Monday, January 30, 2012

Music Monday: Tri Tri Tri

I stated via my fb status last night that I would give a full report on my triathlon today.  That will be sort of true.  Between all the cameras & video clips that were taken I'm afraid I don't have all the pics/video to present like I want.  I could wait until later today to get it done.  However I have other things ie life (hey, imagine that....I have a life) that I really need to get rolling and accomplished.  So let's get this over with (I don't mean to make that sound like a negative thing, I could spend *hours* blogging, I love it.  I love you.  My life just does not permit that.  So....on with the show : )

Some history:  This is a sprint indoor triathlon.  It has a 1/2 mile swim, 7/10 mile bike (it used to be 7 when they used the Schwinn Airdyne bikes.  I hated those bikes with a passion.  If you don't know what they are, those are the ones with the big fan in the front "wheel" and those ginormous handle bars that move.  Anyway, 2 years ago they switched to a Keiser M3 bike, like what you find in a spin class, and changed the distance to 10 miles.)  I have done this race 12 times.  Not consecutively.  Not always as a individual.  Here is the run down with a few details & race results:

1997: 1st year.  I was 20 years old, married & had my 1st child by them.  Was just getting into swimming.  Finish time: 1:06:35
1998: Competed this year as a team with Jim, my husband.  I was 14 weeks pregnant with baby #2, hence our team effort.  People were astonished that a pregnant woman was competing.  Finish time: 1:01:46
1999:  Competed as a team again.  This time I swam, Jim biked and I ran.  Finish time:  57:44
2000 & 2001:  did not compete due to giving birth to January & February babies.
2002:  I have no record of this race.  I don't know why I wouldn't have done it.  But I guess I didn't.  Hmmmm????
2003:  Finish time:  1:00:06  Best swim time to date.  Was psyched to be "so close" to the 1 hour mark.
2004:  Finish time:  1:00:25.  D' close again!!!!
2005:  Finish time:  1:01:47.  Frustrating that I could not seem to break the 1 hour mark.

2006: I was signed up to race this year, but had to pull out at the last minute.  Andrew (baby I had just given birth to the previous November) was very sick & in the hospital.  It just did not work out for us to make it to the race.
2007:  Finish time:  1:00:44.  I'm into my 30's now....that must be it....RIGHT?!?!?!?
2008:  Finish time:  1:08:57  I had just given birth 6 weeks earlier.  Not my best performance, but I got it done!
2009:  Finish time:  59:00, FINALLY broke the 1 hour mark.
2010:  Finish time:  57:48 and another PR.  Now I'm rolling, must be like wine & get better with age : )
2011:  2 of my daughters also want to compete, but they can't swim (note: they know how to swim, just more for recreational purposes).  We competed as a team, I swam, Mandy biked, Nina ran.  Finish time:  1:04:28
2012:  I completely revamped my swim form.  I fixed some lazy tendencies I had and I forced myself to learn & implement alternate breathing.  First time with the new bikes.  LOVE them!  I think it helps that a few years ago I was a cycling instructor so I'm used to riding on these types of bikes.  Finish time:   *drum roll please*..........56:47  A NEW PERSONAL RECORD!!!!!!!! 

The good:  I felt like I trained a little more this year than I have in previous ones.  I didn't go all out and train my hardest. Ideally I'd love to, but despite what some think, I really can't do it all.  My swim (1/2 mile, 17:18) went better than I expected.  Not a stellar performance time, but not bad either.  My previous mentioned changes I just implemented at the beginning of January.  That is a lot to change & work on in 3 weeks time.  Considering that, I'm very please with my swim.  My bike time (10 miles,18:04) drastically improved, which could be attributed to the type of bike I had to use, but I also had to add 3 more miles than before.  Biking is my least favorite of the 3 sports, but I rocked it.  I was second to last out of the pool for my heat, but third off the bike.  My run (2 1/2 miles, 18:52), of course, was awesome.  I always say they save my best for last.  I started out slower, but continually built my speed up.  I averaged about an 8 minute pace on my run.  I placed 1st in my age group.  (Technically 2nd, but the overall winner was also in my age group & that bumped her out & me up).  I was 3rd woman overall (the 2nd overall woman missed by just 3-4 seconds).  It was a tight, good race!

The bad:  Well, I shouldn't say any, since I so rocked it with a pr.  BUUUUUT, I missed winning the race completely by 26 seconds.  That particular participant was also in my heat.  She was first out of the pool, but I passed her on the bike.  I had a 2 lap lead on her once she hit the track.  She slowly, but surely caught up with me (she is an awesome kick butt runner).  I was a little afraid to push, at least too hard too soon and then be hurting.  I kept telling myself not to race her anyway.  I had to focus on ME and MY race.  That is all that really matters.  I was rocking it in my own Carmen way.  It came down to her finishing 1 lap ahead of me.  I couldn't "lose" to a nicer person anyway.  She's awesome!!!!  : )  I'll be honest, it eats at me a little that if I had just pushed harder I coulda won.  I've never won this race or even come close.  It just gives me a goal for next year : )

The ugly:  I battled car sickness riding to and from the race.  When we rolled into town I was moaning & kept saying "I'm going to throw up".  Not a good feeling before a race.  I raced in the 1:30 heat.  I ate a late & big breakfast, but didn't really have time for any lunch.  It's one of those tricky times.  Hubs & kids stopped & got McD's (bleck) along the way.  I did get a yogurt, but was too sick to eat that.  Once I got going I was fine, but could have used a tad more fuel that what I was going on.  In the pool my new swim form had me gasping for air a few times.  I know this will get better with time & practice, but I about felt like I was a drowned rat on a few of my turns.  I battled a side stitch a little. You know, where your side hurts when you run.  Mine was right underneath my right upper rib cage.  It came it  & went on my bike.  Making sure I had good formed helped it.  It teased me a little on my run too, which is partly why I was afraid to blast away on my run.  It helped keep me in check.  Sometimes it sucks to listen to your body.  Often it really does know best.  That little pain is nothing to mess with.  If not heeded to it will knock you out flat.

