Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays to everyone! Hope everyone enjoyed time with special people, and at least enjoyed the calories that none of us really should have consumed! My crazy food included a Paula Deen butter and cream cheese cake. I could feel my arteries hardening.

But my first Christmas without my dad turned out okay. My mom, brother + fam, sister + fam enjoyed our time together, and no one caused any big uproar -- always a good thing.

Spending time in NC with my mom has made me realize I really need to find a way to get back down here quicker. Since my Michigan job has now turned into part-time, I'll definitely include NC in my job search. It sure would be nice if I could spend a significant part of the year with her. We'll see.

My running has been lame. But I'll keep at it.

Amanda had a great idea -- if I'm not running the Disney Half in the future, I could volunteer! I think it would be super fun! I will run local 10Ks, by the way. I won't give up running, just will run shorter distances.

See some of you soon!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What a year. And I don't really mean that in a good way!

It has been interesting. Lots of ups and downs, for all of our gang.

For those of us who didn't have a great year of training and eating right, and know that we left opportunity on the table -- it is what it is. But every morning, every minute, we can start fresh. So let's keep trying to move forward.

I am pretty sure I am done with half marathons, but I hate that this year hasn't been an improvement over last year. I really was looking forward to building on what I accomplished last year. But I didn't know I would lose my dad this year, and I didn't know that training without that "fear of being swept" would be harder. I also didn't know our Team Voice would be more distracted and busy and less connected this year (I'm a prime example) -- but it's totally understandable. And it certainly makes me understand how TRULY MAGICAL our experience was last year.

But it seems like we do have some Team Voicers who have had a great year, and are destined to have fabulous runs -- and I am SOOOO happy for them! You know, all year I've watched Rae's training and races, and am still amazed and flabbergasted by her drive! Could we please bottle some of this up, Rae?!!

Hopefully I'm not speaking out of turn about everyone's experiences this year. Please forgive me if I didn't say something quite the right way.

Now despite my bummer of a year, I am still VERY excited about seeing some of Team Voice in a few weeks at WDW! I'm NOT excited about the race, but I'll just gut it out and try to enjoy the experience as best I can.

And after MILE 13, I'll start looking forward to enjoying some 10Ks!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Back, And Gone Again

I'm back from WDW. It was a great trip! More on that later.

Tomorrow I'm driving to NC to spend Thanksgiving with my family, the first without my father. I think we'll be fine, and will enjoy our time together.

It's also the weekend of my mom's class reunion, and mine too! It's going to be interesting. Since I've been gone from town for so long, and have a terrible memory, I am going to be clueless about who the heck everyone is!

More next week!

Enjoy your turkey and your families!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hey, I'm Going to Disney World!

I've been so lame about blogging, that I just realized today that it might be a good idea to mention that I'm going to WDW on Sunday!

Me and my sister will be there for a week to celebrate my birthday on Tuesday. This is the first time the two of us have gone alone, and I think it will be a cool, bonding experience. Either that, or we'll be sick of each other by the end of the week!

She was not able to come in January 2009 for marathon weekend -- my parents and brother did. So I told her we would do this trip as her replacement, and finally I would get to have a birthday at WDW.

I'm going to try the dining plan for the first time this trip. I've always liked to have one table-service meal each day, usually lunch, just to have a break and some quiet time before heading out again. So the plan should mesh with my normal routine -- except for dessert. Usually I'm full enough that I'm okay skipping dessert to save calories and money, but now I will feel obligated to get a dessert! Could be trouble!

We're staying at the Boardwalk (DVC). MK will be open til 11 one night and EC will be open until midnight, so that will be cool. I love the parks at night.

And speaking of night, AK will be open until 8 one night, and I will finally get to see AK after dark! Usually we go in the morning, have lunch at Rainforest (can almost always eat at the bar without waiting), and then head back to BW because we can't take any more of the heat and humidity of the AK jungle!

This time, we'll probably head over to AK around 3, eat an early dinner at Y&Y, and then walk around and see how the park looks under lights! I'm really looking forward to it.

What else is new this trip? My birthday breakfast will be at Norway with the princesses. I happen to love buffet breakfasts -- love the fruit, pastries, and breakfast items -- and then I have the rest of the day to work off the calories! Much better than an evening buffet (except for not maximizing DDP dollars).

As I was making ADRs for the trip, I walked that fine line of choosing expensive spots (to maximize the DDP dollars) versus choosing spots that I like, had a menu me and my sis could enjoy, and had ADRs available. I suspect I'll end up about breaking even when all is said and done.

I'm also really looking forward to new Space Mtn and Kim Possible. I'm going to try and do all the countries, since I have five days. I also need to check out Vinylmation, and hope I don't get hooked!

I'm also going to use Photo Pass for the first time this trip. I've gotten pretty jaded about taking pics lately -- I took hundreds the first few times I went to WDW. But since it's me and my sis, I want to have lots of pics to commemorate the trip, and why not let the Disney photographers do the work for me?!

