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Greetings faithful readers!! I just wanted to let you know that I am changing my blog's location to . Please be sure and bookmark my new location - or just sign up for email updates and you should get an email when I have a new blog post!

Livejournal has been good for me for the past 9 years, but I think by moving to WordPress, I might get more readers and reach a broader audience.

Thank you for your continued support!!

2014 Fitness & Running Goals

Happy 2014!! I hope your year is off to a great start! Here are some of my fitness and running goals for the coming year:

2014 Run this Year Badge
-- My goal is not to run 2014 miles, but 2014 kilometers which equals roughly 1250 miles - definitely doable for me with marathon training and training for the 2015 Disney World Dopey Challenge.
-- Along with this goes training smartly so that I don't get injured again and earn a new marathon PR at the Marine Corps Marathon in October (and hopefully a sub-5 hour marathon as well)!


-- Complete 14 races in 2014. So far I have 10 on my tentative schedule. I'm not registered for any, although I did defer the Marine Corps Marathon from last year, so that's a given.

-- My goal is to complete all 90 days of P90x3!
I'llbe starting P90x3 on Monday (6 Jan)!! If you'd like to order your own copy of P90x3 and join me in getting fit, check out my BeachBody page! Yes, I'm a BeachBody Coach and you can order all your favorite workout videos and Shakeology from me.


-- continue to be the best #UCAN Ambassador I can

Nuun Ambassador Badge
-- be the best Nuun Ambassador I can

And my focus word for the year is
I need to be more consistent in my eating (and not consistent with the bad stuff) and my fitness.

2013 Running Recap

Overall, I had a really great year of running! Sure, I didn't meet my goal of 1000 miles, or even my secondary goal of 800 miles, but it was still my highest mileage year!  Here's a little run-down of everything running for the year:

Number of runs: 175
Number of miles run: 759
Average miles per week: 15.1
Average miles per month: 66
Highest week: 34
Highest month: 104
Number of Races: 8 (3 5K, 1 10K, 1 10 mile, 2 half marathons, 1 full marathon)
Number of Injuries: 1 (stress fracture in my right tibia)
Number of weeks off from said injury: 7 1/2
Number of pairs of shoes worn: 4
Amount of GenUCAN and Nuun consumed: A LOT!!!

Stay tuned tomorrow for my goals for 2014 and my focus word for the year!


Exciting news & Giving Back

First of all, my exciting news!! I received and email this afternoon from Nuun. If you've seen my Instagram pics or seen my tweets over the past few months, you'll know that I've fallen in love with Nuun and having so many delicious flavors in my water daily. Well, a while back, I decided on a whim to apply to be a Nuun Ambassador for 2014, but didn't really expect much to come of it. But, my expectations were happily proved wrong with that email this afternoon! Or should I say afterNUUN? :-) I am excited to announce that I have been selected to be a Nuun Ambassador for 2014!!! I want to thank the Nuun company for selecting me to represent their great product for the next year and prepare everyone who follows me on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook for even more pictures and posts about Nuun. I'm honored to have been selected, and I look forward to meeting my fellow Ambassadors and sharing my love of Nuun.

Nuun Ambassador Badge

And now for the giving back part of the title. Today began what is oftentimes the most fun part of the year for us Army Musicians. It's the time of year when we get to say Thanks! to those who have supported us throughout the year. It's our way of giving back to the Army community. What am I talking about? Caroling!!! We put various small groups together, compile a list of places, and head out the door, often wearing Santa hats! This afternoon the Brass Quartet (a Euphonium, French horn, trombone, & tuba) that I was a member of headed out and went to 6 different places. One building we played at several different locations, including for a 1-star General. We were well-received nearly everywhere we went, and especially at the Child Development Center when we played for the kids in Thomas' room and the room next door. We even got some holiday treats at our last stop of the day! We had a great time this afternoon and I look forward to next Christmas when I will hopefully get to go caroling again!

#elf4health Gratitude List

If you've seen my Instagram/Twitter/Facebook feed, you've probably noticed that I'm participating in this fun thing called Elf 4 Health. Each day there is a different challenge regarding being healthy - nutrition, fitness, self-worth, etc. Today's challenge is to list 20 things you are grateful for, so that's what this post is about (and it works well since I never did a post on Thanksgiving). Without further ado, here are 20 things I'm grateful for. . . (in no particular order after number 7)

1 - My awesome husband Ryan.  He supports me in all my crazy endeavors and is an awesome daddy to our two boys. I know I don't thank him enough for all he does, but without him, I wouldn't be where I am today. I love you, Sweetie!!

