Monday, January 30, 2012


So, I am sure a bunch of you have seen the 11 things post going around.  I have been reading them and have found it kind of fun to learn about those of you that have participated.  I was surprised tonight when I saw that I got tagged to do it to.  Thank you, Nicole.  She is a fellow Touch Chik! (More on Team Tough Chik in a future post.)

Here are the rules:

1. Post these rules.
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them.
6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people.

11 random things about me:
 1. I'm afraid of horses - I have several childhood memories involving horses and someone getting hurt. Haven't gotten over my fear yet. One of my first days of work in DC, I came to the top of the escalator from the metro only to find the square in front of my office full of mounted police officers. I walked several blocks out of my way to avoid a horse encounter.

2. Having an office with a window is one of the best perks of my job.

3. Next Saturday is my 6th wedding anniversary. We were married on 2/4/6 - although according to the District of Columbia that marriage wasn't exactly legal

4. D proposed while we were out on a long run (five weeks before we ran the Marine Corps Marathon together). He proposed with a ring that was purchased for $0.50 in a gumball machine.

5. The Marine Corps Marathon in 2005 was my first marathon. Prior to running it I had never run a race longer than 10 miles. 

6. I've run four marathons to date. Three of the four I've run with D. I've beat him each time by 0.01 seconds. (READ: he has let me win each time).

7. Had I not gotten my current job after finishing my PhD, I would have gotten my spinning instructor's certification and taught spinning. Not the best use of a PhD in epidemiology, but it would have been fun and my legs would have looked great.

8. My knees and elbows hyper-extend; so do my brothers.

9. My brother-in-law gave D and me a case of wine as a wedding gift. We're supposed to drink a bottle on our 1st, 3rd, 5th, 10th, 15th and 20th anniversaries. Last year (our 5th anniversary) I was pregnant so we saved our bottle for this year. Looking forward to opening it next week.
10. K is named after my mom; C is named after my brother-in-law.

11. I take a shower No exceptions.

Questions from Nicole:

1. What is your favorite band? U2 - saw them in concert in 1997. It was awesome.

2.  Who is your biggest inspiration? Tough question --- I'm inspired to be the best that I can be to set an example for my kids; I'm inspired to do the hard things in life with a smile on my face by my good friend who is a quadriplegic and the strongest person I know; I'm inspired by all the other mother runners out there who are shooting for the stars, making time for training, staying healthy, and crossing the finish lines with smiles on their faces.

3.  Can you remember your last dream? Was it good? Yes. It wasn't good or bad. It just was. I was surprised that many of my high school friends and teammates were in it.

4. What is your favorite book? Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

5. What is your best childhood memory? Going to swim meets as a family. Pizza dinners afterwards with teammates and their families is a close second.

6.  Do you have any regrets? No.

7. What is your most prized possession? Toss up --- either my camera or iPhone

8. What were you doing the last time you really had a good laugh? Texting with D while I waited in the longest line EVER at the DMV.

9. What movie can you watch over and over again? Top Gun and The Sound of Music

10.  Do you go to church? Yes - and our church is quasi-famous (it was profiled in Time Magazine in 2008)

11.  How is your day so far? Today has been a mixed bag -- had a great run, but also spent too much time at the DVM. K had a great night of sleep (big surprise); C not so much. I was up from 1:15-3am - when the alarm went off at 6:15 I nearly chucked my phone across the room.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Last year one of the few books I read from cover-to-cover was Run Like a Mother. It is one of the best books I've ever read. I pretty much related to everything that was covered in the book - from finding time to get out and run when you have kids to needing to get out and run when you have kids to where to purchase cute running clothes to how to discover new music to listen to while running. I love the book, and the authors, Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell, are two of my favorite people (sure we've never met, but through running and kids and wicked senses of humor we are all kindred spirits).

Sarah and Dimity are getting ready to release their second book Train Like a Mother, which I'm already looking forward to reading. They also have a fabulous Facebook page and a Twitter feed. Additionally they have a wonderful blog. Each Wednesday they host a give-away on said blog. The rules for entering the give-away are simple... they pose a question, you answer it, and then you are entered. The winner(s) are chosen at random. I enter the give-away each week and, sadly, I've never won (and they give away some AWESOME stuff!).

