Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Baltimore Thanksgiving

Saturday morning we headed up to Baltimore to celebrate Thanksgiving with my dad. Here's what we did:
Went to the new Four Seasons Hotel Lobby to check it out because it just opened. I found original artwork by Frank Stella!!! It was very exciting.
Enjoyed walking around the harbor and the beautiful sunset. We ate homemade raviolis then went to my favorite dessert place, Vaccaro's in Little Italy.
We went to a light show at the old Power Plant.
Sunday for lunch we went to Chaps. Clarke really wanted to go because he saw it on The Food Network's show Man vs. Food. It was really good!

On the way home we sat in traffic for what seemed like forever. It took us five hours to get home when it normally takes three! Not fun.

Besides the traffic we had a great time. So glad we got to enjoy the holiday with dad up in Baltimore.

Friday, November 25, 2011

21 Random Facts

So I was tagged by GBA_gf over at Neurosis of the Stay at Home Marathoner of 3 to write 21 random facts about me. Here I go....

1. I was born in Florida, lived there until I was 8, but I hate seafood.
2. I am trying to convince myself that the marathon has in fact not made me slower. But since it feels like my body just hasn't recovered yet whenever I run. I ran the Turkey Trot yesterday and I know there were lots of hills, but I didn't feel strong. I don't know, I think I am also kinda suffering from post marathon blues.
3. I hate change, but love it when the seasons do. I'm always ready for the next season. I am totally ready for some snow.

4. When I first wanted to teach I was all about high schoolers. Now I am loving the little ones the most. It's funny how God changes your heart.

5. I lost a whole pant size from training for the marathon. I am determined to not gain it back. I lost about 10 pounds right before I got married, then gained it all back plus some. I don't want to do this again! ( I type this as I eat deviled eggs for breakfast.....opps.)

6. I am one of those people who thinks about their future. Probably too much. But right now I am loving the idea of being one of those stay at home moms who runs a lot. And of course I'll need all the cute running outfits to go along. Ha!

7. The Turkey Trot I ran yesterday was at University of Richmond, where I got my teaching license. Made me think a lot about going back to school there. I really think I will one day.

8. My husband and I were in the same second grade class together.

9. I treat my cat like my first born child. Anyone who knows me in real life knows about my love for cats. I know I'm a dork, but really they're just so cute. Can't help it.

10. I love to travel. Whether it's to the Outer Banks (a place I've been to thousands of times) or a place that takes a whole day to get to (like our honeymoon in Martinique) I enjoy it. Currently planning our spring break trip!

11. I am extremely lucky to have a close church family. I have been going to the same church for 12 years and still love it.

12. I am not really into watching a lot of TV. But, every Tuesday I have to watch Glee. It's def. my favorite show. It might also be my favorite running music as well.

13. I teach gymnastics after school and love it. Sometimes I see the older girls doing things I used to be able to do but no longer can. I think to myself "I can't believe I used to be able to do that!" But then I think about the things I can do now that I def. couldn't do back then, like run 26.2 miles. Yeah, that's pretty cool too.

14.  I am still really close to the same friends I had in middle school. It's not normal, but it works for us and I'm so thankful for their friendships.

15. I love decorating our house. It's def. my favorite part of home ownership.

16. I love all things crafty, art museums and modern architecture. Whenever we go somewhere that has a cool art museum or a famous building I make whoever I'm with go. My husband has come to expect this on all our trips now.

17. I am currently obsessed with pink running clothes.

18. Will Ferrel is probably my favorite actor.

19. I was a blonde for a short time in high school. It's funny to look back at those pictures, because I really like my dark brown hair now.

20. I love Coca-Cola. Always have, always will.

21. Although Glee is my favorite show on TV now, The Golden Girls will always be my all time favorite one. I know I know, I'm a dork, but I already said that.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

grandma's favorite holiday

Happy Thanksgiving! I have so much to be thankful for this year. My faith, amazing family and friends, my job, my health, being able to run, my home, I could go on and on!

