Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cherry on Top Award..a must read, are you tagged??

As I was doing my nightly blog reading, I noticed that Katye (here) gave me the Cherry on Top Award.

The rules:

1. Answer this question: if you had the chance to go back and change one thing in your life, would you and what would it be?

2. The second thing you have to do is, pick 6 people and give them this award. You then have to inform the person that they have gotten this award.

3. The third and final thing is, thank the person who gave you the award.

Since I am a rule follower, here goes:

1. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I also believe that everything I have done in my 36 years has shaped the person I am today. However there is one thing I would go back and change in my life: this may sound very strange to many but, I would learn to swim. As the years have gone by, I now have an incessant fear of drowning and an overwhelming fear of taking swim lessons.

2. Six people. I know for sure that all of these bloggers read my blog as they have all left very kind comments. Let's hope they read this one and see that they have been tagged!!

Connie- Runs In The Family
Jenn- Jenn Runs
Staci- Weight Loss Mama
Elizabeth- Elizabeth's Highway To Health
Maxi- Maxi Fortend
Nicole- 26.2 and a Mommy Too!

3. Saying thanks
Easy enough!! Thank you so much for thinking of me and giving me the award Katye! I am looking forward to spotlighting you on my blog on Thursday! You have some great answers!!

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

August in Review

Today's four mile tempo run brought my August training to a close. Nice warm-up mile of 8:57. Followed by 8:24, 8:15, and 8:15. Not too bad!!

August Stats

93--- running miles
0--- elliptical miles
0--- bike miles
93--- total miles
150.2--- weight as of August 31st, 2010 (down .8 since July 30, 2010)

Current 2010 Stats

744--- running miles
52.9--- elliptical miles
5.1--- bike miles
802--- total miles

Overall, August was a great month! I had a great time in Chicago running the RNR 1/2 with great friends. It wasn't a PR, however I crossed the finish line and in the end that was the ultimate goal! I also got to enjoy a 5k with my brother. He may have beaten me and kept the "family champion title" however, I am proud of how I ran especially since it earned me a 1st place finish in the 35-39 age division!

I am looking forward to September as I will be running alongside Jenn when she toes the line at her first half marathon on September 12th. We have one last long training run scheduled for this Sunday and I am looking forward to that as well. It is always great to run with someone else. The time seems to go by much faster.

Once Jenn and I cross the finish line on September 12th, I will continue on with my new training plan created by Joe (thanks Joe)!! It is my hope that I will have a PR performance at the Detroit Free Press 1/2 Marathon on October 17!!

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

You Will Be Glad You Did It.....

Today my schedule called for a 5 mile pace run. I knew in order to get my run it I would have to get up early as my husband had to leave for work at 7:30 this morning and we have a busy schedule of birthday parties and grocery shopping tonight. I tried to get to sleep somewhat early as my alarm was set for a 6:00 AM wake up call. I fell asleep quickly, however my son came in my room around 11:30 PM and kept tapping me on the back to wake me up so I could fix the TV. See, I fell asleep with the TV on and when he came in my room it was still on so in his mind, I needed to fix it. Of course at this point he wanted to watch TV but instead he was sent back to his room much to his dismay. After this, I was able to sleep well until the alarm went off. I immediately pressed snooze and considered turning off the alarm and running tonight. I ended up pressing snooze once more and then I told myself to get out there and get it done and with that I got up, got dressed, and headed out the door for my 5 miler. The goal for today was 8:39/mile. When I first started, my pace was SLOW and I was working really hard to get on track. I guess I worked a little too hard as my first mile was 8:26. I was able to get the run under control after that with my final four miles being 8:42, 8:36, 8:32, and 8:33. Five miles completed before 8:oo AM! Awesome!! So I guess the point of today's post is even if you really don't want to get out there and run, make yourself do it anyway....I guarantee you will be glad you did it! I know I was!!

