About me

A lot has happened in 3 mos..

Words like "Fibromyalgic" (from 3 separate medical professionals) and "if you stay on this path, you are just slowly killing yourself" are not things I thought I'd be hearing in my near future after I was diagnosed with my 3rd stress fracture in early August.....
Life has  a way of keeping us on our toes and never letting us too comfortable doesn't it? But who am I to complain? i'm certainly not the ONLY person or athlete out there who has been plagued with bad news or a stream of "bad luck". After my 2 mos of rest....and this time I really didn't do any cross training or anything...I was so busy all summer with weddings that I thought the rest would do me some good, I resumed running....

for about ONE MILE.
My ankle still hurt. Not where I had a stress fracture...but the place in my foot that was hurting BEFORE the stress fracture. Probably the problem area that LED to the stress fracture. My immediate thought was "Are you kidding me? 2 mos of COMPLETE rest, NO exercise..and this STILL HURTS?"
I walked home and felt sorry for myself. What now? frustrated b/c not once in that 2 mos did my ankle hurt while walking or standing...I had completely forgotten about it....but as soon as I tried to run, it was apparent that there had been no change.
Was it the shoes? was it my gimpy foot that flares out? what? what was I to do.
I found a new chiropractor who seemed quite stumped at my body and ALL the diff ailments going on on the right side of my body. I  knew there was probably some tendinitis in my foot and we THINK that is what originally lead to the Stress fracture...but there had to be more.

ENTER: Weak glutes, Hips, and CORE.
Yeah...like I haven't heard that a million times.....STORY.OF.MY.LIFE

After a few weeks of this, I didn't feel like anything was helping..I asked for more options and he referred me to Dr. Minarik at Elixia Wellness group. Natural path and acupuncturist.

HOWEVER, he was apparently THE GUY to see about therapy injections etc when nothing else was working and I NEEDED to get this foot better!
Well...I also had been struggling with MANY other symptoms that seemed to be hormonal....for example:
-constant fatique
-weight gain (10lbs in 6mos. I havne't gained weight in 15yrs)
-night sweats
-memory loss
-foggy brain


when YOU know that something isn't right in your body...A stupid nurse telling you " you're just getting old and can't eat whatever you want anymore" doesn't cut it. Okay lady, I THINK I KNOW MY BODY, and something isn't right!
so glad I didn't listen to her and went to see Dr. Minarik. Within about 15minutes he knew things about me without me even telling him. He saw a chain reaction going on that was instantly recognizable to him.
I left my first appt not only feeling confident that HE could help me but feeling HOPE. for the first time in a year, I felt HOPE. 
After learning about my really high stress levels, sporatic eating, sugar/carb addiction, too much processed and fast food on the go, he told me it was quite possible I was going ot have to cut out sugar and wheat ......
"yeah right, buddy" I thought. "those things are MY LIFE!". sad huh...but like so many other people, I am an EMOTIONAL EATER.

After some Dry Needle therapy in my calves (OH MY GOSH, the first session was the WORST), I noticed some relief.....I have done it 2 more times since...but he first wanted to address what was going on in my body....which meant doing some EXTENSIVE blood tests.

This next part I will suck at explaining but the results came back as such ( the best I can understand it)
1. Hypothyroidism: (hence the weight gain) T3 and T4 fine, but TSH off. more likely caused from high cortisol that hormones
2. cortisol levels likely VERY HIGH
3. sugar and long bouts of not eating during the busy work day causing major insulin spikes...causing MORE cortisol
4. exercise and marathon trainings = more cortisol
5. stress from running a business and trying to be mom and wife = more cortisol

A bunch more stuff I can't regurgitate BUT the result was this:

"You need to get your stress levels under control. You need to cut out all wheat, sugar and processed food for a few months if you want to get better. We can start you on some supplements that will help..." etc etc

As I sat on the other end of the phone it all sort of came to a funnelling moment for me.

Years of the inner voice telling me to cut back on work, stop eating the way I was and take control of my life. Ignored. again and again.

and now here I was.

"if you don't change something Nicole, you are just slowly killing yourself". 

Sugar, wheat..processed food. It's just food right? should be easy, right?
It's just cutting back on work, right? should be easy right?
I knew it was NOT going to be easy. but I knew that I WANT TO RUN AGAIN. I want to be HEALTHY.

