About Me

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Florida, United States
I am so many things, but most importantly I am a wife, a mommy, and a woman. Most recently I am a RUNNER.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect

Because I had too much fun last night with my girls from the L.O.L. and I had to finish watching the Rays play...and beat...the Yankees, WOW what a game!!...I truly didn't want to get out of bed this morning.  Soooo I definately didn't want to run 3 miles in the never ending Florida heat.  BUT I did it.  However, I cheated.  I didn't run the causeway, I ran around a local lake.  My "gator lake."I pushed myself just a little bit and ended with a 9:38 min/mile, which is REALLY good for me.  My training is working and I AM getting stronger.  The lake is almost exactly 1 mile around with inclines at the either end.  These inclines used to kill me and cause me to stop and walk.  NOT today!  Today I took those inclines almost as if they weren't even there.  It's also trail running which is not as easy to run because of the constant changes in footing.  AND I LOVED each step! 
I started running this lake last year and truly fell in love with the nature that lives around and in the lake.   Until today, I had only suspected that a few LARGE (12 ft. +)
 gators called the lake home, along with a few medium (5-6 ft.), and several smaller gators.  Today I actually saw 2 large gators to confirm that I wasn't seeing the same one all of the time. As much as I would HATE to run up on any of them, I find it comforting seeing them swimming in the lake.  Maybe because that's how I know for certain where they are.  lol 
The picture at the top is from this morning.  The small black dot to the left of the "don't feed the gators sign) is actually a 12 ft. + gator.  She stayed by the road for my entire run.  The other stayed more in the middle of the lake.  The picture below is from a run last year, but it's a much better picture.  Enjoy! 

I'm going to take my "rest" days seriously and enjoy a pedicure tomorrow and then hit the road on Saturday for my 5 miler.  With just over a month until the Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon, I'm feeling very strong!!!  See you at the races!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Holy Heat Batman!!!

It's been a few days since I've blogged, but I have been running.  I finished my 7 miler on Saturday, as Hal had planned for me and it wasn't too bad.  I finished 7.02 miles in 1 hr. 14 min.  I was happy with that, until my husband decided that he wanted to "run my route" on Sunday morning.  I just knew he was going to put my time to shame and even though he's 6 ft. tall and has been a runner most of his life, I have been working so hard on my runs, that I just wanted him to leave my route alone.  I know! I know! I know!  I can be competitive, but so can he.  I guess that's part of our "couple charm."
Well anyway, he ran my route, from last Saturday...6.25 miles.  However, he ran it slower than I did.  (Insert silent happy dance and evil laugh.)  It's really not that I don't want him to do well...I just want to do better.  I can say that because I know he feels the same way.  :) 
I am starting to feel stronger, not that my runs are getting easier, I'm just more mentally prepared for what's coming.  If that makes any sense?  I'm keeping at my average of 10 min/mile.  BUT, the summer will NOT end!  The temps are in the 90's at 9 AM and it's brutal!  Where are you Fall? 
Have a great day and I'll see you at the races!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I woke up after not getting much rest last night, and knew I had another run ahead of me...and boy was I dreading it.  I'm still not feeling well, and would love to just rest while Sarah's at school, but again, everyone's encouraging words, kept ringing in my head, so I laced up the Asics and hit the road. 
This morning seemed hotter than yesterday, but maybe it was just me.  My car said it was 81 degrees, and it felt every bit of that and more. 
I only had 3 miles to run, so I knew it would be over in about 30 minutes.  I could push through it and I did.  It was hot and I was tired, but I didn't let the bridge get the best of me.  I didn't stop until I was finished.  3.1 miles with a pace of 10:11.
I'm so glad that my inner runner has taken over and I'm not letting any more excuses stop me.  I feel better each time I run, and I love feeling good.  If you haven't found your inner runner...or whatever it is that will get you going...find her/him.  You won't regret it. 
So I'm posting  pictures of my game face.  It isn't always pretty, but it's always a good thing.  Until next time...I'll see you at the races!

Hello 1st run of the week. I'm calling in sick!

