF PAN
(6) BAKE AT 350 DEGREES FOR ABOUT 30 MINUTES. CHECK IT WITH A TOOTHPICK OR KNIFE. LET SET FOR 10 MINUTES BEFORE REMOVING IT FROM THE PAN TO COOL.
(7) SLICE IT UP AND TRY NOT TO EAT ALL OF IT YOURSELF!

 
 
SATURDAY MORNING I GOT THE BABIES UP EARLY TO HEAD TO THE SQUARE FOR OUR LOCAL 5K, LIKE WE HAVE FOR THE PAST 3 YEARS. 

THIS YEAR WAS SPECIAL THOUGH. THIS YEAR I RAN WITH MY MOMMA! MY DAD AND HER HAVE STARTED RUNNING AGAIN AND I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW PROUD I AM OF BOTH OF THEM! 

THE CHEROKEE STRIP 5K IS NOT HUGE. 137 PEOPLE LACED UP THEIR SHOES TO POUND THE PAVEMENT AROUND OUR LITTLE TOWN. WE ARRIVED ON THE SQUARE, PICKED UP OUR BIB, OUR TIMING STRIP (THIS WAS THE FIRST YEAR FOR THIS TECHNOLOGY, WE USUALLY WEAR TIMING CHIPS. PERSONALLY I LOVE THE STRIPS AND HOW EASY AND CONVENIENT THEY ARE!), OUR T-SHIRT, AND WERE GREETED BY THE PERRY CROSS COUNTRY TEAM STRETCHING IT OUT.   

I LOVE SMALL HOME-TOWN RACES.  FOR AWHILE ON THE COURSE WE WERE FOLLOWING A FATHER AND HIS SON. LISTENING AND WATCHING THEM MADE ME SO EXCITED FOR THE DAY WHEN WE CAN ACTUALLY RUN WITH OUR BABIES INSTEAD OF PUSHING THEM! WHAT A DAY IT WILL BE WHEN WE CAN CROSS A FINISH LINE AS A FAMILY!

IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL MORNING TO RUN. I WORE A NIKE LONG SLEEVE THAT I GOT FOR MY BIRTHDAY THAT I HAVE BEEN DYING TO WEAR AND OLD NAVY RUNNING SHORTS. THE AIR WAS CRISP, BUT I QUICKLY GOT WARMED UP IN MY SLEEVE. THE COURSE HAS BEEN THE SAME BOTH TIMES I HAVE RAN, IT IS A GREAT ROUTE ON ROADS THAT I RUN ALMOST EVERY WEEK. THERE ARE A FEW HILLS THAT ARE LONG AND GRADUAL AND CAN DEFINITELY MAKE YOUR LEGS BURN IF YOU AREN'T PREPARED.

MY MOM DID GREAT, SHE GOT 3RD PLACE IN HER AGE GROUP AND LEARNED A FEW THINGS FROM HER TRAINING THAT SHE CAN WORK ON FOR THE NEXT RACE (WHICH HAPPENS TO BE THIS UP COMING SUNDAY IN EDMOND, CLICK HERE IF YOU WANT TO JOIN US--ITS GONNA BE A REAL HOT TIME!) ALSO, IF YOU CAN BELIEVE IT: I HAVE TALKED HER INTO TRAINING FOR A HALF MARATHON WITH ME, HER STORY IS GOING TO BE AWESOME!! 

THANKS FOR RUNNING WITH ME MOMMA! YOU DID GREAT! 
ALSO, THANKS TO UNCLE J & AUNT SARAH FOR WATCHING MY BABIES AND BRINGING YOURS TO CHEER US ON! NOTHING IS BETTER MOTIVATION THAN KNOWING SWEET BABES ARE AT THE FINISH LINE WAITING FOR YOU!