This and That 1 in 2015

What did you do over the weekend? I’m sure you are wondering why I ask now as it is Tuesday. We are almost as close to the next weekend as we are from this past one. Well, I spent this morning getting ready to part with my 2-in-1 from Hewlett-Packard. I give props to their chat support and whoever does their @HPSupport on Twitter. Both went above and beyond in getting me help but, alas, my computer needs to go on a trip without me. A FedEx box and packing materials are on their way to me as I type on a different computer.

In this light, let me recommend a few things for all of us in 2015. We all need to back up our computers’ data. I had not recently and did not have my back up system in place. This means/translates to I am bad at following my own advice. Consequently, on my list of things to do tomorrow is back up my computer if it will let me. As both a writer and a photographer, I do not want to lose all the data on my computer. Hopefully, I can make that happen.

A second recommendation is to look at your life with the help of a coach. I subscribe to the Family Life Sports The SuccessLetter. This electronic newsletter allowed me to get a 75 minute coaching session with Tara. I am trying to rearrange my budget as I type so I can partake in either her soon-to-start group coaching called From Stuck to Unstoppable or one on one coaching. In just 75 minutes, Tara opened my eyes to things I think I should have seen on my own and has pointed me in a great direction for 2015.

My third recommendation is to choose a word. In my call with Tara, I talked about being lighter. Lighter in so many ways. I not only want to be lighter in weight but I want to be lighter in “stuff” around my home. I want to be lighter in worries. I want to be lighter overall.

My final recommendation is to get out and see some great films that are out right now. I saw “Wild” last weekend. I am now enamored with getting back to hiking, which I did a lot of in my late teens and early 20s. I have a list of films I want to see and, unlike previous years, I’m going to try hard to see them this year.

Do you have a word for 2015? Have you ever used a coach for anything – life, running, anything? Do you back up your computer regularly?

Project 52, Week 2

Well, week two of a photo topic a week was not any easier for me than week one was. Topic of the week was morning.

My initial thought was a sunrise but I live, in my house, in a valley. Sunrises tend to not be very good as I don’t get the sun over the hill until a couple hours after the actual rise of the sun. I’ve been in Pennsylvania this week at my boyfriend’s but still no stunning sunrises as the day there was not cloud cover, it was so cold I was not going outside to get sunrise photos.

So I give you morning. I never skip breakfast. I love cereal – hot, cold doesn’t matter. I also love a mug of hot beverage. I prefer coffee but will drink hot cocoa or tea or even hot cider. In winter, just HOT.




splitIs there such a thing as a true 50-50 split in a relationship? You’ll recall last week I talked about honesty. Thwt got me to thinking about sacrifice and work within a relationship. Can it ever be truly right down the middle or is there always one partner that gives or takes more?

I was 22, just out of college and getting married. Of course, I thought we would equally split everything in our marriage. Things went well. He got up nights without first child. I decided, at least while I was still on leave – I took three months off, it was ridiculous for him to get up. I, without conscious thought, usurped some of his equality.

Once a responsibility is taken away, or given to another in a relationship, it is hard to go back to the previous way. People, while possibly embracing change, are creatures of status quo. We like the way things are and do not warm up to change well.

Enter my current relationship. I freelance. At least right now, I,work from wherever I am. Occasionally, I have a gig that requires I be in a specific location but, for the most part, I can work anywhere. He goes into work daily. His business is busier in the winter and he will usually work seven days straight and the following week will be a normal Monday to Friday week. Days are frequently 12 to 14 hours with ten being normal. I adapted to this and between Thanksgiving and Christmas spent a good bit of time at his home. I could still work and we could spend his off time together.

Recently, my youngest has moved out. This was a period of time I needed to be at home to help with the move.Now he is gone, I am cleaning out a room that has gone from one child to another as the older left for college. It is not a one day clean out. I have also been fighting a head cold, nothing serious but like most people, I prefer my own home when not feeling 100%. His schedule, due to a few uncontrollable factors at work, has led to a few odd weekdays off. You would think this would be ideal. The problem here is the status quo.

I think it would be great if he would come spend a day,with me at my home. I can move my work around and he knows this. He would most likely be leaving early evening so I could work then. His idea is he should come get me so I can go to his home. Status quo.

How do couples get around a stasis that is not wanted? Once a situation is changed, due to circumstances in that moment, can it change again?

New Year, New Race Schedule

Disclaimer: I am an ambassador for the Blue Ridge Marathon and have received a free race entry to help promote the race. 

I admit I don’t really have a firm schedule set up yet. I do though, have a race in March and April and, in keeping with my thought process on the first of the year, both are halves. Imagine my excitement at the announcement of a half series in one of my favorite location to race – Roanoke, Virginia.

Roanoke Triple Crown

Roanoke Triple Crown

I am already a huge fan of the Blue Ridge Marathon and the associated half. You can read all about my previous runs and expos associated with the Blue Ridge Marathon here. On top of loving those two races, I am enamored with Roanoke and the surrounding area.

The series starts with Race 13.1 Roanoke on March 1. I will, unfortunately, not be able to make that race. Next up is Blue Ridge Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K weekend in April. Finally, there is the Star City (you’ll understand if you have ever read my race recaps from Blur Ridge) Half Marathon in November.

Make your plans now to do the entire Triple Crown. I’ll be jealous as I’m in recovery right now and do not anticipate being half-ready by March 1.

