Friday, January 30, 2009

25 things about me

Do you know these things about me??

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.


1. After teaching Special Ed for 3 years, I taught regular ed for a year and decided where I waNted/needed to be was back with my special ed kiddos and have been teaching it since.

2. I married my high school best friend (not my high school sweetheart) 8 years after graduation.

3. Three people have asked me to marry them (for real). I said yes to two, but only followed through with one! :)

4. My friend Janet and I got completely trashed on screwdrivers once (when we were young and dumb right Janet? haha) and had to stop on the way home (her boyfriend, now hubby, was driving) to pee on the side of the road in some stranger's lawn. My cell phone fell out of my pocket so after they dropped me off at home, Mike had to go back to find it!

5. I HATED running in high school but now I've done 3 full marathons, about to do my 4th 1/2 marathon, and numerous 5 and 10K's.

6. I'm not a fast runner, I just haven't figured out when to stop yet.

7. I'm about to be in my 4th wedding other than my own, but it is the first time I've had to buy a real bridesmaid dress - the other's were more casual.

8. I am completely, irrationally, terrified of spiders. Even the little bitty ones freak me out if they move. It's the legs...It's isn't natural!

9. My husband and I are exactly the same hight - 5"8' so if I wear heels, I'm taller than him.

10. I wear heels anyway.

11. Except at our wedding. I wore ballerina flats so I wouldn't be taller in the pictures.

12. I also was afraid I'd fall on my face, less chance of that in flats.

13. My dress was so long you couldn't see my feet anyway!

14. I love reading book/novels written for teenage girls.

15. I love sappy old black and white movies, but Princess Bride is unequivically the best movie ever!

16. I haven't done a single thing on my homework this week.

17. It's due Sunday, I'll do it Saturday.

18. Even though we have a lawnmower, when my hubby deploys, I hire someone to mow. It's the one chore that I can not stand to do.

19. I want to live in another country for a while, just to experiance it.

20. The top thing on my "bucket list" is to go to Pompeii.

21. I was a guest at my husband's first wedding. Sat right up front... Had an interesting conversation with his dad afterwards that we still laugh about to this day.

22. I've lived in 5 places in Florida, but have never moved out of Florida.

23. However, I have friends all over the world!

24. I have 2 tattoos, a fairy on my foot and a sun/moon on my back. I drew the one on my back. I'm the only one who knows what all it means.

25. My nickname in HS was Squirrel - because in 6th grade I drew a skunk and before I had it colored in, the guy I had a crush on said it looked more like a squirrel, and somehow it stuck as a nickname. Guys are mean! lol

Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday Menu Plan & Workout schedule

I have a really busy week this week! I have papers to write for my master's classes, I have lessons to plan for my wn class, workouts to accomplish in order to reach a few running goals I have set for the near future - I have a 10k in less than 2 weeks, and a 1/2 marathon in March.

Monday: Left over pizza
(Class at the gym, Stretch)

Tuesday: Spaghetti Dinner at school
(Run 5 miles, core workout)

Wednesday: Cheesy Broccoli and Ham casserol
(Class at the gym, stretch)

Thursday: Meatloaf - haven't decided what to put with it yet
(Run 5 miles, core workout)

Friday: Grilled Chicken, shells and cheese, salad

Saturday: Dinner out with hubby before he leaves
(Run 7.5 miles)

Sunday: Airport food - bleh

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Most Magical Marathon

Disney Marathon Weekend has come and gone ... and I am still able to move!!! While some hard core endurance runners may not be too impressed with my time, I'm happy with my accomplishments. It was my 3rd full marathon, and each time I have improved my time. My first one I walked, with a sprained ankle, for most of it and finished right around the 7 1/2 hour mark...not pretty at all. My second, Disney Marathon 2007, I finished in 6 hours 26 minutes with blisters all over my poor feet. This year, however, I finished in 6 hours and 17 minutes feeling fine (muscle soreness and a small bit of chafing in a strange place, but nothing major at all). I even danced, jumped, and worked up another sweat at the victory party because I felt so good! Here is how my day went on Sunday -

1:30am - Hubby wakes up and starts the shower. Being on night shift normally, he wasn't really able to sleep all night even though I didn't have to get up until 2am.

2am - Even though I've been awake for a little while, the alarm goes off and I officially get up and start getting everything ready. Race Ready capris, singlet with all my ribbons, Garmin, toe socks, Sharkies, sport beans, Luna moons, muscle fuel, sun block, chap stick, ear phones, iPhone, band aids, hand warmers, salt packets, ID tag on my shoe, emergency info on the back of my race number... check check and check. Make hot water in the coffee maker for my oatmeal and shovel it in.

