Wednesday, December 30, 2009


For Christmas, Brittany got a trampoline! My dad and Chad put it together on Christmas Eve, and it was quite a feat. This is where the breaking of fingers that I alluded to in an earlier post may have occurred! My parents surprised Brittany with it on Christmas Eve, and we had a ton of fun bouncing on it on Christmas Day.

Brittany, enjoying her new trampoline!

Me, trying to keep my hair under control

Me and Megan
It looks like she kicked me in the head, but she really didn't!

Chad, catching some air, while Brit runs for cover

Striking a pose

Megan and Brit playing the classic "don't crack the egg" game

Christmas in Texas

Emma playing with a new toy

Chad and me on Christmas morning - apparently my face swells during the night
(also note the strategically placed hat behind me)

Emma, posing as a Christmas decoration

My sister Megan with her chihuahua, Pod

My sister Michelle and Emma

I love this picture - my niece Brittany with Emma
(Emma is quite the social butterfly!)

Alexandria pictures

Emma and cousin Miles, relaxing on the couch

Emma and Miles with their great-grandmother Mae...
Emma made herself very comfortable!

Mae, Payton, Mrs. Suzy and Mr. David during the family Wii ping-pong tournament
(Chad won!)

the Christmas tree

Steel Magnolias lights in Natchitoches - the movie was filmed there!

Payton, Mr. David, Chad, and me in Natchitoches

Dana and Emma, resting with Chad

Holiday Update

I had good intentions to blog more frequently during our trip home for the holidays, but things have been pretty busy! Since I'd rather spend my time with family instead of in front of my computer, I'd planned to blog at night after everyone had gone to bed. The problem with that is that I have been the first one to fall asleep every night! Seriously, the first three nights here in Houston I went to sleep at 7:00pm. I don't know why I was so tired - probably a mixture of being tired from traveling, wrangling Emma and all of the wonderful food!

First, we spent five days in Alexandria and had so much fun with Mr. David, Mrs. Suzy, Payton, Jay, and Chad's grandmother Mae. Emma had a ton of fun with her little pal Dana and her very large cousin Miles (German Shepherd) . She played so hard each day, and slept like a baby each night.

One night we went to Natchitoches to see the lights and to have dinner down on the waterfront. We had po-boys, catfish and meat pies at Papa's and then walked down to look at the lights and get a funnel cake. Speaking of funnel cake, I have had SO MUCH good food on this trip. Here is a breakdown:

Louisiana, part 1:
Shrimp po-boy
BJ's pizza
Petit fours from Atwood's Bakery,
Rocky road candy
Cracker candy
Homeade chocolate chip cookies

Taco Cabana fajitas
Schlotzsky's "the original" sandwiches (a Christmas Eve tradition)
Christmas dinner: turkey, macaroni and cheese, dressing and gravy, green been bundles, asparagus, and chocolate cake with ganache
Morning Kolache's cream cheese kolaches
Shipley's donuts, kolaches and coffee
Fuddrucker's hamburger and fries with cheese sauce
Gringo's cheese enchiladas
Muffaleta from Spec's
California chicken burger from Cafe Express

Louisiana Part 2:
To be determined

When I am not eating, I try to get a run in! I ran a couple of times in Alexandria, and I've run a few times here in Houston. I've also done one Crossfit WOD (with another one planned for tomorrow), and have gone on a bike ride.

I did the WOD (workout of the day) on Christmas Eve, and I finally was able to walk without pain on December 28th! CrossFit is a totally different beast from anything I've ever done. My sister Megan is really into it, and she is very good at it. It was really nice of her to let me come to CrossFit Bay Area with her, and to walk me through each of the sets.

