Giving Thanks & Getting Emotional

November 27, 2010 § 2 Comments

This Thanksgiving was exceptional for many reasons.

1) I’m Thankful that Don & I could spend the holiday together – last year he was in Texas while I was in Florida preparing for our December wedding. So he spent Thanksgiving at a Squadron dinner & I spent Thanksgiving with my family in Florida. But not this year! ๐Ÿ™‚

2) I’m Thankful I got to spend Thanksgiving with my Mom, Dad & Stepdad – together at one dinner. It meant so much to me. I’ve hadย  the “two household holidays” since I was 14, & I remember daydreaming about the day my whole family could sit at the Thanksgiving table together, enjoying one another’s company. And this Thanksgiving that wish came true. Maybe not in the most conventional ways I’d pictured it when I was a teenager, but I can’t imagine it any other way now. I love my Dad & I love my Stepdad too, so to spend Thanksgiving with both of them was certainly something to be thankful for.

3) I’m Thankful for my family. As exciting as moving to Hawaii for 3 years might be, I know that it comes with some prolonged separation from my family which is going to be tough. My Mom & I share a really close bond. We are best friends as much as we are Mother & Daughter, so being an ocean away is going to take some getting used to. Same goes for my Mimi & my two little sisters Sarah & Emily.

Stephanie, Emily, Sarah & Me

Emily, Mom & Me

Mimi - cooking some yummy gravy!

Emmers, singing her newest songs ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to take a step back, look at your life in perspective, & be Thankful for all that you have in your life. Most importantly, Thanksgiving reminds me to Be Present and make the most of every day, every opportunity, & every moment!


2010 Women’s Running Magazine Half Marathon

November 22, 2010 § 2 Comments

I did it!

Finishing with a time of 1:59 on the dot & came in 79th out ofย  565 for my age group! I’d originally estimated finishing around 2:10, but I secretly really wanted to get in under 2 hours.

There were sooooo many inspiring runners, & some really great signs to encourage us along the way. It was a surreal experience though. Once I started running I was “in the zone” for most of the race especially once I made it to the 10 mile mark in 1:29 realizing that I had it in me to finish under 2 hours.

I am so happy that my Mom & I got to share this experience together.

She did an amazing job & pushed through despite a knee injury ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But she made a new friend along the way who was also injured & they crossed the finish line together.

Over all an amazing day!

We stayed at the Don Cesar last night, so that means I’m off to the beachside hot tub to relax!

The Ocean

November 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

The true peace of God begins at any spot a thousand miles from the nearest land.ย  ~Joseph Conrad

It’s no secret that I love the ocean. I was born & raised in Florida, so being near the water is almost essential to my happiness.

Today Don & I finally made it to the beach.

We went to Siesta Key which boasts the title of #2 beach in the USA due to its insanely soft white sand.

After a nice long siesta in the sun, we went back to St. Armands and enjoyed some delicious casual Italian dining at Venizia.

We split a greek salad

and I had an authentic caprese panini.

And we couldn’t leave without stopping, once again, at Le Macaron. Irresistible.

This time we tried the Gingerbread Macaron with espresso, along with the Pistachio macaron and the Walnut macaron (Gingerbread was the best).

It’s going to be a busy week, but I’m striving to fit in at least 20 miles before the race on Sunday. Today I ran 5 miles, despite the suffocating humidity. I am praying the weather cooperates on race day, since the humidity can seriously affect pace.

Yesterday I went back to Fit2Run on University Parkway in Sarasota. I was looking for new shoes and in the process met the most inspiring store attendant, Joe. He seemed to be around 60 years old and informed us that he’s run over 240 marathons, 4 of which were 100 mile ultra’s! I felt like I was meeting a celebrity!

So of course I listened to his shoe advice and ended up purchasing the Asics 2150 in a narrow width. Since I slightly overpronate on my left leg I’ve often suffered from knee pain and arch blisters. I was running in the Mizuno Wave Rider 13 which I liked because it was lightweight – but since it was a neutral shoe it did little to correct my overpronation. I’m hoping to break in the new shoes in time for the race on Sunday.

I’m staring to get really excited & I can’t wait to check out the Expo on Saturday when I go to pick up my race number.

Tomorrow we’re spending the day in St. Petersburg, & I’m going to be a model for my sister’s Cosmetology class at Aveda. Pictures will follow ๐Ÿ™‚

Maintaining Fitness While Traveling

November 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

As of October 23rd I’ve been a bit of a drifter. The first few weeks in Florida I stayed at my parents house in Sarasota, and now that Don is here we are staying at a condo that my Grandparents own in Bradenton. We’ve also spent a night at a hotel in Cocoa Beach while visiting Don’s brother and sister in law. Needless to say, it is quite difficult to maintain a consistent workout schedule while traveling. I find that I run my best pace when I am on a track or trail that I’ve run before, and a clear head helps too.