After a long weekend of taking care of a sick husband and a rest on Monday, I woke up Tuesday feeling like I'd been hit by a Mack truck.  My first thought was "don't get out of bed" but those days are long gone.  So as I got my daughter ready for school, my head started thinking of EVERY excuse to NOT run.  I imagine my calling in sick, phone call to go like this...
"Hello Me, it's Me and I'm sick.  I don't feel like running today.  The heat will be brutal, the exhaustion will take over and I'll be useless for the rest of the day and I have to save my energy to keep up with Sarah.  My appetite is gone so I don't have the nutrients to keep up on a run this morning.  Thanks anyway but I'll see you when I feel better." 
And then my inner runner came out.  Needless to say she wasn't happy.  After all, I am training to run a "Beat Breast Cancer" marathon and ALL of the words of encouragement I've heard from everyone on Facebook, emails or in person came roaring back to me.  I would be letting so many people down if I just gave in to the "not feeling good" routine.  Plus I had two friends waiting on me at the bridge.  So I laced up my Asics and hit the road. 
The run was EVERYTHING I thought it would be and more.  IT WAS TOUGH!!!  However, with the strength of my amazing friends I made it.  I did feel better, sweating it out works wonders!  I did have enough energy to keep up with Sarah...at least I gave it my best shot.  My pace was 10:10, which truly surprised me. 
Along the route I did pass a new celebrity's home.  You may have heard of her.  Winter, the Dolphin from a Dolphin's Tale, the movie.  She lives at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and has been a long time favorite of mine.  If you get the chance to see the movie, please do.  It's an amazing story of how Winter overcomes an almost tragic event.

Anyway, that's my Tuesday!  Have a great week and I'll see you at the races!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

6 miles of peace, beauty, fresh air...

Today I took on my first long run, 6 miles.  It was GREAT!  I can't remember feeling as strong on any of my recent runs.  In total I ran 6.26 miles with an average pace of 10:27. 
After I crawled out of my warm bed, I found myself waiting for the sun to come up this morning, which was very reminiscent of an actual race.  I didn't want to run in the dark because I would be running by myself and I just don't trust most people these days.  So at 7:04 AM I turned on my Ipod and took off.  Yesterday, my husband and I drove to where 6 miles would be if I took the straight route.  YIKES!  Somehow, it seemed much longer than 3 miles out from my house.  Plus it would be up and over the causeway and back.  Also, I can't say it enough, Florida is NOT flat.  I don't know how it works out this way, but the route is up-hill both ways. 
Anyway, it was beautiful outside so I was enjoying my run.  Then I came to my literal crossroad.  I could turn in either direction and have a nice flat road, or I could keep running forward and tackle the steep causeway again. 
So I chose the causeway.  I'm starting to believe that running is doing something to my brain.  I'm eager to take on challenges and less likely to back down and take the easy way out.  It was amazing coming back up the other side to face a breath taking sunrise. 
It somehow makes it all worth it.  Isn't God amazing?!
Well I made it and am much better having done it. 
On a side note, I saw this sign today and am adding it to my  "From a Runner's Perspective" album. 
 Running is a great way to stay healthy. 
Also, I tried my neighbor's suggestion for fuel and although I wouldn't say I like the taste, I felt great during the run.  Accelerade, is a 4-1 drink mix.  Four parts carbs and 1 part protein.  Thanks Tye!  I think I'll buy some for our house too. 
Enjoy your weekend and I'll see you at the races!

Friday, September 16, 2011

I'm doing WHAT???!!!

