10.30.2007

Now This Looks Like Fun



While I am thankful of having the option of using a treadmill at our new (fan-flipping-tastic) YMCA, it remains, shall we say, BORING. Bang my head against the wall boring.

However.

I did it.

And the bike.

Then promptly canceled out my most of my calories burned by driving through Starbucks on the way home.

10.28.2007

What Are You Into This Month?

Just when I thought my Bloggy Well had run dry, I found this meme over at Musings of a Housewife and thought I'd play along too.

Books I'm Really Into: I just finished The Gardens of Kyoto and I am in that strange in between time of wondering What Shall the Next Book Be? It's a big decision, folks. It has to suit my mood of the moment and catch my interest fairly quickly. A tall order I know. I have several on my shelves that I've been thinking of as The Next One. The committee is still out though. Here are some of the candidates:

Sarah's Quilt by Nancy E. Turner

Katherine by Anya Seton

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

TV Show Worth Watching: I can't wait for the new season of Amazing Race. LOVE that show! I'd love to be on it--what an experience. Although I might run the race better with a girlfriend than with Scott. It would either bring out the best in us or the complete worst and we'd be "That Couple" that gets discussed and ridiculed the next day. We are also hooked on Man vs. Wild. Bear is the best!

Movie I've Seen (In or Out of the Theater): The last one in the theater was Bourne Ultimatum. Love me some Matt Damon. I'm also a huge fan of Netflix and movies right in my mailbox.

The Candle I'm Loving: Right now I like Fall, homey scents. I'm almost done with my Yankee Candle in Autumn Wreath.

Blogs I'm Visiting: I have several that I visit obsessively regularly. I just love the whole idea of having Bloggy Friends all aver the country. Such sisterly goodness! A new one I've lurked a bit on is Take I90West. I'm gathering up my courage to comment. Soon.

What I'm Most Looking Forward to Next Month: Well, let's see, Thanksgiving of course, which as a special treat this year falls on my birthday. Gobble-gobble. We might also do the Turkey Trot that morning. Just to balance out some of the gobble-gobble. I'm also looking forward to another half marathon in a few weeks in San Antonio.

So, if you read this please feel free to play along. C'mon, it'll be fun! Leave me a comment so I can check out your list, k?

Menu Plan Monday: 10/29

Here's what is on the menu this week:

Monday: Chicken and Asparagus Risotto Skillet with salad and rolls. It's been a long time since I've made this, so it's almost new again.

Tuesday: Tuna Noodle Casserole with green beans and salad. Since we're friends, I'll share a little secret. I LOVE tuna noodle casserole! Yes, I have a cultured palate don't I?

Wednesday: Taco Soup with tortilla chips.

Thursday: Lip Smackin' Leftovers

Friday: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, salad and garlic bread.

Visit Laura's Blog to see what is cooking in kitchens all aroung Blogville.

10.26.2007

I Want to Run Like These Girls

Did you know that there have been some amazing accomplishments recently by some amazing ladies? Let me tell you about them. Several months ago these ladies made a decision. Some shared their decision right away and some did not...either way it is still amazing!

Even though they did not consider themselves to be runners, they still made a choice to do something that changed their lives drastically.


You see each of these ladies recently completed her first marathon. That's right, 26.2 glorious, life-changing miles. Outstanding! When I read their stories I cheered for them and got a little teary too. Take a moment, grab your favorite beverage and enjoy their experience. Kristi, Jen, Anne and Chloe are all at different stages in their lives but they share in a common experience and a common title.

Isaiah 40:31

They are marathon runners.

Runners come in all shapes and sizes. Some are fast, some are slow and some are in between. You know what? It doesn't matter. The decision and the accomplishment are what matters. Even if you have never considered yourself to be a runner or even very athletic (believe me I've felt that way) give yourself room in your brain to change your self given stereotype. Like Kristi says, S-T-R-E-T-C-H yourself and see what you can accomplish.

