Saturday, June 30, 2007

Saturday morning run with the Chiclets!
We ran about 14-15 miles around town today. Lisa and Nancy are training for the Chicago marathon in October, but me and Sheryl are joining them in some longer runs just for fun! You have just got to get out there TODAY and live life, because you never know what tomorrow holds. Good job on the long runs gals! We are a sturdy group of women, I'll tell you. It was hot out there!
Kenny is now in Colorado for the summer. I miss him a lot! I'll be keeping busy with a lot of projects (I always find lots to do-I will never ever be bored!) One thing I'm doing is creating window frame art (yes, accountants have a small streak of creativity in them!) using fabric and flowers and old window frames. They are a lot of work but they came out really nice, I thought. I'm always proud when I get done with each one. You have to take pride in your work!

Here are some of the pieces I have done:

This one was my favorite. I love the little pink roses. I'll probably make another one just like it for myself. :)

This one was Kenny's favorite.

This one has some very interesting 'crackle' fabric that I found.

I'll be doing more of these, but these were all I sent with Kenny to Colorado to put in his art studio. I hope they sell! At any rate, I'm not quitting my day job. :)

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sunday, June 23rd - Deep Creek hike with family

Today, part of our family went on a hike to the Deep Creek area in the Great Smoky Mountains. We saw three waterfalls (which I had previewed yesterday on my run):

1. Juney Whank (funny name!)

Me and Ken

2. Tom Branch

Ken with his monster cup of coffee

3. Indian Creek
Theresa, Ken, Andy, Billy and Erich

Saturday, June 23rd - Deep Creek Family Reunion Day

We have moved locations to our cabins in Bryson City, NC near Deep Creek. Today is the official day of the family reunion. Before we all get together, I head out for a trail run in the Deep Creek trail area. This is Juney Whank waterfall, which was really pretty.

I ran about 5-6 miles and got rewarded with seeing 2 deer.

Here I am at Indian Creek falls. This was by far the most beautiful of all of the falls in Deep Creek.

I'm wearing my Running Shop shirt - advertising for them in North Carolina!

Attending the family reunion:
1. My mom, Judi

Mom holding Caroline (with my brother Ken in the background)

2. My brother Ken, his wife Carol, and their three kids, Conner, Brandon and Caroline

Conner and Brandon getting ready to fall in the creek...

Conner and Brandon falling into the creek!
3. My sister Theresa and her husband Billy

4. My sister Lisa, her husband David, and their two kids, Andy and Erich

Erich, Lisa and Andy

We are missing my sisters Andrea and Jennifer. Andrea just moved to Tucson and had a little too much going on and Jennifer and her husband Erik are expecting twins in July, so they couldn't make it. They were very missed.

Friday, June 22nd - Nantahala River rafting

Today, was river rafting day in the Nantahala River, which is close to Bryson City, NC. We are in whitewater country! Me and Ken went with my sister Lisa and her husband David and my niece Andy (Andrea) and nephew Erich. The Smoky Mountains are beautiful!

Thursday, June 21st - Bryson City, NC

We arrived at our place to stay outside of Bryson City, NC last night. We are staying at Lakeview at Fontana, which has a beautiful view of Lake Fontana.

Today is our 'down day' before the family comes in on Friday for the family reunion this weekend. They upgraded us to a 3 bedroom suite, which was lovely. The place is also a spa, but we didn't do any services - just relaxed! Here is Ken doing a little of that. He is getting a little well needed sun.
While Ken relaxed, I went for a trail run in the Tsali recreation area, which is about 10 minutes from where we were staying. It is a 'mecca' for mountain bikers, but the trails can also be run, hiked or done on horseback. I did about 6 miles on the Tsali trail.

The trail was through the forest, sometimes on a ridge, sometimes along Lake Fontana (which is huge!).
I saw a deer, but he was too fast to get a picture. Lots of not quite ripe raspberries everywhere! I fell in love with the area and vowed to come back some day. A fairly easy trail, but lots of small hills. I have never run in such a beautiful place.

Thank you God for the mountains and the trees and the beautiful blue sky.
That night, we went on a hike near our lodge. It was about a mile and a half and up and over a ridge. My legs are now officially 'trail tired'!

Wednesday, June 20th - Smoky Mountains

Kenny and me are driving through the Great Smoky Mountains (GSM) today. We stopped at the highest point of the GSM - Clingman's Dome-which is 6,643 feet. We had to hike up the last .5 mile to get to the top. You can see for miles. Very pretty. This is the first official day of vacation. We flew into Nashville yesterday, spent the night and now we are driving to Bryson City, NC today.

