Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What do you want to know?

I was tagged by a couple of people to play the 11's game. The rules are that you post 11 random things about yourself, then answer 11 questions that someone else gave you, then post 11 questions to be answered by others.

Here you go!

11 random things about me -

1.  My maiden name is Dawidziak. (It's Polish!) Pretty awesome, although I always dreaded the first day of school because EVERY teacher butchered it. It is pronounced Da-wid-zee-ack (pretty much how it looks). Henderson isn't any shorter, but it is a whole lot easier.

2. Horses are my favorite animal. I used to spend many hours of almost every day riding horses, caring for horses, working at the stable, etc. I don't have horses anymore, but I still love them. Secretariat and Seabiscuit are two of my favorite movies. When you watch horses run, they run because they love it and it is part of who they are. It's beautiful!

3. I get lonely. That probably sounds REALLY funny coming from a mom of 12, but Josh works long, long hours, I don't leave the house super often beyond running and quick errands (especially this time of year because of Noah), I don't have many close friends, and my family is all far away. I have lots of people I care about and enjoy seeing that are supportive and friendly here where we live (I truly love our community), but not many I talk to on a frequent basis or that check in on me/spend time with me often.

4. I am fiercely loyal and devoted to the people I do have in my life. 

5. Dirty floors drive me crazy.

6. For a year or two in my pre-teens, my greatest ambition in life was to grow up and be a Laker Girl. I even had a video tape by the Laker Girls to dance along to. (I never took dance and never was a cheerleader, so obviously I didn't take that very far!) It makes me giggle (in shame) to think about now.

7. I fall asleep during probably 72% of the movies I watch. I do love movies, but it seems that my body just decides that if I have nothing better to do than be still and watch a movie, I should be sleeping instead. I have zero control over it.

8.  I can be naive. Not in the "I believe that the guy in the email wants my back account number so he can wire me three million dollars" kind of way, but in the way that I generally believe people's intentions are good, and I can be overly trusting and optimistic. Even though I get disappointed/hurt and taken advantage of once and awhile, it's who I am and at this point I probably am not changing. And I am ok with it, because I would rather err on the side of thinking the best of people than the alternative.

9. Marshmallow is my favorite flavor.

10. I am TERRIBLE at "name that tune". Truly terrible. I love music, but I completely stink at that game. (On the flip side, Josh can identify every song ever made in the first three notes).

11. I am starting a running club! Because I have so much free time on my hands (ha ha). Honestly, I am starting a running club because there is a lot of interest here where I live (and no running club) and I hope to be able to help and inspire others, while at the same time being inspired by others and enjoying a social running community here. So far the response has been really great and I am excited to get things moving forward.

And bonus - 

12. The Giants are going to win the Super Bowl this weekend! Ok, that is not really about me, but it kind of is because I love sports and I love NY. I will cheer for the Giants, Yankees, and Rangers forever.

Questions from Jess at Pace of Me

1. Do you collect anything?  If so, what and why?
I am not really a collector. I don't have a lot of money to spend on extra things that I don't really need, and I don't like clutter. I do have piles and piles of books, and an ever-growing medal collection. :)
2. A friend is visiting your town for the first time. Where would you take him/her and why? 
If there is not too much snow (they are here from June to October) I would take them to the Intermittent Spring. It's a fun hike, a beautiful area, and a really cool natural feature. Check out the link. It's really cool! If they come when the Spring is snowed in, then I would take them up to our favorite sledding hill. Then we would go downtown to eat, and to see and take a picture under the world's largest elkhorn arch (you know you want to come visit me now). :)

3. Lucky number?  Is there a reason behind it?
13. It always has been. Josh and I were married on the 13th, our first apartment was 13-C, and 13 is just always a good recurring number for me/us.
4. What is your favorite inspirational quote?
I have way too many to pick a favorite, but the one I try to live by is, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Mahatma Gandhi 
5. Were you a tomboy as a kid?
I was middle of the road. I had dolls and played sports. But I have never been very "girlie". I have never worn lots of make up or spent money on jewelry, purses, shoes (running shoes aside), or manicures. It's just not my style.

6. What is your best childhood memory?
Being at my grandparents house for sleepovers (before my Grandma died when I was 10), and my Dad coming to a violin concert I was in at a music summer camp. I was worried he wasn't going to make it and I remember so clearly seeing him and his friend walking over the hill and how excited I was.
7. What is the best advice your parents ever gave to you?
My Dad ALWAYS taught us to "stick to your guns" and I have always lived by that. (The online dictionary says, "If you stick to your guns, you keep your position even though people attack or criticize you.")
8. What is your dream job and why?
I would love to have a running store, be a running coach for beginners, or be a race director. To make money and get to be surrounded by runners and running would be grand.

9. What is your go-to joke? (be prepared to be impressed with the corny-ness. This IS my favorite joke).
What did one volcano say to the other? 
I lava-you.

10. I love trivia - what is your favorite random fact? (Not my "favorite" in a happy way, but one I wish more people knew and cared about).
There are more than 143 million orphans in the world. That is 143 MILLION children without parents. I have been in orphanages and spent time with a precious few of these kids. I have held and rocked little ones. I have played soccer and colored. I have wiped tears and tickled and teased to get smiles. I have talked to older kids about their hopes and dreams for the future. My heart has broken time and time again. We all need to care more and do more.

11. Where is the farthest place you have ever traveled to?  Would you go back?
Ethiopia (three times, for over six weeks total). DEFINITELY. :)
Questions from Erica from http://lifeasarunningmom.blogspot.com/
  1. What is your favorite time of day to blog and catch up on blogs? After my run while I am eating my oatmeal (reading), and at night once the kids are in bed (writing).
  2. What shampoo do you prefer? I am not picky
  3. What is your favorite detergent for keeping your running clothes clean? We use ALL for all of our laundry and it does just fine.
  4. If you were given some broccoli, eggplant, and tofu - what would you make? I would give it to Josh and tell him I was hungry. :)
  5. Gatorade, nuun, Ultima, or something else? I like Hammer Perpetuem for my running and water the rest of the time. Nuun has sorbitol in it which bugs my stomach. I will drink Gatorade in a pinch.
  6. Are you a running skirt fan? Nope. I don't own one and I don't wear them. I figure I don't wear skirts in regular day to day life, so it doesn't make any sense to me to put one on to run. I have nothing against them, they just aren't my style.
  7. Tell me about your worst running moment. When I was training for my first half marathon and had to give up on a long run and walk until Josh came to rescue me because I injured my hip. It HURT. I limped really badly for quite a while and couldn't run for a week or two. Luckily it healed great and hasn't bothered me since. I think the right shoes and strength training have kept me healthy.
  8. Tell me about your best running moment. Crossing the finish line at my first marathon (Vegas). I had just seen my Dad, Pam, and Noah cheering me on, and Josh jumped in and ran with me and cheered me on all the way to the finish. I knew as I finished that first marathon that I was hooked.
  9. How many pairs of running shoes are in your closet? I have three pairs in rotation and two new pairs in boxes - all are Brooks PureFlows.
  10. What is your favorite place to buy running gear? Brooks!!
  11. Do you want to come to Maui and run in the Run and Walk for the Whales? Yes Please!!!!
 Here are my 11 questions for anyone who wants to answer them (in comments on this post, in your own blog post, in an email, whatever!) They are based off of my 11 random facts.

