Half Marathon Training

I’m about to begin training for my FIFTH (!!) half marathon in November. This will be the first time I’ve attempted to do 2 half marathons in the same year (I did the OKC Memorial Half Marathon in April).

Normally I subscribe to the 16 week training plans for the spring half (which puts me starting at the beginning of the New Year), but this go round, since it’s my 5th, I’ve decided to try a 12 week plan instead. I found one on Pinterest of all things.


Because I normally don’t do much running outside of training for my half during the first part of the year, I have to start over with a beginner training plan each year. Those training plans are usually just running 3x a week, cross training a day and a long run on Saturdays. No tempo, intervals or anything. The above training plan is VERY different than what I’m used to, but I’m excited to start something new.

Since it’s been SO FREAKING HOT here, and will probably be for the immediate future, I’m going to start out doing my training runs in the early mornings. Like 5am. I’m also going to try and do the tempo and intervals on a track, probably at the middle school, if I can. It just seems like a better way instead of trying to stare at my watch to determine ½ a mile or whatever it is. Side note – I got a new watch from Amazon the other day. The Garmin Forerunner 220 in purple! The Garmin Neil got me a few years ago crapped out and has been discontinued. I have a Polar watch for my other workouts, and I’ve been using it for running + Map My Run app to track miles. It’s a hassle and inefficient, in my opinion. I think it will definitely help my training and achieve the goals I want to accomplish this go ’round.

After the half marathon in April, I continued to run some. A 5k here, a 5k there. Random runs around the neighborhood with Neil. I stayed with it. And then we started the BODYSHRED program (I KNOW I talk about it CONSTANTLY, but I love it). Since I’m feeling so much stronger, I feel like this is going to help with this training. I’m less than 2 weeks out from finishing (these 2 weeks of workouts are KILLER), but I can already tell that my stamina and endurance is much better than when I started training for a half in the past.

I’ll continue to check in more frequently on the blog when is start training runs, and sharing more meals/fueling stuff (once I learn how to balance that, too)!

Things I’m Loving Lately

Hello all!

Just thought I’d pop in and share some things that I’m really loving on lately. I’m working on a post about our summer vacation (which will probably be in 2 parts), but it’s not quite ready yet. But, in the spirit of blogging more often, I wanted to share some fun things today!

Some day I’ll post more about food and running, when I can remember to take picutres and I start my half marathon training in a few weeks.

Any who, on to things I’m loving lately:

Jillian Michaels BODYSHRED workout DVDs. We are on week 6 and I’ve never felt stronger! I’m sore and it really pushes me. LOVE IT.


Speaking of Jillian Michaels, my newest obsession is her podcasts. That’s all I’m listening to now and just downloaded her season 1 Just Jillian show from iTunes. She’s so fantastic.

Kate Canterbary’s Walsh series. One of my secret (although I guess not-so-secret anymore!) guilty pleasures is reading romance novels. I have about 52 romance novels on my phone. They are all different and I’ve ready them all about 2-3 times each. That’s my favorite way to pass the time when we have some work downtime.

Trying to get as much crap from Hastings as I can. They’re closing their stores in October, so we’re trying to get to the store in Yukon at least once every couple of weeks to see what’s left. Here is HALF of our last venture in there a few weeks ago…


Which brings me into the next two things I’m into hardcore right now. Brad Thor books and Game of Thrones. I’m on book # 8 and actually just bought his newest one at Target last weekend. Now I have them all! As for Game of Thrones, I just finished season 6 last night. WOW. Great show. It only took me like 2 months to watch all 6 seasons. Crazy!

Last weekend I forwent any kind of productivity watching the Harry Potter movie marathon for his birthday that was on TV. Even Neil sat and watched most of them with me! Which brings me to a website I love as a Potter-head, Mugglenet Fan Fiction. My favorite ship is Draco/Hermione. 🙂

Thanks for reading my Wednesday rambles!

The Great Weight Debate

Warning, vulnerability post ahead.

I started this blog mainly because I needed some accountability on starting/living more of a healthier lifestyle and losing weight. What better way to be held accountable than by your peers? Let’s start with an overview of my life in the way of activity and healthy habits.

So, once upon a time, long ago in a land far, far away, I was super active. All the time. I played a plethora of sports (basketball, softball, tennis) and when I wasn’t, I was always out and about doing things. Always on the move. Starting college saw me gain the dreaded “freshman 15”, but I was still trying to be active by going to the university’s wellness center and working out after/before classes.

Once I started working full time, that became the most important thing to me and everything else went by the wayside. I found an affinity for Starbucks and their many, often caloric, coffee options. I ate out for lunch nine times out of ten, and I didn’t make too many good decisions. Lots of fast food. The weight started to creep up, but I just brushed it off because my clothes still fit pretty well.

