Sept in Numbers

1 day without a post. I was participating in two challenges (Fitness writing challenge with Fitness Cheerleader and NaBloPoMo: Eye). Turns out, I found I had a lot to share this month, so I didn't need to rely on the prompts for ideas.
33 posts published in Sept. I think this is probably the most I've ever blogged in one month. Even though I missed that one day, I ended up posting more than once a few days. I'd say it was a good month. :) Still, now that I'm working full time, I doubt I'll be as consistent. I'm shooting for 3-5 posts per week.
23 photos submitted for the #runnerdphotoaday challenge. There were a few days that I just wasn't inspired and a few days that I simply forgot. It was a really fun challenge, though! The prompts were very creative.
2 job interviews. I only had two interview this months, but that's all I needed since I got hired after the second one. Well, actually during the second one. I just needed to wait for a drug screen and then for an official offer to be extended.
6 days I spent waiting to start my new job. The offer was extended on a Tues, but I didn't start until the following Monday. I was so excited to start, but I also didn't want to give up my lazy schedule too soon.
5 days spent working at my new job. Whoo hoo! The first week went quite well. I made a few mistakes, but nothing too major. On day 4, the girl who is training me said, "I'm glad we hired you. You're catching on really fast and you're very efficient." Yay!
45 miles biked to/from work. I'm officially a bike commuter! I biked about 5 miles each way. On Thurs, I changed up my route a bit. It adds a tiny bit of distance, but not really any time. The new route cuts out the scariest busiest sections of my previous route, so I feel even safer. Sweet!
60 miles logged running. Goal ACHIEVED! I took a couple unscheduled rest days because my knee was bothering me, but I'd kind of worked a little leeway into my plan. I've got 80 miles on the schedule for Oct. Wish me luck! Check out my Running Calendar (tab at the top) to see how I've broken this down.
146 meals donated to hungry people through Feeding America and the World Food Programme via CharityMiles. Every commute to/from work, I start up CharityMiles. I feel even better about commuting because I get to help others while I'm doing it. I'm not financially sound enough right now to actually make monetary donations, so I can at least donate my time - which isn't really much of a donation, since I'm doing it anyway. I also donated to a few other charities throughout the month, but since Sept was Hunger Action Month, I chose to focus on these two charities. Please take my poll above to help me decide which charity I should support in Oct.

How was your September? Did you achieve your goals?
Do you use CharityMiles? Which is your favorite charity?


Please Share This...It Could Save a Child

A friend of mine has a daughter with a medical problem that was discovered because she wasn't growing "normally". She seemed perfectly healthy in every way except her growth. She was lucky. I remember the first time I visited my friend when her baby was only two months old. She was the tiniest baby I'd ever held!

Russell Silver Syndrome MAGIC Foundation
My friend's daughter at 6 months old.
She was still wearing doll clothes and doll shoes at the time;
Preemie clothes were still too big
Is your child growing normally? Too much or too little growth is a major sign of a child's health!

Simple problems like thyroid imbalances can affect a child's growth. Brain tumors can also interrupt a child's growth. Other disorders of the endocrine system can interrupt growth. Despite the message's simplicity, this is no joke.

If you are concerned about a child, please visit www.magicfoundation.org for more information.

Russell Silver Syndrome MAGIC Foundation
My friend's daughter on the first day of 5th grade.
Look at those long legs!
PLEASE keep this message going by sharing this on FB, Twitter, Email,etc; somewhere a child is depending on you! 


Looking back...

Today's challenge from the SITS Girls is to share something we posted on Sept 28 in a previous year. I looked through my archives and couldn't find anything on 9/28 since 2006.

So, here are a few links to some previous posts from the last week of September.

9/24/2009 Do You Have the Time?
9/24/2009 Can sitting at your desk be harmful?
9/25/2007 Happiness...

Geez I wasn't very consistent over the years. :)

What have you posted about this week over the years?


Fall Foods: Soup and Cheesecake

Today the SITS Girls challenged to share our favorite fall craft or recipe.

I'm really not a very crafty person, but something I love about fall is the return to soup season. Potato soup is one of my favorites, but I'll take just about any kind of warm, liquidy goodness. What I love about making soup is that I don't need a recipe. I just toss about a bunch of stuff in a pot or slow cooker and voila! a wonderful, fill-the-house-with-good-smells soup. Yum!

