Sunday, June 1, 2014

A POSITIVE WAY TO START YOUR DAY!

Good morning!

Just wanted to give everyone a heads up on a new blog I've created! I'll still maintain my personal blog here, but this new blog is all about you! The blog will consist of short videos (between 1 and 10 minutes long).  They are all scheduled to be uploaded every day at 12:00 a.m. PST (3:00 a.m. EST) so hopefully you do not wake up earlier than that to start your morning ;-) I have already uploaded the first month's worth of videos so they are all set to go!

The blog is designed to put a smile on your face as soon as you wake up! There will be funny videos, motivational videos, inspirational videos. All positive, all fluff and stuff.  I hope to make you smile and cry happy tears every morning. Because lets face it - most of us wake up, turn on the news and hear about shooting after shooting, countries at war, thefts, violence, you name it. Not that everyone should ignore important local and world issues (never!) but we could all stand to start the day on a more positive note! So grab a cup of coffee or your favorite tea and save a few minutes to watch and think happy thoughts. Check it out and have an amazing day!

http://positivewaytostart.blogspot.com/



Sunday, January 5, 2014

New update to the Huskies tab!!! Head on over to check it out, complete with video! Happy winter all!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Season in Review

Sorry all for being a major blog slacker, but my training and my pups have been keeping me pretty busy! Now that the season is over for me (I think) I feel like I finally have time for a recap of the season.

This year I started early on training for a road marathon and quickly found that I was absolutely bored out of my mind. I wanted to get back to trails. The shorter distance on the roads were great, exhilarating in fact, but the longer, slower runs on the road were a complete bore to me. So, I decided to change it up.  I've been working on speed since we got back from vacation and decided to work on a shorter 5k goal, one that I've been thinking about for awhile now. This would allow me to get my both my longer runs in on the trails and the fun, shorter, speedy road runs that I like too! The 5k goal became my #1 priority over all other races, and I think it did me well to focus on that goal for awhile. I reached my 5k goal at my second 5k of the year at the Ritley Run in Perry.

After reaching my 5k goal my new goal was to focus on Bills' Bad Ass 50k in November.  I set a time goal, but within two weeks reached that pace during training so I then had to re-evaluate and set a new goal. I could've just left it at that I suppose - but I wanted to work hard. What fun is setting a goal if you are certain you can meet it?!  Setting a goal that you are sure you can meet is neither fun nor exciting to me. Working towards the unknown is such a thrill.  I spent nearly every weekend on the Bills' course - at least one day anyway. The only two weekends I missed were weekends in which I raced longer races - The Green Monster Mountain Race (25k) and the Run With Scissors (marathon).

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER IN REVIEW:

The Green Monster Mountain race is a race I scheduled, literally, at the last moment. I found out about it the week of the event, and signed up for it the last day of registration.  I debated for a bit on signing up for this one, but in the end decided to do it with the sole purpose of going to PA to check out the area in a fairly controlled setting. I'll be racing Eastern States 100 in August in the same general area, so I wanted to get a feel for what I'm in store for, wanted to get a feel for what exactly I had to train for. This race was a true mountain race with 4,000 feet of elevation gain for the 25k.  It was incredible! I wish I had that kind of terrain in my backyard! I went to the race with zero expectations, did not taper, and even did my regular hill repeats that week - but was very pleased to come out with 4th place for the women.

After Green Monster I ran another 5k. This one was a bit unexpected as well.  I had come down with a cold and wanted to wait another day (Sunday instead of Saturday) before I ran my 25 miler for the week. I was hoping it would get better somehow in one day haha. I saw there was a 5k down the road so I started to think about running it. That night (Friday night) I was feeling so bad I decided that I would not set my alarm, and if I woke up in time to make it to the race fine - and if not then that must mean I needed my sleep and to do just that. As it turned out I did wake up in time (much to my surprise) and half grumpily headed to the race.  I didn't run a great time there - but an amazing thing did happen (and probably will never happen again!) I took the race. Men's/women's, I came in first overall! This was truly shocking to me. It wasn't too shocking during the race - say for the first mile because I have a nasty little habit of starting out way to fast. ALWAYS.  But once the first mile hit and I was still in front I was shocked. I turned around to see where the closest person was and got even more shocked.  From that point on it was just adrenaline.  I finally broke the tape at a finish line!! What an unusual and great feeling!

Next up: Run With Scissors Marathon
I've always wanted to run RWS.  It looked like a fun race. This year it worked out perfect with my Bills' Bad Ass training schedule - It would be my last long run before then.  The week of the race I still had my nasty cold and was a little bummed by that. I went to the doctor, something I don't do very often, and was hoping he could do something - but knowing that he probably couldn't. Doc was honest and did not give me anything - and told me the normal "Get lots of sleep and drink lots of water".  He even told me not to take any over the counter meds, as they could make the duration of my cold longer and symptoms even more severe-which surprised me. I enjoyed that honest bit of information! I followed orders and got lots of sleep (LOTS).  I wasn't feeling 100% by Run With Scissors but I was definitely feeling MUCH better than before. I again had no expectations for this race other than trying to maintain my goal pace for BBA.  Much to my surprise I wound up finishing in first place/females for the marathon! I received a nice trophy and got to pick out new shoes (which I gave to hubby).  It was a fun race and I definitely would love to do it again next year if recovery from Eastern States and my brother's wedding ;-) go well.

