I've Moved!

The other day at work, a co-worker alerted me to a sale at GoDaddy for a domain name for only $1.17. I couldn't resist and snatched up my own URL.

Now, I feel all official
I know, I know I should have done this last year when I changed to the new focus, but better late than never.

When you pop over there, it won't look any different, as I've kept the same layout and design. For now. I have removed a few posts that weren't really relevant to the new focus/theme that I rolled out on Jan 1, 2012, but most of my old posts made the move, too.

So, please head on over to my new site and say hello!

To stay up-to-date on all my adventures, please remember to update your RSS feeds to the new site or, better yet, sign up for email updates.


Just a little whine

I really don't understand what's happening with me and the middle of the week! Meloncholy and crabbiness begin setting in Tuesday afternoon and seem to continue through Wed and sometimes Thu.


Well, I don't want to be whiny today.

Driving into work, I thought about all these different things I wanted to whine about, but now, even though I'm still feeling overall blah, I can't seem to remember the specifics.

Instead, how about hearing about the wonderful weekend I had last weekend? **warning: might be slightly solipsistic going forward, but isn't that the point of a blog?**

Friday was our Christmas party at work.

Every department decorated a tree.

Christmas Trees

Ok. So, I didn't actually help, but I'm still a part of the department that won. :D
Only in Vegas would there be a Showgirl themed Christmas tree. Ha!

We enjoyed a delicious lunch! With, of course, lots of sweets for dessert.

I had prime rib with horseradish, turkey, cranberries, corn, TWO salads, cheese/crackers, and a roll. There was also lobster and shrimp, but seafood makes me gag. It was bad enough having to walk down the hall where they were serving it. Ick!

There were also drawings throughout the day for random gift cards. At 3 pm there were drawings for larger prizes including a 60", a 55", and a 40" flat screen TV. Wow!

After all the drawings were finished, there was one more surprise drawing left.


I was standing in the back of the lunchroom, when the drawing took place. After the name was pulled, there was hesitation. "I don't know. Someone from Advertising."


I had to walk all the way to the front. My face turned bright red someone later told me and I was fighting back tears. I couldn't believe it!!

The last couple hours of work are a blur. Lots of people stopped by and congratulated me. It was amazing.

Saturday was a pretty lazy day, but I did go shopping in the evening. I bought a great pair of boots + a super cute pair of heels. Total for both? $35. Score!

Then I headed to Target to spend the $25 gift card I'd gotten on Thursday. I bought some make-up and nail polish. I guess I was feeling all girly.

Sunday I got to meet up with a good friend that I haven't seen in over seven years! She was in town with some friends, but I was so excited to steal her away for a couple hours. It was so fun to see her again. Despite the years between visits, it was like no time had passed.

We met for breakfast at Coco's Bakery and Restaurant and I had the most delicious multi-grain pumpkin nut pancakes. It was a struggle at the end, but I managed to eat the entire plate! ;-)

It was such a gorgeous afternoon when I got back home, and I was in love with my new boots and my outfit,  that I walked around our apartment complex for a little self-portrait photo shoot.

Aren't my new boots adorable?!

I finished the weekend off with a 3-hour soak in the hot tub with my husband. We only had the jets going for like 20 min, but the conversation was so good that we just didn't want to get out. I was shocked to see the time when we finally got back to our apartment.

Tomorrow, we get the keys to our new apartment. Yay! We have until Sun to turn in our old keys, so this shouldn't be too bad of a move. Especially considering we don't have that much stuff + it's at the same complex. Just closer to the hot tub. It will be practically right out our back porch.

This. Could. Be. Dangerous.

Plus, I'm planning on lunch with another friend that I haven't seen in YEARS on Sunday, so it's looking to be a great weekend ahead!

How was your weekend last weekend?
Do you ever go on random self-portrait photo shoots just because?
What are your plans this coming weekend?


10 kind of obscure SONGS I LOVE

Another Monday is here. Time for Monday Listicles. Stephanie suggested one of the topics today: 10 SONGS YOU LOVE, HATE OR LOVE TO HATE. The other topic was suggested by Rachée and Mrs RKFJ who called for 10 HOLIDAY SONGS.

I thought it would be fun to share a few songs that I love that are kind of obscure. Or maybe I'm just not cool enough to know that these songs were/are popular...?

10 somewhat obscure SONGS I LOVE
  1. Sick & Beautiful by Artificial Joy Club

  2. Reasons Why by Merrill Bainbridge

  3. What it Feels like to be a Girl by Madonna

  4. Sexy Silk by Jessica Cornish

  5. Anxious Jenny by Canoe

  6. Leave Your Boyfriends Behind by Leona Naess

  7. The Wolf by Miniature Tigers

  8. Gotta Have You by The Weepies

  9. Merry Happy by Kate Nash

  10. Gift of the Magi by Squirrel Nut Zippers For good measure, I've included one Christmas song. :D
All of the above songs make me want to either sing or dance or both. And, yes, I have been known to listen to them on repeat over and over and over again.

