Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Op. Love From Home: Holiday Card Drive for Deployed Troops

Please help us get the word out - deadline is Nov. 28, and we need many more cards to make our Heroes' Holidays Brighter! We can't do it without YOU - so please do what you can - blog, email, put together local card drives, etc... no matter how many or how few cards you send in, they ALL make a difference and bring a smile to a Hero far from home. :)

The Mission: To collect Christmas/Holiday cards, candy canes, and other festive holiday decorations & goodies for American troops serving all over the world, to let them know that we are thinking of them during the holiday season and have not forgotten them!

The Reason: Being away from home, often living in harsh conditions with combat & constant danger is difficult ~ our troops need to know we have not forgotten them!!! Mail from home helps to keep our troops' morale strong, making a very real difference in their lives. It keeps them motivated and focused when they know we care about them!

The Address: Send your signed, unsealed holiday cards to the following address:

P.O. Box 1660
Loganville, Georgia, 30052

The Guidelines:

**The cards can be handmade or store-bought. Even regular letters are fine. This is a great opportunity to get your Scout troop, school, church/house of worship and other civic organizations involved in doing something to tangibly show support for our troops.

**Please do not write the date on your cards. This is so that, in the event cards reach us after our shipping deadline has passed, we can hang on to the cards and use them for our next card drive.

**Keep the cards fun and light-hearted – this is not a dating service, nor do we allow any political statements! Any cards of an inappropriate, suggestive, or political/otherwise negative nature will be thrown away.

If you have any questions, please contact us at or


Check out our website at!

Also, you may want to consider joining our Yahoo Group to stay in the loop of what's going on and connect with others who are involved:

Postage costs are our biggest expense, along with supplies and related expenses of conducting card/care package drives throughout the community. Donations towards postage & supplies are most gratefully accepted!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Couch to 5k - FINISHED!!!!!


Today, Gypsy & I headed out to Bay Creek park (the nice, FLAT track that makes it easy to calculate distances for me, lol) for our graduation run. We got there at about 5:50 a.m. It was really nice out this morning - a pleasant 64 degrees, low humidity. There was a whole bunch of crickets, frogs, and even one whipoorwill singing their chorus this morning. It was such a nice day, and the crickets, etc., sounded so cool, I decided to listen to them rather than podcast this morning. I hung the earphones around my neck and had the volume up, so I could still hear the podcast and verbal cues & stuff, but also could hear the crickets, etc. (Besides listening to the neat early-morning sounds of the day, I also have to get used to running without an ipod for my 5k coming up on halloween, which is an iPod-free run, darn it, LOL).

Anyway, not much to tell - we went out and ran. There was a great big deer wandering around the parking lot this morning who kept us company. She must've been used to people, because everytime we circled by, she just looked up from her breakfast and watched us watch her as we went by, LOL. I tried to get a pic of her, but it was too dark and she was too far away to get a pic on my phone. Oh well. :-) Anyway, when podcast announcer dude said, "Congratulations, you've run for 30 minutes! Now on to our 5-minute cooldown walk!" I was still 1.25 laps away from having completed a full two miles. So, instead of going on my cooldown walk, Gypsy & I kept jogging thru that last 1.25 laps and made it exactly a full two-mile run! I had wanted to try for distance today, to see if I could go the whole 3.1 miles of a real 5k, but didn't have enough time to do so cuz I got there later than I wanted. x-( BUT, we did get in a full and complete two miles! Took me a total of about 40 minutes to do that two miles, give or take a few minutes. I timed how long it took me to go around the track one time - one loop was 6:09 minutes - and since 3 loops equals one mile, that means my running time is 18:27 for a mile. ack. Very slow. Practically crawling, in fact. BUT... a heck of a lot faster than I was 9 weeks ago, I can tell ya that!!!! 9 weeks ago, I woulda NEVER thought in a million years I would be able to say that I'd run a full two miles - much less that I ran a full two miles in only 35-40 minutes - and still more amazing, that I did not die - or even fear dying - while doing so! Whod'a thunk it??????