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thumbs Up Thursday...Tonia Blanchet

This week's spotlight is on Tonia of Racing with Babes. I had the pleasure of meeting Tonia during the Chicago RNR 1/2 Marathon. I was running along and at mile 3 I saw Katye and Tonia and was pretty sure I read their blogs (to be honest their matching outfits were what had me thinking it was them). I took a chance and ran up to them and asked them if they happened to blog and sure enough it was them. We ran together for a little while and said we would try and meet up at "R" for run at the family reunion area. As you can see, we were successful in meeting up after the race. Now that I think about it, when I sent Tonia the Thumbs Up Thursday email, I should have asked her if she thought I was "stalkerish" when I ran up to her and Katye and introduced myself. Feel free to answer that in the comments Tonia!

Jamie, Katye, Tonia and I after the Chicago RNR 1/2

Okay, now that I have explained how I had the pleasure to meet Tonia, I give you the question and answer portion of Thumbs Up Thursday!!
Jodi: How long have you been running?
Tonia: I celebrated three years of running this August. But it seems much longer than that. Maybe it has something to do with that quote, "I don't run to add days to my life. I run to add life to my days."

Jodi: Why did you start running?
Tonia: Honestly, to lose the baby weight. I was sick and tired of being a slave to the numbers on the scale. So, I decided to shift my focus from weight loss to becoming healthy. I knew that running was the key to that. So, three months before my middle daughter was born, I made a New Year's resolution to run a 10K by the end of the year. I kept that resolution, lost all of the baby weight and ran my first 10K on Thanksgiving day of that year.
Jodi: How many years have you been racing?
Tonia: Just shy of three years. I ran my first 5K in September of 2007 and was instantly hooked on racing. So much so, that I ran my first marathon six months later.
Jodi: What is your favorite distance to race and why?
Tonia: I love, love, love the 8K. I am a much stronger runner over shorter distances. And while the 5K is a great distance, I usually don't find my groove until about mile three. so the race ends up being too short. The 8K, on the other hand, is short enough for me to feel like I am running strong. I am registered for the HCA 8K in Richmond on November 13. I have been waiting almost a year for this race - I signed up less than 10 hours after last year's race concluded.

Jodi: What is your favorite race memory?
Tonia: Without a doubt, crossing the finish line of the 2010 Marine Corps Historic Half while holding my husband's hand. It was his first half marathon and I was there to pace him. We ran every step of the course side-by-side and it was the most amazing thing to experience that accomplishment with him.

Tonia and her husband after the 2010 Marine Corps Historic Half

Jodi: What is your least favorite race memory?
Tonia: Mile 18 of the 2008 Shamrock Marathon. I had been nursing an ankle injury (the doctor told me not to run). I was OK up until that point and then suddenly my foot hit the ground and my ankle couldn't hold me. I started crying instantly. Eventually, I composed myself and called my family to let them know that I wouldn't be finishing when I had expected, but I would be finishing. I walk/ran the next five miles (rather slowly). Then with about two miles to go, my foot was numb enough that I could run through the pain. I hauled tail to the finish, running my two fastest miles of the race.

Jodi: What is your proudest running moment to date?
Tonia: Hmm. This is going to sound weird, but now that I think about it, my least favorite race memory is my proudest running moment. I had to overcome a lot to finish that race and I am incredibly proud of myself for doing so.

Jodi: What one item do you absolutely have to have with you on a training run?
Tonia: I wish it were that simple. I NEVER run without the following items: a runningskirst.com skirt, a pair of knee high socks, my Mizuno Wave Riders, my Nike Sunglasses (even in the rain), Body Glide and a watch (usually my Garmin).

Tonia sporting her "must have" gear on a training run over the Nickel Bridge in Richmond

Tonia sporting the rest of her "must have" gear on a training run with her husband
Jodi: What is your favorite post race snack?
Tonia: CUPCAKES! I love them. And would eat them everyday if I could.
Jodi: Who do you admire most and why?
Tonia: There isn't really anyone who takes that title. I admire cetrain traits in a lot of people and I try my best to use their examples to improve my own character.
Jodi: Do you have a favorite quote?
Tonia: Yes, I have a couple. But my favorite running quote (which I don't really think is a running quote) is "There is nothing better than the wind to your back, the sun in front of you, and your friends beside you." I'm not even sure who said it, but it pretty much sums up my perfect run.
Jodi: Finish this statement, when I run I feel ________.
Jodi: What is your current goal?
Tonia: I am a woman of many goals. But right now, my top three are:
1. A sub two hour half marathon.
2. An injury-free marathon training cycle.
3. A sub 40 minute 8K.
Here are a few more great running photos that Tonia sent to me!!

