Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Hot Stuff... Matt is in charge of our garden this year. Well, let me rephrase that, Matt is always in charge of the garden and anything that has to do with outside the house. However, this year, I just decided to not give any input as to what was being grown in the garden which is fine by me. So Matt planted jalapenos:
...and some banana peppers (I did request bell peppers but I was too late):
So Matt brings home this giant pepper from the nursery that looks like the banana pepper above. It sits on the table for a couple days then I decide it needs to get cut up so I chop it up along with a jalapeno I picked. I make his lunch and put a bunch of slices of the "banana pepper" and just one or two slices of jalapeno. When I asked him about his sandwich that day, his response was, "It was HOT! Did you put that pepper I brought home on it?" I tell him yes in which he tells me that it WASN'T a banana pepper but instead it was so sort of hot pepper when alone isn't that bad but put multiple pieces of it on your sandwich with jalapenos and that makes for a hot hot hot lunch on a 90 degree day-oops! Sorry Mattie!!!

We also have tomatoes growing, both regular and baby size. The regular sized ones aren't quite ready to be picked, you can see them through the cage but we've been eating the cherry ones faster than we get to the house from the garden. Like the bowl? I made it!!!
So there is our garden so far, hopefully we get a lot more tomatoes and we've already got jalapenos out our ears so we can make some more salsa-yum!!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Back Where I Come From...

...I totally didn't mention anything at all that over Father's Day weekend, I headed to Cape to hang out with my Papa: da Butch! It was nice because all day Saturday, it was just me and my daddy. We didn't really do too much, call us crazy and out of control but our day consisted of a trip to Wal-Mart for dog food, sitting in the parking lot at his bank and watching the Blue Angels, then getting some Andy's ice cream and heading home for the evening.

The next day, Butch, Sally (stepmom) and I went to church then we met my sister, Haley and my grandma for lunch at Port Cape-OMG!!! They had this amazing buffet of friend chicken, kettle beef, pulled pork, chicken-in-dumplings. mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, corn, bread and it was all HOMEMADE (as in we know for a fact that they cooked the kettle beef overnight)!!! And it was only $10 for an adult on the buffet!!! Anyways, poppa was happy because he was with his girls and getting some good eats.

We headed back to the house to visit before we got on the road and I snapped this picture of Papa and Haley (yes, I look exactly like my dad, I hear it all the time!):Port Cape is right on the river. Shows how much I pay attention to the news...I didn't know the water on the river was so high that the flood gates were shut but they sure were:

So it was a nice, relaxing trip home and even if it was just Cape, it was nice to get out of town for the weekend.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Tourist in my Own City...

...last Wednesday, I FINALLY got to meet up with Amy, a fellow STL blogger. We had signed up to run the Delta Gamma 5k together back in May but never found each other in the masses of people, we were supposed to go to dinner a couple weeks later but that didn't pan out so we FINALLY got to meet up last Wednesday and it was fabulous! I had the best time...meeting bloggers is always so much fun because the "getting to know you" convo is already done because you read each others blogs so we got to sit back for dinner at Over Under and then we wandered the streets of STL. I felt like a tourist in my own city, I told Amy that I'd done more in downtown STL that one evening with her than my entire life living in the area!

After dinner, we walked down to her neighbors' gelato/coffee/smoothie cafe for after dinner drinks. The owners seemed like the sweetest couple! Amy, please let me know what the name of their place is so others can go visit them too.

On the walk back, this guy stopped us at the corner asking if we'd "just" give him our credit card or banking information so we could "save the children" in Africa because here in the US $236 will buy two pairs of shoes whereas in Africa it'll feed a whole village...I want to know what kind of shoes he's buying!!! I get bent out of shape if my shoes cost over $30!!! But sure random stranger on the corner of the street, here's my credit card info-NOT!!! Oh, he also through in that he only gets paid based off how many people sign up and he'd been out there for five hours and no one had signed up. I wanted to tell him he should look for a new job because I'm pretty sure you're working for a scam! ANYWAYS....moving on in the evening....

After that, Amy gave me the tour of the building she lives in which, get this-has a top of the building patio area!!! You can see all of downtown-it was so cool!!! If I lived there, I would totally be laying out there with a good book in hand every day.

I was so mad at myself because I was seeing all of this super cool stuff and, of course, I'd left my camera at home! So Amy let me borrow her camera and then she emailed me the pictures which were in my inbox before I got home-thank you so much!!!

Here is the view from her rooftop. See the building with the green roof? Remember Master the Met? That's the building with all 42 flights of stairs-that I climbed up!!!