So now what? On to the one-hour runner program, AND training in earnest for my Halloween 5k.(Which just might take me a full hour to run, LOL! )Thank you all for your support - couldn't have done it without ya! Will still be posting my progress as I go thru the OHR program, cuz i need the accountability and encouragement to git-r-done.

Week 9, Day 3 Done and Graduated. ONWARD & UPWARD!!!! *high fives all around*

Sunday, October 04, 2009


Today before church, I went out for my W8D3 run. It was absolutely horrible! I ended up walking a couple times for a few seconds (once was halfway up an annoying hill) but kicked myself back in gear and kept with the running. It was NOT a good run by any stretch of the imagination. I let myself get waylaid by all kinds of negative thoughts... money, relationship difficulties, prescriptions vs. food vs. mortgage and not enough for all of them, obnoxious, mouthy teenagers, these hills really suck and I'll never be able to do a 5k and I hate this and I can't do it and OMG what am I gonna do about [insert various other stressors here] and I WANT TO CRY AND QUIT RIGHT NOW ON EVERYTHING!!!!!! Yeah, it was bad. But, no matter how ingloriously & slowly I finished today's run, finish I did. I'm NOT at all proud of how it went today (the other Week 8 runs were so easy and fun, a sucky run was very depressing... especially on top of my pre-existing depression of the day, LOL!), but hey - that's life. Some days are not good ones, some runs are not the best... but the trick is to keep going. So - regardless of my mental crankiness and downright LOUSY attitude today - Week 8 is finished.

Tomorrow morning, Week 9 officially begins!!! Wooohoo! My Couch to 5k graduation t-shirt has officially shipped, as per the email I got yesterday, and hopefully, God willing, I'll have my graduation run on Friday.

Even cooler: Today at church, I was reading the bulletin, and guess what my pastor's next four-week message series is titled? "BORN TO RUN!"

Next Sunday, the sermon is called "Focus," and is based on 1 Corinthians 9:24-27:

"Remember that in a race, everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You must also run in such a way that you will win. All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. SO I RUN STRAIGHT TO THE GOAL, WITH PURPOSE IN EVERY STEP...I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, after preaching to others, I fear that I might be disqualified."

Each subsequent week likewise has a running-related verse that would take too long to type out here at the moment. Obviously, the whole series a comparison between running for a prize and a life lived to glorify Jesus...there are definite parallels between the two (and now that I'm actually running, I can see that even clearer than before). So much of it is just not quitting...fall, get back up, keep going... FOCUS on that goal and give it your all.

Uh, where was I? Oh yeah... week 8 done. I plan on wearing my C25K graduation t-shirt to church Sunday (how timely is that??? Too cool!). Hopefully nothing happens between now & then to screw that up... I wanna be able to graduate on time this week and not let myself get derailed again, lol. I have that 5k on Halloween to train for, too... must get myself in shape to be ABLE to run the full 5k by then. :) Another cool side note - a fellow C25Ker at church pointed out to me...the final message in Pastor's message series is called "FINISH" (based on Philippians 3:12-21) and is on November 1 - the day AFTER, God willing, I finish my very first 5k.

I have to wonder if all this is some kind of freaky coincidence, or if the pastor saw all us church C25K folks Facebook status messages and got inspiried?? LOL! Nah.. probably just random coincidence...but freakin cool is that??? :) To say that message series is timely (in more ways that one!) is an understatement. :)

OK, Week 8 is done - ON TO THE NEXT! 3 runs to go, and I'm an official Couch to 5k graduate. :) wooohoo!

Friday, October 02, 2009

COUCH TO 5K: WEEK 8 UPDATE (yes, very late, I know!)

