Guest Post Goodness: Meegan!

17 04 2011

Holy crapballs am I excited to post this little gem of goodness. As many of you know, after building a friendship with Meegan (RedStar5) over the course of the last 15 months of our LCJ(s) our paths finally crossed in the physical sense when she came to Vancouver a few weekends ago. We had been planning and counting down  the days  for nearly four months before Val and I got to finally a chance to wrap our arms around Meegan…we will never be the same again.

In fact, I know I will never be the same again.

I am honored

I am lucky

I am blessed to call her my friend…




Valerie Tara and Meegan

Sometimes your path crosses with someone who changes your life and you don’t see it coming. When it happens that you get to meet people who know you understand a chapter in your life like no one else  it’s magical. The trick is being smart enough to recognize the magic when you find it.

Just over a year ago I started a blog. Right around the same time, so did a couple of other dynamic and incredible women. Somehow we found each other and the magic happened. We all read about the connections you can make through blogging. The process not only allows you to tell your story but to make the most amazing connections.

Tara and I have known each other in blog land from the beginning of our LCJ – Life Changing Journey. Tara was one of the very first commenters on my blog and we supported each other along the way. To me Tara was like a blog land super hero. I’ve watched her transformation from across the continent in awe of her strength, cheering her through each milestone and she returned the favour. I’ve watched her blog grow into a space where she not only puts her heart on her sleeve and honestly hashes through the tough stuff for us all to read, she also puts herself out there to help the rest of US out on this journey. Her heart is as big as anyone’s I’ve known.

I never dreamt in a million years we would have opportunity to meet. See, Tara lives in Tacoma, WA – that’s a whole continent away from my home in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. That’s around 2700 miles apart and somehow we were meant to come together. Fortunately, back in the fall of last year I found out I was headed out west for a conference in Vancouver in April and we made a plan. Tara would drive the four hours up from Seattle and hang out with me in my Vancouver hotel for a few days before the conference. From there Val (Seattle Runner Girl) and Sharla (A Journey of 26.2 Miles Begins With a Blog)  got on board too. We were all going to come together and have a Festival of Love in Vancouver. And a twitter hash tag was born – #FoL

We counted down the days for months. First it was months, then weeks and finally we were counting single digit days like kids waiting for Christmas morning. Unfortunately as we got closer to April 1st,  Sharla’s mom duties meant she wasn’t able to join us, but she was sure there in spirit and we sure did miss her.

That first day of April I landed in Vancouver in the afternoon just before 1pm local time. Val and Tara made it to Vancouver around 6:30pm that evening. I was waiting in the lobby (getting ETA text updates from Val) to see Tara’s orange Dusty-mobile pull up and was literally jumping up and down in front of the door men. People of Fitbloggin – you need to know this: Tara gives the best hug I have ever had the pleasure of receiving – be prepared for hugging goodness!  (No offense Val – your hugging skills are a close second!)

For #FoL our biggest plan was just to hang out together. We didn’t have anything scheduled.  We just took our minutes as they came and enjoyed getting to hang out in the same physical space instead of just the same web space. There isn’t anything quite like getting to talk to people who understand the journey you’ve undertaken and get the issues that come hand in hand with massive transformation. – “Hey T – I have saggy boobies and loose skin too!”

We did the following totally normal things that became amazing because we did them together:

  • Ate cupcakes – yup, us “weight loss blogger” folk still like cupcakes people!
  • Went bathing suit shopping – and Tara and I actually bought one each on sale! (If that’s not magic – I don’t know what is!)
  • Had a kick ass workout together in the most amazing hotel gym I’ve ever seen only made more amazing by my company.
  • Had pedicures together where I convinced Tara that yes, her thighs really ARE that little and we chatted about the strangeness it is to see yourself in a mirror and not recognize who it is for a minute.
  • Ate the most delicious Thai meal I’ve ever had.
  • Hung out the hotel hot tub after walking the city of Vancouver all day.

Cupcakes, painted toenails and chin ups Oh My!

There was lots of action, but some of my favourite moments from our FoL were honestly the quietest ones.  With the time zone difference for me and Tara’s whack-a-doodle sleeping habits we both got up around 4am on Saturday and Sunday. Rather than waste our waking hours tossing and turning and keeping pregnant Val up – who needed her rest – we headed out and wondered the quiet streets of Vancouver before the sun came up and found a 24 hour coffee shop and swapped tales of our journey.

