The iPod Shuffle – 30DWC

Last night’s post was heavy.  I am still thinking of all the things I forgot to write to my grandma, like I somehow missed out on my only opportunity to tell her what I want to say.  So weird.  So tonight, I am going with a good ol’ MySpace/Facebook standard.  The iPod Shuffle list.  This is where you put your iPod on shuffle and list off the songs that come on.  Why this is so fun to me, I just don’t know.  But I love it.  Pretty much anytime I can talk about music or movies, I get a little giddy.  Alright, let’s hope for the best.  Here we go:

1.  Too Close by Alex Clare
Lucky me, the first song that comes up is a song I enjoy, but I am not passionate about.  So, I don’t have a whole lot to say except, I like it.

2.  go! club mix by Tones on Tail
This song made an appearance on the only mix tape I was ever given that I wish I had known I would need to make multiple back up copies of to keep for the rest of my life.  It was amazing.  I made copies for friends who also wish they had kept copies.  How did one boy know every song that would shape my young teenage mind.  Thank you Shreve for sharing so many god damn amazing songs with me on the one mix tape.  You know, there is still one song that I am never was able to rediscover.  It was possibly a Pogues song that was a B-Side that was never re-released.  Maybe I should start seeking that song out again.  DAMN!  That was a great mix tape.  But anyway, this song was one of those as well as a song that was played once in a blue moon at the clubs in the early 90’s.  Fun dance song.

3.  #thatPOWER by featuring Justin Bieber
Of course it jumps to the Bieb’s with the next song. But dammit I love dancing to this song. is quite the master entertainer and puts together some pretty groovy collaborations. It’s got some nice breaks so I can take a breather after some serious ass shakin’.

4.  Chevy Van by Sammy Kershaw
I will never understand how shuffle decides what to play.  You would think it would go for similar genres or beats, but no.  After a dance track it popped up with Chevy Van.  I am a fan of Sammy Kershaw’s version of this song.  Although, the writer and original artist of this song, Sammy Johns died this year in January, so I will give him a nod here for writing one of my favorite songs to belt out in the car on a road trip.  I dare you to listen and not feel the draw of a sing-a-long with me.

5.  Kabuki Girl by Descendents
Oh the memories.  LOVE LOVE LOVE The Descendents.  Kabuki Girl is a great song, but I would pick about a dozen others over this one.  Sadly, I left the power in iPod Shuffle’s hands and Kabuki Girl was the chosen one.  Early pop punk goodness.  I can remember sitting at my record player laying the needle on my Milo Goes to College album.  I so miss my records.

6.  Zensual by Karunesh
Another example of “WTF iPod Shuffle”.  I have several songs I downloaded to assist me with meditation.  I have yet to really put them to use.  I do enjoy this collection, for what it’s worth.

7. Hurt by Johnny Cash
Honestly, the 7th song was another one from Karunesh and the meditation cd, so I skipped to the next song and it was I Got Stripes by Johnny Cash.  I would happily share that song or any of Johnny’s other songs here too, but while I was in the bathroom doing some light reading from Entertainment Weekly I saw a brief column by the music video’s director Mark Romanek.  This song was originally performed by Nine Inch Nails, but when covered by Johnny Cash, it sends chills down my spine.  The director captured the song and Johnny & June perfectly.

8.  Boyfriend by Justin Bieber
Hang my head in shame.  I have no excuses.  I fucking love this song.  I don’t care what a douche he has been lately.  This song is pretty sweet.

9.  Play Hard by David Guetta featuring Ne-yo and Akon
Another awesome dance song.  I have been filling my iPod with newer songs lately for inspiration.  I love to dance.  Give me a good beat and I can’t stop myself.  So, I have been finding the best of the best to keep my body moving.  This song is one of those songs.

10. Boys ‘Round Here by Black Shelton featuring Pistol Annies & Friends
Yes!!!!  I am so excited this is the last song to pop up.  🙂 This rounds out my taste.  I can’t be placed in a box.  I love it all.  Punk, metal, dance, pop, and even pop country.  I love my old country music that my grandparents raised me on, but I have made fun of current pop country for years.  It’s finally getting to me, and I love it.  There’s been a few newer songs I enjoy, but so far this is my favorite and by far the catchiest.  Chew tobacco, chew tobacco, chew tobacco, spit.

