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Dog-N-Jog Race Report

My German Shepherd, Tara, finished her first race this morning! I had planned to run the 10K with her, but ended up only running the 5K since she’s still recovering from her dental work on Thursday. The vet had ok’ed her to run as long as she seemed like she was up to it. Last night she was still moving a little slow so I made the decision not to do the 10K. This morning she was full of energy and seemed to need a run, but I opted to stick with my plan.

This was probably one of the most fun races I have ever done. There were over 100 dogs in attendance, and surprisingly, they were all really well-behaved (Tara included)! Most of the owners were really good about keeping their dogs with them and not letting them greet other dogs without permission. There were several other GSDs there, one who we knew from our agility class last fall. We saw one woman pushing a jogging stroller and running with a GSD and another big dog, wow! I had Tara on her Gentle Leader for the event – keeping the pressure off her collar tends to keep her calmer around other dogs. She was really well-behaved today and even greeted a few dogs belonging to my friends very nicely. gsdsit

We all lined up at about 8:50 AM for the 9:00 AM start. I took Tara all the way to the back of the pack to give us both some space. I expected the crowd to break up pretty quickly as runners got into their paces. Well, starting a race with over 100 dogs was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. There is always a lot of adrenaline at the start of the race, and it’s always hard to fight that and get into my pace. With all those dogs, the energy at the start was probably twice as high as it is at a regular race of that size. In spite of that, there was really only one little barking dog – one of those mini aussies.

Tara was having none of being at the back of the pack, though and we moved through the ranks quickly. We had to run on the grass to get around the people and dogs, but Tara was a dog on a mission! One guy dressed as a superhero with his superhero dog were trying to sprint past us, but they passed a road sign and the guy went one way and his poor dog went the other way and they got completely wrapped around the pole. We made our way through the back of the pack into a comfortable place in the middle right before climbing our first hill. I had run this course from a different starting point last fall for a very small 5K so I was ready for it. It’s amazing how much easier it is to run it strongly with some company. smile Tara was still picking people and dogs off at this point, and we passed several more people on the downhill. Pretty soon we were at the home stretch and could see the vet school just ahead.

We finished in 28:26, which was my fastest 5K yet and much faster than the last time I ran this course (~2.5 minutes faster). I wish I had a photo to share, but all my friends who were there were either running it or working it and Curtis wasn’t home from a business trip quite yet.

We had a great time and it was so much fun to run a race the same way I train – with Tara! She ran right out in front of me just like always and never tried to “say hi” to anyone on the course, unlike many of the other dogs who were veering all over the place. She made me so proud today with how good she was with the other dogs and how well-behaved she was on the course. I can’t wait to do this race again next year!



A Hiatus

Hey folks!

In light of the fact that I’m not training for any triathlons right now and have no plans to in the near future, this will be my last post for the foreseeable future. I’m not leaving the blogosphere, just writing on a new blog to be more of a catchall for everything going on in my life at the moment. If you’re interested in following me over there just let me know and I’ll pass along the new site address. It’s still very unpolished and new, but it is active.

And if you ever want to know what Tara is up to, you can check out her blog at I don’t update that one regularly and have no plans to. I post when I have something new- usually training- to share.

Hopefully, I’ll be back here blogging again sometime in the future and you can find me again. I suspect I won’t be able to stay away from triathlons for long, I’ve got the itch to do more but an unfortunate lack of time at the moment.



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So Little Time

I’ve realized how much I have to get done before we move in July, and it is not pretty. I have so much to do in the next five weeks and only three weeks to actually do it! I’m going to be away for two weeks of my remaining time in this house so I am short on time in getting everything packed, sorted and labeled appropriately. We have accumulated so much stuff over the past two years that I barely knew how to start. I decided tackling one room at a time would probably be the best approach so I started in my “office” that I rarely use but has mountains of stuff in it. Mostly it has all my hundreds of books (= many heavy boxes) and important documents and old photos and mementos. There’s lots of room for purging. I started today and have already mostly filled one black garbage bag and I haven’t even tackled the closet yet! One of my goals for this week was to completely pack that room and tomorrow is going to be a marathon day for packing. I think I’ll do the guest bedroom next, and pack all my winter clothes and extra bedding. I’ve never packed for a move this far before. Most of my moves have been short distances allowing multiple trips. This is a take it or leave it all in one go type of affair.
Tomorrow I plan to take a break from the packing extravaganza for a lifting session and maybe a run. Have a great Friday!

