Category: USMC

So… a lot has happened since I last posted.

No, I didn’t run last year’s Marine Corps Marathon. But YES, I did defer it for this year, thus allowing me to skip over the newly enacted lottery. Hooray!

Yes, I finally have a treadmill. It is helping me to keep on track with running. Although, it gets boring. Fast. Let’s say at this stage my running is intermittent. Working on it.

No, I am not a volunteer for my husband’s unit new Family Readiness Officer… yet. But not at the fault of not trying on my behalf. The unit went through some changes like a middle aged woman going through menopause.

No, My husband is STILL (!!!!) not been retrained for a job with the USMC. I mean it’s only been three years. But he is the platoon Sergeant so it’s not like he’s not busy. Some of you are familiar with the term “the big green weenie.” My husband happens to be very familiar. On the plus side he’s been going through the process of applying for an aviator contract for Officer Candidate School. I’ll take bets on which happens first- new MOS training or Officer Candidate Course.

Yes, I’m still a stay at home mom. I’ve been really itching to get a part time job or go back to school but it’s just not a good time yet. Perhaps when our son attends pre-school in the fall. At least I can check off applying for the pre-school off my list. Next up: teaching him to pee in the damn toilet. You’d think it would be more fun for boys. Now if only someone could convince him of that. Geesh.

What does this all mean for me?

I’m going to start eating a no sugar diet. Read: no added sugar; natural sugar from fruits are fine. Although this may start out as a low sugar diet since I’m pretty sure I’m an addict. I guess I have to first convince my husband not to buy cookies and ice cream. I think this is going to help increase my energy because I’ve been super sluggish since turning 30… or maybe it’s since the moment I’ve had to be at the beck and call of a child every moment of every waking hour. It’s a coin toss really.

I also get to start shopping and looking into business licenses for my husband’s house in coastal Carolina. We’re turning it into a short term rental in order to offset the cost of mortgage. So far it’s not. At least everything we’re purchasing will be tax deductible. If we go the route of managing our own property I might take a course or five to make sure I have the professional background to keep it running smoothly.


In Memorial… giveaway follow up

… And the prize goes to…


GG! Be on the lookout for an email from me so that I can get your personal message to a troop of your choosing or a random recipient!


Only because you were the only one who participated. I have to admit that I am surprised that only one person decided to take part in my giveaway. While I received a few “likes” which I thought was encouraging, not a lot of participation going on.

If I were to look at this and feel pessimistic, I’d think that people only wanted to participate in giveaways when it’s something they receive themselves rather than them choosing someone else to get a surprise. I could be all “don’t you care about our military?” but I think I’m mostly at fault here. I gave only one way of entering (leaving a comment) and I gave readers three (3!!!!) days to participate on a holiday weekend where I imagine many people travel or have company to entertain. I really couldn’t expect blown away results when I only have a few dozen followers to begin with. So in the event that I do something like this again, I promise to give more time and perhaps do it before a holiday weekend 🙂

But I’m not discouraged and I fully intend on following through with my end of the bargain. I will still send out this care package to a serviceman. Maybe he or she will save a life because I did this. Maybe not. But I’m sure they’ll be grateful that someone back stateside is thinking of them.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy weekend. Now it’s time to fall back into the routine. Godspeed.

In Memorial… Giveaway

I am a military wife. A military daughter. A military granddaughter. A military granddaughter-in-law. Like for many others, this upcoming Memorial Day is not just a “day off” from work or school, or a day to fire up the BBQ grill to me. I hope people of our nation recognize this day of remembrance for what it is… a specific time to acknowledge the lives lost and sacrifices families make when their loved one dies as a result of combat (whether it is killed in action or a life lost later but in direct connection to the effects of combat).

With that being said, I wanted to do something to acknowledge this Memorial Day by sending a Survival Strap to a deployed service member so that he/she may have this tool to save his/her own life or the life of a fellow freedom protector.

but I need your help!

Although, I know a few people who are currently deployed I want to give this wonderful community an opportunity to join in the giving. On Memorial Day, a participant will randomly be chosen to have a Survival Straps Military Care Package sent on his or her behalf to a deployed loved one or a randomly chosen deployed service member. (Randomly chosen by Survival Straps not me!)

Click on photo to return to source

What is a Survival Strap?: A Survival Strap is a bracelet made of military spec parachute cord that can be unraveled in an emergency situation to save their own life or the life of another. If a Survival Strap is utilized share your story and your Survival Strap will be replaced in exchange for the cost of shipping.

{Click on photo to return to source}

What is included in this care package?: A black or OD green Survival Strap, a bag of small candies, and a personal note from YOU!

How to enter: In the comments below, leave a message about Memorial Day, a service member (or all service members) you’d like to thank, or let us know if you or a family member has served. Make sure your valid email is entered where indicated. One entry per valid email please.