Monday....continuing with the running streak:  I got up today like it was any other day.  I felt pretty good, almost as if I hadn't raced at all.  (I remember in my earlier years being so sore & unable to move after such a race).  Once I hopped on the treadmill to run my 1 mile, I felt it a little more in my muscles.  Teaching my cardio dance class was a little different.  I was feeling the soreness set in and was just plum out of energy.   Being the teacher I had to keep going though.  I made it through, but wished I hadn't done that.  I was just fine without it.  I'm undecided if I'll "only" run 1 mile tomorrow or get back to my usual 4 miles.  I do miss being able to get a good run in.  This 1 mile thing is getting old.  Anyway, here is the music that I heard on my run.  To include an extra song I'll also include my cool down.  I listened to a playlist I made for my triathlon.

Reign In Us - Starfield  This is a slower moving song, but it really moves me.  It gets my hand up in praise : )
Lemonade - Chris Rice  One of my all time favorites : )
Lean On Me - Bill Withers  Everyone start swaying & sing now....Lean on me...when you're not strong.......
Take Me Away - Christina Vidal  Right from the Freaky Friday soundtrack

I will post addition race pictures this week.  Here is one taken before my race.  I wore my TOUGH MOTHER bondiband :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

11 Things about ME!

So this little "11" game has been going around the blogosphere and I've been tagged and am super excited about it! It only takes a nudge & I happily open up & talk about myself. So play along & HAVE FUN! HERE ARE THE RULES...

1. Post these rules.

2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.

3. Answer the questions set for you in the post you were tagged in.

4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.

5. Go to their blog, FB page, or wherever you can grab their attention and inform them of their obligation to the blogosphere.

(Since I am such a people pleaser I will add the amendment that if you don't want to continue to do this (as in tag 11 people and keep the game going) then would you at least post 11 things about you and answer my questions. Pwwweeeaaassseeee!)

OK, Here are my 11 things about me:

1. I was enlisted in the Army Reserves for 8 years. I was a cook. The only reason I joined was because I liked the idea of the tough physical fitness regimen. And I did thoroughly enjoy that, but wasn't overly fond of many other aspect of being in the Army. The best thing that did come out of all that was I met my husband in the Army. He was a sargant, I was a private....he ordered me to marry him. Not really, but that is what he likes to say :)

2. Although initially not a fan, I have watched every single season of Survivor. I love it despite recent changes to the show. I still watch it. I used to want to be on the show so bad. Now I'm also an Amazing Race addict fan and would LOVE to race that with my husband. (I'm pretty sure we'd kick butt & win it all!!!!)

3. I have a fear of heights. It started in 4th grade when we went on a field trip to the Power Plant. Even watching things on tv make my stomach drop and I get all weird feeling. It doesn't restrict me too much though, I've been known to get up to high places and do crazy things. I just get anxiety about it, feel super nervous and woozy.

4. I love to exercise. Running is my favorite (well, duh!). I started to run when I was 10. I was an average runner in school. I could have been better, but I had low self esteem issues and didn't think/believe I could be a good runner. To make things worse, a team mate laughed at me & told me I would never be a good runner. I believed her & quit trying so hard. Now I know I could have been the total bomb, but I did still keep running. I was not robbed of that completely.

5. I've been attending church since the day I came home from the hospital. I chose to have a personal relationship with God when I was 4. I certainly had my stray time from Him, but I have never turned my back completely on God or my faith or the Bible & what I believe.

6. I have a pen name of Jona Dee Peterson. I made it up when I was in 9th grade. Long before I ever knew I would marry a Peterson. I used to write all the time, been published a few times.

7. I have an amazing memory. I probably can't tell you your name if I just met you 5 minutes ago, but I can remember the most insane moments from school & growing up. I remember smells, the noises going on at the time, what I was wearing, etc.

8. I've been to NYC in 1993. I have a picture of me on top of one of the World Trade Center buildings that no longer exists. One of my favorite pictures of me ever.

9. I almost tied my tubes after baby #4. The only reason I didn't was because Jim told me he would get "fixed". That obviously never happened and I'm so glad it didn't. We know agree to never do anything permanent to prevent any future babies.

10. My highschool nickname was Elepahnt. I love elephants & collect them, but really like them to be unique & different. I have an elephant tattooed onto my left upper arm. I don't regret getting the tattoo, just wished I had put it on my shoulder instead. I got the tattoo before being married & now to honor my husband's wishes I won't get anymore. Otherwise I'd have at least 2 more, one of them guessed it, something with an elephant.

11. I love to talk and can't seem to say anything with a simple answer/response. Notice most of my things have more than one sentence to them. Shut me up already :)

NOW, I will answer the questions posted by the blogger who tagged me

1.  Favorite race/event & why?  Right now I would say that it's Howl at the Moon, 8 hour ultra.  I get to go out & test my limits.

2.  Were you a Princess or Tom Boy?   Total tomboy.  I had cars when I was a little girl & watched Dukes of Hazard while playing with them.  I climbed trees, got dirty & even beat up boys.

3.  Who or What inspires you & why?  God inspires me because He beautifully & perfectly created me and loves me just the way I am, flaws and all. 

4.  Do you have more “online” friends or real life friends?   My facebook says I have 777 friends.  I actually know 100% of who they are & have met 95% of them at least 1 time in my life.  However, real life friends, who are there for me & have my back no matter what I have far less, but still many.  I am blessed with great friendships.

5.  20 Year Class Reunion….Are you going, legitimately busy or you wouldn’t be caught dead stepping in the door?  Defiantly going.  Have been to each one so far.

6.  Do you prefer Flowers or Candy from the significant other or should they save the $?   I don't mind getting them, but save the money & buy me a new pair of running shoes (or some other running thing I want).

7.  If you were rich and famous and had the balls guts to name your kid something outlandish, what would that be?  First and Middle name, please!  Nothing to do with money or fame or that this is necessarily outlandish.  I'd name my son....his first name CLARENCE!  I've told people that & 99% of the time I get laughed at, questioned, mocked and ridiculed. 

8.  You’re in a marathon, in first place, on world record pace…..You have to “go”.  Do you stop for a port-o-pot, and possibly lose the race and miss the world record or do you go in the street for the world to see?  GO FOR THE GOLD!!!!  That is primarily why I wear running skirts now.  (a little tmi there)

9.  Why do you run?  Because this is how God created me & I can.  I need to other reason.  

10.  Favorite type of run:  Group, Solo, Tempo, Long Run, Speed Work?  ANY run is a good run therefore I have no favorite.  I like a little bit of everything & to keep changing it up.