Tonia's adorable kids cheering her on at the 2009 Richmond Marathon

Tonia looking INVINCIBLE at the 2009 Richmond Marathon

Tonia at mile 12 of the 2010 Bermuda half
Thank you so much for the opportunity to give you a Thumbs Up Tonia!! You are one invincible woman! Good luck achieving your top 3 goals. I know you can do it!!
Keep running, you're simply the best, and Tonia YOU inspire ME!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Run with the Big Dogs 5K Race Report

My brother and I ran a 5k together this morning. I had decided earlier in the week that I would be running this 5k in memory of Dom, who lost his battle with cancer on Sunday, August 15, 2010. Dom was a very good friend of my friend Joe. I was also competing with my brother for the "family champion" title. Right before the race started, I looked up and thought of Dom. My plan was to start out with my brother and keep him in sight. Boy did we start out fast (6:40 pace according to the Garmin around 1/4 mile in). I realized I needed to slow down a bit. I just kept my sights on my brother and made it to mile 1 in 7:23. Perfect! And then, it happened, I blew up and slowed down to an 8:05 second mile split. I tried to pick up the pace for the third mile. I managed a 7:55 third mile. I didn't worry about my final tenth split at all because at that point my mind went back to the reason I was running today, to cross that finish line in honor of Dom and suppport of Joe. And cross that line I did, in a time of 23:45. In the end I did not beat my brother. However, I did improve a lot since last year's 5k "showdown". Last year my brother beat me by over two minutes and today he finish one minute and twenty five seconds in front of me in a time of 22:20. Although, he still holds the "family champion" title, I did manage to win in regards to age group placing. My brother got second in his age group and I managed to get FIRST!! Winning isn't everything, but I had a great time trying. The best part of today's race was the fact that I ran all 3.1 miles for Dom, an amazing man, who will truly be missed. Below are some pictures of our 5K run for Dom.

My brother and I before the race. I even wore a running skirt today in the hopes that I would beat him and could tell him he had been beaten by a "skirt".
My brother and I post race. Notice I no longer have my headband. Should have worn my Bondi Band. The off brand one I wore fell off during my final kick which is not an issue with the Bondi Bands as they stay put.
Me with my age group award. First place in the 35-39 division.
Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Fun Run With My Brother

This weekend we headed to PA for our annual family reunion. Earlier in the week, my brother and I emailed back in forth making a plan for our Sunday run. The plan was for me to meet him at his house this morning at 7:20 a.m. and he would drive us to Mill Creek Park where we would do an eight mile run. If you follow my blog, you know I ran the "worst course ever" 1/2 marathon (here) at this park back in March. You know the one with 19 mountains...errr...hills! On our drive to the park, my brother mentioned that he generally runs ten minute miles. I said that was perfect for me. I generally run between nine and a half and ten minute miles on my long run. We got to the park around 8:00 a.m. and stretched for a few minutes, asked someone to take our "before" picture and then headed out on the trail.

The first mile went by quickly. In fact it was evident in our split of 8:53. I mentioned to my brother that we were running that fast and he told me he felt like we were running ten minute miles. We continued on for the next two miles still coming in under 9:00 each time. As we started mile 4, we approached the hill. My brother tried to tell me that it levels out quickly but I knew all too well from the 1/2 marathon that it just keeps going. We successfully made it to the top (9:22 for mile 4) at which point my brother said how would you like to run that hill more than once. I reminded him that I had in fact run the same steep hills 19 times in the 1/2 marathon!! Our pace seemed to slow after the hill. Mile 5 was our slowest mile all day at 9:55. During the final 3 miles of the run, I realized my brother has some crazy breathing when he runs. It's loud, really loud! I had my ipod on and I could hear him loud and clear. I mentioned it to my brother and he said one of his buddies told him he sounds like Darth Vader when he runs. I have to agree with his buddy. I am pretty sure I was running with Darth Vader today!! This is also when my brother came up with the theory that we run faster when we run with other people. I do suppose sometimes that is the case. It definitely was today. We finished our 8 miles in 1:13:30 (9:11/mile). Not too bad for a Sunday morning "fun" run!

