The Road Behind Me

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Life Changes

I've been out of the running game for a little while, but I'm finally back and training for my 5th full marathon next month. I also got accepted in 2 lottery picks. One for the Beach to Beacon 10K and the other one is the Superior Fall Trail Race Marathon. My plantar fasciitis is controlled, my knees and ankles are feeling better after the Harder'n Hell Half (that nearly killed me), my back is getting aligned, and I have so many awesome adventures ahead. It's going to take some time to get back to the fitness level I was at a few years ago but I'm ready for it.

So what else have I been up to? Well, where do I begin? I am an independent gallery guide with Gallery on the Go, which is a mobile canvas painting party business. I started in April 2015 and have loved every minute of it. I was looking for a way to make a little money without sacrificing all of my "extra" time. I attended a friends "Paint and Sip" party and had so much fun that I signed up. It's perfect because I can schedule as many or as few parties as I want depending on my families schedules. We're only required to guide one party a year. That's it! I have met so many wonderful people since I started and I can't wait to meet many more.
What's my art background? In college I took a Drawing, Photography, and Art History class but never did much with painting. That's the beauty of this business...I don't need to have an art background. Although having an art background makes you a super awesome guide with lots of extra knowledge it really isn't necessary. So, right now I'm saving and making plans for the retreat coming up this summer. I'll be going to Colorado to hang out with some pretty awesome guides from all over the US.

I've also decided to add more adventure to my life by backpacking. So far I have a backpack, flint and tent...what more do I need? Well it's a start anyway. My friend and I decided we are going to take a few trips this summer to explore all on our own. These small trips will someday lead to our long trek across the Appalachian Mountains. Yes we will conquer them!

My sweet husband bought me a SUP (stand-up paddle board) for Christmas so my dog, Tuck, and I can paddle away on the lake this summer. The thing is ginormous. I can't wait to go camping and bring Tuck for the first time. He really seems to like the water so I can't wait to take him swimming. He's my new running buddy and we are learning lots about each other. Like how Tuck learned that I don't like being forced onto the pavement and giving big chunks of skin to the earth. Overall he's been an amazing running partner. He's still only 11 months old but he's run up to 13 miles with me. We take breaks and I bring water and treats for him so we're all good!

My youngest daughter moved up to competition level for dance this year. Her group took home a 2nd and 3rd place medal for their season. Pretty good for their first year! It's going to be a long haul for us with this child. The constant melt downs over the perfect bun are going to be the death of me. Hopefully she can practice a lot this summer and be ready to do her own hair next year.

My second child just graduated high school and that has been a tough change in our lives. We are so fortunate that God blessed her with some amazing friends (and their parents) so she really enjoyed her senior year. Next year she will be off to college but still living at home to help with her expenses. It's just very hard to think of her all grown up and ready for the next big step in her life.

We are starting to get ready for the camping season and I'm so excited to get away and relax. It's been a crazy busy year and I need some peace. Lots of photos and stories to come...

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Time can change the future but not the past. In an instant a life can be lost, a game can be won, a story can begin, and a heart can be broken. Life is a series of events that will lead us to a future that we do not yet know. That's what makes it so wonderfully mysterious. The choices we make can send us careening off in all directions leaving all who witness pondering the outcome (or more realistically harshly judging while presumably knowing the outcome). Everyone thinks there is time, but time is just a road with lots of hills to climb and turns to take, but before you know it you come to a dead end. 

Have you ever studied people? Or a particular person? Humans are very interesting creatures for many different reasons. Recently I met some pretty awesome individuals who seem to have life all figured out. They're focused, goal bound, driven, physically fit, and more importantly they are runners. Runners are their own kind of crazy but each and every one of them has a different story to tell. Let me share a few with you.

