Monday, December 31, 2012

Running Goals for 2013

I'm not the type of person who commits to resolutions. Not because I don't have anything to improve upon, but because I very rarely finish what I start. It's a huge fault of mine. I have good intentions of setting goals for the new year, but my goals are always so far-fetched, I tend to toss them out the window early in the year. However, I am very committed to "running" goals! 

These are just a few running goals I have for 2013. No details, just straight to the point (unlike any of my other posts.) 

1. Run at least one race a month.

2. Run sub 24 in a 5k. 

3. Run sub 2 hours for 1/2 marathon.

4. Average 100 miles a month (break 1,200 for the year.)

5. Run better on hills. (I hate them!)

6. I know I mentioned running a marathon in December, but I'm still up in the air about it.

7. Make sure to keep track of my runs by posting them on running ahead! I might even start posting them on dailymile again. Looking back at old posts the other day was motivating. I hate that I don't know how many miles I ran in 2012 because I switched watches in September and lost data. 

Those are the main ones. I'm sure I'll add to this throughout the year, but those are set-in-stone ones, so to speak. I have a feeling I'll be setting new goals halfway through the year. :)

Top 12 Moments of 2012

1. June 23rd - I got married! Hands down, best memory of 2012.




Yes, we put on our running shoes and took pictures.This surprised no one. 

2. And what's a wedding without a honeymoon?! A week away from "real life" to relax on the beach in Panama City Beach, FL was just what we needed.

P.S. We're celebrating our one year anniversary in JAMAICA! Yah, mon!

The rest of these are in no particular order. And I'll go ahead and say, there's a strong chance the majority will be based on running and racing. Also, I'm extremely thankful for pictures, because without them I think the only three things I would have remembered are: wedding, honeymoon, and races. And nothing specific about them.

3. The Color Run - I love 5k's, and I'm really competitive when it comes to running them. However, even though this WAS a 5k, it wasn't timed, so I just had fun with it. And I'll tell you what, they don't call it "The happiest 5k on the planet" for nothing! Seriously, it was the most fun I've had in a long time. My husband had planned on taking a video with his GoPro, but it died right before the start. Sad, I know. My mother-in-law even participated with us! She's such a trooper (even with blue hair!)


4. The Zombie Buffet 5k! - Another "fun" race. This one was timed, but I wasn't running for a PR - I was running as a zombie - a zombie bride, that is! Chris (who was a zombie groom) wore a GoPro camera on his head and made an awesome video montage! Check it out below. He's a talented triathlete AND video editor!


Awesome video montage done by my husband!

5. Setting a new 5k and 13.1 PR. 24:32 (way back in May or June) and 2:02 (October). My goal between now and March is to go sub (or a flat) 24 min. and sub 2:00. Once I hit those goals I'll do what any other runner does and shoot for another one. Are runners ever "satisfied" with their time?! I don't think so. 
The Boro Dash. Last year this was my 3rd race, ever , and  I placed 3rd in my AG (first time placing.) This year I  didn't place, but I did get a PR!
6. Running my 2nd half marathon - The Middle Half! I've been lucky enough to have Chris run with me for both of them. He's trained me since day one, and I love him for it. It's because of him that I've gotten so much faster. Unfortunately, about 4-5 weeks prior to race day I did something to my arch. To this day, I'm not sure what happened (fallen arch, torn muscle? - I don't know.) All I know was it continued to get worse over time and it got to the point where I couldn't run 1/2 a mile without being in excruciating pain. I became so frustrated, while constantly on the verge of tears, because I wanted so badly to meet my goal. And I knew Chris wanted it for me, too. I took a few weeks off and that seemed to help. A week before the race I told Chris I thought my foot would be okay to run. 

Good news: My foot felt fine the entire race. 
Bad news: Because of the time I had to take off, I lost some of my training (especially my "long" distance runs.) My legs and body started to fall apart at mile 9, which was frustrating. And from then until the end I was mentally over it. I wanted to give up, but of course having Chris by my side - not letting me quit - helped. I still ended up with a 2 minute PR, which is good. And now my training is better than ever and I'm SO excited about my next 1/2 marathon in March! 

