Family, Running

When Running Groups Collide

After I ran the Kill Creek Trail race in the Tour de Trail 2022 series a few weeks ago, I decided to run Cedar Niles as well. I have heard of the park, but I haven’t been yet. I got registered early enough to pay online this time. I was getting excited as the race got closer.

I saw on Facebook that one of my running clubs, Olathe Running Club, was meeting a Cedar Niles as well. I commented that we would be running a trail race from there the same day. At first, I wondered about parking for the race and parking for my running group. I was also excited to see my group at the race. I later discovered that there were two parking lots about three miles apart for the same trail. My running group was meeting at the 135th street parking lot while the race was at the 119th parking lot.

Parking was still a challenge though because a group of teenagers ended up meeting at the 119th parking lot as well. I’m guessing it was some high school track group doing some training. They stood on one end of the parking lot while we got ready for the race.

Can you see the trail in the distance?

I got there early enough this time to check out the trail map. I saw the trail they wanted to do was a loop. I say, “wanted to do,” because it rained again. This time it was a lot closer to race day and the trails were in fact closed for race day this time. I later heard from someone in the Olathe running club that the chiggers were pretty bad this year. Maybe we missed a bullet on this one. If you do not know what chiggers are, then consider yourself lucky. They are super small bugs (practically invisible) that like to snuggle up between you and any tight-fitting clothing; socks, waistbands, elastic around the legs near the groin, etc. You can get literally hundreds of bites if you do not spray and then take a walk through chigger-infested grass. It is NOT pleasant.

Can you see the runners?
Pretty Hillside

The race was off on time. I kept a good pace and ended up in the back of the pack. At one point the trail zig-zagged in a way I could see the people way ahead of me. I stopped to take pictures here and there. I mean in the back of the pack, I’m not winning anything. I’m finishing though. The weather was nice again and the trails were very pretty. I wore my hair up like I normally do. So, there was no hair elastic mishap this time.

We did an out and back. The water stop was at the other parking lot. I saw a lot of my Olathe Running Club buddies on the way to the other parking lot. They were cheering me. I smiled and said thank you. A lot of the other racers cheered as well. If they said morning or smiled, I would look at them and nod or smile back at them. If they said, “Good job,” I would respond with, “You too.” There were only a few racers that did not make eye contact or say anything. I noticed that they were primarily men if not all men. It didn’t surprise me. Not because men are rude, but because I’ve been taught that you never look away from anybody when you pass them anywhere. If you are walking down the street or running on a trail, you always look at the other person and acknowledge them. It is a safety thing really. It lets them know you see them. You not only know they are there, but you can identify them later if need be. I can’t really think of any women I know introverted or not who do not look at people when walking/running.

I knew I wasn’t going to win any placement when I reached the water stop at the turnaround point. So, I went to look at the playground that was in this other parking lot. It looked kind of cool, but there were no swings. My kids like swings. I did pass a lady on the way out, but she did a quick turn-around while I was looking at the playground. One of my running buddies from my group told me on the way back that there were only 10 other women in front of me. So I would place 11th in women. The lady in front of me ran faster than me, but she walked a lot. I was pretty much running the whole race. So, I eventually passed her again. My time was 1:15:28.2. I was 10 of out 12 women and 22 out of 25 total. That’s not too bad after my run-in with COVID a while ago.

Playground
Waterfall near the parking lot

It was a busy weekend. After the race, I was taking my friend from Texas to a Chief’s preseason game. Her husband and all their kids went. They are fans because she grew up in Missouri and her husband grew up in Kansas. My kids did not want to go to the game. They stayed with my in-laws since my husband had other commitments. Unfortunately, my friend was in town because her father-in-law passed away. I was a bit bashful about asking them to go with me, but then I thought about how I would feel if someone asked me to go if I were in town for a funeral. I would think it was a nice way to uplift our spirits and spend time with friends I do not normally see. And that seems to be what they thought too. We had a really good time. I probably had too much of a good time with the drinks and food. I was not feeling so hot the next day on an eight-hour drive heading to Arkanas for a funeral for my family.

I might have mentioned in another post that I missed my Uncle Sam’s funeral. I think I mentioned in the same post that we missed a lot of funerals in the last few years. At least I have missed some. My husband went to a few for his side of the family while I stayed home with the kids. I was going to try to do something to represent those lost, but I never did. Last Christmas, we went to visit almost all the graves of those lost. We missed Aunt Regina, Cousin Cami, and Cousin Robin.

Well, my Uncle Buck died. I say my Uncle Buck even though technically he wasn’t my uncle. See if you can follow this. My Dad’s sister’s husband’s brother was Uncle Buck. He and his sister Aunt Mary Jo never married. They were like a second set of parents to my cousins. I can’t really remember a time when we came to visit my cousins that we didn’t see them as well. So, when it came time for me to call them something, I called them Uncle Buck and Aunt Mary Jo like my cousins did. I always liked to joke that I had two famous uncles: Uncle Sam and Uncle Buck and they were brothers.

I’m at that age where funerals are sad, but they are also a nice time to see family you don’t see all the time. It was nice to see my cousins. I haven’t seen them since Christmas and we probably won’t be down to see them this Christmas because my daughter is performing with the Youth Chorus of Kansas City. At the funeral, I was seated right in front of the casket. The tears just started to fall out like someone turned on a faucet. I tried to hold them back because I hate crying in public. I know at a funeral you expect crying, but it is just a hangup of mine. As I cried, I came to realize that I had not been to a funeral since my father’s funeral. I wondered for a minute if that was maybe a subconscious decision that I didn’t think about until now. Then it hit me that I was wrong. The last funeral I went to was my grandmother’s funeral the same year my Dad died. 2017 was a really tough year.

I pondered that for a bit as the tears stung my eyes. My cousin, Sammye, was giving the eulogy. She did such a great job, it was kind of weird having anybody else like the pastor speak after her. She pretty much said it all. We did grave-side as well, and thankfully the rain let up long enough for that. It rained on me the whole time I was in Arkansas. Aunt Mary Jo wasn’t at the graveside, but she was at the church. She is in a wheelchair now. I don’t think she recognized me. I hope she realized who I was later.

The drive home in the rain the next day was a little daunting. I tell you one thing, an eight-hour drive will give you lots of time to think about along the way. How is my Mom doing living with my brother? Could my cousin’s suggestion that she has Dementia be right? Why has Mom been so abusive toward my brother? Is it Dementia? Will we see my family for Thanksgiving instead of Christmas? When will we visit my Mom and brother in Virginia? How did my daughter’s first rehearsal with YCKC go while I was gone? I don’t know. This is the rollercoaster called Life.

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Health, Running

I Really Wanted To Kill It

I kept looking at Tour de Trail 2022 and thinking about how much I wanted to sign up for all four races, but I wasn’t sure if I had the time or availability. Then one day I saw a post on Facebook from my friend Kristy. She had already done Lexington Lake. Dang it! I missed one! AND that means I missed the discounted price to sign up for all four! Ugh!

Then I was eyeballing Kill Creek from that same series of races. What was stopping me? The kids? The dog? The kids love the dog, but they are not real good about taking care of him. They would sleep until 10 AM, stay in PJs, putter around, and watch TV when they should really be getting dressed and taking the dog for a walk so he can go potty and stretch his legs.

Well, I was still eyeing the race when I finally decided. Screw it! I’m doing it! I went to the website to register, and it said online registration was closed. Crap! I knew I would pay extra, but could I even still do it? Did they reach the 150 racers? Crud! Did I miss out again? I saw a link to email Team Sparkle who was doing these races and I decided to ask. They immediately responded there would be registration on the day of the race. Yay!

I picked out my clothes the night before and set my alarm. The race was going to be my usual 6-mile Saturday. So, no problem there. Well, actually I was still a little slower since I got COVID a few weeks ago, but I knew I could do the distance. I talk more about my COVID issues here. The race would be fun, and I would see trails I had not run in the Kansas City area yet. I usually do Hash runs for that, but they aren’t always on trails and a lot of the runs in the summer are at 2 PM on a Saturday. That is just too hot for me. I’ve talked a lot about the Hash throughout my blog. Basically, they are a beer-drinking club with a running problem. Depending on what crowd you are with some like trails or bushwhacking (shiggy) and some like more urban terrain (urban shiggy). Some kennels do both, but there are groups that have their favorite. Anyway, I was excited about this trail and this race.

I have only been to Kill Creek park one other time for a Scout event. Google messed me up because I tried to enter a specific shelter then. She took me all the way to Heritage Park instead. If you do not know the area, those two are NOT close at all, and I blindly followed Google. I had a long way to drive to get to the right place. Thankfully, I learned my lesson, and I did not enter a shelter into Google this time. The website for Tour de Trail 2022 actually had an address. I put it into Google, and she got me there. However, I didn’t see a sign for the race, and I forgot what shelter or lot we were meeting. I thought I was screwed until I saw a car leaving from an area I had not ventured. Sure enough, there was a sign for the race there.

I jumped out and walked to the canopy to register. I saw Leia and reminded her I was the latecomer. I’ve met Leia before at other races. We are friends on Facebook. She probably doesn’t remember me since I don’t get out regularly. I got out my credit card and filled out all the forms. I’m vaccinated and boosted, but I also had just had COVID several weeks ago. I was not anywhere near contagious anymore, and I don’t think you can get it again for a while after having it. I’ll have to check on how long your immunities last though. Long story short, COVID was not an issue for me giving it or getting it.

I barely had time to pin on my bib when they asked the runners to line up at the start. Leia talked about how the trail was marked. Being a hasher, I knew how important this was. Polka dots good. Blue bad. That is how it was marked. There was some chalk on the pavement, which hashers also use. She looked over and asked Bryan not to get lost. I looked over too and saw my friends Kristy and Bryan. Kristy said he was with her so, no, he would not be getting lost. I walked up to Bryan and Kristy to say hello. Kristy is the one that made the Facebook post I saw a while back for Lexington Lake. They were also at Running With The Cows race I did a few months ago.

We started and I loved how nice the weather was! It rained a few days ago and they thought the trail would be closed. So, they marked an alternate course on the pavement. I kind of thought the trails would be open again. I saw the weather and it looked nice from Friday on through Sunday. Sure enough, the trails were back open, and they had to go back and mark the wooded trails for the race instead. They didn’t really complain. They seemed super stoked about having nice weather and open trails.

I was enjoying the trail and cooler weather when I realized my hairband was slipping a bit. I went to tighten it and . . .POP! It was gone. I usually wear my hair in a bun because my ponytail tends to get gnarly sometimes. I’m not sure why I didn’t do it today. I was also using one of those bands that has a plastic holder just so you can open and close it. That way you don’t pull your hair when taking it out. It usually stays in my hair just fine unless I open it. For some reason, it popped open on its own. I turned around to try to find it. Some runners passed me, but I think I was close enough to the side to not be in their way. It took me maybe two minutes to realize I wasn’t going to find it and the weather was nice enough it wouldn’t kill me to run with my hair down. The water stop was at about mile 2 and I asked the nice lady there for a hair band. Thankfully she had one! I mean it wasn’t killing me to have my hair down, but it wasn’t comfortable either.

I didn’t bring my water bottle, so I passed on the water stop. We were warned there would not be any cups. I usually run my 6 miles on Saturday without water and just wait until I get home to hydrate. I knew I would be fine. I do not recommend this for everyone. I just know how I am with this distance and type of weather. I’ve seen people run a 5K with so many water bottles around their waist you’d think they were doing a marathon. If that is what they need, more power to them. To each her own.

The nice lady at the water stop mentioned something about a creek crossing. I had thought about bringing my trail shoes, but I was in such a hurry this morning that I ended up wearing my regular running shoes. I’ll admit though, my trail shoes are old and worn. It might not have made a difference. The creek crossing reminded me of some hash runs I’ve been on in the past except usually those crossings are a bit more treacherous. I just motored ahead.

I wondered about the turnaround because I had hit mile 3 and it did not look like we were turning around yet. I wondered if we were going to do a bit over 6 miles. Eh, that was okay. I sometimes go over 6 miles when I do my regular Saturday run if I’m feeling it. I got curious again when I saw we were taking a right turn by the water stop we passed earlier instead of going the way we came. They posted maps of the route, but I didn’t check out the trail since they changed it. Eh, that was fine. I was a little surprised to see the end so soon though. My Garmin was only at 5.41 miles. My results were 1:22:41.0. I was in 15th place in the women’s group out of 21 women, and 26th place out of 34 people. I’m not mad about that.

I was happy to get a cold sparkling water after the run. I chatted with some fellows that had apparently hashed many many years ago. I was comparing this trail to the trail I did back in April in Texas. Hey! At least I wasn’t covered in mud up to my waist like I was back then. I had another nice conversation with a different fellow who was originally from Texas. He was curious where these trails I had mentioned were in Texas. I told him I remembered Yellow Rose being in the name because my friend’s nickname is Yellow Rose. Maybe it was Yellow Rose Ranch. He then told me about several trails he likes in Missouri.

I looked at my watch and realized, the kids should be up and the dog should either be on his walk, or his walk should be done. I got in the car and called. The kids were headed out the door. I think I’ll sign up for Cedar Niles Run next. Maybe I’ll get some pictures next time.

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Family, Health, Running

The Official Day

Everything below is my own opinion. I did not receive compensation for mentioning any of the places I dinned at or products used.

I’m really slacking here. Father’s Day was months ago and on the twin’s actual birthday. I didn’t do a run, but I signed Hubby and Big Man up for a Father’s Day Superhero 5K. I wasn’t too sure about it back when we did the Chief’s 5K. Big Man was complaining something fierce. When it was done, though, he said he still wanted to do the Father’s Day 5K. I reluctantly signed them up for it.

I don’t remember much about the packet pick-up or their experience leaving the house since it has been a while. I remember Hubby dressed as Thor and Big Man dressed as Captain America. I also remember that Baby Girl and I had a little trouble getting there when we left a little later. It was at the old Sprint Campus which I think is now T-mobile. We went the scenic way to get to the parking garage. We got a good spot that was close to the start. We got out and found a shade tree for Baby Girl to sit under and read while we waited.

I really like the shirt

We did not wait long because I timed it just about right to see them finish. They ran as we cheered for them, but I noticed Big Man was very red in the face. He does that when he gets hot. It looks worse than it is. We went to another shady spot to sit down, and as Big Man started to sit, he said, “I hate you, Dad.” Wow! Uh, it’s not just your birthday, dude. It’s Father’s Day! I think I replied to him with something like that. I was just a little surprised by his reaction. Hubby said he had to really push him to do any light jogging especially at the end.

Hubby dressed as Thor and Big Man dressed as Captain America

After they cooled off a bit, I started to look at their results. I thought they did a pretty good pace considering how much Big Man doesn’t seem to like running. We got Big Man’s results pretty quickly with the QR code on the bib. Big Man did 43:54.9. We couldn’t see Hubby’s results though. We kept trying, but they just kept coming up blank. We were already having issues with Running With The Cows results for Hubby. We decided to talk to the people in the trailer near the finish line. They said that sometimes placement of the bib and/or an excessive amount of sweat could cause it to not read. Hubby was drenched and the placement seemed fine. So, it was probably the sweat. Hubby showed them his Strava results. They said they would take care of it. We later saw his results pop up, but we are pretty sure they were just his Strava results. Hubby came in a little before Big Man. So, his time should be shorter, but he forgot to stop his watch. We didn’t complain. Close results are better than no results unless it is for a placement which it wasn’t. Hubby did 44:06.0 which matches his Strava.

I think we have decided to not do any more races with the kids unless they request it. It took me forever to sign up for the KC Zoo Run this year because I was trying to figure out the logistics. I have been running the 4-milers for at least 5 years. I hated the idea of running the 1-mile race. The kids requested the 1-mile race this year. Last year Big Man and Hubby ran the 1-mile while Baby Girl and I ran the 4-mile. Hubby complained about the quality of the 1-mile shirt compared to the 4-mile shirt. So, I thought he wanted to run the 4-mile race. I was really trying to figure out what to do. I mean they are tweens now. I just wasn’t confident about them being responsible enough to know when to head to their starting line on time, lock the car, and keep up with the key. I was talking to my sister-in-law about it when Hubby said he really REALLY didn’t care. So, even though we missed the lower registration price, I signed Hubby and the kids up for the 1-miler while I do the 4-miler by myself. We will see if Hubby complains or not.

After the race, we decided to go have breakfast at The Shack. We actually decided that the day before the race. It was a bit of a wait, but Hubby walked to Panera in the same parking lot to get himself some coffee. The kids noticed paper crowns in the window of The Shack. When we were finally seated, we told them we were celebrating Father’s Day and the twin’s birthday. So, our waitress got them crowns. The crown Baby Girl picked said something about it not really being her birthday, she just wanted a crown. She grabbed a pin and marked off the part about not being her birthday.

I know, she put “it’s” above the crossed off “not.” So it reads, “it’s it’s really my birthday.” I told her.

We had a nice breakfast. We even talked to my brother. Our mother had to move in with him because she just can’t live on her own in Arkansas anymore. Our house doesn’t have any bedrooms on the first floor. She just can’t do stairs anymore. My brother’s house in Virginia is one story. So, she moved to Virginia. They were bumping heads that morning about an issue I can’t remember. So, we called them to see how things were going. By the time we called, they had ironed everything out between them.

I had some kind of peanut butter pancake with bacon

I don’t really remember much after that since it has been so long. I want to say we had a nice dinner. I just can’t remember where we went. Baby Girl, Hubby, and I got COVID a few weeks later. Thank goodness Hubby and I are boosted and the kids are vaccinated. I think it would have been worse if we were not vaccinated. Big Man consistently tested negative and showed no symptoms other than some sneezing which might have been allergies. We wore masks to ensure he didn’t get it or pass it on to someone else. Hubby found out he had it while in Chicago on business. His coworker drove Hubby back home. Hubby’s coworker does not like to fly so he had his car with him. They wore masks the entire way. Hubby’s coworker never got it either.

I wasn’t very fast before COVID, but I’m even slower now. I feel like I can breathe just fine. It is my stamina that is lacking. I just need to get back at it. I’ve been eyeing Tour de Trail 2022. We will see if I do any of those races.

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Running

Not Very Brotherly

I’ve mentioned that I belong to some virtual running groups. I love Doctor Who among many other fandoms. I first belonged to the Whovian Running Club. Well, it was called something else first. I got a medal or two from this one group. The last one I purchased, some drama happened. When you do a virtual run, basically you pay for a medal to be shipped to you. The distance required to run would be done at your own discretion. Well, we paid for a River Song themed medal but we never got the medal. Rumors went around about a lady that used the money to help her stay in the US among many other rumors. Then a company called Random Tuesday started the WRC and offered to give all those that purchased the old medal from the old group a different Doctor Who medal to make up for it. The group was so much better and operated more efficiently. Hundreds of people joined, some never knowing anything about the old group or old drama. It was nice.

I soon learned they had a Harry Potter group and a group for the Gilmore Girls, I think. I’m a Harry Potter fan, but I was already spending so much time and money in the Doctor Who group, that I was afraid to join another group. A few years later, they created another group called the Fanthropy Running Club. The first two medals got me to join, but I didn’t purchase them right away. I was a big fan of the show Supernatural and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Those were the two medals I wanted but waited to get. They would also make shirts, and you could download a bib for the races. They picked a charity for each race to give part of the proceeds. They even partnered with a local charity, called Noah’s Bandage Project, here in Kansas City Metro once.

They have an option to pay for all the races for that year without knowing what they are or pay as you go. I think you might get a bit of a discount for paying ahead for all of them, but I could be wrong. I know you get a special prize. I think it is called a key holder for the WRC. They like to tease you with different hints as to what theme the next race will be. The last one I did is the K-9.

I always loved that robot dog, K-9 from Doctor Who. I thought it appropriate since I’m now a new dog mom. I almost always get the requested mileage on one of my regular runs. I’ve never made a special day of it, but I still enjoyed the medals and it felt good to help a charity.

