Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!!

I'm veering from my training plan today, and taking a full-on rest day. Truth be told, my left quad has been bothering me for the past few weeks. I tried ignoring it and working through it, but it's not getting any better. I started icing it after my last couple of weeks, but I think it needs a little more rest.

Now, my right shin is tweaking a bit, and I think I bruised my big toe on my right foot. It hurts a LOT. I'm kind of afraid to remove the nail polish.

On top of all that, I've been having some very annoying breathing problems. It's not painful. More uncomfortable. It's nothing really new; it comes and goes. This stint has been going on for about a week or so now, but I do think it's starting to get better. Yay!

So... I think a true rest day is in order!

Enough whining.

It's Halloween!!

No big Halloween plans for us. Other than my hill-o-ween workout, which I did yesterday, I'm going to try to join Runnersluck for #HalloYogaWeen on Instagram. You should join us, too!!

Since I don't really celebrate, I thought I'd answer a few fun questions instead. Last week, Helen from What Happened Next nominated me for a Liebster Award. I was actually nominated last year as well, but these questions from Helen were fun, so here goes.

  1. Which country would you choose to live if you had to leave your current home country? The obvious answer would be Belize, since that is where Jeff and I were headed when we ended up in Vegas. But if we could really choose, we'd love to live on an island in the Mediterranean or the Caribbean.
  2. What habit would you like to break? I'd love to not throw my clothes on the floor. And just be neater overall.
  3. What's the most physically demanding activity you've ever done? Run a marathon. Actually, train for a marathon would be more accurate. :)
  4. Would you rather be in trouble with your Boss, your partner or your Mother? I'd rather be trouble with my partner. I think it would be easier to get out of that trouble. If you know what I mean. ;)
  5. What's the best vacation you've ever taken? Costa Rica Jan 2011. It was beautiful and a fun adventure. I never blogged about it, but there are some Facebook albums, if you're interested: Arenal Volcano and Nosara.
  6. What was the last single-item purchase over $100 you made? Honestly, I have no idea. I have so much difficulty spending money, so I usually leave the bigger purchases to Jeff. :)
  7. What's your favourite comfort food? Pizza! Maybe that's not comfort food, but I do love it! And it makes me happy.
  8. What intimidates you? Talking on the phone. I hate it. I mean really hate it! Even talking to my parents or my husband. The phone makes me so nervous.
  9. What historical event would you most like to witness? This is a really difficult question. There are so many events I'd want to witness. Like a fly on the wall, not actually experiencing them. But all the ones that first came to mind were so heart-wrenchingly sad. I'm not sure I'd even be able to handle being a bystander. All that said, I guess I'd like to see the construction of the Egyptian Pyramids. 
  10. If you had a 60-second dash, unlimited shopping spree, which store would you choose to be in?! Ooh! Definitely a clothing store. I think it would be easiest to grab a bunch of stuff in a smaller boutique type store. Maybe NY&C.
Thanks for including me, Helen! That was really fun!!!

Technically, I'm supposed to nominate some blogs for the award, but since I did that last year I have to get ready for work, feel free to consider yourself nominated! You can answer these 10 questions from Helen or share 10 random things about yourself.

What are your plans for Halloween?
Am I the only one who doesn't get into it?

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Diet-to-Go Pin it to Win it!

Halloween is just around the corner. Seriously, where did October go?!?

Have you entered Diet-to-Go's Pin it to Win it contest? No? Well, you have until Halloween night to pin away for a chance to win a week of free meals or a $50 Amazon gift card.

Free food? Free money? Yes, please!!

Speaking of a week of free meals, as a Diet-to-Go ambassador, sometimes I get to try out a week of meals just so I can tell you all about it!

I'm not lying when I say they are delicious!! If you struggle with eating balanced meals or, like me, deciding what to make, then Diet-to-Go is a great solution! Nothing can be easier than opening the fridge to find a meal already prepped and ready to go.

Your meals come shipped FedEx right to your door. They are shipped using dry ice (be careful opening the carton), so they will probably arrive still frozen no matter where in the US you live. Just pop them in the fridge and you're good to go.

