Brandon's (and his family's)Big Adventures

We, as a family, press on towards the goal

Running Question ~Emily

Posted on August 24th, 2011 by Emily

So I apparently have a dilemma, or skewed opinion, or pessimistic idea that if I walk any part of a run then it’s not considered a run anymore.  It’s not worthy of saying, “I ran 5 miles.” without adding, “Well, I did have to walk a few minutes in the middle.”  However saying, “I ran 5 miles without any walking.” is considered OK and an accomplishment…

Do you consider a run a run if you walk a section or two of it?  Or must you run the entire way to consider it a run?  Are you proud of your mileage accomplishment equally whether there’s walking and running?

What’s your thoughts or opinions on it?

My Journey to a Healthier Me! ~ Emily

Posted on August 20th, 2011 by Emily

My journey into running:


Old Emily - January 2009


In October 2009 I was in terrible shape tipping the scale at 243 lbs with a BMI of 44.4, size 20 and XL (both tight) and feeling very miserable.   Earlier that fall I signed up our daughter, Lily, for a kids marathon put on by Bagel Beanery along side the Grand Rapids Marathon.  In order to participate, Lily was to run or walk a total of 25 miles prior to the actual date, where she would be finishing her marathon by running the last 1.2 miles with all the other participants.  I was in no shape to run the 1.2 miles, but Lily was only 6, so I knew she’d be unable to run the entire thing, which would give me a chance to walk some.  However, I still did a bit of running to ensure that I’d be able to, at least, run a little bit of the 1.2 miles.  In my training prior to the kids marathon I got up to ¾ of a mile running straight before I had to walk for a minute or two.  That was pretty good, right?  I joined Women on Weights at the Lowell YMCA that included two miles of running on the sidewalks and I ended up with pretty severe shin splints that forced me to quit my running shortly after the kids marathon.  I was in too much pain to continue on that path.

I was extremely frustrated!  I had been told by my doctor that I would probably be overweight my entire life, I’ve had my thyroid killed twice and perhaps it was in my family genes to be overweight.  I was trying, as hard as I knew possible to lose but the weight never came off and now I couldn’t run myself thin either.  I finally decided I wasn’t going to believe that doctor and put forth a true effort, I was done being fat, uncomfortable, and feeling ugly. I was done. It was time for a big shake up!  I completely changed my eating habits, started counting calories on via my phone and the internet, and started moving more. Finally the weight started coming off, and over the course of about 8 months I lost about 60 pounds.  Some of those pounds came off easily but some then it started getting difficult and eventually I hit a plateau of sorts.  Something else had to change because my journey to being healthy hadn’t reached my desired finale.

I took up running again with Brandon (he had started seriously running to lose weight in January of 2010), but I absolutely hated it.  Again, I was in constant pain with shin splints, heel pain, and horrible blisters.  I went to Gazelles and they fitted me with orthotics and a nice pair of Brooks tennis shoes but the blisters from these shoes completely blew away any other blisters I’ve ever had (and yes, I wore blister proof socks too).  I ended up returning that pair (very thankful for Gazelles return policy because they weren’t cheap).  Then I noticed the new Vibram barefoot shoes and the way the heel on them was completely different than a heel on a traditional tennis shoe.  I wanted to try them. Brandon told me to educate myself on them and the barefoot running trend because, believe it or not, there was a time when Brandon was skeptical of the whole barefoot movement.  I spent several days looking up everything possible about them. (If you know me, you know that I want to know every possible option there is before making my final decision.) Although I really wasn’t fond of the attention I’d be getting from the fact they were quite ‘different’ I was willing to endure that unwanted attention to my feet instead of enduring the constant blister pain of my heels.

The first time I wore my new Vibrams I ran about a mile with Brandon and Lily and was completely amazed at how awesome my legs and feet felt.  It was completely different than wearing a traditional tennis shoe and best of all there were neither blisters nor any shin pain.  As an added bonus this run also gave me my first official ‘runners high’.  It was amazing to feel that good after running and feel like I could continue running even after finishing that first mile.

I absolutely loved my Vibrams but only wore them when I ran.  This was a bummer since they were much more comfortable than my traditional tennis shoes but I was less than fond of the attention they got since they were toe shoes.  So I endured the pain of traditional tennis shoes when I was in need of the ‘normalcy’ of shoes over the comfort of being barefoot.


