Thursday, June 4, 2015

A dangerous find

Where have I been?! I had heard of BookBub but only from authors mentioning it in relation as a way to advertise and increase sales. I finally looked at it myself a couple of days ago. 

Oh my! Free and discounted ebooks available for a variety of ebook readers (Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, etc). These books all have a high number of reviews, and have been screened so quality should be there. Sign up, pick your favorite categories, and read away.

Thursday, January 1, 2015


No New Year resolutions here. They never work out and they're always the same. Lose weight, eat better, keep the dining room table clear, etc... 

Goals I do like. They can be on-going and ever changing, short term and long term. They also don't need to have a completion date of 12-31-2015. 

I have several goals that have been started, and I will continue to improve and work on them during this year...and beyond. 


Many areas of my life need consistency (I crave routine) but the goal area I am working on is to improve my running/exercise/workout habits. There are too many days between workouts for me to see much benefit. Even though I am getting older (ack!!) there is still the ability for me to improve upon my times and pace. 
I ordered an autographed Believe journal by Lauren Fleshman (non autographed copies available on Amazon) the day after Thanksgiving. I started it soon after receiving it in the mail. There is something about physically writing down workouts that makes you want to fill in most of the blanks. 

New skills

The area being worked on for my goal is knitting. I took a class back in 2008, but didn't progress beyond the first washcloth. Last year I started helping with a knit/crochet club at school. I watched YouTube videos on beginning knitting and was able to make a simple (just knit stitch) scarf and wash cloths. Skills need to improve and make progress. 
I stopped at Michael's  and picked up some supplies to begin a hat. First one may or may not be for me, but one will go to the Warmth for Warriors project.

Personal Projects

These are things to make me happy. They don't necessarily benefit anyone other than myself. Yes, the two items above are for me, but knitting for charity will help others, and me getting a good workout in really helps my mood and attitude. A happier me benefits those around me (family). 

Writing, gardening, maybe a half marathon...goals. 

What are yours?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Winter Night Trail

They say it's all about the shirt, and sometimes they are correct. Here is the shirt for this year. 

Royal blue is my favorite color, and I just love the saying on the back. I did this race in 2013...snow on the trails, crawling over a couple of logs, almost falling (that's not new), and had a blast! It was my first ever night race and requires a headlamp or flashlights. Have found a practical use for the headlamp -- wearing when I take trash down the lane in the winter as it is dark quickly in the evening. 

Winter Trail Marathon has three lengths: marathon, half, and quarter. I'm doing the quarter and my only goal is to hopefully improve my time from two years ago and have fun! I plan on bringing glo necklaces this time. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

12 For 12

Back in January 2012 I said that one of my goals for the year was to run a race each month, hence the 12 for 12. Somehow, many times during the last weekend of the month, I was able to get a race in for the month. Some of the races and events I have written blogs about, but not all. So rather than trying to remember is a little photo montage of most of those other races.

On April 28th, I ran the Cardinal Greenway 6k. Made it back to the car right before a storm hit. No picture from this race.'t believe I never did a blog post on my first ever 1/2 marathon! My other goal for the year was to run a half, which I expected to be September. Did that one but this ended up being first. This was the Geist 1/2 marathon on May 19th.

2 hours 30 minutes to finish

June 30th my daughter and I walked/ran a hot and humid Fireworks 5k in Richmond, IN.

Theme it up with red, white and blue!

July 21st. Well, my first DNF. I, uh...basically passed out right at the 1/2 way point. Embarrassing.

Still a cheeser after the race. Hoping for a door prize.

August 25th, CFW in Richmond...inaugural race that was part of a 1/2 and 10k. Also got 2nd in my age group...and an exhilarating drive home with the top down on the convertible and some great songs playing on the radio.

First time to wear my running skirt at a race

September was my volunteering and my second 1/ the end of the month!

October 20th my first ever trail race. The Fall Foliage 5k at Cope Environmental Center.

Action shot!

