29 December 2012

2012 Athletics Recap

2012 was a really exciting year regarding athletics. I continued running, and I added swimming, cycling, and triathlon! Here are some highlights from the year:

  • Hit Level 20 on Fitocracy (I've acquired a milestone number of points, but I'm not sure what number of points/increments determines the levels)
  • Hit Level Purple on Nike+ (I've ran 2500+ KM since 2007)
runs by month for 2012
some random statistics
the pace trend went down hill because running upwards of 18 miles for marathon training will drag the pace a bit
I like to run in the morning to start the day and get it out of the way so it's not hanging over my head. = )
lots of new records per Nike+! (note, some are slightly off when compared to official race results (which are better times), but that's okay)

I started using a social fitness website called Fitocracy this year. You track your workouts, earn points, and level up! Here's how I ended 2012 per Fitocracy:

Here are some fun 2012 running statistics (thanks to Nike+):

Books Read in 2012

2012 was a bumpy year, and my reading lulled a bit. I only read 18 books in 2012; all but 2 were novels. (Note that I'm currently in between 4 books right now, so hopefully that will kick off January 2013 well enough.) The links below will take you to more information about the book. The list is in reverse-chronological order.
My top 5 favorite books read this year are as follows, in descending order:
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier
Be the Pack Leader by Cesar Millan
Marathon: You Can Do It! by Jeff Galloway

28 December 2012

2012 NY Resolutions Recap

All righty - 2013 is nearly here! That means it's time for my annual blog to recap my year's resolutions' success and to announce my resolutions for the upcoming year!

The following are my resolutions for 2012 and their results. (Click here to see the related blog post.)

  • pay off another significant chunk of debt - 100% successful! In 2012 I put $15,650 towards debt (and interest...)! In 2011 I paid $11,365 towards debt (and interest...). That puts me at a total of $27,015 of debt (and interest) paid in 24 months! As with last year, my student debt is a monster, so is my car payment since I bought new. Moving twice in May didn't help, but over all the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover method has continued working for me.
  • run two half marathons (13.1 miles) and my first full marathon (26.2 miles) - 67% successful! I ran the Beachmania Half Marathon, missed my mark on running a second half marathon, and FINISHED my first full marathon at the Space Coast Marathon. (I know, I have yet to blog the marathon - I'm working on it!)
  • earn Bs or better in all of my PSU master's courses (1 in each of the spring, summer, and fall semesters) - 100% successful! I earned an A in the spring, an A in the summer, and a B+ in the fall!
  • read 10+ books of the Bible - 0% successful... I haven't read one page of my Bible this year. I'm going to set a smaller but related goal for 2013. Maybe I should shift it to be related to attending church service. I really want to study the Bible, but I'm clearly not making this a priority... I'll have to give this one some thought.
  • scrapbook Heidi to the present - 2% successful... Well, another year has come and gone, and I'm not anywhere near having Heidi's scrapbook up to date. I did, however, get 2 pages done in November. That's worth something, but not much.
  • make a quilt - 0% successful... This stemmed from an idea to make my parents a quilt for Christmas. Given the multiple moves, a rough summer, and school I totally had no time to devote to making a quilt. I might return to this resolution in 2014 when I'm totally done with my master's degree.
  • make a baby boy blanket - 0% successful... This one also stemmed from a gift idea, but I never even picked out the yarn. This one really shouldn't have been made a resolution. My heart wasn't in this one.
  • learn to ballroom dance - 100% successful! Yay! After all of those red success rates, here is a great, big green one! I took two 6-week sessions of ballroom dancing at The Longwood Ballroom. Rick, Jennifer, and William - the instructors - are wonderful - just absolutely outstanding! Over the two sessions I learned Foxtrot, East Coast Swing, the Waltz, Rumba, Cha Cha, and Tango! I really miss the dances - I think I may make a resolution to attend some ballroom and/or swing dances in 2013.
  • continuously train with Heidi (agility, Schutzhund, or otherwise; formally or on my own) - 65% successful! I marked this 65% for a couple of reasons: (1) agility was only in session from January through April and from September through December since it's so hot in Florida in the summertime, and (2) because I didn't practice squat with Heidi over the summer like I should have (even though she retained quite a bit when we returned in September). So, I get credit for this one, but not full credit.
I achieved a 53.4% success rate with my 2012 New Year Resolutions. In 2011 I achieved a 64% success rate, so I'm naturally a little disappointed in myself percentage-wise - BUT! 2012 was a difficult year for me in general and financially, and I accomplished a lot of good things despite that fact - - - which leads me to 2013!