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Beach Day

What a glorious day in Orlando!

I had a very lazy morning and after waking up around 6:30AM, I watched a movie on Netflix, showered, ate breakfast and checked out of the hotel by 9:30AM. I hit the road and drove about an hour to spend the morning at Cocoa Beach. Not having any beach essentials other than a bathing suit and flip flops, I stopped in a souvenir shop an bought a cheap towel and bottle of sunscreen. The nice lady clerk pointed me to a park up the road where I could park for free and I was all set. I lathered up, pulled out my Runners World magazine and relaxed listening to the waves.

I decided to leave relatively early to give myself plenty of time to get lunch, drive about an hour to the airport, fill up and return my rental car and make my 6:15 flight. I stopped at Wendy’s (my number one fast food vice) and entered the line of beach goers. While waiting a boy between 5 and 7 comes out of the men’s room and walks up to the man in front of me and says, in his most serious voice, “Dad, the men’s room is not in good shape.”
He went on, “There were two papers on the floor, there was one plastic on the floor, and THERE IS A PICKLE IN THE URINAL!!”
I about died.
After dawdling over my lunch, it was time to return to Orlando and the airport. I was very early (almost three hours before my flight), so I had plenty of time to drive about and find a gas station. I pulled in to the closest gas station and got out of the car. There hadn’t been any signs posted with the gas prices, so I glanced at the pump display, $5.799. What?!!! Almost $6 per gallon? I had been watching the prices all week and they seemed to all be about $3.57, so I thought there had to be some mistake. I figured the display must be broken or something because there was no way that was for real. I almost ran inside to check with the attendant to make sure it was wrong, but figured I would just put mu card in and see if the actual cost was displayed. Unfortunately, that qas also about the time I realized I had pulled in on the wrong side for my rental car’s gas tank. So, I cancelled the transaction and pulled around to another pump. I thought surely this one would show the actual price. Nope, still $5.799. Since I never got to complete my experiment to see if the gas price was just displaying incorrectly, I put my credit card in again. That’s when I noticed that the precvious person had paid over $60 for only about 10 gallons of gas. At this point I cancelled my transaction and jumped back in the car to figure out what the heck was going on. I checked yelp on my phone and soon learned that this is known to be the most expensive gas station in the nation and always charges at least $2 more than the going rate around town. I also learned that normal priced gas was only about a half mile further down the road. Whew! Glad I didn’t pay that exorbitant amount! The gas station I found was only $3.57 per gallon.
I got to the airport and discovered that I was even earlier than anticipated because my flight was delayed. I ended up sitting in the airport for almost four hours killing time. Thank goodness for Watch Instantly on Netflix and smartphones!
Never travel with me. I have crazy travel luck.

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Big News and the Spark of an Idea

I apologize. I just realized that I never officially announced that I was accepted to veterinary school next year, so consider this that announcement. I will be starting at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine this fall semester! 🙂 Orientation is on August 17 and I have already had a crazy busy spring and summer with fun trips and preparation for the big move.

After my last (short) post, I had my last week of class at GMU and my final exam for my last prerequisite for vet school, Public Speaking. At the beginning of the semester I thought the class was going to be a real drag, but I am so glad that I took it. I learned a lot about speaking  and writing speeches, and feel a lot more comfortable about the prospect of public speaking in the future. The purpose of our last speech was to persuade our classmates to make a donation to a charity and then everyone voted on the best speech, and I WON! I am so honored that they chose me, although I felt a little bad since I’m a bit older than most of them with a little more life experience and speaking experience (most of my classmates were freshman in college). I learned last week that I got an A+ in the class, so that means all my vet school prerequisites are fulfilled and it is official that I am enrolled for the fall!