Well, that is coming to an end. Apparently, Warner Brothers took issue with the Harry Potter club. I don’t know all the details. I don’t think the group is allowed to tell us much at this time, but it really sucks! I mean I get that you own something and should be able to control how it is used, but I mean where is the line drawn? I’m not a lawyer, but there is so much fan art and fan fiction out there. I guess one would say if you put it out there for free, then it isn’t much of a problem. I guess it is when money is exchanged, that they take issue. For charities though? Why take issue with that? Coming from the old group, I can be skeptical, but they’ve been pretty transparent with sharing pictures, thank you letters, and video messages of thanks from the various charities and groups. They even gave updates on some of the old charities from previous themed medals. Some members will even gift a medal to a star from the show when they meet them at a Con. If you don’t know what a Con is, it’s where a bunch of fandoms holds a convention of sorts. You pay to meet movie stars, take pictures, and get autographs. You can attend meetings to have Q&As about the show or get sneak peeks. Lots of people wear costumes or Cosplay as their favorite characters. The big one is San Diego’s Comic-Con. The local one in KC is Planet Comicon. Anyway, some of the actors really enjoyed it. I’ve personally never been to a Con. I’m afraid of how much money I would blow. I know I would have a blast, but I just haven’t done it. I’ve heard stories of how nice John Barrowman is and how much he loves our groups. He is from Doctor Who, Torchwood, and other great shows. It is just really sad it has to end.

I’m trying really hard not to blame Warner Brothers since I don’t have the full story. Since it is a legal matter, I probably won’t know the full story. Did I mention it is just all so sad that it is coming to an end? I really liked having a place where I could share things with people that truly appreciated all my nerdiness.

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Family, Running

Running With the Cow Ow Ow Ow Ow

This one always gets me. I mean, I think I’ve mentioned this before. I just hate being able to see miles and miles away and know it isn’t the end. It’s seriously mental torture. Running With the Cows has always been my least favorite route, but my favorite post-race food.

Hubby got our race packets. I’m sure the kids would have loved going to Prairie Fire Museum, but I had to take them with me to run other errands to catch up after my episode from that Wednesday. I just did not feel good Wednesday and I didn’t even take My Girl to gymnastics. So, Hubby went to Prairie Fire to get our race packets.

I signed the kids up for a theater workshop at a local high school the same day as our race. My in-laws were going to pick them up and take them while we were gone. I was super excited for them. They have been kind of interested in theater ever since their cousin Ryan got into doing Theater in the Park and some high school plays.

We got up super early, but Hubby was dragging his feet as usual. I was worried that I had underestimated our arrival time to the race. We were 10 minutes out from the house when I noticed he wasn’t wearing his headphones. I thought maybe he might have them under his shirt. I asked him and he got mad. He forgot. He wanted to turn around, but we would definitely be late.

We forgot that if you are not early enough you have to go a little further South and then drive back North to get into the parking area because they have that first exit closed. We parked in the back this time. We never parked there before. I kind of liked it since we had the paved road to walk to the start. Hubby kept telling me we were fine since more cars were parking. I remembered there was a 5K at 8 AM. I told him not to be fooled. These people could be running the 5K. We made it just in time though. We kind of lined up where we spilled out which was close to the beginning.

We were not that far into the race when I heard him. The guy from The Year I Got The Runs YouTube Channel. I had made a comment about doing Heartland 39.3 Series on his Liberty Half Marathon video and how he passed me earlier in it. He said to come up and say hello to him. So, I did. I now have a quick blurb in his Running with the Cows video.

I did pretty well the first six miles, but of course, I run six miles every weekend. It was about mile eight that I did A LOT of walking. My friend Bryan saw me in beginning and said hello. He was going at a good pace. I ended up passing him as I was walking around mile nine or ten. I had seen on Facebook how he had forgotten he even signed up for the race. I don’t think he was super stoked about it. I was really struggling around mile eleven, but I was able to pick up the pace a bit because I knew it was almost over. I was so hot. All I wanted was to dunk my head in some ice. It was only in the eighties or upper seventies. Although there isn’t much shade in the fields in Bucyrus, KS. My legs and shoulders hurt a bit too. A lady in a small cart drove by holding out a water bottle. I grabbed it in hopes that it was cold. It wasn’t. I still drank a bit to try to feel better.

I crossed the finish line and walked toward a grassy shady spot. I wanted to sit down because I was seeing spots. I felt like I might pass out. Hubby saw me and gave me cold chocolate milk which really helped. I was lucky enough to be behind my friend, Kristy’s yoga tent. She had a folding chair that I sat down in to get my bearings. Her husband, Bryan, wasn’t in yet. Hubby and I got in line for my Heartland 39.3 series prize. Hubby finished around 2:36 on the clock. My chip time ended up being 2:57:52.6. So, he was in a bit before me. I still can’t see his chip time on the website. I sent the officials an email asking where his results were. Anyway, he already got his Heartland swag and told me they were no longer doing the stickers for the year to put on the old plaque that went around the first medal we got for Heartland a few years ago. We were both bummed about that because we only had three slots to finish it; two if they had the stickers for this year. The swag ended up being another medal and a long sleeve technical half-zip shirt. It was nice, but we still wanted the sticker.

Hubby suggested I get my food while he held my place in line for the Heartland swag. I didn’t know what he meant. Usually, the school there opens the cafeteria or some other big open space to set up rows and rows of tables with food and drinks. I quickly found out that it was different this year. It was a big L-shape area of tables. You started with grabbing a small fabric-type backpack with individually bagged snacks already inside. Then you walked along the tables to collect fruit like apples and oranges. Then you could get a hamburger wrapped in foil and small packets of condiments. Last was the dessert table. It looked like people made homemade cookies and the like and put them in Ziploc bags so you could grab and go. It was still a lot more food than most races. I almost missed the Louisburg Cider table. I got some cider and a doughnut. The doughnut was awesome!

When we were done with the food line and Heartland line, we noticed that Bryan was with Kristy. We went back by to say hi. I started to feel bad again. Bryan was sitting down and offered me his chair. I knew he just got in and I was worried he needed it, but he said he was fine. I was seeing spots again. Kristy got me an icy wet cloth. I put it on my face and it was everything I thought it would be. I felt so much better. Hubby suggested that we find a place to eat once I felt up to it. I thanked Kristy and Bryan for helping and we walked to a little rock garden the church there had with benches. We ate our hamburgers, drank some more chocolate milk, and ate some cookies. We took the rest of our goodies and our bag and headed home.

It’s fake!

We got home to let the puppy out and get cleaned up. We didn’t have long before my in-laws came by to go with us to see what the kids learned in their theater workshop. They had an opportunity to be in several short classes to learn different things throughout the day. One was make-up. I put them both in that since they are big Syfy Face Off fans. Big Man ran up to me to show me his leg. I was super concerned because there was a big cut. He just smiled and said, “Don’t worry, Mom. It’s make-up.” Whew! He went back to his group and then went on stage to do a short skit. My Girl sang a bit of Mamma Mia with some other kids. We stayed and watched the short play the high school kids put on called, Goldilocks on Trial. It was cute. I think the kids had a really good time. I was just happy they weren’t on screens all morning while we were gone.

So, we finished our Heartland 39.3 Challenge. I still haven’t signed us up for the Zoo Run yet. I did sign up Hubby and Big Man for the Father’s Day Superhero 5K. We will see how that goes.

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Family, Running

Make Your Own

Rain Rain Go Away

So My Girl and I have been running the Mother’s Day 5K for about four years now. On our first run, one of My Girl’s Pre-K teachers told us that she runs it every year. Her husband cheers for her for a bit and then immediately leaves to get a table at a nearby restaurant to have a nice breakfast together. That sounded so lovely. We tried doing that the second year we did ran the race. My husband and son stayed with us until we finished the race which was nice. However, when we left to eat, we ended up waiting a really long time for a table. The following two years were very upsetting. I understand there was COVID and all, but last year restaurants were open. You could do the race in person, but spectators were not allowed at the race. So, I told Hubby to just get us a table somewhere while we ran. I even gave him a certain time I thought we would be done. That way, we could have that nice breakfast together. When the race was over, I called and he was still in bed. I was NOT happy! He did cook for us all later after I was upset. I also expect to at least have the day off on Mother’s Day. You know if the kids need something, he takes care of it. Nope! That didn’t happen the last two years either.

This all leads to my plan this year. Don’t invite the husband to breakfast. I was worried my son might be upset and feel left out. My daughter picked out just the right place for breakfast. As I may have mentioned, my son is a picky eater. I checked with Big Man to see if he cared about where we were going. He did not. Plan all set! I invited my sister-in-law, her daughter, and my mother-in-law. My mother-in-law said she would be at church. My sister-in-law and niece were a go though.

My Girl and I got a good start. We parked and I decided to go ahead and check a different route to get out of there when the race was done. The police officer from the previous year wasn’t very nice to us. They had the decorated porta-potties back, but there were put in a different spot. I didn’t get a picture this year. We also saw a shoe recycle. I was happy to see that. The kids had just outgrown some shoes that were worn A Lot! I just happen to have them in the car too. I knew I had to go back to the car and get them after the race. We ran into the nice lady, Susie, that used to be in charge of children’s ministries at our church. I spaced and didn’t get a picture of her and My Girl together. Ugh!

A nice lady that we found out earlier was one of the race directors took me and My Girl’s picture. She had seen us at the packet pick-up earlier that week and took our picture then as well. She loved the fact we were wearing our race shirts from previous years. She posted the packet pick-up picture on Facebook and then posted our race day picture with several others in an email sent out to everyone.

I had thought My Girl and I would be hot and sweaty for this one. My weather app showed sunny and 82 degrees earlier in the week. As Sunday got closer though, that changed to rain. And rain it did! We started the race at 8 AM about the same time the rain came. It wasn’t bad though. It was more than a sprinkle, but not a downpour. It was manageable, unlike that one year I did Four on the Fourth in the rain. I had to wring my running skirt out every few steps or so.

I did my long run the day before this 5K. I usually do the Running With The Cows Half Marathon the day before this run. I was pretty happy it wasn’t the same weekend this year. Still, I was fine running My Girl’s pace. She actually did really well. She wanted to follow the plan we did for the Trolley Run which was picking one point to run and another to stop. It worked out great. She finished 7th in her age group! She got 42:44 and I got 42:46. She kept telling me we would cross together holding hands. Instead, she took off when she saw the finish. The little stinker! It was all good though.

I ran to the car and got the kids’ old shoes. I put them in the shoe recycle while she stayed in the car. We already got our cookies and water. My Girl tried the cookie in the car while I was gone. She didn’t like it at all. They were pretty, but I’m not a sugar cookie fan anyway. She eats them every now and then, but she didn’t like these.

We followed my other exit out of Corporate Woods with no problem. It was so nice to not have to cross a barricade or an angry police officer. We got to the restaurant in no time. I was surprised that there wasn’t a long line. We were the first to show up with running clothes. We got a seat right away. I mean, we picked a place close by, but I know there are a bunch of other breakfast places closer to the race. Maybe the crowd stuck closer to the venue. My sister-in-law and niece were not there yet. Our waitress tried to flag over some other runners when I told her we had two more coming. I think those were the only other runners that ended up coming to that restaurant!

My sister-in-law and niece came a few minutes later. We had a really nice breakfast. My sister-in-law invited us all to come to her house for dinner. We went home and my son was up and about. He had already eaten his breakfast and Hubby went cycling. My kids gave me cute pictures they drew of me. My daughter had a form she filled out on the back about me. My son’s picture was on an envelope that had several strips of paper saying why he loved me. My daughter made some pens with flowers on the end to make my workspace look pretty.

I snugged my kids and rested the rest of the day until we went to my sister-in-law’s to eat. When Hubby got home, he showered and was ready to go pretty much on time. All and all I had a nice Mother’s Day. My kids made it special and I made sure I got my nice relaxing breakfast. I didn’t get mad. I wasn’t disappointed. Next weekend is Running With The Cows. Did I mention how happy I am it wasn’t the same weekend like it has been in the past? I’ve heard rumors that this is the last one though. We will see.

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Uncategorized

Walk Slower, Mommy

That is what I heard during both races a few weekends ago. I understood I would not be making any PRs running with my 9-year-olds, but they’ve done it enough, you would think they would remember what to expect, right? Wrong! I felt like I had two really “Negative Nancys” or “Grumpy Guses”. Let’s start with the first race, shall we?

Chief’s 5K

Thank goodness the Chief’s 5K was on a Friday night. I did the packet pick-up earlier in the week at Chiefs Fit. It looked like a Chiefs-themed gym. It wasn’t too far from our house. The packet pick-up for the Trolley Run was along the way to the Chief’s 5K that night. It was at Gary Gribbles on Ward Parkway. So, we stopped to get it on our way.

Parking wasn’t bad. We got there in plenty of time. There were drummers, a DJ, and Spiderman to entertain us. The kids got pictures with KC Wolf. The corral seemed to have a lot of space. I know there were a lot of people there. I just think there used to be more. It was quite the sea of yellow since that was the color of the shirts. My Girl asked to run with me, but when we got started Hubby took off and she followed. Big Man was stuck with me.

Did I mention my son was mostly into drums, video games, and magic? I didn’t? Well, none of those things are very physical. Mmmm maybe drums. He complained almost the entire time. We walked a good deal of the 5K. Apparently, I walk a lot faster than him. I tried the whole, “let’s run from point A to point B thing,” but he wasn’t having that until almost the end. It wasn’t very fun for me. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t for him either. He even said he wanted to back out of doing the Father’s Day Superhero 5K.

My Girl and Hubby were at the end ready to high-five us along the way. They beat us by about six minutes. Hubby’s time was 41:43, My Girl was 41:44, and Big Man and I were 47:15. They didn’t have medals this year. Some years they do and some they don’t. Big Man was a bit disappointed. Ending the race on the field with all the games and stuff was fun though. He wanted to leave when he found out we had to buy the sodas. Then he didn’t want to leave when we played Tiki Toss. We did the decibel booth too. It’s a booth that has soundproofing inside along with something that can tell you how many decibels you can scream. I think we did pretty well. The four of us got 113 decibels! We really enjoyed the pulled pork sandwiches they had too except for Big Man. He’s a bit of a picky eater. Hubby enjoyed the free sample shots of whiskey. I’m not a whiskey fan. Big Man had enough fun that he got what I call “racer’s amnesia” and said he wanted to sign up again for the Father’s Day Superhero 5K again.

We actually kept getting distracted leaving. That was okay though. Rock The Parkway should take note that this race started at 7 PM. This was just a 5K and the party wasn’t set to shut down until 10 PM! We stopped to check out some of the exhibits as we left. Then we got a few pictures. We even collected a few KC Hearts. If you haven’t heard, Kansas City gave several artists 154 fiberglass hearts to decorate or paint and put them all over the Metro. We ended up getting home pretty late. Thank goodness we didn’t have to go anywhere and we slept in on Saturday.

CCVI Trolley Run

Sunday was a different ballgame (no pun intended). The same weekend as the Chief’s 5K My Girl and I had to get up super early Sunday to catch a bus to the start of the CCVI Trolley Run. This run always stresses me when it comes to parking and catching the bus. First, you have to find a place to park at the Plaza. I did okay with that this year. Then you have to walk to the designated bus stop and catch a bus that seems to take forever to get to the start even though it is only four miles away.

If you have read any of my posts where I do runs with my husband, you will know he is never worried about time. We are almost always barely making it to our races. This time, it was me! I totally misjudged the time. Our wave was supposed to start at 7:25 AM. We were still on the bus at that time. When we got off the bus, the walkers and people with strollers were leaving. We had to just run through the start. The announcer said, “The start is open and the finish is waiting for you.”

My Girl was just as whiney as Big Man was Friday night. She did not want to run and complained about how fast I was walking. We still have a Mother’s Day 5K coming and this was NOT fun for me. I told her as much. I asked why on Earth they do these runs if they don’t like running. She didn’t give me an answer, but she was a bit more receptive to the goal-type running after a while. We just had to agree on the starting point. The first two miles weren’t great, but the last two miles were much better.

We stopped to collect another KC Heart. I got a few on the Plaza on the way home from the Chief’s 5K Friday. I knew if I missed any, we would get a chance to get them Sunday on our other race. I didn’t realize there was one on the route though.

We did the walk/run thing, but we ran through to the finish. My Girl and I got 55:20. Not bad considering I wanted at least a 15-minute mile pace and we got a 13:50 pace.

My Girl enjoyed the after-party. We got Andy’s Frozen Custard and chocolate milk. She got some candy and a cookie. I got yogurt. We sat down on a curb in the Plaza to eat our goodies. A nice gentleman was sitting nearby and chit-chatted with us. He was a pacer for the 52-minute finish. We might have ended with him if we had started on time. I had a friend run the 4 miler as well, and his wife had a booth for her yoga classes that she teaches, Yoga Reimagined. We stopped and talked to them a bit. I saw a post he put on Facebook later with some pictures. Apparently, he knew the gentleman we sat next to and had a nice conversation with on the curb. What a small world, huh? Oh, and the guy that did that video of the Liberty Run was at the Trolley Run too. We weren’t in the video this time. I mean we were SUPER late to the start and this guy is a lot faster than us. I gotta say, the late Winter and Springtime in Kanas City seem to be our “race season.”

My Girl got her face painted at one of the booths before we left. We decided to collect a few more KC Hearts along the way home. Needless to say, it was a very busy weekend, but it didn’t stop there. The following week, we had some event or another every day! I was even in charge of the school Fun Run where the kids raise money for the school and run laps outside for about 30 minutes. I was very nervous, but even with the weird weather and schedule changes, we survived. Next up is the Mother’s Day 5K.

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Running

Classic Rock

I have been feeling bad about not doing the virtual Rock the Parkway from 2020. We never signed up for the 2021 race because they were not doing the Heartland Challenge. Hubby sounded like he didn’t really want to do the virtual Rock the Parkway. We only had to do two virtual half marathons for 2020. We got to run Liberty in person before the world shut down, but had to run Running With the Cows virtual. We thought we would get to do Rock The Parkway in person later in 2020, but that never happened. We ended up doing this year’s Liberty and Rock The Parkway and we still have not done the virtual Rock The Parkway.

This might not have been the smartest thing, but when you do a half marathon one day and a full marathon the next, it doesn’t seem so bad. Of course that was The Goofy Challenge we did in 2016. We also did back to back half marathons two weekends in a row for the Heartland Challenge in 2018. Anyway, I did my virtual Rock The Parkway all by myself the weekend after the in-person Rock the Parkway. I did some out and backs on the Indian Creek trail. I was still short about a mile. I had to do a little extra through some neighborhoods to get all my mileage. I did it though! I earned my medal!

I think this is the shirt for 2020. It’s been a while

Hubby was at home with the kids. So, I didn’t push it too hard. I did it in 3:14:28. I was tired, but I did it. I figured if Hubby wants to do his, I’ll still run it with him. It might be a while. We have lots of other things coming up. April is super busy. Just wait, I’ll probably have to combine the Chiefs 5K with the Trolley run blog since they are in the same weekend. We will see.

Side Note: I was trying to find a link for my virtual Running With the Cows. I couldn’t find it! I actually still remember a bit from the run. It was horrible. I had to look at my Garmin information to see that we waited until August to do it. We did it August 22, 2020. We did 13.15 miles in 3:14:24. I guess I do a LOT better at in-person runs! I also saw that I did no other half marathons after that until Liberty this year. Wow! Another reason I put on the pounds last year.

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Running

Liberty Rocks!

As you may know from the last post, we signed up for the Heartland Challenge again. The two races were close enough that I just decided to wait and write about them together. Probably a bad idea since I don’t remember much about Liberty now. Especially since I went to a Texas Hash campout in between the two. Here is what I do remember.

I didn’t train like I should have for the Liberty Hospital Half Marathon. Since I didn’t train, my husband didn’t train. Well, he was training for 50-100 miles gravel bicycle races which helped his endurance. I mean I still do my Jeff Galloway base training as I have mentioned. Two shorter runs during the week and a long run (6 or more miles) on the weekend. Still, 6 miles is less than half the distance of a half marathon. I knew I would finish, I just thought it would be a 3-hour finish and I would be really, really sore. I actually did better than I thought I would.

I also wasn’t as nervous about getting to the start for some reason. Even with the addition of a puppy at home. I was just a little (not much) more relaxed. They said to come at 6:45 AM for an 8 AM race. Even that early they still suggested parking at the church and taking a shuttle. Well, we showed up around 7 something and went to the Mabee Center anyway. There were no spots left except at a parking lot across the street. I told Hubby that would be fine. Instead, he parked in a spot that wasn’t a spot, but it was out of the way. A car in a space in front of us left and before we could move another car got it. At least two other cars parked behind us. So, we weren’t the only ones.

It was cold. Of course, it was cold. It’s March in Kansas. I mean you might get lucky and hit a warm day, but I don’t remember running a Liberty race that was warm. Of course, I’ve only run three or four. We got out of the car and made it to the start just as they were finishing the National Anthem.