But I want to include two other songs that I love that are far, far from being obscure, but I LOVE THEM. I love the music, but more I love the lyrics and the messages. To me, these songs are so POWERFUL and I love that we have songs like this out there today that can be empowering and fun.
  1. Firework by Katy Perry

  2. Raise Your Glass by Pink
If you like the Firework song, watch this video from A Night of Too Many Stars, a benefit for autism. It *may* have brought me to tears.



Good Day

Sometimes just writing a whiny post is enough to help turn things around. Thanks for all your wonderful, supportive comments.

One whiny thing I hadn't mentioned in the post was my lack of warm clothing. I really only had one versatile sweater, and I had worn it everyday for too many days in a row. So, after work I stopped at Savers for a little retail therapy.

For $20, I brought home two pairs of work pants + 3 sweaters. Yay!

1 new sweater + 1 new pair of work pants

Thursday morning brought a surprise bonus from work. Everyone got one, and the amount depended upon how long you'd worked there in 2012. Since I started after July 1st, I didn't actually get a check but a $25 gift card to Target. Sweet!

Now, I always bring my lunch, but I'm also never one to turn down free food, so when invited out to lunch, I couldn't say no.

I had a delicious veggie stir fry at Le Thai in downtown Vegas.

Level 2 Spiciness
How spicy do you want it? 1-5.
1 is mild.
2 is medium.
3 is hot.
4 is fire.
All I could think was, if 4 is fire, what is 5? Nuclear?

The super fun looking restaurant next door had this sign outside.

At least two of us had to take a picture. :D

And then my day ended with some TV and hot cocoa with my husband.

So, yeah. It was a good day.

Now, today, we're celebrating Christmas at work. Instead of having a traditional company holiday party, they've devoted the entire day to celebrating. We started off with a continental breakfast. I *wanted* to take a picture, but I left my phone at my desk and ended up eating in the cafeteria.

I had some light peach yogurt, and mammoth-sized blueberry muffin, and the most delicious to-die-for mini quiche.

Yesterday, they sent out a menu for today's lunch:
Prime Rib
Pork Tenderloin
Variety of vegetables
Variety of salads
and of course Desserts
Good thing I worked out this morning. *wink*

Being all festive with jingle bell earrings.
Anything fun planned for the weekend?
Does your company do anything special for the holidays?



I've been sad today. I know, right? On a day like 12/12/12? How is that even possible?

Okay the past couple of days. FOR NO APPARENT REASON.

Today, I even put a ribbon in my hair

Ok. So really the ribbon was for
the #runnerphotoaday challenge

and broke out the purple nail polish and purple tights.

I bought the nail polish several days ago
and was feeling guilty for not using it yet.


I was trying to figure it out, when it suddenly hit me. I haven't been outside in the daylight in several days. We're going through a bit of a cold snap here in Vegas hopefully just a snap and not something that will last weeks or (gasp!) months with highs only in the low 60s.

I know, I know. THAT'S NOT COLD! But it is. To me. Too cold to sit outside for lunch anyway - especially when that sun is hiding behind a thick layer of clouds.


There are other issues as well.

I'm making way more mistakes at work than I'd like to admit but at least I do admit them and accept them instead of trying to blame them on someone else. I know it's only been two months, and there is so much room for human error, but it doesn't make it any easier. So frustrating!

We can't seem to get ahead financially. I know I've only been working for just over two months, but it seems like we just aren't making any progress. And now, we're (hopefully) moving in the next week or so. I'm excited for the new apartment, but it will also mean another $200/month. Where is that going to come from?

We've met a few people here, but I really long for more friends. Yes, I'm lonely. There. I said it.

At least I'm still exercising, right? Despite taking a brief running hiatus, I've still been working out, so at least there's that.

Today's quick workout (Wednesday's are my light/easy day).
Sort of.
I'm not quite to these full lengths. Yet.

And while I have been noticing some improvement in the way I look, and I am very happy with said progress, sometimes like today it still makes me sad that I'm not where I want to be.

Wow. This post is so whiny! The last post I wrote on a Wednesday was also a little on the whiny side. Am I sensing a pattern? Maybe I should start a Whiny Wednesday meme? :D

At least it's almost time to head home.

What do you do when you're feeling a little down?
What makes you smile?


Big Announcement

I've been holding off sharing this with you, but now it's officially official!

I've been accepted as a Fitfluential Ambassador. Whoo hoo!!

ambassador button
Ever since I first heard of Fitfluential, I've wanted to join the team, so I'm super excited about this. Yes, I had to apply a couple times before being accepted, so I'm taking this as a sign that my presence is actually growing.

