Thursday, September 30, 2010


  • I have had an insane number of people ask me how far my upcoming marathon is.  This just really cracks me up.  I need to think up a sarcastic response to this. 
  • On my last 18 miler, I was honked and whistled at by two eighteen wheelers and yelled at two times from a window of a house.  I told Ken that I ended my run partly because I felt I would be pushing my luck if I kept going.  I felt the odds of me getting kidnapped were rather high that day and I should quit while I was ahead and not in the trunk of a car. 
  • I had a complete freak out moment regarding my passport.  I shipped my old one off to get a new one with my married name.  I checked the mail on Tuesday and found my old passport in the mail with my marriage license.  I was on the phone with Michelle and not paying attention to the infomation in the envelope and freaked out and told her that my passport was denied and that they must have not thought that my marriage license was for real and now I cannot go to the Bahamas.  Yeah, it was totally dramatic.  She quickly calmed me down and told me you get your old one back first.  Guess what, the next day, my new passport arrived.  Thank goodness I am not on a watch list.  :)
  • And yes, I have been married for almost 18 months and just now changed my last name completely.  My new drivers license arrived on Monday. 
  • Speaking of my drivers license, Target refused to sell me Dayquil last week because I only had a paper version of my drivers license.  It was not the pharmacy that refused, it was the cashier.  Funny how that paper version is okay for the police and okay to get me on a plane, but not okay to purchase Dayquil that is sold over the counter.  It was not even behind the pharmacy counter, it was in the standard aisle. 
  • Fall colored M&M's taste better than the normal ones.
  • I hope that Yankee Candle brings back their Carrot Cake scent.  It smells so good and I have almost burned thru the one I have.
  • I am so ready to leave for Chicago and run the marathon. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fall TV...

Oh how I am so happy that GOOD TV is back on!  I have longed for this day.  Here are my favorites, in no particular order:

The Biggest Loser.  I just love this show!  I wish more people would get up off their tails and stop making excuses for why they cannot lose weight.  I heard on the show last night that two out of three Americans are over weight.  Unacceptable.  Yes, I may have been eating a little Ben and Jerry's Carrot Cake ice cream (delicious!) while watching the show and my husband may have been laughing at me, BUT I had just finished my run of seven miles.  :)

The Amazing Race.  This is the 7th year I have been watching this show.  I started watching it when Ken and I started dating.  I am so glad he got me hooked on watching it.  Ken and I like to go over the road blocks and detours and imagine if it were us, who would do what challenge.  You would be amazed at the one's Ken would assign to me because I am so tiny.  Short people rock!

Criminal Minds.  It is odd that I love this show so much, but it is so good.  And not to mention, Shemar Moore is simply gorgeous.  I do have a strict rule that I do not watch this while Ken is out of town.  I already have enough issues having friend's husbands come over and search for the serial killer who has locked himself in a guest bedroom. 

Desperate Housewives.  I cannot believe I am still watching this one, but I just cannot stop.  It is such trash and maybe that is why I watch it? 

Survivor.  I hope this show never goes off the air.  It just does not get old.  I tell Ken every season that I should totally go on Survivor.  He laughes and asks how I would handle being outside so long, eating weird things, and not being able to put on make up or shower.  I respond with I would totally kick so much butt!  The social part of the game is like my office! 

Do you have any favorites?

These two are ready for Fall TV!  Ken emailed me this picture yesterday while he was working at home.  I think it is safe to say that all three animals in our house have an awful life, ha!

A Whirlwind of a Weekend...

Wow, the weekend just flew past!  Ken worked all weekend, (I did venture out on Sunday to help him for a few hours).  This past weekend was my last long run before Chicago.  After much thought and debating with myself on how far I should go, I called my friend Susan and we talked through it.  Since I had such an amazing 18 miler the weekend before (average pace was 9:02 without much effort), she told me she did not think running another 18 or 20 miler would be much of a benefit.  I agreed.  I am so ready for this thing!

I ran 16 miles on Saturday and tried to focus on not going to fast.  It was tough.  I kept looking down and I was going faster than I wanted.  I just hope I have this same feeling on 10/10!

I leave you with this photo of me with Johnny Dare at Bikers for Babies on Sunday.  Johnny Dare is a huge radio personality in Kansas City.  His radio station is not my taste in music, but I could not resist having my photo taken with him.  When Ken and I were walking him to his motorcycle, all kinds of people were stopping him for pictures, hugs, handshakes, you name it.  I could not believe it. 

In case you are wondering, his arms are as buff as they look. 

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fall Goodness...

Here is a recipe that I have to share!  I made these delicious cookies a few weeks ago to celebrate September 1st.  They are super easy and you will get such praise if you whip up these bad boys!

Iced Pumpkin Cookies


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (I used allspice instead)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
(I also added a little cinnamon to the icing)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.

To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners' sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.
***recipe from

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bursting with Excitement....