There you have it.  I admit to cheating on one of those, but do you blame me?  No one wants back to back meditation songs unless they are actually meditating.  If you do this little challenge yourself, let me know. I think it’s fun to see what is lurking in someones iPod on shuffle.  🙂


A Letter to Someone – 30DWC

Dear Grandma,

Unbelievable that you have been gone as long as you have. I still have moments when I think about picking up the phone to call you. Or that when I stop by the house to see Grandpa, you will be sitting in your chair catching up on your “continued stories”. I know I haven’t been to the cemetery as often as I had intended to go. As time goes on I find I don’t need to because that’s not where you are. I have seen you in my dreams and we catch up over coffee. Sometimes you come to me when I am sitting at work, frustrated with life, and I can here you telling me life’s not so bad. You remind me of the good that has come to me because of the hard work I have put in. Then there are days that I am looking at Zoe and Riley wishing you could watch them grow up, and I feel you tell me you are there by their side..

I miss you every day. I miss your hugs. I miss your laugh. I miss our talks. You were truly my best friend, and it’s so hard to let go.

But do you see me? Do you see how I am trying so hard to make positive changes in my life? I know I have been blessed with love and family and friends, but for some reason I was still so unhappy. I am working on changing that. I am embracing my life and everything within it and letting go of the negative things that were weighing me down. It was heavy and a burden for everyone around me. Only good can come from these changes. I am excited to share it with everyone. Heck, even Maureen is inspiring me to find positive things daily. I really need to get her to share her Project Sunny Side Up with everyone.

Oh! Did you see those treats I made for Zoe’s birthday? I tried so hard to create the perfect little Dalek head for her Doctor Who party. I really could have used your expertise when I was making them. Riley was quite amused as she watched me struggle with the candy coating. I was a candy coated mess. And I was so nauseous from licking my fingers (yes I washed each time I licked) and sampling the treats. I don’t know how you did it.

I took the girls back to school clothes shopping today. That was always a great trip with you. It always ended with a stop at Orange Julius and The Wherehouse on our way out. I would play whatever cassette I picked on the ride home. How you put up with that, I will never know. There are times I want to burn down the house to stop listening to the noise Riley insists on playing. But you were always a trooper. Obviously it’s because you secretly loved The Smiths, 10,000 Maniacs or Butthole Surfers. Although, I guess I had to listen to quite a bit of your music too, otherwise I don’t know how Loretta Lynn, Barbara Mandrel, The Judd’s and Charlie Pride became part of my regular mix on my iPod. 🙂 I know the same will go for my girls.

I love you! We all do. I am so thankful you were there in my life. I am thankful you raised me and even my friends. We are all so blessed to have in our lives. Goodnight for now, but not goodbye.


Grandma, me, and my mom
Challenges · My Journey

Picture of yourself? – Day 1 of 30DayChallenge

The original challenge here was written as “Who are you?” I think that’s a pretty vague question, and will really be answered over the course of this blogs lifespan, so I went with the picture of myself. This picture really speaks volumes as to who I am and where I am at in my life right now. It’s a before and after from April of last year and to me just a few days ago. I see this and am in shock what a difference can be made in just a short period of time.

before and after
What a difference a year makes

In the photo on the left, I knew I was heavy, but I didn’t see it as much of a difference to any other time I have been lugging around a few extra pounds. Sure, my blood pressure was increasing, aches and pains were a giant drag, and I was not able to sleep at night, but I thought I was still in a pretty good space health wise. I felt like I was getting older and those were all things I would have to accept. A little over a year later and I realize how wrong I was. Those aches and pains and other issues were all so easy to fix through simply changing my eating habits and moving my body. Finding those foods that caused my body to be in pain and create inflammation, and eliminating them was all I needed to do to help my body feel like it should. I didn’t have to live in pain. I didn’t have to suffer through sleepless nights. I just had to listen to my body and take care of me.

The biggest thing I see in the photo on the right isn’t actually in the picture. It’s the mental game I seem to keep playing with myself. Every morning for the last several months I have been waking up and beating myself up. Disappointed in my lack of commitment. Frustrated that I ate that sandwich when I really should have skipped the bread. Staring at my belly roll in my work pants because it’s resting on my thighs. Why can’t I embrace the progress I have made. Look at how far I have come! I am making huge strides! I look at myself on the right and think to myself “Damn girl, you’re stunning. You are doing great!”

Now, to work on saying that to myself on the daily. This picture helps me see while I have a little more work on my outside, I still have a lot of work to do on my inside. And writing this first post on this 30 Day Challenge is a reminder to me how much I learn about myself when I am blogging. 🙂


30 Day Writing Challenge – Yup

I like challenges.  I like checking things off lists.  I like when I have structure.  I do far better with structure.  This whole being on my own with writing, healthy life-styling, and being an adult is kind of hard.  So I set out on Google to find some inspiration.  (Don’t judge, you know you use Google to seek the ultimate answer to “Life, the Universe, and Everything”) Sadly, I didn’t find the answer to being an adult. What I found on Google and other blogs, like many other blogs, was 30 Day Writing Challenges.