First there was Melissa. We were both walking a bit during the Wild Hog half marathon around mile 11. She has run 11 full marathons of her 50 states goal. She had run something like 3 half marathons in the last 3 weeks and is preparing for the Harder'n Hell 50K next weekend. She wasn't wearing headphones and appeared to be the type of runner who didn't mind chatting with a stranger. We learned that we both have children so early morning runs work best for our schedules. Both of our husbands are very supportive of our running goals which is super important. She apparently loves to travel since she wants to run all 50 states- bonus!
She was like my ultimate running buddy except I never actually got her name. Of course that would happen to me. Meet someone cool and then never get a name or forget the name. Either way I'm screwed. Thankfully we live in a very creepy social media world and I was able to track her down through race footage and Facebook. Okay people you really should be more careful when there are people like me lurking around. I wonder if she'll fits all my requirements.
[ from previous post "Wanted"]
Wanted: Female runner between the age of 30-40 who runs an average pace of 9:00 and race pace of 7:30. Must run marathons and be interested in ultra marathons. Must watch The Walking Dead and have a love for Zombies. Prefer married with at least 3 children. Also prefer post baby flab, stretch marks, maybe a little frumpy, with a smart ass sense of humor. Must like working out and eating healthy but can't look better than me. Stomach issues are a plus as long as you don't stop more than I do. Please contact Lori at 555-GET-REAL.

Once I crossed the finish line I was able to meet up with my super cool friend Brock who was Bart Yasso's "tour guide". Not only did I get to meet Mr. Bart Yasso but he also took a picture with me and a selfie with Brock and I. What's so special about that you ask? Wellll...he put the photo on his Instagram AND Twitter account. Yeah Brock and I are a pretty big deal now. I was able to chat with Mr. Yasso a bit and ask him some questions. I tried to play it real cool as I mentioned I was originally from New Hampshire. Of course then he asked me what big marathon NH has. Uhhhhhhh. I have no idea. I think it's just called the New Hampshire marathon but I'm a clueless runner who doesn't get enough oxygen to her brain. No one ever excused me of being too smart.

Now we move on to Barry. Some of you may have read about my bestest friend Brock. We have been friends for a few years now and used to run quite a bit together (until he got faster and I got slower). Now we only occasionally run together or I bike along side him. Mostly because our schedules are so different but we still chat and hang out. Well anyhow, Brock met this strapping young lad Barry through RunJunkees on Facebook. Barry had posted his transformation story on the page about a year ago, so Brock shared his very similar story with Barry. The two instantly connected with their similar weight loss journeys and running goals. Over the last few weeks Barry's story was picked up by the local media, social media, and Runner's World magazine. My side of the story is a bit different from the medias because I've actually spent time with them.

I didn't know either of these guys at their heaviest weights but when I first met Brock he looked a bit different from the Brock we all see now. The first time I saw Brock he had long hair, was wearing a Jason Voorhees mask, and was carrying a machete.

Yep, exact match.

Okay, so it was Halloween but still it kind of creeped me out.
At that time I didn't think Brock was overweight or ever had been. However, he was just 90 pounds down from the 141 total pounds he has lost to date. The majority of that was lost through his new found running addiction. Something changed Brock. Something much more than just a number on the scale. He found something he really enjoyed. Something he was really good at. Something he could actually keep improving on and possibly even win medals for. Like I said, I used to run with Brock but he just keeps improving and getting faster. What a jerkface!
Brock's first marathon time 09/2013                                 Brock's PR marathon time from 10/2015

Having grown up in Wisconsin Barry attended a very strict church that didn't necessarily support children in organized sports. It wasn't until several years later that Barry picked up his running addiction. While struggling with his weight throughout high school he managed to lose 80 pounds through his own self discipline in 9th grade. However, the real issue for Barry wasn't losing the weight it was keeping the weight off. After high school he enlisted in the Army. For the next 2.5 years running was used more as a punishment rather than for enjoyment. Over the next 10 years while he was attending school and working as an orderly/dietitian Barry's weight fluctuated. By 2002 Barry was married and working as a registered nurse. That's when the weight started to become a bigger problem.

Having been a registered nurse for 18 years Barry was well aware of the extra weight he was carrying around. A bad marriage followed by a small bout of depression put Barry at his heaviest weight. Barry says, "When I was over 400 pounds in January 2008 I made a goal to be running Grandma's half marathon by June 2009. I did it in 1 hour 56 minutes." Down to 198 pounds running a sub 2 hour half marathon- wow! With his daughter as motivation Barry kept working hard to get more weight off and to get faster. He boasts about his daughter and her love for running.

