Saturday, December 29, 2007

It's hard to believe that I have been blogging on 23 Going on 60 for over a year now. It all started in November of 2006 when my husband, an avid blogger, suggested that I start a blog of my own. I was pretty skeptical at first - I didn't want to add yet another thing to my to do list that I felt I needed to complete daily or even weekly. I still am amazed at those bloggers who post everyday - a lot of my favorite running blogs follow this format. (Check out Half-Fast, The Lawsons Do Dallas, New York Running and Marathon Stories for some really good running blogs that are updated almost daily...I don't know how they do it!)

I know my posts have been few and far between lately, so I am going to make an effort this year to post more regularly. Some of my favorite running blogs do daily and weekly updates of their training, but I've always been hesitant to do this because I don't know how many of my readers are runners. But, I think I am going to start incorporating a "training log" feature. Last year my main goal was to complete a half-marathon and a full-marathon. This year, I have a handful of 5ks, a half-marathon and three marathons on the calendar. My training is going to be more intense this year, and hopefully more interesting. You never know what is going to happen out there on the roads, so hopefully I'll have some interesting stories as well.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

No Country for Old Mere-Maws*

I have a feeling that the image above is going to be in my nightmares for years to come. Chad and I went and saw "No Country for Old Men" with some friends last night and the movie was excellent. However, anytime I see a scary or thrilling movie I tend to let it affect me way too much. Every time I open the shower curtain or open my closet door or hear footsteps behind me when I'm out running, I imagine that this guy is going to be there with his odd helium tank gun pointed right at me. It's no way to live, really. Regardless of the long-term effects of seeing this film, I highly recommend it!

*For those readers who don't know me personally, "Mere Maw" is the nickname that my husband affectionately gave me on one of our first dates - due to my 23 going on 60 tendencies.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

2008 Race Calendar

I love the end of the year because it means I can start planning for the next one. My race schedule is filling up, and I'm hoping for a year of PR's. I'm also going to try and do some multi-sport events, and maybe even some triathalons. After watching the Hawaii Ironman championships, I've been bit by the tri-bug. My next big endeavor is going to be training and getting ready for Ironman Louisville 2009. Here's what I've got so far:

January 1 - Hangover Classic 10 Miler, Louisville KY

February 9 - Heart, Sole & Glove 5K, Lexington KY

March 29 - Papa John's 10 Miler, Louisville KY
March ?? - YMCA Splash and Dash, Lexington KY (500 yard swim, 5k run)

April 20 - Heart & Sole Duathalon (5k run, 15 mile bike, 5k run), Versailles KY
April 26 - Kentucky Derby Festival Mini Marathon, Louisville KY

May 4 - Flying Pig Marathon, Cincinnati OH


July 4 - Bluegrass 10K, Lexington KY

August 31 - Louisville IronMan (just a spectator this year...!)



November 2 - Huntington Marathon, Huntington WV

These are all of the available races available around Lexington at the moment. While I most likely won't do all of these, it's nice to see that there are so many event opportunities around here. I am going to try and get an entry level road bike in January, and I'm trying to figure out how I can gain access to a pool. I'm really excited about this upcoming year and all of the events - I know that multi-sport training is going to help me reach my marathon goal of 4:30 at the Flying Pig marathon in May.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Sweet Sigh of Relief

My crazy work week is finally over. Working for a public television station can be very taxing during pledge drives, but it can be a lot of fun. I've pretty much just been working and sleeping - I haven't worked out at all this week. It is kind of nice not being in training for something - but I miss the feeling of being in training. Over the next two weeks I am going to work on building up a small training base, and then I will begin training for my spring marathon on January 1st.

Chad and I are getting ready to have a passle of Jr. High and High School kids come over to the house for a few hours of Guitar Hero and junk food. I'm hoping to get to bed early...but I don't think that will happen. Tomorrow I am finally going to get a chance to watch the Hawaii Ironman that was broadcast last Saturday. Thank you Ryan and Amberly for TiVoing (is that a word?) it for me! I love watching the Ironman triathalon - it is always so inspiring and I usually end up a heap of tears by the end. If you haven't read the book Becoming an Ironman, I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving Plans

I ran the Nicholasville Turkey Trot 5k this weekend. It was a really great course - a lot of downhill stretches, a water stop about the 2.5 mile mark, and everything was clearly marked. I ran the first mile in 7:34 - I didn't know my legs could move that fast! I finished in 26:06 - a 5k PR for me.

Chad and I will leave for Sevierville, Tennessee in the morning. We are meeting Chad's family there for a relaxing Thanksgiving in the Smoky Mountains. I've never been to this part of the country, but I've heard it is beautiful. I'm excited about it all - a break from work, a chance to relax, spending time with Chad and his family, hot tubs and fireplaces, trail runs, outlet malls, and FOOD!

Since we will be "off grid" I probably won't be posting until after the weekend. Here's to a happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful time with friends and family!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Marathon Plans 2008

Woo hoo! My twin sister Megan just agreed to run a Spring 08 marathon with me! We are probably going to do either the Kentucky Derby Festival marathon on the last Saturday in April, or the Flying Pig marathon in Cincinnati during the first weekend in May.

Megan is an amazing athlete and can pretty much whip my tail at anything, so it will be fun to train in anticipation of running with her. I know she will push me much harder than I pushed myself during my 1st marathon. She is a personal trainer, cyclist, triathlete, marathoner, and is training for a body-building competition. That might come in handy next Spring if I hit the wall - she could just throw me over her shoulder and carry me to the finish!

Megan, left, and me before our cousin's wedding this past August.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Things have been really busy at work, and will only continue to get busier until the end of the year. So, I will attempt to post over the next few months, but it might just be short and sweet updates. For example:

Wednesday 11/7/07
1. I did my civic duty last night and voted in my first election. Elections were being held for Kentucky's Governor, Attorney General, Commissioner, Secretary of State and some other offices. This is the first time in my adult life that I've been living in the state where I was registered to vote when an election took place.

2. I got to work really early this morning to put some final touches on a project I'm working on. I have had 2 Starbucks Doubleshots and a lime Tootsie Roll for breakfast. My heart racing, my hands are shaking and wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee I'm typing this post really fast.

3. I am training for a 5k. It seems weird to be "training" for a 3.1 mile race, but I am hoping for a PR of under 25 minutes and an age group win. It is a "Turkey Trot 5k" - I remember during our first year of college, my sister and I signed up for a Turkey Trot 5k in Nacogdoches, TX. We went to the start, picked up our t-shirts, decided we didn't feel like running and went to the cafeteria to eat donuts instead. When we were walking back to our dorm rooms we saw a person in a very large turkey costume running through the street, with a pack of people chasing him.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Marathon Pictures

I'm a marathoner!

Spotting Chad, Dru, and Amberly at mile 25.5

A strange smile/grimace look at 25.5

With Dru and Amberly at the finish (...I'm not exactly sure why that area of my shirt was wet)

With my supportive hubby, Chad

Post-race fare at Joe's Crab Shack


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Fast Food Nation

This past Sunday evening I promised myself that I wouldn't eat any fast food this week. I classify "fast food" as any establishment with a drive-thru. My biggest vices? Starbucks, Taco Bell and McDonald's. It is Thursday morning, and so far this week I have had pizza from Little Ceaser's, a double cheeseburger Mighty Kid's Meal from McDonald's, and a triple grande non-fat Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks. So much for no fast food this week!

However, I think the reason I craved these things so badly this particular week is because of the simple fact that I told myself I couldn't have them. As you can see, I fold pretty easily.

