Saturday, December 17, 2016

Ironman Training: Lessons learned for now

I have been on the journey, once again, to train for the Ironman Wisconsin. This time I'm a little wiser and smarter, but still have lots to learn. I went through previous posts from last years run of training, and it was a good one. 

Here are my lessons learned this month, I learned that ….
  1. I need to eat different now that I’m in my 50’s.
  2. Once I signed up for the master swim class, I’m more likely to go to the pool and swim. and once I’m there, I enjoy the instruction and learning. I feel stronger when done.
  3. It's okay if I run slow, I am doing it and completing what I set out to do.
  4. I am very hard on myself, but that’s what makes me a competitive athlete.  there is nothing wrong or right about it, that is just the way I am made up.
  5. It’s okay if I don’t make the promises I keep, I need to listen to my body more and make sure I’m getting the rest I need.
  6. I need to record everything to keep myself accountable, this includes: my eating, my water intake, my workouts, how I feel before, during and after, and what I am learning.
  7. Baby steps... I can set out to do something small, in smaller durations; like, run 10 minutes on the treadmill. That is something, better than nothing.
  8. I am getting stronger running, just by running a little bit or walking a little bit each day.
  9. If I setup a weekly walking day or biking plans with my friends, I gain bigger benefits. I get my workout in AND I get to chat with my friend during the time we workout. I learn so much and look forward to it. It’s a treat!!
  10. I can do it all. It all is working.
  11. I need to have a coach, that is all.
  12. I need to stick with the schedule and not let my head get in the way of doing.
  13. I need to keep myself accountable, and surround myself with friends who support me and listen. At first its moment-by-moment and then daily and once the habit is formed less.
Here are last years previous posts:

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Highlights of 2016 (No particular order)

2. Ran the Grandma’s marathon!
3. Traveled the east coast to run a half marathon in 3 additional states, Massachusetts (44), Coventry Rhode Island (45) and Simsbury Connecticut (46). (Annie, Cyd, )
4. Traveled the Utah to run a half marathon, reaching 48 states. (Kim)
5. Traveled and stayed with friends in Portland, Oregon, to run Bridge of the God’s half marathon, reaching 47 states. (Rebecca, Coco)
6. Created a new online advocacy program, Coffee Talk with SWE-WI. (Kristen)
7. Competed in the J-Hawk Olympic Distance spring Triathlon.
8. Started my Phd. (Nice to meet you Nancy!)
9. Hung out with my childhood friend Alisha and chatted for hours over coffee. Love that we can stay connected all of these years.
10. Was promoted to Assistant Director the week as volunteering at DC Fashion week. (Oliwia, Olivia)
11. Signed up for the Wisconsin Ironman 2017. Let’s try this again! (Jennifer)
12. Had my first formal dinner party, it was a blast, with lots of close family and friends. (Bruce, Barb, Laura, Susie and Sonia, Shelley, Aaron, Amy, Daun, Jacqueline, Chris, Peter, Juju)
13. Started a masters swim class this fall, learning how to redo my swim strokes. Thanks Cheri, this is going to be so good for me!
14. Leon officially declared retirement, last day Jan 1, 2017.
15. Joined a running group to keep me honest, and met so many great new friends. Thanks Candice!
16. Went to 3 weddings this year: Niece, Rachel, and two of Staci’s friends, Becca and Ellie.
17. Traveled to St. Louis to attend a conference, thanks for introducing me to new friends Kim!
18. Became a Juice Plus Distributor, thanks Kim!
19. Started cleaning the Yoga studio in exchange for free monthly yoga. (Love my yogis, Anne, Janice, Hope, Jess, Ken, David, Darlene, Karen, Amy miss you, Inner Fire Yoga and all of you, the community is large and wide)
20. Went to fireside with my friend Amy and John.
21. The Dean of Organizational Leadership at Chicago School of Professional Psychology appointed me Research Associate.
22. I went to a dinner party hosted by Darlene at her lovely home, it was fun!
23. I ran 9 half marathons and 2 marathons this year. (Cyd, @
24. I spoke on a Women Insiders Panel in Chicago and met new colleagues. (Amanda)
25. Leon and I travel to Mexico for New Years 2016.
26. Leon’s department sent him to be a motorcycle patrol escort at National Police Week in DC.
27. Staci and I, took a Mom and daughter trip to Maryland to visit Simone and her daughter.
28. Went on long walks with my friend Shelley around her neighborhood.
29. Met all sorts of new friends, runner friends, fashion friends, eclectic friends, nutritionist friends, yogi friends, academic friends, professional friends, holistic friends and athlete friends.
30. Hired my IMWI2017 coach, Jennifer, who is keeping me on track and becoming a closer friend.
2016 was a year of giving back, hard work, decision and choices, achievement and success.
2017 is planned for 2 hefty goals, everything else is lighter. I can’t wait to see what comes in 2017. I wonder what 2017 will bring? Watch out 2017, here I come! There’s more to come... Just wait and see. Who do you want to be in 2017?
Feel free to comment on the many things that I listed or forgot. Also, I'm sorry if I didn't mention you or if you are not tagged in this note.

