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Our First Crazy Georgia Lizard Spottings!

Those of you who are longtime blog readers of mine know that I have just a little thing for lizards… I love them. I am a true Florida girl and love finding them in my house, catching them with my kids, etc. About three years ago, I started posting my lizard photos on FB, Instagram, and my blog, and titling them “Another Crazy South Florida Lizard Spotting.” I just can’t get enough of the cute little guys!

Seeing lizards in GA is much more rare than in Florida, where they’re just everywhere. We’ve only seen a couple lizards since we’ve been here, and every time was super exciting!

The first time was in May, when we saw this chameleon hanging out on the side of our house! I had actually never seen a chameleon change colors before, so this was very exciting. The boys absolutely loved it!

YAY!!!!! It's my first real  #crazygeorgializardspotting at our new home!!!!! The kids & I were thrilled to see our first #chameleon!! #lizardgram #lizards #lizardsofinstagram #reptiles #igersatl #igersatlanta #igersga #igersgeorgia #georgia #northgeorgia

Saw the #chameleon again the other day! #crazygeorgializardspotting #forsythga #alpharetta #cummingga #johnscreek #northgeorgia #georgia #igersga #igersatl #igersatlanta #igersgeorgia #lizards #lizardgram #lizardsofinstagram #wildlife #green

Then, this skink showed up in our house the other day! It was such an exciting day!

OMG There is a #lizard in my house. Today is officially the #bestdayever!!!! #lizards #lizardsofinstagram #reptiles #igersga #igersatl #igersatlanta #igersgeorgia #lizardgram #wildlife #nature #georgia #northgeorgia #cummingGA #johnscreek #crazygeorgializ

We just love our lizards around here! Hope we see more of these guys around soon. They never fail to make us smile.



Achievement Unlocked!

It always seems impossible until it

A little over two weeks ago, we had our Peak Performance Week at Orangetheory, where we basically worked our hardest to achieve PR times for certain exercises in running, rowing, and planking. I ran a mile in 12:27, which was a PR for me. I’d gotten close to that time only once before (on a good day, I’m normally between 13:30-14:30), but wondered if I would ever be able to break the 12 minute mark.

Running has always been hard for me. I feel like a broken record because I say this all the time. Getting under 12 minutes seemed impossible… but I am DETERMINED to get faster. The last few weeks since Peak Performance Week, I’ve been pushing my speeds just a tiny bit, trying to get my body used to going faster for longer periods of time. It is HARD for me. Seriously hard. I often feel like my legs and my heart rate don’t want to cooperate. Sometimes my heart rate is fine, but my legs give out. Sometimes my legs can keep going, but my heart rate just gets too high and I need to stop. It is such a frustrating feeling!

However, when I found out that we had another 1 mile run again on Friday as part of our run to row workout, I was determined to get under 12 minutes, even if it was by one second. I was a little nervous – since I started pushing my speeds up, I’ve had some nasty shin splints that had been bothering me. I had taken a running break on Thursday and purchased some compression sleeves, which really seemed to help. When I got up Friday morning, I had no pain, so I was excited to take on the challenge.

I was scared I wouldn’t be able to hold on to my speed for the entire time, but somehow I did it.

Not only did I do it, but I finished even faster than I could have ever dreamed. I PRed on my 1 mile run with a time of 11:22! I shaved over a minute off my last time!

I honestly had NO intention of finishing under 11:30. I just wanted to get under 12 minutes, just to say I could do it. But once I knew I could get there, there was no slowing down. I felt like I was flying. When I stopped the treadmill, I almost cried! It felt like I was in the middle of a dream.

My OTF coaches are constantly saying that I am stronger than I think, and it’s true. I think I finally believe them. (Thank you Shelley & Laura!)

No, I’m not going to have perfect running days all the time. I probably won’t have another perfect day like that for a while. Those days are few and far between for me.

But, I know I can do it. And one day, I’m going to do it again… and then, I’m going to do better.

Believing in yourself is the first step to doing anything!

Fun at OTF

Me after my class, with Heather (who works at the front desk) photobombing!


Recap of my first trail run at Haw Creek

On Saturday, I participated in my first 5k trail run at Haw Creek Park in Cumming. It was beautiful outside (but HOT… so hot) and I had a good time.

This is a copy of my Runkeeper log to show what the trail basically looked like. I don’t know if there was a bit of a GPS issue or if I started the timer a bit late, but for some reason it only registered as 3.01mi, though it was definitely a 5K (3.1mi).

Also, my chip time showed my average as 17:20/mi, with my official finish time being 53:45. I am very proud to have made it in under an hour, as there was definitely a lot more walking than running, and the course was full of hills, roots, rocks, branches, and did I say hills??

Haw Creek Trail Run


Since moving to Atlanta, I’ve learned that my knees and hips don’t like hills. After my first two 5k races here, where I injured my hip and lower back going up the hills too hard, I’ve learned that I just have to be careful now so I don’t have another injury – even if it means that I will probably never PR again on an outdoor race… unless I go back to Florida! Ha ha.

Additionally, hill work on a treadmill is absolutely nothing like trying to run on an incline in real life… Real life hills are so much more intense!!! Needless to say, it was a challenge, since I could really only run on the flatter sections, and I basically walked everything else.

The first mile wasn’t too bad, though there were lots of turns and rocks/branches on the ground to hop over and around. I got there faster than I thought I would. The second mile was much harder. The hills increased and there was an entire portion out in bare sunlight where we were going over rocks. JUST ROCKS. I honestly have no clue how anyone was running on that, I would have most definitely killed myself if I didn’t walk. Some people did, though – they flew past me. As for the third mile, we went into a very pretty part of the park that I hadn’t gone into when I visited last week. The third mile was probably the most enjoyable for me because it had some of the flatter trails and was more free of roots and rocks compared to the first two miles. I was able to jog a lot more during that final mile and really enjoyed myself. I’m just thrilled I didn’t come in last!

I only took one picture before the race and one picture after.


My first #trailrun #5k about to go down at #hawcreekpark in #cummingGA in about 40 min. Going to be fun! #trails #georgia #igersgeorgia #igersga #igersatl #igersatlanta #outdoors #trailrunning #running #runnergirl #parks #forsythga #selfie #healthyliving


I finished!!! #dirtyspokes #trailrun #5k #hawcreekpark #cummingGA #trails #georgia #igersgeorgia #igersga #igersatl #igersatlanta #outdoors #trailrunning #running #runnergirl #parks #forsythga #selfie #healthyliving #runlikeagirl #hiking

I was happy to be done. :)

Of course, I’m crazy, so I signed up for another one of these things for next month up at Sawnee Mountain Preserve. It looks like it’s an even more difficult incline (why do I do this to myself?!), plus it’s 4 miles, just a bit longer. I typically don’t ever go longer than about a 5k when I’m out walking/jogging, so that’s new for me too. I’m sooo in for it. But that’s okay, I’m all about getting out of my comfort zone with these, even if I come in last! Looking forward to getting out there some time in the next few weeks to check out the trails so I know what I’m getting into!

HopeJune 29, 2015 - 12:44 pm

I went to high school in Cumming, but I’ve never been to Haw Creek Park or hiked/ran Sawnee Mountain Preserve! I Should probably get on that.
Congrats on the 5k time!
Hope´s last blog post … Desire for Motherhood