A new beginning …

…so I started something new … are you in?


Back on the Saddle


It’s official, I’m back on the saddle! And, oh how I missed it!

I had to search high and low for my cycleOPs trainer last night, but I finally found it and dusted it off. Grabbed my girl, Maddie, and hooked her in.

I was ready to rock and roll, ‘er SPIN!


Workout tonight, from Coach Daryl was:

**30 min easy spin
**5 x 1 min hard with 2 min rest
**15 min easy spin

It’s good to have my bike back where it belongs … in the middle of my living room!


If you know me at all, you know I love everything that is clean and ORGANIZED. So, I spent the better part of yesterday and today on cleaning and organizing.

I started with Spencer’s room. I’m sad I didn’t have the forethought of blogging about this until AFTER his room was clean, but let me paint the picture for you.

Candy wrappers, Pokemon cards, loose change, crumpled up pieces of paper, dirty clothes hidden in the most unimaginable locations, cars, soldiers, nerf gun bullets, sports gear, clean clothes shoved in drawers and piled on the floor, a smell only recognizable to a mother with an 11 year-old boy. Need I go on? …. GRR!!

And so I got to work.




Onto to kid two. My 14 year old daughter. Let’s just say that her room looked like a bomb had exploded. Mostly of clothes since she feels the need to change them several times a day. I showed her again what a hanger looks like and how to operate such piece of equipment. She rolled her eyes, which told me she already knew. *insert mother smirk here*

I did happen to capture the before:


Eee-gads. I can see the horror in your eyes. Rest assured, it was handled swiftly and promptly. Not without a couple more photos though. teeHEE!


And, one more for good measure (or because she rolled her eyes at me).


Copper didn’t seem to mind the mess.

After a few more hours, my princess had a clean room again.



Now, before you start in on me about cleaning their rooms, hear me out.

1. I only do this for them a couple times a year.

2. I pitch the old stuff and organize to my hearts content.

3. They love it!

So, Happy New Year’s kids. Let’s keep those rooms clean and tidy, shall we?

2012 – Bring It

Here’s my thoughts on 2012.  I’m not going to call them resolutions for this new year, rather, ideas and goals.  Since my goals are always changing, I don’t want to lock myself in to a particular theme/idea.  Here are three things I’m thinking right now:

1. I’d like to BLOG more in 2012.  By more, I mean more than 3 times a month.  I’d like to blog about fitness, gluten free, and finish some race reports that were never finished (or started).

2. Fitness/Race goals: 

  • Daily: 10 push-up/20 body weight squats x 10.   Yep, that’s 100 push-ups and 200 body weight squats. 
  • Focus on swimming.  By that, I mean swim MORE!
  • Smaller Sprint TRIs and Oly Distance TRIs.  Speed is my call for 2012.
  • Perhaps one 70.3 IM – Sub 6:00 please.
  • Under 22 minute 5K.
  • Ragnar Relay Perhaps?! I’d love to organize one or be a part of a team.
  • Ski to Sea?!
  • STP (bike race from Seattle to Portland).
  • Find some other bike races.
  • Learn to snowboard!!

3. Continue Gluten Free all year!  I have done really well with gluten free and it is NOT hard.  Honestly.  There is the occasional craving for a sandwich or pizza … but, there are GF options.  Not only have I felt better physically since going gluten free, mentally as well. 

What are your 2012 ideas, themes, goals, resolutions? I’d love to hear from you!

G learns to Snowshoe

Today was a brand new experience for me. It was my very first time snowshoeing! My friend, Cherrelyn, invited me and I jumped at the chance.

It was a beautiful day and drive to Mt. Baker.


I managed to piece together some winter wear and we were off.


We trekked 2 miles overall in about 75 minutes (that includes picture taking and eating a Lara bar). It was an awesome workout! I cant wait to go back already … I loved it. I mean, what’s not to love with these sites:




Thanks Cherrelyn!


ps…. Great snowshoe rentals at REI. Only $15.00.


I’m suing Macy’s …

… Or maybe I’ll sue Cole Haan.