In his best-selling book "Fast Food Nation," author Erich Schlosser writes that “the whole experience of buying fast food,” he writes, “has become so routine, so thoroughly unexceptional and mundane, that it is now taken for granted, like brushing your teeth or stopping for a red light.” This is where the danger lies for me and Chad. It is so...easy. It is mindless. After being at work all day, neither of us want to make any more decisions. We just want to eat. We've gotten a lot better about making more attempts to cook throughout the week - but it is just so much easier (and surprisingly less expensive for us) for us to pick up sandwiches from Subway or order Chinese food.

I feel like a key part of my upcoming half-marathon and marathon training will lie in modifying my diet. I've always tried to eat a balanced diet with fruit and vegetables, grains and proteins. But I don't think I consume enough of the "right" grains and proteins, etc. I am going to attempt to keep a food log - not so much so that I can be a strict calorie counter, but so that I might be able to give myself a wake-up call and realize what kind of foods, and how much food, I am taking in each day, and how Chad and I can both add more "superfoods" into our diet.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Marathon Challenge on PBS' NOVA

I almost forgot! Be sure to check out "Marathon Challenge" on your local PBS station tonight at 8pm (ET) or at

I've been watching it for 13 minutes and have already learned more about VO2 max than I ever thought I would be able to comprehend.

Be sure to check it out -and if you would like to order a copy of the program, contact:
(800) 255-9424
P.O. Box 2284
South Burlington, VT 05407


After two great workouts yesterday and today, I feel like myself again. I think I was in a post-marathon funk last week. The post-marathon days were a strange transition time for me. Monday morning - as I rolled stiffly out of bed and walked like a pigeon-toed caveman to the bathroom. I felt like the feat to which I had devoted 10 months of my life had been conquered. So...what next?

I didn't work out any last week - except for my daily walks with Emma. I felt terrible - sluggish, overweight, lazy, etc. But I was too sore to do much activity and I wanted to save myself from any injuries I might incur from starting back too soon.

But alas, there was light at the end of the tunnel. As the week went by, my post-marathon blues lifted. I mapped out a training plan for the Fall/Winter, and also found a Hal Higdon plan that I am going to use for the Derby Festival Mini-Marathon in April 2008. My goal is to get a little faster through the Fall/Winter/Spring - and be in top form for my 2nd marathon debut in November 2008.

I've already decided that I am going to do the Marshall University Marathon in Huntington, West Virginia. Huntington is only about two hours from Lexington, and I've heard that it is a great marathon that is well-directed and has plenty of aid stations! I've also heard that it has one of the best post-race parties around with pizza, hamburgers, etc. Sure sounds better than the one stale Hy-Top sugar cookie I was able to get from the table at the post-race "party" at the Louisville Marathon...but I digress.

However - the main reason I have chosen the Marshall U. Marathon is because of this notice I found on the race website:

Worship Services Available

It’s unfortunate our event is contested on Sunday morning, but due to traffic patterns and safety conditions, event permits and venue availability our event is held on Sunday mornings. If you are coming to Huntington from out-of-town or even if you live in the area the Marshall University Campus Christian Center is located on Fifth Avenue beside the Memorial Student Center. The Center will be open on November 3rd, Saturday evening from 5:00 until 8:00 PM for those who wish a time of prayer or reflection. No services are provided. There will also be a prayer service tentatively scheduled for Sunday morning at 7:30 just inside the Cam Henderson Center (next to the starting line). Ask at packet pickup for details on this.

This really impressed me. Also, the marathon falls under the umbrella of - an organization that is striving to increase health and wellness in the tri-state area of Kentucky, West Virginia, and Ohio. The group also organizes a triathlon each year.

I'm really excited to have another goal set before me. Next fall, I know I will run a 4:30 marathon.

Marathon pictures to come soon - I promise!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Marathon Weekend

I am very proud of the race that I ran from miles 1-23 in the Louisville Marathon. At mile 23 I puked and then absolutely fell apart. I walked miles 23-25.5, but was able to run the last .7 miles. My chip time was 5:05:22. My goal was 4:30 - but I am not disappointed in my performance. I set a half marathon PR of 2:13 in the race. My goal for Spring 2008 is to run a half marathon in under 2:00 hours. I think I will attempt another full marathon in Fall 2008...and this time I will do it in 4:30!

I think many factors led to my demise towards the end of the race. For one, I don't think that I utilized my training as best as I possibly could have. I didn't do any speed work or tempo runs - and I was pretty burned out and fatigued about 5 weeks out from the marathon. I am going to use a Hal Higdon training plan for my spring half, and see how that works for me. If I see improvements, I'll stick with Hal for a full training plan as well. Secondly, I was really really dehydrated. I stopped sweating at mile 18, and I knew that was a bad sign. The race website promised water and Gatorade every two miles - but this was not the case. There were four 4 mile stretches with no aid stations. I was literally picking up half-drunk bottles of water off the course and drinking them. I also went off the course twice to find water fountains in the parks we were running through. It was humid and in the 70's towards the end of my race and I was just zapped. The Louisville Marathon is a very, very small race - and I don't think I will do it again because of the aid stations. They didn't serve Gatorade, but a Heed mix - the most disgusting thing I have ever tasted. I don't want to rant - but in a post-Chicago world, I would think that race directors would make every effort to keep their runners hydrated. At mile 22 I overcompensated and drank a lot of Heed and water - and then it all came up at about mile 23.

I want to thank my wonderful husband and friends Dru and Amberly for coming out to support me on Sunday! It was an amazing sight to see you at mile 25! Amberly even ran with me for about mile. A special thanks to my family as well - I know yall were with me in spirit! And Megan, the next time I put myself through something like this - you better be with me!

Pictures from the weekend:

more pictures to come soon...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Marathon? Check

I am a marathoner.

But I am too tired to tell you about it right now.

Race report (and a "photographic journey") coming soon.

And I really want chicken fried steak right now.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


A special blog shout out to our dear friends Sarah and Alan who gave birth to a beautiful baby girl yesterday morning.

Welcome to the world little Lucy!

Monday, October 15, 2007

iMarathon Playlist

I'm wrapping up the final details for the marathon this weekend. I can't decide if I am really nervous, or really excited. I think it is a healthy mixture of the two. While I've never run a race with my iPod, I plan on bringing it to the marathon. I've done all of my training with the iPod, but usually the crowds on race day keep me entertained enough to lose the ear buds. But since this will be such a long race, I'm going to bring my iPod as a crutch to lean on in the later miles. So, without further ado, I present you with my coveted marathon playlist. This list is 10 months in the making, and I think it has the necessary vim and vigor to keep me going for 26.2 miles. If you have any suggestions, please let me know!

1. Right Now - Van Halen
-This song makes me feel like I am in a Rocky movie!

2. Jesus Walks - Kanye West

3. Seven Nation Army - The White Stripes
-Good beat to run along with

4. The Day The King Was Killed - The Common Ground Band
-Moving and inspiring

5. Intergalactic - Beastie Boys
-To really get the party started

6. Shake It Off - Wilco

7. Bleed It Out - Linkin Park
-Best. Running. Song. Ever. Thanks for the tip, Megan!

8. Stronger - Kanye West
-Can't hurt to add a little more Kanye

9. Boyfriend - Ashlee Simpson

10. Intro - The Common Ground Band

11. Holy - The Common Ground Band

12. Mony Mony - Billy Idol
-This songs makes me think of my sister's wedding reception. I was only 12, but boy was I shaking it when I heard this song.

