Monthly Archives: September 2015

FitOne Boise Half Marathon per James

I love the way James describes the race and the weekend…

“A break from the normal taper routine on this training plan!  Instead of a standard 12-14 mile long (real) slow run, I ran the FitOne Boise Half Marathon.  This was not a spur of the moment decision by any means…it’s been on the little next race widget thing on the sidebar for several weeks.  I actually registered back in June with PK so this race was well planned and integrated into my marathon training for Chicago…”  Read more…

He’s so much better at describing races than I am!  He runs kinda fast too… 🙂


FitOne Boise Race Recap


I started this blog back in July when I had just begun training for the FitOne Boise Half-Marathon.  There are quite a few of my blogging friends who have followed me through this journey from the beginning, and a few of you have come along at a later time, but I really want to thank all of you for the encouragement and keeping me going at even the worst of times!! This past Saturday was the day that I had been working towards for 12 long and trying weeks, and it was worth every minute of it!

wpid-img_0917.jpgI hadn’t got much sleep the night before, but I’m not sure anyone sleeps well the night before a race, do they!  We got to the start line without a hitch.  There were 4 of us running it… my husband James, my father-in-law Rick who just turned 70 four days before, his running partner Roberta, and me. This was Rick’s very first half-marathon, and having just turned 70, what a fabulous way to celebrate!!  Anyway, we were all lined up at the start line, I was doing my normal freaking out (per usual) and eating my Shot Bloks, but when I bit down on my Shot Blok, it completely lifted a crown off one of my back molars. Thankfully I wasn’t in any pain.  I was more shocked that it happened than anything… and really kind of irritated. Ten minutes before the gun was to go off!  Are you freaking kidding me?!!

No worries.  I sucked it up and put my crown in my belt to deal with later.  We all managed to cross the start line together, said our goodbyes, and off everyone went.  James was leading the pack, then Rick and Roberta, and I followed up from behind.  I’ve never really said how slow I actually run, but my goal was to get this done in 3-1/2 hours.wpid-19288.jpeg

The race was fabulous as I knew it would be. The scenery was gorgeous.  We started off in downtown Boise, ran through a few beautiful neighborhoods of big historic houses, through the Old Idaho Penitentiary Site, across the Boise River down to the Greenbelt (which I had run back in July), up through downtown Boise a different way near the capitol building, up a mother of a hill, and down on into Ann Morrison Park to finish it off.  Okay, so I’m not the best at details, but if you ever want to see the heart of a city, run a race to get a close look at the beauty.


James and AJ at the finish line!

Jamesy finished in 1:47:57, a screaming finish and a great confidence boost for Chicago!  My father-in-law and Roberta, so proud, finished it in 2:22:03!!  And I came close to my 3-1/2 hour goal at 3:32:18.  I was only 2 minutes off, but I consider this race a huge success!!  First and foremost, I finished and got my bling!!  I’ve also knocked off another state in my “50 in 50” quest (James still needs Idaho for his marathon).

I know I still have some things I want and need to improve. My breathing for one… I need to increase my VO2 max so I can become a more efficient runner.  That is one of my downfalls, my breathing.  My legs are strong, but my breathing gets me in the end.  And I also need to work on getting stronger with hills.  But don’t we all, hehe!

Next up is Maui in January with a goal for me of 3:15:00!  And that’s going to be one helluva runcation!!  Bling, family time, and snorkeling all in the same trip!  I just don’t think life could be any better!


Not only did Rick receive the normal bling, he placed 2nd in his age group and got extra bling for that! Wow!


Random Thoughts


Funny orange guy walking around the expo, scaring all the little kids.

