Some of my favorite pictures!

I had mentioned some of the people I took pictures of most recently. I have been having so much fun in the last year, learning to use my Mom’s DSLR camera. She and my aunt do photography and it has really interested me (www.fourkays.com). They do an amazing job and my mom has let me take her camera anywhere I’ve asked! Trusting, right? Since I was teaching myself/ gathering tips from my Mom and others along the way, I just did all of my “photo shoots” for free. When you use the word FREE, you get lots of people with all sorts of different events to be your test subjects. It worked out wonderfully. I did friends, families, couples, maternity, newborn, weddings, etc…

These are some of my favorites:

My favorite man has grown up so quickly! Loved this day!

My favorite man has grown up so quickly! Loved this day!

Another little cutie - and so smart, too! :)

Another little cutie – and so smart, too! 🙂

Good luck finding anyone who loves dog more than Megan! :)

Good luck finding anyone who loves dogs more than Megan! 🙂

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That fave little boy again. I wonder if he’ll ever see this when he’s older… 😉

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These two were part of my FLAWLESS cousin's engagement shoot. I'm sucky lucky to know such a beauty :)

These previous two were part of my FLAWLESS cousin’s engagement shoot. I’m so lucky to know such a beauty 🙂

The soon-to-be famous Tyler gave me the honor of practicing with some headshots!

The soon-to-be famous Tyler gave me the honor of practicing with some headshots!

My love for this picture isn't because of any editing or technical aspects. This is sheer joy, and I love it.

My love for this picture isn’t because of any editing or technical aspects. This is sheer joy, and I love it. P.S. Each of them is wearing one their race shirts, runner followers! :p

Finally, my most recent love. When a picture ends up exactly as you picture, it's a good feeling. Simple and classic for the mom-to-be.

Finally – my most recent love. When a picture ends up exactly as you imagine it to, it’s a good feeling. Simple and classic for the mom-to-be.

Although I have so much to learn still and so many more types of things I’d like to photograph, I am thrilled with how far I’ve come in the last year with editing and recognizing bad shots (and good shots, too!).

Do any of you mess around with photography? 

What are your favorite types of pictures to look at?

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The BEST Me – From the Inside, Out!

2014 was such a quick year. My mom has told me that they just seem to go by faster as you get it older. I sort of hope that isn’t true!

Every year, we all make lists of things we want to accomplish. I started to write those down again. It had a lot of the same things from prior years that I say I want to do and then fail at by February 1. Those things usually revolve around reducing the amount of sugar I consume, running at least 5 days a week, losing 10 pounds, etc… Here’s the thing: My soul and I really love ice cream, some weeks your body wants NEEDS more rest and my worth is not in those ten pounds. Enjoy those treats in moderation, know when your body deserves to sit on the couch and watch an episode of Friends, and most importantly, know when to push your limits and when to say, enough is enough for today. NOBODY wants an injury that makes another goal unattainable! That definitely doesn’t mean don’t push yourself. It just means, take the time to enjoy the aspects of life that have nothing to do with your physical appearance or fitness level because your heart, soul and your brain matter so much more, as cliché as that sounded. When your heart is happy, you will want to push harder for all of those fitness goals!

That being said,  I do have a shorter list of specific goals for 2015 but it’s definitely going to be about focusing on my soul – being my BEST self.

My running goals consist of:

  1. Get a sub 1:45 ½ marathon time this year! Here’s what is on my race schedule so far: 2015 Races
  2. Complete the Steelhead ½ IronMan in under 6 ½ hours.
  3. Be consistent about supplemental strength training.

My internal goals are:

  1. Take my niece to the beach.
  2. Also, eat some ice cream with her. She’s growing up so quickly.
  3. Read 5 books.

Other than that, my biggest goal is to put positive thoughts and LOVE into every conversation and interaction I have with another person – leave him or her feeling better than when I first encountered them. Life is good and I want to share how good it is with everyone I meet.

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Happy, Happy, HAPPY 2015 to you from me. I hope this is the best year you’ve ever had – in life, love and of course, your running! 🙂

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What books should I be looking at reading? 

What is your favorite inspirational quote?

A Week’s Worth of Happiness and Exercise. Oh, AND a trip to SPAIN!

I had a great week. I am fortunate enough to have an amazing job and they have even okay-ed a  Study Abroad trip that I have to complete for my Master’s program. I will be spending 6 weeks in Spain this Summer, taking classes and even doing a little traveling! I wonder what kind of running trails they will have in the city I’m in! I will still have races to run in the Fall when I get back, so I’ll have to stay in shape!

If you didn’t know, it’s REALLY cold here. I finally have mastered the right amount of clothing for runs as I actually was sweating yesterday and did not have frozen fingers. As I was on my way to church this morning, I couldn’t help but notice how absolutely beautiful it was, as FREEZING as it is. So, I’ll be thankful for that, but at the same time, I will note that we only have 41 days until Spring. Hallelujah.

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Random, but important: I got my man-friend to shave off his beard this week. I’ve had to “deal with”it for over 3 months. He looked like a lumberjack, still handsome, but it was time for it to go. Again, thank you Jesus!

I also hit 22 miles this week, so I am actually on par to get my 84 miles per month, leading to 1,000 miles for 2014! Yay! I just have to do a few extra to make up for last month’s slacking…

Sunday: 6 miles easy, in 1:10:00 with Megan  (11:40 Pace)

Monday: 2 miles (easy) in 19:00 (9:30 Pace), Gymnastics Conditioning

Tuesday: 5 Miles of Speedwork with Megan (4 miles at 9:00 pace, 2 min rest between miles and ½ mile warm up, cool down)

Wednesday: Rest Day! 🙂

Thursday: 3.12 miles in 26:40 (8:33 Pace), Gymnastics Conditioning

Friday: Arms/ Abs Conditioning

Saturday: 6 miles in 57:40 with a new running buddy / old friend Sarah! (9:37 Pace)

 

Have a GREAT week! – From the furry friends in my life. And yes, the second one is also a dog. 😉

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When you Feel Like Poo, But you Have Miles to Do!

Today I feel sick. I’ve already considered using a sick day tomorrow because I could just really use the rest.

Go figure, because I set a goal to run 1000 miles this year, which comes to like 84 per month… I’ve run 18 this month… Yea. I didn’t run because I felt cruddy today, and if I’m smart, I won’t try to run tomorrow. Sometimes, I think I’m invincible, though….

People yell at me when I run when I feel sick, because I end up feeling ill for way longer than I probably would have. My friends and family are always trying to poop at the party (party poopers.) Hahaha!! Please watch this video if you didn’t understand my little joke that I just made:

Jennifer poops at parties?

I really hope you laughed as much as I do at that!

Anyway, let’s take for example, Megan. She always gives me the proper words of stern advice when I would like to do things that I shouldn’t do:

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She does it out of love!

Sometimes it’s a little threatening. She has to be, though, or it typically doesn’t work. 😉

Yesterday, I did take a totally-toned class, though, at my local gym. It wasn’t terribly difficult but it WORKED a ton of different muscle groups. I also was informed (I already knew, but was in denial) that I desperately needed to do more hamstring stretches and that, “you’re too young to not be able to do a full extension!” Here are some great ones that I’ve done the last couple days and were recommended to me by more than one person. They’re super simple and effective!

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Stretch, strength-train AND Run! So important to do all three to get the most out of your body!