Best run of the year. Nuff said.

Today (NYE) is my 2 year runniversary. Wooohoooo! To kick off the celebration I pounded out 21 miles like it was 2011. Wait, it is 2011. Look at this sunrise. Are you kidding me? Perfection.

I started in a long sleeve but by mile 7 it was too warm and ended up in a tank. That’s how nice the weather is right now. It feels like summer. Crazy! 

I ran through 7 communities on my 21 mile adventure. Pretty sweet. I ran up the stairs at the convention center and turned around to get a pic of downtown. I wish it was better quality but I can’t ask much of my old janky my cell phone. I’m lucky it even takes pictures. Not kidding.

This was my best long run of the year. I finished in 2:47:49. I can’t believe it. That’s a 7:59 pace!! Ahhhhhhh! Are you kidding me? RUNNERS HIGH. My last 11 miles were all sub 8 min miles. WHAT? WHO AM I? 

Now, if I could just figure out how to run a race like this I will be PR’ing like a MOFO in 2012. If anyone has any insight it would be much appreciated.


Now it’s time to fix up my hair and put some makeup and get ready to ring in 2012.

Happy New Year my friends! May you all be blessed with GOOD HEALTH! This is going to be a GREAT year for all of us!!

How will YOU celebrate tonight?




Wednesday Night Lights

After yesterday’s speed workout I decided to take the day off of work and headed to the Q with the fam to watch Texas vs. Cal in the  Holiday Bowl.

If you didn’t already know my main squeeze is from Texas. He lives and breathes Tejas football. He has a tattoo of the state on his shoulder. He is straight up TEXAS.

It was beautiful weather for tailgating! I think it was close to 70 degrees. The sunset before kick off was spectacular

We made it into the stadium just in time to see the flag ceremony. So cool!

 Luck for us we had seats right in the CAL section. Nothing like a family decked out orange in a sea of blue.

It took everything in us not to totally celebrate Texas laying the smack down on CAL. This wasn’t our first rodeo and we knew we better keep ourselves in line. Buttttt that doesn’t mean it was easy!

Final score Texas 21 Cal 10. Thank you, Longhorns, for making it a nice peaceful evening in my household.


If you haven’t heard about the near cancellation of the Operation Jack satellite run in Houston go check out OUAL’s blog. I love her passion!

Only 3 days left in 2011! Make each one of them count!

Dear Garmin, please be nice to me.

As some of you saw on Twitter yesterday I am apparently an idiot when it comes to IT stuff. Although I am on a computer downloading/uploading daily I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out how to get my new Garmin 405 to sync to my computer.

I spent an hour downloading, registering, re-registering, downloading and getting extremely irritated all to get my run to “wirelessly sync” to my computer. HOLY FRICKEN NIGHTMARE. I had to walk away and take a shower to refocus. For those of you that have a Garmin why is it so complicated to get the thing set up? For Peet’s sake, it should be a one step process. With Nike I just had to plug my GPS watch into the USB drive (just like the sportband) and whamo, I was logged in to view my info. One step. Simple = awesome.

I finally found online tech support and got it to work. Woohooo! Once I got logged in I saw these beautiful splits from my Monday morning run!

The first 4 miles were hilly and hard. I was tired and had to really talk myself into continuing on. I got an easy downhill at 5 and started to feel good. At miles 6-7 and hit a TON of red lights but I knew I was getting close to a path where I would be able to just run. Once I got there I got into a groove and never looked back. The last 3 miles were mostly flat with a few gentle rollers and I kicked it into gear. It felt so good!

I have been wavering back and forth about Carlsbad. This run was definitely a confidence booster. I NEED these kind of runs to keep me going.


I can’t believe we only have 5 days left in 2011. How are you going to ring in 2012?!


And Then It Was Christmas

After a 9 miler on Friday morning we kicked off Christmas weekend with service at The Rock

When it says there will be snow, there will be snow. We had a FREEZE warning in SD on Friday night. Yes, you read that right. It was 68 in the afternoon, and 28 on Friday night. 28 at the beach.

