Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dream BIG!!

What would you do if you had no limitations?
What would you do if you had 5 years to live?
What would you do if you had unlimited resources?
What would you do if you could not fail?
When was the last time you dreamed? When was the last time you took time to plan things out? (1, 5, 10 years)

Where were you last year at this time? Have you grown since then?

What do you want your 2012 to look like? Start DREAMING BIG!!!!!!

Each December, I always take time to reflect on the year. Did I reach my goals, did I make a difference, did I “miss it” somewhere? I believe it is good to take time to reflect on things and then fine tune and make adjustments, renew, refresh, start over for the next year. So many people remain stagnant, complacent in their lifestyle year after year. Why not start a new and DREAM BIG for 2012??

Don’t be that person who won’t go after their dreams…

The person who views past & dictates own future (I didn't have the advantage of my friends)…

The person who gets caught up in the cares of the world & deceitfulness of riches…

The person who gets so overwhelmed by scope of dream that they don't even try….

You don’t have to have a ton of experience or wisdom to dream, just simply create a vision for your life and go after it! Acts 2:17-21 - young men will see visions!

I know for me, I not only like to DREAM big, but I want to make sure my dreams in my heart are from God…

You will know it’s God’s dream if:

1.It is bigger than YOU!!!!!

IF you can do it without God’s help, you are not dreaming BIG enough! The bible promises that ALL things are possible with God! Is your dream impossible enough? Does it go beyond you enough to qualify for God’s help? Your dream should be so big it takes your breath away!

2. You can’t let it go

A God-given dream won’t leave you alone! It will demand your mind’s attention.

3. You would be willing to give up everything for it

A dream inspires devotion! Just like the devotion a parent has for a child; you would give your very life just to see it grow and find fulfillment.

4. It will last forever

You must build your dreams on something that will last.  Only 2 things in the world last forever: truth and people.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but God’s word will never pass away.  You have to build your dream on that never-changing foundation.

The second thing that lasts forever is people.  Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost, to die for people.  That’s how we should spend our lives too!

Matt 25:40-“When you’ve done it to the least of them, you’ve done it to Me”

5. It meets a need nobody has met

Will my dream help people? Improve lives? Does it fill a need nobody else is filling? If so, then your dream is from God. The secret to life is pouring into other people, giving without expecting in return.

6. It brings glory to God

Life is too short precious to fritter away by building on a crumbling foundation.  Many people lose their lives, not by dying, but by squandering their time. 

So how do I bring my dream to fruition? To come to pass?

You need to get alone with God. Spend time alone with God on a daily basis!!  Psalm  46:10-“Be still and know that I am God”

Paul spent 3 years in the desert listening to God before he began his ministry.  That was his seminary education.  He said, “God, what is the all-consuming passion in my life?  What will I do until I die?” Once he discovered his dream, he lived an extraordinary life!

Review your gifts and talents- Romans 12:6 says we each have gifts! Fulfillment comes when you use those gifts for HIM in service of your dream.  Your gifts are key to discovering God’s will for your life!

God also gives us the desires of our hearts!

Decide what’s really important in life-1 Cor 10:23-“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful.” Some things are not wrong, but they’re just not necessary.  They just waste time. We might not have to pursue every dream, so we must choose to spend time on what’s important.  Successful people learn to eliminate nonessentials, those things that won’t matter 10 years from now.  Invest your life in those things that will outlast you! 

Journal your dream!  Once you define your dream, WRITE it down! Habakkuk 2.2 says, “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.” If you want to move ahead in your dream, you must write it down!!

Have a plan for implementing your dream! Dreams do not come true by fantasizing, you have to write them down and let them become a guiding force in your life!

Prov-29:18-“Without a vision, people parish”

So what are some of your dreams and visions for 2012? Reflect and Renew for the coming year!

I am currently working on my new dreams and goals for the next year! I have quite a few, which I will share with you very soon!!! J

Get a vision for your life!! God is calling you to make a difference!! Why not start now! J

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Better Half :)

I just wanted to take a minute and praise my husband, Matt. I know I don’t do it often enough. He IS my better half! AND other than GOD, he is my everything! I truly believe if you place God first in your life, HE will bless the socks off you! I know HE did when he placed Matt in my life.  My marriage is truly “Heaven on Earth” as my pastor always says! J AND it keeps getting better and better each day!

