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Review Of A Decade

Posted Jan 01 2010 4:55pm

So I was trying to think of some way to recap the past year. Or talk about resolutions. Or something New Years-esque for my blog on January 1st. Problem is, I don't make resolutions. I'm a day to day goal-setter (like I make goals for EVERYTHING) so resolutions just seem too...general. And any resolution I would make is probably already covered by one of my goals.

And a recap of the year? Well, if you've been reading this blog you already know everything that happened. :) I think that might be me being lazy. But I figured it would be boring to recap something you've probably already read about.

THEN I read Jen's blog - where she recapped her whole past decade! Now that seemed MUCH more interesting! So I stole her idea! :)

(of note is the fact that I don't really know if 2010 is the start of a new decade or the finish of an old one - but for purposes of this blog, 1/1/00 to 12/31/09 is what I'm considering the past "decade" to be)

SO! The cool part for me is that since I was born in '79, each new "decade" marks my 20's or 30's, or 40's, etc... These past 10 years were essentially my 20's. I turned 30 this past May.

This was my junior track season in the spring and my senior (and final) cross country season at Penn State. As you will see, I totally relate each part of my life to what I was doing athletically at the time. :) Nothing too exciting to note here other than the fact that after struggling with injuries for 2 years straight at Penn State I finally got healthy as a junior and senior. My senior cross country year was special - not because I did anything amazing race wise but because I was the captain of the team. Talent wise I was FAR from being one of the best runners at Penn State so it meant a lot to me to be able to lead the team in a different way. By this point Oscar and I had been together for 2 years already! And in fact, in December of 2000, Oscar proposed to me. I said yes. :)


One of my last cross country races.

I graduated from Penn State in the spring with a BS in Nutrition. I was accepted into Penn State's clinical internship (which all registered dietitians have to do before they can sit for the national boards) which started in the fall. This was good timing because Oscar still had 1 year left at Penn State to finish his masters. That May my family endured some unexpected deaths. First my uncle (my mom's brother) passed away very unexpectedly and then, just a few weeks later, my grandfather (my mom's father) passed away after being sick for some time. My mom had to miss my graduation from Penn State as her dad had died the night before. Too many funerals that year. I finished my final season of running. Oscar drove all the way out to Indiana to watch me run my last race in my Penn State uniform (the 10K at Big Tens). Little did he know that 10 years later he would still be driving all over the country to watch me race! (actually, he probably did suspect such a thing would happen) September 11th happened. That day I was in a very rural, VERY small town in the middle of PA doing a community nutrition workshop as part of my internship. I remember driving home from the workshop and being utterly frozen with fear when the only thing on the radio stations was the news of the day's events. And also being afraid because at the time my father was working in Somerset at the time (where the "other" plane crashed).

BIG YEAR! I graduated from my internship and Oscar graduated with his MS in May. We got married in June! We went on our honeymoon! And then we moved to Virginia. We both started our PhDs at Virginia Tech that fall. We had lots of fun, really enjoyed VT and loved the area. We found a great church. We were newlyweds! hated school. :) Actually, I just had a hard time envisioning another 5 years of graduate work. I was ready to move on and get a job for a while. I was fine with living in VA while O finished his PhD but in a strange turn of events his advisor left and there was nobody to take Oscar on. He was stuck in a hard place too. So what to do? We ran like heck back home to PA. We moved back to Pittsburgh after the fall term ended. But not before we ran our first marathon in Raleigh in December of 2002. I ran 3:22 and loved every second of it.


On our honeymoon we went to a Boston Red Sox game. :)

First the first 2 months of the year we lived with my parents! (back when my parents still lived in PA) After 7 years of going to school for engineering O got a job as a math teacher at a private Christian school. :) I got my job at the University of Pittsburgh (which I still have). In February we moved to an apartment. I did lots of running races. Not much else happened that year. :)

I was still working at UPMC. In the spring I ran the Cleveland Marathon with my BFF and in the pouring rain we both PRed with a 3:11. She could have easily broken 3:10 but she stuck with me when I was DYING the last 3 miles. We crossed the line together. It's one of my all-time favorite photos I have from a race. After O finished the school year at the private school he decided he wanted to go back to school for his teaching certificate so he could teach and coach in public schools. This meant he had to go to Pitt - YUCK! (hehehe) In the fall my BFF and I got together again for the Columbus Marathon. This one didn't go so well. We both ended up dropping out around 21 or 22 miles. That race and Steelhead 2008 are the only races (of the HUNDREDS I've done) that I ever dropped out of.


Krista and I after finishing in Cleveland.