Now for my 2013 New Year Resolutions (in no particular order):
  • pay off $15,000+ of debt
  • earn a B or better in my final PSU master's course
  • graduate my PSU master's program
  • graduate my Leadership Development Program
  • attend church service at least once a month (attending church service can be substituted with an hour of studying/reading the Bible)
  • complete 5+ projects that have been on-going for (ahem) years (this could be anything from finishing my Australia puzzle, to using up the fabric purchased for making laptop sleeves, to using up some yarn that I've accumulated, to making my running t-shirt quilt, to puppy bandanas that are practically ready to be sewn)
  • read 24+ books (this year my number of books read was considerably low - probably a combined result of reading 3 of the Game of Thrones books (each is approximately 1000 pages) and having a rough year
  • do 3+ pages of scrapbooking (doesn't have to be Heidi's scrapbook; it can be my general scrapbook of life)
  • keep one weekend of each month deliberately open so that when that weekend arrives I can do whatever I please with no pressure or obligation; this is to help keep my stress levels in check (I've been consciously not over-busying myself since late October, and I've noticed significant benefits; if the month is truly too busy to do this, 2 free weekends must be set for the following month)
  • go on a fun hiking trip

Lastly, I came by a neat infographic about New Year's Resolutions on Pinterest. Click here to check it out.

That's it from me for now! I hope 2013 brings you good health and an abundance of joy! Happy New Year!

24 November 2012

Pre-Marathon Thoughts

Thoughts on Training:

Oh, boy! Oh, boy! Tonight is the eve of my first marathon!

Sunday, 25 November 2012
26.2 Mile Run
(click here for related blog)

Since last weekend's 10-miler I have taken it very easy. Lots of walking, lots of relaxing, lots of getting excited/nervous for the big race! I did a light run on Tuesday, but that's it.

The neck/back pain from the auto-wreck last Thursday has stayed away (at least for the time being), for which I am tremendously thankful!

No last-minute injuries (whew! I fretted over that one all week. I was so sure I'd trip down a flight of stairs and literally break my leg just before the race).

Monday my right knee started piping up. A light ache on the front-outside of the patella (knee cap). It persisted until Thursday, was absent Friday, but returned today - much to my dismay. However, I wore my running shoes to take Heidi for our long walk, and the pain was completely gone. Maybe it's shoe related? *shrug - so long as it isn't an issue tomorrow.

At least that's the only injury-ish thing I've experienced! That's something for which to be thankful!

Friday I took it easy. Made myself a nice spaghetti dinner to do some carbo-loading. Got good sleep and a large number of hours. Went to the expo today to pick up my packet and meet Bart Yasso! When I learned that he was doing book signings at the expo and speaking as the keynote at the pre-race night dinner (that I opted not to attend), I picked up his book. So far it's pretty amazing! It was a pleasure meeting him, and he left me a great note and his signature in my copy of his book. I'll have to post a picture of the message later, though. The rest of the expo was fun. Everyone was helpful, and I got a cool 26.2 headband/earmuff thing that wicks moisture. I plan to put it to use tomorrow since the temperature will be low enough to warrant some light gloves and ear protection (at least for this transplant Floridian).

I have my race bib and pace bib safety-pinned to my marathon shirt. I have a change of clothes packed. I have some Clif bars and my Hammer Endurolyte powder packed. I have my tag on my running sneakers. I have eaten a satisfying meal (albeit another spaghetti one). I diligently hydrated all day. I relaxed and did some walking with Heidi (it's her 3rd birthday today, by the by!). My race outfit has been set out and is ready to be donned. I think I'm as ready for this marathon thing as I can be!