Fell behind on everything, sorry, y'all! Here's my updates for Week 8, Days 1 & 2;

WEEK 8, DAY 1:
Howdy, folks! Sorry it's been eons since I've been by. Life - and the deluge of torrential rains flooding that hit Georgia As Seen On TV - kept me away from running for the past three weeks or so. Ack! Today, I was DETERMINED to get out there again, since it hasn't rained in a few days and the door to our ark finally opened (LOL). It was 50 degrees when I left the house today... SO much better than jogging in 78 degrees of total humidity!!!!! Long story short, I ended up going to the park right down the road from our house, rather than the nice, FLAT park that's 15 minutes away. Ugh. But! I survived! And so did the dog! :) Even after not having jogged a bit in 3 weeks, it was surprisingly easy. Not "easy" like, literally "easy," but I wasn't dying like I thought I'd be. There were only a couple times I had to do some serious self-lecturing to get thru a tuff spot. 28 minutes, start to finish - wooohoo! Friday night (assuming I complete w8d2 that morning), I'm going to go ahead and order my graduation I'll have it when I finish C25K - just 5 runs to go and I'm a graduate! Yikes, gotta run...time to jump in shower and hit the road. :) More later!
WEEK 8, DAY 2:
Week 8, Day 2 is finished!!!! :) Got out there again today with the dog... it was a little warmer today (57* as opposed to Wednesday's 49*) but still nice running weather. :) I've switched back to going to my "original" park with the small hills on the path, as opposed to the "flat" running track at the other park I was going to. There's two reasons for this: (1) the hilly-path park is exactly one mile from my home; the "nicer" park is 15-20 minutes away and is a pain to get home from due to morning traffic; and (2) there is a real live 5k i want to try on Halloween (the "Run Like Hell 5k" at Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta) which apparently has a few hills along the way. Gah. I'm nowhere near running 5k "distance-wise" yet... I am just barely able to do 2 miles in 40 minutes (that's 28 mins of running, plus warmup & cooldown walks, lol). I figure it may take me an hour, or close to it, to do a REAL 5k... but by golly I'm gonna try!!!! I figure if I can cross the finish line and not die, I've succeeded. :) (and of course, i've already decided to wear my C25K graduation t-shirt at the race!) But, I'm digressing here. :)

Anyway: the doggie & I went to park, jogged, came home, both survived. :) Not really an awful lot to tell that I can recall...just yer average run in the park. Golly... 10 weeks ago, I never would have imagined saying that, ever! I couldn't even run ONE minute then... and I just ran 28 of them all at once, LOL!!!! pretty amazing. :-) No doubt now that the extra 2 minutes tacked on to next week's program - the final week of c25k - will be very do-able. And I absolutely CANNOT believe I just said that. Like, wow. Unbelievable... whod'a thunk it???? Certainly not me!!!!!!

OK, week 8, day 2 done... going to a Bible conference thingy tomorrow, then Sunday morning am planning on getting W8D3 out of the way, so next week I can knock out Week 9! :-)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Better Late Than Never: Couch to 5k, Week 7, Day 2 Report

OK, so last week was the week from you-know-where! All week long I was going to work early and/or staying late. College projects and oodles of homework (that I'm still behind on) kept me off the track all week. Monday was Day 1 of Week 7 today (sunday) morning was Day 2 of Week 7! Gah! My hubby & kids were convinced that I'd quit the program and would never get back to it again. Nice thought, lol - but nope! today, I woke up at about 8:30 and went for a pre-church run.

Was DEFINITELY not looking forward to it - not with a six-day lapse, AND with yesterday going to a "Celebration of Life" for a very dear friend's husband who recently passed away - said celebration was LITERALLY a big PARTY at Lake Lanier - tons of food, tons of desert, live music, the works. :-) Absolutely an awesome time all around. I ate entirely too much of both food and desert, LOL! Whatever little bit of weight I've lost so far, I'm positive I gained it all back yesterday. Oh well - it was worth it. :-)

Anyway, wasn't sure how well I'd do today, what with consuming enormous amounts of food yesterday and not having run for six whole days. However, Gypsy (our dog) & I both survived. Barely, but we did. :) Those last five minutes were BRUTAL!