Drawing held: Monday, May 27th, Memorial Day 6pm EST via Entries will not be valid after 5pm EST. I will announce the individual on this blog and also send a congratulatory email requesting the name, address, and your personal message to your service member. The name and address of your service member will not be disclosed to anyone without his or her permission and your personal message will remain between you two as well. I am just the messenger. Your message will be sent as written so please make sure the name, address, and message are all typed as intended. If you choose to send it to a random service member you do not need to provide a name or address; just a personal note.

Restrictions: The care package will only be sent to an overseas active deployment address (APO/COB/COP/FOB). I will not disclose the name or address of your service member to anyone without his or her permission. Please do not include a message that can be misconstrued as offensive or derogatory.

Bonus!: Survival Straps donates $5 per care package to the Wounded Warrior Project.

You do not have to share this on your blog or social media (I mean you can if you want to, but don’t feel like you have to).

Please note: I have no affiliation with Survival Straps or Wounded Warrior Project. I am not receiving any kind of compensation for conducting this drawing or mentioning their product/service. I’m just a supporter. Neither my name nor blog name will be present on this care package. This is just me trying to do a small act of kindness for someone you appreciate for service of our country. This package will be of no cost to you but if you do not win I encourage you to check out the website and consider sending one yourself.

Well, this is post is more of a formality than anything. I was sick last week so there’s really not much to update. I ran a 6.1 mile run on Monday and then the rest of the week went down the drain. I was sick for two days (Wednesday and Thursday) and Friday I was feeling much better but not 100%. I had to decide if I was going to attend my husband’s Family Day (weekend) with his unit or stay home and be completely out of my mind bored.

I took a chance and traveled two hours with my family Friday night. I brought a change of running clothes on the off chance I wanted to push myself with a run on the hotel treadmill. On Saturday, my son decided to wake up with the sunrise at 6:30. After breakfast, he requested that I help him put his socks and shoes on so we could explore. More specifically, he wanted to explore the stairwell. Apparently, my son’s idea of a good time is climbing 6 floors of stairs over and over. I obliged him because my husband had our vehicle and I was essentially a hostage to my son’s whims. Negotiations to stop and get some lunch were unsuccessful so between climbing stairs and watching the Disney channel I was going stir crazy and my energy was close to nothing. When the CO dismissed my husband and the rest of the Marines after a long day that included a PFT **(Physical Fitness Test)… that is a 3 mile run, sit-ups, and pull-ups… we were all incredibly hungry. We loaded up the truck and met another Marine and his wife for dinner at Fatz Cafe. They were incredibly impressed with our son’s behavior and to be honest so were we. I think he was happy to get out of the hotel and he does love an audience.

Back at the hotel we continued to converse with our friends until almost midnight. The kiddo didn’t mind as he had been having trouble settling down at night because he assumed we were there for the sole purpose of playing with him. He would regret that decision at 5:30 the next morning when we had to pack up and head to the Reserve Center for 7am formation. We waited around until 11 when we went to a park. Luckily this park had a playground. I’m fairly certain we could have convinced our son that this was Disney World… he was THAT excited. So for the next five hours we took turns following him around on the big kid playscape helping him climb ladders and giving him a gentle shove down slides with a short lunch break. Needless to say the two hour drive back was incredibly quiet because a certain someone fell asleep literally two minutes after we put him in his carseat.

So although I didn’t get a short run in to start rebuilding on my marathon training I did get a lot of exercise in one way or another. Sometimes just being active in any way is all you need to keep things going. Let’s hope my illness hasn’t completely destroyed my training. Can’t wait to lace up my shoes for a run today!

** My husband is in fairly good shape, however, he has been training to get his 3 mile run down to at least 21 minutes. When he’s been going on his marathon training runs he wears his military flak jacket (a vest that contains body armor for protection again bullets and other dangerous fragments in hostile territories). So running with some extra weight and more hilly terrain, he got his 3 mile run down to 22:35… just 1:25 away from his goal to be physically fit enough to attend Officer Candidate School (they have pretty high standards naturally).

Registration Woes & Redemption

Once upon a time….

There was a young woman who felt incredibly compelled to register for a marathon. She had never ran a marathon… not even a half marathon… not even a  10k, but she had been running since the age of 11. Cross country… track & field… and just unofficially pounding the pavement in her free time. She knew that a marathon was a part of her journey. What better marathon to participate in than The People’s Marathon? This is what the Marine Corps calls their branch marathon because you do not need to have run a previous race to prove your projected finish time. Many people chose to do this race as their first marathon because of that. Additionally, they also support many charities participation. Plan B was definitely going to include running through a charity. Plan C was going to be my husband selflessly transferring his early registration to me. Now that’s love!

So today at noon registration opened. I assume, like many others, I was poised at my laptop ready to pounce on the registration link as soon as it was available. BOOM! Clicked it… entered my email and registration information on the form. fizzle….. my first error screen emerged on the screen and my heart sank.’s website was crashed because of all the excited would-be runners. Time: 12:02.


I sat at my computer for the next HOUR refreshing the pages. Sometimes I would get through to the same form where I had provided my information before. Other times, I received a variety of error messages and “please kindly wait as we process the influx of entrants more worthy.” I may be paraphrasing.