1. What is your maiden name (girls), nickname (now or from your youth), embarrassing middle name, or something special/unusual about your name?

2. What is your favorite animal and why?

3. Do you like being alone?

4. What is a quality about yourself that you like?

5. What is something that drives you crazy?

6. What did you want to be when you grew up when you were younger?
7. Are you a night owl or a morning person?

8. What is a personality trait about yourself that you would change if you could?

9. Favorite flavor?

10.  What is a game you are terrible at?

11. Do you belong to a running club? Do you belong to any other type of club?

12. Giants or Pats?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday musings

11 weeks until the Boston Marathon! It is going to be here before I know it!

The photo shoot yesterday for Runner's World turned out to be really fun. To be honest, I was more nervous for it then I have ever been for a race. "Center of attention" is not my favorite place to be, so it was actually nice that they wanted all the kids in most of the pics so I had other people to worry about. And the kids were SO so awesome! They cooperated and smiled and had fun with it. One daughter decided it was a great start to her newly-inspired modeling career, and a few were disappointed that there wasn't a giant fan and blowing hair involved - ha! Noah can be really hard to get good pictures of because with his vision impairment he doesn't always look at the camera and smile on cue, but he was a rockstar and was great.

The photographer that came was really wonderful. He was fun to talk with and did a great job making us all feel comfortable. We did some pics in our front room with all the kids on the couch and me in front (and some variations on that theme), and then Josh got in a few. Next we all went out on our back deck and got some family shots, and then I went out on the road and he took some pictures of me running. I think, because it is a Mother's Day story, that they may use one of the pics of the kids and I, but I sure hope they use one with Josh in it because I could not do any of this without him!!

Hopefully the pictures came out well. I guess we will find out in April! (It will be the Human Race feature in the May issue). I can't wait to see them.

 I am still smiling about Coach Ray and am really enjoying us getting to know each other and building our coach-athlete relationship. I already have learned a lot and gotten some great guidance, which I value just about as much as the friendship, support, and encouragement I am getting.
I have had some good runs this past week, and am pretty excited about how I am feeling. I finished my first week of Boston training with 72 miles. My long run was on Friday and was 17 miles with 8 miles at marathon pace. I felt good and I love the feeling I have after a good, long run. Then Saturday was my first "double" day, and I had 6 miles in the morning and 4 miles in the late afternoon, both at recovery run pace. Call me a running nerd, but I was excited about a double run day. :) I even got to do my afternoon run outside! It is pretty sad when 12 degrees F and sunshine feels warm, but it was fabulous to be outside in the sun, even if my eyelashes had icicles on them when I was done.

Want to hear something super cool? My parents volunteered at an aid station at a 10 mile race in NY this weekend! One of their friends was running in it and instead of going to cheer her on (they are highly trained, race-spectator professionals at this point) they decided to volunteer instead. I thought that was so awesome and wish I could have been there to see it. I am proud of them. :)

Something else unrelated but cool - The online adoption magazine "Rainbowkids" is featuring one of my blog posts from this blog this month. It is funny how running can relate to life in general!  You can find the link here if you want to read it.

That's all for now. I have lots of questions to answer that were left in comments on my "Day in the Life" post that I will get to this week. Happy Monday!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Say cheese!

A photographer from Runner's World is coming to our house this weekend to take pics of my family and I. Crazy! The kids are super excited about getting to be in a magazine. It is exciting, but I have to say I am feeling a little "funny" about it.

On one hand, I see how marathon-running-mom-of-12 is a good story, but on the other hand I do not think I have really done anything worthy of a lot of attention.

Yes, I have a big family. But there are lots of big families out there, and as I often say, ALL moms are busy, and all moms have a lot on their plates. Show me a mom - any mom - and I'll show you a busy person.

Yes, we have adopted a bunch of kids. But I know so many wonderful adoptive families that it is hard to feel unique or special about that. My family is special because of who is in it, not because of how we came together. We have a good story, but so do many other families.

Yes, I have lost a lot of weight. But countless people lose a lot of weight (and considerably more than I did) and keep it off.

Yes, I run a lot.  But truth be told, there are oodles of runners who run more than I do, and there are tons of runners who run faster than I do.

Basically, I don't really do anything that isn't being done by lots of other people out there, so I just am not sure I deserve the attention.

What I hope though, is that maybe the article will inspire someone. I hope that someone, somewhere reads it, and realizes that they can make a change in their life, and that they can put some time and energy in to themselves, and that they will be better off for it in so many ways. If one woman realizes that she does not have to feel guilty about chasing her own dreams and that she will be a better mother and wife for taking care of herself, it will be well worth it.

My sister-in-law is a Registered Dietician and she recently wrote a series of articles on healthy weight loss that was featured in some of her local newspapers, and finished the series by interviewing me. She had to edit it down to fit in the space the newspapers gave her so I am way less long-winded than usual. :) If you want to read it you can find it here.

I don't want these articles to lead to a  bunch of people thinking that I am great. I want these articles to lead to people choosing to find their own greatness. I have gotten so much inspiration, encouragement, information, and motivation from other runners. I just want to pay it forward.

Now wish us luck in getting a good photo of a running mom, her awesome husband, and 12 kids. :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Day in the Life

Several of you have asked for a "day in the life of me" post, so here goes! This is a recap of my Monday. I am sure I am forgetting some things, but this will give you a good idea of what a typical day is like for me.

4:30am - alarm goes off - sneak into bathroom, change, put in contacts, etc. etc.