Before we parted ways Tara and Val and I found a custom T-shirt shop in Vancouver and had some shirts made to commemorate our weekend #FoL. The only thing missing from our photo is Sharla – but there’s enough love to bust up the camera lens.


Memories of a Childhood (the on going story)

15 04 2011

I’ve been wanting to write this for some time. This is one of those posts where I make myself as small as physically possible with laptop in tow, a box of kleenex close by and a heavy heart because I know that what I’m about to write is going to bring me to a place of sadness. It’s what I do here. Some blogs are weaved with humor in their stories. Some are weaved with meal plans and product placements. Others are weaved with daily pictures of food consumption and calories burned for the day. Mine is weaved with story after story of how I came to be who I was and how I’m fighting to become all that I am meant to be. I spend a lot of time in self reflection about how my actions as an adult stem from situations that happened as a child. While doing something completely mundane (like eating or tying my shoes) I can be instantly propelled back to a certain event in my life that I can see so clearly I could probably tell you the color of my socks I happen to be wearing at that particular moment.

Sometimes an event will replay over and over again…

And do so for 30+ years.

The memory comes and goes as easily as me taking a breath in and out. It doesn’t have to linger for it to have the same effect on me each and every time. It’s like a jab to my side: Quick and Painful. One that throbs when executed to perfection and trust me, it’s been perfected.

When my mother owned her bar a bank bag would be dropped off every morning. I would wake up really early knowing that it would be waiting for my little hands to zip it open and take out a $10 or $20 dollar bill. I would take that money and as I walked in the direction of my school I would think about all the candy I would buy for that day. I wasn’t very good at maintaining relationships in school. Remember I was the kid that threw a tennis ball against the brick wall for most of my elementary school experience. But candy? Now that was the way to any friendship. My friends knew I could be relied on to provide our daily dose of bottle caps, gobstoppers, dubble bubble and Nik-L-Nips.

On one particular day I left my house late.

I qualified for free breakfast at school before classes started so being late leaving the house meant being late getting to the store and that meant late getting to school and not having time to eat breakfast. It didn’t dawn on me (cause when your 8 you’re not really thinking in terms of how to make a situation easier right?) to just buy a doughnut or something breakfast like at the 7-11. Instead on this particular morning I sort of ran to the store in order to get to school on time. I remember being panicked about not getting my cereal for the morning.

I remember thinking:

maybe this is the day I just go straight to school.

I can always buy candy tomorrow.

They’ll still be my friends.


By the time the 7-11 was in my sights I may have been crying. Part of me didn’t want to be headed towards the store anymore. Part of me wanted to be sitting at a cafeteria table with the other early morning latchkey kids, my little box of cornflakes and my pint of milk. Part of me wished I was like all the other kids whose moms were probably making them breakfast inside the houses I was passing.

I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going.

Or what I was doing.

I jumped over a cement parking divider. The kind that are painted bright yellow. I wasn’t looking down. I was looking at the glass door to the 7-11. I just wanted to get in, get out and get on to my breakfast. I jumped and landed on a small baby bird. I heard it before I felt what had happened. Even today, almost 35 years later I can still hear the pain that came from that poor little thing as my awkward feet came crashing down. I looked down and the image of what I had done was forever burned into my heart.

The original title to this post was “I don’t deserve food”

That early morning I started down a long and treacherous path of self hatred.

I find comfort in eating the same foods for a variety of reasons (oh so many blog posts and oh so much time to write them). One of them is that I prefer bland, cheaper type foods because inside I have had deep rooted resentments toward myself. To eat foods that I enjoy (really really enjoy) means that I need to love myself to know that I deserve them. When I go out to eat I often order the cheapest menu item, because I don’t deserve to eat what I want to enjoy. When I shop for food I’m often walking around aimlessly for most of the time because there are things I want to buy but can’t because I’ve convinced myself before I even walk in the door that I only deserve to eat what I always eat (carrots, tomatoes, chicken).

In that one instance I began to use words that cut me down emotionally.

I’m bad.

GOD won’t love me.

I’m a thief.

I’ve killed something.

