My Five Favorite Decadent, Yummy Things To Eat

It’s time for Friday Five linkup with DC area bloggers Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!, and Mar at Mar on the Run!

Each week Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar either suggest a theme for that week’s Friday Five Linkup, or leave it up to individual bloggers to come up with their own Free Friday theme.  This week’s theme is My Five Favorite


I decided to take today’s prompt in a totally fun direction!  Here are my five favorite yummy, decadent, sugary things that I love to eat, but pretty much deprive myself of… most of the time!

1.  Mint chocolate chip ice cream – not the fancy, expensive kind, but Turkey Hill

2.  My Aunt Ann’s cream-cheese swirly brownies

3.  My Mom’s Fudgy Bonbons

4.  Fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookies

5.  Mounds Bars

Seriously!  On my death bed, will I remember those healthy spinach salads…

  • Or eating mint chocolate chip ice cream by the gallons while Bill and I were in grad school at Utah State University where they had a dairy that sold ice cream by the tubs?
  • Or looking forward to Aunt Ann’s famous brownies at our family reunions?
  • Or baking Christmas cookies with Mom, and always including fudgy bonbons in our assortment of goodies to make?
  • Or having fun eating fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies with Joseph and Daniel when they were little?
  • Or looking for my secret little stash of Mounds Bars that I know my mom will have waiting for me when I visit?
  • Questions:
  • What are your favorite tempting treats?
  • Are any of my treats, among your favorites, too?
  • Who’s racing this weekend?

Cruisers Rockin’ The Relay – Ragnar DC Recap Part 3

If you’re joining my Ragnar DC party late, you can catch up by clicking on Part 1 and Part 2, to read my two previous posts.

I left off with Van 2 heading to The Creamery at Exchange 18 in hopes of getting some sleep while we waited for Van 1 to run their legs.  We were directed to park right across from the exchange in a prime location for pulling out quickly once Candy took off on her second leg.

As soon as we parked we debated on trying to get some rest, but quickly realized we would probably get very little sleep.  Over and over the megaphone screeched, “Runner 101,” followed by wild cheering.  “Runner 82,” followed by wild cheering. “Runner 214″…  You get my point.

Since he couldn’t sleep, Bill got his camera and tripod out and took some long exposure pictures around midnight.  Leg 18 runners were coming in from the left and Leg 19 runners were heading out to the right.  Eventually Ravi would be coming in to hand off to Candy, but we had plenty of time to wait, and wonder around.


Photo courtesy of Bill

Bill and I walked up to a shelter to see what kind of delicious creations were filling the air with such an amazingly good scent.  We bumped into my MRTT friends, Amanda and Sue (running on another team), waiting to get a bite to eat.


Exchange 18 was in Middletown, MD at South Mountain Creamery, home of the world’s best milkshakes according to Tian, Ragnar DC’s race director.  As tempting as it was, Van 2 chose to skip the drinking milkshakes so close to running our next legs.


Van 1 arrived at the Creamery, and we had a few minutes to hang out together while waiting for Ravi to come in and hand the baton off to Candy.  Roger took a picture of us wearing our spiffy reflective vests just as we got photo-bombed by the guy with the flag!  He almost covered Barry’s face with his hand – which would have been in very poor photo-bombing taste.  Fortunately he didn’t, and it’s all good fun.


Ravi came flying in to the exchange and handed off to Candy 27 minutes ahead of schedule!  Candy took off at 12:59 AM for her 4.9-mile run (Ragnar rated: moderate). Once she started running, Van 2 said their good-byes to Van 1, and left the Creamery to get me to my exchange. We didn’t have to wait too long for Candy to come running in with an average pace of 8:46.

With a belly full of butterflies, and hands full of Knuckle Lights and pepper spray, I took off at 1:42 AM for my second leg.  My biggest fear was that I would be running along a narrow country road with little room to jump out of the way if some crazy driver came careening around a curve.  My second biggest fear was that I would get separated from the other runners, miss a sign, and get lost in the middle of rural Maryland.  I took a picture of the directions of my leg with my phone and carried it with me… just in case.

I need-not worry because I could almost always see the blinking of the tail-light of a runner in front of me, or a runner’s headlamp behind at all times.  The majority of my run was through very upscale neighborhoods, and quaint little outskirts of Frederick, MD.

There was one rather creepy, very dark area where I happened to be all alone (remember it was about 2:15 AM at this point), and I ran past a construction area filled with lots of workers’ vans parked along the road.  My pace picked up as I ran by hoping that the boogeyman wouldn’t jump out of the shadows between two vans and grab me!  I was taking nothing for granted and hadn’t overlooked the possibility that I might get attacked by a rabid racoon, either!

I got passed by a couple of guys early on in my run, and later had to take a little walk break around mile 3 during a very steep uphill climb.  I passed three guys on an extremely steep downhill segment around mile 5.75.  I don’t think I’ve ever run down such a steep course before.  Ever.  I actually had to break with my quads, something I don’t like to do when running downhills.

I saw the John Deere Tractor Store ahead, and knew I’d survived my 2 AM Ragnar DC run, and had bragging rights for life!  I ran into the chute to hand off the slap bracelet to Meagan.  Filled with deliriousness because it was almost 3 AM, or at being thankful to still be alive, I took off my watch and attempted to hand it to Meagan, and then promptly dropped it in the grass!


Photo courtesy of Roger

Meagan took off at 2:44 AM, and left me behind still trying to get my watch back on, and my RunKeeper turned off.  Somebody, please carry me back to the van!


Photo courtesy of Roger

I finished my 6.9-mile run (Ragnar rated: hard) with an average pace of 8:58.  My total elevation gain was 518 feet, and my total elevation loss was 751 feet.  My mile splits were:

  • Mile 1 – 8:24
  • Mile 2 – 8:23
  • Mile 3 – 10:19
  • Mile 4 – 9:59
  • Mile 5 – 8:52
  • Mile 6 – 8:08
  • Mile 7 – 8:43


Meagan finished her 6.7-mile run (Ragnar rated: moderate) with an average pace of 9:51.  She just barely got across the train tracks before the gates closed for a long freight train to pass through.  As she and another runner came toward the exchange, I heard them shouting that they had beaten the train.


Meagan passed off to Chuck at 3:50 AM, pleased that she had beaten the train, and hadn’t gotten sprayed by a skunk while running out in the country.


Chuck finished his 3.5-mile run (Ragnar rated: easy), with an average pace of 10:00, and handed off Barry at 4:25 AM.  By this point, everyone in Van 2 was either delirious, running, or trying to sleep.


Photo courtesy of Roger

Barry ran his 7.8-mile run (Ragnar rated: very hard) in the rain with an average pace of 8:35.  Bill was waiting in the rain when Barry finished.  I, on the other hand, was toasty warm and asleep in the van since I could finally stretch out between Bill’s and my seats.