This week was no different... I wasn't chosen to win the cool medals display rack.

However, my answer to their question this week (what part of your body are you most proud of) was profiled in their blog post this morning.


To think that out of the hundreds of relies, my response was chosen. I get goosebumps just thinking about it. I feel like I had tea with the queen(s) this morning. My quote was not credited, but it was quoted. And that is all that matters. The women from Run Like a Mother thought my response was worth repeating.

Yeah me!!!

Feel free to check out the post here.

And for those of you who want to know what body part I am most proud of or my witty quote that caught the eye of two wonderful women, here it is:

My calves. 13 years of competitive swimming plus a post-grad life as a marathoner has left me with some bada** calf muscle definition.

I'm thinking a calve photoshoot may be forthcoming.
For now, I am soaking it all in. I'm one proud mother runner!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


C -

During the past month, you've traveled, met your great-grandmother, celebrated your first Christmas, and been doted on by many, many, many new friends. And through it all, you've had a smile on your face. You continue to be such a delightful, go-with-the-flow child.

Over the holidays we drove to United States Grandma & Grandpa's house twice. We were a quiet traveler - so much so that I often asked your sister what you were doing because you were so quiet for so long. While at their house, we introduced you to your Great Grandmother. She's 94 years old now. She lives on her own and still drives a car. She keeps a busy schedule - including a roundtrip to Texas for Christmas. You met her before she look off on her trip. I'm so happy to have some fantastic pictures of you with her and your sister. It is beautiful sight to see her with you guys. I was so happy and proud to introduce you to her. And I'm so glad that you've experienced her hugs and kisses and love. She is one special lady!

You spent most of Christmas day on your father's lap sucking his pinky finger. Grandma got you a couple of squeaky toys as gifts. You also got clothes, a winter hat and gloves, and a snow-suit from other friends and family. Your camouflage little brother onesie is my favorite.

After the new year, I headed back to work.

Your nanny is quite smitten with you and you bring her a lot of joy just by smiling at her. Unfortunately, you are not very cooperative when it comes to eating from a bottle. Most days you don't eat from 9ish (when I nurse you) until 4:30 or so in the afternoon. And then you chug - 5-6 oz at a time. Now that I'm teaching two nights a week you I'm not drinking from the bottle stubbornness is stressing me out a little. Please drink up little guy, drink up!

In terms of developmental milestones, this past month has been full of smiles, cooing, and other fun noises. You have also started putting things in your mouth - mostly toys and adult fingers. And when your sister lays down next to you you have been known to grab her hair and hold it tight. She is not a big fan of this. You've shown no interest in rolling over. Instead you are quite content on your back.

The first week of January, we finally got you a crib and you moved in with your big sister. We were a little nervous about this at first - we didn't want her bad sleeping habits/patterns to rub off on you. However, much to our surprise the room sharing situation has gone really well. K really enjoys having you nearby. 

You continue to be a rockstar sleeper. Thank you. You occasionally wake up between 3-5am to eat, but it's rare that this happens. And when you do, you go right back to sleep. Most mornings I have to wake you up. And when I do, you just lay there in your crib and smile up at me.

What a wonderful way to start the morning.

I am so enjoying getting to know you and loving you.


Monday, January 23, 2012


On Friday night we went to Night School at K's school. This was her opportunity to walk us through her works at school (Montessori kids work). We had a wonderful time (wish he had gotten their earlier). She showed D and me how to build the temple in Israel (sort of like a 3-D puzzle), some of her meditations (Bible stories with a coloring activity) and the pink tower. She has been telling me about the pink tower for weeks and it was so wonderful to watch her put it together and then take it apart and put it back where it came from.

Watching her in her school environment all I could think about was how happy I am that she's in a supportive learning environment. One where she is thriving. She is learning life skills - pouring water, polishing metals, polishing shoes, cleaning (furniture, clothes, dishes), phonics, numbers, and spacial reasoning. She is learning good behaviors - putting away works, waiting her turn for snack, cleaning up after snack. She is provided with artistic outlets - painting, drawing.

She is building a foundation for learning. One that she will carry with her for the rest of her life.

