Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 20

Day 20 - A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel

I've been to Disneyland in California before but I only got to spend a couple of hours there. I would love to go back and take my time exploring the park that Walt built. I'm special, I know.

There are lots of other places that I've never been to but would love to go! I'm not a beach person but I've heard wonderful things about the Turks and Caicos. Take a look at the color of that water!

One of my picks in the running for a honeymoon destination (we aren't going until next year when The Pilot and I have more vacation time to use!) is Costa Rica. The owner of the company I work for bought a house there and loves it. Plus, Beth over at Shut Up and Run recently went on a family vacation there and it looks like they had a blast! Hello, zip lining!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 19

Day 19 - A picture and a letter

With my niece and nephew, E & G

Dear E and G:

My little E. I will never forget how excited I was when I found out you were on your way. I was living in Orlando when my brother (your dad!) called me. I just wanted to jump through the phone to be there. Just a couple months later, I was back in Ohio, sitting in a hospital room, anxiously waiting for you to make your debut. That was almost 7 years ago. I can hardly believe it. You are turning into such a smart, sassy, thoughtful and creative little lady. Sometimes you do things that remind me of myself (lining up toys when you were younger and now all of your craft projects). I love spending time with you and hearing your perspective on your environment. I am so excited that I get to be so involved in your life!

Mr. G-man. You are the funniest little kid I have ever met. You get that from your dad. I have no idea how, at just 3-years old, you have figured out how to roll your eyes, bat your eyelashes, smile in a way that makes your dimples look even cuter than they do when you don't have an audience. But I love that you have! You are such a charmer. I could be in the worst mood ever and can get one look of you and feel so much better! I just know that you are going to be a friend to everyone when you start school and there's a pretty good chance that you will be the class clown. And I'll always be one of your biggest fans!

Aunt Amber

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 18

Day 18 - A picture of your biggest insecurity

I guess it's a good thing but I am having a hard time with this one. My first reaction is to say my core. It's a little soft and not as strong as it should be considering the marathons and triathlons. But I am not about to post a picture of my jiggly bits for the whole world to see. So I thought about it a little more...

...and I still had trouble. From time to time I feel insecure about my pace and the quality of my training but that is usually fleeting. And the longer I do this, the more I embrace the fact that I am slow and I'll most likely hang out in the back of the pack for my racing "career." I never signed up to try to win so I'm ok with that.

I went to The Pilot to talk to him about it and he said that is why he loved me so much. I'm comfortable in my own skin most days. I'm confident in who I am as a person. This wasn't always the case but I finally made it there. Sure, I have lots of fears but on the flip side, the things I am afraid of are the things I'm excited about.

I'm a little afraid that in 4 months I'm going to be a wife. And I don't take that lightly. I'm so excited to marry The Pilot but I also want to make sure I'm a "good wife." I'm not sure what that means exactly but I'm going to give it my best. I certainly don't fit into the "old" stereotype of a housewife (not that I'd want to) because I can't/don't like to cook, my house isn't exactly spotless, I hate doing the laundry and I won't be waiting on The Pilot hand and foot when he's home. I might have some fresh bread and some questionable milk in the fridge when he gets home from a trip but obviously he fell in love with me despite all that.

I suppose I have also insecurities about being a mother. Until a year ago, I honestly didn't want kids. Refer back to my "10 facts." (Kids are unpredictable, sticky and smelly.) But then The Pilot came along and I'm slowly warming up to creating a little monster with him. And that terrifies me! I just about made The Pilot throw away all of his wire hangers when he moved in. What if I go all Mommie Dearest and start screaming to our child "No wire hangers EVER!" Hey, that is a very real insecurity I tell you.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 17

Day 17 - A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently

I was tempted to just stick another picture of The Pilot on here and call this post done but that would be a little too easy. But the more I thought about it, he really has made a huge impact on me. My mom remembers me saying after just the first couple dates with The Pilot that "he has interesting things to say." And he really does. I never know what is going to come out of his mouth! But I think what has made the biggest impact is the fact that he is a vegetarian. And I am not.

He was very open about it from the start. I asked if it was a "deal breaker" that I was not a vegetarian and didn't plan to become one. He was honest and said that he wasn't sure. Lucky for me it turned out not to be a deal breaker. But the more I got to know him and the more I understood his perspective, the more I started to think. Yes, that can be dangerous.