The WOD consisted of:
Back squat
(after the squats my legs were shaking like a leaf, and we hadn't even started the workout yet! )

4 rounds for time of:
15 wall ball (6 lbs.)
6 ring rows
5 shoot-thrus (with paralletes)
15 box jumps

Megan's coach, Coach Laura, had mercy on me and said that I only had to do 2 rounds instead of 4. I did two rounds in about 7 minutes, whereas Megan knocked out all four in just about 8 minutes. Like I said, she's really good. The wall balls weren' too bad - it consisted of squatting down and touching your butt to a medicine ball on the floor, and then tossing another medicine ball up to the wall on your way up from the squat. The ring rows were pretty tough - especially since one of the rings I grabbed wasn't clamped in and I went sliding down to the floor. It was pretty funny, and Coach Laura came to my rescue and helped me get set up with the rings. The shoot-thrus were horrible, and are not ideal for people with long legs. As much as I tried, I don't think I did even one correctly. The box jumps were pretty straightforward, but since I was so shaky and wanted to preserve my shin bones, I did most of the "jumps" by just stepping onto the box.

It was a great time at the CrossFit gym, but it was also kind of embarrassing being so bad at something! I am definitely going to incorporate some CrossFit type workouts into my training plan, as I know that weight bearing exercises can really help me with my running, swimming and cycling.

Christmas Eve was an absolutely crazy day at my parent's house that involved a series of unfortunate events that were strung together in quite rapid succession, involving plumbing fixtures, jammed doors, loose dogs, a broken tea kettle and possibly a broken finger or two. It was very wild, but at the end of the day we were able to all take a deep breath and laugh about the events of the day.

As far as running, I've done a 2 mile run, a 3.3 mile run and a 10.52 mile run. The 10 miler was done with my sister's CrossFit affiliate, CrossFit Bay Area. Megan is training for the Pelican Challenge in Seabrook in March (back to back half marathons on Saturday and Sunday). Megan and I headed out for a 2 mile run before meeting up with the group, in order to get in a little extra mileage. Once we met up with the rest of the group, we headed out for 7 miles. There was a little miscalculation with the route, and we ended up doing 8.52 miles, for a total of 10.52 miles for me and Megan. We headed straight to Chipotle for lunch afterwards!

me, Megan, Wendy, Sonja, Melissa, and Coach Laura

I've been hanging out with my niece Brittany the past few days while she is out of school, and we went and saw Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakqal yesterday. It was pretty cute. I love being able to spend a few days with her!

Chad has been in Denver for the Love Mercy 2009 Wesleyan Youth Convention since the day after Christmas, and he will get back into Houston tomorrow. On Friday, we are heading back to Alexandria for a day and a half before driving back to Kentucky. It has been a wild and fun time with both of our families, and I continue to look forward to the day when we move back to Louisiana.

My next few posts will be of some pictures from the trip so far!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bittersweet Days

Training Log
Wednesday run
Distance: 3.87
Time: 33:50
Average Pace: 8:44 per mile

Thursday run
Distance: 4.18
Time: 36:01
Average Pace: 8:36 per mile

It has been really chilly these past few mornings - Wednesday morning was 19 degrees, and this morning was 20 degrees! I really was very warm after the first mile though. Running in cold weather really isn't bad if you dress appropriately. Other than my face feeling like it was going to fall off for the first mile, it wasn't too bad!

Today is really bittersweet, as our friends Rob and Kat (and daughter Harper) are moving today. Rob graduated from Asbury, and got a job as a counselor in Virginia. I am so happy for them to be starting a new life in a new place, but it is very sad to see them go.

Rob and Kat are truly one of a kind people. Kat is one of the sweetest and most faithful people I know. She is perpetually optimistic and encouraging. She is a great mom to Harper, and a great sister and daughter. Kat is just one of those people you want to be friends with! I've had a great time over the past three years working, running, hanging out and being in a small group with Kat.
And Rob - what can you say about Rob Raborn? He is simultaneously the most hilarious and sincere person I have ever met. (Megan, you are the most hilarious - but not quite the most sincere, ha ha!) When I was saying goodbye to Rob and Kat last night I burst into tears after seeing that Rob had tears in his eyes. Gets me every time. Rob is a great guy, and a great dad to little Harper. Rob and Kat are a one of a kind couple, and I know they are going to make fast friends in Virginia, because they just draw people to them. And I know lives will be changed in Farmville (their new town, not the Facebook game) because of Rob's contribution to the counseling profession.

