a wedding and a new hair do

First of all, thank you all soo much for your sweet words of encouragement and for sharing your stories with me! There are so many of you have gone and done something similar to what I am going to do and it makes me feel so good! It’s like we’re all in this little club together 🙂 Also, I feel like so many of you have done much, much scarier moves than I have. So if you can do that, I can certainly take this change on. I’ve got this!

My good friend Rick is getting married today. They had their reception last night and it was so fun to go! The decorations were beautiful and the food was so good!


The reception was in the big back yard and it was perfect! The weather cooled down quite a bit (that’s one great thing about Utah. It can be 100 degrees during the day but when the sun starts to go down it cools down fast). The mountains were so close. It was just so relaxing.


Rick lived below me and my roommates my senior year of college and the 5 of us were very, very good friends. Rick was at our house more than he was at his. In fact, it even got to the point where we just started introducing him (and he introduced himself) as our roommate. We love our Rick-Rick!


I’m so happy for him and Nicole! They fit each other perfectly and I have no doubt they’ll be so, so happy together.

Side (selfish) note: here is a shot of my new hair! I got it done a couple of days ago and it’s the most drastic thing I’ve ever done to my hair. Sometimes it still freaks me out a little bit. But I’m getting used to it 🙂

Today I’m going breakfast with another old roommate and then to Lagoon (a theme park) and I’m so excited…well minus the 100 degree weather. Which = lots of sunscreen and lots of water!!! My goal is to get a long run in before breakfast.

Have you been to any weddings recently?

What’s the most drastic thing you’ve done to your hair? Did you love it or regret it?

What are you doing this fine Saturday?

Whatever you’re doing, have a safe weekend!


I’m being brave

When I was a kid, I was a lot more fearless than I am now. I’ve always been super emotional, so I would get embarrassed about the same as I do now. But I feel like I had more confidence in myself than I do now. I had a more definite idea of who I thought I was and who I was going to become. I had a life plan (right now I don’t even have a “pl..” name that show!). I was going to go through school and get a 4.0, graduate valedictorian, get a full ride scholarship to Harvard or Yale or something like that and become a doctor or a lawyer or something super prestigious. I truly thought I was great at anything I tried. I thought I was the best student, the best violinist, the best girl who could keep up with the boys at recess. I know I sound like a cocky brat, and maybe I was sometimes, but man oh man was I confident. I thought I could take the world by storm and that it would be a breeze.

Then I grew up. Things were hard. I failed at things I tried and there were people who were quite a bit better at them than me. I did excel in school but I wasn’t Valedictorian. I did get scholarships, but the one I ended up using wasn’t a full ride and it definitely wasn’t to an Ivy League (though I LOVE my alma mater!!!!). Now I am working and my job isn’t super prestigious. I’ve experienced and learned from disappointment and loss.


Now I’m far from being an adventure girl, though I do like my rush of adrenaline now and then. Who doesn’t?! I like things to be comfortable. I like knowing what’s going to happen. I don’t like the unknown. I think all of these feelings are felt by everyone, at least every now and then. Something that I have been learning though is when things are too comfortable and it’s time for change. And so long as I feel like I’ve got my Heavenly Father backing me up, I’m not afraid to take that plunge and to make that change.


In two months, I will be quitting my job and leaving the place where I have lived for the last 6 years. It’s the only place I’ve lived as an adult and it’s where I have learned, loved, grown, and expanded more than anywhere else in my life. I’m moving to a different city a couple of hours away and starting fresh. It’s scary to leave a place that I love so much. It’s hard to explain my reasoning for leaving. I have a good job with people I love and respect, I have a great home and roommates, and I’m pretty sure my valley is in the top 10 prettiest places ever. For me this all comes down to growth. I feel like where I’m at in my life, with the things that I want and the dreams I would like to pursue, I need to make a change in order for other changes to happen. If I stay here, I’ll be comfortable but I won’t be able to progress like I need to. I recognize this and as I see people around me leaving, growing and pursuing their dreams, it frustrates me to no end to still be where I’m at.

