What is your Spirit Animal?

So one of the things that they asked me to think about in advance of the Ragnar Ambassador kick-off for 2013 is what is my spirit animal?

I thought this was something related to the Native American history & spiritual beliefs, but wasn’t too sure.

Some research finds:

  • According to SpiritAnimal.Info:  Spirit animals are typically associated with traditional as well as modern Western shamanic practices. During initiations or shamanic journeys, the shaman would find one or several animals that she or another person is associated with. Traditionally, the spirit animal is used for guidance.Think of your spirit animal as a guardian spirit or spirit guide. It can play the role of protector and provides guidance. It’s like a “personal guide or protector” that has a personal affinity with the person it’s associated with.
  • According to Urban Dictionary: In pagan religions and systems, a spirit animal or totem is meant to be a representation of the traits and skills that you are supposed to learn or have. Online, saying something or someone is your spirit animal is a statement that said person or thing is a representation of you or what you want to be.
    Friend 1: “Did you see Misfits last night?”
    Friend 2: “YES. Nathan Young is my spirit animal.”

Kate Walsh of Grey’s Anatomy/Private Practice fame even wants to know!

There is a quiz  you can take:

My spirit animal?

My spirit animal?

I think my spirit animal would have to be…


A little late, but everyone likes some turkey leftovers

Well, maybe I can get an award for latest race recap ever? Thanksgiving to New Years was a pretty busy month, and I definitely think that blogging took a little bit of a back seat to enjoying life, working out, and getting worky-work done.

Mike & I met my family out in San Francisco for Thanksgiving this year.  Even though I’m from the east coast, my middle sister moved out to the Bay Area in late summer and we were excited to go visit!  So a family vacation was planned!

We had a lot of fun staying in San Francisco and poking around the Fisherman’s Wharf area.  I hadn’t spent too much time there in past visits, but it’s got a certain charm to it!  Relaxing at a tourist pace, in comparison to the busy-busy of the Union Square area that I’ve typically stayed in.

But what Thanksgiving is complete without a Turkey Trot? This was the sixth year of me running a turkey trot on Thanksgiving, pretty much ever since Mike & I started spending Thanksgivings together! (We began dating in 2006).

So this year was similar, and when we began planning the SF trip, I started looking for a San Francisco Turkey Trot.  Interestingly, this was the only one we found in San Francisco proper, and seems like it has an interesting history.

Screen Shot 2013-01-01 at 7.55.30 PM

So we signed up!  Mike, my little sister Jaimie & I signed up for the 8K run, and my parents signed up for the 5K walk.  My sister Kate wasn’t sure if she’d be able to join us until after the race sold out, so she was our official gear check & cheerleader.

The race took place in Golden Gate Park, which I’d run through as part of the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, and it was a cross-country style race.  So I picked out my muddiest shoes, and Mike packed his cross-country spikes.  What made the race a cross-country style race?

1. No timing chip.  When you finish, there is someone ticking off on a timer, and you line up in the order of finish to hand in the bit on your bib (that they string together) to document the sequence of finish.  I found that the “official” time that they posted for me later was pretty close to my Garmin time, so it seems like this worked. But you did have to stand in line for about 5 minutes immediately after crossing the finish in order to turn in your bib tag.

2. Mostly on grass/non paved surfaces.  This is where Mike’s xc spikes came in handy to grip the ground, where I was sliding slightly.  But there was at least a half mile on sidewalk & road, and Mike reported that it was not fun to run with the spikes on hard surfaces. In hindsight, he would have gone the sneakers route.

The whole family out for a turkey trot!

The whole family out for a turkey trot!

I woke up on Thanksgiving with the starts of a cold, so it was pretty hard for me. I actually had to walk at various points to catch my breath as the congestion took hold.  I finished in a time of 49:42, or a pace of 9:57, which was not too bad given the course, my condition & that I’d barely run since my last trip to San Francisco for the NWM Half a month earlier.

We stuck around to see if Mike won any awards (he finished 12th overall, just past Olympian Shannon Rowbury), and they were giving out turkeys, wine & pie for the awards!  Unfortunately the way they calculated the age group awards (including overall winners) meant Mike didn’t win anything, but my Dad won one of the raffle prizes — a bottle of 2 Buck Chuck!

Fitting for Thanksgiving!

Fitting for Thanksgiving!

I’d definitely do this Turkey Trot again if I was out in San Francisco city for turkey day in future years.  Since my sister & her hubby live in the South Bay, who knows if we’ll be in the city or closer to them for future celebrations!

Happy Turkey Day — 11 months early!  

Half Ironman…

You are registered!

I alluded to a big race goal in my new year’s post.  I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and I finally bit the bullet and registered for 70.3 Racine!

Why I want to do a Half Ironman:

  • I like the half marathon distance. I think it’s my favorite running distance
  • I’ve loved the triathlons I did over the past two years
  • I like the swimming & running components of triathlon — and have been working at my biking this past year
  • I’m a glutton for heavy training!
  • All my friends are doing it… Not a good reason, but many of my triathlon buddies are diving into the half iron training. Now that I know more people it’ll be much easier to find training buddies for those long bike rides!  A number of them are targeting Racine as for their 70.3 race.
Chicago Triathlon Medal

Hopefully it doesn’t rain on race day…

So wish me luck on July 21!  Or that I won’t need luck…

Next up, figuring out my training group & training program.  Just over 6 months to go!  

Some January Goals

OK – we’ll try this out again this year. You heard more about my 2013 goals just recently, so I’ll keep this one short & sweet!

Goals for this month:

  1. Go to yoga (once)
  2. Make some soup!
  3. Eat gluten-free (I find this cleansing and I’m trying to work up my courage to test out Paleo)
  4. Run 60 miles (this is just over my monthly average for 2012)
  5. Swim 6 times
  6. Go cycling outside once
  7. 20 planks this month #plankaday
  8. Kitty blog post?
  9. Move blog to be self-hosted
  10. Pick my Half Iron training group