Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 in Review

Today's Workout:  20 minutes lower body weights, 8 miles running in 63 minutes

I just read my 2010 recap and it made me so happy that I started this little blog.  It is incredibly fun to reflect and look back on my progress and my growth over the last year. 

The only goal I set for myself in 2011was to continue improving in every aspect of my life and enjoy more of the simple things life has to offer.  Wow I seriously haven't changed a bit.  My main goal in life is still to be the best me that I can be and give everything I do 100%.  There is always room for improvement and I cannot wait to continue growing in 2012.

Running the 2011 numbers:

4-Ragnar Relays I ran.  Florida Keys, Wasatch Back, Napa Valley, & Las Vegas.

6-5k races I ran

4-10k races I ran

8 - Half Marathons I ran

4 - marathons I ran

1 - 30k I ran

27 - total organized races I participated in.  Holy crud!  I will definitely not be running this many races in 2012, but hey it sure was fun while it lasted. :)
Some of the Highlights from 2011:
Went to Florida for the first time and ran the Key West Ragnar Relay.
I also placed overall for the first time ever taking 3rd place female at the Hale Freezes over 10k.
Ran my 2nd Half Marathon and placed 2nd in my age group.
Traveled to Moab with my Mom to run my 3rd half marathon the day after my 25th birthday.
My Sister Amber ran her first 5k in March and I was able to watch her cross the finish line.
Ran a 30k in Eden, UT in 20 degree weather.
Ran my first marathon, Ogden Marathon.  Passed out at the finish and nearly died but learned so much from the experience.
Ran Utah Valley Marathon where I qualified for Boston.
Set a new Half Marathon PR running without a garmin.
Participated in the first annual Dash for Donation in honor of my brother Trevor.
And won first place overall at the Utah Runner Girls half marathon.
Set another new PR in the half marathon distance at the Mt. Nebo half and placed 3rd overall female.
Traveled to California to run the Napa Valley Ragnar Relay.
Ran my 3rd marathon in St. George.  I trained for an "A" race and was humbled by the not so great experience.
Halloween Half marathon.  Pushed myself harder than I ever have before in a race and placed 8th overall and 2nd in my age group.
Set a new 5k PR at the Fleet Feet Turkey trot 5k.
Ran my 4th Marathon of the year with my bestest friend Julia.
It was a freaking awesome year to say the least.  I grew so much as a person and as a runner and I cannot wait to see what 2012 has in store for me.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday Christmas Edition

Today's Workout:  25 minutes weights, 7.1 miles running, 55 minutes

You knew this wasn't going to be completely wordless right? 

I hope you all had an AMAZING Christmas.  It has obviously taken me awhile to get back into my routine and back to blogging.  I have absolutely no excuse because I have just been playing, playing, and playing nonstop with my awesome family. 

My sister has all of the good pictures so I may shower you with more once I get my hands on hers.

Most of my Dad's family at our before Christmas party.

Me and my Grandma on Christmas.  We are "two peas in a pod" as my Mom would say.

And those are the only two "Christmas" pictures I have.  The rest of my time was spent playing with and trying to out run (yeah right) my 4 favorite kids in the whole entire world.

We took turns (me included) getting pushed around in the shopping cart. 

Ate Pretend cupcakes.  Seriously whoever invented fake pastry items is just down right rude!
Made messes at Grandma's house.  All my idea of course!

 And then to top off all of the fun we went to the zoo where we fit right in.  Even though it was only -4 degrees out the zoo lights were pretty cool.

And I have never been so happy to smell snake poop, and lizard guts in my life all because it was the only exhibit indoors.  Those reptiles really have things figured out.

I hope that Santa brought you everything you wanted but more importantly I hope you enjoyed spending time with family and friends.

Tell me something you got for Christmas?

Santa brought me a kitchen aid mixer and I have no idea how to use it.  I will definitely be blog stalking to find me some new recipes.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Spirit of Christmas

Today's Workout:  9 mile run, 1:11

**First I must thank everyone for they're amazing and supportive comments on my last post.  Wow I am again astounded by the support of this community.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I believe I have shared my love/hate relationship with Christmas in the past on the blog.  I hate the glamour, the hustle and bustle, the pressure, and the cheesy gifts we give that nobody really needs! 