"She has been to almost all my races since she was 5 years old. Lots of 5K's to start as I worked my way up to the marathon distance. She loved to watch me race. She started 3-4 years ago doing the 1 mile races when they were available. Now she doesn't want to watch she wants to run them. She can run 7 miles without stopping. She wants to run Grandma's 1/2 marathon next year. I'll be signing her up for it in the next few days. She's asking about joining the cross country team when she's old enough. I never pushed it. I think she was motivated by watching me run and saw my transformation happen. She loves to run now. She asks me for advice and talks running with me.We have always had a good father/daughter relationship but this does bring us closer for sure. Having this running bond. I get excited to think if she sticks with it where this will go. She's a very good kid. She's shy but a joy to be around. I'm very proud of her. Running helped save my life. Gave me my life back. It's my thing and I'm happy if she wants to join me. If she fades out on it that's okay too."

Now weighing 160 pounds Barry has managed to keep the weight off for 3 years. He has worked hard to get to where he is now. Boston Marathon runner in 2016!!!!!
 Barry's Grandma's Marathon 2010                                                      Barry's IL marathon 2015 (BQ)

I think all the "fame" Barry has recently received has been a bit overwhelming, but he's looking forward to helping more people who have a similar story to his. That's the awesome part about being a runner. We all more than likely started out in rough shape (mentally or physically). Perhaps some smokers and some overweight. All from different walks of life, all fighting some type of battle, or hoping for a similar goal. You can be fast, slow, short, tall, overweight, physically fit, a mom/dad, daughter/son, doctor, laborer, etc. It doesn't matter. It all takes time, but once we toe that starting line we are all going to go the same distance. Each story will be different but each story will also be amazing!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

How I'm Losing Weight

I'm going on week 6 of my marathon training program and so far I have run a total of 5 days. My plan is a 6 day a week program. So now you probably see the problem. I've already come to the conclusion that I will be running the half marathon in Fargo instead of the full. I'm more than OK with this decision because a few of my friends will be running their very first half and I really want to support them.

Almost immediately after beginning week 1 of my plan I started feeling ill. What started as a sore throat, but was ruled out as strep, turned into body aches, exhaustion, headaches, and coughing. A second trip to the doctor proved to be a waste of time when the doctor sent me home with a mild pain killer. Hmm...not sure what that was for. After suffering 3 weeks with a horrendous cough and having chills and a fever I just couldn't take it anymore. I headed to the big city to see a professional who was a bit more qualified to deal with my illness. Third time is a charm. Turns out I have bronchitis. So after 5 days of strong medication and a few days of rest and I feel 90% better. 

Since being sick kept me from running every day I started limiting my caloric intake. Sticking to 1360 calories a day in an attempt to lose weight without exercise. I had to start somewhere. Brock helped me out by making me eight servings of his Cajun chicken pasta. He was kind enough to share his recipe.

Easy quick cajun pasta!
1.75 chicken breasticles 2 johnsonville cajun chicken sausages 1 16 ounce package of pretty much any whole grain pasta, I chose spirals, because they are fun. 1ish large tablespoons of louisana brand "cajun" seasoning 1 tablespoon of peanut oil for frying the chicken and sausages 1 green pepper diced coarse 1 orange/yellow/red/whogivesafuck pepper diced coarse 4-5 cloves of garlic minced. 1 medium onion diced coarse 4 stalks of celery chopped 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes. a splash of cayenne sauce (I used Cholula because the person I made this meal prep for is a huge wuss face!...... Lori)
Dice/chop the chicken and sausages, sprinkle cajun seasoning on meat liberally, then sautee in peanut oil until cooked through. Remove from that pan and place in a separate bowl, sautee the veggies and garlic in the same pan until onions are translucent. Throw your pasta in bowling (aka boiling) water. Add the meats back into your pan of veggies along with the tomato, liberally sprinkle with cayenne sauce, and a bit more cajun seasoning. Simmer slowly. When pasta is done, drain and add to the pan of veggies and meat. Stir in, remove from heat, and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir before serving.
Total cost for this recipe was around $10.
I broke it down into eight servings. The nutritional break down is roughly; calories 285 carbs 42 protein 17 fats 5

Ignore that I'm a wuss face part. Since this is a lower calorie serving I also made myself a smoothie to consume with it.

