Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010: Reviewed

Since this blog is new (if you really want to hear my whole back story, check out my old blog Corporate Servitude), I didn't post any running goals at the beginning of the year like many of my fellow bloggers.  However, I did have some goals for my running season this year.  Let's see how I stacked up:

Run a marathon: Nope, nada, not even close!  I thought the Minneapolis Marathon would have been my first marathon, but ITBS reared its ugly head.

Break two hours in the half-marathon: Even with the rain, I smashed my old HM PR (which was 2:02:53 from the 2009 Monster Dash) at the Portland Half-Marathon this year.
Love this picture!  Mark took this great action shot.

On my way to a new PR of 1:52:43

This finisher's medal has become one of my favorites.
Run Ragnar Relay Great River 2010: Done!  I originally wasn't going to do this race when my uncle first asked me.  I was still recovering from my ITBS injury.  I'm glad future hubs decided to sign up because that motivated me to do the same.

Set a new 5K PR: I bested my 5K PR three times this year.  23:51 is where it stands now.  I'm also glad I broke the 25 minute barrier.

Run a new 10K PR: 52:57 at the Boston Scientific Heart of Summer 10K.  I knew the course well (twice around Lake Nokomis) because I run there a lot during the summer.

PR in the 10-Mile: 1:19:45 at Women Run the Cities.  This was one of my favorite races this year because I felt great the whole time.  The day was beautiful, the fall colors were showing, and though I kept a tough pace, I felt strong.  My friend Lisa set a new PR at this race, too.

Stay injury-free after ITBS earlier this year: Unfortunately did not happen.  An old pain flared up in my right knee again a week or two after Portland.  The Turkey Day 5K was painful because of it.  I've been doing plenty of cross-training in the meantime, and my knee finally feels better.  I plan to start running again after the new year starts.

Win an age-group award: I took first in my age group at the Minneapolis 5K and second at the River Rat 5K.  I was the second overall female finisher at both the Platte River 5K and Vibha 5K.

Because I'm getting married next September, wedding planning will be taking up most of my free time in 2011.  I will also need to find a new place to live.  Therefore, my running season will be more about maintaining good fitness and a healthy weight instead of completing goals and setting new records.

I do have a few goals I'd like to complete in 2011, though:
  • Post a better finish at the Get Lucky 7K (44:09 this year--ouch!) in March
  • Complete a triathlon (I plan on doing one of the Lifetime Fitness Indoor Triathlons first, then will work my way up to a sprint tri)
  • Complete a duathlon
  • Finish a marathon (Mark and I signed up for the We Walk! Marathon on the Lake Wobegon Trail.  Yes, we will be walking a marathon.  Sounds long and grueling, doesn't it?)
  • Try a new distance (I'd love to do the City of Lakes 25K, but that race is very close to my wedding date)
Mostly, I want to stay injury free and continue cross-training (yoga, spinning, strength training, rollerblading in the summer) as I incorporate running back into my workout regiment.  I also plan on doing less races in 2011 (I ran 18 this year!) to save a little moola.  Volunteering for Team Ortho Foundation definitely pays off since I can use the volunteer hours I've logged to pay for TO races.  I need to find more opportunities like that.

Speaking of Team Ortho, I will be volunteering for their first race of 2011: the Polar Dash.  If you want to run a great race on New Year's Day, sign up for it!  Future hubs and I ran (and volunteered for) it last year and had a blast.  I will be at the info tent tomorrow evening during packet pickup and on Saturday for the whole day.  If you're running the Polar Dash, please stop by and say hi.  I look forward to meeting you.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Home from the holidays

I've enjoyed catching up the last two days in bloggy-land, reading about everyone's Christmas festivities.  Now, it's my turn to post something! :)  I'm glad I took the two days prior to Christmas off from work; I enjoyed the time with my family.

