29 August 2010


Aaaaahhhhhh....I just had one of the best, most relaxing, busy and fun weekends ever.  It started last Wednesday at 9:30pm and ended abruptly at 5:30am this morning.  But in between was FANTASTIC!

Jaime and Kerry took the kids for us so we could enjoy some "adult" time for our anniversary, and it was the best present ever.  Thank you guys soooo much, the kids had a blast.  It is so nice to have people you can trust to leave your kids with and just know they are fine- having so much fun they can't even remember who their parents are.  I can't even remember the last time we had 3 (yes 3!) nights without children to tend to.  No work, no children, just time to relax and do whatever WE wanted to do. 

Thursday was our 10 year anniversary and we decided to spend it up in Seattle, wandering around Pike's Place and all over downtown.  The weather was really cold but otherwise it was a great day.  I forgot the camera at home (bummer) so there aren't any pictures of me riding on the pig or tossing salmon in the air.  Sorry about that!  We are not big gift exchangers, it just isn't really our thing.  Our present to each other is an upcoming trip to Maui set for mid November, and spending quality time together (which we rarely get).  It was the perfect day. 

Friday was the day I decided to do my long run for the week, which was a 12 miler again.  Will decided he wanted to join in- by riding a bike next to me while I ran.  Okie dokie, lets give it a whirl!  He really wanted to go over the bridge since he still hadn't been over it other than in a car.  So off we went, and it went surprisingly well.  I was worried I would be so slow that he would have to go way ahead of me all the time, but that didn't really happen.  We stopped at the top of the bridge where some nice lady riding her bike stopped to snap a few pictures of us.  Will continued riding a bit ahead and taking pictures of me running which was kind of comical- I thought he was going to crash right into the barrier.  He was also able to experience my lovely "hill from hell" and agreed it is definitely misleading just to look at it.  I again ran the entire way up it.  Now that I have done it twice I guess I know I am capable of it so no more wimping out and walking up it for me!  The long runs are getting a lot easier and I can recover from them much quicker now, which is an amazing feeling.

Top of the Narrows Bridge
Me coming up the top of the hill from hell.  That is the international
sign for "stop taking pictures of me!"

26 August 2010


Happy 10 year anniversary!!!

August 26th, 2000
The Rose Gardens at Point Defiance Park, Tacoma, WA

The wedding party
Renee, Nichole, Kendra, Jaime, Me, Will, Gene, Tim, Jay, Kevin, Joshua (in front)

This was our wedding song and it still holds as much truth to it now as it did 10 years ago.

25 August 2010

A "Little" Walk

Today I took the kids for a walk over the Narrows Bridge. I have been talking about it for a while now and they seemed to think it would be a fun adventure since we drive over it a lot. I parked at War Memorial Park and off we went on our "little" walk. When was the last time you took a walk with a 4 year old and an 8 year old that was about 3 miles long, on a somewhat hilly route, in the heat? It was interesting!

There were a lot of boaters out and the kids tried to spot sharks and squid from the bridge. They threw some pebbles in and marveled out how long it took for them to hit the water. It was a beautiful day and I really enjoyed being able to absorb the scenery since usually when I am running I can't fully appreciate it. We made it to the Gig Harbor side pretty easily, it was the return trip that was a bit more difficult.

My daughter suggested I leave them and go get the car. Ummmm...no. So we took lots of breaks in the shaded areas and just took our time. They did really well actually, I only had to throw out a few bribes (like the promise of a well earned ice cream cone after lunch) to keep them moving. I ended up carrying my son piggy back on and off for the trip back, including up the last big hill. And I definitely flashed everyone when he slid off one of the times and brought my shirt down with him. That was exciting!  Next time I will definitely bring some water and maybe some snacks.  It took a whole lot longer than just running over it!

Scuba Steve, myself and my daughter on the bridge

22 August 2010

Nice and Comfy!

I always do my long runs on Saturdays- it is just the easiest day because I usually don't work and the hubby is home to hang out with the kids so I can go run outside.  He is awesome like that.  However, I ended up working an opening shift yesterday which means I had to wake up at 4:30am!  I was a tired girl by the time I got home, but I skipped my long run last weekend so I knew there was no way out of my 12 miler scheduled for this weekend.  It HAD to happen!