We headed out. At least it was sunny. Hubby didn’t stay with me or try to prod me to stay with him which was nice. I know we are not at the same pace. Still, when I came to the town square and saw the painted wings on the side of the building again, I really wanted someone to take my picture. I did however see a Kansas City heart and stopped to take a picture. If you don’t know what that is, let me tell you briefly. Kansas City got 154 fiberglass hearts, gave them to artists to paint, and placed them all over the Metro. I’ve “collected” a few. I even downloaded an app for it. I had to stop and take a picture to “collect” it because how often am I in Liberty?

I also saw a guy run by me while taking a video. I’m on the Trail Nerds Facebook group and we’ve done a few races and runs with them here, here, and here to just reference a few. I think that is how I found his YouTube Channel, The Year I Got The Runs. Anyway, he looked familiar. My YouTube will sometime suggest videos and there was his Liberty video. Sure enough, I can see my white vest behind him at about 51 seconds in the video. I can’t see my face because the sun was so bright behind me. I guess that is one good thing when you wait to write about a race you did.

I didn’t see Hubby the rest of the race until we got to the circle near the frat houses. Oh, I was grateful we did not run around the hospital parking lot before that. They had us on trails near it. Much better! Thank you, race organizers! Oh, I should fill out the survey they sent and tell them that. Also, I saw a young kid at the hospital running with his dad or uncle. I can’t imagine a kid that young running a half marathon. I thought my kids were doing well with 5Ks and 4 milers. Oh, and the kid and his male counterpart did pass me. I try not to let things like that get to me. They did their training and I just have to run my race.

Back at the frat house, I did get a beer (woohoo!). I knew Hubby would finish a little ahead of me. I thought maybe 3 minutes or so. I was a little off on that. I’ll let you know at the end here. I want to compare it to Rock the Parkway Half Marathon.

The snacks were on the field at the end as usual. I had chocolate chip cookies, chocolate milk, a Kurt bar (which my husband really likes), and a banana. The banana was not really ripe at all. I threw it away and got another chocolate chip cookie.

We headed back to the Mabee Center for our other beer. Hubby was hobbling and walking super slow. We also took pictures at the backdrop. They still had a photographer and said they would be on the website too. he took some with our phone as well. Hubby realized after we took our picture that I had salt all over my face. I’ve never had that much salt on my face after a race or anything really.

So, the first weekend in April (right after this race) I went to Texas. I went to Yellow Rose Canyon and had a freaking blast. One of my running groups I’ve mentioned, the Hash House Harriers, has several events. The Texas groups have an annual event for the whole state. People ask me when/where I used to live in Texas. I have never lived in Texas. I just know a lot of cool people there. I’m what I like to call Texas adopted.

My friend Lori, her son, and friend Carol picked me up at the airport. She wanted Chic-Fil-A just for time’s sake because she was helping organize the event. I asked if it was okay if we went somewhere with margaritas and guacamole. They said yes! This is my second time going to Texas without kids or Hubby and I was just sooo excited. I love my family, but sometimes “distances make the heart grow fonder.”

We did a pub crawl that night. I got some good dark beer. I even bought some for the camp-out. Oh, my! A chocolate peanut butter porter called . . . wait for it . . . I just love the name . . . and the flavor . . . It was called Sweet Baby Jesus. I loved it. It just made me smile.

The camp-out was about a three-hour drive the next day. Lori was really stressed because she had the check-in list and we were running behind. She emailed it to one of our friends that was closer to the event. Our friend, Karen, had it printed and would be there before us. The other people at the event didn’t seem too relieved at this and kept calling Lori. Karen made it well before the official opening and gave them the list.

We actually had a cabin. It makes it easier for me to fly if I don’t have to pack a tent. Our cabin had about nine people in it. It was really nice. It had three bedrooms with a bunk bed. I was super happy to have indoor plumbing and a nice warm bed, but I was a little concerned about trying to get into the top bunk after a day of drinking. It was all good though. I survived with no accidents. My friend, Eric, had a cabin to himself. It was smaller, but quite the “bachelor pad.” It had a small bar inside with a blender.

I had an awesome time catching up with old friends. I saw one of my friends Becky and Mike converted a van into something like a mini RV to go camping. It was awesome! There was good food, good music, and really good company.

I decided to do one of the runs since I had another half marathon the next weekend. I did the 5-mile “But Did you Die” trail. I forgot to start my Garmin for about the first quarter mile. I can’t remember if it was before that or after that when I fell into the Bog of Eternal Stench! I mean I was up to my crotch in Texas muck! My friend, Bubble, ran by me. He ended up crawling on his belly to get out of the muck. Then he was gone! I thought, “Whoa! I’m still here.” I had to grab a vine and thankfully it didn’t snap. I pulled one leg out, but the other wouldn’t budge. I had to hold the vine, a tree, and another gentleman pulled my leg. I was finally free but covered in muck. When I found my friend at the beer stop, I had to tease him a bit for leaving me.

I gotta tell you about this muck. The trail ended up being probably about 4.25 miles which is fine. I rinsed off at the main showers outside. I didn’t think the landowners wanted me getting the majority of the mud off in their nice cabin showers. Once most of it was off, I went to our cabin to take a regular shower. I rubbed and scrubbed, but it wouldn’t all come off. I had to scrap it off. When I was done, I saw what all the thorns and snapped back branches did to my legs on the trail. You might think that sounds horrible, but I still had a blast.

I didn’t ride back to the airport with my friend Lori. I rode back with the nice couple that arranged the cabin for all of us. I was sad my trip was over but happy to see my family. I got on my Parade of Hearts app when we started home and found a few near the airport. The airport is a ways away from home, and I’m just not up there much.

I did my regular runs during the week up to Rock The Parkway Half Marathon. I joined the Olathe Running Club again after a few years’ hiatus. They were going to meet at 7 AM to take a group picture. The race started at 7:30 AM. I made a note on Facebook that we would probably not make the 7 AM meet-up. I wasn’t worried about parking for this one. Hubby works close by and in a lot where his badge could get us in. We didn’t need it though. We parked at a nearby school. Usually, it is almost full. This year, there were plenty of spots.

We got to the start again just as they were singing the National Anthem. We were at the front of group F. They had groups up to G. I thought there were only 7 waves, but actually, they had a group AA. So, there were 8 waves. Hubby thought we left the start at 7:42 AM, but I remember seeing 7:43 AM on the clock. So, if they were doing the waves in 2-minute increments, we actually left around 7:44 AM. I’ll let you know why that is important later.

Oh, and this guy all of sudden pulls a metal fence in front of us to keep us from going with group E at the start. What!!! I mean that didn’t happen to the other groups. I was a little irritated because a metal fence is a little harder to get out of the way when the time comes than say something they usually use like a rope. The DJ even mentioned how group F wasn’t smiling or looking like they were having fun. He wondered if we had second thoughts.

The fence was out of the way and we finally got to go. Hubby took off and I wasn’t too far behind. We were way ahead of group F for a while. Then I had a lot of people pass me. The 2:30 pacers passed me fairly early. I thought I saw my favorite pacer, Cristal, with them. I did really well the first 6 miles. I knew I was going to have a better time in this race than Liberty.

I thought maybe I would see a heart on this race. I did NOT! Not even at Loose Park. I was sure there had to be one, especially at Loose Park. I thought maybe I just wasn’t looking hard enough. I later looked at the Parade of Hearts app and there is not one there. I was shocked and a little disappointed at that. The 2:35 pacers passed me somewhere around this time. Oh, a little before that. There is an open square area in the neighborhoods where we usually run on this race. In past races, there has been beer there. This year, no beer. That was a downer too.

The 2:40 pacers passed me at that straight stretch on the way back. I hit a wall 3 miles from the end. I walked a bit mostly because of the hills. I ran the last half mile though and pushed extra hard at the end. I saw the 2:40 pacers go before me. I thought, “Oh, man I’m barely doing better than last time.” So here it is. Hubby’s time for Liberty was 2:48:37. Rock The Parkway time was 2:28:16. He did waaaay better. I have to say it. He was 69 out of 76 males 50-54. My Liberty time was better than the 3 hours I thought I would get. It was 2:47:09. My Rock The Parkway time was 2:41:30. Meh. It was better.

I called Hubby around 10:30 AM to see where he was. We usually meet at the end. He was up by the chocolate milk instead. I got some milk, a Kurt bar, a banana, a beer, and some donut holes. We wanted to try out the 360 picture thing, but it was shut down. When I got a beer, there wasn’t many left. We got in line for the special Rock The Parkway backdrop. We were next in line and they turned us away. I didn’t understand. There were tons of people still there. Tons of people were in line behind us. Runners were still finishing! What was the deal? I was once again annoyed. We decided to do what we did at Disney when we wanted a picture and didn’t have time. We did a selfie with the other people in the background and the backdrop. Good thing too. They popped all the balloons around it soon after that. Then we did our usual backdrop picture.

Okay, here is where I get upset. I don’t recall these races having a cap on them to finish in the past, but I could be wrong. Liberty this year said it was a 16-minute mile pace and Rock The Parkway made it a 14-minute mile pace. Now, the food and vendors were still around at Liberty. Cool! No problem. Rock The Parkway though. Nope! They were closing up with tons of people there and some people were STILL RUNNING. What the? My husband and I started walking to the car around 11AM and did the math. I posed this question on Facebook and I’ll put it here. “If the race starts at 7:30 am and you have 7 groups going out at about 2 minutes increments in-between and there is a 14-minute per mile pace cut off, what time will the slowest runner finish?” As I said before, I discovered later there were actually 8 groups. Hubby also said after looking back at the participant guide that the party is over at 10:30 AM. They actually let it go on a little longer than planned. Uhh, but why plan to close up shop before you planned the race to be over? I had one person comment on my Facebook page about how rude that is. I agree. Maybe the organizers were trying to save money or maybe the venue wouldn’t let them stay. I don’t know, but that sucks! I mean you have 3:05 pacers! I felt bad for the runners I saw coming in as we left. I hope they read the guide and knew what to expect which is a medal, maybe water, and a pat on the back.

Anyway, we like doing the Heartland Challenge and we will probably do Rock The Parkway again. I just hope they are a little nicer to the people in the back next year. We are not doing the Sweet 16 this year because I was told they are not doing it. I hope we still sign up for the Zoo Run though. My daughter and I will be doing the Trolley Run the same weekend the whole family is doing the Chiefs 5K. Wish us luck!

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Family, Running

February Check-In

So, It’s been about a minute since I’ve written anything. Of course, a lot has happened. Life just keeps puttering on no matter what happens, doesn’t it? You could be really sad and want to take a break or really happy and want to cherish every moment. I’m going to give you a quick view of what’s happened and then maybe write a bit more about it later or refer back to it in other writings. I just want to get you all up to speed. Well, let’s start with the really sad first.

My cousin, Robin, had been battling cancer and got COVID last fall. She held on and fought really hard. I had prayed and prayed she would get better. I actually thought at one point she would pull through, but sadly she did not. She passed away the day before my birthday. My Mom’s first husband had a relative die on her birthday. She never EVER forgot it. I don’t think I’ll ever forget this either. Of course, I still remember my Aunt Sue died around the beginning of August. My Uncle Sam, her husband, died in October after my birthday. My husband’s uncle died in January. My husband’s cousin and aunt died in September weeks apart. My Dad, he died on May 2nd. It’s almost like remembering birthdays. You might be thinking, “Um, No, Mary. It isn’t. It isn’t anything as happy as a birthday.” To that, I would say that if that day or time period brings this person to mind, it is how you remember them and think of them that gives it a “negative” or “positive” emotion. If I look at old photos of my Dad on May 2nd and remember good times and smile, then, yes, yes it can be as happy as a birthday. And if I look at photos on his birthday and think about how sad I am and how much I miss him, it can make his birthday sad. Also, I keep telling myself emotions are not really negative or positive. They just are. It is what you do with them that can make them negative or positive. If I’m sad and miss my Dad, I can cry until my stomach hurts or I can turn and appreciate all who are still with me. Wow! It is amazing how writing something like this can work you through something. Here I was all sad that my cousin died the day before my birthday and as I just wrote that last bit, I come to realize I can flip it. I can raise a toast to celebrate her life and remember her on that day. I can make it positive.

I can’t remember when, but I got some more medals from my fandom groups, Whovian Running Club and Fandom Running Club. They are usually a 5K here and a 10K there. I do those distances on a weekly basis. So, I don’t really make a big deal about them other than I got a cool medal. I got one with the 10th Doctor from Doctor Who because he is one of my favorites. Same for the Captain Jack medal. He is a favorite character on Doctor Who. As luck would have it, they were on the show together a few times. The other two medals are other favorite shows: Supernatural and Buffy. Those two medals were actually some of the first FRC created. I didn’t get them at first because my husband finds virtual runs silly especially if I don’t make a big production out of doing them. I finally caved and got them especially since Supernatural did its last season after 15 YEARS! That and there is always a charity associated with them.

We got to see most of the Arkansas family for Christmas this year. Almost everybody was vaccinated and/or had a booster including our kids. My daughter wanted to see ALL the family. So, we stopped by Aunt Sue and Uncle Sam’s grave, Dad’s grave, Mammaw and Pappaw’s grave, cousin Keith’s grave, and Uncle Thurman’s grave. I was a complete spaz and didn’t even think to bring flowers. Although these are all in different towns we visited and I’m not sure they would have stayed very fresh or faired well on the drive. I was concerned about Aunt Sue because I knew she had been cremated. My cousins assured me that she was right next to Uncle Sam. She wanted to be cremated, and he wanted her next to him. So, my cousin’s put her urn in the ground next to him. I didn’t see my cousin Robin because I assumed she was buried in the same cemetery as our grandparents, but she was not. It was late and we had to leave. I don’t know that I would have been able to find her anyway because tombstones were on backorder and had not made it in yet. My Mom had ordered my Dad’s a while back and it still wasn’t there.

We had a good visit with family. My daughter finally got to spend the night at the hotel that had bunk beds since there was a mix-up over the summer when we went to my sister’s wedding and they gave our room to someone else. It was funny, they asked us if the four of us really needed all the space, and yet the past summer they gave it to just two guys with a dog.

Speaking of dogs, we got one! We got a puppy and named him Chewie. His coloring looked a little like Chewbacca, and we are Star Wars fans. My husband and others said it might be a bad omen to do that. So far all he likes to chew on is us and the clothes we happen to be wearing. We are gently getting him used to the idea of chewing on a toy. I’ve always been a kitty fur mom. It’s a little strange picking him up and snuggling without that soft purring sound. Still, I know he likes snuggles because he just sits there and gives me that look. Oh, and the tail. There is the tail wagging.

Our precious pup!

So, that is all that has happened. We signed up for Heartland 39.3 Series again. We will see how that goes. We never did do our virtual Rock the Parkway. I hope to do that soon. We signed up for the Chief’s 5K. I don’t know if we will be doing the KC Sweet 16 4 Mile Race Series or not. I know we all want to do the 4 mile Zoo Run that is included in that, but I’m not sure about the others. We will see and I’ll let you know.

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Family, Running

Make Way, Koala It’s Time You Knew

Everything below is my own opinion. I did not receive compensation for mentioning any of the restaurants or products.

First, we did a school carnival Friday late afternoon/early evening. Then Hubby had reminded me earlier that we were interested in the Royals Game that night because they were celebrating el Dia de Los Muertos. They had a special bobblehead that night too. I remember being interested a while back before we knew there was going to be a school carnival the same night and a zoo run early next morning. Hubby was still adamant about going. I told him the smart thing would be to go to the carnival (the kids always look forward to it) and then go home and get rest for the run. He showed me the bobblehead and wanted me to be sure the kids wouldn’t be upset missing out on it. Hubby has got quite the collection and has kind of gotten the kids into it as well. So, I left it up to them. Go to the game and get the special bobblehead or just go to the carnival and get some rest. Well, I got outvoted. We ended up doing ALL of that the night before our race.

The carnival was a little frustrating. My Girl was fine. She went off and did her thing and talked to kids she knew. Big Man was more about being attached to my hip. I tried to attach him to his sister so he could at least have more fun, but he wasn’t as interested in some things as she was. He seemed to prefer to stand next to me than play with his sister. He finally left my side when some boys he wanted to meet up with at the carnival showed. We headed home after an hour or so.

Back at my house, we jumped in my brother-in-law’s car with him, my husband, my niece, and my nephew. My niece and nephew are both teenagers. When we got to the game we got hot dogs and the special bobblehead. We sat in our seats during most of the game which is unusual for us bringing two kids. We do a lot of the outfield activities usually when we bring both kids. We showed up a bit late so the game was already in progress. Our parking spot was the best we ever had in my opinion. Somehow my husband scored a really good parking pass. Our team, The Royals, ended up losing 2 to 6 to the Mariners. It was pretty late before the kids were in bed.

I planned on getting up at around 6:30 AM. The kids weren’t that fussy about getting out of bed, eating, and getting dressed. Hubby was pretty much still in bed by the time we were almost done. It’s our usual ugly cycle that he drags behind, freaks me out, and then somehow makes it to the car before me all the while teasing me that I’m the one making us late. Ugh! He may think it’s funny, but I don’t.

We made it to the zoo just in time for Hubby to drop me and My Girl off to walk to the start of the 4-mile run. Our start was at 8:30 AM. The boys’ 1-mile run didn’t start until 9:45 AM. So, they went off to park the car and walk around a bit. I was told later that Hubby was offered some coffee and doughnuts from the volunteers. My girl and I lined up with the group that was about a 15-minute mile pace. I figure she could keep that up okay. We had our masks on in the crowded area and waiting for the start. We went in waves just like years past.

We took our masks off after jogging a bit and getting more spread out. We ran in our Bolder Skirts which have pockets. We slipped our masks in our pockets and jogged some more. My Girl wanted to walk pretty soon after the start which isn’t normal for her. I know we didn’t train her much, but she is usually still okay to run a bit more than she was doing. Then the whining started. I mean we weren’t even 1 mile in yet and she was having a bit of a meltdown. She wanted water. She wanted to walk. I totally forgot that they don’t do a water stop until about mile 2 of the race. After she got some water, she was much better. She still ran before that only because I figured out the two main reasons for her behavior were lack of water before the race and that she was tired. I told her the more she ran, the faster we could get to the water. I’ll have to make sure to get her prepped for the next race if I’m not too busy freaking out about her Dad making us late.

We stopped to take a picture of the Koalas since it was their run after all. My Girl bust into a version of the Moana song, but instead of singing, “Moana. Make way. Moana, it’s time you knew.” She took out Moana and put in Koala. It was cute and made me laugh.

Our time wasn’t that bad. She did four miles in 59:10.3 and I did it in 59:11.4. She was ninth in her age group. We got our medals and went to the after race activities for a short while before the boys finished. I was surprised that there were no bananas or muffins or anything. They had water and some tents set up to advertise or fundraise. There was one tent selling food, but most races at least have bananas. Shatto was there with their wonderful milk giving out samples. Of course, we got in line for that. My Girl got the cotton candy milk and I got the root beer milk. We liked it so much that I bought some of each a few days later in the grocery store.

Our timing was pretty good. We might have only waited about five minutes or so before the boys finished. Big Man was red in the face, but he does that no matter the activity. They did it in 12:23. The website didn’t do time for the one-mile group. Hubby wasn’t real happy with the one-mile shirt either. It isn’t as nice as the 4-mile shirts. He said next year we should do the four-mile and then run the one mile with the kids especially since My Girl said she wanted to do the 1 mile next year. We will see.

We took the boys to the Shatto milk line. We walked around a bit and then decided to go into the zoo. The kids wanted to show their Dad the riddle outside engraved in the sidewalk. The kids figured it out, but honestly, I’ve never heard of this animal. I’ll put the answer at the bottom.

We had a fun time in the zoo. We went all over except Africa. We were very tired, and we were ready for lunch. We got some treats at Mickey D’s on the way home. I can’t really remember what we ate or did the rest of the day. It’s been a while since we did this race. I’ve been caught up surviving our first Scout Camp-out, Big Man’s first drum showcase, and my cousin passing away the day before my birthday. It’s been a lot of highs and lows. I’m glad we still did this race this year. It ended up being a great family memory. I’m not sure if Nebraska Furniture Mart is going to have their Halloween race this year, but I kind of hope they do.

Answer: Cassowary

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Health

The Chiefs Made Me Fat

Go Chiefs!!!!

Okay, that title is of course tongue in cheek. If you’ve read my past posts about how I trained and ran the Goofy Challenge in 2016, then you know how active I was then. I started using an app to monitor my portions and nutrition. I lost about 20 pounds. I told myself I would never gain that weight again, but yet here I am the same weight I was before I did the challenge.