After a tour of her building and me oogling over how cool everything was, we walked over to the City Garden. Where they have a fountain for the kids to play in, a flat screen tv (that we're not too sure what they show on it) and some very cool sculptures. Here's a pic of the Pinocchio one:
Then here's one...of a sideways head???
At the entrances to the City Garden they had these signs that showed a man and a woman walking. I thought they were funny because I wasn't sure the purpose of show people how to walk, to keep them moving on or there just wasn't anything to announce so walking people are the default screen?
And lastly, here's Amy and I on the roof top, we were going for the wind-in-air'd we do?
All in all, it was an awesome time!!! I hope we can get together sometime soon again. However, if she comes out to my neck of the woods, I'll have to think of something cool and fun to impress her, I'd better start thinking now...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sun Chip Bag Project: Update #1...

...remember this post? Well, I'm trying to see if I can watch my Sun Chip bag compost. I put it in my garden on May 26 and here's the one month update...

Okay, so I had told you I felt a lot of "No Shadows" in my future, well there have been but there's also been some we've missed if you can't tell. I tried putting apple cores and banana peels inside the bag to help it along but some little doggie sniffed it out and tore the bag open! I think this would go a little faster if I would put the lawn clippings, cores, peels, etc...on TOP of the bag rather than beside it, in it or on the edges but then I wouldn't be able to document it. You can tell that there's some decomposting going on, in this picture note you can see fading spots where you can almost see through the bag, see the stuff that looks like red, that's where the silver part is going away and that's the red from the front of the bag:
Back to Shadow, on Monday afternoon, I came home from work and put the dogs in the backyard while I got ready for that awful run. I hear a knock at the door and it's the next door neighbor who had watched Shadow get INTO the garden despite the chicken wire. She kept thinking I would come out and get him but after about 5 minutes or so, she came over to tell me. Later that night, Matt was mowing and caught him in the act...uh oh, little Shadie spent the rest of the evening in his cage while sis Emma got to prance around the backyard.

Funny thing, about a week ago Matt noticed something had eaten one of the heads of cabbage and Matt chalked it up to a rabbit slipping in somehow. This past weekend, we noticed how bad Shadow's gas smelt...Monday night Matt put two and two together, we think Shadow had gotten into the garden, ate the head of cabbage thus inducing farts that almost ran us out of the house! Here is a picture of the cabbage still growing, notice the empty spot in the middle, that's what Shadow ate:
Oh! Faith had it right, although some other were close, the mystery item in the "What I Do for a Living" post was a frozen soccer jersey that I used for a...ready? ICEBREAKER!!! Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Our Own Sitcom... poor co-workers have to deal with me coming in to work, usually in a tyrant over the latest thing that Matt has done to upset me. I think they secretly enjoy my stories because at our house, you NEVER know what's going to happen. They have told me on more than one occasion that they think Matt and I could have our own sitcom. I've thought about this a great deal and I think that our show would be a cross of "King of Queens" and "Everybody Loves Raymond." Don't believe me? Let me share a few stories with you...

*Last Wednesday I go to pack my lunch with the leftovers from the night before. When I packaged them, I had told Matt that I was going to take them for my lunch so DO NOT EAT!!! Yes, I have to stake claim on food items at my house or they disappear before I have a chance to think about them, I even have my own cabinet with my "secret" foods that Matt cannot touch i.e. peanut butter, 100 calorie packs, popcorn, you get the idea, right? So I open the fridge to put the container in my lunch box and what do I see? Oh I see the container alright, with three peas in it...that's it...all the rest is gone, he's left me THREE FREAKIN' PEAS!?! I call him and calmly explain, "If I were going to put the leftovers in my lunch, why would I be upset?" Giving him a chance to admit what he'd done but NO! He wants to fight me!?! He DENIES that he ate it...come on Mattie, it's you, me and our two dogs who don't have thumbs so I find it a little hard to believe that one of them got in the fridge and ate it (yes, he's blamed things like this before on Shadow...poor Shadie!). *Three hours pass, Matt comes home, I'm asleep and he wakes me up, "Babe...babe...I remember what happened to the leftovers?" Me, rubbing my eyes waking up, "What..." Matt, "I ate them..." and goes into long explanation. DUH! I knew you ate them you just wouldn't fess up and you had to stall for three hours to think of an excuse-ugh!!! Do you totally not see Doug from "King of Queens" in a similar situation?

