Monthly Archives: October 2015

WWWP 5K Challenge… done!

WordPress has invited bloggers all around the world to unite this week for a 5K run/walk.  This is obviously a virtual event (awww, no bling?!), and you can complete this fun little challenge from Oct 26 to Nov 1.  I completed it today and couldn’t have picked a better day to do it!  The sun was shining, I had to wear shorts, and not a drop of rain in sight!

For those who don’t know, I live in Lake Stevens, Washington… kinda near Seattle but a bit more north… otherwise known as the Pacific Northwest.  It usually rains here quite a bit, especially this time of year. However, thanks to El Nino, the weather is going to be extremely mild this winter… less rain and no snow.  Hence, today was a perfect day to do a 5K.

Most of you already know that I’m a slow runner… I like to lollygag and take pictures and walk as much as I possibly can.  Regardless… here are my results, courtesy of the Nike+ running app:

wpid-screenshot_2015-10-27-16-05-58.png You’ll see in the bottom right corner it says 6.13 mi.  That mileage is actually for my shoes.  My wonderful husband, The Motivator, gifted me with a new pair of running shoes this past week for my upcoming half in January.  They’re the Brooks Launch 2 and this was my second run in them.  So far, so good!  They’ll be broken in slowly to avoid any potential mishaps as I usually run in Brooks Glycerin or Saucony Ride and my feet love to blister.  I have to tape my toes on every run I do over 5 miles or I pay dearly.  But I just adored the color of these shoes and had to have them!


I’m also having a great time playing with the Nike+ running app!  Yes, I have my Garmin watch, Garmin Connect, Strava, etc., but this is fun too!  The more charts and graphs, the merrier!


This picture shows my activity over the past few days, and it actually shows the weather too, which is nice to keep track of, especially when it’s sunny like it has been.  (No worries, I’ll try not to get used to the sun-shiny days as we’re about to have a major downpour.)  I also like the little trophies the app comes up with.  I got this one today:


Okay, well, it’s not really a trophy, but it does keep track of your fastest times and awards you when you’ve completed certain milestones.  This one is giving me kudos on being active for 3 weeks in a row, which is when training began for me for my next big race… Being active — it’s a lifestyle.


This was my view when I crossed my virtual finish line.  Guess that’s why they call it “fall,” ha!

One last thing… runners beware.  There are reports of owls dive-bombing runners and people during this time of year.  It’s mostly the barred owls and great-horned owls who do this.  They become highly territorial at the start of winter, hunkering down and preparing their nests for upcoming baby season.  Owls are brave and think nothing of “attacking” humans.  Wave your hands slowly overhead back and forth to keep them at bay and then leave the area.  They’re just trying to protect their home, so don’t take it personally.  🙂

Now get out there and complete that 5K challenge!  I double dog dare ya!

Pet Peeve… stay out of my personal space!

personal spaceOnce upon a time when I was a wee lass of 13, my girlfriend and I had this morbid curiosity about funeral homes.  We wanted to see a dead body (yeah, yeah, yeah, I know… sick).  We would walk past a mortuary every day, and our curiosity grew and grew.  Then we came up with a silly story that we were doing a report for school on death and funeral homes, hoping we could get a tour of the mortuary (no, I don’t know what we were thinking back then, but we both turned out perfectly normal, I promise).  The funeral director was more than accommodating.  He was so kind, gave us a tour of the front of the mortuary (no dead bodies), took us into this conference room and talked to us about life, death, and “personal space.”  That little experience satisfied our morbid curiosity forever (even though we didn’t see a dead body) and I had a fabulous lesson on personal space that has stayed with me ever since.

For those who aren’t aware, personal space is the region surrounding a person which they regard as psychologically theirs.  Most people value their personal space and feel discomfort, anger, or anxiety when their personal space is encroached.  I, myself, get angry and irritated. My son likes to constantly invade my personal space and stand super close to me… not because he’s obnoxious, but because I’m “Mom” and he doesn’t get that there are personal boundaries yet.  I get annoyed and irritated and tell him to back up a bit, or quite frankly, “get out of my face.”  This tells you just how serious I am about not having my personal space invaded, that even my own child needs to keep an appropriate distance unless we’re giving/getting hugs or kisses or snuggles.