2:40am - Robin knocks on the door to get me so we can start walking towards the meeting area. Chris is busy making a sign for me, "Go Princess Nicole!" Could he be any cuter? haha

3:00am - Robin and I meet the rest of the Team in Training full marathoners for pictures.

3:15am - Get on the bus headed toward the start line. "Are we nervous yet?"

3:30am - Arrive at Epcot staging area, find a place for our team to gather, stretch, and warm up. Eat my banana.

4:00am - Hubby surprises me by arriving early and meeting me in the staging area! YAY!! I told you he was sweet! :)

4:30am - Check our finish line bags,use the porta potty (3 times), and start the LONG walk towards the corrals. Seriously, that has to be nearly 2 miles right there...can't that count towards our 26.2??

5:00 - In the corral, huddled together for warmth, eat my granola bar and shake up my muscle fuel in the bottle of water I brought. Looking around at all the people who are running this thing with us. Thousands of people of all shapes, sizes, and walks of life getting ready to run over 26 miles. Some for personal glory, some to prove to themselves that they can, some for charity, and some just because they thought it would be fun (?fun!?!). Whatever the reason, we were all here, waiting anxiously for the start.

5:45am - Wheelchair start. WOW are they FAST!!! Can I hitch a ride?

5:50am - official start. Fireworks, fire blasts into the sky, Micky, Minnie, Goofy, and Donald there to wish us all luck and get this thing rolling! Unfortunately, there was a split start and the spectators were only allowed on the far right hand side - I was put on the far left hand side so even though Hubby was there, we didn't see each other :( I called him after I passed where he should have been and he decided to go on to mile 9 and get a good spot to make sure we could find each other.
Mile 1 through 5 - Feeling GREAT! Adrenaline is pumping and I can't believe we've already done a few miles! Running though Epcot with all the lights in the sidewalk and the "golf ball" illuminated was definitely a cool thing to see to get you motivated!

Mile 5 - Still feeling pretty good but Erin (the girl I was running with) and I decided it was time for yet another potty break. The line for the porta potty wasn't short, and stopping sucked but we decided that not stopping would suck worse later if we didn't stop now! The worst part was trying to hold your breath as to not inhale the aromatic fumes in the porta potty and squat over the seat so as to not actually touch it all while out of breath and with tired legs. We get to take this 8 minutes off our final time right?

Mile 6 - On the road to Magic Kingdom, not nearly as cool as being in the park but we do go over an overpass with runners running under making for a very cool picture. Erin stops to snap a picture (I have asked for a copy) and we keep on going towards Magic Kingdom.
Mile 9 - Right at the sign for mile nine is my awesome husband with his "Princess Nicole" sign, and of course a kiss for luck and encouragement!

Miles 10 and 11 - Through the Magic Kingdom and Cinderella's castle! Lots of energy, people cheering, characters dancing, go...go...go... :)

Mile 13.1 - Half way there!!! I'm feeling great but Erin isn't. She's hurting and feeling nauseous. I gave her a salt packet hoping that it would help her to get some sodium in her. She said she felt better after a water stop. Worried that it was her Sharkies that was making her feel this way, she was afraid to take more. I worried that this wasn't a good idea. Her body will need fuel to finish the race!

Mile 15 - Animal Kingdom! The cast members have live animals on the course to chear us on! Goats, sheep, parrots... Erin still isn't feeling great but is hanging on. She loves the animals!

Mile 16 - Another potty stop for Erin. I didn't need to go so I took the time to stretch out a little and text message a few friends as to our progress!

Miles 16 through 19 - Erin isn't doing good. She is no longer able to keep our 3:1 pace but isn't giving up. We see Coach Michele at a medical tent at mile 19 helping another group of Brevard TnT gals with a few issues. Erin is finally able to convince me to go on without her (Only because Michele promised me that she would stay with her) so I ran on with Cathy, Shelly, Ashley, and one other girl doing 4:1's

Mile 19 through 24 - I'm doing OK hanging with the group running 4:1's even though Erin and I had been doing 3:1's

Mile 24 - I found the wall!! I'm not sure what happened but around mile 24 the wind came out of my sails! I suddenly felt DEAD! I wasn't about to give up and quit but I could no longer hang with the 4:1 group and fell a little behind.

Mile 24 through 26 - I was behind the group but never really out of sight of the group. I had to slow down a bit and walk a bit more but I never gave up all together. I refused to let myself "walk the rest of it." Instead, when I needed a break, I picked out a time or a landmark and walked until I reached that point and started to jog again.

Mile 26 - Only two tenths of a mile left! I can see (and HEAR) the finish line!!!!! Hubby told me he would be there but I can't find him. Knowing he is there to see me finish is a great feeling even though I can't see him. I see the race clock in front of me and it isn't the time I had hoped for but I know it is still better than last year's and I'm feeling pretty good!

