Monday, May 31, 2010

Week at HOME

I was home all week! It was so nice to be home. Mike was ALSO home. SHOCKER! I got to go to my group on Tuesday, got to be home for biggest loser finale (I didn't think it was fair that Koli got to be an at home player since he was never at home and Darrell had been at home all that time and did so well), and just got to feel "normal" by being around.

Saturday, Mike and I went for a long bike ride (32 miles!) and a short run after. It was fun to talk to Stacey for 25 of the 32 miles. It made the time fly! Mike rode with her husband Eric, so it was nice. Then, Morgan and I went to the pool for a couple of hours, and we ordered pizza for dinner.

Sunday, we went on the boat to Fort Desoto. It was our first boating trip of the year, and it was SO much fun. The weather was PERFECT! Mike took several people out on rides from the beach. We did have the lifeguard tell us that we needed to move to pick up people somewhere else. It was pretty funny as he was pretty cool, but he did say that we needed to move "where all the other boats are." We thought that was pretty funny. Then, Mike got pulled over by the police to make sure he had lifejackets, a fire extinguisher, and that the boat could have 10 people. Thankfully he had everything! :) FUN DAY! Then, Mike, Morgan, and I went back home to change and then went to Bonefish for dinner. YUMMY chilean sea bass and their to die for salad.

Monday, we took it easy. We were going to go on the boat, but I had a bit of sunburn from Sunday. So, Morgan and I got our nails done instead. :) We played cards, and Morgan and I had a tickle match (don't tell Grams who thinks tickeling is mean). We hadn't had a tickle match in years. It used to be a favorite of Morgan's and apparently it stil is. HAPPY Memorial Day! Thanks to all past and current military for fighting for our freedom.

This was also the happy birthday week for Grams and Papa! I hope you both had a great day!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


We saw the Shrek movie today after our bike ride/run. I think they have milked Shrek for as much as they can. I can't say I am sad at this point to know there aren't additional ones coming.

I officially started Weight Watchers yesterday as I have been struggling to lose any more weight lately. Some of that I think is a plateau, and some of it is that I have just gotten sloppy with my eating. I am hoping a different way of thinking about it will be just what I need to get back into the swing of things and drop the last 28 pounds.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Horseback Riding

Today, Morgan and I went to the Cypress House B&B in Buschnell for a 2 hour horseback ride. Morgan's horse was named Meg, and mine was named Romeo. We had a good time, and we laughed the entire time thinking about our crazy horseback adventure in Mexico when Mike's horse rolled in the sand on the beach. This was MUCH calmer. :) Of course, tweety, our guide, told Morgan to keep the pace, so we did quite a bit of trotting (read bouncing up and down). Cypress House is where Morgan is going to summer camp for a week of horses this summer, so it was fun to see it and go for a ride.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Arkansas and Atlanta

Last week, I went to Arkansas. We stayed at the Doubletree in Little Rock and ate dinner at Cajun's Wharf. It was yummy. Loved it. We had some oysters bienville that were delicous, and I am guessing it will be the last oysters for a while due to the oil spill. Then, on Wednesday, I flew to Atlanta for a meeting on Thursday. It was a pretty uneventful week. I was so happy to be home Thursday night. WAYYYY too much travel. Morgan had cheer tryouts on Friday, and unfortunately she didn't make it. :( She couldn't tumble because of her foot injury, and she hadn't been able to jump for a long time. Of course, knowing that doesn't make her feel any better about it. :(

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fredericksburg Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon Race Report

Garmin Details can be found here (check out the HILLS!)

As I have struggled through my foot issues (and less so my couch) over the last few weeks, I was really worried about how this half was going to go. For the Gasparilla Half, we trained and did 10+ miles for 6 weeks and included a 13 mile run. So, I set out to do something similar, but I did a SINGLE 10 mile run and then had the whole “Is it Plantar Fasciitis?” injury. Since then, in the 4+ weeks, I had done two 6 mile runs and a couple of smaller ones. That is it. So, two weeks before the race, I set out to do a 4 miler, an 8 miler, then an 11 miler. Then, I did a 6 and a 5 the week before the race. Was it enough? The biggest worry is that this race has hills. For those of you From Tampa, you know how flat the training is usually.