13. My Love - Justin Timberlake
-What's a playlist without some Justin?

14. If You're Reading This - Tim McGraw
-This song is so tragic. I love it.

15. Numb/Encore - Jay-Z & Linkin Park

16. Bubbly - Colbie Caillat
-Reminds me of my hubby and makes me smile

17. Crash Into Me - Dave Matthews Band

18. Eye Of The Tiger - Survivor
-Again, to help with my dreams of grandeur (ie Rocky)

19. Spiders (Kidsmoke) - Wilco
-Good 10 minute song from Wilco - off of Kicking Television

20. Lovestoned - Justin Timberlake

21. My Hero - Foo Fighters
-Who can forget the scene in Varsity Blues when this song is played?

22. Boston - Augustana
-It is highly unlikely that I will qualify for Boston, but here's to that lofty goal.

23. Damn Girl - Justin Timberlake

24. Makes Me Wonder - Maroon 5

25. You Are My Face - Wilco
My favorite song off of Sky Blue Sky

26. Over My Head (Cable Car) - The Fray
At some point during the race, I'm pretty sure I'll feel like I'm in over my head.

27. Clothes Off!! - Gym Class Heroes
I might feel like taking my clothes off at some point during the race, as well.

28. Love in an Elevator - Aerosmith
-"Whooaa...whooaa yeahh!" I love this song.

29. One (Feat U2) - Mary J. Blige

30. L.O.V.E. - Ashlee Simpson

31. Shot in the Arm - Wilco

32. Take Me to the Other Side - Aerosmith

33. Sexyback - Justin Timberlake

34. Superstition - Emily's Mix
-I think this bass line will keep me moving through the later miles.

35. Side With The Seeds - Wilco

36. Bleed It Out - Linkin Park

37. Stand - Rascal Flatts

38. Fix You - Coldplay
-I love the cymbals in this song.

39. Highway to Hell - AC/DC
-I remember hearing this song play as I was walking along the White Rock marathon course after running mile 22-23 with my sister during her first marathon.

40. The Shape I'm In - The Band

41. Right Now - Van Halen

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

24 Going on 60

When I created this blog I didn't factor in the issue of getting older each year. While my blog is titled 23 Going on 60, I am now officially 24 Going on 60! But don't worry, the URL will stay the same.

I've had a wonderful birthday week - starting off with a surprise party at my favorite place ever, El Potrillo Mexican Restaurant. There is nothing better than having cheese enchiladas and good friends in the same place.

I also want to give a birthday shout out to my twin sister Megan, who is also pretty much 24 going on 60.

More updates to come soon on marathon training and the dreaded taper.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Pictures from Halloween 2k

Costume contest competitor

At the starting line with Rudy

The two dachshund owners sprint to the finish!

Halee and me, with Rudy and Emma

Completing the 1st lap of the 2k course

Post-Race Nap

Friday, September 28, 2007

Howl-a-ween Bone Hunt

This morning I am taking Emma to the Jessamine County Howl-a-ween Bone Hunt. There is a 2k run/walk race, a doggy costume contest, and a bone hunt - where the dogs can keep all the bones and tennis balls that they are able to find. I'm expecting to see blood shed during this part of the day. But, I am really excited because my co-worker Halee is bringing her 1 year old German Shepard. I am going to run with him (Rudy) in the race while Halee walks Emma.
I ended up running with Emma (I wasn't prepared for Rudy's brute strength) and we got 3rd place overall! I was really proud of how she was able to keep up with me for the most part. But I did have to carry her the last 40 yards or so.

Now, even though I have a brilliant costume in mind, we won't be participating in the costume contest. I think it is humiliating and cruel to stuff a little dog inside a lady bug costume, Superman tights, or the least creative of all for a dachshund - a hot dog bun. Now I do have a really great idea for a costume. It involves a white wig, a tiny velvet hat, small silver spectacles, and a red velvet blouse...combining together to create - you guessed it...Mrs. Claws. I'm pretty sure Emma wouldn't stand for it though. See below for past costume attempts:

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New GU Fan

I just tried GU (pronounced goo) for the first time...sitting at my desk. I was pleasantly surprised! I am going to see how my stomach handles it, and then hopefully use it during my race-like training run on October 6th. I'm not sure what I expected it to taste like (I tried "chocolate outrage") but it tasted like brownie batter to me. Also, Kroger is having a great sale on Clif Bars (new Mojo bars included) and 32oz bottles of Gatorade - 10 for $10! Perfect time to stock up for October.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Marathon Manifesto

I've come to realize over the past 10 months that running a marathon encompasses so much more than simply putting one foot in front of the other for 26.2 miles. One of the most intimidating things to me about the marathon experience isn't the distance - it is the idea that so many things need to culminate together on one day, on one morning, for one race. This is so intimidating for me! All of my runs and training sessions that have been spread out over roughly 300 days will combine together to carry me through 26.2 miles. put my OCD mind at ease, I've compiled what I call a "marathon manifesto" - a 3 page Word document detailing close to my every move for the marathon weekend. My husband thinks I'm crazy for doing this - but it is so comforting to be able to mentally walk through the race weekend and flesh out all possible circumstances and scenarios. I find myself updating it and tweaking it every day - but I want to post it here so that I can get feedback from my running readers.

Test Run: 13.1 miles,
October 6th, 2007, 8:00am, Nicholasville
1. To participate in the Phedippidations 2nd Annual World Wide Half Marathon Challenge
2. To replicate Louisville Marathon race conditions

Pre-Test Run Prep
-Prepare 8oz portions of Gatorade (4)
-Prepare 8oz portions of water (3)
-Prepare 32oz bottle of ½ water, ½ Gatorade
-Prepare gel packs (1)
-Prepare running outfit

Friday dinner:
Pasta at Macaroni Grill at 6:30pm
  • Water
  • House Caesar salad
  • Bread
  • Penne with oven roasted chicken
  • Dessert: 2 Reese’s Peanut Butter cups
Go to sleep 9:30pm or 10:00pm

Breakfast at 5:45-6:00am:
  • Cheerios w/ banana
  • Clif bar
  • 20 oz bottle of half-water/half-Gatorade

Begin run at 8:00am
Aid Stations:
  • Mile 2-water
  • Mile 4-Gatorade
  • Mile 7-Gatorade
  • Mile 9-water and gel
  • Mile 11-Gatorade
  • Mile 13-Gatorade

Marathon Weekend: October 20th and 21st, Louisville

Packing List:

  • Camera
  • iBook
  • iPod
  • Cliff bars
  • PowerBars
  • A few Jolly Ranchers to put in pocket (just in case!)
  • Gels (4 chocolate)
  • Gatorade (3 32oz bottles fruit punch)
  • Water bottles (4 20oz bottles)
  • Headband
  • Small towels
  • Pre-race zippered hooded sweatshirt, gloves (buy cheap throwaways from Wal-Mart)
  • Race outfit
  • Under Armour socks
  • Mizuno shoes
  • Shorts (side pockets – 1 Jolly Rancher, key, iPod, 2 gels safety pinned to inside of shorts)
  • Under Armour t-shirt
  • Post-race outfit
  • Advil, Tylenol
Saturday, 1:30pm – Head to Louisville
Saturday, 3:00pm – Pick up packet at race HQ, drive race course
Saturday afternoon – Check into hotel
Saturday evening – Order and pick up dinner from Macaroni Grill
  • Water
  • House Caesar salad
  • Bread
  • Penne with oven roasted chicken
  • Dessert: 2 Reese’s Peanut Butter cups

Saturday night:
watch TV, charge iPod, finalize playlist, go to bed early (9:00ish)

  • 5:15 – wake up, drink water bottle, shower
  • 5:45-6:00 – eat breakfast
  • Cheerios, banana, Clif bar, 32oz bottle ½ water, ½ Gatorade
  • 6:00-6:35 – go back to room, stretch, finalize bags, etc
  • 6:40 – check out of hotel, head to race HQ
  • 7:00ish – arrive at race, begin stretching and warming up
  • 7:45ish – last bathroom stop
  • 8:00am – begin marathon!
  • 12:30pm - finish marathon!