Barry handed the baton to Bill at 5:32 AM for the final leg for Van 2’s overnight runs.


Bill complete his 11.1-mile run (Ragnar rated: very hard) with an average pace of 10:00, and it had finally stopped raining by the time he finished his leg.


Photo courtesy of Roger

At 7:19 AM, Bill happily handed the baton off to Anne, and Van 1.  With that exchange, the Cruisers Rockin’ The Relay were 6 minutes ahead of our estimated finish time .


Photo courtesy of Roger

Now that Van 2 was finished for a while, it was time to go find some breakfast, once we got ourselves awake!


Tomorrow I’ll take you on Van 2’s final set of runs through suburban Maryland, Virginia, and DC.  See you then!

  • Questions:
  • Do you mind running at night?
  • Have you ever visited DC?
  • Have you ever run Ragnar DC, another Ragnar, or similar relay?

Cruisers Rockin’ The Relay – Ragnar DC Recap Part 2

Picking right up where I left off yesterday in my Ragnar DC recap, today’s post will be all about Van 2’s first set of legs.  If you remember Ravi (from Van 1) had just handed the slap bracelet off to Candy, and Van 2 was in hot pursuit!

We caught up with Candy as she headed up one of her many hills in her 7.9-mile run (Ragnar rated: very hard).  She had a total of 1,076 feet of elevation gain, and 804 feet of elevation loss, which she finished with a 9:26 average pace.


Photo courtesy of Bill

Bill caught me waiting for Candy with a view of Sideling Hill in the background.  We’ve driven up and down Sideling Hill many times on I-68 on our way to visit our youngest son Daniel at WVU when he was in school, so I had a good sense of what I was getting myself in to.  Let’s just say that driving it, is easier than running it!


Photo courtesy of Bill

At 3:30 PM, I saw Candy crest the hill and knew that it was show time!


Photo courtesy of Bill

A quick slap of the wrist band (baton), and I was off!


Photo courtesy of Meagan

My first three-quarters of a mile was mostly downhill until I reached the base of the mountain.


Photo courtesy of Bill

Over the course of the next 2.5 miles we gained about 1,000 feet.  Just as we approached the top of the mountain, and with my lungs exploding, I got three kills (I passed three guys).  I had been passed by a couple of guys and one girl (getting passed by a girl made me really mad) already.


Photo courtesy of Bill

I got my fourth kill just as we started back down the mountain.  The girl in front is the girl that passed me and I had hoped to pass her on the way down, but she’s a very good downhill runner, too.  In fact, she continued to pull away; and the best I could do was barely keep her in my sights.


Photo courtesy of Bill

Once we crossed the top of the mountain, I knew that I had about 3.5 miles of glorious downhill ahead of me! My lungs continued to burn for about a mile, but soon the benefits of gliding kicked in and as I relaxed, my breathing come back to near normal.  I love running down hill, and have learned to let my body relax, and let gravity do the work.

I got one more kill on the way down, but got passed by two more guys.  I think I got passed eight times and got five kills over the course of my first leg.


Photo courtesy of Bill

Just before approaching Exchange 8, the course headed back up hill, but I was so happy to see my teammates cheering me in, that I sprinted as best I could to hand the baton off to Meagan.


Photo courtesy of Bill

Seeing Meagan, with her arm extended out for me to slap the bracelet on, was a beautiful sight.


Photo courtesy of Bill

After a quick, no muss hand-off, Meagan took off at 4:32 PM!


Photo courtesy of Roger

As soon as I got out of the way of the other runners, I carefully took my left shoe off to get a rock out of it.  That little rock felt a lot bigger than it looks when it popped into my shoe at mile 2!  It had been bouncing around in my toe-box for almost five miles, but I refused to stop and take it out.


Photo courtesy of Bill

I finished my 6.8-mile run (Ragnar rated: What The Hill?) with an average pace of 9:07.  My total elevation gain was 1,066 feet, and my total elevation loss was 1,207 feet.  My mile splits were:

  • Mile 1 – 9:04
  • Mile 2 – 12:48
  • Mile 3 – 11:19
  • Mile 4 – 8:15
  • Mile 5 – 7:41
  • Mile 6 – 7:42
  • Mile 7 – 7:25

Soon after I finished, we had to hop into the van to drive to the next exchange.  I ate a peanut butter and banana sandwich, and rehydrated while we were waiting for Meagan.  Candy and I discovered that the guys didn’t know the difference between red and pink while we were watching for Meagan’s pink shirt to appear out of the trees.  Suddenly we saw a pink shirt (for real), and there came Meagan running toward us as she completed her 4.5-mile run (Ragnar rated: moderate) at an 8:54 pace.


Photo courtesy of Bill

Meagan had a good hand off to Chuck, and he took off at 5:13 PM for his 5.9-mile run (Ragnar rated: moderate).  Chuck finished his run with an average pace of 9:19.


Photo courtesy of Bill

By 6:08 PM, Chuck was finishing his run with a wrist slap to Barry.  Barry’s leg was 9.4-miles long (Ragnar rated:  very hard), and he killed it with an 8:05 pace.


Photo courtesy of Bill

The sun was starting to set at 7:24 PM when Barry ran in to Exchange 11 to pass the baton off to Bill. After a solid exchange, Bill took off for Van 2’s final leg of our first round of running.


Photo courtesy of Meagan

Since Bill would be running during the evening hours, he had to wear a Ragnar approved reflective bib, headlamp, and flashing tail light.  He ran his 7.4-mile first leg (Ragnar rated: hard) with an average pace of 9:11.

After Bill took off, we watched a runner come in to the exchange and great his teammate with a chest bump.


Once Barry had a chance to cool down a little bit, we jumped in the van again and took off to Exchange 12 to meet up with Van 1 and wait for Bill to finish his leg.

We found Van 1 at the exchange, and hung out nearby so we could see Bill coming in.  Being blinded by headlamps running straight toward us made it difficult to recognize runners in advance.  Suddenly Bill came into view, and Anne took off to start Van 1’s next set of legs.

With that exchange, the Cruisers Rockin’ The Relay were 23 minutes ahead of our estimated finish time!  My Van 2 teammates and I found ourselves with about five hours to kill until it was time to run again.  The first order of business was showers for the guys.  The girls opted to freshen up with baby wipes, and the guys weren’t too thrilled with how badly we still smelled when they returned from their showers.  We took off in search of food (the high school pasta didn’t do it for me), and we found a Chick Fil-A just before it closed.  I got a salad and later ate some of my sweet potato fries in the van.

With our bellies full, we headed to The Creamery at Exchange 18 to wait for Van 1 with the hopes of catching some sleep…

Tomorrow I’ll take you on Van 2’s second set of runs through rural Maryland during the overnight hours.  See you then!


  • Questions:
  • Do you prefer to run first thing in the morning, or later in the day?
  • What would be your go-to meal if you were running in the middle of the afternoon?
  • Have you ever run Ragnar DC, another Ragnar, or similar relay?