My First 5K

My First 5K - California 2010


Brandon and I were going to photograph a wedding in California in the fall of 2010, what better time than then to finish my first 5K, for sure, a place where no one was going to recognize me. I was nervous that morning but I was going to do this.  I was one of the very few (not even Brandon had his Vibrams yet) to wear the toe shoes, and yes I got plenty of attention, but it didn’t matter since I finally ran and finished my very first 5K, and enjoyed it.

I was still not very fond of the attention that the Vibrams were giving me and then over the winter I ended up with pretty severe IT band pain from the t(d)readmill.  I thought that maybe a new pair of shoes would help with the pain I was enduring post running.  I knew there were many new barefoot/minimalist shoes coming from several of the large shoe manufacturers and had done plenty of research on the brands and styles coming out. I was very excited for ‘normal’ running shoes and as soon as the new Merrell Pace Gloves were in the stores, there was a pair waiting for me at Gazelles.  And MAN did I love them!  (Of course Brandon had to buy himself a pair also. He had converted to barefoot/minimalist running and bought his own Vibrams the day after the Grand Rapids Marathon.)  The Merrells were normal looking shoes and they were extremely comfortable with the same type of heel cup as the Vibrams, so I was pretty sure I’d be able to run and walk without any blister pain.  They are everything I’ve ever dreamed of in running shoes and I have taken the pledge to never go back to traditional shoes as long as I live, they aren’t worth the pain they cause.

To date I have lost about 90 pounds and I’m still going with a goal to lose another 25 pounds and be truly ‘healthy’ on all the medical scales.  I have run several 5K’s and a 12 hour endurance run in Rochester, New York where I finished 31.488 miles and Brandon finished 63.468 miles.  Together we won first place for most miles finished by a married couple, 94.956 miles.

I am a runner and I’m happy to proclaim it.  I AM A RUNNER!  Not only have I completed some of my own goals, I have also helped Brandon complete some of his largest running goals.  The most recent being 100 miles at Burning River in Ohio.  I ran with him for 3 miles on trails in the dark and 3.3 miles in the early dawn.  It was very exciting to be physically able to run along side of him and be considered a pacer during this huge accomplishment for Brandon. I won’t count anything crazy like a 100 mile run off of my ‘to do’ list, I’ve learned to never say never.

In fact, I’m excited to be signed up for the North Country Trail ½ Marathon in a week.  It’s my first ½ marathon ever.  I’ve also converted my awesome running partner, Sarah, to running her first ½ marathon with me in October at the Grand Rapids Marathon.  We’re on a pretty serious training schedule and have amazed ourselves at how we’ve been an encouragement to one another.  It is so good to have a running partner and encourager when things get difficult, and a new friend.

Over the past year and a half Brandon and I have inspired many people.  Our friends, family, and even people that we don’t know are watching us or hearing about our family.  They’re asking for advice, recommendations for gear, ideas for where to shop, what to buy, what to use and telling us about their journey to running or their healthier lifestyle and how they attributed it to our radical change.  It’s somewhat daunting to know that so many people are watching us and actually paying attention to what we’re doing to better ourselves.  It makes me more aware of the days when I mess up and the times when I notice my pants are a bit tighter than they were earlier.  It’s motivating to hear that people are amazed by our journey.

My transformation hasn’t only included my physical outward change, but something changed inside me.  I’m happier.  I smile more.  I enjoy life.  I’ve opened up and started to really partake in the life that’s going on outside of me.  I’ve finally got some self esteem that I’ve been severely missing over the past several years.  The real me has been hiding inside me underneath all the layers of fat, just waiting for her chance to live.  Now I’m really alive!  And it feels good to be alive!!  It feels great!!

There are days when I’m feeling ugly and fat. Those are the days that I have to remind myself that I’m wearing pants size 10/12 and shirts that are size S/M.  It’s those days that I have to look back through photos of the ‘old Emily’ to remember the way I used to look and the way I used to feel.  I believe I will always carry the ‘old Emily’ image in my head and continue to be the ‘fat’ girl forever when I imagine myself.  I don’t want to lose that image ever since ‘she’ had such an influence on my life.  I’ve learned so much from my past, all the good right along with all the bad, that I want to carry into my future.