Fast forward to a few years of working full time, going to school full time, juggling a not-so-great relationship amongst other life challenges and before I knew it, my pants didn’t fit. None of them. So, I started to eat a little better went to the gym with my free time a little more. It helped, but then I reverted right back to old habits. They were easier. Working took over my life, I said goodbye to school, dealt with an on again-off again relationship that wasn’t healthy and I essentially ate my feelings. Feeling sad? Ice cream. Starving? Pizza and wings. Happy? Cocktails with friends. Stressed? Bring on the sweets. Hello, Excuses.

 Before I knew it, I was embarrassed of the way I looked. I was very obviously embarrassing to my then boyfriend as he ended things for good, citing my recent weight gain. Asshat. I took that as motivation to get my ass in gear, and so I did. I dropped a lot of the weight and started living a more active, healthy life.

Fast forward a few years to 2012. The best and worst year of my life. I met the love of my life and then six weeks later I lost my beloved little sister. Sadness and stress are two emotions I don’t handle especially well. Grief caused me to not care as much about what I was eating and my happiness with my relationship allowed me to believe that he would love me no matter what. After Valerie died, a part of me was broken. I wasn’t focused on me any longer. I was more interested in focusing on my loved ones and making sure they were ok and making sure they knew how much I loved them. I wanted to be more social with friends. Neil and I got wrapped up in our love bubble. The excuses continued and were endless.

I started running and training for my first half marathon the following year, but we continued to eat out more often than not. The weight very literally just kept creeping up on me. I had enough and made a doctor appointment to see if I could get some sort of insight/direction/SOMETHING on what was going on. I was diagnosed as hypothyroid in 2014. I started taking medicine to keep it under control. (Side note –Just saw the doc again a couple weeks ago, and all is well!)

On the activity front, the last three years I’ve done P90x and P90x3, ran 3 more half marathons, worked with a trainer or 2, and even converted a room in our new house to a fitness room so we wouldn’t have to have a gym membership any longer.  I tried Whole30. I tried going paleo. I tried being a vegetarian. I tried Akins. I bought Bob Harper’s books. I watched The Biggest Loser religiously. What was I doing wrong? Maybe my heart wasn’t in it, maybe my head wasn’t in it. Maybe I tried too hard, maybe I didn’t try hard enough. Maybe running burned me out. I don’t know what it was, but 2016 saw me hit the highest weight I have ever been.

Talking it out one night with Neil, it just clicked. I have to do this for ME. As much as I want to do it for Neil and for him to have that “hot” and “sexy” girlfriend, I need to do this for ME. I want to run a faster half marathon pace. I want my body to be ready to have children in the not-so-distant future. I want to not have the health problems some of my family members are facing. I want to be able to be active well into my older ages. I honestly just want to be the healthiest, best version of me. With that being said I’ve started making some changes that I know work for me.

*BODYSHRED by Jillian Michaels is one of the best workout programs I’ve ever done. It’s very challenging, but it works. I love it! I’ll also start training in a few weeks to run my FIFTH half marathon in November.

*I’m trying to cut out wheat, dairy, processed foods, excessive sodium and sugar, and soda. I feel WAY better when I don’t have these in my diet. I did this about a year ago for a few months, and my body really responded. That being said, I like to stick with the 80/20 rule. If I have a cheat meal, I don’t feel guilty. I know I’ll work it off and eat other meals accordingly. I mean, hello vegan, GF doughnut deliciousness!

*I use the My Fitness Pal app to track my calories and macros. I’ve logged in everyday for well over a year!

 Putting all this down pen to paper (or fingers to keys so to speak), really helps me to realize how much I need to hold myself accountable and not let my emotions control me. I need to work harder and make good decisions, but also not get down on myself so much if I slip up and have a Dr. Pepper here or a cookie there. As Jillian always says, it’s all about BALANCE. Finding your why and balance in your everyday life.  (Gosh, I just love Jillian Michaels so much!)

All The New Things

SOOOO, I guess I’ve been missing in action for a little while… It’s amazing that when you start something new, things start coming up out of no where that require your immediate attention. Sheesh.

Let’s start from where we left off, shall we? Turns out, right after my last post, we ended up getting a new puppy. We weren’t planning on it and even said the night before it happened that we weren’t ready for a new dog so soon after Bella passed. The next day, my co-worker told me that they found a puppy that was dumped (they live in a rural area) and didn’t find it’s home around there. So, I proceeded to ask Neil what he thought, so on and so forth, and lo and behold, we have a new dog named Tuukka.