May was relatively uneventful after the end of class on the 12th until I left for a trip to San Francisco and Sonoma with three of my girl friends on the 21st. We arrived relatively early on Saturday and spent the day at the Ghiradelli wine festival for wine tasting. Sunday morning, I went to an exercise class with one of the girls who lives in SF. It was a pilates-style class with springs and light weights. I really enjoyed it for trying something new, though I don’t think it’s something I would pursue to do regularly. I did get to break a nice sweat though! Also, on the agenda for Sunday was a Beer Circus at Lagunitas brewery in Petaluma. That was quite the interesting event. There were burlesque dancers and stunt roller skaters and lots of cross-dressing. Monday through Thursday, we spent in Sonoma wine tasting. This was definitely a food and beverage-driven vacation. We ate delicious food, drank very delicious wine (and some beer and other beverages) and just generally had a fabulous time catching up. I flew back home on Friday the 27th just in time to leave again on the 28th to head to Kansas.

The reason for the Kansas trip, you ask? Big news…drum roll please…..Curtis and I are buying our first house!! We have a contract on the house and will close at the end of the summer. We found it on our first day house-hunting over that Memorial Day weekend, despite almost crossing it off our list the day before. It is a new ranch-style house and will have four bedrooms, three full bathrooms, a finished basement with a wet bar, a beautiful kitchen and a huge yard. I will post photos when it is officially official. I am SO excited. 🙂 Life has been a bit of a whirlwind since then.

We got back to Virginia on Tuesday 5/31, I was home for a week, then left again for a business trip in Orlando, FL. And that brings us up till now. I finished work early today, so I have a free day tomorrow and I’m planning to head to the beach for the day before my flight. I’ll be back in VA tomorrow by 9PM as long as my flight is on time.

Whew. Now that you’re all caught up on my life, if you’re still reading, I bet your wondering what this has to do with healthy living, working out, fitness, or triathlon training! Don’t worry, I didn’t forget that this is a triathlon training blog. 🙂

I have kept up with the New Rules of Lifting for Women (NROLW) weight lifting program and am up to Stage 5. I was hoping to complete two workouts while in Orlando, but unfortunately the hotel’s exercise room is a little lacking. I have done a tiny bit of body weight stuff instead, but I’ll start back with a workout when I get back. I’m thinking a schedule that looks like this:

Saturday, June 11 – Stage 5 Workout A2

Monday, June 13 – Stage 5 Workout B2 + HIIT

Wednesday, June 15 – Stage 5 Workout A3

Friday, June 17 – Stage 5 Workout B3 + HIIT

Sunday, June 19 – Stage 5 Workout A4

That will bring me back to my normal schedule of lifting on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Right about the time I finish this stage, and begin the next one (~June 23) I’ll be going out of town again. This time to Mississippi for a wedding, then straight from there to the Outer Banks for a beach trip with Curtis’s family. I’ll probably do some running and maybe bring my bike to do some riding. I really enjoyed riding in the mornings last year while training for Timberman.

Speaking of Timberman (you like that segue? 😉 ), I have it in my head to do another 70.3 race. A veterinary school classmate mentioned the possibility of doing Ironman 70.3 Branson in Missouri in September. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the prospect of another half-Ironman distance race since. I would only have about 15 weeks to prepare with a couple weeks of vacation, moving and the beginning of school in between. It’s doable, but do I want to? I might start training and make a last minute decision. I’ve already missed the discount cut-off, so it’ll be the same cost either way. There is also a Sprint on the same weekend that may be a viable option. I think my base will come back pretty quickly, but I’m not sure how much training time I’ll have once school starts and crunch time approaches. I’m also torn, because I really want to finish the NROLW through Stage 7 this time around and I don’t want to give it up in place of endurance training. Right now, I have the time for all of it (when I’m at home and not traveling!), but we’ll have to see as the summer progresses. Not sure I need to add another thing to my life right now. I am already pretty busy <- understatement of the year!

Lots to think about. Lots to do.



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Foxfield 2011

It was a weekend of excess and celebration. 🙂

Now, back to regularly scheduled eating and workouts.