What does this mean for Enjoying the Course? I'll still be blogging regularly (as ever) about my regular topics, but I'll also have the opportunity to work with exciting brands. You might see an increase in reviews and such, but overall, it's just an opportunity for me to embrace my fitness goals and share my experiences with even more fantastic people like YOU!

In other news, if you didn't see my message on my FB page yesterday, I'm taking a short break from running until 2013.


My Favorite Foods to Smell

Okay. And eat.

Today's Monday Listicles is all about food. Bridget suggested the topic and gave us free reign over interpretation.

Ask anyone in my family, and they'll tell you stories of how picky of an eater I was growing up. The list of foods I wouldn't eat was probably longer than the list of what I would try. I'm much more adventurous now.

Still, I thought I'd take a slighty different approach, and try to come up with a list of foods that I love to smell.

  1. Fresh bread
  2. Pumpkin pie
  3. Roast - turkey, beef, pork
  4. Potato soup
  5. Chocolate chip cookies
  6. Pizza
  7. Flavored coffee
  8. Warm apple cider
  9. Buffalo wings
  10. Peanut butter
There's a reason fresh bread is #1. That is without a doubt my all-time favorite. When I worked downtown Minneapolis, every morning I would walk by a Subway restaurant. I looked forward to the delectable smells wafting out into the skyway. It always made me smile, and took a lot of willpower to keep walking and not stop to simply relish in the moment of the wondrous smell of baking bread.

What are your favorite smelling foods?
Do you have any memories of the smell of a favorite food?


I Am Great

Today, it's time to brag. Because, you know, it's good for the soul to do it every once in awhile.

Plus, it's our topic for today's Monday Listicles. It comes to us from Mrs. M at The Bonny Bard.

10 Reasons I Am Great
  1. I am open-minded.
  2. I am flexible and can adapt to new situations relatively quickly.
  3. I can admit when I'm wrong and I own my mistakes.
  4. I know my way around the kitchen and can sometimes produce some deliciousness.
  5. I like both action movies and chick flicks.
  6. I am a runner.
  7. I am an optimist.
  8. I can usually always find something good to say to or about anyone or anything.
  9. I almost always give someone the benefit of the doubt.
  10. I have a cute smile.
What else would you add to my list cuz I crave validation?
What makes you great?


Great Santa Run Recap

Several weeks ago, an email appeared in my work Inbox asking that anyone interested in signing up for the Great Santa Run to contact HR. I asked a couple questions, went to the website, got super excited, and immediately contacted HR to add my name to the list.

Here's a little video about the 2011 run.

Since my work is a major sponsor, my registration was actually free. Can't beat that! When you register, you get a Santa suit to run in. The hope is to get as many Santas together in one area as possible. Last year, they won the World Santa Challenge and raised over $400,000 for individuals with disabilities! How cool is that!

There were over 8,000 Santas in 2011. The numbers weren't available yet on the website of how many were there this year, but I'm glad to have been a part of it. :)

Around 8:20, my ride arrived to pick me up. I knew that parking was going to be, um, complicated, so I asked a friend if he wanted to carpool. And yes, by carpool, I meant him pick me up. This is, I think, the 2nd race he's picked me up for, so he's kind of becoming my race chauffeur. (Thanks, Crosby!)

I'd picked up my Santa suit, race number, etc the day before (conveniently at work. yay!), but he'd registered with a team, so we needed to meet up with them to get his race packet.

He had brought his sweet girl, Maya, with him, so I didn't mind the wait at all.

I couldn't get her to look up at me, but isn't she a cutie!

Finally, the four of us were dressed as Santa and ready to go!

While we waited at what we thought was the start line, we got to see 4 skydiving Santas glide in to the starting area.

Las Vegas Great Santa Run Skydiving

The race was supposed to start at 10am, and shortly after 10, they started announcing that all 5K participants should line up behind Santa. Um. We were ALL dressed like Santa! ;) So, we just started following the crowd and 10 minutes later, we were at the starting line. Phew!

I got my CharityMiles started on my phone just as we crossed. I ran for The Global Fund to fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, since yesterday was also World AIDS Day. I didn't want to lose sight of my ride home in the sea of Santas, so I did my best to keep up with him. He's normally super fast, but I had two things in my favor yesterday. 1) There were a ton of Santas, so it was hard to run very fast anyway, and 2) He was running a marathon the next day (today!), so this was just kind of a slow warm-up, make-sure-everything-is-working-okay type of run for him.

Our final time was just shy of 32 min (31:58). Definitely no record for me, but it was fun! Weaving in and out of the throngs of Santas was exhilarating!

At the finish, we were just finished. There wasn't any food that I could see anyway. They were handing out bottles of water as you crossed the finish, but they had also handed out bottles around mile 1 in lieu of a water stop. It was kind of cool to get a whole bottle - except then you had to run with the bottle for the remaining 2.1 miles.