That was 3wks ago. In the last 3wks, I've made some DRASTIC changes to my life. Changes I didn't think I COULD make, Changes I didn't think I would see and certainly didn't think could come from changing my stress levels and my FOOD. But seriously, there's a reason they say "you ARE what you EAT!". 

I am off my antidepressant. I have managed to incorporate some time managment strategies into my daily routine to cut back on anxiety and stress.
I have started some great supplements to help with my cortisol levels that seem to help alot.
I have not eaten wheat, sugar or processed foods for 3wks.
I am sleeping better.
I've lost 6 of those 10lbs I've gained.
I joined 24hr fitness.
I hired a personal trainer to start really WORKING on getting strong GLUTES, HIPS and CORE.
I met with a dietician to get help with my knowledge and planning there
I see my amazing Physical therapist Aubrey every week.
I am taking controlf of my life!
I have eaten my weight in raw vegetables the last 3wks.
I STILL miss sugar some days.
I  MISS running and have had some very sad lonely moments reading about all the successes of my friends.
It's been over 3mos without running. I can run a 2 miler about once every week or 2 but other than that  I am trying to use the eliptical and stair climber for cardio....this I am just starting.

AS I have lowered my cortisol levels, I can actually FEEL all the aches and pain in my body. I WORRY that I really do have fibromyalgia but would almost rather not know. My muscles hurt just to walk around now. My legs ache when I stand for too long:(

I DREAM of running again. I dream of making it back to BOSTON some day. So much of my running dreams have been robbed from me but I refuse to give up. I just can't. I would hate myself if I did.

I know it's probably going to be a year or so before I can REALLY run again and by then I will be starting from scratch but I am just trying to focus on what I CAN do.

I can eat well
I can get my INSIDES healthy
I can work on STRENGTH training
I can work on my time managment
I can strengthen my family and their eating habits.
I can slowly change my life so that WHEN I can run again, I will be STRONG from the inside out.
Do you know this was the first hallowe'en since I was probably 10 when we started celebrating it that I didn't Eat ONC Piece of candy! Nicole: 1, Candy: 0 :):) HUGE accomplishment!

In going through all this, my goals keep me motivated.
Some day I'd like to run NYC marathon and BOSTON. Some day. some how. Not SURE when or How but I know that God is on my side and knows the desires of my heart and He will help me get there.

One day at a a time.
Tomorrow. 6:30am I have a date with the eliptical:)

Hope you all are well. Keep your chin up and press on. This is YOUR LIFE. Take control of it.

3rd stress fracture. 3rd summer In a row

I am not even sure why I am coming on here to write. I am not sure what I think I need to hear or hope to hear in reply to any of this. The situation feels so helpless at times.
Since my femoral stress fracture last year, I was so cautious I didn't run a lot from August to December. Kept it under 30 miles a week and didnt get the courage up to train again til February.
I still only ran a max of 40 miles a week and none of my training was strenuous. Again, I tried to keep things very moderate so I could stay healthy!!

I noticed some mile aching in my foot the last few months and Steve said it we some tendinitis in my foot. It never bugged me when I ran but always ached after.
Eventually around July I noticed the muscles going up my outer lower leg wet getting tight. Then before I knew it, I had a stress fracture in my fibula. Same leg, same bone as my first stress fracture that I got at mile 22 of my first and only marathon in may of 2011
So here I am.
Heart more broken than ever. It's been 4 wks with no running.
I was half way through marathon training with my husband for a marathon on sept 28.
We were supposed to run together. His first and was hoping it would be my first healthy and injury free.
Now I am cheering and watching him train alone. The guy who doesn't even like to run.
I have been busy w weddings and getting ready to move so I've tried to avoid facing my feelings but its tough.
Especially this weekend watching everyone post their good to coast photos and watching my friends reaching new PRs. Infact I've been watching them make incredible strides the last two years and I am truly happy. But at the same time there is this ACHE in my heart. All I have ever wanted since I started running 3 yrs ago was to race and get fast and improve. I am beyond frustrated and hurting.
Running is a part of my soul and I am terrified that I will just NEVER be able to be the runner I WANT to be and that I know I CAN be.
I feel helpless.
I am not even looking forward to being able to run again in 4 wks bc it just means I am potentially closer to being injured all over again.  Why can't my body just work? What is wrong w me?!