You can do it, girlfriend!

10.24.2007

Will the Real Me Please Stand Up?

My brain was sparked I suppose by yesterday's SPT challenge. I pondered about my outward appearance in black and white and color. Today I started thinking about the inside, my emotions/moods, my strengths and my weaknesses, etc. Where do I document the real me? A written journal? A scrapbook? A blog? I realized there are pieces of me in lots of places. Yikes!

This spring I started blogging on a whim (that's how a lot things start in my little world). Of course I was quickly bitten by the Bloggy Bug. Somehow I've written close to 200 posts. That is either exciting or frightening, depending how you look at it. Other than a few friends, I didn't think anyone would read my blog. Oh my, what a pleasant surprise when I started making Bloggy Friends! Is it normal to talk about your Bloggy Friends with your husband? Well, normal or not, I do. I've been inspired by so many wonderful women out in Blogville. Thank you!

I have wondered off and on if I am 100% honest on my blog. I realize through blogging we usually only share snippets of our lives. That's okay. My snippets are sometimes serious, sometimes frivolous, sometime humorous, sometimes thought provoking (maybe), sometimes boring (probably). That's how life is too, isn't it? But am I 100% honest? Do I present my true self? I'm not sure. Maybe.

I was probably most honest in my private journals. Even when I was inconsistent they were a good dumping ground. What has happened to my written journaling? My scrapbooking? Well, those things seem to be on the back burner. I feel this strong desire to document my life and our family's life, but I feel like I'm juggling and dropping most of the balls. I'm glad I have the Blog as something of a record, but it has replaced journaling in notebooks and scrapbooking pictures and memories. This bothers me. I feel a need to revaluate and balance my time more evenly (since I'm still on January in my scrapbook and almost a year behind with my written journaling).

So, back to whether I am truly myself on my blog. I hope I am. I read a post by Lynn a few weeks ago and it has stuck in my craw. She wrote about being an Oxymoron. If you get a chance please take a moment and read her wise words. I feel like an oxymoron most of the time. Do you? I suppose it's human nature coupled with hormones.

In the spirit of being more honest, I thought I'd share a bit of what I wrote today (after I blew off the dust) in my sporadic journal.

Random thoughts: I realize I am deeply selfish at my core. I want more time to myself. Just me. Sometimes I wish I was completely alone. I wish I could stay in bed ALL day and read one book after another. Sometimes I feel guilty for my selfish thoughts, other times I don't care.

I feel like I'm only doing bits and pieces of things. I have a hard time finishing things. I stumble around inconsistently cooking, cleaning and crafting. One minute I can be negative, nit-picky, small-minded and jealous, the next I'll be a positive Pollyanna, encouraging and helpful. One minute I'm out there doing lots of things and the next I just want to crawl in a cave. I confuse myself with my random emotions and mood swings. I've been eating way too many sweets and drinking way too much coffee.

Anyhoo...that's what was rolling around upstairs today. I guess that's me. If you made it through this lengthy post, give yourself a pat on the back. Ultimately I want to allow myself to be more "me" on my blog, whatever that might be. I don't ever want to pretend, or only present the positive (or be drastically negative). I just want to be real.


How do you document your life? Do you keep a handwritten journal? Do you feel you are 100% real & honest on your blog?

10.23.2007

SPT: Black and White

Lelly had a fun challenge this week called riddle me this. I love this one for a few reasons: it was easy, I love black and white and it made me sing Cyndi Lauper's True Colors.

I like the B&W version because it smooths out my face, though I honestly don't mind lines and wrinkles because that's just a part of life. I do mind the blemishes that I've never grown out of though. What's up with that? I like the contrast of my glasses against my skin, the instantly bleached teeth, and the "slimming" effect.