At home we are trying to reinforce many of the things she is learning at school - good behaviors, life skills, phonics. I spend my days spelling words for her, allowing her to pour her own water when I know I could pour her a glass in half the time it takes her to do it on her own, making up games (like the one where I say I spy something with my little eye that starts with a w-w (w sound) and she has to find an object that starts with w, like the wall, and take a picture of it to show me. We also practice cutting out objects with scissors (this activity was recently interrupted by K cutting a hole in the hood of her rain jacket - oops!) and playing lots of make believe (did you know that couch in our basement is a boat?).

We read books that rhyme and tell silly stories. We read about princesses and big red dogs; care bears and talking trains.

This is life with a three year old. It's all about the basics. From a family point of view, we are just beginning the journey of schooling and education.

Professionally, however, I am at the opposite end of the spectrum. I'm now teaching graduate level classes. I'm now considered an expert; the one who is at the top of her game and ready to impart knowledge to others.

Tonight I left my office at 6:45pm to teach my first ever graduate-level class. As I walked along the sidewalk, busy with students shuffling to class and the library, I couldn't help but smile. After 26 years of schooling (including preschool, K-12, undergrad, MPH, and doctorate), I'm now the teacher. I'm instructing students who are pursuing their graduate degrees. Students who are nearing the top of their game.

It is strange living/working in both of these worlds. At school, I spend my time talking about toxicology, epidemiologic study methods, risk assessment, biostatistics, and environmental science. At home, I am cutting out paper fish for our pretend boat, reading Fox in Socks, and praying that K doesn't ask me to spell something difficult. I'm actually grateful for my commute to/from school. It allows  me time to shift gears. On the way there I take my mommy hat off (although sometimes my role as mommy can be seen on my sleeve - literally - as I often have some spit up on me) and put on my professor/grown up one. On the way home, I remind myself that regression, SAS code, toxicokinetics and the like cannot be discussed. It is all about games, phonics, make-believe, using the bathroom correctly, and enjoying time with my babies.

Although I do live/work in these opposite ends of the spectrum and sometimes it is hard to go from one to the other in a commute/span of less than an hour, I wouldn't change a thing.


C bottle drinking update: the boy doesn't like the bottle, but managed to get 8 oz in between 10am and 9pm. I'm guessing he'll be up in the middle of the night to eat.

Streaking: even though I slept through my alarm this morning, I still managed to get a short run in this morning. Streak day 23 continues...

NYC Marathon: I have entered the lottery. I will only run the race if both D and I get entry this year. If not, we'll both have automatic entry in 2013. We'll run the Richmond, VA marathon together this year.

Friday, January 20, 2012


This is what 20 days of running looks like

Thank you, DailyMile, for such great graphs. Seeing this makes me what to continue my streak indefinitely. Love, love, love seeing the consecutive days of running in my profile. And I am realizing that a mile here and two miles there quickly increase my weekly and monthly mileage.

Feeling like I am getting back into shape and that I'll be ready to run a half marathon in less than two month.


This week has been crazy busy - full of events both big and small; some of importance and others not so much. Here are some snippets from this past week...

Monday D stayed home with the kids and I headed off to work. Classes start this Monday and there was a lot of work to be done. D took the kids shopping - K earned a new pair of pajamas (she got two!) as a reward for a hygiene-related accomplishment. She also got a new dress and running shoes. D texted me several times while they were out saying the day was going well. I arrived home around 5 to find that my baby had refused to take a bottle The kid nursed at 8am and didn't eat until 5pm when I got home. He is one stubborn little buddy. But he is also so stinking cute. Love him.

We are working on getting him to take a bottle. It's hard work.

Wednesday I had jury duty. It was my fourth time being summoned in the ten year (yes, 10 years) I've lived in the city. Thankfully I was not even called for a panel. We were sent home before 3pm. Hallelujah!

Yesterday I completed my first run of more than 1 mile at a pace under 9:00/mile. I ran a hilly 2.51 miles averaging 8:44/mile. Yeah me! I also posted my syllabus and lecture slides for my first class on Monday. I cannot believe I start teaching on MONDAY.

I got home from work yesterday to learn that my baby refused the bottle all day (again). Thankfully around 4pm he decided he was hungry enough to eat from the bottle. He gobbled down 6 oz in one sitting. Way to go!

