Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I can't believe it's Tuesday and I am just now posting about the race. That ought to tell you something about how I have been feeling since my completion of the race: sore and so, so, so tired! Oh my goodness. If I didn't know exactly (and I mean exactly) where my hip flexors were located before this - let me just tell you: I do now! I am looking forward to shaking the soreness a little more each day and getting back to normal. So....now for the race details!

We left West Virginia on Friday morning en route to my sisters house in Virginia. On Friday evening my sister made some yummy carb loading food for us and we chowed down and then spent some time visiting and just enjoying being around each other. We started to discuss the Metro and how we would need to coordinate the routes the next to get us where we needed to go the following day for packet pick up. I will openly admit that I am not geographically strong.....AT ALL so riding the Metro in a big city with no experience and tons of runners everywhere made me a little uneasy but with my big sis by my side surely we could figure it out.

First things first - two of my girlfriends (Katie and Melissa) from high school were planning to come over for breakfast with my sisters and I and we had some awesome food prepared for the occasion (thanks to Angel). It was so awesome seeing them and just catching up. Their Dad was one of my first soccer coaches so we go way back! It was so much fun and a great way to start our crazy morning.

Here we are - Katie, me and Melissa

After brunch the girls dropped Catina and I off at the Convention center to pick up our packets. It was front door service with a Metro step by step lesson on the side (thanks girls!) I am sure Catina and I would have figured it out but it would have taken SO much longer.

Happy to be on the Metro with packets in hand!

The little girls had a blast together and we had a blast watching them have a blast together - so much fun!

Race morning we were up bright and early to get back to the Metro and make sure we got to the starting point in time. We woke up at 5:00 with a planned departure time of 5:30. We both felt a little sickish the morning of the run which is totally normal before a big run. We made it to the St. Jude Heroes booth and had our team photo taken (which I don't have a copy of yet but when I do I will be sure to share it with you). After our group photo we made our way to the start line. There were SO many people y'all - it was insane. Most of what we saw were men and women in uniform - hence the name. The Marine Corps marathon is the #5 largest marathon in the US with 30,000 runners participating in the run. When we first got into our coral it was pretty empty but before we knew it it was full and fast. Montel Williams was our emcee for the morning which is just, well - funny for some reason. Ha ha. Someone from the Jersey Boys musical sang the national anthem and two aircraft's called Ospreys flew overhead before the cannon blew to signify the beginning of the race. Those plane/helicopters were so cool. I wish you could have seen them but the best thing I can give you is a youtube video clip. They are insane. They convert from helicopter mode to plane mode - for real. Check them out. These were directly over us before we started and it was awesome to see.

When the cannon blew and I knew it was time to go I just thought "well, here goes nothing" and about 10 minutes later when the crowd directly in front of us was actually able to put one foot in front of the other...we took off. There were so many incredible things about this race it's hard to know where to begin so I will resort to a list of sorts (what can I say...I'm a list maker).
-it was so, so, so organized - love organization. We knew where we needed to go, new where our coral was, where the water stops were, what our mile/split times were, etc.
-the crowd support was one of my favorite things about this run and will remain one of the most amazing things about it - they were just pouring off of the lawn and sidewalks everywhere - all cheering for us - all their to offer support - it was nuts and so inspiring! For those of you who go to races and yell for people you don't know - we runners appreciate it more than you know!
-the weather was perfect - sunshine with few clouds and in the low 60's - gorgeous!
-we ran by incredible scenery - the white house, the pentagon, the Washington Monument, the Smithsonian, etc. etc.
-The military outpouring was awesome - the marines who volunteered to do water stops, cheer us on, place our medals around our necks and just be there for support were incredible. They were so positive and so encouraging and I just kept thinking - you are cheering for me? Oh my word - you deserve the applause. Sheesh!
-The amount of charities represented at this event was seriously impressive. You name it - they were there: hometown heroes, semper fi wounded soldier fund, diabetes association, tnt, cancer society, St. Judes, Make a Wish, etc. etc. So cool!
-My oldest sister Angel running with me from mile 25-26 and keeping me going because I was ready to quit!
-Besides the fact that our St. Judes Heroes Team raised a total of $170,870 and St. Judes teams at races across the country are raising similar amounts there was one more thing that I witnessed at the race that I must share with you all.
-In most big races there are opportunities for wheelchair participants to start prior to runners and compete and complete just as runners do and it is always a really cool thing to see. Possibly because this was the Marine Corps Marathon - there were more wheelchair participants than I had ever seen. Possibly veterans, possibly recently wounded soldiers, possibly seasoned wheelchair racers - whose to say? The wheelchair participants started 10 minutes prior to us runners which is a small window and because of that we ended up mixed up at several points during the run. At one of those points my sister and I realized through talking to another runner that the group of wheelchair cyclists we were approaching had a "blind cyclist" in the group. What?!?! I COULD NOT believe that y'all. Blind? Riding 26.2 miles with amputations on a racing wheelchair - BLIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As soon as we got next to them it was like nothing I had ever seen. It was a guy...maybe 27, maybe 28 who very obviously had recently undergone his amputations and he was wired with a helmet so that he could hear a fellow cyclists instructions "a little left, a little right, brake, etc." His eyes were fixated and it appeared as though his loss in sight was due to a trauma.