Relationships and marriage are high maintenance. If you want good, healthy, relationships in your life, you need to be willing to work at it, you need the wisdom of God, and you need to understand the dynamics of relationships.

Psalm 34:12–14 is a scripture that sums up in a nutshell what it takes to have fulfilling relationships and a good marriage. It says,
“Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”

There are three powerful truths in this verse that will greatly aid in the success of a fulfilling and happy marriage (IF you apply them). They are:

  • Control your tongue.
  • Do good to each other.
  • Seek peace and pursue it.

The most important thing in your life besides your relationship with God are the people in your life. It’s not your job or your money, or your hobbies. And if you’re married, it’s your spouse!

You can have everything, but if you lack good relationships, you are unfulfilled and empty.

On the other hand, you can have very little, but if you have friends and fulfilling relationships, you are rich!

We all have different personalities. We have different gifts and talents, but we also have different needs. We should learn what the other person’s needs are and build them up according to their needs. Many times we try to meet our spouse’s needs according to what we like and we need, but it will not have the same effect because we are all different. By understanding how each other feels loved and what our different needs are, miscommunication will be avoided and love will be increased.

By applying these simple biblical principles in your life, you can be a blessing to your BETTER half!

If you both choose to focus on the each other’s needs, you will experience such a loving, healthy, Godly relationship! Each day you fall more in love!

Ephesians 4:2–3 says to be completely humble and gently; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Matt is the most selfless, caring, thoughtful, Godly, man I know and SOO much more! I am so very blessed to have him in my life; he makes me a better person.

What are you doing to make your marriage/relationship the best it can be?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

These are a few of my faaaavorite things!

It’s that time of year again!!!  I LOVE the time from Thanksgiving until Christmas! I don’t know if it’s the decorations and bright lights, or the Starbucks red coffee cups that get me in the mood, but nonetheless, I LOVE IT!!!

Here are a few things I LOVE about this time of year:

Spending time with my hubby & family



Christmas music


My birthday, the big 30 this year!!

Christmas/Holiday movies and specials on TV

Starbucks Red Cups filled with deliciousness!

Off season, no set training scheduleJ


There is soo much to be thankful for: GOD, my health, my amazing family and friends, my supportive and loving husband, my job, my life. Never take it for granted. Tis the Season! What are you thankful for this holiday?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ironman Florida-Conquered!!

This past weekend, on Saturday Nov, 5th, I had the opportunity to race in my first Full IM, Ironman Florida!  For those of you unfamiliar with the race, it is 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking, followed by a 26.2 mile marathon.  Sounds fun, right?  lol!  Going into this race, I didn’t know what to think. I knew I had put in the training I needed to finish, and as far as a specific time, I was only looking to go out, have fun and experience this crazy distance! I also knew it was going to be a long day…a LONG day by myself that is.  I know, what was I thinking?

Pre-Race:Matt and I arrived in Panama City on Wednesday, we decided to drive in order to cut down on cost of shipping both bikes and to be able to accommodate all of our things! Matt knows packing with me is dangerous, I always pack entirely tooo much, LOL…I must say I am shaping up, now that I’m married, I guess that is the girl in me! Anyways, it was nice getting down there early. We bypassed the long athlete check-in lines, crowded expo, and overall claustrophobic-ness.  With being down there a few days in advance, we also had the opportunity to get in some training on the course, swim in the ocean and catch up on more zzzz’s. I felt so relaxed going into the race because I didn’t feel rushed to get things done. Our friend Caleb (who was also racing) and wife Tara stayed with us and shared a two bedroom, VERY roomy, condo. It was perfect!  Now if only we could have basked in the sun, by the pool, with a drink in our hand…it would have been ideal! LOL…

Friday: The day before the race, we packed our “gear” bags and “special needs” bags. I must say that was a bit overwhelming at first. Knowing that I couldn’t see my gear and have it laid out in front of me during transition time, was a bit frightening.  But once everything was placed in the bags and dropped off, I felt a sense of relief that I no longer had to think about it. For those of you reading and do not know, the “gear” bags are marked specifically for bike and run. So, for instance, you would place all of your bike gear: helmet, gloves, glasses, shoes, etc in the specific bag and retrieve it once you exit the previous event, and same goes for the run. The “special needs” bags are available to you halfway thru the bike and run. I placed an extra two bottles of infinite (custom formula nutrition drink), along with some gummy bears in my “bike special needs” bag.  And in my “run special needs” I placed a long sleeved shirt, in case it got cool, and my favorite pretzel m&m’s.