My Saucony Kinvara 3 shoes. Best running shoes I've ever worn!


7. Watching, and cheering for, my husband as an extremely talented, stubborn, and competitive triathlete on the Wattie Ink Elite team! Even though getting up at 4:30 in the morning to go to his races can be rough (and I'm sure I'm Mrs. Grumpy Pants), I wouldn't miss it for the world! I love race season! Well, I like going to his races - watching him train isn't all that exciting (sorry.) Plus, I have a responsibility as a tri-wife - take lots of pictures! When I first was given that responsibility I was clueless: "What are transitions? Now, where do I go again? It will take you how long to swim? You're gonna be back from the bike around what time? Okay, so I can expect you at the finish line by [insert random time that I normally end up forgetting.]" But I've always managed to get pictures. They might not all have been of Chris, but he's usually in there somewhere. ;)

Add caption
See?! I'm a good wife! :)

8. Babysitting this fun little fella! (A break from running and racing memories)

9. Getting to see a taping of one of my favorite bands - Mumford & Son's for CMT Crossroads! I was even moved to the front row for the last few songs. Made my night! 

10. This one is really random, but my memory is starting to fade: Building a race shelf with my husband. Well, he built it. I spray painted and wrote on it. But I think it looks awesome!! 

11. [Insert your favorite memory of me, because I'm running out of memories, and 2012 memories are starting to run into 2011's.]

12. And all of these other random memories/ pictures that can't really be categorized.:

You're welcome.

All in all, 2012 was a year full of love, laughter, and PR's! I'm sure there were more memories (maybe ones that should have been in my top 12?), but my memory is horrible, so this will have to suffice. Now, to see what 2013 has in store! 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas 2012 Recap

Christmas with my family lasts for about a week (so it seems.) Christmas with my family is total CHAOS, with kids running rampant, laughter, screams (of both terror and surprise) and lots of cameras flashing. If you don't want your picture taken, don't come around my family. It's candid-photo mania! 

Christmas #1: Immediate family. Husband, mom, dad, sister, brother, sister-in-law, and two nephews. Total number of people: 9 

See the camera that's taking a picture of someone else taking a picture? You never know where to look (or not to look.)

Christmas #2: Extended Family: [insert same people as above] grandma, aunt, two cousins, cousin's wife, cousin's two kids. Total number of people: 16 (in an itty bitty house)

The one "look-at-the-camera-and-smile" picture. This was taken 3 times because everybody kept coming into the room with their footed pajamas on. I mean, who WOULDN'T want their picture taken in them?!

 Christmas #3: Low key, sans kids, and full of laughter with my in-laws = 5 people. Love it. Sadly, no pictures were taken, which is surprising, because my mother-in-law is a camera-happy person, too (opposite of my mom.) Only she likes less candid photos and more "look at the camera and smile!" Candid or posed, I'm down (and ready) for whatever. Anyway, we oldified and fatified ourselves; my brother-in-law can knit, and we Skyped with family in London! We drew names, so we weren't neglected to buy everyone a present, which is nice on the bank account. I drew my husband's name and my brother-in-law's. My husband also drew my name and his brother's name. We decided to buy each other TWO gifts. I'm not sure if this is because we love each other so dearly, or because we just wanted one to open early. Probably the latter because being the impatient couple that we are, we opened our gifts a day early. Okay, two. All right, I opened one of my gifts 10 days before Christmas. But that's okay, because it was A NOOK HD+! Just look at it! :)

He also bought me a new pair of casual every-day new balance shoes. I bought him a black Kavu jacket and...and...why can't I remember what else I bought him?! Oh, well, it'll come to me later. 

Christmas #4: Back to my parent's house with my dad's side of the family this time. We didn't do gifts, so it was basically a gathering with family we hadn't seen since last Christmas (and food, there's always food.)  There were more kids, more chaos, and more pictures. Total number of people: 16, but a different 16 than Christmas #3. Keeping up? No? That's okay, Christmas is over. You can pretty much stop reading, now - if you haven't already. I can get winded when I write.