This is what the racing wheelchairs look like. They are totally operated by a hand wheel that is above the front wheel.

Was he in Iraq fighting for our freedom? Was he a normal 20 year old brave enough to sacrifice his life so we could live here in the US and now he is without legs, and blind? What would I do? Would I be racing in a marathon trusting my fellow soldiers to show me the way with their voices? Would I be that determined? Would I be that strong? I don't know. It was amazing. He was a hero. They are our heroes. He was one man and I just felt convicted - they are everywhere...I just happen to see him. I was so emotional...so choked up....so inspired. It left me breathless - literally. I thought to myself at mile 23 when I wanted to walk and my legs were throbbing, locking up even - if that guy can do what he is doing....if the kids we have raised money for can fight cancer every day - I CAN DO THIS....and I did. I finished the race in 4 hours and 21 minutes. It was an incredible feeling to cross the finish line. It was incredible to see what I saw and to have a new appreciation for our soldiers and just for human life and determination in general. Heroes - they are everywhere around us and not always who we think they would be. My sister Catina finished in a "speedy" 4:14.
-It was awesome to have Angel there at multiple times during the race yelling for us and encouraging us and it was nice to see our hubbies and kiddo's outside of the children's village at mile 23 when we needed encouragement most.

Maggie and Kennedy riding the "train"

This is what a day of watching runners will do to a girl!

Finishers! We both said we are happy to have made some personal best record times because they will remain our best - we aren't doing this again! =)

For all of you who donated, encouraged, prayed and supported - THANK YOU! It has been an awesome journey and I appreciate you being such a huge part of it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!

Well....here goes nothing huh? Tim, Kennedy and I leave tomorrow to head to West Virginia. We will stay one night with his parents and visit with them a bit and then head on to Virginia to stay with my oldest sister Angel and get ready for the Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday.

I am feeling lots of things - anxious, nervous, excited, optimistic, a little scared....you know - normal big race nerves I suppose. I know that I am more ready than I was prior to my last marathon and thats a great feeling because at least I know I have improved and will have a better time barring something unexpected. Mostly, I am just happy and proud that my sister and I raised $2,000 for St. Judes Reasearch and I can't wait to feel that feeling of complete accomplishment when I cross the finish line on Sunday. I could just cry thinking about it - the "runners high" - there isn't much better in my book.

I am super thrilled and giddy that all the little girls will be together in a couple of days. Oh my word how my daughter loves her cousins! You can be sure pictures are to come. Of course seeing my sisters will be the cherry on top of it all. There is never enough time for us to be together but I just try to suck up every minute of it and enjoy it as best I can!

Well....wish me luck and please keep me in your prayers on Sunday.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sweet Jesus

Seriously? What could be sweeter? Love it!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


And it feels so gooooooooood! Are you humming/singing now? Gotcha! Don't blame me when you are singing this two hours from now - it's been stuck in my head all day. Your welcome!