4:42am - go out to family room and start core strengthening routine

5:20am - finish core routine, get laptop and Brooks Pureflows (detailed review here) and head downstaris to treadmill

5:32am - start 12 mile run on treadmill at 7:50 average pace

6:11am - pause treadmill to make sure Nate is up (he has to leave early for zero hour weight lifting for high school football) and take a quick potty break
Can you tell what I've been watching on my lap top while running?

 6:15am - back on the treadmill

7:09am - finish run, head upstairs to stretch and talk with kids before they leave. Make sure two kids have had their meds and that everyone has eaten and is set for the day. Do hair for two of the little girls. Wash Shorty's face.
Done with run!
7:28am - Kiss all the kids and send everyone out the door (but Noah and Josh).

7:28-9am - Finish stretching and use foam roller while playing with Noah and talking with Josh. Drink recovery drink. Change clothes. Eat breakfast (oatmeal with fruit, nuts, and dark chocolate chips). Check email and read some blogs while I eat. Answer some emails for work. Josh leaves at about 8:30am. I always pout for a couple of minutes when he has to leave.
Josh bundled up and ready to go out into the snow and get to work
 9am ish - Get in the shower, get dressed, etc. etc.
ready for the day and playing with Noah
 9:45am - Fold one load of laundry and start another, play with Noah, answer some phone calls, get all of Noah's morning meds ready.  Unload and reload dishwasher and start it (again).

10:45am - Unhook Noah from feeding pump, give him his morning meds, change his diaper.

11am - Noah's occupational therapist comes. We work with Noah together for an hour.

Noon - Clean up Noah's toys and equipment from therapy session, put him in his crib for naptime. Make myself some lunch (salad with lettuce, tomato, celery, cucumber, broccoli and a little cut up pork chop). Check email while eating. Answer some emails. Get Noah's feeding pump refilled and ready, wash tubing, get his afternoon meds ready, and lay out his new gauze, tape, etc. etc. etc.

1:15pm - Put Noah in the tub. (He has learned how to say "tub" and asks to go in the tub about 400 million times a day, so this makes him super happy). Get Noah washed and lotioned, dress his g-tube site, put his clothes on, give his afternoon meds, hook him up to feeding tube, and then clean up from all of the above (wash syringes, etc.)
I keep getting "serious face" when I pull out the camera. I promise he was smiling and having fun.
This is what his belly looks like when he is ready to get dressed
*from here on, I forgot to take pics. oops.

2pm - Josh stops in for lunch and we get a little bit of time together.

2:30pm - Fold laundry, pull out pajamas for little kids. Check work email and answer a couple.

2:45pm - Ben and Amanda come home (they walk home so get home a little earlier than the other kids). Talk to them about their day, look at their papers, get them a snack and they get started on reading and homework.

3pm - Put two trays of pre-made lasagnas in the oven. 

3:10pm - Maggie, Marcus, Belane, and Shorty get home. Talk to them about their day, give them a snack, check their backpacks, read papers, help them with homework, and get them started on reading.

4pm - Ry and Des get home. Visit with them some. Kids do chores, take their video game turns (once everything else is done), and play. (They have all kinds of elaborate play acting games that involve princesses, "bad guys", ninjas, and monsters).

4:22pm - Get giant box delivered by UPS from home health care company, and unload Noah supplies and meds.

4:30pm - Get little kids started with baths. Check and answer work emails when there is a quiet couple of minutes.

5pm - Pull lasagnas out of oven and put in biscuits. Shane gets home from wrestling, talks with me for a few minutes and then gets in the shower.

5:45pm - Everyone (that is home) sits down to dinner together.

6:15-6:30pm - Kids finish eating and then we clean up kitchen together.

6:35 - Nate and Sadies get home and eat and I sit with them and talk with them while they eat. Get  Noah's night-time meds and supplies ready.

7-7:30pm - Give Shorty and Belane their meds. Make sure little kids brush teeth. Refill Noah's feeding pump and change ice pack, give him his night meds, and change his diaper. We all say family prayers together and then the little kids all go to bed at 7:30pm.

7:30pm - I tuck in all the little kids, start another load of laundry, pull out school clothes for the little kids for the morning, wash my face and brush my teeth and then crash on the couch.

8pm - I lay on the couch with my blanket and my laptop. Write a little, read a little, and hang out with the big kids while they do homework, watch TV, etc. The "middle kids" go to bed at 9pm and then the oldest two go to bed at 10pm. I usually always fall asleep on the couch.

10pm ish - Josh gets home. He snuggles on the couch with me and we talk for a little while.

10:30pm ish - We go to bed. (Some nights we sleep really well. Some nights the alarm on Noah's feeding pump goes off once, twice, or twenty times.)

Of course not every day is the same, but this was a pretty typical Monday. Josh works late on Mondays and Tuesdays (usually home by 10, sometimes not until 11pm or later). Usually he is home by 6 or 7pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays. On Fridays he may be home much of the day or he may be gone for a track meet and not home at all until Saturday night. He doesn't always get to come home for lunch, but I love when he does. On any given afternoon or night we can have wrestling meets, concerts, ball games, church activities, meetings, appointments, or who knows what. Sunday is our day that everyone is always home and we don't usually go anywhere except for church.

My running is always done before breakfast. My writing is done in down time in the late morning/early afternoon or after the little kids have gone to bed.

Of course there are tons of little things that happen during the day that I didn't put in here. The phone rings a lot. Josh and I text back and forth a lot. There are a million small things to be done. Lots of messes. Countless conversations. Boo-boos to kiss. Tons of silliness and laughter.

A lot of people assume that life in a house with 12 kids is constant chaos, and I am here to tell you that it isn't. My house is pretty clean. Things are organized. We stick to a basic schedule. The kids are kids and can be loud, but not in a screaming, crazy kind of way (unless the Nerf guns are out) :). I am not a yeller, and I try to lead my family by example in talking to each other with love and respect. Of course I have moment where I want to pull my hair out, but they are few and far in between, and I truly do enjoy my day to day life. I am proud that my kids usually get along super well. They really are the best kids. Most of the time our home is a happy and fun place to be...sometimes peaceful, often busy, never boring.

Life is good. I am super, crazy, awesomely blessed.

Is it what you expected? I tend to think it probably isn't much different than life for many moms. Questions?

More soon. :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday night bullet points

- Yay! The NY Giants are going to the SUPERBOWL! I have always loved football, hockey, and baseball and I've been a huge Giants fan (and Rangers and Yankees fan) my whole life. WOO HOO!! We had lots of fun watching the game tonight with the kids. My 12 year old son (Shane) put together a "Henderson Football League" for the season back in August. Every family member got to choose an NFL team and then Shane kept track of everyone's wins, losses, and standings.