Time for Change and Eugene Half marathon Race recap

I had a good 12 wks of training leading up to Eugene and had a pretty good race too:) and now once again, like every other training cycle I have ever completed....I find myself injured AGAIN.

This time it's IT Band syndrome and something funky going on with my foot and lower leg.

Why? I ask myself..but this time around instead of being bitter or angry, I'm determined.
Something. Has. To. Change.

I wasn't over trained, I wasn't running too many miles, I ALWAYS erred on the side of caution......So, what's the missing link?

Well, I'm convinced that the missing link to ALL these injuries is lack of strength training. Everywhere.
My core, my glutes, my hips, my quads........

I had a good race in Eugene...it started out rough....only got in 1 mile of warm up with 15min in the middle stuck in the starbucks bathroom ....felt so sick, tummy hurting etc.
jumped into Coral B as the race was starting and realized I was WAY back from where I should have been.
Maybe was a blessing in disguise though b/c passing people for the first 8 miles was actually exhillarating and made me feel like I was running so much faster than I was.
By Mile 6, I realized I was averagaing close to 7min pace and knew I COULD actually run a decent race.
And unlike the Hop Hop half where my legs went dead at mile 11...this time I ran faster and that feeling didn't kick in til about mile 12.5. So I made some definite improvements in that 4wks which I was very happy about!

At mile 6.5 of the race though, I got a sharp pain in the outside of my right knee. Never before have I had pain there......it was really strong and It made me nervous. I told myself if it didnt' go away within a mile I would drop out....I have been so cautious about avoiding injury but somehow it always finds me:)

It DID go away so i kept running...My foot (which has been nagging me for a few weeks) continued with a dull ache the whole time but that was nothing new.

I pushed myself really hard at the end and finished in 1:33:17:):) 5 of my 13 miles were in the 6:50's which made me really happy:)

 I was VERY happy with this time and super excited about hitting my goal in Sauvie in 8wks with a  sub 1:30.....well that only lasted 2 days b/c last week on my runs the knee kept hurting.....I only ran 20 miles last week with 4 x 5miles b/c I was trying to rest but on saturday I decided to pull the plug.

I'm pretty sure it's IT band syndrome and when I looked it up , it said a big contributor is weak glutes and hips. Shocking right?
I have been rolling, using ultrasound  and iceing daily and hit the gym today to start working on my strength training.
I figure there's no point in continuing to persue running if I don't get the rest of my body stronger first.

I'm not sure when i'll try to run again...maybe later this week, maybe in 3wks....but I'm determined to rehab this body and make strength training a priority once and for all! Hopefully I caught the ITBS soon enought that a few weeks will do the trick:)

Mile 10ish

Finishing on Hayward Field

Relief:) Done. 

Heading into Eugene...and other stuff on my mind....

I have been avoiding writing on here regularly b/c it's hard to explain where i'm at without explaining a lot of really personal stuff that is not fit for the cyber world.

Let it suffice to say that my mental and emotional state has been less than well. Work is going well....things are successful there...but in my personal life there have been some major major struggles...and mostly brought on by myself.

I have hit a road block in my running lately. I am not progressing. In fact I'd say it's safe to say that I am Degressing. I couldn't even run a 21: 20 5K on the track last week. I can't hit my paces in my workouts and I am definitely not over trained. As I looked at my food, my training etc...I saw that nothing was out of place. I'm not injured ( a little bit of MINOR tendinitis in my foot, but nothing stopping me). I finally asked my coach "could STRESS be causing my body not to perform well?" and her answer was a clear YES.

Sadly...I think this is why I am just getting no where fast these days. And unlike diet or shoes or cutting back mileage, there isn't much I can do to change it but keep working on what i'm working on and wait for  the fog to clear.

I have struggled so much lately with self-esteem, self-worth and depression. Everyday I am faced with the reality I can't run from anymore and It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel sometimes. I don't feel worthy of good friends, I don't feel worthy of love, I don't feel worthy of success. The last time I felt like this was when I was a very depressed teenager. I feel like every critical thing that anyone has ever said about me is true. It's hard for me to even put this in writing and took me weeks to tell my husband that I was feeling this way. Lately I even find myself picking apart my body and feeling fat and gross more often than not. I hate that feeling. It's got to go b/c I  know I'm not fat. I guess it is all just going along with everything else I feel about myself lately. I am trying to work through these feelings and find positive things to say to myself but I'm really struggling. I am trying to find the faith to reach out to God but am even struggling there.