Fast forward to Bills' Bad Ass 50k:
Two weeks later and it was time for BBA! The first time I ran this race I was a bit unprepared, and BBA was a bit of a shocker! This time I told myself I would be ready! Again I spent nearly every weekend on the Bills' course trying to improve the previous weeks time. I met lots of new runner friends while doing so, and got reacquainted with old ones. There were group runs and solo runs. Long runs and short runs. Bad runs and good runs. Then just as fast as training began, it was over. Time for the race! Both Chef Bill and Wild Bill put on such a fun, great event. If you're lucky, you'll get screamed at during the race from the great bullhorn. You're almost guaranteed to get screamed at going up the hill for the last mile!  Yes you're tired, but it really puts a smile on your face when you hear it. It almost makes you forget about the climb. Almost! It was great seeing so many runner friends at BBA. So many friends did so well - got PR's, ran their first 50k (congrats awesome newbies!!), ran a great race after running a double marathon 2 weeks before, and one strong lady running through cancer....hearing and seeing people's personal achievements is always so amazing! You just never know what you're capable of until you try!  As for me, I had a good day - I came smack in the middle of my original goal and my revised goal. That got me a 50k PR, first female and third overall. Getting a 50k PR and on the Bills' course made my day even more! Two days later and I'm pretty shocked at my recovery time - it's pretty much nonexistent. No sore muscles, no aches and pains (I am milking some massages from the hubby though haha shhhhhh!!!) I'm feeling good and ready to get focused on Eastern States training. Lots of Ohio and Canadian running friends are going so it should be one fantastic party in the woods, and I just can't wait!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cleveland Marathon, Barkley & Yepa, i2P, Mexico, And Drinks to Keep You Cool!

Pages that have been updated: Huskies, i2P, Travel, and Recipes.  Check it all out!

I hope everyone is enjoying this fantastic (?) weather we're having! The hot and humid days have me longing for snow more than ever.  I miss it so much! However this weather is here to stay for a bit, so I added some nice cool smoothie and drink recipes to my Recipes page.  Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

My hubby is not like me.  He does rather well in this nonsense.  So well in fact that he qualified for the Boston Marathon when he ran the Cleveland Marathon!  I couldn't have been more thrilled to see him cross that finish line!  It was a hot and steamy day, but he pulled it off.  I can't wait to go back to Boston and cheer HIM on this time! HOOAH!  The hubs also recently had a birthday, in which he got treated to many surprises throughout the day:

 
But the best surprise of all came at night, when so many of our friends came out to the Willoughby Brewing Company for his birthday.  Thanks so much to everyone for coming!


Check out my updates on Barkley and Yepa on their tab above, including details involving their first ever "race" at Muddy Paws this past weekend.  I have also updated my Travel section with highlights from our recent trip to Mexico - and please check out the latest with i2P! My friend Ray is currently running about 70km a day in the Gobi desert, and a new youth expedition has been announced!

Happy Running to you all, and stay cool!


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Stopping to smell the flowers

Before I start this post, if you're interested check out my "Family" tab for an update on today's Perry Fire Department Pancake Breakfast!  Also check out the I2P tab for a brief post on the "company picninc bwahahaa"  Now for my run post:

I mentioned in my last post that long runs were less than ideal for me.  I really have been loving the short and fast speed sessions.  However a run with a friend and some input from Ray on nutritional needs may have put the mojo back into my long run. 

I've started my back to back long runs up again and have been less than enthusiastic about that. That is until last week when we happened to start a run at the same time Mike Nicholson was there.  My hubby, Mike, and I all decided to run together. I've always liked and admired both Mike and his wife.  Before we started, Mike had stated "I was  going to run and take some pictures if you don't mind".  Instantly I said "Hey I used to do that!"  and inside I thought,
"What the hell happened, why don't I do that anymore?" And that was the beginning of a run with a few realizations. 

We ran and chatted and laughed the whole time.  I haven't had that much fun on a run in a long time.  (All the time wondering why).  At what point did I start to show up at the trail head, put my head down, and decide to "Lets just get this shit over with"? At what point did I lose what trail running really is all about? In the end, I decided it doesn't really matter.  What matters is that I knock that shit off and get back to how it used to be.

