Saturday, May 11, 2013

Fying Pig Marathon's EXPO 2013

The Expo from a rookie’s point of view.

The Flying Pig Expo was on Friday and Saturday. It was held at the Duke Convention Center in Downtown Cincinnati. My boys had baseball games on Saturday so I knew I had to go on Friday.


While I was at work on Friday, my friend Molly said she wouldn’t mind going. Since this was free and open to the public event, she could go! We took off around 12:45pm and headed downtown. Downtown was so crowded that we began to panic! We had to get back to work and this was taking up precious expo time. It took at least 25 minutes to find somewhere to park.

 Finally, we parked and arrived at the top level of the convention center where you can overlook the convention area. That is where I took this picture:


I was nervous.


I was excited.


I was nervous.


Did I mention I was nervous?

Yes, I was more nervous than excited. I was so freaked out about running AND finishing the race. My foot had me a nervous wreck! Nothing like an injury before your first half marathon!

Why was I so nervous? I wanted this. BAD! It seems like all my life, people like to make excuses for my “success”. I remember coming home once telling my own husband that I got a 7% raise and his response “ you suck ass!”. Of course he was kidding but words hurt. I could go on and on about responses people have made about my success but that’s not what this blog post is about. I just chalk it up to jealously and move on!

I knew if I could actually run a half marathon AND finish, no one could say anything.

They couldn’t say I cheated.

They couldn’t make excuses up.

They couldn’t call me a “suck ass”.

This achievement was mine and I wanted it.


Molly and I went down the escalator and finally arrived in the Expo!

And when I say IN the Expo, I mean at the exit!

Yep, we went through the EXIT doors. Of course we didn’t realize this until we took about 4 wrong turns. We finally got back to the entrance where I picked up my race bib and clear bag.

 (Hey rookie—the clear bag is used for bag check on race day!)

Back to race package pick up…..There was an area for each event: 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon and so on. Then each area was separated out by last name. I got in the line for my last name.

And when I say line, I mean I got behind the one person who was in front of me.

That’s right, there really wasn’t a line anywhere. This was around 1:30pm.

So after my 30 second wait, I got my bib! My first bib!



After we got my packet, we went back through where we just came through. If you know Molly and I, this is so typical of us! We meandered our way through the Flying Pig store where they sold memorabilia shirts, shorts, sweats, etc.. I picked up a tshirt for $20, a can coozie for $2 and a magnet for $3.

Since the event is sponsored by Proctor & Gamble (known as P&G to locals), they were there giving out free samples. The line was long but it moved fast. As we got closer, we could see they were giving away several varieties of skin creams, tampons, pads, laundry scent booster, Dawn Power clean, AAA batteries and several other things.

Not only did we notice the men weren’t picking up the pads and tampons, they weren’t even looking at them! The turned their heads as they got to the table like they were embarrassed! It was quite amusing!

We finally got up to the front of the line where we were able to snag our samples.

Actually, here are all the free samples I got.


After that, we went through the vendor section and picked up a few more samples.

I was so happy to see that an area running store Bob Ronckers, were giving away race pace tattoos. I had no idea what a race tattoo even was until a few days prior when I saw one on Pinterest.

So what is it?

Its a temporary tattoo that runners can affix to their forearm. You can choose between several different finishing times and the tattoo lists the splits for each mile. If math isn’t your friend, then this might help you! I picked up 2 different ending times. 2:30—a stretch goal. And 2:45—probably a more realistic goal for my first half marathon. I wasn’t really sure which time I wanted so I figured I would figure it out later. Best part—these were free! I was ready to pay a few dollars for each of them. Thanks Bob Roncker! (stay tuned to see if it actually worked)

We were still pressed for time, so we tried to quickly move through the vendor section. As much as we were in a hurry, several booths we just HAD to stop at.

Such as Sweaty Bands! I love these things!!! They were having a special—buy 5 and get 1 free. Small ones were $15 and large ones were $18. I was only going to get 2 but couldn’t decide which 2 so I ended up taking advantage of the special. (Please don’t do that math!) When we got to the register, the saleslady said I could pick out a pig one as they were having an additional sale of buy any 2 and get 1 PIG one free. Looking back, that is what I should have done. But we were in a hurry so I made a rash buying decision.

 I’m a woman.

Are you surprised?
Don’t tell me you are surprised!

BTW, I highly recommend Sweaty Bands. They stay on my head and hold a lot of sweat. And I sweat like a pig!!!