The Pilot doesn't feel there is a difference between a house cat or your pet dog and a cow or a chicken. They are all animals and you wouldn't eat your pet cat (unless you are an alien named ALF), would you? When I think about it that way, I don't really want to eat a hamburger either.

I'm not a vegetarian and I still don't think I ever will be, full-time at least. I would say I eat vegetarian about 4-5 days a week, which makes me a flexitarian. He accepts that and doesn't push his opinions on me but at the same time, he's opened my eyes a lot. The cow in that hamburger was not wandering around freely in a pasture before it was put on your plate like you might think. It was raised in a factory...and that is something to think about. Here are some FAQs about being a veggiesauraus.

A little Pilot with his furry "siblings."
We are putting together a video for our wedding that includes photos of the two of us growing up. I quickly realized that there was some kind of animal in the majority of his childhood photos. He loves animals of all kinds and they love him. I often call him the cat whisperer since my cats seem to like him more than they like me now. But I've notice that all animals seem drawn to him. It's probably because they can sense that he's not going to eat them.

A really little Pilot checking out a really big turkey.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 16

Day 16 - A picture of someone who inspires you

This was another easy one for me....assuming that I can pick someone who is no longer living...

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." ~ Walt Disney

Let me pull out my weird card. I am a huge fan of Walt Disney. Most people just lump me in to the "Disney fan" category but I don't think most realize that it's more that I am a fan of Walt Disney the person. I have always been awestruck at the empire that he created. Theme parks didn't exist before Walt Disney. Cartoons with sound didn't exist either. He thought that up himself!

I read Walt Disney: An American Original when I was about 13 years old and the fascination only continued when I did an internship for the Walt Disney Company when I was 19. I worked for the company full time after college and I'm still a seasonal cast member just so I can still be a part of the magic from time to time. During all that time, I was taking it all in! Every aspect of Disney World fascinated me because I understood where it all came from - one person! Of course it was always a team effort and thousands of people make it all happen but it really all started with one person!

Walt Disney was always "plussing" his movies and attractions at Disneyland. He always took the time (and the money) to take everything to the next level. He invested in the storyline so deeply that those enjoying the final product completely lose all concept of reality. He made people truly believe that mice could talk, that elephants could fly and a little boy would never grow up. He perfected every detail of everything he did and then inspired everyone around him to do the same. This is why Disney movies and parks are so great and have that extra something that other movies and parks just don't have.

I love to read books about Walt Disney and the history of the Disney Company and I am constantly learning something new and I am always inspired by the thought that Walt put into his work and the thought that the generations of cast members after him continue to put into all things Disney.

I am a meeting and event planner and I am constantly trying to find ways to "plus" the events that I plan. I draw inspiration from "what would Walt do?" What can I do to make this experience even better for the attendees? What small little detail might go unnoticed by most but makes a big impact on the few that do pick up on it? I thrive on the small details and get a kick out of it when people do notice.

I could pull pictures of Walt from the internet but I have these pictures of the Partners statue at Walt Disney World that I thought I would share instead. The story behind the statue (because EVERYTHING at Disney has a story, has a reason) is that Walt is showing Mickey the way. Walt was busy inspiring others because he knew one day that he wouldn't be around anymore and he wanted his vision to be carried out. It was always said that Mickey was Walt and Walt was Mickey. Mickey will be around forever so Walt made sure that Mickey knew the way so that he could continue leading everyone else. It sounds so cheesy but I really think there is some truth to that. Anyways though, I love that story and love that statue!

I have tons of photos that I have taken of the statue over the years but my friend, Julie took these amazing pictures in 2009 when we went down to do the marathon.

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible." ~ Walt Disney
"You don't build it for yourself. You know what the people want and you built it for them." ~Walt Disney
"All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them." ~ Walt Disney

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 15

Day 15 - A picture of something you want to do before you die

I'd like to jump out of a "perfectly good airplane." The Pilot posted a picture on his online dating profile of him right before skydiving. It's actually the reason I contacted him. I thought he looked adventurous. :) I'd like to go skydiving some day and I want him to be the one to push me out the door. Weeeeeeee!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 14

Day 14 - A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without

This is an easy one! I'm going to go with my soon-to-be hubs, The Pilot. I guess I can imagine life without him in the sense that we haven't been together all that long and I can remember living the single life before he came along. Going forward though, I can't imagine life without that guy! I love him to pieces!