After the Goofy Challenge, I decided to keep a good base for running. I loved Jeff Galloway’s training plan that Disney used. I decided to run only three times a week doing at least a 5K twice during the week and my long run on the weekend would be at least a 10K. This has served me well for the other local challenges we have done where we did three half marathons usually in the spring (The Heartland 39.3 series) and our four, four-mile runs (KC Sweet 16 Race Series). I was doing great for a few years. So where did it go wrong?

Well, I was having fun watching my football team work their way to the Super Bowl in 2019. I still watched what I ate and drank at tailgates, but when I say that, I mean I watched it go into my mouth. I wasn’t restricting myself really. The Chiefs were winning and it was party time! I can’t complain really. I had a blast! Then in January 2020, we won! The Chiefs won the Super Bowl! It was awesome! I think you can guess what happened next.

COVID-19 hit! We still signed up for our races and challenges well before everything shut down. We got to run one of the half marathons we signed up for which was Liberty. The others all went virtual and we could do them whenever. We did do almost all of them (we still have Rock The Parkway to do), but it wasn’t timed out or done like it would have been in person. I still kept my weekly base runs. We didn’t sign up for anything thing this year really except the Mother’s Day Run and the upcoming Zoo Run.

I keep getting these ads about how superstars get fit fast and don’t I want to buy their program to learn the secret? I’m told running and eating salads won’t work (I obviously eat more than salads). There is some super-secret sauce to a woman of my age, my body type, etc that needs to fork over money to learn the ways of the rich and famous. Well, one thing I’ll admit I’m really bad at is strength training and cross-training. I would love to get back into rock climbing. I think that would help a little with both, but I just don’t ever seem to find the time to hit a gym. When I lived in Arkansas I climbed outdoors a lot, but I had climbing partners. I’ve got free weights at home, but strength training is soooooo boring to me. I would rather lace up my shoes and go for a run through the trees and along the creek. I do know I need to get better at those and stop “putting my eggs in one basket.”

I mean one thing that really annoys me about those ads is the do this and get fit quick thing. I don’t believe in diets or get anything quick. I believe in lifestyle changes. Was I going to train for a marathon my entire life? No, but I was fine with keeping a good running base because I like running outdoors. Was I going to restrict my eating forever? A little, yes. I mean moderation in everything, right? Eating healthy is more about how you feel and taking care of your body than what you look like. And as a woman of a certain age, it has become more evident that there are certain foods and drinks that don’t sit well with me like they used to.

I know it sounds like one big excuse. I guess I just wasn’t paying close enough attention until this past Christmas when I saw a picture of myself with the rest of the family sitting on a bench in front of Santa. Let’s just say, I wasn’t sitting up straight like I should have been and it was NOT a flattering picture. I know I said how you feel is more important than what you look like, but that picture was still actually a good wake-up call as to the fact I wasn’t eating right. What about you? What has the last year or so done for your training or race schedule?

Side note: I look forward to another great year with our Chiefs. I’ll just be more cautious about health while having fun at the tailgates.

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Family, Uncategorized

To Breed Or Not To Breed

I recently made a mistake. I was at an outdoor event with some vaccinated friends (yes I felt the need to say that) and I asked this woman a question. I was trying to find a group of moms I had joined on Facebook. I had never met any of them IRL (in real life). All I had to go on was some FB profile pictures and I didn’t even have my phone on me. So, I asked this lady if she was part of the group. That was my big mistake.

Instead of just politely saying no. She went on to vent about how she didn’t have kids, never wanted to have kids, and didn’t understand why people wouldn’t leave well enough alone. Okay. . . I don’t feel I have ever judged any woman for not having kids. I have lots of friends who don’t have kids.

I knew a lady who told me this story about how she needed surgery several years earlier. The doctors wouldn’t do it. They kept telling her she would change her mind about having kids. She told them she would not and just to do the stupid surgery. They said they would if her husband signed a form. So, she got married to her longtime boyfriend and he signed the document. I may have gotten that story messed up a bit. It has been a while since I was told this. As far as I know she never regretted marrying her boyfriend or not having kids. I remember wondering how the doctors could deny her the surgery based on what THEY thought was best for her. She was a grown woman. She knew how to make her own decisions.

I know another lady who was friends with me and my husband. As soon as we had kids, she kind of ghosted us. She used to travel through our town on her way to an event she would attend. She never asked to stay with us. We would find out later that she stayed with strangers in our town rather than ask us. Well, we were all apart of a running group, and they weren’t complete strangers. I’m pretty sure she knew us better. One time she came through and stayed at another town not far from us, but the person she stayed with had a fancy house and pool. I mean, I’m human. I don’t blame her for that one. Come on, I would chose the nice fancy house and pool too, but the others she stayed with did not have pools. I mean is she ghosting us because we have kids or did we do something wrong? We don’t know.

Then there is a couple we like to hang out with that do not have kids. They told us upfront that they love us and would love to visit sometime when the kids were at the grandparents’ house. I’ve told people my friends said this and they acted like what my friends said was terrible. I don’t get that. I’m fine with it. They told us the truth and we are still friends. It’s not like they specifically dislike our kids. It’s kids in general. I understand kids are not everyone’s “cup of tea.” I mean just because I have kids doesn’t mean I love all kids. Honestly, most kids get on my nerves. I love my kids, but I might not like yours. We probably will have our kids stay with the grandparents one weekend while our friends visit. It isn’t a problem for us or our kids. They love staying with their grandparents.

Those are just a few stories. I have tons of friends that do no have kids and it just isn’t an issue between us. I’m like, “Oh yeah. So and so is a furry mom but she doesn’t have any offspring.” So, when this lady acted like she was educating me, I let her talk. Obviously it was weighing heavy on her and I thought she could use a good vent session even though I was a stranger. I even mentioned the interesting New York Times article I had just recently read about a photographer in Berlin who didn’t have children. The photographer faced some judgement on it and did a whole spread about it. But this lady I was talking to just wouldn’t stop. Things took an turn for the ugly when she referred to children as mistakes. I believe she said something like, “I’ve never had to deal with a mistake before.” WELL! NOW! That triggered me.

My husband and I went through a lot to have our kids. They are no where close to being mistakes. I know lots of families who went through more than we did to have kids. There are so many people who have gone through so much heartache to just have a baby to hold and love. I’ve had friends who have had miscarriages. I can’t imagine what that is like, but my heart aches for them. I really wanted to jump in with my own stories of heartache, judgement, etc. This lady just kept going though. We both had a few drinks in us and I thought if I wasn’t careful with my words this could get worse. Here we were. Two women who have felt pain on the same subject but for two very different reasons. My decision? I let her have her peace and exited the conversation very VERY quickly. I believe anything I said to her would have been lost because of her own hurt and experience. It was like nothing else existed. I hope one day she realizes that there can be pain and judgement on the other end of the spectrum. Calling children mistakes was crossing the line. I would have loved to have educated her on my view, but I didn’t want to “feed the beast.” I felt like if I tried to tell her my side, we would have just been talking in circles. I just felt it would have fell on deaf ears.

I’ve mentioned before how sad it is that we’ve been told all our lives not to talk about sensitive subjects to the point where we don’t know how to talk anymore. If you feel triggered, if your emotions are running high in a discussion, maybe take a break and circle back to it if needed. Definitely keep name calling and snarky remarks (like calling children mistakes) out of it all together. One trigger or bad comment and you are stuck in a loop. You are feeding the beast. I do feel like I walked away with a lesson learned. Maybe next time when I get triggered, instead of “educating” with my story and basically doing the same thing the other person is doing, I’ll just be honest about my feelings. “Hindsight is 20/20.” If I had a time machine I think I would go back and say something like this:

“Hey, I’m sorry I triggered you. I don’t judge you for any decisions you made about kids. I didn’t know your story. However, since you don’t know my story, I’m triggered too. I understand you have strong feelings about this and mine are coming to the surface too. Might be best to leave the conversation here and part ways or we can circle back round if we want after a break.”

Well, at least I’m possibly prepared for next time. Although I don’t think I’ll ever make the mistake of asking a random woman if she belongs to a certain mom group again.

This actually happened before Mother’s Day. I just wanted to sit on it a bit longer. I was really triggered and I just needed to think. Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t jump in with my side. I don’t think I was in the right frame of mind at the time. If it has taken me this long to think of something I could have possibly said that would not have “fueled the fire,” then I think it was best that I left the conversation like I did.

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Family, Running

Unbeelieve Mother’s Day Run

Everything below is my own opinion. I did not receive compensation for mentioning any of the restaurants or products.

First IRL race in over a year!

I was excited about my first in person race in over a year. I knew I wasn’t going to make any PRs because Mini would be with me and she is in it just for the fun. I need those kind of races every now and then. I love to run with her for the bonding experience. Even though I was excited, Mother’s Day kind of snuck up on me (I’ll be mailing my Mom’s gift soon!). I do hate the getting up early for a race, but it brought back some of that familiar excitement. The time kind of snuck up on me that morning as well. We got ready. Big Man took our picture. When we got to the car, Mini wanted a different mask. Uh oh, we only had five minutes until line-up. No changing masks now. Thank goodness we live close to the start of the KC Express Mother’s Day 5K.

We still didn’t have our bibs pinned when we started walking toward the start. It was definitely a different atmosphere this year. Usually the place is very busy with people. There are normally decorated porta potties that give me a good laugh. There was a photo station with props you can use to get your picture that was missing as well. This year it was kind of quite. It was cold and overcast. The porta potties were plain. They did have balloons that looked like flowers that we enjoyed. I think this year they had a bee theme. A nice lady mentioned that I could get out of the wind behind one of the big trucks to pin our bibs. She even offered to hold some stuff for us. We told her we were fine. She was super nice though. We made it to the start in plenty of time. We passed the stroller section, the relax walkers, the fast walkers, and lined up with the run/walk mix. Ahead of us was the timed runners.

There is always a lady there dressed up as a flower. She was walking in the crowd. Everybody had on masks at the start. The flower lady’s face was totally covered because she had on a hat, funny glasses, and her mask. We got our picture with her. Her bib said “Daisy.” We sang the National Anthem, but we really couldn’t hear. I think I read later that the sound system didn’t show up. So, they had to yell and do other things to get people’s attention. We took off in short waves. We did not have to wear masks during the run. Thank goodness we had our Bolder Sparkle Skirts on with pockets. I really do love their skirts.

Mini did really well even though she didn’t train much. We loved the signs along the route. Spectators weren’t allowed this year. Although we did see a few men here and there that came with their ladies. The signs were enough encouragement for us. Mini wanted to read just about every one of them. There were signs that said things like, “The buttons on my pants have decided to social distance,” and “Because I said so.” They were very entertaining to read. There was one water stop in the middle. Mini was so happy. I’m lucky she loves her water so much. We thanked a few officers and volunteers for being there.

We rounded a corner and saw the balloons that were at the start. Mini was so happy to see the end, but I told her we still had a mile to go. Along the way a poor goose ran into a telephone/electrical wire and made an emergency landing. He landed okay, but the poor thing was limping a bit. We walked a bit to make sure the goose was okay. When we did get close to the end, boy, did Mini start to sprint. She seemed to have two main goals during the race: beat me and not let the “orange skirts” pass. A lady and her daughter had orange tutus on that kind of started with us. Mini tried hard to keep in front of them during the whole race. She even said she didn’t want a picture in front of the big “Happy Mother’s Day” yard sign just so we could keep our lead. She finally decided she didn’t care toward the end. She was too tired and wanted to walk for a bit. That changed when we got close to the very end.

My time was 47:07. I was surprisingly in the top 15 in my age group. I’m guessing it is because of the limited number of in person registrants. Mini was 47:05 and just missed the top 15. The plan after the race was to meet our boys at Big Biscuit. They were supposed to get tables ahead of time. I thought Hubby would set an alarm. I even told Big Man before we left to make sure his Dad was awake at a certain time. Well, Hubby didn’t set an alarm and Big Man was busy watching screens to remember to wake up his Dad. Hubby said I should have woke him up before we left. I thought I was being nice to let him sleep until the alarm that I thought he set would go off. I guess it was just bad communication.

Oh, speaking of miscommunication, getting out of there was interesting. I saw a car go out the way we came in earlier. I didn’t see specifically which way they went at the intersection. I just saw they headed that way. I thought I would try a different way, but I just ended up driving around a building. So, I just went the same way the other car did. When I got to the intersection, there was just the one way lane open and that was it. The other side had the race participants, a police officer cheering the racers, and a police car in the road. I sat there for a bit to see if he was going to direct me maybe and then I thought, “Well, I’m not sure if this one way is still one way once the race starts. Maybe they have redirected stuff? You never know with a race.” So, I slowly pulled out to go. The officer was still clapping and I started to drive away. Well, apparently the clapping wasn’t for the race participants. He was trying to get my attention. When I assumed he was cheering the ladies running, he appeared to get mad and yell at me that direction was one way only. I mentioned that I thought they might have redirected things with the race and all. His response was to go across the street where he had been standing in the middle of the intersection and go down the other side. The whole experience was a little weird.

We made it home okay. We were thankful we got to go at all and that it didn’t rain. Hubby made us breakfast after we decided it would be too late to go out to eat since we had company coming over soon. The in-laws came over for an early dinner and to play games. All in all it was a good day. I hope your Mother’s Day was wonderful!

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Family, Uncategorized

Decisions, Decisions

Vaccines, COVID, elections, politics, travel, quarantine, etc. I have been making decisions based on what is best for our family. It isn’t always the same as your family or someone else’s family, but it is what is best for us. I listened to an older Youtube post by Rachel Hollis titled “Stop Caring About What Other People Think About YOU.” I really liked it because she hit a lot of points about how we react to other people’s reactions to things we do. Make sense?

I’ve gone along this whole thing thinking we have been careful. We wear our masks and stay 6 feet away from strangers or people not in our bubble. In the beginning, I left like that was the best we could do. We’ve made decisions like going to Silver Dollar City theme park. They require masks and temperature checks. Then I read an article where a lady asked about going to Disney. One person remarked how it would look to people ten years from now. There will be pictures of people sad and grieving the loss of a loved one, and then here is a picture of a family at Disney. Obviously, that didn’t keep people away from Disney. I read and listen to the Disney Food Blog and hear them talk about the same things that Silver Dollar City does only to the extreme. They ask anybody not wearing a mask or wearing a mask the wrong way to leave. Again, it’s all about your family and your choices. If we had a family member at high risk, we probably wouldn’t have gone to half the things we went to or did have the things we did. However, we do not have any high-risk family members in our bubble. We do believe in the seriousness of the virus. That is why we have no problem with masks, using hand sanitizer, staying 6 feet away, etc. We still don’t want to get the virus or worse yet, spread it to someone who is high risk.

I remember 9/11. I might have mentioned this in a previous post. I flew the very first day the airport was open. My friend and I complied with every TSA agent request. We wanted to feel safe and we wanted everybody else to feel safe as well. Of course, there are always those very few situations where someone feels inconvenienced or a TSA agent might overstep and the two clash. I haven’t had that happen yet (knock on wood). I’m the person in security check with my stuff ready to roll even if it has been years since I’ve flown. I know why they request we do what we do, and as long as it keeps the airplane I’m about to board safe, I’m cool. I have told a TSA agent it was a little ridiculous that they took my stain stick. I had already flown to their city from one airport with it and that airport was fine. I didn’t raise too much a fuss. I had used most of it anyway. So, I didn’t complain too much when they kept it. When I was pregnant, I didn’t like going through the X-ray machine even though I was told it was safe. Every airport I went to respected my decision, asked me to go through the metal detector, and gave me a pat-down. I actually joked on FB once that I probably needed a prenatal massage because I was a little sad when they were done patting down my back. It just wasn’t a big deal to me.

With this virus though, it feels as if you have two camps pulling on you: the super cautious camp and the I’ll do whatever I want camp. One could say a lot of the decisions we made were for mental health reasons. We went to a dinosaur exhibit at our local Union Station once to have something fun for the kids to do. Things had opened up and we felt it was okay. We took pictures and posted them to FB. Nobody made a fuss. In our pictures, we were wearing masks. It isn’t just mental health though. We also want our favorite places to stay in business. Even when everything was shut down except take-out restaurants, grocery stores, etc. We still bought from those places. There is a local Greek restaurant down the street that makes the most amazing gyros. I didn’t want them to shut down for good! If you listen to Rachel’s video, you can even hear her talk about this as well. She mentions the backlash she got for getting her hair done. I don’t think any one of those people giving her trouble thought of the hairstylist and that person’s business. If they did her hair following all the safety precautions, then it helps the economy and that hairstylist stays in business.

This whole time I haven’t seen any runs in real life (IRL). We saw that our usual Heartland 39.3 Challenge wasn’t happening this year. The Sweet 16 Series we usually do, opened registration. I was excited at first, but we already missed the first race by being out of town. We might still do some of the other runs, but not all of them. We know we can do them virtually. It just might be hard to get back into the swing of things. Maybe the Mother’s Day Run will help. My Girl and I will do that one in person. We will see how it goes. We have to wear masks and again, we are fine with it. I think they are letting people go in waves as well. I know they capped it at a certain number. They are having a virtual run as well. I’m excited and nervous all at the same time. Any time I’m in a large crowd like Silver Dollar City, I get nervous. Will people give me the six feet like they should? Will the other people wear a face mask properly or will they just look like they have a “chin diaper” on their face? My husband and I decided to get vaccinated, but we know this ordeal isn’t over yet. The kids are not eligible yet. My mantras for the last several months have been, “It is what it is,” “I’ll deal with it when we cross that bridge,” and “You can only eat an elephant one bite at a time,” (for those that are on the more literal side, nobody is really eating elephants). I feel like those keep me calm enough to make my decisions and deal with whatever gets thrown at me. I’ll let you know how the run goes.

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Uncategorized

We’re No Sloth

They Did It!

So, we finally got the rest of our packets for all the races. We picked up our Zoo Run packet with our Sweet 16 packet. It was nice to not have to travel very far for it. We only had one hiccup. My daughter’s shirt was adult size. I called from home to see what we could do. I wasn’t sure what the procedure would be with COVID and all. The volunteers at the packet pick-up were nice enough to exchange it. Our Heartland packet pick-up had a bit of a hiccup as well, but they were very nice and accommodated us.

We went out of town to Branson again. So, the store with our Heartland packet held ours until we could get back to town to get it. I just had to send a few emails to arrange it. They were really nice. It was a bit of a drive for us so it was a few days after we were back that Hubby went to get it. Still, we have it and that is a wrap for 2020 races. Well . . . at least getting our stuff.

We did our Zoo Run a few days ago. The kids and I ran/walked a little over two miles to a playground, they played, and we ran/walked back home. We did a little over four miles, but they were fine because they had the play break. Hubby already did a few four-mile runs on the treadmill to get some Garmin badges. So, I checked that race off our to-do list. I did have some issues getting Big Man to go at first.

It’s funny that the Zoo Run is for the sloths because that is kind of how Big Man’s been acting lately. He doesn’t have any extracurricular activities anymore. He doesn’t usually like walking/running with me. He doesn’t like riding his scooter outside much. I’ve been worried about it. I try not to give the kids a complex about food and eating. I’ve always told them a healthy life consists of good rest, exercise, healthy food, and good friends. So, I don’t try to push him too hard. Baby Girl and I were headed out to do our run when Big Man decided at the last minute to join us. I think the idea of a playground he hasn’t been to in a while intrigued him.

There was a bit of whining from Big Man when we first started. They carried their own Gatorade in fanny packs. Baby Girl likes to stop a lot to get a drink. She was okay on the way out, but the tables turned on the way back. Big Man was out ahead of us and did not complain at all. Baby Girl wanted to stop every few feet and get a drink. We made it though. Now, Hubby and I just have Rock the Parkway Half Marathon to go and THEN, we will have 2020 races wrapped up.

Oh, the kids don’t really have nicknames. So, it’s been hard for me to write about them. If I’m calling my boy Big Man should I really call her Baby Girl? They will both always be my babies. I dunno. She’s a big Wonder Woman fan. Maybe I should call her Warrior Princess. We will see.

Sidenote: This was back in the Fall. The holidays were super busy. We had the regular holiday stuff added with some COVID rule twists and a side of some much-needed home repairs getting done. I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday. I have high hopes for 2021, but like the meme says, “Nobody claim 2021 as your year. We’re all going to walk in real slow. Be good. Be quiet. Don’t. Touch. Anything.”

