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Perspective, it's a funny thing...what's coming next?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Busy day today...thanks everyone for your comments on the half blog! I'll be around leaving comments tomorrow...I'm still trying to catch up on a bunch of blogs I've been missing. I have been very lax in my reading and there are a bunch of names staring at me every time I open my e-mail...working very hard to do some housekeeping in my reading while maintaining my real housekeeping. A very busy weekend put me quite a ways behind on the household front :)

I am recovering from the half. My shins and hips are a bit sore, but I am surprised to find that I have no pain at the top of my calves!! This was the area giving me the most trouble right up to the short run on Thursday before the race. Hmm! I'm good with that...not sure what I did to cause or end it, but not having it during this race gives me hope for the future!

Maybe a little too much hope! I am already pondering the next move. I would like to fit in a 5 or 10K before Christmas. Then what? Already planning to put hills back in, they got dropped in favor of mileage, but I actually enjoyed running our hill so I am looking forward to returning and getting in some more hill time. Hiking has been off the menu for about a year now and I'd really like to add it back in too.

So, I've already been looking at races...guess what I found...a half marathon in April, on a Saturday, my preferred day for races/running. AND it's completely local, right here in town, in fact at the top of the Beast (the Beast being the hill we use for our hill training-see multiple previous blogs which I'm too lazy to provide links to at the moment (: ). The headliner race is a marathon, but it has a half option. Will this be half number two? Not entirely sure and far from being committed to the race at this point. But, the timing is right. I want to take some time off from the long races to work on my shorter distances. I want to break a 15 minute mile (consistently) before my next long race. I am still VERY slow and want to work on the weight loss and speed factor for awhile. The location is ideal. I love the time of year. April in these parts is usually quite mild and pleasant. 3 months to work on improving time and then start training for a half? I'm just not sure... I don't even know if there is a medal for half finishers!! That could be a deal breaker-lol!!

Perspective is a funny thing. Yesterday, even as I crossed the finish line, I was convinced I had simply lost my mind and was the victim of some weird mob mentality. Like a lemming running off the cliff, sounds like a good idea at the time, but as you plummet over the edge and into the crevasse you really gotta start to wonder why you decided to follow the crowd in the first place (even if the crowd is two or three people-lol!). But, today, slightly more than 24 hours removed and I am already thinking I am ready to plummet into the crevasse again. I remember back to the first days of C25K and how 30 seconds was SO LONG to try to keep running. Then my first 5K was such a long run. Then my first 10K was SO HARD...all those hills. Now, after completing 13.1 I am thinking those races were so easy. I had no idea how easy they were at the time, they seemed so hard at the time. Will I someday look back at this race and think it wasn't as hard as I thought it was at the time? Will my next half seem easier? When I run the Mission Inn Half again next year will I look down that incredibly long stretch of road and think "this is nothing, why did it look so long last year"?

I don't know. I do know that I am sticking to what I said in a previous post....I'm not looking back, I'm looking forward and right now, I'm trying to see what is around the bend in the road...what is coming next? Great, now I've got Pocahontas stuck in my head...Just around the river bend, lalala, just around the river bend...wonder how long that will stick around? LOL!!

Tomorrow some yoga and maybe some upper body and core work, still giving those shins a rest, but already feeling a little stir crazy for a run even though the plan is to take a week off for recovery. Maybe a short one a little later this week...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DARINGR8LY 11/22/2010 6:45PM

    Playing catch up on the blogs.

I am proud of your accomplishment. There is nothing stopping you now.

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LISAW/3 11/16/2010 7:09PM

    Perspective is a funny thing! I felt the same way about my half. When I was running, I couldn't believe I was out there and couldn't wait for it to be over. Once I finished the finish line, I was wishing I'd run more (and walked less) of the course! Within that week, I signed up for a local HM in April!
It's crazy!