Monday, December 5, 2016

SMART Goals (2017)

My Wish List and Goals for the 2017 New Year! :)

My SMART Goals
1. IMWI2017  (see running goals)
2. Phd in 2019.
3. Art Gala in Chicago - March 25, 2017. (ART PARTY: Spring Soiree in Chicago come join me)
4. Promoted at Work.
5. Continue to focus on managing budget.
6. Maintain balance in all of these five areas: physical, spiritual, mental, social/emotional and material.  (Accountability matrix and communicate weekly with key friends to keep me accountable to stay focused.)

My Wish List:
To be recognized for my hard work and talent.
To be healthy, wealthy and happy.
To be positive and listen without judgment.
To never give up and keep forging forward.
To be surrounded with family and friends.

My promise: 
I promise to stay focused and not get off-track, and accomplish these goals.
I promise to make time for family and friends to enjoy time with each of those I care about.

Ornament Exchange - Day 3 (2016)

Welcome to Day 3, Ornament Reveal.

Every year, we do a Twelve Days of Christmas Ornament Exchange.

Solum message peace
something all could use right now.
Glad tidings and peace.

This is a peace ornament!

This Christmas Haiku was written by Kim Groshek.  Our festive peace ornament, Day 3, was provided by Amy Haushalter. #‎ornamentexchange2016 #‎christmas2016 #‎holidays #friends #family #craft #fun #love #love #crazyrunninggal #crazyrunninggirl

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Ornament Exchange - Day 2 (2016)

Welcome to Day 2, Ornament Reveal.

Every year, we do a Twelve Days of Christmas Ornament Exchange.

Red, write ornament,
traditional candy cane, 
just the right size.

Glistening nearby
just to say, it’s holiday
Fragile, some might say.

These candy canes are
just the right size to display.
On the Christmas tree.

These are candy cane ornaments it is just the right ornament and fits perfectly!

This Christmas Haiku was written by Kim Groshek.  Our festive chalkboard ornament, Day 2, was created by the delicate hands of Jennifer Craine. #‎ornamentexchange2016 #‎christmas2016 #‎holidays #friends #family #craft #fun #love #love #crazyrunninggal #crazyrunninggirl

Friday, December 2, 2016

Ornament Exchange: Day 1 (2016)

Welcome to Day 1, Ornament Reveal.

Every year, we do a Twelve Days of Christmas Ornament Exchange.

Remember your school
days, during the holiday?
It's Chalk and blackboard.

As a rule, you see
the simplistic tools we use.
Glossy light, reflect.

A gift of heart. May 
your days be Merry and Bright!
Happy holidays!

This is a replica of a chalkboard, this chalkboard ornament was ready to hang on our tree.

It's just right and fits perfectly on my stick tree.

This Christmas Haiku was written by Kim Groshek.  Our festive chalkboard ornament, Day 1, was created by the delicate hands of Kim. #‎ornamentexchange2016 #‎christmas2016 #‎holidays #friends #family #craft #fun #love #love #crazyrunninggal #crazyrunninggirl

Sunday, November 20, 2016


This Copycat Panera Squash Soup tastes just like the original, but I made it a bit healthier!


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 pounds chopped butternut squash (about 6 heaping cups)
  • 3 small carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3-4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups apple cider (NOT vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ounces low-fat (neufchatel) cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, more to taste
  • salt to taste
  • heavy cream, optional


  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until translucent, stirring frequently.
  2. Add squash, carrots, vegetable broth, apple cider and spices.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until squash and carrots are soft. Remove from heat and add pumpkin puree, butter, cream cheese and brown sugar. Puree with a hand (stick) blender or in batches in a normal blender. Blend until very smooth.
  4. Taste soup and add salt as desired. You may also add extra brown sugar or honey to achieve a taste closer that of Panera’s. You can also add a little heavy cream if you want a more decadent soup. If desired, add more vegetable broth to thin soup.
  5. Return to burner over  medium-low heat if needed to heat the soup back up and then serve immediately.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