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Hi, yes we like to name our dogs after Finnish hockey players. It’s well worth it when we get looks like we do from dog park patrons or the vet’s office. Tuukka is named after Tuukka Rask, goalie for the Boston Bruins (Neil’s favorite team). He is the sweetest, smartest, CRAZIEST dog I’ve ever owned. He’s also had a plethora of health issues early on (all treatable and manageable, just really sad), but what can you expect for a “dump dog”? We love him just the same. Other than just recently getting neutered, I’m thrilled to report he’s a happy and healthy little guy!

IMG_4648  The Brothers T 🙂IMG_4619 IMG_4625 Very much a lap dog.


Let’s see, what else?! We took a vacation to Boston/Maine. I’ll post about that soon. There are wayyyyyy too many pics to post in this post.

I am getting Stitch Fix regularly, and I LOVE it. I’ll make a post about that soon, too. (PS- that’s my referral link).

Two, count them, TWO more semesters left until I get my Bachelor’s. Four classes total. Cue the confetti.

Back in super health mode after my latest doctor visit (and even starting a little before then) and the fact I have a half marathon coming up in FOUR months!

I think that’s all for now… I have several posts in the making that I will hopefully get to soon!

Being an Adult and in College

Adulting is hard. Nobody prepared us for how hard adulting is when you are a kid with no responsibilities.

I always fancied myself an independent women. From a very young age, I’ve always tried my best to be as self sufficient as possible. I was a very good student who worked hard, played harder, never got into major trouble (even when I made some very questionable decisions), and was nice to people. I was one of several valedictorians in my graduating class in high school, and knew I wanted to go to college fairly local. I lived in a small town in northwest Oklahoma, but I didn’t want to go to NWOSU. I also wasn’t a fan of going to larger colleges like OU or OSU, so I settled for UCO. I liked the vibe of the school and very much liked that I didn’t have to live on campus.

I rushed a sorority, quit, wanted to be a forensic science major, changed my mind, and changed it again, took 20 hours my first semester, barely made it to any morning classes, and FINALLY got a job my second semester of college. This adulting thing was getting on my nerves! I needed money, and so I got a part time job with one of my dad’s friends who co-owned a title company near UCO as a receptionist. A few years in, the more I worked, the more money I made and I actually like what I was doing. After about 6 years of working, I quit school (after changing my major 349873975 times and STILL hadn’t graduated). Making money was far more important to me than college. After all, I didn’t need a Bachelor’s Degree to do what I was doing.

So, I moved up at the title company and became a closer, worked my ass off for 3 years on a major contract we had, and then the company was shutting down. I had to find another job after almost 10 years!! Fortunately, I found a job at another title company (a corporate one!) and have been there for the last almost 3 years. I love my job and my co-workers immensely. But there was still something missing.

Now that I wasn’t doing everything to keep a little office going, I had some more free time. No more 12-14 hour days. No more working weekends. I worked a normal 8-5 job during the week. I became so much happier, yet I felt something was still missing.

I wanted to learn. I wanted to get the coveted degree that everyone else had. So, last fall I enrolled in college again. As an adult. I took 12 hours last semester AND worked full time. Note to self: Don’t ever do that again. It went pretty well! All but one were online, so that made it easy. This semester I’m only taking 3 classes, all online, and it’s going very well. The housing market is pretty slow, so I’ve been fortunate enough to work on my homework at work a lot of the time. Thankfully, I have people around me that support my endeavors.

Look out people, adult obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Minor in Real Estate in t-minus 2 more semesters. 🙂 I can hardly wait! The moral of this rambling story is stick with it kids, it’s much easier to stay in college and get through it when you are young instead of juggling a full time job also. I know it must sound like a “woe is me” tale, but really it’s not. I just found it’s much easier to get it done fresh out of high school and while you don’t have those other life distractions. I very much commend those people who are working on and getting their college degrees while working full time AND juggling more responsibilities then I (read: kids, multiple jobs, etc.). Those people deserve ALL the credit. They are the good ones.


(an excuse to post a pic of my doggies – RIP in my baby Bella)

Teemu & Hockey

About 4 years ago, I knew what hockey was. It was a bunch of guys skating around, smacking a puck with a stick and trying to hit the crap out of one another. That was the extent of my hockey knowledge. That, and Wayne Gretzky was a hockey God. I had no desire to watch it on TV and I sure as heck didn’t follow it. Don’t get me wrong, I love sports. Football and tennis are my favorite. And ever since OKC got the Thunder, I’ve followed a little basketball. But not hockey.

Then I met Neil. I knew from his profile (we met online!) that he liked hockey. I thought “OK, that’s a pretty manly sport. I approve.” Plus, he liked football and stuff so I was sold. When we first started dating, it was at the beginning of the hockey season, so we watched. It went so fast and I could barely see the puck! He talked me through it, named some of the players, and I even started to like it.