Looking forward to seeing a few friends at the 24th mile to cheer me on! Stay tuned for photos and a recap of the race! See you on the flip side!

Happy running!

Below you can see a list of previous training updates, upcoming races, and three of my Pinterest boards that you might enjoy.

Previous Training Updates:

Click here to view the post about my taper 10-miler (17 NOV).

Click here to view the post about my my first 20-miler (10 NOV).

Click here to view the post about my training up to the week before this blog's 18-miler (3 NOV).

Click here to view the post about my training through my first 15-miler (28 OCT).

Upcoming Races:
Pinterest Boards of Interest:



Training Update

Thoughts on Training:

All right! I've got just a few minutes to make this post; I figured I ought to do it at least BEFORE the race. It's belated, but better late than never, they say.

Last Saturday marked the height of my marathon's taper mileage. I ran 10 miles, and it was great! Thanks to the friends who did some running with me! You guys made those 10 miles such a breeze!

During and afterwards I felt very energized, bouncy, buoyant. I think that means I did my taper properly. My legs were feeling good to go!

Not much more to say than that about that run. = ) Now for a quick pre-marathon post!

Below you can see a list of previous training updates, upcoming races, and three of my Pinterest boards that you might enjoy.

Happy running!

Previous Training Updates:

Click here to view the post about my taper 10-miler (17 NOV).

Click here to view the post about my my first 20-miler (10 NOV).

Click here to view the post about my training up to the week before this blog's 18-miler (3 NOV).

Click here to view the post about my training through my first 15-miler (28 OCT).

Upcoming Races:
Pinterest Boards of Interest:



21 November 2012

11 Simple Economic Lessons to Make You a Smarter Shopper on Black Friday

As a follow-on post to my previous one, here is a good article I came by, entitled 11 Simple Economic Lessons to Make You a Smarter Shopper on Black Friday.

Did you know that Black Friday takes it's name from the fact that it's the beginning of the time of year when a lot of stores go from red to black?

I've never been out for Black Friday, but I hear it's a complete zoo. If that's your thing, enjoy it, but at least go out with a plan, and don't let the retail world win. Happy shopping!

19 November 2012

7 Ways to Go Broke This [Holiday] Season

I'm on Dave Ramsey's email list, so every now and then I get his little newsletter. A recent one included this article: 7 Ways to Go Broke This [Holiday] Season. I thought it was a good read and wanted to share with you. Check it out if you're looking for ways to stay financially fit this Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Eve!

My way to go broke that I'm working to correct on my Christmas gift budget is the "Give presents to everyone in your family". But I'm extending it to include friends. In recent years I've purchased presents for friends who I've realized I don't necessarily need to give a present to. I'm updating my budget to give presents only to those who are very near and very dear to me this year. (Please don't hate me if you got a gift last year and don't get one this year. I'm trying to be smart with my money. It's not personal... not really.)

So, good luck to you as you build your Christmas budget and gift list. Remember, going into debt for months or more is not worth meeting the "obligation" of buying that second cousin a present. = P

PS - I'm getting really excited to share with you all how much debt I've paid off this year and to date since starting the Dave Ramsey Debt Snowball in January 2011! = ) Look for that blog towards the end of December/beginning of January.

12 November 2012

Training Update

Thoughts on Training:

I'm happy to report that I had FIVE friends join me for pieces of my first 20-mile run! Andrew joined me for my first lap around Lake Baldwin, and Oscar ran two quick laps with me - that put me at the 8-mile mark. At this point I drove home to grab Miss Heidi. Then we met up with Kat and did 4 miles around Baldwin Park; this brought me up to 12 miles - 8 to go! I ran out to the lake, then met up with Jenny for the last 5. Another huge thanks to my friends. You made those 20 miles a piece of cake.