No pun intended!

Right next to the Sweaty Bands was a booth that Molly wanted to stop at.


They had a belt she wanted so I ended up picking out one too. Ugh. We are bad for each other! This was going to be my first time using a belt. Would I like it? Stay tuned to my next blog.

After that, we said we HAD to go!

So we……..

 ……..stopped at another booth that caught our eye.

Yep. We did.

You didn’t expect us to leave now did you?

We needed sunglasses! We both picked out a pair that were $39. They were polarized. I have to have polarized. I love them. But I also wanted anti-fog. You can't get both in one lense.

Only one or the other. That’s my luck.

BUT for $3 you can buy an anti fogging cloth to rub on the lenses.

Of course we fell for that too.

At this point I ask the lady if there is a discount if we buy more than one pair.

HEY! It doesn’t hurt to ask.

She said she would knock off the tax. Sold! We both got a pair of sunglasses and a cloth. (She threw in one of the cloths for free! Thanks!)

Now we said we HAVE to go.

 So we……..

……..stopped at another booth that caught our eye.


We had to stop for fuel. No not gas you rookie! J

Don’t feel bad, until about 2 weeks ago I didn’t know what fuel was either. Turns out fuel are products that help you run faster and longer.  They say if you jog for 30 minutes, you only need to drink water. But if you're running longer than an hour, you need carbohydrates, AKA fuel.

An example of fuel is something called GU. Pronounced goo.

And here I thought goo was the junk found underneath the lunch table in grade school.

Who knew.

So I picked up 2 GU’s and a pack of Jelly Belly’s for a buck a piece. This is where we also found another awesome magnet!



Now we said we HAVE to go.


So we……..

……We finally made it to shirt pick up!

Did I have you worried we were going to make another stop?

We didn’t. But we would’ve had I seen any red running shoes. As I was walking through I kept my eye open for a pair, but no luck! The neon and bold colors are so popular right now when I just want a pair of red running shoes!!! Why can’t I find any?!?!

 Anyways, I’m whining like a pig.

 Again, no pun intended.

So we go to t-shirt pick up. I pre-registered for a medium thinking men and women would all have one fit. I was wrong. The women had a ladies fit. I needed a L. The guy handing me my t-shirt said he had to give me a M but directed me to the area where I could exchange it for a different size so I did. Yay!

I was also given a nice soft sided Flying Pig cooler and a poster. I have read on other blogs were people say the poster is a waste of money. I for one liked it! Of course, this was my first half marathon so I appreciated the memento and plan on keeping it.

I might even frame it.

If I actually finish the race that is!

Here's my race swag:

All in all, the expo was easy to move through (both times—through the exit area and back!) and was very well organized!

As we left, I had to get my picture taken with this pig!


I do kind of wish I wouldn’t have gone during work so I had more time. Of course, I probably would’ve found more things to buy! So maybe it’s a good thing!

Up next: RACE DAY!!!!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Half Marathon?! What?! Can I do it!?

Back on December 31, 2010 I wrote on this blog about how I wanted to run a half marathon. Over 2 years have went by where I didn’t take any action.
Until now.

On January 1st, 2013 my friend Molly and I ran the Commitment Day 5k run. The run is about starting a healthy way of life. Forget making a resolution. Make a commitment. It’s all about feeling good, and inspiring someone else to make a positive change.

To find more info visit this site

On this day, I wrote on their commitment poster the following….


I commit to doing what it takes to be a better person.

Pretty specific huh?

I am normally one of those people who set a New Years resolution and end up breaking it by the end of January. This year, it was different. Something in me was driving me to have this year to be different. Maybe it was the Commitment Day run.

And by run I mean walk. Yes, we walked the entire 5k in 58 minutes.

Hey, you have to start somewhere!

This also inspired me to set the rest of these resolutions.


Not resolutions.


For #1, my progress was going great! I was getting up at 4am to work out before work. I’m lucky that I have a fitness center right in my office building! I truly had no excuses!

Let me tell ya, I am NOT a morning person! Matter of fact, I trust no one who smiles before 9am. But I still got up and got my grumpy non-morning butt into the gym.

Then there came a time when Molly and I talked about doing a RunDisney race in the fall. We were so motivated to do this!

Then I thought to myself, I know I won’t be able to stay motivation that long without a race before then. I looked at the calendar and the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon was scheduled for the first Sunday in May. Also looking at the calendar I realized the Flying Pig was 2 days before the anniversary of the death of my best friend Lynnette. I see people all the time running for causes and I thought I could push myself and run the half marathon for her.