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4EVERADONEGIRL 11/16/2010 6:57PM

    Hehehehe - great blog girl!! You really captured it all perfectly!!! And hmmmm...that WOULD be a good race if there is a medal! LOL Let's keep researching that one. But in the meantime - yes, hills, hiking, speedwork! We'll be ready for longer distances again in a couple months! Because we are crazy like that...LOL

I'm planning on running Thursday...something short and sweet around 2 miles if you want to join me on our regular day!!! emoticon

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ESBELL 11/16/2010 1:24PM

    emoticon I think you are now a racer-girl!! Great job on all your training, and an amazing race! emoticon

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RIGBY31 11/16/2010 1:06PM

    I'm trying to wrap my brain around an official 5K walk... your perspective is so different than mine! But your blog shows that each is a building block to the next. Thank you, half marathon lady!

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DOPKIGIRL 11/16/2010 11:24AM

    Great blog and full of lots of thoughts. Sounds like what I do to myself. LOL!

I know you can do whatever you set your mind too. It's not whether you are slow or fast, but that you started and ultimately finished. I am not saying that because I am fast, but rather, I am a slow runner (more of a jog), but I am just happy when I finish and the feeling of accomplishment.


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IFDEEVARUNS2 11/16/2010 8:46AM

    I love your perspective on things! You're doing great.

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JILLIANPRNCSS 11/16/2010 7:01AM

    My kids always ask me if I won after every race and I tell them that I am not in the hospital so yes I won. It sounds like you won big time. Congrats.

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NEW-CAZ 11/16/2010 3:46AM

    Heather when I thinl how far you've come I have to say emoticon emoticon emoticon and you're mad enough to want to do it again and again.
You must be addicted to those mindbending endorphins emoticon emoticon

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Well, I did wasn't pretty and VERY slow, but I did it!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Today was the Mission Inn Half Marathon in Riverside, California. It took me 4 hours and 11 minutes per the clock ( I didn't get my official time-it'll post online in a couple days so I'll look it up later).

Let's start at the very beginning....Saturday was our pre-race luncheon and Spark get together. Several of us doing the half or the 5K got together at the Old Spaghetti Factory (for those not in the know..pasta restaurant with delish food-betcha could figure that one out huh? lol!). The lunch was lots of fun and the food very good. After lunch it was off to pick up our race shirts and packets and to check out the "expo". The system wasn't terribly well organized unless you were signing up that day. But, we figured it out and we got our bibs, timing chips and shirts. The expo was a bit of a bust. Lots of local businesses, which was good, but none of the local sporting, fitness or running stores. No gear, no fuel, no samples. It was stickers, decals, or magnets. So, I didn't get a 13.1 magnet...I'll have to order online...oh well. There were a couple of good freebies, one really fun tote for free, but no goodie bag or swag bag. Bummer. Went home, double checked all the gear, relaxed then off to bed. Somewhere during the night the older of the two girls crept into our bed, which I hadn't even realized until I woke up to the youngest yelling through the house..."E-E where are you....E-E where are you" (youngest leaves off some consonants and E-E is her way of saying "sissy"). So in she crawled too. Where she then proceeded to fall asleep and then have a bad dream causing her to whimper and cry in her sleep until I put an arm around her. So, I didn't get the best night's sleep.

This morning got up early, got dressed, put my shoes on and my sister arrived exactly on time and off we went. Got to Riverside in PLENTY of time. Hit the portas, found the approximate starting line and waited. The crew was quite a bit late on setting things up. The banner and balloons came out 15 minutes or so before the race started. Maybe because it was WINDY! The wind was gusting and it was quite strong at times. Neither my sister nor I were happy with this. I hate the wind. Hate it. Running in it is even worse. I had my vest on because of the chill and would regret it later on.

Before the race started, while we were just standing around, we met some of the greatest people. I love that you can go to a race and find something to discuss with total strangers and you walk away feeling like you've made new friends even if you never see each other again. Diane was the first lady we struck up a conversation with. Really nice lady who did this race because she missed the registration for the one she wanted to do this weekend. Then we met Jackie (did I remember that right, Kristen?). This lady ROCKS!!! She is in her 60's and started running in her 50's. She has run 4 marathons. One of them was THE MARATHON!! The race that all other marathons are mere shadows of!! She ran the Athens Marathon in Greece!! She said it isn't a fancy race, but who cares!! I couldn't imagine the impact it would have to run something so historic. This lady is what I want to be in 20+ years. She ran this race because she lives in Riverside. We also met another very sweet young lady, Gloria (again, Kristen, I think I am remembering that right..?)