Loved this tree up at temple square.

But I absolutely love the spirit of giving.  For the last few years I have had the opportunity to help families in need and I am always humbled by the experience.  No gift anyone can give me can ever compare to the feeling of shopping for and helping someone truly in need.  I often fear that I will end up doing the shopping alone but each year I am again humbled by the willingness of others to collaborate together, to help, and to give. 

I would like to thank my family for always being willing to give to complete strangers and for always supporting me in my efforts to help as many people as I can each holiday season.  Thank you to my parents for teaching me service and for always leading  by example. 

My gorgeous Mom in front of her all time favorite picture at temple square.
Thank you to all of my blog readers for your unconditional support and always positive comments.  I feel so lucky to be part of a community that is so encouraging, inspiring, and supportive.  I know for a fact that many of you have helped me become a better person and I am forever thankful for your examples.  I feel your love and I sincerely appreciate it.

Merry Virtual Christmas. I have truly enjoyed getting to know so many of you this year and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and holiday season.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Body Image: My Personal Journey

Today's Workout:  9 miles running, 1:10

I just completed and submitted a 12 page paper on the topic of Obesity for my Healthcare Promotions class.   Writing this paper and watching the Biggest Looser wrap up another season has forced me to reflect on my own personal journey with my weight and body image.  I realized in looking back that I haven't ever really shared my story on the blog.  I have shared a little bit about my battles with disordered eating in this past but I haven't ever really shared my entire fitness journey.

You better buckle up tight for this one because it is going to be a long and way too wordy ride.  It has surely been a journey alright!

Childhood:  I was always tiny and petite.  I ate tons but my energy was high and I ran around like a wild animal probably burning off every morsel I put into my body.  I had a fabulous childhood.  My Mom and Dad have both always been active and I played every sport that was offered.  Why can't we go back to these days when we exercised without even knowing it?

I was so small that in most of my Childhood pictures Trevor is way taller than me.

Teenager:  I stayed pretty fit without trying until I was about 16.  I played basketball, volleyball, and was a member of the HS drill team.  When I quit drill team and even before then my weight plummeted.  I ate terribly, lacked confidence, and rarely exercised.  I graduated High School about 20lbs overweight, miserable, rebellious, and genuinely confused and depressed.  You literally could not pay me enough to relive my adolescence.  I was not a fan! 

First year of College:  I ran away from home....literally.  My parents were quite un-supportive of my college choice and I was still rebellious and immature.  My Sister helped me move into my new place and I clearly remember her saying "You are going to get so fat in college, I am so worried about you."  I took her words to heart and never forgot them.  My sister and Mom had constantly teased me about being overweight.  In they're defense I think they were genuinely trying to help me but sometimes words hurt.  Do I blame them for me suffering from anorexia & bulimia? heck no!  Do I think it played a role?  Indeed.

Anyway I am getting way ahead of myself.  The day that my sister uttered those words I started a diet.  I didn't start exercising but I changed my eating habits and dropped 20lbs in 3 months.  I wanted to prove my Sister wrong and by Christmas time I was about 125lbs and very excited about my new slim figure.  After Christmas I added exercise, continued dieting and was incredibly healthy throughout the Spring semester.  I was never popular or pretty in High School and the new found attention was incredibly flattering and I wanted to keep getting thinner.  It was like a drug high for me.

Second year of College:  My sister got her first teaching job in St. George and we moved in together.  Over the Summer we both became fitness obsessed and dieted compulsively.  We shunned all carbs and basically ate like rabbits.  By the time school started again I weighed about 105lb and just like a drug addict I wanted more.  My Sister went back to normal eating but I continued on a downward spiral.  I craved that high that I got from losing weight and started eating less and exercising more.  I ran on the elliptical for an hour each morning, and then went to the gym again after work and school and exercised until the wee hours of the night, only to wake up and do it all again.  I was a robot, I had no life, no personality, I was incredibly caught up in this addiction.  I did not understand it at the time but looking back I was a complete addict.