I also plan to Tweet, blog and record some audio. Now whether my iPhone battery will cooperate is another story! We'll see what happens, and how many outlets I find to use. Wonder if anyone ever asks for a table near a plug, instead of near a window?!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Nice Time At The DMV?

Since I'm heading to WDW for my birthday week, and my driver's license expires this year, I headed to the DMV this morning for a renewal.

Last time I was there, I got fussed at a little for not knowing I was supposed to stand on a certain carpet square for a certain line. So I wasn't quite sure what fun things would happen on this trip.

I did get to sleep late, which my cat loved, since the office didn't open until 9. And I stopped by my favorite bagel place on the way. Two fun things so far!

I headed in, and found only two people there in line. Cool. Pulled a number, just to obey the rules! Didn't want to get fussed out for not having a number!

My turn came and the lady was SOOOOOOO NICE!! She was happy, friendly, sweet -- I'm surprised she didn't give me a cookie or offer to help me to my car! COOOL!!

Eye test, photo snap, temporary piece of paper to extend my license, and I was all set!

Of course, now that I'm recalling the experience, I remembered that I meant to get an enhanced license (sort of a quasi passport-ish tyle license). But I was so flabbergasted by the nice lady that I forgot to tell her I wanted one!

Ummm, does that mean a trip back to the DMV? Will the nice lady still be there? What are the odds of that?

Maybe I better stick with the standard license and hope for the best in another eight years!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Good Week, Finally

Hi everyone!

Like some of you, I've really been on Space Mountain with eating and exercising. How crazy was I to think that after last year's dedicated training, that this year would be easier?! Hah!

But during my recent doldrums, I didn't give up. I just tried to minimize the damage somewhat, and kept looking at each day as a fresh opportunity.

And finally, low and behold, I'm back on track, moving forward like the TTA. Eating is good, exercising is good. I did a fun little 5K run this past Sunday at a friend of a friend's college business school -- even though it was October in Michigan! Luckily, it was in the 50s, not windy, and a little bit sunny. And it was just a 5K.

I wore my tech shirt from the Disney Half Marathon. It always brings back such good memories when I put that shirt on!

If you're on the low end of Thunder Mountain, just hang on and look at each day as a new start. And one morning it really will be!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday everyone! Hope we all have great weekends! Can I just tell you how much I would love to work a 4-day work week?! 10 hour days, but a 3-day weekend every week? I think I'd love that.

No snow yet in Michigan, but it's definitely time to fill up the storage shed and clear out the garage, to get ready for winter. Fun times as I point out to Dwain how we can stack, tuck, and pile up items in the shed, to fit everything in.

Poor guy just got back from a short Disney trip, and is experiencing that post-WDW depression. Spending time in the chilly garage may not help much.

I'm heading to WDW the week of November 15 with my sister, for my birthday. I'm looking forward to it, but am definitely bummed that I probably won't be able to squeeze in a December not-M-Fest trip. Sounds like a lot of my Disney buddies will be there enjoying each other's company.

But I guess we'll have a version of that in January, on race weekend -- so what the heck am I complaining about?!!

Clearly it's early and I'm rambling. The responsible thing to do would be to delete this post and start over. But then I'd have to try another post.

So you're stuck with this one!

Friday, September 25, 2009


So I've been a slacker this week! I had a nice little 3 mile run last Sunday. It was nice to not have the pressure of miles. I think I'll stick to short runs for a while and focus on speed for a change.

But on Monday I had a killer migraine that took the wind out of my sails for 2 days. Then on Wednesday I felt a hint of a cold lurking, so dosed up with cold meds and skipped the gym.

Finally last night, Thursday, dragged the old bones there and did a 1 mile run and a little stationery biking. It's always the first day back to exercising that's the toughest!

I'll hit the gym tonight and probably tomorrow, since we're going to have a lot of rain this weekend.

But, hey, it's Friday! T G I F !!!!!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bloggers Rock

I just read blogs by Jonathan, Jeff W, Chris, Justin and Lori -- and they were just the inspiration, i.e., kick in the pants -- that I think I need.

I'm not motivated to run this weekend, but I really need to. The blogs reminded me about the feelings, the struggles, the euphoria -- all that stuff we get from this Team Voice journey we are on.

So I plan to go out tomorrow morning instead of blowing it off. It won't be a long run, but it will be a run.

Thanks bloggers! I'll report back!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ahhh, D23

I would SO like to be there. But at least it's fun to get a taste of the action from all the tweets and Facebook updates. And soon the pictures will start popping up too! And Lou's continue to do a live show at some point every day.

And just imagine the podcast segments that will start showing up next week!

Here we gooooooooooooooooo!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Nine. Now We're Talking!

Thanks Team Voicers! I did make it through nine miles on Sunday, and the peer pressure once again definitely helped keep me out there!

It was a beautiful day in Michigan for a run. Sunny, blue skies, puffy white clouds, 70s, brisk breeze. And my mental toughness is finally getting back to where it was by the end of my training last year.

