Monthly Archives: December 2011

New Year 2012

It's fantastic to be ecstatic!!! If you can keep it up.....

I’m not a resolution kind of person. I think for the most part it’s great intentions with very little follow through. Every day I try to do my best – some days my best is better than other days. I want to maintain my weight. I want to build more muscle. I want to run my first marathon (I’ve trained for two previously that I didn’t make it to). I’d love to enter least one race a month because that keeps me very motivated. I want to increase my blog following and meet some of you.  I want to be sponsored…..  I have the year of “Jenn wants to” mapped out – down to where the kids are. So here is my year of great intentions…. No matter how many races I get to, or don’t get to (and often it’s travel and lack of funding reasons) I hope 2012 molds me into a better person than I am today.

29 – Tracy, CA 1/2 Marathon

11 – Golden Gate Trail Half or 30K
19 – Portland Half (difficult to travel to)

11 – Sacramento Shamrock
25 – River City Half Sacramento

7: Marin County Half
29 – Eugene Half (difficult to travel to)

6 – Reno Rock N River Half
13 – Mom’s On The Run 10K (with kiddos)
19 – Peavine 50/50 Half Trail

1/2 – Tahoe Odyssey Relay
16 – Zombie Runner San Francisco Half
23 – Seattle Half (difficult to travel to)

29 – San Francisco Half

28/30 – Lake Tahoe Events

4 -NYC MARATHON!!!!????

All you have to do is put one foot in front of the other....

Reflections of 2011

The year in review stolen borrowed from

1. Single best thing that happened?

My entire family drove to Arizona in April to visit my sister.  She’s one of the best people in my life and we hadn’t visited in over 6 years.  Now it’s an annual plan.  I missed her desperately and I’m so thankful all our kids are reconnected.
2. Single most challenging thing that happened?

Lillie, the little girl we’d had in our custody moved to a different foster home.  She was 4 and we’d had her over half of her life starting when she was a few months old, but the state decided they wanted her with her 1 year and 1 month old brothers.  It ripped my heart out and Chris and I decided we were done with foster care.
3. Unexpected joy?

Starting my blog.  Writing again after much too long.  Meeting so many fellow runners via blogging.

4. Unexpected obstacle?

Not partnering with my coworker in the hair shop.  It was difficult to switch gears after all the planning and work.
5. 3 words to describe 2011?

Challenging, euphoric, reinvented
6. 3 words your spouse would use to describe YOUR year(don’t ask them)?

Badass, Badass, Badass
7. 3 words your spouse would use to describe THEIR year(don’t ask them)?

Never enough wakeboarding!!!
8. Best books you read?

Water for Elephants was my favorite regular book.  My awesome mom in law gave it to me.  Run Like A Mother favorite running book, The Long Run favorite inspirational and Gena Showalther’s books for steamy reading and fantasy
9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?

My husband #1 and my children.  Also Kellie my bestest bestie and my sister and her husband who are my heroes.
10. Biggest personal change of 2011?

Graduated (after only 9 months!) from school to be a hairdresser.  Started work as hairdresser
11. How did you grow emotionally?

I’m more and more comfortable with who I am as I get older.  And having alone time.  I’m not waiting for people to want to spend time with me, I’m doing my own thing and anyone can jump in when they want which is more how I used to be.
12. How did you grow spiritually?

This is an area I wish I had more growth, but my faith is unwavering.
13. How did you grow physically?

I didn’t grow, I shrunk!!!  Lost 11 lbs that I put on while in school when I was doing 50 hour weeks and couldn’t run as much.  Also, I got right back into running and have taken it to a new level – I’m getting faster!!!
14. In what ways did you grow in your relationships with others?

I try to be patient and empathetic but also not put up with too much.  Create boundaries.  I want to be more relaxed with my children – some more than others – so I’ll continue working on that.
15. Most enjoyable part of work (office and home)?

Clients, clients, clients!!! I love getting to know people’s story.
16. Most challenging part of work (office and home)?

Coworkers I think.  I’m still trying to find balance and a good fit.  It’s only been 8 months….
17. Biggest time waster in your life this year?

Waiting for people to want to spend time with me.  Now I’m going out and getting some!!
18. Best way you utilized your time this year?

Writing again.  Sigh….  Missed you, my journal (which is now my blog)
19. Biggest thing you learned this year?

Things that are worth it are often hard.  Running, relationships, even cleaning the house sometimes!!
20. Create a phrase or statement to describe this year?

A year of change and growth.  All for the better!!