Prior to my run, I had tossed around the idea of starting tomorrow with W8D1 to stay "on schedule" - at least, the internal schedule I'd set in my head. But about 5 minutes into the run, and especially during the last 5-10 minutes of the 25-minute jog, I decided that there is no way on God's green earth I was ready to tack on an additional 3 minutes tomorrow...I seriously barely made it thru 25 minutes today. So, tomorrow morning, I will do W7D3, and start Week 8 on Wednesday. No rule that says Day 1 of a C25K week HAS to be on a Monday, right? right. :) I just need to get all three of the Week 7 runs in, i think, before I attempt Week 8.

When I've made it thru days 1&2 of Week 8 - SUCCESSFULLY, without stopping or walking (which i seriously considered today, but didn't!) - I'm going to order my C25K Graduation t-shirt -- by the time it arrives, I'll be well into week 9, or even finished completely (depending on shipping times). And the very first sunday after I finish c25k, I'm wearin' it to church, totally. :) After reading my facebook updates, one lady at church started c25k...then another...then folks reading THEIR facebook pages joined them, sooo...looks like c25k is spreading thru our church and facebook friends like wildfire. :) How cool is that??? :)

So, there's my motivation to NOT quit right there, LOL! These longer runs are BRUTAL and I can't ever imagine "enjoying" a nice, long run...but I DO feel really good AFTER a run, so that helps, as well. :) It's just "during" a run that really is no fun whatsoever, ROFLOL! I'm sure it'll get better with time as my endurance increases. :)

Oh, and almost forgot - today, I did something a bit different. Instead of my 5-minute warmup walk looping around the track, I essentially paced back & forth on the straight stretch of track in front of where I parked my car. See, every time I pass my car, I know I've completed one loop - and three loops around the track is a full mile. So, I wanted to see how far I was actually JOGGING around the track, not including the warmup & cooldown. When it was time to start jogging, i put myself right in front of my car so I'd have an accurate count of how many time's I'd circled the track while jogging. Total times JOGGING around the track was a little more than 4 loops (or just over 1 & 1/3 miles), plus one complete loop (about 8 minutes) for my cooldown walk. So, I actually jogged just over 1 & 1/3 miles, and when you add in my warmup & cooldown walks, that's right about 2 miles total altogether. But actual jogging was 1 & 1/3 miles. Woohoo! Who'da thunk it? In three weeks, I will NOT be running 5 k (will be happy to be actually running TWO miles, much less 3.1, lol) - but I WILL be running for 30 minutes straight -- and the more I do that, the better my times will become as I progress. :) Endurance first, speed later. It's all good!

Anyway, I have a ton of homework to do, and a Board meeting to get ready for, and lunch to make, so I'm signing off for now. Week 7, Day 2, finally done; Week 7, Day 3 coming up tomorrow a.m.

Onward & Upward!!!!!!! HOOAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Couch to 5K: Week 7, Day 1 update!

Well, I didn't die! :) I also really hate these 25-minute runs -- SO not fun, LOL! I'm so seriously ADD, I am good with "small" projects that don't require long stretches of time, LOL. It's a challenge keeping my mind engaged, un-bored, and body moving for a whole twenty-five minutes straight. I think the next three weeks are going to be challenging for me for this reason -- gotta keep my motivation up somehow. :-) If nothing else, with sheer dogged determination, lol.

I did NOT get up at 0500 to run this morning, because it was labor day, and after several weeks of working 50-60 hours a week, PLUS college, PLUS my 75-90 minute commute, PLUS God only knows what else... I was TIRED! I slept quite a lot this weekend (which is why I'm still awake and doing laundry, lol). I spent most of today (Labor Day) curled up in bed watching the Ghost Hunter rerun marathon on the SyFy channel. :-) Cool, huh? OK, not so much, but whatever. I was officially 100% off-duty today, darn it! :) Anyway, at about 7:30 p.m., it had cooled off enough to make it acceptable jogging weather. Gypsy and I piled into the car and headed for Bay Creek park. We got there at about 7:45, just as the last remnants of a kiddie football game was wrapping up. Still LOTS of people milling about. I circled the parking lot a couple times, trying to decide if I REALLY wanted to humiliate myself in front of all these people. In the end, I decided it didn't matter, and off we went.