A writing challenge?  A structured set of topics to write about daily?  AND I can check them off of a list? This is just what I need. The standard writing challenges either lean towards teens or actual authors seeking inspiration to get them out of a slump.  I opted to blend the two and create my own challenge list.  You are all welcome to join me.  I know I am starting this nine days into a month and not on the first as would be the norm for someone starting a 30 day challenge, but I guess I am just wild like that.  Totally crazy off the chain.  Shaking it up.

I must admit the part of me with OCD is cringing.  I am not starting on the first.  It’s not a Sunday.  It’s not the beginning of the year.  I have yet to fully create my 30 Day Writing Challenge list.  I am just throwing myself out here and hoping for the best.  This ought to be good.  Or it could be bad, but I am leaning towards good in an effort to calm that screeching OCD voice in my head.

Day One will be posted in a bit, as well as the list of posts we get to look forward to!   The creativity is just ready to bubble up and out.  Or maybe that’s the weird anxiety I am pretending not to have.  Either way, it’s something.

My Journey

Reviving Old Goals

I guess searching for my old Apple/iTunes ID can be helpful.  I went to my old email address and found a hidden gem in my old Yahoo! mail.  In 2005 I had created a bucket list of sorts and invited some friends to come along.  It was before I had quit drinking or even started on any path to a truly healthy self, aside from trying every health gimmick there was on the market.

My life has changed quite a bit, and this list is about to be updated and some added to my “Goals” page.  However the original text from the email is below in black.  My comments and updates are in red, but if I have completed it my comment is green.

I was inspired by someone’s website I stumbled across a couple months ago.  I have been slowly accumulating things I would like to do.  Just thought I would share and encourage everyone else to do the same!  We can share our goals every so often to see where we are.  I think it’s good to have BIG goals and little goals.

 As you can see I only have a little over 30 Things to do as of today, but as the weeks go on I will update and share with anyone else who wants to do this.  Just let me know if you would like to be a part of this too!  If you don’t, no need to respond I will just take you off my email list.

 For some of you, I will have this posted on a certain chubby website and I encourage you to post yours there too.

 101 Things to do Before I Turn 50!


1.                Get a cover-up/fix my tattoo on my upper right arm

2.                Lose 40lbs (Goal of 138lbs) – More like gained 40lbs!!

3.                Learn to Ski/Snowboard

4.                See a Musical on Broadway in NY

5.                Go on a European vacation

6.                Catch up all scrapbooking to current photos

7.                Train\Run a marathon – Completed my first marathon in October of 2008

8.                Keep my house (including bathrooms and under the bed) clean for a month straight

9.                Buy a house

10.            Fix my bike and ride it  –  well, we did sell it at a garage sale, so someone has fixed it an ridden it

11.            Decide what I want to be when I grow up – Still working on that one

12.            Go back to school – I did for a short period of time

13.            Be a stay at home mom  – Um, I think it’s too late for this one

14.            Travel across the country and see historic sites

15.            Work on a political campaign

16.            Tell my dad just what I think of him – Hmmm, not sure it’s worth it

17.            Go to Hawaii

18.            Buy some stocks/Play the stock market

19.            Learn how to play Pai Gow Poker and play in a casino – DONE!  And I suck, but I did it.

20.            Learn to make flower arrangements – I did buy a book.

21.            Read the books I’ve always thought I should read:

a.       The Bell Jar – DONE

b.      A Tale of Two Cities

c.       Anna Karenina – DONE

d.      Great Expectations

e.       Pride and Prejudice

f.        Wuthering Heights

g.       One Hundred Years of Solitude– DONE

h.       Satanic Verses

i.         For Whom the Bell Tolls

j.        Wrinkle in Time

k.      Atlas Shrugged

l.         The Haunting of Hill  House

m.     Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

n.       Sophie’s Choice

o.      The Bonesetters Daughter – DONE

22.            Go to a football game with my darling hubby

23.            Go snorkeling

24.            Learn to sew (much better then I know now)

25.            Run a nine minute mile

26.            Get a pug and name it Jeeves

27.            Buy a real diamond necklace

28.            Get a fake tan (the spray you down kind)

29.            Get a Brazilian Wax (OUCH!)

30.            Write and publish a children’s book

31.            Host Christmas Dinner – DONE, holy crap, when I hosted that year I had forgotten this was even on my list!

32.            Learn to Swing Dance

33.            Exercise in the morning 5 days in a row – DONE I did it, but is it on my list to continue doing this for the rest of forever?

34.            Clean my garage so one car can fit in it!

I can’t wait to add to this and update my Goals! page.