Friendships can be odd here at seminary because you come into the school knowing that in a few years you will be leaving. Chad and I were very lucky to develop fast and close friendships with several people here in Kentucky. Our time at Asbury has been wonderful because of them - they have truly been our "family" away from family. But now, we are reaching our four year mark here at Asbury and our friends are starting to graduate and move away. This is a natural progression of graduate school - but it doesn't make it any less hard to say goodbye. We had to say goodbye to the Herons and Caldwells last year, and this year it will be the Raborns, Delattes, JD, and Strebecks. And maybe the Mostroms. Oh dear - my heart hurts at the thought of this exodus!

While I'm sad to see all of our friends go, I am also incredibly happy for them, as they are starting a new phase of life, which is (almost) always exciting. I think part of me is actually kind of jealous! I do long for the day when Chad and I know where we will go after seminary, the day we will know where we can put down roots. I know it will be in the south, though!

While it may be that time now for our friends, I know it is not our time just yet. So, for now we will stay here and continue to say goodbye. Depressing, I know! But not really, because I know our friendships with our seminary friends will continue through the years, across state lines.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2 for 2

Training Log
Monday run
Distance: 3.3
Time: 29:00
Average Pace: 8:47 per mile

Tuesday run
Distance: 4.18
Time: 36:29
Average Pace: 8:43 per mile

I did not want to run on Monday morning, but I pulled myself out of bed and made myself do it.
I had a terrible stomachache, which I knew was from eating somewhat large quantities of icing straight from the mixing bowl on Sunday night while I was baking cookies. I don't know what the deal was, but I ate horribly on Sunday! I didn't eat a whole lot, just a random assortment of bad things. I was glad I felt sick Sunday night and Monday morning - I will think of that the next time I am tempted to eat an assortment of crap. I was glad I ran yesterday morning, because I felt a lot better afterward.

This morning, I had another good run. We've had some mild winter days recently (in the 40's and 50's - that seems so warm right now!) and I am loving it. It is so nice to get a break from the 20 and 30 degree weather! All of the farmers around here are saying that we are going to get a harsh winter, according to the Farmer's Almanac, but I really hope they are wrong!

This week will be kind of hectic as we are getting ready to head home for Christmas. I know I've said this before, but I can't wait!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Trainer Time

Training Log
Friday 12/11/2009
30 minutes on trainer

Saturday 12/12/2009
Distance: 6.66 miles (eek!)
Time: 1:01:00
Average Pace: 9:09 per mile

I decided to put some time in on the trainer on Friday morning. I listened to end of one Zen and the Art of Triathlon podcast and the beginning of a Stay Tuned Report podcast and thirty minutes flew by before I knew it. I haven't been using the trainer as much as I should, and I really want to incorporate at least one 35-45 minute session on it per week. I know it will help with my running, and will help me when I am able to get back out on the roads in the spring.

This morning I ran with Kelly in Wilmore. When I got in my car to head to Wilmore the temperature gauge showed 23 degrees. By the time I got to Wilmore it showed 18! Then a bank sign showed 17. So, it was cold! But by two miles in I was really warm and felt great. It is a beautiful morning today - sunny and clear. By the time we finished it was 23 degrees, and the high today is 42. That seems so warm compared to the temps we've been having! That is sad.
We planned on doing 6, but ended at 6.66 miles...hopefully that is not a bad omen! We were going at a pretty good clip, especially since Kelly is still recovering from her 20 miler last Sunday, but it really helped to keep us warm!