I’m here in Boise now and I’ve reached total freak-out mode which is perfectly normal for me the night before a race.  I’m a bit of a babbling mess, but I thought I’d gather some of the thoughts going through my mind regarding tomorrow…

  • Did I train enough?
  • No, I could use another month.  Time rewind please.
  • Why the hell am I doing this?  Why didn’t I sign up for the 10K?  I like 10Ks… that’s a more doable distance.
  • Oh right, it’s the bling.  The bling motivates me.  It’s all about the bling.
  • If I can make it through tomorrow, I’ll train better next time.  I promise!!
  • I hope I don’t have a panic attack.
  • Did I train enough?  I don’t think I’ve trained enough.
  • I don’t think I have enough pockets for all the gel I’m going to need.
  • Maybe I should’ve brought my water bottle belt.  I’m going to run out of water.  Surely four aid stations isn’t going to be enough.
  • My calf is sore.  Oh no… why is my calf sore?  Oh, right, uncross your legs.
  • I should’ve done more hills.  I would be stronger if I’d done more hills.
  • I wish I could walk faster.  For that matter, I wish I could run longer without stopping.
  • I should’ve done more long runs.
  • Did I train enough????  I don’t think I’ve trained enough!!!
  • Did I fuel properly this week?  Will it last me through my run or am I going to run out of gas?
  • Nooo, the sun is going down!  It’s almost time for bed!  When I wake up, I’m going to have to run 13 point 1 freaking miles.  Why the hell am I doing this?
  • I so need a drink!

We arrived in Boise today, visited the race expo, it’s getting dark and it’s almost time to turn in for an early start tomorrow.  This time tomorrow, I’ll be one bling richer!!  Cheers everyone!!


Crossing the bridge over the Columbia River from Washington into Oregon. Deja vu…


AJ and James… Idaho border at the Snake River.


AJ and me… ditto, 🙂


Expo time! Packet pickup and lots of free goodies!



A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books. ~Walt Whitman

I’m doing something a little different today.  I’m participating in The Daily Post’s Photo Challenge.

This week, make a grid the centerpiece of your photo. Next week, they can lapse back into our photographic subconscious, but this week, let’s give them some time in the sun!

Simple grid’s are not that easy to find when you don’t have an artistic point of view.  I had to search high and low and take a few snapshots here and there until I found a shot I liked. Regardless, it was great fun and a nice distraction this week.  🙂

I don’t have a clever title, so… hi!


I love fall! So beautiful!!

I’m just here tonight to bitch and moan about my latest run.  Okay, not really, but it was actually one that I completed with the feeling of, “Oh, that sucked, but at least I did it.”  It was yesterday, and it was 8 miles.  And the weather was once again really awful.  I’m beginning to realize that fall in the Pacific Northwest means “windy as hell.”

Fall is actually my favorite time of year, but not when I’m out on the trail running.  Have you ever heard a 100 ft tree break and fall?  It’s actually quite impressive.  There’s a huge craaaaack and then a loud BOOM that follows.  I got to experience that yesterday during my run, about 20 feet in front of me.  We have these great big, tall, skinny, aspen-like trees that line the better part of the trail, and when the wind blows, they tend to break and fall down.  Super scary.  So right after my turn-around, from mile 4 to about mile 7, I was looking straight up while trying to run, watching the swaying trees and listening for the next big craaaaack so I could be certain a falling branch wasn’t going to land on me. Well, on the positive side, at least I was running with my head held high, haha.


Scary part of the trail… the setting of most horror movies, dark and ominous!

Another thing I thought I’d try was the Nike Plus running app.  Not bad, not bad!  I actually used it for all my runs last week (in addition to my watch), and I really like the way it announces what mile you’ve just completed (hey, anything to entertain us while running, right?!).  So for the race this Saturday, I’ll have my handy dandy Garmin watch tracking me, my phone, and the Nike Plus running app. It’ll be interesting to compare all the different numbers.  I remember how horrified I was when I ran my very first half-marathon and my watch clocked in at 13.4, which actually can happen if you don’t hit all the apices of the turns just right, or so I’m told, and so I discovered.

James ran 22 miles yesterday in that wind.  I don’t know why he always chooses windy days for his longest runs!  He did well though… he ran through the proverbial wall that tried to overtake him at mile 19 and brought it on home strong.  That will be his last “long” run before Chicago (I put “long” in quotations because, personally, I think anything over 6 miles is a long run). Yes, he’s running the Boise half too, but when one is able to run 22 miles, 13 miles is pretty much nothing, me thinks.  He’ll be waiting for me at the finish line for about 2 hours… maybe there’ll be a beer tent for him to visit while he waits.  🙂


Jamesy on the trail doing his thing. This is way before you get to the wooded and secluded part… oooooo…

Check this out…

This runner is about to tackle 22 miles today, and he has a new blog post, Long Run Progression

On the eve of the final long run before Chicago, I thought it would be interesting to look back at the progression of my long runs through this training cycle.  Many runners are approaching their final long run for their Fall marathon or have just completed the last long run and are in the restless state of mind tormenting bliss, known as taper.