God has truly been so good to us!!! Without him I would be nothing! 

Isaiah 40:29-31
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (NIV)

New Emily July 2011

Yup.  It’s August already. Summer seemed to fly by so fast, with July being sweltering and now August being mildly pleasant, minus the mosquitoes.  But I’m always quite surprised at how fast it flies and how quickly the school sales start up.  I LOVE shopping for the general school supplies, pencils, paper, erasers, glue (Brandon say’s “Mmmm, glue!!”). One thing I can’t stand shopping for is gym shoes for Lily.  It just bugs the snot out of me to spend so much on shoes she’ll wear once or twice a week to run around the gym in.  The last pair of tennis shoes I bought for her we spent over $100 on at a great store, but she was ONLY 7 and it’s seemed like such a waste to put those shoes away less than 6 months later!  I have absolutely no problem spending over $100 for my running shoes and we’ve spent way more than that on several pairs of running shoes for Brandon, but we get a LOT more use out of our shoes than she does out of hers.  It’s just not fair to get so little use out of hers before they’re too small and pinch her toes.

However, now that we’re more aware of how shoes work and what type of shoes are best for Lily, we need to start doing some research on where to get the best minimalist shoes for her for her required gym shoes.  There is a great lack in kids size minimalist shoes out there.  Sure, the amount of brands of minimalist or barefoot shoes for adults has more than doubled, perhaps even quadrupled over the past year with every big brand shoe company jumping on board with their version of the minimalist or barefoot shoe.  But very few have also offered those shoes in child size packages.  I’m not going to wish Lily’s feet were two sizes larger so she could fit women’s shoes already.  Nope, she already does enough growing that I’m wishing away.  So that leaves us with quite a few less options to go with.  If only she could wear her Little Miss Matched sandals for everything, but unfortunately the school frowns upon sandals as gym shoes, *sigh*.

What brands do you know of for children’s minimalist running shoes? Or what would you recommend for a child?  We are looking at all options and including Lily in our decision making.  After all, she’s the one who will be wearing them and if she doesn’t like the way they look or is worried about being picked on for wearing them, she probably won’t be wearing them at all.  Now that would seriously stink.  Do you have any recommendations for our minimalist running family? Did I mention Lily has some awesome style we should probably be sensitive of.   :)

Lily and her awesome style

Lily and her awesome style!

Cat-calls and other degrading things (some) men do- Emily

Posted on August 10th, 2011 by Emily

My  running partner, Sarah, and I took a nice run this evening.  We haven’t been able to run as much lately due to vacations and the heat and various schedule differences.  So we were finally able to get together tonight for a quick run.  It was nearly the perfect weather for it, both of us were quite thankful for that! We’ve decided we are tired of running the roads of Saranac, we’re board.  We tired to change it up a little bit, but there are few options available to us.  We went out the dirt road and around back to town.  It’s still a 3 mile loop on mostly back roads, but it also still goes down the roads in Saranac.  One of these days we’ll end up driving somewhere else for a change.

Anyhow, back to the title of this blog post.  We were almost back to town, but still on a dirt road when we were coming up over a hill and behind us there was a truck.  A truck with two men in it.  Those men, apparently haven’t learned a few simple things in life.  It’s truly sad.  So we were almost over the hill when this truck passed us and the driver yelled out a “Woo-hoo” followed by a wave, and then a classic (not to be confused with classy) cat-call.  Sarah and I looked at each other and asked one another at nearly the same time, “Do you know them?”  Which neither of us did that we knew of.  We laughed it off and kept on running, we were on a roll finally (it’s been rough running lately, I won’t lie).  It was funny to realize we were just ‘noticed’, realistically, this is a rare occurrence.  Then we rounded the top of the hill and noticed the truck was still at the corner…. *sigh*  When the driver was turning the corner he yelled out something that sounded like this, “Sorry to scare/startle you, (inaudible) ….. but we ….. (inaudible) pussy!” Sarah and I again looked at each other and said, “Did he just say something about pussy?”