Those flight of stairs hurt as I tumbled down with just not a little thud, a GREAT big thud.


And, why I couldn’t stop with just a stair or two, I’ll never know. I just kept going. All the way to the bottom. Yes — ouch!

As I replay this over and over in my head, I wonder if Macy’s stairs were to blame? Or, perhaps it was my Cole Haan boots?

…or maybe the bartender at PF Changs over served me those lovely little Coconut Lemon Sours. Surely, that was it!


No, no … I’m kidding of course!

I was just embarrassed beyond belief and am waiting for the dark bruises to show. For now, I’ll be thankful I didn’t break anything and am just stiff.

To those who saw me come down and you gasped in horror, it’s okay. Yes, it hurt, but I couldn’t stop to chat. I had to hurry, you see, because humiliation was fast on my heels.

And, wouldn’t you know — it caught me.

500 Miles To Christmas

In just about 48 hours, we traveled over 500 miles to all of our Christmas destinations. 
And, as much as I love visiting our families, I’m thankful we do this — every other year.

It started Christmas Eve morn with the necessary SB in hand for the car ride.

To the ferry:

To the Grandma’s house we go!

First stop: My Mom’s. 

We dropped our packages, unloaded our suitcases and the puppies and went off in search of some last-minute goodies …




Later that evening came our second stop:  In-laws.  The DH has six brothers and sisters and we have numerous nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews. About 50 family members in total celebrated at the Crosswhite household!

One of DH's sisters made these awesome candy presents!

Third Stop:  Back to Mom’s house to stay the night and wake up Christmas morning!  Stockings are my favorite!! 







Last, but not least: My Dad’s house for Christmas Dinner. 

All in all, it was a fun-filled, family packed, awesome, yet exhausting, 2011 Christmas!

Hope your Christmas was merry and bright too!


And they said I wouldn’t remember…


I had my dreaded “procedure” on Tuesday and I wasn’t looking forward to it. I was anxious and nervous and didn’t know what to expect. Everyone said it was the prep work that was the hardest and the procedure itself would be a piece of cake and I wouldn’t remember a thing.

Well, folks, I’m here to say … I do remember.

The prep work was hard. I’m not going to lie. I had specific instructions one week out, starting with no nuts or seeds. Four days out, I had to take two tablespoons of Milk of Magnesia morning and night. That stuff is NASTY!! It claims to be a gentle laxative, however, taking it in the quantity I was taking it in proved to be a bit more potent.

Two days out- low residue diet. No fruits or veggies, nothing fried, no oil, no NOTHING basically. Ok, I did have an egg and some turkey breast meat.

One day out- liquid diet! Say what?! No food at all. Only clear liquids. I started this Monday morning by going to work until two in the afternoon. By 3:00, I was to be drinking this Miralax/orange Powerade concoction.

Now the fun not so fun part. 32 oz of Powerade mixed with 1/2 the Miralax. I got it down within the hour and decided it wasn’t so bad. A couple hours passed and yes, I had to get up multiple times to use the bathroom, but hey, it wasn’t as bad as everyone was saying.

I slept through the night and woke up to repeat the process. I was starving more than anything since I hadn’t had real food since Sunday night.


Phew! The last bottle of nasty juice -done! It didn’t taste bad, it’s name comes from what I knew it would do to me. I might as well have set up camp in my bathroom because that is where I spent all morning. Just when I thought it was safe to come out, I would be beckoned back inside by an uncontrollable force.

Eee gads. My appointment wasn’t until 1:00!

I checked in at 12:20 per the instructions. The DH stayed by my side until the actual “procedure.”

I was scared! But hey, nurse Pam gave me a great gift:


A PINK IV! That was nice.

Now for the happy juice. A combo of forgetful drug with pain relieving drug. Supposed to equal = not remembering. Well, the funny thing is – I do remember! I remember watching the screen and listening to the doc tell me he was removing a polyp. I wasn’t in any pain though! When he finished, I could hear the nurse outside the room looking around for the DH, but he wasn’t in the lobby. **he wishes I would’ve forgotten this part**

I got dressed and had a chat with the doc and nurse.

Here’s the real reason I’m telling you all this. Laying it out there. I just turned 40 this year. Most people have their first colonoscopy at 50. However, due to my family history and the fact I was having some issues while running, it was prudent to have this done now and not wait another 10 years. And, I’m glad I did! I had six medium sizes polyps removed. SIX! Some polyps carry cancer while others do not. And some can turn into cancer if not removed. Mine didn’t appear to be abnormal in any way, but the doc stressed how happy he was I came in now rather than at 50. I will have to go back in three years to have the procedure done again. Until then, let me be grateful I had my original issue that sent me to the doc in the first place.

PS- thank you friends for your support!


If you can’t marathon…RELAY!


On December 4, 2010 – I intended to run the California International Marathon. I just didn’t intend to run it, I intended to PR at this marathon.

This was to be my 11th full marathon (12th if you count Ironman). However, due to an unforeseen issue I was having, my last 5 weeks of training did not go as planned.

My coach, Daryl, and I had a long discussion on letting the marathon go and focusing my attention on getting healthy for the 2012 TRI season. It was hard to let it go because I knew I could run 26.2 miles, I knew I could gut it out and just do it for fun and not focus on my time, but in the end, I agreed with coach and decided not to run the full marathon.

However …. there is a relay segment to this marathon. A separate entry for those wishing to put teams of two – four individuals together to run the point to point marathon along with the full marathon runners. ….I could do that! I mean, my friend Lora and I already had our plane tickets and hotel to Sacramento, and I was trained up, just not running as fast as I wanted …

…and Daryl did say I could run some of it! That’s it … I’ll find a team to run with! And, that is precisely what I did!

As luck would have it, I found a team! Or, they found me … we found each other. Her name is Joy and she is co-founder of Nimble Running, which is a running group training for marathons, half marathons and triathlons.

After a few email exchanges, we met at the expo and got our race packets. Joy was in charge of a lot of teams and ours would have 3 people. I was asked to run the first two legs of the relay. No problem!

I also met Dianne, and her husband Mike. Dianne was running leg 3 and another fella by the name of Yousuf was running leg four.

RACE DAY: The morning was chilly and I planned on running about an 8:00 min mile pace. I told Dianne that I would see her around 8:45 am that morning at the relay exchange. We were bused from our hotel to the start in Folsom. We were allowed to stay on the bus as long as we wanted, all the way up until the start. This was a nice amenity.

Also nice, was the amount of port-o-potty’s they had! I didn’t remember this many last time I ran this marathon in 2006. I had no wait time! Awesome!!

The start was not seeded and you could put yourself where you wanted. Of course, many people start out way too fast (me included), but hey, I was only running 1/2 of this thing anyway, right?!

The first 6 miles clicked by and I was feeling great! No pain, no “issues” like I had been having. My legs were fresh, almost too fresh as they hadn’t seen running shoes or pavement in two weeks. I passed the relay check point at mile 6 and wondered if the second relay check point would be at mile 12. DANG – I should have looked through the materials I was given at the expo! I guess I just assumed I would be running 13.1 miles.

….AHHH, I start to ache … and hurt. NOT muscle soreness, the other issue! SUFFERING SUCCOTASH. I am hating life and want to quit, but don’t want to quit because Dianne is waiting for me. I wish now I had only signed up for one leg of the relay. What was I thinking? I start to slow down and even walk a bit, but then talk myself into running some more just to be done with it.

I pass the 13.1 mat and do NOT see the relay transition. WTHell? Where is it? I’m hurting here!! I call out to anyone who will listen and ask where the second transition is. I hear someone yell back it’s a ways up. Great. Just Great.

Finally, I see the transition and find Dianne and her husband, Mike. I get my medal and Mike took a picture of us. I was happy to be done and happy to see her.


Mike was great and treated me to an ice cold water at a nearby grocery store before we headed off in search of transition #3, We found Yousuf and waited for Dianne to finish her leg.


After Dianne comes in and Yousuf takes off, we all head to the end. The unfortunate part was traffic and parking. We ended up missing Yousef finishing. 😦

Overall, we did great as a team. I was happy with my overall pace, roughly an 8:22 pace for 13.1 miles. And, although I had a rough go of it with my “issue,” AND I haven’t run since, I’m still really glad I met such wonderfully nice people and was grateful to be on their team.

Division: 6/36

Time: 3:52:27

Running can be a pain in the ASS

For my friends out there who have wondered where I have gone and why I haven’t posted in weeks, and why I hadn’t kept up with my marathon weekly updates, and why I did not run the full marathon, well … here it is. The good, the bad and the K-Y Jelly.

I was finishing up week 7 of my training, when things started to take a turn. No, I wasn’t sick. I didn’t have IT band problems, or shin splints, or even a pulled hammy. My training was going GREAT! I was ready to PR at the California International Marathon on December 4, 2011. That was, until, my 16 mile run in week 7. I ran with my friend Jess and was uncomfortable, which is not unusual. I like the saying, “get comfortable with uncomfortable.” I just chalked my uncomfortableness with my new Capri tights. I finished my run and couldn’t get them off fast enough. Jumping in the shower to clean off, I had that hot water on chaffed skin sort of feeling, only it wasn’t where I expected it might be. Oh no … it was somewhere else entirely. Not the same wave of discomfort I had felt on so many other occasions when I forgot to use body glide in certain areas, usually around my jog bra. This day, I was screaming from the pain coming from my ASS region! How on earth could I have chaffed on my butt? That has never happened before, and surely, it must have been my new running Capri tights. It HAD to be.

Then a thought occurred to me, maybe I had a hemorrhoid … that area hurt too. Shake it off GINA … you’re tough. Put some ointment down there and all will be well again. Preparation H? Vaseline? A&D ointment? I searched my drawers and decided I might as well use them all since I didn’t know what the hell was wrong. EEEOWWWWW! Preparation H stung. The Vaseline was just plain gooey and gross. And, the A&D ointment reminded me of changing diapers, which I hadn’t done for 10 years. Maybe this ointment is that old? Ok, back on subject …

Now see, I’ve been in all sorts of pain before, both mental and physical. I felt like I could talk my way through this and buck up. I took the dog for a walk – I attempted to take the dog for a walk after my shower, but only got about 1/4 mile down the road when I felt a pain that brought me to a halt. In fact, it hurt to even walk. It was like a really strong bourbon or whiskey with some thumb tacks thrown in as a garnish going down my throat. Only, it wasn’t my throat for this analogy … it was, uh-hem – my ASS!

I turned around, apologizing to Copper boy and told him we would go tomorrow for sure. I no longer made it home and had an unusual thing happen. Not the sort of thing one likes talking about, much less writing about … maybe, that’s why I haven’t written anything in such a long time … I mean, how do you tell people … and more importantly, who wants to know that I had bleeding out my ass?! It was scary and I was mad as hell. This cannot be happening …

I went to see the doc, because this had to be a normal occurrence in runners. Right? I mean, I can’t be the only one with this sort of issue. Right? Off I went to the doctors to see about my ass ….

I was not happy

I mean, who wants to wait for the doctor and stare at this:

K-Y Jelly and some latex gloves. This can’t be good OR fun. After my not so fun exam, I was told I could keep running and to help with the pain, I was given these steroid suppositories. EWW! My doctor also informed me she would making me an appointment for a colonoscopy. UGH. OK. I guess, if I have to.

I continued running, but the pain and the bleeding did not subside. Between my coach and I, we decided to let the marathon go and focus on getting healthy for the TRI season of 2012. Instead of running the full marathon, I found a great team to run with as part of the marathon relay instead. This was a highlight of my trip to Sacramento. More on this later!

Anyhoo… next week, is the dreaded colonoscopy. Thankfully, I’ve been able to keep busy with the work and holiday parties, to not dwell on the fact that I miss running so much. So, I’ve been a bit crabby, who wouldn’t? Even if running has been a pain in my ASS of late, I still love it.