I headed home Wednesday night and met my parents and brother Ryan in St. Cloud to celebrate my mom's birthday.  We ate at Grizzly's (wow, their food is delicious!) and she opened up her gifts back at home.  She did open up my card while we were at dinner, and my gift to her was eight hours of my time to help her clean the basement.

I accompanied my dad to the nursing home in my hometown on Thursday to visit my grandparents.  Grandma was recently admitted (Grandpa has been in there for at least one year, if not two), and the adjustment has been hard on my dad.  Grandma recognized me right away, but she never used my name.  Grandpa sleeps pretty much all the time now, and if awake, he usually only responds if you speak to him in Polish.  Both grandparents have dementia.  I'm glad I was able to spend time with my grandparents; only God knows how much time they have left on this earth.

Back at home, I helped Mom with baking, cooking and cleaning, while more snow fell outside.

View of the house and Christmas tree from the river side of the property
I surprised my mom by putting up her handmade nativity set after she went to bed that night.  When she woke up the next morning, she said the first thing she thought when she saw everything set up was, "The angels came and finished it for me."  Aww... I'm just glad I helped her out.

Jesus is the reason for the season!

Mom used old jewelry and rhinestones to decorate the wise men and their camels when she originally made them
Christmas Eve morning, I went swimming at the local rec center to get some exercise.  I'm looking forward to the day I start running again; I'm not liking this holiday weight gain I've been experiencing.  After some final preparations, we started our Christmas celebration with a delicious supper of creamed chicken on baking powder biscuits and sour cream raisin pie for dessert.  Later, we opened gifts, one at a time.  Besides receiving necessities (toiletries like shampoo, body lotion, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, underwear, socks, etc.), I received a sewing machine from Mom and Dad for Christmas (well, part of it is a Christmas present, the other part is a birthday gift).  This sewing machine is the same make and model as the one Mom has had since the 1970s.  I learned to sew on her reliable machine, and now I have one just like it.  I can't wait to set up a little sewing nook once Mark and I find a place to live.  I don't sew often, but I have a Minnesota quilt that I'm looking forward to making.

What a big tree--12 feet tall!
Mom, Dad and I later attended midnight Mass, and I talked to several people I knew, including two gentlemen from the senior choir I used to accompany with the organ.  One guy has a great sense of humor:

Me: Don!  Merry Christmas!
Don: Richelle, my long lost love!
(We hug)
Don: You married yet?
Me: No, that's next September.
Don: Good, because when I see him, he's gonna get it!
(After some laughter, Don asks about Mark)
Don: Uh-oh... I see a divorce coming.
Me: Hey now, I'm not even married yet!
Don: Not yours... mine!

Don cracks me up.  He also told me I turned into a beautiful lady, which definitely made me grin from ear to ear.

Christmas morning, I headed down to Spicer to celebrate the day with future hubs and his family.  His brother's girlfriend was there, too; she's a sweetheart.  We enjoyed a delicious meal of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, veggies, and Bette's booze balls.  Yum!  We later opened up gifts, played a few rounds of the card game Skip-Bo, napped, and watched August Rush (great movie!).  What a relaxing and fun Christmas Day!

Mark and I headed back to the Cities that night so we could attend Mom's family's celebration on Boxing Day.  Jan and Gerry hosted the event, which meant that I also had the chance to see my cutie-pie goddaughter.  Within the first five minutes of our arrival, Rachel had given me a big hug and I had read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas to her.  It was a nice gathering, made better by the fact that my other brother, Kevin, had also attended.  He and my parents have a strained relationship (yesterday was the first day he had verbally spoken to them for six months), and his relationship with Ryan and me has also been testy.  I'm very thankful we were all together at some point during the holidays.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas, and I look forward to what the new year will bring for you.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmastime is here!

A friend of mine lamented on her Facebook wall that weekends go by too quickly.  I would definitely have to agree with her... mine was great.

First of all, I've gotta say that vitamin D is awesome.  My mood has improved dramatically, and although I still feel like a downer sometimes, overall I feel much happier.  Now if only I could talk to whoever is in charge of the weather.  Seriously... another 8 inches of snow today?!  More in the forecast for Thursday?!  Springtime can't come soon enough.