I’ve continued to do that well into my adulthood. Even today as I begin to break away from that “I don’t deserve” to eat what I want and slowly turn towards “Tara, you’re a good person and you deserve everything that life has to offer” my mind quickly goes back to that early morning. Back to the tears and the wanting to be comforted like any kid deserves. Back to the yellow divider and ultimately back to that poor baby bird.

I’ve only ever told this story to two people and both times were very recent. I’ve carried that story with me day in and day out but kept it to myself. I was 8. I was just a kid. It took me a long time to make the emotional connection between what happened outside the 7-11 and the choices I make as an adult. I don’t know why I’ve decided to put this story out for the world to see (or at least those who read this). I’m not looking for some deep emotional release. I’m sort of hoping that by finally letting  this out to the universe eating foods that I want to eat will be easier.

But if that doesn’t happen

At least I don’t have to carry this around with me.

I’m sorry I stole the money.

 I’m sorry I stepped on the bird.

I’m sorry I never told anyone this story.

I’m playing over at Foodie’s house!!!!

14 04 2011

Come on over and see what I’m saying!!!

Clicky click and be magically whisked away!

When the whole is broken…

13 04 2011

Have you ever woken up from a dead sleep and wondered “how in the world did I get here?” More importantly you wondered “how in the world do I get out of here?”

I can’t tell you how many times this happened to me.

What I can tell you is how many times, before this LCJ took a hold of me, I actually succeeded at doing something about the direction of my life.


I made many attempts at losing weight. Some of them I did okay. Atkins was probably the biggest weight loss I’d seen after almost 50 pounds came off of my body. Of course this was while clogging my arteries and finding a million ways to eat meat stuffed with meat and wrapped in more meat. Once I was sick of meat and the call of bread smothered in delicious butter was too much to handle, the weight came back with a vengeance.

It always did.

The problem?

I had the mathematical equation wrong.

You see, I thought that if I got rid of the weight my life would be normal and all my problems would go away. My depression would melt away just like the pounds. My anxiety would dissipate with every meal turned away. My self loathing would turn to self loving with each lower number on the scale and for a while it would work. I would be elated to see 10 pounds gone, then 20 pounds and sometimes I would even make it to 30 pounds but then something would happen:


My depression would creep back into the pores of my body and following close behind would come the anxiety. Short bursts of the “Love” I felt for myself became long drawn out episodes of “how much do I really hate myself” on one channel and “You’re such a fucking failure” on the other. The numbers on the scale would tick back up and each time it would go a little higher than the last weight gain.

Weight loss =/= Happiness

By the time my 40th birthday rolled around I was a hot mess of absolute nothingness. When you looked into my eyes there was no life. I had no direction. My whole was broken. Look I have the picture to prove it…

This was taken a few weeks after my 40th birthday. This was hours before I embarked on what I would come to term as my Life Changing Journey. It was taken hours after I came to the following decision (for the umpteenth time):

This is not who I’m supposed to be.

Look at my eyes. There’s nothing there. No life. No love. My face is bloated. Whatever semblance of a smile that seems to be there is forced. It’s hard to believe that this is the shell of the body I used to live in…

Not living in: Occupying.

I was still in that “losing weight will take my problems away” mentality but that was short lived (just like every single time before). I lost a little weight and was riding the “this is it, this is for real” high portion of the diet wave. I was pushing away donuts and fast food bags like it was no one’s business. I was gagging on water despite my almost over powering withdrawals from diet soda. This. Time. It. Would. Be. Different!!!! Then my friend Depression came back and brought along his sidekick Anxiety. Anxiety also brought a few friends: Frustration, Anger and Oh Just Fuck Off.

Weight loss =/= Happiness

I got lucky though. Something about this time around was actually different. I recognized those old behaviors creeping up on me. I didn’t want this to be another short lived “success” story. I kept thinking about that mathematical equation. Every time I’ve gone into this I was convinced when the weight came off I would be happy. I would be whole. Each and every time I was wrong. So I made a small change to the equation…

Being Whole = Happiness.

There were so many parts to my soul missing and I thought that if I lost the weight all those missing parts would some how miraculously be filled. My emotional being would become whole. My mental being would become whole. My spiritual being would become whole…and at the end of the road all the weight loss would eventually bring those missing parts of my soul together and I would BE WHOLE. When I changed the equation I understood that the weight was a secondary symptom of my primary problem: I was not whole.

It’s been a long sixteen month journey.