*gag*  I need to go bathe.  I feel so: Dirty. Disgusting. Wrong. Shameful. Afraid. Gross. Loss for words. Confused. What. Seriously. Ick.  *gag*

Really guys?  Really?  Does it ever work? Would you do that if it were just YOU in the truck? Or do you do that just to show off? Do you feel better about yourself? Why, WHY do you think that’s OK? Because, in reality, it simply is NOT OK EVER!!

Sure, there are those that stare, those that don’t turn away, those that check out, those that take a second look, but there is NOTHING as disgusting as being violated by a strange man in a verbal way.  Please, refrain from doing this, it’s not a pick me up, it’s not flattering, it’s just plain wrong.  And now, I’m sure I’ll think of this event the next time we’re running that loop.  Which is just not the memory I want to have of this evening’s run.  Thanks for ruining it, shameful shell of a man.

(Yes, I won’t lie, that is exactly how I feel.)

Running Skirt – Emily

Posted on August 7th, 2011 by Emily

So I’ve wasted, I don’t know, HOURS looking for the perfect running skirt this past week.  I have one skirt, it works well, but it’s plain black and boring.  So I’m looking for one that’s a bit more fun and stylish.  Plus, I’m looking because in less than a month, *gasp, where did summer go?*, Lily will be going back to school and I’ll be walking her up to the elementary and then going for my run.  It’s no big deal to wear the same running clothes over and over and over and over again, but when the same people see me daily before my run (while they’re in their cars waiting to drop their children off), it’d be nice to change things up once in a while.

Why is it taken me hours, you ask?  I’m looking for a few specific details in a running skirt.

  1. It has to be stylish. Not boring black since I already have one like that, nor can it be a solid color.  It must be a fun pattern.
  2. I’m cheap, I admit it, but the skirts I’ve found that I think are cute only cost, say, $85. There is NO way I’m spending that much on a running skirt no matter how cute the thing is.
  3. I like pleats. I think it’d be fun to have a pleated running skirt. Especially cute pleats on the back of the skirt.  In this case, it’d be OK for the skirt to be a solid color and black.
  4. This is where I’m having a hard time finding exactly what I’m looking for.  I want a skirt that has nothing underneath, so shorties, no mesh briefs, no capri’s, nothing.  The skirt I do have has shorties underneath, which would work OK for a stick figure, but I’m no stick figure and I don’t like thunder thigh chafing.  So I’ve been wearing my own Under Armour shorts underneath my skirt to prevent any chafing pain, which means the shorts that are attached to the skirt are bunched up in the crease of my legs.  That’s not too comfy.  So, nothing underneath.
  5. Long enough to cover my rear.  Lets face it, some people are blessed with a buttocks, I’m one of them.  Some of these cute skirts are a we bit too short to do any good hiding my rear, which to me, is the reason for wearing a running skirt in the first place.  So, length would be important.
  6. Pocket(s). I carry my iPhone on my runs, it’s my music, Nike+, emergency phone. I don’t want to carry it in my bra, nor do I want to carry it in my hand.  I want a zipper pocket to store it in.  The skirt I have has a zipper on the back center.  It works OK, it’s a bit small, but it works.  If I could find a skirt with more than one pocket (not meaning a key pocket, but a real pocket) that would be a bonus. I’m not sure what I’d store in another real pocket, but it would be handy to have one, I’m sure.


Now, I’ve searched all over the internet and local stores for running skirts, but there simply aren’t very many options out there.  There are like, four. Four brands that I can think of, that’s it.  With so many women running and wanting to wear skirts to forgive any self conscious areas, it seems like there would be more than just four brands getting into these.  But there are not.  Which makes a very small pool to choose from.  (If you’re looking for a business opportunity, this is sure to be a winner.)  Sure there’s Lululemon skirts, which are super cute and somewhat coveted by a large number of women who simply cannot afford or will not splurge on an $85 running skirt.  And there’s Nike, which is the brand of skirt that I have, but it’s plain black and no patterns out there whatsoever. There’s Skirt Sports, but I’m not into their current line of styles. And there’s Athletica, which is the only brand that I find truly affordable. And yet, with all of those choices, there’s still not one with the options I’m looking for in a running skirt.