I stopped by Main and Maple after the run to get some hot coffee and a warm warmed me right up! As I was eating the bagel, I finished watching "Run for Your Life," a documentary about Fred Lebow. I really love Netflix, because I have all of these great running movies at my fingertips! But "Run for Your Life" is really interesting and inspiring. Fred Lebow created one of the biggest (if not the biggest) marathon in the world - the New York City marathon. I think that anyone running NYC should watch this documentary, out of respect for the man who devoted his life to the race!

Now I'm headed out to finish up Christmas shopping and do various other errands...I love Saturdays!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Training Days

Well, I suppose my base training would be going better if I could actually get myself out of bed! I don't know what the deal is - yesterday and today I overslept and wasn't able to get my run in. Maybe it is best, because we had a crazy storm blow through yesterday, and then right now it is 20 degrees out, with an 8 degree wind chill. But, I know people run in harsher conditions all the time.

I will pull my butt out of bed tomorrow to get some miles in! I keep telling myself that this is only base training, that its ok to take a few days off here and there. But, I just feel so much better when I am able to run in the mornings. Normally I am able to pop out of bed and get going, so maybe this my body's way of saying that I need a little more rest. Oh well, either way I feel like lazy son of a gun!

Probably even more so because I ate a chicken strip basket from Dairy Queen last night. It was a beautiful thing - I have been craving this chicken for the past couple of days. I have no idea why. To my knowledge, I've only eaten one other chicken basket from DQ, and that was a few years ago. And thats a good thing, as this baby comes in at like 64 grams of fat! Hello. So, I was hoping to get a good run in this morning to burn it off, but it looks like I'm probably going to be burning fat just trying to stay warm today!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Training Log
Distance: 3.86
Time: 41:35
Average pace: 10:46 per mile

This week Chad and I are watching Max, my co-worker's Cavalier King Charles spaniel. Their daughter went into labor on Sunday, so my co-workers dropped Max off and hit the road for Kansas City to be with their daughter, son-in-law and their first grand baby, Natalie.

I decided to take him with me for about half a mile on my run this morning, so I could get in a good warm-up. It quickly became a walk/jog scenario, as he wanted to stop about every 10 feet to pee on something. After dropping him back by the house, I continued on for another 3.3 miles. The walk/jog warm-up tanked my average pace, but I was really glad to get Max out and moving. When it gets this cold, my daily walks with Emma are usually sparse as her hair is so short and she gets so cold. Sometimes I can wrangle a sweater onto her, but she's not a big fan. I'm already looking forward to all the walks I can take her on when we are home for Christmas!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Long Run

Training Log
Distance: 10.0 miles
Time: 1:36:00
Average Pace: 9:36 per mile

Scheduled rest day

I'm feeling pretty good after yesterday's 10 mile run. I ended up running with Kelly for her last 10 miles, instead of her first 10 miles. She did awesome! We did the 10 mile run at a 9:36 average pace, which is a really great pace for a 20 mile run. Her marathon is just about 5 weeks away, and I know she is going to do really well.

Our run started out pretty interesting, as two Mormon guys joined up with us! They only ran with us for a couple of blocks, but I know we had to be quite a sight going down the street. One of them actually was a triathlete, and said he had run the 1/2 marathon at Disney a few years ago. I hope they didn't get blisters from the short run.

After the run, Kelly gave me a small glass of vanilla whey protein mixed with 1% milk. Oh my, it was heavenly! I am going to have to get some whey protein. I think it helped with my soreness today, too.

Things continue to be hectic around here as the semester winds down and we get ready to head home for Christmas. I can't wait to run in the warmth of Louisiana and Texas!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Training Log
Friday 12/4/09
Distance: 4.21
Time: 37:46
Pace: 8:58 per mile

Saturday 12/5/09
Rest day

I got an e-mail on Thursday afternoon that I have a spot with Team LIVESTRONG! I've registered for the marathon and made hotel arrangements for the weekend, and I am really excited. Chad is really excited about the trip, because our hotel is within walking distance of Gruhn Guitars!