Then finally it was off to drop off “Hazel” my good ol bike and the transition gear bags! So everything was out of my hands at this point, and it was only 2:00pm. Matt and I walked through the transition and changing area to get a sense of where to go after each event. I remember thinking there was so much to remember, but decided that I wouldn’t waste my energy worrying about it and there would be volunteers to help. After we did our last walk thru, we called it a day and headed back to the condo. All of us decided to stay in and avoid the crowds. We cooked a nice pasta dinner with familiar sauce and bread. Nothing too fancy or special, just stuck to what we’ve been eating before our races. We finished dinner by 6:30pm and had a few hours to unwind, make our infinite bottles for the bike ride, finish packing up our “special needs” bags and try and hit the sack early. We managed to get to bed by 10pm. Not too bad.

Side note: Matt’s mom, Marty, was fortunate enough to get off work and fly down to see us! It was soooo nice of her!! I was soo excited when she decided to come and support us! It would be so wonderful to see another familiar face on the course to help get me thru the race! Matt’s dad, Bill, made her a t-shirt that said “GO TEAM CRUMMY!!!” It was awesome!!! Sooo blessed to have her in my life, esp, since my mom passed away! She has really been like a mother to me. She rocks!!!
Saturday: Race day!!!!
3:40am came fast! Woke up, ate 2 cliff bars, English muffin toasted with light peanut butter, and a Gatorade. I am soooo not much of a breakfast eater. It is very difficult for me to eat, so I have to force myself. Usually on my early morning workouts, I will try and stomach either a fiber one or cliff bar but that is it. I know it may not seem like a lot, but I guess it takes my body some time to want to eat and stomach anything in the early morning.
We arrived at the transition area around 5am. Did the usual, pump up the tires, hit the port-o-potty’s a few times, and waited around until the start. It was a bit chilly, about 50 degrees, although I heard it was much warmer than last year’s start so I wasn’t complaining. We were allowed to hang out in the host hotel to keep warm until the swim start, which was also a major bonus. I was definitely feeling good, just a few nerves going but that’s normal for me.  6:58am, almost GO time! I gave Matty a HUGE hug and kiss and didn’t want to let go, I found myself getting emotional and only had a few seconds to pull myself together. I looked back and saw, Marty, and smiled. I had tears in my eyes. I quickly said a last prayer and asked God to be with me and help me through this race.

Swim: I probably waited for what seemed like forever, but was really close to 2 minutes before I actually started swimming. It was a chaotic mess. Arms and elbows flying everywhere, I managed to stay out of the thick of things, but still experienced getting kicked at least 5 times in the head, clawed, one guy actually dove right on top of me.  I know the swimmers are only trying to get thru the swim, but MAN it’s brutal. I am all for the swim start in waves, but, it is what it is. I just had to get through it like everyone else. The swim was two loops, the second loop ended up being more spread out and felt like I could actually swim and get a nice stroke going. The water was soo clear, too clear, you could see forever! AND not to mention you could see every sea creature imaginable! I literally swam over two baby-sized sharks, a massive sting ray and no joke, like 80 jelly-fish (they call them pink meanies).  I almost had a heart attack swimming through this. I just did it, along with taking in maybe 5 cup-fulls of sea water and crossed the line at 1:17:58.