Cruisers Rockin’ The Relay – Ragnar DC Recap Part 1

I really don’t know where to start…  How do you sum up such an incredibly amazing weekend in one short blog post?  You don’t…

Way back in early April when I registered our team for Ragnar DC, I picked Runner 8 because it seemed like the hardest position overall.  Runner 8 seemed to have a combination of extremely challenging hills and longer legs, and seemed right down my alley!

Five months flew by; and with our captain’s meeting, team meetings, and training behind us, Ragnar DC was suddenly very real!

I spent Thursday packing, and I have to say the internet is a wonderful thing!  Possibly the biggest secret I learned about packing for Ragnar was to place our running gear in marked zip-lock bags.  It was especially important that we pack our sets of clothing in individual bags with the leg number written on the outside. After our run, we could easily find our clothes for our next run, and stuff our stinky sweaty clothes back in the bag and seal it tight!


Friday morning I had an assembly line of peanut butter and banana sandwiches going.  I also packed homemade sweet potato fries, Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, fig bars, Pretzel Crisps, Gatorade, and plenty of water.


Van 2 members Meagan, her husband Barry, father Roger, Candy, Bill, and I arrived at Chuck’s house at 9:45 to pack and hopefully get on the road by 10:15.  We put Meagan in charge of decorating the van and she did a fantastic job!


I convinced Meagan to give us some free advertisement by putting our blog addresses on the back of the van.


The guys took the back seat out of the van and we started packing our stuff.  It took a little while to figure out whether or not to take another seat out, but in the end we didn’t, and I’m pretty sure we made the best decision.


By 10:20 we were on the road and looking fresh!  Van 2 team members were (left to right, starting with the front row) Chuck, me, Bill, Candy, Barry, and Meagan.  Meagan’s dad Roger volunteered to be our driver for the entire trip!  Thank you, Roger!


Meanwhile in Van 1…  (left to right, starting with the front row) Linda, Murali, Sathy, Anne, Patrick, and Ravi had taken off around 5 AM.  They had to be at the starting line in Cumberland, MD at 8 AM to get ready for a 9 AM start.


Photo courtesy of Ravi

Once in Cumberland, they posed behind their mini van for a picture to send to us, and assure us they’d arrived safely and on time.


Photo courtesy of Ravi

Van 1 got one more picture of their half of the team just before Anne took off to start the Cruisers Rockin’ The Relay!


Photo courtesy of Ravi

While Van 1 was running, Van 2 stopped for lunch, and then again at the rest area at Sideling Hill to stretch our legs.


Photo courtesy of Meagan

The views looking down into the valley were beautiful, but it made me nervous how high were were, since I’d soon be running back up to the top of Sideling Hill and down the other side on a highway nearby.


We arrived at Exchange 6 in Little Orleans, MD right on time, and took in the scenes of the Ragnar Village in all of it’s glory.


First up for us, was to get our night-time gear safety inspection complete.  Each team member had to have a Ragnar approved reflective vest, and each van had to have at least two headlamps and a strobe tail-light.


Next, we moved on to listen to the safety speech…


Then we picked up our bibs…


And our final stop was the shirt tent.  We gave the volunteer our shirt tickets, and were able to try on shirts and get the size we wanted.  It was fantastic to be able to get a shirt that fit!


Once we took care of all of our check-in procedures, we needed to find our Van 1 teammates so we could get our copy of the RagMag and Van 2 sticker that they had been given upon check-in.  We also needed to pick up our team notebook to log our actual times as each runner completed his or her leg.  Sathy also entrusted his GoPro to us for filming our runners.


Next we headed over to the dusty exchange area to watch for Ravi to come in and hand off to Candy – starting Van 2’s turn at rockin’ the relay.  Van 1 finished their first six legs seven minutes ahead of schedule, so Van 2 had the challenge of performing well, and not losing any of those precious and hard-earned minutes!


At 2:16 PM, Candy took off and the rest of the Van 2 team said their good-byes to Van 1, and took off in hot pursuit, and in hopes of getting some good pictures along the way.

Stay tuned for pictures, commentary, elevation charts, pace charts, and much, much more tomorrow!

  • Questions:
  • Have you ever run Ragnar DC, another Ragnar, or similar relay?
  • What kind of hill runner are you? ~ I love flying on the downhills!
  • What did you do on Friday?

Leading Up To Ragnar (September 8 – 14)

As I approach my targeted fall race, the Hokie Half Marathon, I’m hoping to peak at just the right time.  Having two other big races a month and two months prior has its advantages and disadvantages.  On the plus side, I’m able to test my training to see where I am in the way of speed and endurance, but on the negative side, I risk injury by pushing myself twice before my goal race.

After a little scare with two minor injuries, I’m feeling great; and neither seemed to bother me much during my crazy weekend of running Ragnar DC.  Before I talk about my Friday and Saturday races, I’ll take you back to Monday and work my way through the week.

I ran/walked with two different clients on Monday.  My first client and I maintained a 14:52 pace for 3.15 miles at 7:30 AM; and my final client of the day and I kept a 16:05 pace for 2.06 miles at 5 PM.  Both clients are coming along nicely, and I just introduced them to each other so they can workout together, and hopefully get in a few additional workouts per week!

With my headlamp and brand new Knuckle Lights in hand, I met my MRTT buddies at 5:15 AM for an easy conversation pace 5.28-mile run (9:27 pace) on Tuesday.  Since we were racing over the weekend, we kept it easy and skipped our usual hill workout.  I even wore my eyeglasses to make my training run mimic my 2 AM Ragnar second leg run, since I planned to leave my contacts at home when running Ragnar.


My BRF was available to meet me for 6.01 easy miles (10:29 pace) on Wednesday.  We had a great run and once I was finished, I was ready to rest my legs until my first Ragnar run on Friday around mid-afternoon.


I took the day off from running and rested on Thursday, AND packed for Ragnar.

Van 2 drove up to exchange 6 of the Ragnar Relay in Maryland on Friday.  I don’t want to go into to much detail since I’ll be doing a Ragnar recap.  Friday afternoon around 3:30 I ran my first leg.  After some rolling hills, it was a wickedly steep 3 mile climb up, and 3 miles down totaling 6.84 miles. My average pace was 9:15.  In my recap I’ll share the elevation chart and my mile splits.


My first run on Saturday was 6.97 miles at 2 AM through some very nice neighborhoods and some creepy areas.  I maintained an 8:58 pace, and was thankful to almost always have a runner either in front of me or behind me within my sights.  The only time I couldn’t see another runner was through the creepy area!

My third and final leg was 6.9 miles at noon on Saturday, and I averaged a 9:42 pace.  I was booking at very consistent 8:30’s the first 4.5 miles until I hit the hills of Arlington!  Those hills killed me, and I have to admit that I did the walk of shame a few times.