Since searching for running skirts didn’t find me anything I was really looking for, I turned to Tennis Skirts.  This is where I found some cute skirts with pleats.  However, still nothing that has everything I’m looking for in a skirt.  Most tennis skirts have mesh briefs, or no pockets (or just ball pockets – which aren’t real pockets since they open on the bottom), or they wouldn’t be long enough, and nearly all of them were over $50.  *sigh*  Why must I be cursed with cheapness?

Then there’s just skirts in general, seems like there would be a single skirt out there that would fit my criteria, right? Well if there is I’m still afraid to buy it since it’s not specifically designed for running.  What if a skirt that I do find for running isn’t the right material for the sport? What if the pattern is super duper cute, but completely non functional as a running skirt? Then I’d be out $ and still be looking for the one.  Besides that, there are WAY too many options online when looking for skirts with pockets.  So I gave up that search.

I’ve even turned to looking into patterns for making my own running skirt.  It wouldn’t be that hard, would it?  I could make it nearly any style or pattern or color I wanted… but there are no running skirt patterns that I’ve found so far in my hours of searching.  Plus, there’s the pocket issue.  Granted, Brandon’s Mom is an awesome seamstress, she’s been there to help me with any type of sewing project I come up with.  But I fear making pockets with zippers, there, I said it.  Besides all those excuses as to why I don’t want to make my own skirt, I just don’t have the time (perhaps if I didn’t spend hours looking for skirts I’d have more) nor the drive to want to make my own skirt.

If I continue to hold out will I eventually find exactly what I’m looking for at Goodwill for $3.99?

Does ANYONE know where I could find a skirt similar to that I’ve described above?

Zensah Leg Compression Sleeves – Emily

Posted on July 26th, 2011 by Emily

Zensah Leg Sleeves

Thoughts of a run a few weeks ago:

Here I am, nearly over the vertigo that plagued me way too long.  I was pretty unsure of this run, but I was tired of doing NOTHING for two entire weeks and I figured, what could it hurt.  I was already slightly dizzy and had just eaten dinner, it was hot, and it had been a long day.  So, I talked Brandon into doing a short run at the ski hills.  We were up north at Shanty Creek for a wedding we were to photograph at Torch Lake the following day.  We arrived at the ski hills with a map that showed the mountain bike route pretty clearly, but the route was majorly unmarked.  So after turning wrong once, we were off.  I had brought my new Zensah compression shorts and leg sleeves to try out on this run but I forgot to put on my SweatyBand, bummer.

First thoughts on the Zensah shorts: They’re long shorts and have a ‘front’ and a ‘back’ to them.  I know, I know, shorts tend to have a front and a back, but these really do have a ‘rear’ to them.  It’s very interesting to me apparently.  I don’t know really if the length of the shorts has anything to do with the lack of length in my legs or not, but they were long enough to go past my knees and it was hot, so I found that quite uncomfortable.  Pulling them up only made bunches on my legs, which was equally uncomfortable.  Oh well. It was what I had to work with, so I made due.

First thoughts on the Zensah leg compression sleeves: LOVE the color.  :)   I already had a pair of red ones and LOVE them, so I figured bright blue would be a nice new color to add to my running.

Once we got going on the trail I realized that I was still a bit dizzy, but I wasn’t going to give up.  I just had to pay as much attention to the path ahead of me as I possibly could.  Things were still blurry but overall I could see the path and unless I fell down, I wasn’t going to stop.  (I think this officially makes me a ‘runner’.)

About a 1/2 mile into our run we came to some hills and valleys, mostly minor ones, but since it was trail we had rocks, a downed tree, gravel, pavement, dirt, and sand to deal with. I haven’t run very much on trails so this was kinda new to me. I enjoyed it, but I’m not sure that I’m a trail runner over a road runner. I think I’d have to have much more trail experience to determine if I liked it better than the roads I typically run in Saranac.  It’s very convenient to run the roads compared to the trails I’d have to drive to.  I also brought along my phone and earphones.  Brandon chastised me for that but I like to listen to music with one ear and the world (along with my pathetic breathing) with the other.

Second thoughts on the shorts: They’re HOT.  Very HOT.  Especially when it’s already HOT.  Bummer.