Also, the first 1,000 finishers were offered a shirt, but we didn't feel like standing in line. Plus, we had no idea if we were in the first 1,000, so we headed back to the car, where he completely changed out of his Santa suit before we headed back to the finish to meet up with our friends.

Ugh. I hate this picture of me. Next year, I'm wearing my own suit that will actually FIT! :)

After the race was finished, and before heading back home, I headed to the portapotty. I'd been holding it since before the race began and knew I wouldn't make it home. Now, I only mention this because instead of simply having hand sanitizer stations for disinfecting those germs, they had actually set up portable handwashing stations. This was a bad idea. I thought it seemed pretty cool, but the water didn't work very well, and there were no paper towels or anything for drying. I couldn't rinse off all the soap or try to wick it off with a paper towel, so I ended up wringing my hands continuously until the suds kind of went away. It was annoying. I'll take simple hand sanitizer any day.

All in all, it was a great way to start the Saturday! Now, if I could just figure out how to run a race in the morning and then not veg out and eat like shit the rest of the day!!

Have you, or will you, be running in a Santa race this year?
Do you ever accidentally type Satan when you mean to type Santa? oops!


Not cool, body. Not cool.

Warning: If you're a male reader, you might want to skip this post.

I got my period on Monday. I knew it was coming because for the week or so prior my boobs felt like heavy bricks every time I'd unleash them from their sheath my bra. Once that painful heaviness sets in, I know the time is nearish. Sometimes it's a couple of weeks; sometimes it's a couple of days.

It's only in the past few years that I've starting experienced this.
And cramps.

I used to always feel so lucky not really ever having to deal with the pains of being a woman. My periods would come and go, and while I've always hated them, they would never cause me to DOUBLE OVER IN PAINFUL CRAMPS.

But, as I've gotten older, I've started to get ...
... the aforementioned painful boobs
... increased acne
... heavier flows
... painful cramps
Sometimes I joke with my husband about how I'm looking forward to menopause because it can't get much worse. He always assures me that it can. And probably will. Thanks, honey, you always know what to say.

So, last night, I awoke around 2 a.m. Now, it's not too unusual for me to wake up in the middle of the night, but lately, I've had a lot of trouble getting back to sleep.

But last night, in addition to the INSOMNIA, I had PAINFUL GUT-WRENCHING CRAMPS.

I took some Midol, but I just couldn't fall asleep.
Then, my body decided that since I was having such fun with my cramps, why not add a bit of gas to the equation.


I may have dozed a little here and there, but basically I've been awake since roughly 2 a.m.

On my way into work, I stopped at Walgreens because well, I need some supplies. I prefer the non-applicator kind because they seem a bit more comfortable to me, and I like the small size, so I can just slip them into my pocket.

As I was browsing this section I don't know why I browse since I always get the same thing, I saw these non-applicator ones.

At first I thought, Those are kind of neat. They come in a cute little tin.
Then, Who would spend $6.99 for 16 when you could spend $7.49 for 40? That's a lot of money for a cute little tin.

I also contemplated these.
I like the idea of using cups - disposable or reusable. Less waste and all that, but I used to have a DivaCup, and I was less than impressed with its, um, performance.

I hate spending money on something I'm not sure will work for me, and I'm also all about cheap, so I opted for the Walgreens brand non-applicator tampons. Exactly what I went to Walgreens with the intention of buying.

Have you ever tried any alternative supplies? 
Do you find yourself dreading this time more as you get older or is it just me?


10 Photos From My Phone

For today's Monday Listicles, we had the option of two topics: 10 PHOTOS FROM OUR PHONE or 10 NAMES YOU CONSIDERED FOR YOUR KIDS.

Since I have no kids, I'll share with you ten photos.

Las Vegas 4th of July
4th of July from the parking lot of our new apartment in Vegas.
We'd moved in just a few days prior to this picture.

Sallie border terrier
Goofy girl at Yappy Hour at Rumor Boutique Hotel

Sallie border terrier
My cutie little girl!

Sallie dog toy border terrier
Crazy girl sleeping with her toy dog

Survivor Fremont Street Experience Vegas
Free SURVIVOR concert at Fremont Street Experience

Sallie border terrier
Her legs are all criss-crossed, but I guess she's comfortable.

blue moon
Blue Moon captured through my phone and our mono-scope

Vegas park
Tiny little nearby park where I once stopped after a run for a little yoga.

Sallie border terrier
My panting girl was SO HOT!

Vegas Strip NHRA
I won tickets from work to go to the NHRA. It was so much fun!
Wow! Flipping through my phone photos reminded me that I still have a few events I need to blog about. Oops!

Which of these in particular would you be most interested in reading a full post about?


Fitness Friday: The Much Anticipated RAGNAR RECAP

Two weeks ago today (has it really been that long?), I stumbled out of bed at 3 a.m. to don my brightest tights and awesomest 80s gear to head up Mt Charleston with Van 1 of The Fanny Pack.