Well, that sums up our first Christmas as a married couple! It seems every year goes by faster and faster and the holidays just come and go. Christmas was sneaky this year, and came out of no where. And for some reason I had a problem getting into the holiday spirit, but seeing my nephews get excited about everything helped. Maybe once me and the mister have some kids of our own the spirit will be rekindled. 

Next Christmas, we aren't exchanging gifts at my in-law's. Not because of financial troubles, or because we don't want to, but because my father-in-law pitched an idea that we all agreed on: We are going to "adopt" a family in need and buy Christmas gifts for them instead of ourselves. I think that's a great idea and encourage others to do it as well!

Anyway, merry (belated) Christmas, from the Hansons! (Not pictured: our two four-legged furry friends.):

Saturday, December 29, 2012


So, I kind of want to run a full marathon some day. Maybe. I think?

No, really, I do. Preferably before I'm 30, which doesn't give me a lot of time. 5k's are still my favorite, because of the speed, short distance, and the ability for me to place in my AG, but the accomplishment of running 26.2 miles is something that has been on my bucket list for awhile. (Actually, a 1/2 marathon was on my list, but I've long since crossed that off -twice and counting.) I just never thought I would actually do it. The idea has always seemed too far-fetched. You know why?

BECAUSE IT'S 26.2 FREAKING MILES OF RUNNING! Who does that?! I can't even begin to wrap my mind around running that distance; for that length of time. I mean, it would take me at least 4 hours to complete it. FOUR hours. Probably longer. Anyway, that seems like an insane amount of running time. I have trouble mentally preparing myself for a mere 10 mile run, let alone a full marathon. I'd tell myself that it's just two half marathons, but that makes me want to punch myself.
I'm having trouble remembering why I want to do this.
Of course, that was my mindset when I started running over a year ago, while training for my first 1/2 marathon. "13.1?! What?! I can't do that!" And now, I've run two and have two more coming up in February and March. The distance doesn't scare me like it used to. It's getting easier - the distance, the speed, the mileage - each week. I've seen lots of growth and it's motivating.  

When I do decide to run one (which might be as early as next December) I'm making my husband run it with me. He ran both of my 13.1's with me, pacing me the whole time. (He says I'm on my own for the rest.) Then I can change out my 13.1 magnets for one of these!:  

And then I can cross it off my list - one time. Because I don't know if my body will let me run that distance more than once.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

5 People

I've heard it said before that you are influenced by the 5 people you surround yourself with the most; that you start to act like them.

And I think this is 100% accurate. I don't believe you need to physically be around these people in order for them to have an affect on you, either. People you interact with through social media, whether you know them or not, can have a huge impact on your behavior (be it negative or positive.) For example, if you are constantly engaging in conversation with people who have negative attitudes, use offensive language, act "holier than thou," and do nothing but spew insults at others, then more than likely you will start to behave that way as well; whether you want to or not. 

On the flip-side, if you choose to surround yourself with people with positive out looks on life, good morale; people who look for the best in people instead of the worst; those who seek to make others happy; people who strive to use kindness to overcome evil, then you will have a better chance of having those kinds of characteristics shine within you. 

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm far from perfect. I have horrible road rage; I curse; I can be a "negative Nancy;" I have poor attitudes; I complain; I'm grumpy; I give silent treatments. I'm not always like that, and I think it's because of who I surround myself with that I have a "calmness" that over-powers the rage. Actually, in my case, it's not always who I surround myself with, it's what I read. That, and when I do come across that kind of attitude from someone else it makes me think, "Wow, that person sure is irritating to be around! I hope I'm not like that."

So, I challenge you to sit down and make a list of the top 5 people you interact with on a daily basis. Honestly? I can't even think of 5 people I interact with on a daily basis. Maybe that's good, maybe that's bad. Fortunately, I think most of the people I DO interact with have a positive influence on my life. And I'm an adult, so if I don't like the way you act and I know I don't want to be influenced by you it's no trouble at all to say "adios."  