The meals are all inclusive, which means all condiments and extras are included in the shipment. Yay!! No extra trips to the grocery store! Your meals will also arrive with a detailed menu plan, so you know which extras go with which meals. I really love the ease of it all.

In addition to the ease, there is also a lot of variety. There will rarely be a duplicate meal throughout the week. I've always chosen the vegetarian meal plan, but since I don't like portobello mushrooms, I just indicated that with my order, and voila! No meals with mushrooms. Sweet!!

There are also Traditional meal plans or Low Carb meal plans to choose from, if that is your preference.

If you want to give this meal delivery service a try, they are currently offering a promotion of 15% off your first week. Simply use coupon code FIRSTORDER* when you checkout.

Hope you all have a Healthy Halloween! Now, head on over to Pinterest and Pin it to Win it!

*First time customers only. Cannot be combined. First week only.

Disclaimer: I was provided a week of free meals from Diet-to-Go in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Marathon Monday #13

I'm not sure I could have had a more perfect week of training last week! Whoo hoo!!

Since I'd pretty much missed the previous two weeks, I did make a couple changes to the overall plan.

The PlanThe Reality
Mon, 10/2122 with Sallie
Bike Commute
Tue, 10/225
5 Hill-o-ween
Wed, 10/23RESTYoga
Bike Commute
Thu, 10/246
Fri, 10/25REST
Sat, 10/261818
Sun, 10/27REST

I'm just seriously so happy with how my training went last week. The only thing that would have made it perfect would have been if I'd commuted by bike on Friday as well. But one little hiccup is not enough to upset me at all.

It was one awesome week!

Read on to hear more about Saturday's long run + the Las Vegas Balloon Fest.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

What's for Dinner? Week of 10/27

Wow! I can't believe it's been a full month, since I did a meal plan!

menu planning

Here's what I've got planned for this week.

Sunday - Beans and Rice Dips with tortilla chips

Monday - Enchiladas. Made with leftovers of the bean dip.

Tuesday - Soup. I'm planning on just throwing this together without a particular recipe. It's supposed to be the coldest day of the week on Tuesday (high in the low 60s), so a perfect day for soup!

Wednesday - Leftovers

Thursday - French Bread Pizza. I saw this on Pinterest this morning, and it looked so good!

Friday - Leftovers

Saturday - Leftovers

What are you eating this week?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Happy Friday + One Crazy Weekend ahead

Happy Friday, everyone!! Oddly, this week has simply flown by! It seems like it was just Monday. I love weeks like this. They don't happen very often, so it's always a nice little surprise when they do.

Vegas is going to be crazy this weekend! There is so much going on!!!

First up, Life is Beautiful is a HUGE music, art, food festival.

I'll be volunteering at the RJ booth Saturday afternoon from 3-6. If you're at the festival, stop by and say hello! You can charge your phone and/or get your picture taken.

I've got 2-day passes, but I'm not sure how much I'll go to the festival other than my volunteer shift because NHRA is also this weekend.

Jeff and I have tickets for Sunday. We went last year and had a total blast, so we're definitely looking forward to going this year, too!

Tonight there is a Party With Your Pooch at Town Square.

I think it sounds super fun, but I think I'd really be pushing my luck if I add a 3rd event to our weekend. :)

And then, of course, I also need to find time to run 18 miles. I've had a perfect training week, so there will be NO EXCUSES this weekend. I'm thinking of pushing it to Sunday morning, but maybe I'll stick to Saturday. Hmmm... Saturday might be better, anyway. You know. Get it out of the way before there is time for ANY excuses.

I want to say there was something else going on this weekend as well that sounded intriguing. It's probably for the best that I can't remember what it was. I'm not sure I could handle anything else.

What are your weekend plans? Crazy busy or low-key and relaxed?

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Happy Hill-O-Ween!!

If you've been following along on my Marathon Mondays posts, you probably know that hills are not my friends. And while they've been a part of my training schedule almost from the beginning, in reality they have not been a part of my training much at all.

Sometimes, we all need a little extra motivation to conquer those hills!

So from me to you ...

Happy Hill-O-Ween!!