Due to our crazy work schedules this week, future hubs and I decided to celebrate our annual private Christmas celebration on Friday night.  He had the day off Friday, and had plenty of time to prepare.

He did surprise me at work with a beautiful bouquet of flowers.  I love this guy... he spoils me rotten! ;-)
Roses and stargazer lilies are my favorite flowers.  They smell divine!
I drove over to his place after work, and the table was already set for our meal.

We both love candles, though I think we're also closet pyros.
Blue is his favorite color, too.  I wish I remembered the name of the flowers in the vases.
Mark prepared an amazing meal for the two of us: smoked white cheddar with apple slices (appetizer), spring greens salad topped with dill and shredded cheddar, and salmon cooked in extra virgin olive oil and smoked sea salt.  The wine paired perfectly with our meal.

For dessert, we enjoyed sea salt caramels from Abdallah Chocolates.  Yum!

We exchanged Christmas presents after the meal.  My favorite gift from Mark this year was a beautiful necklace.
You can tell I love running, can't you? ;-)
Then, we watched A Charlie Brown Christmas and took in the roaring fire in the fireplace.
Not as good as the real thing, but it will have to do until we can purchase a house with a fireplace.
What a great evening!

I finished up the last of my Christmas shopping on Saturday and also did some cleaning around my place.  My brother was due home from Boston on Sunday (he rode Amtrak home because he hates flying) and was supposed to spend a couple days with me in the Cities, but he was suffering from a cold, so he opted to have our dad pick us up at the Amtrak station in St. Paul and go directly home.

Mark and I immensely enjoyed our church's Christmas service on Sunday morning.  I feel like my faith has been renewed after being tested by seasonal depression.  Then, we headed to St. Croix Falls, WI to stop at our favorite winery.  We usually go to Chateau St. Croix Winery & Vineyard three or four times a year.  We tried a couple of their new wines (their 2007 chardonnay is un-oaked, which I like, and their Marco V cigar wine is delicious), sampled some old favorites, and I renewed my case club membership.

On our way back to the Cities, we stopped at WineHaven, a Minnesota winery that I had heard about at the State Fair.  At the ag building at the State Fair, you can sample wines from several Minnesota wineries.  I tried WineHaven's raspberry wine at that time and didn't like it, but I figured they would have something I'd like.  Future hubs and I were glad we stopped at this cute little winery.  The staff was knowledgeable and their wines were tasty.  We particularly liked their Strawberry-Rhubarb fruit wine and their Deer Garden Red.

Back at my place, we baked Christmas cookies, ate a small meal, and then watched Wicker Park, one of my favorite movies and a movie Mark had never seen before.  He liked it, which surprised me because I thought he might classify it as more of a chick flick (even though it's not... I'd call it a psychological thriller).

I'm looking forward to spending time with my family and Mark's family this Christmas.  The work week can't end soon enough!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tag, You're It!

Julie recently posted a survey and tagged all of her readers.  So, here are the questions (in blue, my favorite color) and my answers (in black):

1) Do you prefer winter or summer running?  Summer running, hands down!  I'd rather run when it's hot out and I'm only wearing a tank and shorts than be all bundled up and shuffle my way through a cold run trying to avoid all the ice and snow.  When it gets below 10 degrees, I run on a treadmill anyway, which is also hard because I prefer to run outdoors.

2) What has been your toughest race to date?  Ragnar Relay 2010.  The weather was hot and humid, my stomach felt like a rock, I stayed awake for 36 hours, and I ran a total of 13.2 miles split into three legs.  However, it was the most rewarding race I've ever done.  I ran it with future hubs, my uncle Gerry and my cousin Travis, creating some lasting memories we'll always talk about at family gatherings.  Mark and I are planning to invite the other two guys from our van to our wedding.  I also learned that I'm tougher than I think I am.  I even got a tattoo to commemorate the experience:
179 was our team's number
The 2010 Portland Half-Marathon was also hard for me because it rained for the entire race.  Yet I still earned a PR, even though my clothing and shoes were soaked and I was so tired by the end of the race.

