Thursday, December 31, 2009

Links for a friend!!

As soon as I joined the blogging world I began stalking...I mean browsing through the other blogs out there related to running. Many of those people have been gracious enough to follow my little blog in return.

While searching one day, I stumbled across a blog that really caught my attention. This blog belongs to Katye (isn't that just a great spelling for her name?) and is titled Live, Love, Run, Pray.This blog immediately caught my attention because of the The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training logo at the top of her page.

Not long before starting my blogging adventure a boy on my husband's wrestling team was diagnosed with Leukemia. I believe he is 17 years old. He was at practice one day was the coaches noticed that he just wasn't the star wrestler they had last year. He was slow to react and generally not looking good. When the asked what was wrong he explained that he must just be out of shape and had been really tired lately. When his dad came to pick him up, the coaches spoke with him about the boy's behavior in practice. The father said they had noticed him sleeping a lot at home. They attributed his sleep patterns to the lifestyle of a teenage boy. But he did agree that he would take his son to a doctor. A few days later my husband told me that this boy had been taken to Madison for testing. The result was a diagnosis of leukemia. A few months have passed since his diagnosis and, with treatment, his leukemia is in remission. He will be coming back to school in January and is hoping to be back on the wrestling team next year.

So her site and story caught my eye. I also follow her blog because she is one heck of a motivated person! And since my blog title is "Motivating Me," I'm constantly in search of motivating people.

She's asked me to post a few things for you all to check out.

The first one is her 2010 challenge. In the new year she, and anyone else that will join her, is going to attempt to run a total of 1,010 miles. Holy cow that's far! I'm still debating my ability to accomplish that goal, but I know the rest of you can. Now scoot on over to her site and sign up!

The second one is her holiday giveaway. You can learn all about it from her post. I may a bit late in posting this and the deadline may have come and gone, but it's worth a shot!

The third and final one is Sunday FunDay!
Every Friday in the new year, Katye is hoping to give us all a list of upcoming "fun" things. These could include birthdays, races, holidays, or any other random day of importance you feel like sharing with her.

Check it all out while I work up the motivation to go for a run :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's been 2 years!!!

Two years ago today I was married. I could not have asked for a better day....well, I could have. But I'll explain that in a little bit.

We chose December 29th because I love winter. I'm not the biggest fan of freezing cold, but I do love the snow. Snow just makes everything look beautiful. I centered everything around snowflakes (invitations, decorations, cake, etc.). It was wonderful.

Here are a few pictures. It's been two years and I still love showing these to everyone!

The only thing that would have made my day better would be me not having been sick. That's right, I was sick. Not with the sniffles and a cough, mind you. I had the explosive flu! All I thought about all day was making it through the ceremony without throwing up. It it weren't for Gatorade, poise adult diapers, and hundreds of dollars of professionally applied bare minerals makeup, the day would have been a total loss. I, however, sucked it up and pushed through it. The show must go on! Too many out-of-town relatives and too much money spent for me to call a rain check. That would be the only thing I would have changed.

Now, we own our first home. We are raising two wonderful animals. We have good health and good jobs. We are also planning on babies...I'm still holding him off for two more years on that one :) I am a very blessed little girl.

Here's to many more happy years to come!

Maybe I'll run tomorrow...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Apparently I need to turn up the heat :)

"Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about...

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

I absolutely love Charlie Brown's Christmas. It is the only Christmas cartoon they show on TV still that tells the Christmas story. Everything else is all Santa, reindeer, and presents. Only Linus could deliver the Christmas message with such sincerity and simplicity. That really is what Christmas is all about. Now, I'm still all for Santa and presents, but it is nice to step back and think about the true meaning of Christmas.

Ok. And just because I can't's what Bentley and Doozer got for Christmas. Yes. I'm one of "those" people who buys gifts for their pets. Now each animal only got one gift, so they aren't totally spoiled. And both gifts have a purpose. Bentley's is so that he doesn't bother the other dogs today and my husband's parent's house. And Doozer's is so she doesn't have to be too bored at home all by herself again.

Doozer, scaling the couch with her new "kong wubba".

I bet this only takes him an hour.