I wasn't going to blog today because, after all, it is my day of rest, but I just couldn't help myself.  I did not run at all today.  Instead I had a facial, a pedicure, and did a little bit of shopping.  GREAT day off.  However, while I was talking to my full Iron Man neighbor about how he fuels up for his long runs/swims/bikes, I heard myself say, "I'm running the breast cancer marathon in Jacksonville."  and was hit HARD with a "WHAT?" moment.  Really?!  Did that just come out of my mouth.  Of course my neighbor, just laughed and said, "Well welcome to the party!" 
It was about 2 years ago that I told this same neighbor that I wasn't interested in running anything longer than a 5k (3.1 miles.)  What happened to me?  How did I become a runner?  The answer could be simply that I want to be healthy.  However, it's more than that.  I'm turning 40 in November of 2012 and somehow finishing a full marathon wiggled it's way onto my "Things to do before I turn 40" list.  CRAZY!  Right?  That's not it.  I want that feeling of accomplishment to follow me for the rest of my life.  It will be 4+ hours of some kind of hell, but how cool will it be to wear THAT medal?  I want my daughter to know that she can do whatever she sets her mind to.  AND...Last but certainly not least..I WANT THE 26.2 STICKER TO GO ON THE BACK OF MY CAR! 
I'll let you all know how my 6 miles goes tomorrow.  Have a great Friday night everyone and I'll see you at the races!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Excuses are like...

With little sleep, 85 degree temps, no friends to run with and pain that only a girl can understand, I did NOT want to run this morning.  BUT I did!  I couldn't stop my training on day 3 with "only" 3.1 miles to run.  I am SOOOOO glad that I took my own advice and actually listened to my body, which told me to run, and not my head that kept giving me excuse after excuse.  I didn't tackle the bridge again today, but I did manage to run around my hood which, contrary to popular belief, has some pretty good hills.  (Florida is not totally flat.)
I managed to pound out 3.1  miles with a pace of 9:56, which is a GREAT time for me.  So no-matter what...temps + no sleep + not feeling good + errands to run+ a house to clean+ + + = There are NO excuses!!!
It must be lawn day in Largo, because there were mowers and weed whackers everywhere.  I love the smell of fresh cut grass so this was a definite plus for my run.  As I ran, I passed an elementary school so my mind went back, many, many years, to my days in school.  I remember growing up in Ohio, when the schools did not have AC.  We had to open the windows to "cool off".  Inevitably, there would ALWAYS be that teacher that couldn't hear over the mower, so he/she would shut the windows and literally turn our classroom into an oven.  Totally counter-productive.  All it accomplished was creating a mass frenzie of the kids focusing on turning pieces of paper into fans and fanning themselves.  No-one was listening to the lesson at all.  It's funny how the mind remembers the little things. 
Tomorrow is my "day of rest" so I'm going to get a facial maybe a pedicure and enjoy it!  Saturday will be my long run of 6 miles...
Have a wonderful day and I'll see you at the races!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

And then something amazing happened...

What a beautiful morning!  Seriously the air felt great at 8:50 this morning, so I was more than ready to add some miles to my new running shoes and cool/cute new compression sleeves. 
As I started my run this morning, I realized I was chasing someone...

I chased her for all of 1.6  miles, up and over the causeway!  And then something amazing happened!  I turned around and SHE CHASED ME!!!  I went back up and over the bridge with her on my tail.  I am very proud to say I didn't let her catch me!  LOL  Of course I'm a little crazy, most runners are, but today I DID NOT let the bridge beat me!  I ran that bridge all of the way...without stopping to walk once!  I managed a PR for this particular route.  I finished my 3.1 with a 10:02 pace!!!  Woohoo!!!
I like to think while I run.  With a 4 yr. old, it's really the only time I get to have my own thoughts without interruption.  Today was no different.  I remembered how I used to drive and see people running and think either "Wow!  They are crazy!  It's way to hot outside for that." or "Wow!  I wish I could be one of 'those' people."  And I realized that I am one of those people and many people look at me as I'm running alongside the road.  ;)  As I was running over the bridge I saw 2 men enjoying their mornings in a much different way than I was.  They were fishing.  It struck me  funny how different people have such different ways of relaxing and enjoying their lives.  Isn't it wonderful?
In my first blog entry I told you why I started running, but I didn't tell you why I kept running.  Well here it is in a nutshell.  I love my daughter and my husband and I want to be healthy for them as long as I can, and I know that exercise and eating well, is the only route that really works.  Of course I still run so that my Miss Me jeans look good, but I also run for my family.  I want to not only see my grandchildren, but I want to enjoy them as well. 
On the way to my running route this morning, I heard the song Chris and I danced to on our wedding day.  It's not a song I hear, well ever, on the radio, and I think it was perfect for my morning.  The song is You Raise me Up, by Josh Groban.  I've always said Chris is my rock. So maybe there was a little more of his strength pushing me this morning, if only on the subliminal level. 
That's all for today!  Enjoy the life you have and I'll see you at the races!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My First Steps into 26.2

