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November 2011

October 2011

October 15, 2011


October 15, 2011.. will go down in my Life Story.. as one of the most memorable days of my life.. It will be right up there with the birth of my children!.  On that crisp, cloudy, and drizzly, 38 degree day... my life, changed... forever. I went from "One day, I will run a half marathon..  to  "Today, I completed my first half marathon.."

On that day...

  • I just proved to myself.. that I am athlete.
  • All my hard work, paid off.
  • My will power to keep running kept me going. I did not stop or walk..I kept running.
  • I ran through the pain.


  • My fears, were put to the test.
  • I learned, endurance comes with time.
  • I realized, I was strong.
  • My dreams were no longer just visions.
  • I knew, I will never be the same...

And it's true..
I'm not the same "Ronalyn" as I was the day before this moment. I am no longer "I wonder if.." or "Could I?"
I'm the Ronalyn, who can do anything that I set my mind out to do.

I'm not sure how many times, I've started to write and then deleted it...
What can I say? I'm stil on freakin' cloud 9!  I mean.. holy #!@%& ! I freakin' did it! I get on here and I'm all tongue tied.. like I am filled with so much emotion.. that I can't even get one word out. The thing is, I wanna walk around with my medal on, in the grocery store, around the neighborhood, and even for a run.. I wanna stand on top of a mountain and yell "I DID IT!" I think I pretty much  win bragging rights for a while.. on this one.

It's ashamed I didn't get a week to bask in my glory.. and to sit in a massage chair while rose petals fall on me.. while listening to the most soothing music. Right after the race.. I went straight to work!  Yes, you read that right! I had not one but TWO photoshoots that day! I headed straight to a one year old birthday party where we were hired to photograph the event and set up our equipment for a dress up photoshoot as well! I even changed at thier house! Then right after that, we had a newborn shoot that lasted over 2 hours.

So, I kept going... till my head hit that sofa, and I literally could not move! Then the pain.. set in. My body was yelling at me.. and I felt it loud and clear.

This is Rebecca and I before the race.. Little did we know...


"Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is simply passing the time. Action with Vision is making a positive difference.”

– Joel Barker

So just like most life-changing moments.. comes the re-enactment that you play in your head over and over again.. just trying to remember.. so you don't forget... that YES, you were there.. this happened...

So it seems like I've been training forever for this moment.. I actually wanted to run the half marathon in August.. but it just happened to be the same day as a wedding we were shooting. And even though I managed to do a one year old birthday party.. my 30 minute absence would be most noticeable in a wedding. But training started to dwindle down in the last 3 weeks leading up the race. Instead of following the exact plan.. I just tried to put in a long distance and a short distance in. But it really required me to run at least 3 times a week.. and I ended up doing 2.  But I threw in some hills, which I've never done.. so that was good. And I also started running with people..

(photo below, Tuesday Night races with Rebecca and Brynn)


And.. I love running with others! Especially when we try new trails.. which I would never do on my own. I've also always ran with music.. but to be able to carry a conversation and run is amazing.

Back to the Half Marathon...
The first 5 miles I ran with Rebecca.. a nice comfortable pace. I kept telling myself "don't go to fast.. " Then Brynn met us at the drinking station.. Which btw, I've always wanted to take a drink and toss the cup!! And I did!

By Mile 5.. I was getting in my groove. Which I've noticed in all my runs. I start feeling really good by this time. So I ran solo from Mile 5 and on. But I've stuck with what my girlfriend and marathon runner, Lynne.. told me once.. was to find someone ahead of you and just try to keep up with them.. And ironically it was a lady that works with my husband, who I only see on races.. she always wears these bright knee highs.. so I fixated on her..

But by Mile 7-8 we were passing one another back and forth.. then I found another lady that kept a really good pace in all black. I was behind her the entire way. Little did she know, she kept me going.. even when she slowed down and I passed her, she always managed to come up ahead of me. Just enough so I could focus on her.

By now.. my legs are just doing what they were made to do.. which is to move.