Last January, I could not have imagined that I would be engaged to the guy I nervously met in a Greek restaurant. I couldn't imagine that stranger would quickly become my best friend. I couldn't imagine that in just over a year's time, we'd be laughing at each other while taking our engagement photos. (Yeay for the talented Angie Cope for hiding the fact that we are total dorks together!)

But now that marrying my best friend is a reality, I cannot wait to start my life with him. I am so excited to be his wife!

If I'm in a bad mood, he can make me laugh. When I'm being irrational, he can gently bring me back to reality....and then make me laugh. If I don't feel like getting up at 5:15 am to go to swim practice, he can shove me out of bed and I can thank him for it later (No matter how nice he is about it though, I cannot laugh at 5:15 am. It's not humanly possible.) But at the end of the day, we have a blast together.

Take today for example. We were leaving a restaurant (we finally picked a rehearsal dinner location!) in separate cars. He was behind me at a traffic light. Naturally I had to make a face at him in my rear view mirror. He started to laugh. Then I got the giggles and started to laugh. This made him laugh harder, which made me laugh harder. We both ended up laughing hysterically for no reason other than we entertain each other. Isn't that a nauseating story?? :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 13

Day 13 - A picture of your favorite band or artist

Like I mentioned in my "10 facts," I love Pearl Jam. I am not embarrassed to admit that. I love them so much that I have been in the fan club for over 16 years. The fan club gives members first dibs at concert tickets and the longer you are in the club, the more seniority and the better the tickets are (the main reason for being in the club so long!). Third row is the closest I've ever been and my hopes for the first row were dashed when I found out that the first 3 rows are typically set aside for radio contests.

Unfortunately most of my concert pictures were taken before digital cameras came around and though The Pilot and I went to a PJ show last spring, they didn't allow cameras into the arena. Boo!

Here are some pictures from a show in 2000. My close friend Lauren (and fellow PJ junkie!) and I went and were in the 4th row that year.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 12

Day 12 - A picture of something you love

Well obviously I love The Pilot, especially when he makes faces like this:
But if we are talking about "things" and not people...

Then I LOVE Dairy Queen Blizzards. They can cure all that ails you. Especially the Waffle Crisp with caramel version they have at the local DQ. Did you know the Blizzard had a fan club?? I didn't.....but I might have to join!

I LOVE Team in Training! Signing up for my first 1/2 marathon with them back in 2004 was the smartest thing I ever did! It changed my life completely.

I love that several times a year I get to coach at marathons and wear this awesome headband.

But I absolutely love that I am a part of an organization that is raising money to find a cure for blood cancers.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 11

Day 11 - A picture of something you hate

I agree with Brittney over at Life in a Holding Pattern that the 30-day Challenge is getting more difficult! Hate IS a strong word. I've already told you that I hate lima beans and I really dislike fish so I've been trying to come up with something other than that to tell you about.

I hate when some other show (usually a sporting event) runs over and the DVR only records half of the Amazing Race.

I'm fairly certain that I hate crew scheduling. Or crew planning. Or whomever thinks it's safe or healthy for pilots to have a 4:00 am report time one day only to be followed by a 4:00 pm report time the next day. The pilots never know what day it is or if they should be awake or asleep. I also think that these scheduling people forget that pilots are humans with families and those family members don't like it when you try to call their pilot in on their day off...they are away from home enough as it is!

The airline industry is NOTHING like the movie, Catch Me if You Can!

I hate when they show disturbing images on news shows or online without any warning. I need the option to opt-out, especially when it comes to animal abuse. And because of that, I'm going to post a picture of my cats instead, who clearly are not subject to abuse, no matter what they try to tell visitors.

DC thinks he's abused because I won't put black-out shades in the office. The bright afternoon sun always disrupts his nap.

And Figment thinks the only place she is allowed to sleep is in the bathroom sink. Because we don't provide ANY soft places to sleep (and by any, I mean the three cat beds and the living room furniture).

