My Year In Racing

This is the best way I could think of to sum up my year in racing:

I think this is also my favorite photo!

Lets Review:

Two 5k’s

One 8k

One 10-miler

One duathlon

One relay tri

One sprint tri

Four half-marathons!

I cannot even express the pride I feel when I see that picture.  And when I reflect on all those races, I smile.  It represents the promise I made to myself to get healthy, the road I took to become a better person and the journey that still continues.  It represents more than I could ever put into words.  All the hard work, all the sacrifices…it is all worth it when I see that photo and remember those races.  It means everything ❤

In honor of the end of 2009, I would like to do a quick recap of the year:

  • Favorite races: Broad Street 10-miler, Belmar Triathlon, Philadelphia Distance Run and Baltimore Half-Marathon.
  • Favorite courses: Philadelphia Distance Run and Philadelphia Half-Marathon
  • Favorite medal: Baltimore Half-Marathon
  • Biggest challenges: Delaware Half-Marathon, Philadelphia Woman’s Duathlon and Baltimore Half-Marathon
  • Most proud moments: Finishing my first half-marathon (Delaware) and my sub-30 5k (Run for Tony)

I thought about writing my best and worst experiences, but after some thought, I realized they are all great moments.  Even the worst ones are great ones.  There was not one single race that did not challenge me in some way.

  • During Broad Street, I ran for 3 miles in pouring freezing rain.
  • In Delaware, for my first half-marathon, I ran in freezing hail (in MAY!!) and faced my fears head on when I had to run over a shaky drawbridge.  As an added bonus, mile 12 was all uphill.
  • At the Scott Coffee 8k, I had to overcome missing my goal time by 2 seconds.  It was a tough pill to swallow!
  • I had to face disappointment when, due to weather, the Philadelphia Woman’s Triathlon was turned to a Duathlon.  The swim is my best discipline and I was really uncertain of a duathlon.  But I did it and I liked it.  And, I added duathlete to my resume.
  • At the Belmar Triathlon, I faced my fear of the ocean by swimming in it for 500 meters.  I then had to pull myself together after witnessing a bike accident.  It shook me to my core, as this is also a huge fear of mine, but I was able to focus and finish my own bike portion.
  • I met my goal of a sub-30 PR at the Run for Tony.  This is hands down the highlight of my year in racing.
  • I dealt with ITB set-backs throughout the Philadelphia Distance Run but pushed through and finished with a very respectable time.
  • In Baltimore I took on the crazy hills.  All of them.  And there were a lot of them!  I had fun with the whole race and because of my laid-back approach, it ended up being one of my favorite races even though it was the most difficult.
  • A week after Baltimore, I ran the Delanco 5k…it was pouring, freezing and I did not want to run.  But I got dressed and got my but out there.  It was uncomfortable and not fun at all, but in the end, I was still glad I raced.  Of course, coming out of it with $20 to Dicks and 2 bottles of wine helped 🙂
  • I ran the Philadelphia Half-Marathon despite all my set-backs.  First I had to swallow my pride and drop from the full to the half, then I had to go into the race on very little training due to an extremely difficult semester and then as luck would have it, I got sick the week before the race.  As it turns out, I ran with a double ear infection.  It wasn’t my best race, but I finished.  This race epitomized what it is all about for me.

And lastly, I want to thank each and every person that made this year special for me.  In running, triathlon and in life.  Racing has truly been a blessing in my life.  Some people have embraced this with me and sadly, some haven’t.  I have lost a few friends along the way, but I have gained so many more.  I could not do this without the support of all my friends and family but there are two people who deserve a special shout-out.

  • My Mom- my best friend, my biggest supporter, my cheerleader, my sign-maker, my heart.  There are not enough words to thank you for everything you have done for me, but I will try!  For all the days you took off to watch me race, for all the nights you spent sleeping on my couch, for all the early mornings, for all the times I needed someone to yell at and that someone was you, for the endless encouragement, for always listening about swimming and biking and running, for never ever doubting me, for being at the finish lines, for being on the phone when you couldn’t be at the finish lines, for dealing with heat and the rain and cold, and most of all for always believing in the beauty of my dreams ❤
  • BrianZ- you were there for my first 10-miler and my first half-marathon.  You have run with me in five races- the entire Philly Half at my pace!!!  You never let me get myself down.  You are more than a teammate, and more than a friend…you are my inspiration.  Thank you for believing in me when I did not always.  Thank you for the endless support.  I am not kidding Brian…when I finally get around to that first Marathon…you are my pacer!