So here I go. I jumping in. Not without significant heartbreak and many tears. Not without fear and so many prayers that this will all turn out ok. Because right now, I have no plan. No job. No apartment. No idea what’s going to happen to me. But I know I’m doing what I need to be doing. I feel so much peace about it. I would do this if I didn’t feel it was 100% the right thing for me to do.


I think in a way running has prepared me for these experiences. The first time I signed up for a half marathon, I didn’t know if I could do it. I had to push myself and training harder and longer than I ever had before. Then after a couple, I was still convinced that was as far as I would ever go. Then in February, after my 3rd half, I realized 13.1 miles wasn’t going to cut it anymore. Not all of the time. So now I find myself signed up for a marathon in less than 3 months. It’s new, it’s scary and it’s something I’ve never done before. But it’s what I needed to do in order to progress as a runner.

I love when lessons learned from running cross over to life. Because as all of us runners know, running IS life. So here I go. I’m being brave and I’m making big changes. Here comes a wild ride.

Have you made any big changes recently?

How did you handle a big life change? (advice would be appreciated) 🙂

Do you consider yourself to be brave?

I am Monica and other random ramblings

I’m happy to report that my first Best Body Bootcamp workout is complete. It was great! My shoulders are definitely feeling it.

A few items I am super happy about right now:

I got this in the mail yesterday! I bought it off of eBay and so far, so good. This is my all time favorite show. I have watched this so many times but it never gets old. It might be an illness but it’s one I’m happy to live with. Also, if you want a deeper look into my personality, I am Monica. So there you have it.


I was just a teeny tiny bit excited.

A couple of months ago I bought a cute little rice cooker and I finally used it last night! I know that might not sound like a big deal and I know you can cook rice without one, but I really missed having one after I moved away from my old apartment. My old roommate had the best rice cooker! But my little guy was perfect for the amount I needed to make for myself. You know, cooking for one is actually super hard. I’d much rather cook for a group.


My roommate’s little sister was showing me this article on Sunday about how your position in your family does a lot to influence your personality. In my family we have three kids, so we have exactly an oldest, middle and youngest child. I thought this description fit us to a t!


 Responsibly and high achieving. Totally me! haha We’ve always said my sister is a charmer. And then…well…sorry brother. You’re the nice middle child.

See this little cutie? She’s in a pickle. Literally.


She is my good friend’s little niece and she is the CUTEST thing! She also really wants to meet One Direction when they come to town. So yes, this is a plug for cute little Blaire to get your vote so she can meet her favorite band. She’s like 3 or 4 and knows all the words to the songs and even has a favorite band member. She’s hilarious.

Click on this link here: http://www.971zht.com/pages/onedirection/ and give her your vote. #61. You can vote every day!

Alright, today I’ve got a 5 mile run and a busy day with work and such.

Tell me something random!

What was your workout today?

What’s your favorite TV show??

Why I love blogging

Today I thought I’d share with you why I love blogging. I don’t know really why I started. I had a personal blog that worked just fine to tell funny stories on and update those who cared about my life. Maybe after becoming friends with them, I just wanted to be really cool like Janae and Elizabeth. Maybe I felt like I might have something significant to say. But whatever the reason, here I am in my little corner of the blogging world talking to all of you.

{1} Human Connection


I’m an introvert. Everyone who knows me, knows this about me. It’s not that I’m shy. That’s not what being an introvert means. I draw my energy from being alone, or in small groups of people. When I go to a party or somewhere where there are constantly lots of people around or interacting with me I am quickly exhausted. People wear me out! However, blogging has been awesome for me in that I am able to form individual connections with a lot of people, all at once.

I am becoming friends with women who live all over the country, who I never, ever would have met before had it not been for this little blog. Not only do I meet people who somehow stumble upon mine, but I have discovered such a vast, supportive group of people who I am able to learn from and hopefully now and then contribute something back. Through these interactions, I feel inspired and motivated every day. I see people who have come so far in becoming healthier and I know I can continue to progress too. I see people who are so far advanced compared to me that it gives me something to look forward to and work toward. It’s also given me mentors and people I can turn to, whether I have questions about adding buttons to my blog or advice for training for a race.