Other thoughts I had: I dislike having sand on the path, it’s hard to walk or run through.  It also gets in my shoes, which is very annoying. And my legs were getting dirty from the sand.  I don’t like being dirty.  This is where I realized I had a LOT to complain about.  :)   This is also where I heard the sounds my arms make when I run…. :)

Second thoughts on the leg compression sleeves: They should make ‘cool’ ones.  I don’t really know if it’s even possible, but they get hot and in the summer it’d be nice to have a pair of thin ones to wear.  My legs were feeling good though, so I pressed on.

Then we got to the hill of death as I’ve affectionately named.  Straight up for nearly 1/2 a mile.  Most people, I bet, use the ski lift to get up this hill.  Not us, we trekked up it one foot in front of the other.  It was worth it once we got to the top though. Very pretty and a huge sense of accomplishment.  Then back down the hill of death, 1/2 mile straight down.  This is where I noticed that it was hurting my neck to run down hill.  I guess I need to figure out my form for down hills because much more of that and I’d be in some serious trouble.

All in all, after our 2.5 ish mile run, the shorts were OK.  Not my favorite but I’ll give them a try again in the winter and see how I like them in the cool weather.  The leg compression sleeves were fabulous.  I love the way my legs feel running in them and afterward.  They’re not nearly as sore and I don’t have stiff knotted calves or shins like I used to get without them.  Prior to finding the awesomeness of Zensah Leg Compression sleeves I’d get a big knot in one shin and a knot in the other calf.  That led to very uncomfortable and short runs.  I haven’t had that torture since switching to minimalist shoes and wearing the Zensah sleeves.  Plus they help my legs to not be as sore after a run and I’ve occasionally worn them over night to keep warm in the winter.  That’s just an extra bonus.  Lily has a pair of the Zensah arm sleeves that she’s worn a few times since she got them.  I look forward to trying them out this fall, winter, and next spring.  I think they’ll be perfect for those chilly mornings when I walk her up to school and then go for my run.

Don’t take my word for it.  Try your own Zensah products.

In other news:

Did you vote? Have you voted daily?  Sort by “Most Votes” and vote for me to win a $250 grant from Refuel with Chocolate Milk.

Refuel with Chocolate Milk Grant – Emily

Posted on July 18th, 2011 by Emily

Hey everyone, my application has been approved and I’m in the running to win a $250 grant from Refuel with Lowfat Chocolate Milk to use towards continuing my healthy lifestyle.  I need all the votes I can get from now until August 15th.  Vote daily, vote from every computer you have access too, and tell all of the people you know to vote too!!

Go here —-> search for Emily Mulnix or just Emily and vote for me!!!  :)

Many thanks!!

Down for the Count – Emily

Posted on July 6th, 2011 by Emily

The last Friday in June I had planned an incredible day with our Lily. We went and had her nails done with some super awesome designs thanks to Randalyne at Creative Image Salon in Saranac. Then off to Grand Rapids for some shopping.   Lily was in need of a new swim suit.   Oh the joy of swim suit shopping….  Then to see Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer at Celebration Cinema North.   And finally, to the last night of Bible school at First Baptist Church of Lowell.  After I dropped Lily off at Bible School I noticed that I was feeling slightly dizzy and figured I needed something healthy to eat since my food choices for the day were not very good.  After a quick stop at the studio to pick up my computer I drove myself straight home.   I was a bit dizzy still when I arrived home and got myself out of the van, intending to go directly inside and make myself something quick to eat.  Only, I guess, God had other plans.  I slammed my finger in the van door when I shut it. When I got it out I knew that I had to go to the hospital to get stitches.  :( Bummer.  Brandon was in California, all of my family was at Bible school, Brandon’s sister was at a softball game, so I tried Brandon’s Mom.  She knew something was up when I called because I was crying (my mascara is not waterproof), she told me they’d pick me up as soon as they could (they were in Grand Rapids, shopping).

After getting to the hospital I kept getting dizzier and dizzier, even needing to use a wheelchair to get to x-ray.  I figured it was due to the lack of healthy food, plus my finger injury, plus an adrenaline dump.  The room was literally spinning.  It ended up being quite a long night with the dizziness getting worse as it went.  (Brandon’s Mom stayed with me the entire time even though I kept telling her to go get food.  I felt so terrible for interrupting their evening plans.  In hindsight, I’m very thankful she stayed!) Eventually they figured it was possibly due to a virus or the prior thoughts of extreme hunger, broken finger, stitches, and the adrenaline dump.  So they sent me home.