What I really wanted to do was curl up on my nice comfy couch and watch a movie.  That sounded like heaven- I was losing my desire to gear up and head out the door.  So I compromised with myself.  I would watch a movie WHILE I ran 12 miles.  And that is exactly what I did.  I watched Remember Me and ran 12 miles on my treadmill.  If there exists such a thing as a "comfortable" way of running for 2 hours I think I achieved that.  I didn't have to gear up, worry about carrying water or deciding which way to go.  All I had to do was put one foot in front of the other.  As quickly as I could.  And for 12 miles.  Piece of cake!

It was definitely interesting.  I learned a couple of things about my treadmill- for instance it just assumes that at 90 minutes the fool running on it must be done and stops itself.  That is a strange sensation, kind of like you are suddenly propelled into the air.  I watched the calorie counter go all the way up and start back to zero.  Twice.  It was nice to be able to select my pace and see if I could maintain it over the whole distance.  Which kind of worked.  All in all, it turned out to be a decent run.  Much better than not doing one at all!!!  

And I have officially passed the 400 mile mark.  Me.  The girl who 7 months ago would say she hated running and was not a runner.  I have ran 400 miles in 7 months -I have become a runner!  That is something to be proud of.   

Total Distance:  12.72 (really more like 12 actual miles) 
Total Time:  1:56:07
Total Nutella earned- nearly an entire cup.  1,434 calories worth.  I don't think I had any yesterday, however I had some this morning.  And this afternoon.  mmmmm...chocolate and nuts and sugar.  Just the way good crack should be.  Haha!

I will leave you with a recording of one of my favorite songs to listen to right now.  I don't know what it is really, I just love Sheryl Crow's voice and the song is so heartfelt and honest. 


19 August 2010

Is It Worth It?

I am at a crossroads right now with my training.  I did a tempo (speed interval) workout today on my treadmill and I am having a hard time deciding whether or not I enjoyed it.  Or if it is really beneficial to me.  What is my main goal with my running anyways?  To be faster?  To lose weight?  To get healthy?  Because it is something that I really enjoy and allows me to relieve stress?  I am never going to be the fastest girl in a race- I am just not built that way.  Mentally or physically.  So really, what is the point of doing these tempo workouts for ME?

I guess it is a matter of whether or not I want to settle for being a "10 minute" miler and really enjoy running.  Or if I want to keep pushing myself to try to be a "9 minute" miler- will I still find running enjoyable at that point or will I be miserable?  Today I ran a whole mile at a 7:30 pace.  That is really fast for me.  And to be honest I felt like throwing up afterwards but I finished it.  And recovered and then ran the rest of my 3 miles.  I think ultimately I am afraid of failure.  What if I push myself so hard that I can't complete my run?  Nothing really, but in my mind I would know that I failed.  I don't like failing.  I am a control freak like that.

I know I do this in my races.  I pace myself so that I can finish strong.  I don't trust my body and my training enough to know that it will be ok.  I can recover when I push too hard and then go on to finish the race.  In my mind I know that, but I am not sure my legs believe me! 

So for now I am just going to keep following my training plan.  My half marathon is coming up in 5 weeks and I have many long runs to complete before then.  I am going to attempt to test myself during one of them by pushing myself as hard as I can to keep close to a 9 minute pace.  If I can't complete the training run at least it is only failing a training run, right?  There must be a quote I should insert here, but I do not have the energy to look one up tonight.  Anybody?  Something about failing is the only way to succeed.  You know what I am getting at.

On a more serious note there are some people in my life who need some good thoughts and prayers sent their way.  My Grandma Kathy was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma on her scalp this week and will be having it removed soon.  She is good spirited about it and apparently this is the "best" kind of cancer to get.  If there is such a thing.  My best friend had surgery today due to a complication from a previous surgery.  Apparently everything went well and she is recovering at the hospital tonight.  And her aunt (maternal side) found out she has breast cancer.  Which means now she (and the whole family) has to be very careful to monitor herself.  Kind of puts the charley horse I got this morning at O'dark thirty into perspective.  Life is precious- enjoy it while you can.  Every moment.

Total distance:   6.36 miles  Total Time:  56:19
Total Nutella earned- 7 Tablespoons  - I am pretty sure I had about 4, mostly straight off of a spoon.  crap.