My friend Depression tried to stick around for the party but left after I started to make my emotional being whole. Anxiety tried to hang out a little longer but when my mental being was coming together real nicely, they left and took their friend Anger. Oh Just Fuck Off? They were around the longest it seems. Never really wanting to leave even after it was apparent that the journey was different this time around. I had the physical, the mental, the emotional aspects down. It wasn’t perfect and it’s an ever evolving journey to make those parts of me whole. The last part? The spiritual part? It’s been the hardest but also the most rewarding. When I surrendered myself to the idea that being whole also meant coming to understand that I did indeed wanted (and so badly needed) the spiritual part of me to come alive, that’s when Oh Just Fuck Off left the building…

That is when I became whole.

That is when I knew deep down in my soul

I was am happy.

It hasn’t been easy. In fact it has been down right painful. Staying in the moment. Living through all the emotions as I fight to become who I was meant to be. As I fight to become whole. As I fight to let go of the old me and embrace the woman that stands here today. But as the pieces of this puzzle come together and empty spaces are filled with Understanding, Patience and above all Love the pain lessens. It becomes easier to stand firm even when I feel like I’m going to fall.

Stop looking at your “diet” equation. That weight loss equation that you think  “This is what’s going to change the direction of my life” is not the equation that you need. What does your life equation looks like?  What’s missing from your whole. Don’t be afraid to change what isn’t working for you anymore. Don’t be afraid of finding those missing pieces. Stop pounding your head against that wall, hoping that this time…this time will be different.

Know it will be different.

Change it.

Be it.


Guest Post Goodness: Sharla!

12 04 2011

A while back I put out a call on twitter to see if anyone was interested in doing a guest post for me. I was a little  nervous (oh who am I kidding): I honestly didn’t think anyone would respond. In fact quite a few of you responded (and warmed the cockles of my heart – I know there’s a dirty joke in here somewhere). I now have an email inbox with half-dozen or so of some awesome guest posts that I’ll be using over the next couple of weeks. It’s awesome to let other bloggers use my space to get some of their words out. If you haven’t done it (let someone guest post for you or write a guest post for someone else) I highly recommend it!

If you’re interested in swapping blogs for the day and writing a guest post for me or vice versa shoot me an email and let’s plan a “Blog-over!” (see what I did there?!!?)


Sharla who blogs over at “A Journey of 26.2 Miles Begins With A Blog” is not only a kick ass person in the “Blogiverse” and on twitter (@262milejourney), she’s also a kick ass friend in my real life. I got real lucky in finding this one just up the next city from me. We run together. We coffee together. We plan 187 mile relay races together.

I stalk love her.

Without further ado…





My first trail run

A long time ago I had a dream about running on a trail and coming around a bend only to be staring at a mountain lion. It got down into a low crouch and started stalking toward me. I was frozen at the absurdity of the situation, simultaneously knowing I needed to do something to avoid being mauled and marveling at the complete absence of fear despite knowing the average male mountain lion outweighs me. Not by much mind you, but they’ve got to be 85% muscle and 10% teeth/claws (5% miscellaneous) and my ratios are very different.

As it launched itself at me, I kicked it in the jaw and screamed “Bad kitty!” It sort of meow-squeaked, and then hit the trail completely unconscious. I finished my run in peace. I did stop to let the park ranger know that there was a cougar up the mountain that most likely had a dislocated jaw and probably needed medical attention. Then I flew home. It’s a lot like snorkeling, in case you’re curious.

In my dreams I’m so much more of a badass than I am in real life.

Thankfully, I did not have to test that dream theory of self-defense on my first trail run/race. I don’t think there are any bad kitties that live in the park where my race was held, and I’m grateful for that.

The first 0.8 mile was totally insane. It had to have been 6-8” of mud. I don’t know if trail runners have terms for different sorts of mud, but this stuff was the shculck kind. That’s the sound it made with each step I took, as I fought the mud for possession of my shoes. I totally won the war, but there were a few close calls.

I was barely a mile into the run before quitting crossed my mind. The old demon voices that start-up telling you that you really have no place amongst all these ‘real’ runners. If you’re so out of breath after a single mile then there is no way you’ll ever meet your distance goals. And on and on and on.

Actually, those thoughts didn’t get very far with me today. I’m guessing that it was because I was so out of breath that the oxygen just wasn’t getting to my brain.