Thanksgiving was always my grandma's favorite holiday. She said it was less stressful than Christmas, without the presents but it was so nice to have all the family together for a nice meal. The older I get the more I understand this.
Every Thanksgiving since she has passed away (this is the 3rd one) we always talk about her and how we miss her. I thought about her as I drove home from The Turkey Trot I ran this morning. It def. wasn't my best race, and for some reason it made me think about how she never gave up on anything, and I can't either. Whether that's in running or anything else in life. Neways, it made me think about her and how I wish I could celebrate just one more Thanksgiving with her.
There was one Thanksgiving when I was in college, it must have been my freshmen or sophomore year because it was before my parents got divorced, but we stayed up late talking while my grandma made the cheesecake. So every Thanksgiving after that my grandma would bring up this story about how much fun she had that night. I always loved that because it was so simple, and my grandma had traveled all over the world, yet that night of just talking and baking was one of her favorite memories.
 Grandma always taught me that family was so important. This holiday I am reminded of how lucky I am for the family in my life. Clarke's mom, dad and sister came over to my mom's to celebrate Thanksgiving and it was just nice to have them there too. 
When my grandma passed away my mom took her cat, all the way from Florida. My sister in law loves to sit with her on Thanksgiving. :)

I am so grateful for her being in my life. I know God used her to shape me into who I am today. Although I miss her especially today I am happy to say she would have been proud to see us all enjoying her favorite holiday so much.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

November Anniversaries

So with preparing for the marathon, then recovering from the marathon I didn't have time to post about 2 fun anniversaries that happened in November.

The first one happened on November 6! This little old blog turned 2 years old. I started this blog just as a fun way to document my life, and all the little things that I know I will forget a couple years from now. And that is def. still the main point of my blogging (in fact I decided this has officially become my scrapbook because I just don't have time to scrapbook every week, and I want to publish it into a book.) But, this blog has also turned into a way to share my story. Whether it's my journey towards teaching full time, marathon training or just day to day life I love sharing what God is doing in my life.

Then on November 15 me and Clarke celebrated 10 years since our first date! Clarke had saved the ticket stubs from our first date, we saw Shallow Hal. Then as a wedding gift he framed them in a shadowbox along with some other things and it now hangs in our bedroom. So back in the summer I was looking at it and realized that this November it would be 10 years so we marked it on the calendar. We went out to dinner that night, and we couldn't believe how long it had been. Our relationship looks nothing like it did back then, it has gone through so many changes and different stages but I still love him the same.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lovin This

This might just be my new favorite mash up from Glee..................

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Marathon Faves

Some of my favorite pictures from the marathon!

Me and Rachel before. Love her!

Silver Bullets before. Love this team!

Me and Clarke at the start line.

Me at mile 5 turning onto Grove Avenue. Waving at all the awesome MTT coaches.

Me and Susan rockin it out at mile 17 on Main Street.

Glorious finish line!!

Me and Clarke afterwards.

Awesome medal.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

my first marathon!!!!

well, today i ran a marathon. it seemed surreal. amazing. hard. beautiful. painful. did i say amazing? yeah it was freakin awesome!

the day started off really good. clarke was so great to wake up with me at 4:30 and drive me down to his office downtown. i ate breakfast, got on facebook (of course) and waited till it was time to walk down to the suntrust building. then i met up with my team, took lots of pics and enjoyed the beautiful morning. we all walked down to the finish line, i kept saying "i can't believe it's here!"

when the race started i wanted to run 100 miles an hour, i felt awesome. coach mark took a video of us running the first couple miles (can't wait to see that!) it was awesome, the perfect start. coach elise paced me the first five to make sure i didn't start out too fast and before i knew it we were at mile 5 on grove avenue with all the mtt coaches cheering us on.

i remember hitting the first 10k and felt great. off to river road shopping center for party zone #1 and to see my mom and clarke cheering me on. then across the hugenot bridge to riverside drive. this was so beautiful! the james river was right there and it was just peaceful. i met up with garrett, a teammate, and we ran together. although looking back i probably ran too fast right here. down forest hill avenue and i was at the half way mark still feeling pretty good.

i finally made it to the lee bridge. about half way across i felt a tap on my shoulder, it was susan my good friend who i've run lots of training runs with. i was so happy to see her. and that junk food stop at mile 16 after the bridge. but i must say, the lee bridge wasn't that bad. neways, i stuffed my face with gummy bears and finally saw my mom, clarke and his whole family cheering me on. really needed that.

me and susan ran up main street and around mile 18 is where i remember it getting tough. we turned onto broad and my good friend emily cheered me on. at this point i really needed any kind of encouragement! i remember when i saw monuement avenue, for some reason this was the point i knew i would finish this marathon. i don't know why it was here. but i remember me and susan saw everyone from the half and 8k with their medals and we said "we want one, lets go get it!"