Aid Stations
  • Mile 2: Water
  • Mile 4: Gatorade (8 oz, calories = 50)
  • Mile 7: Gatorade (8 oz, calories = 50)
  • Mile 9: Water and Gel (calories = )
  • Mile 11: Gatorade (8 oz, calories = 50)
  • Mile 13: Gatorade (8 oz, calories = 50)
  • Mile 16: Water
  • Mile 18: Water and Gel (calories = )
  • Mile 20: Gatorade (8 oz, calories = 50)
  • Mile 22: Water
  • Mile 24: Gatorade (8 oz, calories = 50)

Gatorade Info (per 8oz of fruit punch flavored Gatorade x 6 consumptions)
50 calories
110 mg of sodium, 30 mg of potassium, 14 grams of carbs

PowerBar Chocolate Gel Info (per packet x 2 consumptions…possibly 3)
120 calories
1.5 grams of fat
200 mg of sodium, 40 mg of potassium, 90 mg of chloride

Expected calories burned: 2,600 calories

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Running Updates

This past May I began looking for a marathon training plan to follow through the fall for my October marathon. I found a training plan on the Louisville Derby Festival marathon website, and "customized" it...I think this was my first mistake. I shifted things all around to fit in the spinning classes I attend on Monday and Wednesday morning, added miles here, added long runs there. There is a statistic somewhere that says you shouldn't increase your training miles by more than 10% of your total miles each week. Both in my half-marathon training and now in marathon training, I always seem to throw that wise adage out the window. Which of course is not good, and has lead to injury both times. My left knee has been bothering me for about two weeks now - I can't go for more than 6 miles without feeling like my knee is going to explode. So, I have decided to really cut back on heavy running and log some serious hours on the spinning bikes. Being five weeks out, I don't want to let my level of fitness slip any, but I also don't want to risk making the knee any worse. I am going to do a lot of cycling and slowly build my mileage back up to where I can do a 10 or 12 mile long run a few weeks before the race. I feel really good about my training plans from here on out, and I've already picked a training plan (ING New York City Marathon Basic Marathon plan) to follow for a spring marathon - no altering this one!

Now...I just need to figure out what I'm going to wear during the marathon.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Clifford Appearance

These pictures are from my short stint as Clifford the Big Red Dog this past Saturday in Louisville. The event was in a museum, and the Clifford meet and greet was held in a beautiful castle-type room. A little gothic, but really pretty. Sorry the pictures are dark and blurry - but it was the best I could find!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Early AM Run

The positive aspects of living across the street from a Catholic church:
1. Being able to visit the Perpetual Adoration chapel at any time, day or night.
2. The added security that maybe someone will think twice about breaking into our house because the eyes of the church are upon us.

The negative aspects of living across the street from a Catholic church:
1. Having the living bejeesus scared out of you during a 6am Sunday morning run when you encounter a priest on the sidewalk fully garbed in a black robe.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


The 20-miler went well. I am still alive, so that is a good sign. I had a really good time running in Wilmore, but oh my goodness was it hilly. It was neat getting to run past and see my friend waving at from the window of a coffee shop, and to stop at another friend's house for a much needed pit stop and bathroom break - there was even an encouraging sign waiting for me! (Don't worry Dru, the one man cheerleading squad wasn't awkward at all!)

I think I was pretty well prepared with fluids and PowerBars, but it was a pretty tough run. I am already looking forward to my next long, long run - a 22 miler on September 15th. I will do one more 20 mile run on either September 29th or October 6th - I need to do some research to see if it is ok to only taper off for two weeks instead of three. I have events at work practically every weekend in September, but I am determined to fit all of my long runs in this weekend. This weekend I will be donning a Clifford the Big Red Dog costume at a local art museum...I will be sure to post pictures.

On another note, Chad started back for his second year at Asbury Seminary yesterday. He has been very antsy this past month for school to start up, so I know he's excited to get rolling again. I wanted to take a "first day of school" picture of him, but he wouldn't let me, so you'll just have to trust me that he looked very cute.

Friday, August 31, 2007

20 Miler

I am attempting my first 20 mile training run in the morning. I am really excited about it - I love running these really long distances. I enjoy 6, 8, 10, etc milers - but they are not nearly as fun as the 15+ mile runs. This is actually something that really surprised me in my training - I thought I would hate my really long runs. But, I've found that I enjoy them the most.

Maybe it's the feeling of excitement that I get when I go to bed before a long run, making sure that at least 2 alarms are set, carefully laying out my clothes and shoes, and double checking to see if I put my water bottles/powerade bottles in the freezer. I try to get started on these really long runs by 7:00am, so that means getting up at 5:45 to eat, get ready, drive to my location, drop off water bottles, make a bathroom stop, and get going at 7:00am. It is finally starting to cool down in Kentucky (it was in the 60's this morning!) so I have a feeling that tomorrow will be beautiful as I set out. I am running in Wilmore, KY - the most picturesque little town you've ever imagined. I planned a 9.99 mile route, and I will run it twice. I am very excited about this run because I will run past three of our friends houses (Dru and Adam have been very kind to offer me open use of their bathroom!) I'll first pass by Alan and Sarah's , then Ryan and Amberly's, and then Adam and Dru's - be on the lookout for me - I will probably be staggering past your house at some point tomorrow morning! But I know Chad and my parents worry about me running by myself out in Lexington or even in Nicholasville, so it will be nice to have the added safety factor in Wilmore. Plus, it is very, very hilly and I love running hills.

I'm going to be running on some of the routes that I did with the Nashville half-marathon training group last December-April. I hope the same group gets together again this year - I had such a blast running with a group, and it really helped me with my training. My goal after the Louisville Marathon in October is to rest a few weeks, and then get back into training mode for the Kentucky Derby Marathon in April 08.

My husband just called and asked if I wanted to get dinner at a New York Style deli in Lexington with some friends tonight - I'm sure I'll be able to do some good carbo loading (just keep me away from the cheesecake!)

Monday, August 27, 2007

We recently found a picture of Emma's father.

Friday, August 24, 2007


I have to say that I think I've sunk to new lows in my entertainment standards. Last night I watched Disney's High School Musical 2. It was horribly cheesy and stupid, yet oddly captivating. Chad was out of town - so I was free to dance around the living room shamelessly with Emma during the musical numbers.

From USA Today:
"Disney nation.
The premiere of High School Musical 2 shattered records for biggest cable telecast as the sequel scored 17.2 million viewers for Disney Channel Friday, more than double the first movie in January 2006 (7.8 million). Though a huge magnet for kids, a third of the audience was adults 18 and older. Afterward, a preview of cartoon Phineas & Ferb averaged 10.8 million, and Hannah Montana had a series-record 10.7 million. HSM2 repeats scored Saturday (8.4 million) and Sunday (7.5 million)."