And to you all, my bloggies…we may all live in different places and we may all have different lives, but here we all come together.  Whether we swim, bike, run or do all three, this is our common ground.  I am lucky to have you all and I thank you for reading, sharing, and commenting throughout the year.  I know I am meeting some of you for sure, but I hope to meet many of you at some point.

What was your favorite race of 2009?  Proudest Moment?

We are only 3 sleeps away from the New Year and all I have to say to 2010 is BRING. IT. ON. 🙂

I will catch you all on the 2010 side…I’ll be starting the year off with a 5k, a giveaway and my 2010 race schedule!  Stay tuned bloggies, the journey continues!!!

2010 Goals- Nutrition

Before I begin there are three things you need to know:

  1. I love food.  All food.  And I refuse to deprive myself.  Even on weight watchers I always managed to enjoy my food and treat myself to the things I love most.
  2. I love to eat.  A lot.  I eat for all occasions…happy, sad, stressed, calm…I just like to eat.
  3. Since starting Weight Watchers a little over two years ago, I have come a long way.  But lately, I have been majorly slacking.  I see myself falling into the same habits that got me to Weight Watchers in the first place.  By no means do I think I am fat (at all- and it disturbs me when girls who aren’t at all fat, call themselves fat), but I have put on some weight over the last two months and I know how fast it can spiral.  It took a lot more hard work to lose the 25 lbs than it did to put them on.  This time, I am looking to stop the problem before it starts.  I don’t ever want to be back at a place where I cannot stand to look at myself.  I never want to be out of control again.  But in all honesty…that is where I see myself headed.  Luckily, because I have been down this road, I know I can do this…I know I have what it takes.

Nutrition Goals for 2010-

  • Be more consistent 1- One of the best things about Weight Watchers is that it taught me to eat small meals throughout the day.  I would eat breakfast, a snack, lunch, a snack, dinner and a snack.  I was never hungry and I ate a whole heck of a lot better.  In the last few months I have been struggling financially and therefore eating poorly.  Either I don’t eat at all or I eat a big meal to carry me through two meals.  This is perhaps the worst habit I have as far as eating goes and it must change.
  • Be more consistent 2- In addition to being off on the timing of my meals, I have also been off in there value.  Again, this has a lot to do with finances.  I haven’t been able to afford the foods I should be eating and therefore I eat much of my food where I work.  Employees get a school lunch for only $2.  It isn’t the worst food, nutritionally they are okay, and I think is is okay to have them once in a while but they aren’t cutting it for me on the daily.  And all too often I find myself eating pasta for dinner because it is cheap and lasts me more than one meal.  I have to be more aware of what I am eating throughout the day, regardless of my finances.
  • Budget for food- This is hopefully the solution I need for consistency.   I often skip food shopping because I don’t have money and then I just make do with what I have.  This year, I am going to better budget my money so I always have what I need to cook healthy meals in the house.
  • No more soda- In the past I have given up soda for years at a time.  It never bothered me.  Then one day, I started drinking Diet Coke at lunch. Eventually it was lunch and dinner and before I knew it I was buying it and keeping it in the house.  Suddenly I found myself drinking a lot of Diet Coke’s throughout the day/night.  Soda is no good.  As of Jan 1, 2010, soda is out.
  • Skip the scale- I do not keep track of my exact weight.  I stopped using a scale over a year ago and only get weighed at the doctor.  I try to concentrate more on how I feel than the number on the scale but it is difficult.  Starting in 2010, when the doctor weighs me, I do not want to know the number.  I am simply going to stand backwards on the scale and request they not tell me.  All it does it make me focus on the negative.  I can judge on my own simply by the clothes I wear and how I feel.  I do not need a number to define me.
  • Go back to the basics- This is quite simple…less fat, less calories, less sugar…and more of the good stuff.  Specifically more fruits and veggies.  Less whites and more whole grains.  More small meals and less huge meals.  More water.  Less bad and more good!

The new year is a good time for resolutions, but this is more than that…this is getting my life back on track.  I did so well for so long and in the recent months I really fell off the food wagon.  And it is time to get back on!!!

What are some of your 2010 nutrition goals?

Bye, Bye Christmas

I hate when Christmas is all over!  It is like this whole build up…you plan and wait and get all excited and then, it is just over.  The good news is, for my family, it is not entirely over.  We do my mom’s side holiday party on New Years Day…we like to stretch things out.  Plus, it makes for a lot less hectic Christmas Day.