Travis was set to go with me, and he did the 11 mile training run the Sunday before the race. On Friday, he texts me that Lisa is in the ER. Oh no. I am sure he won’t be coming and that it will only be Courtney and I running. Since he missed Gasparilla, I am sad, but I know he needs to be with Lisa and hope that she is ok. She feels better on Saturday morning, and he can go! Yeah! We fly to Baltimore on Saturday morning, and Courtney picks us up. It is so good to see her. I love her laugh and one liners, and we were off to a hysterical car ride immediately. She then says that she has to confess that she accidentally booked us in a hotel that is 25 miles away. She booked the race headquarters hotel, but apparently that is not in Fredericksburg. We decided to go pick up our packets and see what we could find. None of the hotels by the race start had rooms, but we did find one 12 miles away – better than 25 so we take it.

The expo was pretty good, and we got our numbers, shirts, and other race goodies. Travis is number 25 which completely freaks him out as he thinks he accidentally got an elite number or something. We ask and they say that it is randomly assigned. I was number 5084, and Courtney was 5109. We went to the hotel where I tried to calm Morgan down. For some reason, every time I go out of town and Mike and Morgan are there, they have an episode. This time was no different, and I tried to work through the pre-teen tears. Mike had gone to take Katie to get her hair cut, and that was probably good to give a break to both of them.

We went to the Outback down the street, and I got grilled chicken and a baked potato. YUMMY for pre-race meal. After dinner, we went to the store to get some water and other stuff like nutragrain bars (real ones – not generic), advil, bananas, etc. As we are checking out, the self scanner says, “ Move your bananas onto the conveyor belt.” It sounded so hysterical being told to move our bananas, and we all got a case of the giggles. Then, as we got back to the hotel, JUST as we walk in the door, Travis informs us that his race belt could hold a small specific type of baby, and that just set us off giggling again. I had a very difficult time going to sleep after talking to Mike and Morgan. I sent out some info about the race finish being broadcast on the internet, and I settled down for some boring TV. As I turned on the TV, The Hangover movie was on. I cracked up at the end of it, and then put it on some other weird movie. It took me at least an hour to finally fall asleep.

I got up at 4, and I started getting ready. We left at 5 and got there with PLENTY of time. They had warned about difficult traffic and parking, so we were happy to be there early (well Courtney and I were – not so much with Travis). We went into the Wegman several times for a bio break before the race, and Courtney checked her bag. We hit the port-a-potty one more time before the race began. The national anthem was sung, and then the wheelchair participants began. Then, they shot the gun from the 1800’s to start the race, and we were off! Travis kept wanting to keep up with the crowd. I must have said Slow Down Travis at least 30 times.  The first thing I notice is that the elevation chart from the website is very deceptive. It makes it look like the first 9 miles are mainly downhill. HA! There are some pretty good hills for that first 9 miles. There is downhill, but it is after going uphill first. There was one BIG downhill that made me nervous for “hospital hill” which is in the 10th mile and is supposedly enormous.

The first four miles FLY by. The 5 min run and 30 sec walk is going well, and I can’t believe how fast the beeps are coming to walk. The race did this whole “green” thing with the bibs and you supposedly can plant them to grow flowers. Well, I am all for green and such, but these were awful. Mine had torn in the first mile, and I had to stuff it in my water belt. It was shredding the whole time, and I was just trying to make it with my beer coupon and my massage coupon. I text Mike and Morgan at mile 4 to let them know where I am. Miles 4 – 9 weren’t too bad, but I was conserving some energy as I am still very nervous about this “hospital hill” I have coming. 4 – 9 had some hills as well. Around mile 7, Travis went ahead, and I was glad as I could see he wanted to go faster. I knew I couldn’t, so I was happy he got to run faster. I got some jelly beans around mile 7, and they were pretty good. Along the way, there were gymnasts, several bands, radio stations, people dressed in colonial clothes, a confederate cemetery, some cool houses, a bagpipe group, and elementary school music group, lots of kids giving high 5’s, and LOTS of people. At Gasparilla, the road thinned out after a while and you had a lot of room around. That never happened at this race. There were always lots of people around. I guess with 7000 people, that is what happens. We did see quite a few people getting aid from the medics, and there was one guy who took a nasty fall behind us at one point.