Here we are after 8 miles, still smiling...that has to be a good sign!!

My brother will be coming to Ohio on Friday night to stay with me. We will be running a 5K together on Saturday. I am sure, as always, there will be some sibling rivalry out on that course. My brother will be trying to keep his status as the "family champion". I will be attempting to steal said status. Only time will tell....

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

8 Years Ago Today, I Became A Mother...

To this beautiful young lady!!

We are in PA for our annual Family Reunion. Here is the conversation that took place between Kaelynn and I this morning.
Kaelynn: (tapping me on the shoulder over and over again) "Mom, wake up, I want to open my presents from Grammy and she said I had to wait for you to get up."
Me: "Give me five minutes Kaelynn."
Kaelynn: "1, 2, 3, 4, 5".
Me: "That was five seconds Kaelynn."

Kaelynn: "I know mom, please get up."
Me: "Okay, I'm up."
We went upstairs and she opened her gifts. She was very excited to get the next volume in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. She also got some money from Grandma Great and a few American Girl books from me (purchased while I was in Chicago for the 1/2 marathon).
Fast forward about three minutes, as she sits at the kitchen table eating breakfast, and she begins yet another conversation with me.
Kaelynn: "Mom, do you run to lose weight or because it is fun"
Me: (Choosing my words wisely) "I run because it is fun."

This picture of us before Kaelynn's first 5k is proof that running is fun!!
See, I have been sick this week and I haven't been able to get out there and run since Tuesday. I really miss it. I miss the FUN!! So, in honor of Kaelynn's birthday, get out there and "run for fun" today. I will be doing my "fun run" tomorrow since today is filled with family reunion fun. I will be running with my brother and I can't wait.
Happy Birthday Kaelynn!! I love you to the moon and back!!
Keep running, you're simply the best, and Kaelynn YOU inspire ME to run for FUN!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thumbs Up Thursday...Jamie Edge

I had the pleasure of meeting Jamie (here) at the Chicago Rock and Roll Half Marathon. She was exactly what I expected! Friendly, cheerful, and kind. Afterall, not many people are willing to give you a hug after you have just run 13.1 miles and are sweating like it's your job!

Jamie and I at the Chicago RNR 1/2

I contacted Jamie this week and asked her if she would be willing to allow me to spotlight her this week. Jamie replied with: "thanks for reaching out to me. I'd love to be featured on your blog." So, without further delay, I give you the question and answer portion of Thumbs Up Thursday!!

Jodi: How long have you been running?
Jamie: September 2005

Jodi: Why did you start running?
Jamie: I started running in 2005. I had one child who was a year and a half old. I had lost the baby weight, plus more, through diet. But I was not active. A friend of ours participated in Ironman Wisconsin. It was the first endurance event I ever attended. I was inspired. I couldn't imagine training for one of the components of the race, let alone all three. The next day, I got on our treadmill and pushed my way through an entire 5k! I was hooked and I have not stopped running ever since.

Until I discovered my passion for running, I had not done much of anything else for myself for the previous eighteen months. Since I am a constant multi-tasker, this was another way I could multi-task. I was stepping away from motherhood to do something for myself, and I was being active.

Jodi: How many years have you been racing?
Jamie: I ran my first 5k race (October 2005) one month after I started running.

Jodi: What is your favorite distance to race and why?
Jamie: The half marathon is my absolute favorite distance. Having a half marathon to train for keeps me motivated and consistent with my training. The distance is just long enough I feel like you've accomplished something major, yet you don't have to take a ton of time away from your family. You can also walk the next day!

