Monday, June 30, 2014

The Weekly Chase

After a week hiatus from blogging, the *chasing* and's back to real life.

Transition back has not been as easy as I thought!  The five hour time difference has me so messed up.  It was easy to get on Maui time, but being back in Texas?  I'm *still* on Maui time!

I did manage to get in a little bit of running last week - anywhere from 2 to 3.5 miles for a whopping total of 8 miles!  Pretty pathetic for me, but it was still a really nice break.  I even got my brand new fiancee to go running with me!

Marathon training is coming up quick and I'm starting to get a bit anxious that I won't be able to keep up with my plan, which has me running long at 8 miles the first week.  I don't think I've ran that far in over 2 months.  Needless to say, I'm feeling compelled to start ramping up to that.'s time to get back on track!

I plan on going to barre everyday this week.

My running plan looks a bit like this:

Monday - 5-6 miles (probably back to the gym as the humidity has been out of control here!)

Tuesday - 3-4 miles

Wednesday - 5 miles with my MRTT friends - we have started having weekly "moonlight" runs and they are turning out to be really fun!

from our inaugural moonlight run

Thursday - no run

Friday - 3 miles

Saturday - 6 miles

Sunday - no run

Anyone else doing a fall marathon?  Have you started training yet?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Five - Hawaiian style

Today we have to leave always, our trip went way to fast and I can't believe after all the waiting we did for it to "get here" it is almost over.

I'm linking up again with the DC trifecta, Courtney @ Eat, Pray, Run DC, Mar @ Mar on the Run, and Cynthia @ at You Signed Up For What?!, for the Friday Five.  So here are 5 of the best parts of our trip (of course there were hundreds of awesome parts, but that would be one long post) to Maui.


Of course my top pick would have to be our second stop on the road to Hana (a more detailed post will follow next week).

We hiked through the rain forest and came upon a gorgeous, very secluded waterfall.

When I was looking around & taking pictures, Ryan pulled a little black box out of this back pack, got on his knee, and asked me to marry him! I was taken completely by surprise, but it explained why he kept carrying his back pack with him, when everything we needed was in my bag!

This guy has *great* taste in rings!

Of course I said yes and now I have a sparkly souvenir to show for it!


The sunsets.

The sunset here takes your breath away, it is so beautiful.  Every night is has been so different. Different colors and cloud patterns.


The dolphins.

We went on a snorkeling excursion early in the week specifically to see the dolphins.  The company we went through boasted a 95% sighting rate.  The ride out to the snorkel site - no dolphins.  The rough ride back which included 5 ft high waves - no dolphins.  Then out of nowhere, where we came into calmer waters, there they were....a pod of 200+ spinners, putting on a show for us, despite the fact that they were "sleeping" (they are nocturnal).  I didn't catch a photo of the spinning, but believe me, it was pretty spectacular to see them in their own environment and to see so many.  Again, breathtaking.


Nakalele Blowhole and Heart Rock

We drove up to the north west coast of Maui on Wednesday because I wanted to see these two sights.  I think we were both pretty blown away by what we saw.  The blowhole was in magnificent form; spouting 20-30 feet (a guesstimate) at a time as we had hit high tide.

It was a windy and precarious hike down to see it close up and there were many warning signs that this was no waterpark.


In the interesting lava formations lie multiple tide pools that housed some fish. barnacles and lots of crabs.

Heart Rock was just as impressive.


Our adventure on the road back from Hana.

We took the "back" way so we wouldn't have to backtrack on the 600+ turns in the road.  The south side of the island is much, much different than any other part.  The roads were pretty treacherous in places.  We asked several locals about the safety of going this way, and were assured we'd be fine.  Luckily, we were.  It was over and hour before we saw another car!  The road was bumpy, gravel in some spots, and one lane around a lot of the turns which was really nerve racking.  Yet, we got to see a side of the island that few see.  It was pretty barren in spots as it was basically the back of the dormant volcano, but there were stunning cliffs and the cloud pattern over the crater was pretty amazing.  One the way back, the sunset was even a lot different.  It was definitely an adventure we won't soon forget.