Race started and off we went. The first mile went fine. I stuck mostly to plan and worked the kinks out, had to stop once and stretch. Mile 2 brought on some pretty good hills. And this really cool bridge . Miles 3, 4 and 5 and i am still going strong. I am all alone by this point, whenever there is a straightaway I can see lots of people, but I am far enough back to be all alone. Mile 6 and I am still doing great, and now I am seeing the runners on their way back. I get lots of "you are doing great", "good morning", head nods and thumbs up. Runners are a very supportive group!!

Right at this point I start walking and I never really start running again. Up to this point in the race there have been a few water stops and the route has taken us through sheltered areas that protect us from the worst of the wind. Not any more. At this point we are running on the Santa Ana River Bike Trail (which was supposed to be closed to bikes for the race, but apparently a bunch of bikers didn't get the message. There were a few points where dodging the bikes got, well, dodgy. It wasn't HORRIBLE, but these were all racers so there was no ringing bell warning you a bike was coming up behind and I nearly had a heart attack every time a bike zoomed past. The bike path is actually quite pretty, one of the few naturally flowing rivers left in So. Cal. runs past here and the river bottom is green and lush and the views of the river itself are very pretty. The road however is raised quite a bit higher than the river and was VERY exposed to the wind. VERY exposed. The gusts got very strong at times. It was very, very draining and exhausting. In addition this stretch was VERY long. Miles 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 were all included in this one out and back. It was very depressing seeing that road go on forever, just to turn around and have to go back again. Also, the water stops pretty much stopped through here. There was ONE stop that you hit on the way out and then again on the way back. Also, not a single porta on this entire stretch...I kinda needed one, but by the time I got back to one it was set off the course and up on the street. Yuck, I wasn't about to hike up to the busy street to enter a porta on the side of the road. I made it until we got all the way back...I think I just sweated it all away-lol!! By the time I hit almost the end of mile 12 I was really looking forward to a water stop. I had finished off my bottle-twice! I took along Powerade, finished it, and the one water stop along the river refilled it with water which I finished quickly.

I was getting kind of frustrated at this point because all along there had been emergency personnel on bikes riding back and forth making sure the runners were all safe. Well they had ALL disappeared with the bulk of the runners. Not one time did they come back to check on the straglers. There were 3 or 4 people not too far ahead of me and then one behind me and not once did the personnel come check on us. We are all walking along this very long and mostly deserted and isolated stretch of road and there is no staff to check on us. I hit one point were there had been staff stationed earlier and they were gone. Finally, though I didn't need help, the ambulance that had been parked at the farthest out point, the turn around, came driving back through the trail and paused to make sure I was okay and gave me a water bottle. Which was totally awesome since the last water stop was being broken down as I passed and didn't have any water set up for the few left out on the path.

I know I was taking a long time, but I wasn't really that far behind the people ahead of me so I am assuming they didn't get any water either. I was really disappointed that they were breaking down before the runners were all in.

Saw my sister coming back for me at about 12.5 with more water-YAY!! She walked the rest of the way with me and showed me the route since they were already breaking it down and the roads had been re-opened. Finally, I could see my family, Mom, Hubs, Son and Daughters, waiting for me. Around the corner and over the pads and I was done!! I was presented with my medal and one of the other sparkers (3chihuauas) had some oranges for me-THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Never have a couple orange slices tasted so good!!

Overall, not terribly impressed with the race. It was fun and I made it. I finished and they really couldn't help the weather. Really wished there had been more portas and LOTS more water. Wish they had respected ALL the runners/walkers since this race was not time limited and the roads were actually posted to be closed for almost another hour after I finished. Will I do it again? Actually, I probably would do it again. By next year I will be better prepared and I probably won't be the next to the last one to cross next year. Hopefully, if I do it again the wind won't blow. That wind and dirt was the worst thing ever!! I am used to coming back from a race sweating and funky, but today, towards the end of the race I went to swipe away a little sweat and my face was gritty with the dirt. I felt like sandpaper. I couldn't wait to get home and shower off the grime. Actually, smartest thing I've ever done!!! I threw a wash cloth in my "end of race bag" (race shirt to change into, more comfy shoes, after race snack, bottle of water, etc). One little wash cloth that I poured some of my water on and washed my face as we were getting into the car to leave!! It felt so good!! The shower at home was still one of the top ten best showers of all time, but having that wash cloth in my bag was a stroke of genius!!