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Minor Setback

I have a little catching up to do! My Easter Sunday was full of food! I ate way more than necessary and definitely not within my goals, but it was a special occasion, so I’m not too torn up about it. I started out ok, but then there were lemon bars for dessert! For some reason, I have a real weakness for lemon bars. It’s weird because I don’t really like any other baked goods with lemon in them, but lemon bars are just delish and these were the cream of the crop lemon bars!

Despite seeing an increase of a couple of pounds on the scale on Monday morning, I was back on the wagon and am already back to seeing the range I want to be at right now. After slightly more than a week of tracking my food and staying between 1700-1800 on non-workout days and about 2000 on workout days, I’m happy with this amount and plan to stay here for the next week. I’m going to re-evaluate weekly until I’m back to my happy weight.

Yesterday was a lifting day, my last A workout of Stage 3:

A. One-armed dumbbell snatch – 3 sets of 6 @ 20 lb DB with 105s rest

B1. Dumbbell single-leg Romanian deadlift – 3 sets of 6 @ 33 lb DBs with 105s rest

B2. Barbell bent-over row – 3 sets of 6 @ 80 lbs BB with 105s rest

C1. Dumbbell single arm overhead squat – 3 sets of 6 @ 12 lb and 25 lb DBs with 105s rest

C2. Dumbbell incline bench press – 3 sets of 6 @ 23 lb DBs with 105s rest

D1. Plank – 3 sets of 90s @ BW with 105s rest

D2. Reverse Wood Chop – 3 sets of 6 @ purple band with 105s rest

Body Weight Matrix (25 squats, 12 lunges each leg, 12 lunge jumps each leg, and 24 jump squats) – 2 sets timed (1st: 3 min 10 sec; 2nd: 3 min 1 sec)

I’ll be finishing Stage 3 with workout B tomorrow after work. This weekend is going to be a tough one on the nutrition front. We’re going away for the weekend to go to the Foxfield horse races in Charlottesville, VA. It’s going to be a blast, but the food options are not going to be very conducive to following my plan. I’m going to have to plan ahead to make things work for me.

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Home Again, Home Again

It’s 7:32 AM and I am checking in from the Salt Lake City Airport.  After a week of skiing, I am exhausted and ready to get home and prepare for my last semester of classes before beginning veterinary school!!!  I did not set any goals for this week other than to relax and enjoy my skiing vacation.  I definitely did both of those things!  I also wanted to work on my skiing skills a bit, which I did although I think I peaked on Wednesday.

Yesterday, Curtis and I spent the morning skiing by ourselves and searching for any remnants of powder left from the snowstorm earlier this week.  At lunch, we met up with some of his grandfather’s friends and we learned that some more slopes had opened, so we headed to those after lunch.  First we visited Ballroom, and after a pretty long traverse, we found a good spot to drop in.  I had a blast skiing it!  After Ballroom, we heard the High T(raverse) was opened so we headed over there.  I opted not to join the group after a very serious talk from the ski patroler about the tough conditions on that part of the mountain.  Really, the conditions all over the mountain were quite tough this week because of the rain on Sunday, which caused a very hard icy layer under the snow on top. I’m the weakest skier of the bunch and by that time I was pretty tired and didn’t find it worth it to beat myself up trying to keep up.

All in all it was a great week of skiing and I can’t wait for next year!  I’m glad I had done some lifting (squats and lunges!) prior to the trip because I didn’t have any problems with soreness or feeling weak like I have in the past. I think I’d like to have a little more cardio under my belt for next year for the hiking and traversing, though!

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Packing and Skip the Run

Well, I ended up skipping the run today in favor of preparing for my interview.  I spent the whole morning reviewing my application, reading about current events and researching the school.  I think I am ready.  I have my suit, my itinerary information is printed and I’m packed to go.  I’m nervous as can be, but I think I’m prepared.  I guess we’ll see what happens!

I decided not to pack workout clothes to take with me in the interest of saving some space.  I may regret it, but if I decide to do something I figure I can do body weight exercises or yoga in my hotel room without needing my running shoes.  I don’t mind taking the weekend off.

Wish me luck!

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Please Excuse the Mess

My blog was boring me…I am revamping the look and feel. Until I make up my mind on what I want, you will definitely see some interim themes while I try things on for size. Please excuse my mess!

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