11.  Most adventurous “out of character” thing you’ve ever done?  This isn't adventurous, but I once was patiently waiting for a parking spot and another car (who later said didn't see me waiting) started to pull into that spot.  I floored it and cut that car off so closely I nearly hit it.  I have no idea where that came from, that is so not me, not to mention it's just a parking spot.  I acted so quickly then felt so horrible, not to mention unbelievably embarrassed for acting that way.  That other driver followed me into the store & screamed & yelled at me.  I just stared at her then walked away. 

NOW my 11 questions for my special people that I am about to pick.

1.  If you could change your name to something different, even just for fun, what would it be?
2.  What is the 1 household chore you could go without ever doing again?
3.  Tell me about your first car. (This can be the first car you drove or owned)
4.  Where did you grown up?
5.  Do/did you have a nickname?  Tell me about it.
6.  How long have you been blogging?  What made you start?
7.  If money were no object where would you go on vacation?
8.  College....did you go?   what did you study? anywhere you wanted to go, but didn't?
9.  tell me something shocking that most people don't about you.
10. hate?  love to hate?
11.  You have 24 hours to literally run....walk....get as far as you can with only your two feet.  How far would you get?

Last, but not 11 LUCKY people.

1.   Suzie
2.  Rob
3. Stephanie
4.  Kim
5.  Amy
6.  Ashley
7.  Catey
8.  Sherri
9. Becca
10. Deihdra
11.  Niki

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cooties & other randomness

I have a sick child at home today.  It completely changed how I thought my day was going to go.  Even though she is 13 & I can leave her home when she is sick, I didn't want to. At least not too much.  I do go out to get her meds, some movies & comfort food.  The necessities for such a day.  Otherwise I stayed home and cancelled all else I was going to do.  She has strep throat, but it came on so fast and so strong.  Her throat was swollen & making it hard to breath a little.  Not in an emergency kind of way, like I should have her in the hospital.  It just made me keep a watchful eye on her.  I'm typically very laid back about germs & sickness.  We all get it from time to time (all though I have not been sick in years).  It's expected when you have kids, doesn't matter if you have 1 or 100. 

Now the real tricky part is to keep the other kids from getting it as well.  There isn't a whole lot I can do.  Sure I will bring out the disinfectant wipes, do some cleaning, etc, etc.  Nothing more than usual.  But we are a family that co-habitates very closely.  Everyone shares a room.  Even though we have 3 bathrooms we all tend to use the same one.  We sit down to meals together (not always, but often).  We all sit around the living room at night & watch the Simpsons & Wheel of Fortune.  Even though we have a 3 story house, we tend to occupy the main level 90% of the time.  So not spreading germs can be tricky.  We'll see how it goes.

I did get my 1 mile run in this morning.  After feeling so great & free yesterday I felt tired & sore today.  Could have something to do with being indoors on a treadmill at 5:30 a.m.  But I get it done.

Even though this has nothing to do with germs/cooties or sickness or even running I wanted to share the pictures I had of my bread that I made this afternoon.  I usually make this when we have some kind of pasta.  I was suppose to make lasagna, but got lazy & decided to make baked spaghetti.  I love this bread & have been making it for 14 years or so.  I don't even look at the recipe anymore, I just throw in what I need from memory.  It's truly divine, as anything cheesy is!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Vloggin' Wednesday - readermania

I would have had this posted HOURS ago, but youtube takes so long to process my videos, it's rather ridiculous.  However if I had been thinking I would make my video the day before & have it ready to go.  My inspiration doesn't always come that far in advance though and this is what I went with for today.

My day was "quiet", as in,  I had no specific place to go from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.  I had plenty to do.  I started to take apart & clean out my bathroom closet so I could paint it.  Hence, the big piles of stuff on my bed.  I plan to get the actual painting done in the next day or two.  It's a small closet, shouldn't take too long.  I also got all the laundry washed.  Didn't get any of it folded & put into the prospective baskets.  Should get that done yet today.  I also spent SEVERAL hours chipping away at the high school band point system.  A job I took on, but was given to me in a disasterly state & I have the extra joy of cleaning it up and having it make sense again.  Anyway, since Wednesday is my day to "sleep in" and I had no public place to go (driving the kids to school is not public since no one sees what I am wearing) I was still in my jammies.

I have only watched a few snippets of the video of myself.  I was more than once tempted to re-do the video for various different reasons.  I am horrible at second guessing myself and wishing I could re-do things over.  However, I am keeping it real.  This is the REAL me.  Take it or leave it.  More than likely you don't see the things I do or if you do, you don't care or they don't bother you like I think they would.  Have a great Wednesday everyone!!!!

And since I RAN outside today (was seriously leaping with joy it felt so awesome to be out) I made you a video journal.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday's Treasure

Since I am only running 1 mile per day & otherwise "resting" then I am not motivated to get outside at 5 a.m.  Not when it's dark, cold & WINDY.  (That wind & seeing flapping flags everywhere is getting on my last nerve....grrrrr.)  Today was another rushed morning & a full busy day so I jumped on a treadmill to get my mile in before teaching my pilates class.  There was no treasure to find, since I was not out & about. 

However, due to Suzie's comment yesterday (it's always about her, isn't it ; ) ) I thought I would still share a treasure with you.  That being my homemade from scratch muffin recipe.  I don't remember where I got this recipe, but I do remember whatever it was originally based on I tweed it to my specifications.  Mostly to accommodate my "large" family, but I have vague recollection of making modifications to amounts of something that you put in.  I've been using this specific recipe for over a year so I lay claims to make it "my recipe".  Feel free to take it for yourself and enjoy.

~ 3 C. flour
~ 3 C. oatmeal
~ 2 C. sugar
~ 2 tsp. baking powder
~ 2 eggs
~ 2 C. milk
~ 1/2 C. oil
~ vanilla (don't ask me how much I always just add some in)

~ Mix dry ingredients.  Add wet ingredients. 
~ Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes

~ Can add extra ingredients such as raisins, chocolate chips, frozen berries, etc. for added taste.

I never make them plain, I always add something for flavor.  For my more picky kids (one specifically who refuses to eat oatmeal) I add chocolate chips.  In yesterday's batch I added the Andes Mint chocolate chips for an added treat.  He agrees to deal with & eat the "icky" oatmeal in exchange for a treat.  I can live with that.  I still got him to eat some healthier oatmeal.