17 August 2010

Will Run for Nutella

I had a moment of weakness last weekend and bought some Nutella.  From Costco.  So in my kitchen there are 8,000 calories of deliciousness just waiting to be consumed.  Why didn't anyone warn me that stuff is like crack?  It tastes good on pretty much anything.  Or by itself off of a spoon.  Today I had it on a sandwich.  I actually ate a sandwich with nothing in it except for 2 yummy tablespoons (200 calories!!!) of Nutella.  And washed it down with a glass of milk.  Somebody save me!!! 

I am not sure why I do this to myself.  I will buy a huge bag of M&M's then put them in the cupboard like I can pretend they don't exist.  But I know they are there, in all their crunchy, chocolaty goodness.  And then I eat way too many of them.  I have a lot of willpower, but not when it comes to chocolate.  And yet, what do I do?  Buy warehouse quantities of these things and try to hide them from myself.  Even though I already know the outcome.  I will still eat the chocolate.  Every time.  Sigh. 

Yesterday I took the kids to 5 Mile Lake Park in Federal Way.  I try to get there at least once each summer to swim and hang out in the sun.  I have fond memories of that lake- we used to go there all the time in high school.  It was the perfect day- the weather was warm but not too hot and it wasn't overly crowded.  We stayed for most of the day just swimming and relaxing.  Somehow we avoided sunburns and there weren't any major meltdowns.  Just an awesome day soaking up summertime.

The kids had a blast in the water
Hanging out at the lake
I ran this morning (had to earn my Nutella!) and it was NOT an easy run.  It was about 80 degrees in my treadmill room and I just wasn't really in the right frame of mind.  I weighed myself before and after the run just to see how much I would lose.  About 18 ounces.  Of sweat.  GROSS!!! 

Total distance-  7.5 miles  Total time- 1:10:48
Measured in terms of Nutella- 8 1/2 Tablespoons  **no, I did not eat that much.  not today anyways**

15 August 2010

SURE is not an answer

Last week my daughter participated in a UK Elite soccer camp.  This is the third year she has done it and she absolutely loves it.  The last day of camp they played a "world cup" so I hung out and watched them play.  It is amazing how much better the girls can get after just one week of great coaching.  The Hot Tamale's are going to be a force to reckon with this fall!!!!  When I asked her what her favorite part of camp was she said "listening to them talk".  I couldn't agree more!  LOVE those British accents!

UK Elite Soccer Camp August 13th, 2010

I have been working a lot of extra hours lately, for many different reasons.  Perhaps that is making me more sensitive to this new annoyance of mine because it is something I hear daily at work.  Many, many times a day- it is really surprising actually, once you start paying attention to it, how often this response is given.  Lately my biggest pet peeve is people responding to a question with the word "sure".  As if that means anything close to "yes, please" or "that would be great, thank you!".  All day long at work I am constantly asking people questions about what they would like, what they need, if they would like me to do something for them. 

11 August 2010

If you're happy and you know it...

Clone Trooper's can fold towels?!?   Who knew?

Yesterday I let somebody else control my happiness.  I hate when I let that happen, but sometimes people's words just get the better of me.  I honestly feel like I give 110% of myself when I am at work but when all you get is constant criticism and negative feedback it just feels pointless.  Is it too much to ask for a pat on the back to go along with the slap in the face?  Oh well, I guess some people are just too miserable in their own lives to be positive.  I try to always be a happy and positive person- it just makes life so much easier! 
So I will put a smile on my face and know in my own mind I am doing the very best I can. 

I went for a short run this morning and it helped me clear my mind.  I hope everyone is enjoying this sunshine while it lasts.  I actually have a smidge of child free time so I am going to go sit in the sun and read before work.  In the meantime- click on the links below for some photos from the race last Saturday.  The top one is a lovely photo of me as I was sprinting around the last corner heading towards the finish line at the Tacoma Narrows Half last Saturday.  And the second one is of Cynthia and I crossing the finish line.  Enjoy :)