Have you ever been to Hawaii??  What was your favorite part?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5k - Race Review

This past Saturday I was honored to be able to take part in a really *big* 5k race in a neighboring city.  The race benefited breast cancer research and support for Susan G. Komen in the local area.  I knew I had to do this race to celebrate my dear friend Lisa, who was diagnosed with breast cancer 3 years ago and thus proceeded to kick its a$$.  Even before her diagnosis and now in remission, Lisa's zest for life is immeasurable!  She is one of those jack of all trades.  An avid crafter, like I wish I were, Lisa knits the most beautiful things and even spins her own fibers!  We share a love of laughter and a deep passion for animals.  Lisa is truly the most unique person I know.

My workplace is also a big supporter of this race and I met a couple of the ladies I work with there.  I think we were expecting more people (UHC is a BIG company), but figured everyone else was just missing out.

Nancy, Tonna & I

I made them take a selfie...I think it may have been their first!

I picked up my race packet Saturday morning and despite this being a *really* big race and production, it took me just a few minutes - easy peasy.

I did have to pay an extra $5 for chip timing...I've never had to do that before.  Kind of odd.

This particular morning was particularly humid (83% humidity to be exact).  I knew it was going to a tough race.  My goal was to stay under 10 minute miles as this was just a *fun* run (but secretly I wanted to PR).

I *had* to bling out my picture of Lisa.  It was a must.

I also met a few ladies from MRTT there too!

Soon it was time to line up.  The great thing about this race was that they had a separate start for both the timed and untimed runners/walkers.  The timed runners started earlier and in their own coral.  This is such a great idea!  It eliminated a lot of congestion right from the get go.  Despite being a large race, I never felt crowded either.

The other awesome thing?  Around eight aide stations for a 5k!  Most of the time you're lucky if you get one!  All of the volunteers were great!

The three miles flew by.  The course was nice and flat, with a little elevation gain at the end, but overall pretty easy.

The challenge was definitely the humidity.

But those 10ish minute miles?

They turned into 8ish minute least for the first 2.  The last mile was *really* difficult and I had to stop and walk a couple of times.  I'd like to think if it had been cooler, I'd have kept up that speed.  It felt relatively easy for awhile and I honestly couldn't believe I was moving that fast.

There were a lot of activities and sponsor supported booths at the end of the race, but I had to scoot so that I could get to barre.

I ended up with a 27:57 finish time.  Not quite the PR I kind of wanted, but good enough for 4th (I'm 4th A LOT) in my AG.

We did it!

Overall, this was a really fun 5k (coming from someone who was once not a big fan of the 5k).  I will definitely do it again next year.  The friendships, the support and the cause are something to really get behind.  It made me realize how strong this community of breast cancer survivors, patients and caregivers really is.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Weekly Chase #15

Another week passed by so quickly! It’s hard to believe the 4th weeks!

We had a *great* first full week of summer vacation here! I am enjoying having my little sidekick, Louis, home with me all day. We are all enjoying sleeping in, staying up a little later and enjoying the summer evenings.

It was another busy week of grad school, running, work, life, etc.

On Monday, we took my dad out for an early Father’s Day lunch, since he and my mom would be leaving mid week to go back to MN. We tried our best at talking them into moving down here – we were all trying to be convincing! I’m not sure any progress was made there, but we sure enjoyed them being here for three weeks!

I got in a lot of great work outs! Much better than the week prior....I ended the week with almost 21 miles!

A HUGE improvement from the week before. Feeling back on track for sure.

Tuesday, I met up with the Lifetime Run group for their social run and did a solid 5+ miles with my friend Letty. This is always a fun time!

I also went cold turkey on the sugar in my diet (for the most part). I did sneak in one of Nicole’s
cupcakes on Saturday as a reward for the difficult 5k I did that morning. But, I can already report, I feel SO much better from getting all of the garbage out of my diet! I eat strawberry and spinach salad like nobody’s business and am trying to juice once a day. We have gotten some awesome watermelons that are making for some fantastic watermelon lemonade! So yummy!

