Happy Easter!

easter

Wishing you, your family and loved ones a very blessed Easter!

Advertisements

A Different Type of Thanksgiving

img_6213

A gorgeous sunset on Hilton Head Island by the lighthouse

I had the opportunity to do something different this Thanksgiving which was a relief but at the same time, a little stressful.  For many years my family would travel to my husband’s family as a Thanksgiving tradition.  The past couple of years I’ve spend it in Keystone, CO with my parents, my children (or some of them at least), and my fur boys. This year my parents were driving to Hilton Head Island, SC to visit my brother and his family and had invited my eldest son and to fly in later and join them.  Well, my son didn’t want to lose out on work money (I don’t blame him! As a server in an incredibly busy restaurant, it would make sense to earn beaucoup $!) and, unbeknownst to me, his father had asked him over for the holiday since he already had his brother and sister . He had accepted, not knowing that I hadn’t made any plans as I refused to leave him alone on Thanksgiving Day. Hmm, communication problems?! Yep, I believe so! Argh. ..  Well, now that these other plans were in place, that now meant that I’d be alone on Thanksgiving.

Parents to the rescue! I still managed to book a flight and although my heart hurt being away from my children and things that they had to deal with by being with their dad, I got to visit with my brother and his family in a state they’ve called their home for four years that I’d never seen before, run in a 10K race with a new PR, run on the beach, see some humongous alligators, and make some new memories. I was certainly blessed to have had this opportunity!

20161124_094217.jpg

Thanksgiving Day Race – 5K and 10K participants!

20161125_100651

Mandatory beach run selfie! If I hadn’t have been on a time crunch, I’d have been out there for HOURS!

IMG_6182.JPG

Group shot on the beach following our Thanksgiving meal. It was a beautiful day!

IMG_6169.JPG

My brother and I – we’re only a year and 17 days apart and were very close growing up. Not so much now 😦

IMG_6151.JPG

Easily 12-14 feet long. Gulp! Glad they were on the other side of the water!

img_6227

My new beau (ha!ha!) – and my Dad photobombing in the background (he was actually keeping the nutcracker’s mouth closed!). I love Christmas lights. . .

20161125_095447.jpg

Isn’t this a beautiful walkway to the beach? 

20161126_092247

My Dad and I – one last look at the beach before I headed home. 

thanksgiving

Turkey Trottin’ 2016

Last year when I ran this race I called it The Longest 10 Mile Race EVER and swore I’d never run it again. It wasn’t even an option this summer either, when I was comparing races with my new running buddies until I heard that they had changed the location and the route and since it was during yet another one of my training cycles, I thought, “Why not?” And if I was one of the first 2,000 runners registered, I’d get a free turkey. And who couldn’t use a turkey? (Okay, so maybe that’s not the best reason since my daughter is a vegetarian! Oh, and I still have last year’s in the freezer.) I’m glad I did.

So, prefacing the race was more family/teenage drama. I woke up the morning of the race sick to my stomach, with a thought racing through my head that I hadn’t in the slightest entertained.  I mean, I TRUSTED my daughter, yet why would this thought not go away? Something wasn’t right. Hmm, before the race I confirmed what I knew to already be true.  After the race, I double-confirmed it. Great thoughts to run on, trust me. Grrrr. . . .

We were all lined up in the chute for a good 20 minutes before they told us that we could go back inside due to a delay. Well, I’ll tell you that the real feel temperature was 25 degrees that morning, and standing around waiting for the horn to go off for that long wasn’t the most pleasant. It took a while for my toes to thaw out for I’m sure those guys in tank tops and shorts were feeling it much worse than I was!  Turned out there was a high risk situation somewhere in the area that may  have impeded our safety. Thanks to the race directors for keeping us all safe!

Going into a race there’s always many variables that you usually don’t have any control over.  Weather is one of them, particularly the Kansas wind.  Fortunately, even though the past few days had been gale force winds, it had died down significantly for the race. Yes, it was cold, but at least the sun was supposed to come out. I had a goal for this race knowing that my past two races were 1:32 and 1:31 so I was hoping for around 1:30.  I’d been training well and as long as my IT band didn’t act up again, I felt confident that I would meet it. Due to shuffling back inside and out to the starting line, I lost my fellow runner buddies but I figured I’d meet them on the course somewhere (I only saw them in passing in the last mile:(). All the waiting and the cold even made my MP3 player die before I hit the first mile.  I don’t always run with music, though, so I knew I would overcome yet another challenge this morning. One of these days I should record all of the thoughts that go through my head when I’m running a race.  It’s actually quite comical!

It was a beautiful course with nicely placed water stations that I took of advantage of. I managed to maintain a fairly consistent pace and crossed the finish line with a time of 1:27:18, nearly a 4 minute PR! Yep, I was a happy camper!