Life isn't just black and white though. Thank goodness there is a whole lot of color in between. Think about Dorothy in Kansas vs. Dorothy in Technicolor Oz. With color you get the real me. The bumps, stray hairs, the hazel- green eyes, sometimes ruddy, other times washed out complexion,the life lines, the make-up. All of it, because it's a package deal, my life. And not a bad one either.

It's 2:00 and...

I'm still in my PJs.

Nice, huh? Sometimes if I don't get ready first thing it just gets postponed. Indefinitely. My excuse is this morning our water was turned off while the city was working on something. Of course it's been back on for a few hours now. Oh well, I've still got time before Scott comes home, so really, what's the rush?

A. has decided she is a superhero. She has worn this "cape" since 8:00 am. I'm so thankful she is easily entertained!

Our chili supper is cooking in the crock pot. A cool front finally blew in and it's delightful!

While listening to SIRIUS classic country blaring (aren't I the epitome of cool?) I did my favorite kind of baking: EASY.

I made pumpkin cookies from cake mixes and canned pumpkin. No eggs or oil needed, weird huh? Love them. Smack, smack. You can see the recipe here. (A. likes them too.)

Now, on to some more important stuff...

Honestly, I've had a terrible time concentrating today because I'm so worried about Marie. Did you see Dancing with the Stars last night? What did you think of her odd behavior followed by a collapse? We DVRd it and I watched it over and over. Okay, I don't want to say anything disparaging about Marie, because, well...c'mon she's MARIE. I love her! But, was she three sheets to the wind or hopped up on something? I think there is more to this. What do you think?

Do have PJ days? Are you hooked on Dancing with the Stars? What do you listen to when you bake? Do you bake only from scratch or will you use mixes too?

10.22.2007

What's Cooking?

I'm laying my cards out on the table. Well, maybe my placemats. Anyhoo...I didn't stick quite to the plan last week. The kitchen closed for 2 nights and we went out to eat. This little chef was okay with that.

Another confession, I'll probably have to go to the grocery store at least twice this week because I only have time to grab stuff for tonight. I'll have to do full force shopping tomorrow after I get myself together.

Here's what's on the menu for this week:

Monday: Chicken Tetrazzini with salad, broccoli and rolls.

Tuesday: Chunky Beef and Tomato Chili with salad. We are supposed to get a bit of a cool front, so chili sounds delightful.

Wednesday: I'm letting my crock pot do most of the work today with Savory Pork Roast with hashbrown casserole, green beans and salad. This is a do-over from last week.

Thursday: Leftovers (Bible study night)

Friday: Lasagna with garlic bread and salad.

I also can't wait to make these delicious Pumpkin Cookies sometime this week. They look divine! You can check out what's cooking in kitchens around Blogville by visiting Laura's Blog.

10.17.2007

More Than I Wanted to Know

So. I had an interesting extra-passive conversation this afternoon. My pitiful feet insisted on getting some much needed attention, who am I to refuse? Off to the nail salon.

Once I was settled and my tootsies submerged I realized I was stuck. There was no way my book was going to be read. I had been placed next to Chatty Mom 1 and 2. Sigh.

You know the ones, the ones that would talk to a barn door. About personal stuff. Loudly. Sigh.

They were engaged, loudly, in a discussion about their children, their husbands, their estranged, dysfunctional families. And they just met. Sigh.

One thread of their ranting was about what their young daughters wanted to wear out and about. How they argued with them about what was appropriate, etc. and on and on. I'll spare you the details. If I hadn't already made some assumptions about them, they would have been made anyway once Chatty Mom 1 and 2 got up to leave, you know after talking about what their daughters should and should not wear. Ahem.

Chatty Mom 1 left in her red miniskirt and white eyelet tank top. In October.

Chatty Mom 2 stood up to leave and I may have rolled my eyes, which may or may not have been discreet. You see, Chatty Mom 2 was wearing sweats with words across the behind. Yes. Not just any words either. Are you ready?

Smack. That.

Seriously. Sigh.