OK, it didn’t actually snow snow. But there was snow. 

And it wasn’t only outside, it snowed during service too!

Seriously, my church did it right this year. All of the kids were allowed in the sanctuary so we got to have a family service. You could hear giggles and crying and everything you should when kids are around. It was absolutely beautiful.

Saturday morning I had every intention of busting out my 15 miler. I woke up and was plain exhausted. I decided not to run and just enjoy the day with my family. So worth it. I can run any old day, time with my kids while they are small is priceless.

We packed up and headed 45 min north to my parentals house. My mom started the luminary tradition in her neighborhood so while the boys prepped food (yes you read that right) the ladies got all of the luminaries put together and lined up along the neighborhood.

We hopped in the back of my brother’s truck and headed to the top of Lookout to get the bags lined up. So pretty at the top of the hill

We figured since it was so serene it was the perfect opportunity for a family self portrait

Me. my mom and my sister. No I am not adopted. I just ended up being the light-haired Italian of the family. I look my Dad. We’re the good looking ones, just ask him :) (Kidding Mom…and Pooks…and Joe)

It took our crew about 90 minutes to get them all out and then we headed home. We wanted to get dinner ready before the lighting at 6. It was hard to get a good photo of how pretty it looked all lit up. But here is an idea of what it looked like

After it was all said and done we got to grubbin. You may (or may not) know that many Italian family’s eat fish for dinner on Christmas Eve. Some do the Feast of 7 fishes- we do our own modern SoCal version known as make your own sushi. Fish is fish people. This is one of my favorite family traditions!

I don’t mean to brag but we don’t mess around. My Mom has SKILLZ

I think we went through 10 pounds of fish. Yes, we were proud of that. 

After all the grub it was time for another tradition. Opening Christmas jammies! We have done this since I was a kid and I love it. My favorite part is when we try to get all of the kids to take a “good” picture. HA!

No you are not getting a picture of me in my jammies. Not right now anyway.

After all of the festivities we headed home. It’s the one night of the year that we get ASKED to hurry up and get back to the house so that we didn’t miss the jolly old fellow

And then the night was over and it was time to celebrate.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Day 3: It’s gettin’ crazy up in here.

Today is Day #3 of sticking to RLRF. It is amazing how good my legs/feet feel. I have intermittently used the plan as a guide for speedwork and tempo runs, but have now committed sticking to this training through the month of January. I just feel like it is the only option for me at this point given my super crazy schedule and back to back races quickly approaching! Eeeeeeee!!!!!

For those of you interested here is what this week looks like:

Mon: Rest

Tues: Mile repeats. 20 min warm @ easy, 3×1600 @ 6:51 w/400m active recovery between sets, 10 min cool

Weds: Crosstrain (I did spin followed by core/strength training)

Thurs: 11 miles. 1 mile @ easy, 10 miles @ 8:12 avg pace

Fri: Crosstrain

Sat: 15 miles @ 8:12 avg pace

Sun: Rest

Just reading that makes me smile. No stress, no “fast” long runs, no running a zillion miles a day. Legs are happy. Now let’s just hope it doesn’t result in total failure come January. A few weeks ago Josh Cox tweeted saying something along the lines of  if you want to be a better runner than you need to run more. That is great for people who have time to run. I, unfortunately only have the option of 5 am running so not to disrupt my commitment to my family. Oh yeah, and my job. I am so busy during the day that I often can’t remember what I had for breakfast. Or I remember  what I ate but I don’t really remember what it tasted like because I was scarfing while doing 73 other things. Sound familiar?

Ladies- you feel me, right?


Do you stick to a training plan or are you a super woman/man like OUAL and don’t train and still bust out sub-2 hour half marathons?

Are you travelling for Christmas/New Years? What are your plaaannnnzzzzzzz?