The medal, by the way, is really cool. The Mission Inn is an historic, and somewhat famous, hotel in downtown Riverside. The logo of Riverside is the is a combination of a cross symbol used by Native Americans and a replica of a mass bell used by Junipero Serra (founder of California's missions) . I looked this up by the way. The raincross symbol is seen EVERYWHERE in Riverside. It is duplicated in street lights, architecture and on the flag of Riverside. You cannot go to Riverside without noticing the raincross symbol everywhere. The medal this year is the raincross symbol. It is quite a fetching medal! I took this self-portrait in the car on the way home.

Had a "blast" in a sick sort of way, it was an experience I am very glad I had and now I know just how hard I can push myself. I think, that if we hadn't had the wind I could have done better. But, I am still happy because I did it. Not a lot of people "my size" would even consider something like a half. A little over a year ago I thought that a 5K was such a long ways and today I went more than 4 times that distance!! Now I gotta go online and find a magnet so I can slap that puppy on my car and boast it to all the world :)!!

I know somebody will ask "what's next". A few fives and a couple tens here and there while I focus on weight loss and increasing speed. Want some PRs next time I race :)!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ENDUROVET 11/30/2010 4:13PM

    Terrific job! Sounds like you set my kinda pace emoticon

My intermittent interval work seems to be helping increase my speed, although I will nevah be a track star! (still enjoy it however)


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DARINGR8LY 11/22/2010 6:47PM

    Great picture of you with the medal. Too bad I didn't see it when I did the video. I would have included it.

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KSW1963 11/19/2010 10:42PM

    Heather you did it!!! Woot! I am so proud of you. That race sounds terrible...but I am so impressed that you did it! So....looking forward to seeing those PR's in the future. You are a rock star!

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TRILLIUM22 11/16/2010 10:39PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ETTEZEUS 11/15/2010 8:25PM

    Excellent!! Way to go!
I love the medal and your smile says it all!

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TOBEARUNNER 11/15/2010 8:19PM

    Congratulations on your half! I just did my first full at THE MARATHON in Athens two weeks ago, and am glad to report that all of the race supplies were great for runners and walkers of all speeds, except for porta-potty paper... I was SO thankful that I had brought a package of kleenex with me as I had a cold, and will always carry a pack with me from now on. But I'll happily start packing facecloths in my "after" kit -- thanks for the tip! :)

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BILLALEX70 11/15/2010 7:52PM

    I read your blog at work today, but waited to comment.

First, WOOOOHOOOO! Awesome job!

Sounds like that race wasn't very well organized for the most part; from the lack of aid stations, to bikes on the path and closing down things before everyone's done. Seems a bit ridiculous to me all of these things at one race.

I keep some baby wipes in my gear bag for after a ride/run. This way I can wipe away all of the sweat/salt that has accumulated. I also keep snacks/drinks in the car in case their snacks are gone.

Great job!

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AMVIRDEN2 11/15/2010 5:58PM

    sorry for the double comment...comp error

Comment edited on: 11/15/2010 5:59:44 PM

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AMVIRDEN2 11/15/2010 5:58PM

    Congrats on the race, you rock! You did amazing and what an accomplishment. YOu should be so very proud of yourself. I was there for the 5k and enjoyed the course, except for the surprise hill at the end of the park. I will definitely do this race again next year.

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4EVERADONEGIRL 11/15/2010 5:17PM

    You did a great job capturing the race perfectly! You are totally AWESOME and are definitely my running rock star always and forever!!! YOU ROCK! I'm so proud that you are my sister!!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUSIEWHITE1109 11/15/2010 4:10PM

    LOVE THIS STORY!! Congratulations to you!! You inspired me today, and I am very happy for your slap that magnet anywhere and everywhere you deserve it!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIFE_IS_SO_GOOD 11/15/2010 3:47PM

    Way to go! You did it!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PAPPHEM 11/15/2010 3:29PM

    Way to Go!!! I'm so impressed! And glad you enjoyed yourself.

