Monday, November 30, 2009

Bringing the bullets back

Sorry for the lack of posting in the past week, but things have been crazy busy. Here's a recap, bullet style:
  • Last Monday and Tuesday consisted of 12 hour workdays due to evening conferences. I didn’t get in any workouts those days either.
  • Tuesday night, my sister drove in from the cities after work and a few of us went to see New Moon. I was pretty impressed with the movie and am itching to see it again! I am glad that the next movie will come out in June, rather than a year from now.
  • Wednesday morning, my sister and I headed to Bismarck for the long holiday weekend. We spent most of the day helping mom prepare for the 30+ people expected to join us for Thanksgiving dinner. Every year, it is my job to assemble the homemade gingerbread houses. We make enough for each of the little one’s to decorate after dinner, and then they take them home to enjoy through the holidays. It has become a great tradition and I think the older ones really look forward to helping the little ones. However, this year, for some reason, I couldn’t get the “frosting” just right and I was ready to throw all the houses out the window. Fortunately, after adding twice as much powdered sugar than usual, I had perfected it and it worked out just fine. All of the houses turned out wonderful!
  • Thursday morning I decided not to participate the Turkey Trot. It’s just too late in the morning, taking up too much time, and it was pretty chilly that morning – right around 12 degrees. So, my Dad, sister and I went to the Y early and got in a good run on the treadmills and got home just as the Turkey Trot was beginning. The 10k goes right by our house, so it was fun to watch the runners go by as we were preparing dinner.
  • Thanksgiving was perfect! The food was great and the company we shared it with was even better!
  • Friday morning, I did NO shopping. That is not my thing. Instead, we hit up the gym and then headed to my Grandparents house to help clean/decorate for the holidays. Later on, the fam went out to pick a Christmas tree for my parents house. There's nothing like the smell of frasier firs in the house!
  • Pretty much all day Saturday consisted of a friend’s wedding. This was a friend from grad school, and I was excited to go. I knew a couple people going but forgot how many people I had met through this guy during our year in grad school. It was great to catch up, but I am sad to say I didn’t really get to talk too much with the groom or another grad school friend. However, the wedding was beautiful and overall a really good time!
  • Sunday… on the road back to Fargo. I have been gone 6 out of the last 7 weekends and as much as I was sad to see the long weekend go, I am looking forward to being in town for the next few weekends! I spent yesterday running errands, filling the fridge, setting up a new tv stand for the tv I have yet to buy (I know, I am kind of backwards), finish putting up Christmas decorations, and cleaning the living room and kitchen.

Now, I need to get back into a routine and make the most of this full week!

Something to look forward to? I signed up for the Jingle Bell 5K that is this coming Saturday! Last year it was only 4 degrees outside and the wind chill brought the temps well into the below zero range. It was so cold that I had frost on my eyelashes and nostrils. Right now the weather forcast for Saturday looks like it will be a bit warmer than last year, but if you know anything about ND weather, it’s bound to change a dozen times over the next 5 days.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Christmas Card Dilemma

How many of you out there look forward to those wonderful holiday greeting cards and photos in the mail this time of year? Those cards, photos, and letters are one of the many things I look forward to during the holidays.

I know that most of the pictures I receive are of families or just the children of friends or relatives. I have received a photo or two from single friends and thought nothing of it, but when it comes to me sending a photo of myslef, I have a hard time justifying it, or feeling completely comfortable with the idea. Maybe it's just me and I need a little reassuring from others.

Last year, I worked on a collage of photos from races and trips, planning on sending it out as a New Year card but then started to wonder what people would think of it. I think holiday photos can be so much fun to share with friends and family but I don't want my pictures to be seen in a negative light. I never did send out that picture.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever sent out pictures of yourself when you were single, or would you, if you were single?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

weekend recap

I had a great weekend with the 'rents and my youngest sis, taking in two nights of Sioux hockey. Friday's game was good and they one 3-2, but last night's game was horrible. They just weren't playing their best and the reffing was disgusting and completely one-sided. It was so hard to watch. If a couple bad calls would have been reversed, it would have been 3-2 Sioux, instead of 3-2 St. Cloud.

I took in a little shopping and found a couple cute sweaters at Macy's yesterday. I usually don't shop there for clothes, for some reason or another, and I was really happy to find a couple sweaters for less than $20 each. I am so sick of my winter clothes from last year (and the year before) that I was on cloud nine when I found these.

This afternoon I attempted another run and the knee just wasn't feeling it. I wanted to cry. Now, it was no where near the pain I was dealing with over a month ago, but it was a good run. Some things just not right. I guess I best be getting back into my PT exercises. I have been kind of slacking since I got sick and things were going well.

I really want this knee to heal. I am hoping to be able to do the Turkey Trot 5K Thanksgiving day and then the Jingle bell 5K run I did last year, which is the 5th of December.... we'll see!