After a 12.5-hour sleep, I rested and rolled out my quads on Sunday.  Those downhills shredded them, and it will take a few days for them to return to normal!


Total weekly workouts:
Running – 32 miles
Run/walk – 5.21 miles
Walking – 0 miles
Lifting – 0 hours


  • Questions:
  • Do you have hills where you live? ~ I discovered that our Tuesday morning hills are nothing compared to what I just ran this past weekend!
  • Do you train at night?  Have you ever tried Knuckle Lights?
  • Who raced this weekend?

Twelve Cruisers Became Ragnarians Today

It’s over…  I’m a Ragnarian, and I’m feeling the blues like it’s the day after Christmas.  What now?  There’s no planning, no organizing, no packing; just basking in the afterglow of a job well done by my amazing team of friends!

This evening’s post isn’t a recap.  It’s just to let you know that we finished, and that we had a blast!  I have far too many pictures to collect, edit, and pull together to be able to write a Deb Runs worthy recap; so please stay tuned.

While you wait for my recap, I’ll give you a little tease…  Way back in April when I registered our team, I projected that we would finish in 36 hours, but I was wrong!  Little did I know that I would recruit such speedy friends, and we would finish in 31 hours!  Yes, the Cruisers really WERE “Rockin’ The Relay!”

See you after some much needed sleep!


  • Questions:
  • Who has run a Ragnar Relay?
  • What are you willing to lose sleep for?
  • Who raced this weekend?

Sharing The Blog Love

It’s time for Friday Five linkup with DC area bloggers Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!, and Mar at Mar on the Run!

Each week Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar either suggest a theme for that week’s Friday Five Linkup, or leave it up to individual bloggers to come up with their own Free Friday theme.  This week’s theme is Blogs To Love


Of course I love the three hosts of our weekly Friday Five linkup (Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia), but decided today’s-the-day to branch out, and include bloggers outside the circle of those regular participants in the Friday Five linkup.

I’m going to be spending the weekend with two of my favorite blogger friends, so I thought it only appropriate to start off with them!

1.  Meagan over at Turkey Runner has become a great running buddy when I’m in Blacksburg for a game, or visiting my mom.  Meagan’s been known to drive an hour and a half to join me for a run.  In fact, as I type, she and her husband Barry are driving about four hours to join in on the fun of our Ragnar DC team!

2.  Anne who writes Mom and Dad Track Stars and I met at the end of a trail race back in the spring.  We met up again at a race this summer and I casually mentioned that I still had spots on my team for Ragnar DC, and she decided to join in on the fun!

3.  Katie is a fellow MRTT and Sweat Pink sister.  She’s also the mastermind behind Healthy Heddleston and BAMR Bands!  Her headbands are non-slip and are a huge hit with my headband-wearing running buddies.

4.  Mary is my speedy running buddy who recently moved to Denver.  She started writing Taming The Thorsons to keep her family up to date on what she and her family were up to.  Since she’s moved away, I’ve loved following her runs via her blog.

5.  Laura has dedicated her blog Write the Happy Ending to her sister Taylor, who suffers from Batten Disease, a rare and fatal disease.  Laura ran the Raleigh Half Marathon last fall blind-folded to honor Taylor.  Currently, Laura in embarking on running a race in all 50 states as she continues to spread the story of Taylor’s Tale.

  • Questions:
  • What are your favorite blogs?
  • Do you follow any that I mentioned above?
  • Non-bloggers:  Have you considered starting a blog?

Moms Take Over Erin’s House!

On Sunday, we had our first local chapter MRTT open house appropriately named the Fall Showcase Open House!  Our chapter leaders, Erin and Amanda, put a lot of effort into making it perfect and fun for their 300 members.  No, we didn’t have perfect attendance, but the turnout was really good!

Erin had transformed her house into a pink-lover’s dream (or as she said, “an explosion of pink”) ready for us to make ourselves at home!  Guests signed in when they arrived and filled out ten tickets for chances to win cool prizes.


Amanda and Erin outdid themselves when rounding up these amazing prizes for the Penny Auction:

  • Runner’s Fuel
  • Poka-dot Tutu
  • BAMR Bands Headbands
  • MRTT Goodies
  • Sparkle Skirts Addict T-shirt

They also had three Grand Prizes:



Since they wanted the open house to be informative as well as fun, they had three little mini-presentations set up throughout the afternoon, and I was honored to be asked to help out.  These included:

  • Foam Rolling with Debbie
  • Winter Running with Amanda
  • Creating A Training Plan with Erin

In addition to the mini-presentations, there were a variety of activities for us to participate in.  The most popular was the shirt press.  Runners could buy and iron their favorite logo onto shirts they brought with with them.

Amanda volunteered to man the 280º shirt press, and helped everyone make sure their logos were
positioned straight before making them permanent.

Amanda even took time out to do her own jacket!


And here she is,  showing off her newly decorated purple jacket!

It was fun to see fellow bloggers Kim and Katie there!  Katie is the lovely face behind MAMR Bands, and had her shop set up for us to stock up on her non-slip headbands.

Another station was the “Accomplishments” and “Running Inspiration Phrase” table.  Runners were encouraged to write out their accomplishments and inspiration phrases to hang on ribbons and share with their fellow MRTT sisters.

And of course there was this!  If you’re the type to judge an event by the food and drink, you would have been happy!


Before my foam roller presentation, I gathered my group together for a quick little selfie since I’m one of the unofficial self-proclaimed team photographers!  And we were photo-bombed by Sammy, a future MRTT member!


I went over the different types of foam rollers, and proper rolling techniques that you can read on my previous blog post.


It was an incredibly fun afternoon with some amazing women that help make my miles click by much faster in the wee hours of the morning!


  • Questions:
  • Have you ever tried iron on a decal onto clothing?
  • What types of open houses are your favorites?
  • If you won two personal training sessions, what would you want to work on?

Working On A Comeback (September 1 – 7)

After a fun and busy Labor Day weekend, I stated off last Monday, with a fully booked schedule.  It’s easier to see clients than reschedule them, so I often work on the smaller holidays that fall on Monday, my busiest day.

My first client arrived with her daughter at 7:30 and we headed out for a 2-mile run/walk.  I was pleased that my foot felt pretty good, and seemed to be on the road to recovery.  It was the last time my client’s daughter was able to join us since school was starting the next day.  I enjoy working with my clients’ teenaged children, and encourage my clients to bring their older children along for their workouts.  I do not charge extra because I want to help mold these young people into fitness loving individuals, who think of being active as being the norm.

Later in the day, I squeezed in an upper and lower body strength training session for myself since it would be the last upper body workout I could do for a while.   I again lifted unilaterally protecting my left arm which still had stitches in it from a basal cell carcinoma removed two weeks earlier.

Since my foot felt quite good on Monday, I joined my MRTT friends for hills on Tuesday.  I ran the lower section of the hill where it’s not as steep for a total of 5.5 miles.  Don’t let the elevation chart fool you, though – there was only a 50-foot elevation change over about a half mile!