Despite the challenges of unfamilar territory and lack of a day to day routine, I’ve managed to stay pretty consistent with my training by maintaining 30-40 miles per week. Here’s a breakdown:

10-23 Travel day 3 miles

10-24 Rest day

10-25 8 miles

10-26 2 miles

10-27 4 miles

10-28 5 miles

10-29 6 miles

10-30 6 miles

10-31 10 miles

End of week total – 41 miles

11-1 Rest day

11-2 3 miles

11-3 Rest day

11-4 9 miles

11-5 6 miles

11-6 3 miles

11-7 12 miles

End of week total – 33 miles

11-8 Rest day

11-9 9 miles

11-10 6 miles

11-11 6 miles

11-12 3 miles

11-13 3 miles

11-14 6 miles

End of week total – 33 miles

11-15 Rest day

11-16 7 miles

… to be continued

The key is to make training/exercise a part of your life that is as consistent as brushing your teeth! Hopefully the hardwork will pay off on Race day…4 more days!


Days Fly By

November 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

The past few days have flown by. Since Don arrived we’ve spent lots of time with family which means getting to visit both coasts.

The first half of our weekend was spent in Sarasota visiting the downtown Farmers Market on Saturday morning and getting a delicious breakfast at C’est la Vie, Sarasota.

C'est la Vie on Main in Sarasota

Sarasota Farmers Market

There was cool demonstration on Yoga Boarding by Outdoor Adventures in Yoga. They actually do yoga poses balancing on surfboards! That takes some serious skill!

Yoga Boarding Demonstration

After the Farmers Market we visited an Art Festival on St. Armands Circle.

But the best part of the day was visiting Le Macaron Sarasota.

Beautiful Macaron Display

Coffee Infused Macaron

Madagasgaran Black Vanilla Macaron

Don & I have decided that Macarons are the new Cupcakes.

We ended the weekend visiting Don’s brother and Sister in Law in Cocoa Beach. I started the day off with a 6 mile beach run & the view was amazing!

5 more days till the race!

Almost Thursday…

November 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’m excited that it’s almost Thursday because that’s the day Don gets to Florida. And yes I’ve felt intensely guilty for not staying in Texas these last few weeks, but when we decided I’d go to FL a few weeks early because of the empty house, it seemed like a good idea.

Whilst in Florida I’ve been daydreaming about how to decorate our new home in Hawaii. Here’s what I have so far…

Living Area





The best part of moving is decorating, right?

As far as marathon training goes…

Sunday was a 12 miler. Not my fastest but I’ll blame it on my runny nose ๐Ÿ˜‰

Monday was a rest day.

Tuesday I eeked out 9 miles.

and today I managed a good pace at 6 miles.

My pace has been really messed up since I’ve been in Florida. I’m sure that not maintaining my own schedule has put a kink in things, but I’m hoping that the adrenaline will kick in on race day & get me back to where I want to be pace wise.

Guess what I have been enjoying the heck out of? Having a Whole Foods close by. Lil’ ma (my mom) & I browsed the aisles of of Whole Foods for about an hour this evening. We ended up with some delicious acorn squash & veggie lasagna from the prepared foods deli – and I can never leave any grocery store that has a nut grinder without some fresh almond butter. Yum.


November 4, 2010 § 1 Comment

I’ve been a pretty bad blogger over the past few weeks, but I have a good excuse…

If you were in the company of this much cuteness, you’d probably ignore your blog too!

Not to mention keeping up with the busy lives of my family! I’m spending the month of November in Florida while Don finishes up his last few weeks at Goodfellow AFB.

I arrived in Florida a week and a half ago & we’ve done tons of stuff so far, like: gone to the Hunsader Farms Annual Pumpkin Festival…

played dress-up…

gone to the beach…

and spent time training for the upcoming 1/2 marathon, & enjoying the Sarasota Farmers Market with my Mama…

Not to mention TONS of shopping (International Plaza in Tampa, Sarasota Malls/Boutiques, Ellenton Outlets, quick trip through Millenia mall).

When visiting the International Mall in Tampa I went to Fit2Run where I got my gait analyzed. Apparently I overpronate pretty badly & was recommended to buy some specialized orthopedic insoles.

I don’t really like the way they feel so I think I’m just going to invest in some new running shoes for overpronaters.

Yesterday I took a quick daytrip to Orlando so I could visit UCF and take care of some Thesis stuff, which surprisingly led to some much needed motivation to finish my degree.

I’m talking done with it by Spring Break.

My thesis adviser even said I could defend via Skype since we are going to be living in Hawaii – which is beyond awesome.

Speaking of Hawaii – less than a month & we’ll be flying to Honolulu. So crazy!

I’m going to try to keep up with the blogging while we’re in transition, but the schedule is pretty crazy so postings might not be daily. But definitely check in on November 22nd for a post-race recap!

Where Am I?

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