We got off to a late start and ended up leaving my teammate's house way later than we should have. Plus, it turned out that we didn't have the required # of LED back lights, so we had to stop at the home of our team captain (in Van 2) to grab one of their extras. And then there was the stop for gas.

Finally we were on our way. 

Now, Van 1 is supposed to check it at least one hour prior to our start time. We were supposed to start at 6:30, and I think we arrived somewhere around 6:20. Parking was full, so we had to park down the mountain a tiny bit. Then there was checking in, the safety briefing, and picking up our flags, shirts, and goodie bag. Phew!

And I cannot neglect to mention the COLD!

Cold Start at Ragnar Las Vegas
We all look so damn cold!

By cold, I mean 30s with some slight snow flurries. Nothing compared to winters in MN, but very traumatic for unprepared Las Vegans. :-/

After completing all our pre-race duties, we sauntered up to the start line to find hear the announcer saying:

Get ready to start in 10 ... 9 ... 8 ...

Shit! Our first runner barely had his shoes on let alone a race number and the slap bracelet. We slapped that bracelet on his wrist and he was off for his first run. 7 miles down Mt Charleston in the cold and HAIL. Yes, the snow had turned to hail at that point.

He still didn't have a number because, well, I'd forgotten about that in the flurry of getting our runner to start with the 7 a.m. wave. We were only a half hour late. Woot!

About halfway through his run, we offered him support. Ok, actually, we mostly just handed him his race number, which he put in his pocket. He did not want to slow down to pin it on. :-)

Now, I was runner #4, so I still had a little time to relax and prepare before my first leg. The chatter in the van - despite the cold and early rising, was quite positive, relaxed, and fun. Prior to this morning, I had only met one other person very briefly. I was very relieved that we all got along so well!

There was no bickering or power struggles. Just lots of fun banter.


Happy Thanksgiving!!

I probably should have written this yesterday, as many of you are likely very busy with Thanksgiving festivities today. Still, I wanted to take a moment to wish each one of you a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

May you all enjoy great food, loving families, and fun times.

To all my running readers, good luck at your races today!
To all my non-running readers, I invite you to get outside today.

A couple years ago, I convinced my family to take a few minutes and go for a Thanksgiving Day walk together. It was supposed to be a time for us to share things we were grateful for, but it turned out to be just a time filled with fun and laughter. It was a relatively nice day in MN, and it is a memory I will always cherish.


Workout Wednesday

Normally, Wednesdays are my sleep-in days. And by sleep in, I mean still get up at 5am to feed Sallie and then go back to sleep until 6:30am.

Since I took a rest week last week, and then slept in Monday, and have the potential of sleeping in tomorrow, I decided that TODAY, I would still get up at 5 to get in a workout.

I started out with this humdigger, because the 45 pushups from yesterday didn't kill my shoulders enough.

Seriously, though, it was a great quick workout. I think it took me 8:25, and I. am. SLOW. about these strength types of workouts.

Since I was feeling a bit gluttonous, I decided to head to the tiny fitness center at my apartment complex to hit up the elliptical.

Back in the day, when I couldn't run (stupid shins!), I tried to learn to love the elliptical.

Years later, after my shins decided to love me again, and I've really embraced running, THE ELLIPTICAL STILL PROVES TO HATE ME! I spent 20 minutes on that devil yesterday....at a 25 min/mile pace. At the end of the 20 minutes, my toes were numb and I was sweating like a mother. I'll take it, but I figured I must be doing something wrong to make my toes/feet hurt so much from this machine.

So, I asked my friends on DailyMile what they thought. I got some great advice from a husband/wife team (Thanks, Donald and Irina!), which I'll bascially boil down to keep your feet planted, hips lower than what feels normal, and try not to be too bouncy.

I can tell that yesterday I didn't keep my feet planted because my calves are in a state of revolt today.

I tried to keep their advice in mind this morning, but my experience was pretty much the same. Ok. Ever so slightly faster, but still very slow.

Leaving the gym super sweaty, I'm still counting it a win!!

The question is ... should I continue to try to conquer the elliptical or just stick to running and biking?

How was your workout today?


Random Conversations with my Husband that You Don't Care About

Two random conversations from last night.

Him: Why are you still biking to work?
Me: Because it's healthier and saves gas money.
Him: But it's dark outside.
Me: Only at night.
Him: But you do bike home at night.

(yes, I did bike in today.)

Me: How many times a day do you pee?
Him: I don't know. Probably twice.
Me: Damn. Sometimes I have to pee twice an hour.
Me: You need to drink more water.

(maybe I need to drink less water...)

What randomly odd conversations have you had lately?


10 Things I've Learned in 2012

I know, I know. I owe you a couple posts.

1) RAGNAR recap. It will be a faded memory by the time I get around to writing it.
2) A follow-up to last week's Listicles.

But first...it's time for another round of Monday Listicles. You should totally join in the fun! It's a different topic each week, and for this week...