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LISAW/3 11/15/2010 11:56AM

    Great job on your first HM! That is awesome!
And I love the medal!

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SEEAMANDARUN 11/15/2010 9:39AM

    Congratulations! What an accomplishment! I hope to join your ranks in a few weeks. Thank you for sharing your experience.

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DOPKIGIRL 11/15/2010 9:27AM

    OMG!!! SO VERY proud of you!! Though you had your ups and downs during the day, you turned it into an experience and one that you will never forget. Don't look back but only to the future of your many more accomplishments.

eep it up!!

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RITEEBEE 11/15/2010 9:17AM

    Great job!! :)


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CONDZMOMOFJJQ 11/15/2010 9:16AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

You are such an inspiration for me!! I'm definitely going to try one now!! THANKS!!!!!!!!!

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GAMELISSA 11/15/2010 9:10AM

  YOU DID IT!! Congrats on your amazing accomplishment.

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IMSMILEY88 11/15/2010 8:59AM

    emoticon You DID it! A Half Marathon!!! Something so many people have never done, and never will do. emoticon

I enjoyed reading about your HM. I run my first... next weekend! And, I'll be so happy to get that 13.1 magnet and slap it on my vehicle! I hope they have some at our Expo. I want to go straight to my car and slap it on! What a feeling! I can't wait!

Again, congrats! And keep up the great work! I know you'll just get better & better as you focus on speed & weight loss.

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KARVY09 11/15/2010 8:15AM

    Congrats, girl. So proud of you!!!!

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FUNFROG79 11/15/2010 7:06AM

    I LOVE the medal!!! emoticon

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PRINCESSNURSE 11/15/2010 4:38AM

    WAY TO GO!!!!

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NEW-CAZ 11/15/2010 3:29AM

    emoticon emoticon Heather!

Well if you ever doubted you were a runner you've proved beyond any question YOU ARE.

I am so proud of you and I love your medal- what a wonderful keepsake.

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SLEEPYDEAN 11/15/2010 2:01AM

    We were definitely tested by the conditions today. But now we can say we DID IT!

Hope you are feeling okay now. I plan to sleep in tomorrow and not move much other than an appt and going to the grocery store.

The results are posted, but I don't see you. :(

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LINDSAYHENNIGAN 11/15/2010 12:52AM

    Not a lot of people ANY size would attempt a half marathon. You are one of 1% of the worlds population. Awesome story, I could just imagine squinting into the dusty wind and seeing all that road in front of you. Congratulations, what an amazing accomplishment.

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RIGBY31 11/15/2010 12:36AM

    OMGosh... you're so great, but the race is my worst nightmare when I start to start *racing*. They just can't phone it in for the last of the last. Just wrong. Start to finish is what you did and they should have, too!!! But I'm so glad you did it. You inspired me to the end (and thanks for the wash cloth tip!)

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CAROLINA_KOUKLA 11/15/2010 12:30AM

  emoticon emoticon

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LMLOPEZ 11/15/2010 12:15AM

    Way to go!!! How proud you must be! It's a shame they started taking things down early, perhaps you might talk to the organizers...

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NONIE_C 11/15/2010 12:09AM

    You did great!!! emoticon

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DARINGR8LY 11/15/2010 12:01AM

    Great job! We were all proud of you.

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NOTABOUTHEFACE 11/14/2010 11:58PM

    Congrats! Way to push it and continue on even if they were insensitive with the walkers. Gotta say it brought back a lot of memories. I spent many a-summer in Riverside and many a-Fourth of July at Mt. Rubidoux watching the side of the mountain burn down! LOL

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WENDYWITKOSKI 11/14/2010 11:58PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LARRYPHIPPS 11/14/2010 11:47PM


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Half-Marathon on Sunday!! EEEEEKKK!!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

I know I CAN do it. Still a little freaked out.

