Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Back again!

Ok - I am back. It has been since May when I blogged last - I am sorry!! Life happens I guess!

I won't even try to catch up in this one post, so the next few posts will likely be old news by now, but I will try to get all caught up & then be more consistent with my posting.

It is Veteran's Day today, and Jim & I are headed to Universal Studios for a relaxing day together...it has been a tough few weeks!! Work has been insane with quarter-end, kick-starting 2009 reporting already, and gearing up for year-end. Never a dull moment in the life of the accounting calendar!

Other than work, running takes up a lot of our time too lately. It is racing season! We love love love the atmosphere of race days. There is just something so exciting about all of those runners, doing the same thing, with the same goal. It is a race against yourself...and maybe somebody else at the finish line! Jim & I have both set some personal bests here lately which also a great sense of accomplishment. Heck - I even placed 4th in my age group at our last race, the Run for Nona 5k. I ran a 24:09.

This has been random - but my next posts will have more thought & organization, I promise. Can you tell I am a bit rusty at the blogging?

Mom & Pam - this blog is for you! :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Marathon Success!

Here is a picture of me running around Lambeau Field - home of the Green Bay Packers. The last .2 miles of the 26.2 marathon was through the tunnel that the Packers run through to run onto the field, then around Lambeau field. I also drug my hand on the End Zone mats that you can see behind me.

I improved my finish time by about 5 minutes from my first marathon, running this one in 4:17:15. My legs are a bit sore today, but nothing unusual. The day was SO fun! We came to Wisconsin to visit Jim's sister & family, and our brother-in-law had also trained for the marathon to run with us. This was Jim & Robert's first marathon, so they were so excited to have the first one under their belts, and they are looking forward to doing another one.

Jim's sister & nephews were there to cheer us on. They were at the starting line, then went to mile 6 and had made signs in the meantime!! They will likely never know just how much it meant to Jim & I to be there cheering us on, especially making the very funny signs that meant so much and were so appropriate for us - very inspiring & funny. We laughed a few times during the race just thinking about them! Then they went to about mile 17 to cheer us on from there too - great to see them again!!! The next time we saw them was in Lambeau Field....they were in the bleachers cheering & waving those signs. Again, seeing them gave me the motivation to pick up the pace & just get to the finish. It is great to have your own personal cheering section!!

We are having a blast in Wisconsin, it is beautiful here! Robert's friend, Andy, took us fishing on the Wisconsin River. The scenery was beautiful & I caught more fish than I ever have at one time!

We have eaten WAY too much while we have been here - Jim's sister is a fabulous cook. We also attended the 150th Stevens Point birthday party, took their bassets & had a picnic. We are enjoying the 50 & 60 degree weather here since it is already in the 80s & 90s in Orlando.

We enjoyed ice cream at a local favorite, Belts - a Snickers flurry - YUM. We also ate lunch at Hilltop Restaurant, sat outside & ate yummy beer batter fries.

We are going to a cheese factory tomorrow morning before we venture back to the airport to fly back to Orlando. I have had a wonderful time here; lots of great conversation, lots of laughter, naps, great food & just good quality time with family. Who could ask for anything more?

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Vacation can't get here soon enough!!

I cannot wait!!! Jim & I are going to Wisconsin to see Jim's sister & family for nearly a week. As I have mentioned in previous posts, we are going there to run the Green Bay marathon - but that isn't even the highlight for me. I love hanging out with the fam & am looking forward to just relaxing with lots of laughs & talking. I am also really looking forward to my 2nd marathon - and the brats that will follow! And - last but not least - I am looking forward to NOT checking my blackberry for a whole week!! I will be turning it off for sure.

Jim & I are in the taper phase which is good, since it is getting so hot here! I know I know - nothing to complain about yet. But 80s is too hot to run in. Last weekend was our last long run (22 miles) before the marathon.

I have issues

Proximity issues. Jim & I went to Universal Studios a couple of Fridays ago & had a blast together! But what is not fun is the standing in line part. Granted, with it being the 'off season' and most folks are still in school, lines are not long at all, relatively speaking. But I have come to realize that I have a much different proximity parameter than a lot of people...at least people that go to Universal. I swear, every line we got in, we would have kids RIGHT behind us, literally - on our feet or brushing up against us or bumping into us. I don't know about you - but I tend to STOP a couple of steps behind the person in front of me. It wasn't even just kids...it was adults too! I literally had an adult LEAN on me in line for the wild river raft ride. Because it was one of the last rides we rode, I was at my proximity limit - so I actually said "Excuse me" to her. She jumped back & said - oh sorry - i thought you were someone else. HUH???

