Waving Hello

Hello blog.  Nice to see you.  I promise I won’t allow so much time to pass between our visits moving forward.  Those of you who know me personally know that things have been pretty crazy around here lately.  I’m frustrated because I made a promise to myself that I would allow time for things like my blog, but I haven’t kept my promise to myself.  This is something that I am going to work on.

Let me give you a quick recap since I last posted…

* Cyst ruptures suck and they are not good for a running schedule.  Between illness and crazy travel schedules, I have not been running as much as I would like.  I’ve decided that early morning might be my best time to get runs in.  I’m going to try that starting next week.

* I completed another 5k! I will be posting my recap of The Big Party 5k soon.

* Today is packet pick-up for tomorrow’s Go Girl 5k.  Woohoo!

* The school semester if flying by at a much quicker pace than I would like compared to the work remaining.  I will be glad to have a few week break before the summer semester begins.


I am looking forward to writing more here at Life With Beans.  Coming up in the next week will be recaps for The Big Party 5k and Go Girl 5k; an announcement about a conference I will be speaking at this summer, and more.  Talk again soon.

ShamRox 5k Recap

On March 15 I completed another 5k.  The ShamRox 5k was the goal race for this session of the Couch to 5k group I belong to.  I started the day knowing that it was going to be a rough run.  I had not trained enough due to a combination of the weather conspiring against me, heaving dealt with the super germs from Germ Fest,a crazy family schedule, and the fact I ruptured a cyst last week.  I started the run reminding myself that just getting through the entire thing would be an accomplishment.

I met up with my Couch to 5k group before the run.  I have already decided that I’m going to sign up for yet another session with the group because I’m learning so much each session.  Even though I am still and probably always will be a turtle runner, I have learned so much from the coaches of the group.  Here is a picture of us before the run.  That’s me in the front with my very glittery tutu.

Group Picture


This was the first time I was running at the same event as part of my family.  My sister Donna, my niece and her husband, and my nephew and his girlfriend ran on Saturday.  Half of us did the 5k while the others completed the 15k.  It is nice to be able to meet up with some families members before races.  I really should have started running long before I did.  I missed out on all sorts of family fun at runs.  I wasn’t able to get a picture of all of us together before the race, but here are four of us.

Family Photo

Me, Donna (sister), Madeline (nephew’s girlfriend), and James (nephew) 

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I ruptured a kidney cyst the week before this run.  I knew I had to listen to my body closely during the run since I was still feeling the effects of the rupture.  I was already dealing with leg cramps before I even hit the one mile mark.  I started to skip about every other running interval by the time I reached the 1.5 mile mark due to the severity of the leg cramps.  A combination of the pain in my back from the cyst rupture and the leg cramps resulted in me taking a break during the run to throw-up.  I thought it was nice that a guy that I didn’t even know stopped to make sure I was ok.  After assuring the kind stranger that I was fine, I sat on the curb for a few minutes to allow my stomach time to stop churning.  I contemplated just calling my husband  to come get me, but something amazing happened instead.  I reminded myself that I started the race knowing that I was not feeling my best.  I had already decided that just completing the 5k was my goal for the day.  I had already puked, so I figured it was bound to get better from that point.  I got up off the curb and decided even if I walked the rest of the course that I would be completing the entire 5k.  What a change from my previous behavior when it came to exercising.  I walked just a few minutes to the water station.  The combination of gatorade and walking made me feel like I could run a bit.  I completed the rest of the course skipping every few running intervals, but just happy that I kept moving.

Even with my unplanned stop, I completed the race in 0:51:32.51.  Not quite as good as my last 5k, but better than my first one and definitely a good time considering my stop on the curb.  I am just happy that I completed another 5k.  I am proud of myself for not giving up and calling for a ride even though it would have made sense to do so.  I have become much stronger since I began this journey.  That is what really matters in the long run.

If you would like to see more photos from the ShamRox 5k, be sure to visit my Facebook page.  