This recipe will make approximately 3 dozen.  I often make several batches of various flavors to have on hand for a snack or rushed breakfast.  They freeze very well.  (Hint, if you freeze them take the wrapper off first).  It also helps when I am faced with no time to whip something up.  I can take however many I need out of the freezer and zap it in the microwave & wa-la, I am good to go.  Another added bonus is when I want a little snack or treat I take 1 (ok sometimes 2) out and nuke it for me.  Since they are not out laying around at room temp I am less likely to eat way more than I need.

If you make this recipe, let me know how they turn out.  If you have a nice healthy recipe to share, blog about it & let me know.  Or share it in my comment section.  I'm always looking for more food treasures to add to my menu.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Music Monday - rest, rest, rest.

I am competing in an indoor sprint Triathlon next Sunday, January 29.  So it occurred to me that I should take it very easy this week.  You know, rest up, for the big day.  And for, at least, part of the week after I should give myself a break to recover.  Except one little problem.  Well, some might argue that it's big.....but that would be my mouth.  Since I had to air such high ambitions of a running streak I can't seem to really truly take a break or rest day(s).  Not in a true sense, as in do nothing physical. 

I want to keep with my streak and run at least a mile each day, even if that is the only thing that I do.  If I had thought about it I would have held off & waited until after my race & a few days recovery THEN promoted my running streak.  You might think....well, what's the big deal.  Stop the streak, then pick back up.  True, true.  Often when I am issued a challenge, by either myself or others I get stubborn determined and want to stick with it.  I wish I would be this way more with other areas of my life.  Like food/my eating or cleaning my house, etc., things that I admittedly could do better at, but just let slide from what is most ideal and/or perfect for me.

Coming off my frustrating year of running last year I see this running streak as quite attainable.  I could easily argue that "only" running 1 mile IS taking it easy.  Maybe not true rest.  I don't get that anyway.  Before I sat down to get this done I vacuumed my entire downstairs.  Living room, dining room, front hallway & my bedroom.  It took me about 45 minutes.  Not because it was that dirty, but because I moved several things like both sofas, the end table, all the dining room table chairs & more.  Yeah, how is that resting?!?!?!?!  I was all hot & sweaty when I got done & earned (or so I told myself) the two made from scratch mint chocolate chip oatmeal muffins I made yesterday.

I don't think I know how to truly rest & take it easy.  I'm just not made to do it very much.  That's neither good or bad.  It's just me.  SO!  I ran today 1 mile, taught my cardio class and swam my race distance of 1/2 mile.  It was my last swim workout to finish before race & I can't get out of my teaching obligations.  Well, I could, but I can handle this.  I'm still 6 days away from my race.  Still plenty of time to "rest".

No video from today.  I kept forgetting.  I had to cram a lot into my morning and went from one thing to the next and before I knew it I was flying out the door to get the kids off to school.  I did remember to pay attention to my playlist, which is short due to the short run.

Rise and Sing by Fee 
Rock This Party (Everybody Dance Now) by Rob Sinclair
Rompe by Daddy Yankee

Friday, January 20, 2012


I'll going to be up front....I don't have much for you today.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zippo.  I had a great morning, full of ambition.  I was going to knock this day OUT!  Then someone, somewhere, somehow flipped a switch on me.  Now I'd love to just crawl in bed & watch movies the rest of the day.  Not gonna happen.  Before any of you mother hens pipe in (yes, you Kimberly...haha), no I'm not getting sick.  Not sick at all.  Health wise I feel awesome.

I still however got on my treadmill and got my mile in for my running streak.  Day 6!!!!  So enjoy that video and have a great weekend!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Streaking & Strangers

So I picked up an idea from another blogger who happens to also be a part of Team Tough Chik.  I was going to link her blog, but now I can't find it. Not to mention I don't remember her name since she is one of over 150 AMAZING women on the team.  So my apologies team mate, I'd give you proper credit if I could.  Anyway it's getting late in the day & I MUST get this posted!!

Anyway, she has committed to running every single day for at least 1 mile.  She is seeing how long of a streak she can go before not running.  I fell in love with the idea and have decided to join that challenge.  She started at the beginning of the year.  My streak started last Saturday.  Everyday, at least 1 mile.  Easy peasy!!  I told my idea to Angela, my running partner, and joked that I can see me sick as a dog and dragging myself onto my treadmill saying "it's just ONE mile".  To break that down it's at most 15 minutes of my day (not that it takes me that long to run it, but factor in changing clothes, etc.) that I can handle.    I know many of you think that I run ALL THE FLIPPIN' time, but in actuality I only run 2-3, maybe 4 days a week.  I don't think that is much at all.  I know....I's all about perspective.  Maybe at the end of my streak, whatever that may be, I will be able to say.....yeah, I run ALL the time : ) 

So I mention Strangers because of my new team mates and NONE of them that I have ever met in person.  Yes, I suppose it's a crazy notion that I handed over some money to people I've never known to be on their "team".  And that I've joined well over 100 women in this adventure and embrace them as team mates & friends.    Yet, any person could knock on my door and say "hi, I'm ...., your team mate".  And I'd be like OK!  Come on in!  Or better yet, let's go for a run!"  If you know me personally it's not a far stretch to believe that I have never met a stranger.  It's a saying, you know, to imply that I would talk to and be friendly to anyone I ever met.

This whole strangers as friends is not a new concept to me.  I joined the Hearts at Home bulletin board several years ago.  It didn't take but a few months before I was packing my bags, heading to conference with thousands of women and meeting up with some of them for the first time ever.  Within a year I was visiting them & vice versa.  The next year at conference many of us roomed together yet had just met each other in person that same day.  Oh, we had shared stories, posted pictures of ourselves & family & conversed like crazy via the internet.  But for all we knew one of us was a 500 lb. man with nothing better to do all day.  Luckily, nobody was : )

Joining Team Tough Chik is opening me to a whole new realm of "strangers".  I have read many of their blogs.  Joined in conversation with them on facebook.  Honestly, I'm about in love with some of them.  They are so flippin awesome!!!!  Sometimes it takes a stranger to inspire me to do something crazy like streaking (the running, not naked, kind) and I'm up for that challenge!!