My Journey

Goals! Everyone Needs Some

Get out your pen and paper!

I am so excited to add a new Page to my blog.  GOALS!!  I have seen a few blogs out there with different “List” pages and really wanted to do one too, but never knew exactly what type of a check off list I would keep.  That is until today.  I was looking at other blogs and stumbled across Fit For A Year who has a great page titled “Goals”.  Although my goals are much different, I somehow connected to these in a way.  The one that really inspired me was “Train More Consistently”.

Yes!  That is exactly the kind of goal I want to set for myself.  So, without further ado, here is the link to my newest “Page”, GOAL!  I hope you will join me and share some of your personal goals here with all of us.  Inspire one another.  Maybe you have a goal you are setting for yourself that I didn’t even think of but could really benefit from?  I want to know about it.  Share!

Something else we should all consider when setting our goals is making plans to achieve our goals.  How will we succeed in reaching our goal? In the business world there is something called “SMART” goal setting where SMART stands for:


We can apply this to any of our personal goals as well.  Or just simplify it further by setting our goal, making a plan, and taking action.  Some say if you write it down, or share your goal with someone it will make your goal more achievable.  If you want to take it one step further, you can always join this website, Goal Buddy.  This is a website with goal tracking software to help you reach your goals.  It’s free.  I have not used it, but a self help book I read recommended it.  If you decide to check it out and find success or totally hate it, share that here.  I am interested.

That’s it.  Let’s go!  I am ready to start checking things off my list.

My Journey

Memories Part 2 – Originally posted 10/22/2008

Once upon a time I had a blog that was left to gather dust and cobwebs.  After signing back up with Team In Training today I went back to dig up some of those old posts.  This is part two of the blog about my first full marathon and first TNT experience.  Find Part 1 HERE.

I DID IT!!!!! Part Two

The story continues…October 19th, 2008After a long night of tossing and turning in hopes of getting some sleep and not miss my alarm clock the alarm finally went off at 3:45am and I was up and in the bathroom getting ready for the day ahead. There was a quick bite of Power Bar, banana, and yogurt to eat before slicking myself down with Bodyglide and BioFreeze. I suited up in my best spandex and donned my purple Team in Training singlet which had my name written on the front and a small message on my back shoulder to my grandma. Bleary eyed and excited I headed down to the lobby to meet Coach Kathleen and Coach Renie.

I grabbed a banana and small water from the lobby and off we went. We walked to the start line and my coaches pumped me up some more. They are great for words of encouragement. We got there early and walked around helping a fellow teammate get her race packet (she forgot the day before) and then found the porta potties (which I used several times because A. Nerves and B. who wants to break for a potty break early in the race?) and the bag check. We then headed to the start line for a photo op.

Coach Kathleen, me, and Coach Renie at the Start

Me, so excited to be there

Since I was the only early start from our chapter the coaches left me to head back to the hotel to rally the troops for their 5:30 am lobby meeting. There I stood waiting for my husband Paul to arrive. He showed up just as planned at 5am and shortly after, to my surprise, Jennifer Moodenbaugh arrived. As Jen ran up to me and Paul you could see she was already tearing up. I asked her if she was emotional because she thought she was going to miss it and she nodded yes and then cried a little telling me how proud of me she was. We all laughed a bit and then took the opportunity to take more pictures.

Me and Paul (yes, I might have red eyes from a couple tears)

Jennifer and me before my marathon!
So excited!!!

Just before our 5:30 am start (who were ALL Team in Training participants) the crowd did a few Go Team’s and a group sang the National Anthem, and then we counted down to our go. “Five, four, three, two, one!!!!” Off I went, 26.2 miles lie ahead of me and to my left is my husband with the video camera documenting the start of my journey. Jen ran along side too, telling me how proud she was and then they were gone, and all I had ahead with me was my thoughts and thousands of people in the same boat.

Look, marathons are cake walk!

It was dark and the streets were vacant, minus a few people sleeping in doorways and the few onlookers cheering us on. In front of me was a lady with the name Marian written on her back. Marian, spelled with an ‘A’ just like my grandma. I made a mental note to keep track of Marian. As we walked up to The Embarcadero I could tell I was going to be at the back of the Full Walker pack. I was in awe over some walkers pace! There was some serious speed walking going on. But I reminded myself of what Coach Jessica told me about pacing myself and not burning out too early. “Your not going to win, Regina,” she had told me, “you’re here to have fun.” So, that’s what I did. I forgot about the people whizzing by me and I had fun. I talked to a man who frantically walked along side me asking “what is this? Did it start already? I am not where I told my wife I would be, she said 7 am start.” I reassured him that we were the early start group and that his wife would be along later on. It was sweet to see how concerned he was.