I spent Sunday relatively relaxed and felt nearly normal on Monday, which was nice because Brandon was flying home from California and I really wanted to pick him up at the airport.  Then Sunday night hit… once again I was extremely dizzy and nauseous, something was definitely going on.  Brandon went to work on Tuesday morning but promised me that he’d be home to take me to the doctor when I made an appointment.

Dr. Edmonson diagnosed me with a Viral Inner Ear Infection/Vertigo on Tuesday, June 28th.  For the rest of the entire week I spent my days and nights lying down.  In bed, on the couch, on the floor, on the ground, wherever I was.  I was extremely dizzy and felt terrible.  This was not in my plans for work at the studio, nor was it in my plans for training of my first 1/2 marathon in August.  I was completely sidelined and down for the count (never felt so sick in my life).

(Hi, I’m Emily and) I haven’t ran for two weeks now. (Hi, Emily) (insert stupid laugh here <–)

I’m really kinda missing it (*gasp*).

I really want to go out and run. (Does this make me officially a ‘runner’?)

I’m back up to about 70-75% of my normal self, I’m not sure if I should just go for it or wait a few more days before trying to run again.  I guess I’m afraid that I’ll get dizzy, or not be able to run as far as I used to (still stuck at 3 ish miles), or just feel like crap.  Besides that, it’s HOT!  I know I need to get back out there for training purposes alone (my 1/2 is in August. It’ll probably be HOT then too).  Plus, I’ve been noticing some new jiggling…. and especially because I can’t wait to test out some fun new running accessories (Sweaty Bands, Zensah compression sleeves and shorts, and a Pearl Izumi shirt).

However, I just don’t know when the ‘right time’ is.

So until then…. thanks for listening.  I’ll be here enjoying the down time that God has given me.


Good Gear Running Shirts – Review by Emily

Posted on June 23rd, 2011 by Emily

We were honored to test out some Good Gear running shirts over the last month.  I have to say, the name for the shirts is completely wrong.  It should totally be GREAT Gear shirts.

Several reasons:

  • It’s made of Bamboo, the world’s most sustainable resource.
  • It’s super soft
  • Odor resistant
  • Cool in the heat
  • Warm in the cold

My first thoughts when I opened the package from Good Gear was, “Hmm, it’s pink.”  I don’t have ANY pink shirts.  I don’t typically wear pink, but the other options for the shirts were black and white.  Both good colors, but black would seem to be hot, white would be ruined in a day… I’m just that good.  So, I suppose pink being the only other option, it would do.  Second thought, “Oooh, it’s soft!”  and then, “Well, it smells good now, let’s see how it smells after I run in it.”

Typically, I run in my technical shirts once, and only once, because after the first run they’re smelling like death.  Sweaty, icky, nasty, smelly, gross, disgusting, and any other nasty descriptive word in the English language.  My new Good Gear shirt had it’s work cut out for it.  So, I went out for a run with my running friend, Sarah.  I told her all about the shirt I was wearing and that it’s supposed to be odor resistant.  We traded thoughts on how our shirts typically do after running in them.  Turns out her shirts smell bad after running too.  So it’s not just me.

My pink Good Gear shirt held up pretty well for my first run.  It was rather comfortable.  Quite soft.  And kept me pretty cool considering the heat index was about 89* that first week I tested the shirt.  I got pretty sweaty, even got sweat in my eyes, but I still felt pretty cool with my Good Gear bamboo shirt.

After my run I figured the next test would be the killer, although the other claims ended up being true, no way could it really be odor resistant…. oh how wrong I was.  It passed the post workout ‘sniff test’ with flying colors.  It didn’t even smell. Well, it did, but it wasn’t bad.  Instead it smelled clean, like a freshly laundered shirt and not at all like a just hung out on a sweaty body for the past 55 minutes.  AMAZING!!! Just amazing.

Although it had now passed all of my preconfigured tests, I figured I’d give it a few more tests just to make sure I had a thorough test and review.  My next test was day two of running in the same shirt.  No laundering in between.  Let me tell you first, I also didn’t wash my other clothing.  And MAN did my bra, shorts and skirt smell bad!!! However, the Good Gear shirt still smelled clean.  Really, HOW COULD THAT BE POSSIBLE!?

