2015: Looking Ahead

This blog is entering its 8th year (I started it in January 2007).  I usually write about goals and such between my birthday (in November) and the close of the year. This is Part 3 of 3 in my 2014 yearly review.

 

5 PLACES I WANT TO GO in 2015picjumbo.com_HNCK2304-40e
- NYC (I would have gone in October, but a race I scheduled there was cancelled)
- L.A. (to be on another talk show like Ellen, Wendy, Fallon or The REAL and be in the audience with my sister)
- EssenceFest*
- Puerto Rico* and/or Hawaii* (these have been on my list for years, as I’ve never done them)
- My hometown (I have not been to my hometown in 12 years, and there is a 15K race I want to do–it was even recommended as a go-to in Runner’s World magazine this month)

Continue reading

2014 Race Stats

In Part 2 of my 2014 yearly review, I recap my second year of running. Although I ran less overall, I conquered more distances and volunteered more as well. Audiobooks were a great addition to my training, as I usually “lost” my group run members during long runs.

 

TOTAL RUNNING TIME- 70 hours, 14 minutes, 10 seconds (includes regular workouts, training and races)
TOTAL DISTANCE- 354.23 miles
MAX MONTH- January, 51.49
MIN MONTH- September, 10.02 miles (the month after finishing first Half)
RACES RAN- 11
RACES VOLUNTEERED FOR- 4 (HBCU, espirit de She, 13.1 Michelob, and Black Girls Run)
“AWAY” CITIES- 2 (Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill in Boston; Rock n Roll Half Marathon on Virginia Beach)
FEES PAID- $308 (5 of my 11 races were free with my track club membership)
NEW RUN SHOE: Saucony Ride 6 (purple), purchased in April
Saucony Ride 6

Saucony Ride 6

Last year I ran all 5K races except for one 6K. This year most of my races were new and longer distances:
1- 1M (March)
3- 5K (April, Aug, Oct)
1- 4M (July 19)
1- 8K (Feb 22)
3- 10K (New Year’s Day, June 6 and July 4)
1- 15K (January 26)
1- Half (August 31)

My daughter and I wore these cute football race bibs in October

My daughter and I wore these cute football race bibs in October

FAVE BIB – Rise Up & Run (5K) with the Atlanta Falcons, October 18 (coincidentally, my bib number is also my hometown’s area code)

FAVE MEDAL – Peachtree Road Race (10K), July 4

The commemorative 2014 AJC Peachtree Road Race medal

The commemorative 2014 AJC Peachtree Road Race medal

 FAVE RACE APPAREL – Hot Chocolate (15K) pullover, January 26
Hot Chocolate 15K race packet

Hot Chocolate 15K race packet

I had some elective surgery that will keep me out of winter races now, but in the Spring, look out because I will be back on my feet! I have more “race trips” planned for 2015 including a 15K in my hometown (upstate NY in July), possibly one in Chicago, and A Christmas Story Run (Cleveland, in December).

Continue reading

2014: The Year in Review

This week’s posts are loosely based on a format from my graphic designer and a fellow runblogger I discovered last year who makes a nice infographic of her yearly race statistics.

Part 1 of 3: “Ree-flections” on 2014

One of many classic shots from my photo shoot this year with Simply Zee Imagery in Marietta, GA.

One of many classic shots this year with Simply Zee Imagery in Marietta, GA.

 

3 of my FAVORITE MEMORIES in 2014
- My photo shoot (Feb)

– Meeting folks at Sweetie Pies and visiting the Christmas Story museum in the same weekend (Oct)

 

3 THINGS THAT HAPPENED in 2014 THAT I’M GRATEFUL FOR
- Getting to travel to almost every place I had planned at the end of 2013 (including NOLA and Boston)
- NOT living from paycheck to paycheck (for the first time since 2011)

 

1 HARD LESSON I LEARNED in 2014
Accepting that people are who they are and that they will probably not change.  (I already knew this but a couple of situations reminded me that no matter how you treat someone, you must A) allow adequate time to get to know someone before letting them in emotionally, and B) accept how they behave and treat you at face value.)

 

3 THINGS I DID in 2014 I’M PROUD OF
- Paid off the first furniture set I ever purchased, interest free (March)


Tomorrow I will recap my racing accomplishments this year.
What positive (or life changing) memories do you have from this year?

What I Learned From: Reading Celebrity Memoirs (And Why You Should Read Mine)

“Bookworm” is a badge I wear proudly and have ever since I was a kid. My books of choice then were mainly fiction tales, never dreaming that as an adult I would write my own memoir.

Continue reading

What I Learned From: Y Membership (And Why I Switched to Another Gym)

I initially joined the local YMCA during the summer that my daughter was turning 5, to get a discount on summer camp.  The main draw maintaining my Y membership over the years since then has been TurboKick classes.  I loved the combo of hip hop music and moves mixed with martial arts-infused flair. Once I became certified to teach classes myself (and eligible to purchase my own TK rounds), ironically I started slowly falling out of love with it.

Don’t get me wrong–I still enjoy my old-school rounds, but gradually, I became less attached to it than ever before (from 2008 to present).

Source: In Montgomery

During the past several months, I still enjoyed my group exercise classes at the Y, but couldn’t easily fit some of the classes into my schedule. I also found myself wanting to do different things in the classes and be more independent with the exercises chosen.  For example, one instructor in particular, although very fit and good at instruction, seemed to always want to do the same exact warm-up and same leg and butt exercises when she taught every Wednesday.  It got on my nerves after awhile, especially when I thought about all the other moves we could be doing.

Yes, I’m a certified instructor, but I really don’t want to teach classes. I guess it was more like a form of (expensive) self-enrichment. Continue reading

What I Learned From: “Going Natural” (And Why I’m Back on the Creamy Crack)

I don’t regret “going natural” 4 years ago. I mainly did so to teach my daughter to love herself as she is.

She’s worn her natural hair all her life. I started “relaxing” since about age 13 for manageability, independent styling (Mom was no longer braiding me as a teen), and to fit in.  20+ years later, I bravely did the big chop.

When I took my daughter to the airport to visit other family members for the summer of ’13, she sternly told me not to cut my hair while she was gone. “You should let it grow back and get long the way it used to be,” she said.

She missed my long straight hair, and honestly, I did too.

Continue reading

What I Learned From: Homeschooling (And Why I Don’t Anymore)

This story is not profound.  I still condone homeschooling for any family who has the time and money to do so, and I don’t rule out doing so again in the future.

 

I was actually prepared to have my daughter attend our state’s Connections Academy this school year, but her old charter school notified me of an opening. What I wasn’t prepared for was all the back-and-forth between administration and myself regarding documentation and proof that she successfully completed the previous grade.

Although I was challenged and my daughter was tested (literally), we succeeded and now she is back. There was almost no adjustment since she attended the school three years ago and remembered the environment, staff and students from before. She liked being home with me, and it made us closer. But she loves her school experience now.

I don’t expect to make another school change decision again until she is finishing up 8th grade, which is the last grade there. But even though I don’t do or teach her lesson plans anymore, I’m ever vigilant and involved in her education.