I signed up for the Boston Marathon (had qualified at Cleveland) but struggled with a hamstring injury all spring (which I STILL struggle with now) and in the end decided not to race in Boston. That hamstring injury was the start of a whole bunch of running injuries. I think I was injured all of 2005. The whole summer/fall I had plantar fasciitis. Oh and we were really poor too. We were surviving on my dietitian's salary because O had to go back to school full time to finish his class work/student teaching. That was a rough couple months. :) BUT that fall O got a teaching job in public school and we now had 2 salaries! And we bought our first house! And although I was STILL injured, something good came of it because one of my co-workers suggested I try a triathlon - less running so I could keep healthy. Hmm...maybe... That November I joined our YMCA. I figured I had to learn how to swim if I was going to try this triathlon thing. HAHA! The first swim workout I ever did was 12x25! (I just looked it up in my running log - oh yeah baby!) And because I didn't have a bike I took spinning classes. OH! And how could I forget?!?! In October of 2005 someone at work asked if anyone was interested in a dog that her friend was trying to get rid of. Yep, you guessed it, Roxy Dog came into our lives! (and promptly destroyed most of what we owned :)


Roxy with her party hat on. :)

After taking close to 4 months off of NO running (not even attempting it) I ran on 1/1/06. My feet still hurt but I had to make it work because I WAS going to do a triathlon that summer. No ifs, ands or buts about it. In March we bough a triathlon bike for me. Oscar finished his first full year of public school teaching and loved it. Very, very smart career move for him. In June I did my first ever triathlon in Charleston, SC. I was more nervous than I had ever been in my life I think! My parents and sister came to watch. I remember thinking that the swim felt VERY long (it was 300 yds ;). I came in 4th. I did 6 other triathlons that year (including 3 Olympics) and was totally, completely in love with "my" new sport. That summer one of the biggest and best school districts in Pittsburgh called O for an interview. And then they offered him a job. It was a tough choice because we had just bought a house that was 50+ minutes away but it was too good to pass up. That fall he started at Mt Lebanon (where he still works) AND he ran his 2nd marathon. WOOP!


My first triathlon. I think I smiled the entire time!

I applied for and got accepted onto the MarkAllenOnline Triathlon Team! YEE-HAW! I had big plans. After doing all smaller/shorter races in 2006 I was signed up for some big races and also was ready to try a 70.3. I raced in April and May and then right before my first "A" race in June (Eagleman) I got hit by a car when I was riding my bike. Ouch. I didn't run for a month and had only been back in the pool for about a week but decided to do AG Nationals in Portland anyway at the end of June. The race was ugly. I ran incredibly slow. My hip hurt like something awful (still from the crash) but I snuck in there for the last qualifying spot for AG Worlds. I couldn't pass it up. AG Worlds was in Germany and because it was during the school year O couldn't go. So my mom went with me! It was cold! But we had a blast. Oh, and I did my first 70.3 that year but in August (instead of Eagleman in June). Total beginner's luck I went 4:50 at Steelhead and thought "oh, this distance isn't that hard". HAHA! (I wouldn't have another successful 70.3 until 11/09! :) Notice triathlon is starting to take over my life. I still worked at UPMC in 2007 but changed my status from full time to "casual". At first, I still essentially worked full time as a casual but now I didn't have to work on weekends.


There was an article in the paper with a picture of the windshield I smashed in when the truck hit me.

Okay, now I was REALLY ready for a good triathlon season (without crashing interruptions!). I was on the MAO team again and enjoyed a very successful (for me) season of mostly Olympic distance racing. I tried to hit some of the big ones - Columbia, Philly, NYC, Dallas Open, Best of the US. It was a very fun year and I was healthy for the entire season. I met SOOOO many great people. I was also starting to work less and less at the hospital. And an idea was formulating in my head for my OWN business. :) In October/November of that year O (and truthfully, Jen Harrison was a big part of it too) helped me to bring that idea into fruition and we officially began The Athlete's Eutrophia, LLC. I got my first client Mike. He still might be my favorite. :) The major loss of 2008 though was when my grandmother passed away in July after a (relatively) short battle with pancreatic cancer (it was actually biliary cancer). I loved my grandmother dearly and her death was probably the first time I felt profound grief. Her funeral was on a Monday and on the following Sunday I raced in the NYC tri. I thought of her the entire run during that race and to this day it was one of the best runs I've ever had in a triathlon.


My grandma is front and center in this picture!

Wow - here we are! My business was up and running. I was still working at the hospital. I got involved with one of the major insurance carriers in Western PA and started doing work for them. O was into his 3rd year of teaching at Mt. Lebo and now VERY much into coaching track (indoor and outdoor) and cross country. O was also becoming extremely fast from all the running he was doing! Now I can't keep up with him! I had another great season with MAO, racing all over the place and enjoying EVERY SINGLE SECOND. We went to California for the first time ever in March and then loved it so much we went back in September! I turned 30 in May. And that's pretty much that!

So...still awake? :) Probably pretty boring for you to read but it was fun for me to remember back. And it's also fun to dream and imagine what the next 10 years have in store. Whatever it is, I'm sure it will be fun. And I will be very excited to take it head on with O and Roxy at my side. Oh, and you all will probably have to read about it because I'm sure, I'll still be boring you with it in my blog. :)

Happy 2010 to everyone!

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