I got two new toys at Christmas to play with today… I love reviewing them and passing it along. Why? Because I love reading other reviews. I’ve found more awesome running tools that way!!  We need to stick together…

First up:  Sony 2GB Waterproof, Wireless MP3 player

I got it with a $10 off coupon so with tax it was $53.  SO worth it!!  Holy crap.  I love, love, love it!!  It looks a little dorky, pushes my ears out.  I thought it would feel heavy and shift but once this baby’s in, you’re good.  I’ve worn it on a 10K and 12 miler.  The only issue on 12 miles was when I took my hat off and on and knocked it around.  The buttons took a few minutes to get used to but it’s not like you can really screw it up.  I paused it a couple times when I wanted to fast forward and I turned shuffle off when I wanted to turn up volume.  Really not a biggie and so user friendly.  I haven’t needed the waterproof portion yet, but I like knowing nothing will make it come to a screeching halt.  No wires.  Did I mention No wires??  Nothing on my hydration pack, nothing to store anywhere, nothing to get out to change.  All right there on the ear.  Nothing hanging, twisting, pulling.  It was fantastic!!

2nd in line for review: Neoprene Running Belt W/ Race Number Holder by iFitness

I’d heard great things about these belts and checked out the site.  I opted for the single pocket with no loops for gels, etc…  Retrospectively I’d probably get the Ultimate II Running Belt.  It wouldn’t hurt to have those loops and when not in use they don’t get in the way.  Honestly, I didn’t realize how much I’d like it so I got a more streamlined model.  They say the belts don’t move or shift and are comfortable.  My skepticism stems from using a hydration belt.  It bounced, it shifted and I didn’t like the pressure on my lower abdomen.  But I was looking for something to use on shorter runs when I don’t bring my hydration pack.  I always bring my phone.  Two reasons:  1. I have children and I want them to have a way to contact me and I want to have access to it if I ever get hurt, etc…  2. I use the app iMapMyRun to compare to my Garmin and track my time.  If I don’t have pockets I have no place to put the thing.   In a jacket pocket my phone bounces around far too much.  So I picked this baby up.  The phone fit (but was easier to put in before I put the belt on), adjusting was easy, I snapped in and I was off.  So, maybe it’s just me but after about a mile I had to take it off and adjust myself.  My tights must have been high when I strapped it on because I was slowly sucking them up my butt cheeks….  Yes, too much info.  I unclipped the belt, adjusted the tights, reclipped….  The thing is, the reviews were right.  The belt doesn’t move.  I touched it just to reassure myself it was still there and I had no stomach discomfort.  At the end of 12 miles, it did feel good when I took it off, but it wasn’t bothering me at all.  My phone stayed still and out of the way.  I got the race bib attachment to use when I’m actually racing because I’d probably wear this – not for my phone but for gels, etc….  Thumbs up!

Mine is hot pink….

Tuesday Twelve 12-27-2011

My last long run of the year. Sigh… I did the big hill again – it’s become a staple now. And for the second time in a row I ran the hill without stopping. Until the top (DUH!) when I walked ten feet and realized the hard part was over. (again)

Today the temp at the airport down the street was -3*C which translates to 26.6*. I seriously called three times to make sure I didn’t hear wrong. It’s been 12* or below for weeks so 26* sounded delightful!! I had to change clothes so I wouldn’t be too hot.  I got to run in tights, one long sleeve and my shell jacket.  Lightweight ear warmer band (that’s the technical term….) and gloves.  I felt, well, naked.  And it felt good….

I PR’d today.  It was my fastest run to work ever.  Average minute miles were 9:15.  Imagine if I hadn’t walked that 10 feet or had to stop to cross streets!!  I felt great but when I got to the shop I was surprised to see my time.  My long run is usually more around 9:40’s.  I suppose it had something to do with less clothing??!!  At any rate, I’ll take it!

Motivation on Monday

Today I need motivation. Monday in general. Tomorrow is my long run every week and the weekend is over as is sleeping late and being lazy…..

Dr. George Sheehan:

“It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.”

My oldest daughter Andrea embracing life!!!

Hiking as Cross Training

We have three dogs. Two pure bred German Shepard brothers and one Jack Russell/Australian Shepard mix from hell. They’re all 9 years old. Not necessarily old for a dog, but the German Shepard’s are aging quickly these days.  The Jack Russell will probably outlive me and then pee on my grave.  After, of course, he’s stretched out on my bed and couches (not allowed) and peed on all my indoor plants.  Yes, he’s a monster pain.  With all his energy and size, you’d think he’d make a great running partner but nope.  He’s stubborn, annoying and too smart for his own good.