Read more …

james oktoberfest run

Okay, I’m shameless… it’s my husband, and his blog doesn’t show up on the Reader as he is self-hosted.  But there are a lot of long distance runners out there who might be able to relate to him, so I thought I’d put his blog out there for all to see.

He really is running 22 miles today, and the weather conditions are not in his favor.  I’m attempting 8 just for the heck of it.  Hopefully the caffeine will kick in soon…

I’m Bored…

wpid-tumblr_n3v8hnunug1sffwkfo1_400.jpgYes, it’s taper time for me, and I find myself stagnating.  I feel kinda lazy, kinda not motivated, kinda blah… It’s weird how that works as running is not one of my most favorite things to do, but I have a goal and I feel like I’m not actively working towards my goal as I can only do so much for the next 7 days.  So what does a person who is tapering think about?  Their NEXT race, of course, and how to improve their time and fitness!!  And bread.  Freshly baked bread hot out of the oven with butter on top… OMG… that sounds heavenly.  Blame James for that last image… he’s the one who started talking about fresh baked bread which is a no-no in our house while we’re training (per me, not him).

But hey, as I’m on the subject of bread, I thought I would give an update on my weight loss.  I hit a very nasty plateau back in July.  I had lost 8 pounds or so and couldn’t get the scale to budge at all for half of June and all of July, but I managed to make it move again at the beginning of August.  A 6-week plateau is enough to kill anyone, but persistence and consistency was the key, and I never gave up.  I have now lost over 18 pounds in total.  I am meticulous about logging my food in MyFitnessPal, and, the biggie, I think my metabolism has kicked into high gear with all this silly running I’m doing.  Eh.  Just a small side note.  That’s also 18 pounds I don’t have to carry around during my race.

490 calories of sheer heaven! I will treat myself to one after my race! :)

490 calories of sheer heaven! I will treat myself to one after my race! 🙂 … or not…


Okay, so one thing I do when I’m not running… I read about running.  We do subscribe to Runner’s World magazine, and we fight over who gets to read the latest issue first (this is getting to be an obsession, isn’t it), but I was playing online today and I came across an article in Runner’s World online, “How Many Miles A Week Should I Run?”  If you check this article out, never mind the beginning blah-blah-blah part… skip down to the bottom where the charts are. For “mortal” people (meaning the non-elite) that are running a half-marathon, mileage should be about 30 to 40 miles per week.  Ouch.  I run between 16 to 20.

Does this mean I’m going to fail next week?  Noooo, of course not.  As I’ve said, if I have to crawl across the finish line, I will get that bling.  But this information gives me something more to strive for (and I don’t care that I ended my sentence in a preposition).  I have the Maui half coming up in January, so I can aim for 20 to 25 miles per week during that training cycle, then after that will be Kansas which I’ll aim for 25 to 30 miles per week.  Ahhh, see the slow progression?  One day, I’m going to run a half in 2 hours… maybe next year, maybe the year after, but I will never stop trying.  And don’t ever tell me that I can’t, because I can guarantee you one day I will.

Happy Running!


My Four-Legged Furry Children

Obviously I’m a huge animal lover as I work at the animal rehab and rescue facility, but I believe I’ve failed to mention my own animal family.  We have 3 loving cats that I’d like to introduce to you.



