last weekend i completed my 2nd 1/2 marathon.  i did my first one on Thanksgiving day in 2008.  this time i was 18 minutes faster!!!  pretty nice PR!  it was definitely a challenge.  i think some may think that it comes easy for me, but no no no, it is tough!   only recently having i started considering myself "a runner".  before when people asked me, i would say, "no, i'm just starting out, we'll see where it goes", but now...it is official!  like it said on a shirt i saw at the expo..."running is everything all the other stuff isn't!"  this is so true for me now!  i am hooked!  and here is what i have to say about pain (and yes, there was much pain during the race!)...."pain is weakness leaving the body"..."pain is nothing compared to what it feels like to quit"..."It is at the border of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys"..."make friends with pain and you'll never be alone"..."pain is temporary, pride (and your finishing time posted on the internet) are forever!"...AND..."no pain, no gain!!!"   of course, there were times when i wanted to stop and walk, especially on the monster hill at mile 12....WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT TO US WITH ONE MILE TO GO!!!....but i just kept saying to myself, "why would you walk?"  "there is absolutely no reason to walk!"  "this is less than 2 hours of your entire life!"  and crossing that finish line, with 4 minutes to spare on my goal time, is like no other feeling!  this time, however, i wasn't a cry baby at mile 10 like i was at my first race.  i absolutely knew going in that i would finish, but taking off 18 minutes was a bit of a surprise!  there was actually one point in the race where i thought i could crack 1:40, but that didn't last too long!!!  i had to hold back a bit to make sure i finished strong! so, with my first race of the season under my belt, it is now on to hard core tri training.  first race....Rev3 in Knoxville, TN on may 9th.  this will be my first olympic distance tri...1500m swim, 24.8 mile bike, 6.2 mile run....bring it on! 
and congratulations to Ry, who did the marathon in 3:08 and qualified for Boston for next year!...you frickin ROCK!
here are our short list of secrets (well, they are not really secrets) to success....hard work, SMART work, dedication, patience, consistency, not putting too much emphasis on specific times and goals, positive attitude, and LOVE!

next week, the Functional Food Blog is back on track....first up...GARLIC!  smelly, but SUPER!  stay tuned!