The Shepard’s were pretty good running partners until this last year or so.  Now we can only take them 2 miles.  They love to get out but their hips can’t handle more than 2 miles anymore and one of them is nearly blind.  I miss running with a dog.  Lots actually but Chris and I have decided not to get me a new running partner until at least one of the dogs passes away which, from the looks of things won’t be too far off.  But hiking with them is great.  I feel my running muscles while I hike.  I feel different muscles vying for attention.  It feels great.

My fantastic hiking outfit. I'm obviously into fashion....

We take them out into the hills behind our house.  Thank goodness for living on the fringes of the city!!  We have almost 2 acres backed up to BLM land and some private parcels.  It’s fantastic.  And it’s great cross training a couple times a week.


Virtual 10K

Today I ran the Christmas Virtual 10K!! I was very excited to run knowing other people were running “with” me. Sometime within a 3 day period, others would be doing exactly what I was doing.

Due to family logistics, we celebrated Christmas this morning.  It was wonderful like you’d expect.  We made a huge breakfast, hung out in pj’s and the kids played with their new stuff.  Then at around one I started getting the kids bikes out and ready.

Expression is priceless!!  Making Christmas breakfast.  Bacon, eggs and French Toast

Alana made me a headband for the race

My outfit!!

When Taylor was ready he said we were TWINSIES in matching outfits so we struck a pose!!

Me getting all the bikes ready

Isn’t that what everyone does on Christmas??  It was about 45* and sunny.  8 of my kids, my husband Chris and my mother in law Donna caravaned to a nearby park where you can pick up the bike path here in Reno.  For my virtual 10K naturally.

My support crew!! Chris, Donna and 8 of our kids!!

One of the great things about coming here - the porta potties!!! Only a runner....

Gabrielle, Chris and ME

Chris ran 5 miles and five kids biked. One with him, 4 with me.  My son Taylor crewed me so I didn’t carry water, my daughter Alana took over camera duty.  Nicolas biked in his own world and Gabrielle was my running commentary.  It was beautiful and I love having the kids with me when I run.  Donna walked and played in the park with the other 3 kids.

I PR’d on my 10K!  Averaged 8:43 minute miles!!!  (My last PR was 8:51) Yay!  My Christmas running “outfit”was superb and other people smiled and talked about it when I was running by.  We hollered “Merry Christmas” to everyone we saw.



To all of you, may you have a merry Christmas and PR!!

My time!

Christmas Eve

We’re celebrating Christmas Eve a day early. I have an ex-husband who’s a fantastic friend and we split the kids so tonight was our Eve. Here are some highlights from today….

Kezia has a unique and spunky sense of style. This was her outfit today

Ashlea also got creative today

We have a few traditions in our house.  It started because of the lack of tradition for me growing up and how I felt when I went out in the world on my own.  One tradition is that I make PJ’s for each of the kids (that are living at home) that they open Christmas Eve and wear that night.  This year the T-shirts have each child’s favorite song.

Another tradition is that each of the kids gets an ornament every year to add to their collection.  Each of them has a rubbermaid so that when they move out they have a start on their Christmas memories and traditions.  We go through each bin every year and they choose 5 ornaments to hang.  Then when they get the new one they hang it up as well….

9 of the kids with their new ornaments!!

We also have one child hide a chocolate orange in our tree then the rest of the kids have to find it.  We break it, pass it and read a book called The Christmas Orange which makes me cry almost every year.  It was a fantastic night and the kids are all excited about Christmas tomorrow morning.

Christmas Virtual 10K

One of my imaginary friends (and two of her BRF’s) are doing a Virtual 10K this weekend. Go to site to get info if you’d like to participate:

One of the great things about running a virtual race is that you can do it whenever you want in the time frame and send in your results.  Also it costs nothing but time.  I’m SO SO SO excited about running this!!!  I have my outfit almost ready (most important part, DUH!!!) and it’s all plotted out.  Look for my post this weekend to see my results and pictures and sign up to run with me!!!

Running with Hot Stuff!!

Ran a tough 4 miler by my house today. Danielle – my BRF (and only RF!) couldn’t make our weekly 4 miler but my husband went with me. He usually runs alone when we go together. That sounds weird but he’s a loner and that includes running.  He generally isn’t into having someone next to him and really isn’t into chatting.  But today he hung with me.  He increased his time by 15 seconds per mile which ROCKS.

I did slow down running with him but that felt good too.  Sometimes it’s better just to hang together.  We run past our house so some of the kids came down to cheer, high five, offer water (they know what crewing and aid stations are!) and I love seeing them.  It was brutally windy and felt much colder than it registered.  I don’t know how Chris can run without a shirt.  I was numb.

Chris and I at over 2 miles running past our house. Couldn't get a pic looking good....

And there we go!!! Running away from our kids!

Sometimes it’s nice to have a buddy.