TI: Best part about heading into T1, was seeing Matt! He apparently finished just seconds after me, he saw me getting out of the water and shouted my name. We ended up running through the transition area together, out of all those people he managed to find me, pretty cool! We both checked on one another to make sure we were both still among the living, with a few bumps and scratches, we made it through….ONLY sad part, Matt’s wedding band was literally clawed off thru the fight of the swim, and unfortunately sunk to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. Not too much you can do about that!
I grabbed a quick kiss and said my “good luck and goodbye’s” to Matty, then grabbed my “bike gear” bag and headed off to the changing area. It looked like mass confusion everywhere. Soo many people in one space (apparently there was more room to work with then guys side), clothes and things everywhere. One of the volunteers, quickly emptied my bag of things in front of me, I stood there for a minute, and then began stripping down and putting on my bike clothes. The volunteers were extra helpful with putting on my clothes, esp when I was wet, it takes twice as long. Then I was debating between wearing a tank or a short-sleeved top. I am glad I threw in both, because I ended up grabbing the short sleeved shirt. I knew I would be chilly, with the temps in the low 50’s... 99.9% of the time, if I bike in any weather less than 60 degrees, I FREEZE!  I guess I took longer than I thought in the transition area, about 20 mins!!! YIKES!!!!  
Bike: Going into the ride, I knew it was going to be a bit rough with the 19 mph cross/headwinds for most of the first 50+ miles, YIKES! I am NOT a strong rider by any stretch of the imagination either. It was a long road training this year, with most of my long rides completely by myself. Anyways, I just had to deal with the conditions that were presented. It wasn’t until 42 miles into the bike when I started to become extremely nauseous and sick to my stomach. I mean, experiencing flu-like symptoms, pounding headache, dry mouth and achiness. I started praying and asking God to give me strength to just make it through the bike portion. I figured once I have two feet back on solid ground, I should most likely be okay for the run. I ended up stopping at every aid station, actually getting off my bike and hovering over my knees. I felt like I had been on an extremely rocking boat ride. IT was the worst feeling I have ever experienced. It was very challenging trying to manage the winds, and deal with the sick feeling in my stomach. I think it mainly attributed to the large amounts of salt water I took in. I knew I was hydrating properly and on track with my nutrition throughout the race, taking in an infinite bottle every hour. The only thing my stomach can handle as far as food goes are: power gel shots, pretzel m&m’s, and gummy bears, my favorite part of training!  I just hung in there the rest of the ride, stopping at literally every aid station to re-group. I would have liked to have had a better time, but with the conditions being what they were, I managed to make it in 7:00:30.

T2: I was soooooo soooooooo happy to have ended the bike at this point. I thought that ride was a nightmare with my GI track and upset stomach issues.  I was praying and hoping the pain would subside a bit once I jumped off the bike.  I wobbled over to get my “run gear” bag. I decided to change outfits, being that I like being comfortable in every event. AND bike/tri-shorts are uncomfortable to me, unless I am doing a half IM distance or shorter, plus I have been training in run clothes for my runs off the bike. Again volunteers dumped out my bag of run clothes, I managed to sort of gather myself together at this point. After throwing on the shoes, I stood up and fell immediately back down. I was def feeling woozy and a little light-headed. The volunteer asked if I wanted to sit and wait it out, or get some chicken broth from the medical tent, but I just looked at her and said, “look that is very nice of you, but I am running and finishing this marathon if it takes me crawling to the finish line.” She just replied, “Go get it girl, you are tough! I just don’t want to see you at the medical tent at the finish” AND 10 minutes later, off I went.

Run: I quickly hit the port-a-potty on the way out for one last relief, and I was off. I was off to a very slow start, still dealing with the stomach issues, my legs were ready to run, but the rest of my body didn’t want to budge. I shuffled through the first 4 miles without stopping, at a slow pace of 10:12/mile. I wobbled over to one of the aid stations, sat down, a volunteer asked if I was okay.  I just sat down and sipped on some coke and a few pretzels to try and settle my stomach. Having to deal with this issue for the majority of the race, was just not pleasant at all. All I wanted to do was get up and crank out a 8:00/mile pace..that was what I had been training for. I will admit, it takes a LOT for me to get discouraged, and at that moment I wanted to just give up. What immediately came to my mind was my mom and her battle thru cancer. She had fought a brain tumor and lung cancer all at once and NEVER complained. She thanked God she was alive and living and breathing, and never focused on her problem. In her situation she seemed to always magnify God and not magnify her circumstance. She was so brave and fought her battle to the very end, never giving up, and losing hope. Even when the doctors gave her the discouraging report of her 6 months left to live, she wouldn’t receive it. She pictured herself alive, strong, healed, and recovered. At that very moment, sitting down at mile four, I decided that is how I must see the rest of the race. I have to picture myself well, not sick, ready to run the rest of the course, and make it across that finish line, no matter what it took. I sat there for almost six minutes and finally got up and could start to feel a little relief. I just put one foot in front of the other, and made small goals to try and run to the next fluid station and then walk a bit. It seemed to work out. I also saw Matt on the second loop, he had about one mile left to go! I was so proud of him…I still had about 12 more to go. Seeing Matt, helped me push thru the next few miles, along with seeing Marty. They were so encouraging. I tried not to show a few tears when I passed him. I was so proud of his accomplishment and I just wanted to be there to greet him at the finish. I knew I was almost there. I continued to stop at every station, taking in coke and water, and a few pretzels. The coke actually helped my stomach issues subside some, the infinite and anything else made me want to vomit. So I just stuck with the coke and water, although the downfall with the coke, I started to develop severe heartburn or indigestion, def not fun! At mile 23, I was starting to feel alive again. The cheers and loudness of the crowds, esp towards the last mile, were so encouraging! I could see the finish line and bright lights in front of me! I felt an overwhelming sense of joy, happiness, relief, accomplishment all at once! I crossed the line with a smile on my face in 14 hours and 11 minutes. 