Thank you to each and every one of you who have reached out to me, whether in a comment on my blog or someone else’s. I’m really enjoying meeting all of you.


{2} Accountability


While I don’t want my blog to become a work out journal or a diary, it does give me a sense of accountability, if I announce I am going to do something on the blog.  I have a sense of duty to my readers that if I say I am going to do something or if I am going to work toward something, that I have a responsibility to follow through. They always say that one of the steps to setting and achieving goals is to tell someone and make them hold you accountable. Well, you are each my someones. I hold myself accountable to you for the things I say I’m going to do on this blog.

It also makes me thing about whether or not what I want to do is realistic. Now that I have to be held accountable (whether or not any of you actually care if I follow through), I need to make sure that whatever I am stating, is actually something that I can achieve. If it’s not, I’m not going to say it. If I end up achieving it anyway, I can still share that success with all of you. Win-Win right?

{3} Sharing my thoughts

Again, while the purpose of this blog is not to be a diary, I have always found peace and increased understanding in writing. Writing has always been something that has come naturally and easily to me and my own personal journal is a huge source of relief to me. If my future great-great-grandkids read it, they’re going to think that most of the time I was either super whiny or super deep. I tend to write during times of high emotion, so they might think I was flat-out crazy! haha

But since health, wellness and fitness are important to me, I love the chance I have to share it with others in this small way. It gives me a chance to also share my progress and the things I may be learning. Because whether it’s a fitness or just life in general, we are all learning and we may as well be sharing. You never know when some lesson you’ve learned is something that someone else needs to hear. (or read!)

In other news, I have signed up for Tina Reale’s Best Body Bootcamp in order to help with my marathon training that I start TODAY! I mostly signed up for the strength training side of it and I know it’s going to be such an important addition to what I’m already doing. Now my shoulders can look like this:


I’m so excited but also a little overwhelmed by the training that is coming my way. It’s going to be a great 12 weeks until my marathon.

Also, if you missed the first two installments of Running 101 (tips for new runners…and reminders for the veterans!) you can find them here: Form and Breathing.

Why do you love blogging? (either reading or writing)

What workouts do you have in store this next week?

Anything exciting going on?

Running 101: Breathing

Holy moley you guys. My roommate’s trainer is not messing around. Yesterday I did her Saturday workout with her that her trainer outlined for her and wow it was hard. Also, now I’m sore. I think the main lesson I learned from this experience is that my strength training needs to be amped up A LOT. I’m a weakling! It’s actually kind of embarrassing how hard it was for me. Yikes..

Also, look what came in the mail! I’m a couple of chapters in and it’s really interesting. I’m really enjoying it! Also, the people this book talks about are insane! I wish I were that awesome.


Today we’re talking about breathing while you run. Important, right? I thought so.


As I searched the interweb for just the right advice to give to all of you, I found some common themes. I had to look it up because I honestly don’t think about my breathing a whole lot (I guess I’m just a natural) ;). If I do it’s because I have a side ache and if I focus on it, it gets worse, so I go back to not paying attention to my breathing and it goes away. But here are the top 3 pieces of advice that everyone seemed to be promoting:

  • Breathe through your mouth (nasal breathing is for pilates. this is running)
  • Breathe from the belly, not the chest
  • Find a pattern. Some of the articles I found suggested specifically a 3:2 pattern (3 breaths in, 2 breaths out). If this helps you with starting out, then great! But you’ll probably want to adjust it to whatever works for you as you progress in your running. It will also probably depend on the speed and intensity of your run.

This website had some videos you can do of breathing enhancers. This way you’re not all out of breath at the end of your workout.

If you can get good breathing techniques down, it will ensure that your muscles (which are working super hard!) are getting the adequate amount of oxygen they need to function properly. This in turn will help you to improve your endurance and become an even better runner! I know we all want that 🙂

What was the last workout you did that made you sore?