10 Ways to Cope (Coffee Talk with Kim)

  1. Ground yourself: Breathe deeply. Go to a favorite spot in nature and really be there. Meditate. Find a favorite poem, reading, religious passage that has helped you before and read it quietly.
  2. Allow the grief: Don’t suppress your feelings of fear, dread, anger, grief. Just allow them. But don’t wallow there; move on when you’re ready. And allow other feelings to arise, too—they may surprise you.
  3. Be with friends; This is a time for community. Share your feelings, your insights, your fears—and, especially, your hopes. Hug a lot.
  4. Take a media break Keep up with the news, but turn off the endless rehashing of painful stuff that you already know.
  5. Take care of the children: Yours, neighbors’, grandchildren. They will sense your fear, and the very young won’t understand it. Reassure them that they are safe.
  6. Reach out to anyone threatened: There are people who are especially afraid: immigrants, Muslims, Blacks, Latinos. Speak up and show solidarity.
  7. Don’t dismiss the Trump voters: Remember that many of his supporters voted from a place of anger and despair about many of the same things for which you feel anger and despair: all the wealth going to the already wealthy, corporations getting all the breaks while everyone else feels stiffed, political power wielded by the very rich.
  8. Think local: I’ll bet on Tuesday night there was something (maybe many things) on your local ballot to celebrate. Embrace them. And find the many ways in addition to electoral politics to make change in your community, your town, your state.
  9. Take care of yourself: Yes, eat some comfort food—but then take those walks, do those yoga stretches. The whole world needs your energy, your health, your vision. There is much to be done.
  10. Take the long view: Martin Luther King’s words can hold us: “The long arc of history bends toward justice.”

Judged through the lens of the past (Coffee Talk with Kim)

Leadership can sometimes only be judged through the lens of the past. Though it seems like they were focused on their mission and believed in what they were doing, some times too much something good can be bad. 

Interesting facts: 

  • 1998: YAHOO refused to acquire Google for 1M.
  • 2002: YAHOO realized its mistake and offered 3B Google requested 5B YAHOO refused.  
  • 2008: Microsoft offered 50B to acquire YAHOO YAHOO rejected the offer.
  • 2016: YAHOO has been acquired for 5B and the current value of Google is around 545B.

Positively the best! Magnifique! ⭐ (Coffee Talk with Kim)

A group of researchers once videotaped two teams of bowlers during a match. They edited out the mistakes made by members of the first team and showed the tape to them. During the review, the researchers focused only on the strengths of the players and everything they had done right.
The second team was also shown a tape. But their video contained only the mistakes that had been made by their members. They were offered suggestions on how to improve their techniques.
After receiving the feedback, both teams showed signs of improvement. Surprisingly, the group that received the positive criticism improved 100 percent more.
So the next time you’re giving feedback to someone – whether as a parent, manager, or friend – remember that building on the positive aspects of the people’s actions or behavior reaps the best results.

Monday, November 7, 2016

New York Marathon #crazyrunninggal

It was exciting to be in New York City. 
I was mentally prepared for the second marathon of the year.
During this run, my goal was to focus on my mental capacity. It worked well, more focus.  Your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change.
The first evening and day in New York, we walked the city streets, broadway, and 
had a glass of wine and contemplated our upcoming weekend events.

The next morning we walked through Central Park, which was also the last few miles of the marathon course.  This was very helpful indeed, for the NY marathon. Then off to Times Square where Dana was interviewed by a Japanese news station about Hilary Clinton. She said, "Why not talk about running?" Ha ha ha!
My participating in the New York marathon fulfilled one of my lifetime dreams. (Check ✔️)
The New York marathon what a special treat. There were over 50,000 runners, then they reported 51,000 finished (how did that work?) They reported 152 runners from Wisconsin.

It was a hilly course. I came in within my planned time. Give or take. I ran over 5 bridges and ran in the five boroughs—Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island! We had to walk almost 3 miles after to get out of central park. I received a post race poncho, it seemed to be a popular option because almost every runner was wearing one. 

This was a great experience. Not only did I run the New York marathon for the first time, I was able to share it with my running friends.
This weekend experience was sweet! 
My stats:
Overall place: 43855 out of 50,000
50-55 age place: 1496
Gender place: 17086
Time: 05:34:2
Minute per mile: 12:46

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Eat These 7 Meals To Start Losing Weight: Spicy Tempeh Chili

Spicy Tempeh Chili

PREP TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes

  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 3 oz non-GMO tempeh, crumbled, or organic lean ground turkey
  • ½ sm onion, diced
  • ½ organic red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • ½ organic green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • ½ serrano chile, seeded and diced
  • ½ c cooked black beans
  • ½ c cooked pinto beans
  • ½ c organic crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ avocado, diced
  • Shredded cheese (optional)

1. HEAT oil over medium heat in a pot, and sauté tempeh, onion, bell peppers, and serrano. Season with salt and black pepper and cook until browned, about 10 minutes.

2. STIR in beans, tomatoes, spices, and 2 cups water. Simmer 20 to 25 minutes, until flavors have time to blend. Serve hot, topped with avocado and cheese, if desired.

NUTRITION (per serving) 280 cal, 16 g pro, 35 g carb, 9 g fiber, 6 g sugars, 10 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 770 mg sodium

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wake up to the morning rain

I wake up to the morning rain. 