He’s our oldest at almost 15 years.  He’s kind of a rescue, sort of.  A couple had him as a kitten, gave him baths and everything, then the woman found out she was pregnant and didn’t want to risk owning a cat while being pregnant.  James was the softy and brought him home.  He came to us when he was about 4 months old.  He used to lay on James’ chest when he was little, and I warned him, “One day Nero is going to be a great big kitty and will still want to lay on your chest when he weighs 15 to 20 pounds.”  Guess what?!  I was right (I love being right).  Unfortunately he’s starting his downhill slide with some endocrine issues, but he’s still a joy to have around.  His favorite toy:  Nerf gun darts.wpid-20150829_141353.jpg


MeepBack in 2011, a friend of mine had a litter of kittens, and I picked him out when he was about 3 weeks old.  Tuxedo cats are my absolute favorites.  He’s part Siamese, so he’s a talker.  Never shuts up, but can be a great conversationalist.  And with him being a boy, he really, really likes to cause trouble.  He loves to chew on white phone chargers or ear buds.  He also loves to floss his teeth with me… I’ll use one end of the string, he’ll use the other.

He’s actually our son’s cat.  Back when Meep was a kitten, before he gained all his weight and muscle, AJ thought it’d be cool to teach him to… fly.  Meep could jump 4 feet straight into the air when they were playing.  It was amazing.  He couldn’t do that now to save his life.  He’s a fat and happy 4-year-old, who still thinks I’m his surrogate mom… he comes to me for the hugs and the love and the suckling.  I used to let him curl up onto my shoulder when he was a kitten… guess where his favorite place still is.  Yep… I didn’t take my own advice to which I gave out 10 years before.  Meep follows AJ everywhere at his heels, just like a little puppy.  It’s the cutest thing.

His favorite toy is a fish net.meep flying

wpid-20150829_141231.jpg   wpid-20150825_194301.jpg


wpid-20150903_223503.jpgShe’s the only girl of the group.  Sheba came to us about 2 years ago, I thought she had been abandoned.  It was in the middle of winter and the temperature was due to get down to 19 degrees F, and she was hanging out on our porch.  I made her a box on the porch to keep her warm, but I thought surely she had a home.  Three nights later, she was still hanging around, and it was about to get colder.  We brought her inside and she’s been with us ever since.  I actually found out who owned her, and the “owner” and I exchanged some words (I’d like to say it was pleasant, but it wasn’t). However, since then, Sheba has never left. She’s an outside kitty, which I absolutely don’t believe in for many reasons, but I can’t change how she was raised.  She still comes inside every single night to sleep with James and I, either between our heads or she will completely take over my pillow.  She gets along with Nero, but her and Meep have to stay separated.  I don’t know why, but even after 2 years, Meep will not accept her as his sister.

Sheba and I have races to the neighborhood mailbox.  She’ll give me a nice head start, but then I say, “I’m gonna beat you.”  That’s all she needs to hear… she puts it in high speed and wins every time.  She’s actually about 13.  Her favorite toy:  Anything that’s outside, from grass, to bugs, to… well, sadly, everything.

The other members of our family include 3 angelfish and 1 otocinclus (a 5-year-old sucker fish who has survived Armageddon)… I’m not as good with fish as I am with 4-legged creatures… but that’s another story…

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” — Anatole France


Final long run done… now the waiting begins…


Fall is upon us!

Today marked the end of my official training for the FitOne Boise Half-Marathon… my last long run before tapering. I had 11 miles planned, but I ended up going 12.  This was sheer dumb luck, not because the running felt good.  It just happened that way.

wpid-20150913_093648.jpgwpid-20150913_110545.jpgOnce again, James and I set up our “aid station” on our front porch with the various gels and rehydration concoctions.  I was going to run 4 loops around said aid station, with each loop being 2.75 miles.  Nope, never mind.  That got old real quick.  I managed 2 loops with some slight deviation from the same old boring route, which in turn got me some extra distance.  After the 2nd loop, I opted for a normal out and back on the trail as I was getting fed up of running the hills on my loop. I decided to go out for 2.5 and bring it on back for an even 5, but I got picture happy here and there, would pause my watch, take an off-the-record walk break, forget to un-pause my watch, and so on and so forth. That’s how I managed 12.  Kinda sneaky how that works, isn’t it. My phone tracker said I actually accomplished 13.2 miles, but I’m going to have to say, no, I don’t think so, (can’t wait to see how far it clocks me for the actual race, hehe).  The watch measured an unofficial 12.