Now I’ll need a new goal if I run it again next year.  I haven’t signed up for any other races yet, either, so I’ll need to figure out what’s next! I find having a race on the calendar definitely holds me accountable, as well as running with my group.  I’m going to have to up my mileage a little, too, if I’m wanting to finish 2016 with my goal of 1,000 miles!

turkey-trot-2016

Why do all of my race pictures make me look like I’m dying?  Maybe the photographer should hold up a sign saying “Smile!” as I wasn’t expecting pictures!

We’re Off to See the Wizard . . .ROAD TRIP!

Screenshot_2016-02-15-17-19-11

Yep, one of my Bucket List items – check!  A long weekend due to President’s Day and I couldn’t resist a road trip to Wamego, KS with my 3 kiddos. I mean, really, would I rather do chores or go somewhere fun? Exactly. We left the house before 9 am as it was supposed to take us about 2 1/2 hours to arrive.  We did, of course, stop by QuikTrip for the necessary refreshments prior to hitting the highway!

IMG_5737.JPG

Hwy 77 has plenty of farms and this kind of scenery.

When we arrived the teenagers were more than ready for lunch.  Two of them wanted Subway but my oldest said that was like driving 3 hours to go to Walmart. Good point.  So we looked at Friendship House (not the kids’ idea of a good place to eat: “It looks like someone’s house!”) or Kreem Kup, which ultimately won. Yummy food, that’s for sure!  With full bellies, the museum was next.

IMG_5767

The front of the museum. Very easy to find with front row parking.

When you first enter the museum you go right into what looks like a farmyard shop at Auntie Em’s.  Very friendly staff who not only helped me get as good a deal as I could get on the admission (yay for a college ID!), but she even volunteered to take pictures of us in the museum should we want!

The museum was full of artifacts, characters and a few videos about the making of the movie and the history — in other words, a plethora of information about the Wizard of Oz. We read oodles of signs and even watched part of the movie while we were there.  Here are a few pics of our fun trip.

IMG_5743   IMG_5742.JPG

IMG_5747   IMG_5753

 

IMG_5756

IMG_5766

Perfect photo opp!

A Race to the End & the Beginning

4433 Oz Endurance

3 races in 24 hours offered by Oz Endurance?! Absolutely crazy, right? Yeah, so I signed up for 2 of the 3 instead. Yeah, still crazy. But doing something I enjoy ending one year and beginning a new one sounded FANTASTIC.

Race #1: Run Into the New Year

The race began at 11:45 PM but due to being out-of-town I still needed to pick up my race packet.  Talk about some cool stuff!  A bright, long-sleeve t-shirt and hat along with some new promotional information on upcoming races.

It was a cold, cold night. What do you wear to race in when it’s 21 degrees? I wore an Under Armor base layer, a dry-wicking top, then another dry-wicking top along with a 2 pairs of running tights, a neck-warmer, a hat, mittens, and thick socks. I was freezing until I warmed up with 1/4 mile run prior to the horn and was pretty warm for most of the run except for my cheeks. There was ice on the course with tight corners and it was, unfortunately, a little short of a 5K – 2.91 miles instead of 3.1. My time wasn’t too disappointing considering the ice and cold and the fact that I nearly threw up after I finished. Giving it my all, literally! I came in 2nd in my age group with a time of 24:56.0 (the exact time of my Garmin), missing 1st place by about 13 seconds!!!!

The best part? Seeing the fireworks at midnight, party buses stopping by the river and welcoming in 2016. Such a neat experience! Back at the finish, I received my finisher’s medal, a cookie, water & hot chocolate before I headed home to set my alarm for the next race in just a few short hours!

20160101_005933

Race #2: Hangover Half

Yep, a half marathon to start off 2016! I slept in my running clothes since I only had a few hours of sleep before this race.  More cool stuff – another long sleeve T-shirt and a pair of gloves!  Although the sun was out, it was still cold -23 degrees – and there was a lot of ice on the course. I’ll admit, it was a tough race for me. I’d done my training but after my blood donation, stress from the holidays and traveling, it was a struggle. I came in 6th in my age group with a time of 2:06:41. My Garmin said that I only ran 12.94 miles so I had to add some cool-down time to get my miles right for the day.

20160101_084916

A selfie at the starting line. Horn went off at 9:00 AM!

20160101_115315.jpg

All of my goodies – 2 finisher medals, 2 long sleeve t-shirts, a hat, and a pair of gloves!

I had a lot of fun, though, and it was something I’d never done before! Would I do it again? Not sure.  I’ll see what happens when it rolls around again to sign up next year, and how my muscles feel later as they sure are sore at the moment.  For now, I’ll need to decide what race is next!