What’s in a Name

My dad named me…Anne Gay.  All is good then started in school and the battle of Ann or Annie began.  I would always point out to the teacher – “It’s Annie.”  Since school though, I just take it as it comes.  If called Ann or Annie…I don’t care.  I let it go.  Recently it was brought to my attention by a friend.  I think they thought my Dad just misspelled my name.  No – that isn’t the case.

My dad says he spelled it right.  He was a great speller so I believe him.  I think it has more to do with cultures, ethnicity, etc.

Also, found this…


If anyone ever says…your parents spelled your name wrong, look it up – 9 times out of 10 it is a cultural/language issue.


Time to Get Ready!

So its time to spruce up the house.  Spent last weekend and this weekend painting, I used to do this each spring but didn’t have time last few years, so this year, was major.  My hands are sore and swollen.  That will be gone by morning.  I used running strategy to keep pushing through it.

photo (5)As I’m coming out of Lowe’s with what else, more paint, Friday night, I saw that my long lost friend from high school sent me a message on Facebook.  Wow!  I tried to find her before but with no luck.  She and I were inseparable back then.


Mary in background laughing and me with hair combed forward. High school band trip to Mardi Gras parades where we took first place. Little high school from JC, MO.

Here’s a picture Mary sent me this weekend – at her high school graduation party – I’m in yellow shirt.  Fun times.  I quit smoking 22 years ago.  Picture taken 1979.

1974522_10203258675615825_1739595919_n (1)Those were such great times!

My freshman year as a drummer in the Helias High Marching Band.

My freshman year as a drummer in the Helias High Marching Band.

Mary also sent this one of me snoozing - band wore me out.  6:30- practice every morning.  I loved it though.

Mary also sent this one of me snoozing – band wore me out. 6:30- practice every morning. I loved it though.

Playing the drums for our high school stage band.

Playing the drums for our high school stage band.

So, I started the morning out repairing my poor Chinese dragons that sit on our front porch.  They were broken last year and as before, I put them back together usually with super glue, spray paint bright red and then return them to their posts.

Wounded Chinese dragon getting a quick fix.

Wounded Chinese dragon getting a quick fix.

This year the breakage was more extensive, so I used a combination of spackeling and wire.  Will sand and paint – they will look like new…from a distance.  photo (3)

It takes us about a month to get ready for spring and summer.   We go through a process of assessing how things weathered the winter.  Then clean up, repair and then get the flowers and plants out.  Always feels good to be getting close to spring.

So I started back to the gym coupled with some running.  The last visit was tough.  I did jumping jacks and then added weights to the exercise among other things.   Doing okay and figure I will really kick it into gear this week.  Just as we get our house in order, I have to get my self ready for a big running year.  Glad I kicked that smoking habit long ago.  Wouldn’t be able to do too much running otherwise.

What is your training regimen and do you train year round or seasonal?



Off and Running!

Became reacquainted with my gym.  So glad to be working out again. Many of my LIFE Runner teammates continue running in the extreme cold of winter.  It hurts my sinuses and running indoors is not a favorite of mine, so I always end up taking those months off.  Even though I’m starting out indoors, I will be outside again very soon. The gym is 2 miles from my house so my plan is to run there and do my weight training then run home.

So I’m off and running!

To aid in my training, I’m cutting out my favorite vice – wine.  Tough, but I don’t think it is doing my blood sugar and hydration level, any favors.

(As I was looking through Google photos for reuse, came upon this jewel.  Go  tho the website noted as photo credit and see some other beauties. )

Powering up is always a good thing.  It helps me to focus and I also feel better too.

anne sioux falls 3_edited-1

There are some big races coming up too.  Click on the images below to get more info on them.

The LIFE Runners A-Cross America Relay – starts at the Brooklyn Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge on March 5 and finishes April 13 with both Arms of the Relay meeting in Sioux Falls, SD.  It comes through Central, MO April 1 – 4.  map Then there’s some 5K’s and maybe a half in May. Picture12 The biggest race for me is September 20 – The Air Force Marathon.  I can’t believe I’m signed up for the full, but I did.   So will begin official training for it in May but am starting out now to work towards the other races that are this spring.


Below is one of my last training runs before my 2012 marathon.  I did one more a week later for 20 miles – 2 weeks before race.