*We have our kitchen table, all of my stuff goes on the right and all of Matt's stuff goes on the left. It's this unspoken habit we've started, whenever mail comes for one of us, it goes to our respective side. He leaves the house after me and parks by the mailbox so if something needs to be mailed, it goes on his side and he's *supposed* to put it in the mailbox. Typically what happens is I have to say, "Matt, I am putting this envelope with a stamp on it and our return address and it needs to go in the mailbox, you know that black thing on a post at the end of the driveway about 3 feet from your truck? Yes, in there...can you handle that?" Then usually it sits there for about 2-3 days and then I have to get all naggy about it until it gets mailed. If its something important, I usually take it with me and mail it at the post office. I have this weird thing about leaving unsent mail in the mailbox overnight. Anyways, do you guys see a Ray situation here?

So anyways, next time you watch either of those shows, just picture Matt and I in their places because that's typically what a night is like at the Groeteke household. So tell me, what sitcom describes your house?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Kandy Shepherd... remember this post about "Love is a Four-Legged Word"? Well go back and look at the comments because the AUTHOR, Kandy Shepherd, left me a COMMENT!!! How crazy cool is that??? I was sitting at my computer checking my email when I saw a new comment on that post and when I saw it said "Kandy Shepherd," my heart started racing and I couldn't believe it was actually her!

I didn't mention in the original post by Maddy, the main character in the book, is a chef and mentions a few new recipes she is trying. Well, on Kandy's blog, she has references from the book and list the recipes so you can make them at home! I also love that her books are centered around dogs because we all know what a dog lover I am.

Anyways, in her comment she wrote that she has a new book coming out on July 6 titled "Home is Where the Bark Is." This book will be about Maddy's best friend Serena who opens a doggy daycare where she is followed by PI Nick. It sounds like a good book and based on the first one, I'm pretty excited to read it too!

So this just goes to prove that you never know who is out there reading your blog...maybe even one of your favorite authors! Thanks for commenting Kandy, you made my day!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Some Inspiration I Am...

...and the big breakdown that I knew was coming. WARNING: This post is not sugar coated!!! Coming off a HORRIBLE weekend and a bad Monday (a Monday I chose to start a diet making it even worst), I had the WORST idea ever (next to the October Running Adventure I haven't announced yet-who am I kidding? There is no way I will ever be able to do that, tonight was just the wake-up call that I needed), I thought I'd go join the Monday night running group at the new running store in town. After I realized I was standing in a pool of shirtless males who could probably run a full marathon in the time it took me to complete a half, I should have turned around and walked out but stupid me knew that I needed to get my miles in so what the hell, right?

More like WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING??? Within 2 minutes, see ya they were all gone, now really, what's the point of a running group if I'm going to be running solo, I could have done this on my own time in neighborhood I was familiar with instead I was left alone in an unfamiliar neighborhood with a map in my sweaty hand and a water bottle in the other. At first, still being naive and optimistic I thought I could do this on my own, after about a half a mile and I STILL hadn't found the first turn, I could feel the doubt rising and that lump in my throat, you know that lump when you know the waterworks are about to arrive but you're trying to keep them away? Yeah, that one. So I finally said screw it and turned around to head back mad at myself for not getting my miles, mad at myself for not sticking to what I know and even more mad at myself for thinking that I'm a real "runner"...who am I kidding, I'm one of those poser kids, you know the one that wears dark lipstick and trenchcoats but at home I listen to N'SYNC (okay that's really dating me but you get the idea), anyways, I'm not a runner, I'm just a runner wannabe.

I finally make it back and stick my head in the store to tell the guy I was back so they wouldn't worry about the only girl in the group and what happened to her, I didn't want them watching the news or looking in creeks for my dead body. I said I'm back and thanks (thanks for nothing but I had no one to blame but myself). He said, "Oh too hot out there?" I just turned and left knowing he was thinking, yep, big girl couldn't take the heat.

Do you ever just have times where no matter what, everything goes wrong? That's the period that I'm in currently, I can't win for losing and I knew this breakdown was coming with a few weeks into my busy time, family stuff, running stuff, weight-loss stuff, the whole gauntlet of everything.

So I hope the sobbing I did on the car ride home burned some calories. I'm going to go back to my 1pm running dates with Ellen and treadmill #15. Maybe I should just stick to 5Ks...

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Annual Haley Visit...