Long Time No Blog

Wow, it has been far too long since I have posted on the blog.  The combination of dealing with Germ Fest 2014 and just being incredibly busy has resulted in a neglected blog.  So let me get you caught up on what has been going on so far in 2014…

~ I’m still working on my doctorate.  This semester is going by rather quickly, too quickly in fact.  I have some larger projects that I need to begin to focus on for this semester.  This summer I officially begin working on my dissertation, but I am beginning to compile research now to help me begin to plan my study.  Now you know why I might start babbling about professional development randomly over the next year.  

~ I did not get to prep for yesterday’s 5k as I should.  The weather has been unpredictable, I dealt with Germ Fest 2014, and then I ruptured a cyst a week before the race.  I’m glad that I finished the race at all given the circumstances.  I will be posting a complete race recap in another post.  I will also be talking about things I now know that I need to focus on wellness-wise.  

~ My hubby turned forty in February.  He wasn’t too thrilled to turn the big 4-0, but I think he handled it ok.  Our kiddos (D&E) enjoyed spending his birthday with him while I was at a conference.  We went out to celebrate before I left for the conference, but I still feel bad that I was gone much of his actual birthday.  

~ My niece has convinced me to do my first 10k later this year.  I think I have officially lost my mind since I am a turtle runner.  

~ I learned NEVER make another tutu that is all glitter.  I don’t know when we will finally rid the house of the evidence of the glitter bomb that went off in our house, lol.  Sorry, dear sweet hubby.  

~ Girl Scout cookie season is serious business.  Seriously folks, working booths each and every Sunday for several weeks took it out of this girl.  

~ I’m slowly losing more weight.  I’m sure when I return to more consistent working out that I will see a quicker decrease in weight.  I’m still having a hard time dealing with needing to buy smaller clothes.  I still want to reach for the larger sizes when shopping.  I find myself wondering if I will always have this mind set or if it will improve as time goes by.  

~ I have learned that some people are supportive when making lifestyle changes, but others aren’t.  The ones that aren’t as supportive as you thought they would be can be surprising. 

~ I really like funky running socks :) 


So that is a quick catch-up on what has been going on around here.  I look forward to posting more often on the blog.  Writing here helps me feel more accountable to myself.  Making these lifestyle changes is hard and I need to make sure I don’t sabotage my own efforts.  So staying accountable to myself is very important.  Up next on Life With Beans will be a recap of this weekend’s ShamRox 5k.  

Germ Fest 2014

I am so happy to be writing today.  I feel like I deserve a t-shirt like this,

Germ Fest 2014



All kidding aside, there are some nasty germs out there.  Be sure to steer clear of the infected to avoid being knocked on your butt for several days or becoming a zombie, depending on what germs you are exposed to.

Needless to say, I have not been running at all recently.  I know the next couple of weeks will be rough as I work to build back to pre-Germ Fest levels.  In the past, I would use this as an excuse to give up.  I can just hear “old Andrea” now…Why go back to running group?  You are so far behind, it is useless to try to catch up.  You are not going to be able to keep up, so why bother?

I know what “old Andrea” would say because these thoughts were running through my mind yesterday as I was beginning to feel better.  I was basically giving myself every excuse possible to give up on this crazy idea of running.  A funny thing happened while part of my brain was trying to justify being a loser and giving up…I decided that giving up wasn’t an option.  I looked at a picture of myself after my first 5k in the fall and a picture of myself after the Diva Dash 5k.  Sure, I finished my first 5k, but I was miserable.  A combination of the beginning of a gout flare and not being quite ready to complete a 5k made for a rough day.  I still beat my goal time for that race despite the odds against me.  There was no smiling at the end of that race.  I had wanted to give up before the turnaround.

I completed the Diva Dash not even two months later.  I ended that race with a smile on my face and excited that I had a new personal record.  I realized a few things when I looked at the picture of myself smiling like a crazy runner (in purple running tights) after I had just ran 3.1 miles.