Since I rarely use a recipe, I'm going to share with you a lovely recipe for squash (pumpkin works, too!) cheesecake that I made last year.

Halloween Cheesecakes
Flying Witch

Yields 2+ cheesecakes

  • 2 ready made graham cracker crust
  • 4 8 oz packages of cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ c granulated sugar
  • ¼ c packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 small golden nugget squash
  • eggs
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice (or ¼ tsp cinnamon, ⅛ tsp nutmeg, ½ of ⅛ tsp each of allspice and cardamom)
  • 1/2 c semi sweet chocolate chips, melted
  • Pictures of a flying witch or a howling wolf or whatever you'd like on the cheesecake

1. Pierce squash a few times with a fork. Soften in microwave for 45-60 secs. Cut in half; remove seeds. Place in a microwaveable dish; cover with plastic wrap. Cook for 9 minutes or until fork tender. Scoop squash into a food processor and blend until smooth. This should give you about 1 cup of purée.

2. While squash is cooking, cream the cream cheese and sugars together in a bowl until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla and eggs . Mix until well blended. Reserve 1 cup of batter. Pour remaining evenly between two graham cracker crusts.

3. Add squash purée and pumpkin pie spice to the reserved batter. Mix well. Drop by spoonfuls onto the white batter. Gently swirl with a knife. I swirled in one direction to give the impression of a windy, stormy, scary, Halloween night. I had a LOT of leftover squash batter, so I put it in a small dish to bake a 3rd, smaller, no-crust cheesecake.

4. Bake at 350°F for 40-45 min or until the center is still barely jiggly or right before cracks start to appear. Remove and let cool on cooling rack.

5. While cheesecakes are baking, place pictures under wax paper. Put melted chocolate into a plastic baggie and snip off the corner. Pipe the chocolate over the pictures. I had some extra chocolate, so I hand drew a full moon, a spider web, a spider, and some bats/birds/whatever. Place on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer to harden.

6. Once cheesecakes have cooled, cut the wax paper around the chocolate pictures and place pictures on the cheesecake, wax paper side up. Leave waxed paper on and chill cakes in the fridge for 8+ hours or overnight. Gently pull off waxed paper.

This recipe was originally posted over at my other blog: Tale of Two Sisters and Their Kitchens

What's your favorite fall recipe or craft?


What a hike!

Today the SITS Girls challenged to share our favorite fall memory.

For some reason, hiking always reminds me of fall. Hiking in the fall in MN is something really special. The crunch of the leaves underfoot. The beautiful colors. The crisp air.

The memory that first came to mind with this prompt was a family hike. It was a long time ago. I'm not sure if was even during the fall, but since hiking seems to equate to fall, it seemed appropriate. :-)

Nestled in central Minnesota is one of the highest points in the state - Inspiration Peak. It was probably about an hour away from where we lived. It was beautiful and not a very strenuous hike. Good for the whole family!

We took family hikes there on several occasions, but one was more memorable than the rest. We'd all piled out of the family sedan. Us kids were playing around, anxious to be out of the car and heading up the mountain hill.

We hiked up to the top. We hung out taking in the beauty around us.

From the top, you can see 9 different lakes and parts of 3 different counties! My memories of this day does not include the lush greenery of this picture, so I really think this may have happened in the fall.

After spending some time at the top, we began our descent back to the car. Once back, my step-dad realized that Oops! He'd locked the keys in the car.

Well, the locking of the keys was intentional, but he had thought he'd removed the key for the doors. Instead, he'd removed the key for the ignition. Do they even make cars with separate keys for doors and ignition anymore?

This was in the days before cell phones, so calling for help wasn't exactly easy. No, it involved a long walk to a nearish cafe to use a pay phone. After trying needlessly to break into our own car, my step-dad and a brother(?) surely, my parents wouldn't have left us kids alone, right? headed to the cafe to call another brother. Meanwhile, us kids continued to play.
You know, anything to stave off boredom fun kid games. :-)

Eventually, help was on the way! We were all very relieved when the spare keys arrived, and we could start the drive home.

Good thing we'd finished our hike early enough that there was still a bit of daylight when we were finally able to get back on the road.

Phew! What a long day.

What's your favorite fall memory?


Fall Is...