Here is from today's run.  Even though the temps were in the mid-teens (cold yes, but I've ran in sub zero temps and it wasn't that bad) it was brutal out there.  The only bright (literally) side of it all was when I headed south the sun was bright & full and with the wind to my back I actually felt a little warm.  A little in a freezing cold kind of way : )

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Vloggin' Wednesday - Mi casa es su casa

In hindsight I should have done this on a sunny day to have better lighting in some areas.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday's Treasure

I have long been inspired by my running friend Rob who looks for treasures when he is out running.  Recently my running group that I lay claim to (even though they are all over an hour away) also issued the challenge to be on the look out for different, unique, funny items when out for a run.  Since I'm looking for specific themes to post about each day I thought I would deem Tuesday my treasure hunting day.  I'm not really hunting though, just keeping my eye out and picking something up along the way.  Actually since being inspired by Rob I've paid a lot more attention to what is out there along the way.  I've just never stopped to pick anything up or blog about it.  I will still keep my eye out for things and if it is worth it I will pick it up even if it's not Tuesday.

I actually set out to do this last Tuesday.  The particular route I picked though yielded me nothing but a bunch of trash.  Although, you may argue that what I found today was indeed trash.  What I saw last week really was trash though.  If I had a bag with me I would have collected some of it along the way.  I may do that someday.  I think I saw a dozen or two pop cans/bottles.  No particular one jumped out to me as special or treasure-ful so I abandoned the idea, at least for that day.

Here is the official kick off of my Tuesday's Treasures.  I had James, the front desk guy, at the Y take a picture on my ipod.  It was comical because I asked him to take my picture and he was like "are  you serious?"  I laughed & had to explain the whole blog thing.  I'm sure he thinks I'm weird.  That's ok.   He was already giving me strange looks when I walked in the door with my treasure.  I'm just doing my part to keep his morning interesting.  You know because we don't get enough of that from our wide variety of weirdos members that stream through the doors at pre-dawn hours. (Don't worry, I really love our members.  Besides I AM one of those weirdos).   Anyway, thank you to James for his help.  It's not that great of a picture, but you get the point.  I decided to keep my treasure.  It's in my basement after a good washing.  Trust me, someday I'll be saying.....remember that lid that I found one day while running....

I talk about my treasure in my video:

Monday, January 16, 2012

Music Mondays = Music to my soul

My eyes are really droopy & I'm ready to crawl into bed. Yet, it is only 1 p.m. I was a little bad and stayed up late last night. I was especially tired after yesterdays run so I was ready for some good sleep. Except once I finally got to bed I could not get to sleep. Not! fair! Once I finally slept I only had a few hours before I had to get up to teach my cardio class at the Y.

After my class I had plans to meet up with Angela, my running partner. We had already planned to run Friday, which didn't happen. Then Saturday, didn't happen again. I invited her to come run with me yesterday, but she had other plans. Today we had said it was do or die....we were going to run no matter what!!!! It's a good thing neither one of us communicated much before meeting, because we would have both admitted that we were too pooped to get out there. Knowing that one was waiting/counting on the other kept us true to our commitment.

Despite the persistent winter wind we headed outdoors for our run. We considered running side by side on the treadmill, but both knew we'd go longer is we headed out on a certain route. We managed 4.5ish miles and feel pretty good at the end. Time always go faster and the run somehow easier when with a friend/running partner.

I have been beyond blessed to have Angela. We are actually newer friends & running partners. I knew of her for several years because I coached her daughter on a soccer team many years ago. When I took over teaching Tuesday & Thursday pilates class Angela was a regular attender & I would see her often. I still think it was a year or so before we started seeing each other at area races & after a few conversations realized how much we both love running. Slowly but surely we began socializing outside of just races and my class at the y. Naturally we started running together every so often and even traveled to and raced some together, but we had no real plan of attack. Just some randomness.

It seemed to be over this past summer that we actually saw very little of each other due to various vacation & traveling plans and we realized how much we did depend on and really enjoy each other for motivation and company. We suddenly realized we were running partners. It's not like we set out to do this. We didn't look at each other & say we are going to be running partners. It just happened quietly & naturally & suddenly it was like, we ARE running partners. We are very different in our lives, yet very much the same. We do have a very similar take on our racing & running and it helps that our pace is very similar. We keep each other moving & motivated. We fully believe in honesty and accountability even in other areas besides running. Because yes, there is a lot more to life than running. As much as we feel bonded we actually don't do everything running.  My husband and her sisters also enjoying running & racing so we often venture out with them & not each other.  We also have busy different lives so sometimes time just passes and we go weeks without connecting up.  Recently we committed to trying to run together once a week.  Regardless of how long, it never fails that when we do set out it seems like yesterday & we never skipped a beat.

Since today is a holiday there is no school and for me, my husband has the day off. That is the only way a Monday run after my cardio class was possible. I typically do some sort of speed workout on the treadmill, but was open to doing anything since I was running with Angela. I also didn't listen to any music. I don't need to. When we run together she is my music for me. My motivation. My distraction. She is music to my soul. She is my running partner : )

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dashing through the snow....

I've had several busy days and really haven't taken the time to sit down and even be on the computer very much. Shocking, I know. It's a rare occurrence.

The weekend started off busy celebrating my Nina's birthday. Total pre-teen hormone chaos filled our house & my time as we celebrated 12 years with my baby girl. (Note: I call all 4 of my girls, baby girl).

Saturday morning, I was (sheepishly admitting, contrary to my earlier statement) partial glued to the computer religiously tracking the Olympic marathon trials. If I wasn't sitting her cheering my favorite runners on I was fixing and feeding over a dozen people before getting them out the door.

Next we as a family, in conjunction with our Bethel Baptist Church family, worked Saturday morning to pack food to ship off to Africa. Lots of scooping, sealing & packing went on that day. Our little bit to help give to literal starving people in other parts of the world.

The previously mentioned Olympic trials was later broadcasted on tv and it was just the motivation I needed to jump on the treadmill and get a run done. Even though I knew the results of the race, there I was bouncing around with excitement as they toed the start line & made their way through the course. After my run I joined my hubby in the pool to help him work on his form. We have a triathlon in 2 weeks. Yikes...time is running out!!

Today is a typical Sunday. I had to be up early to sing in the church choir. The rest of the family joining me later for the rest of our church routine. The day was shaping up quite nicely. As we made our way home the sun shone brightly, the temps were close to 40 and I resolved that I WAS going to run outside. I don't run too often on the weekends. Since I had skipped Thursday & Friday already I was tired of excuses and just wanted to get out there. I bundled up and headed out.