2 - My older son Robert. He's your typical super-active 9 year old and although sometimes he does things without thinking and making us upset at him, he's an awesome kid and I'm glad he gave me the title of Mommy.

3 - My younger son Thomas. This is my first time experiencing a little one during these months of being 2 (I was deployed when Robert was this age) and it's so wonderful watching him blossom! His vocabulary seems to grow every day and he never ceases to amaze me with how smart he is. Yes, he cries every time he wakes up in his crib and that's a little frustrating, but the smile he gives me when he first sees me more than makes up for it!

4 - My parents. Without the way they brought me up I would not be the person I am today. I'm thankful they raised me the way they did. I can't wait until I retire in a little less than 6 years and will be able to see them more than twice a year.

5 - My brother. Yes, we had our sibling squabbles while growing up, but now I'd consider us not only siblings, but friends. My brother is a wonderful example of giving - not only is he outstanding in his field of work, but he gives of his time and effort to his church and community. He's an awesome and fun Uncle and Godfather to both my boys.

6 - My kitty cat Callie. My pretty, fluffy, calico kitty was my first baby. I've had her since the day she was born in March 1999, before I even started my Army journey. I love how her purrs and "kisses" can soothe away any stress. And despite being 14 1/2 years old, until this past week, she randomly tears through the house like a little kitten. (She's going to the vet tomorrow to confirm/deny my suspicions of a urinary tract infection) It took her a while to warm up to Robert and now she's finally warming up to Thomas as well.

7 - My Army family. When you're in the Army, you are away from your family and don't get to go home-home very often. Those you serve with and their families become your family and you help each other out when help is needed, celebrate with each other during joyous occasion and mourn during the sad times. My Army family here at Fort Rucker is one of the best I've had in my 14 years.

8 - Music. Music has been a part of my life ever since I can remember. I grew up with my mom and aunts playing the piano, and I learned piano when I was 5 and grew up singing in the elementary school chorus and church choir when I hit middle school. I started playing the trombone in the band in 7th grade and haven't looked back. Music is soothing despite it being my job. I couldn't imagine a life without music.

9 - Running. Running is my me-time. It's my time when I don't have to be Mommy/Honey/Sergeant (not that I mind being any of those things). I can be alone with my thoughts or lack thereof. It's my time maintain my sanity, and my family can tell if I've gone too many days without running (or more recently, just working out). I love getting out on the roads in the early morning hours before the rest of my family is awake. I love training for events and the awesome feeling when I've completed my most recent race, no matter the distance! I also love the camaraderie at the races where no one is a stranger after more than a few minutes.

10 - Being sidelined with a stress fracture. Yes, it may seem strange that I'm grateful for being injured, but I am. It finally got through to me that I need to do cross training and weight training in addition to my running. While injured, I discovered that I really don't mind the elliptical or the upright bike. I rediscovered my love for the rowing machine and I tried the Jacob's Ladder for the first time! And of course, I was able to swim without thinking to myself that I really should be running instead. Cross training will definitely be a permanent part of my training from now on (I still need to work on the weight training).

11 - Baking. I love baking. For the most part, it's calming to hear the whir of the mixer and it's definitely calming smelling the yumminess from the oven. I love the look on Robert's face when he gets the first taste of whatever just came out of the oven and all the Mmmmms while everyone is eating my most recent baked good.

12 - Lindsay and Elle. They're the ones who started #elf4health so without them, I wouldn't be doing this super fun challenge and wracking my brain to make a list of 20 things I'm grateful for.

13 - My Church Family. We attend Triumphant Cross Lutheran Church and absolutely love it!! Everyone is super friendly and welcoming, and they love kids. If Thomas starts fussing during the service, no one says a thing. If Thomas goes up and walks around the altar after church, no one says a thing. If I'm playing trombone for special music and Thomas decides he needs to walk up and get a hug from Mommy, no one says a thing. Our church family welcomes everyone - it doesn't matter your color, nationality, age, or sexual orientation, all are welcome with open arms. And that's the way a church should be!