Jodi: What is your favorite race memory?
Jamie: On my 29th birthday, my daughter ran in a Girls on the Run race with me. She said that was her birthday present to me. We ran a one mile race together and then I participated in a 5K. We both wore Bondi Bands as we ran together and I carried her water bottle. I loved seeing her put her hands over her head as she crossed that finish line. I even got bib #29 that day! It was a special birthday memory, for sure!

Jamie and her daughter

Jodi: What is your least favorite race memory?
Jamie: I once participated in a race where I was hoping to set a 5K PR. The lead bike took a wrong turn and cut the course short. We ended up running only 2.33 miles that day...but we all PR'ed that distance!

Jodi: What is your proudest running moment to date?
Jamie: Finishing the 2010 Madison Marathon on a "closed course", due to extreme heat. Course officials stopped the clock at four hours and we were allowed to finish the race, but our times would be posted as "unofficial". I ended up walking A LOT during the last half of the race, but still finished in just over 4:27; still within my 4:20-4:30 time goal. I can't wait to see what I can do at my next marathon!

Jodi: What one item can't you run without?
Jamie: Bondi Bands. They hold my mommy 'do in place and keep the sweat out of my eyes. They are also totally adorable.

Jodi: Given the choice, do you prefer runnin on a treadmill or outside?
Jamie: I prefer running outside. But, I also like the mental preparation that a long treadmill run gives you.

Jodi: Who do you admire most and why?
Jamie: I admire every person that decides to lace up their running shoes and set out for a run for the very first time. Starting something new can be very intimidating. It takes a lot of courage to get out there. I love that running brings together people of all ages, shapes, sizes, and abilities. Everyone is able to get out there and try it. But, it just takes someone admirable to get out there and actually do it.

Jodi: Do you have a favorite quote?
Jamie: My personal mantra is - I run for me.

Jodi: What is your current goal?
Jamie: My major goal is to stay consistent with my running and stay active. Without consistency and a training schedule, I would not hold myself accountable. I hope that my children continue to think that working out is a part of everyone's daily routine. I love that they request to workout with me and ask if I've gotten my run in for the day.

Jamie and her adorable children

Jodi: Finish this statement, running makes me feel ______.
Jamie: Like me.

Thanks again for the opportunity to spotlight you this week Jamie! Best of luck with your current and future goals. It is very evident to me that you have an amazing outlook on life and live it to the fullest! What a fantastic quality to have!!

Keep running, you're simply the best, and Jamie YOU inpsire ME!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ambulances, IV's, Medical Bills, and Finish Lines

So as most of you know, I had a DNF at the Cleveland Marathon (here) back in May. It was quite the experience. Here is the quick version!

I went for a fast ride in an ambulance.
Received three IV bags of fluids.
Was hooked up to oxygen.
Was discharged from the ER and sent home.
Fast forward to today. I grabbed the mail after work and imagine my surprise when I got yet another bill for my Cleveland DNF. This bill was different though. It was from the Cleveland EMS for my ambulance ride. In the bill it stated exactly where the ambulance picked me up at and I thought back to the race and felt a little like this picture!

So, I decide to analyze where I was put in the ambulance in relationship to where the finish line was. See, I was wearing a Garmin FR60 with a foot pod and it isn't always accurate. It had consistently been under the course mileage for the entire race. Since I am not the best with maps, I texted a friend and asked for help figuring out how far I really was from the finish line. Imagine my surprise when I was informed that I was .68 miles from this glorious site!
Turns out I made it to mile 25.52 that day in May. For a moment, I was really disappointed and then I realized that I could find a positive from my medical bill. Is it even right to use the words positive and medical bill together? LOL. I realized today that I had run even further than I thought. My body was capable of running 25.52 miles that day and this all just motivates me more to cross the finish line in the 2011 Cleveland Marathon!
Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Early Morning or Night Owl Runner