Thursday was my first track workout this year. I met a few of the MRTT ladies at the local track to run some repeats.

Luisa and I don’t always do track repeats, but when we do, we like to match.

We have been known to wear the same clothes to a few events without any prior knowledge of this.

I promise, this is never planned.

We certainly like to be fashion forward with our running gear.

She gave me the most *adorable* top for helping her with her marathon plan this year! I love it!

On Saturday, I participated in the Susan G. Komen, Race for the Cure 5k in Plano. What an extraordinary event (race review later this week)! It was really fun and I plan on making it a yearly event.

The rest of the weekend I spent cooped up in my office, both working and studying. I am trying
my hardest not to have to do school work while on vacation, so here I sit....writing mind maps and
diagnosing things. Because I have no doubt this will pay off very soon, I’m trying not to complain too

ALL of my runs this week (5 of them!) have been outside.  I actually think I am becoming acclimated (at least as much as I can) to the heat.  

This week?

This week is whatever I can get it....

Monday and Tuesday are my last days with Louis before he goes to his dads for his extended stay, so
there will be no working out. We are going to try to pack in as much QT in these two days as we can.
Wednesday, I am meeting up with the MRTT ladies for a moonlight run! Hopefully I won’t get lost this time.

Thursday will be whatever I can get it....

My goal is to get in 3 barre classes this week.

Friday....we leave for Maui!!

All bets are off once we get there....but, I can’t wait to run on the island! I love exploring places this way and this will be no exception.

What are you looking forward to this week?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Five - Why My Dad is Just the Best!

I am linking up again with the lovelies Cynthia at You Signed Up For What? , Mar at Mar on The Run & Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC for the Friday Five...for the Friday Five.

It's Father's Day this weekend & I thought it'd be a perfect time for a *dad* 5!!

I lucked out and got one of the really good ones!!

Here's why...


No matter what, there was *always* a family vacation in the summer.  I remember my dad saying his parents always went on trips without kids & that he just wouldn't have that.  Family vacations were never fancy.  Sometimes they were just trips to the lake where my grandparents would stay for the summer.  Sometimes a trip to the "city".  Other times they were 20 hour long car rides to Northwestern Montana for all sorts of fun!  Those road trips were seriously the best.  Road trips like that don't seem to happen much anymore.


Love of the outdoors.

Not only a love, but a mutual respect. My dad not only hunts for sport, but for food.  We almost always eat what he shoots.  Pheasants, deer, geese and turkey...we ate them all (even though they were secretly passed along as chicken when we were young).  He has passed the love of hunting along to my son, who can't wait to own a gun and be able to hunt with his PaPa.


Some dads are like superheros.

They can fix everything and have a solution to any problem no matter how seemingly complex.  My dad is good like that.  They don't seem to make a lot of dads like that anymore.


He is the perfect example of how hard work and a lot of elbow grease will get you far in life.  When I was still living at home, my dad ran a successful auto repair business and worked from 8-6.  Now he has worked for the US Post Office for 20 years.  He is a great example of the work/life balance.  He works hard, but has time to play as well.  I love seeing my parents travel now, enjoying the payoff of all of those years of hard work.

my dad's first trip to NYC!

Even when I was small and my dad worked so much, he always made time for us.  Most of his days off were spent taking us to the lake in the summer, going sledding or ice fishing in the winter, letting my mom have a little break.


The awesome relationship he has with Louis.  My son *adores* my dad.  Many statements and "i told you so's' are prefaced with "well papa said....". Louis loves the quality time he gets to spend with his papa and gigi every summer.  He may be spoiled, but I know he is having experiences that most kiddos dream of.  Louis also wants to be in the air force when he *grows up*.  Just like his papa.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I - Inspire #sharesomething inspiring challenge

So I mentioned a little about this challenge last week in my post about what I did all day....

I wanted to recap a few more of the post for those of you who do not follow me on twitter and get back to my blogging A to Z challenge.

The #sharesomething inspiring is being sponsored by the beautiful ladies at Lorna Jane Active and Fit Approach, providing daily inspiration themselves!!