Today the SITS Girls gave us a photo challenge to share what fall looks like where we live or what fall means to us.

Since I've only lived in Vegas for a few months, and haven't really experienced fall here yet, I'm not entirely sure what a Vegas fall is like.

Being a born and raised Minnesotan, fall to me will always include vibrant colors.

The changing colors of the leaves.
The crisp air.
The switch to sweaters and boots and warmer clothes.

What does fall look like where you live?
What does fall mean to you?


School Memories

Today the SITS Girls challenged us to share our best school memory.

I could be wrong, but many people seem to look back on high school with bad, painful memories. I, however, loved high school. I have so many fun memories.

Like walking through the halls between classes. Having short passing times and having to talk so fast to get everything in before getting to our next class.

Or going cruising down Broadway with some friends. I vaguely recall squirt guns on one occasion.

Being a wrestling cheerleader and showing off by eating a spoonful of hot salsa.

Or being on the speech team even though I really wasn't very good.

Ah. Nostalgia. I could go on and on.

Halfway through my senior year, I had to move to a new school - more than two hours away. I was still able to graduate from my old school, so one of my favorite school memories was my senior prom.

I asked a guy from church. Since we lived 2+ hours from where prom was, his parents drove us. They did something in town while we went to the prom. I hadn't seen many of my friends in months.

First we stopped at a good friend's house to get ready. I wasn't about to ride 2+ hours in my prom dress! It was loads of fun to hang out with her and primp a little while my date got ready in another area of the house.

My friend wasn't going to the prom, so after getting all ready, we met up with another one of my friend's for some pictures.

My dress reminded me of my mom she had died a few months earlier, because she picked it out the summer before.
I felt so pretty.
It was fun to see some of my old friends.

But the best part of the night was my date had taken years of dance lessons. Dancing with him was so fun! Towards the end of the evening, when the dance floor had started to thin, he really spun me around. I probably looked foolish, but I felt like a princess. Dancing and twirling. It was like I was on air!

What is your favorite school memory?

Around My Home

Our task from the listicles queen is to describe 10 things around our house. This will be a quick post since I don't have too much time before I need to jump on my bike and pedal off to my first day of work. Yay!

Now, I live in a studio apartment, and I don't have a lot of stuff since we sold most everything when we embarked on our journey that ended in Vegas.

So, here are 10 somewhat oddly places things around my apartment
  1. Our bikes right in the living main room.
  2. Main laptop computer on a big tote.
  3. Above-mentioned big tote filled with scuba gear.
  4. Sofa, chaise, and ottoman. With storage under each piece. Again, mostly filled with scuba gear, but also books, biking gear, etc.
  5. More scuba gear hanging in the closet.
  6. A fancy-schmancy safe. Keypad lock. USB cords to protect a hard drive. This one's not so odd, I suppose.
  7. Our bed in the front only room. It's not really a bed, though. Just some stacked sleeping bags, foam padding, and blankets, with some sheets on top for covering.
  8. Empty duffel bags at the head of our bed for a pseudo-headboard.
  9. A set of dumbbells at the foot of our bed.
  10. 5-gallon water purifier. Though I generally just drink tap water.
No pictures today because a) my apartment is too messy right now and b) I've got to take the girl out once more before biking to work.

What odd things do you have in your home?

Feel free to swing over to Stasha's to have a peek around other people's homes.


5-minute Rant

I'm linking up today with Jana from Jana's Thinking Place for Stream of Consciousness Sunday. The topic for today is about careers or majors and why we chose what we did.

This is my first time linking up, and I'm totally going to break the rules and do my own topic. Here we go... 5 minutes starting now...

As you know, I'm officially becoming a bike commuter beginning tomorrow. I'll be biking roughly 5 or so miles to work each way. Not bad.

Except it's all on city streets - only one of which (a very small section of the route) has an actual bike lane.

Now, I've done this ride a couple times already. Once for the job interview; once for the drug screen. The thing is... my husband has always gone with me. Yes. He biked with me to my job interview. Yes. He met my eventual boss. At least not until after the interview. :-)

Anyway, the plan was for him to ride with me tomorrow, too, and then bike back at the end of the day to bike with me home again. Well, something has come up and now he won't be able to come with me in the morning.

This totally freaks him out. He's so worried something will happen. Cars won't pay attention. blah blah blah.