We decided there would be a prize for the person whose team had the worst overall record and for the person whose team did the best. It  ended up being a lot of fun (and producing a lot of smack talking), and I would giggle every time my 10 year old daughter would say, "I sure hope the Packers win again today" or my six year old would ask how the Seahawks did. It was down to Marcus (7 years old) and I for the ultimate bragging rights (his team was the 49ers and I of course was the Giants). Since the prize is a giant candy bar I told him he could have it, and I would just enjoy bragging to his older brothers.

- Josh and I are in the same house! And neither of us have to go out of town for almost two weeks (he has a weekend off from indoor track this week). I am recharging on Josh and loving every minute of it.

- Ummmm yeah. Shark Night is as bad of a movie as you think it is. Maybe even worse.

- We've had tons of rain, snow, ice, and slush lately and I have not gotten to run outside much at all. I am grateful for my treadmill but really ready to get back outside. 

- I am going to keep track of my schedule and everything that happens tomorrow and put up a random  "day in the life of me" post on Tuesday. A few readers have asked for it so hopefully it will be fun for you to read.

- Boston training starts TOMORROW MORNING! The Boston Marathon is 12 weeks from tomorrow and I am so pumped, ready, and excited to  train for this race. I am using the Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger plan for 12 weeks and it gets me up to a max of 85 miles a week. Tomorrow is a medium long run of 12 miles. I am so ready!

- That's all for now. I am starting my day at 4:30am tomorrow so I am off to bed. More soon!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Not meaningless

I made it back home tonight after two days on the road. Noah had three appointments at the children's hospital in Salt Lake and one procedure. It is a three-hour drive each way and the weather has been crazy snowy. LONG TWO DAYS. I am super glad to be home (and so is Noah, who was a total angel).

First off, THANK YOU to all of you for your overwhelming support and encouragement in response to my Daring Adventure post. I had a moment of panic after I posted it, but I woke up the next morning feeling excited and pumped about the goal of running in the Olympic marathon trials, and have felt that way ever since.

I did get one comment (of course from "Anonymous") that I wanted to address. Here is the comment-

"I spent my 30's committed (consumed/obsessed) over running... training, competing, striving for PR's at all distances,... I spent so much time, energy (physical, emotional, spiritual) and money on my running. Now in my mid 40's, I eat well and still run 6 days a week to keep my body fit and healthy, but I am not consumed with my running. Oh, how I wish I could have back all that time, energy & money I spent on running throughout my 30's... I could have used that time, energy and money for things that last for eternity. When I die, the Lord will not ask how my training went or what my PR's were... in light of eternity, it is all so meaningless."

First I want to say, that if something happened tomorrow and I could never run another mile, I would not regret a single minute, dollar, or ounce of energy that I have spent on my running. Not one.

I enjoy running.  I would even say I love running. I love how running makes me feel. I enjoy racing. I love pushing myself to get better and faster. I love competing. I love training.

But, I am not consumed with running. I am not obsessed with running. My life is well-balanced. Busy, but balanced.

You could not find a more dedicated and attentive wife or mother than me. I don't know anyone with a happier marriage, and the relationship I have with Josh is my greatest blessing in life. I put a great deal of time and emotional energy into keeping our marriage happy and strong (and so does Josh, which is why things work so well).

I have 12 kids. I take time every day to connect one on one with each of my kids, and of course we have tons of family time. I do all the usual "mom" stuff of cleaning, laundry, cooking, driving, homework, etc. etc. etc. and I handle five therapists and seven doctors/clinics for my son with special needs, along with all of his extra care. (And because I am asked all the time, no, I do not have any help, other than my awesome husband). Being mom is a whole lot of work, but is also a whole lot of fun, and I am more blessed than I ever dreamed I would be.

I have an emotionally challenging job, finding adoptive families for special needs children. I have a church calling. I have treasured relationships with extended family and friends. I pray every day and read scriptures every day. My life is rich and full.

I do not usually write about religion on my blog, but I am a very religious person and wanted to address that part of the comment. I completely disagree that the Lord doesn't care about my running and that it is meaningless. I believe that God gave all of us individual talents and passions, and that He wants us to develop and pursue them. And I believe that when we follow our God-given talents and passions, great things can happen in our lives and we can have a great impact on the lives of others.

In light of eternity, I love my life. I am so very happy with my life. I am a work in progress and there is always room for improvement, but overall, I believe I am doing what God wants me to with my life, and I am proud of how I spend my time, my energy, and my money (the overwhelming majority of all three go to my husband and our kids). To me, and I believe to the Lord as well, it all has great meaning. Does the Lord care what my marathon PR is? Probably not. But I believe He cares about my talents and my dreams.

Running has given me so much. My self-esteem, confidence, patience, and health are all much improved since I started running. I have an inner-peace that I truly believe exists because I found a part of myself that had just been hanging out, waiting for me to discover it. I know that I am a better wife and mother since I started running. And I refuse to feel guilty about the small percentage of time, energy, and money that I put towards myself.

 So no, I don't regret a single minute, dollar, or ounce of energy I have put into my running. The only regret I have about running is that I didn't discover it sooner.

As I chase after my dream of running in the Olympic marathon trials, I am going to keep the same balance that I have in my life now. My priorities are in order. Since I do most of my running while most of my family is still sleeping, it will continue to have minimal impact on the day to day life of my family. At the same time, I will be showing my kids that moms can and should have their own personal talents, interests, hobbies, etc. and hopefully will be setting a good example about not being afraid to follow your dreams and set big goals,  and how hard work and dedication can help you achieve those goals.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Daring Adventure

I was going to wait to post this until Monday (when my Boston training officially starts), but I wanted to write it down while the inspiration, motivation, and "fire" are burning strong.

Watching the Olympic trials was awesome this weekend. I "watched" the results on Twitter while the race was happening live, and then I watched the highlight coverage on NBC later in the day with the kids. I loved every single minute of it! So, so cool. It was so much fun to cheer for Meb and watch him win. And I was routing for Desi every step of the way. I cried when they showed everyone crossing the finish line, and my heart broke for Amy Hastings (one of my personal favorites) and Dathan. Fourth place is so bittersweet, but they both ran such gutsy races and should be so proud.