Later in the day I got my stitches out and had surgery on my other arm to remove yet another basal cell.  Happily, I can now say I’m cancer free… at least until my next dermatologist appointment in mid-November, but hopefully, Dr. Ha won’t find any new spots then.

Before I had a chance to go for a walk or easy run, I hurt my back on Wednesday.  Seriously.  I know – I’m a mess.  While sitting a my desk working on a blog post, I reached for something just beyond my laptop, but well within my reach.  As I reached, I twisted ever so slightly, and immediately felt a twinge in the lower right side of my back.  It’s happened before, so I immediately put a cool Epsom salt compress on my back, then got on my Teeter inversion table and hung out for about twenty minutes.  It’s amazing how much better that makes my back/right leg (sciatica) feel.

Thursday morning I skipped meeting my friends for our run, and decided to lay low as a precaution for my back.  My poor clients couldn’t be pampered, and had to help me move benches, stack the heavy weights, etc.  I wasn’t taking any chances with Ragnar only eight days away!

I woke up feeling great on Friday and ran 2 very easy miles before my first client arrived.  She and I went for a 2.75-mile run/walk before heading back inside for the rest of her workout.  I skipped my own strength training session because of my arms, which I’ll have to for the next two weeks.  I’m getting creative on finding core exercises that don’t require any lifting or major support with my arms, though.

We had a great turnout for our MRTT group run on Saturday morning.  I was thrilled to see how many ladies were mingling around in the in the parking lot when I got there!  We gathered for a group picture…

And when we walked from the parking lot to the trail we found six more runners from our group waiting for us!


Once we got started, we broke out into different pace groups.  Erin and I were both tapering for our races coming up, so we ran 8 miles (9:27 pace), and peeled off leaving our group to finish their 16-mile run.

I spent most of the rest of Saturday catching up on paperwork while watching college football, and waiting for our big game to kickoff at 8 PM.  Once the Virginia Tech vs Ohio State University game started on ESPN, I paced back-and-forth while watching.  We were the underdogs, so it was extra sweet when we upset (then ranked #8) Ohio State!


I’ve hardly seen my BRF’s this summer, so when I got the text saying they’d be running on Sunday morning, I jumped at the chance.  I got in an easy 5.5-mile recovery run, and got to see my running besties at the same time!


Total weekly workouts:
Running – 20.5 miles
Run/walk – 4.75 miles
Walking – 0 miles
Lifting – 1 hour


  • Questions:
  • What’s been your biggest training/injury obstacle?
  • Who gets regular skin checks?
  • Who raced this weekend?

Race Rituals That Work For Me

It’s time for Friday Five linkup with DC area bloggers Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!, and Mar at Mar on the Run!

Each week Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar either suggest a theme for that week’s Friday Five Linkup, or leave it up to individual bloggers to come up with their own Free Friday theme.  This week’s theme is Race Rituals


My five race rituals are a combination of things to help make my race morning go as easily as possible.  Nothing superstitious here, just a routine to make my life easier.

1.  Whenever possible, I pick up my race packet the day before the race.  I like having my race bib at home ready to pin on my shirt, and I like not having to worry about the added stress of packet pick-up on race morning.

2.  If necessary, I go grocery shopping the day before the race to buy salmon, salad ingredients, and sweet potatoes for dinner; and of course bananas and bagels for breakfast.  On the way home, I stop at the running store to buy our preferred running fuel for during the race.


3.  The night before the race Bill and I lay out all of our gear, and pack what we can in the car.  We finalize our parking plans and make arrangements with anyone that might be car pooling with us.  Recently, I have started taking a picture of my flat runner to post on Instagram and our MRTT Facebook page.


4.  Race morning, we try to get there about an hour before the race to get in the porta potty line, meet any friends or fellow running bloggers that we’ve coordinated with, and take our obligatory multi-chapter MRTT picture.  If it’s a shorter race, I try to squeeze in time to go out and run a warm-up mile or so.


5.  Just before the race, I make sure to shut down all of my phone apps and open up RunKeeper and get it ready to go before slipping my phone back into my SPIbelt.  Next, I seed myself according to the pace I plan to run, relax, and enjoy the energy of the crowd around me.  Once the race starts, there’s no ritual – it’s game on!


Hope you’ve gotten a new idea or two from my rituals.  Happy racing!


  • Questions:
  • What are your race rituals?
  • What are your fan rituals before your favorite team’s game?
  • Who’s racing this weekend?

Tag! I’m It!

This morning, I got tagged by M at ReadEatWriteRun to provide ten random facts about me, tag ten people that I want to know more about, and tag the tagger back.


1.  My right eye is blue, and the top half of my left eye is blue, but the bottom half is a brownish-green color.

2.  I am 1/16 Cherokee Indian.

3.  I graduated from college in three years by attending summer sessions.

4.  I don’t like to get sand on me; yet I can dig in the dirt in the garden and get it all over me, and it doesn’t bother me at all.

5.  I weighed eight pounds when I was born and was the smallest baby in the hospital nursery, even though there was a set of twins in the nursery, too.

6.  I married my college sweetheart.

7.  I can’t stand chocolate and peanut butter mixed together, but like them both separately.

8.  Even though I am a social butterfly, and love to organize group events, I am a loner by nature.

9.  I once got referred to a cardiologist and had to have an EKG and ultrasound, because after a chest x-ray (I had pneumonia), my family doctor was convinced I had a dangerous virus that causes the heart to become over-sized.  I tried to tell her that I was a marathon runner, and since the heart is muscle, mine would have grown larger than the average woman’s.  The tests results showed that I have a big, healthy, muscular, over-sized marathoner’s heart!

10. I don’t like melons, especially watermelon.

I just picked up my pace, and sprinted to tag these awesome bloggers:

Mary at Taming the Thorsons

Kathryn at Dancing To Running

Julie at Diving Into The Gene Pool

Becky at Running On Happy

Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC

Jess at Flying Feet In Faith

Kim at Day With KT

Jenny at Run Jenny Run

Deborah at Confessions Of A Mother Runner

Kristin at W[H]ATCH

And of course M at ReadEatWriteRun!

I tried to tag bloggers that I haven’t tagged in posts before, but if you’re one of my regular readers who also blogs, and would like to play along, by all means, consider yourself tagged!  :-)


  • Questions:
  • From what countries do your ancestors come? ~ England, Germany, Scotland, Ireland, and my great-great-grandmother was Cherokee
  • What foods do you dislike, that most people love?
  • What are some of your other random facts?

Cutting Back My Workout Even Though I Don’t Want To (August 25 – 31)

Last week was certainly an unusual week for this girl that loves to run and workout.  If you recall, the previous week I had minor surgery on my left forearm on Tuesday, and hurt my left foot as I finished up a run on Thursday.  Nothing serious in the grand scheme of things, but enough to cause significant changes in what I could do.