I started training on the treadmill shortly after that. We had a very snowy winter so I didn’t get a chance to start running outside until the end of March.

Yes, you read that right.
The end of March.

Wow! What a difference there is running on pavement! I should've started sooner! After just 2 short weeks, I developed an excruciating pain in the bottom of my foot. This prevented me to train like I wanted.

Fast forward to 5 days before the Flying Pig race. I finally went to a foot doctor where he told me I had plantar fasciitis. He injected the area with something. I don’t know what it was. Nor do I care because it worked. (I do remember him saying it wasn’t cortisone.)  The doc also gave me a few exercises to do and this pretty thing:


It wasn’t comfortable to sleep in but I didn’t care! This girl was following doctor’s orders! Why? Because he said I would be race ready IF I do what he says.

Stay tuned in the next blog to see if he was right.

On Friday, 2 days before the Half Marathon, I went to the Expo. Also stay tuned in the next blog to read all about the expo!

Sunday was the race! Did I do it? Was I able to finish? Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Last day of school....

Last day of school....

Seems so hard to believe that today was the last day of school. The VERY last day for Bradley. I can't believe his high school days are over. This morning before he left for school, I took a picture of him with a picture of his very first day of kindergarten.

We both pulled out of the driveway at the same time.

He went left.
I went right.

He drove off and kept going.
I stopped and watched.

As I watched him drive away in my rearview mirror, I realized I had the same emotions that I had on his very first day of school.

Tears filled my eyes. It seems like just yesterday when he got on that big yellow school bus so confidently and all smiles. And now here he is driving away, probably just as confident and all smiles. That same smile. Sure, he may say there are differences.

He's smarter.
He's wiser.
He's faster.
He's taller.

But to me it's the same.

I'm just as proud.
I'm just as nervous.
I'm just as excited.
I'm just as worried.

Have I done enough as his mom to prepare him for the world? Have I raised him to be independant and hard-working? Have I influenced him enough to be able to make good choices?

Then I realized that your whole like is about education. Just because his high school years are over, he will never quit learning. There's some truth in that old saying "you learn something new every day".

Today I learned that no matter what the age or grade, children fill your heart with love and happiness. And no matter what the age or grade, you will always worry about them. For that, I am forever grateful for all the matter what age or grade!

I love you Mr. Bradley!

Friday, March 18, 2011

My weight loss journey.

The moment I said I need to make a change…..

I hate saying that I started my “diet” in January. It’s so cliché. So typical of so many average Americans who make their New Year’s Resolution to lose weight.

For me, the New Year didn’t have a lot to do with it. Often, when someone wants to lose weight, it’s usually when something happens….maybe a “wow” moment, or a comment from someone else, or an upcoming event or even a New Year’s Resolution. For me, the moment I said I need to make a change and the reason I decided it was time to lose weight was this picture……

I can NOT believe I just posted this picture. If it was printed out, I would have cut it up, burned it and then flushed it down the toilet. Yet, here it is in digital form, acting as my motivation to look and feel better.

The picture was taken the first week of January of this year, while Jared and I were on our cruise. We were on Disney’s Castaway Cay, enjoying a day of pure paradise. As I sat there with a drink in my hand (well, I think I sat it down at that point but I was drinking it), reading a book and basking in the sun, I felt great. I remember Jared saying that I looked sexy and he grabbed the camera and took a picture. I knew he was taking it. Why didn’t I care?

Because, get this….I FELT SEXY!!! Pshhhh!!!

Looking at the picture now, what the heck was I thinking?

Maybe it was the drinks….
Maybe it was my new bathing suit….
Maybe I was in a pure relaxation mode….
Maybe the sun was frying my brain…..

Don’t know, but something should have triggered in my brain, saying to me “Hey X-Tina, you might feel sexy sitting there BUT guess what…..ummm, you might want to delete that picture while it’s in a small preview mode on back of the camera.”

I didn’t listen to that voice.
Instead, when I got home, I downloaded all my pictures and then go to view them on the computer screen. Not just any computer screen…..of course it has to be the 15 inch screen that shows every detail.

Every detail of this picture.

After the download was complete, I was smiling going through all the pictures.

“Oh look, that’s me and Mickey.”
“Oh this boat area here is new.”
“Here’s my favorite palm tree.”
“This is when we went bike riding”

And that’s when it happened…..
I clicked the arrow to advance to the next photo….THAT PHOTO.