3) What are your running goals for 2011?  Stay injury free!  I'm still recovering from my second running injury of 2010, and I'm sick of being unable to run.  Once I'm able to run and have the training in, I'd like to complete my first duathlon and triathlon.  Future hubs and I are signed up to walk a marathon in May, which will be our first.  I ran a lot of races this year, so I'm planning to cut back in 2011 and enjoy just a few core races.

4) Do you have any other passions in life?  I enjoy writing, photography, traveling, making jewelry, singing, yoga, my faith, and good wine and beer!

5) If you could live anywhere, where would it be?  Somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, probably Seattle or Spokane.  I was hoping I'd fall in love with Portland when I was there for the half-marathon in October, but I knew from the first day I was there that I didn't want to live there.  I'm not really sure why, but I just knew.  I'd like to check out Eugene and see if it would be a good place for me to live.  My only concern about living out in the PNW is the rain, especially considering how this winter and my lack of time spent outdoors is affecting me.  Spokane is drier and sunnier, though. 

I'm tagging all of you, unless you've already answered these questions previously.  Have fun! :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Sunday in pictures

We Minnesotans are tough.  We just lived through the fifth-greatest snowstorm on record and the worst December snowstorm in state history.  Add the chilly temps (hovering around zero with wind chills dipping way below that), and you've got a recipe for a frigid winter.  Brilliant sunlight on Sunday reflected the snow-changed terrain, and much more.

My neighbor's car was buried when the plow passed through:
Too bad he had to dispose of his snow right into the street, creating a prime spot for fishtailing.  Jerk!

This cop car isn't going anywhere anytime soon.  It would have been funnier if the car were parked in front of a donut shop.

Did you hear?  The Metrodome's roof collapsed!  I'm anticipating another push by the Vikings for a new stadium.

Instead of driving up to my hometown to help my parents with Christmas decorating (roads were still dicey in a few places), future hubs and I celebrated day two of my goddaughter's second birthday celebration.

Grandma and Grandpa (my aunt and uncle) were also there and gave Rachel a play kitchen for her birthday:

Rachel receives call on her kitchen's new phone  What a popular girl!

 Mom (Rebecca) helps Rachel open up the box of "food"

 "Mmm... cookies!"

"I better balance out my meal with an apple and corn-on-the-cob!"

One wall in the basement was devoted to Rachel's artwork:

Abe and his "babes": this collage Rachel completed in day care made me laugh so hard.

We ate dinner after Rachel opened her gifts.  She really liked the DQ ice cream cake her parents got for her.

I have the best goddaughter in the whole world.  Rachel is a sweetheart. :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Snowy Saturday

My brother told me yesterday that the top story on was the blizzard Minnesotans would wake up to this morning.  It certainly was worth all the buzz.  My plans for today were thwarted (meeting my friend Steph for lunch, my goddaughter's 2nd birthday party); my car got stuck in the driveway.  The snow continued to fall today, and some suburbs of the Twin Cities received at least 20 inches of snow.  Tomorrow, the weather is supposed to be bitterly cold and windy.  I don't remember the last time we received a blizzard like this... probably the Halloween Blizzard of '91.

I certainly wish snow days would come during the week so I don't have to go to work, not on days where I have fun events planned.  Oh well.

Last night at a retirement party, my company said goodbye to a classy lady who has been a mainstay at our corporate headquarters for 14 years.

Cathy, you will be missed dearly.  I hope you enjoy your retirement and all of the time you'll be spending traveling and with your family.  I will miss having you as a desk neighbor.