We even biked a safer route this afternoon and tested it out. The thing is, it adds about 15-20 min to the ride - with one scary-ass hill with NO shoulder.

We've decided it's okay for me to ride the original route tomorrow morning.

The thing I hate about it is he wouldn't give anything thought to HIM taking this route, but he doesn't want ME to do it. So frustrating!!

I promise to wear my bike helmet and be extra cautious!

What are your thoughts on bicyclists on the roads vs the sidewalks? Biking on the sidewalks seriously freaks me out! I avoid it at almost all costs.

Should I be nervous about riding tomorrow? I'm really pretty confident about it - despite the fact that I am not the most adept cyclist out there. I really think I'll be okay.


Healthy vs Non-Sick

A good friend of mine, Tacy, is a personal health coach with Take Shape For Life. I haven't tried the program or really know much about it, but she has a degree in Nutrition from the Univ of MN, so I trust that if she believes in, recommends, and coaches people through this program that it is probably a good one.

So, when she asked if I'd be interested in being on her email list, I said sure.

Yesterday's email from her really caught my attention. It's subject was Healthy vs Non-Sick.

Here are a couple snippets from that email.
Non-sick is really a state of purgatory, where you are just surviving. This simply means that you don't have any problems...YET!

Health on the other hand is a state of thriving. Optimal health comes from a life that is in balance - having physical, mental, emotional, and financial health!
I really couldn't agree more. Being healthy is being strong in all areas of our lives. Being healthy is taking charge of our lives.

No one can force us to be healthy. We must decide for ourselves to make the changes that will put us on the right track to being healthy and not just non-sick.

It's not as simple as popping a pill or jumping on the latest diet fad. It's a lifelong commitment.

Being healthy takes determination and hard work.

Health is NOT a Spectator Sport
How will you move today?

If you're struggling with how to make healthier choices in your life, please visit Tacy's website. Since I haven't tried the program, I can't really vouch for it personally. However, she says it has helped her drop her pregnancy weight after her second child, plus it has really helped her mom to become healthier after a lifetime of weight issues and a struggle with cancer.


Fitness Friday - A New Workout

As you probably know, I'm starting my new job on Monday, so I thought, "Hey, why not start a new workout, too?"

I've seen a ton of these going around, but I couldn't find one where a) I knew what all the exercises were and b) I could do all the exercises with ease while still being challenged.

Enjoying the Course: 3-Day Workout - Arms, Abs, Legs

In case you're unfamiliar with any of these exercises, I'll explain how to do the ones that aren't self-explanatory at least to me.

Chest Press Pulses - Kneel on both knees. Bend your arms and raise to shoulder height. Clasp your hands and keep elbows together. Pulse up.

Triceps Dips in Reverse Plank - Start in reverse plank position (on your palms fingers pointing forward and heels, butt up off the ground). Bend your elbows until your bum hits the floor.

DB Palms-up Wrist Curls - Sit on a chair or bench. Grasp dumbbell underhanded. Rest forearm on your thigh, with your wrist just beyond your knee. Let wrist drop and then curl up. Do all reps on one arm, then switch arms.

DB Zottman Curls - Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing forward. Curl arms up until dumbbells are at shoulder height. Pause for a second. Rotate arms until palms are facing out and slowly bring arms down.

Frog Sit-ups - Lie flat on your back with knees bent and soles of feet touching. Cross arms over chest and curl torso up. Pause for a second. Return to starting position.

Russian Twists - Sit with hands clasped, knees bent, and heels off the ground. Twist from side to side, touching your hands to the ground on each side. You could also try this holding a dumbbell.

V-ups - Lie on one side with legs together and slightly forward. Place your bottom arm on the floor and your other hand behind your head. Crunch up in a V, getting up on your hip and butt. Keep your legs straight. Do all reps and switch sides.

Bicycle - Lie on your back with your hands lightly behind your head and knees bent in a 90-degree angle. Bring right elbow to left knee while straightening right leg. Switch sides, bringing left elbow to right knee. Continue alternating sides in pedaling motion.

Standing Calf Raises - Stand with feet hip width apart and a dumbbell in each hand. Raise your heels off the ground until you're on the balls of your feet. Pause for a second. Slowly return to starting position.