And instead of saying “that’s me relaxing on the beach”, I think I blurted out “What the heck were you thinking Jared?!?! I thought you said I looked sexy!” Yep, that’s what I said along with a few choice words but I’ll leave those out.

At first, I blamed Jared for taking the picture. Why would he do that to me?
But then I got to thinking….I do feel sexy. Not just in that picture but in everyday life….

I feel sexy.
I love who I am.
I feel beautiful.
I am comfortable in my skin.
I feel sexy.

So at that very moment, I realized I don’t look the way I feel. I feel better than I look.

How is that possible?
I look in the mirror. I know what I see.
You look at me. I know what you see.
Yet, they are so different.

For example, take someone who is obviously 2 sizes smaller than me, and I will think we are the same size. The numbers will say one thing but in my head of mine, I think we are the same.

How is that even possible?
Whatever it is, at that moment…..The moment when I realized I don’t look as good as I feel, is when I decided I needed to lose weight.

When I decide I am going to do something, I do it.
I am a very impatient person. When I want something, I want it now.

This weight loss journey I am on now….well, it is hard.
I mean hard.
It’s not coming off as fast as I want it to. Doesn’t it understand I am impatient? Doesn’t it know that I want it off now? Nope.
Why not?

I like to blame something so I am going to blame the number 36. That’s right, my age of 36. When I tried to lose weight back in 2008, I went from 195 to 163 in 2 months. That was ONLY 3 years ago. And by the way, that was a New Year’s Resolution that well…didn’t continue past 2 months. Typical.

I remember how easy the weight dropped off back then. Sure, I ate healthy and worked out 4 days a week but it was fairly easy for the pounds to fall off. So here I am 3 years later, and I am doing the exact same thing, and the weight is not falling off. That’s why I am blaming the number 36. They say the older you get, the harder it is to lose weight. Well my friends, BELIEVE IT.

And actually, I am working out 5 days a week. Last week? Yep, 6 times. I even tried ZUMBA last week for the first time. Imagine me, the person with not only 2 left feet but 3 left feet. If that’s even possible. Well, if it was, that would be me! My coordination is pathetic.

And how is that even possible? How can someone like me be so uncoordinated?
I think that is the worst punishment on someone.
Ugly teeth? Dentist can fix them.
Bad eyes? Get some glasses.
Pale skin? Go to the tanning bed.
Funky hair? Get a wig (just ask my mom)
Small boobs? Hello enhancements.

Anyway, I am digressing….the point is, I am soooo uncoordinated and it can’t be fixed. So I will continue on and maybe even try Zumba again…besides, I can’t really be as bad as I look, right? (I am noticing a trend here!)

So my starting weight on the day I looked at the picture above.
Stop looking at it would ya?
Once is enough.
Anyway, starting weight on January 10th, 2011 was 193. That was also the day I drank my last Diet Coke.

I weighed in on March 1st and I was 181.
Just the other day, I broke the 170’s!!! Wahooo!!!!

So right now, I am 179. That’s a loss of 14 pounds if you are keeping track. My first goal was to lose 10% of my weight. I am only FIVE pounds off!

I know I can do this. Yes, it is hard, but the payoffs will be worth it.
Somedays it is harder than others. Particularly on the nights I stop and have a drink with the girls or go out for the evening. Who knew there were so many calories in one Blue Moon!?!?! Don’t the calories cancel out if it’s served with a fruit? I even ask for extra orange. That has to count for something right?

Yeah, probably not. I know that! And I know I can do this!

To be continued....

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


So here we are.
More than half way through January.
I wonder how many people have quit their New Years Resolution.
For my resolution.....
I created quite a list but really it comes down to one goal this be a better person.
I think I'm doing okay.

Books: First off, I have read 3 books so far. 2 of them on the cruise. It was so relaxing to lay on the beach and read. Usually I hate the beach because I get bored so easy. Having the book allowed me to sit there and relax for hours. Loved it!

Loved these books. It's weird, but I could so see myself in each of the main characters.
Especially Darcy in Something Blue. Even though I'm not a shopper like her.
My next book is "love the one you're with" by Emily Giffin as well.
I can't wait to get started with it!