Like any good runner, I begrudgingly stopped running for a week, while trying to figure out what was wrong with my foot.

I did strength training with my legs (squats, extensions, ball curls – no lunges because of my foot) and unilateral lifting on my right side only.  My core exercises are limited to things that don’t require me to use both arms because I can’t lift with, or put weight on my left forearm.  Oh bummer, that means I can’t do planks…

I had been icing my foot regularly since Thursday, and decided to start on some Epsom salt soaks.  Epsom salt is actually not salt, but a mixture of magnesium and sulfate.  It’s long been used for relief of minor muscle pain by helping to reduce inflammation.  I found a website that suggested making a paste, so I mixed just enough warm water to the Epsom salt to make a paste that I could rub on my entire foot – top and bottom.  I left my foot in the paste for about 20 minutes, and it felt quite soothing.


On Monday, I also decided it was time to start taking Advil.  I used to pop Advil way to quickly after a minor running injury, but now I’ve migrated to the opposite extreme and don’t like to take anything I don’t have to.  I gave my foot four full days to recover before I resorted to taking my first Advil.

I skipped run/walking with my client and kept her inside for her workout on Tuesday.  My foot was feeling better, but I was afraid that it was the Advil talking, and didn’t want to risk running on my foot if it wasn’t ready.

On Wednesday, I did a strength training workout very similar to Monday’s, and kept it low keyed.

Later in the day, I walked 1 mile at a 15:23 pace to see how my foot felt.  It felt pretty good so I decided to take it out on a short run on Thursday.

I went out by myself and ran 3 miles at an 11:41 pace on Thursday morning.  It had been a week since my last run.  I felt like I was working as hard running my 11:41 pace as I had just a short week early running an 8:45 pace.  Ugh!


I spent most of Friday in the car as we drove to visit my Mom, and once we got there, Mom and I did a little gardening and walked around looking at all of her flowers, and admiring her little hummingbird friends.


I got up early on Saturday morning to run 4 miles on a dirt and gravel road.  The surface felt good on my foot except for the occasional twisting when I stepped on a rock.  I guesstimated that I ran at an 11:22 pace, since I didn’t use a GPS.

Later we attended the first Virginia Tech football game of the season, and walked about 2 miles around campus.  I was a good girl and didn’t jump to Enter Sandman, even though I desperately wanted to!  Jumping just didn’t seem like a good idea on a tender foot…

I decided to rest on Sunday, and try to get back to close to my normal workouts on Monday.  Time will tell if I’m truly on the road to recovery!


Total weekly workouts:
Running – 7 miles
Run/walk – 0 miles
Walking – 3 miles
Lifting – 2 hours


  • Questions:
  • Have you every used Epsom salt after an injury?
  • Who had fun weekend plans?
  • Who’s kiddos go back to school tomorrow?

For Me, This Fall Will Bring…

It’s time for Friday Five linkup with DC area bloggers Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!, and Mar at Mar on the Run!

Each week Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar either suggest a theme for that week’s Friday Five Linkup, or leave it up to individual bloggers to come up with their own Free Friday theme.  This week’s theme is Fall Preview


For me, this fall will bring:

1.  Pilgrimages to Blacksburg for most of the Virginia Tech Hokies home football games, and tailgating with our old college friends…

2.  Running my very first Ragnar, and second Hokie Half Marathon with my friend Meagan

3.  Foggy mornings, cool crisp days, and leaf covered trails to run on…

4. Another birthday, and another year wiser…


5.  The first anniversary of losing my beloved dad



  • Questions:
  • Which is your favorite season?
  • What will your fall bring?
  • Who’s racing this weekend?

DC Ragnar Is Getting Real

If you remember back in early April, I announced that I was putting together a DC Ragnar Relay team.  Last week, after several social media blitzes, I filled the last spot on team Cruisers Rockin’ The Relay.  Lame name, I know…


My friend Chuck agreed to help me out as co-captain if I formed a team.  Last night he and I attended the Team Captain Meeting at Road Runner Sports in Falls Church.


It’s a really large store and it was packed with Ragnar captains, both seated and peeping around clothing fixtures out of view of my camera.  We learned that there will be 375 teams at this event.  That’s a lot of runners and vans!


Race directors Ameena (Cape Cod) and Tian (DC) went over eight pages of rules, regulations, and what we should expect.


The two biggest things that I took from the meeting were:

  1. Every team member should read the Ragnar Bible before the race.
  2. There’s an ice cream store that sells the world’s best milk shakes at exchange 18.  The only problem is that we’re projected to arrive at exchange 18 at 12:53 AM.

Seriously, the meeting was very helpful, and got me totally pumped for the race!  Things are suddenly getting very real!

I’m taking my foot on a trial run tomorrow morning…  Wish me luck that it cooperates and that I can get back into my training.  It’s been a boring week with no running!


  • Questions:
  • Have you run in a relay race?
  • If so, what’s your biggest piece of advice for my team?
  • Any advice for decorating our van to make up for our lame name?

A Setback In Training Plans (August 18 – 24)

Last week’s training took an unexpected turn.  Hopefully, I’ll be back on the running trail sooner rather than later, because this girl’s got some important races coming up!

The day after my Leesburg 20K, I took my usual day off from running, but ran/walked 2.5 miles with one of my clients and her daughter.  We kept a13:12 average pace, and other than my legs feeling more fatigued than usual, I felt fine.

Later in the afternoon I lifted weights with my upper body, but let my legs have another rest day.

On Tuesday morning, I met my MRTT friends for an 8-mile run including 12 hill repeats.  My average pace was 9:46 which was about 15 seconds per mile slower than my usual run on that course.  My legs definitely begged for me to take it a little easier, so I did.

Overall I felt great and I was so happy to run 8 miles for Taylor on her 16th birthday.  I would have loved to run one mile for each of her years, but had to settle for .5.


Tuesday afternoon I had a basal cell carcinoma removed from my arm resulting in 10 stitches.  On Friday I got word that all margins are clear, so it’s just a matter of not lifting anything with that arm so I don’t pop the stitches.

I usually walk, cross-train, or run on Wednesdays, but I’ve been feeling a little off lately (I think it’s allergies), so I chose to rest from any cardio workouts.

I did a leg strength training workout and lifted with only the right side of my upper body.  I’m left dominate, and my left side is much stronger than my right side.  What better time than the next two weeks to do unilateral workouts using my right side only!  I was extremely careful not to lift any weights with my left arm, and was actually quite sore the next day!

I met my girlfriends at 5:30 on Thursday morning for 5 miles, mostly in the dark.  I came prepared with a headlamp and sunglasses; and we felt great running at an 8:48 pace!  About 100 yards from the finish, I felt a sharp pain in my left forefoot.  It went away almost as quickly as it came, and I didn’t really think about it again that day.