14 - My health. For the most part, I'm a pretty healthy person. Yes, I suffer from allergies and they sometimes get out of control and I end up with a sinus infection, but other than that, I'm rarely sick.

15 - Football and NASCAR. Those are the 2 main sports my family watches and gives us something to watch just about every weekend throughout the year!

16 - Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/DailyMile (aka Social Media). Without these outlets, I wouldn't be able to share my life with my family back home in Michigan (and a ton of other people around the world) as easily. I wouldn't have met so many awesome runners/athletes/moms and learned so much from them. I probably wouldn't be the runner I am today if it were not for Twitter and DailyMile and all the encouragement I get from my friends on both. So maybe I overshare sometimes, but if even 1 person enjoys reading about all my activities and looking at all my pictures (Hi Mom!), then it's worth it.

17 - Chocolate. It's chocolate. I don't think I need to say anything further.

18 - Good water. I think we might take our water for granted here in the US, myself included. But when you've been to countries where the water isn't safe to drink, having safe drinking water is definitely something to be grateful for.

19 - My cell phone.  (Ok, so I'm really stretching here. .. ) I love that I can call people, text people, share pictures, look up information, and play games all on one small device.

20 - The end. I'm grateful that this is the end. It was hard for me to think of even 19 things I am grateful for - and this post took me all day to write. I started it at 7:30 this morning when I got up and it's now 9:20 when I'm posting it.  Whew.

Thankful Thursday

It's been a week since I was diagnosed with a stress fracture in my tibia just below my right knee. Yes, it sucks that I'm injured and I can't run or jump or march for at least 30 days, but I have a lot to be thankful for despite being injured.

I'm thankful that it's just a minor injury! We caught it right at the beginning and it's so minor that it didn't show up on the x-ray, only the MRI. There is also no ligament or tendon damage!

I'm thankful for cross training! I can swim, bike, aqua jog, and use the elliptical to my heart's content. So far, I've only been on the elliptical, but I have plans for a 45-60 minute bike ride tomorrow and I'll definitely be getting in the pool next week.

I'm thankful for my (mostly) positive attitude! I plan on using this to my advantage and coming back even stronger than before.

SETBACKCOMEBACK <-------- That's going to be me!!
(photo from The Active Mum blog)

Talladega Half Marathon report

This past Sunday I ran the Talladega 21000 (Half Marathon) for the 2nd time (last year being the 1st). Race morning started with a 5 a.m. alarm and after I had gotten mostly ready, I woke the rest of the family. We all finished getting ready, packed up, and were checked out of the hotel and on our way to the Talladega Super Speedway by 6:15. It was only about a 20 minute drive to the track and we had no problem finding parking. I had my 2 packets of chocolate GenUCAN (mixed with 12 oz of water) and then hit the porta-potties. The line wasn't bad at all - maybe 10 minutes from getting in line to being done. And then it was time to say goodbye to my guys and head to the start line. I took a couple of quick pictures with my phone and then we were off!

Race Start Selfie before start

The race started just after turn 4 (it's a NASCAR track, so think like a race car driver) and then we ran down pit lane. My guys were waiting for me near the end of pit lane, and I handed my jacket off to them - I started with my jacket because it was only 55 degrees out and it felt chilly after not having anything below 70 for months. I had zipped my phone into my pocket of my jacket, so I didn't run with it.


The race continued around the track and then near turn 3, we headed up on the outside access road around to turn 4 again where we exited and headed out on the roads for a few miles. We were still on track property, just running around the parking areas. Part of it was on a crushed gravel road and that was a nice change. Around mile 6.5, we had a short steep climb to the grandstands and we ran under the grandstand on the front stretch, continued around the track on the upper access road, and under the back grandstands. My Garmin went a little wonky under the grandstands, but it all averaged out in the end. After the back grandstand, we headed back onto the track via the tunnel that goes under the track!! It's a short steep downhill and then a short steep uphill, but oh so cool to run under the track! Then we ran on the infield access road back to just past the start/finish line for our final lap around the track - this time we went all the way around. And it was during these last couple of miles that my knee decided to remind me that it was hurting. Up until about mile 11.5, I was on pace for a new PR, but then my knee started hurting and I had to slow down and walk a little bit more.