 After I got through I saw my hubby waiting and immediately ran right to Matt. I cried, hugged him and just stood there. I couldn’t believe we just accomplished that distance. I grabbed Marty and gave her a big giant hug and was so overwhelmed by it all. This time last year, I would’ve never imagined being able to physically complete such a race as this. What truly got me through this race, was all the support from my loving family, friends, my hubby Matt who was a great training partner and “coach”, my mom’s battle with cancer, and most importantly God’s strength and grace! Anything is possible if you set your mind to it!  It was quite an experience I will never ever forget.  “You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength” Philippians 4:13

Monday, October 31, 2011

Almost RACE time!!!!

Tomorrow Matt and I leave for Panama City, FL for our very first Full Ironman distance race!!! I am more than excited!!!!! It’s so hard to believe that exactly ONE year from this month, I purchased my VERY FIRST bike! Scary, but at the time I couldn’t tell you the difference between a “Tri” bike and a “Road” bike!  Not to mention, I have never really ridden a bike until this year, because let's face it, I wasn't any cyclist! Who would have thought that a race like this would be in my future! Certainly not me! It wasn’t until my wonderful hubby, Matt, introduced me to this sport! I must say, I never imagined spending 16-20 hrs a week training (all three sports) for something like this, it has certainly stretched me at times, BUT the best part has been the ability to train with Matt. He has been such an encouragement! The moments, when I didn’t want to get out of bed at 4:30am to swim, or run late at night in the pouring down rain, OR endure 6+ hour rides on the bike, HE has always been there to push me to the next level, always willing to encourage and remain patient with me.  Let me tell you ,it is sooooo soooo nice having your best friend train with you AND coach you! I know God definitely hand-picked this one! AND, it certainly has been a wild ride! I can’t wait to race on Saturday! Since this is my first IM, I do not have any HUGE goals, just go out and enjoy myself this year. Looking forward to what the future holds for the next few years! One year down, many more to go! J As for now, I am ready for some sunny, warm weather!!  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bitter sweet memories!

This past weekend, was sooooo much fun!!!! My younger brother James and Christine were married in New Jersey! It couldn’t have been a more perfect weekend! The weather was gorgeous, 60’s and not a cloud in the sky. Family and friends arrived from all over. Amazing food was enjoyed, and conversations filled with laughter, tears, excitement, joy, and love all around. The bride was truly stunning. You can tell my brother is so in love!!  The way he looks at Christine, it’s as if he is seeing her for the first time!!

Kindof hard to believe Matt and I were married a year and 3 months ago, still feels like it was yesterday! Time really does go by fast! Throughout the weekend, there was only one person I truly missed and that was my mom. It’s hard to go thru BIG events like this and not have her around to experience these “moments.” She always loved the fall season with the changing of the leaves, cool weather, and football games. I remember (back in the good ol high school days) she would cook the BEST homemade chicken noodle and cauliflower soups on weeknights after soccer and cross country practice, it was soo yummy!  Definitely was the highlight of my day! Sundays were “family days,” where we went to church, cooked big meals, built fires, shared stories and sometimes just caught up with everyone before the start of another week. It was “home” to me. I will never forget those times together as a family.

