Sunday, May 31, 2015

Today I was a spectator.

For the first time today I went to a race to be a spectator. My friend Amanda and her boyfriend Jeff were running their first marathon. 

The Minneapolis Marathon was beautiful today. I grabbed my two little boys and all of their toy band items. I mean.... As a spectator you need to make all the noise possible right? We had a tambourine, maracas, a flapper and two drumsticks. We were a three man band.  Actually... I really think the runners appreciated it because I felt this marathon was rather quiet in the cheering department. 
We jumped in the mix at mile 18. There was a convenient turn around at my 19 or so snd we were able to see our friends twice; lending support and cheer two times! 

At mile 20 I ran about a block with Amanda. Hoping that the little extra boost would send her just a bit further.  She looked great! I was so happy to be there for her. 

After she passed us at mile 20, we headed to the finish line. We packed up our red wagon and hurried as fast as we could. Thank goodness for the red wagon or my kids would never have made it! 

At the finish line we were able to cheer her on as she crossed that beautiful finish line of her first marathon! Jeff had finished about 45 minutes before her so he was there too! 

She did it. All the hard work and training. She is inspiring. I am happy I was able to share that moment with her!  

I will definitely watch an event again. Of course I was green with envy. But someday I will complete that marathon of my own!! 

Great work Amanda!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


I have to laugh at this word. 
The urban dictionary defines badassery as :
Engaging in seemingly impossible activities and achieving success in a manner that renders all onlookers completely awestruck. 
Another definition has this word as:
Actions or characteristics regarded as formidably impressive.
I recently posted on Instagram about my run in 26 mph winds and used this term.  I must have heard it from another fellow instagrammer or blogger, but nonetheless after posting it I laughed out loud!  What an absurd word!  And, how hilarious at the same time.  
After busting my ass out of my comfort zone at 8:24/mile I did feel like a bad ass and this term fit nicely! 
Oftentimes, we are led to believe that it's not ok to post about our recent work-out or something that makes us feel like a bad-ass.  I say post on people!  Do whatever it takes to make yourself feel good.  If it makes you feel good, keep doing it.  Chances are you're inspiring others to do the same. It might just be that one post that gets just ONE person off their butt to be more active. 
I know that I personally look to my friends on social media for daily inspiration.  Post on my peeps!!  Keep that badassery coming!! It just makes me want to be that much more bad ass!
Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Confessions of a Dental Hygienist!

As many of you may know, I am a full-time Dental Hygienist!

I thought this was a great opportunity to tell you a bit about my career, since I'm always blogging about running. 

Let me start out by saying I love my job!  No. Really!  I love my job!  It's not often people can say that they truly love their job.  I don't mind going to work and rarely have a bad day.  I am social by nature and enjoy meeting new people and making new friendships.  My patients are all really amazing.  I'm not lying... they really are amazing! Ok, most of them! 99.99 % of them.  :) I am blessed to work in a progressive and comprehensive office with a boss that treats me like an equal.   I have fantastic coworkers and work is FUN!

Without going into all the details, I take an avid interest and have studied comprehensively periodontal disease, which in turn helps me transform even the most diseased mouths!   My patients are treated like members of my own family and I enjoy hearing about their lives.  My hope is that they enjoy their experience and I sprinkle enough in about their dental health too!

Many people HATE the dentist.  Loathe it!  Shake just thinking about it!  Do anything in their power to avoid going!  Well... HA!  I've got news for you..... there are a few things that we as dental professional dislike as well.  In no particular order:  

1:  In order for us to see in your mouth, you need to open.  WIDE!  Not a slight pursed lips open... like a flip top.  Imagine the Reach dental guy who's head flips back... well not that wide... but WIDE.  You want me to do a good job? I need to see.  It doesn't happen often, but there are patients who just refuse to open their mouth.  I've never quite figured it out!

2: Trust me.  I know you're lying to me when you say you floss and you don't.  I can tell that from a mile away!  I'm not kidding. I KNOW!  And.... for me personally.... it doesn't bother me if you do or you don't floss.  I'm not your mother. I'm not going to babysit you and yell at you when you don't floss. I ask because I care and want to help you help yourself. If you tell me you don't floss, it's okay. Really! It's ok.  I try to help you find ways to better care for you mouths.