Somehow 20 miles was easier than last weekend's 18. Not sure why: I got about the same amount of sleep, fueled up about the same, hydrated about the same. *shrug

I am getting pretty excited about my first full marathon. A fellow by the name of Bart Yasso is the keynote speaker at the Expo's Pre-Race Dinner. Mr. Yasso is a huge name in the running world, apparently. I'm surprised I'd not come by his name until I was reading through the marathon's website to get prepped for the race. Anyway, I'm not going to the dinner, but he'll be at the Expo the day before the race to sign copies of his book. I bought one today and aim to read it between now and the race (sorry, Cloud Atlas: bit of a time crunch on this one). He was practically begged to write a book containing his crazy running stories and experiences. I mean, this guy has done marathons on every continent. That's impressive, and I want to know more.

Aside from buying a book about running I also started a new list (I do love lists). This list is all about stuff I need to do in order to fully prepare myself for this marathon. It's not a complete list, and maybe never will be, but I'll probably blog it after the race as a guide to others interested in running a marathon.

Yesterday officially kicked off my tapering for the race. Yesterday I walked around like an old gorilla because the backs of my knees were killing me (due to my going out in 4-inch heels, not all the running - I know, I'm an idiot). I walked for a while with Heidi, and that made a big difference. Today I was all back to normal. No aches or pains. I am telling you, Hammer's Endurolytes are flat out amazing. Back to the tapering stuff! I'll do some cross-training and a couple light runs through the week, a 10-miler on Saturday (easy peasy compared to that 20-miler), and then it's race weekend! Yay!

17 NOV - 10 miles
24 NOV - rest for day before my first full marathon!

Bad news bears... The Color Run 5K has been rescheduled to the WDW Marathon Weekend, so I'm not longer planning to participate. I'm all Mickey that weekend. Sorry color. I still love you.

Below you can see a list of previous training updates, upcoming races, and three of my Pinterest boards that you might enjoy.

Happy running!

Previous Training Updates:

Click here to view the post about my my first 20-miler (10 NOV).

Click here to view the post about my training up to the week before this blog's 18-miler (3 NOV).

Click here to view the post about my training through my first 15-miler (28 OCT).

Upcoming Races:
Pinterest Boards of Interest:



Rock My Run

A couple weeks ago a friend introduced me to Rock My Run, a website dedicated to sharing awesome running music with runners. It's free to register, and, upon registration, you get your first credit - for free! Songs less than an hour long are 1 credit, songs 1-2 hours long are 2 credits, etc. Also, you get a free credit each month!

My first credit went towards a mix called Dub Run. It kept me going during my 20-miler last weekend, so I guess it works.

Thought I'd share!

07 November 2012

Training Update

Thoughts on Training:

Last weekend's long run (18 miles) was an interesting one, but I had great company the whole way, and for that I'm so thankful! Miss Heidi joined me for the first 3 miles, I did a lap (2.5 miles) with Kat (it was great catching up with her), 9 miles with Scott (he's a life saver, that one), and I wrapped up the last 3.5 miles with Miss Heidi (she got a workout on Saturday, for sure). A special thank you to Kat and Scott (and you, too, Heidi, even though you can't read). (I must confess something... that last set with Heidi... I didn't run it - I didn't even jog it - but I DID it by walking, and I'm okay with that.)

So, I said it was an "interesting one" because it was the first long run that really tested my dedication to this marathon training. I thought I'd have hit that wall so much sooner, and I'm happy that I held out as long as I did: I made it to just 3 weeks out from the race before I found myself starting to waver! I think this is largely due to my being of the very dedicated variety. When I dedicate myself to something, I put a plan together, and I attack it. I just do it. I like working through processes, working step-by-step (no pun intended here). So, when I decided to do this marathon, I put a training plan together, and have been executing it. Sure, the earlier portion of the training was a little flimsy, but for the last 2 months I've been very focused. In only 1 week of the last 6 have I deviated more than 3 miles from the plan for my long runs.