I spent a good chunk of my snowed-in day taking pictures of my jewelry and setting up my Etsy account.  Look at the left sidebar, you'll see my page.  I have eight items currently listed, but I will be adding more over the next several days.  I hope my jewelry will sell (side note: the necklace Cathy is wearing in the above picture is a necklace I made as a gift to her).

I hope you're having a great weekend whether you're snowed in or out and about.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Down in a hole

I normally don't suffer from any major seasonal illnesses, except the occasional cold, but this winter is going to be long, cold and hard for me.  I think I'm suffering from a mild case of seasonal depression.  I haven't felt like myself for several weeks... this definitely started before Thanksgiving.  Post-Thanksgiving, my mood became worse.  My normal hobbies have lost my interest.  I feel lazy in general.  I don't want to get out of bed in the morning and go to work.  I feel like I'm withdrawing from my family and friends more and more.  I snap at my fiance.  Even writing blog posts is hard for me; I feel incoherent.  What's going on with my brain?

On Tuesday, my yoga instructor commented that it's hard to become grounded in the winter when the earth is frozen, like it is here in MN.  I feel on edge, and yet sad at the same time, like I could snap if someone crosses me, then burst into tears because I hurt that person.  The atmosphere is dry and our bodies desperately need water in order to stay lubricated.  I've unfortunately been feeding my body with too much coffee and chocolate.  I've gained five pounds in the last month and am well on my way to gaining another five more.  I care, and yet I don't care.  I wish I cared more.

I'm not running because I'm still recovering from injury, my second one this year.  What I have now feels like runner's knee, although my chiropractor thinks I have bursitis.  Earlier this year, I suffered from ITBS.  I just want to be able to run.  My next race isn't until March, but I wish I could run now.  I want my knee to heal.  Stationary bike is not cutting it for me.  I miss the runner's high. 

Little disappointments stick with me longer.  The "craft sale that wasn't" on Sunday hit me harder than it would have six months ago.  I cried almost my entire drive home.  Luckily, hanging out with my fiance and watching one of my favorite movies (Adventures in Babysitting) that evening improved my mood for a while, even though I woke up feeling down in the dumps again.

I feel really far away from God, really separated.  Sometimes I feel like my running injuries are from God.  Running does make me happy.  I truly enjoy it and its benefits, yet I feel like He punishes me because of the importance I place on this hobby.  I feel like God mocks me, saying "Ha ha, Richelle.  I'm going to take away the one thing you've stuck with because it keeps you from Me.  You're not supposed to be a runner.  That's not what I've called you to do.  I didn't gift you with running talents.  I've given you other abilities--music, for instance--but it seems like you thrown them all away."  I know on a theoretical level that God loves me and always wants what's best for me, but I wish I could feel that in my heart.  God is too much like a harsh judge in my mind (a product from my Catholic upbringing, no doubt), too less like the loving Father who protects me and delights in me.  It should be vice versa.

The past two days, I have felt better.  The church I attend is big into small groups.  I recently started shopping for a new small group, and attended one on Tuesday headed by a well-known married couple in the church.  I received prayer from one of the leaders and felt much better afterward.  I've been noticing more and more the little things that make me smile, and I try to focus on them.

Perhaps, I just need to spend more time outside, get more vitamin D.  Maybe I'll try that for a week and see if my mood improves.  I just wish I felt better.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A disappointment

I had high hopes for this weekend.  I thought I would sell a lot of jewelry at my hometown's senior center craft sale today, earning extra money for the holidays and for my wedding next year.  That didn't happen.  I only sold one pair of earrings.  My mom sold two of her handmade ornaments.  Most of the other vendors did not sell much, as well.

Several factors influenced the poor number of sales today:
1. Two other craft sales were held on Saturday: the Carousel of Crafts at the middle school, and First Lutheran Church's annual holiday sale.  I think the people in my hometown were crafted out, so to speak.
2. Most people who came to the sale already finished most of their holiday shopping and didn't need anything else.
3. The sale drew a lot of elderly people, as it was held at the senior center.  Most older folks are trying to get rid of their belongings, not acquire more.  The other vendors and I received a lot of browsers, and hardly any buyers.
4. My jewelry is well-made, but I think it caters to a younger crowd.  Two or three women commented that they wished I had clip-on earrings.  A few more said they did not like to wear necklaces that were fastened by clasps, as their dexterity as decreased with age.