Well today is officially my last day of summer vacation. I head back to work tomorrow to prepare for the arrival of students on August 26th. While my hours are awesome, they make it challenging to fit in my workouts. At the beginning of last school year I would head out after work (3:30PM) and get my run in while my kids were still at their after care programs. It was often very hot but I managed to run through it as I was training to run a PR 1/2 Marathon in Columbus, Ohio. Fast forward to this year and the crazy weather we have had lately and are predicted to have this week and I have a dilemma. I'm not a morning person and I certainly am not a night owl either! In a perfect world I would get up before work to get my run in however my body is used to sleeping later from being on summer break. In order to get my run in and get to work on time I would have to be ready and out the door on my run no later than 5:00AM. Now, there is always the option of running in the evening however two nights a week my husband works until 9:00PM. Obviously at this point I have done bath and bedtime with the kids and have settled in to relax before heading to bed myself. I have no idea how to do a poll on here but leave a comment and tell me what you would do!!

1. Get up and run before work
2. Run after work in the heat of the day (while kids are at after care)
3. Run in the evening (outside when the husband is home, inside on treadmill when he's not)
4. Other--please share your suggestions if you choose this option!!

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Family Fun Day

Sometimes you just have to take an unscheduled rest day and enjoy time with the family. I go back to work on Tuesday so yesterday was our last chance to do a quick day trip as a family. We headed to Chagrin Falls, Ohio which is a very quaint town about an hour east of us. It has lots of fun little shops as well as the falls. We headed out and had lunch at Yours Truly and then walked down to the falls viewing area.

Once we had finished at the viewing area we headed over to the Popcorn Shoppe to grab some ice cream and popcorn to go.

Once the kids were ready we walked over to the park so they could "monkey" around. As you can see my kids love to hang on jungle gym equipment!

As we were headed back to the car, the kids and daddy stopped to feed the ducks.

Of course we finished the day with the kids wanting to pose with a wolf statue.

All in all it was a great day. I may not have done any running however I did walk a lot and got to spend major quality time with my family!!
Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thumbs Up Thursday...Tina Wasserbauer

About a month ago I emailed Tina and asked her if she would be willing to participate in Thumbs Up Thursday. At the time she had just returned from vacation and felt she needed to get back on track before she agreed to be spotlighted. Fast forward to this week and I commented on how good she looked in her profile picture on Facebook and asked her if she would be willing to do Thumbs Up Thursday for this week and she happily agreed!

Jodi: How long have you been exercising?
Tina: Since January 25, 2010.

Jodi: Why did you start exercising?
Tina: So many reasons, I reached the age my mom was when she developed diabetes, the start of heart disease and high blood pressure. I had genetics and my weight going against me and knew I had to do something about it, but that wasn't enough to get my butt in gear! What did get my butt in gear was my family went skiing in January and I felt too heavy and out of shape to even try a lesson, so I sat in the lodge and missed the whole day with my boys. I got very angry with myself when I realized that my insecurities and weight were holding me back. When I looked around the lodge where I was waiting, there were several overweight moms, and I was one of them! I had a light bulb moment, I didn't want to be an overweight "lodge mom" and I started working out the day we got back from our trip, and never looked back!

Jodi: What is your typical exercise routine?
Tina: Currently I go 4 nights a week to the rec where I do 60 minutes on the Arc trainer or 60 minutes on the elliptical, followed by a round on the Cybex machines, concentrating on my arms and abs. I also incorporate the Bosu ball and stability ball into my workout. I meet with a personal trainer once a week for an hour and he shows me core strengthening and upper body exercises.

Jodi: When you don't feel like doing a workout, what motivates you to go and do it anyway?
Tina: I just look at my driver's license picture and I run out of the house!

Jodi: What is your favorite exercise memory?
Tina: When I first started in January the only thing I could do was the treadmill for about 10 minutes, after which I had to drag myself to my car! One night I made it to a half hour on the treadmill, I knew then that I had turned a corner and I never stopped, I just kept increasing the duration and intensity and now I'm on the hardest cardio machine in the gym (Arc), for the maximum number of minutes....very gratifying!

Jodi: What is the most valuable lesson you have learned so far from working out and eating right?
Tina: While it does wonders for my body, energy level, spirit and self esteem, it is tough on my wallet because all I want to do is shop for new clothes!!!