10.16.2007

Year of Wonders

I love Tuesday mornings. We don't usually have anything on our morning schedule, which is actually nice. I stumbled out to the kitchen to make my required pot of coffee. A. wasn't yet stirring, so I was being as quiet as the quietest mouse ever. I made it back to my bed and my book with my steaming cup of goodness. This was the best!

I was determined to finish my book. Soon, once A. got up, it became evident that PBS was going to help me accomplish this feat. (No judgment please.) A. settled in to watch Super Why and I went back to 1666.

I love historical fiction. To me, that's one of the best ways to learn about the past in an interesting way. Now this morning I was finishing up a book about the Black Plague. Yes, on some levels the story could be seen as depressing, I mean c'mon it IS about plague. Thankfully, it's about much more than that. Human strength, faith, fear, life, death, relationships,and much more. The author weaves a beautiful story around a very dark episode in history. You can read more about this book here. Geraldine Brooks is also the author of another historical fiction novel, March, which I also enjoyed.

Jill recently shared something cool with me. Have you heard of Goodreads? I've just played around a little with it, but it seems a nifty way to share what you are reading.


What are you reading these days? Can you recommend any historical fiction must reads?

10.15.2007

Sammy Davis Jr. is Alive

And apparently living in our house.
Thank you, Scott, for teaching A. the words to Candyman.

I feel a bit twitchy.

What's Cooking?



Here's what's cooking in our kitchen this week:

Monday: Chicken with Wine Sauce with salad and green peas.

Tuesday: Jiffy Spanish Rice served with flour tortillas and salad.

Wednesday: Savory Pork Roast (crock pot) served with hash brown casserole and green beans.

Thursday: Lip Smackin' Leftovers

Friday - Sunday: Camping trip!!

I was a bit of a Nellie Naysayer about menu planning for a while, but now I'm giving it a whirl. Planning, shopping and cooking in a somewhat orderly fashion is less stressful than I thought. Who knew? Last week went really well and we enjoyed eating at home. That's right, no eating out until lunch on Sunday. That's huge!

If you get a chance check out other menus by visiting Laura's Blog. What's cooking in your kitchen this week?

10.13.2007

Who Can Help a Girl Out?

This is the camera I have, a Canon PowerShot SD 450. I have had it for almost 3 years, I think. Isn't it cute? It was my first digital camera (my white knuckles had to be pried from my film camera). I love how small it is, I can carry it in my purse easily or even in my pocket. Since I AM NOT a techie I have only learned to do the basics with it. Maybe it only does basics anyway, I'm not sure. I skimmed the manuals, but soon my brain went numb and I just started taking pictures.

I have to confess something though.

I dream of taking breathtaking pictures. Pictures that make you stop and stare. Pictures you can almost feel. I want to take extreme close ups, action shots, all kinds really. I don't think my handy dandy Canon is going to pull it off. So.


I know some of you use the Big Dogs. Like, with attachable lenses and a hefty neck strap. Some of you I have learned use a Canon Rebel or Nikon D80. Even though they scare me, I have to admit I'm intrigued.

I drool over your pictures and dream of learning how to take better photos.

Now I understand I'll most likely have to upgrade. Even though my wallet is crying, I'm thinking of the possible end result. Better pictures.

Should I do it? Can I do it? Pretend to be a photographer?

Here is where you can help my feeble techie brain. What kind of camera do you use? Is is fairly easy to learn? Do you change out lenses? What are the VERY BASICS I need to buy? Is it easy to take with you without too much of its own luggage?

Okay, please discuss. Thanks!

Boo!

Cackle, cackle...hold on I have to stir my brew. Just a pinch of Eye of Newt...

This witch just has a minute to update on all the Witch Switch fun. Below is a picture of what I sent my swap partner, AKA Witch Sister Sheri. A few cookie cutters, Fall sprinkles, Halloween confetti soaps, a ghost bag, cozy jack-o-lantern slippers and a handmade treat. I made a simple Halloween themed 8x8 scrapbook that's ready for her to add pictures.