Anyway, I mention all of this to say that despite my tendency to be seemingly excessively dedicated, it was during this run that I found myself bouncing back and forth between doing my full 18 miles or not. It was during this run that I found myself questioning my decision to run a marathon. "Why am I sacrificing 3-5 hours of my Saturday mornings to move my body across this earth? Why am I doing this, again?"

It was during miles 12-16 that really challenged my stamina. It was a challenge to my stamina both mentally and physically, but, honestly, it's so much more mental than physical. If I don't push myself, then, physically (assuming proper hydration and energy supplements), I feel like I could run like Forest: just run and run and run. But it's a head game, you see: "sure, you can run all these miles, but will you?" It's like there's a devil sneaking up behind you when you're vulnerable, and it whispers all sorts of reasons as to why you should just quit now, and, if you do quit, if you let the devil win, then you are forced to watch your potential success float away on a cloud of guilt disguised as relief. It's the regret of having sold yourself short.

Upon reflection, and even during the run, it was quite funny to see myself ping-ponging in my determination to complete the run. I'm sure Scott got a kick out of it, listening to me banter with myself, going from "this is going to be the last lap; I'm done after this one" to "no, I really need to do the full 18 miles. I really do want to do them. I'm gonna do them" and back again to "want to do just one more lap after this, then call it a wrap?" to the right decision of "okay, I'm going to do these miles - all of them. I want this". Yes, I walked the last 3 or so miles, but I did all 18 that day. And, ya know what? I'm really proud of myself: I did 18 miles - my longest distance ran to date. That's kind of impressive, isn't it?

Something I realized over the weekend: Lake Baldwin and I, we are very well acquainted. We spend a lot of time together. There were only 2 points during the run where I thought, "gosh, I'm sick of this loop," but, really, I love it. I love the scenery, the water, the people out and about with their dogs and/or kids... I'm really happy that I moved from Waterford Lakes to Baldwin Park. I enjoy running in this area of town. I think I would have sipped on some cyanide juice if I had to run so many miles on my Waterford Lakes Town Center Loop!

Oh, my goodness! The Space Coast Marathon is just 3 weeks away!

My next long run is the big one. It's the run where I will peak in my mileage. This Saturday I'll be hoofing it for 20 miles. I'm planning to do an average of 5 miles/hour so I am done within 4 hours. That's being optimistic (it took me 4.5 hours to do last weekends 18 miles - but I putzed around for a good bit of it, too), but if I stick to my plan, I should be just fine. I've already got a Facebook event going to coordinate running buddies, though I have a feeling this one will mostly be myself out there. But that's okay; I like running with just myself.

The run after this weekend will be a tapered run of "just" 10 miles. You know you're a runner when you say "just" 10 miles. Heh. Look at me now, Anderson Highland High School Cross Country Team of 2003-2004! Boom, baby!

10 NOV - 20 miles
17 NOV - 10 miles
24 NOV - rest for day before my first full marathon!

Below you can see a list of previous training updates, upcoming races, and three of my Pinterest boards that you might enjoy.

Happy running!


I just want to say that I am SO thankful that I have been totally injury free during this training. I seriously attribute it to my Brooks shoes. A stellar pair of running shoes (that aren't overused) does so much to ward off injury. Yay for no injuries! Now, pray that it stays that way. = )


Previous Training Updates:

Click here to view the post about my training up to the week before this blog's 18-miler.

Click here to view the post about my training through my first 15-miler.

Upcoming Races:
Pinterest Boards of Interest:



02 November 2012

Training Update

Thoughts on Training:

Last week I posted a blog about my training up to that first 15-miler, 2 weekends ago. Click here to view the post.

Last weekend's run wasn't what I'd had planned, but it wasn't bad either. I was supposed to increase my long run mileage from 15 to 18, but with ramping up for several weekends in a row I decided that it'd be okay if I only did 15.

It was a great run company-wise! For the first 5 miles I had 3 friends from work join me, and for the 2nd 5 miles I had a book club friend join me. Trouble is, my pace dropped from ~10:00 minutes/mile to ~8:00 minutes/mile between the two 5 mile sets. I was struggling to keep pace on that 2nd 5 mile set, and decided that I ought to stop at 10 miles rather than risk injuring myself - my knees were already whining and moaning. So, the distance wasn't what I'd planned/needed (though certainly better than nothing at all), but the unexpected speed was a nice change of pace (heh, see what I did there?).