I am not sure what has happened, but today I am so excited about the Chicago Marathon!  Maybe it is my sore legs from my long run yesterday and the fact that I am wearing my compression socks today.  Maybe it is because it was so nice out yesterday when I ran, that I did not have to start until 7:30 am.  What a difference cool weather can make!

I realized yesterday that the marathon is four weeks away.  I cannot wait for another getaway with my husband.  We have already had great trips this year and Chicago is just going to be the cherry on top.

Maybe I am excited because I love Fall so much and anytime we travel in the Fall it warms my heart.  Ken and I started dating in the Fall and I think that is one of the many reasons I love it so much.  That, and pumpkin anything and everything.  Speaking of pumpkin, I just finished off a Pumpkin Spice Latte.  What a little piece of heaven I tell you. 

I ran 18 miles yesterday.  I wanted to run 20, but Michelle was picking me up for lunch, so I had to cut it two miles short.  I know that I can run 20 miles, heck, I know I can run 26.2 miles, the question is, can I run it in under four hours.  Well, we will find out soon enough!

In other exciting news Michelle and I have booked a trip to The Bahamas in November.  We are so excited to lay on the beach and drink pina coladas.

Yesterday Heather, Melissa, Michelle, and I went to lunch and a movie.  It was the perfect was to spend a Sunday afternoon.  Thanks for the picture Melissa!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hiking Pikes Peak...

On Sunday morning, we set our alarm for 2:30 am to get up and hike Pikes Peak.  We wanted to leave our apartment at 3:00 am so that we could safely arrive at the Barr Trail by 4:30 am to start our hike.  Ken gave me a hard time for putting make up on.  I told him that if he ended up needing help later, he would be happy that I took the ten minutes to put on make up.  Who would help a homely looking girl? 

All of our stuff ready to go.  Thanks Rob for letting me borrow a backpack!

Ken at 4:30 am at the start of Barr Trail.  It was so dark out!  The moon was a tiny sliver of a toenail!

I am ready to hike!  Thank goodness we stopped for coffee.  No Pumpkin Spice Latte at 4:00 am, only gas station coffee, but it did the trick!  There were already several cars in the parking lot when we arrived.  Only crazy people are up that early to hike up a 14,000 foot mountain.  Oh, and marathon runners too.  :)

Ken's first breather of the day.  The first three miles are pretty difficult.  It is nonstop switchbacks and it is pretty steep.  Well, what can you expect hiking up a mountain?  It is going to get steep.

A little background on Ken:  He has never walked 13 miles in his entire life, let alone up a mountain.  I have to say that I was impressed that he wanted to try this hike.  Impressed, and worried.  It is $500 per person if you have to be evacuated.  He told me that if he had to call for help, he would pay his $500 and just send me on my way.  Thanks Sweetie.

This is around 6:00 am as the sun was starting to rise.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  I will say that I went from cold to hot and hot to cold.  I told Ken that I did not expect to sweat so much.  Not sure what I was thinking!

So glad that it is starting to get light out!  Please excuse my deer in headlights look, the flash is a little bright that early in the morning!

Here is our first view of where we are heading.  Yeah, it looks far doesn't it?  We still have about nine miles to go to get there.  Whose idea was this again?

Halfway!  We made it to Barr Camp, which is 6.5 miles from the Summit.  I am waiting on coffee to be served up.  I also had a few pancakes and purchased a Snickers.  Isn't that why one would hike 13 miles up a 14,000 foot mountian, to be able to eat a Snickers?

At Barr Camp, we enjoyed coffee and refilled our water bottles.  I started to get chilly at this point from sweating so much.  Our elevation at Barr Camp was 10, 200.  Only 3,800 more to go to the Summit. 

This is one of the last smiles I got out of Ken.  He kept asking when the trail was going to flatten out.  Um, I do not think that it ever does when you are hiking up a mountain. 

This is Ken's "signature" shot.  I have about 1,000 pictues of him like this anytime we are outside. 

So at this point, I really start to think that Ken is stalling with all of the picture taking. 

The views are just amazing!

At the A-Frame Shelter.  We have a little over three miles to go.  I just enhaled, I mean ate my Snickers.  If you are wondering if I shared it with Ken, the obvious answer is no.  :) 

Getting above the treeline was something I had been looking forward to all day.  This is where Ken and I had an exchange of words.  Let's just say that his attitude was less than stellar at this point.  He told me it was just not happening.  I told him he better make it happen and that he has two choices:  two miles to the top or 11 miles back down.  I think he was a little irritated when I told him to try to walk for three minutes and then rest for one minute.  He walked for 30 seconds and stopped.  He told me just to go, so I did.  I looked back one time and yelled to ask if he needed a snack.  Nope, just go I was told.  So at mile 11, we went our separate ways.