I hope everyone enjoys their Christmas with family and friends. Running is in the plans for this weekend, just as soon as the freezing rain stops and the 1/2 inch of ice melts from the streets :) Wouldn't want to "fall down go boom" before New Year's :)

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

New Adidas Shoes

Finally went and got fitted for new shoes today at the running store! I had to look up the directions to the store because I've only been there once and it's in a part of town I rarely go do. The owner of the store was the one to help me out, so I felt kinda special. I wore my old shoes in so whoever helped me would have something to compare the new shoes to. I explained to him that I feel like I'm rolling out too much when I walk/run. I also told him about the shin pain I've been having. He then told me that the shoes I was wearing (ASICS Gel-Cumulus 10) would have been the ones he would recommended! WHAT?! If those were the shoes for me, why did I hurt so bad?

After pulling the 3 other pairs of shoes he had in my size, we commenced to trying them on. That's right, the store still doesn't stock very many size 6 shoes. The first pair we tried were the Adidas Supernova Glide. A totally neutral shoe. It felt great! I jumped around, ran around, and ballet-danced just to test them out. I felt like I was just wearing a big sock. So comfortable! We tried the other two (the ASICS Gel-Nimbus 11 and a pair of Nike's that I can't remember the name of) and because I have a wide foot, they didn't work as well as the first. I did ask if he would recommend another brand of shoe for me that they didn't stock in my size that I might be able to order. The owner said no.

So, after a lot of ballet-dancing, and chose the Adidas shoes and brought them home, along with some reflective wristbands :). Best part....they gave me a discount on the shoes for being a teacher!!!! I made a pit stop by Dick's Sporting Goods before going all the way home to pick up some GU Chomps. The running store I was at only had PowerBar stuff that wasn't gluten free. It took me for ever at Dick's! Apparently everyone in Rockford wants sports stuff for Christmas. After looking through the entire store, I finally found what I was looking for in the check-out line. Mmm....Orange GU. I know I don't run far enough yet to deserve the GU, but that's why I like the Chomps...they're bite sized :). I only need to eat one. I've read about the Jelly Belly Sports Beans on other blogs, but the package didn't say gluten free and I can't find any research on I stuck with the GU. Sadly, the chocolate GU isn't gluten free :(.

When I finally made it home, Bentley and I suited up and headed out. I finally got the play list right on my iPod and was totally psyched for this run. New shoes, new tunes, well-behaved puppy....what more could I ask for?!

About a mile into the run, my calves and achilles started cramping up. Luckily Bentley needed a "pit stop" and I could stretch. That helped for another 1/4 mile. I had planned to take Bentley once around the block and then leave him at home to finish. As I slowed down to avoid a "fall down go boom" on the icy patch at the end of our driveway, a massive side cramp developed. I put Bentley inside, stretched and continued on the way. I was able to make it all the way home again, but not without a lot of effort and mental-cheerleading. All together, running and walking, I did 2.82 miles.

Hopefully this is just a side effect of new shoes. If this is still going on in January, I will make a doctor's appointment. I never had these problems while running track in high school. Granted, I was a sprinter in high school, not a distance runner. Anything over 200M was torture to me then! Now I can run miles! Fingers crossed that the "new shoes smell" will wear off soon and they will be my perfect fit! Otherwise, the lady who rang me up said that if they aren't working I can bring them back and they'll find me another pair.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The run

Well, Lisa gets her wish. I'm posting about my run today.

I had wasted enough time this week not running...or going outside at all. Today was finally nice enough and I had the excitement of it being the start of winter break at school. No more teaching or getting up early for 3 weeks! I suited Bentley up and we got started.

I immediately regretted not putting on my windbreaker. Talk about wind burn! Three blocks later I decided to turn for home and drop Bentley off. He wasn't cooperating very well, and his ears were flapping in the wind. But he isn't going to get any exercise this weekend because I'm going out of town again. I changed my mind and kept him with me. We took a new route and I really enjoyed it. It involved us sprinting across a busy road! Haven't done that in a while. As we got closer to home it started getting colder and windier so I made sure we ran past the house so I could drop Bentley off. I finished the rest of the workout without him. All-in-all, if you count both the walking and the running I did, it came out to be just over 3 miles. Wah hoo! I stopped mapping at the bottom of the last hill because that was where all the effort stopped. I only counted 2.79 miles of the run as an actual workout. I'm still pretty impressed.

I did two things different on this run today:

#1: I dropped Bentley off at home and finished the run without him. His feet aren't handling the cold and the snow very well. The pads are getting scraped up on the ice and he's bleeding around his toe nails. I've only noticed the bleeding on super cold days and when he's been running through the snow. Today wasn't super cold and he wasn't in the snow, but I didn't want to push him any more than I already had. We did buy him those little bootie things, but he ate one tonight :( so he only has 3 left. Running without him felt weird...and great! Since I started my training and blogging, he has gone with me on every run. Without him I felt balanced and focused. I could swing my arms and focus on the road instead of yanking on the leash every 10 feet. It's too cold out to walk him and run so I like to kill two birds with one stone by having him run with me. I do need to start running without him though so I can do some serious runs.