Tomorrow I have another long run slated. I am so blessed to have friends who would spend a portion of their Saturday morning running with me! I already have at least one friend to run with me for 7/8 of the half hour chunks! Their companionship on these runs really makes a huge difference! The time passes more quickly and it's so much more fun!

Since it's November I guess it's okay to start counting down to the Space Coast Marathon! It's less than a month away now! 23 days to go!

3 NOV - 18 miles
10 NOV - 22 miles
17 NOV - 15 miles
24 NOV - day before my first full marathon!

I've deviated from my original plan for mileage, so I'm kind of winging it at this point. If you're a veteran marathoner and have a suggestion to the above mileage plan, please do let me know! I'd love to hear your feedback!

Below you can see what races I have lined up. Clearly I've switched from sprint triathlon mode to long-distance running mode. I've also provided three of my Pinterest boards that you might enjoy.

Happy running!

Upcoming Races:
Pinterest Boards of Interest:



25 October 2012

Training Update

Thoughts on Training:

These last several weeks I've been really digging into training for my first full marathon. I have been studying Jeff Galloway's marathon attack method (walk a minute per mile on the long runs and during the race), and it is working for me. I am not at all struggling with the mileage, which is getting up there: this weekend I'm slated to crank out 18 miles. That will be 3 more miles further than my farthest distance ran in one session, which would be last week's 15 miles. Although I'm considering just doing 15 since I've been ramping my mileage up each weekend for several weeks. I could use a week off from incrementing mileage.

I know, you're thinking, "Jesus! 15 miles?! How on earth?!" My response: dedication, consistency, and time management skills are the only tools required. I honestly believe anyone can do this heavy training if they really want to do so.

And then you're thinking, "Well, wasn't running 15 miles just awful?" My response: actually, no! In fact, last weekend's 15 miles were significantly better than the previous weekend's 12 miles. (The 12 miler had better company, but the 15 miler was physically much better because I got sufficient rest, ate something beforehand (duh), and the weather was more kind.)

And for those who think running is the worst, let me just say that I used to be right there with you. As a competitive swimmer for 7 years, running did not come to me easily. Not at all. I loathed running, but when I joined the cross country team in my senior year of high school it led me to triathlon in college, and that was when I started to realize how wonderful running can be. It squeezes into our busy schedules easily, it is one of the best ways to improve and maintain overall health, there are ample events to participate in, and the running community is one of the best there is.

Below you can see what races I have lined up. Clearly I've switched from sprint triathlon mode to long-distance running mode. I've also provided three of my Pinterest boards that you might enjoy.

Happy running!

Upcoming Races:
Pinterest Boards of Interest:



18 October 2012

C4L Thank You

On Sunday, 7 October 2012 I biked 30 miles for the 2nd Annual Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Cycle for Life Ride. It was very rewarding to have raised funds towards curing Cystic Fibrosis and to have taken part in the fun ride. (Click here to view my original post for this ride and the fund-raising.)

First of all, a huge THANK YOU to all who donated to the cause. Together we raised $53,000! Your support is truly appreciated, and goes towards ending Cystic Fibrosis. = ) Thank you.

Looking back, it was really one of the best events I've ever participated in: the weather couldn't have been more perfect, the ride was administered with efficiency and friendliness, I was one of the first females to finish (second, I believe), I got to ride with folks from Orange Cycle (my most favorite bike shop ever) at two different points, and I received a massage and Tijuana Flats taco afterwards! The only downer of the day was that my bike computer's sensor wasn't working. Good thing I captured the ride with Strava!


Here I am before the start of the ride. Look at that pretty sun shining through!


My favorite aspects of the ride:

(1) Riding in a pack. This was my first event where it was strictly cycling. It was a lot of fun to ride in a pack and draft and get used to biking in close proximity to other bikers.