Monday, June 18, 2007

I love trail running! If I could run trails every day, I would. However, most trails in Tucson are either East or West, so I wouldn't have time to head out to either before work. Today, I went for about an 8 mile trail run in the Tucson Mountains (in Tucson Mountain Park). It was beautiful! I went on the Yetman Trail - a little rocky, and a lot of sandy, wash running. It will be good training for the Bataan March marathon!

There is this stone house (with no roof) on the trail that is really cool looking. It looks like it had two fireplaces at one time.

Here I am, heading down the trail.

It is going to be a good day.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Another great day! Me, Lisa, Nancy and Sheryl ran this morning (early - 5am!) between 14 and 15 miles. It was hot, which is why we went so early. Nancy's birthday is on Tuesday. Happy Birthday, Nancy!

And if that wasn't torture enough, I followed that long, hot run up with a bikini wax at the salon! And, my air conditioner went out in my truck today. :(
I really enjoyed running extra long today with my fellow Chiclets. I feel like I am built to run longer distances. The longer the better. Ultramarathons, here I come! My plan is to run a 50k (approx. 31 miles) race over Memorial Day weekend in 2008, so I'll have the next year to get stronger and get used to running longer and longer distances. I'll be doing the Bataan March marathon again in March 2008, along with some other races between now and then. I ran almost 42 miles this week! I love it! I feel very strong and sturdy. Thank you God for the ability to run and for all of the other amazing gifts in my life!
My husband Kenny and I hung out the rest of the day together. Here is a picture of him taken when we were in Mexico at Christmas time. What a handsome man! He just about wiped us out when he went over the backside of that huge sand dune on his uncle's fast ATV! All in the name of fun. His parents, Don and Char, who are wonderful in-laws, live down on the beach in Mexico over the winter. We had a different Christmas this past year. We rode ATV's in the sand and desert and ate lots of seafood!
He is a beautiful man and I am thankful he is in my life. :)

Quote for the day:
Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.~ Will Rogers

Sunday, June 10, 2007

What a great weekend!
On Saturday morning, me, Lisa and Sheryl went for a 11.5 mile run through Canyon Ranch resort, which is very pretty! It was a good run with some hills. We had a some time for a girlfriend chat afterwards at the coffee/bagel shop - very fun.
On Saturday afternoon, my sister Andrea and her daughter Amanda moved to Tucson
. Here they are:

Andrea is a little bit younger than me (I am the oldest of 5 siblings) and Amanda is 15. Amanda is very cute and just starting to drive a car. I am excited that I finally have some family here in Tucson. I love spending time with Andrea - she is very easy going. Welcome to Tucson Andrea and Amanda!

Today, June 10th, is me and Kenny's 7th wedding anniversary! It is also our dating anniversary (9 years!) I love him more today than I did 9 years ago. Happy Anniversary Kenny! We slept in and went to the Farmer's Market this morning. This afternoon, we are going to a movie and tonight we are going to my favorite restaurant, Firecracker. Yum!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Meet me Downtown 5k - June 2, 2007

Some firsts for me:
1) first running 5k
2) first day that I have ever run twice in one day (I ran 8 miles Saturday morning and did the 5k Saturday night)
3) first time I have placed in the top three in my age group. I took 2nd place in my age group (35-39). I won a long sleeved 'Running Shop' technical shirt. Thanks Running Shop! I finished in 25:56.
Here we are before the race in our skirts (Lisa, Renee and Sheryl):

Meet my husband Ken! He came with me to the race to support me. I couldn't ask for a better husband. After the race, there was a showing of 'Chariots of Fire' at the newly renovated Fox Theatre downtown (free tickets with the race entry). What a trooper - he even sat through the movie (although he did get a little siesta in!) Thank you Kenny for being my number one fan.
The race was held in La Placita Village in Downtown Tucson. Very pretty as you can see. What a fun day!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Meet the infamous 'Chiclets'! Here are my wonderful running girlfriends. We usually run every Saturday, depending on who is in town or who is not racing that weekend. We went on a 8 mile run today - a little shorter, because some of us are doing a 5k tonight.
We called ourselves the Chiclets for the marathon relay we did in December 2006 in Tucson.

From left to right: me, Nancy, Lisa, and Sheryl. Nancy logs a lot of running miles every week. Both Lisa and Sheryl do triathalons. Sheryl is on the board for the Southern Arizona Roadrunners. Yes, the whole group of us are usually color coordinated for our runs. They are a fun bunch and I love running with all of them.