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As one door closes.....

Running is like pregnancy and child birth. (Not the intro you were expecting I'm sure....)You spend months and months preparing for the big day. It starts out kind of easy, maybe some morning sickness, which in my marathon training time line translated to my first few runs when my lungs would burn. But after that goes away its fairly smooth sailing for a while. Same with pregnancy. There are a few bad days, a few days you hate it, but over all you are ok with it and even sometimes enjoying it. Then is starts getting to the end of the pregnancy, or in marathon terms you get to the "long runs". Life starts to suck at this point. You just want to be done with it, but you also know that it would be unsafe if you had the baby premature, same with running, you want to be done with the training but it would be equally unsafe to run the marathon premature. Then you get to the last two weeks. The taper down stage. This is where you just sit back and wait. With pregnancy you might be slowing down those last couple weeks. Especially that last week. Your size might just make it harder to move around or it could be your doctor recommended bed rest, or whatever. With running you have to be inactive to maintain your glucose stores and rest your muscles before the big day. In either situation you are just waiting around, terrified of the big day ahead, yet also you just want to get it over with. Finally the big day comes and honestly the similarities continue. Its painful. You knew what to expect yet you really didn't expect this. For running it might not be totally painful right away but towards the end your muscles are probably getting pretty sore, with pregnancy it starts hurting instantly and gets worse, in either situation your brain is going a mile a minute. You might have a little trick to get you through the times when you really want to quite or when the pain becomes more than you can take. You even feel like you are going a little crazy. You start talking to yourself to make it to that next mile, or you envision a color wheel spinning to make it through the latest contraction. Either way you keep reminding yourself that soon enough it will be over, just keep breathing and just keep pushing, you also tell yourself over and over again that you are NEVER doing this again, ever, no matter what, never again. And finally, before you know it, it's over and you are so satisfied. You hold your baby or wear your medal, it feels a little heavy but you would never think of not holding/wearing it. You get cleaned up, you might move around a little. Everyone tells you how proud they are of you. You share tears with your loved ones. People take unflattering pictures of you during and post labor/marathon. You are starving and want to eat everything in sight, and then you get to sleep, you sleep hard too and all of a sudden, its the next day. You are still a little sore and still can't imagine ever doing this again, but you feel better and see things a little more positively. After all you have something exciting to share with the world and your body did something that seemed impossible and you survived it! Then by about 2-3 days after you have almost forgot about the pain. It is a distant memory. And a week later you actually start to think...hmmmm I might do this again.... ;)  

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is it too late to back out??? joking...but this pre race week is harder than I thought....

The taper down time... nbsp;Throughout this entire training I have looked forward to this week. This week that has very little actual training, its a lot of relaxation and in fact it is suggested to do hardly any strenuous work this week. But the funny thing is that this week has been a little harder than I thought it would be. Not the no running part... that's been easy ;) However, I will admit I feel anxious and worried about not running. It makes me feel like I am losing my endurance or strength or something, my rational mind tells me I am fine, but the irrational part starts worrying that any of my missed runs over the past few weeks are going to affect me on race day.  

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Just counting down the days

Well folks, the marathon is just around the corner. In fact at this moment in two weeks, we will be packing up our room at The Inn on Lake Superior and getting ready to head home. I have to say that I am a little excited, and a lot nervous. My hubby has been having some troubles with his knee so I hope that holds out for him. I personally have been having little trouble with my ability to run, (in fact its gotten quite easy ...) but I am having trouble with the desire to run. In fact I am strait up bored with it. I ran yesterday morning and it felt like the longest 8 miles of my life. It was raining yesterday so I ran inside and it was fun to watch Sex and The City 1. But other than the major clothes envy I felt, I had no strong emotions. All I felt was boredom. Even a feeling of hatred would have been better than boredom, at least hatred is a great emotion to pour into exercise. There is no better feeling than when you go into an exercise crazy mad and full of hate and come out calm as can be and totally refreshed. But nope, not in this case. This case I went in bored and came out bored. I think I am just ready to move on. I know that the marathon is the big finale for this journey, but in my head I think that the 20 mile run felt like my big finish. In fact my mind is already getting excited about my next blog journey. (You will get a preview soon..) So its hard for me to focus on the actual marathon,most days I actually forget about it and then BAM it will pop back into my head and I will start to get a little panicky and anxious. So for this entry I kept things short and sweet because I am mostly looking for comments. I want to hear from anyone who has either A.) run a marathon or participated in some big event that they trained for and some tips for the big day, or B.) if you haven't ran a big race or trained for a big race maybe you know someone who has or maybe you have had to prepare for some other big event and have some tips to share. Im looking for insider information here folks. What to expect at the starting line, did you feel claustrophobic, what to expect at the finish line, etc etc.  

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Plug your nose for the big one!