(2) Drafting and pulling with a girl from Orange Cycle. Towards the end of the ride I caught up to a friendly girl from Orange Cycle. I could tell that we were on the same level of effort, so I asked if I could hop on her wheel (draft). She was cool with that, so I recovered from the exertion of catching up to her. Shortly after that I offered to pull; by then we were closing in on the finish. We pushed hard and it was a great pull. We finished the race together, and I think we were the first females to finish. Here is a picture of me and Orange Cycle Girl (sorry that she's in my shadow...):


Here is a shot of me enjoying some Gatorade on my second pass by the fuel station (approximately 20 miles into the ride). Volunteers from a nearby church donated baked goods, energy snacks, and drinks and manned this station. They were all cheering us on and very nice. = )

For more fun photos from the ride, click here to view the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Cycle for Life's Facebook photo album.

18 August 2012

Cycle for Life

I'd heard of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) before, but, until recently, I didn't know a thing about it. After doing some research I've learned that CF is a life-threatening genetic disease. It affects the respiratory and digestive systems of 30,000 children and adults in the US. The disease occurs when a child receives the CF gene from both parents. What is scary is that more than 10 million in the US are unaware, symptom-less hosts of the CF gene. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) is important because nearly every approved CF drug that is available today was made possible by the CFF.

On Sunday, 7 October 2012 I will ride my bike 30 miles for the CFF. The event is called Cycle for Life, and, taking place in Lake Mary, FL, it is sponsored by Aptalis. I'm happy to participate in Cycle for Life to benefit those battling CF.

A responsibility of my participation is raising funds to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. My goal is to raise $150. If you are interested in supporting this cause, please visit my donation page and click the "Click to Donate" button. Thank you. = ) Know that your donation is much appreciated and will go on to help better the lives of those affected by Cystic Fibrosis.

If you are interested in participating in the ride, visit the registration page, and be sure to let me know so we can meet up on the ride!

17 August 2012

Space Coast Marathon

It's official! I'm registered for my first FULL marathon! I'll be running 26.2 miles on Sunday, 25 November 2012 in Cocoa, Florida for the Space Coast Marathon!

I think this is perfect timing because I'll be running 26 miles at age 26! = )

My best half marathon time is 1:56'56", so I'm hoping to finish this full marathon just over double my half marathon time: somewhere around 4:15'00". However, my real goal is just to finish and have fun along the way.

Over the next few weeks I'll switch gears from sprint triathlon training to the Jeff Galloway marathon training plan (I have been reading his book called "Marathon: You Can Do It!"). 99 days until the big day!!!Be sure to let me know if you'll be at the race - I'd love to meet up with you at some point during the event!
If you're interested in participating in the full or half marathon, register here and be sure to apply one of the following
registration discount codes:

SCMDAYTONA - $10.00 off Marathon registration
SCHDAYTONA - $5.00 off Half Marathon registration

16 August 2012

50 Years of Marriage for My Grandparents!

This is an overdue post, but here is a picture of me with my grandparents. This was taken after the first formal dinner on the cruise the whole family (save Chucky, how we missed his presence) took to celebrate Grandma & Grandpa's 50th wedding anniversary. Congratulations, you two love birds!

Bike Rack for Raven

Now that I'm definitely back into triathlon, I've decided to get a bike rack for Raven. After doing some shopping I've decided to go with the Thule 917XTR T2.

The T2 makes it super easy to load 2 bikes securely: no hassle with lifting bikes overhead, and the securing mechanisms never touch the bike's frame. I am comforted in the fact that there are 2 locks and a security cable included with the rack. Another neat feature is that even with a bike loaded, the rack will tilt to allow rear-of-vehicle access, so there is no need to unload the bike in order to open the hitch. Finally, if needed down the road, there's an add-on part which allow for racking another 2 bikes.

I have been in touch with the hitch installation folks (Weld-Rite per Orange Cycle's recommendation), and the part is set to arrive late next week. I'll post an update with a photo as soon as I get everything installed and my bike (which still needs a name) loaded!