After that first 0.8 mile we moved onto a single track. It was infinity times better to run on, despite roots, rocks, and tree branches at exactly eye-height. I settled in to some sort of trance pace and ran in (mental) silence for the next mile or so. I remember glancing down at my Garmin and noticing that I was a little over half way. On the streets when I hit my halfway point I like to tell myself that “it’s all downhill from here”, metaphorically speaking. I did not find that thought to be comforting at all this morning. Possibly because I was facing another steep (but short) climb.

Eventually the pack thinned out. I feel like I can take partial credit for this by letting everyone else pass me. 😉 That was probably the highlight of the run for me – occasionally seeing flashes of brightly colored running gear though the trees, but for all intents and purposes being totally alone.

Then the joy of the single track came to an end. I made a new friend at the start and we high-fived as she passed by in the other direction, back on the main trail (aka shoe-eating mess). I made it to the turn around/aid station and then faced my last mile.

It was maybe the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It was a steep, long hill in the schluck mud. Every time I thought I was at the last bend, the trail appeared to stretch on forever. And then, all of a sudden, I was done.

It was so amazing. I’m finding it extremely difficult to express how much fun this was, how at home I felt running in the woods and with this group of people.

I can’t think of a better way to break in a new pair of shoes.

Forgive me Father…

10 04 2011


Okay maybe I haven’t sinned but there are some things I need to confess and it’s high time I pulled up my big girl panties and tried to put some sense to the thoughts going on in this crazy brain of mine.

Before I begin, I wanted to take a few paragraphs and talk about my friend Meegan (RedStar5) a bit. I’m mildly obsessed with her (in a good way) I love her and she needs to have some mad props thrown in her direction. We’ve known each other pretty much since the beginning of my LCJ. You know how that works, you some how find your way to their blog or vice versa. A comment gets left here and there and before you know it a friendship blossoms. You friend each other on facebook, and twitter and over time you come to realize that this is the one person that may actually get you in ways other people don’t. Stories are so similar (and yet so different) you feel like you’ve known each other for a lifetime…

Meegan is my lifetime.

The sad part of this friendship is I live in my little city of Tacoma way over here in the very corner of the Northwest and she lives in Halifax (That’s Canada for all you geographically challenged readers!). That puts about 2700 miles between us. No girl’s night out for us (sad)…that is until she came to my neck of the woods (Vancouver BC) this past weekend.  We’ve been planning the get together for the past four months and finally Val (SeattleRunnerGirl) and I hopped in my Dusty and drove north to spend the most awesome not enough time 2 days with her. I won’t go into too much detail because she’s agreed to write a guest post for me about #FoL (Festival of Love and we have the shirts to prove it! – there’s a dirty joke in here somewhere) but on a more personal level I feel like I found a long lost family member…a sister, a mentor, a confidant. It’s been a very long time since I’ve felt that connection with someone and it was awkward to feel that with someone I’d never even really had the opportunity to physically meet in person until just a few days ago. It was solidified that I am indeed very blessed to have Meegan in my life and I’m even more blessed that the friendship will continue for a lifetime.

The reason my heart swells when I think about her is because she’s not afraid to ask me “why “on so many things that I talk about. I’m not used to people asking me why, delving deeper into what I’m saying or what I’m doing. And to be honest with you, it’s a little mind shaking because many times I don’t know why I’m saying what I’m saying or doing what I’m doing. I mean I think I know, but then she gets my mind thinking in ways I’ve never really examined.

Here is where I get to the “confessional” part of my blog. I’ve been sick (as the entire world probably knows by now) and took a week off from the gym / running. It played havoc on my psyche. I had to put in on my blog that I was going to let my body rest because if I didn’t I would have continued to go to the gym or run despite the crud that was invading my body…

It was hard. In fact, I didn’t even take the entire week off. I made it as far as Friday afternoon and finally gave in to needing to break a sweat regardless of how I felt. Thankfully my body had recovered enough that doing a short run wasn’t too bad but I missed it…

Just like I missed playing video games


Just like I missed eating until I could make myself sick


Just like I missed working 65 hours a week


The amount of times I workout during the week has become another way of identifying myself and how I feel about who is looking back at me from the mirror. I’ve gotten down to 155lbs and can I let you in on a little secret? Part of me feels like that’s not enough. I could do more. I could go down to 150. But in the beginning of getting to goal weight, I wanted to be 160 and felt really good about how that felt on my body when I reached that number. But now I’ve seen the scale dip down to 154 and my brain is starting to think in  unhealthy terms that maybe I should just shoot for 150…

I never wanted to be 150.