A light breeze wakes the soft window covering. 
The tickling soft scent of rain,
offers the ease of sprinkling chatter.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Go and own your day. #crazyrunninggal #crazyrunninggirl #ironmanwisconsin

Keep positive and stay strong. This is all you!
You know it's a special day when you're too excited to sleep and you're not even racing :) IRONMAN Wisconsin is a special race. I am thankful I get to cheer my athlete friends in this years race. I have volunteered in the past and watching these amazing athletes perform humbly brings me back to where it all began for me. I get to see many friends and family who are racing, spectating or volunteering. Good Luck to athletes, staff, volunteers and spectators! The race has already begun, and athletes are well into the bike race. It’s a fantastic day! Soak it all in all the way to the finish line. I’ll be cheering for you! Say “Hi” when you see me or give me a high five! See you at the run and the finish line!

Friday, September 9, 2016

I love:

Learn to have definiteness of decisions, definiteness of plans, 
and a clear precise dynamic vision.  
  1. Getting up at the crack of dawn, before the sun rises and going for a long run.
  2. To meditate and stretch my muscles, filter my thoughts, and clear my mind. 
  3. Yoga, it's the best way to start my day.
  4. Working up a sweat at the gym.
  5. Taking long bike rides with my husband on the country roads and trails.
  6. Running on the trails.
  7. Feeling relaxed after an exhausting morning workout.
  8. Participating in the long 13 mile or 26.2 mile run.
  9. The discipline it takes to train.
  10. That I feel good after I did the 13 or 26.1 mile run.
  11. Being around others who have high goals.
  12. Accomplishing and finishing the race!
  13. Race day, the excitement and anticipation.
  14. Inspiring others to go after their dreams.
  15. Successfully completing my dreams that I never thought were possible.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Describing Myself as of 2016 (Baseline)

Professionally, I am a Senior Project Manager for the Global Fidelity Information Services. In the past 30 years, I led efforts resulting in increased productivity of more than 20 percent. In my current role, I work with dozens of professionals and banks coordinating all product and service agreements, leading implementations and teams. A frequent speaker, I also present “Leadership from the Inside Out” seminars to area companies and international organizations. In 2013 I was presented an Ambassador at Large post through the Women’s Advancement in Africa organization. I have written several children’s books and commissioned a play from one of them.
In 2010, 2011, 2014 I was presented the Creative Child Preference Choice Award, Best Green Product Award, Best Vacation Children Products Award and the Seal of Excellence Award. In 2013 I was presented the Media of the Year Award and Region H Governors Choice Award “planting seeds growing STEMS.”  I am the author of a professional book WIN BY LEADING, several children's books Bug’s Adventure Series®, Nate the Dragon®, (there is a play too), Candice and Jimmy Find their Rainbow®, and Floyd the Fire Truck Series®.   

I am a member and chair of the UWW Enactus board, section representative alternate of Society of Women Engineers, and MESA International. 

Away from the office I serve as Assistant Director of DC Fashion Week in Washington D.C.  I'm cooking up ideas for my first Fashion Line.

I am a yogi and runner; I love to challenge myself.  I have
run 9 marathons (2 Chicago, 2 Madison, 2 Detroit, 2 Disney and Minnesota), 92 half marathons in 48 states and other organized Ironman sprints.  

I am a wife and mom, which is my most important role in life!

What do you hope to accomplish over the next 10 years? 
  • Run 50 half marathons in 50 states and 100 lifetime half marathons.
  • be an ironman.
  • Am a Practice Manager at my Company.
  • Live a place WARM for the winter months.
  • Exhibit my Art in an Art Show in Chicago.
  • Complete my Doctorate in Organizational Leadership.
  • Build my net worth.
  • Meet Barbara Stanny as a coach.

Describe yourself in one word.

Do you have a mantra?
Reach, stretch and grow

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Any regrets?
Less hard on myself. Regrets? Wish I was strong enough to realize how smart I am, back at 17. 

How would you like to be remembered? 
Amazing Spirit.

Any bad habit’s? 
Too hard on myself.

What person do you admire most? 
Albert Einstein.

How do you indulge yourself? 
chilling (Relaxing)

Fill in the blank…I wish I could… 
Have lots and lots of friends, who care, truly care.

What drives you to succeed? 
Compete with myself.

If your house were on fire, what one thing would you save? 
Self and husband.

What has been your most surreal, “pinch-me-I’m-dreaming” moment so far? 
Standing on the stage of my first PLAY, written based on my kids book Nate the Dragon.

People would be surprised to learn that….
In high school I was an aspiring seamstress and fashion designer.

What is your biggest fault? 
Too Bold!

What has been your most spectacular failure? 
Not going all in.

What’s next for you? 
Destiny is full of surprises. Live somewhere warm for winter months, my art exhibit, host annual dinner, my novel and design a fashion line.