...I mentioned briefly that my niece Haley stayed with us last week. Last year, when she was old enough to go to camp, she came and spent the week with me and we continued the tradition to this year. We were two busy ladies!!! Monday night we swam after camp then went to Chevy's for a fundraiser, Tuesday night Cody came over to play at the park behind our house and eat dinner, Wednesday night we joined Elizabeth, my SIL, for dinner at Texas Roadhouse for another fundraiser. Thursday we finally enjoyed a night at home and some fabulous burgers made my Chef Uncle Matt. Then Friday was the big field trip day and then St. Peters Picnic!

Wednesday was wacky and the theme was Luau. Here she is dressed for the occasion. I sent this picture to my sister and she was very impressed by the pigtails.Here is Haley with her bed partner for the week, Shadow! He is so funny because the guest room is wood floors and the bed is really high so he's scared of the room but he WANTS to sleep with anyone in that bed. Once he gets up there though, he's too scared to get down by himself. I always look forward to her coming to visit, it makes the week go by fast and I don't feel nearly as stressed! She's growing up so fast, she surprised me by her reading skills and I loved hearing the "Camper of the Day" songs...every night, 20 times a was great to have her here! Love you Hay Hay!

Friday, June 18, 2010

What I Do for a Living... thing I don't discuss on my blog is what I do for a living. This part of my life I choose to keep private. I do mention a couple things here and there but never into any detail (other than the occasional hilarious co-worker story because we just seem to have really great ones!). But don't feel bad that you're left out because a couple weeks ago, Matt came home and opened the freezer to find this: He asked me what in the world is it!?! I explained and put it back into the freezer, forgetting to take it with me to work-oops! Last week, I open the freezer and it's still there. It makes me smile and enjoy my job because really, how many other people have this in their freezer? So hit me with your best shot, let me know what you think this thing is! I'll let you know next week when I post with the Sun Chip bag update. Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

And the Winner Is...

...first off, thanks again for all your support in the half and for entering the giveaway! Did I mention that my niece is staying with me this week? Well, she is and our friend Cody came over so the two of them helped me draw the winners. (Don't you love the bowl that they are in? Matt made it!!!)
Haley, Cody, Matt and I each drew one name. Jen was the first name drawn so she'll win the big prize!!! Winners for the flip flop notepad and eraser were: Adie, Stephany and Cece!!!Thanks to everyone who played along. I have another giveaway in mind and I'm always on the lookout for something new too. Would you four lovely ladies please email me so I can figure out how to get you your goodies!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Love is a Four-Legged Word" Book Review...

...I go through spurts where I read a ton and then I don't read at all. Being that I'm technically "on call" until after 6pm M-F, I've been doing a lot of reading. I don't want to get too involved in anything before 6pm or make social plans so reading is a good way to pass the time until then. Anyways, I just finished reading "Love is a Four-Legged Word" by Kandy Shepherd...LOVED this book! Maybe I'm just into the easy read, fun, romantic books these days but I just loved it.

Summary: Maddy's landlord passes away and Maddy had promised to take care of his dog, Brutus. Tom, big shot lawyer, comes in to tell Maddy that Walter has left his millions of dollars to Brutus (AKA Maddy since she's the legal owner). Of course, Walter's greedy little nephew comes in to threaten Maddy and Brutus and Tom swoops in to the rescue.

Of course, this is very predictable as you can only imagine what happens with Tom and Maddy's relationship. It wasn't quite the page turner that "Match Me If You Can" was but it was still a good, fun, easy read.

Up next, my very first Jennifer Weiner book!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Rest of Our KC Trip...

...okay, so I spent all last week discussing the half that I didn't even get a chance to talk about the rest of our trip to KC! We stayed with two of our favorite people, Candace and Chad and BABY COLIN! I finally got to meet him on his one month birthday. I was so nervous on Friday night that I didn't even hold him but we totally bonded on Saturday.

At lunch on Saturday, Colin puked all over his mom's Cubs' shirt she was wearing-right then I knew this kid and I were going to get along. Then when Matt's cousins sat down for lunch, I pointed to Candace and Colin and without thinking said, "This is my friend Colin..." Candace and I gave each other a weird look and started busting up laughing. The rest of the weekend we joked about my friend Colin and his lame parents that had to tag along. Isn't he a handsome little devil?Saturday afternoon after a belly full of bbq and 13.1 miles on my legs, I laid down for a nap as did Candace and Colin. Bad idea! The boys finished off this (note to Candace and I-do not leave boys unattended):
Sunday morning we got up early to get on the road because I had to make it back to work that afternoon. While we were getting going, Candace ran to the store and got donuts. See the ones on the far left, those are peanut butter donuts. You all know my love for peanut butter, right? O!M!G! This was like a Reese's donut melting in my mouth...I have found a new love...Before we left, I tried to snap a shot with all of the Stracener children but both the dogs don't look they have heads so this was the best shot. Me holding Colin and giving Marley a good belly rub. C, C & C-thanks for having us! We had a great time!!! Can't wait to see you all again and I hope it's soon!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Starlet!!!