As we go from mile 9 – 10, I am so nervous. I hope I can do this freaking hospital hill thing. My legs are getting tired, and my foot is hurting. Lovely. However, that only lasted a few minutes, and then I felt good again. As we start up the hill, I think, ok, you can do this. I ran up quite a bit of it, and then I decided to walk. I was so happy when 5 seconds later my watch beeped for my scheduled walk time. I walked an extra 30 seconds and then ran again for a while. Then, I walked a bit and wondered if this hill was ever going to end. I was really happy to get to the top. There were lots of people encouraging and cheering us up the hill, and almost everyone was walking that hospital hill. I actually passed a lot of people when I was running it. There was a sign that said, “Detour to ER” which was pretty funny.

Mile 11 – 12 also had a pretty big hill. I ran almost all of it, but I took a walk break for a minute near the top. Then, I went back to my plan for 12 – 13 and pushed a bit at the end. I thought a lot about Matt (and the Chick Fil A at the finish). When t was over, I was so happy to break my Gasparilla time – barely. However, I think that it counts as a big difference since this one had hills! Time was 2:35:45.

I had a marine put my medal on. I loved that. My friend Liz has a brother in Afghanistan, and I was thinking about him the whole race. He has had some difficult times lately with friends of his getting killed, and I cannot imagine what that is like. I figured if he could do it, then I could. I thanked every Marine I passed, and it was quite humbling to have them cheering us on, passing out water, etc. They were really awesome and inspiring. So, Matt Humiston, I dedicate my 13.1 to you and thank you for all you do. Please be safe and get home to your family.

As soon as we finished the race, Travis found out that Riley had falled from the swingset and needed stitches. So, we went straight to the car. Just a tip, if you don’t have to sit in a car just after finishing a race, don’t. It makes your legs worse. We rushed to the hotel, did a quick shower and change, and headed back out. I tried to get a flight on the 1 something flight Travis got, but there was only one seat available. Bummer. So, Courtney was nice enough to drive Travis to Dulles and then to take me to Baltimore. We stopped at a Wendy’s, and I had a chicken sandwich that might have been the best I have ever had.

At the airport, I had two double Maibu and Diet Coke drinks. Well earned. YUM. I am not on the plane headed home feeling proud, wearing my medal, and sporting my new shirt. :) Mission accomplished.
Thanks Travis and Courtney! I had a blast! Thanks so much Courtney for taking care of us and for driving all over the place.

Next plans:
Olympic Triathlon in Nashville in July
Half Ironman in August in September
Women’s Half Marathon in November
Jacksonville Half or Full Marathon in December (will decide later)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Travel Home - DELTA

I usually love Delta. I speak highly of them. However, the Delta employees in LA are the absolute WORST I have experienced. RUDE. They ignore customers, talk to each other when people are waiting, take their dear sweet time, and act aggravated when people ask a question. My flgiht wasn't on the monitor so I didn't know where to wait. I went to the self service kiosk and it said check monitor. LOL. So, I got in a line where there were FOUR reps. Only ONE of them was actually helping people. The others were all yaking. I am not sure if you can tell in the picture but it is showing all the people waiting while they do nothing (well except for one). Then, I ask what gate my flgiht is coming into, and she turns to the other girl and talks while she looks without saing one word to me. Finally, she says I am at gate 55. Weird.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I was in Monterey, CA this week, and it is such a beautiful place. I always forget the magestic beauty of the hills surrounding the water. The sea lions are awesome as well! I ran twice by the water, and we ate in Carmel the first night at an Italian place.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Fun Weekend

It is AMAZING! We were HOME for an entire weekend! :) Mike and I rode bikes on saturday, and then Morgan and I got our hair cut, went to Sephora, and then went to dinner at a new Italian plcae with Mike.