But…back to the real world.  Well, sort of for me.  I still have 8 more days off of work 🙂 🙂 🙂  However, I have a lot on the agenda this week and I am sure it is going to fly by.  Next Sunday I am going to be wondering where my vacation went!

My holiday really was wonderful.  Different, but wonderful.  We unfortunately saw some traditions come to an end, but we also started new traditions that will hopefully continue a long time.

I don’t so much have a week in review, so I am going to skip that and share some photos of my favorite gifts from Christmas:

This is my special Christmas Eve gift- a handcrafted, hand-painted, box to hold all my medals.

Close-up: the swimmer, biker and runner are all based on photos my mom gave the lady so they are actually me 🙂  And you all recognize the quote right!

Whoa closeup!  The ornament says “All I want for Christmas is a new PR”

In support of one of my favorite charities, the hat is from Back on my Feet.  The headband is SO me and this also came with a (not pictured) gift certificate to my favorite sports store and a new subscription to Runners World magazine.

A Tassimo coffee machine.  Seriously….awesome!!!!


And my favorite photo from the holiday…this is from Christmas Eve dinner at my parents house:

Me with my Gram and my younger cousins Megan, Allison and Jessica.  I have many cousins but my bond with them is more like that of sisters.  And we all adore our Grandmother.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and I hope Santa treated you all very well 🙂

Snowy Run and One More Sleep!

Merry Christmas Eve 🙂

This morning I woke up at my parents house (yes, I am still here) and had the urge to go for a run.  Luckily, when I packed my bags to stay here I packed most of my running stuff so I was prepared.  It was 9am and a blustery 24degrees but it was wonderful!  I just went out and had fun with it…stopped along the way to really enjoy it and I took lots of photos!

Before my run…

My gloves- gotta have the fingers free for picture-taking (and yes my nails are real!).


Had to be careful…very icy!!!!

Luckily, most of the street had a clear pathway.

The ducks were out for a morning swim.

More duck friends.

About halfway through…my face says it all- I must be crazy!!!

My gorgeous view.  I am not a fan of snow, but it was so unbelievably beautiful out there this morning.

 All done!  Felt great, however…I did not anticipate the frozen eyelashes!  My eyes were watering and it would freeze!

After my run I finished up some last minute errands and then came back here to help out around the house.  Tonight is our annual Christmas Eve dinner and then tomorrow Santa comes- one more sleep ❤ 

I will, of course, be taking lots of photos!

I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday…I’ll be back after Christmas with my last two goals posts and my 2010 race calendar.  Oh, and a really sweet give-a-way!!!  Stay tuned 🙂

Three Things Tuesday- Holidays & Photos

Holiday Shirt: This is the shirt I wore for work today 🙂  We were allowed to dress down because our work holiday party is tonight.  Dress down days are always awesome, but due to the mass amounts of snow still out, it was even better!

Holiday Tree: This is our school’s giving tree- I work in a fairly poor community and we have many families in need.  Take note, the tree is empty!!!!!  All of the tags were taken and many gifts have been provided 🙂

Holiday Gifts: There was much madness this morning (snow day yesterday, holidays coming up…) but all of these goodies made dealing with the craziness just a bit easier.  It really is nice to be appreciated 🙂

Let’s Just Forget That!

Ok, so here’s the thing…my landlord STILL has not plowed my lot (I have a huge apt update coming soon!) therefore I am going to continue crashing at my parents house for at least another day or two.  I don’t have my laptop here so I am using my parents computer.  I have decided that since last week was pretty much a bust due to holiday craziness and the weather, that there will be no week in review.  I will give you a quick update though:

  • I  hate the snow.
  • The only upside is that my school was closed so I got an extra day off to catch up on everything I would have done over the weekend.
  • Last week I only got in two out of three runs.  Was not running in a blizzard and the gym was closed. 
  • I am ridiculously behind on my google reader. 
  • Oh, and I hate snow.

Ok bloggies…back to the grind!  I still have a few more stores to hit and all my gifts to wrap.  It is going to be a crazy few days!! 

Are you in a snowy area??  Did you get hit hard??  Do you like the snow?


I have been snowed in at my parents house since Saturday morning- I left my house super early to escape before I didn’t have a choice.

Week in Review is rescheduled until tomorrow…until then, enjoy these 🙂

Early Saturday morning before I left for my parents.

Outside the car later Saturday afternoon

View of the river at my parents house Sunday morning.

My parents backyard Sunday morning.