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the stories, reports, and coverage of the trials. I do really just love the sport of running, and especially the marathon.

photo credit http://www.denverpost.com/sports/ci_19743399 

photo credit http://media.zenfs.com/en_us/News/ap_webfeeds/7907fe7f6c3a4901040f6a70670053a0
As I started my second easy week recovering from the Goofy challenge and am counting down the days until I officially start my Boston training on Monday, I have been thinking a lot about my goals and my training.

I reread my Advanced Marathoning book by Pete Pfitzinger and wrote out my training plan. I am going with the 12 week, 85 mile plan. I love, love, love the Pftiz book and got really pumped just reading it again.

As for goals, as of right now, all focus is on Boston. My goal for Boston is to get under 3:20. After running a 3:27 the day after running a PR in the half at Disney, I definitely think a sub 3:20 in Boston is a very realistic goal.

And this weekend, a seed of a new goal was planted in my heart. I was going to keep it to myself, but going back to this quote changed my mind.

"If we write our dreams and goals down, we dramatically increase our odds of realization. If we share them with others, they become potent and alive." - Kristin Armstrong

 So I am writing down my dreams and goals and sharing them with others.

I want to run in the Olympic Trials for the marathon. I know I have zero chance of ever actually making the Olympic team, but in the last week I have read about lots of women who made the Olympic B standard and qualified to run in the trials marathon. And I want to be one of those women. As of right now, that standard is 2:46. That means I have to take 41 minutes off of my current marathon time in just under four years. Maybe some of you reading this think I am nuts. Maybe I am. I know it is a VERY lofty and ambitious goal. I do know it will not be easy. I know that a lot can happen in four years. I know that I have a lot of other priorities in life. I know I may not achieve this goal.

But I am going to try.

I have the dedication, the commitment, the motivation, the spirit, and the heart. I am going to give it my all and work my butt off and see if maybe... maybe I could get to be that fast. And if I don't, I will certainly not regret trying.

Here is a quote I have on my family blog - "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain

And a new favorite quote that I found tonight -  "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." - Helen Keller

Daring adventure it is!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Words to live by

"If we write our dreams and goals down, we dramatically increase our odds of realization. If we share them with others, they become potent and alive." - Kristin Armstrong

"If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive, and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done." - Vince Lombardi

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Thanks for all your kind words about my race recaps. The Goofy Challenge was just that. It was a challenge! It was a physical challenge of course, but it was also quite the mental challenge. Preparing to race two days in a row, having all the emotions that come before, during, and after a big race two days in a row, and then of course the physical demands of racing two days in a row was all definitely challenging.

But it was also a whole lot of fun! That feeling of crossing a finish line with a new personal record and celebrating your hard work paying off is like no other. Getting to have those feelings two days in a row was awesome. And for someone that loves racing and loves being around other runners, this weekend was all sorts of fun.

More than anything else I have done so far, this weekend was a learning experience and a confidence builder for me. I have been fairly confident in my running, but this weekend took it to a new level. A lot of people said it wasn't possible to race two days back to back well, and it wasn't possible to PR two days back to back. I was told not to try it. I was told I would end up injured and/or disappointed. I was told that "serious" marathoners wouldn't run the Goofy challenge.

I don't like people telling me I can't do things, and I am pretty darn stubborn and determined. So I trained hard, set ambitious but realistic goals, and hoped for the best. I had one moment somewhere in the first mile of the half-marathon where I doubted myself...where I thought, "What if I can't really do what I think I can? What if I am fooling myself? What if I am all talk and can't really follow through?" But it was a fleeting thought that I chased away. I told myself I could. I believed that I could. I knew that I had trained well, tapered well, and was ready to run fast. And I did.

I finished that race strong. I met all the goals I set. I did it! And then I went out and did it again the next day. I pushed myself mentally and physically. I did it! I raced strong two days in a row. I set two new PR's two days in a row.
Sunday morning, after the marathon, with all the bling!
 Maybe best of all, my body was ok when I was done. I was tired, but I had no injuries or pains. I was able to walk all over Disney World for two days...no limping, no gimping. I was able to go on an easy recovery run the next morning. I've been able to run (nice and easy) ever since. My body feels good. I am kind of in awe at what my body has been able to do. I won't doubt it again.

I am taking two weeks to take it easy, rest, recover, and chill. And then I am starting my 12 week training plan for Boston. I am going to go for it. I am going to train hard. I am going to push myself to a new level. I am going to race hard. I look forward to a new challenge. I can't wait. :)

And do you know what else I can't wait for???


I obviously am not in Houston, but I am going to be all over Twitter and then I can't wait to watch the recap coverage on TV.

I am so excited to see who will rise to the challenge...whose hard work will pay off tomorrow, whose dreams will come true, and who will be representing the USA in London in my favorite event... the marathon!!

In the women's race there are so many great contenders, but like so many others, I am routing for Desi Davila. She is a Brooks runner and has an incredible story, and I just think she ROCKS. Go Desi! I will also be cheering for Shalane Flanagan, Amy Hastings (Go Brooks!) and Deena Kastor. Many think Deena is a long-shot because of her age, but I am a big Deena fan, I love to route for the under-dog, and I would love to see her show that a woman in her late 30's can still be at the top. :)

If you don't know Desi, here is a video that shows how great she is.

In the men's race, I am a big fan of Ryan Hall and believe he will definitely be in the top three. After running on Team MEB in NYC and getting to meet Meb and his family, I adore Meb and my family and I are all routing for him tomorrow! My third pick is a longer shot, but I love Mike Morgan. He is another Brooks runner, a new dad, and a really cool guy. I loved reading about him and others in Sage Canaday's book "Running With the Hansons". Here is a fun video of Mike Morgan.

Who are you routing for?

I leave you with this killer quote from Desi herself.

"Running is just you, the work you put in, and the clock. You can't cheat yourself. If you don't put in the miles, you can't go to the starting line thinking you're going to pull a miracle out of nowhere. You get out exactly as much as you put in." Desiree Davila


Since I heard the news that Montana mother, wife, and teacher, Sherry Arnold, had disappeared after going on a run on the morning of January 7, I have been praying for her safe return and a happy ending.  When they found one of her running shoes along her running route and the days kept going by without Sherry's return, I felt more and more sad. When I learned that she was the cousin of Beth from SUAR, it hurt my heart even more. And then this morning, when I heard that it had been announced that Sherry was dead and two men had been arrested, I really felt heartbroken, and at the same time, SO angry.

It is so sad and so WRONG, that her life has ended this way. And for so many of us who start our days the same way everyday it is scary, and a harsh reminder of the dangers in the world. I have been teased for running with a little hand-held pepper spray. I have never had to use it and I hope I never do, but I will continue to have it on me when I run alone.