I got down to 95lbs and I wanted more so I went for 90, that wasn't enough so I continued until one day the scale read 79lb.  I was ecstatic!  But of course like every addict I wanted more.  I had lost 25lbs in 3 months and it was also around this time I started experiencing signs of my body shutting down.  I think in hindsight I knew I had an eating disorder but I never admitted it.  I was no longer able to digest food normally because my stomach had shrunk so much.  Although I complained about this I was secretly flattered because it gave me a new excuse to not eat.  Around this time I grew hair on my face to attempt to insulate my body, my skin turned yellowish, I developed acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, and mentally my brain was completely gone and I could not focus at all.  It basically felt like I was going through a midlife crisis at the ripe age of 19.  I finally went to a Dr. and was put on medication for hypothyroidism, anxiety, and depression.  I was told to decrease my exercise and increase my diet but of course like any addict I definitely did not listen.  For some reason I felt like I was Superior to the Dr's advice and that one morning I would wake up and be just fine.  That never happened and in December I ended up in the hospital for a scope down my throat.  I weighed 71lbs and was told I would die if I continued my behavior.

I do not have a lot of pictures from my anorexic days because in recovery I was advised to get rid of them.  Plus I didn't really take very many because like any anorexic "I thought I was fat".  If you need a visual:  I wore size 10 in little girls jeans, size medium in little girls shirts, and my face was very sunken in.  Yuck!

Recovery (aka hell) - Third and Fourth years of College:  Recovery truly was much worse than the eating disorder itself.  It sounds simple:  Just gain weight right?  Yeah not so awesome.  You tell a drug addict to just freaking quit.  I spent about a year still battling anorexia.  My weight evened out a little and this is when the bulimia began.  It is very common for anorexics to turn into bulimics in recovery and that is exactly what happened with me.  I never threw up at all but I binged (a lot) and exercised compulsively.  I never really addressed the psychological issues instead I just told everyone I was fine.  I am very very stubbornly independent and have always struggled with asking for help.  I was a true bulimic.  I stole food from grocery stores, snuck food in the middle of the night, and ate copious amounts of food when I was alone.  My weight plummeted to 145lbs and I was overweight.  I went from 71lbs to 145lbs in less than two years.

22 years old:  Still overweight and still battling to figure myself out.  My weight evened out at 140 and I was no longer binging but I was still overweight and sad.  I was very unhappy with the way I looked, depressed that my battles had lead me to drop out of college, and really lacked self worth and confidence. 

23 years old:  In August of this year Trevor and I decided to start a competition to see who could lose the most weight.  My Mom even offered to pay money to the winner.  We were both very unhappy with the way we looked and needed motivation to get back on track.  Trevor and I both also suffered from addiction so we understood each other and knew we could help each other.  Trevor had lost 12lbs when he passed away in October and was clearly smoking the competition. I was down only 5 but after Trevor's death I knew I needed to keep up my end and win the contest.  He was no longer here to defend himself and I knew he would be smiling looking down on my accomplishing my goal.  By the spring of 2010 I was down to 120lb and have never looked back.  I beat you Trev!

This picture was taken in September 2009 right after Trev and I started our competition.
25 years old (Now):   I continued slimming and toning and can honestly say I am in the best shape of my entire life.  I am lean, healthy, and strong and have truly never been happier.  Much more than my weight, my image, or my body fat percentage I love myself.  It is the first time in my life that I have been able to say that I love who I have become and I finally realized that it's not about the weight at all.  It is about finding that inner confidence, finding your passion (running for me), and loving yourself for who you are.

Whew!  So there you have it.  The very long story about how I finally overcame disordered eating and got in the best shape of my life.

Any questions?

*I would just like to add that if you suspect someone you love or know is suffering from an eating disorder don't ignore it.  It can be incredibly serious and even fatal.  Luckily for me mine was caught and I was forced into recovery before my body completely shut down.

Monday, December 12, 2011

And Thats a "Wrap"

Today's Workout:  40 minutes weights, 8 miles running, 60 minutes

As I was wrapping Christmas gifts last night I couldn't help but find myself reflecting on my life and thinking about how so many things seem to be "wrapping up" for the year.  All good and exciting things but experiences that make me reminisce and appreciate how far I have come in my life over the year.