I don’t want to be 150.

Who I think I am is wrapped up in how many classes am I taking at the gym and how many miles am I running each month and to be totally honest with you, I’m not so sure I like it too much. Yesterday morning as I was putting on my running clothes, upset that the rain hadn’t stopped I sent message to twitter about the rain keeping me from running (because even as well as I was feeling I knew running in the rain was a bad idea). Meegan sent me a text to my phone:

“Do you think sometimes the fitness compulsion is replacing other habits of ours (old habits) like food etc and the reason it’s hard not to move is because it’s the new compulsion which is okay because it’s healthy? We have to find balance even with the active stuff and it’s HARD XO

(okay seriously I wish I could just shrinky dink her and put her in my pocket)

We chatted via text a little bit more and the rain stopped. I should have crawled back into bed with my sleepy husband and my two sleepy dogs. I should have been okay with the run I took on Friday. I should have unstrapped my shoes and just taken a deep breath.

Instead I ran.

She got my mind thinking a lot. I felt it while I was running. Too much concentration going on with the conversation inside my head and not enough concentration to what my feet were doing. My weight loss journey is over. I should be happy and proud to say “Yes I’ve lost 115 pounds” but in reality I feel like being able to say “I lost 120 pounds” is something even bigger and more impressive. Fuck seriously Tara? Yes, seriously. I wanted to be happy with the scale saying 160 but now that it says 155 I freak out if it creeps back up to the 158. Serious? Yes, I am being serious. I feel like if I don’t go to the gym for multiple hours every day then people are going to think I’m weak…worse off I think I’m weak.

Serious Tara?


I like to nip things in the bud before they become a serious fucking issue with me. I don’t like to pussy foot around with my journey. I’m here to live. I’m here to love myself and right now I’m about to make a confession:

I work out too much.

I’m making a formal commitment to stop that compulsion before it becomes an addiction. I’m through with addictive behavior. It hasn’t done anything for me but cause chaos. I don’t do well with chaos. I do well with getting to the root of the problem and implementing actions that creates peace in my life. Sometimes, however, I need someone to take me by the shoulders, give me a good shake and say “HEY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!”…

(Thanks Meegan.)

That being said there are going to be some immediate changes to my work out schedule. Here’s what it looks like at the current moment:

  • Monday: 5a – 730a Stairs, boxing, swimming
  • Tuesdays: am run 530p – 745p Sculpt class, bootcamp
  • Wednesday: 5a – 730a Stairs, boxing, swimming
  • Thursdays: 430a-6a Godfather 530p – 745p Sculpt class, bootcamp
  • Fridays: 5a – 730a Stairs, boxing, swimming
  • Saturdays: Long run in am
  • Sundays: Rest day

This adds up to about 15+ hours every week doing something physical…not including the random weight lifting I do in my living room or random short runs I try to fit in when the weather is nice. Considering I’ve never upped my calories and have continually eaten around 1800 calories, you can see where this is starting to be a problem. I’m not going to give up all my classes but I am willing to give up a few here and there and cut back from 15+ hours to something more “normal”…

  • Monday: 515a – 730a Stairs, boxing, swimming
  • Tuesdays: 640p – 745p  bootcamp
  • Wednesday: 515a – 730a Stairs, boxing, swimming
  • Thursdays: 430a-6a Godfather
  • Fridays: 515a – 730a Stairs, boxing, swimming
  • Saturdays: Long run in am
  • Sundays: Rest day

This will bring me down to about 10 – 11 hours per week. It adds a Tuesday sleep in and a Thursday night at home. I know logically you (proverbially speaking) don’t really care whether I work out 3 hours or 20 hours a week…but that little voice (the one that has so much control) is screaming at me “Everyone will think you’re weak”. I know logically you (again proverbially speaking) don’t really care whether I relax a little bit about what I put in my mouth and how many calories I’m eating…but that little voice (the one that has so much control) is screaming “Tara, you’re going to get fat again”. I know logically you (yep proverbially speaking) won’t think any less of me and will in fact probably think better because here I am once again making the necessary changes on this ever changing journey but that voice…

The one that has so much control.