I did manage to finish though, and with my 3rd best half marathon time! I finished in 2:17:34, which was 49/78 in my age group, 188/399 for females (yay for top 50%!!), and 503/813 overall. My mile splits were 10:29 (had to stop and retie my shoe), 10:18, 10:13, 10:18, 9:48, 9:58, 11:10 (end of 6/beginning of 7 was under the grandstand, so may not be accurate), 10:15, 10:15, 10:08, 10:46 (that's when my knee started hurting), 10:58, 12:04, and 9:10 pace for the last .1. I had no fuel during the race except for water at the water stops - yay for my 2 packs of UCAN before the race!! Other than my knee, I felt really good the whole race, and given my knee, I'm really happy with the results.

After getting my medal and some orange slices, I found my guys and we headed to Victory Lane for post-race photos. We got a family picture in Victory Lane and then headed to the garage area for the post race party. I guess I should mention at some point that it was post race for all of us! Ryan and the boys did the Talladega 1000 - a 1km fun run/walk. Yay for them!!!! Robert wants to do the 5K next year. On the way to the post-race party, Ryan stopped to talk with one of the track employees for a little bit, so I took a minute to take a selfie of me with my medal.

Selfie after

Jim n Nick's BBQ provided the food for post-race and it was really good - pulled pork or turkey sandwiches, chips, and coleslaw. After we ate, we let the boys go play in the kids' play area for a little while - they both had a lot of fun in the bounce house!! I think Thomas almost had too much fun because this happened about 10 minutes after we got in the car to head home:

Sleeping Thomas

It was a really fun race and a fun family weekend, and I hope that I'll be able to run this race again next year! It was also a good training run for the Marine Corps Marathon in October, and a good trial for my fueling!

I'll leave you with a shot of the race shirt and medal. . .

Race Shirt and Medal

Marathon Monday

Ok, so it's not quite Monday anymore, but close enough! Here's my wrap up of last week's training for the Marine Corps Marathon.

Monday evening was the first day of soccer practice for Big Kid. Seeing as how I didn't get up in the morning for my planned 7 miles, I took Little Man out in the jogging stroller for a little 5K during soccer. I failed to check the temperature before I started and almost died by mile 3 because I started out WAY too fast for the "felt like" 92 degrees. Oops! But at least I got a few miles in.

Tuesday morning was an easy speedwork day for the Ten Miler Team. It was a cut-back week for them. We did a mile warm up and then a 2 mile time trial. I ran my 2 miles in 16:48, my second fastest 2 mile time. Not bad considering the tired legs from the night before and still 12 seconds faster than I need to max my run on my PT test! We ended with a nice easy 1 mile cool down.

I actually managed to get up and run Wednesday morning and I got a nice easy 6.9 miles in! I tackled the hills along one of the bike path routes and then just kind of meandered through the neighborhood to get home. I finished the 6.9 miles in 1:10:09 - not a bad way to start off the day!

Thursday was a rest day for the team, so no practice. I ran a nice easy 3.2 miles on one of my flatter routes. Finished in 30:30.

Friday was a rest day for me. It was nice getting a little extra sleep. However, I was still up about 5:30 or so, so I got some crocheting done and I did a short 10 minute yoga work out!

Saturday I knocked out a super hilly 13.1 miles for my long run (no team practice as most everyone was racing 5Ks). I finished in 2:19:47 - 15 seconds per mile faster than when I ran this same route back in the spring!! After my turn around point (it was an out-and-back route), I saw a snake on the side of the road that was about as big around as my forearm. Thankfully it was dead, but talk about a spike in my heart rate! I felt pretty good after this run despite the hills. Training on hills will be nice come my half marathon in 4 weeks and the Marine Corps Marathon in October - both those courses are fairly flat!!

Sunday was a rest day, and it was nice sleeping in a little more than usual. However Little Man decided that 6:30 was a perfectly ok time to wake up; Mommy would have liked to have slept for another hour or hour and a half.

Total miles for the week - 29.4

It was a really good week of training!!

Wordless Wednesday


To go along with yesterday's post. . .