How do you stay motivated to incorporate hills into your training?

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

We went to Hoover Dam!

When I asked my dad what he wanted to do in Vegas, he gave me three suggestions.

1) Visit Hoover Dam
2) Jack in the Box
3) In 'n Out Burgers

LOL. Obviously, Jack in the Box and In 'n Out Burgers are not available in MN. We did squeeze in each of those, and they were delicious!

But this post is all about visiting Hoover Dam.

It was after biking to Hoover Dam in June 2012 that Jeff and I decided to stay in Vegas for awhile. At first we were just planning on staying for 6 months or so, but we're here for the foreseeable future now.

Back to the dam.

We didn't bike this time. Though that would have been lots of fun, we don't have two extra bikes. And with the government shutdown, I don't think that the trail would have been open.

Lucky for us, the Hoover Dam website had this note up when we were checking for hours, etc.
NOTE: Hoover Dam Visitors services remain open to the public during the current government shutdown because the facility is not operated by appropriated dollars.

We missed the turn for the bypass around Boulder City, and I'm so glad that we did! We stumbled upon this view of Lake Mead and had to pull over for some photo ops.

Lake Mead, Boulder City
This was about as close as we could get to Lake Mead, since it is a National Recreational area, and therefore was closed during the shutdown.

From there we were just a few minutes from Hoover Dam.

Hoover Dam

We spent some time walking across the dam from Nevada to Arizona and back again. :)

It was pretty amazing to look down the dam and out across Lake Mead.

Jeff and Marna didn't feel like going on the tour, so it was just my dad and me.

hoover dam
Our docent explaining how the dam was built

It was really fascinating! I really like going on tours like that because I learn so much more than I would just walking around on my own. Plus, of course, you get to go to areas you wouldn't normally get to go - like through the tunnels used to construct the dam.

Lake Mead Hoover Dam

Before going on the tour, I thought the white rock was from the normal water level of Lake Mead. Actually it's from back in 1983 when the Colorado River flooded, giving Mother Nature the opportunity to test the spillways. :) The river flowed that high for 60+ days, resulting in the white rock.

Of course, the water level is still very low, compared to the hey day of Vegas. It used to sit about halfway further up the white wall.

A few years ago, the Hoover Dam Bypass was completed. Now motorists don't have to drive over the dam, and visitors to the dam, get this view.

Hoover Dam Bypass
Such a beautiful bridge!
There is a pedestrian walkway up on the bypass, but we didn't make it up there. I bet those views are even more fabulous!

Hoover Dam

Construction projects like the Hoover Dam are amazing to me! Especially considering the difference in technology from then compared to today.

After the dam tour, we met back up with Jeff and Marna and headed back into Boulder City for a late lunch.

We went to the Boulder Dam Brewery. It was very tasty, and many of their menu items had dam-related names, like the Turbine Turkey.

Boulder Dam Brewery

To see more pictures of our trip to Hoover Dam, click here to see my album on Facebook.

Have you ever visited Hoover Dam?
Do you like to go on guided tours or just explore on your own?

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Marathon Monday #12

Remember how I said I probably wouldn't stick to my marathon training plan this week because my parents were in town?

Prophesy fulfilled. :-)

The PlanThe Reality
Mon, 10/142Walked around
Hoover Dam
Tue, 10/156
Hiked in
Valley of Fire
Wed, 10/16RESTWalked down
The Strip
Thu, 10/176
The Old Mormon Fort
Fri, 10/18REST
Sat, 10/1920--
Sun, 10/20REST

I'm not beating myself up about this at all. In fact, I feel pretty good about it. I may not have done any running or strength training, but I did walk a lot. I feel like I still have a few weeks for long runs that taking this week off shouldn't hurt my training too badly.

My parents actually flew home on the red eye Friday morning, so I really could have biked to work on Friday and done a long run on Saturday, but Mother Nature had other plans. Yep. I got my period on Friday and then had bad cramps on Saturday. I just wasn't feeling up to doing anything!

Today is a NEW week, and I'm bound to finish my training STRONG!

Up this week? I'm really, really hoping to get in a nice 20 mile run this weekend. If I can tackle that, then I can certainly finish marathon #3, right?