This next picture is what my witch sister, Deanna sent me. Some yummy candy corn, spooky music, a Spells wall hanging, a ghost cookie cutter and a darling wall hanging with a black cat, witch's hat and black spider. It also has my favorite, ric-rac and polka dots. I love it! Thank you, Deanna!



You can see more Witch Switch treats and find out about the details for next year by clicking here.

10.12.2007

Have You Met Jaime?

On a whim, I set the DVR to record this new show. I had missed the first few episodes, of course, but still curious what all the hype was about. I was just going to check it out but was NOT going to get hooked.

Ahem.

Jaime ROCKS!

I want to be her. Well, at least be her friend.


Have you seen it? What do you think? Do you think they'll have Lindsey Waggoner guest star as, like, her bionic granny?

10.11.2007

Got Bridge?

This is the Kemah Bridge.

This is Holly running over the Kemah Bridge.


Yes, it's a whole new level of crazy. Except it's kind of exhilarating. And exhausting. All at the same time. I think I'm going back next week for more. Crazy, I tell you, crazy.

10.10.2007

SPT: I've Been Meaning to Fall in Love with Orange


For weeks now I have been meaning to get back on track with Self-Portrait Tuesdays. I kept telling myself next week, next week...later...why do now what you can delay, right? So, bear with me while I take some creative license and consolidate a bit.

Honestly, here in southern Texas, it's hardly Fall. I know that it's officially been Fall for a few weeks since the calendar said so. I felt some Fall in Maine. Not so much here. I have to pretend, while the A/C is whirring away.

I hang wreaths, put out the pumpkins and some festive Jack-o-Lanterns. In years past I have draped leaf garland here and there, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it this year. Since I have to create Fall, I rely on candles a lot. This one is called Autumn Wreath and it's helping me at least smell Fall.



I enjoy flipping through magazines and thinking about fun Fall things to do. Which I don't usually end up doing. Ever.

I also force Fall by cooking up soups and stews in my Crock Pot.

Even though it's 86 degrees outside.

These are my two favorite pumpkins. They are ratty and rustic. Perfect.

I do love the colors of Fall. The rich browns, bold yellows, warm reds and vibrant oranges. I even like to wear shades of orange. However, my orange shirts are long sleeved and are still in the upstairs closet. If I'm lucky, we might have a few cool days, sometime soon, so I can put these to good use. I'm optimistic.

10.08.2007

What's Cookin' Good Lookin'?

After many weeks of making snide remarks to myself about people that actually planned their weekly menus and posted it on their blogs and then linked together with Mr. Linky, I am prepared to eat some crow. It's dee-lish, but a bit gamey.

So, I have decided to go ahead and join in with all the menu planning fun. I plan to do my grocery shopping Monday mornings while A. is at preschool. Not my first choice of how to spend MY time, but I hope to be able to get it done faster and with much less distraction. Now I will only have myself to blame if something "jumps" into my cart, or if I forget something. A. is off the hook.

Monday: Chicken Sopa with salad. This is an easy and delicious, mildly spicy meal. My friend Kim shared this recipe with me and it's one of my faves.

Tuesday: Sausage Jambalaya with green beans and biscuits

Wednesday: Beef Stew (Crock Pot) and buttermilk cornbread

Thursday: Lip-Smackin' Leftover Buffet (that's Bible study night)

Friday: South of the Border Taco Salad

My plan is to try to have at least one Crock Pot meal a week and one leftover buffet. Scott is usually pretty good about eating leftovers (when we have them) for lunch too and that helps us clear out the fridge.


What's cookin' in your kitchen?

10.07.2007

Standards or Snobbery...You Decide

Maybe I'm a bit of a running snob. It's possible. This realization came to me this afternoon as I registered for another half marathon. I have learned that I prefer certain types of courses, certain types of goodies (i.e. BLING) and certain support(i.e. they keep their promises).