In the darkness I didn’t really look for familiar faces. I knew that Paul would be up near the marina Safeway and that at some point around mile 8 I should keep an eye out for family, but around mile 2 I was honored to see Mentor Nancy and Mentor Susan on the side cheering with their TNT signs. When I saw them and they saw me Mentor Nancy flipped her sign around and showed me a “Go C Jane” sign she had made! See Jane had been a nick name I earned from wearing my See Jane Run singlet to Saturday trainings. I rushed to them and hugged them and thanked them for being there for me. I am getting choked up thinking about it. Because really, I was the ONLY early start for our team. They had many other participants out there with a 7am start and they made an effort to come to a spot where they could cheer me on. Thank you ladies!!!! It meant the world to me.

As I came down out of Fort Mason I could see Paul there to cheer me on. And just up ahead was Jen. Now, don’t get me wrong, I appreciated all of the spectators and the cheering sections, but to have these people who were there just for me made it so much more special. The morning was beautiful, and my very fast paced walk through San Francisco brought me to Chrissy Field at mile six. The sun was rising and suddenly I am joined by two very excited coaches. Coach Kathleen and Coach Renie came running up behind me saying “it took us a lot to get to you, you are further along the course then we expected.” What exhilarating news that was! They had found me to help get me up the very steep hills ahead of me. Their timing couldn’t have been any better, even though I was still riding on the high of embarking on this journey my mind was starting to play tricks on me. So with them there to remind me what I was there for and to tell me I was looking good, it helped push me further. They informed me that Coach Jessica would meet me at mile 8 to get me through the rest of the icky parts of the course and then turned back to help others up the hills.

Around mile 7, still feeling good

Towards the middle of mile 7 Paul and Jen were there for further encouragement and a sock change. I was already feeling a hot spot form on the bottom of my foot and needed to change out some damp socks (sweaty feet, very sweaty feet I have) to prevent further blisters. As Jen begins to dig for her pocket knife so I can cut some moleskin a coach from another Team in Training chapter stops and offers her scissors and tape. (I am telling you people, TEAM IN TRAINING ROCKS) All bandaged up and a sip of Jen’s coffee I am off again, and just as I am distancing myself from Jen and Paul who do I see but Coach Jessica smiling and making her way to me with open arms. We chat our way through the upscale neighborhood of San Francisco chatting about anything and everything. Jessica has become a true friend. We have spent so much time together (especially at one of our last Saturday trainings when we might have gotten just a little lost in Rohnert Park because we might have been too busy talking and not paying attention to directional arrows) and gotten to know one another that I feel we have become friends for life. So it was totally acceptable for me to screech to her “look it’s my people!!!” when I saw the gentlemen wearing Proud Republican t-shirts cheering us on from the sidelines. (I came out as a Republican in San Francisco!)

So this is where things start to get a little fuzzy for me. I know Jessica stopped to go back and get others over the hills, and at some point around mile 11 Paul and Jen were there and I didn’t want my nuts anymore and I was wet from condensation on my water bottle so I passed that off to them too, but I wasn’t happy. Suddenly, my smiles were fading and my focused look was taking over. Nearing mile 12 I saw the turn off for the 1/2 marathon participants, and I was pissed. And then even though there were tons of people cheering for us and other TNT participants were happily telling each other “You look good, Go Team” I just wanted to kick people in the shins.

Mile 15 Paul and Jen were there again. I wanted nothing to do with them and when they asked me “how is it going” or “how are you” (I honestly can’t remember) I said something along the lines of “I am done”. No sooner had the words left my mouth then another Team in Training Participant turned around and said “No you’re not, come on. You’re coming with me” and took me under his wing for the next mile. He talked to me and got me to run with him for almost the entire next mile. He was from San Francisco but was originally from some eastern european country. Seriously, this guy was heaven sent. He had no idea who I was, and was a participant. Not a coach, not a mentor, but a participant and he stopped to help pick me up when I was down. That’s TEAM WORK!!! Thank you random Team in Training Guy from San Francisco!!!!!