I didn't have any "I'm just going to quit, I know I can finish the Half, so I don't really have to do nine miles" thoughts. Don't get me wrong, there were moments when I was slogging, instead of wogging or running! But mentally, it was a good day.

Rae also had a good day, I think, finishing first in her age group. You rock, Rae!!

Now I do have one more challenge left for August -- I've got to do 90 jumping jacks today to reach my goal for the month! I don't think that's going to be very fun -- I think I'll definitely need some mental toughness for it!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hold Me Accountable

Okay Team, it's the weekend again (in a few hours) and time for a long run. This weekend the goal is 9 miles, since next weekend is Labor Day and I want to hit 10 miles then. (I will ignore the fact that by Labor Day LAST year, I had run 12 twice and 13 once!)

Anyway, I expect it to be hard. And once again I will keep in the back of my head that you all are cheering me on, and probably out there working just as hard as various goals that are just as tough for you.

And Ironwoman Rae is in another race this weekend, Jonathan's prepping for DL, and Mike is working toward Mike-speed again, so it would be lame if I took the easy way out and quit before I reach the big 9.

Maybe I better tatoo this blog on my arm?!! (Okay, I think I'll print it and put it in my pocket.)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Even Tougher Than Last Week

This weekend's long run was EIGHT miles! And -- what a surprise -- it was tougher than last week!

It was tough physically, but that's okay, because the point of a long run is to get the feet and hips and ankles and shoulders and knees used to the pounding. And I did have a few minutes of runners high -- isn't it fun when that kicks in?!

But it was really tough mentally. At four miles, I was SOOOO close to quitting. But a few things happened. One, I had tweeted Rae before I started that I was going to do 8 -- and I didn't want to have to tell Ironwoman Rae that I had quit. (Thanks, Rae!)

Second, I got a few "signs" from my dad up in heaven. Even though he was probably on the sixth green of his morning golf game, he was still keeping tabs on me. The first sign was a runner that passed me wearing a tee shirt that said "Reach higher" -- funny, dad.

Second, one of my favorite songs about surviving cancer started playing. It's a great song, and of course reminded me how lucky I was to be healthy and able to run on a beautiful, green leafy park trail.

And right after that song was a song about a father who had been in war -- sounds depressing, but again, it's a very good song that reminds me of my dad. I can't imagine being 20 like he was, in the Army and living overseas, much less being a soldier today in war zones. How could I complain about having to run eight miles? In nice shoes, with an iPod, on a beautiful running trail?

So I laughed and thanked my dad, and told him to get back to his heavenly golf game. The rest of the run wasn't that much easier, but being open to some signs from heaven certainly got me through that bad mental patch.

The goal for next week is 8.50 miles. I really want to get to 10 miles this year by Labor Day. After that it gets a little chilly here in Michigan, and I do NOT run outside when it's cold. No icicles for me, Jeff W!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Seven The Hard Way

My goal this past weekend was to run 7 miles. I really need to get up to 10 by Labor Day, before winter sets in up here in Michigan.

So I mentally prepared Friday night, but didn't have a good night's sleep. When I got up Saturday I really wanted to blow it off, but I didn't. Why? All week I had been visualizing getting the 7 miles done, as well as telling myself that this was really an exercise in mental toughness.

So off I went, about 30 minutes later than I planned, but I thought I could still get done before the heat got bad.

I did manage my 7 miles, and most of it was not too bad -- not much runner's high -- but not bad. My mental toughness was tested around mile four -- was all ready to quit, but didn't. And of course, that last mile seven was tough, but that's always the case for the last mile anyway!

So, the good news. I did it and it was a good mental workout. The bad news, this coming weekend I have to run 8!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

425 To Go!

Ever since I started training last year for the race, I've been tracking my training data every day. And once I started tracking, it was natural to set some goals each month.

I track obvious things like total miles for the month (running, walking, biking, elliptical) and number of crunches. But I also track things like stairs walked up, calories burned and lunges/squats.

A few months ago, I started tracking Jumping Jacks. Yes, that oldie but goldie exercise that we all hated in grammar school!

It's still a really good exercise, and one of those that when I haven't done in a while, is really tough when I start them back up again.

This month's goal is 500! But so far I've only done 75! Ummmm, let's do the math ... 19 exercise days left in the month, 425 to go ... hey, that's only 22 a day ... piece of cake ... I mean piece of broccoli!

Try some JJs today yourself! How many can you get done before August is over?

Friday, August 7, 2009

New Realization

I've really been struggling with food lately -- and running hasn't been going that great, but that's for another blog.

Anyway, I've been on a weight plateau for quite a while, and just in the last month or so, have been eating a little too much, and too much of some bad things. A few months ago, I felt like I was actually making progress in my quest to eat better foods long-term -- to improve my diet and therefore my health. But then the junk food started coming back into my diet.

And that, of course, is depressing.