Today... not sure where to begin... I completed my 20th day of straight running at 10:27pm.

I painted K's fingernails purple this afternoon. And then she dressed up like this and danced in front of the mirror for a considerable amount of time.

After painting her fingernails, she disappeared into the office. After some silence I called her name. No response. I tried to enter the office, but the door was locked. I finally got her attention. About five minutes later (five minutes of complete silence) she tried to unlock the door. It took her another five minutes to get the door unlocked. And then she couldn't turn the knob to let herself out. I knew something bad was going on behind that locked door. When I finally got the door open I walked into one bad smelling room. K had found a vile of frankincense and myrrh oil and she anointed herself. The smell was almost more than I could handle. My nose is still burning from the exposure. She was covered in oil (hence her inability to open the door after it was unlocked). I scrubbed her down, wiped off our desk and made her change her clothes to help get rid of the smell, but honestly it is going to be days before our house smells normal again. And we have moved the oil to a HIGH shelf where she can no longer access it.

We made some homemade granola bars. They taste great, but are a crumbly mess. I made K eat her's with a spoon. It was a healthy snack recipe fail.

And now, at 11:11pm, the snow is falling outside. Freezing rain is supposed to start falling around midnight. We are bracing ourselves for an inside day tomorrow.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Seeing this...

My DailyMile Profile for the week of January 9-15

is keeping me motivated.

Since I started streaking, I have had more energy, been sleeping better, and been making healthier choices when it comes to food and drinks.

I feel great.

I feel like I am regaining my body and endurance post-pregnancy.

And I am full of pride when I look at my weekly workout log.

Here's to another great week of running, cross training, and core work...

Saturday, January 14, 2012


In 15 minutes I'm planning to head down our basement and watch NBC's coverage of the Olympic Trials for the marathon. I'm so excited. This morning I was explaining to K what the Olympics are and the importance/big deal of the Trials. As I was talking about the sports, competition, opening ceremony, and tradition of the Olympic torch, I found myself tearing up. There is so much excitement and emotion involved in sports. I'm so excited it is an Olympic year.

2012 is going to be great.

I'm excited about the Olympics (heck, I'm excited to watch the marathon trials today and the swimming trials in June).

I'm also excited for my year ahead.

There is much I want to accomplish. Details are below. My plan to to do monthly (or possibly bimonthly) check-ins to track how I am doing. I want to keep track of the new foods I'm introducing/trying, recipes that work, outings I plan or attend to make sure I am on track to achieve all of my goals by the end of the year.

Like last year, I have organized my goals by my roles and responsibilities.


-- Encourage and support D while he is on sabbatical
-- Read Seven Habits of a Highly Effective Family together and write a family mission statement
-- Train for an run two races together
-- Plan one date (out of the house) per quarter

-- Read to K & C every day
-- Introduce K to a new food every two weeks
-- Introduce C to a new healthy food every week (once he starts solids)
-- Take monthly photos of C on his birthday
-- Take one photo every day using Photo365 app
-- (During summer) plan one outing per week -- pool, museum, spray park, Rock Creek Park, Arboritum

-- Run (at least) 1,000 miles
-- Streak (run every day) in January
-- Set PRs in half and full marathon (read: run a sub-1:57 half and sub-4:14 full)
-- Run the hill on 13th Street every time - NEVER, NEVER, NEVER walk up the hill
-- Cross-train once per week

-- Lose remaining pregnancy weight (~15 pounds)
-- Get K & C moving at least three times a week - gymnastics, swimming, bike riding, playing at the park
-- make/try a new healthy snack once per month

-- Organize/plan a professional photo shoot in October (with grandparents and other family members)
-- Plan family vacation to California 

-- Participate and engage in the young moms group at church
-- Plan at least sic coffee dates with friends
-- Build relationships with new colleagues

-- Write articles based on dissertation and get them published
-- Submit final written dissertation

-- Track our spending
-- Stick to our budget
-- Set savings goals - for big purchases we want/need to make

-- Paint our bedroom
-- Plant a vegetable garden with K
-- Create a workable home office for D and me

-- Read: Born to Run and The Seven Habits
-- Run a race for a cause - to raise money for a worthy organization

-- Complete a yearlong photo challenge (in addition to the 365Photo)
-- Save money for a bike and kid's bikeseat
-- Get involved in social activities at work 

Friday, January 13, 2012


Of plans and perspective.