Sherry's family, friends, and students will be in my prayers as they deal with this terrible tragedy.

To all of you who run alone outdoors, be smart, be careful, and be safe.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Goofy Challenge - Marathon recap

(If you missed the half marathon recap and the first part of this story, you can find it here.)

I woke up on Sunday morning at 1:45am, and carefully stepped out of bed to see how my legs felt. Big sigh of relief - they felt pretty good! I tip-toed around and got ready in the bathroom since M. was sleeping, it was insanely early, and I didn't want to wake her up. :) I got ready to race for the second day in row, and was feeling pretty calm and ready.  I slipped out of the hotel room just at 3am and as I walked in the quiet morning from the hotel room to the bus, I prayed for strength and protection, and thanked my Heavenly Father for the opportunities I have and the amazing life I have (and especially for the people in it). I soon found myself back on the shuttle bus and back at Epcot (where the Disney races start).

There was something comforting and calming about having just done the same routine the day before. I knew exactly where to go, exactly what I needed, exactly what to do, etc. Again, I was not super nervous, although I was pretty anxious to just get running and get it done. I was anxious to see how I would feel and if I would be able to run a strong race as I hoped to do.

I met up with Robin and her sister and it was really fun to have some familiar faces, and to have someone to talk to during the wait and the walk to the corrals. Robin and I walked up to the A Corral together, chatting all the way. It wasn't long after we got in there that the race started. We were off before I knew it!

I did not feel as much of the crowding for the first mile as I had the day before, and I was able to hit my target pace of 7:30 and get into a good groove after about half a mile. My legs did not feel sore or stiff, and for the first few miles all I could think was, "I am doing it! I am doing it! I PR'ed yesterday, and I am running a marathon today. I am hitting my paces. I am doing it!"

My splits for the first eight miles were 7:50, 7:23, 7:32, 7:25, 7:32, 7:29, 7:29, 7:32.

I enjoyed the Disney characters, entertainment, and fun and enjoyed the open course but excitement of the other runners. I didn't mind the dark and quiet sections either. During those sections I felt calm and focused.

Right around mile seven my stomach started to hurt, and I knew that the good luck I had had the day before was not going to hold out for a second day. I wanted to get as far as I could before making a pit stop because I REALLY did not want to give up any time on the clock, but by mile nine I had no choice. (This was just before going into the Magic Kingdom).

I was in and out really quickly (love that there are no potty lines when you start near the front of the race) and I was still feeling pretty good at this point overall.

But somewhere around mile 10-11, my body started to fight me. My stomach started hurting and cramping again, and all of a sudden my legs felt like tree trunks... big, heavy, tree trunks. I did not have any cramps or pains, but they just felt heavy and TIRED. I felt really sick and it was just tough going.

I took my Hammer gels every five miles as planned because I knew I needed to get the energy in me, and I kept taking little sips of my Perpetuem and water from the aid stations. 

My splits for the second eight miles were 8:25 (pit stop one. Lost a minute), 7:22, 7:33, 7:31, 9:08 (pit stop two. Lost a minute and a half), 7:28, 7:31, 9:17 (pit stop three. Lost a minute and 45 seconds).

And for the rest of the race it was hard. My stomach finally settled down but still felt sort of icky, my legs were really not happy with me, and it was frustrating to know that I had lost over four minutes on the clock because of stomach problems.

When you are feeling that worn out, your mind messes with you. A not so little voice in my head would say things like, "You PR'ed yesterday. No one expects you to PR again today. There is no shame in taking it easy now. It wouldn't hurt to just walk for a minute. You can PR in Boston. Many of the Goofy runners are just doing this for fun, not for time. You can't get a PR now anyway after stopping three times." Etc. etc. etc.

I also kept thinking of that stupid quote, "If you feel bad at 10 miles, you're in trouble. If you feel bad at 20 miles, you're normal. If you don't feel bad at 26 miles, you're abnormal." (thanks so much Rob de Castella). That voice in my head kept wanting to shout, "I feel bad at mile 10! I am in trouble!"

I had to just tell myself to shut up. The thought that I kept having was that I COULD do it, and that I had come too far to give up now. "You've come too far... you've come too far...don't quit now...don't quit now....just keep running...just keep running....you are strong... you are strong"

I never walked. I never stopped running. I never gave up. I never quit. It truly was the hardest thing I have ever done physically. Normally in marathons I get a big boost at mile 23 and feel excited and awesome going in to the finish. This time it was just a battle all the way across the finish line. In fact one of the awesome spectators (the spectators were SO great!) yelled, "You are almost there!" at mile 23 and I seriously wanted to tell him to shut up and explain that three miles was feeling like a really long way. Ha! (I didn't say anything though).

I still enjoyed all the Disney characters and entertainment, and running through the parks, and I tried to soak it all in.

The weather was just a tiny bit warmer than the day before (pretty perfect racing temps), although it was getting a bit warm for my liking the last few miles. I was really grateful to be done by 9am, and felt bad for the runners out there longer because it got pretty warm quickly after that.

My splits from miles 17-26 were 7:39, 7:35, 7:46, 7:59, 7:42, 8:01, 8:16, 7:59, 8:13, 8:15. And for the .2 my pace was 7:40 with a final kick of 6:14.
 A highlight in the last few miles was seeing Robin right around mile 23. There is a little out and back section and just as I was leaving the aid station at the end of it, she called out my name and we waved quick at each other. It was SO good to see her and to know she was doing well! (She rocked her goal and qualified for Boston!)

When I crossed that finish line, and knew I had taken just over a minute off my marathon PR, it was a sense of accomplishment like no other. All I could think was, "I did it! I did it! I did it!" I would have loved not to have lost the 4+ minutes on the clock, but I was really, REALLY happy with my time, especially since it was such a physical and mental battle. I couldn't stop smiling.

I got my Mickey Medal for the marathon and then they gave me my Goofy medal. Someone at the Goofy tent mentioned that I was one of the first women to get a Goofy medal. Disney doesn't rank the total Goofy results (wish they did!), so I am not sure how I placed in the half and full marathons combined, but my final time for the 39.3 miles was 5:02:37.

All three medals are AWESOME. The back of the Goofy medal says, "One marathon. One half-marathon. Two days. Four theme parks. 39.3 miles."

I walked back to get my bag and started stretching and getting fluids in me. It was so great to get my phone and have texts from Pam and Josh, and congrats from friends.