Glute Kickbacks - Start on your hands and knees, hands shoulder width apart. Lift right leg until upper leg is parallel to the floor. Keep leg bent. Do all reps one leg, then switch legs.

Leg Lifts - Lie on your back with legs extended. With foot in a neutral position, lift one leg until it is perpendicular to the floor. Repeat all reps on one leg, then switch sides. To target your inner and outer thighs, add reps pointing your toes away from you (inner thigh) or toward you (outer thigh).

I'm excited to try this out. I can make no claims to its efficacy, as I'm not a personal trainer or any kind of expert. I just wanted a quick reference for some exercises that I thought I'd actually do. :-)

What do you think? Does this look like a good workout?

Click the picture below to see who else is celebrating Fitness today.


Three Things Thursday

  1. I start my new job in four days! I'm super excited! I'm also a bit nervous. How will this affect my blogging? What if I don't wake up in time? What will I wear? What will I bring for lunch?  I haven't had a job since May, and I got rid of almost all my professional clothing when we set out on our adventure. I've gotten used to the stayinguplate-sleepingin-loungingallday-blogging-running-soakinginthehottub lifestyle. I'm excited for the opportunities that working will afford me, but I've gotta be honest, I'll miss this leisure time I've enjoyed these past few months.

  2. I'm skipping my run today. I fully intended on going when I woke up, but my first few steps after crawling out of bed were too painful. Both knees are bothering, so I figure a rest from running for a couple days might do them some good. I plan to continue with some strength exercises today. If I can't run, I can strengthen, right?

  3. I've been working diligently the past couple of days to sift through our photos from our travels in June. I've posted some videos and pictures to Facebook here and here. In case you missed out, you can read more about our time in Montana (here and here) and Idaho (here and here). My goal is to get through everything over the weekend before I start my new job. I'm sure there will be a bit of settling in time once I start.
What's going on with you today?
Anything fun planned for the weekend?


Mudgy & Millie Trail - Coeur d'Alene, ID

The decision of where to stop for a run in Idaho was an easy one. We'd driven through Coeur d'Alene many times on the freeway. It has a spectacular view, so I just knew I'd want to stop off in the town for my run. I figured a run through a park along Lake Coeur d'Alene would be magnificent.

I think we rolled into Coeur d'Alene pretty early in the morning (around 8am, I believe), so it was still pretty cool outside. Plus, it was early enough that the town was pretty sleepy - not much traffic, vehicular or pedestrian.

Here is a video of me starting out...

I love how I say I'll just run until I get too bored.

Little did I know that I would run into the most enjoyable little trail - the Mudgy & Millie trail. I really, really wished I'd had my camera with me on this run!

This is a trail that I would definitely recommend unlike the park in MT!! The trail is based on the children's book, Mudgy & Millie.
Mudgy Moose & Millie Mouse play a game of hide-and-seek. Millie hides while Mudgy searches along the shores of Lake Coeur d' Alene. Children join in the fun as Mudgy wanders along the lake, across town and through the park in his quest to find Millie, who was hiding close by all along. 
~from website's home page
There are 5 different bronze statues of Mudgy & Millie along the trail depicting different scenes from the story. One of the stops on the trail is at the public library, where I'd started my run, so I ended up doing a bit of backtracking and didn't do the trail from start to finish - or even in the right order.

Not only is the trail good-natured fun, but it is also breath-taking. Part of the trail even takes you on out on the marina docks around the Coeur d'Alene ResortIf you are ever in the area, you should definitely check it out!

I personally haven't read the book, but I bet it's delightful. If you're interested in purchasing a copy, you can find it on Amazon.

I was so excited after this run, that I forced Jeff to come with me to the closest statue at the public library to snap a few pictures.

Have you ever read Mudgy & Millie?
What is the most fun trail you've ever seen?

While I am an Amazon affiliate, I was in no way compensated for writing this post. I just really loved this fun little trail and can only imagine the book is equally delightful.


You Sweat Where?

I'm not sure if it's the desert heat or what, but I've been sweating lately from the weirdest places.

Oh, there's the usual forehead, pits, under-boob, behind my knees...

But recently, I was casually out for a walk, and my elbows were sweating like mad. My ELBOWS!  Inside. Outside. Bent. Straight. It didn't matter. Little sweat droplets just kept falling.