#2: After reading a post by Lauren on her blog Reading and Running about KT Tape, I remembered that we had some samples that we got when my husband ran the Rock-N-Roll Chicago half this summer. I dug it out of the bathroom cabinet and taped up my shins. I made sure I read the directions to avoid some of the problems that she posted about. I must say that my shins didn't bother me a bit!!!!! The first time ever! Because this was my first time using it, I tore one of the sample strips in half so that I had a 1/2 inch width on each shin. I do think I need to use the full width of the strip on each shin because I did feel some pain where the tape didn't cover. Even now, a few hours after the run when my muscles are tightening up, my shins are relaxed and feeling great. I totally recommend this stuff! Now if they only made body suits.....

I told my husband about the KT tape and said that it would be a great stocking stuffer. That was the first running related item I've asked for for Christmas.....ever. No wait...I take that back...I told my sister that I wanted a windbreaker running jacket for cold weather this year. Because she currently lives in Minneapolis, MN I figured she'd be able to find a good one :) I've gone back and forth about asking for a Garmin. After reading Rachel's post about her new "baby" on her Beginning Runner's Blog, I've been wanting one. Even Lauren posted about her's. I've decided that I need to prove to myself that I'm a serious runner before I invest in hundreds of dollars worth of running technology. I will however, be buying a new pair of running shoes after Christmas...finally!!!

Wow. I feel like a real running blogger tonight. Kinda cool.


This is how I'm feeling:

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Tonight's confession: I'm a dork.

I just spent the past half hour watching Backstreet Boys videos on YouTube. I know...lame. I used to am a huge fan of the BSB. My sister and I were completely obsessed when we were younger. I had to buy their first album twice because I scratched up the CD from listening to it too much! I still have their albums in my car! And still listen to them every once in a while.

Now I know their music wasn't that great, but I just like the feeling I get when I listen to their songs. I remember they were my first big celebrity crushes. Those journals I was never able to finish had multiple entries about me running away with one of them. I could never pick a favorite! There were all totally hot for me. I changed my mind every week or so! I kept going back to Brian though :)

They pretty much defined my life from junior high through high school. I bought every issue of Teen Beat or 16 Magazine that my mom would let me so that I could practically wall paper my room with their pictures. It took me forever to fill all the tack holes and scrape the sticky-tak from the walls before we repainted it last summer. The number one item on my Christmas list my freshman year of high school was a BSB calendar.

My mom took us to see their Millennium concert my freshman year. I still have the concert tee in the basement somewhere. Never getting rid of that! I swear, if they ever go on tour somewhere near Chicago or Milwaukee again, I'll be there!

Still love these guys! Probably going to have good dreams tonight :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cookie Crazy

On Sunday, I had planned to get a run in today. A number of things kept me from actually doing that today.

Reason/Excuse#1: Temperatures were very cold. Windchill kept us inside for recess....again!

Reason/Excuse #2: Secret Santa celebration after school today. After that, I had 15 minutes to spend with Bentley before breaking the speed limit on my way to class. At least Ethel, my 82-year-old professor, kept her word and only kept us for 10 minutes.

Reason/Excuse #3: Instead of buying gifts for my coworkers this year I decided to bake them cookies. I decided to bake them today. We're gift exchanging tomorrow. I started baking at 6:30 PM and was finally able to sit down at 9:30 PM.

Well.....maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Just do it

Current time: 11:12 AM
Current temperature: 36F
Current status: sitting on my ass
Current internal argument: to run, or not to run?

Honestly I have no excuse today. It's not that cold. It's not snowing. It's not raining. It's not even windy! The laundry is done. Bentley hasn't had exercise since Friday. I just need to get up and do it.

Will update when I get back.


Current time: 1:06 PM
Current temperature: 35F
Current status: blogging about my run
Current internal argument: what to have for lunch :)

Well, I did it. It felt great. It also felt warm outside :) HA! Bentley was even well behaved on the run. Good thing 2' snow banks line the streets and he's too afraid to climb over them to sniff around. He climbed one on Wednesday morning and he sank which scared him. He's still not so sure about this snow stuff.