What are your running plans this year?  How much training do you usually do for your races?

19 Mile Run 2012

19 Mile Run 2012

Powering Up with the Olympics

UntitleddgfsfgI’ve taken about 3 months off…from running.  While off though I signed up for a marathon in September.winterolympics2014sochi-lrg

What a great time though to power up.  The Olympics are a great motivator to dig in and get going again.

I am switching up my diet/exercise a bit this time around to be at my best – adding in some serious calisthenics, weight training and 45 minutes of running.  I’d like to lose about 20 pounds by May and get back into better shape.  I am using My Fitness Pal along with a beginners weight training program.  Once I get closer to May, will kick in gear with Hal Higdon’s marathon training.  Till then will just run for 45 minutes.

fit-keep-runningSomething that always holds me back, is my limited lung capacity.  I’m really going to work on that too.   Here’s how:

  1. Warm-up 5-10 minutes of easy running.
  2. Run hard for 30 seconds 5 times, each separated by 60 seconds of recovery.
  3. Then do three –  five minutes hard running intervals with five minutes  of easy running between each.


From what I read, it  just takes a few weeks of this activity, performed twice a week.

There will be other races and such before September too.

So what is your game plan for 2014?  

My Favorite Christmas Movies

The best movies to watch this Christmas season!  These are my favorites I hope they are yours too!  If you haven’t seen them, do yourself and your family a favor and watch them – together.  So good.

Rank Title Directors Year
1 Bells of St. Mary’s Leo McCarey 1945
2 Going My Way Leo McCarey 1945
3 It’s a Wonderful Life Frank Capra 1946
4 White Christmas Michael Curtiz 1954
5 The Homecoming (The Waltons) Fielder Cook 1971
6 Miracle on 34th Street George Seaton 1947
7 The Little Drummer Boy  Jules BassArthur Rankin Jr. 1968
8 Pocket Full of Miracles Frank Capra 1961
9 Holiday Inn Mark Sandrich 1942
10 The Littlest Angel Joe Layton 1951
11 Scrooged Richard Donner 1988
12 A Christmas Story Bob Clark 1983
13 Home Alone Chris Columbus 1990
14 A Charlie Brown Christmas Bill Melendez 1965
15 The House Without A Christmas Tree Paul Bogart 1972
16 A Christmas Wife David Jones 1988
17 Elf Jon Favreau 2003
18 Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer Kizo Nagashima, Larry Roemer 1964
19 Frosty the Snowman Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr. 1969


My First Half Marathon Article Hits 22,000 Views

My First Half Marathon Article Hits 22,000 Views

Published on October 2, 2011, My First Half Marathon…From One Rookie to Another, has now crossed over into a readership of 22,000 and has earned me $50 through Hubpages Ad program. On  average 10 visitors read the article each day.  It’s been added to several health conscious websites and social media pages (like the one in the image below) which is helping the numbers to continue climbing.  hub pagesAlso, it’s a “featured” article on Hubpages due to traffic and content quality.  As such, Hubpages places it on other “Hubs” and “Topic” page.


Last December I allowed ads to be placed on it to see how that would work and what kind of earnings it would bring.  After 12 months, it has worked its way up to $50.

hubpages 2

Hubpages offers a great opportunity for anyone interested in online publishing.  The articles that receive the most traffic are instructional in nature like a “How To” on a top topic.

Also, there are many strategies you can find online about optimizing your site to get more traffic.  For me, I haven’t given my article much attention over the last year.  I just went in and updated it today.  If I worked at it and added more articles with similar content quality, I could actually begin getting a steady stream of income from them.  It takes a while though and is no “get rich” quick scheme.  I’ve read where some “Hubbers” write one article per week to increase their earnings and traffic.  I have added 2 other articles, but they haven’t taken off as well as this one.

My motivation for writing about my first half marathon was to share with others information from the research I did prior to that race and since then too.  Also, I wanted to share my experience.  Before my first race, I loved reading about and watching videos of others first race experience.

When I decided to train for my first, I searched all over the web to find out as much as possible about every aspect of preparation, training, gear, hydration, nutrition, etc.  Some topics were easy to find others, not so much.  I looked for lists of gear needed, packing suggestions, etc., from other runners and only found one.  So I put it all into this one article to make it as comprehensive as possible.  I also purchased books but mainly stuck to the books for beginners.   If I erred, it was on too much prep/research instead of not enough.