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

An Incredible Start to a Fabulous week

Having my parents come out for a visit was fabulous! It was great to see them and visit. It had been such a long time. It was also super fun to be tourists for a few days. :)

We did pretty much everything I mentioned in this post. Well, except we checked out Valley of Fire State Park instead of Red Rock National Park. Thank you, government shutdown.

Valley of Fire was absolutely amazing, so I'm really happy we decided to check it out. More to come on that in another post.

Their flight was delayed in leaving MSP, but I was still super excited all day.

You see, we were starting their visit off with a Bon Jovi concert.

I could hardly wait! I felt like a giddy teenager all afternoon.

The concert was loud. It was crazy.


bon jovi vegas

We missed the first half of the show because of their delayed flight, but the ending is always better anyway, right?

They were playing some of their newer ballads when we got there. They were good.

bon jovi vegas

But I loved hearing the older songs better.

To be honest, we're not real big concert goers, but we really enjoyed this show. The lights were amazing. The crowds were fun (when they weren't being annoying, of course).

Considering Jon (cuz I'm on a first name basis like that) is in his 50s, I thought he could still move like no other. I'm not going to lie. He was really fun to watch.

The first finish of the night was Bad Medicine.

bon jovi vegas

I would have been totally satisfied with this ending. It was such a fun song performed with so much energy.

Of course, it was only 10:30, so I knew there'd be an encore. After a couple minutes break, he was back on for 3 more songs. And closed out the show with Living on a Prayer.

His performance + the crowd participation = Incredible!

I may or may not have sung along. :)

Have I mentioned what an amazing experience this was? I seriously had the greatest time!!

After the show, we stopped at Firefly for some late night tapas. It was delicious and a perfect start to our Vegas dining experiences. :) Unfortunately, I failed as a blogger at this first dinner and didn't take a single snapshot. Boooo.

The small tapas plates are perfect for ordering a variety of things to share, and the ambiance is really great. Oh, and we had a celebrity spotting! Carrot Top was just a couple tables away with a huge group of people. LOL.

All in all, Bon Jovi and Firefly were the perfect start to a great week!

Sunday was a pretty lazy day. Partly to recover from the late night. Also, we'd planned on going to see Hoover Dam, but there aren't any tours on Sundays, so we decided to take it easy, hit up Walmart, soak in the hot tub, and visit Hoover Dam on Monday.

I'll blog about that and our other adventures in future posts, so stay tuned.

Are you a concert-goer? What's been your favorite band/singer to see in concert?

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Marathon Monday #11

Kind of a flop of a week last week, but at least I got in a long run on Saturday!!

The PlanThe Reality
Mon, 10/721 w/ Sallie
Bike Commuted
Tue, 10/86
Thu, 10/106
Fri, 10/11REST
Bike Commuted
Sat, 10/121815
Sun, 10/13REST

I'm not sur what happened, but I experienced a sharp pain behind my belly button on Monday's run. I had to cut it short because it was so uncomfortable. Tuesday morning came, and I could still feel it a little, so I decided to skip the morning run. Not sure what my excuse was on Thursday. :)

I've discovered that I really like biking to work on Fridays. It seems like it sets me up for a great run on Saturday morning. I hope to keep it up for the rest of the training.

Up this week? My parents are in town visitng, so I'm not sure how good I'll be sticking to the plan. We are planning on hiking somewhere tomorrow, though, and overall walking a good deal. I may not get in all my runs, so it may just be a good cross-training week. :)

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Our first visitors!

Our first visitors are set to fly in Saturday evening. We haven't seen my parents since we left MN 16 months ago, so I'm very excited to see them again and show them where we live.

They've both been to Vegas before, but hopefully we'll be able to show them around from a more local perspective.

I'm sure we'll still do the typical Vegasy things.

Like walk around the Strip.

Las Vegas Strip

And visit Downtown Vegas and the Fremont Street Experience.

Downtown Las Vegas

We're also hoping to take them to see the Hoover Dam. This is the one thing my dad said he wanted to do.