It was a difficult run.  I was knackered at mile 6, I hurt like holy hell at mile 8, and I had to walk the last mile home.  I used “foot powder” in my socks to help absorb moisture as I’m prone to blisters (see Eugene Marathon 2014).  I also taped my two pinky toes to aid in the prevention of the blisters, something I forgot that I had started doing after Eugene.  Trust me, it’s not my shoes (Brooks Glycerin for long distances and Saucony Ride for shorter distances, both well under their mileage expiration), it’s the wonky skin on my toes.  Probably a result of traversing on the hot Arizona sidewalks in bare feet and sandals my entire life.  And when I got in the shower after my run, the water initially hurt.  It was like the salt from the sweat was burning my skin.  But nothing feels better after a long run than washing your face with some kind of scrub to get rid of all the salt that has built up after so many miles.  (I was smart in that I had covered all the “prone” sensitive areas with Vaseline, so there was no screaming to be done in the shower today).

For our pre-load dinner last night, James made us a fabulous chicken lasagna, hand made from scratch, normal 2-hour prep time, so I told him not to worry about our after-run dinner tonight… I’d take care of that.  We both thought a roast sounded ideal and just yumptuous!  No problem honey!!  I got this!!  (Did I ever mention I don’t cook?)


All that’s left now is 6 minor runs (3 to 5 miles each) and the waiting… and the worrying… and the nail biting… and the butterflies… I can do this and I will do this… only 13 more days.

Happy Running!!

Encouraging Thunder Award!

encouraging-thunder-awardI’d like to thank An Inviting Piece of the Pie for nominating me for the Encouraging Thunder Award!

I was new to blogging this past July, and I was just barely finding my way around Word Press and discovering all that the Word Press “Reader” does for a blogger.  As I’m a “runner,” I entered the tag “running,” and Tyrone’s article “A Beautiful Body Doesn’t Get Any Respect” popped up.  I believe this is the first article of his that I read.  I could relate.  Completely.  He also referred to a song and album, which is something I’m all about, so I could definitely relate.

Then he wrote another article, “Transgender?  I Just Don’t Know…”  After this, I was absolutely sold on his writing style and blog.  He’s bold, he has an opinion, and he’s not afraid to share it. And if you’re not afraid to branch out and open your mind, then please go visit his blog, An Inviting Piece of the Pie, an interesting take on the taste of life.  He’s a fabulous writer.  By the way, did I mention he’s a runner?  In London?  Read his story… he’s come a long, long way… super impressive…

I started this whole writing thing because I wanted to blog my journey of running, beginning and beyond, because I wanted other “slower” runners to see that they weren’t alone.  I never realized how much other bloggers would actually encourage me and make me realize that I’m the one who is not alone (although I’ve yet to find someone who runs as slow as me, haha).  I’m thankful for this community and I’m thankful for all the encouragement I’ve received, from runners and non-runners (Shafali, :D).  On those days I really don’t want to run, I do, because of everyone’s encouragement.  Thank you all.

So, on to my nominations for this award…  So many of you encourage me, either through your writing or through your words, I don’t even know where to begin…

Losing Anonymously — She just ran her first 5K.  She’s amazing!!

Slipper Strides — I’ve been running for over a year now and no one ever told me about “belly breathing.”  I ran 3 miles after I read her blog, and OMG.  It was a fabulous run with belly breathing!  That was like the last piece of the puzzle for me.  How did I never know about belly breathing?!  I had to concentrate and focus, but no more being winded!!  Thank you!!

liveloverunlikeaprincess — A runner who is Disney bound (on my bucket list)!!  She’s trying to balance it all in the midst of a recent tragedy!  So inspiring!

A Little Healthy — A wife, a mom, a runner training for a half-marathon!

50 in 50 Marathon Quest — I can’t leave The Motivator out!!  The one who has inspired me the most overall… without his nagging motivation, I could never be on the journey I’m on right now. We have some great life adventures planned ahead with some great running!  Love you honey!! I owe all my aches and pains to you (and my fabulous health, and my fabulous fitness, and my awesome eating habits, and lest we forget my great bling!!).  Couldn’t have come this far without your guidance or inspiration!!

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•Post it on your blog
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