My wrapping skills. :)

Last week I "wrapped up" a major project at work. It felt great to get this project completed and this accomplishment helped me to reflect on how far I have come in my career.  It is very exciting to say that I genuinely love what I do and love being around the people I work with.

Last Sunday I officially "wrapped up" my 2011 running season with an incredibly memorable fourth marathon.  I will cherish this day forever and wrapping up this memory was hard but I promise to never forget the moment.  I always want to remember the triumph I felt as I crossed that finish line hand in hand with my bestest friend.

Reminiscing on a great year of running with some great friends last night.  Julia, Janae, and Amylee.

I am in the process of "wrapping up" school for the semester and feel good about the balance it brings to my life.  I feel a great sense of accomplishment after I complete each semester.

As 2011 comes to an end I find myself "wrapping up" the year and closing another chapter of my life.  A wonderful chapter full of memories, achievements, failures, learning experiences and triumphs.  Definitely a chapter worth looking back on. 

 If I had to define the year in one word it would be growth.  I have grown as a runner, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a manager, and as an individual.  I truly believe I have become a better person and I hope and pray I have been a good example and influenced those around me for the better.  Each night before I go to bed I think about my day and whether or not Trevor would be proud of my actions and the way I treated others throughout the day.  Keeping Trevor in the forefront of my mind has enhanced my outlook, my attitude, and my pride and I look forward to continually improving myself in the future. 

A few things I have learned in 2011 that I want to always remember as I continue to grow in 2012:

  • I CAN do hard things
  • Attitude always determines outcome
  • Everyday is a new gift
  • I run Because I can
  • Life is worth the fight
  • I cannot control everything that happens to me but I can control the way I react to circumstances.
  • The most important thing in life is people not accomplishments or material goods.  When I leave this earth I do not want people to remember what I did for a living or my fastest 5k PR.  I want them to remember me for being a good person and always serving and loving those around me.
What is the most important thing you learned in 2011?

These are just a few of the things I learned.  It truly was a year of self-growth and I can only hope that I can continue to grow as I move forward.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Giveaway Winners & Pay It Forward

Today's Workout:  25 minutes weights, 20 min elliptical, 5 treadmill miles, 40 minutes.

 Winner #1 of the Good2Go bars is Courtney from Nerd on The Run.

Winner #2 is Ann from Twelve in Twelve

Congratulations ladies!!  e-mail me at rachelle.wardle@imail and I will get Casey your address to send you a sample of the bars.  Thank you to everyone who entered.

Whoa I was working on a post and my power went out and I lost everything.  Anyway you all are pretty lucky because I swear the marathon on Sunday burned the small remainder of braincells I had left. 

Marathon + no sleep + fueling my body solely on diet coke and protein bars = Rachelle's little brain disappearing.

In the last 24 hours I have:

Popped my hood instead of the gas tank in an attempt to fill my car with gas.

Parked at my parents neighbors house thinking it was theirs and called my Dad frustrated because the darn garage code he gave me was not working!  You should have seen the neighbors staring at me.

Forgot my facebook password completely and had to set up a new one.

Parked my car under my neighbors parking stall instead of my own. (I've lived in the same place for 3.5 years.)

And forgot 3/4 of the things on my list at the grocery store.  I did somehow come home with popcorn and more diet coke though so all is well in the world. :)

I am totally on a role.  You should probably rub me to keep the streak going.   This girl needs to recharge the little noggin so instead of reading more of this post I bring you Pay It Forward from one year ago today.  I challenge you to read this post and think about ways that you can pay it forward this Christmas season.  Each and every one of us will hit a point in our life when we need help.  If you are able to help others this holiday season please pay it forward.

Ever had a day like mine today?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

26.55 Random Thoughts

Today's Workout:  5 miles, 39 minutes

I am so mixed up on my days right now so please bare with me.  I am also 100 years behind on reading blogs and I know there is some GREAT stuff going on so please be patient with me as I catch up.  Since I'm behind I will announce the winners of the Good2Go bar giveaway tomorrow.  You have an extra day to enter so click  here and get on that if you haven't entered already.