Another exhibit of my proximity issue is on an airplane. I am all for sharing that skinny 1 inch armrest that sits in between my fellow passengers and I....but I don't want my arm touching yours or clothing, etc. I don't want your coat hanging over on my lap or leg. Stay in your space & I will stay in mine! On my last flight to or from DC, I had a very nice older gentleman sitting next to me who was decent with the armrest sharing. But you know how old guy arms are....crazy hair. So I was attacked by rogue arm hair the whole flight. ICK!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Rock CHOKE Jayhawks

I want NC to win. I know I am supposed to root for a fellow Big 12 school in Kansas...but it just isn't possible. I think it has something with my Mizzou degree. It's something they make us sign..."thou shalt never root for Kansas no matter what".

Pray for my Mamma

My grandma, who I still call Mamma (her real name is Frankie) is in the hospital....again. She was in last week/weekend with a heart scare, but thankfully her heart is ok. They ran all kinds of tests, which all came back ok - but they made some medicine changes because some of her levels still werent' quite right & she was battling nausea. I got a call from my dad again this afternoon that she was back in the hospital after being home for less than a week. I called her room & she was too nauseus to talk (so I KNOW she must not be feeling good!), but I did get to talk to my Aunt Sue who had driven in to be with her this time.

So just say a prayer for my Mamma - I just love her dearly and want her to feel better.

23 Miles

It has been hot & muggy here in Orlando this past week - and raining daily like it does in the summer! We are so anxious for another couple of warm weeks to go by so we can relax in the pool on the weekends & in the evenings.

Because it has been so hot during the days, we decided we needed to get on the trail EARLY this morning to beat the heat & humidity. So we got up before 5 (4:30 am maybe?), drank a quick cup of coffee & got on the way. We had set everything out last night, so we were out the door quickly.

It was still pitch black when we started out on the trail, so we brought a flashlight with us to use in the extra dark spots on the trail. We ended up putting it in a potted bush close to Mile 5. It was still there on the way back & we actually remembered to grab it!

It was Hhhot & muggy still at 5 am - 72 degrees on the drive there. Four hours & 12 minutes later, we had accomplished our long run of 23 miles this morning. We came back home, took showers & then grabbed a couple of $5 Subway footlongs (i cannot get this dang song outta my head!!!). I took the opportunity of burning 2,200 calories during the run to MOW DOWN a meatball footlong & it tasted goooood. We then took naps, and then went to Cold Stone Creamery - another favorite post-long run locale. Came back home & watched Fly Boys (about 1 hour too long of a movie). Then made some dinner & now watching Final Four basketball.

It has been a good day!! Thank God He has kept us healthy while training. We are so anxious to get to Green Bay!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

20 Miles

We have one more long run to go before the Green Bay Marathon!!

Today was a 20-miler. We are training with the Galloway program, which is a mixture of walking & running on long runs. We run 4 minutes, walk 1, run 4 minutes, etc. This method keeps your legs much fresher & it does seem to break up a long run too, which is mentally a good thing! Today my legs got pretty tight early in the run which had me a bit concerned, since usually it doesn't happen so soon into the run (it was around mile 10), but I did make it completely fine & no more sore than normal! We are now enjoying a day of relaxing, watching basketball, eating & napping!

I cleaned the house for a few hours yesterday so I could relax all day today. I was in DC all last week, so I am looking forward to working this coming week at home!!

We are going to bake an Easter ham tonight for supper, along with some scalloped potatoes & some baked apples (my mother-in-law gave me an cast iron apple pan for Christmas & it makes some MEAN baked apples!!!)

Happy Easter!

What a special wonderful meaningful awesome day this represents!! If you want a touching story - read the story of Edith....the pastor at the First Baptist Church of Orlando quoted this story as fact at the service last night. It is a touching story, even though I knew it was probably a fictional one.

Yes, we tried yet another new church last night. We have started going on Sunday nights, which is a great option for us while we are training for the marathon (we do our long runs on Sunday mornings). The church & campus was HUGE HUGE HUGE - I have never seen anything like it. The service seemed more like a production than a real service or sermon - although I LOVED the music. The music was truly concert quality. They had a trio of men sing the most powerful song - and then at the end a woman sang "We Shall Behold Him" - an old Sandi Patti song. SO powerful & moving. I did seriously get goosebumps and a few times was choked up to near tears with just the impact the words & feeling & passion the songs contained.

BUT....the service left me feeling a bit empty to be honest. The pastor was a pure preacher. By saying that I mean that he sounded "preachy" or just "churchy"...not really saying much, but repeating phrases in a whisper preacher voice. Anybody that knows what I am talking about probably doesn't enjoy that style either!! So while we were very excited about the music and the available programs the church had to offer, we are still on the hunt & still praying for God to send us to the right church. We are anxious to find a good church home, meeting couples our age and getting involved again in a church - we really really miss that part of life that we loved in Mobile, AL.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Our first visitors

My dad & brother are HUGE NASCAR fans! In fact, they had already booked plane tickets to visit us in Orlando before we had even moved. Keep in mind my dad has only flown twice before this & had sworn off doing it again after the first one (when he flew down to San Antonio to drive back with me when I was moving back to St. Louis). The 2nd flight he took was to visit us in Mobile, AL and he said that one went much much better.