How was your weekend? Who raced out there this weekend? How many of you have races you are looking forward to before closing the books for 2009?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

busy, busy, and some more busy

Just after I go and rave about how nice my 3 mile run went on Tuesday, I hopped on the treadmill today and the run wasn't as nice as I was hoping it would be. After a couple miles in, it started to get a leeeetle bit tight and I knew instantly I had to take it slow. Here I was getting so pumped about running 3 miles and in the back of my mind I was thinking about that half marathon distance again. Slow. Down. Now.

Other than that, work and busy weekends have been taking over my life! I have been gone almost every weekend for the past few weeks and will be gone the next few weekends in a row. But, I can't complain about that too much because it's fun times and better then sitting at home and doing nothing on the weekends.
As far as work goes, today I had my last assessment results/IEP meeting until after Christmas (more than halfway through my caseload for the year), and need to finalize some documents prior to Monday. Then, on Monday the window for alternate assessment opens up and I have 3 students I need to sit down with and do these state assessments. In addition, trimester grades are due next friday, which means I not only need to get grades into teachers for my students that participate in alternate curriculum, but I need to get progress reports done. Before I know it, Christmas vacation will be here and the busy-ness will start up again.

I guess it's just life and figuring out how to balance it all is my goal! I think I need to be more productive with my paperwork at work, staying an hour later every once and a while, rather than spending a day off finishing up assessment results, like I did yesterday for 5 hours. Time to be on top of my game!

Tomorrow I plan to do some yoga in the morning before work. I think it will be a great way to end the week and relax a bit before the busy weekend. I am heading up to GF with the fam, minus my sister from the cities. unfortunately. We have Sioux hockey tickets for both nights. I think we're ranked 2nd in the nation, so it should be a pretty good weekend of hockey!

Hope y'all have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Giving Thanks

I would like to take a moment to thank all military personel who are serving or have served this great country of ours. Without them and their unselfish work, we would not be able to live in this country with such freedom. Also, I think it's important to thank all the friends and families who are supporting those in active duty.

Happy Veterans Day to my favorite Veteran... my bro-in-law! Miss you and can't wait to have you back for good in February!

Last night, I had a handful of wonderful friends over for dinner for what I hope to be our first annual "Thanks Giving" meal. There were 14 of us and everyone brought some sort of food. Unfortunately, I did not take any great pictures, so I won't be able to share our festivities, visually, but I can tell you that it was a great time and all of the food was wonderful!

The idea behind this was to combine Thanksgiving and Christmas with friends. I did this with some friends when I was going to college. We would make a big meal and then everyone brought a white elephant gift to share.

But, last night we had a little different twist to it. Instead of bringing a white elephant gift, a monetary donation was suggested, but not mandatory, with the idea that it would be spent buying necessities and gifts for a family in need. Far too many families struggle from day to day, especially around the holidays. A few of us plan to go out there and make those purchases soon, hoping to put a some smiles on a few faces!

On the workout front, I am on-the-ball! This morning, since I had the day off, I was able to be a bit more flexible with my workout. After sleeping in until 8, I took advantage of the mid-morning lap swim time, kicked out 2100M, and then hit up a hard-core spin class right afterwards and ended up riding 15 miles! It felt great!

I will leave you with this Military Tribute video! Happy Veterans Day!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Number 500

When I started blogging, I honestly didn’t think it would last very long. It was May of 2006, and I had just started to find a love of running. I was starting to think about training for my first marathon (that didn't happen at the time) and was looking for training plans online. In the process, I stumbled across a few running blogs and thought it would be interesting to try this blogging thing myself.

I started with my first blog three and half years ago, running-for-me, and created this blog a couple years ago when I was ready to go beyond running by adding more cycling and swimming, thus diving into the world of triathlons. Who know this blog would become a part of me and how I got to where I am today?!

I found blogging to be a place to keep myself accountable, read and learn from others experiences, share my own experiences with others, as well as gain motivation and that little extra push to keep myself going when things got difficult or when I was willing to give up. I haven’t competed in nearly as many 5K races, half marathons, or sprint triathlons as others, but I have been able to push myself harder with the added support and “words of wisdom” from many of you fellow bloggers out there! Thank you, thank you.

With that in mind, I have compiled a handful of some of my favorite quotes. These quotes do a pretty good job summing up the things I have learned or experienced along the way:

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying.” – Michael Jordan

"You only ever grow as a human being if you're outside your comfort zone." - Percy Cerutty

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." - Mark Twain

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”

"Continuous effort -- not strength or intelligence -- is the key to unlocking our potential." - Liane Cardes

"Obstacles are those frightening things that become visible when we take our eyes off our goals." - Henry Ford

"The Truth is that Running Hurts. No one gets faster without meeting their personal pain barrier straight on. No amount of junk miles, fun runs or affirmations are going to get you over the hill at the five mile mark in a 10k. However, what will pull you through is solid prep with hard hill runs and interval work." - Manciata's explanation of the Truth about Running

"The more I talk to athletes, the more convinced I become that the method of training is relatively unimportant. There are many ways to the top, and the training method you choose is just the one that suits you best. No, the important thing is the
attitude of the athlete, the desire to get to the top." – Herb Elliott

"Pain is weakness leaving your body." -USMC

"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going." - Beverly Sills

"Top results are reached only through pain. But eventually you like this pain. You'll find the more difficulties you have on the way, the more you will enjoy your success." - Juha "the Curel Vaatainen

And finally, one of my all time favorites…..