Jodi: What is your biggest weakness when it comes to food?
Tina: Starbucks iced peppermint mocha and Taco Bell.

Jodi: What is your favorite snack?
Tina: Now, 2 tablespoons Smucker's natural organic chunky peanut butter and 8 ounces organic skim milk. When I was overweight, half a box of Cheez-its and Chardonnay.

Jodi: What is your proudest moment to date?
Tina: Buying a size medium belt at a "normal" clothing store!!!!

Jodi: Finish this statement, when I finish a workout I feel ________.
Tina: Full of energy, alive, proud and excited!

Jodi: Do you have a favorite quote?
Tina: Excellence can be achieved if you:
Care more than others think wise...
Risk more than others think is safe...
Dream more than others think practical...
Expect more than others think possible.

Jodi: Who do you admire most and why?
Tina: My mom, she's been through so much and yet she still keeps fighting.

Jodi: What would you say to someone who really wants to start exercising to motivate them?
Tina: A half hour a day can add years to your life and life to your years!

Jodi: What is your current goal?
Tina: To remain healthy, focused and committed to an active lifestyle.

Tina before

Tina after
When Tina emailed me her before and after pictures she included the following note:
People tell me my weight loss is most evident in my face, I think (hope) you'll agree! Since January I went from a size 18 to 14 (sometimes smaller!!) And you continue to inspire me!!! Hugs and let me know when this goes up!
To this I say, keep running and exercising, you're simply the best, and Tina YOU inspire ME!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Chicago Rock 'N Roll 1/2 Marathon Weekend Recap

Our Chicago Rock 'N Roll Weekend festivities started on Thursday night with a pool party at Nikki's house. We all had a great time and the kids swam in the pool until it was dark and we told them we had to head home. Everyone left around 9:30 and I came home and started packing for the weekend. Friday morning, the girls picked me up around 10:00 and we headed out for our drive to Chicago (thanks for driving Marilyn). We stopped for lunch on the way and then we headed to the Expo to pick up our race packets and concert tickets on the way to our hotel. We gathered our packets and then stopped by the Garmin booth, see Deb has been doing lots of research on Garmin's lately. Her and I both have the FR60 and while it is okay, it is based on your stride so it wasn't always as accurate as we would like and it also only showed the MPH you were going not your pace. We both were really interested in the 110. Of course Garmin was offering a discount at the Expo so Deb, myself, and Marilyn all purchased one. Nikki had considered it but she had just bought the 201 from a friend for a really good price! We then decided to look at the Bondi Band booth and Deb, Nikki, and I decided to purchase some. Deb, got one that says "slow is the new fast" as well as a very pretty colorful design one. Nikki also got a pretty colorful design one. I was deciding between two different saying ones. I was either going to get "I run like a girl" or "some girls chase boys, I pass 'em". In the end I asked Deb and she said to go with the "chase boys" one! We finally made it to the Uncle Kracker booth to pick up our concert tickets and then we were off to find our hotel and freshen up for dinner at Smith and Wollensky. We sat outside on the patio and it was wonderufl. The food was absolutely amazing and the view was great! Thanks to Deb for suggesting it and making reservations for us. Following our dinner, we headed to Park West for the Uncle Kracker Concert. We met two ladies from North Dakota that were also running in the race on Sunday. They were kind enough to take our picture.

Nikki, me, Deb, and Marilyn
We really enjoyed the concert. In fact, I do believe that we all mentioned that we needed to get some of Uncle Kracker's music. It was a very small and quaint concert which was nice. I did get one picture of the band but my camera wasn't the greatest in the lighting.
Uncle Kracker
We headed back to our hotel after the concert and headed to bed so we could head out for some shopping on Saturday morning. We did sleep in a little bit which was nice since we were all sans kids this weekend. We went into some great shops. I hit up the Lego store for a present for my son and the America Girl store for a present for my daughter. The last stop we made before heading back to our hotel to relax and get ready for dinner was Garrett popcorn. We actually stood in a line to buy some. The line moved pretty fast and the delicious popcorn was definitely worth the wait!