Today I had big plans to reveal my goals for 2012. I've been working on these for weeks - reflecting on what I did last year, what I wanted to do last year, where I'm at now, and what I want to accomplish this year. I was so excited to post them and talk about how I plan to measure/evaluate my progress toward achieving goals. I have big plans for this year!

But my plans for today and sharing my goals have changed.

And they changed because of this. Earlier this week the mama runners blog world was abuzz with news that a mom of two, teacher, and runner went out for a run last Saturday morning and didn't come home. This morning we heard that she isn't coming home. The FBI said she is dead.

Crazy horrible.

Although I don't know this woman - she lived half-way across the country - but her story, her life situation hits a little too close to home for me. My heart is breaking for this woman's husband, kids, students, friends, and community.

This reminds me of this.

It reminds me that every day, every run, every breath is a blessing and a gift.

My perspective is changing - today I am more grateful for my kids, husband, friends, house, ability to run, and breath in my lungs.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Introducing... the guys.

If you thought keeping up with a three year old was hard work, imagine a three year old with an endless number of friends - both stuffed and imaginary. The fun never stops!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Last month several women I know through blogging and Daily Mile successful completed the challenge set by Tall Mom to run every day of the month. At the beginning of December the run everyday challenge sounded like a great idea to me, but as the days wore on I became lazy and intimidated.

What was I intimated by/about?

Making time to run every single day. I'm really good at scheduling four runs or so a week and I walk pretty much everywhere (to K's school, to the store, and to the f-a-r away parking lot at work). But to run every day - that was more than I thought I could handle. Fitting in a run everyday seemed impossible - between getting dressed and out the door and then running at my then comfortable 10 min/mile pace that amounted to runs lasting 45 minutes to an hour. That is a big daily time commitment for a getting back to work mom of two small kids (whose husband is now in the throws of training for an ultra-marathon). Needless to say I did not run every day of December. I was totally intimated by the time commitment because to me running every day meant getting in a 3-5 mile run everyday.

But then I read this blog post by the Sweaty Betties on New Years Eve Day... Running everyday - just one mile - amounts to 10 minutes of running. Do this on the treadmill and it is 5 minutes to get dressed, 30 seconds to descend to the basement and 10 minutes to run. FIFTEEN-FREAKING-MINUTES a day.

I can do that.

And do that I have. Beginning on January 1, I have run, walked, or run/walked every single day.

My Daily Mile weekly report last week was inspiring.

There is no reason for me not being to run, walk or run/walk every single day (some days have to be walk days because of a sore nerve in my right leg). I can take 15 minutes to run - even if I do it at 10pm (which I've done many an evening).

And I feel great about all the exercise. My mind is clear, my legs are gaining strength, and my confidence is increasing.

I will run/walk every day in January. And I will probably do the same in February.

Streaking sure feels good. And it is great to know that so many others are streaking during the month of January as well. Kerrie is aiming to do it for all of 2012. How inspiring is that?!?!

I'm going to take my streaking one month at a time.

I have big plans to run several half and at least one full marathon this year. I may need a true rest day in the midst of all that training. But for now, this mama, who still has 10 pounds of pregnancy weight to lose and a running partner (Becca) to keep up with, will be streaking for the entire month of Janaury.

Woo hoo!


In other news:

-- Classes begin in less than two weeks. I have a lot of work to do.

-- It snowed yesterday and was in the 50s today. Keeping up with the weather is hard work.

-- We hired a cleaning lady. Best.decision.ever.

-- I signed up to participate in a Resolution Fitness Challenge at work - not sure about all the details, but looking forward to making some fitness friends on campus.

-- My two babies are officially sharing a room (yes, we finally got a crib for C).

-- I fell asleep at 9:30 last night with K. And then slept through my alarm this morning. We were a little rushed on our way out this morning, but the massive amount of sleep (interrupted only once by K) felt so good.

-- C continues to be a rockstar in the sleep department. For this I am eternally grateful.