If you are like me and may not be half ready until April 18th (I’m actually anticipating a March 15th half), join me in Roanoke for either the full, half or 10K on that weekend. You can receive 10% off your registration using the code RUTOUGH.

Will I see you in Roanoke? Are you trying for the inaugural Triple Crown?

Project 52, Week One

The first weekly theme for the photographic challenge I’m doing this year was “you.” I talked last weekmabout how this theme threw me a bit. How could one photo of me take in all of me? Then, I went out for a run and it came to me.

This photo is me.

This photo is me.

Now, I know this is not a photo of me. As I was out for my run, I thought about all the parts of me I wanted to show in the photo.

You can see nature in the photo. Nature is important to me. I love being outside. I have a degree in forestry. I love to run outside. I love to hike and camp.

You can see a small incoming flow to the right of the photo. This symbolizes many parts making up a whole, my original problem with this theme.

I see trees with no leaves. My youngest left home Saturday to move in with his girlfriend. While I still have a daughter living at home, we are more like roommates than parent-child.

I see evergreen trees. These tree look close to the same all year. I wish everything would stay the same like these trees.

The upper left of the photo has an open field. Open fields, to me, signify chances for growth.

If you had to take a photo that was “you,” what would it look like?

Relationships and Communication

I don’t know about you but honesty is at the top of my relationship must-have list. I want to be able to live my life honestly and talk about it with that special someone. At times, honesty can be blunt and may hurt a little but it is, after all, the best policy, right?

Honesty is great until a subject comes up where you two don’t see eye to eye. Should you sugarcoat your answer/feelings or just lay it out there? A lot depends on how the other person receives your communications. You do not want to answer in a way not true to yourself but realize just the truth could be hurtful.


Consider this. A couple has been exclusively dating for almost a year. She wants him to move in with her because she currently has a larger home than he does. Let’s also presume he is not yet ready for this move. Does he just say no? Does he explain the shorter commute would be great but he is attached to his community? Does he just cave and say yes because he knows saying no will hurt her?

In my mind, he should explain why he doesn’t feel comfortable with such a move. He should include a timeline when he may be willing to make this move. He should, possibly if it is not the concept of moving in together but moving to her home that is bothering him, make a counter proposal. If he can move to a multi-faceted answer, rather than just a word or two, the couple is building a good foundation for future discussions and a long-term relationship.

When a question is put out there, responding should be truthful but not hurtful. Is telling one another about hurt feelings different? How do couples broach that feeling that one is sacrificing more than the other? Sacrifice may be at the heart of the issue about moving in but a lopsided relationship may have already put him in the more sacrificing zone and not willing to give more.

To stick with the couple broaching the moving in together question, what if his feelings are he has already compromised enough? He drives them everywhere they go. He makes all their plans. He has introduced her to his family and friends but not met many of hers. How does he honestly tell her she needs to bend a little?

I admit the above example seems a bit stereotypical. Let’s look at a different couple. They lives about 30 miles apart. She does not have a car but he does. She likes spending time at his place, even extended time, but is not ready to move in as she has her own space in her home. When he gets an unexpected day off, she thinks it would be great if he comes to visit. They both have laundry to do and could do it together. She could make some meals for him to take home. He offers to come get her if she is willing to come back to his place for an extended stay. She isn’t willing to do so right now. He doesn’t even consider coming to spend time with her. How does she tell him she’s hurt? Does she tell him or does she move past it? If honesty is number one, shouldn’t she bring this up?

How honest are you in your relationships? Any advice for my fictitious couples?


Goals need some form of accountability. We all know that. Let’s look back to my holidays and discuss my overaccounting.

Like most people, I hate to think it is a given I’ll gain a few pounds over the holidays. As a runner, I have many times planned my next year’s race schedule to keep me training through the period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s to help prevent that added weight and general loss of fitness. 2014 was going to be tough. I was on a no running until January 1 due to a muscle tear. To help myself, I decided to sign up for some accountability programs. Two were no cost and the third had a low cost associated with it. Yes, that is three and that is where I went horribly wrong.

My six week holiday period involved #fitandfestive, #holidaysweat and #elf4health. Add to that the stress that comes with a new relationship during the holidays and I was in way over my head before I even started. Good news is I only joined these programs to have accountability. Bad news is the attempts to hold myself accountable added to my already overwhelming holiday stress.

Were my holidays a total bust? Absolutely not. Did I fret about not upholding my end of my accountability programs? Absolutely. Did I manage to keep off holiday weight gain? Not exactly but I only put on three pounds as opposed to what some people may put on during the same time period. I will admit this is the first year since 2010 I have not lost a pound during the holidays. Did I learn anything? You bet!

First lesson is there is too much of a good thing, whether we are talking food or accountability. I did not have the time to keep up with all the challenges of the different groups. I am also not a huge Facebook fan and a lot of the accountability went on there.

Second, I am not a week by week person.I need my plan, set out for the full six weeks in advance, to be able to schedule the rest of my life around it. Training for a spring marathon or half marathon has done that for me in the past. These programs, while amazing, did not do that for me. To receive an email Sunday night with what is up for the week is okay but during a time that is busier than normal, it didn’t work for me. Surprisingly, neither did putting the #elf4health challenges all on my phone calendar in advance.

Third, the workouts and other items provided by all three programs are very worthwhile. I have saved these as I work towards balancing my running with other training to prevent injury again.

How do you hold yourself accountable? Do you think there is such a thing as overaccountability? Did you stick with whatever goals you made for yourself during the holidays?