Well, it looks like I'm not alone in my overage viewing of the high school sing along.

Emma, trying to hide from me after our first attempt at dancing a "reverse turn."

Monday, August 20, 2007

17 Miler

I passed a milestone in my marathon training this past weekend. I completed 17 miles- the longest distance I have ever run. I was really excited/nervous about it all week. I work for a public television station, and I spent all of Friday in Louisville at the Kentucky State Fair, crouching down to take pictures of little kids with Clifford the Big Red Dog. By the end of the day, my back was killing me - but a few aspirins did the trick. I came home to a lovely barbecue at our house with some friends from back home who just moved up to Kentucky, and some of the good friends we've made in Kentucky. I tried to load up on carbs (...cheese grits, potato salad, ribs, texas toast, cake...) so it wasn't the perfect pre-run meal, but it was definitely tasty. After a good night's sleep, I woke up and headed into Lexington. I gathered my water bottles/Gatorade bottles and GoTarts - and drove the route to stash the bottles.

(the fuel supply)

I planned this route strategically - I knew the only way that I would be able to do it is if it was an out and back course. So, I found a 6.5 mile stretch of road to run out and back on for a total of 13 miles, and then added in 4 miles by going up and down a couple of neighborhood streets. I made sure to get these four miles in on my way out, so that coming back I only had to focus on running in a straight line.

At about mile 9, I ate a Pop Tart "Go Tart" - I've read in Kristin Armstrong's blog that this is what she eats during runs, so I thought I would give it a try. While it tasted great and was smooth on my stomach, it was pretty dry and made me really thirsty. I am still trying to find the perfect long run fuel option. On my next long run (12 miles) I am going to try another go round with gels.

As a I approached Versailles Road (mile 10.5 aka the turn around point) I was on a caloric high from the Go Tart and momentarily thought about jumping up and pumping my fists over my head, in true Rocky form. I was so happy to reach the turn around point because I knew then that I had done it. I had completed the hardest part of the run, now I simply had to run back to my car. Mentally, I knew that every step I took would take me closer to the finish line. So, I turned around and started back. About an hour later I was stretched out in the cargo area of my Montero Sport, feeling both elated and exhausted from the distance I had just covered.
I finished the run in 2:55:19 - just shy of my 3:00 hour goal.

When I got home I took Emma for a walk and spent most of the afternoon relaxing with Chad, and then we went to the High Bridge Festival - a local festival that was pretty much a bust. I'm not sure what we were hoping to see, but we did see an old man fall off of a skateboard, a young man with a fierce mullet and camo overalls, and a singing skunk ape on top of a homeade ice cream shop in a travel trailer.

The route - as per

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Home Sweet Home

It is good to be home. It's strange to think that our house in Kentucky has become our home - but it has over this past year. It was so great to see so many friends and family over the past few weeks, but it was really nice to get back to our friends here too.

On the training front, running is still going really well. I was able to get a lot of running in over the vacation - it was unbelievably nice to finish my sweltering runs in Alexandria by jumping in a pool. From Sunday-Thursday I spent about 4 hours each day on a raft in a pool. I cannot remember the last time I was able to relax that much. It really did wonders for me. And even when we got to Shreveport, Megan and I played in the hotel pool with my niece - it was so much fun playing with her, throwing her around and splashing each other. I went running with my sister on Saturday morning through some neighborhoods we were familiar with in Shreveport and I had such a great time. I also got to break in my new running shoes (thanks Mom!). I've been so relaxed since we got home Tuesday night - I think being with my sister and cousins on Friday and all day Saturday did wonders for my soul - we laughed all day long.
I've got my biggest run yet coming up this Saturday - 17 miles. I did 10 yesterday, and I am going to do 8 this evening - and then do some smaller runs through the week to prepare for the big 1-7.

Some more pictures from the wedding festivities:

Monday, August 6, 2007

Travel Update: Live from Jackson, Mississippi

Our vacation is slowly coming to a close, and tomorrow we will pack up and head out on our journey home. We have had an incredible time over the past week - we got to relax and spend time with family in Alexandria, LA and catch up with family and friends in Shreveport, LA. I was also very honored to be a bridesmaid in my cousin Amy's wedding over the past weekend. It was a fun weekend filled with manicures, showers, brunches, dinners, and a beautiful ceremony and reception. I had so much fun spending time with my sisters and my cousins and my parents.

After a 10 hour drive to Lexington - we will be home again! More updates on the trip, training, etc later!

A trio of bridesmaids:

Me, cousin Emily, twin sister Megan

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mmm Mmm Good

The best lunch you can buy for $1.25!

I am really into Campbell's Select Healthy Request soups. It's cheap, it's relatively healthy (note my "healthy request" and "low sodium" choice) and it is very filling.

I usually go with the savory chicken and long grain rice, but the mexican tortilla soup is another fave. With some crushed up tortilla chips and a little cheese - it is a fiesta of flavor.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Destination Procrastination

What is it about procrastinating that is so appealing? I find myself procrastinating more and more lately, even with things I really enjoy. Chad is always telling me to relax and slow down, and maybe I am unconsciously heeding his advice. However, I've found that I don't feel more rested, I just feel lazy. I've noticed that I procrastinate with my running a lot - not so much throughout the week, but every Saturday before my long run. I always take Emma for a walk before I run, and I find myself walking her a few extra blocks, or letting her play in the big open playground at the nearby elementary school. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, I know she needs her exercise as much as I do. But I always set my goal running time for 8:00am, and yesterday I didn't get going until 10:00am. We've been lucky to have cool temperatures (in the 70s!) so it wasn't so bad to get a late start. I follow a pretty regimented routine throughout the week, so maybe it's ok to kick back on the weekends. As long as I get my miles in, I guess that is all that matters.

Well, speaking of relaxing, Chad and I are getting ready for a vacation. We are heading out next Saturday morning to do another Tour of the South (similar to what we did last summer). We'll visit his family in Alexandria, LA, and then we'll head to Shreveport, LA to see more family and to be a part of my cousin Amy's beautiful wedding, and then we'll swing through Jackson, MS to see some friends we've really been missing. I've re-worked my running schedule to accommodate the traveling (ie: I did not want to do my 12 mile long run on the day of the wedding) and I am really excited about getting the opportunity to run in different places. I'm also very thankful that we will get to see so many family members and friends over the next week. Also, we'll get to see my precious niece and help her celebrate her 9th birthday (even if it is a few days late). We are really enjoying our time in Kentucky, but there is no place like home.

My niece - I can't believe she will be 9!

Emma will be making the trip with us, and I think she is excited about it as well. She loves to travel - her primary mode of transportation is in her bed (complete with blankies and toys) on my lap in the passengers side. Here is an example of her from last summer - who wouldn't want to travel like this?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Kentucky Experience

Chad and I had a true Kentucky experience last night We went to the Jessamine County Fair Demolition Derby. Oh, it was an experience. This was my first demolition derby, and I was not disappointed. Our friends Tony and Melissa saw it advertised a few days ago, and immediately thought of Chad. We arrived at the track (or mud pit, rather) just as the firefighters were hosing down the dirt. I later realized that this was to enable full "mud slinging into the crowd" capabilities. It was actually pretty fun watching the cars slamming into each other, hearing the hoots and hollers from the rowdy crowd, and gasping at the occasional flame shooting out of an engine.