And then there are my ears. Not only does sweat drip from my lobes, sometimes my ears get so slippery that my earbuds just pop right out.

Now, I'm even convinced that my eyelids sweat. I always thought it was just sweat dripping down my forehead and into my eyes, but no. No, I'm fairly certain it's my eyelids. And it burns. Oh, boy does it burn. I think I've come nigh on to crying several times.

Still, there is nothing like it. Sweat. Is. Good! Granted, I do appreciate it more during an intense workout than while just out and about. I find it invigorating. Like a life force or something. It makes me feel alive. And strong. Even during my worst sessions of exercise.

Where is the strangest place you have ever sweat?

P.S. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you've likely already heard the good news, but I accepted a job offer. I'll start my new job on Monday. I'm unbelievably excited!!


Running in Montana

With all the posting I've done the past two months, I have still fallen very far behind blogging about my goal to run in each state we drove through during our summer of Traveling with Liberty.

A couple days ago, I decided to go through the pictures and videos that we took. Now, I really don't know how I dropped the ball on this one, because the MT video was already edited and ready to posted. What happened? Who knows!

Sorry about the poor framing. Apparently, I'm not very skilled at self-filming.

Unfortunately, for the leg of the trip from MN to WA, Liberty was crammed full. We didn't have a lot of extra space, so we tried to get to our WA destination ASAP. This meant not having a lot of time for me to do any long runs. 

I found Riverfront Park on the map and figured it would work! Not being from MT, and not meaning any disrespect, I definitely would not recommend this park. It seemed a little white trashy. Not very clean.

And clearly not a runner's park.

From the map, it looks like it would be, but I got my fair share of weird looks. Plus, toward the end of the run, a couple teenage girls audibly made fun of me for running. Now, since it's three months past, I can't remember the exact details of their conversation. I definitely do remember trying to pick up my pace a bit to get by them quicker.

Still, I did see some beautiful scenery. And check out the elevation!

Although it was super flat, it was also super HOT outside. This 12-min run was much tougher than you might have guessed.

Have you ever run in Riverfront Park in Billings?
Share an experience you've had running in an unfamiliar park.


It's been months since I last did a Monday Listicles. I thought it would be fun to get back into this meme, so...

This week's topic is 10 THINGS WEDDING. Anything goes.

Now, I'm a very happily married woman. Been so for nigh on to 8 years. I'm not complaining at all. My wedding was beautiful. It came after a six-week engagement. Yes, we got married fast. It was a Tuesday evening, and my sister did a fabulous job decorating the gym at the church. We were surrounded by family and lots of friends. It was a wonderful evening.

But sometimes I see movies of fantastic weddings, and I wonder and dream. If I could get married again, how would I do it?

1. Maybe on a catamaran.

2. Or at the beach.

3. Or under the sea.

4. While skydiving.

5. Or out in space. No pics of this, of course, since I don't think it's ever happened. ;-)

6. Deep down in a cave would be cool.

7. Or up on a secluded mountaintop.

8. In the Redwood Forest. Or any magnificent forest.

But the top two places I would love to get married would be...

9. In front of a waterfall. Do you know of my love of waterfalls?

10. Or on a rooftop overlooking NYC or Central Park.

Which, if any, of these scenarios would be your choice, if you were to get married again or for the first time?
What was your wedding like?

Now head over to Stasha's to see what everyone else has come up with for...


Measuring Fitness Progress

I'm super tired after my less than stellar 7-mile run this afternoon. I kind of just want to crawl into bed, so I'm doing this post a little different. I've set the timer for 5 minutes.

Today, Fitness Cheerleader asks us how we measure our fitness progress. Simply put? I don't.

I appreciate looking in the mirror and seeing muscle definition I hadn't seen in awhile ever. I like it when the number on the scale goes down. I love having additional energy in the long run. obviously not after a tough 7-miler.

There are lots of ways to measure progress - weight, muscle definition, appetite, measurements (BMI, fat%, etc etc). I just don't choose to do them. Too much effort.

Unfortunately, I'm relatively lazy. It's a wonder I get out there and am as fit as I am.

How do you measure your fitness progress?


Checking in...

September seems to be flying right by...

I thought I'd take a few minutes to check-in on my Sept goals. Will I be successful?