Inside the popcorn shop
We spent Saturday afternoon getting everything ready for the race on Sunday morning, doing some reading, and some napping as well. We headed out to Quartino Saturday night for some carb loading. The food there was great as well! Thanks to Deb again for finding the restaurant and making reservations especially since those who didn't have reservations had a two hour wait!! Our final stop Saturday night was at the 7-eleven. Bananas and smart water were purchased. We talked for a little bit once we got back to the hotel and then lights out by 9:30. We got up around 4:45 Sunday to eat breakfast and such before the race. Once everyone was ready we headed out for the one mile walk to the start line. Once we got there, I asked a nice lady to take our picture.

myself, Nikki, Deb, and Marilyn
After the picture, Nikki and Marilyn decided to make a bathroom stop. Deb and I headed to the Corrals and waited to start the race.

The start line from Corral #8
I was feeling pretty good and I looked up in front of me during mile 3 or so and I saw two girls with pink socks on and I wondered if they were Katye and Tonia (who's blogs I read) and then I realized they had on matching outfits so I ran up along side them and said: "You look familiar, do you blog?" and they said that yes in fact they did! I was right, it was them! At first I wasn't going to say anything because I didn't want to seem weird/stalkerish but I'm glad I did in the end! You girls were looking good out there! I ran with them for a little bit and at some point we all got separated. As the miles went by I was still feeling okay. When I got to mile 7 I heard them announce the winner of the race. We went into a tunnel which I wasn't too fond of. In fact, I had to take my sunglasses off to see where I was going. I noticed Tonia was right there with me and then off she went. Somewhere after this, I saw Tonia walking so I asked her if she was okay and she said she just needed to take a walking break. Once I got to mile ten I was starting to feel the heat and humidity. I slowed my pace a little bit. By mile twelve, I wasn't feeling the greatest and thoughts of what happened in Cleveland immediately entered my mind. At that point, I made the wise decision to slow down even more. I didn't want a repeat of Cleveland, I just wanted to finish. As I was approaching the finish line I noticed a guy next to me really struggling and I looked at him and said "come on, let's finish this". We sprinted in the last tenth of a mile. We exchanged good jobs and then he said "thanks so much, I needed that. We crossed the finish line in 2:06:57 according to my watch (my official time was 2:06:55). Once I grabbed my medal, some water, a popsicle, and an ice cold towel I headed to the family reunion area. Several bloggers that were running had mentioned they were going to meet at letter R for run so I headed over to hopefully get to meet them. Once I got there, I saw two adorable little ones wearing "run mommy run" shirts and I knew right away they had to be Jamie's kids! Right then I looked up and sure enough, it was Jamie! We exchanged hugs! It was great to finally meet her! Her husband was kind enough to take our picture!

Jamie and I
A short while later, Katye and Tonia made their way to the letter R. Once again Jamie's husband was kind enough to take pictures.

Jamie, Katye, Tonia, and myself
We talked for a few minutes after this and I said I need to head to the letter C for Cleveland to meet up with my friends. About two minutes after I walked to the letter C, Marilyn came in. We waited for Deb and Nikki for awhile and then Marilyn needed to move to the shade. We figured we would see them because we sat right by the opening to the family reunion area. After a few minutes I decided to walk back to the letter C to look for them. Sure enough we had somehow missed them. We were all feeling really beat down and we had to repeat the mile walk back to our hotel. That was the longest mile walk ever, I swear!! We all showered and packed up and grabbed some lunch. Even though we were very sore we were already talking about doing another 1/2 in Ohio in September (this 1/2 would give Nikki her Ohio 1/2 and the rest of us our 3rd Ohio 1/2). We also talked about some other races we would like to run. Our next 1/2 marathon in our 1/2 marathon in all 50 states quest is going to be in Detroit, Michigan. The car ride home was very long as we were all very sore! We got back into town and headed to get some dinner! I think we finally got home around 9:30. It was a wonderful weekend! Time spent with great friends, enjoying wonderful food, shopping, dinner, and oh yeah 13.1!
Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!