After watching a few matches (again, I'm not too familiar with the DD lingo) we headed over to the fair. We didn't ride any rides - but we definitely hit up the funnel cake stand. I was in full fair-mode and I ate a funnel cake, part of Chad's chicken on a stick, and drank a coke. This was all about 9:30pm...after I had already eaten a full dinner. I thought for sure I would struggle through my run this morning with oil and sludge and powdered sugar flowing through my veins, but I actually ran at a faster pace and felt really good at the end. Maybe I've found a secret source of electrolytes tucked away in fried carny food.

Here is a picture from the night (sorry for the blurry cell phone camera shot, that me on the left and Melissa on the right)

And another Kentucky experience...when Chad killed this snake in our backyard by hitting it in the head with a brick.

PS: Sorry for all of the template changes on the blog. I saw a lady at the fair last night with an argyle sweater that was to die for, it was kelly green, white, and light pink - my favorite colors. It inspired me to jazz the site up a little bit!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

10 Miler

Yesterday morning I knocked out an easy 10-miler. It's weird how earlier in the year I had to train for three months to be able to run in the Papa John's 10 Miler race, and now I can just go out on a Saturday morning and run 10 miles. It was a great feeling to finish the first long run of my training comfortably and confidently. Not that it was necessarily easy, but it was enjoyable - which worries me because I just finished "Ultra Marathon Man" and as Dean Karnazes' coach told him, "If it felt good, you didn't push hard enough. It's supposed to hurt like hell."

One thing that I've decided to do with my long runs is to chart out my fluid and calorie consumption. So, adding yet another sheet to my marathon training Excel file, I planned out how much water and/or Powerade I would take in at specific miles. I'm still struggling with what to eat while running. I wish I didn't have to eat, but it really becomes necessary once you've been running for more than an hour. Since the marathon will probably take about 4:00-4:30 hours, I need to figure out what works while training. I've tried gels, beans, and bloks, but they all are pretty rough on my stomach. So yesterday, at mile 6 I ate a peppermint. It was easy on my stomach and actually kind of refreshing. I tucked it away in my cheek and let the calories seep in. I know that the beans and the Clif Shot Bloks pack a lot more punch (calories, sodium) than a peppermint does, so I still have some testing to do. I wish someone would make a hard candy thats packed with electrolytes. Hmmm...I smell a business opportunity.

After the run, I laid on my living room floor with Emma the dog for about 15 minutes, then I got cleaned up and we went to see Transformers with some friends. I had no idea what to expect from the movie, and Transformer guru Adam kept telling us to go in with low expectations and I was actually pleasantly surprised. It was funny and entertaining, and pretty interesting. I asked Chad a few questions about the robots and it was very cute when he started explaining about the Autobots and Deceptacons. I thought Shia LeBouef had peaked with Even Stevens, but he was actually really good in this movie.

Last night we went into Wilmore for a pizza and chocolate cake fest with our dear friends. It was just what I needed after a long run. I conked out around 9:30 while everyone was playing Tiger Woods golf on the Xbox. I've read about how much marathon training can affect your social life but perhaps I have an advantage in that department because our friends are used to me wanting to go to bed at about 9:00pm anyway.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Training Favorites

Well, marathon training has officially begun. My training plan covers 16 weeks, and I am still trying to wrap my head around the 4 month daily commitment that I have made. I am very much a creature of habit, and I love a good routine. I've already found a few things that I really enjoy in my training.

1. Cereal and fresh fruit. I get my runs in at 5:00 each morning, and I come home from the gym ravenous. I love the summer season - there are so many fresh fruits to choose from. My favorite breakfast now is either Cheerios or Rice Chex with blueberries, sliced strawberries, and a sliced nectarine. It is a little bit of fruit overload, but I love it. On my drive to work , I get some protein in with a slice of cheese toast and my electrolyte boost with a Powerade/water mixture.

2. Wilco's "Sky Blue Sky". This is absolutely the best cd to run to. There aren't many albums I enjoy from start to finish, and I normally favor a playlist over an album, but there is just something about this cd. One of the things I really enjoy about Wilco is the progression in their songs - they usually start out slowly, build to a crescendo, and then settle back down. This is perfect for running - just enough to keep me interested, but not enough to wear me out. Also, it is a great record to sing a long to. Some of my favorite tracks: "Side with the Seeds," "Hate It Here," "Shake It Off," "You Are My Face," "Impossible Germany," and "Walken." (Megan - I don't think you are a big Wilco fan, but I think you would really like this cd.)

3. Being sore. There is something very satisfying about being sore. I love getting to work and feeling my glutes and hamstring muscles stretch as I get up and down from my office chair.

4. Phedippidations. This is a running podcast that I am practically obsessed with. It is produced by a guy named Steve in Oxford, Mass. He has completed 15 marathons (including 6!) and produces a weekly podcast about all things running. I look forward to every Thursday when a new episode is released! It can be found in the iTunes Podcast directory.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Festivities of the Fourth

Uncle Sam, aka Emma, wishes you a happy 4th of July.

It was definitely nice to have the day off work. I ran the Bluegrass 10,000 this morning, a local 10K road race. I really enjoy this distance (6.2 miles) - it is more challenging than a 5k, but not as challenging as a mini-marathon. My goal was to finish in 60:00 minutes, and I crossed the finish line in 58:50. When I crossed the first mile mark, I heard one of the race volunteers shouting the times, "13:20, 13:25, 13:30, etc." I nearly died...13 minutes?!? There were so many kids and walkers that it was really hard to keep a good, steady pace - and constantly dodging around people really saps your energy. I knew that if I wanted to reach my 1 hour goal, I would have to maintain at the most a 10 minute pace.

Luckily, it began to thin out a little bit and I was able to actually run in a straight line. Miles 2-6 went by very quickly and I felt strong through the whole race. And, best of all, I was able to maintain a 9 minute pace for the last five miles. At about mile 3 I caught up with a group of running superheroes - there were 2 people dressed up as SuperMan, 1 person dressed as Wonder Woman, and 1 patriotic Uncle Sam. We were running at about the same pace for the next few miles and while I knew the cheers and claps and shouts of joys from the spectators were for them and not me, it felt nice to bask in their glory for a while. While 9 minute miles are definitely not lightning fast, it's a pretty good clip for me. I did all of my training for the mini-marathon at a 10 minute pace. My goal was to train for the marathon at a 9:30 pace, but 9:00 felt so good today that I am thinking about bumping up my training goals.

But perhaps the greatest moment of the morning came after the race, as I was walking back to my car. I passed a homeless woman on the street who looked harmless, but as I got closer to her she looked me dead in the eye and said, "You're not supposed to run, you asshole." Yes, I was shocked. My eyes widened a little, but other than that, I put my head down and kept walking - I did not want to tango with this lady.

After the race I headed home, took Emma on a leisurely walk, and then Chad and I headed to Wilmore. We had quite a meal with our good friends - smoked chicken, baked beans, potato salad, deviled eggs, taco soup, and some amazing homeade ice cream. Five hours later, I still feel like I could burst.

Well, it's after 8:00pm, it's stormy and my pillow is beckoning me. I want to get my rest tonight because tomorrow will be a late night, as we are catching Into Great Silence, a documentary on monks. It is a 3 hour, near-silent film, and I am looking forward to the part where they observe one of the monks talking fondly with cats.

I just checked the race results page from the Bluegrass 10k and my chip time as actually 56:22! It took a few minutes to cross the starting line, so that's why when I crossed the finish line the time read 58:50. I was happy to beat my goal by 2 minutes (really 1:10), but now I am even more proud that I beat it by 4 minutes!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Kitchen Confidential

My head is pounding from too much exposure to reality cooking shows. I love them all - the gourmet, haute cuisine hopefuls on Top Chef, the goofy Next Food Network Star players, and the downright incompetent Hell's Kitchen competitors.