Apparently, according to my dream last night, I am destined to do this race wearing the race t-shirt and my bathrobe because I can't find my running pants and the technical shirt designated as "The Chosen One" for the half. I am also destined to spend the first 20 minutes of the race looking for a decent stall in a bathroom the size of a football field (complete with shower stalls and everything-hence no toilets-the stalls with toilets were filthy or otherwise not fit for use-this dream of not being able to find a clean stall is a frequently recurring one-a sub-concious search for the order I try to create in my often hectic and scattered real life?). In my dream I did finally find some pants, but not mine and they were really more of running tights, very thin running tights, that showed off every jiggle and roll (sub-concious backlash from Maura Kelly's now infamous "fatties" post?).

Wonder if anybody famous will be at this race since both actors who play the gay couple on Desperate Housewives made a guest appearance in my dream as their t.v. personas. They were snorting down plates and plates of spaghetti wearing the race medal (which, in my dream, was drop dead beautiful-Tiffany blue ribbon and silver , super shiny,metalic medal-sub-concious lusting for anything Tiffany?). The spaghetti was part of the pre-race "festivities", but they already had their medals so that was weird.

Definately a weird and scattered dream, but the good about it is that it really did seem to be a sub-concious dump dream. Don't know if there is a technical name for these dreams. But, you know, it is one of those dreams where everything really is somehow related to things on your mind, but in a twisted and freakish fashion. This is good because it tells me that my brain is trying to resolve all the little worries ahead of time. I can solve the problem with the pants by setting all my stuff out today even though the race isn't until Sunday. Then I can rest assured that on Sunday morning I will be able to find my pants. I know there will be plenty of porta-potties available and there will be something fit to use. I can take a pack of wipes to settle some of the cleanliness issue since not all portas are created equal-lol!! Even if it is just to wash my hands :)! Nobody is going to be eating spaghetti at 6 in the morning, famous or not, that part was just silly. The medal is going to be great no matter what it looks like and I will have one when all is said and done barring an injury before hand (knock on wood I remain on my own two feet until the end of the race) even if I do have to run the race in my t-shirt and bathrobe!! That would be a funny sight!! Anybody know of a race run in bathrobes?! That would be a fun one!! Might have to create my own race someday...the Hemet 10K Bathrobe Run!! LOL!!

I'll let you know how it goes on Sunday!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BAILEYS7OF9 11/12/2010 4:13PM

    emoticonis your bathrobe made of wicking material???

Have a emoticontime!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 11/12/2010 3:10PM

    You'll do fine. Let me know when you plan the bathrobe race, I'd love to join in! emoticon

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MLAYESKI 11/12/2010 3:09PM

    Sending you good vibes...have a great run! emoticon

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IMKFOX 11/12/2010 2:34PM

    Yay for you! Have a blast - you'll be awesome!

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RIGBY31 11/12/2010 2:29PM

    Holy Smokes! Half marathon... you are awesome (even if you can't find your pants).

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4EVERADONEGIRL 11/12/2010 1:55PM

    Love how the subconscious works! Too funny!!!

You'll rock it and it'll be awesome!

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JULIADIANEBF 11/12/2010 1:40PM

    Have fun and how great for you to share this with us! i will be checking back to read all about it. Good For YOU!!

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DOPKIGIRL 11/12/2010 1:35PM

    OMG...thank you for sharing!! This brightened my day. You WILL do fabulous and know that it is just your nerves getting the best of you. I can't wait to hear all about your day.

BTW- I will be in your Bathrobe race!! :D

Have a great day and a wonderful weekend.

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FUNFROG79 11/12/2010 1:34PM

    Good luck and have a great race! emoticon

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    CAN'T WAIT to hear about it.

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CECE0330 11/12/2010 1:23PM

    emoticon Funny where dreams take us! Have a FABULOUS run! (pants optional) emoticon

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Asking for some NON-spark help...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I owe you all a regular blog soon and I have so many messages in my mailbox telling me I need to read some blogs...I've got to devote some real time to Spark very soon!!

However, today and off and on for the next little while I am devoting some time to a project I am working on.

Many of you know my hubs is out of work and money is tight. Christmas is coming and I am finding ways to be very creative so I can get some presents under the tree.

We used our bank's Thank You Points (sure that is copyrighted and belongs to Citi) to get a gift for son from their rewards store. Making the girls felt food for thier kitchen (to replace the really cheap and mostly squished plastic food they got with their kitchen last year). So, thinking about hubs...I found an idea and am working on what I need to finish it.