I also blogged about my experience and still do.  Here’s the post after I finished my first half marathon.

Training for first half marathon in 2010

Training for first half marathon in 2010

I love knowing that possibly my experience has helped others make that life changing experience to cross the finish line of their first half marathon.  How cool is that??


My friend Kristina ran her first half marathon with me in NYC in April 2013


Half Marathon #6 Is Done and With PR

Half Marathon #6 Is Done and With PR

I was rockin’ and rollin’ Sunday morning.  Followed a lot of cars down Hwy 40 with running stickers on their back windows, bumpers, etc., Like rush-hour there were so many.  All heading to Union Station area for race.photo (2)Had to be parked  by 5:50 am.  Driving in from Brentwood.  I had everything planned out except for the $10 cash had to pay parking attendant after waiting in line for 15 minutes to park.  So used to using debit card – everything automated.  Never gave cash a though.  So at 5:55 am – knowing the roads were closing at 6 and also needed to meet up with my LIFE Runner teammates for pics at 6 am, I negotiated with attendant (with 10 cars waiting behind me – anxiety building).  Finally, he let me park and  I had to agree to go get cash and bring back.  So I went and took a couple of pictures about a half mile away with LIFE Runners and then ran to the nearest hotel (The Sheraton) ATM for the cash.  This is me with friend and teammate Dan Hinrich’s.  Thanks Jeff Pauls for taking picture of us.1380669_253725804776058_1803173240_nAs I was running around, a girl approached me and wanted info about LIFE Runners.  Her first name was Susan.  I hope she joins.  Then I  located attendant back in the dark streets of St. Louis – behind Scot Trade Center - I made it.  Then ran back to race – took a couple more pics and joined my Corral at 7:55 as it was moving up closer to start line “wave” start (7:15).  The closest I’ve ever cut it.


The St. Louis Rock and Roll Half Marathon is a hilly course. I do love being a part of a large race though.


Around every corner, another slow, long hill. Check out the elevation of the St. Louis Rock and Roll Half Marathon course (ran full marathon there last year and this years half). image

Last year,  Shane Logan, who finished the second place in 2:34:36, describing the (marathon) course as the hardest he had ever run. He was hoping to set a PR but missed by more than five minutes.

“If I had known how hilly and tough this was, I’d have picked another race,” Logan said. (SLPD, Oct 21, 2012).

I have yet to run a half or full marathon that isn’t full of hills.  Here is KC Waddell Reed’s course elevation (3rd half marathon).photoHere’s More/fitness Half Marathon‘s course elevation (ran this course in 2010, 2011 and 2013).  photo (2)A runner that competed in the New York City Half Marathon had this to say about the Central Park loop, “I knew the Central Park route well and knew it was going to be the toughest part of the race (hilly).”    Now look at the elevation of the  course for the Crazy Horse Half Marathon  that was canceled due to worst snow storm to hit South Dakota.

photo (3)

The one course after 5 Half’s and one full marathon that was going to be literally all downhill, was cancelled.

I was supposed to run that half marathon on Oct 6.  So when it was canceled I signed up for the St. Louis Half.

My training was kind of messed up because I tapered the two weeks before Oct 6.  Then didn’t run for the week following because of travel back home (from Keystone, SD) and such.  Then ran following week (Oct 15) and did a semi long run 9.5 miles the week before (Oct 19) St. Louis Rock and Roll Half (Oct 27). october-2013-calendar-image I’m not crazy about my form below but always protecting my knees.  Maybe too much so.  I felt I was moving at a pretty good pace and was really watching the time.


Yet, what I thought, and what was reality, were two different things.

So here are the stats:

  • Time: 2:59:29
  • Overall Place: 6391 out of 7442
  • Division Place: 245 out of 376
  • Total # of Women Over Age of 50:  711 or 10% 
  • Pace13:42
  • 5K 37:07
  • 10K: 1:19:14
  • 10 Miles: 2:13:45

Mile 1 and 2:  I remember the first two miles thinking, “Okay, this feeling of anxiety is going to pass – including that pain in my left lower leg.”  It did.

Mile 3:  So glad to see it.  Felt I was at 34 minutes not 37 which is what clock showed.  Never saw signage for mile 1 and 2 – probably just as well.