Abby and Jonathan have been in Louisville for Jonathan's Dads funeral. If you haven't been already - please pray for them in this difficult time.
Knowing that they would already have a ton on their plate they opted to leave Dakota behind with us. Needless to say Kennedy was most excited about their reunion. Oh my word has it ever been precious. There's been lots of kissing going on as noted in this picture:
The only unhappy camper has been Sylvester. He has become quite the snuggler and Dakota has invaded his space a tad. Don't worry about him though - he'll get over it. In fact....I think he already has.......

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Over a year ago I sat in a meeting scared to death thinking "what have I gotten myself into." That meeting was sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and it was my first glance into what the next several months of my life would be like. I had signed up with Team in Training to train for a triathlon - something I had always wanted to do but didn't know how to start. In that meeting the world of blogging was introduced to me as a way to have your supporters follow your training journey - physical and fundraising. It was shortly after that meeting that I started a blog. I knew nothing about blogging and I definitely didn't have a clue what a giant world I was entering but boy oh boy is it crazy! I can't get over how many regular old Joe Shmoes like myself sit down a few times a week or more and blog about their life, their experiences, their faith, their hobbies and the list goes on. What is even more amazing is how we bloggers become intertwined - how we "get to know each other" through reading. There are a ton of ways bloggers find each other but likely the most popular is that when you start your own and start reading others you like to see who those you read are following - thinking you might like to read those too. If you do like it - you start following them as well and it just grows from there.

I follow lots of close friends that blog but there are several people I follow that I don't even know really. I love to read Pioneer Woman's Blog - she makes me laugh, her photographs inspire my creative side and oh my her recipes get people talking. Go ahead and make some - people LOVE them! Her new cookbook is on my Christmas list! I love to read BooMama and Big Mama because...well.....they are hilarious! I like checking in on O'My Family because she's real and she tells it like it is with a side of laughter and humility. She makes me look back on my sleep crazed baby days with Kennedy and just smile because I think "I was soooooo there!" I like reading Sue's blog because she seems genuinely sweet and just I dunno....wise. Like a blog Mom if you will.

Anyhow - I love that I can sit down on my lunch break at work or with cup of coffee in the morning and connect with some of these people (in a way) and just smile and laugh - they are like a good book with suspense because you never know what the next chapter will be about. You know? I like that I get inspired, I get cooking ideas....

All of that to lead to my post for this evening. Without further ado.....the MMMMMMM. I was reading Big Mama here recently and stumbled upon this post which peaked my curiosity because in all honesty - it's how I feel. I agree with her - there is no such thing as too much chocolate and along the same lines I would just like to add that I also feel there is no such thing as "too rich". You people who say that - stay away from the ones who made those desserts to which you refer so they can keep on creating their glorious creations for those of us who never even so much as kind of hint at mentioning those two words! Okay....back to what I was saying. My boss's birthday is today and trying to be the good manager that I aspire to be - I always make a big deal out of staff birthdays and the Dr.'s are no exceptions. His wife Laura told me that he loves chocolate and the more the better so I thought this recipe might be the perfect thing to try!

First things first - I sent Tim to the grocery. Now....I know if my Mother in Law is reading this she is going to be tickled because y'all - my man cannot go to the grocery store without calling me a minimum of two times and I think the same applies to his Dad. Seriously! It's like some unspoken Taylor man rule or something. Well, tonight was not one of those nights for whatever reason. Bless his heart he got all the things on my list and got to the check out and remembered he hadn't checked the eggs for cracks. Don't you know this one time would be that one time when half the eggs were broken. So he comes home and is relaying this whole story to me and says - "I figured we could just get them later". I'm like - "babe, how am I supposed to make a cake without eggs?". Brace yourselves ladies - he says: "well, I figured most cakes only call for two eggs and we have two eggs, right?" to which I replied "oh...and you know this from all the cake baking you do, huh?". He went back out the door as I am saying this to buy eggs because this cake called for three. Ha! After he left I was getting all my other ingredients in order so I could prepare to start Betty Crockering and I realize he has purchased Devils Food cake rather than the Butter Chocolate mix that is in the recipe. I get a little worked up about my recipes so I wanted the exact right thing. So....I call him on his cell phone and tell him exactly what to get. Two minutes later my cell phone rings and I am met with a laundry list of cake mix brands and types being listed in my ear. ha ha ha ha ha. Oh - sweet boy!