This is what I am doing....I am making a whole bunch of felt fortune many as I can. In each fortune cookie the fortune will be a thought, a poem, a saying, etc about love, happiness, relationships, etc. Some of them, of course, are going to be personal (VERY personal) and there might be a few "coupons" in there (a romantic dinner at home sans kids, time alone, wash the car, etc). Others are going to be generic. I'm hitting websites for generic things...but, I would also like some input from my Sparkfriends.

What are your favorite thoughts, poems, sayings? Any ideas for a good coupon? I am aiming to fill a crystal bowl we got for our wedding-smaller than a salad bowl but quite a bit larger than a cereal bowl. The cookies will be approximately actual fortune cookie size, but I can fold, spindle and almost mutilate the paper to fit inside the cookie-or use a small font-lol!!. Lots of ideas needed!!

Looking forward to what I get from you all!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VAMANOS 11/10/2010 2:37PM

    Go to and make a profile showing the avatar you at your goal weight for NEXT Christmas (or an important event like your anniversary). Print it out as a coupon promising your best effort to look like that by then.

Wonderful idea to keep it sane this Christmas. Eighteen years ago I lost my job just before Thanksgiving, and before Christmas shopping was started. My twin daughters got Barbie furniture made from plastic canvas and yarn. Don't remember what we got the boys, but they all had a good Christmas that wasn't at all about money.

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    I would be tempted to take very specific memories from our courtship days. For example..."Riding the elephant in Thailand through the jungle, and having to bribe her with a banana to keep her moving." or "The country bar outside 29 Palms that seemed to be in the middle of nowhere, but was filled with dancing on a tuesday after a long day of rock climbing." or "You standing on the third level of the terraced ponds when a butterfly lands on your hand. Beautiful moment until you screamed "It's got a beak" and shook it off." All those little memories that we don't think about often. It is kind of like looking through an old photo album.

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DOPKIGIRL 11/10/2010 2:11PM

    Here are some sites I found about fortune-cookie-sayings. You may have these but I thought it was worth it.


Here are some of my favorite quotes:

Sometimes in the winds of change we find our true direction. - Unknown

Throw your heart over the fence and the rest will follow.
-Norman Vincent Peale

Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is a quite voice at the end of the day, saying .... "I will try again tomorrow".
-Mary Anne Radmacher

Laughter is an instant vacation.
-Milton Berle

The best sermons are lived, not preached.
-Cowboy Wisdom

The only things that stand between a person and what they want in life are the will to try it, and the faith to believe it's possible.
-Rich Devos

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
-Robert Brault

It's choice - not chance - that determines your destiny.
-Jean Nidetch

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.
-Mother Teresa

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.
- Unknown

Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.
- Louisa May Alcott, author

I have always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I have to be more specific.
- Lily Tomlin, actress

Know your limits...but never stop trying to exceed them.
- Anonymous

I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.
- Bill Cosby, comedian

The future comes one day at a time.
- Dean Acheson

There are two ways to spread light; to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.
- Edith Wharton

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could...
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer

Fall seven times, get up eight." - Japanese Proverb

The heart that gives, gathers. "Marianne Moore"

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."
-- Dr. Seuss

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WORKINGSTIFF 11/10/2010 2:04PM

    One of my favorite quotes sites is

I like your idea!

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FLUTTER-BY)L( 11/10/2010 2:00PM

    Love the idea. I will think and if I figure it out I will come back. Good luck I think it is a great idea.

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NOTABOUTHEFACE 11/10/2010 1:42PM

    Great idea! This is always a great place to go for quotes.


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DOPKIGIRL 11/10/2010 1:28PM

    Wow, what a great idea??!! Thanks for sharing, but I know that wasn't your intention. LOL! I have tons of quotes that I like but I will put together a list of the most important ones and some ideas for you. Look for my response again soon for them.

You are VERY creative!!!

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ITSHOWYOULIVE 11/10/2010 1:23PM

    The reigning queen of domesticity gave me the is the link to Martha's site with the fortune cookie pattern and instructions...the comments have good tips for this project...(forgot the comments won't link, but here is the address).


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FORTUNATEFOOL74 11/10/2010 1:05PM

    I love the idea for your husband's present! Where did you find the pattern for the fortune cookies?