Total distance:  3.5 miles  Total time:  33:18

09 August 2010

Thirteen Point One

My Friday night consisted of playing a soccer game in Gig Harbor- Justice League (that's us) vs Rampage.  We played a great game- losing of course- but had a lot of fun.  At the end of the game the referee offered us the opportunity to play a second game.  Of course we wanted to play again!  Never mind that it was already 9pm, give us the chance to play and we are in!  Enough people from each team had to leave so that there were not any subs left for the second game.  So we all played 48 straight minutes, during which time I got hit in the upper arm and my left thigh with a ball hard enough to leave bruises.  Oh, and I also took one straight to the stomach so hard I think the people on the other side of the glass could hear the SMACK!  It almost knocked the wind out of me, but I am tough and took it like a champ- the game must go on!  Whether you can breathe or not LOL!  I took several shots on goal, especially when Tiana was playing goalie.  She looked rather fierce (and cute) in the goal box but my aim was off.  Darn! 

When we got home from our soccer games it was close to 10:15pm and I had made crazy plans with Cynthia in the morning.  We decided to go ahead and run the Tacoma Narrows Half Marathon taking place at 7:30am Saturday morning!  I was scheduled to run 11 miles anyways, and she was scheduled to do 12 (she is running the Portland marathon in October) so we figured why not???  It was along the route we frequently run anyways!  For more information about this race check out the website here-
I will definitely run this again next year.  The course was really nice and it was fun to run past everything that was so familiar.  It starts off at the Gig Harbor airport, goes over the Narrows bridge, through Cheney Stadium then heads downtown Tacoma, ending right near the Tacoma Art Museum. 

05 August 2010

The Games I Play

I have always liked to play games.  It started with my Grandpa Bill back when I was just a little kid.  He taught me how to play numerous card games (especially rummy) and I have been hooked ever since.  When we were teenagers my best friend and I were always playing games.  Trivial pursuit, boggle, scrabble- we even would watch Jeopardy and keep score against each other.  Yes, we were officially nerds LOL!  But nothing beats a good brain workout and while I might not be competitive at sports, I am definitely competitive at games! 

So my latest obsession is "words with friends" which is basically a free application for an ipod/iphone/ipad that is just like scrabble.  I currently am playing 7 games against various friends and it is completely addicting.  So if you have this application and would like to challenge me to a game let me know and I will send you my user name!  It is just as important to exercise your mind as it is to exercise your body- when I am 90 years old I plan on being sharp as a tack.

I skipped two of my runs this week because my leg was bothering me and I didn't want to risk making it worse.  For some reason last night I just couldn't fall into a good, deep sleep so when morning rolled around I was seriously considering skipping my run again today.  My leg felt fine, so that excuse was out the window.  I decided I would just run 3 miles.  That sounded manageable.  So I hopped on the treadmill and decided to set my ipod to 30 minutes instead.  As soon as I started running this wave of happy familiarity washed over me and it felt good to be running after a few days off. 

04 August 2010

I played hooky today

I skipped my run today.  For some reason my right inner leg muscle was bothering me all last night and when I woke up this morning it still felt tender.  I have a feeling it is from my soccer scrimmage Sunday evening because it is the motion of "kicking" or lifting my leg up and forward that is hurting.  It is probably my punishment for kicking the ball right into one of my poor teammates "business" so hard it brought him to his knees.  Oops, SORRY!  The scrimmage went really well and I even scored around 4 goals.  Too bad I can't make that happen during a real game! 

We also decided what to do with the dilemma of our large team.  We are torn between not wanting to split into two teams and also wanting more play time.  So we are going to keep one large team and also create a second team for those who want more play time- meaning 2 games in one night.  My hubby and I are going to play on both teams and I am really excited.  It is hard to improve when playtime is short and I really want to get better! 

So instead of my run today I decided we should go to the Pt. Defiance Zoo to see the baby tigers.  We had a really good time and were able to see the tigers sleeping and also awake and playing.  The kids also fed the budgie birds from seed sticks which was really cute.  My kids love animals and seem to be really good with them.  They both yelled at me because I told them that seahorses were boring- I wanted to go see something exciting- like the lemurs and meerkats!!!!  Seahorses are pretty, but seriously- what do they DO????  The males carry the eggs until they hatch which is pretty cool, but other than that...they just don't do it for me.

10 week old tiger cubs and their mom taking a nap

                                                              The kids feeding the budgies seed sticks