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 10

Day 10 - A picture of the person you do the most ****** up things with

I'm not exactly known for doing ****** up things in general. I got out most of my craziness while in college. College was a blast but I have certainly moved past that. But it sure is fun to reminisce! I'll have to say that my friend Lezlie is probably the one that I did most of my "shady" activities with. We are still friends (she's going to be a bridesmaid and will still be smiling as I make her wear fuchsia!) and have known each other since the 8th grade (or was it the 7th grade...?). I won't go into great detail but we lived together during our senior year of college which lead to lots of random activities like the evening that involved a item stolen from someone's front porch ("Just take it, no one is home." Even though every light in the house was on.). We also spent spring break that year in Vegas which is really all that needs to be said.

Riding a roller coaster in Vegas after having a few adult beverages(bad idea for the record).

We've made it through some bachelorette parties.

We managed to survive the ****** stuff we did and recently celebrated our 30th birthdays together! We are now productive members of society! I love that girl!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spin Cycle

I made it through 60 minutes of spinning without any knee pain! I was so excited. Of course it was still crazy hard (hello, jumps!) but I kept more resistance on my bike than last week and that seemed to do the trick. I think that was our last indoor session since the weather is getting better. It's time to get outside!

I recently got my bike tuned up and had the front derailleur cables replaced and I bought new pedals on Friday. I haven't put them on yet. I'm a little reluctant since I still seem to be awkward at getting the new shoes into the pedals on the spinning bike. I recently bought new shoes with a different type of cleat so I could use them on the spinning bikes but now I need to put compatible pedals on my road bike. I think I'll just need to go for it, put the pedals on and practice getting clipped in....possibly in a grass field....or at the very least, it a flat, open space so when I can't get clipped in, I can coast along or stopped quickly if I need to.

I'm sure this post will make my mom feel very confident in my cycling abilities. (Insert sarcasm). She seems to be concerned that I'll get some road rash on my face (or upper body in general) since the triathlon is just a couple weeks before the wedding. It will be a great story that's for sure!

Day 9

Day 09 - A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most

Again, this is tough! Like I mentioned earlier, I have been blessed with so many amazing people in my life that have been there with me through thick and thin but if I go off just the really really hard times, I would say that one of my bestest friends, Julie has always been there. She is amazing! She is a fiercely loyal friend and would drop anything to be there for you. And to gush a little more, she just had a baby who is probably one of the prettiest little creatures I've ever seen!

Julie and I met our freshman year of college. She ended up transferring to another school after that year but for some reason we clicked and have stayed friends ever since. In one of those signs that everything happens for a reason, Julie happened to move to Columbus for a summer. It happened to be the summer that I was going through the darkest period in my life. I know I wasn't a very good friend to her during that time but she stuck by me!

Halloween 2001 (I was a fish tank and she was a vampire...with purple hair)

Halloween 2003 (cowgirls!)

After the 2009 Disney Marathon (which I convinced her that she could do!)

I was a bridesmaid in her wedding (and she will be my Matron of Honor!)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 8

Day 08 - A picture that makes you laugh

Thankfully The Pilot has a great sense of humor. He had to work on Christmas Eve, when my family celebrates with gifts and dinner. As a joke, The Pilot and I wrapped my Republican brother's gift in a reusable Obama grocery bag that we bought at the DCA airport. The 2010 feast featured bacon wrapped filet mignon. The Pilot is a vegetarian. The Pilot was not there to celebrate (or defend himself) so Flat Pilot stood in and this is what happened to him.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 7

Day 07 - A picture of your most treasured item

MY FAMILY! I love the picture but just wish that my mom (she was taking the picture) and The Pilot (he was working) were in it! This was taken at the 2010 Relay for Life that we all participated in and will be again this year. I'm looking forward to the wedding pictures because EVERYONE will be in the same photo!

L-R: The Dad, my brother, his beautiful wife, my sassy pants niece, me and my nephew who was two at the time and didn't want to listen to my mom trying to get him to look at the camera. :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 6

Day 06 - A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day

I think I would like to trade places with The Pilot when he is working. Yeah, it would be cool to fly an airplane but I think it would give me more insight into what makes him his wonderful self. He loves to fly. He might not always like the regional airline lifestyle but he loves to fly. I would love to get a glimpse of that. I also think it would give me a chance to put myself in his shoes. I get bummed out when he has to miss out on the fun stuff that I do on my own, or when I'm lonely and I just miss him, but I sometimes forget that he misses me. He doesn't like being away from home, missing out on the fun stuff, and he doesn't like when I'm lonely. But I love him and he loves me...and he loves to fly and I love that he's passionate about it!