I took a chance with this title I know. Either someone is going to completely ignore it because they anticipate something disgusting, or I'm going to get a drastic increase in readers for the same reason...I will preface this entry by saying it is not my intent to gross you out. However facts are facts and this marathon journey is not about flowers and sunshine. Its about my journey through hell and coming out the other side and people if you journey through hell there are going to be some smells.   

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Gripes, gripes and more gripes!

Tonight my husband and I sat in bed lamenting over which part of running we hate the most! Him its his knee, me my tree trunk legs and my 4:00 AM alarm clock. I will say though that both of us are extremely thankful for what we are doing and how our health has improved. But I am also excited to do something else for a while besides running! Plus I can't fit into any of my pants!! Yikes! 

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Way too hot and way too fast

Anyone who has ever run a marathon or any long distance for that matter knows the golden rule, don't start out too strong. However that is always easier said than done. Especially when you are running on a beautiful hot sunny Saturday and all you can think about is the laundry list of things you would rather be doing. So your instinct is to just get it over with. I think this is why I prefer the treadmill. When I start out on the treadmill it doesn't feel like if I change my pace I will finish faster. It feels like I am going to get where I'm going at whatever pace I choose. As for outdoor running, I don't know about the rest of the runners out there, but for me the very worst part of the run is that first mile, or that first 10-15 minutes. It is even more hateful if you start out at the appropriate and recommended slower pace. You feel like you are barely moving. And on a hot day you have loads of water and energy gels or chews attached to your body in some fashion, the sun is beating down on you and each step feels worse than the one before. Running in the heat is not enjoyable. I have heard some of my running friends say that they love running on a nice calm sunny day. Yuck! Give me overcast and a light breeze. That's what I would prefer. I would say about 45-55 is the best running weather. For one I prefer to wear long sleeve and capri length pants. I can't stand to run in shorts or a tank top (I am not ashamed to say that my thighs do touch and my arms do jiggle so this type of clothing only causes chafing). I also would prefer not to wear sunglasses or a hat to be able to see. Plus, I live on a dirt road and for some reason the dust feels "dustier" in warm weather. I'm starting to see why my Florida running attempt was so unsuccessful. The funny thing though is that normally I do like warm weather. I even like humidity. And even though I have never liked the sun just beating down on me, overall I am a warm weather fan. However I have never run in warm weather and I sincerely hope that my running is not going to change my thoughts on warm weather. In fact I am a little fearful it could. Already I am looking forward to my next long run day because it is only going to be 60 some degrees out. I'm just crossing my fingers that the day of the race the weather will be nice and cool......  

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Love-Hate Relationship

I have many love-hate relationships in my life, chocolate for instance, love it, but hate it for going strait to my hips. Netflix, love it, but hate it for eating up my late nights when I should be sleeping. Hmmm Gilt.com, love it!, ...but hate it also for racking up my credit card... I am sure I could go on and on but the point is that there are many things in life that we love and hate at the same time and for various reasons. Well the reason I am already writing a second posting so soon after coming out of hiding last night is because I am having strong emotions regarding my new love-hate relationship. Im sure you can guess what it is, since this entire blog is devoted to the topic. Yup, its running. Running used to be just a hate. In my pre-marathon training days I HATED running, LOATHED it actually. I was only running if it was from a bear, a wolf or some other creature that I couldn't step on. Then as I started training that hate went away, about a month ago my hate had turned to love. I was actually loving my runs. I looked forward to them and enjoyed the feeling after. I did have my occasional ups and downs as I shared with you all through my blog. But over all I actually found myself enjoying it. Shortly after I had found that love, I started feeling the hate again. In other words, all hell broke loose. The runs started getting longer, my life started getting busier. We were in and out of different weather, we were traveling quite a bit. We had some big events we hosted. One consuming an entire weekend which I spent freezing my (newly muscular) behind off in an ice hockey rink. Then the show I was watching during my treadmill runs started getting boring. And all of a sudden it felt like I didn't like running anymore, in fact I felt like I hated it again. BUT after thinking about it more I realized I didn't just hate it, after all I still loved my feeling post-run, that certainly hadn't changed, so now it was a mixed feeling, a Love-Hate feeling. I love the post run feeling now, still. But I also hate the time commitment running has become. I hate the 3:30 or 4:00 wake ups just to run 6 or 8 miles. I hate having to sacrifice 3-4 hours of a weekend, or having to find a babysitter in order to run with my husband. I love that we are teaching our kids to value and make time for exercise, but I hate that it is starting to be at the sacrifice of their time with us. I hate that my husband and I have lost our evenings so he can run. I hate that we lose our mornings so that I can run. I love that we have improved our health which will hopefully help us to long and healthy lives together, I just hate that we are sacrificing our scarce time together now to do it. Love this, hate that, treasure this, despise that. The list goes on. But what I wanted to do with this post is to really put my thoughts out there because I know so many others have felt the same way. In this busy, hustle-til-you-make-it, world that we live in it is hard to find that balance. Heck, I am in the process of being a certified Wellness Coach and my job is to guide people in that direction and I do help people do it, all the time, every day. I help others find that balance. But for myself.... not so easy ;) One thing this training has taught us is that we can do this. Remember when I said that time that I was loving the running? Well that was when I was doing 3-4 miles in the mornings and 6-10 on the weekends. I think those are good times and when this training is over I think my husband and I will continue to run those times each week. We are definitely runners now and that will never stop, but I want to change this love hate back to a love only relationship. I want to feel good about my running and not guilty about the time it takes up. I am proud of us for doing this training and I wouldn't  change it for the world. But I do look forward to being able to run for less than an hour someday soon :)   