This morning I went shopping.  I was in the process of checking out, and this woman who was behind me made absolutely certain that her cart remained about 2 inches from my body at all times.  If I moved an inch, she made sure she moved her cart an inch as well… the entire time.  I felt my anger and blood pressure rise and keep rising during my check-out process.  All it would’ve taken was one small movement with my hip and that cart would’ve gone smashing right back into her.  But I maintained, left without causing an incident, and cussed her out the minute I got into the car where no one could hear me.


Don’t other people hate to have their personal space invaded?  Are people really so stupid and inconsiderate these days and just don’t realize that maybe you really don’t need to stand so close to a stranger when there’s a ton of empty space behind you?  Is it really that hard to stand an entire foot behind someone in a line?  Are they so afraid that someone is going to cut in and take their place in line that, heaven forbid, there’s any space between them and the person in front of them?  This drives me insane.  People, please!  Respect one another’s space!  But if you don’t, and a cart or an elbow comes crashing back in on you, don’t say I didn’t warn you!  😉

SOUND OFF!!  Do you have any silly pet peeves that drive you to absolute madness?  How do you handle it when it happens?

Join Automattic’s Worldwide WP 5k 2015

I’m up for this challenge!!  Who else in the running, walking, wogging community is up for it?!

Automatticians, members of the WordPress community, and bloggers around the world come together for our annual run.

Source: Join Automattic’s Worldwide WP 5k 2015

A little bit of this, a little bit of that…

DSC00044Getting back into the swing of things is a little harder to do after a long vacation weekend than I originally anticipated, I’ve come to find.  After all that fabulous Chicago food and pasta, I was looking forward to eating some simple and healthy roast chicken and veggies, but I find myself having to combat those ugly bad carb cravings mid-day that I had control over beforehand (you know… chips, soda, sweets).  It amazes me that 5 days of debauchery can completely undermine months of good behavior!  And then when I give into those cravings, they’re not even satisfying, so go figure.

wpid-20151016_202401.jpgOkay, well, it doesn’t help when you come home from holiday and actually are in the mood to try to cook or to try to bake!  I say “try” because I am not a baker and I am not a chef and I can’t stand to be in the kitchen for any length of time doing anything remotely “kitchen-ish.”  However, when James and I got back from Chicago, that Friday we had a celebratory happy hour in which I decided to bake these wicked Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings.  Talk about a sugar overload, holy cow.  But oh, they were good.


Not to mention the 18th was our son’s 11th birthday, so on Saturday night, I decided to make this:


This is so out of character for me.  I’m not exactly sure that I’ve made one single cake in the 11 years AJ has been on this earth, but something possessed me to attempt this that night (Jamesy is the one who made sure there were plenty of sprinkles on it, not me; he did a great job).  I think the baking inspiration has come from some of my blogging friends who have actually made me want to step outside my comfort zone.  The cake may not be professional grade, but I sure had fun doing it.

However, all calorie-laden creativity aside, I do have my next training plan for Maui in place and have already started it:



I don’t start the killer hill training until next week, but I’m happy to say I’ve nailed my runs so far.  In the middle of the one chart, you’ll see a big 3.1 highlighted… that’s a Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot we’ve signed up for (James will do the 10K).  As well, we’re doing another Turkey Trot race the Saturday before that (after which the next day it looks like I have a 13-miler scheduled in there… oh dear).  Anyway, I already have an 8-miler coming up this weekend, so… here we go again, off and running.

And now it’s time for me to put all the sugar and processed foods to rest and make up our quickie oatmeal breakfasts for the next week:


I start with 1 cup quick cooking oats, then add flax seed, dehydrated fruit (blueberries, craisins, bananas), nuts, cinnamon, salt, brown sugar, store in mason jars, add boiling water (I add a tablespoon of peanut butter for protein when I add my water)… this is a rib-sticking breakfast that won’t allow any type of craving to rear its ugly head and you’ll even question whether or not you’ll want to eat lunch!  But don’t eat it then go running!!  All your energy is being used for digestion for a couple of hours, so you’ll never get through a run without GI issues if you eat this beforehand.

Lastly, I leave you with this thought:

Running is not about being better than someone else, it’s about being better than you used to be.