My knees started to kill me by Mile 9. I started running while lifting my knees up with every other stride. And my neck was killing me.. If anyone knows how to stretch while are you running.. fill me in.

Then I saw MILE 10. Mile 10 = Mentally Challenging.

I've always agreed with runners.. that running is a mental sport as well as physical. I have never been put to the test, mentally, as I have.. during Mile 10. That's where.. it hit me like a ton of bricks.. First fear.. "Ive never ran past 10, the training stopped at 10!"  When you begin to let in the littlest amount of fear.. well, it leaves room for everything else. I just remember.. my mind wandering.. to the path, then to the pain, then back to the girl I kept following from mile 7. The goal was to always be right behind her.. at some points passing her.. and then watch her ahead of me again. A mind game of cat and mouse.. is how I kept it going. But Mile 10.. seemed like the never ending mile. I felt like it took forever to see the 11 Mile mark.

But by Mile 11.. I began to see some familiar spots that Rebecca had taken me the week before to introduce me to the HILL that was the last mile.

Now why they goin' put a darn hill on our last mile? It killed me.. at the same time.. I knew I was almost there.

I remember chugging along, then my heart was beating so fast as I could hear the bells in the end.. I knew I was near.. And I pushed... and crossed the finish line.


I bawled like a baby you guys.. no joke! So many mixed emotions.. but most of all I was so proud of myself. The only thing I could think about is .. When can I do this again.

That night... I googled "upcoming races for Anchorage" And although no half marathons anytime soon.. there were a bunch of 5k's..I'm hooked. Already getting back to training.. to beat this PR. To be better than I was then... to keep proving to myself that I am stronger then I was that day.

So I enjoyed 3 days of rest.. and even better.. I enjoyed my first run after this Half.. a good, swift 6 miles.. My state of mind said "you got this!" And I breezed through it! 


Half Ass?

If you know me, you know I'm not one to do anything Half Ass.. I like to think I'm one of those "Go Big or Go Home" people. Well, at least I think I am...

So over the summer, I had this great idea...

"Im going to train for a half-marathon!"

I mean it's quite comparable to, "I'm gonna learn to bake a cake from scratch!" NOT. So what was it that made me even want to play with the idea of subjecting my body to running 13.1 miles? As I sit here with sweaty palms.. I'm feeling a bit sick to my stomach and second guessing myself. I mean, I trained for months and 3 weeks before the 1/2 marathon I decided to sign up! Go figure, I was giving myself enough time to back out, and that's the truth. But I said I would.. and by golly I'm sticking to it!

When it comes to running, I dove in not knowing much about the sport, just that I  needed to move faster than walking! As a person who never enjoyed any physical activity, I saw running as something I suddenly wanted, kinda like a new pair of boots. But it didn't take long (say 1/2 mile in) to realize, it took more than just "running". So, the slight obsessive compulsive behavior in me, wanted to conquer this sport.. well, not be the next Kara Goucher, but just be able to run a mile without begging to stop. 

It was April 2009 when I first started running. I ran on the tracks at the gym.. even then I could only run a few laps before I lost my breath.. mind you, 10 laps = mile. It wasn't till I took those run outdoors that I felt like a light bulb switched on for me.

I look at that old photo, and only if I could tell my "old" self  (when I could I barely run around our neighborhood) that one day I would make it across base and back, totaling 10 miles... I probably would've told my "now" self I was crazy.

My first race, The Frostbite Footrace, February 27, 2010..

I knew after that race.. I was simply addicted. Even though I went weeks without running.. I always started over. Soon after this run, I did a couple more 5K's always with the addiction of beating the last time. And my last 5K was my new PR finishing it at 28 minutes.

But it didn't really *hit me till I went through the ordeal with having complications in my cervix and having had surgery done, then having the doctor tell me to rest for several weeks.. I knew I loved the sport when, during surgery, I was trying to find my "happy" place.. and my mind drifted to the pathway I took on a regular basis, listening to the sound of my feet hit the pavement seeing the trees surround me, listening to my breath as I took each step... That was my "happy" place... and I was torn when I was told I could not run for several weeks. I literally felt like someone "stole" something from me. It was that very feeling, of having "running" taken away from me that made me want to do more, achieve more, be more... At that very moment, I knew, I wanted to aim for higher.