What about you? 

Monday, December 17, 2012


It's Monday. A day that is normally summed up with the following phrases:

"But, I don't want to go to work tomorrow!"
"I hate Mondays."
"How is it ALREADY Monday?!"
"The weekend went by too fast."
"Where's the fast forward button?"

You get the point.

However, today was different. Today, I welcomed Monday with open arms - literally. I welcomed it, because I had 20 young kindergarten students I eagerly wanted to see, to hug, and to teach. This morning, I went to work with a different mindset. I spent most of the day sitting back and watching my students interact with one another. (Albeit, I did have a pounding headache, so I probably would have done this regardless of the recent tragic events.)

I didn't stop the constant chit chat.
I didn't tell them to "stop getting out of your seat" when they needed a tissue for the hundredth time.
I didn't get on to them for tattling, blurting out, or telling me about their loose tooth (which they had already told me about last week.)
I let them argue.
I let them whine and complain about the fact that "so-and-so looked at them wrong, cut in line, poked them, etc."
I let them be kids.

I didn't do this because I was tired of teaching, or because it's so close to Christmas break and I just "gave in." I did it because I wanted them to be six years old. Innocent and oblivious to the evil in this world, even though I sadly know they are not.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How I became a "runner"

This specific post is mainly to help remind myself of how far I've come in my running, but I also hope it can be used to motivate others who either don't run, or are new to running. I know it can get discouraging at times, and we all need a little inspiration :).

This is probably one of my favorite running quotes.

1 year and 8 months ago: My friend, Andrea, sent me a text while I was at work, and asked if I wanted to run a half marathon with her in November (which was 8 months away.) I thought it was a joke, at first, because I don't run, and I knew she didn't run, so none of it made much sense. I dismissed my confusion, and thought "What the heck." And as soon as I got to a computer I signed up. I sent Andrea a text and said "I did it! I signed up!" Her response? "Ugh, now I really do have to sign up!" Wait. So, you weren't serious? Crap.

My immediate thought: What have I gotten myself into?

Soon after I signed up I thought, well I guess I better see what my legs can do! Apparently, they couldn't do much. I went out on the Greenway with no plan. Didn't know how far I wanted to go; didn't know how far I actually went; didn't know how fast, either. I was just going to run and see what happened. Biggest. mistake. ever. It didn't take me long to realize this wasn't going to work (or be easy.) That's when I decided to do the Couch to 5k program. Free app, starts you out easy (walk/run), beeps and tells you when to start and stop - sounds good to me. 

I decided since the last time I purchased a pair of tennis shoes was probably in high school, it was probably a good idea to buy a new pair. So, I went to the best shoe store around: Shoe Carnival. Actually, Marti & Liz is the best shoe store around, but I didn't think I could run in these:

I ended up buying a chunky pair of purple and black Asics that I thought were some of the best running shoes around. (I mean, they were $100!) Little did I know there were much better ones out there (and better shoe stores, too) Gah, I was such a newb!

Don't worry, I've upgraded twice since these.

In May, I also met my husband; my "coach"; my inspiration, and my running partner! He's an amazing triathlete! He made my 12 week training schedule and has been by my side ever since. (To add more sentimental value to this post, we met in May 2011, were engaged in December and married in June 2012.) 

Before I ran my first 13.1 I raced my first 10k and my first 4 miler (placing for the first time in my AG - 3rd place! I'm pretty sure I was hooked right then.)

1 year and 8 days ago: I ran my 1st half marathon! 2:04. Not too shabby. I thought, "I don't know if I'll ever do that again!" Lots of hills. But you get a medal. and a shirt. and free food. I mean, how can you say no to any of that?!

After that race I did a handful of 5k's. Placing 2nd in my AG for two out of five of them. 

7 months ago: Signed up for my second 1/2 marathon!