There are two upcoming local events that are part of the warm-up series for the Chevron Houston Marathon in January (that's the Big Dog. Woof.) One is a half (13.1) and the other is a 25K (15ish), but they are both double or triple loop courses. They are very well supported, well organized and almost in my backyard. But triple loops? You mean I have to go around again? And again? Bleah!!

Last year I did the half and while it was something I felt like I should do, I promised myself not to do it again. My fragile running brain and morale just can not handle the monotony of looping through an area more than once. My brain gets bored and then it stops encouraging the body. Not a good situation folks.

That said, I have decided to forgo both of these local warm-up races and take my snobby running self (or maybe just immature running self) on a road trip. So, Marathon Bird is heading to The Alamo. It's a single loop course around downtown San Antonio, is fairly well established and you receive a medal and a shirt. In 2008 it is going to be a Rock N Roll Marathon, if that's your thing.

Snobby Runner also appreciates well supported and supplied aid stations(read water and sports drink offered), Plenty-O-Port-a-Potties, at least a medal and shirt, and a decent assortment of food after the race.

Snobby Runner's family appreciates staying at a hotel within walking distance of the start line. While convenient for Snobby Runner, it actually means said family can sleep in.

Yesterday, I learned another facet of Snobby Runner. She does NOT like to run in the rain. If SR is on her way or already out on the course and it starts to rain, don't worry, Snobby Runner can put on her Waterproof Big Girl Panties and deal. However, she will most likely not leave her comfy bed at 5:00AM to go run in the rain. That's right, I wimped out and went back to bed once I realized it was raining. A girl has to have her standards, right?

10.06.2007

A Kitchen Affair

I have been having a bit of an affair this week. In our kitchen. Don't gasp or worry, it's innocent. I have been enamored with my Crock-Pot.

I should probably explain. I tend to go through phases in the kitchen. Sometimes I do a great job planning, shopping and cooking. Sometimes we are on Restaurant Row a lot. And I mean a lot literally folks.

Being inspired by many of my Bloggy Friends I am trying to take baby steps to Menu Plan Monday. I say baby steps because I don't want to overwhelm my fragile kitchen skills.

This week I managed to plan, make a list and grocery shop on Monday. I also cooked 4 out of the 5 weekdays. Now y'all, believe it or not, this is a huge deal. For sad little me.

One of the baby steps is to use my crock pot. I love how you can throw stuff in there, forget about it, then several hours later it has become a meal and your kitchen smells yummy. There is just something comforting about Campbell's Cream of Mushroom/Chicken and a crock pot isn't there?

Here's a brief menu recap:

Monday I finally made Mique's tried and true recipe for Zesty Crockpot Chicken. Not only was it delicious, it was EASY (which is one of my criteria of course).

On Tuesday I made Pork Chops with Mushrooms served over brown rice. The recipe came from this great cookbook:


Wednesday was another crockpot day with Chicken Noodle Soup. However, I made the Dreadful Noodle Mistake of putting them in too early. I ended up making Chicken Mush. We ate out for Tex-Mex, which was really a win-win.

Thursday was leftovers. Scott also ate leftovers for lunch during the week.

Friday I made Beef Lombardi Casserole from Southern Living Everyday Menus. It was a hit. (C'mon who can resist meat, noodles and cheese?) I am patting myself on the back because I divided it into 2 8x8 casserole dishes so we could eat one now and freeze one. Sometimes I actually surprise myself.

These are two other favorite cookbooks of mine:



Two of the best words--quick and easy. Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind following an elaborate 25 step recipe from time to time. I've even been known to hunt down vegetable, herb, or spice I've never heard of, but I haven't done this much since we've had A. I usually want meals to be tasty, fairly healthy and pretty quick to prepare. I also like Paula Deen's The Lady and Sons set of cookbooks. I have not mustered the courage to try The Barefoot Contessa yet. Someday. Don't even get me started on Martha. I admire and drool, yes, but I just can't deal with the pressure of perfection. That truly is a good thing.