I got hung up on one player, Jonathan Toews from the Chicago Blackhawks. It’s pronounced TAVES, but it looks like TOES. So, of course, I called him Toes. Captain Toes. I wasn’t a Blackhawks fan though. They win a lot, according to Neil, so we don’t like them. I could live with that. Neil is a Boston Bruins fan, so I thought maybe I’d follow them, but still like Captain Toes.  We were in Seattle on vacation and the Blackhawks and Bruins were playing in the Stanley Cup finals. We got to watch some of it in our hotels, and it was very exciting. I still wasn’t sold on being a Blackhawks fan, even after they won the Cup. I did still like Toews.

About a year later, I thought I needed a team to root for and not just a player, so I became a Blackhawks fan. Why not? It only seemed natural. Every year that we’ve been dating I’ve gotten Neil tickets to a Dallas Stars game (they’re the only NHL team that’s close). So, I’ve seen the Stars, Oilers, Bruins and now Rangers. I heart Henrik Lundqvist, but I digress.

So, I learned throughout the years that Neil’s favorite player was Teemu Selanne. He played for the Anaheim Ducks and retired in 2014. I liked the name Teemu. It was interesting and fun to say. Nationality = Finnish. Around that time, we were toying with the notion of getting another dog. I had Bella for 3 years before I met Neil, and in the years we’ve been together, it’s just been her. We had been looking at pet adoption things at places like Petco and PETSMART, but didn’t commit.

Literally the day after Selanne retired, we had gone to Petco and they were having a pet adoption day. I spied a pen with about 4 puppies in it, and they asked me if I wanted to hold one and I did. Then, I gave him to Neil and made my best puppy dog eyes, and we ended up taking him home. Welcome to the family, Teemu!

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Fast forward to today, and he’s our completely obnoxious, sweet, cuddly, 2 year old mutt. We wouldn’t have gotten through losing Bella in January without him. He’s completely changed since losing her, but he’s such a great dog and we love him!


And that’s the long-winded story of Teemu and my new found love of hockey!

Friday Favorites

Who doesn’t love Fridays?

Weekends are glorious, especially when you work during the week. I have a 6 miler to do in the morning BEFORE we head to Dallas to see the Stars vs. Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist = wow). Anyway, today I’ll share some of the things I’ve been obsessing about lately…

These compression socks are the BEST. They will be my best friends tomorrow after my run while I’m in a car for 3.5 hours. I already had the pink marathon socks and I just bought the marathon lavender socks and black with neon polka dots. Compression socks RULE!

I also re-started my Stitch Fix subscription again. I had done it back in late summer/early fall, every other month, and I loved at least one thing out of most of the boxes. This time I’m getting it every month. I am just so tired of what is in my closet right now. I’m by no means a fashionista, but sometimes you just need something different. (PS – I get a $25 referral credit if you sign up using my referral link!)

I just discovered this Yes To Tomatoes charcoal cleanser and I am IN LOVE! I have really break-out-prone skin and I was looking to change things up a bit. I have heard really good things about charcoal cleansers and I already LOVE the Yes To lines, especially the Tomatoes (for acne prone skin) and so I thought I’d give it a whirl and I’m so happy I did.

I heart Whole Foods. That’s really all I can say about that. I know it’s not my most cost effective grocery store option, but I don’t care too much. I enjoy the ambiance and selection of things, especially fruits and vegetables.

I think that’s all for today.  Pretty soon I’ll get the hang of this blog thing and organize my thoughts better. 🙂

I’m not affiliated with any of the companies and links provided, I just really like all these products and wanted to share.

My First Blog Post

So, I started a blog.

I’ve been reading healthy living blogs for a long while now, and thought to myself “why don’t you do that?” I’ll tell you why – TIME. I feel like at any given time I have about 39478578 things going on. Story of everyone’s life, right? But, here I am, taking the plunge.

Enough of the rambling, let me tell you a little about me. My name is Courtney, I am 31 years old and I live in Oklahoma. (Tornadoes? Yes. Do we ride horses everywhere? No.) I am currently working full time in the real estate field and going to school full time trying to get my Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Minor in Real Estate (only 2 more semesters left… yay!). I have a loving boyfriend of almost 4 years and a crazy almost 2 year old dog named Teemu (it’s a Finnish name and a hockey thing – I’ll get into that later).


I am currently training for my 4th (!!) half marathon, I run a lot of 5ks, experiment with workouts and I love food. I consider myself a runner and health enthusiast. I am far from where I want to be (body wise) and this year I’m FINALLY in the right mindset to change this for the better.

IMG_1030(me after my 1st half marathon in 2013)

I also consider myself a book nerd and coffee addict. I have many a things to look forward to in my future (read: marriage and kids – HOPEFULLY!). I love my family and friends more than life itself, and I tend to do too many things at one time (aaaaand I’m starting a blog…)

Stay tuned for more random musings from my life!

<3 Courtney