But yesterday, a realization hit. I probably won't ever reach the point where I'm eating perfect food 100% of the time -- I don't think my personality will allow it.

So these hills and valleys are going to be a normal part of my life. So when the valley hits, I've got to just work thru it and keep trying, and look forward to the hill! And remember that each morning I start a NEW DAY of food choices, and the climb up that hill might start that day.

I also realized, not for the first time, that exercise is the key for me. The exercise really is the foundation that has allowed me to improve my nutrition and change my life to the point I am today.

Anyway, I'm going to try and remember that the hills and valleys are normal for me, and not be surprised the next time I'm down in one!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Good Things, Bad Things

I just finished spending a wonderful week at the beach in NC with my family -- mom, my husband Dwain, sister & her family, and brother and his family. Just my dad was missing this year -- but we saw a few signs he sent from heaven to let us know he was still with us in spirit.

Anyway, it was a good week, hanging on the beach, playing games, lounging at the pool, and just being with each other.

Now the bad. I was very lame about exercise. No gym time, no biking. Just two days of two-mile runs. Lame.

I've come to realize that I'm basically a physically lazy person, who keeps trying to be an athlete!

And it's time to try a little harder!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Yes, I Did!

Thanks TVers, for the encouragment and challenges! Yes, I was able to do a 5.5 mile run Saturday! This time, I was more prepared physically. And I was ready for the mental breakdown and was up for trying to get past it this time. And the weather was perfect!

I felt good, the weather felt good, and the mental breakdown didn't happen until mile 5.25. And at that point, it was pretty easy to make myself keep going!

I definitely thought about you guys, and did NOT want to have to admit on Monday that I failed again. So the peer pressure helps! (If anybody else needs a dose of it, just be sure and speak up!)

I hope to have a good week of eating (or NOT eating this week) and then a good 6 mile run (gulp) this coming Saturday. So I'll probably ask for a little more peer pressure toward the end of the week! (And Mike, I'd have to feel REALLY good to jump from 5.5 to 7, so you probably have an edge on me, but I'll give it a shot!)

Thanks Team!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy Weekend

Don't you just LOVE holiday weekends?!

It's nice to have an extra day to fill up. And I hope to have a good run this weekend. Unfortunately last weekend, I was supposed to run 5.5o miles. I was doing fine, but all of a sudden at 4.50 I just quit!

It was totally mental! I'm not used to long distances yet this year, so it will take me awhile to "learn again" how to fight off the "just give up" demon. But I will.

So I hope to run 5.50 THIS weekend!

Wonder if I should ask Team Voice to put some peer pressure on me?!

Okay, pals, go for it! Encourage me! Pressure me!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Team Voice Support

Yay, it's Friday and I received my new iPhone today. But boo, it's not activated yet -- and I'm not looking forward to the process. And boo, I have been stress-eating like crazy lately.

So, what to do.

Depend on Team Voice, that's what!! I have to get back to the boards, and get back to daily blogs, so that my super-duper Team Voice teammates can encourage me and help me get back on the road to success!

I'm going over to the boards right now .... yes, right now .... c'mon over with me ... yes, now ... why aren't you leaving ... okay, I'll leave first .....

Sunday, June 21, 2009

5 Miles and Inspiration

I went to my niece's high school graduation in Concord, North Carolina two weeks ago, and the student speaker (no more validictorian/salutatorian) said something that I really liked.

Well, he said a few things -- he was a very good speaker -- but one in particular stood out so much that I grabbed my pen and jotted it down in the program.

Hope, Possibilities and Endurance.

I really liked that. And it seemed to tie back really well to my training for the half marathon last year. And as I learned last year after crossing the finish line, and therefore having reached a year-long goal, it applies to just about anything we might want to set our sights on.

And the 5 miles? I ran that distance today, even though my target was only 4.5 miles. I just wanted to get to 5 this weekend, on my way to hitting 13 by the end of the summer.

Hope, Possibilities and Endurance.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mentally Challenged

I've had a tough week of trying to control my diet -- I actually had TWO -- not one -- but TWO doughnuts for breakfast this morning!

But hey, it's Friday.

Last weekend I did manage to run 4 miles, so this weekend I will have to do 4.50. I have really noticed how difficult it is MENTALLY to build back up to the longer miles, since I've only been running short miles up until recently.

It was just as challenging last year when I was adding miles every weekend to get up to 13, so I did expect it -- but I thought it would be a tad easier than it's been. I seldom experience a runner's high during a run, and when I do, it's just for a few minutes.

But I'll keep working at it, so that I can take full advantage of the summer weather to get back up to double digits.

Hope you have a good workout this weekend too!

Friday, June 12, 2009

2 Or 13

I ran a little two mile workout today, while Matt ran 13 miles in a half marathon! That means he's maintained his training since the Disney race in January! Way to go, Matt!!!

I, on the other hand, have had a lot of stops and starts and road blocks. But I'm doing okay and am looking forward to building up my miles again. I never stopped working out at the gym, and my strength and cardio is good -- I just haven't put in the miles yet.