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Uncategorized

When Someone Calls You A “Bad Person”

I know when you put yourself out there either on the internet or in print media you open yourself to all kinds of criticism. I am not talking about that. I haven’t had any bad comments yet. This blog doesn’t have many followers. I hope if/when that happens I can handle it with grace. I mean a grew up in an itty-bitty town where gossip was the main pasttime. I got used to people who hardly knew anything about me other than my name and where I lived saying horrible things about me. It is the people that I care about most that matters.

With that said, and I won’t say who said this to me, a person that I care about and someone I thought cared about me uttered these words to me. “You are a bad person.”

What makes a person a bad person? What makes a person a good person? Do you donate to charity? Does that make you a good person? I do that, but I don’t think that really makes me a good person. Do you go to church? I sometimes go, but I grew up with people that were very holy on Sunday and not so much the other six days of the week. I know I am no Mother Theresa, but I am no Satan either. I care deeply about my friends and family and I try to show that to them any chance I get. I try to let them know how much I appreciate them because you never know when they will be gone. Who knows when my number will be up either.

Did the person that said those words to me just let it slip in the heat of the moment? Maybe. Does that justify it? I mean if you really care about someone shouldn’t you strive to not hurt them. Words have meaning. Actions have meaning. Both have consequences.

I saw this video once and it really strikes home. Some people I know think that words mean nothing even if they come from someone close to your heart. Sounds like that person got used to being verbally abused to me. I’m made out to be some delicate flower that can’t take a verbal jab. Like I am the only person in the world that would be upset at being called a bad person by someone in my closest inner circle. I don’t think that is true. I think a lot of people would have been very upset.

I understand if you are mad at someone how mean things can come out even if you don’t mean them. That is why people apologize. What if that person comes back and says they don’t think you are rotten just your actions at that time? What if you don’t think what you did was that rotten, but they do? Does that justify them calling you a bad person? Wouldn’t an apology on both sides be nice? But this person never apologizes? How do you proceed? They go on like it never happened. Will they say it to you again just to make an impact on you?

Some things people say hurt other people. So, I am talking about words here. I am not sure if “hurt” is good enough term in my case. I care about this person. I know it was a while back when this was said, but sometimes when I am down on myself or having a bad day, those words echo through my head. Some days when the kids are fighting me about a diaper change or eating their lunch and I am feeling less than an adequate Mom, these words come back to me. Sometimes I really take it to heart. Am I a bad person? 

A little sidebar here. I wrote this years ago. It’s obvious if you’ve read any of my other posts and know my kids are much older now. I revisited it after having a similar situation. This time a person I care about called me a liar. This person actually does this a lot. What really happens is that I disagree with them. It doesn’t matter the topic. It can be over the retelling of events that occurred it or can be my opinion about a topic. If it doesn’t match up to what they believe, it is an “untruth.” I think this is very similar in that in both situations they used words to hurt me on purpose. They did not provide evidence to back their side of the argument, they did not take a breath to calm down, they did not open their minds to my side of the story. I’m not even sure either of them was listening to me in the first place. 

I guess I never published this because the bad person deal is subjective. I think a lot of people feel like they might be a bad person every now and then. They might feel that way for something they thought, even if it was for a split second. They might feel that way for something they forgot even though forgetting things is totally human.  But a liar?

A liar, according to Google, is “a person who tells lies.” A lie, according to Google, is “an intentionally false statement.” I hate lying. I’m actually very bad at it. My kids ask me if Santa is real. All I say is, “If you don’t believe, you don’t receive.” One day, when they are ready, I’ll tell them that I believe in the spirit of Santa. Is he a real person? No, but I do believe in spreading the happiness that the idea of him does every year. The movies, the Secret Santa gift exchanges, all of that holds great memories for me. Everything else, I just can’t. I don’t like it. It makes me feel sick. It doesn’t make me throw-up like the girl in the movie, Knives Out. It just makes me feel gross. I never snuck out of the house as a teenager. I did lie about why I might have been late, but that was it. I usually got caught too. I’m not going to say I haven’t been wrong. I’ve said something that has turned out not to be true, but it wasn’t a lie. Let me explain.

If I remember something said or done so clearly in my mind that I believe it to be true, is it? I’ve had someone prove with solid evidence before that something I remembered was false. Like I might have thought something was going to happen Monday, but instead, it was Tuesday. Is that a lie? No. I didn’t intentionally say something that I thought wasn’t true. Did I forget or was something miscommunicated to me? Yes! So, for someone to wholeheartedly call me a liar seems so off to me. I think it has more to do with their inadequacies than mine. Besides, I always try to live by the Golden Rule: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I think that really covers lying and being a bad person. Don’t you?  

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Family, Uncategorized

Just Call Me Billie

October 2, 2020

I used to be a horror movie fan. As a teenager, I saw all the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, all the Hellraiser movies, and quite a few Stephen King movies. Now it is October. Ah, October. It’s my favorite month. It has my birthday, fall leaves, and Halloween. Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I mention all this to put in context one 80s horror movie in particular.

Let me give you a brief history of my social life first. I grew up in a small town with a family that had the gift of gab. I’ve mentioned in other posts that I’m quite the introvert. I’m not fully introverted, but I’m more introvert than extrovert. I used to be described as shy as a kid. I didn’t talk much (I often wonder if it is because I couldn’t get a word in with my chatty family). I made friends, but again it was a small town, so I just had my core group.

I didn’t start leaning toward the extrovert side until I got to college and got a taste of the world on my own. I had friends in college. I made friends at my job after college, but it was a little different with work friends. I needed some friends outside of work too. In the corporate world, you needed to be careful with work friends. My therapist at the time suggested I find a group that I had something in common with and join them. I didn’t have a church yet and I was a Methodist. So, I joined a singles Methodist group. It was great! I made so many friends.

I was actually hanging out with my Methodist singles group when I ran into a guy that dated a friend of mine back in college. He invited me to do a trail run with the Little Rock Hash House Harriers. My world got even bigger. I made a lot of really good friends in that group. I met my husband through the Hash. He was a Fayetteville (AR) hasher. My husband and I joined another group because of our love of scuba diving and Jimmy Buffett. We joined the Parrot Head group when we lived in Oklahoma which gave us instant friends when we moved to Kentucky. I thought I had this “making friends” thing all figured out. Then we moved to Kansas.

Now during my Kentucky time, I worked from home. I still worked for the company that hired me in Oklahoma. They kept me for several years in Kansas until they switched billing systems and no longer needed me. We already knew hashers in Kansas, but we didn’t hang out with them much. We were trying to get pregnant and then we finally had our twins. Our usual group liked to party and drink quite a bit. So, I joined some mom groups. Now, I’m not going to say I didn’t click with anybody in these groups. It just always seemed like I would click with someone who lived over half an hour drive one-way or someone whose kids were already in college. I still like to talk to them, but I don’t do it much. I mean I’m not the first person they call when they have a night out if you know what I mean. I learned really quick that having something in common with someone like kids was a good conversation starter, but it wasn’t something to base a whole friendship. What I mean is, when you finally get a night out away from the kids, do you really want to talk about kids? No! So, what else do you have in common really?

I still enjoy my running groups when I can get out and see them which is maybe once a year. My husband has found his tribe with a cycling group. He tries to include me even though I don’t ride. He takes me to a party here and there. Recently, I got this very depressing feeling like I’ve forgotten how to socialize. I’m quite a first, but when I get going, I get chatty, like my family. It’s never been a problem in the past. I’ve mentioned getting friends in every town we’ve lived except this one. I’ve lived here for ten years and I still feel alone. I’ve got another work from home job. Is it that? Have I been working from home so long that I forgot how to talk to people? I mean I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. I have the sense of humor of a 14-year-old boy and I’d rather watch Walking Dead than Grey’s Anatomy. I don’t like coffee unless it is just a mild coffee flavor in my dark beer. I just feel out of place. Is it the pandemic? Does anybody else feel like this?

So let’s circle back to the 80s horror movie, shall we? The last party I went to was one of Hubby’s cycling parties. I had a few drinks, but I wasn’t obnoxious. Yet, I still felt like Wilma Northup from Stephen King’s movie Creepshow. She was in a segment called, “The Crate.” She was a drunk loud-mouthed obnoxious woman who was married to a college professor. As obnoxious as she was though, I could relate to how awkward she probably felt hanging out with her husband’s snooty colleagues. I’m not saying my husband’s friends are snooty, but SOME of them definitely made me feel out of place. I mean this is an exaggerated example. Still, I could clearly see the party scene in my head where she is holding a drink, talking loud as her “audience” finds any excuse they could to get away from her. I actually did have that happen with at least one person. It didn’t feel good. I understand if you have a person go on and on and all you want to do is get away. Remember my family? You just have to be nice and polite about it. Let them finish a story and politely say you need to go to the bathroom, get another drink, find your partner, etc. That’s all. You might find it funny to talk about this chatty person to your friends at the party but don’t. They know what you are doing. A chatty person could be chatty because of nerves and knowing that you are teasing them for simply feeling awkward just makes them feel worse.

Anyway, I just had to wonder is it me, working from home so long, or the pandemic? I mean it isn’t just this year. Like I said I’ve lived here for ten years. I’ve at least decided not to spend time with groups that make me feel bad. Not they any intentionally do that. I just know where I don’t belong.

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Family, Running

Funerals and Rituals

“It’s been about happy times together. . . It’s been about colors in Fall. It’s been about seasons…”
-Daniel The Leaf

September 24, 2020

I might have mentioned that I finally found a way to listen to my podcasts while I run. I have been listening to one that I’m now obsessed with called The Happiness Lab. It seems serendipitous that I listened to the episode called The Power of a Made-up Ritual. See last weekend my husband’s Aunt Regina died (not COVID related).

When the kids were real little, we went to visit all my relatives during a holiday. We looked around at some of our aging relatives and realized that we were going to lose some of the people we really cared about sometime soon. This podcast was about grieving and the things we do to feel better after we have faced a loss. It wasn’t just about the loss of a loved one, but they did talk a lot about losing family members, including pets. I think this was one of the few times I’ve almost cried on a run. I’ve smiled during some of the funny podcasts, but this one had me choked up a bit.

The loss of family started with mine, I think. My children were so little they don’t even remember when my Aunt Sue died. My father, Joe, was a few years later. That one they remember real well. My grandmother, Dorothy, died a day or two before Christmas the same year my Dad died. My poor mother didn’t even get a chance to experience the holiday without him before getting hit with another major loss. The next year my husband lost a cousin, Keith, who was about the same age as him. School had just started. So, that was the first funeral that the kids and I missed. My husband, his sister, and their parents went though. Our cat, Cass, died last year as well as my Uncle Sam. My family was out of town during my uncle’s funeral. So, we missed that one as well. This year we lost another one of my husband’s cousins, Cami, and now his aunt.

We didn’t go to Cami’s funeral. It was once again close to the start of school and of course, traveling with COVID around isn’t the best scenario. The kids saw a video on Facebook of some of the family that did attend, release balloons at her funeral. We probably won’t be going to Aunt Regina’s funeral either. The kids never met Cami or Aunt Regina. They heard stories here and there. I was Facebook friends with them. When the kids came home from school the other day, I told them what happened. My daughter burst into tears.

This year has been hard all on its own. I think Baby Girl needed a good cry. I also think we need to process the loss. She never met Cami or Aunt Regina, but she probably still feels the loss. She feels it when she sees her grandmother and she feels it from her Dad. I listened to this podcast, and I couldn’t help wonder if maybe we do something for those we have lost recently if that would help not just the kids but my husband and myself as well. Maybe it would make us feel more connected and better able to process it all. I’m not sure what we will do yet. Maybe we will plant a tree or a flower in our yard for them. Whatever we do, I know, after listening to this podcast, we will try to make it special.

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Family, Running, Uncategorized

So What Do You Think About The Election?

September 22, 2020

Oh Boy! I bet your thinking I’m an idiot for asking that one, right? Well, if your family is anything like mine, then just getting together can be like one bad comment thread on social media. This past weekend wasn’t going to be super busy, but it ended up being something else.

My older sister called and asked if she could crash for two nights while waiting for her job to start in another state. See, my sister is a pilot car driver. I may have mentioned her in previous posts, but just in case, I’ll tell you what a pilot car driver is. You know those big trucks hauling extra wide loads, and the vehicles in front and behind them helping them? Well, the vehicles helping the big truck are called pilot cars.

My sister was getting a new windshield in Missouri when she got a call for another run. It was close by and only in a few days. Instead of driving all the way back home in Southeast Arkansas and then back up this way again, she asked to just crash at our place since we were closer to the job. I checked with Hubby to see what our plans were. Here were go…

My in-laws had been in and out of town a lot recently. We hadn’t seen them in weeks. They had been driving to Arkansas to check on my mother-in-law’s sister who is in a bad way (not COVID related). I figured they would want to see the kids since it has been a while. Hubby wanted to do two bike rides both mornings. I got a little upset because I normally do a long run during the weekend. He mentioned that the weather would be nice and not at all too hot during the day. So, I thought I would get a run in when he got home. Well, he decided he wanted to earn two of his four miler medals all while training for the last half marathon we need to do. We thought we would have our pick of babysitters if my sister came and his parents visited. That is if everybody felt safe.

The plan was that my sister would show up Saturday morning in time to watch Baby Girl do her instructor training class in Taekwondo. My daughter decided she wants to help the instructors out more. Then when Hubby got home from his bike ride, ate, and rested, we would call his parents to come and visit with the kids. We would go on a four-mile run out and back for a run that totaled eight miles. After we get home from our run, we would clean up and all eat dinner together. Then Sunday, the kids would have their Sunday School Zoom, I would go for my walk while Hubby was at work. Then we he got home, he would then get ready and turn around to leave for his other bike ride. That left Sunday evening to chill and make sure all school stuff was ready to roll. Then Monday, we would go to school and my sister would head out to her job. Sounds like a good plan, right? Well it was. The thing is that my sister and father-in-law are together on one end of the spectrum of politics and my husband and I are together on the other side. Talking about it proved to be interesting to say the least.

My sister showed up a bit before my daughter’s class. She was there less than an hour before we got in a heated discussion about COVID, Black Lives Matter, and the President. Now, I say heated. Our voices were raised a bit. We said our opinions. Then we decided, quickly I might add, that we were NOT going to change the other person’s mind and moved on to how bad my house needs new paint.

My sister took a few good pictures of my daughter doing her class. We got home, and had lunch. My sister shattered her wrists falling off a flatbed rig several years ago. She used to be a truck driver before this accident. She gets real bad pains in her wrists. She doesn’t have a much pain and says she has tons of energy with the Keto diet. Now, I say diet only as a description. My sister and I both agree that “diets” do not work. Eating is a way of life. An occasional cleanse or fast isn’t bad, but one should never follow a fad diet for a short term, lose weight and expect to keep it off once you go back to “normal” eating again. She tries to stick to Keto as much as she can even when traveling for her job. Unfortunately, I’m a bit of a grain girl. My kids and I had sandwiches for lunch. My sister snacked on some cheese and some homemade snacks she makes for her trips. I went to the store to pick up some meat to cook chili that night and asked if she wanted me to get her anything. All she wanted was some unsweetened tea.

After Hubby got home and got the planned food and rest, we got ready for our run. My in-laws were on their way, but we didn’t have to wait for them because my sister was there for the kids if needed. My mother-in-law was preparing white chicken chili to bring over to us because apparently my husband is getting tired of my traditional chili. I had heard of vegetarian chili or vegan chili. I have heard of chicken chili and turkey chili, but I’ve never heard of white chicken chili. Anyway, they arrived as we headed out for our run. My mother-in-law took our daughter to the park. My son didn’t want to go. As we shut the door, I could hear my sister and father-in-law talk politics. At first, I was worried my son would have questions or be confused by some of the things they might say in front of him. Then I remembered how often we go to the library and read. We read about topics of world events, feelings, or how to treat other people. I mean all you really need is the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” And the “others” includes all races, sizes, genders, etc. Then I relaxed.

When we got back, everyone was either eating or had finished eating. We sat down and ate a little after we cooled off and stopped sweating. The white chicken chili was good, but it reminded me more of a thick tortilla soup. We got cleaned up and finished our dinner. Everybody seemed happy with two choices of chili. My in-laws were headed back home and the Littles were put to bed. We watched a bit of TV that night.

Sunday my sister and I talked a bit about family and relationships. The kids did their Sunday School Zoom. Hubby went on his other bike ride after he got home from work. It was pretty much a low-key day. Some of the subjects my sister and I touched reminded me how I hope my kids accept me for who I am someday. There are moms out there that do so many things I don’t. I don’t think I ever really mourned missing a certain type of mother myself. So, I hope my kids don’t either. I accept my mom for who she is, “warts” and all. That isn’t to say I don’t wish she would work on a few things like taking better care of herself. I try to remind her that if she wants us kids to stress less and be happy, she can help out by taking care of herself and being happy as well.

My sister left Monday as I was taking the kids to school. We got one more discussion in about the upcoming election. One of us called one candidate a fascist man-child, the other called the other candidate a piece of human waste (not those exact words). Believe it or not, I wouldn’t even consider it a fight. It was just a voicing of an opinion and moving on from there. We always say don’t talk politics or religion. We are so used to pulling those two topics, we don’t know how to talk about them anymore. Maybe we should talk more about them. Maybe we need the practice using the Golden Rule a bit more even when it comes to voicing an opinion.

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Family, Running

Let The Water Works Flow

September 18, 2020

School started, we got our packets picked up from some more runs, and I got another virtual run medal from the Whovian Running Club (WRC). All that has happened in the last few weeks. It has all been kind of a blur. Let’s discuss the packet pick-up first.

I don’t remember where it was, but Hubby picked up our Rock The Parkway Half Marathon swag. Heartland 39.9 swag is still to be determined. That was a challenge we signed up to do that included Rock the Parkway Half Marathon and two other half marathons. I actually sent them a message to be sure I did not miss something. We have done all our half marathons except the Rock The Parkway. The day it was reset would not have worked anyway since I believe that was my husband’s cousin’s funeral. I mentioned her in the last post. That and a few other things had me reeling when school started.

When the kids started kindergarten, I did NOT cry. I was soooo ready for a five-day school day. We practiced with preschool. I don’t remember if I cried on the first day of preschool. I do remember being a little worried though. I remember having my first full-blown panic attack the first time we left the kids for more than a few hours as babies. It was a month after their first birthday. We left the kids with my in-laws to go camping for the weekend. We were only a few minutes away from their house when I realized I couldn’t breathe. I was crying and I just couldn’t catch my breath. I’ve hyperventilated before and this wasn’t it. I actually hyperventilate every time I get super upset. I’ve done this since I was a child. I have to really think and focus on my breath anytime I go full-blown snot fest. So I knew this was different. My heart was racing this time. It wasn’t just from being upset and crying. It was different. It felt like nothing I’d experienced before. Hubby got a little freaked by my reaction and called his parents and put them on speaker. Everything was fine. They had just finished a walk and the babies were back at the house napping. I calmed down and we made probably two more calls that weekend to check on them so I wouldn’t panic again. I mean we had to drive out of our campsite to get a good signal to make these calls.

Switch to last Monday. . . My boy was nervous about a new teacher and a new classroom. My girl was so ready to go back to school. She had cried a week or so before and said she even missed the boring parts of school. I was trying my best to keep my game face for both of them. As soon as I was out of the school parking lot, the waterworks started to flow. I mean I keep hearing whatever decision we made about school was the right one. Everybody’s variables are different. I could list all the pros and cons of in-person school for us and some would be the same and some would be different for you. It’s hard. It’s hard for everyone. Our school asks that we take temperatures at home, the kids wear masks all day, and we have a special dismissal at the end of the day so we don’t congregate around the school. I think I probably would have cried no matter what we decided to do about school. When I got home, I was in full-fledged panic mode. I had not felt like this since that camping trip. Hubby took the day off, and he was trying to get some sleep. I was supposed to be logging into work, but I had to wake him up to help calm down. I was an absolute mess that day!

My mail brought some happiness a few days later, I think. Again, everything is a blur as far as what happened before or after what. It was my virtual run medal. Hubby thinks virtual runs aren’t really a thing. That’s probably why it’s been hard for him to get our races done that have been turned virtual. I mean I get it. A big part of the pull to do the run is the location and the course. I’ve ran some races in beautiful areas. The crowd can really pump you up too. It just isn’t the same. That said, I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I’m part of a virtual running group. Actually, I’m part of two. One that deals with Doctor Who specifically and the other with fandoms in general. I’ve only purchased the Doctor Who ones so far. This latest I purchased because of the Doctor is represented.