Almost 3 mos ago I committed myself to training again. I set the goal to break 1:30 in Eugene. Then after running the Hop Hop half 4wks ago in 1:35:25, I realized that was not a realistic goal....and that even my B goal of setting a new PR on my 1:32:18 was not realistic either. SO...here I am heading to Eugene this weekend....paying for a hotel i can't really afford to run in a race that will be anything but amazing. But I'm going anyway b/c i'm stubborn and I don't just give up or walk away b/c I can't reach my goal. I'm healthy and I can still run, so I'm going to run.
I am hopeful that I will at least break 1:34 but I will just run whatever is my body's best THAT day.

Those are pretty much my feelings on Eugene. I feel a bit numb overall....not excited, not worried, not nervous...just numb. A tad disappointed maybe that i'm finally not injured for a race and yet i'm not in very good shape either...even after training for 3mos. My heart is a bit heavy. It's aching for something good to happen with my running and yet Patience screams at me to just give into her and my heart screams to push myself anyway and maybe see a miracle on Sunday.

I am grateful and excited to see some of my very good friends run though...in particular, Stephanie from www.soggyrunnergirl.blogspot.com who is running the full marathon. She is in TIP TOP shape to run an INCREDIBLE time and I can't wait to scream for her at the finish line.

I think that maybe, for the first time in years, I might run with an Ipod....put some upbeat music on to keep the negative voices out and just RUN. Run my hardest....run out all the stress and anxiety and sadness and despair....and you never know...maybe it will be a better day than I think.....and maybe not...and that's okay too...right now it's just about not giving up and continually putting one foot in front of the other...not just with running...but with my LIFE.

good luck to everyone racing this weekend. See you out there! xx

Hop Hop Half marathon Race Recap

Well I did it....first time in over 18mos to run/race a half....
with 8wks of training under my belt I knew I wasn't capable of anything near my PR but I needed to get an idea of where I'm at with only 5wks to go til Eugene

My coach gave me the goal of 1:35. Considering I only ran 3 13 milers in the last year (which were all in the last 8wks), I was a tad unsure if I could run 7:15 pace for 13 miles.

I arrived at the race, met up with some Team Athena ladies, ran a quick 1.5mile warm up and headed to the start line.
First 2 miles were 7:27 and 7:24 and to tell you the truth I was feeling like THIS pace would be challenging to hang on to so the question in my mind was "how am I going to get down 15seconds faster than this?". I knew I wanted to try though so I cut my pace down as I headed into mile 3 and by mile 4 I was feeling it.
WHICH MEANT.....it's going to be a long 9 more miles...BUT I knew I could stay where I was at....I definitely couldn't go faster but I would hold where I was at as long as I could.....
Mile 3: 7:15
Mile 4: 7:10
The next few miles winded along the path along the river...no real strong wind which was nice...I could hear a girl behind me from mile 2 on that had somoene with her telling her to pass me up the hill (a little climb at mile 3) so I made sure to NOT let her pass me there. I didn't know how long I could hold her off though.

Mile 5: 7:11
Mile 6: 7:11
as we headed into mile 7 and 8 we had a good climb which really wiped my legs out and as I headed back on the turn around had my slowest mid race run...this was mile 9 when two girls from behind caught up with me.
Mile 7: 7:09
Mile 8: 7:12
(that's me below at about mile 7.5.....)
Mile 9: 7:26
the 3 of us ran together in a pack for 2 miles...they were both trying to get in under 1;35 which sounded perfect to me but I didn't know how long I could keep up the pace....I was REALLY feeling it...my legs were TIRED!
Mile 10: 7:11
Mile 11: 7:18
At Mile 11.2 EXACTLY my legs just totally fizzled. I sort of expected this to happen b/c I didn't have the mileage under my belt OR the longer runs.....the girls took off and I just couldn't keep up. At this point, my instinct was to either throw in the towell and just slow down alot or keep as little a gap as possible between them and me.
I chose the latter.
Mile 12: 7:15
I can't tell you HOW HARD I had to work to keep this pace
Mile 13: 7:18
I could see the clock and that I was already at 1:35 so I pushed as hard as I could
last .15 was 6:28 pace

I finished in 1:35:25......7:17 pace. I got 7:15 on my watch b/c it showed I ran 13.15

I met the goal my coach gave me. I stayed positive. I kept steady pace. I fought hard at the end when I could have quit.
But more than anything....this race finally gave me my DRIVE back! I feel more determined now than ever to get back into REAL training!