Pineapple w/ juice, plain yogurt, spinach, strawberries, ice, and oj
I divided two batches into freezable cups with lids so I could grab one in the morning and by the time I ate lunch it was thawed enough to drink. 

I ran last Saturday and again on Monday and then it was back to the doctor. 6 miles on an indoor track and sitting in a steam room seemed to break everything up a bit. However, I'm sure running outside on Monday was probably a really bad idea. It was about -20 degrees and although I wore a mask I just don't think I should have been out there. 

So week two Brock made my lunch again. Of course I paid him to make these for me so don't think I'm that special. I know if you asked him he would prep your meals as well. This time it was one chicken breast, half a sweet potato, and veggies. 320ish calories looks something like this.

I break my calories up like this;
Breakfast- 300 calories
Lunch- 300-350 calories
Supper- 600 calories
Snacks- 100 calories

I use the "My Fitness Pal" app to track my daily calories and exercise. Depending on the type of exercise you're doing and what your goal is you may be able to consume what you've burned off through exercise. According to this app 40 minutes of running burns approximately 514 calories. So I might replenish some of these burnt calories with a Clif Bar, peanut butter bread, an extra serving of protein at supper, a salad, etc. Not cake or sugary desserts. Now don't get me wrong I do "cheat" occasionally. I don't overindulge but I will let myself have a treat once a week. I want my goals and choices to be realistic and sustainable. 

This is why I ask myself a few different questions when I change my eating habits. Will I be able to sustain this for the rest of my life? Am I ever going to eat sweets again? Can I consume 1360 calories a day and be satisfied? If I answer no to any or all of those questions I am doomed to fail. Of course I'm going to eat sweets again. I just have to know my limits. Sunday is usually by treat day when I indulge in something sweet. It's usually not much because I learn that after time I don't really crave the sweets as much. 

Tonight I indulged in Cold Stone Creamery ice cream. Yep a day early but I had a meeting and it was just there- don't judge. While good it really didn't do anything for me after 2 weeks without sweets. It actually made my stomach really upset and now I'm regretting it. Plus I still needed some food with substance since I skipped supper. Never skip meals. Don't be that person who says, "I'm doing good today. I haven't even had breakfast." Wrong. You need to eat at every meal, especially breakfast. 

I'm down 5 pounds over 2 weeks and that's without much exercise. So once I'm feeling better my activity level will pick up. I can't wait to get back to my normal schedule.

 If you'd like advice, a buddy, some motivation, or someone to prep your meals (not me but Brock) just let me know. We can start a challenge/support group or an individual accountability system for you. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Do Over

I am a worrier, an over-thinker, a semi-perfectionist, an all or nothing, a dreamer, and a protector. I think most of us worry and over-think things, but sometimes it can be more than overwhelming. We question life and wonder what else we should be doing. Like there's some greater mission we should be on. I feel as though I should be changing the world but I just don't know how. Do you?

So what do I worry about? I worry about who reads my blog and who doesn't. I worry about my social status and my lack of trend setting abilities. I worry about social events and why I don't get invited to certain ones. I worry about looking like a fool. I worry that I didn't do something right. Did I leave something unfinished?

Then there's my perfectionist side that wants to do everything right and be everything I think I should be. Let me just make sure this looks just right. I don't like to make things good enough, close, or usable. I want to make sure it's done right; the way they should be. My clothes need to be folded a certain way. The dishwasher can't be overloaded. Laundry must be separated. Everything has a place. I vacuum at least once a day and sweep at least twice. I can't leave the house until the counters are wiped down. And most importantly the toilet paper has to roll over the top- never under.

When I'm involved with a project I have to be all in or I want nothing to do with it. My biggest pet peeve is being a part of something that no one tells me anything about. I want to be involved and I'm ready for any task but then an event or meeting happens and I know nothing about it. There is no "i" in team people. There's we and we all need to be on the same page. There's also a leader who needs to step up and make sure everyone is included. That's why I like to lead and not follow. I just want to know what's going on.

Then this turns into over-thinking.

What's wrong with me? Did I miss a text or email? Did I make someone mad? Am I not funny enough? Is my hair too messy? Should I dress a certain way? Lose weight? Be more outgoing? Do they think I'm not going to follow through? Did they not really want me to be involved?