The PBS station I watched as a kid showed Doctor Who reruns. I didn’t know they were reruns at the time. I thought Tom Baker was the Doctor of the 80s. He was more like the Doctor of the late 70s. Anyway, he was MY Doctor. His years on the show were the ones I fell in love with as a child. This medal was all about his character. So, I HAD to get it. Tom Baker was the fourth Doctor. So, they made the medal a 4K. I run anywhere from three to four miles at least twice a week with a longer run on the weekend. I usually figure I can count any one of those runs as my way of earning it.

My birthday is coming very soon. I actually told my Mom that if she needed something to do, she could knit me a Tom Baker, Doctor Who scarf. She knit one for my brother-in-law when I was a little kid. I admitted I was jealous. She recently told me she already bought something for my birthday. We will see. Maybe Christmas?

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Family, Running

Slowest Half Ever

Everything below is my own opinion. I did not receive compensation for mentioning any of the websites, places, or podcasts.

August 29, 2020

If you have been running for a while, I’m sure you have heard people talk about PRs. Then you either asked what a PR was or you Googled it. A PR is a personal record. Was the time for your last race better than the one you did before it? People always want to get better. A PR is NOT what I did last weekend.

I have been on my husband to get some of our virtual runs completed. We tried to coordinate with the in-laws. We decided to go watch the Chief’s train Saturday morning and then we would run early evening when it would be cooler. We didn’t want to run Sunday because Hubby wanted to do a bike ride. We found out from Hubby’s parents that his cousin was in the hospital. It wasn’t COVID related, but we were still worried. We worked out a plan even with everything that was going in our family.

First, we took the kids to Arrowhead Stadium early Saturday morning. We had to park on a certain side of the stadium where our seats were located. There were cones in parking spaces on either side of us and in front of us. This was to keep social distancing. Masks were required. We put ours on and walked to our seats. We did not touch anything or really go near anyone. The person that scanned our tickets wasn’t even that close and he wore a mask as well. When we got to our seats, I noticed that the seats for two rows in front of us and two rows behind us were all zip-tied. I don’t remember how many seats were between us and the other group in our row, but I sure felt a million times safer here than a magic show we attended in July in Branson, MO! I mean the magic show was indoors, they didn’t require the guests to wear masks and even though there were two seats empty between groups, we had people sitting right behind us! I felt much safer at Arrowhead being outdoors with a mask on and not within six feet of any strangers. I mean an usher even came through and asked some people to put their masks back on if they were not eating or drinking.

Speaking of masks. They gave us the most comfortable mask I have yet to find! It had adjusters on the ear loops for the size and it was a red Chiefs’ mask. I love it. We all got one with a small radio to wear on our ear. We could hear them talk about the game or we could change it to an FM station to listen to the radio. The kids loved them.

When we got home, we did some chores. It was a pretty tiring day. At least that is what I keep telling myself when I think of how long it took us to do our half marathon. My in-laws came over around dinner time. We fed the kids and I went to get ready. Here is where I got totally frustrated.

Our Baby Nifflers are Chiefs fans too!

I had gone on a run the week before late in the afternoon. By the time I got to my turn around point, it was getting dark. I couldn’t see the trails real well and there were bugs. Lots of bugs! Knowing this, I had a plan to run the trails while it was still daylight and then run roads under street lights for when it got darker. I didn’t want to be out too late. Hubby was complaining about my route and dragging his feet getting ready. Let me tell you, I don’t consider myself a morning person, but my best time to run is in the morning for many reasons. The first being motivation. I kind of just go through the motion and get it over with. I almost talk myself out of it if I try to run later in the day. Hubby doesn’t act too excited to go on a run at any time. I wonder why he signs up for these with me. I get exhausted just trying to muster up enough energy to motivate myself much less both of us.

By the time we confirmed our distance and route, it was about 7:30 PM. We headed out as the sun slowly set. I was at about mile two when a bug flew straight down my throat! At about mile five, it was completely dark and I had to use my phone to see the trail. Hubby was a bit ahead of me and I was going down a steep hill. I mean I felt like I was alone in the middle of nowhere. Other than the asphalt trail under the light of my phone, it was just really dark woods. Thankfully, I wasn’t too far from the trail head where we got off to run the sidewalks along the street with streetlights.

So, this next point might be a hot topic, but I don’t normally carry water with me unless I run a half marathon or longer. It’s probably because I’m pretty good about drinking water throughout the day. We both hate carrying water on a run. We debated it. Then we left without it. We got about half-way through the run and my husband really wanted some water. We were about to pass a gas station when he mentioned he wanted to get some water. He knew he had a way to pay on his phone, but we didn’t have masks with us. He called his Mom to find his credit card. We had one little thing to complete the payment set-up on his phone. The gas station didn’t have a mask required sign. So just to be safe and keep contact and everything down, I stayed outside. Hubby went in and there was no issue with keeping distance since nobody else but the cashier was in there. There was plexiglass between them, so I felt like he was safe. He brought out a huge bottle of water that he finished about half of before we walked a few paces.

We did a pretty good job of about running the first half, but after stopping and getting water, we walked a good deal of the second half. We carried the water bottle until the next shopping area or gas station and dropped it in a trash or recycle bin. Hubby took it so I’m not sure which was available. I stayed on the sidewalk while he walked up to the building.

Whenever I caught up to Hubby, I would pause my podcast and chat for a minute or two. He was listening to the Royals game. I listened to two or three podcasts from different sources. The one that stuck with me this time was The Happiness Lab. The podcast talked about the delicate balance of sharing an experience. For instance, if you are eating a fabulous meal, do you really need to take a picture of it to share with everyone on Instagram? How much enjoyment do you really get out of that? How does that affect the people who have joined you for this meal?

I know Hubby and I enjoyed watching The Walking Dead when it is in season. We also used to enjoy watching The Talking Dead after it. The last few years, Hubby has either been falling asleep or looking at his phone during the talk show. I can say it definitely makes my experience watching it less than when we both enjoyed it. Even if I watch it alone, it isn’t the same. This podcast really spoke to me. It also made me more aware of how my kids might feel when they are trying to get my attention to share something that excites them.

The podcast mentioned the Museum of Ice Cream. It’s not a museum in a traditional sense. The description of it sounded kind of like a cross between a mobile museum and amusement park rolled into one. I think there are only two on either coast: San Francisco and New York City. I wish there was one in Kansas City. It sounded like a lot of fun to visit. Of course, I wondered how COVID might have changed that. According to their website, it looks like they are opening back up in a few days.

Back on our run, it’s dark and getting late. I do not want to get back on any trails: bugs and darkness. We stay on the street and we think it will actually benefit us and make the route longer to get our 13.1 miles in that we need. Hubby’s Garmin watch keeps telling him he has a low battery. It does this, it seems like, every five minutes. I have to agree with him, his battery might last longer if it wasn’t constantly buzzing, lighting up, and telling him he has a low battery. We haven’t checked, but maybe there is a setting we can change to fix that.

We were almost home and his Garmin would not turn on. When we got inside our house, the screen would not come back on for him. He grabbed a portable charger and put it on his Garmin. It wasn’t completely out because it brought back his workout immediately. We were both tired and very sore. I mean it took us 3:14:24 to finish! That has to be the slowest half marathon I’ve ever done! The half marathon I did for the Superhero’s weekend in Disneyland was 2:31:44. I did a 10K the day before I did that half as part of the Gauntlet Challenge! It isn’t like I haven’t been training. I’ve been doing eight to ten miles every other weekend plus some smaller runs during the week. The only thing I can think of is the fact that this was at the end of a busy day. I mean it was after 10:00 PM before we got home!

I mention how long it took and how sore we were because his Garmin didn’t give him the last like 0.2 miles or so that we did because it was so low on battery. It wasn’t much, but it wasn’t a full half marathon. He did a full half marathon the same as me, but his Garmin didn’t show it. He was too tired to actually walk or run anymore. So, he jumped in his car to give himself the distance that he should have got but didn’t because of the low battery.

My in-laws left pretty quick, but not before they told us the sad news. Hubby’s cousin did not make it. She passed away while we were out running. My in-laws were planning on going to the funeral. With COVID and all, the family decided to make it a small family-only funeral. We sent our love and condolences with them to his aunt and the rest of the family. I never got to meet his cousin, Cami. She was a mother and a grandmother and she will be sorely missed.

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Running

Another One Bites The Dust

Everything below is my own opinion. I did not receive compensation for mentioning any of the websites, podcasts, or books.

August 3, 2020

We’ve struggled to get some of our other virtual runs done. We are in the heat of summer now. Then we got the email the other day that the postponed Rock The Parkway Half Marathon is no longer happening as an in-person event. It has been turned virtual. This is the first year I signed the kids up for the Kansas City Zoo Run. I hope things are better by then and we can run it. I’m not getting my hopes up too much.

I know I mentioned being a little confused that things were opening again. I know people who are still avoiding everything even if they could wear a mask. I also know people who go around acting like there isn’t a pandemic. Again, I feel like I’m in the middle. We are not avoiding everything, but when we do go out, mostly for our own sanity, we try to be careful. We wear masks, we keep our distance, and we are constantly washing or sanitizing our hands. I still know people who think we are being silly.

I’ve been watching Emmanuel Acho’s Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man. I love the series so far. The most recent one about Religion had me thinking about the pandemic as well. The guest, Carl Lentz, said something about white privilege. If he is wrong about white privilege being real and spends his life making sure other people are included and get a fair shot then all he has done is help his fellow man. If other people are wrong about white privilege, and they never admitted it, then they will have lived their lives stepping on the necks of others. I’ve always been one to weigh the pros and cons of things, but this one little quote he said really resonated with me. “Even if I’m wrong, my wrong is better than your wrong.” I think we can apply that to a lot of things. It just gets you thinking about the bigger picture, doesn’t it?

The world has felt so crazy recently. I had several podcast that I subscribed to but I’ve never found the time to listen to them. Now without going into the whole drawn out issue of what kind of phone I have, what kind of plan I have, and the issue with different apps, I’ll say I love the Google Podcasts app. I have been able to download a few podcasts and listen to them while I run. I feel like I’ve listened to quite a few that have made me think and see things not necessarily completely different, but at just a different angle. It has kind of refreshed me. For instance, I feel like the first podcast I picked on Mom Brain was a pretty good one.

My kids love what we call the “I am…” books. They are nonfiction children’s books about historical figures, actors, actresses, artists, and many more. I believe the series is actually called Ordinary People Change The World. Brad Meltzer is the author. Mom Brain did an interview with him. In one part of the interview, he mentioned that you need to read or listen to as many different news sources as you can. For instance, if you just watch Fox News, you need to also watch CNN and vice versa. The thing is, that way you can hear both sides, but it isn’t coming from someone you have an emotional connection to. He acknowledged that it might make you a little mad or crazy. The subjects themselves can evoke a big emotion. I think the gist is that when you do encounter someone with a certain viewpoint different from you, you kind of know where they are coming from in what they might have heard. He also said something a little later that I loved. He said something along the lines of, “Be better than what makes you angry.” I think we could all try to practice that one.

August 7, 2020

I’ve been trying to run a few more miles to get ready for all the virtual runs we still have on our plate. I’ve noticed some messages written in chalk my last few runs. It would seem someone’s grandpa had a birthday recently. I saw what I think was several messages from the same person to their grandpa. I’m not sure if he was running a marathon that day or training for one. It was nice to see such wonderful messages for someone. A few days after I saw those messages, I started to see that some people wrote other encouraging messages to their loved ones that run. I enjoyed reading those as well. I especially enjoyed one message written in chalk that showed the trail was a least six feet wide. I wish it also said, “Single-file line please.”

I was about to edit this post and maybe publish it soon. Then I got an email stating that the Kansas City Zoo Run is virtual now too. So we have a few more medals and shirts to pick-up. I think some might be mailed too. I’m not sure. I guess I’ll have to keep my eyes open on my email. My husband and daughter got their Noah’s Crown Town 5K shirt and medal a few weeks ago. I guess we have a few more runs to add to our virtual run list.

The next few weeks will be interesting. I have not bought a single school supply because I have not received a school supply list. Our school district does not start until after Labor Day. So many things have changed this year. I hope some of it is for the better. I felt like we could see a little light at the end of the tunnel, but I’m not sure now. The cold weather kind of scares me because with it comes other illnesses. It will be cold and flu season. The confusion that colds and the regular flu will have with cornavirus makes me shudder. I know we need to prepare for whatever is around the corner. I have to just keep reminding myself to take it one day at a time and do what I can.

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Family, Running, Uncategorized

One Day At A Time

Everything below is my own opinion. I did not receive compensation for mentioning any of the websites.

One Step At a Time

June 8, 2020

Unless you have been living under a rock, you know things in this world have been . . . well rough. One of the things is that places are starting to open back up in the US and I’ve kind of got mixed feelings about it.

I feel like it is a sign of hope that things are open again, but at times when you read all the new precautions, it kind of just takes the wind out of your sails. I mean no disrespect toward any safety precautions. I understand the rules are there for a reason. I was on an airplane the first day the airports opened after 9/11. I remember being as cooperative as I could be because these rules were meant to keep us safe. This is a little different though. I mean some of it is the same. Well, it depends.

If we are talking the kids’ gymnastics class, then it isn’t that bad. They enter a little different, they have to bring their own water bottle, there is more cleaning, and they have to wear no-skid socks. I think we can do that. My son doesn’t feel the same, but I think he was ready to quit anyway. My daughter is going to give it a go though.

The library is opening up soon. They really are just opening up for quick browsing. We will probably still just use the drive-through. All the fun stuff like Wacky Wednesday, the play area, and playing games on the computer just aren’t really happening right now. If the kids really want to browse for a book we might go in for a bit, but I know I’m going to have to lay down the law before we go inside. It will be hard.

Those are only small examples. I’m sure you have your own. Yes, this place will still be fun to visit, and no, this place isn’t worth it anymore. I know it is sad, but the silver lining I guess is that things are opening up and trying to be safe.

Being safe. . . That is something some people take for granted. I’ve done a lot of thinking in the last few days. I think the way I was raised gave me mixed signals when it concerned people different from me. I was raised to respect others that were different, but when I got old enough to date, that was another story. I’ve tried to approach race, gender, and religion with my kids mostly through books. Before COVID-19 we went to the library once a week year-round. I would look for all kinds of books. I’ve gotten suggestions from Parents as Teachers, A Mighty Girl website, friends, books I read as a kid, family, our church, and the library itself. A lot of the really great books I’ve read to the kids were from A Mighty Girl website.

At first, I worried about reading some of these books to them at such a young age, but the ol’ saying stuck in the back of my head, “If you do not learn your history you are doomed to repeat it.” That and all the books they recommend come with an age recommendations. I’ve even learned some pretty cools things myself.

I thought it was interesting that the first case of interracial marriage was Loving v. Virginia. The couples’ last name was actually Loving. If you’ve learned anything from my previous posts, you know I’m a geek. I love Star Wars and Star Trek equally. In one of the children’s books I read to my kids about strong black women, I learned that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Trekkie. Nichelle Nichols, who portrayed Lieutenant Uhura in Star Trek, was going to quit the show, but he talked her out of it. Her role as that character later inspired Mae Jemison to become an astronaut. How cool is that!

My kids have read children’s books about the Holocaust and old stories where women replace the male hero. For instance, let’s say Kate went up that beanstalk instead of Jack. My kids love stories and they love reading. We talk about what is fiction and what is non-fiction. We love the “I Am” books by Brad Meltzer and the Little People, Big Dreams Series. We really miss visiting our library. My kids haven’t asked me much about what is going on right now. I think they are more amazed at how long it has been going on. When my kids are old enough to date, I will love whoever they love as long as they treat my kid right.

It is so hard to focus on what issue or what worries to deal with first. I’ve caught my brain going from one worry to another and back and forth. Even with writing this. What do I say?

Something nice along the trails

As I finished typing this up, we got notice that the Four On The Fourth race was completely canceled. They did not have enough entries to justify mailing shirts and bibs. So, they are giving refunds. We can do it virtually if we want, but we do not have to even with the Sweet 16 Series. We can still pick up our Sweet 16 Series swag after the Zoo Run. At this point, I’m not sure if we will still have a Zoo Run that isn’t virtual. We opted for the postponed Rock The Parkway Half, but I don’t know how promising that looks. I’m terrified school will start virtual as well. I just don’t know. Emotions are high about everything.

I think I’ve mentioned this in the past, but there is no shame in crying. Actually, crying comes pretty easy any time I turn on the news lately. It is just rough all around. I don’t want to leave you down in the dumps. I just always remember what sadness did for Bing Bong in the movie, Inside Out. Mourn, move on, and do something. Crying helps do this. Crying is okay.

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Family, Running

It Is Just Getting Hotter

A few weeks and one long weekend

May 29, 2020

We were going to try to do our virtual Running With The Cows Half Marathon on Memorial Day. My in-laws had to venture out on Mother’s Day weekend because my mother-in-law’s sister wasn’t doing well. Her sister is doing okay for now. She is kind of up and down. When I was feeling bad about my Mother’s Day, I called my mother-in-law to check and see how she was doing. I can’t imagine spending a Mother’s Day pandemic away from my kids with my dying sister. You know I heard someone say that there is always someone out there that has it worse than you and chances are that they are handling it better too. My mother-in-law was in fact handling her day so much better than I was.

Anyway, my in-laws had to come over before they left that weekend to drop off some important stuff. Since that trip went okay, they have come over a few more times. It’s made me a little nervous. In case you are confused, I’m nervous for them because they are more vulnerable. I’ve given them full disclosure about where all we have been. I tell them that I still run and that I run without a mask. I do try to keep my distance as I said in previous posts. I’ve even altered my route a bit to go a direction that seems less busy. In the process, I’ve found a neighborhood that I’ve run through before, but they started to put up these cute little signs. They put up Mom-isms after Mother’s Day and then quiz questions the next weekend. I didn’t get a chance to read all of them because some were knocked down or I was going too fast. Ha! Imagine that! Anyway, I really like them.

I’ve also disclosed to my in-laws that we went to the Kansas City Zoo for the first time since March. It wasn’t crowded because you have to enter at an appointed time. I wore a mask when we went inside an exhibit. Sissy was disappointed that none of the rides were open like the train, the carousel, the sky safari, etc. I had to remind her it was a zoo and not an amusement park. We still had fun. The new elephant exhibit was open. It looks really awesome and the sidewalk makes more sense now. Africa was one way around it and the West Africa bridge was closed. I guess because there is only one walkway and it is really narrow. The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was that people blocked the walkway at the end of Africa to look at the zebras and other animals. Instead of lining up on one side so other people could safely pass, they took up the whole walkway. We waited until they moved. None of them were wearing masks. I hope they all knew each other and had been around each other during all this. My kids seem to want to wear their masks the whole time even outside. I tried to tell them we only needed them in buildings or close proximity to other people. I mean it was hot outside that day. It was also humid.

So, after I had mentioned all that to my in-laws, we made this plan that we would cook ribs doing this method my husband found on the internet. It would take all day. We thought we could do our run during the smoking portion of the ribs. My in-laws didn’t come over until about noonish. It was supposed to rain all day Monday, but it was sunny, humid, and hot! I told my husband if it didn’t rain, I wasn’t running in that heat. Well, it didn’t rain and we didn’t run. Hubby was a little disappointed that we worked all day on the ribs and they did not fall off the bone like he likes them. They were still good, but just not like he really likes them.

We weren’t disappointed in seeing family though. My in-laws were so happy to see the kids again. I also made a post on my Facebook page about not just honoring those who served and died but those that served and survived. I can’t help but worry about them during this pandemic. They are the most vulnerable to all this. Whenever we go out eating with Hubby on Veteran’s Day, I see these sweet little old men and women wearing their veteran hats with what ship they were on or where they served. That is what inspires me to wear my mask inside stores and places like the zoo. I worry about my Mom, my in-laws, and others that are vulnerable. That is also why I give my mother-in-law a full report of where all we have been before she visits now.

As far as the run goes, we will try again soon. It is only going to get hotter because it is summer. Unless it is a rainy day with no lightning, we will have to run it early in the morning. We did get our shirts and medals before Memorial Day. I had planned on running in my shirt. I’m keeping them laid out to remind me we still need to run it. I’ll keep you updated.

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Family, Running

Words Of Encouragement

Happy Mother’s Day

May 9, 2020

I think I have mentioned that I don’t normally do anything special or set aside a special day for my virtual runs. Last weekend and this weekend has made me see even though you don’t have the energy of a race in real life, you can do things to create your own energy to make it special.