YESTERDAY  it was family meals, soccer games, sleepovers, homework….TODAY it is working full time jobs, getting married, paying bills , and training for crazy Ironman events, TOMORROW its raising kids, starting another family, and leaving behind another legacy! Throughout life, it’s so important to have family by your side, to go thru the journey together! This weekend I was soo blessed to experience such an incredible wedding. With the blending of another family, the Mazzacone’s, it will make our family that much bigger and richer. Like my mom would always say, “the secret to life is to give your life away.” In doing this, you can truly experience a fulfilling, abundant life! God wants to multiply your blessings and increase your family! So here’s to a weekend of creating lasting memories and gaining another amazing family!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

“Set the World on Fire”

This weekend, amongst spending close to 12 hours swimming, biking and running, I had the opportunity (Sunday night) to see one of my favorite Christian artists in concert, Britt Nicole, with two of my special friends Jaime and Victoria! Britt rocks! I absolutely LOVE her lyrics and beat! My sister actually introduced me to her music a few years ago, and now I’m hooked! Anyways, one of her songs, “Set the World on Fire” is my favorite! In my life right now, this is exactly how I feel! I want to set the world on fire, I want others to know that with GOD ALL things are possible! We are weak in our own strength, but with HIM we are lifted up and made STRONG! WE can do ANYTHING! HOW awesome to know that we are made in HIS IMAGE!! Sooo cool!!  Here are some of her lyrics to the song:
I wanna set the world on fire
Until it's burning bright for You
It's everything that I desire
Can I be the one You use?

I am small but YOU are big enough….

I am weak but YOU are strong enough to…

Take my dreams
Come and give them wings
Lord with You
There's nothing I cannot do
Nothing I cannot do

It’s such an incredible feeling to know that I can call on God for anything and he will be there with open arms. Apart from God, on my own strength, I am dead, I can do nothing, no real fruit is produced from my life….BUT when I lean on, trust, rely, put my entire being in God’s hands, I have an abundant, fulfilling, ever-lasting, enriching, blessed-beyond-measure, kind of life and it shows! I don’t know about you, but that’s how I want to live my life! To the fullest! I want to reach out to others, letting them know there is an AMAZING love found in God! He wants to give you ALL the desires of your heart! Where do you draw your strength??

Thursday, September 29, 2011

There’s a chill in the air!

Where has the month of September gone??? For some odd reason, I’ve struggled to find the time to sit down and write! With the new fall season in full swing, these past few weeks have been a whirlwind! Everything from high school visits and college fairs, to adjusting to my increase in hours of Iron man training, to trying to squeeze in every chance to visit with family and friends, and then find some “me” time…whew! Sometimes there is just not enough time in the day, BUT I always seem to manage to get everything done, I guess it’s the extended grace God grants on my life! So thankful for it!

As promised, here’s a quick update on my latest race…..Sept, 11, 2011 I conquered my 2nd Half Iron man distance at REV 3 Cedar Point. Going into this race, I was nervous. Maybe it was the fact that Eagleman was my first 70.3 distance, so my goal was to go out and enjoy it. However, with this race I placed some added, unnecessary pressure on myself to try and beat my time by a certain number. Probably not the smartest way to approach things being that this was only my 2nd HIM distance. Oh, well we all like to push ourselves right?
Race day!
Swim: The weather was perfect! Swim start air temp was in the low 60’s and partly sunny skies. I was worried that with the storms they were having a few days leading up to the race, that the water would be choppy, but it ended up the exact opposite! The conditions were comparable to a lake! With the sun being the only factor, really, I managed to knock off 7 minutes from my last swim time! So I was happy, although, I am still getting use to the open water swim which is a whole lot different from the pool!
Bike: Still my weakest out of the three. The course was one big loop, fairly flat with a few rolling hills. This is where I had failed in my nutrition. Without going into too much detail, it came down to me not drinking enough. I set out with 3 infinite bottles on my bike and intended to pick up another bottle along one of the fluid stations, but for some reason, I didn’t consume all of them. I guess, going in, I felt good on the bike and maybe because it was soo cool out, I deceived myself in thinking I was okay. As soon as I ended this part of the race, I could tell I was more fatigued than usual.
Run: The run was one loop out and back, with some rolling hills the first and last 1 ½ mile stretches. Surprisingly I felt strong and my legs were great for the first 5 miles, averaging 7:15-7:30pace. All the sudden, out of nowhere, passing mile marker 5 I cramped up and started falling back; before I knew it I was throwing up on someone’s front lawn (Sorry for the details). This was my very first vomiting experience during a run. It was soo embarrassing, but afterwards, I felt a thousand times better. At this point now I had nothing in me to finish the last 8 miles, other than Gatorade and water at the aid stations. My plan was to stick it out to the end. Around mile 12 my Garmin died but I knew it didn’t matter too much at this point. This all attributed to my lack of calories in on the bike. Again, another HUGE learning experience. My overall time was 5:40:37. 