November 3, the W.O.O.F. 5.3 mile trail race. Was able to get a friend to go along...she got 3rd female over all, and I got 1st in my age group!

Leslie and myself
Socks are a nice bright green on the backside

Thanksgiving day, a non-timed 5k Turkey Trot in New Castle.

Many Hagerstown and area people

December 1st, Frostbite 5k in a balmy 58 degrees!

Santa socks. Candy cane earrings. Be fun if you can't be fast!

What do I have planned for 2013? A lot depends upon how my foot holds up (still dealing with effects of an injury during the September 1/2 marathon). I am signed up for my first ever night race...and it is a trail race at a place I have never been. And I know there are hills! Also am signed up for a first ever 10k in March.

To help move the training along, I've signed up for #13in2013 (sign up is now open until 1/6/13) and 5 by the 5th. We'll see how this goes. Still not interested in the Indy 500 Mini or a marathon. Yet. Give me a few more years... 

One foot in front of the other,

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fort4Fitness Half

A half marathon in my hometown...interesting idea. I first heard about this race back in April of 2011. Was not even running at that point in time, but had been walking for exercise for about a month. Called my Mom to see if she was interested in doing the 4 mile walk, but it was the day after the first price increase and she was not interested. As I got into running that summer, this race is the one that was hanging out in my mind saying, "Run me!"

Fast forward to Saturday morning September 29, 2012. I arrive at Parkview Field a bit too early, but had no problem finding a parking spot. Not busy inside the stadium yet and I snap a shot of the quiet finish line.

After the 4 mile race started, runners for the half started filing into their corrals. I was assigned K, but considered moving back a few since my training time was minimal. But then I remembered that at Geist I spent my first mile weaving around those that were walking straight from the start.
The start

After the cannon sounded 2000+ runners were off. I seemed to be fine with my corral choice as I was not weaving around many people and others were not streaming past me. As we turned down Calhoun, a wondrous bakery smell hit, soon to be replaced with the scents from the many Asian restaurants and grocery stores. Oh look, there is Southside High School where I took the SAT's in 8th grade. Look, there is the huge cornucopia on Scott's grocery store.
I took this holding the phone over my head and
facing it behind me.

We turned onto a paved trail that might be called Rivergreenway. It follows the St. Mary's River along Foster Park. We went right past the apartment building my parents lived in when they were first married, and where I lived as an infant. There is still even several pieces of playground equipment on the other side of the path just like waaaay back when.
The apartment where I lived as a baby and Melissa
aka Miss Pink

I did not take any pictures along the park but it was gorgeous. Huge old oak & sycamore trees, leaves changing colors...ah...beautiful scenery.

Somewhere between mile 4 to 5, a lady in a pink shirt pulled alongside and said, "Hey...we've been keeping the same pace," and let me know what it was (I don't wear a watch, as I keep track with Runkeeper on the phone). We then proceeded to run together for the rest of the race. She had only gotten to 8 miles in training and it was 10 for me. In my mind I called her Miss Pink until I finally asked her name (Melissa). Neither of us had much extra energy for chit-chat.
Just a pretty shot

After exiting Foster Park area we saw huge old houses in the Old Mill Rd. area. No pictures as I was trying to focus on the running. It was getting more difficult and oh no...all of mile 9 was uphill!

Then came the merging with the 10k walkers. I think trying to get around them the last several miles added at least a minute to my time. They were walking all the way across the road rather than staying on the right. Many times Melissa & I played "thread the needle" where I just pushed through a tiny space between two walkers. We used so much extra energy of which we had none.

Those last two miles were the most painful, and I even started saying, "Ow...enh...ow," outloud. As we turned onto the last bit before entering the stadium, I just wanted to cry because it was almost finished and I had made it.

It was really awesome entering Parkview Field. People were lined all around the edges and in the seats cheering for the participants. But you know what...running the perimeter of outfield is long!
Coming to the finish line

I was quite thankful that I had Melissa to keep me going those last miles, and she was thankful for my help.
On the jumbotron!