After I told him I couldn’t run any longer he was off and I was feeling much better. Then out of nowhere I see my friend Marian! (OK, we weren’t friends, but remember I had made a mental note about her earlier). I sped up to catch up with her and saw she had the same look on my face from Mile 15. I offered her some Shot Blocks (or whatever they are called) and she eagerly took them. I mentioned I had seen her earlier and that we were keeping pace with each other. She smiled but was quiet, so I just moved along and refocused my energy. All along the Great Highway I kept a look out for someone. ANYONE!!! But alas, none of my cheering section appeared. I felt slightly discouraged, but didnt’ let it get to me because I had a new found energy, and a new hot spot on the bottom of my foot. SHIT!!!! That’s all I could think. Just get to the next first aid booth. Just get to the next first aid booth. Ow, ow, ow…

That’s when I spotted Lake Merced. I felt overwhelmed, but 100% determined. You could tell just how far there was to get around the lake and I wasn’t pleased, but I just wanted first aid so I pressed on. As I made my way to the red first aid tent Jen and Paul appeared. Jen was cheering “how do you feel, you are setting a personal best here”. In response I begged for nuts and water as they walked along side me. (Side note: Jen has a tendency to cheer me on when I really just want her to stop. For example, she was there trying her best to encourage me while I was in labor with Zoe. I believe she is the only person I yelled at that day and it was something like “SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” She means well, I just get cranky when I am in pain and other people are peppy and not in pain).

My hands were swollen at the first aid tent

The first aid guy stuck a moleskin circle thing on my already forming blister and I switched out my socks again. The lady next to me had ice on her knees and was on the verge of losing it. She was upset about her time and when I tried to encourage her (she was in a Team in Training singlet afterall) she shot back at me that it wasn’t OK! Waahhh. Just let me tie my shoe and move on! The miles are starting to bring out the worst in people. And just when I thought people were going to stop being nice we saw a sign. “The Chocolate Mile”. People started to reawaken at the thought of chocolate. A lady behind me cheered with her friends and stopped for a photo op with the sign. I just forged ahead eager to reach the people with the snacks. The small, yet tasty chocolate with nuts was just the pick me up the people around me needed. Again there were chants of “Go Team” and “You look great” around me. Then we saw the Mile 23 marker and it was “just a 5K away!!!”. Then I saw my mother-in-law Tina with Paul and Jen on the side of the road.

About to hug Tina with Jen looking on

She looked so proud of me and I ran up to hug her and the rest of my cheering section. She got a little teared up and so did I. I suddenly knew I could do it. I was going to finish. Paul patted me on the back and told me I could beat my goal and believing him, I moved on down the road with a little spring in my step. A very little spring in my step, let’s be honest.

I just kept going. The last few miles seemed like forever away, and then there was Coach Jessica. A smile on her face and words of encouragment to keep me going. I kept telling her “I just want this to be over” and she kept telling me “Your going to do it, your going to finsih! There are still people behind you. You are doing great!!! You are beating our expectations of you.” She asked about my family and I explained I hadn’t seen my kids yet and I just hoped they would at least be at the finish line. Less then five minutes passed when Jessica shouts “Regina, look!!!” There on the side just after mile 24 was Riley, Maureen, Zoe, and Aidan. Coach Jessica motioned for Riley to come down and when I saw Riley running to me I started crying. I was so happy for her to see me doing something I had worked so hard to do. I was excited for Maureen to see me moving towards the finish line and not pissing and moaning about it (She’s been my rock on my 1/2 marathons and has had to sometimes almost drag me to the finish line). I was doing this on my own, and I was doing great! Just a little further ahead was another happy face. Mentor Joel was there telling me “You look great! You’re doing so good!”. Again, tears welled up in my eyes. He had been there for me too. Many a training when I was out on my own and he had either ridden his bike along side with words of encouragement or there was the time he drove Mentor Megan (oh, I think that was her name!) out to walk the remainder of the walk with me, even though I said I didnt’ want the company (really I did, I was just being bitchy).

On we pressed, Jessica and I, and the closer we got to the finish line, the further it looked. I know at some point here Jen appeared to my right on the other side of the fence, trying her best to keep up with us and cheering for me to keep going.

Just as we neared mile 26 Coach Renie and Coach Kathleen appeared. Seeing them caused even more tears to well in my eyes. They both looked like proud parents they beamed so much for me. As soon as I saw them I picked up my pace to a run. Sadly, I lost Coach Jessica and even looked back at one point for her but she motioned for me to keep going. My coaches told me how great I looked and how good I was doing. Then they as we got a certain distance from the finish mat they patted me on the back and said “This is your moment”. (OK, TEARS ARE FORMING IN MY EYES AS I TYPED THAT) and they stopped and I kept going. Well, I stopped running because suddenly the blister on my left foot prevented me from running any further and I weeble – wobble walked the last few feet to the mat.

I FINISHED! I was done! I COMPLETED A F*&KING marathon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That’s me as I close in on the finish line!

After crossing the finish line there was a line of firemen in suits holding silver platters with Tiffany Boxes. Honestly, I could have cared less. I grabbed my box, grabbed my finishers shirt, and moved (very slowly) forward looking for my husband. When I saw him I instantly broke down into tears and hugged him. “You did it honey! You finished a marathon. You did it!” There was such pride in his voice and tears (YES PAUL TEARS!!!!) in his eyes. I sobbed some more. My mother-in-law Tina was there with flowers for me and a big hug. She had tears of joy for me too. Then the rest of my crew showed up and all I wanted was the med tent. I hurt. I hurt bad.

