Monday Musings: Movies, hair, running...oh my!

STILL catching up on my movies.

This weekend I watched White House Down & Captain Phillips

I thought I was gonna have to take some medicine after two intense movies in a row. At least there was somewhere around 24 hours between movie watching. I thought both movies were great.


Friday, I decided to do something just slightly different with my hair. I always get it highlighted every eight weeks. This time I put some red in it. 

It's different, but the color is growing on me. The funny thing is, I've gotten LOTS of compliments from teenage girls. 

Midlife crisis? Hmmm...


I'm training for my fourth half marathon in April, so Sunday was a nine mile run day.

It's very cool that the half I'm doing in April was the first one I did last year. This will mark my one year anniversary of running half marathons. The registration was paid for from a friend as a birthday present, so that makes this race even more cool! 

I'm fairly certain I won't PR. My pace time has been VERY slow since getting over my hip issues. My goal is not only to finish pain free, but also beat last year's time. I'm certain I can do that.


I am bound and determined to become a morning person. I bought this book on my Kindle and highly recommend it.

I also recommend The Sleep Cycle app. I used it for the first time last night. It has high reviews and is only 99 cents for the iPhone version.

Dear Self Magazine: You Messed Up

Read the reason I'm writing this here.

Dear Self Magazine,

So, the motto of your magazine is, "Being fit, strong and active means feeling great, being happy and looking your most beautiful.

I'm very disappointed in your actions concerning the woman wearing a tutu. I bet you feel real bad after finding out the woman is a cancer patient. 

Whoops, you messed up big time.

I'm wondering if your idea of helping women feel more beautiful is making fun of them? Even without the fact that she has brain cancer and was going through chemo, this woman was running a full marathon (26.2 miles). She was doing something which I'm sure made her feel great, happy, and beautiful. Yet, you decided to degrade her and list her actions as "lame" because she wore a tutu.

Oh, here's something else you say on your website, "SELF speaks to women about three key areas of her being: her body, her looks and her life."

You speak to women alright. But, unfortunately this time it was in a negative way.

Many women already have issues with body image. Many women also have trouble realizing their self worth. 

And, many women have difficult stories and journeys in which you have NO IDEA they are dealing with. 

Maybe you should think about that next time before you publish your "BS Meter." 

Or maybe you should just get rid of that BS.



10 things I've learned during my first year of running

Every time I say anything about running, I think about Forrest Gump. 

He's my inspiration. Talk about some ENDURANCE. Good gracious.

Any hoo, I thought I would share some of the tips and tricks (not trips...although I have tripped a lot during my running career) I have learned since I started running about a year ago. 

These are my own opinions, they may not be yours. And guess what...that's ok.

Here's a list of the races I've done:
December, 2012 (5K)
March, 2013 (15K) 
April, 2013 (Half marathon)
July, 2013 (10K)
September, 2013 (Half marathon)
November, 2013 (10K)
February, 2014 (Half marathon)
**Upcoming** April, 2014 (Half marathon)

I went from doing a 5K to deciding I wanted to do a half. 

Go Big or Go Home I say.

So, here's what I've learned:

1) 5K runs are not my thing because during the first three miles of any run, I want to pluck someones eyes out. I only feel slightly human again at about mile four. 5K's are great for people who don't want to do long distance runs. If you are a long distance runner, you will probably not like them. You feel like you're just getting started when in fact you're almost done.

2) THE CORRECT SHOES ARE IMPORTANT. I know they're expensive. I know it stinks to shell out $100 for shoes. But, I'm here to tell you especially after dealing with hip flexor and knee not skimp on the shoes. You will thank me later. I promise.

3) The people who told me to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth apparently wanted to come scoop me off the ground when I fainted from lack of oxygen to the brain. Moral of the story: find what works best for you. Sometimes chewing gum helps regulate breathing. Sometimes singing to your music helps. Sometimes you just have to concentrate on not hyperventilating. The more you run, the more you will find a happy place.

4) Walking will not send anyone to naughty runner's jail. Walking is not a sin. At least you're getting exercise. It doesn't matter if your pace is 15 minutes or 8 minutes. Don't let your pace discourage you. Just keep on moving.

5) I need music or I will die. You may or may not feel the same way. I ran one half without music and it was miserable. 

6) Being hydrated before and after the run is very important. When I ran my 15K, I ended up sick (throwing up sick) later in the day because I wasn't hydrated enough. It's not something to mess around with.

7) Just like being hydrated, stretching is also very important before and after. Some of my hip flexor problems were from not stretching. I'm telling you, stretching is so much more enjoyable than the pain that comes from an injury caused partly from lack of stretching.

8) Cross train, cross train, cross train. Swim, spin, lift weights, core workouts. Cross training days are just as important as rest days. You will work different muscles; and exercises that work the core will especially improve your running. 

9) When running a race that begins early in the morning and is at least an hour away, stay in a hotel room the night before. My very first half marathon was an hour away. My friend who was running with me and I decided we would just drive up the day of so that we could save money. We had to get up at 3:30 in the morning and then fight traffic. All that was even before we had to run 13.1 miles. The stress of getting there was not worth saving the money. Really.

10) Be open to trying new things (except right before a race...). I learn something new all the time. And, I know there's still much for me to learn. I absolutely love that this is my journey. I'm not competing with anyone else but myself. 

There you have it. Now, it's your turn to tell me what you've learned!

Reminiscing about the 80's

Sometimes I just like to reminisce...

I'm so happy I am a child of the eighties.

Deep down, I am an old soul and could have happily grown up in the antebellum period with the big dresses and proper southern etiquette.

But, the eighties were good years too.