Site downErrorInflux

My desire to merely enter was put on hold at one point. That certainly gave me some warm and fuzzies.

On hold

I found myself becoming desperate. My heart was pounding and everything around me was frustrating me. My son asking for more moo (milk)…. I mean what kind of ridiculous request was this when he had just chugged his last cup a mere 10 minutes ago?…. or how my entire home was shaking in rhythm with someone’s too loud music outside. And then I took a deep breath… got my act together… and prayed.

“Please…. please… PLEAAAASSSSSE! I have never felt so much desire for something. All I want to do is run my first marathon with my husband.” My only hope was that God wanted this for me as well.

After the first hour of trying came and went I actually had the slightest bit of hope. Some people were reporting on Marine Corps Marathon’s facebook page that they had made it through and received confirmation. Others, were declaring that they had given up trying because they had to get back to work or pick up a child. This meant that the server was getting a break. I made it to the page where I had to enter my payment information. I clicked submit and held my breath.

“Don’t kick me out. Don’t kick me out. I really want to do this!” My son must think I’m nuts… for many reasons, but today because I was talking to myself.

And then at 1:11 THIS happened….


I imagine this is what it would feel like to purchase a baby unicorn. To obtain the once thought to be unobtainable. To be honest I was overcome with emotion. I had not considered the possibility of not getting registered. And as every minute that ticked by was every minute closer to it being sold out I fought the urge to give in to a heart attack. Last year, it sold out in 2 hours and 41 minutes. I felt helpless as I persistently and sometimes almost violently clicked the refresh button. When my confirmation came through I felt redemption. Like God was saying “I answered your prayer because I believe in you”. So I kissed my son on the forehead and apologized for letting my frustration show through… then we got some moo.

“A journey of a thousand miles began with a single step.” -Lao Tzu

Volunteerism… it’s a sickness

I’ll give you guys a little break from all this challenge talk. Don’t worry; I’m still pushing through but I somehow doubt you need to know what’s happening daily with it. If you’re really all that curious just ask in the comments section.

Things are about to get super busy soon. I’m going to start my marathon training in April in addition to moving. My husband has a couple trainings penciled in. (The Marine Corps likes to keep you continuously guessing.) And I’m trying to get involved in the unit by becoming a Family Readiness Volunteer. I’m doing what I can to fill the hours of my day with constructive activities and helping people just leaves me feeling like the Beach Boys… ya know… feeling those good vibrations?

Family Readiness Volunteers support the Family Readiness Program by welcoming new unit families, providing feedback from unit families, and assisting in information and referral services. When you’re new to the game, you need as the guidance you can get. We may not be on base to get access to all the resources available, but help is always just a phone call away.

When you’re associated with a military Reserve or National Guard unit, there isn’t as much of a sense of community like there is with Active Duty. Families are interspersed across a tri-state area (or sometimes further!) and you see each other twice a year. Pretty hard to forge friendships that way, but you know that when one of your own service members is about to be deployed you’re at that party 3 hours away to wish him/her well. You’re all about helping them pack up and move to a new place. And you’re making sure they come home to a delivery of flowers and congratulations when they have a baby.

So although our community is wide-spread and we don’t get to see each other that often, we’re all in the same situation and if anyone ever needed anything we’d all be there for one another in a heartbeat. I hope I’m not getting all “Army Wives” on you, but there is some truth behind the over-dramatization depicted. The family of my husband’s fellow Marines are the reason why I’m not afraid to encourage my husband to keep moving forward with his military career. Everyone has each others’ backs and that why I want to give something back to the unit. If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t have this special addition to my life. It’s like adopting 45 adults and their families.

Marine’s have three families; the one they’re born into, sworn into, and married into. The one he’s sworn into has become a family to me, as well. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Races, Reps, and Ramblings

Thoughts and experiences on a personal road to fitness

Today I Will Be Fit

What will you do for yourself TODAY to invest in yourself for TOMORROW?

Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal

Mile Posts is a running blog by Dorothy Beal. From how to train for your first 5K to funny memes on how to laugh your way through marathon training. Mile Posts is your go to place for all things running!

All is Fitness

Fitness, health, and wellness are everything.

Eye Love My Fit

My journey from a skinny, hot yoga loving, eyeball nerd to a fit, strong marathon runner and triathlete.

Running Through Life

Training for the marathon called life.

Semper Spouse

A member of the "Silent Ranks" that doesn't want to be so silent.

a witty running pun

stories from a rhode island based runner (probably some cat pictures too)


Form, Flow and Grace

If there is any magic in this world...

The world can be amazing when you are slightly … strange!

Clean & Green Nutrition

Nutrition Information and Recipes

Running in Stilettos

It's About the Journey to the Finish

Run Cardiff Run

Exploring Cardiff's running community

According To Kelly

Finding my way. One step at a time.

College Tri

Giving fitness and triathlons "the old college try"