Sunday I had the absolute BEST Mother's Day ever. I woke up early and ran 11 miles with Travis. It was so nice to start the day with such a feat. However, that was the very beginning.

Morgan met me with excitement and was so excited to give me her present. She made this beautiful card! It even has a barcode and was made by Morgan Greetings. It is so amazing.

I also got flowers, a Chico's card, and an edible arrangements basket. Then, when I thought it couldn't get any better, Morgan gave me a bracelet too!

In the afternoon, Morgan and I watched TV, took a short nap, relaxed, and played Wii. Then, Morgan, Mike and I all went to get a massage. I soooo needed that! Then, we went to dinner together at Bonefish and Mark met us for dinner.

PERFECT DAY!!!!!! Thank you So much Morgan and Mike for such a fabulous day!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Good to be Home

Today, it was so nice to wake up in my own bed. I had to take Morgan to the doctor as she hurt her foot (I know, SHOCKER!). It was not fractured, but she has a bit of tendonitis. She has this new space age boot on it. It has an air bladder you can inflate to give more support. Very cool.

For dinner, we went to Cantina Laredo (Cantina la farto to Morgan). It was fabulous, but the drinks, chips, cheese, tacos were probably not so good for me. :) Morgan did like the chicken and enormous chocolate cake, so maybe it will lose its catchy nickname. :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Back Home

Back to reality - man it is hard to come home from Vegas. I went to my tri group for track workout, and it was brutal. I think I might be paying for my playing for a while. While my brain liked it, I am not sure my body did. :)

Monday, May 3, 2010


Today, we got our picture made in front of the Welcome to Vegas sign, and we had a picture with Elvis and a pink Cadillac. Fun.

We walked around a bit for some things to bring home, and then we headed to the airport. The rest of the gang had later flights, so we said goodbye a bit early. My flight was delayed from Atlanta to Tampa, so Mike beat me home by 2+ hours. I did get upgraded for both flights though. LOVE first class. :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hoover Dam

Today, we went to the Hoover Dam. I can't believe it is already our last day. WOW time flies on vacation. I really liked the Hoover Dam, and it is absolutely amazing to me that they did all of that without the technology we have today. Amazing. I loved being in the tunnel and feeling all that water going through the enormous pipe. It was pretty inspiring to me that they did all of that. The obituaries that they had as samples were pretty interesting. So and So fell to his death, So and So had the last spark of life squeezed out of him, etc. Very descriptive and obviously it was very dangerous.

After the Dam trip, we ate lunch at the Hacienda Hotel near the Dam. I love saying that - the DAM trip. :) It was a bit scary, but lunch was ok.

We went to the pool later that day and hung out. It was nice to just relax in the boiling hot sun. My part got burnt and it hurts to brush it. Poor me. :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Red Rock Canyon and Old Vegas

Today, we went hiking in Red Rock Canyon. It was absolutely beautiful, and the weather couldnt't have been better. I was really worried about it hurting my foot to walk on the rocks, but somehow it actually made it better. Weird. We did two trails - the first one and then the keystone thrust one. The first one we went off trail a bit which made me nervous, but it was really fun and I didn't fall. WHEW. The second one was more challenging, and I really enjoyed it. Beautiful. I am not sure I could have done it a year ago or I at least would have been struggling. What a difference a year makes.

At night, we went to Old Vegas. I hadn't ever been there before. I really enjoyed it. We played a little at the Golden Nugget. We also played a bit at Binions. There were some fun people playing. The dealer at the Golden Nugget asked where we were staying, and we said Harrah's. He said, "Never heard of it" with a very straight face. It was hysterical.

Fun day.