I wanted something different so I headed to Lake Storey. I haven't run out there in months. Two things stopped me in my tracks before I even got out of my car. First, as I pulled up I could see that the bike/run path was not cleared at all. From what I could see it was 100% snow covered. *gulp* Even though it crossed my mind to bring my snow/ice grippers I had forgotten in my quick escape from the house since (baby) Carmen was becoming clingy. Secondly as I sat in my car, thinking if I should really run on the snow covered trail I noticed the wind. Kind of hard not to, it was the type of wind that howled and rocked my car. I was already forewarned of this as I drove to this spot and saw several flags flapping around quite crazily. My motivational talk was quite amusing I'm sure. I laughed. I whined. I barked at my self like a drill seargant. Finally I stepped out of my car and just ran.

I can't say it was a fantastic run, but it really wasn't bad at all. Not that I want to run in those conditions everyday, all the time. Every once in awhile....ok. I'm happy that I pushed through the whole 5 miles. It even put me in the right place at the right time as a stranger with his son approached me looking for the perfect place to go sledding. He said he was new in town didn't know where to go. Once I gave them instructions to "Suicide Hill" the shriek of excitement and sparkle in the boys eye made me very happy that I ran what I did which put me there for them. It made it worth every bit of snow I had to run through. All 5 miles of it.

Some pictures I took on my ipod during my run. I was really pretty out. I know the picture quality isn't too great, but it's better than nothing.

So glad to be done and always with a smile on my face : )

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Flag Test

I was planning to get up & do my usual Thursday morning run.  I teach pilates at 6 a.m. so this run requires me to get up (usually at 4 a.m.) & be hitting the pavement no later 5 a.m.  Yikes, I know.  But I can do this.  I WANT to do this.  I've been battling some extra tiredness so I slept like a rock and it was a little hard to get up when the alarm went off.  There is a reason I put my alarm across the room of my bed.  It forces me to at least get out of bed, asses the situation and then decided if I will go back to bed.

I had two things to assess on this particular morning.  A) my tiredness.  I don't know what my problem has been the last two weeks.  It doesn't matter if I get 6 or 10 hours of sleep...I'm TIRED!!!!  I have been pushing through and sticking with a new sense of just get out there & get it done. So I moved to my second assessment B) the weather.  I knew a winter storm was blowing in, but didn't know what, if anything, had accumulated from it.  From my first look out the window I could see that there was barely any snow on the ground at all.  Not that I mind any snow or cold temperatures.  I've ran in both.  Yeah, it can be less than delightful, but isn't that the purpose of layers?!?!  However, there is one thing I can not stand.....WIND!  As my eyes gazed out the window I could see what little snow there was, was blowing around quite forcefully.  I even rubbed my eyes and opened the window to make sure my mind wasn't given into false reasons to bail out of a run.  So I crawled back in bed & slept quite peacefully for another hour and half.

Just to confirm my suspicions I did what I call the flag test on the way to the Y.  I live on the west edge of town and on my drive I pass by two places that always have their flags out.  The first I pass is the fire station, the second is the Y itself.  I always gauge the wind by how their flags are flying.  So yes, to reassure myself and confirm that I was within good reason to skip my morning run both flags were whipping around and sticking straight out.  I can certainly be a glutton for punishment & run in all sorts of crazy weather, but the wind in my breaking point.

I think it was good anyway as I have realized through out the day that my back is sore & stiff.  Probably because I have been  beefing up my workouts to help prepare for my triathlon in 2 weeks.  I think I needed this day off and I settled for a long hot soak in the bathtub.  I need to keep my body healthy to be able to continue with such training.  Perhaps I could have run and still been ok.  Perhaps not.  It's not the end of the world either way.  I'll pick back up running tomorrow.  Depending on the flag test, I will either venture outside or rough it out on the treadmill.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Vloggin' Wednesday

I actually blogged this morning and didn't post it.  Not sure why, guess I'll leave it a mystery.  I did workout this a.m.  At the later time of 9 a.m.  I had some making up to do since I didn't get everything done yesterday that I wanted to (that doesn't mean I didn't workout though).  I biked for 45 minutes, which got me 12 miles done and I read my latest copy of Runner's World during that time.  Then I jumped on the treadmill and ran 2 miles.  It's a different sensation to be running right after biking.  Part of me wanted to go longer, physically I could have, but I stopped at 2.  I took some extra time to do some leg & glut exercises and then stretched.  Finally I hit the pool and swam 20 laps.  All this took up my whole morning, something I don't like to do when it means that (baby) Carmen plays in the babysitting room the whole time.  I love the place, don't get me wrong.  It's just not what I like to do with her.  I do it from time to time though so I can get a full morning of exercising done.

Anyway, Wednesday is going to be my vlog day.  So here is my video for that.  It's short & sweet, could you take a few minutes to watch & respond with what I ask.  Please, please, pretty please?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Music Monday

The kids are back to school and I feel like I can get back to a "normal" schedule. I like having them home & the flexibility it gives me with my early morning workouts. That only gets me so far & then I need to get back to a more rigid routine. Especially with this cold winter weather.

On Monday's I teach a cardio class at 6 a.m. Then I head back home, get the kids off to school & head back to the Y with only (baby) Carmen. Carmen has swim lessons at 10 so my time is limited. I've been running 3-4 miles on the treadmill then some weight lifting, if time permits. I admit, weight lifting is one of my least favorite things to do so if I don't have time, then I cut it out. That is exactly what happened today. That is also due to my triathlon preparations which insist on me get in the pool, so I swam while Carmen was having her lesson.

Mentally I knew I wanted to run 3 miles. The more I thought of it though I didn't want to "just run" 3 miles. I used to do speed or interval workouts. I call it speed, but I think technically they are interval. So when I hopped on the treadmill I made up what I wanted to accomplish. I did my walk warm up of 5 minutes, then started to run. I did a 1 mile running warm up (I mention this in my walk warm up & run warm up are not the same thing. That is if I warm up at all....a whole other subject) Then for the next 3 miles I ran:

1/2 mile at a 8 minute pace.
1/4 mile at a 7:30 minute pace.
1/4 mile at a 7 minute pace.