I'm in NC this weekend for my niece's high school graduation. It seems like just yesterday I was at MY high school graduation! If only I knew then, what I know now! I sure would have taken more advantage of opportunities that came my way.

And ever since I finished the Disney half marathon in January, I know that the sky's the limit, if I set my mind on some goal.

Enough rambling for now ... join the Team Voice Juneathon!!!!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuesday Treats

It's Tuesday, and that means it's a gym night with my trainer.  Last week we did some serious leg work -- so much that I felt it for days!  And that's a good thing.  Although it definitely is weird to pay someone to put you through misery.

I'm heading to NC on Thursday for my niece's high school graduation.  Do you remember yours? Doesn't it seem like yesterday -- and like hundreds of years ago -- all at the same time?!!

I'm listening to Big Brian's Your Ear to the World podcast.  Today he's in Canada with Martin Short.  I really do like that re-do, but it would be even more enjoyable if we could sit down on swivel seats while watching it!  Wouldn't that be fun?!

Friday, June 5, 2009

I'm Back

Hi everyone.  I'm back.  A little dented and bruised, a little blue.  But I am back.

The last two months have been tough.  

I was very busy at work, getting our office ready to move to a new suite. We're there now, and almost everything is back in working order.  Still got a ton of unpacking and organizing to do, but the worst of the time crunch is over now.

And unexpectedly, two weeks before our office move, I received "that phone call."  You know, the one where you are in one state, and your family is in another.  And something horrible happens.

I received that phone call two years ago when my dad almost died from a blot clot that killed his large intestine and put him in intensive care for three weeks.  But miraculously, he lived through it and gradually got his life back over time.

But then, "that phone call" came again.  This time, my dad had died instantly from a heart attack.  He had gone outside early on a Thursday to mow the grass, but came back in because it was too wet.  He sat on the sofa in the sunroom and asked my mom for a bottle of water.  She got it for him, turned to walk back into the kitchen, and heard him gasp.  She turned back, saw him slumped back against the sofa, and her life was turned upside down.

The EMTs came, did a great job, but never got a reliable heart beat back.  I'm okay with that, because if they had, it would have meant another stint in intensive care, and the life of an invalid because of more damage to his heart.  He would have hated that.

So that day I hurried home, packed quickly and headed home to NC.  I know some of you have lost parents and probably remember what an unreal experience it is to go through.  It felt very odd to have to ask someone to be a pallbearer.  On the one hand, you know they might feel honored to be asked, but on the other hand, you are asking them to choose to do an awful, emotional task.  

My brother and sister had a tough time that week.  I somehow remained strong and was able to support my mom, my nieces, them and close family members and friends.  

But now, after the office move is over and life is back to "normal," I am feeling very blue and emotional and sad.  I feel the breakdown is coming on.

I really am happy to have had my dad with me for 70+ years, and so grateful to have a wonderful, strong family.  And I absolutely know that he didn't really like being physically weaker after his colon experience, and that he would have hated going through another intensive care experience.

And I know he's spending his mornings in heaven fishing, and his afternoons golfing.  And now he has a perfect golf swing!  So I feel happy that he's not in pain, and that he didn't have to go through a long, debillitating health experience.

But I am sad and blue.  And I suspect I will be for awhile.  But I hear that's what life is all about.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Hi everyone!

Sorry I've been absent for awhile.  I'm swamped at work on a project that will last a few months.  About all I have time for is feeding the cats, waving to my husband Dwain occasionally, laundry and WORKING OUT!

So I'm not going to blog for a few months.  I will keep an eye on Twitter -- I am debwdw.  I don't tweet a lot but I definitely read tweets throughout the day -- at stoplights, lunch, before falling asleep.  Twitter and podcasts are my only Disney connections right now.

Hope you all are doing well and are working out!  Let's not lose what we've accomplished so far!

See you on Twitter, or here in a few months!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Wow, does time fly by or what?!!

I've really gotten slack about blogging -- am vowing today to get back in the swing of things!

I had a GREAT month of workouts in March! I was very consistent, really pushed the push-ups -- and my arms are proof of that. I did catch a cold from my husband at the end of the month, but luckily had already met the Team Voice goals for March -- woo hoo!

I only got up to 2.50 miles of running, but should be close to 5 miles by the end of April -- and I'm really looking forward to that.

It's so much different this year building up my mileage than it was last year. Last year, I wasn't sure I could make it to 13 -- every .25 mile I added was a struggle and an unknown.

This year, I remember that I did 10, 11, 12, and 13 miles several times last year, so there's no doubt that I can do it again -- and I believe I can do it better!

So this year is WAY more fun building mileage than last year was!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ahhh, Wednesday

I've been doing great with my workouts, and am SOOO happy to be running again. I did 2 miles on Saturday! Woo hoo!

Food is another issue though. I still have this urge to eat constantly! But I am back to my Weight Watchers logging starting today -- logging really will work if I have the discipline to stick to it.

