A lesson from Abby Normally

I’m glad things are slowly returning to normal.  We could use normal for awhile! 


  • stayed in bed for 10hrs
  • made Scottish Oats
  • sat on the couch
  • worked on the blog [still working on all of this]
    • new header
    • cleaner arrangement of things
    • new social media buttons
  • made sure Chris was eating + drinking enough
  • took a 3 mile walk
  • 20min yogadownload 
  • dinner
  • Sunday TV [entourage + true blood]

I’m so glad the oats are back!  Hospital breakfasts were getting o.l.d.

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Scottish Oat morning

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peaches + homemade pnut butter + cacao nibs

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I’m still wiped out from this past week.  I figured that I should take a much needed break and throw in a few more guest posts throughout this week.  Luckily I have some amazing blog friends that are willing to help out!

The next post, is from one of my good friends, Abby of Abby Normally.  If you are not familiar with Abby, you need to be.  I love the wide variety of her posts.  She writes about everything from food, to exercise, to life struggles, to family, to barefoot running, to setting her kitchen on fire and breaking appliances, etc. etc.  Her writing style is fabulous + she is hilarious.  Abby and I were lucky enough to meet and hang out a few months back.  We had a blast together!

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Take it away Abbyyyyyyyyy :)

Hi everyone! I'm Abby and I blog over at Abby Normally. I am so honored to be able to guest post on Ashley's blog. I am also so happy to hear that Chris has returned home and is feeling much better. Welcome back, Chris. :D

-->love this girl!!!

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When Ashley asked me about writing for her I wondered what I had to offer. I'm not an excellent cook like Ashley, and I certainly can't write anything like, "How to Run Your Fastest Marathon". What do I know? What have I learned that I can share?

-->um, Abby, you have SO MUCH to offer

Then it hit me. I'm a runner. Not a great runner. Not a speedy runner. But I run and I have run for many years, therefore I consider myself a runner. This past year I have learned so much about myself not through running, but through NOT running.

I've learned to listen to my body.

About a year ago I was training for a half marathon. I was set on a PR, and was pushing myself to achieve that. But in addition to training, I was working full time, traveling for said job, tutoring a student in Latin (yea, I'm a nerd), studying for the GRE, and still maintaining my responsibilities as a wife and dog-mom.

That, my friends, is a recipe for disaster. Because I was so busy, things like nutrition and adequate rest took a back seat. I remember waking up every morning and almost be in tears because I was so tired. All of my joints hurt. I couldn't finish long runs, and so I kept trying and trying...

I just thought I was lazy, but no, I was over trained. And I didn't realize it until I had 8 weeks of absolutely no weight bearing activity thanks to stress fractures that sidelined me during the half marathon which I had sacrificed so much for. My metatarsals were the final sacrifice that was demanded of me in order that I finally learn to turn my pride off and listen to warnings my body had been shouting at me for weeks.

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I have learned that pain can be your friend. It's an important signal that we're meant to listen to. If we don't have pain, we'd never know something is wrong. When something is hurting, or just not right, STOP. Take a minute (or a week) to evaluate the pain. Try to figure out what could be causing it. Don't believe the lie that it is best to push through all pain, because I promise you, it's not.

I have learned to think about the big picture. Maybe I can push through this pain and finish this race, but how much will that set me back in the long run? I want to run for a very long time, finishing one race in pain, and consequently suffering from serious injuries, is not worth it to me. There will always be races to sign up for, but I only have one body. I better take care of it now, not later.

I have learned that I am unique. I've found that through reading blogs I am tempted to think that what is right for one person is also right for me. It's not. I run in my own way at my own pace. And I eat the foods that fuel my body the best to give me the energy to run my races. Other people's standards should not affect my performance. Respect yourself enough to recognize that your needs are different than someone else's.

I have learned that nature knows best. Our bodies function best in their natural state. It seems that mankind is good at messing up the beauty of the natural by trying to improve it (all with the best intentions, I'm sure). When it comes to running, technology isn't always your friend. Beware of trying to improve your running by adding things to it. If there's a pain, if there's a limp, if there's anything that shouldn't be there, try subtracting what is man-made and get back to your roots. Years ago I started having knee pain when I ran so I added a knee brace. Recently I have started running in Vibram FiveFingers and have not once needed that brace. So now I don't need either the expensive brace or expensive shoes. Imagine that?!

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So there you have it, friends. Sidelined for 8 weeks isn't always a bad thing, and the lessons are valuable. This isn't all that I learned, actually, but I won't bore you with tips on how to catch up on Google Reader while on a stationary bicycle. The lessons that I have shared here are lessons that have changed the way I view myself and running in a very positive way. I hope they can benefit you as well!

Ashley, thanks for this opportunity! You rock!

No Abby, thank YOU!