...happy birthday Starlet June, my mother-in law!!! This past Saturday, we surprised her at Balducci Winery for her, err...21st birthday! She thought it was just going to be her sister, niece and daughter but then when she arrived, I was there along with her other sister and her two daughters plus a great friend of hers. But want to know who was really surprised? All of us!!! Her sister took her to get her hair did before the lunch at the winery and Star looked like a brand new woman!!! Here she is smiling for the camera (notice the birthday plate in the lower left corner, Elizabeth had to sneak it out of the house without Star knowing so that she could have her birthday dessert on it to continue the family tradition we started this year):
Here is a picture of the whole gang, luckily a storm was passing through so it cooled everything off but it never rained on us! I told Star it didn't rain because it was her birthday, she liked that answer. Crossfire, a local STL band, was playing at the winery. I don't go to the wineries that often but I swear they are always playing no matter what winery I'm at!!! Anyways, as this picture shows, the gals got a little into the dancing and the, umm...."may pole" as we called it. It was really an awesome day because you could tell Star was shocked to see all of us there and she was just beaming the whole day, you could tell she had a fabulous day!!! So happy 21st birthday Starlet!!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

And Now a Thank You to You...

...remember this picture? My gross, disgusting blister on my toe? The first sign that I was a "real runner?"
Well, this blister gave me a great idea! Because of all of your encouragement and kind words (some of you have told me that I'm inspiring and wow-what a compliment, I just can't tell you how much that means to me! And whenever you all told me you were proud of me, I was just beaming!!!), this is what helped me get through the half training. I heart comments to begin with but after my horrible 10K race, your comments made me smile and want to keep on pushing, some maybe even made me cry. And when I did my 8 and 11 mile runs, again your comments just made my day and training even better!

So now it's my turn to thank you! I'm doing a giveaway inspired by your comments and my blister! What?! Yes, because after this past weekend, I'm treating my yucky runner's feet to a pedicure so in honor of my running feet I'm giving away items to treat your feet.

Here's what's included:

1. Cute canvas bag (to hold all your feet goodies!)
2. Foot lotion (feel free to find someone to rub that on your feet-Matt did a lot of feet rubbing for me over the last 12 weeks!)
3. Fingernail polish!!! (can't leave those toesy nakey!)
4. Pedicure tools (maybe hubby shouldn't use this unless he knows what he's doing...)
5. Pink flip-flops (to show off those cute toes!)
So the first person I randomly pick will win the first prize BUT the second, third and fourth person I draw will win one flip-flop notepad and a flip-flop eraser!
There's two ways to enter. Here's how to enter:
1. Become a follower. I'm trying to decide on my next exercise endeavor and you'll want to stay tuned to find out what I do, right? If you're already a follower, then leave one comment stating that you follow. If you're a new follower, please leave a comment saying you're a follower.
2. Leave me a comment and tell me what your exercise goals are for the rest of 2010 or what you and your spouse/friend(s) like to do to exercise.

I'll leave this open until Tuesday, June 15 at midnight and then I'll announce the winners next Thursday.

Thank you cannot tell you how much I appreciate everyone's support and encouragement. You can ask Matt because I probably read each and every one of your comments at least once, if not more, out loud to him. You all are the best!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Fans and Fellow Runners...

...did I mention that I convinced some of my sorority sisters to do the race as well? Gwen and Kim aren't in this picture but L to R: Nicki (5K), Tricia (10k) and me showing off our medals
Here were the crazy people holding the signs at the finish line for me! Colin with his sign, he may have slept through my finish but I won't hold that against him.Chad with his hot pink sign
Candace with her reversible sign. It said "YAY" on one side and "LYSS" on the other. Chad burst her bubble after I ran by them by telling her, "Your sign was upside down."
After the race, we all went to Jack's Stacks for bbq where Matt's cousins joined us. They just moved to KC and we usually only see them at holidays so that was a nice treat. Then after lunch, we got in the car and my phone rang and it was Dusty calling from Iraq!!! He told us that he'll be back stateside July 8 and should be in Missouri the end of July, just in time for the fair. So see the day just kept getting better and better!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hubs and the Half...