I debated about doing workout 3.2 instead of 5.1 because I took almost a week off running and wasn't sure how well my body would handle this. I sucked it up and just did workout 5.1 (run 5 walk 3). While running the first 5 min. I was excited to blog about how good I was feeling and how lose my legs were. We walked for 3 min. and then things changed. My legs tightened up a little for the next 5 min. and felt very heavy. The second 3 min. walk was welcomed. For the 3rd 5 min. set everything was fine again. By the time I got to the last 5 min set, my lungs felt like deflated balloons. It took a lot of effort to breathe in. I've always wondered if I had sports-asthma (if that's still a real thing) because this feeling happens after I've been running for a while. I also know that my endurance isn't where it needs to be yet. But luckily that was my last set and we were able to walk home. After a good stretch and a warm shower, my body and lungs feel just fine.

You were right Lisa, I am glad I made myself do it.

The forecast looks great this week after Tuesday. Hopefully my professor will keep her promise of a 10 minute class on Wednesday since it's our last one. That way I'll be able to run before 5:30. We're off for Christmas Break starting Friday. Then I'll be able to run while the sun is shining :) Let's hope someone comes through with some running clothes for me for Christmas! Oooh! and there's a Wii fit on the list too!

"Have a holly jolly Christmas, it's the best time of the year!"

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Brrr...It's cold in here!

Not running until the weekend it looks like. I drove through 2' snow drifts to get to work. At 9:00 AM today the actual temperature was -2F and the windchill was -22F. When I got home at 4:00 PM the temperature was 5F and the windchill was -11F. I didn't even take Bentley for his walk. The patio door was frozen shut.

Here's hoping that motivation doesn't fail me! And winter hasn't even started yet!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I must say I'm so excited for this! 5:04 AM brought me a very nice phone call "School Closed due to snow." Got so excited to stay home, watch Christmas movies, and spend time with Ryan until I noticed that the power was out! Poo! But about an hour later it came back on.

Just so you know what I'm dealing with today, here's the forecast:

morning will give way to snow showers this afternoon. Morning high of 32F with temps falling to near 20F. Winds WNW at 25 to 35 mph. Snow accumulating 1 to 3 inches. Winds could occasionally gust over 50 mph.

Oh...and here's tomorrow's forecast:

Windy. Mostly cloudy skies will become partly cloudy in the afternoon. Very cold. Wind chills approaching -20F. High around 10F. Winds WSW at 20 to 30 mph.

Wind chill of -20F!!!! I am not ready for it to be this cold so soon! But I guess that's what you get when you live in Northern Illinois. I'll post pictures of the almost 12 inches of snow covering my world right now when I can drag myself out of bed and out into the snow to take them.

If they ever plow my neighborhood, I'll get in workout 5.2 of the running program. But I can hardly walk Bentley in my boots, so there's no way I'm going to run in them :)

Here are those pictures:
It's 12:11 PM and they still haven't plowed the neighborhood. :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

This was all the people at school could talk about today. I doubt it will be as bad as they say, but who knows. We did get an e-mail about making sure our phone number was up-to-date in their emergency notification system. Let's hope I get a phone call on Wednesday morning! Well...let's not because then I have to make it up in June and I won't be happy. Plus, it will make getting through this next week super hard before break. I'm torn :(

I was in a bad mood when I came home today. A lot of stress was dumped on me this weekend and I'm not dealing with it very well. I did, however, decide that I needed to run when I got home today. While, getting dressed and ready I almost changed my mind. Everything I touched fell out of my hand. I couldn't find half of my running clothes. And Bentley, whom I should have left at home, was being obnoxious as heck! But I sucked it up and ran anyway. Tonight wasn't as cold, only 28 to start and 26 when I got home. My legs were very slow and heavy. Toward the end, I was able to pick my feet up better. Workout 4.3 complete! I feel good about running, but I'm still in a bad mood.

My husband and I picked out our Christmas tree yesterday. We were given an artificial tree by his parents last year but decided that we should get a real one this year. I had been seeing signs for a local tree farm since before Thanksgiving and decided that we should go there. It wasn't one of those cut-your-own deals, but I still felt good supporting a local business and buying a tree that wasn't shipped in from 10 states away. Five minutes after we put it up, this is what we saw:

I knew she'd climb that tree the moment we set it up. We haven't put any decorations on it because we're waiting for the novelty to wear off a bit. Wednesday night, the husband doesn't have a wrestling meet to be at, so we'll probably do it then. Until then, Bentley will just have to be in the Christmas spirit for all of us :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I'm so glad I went to E-I-U...