3: Crowns.  They are expensive.  They are a necessity for many.  I have seen thousands of them.  They are fantastic.  But thanks for letting me know you have one! :)  See pic below.  This applies to front fillings as well.  I know they are there.  wink wink 

4:  Tardiness.  Need I say more? There is usually a very good reason for coming to your appointment late.  It is unavoidable in some situations.  This is for the CHRONIC tardy person.  Do you realize that it's impossible for me to do a good job and stay on schedule when you're late?  It's not in my nature to NOT do a good job, therfeore your tardiness affects every patient left in my schedule.   Please be courteous of my time and I will be courteous of yours :) 

Check the blog again soon.  I'm thinking I like the confessions of a Dental Hygienist!  Thoughts?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

RACE RECAP: Festival Foods Granddad Half Marathon

FINISH TIME:  1:59:00
Last Saturday, May 2nd was my second half marathon!  IT WAS AWESOME! 
Now, not all of it was awesome.  It certainly got tough in spots, but here's my recap! 
I was excited to run this race as it took place in my hometown of La Crosse, WI.  The start of the race starts on top of the bluff.  My dad used to take me here when I was a little girl.  I haven't been to the top in years!!  It's hard to see the view, but above is a picture of me at the overlook.  

Another great addition to my race morning was meeting my new running friend Lindsey!   She goes by Glitter Girl on the Run on Facebook and her blog is
Give her a shout-out if you can! Right from the start I could tell we were going to get along great!  The bus ride to the top was so fun getting to know her!  She is amazing!  It was her 37th half marathon and her 5th year in a ROW doing this particular race!
Me and Lindsey at the lookout!
Saturday, really couldn't have started out more perfect!  The temperature was 58 degrees at the start and the breeze was just right.  I had the typical race nerves as always.  Thankfully, I had eaten a small pre-race snack so at least I didn't feel like I was going to lose my stomach.  There were ample porta-potties.... which as runners..... we all know we need.  ME?  You ask?  I only had to visit 4 times before the race - and in true "Gina" fashion each and every time it felt like I was going to pee my pants.  I'm not sure why I need to visit the incredibly smelly porta-potties so many times before a race.  But, I've learned to just embrace them; stink and all!
The starting line at the top of the bluff
Truth be told, I was nervous about the 2 mile downhill.  I kept hearing my running friend's voice in my head.  "Negative splits Gina!  Negative splits!"  The run down was surprisingly easy.  The descent was gradual until the last .2 miles and that's really when the hill went on a steep decline.  Unfortunately, I didn't do well maintaining my splits.  My first two miles were 8:34 and 8:10 - much faster than I had hoped I would go out.  At the bottom of the hill we leveled out and my third mile was 8:17.  Still the voice in my head was saying " Negative splits... negative splits."  I was able to slow my pace to 9:07 for the 4th mile.  This was a bit more my speed.  I knew that if I could keep that pace or just a bit faster I would PR with my goal of sub-2:00:00.  

I had fun during the race running through all of the streets I was so familiar with.  But I was very excited to come up on mile 7.5 to see my family. The race ran right past my parents home so my boys, my parents and some other family were their waiting for me!   My boys ran out and gave me big hugs!  It was a great sight because it gave me that boost to go a bit further!
At mile 8 I met up with another girl running, we chatted a bit and it was a welcome chat.  She gave me the extra motivation to keep going because she took my mind off the fatigue that was starting to set in.  As I came up on mile 10, the mental game started.  I knew that I had "just" a 5K to go.  I knew that I could do it, but I was cutting it close on time and had to maintain 9 minutes miles at the end to finish below 2 hours.  I gave it all that I had left and just ran! 

Mile 11.5 was fantastic. The local hockey rink had made a huge snow pile at the edge of the street and were lobbing snowballs our way. I grabbed two and smashed them over my head and onto my arms.  Hallelujah!  How cool was that and it gave me a great boost of energy.  Mile 12 was the hardest.  I could see the finish line, I could hear the music.  I ran under the iconic blue bridge and seriously dug deep!  I HAD to finish. I mile left and my Garmin said 1:49:48. It was this mile where I actually threw up a bit. Yup - in my mouth.  Lovely isn't it?  But, hey the things runners do! 

The finish chute was amazing.  I was a complete blur.  I threw my hands in the air and even did a fist pump. I was there!  My PR was seconds away!  I didn't see my family... but I knew they were there.  The announcer called my name and I sprinted across the finish! 
In an earlier blog post I talked about the finish line.  Few things in life give you that rush.  I was mentally and physically exhausted.  I earned that finish line. I earned that medal.  I can't wait to earn my next one! 
The Mississippi behind me!