Then I go in to my day dreamer mode.

Well forget all the naysayers and haters because I have an awesome core group of friends that love and understand me. I don't need handfuls of fake friends. I'm going to travel and run all my destination races. I'm going to start backpacking with T and we're going to have real life experiences. Maybe I'll live like the Alaskan bush people and leave everything behind. Nah. Hahaha that was a good one.

I mostly worry about the world my kids will grow up in. Which is why I can't worry about all of these insignificant things. I'm not going to raise my children thinking the world is perfect and it revolves around them but I am their role model. They build their strong foundation with their parents. I want to teach them to be strong and independent. I want them to travel and see this grand world. I want them to love unconditionally. I want them to see beyond the small town life filled with drama and minor heartbreak. I don't want them to be over-thinkers or worriers. I just want them to be happy.

Live your life. Be who God made you. If you still aren't sure who that is than just do what makes you happy. That's the you you're suppose to be. Don't worry so much. Each morning starts a new day so have a do over. I'm going for a do over tomorrow.

And please remember that everyone wants to be included. So go out of your way to say hi or start up a conversation. You never know what kind of friendship you may build from a simple gesture.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Up and Running

Rain in January? Yep, I guess Minnesota weather is very unpredictable. Right now running conditions are a little slick but nothing we haven't dealt with before. Although I've only ever fell on a run once- well twice if you count the time I didn't see that hole. Actually I'm pretty sure Brock had something to do with it.

I felt so proud 
My marathon training starts next week so I've been trying to ease my way back in to running. My heel has been a little sore but not painful, which is excellent news. My plantar fasciitis may be finally going away!!!!! With a morning workout and an afternoon run I've been really careful with how much I stress my foot. I've been rolling, using my Strassburg sock, modifying some of my workout, and using my new AccuRelief device.

Tomorrow I'll try somewhere between 8-10 miles and if that goes well I'll be running 6 days a week for the next 20 weeks leading up to Grandma's marathon. This girl is pumped!!!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Hello 2015

Geez, it was kind of hard to get logged back in to my blog. Yes, it's been a while since I have written anything but with my plantar fasciitis (pf) there hasn't been much to write. More complaining than anything and no one wants to hear that.

There have been a lot of exciting adventures for me to talk about and lots of changes in the last few months. So, let me briefly touch on what I've been doing in my "spare" time. 

I purchased a 6 month pass from a local swimming pool so I could do some water running. Yes, there is such a thing. You basically wear a flotation device around your waist to keep your feet off the bottom of the pool and you run. Well you try to run from one side of the pool to the other...slowly...looking ridiculous. All the 50+ ladies were more than curious and knew from experience exactly what pf was. They are wonderfully sweet ladies who are 100% confident in themselves. So much so that they walk around the locker room nude while carrying on a conversation with you. Where the heck are you suppose to look? I swear the one lady has nicer boobs than me and she's twice my age. Hey I couldn't help but look when she was talking to me and I assumed she was dressed. Very nice lady.

My crafting hobby headed in a new direction as I was offered a space to rent for my tutus at a local store named Tattered.

I'm not rolling in the cash but it's a good way to get a little more exposure for my little 5Pinkfairies business. Plus I've expanded my crafting ideas/abilities a bit more. I love to learn!

I've also been given some awesome opportunities to take photos for various occasions such as MCC's production of Beauty and the Beast, our church directory photos, my good friends family Christmas cards, my own families pictures, and recently a photo shoot that included a 3 week old baby. I love photography but it is stressful when it has to be organized. That's why I will never do it professionally. I usually won't say no when asked but I definitely draw the line at paid for professional quality photographs. I want to do my own thing and have fun with it. That's what makes a good photo. Get me nervous, on a schedule, or expect high quality and I guarantee I will screw those photos up. 

Oh we also have a beautiful little girl who we are sponsoring through Compassion. Her name is Rachidata and she lives in Burkina Faso which is located in Africa. She is the same age as one of my daughters and we're so excited to get to know her. She sent us her first letter but we were saddened with the news of her father passing away. She asked that we pray for her mother, brother, and herself. We continue to pray for Rachidata and hope that by sponsoring her we can give her hope and help in her future goals.