Again, it passed my test and again, or still, it smelled clean after wearing it for another sweaty run.  I’m simply amazed.

I figured, maybe it’s something on the shirt that will wash off.  So I washed the shirt in with all my other laundry.  No special wash at all, just Tide laundry detergent and line dry.  My shirt did smell different after washing, but I figure it was the scent of my Tide detergent.  So I wore it again for a run, this time, nothing different.  It still smelled good, it’s still soft, and it still kept me cool.

I’ve worn it in the high heat and humidity, I’ve worn it in the rain, I’ve worn it in the cool mornings and in the hot evenings.  Every thing that Good Gear claims to be, it is.  No over zealous advertising, but 100% true statements.

That’s why these shirts, in my book, should be named Great Gear, not Good Gear.  =)

Don’t take my word for it, go ahead, buy yourself one. Good Gear 100% Bamboo Tank Women’s Large

I Choose to SEE ~ Emily

Posted on June 15th, 2011 by Emily

I just finished reading “Choosing to SEE” by Mary Beth Chapman.  I was drawn to reading this book since I had seen it in Baker Book House and Barnes & Noble.  In a way I could relate to it with tragedy striking our family several years ago.  This was written from a Mother’s point of view, which is extremely different than a sister’s point of view.

In August of 1989 my 12 year old brother was killed in an terrible farm accident.  I was 9.  My sister, Mom, and I witnessed the unimaginable casualty, watching him take his last breath.  That day changed our family forever in ways I could not understand until I looked behind me.  There are several completely different ways that our family dealt with the hurt that changed our lives forever.  Anger, sorrow, fear, depression, avoidance, believing, trusting, they’re all ways to handle pain like death of someone close.  I dealt with the pain of losing my brother in all of those ways, but was unaware of how his death would change my life until I choose to look back at myself.  It will never be easy to understand his death or the pain it caused my family, but I see now how I’ve grown through it and understand that today is not the end of my journey to healing.

I see how satan wanted to use this for his work, but I see how God has used it in my life, and many others’, for His greatness.  I will not let satan win.

Even though I’ve grown in my faith, there are others that experience a tragedy and do not.  Instead they turn their back on God and harden their hearts.  Unfortunately, there are those that haven’t yet chosen to SEE the big picture and may never His experience healing.  The fact is, amazing goodness can be brought out of inconceivable bad.  That, even through unimaginable pain, there is unfathomable greatness.

In this book, “Choosing to SEE,” Mary Beth Chapman articulated amazingly well how God has used her family and the tragedy they’ve all individually faced for God’s awesome greatness.  That’s not to say they don’t have bad day’s, which she explains clearly in her writings, but they’ve each chosen to use the bad day’s for God’s work; not allowing satan to get a foot-hold in their hearts.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who’s experienced tragedy such as the loss of someone who was dearly loved and terribly missed.  Especially to a Mother or Father who has buried any of their children.  But my recommendation isn’t limited, really, anyone can read this book and be forever changed.

Even though I’d love to turn back time and never go through the unimaginable hurt of the loss of my brother, I chose to SEE what God has done through my life through the pain of that fateful days event. Daily, I choose to SEE.


Below are a few quotes that Mary Beth uses in the beginning of chapter’s.  They each individually spoke to my heart and I wanted to share them.

You cannot amputate your history from your destiny….. My past is something that Jesus takes hold of and makes into a destiny.  That’s called redemption.” Beth Moore

A person who lives in faith must proceed on incomplete evidence, trusting in advance what will only make sense in reverse.” Philip Yancey

We’re not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.“  C.S. Lewis

Every act of evil extracts a tear from God, every plunge into anguish extracts a sob from God.” Nicholas Wolterstorff, Lament for a Son

Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but turn it into glory.” William Barclay

The quickest way for anyone to reach the sun and the light of day is not to run west, chasing after the setting sun, but to head east, plunging into the darkness until one comes to the sunrise.” Jerry Sittser

Even the saddest things can become, once we have made peace with the, a source of wisdom and strength for the journey that still lies ahead.” Frank Buechner

There is nothing we can do with suffering except to suffer it.” C.S. Lewis

After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.“  1 Peter 5:10 ESV

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