Hoover Dam

I also really want to take them hiking in Red Rock Canyon. I've not been yet, and it's something I've wanted to do since we got here.

Red Rock Hiking

I'll have to do a little research on which trail(s) to set out on. I'm a sucker for a waterfall, so I'm very tempted to have us do the First Creek Waterfall trail.

Maybe we'll hit up a show or go to a museum. I bet my dad would love the Mob Museum or the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort.

Oh, yes, and I'm going to try to schedule a tour of the Review Journal, too. I've worked there for over a year and never got the tour, so I figured this would be the perfect excuse. I need to remember to ask my co-worker about this.

I'm going to try to take lots of pics of our adventures while they're in town, for those of you who can't come visit. Disclaimer: None of the pics in this post are mine; I found them all on Google images.

If you're local to Vegas, what are your go-to things to show off to your visitors?
If you've visited Vegas, what are your favorite things to see and do while you're here?

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Two on Tuesday 10/8

Just a little randomness...

1) ♫ The other night I had the strangest dream.
I sailed away to China.
In a little rowboat to find ya.
You said you had to get the laundry clean. ♫

Props if you know the song.

But seriously, the other night, I did have a strange dream. I was spectating at a triathlon. I was SO tempted to do it (and a little sad I wasn't). I've never wanted to do a triathlon, but I awoke thinking maybe it was a sign.

Jeff is not a runner, but I could probably convince him to train for a tri with me.

Something to think about for 2014. First I've got to get through marathon training. :-)

2) Let it be known that I am ALWAYS cold at work. This has been my plight since my very first post-HS job.

Normally, I don't say anything. I just am sure to always have a sweater handy. Unfortunately, my current desk is practically right under a vent.

Again, no complaints from me.

Until this morning.

Other people had been complaining yesterday, and when I walked in this morning, I could hear the vent blowing much louder than before. I went to find a maintenance man to see if anything could be done, and maybe why the fan kicked on today.

A guy came by and fiddled with a dial. Then we had this conversation.

Him: Do you feel like it's bouncing off the wall and hitting you or does it feel like it's coming directly from the vent.

Me: Directly from the vent.

Him: Well I could close the vent cover. Do you have a long stick?

Me, thinking/laughing inside:  Sure. Let me just pull one out of my desk drawer.

He then proceeded to try and pick up the metal coat track.

Him: Oh that's too heavy.

Me, thinking/shaking my head: You think.

On a positive note, he did eventually find something to shut the cover, and someone else did something to slow the fan.


What randomness are you enjoying today?

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Marathon Monday #10

Certainly not a perfect week of training, but I'm still pretty happy with how it all turned out in the end.

The PlanThe Reality
Mon, 9/3022 w/ Sallie
Tue, 10/15
Thu, 10/35
Fri, 10/4REST
Bike commuted
Sat, 10/51616.5
Sun, 10/6REST

I'm not sure what it is about my Tuesday runs, but I've skipped them the past couple of weeks. Do I dread hills that much?

In reality, I probably do. My run on Saturday included several pedestrian bridges, which are essentially man-made hills. I find that I slow down both UP and DOWN the hill. Ugh! Why can't I be a normal runner and speed up on the downhills??

I finally dusted my bike off last week, and actually rode it to/from work one day. I'm shooting for 3 days this week. Fingers crossed.

I also did a little bit of strength training with yoga on Monday and abs on Thursday. Need to do more, but at least I didn't skip it all together this week.

Up this week? Really just more of the same. At least after this past Saturday, I'm feeling a bit better about running in Vegas. I found a running path/trail that I like!

How do you deal with hill training? Love it or hate it?

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Sunday, October 6, 2013

What a great Saturday!

Normally, I share a menu plan on Sundays, but I haven't planned this week's meals yet, plus I wanted to tell you about my Saturday!

It's finally cool enough here in Vegas that I didn't need to awake at the crack of dawn to get my run in before it got way. too. hot.

It felt great to sleep in and awake without an alarm.

I headed out for my run around 8:30am. I was hoping to get in 16-18 miles, and my route ended up being 16.5. Whoo hoo!!