On Friday, I was mildly aware of my foot, but it was so minor that I included my beloved lunges in my strength workout.  Again I focused on unilateral upper body lifts on my right side only.  I also incorporated a few core exercises that didn’t require me to put any pressure on my left arm.

I got up bright-and-early on Saturday morning just like all other Saturdays, got dressed, had a banana, and packed my stuff to go on a 12-mile run with Bill, Beth, and some other Cruiser and MRTT friends.  The longer I stood, the more my foot hurt.  I tried running a few times across the kitchen floor, and decided it would be really stupid to go on my run, especially a 12-mile run.  I drove over to the trail with Bill, dropped him off, said hi to my friends, took their picture (cause that’s what I do), and drove home.  Once home I went back to bed and took a two hour nap.  Is it a nap when you’re climbing back in bed at 7:20 AM?  When I got back up, I iced my foot and followed up several more times during the day.


My foot felt great when I got up on Sunday morning!  I slipped on my Sperry’s and headed to DC to watch the Nats play.  My foot started hurting toward the end of the day, possibly because I did quite a bit of walking, or possibly because of my less supportive shoes…  I iced it again when I got home, considered popping an Advil, but decided to wait and see how my foot felt on Monday before going that route.

Stay tuned…

Total weekly workouts:
Running – 13.14 miles
Run/walk – 2.5 miles
Walking – 0 miles
Lifting – 2.5 hours


  • Questions:
  • How is your training for your fall races coming along?
  • What was your last minor/significant injury?
  • Do you pop Advil frequently, or try to avoid it at all costs?


Rally Pigeon To The Rescue!

Let me tell you the story of Rally Pigeon… but first I’ll start my story earlier in the day when we visited The Bullpen, because most good stories start with a margarita!


Our good friends Beth and Tom invited us to join them for a Nationals game where the Nats were taking on the Giants in the third game of their series.


We arrived under absolutely perfect weather conditions (mid-70’s, low humidity) plenty early to have time to visit The Bullpen, grab a few drinks, and play some cornhole.

After downing a few drinks and wrapping up cornhole with a losing score of 0-1, it was time to head over to Nats Park…


And grab a bite to eat…  Don’t judge me; I will always eat a hotdog when I’m at a ballpark!


We caught the national anthem, but not from our seats…


Beth and I made it over to our seats (we had seats separate from Bill and Tom), and I got to see Natties shortstop, and my secret crush, Ian Desmond hit a home run (not at this at bat, but later in the game)…


A couple sitting next to Bill and Tom offered to trade seats with Beth and me so we could all sit together, so at the end of the fourth inning we were reunited.  We moved to our new seats in plenty of time to catch the presidents race.


Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt were neck-and-neck until TJ edged Teddy out at the finish line despite Teddy’s best efforts.  Teddy: Call me!  I can make you a faster runner!


Sometime during the sixth inning, and with the Nats down 6-2, a pigeon landed on the field just behind second base.  We soon learned that it wasn’t just any pigeon, it was Rally Pigeon!


And a close up…

Rally Pigeon got the Nats’ rally started, and we came from being behind 6-2 at the top of sixth, to winning the game 14-6. He hung out for most of the rest of the game, and didn’t leave until he was sure we’d secured a win.


Rally Pigeon even got a mention by Jayson Werth after the game!

Before we left the ballpark, Rally Pigeon joined us for a post-game group picture!

Shortly after the game, Rally Pigeon set up at least two different Twitter accounts to confuse us.  You can follow all of his latest shenanigans, travels, and game assists at @RealRallyPigeon:


Rally Pigeon photo courtesy of @RealRallyPigeon


And you can follow Rally Pigeon at @NatsRallyPigeon:


Rally Pigeon photo courtesy of @NatsRallyPigeon


I like to think Rally Pigeon is like Santa Claus; you have to believe…


  • Questions:
  • Are you a baseball fan? ~ If the Nats are playing, our TV is on and we are watching!
  • MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA, or NCAA?
  • What did you do for fun this past weekend?

Listening To My Body

Sometimes adhering to your own advice can be the most difficult…

Anyone that has trained with me has heard me say, “Listen to your body.”  That’s easy advice to give, but not always easy to follow.

Let’s back it up to Thursday when I had a great, steady run with my MRTT girls.  We ran 5.14 miles at an 8:48 pace, and I felt strong.  About 100 yards from the finish I heard/felt a pop in my left forefoot.  I grimaced and don’t even know if Erin or Beth noticed.  I finished the run without any more pain.

The rest of Thursday and yesterday, I was slightly aware of my foot, but didn’t really think anything of it since I didn’t have a run scheduled. I passed on an opportunity to do a big multi-chapter group run several miles away at a vineyard this morning since my allergies (I think) have been bothering me and I’ve been feeling a little off.  Instead, I opted to meet a few of my Cruiser/MRTT friends nearby, and hoped to run 10-12 miles with them.

Last night I prepared my stuff as usual for my Saturday morning group run, got up, got ready, and just before we left our house Bill and I questioned whether or not it was a good idea for me to run. I took a few strides through our kitchen, and decided not to run.  I went with Bill to our meet-up spot to say hi to our friends, and drove home.

Here’s where the best, and probably most important, part of my training came in.  When I got back home, I went back to bed and slept for two hours!  I’m the type that pops up out of bed when I wake up, and I’m up for the day.  I don’t like lying in bed unless I’m sleeping, so for me to go back to bed means my body craved it.

I woke up and iced my foot, and plan to ice it several times a day until my next run, and see how it feels.  I’ll skip running tomorrow, and wait until my next scheduled run on Tuesday to resume training.

I have a really strong base, and my running/training has been going really well.  I’m not going to sweat it, because taking a few days off and letting my foot heal is most important as my next two big races come up.  In the long run, my Ragnar Relay and the Hokie Half Marathon results will thank me!

  • Questions:
  • What was your last injury?
  • How quickly did it heal?
  • Once you wake up, do you like to hop out of bed or lounge in bed for a while?

Five Things I Love About Being An Older Runner

It’s time for Friday Five linkup with DC area bloggers Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!, and Mar at Mar on the Run!

Each week Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar either suggest a theme for that week’s Friday Five Linkup, or leave it up to individual bloggers to come up with their own Free Friday theme.  This week’s theme is Five Things I Love About ___________________…


Thanks to a conversation I had with one of my MRTT running besties, Erin, yesterday morning, I immediately decided to write about the Five Things I Love About Being An Older Runner.


1.  I’ve met so many amazing runners over the years that every race is like attending a runner’s reunion.

2.  I’m not expected to PR at every race, but when I do, it’s magical!

3.  I have years of running and life experiences to share with my running friends, whether they want to hear them or not.

4.  Since I’m over 50, I don’t give a crap about what others think, and if I need to stop behind a bush, spit, or blow a snot-rocket, I will!

5.  Every year I’m getting a little bit closer to being that adorable little-old-lady waddling over the finish line, and winning her age group because she’s the only one in it.