“If you're trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I've had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” – Michael Jordan

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Did your city make the list?

I came across an article yesterday that noted the 10 top healthiest places for women to live. I had a hard time finding it again, but noticed that it came from this original article: 100 Healthiest Places for Women to Live.

When I first looked at it I thought that Fargo, ND wouldn't even make the list. I was suprised to see that it made the Top 10! Here's what they said about Fargo, ND:
Population: 187,653
2009 ranking: 10 out 100
2008 ranking: not ranked
Top 10 area! Women up here feel down a mere two days a month. Stressors such as crime and unemployment are rare, and women report more social and emotional support than almost anywhere else. "Whether it's neighbors, workout buddies or church, that support system is always there," says Robin Johnson, 22, a recent grad. "Even in the grocery store, people chat and cheer you up. You feel like they really do care."
Live like a local: Young women here form running groups to socialize. In its first five years, the Fargo Marathon has grown from 2,400 to 13,000-plus participants. "It's in May, and having a goal can get you through the long, cold winter," Johnson explains. Start your own training program at
Plus: Fargoites drive 18 minutes to work on average. In New York City, it's 41 minutes!

I have to note that the picture that went along with the original article I found would have really convinced anyone and everyone to move here! It looked something like this picture I found. And, I didn't know we were refered to as "Fargoites". Interesting.

Sidenote: The goal for the Fargo Marathon this year is 20x10... hoping for 20,000 participants by 2010. I thought that was pretty clever!

To sell Fargo a bit more, here is a list of reasons why I LOVE living here (and ND in general):
  • Some may think that all we have is cold weather, but we actually get to enjoy all 4 seasons, unlike some locations. Yes, winter may last longer than most of us would like, and spring can be kind of wet and messy around here, but the summer and fall months sure make up for it.
  • Temps can get quite warm here in the summer, despite what some may think, but it still cools off during the night (for the most part). The humidity at times is more than I can bare, but it's not as bad as some locations in the Southeast.
  • I don't mind when temps get into the 40's and 50's. It's great outdoor running temps!
  • We may not have all the fancy clubs big cities have, but there are plenty of nightlife locations to choose from and drinks are reasonably priced (anywhere from $3-$5 average).
  • The population number stated above isn't exactly correct. Fargo itself is right around 100,000 people. But, if you look at the metropolitan area, including it's sister cities, West Fargo to the West and Moorhead across the river in MN, then it's closer to 190,000 people.
  • How many of you get to see Sundogs during the winter months?
  • Sunsets are beautiful, and full of color and sometimes clouds, year round.
  • It only takes ME approximately 5 minutes to get to work.
  • The people here are amazing!

Did your city make the list? What do you love about where you live?

Information was taken from this article on

Monday, November 2, 2009

This, that, and everything in between

Halloween Weekend:
How many of you dressed up for Halloween? I did. Actually a group of us dressed up and it was a lot of fun. We ended up at a smaller bar, with more of an older crowd. We were in the mood for something more low key and less slutty costumes. It was pretty relaxing, but fun at the same time. However, the next day, I woke with some sort of flu. No, it wasn't the bottle flu. I am home sick from work today and that rarely ever happens. I was running a temp, puking, very very very weak, no appetite, and very tired. It took everything in me this morning to run to school and type up my sub notes. I hope to be back tomorrow because lying around all day isn't my kind of thing.

Month in Review: October
I can't believe that the month is already over. And to think there are only 7 months left of school! Wow, time flies when you're having fun. Let's take a look at the digits for the month and compare them to September.

Swim - 8,700M ................ 8,500M in September
Bike - 77.80 miles .......... 56.93 miles in September
Run - 12.74 miles .......... 10.45 miles in September

Well, the numbers are still low, but their higher then they were in September. And the best thing is... I am back at running, slowly but surely! I am happy!

My November Challenge:
After reading Caitlin's post on getting back on track, I knew I needed to do the same. After talking with a friend, we decided to create a challenge of our own. We will earn points for certain workouts/activities, and then points will be deducted for eating out, drinking soda/coffee, and alcohol. The person with the most points at the end of the month will make the other person dinner. This should help with getting back on track with eating right, cutting back on ordering my lattes (doesn't include making coffee at home), and spending less money!

Pile on the Miles Challenge. This has been put together by Caitlin and Bobbi. The goal for this is to increase activity and not put on all those extra pounds that can happen so easily this time of year. Both walking and running miles will count, which works wonderfully for me since I am slowly getting back into running. I think it will even motivate me to run/walk more! I know I won't log nearly as many miles as a lot of the other participates, but I think it will be fun to join in. Plus, I keep track of those things anyway! I can't wait to get over this flu and start tracking my miles! Hopefully I will be able to participate in the Turkey Trot this thanksgiving!

What does the month of November look like for you?