Jen figured out where the tent was and hooked me up with a wheel chair ride to the tent. There I was greeted with people who could only help a little. After looking at my blister they determined there was nothing they could do, and then when the Physical Therapist asked about my pain in my hip he gave a few exercises to work it out. A couple of tylenol and a signed waiver form and I was out of there. Sadly, I couldnt’ move fast. I still had to make it to the Team In Traning tent to sign out. Upon arriving there I found they had their own med tent (and a PB&J sandwhich on sliced sourdough) who was far happier to help me.

The blister on my left foot was ridiculous. The first aid guy even laughed and said “That’s the biggest blister I have seen today”. Yay me. A couple quick stabs with a needle and a band aid and some ice for my knee and hip and I was off. Only, I wasn’t moving all that quick. It was suddenly undeniable that I couldn’t walk. If I was going to get a ride to my hotel I needed to make it to the car. I wasn’t going to make it to the car if I couldn’t walk. Jen sprung into action again and somehow managed to get me a wheelchair ride all the way to the restaurant Maureen, Tina, and the kids were eating at on the far corner of Lincoln and the Great Hwy. I was rolled right inside the restaurant! Thanks First Aid Tent Guy!!!!! That’s service!

I rocked the wheel chair

So, that’s my story. We did have a victory party later. I would write about it, but really, my victory party was at the Thai Diner on Lincoln and the Great Hwy.

Me and Coach Jessica at the Victory Party

Thank you. Thank you to everyone along the way. Everyone who was there to support me and to help me see that I could do it. I have never been so proud of myself in my life!

Freakin’ Blister

(OK, there will be a brief Pt. 3 as a kind of follow up on my thoughts)

My Journey

Memories – Originally posted 10/21/2008

Once upon a time I had a blog that was left to gather dust and cobwebs.  After signing back up with Team In Training today I went back to dig up some of those old posts.  This is part one of the blog about my first full marathon and first TNT experience.

I DID IT!!!!!! (Part 1)

I FINISHED A MARATHON!!! I FREAKIN’ DID IT!!!! 26.2 miles, and you know what, I would do it again. Granted it wasn’t easy, and I might have been a little discouraged and cranky at times, but I did it. It is now two days later and I am feeling MUCH better then I did yesterday. I am still tired, but that is probably because I didn’t really sleep much the two nights before the marathon because of my nerves. Last night I tossed and turned a bit because I couldn’t figure out how to sleep comfortably with the stinkin’ blisters on my feet. Today, I am just relaxing and trying to pull myself together again. Tomorrow I should be back to my regular form.So how did I do? I DID GREAT!!! I had hoped to finish in 7:22 but finished in 7:29, that’s not a big difference really. I did stop several times for blister prevention/care and stopped for bathroom breaks now and then. But really, I know you all just want to know the details and see the pictures. So, without further ado, here is my crazy marathon weekend.


Today is check in and Pasta Party time. I drove to the city and had my father-in-law take me to my hotel, which was the Omni on California St. in the Financial District.
My hotel room at the Omni in San Francisco

I opted to park my car with the in-laws as opposed to spending the $48+tax on the hotel parking (per night!). I check in, and then head straight over to the Nike Expotique for my Race Packet pick up. Because I am with the Team in Training group we have a shuttle that takes us from the hotel to the expo at Union Square. The expo is JAM PACKED with people when I arrive.

INSANE. I want to enjoy myself after picking up my bib and race packets, but I really can’t. The lines for everything are out of this world. For example, they had a place to get youriPod etched (what the hell is that called???) but the wait was like 20 minutes. I opted to wait my 30 minutes in the line for the massage (which lasted 15 min). Then I head for the shortest line in the building. The Oxygen Bar. If you ever have a chance, try it. Strange but refreshing.

Oxygen in multiple flavors

I rocked the bar like no other

I didn’t have patience with the crazy Nike Town store so I went straight to the Macy’s building and headed to the food court where I was disappointed to find that Pete’s Coffee had been replaced with a Tom’s Cookie. WTF? Their coffee is SO NOT Pete’s Coffee good. As I was heading out the escalator with coffee and cookie (you didn’t think I was so put off by the replacement of Pete’s that I would not take the chance to sample the cookies, did you?) in hand when I heard “Oh my God, is that Gina? Gina!!!” Lo and behold behind me in the escalator is my good friend and neighbor Colleen who was here on her own for the half marathon. I love when things like that happen. After words I headed back to the hotel for the Pasta Party.