...what would I have done without Matt? He was amazing during my half! He tagged along with Sherrie's husband, Henry, during the race. I had given Matt two tasks: 1. To hold onto my bag and 2. To take pictures. I had a water bottle that I was going to run with but at the last minute decided not to so Matt held on to it. Great idea!!! Matt did an awesome job always having it filled up for me and, after their McDonald's stop, he'd even gotten ICE it in which at that point in the race was a huge godsend.

This is where we busted Henry (in yellow) with his McDonald's coffee and he ratted Matt out. Can you believe those two were enjoying some Mickey D's breakfast while we were running 13.1 miles?!?

Sherrie and I got to see the boys probably at least 5-6 times during the course which was great, not only for the water, but to see a familiar face and while I wouldn't tell Sherrie how tough it was or how tired I was, whenever I'd see Matt I'd tell him, "I'm so tired and there's so much further to go..." He would nod and tell me I could do it and how proud he was of me. It was just the perfect encouragement I needed.

At the last water station, our husbands met us, I took the water from Matt and grabbed his hand and told him how tired I was and how much my body hurt. He encouraged me to keep on going and finish strong. The lady at the water station really liked that because when I grabbed some water from her, she looked at my bib for my name and said, "Now Alyssa, that was just too cute!"

This is post race and if you can't tell, he's basically holding me up. I was so tired, my legs hurt, my back hurt, I could barely walk yet I was so afraid of sitting down because I knew if I did, I wouldn't be able to get up.
At some points during the race, Matt got a little too into his role of photographer and I'd have to wave at him and say, "Quit taking pictures! Let me have some water!"Not to mention how awesome he was on race day but Matt also had to put up with my complaining, limping and tears during the whole training process. So thank you, pretty, for being my biggest fan!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Half in Pictures...

...this was the starting line and isn't even HALF the people that did the half marathon plus there was a wheelchair race, a 5k and a 10k!!!
This was at the beginning of the race, look at me all smiles!Did I ever tell you that I met an awesome woman on Daily Mile named Sherrie? Sherrie is a seasoned half and full marathon runner and she offered to pace me and run the entire race with me. I don't know what I would have done without her...she's AMAZING!!! Here we are at mile 10, still smiling...
My godsend, Sherrie, who helped me complete my first half marathon!
To be honest, in all the pictures I have, I'm smiling because I was having fun. I mean, yeah I'd get to a mile marker and count how many miles we had left and I'd think to myself that I still have to run for at least another hour and I couldn't get over how flippin' hot it was but we just had fun!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Hospital Hill Half Marathon...

...I SURVIVED!!! I beat my goal of under three hours and was super close to 2:45, I finished in 2 hours 46 minutes and 42 seconds. In hindsight, I think I really could have gotten in under 2:45 but I feel awesome, had a great time and I'm not going to dwell on the coulda, shoulda, wouldas.

This was me at 5am waiting for everyone to get there and trying to shake the nerves.
I have too many pictures and too much to say so I have dedicated all my posts this week to the half. I hope I don't bore you to death but this is a huge achievement to me and I want to be sure I gather all my thoughts and document it "just right." Here is my race report from Daily Mile:

I was up at 4am eating my breakfast and trying not to freak out. Matt asked me a million times if I had everything and then we finally got on the road. I guess I was expecting more people to be freaking out like me so when we didn't see any other cars/people, I REALLY started stressing!!! We finally saw barricades and figured we must be in the right spot so we parked and started walking towards the race. I looked at Matt and in a shaky voice told him, "I don't want to do this anymore. I think I'm going to cry." Matt looked at me like I was insane and told me it wasn't option of NOT doing it, I WAS doing it.

After repeatedly telling Matt to look for Sherrie in pink, pigtails and a black Nike hat, we found each other. Start counting because I'm going to repeat this many times-thank GOD for Sherrie! No way could I have done this without her!!! After a quick pottie break, we found our way to the 2:50 pace group and the race soon started.

We just started running and the 2:50 was a little slow and before we knew it we were with the 2:40 pace team. We stayed with them all the way through at least the halfway mark. They were AWESOME!!!

Our husbands, Matt and Henry, did a great job finding us multiple times on the course and giving us extra water. At one point, Sherrie saw Henry and said, "Did you get a coffee?" Henry nodded and said, "And a sausage biscuit and Matt got a sausage burrito." Uh-oh Matt-busted! We'll discuss that later after the race...