27 May 2012

My First Citizen Watch

Yesterday I returned from a 7-day Carnival cruise of the Western Caribbean. The extravagant vacation was to celebrate my paternal grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary. I am so happy for those two love birds! It was wonderful to see the family!

8 years ago my dad bought a super spiffy watch onboard a cruise as his big souvenir to mark the trip. On this cruise my grandpa and I both bought new watches. I'd been needing a nice watch for a couple years now, and I'd budgeted the money for a souvenir, so I bought my first Citizen watch. It's brilliant - I love checking the time, haha! Here is what I got:

15 May 2012

Be the CEO of You, Incorporated

I just read this great article from Dave Ramsey about how to be the CEO of You, Incorporated. Ramsey poses the question, "if you were your own company (which you are, really), would your current money habits make you an attractive hire?" Thought I'd share:


10 May 2012

YAWERS & Before I Go to Sleep

Since my East Orlando Twenty-Something Book Club has pretty much fizzled out like a dud of a firework I have I joined a new and very-much-alive book club. It is called YAWERS. It's pronounced ya-ers. It's an acronym which stands for "YAY! Adults Who Enjoy Reading Still!" It is not to be confused with yawners: this group has chosen several of my top favorite picks (I like to think I have pretty good tastes), numerous renowned titles that I've been meaning to read, and some up-and-coming reads which are gathering momentum.

Last month one of the books up for the running to be the month's book was Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson.

Yesterday I finished Storm of Swords, Book III of A Song of Fire & Ice by George R. R. Martin, and, since I had some cash burning a hole in my pocket book, I stopped by Barnes & Noble to do some browsing and pick up a new novel. I walked out with Before I Go to Sleep, along with H. G. Well's The Time Machine & The Invisible Man, but that's beside the point.

I read the opener of Before I Go to Sleep last night and was captivated. Today I've been nearly constantly thinking about the story and what will happen and what it would be like to be Christine. I'm already a huge fan.

I'll post more thoughts after I finish the book. I expect I'll finish the book this weekend (even with the move!).

07 May 2012

TSRS 7/7: ZKS Winter Park 10K


Several Saturday's ago was the seventh and final race of the Track Shack's Running Series: the Zimmerman Kiser Sutcliffe Winter Park 10K in Winter Park, Florida!

Here is a snap shot of my race results:

Nike+ offers some neat stuff for runs. Here is a map of the route (with start, finish and mile markers):

 Here are some details of the run (the blue lines represent my pace throughout the race; I'm not sure how the Instant Pace works since my pace was actually 8'42"/mile):

Here is a graphic of my average pace throughout the race:

And here are my mile splits (blegh, Mile 4 was rough, apparently):

It wasn't my best 10K. In fact, the start of the race was one of the worst I've had: (1) late start because the lines for the port-o-potties were insane; since it was chip timed and a 6-mile race I decided to wait in line, (2) because of my late start I had to pass hordes of walkers and slower-paced runners, (3) I didn't get too much sleep the night before, and (4) I didn't eat a proper pre-race breakfast. Despite all of that, I was only 1'38" off of my best 10K time (52'13"), and it was still a heap of fun! Plus, my friends, Felix & Jordan, ran the race with me! It was a lot of fun having them along to catch up with after the race. They did really well!

So, a recap of the series, play-by-play: after the first race I was sitting fairly well in 7th place in the series for my age group (Women 19-24) because I came in 7th place in the race. After the second race, I was sitting pretty in 4th place in the series because I took 3rd place in the race. After the third race, I was still sitting in 4th place, and I was okay with that. I injured my back and had to sit out of the fourth race; this dropped me down to 6th place. After the fifth race, I bumped up to 5th place in the series, and after the sixth race, I was back in 4th place. Finally, after the seventh race, I landed in 5th place in the series for my age group. My goal was to finish in the top 10, so I'm quite happy with my results!

And that wraps it up for my first running series! I can hardly wait to register for the 2012-2013 series come July-ish! Thanks for all of your support and for tuning in to see how it went!