It was that very thought and feeling.. that carried me out to 10+ weeks of training.. Even the days I couldn't even fathom putting a run in.. I did. Each week, I added a mile. It wasn't up till last week, I did my first 10. It wasn't till 3 weeks ago, I was introduced to some of the biggest hills and even though it kicked my butt.. I knew I was stronger because of it.

So here I am... a few days before my big Half... I've come a long way. I've learned a lot. I've been through a lot. I've ran through hot (in Hawaii) and cold (-10 degrees) and I'm still going.

I'm gonna do this.
I'm not looking to make a world record.
I'm just looking forward to seeing that finish line.
I may puke at the end.. but it will be an accomplishment, none the less.
Wish me luck! Cause I'm gonna need it, especially mile 12-13.1, that was one big ass hill!



IMG_1081 remind myself to "Embrace" these moments..

But I think I just about lost it tonight as I saw this little post it my sweet little girl left on my desk because she didn't want to bother me (again) to say goodnight. I just about cried my eyes out. Even at her tender age of 8, she doesn't want to bother mommy who is sitting in front of the computer once again.

I keep telling myself, in a week or two, this "rush" of business is going to slow down and I'll have so much more time. Which it does, but it seems like I keep telling my family that. And for the most part, they allow me to live my "dream".  I mean this is what I wanted, this is what my dedication & hard work got me, this is years in the making... And sometimes I think they know it, but selfishly I know they want their mommy back.

Every year around this time, I get a bit overwhelmed but humbled by the amazing response for our Photography Business. But in all honesty there are days when it's a bit much! And my problem is I don't know how to "back off' or just walk away.. It's hard for me to tell myself, "You can do it tomorrow."  I feel with each inquiry on the status of their photos, it's like punch in my gut, asking me to "hurry" and give them their photos. Which I know is not the case... but it makes me feel like I'm slacking. But I know I'm doing all I can being the already busy mom I am.

I just finished editing our mini session from the other week... and (inhale) we had 12 Families. That's 12 individual sessions.. 12 different families... 12 times the amount of work.  And before that I finished 2 Weddings. Now if your a photographer, you know that, this is a whole lot of work involved in editing. And again, it does not end with editing. Updating your many social websites, business websites, getting the clients their products...  So (exhale) it's more than just taking photos, for sure.

So this is me tonight:


I actually got a lot done.. only because I'm thinking and planning ahead.. (typical of me).  But I've dedicated my Tuesdays to be my "work-out" days. I like to head to the gym for a 4pm class that kicks my butt and feels so good! Then right after, I'm gonna head out to do the Tuesday Night Runs.. which I'm excited to do again. I'm getting quite addicted to these hills :)

More on my training.. next post. I really wanted to write about how I've been running with a friend and how different it is now.. I really love it. I've traded my head phones and music for a run and good conversation. It's so refreshing :)

I think I'm done venting.. it always seems like I'm complaining.. which I partly am.. but I'm really grateful. :) These moments will soon pass and I know I will be headed to new adventures back in the lower 48.

Jumbled Up Week.

But one thing remains constant..
Is this cutie :)
I am literally head over heels for this little girl :) And I think she's quite fond of me too :)

My morning starts off like this, No matter how cold it is.. and this past week we've dipped to the mid 30's :)




I'm telling you, I've developed a back and shoulders of steel carrying this kid for our usual 2-3 mile walks. 



 And guess who loves our morning walks? Yup, Kai.

And the snow is heading down the mountains already !! Anyday now..



Hubby had the day off last Friday, but he came with me to a photoshoot :) Love him :)


I'm not gonna sit here and vent/complain about how busy the photography side of my life has been.. because when it all comes down to it.. is that I love being a photographer. I never imagined I would be where I am today.