About mile 8 though, I was hurting, my right hip hurt, my whole right side just hurt...I was hitting my wall. We fell behind at that point from the 2:40 group but kept on truckin'. Sherrie did a great job giving me tips and asking how I was feeling. Right before this, I was suddenly SO thirsty! I didn't see a water station OR our husbands anywhere in sight and I was desperately needing agua like STAT! We FINALLY got to a water station and Sherrie told me to take two cups, I did that for the rest of the water stations and it was a HUGE help. We also ran into Greg, the American flag carrying ultra marathoner, who was very supportive as well and tried giving me a few tips to help stretch out the hip.

We walked a lot of the last couple miles because I just wanted to finish and was so tired. One older lady kept walking and passing us and chatting, she was super cute and told us that she'd just completed her 85th marathon!?! What an awesome accomplishment!

Right before mile 13, the 2:50 pace group caught us so we started running. When I saw the finally turn, I looked at Sherrie and told her, "Okay, I'm ready if you are...," she agreed and we took off!!! With about a tenth of a mile left, I was so overwhelmed and could feel the tears coming on because I was about to finish my FIRST HALF MARATHON!!! As I was concentrating on the finish line, I suddenly saw a couple florescent signs being held by my awesome friends who'd come to cheer me on. I gave them a big smile and that smile got even bigger as I crossed the finish line! I guess it was just meant for me to start the day wanting to cry and ending it on the same note but for totally opposite reasons.

So there you have it folks, I did it, I finished my first half marathon. I pushed myself to my limits and did something I didn't think I ever could. This is something that I'll be talking about for months to come because it feels awesome and not too many people can say that they've ran 13.1 miles at one time!!!

Going into the race, I was so nervous, anxious and even a little intimidated but the more I ran, I realized that running is for everyone. You have people out there of all shapes, sizes, ages, backgrounds, reasons for running so there's really nothing to be intimidated about. Everyone is there with the same goal in mind to finish their race and to do it the best they can.

I'll finish with a thank you. Thank you to all my friends out're faith, encouragement and support are what got me here today. And Sherrie-I know I told you like a million times but there's NO way I could have done this today without you. You are amazing and words cannot truly express how much I appreciate you staying by my side today. THANK YOU!!!


Friday, June 4, 2010

Gearing Up for the Half...

...AHH!!! It's tomorrow!!! Where did the time go??? Since March 15, two days after my 27th birthday, I set out on a mission to run a half-marathon...that's 13 POINT 1 miles people!!! What was I thinking!?! Tomorrow is the big day and I'm so anxious, excited, nervous, scared, I have to pee five million times ready for it to get here...I just can't wait!!! It's been a long time since I've looked forward to something like this, yes, I said look forward to. For those of you that know me well, who would have have thunk that I'd be saying I was looking forward to running 13.1 miles!?! It's insane!!!

Since March 15, I've done 66 workouts, ran/walked 246.98 miles and devoted over 41 hours of working out. Wow, when I actually type it out like that, it doesn't look like that much so hopefully its enough to get me through the race tomorrow. I've had some awesome runs that left me with the biggest runner's high and I've had some really horrible runs that have left me feeling lost and defeated. Tomorrow is the day I find out how I'll do.

Can I be honest and not get any, "oh you'll be fine" or "you're crazy!" comments? Want to know what my biggest fear is tomorrow? My first goal is 1. to finish and my second goal is to finish under 3 hours. I haven't VERBALLY (or written) this out but based on my long distance runs outside, I've been averaging about 12.30 minute miles which would put me around 2.45ish. My biggest fear is that I have that number in the back of my head and if I don't hit it, I'm going to be disappointed in myself. Yes, I will be able to say I finished a half marathon but I'm so scared that I'm going to let myself down. I, of course, always worry that I'm going to let everyone else down too but I know you guys, my family and friends will be proud of me for finishing so now my biggest fear is me. I'm afraid that I'm going to finish a half marathon and be disappointed because I didn't run it in the time that I "should."

I've been getting ready all week...packing my race day bag (kind of like your pregnancy bag for the hospital except mine has clean shorts and a t-shirt, flip flops and deodorant), confirming plans with everyone, reading the race website daily, planning my meals carefully (I already have a banana and oatmeal laid out for breakfast on Saturday), deciding on drinks and medicine to keep me hydrated (like only water after Wednesday and no more prednisone-sorry I live on this stuff now that it's "officially" poison season), making sure I have at least four ponytail holders for the pigtails and extra if they break, my AGD visor which totally won't match the rest of my outfit (ugh that pink and red my opinion at least), and the list goes on.