Toddler Tuesday

23 months. How in the world has my baby become a 23 month old toddler?? Almost 2 years! It's so much fun watching Little Man's personality come out more and more every day and his vocabulary growing by leaps and bounds (helped along by Big Brother, of course). If he likes something, he lets you know. If he doesn't like something, he definitely lets you know. I'm going to try and share 23 fun things about my Little Man to celebrate 23 months.

1 - He loves Mickey Mouse. And he knows how make "Mee Mou" appear on the TV - he'll grab the remote and bring it to Ryan or I and ask "Mee Mou peese". Or rather, demand. Once Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is on TV, he will actually sit still for almost 10 minutes!

2 - He knows a whole bunch of animal sounds! Cat, dog, cow, horse, sheep, chicken, rooster, duck, monkey, lion, tiger, snake. Maybe more that I can't remember off the top of my head.

3 - He's talking more and more in 2 word sentences and sometimes even 3 word sentences! "Up peese Mommy." "Light on?" "Cup peese." "Tat oo (thank you) Bubba." "Eat Daddy."

4 - He loves balls. Big ones, small ones, cat toy ones. He can throw and kick really well for a kid his age!

5 - He loves giving our kitty cat hugs and kisses. And he's finally figured out "gentle hands" and is starting to pet Callie more. And even better, Callie is tolerating him.

6 - He loves art - drawing, painting, coloring. One of the first things he heads for at daycare in the morning when we drop him off is the magna-doodle.

7 - He loves his Big Brother. No, he LOVES his Big Brother. If Big Kid is out playing with his friends or otherwise not around, we hear a lot of "Where Bubba?"

8 - He can put away some food. His favorites right now are yogurt (I get Chobani Champions for him), berries, grapes, cheese, corn on the cob, spaghetti, meatloaf, mac & cheese, and pancakes. And fruit snacks. He asks for "snack?" and he knows where they are. In fact. . .

9 - He can open doors with doorknobs (sometimes). We had to get doorknob covers because he could consistently open the pantry door where his fruit snacks and raisins are.

10 - Doors have to be closed. All the time. Heaven forbid you leave a door open when you leave the room. He will go and close it for you.

11 - He loves books. He "reads" by himself and he loves when we read to him.

12 - He loves his mommy. A LOT. If mommy's not in the room, he gets fussy and tries to find me. (Not that I'm complaining one bit!)

13 - He doesn't like to share his daddy (except with Big Brother). We were at a friend's house the other night and they have a 14 month old. Ryan was holding her and playing with her and Thomas ran up to him "No-no-no-no-no. Mine."

14 - He loves swings and slides. If it nice out (which it hasn't been lately again - TOO much rain) and I ask if he wants to go to the playground, his reply is "Yeah! YAY" complete with clapping.

15 - He also just loves playing outside in general. He likes "sweeping" our back patio.

16 - He likes riding his bike with Big Brother and friends. He can't quite pedal his tricycle yet, but he loves being out there and Ryan or I will push him. He wears his helmet just like the bigger kids do.

17 - He loves riding in the trailer behind my bike. He talks and laughs and giggles the whole time. And when we go over bumps, it's "bump, bump, bump!"

18 - He likes "running" with mommy, although the other day when I had him in the stroller he'd ask "Where Bubba?" about every 2 minutes.

19 - He loves to help with the recycling. He knows the difference between recycle and trash at home and will happily bring stuff to the recycle bin (or the trash can) when we ask him to. He also helps bring our recycling to the curb every Monday. And at church - he helps collect the bulletins from people that don't want to keep them and he puts them in the recycling basket. Everyone at church thinks it's really neat!

20 - He loves bringing us our shoes when we're getting ready to go bye-bye. And he knows the difference between boots and shoes and sandals.

21 - He doesn't like sleeping with anything - no pillow, no blanket, no stuffed animals. All his stuffed animals, his blanket, and his puppy pillow reside at one end of his crib and he sleeps at the other end. If you try and cover him with a blanket, he will kick/push it off before going to sleep.

22 - He loves exploring everything, but he's also pretty good about stopping exploring if one of us says "No touch."

23 - He knows "hot!" Every time I open the oven door, he reminds me "hot." And also food. Even yogurt, cheese, and berries are "hot" and need to be blown on.

Wow! That was harder than I thought it would be, but I hope you enjoy the snapshot of Little Man's life! Stay tuned tomorrow for some pictures of my Little Man.

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January 2014


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