Not sure if I've shared it on the blog specifically, but I've really been struggling with running here in Vegas. Not from the heat, but I've really been missing the MN running trails. Miles and miles and miles of paved trails around the lakes and throughout the city. You could run and run and run.

It seemed like all the recommended trails here in Vegas were mountain trails, and as I discovered last weekend, not really my thing.

This past week, I did a little research trying to find something, anything even remotely comparable to MN. It was all still a little frustrating, but then I was reminded of a trail I'd discovered last fall. The Flamingo-Arroyo trail. It's only 3 miles from my apartment, and it goes for miles and miles. Technically, I think it's just under 9 miles, so out and back is 18 plus the 6 for me to get to/from the trail, I could easily run this trail for 24 miles. Yay!!

I thought I'd share a few pictures from the trail.

All the trailheads have a neat sculpture like this one.

flamingo arroyo sloan trailhead

They also have fun little shelters at the trailheads.

flamingo arroyo sloan trailhead shelter

Many of the walls have murals painted on them.

flamingo arroyo murals

There are spectacular views of the mountains.

flamingo arroyo pedestrian bridge

And several crazy pedestrian bridges. Other than the bridges, it's a pretty flat trail.

On the way back, there are beautiful views of the Strip. Pictures couldn't even come close to capturing it, though.

Oh, there was a cool piece of history at the Lamb trailhead.

stardust rubble

The placard is a little hard to read, but it basically tells the story of the chunk of rubble. It's from the Stardust Hotel, which was built in 1955 and demolished in 2007. This rubble symbolizes the nearly constant self-reinvention of the Las Vegas Strip, and the rubble from recent demolitions was used as landfill in creating this trail.

This will likely be my regular trail going forward, but I'm hoping to discover more as well. Around mile 7, it hooks up with the Las Vegas Wash trail, so I'm thinking of checking that one out a bit more.

After my run, I watched some TV while stretching, then showered and headed to Wal-mart before getting ready for LUCKYRICE.

LUCKYRICE was an Asian Night Market at the Cosmopolitan. We met up a few of my co-workers, and had so much fun!

There was tons of different food to try and some delicious drinks. Here's a look at the tasting menu. I tried so many things that I'd normally never try, like White Chocolate Curry Soup and Chilled Tapioca Noodle Salad.

My favorite, though, was the Hoisin Braised Short Rib Steamed Bun with 5-Spice Rubbed Tenderloin and Sweet & Sour Pickles from Todd English Pub.

There was so much more I wish I'd tried.

LUCKRICE was at the Boulevard Pool on the roof of the Cosmopolitan. It was really beautiful overlooking the lights of the Strip with elegant pools, too.

It was such a fun evening; I really wish I'd taken more pictures. Maybe next year. :)

How was your Saturday?

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My Running Story

I've been meaning to sit down and write this post since I changed my blog name to Enjoying the Course at the beginning of 2012. No real reason why I never took the time, but no more excuses. :)

Have I always been a runner? Well, no. I wouldn't go that far, but I would say that my running story does go back to my high school days.

I wasn't what you would call athletic growing up. I didn't run cross country. I wasn't on the track team. No, I was much more interested in staying indoors and reading or watching TV or just hanging out with my mom or siblings.

Still, every now and again, I'd get the running bug. I'd come up with a plan to go running in the mornings before school. I'm not sure what my motivation was. It definitely wasn't to lose weight. Maybe just to be healthy and active??

Sometimes, I'd be successful in dragging my little sister out with me, but more often it would just be myself.

Best guess at my typical before school route. Thank you, Google maps!

These little running bugs never lasted long. A day or two. Perhaps a week. And then that snooze button would win.

When I went off to college, it was more of the same, but at least I had some friends who I'd go running with. Actually, I think it was more me going with them.

Even then, I never would have considered myself a runner. I was far too inconsistent.

2001 rolled around, and I probably hadn't run in years. I'd gotten chubby enough that I really didn't like that image staring back at me in the mirror. Truth be told, I was just about 5 or so lbs heavier than I am now. Oh, how my perspective of fat has changed!

So, I started running. It wasn't much, and it still wasn't all that consistent. But it was another start.