Some of the best music came out of the eights! A few of my favorites:

And the movies...all the great movies!

And, how could forget the style?! 

Big hair, leg warmers, side pony tails, and the shoulder pads.

I owned several pairs of stirrup pants. I kinda miss them.

Don't get me started on the 90's! 

I shouldn't complain though. We have lots of great fashion and trends going on nowadays...


Unhealthy relationship with our bodies

I'm really beginning to think that some people often continue to have an unhealthy relationship with their body even after they start losing weight

For example, look at Biggest Loser winner, Rachel Frederickson. I know the big hoopla about her weight loss has been pushed to the back burner with bigger news stories such as lost planes and other stuff, but just give me a moment to bring her story back up. Rachel started on the show as a morbidly obese woman. You don't get that way overnight and most of the time you get to that point because of underlying issues (insecurity, depression, etc.). Rachel had those underlying issues and she had to deal with them in order to realize why she was treating her body in an unhealthy way. 

However, Rachel went from morbidly obese at 260 pounds to underweight according to the BMI scale at 105 pounds. 

In other words, she went from one extreme to another. She went from an unhealthy weight to an unhealthy weight. She just looks skinnier now.

So, did she really change her relationship with herself and her body? I really do hope so, but I'm not sure.

I know that some have said it's a competition and she did this to win..yada...yada...yada. But still, playing games with your health is not worth it. 

No matter where your starting point and goal line is, it's important to realize that your relationship with your body is the number one priority. 

STOP trying to beat your body into submission by using "get skinny quick" gimmicks.

STOP looking at your body negatively.   

STOP thinking that you won't be happy or your life won't be complete until you are "skinny."

START loving the person you are.

START treating your body better with healthy foods and exercise. 

Do you treat your family and friends with disgust and impatience?

STOP treating your body that way.

Maybe you've had an unhealthy relationship with your body for a long time. Just like any relationship, it's going to take time to heal. 

Give it time. Be patient. Learn from your mistakes and prepare for a healthier future. 

A Letter To Future Me

Dear Future Me,

Ten years have gone by since I wrote this letter. I wish I could talk to you in person right now. I wish you could tell me what's on the the other side of ten years.

Am I married?

Have I pursued my goals?

Am I still sticking to my healthy lifestyle and did I ever end up at my goal weight?

Am I still running?

Where does Brenn end up going to school? 

Does he end up chasing his dream of becoming a lawyer and ending up in politics?

Oh my goodness, so many questions. So much I want to know.

 I look back to the past ten years and I see so much change in my life. Ten years ago, I was a young single parent and I was pretty unhappy with life. I had Brenn. I had a good job. But, even at that young age I was unhappy with myself as a person.

I hope when you look back at me, you see a person who's grown stronger spiritually, mentally, and physically. I hope you are proud of the person you've become.

I hope you've had the opportunity to know what it means to have a man committed to you long term.

I hope you're encouraging others to pursue their goals, whatever they may be.

I hope you're taking every moment to enjoy the life, family, and friends God has so graciously given you.

And, if this letter so happens to find you in a valley, know that you've been there before and you will eventually be able to climb that mountain once again.

I look forward to the journey, Jennifer. See you in ten years.

The Past Jennifer

Music/Movie Monday

I had the opportunity to catch up on some movie watching this weekend. 

On Saturday, we watched Gravity. I love Sandra Bullock...a lot. If I recall, I think I heard some negative reviews about this movie and I don't even remember why. but I personally thought it was great.


Why kill off George Clooney so early on?


I'm pretty sure I held my breath through the whole entire movie.

It was a little different than other Sandra Bullock movies, but it was full of intense scenes and comic reliefs. 

On Sunday, I watched Catching Fire. I haven't read the entire second book yet, so I can't say if the movie is even close to the book. The movie was awesome though. Given the fact that I didn't know how the book ended, all I can say is HOLY COW. 

Katniss is in big trouble and will probably be put in timeout.

For real.

Happy Monday!

Half marathons and other stuff

Why, hello there. It's been a while since we've talked. Life has been interesting...and busy. Let's catch up, shall we?

Since we last talked, I've run two more half marathons.

I did a women's half marathon in September where I shaved about 36 minutes off my previous time. Woot woot!

And, I ran another half marathon just a couple of weeks ago at Walt Disney World! There was no breaking records at this one. Too many Disney characters to see, too little time. We were also running with about 24,000 other people. It was C-R-O-W-D-E-D

I'm now working on more running goals. I have another half marathon in Nashville in April. I'm also thinking about running a Lucille Ball half marathon in October.

Yes, I Love Lucy

I'm also planning to run a FULL marathon in December. Training will start soon...because it will take me this long to prepare for 26.2 miles.

I've seriously lost my marbles.

I am having hip issues on my right side. I'm working on doing hip strengthening exercises and trying to stretch more. I pretty much always have pain somewhere. Such is the life of a runner.

I also have found a wonderful little gadget called a foam roller. Have you tried one of these? Oh my goodness, I want to cry from pain and happiness all at the same time when I use it!

And, when did this child decide to get taller than me?? Not that it takes much effort.

I kept claiming to people that I was 5'2" until one of my friends called me out on it. She's 5'2" and is taller than me.

Darn it.

In other news, I have someone new in my life. He's wonderful.The fact that I've put on nine pounds since we started dating is not so wonderful. Back on the wagon I go. Back to tracking calories because let's just face it...I love ALL THE FOOD. 


2014 has been a pretty awesome year so far. I have lots of goals and ideas rolling around in this head of mine, so I'm hoping for the year continue being awesome.

Let's carry on!