-- Sad that the NFL season ended (for me) on Sunday with the Steelers loss.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


We had the most wonderful holiday season (ignoring the fact that I had sinus and ear infections the week prior to Christmas). Due to D's work schedule, we traveled the week before Christmas. We arrived in time to go into the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania to cut down a tree with United States Grandma and Grandpa (read: my parents).

The day after our perfect blue spruce was chopped down, K spent considerable time decorating the tree. She had so much fun. She definitely has her own style. Not wanting to upset K or discourage her creative/artistic flare, my mother did not touch a single ornament or piece of ribbon that she hung. She's such a kind grandma!

We, as well as my parents, stuck to our three gift rule (three gifts because there were three wise men) this year. There was much excitement of Christmas day. My mom's craftiness took center stage; as did Maria from The Sound of Music. Below is K in her Christmas dress and her long tutu (made by my mom), which she calls her Liesl dress. She was captivated by the movie (also a Christmas gift). In the bottom two pictures she is wearing her princessa outfit. Her short pink tutu (again made by my mom) with matching wand and tiara.

C slept through most of the Christmas Day activities. He did get a hand-made stocking from my mom (again, best.grandma.ever). 

D and I enjoyed out time away. We got out for several runs together withOUT kids (I believe we ran 20 miles together over the course of eight days). We also went shopping together a few times. It was delightful.


At the beginning of last year, I wasn't pregnant, I was just coming off a big time marathon PR, D and I were running together again, my then two year old was sleeping somewhat predictably (meaning I knew I'd be up once a night, but only briefly), I had a predictable student schedule, and my gym membership was free. I set out to achieve some mighty goals. Soon after my goals post in January last year, I found out I was pregnant. I had all-day sickness and I was exhausted. There were nights K was tucking me into bed - I was so tired her bedtime was too late for me. My goals had to be altered.

Below is my revised list of goals from last year and an honest assessment of my achievement (or lack thereof) of them.


  • Get everything in place  for K to attend preschool in the fall - completed. K started at her new school in early September. She walked through the doors on the first day with such confidence and has not looked back. She's a rock-star preschooler. I'm also extremely grateful to have her in a great school that goes through 6th grade; also grateful that C will one day join her there.
  • Plan one outing with K each week
    • library - done. We're on a first name basis with the children's librarian and her intern.
    • museum - done. We went to the Air & Space Museum, American History, and Botanical Gardens this year.
    • pool - done. We spent considerable time at the pool this past summer.
    • spray park - done and done. We were regulars at the spray park; sometimes hitting it twice in one day.
  • Read to K every day - done. My baby loves to read.
  • Introduce one new food/recipe every two weeks - I did a bad job tracking my progress on this goal, but I feel confident that K tried and liked a lot of new foods this year. The girl loves broccoli, peas, tofu, and seitan.
  • Prepare K for the arrival of the new baby - she was as ready as she could be and had a sparkly pink "big sister" t-shirt to prove it.
  • Get things read for Baby #2
    • buy new crib - we didn't buy one, but arranged to get one on loan from friends
    • rearrange house - done
    • plan maternity leave - done