When I was done I did a cool down run for 1/2 mile. I felt awesome the whole time. I seriously don't mean this to be a brag at all, but it wasn't really hard. It kept me moving. It was challenging in several ways, but hard....nope. I felt great. What was hard was moving back down in speed. Once I get to a certain speed I like to stay there, especially if I really get in the zone. I watched the ticker and moved my speed up & down like I was suppose to. It was also hard when a certain song came on and I hit that zone. It happened right throughout an 8 minute pace. I wanted to take off and really go. I made myself stay where I was suppose.

This plays into the whole music factor. I LOVE music! I listen to it during 99% of my runs. Yes, sometimes I go without. It's habit though. When I run outside I do not put headphones on. I either have my touch which plays out loud or if I have my nano then I wrap the ear buds around my top and hear the music as it dangles by my head. This is extremely important since I mostly run during pre-dawn hours when my only light is the street lights and sometimes the moon. For safety reasons I really need to be aware of my surroundings during these runs. Sometimes I run and don't even really hear the music. I zone out usually in think mode and it's just white noise. When I run indoors I put earphones in. Mostly out of respect of a potential neighbor who might be close enough to hear my music. Mind you, I don't think I play anything offensive, but others might not like my music & I'm respectful of that. Plus if I am indoors there is likely a lot of other noise to distract me so I need the ear buds in to help drown that out.

While music is largely a motivation factor for me, it is always changing. While a certain song may move me during one run, it might not on another. If I hit just the right song and really hit that running zone I'm guilty of taking off and letting the music move me. Sometimes it happens perfectly when I want/need it to. Other times not. Oooooh I *hate* it when that perfect awesome songs comes on and I'm trying to warm up. I'm trying hard to let my music motivate me no matter what. For instance today: that perfect song came on while at a slower tempo. I still let that song move & speak to me, but resisted that urge to take off & let it determine my pace. Of course, you know what came on when I had to pick up my pace ....yep, a slower song. (Although the other song wasn't fast, it just moved me. I have no idea if you know what I mean when I say a song moved me. That will need to be a separate post.)

So because it was Music Monday I let my playlist go on shuffle. I did not allow myself to skip whatever came up or go looking for just that right song. What came up is what I was "stuck" with and I stuck with my running plan no matter what. My RUN playlist has 350 songs and is 20.5 hours long. Plenty to choose from. I never know what's going to come up. I have such a wide variety of taste & a lot of things motivate/move me when I think of running. Not everything is fast & loud.

Here is my playlist for today.  If I could find the same song/version on youtube I linked it.

All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name - Don Marsh
This is the Day the Lord Hath Made - Bill Gaither Trio
 No, Not One/What a Friend We Have In Jesus - VBS
I Love You Lord - Don Marsh
1, 2, 3, 4 - Plain White T's
La Bamba - Los Lobos
Kokomo - Beach Boys
God You Reign - Lincoln Brewster
Sing - Carpenters
I Want You to Want Me - Cheap Trick
Welcome to the Jungle - Guns N Roses
Major Dad - TV Tunes
Wake Me Up Before You Go Go - Wham

Here in my video entry for the day.  Purposely keeping these short!!

I went a little long on the entry day. Since I am trying new things and have a lot of new followers I am doing a little more explaining. I hope to shorten it more in the future.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I don't know if I'm over thinking this whole blog thing or what. Part of me doesn't care if I only reach a few faithful friends. Yet my mind races with the possibilities of how big & grand it can all be. I can get a little blog envy when I see other blogs that have awesome giveaways, 100's of followers and daily comments out the wahzoo. I know it's a process. I may be on my way there, I may not. Part of that is my problem, I don't know if I'm on track with a great blog or not. I've been told that there is potential. Back to the flip side though, I want to reach/touch those that mean something to me and I to them. I'm all about fans & a big following, but at the end of the day who comes home with me (figuratively). Who is there when it really matters? I have those friends that keep me going, giving me a chin up when I am down, listening when no one else will, reads this blog faithfully no matter what. I hope you know who you are because you mean so much to me. Without you I would have likely given up on this venture a long time ago.

I know...I's all about balance. A little of this, a little of that. And even if you aren't a dear friend like mentioned above, that doesn't mean that you won't become one. Through another website & social media outlet I have met some amazing women who became dear friends and I have never met many of them in person. The possibilities are unlimited.

Soooo, I'm rambling on a bit. The main thinking through this post was to ask loyal fans & friends.....what would you like to see from this blog. Do you like my video segments? Should I do them more? or less? Do you like my daily entries after I'm done running or what not? (ok, I've only done that once, twice if you count the one I will post from today). I know some of you are new to following & reading me. But what do you like? What would you like to see? I'm open to many ideas. If I can video myself numb after a dentist, I can do a lot of things. It doesn't matter if you are a faithful or infrequent follower I would love to hear from you. I can/will take all things into consideration as long as I stay true to myself and what I stand for/believe.


I did workout this morning. Got my rear out of bed. I did a little better on getting to bed last night. Was so tired I had no choice but to sleep good. Ran, taught my pilates class, then swam 1/2 mile. I was hungry the whole time. Since I got back to better eating I have been waking up hungry. I have read that is good. You should wake up hungry. If you wake up & are still full from the previous day, you are eating too much at night. I should be consuming enough calories for the present day. You know eating to live, not living to eat. Anyway, I forget about the hunger once I get moving. I did grab a banana to eat after my run. That helped. It's tough with the early morning eating balance. I don't like to eat early, partly for time reasons. I've also "heard" that working out before eating is better for burning calories, fat and such. That's not the real reason I don't eat. But hey, if it helps.....who knows. Anyway....more balance. : /

While running this morning and thinking about the whole blog thing I came up with one good idea. I've noticed how some blogs have certain days they do certain things. Like Three Things Thursday. I don't know if I'll take on that specific thing. I did think of Music Mondays. I've not seen that on a blog, but I think it would work. I LOVE music and listen to it often, working out or not. I have some other blogs that talk about or include their playlist for the day. I like that but don't think I want to include that with every post. Once enough would be good.

Here is my running post from this morning. Still not sure if I like this idea or not. I want to purposely keep it short. You know me, once I get talkin' I never shut up : )

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


If you are reading this....well, then you got the memo. Or you followed my link. Either way, please note that my blog address changed. If you usually click on the link that I post on fb then continue to do so. You will not notice any difference. If you reach my blog from a direct source then you will have to note the change.