  • Find a job. Truth be told, I really need to re-focus on this. I've let it slide this past week. The thing is, I had a great interview last week, went in for a drug screen the next day. Now, I'm waiting to hear back about the results. I'm very hopeful. :-)
  • Run 60 miles. I think I'm on track for this. As of today, I've run 29 miles. I don't see any reason why I won't be able to pump out the rest. Unless my knee decides to have other plans. It's been bothering me the past several days. In fact, I skipped my Wed run to see if it would help. Hopefully my 7mile run goes well tomorrow.
  • Incorporate more yoga and stretching and strength training. I've been pretty good about doing some yoga after each run. I still need to work a bit harder at the strength training, though. I've not been terrible but can definitely be better. ;-)
  • Participate in NaBloPoMo, Fitness Writing Challenge, and #Runnerdphotoaday. I think I've only missed one day of blogging so far! but, there were a couple days that I posted more than once... I think I've missed a couple days of the photo challenge, too. Still, I'm very pleased with my progress so far with these challenges.

All in all, it's shaping up to be a pretty decent month. *fingers crossed* for some good news on the job front.

Today, Fitness Cheerleader asks us about our 5 favorite vegetables.

veggies, vegetables

When it comes to veggies, I am BORING! My favorites are probably carrots, celery, bell peppers, soybeans edamame (much less boring, right?), and cucumbers

Like I said, BORRRRRING!

I wish I liked fancier veggies, but simply, I don't know what to do with them. ;-)

How are your September goals coming along?
What are your favorite veggies?


Fitness Friday + A Bucket List

Before arriving in Vegas, Miss Sallie was my favorite go-to running partner. She would get so excited when she'd see me getting dressed for a run - jumping up and down, wagging her tail, begging to hear those words, "Do you wanna go for a run?" For her, running was like little doggie heaven! She always looks like she is having a blast, complete with a big smile on her face.

Unfortunately, it's been way too hot in Vegas to take her out with me. She always looks so sad when she sees me getting dressed for a run, but the cement and asphalt would burn her little tootsies. :-(

It's starting to cool off now! So, when I went for a run this morning and saw it was only in the low 80s, I decided it was time she came with me.

Favorite Running Partner Sallie
Is it time to go? IS IT TIME TO GO??

She had so much fun! We ran for 3 miles. She was such a good girl while out - never straying too far from me, but still detouring to run through any grass we came across. She just trotted along, smiling as she went. She did start lagging about the last mile, so 3 miles was probably pushing it for her first Vegas run. She'll probably be tired now for the next few days!

I've normally been running to the Strip, but it gets too crowded, so we went a completely different route today. We ran down the less traveled roads and stumbled upon a neat park. We just ran by it today, but I'm looking forward to going back soon.

All-in-all, this was a very fun run this morning - despite feeling some slight pain in my knee. Ugh! I thought I was over that. Boooo.....

Today, the Fitness Cheerleader asks us to share our fitness bucket list. Here's mine.

  1. Run a half marathon (or marathon if I start feeling ambitious again someday) on every continent except Antarctica. I haven't contemplated this enough to know which races I'd like to run. If you know of any must-do races around the world, please let me know.

  2. Qualify for membership in Half Fanatics. There are 9 different levels. Here is how you qualify for the lowest:
    1. 2 Half Marathons within a 16 day time frame.
    2. 3 Half Marathons within a 90 day time frame.

  3. Run 12 Half marathons in a calendar year. This would put me at the Saturn level of the Half Fanatics.

  4. Attend a yoga retreat somewhere beautiful. I wouldn't mind doing this many times, of course.

  5. Hike/Explore ancient ruins in Central and South America. Most particularly, I would love to visit Teotihuacan.


  6. Take a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Like in the movie The Way. If you haven't see the movie, I definitely recommend it.
    The Way Martin Sheen Emilio Estevez

  7. Tour the U.S. via bicycle. Can you even imagine the beauty you'd experience while not in a car or train or plane? Going slower speeds on less traveled roads?

It's not a very long list, but it is quite ambitious. Isn't that what a bucket list should be, after all?

What did you do for Fitness Friday?
What's on your Fitness Bucket List?
Have you ever raced on a different continent?

This was my first time linking up with Fitness Friday. Click the button to see who else is celebrating fitness today.
Fitness Friday Jill Conyers


My mom

Today's topic for NaBloPoMo is: Who is someone you wish you could see again?