And away we gooooooooo!!!!
Following my friend Jenny's advice, I googled Hal Higdon and decided to start following his Novice 1 marathon training program.  I decided on the Novice 1 (the "easiest" one) because although I am a runner, I'm VERY intimadated by the word MARATHON.
It seems pretty simple.  Three miles Tues. Wed. and Thurs. with a rest on Friday and then 6 miles on Sat. with a cross training day on Sun. and another rest day on Mon.  Of course the miles will increase as the time gets closer but I should be ready.  Right?
This morning I joined my friend Julie at the Memorial Causeway at 9:30 and started pounding the pavement.  With temps at a brutal 85 degrees and no shade or a sign of a cloud, the ramp up seemed impossible, but we did it!  We finished 3.2 miles in 31 minutes with an average pace of 10:32.  I felt awesome after it was over. 
The best part of running in Florida is the water and wildlife.  We were able to watch a family of stingrays play while we were on top of the causeway.  It truly is an amazing life to be a runner! 

How My Journey Started

I should start by saying that God did not give me a runner's body or endurance.  I have always been athletic, but NEVER involved in running...until 4 years ago when my daughter was born.  Of course it started out as a way to "get my body back".  lol  Little did I know that no-matter how far I ran, I'd never have my old body back. 
Running my first EVER race, almost 1 year (2008) after taking my first step on the treamill, was the first step into my addiction.  It was a 5k Turkey Trot that took me 56 minutes to finish...and I thought I was running fast.  However, I was so proud of that finish that I went home put on my heels and cooked a Thanksgiving meal.  Needless to say, I haven't looked back!

Fast forward to 2010, I was asked by my fabulous friend, Donna, to join her in running the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon.  Donna and I have a great relationship, even though we are modern day pen-pals and hadn't actually met face-to-face, but I thought she was C-R-A-Z-Y!  My longest run was 3.1!!!  However, I agreed, mostly to have a chance to meet her for the first time.  So the training began in July of 2010. 
I was running as much as possible and as long as possible in hopes of just crossing the finish line.  In October, I bought a new pair of running shoes, which were not the correct shoes for my gait, and I ended up with Planters Fasciitis.  OUCH!!!  Because I had already paid ALL of the money, including hotel room, I had to keep running, so I returned my shoes and got another pair.  Such a newbie to running I had NO idea what a gait even was.  ;)
So February came around and I HAD to run 13.1 miles...all at once!  I was so terrified to run that distance that I couldn't sleep and deveolped the worst heartburn of my life!  With  only 1.5 hours of sleep, I got up at 3 AM, put on my tiara and tutu, laced up my Asics, and jumped on the bus. 
The ENTIRE race was truly magical!  I loved every step, and cried like a baby when I crossed the finish line.  (The poor old guy giving me my medal must have thought I was nuts.)

Being on top of the world with my 2:44 finish, I registered for the Iron Girl 1/2 Marthon in April with a few local friends.  Boy was that a totally different race!  It honestly made the Disney race feel like a real "Mickey Mouse" race.  Three causeways, the hottest day of the year, and a blister at mile 5, made me re-think why I run.  I wanted to throw in the towel!  It was the hardest thing I've EVER done, and I gave birth.  lol But when I finished it, I felt like a rockstar!  BUT I had decided that I was finished with distance races.
All of my runner friends, will know that once a runner, always a runner, and with time eveything is better.  So my husband, who is also a runner, decided to run the Rock-n-Roll 1/2 Marathon, and I told him I would run it with him.  This brings us to summer of 2011.
This is when I decided to add running a full marathon on my "to do before I turn 40 list."  Am I crazy?  I just might be, but I started my training today and this is my journey into 26.2!!! I hope you will join me and enjoy it all along the way.