  1. I'll likely never be a teacher. I LOVED student teaching and interacting with high school students, but I was spoiled by doing it in a co-teaching setting. I think I would be successful as a solo teacher, but I don't think I'd like it as much.
  2. It gets COLD in Vegas. This is relative, of course, since it's nowhere near as cold as it gets in MN. Still, cold is cold.
  3. Job searching is hard work. It's no wonder people are hesitant to switch jobs/careers. I hope to stay at my current employer for a long time - just so I don't have to endure going through that again anytime soon.
  4. Biking 7+ miles in the Vegas summer heat & altitude is not recommended.
  5. I am much better at meeting new people in small groups. Ok. This isn't a new lesson, but rather a reminder.
  6. I can safely and confidently bike to and from work. Nearly every day I congratulate myself at how I've improved at riding a bike over the past couple of years.
  7. Russian and Chinese history is fascinating! History in general is fun to learn about. Now that I'm done with school, I really should continue to read/learn more about this stuff.
  8. It's a huge struggle for me to incorporate strength training into my daily life. It's the easiest thing for me to skip, and it's probably more important than my cardio.
  9. I don't really like routines. I love variety. If everyday could be different, I would love it.
  10. ^^ I am not very consistent. At blogging. At running and exercise. At cooking.
What have you learned so far this year?


Brain Dump

**WARNING** Lots of negativity in this post. Feel free to come back tomorrow...

After Monday's Ragnover, my week has continued in a downward spiral.

My left quad is still really bothering me. I don't feel like exercising. I've driven to work everyday this week (and plan to drive tomorrow and Fri as well). I don't feel strong or fit.

I've gotten a headcold. My head is throbbing. I feel like my nose is broken or it wants to explode plus it's really dry. Overall, just annoying and uncomfortable.

I want to write about Ragnar Las Vegas. I really do, but I don't feel like it. There is so much to say, but I'm having trouble finding the words or knowing where to begin. When I get home from work, I just feel like vegging and not blogging.

I need to do laundry and cook dinner and clean the apartment. I DON'T WANT TO DO ANY OF IT!!

I have a lot of downtime at work. I both love and hate this about my new job.

Getting back on our feet financially is proving more difficult than we'd hoped. I love being in Vegas, and I don't regret at all leaving MN, but I wish we had more money. Who doesn't?

We have no plans for Thanksgiving. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I feel like I should be sadder about it than I am.


10 Truths. Or Not.

Ok. It's time for MONDAY LISTICLES. Seriously, it's nearly past time, but it's still Monday, so as long as I get this posted soon...

Today's topic was 007 (or any other spy) OR a list of Lies, and one truth.

Since I'm not up on all my spy trivia, I'm going with option #2.


1. I once spent a summer traveling all over Europe. The French countryside was my favorite.
2. I am an only child.
3. I ran my first marathon when I was 25.
4. I have a bachelor's degree in Film/Video from Rochester Institute of Technology.
5. I am a trendsetter and always up on the hippest fashions.
6. I was born in Alexandria, MN.
7. I love to swim.
8. I am the world's worst speller.
9. I have scuba dived in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
10. I was frisked by at Mountie at the Canadian border.

Now, leave a comment with which you think is the truth!


Wordless Wednesday - You Guessed it! RBFHalf Pictures

Really Big Free Half Marathon Nov 3, 2012

Really Big Free Half Marathon Nov 3, 2012

Really Big Free Half Marathon Nov 3, 2012

Really Big Free Half Marathon Nov 3, 2012


10 Memories from the Not So Distant Past

You can read the full recap from Saturday's Really Big Free Half Marathon here. Writing a race recap is difficult, because there is so much to say that it's hard to get it all down in a sensical manner. Some great memories always get left out.

Today's Monday Listicles topic is 10 Amazing Memories from a Not So Distant Past. Well, I don't know if these will exactly qualify as amazing or not, but here are...

Some new, some repeats from yesterday's recap
  1. Anxiously leaving my apartment at 5:25 to meet my ride out in the parking lot instead of waiting for his text.
  2. Stumbling to get to the late packet pick-up tent. It was SO DARK!
  3. Missing the long line of port-a-potties through the marathoners because it was SO DARK.
  4. Rubbing my arms like crazy to keep them semi-warm while waiting for the start.
  5. Talking to the girl who would become my Hare.
  6. Pushing myself to catch-up with the guy wearing the 2011 Ragnar shirt, just so I could ask if he was running Ragnar next weekend. He was not.
  7. Being mesmerized by the splendor of the course - the mountains, Lake Mead, the colorful runners dotting the course ahead of me.