Fortunately, this was a learning experience for me.  I know what to add to my repertoire next year, if I decide to do the sale again.  I may do the Carousel of Crafts, as it's a busier sale and I would only have to pay $45 to rent a table.  But, I'm definitely planning to open an account on Etsy to sell my jewelry.  I think that will be the best way to get my jewelry out there into the hands (and on the necks and ears!) of willing buyers.

Despite how disappointing the sale was today, I did have a good weekend with my mom.  Dad was up north deer hunting, so Mom and I had quality girl time.  We spent most of our time getting our merch ready for the sale, but we also enjoyed meals together, browsing the Carousel of Crafts and the First Lutheran sale, church, and running errands.

I'll end this post with a few pictures.

Mom, who shared the table with me, had 15 of her "Hot Flash" ornaments for sale.  We enjoyed watching the expressions on people's faces when they "got" the meaning of the ornament.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Today or Tomorrow

Over seven years ago, I went clubbing with some friends.  I met a guy who looked like a cross between Edward Norton and Bob Dylan, and I spent the rest of the night dancing with him.  Josh was a music student at an arts college in Seattle and was visiting relatives for part of the summer in Minnesota.  A few nights later, we went on a date, but decided that a long-distance relationship would never work, so we decided to remain friends.

Fast-forward about two years later.  My good friend, Seth, and I went to Seattle during my spring break as I'd never been there before.  We visited Josh and he showed us around Seattle.  His parents even hosted a dinner for us on our first night there.  I've never heard so many Ole and Lena jokes as I did that night.  Our most memorable excursion of the trip was when we went hiking up Mt. Crystal, near Mt. Rainier, and it got dark as we were heading down the mountain.  We were ill-prepared, and found our path down the mountain by the light of Seth's cell phone.

Now a well-known jazz pianist in the Seattle music scene, Josh Rawlings performed this past Saturday at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis.  Future hubs and I went to see his show, and it was awesome.  I also enjoyed reconnecting with Josh, even though we were only able to chat for a few minutes.

Here are some pictures from the event:

I also spent a good part of this past weekend working on jewelry that I will be selling this coming weekend at a craft sale in my hometown.  I'm hoping that a lot of my merchandise will sell.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Race Report: Lifetime Fitness Turkey Day 5K

Back in 2005, a year after I started running, my uncle Gerry asked me if I wanted to run the Turkey Day 5K with him.  Gerry, a distance runner before running was popular, was the person who inspired me to start running in the first place.

Here he is finishing up his second leg of the Ragnar Relay this summer:


At that time, I had not completed a 5K race yet (I ran a 3K and a 4-miler earlier in the year, races sponsored by my alma mater), so I signed up for the race.  Since then, we've kept the tradition of running the Turkey Day 5K year after year.  However, this year he did not join me, due to a prior family commitment.  I was bummed that he was unable to run with me, but future hubs, who ran with us last year, joined me this year.

This year, Thanksgiving morning dawned with a cold chill in the air, temps in the single digits.  Weather forecasters stated that this was the coldest Thanksgiving since 1985.  Future hubs and I made sure to dress appropriately for the weather:

We took the light rail line down to the Target Center, where we joined the throngs of people waiting inside the complex for the start of the race.  We made sure to grab a few of the samples of body lotion and lip balm that J.R. Watkins, a race sponsor, was handing out.  Before the start of the race, we joined the herd of people heading outside to line up behind the start banner.  We situated ourselves in the middle of the pack, like usual, and listened to the national anthem being sung.  At 8:20, the race started.