Nonsensical Ramblings.

Heeeelllllloooooo everyone! Happy Monday and Happy Christmas week. Are you all ready?!?

This is my favorite time of year. I love decorating, I love celebrating and I love that we end the year on such a high note. In a time where everyone is constantly rushing, stressing, etc it is so NEEDED to just stop and wrap up the year in a positive way.  It’s the best! Looooooove it. 

The past week has been kind of a whirl wind tying up loose ends in the office. I have been working very long hours and as a result my running has been lacking a bit. My hubs and kids brought me coffee last Friday and it made my day. Loved getting that distraction in the midst of chaos! Right now we are in the middle of Relative Performance Reviews (RPRs) and I want my team’s hard work to be recognized. That’s just how I roll. Taking it to the mattresses baby.

Sooooo last week’s workouts ended up looking like this:

Monday: 8 miles

Tuesday: 6.3 miles

Weds: Vegas- nada

Thursday: 1 mile, 20 min spin, 1.15 miles, weights

Fri: rest

Sat: 4.4 miles that were AWFUL. Just plan bad.

20.85 total miles. Eeeek. I guess it’s better than nothin. How did I make up for it?

Sun: Walked a zillion miles at…DISNEYLAND!

There is nothing like taking a break from the crazy and just enjoying Christmas at Disneyland. 

My husband proposed to me in front of this castle. In front of everyone. Talk about feeling like a real life princess. I know, you are barfing a little right now. That’s ok, I’ll take the pukey moment. Needless to say this is my favorite spot in the whole park! 

H-man was super irritated that I wanted to take ANOTHER picture when all he wanted to do was go on the Buzz Lightyear ride. How dare I waste one more second on a photo? DUH.

One person who didn’t mind photos?

Little Cinderella lets me take pictures all day long. She is practicing for when she is famous. Or a beauty queen. OR both.

So now you have an idea of where I have been and what I have been up to! I am so looking forward to this last week of hard work to get a few days off to enjoy time with the fam.

Running wise I took a rest day today but I really need to get back at it with Carlsbad being about 5 weeks away. I have pretty much decided that I am going back to training on the Run Less Run Faster plan for the next couple of months. With my schedule it will still help me get in the quality runs while avoiding injury. We all know how my PF loves to try to make a come back.

Anyone have any exciting plans this week? New Years? Races?

IF you haven’t signed up to participate in an event that will get you active in 2012 what are you waiting for?!? If I can drag my sorry butt out of bed at 4:15 in the morning you can too. No, it’s not always fun but it’s worth it! Come on peeps: 2012 IS YOUR YEAR TO COMMIT TO GET FIT!

A quickie. I’m talking about this post, sheesh, where is your mind?

Thank you all for your kind words on my last post about my beauty of a daughter! Her attitude this morning was proof of her strong will to survive. That girl can throw a tantrum. Little miss innocent; her looks are deceiving. I have no idea where she gets that from. Weird.

After a whirl wind of a work trip to Vegas I am back in crazy town. I wish I could have a camera follow me around so you all could see what I do all day. Unfortunately I had to sign a confidentiality agreement when I took this job so it’s out of the question. BOOOOOOOO. Maybe one day I’ll write a book.

So until I get home and get organized you are getting this lame three paragraph post. Yep, this is it peeps. But don’t fret, me and my bag full of junk food will be home in a few hours and my key board will be on FIRE. For now I leave you with this little ditty from CoolMarriedGuy. He is bringing camping to a whole new level.

And you thought your Snuggie was rad.

Monday Runday and My Miracle Baby

Today’s Run: 8 miles, 1:02, progressive TM run at .5% incline

After being inspired by my good friend Chacha (she laid the smack down at Santa to Sea yesterday) I decided I better get my act together if I am going to be ready for Carlsbad. I have a tendancy to get lazy with my pace during this time of year. I mean why would I want to run fast when I could be snuggled on the couch with hot cocoa? Just sayin. When I do this come race day I end up running at training pace and not a goal race pace. Time to break that bad boy of a habit!