26.2 - FINISH LINE!!!!!! So happy to be done, proud of what I have done, and ready for an ice bath! The weight of the Micky medal on my neck feels amazing! Pose the for picture with the medal, one hand holding the medal, the other hand in a Sign Language "I Love You" sign for my Daddy,and I'm off to find Hubby.

After the race, even though I felt SO much better than after previous marathons, walking through the parking lot to my husbands truck was quite a trip, but not nearly as funny as I'm sure the scene was with me trying to get into my husband's big Redneck Truck!! THEN, after we arrive at the hotel, I have to climb up a flight of stairs to get to my room!! WHO PUT THOSE THERE!?!?!

Hubby started a luke-warm bath for me to get into and then started slowly filling it up with ice in order to ice down my poor legs. I wouldn't ever get into an ice cold bath, but if I start off luke warm and then add the ice, I'm OK. I also poured about a cup and a half of Apple Cider Vinegar into the bath (for some reason, it really works!) and soaked until my legs were numb - about 20 minutes. I then stood and showered off in a luke warm (which felt really hot after that ice) shower to wash out my hair and get rid of the vinegar smell.

6:00 - 8:00 pm - The Victory Party was a BLAST! Believe it or not, I was on the dance floor doing the twist, the cha cha slide, the electric slide, the conga line, and even "How low can you go?" although my low wasn't very low! The DJ had all the cancer survivors come to the dance floor at one point and played "I will survive" as they all danced together. It was a great sight to remind us all why we were there! (The picture is of the survivors dancing)

8:30pm - A few Tylenol PM's to knock out some of the soreness, and I hit the hay right after the party.

It's possible that had Erin not had such a bad race and needed to stop, we could have made less than 6 hours, but all in all I'm happy. I am glad I didn't leave Erin until I knew that someone was there to keep her company, those miles can be very lonely when you are feelig crappy and have no one to keep you going.

Yesterday and today I feel OK. Only one small blister on my toe and my body definitely knows it worked hard, but I'm not dieing and I'm not cursing the day I decided to sign up for this crazy thing called a marathon. In fact, yesterday, I signed up for a 1/2 marathon in March!

"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start." - John Bingham

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Marathon Packing

I have 4 things that I HAVE to do tonight: Finish my homework, pack for the weekend, paint my name and make the ribbons for my singlet, and of course WATCH THE GATOR GAME!!!!!

This weekend should be interesting, as all marathon weekend are! My husband is actually going to be here for this race, his first (my fourth), so he will actually get to see me cross the finish line and see all of the craziness both before and after. So that you can see just how crazy it should be (and to help myself stay organized), here is my packing list, and what bag it goes in!

Finish Line Bag: When I go to pick up my entry packet, Disney wil give me an "official" bag to put items into that will be transported to the finishline ready for me when I cross. So that I don't forget anything, I pack these all together in a different bag then I just transfer it all over.

Endurox Recovery Drink
warm shirt/jacket
flip flops
The Stick
Transportation Bracelets

Race Ready's My shorts are from a company called "Race Ready" and have cool pockets all over it for all of the things I need on my 26.2 mile run. Here is what will go into those pockets:

salt packets
Sport Beans (3 packs)
Sharkies (3 packs)
Advcare Packet
Water (drunk before we actually start running)

Running Clothes
race ready's
toe socks (pack 2 pair just in case it rains - one pair will be dry in a plastic baggie)
TnT singlet
sports bra ;)
Brookes shoes
Garmin Forerunner 305 HRM
Throw-away sweater for the start of the race

Other General Packing
cell phone charger
camera & camera charger
personal items
Change of clothes for Saturday
Change of clothes for Sunday post race
Purple dress for Victory party
Extra change of clothes just in case
Food (it's Disney, which means everything is expencive!)
epsom salt
bubble bath (to hide the smell of the Apple Cider Vinegar)
Apple Cider Vinegar (Pour in an ice bath to help get rid of sore muscles)
Tylenol PM
Waiver (can't run without it!!)
Pasta Party tickets
Victory Party Tickets
Transportation bracelets
Massage pad

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tuesday Teaser - Peter and the Shadow Thieves

Here's the deal: I open my current read to a random page and find two interesting (consecutive) sentences to share with you.

Today's teaser comes from the sequel to Peter and the Starcatchers, Peter and the Shadow Thieves. It is a very interesting twist on the Peter Pan stories! According to the publisher, it is great for ages 10 and up. I read Peter and the Starcatchers to a group of students a few years ago so when I saw this, I had to read more of the story! These teaser sentences come from page 178 (of 556):

" 'We can't fly away,' he whispered. 'People don't fly in London.' "

Monday, January 5, 2009

Menu Planning Monday

Well the Chicken and Corn Chowder from last week was a definate hit! I can't wait for another chilly night to make it again!