Now lets rewind shall we?  As a few of you may know I made a very last minute decision to run a fourth marathon in 2011.  Yes I started running in Summer of 2010, ran my first 5k in June, and since have ran 4 full marathons<----------RUNNERD

Anyway I had an amazing opportunity to run this race with my friend Julia and I jumped at the chance to share this journey with her.  I would love to write a much more reflective post on this experience but I will have to get to that later when I have more time and brain cells.  For now in no particular order here are 26.55 random things I can remember from the Las Vegas weekend!

1.  I really dig Vegas.  The energy, the vibe, the bright lights. Something about it just instantly feels me with endorphins (maybe it's the oxygen they pump into the casino's?) and I just love all of it.

2.  I have the most amazing friends a girl could ask for.  I had so much fun with Heather, Travis, and Julia.

3.  Food in Vegas is ridiculously overpriced.  Shopping however is great and I could shop there all day and all night.  Seriously obsessed just a bit with the shopping.

4.  Meeting up with a bunch of bloggers was really cool.  Really neat to see how blogging has come full circle and to realize how much it has changed me for the good.

5.  Running on the strip Saturday morning before the race was exhilarating.  There were so many runners out and it was so exciting to meet new people from all over the world that share a common passion.

6.  Pumpkin Butter from Trader Joe's is quite possibly the most delicious thing ever made.  I wish I had bought more.

7.  I bought a new running shirt at Target before the race just so that I could attempt to match Julia.

8.  Running a night race was odd but it didn't effect me as much as I thought it would.

9.  The beginning of the race was exciting and I was looking forward to seeing what this "big race" thing was all about.

10.  I started out wearing my Payson Onion Days long sleeve and gloves.  I threw the shirt at mile 3 and wore the gloves clear until mile 22.

11.  I did not feel like I was really "pacing" Julia in this race.  She is a very smart runner and knows exactly how to pace herself.  To me it was just an incredibly exciting opportunity to experience a shared passion with one of my best friends.

12.  The first half of the race was incredibly boring.  We turned maybe 50 times and there was just nothing exciting to look at.  Luckily we had each other and that made the miles fly by.

13.  I enjoyed the first half of the race much more than the second half because Julia and I were able to stay side by side and talk.

 14.  Julia is a freaking rock star and scaled all of the hills in the first half like they were no big deal.  We would pass masses of people on all of the uphill sections.

15.  We hit the halfway mark at 1:59 and right behind the 4 hour pace group.

16.  We were both so excited to finally get to the "fun" part of the race.  But as soon as we turned onto the strip all hell broke lose.

17.  My throat is still sore from yelling "Half Marathoners to the right......PLEASE!!"

18.  The logistics of the race were horrendous.  I know you've already heard this but it is worth restating.  I felt like I had let Julia down.  I wanted to protect her and pave a way through the herd of people for her.  But I could not.  It was out of my control and that was very hard for me to accept.

19.  I spent about 5-6 miles in the middle feeling frustrated that I could not do something about the situation.

20.  I might be small but I am feisty!

21.  There were 45,000 people that ran both races.  Me and Julia probably passed 30,000.  We may have seriously set a road kill record.

22.  Time goals in races are not important.  What is important is staying strong and never losing focus.  I was incredibly inspired by how focused Julia was the entire race.  She never quit!  She could have.  It was so frustrating.  She could have slowed down and she could have quit but she didn't.  Such an amazing example that girl is.

23.  Marathons are hard.  I would be telling a terrible lie if I tried to tell you that this race was easy for me. 

24.  My friend Heather completely rocked the marathon and set a 12 minute PR finishing in 4:02.  If her tangents would have been correct she would have been sub-4 and I am so incredibly proud of her strength.  Heather is a fighter.  She is strong and she definitely proved that to me in this race.

25.  My cousin Travis finished the half in 1:33!!!  He was 400/38,000.  He is an amazing runner and I hope he understands how proud of him I am and how much he inspires me. 

26.  I think I can now consider myself an Ultra Runner since my garmin clocked 26.55 miles.  What do you guys think?

.55.  Crossing the finish line with my bestest friend and watching her accomplish something so great is absolutely unforgettable.  We crossed the finish line in 4:05 together just like we started this running journey together a year and a half ago.

What an amazing and unforgettable experience.  Marathon #4 will go down in the record books as my absolute favorite and most memorable.