Are you good about your strength training? (someone make me feel better and tell me you suck at it too…)

Any other advice about breathing while running?

Sources: Active, Live Strong, Fit Day, Runner’s World, Wiki How (this one has pictures! haha!!!)

Volunteering for Ragnar

A few weeks ago, my boss asked some of us if we wanted to be volunteers on behalf of her cousin’s Ragnar: Wasatch Back team. So yesterday, she and I (the other people in our office ended up not being able to do it) met up and then went to the starting line, where we would be stationed for the next 5 hours.


It was fun to see all the runners getting ready to start and the teams that were so excited to be there. It was kind of funny to see the difference between the people who were hard core runners and those who were clearly just there to have a good time. The amount of legit running gear, Garmins, and water belts were dead give aways. And the awesome leg muscles.


We spent our time here checking people in and giving them all of their materials. For the most part it seemed great, but there were some organizational details we would have changed had we been in charge. The t-shirt situation seemed faulty. But what do I know about event planning for lots of people? (ahem…that’s a huge part of my job)

My favorite part of the  morning though was the teams that were dressed up! There was the Egyptian team with the farmers tan Pharaoh.


The garden gnomes (Cori, they kinda look like yours!) I can’t decide if I got caught being a creep or just happened to snap the picture at just the right moment to catch him looking in my general direction.


But my favorite team was the Duck Dynasty team. They ran into the track area blowing their duck whistles. It was hilarious! This older volunteer lady was less creepy than me and actually asked for the pictures so I got this one from her.


I think if I ever dressed up for running, I would take into account things that will bounce and bother me and make me hotter than I already would be running in the middle of the day in June. Some people’s costumes just really didn’t take that into account. Like the team dressed like spuds. I don’t know that they thought this through.

I’ve never participated in the Wasatch Back, but today made me want to do it a little more. Again, it goes back to the camping aspect. I don’t do well sleeping on the ground (or wherever!) and I especially don’t do well on lack of sleep! So this just doesn’t sound like that much fun. But I can see myself doing one someday  just so that I could say I did it.


Have you ever completed a relay race? Or a Ragnar specifically? (fun fact: the teams run about 198 miles combined for the Wasatch Back! Also this year is their 10th anniversary. Kinda cool!)

If you haven’t, would you want to do one?

What’s your workout this fine Saturday? I’m going to the gym with my roommate to do a strength workout her trainer gave her. Should be super awesome. And by awesome I mean hard and painful. So yes, awesome 🙂

Illusions and first campfire of the summer

I’m going to wait to do any more Running 101 posts until I get my internet back up and running at my house (hopefully today!!) so that I can do lots of good research and give you awesome running information. But if you missed yesterday’s edition, Running 101: Form, go check it out!

Yesterday, we had an illusionist stop by our office. It was so fun! (til my coworkers were telling me how he did everything after he left. Fun suckers) He stretched the quarter below, read my boss’s mind and used his mind to know what card my coworker was holding clear across the room. I love when random stuff like this happens at work.


Last night was also the first bonfire of the summer! I say bonfire, but it was more like a campfire…minus the camping. I’m not a camping girl.


But I do love the mountains soo much and would spend all day in them! I also don’t mind the campfire smell. I just want to go home at night and sleep in my own bed. I don’t think that’s an outrageous request. But look how pretty! I’m so lucky to live here.


We roasted marshmallows (I’m pretty sure it’s a sin to have a campfire and not roast anything)


And we made modified s’mores with cookies. I always forget how messy s’mores are and how difficult they are to eat. We decided last night that they’re really a whole lot more fun to make than to eat. Roasting marshmallows could really be an art form. It takes talent to get it just so!


It was a good time and I’m looking forward to many more fires this summer. (note the boys in the background haha so creepy!)


Have you ever seen an illusionist?

Do you like camping? (we can still be friends if you do. I just won’t be joining you)

Thoughts on s’mores?? What else do you like to roast over a fire?