Although I do enjoy running these fun runs with family, I find the lack of race etiquette annoying.  Runners trucked along three or four abreast, creating road blocks for faster runners to maneuver around.  Several walkers started toward the front of the pack, when they should always start at the back.  There were plenty of strollers and dogs out as well.

The race wound its way through downtown Minneapolis, going past the Mill City Museum and Guthrie Theater before turning onto West River Parkway to follow the Mississippi River.  The route then turned back into the business and residential area just north of the Warehouse District before returning to First Ave. and the finish line back at the Target Center.

Future hubs and I kept about an 11 to 11:30 minute/mile pace going, due to the crowds and patches of icy roads.  This pace was fine with us because we've both been recovering from running injuries (ITBS for Mark, runner's knee for me) and had done no training besides our normal yoga and strength training.  By mile 1, the old pain flared up in my right knee, and became the proverbial "thorn in my side" for the rest of the race.  Needless to say, I was happy to be done running once finished.  My knee was thanking me.

Despite how my knee was feeling and the cold weather, the morning was beautiful.  The sun rose above the downtown skyscrapers into a cloudless sky.  Exhaled breaths created a lovely fog over the runners as we made our way along the course.  Everyone was in a good mood because they were running with family, friends, and were excited to be eating delicious food later in the day.  Future hubs and I saw and talked to three of our Team Ortho friends (Mike, Willie, and Lori) throughout the morning.

After about 35 minutes of running, Mark and I finished hand-in-hand, like we always do when we run together.  We made our way to the refreshments area and loaded up on the post-race goodies.  Having run this race five times beforehand, I came prepared with a collapsible tote bag for us to store our goodies.  We made out quite well, making up for the cost of the race.

Here are my goodies, spread out on the floor back at home, including my race t-shirt and bib:

We rode the light rail line back to the Park and Ride station where my car was waiting.  After cleaning up at my place, future hubs and I headed out to his parents' house for our Thanksgiving meal.

My next race isn't until March, so now I have plenty of time to heal up my knee.

What did you do for Thanksgiving?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!  May you have a great day filled with family, friends, and exorbitant amounts of food.

I'm extremely thankful this year for future hubs, who always encourages me and knows how to bring a smile to my face.  I'm thankful for my parents and brothers, for their love and support.  I'm grateful for my extended family and friends (they are all so amazing), the fact that I have a job in this tough economy, and the opportunities I have to travel and pursue my hobbies.  I'm also thankful for you, dear reader, for checking out this blog.

Future hubs and I started out the day with the Lifetime Fitness Turkey Day 5K (race report to follow).  We're heading out to his hometown shortly to visit his parents and brother.  I look forward to meeting the brother's girlfriend, too.

Enjoy this day!  I'm glad the sun is shining here in Minnesota.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The first post

I'm starting this new blog with a shout-out to the Guthrie Theater.  Wow... their plays never cease to amaze me.  Mark and I saw The 39 Steps tonight and thoroughly enjoyed the hilarious play.  Based on the novel by John Buchan and the Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name, the play follows a late-30s gentleman as his boring life gets thrown into overdrive after a chance encounter with a beautiful woman at the theater.  Spies, murder, romance, humor, and witty dialogue... this play had it all!  Four seasoned actors portrayed more than 150 characters, showcasing the versatility and fun of the theater arts.  We were expecting a drama with a little comedic relief thrown in, but this play was all comedy with hints of drama.  If you are in the Minneapolis area, go see it!

OK... so now you want to know who I am.  My name is Richelle.  I'm a woman, daughter, Christian, runner, beer-and-wine-lover, administrative assistant, aspiring writer, amateur photographer, yoga and rollerblading enthusiast, and much more.  I'm trying to figure out my God-given purpose in life, and this blog will be a way for me to work it out, as well as write about running, my family and friends, things that make me laugh and cry, and the fun travels on which I embark.  I'm engaged to a great guy named Mark, whom I will often refer to as "future hubs" and then "hubs" once we get married.  Continue reading this blog... you will learn more about me.