  • I have lost more weight since starting running than I did in the previous year
  • If I can go out running in tights and a skirt, I am fearless and can do anything
  • I like to run
  • I really like myself more when I make positive lifestyle choices…like running

“Old Andrea’s” thoughts were shut-down pretty quickly after looking at the goofy picture of myself smiling after the Diva Dash.  I don’t want to go back to how things were.  I am so close to being at the weight required for transplant.  I will reach that weight this year possibly if I continue to work.  No more excuses…the positive changes continue.

I will be at running group on Saturday, despite the fact that the Crossfit clinic scares me, lol.  I will complete my run.  No, I won’t go as far as the group is scheduled to, but hey, I just survived Germ Fest 2014 and lived to run again.

The important thing is to just keep running…

Well and to to avoid The Revenge of Germ Fest.

Weekly Wrap-Up

Wow, what a week…let’s hit the highlights:

~ With my first group training run on Tuesday, I realized how much improvement there has been since last fall.  It is still amazing to me that I actually like running now.  I never thought I was going to be someone who would ever say that.

~ I missed my group run on Saturday because I had to play mom taxi to a little ballerina who had to audition for Cinderella.  My plan was to get my run in later in the day, but with my son being ill that just didn’t happen.  I thought I would just get my run in today, but that didn’t work either.  It seems as though now everyone in the house, except for our daughter, has came down with this head yuck and cough.  I have spent the day dealing with fever, chills, coughing, and just generally feeling like an elephant is sitting on my chest.  Not quite a good day to go running.  I’m hoping this passes rather quickly so I can get my running shoes back on.  I can’t make progress if I’m not running.  My hubby is dealing with chills while he is at work to complete a major project in his server room.  Our son says he feels miserable and went to bed early.  Anyone who has a thirteen year old knows that if they willingly go to bed early, they must feel terrible.

~ As I become more active, I am starting to choose more active activities.  I have began looking at activities for my free time when I’m volunteering in Guatemala this summer.  A year ago, I would never consider a hike up a volcano.  Now I find myself thinking that it would be really cool to toast a marshmallow at the top of a volcano over lava.  I am taking this as a sign that I’m not only helping my body become well, but I’m also changing my thought processes.

I hope all of my readers had a wonderful weekend.  Hopefully my family will feel better soon.  I hope everyone has a great week!

The Second Time Around

Tuesday evening I had my first training run of the session with my running group.  It was a little different than our usual training runs since we were doing a sponsored run downtown.  It was open to other runners in addition to our running group.  There were several distances planned to accommodate the various runners.  We had a chance to socialize with other runners since everyone ended their runs back at Dublin’s Pass.  This first run of the session was so different for me compared to last fall.

At my first group training run last year, I was already breathing hard before we got halfway through the warm-up exercises.  I thought the coach was crazy when she said we would have intervals of running for thirty seconds and walking for ONLY one and a half minutes during that run.  I thought she was downright insane when I learned we were expected to keep that pace for 1.5 miles.  I was unable to complete well over half of the running intervals during that run.  I barely was able to finish the distance without wanting to give up.  The idea of doing core exercises when I finally crawled to the end of the run was just too much for me.  I sat in my car and cried after that first run.  I thought I would never return to the running group.  I’m so glad I didn’t give up after that first night.

On Tuesday night, I was able to complete the warm-up without feeling like I was done working out.  I had to change my gym boss to lower the run interval and increase the walk interval.  I ran all the intervals as planned, except for two when I was fighting leg cramps (Thanks, evil beans).  The stretching after my run was completed with ease.  I actually missed the core exercises since we skipped them that night.  Instead of going to my car to cry after the run, I went into the restaurant to socialize.  I really enjoyed having the chance to get to know some other people in the group.  I met some fabulous people who had stories that inspired me.

I was still in the back of the pack during the 1.66 mile run.  I’m to a point that I fully accept my turtle runner status.  I now just focus on doing better than previous runs.  I pick one thing to focus on improving during each run.  When doing a training run or a 5k on race day, I am in competition with no one but myself.  I began to enjoy running more the moment that I fully understood this.

The goal race for this session is the ShamRox 5k.  The run will end at Dublin’s Pass just like our training run this week.  Be sure to let me know if you are going to run this one.  I would love to meet up before the run.