When I started this whole 2nd blog adventure I wasn't really sure what I was doing. Like most things in life if I don't know how to do it, I just figure it out as I go along. I'm not afraid to make mistakes & learn from them. In situations involving computers and/or internet I just click away & just see what this button does or that button does, etc. Eventually I get it all figured out.

I knew I wanted my blog to be titled She Runs Everywhere. In my whole learning by clicking method, I messed that whole thing up. At least temporarily. So I stuck the 95 in the title, to note the year I became a mom and began all this craziness of motherhood. It was my intent all along to change it once blogger said that I could. I'm actually a little proud of my blog title and want it all for myself. (All though I will always give credit to my friend Rikki who actually came up with the title while we were brainstorming ideas). It just has CARMEN written all over it. So back's MINE! Not to mention it's just easier to remember and flows easier. It just makes sense!

Through a little miss click I saw from Blogger that She Runs Everywhere was available. So a few more clicks & I had it changed to what I had originally intended 6 months ago. I know this messes up some things. If anyone has me posted in their blog list on their blog, they will need to re-link it. Sorry. I should have done this a few weeks ago before I had an explosion of followers and fans. Which, by the way, I am very excited about. It's just one of those things that happened when it did. So take note, pass the word along and above all....keep following me on this wild adventure called LIFE : )


I did work out today. Not like I had originally planned. I was a good girl and set out my clothes and packed my bag last night before going to bed. That is one thing that will definitely throw my whole plan out the window. So I'm being a good girl & getting that done. I didn't get to bed quite as early as I would have liked. I seriously had 1 million loads of laundry to fold. Ok, so I didn't have that many. I did have enough folding to do to fill all the kid's baskets completely full and watched almost all of Gone With the Wind. In case you don't know that is an epicly long movie that takes 2 discs. It was nearly 10 before I finished and even then I still have 1 basket of the pesky bras, socks & underwear to sort for the kids.'s never ending.

Bed time thrown off AND not sleeping well (very unusual for me) left it extremely tempting for me to sleep in this morning. Again, good girl here got up and got ready to go. Thing is....I just didn't feel like going. It was dark & cold and I wasn't in the mood to get in the van & drive to the Y. So I stayed home and moved to plan B for getting my workout in. I didn't go back to bed. By then I was definitely awake. Instead I started to clean the kitchen and when Jim got up I fixed his breakfast and lunch for the day. It's actually nice to do this once in awhile. I so often head out long before he is up and leave him to fend for himself. He IS a big boy and can handle that on his own. That's not the issue though. I like to do it. It's just one of the things I have to give up in order to get my early morning exercise done. Anyway once Jim leaves, I have the house to myself. With their being no school there are no early risers and I enjoy the peace & quiet of the early morning hours of my nice warm house.

So I switched my schedule around. Worked hard to keep on track & not let this whole post poning of exercise get away from me like it usually does. The window guy who came to fix the two broken basement window threatened to ruin it all. I was persistent on myself and would NOT let myself back down. Eventually got to the Y. I was suppose to get a 5-6 mile run in on the treadmill, but quite honestly had very little time. I DO NOT like being rushed on my runs. I read/hear of squeezing little runs in here & there. For some reason though I'm all or nothing in this area. I either run what I planned or I don't. I'm not happy with 3 miles, especially if I feel rushed, if I had planned on 5. I know, I should just get over it, but for now I can't. Anyway, not all was lost. I decided to grab my book (that I need to have finished by next Thursday) and get on the bike. I can do both. Pedal away, get a workout, feel the burn AND get some reading done. (I am a reader, but I'm horrible at sitting down to accomplish that).

I managed to get 12 miles in on the bike. Then jumped in the pool for some laps. I didn't count, but had very little time. I DID go with the whole something is better than nothing theory on that one. Swimming is not my favorite and beloved sport so I'm totally willing to compromise on that. Need to get something in since I got signed up for my annual triathlon coming up at the end of January. You will hear more about that in posts to come.

Hooray! I stuck with it though and got a workout done. I could have easily not done it. I had a busy afternoon and as usual there is always much to do about around my house. I wish I had been brave enough to make a video when I was finishing up my bike. I WANTED to, but chickened out. Since it was daytime the Y was much busier than usual. There was a guy on the bike next to me 2 feet away. People behind me on their machines. Go ahead....say it...CHICKEN BUTT. I promise to work on it : )

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hardcore 5k: Race Your Ice Off

On the last day of 2011 I raced a 5k. This was only my 4th 5k this year. Very unusual for me. As I said in previous posts I'm moved away from the shorter distances and really focus on the long.

I had the privilege of also having my 10 year old son run the race. This is not his first 5k, but I'd still classify him as a newbie. The boy has speed. Natural speed. At his age with little training he can easily pump out about a 8:30 minute pace for a 5k. If he's running just a mile he can breeze through it at a 7 minute pace. It gets me all excited when I think about when he is older and has some good training. That boy will fly! It's this mommas dream come true to see her kids have a passion for running. Not all of mine do. I suspect one might have been switched at birth, since she claims to "hate" running. Ha-ha. I love them all just the same. Runners of not.

Here we are before the race.  We had very unusual weather for this race.  In the past it has been very cold with snow on the ground.  This year we had neither.  The temps kept changing, which made it more interesting.  It was easily bright & sunny & in the mid 50's when we left our town, yet it was cloudy & high 30's by time we got to our race city only 45 minutes away.  And the wind.  Oh! My!    We had fun anyway.  Really just focused on getting the race done.  I knew very well going into this that I was looking for no pr (although the idea never completely leaves my mind).  I just wanted to finish.

I was able to catch my son when he finished.  I could tell he had given it his all.  He finished 4th in his age group of 14 & under.

There was a lot more people there this year.  I'd say twice as many as usual.  I think the nicer weather & the fact that new years eve fell on a Saturday explained the big jump in numbers.  I wasn't extremely impressed with my overall time, but since that wasn't my focus I just didn't care.  I placed 2nd in my age group, but I know that is always as subject to who happens to be there.  The same result in another race would have gotten me 1st or or no place at all.  I did finish right behind a 13 year old girl.  Which, I don't ever compare myself to her (uh, duh that's like comparing an apple to a watermelon) but I will say coming in right behind her just makes me feel A-OK!  Of course I noticed that a 50 year old woman finished ahead of me.  So there you go again, it's all relative.

We ended 2011 with a nice running finish.  I've already been on the go with the start of 2012.  Looking forward to this year and what it will bring.