I managed to catch back up with everyone that had passed us while Ken needed to take breaks.  Do you know what it is like to pass several guys when they are sitting there looking like they are about to puke?  Yeah, it felt great that this 4'10 girl chicked several guys.  At this point, Ken was using his packback as a recliner and was watching me walk up the trail with his binoculars.  I am glad I was able to provide him entertainment during his resting periods.

If you enlarge this photo, you will see the switchbacks that I just walked up.  Pretty amazing.  The wind was starting to pick up and I would put on my jacket and then stop and take it off and then stop and put it back on.  I just could not stay comfortable.

Here is another view of the switchbacks.  After the switchbacks, come the 16 golden stairs up to the top.  I walked up these stairs with two guys that I spent the last mile with.  They were both so friendly and kind.  One of them even helped me down and up a big boulder.  See, I knew the makeup would come in handy.  :)

Making it to the top was like the finish line of a marathon.  I was so happy!  I talked with two other men that I had met on the trail.  They were so surpised that I beat my husband with his long legs.  I explained to them that I am training for my sixth marathon and that my husband has never walked 13 miles in his life. 

It was very windy at the top.  I put on my gloves and would wait outside for Ken for about five minutes and then go inside the Summit house for five minutes.  I kept repeating this, I did not want to miss him coming up.  I did see all of the people finish that were with me on the trail, including a gentleman that was hiking in honor of his 70th birthday.  It was great to watch him come up the trail. 

Finally, I came out and saw Ken off in the distance!  I gave him a big wave and was smiling great big.  If you enlarge the picture, he is in the black shirt holding on to his hiking stick for dear life.

Here he comes! 

Coming up the last bit of incline.  I have never been so proud of him!  At mile 11, I had doubts if he would make it or not, but he did.  What a very determined (maybe a little stubborn) husband I have!

I knew better that I should have had two photos taken of us.  This one is blurry and it just makes me sick.  It is the only one of us at the top.  Pretty sure even in the blur, I look like a midget next to Ken!

We reserved tickets on the Cog train to get back to Manitou Springs.  We reserved tickets on the 4:40 pm train, when in reality, we could have taken an earlier train.  We just were not sure what to expect.  We were afraid that maybe we would get sick from the altitude, but we were both fine. 

Ken told me that at one point he was cursing out a fly that was on his leg.  A guy came around the corner and thought Ken was crazy!  I am just sorry that I did not see this!  He said when he was perched up in his backpack recliner, that several people offered him water.  He told them he was fine, just relaxing and trying to finish. 

The thing that surprised me the most was how friendly everyone on the trail was.  Everyone we talked to offered water or snacks.  It is always good to see people being so kind to one another. 

Would I do it again?  Absolutely!  Not sure if you will get the same answer out of Ken. 

Ken, you did such an amazing job and I am so proud of you for wanting to hike Pikes Peak, and for finishing it. 

A Quick Trip To Denver...

Ken and I decided at the last minute to road trip to Colorado over Labor Day Weekend.  The main plan in mind was to hike Pikes Peak - post to follow.  Denver is just under nine hours from our house.  We left Thursday evening and drove to Colby, KS. 

Ken and I had never been to Western Kansas before and enjoyed seeing all of the small towns.  My only regret is that we did not see the largest ball of twine.  We did see windmills and tumbleweeds blowing in the wind.  It does not take much to excite us!

We arrived in Denver Friday around noon.  We went downtown, visited, REI, and went to the 16th Street Mall.  Of course we stopped and had some gelato at Gelato Amore.  I think it may have been the best gelato I have ever had.  We finished the night with dinner at Keg Steakhouse.  I am disappointed that I did not take any photos of downtown or of us on our first day.  I think I was a little tired.

One Saturday, I woke up and ran a quick six miles and we were out the door and headed to Estes Park.  We have always wanted to see Estes Park, but were a little afraid of it being super touristy with it being Labor Day weekend.  We stopped in Lyons, CO on our way for bagels and lattes at a super cute place called the Barking Dog Cafe. 

Our first stop in Estes Park was the Rocky Mountain National Park.  I had one thing in mind, see an Elk.

I just about jumped out of the moving car when I saw this guy!  There were several elk eating, but I focused on this guy because he was the only one with horns.  Yeah, I know, they are really antlers.  I prefer to call them horns.  After we saw the elk, Ken said I was perked up like a kid.  It was worth the $20 admission into the park just to see and hear the elk!

The views are beautiful inside the park.

After driving around the park, we ventured into downtown Estes Park.  A few reminders of why we do not have children were noted.  :)  Needless to say, it was like a zoo.  We walked around, had lunch, and enjoyed our day together.  I did a little shopping when we got back to our apartment and then Ken and I had enjoyed our dinner.  Ken was excited to treat the upcoming hike like a marathon, he had to carb load!  We went to bed at 8:00 so that we could be all chipper for our 2:30 am wake up call for Pikes Peak.  Such party animals I know!