  • Plan one date night per month - fail. We had some great nights out - D's birthday dinner at a local wine bar, great Thai food at a local hole in the wall restaurant, but I definitely did little planning and we did not get out once a month.
  • Plan five year wedding anniversary celebration - fail. We even had a great bottle of wedding wine to open on our anniversary, but I opted for sleep most of February. Leaving little room for celebration.
  • Encourage, support, and help D plan for his sabbatical - D's sabbatical will take place this year. Support forthcoming.
  • Read book with D and take action accordingly - started, but not completed. Love the book. Just need to find the time to finish and discuss it.
  • Plan 12 coffee dates (one per month with a friend) - I had several coffee/pizza/cupcake dates with friends and former colleagues, but I do not believe I had 12.
  • Organize an event for K's friends and their moms quarterly
    • cookie decorating - done. Valentine's Day.
    • backyard sprinkler party - done. Although we rarely hosted because our neighbors had a super cool sprinkler and we went over there a lot.
    • picnic in RCP - fail, but we did picnic in the backyard, at the park near K's school and at the swimming pool.
  • Make and start getting out with a running buddy - fail. I didn't even try.
  • Volunteer
    • at a local running / triathlon event - fail
    • in one of the many neighborhood groups - half-fail. I didn't join a group per-se, but I did attend several neighborhood meetings and participated in numerous email discussions.
  • Do strength training at least twice per week - fail
  • Cross train at least once per week - partial fail. I walked a lot throughout my pregnancy and took spinning classes until my pregnant belly made me too unsteady on the spinning bike.
    • yoga
    • spinning
    • swimming
  • Gain a healthy amount of weight while pregnant (do not exceed first pregnancy weight) - I gained more weight during this past pregnancy, but also had a baby who was three pounds heavier. My weight gain was definitely in the normal/healthy range.
  • Introduce K to health behaviors --- get her outside and moving at least three times per week - we did this! Especially during the spring and summer months.
    • yoga
    • swimming
    • bike riding
    • walking
  • Make / try a new healthy snack each week - fail. And, again, I did a bad job of tracking my progress to achieve this goal.
  • East at least 4 fruits / veggies each day - likely achieved, but, again, I did a bad job of tracking my progress.
  • Defend dissertation by July 2011 - done in September.
  • Complete at least three papers for publication by September 2011 - ongoing :(
CAREER: I got my dream job and could not be more excited. I am currently working on outlining my research program, dreams, and aspirations and how I can fulfill them in my new role. My "career" category is one of the highlights of this past year.
  • Practice patience
  • Apply only for jobs I am excited about
  • Make a list of what I really want to do and necessary steps to get there by June 2011
  • Write out 3-, 5-, and 10- year goals
  • Explore some non-traditional part-time opportunities
  • Set aside enough money to pay for K's preschool - done. Paid in full in July.
  • Brainstorm ideas to make extra money - not necessary as I got an actual job.
  • Make plans to pay for delivery of Baby #2 and insurance of Baby #2 - done
  • Paint, furnish, and decorate K's big girl room - done
  • Make space / room for Baby #2 - done
  • Paint living room - done
  • Choose color and paint our bedroom - work in progress
  • Plant garden with K in the spring - garden is ready for spring 2012 planting
  • Read books on my to be read list:
    • Born To Run
    • Breaking Dawn - done
    • Celebration of Discipline
    • Anatomy of the Soul
    • Me, Myself, and Bob - started; most likely will not finish
    • Run Like a Mother - done
    • Chi Running
    • Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families - started; will finish
    • The Help
  • Read Bible (all of it before end of year) - fail
  • Learn how to use my camera - room for improvement
  • Plan a me outing each month - fail
    • spring shopping with ACE
    • afternoon at the library reading
    • walk around The Mall 
  • Pay for and get one massage -fail
  • Complete a year long photo challenge (commence in February) - fail
  • Save money for: - fail except for the stroller. I scored the stroller of my dreams on craigslist!
  • Have a natural childbirth - yeah... this did not happen, but not for a lack of trying.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


The pictures below were recently shared with me by one of my Tough Chik teammates (more on Team Tough Chik and why I joined in a future post).

I have not been able to get these two images and the message they send out of my mind. The question which life are you designing? has been on my mind pretty much all day (and sometimes at night, too).

What life am I designing?

How are my actions, activities, plans, goals, priorities, dreams impacting my life's design?

What do I need in place - physically, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, socially - to ensure that I design a life that leaves me strong, fulfilled, inspired, healthy?

These thoughts are impacting the way I think about my goals for the new year. I look at the pictures above and think to myself what can I do this year that will help me to become the woman on the right?

Monday, January 2, 2012


This Christmas I participated in a gift exchange with other runner organized by Jill of "Run with Jill". My secret santa gift arrived just as we were walking out the door for our holiday travels. I didn't have a chance to check it out until last night. My secret santa, Julie, sent me two towels from Cool Gym Towels.

The first one reads: Test your limits. The second one (and my favorite) can be read above. It is a challenge and an honor to be a mom. The towel reminds me that every step I take and race I run is setting an example for my daughter. I need to healthy and happy so that she can be too. I love that she asks me about running and every time I have on a race t-shirt she asks about a marathon. It also cracks me up that she believes everyone riding the MegaBus in DC is going to the marathon because that is how D and I traveled to Philadelphia last year.

Thank you Julie for a wonderful Christmas gift and the reminder of how important my running is to both me and my family.