Immediately, my mom came to mind. I hesitated to talk about her because 1) I feel like I've mentioned her a lot and 2) earlier this week I did kind of a tribute post about my older sister for her birthday. I thought reminiscing about my mom might be redundant.

But then I figured, it's the most honest answer. Plus, I've gotten some new readers recently.

The last time I saw my mom was December 13, 1994. I gave her a hug and a kiss good-bye before heading out to school. I had no idea that would be the last time I would see her. Late that afternoon, she was killed in a car accident.

It was devastating. I was a senior in high school, and my whole life suddenly changed.

She was the best mom. Okay, okay. She pretty much spoiled me. There I said it. :-P

She was kind and caring and so full of love. Now, nearly 18 years later, I still miss her and think of her often. 

The pain of losing her has lessened over the years, but she will always be in my heart.

Of course I miss her the most when I am experiencing the best of times of my life. It fills me with sadness that she has missed...

Seeing me walk in three graduation ceremonies...

Watching me cross the finish line...
This is me finishing my 2nd marathon (2003).
In many ways, it was much more difficult than my first
(same marathon the previous year).
These two marathons are definitely among my proudest health/fitness accomplishments.

And attending my wedding.

I wish I could see her again.
I wish I could give her a hug and hear her laugh.
I wish I could sing silly songs with her. Off-key, of course.
I wish I could tell her how much I love her.

Who is someone you wish you could see again?
What is your proudest health/fitness accomplishment?


What is Beauty?

Is beauty subjective and in the eye of the beholder? Is it objective and definable?

I'll try not to get too caught up in semantics, but, in the most literal sense of the word, beauty is, indeed, objective.
Beauty is that reasoned harmony of all the parts within a body, so that nothing may be added, taken away, or altered, but for the worse.
Leon Battista Alberti, De re aedificatoria
In other words, beauty is, in a sense, a calculated formula, based on ratios and proportions commonly found in nature. Beauty can be applied to art and architecture as well as people. It is perfect harmony.

Take, for example, the Vitruvian Man:

As you can see, beauty here is defined by the use of a circle and a square - demonstrating that he is in harmony and correct proportion.

Now, before you get all up-in-arms about me saying this, please understand that just because someone isn't beautiful by this definition, does NOT mean she or he is UNattractive. Transversely, just because someone doesn't meet today's modern definition of attractive, doesn't mean she isn't beautiful. For example, if a woman, whom some would consider fat, is properly proportioned, she is, in fact, beautiful.

Personal taste or preference is something altogether different. No one should be crazy enough to try to define personal taste. Not to get too personal, but my husband is an appreciator of women's asses, but even he has trouble defining what exactly makes one ass more attractive to him than another. Let's just say, he knows it when he sees it. :-)

I find it incredibly sad that the media has tried to define personal taste for us. It tries to tells us what others will find attractive. This is impossible to do!

Recently, I've seen quite a few posts tackle this topic. Here are two of my favorites: Your Body Style Is Great and Do You Feel Sexy?

Go on. Pop over and read them. I'll wait.

Ally suggests we embrace our body types.
Hiker mom suggests we find our inner goddess.

I couldn't agree more with these ladies. Being attractive or sexy is more than what the media tells us. It is more than beauty. To me, it is about confidence and how you see yourself. If you feel you are attractive and sexy, others will, too.

I have never been one to tie myself to a number on the scale. I judge how sexy I am not only by what I see in the mirror but by how I feel inside. When I'm exercising regularly and eating properly, I naturally feel better about the way I look, which, in turn, makes me carry myself better and feel sexier.

As you can imagine, I don't often weigh myself. That being said, I did step on a scale a week or so ago for the first time in over 6 weeks.

I was quite pleased that the scale had barely budged despite the fact that I had pretty much been on an exercise hiatus between these weigh-ins.

That being said, we shouldn't allow the media or anyone else to define how we see ourselves, how we feel about ourselves. We need to embrace who we are and stop comparing ourselves to others. Beauty is a discerned judgment of the faculties of the mind and actually has nothing to do with attraction. Each year in state fairs across the U.S. the prize-winning pig would never be judged against the prize-winning cow.

So, the next time you look yourself in the mirror, compare yourself to YOU. You can define who you are and what makes you attractive. Don't let anyone else do that for you.


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