This picture is a a couple years old and back when he was at a different airline and flying a different plane. You get the idea though. Us "commoners" don't know the difference between one jet to another. Or at least I don't. I can usually pick out his plane when it flies over my office (right next to the airport) but the cockpits all look the same to me.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 5

Day 05 - A picture of your favorite memory

Another tough one. I have had so many amazing moments in my life! And so many things that have happened recently! I decided to modify this and post my most proud memory. My first 1/2 marathon. When I signed up, a lot of people (including myself), doubted that I could do it. No one was sure if I would stick with it (let me remind you to look at the name of this blog!). But I did stick with it. I finished my first half marathon (it was really my first big race, EVER!) at Walt Disney World in January 2005. I'll point out that those mouse ears have now traveled at least 196.5 miles. How can you do a Disney race WITHOUT mouse ears???

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 4

Day 04 - A picture of your night

I suppose my evening began when I left work. I was working at our headquarters today which is just over an hour away from home. After traffic, construction, a head-on collision that closed the intersection I wanted to go through, a tour through my hometown to bypass that intersection and a stop to feed my parents' cat, I finally made it home almost 2 hours after I left the office. Fail!

Luckily The Pilot is home this week and had dinner waiting for me. Yeay! I hate to cook and I stress out about dinner most nights. The Pilot is vegetarian so when he's around, I'm a vegetarian too. I'm completely ok with that since I don't have to cook. This is one of the many perks that makes up for him being away so much! :)

Tonight he made a vegetarian chili recipe that a fellow TNT coach passed along to us. Lots of organic goodness here:
Before I met The Pilot, at least 1/2 of these ingredients had never been in my house before. I hadn't even heard of tempeh. The chili is good....especially with cheese sprinkled on it. Cheese makes everything better. I used to say bacon made everything better but The Pilot seems to be changing my mind....and he's not a vegan so yeay for cheesy goodness!


Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 3

Day 03 - A picture of the cast from your favorite show

I love me some CSI! Not the spin off shows but the original in Las Vegas. And for the record, I miss Grissom.

I regularly watch several other shows but all of my shows are now on DVR and I watch when The Pilot isn't around. He's not much of a TV fan and I wouldn't want to make him watch some of the random things I enjoy like.... Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Survivor (I only watch the challenges and fast forward through those fools fighting and scheming), 19 Kids and Counting (I have no idea why I am so intrigued by this family), Deadliest Catch (another strange one considering my fear of creepy things that come out of the ocean) and Amazing Race. When I type it all out, it seems like I watch a lot of TV but it doesn't really feel that way. I sometimes will go a week or more without watching any of my shows. I tend to save them up on the DVR until I'm sick...or recovering from a hard workout....or my gimpy knee.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I Guess I'll Just Go Slower

I coached our TNT marathoners this morning. I got in a great 6 miles with one of our amazing alumni. I was super excited that I got through all 6 miles without any knee pain! Not even a twinge. It's been pretty discouraging that it's taken so long to get back to "normal" after the Goofy Challenge. I hope this means that I'm on the right track and can start working out more during the week (I've still be modifying my training schedule).

After the marathon training in the morning, I took a few minutes to relax, throw in some laundry and eat lunch before it was off to the next workout. The triathlon team is still meeting on Sundays for spinning class since the weather is still too unpredictable to plan to ride outside. Probably only another 2 weeks before we are outdoors for the season! I made it through about 30 minutes of the spinning class without any knee pain. It was tough and we were doing single leg drills (pedaling with only one foot clipped intp the pedal) and these hill ladders that make me want to puke. We spin at a medium resistance and then increase the resistance and stand. We did this 4 times, each time standing for even longer and then you repeat, but you decrease the amount of time standing. It's so hard and it feels like my heart is going to jump out of my chest.

The funny thing is that even though I feel like I'm dying during those hill ladders, my knee doesn't hurt. In the last 30 minutes of class, we did a few sprints (low resistance, spinning really fast) and instantly, my knee started to hurt. I added resistance and slowed down a little and it felt better. We had one last looooong "hill" (continually adding resistance until you have to stand) at the end of class and while it was tough, I got through it and the pain in my knee wasn't there.