Chad and I start the week of right with a viewing of the Next Food Network Star on Sunday nights. This show is pretty entertaining, even Food Network uber-critic Anthony Bourdain seems to enjoy it. I'm putting my money on Rory and Adrien in the final two.

If you happen to stop by our house on Monday evenings around 9:00 and hear someone screaming obscenities, then you know that we are likely watching Hell's Kitchen. After watching Little People, Big World on TLC earlier on Monday evenings, moving to the Fox reality show seems downright sordid. It's almost like watching a car accident - it is so horrible and painful to watch, but I just can't tear my eyes away from it. I also believe that the spinach risotto they prepare as appetizers should have the name "Ecto" somewhere in the description - the stuff is practically neon!

Onto the best of the three - Top Chef on Wednesday's. I really enjoyed the first two seasons, and I really like the third season so far. This show is both interesting and entertaining - something I really like about the shows on Bravo. While none of them are educational and all of them are guilty pleasures, Bravo knows how to make good tv with Kathy Griffin's My Life on the D List, The Real Housewives of Orange County, and premiering tomorrow...Hey Paula! - a reality show about Paula Abdul's life.

I have to admit that my enthusiasm for Hell's Kitchen is starting to wane, I passed up last night's episode to read my new issue of Reader's Digest.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


This has been a wild week. Athan is back in the hospital - you can continue to check his progress at his website: On Tuesday morning I got a call from my cousin Emily that one of my other cousins was missing - he is 13 years old and was missing for a day in a state park in Arkansas. Luckily, he was found unharmed. Here's a link to the story:

Then...this morning I get ready to go to work and the alarm system on my car goes haywire. Since the alarm was activated, my engine locked. The "doot doot" as Chad calls it, would not de-active the alarm. My wonderful husband drove me to work, and then spent most of the afternoon wrestling with new "doot doot" batteries, the steering column and the dash before breaking down and calling a tow truck. Once at the dealership, they were able to disable the alarm. I'll pick Monty (what I lovingly call my Montero Sport) up sometime tomorrow, and hopefully he'll be good as new. I do fear for Monty's future - the air is out, the horn is out, and the people at the dealership warned me that a bunch of other things are about to start going out. I think he's still got a few good years left in him, and I want to drive him until the wheels fall off.

Also, here is another pictures from my trip to Boston for the Team Approach User Forum...a software conference.

Thats me (second from left) with a few people from our direct mail company, and other PBS member stations, standing on the Freedom Trail.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Here are some pictures from my trip to Boston.
I'll admit, I'm no photographer - but here they are!

Emma - in my suitcase before we headed to the airport!

The perfect Boston breakfast...Dunkin Donuts.

View of Boston from Cambridge - the Citgo sign in the distance is a landmark on the Boston Marathon course.

After a delicious dinner at Union Oyster House, we headed over to Mike's for some cannolis.

View from behind the New England Holocaust Memorial. Each line you see is a number - there are over 6 million numbers etched into the six glass towers. Each number represents a victim of the holocaust.

I hope one day that Chad and I are able to go to Boston together - it is such a beautiful and fun city.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Ahh, finally taking a breather...

Saturday afternoon was like a sweet sigh of relief. The event was over and behind me, I was able to take a small nap, and I got to do some yard work. We were able to have dinner with friends and I felt like I was able to truly relax for the first time in about 3 weeks. Sunday morning was special at church - Chad and I are now proud members of Nicholasville Baptist Church. It was a very sweet time with the congregation when they welcomed us with a resounding "amen" and gave us hugs and handshakes.

Sunday night Chad made his "debut" at church - earlier in the week our Pastor asked him if he would like to teach during the Sunday night service. I sat in the pews beaming with pride - I'm sure the people around me thought I was pretty goofy, but I just couldn't help it. I'm so glad that Chad has realized that God has called him to teach/preach, and that we were able to come to Asbury to further his education and experiences.

We're gearing up for Wilco in T-minus 3 days - I can't wait! We've even got a baby-sitter lined up for Emma (thank you Mostrums!) - knowing that she will be snuggled and walked Thursday evening means everything to me!

Also - I need to pick up some pictures from the Wal Mart photo lab, and then I will finally have Boston pictures posted!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


I'm addicted. My secret weapon has turned into my worst nightmare. To get through the long days and short nights, I started drinking Starbucks Doubleshots about a week ago. At first it was innocent enough. I was filling my car up with gas on my way to work last Tuesday, and I decided to run in the store for a little "pick me up". Well, 9 days later and I'm strung out, jittery as all get out, my vision is blurred and I think my hair may be falling out. it's not that bad, but I am definitely feeling the effects. I keep telling myself that I am only going to drink them through Friday. Just make it through the event, and then I'll go cold turkey. Or maybe downgrade my poison to plain iced coffee...

Monday, June 4, 2007


Sometimes it feels like someone is pushing a "fast forward" button on our lives. Things are moving at warp speed...and it's only Monday! I have a huge event at work this Friday, and I've been working long days to prepare. My sweet husband is volunteering this week at our church's VBS. If not for work, I would love to volunteer with him. He's in charge of recreation, so there is no telling what he'll be making the kids do this week.

Athan is getting stronger every day - thank you for all your prayers. Ryan and Amberly get encouraging news daily, and for that I am so thankful.

I'm watching "Big Medicine" on TLC - it features a man who weighs 1,000 pounds. Yikes! It is a pretty interesting show. Doesn't hold a candle to the Dog Whisperer though.

On a training note, I am about to kick start marathon training. I did a five mile run in Wilmore on Saturday and it felt great. I felt like I was shedding (and/or sweating) away all of my fears, frustrations, and stresses from the past week.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Prayer Request

If you are reading this, and believe in the amazing power of prayer, please say a prayer for our friends the Strebecks. In my last post, I shared the amazing news of Athan's birth. He was taken to the hospital yesterday morning when he began having trouble breathing. He is in stable condition, but could be in for a long stay in the hospital. He and his family face a lot of uncertainties in the next few days, and all I can ask is that you keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Being a Strebeck, I know he's a strong, steadfast, persistent and faithful little guy.

Update: You can now track Athan's progress here.

Psalm 20:7-8
"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm."

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day Tuesday

Oh, what a weekend! Saturday started off a little shaky, with a bad performance at a local 5k. It was one of the toughest runs I've ever done - mentally and physically. As soon as I started, I knew any hope of a PR was out the window. I was shocked when I checked the results this morning and I won 2nd in my age group! Saturday afternoon, Chad and I had the honor of going to Peter and Jackie's beautiful wedding. Saturday evening I got to enjoy a much needed "Girls Night Out" with three of my closest friends here. Our friend Amberly was pregnant, and two weeks overdue at this point, and I think she was itching to get out of the house. We enjoyed "grinders" (Yankee speak for really good sandwiches) and good conversations for about 3 hours - it was such a great time to relax and be refreshed by my friend's wits and wisdoms.