So my dad/brother came down for the Daytona 500, which is about an hour away from where we live on non-race weekends with crappy traffic. I had never even watched a whole race on TV before, but here I am going to the 50th running of the Daytona! I had heard more 'you might be a redneck' jokes about NASCAR than I knew drivers.

I LOVED LOVED it!!!! The only caveat is to say, I loved it minus the horrible traffic bumper to bumper stop & go on the interstate for a few hours on both the way there & the way back. I loved it minus the waiting in line for a shuttle bus back to the parking lot afterwards for an hour. I loved it minus the 'fight for your butt space' version of a bench we were on in the stands (man - buck up another $50 bucks to have assigned butt space! will do it next time I promise!!). I loved it minus the people sitting on the other side of us that thought they should drink beer the whole entire race, which is fine if you are wearing a Depends....not fine if you are climbing over me every 5 seconds to relieve yourself!

BUT....having said all of that - there was so much absolutely awesome about the day/weekend. I loved having my brother & dad here. Just spending time with them & relaxing & talking while sitting outside by the pool in FEBRUARY while Jim - the best griller ever - was making us some fabulous meat to eat! We ate like pigs - literally - compliments of Jim - we had racks of ribs, a HUGE pork butt, and bacon-wrapped filets, oh and some pork tenderloin grilled on the menu for the weekend. We really ate well.

The race day was so fun - we drove in that morning (probably should have left a bit earlier, although I think traffic is just destined to be terrible on race weekend). We parked the car, busted out the camping grill/burner & had ourselves the best tailgate in the world - ribs, beans, chips. We then went on into the race & enjoyed watching the pre-race. Jim & I rented a scanner & headphones which added a cool dimension to the race. It was really really cool to hear the driver talk to his pit crew, spotter, etc. The race wouldn't have been the same experience without renting that - very very cool. Then after the race (i'll skip more grumbling about getting back to the parking lot) - we busted out the grill again & had smoked pork sandwiches - HEAVENLY. After waiting there for traffic to clear & just sitting around talking for a couple of hours, we braved getting on the road, sat in SOME traffic but not too bad & made it home. Both dad & my brother konked out in the back, I was fighting sleep so hard to stay awake to keep JIM awake, but I probably annoyed him more than anything!! I was just saying random things to be talking to keep both of us awake, but he wasn't much in the mood for talking :) We both just wanted to get home!

Will I ever go back to Daytona for a race? Maybe not - the logistics are just kinda stinky. But - I will definitely go back to another race!!!

A Scary Parental Moment

I have lots to catch you up on & was planning to do that sequentially, but today's happenings have preempted those plans!!

Jim & I left the house this morning around 10:00 to go on our 18 mile run. The trail was great - lots of water stops & we did quite well on the run, although I think Jim had a better run than I did....I should have eaten that 3rd gel.

Anyhoo - we got back home around 2:00 and Cosmo greeted us at the door, but Truman didn't - which is not odd, as he sometimes just can't quite wake up enough from his kitty kitty nap to meet us. I immediately went to go check the formal living room couch, which is one of his favorite morning/afternoon napping spots when I saw it.....The front door was AJAR!!!! The door was open a few inches & my heart just sank. I immediately started panicking & Jim immediately went into 'don't freak out honey mode'. We first looked inside the complete house to make sure he wasn't just napping somewhere & Jim then looked all around our house. Truman wasn't anywhere!!

Keep in mind we had just ran 18 miles & I was ravenous...until I realized my baby boy was gone! All thoughts of my wellbeing were completely out the window & all I could think about was finding my fuzzy kitten.

So we started off out the door & walking down the street calling for Truman. We actually started out going the opposite direction we always go if we are leaving the subdivision, running, or anything - but for whatever reason, Jim said 'let's go this way'. We got about 2 doors down calling for Truman when were answered with Truman's distinctive squeaky meow. Apparently he was sunning himself on the neighbor's porch two doors down. He came to greet us while we snuggled & kissed him & told him he had scared us & we took him back home. Thank you GOD for sending us straight to him, and for letting him be ok, and be so close & answer when we called him.

I love our kitties!!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

January + Orlando + 12 Miles =

First I must apologize for this post in advance...to my fabulous family in Missouri & Wisconsin - we know it is cold & snowy/sleety there! But yes, we went for our run today between 11-1 & this is what I came home with - a sunburn! My face is so red, I have a arm band tan line already from my iPod and my back....well you saw that. After our 12 miler, we grabbed 2 bottles of water each & put our feet in the pool for about 10 minutes. It was cold, but felt great!

Next weekend we are going to Tampa for a 1/2 marathon. Wish us luck! We are going with the Orlando Running club that we just joined. We are looking forward to meeting some new people in the are with common interests. Granted, I'm sure we're the slow ones of the group - but that is ok! We are in it for the social aspect!

Go Patriots!!!