My next race is IM Florida in 6 weeks!!!!! I’m soo excited! Can’t believe it's soo close!! Stay tuned!
Things I am looking forward to in October: My brother’s wedding in 3 weeks, in New Jersey!!!! Helping my sister find a wedding dress for her big day in August! Laura’s birthday!! Fall weather, pumpkin soup, pumpkin everything :) decorating, FB games, Britt Nicole concert with Victoria and Jaime, FINALLY being able to use the fireplace, last few weeks of IM training (Matt and I just joined Pgh Tri Club) and falling more in love with my hubby! Soo many fun things to look forward too!!:) Other than summer, fall is my second favorite time of the year. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hello Blogworld!

Yes, it is true! I FINALLY broke down and decided to give this “blog-thing” a try! It was on my heart all summer to start, but never seemed to WANT to sit down and put in the time! Well I figured with summer quickly coming to a close, and with a new season upon us, it felt like the right time to put something together! So here it goes…..better late than never right?
So…why blog? Well I felt the urge inside to want to share what’s on my heart lately. It’s also nice to be able to look back and see where you were and how far you’ve come over the years. GOD has blessed my life in soo many ways! HE is my #1 source of everything! Without God, I wouldn’t be half the woman I am today. MATT, my incredible husband; I couldn’t have even dreamed of someone more perfect for me. He is my bestest friend, supporter, lover, encourager, coach and teammate. I love going through this so-called “journey of life” with him. Everyday continues to get better and better. Marriage truly is heaven on earth when God leads you to the right one!
A little bit of background about myself:
I have lived in Pittsburgh my entire life. Raised by two incredible parents in a Godly home, with a younger bro and sis. I attended North Allegheny HS, and then went on to Westminster College where I earned my degree in PR and Communications. Within a few months after graduation, Sept. of 2004, I lost my mom to cancer. She had a brain tumor that metastasized to her lungs. She fought an incredible battle, never ever complained of her circumstance. She praised God, stood on his promises, never wavering. She was and still is an incredible inspiration to me, a Godly example of a true mother, wife and friend. She may have left us here on earth, and is deeply missed, but she is in a much better place in Heaven. I can only hope to one day be half the woman she was here. I will never forget her incredible legacy she left behind. My mom is in my future and look forward to seeing her one day!
Upon graduation, I landed a job working in real estate (def not my forte) and then quickly stumbled upon Robert Morris University, where I became an Undergrad Admissions Counselor. I LOVE my job! I LOVE higher edu! You have an opportunity to meet LOTS of interesting people, to say the least. Knowing that I have the opportunity to counsel students through the admissions process, whether or not they chose RMU, is such a rewarding experience.
Shortly after landing my new job, I ran into my hubby, literally! We re-connected at the Pittsburgh Great Race back in the day, he somehow found me at the end of the race, in which I beat him! LOL…And the rest was history! Matt and my brother, played soccer at Carnegie Mellon University, so I actually sat at many games cheering him on, never knowing I would one day marry him! So crazy how God works!
As far as what I like to do for fun, I have a HUGE passion for running. I ran for quite some time, UNTIL Matt introduced me to triathlons-THIS YEAR!! I had NO desire to want to bike whatsoever. I was on a bike maybe 3 times my entire life, so I knew it would be a challenge. I have a swimming background, coming from many years spent taking swim lessons as a young tyke, then moving on to swim team throughout most of my middle school career. BUT I LOOOOVE challenges! SOOO I decided to give this “Triathlon thing” a go! I got my first bike (Felt) in October. So far this year, I raced my first sprint tri (Edinboro) in June, the following week, my first Half-IM-(Eagleman) and my first Olympic distance-(PGH Tri) in July! I absolutely LOVE it!! I am hooked!! I am racing another Half IM this coming weekend-Rev 3 Tri-Cedar Point! I am soo excited! My 2nd Half IM distance this year! Race reports here we come! I also LOVE spending time with my family and serving at my church. AND I have a slight obsession with shoes and jewelry but what girl doesn't?
I am looking forward to seeing where and what God has in store for me this new season!