I'm getting really excited for this! I'm going to get to meet some of my Daily Mile friends, and most importantly, I'm going to prove to myself and everyone else that I can do it. I'm also a little sad that it's near because, it's like your wedding day, you work so hard and dedicate so much time and then in a blink of an eye it'll be done. I've been talking about this for almost three months now so I've got to decide what I want to do next (I have an idea but I'm not going to commit until the end of July/beginning of August so you'll just have to stay tuned in to find out what!!!).

To sign off, I want to thank each and every one of you (even the blog stalkers) for your kind words, support, encouragement and for dealing with me blabbing about this silly thing for three months now. The next time you hear from me, I will hopefully be able to say, "I've ran a half marathon" and the crazy thing is I have never in my entire life wanted nor thought that I could do this and in less than 24 hours, we'll find out!

In case you're interested or you're bored on Saturday morning, I thought I'd share this with you:

"NEW in 2010, we will broadcast the Hospital Hill Run start/finish line LIVE on our website. If you have a friend or a family member who is unable to attend the race, tell him or her to visit the Hospital Hill Run site on race day. He or she can watch the start and finish of every race, LIVE! There is no fee to watch. The website is"

Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

"Match Me If You Can" Book Review... back in February, Chelsea hosted a book swap and I'm 100% horrible and JUST finished reading my book. The deal with the book swap was to pick your favorite book, put a note in it and send it to Chelsea who then picked who got what book. Rachel sent me this book and here's what her note said:

"This book is a fun, easy read. There is not a lot of substance but it brings a smile to my face. Every time I read it I enjoy it more and more. To me, that's a sign of a great book!"

So first off thank you Chelsea for hosting the book swap and thank you Rachel for sending me "Match Me If You Can" by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

I picked up this book quite a few times from February-May to start it but could never really get into it. Then this past Memorial Day weekend, I sat down to start and finish this book.

A quick review in my words, Annabelle is the family screw up and trying to start a matchmaking business. She scores a high profile client who is already signed with Annabelle's biggest competition. The book goes through all the mishaps, close calls and, of course, the love in the process. I must say it is pretty predictable but I still LOVED IT!

It is kind of slow moving at first but wow! The middle part of the book was great! I couldn't put it down, I'd say to myself, "I'll read to the end of this chapter," and then BAM! SURPRISE! and I'd HAVE to keep reading. This is what kept me up until after midnight!!! There is also a sub-plot in the book that I found equally as interesting. As I stated above, the book is predictable but I would definitely recommend it for a fun easy read.

Thanks Chelsea and Rachel!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What's Growing in my Pantry???

...Friday after my 11 mile run, I knew that if I sat down I would never get up so I tried to keep busy doing laundry, cleaning out the guestroom, getting ready for the trip to KC this weekend and cleaning out the pantry. Uh...this is what I found:
What is it? POTATOES!!!
Apparently we don't eat potatoes fast enough and then they grow crazy roots in our pantry!!! Good thing I found this baby during the daylight hours and not in the dark or I would have been FREAKING OUT!!! So...what's growing in your pantry?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My Day with My Boys...

...although I had to work on Saturday, I still had a pretty fabulous weekend. I spent all day Sunday reading my book from Chelsea's book swap and I absolutely loved it...kept me up past midnight with the page turner!

Then on Monday, I spent the day with my two favorite husband and my dad! Matt and I spent the morning tidy up for Butchie. First, we made some sun tea on the front porch.
Then we got out our ice cream maker and started a batch of butter pecan (Butchie's favorite!)
Then after a lunch of steak and potatoes (I told you we're meat eaters at the G household), we drove Butchie through St. Peters showing him the houses that have developed, Matt's uncle's farm, our friend's new house being built up from the flood. Then we went out to Quail Ridge Park and showed my dad how to play frisbee golf.

Here's Matt throwing (please ignore my finger on the right side, it was really bright out and I couldn't see the screen plus I had frisbees in my hands too!)Here's Butchie throwing (again ignore my finger)
YES! We all made it to the basket!!!
My dad had never heard of frisbee golf (it's not in Cape at all apparently) but he kept saying that he really liked it which made me feel good. I felt bad we only played three holes but then the course goes into the woods and I'd forgotten bug spray so I wasn't about to chance getting some ticks and poison PLUS it started lightning as the storm rolled in.

I love when my parents come visit but I also always feel bad because usually they just end up taking us out to eat and maybe some shopping so it felt good to feed Butchie this time and do something fun and active! I'm glad he was able to come visit...hubs and I really need to make a trip to Cape-its been too long!

Hope you all had a great Memorial Day!