I am D23, R U? Although I don't think I can troop out to the Expo this year, I still want to support Disney's foray into fan support. It will be interesting to see how it all evolves.

It's almost getting to be spring here in Michigan, finally. No grass or leaves or foliage yet, but the lakes and the snow has melted, and we've actually hit the 50s a few times. But we could have one more little unexpected snow fall sneak in, so I'm not getting out the deck furniture yet.

That's all my rambling for today -- go do a workout!!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Big Run Tomorrow

Bryan's running a 15K and Trace is running a 5K on Saturday! Woo hoo, the spring race season begins!

And I am running 1.50 miles tomorrow -- and I am very excited about it. My knee seems to be healed enough to start building up mileage like I did last year.

Last year I had a lot of uncertainty at this time of the year, about whether I could build up miles in enough time to be ready for January. This year, I know I can do it! And I am SOOOO looking forward to getting back up to that 5-6-7-8 mile range!

If you haven't started building up miles, either at a 16-min mile walking pace or a running pace, you need to set a goal of adding .25 or .50 miles once a week, so you are up to the big miles later this summer while the weather is good!

Get going!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Way to go Team Voice ladies! You represented well! And we were all jealous that you were running a Disney race again!!

I'm back to my once a week "long" runs to prep for the 2010 Half -- and oh, by the way, Matt has rounded up his parents and grandparents to train for 2010 also!! The Team Voice phenomena continues!

Anyway, back to my long runs. Friday I ran 1.25 miles with no knee pain! Woo hoo!! And amazingly, I actually had a few minutes of that "dreadmill boredom" set in -- and I thought running would be easier this year -- silly me! But that feeling was actually kind of welcome -- it meant I was on my way again.

Our March goals are up on the AATM TV forum and the Team Voice blog. Check it out and make it a good month of training!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Four More, Four More!!

We need four more reviews on iTunes to get to Jonathan's goal of 100 by the 100th show! If you haven't written one, go and do it right now!!!

... (yes, that's the right spelling)
... (yes, a few glowing sentences is enough)
... (yes, now you can go back to your life)

And cheer on our Team Voice girls who are running in the Princess Half Marathon this weekend!! Yay Rae, Kate, Amanda and Fiona!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Last 100 Yards

The host of the Running Shoe podcast pointed out that the last 100 yards of a race are the most emotional, the most wonderful, the most magical -- okay, I embellished his comment quite a lot!

But when he said it, it did make me re-live those last 100 yards in the Half Marathon. Now I got emotional when we entered Epcot over by the bus lot -- I think because that's when I really felt like I was almost at the end and I really was going to accomplish my goal.

But likewise, when we made that last turn out of backstage and onto the finish line stretch, it was amazing. The crowds, the noise, the sight of that finish line! I actually slowed down and looked around -- who cared about time at that point!

I also had to slow to spot my parents and husband in the crowd. First I found my mom over at the fence, so I went over and let her take a pic. Then she pointed up to the grandstands and I found my dad, who was standing with both arms up in the air like me. It was an amazing moment.

Then I started a slow jog on to the finish line, still trying to enjoy those last few minutes.

This weekend, Rae, Kate, Amanda and Fiona are all running in the Princess Half Marathon. I keep thinking about how LUCKY they are to be doing another Disney race so soon! They are going to get to experience everything Team Voice did a few months ago -- wouldn't you love to be there?!!

Be sure and go to their blogs and wish them well, or pop over to the AATM forums to join Team Voice with good lucks! If you want to track them, email me at and I will give you the info you need to get text messages or emails during the race.

And go post on the forums today!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Then And Now

I had a great telephone conversation with my dad a few days ago. He was feeling chipper (wonderful since he's in the second year of recovering life-threatening surgery), nothing good was on television, my mom was at a church meeting and he was in a talkative mood!

Although my family is close and very supportive of each other, we never said those three little important words when we all lived together -- "I love you."

We did love each other, of course, but like many families, none of us seemed to be comfortable saying it.

But a few years ago, my mom started saying it as part of saying goodbye to me. The first time it was shocking, but wonderful! And it took me a time or two of hearing it before I could start saying it, and now it's almost easy to say.

Eventually my dad started saying it occasionally -- not as much as mom -- but enough that it also has become not strange to hear from him.

So we had a great, fun conversation -- the auto bailout, the new Ford Fusion, my cats, my niece who just got her braces off, Nascar, the beach house with the pool we rented for our annual family vacation this summer, his daily walks, a recent trip to visit his sister with extended family -- and of course, the weather! (Dads seem to love to talk about the weather.) And he ended with a "love you" and so did I.

Gotta love warm and fuzzy moments when they come around!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What I Will Celebrate

I think I've mentioned that I plan to spend my birthday (November) at WDW this year -- just me and my sister for a week! Woo hoo!

Now I've been a little wishy-washy as to where I wanted to be on my birthday day, and where I wanted to eat, and what I wanted to do.