My take-away from that....I guess I'll just go slower!

OK, so maybe that's not the best answer but I'm going to go with it for right now. I think I'll wait until we get outside and I'm back on my own bike to see how the knee feels. If it's still giving me hell, I think a trip back to the doctor might be in order.

But I'm going to end on a positive note. I am SO excited about daylight savings. Yes, it was a bummer to lose an hour of sleep last night and I'm exhausted but it's worth it. I can finally start working out outside after work! My paranoia won't let me train outdoors in the dark so I haven't done any weekday training outside since October! I can't wait to get some fresh air during the week!

Day 2

Day 02 - A picture of you and the person you have been closest with the longest

This was a tough one. I instantly thought of my friends. I have been blessed with a group of girls that are amazing! They know me inside and out and still love me anyways. And I've known then all for a really long time. I could get all technical and try to think back to when I met each of them but that required a lot of thinking. And that's too much for a Sunday. And it hit me. Duh...other than my amazing parents, who have I known the longest? My big brother! He was almost 6 when I made my entrance. We spent a lot of years when I was the pesky little sister but once I got to college and was officially an "adult" we get along great! I mentioned on day 1 that I would give his kids one of my limbs if they needed it. But you see, my brother would do the same for me (and his kids!). He'd never let me forget about it in his humorous, "pick on my little sister" way, but he would do it!

I LOVE this series of pictures. My mom was always trying to get a nice picture of us and we couldn't make it easy on her. This was taken in 2000 when I was doing my internship at Disney World. My family came down to visit and we spend the day at Epcot.

That's not right!
Wait, that's not right either (not sure why my mouth is open!)

Sorry, mom, this is as close as it gets!

Love him!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A 30-Day Challenge

So it occurred to me recently that my life has changed so much over the past year (Hello! Meeting The Pilot and saying yes to his proposal!). It has changed more than I ever could have imagined to be honest! But I realized that this blog...and my life has revolved around training for a long time. And with the changes that have happened, I decided that this blog really is about my life...all of it. While it still revolves around training, there are a lot of other aspects to it. I couldn't train if it wasn't for the support of my family and friends. I probably wouldn't train so hard if it wasn't for Team in Training and my TNT family. I wouldn't be so obnoxiously happy if it wasn't for The Pilot. I decided to shift the concept of my blog to really give a glimpse into what makes up all of my world.

This 30-day challenge has been making the rounds around the blog world but I "borrowed" the idea from Brittney over at Life in a Holding Pattern. (I'm about to be a "pilot's wife," which is not an easy lifestyle so I've already found lots of support in bloggy land!)

This is the challenge: I'll be posting (or trying to at least) pictures each day with a story about each picture. Here's how it will go:

Day 01 - A picture of yourself with ten facts
Day 02 - A picture of you and the person you have been closest with the longest
Day 03 - A picture of the cast from your favorite show
Day 04 - A picture of your night
Day 05 - A picture of your favorite memory
Day 06 - A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day
Day 07 - A picture of your most treasured item
Day 08 - A picture that makes you laugh
Day 09 - A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most
Day 10 - A picture of the person you do the most ****** up things with
Day 11 - A picture of something you hate
Day 12 - A picture of something you love
Day 13 - A picture of your favorite band or artist
Day 14 - A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without
Day 15 - A picture of something you want to do before you die
Day 16 - A picture of someone who inspires you
Day 17 - A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently
Day 18 - A picture of your biggest insecurity
Day 19 - A picture and a letter
Day 20 - A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel
Day 21 - A picture of something you wish you could forget
Day 22 - A picture of something you wish you were better at
Day 23 - A picture of your favorite book
Day 24 - A picture of something you wish you could change
Day 25 - A picture of your day
Day 26 - A picture of something that means a lot to you
Day 27 - A picture of yourself and a family member
Day 28 - A picture of something you're afraid of
Day 29 - A picture that can always make you smile
Day 30 - A picture of someone you miss

Today is Day 1 and here is my picture and some random facts.