Mile: 4, 5, and 6: Probably my best miles.  Was past initial issues and into cruise control phase.  Then I ate some Energy Beans to refuel (in place of Gu).  They sat in my stomach like a rock.

Mile 7:  Getting tough and tired of these darn hills.  Feeling like Energy Beans were not digesting well.  Drinking water to help them pass.

Mile 8 and 9: The signs came a little faster.  Trying not to drink much water – not wanting to stop for bathroom break.  Didn’t think I needed it since it wasn’t that warm.

Mile 10: Hard

Mile 11: Harder – remember a group in their front yard with a funny set up and playing the theme to Chariots of Fire.  Normally it would have been hysterical.  At that moment, I couldn’t even smile.

Mile 12: Hardest – Don’t talk to me and no more high fives.  Every microscopic millisecond of energy is moving me towards the finish.

Mile 13:  Got some relief with a downhill slope, and then looking ahead…”Why do they have to end this thing on a darn hill?”  Finally, at last 1/10th of mile,  relief with downhill slope to finish line.

As soon as I could stop, I braced the rail to catch my breath and recover some before walking forward (3 minutes).  Medical personnel came over to see if I was okay.  This while the rest of those runners around me ran on passed as if they were completely un-phased by the 13 mile run.  After collecting a bounty of snacks, water, sport drink and fruit and not to mention, my finishers medal (in a daze),I found my way over to a spot to sit down with my post race feast.


With all of that said, I ran my best race and finally have one that the time has a 2 in front of it.  It was a long time coming.  That 2 meant more than the time itself.

Half Marathon Times:

(2010)  1st:   3:49  (April)
(2011)   2nd: 3:27 (April)
(2011)  3rd:  3:28  (Oct)
(2012)  4th: 3:17  (Sept)
(2013)  5th: 3:01  (April)
(2013)  6th: 2:59  (Oct)

I’ve lived for that moment to be in the 2 hour zone and no longer in the 3′s.

I don’t play down my other times though.  They were each hard fought for especially the first one that was in constant sometimes even heavy rain and with windchill of 37 degrees.  We were soaked before we even started running.  I remember being so cold.  Hurt my knee around the 3rd mile and had to fight through to the finish.  I limped for a day or 2 afterwards (wore a knee brace and that seemed to help).  Some were treated for hypothermia and one third of those that started race dropped out many have since referred to it as “brutal.”  I barely made it in before cutoff (only 70 women finished after me) but all I cared about was that I finished.  This year there were over 1,000 that finished after me.


I never like hearing my time after a race – it is always slower than what I’m expecting.  Not always realistic when I finish.

A friend of mine sent me this recently – I ran my first full marathon last year.  It makes me think of Cypress.  Will run another full marathon again some time.


The races leave me so exhausted that like after this one,  I doze off trying to eat my favorite post race snack, “Cheez It’s”  with my hand aiming for my mouth and wake up as it misses it with “Cheez It” in hand hitting my cheek…That’s exhaustion.

I think its important to visualize success, pray about it and believe in yourself.  Running a long distance race teaches you many life-lessons about yourself.  When you run your first marathon, after finishing, you feel you can do anything.

My recovery is going okay.  Still pretty tired, legs sore.  My toes are sore and bruised, but fortunately nothing more.  I will wait a good week before I start running again and wearing flip flops for a few days while soreness present.  Pushing fluids and taking extra vitamin C – bought some “Airborne” for lowered resistance while recovering.

I was able to raise $2,662 for Vitae Foundation from some good friends, family and teammates (click here to see list of sponsors).  So appreciate the generous donations so many made towards that effort and each of them over the years.  Since I started running in 2010, funds raised for pro-life charities comes to $7,662.


Additionally, training for a half or full marathon takes a great deal of time and you won’t make it across the finish line without the support of your family and especially your spouse.  Thanks to Jim, Alex and my sisters and all of our family for their great support through out all of my training and races.

983611_10200261535722976_882809388_nAlso, a special thanks to Jon and Mallorie for letting me use their apartment the night before the race.  Really appreciate it! Great place!

photo (1)Will never stop running.

485511_10201070893116405_362741520_nCan’t wait till the next race with my team, the LIFE Runners…join us! http://www.liferunners.org/signup


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