The first five minutes of the jog (following the warmup walk) were, of course, icky. I've found if I can survive the first 5-10 minutes of it, the rest isn't so bad. I kept having to keep myself in check -- so many people around always makes me jog faster than I should, without even realizing it. I am SO slow, it's kind of embarrassing, especially when surrounded by others who are "really" running. But whatever, I'm not jogging for them, I'm jogging for me, so to heck with what they may think. So, we continued on.

At about the time I was starting to wish for death, the podcast announcer guy came on and said we were just over halfway done. I spent the next minute or so (I'm not good at math, lol) figuring out that that means I should have about 12.5 minutes left - easy, right? OK, not so much "easy," but do-able. I kept plodding along, eventually finding myself going on "auto pilot." Make it to that light. OK, great - now make it to the next light. Now make it to my car... keep going... next light... etc.

I was super happy to hear that the twenty-five minutes were over! :) By the time Gypsy & I finished our five-minute cooldown walk, we'd circled the track a total of six & a quarter times - or just a few steps over two miles. Of course, this includes the warmup & cool down laps, so I'm totally not breaking any speed records here. In fact, I may be breaking some SLOWNESS records, come to think about it. ;) But whatever.... as I was doing my after-workout stretches, I saw a friend of mine walk by. :) We were chatting a minute and I was telling her about c25k. I told her how i thought I'd never ever survive the first week, that I couldn't even jog thru a full sixty-second initerval - and now I'd just jogged thru twenty-five minutes straight -- so if fat, out of shape me could do it, then surely absolutely ANYONE can, lol!

Wow. Hadn't really thought of it like that - from not even being able to jog for a full sixty seconds to jogging for a full 25-minuets straight - until I was talking to her. Pretty darn amazing. Who'da thunk it? Certainly not me! Wow!

Week 7, Day 1 down. Just under three weeks -a mere 8 jogging days - to go and I'm a c25k graduate! Keep yer fingers crossed for me! :)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Week 6, Day 1 of Couch to 5k!

Well, today was the first day of WEEK 6 (C25K is a 9-week program...nearly done!)! Holy cow, how'd i get here this fast???? LOL! Week 6, Day one consists of: 5-minute warmup walk, 5 minute jog, 3 minute walk, 8 minute jog, 3 minute walk (or was it 5? I forget!), 5 minute jog and 5 minute cooldown. Wednesday will be simpler - two ten-minute jogging intervals. Friday will be even simpler, but not easier - a straight 25-minute jog! :-0 Week 7, I believe, is simply three days of 25-minute jogs...but let's not think about that right now, LOL!!!!! ;-)

It was a drizzly morning (ok, POURING, but at the park it was barely even misting, thankfully) but Gypsy & I got out there nonetheless. I'm too exhausted to give a detailed report - came home, barely had time to eat my cereal before taking off for work...and once I landed at work, it was NON.STOP. All day. As in, get there at nine, work straight thru lunch and still working at 6:44 p.m. when you finally clock out. Got home a few minutes before 8:00 P.M. Yeah, that kinda day. ACK! lol! I *still* have final exams to study for, a paper to finish and a paper to start, and several pages of study notes to complete. and then study - for the aforementioned final exam tomorrow night, that I haven't studied for yet, lol. Um, so... my brain is pretty well mush by now, and I've got a long ways to go yet, LOL!

Suffice it to say that both the dog and I survived week six, day 1, yay us! :) Now if I can survive all this studying and the final exam tomorrow, that will REALLY be a miracle!

Georgia Blogger