Church: The boys and I went to church on Sunday. I got nothing out of the sermon. I really need to go to a church that has a good priest. Like Father Frank at St. Pius. He relates everything to real like examples and I get so much more out of it. Father Bramlage rambled and rambled......
....for 20 minutes...
yes, I timed it.
Is that wrong?
I don't think so.
I wanted to break out the solitaire game on my phone.
Pretty sure that would have been wrong.
Anyways, half way through the sermon....
.....that would be 10 minutes in...
....Brett leaned over to me and said "What is he talking about? I don't understand."
He's 12.
He should be able to comprehend.
Well, that tells you something.
So my response....
 I leaned back over to him and said,
"I have no idea either but if I figure it out, I'll let you know."
I never did.
Next week, we are going to St. Pius!

Working out: define "working out"
Seriously, I went.
Hey, how many times have you been?
I think 2 times is pretty good.
More importantly, I did get an email from an old friend offering to work out together. I am excited! If anything, maybe we can run the half-marathon together.
Stop laughing.
Actually, only my blog readers....
.....all 3 of them....
know my goal of running a half-marathon.
This year.
I don't want to post anything about it on facebook or tell anyone because if I fail...
....which is possible....
I don't want anyone to laugh, rool their eyes or say I told ya so.
So it's our little secret.

Sleep with no TV: Doing pretty good with this one! When Jared sleeps with me....
....about once a week....
he has a hard time with it and I usually give in and turn it on.
There is a reason though.
A good reason.
Check that.
A VERY good reason....
It drowns out his snoring.
Oh my.
So 6 out of 7 days, no tv on at night...yeah!!!

Less TV: Well, I am sitting here watching American Idol.
can we just come back to this one at a later time?

Okay, I think that's it for now. Hope you're having a fabulous January!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

25 random things about me

So this is harder than it looks but here goes!!!

25 random things about me

1. My favorite movies are Grease, Dirty Dancing and Titanic.
2. I hardly ever have to shave my legs.
3. When I eat gummy bears, I eat the head first.
4. I was the only child out of my 5 siblings that my mom and dad "planned". Mom even told me the story once, "It was a Saturday morning...." and I stopped her there :)
5. I want to karaoke so bad but I know I'll suck so I won't try it.
6. The only food I really don't like is goat cheese and okra.
7. The most sensual, sexy, and attractive part of a man’s body? The smile. I love a guy that can make me laugh.
8. I hate coffee but on most mornings, I wished I liked it.
9. I don't think I will ever get a tattoo. My tattoo eyeliner doesn't count :)
10. I started wearing glasses in the 3rd grade....until.......Lasik eye surgery! It was one of the best things I have ever done. Should have got it done alot sooner than I did.
11. I want to be able to dance. I see lessons in my future.
12. Alot of the times I find myself asking, "what if..."
13. I do miss some aspects of other times and places in my life, but overall there is more kindness and caring and love and meaning in my life now than ever before.
14. Thinks the secret to a good marriage is having great "in-laws"!
15. I want to write a book. But not just any book.....I want to be a best-selling author.
16. I don't wear perfume. I actually get turned off when I smell cologne on a man. Love a good smelling man but prefer just clean smelling skin.
17. If someone asks me to pick a number between 1 and 10, I always choose 3 because I have 3 boys.
18. I won't buy anything unless it's on sale. Drives my kids nuts.
19. I have to use Tide laundry detergent.
20. Clean sheets are a secret addiction of mine. I really wish there was a way I have freshly cleaned sheets on my bed every day.
21. Fire is my greatest fear. (besides anything dealing with death of course) I don't know what I would do if I ever lost all my scrapbooks and photos in a fire.
22. I constantly wonder what my daughter would be like if I had one....
23. I am a sports fan because of my father. I wouldn't change it for anything. I hate smoking because of my mother. I wouldn't change it for anything.
24. The chore I hate the worst....ironing!
25. I have never broken a bone.....knock on wood.
26. I have a hard time saying the word specific.
27. One of my greatest memories growing up with my youngest sister Crystal was creating dance routines and singing to Mickey Mouse club songs. I think I was destined to be a Disney fan.
28. I hate following rules. That's why I did 28 things :)

Okay, so that wasn't as hard as I thought :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

And we're off!!!

So excited to be taking our 2nd Disney cruise. This time it will be on the Disney Magic. What a magical way to start the new year!!!

 I am hoping for lots of relaxation!!! We leave in a few minutes for the airport, staying in Cape Canaveral for 2 nights and then boarding the ship on Monday!

Special thanks to my sister Melissa for watching after the boys. I am going to miss the boys so much! Mis, give them hugs and kisses for me! :)

No matter how you are starting off your new year, I hope its a great one!!!