  8. Mountains Lake Mead Really Big Free Half Marathon

  9. Encouragingly swearing to myself. Not at myself. Apparently I have quite the potty mouth while running.
  10. Convincing myself that I didn't need to walk after running 10 miles. Only a 5k left to go!
  11. Fighting back the tears after achieving an incredible 9 min PR.
BONUS: Coming home from a walk to McDonald's to find that Sallie had gotten into, and EATEN ALL of, my race day gummy bears. Now, I need to buy some more for Ragnar this weekend.
What are some of your amazing memories from the not-so-distant past?


The Really, Big, Free Half Marathon Recap

Yesterday, I got to be a part of history. The first ever FREE marathon (and half) was held just outside of Las Vegas at Lake Mead, and I got to be a part of it.

I registered for this race back in early July as soon as I'd heard about it. A free race? Sign. Me. Up. Even without running for most of July and August, my anticipation of this race grew and my excitement level escalated as the date approached.

Overall, I was not disappointed! This was a great race experience. I went in totally not expecting anything; I just wanted to, you know, enjoy the course. It was my first race with mountains as my backdrop, and I was mostly excited to simply take in the scenery and bask in the gloriousness of the mountains and Lake Mead.

I ended up pushing myself beyond what I thought was possible. I only walked very briefly through the first two water stops and to snap a few pictures, but ran up and down all the hills of the remainder of the course, and ended up scoring an 9 minute PR.


November Photo Challenge

Back in September, Candice, from I Have Run, hosted a photo challenge. I loved this!!  I didn't get a chance to participate EVERY day, but it did get me snapping and sharing more pictures than normal.

I missed this in October.

There were a couple other photo challenges for October that I saw floating around, but none of them quite spoke to me like the Runnerd Photo-A-Day Challenge.

Since I missed this so much in October, I thought I'd create my own challenge for November. You're, of course, more than welcome to join in the fun! I know it's late on the 31st already. I've been toying with this idea for a couple weeks, and I really meant to post this earlier, but, well, honestly, I really have no good reason for not doing it earlier. #procrastinatoratheart

Here's how to participate:

  • Leave a comment letting me know you want to join in the fun. 
  • Post a photo that reflects the word of the day somehow. Ideally, your posts should be related to health/fitness or running or training, but since it's November, if you're stumped on the word of the day, just use gratitude as the default word of the day. You can post on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook. 
  • On Instagram, become my friend (enjoyingthecourse) and include the hashtag #EtCphotoaday and/or tag me @enjoyingthecourse in your comment.
  • On Twitter, make sure you include the hashtag #EtCphotoaday with each post and/or tag me @EnjoytheCourse
  • On Facebook, follow the Enjoying the Course fan page and tag me in the comment of your picture. 

There likely won't be any prizes or anything - other than enjoying the fun pictures from old and new friends. :-)

Be creative. Seeing everyone doing the same thing would be boring. ;-) I'll try to do a recap of my favorite posts each Thursday. Don't worry if you miss a day or don't start on day one. I just want to have fun with this...and I want you to do the same!

And now for the list:

November 1 - Sweet
November 2 - Eat
November 3 - Run
November 4 - Sunshine
November 5 - Orange
November 6 - Power
November 7 - Crazy
November 8 - Inspire
November 9 - Perspire
November 10 - Rest
November 11 - Serve
November 12 - Nature
November 13 - Strong
November 14 - Fit
November 15 - Beauty
November 16 - Friend
November 17 - Family
November 18 - Go
 November 19 - Fun
November 20 - Happy
November 21 - Food
November 22 - Thankful
November 23 - Care
November 24 - Wonder
November 25 - Bright
November 26 - Warm
November 27 - Love
November 28 - Chocolate
November 29 - Looking Back
November 30 - Enjoy

I'm looking forward to doing this challenge with old and new friends. Will you join me? 

Wordless Wednesday - Half Marathon on 11/3


A List of Firsts

The topic for today's Monday Listicles was firsts. I probably have a lot more firsts than 10, but here are 10 I thought I could tell a story about. ;-)

1. My first dog, Mitzy

Ok, she was the family dog, but she was definitely the first dog I ever loved. She was a pomeranian/poodle/chihuahua mix. Or so we told everyone. She was loads of fun. I loved when she would snuggle up by my legs when I'd sleep at night.

I even made up a song that I would sing to her.
♫ Cutest little pup in the whole wide world. Cuter than anything. She may be full grown. She may even stink, but she's still the cutest little pup in the whole wide world. ♫ 
Or something along those lines.

Now I have another cute, snuggly, adorable pup that I LOVE. She's definitely my baby girl.

2. My first kiss
This was well before the days of instagram, and Facebook, and Twitter, so no pictures. :) I was 16 (old, I know!), and it was in the hallway of the apartment building of my boyfriend's brother. Did you catch that? I'd gone over for dinner, and we kissed in the hallway as he was walking me out to my car.

I have since had many, many kisses. I am married, afterall. LOL.