  1. This picture was taken in the fall of 2009 (old, I know). My brother, his wife and I had pictures taken with us and their kids to give to my parents for Christmas. I don't know that we will ever be able to top that gift because I think both my mom and dad got a little teary eyed.
  2. I hate lima beans. So does my grandpa which I find humorous because he will eat just about anything else.
  3. I am NOT the slowest marathoner ever. These guys are.
  4. Even though it's completely irrational, I am terrified of fish. They give me the heebie jeebies.
  5. Kids terrify me also. They are unpredictable, sticky and smelly (kind of like fish when I think about it...). But, I love my niece and nephew to pieces, literally. If either of them needed one of my limbs, I would give it to them.
  6. I don't care that it's not 1992 anymore. I still believe that Pearl Jam is the greatest band EVER.
  7. I feel guilty about making my best friends in the whole world wear fuchsia bridesmaid dresses. I can't help that I love the color though and realize that this may have been a bridezilla move. :)
  8. The only time I drink milk is when I'm dunking cookies or eating cereal.
  9. I cannot function without a paper calendar (old school!), check lists or sticky notes. I know this makes me sound compulsive but if you've ever traveled with me, you'll know I don't forget anything!
  10. I am head over heels in love with my best friend. At first glance we don't have much in common but it works. And in July, I will get to marry my best friend and I cannot wait to become his wife!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Robot Marathon

So some little "robot runners" in Japan did a marathon. All 26.2 miles of it! It's damn impressive when humans do it but it's a little strange to watch these little guys. I can relate to the one that got kicked right at the start line. That tends to happen to us slow folks.

But it seems as though there is something slower than me in this world! The marathon took more than two days. At least my marathon time is typically under 7 hours!

"Organisers billed the race - which took more than two days - as a test of durability rather than speed." Source

That is exactly how I have always approached my races- a test of durability rather than speed. I think I'll stick with that.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

How Do You Do It? Why Do You Do It?

When it comes to training and racing, I am frequently asked "how do you do it? and/or "why do you do it?" And I'm still not sure how to answer that. Do I copycat Nike and say "just do it?" Do I lie and say that I have an unlimited amount of energy? The truth is, I don't know sometimes. It's not easy that's for sure. Look up at the title of this blog. I am not one of those people that is naturally athletic and really enjoys working out. I really don't like it most days. Sometimes (like this past week), I just don't have any desire to work out. I just want to sit and eat Dairy Queen Blizzards. How's that for some reality?

"Why do you do it?" I feel like I don't have a choice. I realized back in 2004 that I was way too young to be that out of shape so I trained for my first 1/2 marathon but that wasn't enough. In 2007 it became even more real that I shouldn't take my health (or ability) for granted. It finally sunk in that I have no choice. Obesity, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol all run in my family. If I don't "just do it," then I'm going to go down the path of having all those challenges. In 2007, the doctor told me I was pre-diabetic and my cholesterol was borderline high. Now, all of those important numbers are well below average and while I still hold onto some extra weight that just doesn't want to leave, my overall heath is pretty darn good. My resting heart rate is down 15 beats from 2007. I can't beat genetics and despite the hard work I put in, I might still end up struggling with things like high blood pressure and cholesterol but that doesn't mean I'm going to stop trying.

"How do you do it?" I don't necessarily have more energy than the next person. I don't love working out that much. Sure, I love the feeling of finishing a race or making it through a difficult work out but I don't usually feel the urge to workout like some people do. The character flaw that I've done my best to turn into a positive attribute (and what might answer the "how do you do it?" question) is stubbornness. I won't quit. I just keep trying until I make it to the end. I'm usually in the back of the pack during races. I'm a slow walker and even slower runner. I'm a slow swimmer and a slow cyclist. But no matter how slow I'm going, I don't stop.

So what's a Gym Class Dropout to do when motivation is running low? As much as I really wanted to not go to spinning class today and sit on my butt and eat a Blizzard, I didn't. For two reasons. I didn't want my coach/teammates to harass me (because I already missed the swim practice earlier this week), but today is also the one year anniversary of Seth Jenkins' death. I only met him once but in his 13 short years in this world, he manage to inspire a lot of people. Despite being sick, he just didn't quit. He didn't have a choice so he just kept going until his little body couldn't fight any more. My body is still going. I can't let my lack of motivation get in my way. I just have to keep going.

Why do I do it? Because kids like Seth can't. Because if I don't, then my body might stop fighting.

And why the hell not? It sure beats sitting around, eating fast food and keeping my fingers crossed that the genetic Russian roulette doesn't get me!