Fondue, Long Runs, PRs, and New Clothes

That title wears me out just reading it.  It has been a busy week for me and I’ve been fortunate enough to spend it with good friends and family and even try some new things.  Last week was Knoxville’s Restaurant Week where local restaurants offered a set menu for a cheaper price and a portion of the proceeds went to a local food bank.  Thursday night my sweet Daddy treated me and my handsome fella to a delicious dinner at Ye Olde Steakhouse.  The set menu for this night was massive and mostly had things that this picky eater would eat.  The men chose a 12 ounce prime rib as their entrée and I had chicken and shrimp.  After having appetizers, huge entrée portions with two sides, we opted to take our red velvet cake dessert in a to-go box and save for later.  I was stuffed to the max after that meal but so thankful that my Daddy treated us to it and that we got to try out a new local place.

Friday night was super special because we were celebrating the final night of Restaurant Week with our great friends, Brittney and her husband, at The Melting Pot.  We had made reservations almost a month in advance and we were so excited to finally get to eat there.  Everyone got all dolled up and we hit the town for a fabulous evening.  Although their menu was slightly small, the experience made it worth it and we enjoyed the ambience.  The cheese and bread were my favorites, of course.

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Saturday morning was long run day!  After talking with good ole Coach Bryan, the plan was to run 5 continuous miles at a 10:52 pace and then run/walk the remaining three miles and then going back to finish with my Momma.  Well, we ended up taking a detour and continued on the greenway before hitting up the hilly portion of the run.  I set my Garmin to overall average pace instead of lap pace which was new for me and I really liked doing that because I could better gauge where I was at and how I was feeling.  As the 5 mile mark approached it was clear that I should keep running.  I wasn’t sure how much I had in me but I felt well enough to continue the run.  The farthest I have ever ran without stopping for a walk break was 8 miles and that was March 2012.  Ironically the post I wrote about that longest run was posted the same exact day that Saturday’s run fell on.  How coincidental is that?  Anywho…we pressed on and I let Bryan pace me while occasionally looking down at the watch to make sure we stayed on pace.  Even though there were a few massive hills, we made up for it on the downhill and finished 8. 5 miles with an average pace of 10:52.  Right on the money and my longest run ever.  I was in disbelief but more and more here lately I’m learning that big things are possible for me if I just push myself.  That morning I never would have known that I would set a new distance PR.  We walked back to walk it in with my Momma and I ended the day with 11.5 miles.

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Earlier this week we held a marathon staff meeting.  It is hard to believe that race day is less than three weeks away and I’m so excited for marathon week to get here and all the busy activities that come along with it!  Our staff shirts this year are pretty sweet if I do say so myself.


On Monday night, Brittney met my Momma and I at the gym for some fitness classes.  We all took CXworX, Body Attack, and Spin Class.  Between two of the classes we met Bryan to run two miles which was supposed to be easy and untimed but ended up being done in 18 minutes which is smoking for us two especially right after a fitness class.  I was wore out Monday night and woke up nice and sore on Tuesday.  We also had some Biggest Winner training sessions this week which everyone worked super hard at.  These people are losing weight and literally disappearing.  I’m so excited for them and know what it is like to be in their shoes.  They are doing an awesome job!  All these hard workouts will be worth it come March 30!



In other news, I’ve never liked shopping.  Not only do clothes and anything else you might purchase cost money, but I have a hard time making decisions when it comes to actually walking out of the store with something.  I dread dressing rooms and it burns a hole in my heart when something I try on is too small.  With my body getting smaller, I’ve sort of grown out of that (not completely) and have started visiting more clothing stores even if it is “just to look”.  This week I ventured into Old Navy since I saw they had a sale advertised and found their new Pixie pants.  According to their advertisements, this pant is supposedly fit for everyone regardless of size or Body Shape.  I tried them on in my normal size at Old Navy (18) and they just fell off of me.  I tried on the size 16 and they were huge in the waist.  So, guess what?  I tried on a 14 and they fit like a glove.  Holy cow a pair of size 14 jeans really went on my body and zipped right up no problem.  This is a huge non scale victory for me and I’m thrilled to be able to wear that size…even if their sizing is a little different.  Check out the Pixie pants because they really are super flattering!  Oh, and my favorite shorts from Old Navy also had to go down a size also.  This makes me so happy!


I’m so glad tomorrow is Friday and I’m excited about my long run on Sunday!  Happy Spring to everyone!  Hope y’all are having a spectacular week!

The Greats and The Goods

You know that phrase “The good, the bad, and the ugly”?  I used to use that a lot to break down the positives and negatives of something.  Here lately, bad and ugly are both bad words.  So, in order to do a quick recap of this week I want to focus on the greats, the goods, and the not-so-goods.  It is easy to be negative with negative words in your vocabulary so I choose to focus on what I did good this week and reflect on how I can improve.