Back to Basics

wpid-20150313_164456.jpgAnd so it begins… the next training cycle.  There are only 91 days until the Maui Oceanfront Marathon (half-marathon for me), with a lot of work to be done.  I plan on knocking 15 minutes off my time from FitOne Boise and, as always, not finishing DFL.  🙂

wpid-download_20151012_121707.jpegWe returned from The Motivator’s big win in Chicago (both of us fat full and happy, I might add), and training for me began the next day.  No time to lose.  As I said, my primary goal for this cycle is to knock 15 minutes off my time.  The Motivator has devised a plan for me to follow in which I can make this a reality.  I will incorporate intervals and hill training and strength training into this next cycle.  We have a killer hill across the way from us that defeats even the fittest athlete, with a grade percentage from 10 to 35.  It (and I quote) “sucks the living life force out of you.”  Yes, that’s the hill I’m going to train on…. besides, pain is only temporary… (may the Good Lord have mercy on my soul).

wpid-20151009_123430.jpgAs well, another goal of mine is to lose yet another 10 pounds.  Losing another 10 pounds is bound to make me 15 minutes faster, don’t you think?  Well, regardless, that’s my goal, but I have a feeling the first 4 to 5 pounds are going to be as hard to tackle as that MoFo Hill I’m going to attempt.  I have come to yet another plateau where I’ve been at the same weight for the past, ummmm, 3 or 4 weeks?  I’m not worried.  Again… I look at this as a way for my body to reset itself and begin anew.  I don’t starve, I don’t deprive myself, and (other than some Chicago splurges) I don’t eat crap.  Bring it!  I’m ready!

That being said, I started off my first week by nailing my runs, bringing my pace down, and feeling really good about everything.  There is something about attending a MAJOR running event that kicks the motivation into high gear!!  One day, some day…

wpid-20151016_135948.jpgHowever, all running talk aside, the highlight of my week came from my (almost) 11-year-old son.  I came home from work one day this week and informed him I had been kissed by a turkey vulture.  Without missing a beat and not looking up from his game pad, he nonchalantly said, “And was that pleasureable?”


And on that note, I bid you adieu!  Happy running!!

Visit 50 in 50 Marathon Quest to see the full race report from Chicago!

The Do’s When Visiting Chicago During Marathon Weekend

wpid-20151011_073400.jpgDO get a hotel room downtown with a river view!  Then be prepared for waves upon waves upon waves of people running the marathon to pass by.  As well, you’ll be within walking distance to some of the best restaurants in Chicago.

wpid-20151009_134801.jpg wpid-20151009_141943_001.jpg

DO take a River Boat Tour to check out the buildings, around downtown.  You will be awestruck.

wpid-20082.jpegDO visit the Cloud Gate in Millennium Park and touch it.  Perhaps for good luck? Or to summon the mother ship?  I don’t know why, just touch it.  It’s cool.

DO attend the pre-race pasta dinner.  It is important to be in the atmosphere of all the other runners who are freaking out just as bad as you.  Not to mention, the food is to die for!  Best carb-load ever!

DO attend the race expo, but preferably on the Friday as opposed to the Saturday before the race.  You will be on your feet for hours, whereby fatiguing your legs and feet, in which case you can kiss your PR goodbye (if you attend on Saturday).


DO wear training gear or running clothes everywhere you go.  It makes you stand out from anyone else who might possibly not be running the race that weekend (however, as there are some 45,000 runners, the chance of that happening is highly unlikely).

DO sight-see at night.  You’ll see Chicago in a whole different light.wpid-20151010_191537.jpg

wpid-20151011_193349.jpgDO partake in Happy Hour at a fun little bar like D4 Irish Pub near Columbus and Grand.  It’s a must after the marathon to wear your race shirt and well-earned medal… you get a free Mimosa.  This also allows for runners to hook-up, high five, congratulate each other and compare notes.

DO check your ego and leave it at home.  There are 45,000 other people running the exact same race, trying to achieve their own personal goal, and unless you have your actual name printed on your bib and not a number and are in the first stall, you are no better than anyone else on that course.  DO support, cheer, and encourage your fellow runners every chance you can.  They will need and appreciate it.  This also holds true for the upcoming New York City Marathon and Marine Corps Marathon.wpid-20151011_135124.jpg

DO have fun.  The great people of Chicago are genuinely excited and happy for every runner out there.  It’s an experience like no other, so DO treasure it.

While I didn’t personally run the race, my husband did and managed a PR despite the great heat that was making people collapse left and right.  I’m very proud of him and his accomplishment and achieving his hard-earned goal.  I also had a fantastic experience in Chicago even being a spectator.  They definitely know how to do it up right in that town!!

DO visit 50 in 50 Marathon Quest to read all about the Chicago Marathon from a runner’s perspective.