In May 2001, I moved back to MN. The move was kind of stressful, and running was once again put on the back burner.

I can't remember whose idea it was, but my sister and I signed up for our first 5k in Aug 2001. I can't remember the name of it, but Avon was the sponsor, and it was a women's only event. The problem was that it was the morning after my 24th birthday. Let's just say I was a tad hungover (my sister, too, maybe) and untrained. Yeah. We walked that entire 5k, but we had so much fun!

My first 5k
One of my sister's kids took this pic - barely getting us in the frame. :)

Early in 2002, we I got the crazy idea that we should do a marathon. I somehow convinced my older sister to sign up with me. We joined Team Diabetes and were excited to run our first marathon before I turned 25 (and she turned 30) in HAWAII!

Unfortunately, the fundraising goals were too steep for us. We pulled out of the program, and opted to run the Twin Cities Marathon instead. We wouldn't make it before our birthdays - but very shortly after.

We trained mostly individually; sometimes we'd meet for a long run. I don't really feel like I trained properly or consistently. I skipped runs when I just wasn't feeling it. I went into the marathon excited, but not feeling super confident.

I'm not going to do a full recap, but I finished in 4:49:58. I was definitely glad to be finished. My sister finished in 5:40:58, and we agreed that we'd be one and done for the marathon.

Until the following spring when we received a flyer in the mail about the 2003 marathon.

Somehow we decided to give it another whirl.

My 2nd marathon was a bit faster (chip time - 4:47:34), but not any easier. I was definitely DONE when I crossed that finish line.

Crossing the finish line of my 2nd marathon
Crossing the finish line of my 2nd marathon.

And then life got super busy. So busy in fact that other than a 5k in Oct, I really didn't run again until Oct 2004 - more than a year later - when I ran/walked a 5k with my family.

I got married in Dec 2004.

And somehow convinced my husband to run a 5k with my family in February. In Minnesota. Must have been that newlywed love. ;)

Those two 5ks, spread months apart, still didn't manage to kick-start my running bug again.

We moved to NYC the following fall, and I truly regret not starting running again while I was there. I did try to run a few times in the spring of 2006, but that's about when my shins started giving me huge issues.

I never thought I'd be able to run again.

The summer of 2006 brought a move to Oregon, and I was determined to get past the shin pain. I started running/walking 3x a week. We were living with my mother-in-law, who had a small dog who became my running partner.

The following summer, we found ourselves back in Minnesota - land of the running.

Despite the continual shin pain, I signed up for my favorite 5k - the Torchlight. I think I just really love running in downtown Minneapolis. My shins still hurt during this race, but it was still lots of fun running it with my friend, Marla.

Powering through a fun, but painful, 5k
Powering through a fun, but painful, 5k

After this race, I really never thought I'd be able to run again. My shins were just always in too much pain, but in July 2009, I decided that I would at least start walking - good for me, good for Sallie. That lasted about a month or so.

I'm not exactly sure when it happened, but one day, I found myself able to run again. No shin pain. I wish I knew exactly what it was that helped the chronic pain go away, but I'm not complaining.

By the summer of 2010, I was running again, pretty regularly. I even ran my favorite race again that summer, the Torchlight 5k.

April 2011, I joined DailyMile, and my running became even more consistent.

Jan 2012, I changed my blog to Enjoying the Course - because I wanted to focus more on blogging about running and fitness.

I also registered to run Grandma's Marathon in Duluth in June 2012. It would've been my 3rd marathon, but our plans changed, and we decided to move to Belize (but ended up in Vegas).

Jan 2013, I set a goal to run a sub-25:00 min 5K.

July 2013, I decided to postpone my sub-25:00 min 5K and instead begin training for my 3rd marathon. Again.

This time there will be no excuses. Katie from From Ice Cream to Marathon is even flying in to run it as well. I'm super excited!!

So, that's basically my running story. So far.

Deep down inside, I guess I've always been a runner. Even when I didn't know it. Even when I couldn't. In my heart, I always wanted to run.

Deep down inside, I guess I've always been a runner. Even when I didn't know it. Even when I couldn't. In my heart, I always wanted to run.

What's your running story?

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