Plans may change, but I think I've decided that I want to do the "Lunch with an Imagineer" at the Brown Derby. Which means that I will start my day at the Studios -- and that's okay, because it's ALMOST my favorite park.

So we'll start the day by being at rope drop and hot-footing it to TSM for a stand-by ride and a FP ride. Then on to Little Mermaid, Playhouse Disney (haven't seen the new version), Idol at some point, the Animation tour (haven't done it in a long time), Muppets -- and LOTS of Streetmosphere during the day -- my most favorite way to spend time in the Studios!

No, there will not be a TOT or RNR ride that day -- no need to get sick on my birthday!

Then hopefully we'll get a little time at the Magic Kingdom in the afternoon, and then Epcot in the evening.

Sounds like a good day to me!

Friday, February 20, 2009

At The Beginning

Today was my first serious week of training for the new year. So later today, I plan to run my second training run for the year -- one half mile!

I know, I know. Why such a wimpy distance? I'm still babying my knee and will build up miles slowly here at the beginning of the year -- then in early summer, I'll ramp it up faster to get back up into the 6-8 mile range.

It's funny how such a small challenge can be invigorating!

Hope all of you have some good workouts in the next week too!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Friday!

Just a few more hours til the weekend! Aren't Fridays wonderful?!

I had a good workout yesterday, and am now officially back on with serious training. I still won't run for awhile, but will definitely dig into strength training and cardio.

In a few minutes, I'm going over to the AATM Team Voice forum to post my numbers for the February challenge so far, and to see how everyone else is doing.

Every day when I finish at the gym, I put on my Disney Half Marathon shirt -- a warm layer before heading out into the cold Michigan air. It's also a lovely way to remember the experience and think about Team Voice!

Where's your shirt? Get it -- or your yellow Team Voice shirt -- out this weekend and wear it!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Life's Ups and Downs

Isn't it funny how most weeks are full of lots of ups and downs?

It's wonderful weather here in Michigan -- 40 degrees! The snow is melting. We can see half of our deck, some of the edges of our driveway, and we're down to about four inches of snow in the front yard.

After being slack about what I've been eating lately, I've re-focused this week and am doing much better. And it feels good to be getting back on track.

But I've caught a cold. So that means not hitting the gym every day this week. And that's a bummer, because I am ready to get serious and get going with training.

And, hey, I've got some Team Voice goals to reach in February!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Training My Trainer

A funny thing happened the day after the Half Marathon ... my brother David, husband Dwain and trainer Rob all sort of mumbled that maybe they'd do the race in 2010!

With big unbelieving eyes, I mumbled "that would be great."

To myself, I thought ... unfortunately my brother David has a bad back and hip problems and hobbled around the parks that weekend ... my husband Dwain who works out like a fiend, has zero percent body fat, an iffy back and a lot of joints that are bone against bone ... and my trainer Rob is in fabulous shape but HATES running!

Luckily, my brother came to his senses when he got back home. Dwain, however, has mentioned a few times that he had a "great run" during his daily workout, and Rob immediately starting running when he got back into the gym.

The first two weeks I didn't pressure Rob about the race. On the one hand, it's a WONDERFUL experience. But, it's also a lot of hard work. And I think to get the most out of the experience, you really have to want to do this deep in your heart.

But this week, I couldn't resist bugging him. His running day was Monday, until this week, when he kept putting it off. So by Thursday I was enlisting a gym buddy to run with him on Friday, and I was talking trash to him to get him motivated!

Payback is a ______, well, you know! I have to admit it's kind of fun reminding him that running, especially on the treadmill, is mental. And reminding him that I got up to six miles on the treadmill before spring came and I could get outside. And I suggested lunges might help!

But I won't keep up the harassing. Because, as I said before, you've really got to WANT this in order to stick with the training.

Will you see Rob or Dwain in 2010?

Although they'd leave me in the dust, deep in my heart I'd love to see the big smiles on their faces at the finish line!

Friday, January 23, 2009

All Signed Up

I signed up for the 2010 WDW Half Marathon today, and it was SOOOO much more fun than signing up last year!

Last year, I clicked the button and feared the training that was ahead of me.
This year, I know what's ahead of me and I look forward to the workouts and the running!

Last year, I only knew Rae, Kate, Jonathan and Bryan when my year started.
This year, I have a whole slew of Team Voice members -- old and new -- right beside me!

Last year, I thought the joy of the race would come from running through MK and EC.

This year, I know the JOY of the race is the comraderie with Team Voice, the sharing of the experience, and the support that I will both GIVE and RECEIVE between now and the end of the race!

[Remember to post in the forums get our new TV members off on the right foot!]

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Day One

Okay, I've now completed Day One of the 2009 training year!

Last week I rested and did the bare minimum at the gym, to give my knee a little more healing time. But this week, it's back to serious training.

And it was fun! I was beginning to miss the good feeling I have after a nice workout -- both the sense of accomplishment and the relief of burning some calories to offset my never-perfect day of eating.