Since we have been married, we have not taken an actual vacation with each other! We choose to spend all our traveling and vacation time seeing family, since we live so far away. I absolutely love this, and I wouldn't want to spend my vacation time doing anything else! But, it will be nice to have a "weekend getaway" with just the two of us, to a city that neither of us have spent much time in. The marathon weekend will be just one month shy of our five year anniversary!

So, I am really excited about the marathon and about being part of Team LIVESTRONG. I had the option of picking what my fundraising goal will be, and admittedly, I chose the lowest at $500. This isn't because I don't want to raise funds for LIVESTRONG, but because this is my first foray into doing fundraising like this. Since I'm not quite sure how this will go, I would much rather exceed a low goal, then come in way under a high goal.

LIVESTRONG will set me up with a fundraising website soon, and I will be sharing that link here when it is available. I figure that if I can get 20 people to donate $26.20 ($1 per mile), then I will meet my $500 goal!

My sister Michelle ran her first 5k yesterday morning in 43:46 - way to go Michelle! She is already planning to run her second one on December 19th! I am trying to organize a family 5k for when I am home at Christmas. My sister Megan is really into Crossfit, and plans to take me to some Crossfit workouts. I envision myself being tossed around the place like a ragdoll!

One really cool thing her Crossfit affiliate, Bay Area Crossfit, did yesterday was the Lumberjack WOD a fundraiser and WOD (workout of the day) to honor the people who lost their lives at the Ft. Hood shooting. Four members of the Lumberjack Crossfit affiliate lost their lives in the shooting that day.

On a lighter note, my friend Kelly is training for the Walt Disney marathon in January, and has her first 20 mile run scheduled today. I am going to meet up with her this afternoon to run with her for the first 10 miles. This will be Kelly's first full marathon, and I know she will do awesome! It is really great to be with a friend as they are staring right in the face of a huge, seemingly insurmountable goal, and to see them slowly start to realize that yes, they can do it! And they will do it. No matter what obstacles may come up, it is important to keep pressing onwards towards the goal laid out in front of you! As much as a marathon is a physical feat, it is also a big mental and emotional feat. I am glad I can run with Kelly on a few of her training runs as she continues to press on towards 26.2!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fingers Crossed!

I've decided to do the Nashville Country Music Marathon.

I'm hoping to run my second marathon not for myself, but for others. Team LIVESTRONG will be at the Country Music Marathon, and I hope I am lucky enough to be a part of the 2010 team...

2010 Team LIVESTRONG Application Confirmation

Thank you for applying to fund raise on behalf of the LAF in one of our Team LIVESTRONG endurance events! We have received your application and will be reviewing all submissions in the coming days. Once we have chosen the recipients of our guaranteed spots, we will notify you right away.

...I've got my fingers crossed, hoping for a spot!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Wednesday Training Log
Rest day

Thursday Training Log
Distance: 3.75
Time: 33:08
Average Pace: 8:50 per mile

I want to give a special birthday shout-out to my mom today!! Mom - you are a wonderful friend, sister, daughter, aunt, mother and grandmother! I hope you have a very special day!


Training Log
Distance: 3.29
Time: 30:22
Pace: 9:13 per mile

Another sub-30 degrees chilly run! I think that is pretty much how things will be for the next three months - except for when we are in Texas and Louisiana for Christmas!

I've been planning on doing the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon on April 24th, but now I am considering the Nashville Country Music Marathon. It is held on the same day, and I've heard it is a great race with lots of crowd support. I am thinking that since I am so familiar with the Derby 1/2 marathon course, it might be better to do a full marathon on a totally new and different course. I haven't registered for either one yet, but I will aim to make my decision by the end of the month.

Did anyone else watch President Obama's address to the nation last night? I couldn't believe those West Point students were sleeping! Sure, I was nodding off a little myself, but I was in my living room under a blanket with a sleeping dog on my lap. Who wouldn't get sleepy under those circumstances? But, I can't imagine that the people in the audience were nodding off. If I was in the same room as the President, for a televised address no less, I would make sure to keep my eyes open!