I'm even starting to plan for next week. I really don't know what is happening to me, but I like it. I may even post my plans and the results so y'all can hold me accountable.

How is your relationship with your Crock Pot? Do you plan your meals each week and follow through? Do you have a favorite trusty cookbook or source for recipes? Please share!

10.02.2007

Maine Coast Half or the One Where Holly Slowly Lost Her Mind

They say that memories soften with time. Time and perspective make things rosier, somehow sweeter. A week after the Maine Coast Half and I'm still not feeling the love.

I was excited to participate in my first out of Texas event and get one state out of the way toward my 50 state goal. Dan and Jerry were so kind to drive us 3 hours (yes, that's right) each way so I could run.

Honestly, with the travel and everything I felt a bit "off". I didn't get to hydrate like I normally do...well 3 hours in the car...you get the idea. The temperatures were supposed to be much cooler than Texas, which would be divine. They promised water and Accelerade at the support stations. I trusted them. I made the judgment call to leave my fuel belt behind. Even in established, well-organized races I wear my fuel belt so I can hydrate when I need to. For some reason in York, Maine, at an inaugural race, I decided to throw caution to the wind.

Here I am at the start line. This was a women's only event--Girl Power and all. They did allow one lucky guy to run too. The race started at 9:00am. Since we had to drive so far, this was a good thing. It did not bode well for the temperatures though.

The walkers started 30 minutes earlier than the runners. I follow an interval running pattern of 5 minutes running and then a 1 minute walk. I am a slower runner. Since there were no walkers behind me, I soon found myself near the back of the pack. I even got a glimpse of the police car that was the end of the line.

This is when my mind started to go. My mental game was toast.

Running along the coast was beautiful. Did I mention though that my mind was going? I really wanted to call it quits and play on the beach. Oh, and I don't think I was even to mile 4 yet. It was going to be a LONG, painful day.

I did try to focus and take in the breathtaking views and quaint village scenery. It was a beautiful course.

Um...have I mentioned the hills yet? No? Well. On the race website they said something to the effect of "the course is relatively flat with a measure of gently rolling hills."

I would like to talk to the person that wrote that sentence.

Relative to what? Mt. Everest? Granted, none of the hills were too terribly steep, but they never stopped. It was one "gentle rolling hill" after another.

At each aid station I kept hoping for the promised Accelerade. They only had water. It also turned out to be unseasonably warm. Even hot. I was convinced the race fairies were out to get me. They did hand out samples of Cliff Shot Blocks. Now, under normal circumstances I would not try anything new on race day, certainly not during the event. These were not normal circumstances. The flavor was Margarita (with salt) and I greedily gobbled them up.

At that point I would have taken a pitcher of margaritas too.

I was quite grumpy and just wanted the stinkin' race to be over. Now. I told Scott later that if I was a cursin' person I would have been cursin' up a storm. I did keep muttering to myself "Where in the ---- is the finish line!?!" Yes, the race brought out the best in me didn't it?


I eventually finished. No, it was NOT a PR. It was done though. I got my medal.

Kathrine Switzer was the featured speaker, which was quite exciting. She was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon almost 40 years ago. She opened doors and broke many stereotypes for women in the running world. She was kind enough to autograph my race bib, which was cool.

Scott said A. was the dog charmer during the race. She met all the dogs and their owners.


After the race I peeled myself off the ground and we went for lunch at Stonewall Kitchen. I felt (and looked) quite scary, but a girl's gotta eat.

Soon it was time to start the 3 hour return trip. Yikes!

While my memories might still be just this side of bitter, I am glad to have my first out of state race in my rear view mirror. Only 48 more to go.
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