Hello Chicago!

Four days before the Chicago Marathon and Jamesy and I have arrived!  It has been a dreadfully long day, but we’re here now and actually adjusting nicely to the 2-hour time difference!

This is going to be short and sweet, and mostly pictures tonight.  My day started stupid early, and the following is what we dealt with when we were heading to the airport this morning:


Got traffic?

It took us an hour and a half to drive 60 miles.  Seattle traffic is the worst.

The flight was fine, albeit I felt like I was roughing it with no wi-fi and no movies and no plug-ins for chargers.  It was an older plane on Southwest… need I say more.  But we arrived safe and sound which is all that really matters!


The Chicago skyline is mesmerizing, so fabulous.  We’re on the 30th floor in the downtown area, not too far from the “Magnificent Mile.”  So we’re in the heart of the city.  I can’t wait until I can actually run through this town too, so I can see it from ground level!


View from the hotel room, right next to the Chicago River.


Trump Tower!


Once we dropped off our suitcases, James and I were in search of some place to have happy hour!  All the buildings were lit up at the top in pink.



Wandering in downtown Chicago at sundown.

We found a great place to have happy hour and eat dinner, Howell’s and Hood, on Michigan Ave.



We had a fabulous waitress, Courtney!  She’s a runner herself and we had a great time chatting with her!  She’s hoping to run her first half-marathon in the spring, but you know me, I had to try and convince her to do next year’s Chicago half for the bling!  The size of the prize would get her hooked for sure!!  🙂


Courtney and me

The food here was to die for.  James had a burger and I had a grilled cheese sandwich…  this is unlike any grilled cheese sandwich I’d ever had before.  They added “braised pork belly” on the sandwich, but to me it was great big huge cuts of bacon… bacon on a grilled cheese! Magnifico! How have I never discovered this combination before??!!  (Okay, I’m on holiday… I don’t count calories when I’m on holiday!)



Yes, this is a grilled cheese sandwich…

Thankfully, Courtney helped me talk James into some dessert as well… donuts with dipping sauce.  Oh my word…


Overall, we have had one fabulous day!!  Chicago is amazing, and the food is even more so. Granted, we won’t be eating like this for the rest of the holiday, but it sure was nice to splurge just for today.  The rest of the weekend will be low fat, high carb, so James can kick some Chicago Marathon ass!!  Three more days…





It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day…

…and I’m feeling good!

One week post race, and I have had a grand time recovering/resting!  I have slept in, eaten what I’ve wanted, read, relaxed, watched mindless You Tube videos with my son… drank too much wine… just a few “luxuries” I miss out on occasionally while I’m training for a race.

Alas… training resumes tomorrow.  Okay, well, not hard-core training, but pre-training training. And I’m happy about it.  Too weird, but it’s true.  The Maui Oceanfront Half-Marathon is approximately 15 weeks away, and there’s no time to waste.  I’ve enjoyed my 1-week down time, my vacation so to speak, but I’m also very happy to get back to routine.

There were a few things in Boise that I recognize I need to work extra hard on… such as my breathing… and I don’t want to lose momentum.  The sooner I address and correct these issues, the better.  One thing The Motivator and I are kind of religious about is analyzing our runs and races and talking about what needs improvement.  We have spreadsheets and notebooks full of data and formulas and plans for the future.  Seriously.

I won’t be starting this next training cycle from the beginning though… tomorrow’s run will be about 6 miles.  I ran just over 13 miles last Saturday… no reason to back track.  My long runs in this next cycle will look something like 10-11-12-13-14, lather, rinse, repeat.  Nope, there’s no going back, and remember, my goal is to improve my pace.  And how do we improve our pace? We run more miles… or so I’m told….

In the meantime, Jamesy and I are headed off to Chicago this coming Thursday, with his big race being The Chicago Marathon next Sunday.  He has worked so hard these past 6 months… he’s going to rock this race and get his sub-4-hour marathon like he wants (…and I know this). This is going to be the trip of a lifetime…


We’ve also seen the bling people have been getting from Chicago’s Half-Marathon race from last weekend… it’s the size of a dinner plate!!  So guess where we’re going next year?!!  Oh hell yes! Here we come Chicago Half-Marathon 2016!!  Both of us!!  After all… it’s all about the bling!!! 😉

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change


Ecola State Park, Oregon

Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.  ~Harriet Beecher Stowe 

The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge