Archive for the ‘Running’ Category

Good morning!  It’s been a while but I keep coming back!

Here’s what I’m grateful for today:

  1. I’m grateful that I live in a country where we all have the right to vote on this election day!  I voted this morning and regardless of who the winners are, I’m just grateful that I am a citizen of the greatest country in the world!
  2. I’m grateful for a beautiful fall weekend filled with family time!  Saturday, Ben, the boys, and I ran the Wolanski 2 Miler to celebrate the retirement of my awesome OBGYN.  We then bought lots of goodies at the Farmer’s Market and continued on to Carter Mountain Orchard for some apple picking.  The boys had such a great time and I’m thankful I can give them fun and awesome experiences like these!
  3.  I’m grateful to live in a city with such amazing preschool options!  We’ve been touring preschools to enroll the boys in next fall and there are so many great schools around that it’s overwhelming to choose one!
  4. I’m thankful for the extra hour we got this weekend.  While I’m not a fan of it getting dark super early, it was nice to get that extra hour on Sunday especially when there are never enough hours in the day!
  5. I’m grateful for a sweet sister.  She sent me a sweet card and beautiful bracelet to ask me if I’d be her matron of honor in her wedding!  I’m so excited for her and thankful to be her sister.

Happy day friends!

Happy Tuesday friends!  It feels like I’m always in a hurry these days, but here’s a quick list of gratitude to keep me mindful!

  1. I’m thankful for a healthy heart, strong legs, and a nice day that allowed Ben and I to run the Charlottesville Ten Miler on Saturday.  We each got personal records for the distance and ran the whole time despite a lack of training due to cold weather, snow, illnesses, and overwhelming parenting duties!


    Ben and I at the finish line!

  2. I’m thankful to my mother-in-law for everything she does for us.  She got up early on her day off and watched the boys so Ben and I could run the race Saturday.  She rocks!
  3. I’m thankful for my 3 men!  The other day I was thinking that it finally feels like I have a family!  I’ve been missing this feeling since I went away to college and I finally feel complete again.


    Visiting Daddy at work on Friday!

  4. I’m thankful for warm weather and sunny skies!  My 3 men and I have been going on lots of walks outside now that spring is upon us!  I hope to instill a love of the outdoors in my children so we’re getting out as much as possible!
  5. I’m grateful for spring and summer!  There are so many fun things planned in the next few months, I can hardly contain myself!

Happy day friends!

Happy Thankful Monday!  It’s been a busy day so I’m just now getting around to posting.

Here’s what I’m thankful for today:

  1. I’m thankful for a good checkup with my OB on Friday and getting to hear both my babies’ heartbeats!  I’m also thankful that I only have to wait 4 more days until our next ultrasound (it’s been 5 weeks) and that my mom gets to attend this one!
  2. I’m thankful for an awesome girls day yesterday!  Pedicures with Sarah and Crystal were so relaxing and then we picked up Chipotle and watched an awesome season finale of the Walking Dead.  What a fun evening with great people!
  3. I’m so so so so VERY thankful for all of the baby gifts we’ve received.  Of course I’ll be sending out thank you notes, but people are just so generous and I have to express my gratitude here as well!  And again I’m so thankful for the generosity of local moms who have donated so much free baby gear to us and sold us so many things for really cheap!  We are blessed!
  4. I’m thankful that Ben and I FINALLY agreed on 1 baby name (just the first name) that we both really like.  Now we just need 1 more first name and two middle names!
  5. I’m so grateful my mom is coming to visit on Thursday for my baby shower and staying a few days.  It will be wonderful to have her here!
  6. I’m thankful that we are finally getting some warmer weather, even if it does involve rain (as long as it’s not snow)!
  7. I’m thankful that Ben did so well at the Charlottesville Ten Miler on Saturday.  He did an amazing job and finished in an hour and 25 minutes, 57th out of 105th in his division, and 510th overall and he didn’t even train this year!  Plus he rubbed my belly (instead of a high five) at the finish line!
  8. I’m thankful for a great dinner with our friends Robert and Crystal last week.  We always have a blast with them!

Ok, I couldn’t stop thinking of things to be thankful for.  Plus there are even more but I can’t post them.

Have a great day!  Love you all!

Good morning and happy Thankful Monday!

Since tomorrow marks the end of the 2013 and Wednesday marks the beginning of 2014, I thought I do a special 2o13 Recap of the things I am thankful for this year!

I’m thankful for a very productive year.  At the end of 2012 and when I turned 30 a week before 2013, I made myself a promise that I’d make 2013 a very productive and memorable year.  Though it wasn’t productive in the ways that I thought it would be, I think the improvements I made were even better than the ones I imagined.  They include the following:

    1. Bought my dream house with my husband!
    2. Traveled alot (10 out of the 12 months):
      • DC in February with good friends
      • New Orleans for my cousin Jennifer’s bachelorette party in March
      • Padre Island in April to visit my mom and spend time with family
      • Houston and Galveston in June for my cousin Jennifer’s wedding and to spend time with family
      • Nashville in June to visit good friends
      • Baltimore for a fun girl’s weekend to celebrate Independence Day
      • Seattle and Victoria, Canada in July for my cousin Catie’s wedding and to visit family
      • Nag’s Head in August to have a girl’s weekend at the beach
      • DC in September to see the Book of Mormon with friends
      • DC in October for a great training course for work
      • Massanutten with good friends in November
      • Cape Cod in December for my husband’s cousin’s wedding and to spend time with his family
    3. Did alot of work to improve my happiness and mental health (reading, learning to meditate, cognitive behavioral therapy, online learning, exercise).
    4. Trained for and ran the Charlottesville 10 Miler in March with my husband!
    5. Got a great review and a raise at work and also learned to be more experienced and confident in my job.
    6. Spent alot of very important time with family and friends.
    7. Ran 1 race in June (4 the Wounded 5K), 4 races in the month of September (Charlottesville Women’s 4 Miler, 9/11 Heroes Run, Special Olympics Pepsi 10K, and Benefit 5K for Shiloh Thompson) and 1 race in November (Shelter For Help in Emergency 5K) and greatly improved my running, pace, and personal records.
    8. Lost 25 pounds (FINALLY – this had been a goal for a long time)!
    9. Won tickets to the King Family Vineyards Pink Ribbon Polo Classic, Top of the Hops Beer Festival,  Virginia Chili Blues & Brews Festival, and an entry to the 4 the Wounded 5K – it was a lucky year (maybe it was that red egg we found)!
    10. Helped several friends welcome sweet babies into this world!
    11. Bought several pieces of furniture and large appliances for our first house (couch, book shelves, washer and dryer).
    12. Bought and decorated our first Christmas tree together and celebrated our first Christmas in our new house with our families!
    13. Created 2 amazing gifts that are still in the works (more on those later)!
    14. Many more!

It was an amazing year and although there were ups and downs as there always will be, the wonderful things listed above will be the things I remember about 2013 and am grateful for when I look back on this year in the future!  I know 2014 is going to be one of the hardest but most rewarding and amazing years of my life thus far and I am truly looking forward to the challenge.

Happy New Year!  I’m wishing everyone a happy and amazing 2014 and please remember to try and be thankful.  I will continue to be!

Good morning and happy Thankful Monday!

I’ve noticed that now that it’s November, the month of Thanksgiving, a bunch of my friends are posting what they are thankful for each day on Facebook as they’ve done in past years.  I think this is a great idea and I wonder if any of them will take a look at their happiness and gratitude levels now and then again at the end of the month to see if there has been any improvement.  I definitely feel like I’ve seen a difference in the few months that I’ve been writing these thankful posts.

So without further delay, here’s what I’m thankful for today:

  1.  I’m thankful for a week of getting to catch up with good friends.  Last week, I joined Kristen for dinner and got to see Meredith who I haven’t run into in months!  I also finally got to meet Kristen’s boyfriend and we all had a great night enjoying homemade carnitas and pumpkin creme brulee which I got to torch myself!  Kristen is quite the chef and she even sent me home with fresh baked banana bread and a spaghetti squash!  Friday, I was lucky enough to meet Cara and baby Zachary for lunch.  I hadn’t seen either of them since Zachary was born over 4 months ago so it was so nice to catch up and get to hold that sweet baby!  Then Saturday morning, we joined Robert and Crystal for breakfast at The Nook where lots of laughs were had!  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I have amazing people in my life.
  2. I’m thankful for a strong body and mind that allowed me to run the Shelter For Help in Emergency 5K for the third time Saturday morning.  This race supports a great cause and Ben and I ran it together.  It wasn’t my best time but I felt like it was a good race and I didn’t feel the desire to walk once despite the steep hills on the course.  Check out our results here!  My awesome husband got 26th place out of 271 people!
  3. I’m thankful that my good friend Lauren had her baby girl Annabelle on Halloween night and very happy to hear that both Lauren and Annabelle are doing well!  Lauren told me she was expecting her first baby on April Fool’s Day so of course I thought she was playing a joke on me!  I’m so excited for Lauren and JR to welcome their baby girl…they are going to be amazing parents!
  4. I’m thankful for a wonderfully close family.  Even though I didn’t get to join them, this past weekend, my mom’s side of the family had a mini-reunion since my Great Aunt Pat (AKA Mary F***ing Poppins) was in town.  My mom was able to drive up for the weekend and visit with everyone and it makes me so happy that she has family around.
  5. I’m thankful for having a fixed heater now that its getting colder.  Out heater was broken last week, and even though it cost a pretty penny to fix, it was still cheaper than fixing our air conditioning units that are still in need of repair.  I have always said I’d rather be hot than cold!  I guess that’s the Texan in me!  I’m really grateful for my husband for getting the heater fixed so fast!
  6. BONUS:  Lastly, I still can’t mention details, but as I said last week, I’m very thankful for something that isn’t quite official yet.  It has to do with our condo and if it goes through, it could save us alot of money.  But of course I don’t want to jinx it so I’ll keep my mouth shut for now.  🙂

Happy Monday and happy November!  Stay warm and remember to give thanks!

Good morning and welcome to my weekly Thankful Monday post.

Here’s what I’m thankful for today:

  1. I’m very grateful that my work is sending me to a 4-day training course covering ASP.NET, web application development, JQuery Mobile, and many other tools and technologies.  Since I have no formal training in web development (everything I know, I taught myself or learned from coworkers), I think this class is going to greatly benefit me!  Thanks to my job for the wonderful opportunity!
  2. I’m thankful for good friends!  Over the past week, I was able to spend a lot of time with great friends.  Last Wednesday, I went to the free beer tasting at Market Street Wine Shop with Sarah and my friend Marian who I hadn’t seen in months.  Then Marian, her daughter Katie, and I checked out the new Livery Stable for dinner.  I also got to spend a wonderful evening drinking wine, eating Lindsey’s homemade chili, enjoying music, and watching the sunset at Carter Mountain Orchard‘s Sunset Series.  It was great to hang out with Sarah, Ian, Lindsey, Greg, and their family!  Then Saturday, we got to hang out with my friend Becky and her family at the race we participated in.  To top it all off, we had lunch with Robert and Crystal at Olive Garden on Saturday!  What a wonderful week filled with great friends!
  3. I’m thankful that a lot of important people in my life have made it through surgeries safely lately.  My dad and some friends have had recent surgeries and though they are still recovering, I’m very grateful they made it through risky medical procedures and are on the mend.
  4. I’m thankful for the opportunity to help raise money for a little girl in need.  Saturday, Ben and I ran the Benefit 5K for Shiloh Thompson.  It was a really fun race with great prizes and they had a skydiver show at the end of the race where we got to watch 3 skydivers jump from a plane and land in the neighborhood where the race took place.  Ben even won 4th place in the race and 1st place in his age group!  Most importantly, it was great to help a little girl in need and her family!
  5. Lastly, I’m thankful for a close family.  My brother got to go to Houston for his birthday this weekend and even though I wasn’t there to help him celebrate, I’m very happy that the rest of my family was there to help him enjoy his birthday weekend!

Have a wonderful week!

Good morning and happy Monday!

Here’s what I’m thankful for today:

  1. I’m thankful for a healthy body and strong legs that allowed me to have a wonderful 6.2 mile run on Saturday morning in support of the Special Olympics.  Ben, Sarah, and I ran the Gene Arnold Memorial Special Olympics Pepsi 10K.  The weather was beautiful, the temperature was perfect, and the company was great!  And we got to catch up with our friend Jamie who we hadn’t see in a long time!  My time was an hour, 4 minutes, and 53 seconds which I think is pretty great!
  2. I’m also thankful for free tickets to the Charlottesville Top of the Hops Beer Festival.  Ben and I went the previous 2 years and had a blast but we decided not to go this year because tickets are pretty expensive.  Well last week, I won tickets on Facebook from Champion Brewing Company, one of the newer local breweries, so we were able to go for free.  We had a great time together, tasted some amazing beers, saw a lot of friends at the festival, and even tried a new restaurant, Now & Zen, for some delicious sushi!
  3. I’m grateful for my in-laws and the endless supply of fresh eggs and homegrown vegetables they give us.  This weekend, they sent us home with 3 dozen eggs laid by their chickens, basil, salad greens, and beans.
  4. I’m thankful for such a hard working husband.  Ben works hard as a programmer every day and then comes home and spends hours taking care of our yard, house, plants, and cats.  And he always finds time to workout too!  He is my superman!
  5. I’m grateful to get the chance to see good friends for dinner tomorrow night at the Tavern on the James!

BONUS:  I’m thankful the Texans won yesterday!  I didn’t get to watch the game because it wasn’t shown here, but I hear it was a close game ending in overtime!  Go Texans!

Have a great week!

Good morning and happy Thankful Monday!

Here’s what I’m thankful for today:

  1. I’m thankful for beautiful weather this weekend that allowed me to spend a great deal of time enjoying the outdoors.  I’m especially grateful for this since the weather will soon be turning cooler and the days are already getting shorter.  My husband and I enjoyed the weather by running several miles and doing lots of productive yard work.
  2. I’m thankful for a wonderful and amazing massage I got at Oasis Day Spa & Body Shop and I’m also so grateful for the gift certificate that my sister-in-law sister and brother-in-law gave me for Christmas.  I’ve been saving it for a special occasion and I decided to treat myself as a reward for losing 9 pounds on Friday.  The massage was great and they worked out several crazy knots I didn’t even know I had!
  3. I’m thankful for the chance to support a great cause on Sunday by running the inaugural 9/11 Heroes Run on the University of Virginia grounds.  The race was in support of the Travis Manion Foundation which supports our nations veterans and service members and their families.  This race is especially close to the hearts of firefighters and rescue squad members, like my father-in-law (who told us about the race and has been an active rescue squad member/firefighter for over 3 decades), because the race benefits first responders and service members like Travis Manion for whom the foundation is named.
  4.  I’m thankful for a new phone!  There are probably more important things to be thankful for, but sometimes you’ve just got to focus on the simple things.  I’m very thankful that Verizon shipped me a new phone for free(thanks to my foresight in choosing to pay for phone insurance) especially since last week we had 2 broken air conditioning units, Ben’s broken car, my broken phone, and a leak in our bathtub.  My old phone had been acting up for months and continued to get worse and worse so a new phone that, so far, works seamlessly is a blessing!
  5. Lastly, I’m thankful for the opportunity this week to get together with some of my old friends from VGT and catch up.  A VGT Girl’s Night Out has been long overdue!

Have a wonderful week!

For the past six years, I’ve run the Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler, the most popular local race that raises breast cancer awareness and money to support local breast cancer research.  The race is overwhelmingly popular, so much so that it increasingly closes in record times.  Last year, it closed in 10 hours and this year it closed in 5!  I usually set my alarm to wake me up so I can sign up as soon as race registration opens so I can secure a much coveted spot.

This race is especially important to me because it is the race that got me started running.  I’d always been into treadmill running throughout high school and college but let’s face it, treadmill running and outdoor running are just not the same.  Back in the summer of 2008, I joined the Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler Training Program where they taught me everything from how to run properly to how to choose the correct type of running shoe.  Since then, I have run the Four Miler ever Labor Day weekend with my sister-in-law Sarah and many other amazing friends and women.  My sister even ran it unofficially a couple of years ago because she was in town visiting.  I’ve also gone on to complete 2 half marathons, the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco and the Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia beach, the Charlottesville Ten Miler (hardest race I ever ran), and many other smaller races since I got my start in the summer of 2008.  I owe my love for the sport of running and my incessantly improving skills to the many people who have organized the training program and the Four Miler.  If it weren’t for them, I may have never found this hobby or shared it with my husband (we run together alot).

I’m so proud of myself and all of the other women out there who run this race every year. This year, the winner of the race even beat the 30 year old record, running the 4 miles in 21:39…AMAZING!  I can’t wait to run this race for many years to come and maybe one day, if I have a daughter or a granddaughter, she might run it with me!


Sarah and I before running the Four Miler for the 6th year in a row!


Good friends and I getting pumped before the race!

This year, I beat my personal record for the Four Miler coming in at under 42 minutes.  Not bad for a 30 year old!

Here are my stats for the past 6 years:



Happy Labor Day!  I hope everyone is enjoying a day off and if you’re working today, thank you for your hard work!

Today I’m thankful for the following:

  1. I’m thankful for a day off.  So far, I’ve enjoyed Labor Day by making breakfast, going for a 5 mile run with my husband, and doing laundry.  This evening we’re going to cook-out with my in-laws for dinner.
  2. I’m thankful for a good friend and his expertise regarding HVACs.  Our friend Robert has helped us diagnose broken coils/leaks in two of our air conditioning units and he is hopefully going to help us fix them which will save us alot of money.  I’m very thankful for the time and effort he has put in to help us.
  3. I’m grateful for my health.  I recently quit taking a medication I’ve been on for nearly a decade and it looks like a side effect of that combined with exercise and a healthy diet is finally helping me to lose weight.  I’m at my lowest weight since 2007 and feel great!
  4. I’m thankful for a short week at work.  One of the great things about a 3 day weekend is a 4 day week!
  5. I’m thankful for the labor of everyone throughout history who we should remember today on Labor Day.

Have a great week!

About Texas Lou

Name: Leslie

Bio: I'm a Texas girl who now lives in Virginia. My goal in life is to experience as much as possible, and this blog will follow me in my adventures!