  • Praxis Exams.  I’m not sure if you are familiar with the Praxis test series but if you want to become a teacher in my state, you are required to take Praxis exams relevant to teaching and to the content area you have to take.  I took my Principles of Teaching and Learning Praxis last month and it virtually traumatized me.  Yesterday was Valentine’s Day but instead of spending the day doing mushy gushy stuff with my sweet boyfriend, we were up and on the road at 4:30 a.m. to make the four hour drive to Nashville for my content exam.  It was exhausting but I’m so thankful to say that I passed my content exam with flying colors AND came home to find out that I had also passed my PLT exam that I took last month.  This is a huge weight off my shoulders and I’m glad I never have to take those awful tests again.  Oh, and nothing like spending 8 hours in the car with your fella on Valentine’s Day.
  • Jeans.  Speaking of my beau, I had a huge accomplishment this past week.  It is no secret that I put on some pounds after we started dating.  I have this pair of jean capris (don’t judge…capris are awesome) that I haven’t been able to button since we first got together. Well, last Sunday I couldn’t find anything to wear to church so I figured I would just try those jeans on and see what they felt like.  Spoiler alert…they zipped right up and buttoned.  They could definitely be a little more comfortable than they currently are but I’m just so thankful that they fit well enough for me to wear again.  That sure is a GREAT in my book.  2.15.14mirror


  • Workouts.  Momma and I did some walking this week even though the temperatures were pretty low here in East Tennessee.  Monday was a pretty frustrating day for me so I took it out at the gym.  I was going to run a mile but that mile turned into 3 miles in 28:17 which is smoking for me!  I was stunned that it was under 30 minutes and I’m stunned I ran that pace without stopping.  Tuesday was a great workout day with the Biggest Winner team.  Wednesday was sprint day and since we were expecting snow that night I was forced to get in my workout early that morning.  I had some amazing (for me) split times for .25 mile repeats: 2:05, 2:06, 2:02, 1:59, 2:03, 2:03, 2:01, 2:05, 1:57.  1912485_10202356009414486_448759538_n 2.15.14sammom
  • Snow.  Tennessee doesn’t get snow very often but this week changed that.  We got 8 inches here in our little town and white was all we could see for miles.  I’ve never seen so much snow at one time and it was so fun to get outside and play in it.  Rubbermaid container lids don’t make for the best sledding but it was fun while it lasted. The kids in our county loved the snow days.   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 2.15.14snow


  • Lack of motivation.  Being snowed in on Wednesday night and all day Thursday really caused me to struggle with food.  I snacked throughout both days and made very poor food choices.  Most of it even made me sick to my stomach on Thursday night which shows that our bodies just aren’t meant for junk food.  Unfortunately the only exercise I got on Thursday was playing in the snow.  Friday was no better since we were on the road for a good part of the day and it included a celebratory lunch at Red Lobster and a milkshake from Chick-fil-a.  Oh, and no exercise.  But I’m not going to focus on the negative.  In the past if I had a bad day with food/exercise or even a couple of bad days then I just said SCREW IT and gave up.  That’s not who I am anymore.  Stuff happens and mistakes are made but dwelling on them won’t change the fact that the action is already done.  Food isn’t the enemy anymore and even though I struggled with exercise the past two days, I won’t feel defeated.

What are some greats and goods you have had this week?

whirlwind of a week.

Where has this week gone?  I haven’t blogged and have barely even been at my computer.  Lots of crazy happenings this past week. Although my schedule has been a little unforgiving, tomorrow starts a new week and I can’t wait to get back into a regular exercise program, combined with healthy eating.  I also cannot wait for a little r&r.

 So, this past week I… went to a Jersey Shore theme party.

snooki's twin, only 11 inches taller.


I had three exams at school.

that's right.

I had lunch with my friend Robyn.  No photo evidence of that, unfortunately.

I housesat over the weekend, and the house came with a dog.  Package deal.

taking the dog on one of many walks. big deal for me since I used to have a phobia of dogs.

 I hosted a baby shower for my childhood best friend who is now married and expecting her first baby.

baby Ava can make her appearance anytime.

And we put out our preview of Christmas at the store I work for.  The girls and I ordered Chinese take out and we sat in the floor in a circle and ate out of our boxes and tried to make fun of our fortunes.  I’m so blessed to work at such a joyful store. 

sooo much food.

Christmas came early for Dandy Lions


I’m hoping to get back in the swing of things this week since I’ll be home a lot more.  Lots of time for running and exercising!!  Hold your breath because this week, I’m going to physically run some miles.  Don’t doubt.  I’ll still walk and stuff, but I’m going to start back running so I can train for my first full in the spring!!  YAY!