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No worries...Im still alive!

I bet you are all wondering where I have gone, well all three of you who read my blog anyway:) ... Well I haven't gone too far, I just have been a little mentally absent. Training for this marathon is taking up time people! But unfortunately, I can't actually blame the marathon. Instead I will be honest and say that currently my hubby and I just took on a little more than we can chew. I really really really did not want this to happen, I wanted to enjoy my runs and then cuddle up on the couch with my daughter after a long one. But instead I am waking up some mornings at 3 AM to run, I am running in a circle through my yard and I am wearing out the track in a treadmill when I should be outside. But if any of you reading this know me or my husband then you know that we are crazy insane busy all the time. It is just how we are. Its how we function and most often its what we love. But lately it hasn't been so fun. Lately its been a lot of bad stress, a lot of frustration and a lot of sleepless nights. I am sure you are all wondering why those sleepless nights were not spent sitting up writing my blog, well I would say that I so wish that is what I could have been doing. But instead I found myself doing all sorts of un-fun other things. These ranged from attempting to bake gluten free cookies for my open house to studying up for my wellness coach certification.  And let me tell you something about that. Once you think you are totally done with school it is nearly impossible to go back to studying, especially at home. I had books spread out on the table for days and days. And the gluten free cookies? They became a disaster and found their way to the garbage. Other un-fun things that I did while you were all pining away for a new entry? I ran in 100 degree muggy weather in florida, that was actually a little fun though because I love florida, hot or not. Then we also ran for 16 miles these past two weekends which was amazing, but not very fun. We got to run outside and there were hills and it was cold. So I spent the entire run wiping my dripping nose onto the sleeve of my shirt and praying the next mile would come soon. (Im sure some of you are saying eeewe to the sleeve comment but truthfully I had to use my shirt, there is just no way I could or would have been able to bring that much kleenex.) I am just thankful my daughter can't read because she would read this and assume she could do that all the time. Hopefully she will have better manners...But honestly everyone, I wish I had more to say about these last few weeks that I have been gone. Instead they were boring and uneventful when it came to the running. In fact if any thing of interest happened at all it would have to be that I became healthier. I know that I have complained about my appearance in the past and how things aren't changing the way I want, but I recently learned that my health has improved drastically since I started running. My heart rate went from 77 in the fall to 60 on thursday. So as much as I have wished for my outside appearance to be different or slimmer, at least my inside (the part that truly counts) is how it should be.  

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Reader take caution: Do not try this at home

As my training moves upward so do the lengths of my long runs. It has become increasingly harder for my husband and I to both fit in a long run on the weekend, and nearly impossible to do the same day. These longer runs are now minimum 2 hours. And since we have small children we can't leave them to run together, we could hire a babysitter each time, but that feels like a lot of planning that isn't always conducive with our schedule. My husband and I understand the tightness of our schedule and rather than fight against it we have just accepted that during our training we will probably never really be able to run together, ever. So for now one of us runs on Saturday, one on Sunday. Which is ok, it works, for now.
At the end of this post I will come full circle on my thoughts regarding being busy and training, but before that you need to hear about my most recent run.  

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Why not me!?!?

So I was sitting here thinking about something and I decided I wanted to write about it. At first it almost seemed like something that should go in my diary but instead I decided to share it with the world. After all I made a plan to train for this marathon and to share every personal piece of that journey. So here comes maybe the most personal and sensitive part yet.... 

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Jessica Carter MS, RD, LD

Meet Jessica

Jessica Carter is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. She is the founder and president of Core Health & Nutrition, LLC.

As a wife, mother, and dedicated professional, Jessica is passionate about living life to the fullest while still maintaining balance.

Jessica founded Core Health & Nutrition on the fundamental belief that with the right information and a little bit of motivation, anyone can have good health. She also believes that the ability to prevent disease and lead a healthy life is all about making the right choices. It is the mission of Core Health & Nutrition to provide clients with the knowledge, the tools and the motivation to make the best decisions for their health.

Learn More About Jessica...  
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