Mile 4 was my fastest, and mile 12 the slowest. But the most unbelievable thing?? I ran the entire time and did not once walk!!
Recovery area
Finisher medal
Post race cheese!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Volunteer Day

I am ready to sleep. Who knew that volunteering at a race was much more tiring than running one?

The PTO at the school I work at just had their first year organizing and hosting a previously established race. This was a transition year from the former beneficiary to the PTO. Even though I have run several of the Wayne County Challenge events, volunteering seemed the way to go this time.

Registration before it got busy

This little kitty and his twin entertained those of us waiting while runners finished the course. They darted back & forth across the finish line area, and up & down a nearby electric pole. At one point, I ducked under the finish chute flags to remove a kitty that decided the blue mats were a perfect spot to sit and watch the runners. Didn't want anyone tripping over him.

Kitty vantage point to view the start
They're off! 3.1 miles to go
The WWES contingent
One of my jobs today was to be at the finish line calling out the numbers of all finishers to Ann, who was writing them down. This is done as a back up to the chip timing system...just in case. It was fun as I was able to see all as they came across the finish, and to cheer for the ones I knew by name, and still clap and encourage the others. We had 305 finishers, a record for this race. Around 340-350 signed up, but it was surprising the amount of no shows.

After the last finisher crossed the line, I headed out to pick up items from the two water stops on the course (had delivered them several hours earlier). Clean-up and loaded several trucks to take items back to the elementary.
The cab is stuffed full, too
A much deeper appreciation to those that organize and run races! Way to go Western Wayne Elementary PTO officers!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Race to Read 5k

March 17
th was supposed to be my first ever 10k. I had trained for this distance, beautiful spring weather was predicted, and even had a fun little St. Patty’s skirt to wear (back of the pack=lets have fun). Not to be…the evening of the 16th I was down and out with the tummy bug.

This left me with still needing a March race. We were leaving home Friday evening the 23rd to head to Tennessee, so the 24th was out. There was the possibility of the Bunny Rock 5k in Indy on the 31st. However, I don’t know my way around downtown Indy at all. Avoid it if I can. Haven’t been there since Lucas Oil Stadium was completed. Give me Castleton and the Fishers/Noblesville areas any day.

Ding, ding, ding!!! Light bulb moment…I could look for a race in the Lexington Kentucky area where we would be staying overnight on Friday. Did a search and found a list of races in the area and did some map looking to figure out where they were located. Found one located right by an interstate exit that had lots of motels!! Woo, this might be doable if I can talk hubby into it. And it would be really nice if motel had a late check-out time so I could take a shower. J

Daughter gets sick mid-week…will we even be going on the trip? Thursday night decision to go, but still don’t know about the race. I book a motel room Friday afternoon, conveniently located at the same exit as a race.

11:15pm Friday: I can run the race in the morning. After not having had supper that evening, and doing a strong 3.5 miles at noon, and knowing there would not be a good night’s sleep due to snoring in the motel room (not from me!!).

I set my phone alarm and to head over to Coldstream Dog Park in the morning. This was about a 1-2 mile drive from the motel. Redbuds are blooming all along the course. Gorgeous.

At the check-in I ask about the course. “Oh, there is one hill at the beginning then it’s pretty flat.” Um…Kentucky flat! At two different spots the route is going uphill for a half mile length. Happily, the finish was at the end of a downhill. One of the interesting obstacles on the route was the worms! There had been strong storms the night before, and there were many worms all over the road. After awhile, I just didn’t look down. Ick!!

The race was the Race to Read 5k sponsored by Reading Camp, a literacy education program that serves 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade children who are struggling with learning to read. Wow, what a great race to support since I am a teacher.

There were 115 participants and I came in 50th overall. So I can actually say I was in the top ½! No back of the pack on this day. A beautiful course, very well organized race, great volunteers, and my best 5k time to date!!  31:17.
In front of the redbuds is where the finish line is located

Race over! Time to head to Pigeon Forge and the Smokies!