Our weekend road trip was a success. My sister arrived around 8:00 on Friday night and we left bright and early on Saturday morning to head to Eastern Illinois University. We picked up her friend at my parents house while we were dropping off Bentley. The drive down went by fast because those two just kept me laughing! I really miss having my sister near by.

As soon as we got there, we found the first rental office...after driving around the block 3 times! That place was such a hole-in-the-wall! Fortunately the lady was very nice and offered to drive us around town to tour the available units. The places she showed us were terrible! Smelled like smoke, stains on the carpets, appliances from 1970, obviously owned by college boys...etc. She finally showed us a very cute 1-bedroom in a 100+ year old building. It was so cute that my sister canceled 3 other appointments for that afternoon. We did decide to see two other places just to compare. Holy crap was that a bad decision! Those places were even worse! One even had a sewer back up on the front porch that wasn't cleaned up. Toilet paper and crap all over the place! Needless to say, we just smiled and waved and filled out an application for that cute 1-bedroom we saw before.

After that we toured around campus and spent 45 minutes in the bookstore. It's amazing how much has changed and how much it's stayed the same in the 3 years since I've left. My sister is really started to get excited about going there. Her friend and I will have a great time visiting her next semester.

Hopefully I can get a run in this week before it snows again!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Brrrr....!!!!!! is reporting the temperature where I am as 21 degrees! It also says it "feels like" 11 degrees! And there are flurries outside! Holy cow! I can't believe I just ran in that!!!!

Some one be proud of me because I can't be excited about this all by myself.

Bentley was being absolutely crazy when I got home, so I decided that we could both use a good run. He won't get any exercise tomorrow because I'm going to be gone all day and he's staying with my mom. I had to fight a major urge to throw on the sweats and chill on the couch, so this wasn't easy. But it's done and over. Holy cow was it cold out there! The cold wasn't so bad after we started running. I found an old windbreaker jacket to wear until I Christmas when someone, hopefully, buys me some cold-weather running clothes. I'm seriously still wearing stuff from high school! I was amazed how easy it was to run in the cold. I've never, ever done that before. I always made fun of my sister for living in Minneapolis and running in the winter. But now I see that it really isn't that bad. It's truly about wearing the right gear.

Tonight my sister is coming back to town. She got into grade school at EIU and we're heading to Charleston, IL tomorrow to find her an apartment. I did my undergrad work at EIU and am so thirlled that my baby sister is going. I also think it's hilarious that she did her undergrad work at the huge University of Minnesota and is now going to live in tiny Charleston, IL. She's going to die of boredom in hill-billy nowhere! Ha Ha Ha! This should be a great road trip!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Thank you for putting up with my rant yesterday. Today was much better!

School went much better. All my lessons went well and I managed to stay organized! I also managed to leave school on time so that I could run before class tonight! Luckily the weather cooperated with me for that one.

Bentley and I had a great run today. Workout 4.1 was pretty tough. The first five-minute interval was killer! But I managed to power through it. Bentley was pretty good with sticking with me. There were a lot of kids outside that caused him to run all over, but good on the whole. He was still sporting his Bud Light poo-carrying jacket :)

I'm gearing up to run again on Friday. I need a good day of regrouping and stretching. There are supposed to be break days between the running days in this program. I've been cramming them together for the sake of time. Hopefully this doesn't come back to bite me in the ass.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I woke up super motivated this morning! I showered in record time, convinced the hubby to walk the puppy, and made running plans after making my lunch.

As soon as I got to school my motivation was flushed down the crapper! I was called into an IEP meeting that I was not notified about, I was missing two sets of worksheets that I swore I had copied last week, and to top it all off I remembered that I had the last Team Seminar for my masters class tonight after school. All of that meant that I wasn't going to run tonight.

Instead I spent 3 hours in a BS class that has taught me nothing about education and improving my teaching! The first 60 minutes of class was spent sitting around and doing nothing! This woman has wasted more of my time than any other person I can think of right now. The next 120 minutes was spent listening to her babble on about the same subjects she's babbled on about before! Ugh! On the bright side, I got all my papers graded tonight.

I won't get another running chance until Thursday. I have the research class of my masters program tomorrow night. It's also supposed to start snowing/sleeting around 3:00. If the weather doesn't suck, I might be able to squeeze in the run before I have to leave for class.

Alright, rant over. Thank you for listening.