Says I have no right to motivate / inspire in my own chaos.

Oh this journey of mine.

Every changing.

Ever evolving.

But at least I get to sleep in on Tuesdays.





Let’s Blog about something FUN!!!

8 04 2011


Ohhhhhhhhhh Yheaaaaaaa bayyyyyybeeeeee!

I’ve been very quiet about this little piece of deliciousness because well…every time I think about Ragnar I A) squeal like a little girl B) shake my head in disbelief and C) hold my breath until my face turns blue. I can’t, however, hold in this little bit of “oh my GOD I can’t believe I’m going to do this” any longer!


Don’t know what Ragnar is?

I didn’t either until Sharla planted a little seed in my brain. The seed? “Wouldn’t it be cool to run a 187 mile relay race?”…well yes in fact it would be cool but absolutely insane ridiculous impossible….wait a minute?

Tell me more.

You and 11 of your closest friends running 200(ish) miles, day and night, relay-style, through some of the most scenic terrain North America could muster. Add in crazy runners, inside jokes and a mild case of sleep deprivation. The result? Some call it a slumber party without sleep, pillows or deodorant. We call it a Ragnar Relay. It’s really quite simple. Get a bunch of friends together (or we can help you find team members who’ll quickly become your friends) and start running. Okay, there’s a little more to it. Your relay team will consist of 12 members (or 6 for Ultra teams). During the relay, each team member runs three legs, each leg ranging between 3 – 8 miles and varying in difficulty. So, from the elite runner down to the novice jogger, it’s the perfect relay race for anyone. How do you cover 200(ish) miles? Only one runner hits the road at a time. The rest of your teammates are on support duty in your race vehicles. Teams require 2 vehicles, with runners 1-6 in van 1 and 7 -12 in van 2. Van 1’s runners will cover the first six legs. It’s a relay, so as the each runner begins, the crew in the vehicle can drive ahead, cheer their runner on, and meet them at the exchange point to pick them up and drop off the next runner. After the first 6 legs, van 2 picks up the slack and starts putting in the miles. A day, night and day later, you’ll have made it all the way from start to finish!”

(That’s from the WEBSITE)

So now you know why I A) Squeal like a girl B) Shake my head in disbelief and C) Hold my breath until my face turns blue. When we first starting putting this crazy ass preposterous outlandish idea together we had six runners that were ready to sign on the dotted line…so we began looking for another six to complete our twelve runner team. It didn’t take long to find another six runners, but unfortunately they came and went for a variety of reasons. Again the core six of us began to search for another six runners to complete the much needed twelve “man” team because there was no way in hell we were going to run this as an ULTRA team of six….

We had a team of twelve again.

For about a month.

Again for whatever reason those six other runners didn’t pan out and as the deadline for early registration came closer and closer a little whisper began to speak loud and clear to me: Maybe this core team of six is supposed to run the 187 miles…maybe we are meant to go ULTRA!!! So I put it out there to the rest of the team and before I could take back my words and act like I never even had a fleeting thought, we officially became:


(Team Optimus Prime)


187 miles (Yes I said 187 miles!)

On July 22 the six of us are going to do something absolutely CRAZY amazing. We’re going to spend 24 hours running…and running…and running from Blaine WA (yep, near the Canadian border) until sometime July 23rd when we’ll cross the finish line in Whidbey Island 187 miles south of where we started.

Did I mention the farthest I’ve ever run is 13.1 miles?

I’m officially Ragnar Relay Race runner #1 hence forth nick named “Rag1” Each runner will run three portions of the race. I run 1st, then 7th and finally 13th. You’re probably already doing some math calculations as to the length each of us will have to run in order to cover 187 miles in 24 hours whenever we finish. Mine breaks down as the following:

First leg = 12.4 miles

Second leg = 7.9 miles

Third leg = 10.9 miles

31.2 miles!

So there ya have it. For someone who just started running just a short year ago (I was up to 2.8 miles this time last year), this is almost incomprehensible….almost. There is something in my heart that says this is going to be one of the hardest coolest things I’ve ever done. I love my team mates more than words can express. I put it out to them that we should do this Ultra style and they came through with flying colors!

I want you to love them too.




*my other two team mates aren’t bloggers (sad I know)


(definitely more than meets the eye!)