We run North Chagrin ALL the time.  Seriously ALL the time.  I thought I knew it inside and out.  But apparently not!   Mike showed us a few things that we both missed along the way, and the whole time I was both enjoying myself and kicking myself for being so lame.  My "put your head down and get it done" mentality really sucked.   I stopped noticing things, stopped exploring.  And truth is - when I was doing those things -taking pictures, stopping to look at cool stuff along the way I was running better, I was happier, and loved running so much more.  So I promised myself I wouldn't let it get to that point again.  As a bit of a reminder of my promise to myself my friend Steve Hawthorne posted today "Perfect day to run with Fools and friends! Be sure to check out the little flowers popping up everywhere. It's going to be a great day :)" A perfect reminder.  I also spoke to Ray about all this, and he wanted me to revamp my food stuff.  He gave me an EXCELLENT breakfast  recipe that I absolutely love.  The combo of the run with Nicholson and Ray's nutritional advice seemed to do wonders!  What happened this week? Over 30 seconds faster per mile on the road on Saturday than last week and 2 MINUTES faster per mile on the trail the following day!! Woot! AND I stopped to look at the pretty flowers on more than one occasion.  (And heard the beautiful birds, and noticed the beauty of leaves blowing in the wind.)  Simple beauty.  Thanks so much guys for making me realize I lost a little bit of something along the way! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

HUSKIES, FIRE EXPLORERS, NEW GIG, AND AUBURN!

It's been awhile since I've done a "what's going on in my life" post so here goes! So many changes are happening, and all for the better.  I've got a new job, ANOTHER new husky,started a fundraiser for the Perry Fire Explorers,  and my son got accepted into Auburn's EMS program for his junior and senior year!  So many good things to keep me busy along with the running!

Since I've done a blog reorg (business people cringe, but in this case it's good) you can pick and choose which items you'd like to hear about - check out each tab above and see for yourself!

My new job and running updates will be below.  But the other info you can find in the following:

New husky = Check out my "Huskies" tab
My son's acceptance into Auburn = "Family" tab
New fundraiser = "Community" tab

So there you have it :)  I'm going to enjoy filling up the photography tab.  My wish is to take a new picture each week, but we'll see how that goes.  Until then feel free to browse through the albums I've got links to. 

NEW JOB:
I'm so please to say I got a new job!! I started my new position on March 11, and so far so good.  So very good! I enjoy coming to work, and don't even mind the 10 - 10 1/2 hour days I've been putting in! It's been such a relief - my stress is gone, my mood is better, and I realize now just how stressed I was at the last place.  I've only had 1 stressful day at work so far (and this stress I really brought on myself, as I failed to recognize I was NOT in the old place anymore).  This particular day my stomach hurt, I was exhausted, swelling - hmmmm sound familiar?! At the end of the day I realized what I did and was pretty mad at myself.  But was a bit happy.  YES happy! Happy because I realized I felt like this EVERY single day before and don't have to go through that anymore.  FANTASTIC!!  Just that thought alone lifted my spirits immensely!  At the last place I tried everything.  Meditating, Yoga, listening to comedy programs at work - nothing did the trick.  I'm so incredibly relieved.  The department is awesome, my boss is great, coworkers are fantastic - and here's the BIGGIE.....They are giving one of us the opportunity to work from home starting in June! I certainly threw my name in the hat for that one! Even if I don't get that chance it's ok, since my department is great.  This first work from home employee will be a guinea pig of sorts before they open up more spots for the rest of us.  Incredible!!!  So glad I'm here!

RUNNING:
Since the day after I found out I would be working elsewhere - BOOM. Got sick.  Acutally I expected it and was not the least bit surprised.  The stress was gone, my body didn't have to fight the stress anymore and it was just letting go.  My cold lasted over an entire month though.  That was a bit aggravating.  I kept the runs shorter and did no speed work or hill work.  Just tedious boring runs which were brutal.  I wanted to feel my lungs burn, wanted to feel the ache of a good run in my muscles, but I was patient.  As I said I expected this and there wasn't really anything I could do other than just get through it and that was mighty fine with me.  Now the cold is gone and my awesome friend and coach Ray Zahab has given me my first 3 week training block back.  This week marks the last week of that block and I've already seen improvements. ( And LOVE the fact that I'm back to doing speedwork again!  To think I used to dread it in the beginning!!)  I'm starting to really enjoy the gnarly, brutal, shorter speedwork sessions over the mega long stuff.  I just love the feeling of working as hard as you can and those speedwork sessions give me that.  To go on a long run and have to pace yourself so you save some for the end has been agonizing to me.  I do have to say though, a recent run with one of our friends, Mike Nicholson really opened my eyes to some things on the long run - but will share that in my next blog.  So there you have it! First three weeks back at real training and things are looking up!  I'm pretty pumped and ready to get my next 3 weeks block!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Battle against cancer: W O N



This is a must see piece on our friends Mike and Beth Shaughnessy!  Job well done to runner friends John Telich and Doug Hermann of Fox 8 News Cleveland for putting this story together.  I've long been wanting to blog for awhile about our inspirational friends but didn't want to touch on such a private issue with them while they were dealing with so much.  But the good news is Mike is now  CANCER FREE!! Our time was spent this weekend at Mike's "I beat cancer party" which was a blast.  Mike and Beth are both such amazingly strong and inspiring people.  Hugs to you both!!

Please check out the story on them here:
http://fox8.com/2013/04/02/marathon-runner-wins-battle-against-cancer/