Last weekend I talked Sissy and Hubby into doing their virtual run for Noah’s Crown Town 5K. Sissy and I signed up for the Mother’s Day 5K months ago. Usually, I do Running With The Cows Half Marathon with Hubby on Saturday the weekend of Mother’s Day, and then I get up early, yet again, to run Mother’s Day 5K with my girl. I think that might have even been her first race. Well, this year I decided to take it easy and just do one race Mother’s Day weekend. That and we have no babysitters right now with the social distancing and all.

We had just got our shirts, charms, rainbow shoelaces, and other goodies in the mail Friday. I mean what timing! Hubby was invited to go golfing with a small group of friends. So we needed to get our run done before he had to leave. Good thing too. The weather was much nicer in the morning.

I was a little on edge and the kids were being . . .well kids. So our morning was going a little rough. I got completely ready and went downstairs to find Sissy and Bubby watching TV in PJs. She wasn’t ready at all! So after I get her ready, Hubby stirs and says he is going to do a water stop for us. I had mentioned that it would be nice if he would do something similar to what Bubby and I did for him and Sissy, but neither Hubby or Bubby seemed interested. Well, Hubby changed his mind but Bubby didn’t. Bubby was a bit of a stinker about it.

So we finally get out the door after I help Sissy get dressed, Hubby wakes up, and I tell Bubby to get dressed as well. Sissy and I do a few selfies while we wait for the boys. Hubby finally makes it outside to get some pictures of us as well as one with Bubby.

We headed out before 9 AM, but I would say the trails were still pretty crowded. I was surprised, but then I thought maybe it was because it was the weekend and nice outside. Funny thing was that the majority of people we saw on trail were women. They were all nice enough to give us plenty of room to pass. Most of them also knew what we were doing, and they cheered us on!

Mother and daughter running

We both wore our shirts. That is probably how almost every lady that passed us knew what we were doing. They cheered us like we were at a regular race! It was nice! The only thing was that when we were alone, Sissy would complain and moan about something. Hubby and Bubby made a stop where we would see them several times even if we only needed them twice. She would complain about that. She wanted to stop so many times! Then we would see a nice group of ladies walking or running the path, and they would energize her to run. I think maybe because she didn’t have people to race against as a visual, and knew I would slow down if she wanted to, she just wasn’t that motivated to run. The ladies cheering really gave her a boost.

Mother and daughter running

The last time we stopped for water, Hubby asked us to recreate a picture he took of us earlier that Bubby accidentally deleted. Then Bubby joined us for the last mile. Sissy was really not digging it. I understood how she might have wanted me to herself, but Bubby has been a real couch potato since this started. I had no problem with him running the last mile with us.

Mother and daughter running
Recreated

Even though I had no problem, Sissy was not having it. She complained, moaned, and groaned even more, BUT she was running more too. She didn’t like her brother being ahead of her even if she ran two more miles than him. Well, she sassed her way into trouble. We didn’t get a nice chill-out session on the front porch like they did last weekend. We had a little talk in her room instead.

In the end, it all worked out okay. Hubby got us some take out breakfast before he met us at the house. He left to go play golf before noon. I got cleaned up and just hung out the rest of the day with the kids. My brain tried to convince me to finish this thing or that thing, but I told it to shut up. I told myself that it was Mother’s Day weekend and I didn’t have to.

May 10, 2020

We got our CCVI Trolley Run shirts and medal on Mother’s Day after we got back from a family hike at Lake Lenexa. I had envisioned a much nicer day. I mean we have never been to Lake Lenexa and it was nice. Hubby fixed me breakfast. I guess I’m glad I took a break Saturday because I got a bit of side-eye for trying to take a break Sunday. I’ll save you the gory details. Let me just ask you, when someone does something nice for you but complains the whole time, does it make you feel good? No? Yeah, it doesn’t make me feel real good either.

EDIT: Writing this and posting pictures really made me feel better. Yes, my family complained and it didn’t make me feel good. Stepping back from that and looking at the broader picture really helped. I especially love the pictures my kids drew for me that I used as my cover photo here. I guess next time I get upset like that I just need to step back, meditate, and look at the bigger picture.

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Family, Running

Rocks! Lots of Rocks!

May 3, 2020

CCVI Trolley Run

We can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

So my cover picture is our little art project I mentioned in another post. I felt kind of bad just tacking it at the end of my last post. Sissy (Baby Girl doesn’t fit anymore even though she’ll always be my baby) did such a good job. Also with the light shining through from the outside, it really conveys the whole, “light at the end of the tunnel,” thing. I really hope we do see an end to the pandemic real soon.

Yellow painted rock

I got up Saturday morning and did my usual long run. I counted it as my CCVI Trolley Run. Again, I did my usual six miles, but I counted it as my four-mile race by breaking it up on my Garmin. I saw a lot more inspirational rocks and some rocks with other sayings on it. I’ll post them all here and you be the judge of their message.

I wore a buff just in case. I didn’t really wear it over my face because most of the run I was alone. I got up early enough that the first part of my run wasn’t bad. It was when I turned around and headed home that it was “that time of day” and other people started popping up everywhere. I guess I got to get up earlier, but I really REALLY like my sleep.

inspirational rocks

Anyway, Some people STILL don’t know how to run on the trail during a pandemic! I mean I’ve kind of gotten over the couple that walks side by side. I know….(enter sing-song voice) they are having a moment and want to hold hands blah blah blah. I just run off the trail, hope I don’t step in dog poop (because we all know THAT guy that doesn’t pick up after his dog), and run along to pass them.

minecraft rock

Now let me step on my soapbox for a sec. I know we are slowly easing restrictions and more places are opening up soon, but why there was a group of six to maybe seven older “gentleman” running together on the trail is a mystery. I mean, yeah, I guess they are okay since there was not ten of them, but what really pissed me off was the fact they took up the whole trail. THE WHOLE TRAIL! That is just plain rude any time. Also, I would think they would be more careful since they looked old enough to be considered more vulnerable to the virus. I mean unless I guessed their ages wrong.

black painted rock

So with this group hogging the whole trail, it was difficult to get six feet of distance in the part of the trail I was running unless I wanted to go hiking in the woods. I jumped off the trail, walked a little ways into the woods, stopped, and let them pass. As I was making my way back to the trail, I heard one of them laughing. Really? Laughing? You know I have family and friends of all different opinions concerning this pandemic. I have ones that are holed up in their house and I have others that think it’s blown way out of proportion. I feel like I’m in the middle. I mean why can’t people do what they feel is necessary without being a complete jerk to others. You don’t want to wear a mask? Then a least give people six feet of distance. It isn’t that hard. The trail is big enough that if you are on one side, someone can be running on the other side with enough room. It’s only when you walk two or more abreast that is the problem. Then again maybe these guys are just jerks in general. Like I said, they were taking up the whole trail which isn’t cool anyway.

Sissy did another chalk heart with her cousin

Okay, I’ll step off my soapbox now. I just think that just because you haven’t been personally affected by all this doesn’t mean you can’t be respectful to others. You don’t know them or what they are going through. You don’t know their story. For instance, three years ago we missed this same race. My father had heart problems and was in the hospital. We missed the race and a few days later he died. This year, I actually ended up running this on the exact day he died, basically the three year anniversary of his death. I thought about it a little. It is kind of weird. The days that are okay and the days that you still grieve. I find it particularly hard on Father’s Day. Maybe that was why I was so mad at those men. Maybe.

Anyway, I haven’t gotten my shirt and medal for CCVI Trolley Run yet. I’ll take pictures when I do. They said they mailed them out. So we should be getting them soon. I might actually have to do this one again though. Hubby doesn’t like to run alone. I’m okay with that. More running isn’t a big deal for me.

Noah’s Crown Town

So today we woke up and thought it was supposed to rain all day. Hubby didn’t plan a bike ride. Sissy was still in her PJs watching TV with Bubby (Big Man could still work, but if we are using Sissy, we might as well use Bubby) when we finally got up and went downstairs to make brunch (you know cause we slept in). I mentioned they should do their 5K that they signed up for months ago because I planned on Sissy and I doing our Mother’s Day 5K next weekend.

Last year the kids and I volunteered for Noah’s Crown Town 5K. This year the kids’ school sent home a sign-up sheet for running it. The school that got the most to sign up for the race got a visit from the Royal’s Danny Duffy. Sissy really wanted to win. Her brother wasn’t so hot on signing up for it though. He said he would just volunteer again. Well, that meant Hubby needed to be involved. So we asked Sissy who she wanted to run with her in the race. She said her Daddy. So I signed them up through the school and then signed Bubby and I up to volunteer.

Fast forward to COVID-19. The race was moved to virtual. We still haven’t gotten our shirts for this one either, but the race is still open until May 17th. I’m guessing they might mail the shirts out after that. Of course, Bubby and I aren’t passing out water anymore.

Anyway, I talked them into running since it was still a nice day. Sissy asked if Danny Duffy was going to join the winning school’s Zoom calls. I told her I wasn’t sure about the contest anymore, but I thought her idea was pretty good. I have seen that the Royal’s mascot, Slugger, has posted that he would join a Zoom call with the school that filled out a request form. So why not? Then again, I guess he could show up at the winning school in the Fall. I don’t really know if he is doing anything at all anymore. I haven’t seen an announcement or anything. I wasn’t really concerned with everything else going on, but Sissy still remembered. I hope she isn’t too disappointed if the contest is canceled.

Start of run

I suggested the route Sissy and I take on our weekly outings since I know the mileage. Hubby has never been a big fan of it. He suggested another route that went through a well used public park. I was worried it would be crowded, and Sissy really wanted to do my route. I had mentioned I would do a water stop at the smaller neighborhood park with Bubby. We compromised by doing her Daddy’s route today and my route next weekend. Bubby and I decided to set up a water stop at the park.

They headed out and I thought I had more time than what I really did. Bubby and I barely made it to the park in time. We saw Sissy’s bright yellow Hufflepuff shirt from the Wizarding Run we did last year head toward the parking lot where we were to meet. Sissy had a little Gatorade and water. Bubby and I brought the signs we made last year when we volunteered for the run. Hubby said he didn’t need a drink. He said she had mostly been walking! Really? It took them less than twenty minutes to go a mile? Usually, she paces twenty minutes or more for a mile walking. It took us less than twenty minutes to get there.

Water stop

Bubby was upset that the water stop was over so fast. He wanted to set up again next to a small pond in the park. I agreed that it would be okay. Sissy and Daddy would have gone another half mile at least by then. They took off and so did we.

The park wasn’t too crowded and it was such a nice day. The time it took us to walk from where we parked to where we wanted to set-up was enough that Sissy and Hubby showed up in no time. Sissy had another drink and Bubby said he wanted to go with them. We made sure he understood it was another mile to home. We also made sure he understood that if they ran he had to run. He said it was all good. So I trekked home by myself.

I decided to grab the signs, Gatorade, water, and a cowbell and set up on our front porch. I got a few looks from some curious neighbors. Nobody approached and they were not outside long. When I saw my family head up the street I started making noise. The kids raced to the driveway AKA the finish. Bubby kept saying he won. Of course, I reminded him that Sissy ran two more miles than he did. He wasn’t too phased since he earned a Gatorade. I went inside and got everybody a sweat rag and Sissy wanted a Klondike bar. They chilled for a bit on the front porch with a nice breeze that would blow by every now and then.

Hubby received an email a few weeks ago about the race that he forwarded to me. It mentioned when to do the virtual race and the registration was still open. It also asked to post pictures and put a certain hashtag on it. I posted pictures to FB and used their hashtag. I hope our Mother’s Day run is just as fun.

EDIT: I saw this graphic from Johnson County Park and Recreation District. I hope they don’t mind me posting it. I think it is important for people to see.

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Running

Who’s Your Mummy?

I think I’ve mentioned how I love the show Doctor Who. I’ve been apart of a virtual running group for many years before the pandemic. The Whovian Running Club does all kinds of medals and partners with some really great charities. I don’t always sign up because we do so many IRL (in real life) races. This one I couldn’t resist.

Once again it was a great medal and a great charity. The episode that it references is a classic as well. The race was Empty Child 5K. The episode that it references takes place in England during the war. One of the characters is a scary little boy that wears a gas mask going around asking people if they are his mummy. I won’t ruin it for you, but this little boy is the center of the mystery. Is he alien? Is he human with some weird alien disease? The doctor and his companions investigate to find out.

Empty Child 5K Shirt and Medal
I love this shirt

The charity was The Sheridan Story. They fight child hunger. You have the option to get the medal and/or a shirt. Both benefit the charity. I loved the shirt as well. So I bought one of those too. You can usually choose a different style. It can be a tank top, a cotton shirt, a performance shirt, etc. Out of the options available, I just chose a regular short-sleeve T-shirt.

Back side of Empty Child 5K shirt and medal

While writing this I realized I think I missed mentioning that I got a medal similar to the one that I never received from the old virtual running group. Well, actually they both just represented a character I love, Dr. River Song. Long story short, I belonged to an older Facebook group that had issues. One of the admins wasn’t exactly honest. There was a lot of drama and another group formed.

Hell in High Heels 12K medal

The Whovian Running Club (WRC) has been awesome. I’ve been apart of it for a few years now. They had some subgroups based on companions or spin-off shows at first for a friendly little competition. There are so many companions and favorites, they dropped that and changed the subgroups to Time Lords, Villians, and Companions. I chose the Time Lords.

Anyway, the original medal we wanted and never got from the old group was a Hello Sweetie medal. The medal looked like Dr. Song’s journal with her sonic and some other items that represented her. I love her character. I really wanted that medal. I was sad when we didn’t get it.

Then several years later, WRC came out with Hell in High Heels 12K. The medal looked like a set of red high heels with Dr. Song’s sonic. It also had a saying from one of the episodes where Dr. Song takes the Doctor and other companions to Germany to kill Hitler a little earlier than history says he dies. They soon find out she really isn’t there to assassinate Hilter but someone else.

Back side of Hell in High Heels 12K medal

I passed up the medal when it first came around, but luckily the group gives you a second chance for all that year’s previous medals for a short while. I regretted passing it up the first time. So I got it on round two. It was actually a 2018 medal and I can’t believe I’m just now writing about it! I guess maybe that is because I got it during the second round.

That race was to help the Daphne Legacy Tour. It benefits Galgos which is a breed of dog. It was a 12K and Empty Child was a 5K. I’m so bad about setting aside a specific day for these runs because I’m always training for an IRL race that I usually just consider one of my training runs as the run for the medal. A lot of other people set a specific day, celebrate it, post pictures, etc. I’m so bad about virtual runs. I need to be better especially since these charities are all so good. I think I forgot to even print out my bibs for both of these races.

Seriously? A whole year went by and I didn’t write about my cool Dr. Song medal. Amazing! Well, at least I’m writing about it now. I guess that is why I should start running the race on the day the WRC recommends or setting aside a special day on my own. At least I’m writing about it now. Eh?

EDIT: I mentioned in a previous post that I would let you know how our storm glass door would turn out after I let my kids paint it. I set up some painters tape much like the mosaic sidewalk chalk art that has been popping up everywhere. My kids’ art teacher suggested it in her private Facebook group. My daughter loved it. My son was too busy to help. He just stayed on his computer. He’s been exploring art by making some stop motion videos and visiting some music websites. Anyway, I wanted to share it. At first, I thought that it looked better with the tape until I saw it from the outside. I think next time I won’t use as much dish soap so it won’t be as runny. I hope you like it.

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Family, Running

Alone Time Is Good

April 19, 2020

I planned on waking up early Saturday morning and running six miles. My alarm went off and I hit snooze a few times before turning it completely off. I get up before everybody else during the weekday just to get some alone time. It is later than a “normal” weekday, but I still like my sleep. Since the pandemic, it has been harder to get some alone time. Don’t get me wrong. I feel I’m blessed to be with loved ones. I just don’t want them around me ALL the time.

I’m mostly introverted but I have enough extrovert to almost be half and half. The introvert in me really needs some alone time to recharge. It’s kind of hard when your family is not supposed to be anywhere. I decided Saturday morning that I would just run later and hope the trails were not too crowded to be safe. I’m not going to give you the ugly details, but let’s just say I should have gotten up early and left the house because the few minutes I was awake with my family was not good.

I ran a few hours later than what I originally planned, and a bit earlier than my plan B. I just decided I wanted to be alone and going for a run was a good way to get that. Nothing seems to light a fire under me than feeling underappreciated and misunderstood. I felt I had a pretty good pace for someone who hasn’t trained much. I mean running with Baby Girl on her scooter doesn’t do so much for my time.

The trails were not too crowded, but it annoyed me when two people would walk side by side instead of getting in a single file line to pass. So I would go waaaay off the trail to keep that six feet of distance. I guess that was my passive-aggressive way of letting them know I don’t want that close to them during a pandemic.

I did see a few things along that way that made me stop and take a few pictures even though I was using the time to do my virtual Westport St. Patrick’s Day Run. I saw some rocks that people painted to cheer up those using the trail. I also saw some pretty trees in bloom. It all made my mood a bit better. I even posted a thank you on the Nextdoor website. I wanted to let whoever painted those rocks know that I really appreciated it.

All in all most people on the trail were good. They would stop and let others pass in a muddy spot. There were also quite a few that did go into a single file line when people approached. I got my six miles in, but I segmented it on my Garmin. So I did one workout with the four miles to report to Sweet 16 Race Series, and the other just for me.

My time ended up being 46:06 for the four miles. My usual default pace when I’m not training hard is a 12-minute mile pace. When I’m training I’m usually around 11-minute mile pace to close to a 10-minute mile pace. I remember watching a video interview several years ago on two female marathon runners. They talked about how slow they were running when they were pregnant. They said they did like a 10-minute mile pace pregnant. I always try to remind myself that they are professional runners and there is no shame in being slow. At least I’m moving and not sitting on the couch.

Hubby still has his mileage to get. I’ve got a “To-Do List” of races we need to do virtually now. I’ll let you know how each goes, especially the Running With The Cows Half Marathon.

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Family, Uncategorized

The Easter Bunny Is Essential

We can get through this.

April 16, 2020

We are still here. We haven’t done the miles for our virtual races yet. Big Man has decided he doesn’t like to ride his scooter outside, but Baby Girl likes to ride with me while I run. She had gotten quite good at it. We go when the trails are not as crowded for safety because some people still do not act like they know to keep their distance.

We are still lucky enough to work from home. We try to get take out at least once a week to support our local restaurants. It is a battle to get the kids to do school work or get exercise. Sometimes the best we can do is have a dance party with Go Noodle on YouTube.

My sister is still working and getting goods transported for everyone. The storms hit my family in Southern Arkansas. They have been without power for days. My cousins still have their late father’s house (he passed just this October). His house still has power. They drive an hour or so to charge phones and cook. They may have to move in temporarily if things do not get fixed soon. My Mom lives several hundred miles from my cousins. My sister bought generators for our uncle’s house and her own house. She lives in the same town as Mom. So Mom is temporarily living in my sister’s house (which used to be our Mammaw’s house where Mom grew up). My sister was worried about being around Mom at first because of all the travel she has done. She is being careful and washing and wiping everything. She didn’t have to worry for too long because she actually got called right back out again.

So we heard the Easter Bunny and Toothfairy were deemed essential. The kids were happy to hear that. I have been planning Easter for a while now. Our church has been doing service and Sunday School on YouTube. Hubby went out and bought all the stuff we usually eat on Easter. Baby Girl and I were the only ones to dress up though. This is the first year we did not get a family Easter picture. I think the Easter Bunny overdid it on the candy. I’m not sure if it is because he ordered a lot of stuff online and didn’t keep up with how much or what. The kids were super thrilled because in the middle of all this they had forgotten Easter was coming. So it was a big surprise for them. We did not see our Sunday church service, but we did do Sunday School with the kids. The nice lady at our church does “Bible Time With The Bonds.” It is really cute.

I usually try to decorate our house for most holidays even if it is just a wreath. Easter is a full-on bunny fest from all the stuffies and knick-knacks my mother has bought me over the years. I usually put decorations away while the kids are at school so they aren’t bummed about the passing holiday. I think this time, I’ll make up some washable paint. That way when we clean up the decorations, I’ll tell them they can paint the storm glass door like we did the mosaic sidewalk chalk on the front-drive. We will see how it goes.

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Family, Running

No Miles Mother’s Day

April 2, 2020

They were the last of our Spring races to announce it, but The Mother’s Day 5K is also virtual. I wondered when they would make the official announcement. I mean Running With The Cows has a half marathon the same weekend and they switched to virtual over a week ago. I can’t blame them for hoping.