  • Questions:
  • What do you look forward to as you get older?
  • What are your fun plans for the weekend? ~ I’m going to see the Nats play on Sunday!
  • Who’s racing this weekend?

The Couple That Runs Together…

I’m linking up again this month with Amanda at The Lady Okie and Becka at Sunshine To The Square Inch for their Runner’s Tell All monthly linkup.  Be sure to pop over to their blogs to see what they have to say on today’s topic, and to see who else is linking up.

This month, Amanda and Becka’s cue was to write about Training:  Favorite Person To Train With / Training Routine / Tips…



When I saw the prompt “Favorite Person To Train With,” I was quite excited because I’ve never really talked about my running history with my hubby, other then mentioning him in races or recent runs we’ve done together.   And of course, acknowledging him in this little blurb on the My Team tab on my blog:

My husband Bill started running my longer training runs with me to keep me company and before he knew it, he was up to 16 miles. One day I saw a new marathon in our area and decided to sign up for it. He was at work when I called to see if he wanted me to sign him up. He answered his phone, said something like, “Sure that sounds good” and hung up. When he got home that evening he asked exactly what he’d committed himself to! Four months later, we ran Marathon in the Parks together and he was hooked!  Today he’s got about 20 marathons, 11 half marathons, and lots of shorter races under his belt.


2001 Marathon In The Parks

We have an interesting history as a couple.  Back when we were first married, we were totally incompatible; when running, that is.  I preferred to go out and run three to five miles at a slow and steady pace, and Bill preferred to run short and fast whenever I talked him into running with me.  He was on a church league basketball team, and played lots of tennis; so he didn’t need to run to keep fit.  What he needed for his two sports was the ability to run short distances at a very quick pace.

Our infrequent runs always resulted in me complaining that he was running too fast, and Bill complaining that I was running too slowly.  After those first couple of years of marriage, we quit trying to run together – until I started running marathons.

I’m not sure if it was Bill seeing how much fun I was having running marathons, how much time I was getting to spend with my friend Miles out on the running trails, or if he worried about me going out for some of my long runs alone, but Bill started running with me occasionally.  Our sons were now old enough for us to leave them alone for an hour or two while we went out on our runs together making big laps in our neighborhood.  In the spring of 2000, Bill made it up to 16 miles with me; and guess what, we were having a ball together!

Running together gave us time alone, time to talk without little ears overhearing our conversations, and time to do something that we both enjoyed immensely!  Yes, Bill had surprisingly fallen in love with the sport of running; with my sport.  He was running so well and having so much fun, that I made that now infamous phone call to him at work to see if he wanted me to register him for the new marathon that I’d just read about.

Since his first marathon, we have run thousands of miles together…  Many of those miles were just the two of us, many were with the Cruisers, and many were with Miles.  We logged those miles both in training runs and at races.  We are a team, and we were the original Cruisers.


2005 Baltimore Marathon

These days our vacation activities tend to revolve around what time and where we’re going on our run.  Bill has been known to scout out a good running trail or route for us before we leave.  He can get downright grumpy if he gets too busy at work to get his runs in.  And that’s why you’ll find us running almost every day while on vacation  – because we have time to run together, and being together is so fun and so important.


Yes, you’ve seen me posting lots of running pictures of the Cruisers, my MRTT friends, and my BRF, but my favorite person to train with would have to be my hubby!


2002 Washington DC Marathon



2009 National Marathon



2011 Richmond Marathon


  • Questions:
  • Who’s your favorite training partner?
  • What common interests/activities do you have in common with your loved ones?
  • Runners:  Would you rather run with other people or alone?


Previous Runner’s Tell All Linkups: My Running Story In 250 Words, Favorite Running Gear And Products, My Proudest Running Moment, and What Goes In, Must Come Out.

The Rehearsal Dinner, Our Best Anniversary Ever!

On August 1, 1981 I married my best friend and the love of my life.  On August 1, 2014 my groom of 33 years and I threw a huge party.  I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary – even though the party wasn’t for us.  The party was a rehearsal dinner for our oldest son Joseph and his fiancé Julie.


Immediately after the wedding rehearsal at St. John Neumann Catholic Church, Bill and I welcomed our guests to Il Fornaio in Reston Town Center .


Il Fornaio’s private dining room was the perfect intimate setting for the wedding party to mingle and get to know each other, the parents, and grandparents of the happy couple.


Photo courtesy of Il Fornaio


Bill first ate at Il Fornaio in San Francisco back in the 90’s when he was on a business trip in California.  Since it doesn’t seem at all like a chain restaurant (there are 19 locations), Bill was quite surprised when I told him a few years ago that I’d had lunch with friends at Il Fornaio in Reston.

Their website describes their food as the “most authentic Italian experience outside of Italy,” and having thoroughly enjoyed my dining experiences in Rome and Florence, their food comes the closest to that delicious food of any Italian restaurants I’ve tried in the DC area.

Once guests arrived, they were able to mingle with their friends, and make new friends while enjoying wine and beer.


And munching on antipasti of calamari, Italian meats, and cheeses.


In order to come up with the perfect dinner menu combination, Bill and I did what any good parents would do, and made several trips to Il Fornaio to try out different dishes to serve at the rehearsal dinner.  We started our little exercise back in January when we dined with Julie’s parents, and later when we invited Daniel, Joseph, and Julie to join us.  Our trips paid off, and Bill and I were able to narrow down the menu selection for our guests.


After about 30 minutes of visiting with our guests, it was time for us to sit down for dinner.   Being the parents of the bride and groom, we got the best seats in the house!


And from the looks of the plates of the guests of honor, I think our homework paid off, and our menu selections were spot on!


One last picture of our family of four about 20 hours before we became a family of five!


And of course I had to get a picture of Julie with her college roommates, and fellow running bloggers Becky and Kelly!


As a gift to Joseph and Julie, the parents, and grandparents, Bill made a video, The Story of Joseph and Julie.  It was filled with photos and videos of both of them from birth to present.  It was so fun to watch, and will be a keepsake forever!

Before showing the video, Bill thanked everyone for attending, gave a short little speech, and toasted Joseph and Julie.  Next, Becky and a few other friends toasted the happy couple.


And since it was our anniversary, Daniel, Joseph, and Julie surprised Bill and me with an anniversary cake, and some very sweet words!  It totally caught us off guard, and made me cry…  Happy tears, of course!



I seriously doubt we’ll be able to top this celebration for our 34th wedding anniversary!


  • Questions:
  • Married people, where did you have your rehearsal dinner? ~ Bill and I chose to have a BBQ at my parent’s home.
  • Have you ever eaten at one of the 19 Il Fornaio restaurants?  They are located in Virginia, Colorado, California, Nevada, and Washington.
  • What would you have chosen from the dinner menu?  What’s your favorite type of food? ~ I had the salmon, and it was outstanding!