1 month ago: Ran my second 1/2 marathon in 2:02! I thought,"I could have done better had I not been injured for 4-5 weeks during my training. I can't wait to do another, though!"

Now, it's the end of  November, and I can say without a doubt I cannot wait until my third 13.1 - Tom King in Nashville, TN. on March 13th. I just hope no injury occurs!

I started out a year and 1/2 ago not being able to run for barely 30 seconds without getting out of breath. The thought of running one mile, let alone 13.1 was unimaginable. 

Now, I run on a regular basis 5-6 days a week. My "easy" pace is between 8:50-9:00, my 5k PR is 24:32, and anything under 8 miles is a "short" run. I'd say I've come a long way since my "Couch to 5k" days. 

Upgraded shoes:

<----- K-Swiss Blade Light Run

Saucony Kinvara 3 (current shoes)  ----->

Races I've done thus far:
one 10k
two 13.1's 
one 4 miler
one 10 miler
two fun runs (Color run and Zombie 5k - both 5k's, but I didn't "race")
five 5k's? (seems like there should be more, though.)

...I think that's all. I've already lost count! And there's lots more to come.

Don't ever say you can't do something. I've accomplished a lot more than I ever thought I would or could!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Childhood dreams

Growing up, I can think of three things I wanted to be (and on a pretty regular basis):

1. A teacher (well, when I was really little I wanted to be a babysitter. And some people don't seem to be able to differentiate between the two.)

2. A magazine editor/ writer
3. A hair stylist

The closest I came to being a hair stylist was working in a salon as a receptionist for 3 years; cutting doll hair; and the occasional bang trim for a very trusting 6 year old. 

The closest I have come to being an editor is proof reading essays for people or correcting someone’s spelling on Facebook.

As for teaching, well that’s what I do now - going on 4 years. Still somewhat of a newbie, but I've gained a LOT of experience within that short time period.

Sometimes, I wonder if teaching is really for me - everyday, until retirement?? If it’s my forte; my passion. Other times, I can’t see myself doing anything in life BUT teach. However, I would not say no to being a housewife or stay-at-home-mom some day.


Don't judge my look. I was unmotivated whilst working on lesson plans on a Sunday afternoon.  I promise I don't look like that when I teach (usually) ;).

But, let’s go back to number 2: magazine editor/writer. When I was little, two of my favorite things to do in elementary school were reading and writing. I wrote short stories, poems, songs, etc. Some were well written; a lot probably made no sense. I remember writing an 8 chapter story when I was in the third grade. Granted, it was strongly based off The Sweet Valley High series, but still. I wrote it. And I was proud of it. I wrote various other short stories as well. All too embarrassing to share, but at the time it was some of my best "work." Actually, If I find them, I promise I'll post one. Pinky swear.

Was anybody else as obsessed with this series as I was?  Along with Babysitter's Club, The Boxcar Children, Goosebumps, etc., etc. 

Anyway, writing has always been a way for me to express myself when I don’t know how to any other way. Writing is an art, and unfortunately it seems to have become a lost art. I worry about future generations; that they will not be able to write a complete sentence without using slang or acronyms; that they will rely heavily on technology to “write” for them. 

It doesn't matter what I'm reading, I'll notice any kind of grammar error. Even in my own writing. I'm sure, after I post this, I will go back and find many mistakes. That's just what my brain does.. 

Just to forewarn you, this blog has no niche. It has no direction, and no guidelines. This is not the blog to refer to if you want a new delicious crock pot recipe; it’s not the blog to read if you want to know how to turn that ugly, old side table into an antique (though I want to pick up that hobby - I love antique-looking furniture!); and it won’t be that blog that tells you which exercises are the best to get those 6 pack abs. 

This is what you CAN expect out of this blog:

- personal experience with running, racing, running, racing
- my life as a tri-wife (
- complaints about teaching Kindergarten
- joys of teaching Kindergarten
- inspiration 
- stories of success
- stories of failure
- stories that will make you think. 
- stories that will make you laugh
- lots and lots of  stories that can’t be categorized

These are just aimless musings. Enjoy! :)