I only have 5wks til Eugene and my coach and I both feel that a sub 1:30 is not realistic so I'm going ot try to PR on my 1:32 and then i'll run another about 6-8wks later and hopefully be able to run my A goal then:):)

* Oh...and sort of exciting and unexpected but I signed up  my husband and I for a marathon on Sept.28.
NO goal time....just for me to get through ONE marathon HEALTHY. THAT is my goal. I just want to run 26miles with no pain and if  I can do that...THEN I'll consider running another:)

going easy on myself.....

well looks like the last time I was on here was almost 2mos ago. awesome. my new thing is being completely random, inconsistent, stressed, disorganized and chasing after my brain. I'm owning it. I will probably not blog again after this for another 2-3 mos. That is MY life right now and i'm okay with that. tired of feeling guilty for not reading or writing. had some major stuff in my life lately that has made me realize that I need to work on my priorities anyway and spend my time doing stuff that really NEEDS to be done. So, if it means I blog a few times a year, I guess that will just have to be good enough:)

I am about half way through week 6 of my training for eugene. When I think that I've been doing this 6wks I expect myself to be MUCH further along in my fitness but then i'm reminded that I have done very little the last 9mos leading up to this so i'm not stressing too much about it.
training is going well. I love my coach, Nikki, she is great.
I've been going to track every tuesday and with the exception of an upset stomach and really cruddy workout this week, I am making slow gains, but at least they are gains:)
I ran 14mile this last saturday...the longest run in almost a year and ran 44 miles total last week which was my highest mileage in 11mos.

I am trying to focus more on the direction I am going and less on where I am at this moment. I know in time I will get there. I see many of my colleagues and friends hitting BIG goals and I am inspired to just keep putting one foot infront of the other.

I am happy that I seem to have lost my obsessive nature about this running thing...mostly I think b/c I just don't want to end up injured again. I feel like i've found a healthier balance in my perspective.
I do try to get all my workouts in and do what I need to do but I am not freaking out about not being where I want to be.

I have the goal to run a sub 1:30 at Eugene BUT i know there's a good chance I won't be in shape for that by then and that is totally okay....I will find another half shortly after if I am still trying to reach that goal.
I do have a half in 2wks as a warm up race to see where i'm at....I'm thinking i'm probably in the 7:20-7:30 pace range for a half right now if I race it.

I am honestly just happy to be alive, to be running and to be making slow improvements towards my goals without overdoing it.
it's a lesson in PATIENCE for me:) seem to have had LOTS of those the last few years, huh?:):)

Even though this half in 2wks is just a tester, i'm nervous...only b/c I haven't raced a half in 17mos...that's a LONG time! kinda like getting on a bike after not riding one for years....you know you haven't forgotten how but those first few peddle strokes are still nerve racking....that's how I feel about racing a half.....just nervous...

anyway...this post was more for me to be able to reflect back later on where my mind / focus was at this time in my life/training. so there ya have it.

Needed a little pick me up......

This morning at 7am, in the foggy 27 degree weather, I ran 10 miles....last week my 8 miles was  a struggle.....so I was not expecting much...HOWEVER, 
the first 3 were around 8 something and then the last 7 were all around 7:45 pace. 
I NEEDED that boost of confidence. Today I feel like MAYBE, just MAYBE I can get into sub 1:30 half shape by Eugene and just maybe I'm in a little bit better shape than I thought. THANK GOODNESS!

made me smile...well not really b/c my face was frozen. no seriously....I  was slurring b/c I couldn't move my mouth properly to talk! lol.....

YAY for BABY STEPS!!!!!!!!!!!!

2013 is on it's way.....how to heal a broken running spirit? and is there such a thing?

Hello friends!!
as much as I dread writing I thought I should get on here before everyone writes me off as dead, or just having walked off the face of the earth. I wish I had some software that I could just talk into and it would put it into text for me, b/c those who know me, know I can talk like nobody's business...especially about RUNNING! but writing?? errr...not so much. I'm lazy. really lazy with writing.