Now I must touch on the running part. Although I haven't run more than 4 miles since October I still have lots of races planned for 2015. All which include possibly becoming an official "Marathon Maniac". That means finishing 3 full marathons within 90 days. BAM! Well there is still that pesky little pf to worry about but I'm staying positive. I did just complete 5.5 miles Friday and 6 Sunday with not much pain in my heel.

My wonderful husband bought me a GoPro camera for Christmas so I plan on using that a lot on my runs and blogging a bit with it as well. There's a strong possibility I will be visiting 3 different states this July so there will be tons of adventures to record. And there may be a skydive happening in my near future but there are a lot of things that need to fall into place first.

I more recently was introduced to Laura Parson who will begin her attempt to break the female record for crossing the United States on foot June 1. She will need to run 3,030 miles in less than 68 days to break the record. Her run will begin in San Francisco and finish in New York City. Along with attempting to break the female record for a Transamerica run, Laura is also running to raise awareness and funds for RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). It’s a cause that she is very passionate about so by running she is hoping to talk about organization as much as she can. As you can imagine there are quite a few items Laura will need for this venture to be successful, and without the help from donors and sponsors her journey will be much more difficult. I volunteered to help Laura find sponsors and donors to make her awesome adventure a little easier. If you want to help please check out her blog site here. Right now transportation is the most important resource for her. It would be ideal to have a camper for this long journey along with a few drivers taking shifts. I wish I could get enough time off of work to go with her but it's just not possible. I will definitely be following her progress all summer so stay tuned for more on the 2015 Run Across America.
Got her in The Watch

Friday, September 19, 2014

I want to be a Runner

If you haven't seen my many Facebook posts about my plantar fasciitis then you wouldn't know that I haven't done much running in the past 3 weeks. It sucks. It was part of my daily routine and a huge part of my life. Now I'm struggling to find my happy pace...or any pace at all. 

This week a group of friends and I started the Beachbody T25 workout. It's helped to relieve some stress but it hasn't been very easy on my foot. All the jumping and being on the toes not only makes the muscles in my foot sore but also the plantar fascia. It's nice to feel the dripping sweat and sore muscles but I NEED to run. 

I wasn't one of those runners that thought, "I'll never get injured." I was the runner that thought,"Plantar Fasciitis won't happen to me." I thought maybe a twisted ankle, back injury, pulled muscle, but never this. Not that any of those injuries are any better but this is my foot- my main tool in the process of running. Yes, I sound like a big baby. Yes, I know there are a lot of people in the world who struggle more than I do. Yes, I am stubborn and need to let it heal. However, I can not allow myself to give up or quit. I have a goal of completing the Wild Duluth 50K in October and I don't know how to give it up. This is something I've wanted to accomplish for a long time and I know it will be there next year but this was suppose to be the year. Actually this whole running year has been pretty bad for me. Fargo was embarrassing and miserable. Alaska was awesome but a little slower than I wanted. Wild Hog has been downgraded. I've gained weight. I've lost speed. My stomach issues have only gotten worse. I surrounded myself with everything running and now it's all being "rubbed" in my face. Facebook is full of running posts, my friends are becoming more active, and people ask me running questions all the time.

"Are you racing this weekend?"
 "Are you doing the Color Run this weekend?" 
"Are you going to any other states to run?"
"Are you planning this race?"
"Are you helping with that race?"
"You wanna run?"
"Did you run today?"
"You probably already ran like 15 miles today, huh?"

I get it. It's awesome that people know me as a runner but this is the worst time to finally get that type of attention. Any runner who has been injured knows exactly what I am talking about. It's like a painter who can't paint, a photographer who can't take photos, a director without a cast, a baseball player without a ball, etc. Something is missing and I don't like it. 

So true.

I get it. Some of you are rolling your eyes and think I'm being dramatic. OK, I am over-exaggerating a bit but seriously I miss running and I want get back out there. There are some things that can't be replaced and this is one of them. Biking, swimming, and lifting weights are all good workouts but they just can't be compared to running. Who feels my pain? Please share your injury experiences with me so I know I'm not alone. 

*Throwing myself a pity party.*