Sunday, I got up early for a pre-church run. Part of me was dreading it, due to how I felt in the 5K the day before, but part of me was hoping that this 4-miler would rejuvenate my mind and body. It was a perfect morning - sunny, clear, in the 70's - and every step I took reminded me why I love running so much. It is training runs like this that keep me going. I'm slowly realizing that I love the training way more than I love the events. I get so nervous and tense and stressed on race day - trying to focus my training over the past 6 weeks, or whatever it may be for a particular race, in hopes that the training will culminate in one glorius run. A run where I will break past my own records, where I will defy the odds (and gravity) and be the one who crosses the finish line first. I know this is very unlikely to happen, but I think it is good to have lofty goals. But, for my own sanity I think I need to knock it down a few notches. Or maybe just keep competing in these really small runs in Wilmore, where I have a very small chance of realizing these dreams.

I think one of my issues with 5k race days is that I have not trained to be a fast runner. I've trained to be a distance runner. Running 15 miles at a 10 minute pace is completely different than running 3.1 miles at a 10 minute pace. My body is strong, but my mind is weak - it is hard to shock my system into kicking out even an 8 minute mile for a 5K. But, in my marathon training I am going to work on getting a little faster. If I can keep a comfortable 9 minute marathon pace (rather than my half marathon pace of 10 min) then maybe I can be a little lighter on my feet during the shorter races.

We have a huge event coming up at work, so getting Memorial Day off was almost a blessing and a curse. Part of me wanted to be at work getting things done, but I was very thankful to have the day off to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary! It was a relaxing day, and we went out on the town to celebrate.

When we got home last night, we got the best news of all - our friend Amberly was (finally) in labor! She gave birth to their son (at home, no meds, no drugs...what a cowboy!) this afternoon at around 3:40pm. He is a big boy - a whopping 9.5 pounds! I think he must have gotten Ryan's hips.

Chad and I were fortunate enough to get to visit them tonight and I was able to meet their son - he is so precious and so little. Congratulations to Ryan and Amberly on the birth of your first son! Congratulations to Morgan on becoming a big sister! We are so proud of your family and your precious baby boy!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

American Idol Finale

While I haven't kept up with the show much this season, I am watching the finale tonight. So far I have seen three performances, one by Gwen Stefani, one by Blake and Jordin, and one by Smokey Robinson and the top 6 guys in the competition, including the ever-present Sanjaya. I'm flipping back and forth between SNL in the 90's and the American Idol finale, both hilarious in their own right.

Favorite quote of the finale: "I believe it was a haiku. Thank you Margaret." -Ryan Seacrest

On another note, I'm looking forward to gearing up for marathon training. My official 16 week training begins the first week in June, but now I am trying to get a little faster for some local 5ks and 10ks. I can't believe how tough it is to run a fast mile - after months of training at a steady pace, it is hard to pick up the pace for a few short miles. But like most running endeavors, I think about 90% of the task is mental. This weekend I'm running the Jessamine County Skelter for the Shelter 5k. It is a 5k/2k fun run for people and/or dogs. Since doggies are welcome, we are going to make it a family affair and bring Emma along. Due to very short legs, she won't be running - but she will be with Chad to cheer me on!

My goal is to run a 25 minute 5k. While this isn't very fast, it will be pretty fast for me. My 5k PR right now is 27 minutes. I'm hoping to whittle that down to a steady 8 min mile pace - with an anticipated finish time of 24-25 minutes. I'm very happy to be supporting such a worthy cause - the Jessamine County Humane Society - and I look forward to seeing several doggies out at the course!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ay Chihuahua!

The chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog in the world, and I got to spend the last few days with a fine specimen of the breed. My sister has one of these little angels - his name is Pod (short for "Compadre") and he is a devilish little thing. I'm used to Emma's low slung body and lazy ways, so it was different to be around a little Mexican jumping bean. I'm very thankful for this little guy and the companion that he is for my sister - they are like two peas in a Pod.

The little guy when he was a puppy.

PS: My sister did not choose the backdrop.

A picture of his girlfriend, for good measure.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Wilco Day!

Everyone rush to your nearest record store and pick up Wilco's newest release: Sky Blue Sky!

We are going to see them in June in Cincinnati - an early birthday present for Chad!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Jessamine County Sightings

Last night, after working in the yard and taking Emma on a long walk, I decided to treat myself to a Dairy Queen blizzard. I pulled into the drive-thru, and it was about 8 cars long. As I was waiting, I saw a family walking through the parking lot. It was a dad (I assume) and two kids - the kids looked to be 4 or 5 years old. The dad was a few yards ahead of them, talking on a cell phone. The kids were behind him, weaving in and out of cars, and running a parking lot. At one point I lost sight of the boy, but then caught him coming out of a fenced dumpster area - yes, a dumpster area! Meanwhile, the dad has no idea because he is so engrossed in his cell phone conversation. The little boy called out to him at one point, and the dad turned around and lunged forward at him with a bark/growl type sound, like some crazy dog. The little boy recoiled and kept walking, a few lengths behind.

In honor of Mother's Day, I would like to give a "shout out" to my mom and dad. I know my mom is a faithful reader! I am so glad that I grew up in a safe environment. No matter what I did, I never had to worry about being hit or being left to wander alone in a parking lot. My sister and I were always getting into trouble and we were disciplined, but we never lived in fear. I hope that one day, when Chad and I are parents, we can draw from all of the wonderful things our parents have taught us over the years.

On a lighter note, I took Emma to the dog park this morning. Once again, we were the only people there! Dog parks aren't too fun when you are there alone. I don't think Emma got enough of a workout, so I'll be taking her for a long walk later today.

My training is about to kick back into gear, and I am really excited. I did some light workouts last week, swimming and 2-3 mile runs, but I'm going to start upping the mileage this week. My hope is that I can still get all my workouts in while I'm in Dallas. I'll be staying with my sister and she is in incredible shape (marathoner, cycler, collegiate lacrosse player and body building hopeful), so I'm thinking we can work out together and she can show me some good running routes.

I'm thinking of finding some stat counter type things for my training and integrating it into my blog. I really enjoy reading other running/training blogs (such as Jay's Ironman Training Blog, Running Chick with the Orange Hat, and Mile Markers by Kristin Armstrong) It is really interesting and inspiring to see their progress.

I will post Boston pictures soon - I had a great time on the trip!

Friday, May 4, 2007

World Tour

Starting Sunday, Chad and I will begin zig-zagging across the country. I'm off to Boston for a conference, then Chad is off to D.C. to be in his good friends wedding, then I'm off to Dallas for my sister's graduation! Unfortunately we will be making our trips solo, so I'm sad that Chad and I will be apart all of those days. But, I know we will each have a great time on our respective trips. Plus, lil Emma will get to stay at home and not have to go to the kennel. I'm already planning a fun outing for us at a dog park when I get back from Boston.

I know Chad is looking forward to his trip to D.C. - he gets to spend the weekend with some old friends and be a part of a really swanky wedding. He is also very excited and honored because they've asked him to read Scripture during the mass (it is a Catholic wedding). Chad is excited, and he is even going to bust out his Catholic Bible!

I am really looking forward to my trip to Dallas. I know it will be so great to see my family and catch up with everyone, and I am also so excited about the food! My sister Megan and I have plans to hit up Braums, Taco Bueno, Taco Cabana, and Burger Street. My lost Texas loves - I will get to revel in them once again!

As for my marathon training, I'm getting ready to really ramp up my workouts. After my half marathon, I've realized that I need to be at a completely different level of fitness, and in a completely different state of mind, if I am going to be successful in my marathon. While I am in Boston I plan to get some miles in, and also do some swimming. I'm going to try and not let my traveling affect my training, although I can already see it is going to affect my diet! I've got some 5ks and 10ks throughout the next few months, and hopefully I can squeeze in one more half marathon before the big one in October.