3. My first ever cruise
If you can call it a cruise. It was just from Ft Lauderdale to the Bahamas. It was only a few hours, but it was rocky, and the ONLY song they played was Who Let the Dogs Out?. Granted, it was played in several different variations. ;-) No pictures from the cruise. Probably, because we were trying our best not to lose our cookies. The cruise was part of a whole buy-a-timeshare package. Overall, it was a fun vacation with my stepmom and sister, but the actual cruise definitely was not the highlight.

I have yet to go on another cruise. One day.
Hopefully with a lot less annoying music and rocky waves.

4. My first time parasailing
I did this during the same vacation as the cruise. My step-mom, who hates all kinds of rides, had gone parasailing in Jamaica several years earlier. If she could do it, certainly I could do it. I was so scared! And I'm a girl who loves roller coasters. It took me forever to actually commit to doing it. I was so nervous while being secured to the sail. And then the boat took off. I won't say I was disappointed, but it definitely wasn't thrilling. It was beautiful and relaxing, but I'd built it up so high in my mind, that it turned out to be a bit of a let down. I do have pictures of this, but sadly, they have not been scanned into a digital copy and they are currently being stored at my sister's house in MN.

I'm not sure if I'll ever pursue doing this again. Like I said, it was beautiful and relaxing, but it was also a little boring.

5. My first crazy adventure after getting married
About 8 months after getting married, we decided to move to NYC. We didn't know anyone. We didn't have a place to live. We didn't have jobs lined up. And then everything started to fall into place. When I told my work I was moving there, it turned out there was a job available in the city. I wouldn't even need to change companies. We found a fantastic apartment in Brooklyn! Brand new construction. We were the first tenants. EVER! It was just fun how everything came together. We were only there for about 10 months, but we really enjoyed it.

I could definitely see myself living in NYC again someday. But as of now, we haven't even been back to visit. :-(

6. My first drag race

This was just yesterday. I've been to other races - stock car, junk car - but never anything through the National Hot Rod Association. It. Was. So. Fun! Of course, we weren't dressed very appropriately. Jeans and t-shirts, but we should have opted for shorts at least. It was super loud and when the Top Fuel cars were racing, you could feel the vibrations through your entire body. We kept saying to each other how much we could really get into this sport.

Yes, this is something that we definitely hope to do more of!

And now, since this is primarily a running blog, here are some running firsts.

7. My first 5K

Somehow in 2001 I convinced my sister to sign up for a 5K the day after my 24th birthday. This probably wasn't the wisest idea. Or perhaps the partying the night before wasn't the wise idea. Either way, we ended up walking most of the race. Like I said, I wasn't exactly feeling 100%. Still, it was something fun to do with my sister. Yes, she'd been right there celebrating with me the night before. It was a beautiful race walk around Lake Nokomis.

I don't think I could even count the number of 5Ks I've done since this one. Not because the number is so large, but rather because I simply can't remember.

8. My first half marathon

My sister didn't do this race with me. I'm not sure why. It was kind of far away. I was working at the Running Room at the time and had become friends with some runners going through one of the running clinics or running groups. We all drove the hour or so to get to this race together the night before and stayed in a hotel room. It was so fun! Seriously, even 10 years later, nothing tops this race experience. I ran this with a random girl. Well, not totally random. She was a part of our group, but I hadn't really met her before this race. We were the perfect pace for each other. We talked the entire time! We didn't care about time or anything else. We just had fun talking and walking and running. I don't remember her name or anything about her. We never ran together again. But, she was just what I needed that day.

I have since run a few more half marathons. My current goal in life is to be fit enough to always be ready to run a half without having to do any extra training. My next half is in only 5 days!!

9. My first marathon

I wish I could say this was as great of an experience as my first half. This was another one of my brilliant ideas that I convinced my sister to do. We both ran this, but we didn't run it together. We had joined Team Diabetes and had hoped to run Kona Marathon, but we weren't able to even come close to fundraising the $9000 ($4500 each) that would qualify us to participate, so we opted for TCM, which was much, much closer, though not nearly as exciting as, Kona. My dad and stepmom came out to show support. They even met us along the course a few times. My uncle, who had run many marathons came out as well. That was very encouraging - especially when they would jump onto the course and run with me for a short while. At the end, I was so happy to be finished. I vowed to never run another marathon again. It was really hard!

That vow lasted until the next year when my sister and I received a flyer in the mail to run it again. Suddenly, it seemed like the greatest idea! One day, maybe I'll run a 3rd.

10. My first Ragnar Relay

This was just pure awesome. You can read all about it here. I joined a random team. Well, not entirely random, as it was the team of a girl I went to high school with. Of course she wasn't in the same van.

I'm running my 2nd Ragnar in just 11 days!! I don't know a single soul on my team, but I am getting to know them via Facebook, and I have met one in person already. We're donning 80s workout gear, and we're going to have a blast!

I don't always have a very good memory - even for things that should be quite memorable. :-)

What are your most memorable firsts?


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