I got out of bed at 4:15 and was to the gym by 4:45. Determination people. I had it today. I warmed up at at 8:27 pace and decided I would increase speed each mile with my goal to be all out sprinting at the end. Is this a good idea 1 week post marathon? Maybe not, but I felt good and my legs/feet are not screaming.

As planed I increased each mile until I was at when felt like a sprint (6:40 pace) for the last .75. When I was done I had completed 8 miles in 62 min, average 7:45 pace. Sweat fest complete.


I briefly mentioned in my Week In Review post that I talked about my miracle daughter at The Rock Runners and Triathletes weekly run. I am not good at leading devotionals or praying out loud but I am good at sharing my stories in writing.  I want to share this story with you all because it changed my life. This is going to be a long, wordy, post so bear with me.

Disclaimer: I am not in any way, shape or form trying to push a relationship with God on any of you. I hope if nothing else you see that miracles do happen! This blog is about running but I think it’s important for you to all know that running is not what defines me. My priorities in life are God, my family and my friends. Running is just an added blessing. But knowing me and what inspires me is important. And sometimes when people see that prayers are answered it can be life changing.  All babies are miracles, but this is a bit different. This is my story:

I had suffered a pregnancy loss before my son was born and then another before I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. I was pregnant 4 times in 3 years and only had one living child.  A loss is never easy and it made me one of the most cautious pregnant ladies on the planet. No coffee, no lunch meat unless it was steaming hot, no sushi, no hot dogs, no anything-that-could-compromise-my-bitty-baby. I went to the gym religiously and made sure my heart rate never exceeded 120 BPM. Doc said to be cautious and boy did I listen. I am a rule follower. Most of the time :)

At around 34 weeks I was at work and knew something was wrong. I hadn’t felt baby girl move in more than 5 hours and ended up heading to labor and delivery. During monitoring, they noticed her heart rate dropped with contractions and decided to start twice weekly non-stress tests. I am not sure why they did not do an ultrasound at that time but just hearing a heartbeat on the monitor made me feel a little better.

Each week I headed to the hospital twice a week. I would get hooked up to monitors, they would do a quick check on the baby and then I would sit through non-stress tests. While I was able to get the required 10 movements out of miss thang things were just never “right.” Mother’s intuition I guess.

On Monday March 2nd I went in for my 37 week appointment. Everything seemed to go well; we heard her heart beating and she moved a few times when we tried to get measurements. I hadn’t gained any weight in a month but apparently per my doctor it was not a huge concern. I thought it was weird as when I was pregnant with my son I gained weight each week at the end. Here I was getting close to delivering my baby and had only gained 17 pounds.  I was at the nurses station checking out when my doc walked out to the counter. She told me at that time that she checked my measurements for the past 3 weeks and nothing had changed. She ordered an immediate ultrasound at the hospital just to make sure things were ok. My heart sunk. I knew something was wrong.

Tuesday night LD and I headed to the hospital for the ultrasound. The tech began taking measurements and we immediately saw that my baby girl was measuring behind by about 3 weeks. He measured my bag of water which had dropped from 9.4 that morning at my NST to 7.0. He flipped a switch to check her cord and we could see it was wrapped around her neck several times (after you have been pregnant 4 times you can tell what is what on an ultrasound. Not sure if that’s good or bad). The tech said he didn’t see anything that was cause for immediate concern and told us doc would follow up the next day and sent us home. In my heart I knew something was wrong. LD reassured me that no matter what, the doc would follow up the next day and that everything would be ok. I am pretty sure we both prayed most of that night.