Now....I don't know if it is because I live in Kentucky or what but we don't have the exact cake mix that Big Mama references in this recipe so I had to settle for Triple Chocolate Fudge. And when I say settle what I mean is make do while salivating about the thought of how delightfully chocolate this concoction is going to be. Fast forward to the mixing process - I have what I thought was a decent hand mixer. I am sure it's not top of the line, but I don't think it's too shabby. Well girls - if you decide to make this cake (and I think you should) you need a real deal mixer - like the big ole' nice and fancy Kitchen Aid stand-ups. You know....that thing half of us registered for before we got married but no one was crazy enough to buy for us because it was so flippin expensive - you need that one. My little mixer was just shy of smoking because this batter is so thick - seriously! I had to break out the dough hooks which I didn't even know I owned until I started screaming from the kitchen and Tim came to my rescue. He read the side of my kitchen aid hand mixer box (yes, I still have the box - shut it!) and told me the dough hooks could be used for thick cookie dough batter and I replied back rather hastily "I need those ASAP!" Need them indeed - that batter is ridiculously thick.

The cake is in the oven now and it smells so terrifically yummy that I can't wait to see how it tastes tomorrow. I love baking cakes and am anxious to see how everybody feels about it. So, while some of you get back to your post partum body weight like 11 weeks post delivery when others of us (ahem...myself) still aren't there and there daughter just turned two....I will be sinking my teeth into this delicious creation tomorrow and likely won't look back. It will be that good....I can just feel it! Don't you want to make it too? Thanks for the inspiration Big Mama!

Not to mention that blasted peanut, candy corn and reeses pieces mixture is in bulk form in my house....well....because it's fall. Do I really need another reason! Glad sweatshirt and sweater season is around the corner.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Down for the count

If you read my last posting you know I haven't been feeling so hot. I started feeling sickish on Friday before my trail run and it just got progressively worse from there. On Thursday of last week I decided to go to the Dr. since it had been almost 7 days with no relief. Y'all - I didn't even know where to begin. I realized it had been > 3 years since I had seen a general practitioner!!! Thank you Lord for good health, huh? Anyhow - I got the name of a friends Dr. and saw her this past Thursday. At the time she said it looked like a virus to her and that it could take 7-12 days for it to run it's course. She instructed me to continue with Tylenol Cold, Afrin and cough drops. She gave me a prescription for Amoxicillin and told me if I wasn't better my Monday (yesterday) to get it filled assuming that I will have developed a secondary infection by then. Well - tons of Tylenol Cold, Tylenol Sinus and Tylenol Head Congestion later - I was still feeling like absolute crap as of Monday so I had the prescription filled.

Three doses in and 10 days after the beginning of all of this I was presenting with new symptoms as of yesterday - chest tightness, fever, body aches, etc. Can I just add in here that my husband is out of town and my child chose yesterday to take virtually no nap. I was fighting collapsing on the ground all day yesterday. I decided to call the Dr. back yesterday. She had me come in and do a flu screening. For those of you who have had this done - I am so sorry because it was AWFUL! They stick a gigantic q-tip way up your nose and spin it around. It almost gags you and makes your eyes water - yuck! So...the flu screen was negative but she said it's only 80% accurate and she felt certain I have the flu. Now I am on Amoxicillin, Tamiflu, Cough Medicine and Tylenol/Motrin. I have gone through a box of tissues and a bag of cough drops in the last week - FUN!

Needless to say, I am home from work today and is it wrong that despite being sick I was excited about catching up on blogs? Ha! Oh well - I don't get to rest much and although I hate it that I actually need it to get well I am going to try to enjoy it because: well, why not?

I already feel better after two doses of Tamiflu so I CANNOT wait to get well and be back to my normal self. It is very difficult for me to sit amongst my messy house and feel too sluggish to do anything about it.

My get well arsenal - looks convincing, huh? I will be feeling better in no time!

My couch potato partner in crime - "Sylvester". For a once solely outdoor cat he sure has made himself comfortable indoors - wherever there is a resting body, he is on it ~ literally!