This week:

Tonight (Monday) - Hubby is out of town visiting his dad who is going to have surgery tomorrow so I'm on my own. I'm thinking Nachos with beef and cheese!

Tuesday - Hubby is still out of town so I'll just do something simple

Wednesday - Pizza Pinwheels

Thursday - Spaghetti with meat sauce

Friday - DISNEY MARATHON WEEKEND!!! Pasta Party so LOTS of carbs, breads, pastas...

Saturday - On our own in Disney. We will probably try to find even more pasta to carbo load before the race.

Sunday - RACE DAY!! Victory Party!! The carbs here will consist mostly of the alcholic variety! :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2008 in Review

I started typing my fist paper for my first master's class of 2009. It was weird putting "2009" on the cover page! I had to pause and double check to make sure that, yep, it really is 2009.

It made me wonder where 2008 went, so I thought that a "Year in Review" might be a good idea.

January: My husband was deployed for the second Christmas season in a row. I wasn't blogging regularly at this point so I don't have any blogs around this time but I do remember being a bit depressed. I also remember having like 20 people in my house for Christmas! I had my biological father, his wife, their son (my 1/2 brother), his wife, and their three children. I also had my biological mother, her husband, their 3 kids (my 1/2 brother and sister and my step-brother), my other brother, his wife, their son. Then there was my sister's best friend Paul, his parents and younger brother. Oh... and me, making 20. I had NEVER had that many people in my house - expecting me to feed them! Luckily, My biological mom and my Bio-dad's wife did chip in a make a few things to bring but I made the ham, and a few sides. Somehow, we made it though the day!

Another huge thing that happened in January was that my father got a life saving bone marrow transplant from a wonderful anonymous donor! 1 year later and Daddy is doing AWESOME!

February: Deployments SUCK! No other way to put it. Being alone often gets to you.

March: Deployments still suck, but you have to suck it up and think about all the wonderful things that you do have, even when you are missing the one you love.

April: Daddy is recovering well and is staying in an apartment near the hospital for regular checkups and blood work. Going to visit him and taking him back and forth to his appointments really makes you think.

May: My husband is finally home, and my little brother graduated from HS and prepared to follow my husband into the US Navy. Both Hubby and I gave him some advice that I hope he listens to. Months later and I can report, some he did listen to, and some...well... hopefully he'll learn from his mistakes :)

June: Summer Break is finally here! YAY More time to get bored, and think about who you really are.

July: Because my dad and my little brother both have Lymphoma, in 2005, I got involved with Team in Training, a group that trains for and run/completes marathons/triathlons/century bike rides while raising money for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I had previously felt that training and raising money would be too much for me this year because I'm also working on completing my Master's Degree but after receiving a very upsetting e-mail from a friend of mine telling me that her fiance had been diagnosed with Lymphoma as well, I couldn't keep it on the back burner and I was literally off and running again.

August: One of the hazards of living in Florida is the hurricanes...and this year, the tropical storms got us too!

September: September 11th was very emotional this year.

October: My brother got married! <--Pictures there, but there are even more HERE! I also started my serious attempt to learn how to cook and cooking more often this month.

November: I decided to participate in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) in honor of my birthday on the last day of November and posted a blog every single day of November! One of the most memorable, and saddest, events was the passing of my Uncle David in early November.

December: December was busy! I decorated the house, Ran 20 Miles, went camping with the in-laws, Thought about my Christmas Wishes, remembered why I can't give up, and thought about the Angles Among Us.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I've never been big on resolutions, mainly because I've never been able to keep them (and let's be honest, most people don't.) Usually I try to make resolutions throughout the year whenever I feel they need to be made. So, rather than my NEW YEAR'S resplutions, here is what I am working on now:

  1. Orginazation of my life. I've started on this already. I recently got an iPhone and on it is a handy dandy calendar and a place for notes, lists, and everything I need right with me. Now lets see if I will actually use it! But this also includes keeping the spaces around me organized - my house and my desk/classroom at work. Hubby and I tackled the computer room and the guest rooms recently which had both turned into "junk rooms."
  2. Learning to cook. This has been ongoing for a while, but I took a hiatus for a while when life got busy around the holidays and well, I got lazy :) Hopping back on the bandwagon this week!
  3. Look FANTASTIC at my sister's wedding at the end of February! This means hitting the gym and watching what I eat! Everyone always thinks I should lose weigh with my marathon training but I rarely do except in the begining. I'm burning more cals, yes, but I'm also replenishing them because I need them for my next run! There is no room for deficit there so little room for weight loss. Since my marathon is in early January, soon after I should be able to adjust and drop a few pounds before the wedding.