SO, what can I tell you? well, I had some surgery, not running related, don't worry but it required me to take 3wks off. So I did. I didn't think it would effect me TOO badly, but apparently the week before when I only ran twice didn't help my situation..prob more like 4wks off...and since I wasn't in very good shape before that I am REALLY feeling it. This feels worse than after taking 2mos off with each of my stress fractures.
Let me give you some examples so you empathize with me as I whine;)
I ran 4 times this week:
Monday-5miles. ugh. legs tired. just blah. FELT SORE the next day. yikes.
Wednesday-5miles on bark mulch/golf course....avg pace 9:40! no offence to anyone who runs that pace but for me, it is ridiculous. For you regular 9:40 pacers...it would be like running 11-12min miles...you wouldn't be too impressed about it right? and this 9:40 avg did NOT feel easy. just for the record. talk about a wake up call.
Thurs: 5 miles...a bit better..ran a good last mile
Sunday: 8 miles. felt like DEATH. Lungs didn't like me. legs didn't like me. I think someone put 20lb weights in each one of my running shoes:)

So there ya have it! first week back.
23 miles.

Oh..and ofcourse my calf issue I was having before flared up on day 1 of running again:)
I went to thai massage the other day and plan to keep on that and rolling myself at home, hoping ot keep it at bay.
Anyway...I'm really not upset about this...don't think i'm "down",...its more amusing than anything. I have a new found respect for the shape I was in last spring. I really should have appreciated THAT more, instead of always wanting to be faster and better. I was in GREAT shape.....20 milers at 8:00 pace and it felt EASY. aaahh..can't wait to get back there...BUT until then, trying to enjoy the journey.

So I have a  little something silly to share....i've sort of talked about it before, but I wonder if any of you have experienced this. Don't roll your eyes.....

I think my "running spirit" is broken.....or at least Injured. 

Now, I know we all have times when we're down...unmotivated.....have a couple rough weeks...but this is MORE than that. I am not being dramatic or exaggerating...this is really an issue.
Let me explain how I think this happened:

As I have mentioned before, (like 20 times), after having 2 stress fractures in 11 mos, I felt a bit broken.
Having put my heart and soul into Boston training, I was ready to show my stuff. though I should have been focussed on the journey, for me it was the DESTINATION....and I never got to go there....i never got to race, compete, show MYSELF and my family what all my hard work had accomplished.  I never had closure on that training cycle.
when I started running again in June (2012) I decided to keep it EASY. I was SO afraid of risking injury again , I was OVERLY cautious. I took so long to even get up to 20 miles and then all summer stuck around 20-25 miles. by fall I finally tried to hit 30..it's only happened a few times....and as fall approached, I had one good 5k, followed by a whole lot of nothing. IN all this time, I had no mo-jo. the normal Nicole, will do anything, to a fault, to get her run in. I would get up despite fatique, sickness to run at teh butt crack of dawn if it was the only time I could do it.
Always charged...motivated to race, motivated to train....it all just sort of whithered away....gone.
I thought it would come back as I just continued to take it easy and rest but i realized as winter approached that It wasn't coming back and my fitness was disappearing before my eyes. discouraged....more out of shape than I was even back in the beginning of summer, I felt like poop.
Then, when I ran the 5K on thanksgiving and ran a 20:30 and realized that was the same time I ran 6wks back into running after 2mos off in July, I felt even MORE discouraged. I have made NO progress...and why should I have? I haven't done ANYTHING!

ugh, frustrated with myself, I threw around the idea of maybe just quitting running all together. for 2yrs i've dedicated to hitting some very important running goals and have ended up injured every time I get close to success. Why should I go on? why bother? I don't really run for fun...I run to feed that part of my spirit that needs to push, to accomplish, to progress........SO...I guess the 3wks off came at a good time...
but now hear I am.
I have decided to NOT quit running, for now;), and I am supposed to start training for the eugene half with Niki Raffie at the end of this month. let me note that YES I love to run and YES I want to run. I am not forcing myself to do something I don't want to...but i'd REALLY like to find that motivation and FIRE I always had before.

My question is...how do I fix this? and no the answer is not to stop running...that just won't work for me. I've taken enough breaks, I've taken 8mos of "easy"....I need to figure out how to find that Beastly self motivated ME that has always been there...i'm not sure where she's gone......

Ideas? thoughts?