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How'd that happen?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

So, I am sitting here at the end of a kind of busy day (yes, I went and voted, but it was just a small part of the day). I haven't really even looked at Spark today, I've been on the computer some here and there and it's been on all day, but I haven't been behind the keyboard until tonight. I check a few things, take a peek at Facebook, add a few shows to Netflix streaming, check FB one more time and then head over to my e-mail for a quick peek...there are a couple of Spark related things that I wasn't expecting since I haven't been around the last couple of days. The first thing I click on is a notice that I've recieved a trophy. Oh, okay, that's right it is the beginning of the month and trophies are going, which one is it? I couldn't think of which one it could be, pull up the message and see that I received a fitness minutes award. "REALLY? Fitness minutes?" I really added up over a 1,000 minutes this month? Crazy!! Yes, crazy and for two reasons...First, I really don't feel like I did that much last month. Second, I don't track half of what I do-loL!! I'll go in and I make sure I track my weekend long runs but I'll often miss everything during the week, unless I remember to go back and fill it in. I'm sure if I get better at tracking I'll get used to seeing that trophy at the end of the month!!

The second item I checked on was a comment on my feed. The item was the notice of the trophy and the comment was from Sleepydean to the effect of my long runs during October helped. And yes, she would be right!! Those long runs really boosted the total, mostly because it takes me FOREVER to cover the distance-lol!! The key to getting a thousand minutes is to run REALLY, REALLY, SLOWLY!! LOL!!! Also, really, track EVERYTHING!! I wonder, how many minutes would I have accumulated if I had tracked EVERYTHING?

I started last month strong with a weekly tracking goal and then promplty lost it after about 1 week. Which, by the way, is the best I've done so far. lol!! New month, new start, time to track everything!! Gotta go into the holidays STRONG!!

Happy beginning of November everyone!! Hope the month goes well for everyone...wonder if I'll get the fitness minutes award again next month??? :)!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASIAMORA 11/5/2010 2:03PM

    Great job with your fitness minutes!!!!

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CFLOTT 11/4/2010 8:54AM

    I know my long runs are so so so very slow that, yeah, many minutes get added to my total! As for starting the month out strong...yeah! I'm working on that too! I've got no excuses to stray between now and Thanksgiving. Best to you in your efforts!

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RAIN_SIS 11/3/2010 1:39PM

    Congratulations on getting 1000 fitness minutes. That is a good amount of time spent UP and moving no matter how you do it. You have been putting in your minutes far more strenuously than most of us so don't EVEN lol at your accomplishment. You have really earned that trophy by both the letter and the spirit of the challenge!
I kind of wish they did have a trophy for mileage rather than minutes. When I first started tracking my walks I felt guilty because I got 30 fitness minutes for every mile. Now I feel cheated because I don't get any minutes at all. I have been tracking how many miles I cover while working around the place with my pedometer but have never tried to track how many minutes are involved. Since I track no minutes I get no trophies emoticon
emoticon you are doing emoticon

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KSW1963 11/3/2010 1:12PM

    Happy tracking! A lot of us seem to be making that same goal :).

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4EVERADONEGIRL 11/3/2010 11:45AM

    All I have to say is you'd BETTER get that fitness award again next month...No reason why you can't at this point!! You can do it!!!!! Start a streak! Woohoo!!!

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FUNFROG79 11/3/2010 10:30AM

    Congrats! emoticon

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SWELL10 11/3/2010 8:12AM

    I got my award by running REALLY REALLY slowly too! But hey we rock anyway! emoticon

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JILLIANPRNCSS 11/3/2010 7:05AM

    It has been some time since I got one of those. Let's make it happen again in November.

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SLEEPYDEAN 11/3/2010 1:02AM

    I don't usually come close to 1,000 so I knew that changing my fitness goals and getting those long runs in really made the difference in October. It definitely motivates me to strive for it each month from now on!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IBSHAUN 11/3/2010 12:45AM

    Yay for you! Sounds like you are truly making it a part of your life! Keep going!

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DARINGR8LY 11/3/2010 12:42AM

    Congratulations on getting the trophies. You more than earned them...literally.

You are going to double your fitness mitnues--just watch.

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