then there was the hill up the boulevard. that dreaded hill i've run up. every. single. saturday morning. once i got up it was through the pope arch and mile 20. miles 18-22 were hard. but the last 4 were tough. really tough. somewhere around 22 or 23 i met up with coach elise and she ran with us for a bit. somewhere around 23 or 24 i found coach mark. honestly i was so happy to see him because my legs were really hurting at this point and he is always so encouraging. i saw my friend emily who ran the half, she cheered for me and ran with me some. i remember asking her about her race because i didn't want to talk about the pain! ha!

somewhere along the way coach chelle started to run with me. she started counting the people i was passing as we hit mile 25. i ended up passing 13 people at the end. pretty awesome. well i really needed to blow my nose, so i asked coach chelle if she had a tissue, and she didn't. but being the amazing coach she is she let me blow my nose on her jacket! that's real love!

we finally turned off of grace and then finally cary. the finish line was in sight. i was heaving so hard, not because i was out of breath but because i was so emotional. 5.5 months of hard core training, so much dedication had gone into this moment, and it was finally here. right before the finish line i saw my dad. he surprised me and came from baltimore to see me finish. it was great.

when i crossed the finish line it was surreal. like nothing i have ever experienced in my life. it's hard to describe, but it's something beyond a runner's high. it's just simply amazing. they called out my name which was neat and when they put that huge medal around my neck i started to cry. i just couldn't help it.

my official time was 5:28:22, although i really didn't care. i achieved my goal. to finish. although my legs hurt, and they still do, i felt awesome. and i still do because this is something i will always remember. my first marathon. simply nothing else like it.

(check back soon for pics, i'm just too tired to post right now. and for capitalization!)

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Night Before

So many times I have listened to the song defying gravity from the broadway musical Wicked. I just love the lyrics and they make me think about running this marathon.

something has changed within me
something is not the same
i'm through with playing by the rules of someone else's game
too late for second guessing
too late to go back to sleep
it's time to trust my instincts
close my eyes and leap

it's time to try defying gravity
i think i'll try defying gravity
kiss me goodbye i'm defying gravity
and you can't pull me down
So ready to defy gravity tomorrow morning!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pre Race Thoughts

"As is true with life and in the run-if you are willing to pay the price that others will not-you will reap the benefits that others will not"

I have put in over 400 miles since I officially started training in June. I feel so ready for this marathon. I may have shared this quote before, but I really love it. I love how running echos real life in that way. What you put into it is what you get out of it. Early mornings, hard training runs, sacrifice, and hard work have gone into this marathon. And now it's time to celebrate. Time to enjoy the race and reap the benefits of my training. I am so ready for this.

"Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together."
-Vincent Van Gogh

I want to thank my husband Clarke. I couldn't have made it this far without his love and support. So many times I heard from teammates about spouses who didn't understand, didn't support and didn't care. I always knew he believed in me, was cheering for me and most importantly supported me in this crazy dream to run a marathon. So thank you Clarke, I love you.

"All your dreams can come true, if you have the courage to pursue them." -Walt Disney

On a lighter note I went to the expo on Thursday right when it opened. I couldn't wait to get my shirt, and I bought a bunch of stickers. Now I just have to decide where to put all of them! Oh, and I also registered for Rock N Roll Half Marathon in DC. I had been debating between this one and Shamrock. I decided on this one because I figure I can run Rock N Roll Va. Beach in the summer. I also got a discount for registering at the expo, so yay!

"The music of the marathon is a powerful strain, the most important tune is glory. It asks us to forsake pleasure, to discipline the body, to find courage, to renew faith, and to become one's own person utterly and completely" -George Sheehan

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Journey

"The journey is the reward." Taoist Saying

They say the journey is the best part, and I couldn't agree more. I can honestly say the journey towards my first marathon has been something I will cherish forever.
July 16, 2011

I have pushed myself to do things I never thought possible.
I ran my first half marathon, during a hurricane.

I met some pretty amazing people.
September 17, 2011

I have learned to rely on God's strength in a whole new way. Philippians 4:13 is def. my running mantra. "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength."

I am sooo ready for Saturday!!!!:)

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Sometimes the perfect Saturday is..............
Enjoying one last training run with your team.

Dinner at home with hubby, thanks to pinterest.

A Redbox DVD.