A couple of things I've realized during the challenge
A) It has been really fun!
B) I really look forward to posting the challenge every day!
C) I find inspiration in a lot of different things.

Day 1 was just to share something inspiring as the challenge describes!

I chose my lil 'I Run 4' buddy Kyan!  He is such a cutie and a source of daily inspiration no matter what I am doing!

Day 2 - something that makes you smile.

These ladies.  All the time.  My cheeks hurt from laughing so much everything I'm with them.  Our text conversations are like no others.

Something that makes me smile and laugh?


Pets in people clothing also gets me everytime.

 Like a boss.

An important moment.

My 10th marathon finish.  My first trail run.  My first time placing in my AG.  My inception into Marathon Maniacs with my dear frunner Luisa!  THIS was a really special day and an awesome trip!  Can't wait to do it again next year!

Someone I'm proud of and needs a shout dearest, oldest friend Lisa.

We have been friends since we were 16.  She ran her FIRST 15k this past weekend.  I am SO PROUD of her!!!  She has come a long way with her running in a short period of time.  She is going to crush her half this fall...I know it!

Something about my family?

My son was named after my super sweet, always positive grandpa Louis.  He is an inspiration in himself!

Something I took a chance on.

26.2 in NYC in 2010.  I was undernourished, under trained, underweight, battling depression and in a horrible relationship with a textbook narcissist.

My big dream...


My favorite teacher(s) HAVE to be all of these ladies.  They freaking ROCK!

Something about a sibling....well, that would be my sister friend Seallie, who ran the Disney Princess half marathon with me just a few days after having knee surgery.

My best friend....

just happens to be the person I live with.  We've been on *so* many adventures together in the past few years.  I kinda like him. :)

So, just a bunch of randoms today...

Share something inspiring to you with me!!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Stonebridge Memorial Day 10k - Race Review

Every year on Memorial Day, there is a 5 and 10k race in my neighborhood. 

I freaking love this kind of race. 

The one where I can leave my house and be at the start 3 minutes later.

Pick up my packet on race day in 20 seconds or less.

Show up for 10 minutes prior, pick up my packet and STILL have time for a picture with my friends!

This is a race I have participated in every year since I became an avid runner (2010).

The first year I did ok...around 1:02 and since then I've challenged myself to get a sub 1 on this *really* challenging course. 

First of all, it is *really* hilly.  The race director is great at creating these challenging course, but dang!  Sometimes a girl just likes some flat road!

This year's course was a bit different from last year and years before that, it was *little* bit flatter, but not much.

Anyway, I met my friend Letty from MRTT and Lifetime Run at the start.  We chatted for a bit and soon we were off.

She is a bit faster than me, but I was pretty happy that I was able to keep up with her for the first couple of miles! 

It was hot and humid and even kind of muddy as it was raining on and off too.

The last time I had an experience with my neighborhood race and rain (Labor Day 10k), I got upset that I wasn't doing well and walked home.  This is a downside to being so close to the goes right by my house!

That wasn't going to happen again this day.  The rain actually felt *really* good and made things feel a bit less sticky.  It *is* kind of fun to run in the rain!

I finished a *little* over my goal time, but managed to stay below 10 mins/mile. 

Splits looked like this:


Elevation like this:

I told you it was hilly!!

So this *was* supposed to be a 10k and I know GPS can be off a bit, but I got a whopping 6.5 miles out of this race, which was kind of frustrating to me.  It really *felt* like 6.5.  In fact, I'm sure it wasn't that far off because I run this route, or something similar ALL OF THE TIME.  It's a 6.5 mile route.  Oh well.

My speedy friend Letty ended of getting 2nd in her AG and my other friend Marissa got 3rd!  Woohoo!!

We met up with two sweet sisters from MRTT after the race as well - new friends Sandy and Melissa.  It was Melissa's first 5k!  They did a great job!

This is one of my favorite races all year.  I'm not sure why.  It's kind of small, there is nothing spectacular about it, but it was one of my *first* races ever and I think that's why it holds a special place in my heart. 

 A couple of throwbacks to 2010 (left) and 2011 (right) with my friend Melissa.  I was a little sunburned!