My times were posted to Twitter and Facebook, and Josh and my parents got the results via text messages, so it was REALLY fun to check my phone and get all of the congrats and kind words. It was a little sad to finish something so BIG and emotional and not have anyone there to cheer for me or hug me, so to get my phone from my gear bag and have so many great messages was really uplifting and made it a lot less lonely. BOTH mornings my mom was the very first one to text me, which was perfect. (Josh was two hours behind with the time change but checked his phone and texted/called the second he woke up both mornings). I am so grateful for the love and support I get from family and friends. Thank you again to all of you who took a few seconds to send me a message. I was grinning from ear to ear with each message. It meant so much!

After just a little while, Robin came in and we celebrated together and congratulated each other. We were both just riding high on excitement and happiness. We stretched, changed, ate, and waited for her sister who also did a great job, and then I let them have some sister time and headed back to the hotel.

M. had gotten some much-needed sleep, and was up when I got back at around 9:30am. She took a couple of pics for me, and got me some big bags of much needed ice. I used my foam roller, took an ice bath, and then took a hot shower. We got some lunch, and then I was ready to PLAY!
back at the hotel, showing off my Disney bling!
 We met up with M's friend and her daughter, and the four of us had a really wonderful day at Animal Kingdom and then Magic Kingdom. Magic Kingdom let people who were staying at a Disney hotel stay three hours later than the general public, so the lines were short and we got to do a lot. I was really happy with how great my body felt, and I didn't have any trouble walking around, going up and down stairs, or anything else. In fact I got a couple of comments from other runners that I was making it look "too easy". :)
Me and M in front of Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom

How beautiful is the castle in icicle lights?? I loved, loved, loved this.
 It was midnight by the time we got back to the hotel. I had been up for 22 hours and had run A LOT and then walked all over two Disney parks. I don't know that a bed EVER looked so good. After a great night's sleep I got up and did a super short, easy, and slow 3-mile recovery run, and then after breakfast we were on our way to Epcot. It was another great day of fun and friends, and again I was so happy with how good my body felt. I could definitely feel that my legs were TIRED and if I sat for a long time things were a tiny bit stiff, but it was really minimal and almost no soreness at all.

After a fun and full day at Epcot I was exhausted though, so when the rest of the group decided to to to Hollywood Studios for a few hours at 8pm, I decided to go back to the hotel to pack and rest.

Once again, M and I were up obnoxiously early on Tuesday morning. The alarm went off at 2:40 and we were out of the hotel room by 3:55 am. Our flight left at 7:15am, Josh and Noah picked me up at the airport in Salt Lake at about 10:30am mountain time, and I was finally home sweet home at about 2:15pm.

It was an incredible and fun weekend and an experience I am very grateful to have had, but home is where I belong and where I am happy to be. I am so grateful to Josh for being so encouraging and supportive of my running, and for being so willing to stay at home and "hold down the fort". I am also so grateful for my kids. They are the greatest kids ever. They all did great while I was gone, but I so missed my family and wish they all could have been there. It has been great to be home again and to get settled back in.

I will have one more post with some final "Goofy" thoughts coming soon.

Goofy Challenge Recap - Half Marathon

For those of you who like the details, here is the recap of the Walt Disney World half marathon.

The trip to Florida went really well. I got on a shuttle bus to Salt Lake early on Thursday morning (after a 4:30am wake up call so I could get a 5 mile run in, shower, and get the kids off to school). After a couple of hours of hanging out at the airport I met up with my friend M., and then we were on the flight to Orlando. It was after midnight when we finally got to our room at Disney's Pop Century resort (which I loved!) and we got to sleep pretty quickly after the long day of traveling.

On Friday morning I got up and did a nice and easy four mile run. The sun was shining, the temps were warm, and I was so happy to be running in shorts and a t-shirt. My body felt great and it was exciting to be so close to race day(s).

After shower and breakfast, M. and I went over to the expo, which was insanely crowded. The packet and bib pick-up all went very quickly and smoothly, but I was pretty disappointed at how little Disney merchandise there was, especially in smaller sizes. All I wanted was a Goofy hoodie and all they had was XL on the morning of the second day of a 3-day expo. Bummer!

We had a  yummy lunch at Planet Hollywood (I stuck to my pasta plan since that has done me well in the past) and then we got back to the hotel and got off our feet and settled in for an early night since we had a VERY early wake up call coming.

Since I am such a wimp running in heat, I am glad that the Disney races start nice and early (5:30 am), when the air is cool and before the Florida sun gets up, but with the time change, the early start was pretty rough. We had to be out of the hotel room by 3am to get the shuttle to Epcot. When I set my watch alarm for 1:45am Florida time, I realized that that was 11:45pm Wyoming time. ICK!!

But we got up on time and I was feeling good. My nerves were minimal and I was excited to race. I have to say that putting on that Brooks uniform was SO exciting. When I first got it I put it on and didn't want to take it off. :)
Me and M on the bus on the way to Epcot on the morning of the half marathon!
 We got to Epcot, checked our bags, met up with some of M's friends (who were great!), and started the shuffle to the start. At Disney you have a 20 or so minute (slow) walk to the corrals from the area where you check your bags. I was COLD (teeth chattering, body shivering) despite wearing throw-away sweats. As soon  as I started running though I felt good and the sun was just barely coming up when I finished (just after 7am) so the temps were PERFECT for racing.

My only real concern was that despite there being PLENTY of portapotties, I was not able to use them! Let's just say that the time change had my body all sorts of confused. I was worried that my stomach would be crampy and I would have to stop during the race and lose valuable time, but I decided not to panic and to just go out and run strong and do the best I could.

I was in the A corral which was pretty cool! I have to say that running in the A corral made running Disney races a lot more fun for me. Last year when I was in the C corral the first few miles were super crowded and it was really tough to find my pace and run. Later on in the course it wasn't always crowded but when we went through parks and made turns it would get very congested and I was forced to slow down significantly multiple times. In the A corral that wasn't an issue at all, with the exception of the first mile of the half marathon.