Wednesday morning came and we got a call from the doctor around 6:00. He informed me that he saw the ultrasound report and that they have decided that out bitty baby would be safer on the outside then on the inside and to pack our bags and get to the hospital asap. They were going to induce labor. I was scared. I was not ready for this

I took a shower, waited for my mom to get to the house and LD and I headed out. We checked in around 930 am and met with the doc. They put me on the monitor and the little princess was doing well. We told the doc the reason for NST’s and that her heart rate was decelerating with contractions. He said that the cord could have a kink, but that he would induce labor and if she couldn’t handle it, they would do a c-section. I knew in my heart that there was no way she could handle an induction. I was monitored for an hour. I didn’t have any contractions and was not dilated so doc approved starting the induction. I started crying and told the nurse that if they induced labor I knew my baby girl would not make it.  That is when God decided to intervene. Contractions then started coming every 2-4 minutes. My bitty girl’s heart rate dropped every time (at one point it was down to 10 beats per minute) and would then go back up after each contraction. My nurse Lucia said she would wait to see what happened. Smart, smart nurse. It was not more than 5 minutes later when a pretty big contraction came on and Sloane’s heart rate dropped so low that we were suddenly surrounded by several doctors and nurses. It was right then that the doc said there was no way he would start and induction and that a c-section would need to be done immediately. Praise the lord.

We were wheeled back to the OR when things got started. I was so happy that they didn’t have to put me under as I wanted to hear my baby girl cry to know that she was ok. Within 3 minutes she arrived with the tiniest cry we had ever heard. That’s when the doc came over to show us her cord. He said he couldn’t believe it. She had a true knot in her cord at the belly button, in addition it was then wrapped around her neck 3 times. He had never seen a true knot and it was then that he called her the “miracle baby.” We were told that the chances of a true knot are one in a million; That it apparently only occurs in 1% of all pregnancies and typically results in fetal demise in utero. She survived-and it was likely that the knot occurred at 34 weeks. They couldn’t believe she was alive. She had only received very little nutrients from 34 weeks to delivery; but what she did receive went to complete brain development as well as heart and organ function. IF THAT’S NOT GOD SHOWING SCIENCE WHO IS BOSS I AM NOT SURE WHAT IS! She is healthy and they have not found one problem with her! Praise the lord!

Miss Thang was born on March 4th 2009, 37 weeks old, 4 lbs 15 oz. Her cry sounds like a cat’s meow!

We were in the hospital for 4 days and she was jaundiced and had to stay under the bili-lights for a night. She beat that within a day and was released home. When we left, she was a mighty 4 lbs 9 oz.

She was the tiniest, sweetest baby girl. A true fighter. We are so blessed! There are big things in store for this little sassy lady. One day she may even beat me in a race…but it will not come easy!


Wishing that all of you are blessed this Christmas!

A Week In Review

What have I been doing since this?

We drove back to SoCal on Monday and picked up these crazies

By Tuesday morning I was back to 10 hour work days. Good times.

Wednesday I ran an easy 4 miler and then decided to take the rest of the week off to recover. And work. A lot. Boo.

It’s so weird how a 4 day work week feels 10 times longer than a 5 day work week.

And then Friday arrived. And it was magical. Time for our annual “Friends Christmas Party/Gift Exchange/Kid Free Party.”

Prepare yourself for our SUPER CHEEEEEEESE

Some of our peeps. We are a chatty group. It’s hard to contain us.

Gift stealing. I mean really, who wouldn’t want a Hello Kitty toaster? This was a no brainer.

For the record I came home with a bag full of hair products. Freaking awesome!

The three amigos. We have been friends with “Kracken” for what feels like forever. We have had some seriously awesome times together. Last night we made a pact to be friends forever. That’s the five-year-old in me. I needed a pinky swear.

Finally the clock struck all of 11:00 pm and the grandma in me was ready for bed. OK, we actually had to peace out because I had just enough cash in my wallet to pay the babysitter.


This morning was my day to lead the devotional at our usual Saturday runs at The Rock. On a whopping 6 hours of sleep I shared the story of my miracle daughter…and then busted out 10 miles.