How about you? Time's a-wasting!

(Post in the Team Voice forums today, to give our newbies some encouragement!)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Happy, Sad

So I was very happy to finish the race! I was also very happy to get the race over with, so I could relax a little bit.

But now, the blues are setting in.

It's over -- the excitement of the weekend -- being with my family, friends, Team Voicers, Mouseketeers, Disney fans -- race day -- the cheers and well wishes of all the strangers along the course -- looking at the medal a few times a day with relief and awe.

So now it's back to training, and back to focusing on food again to make the most of my Weight Watchers experience.

I'm ready. It's time.

(Go post on the Team Voice forums today so that new members can join in and experience what we accomplished this year!)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I Did It!

I finished the WDW Half Marathon, and I am very proud of myself.

I’m mostly proud that I stuck with a goal for an entire year. I worked through ups and downs, and suffered through workouts and training runs, and also had moments of joy during the year.
But I absolutely, no way hosea, not in a million years could have accomplished this goal without Team Voice!

At MouseFest 2008, I met Jonathan and Bryan, and Rae and Kate for the first time. In just a matter of days, we were friends. (That happens at MF.)

All it took was for me to say to Rae and Kate that I had always wanted to run a WDW race, and they immediately started convincing me that I should go for it.

I – with a deep breath – said okay, I’ll join Team Voice and will start training. I came back to the gym and told Rob, my trainer, that he needed to get me ready for a half marathon, and his eyes GOT REALLY BIG. But he took a deep breath, and said okay.

When I later told my husband Dwain, he quietly said okay (but silently wondered if I was going to have a heart attack and if he should order some more life insurance)! And then when I told my family, they were a little shocked, but did what families do – supported me and encouraged me.

So January came and training began, and the Team Voice forums started heating up.

One thing that amazed me right off the bat, was the support that we gave each other despite VAST differences in our running abilities. The guys who could run at Mike-speed and were focused on improving their times were just as happy when I met goals like running 3 miles for the first time, or a 14-minute mile for the first time.

We also came from different parts of the country, were different ages, had different home and work situations – but what we had in common was a big goal and a true belief in each other.

It was amazing!!

I could not have finished this year of training and the race without all the support I got from Bryan, Chris, Heath, Jeff W, Lisa, Matt and Mike Fess – you’ll never know what a difference it made! All the “you can do its” sunk in and helped me believe in myself.

My trainer Rob had the knowledge to get me strong while saving my knees! He also knew I’d need to be mentally stronger to get through the long runs, and did a great job at toughening me up – I think I only reached the point of tears twice this year!

And my husband Dwain just stood by and kept his mouth shut, despite the doubt he had after seeing me have a lot of great ideas over the years and not get around to finishing much. But when I hit milestones throughout the year, he was the right there with congratulations.

My family was way more excited for me than I expected, and my parents even decided to come and see the race. I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to get them to WDW, but this did it! And my brother David was super enthusiastic, and 110% sure that I could do this – it was cool to go through this experience with him.

I also have a BIIIIGGGG hug and thank you for Jonathan – you were truly an inspiration to me. You experienced ups and downs like all of us, AND you were willing to put them out there on your blog. And then every time, you bounced back with an amazing positive attitude that was a beacon of inspiration to all of us!

And lastly, the two who got me into this mess – Rae and Kate!! You gave me the most wonderful gifts I’ve received in a long time – the gift of finishing something instead of giving up when it got hard – the gift of a new belief in myself that I really can accomplish important goals – and the most magical gift of support and friendship from the most amazing people!

I think I’ll do it again in 2010. See you there!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Here We Go!

Updated Schedule Below!!

It's almost time! As you read this, some Team Voicers might already be on the way to the World!

A few reminders ...

-- Print your waiver from the marathon website before you go.
-- Read the final race instructions that have been posted.
-- Print receipts for items you paid for when you registered!

-- Pack your timing chip if you have one or bought one!
-- Take your running shoes on the plane with you, not in checked luggage!
-- Email me ( with your cell phone number to share with the other Team Voicers.

Team Voice meets:
-- Noon, Thursday, Packet Pick Up with Jonathan & Lisa, meet at Milk House
-- 8:30 p.m., Thursday, AKLodge, Victoria Falls Lounge,
RANTfest with Matt, Chris, Mike F and others

-- 9:30 a.m. Friday, Packet Pick Up with Rae & Deb, in front of store between stadium and cafe
-- 4 p.m., Friday, Rae's group dinner at Crystal Palace (check with her for open slots)

-- 2 p.m. Saturday, Lou Mongello's meet at MK, Tomorrowland Terrace
-- 8 p.m. Saturday, Epcot, meet in front of France, walk to Japan for Illuminations

-- 10 p.m. Saturday, Jellyrolls at Boardwalk ($5 cover charge)
-- 3 p.m. Sunday, MK, Aloha Isle for Dole Whips