For the first mile things were pretty congested. I couldn't really see my Garmin because it was dark, but I knew I wasn't running the 7:10 pace I was hoping to be running. The first mile ended up being at an 8:02 pace which was frustrating, but I was able to get to my target pace from there and the rest of the race was awesome.

mile 1 - 8:02
mile 2 - 7:04
mile 3 - 7:08
mile 4 - 7:04
mile 5 - 7:10
mile 6 - 7:19
mile 7 - 7:05
mile 8 - 7:15
mile 9 - 7:10
mile 10 - 7:15
mile 11 - 7:12
mile 12 - 7:08
mile 13 - 7:06
final .1 - 5:55 (final sprint hit pace of 4:56)
Final time - 1:35:23

All I can say is that I felt GREAT the entire race. I felt fast. I felt strong. It was FUN. Running through Epcot and Magic Kingdom was a blast and the crowds were great. I couldn't believe how many people were out cheering at 5:30 in the morning!

I haven't trained for a half specifically and I didn't really have a strategy or plan, other than go out and run my target pace. I didn't "go for it" much the last few miles because I knew I had to race again the next day, but I can see how a half would be fun to race.

When it got hard to hold the pace and my body wanted to slow down, I kept reminding myself that Bart Yasso said that I have a runner's body and look like I am built to run fast. "Built to run fast. Built to run fast. Bart Yasso said I am built to run fast." That was my mantra for this race. Even though there were moments where it was harder to hold the pace, I felt strong the whole way.

I told myself I wasn't going to sprint the finish because I knew I had to run a marathon the next day, but there were two ladies ahead of me and one I was pretty sure was in my age group, and there were two guys ahead of me and my Amanda loves it when I "beat the boys", so I sprinted and got past them. There were not a lot of runners finishing so we got lots of cheers. It was crazy fun. (And I am pretty sure that sprinting to the finish got me the 9th in my age group).

This race was definitely a hard effort, but was not an all-out effort. I was thrilled when I finished and had stuck to my plan. My goal was to run right around 1:35 (sub 1:37) without completely wiping myself out, and I did exactly that. My stomach was GREAT. It felt awesome until mile 11 or so, and then it wasn't too bad and I was able to finish without stopping or feeling bad at all. Hooray!

I took one Hammer gel at around mile 6, and drank a little bit of water from the aid stations. (No breakfast before).

When I finished I got my medal (Donald Duck - super cool) and then went and got my bag, stretched, put on a sweatshirt, changed my shoes, ate, and drank. I waited for M. to finish and had fun chatting with other runners. I've said it before and I'll say it again... Runners are cool. :)

M. finished and I was SO proud of her! It was her first half marathon and she did such a great job!

My plan for after the half was to immediately start recovering, refueling, and resting up for the marathon the next day, and to not do much else but recover, refuel, and rest for the rest of the day. I wanted to put myself in the best position possible to race the best marathon possible.

I went to a fun lunch at Downtown Disney where I got to meet Robin and her sister,  Lindsay and her husband, Jennifer B., and some other fun ladies. After lunch, Robin and Kelli walked with me back to Planet Hollywood so I could get some more of the pasta I had had the night before to take back to my hotel for dinner, and then we separated and I went back to my hotel room to recover and rest.
Me and Robin, friend and fellow Brooks team mate!

Me and Jennifer!

M was out having fun with her friends at the parks since their races were done, so I had the hotel room to myself. There was no wi-fi and there was nothing on TV, so I catnapped and talked on the phone. I wore my compression tights, ate my pasta, set out my stuff for the morning, stretched and rolled, and went to bed super early for another 1:45am/11:45pm wake up call.

My legs definitely felt tired, but there was no awful soreness and no aches or pains, so I went to bed not knowing what to expect the next morning, but feeling cautiously optimistic that I would be able to run a strong marathon the day after a running a strong half marathon.

Race Day #2/Marathon recap coming soon!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I am sitting in me seat on the flight on the way back home from Disney. I haven't had internet access at the hotel, so now that I am on the airplane I can get this posted and get to writing up my race recaps.

Wow. There is SO much to recap. I am not even really sure where to start. I want to write down the details for myself because this was a really amazing weekend on a lot of levels and I want to have a record of it for myself. And I want to share it with those of you who are interested. :)

For those of you who just want the basics without tons of details, here are the facts.

YES. I  did PR in the half-marathon and the full marathon on back to back days, even though plenty of people told me I couldn't.

 On Saturday, I ran the Walt Disney World Half Marathon in a time of 1:35:23. That is an almost three minute PR. It was not an all-out effort but it was a hard run and a good race. My goal for this race was to run a sub 1:37 so I could get guaranteed entry into the NYC Marathon for this year, to set a new half marathon PR, but to not go completely all out so I could still (hopefully) run well the next day. I met all three goals!

I placed 382nd overall out of 22,421 finishers, which is the top 1.7%.
I placed 48th out of 12,322 female finishers, which is the top 0.3%!
I placed 9th in my age group (30-24), which is the top 0.4%!

On Sunday, I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon in a time of 3:27:14. That is a 1 minute and 1 second PR. It took every ounce of physical and mental effort I had on very un-fresh legs (and included three pit stops thanks to a very upset stomach). My goals for this race were to give it all that I had left, to set a new marathon PR, to qualify for Boston 2012, and to not do anything to injure myself.

I placed 438th overall out of 13,478 finishers, which is the top 3% percent.
I placed 59th out of all 6315 women runners, which is the top 0.9%!!
I placed 17th  in my age group (30-34), which is the top 1.6%  percent.

It was HARD. It was emotional. It was exciting. It was rewarding. It was the most physically challenging thing I have ever done. It was tons of fun. It was a wonderful experience, that left me believing in myself in new ways.

The rest of the weekend was lots of fun too, but I cannot WAIT to get back home to Josh and the kids. I wish this plane could go a little faster. :)

More detailed recaps on each race coming soon.

Yay for Goofy!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


The excitement is building!

I am mostly packed, and managed to get enough stuff for five days/nights and two races into my backpack and carry-on suitcase so I don't have to pay to check a bag. My parents would be SO proud (they are champion packers and travelers). I have to do this trip as cheaply as possible, so that is $60 saved before I even leave. :) Being packed makes me feel a lot more ready to be out of here in 48 hours (and less stressed) which makes me feel more excited!

Last night I got my first email newsletter from Brooks to the sponsored runners and EXCITING things are happening. I am still on cloud 9 about this and so honored and proud to be running for Brooks. I will share more details soon.

This morning I had my second interview with Runner's World and I will be in the Human Race feature in the May 2012 issue. Crazy and exciting!

I was featured on Running To Be Skinny's Motivate Me Monday post yesterday. You can check it out here. Thanks Jess!

And that is all I have time for at the moment. More soon!

If you want something really funny to watch, check out the Rusty the Racewalker videos from Brooks. They are HILARIOUS. I love runner humor. :)