As I stood down stairs with our group waiting for the shuttle I had no idea what was in store for me at the Pasta Party. I expected some good eats and some rah-rah go get ’em speeches, but not what we actually encountered. When we arrived there were hundreds of people filing into the Moscone Center. Once inside the building all you could hear was cheering. Cheering for us. The participants, the friends, and family. Words cannot describe what this was like. Lining the path for us to the escalators, down the sides of the escalators and at the bottom of the escalators to the doors of the dinner hall, the mentors, coaches, and captains cheered for us. It was overwhelming. I tried in vain to fight back the tears. I don’t know what it was. Excitement, pride, joy? As I reached the bottom of the escalator I saw my coaches and mentors at the very bottom, and they were so excited to see me!!! So of course I let a few tears fall with a big smile! Hugs all around and then into the chow hall. These pictures do not do it justice!

Serious madness
As I came down the escalator

And looking up the escalator

Coach Jessica, Mentor Joel, and Mentor Martha

Mentor Nancy who I adored

Dinner was good. The entertainment was good and the honoree who spoke (I believe her name was Anne) was moving. Everyone rallied in excitement over the next days event.

With Mentor Nancy!
Our coaches and team pow-wow

The Redwood Empire team had a little pow-wow after and called one of our honoreesHank, who was supposed to be participating in the 1/2 marathon with us, but couldn’t’ because he was still in the hospital after 39 days of receiving many units of blood. But we knew he was with us anyway, and I was sure to think of Hank as I prepared for the marathon the next day, knowing how much it meant to him that we were there and knowing how much he truly had wanted to be there. After dinner I walked back to the hotel with my mentor Angela and her husband. We took a few detours looking for a Walgreen’s however we were in the Financial District and apparently everything closes at 5pm there. 😦 But it was good to chat with Angela and she gave me even more “you can do it” boosts before sending me to bed.

As I lay down that night I had set my cell alarm and the radio alarm, and put out everything i needed for the morning. Coach Renie and Coach Kathleen had made it clear they would meet me in the lobby at 4:15am to walk me to the starting line. Hmmm, the night before I went to bed at 4:15am! I did toss and turn, and continually check the alarm in through the night. I was afraid I would oversleep. But I didn’t. I was up at 3:45am and was about to set out on a life changing experience!

To be continued…

My Journey

Go Team!!!

Over the past few weeks I have been reminiscing about my time with Team in Training.  I spent so much of my time for a few years dedicated to Team in Training and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  I lived and breathed TNT and LLS, so much that I  thought I would be involved for life.  At one point though, it felt like it just consumed my life and I stepped back.  Waaaay back, and then almost three years passed.

I was cleaning out a drawer full of old race gear and sorted through my TNT shirts.  I looked at them and remembered fondly each of the events they were tied to, and the people I had met over the course of the training for the events.  Many of those people are still found on my Facebook news feed, but there have been a few I lost contact with and one very tough loss of an Honored Teammate.  I posted this picture and mentioned how I missed everyone, then one of those Facebook friends said “Yes we miss you too. Come join us for Nike kick off is Saturday in Sonoma.”

And that's not even all of them!
And that’s not even all of them!

I knew before I even walked into the Kick Off that I was signing up for a new event.  I knew there would be wonderful reunions with people I hadn’t seen in years and the inspirational talks from honorees and staff would make it that much easier to sign the papers.  So I signed up.  Nike Women’s Half.  So, it’s almost a full circle.  My first event with Team In Training in 2008 was the Nike Women’s Marathon, where I completed the full 26.2 miles.  It was by far my favorite event to complete, mentor, and coach.  There is something completely magical about the Nike Women’s Marathon and I can’t wait to get back to training with my team.

Here’s to being reunited with my purple peeps!  GO TEAM!!!

Random Spouting and Ranting

I Stand in the Light

Don’t worry about me, I’m gonna make it alright
Got my enemies crossed out in my sight
I take a bad situation gonna make it right
In the shadows of darkness I stand in the light

                Fall Back Down Rancid

I love this song.  I relate to it differently than the lyrics are meant (it’s about Tim Armstrong’s divorce and how his friends helped get him through it).  Regardless, the song still resonates for me.  I have had my ups and downs in life.  Those horrible bottoms where I never thought I would be able to come back out, but I do.  The support of my family and friends has always helped get me through, but more importantly, I empowered myself to get through my darkest hours.

I am feeling strong and happy, and not down in the dumps by any means.  Just listening to this song reminded me that I have friends and family who support me, but I am the one who has the power to “take a bad situation, gonna make it right”.