I know in the past I have mentioned how I seem to put poor planning in my Mother’s Day weekend as far as rest and relaxation are concerned. For at least two years now I do two races back to back. I do the Running With The Cows Half Marathon Saturday and then the Mother’s Day 5K on Sunday. I’m usually pretty spent by the end of it all. I do enjoy special time with Baby Girl on the Mother’s Day run. Honestly, If I had the power to make the whole thing go away, I wouldn’t mind running 100 miles that weekend just to get things back to normal.

I wouldn’t say we are doing no miles on Mother’s Day. Baby Girl and I might do our virtual run that weekend. I might try to make it special for us somehow. We will see.

I saw another school event that made me sad for the kiddos. They had so much planned for this Spring. I saw an email from the school district that graduation was still on but in July. I’m happy they still get the choice to celebrate.

My sister has been having a tough time. She runs a pilot car service. In case you didn’t know what that is, it’s the cars that run in front and behind wide load trucks to make sure they can travel routes safely. They don’t just warn you that a big load is about to pass. They also make sure the load can make it under bridges, signs, and railroad crossings. Basically it is an essential business that still needs to run at this time. I mean how do you think things make it to the supermarket for you to buy or building materials get to their destination.

Anyway, she mentions how it is hard to get food with places being closed or having reduced hours. She is keeping some MREs with her. If you don’t know what those are, they are nonperishable meals that the military usually uses to package and eat on missions. Oh, and that doesn’t stop jackasses from getting in her face telling her she is helping spread the virus. Certain businesses are deemed essential for an obvious reason. Here in Kansas, you can call 311 to report any business you think is not following the stay at home order. Why don’t people do that? If you call you can help stop the spread of the virus or at the very least be educated as to why the business is essential.

Oh and in case you had questions about running safely during this time, a video was posted on Garmin Kansas City Marathon’s Facebook page. The director of the race and two physicians talked about running safely. I would recommend listening to the whole thing, but the gist is running alone or with people in your household during times when trails are less populated seems to be the safest route. If you read my previous post, you know I found that out the hard way. Weekends around noon or in the afternoon on sunny nice days seem to be super crowded. So keep that in mind.

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Family, Running

We All Need Some Vitamin D

March 29, 2020

Everything below is my own opinion. I did not receive compensation for mentioning any of the websites or mobile apps.

I mentioned it was challenging to get the kids outside. Saturday I decided I wanted to get in some decent miles since Hubby and I eventually need to do a virtual half marathon for Running With The Cows. I slept in late and went running a little before noon. The kids were still inside despite how nice it was outside. Since I had been out earlier in the week and people kept their distance, I felt like running on the trails was still okay. I guess the weekend is a little different.

It had rained Friday night. The trails were a little muddy, but there were a lot of people out enjoying the nice weather. The runners still gave me a good distance when needing to pass even though there was some mud. We gave each other room to pass or waited until one was through the best route around the mud and then the other would go. You know, we took turns. Most of the cyclist were good as well. I can’t say the same for a handful of amateur cyclists!

The mud under the bridges on the trails was particularly bad. The middle is about the driest, less muddy spot. If I saw someone coming, I stopped and moved to the side. I let them go through first because it would have been a tight squeeze otherwise unless I wanted to get extra muddy. There were a few times I was already crossing under the bridge and in the “sweet” spot. I would be almost to the other side and see a cyclist coming. I thought they would stop for safety and social distancing sake, but I was wrong. They came at me full steam ahead and almost ran me over. Honestly, even if we were not trying to practice good social distancing, that was still NOT cool!

I could tell they were amateur cyclist (regular people out for a joy ride) because one person wasn’t even wearing a helmet and the other later on down the trail was in regular clothes. To me, a seasoned cyclist is someone who wears the gear or at least the helmet. Well, that and they know to give runners and other cyclist room to pass.

Whew! Okay, I guess I’ll get off my soapbox now. I did think of an idea for the dance we missed while I was out on my run. In case you didn’t read my last post, my daughter missed her Daddy/Daughter Dance due to the pandemic. My son and I missed Mother/Son Bowling because we were sick. I thought all we need is for Hubby and Baby Girl to get dressed up and play a little dance music. Then for Big Man, we have an old baby playset for bowling. Maybe we could still do the dance and bowling? I’ll have to see if Hubby is on board with all of it.

When I got back home, the kids actually wanted to go outside. They wanted to ride their scooters. I knew I would have to run around with them, and I just did six miles. I was a little tired, and it was still pretty muddy. I told them we would do it Sunday. So we went outside and blew bubbles and wrote on the driveway again in chalk since the rain washed the other drawings away Friday night.

So Sunday rolls around and I thought I better get them out earlier when maybe there aren’t as many people out on the trails. Yes! This was the right plan. There was still a lot of people, but not near as many as Saturday afternoon. They were also more well mannered. We had lots of room and safe social distancing.

The kids were slow going on the trails at first. They normally just ride their scooters around the kitchen island inside. So the sidewalk and trails were a bit more bumpy to them. The trails were thankfully somewhat dry. By the time we turned around to head back home, they were really doing a good pace. I could actually jog a bit here and there. We did a total of four miles. I think maybe they can ride along with Hubby and I when we do our four-mile virtual runs. We will see.

The rest of the day was pretty chill. The kids ate lunch and watched a Youtube Sunday School lesson that a really nice lady did for the kids at our church. She is the Director of Children’s Ministries from our church. Then they tried the trampoline for a bit, came in, and found out I added a free Brainpop account to their tablets. We already doing Epic and Zearn with their school. We saw Teach Your Monster To Read, Scholastic, and Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems was all free. So we do those too. I think they will enjoy the newness of Brainpop for a bit. The school is supposed to send us something Monday on continuing their education until the end of this school year. I’m a little nervous about it, but we will see how it goes.

The Hubby was out doing some yard work when the kids asked him to play on the trampoline. He finished up and got out there with them. I can’t believe how long he stayed on that trampoline with them. We are no “Spring chickens” for sure. They were out there for over an hour. I was pretty happy with their outdoor play today. I feel like tonight’s sleep might be better than the last few weeks.

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Family, Running

That Time We Missed The Dance

March 27, 2020

By now we have heard from almost all our Spring races except Mother’s Day 5K. The ones we have heard from have all gone virtual or are postponed. We only have our Westport St. Patrick’s Day 4 Mile Run shirts and medals. I don’t know when we can pick up the shirts and/or medals for the rest. I’m sure they will email us.

We are lucky enough to have a treadmill in the basement where I can run, but we are also lucky enough to have trails near our house. Yesterday was the first time I went outside to run since this whole pandemic started.

It was nice outside. So there were a lot of people outside. I saw lots of people playing games in their yards, some sitting on their front stoop, and plenty taking a walk, run, or bicycle ride. Don’t worry, they were all well past the six feet of distance from me. That, I guess, is one silver lining. There was no crowding on the trails that day.

I had told my kids that parks were still open, but the playgrounds were closed. On the way back from my run, I walked by a small playground to cool down. I saw a sign that was actually placed in front of the playground saying it was closed. I showed the sign to my kids when I got home.

I did eventually get my kids away from the screens to enjoy drawing on the driveway with some sidewalk chalk. That has been the challenge. I haven’t been able to get them to get off their screens, and when I do let them use something like their tablets, of course, they do not do anything I would consider educational. I’ve been told that at this age playtime is like their work. It is how they grow and learn. So right now, I’m trying to not freak out too much about their education yet.

I was sad for my daughter this morning. My calendar reminder email for the day was in my inbox. One of the things that would have happened tonight would have been the Daddy/Daughter dance. Then I would have taken my son bowling to make up for the day we missed it in February. Well, again, I’m sure everybody has something they have missed. I can’t imagine having a senior this year. I mean I doubt many schools have had prom yet.

Well, we are trying to stay sane. We are trying to stick to a schedule of some sort. We are trying to get some vitamin D when we can. Going outside feels weird only because I’m eyeing just about every human to make sure they keep a safe distance. I’ll let you know how all that goes.

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Family, Running

Virtual Cows That Is

March 21, 2020

I’m not going to say that Friday wasn’t eventful. I’m just going to say that I wasn’t as hypersensitive to the situation. I also don’t recall learning anything else shocking.

My kids have two or three websites or apps that work now. I don’t think they are super educational. The kiddos are in first grade and as I understand it, playing is supposed to be like work for them. They are also pretty good readers.

We saw a Facebook post that Running With the Cows Half Marathon will be virtual. I kind of hoped they would postpone it like Rock The Parkway. I still wonder how the Heartland 39.3 Series is going to work with all this.

I think we got enough food. We did order take out from one of our favorite Greek places, Greek Cuisine, anyway. We worry about supporting local businesses. We really hope everyone makes it out of this okay. I don’t know. I guess nobody does. I guess the best we can do is take it one day at a time.

Hubby is kind of being pessimistic. Some of it sounds realistic, but I want to stay on the side of optimism. We have some much-needed repairs to our house coming soon. He thinks the company that is supposed to come are going to have to postpone or cancel. I’m hoping they still make it. We will see.

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Family, Running

The Time My Phone Died

March 18, 2020

Well, it is official. My phone has gone on to greener pastures. I did everything Google FI suggested in the email they sent. Yes, unfortunately, I still have to look at my email.

Since I’ve checked my email I’ve learned that Noah’s Crown Town 5K is now a virtual run as well. The kids and I volunteered last year. This year the schools had a contest. The school with the most runners got a visit from Royals player, Danny Duffy. Baby Girl wanted to win. So she and Hubby entered to run. Big Man didn’t want to run, but he wanted to volunteer again even if it didn’t count toward the school contest. So he and I volunteered. Well, now Hubby and Baby Girl get to do that one on their own whenever they want.

Our Taekwondo class reached out with an email. I’m not sure how their plan will all work. I understand submitting a video of our kids doing their forms, but they want three kids at a time in the store for a total of twelve minutes. I guess that is to make sure there are less than ten people at any time at different stations away from each other. We will see how that goes. They also say the belt test in April is still a go. I guess it will be a lot smaller too.

After I did some chores, Hubby gave me a rundown of different emails he read before me. I mean I just had to get away from the computer and still do things like laundry and cleaning. He said Rock the Parkway Half Marathon is postponed until sometime in August. He also said the school is trying to figure out how to still do something with our kids. I decided to read those emails later.

Did I mention school is out for good? I’ve heard some people wonder why the Kansas Governor didn’t wait until the three weeks were closer to being over to make a decision. I don’t know, but I think I have some sites and apps working on the kids’ tablets. The kids haven’t started yet, but I’ve got some lined up thanks to their teachers and the PTA.

I could go on about the field trips and after school activities we were looking forward to, but I’m sure everybody has that right now. Again, just follow Sadness’s cue (from the movie Inside Out). Cry if you feel like it. Cry even if you know someone who has it worse than you. Go to a bathroom if you want privacy and have a good cry. Just let it all out. Other than a snotty nose, you will feel a lot better. I usually don’t like to cry in front of people, but maybe I should cry in front of my kids more just so they know it is okay.

Oh, and in the middle of all this, I forgot to wish you all a Happy St. Patrick’s Day Tuesday. I wore green that day. I just kind of lost track of the day once it got started.

March 19, 2020

I never got a chance to look at those emails about the races and schools Wednesday. I waited until the next day. I keep getting emails and FB messages like crazy. I just don’t have enough time in the day!

I finally checked the email about school. I’m not sure if they are going to try something virtual or what. One resource I was sent, Zearn, is not compatible on an Android. Then when I tried to pull up Scholastic for the kids, and it wouldn’t work either. Come to find out Kindle thinks it isn’t age-appropriate!? I tried to bring up lessons for grades 1 and 2 and Kindle thinks that isn’t even age-appropriate for a 13-year-old!? The customer service representative I chatted with said she would bring it to the developers’ attention. In the meantime, I have to let them use it on my profile. I guess I got to loosen the reins and trust they will not click around on things they are not supposed to. Honestly, I think they will be super wrapped up into the lesson to want to snoop around. If they do get bored, they’ll probably just go back to their profile and find something else.

I finally read the Rock The Parkway email. They are postponing it until August 29th. They are also giving transfers and virtual options as well. I wonder about Running With The Cows Half Marathon. I hope we can still have that. I keep watching the number of COVID-19 cases go up in our area. It is going up slowly, but it is still going up.

I’m happy to see links and emails for mental help. I mean I talk about crying and how it helps, but I know there are people out there that might need more. I hope they have a chat line or hotline to call if they need it.

We got videos for Taekwondo. I haven’t had a chance to show Big Girl yet. My email just overflows daily. I don’t know how anybody could possibly say that they do not have anything to do.

At the end of the evening, Hubby and I set aside some time to watch TV together. We usually watch our recorded shows after the kids are in bed, you know, Supernatural, Walking Dead, Modern Family, etc. We caught a glimpse of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in between playing our recorded shows. It was the first time we saw it from his home. It was the one where he interviewed Jennifer Garner through an internet meeting. At one point, one of Jimmy’s kids interrupts to ask a question which I think was about his tablet or something. I’m so happy they didn’t edit that out. I feel your pain, Jimmy Fallon. I think we all do.

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Family

That Time We Had To Distance Ourselves

March 17, 2020

I just posted the blog about our last race getting canceled. It is probably the first post I’ve ever written as it was happening. I had to go back and make changes here and there as things happened. It is so strange to think that this time last week the world still made some small kind of sense. I mean there was a shortage of toilet paper but NO shortage on memes about toilet paper.

In the last post, I mentioned how the kids’ after-school activities were still going. We got an email yesterday that the kids’ gymnastics class would be canceled for at least a week. Then we also got an email that schools would be closed until April 5th. Soon after that, we got a message from some fast food places that only the drive-through and take-out would be available. No news from Taekwondo yet.

The zoo was open Monday. I’m not sure how long that will last. I tried to keep the kids outside and away from any other people there. It was pretty much a ghost town, but not just because of the coronavirus. It was cold and a little rainy too. We did pretty good avoiding any humans. One kangaroo didn’t get the notice. Tuesday afternoon I got an email that it is closed until April 1st.

This kangaroo must not read the news.

I woke up Tuesday morning to my Google FI phone not working. It worked fine yesterday. Today it is turning on and off by itself and will never completely turn on. I did a chat with someone in customer support. They are supposed to send me an email to troubleshoot. Nothing yet.

I’ve seen a ton of “free” apps and websites that are supposed to help our kids learn during this time. One free code I was given by our teacher wouldn’t work because it belonged to another school district. I keep thinking what a terrible mother I am because I don’t have all the apps lined up for my kids. Well half of them don’t really work. I’ve probably wasted several hours trying to set up stuff that either isn’t compatible with their kind of tablet, isn’t age-appropriate, or isn’t really free. I know. I know. As I type this it sounds like the tiniest problem compared to what others might be going through right now.

We got an email that the CCVI Trolley Run will be virtual as well. So that is two races we need to report for the KC Sweet 16 4 Mile Race Series. I’m not sure when Hubby and I will do that. We usually get the grandparents to babysit while we run. We might have to ask Hubby’s sister instead since she isn’t high risk like they are.

By the end of the day, we received an email that school was out for the rest of the year! At this point, I’m afraid to look at my email anymore. I just really don’t want to.

I cried last night. It was a great stress relief. I mean Sadness from Inside Out taught us that, right? You can’t be happy all the time, and if something was important to you, you can be sad. Just let it all out. I know a lot of people are having a harder time than me, but it still feels good to have a little cry every now then. And you know, it isn’t just for me. It is for everyone. I worry what this world will look like when this is over.

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Family, Running, Uncategorized

That Time St. Patrick’s Day Was Canceled

Everything below is my own opinion. I did not receive compensation for mentioning any of the places I dinned at or shopped.

I’m sure by now you know that most large events and even a few small ones are canceled. I’ll admit. I wasn’t looking forward to running in the cold rain the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day, but I also didn’t want the world shutting down. I feel like I had a healthy concern for this outbreak, but when everything started to shut down, that kind of made me want to panic a bit.

The kids had one day left of school before spring break and it was canceled. Of course, the Westport St. Patrick’s 4 Mile Run was canceled. They sent messages saying that this is the first time in 43 years this race has been canceled. They switched everybody over to be virtual runners. We are part of the KC Sweet 16 4 Mile Race Series, and we have had to do virtual runs for the series in the past. I think everybody else is on an honor system, but I know we have to submit proof of our mileage to them by email. Hubby picked up our race packets with our T-shirt and medal. It was kind of weird to have handouts to other races we already know are canceled as well.

Westport St. Patrick's Day 4 mile run shirt and medal

I thought my daughter’s Taekwondo tournament would be canceled. The venue was a no go, but the managers of Tiger Rock decided to split it up in smaller groups between the two locations in Johnson County. Also, instead of two days, they made it three days. Baby Girl did well. She got a gold medal in her forms on Saturday! She was so proud and so were we. After that we went to eat for the first time at a place called Shack Breakfast and Lunch. I loved the atmosphere. The food was good too. The name Shack reminded me of my old nickname back when I worked for Alltel.

Brunch Without Booze is Just A Sad, Late Breakfast
Wall at Shack’s Breakfast and Lunch

We do not know how well she did on the agility course on Sunday yet. I think we will know later in the week when classes start again. Yes, as of writing this, their after-school activities are still a go. We’ve received several emails from them all telling us about their cleaning and sanitation practices. Of course, they want us to practice common sense if we feel sick.

Tiger Rock Nationals Shirt and Gold Medal

Oh, that reminds me! Try having allergies during this crisis! Every time I cough or sneeze I get side-eye from someone. I had an annual doctor’s appointment recently and had to wear a mask in the lobby. I understand which is why I agreed to wear it without much fuss.

Spring Break is here and I hope there are still some safe places to take the kiddos to let out some energy. I think some places like the zoo might be okay. I just think we should not go into tightly enclosed spaces with a bunch of other people like the polar bear habitat. We can see the polar bear just fine from the open air space outside. I’ve either received emails or viewed on official websites that Science City and other Union Station attractions, the community center we attend, and the libraries are all closed. I also received emails that our next half marathon, Rock The Parkway, might be canceled or postponed. I’m not sure how the Heartland 39.3 Series will handle that. They don’t usually give runners a virtual option for half marathons. This is going to be interesting, to say the least.

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Running, Uncategorized

That Time The Crud Hit Us

I can’t believe we finished!

Everything below is my own opinion. I did not receive compensation for mentioning any of the places I dinned at or shopped.

The first race of the year was Liberty Half Marathon, and Whooo! Did it kick our butts! Why? Well, we were sick a few weeks before the race. Noooo, not the illness that shall not be named. I’m pretty sure we had the regular flu. My husband got it, then I got it, and then our son got it. Our girl didn’t get it at all (knock on wood).

Now Hubby goes around joking that we had it, but we were nowhere near anybody exposed. Most of the cases were in foreign countries at the time. I mean there was a total of about 27 cased in the US at that time according to the CDC website and I believe they were all in Washington or New York. In case you didn’t know, we live in Kansas. Hubby and Big Man recovered pretty quick but Baby Girl and I had a bad cough. I kept treating my cough like a cold or flu and it wasn’t getting better. Then it hit me. It’s Spring. Baby Girl and I have allergies and it’s allergy season. Duh! As soon as I started taking allergy medicine I started to feel much better.

The thing that really sucks other than being sick and not being able to train as we should is that Big Man and I missed Mother/Son bowling night. I told him we could try to go during the Father/daughter dance.

The packet pick-up was stressful. Thankfully we didn’t have to go all the way to Liberty, MO to pick it up. They had one day we could pick it up in Martin City, MO which is a lot closer. It was on Wednesday and I was out and about to get my hair cut. The salon I go to is way up North of our house and Martin City is way South of our house. Hubby was working from home that day and said I should try to go and get it. I agreed even though he had a bicycle ride near Martin City later. He said he was riding his bicycle to the group ride and would not be in a car to carry everything.

I thought I had time to stop and do a quick 10-15 minute errand on the way. I was wrong!!! Little did I know that traffic picked up at about 2:30 PM. I guess maybe it is parents getting the older kids out of school or something? I’m still not sure. The little kids get out later, but I still had to call Hubby to ask if he could take a break from work and pick up our kids. I was just getting to the store, and there was no way I would make it in time. He agreed even though we were having a play date at our house that afternoon. I knew I could be there for that. Good thing I called him. It took longer than I thought to get our packets. I got home and the kids were jumping on the trampoline with their play date pal.

It was a Saturday run and my in-laws were nice enough to stay at our house. If you read my blogs, you know that they do that a lot, but what was different this time was that they had been to Branson, MO for about a week. They had not slept in their own bed in a while. It was super nice that they did this for us.

We got up early. Surprisingly there was little friction between Hubby and I. He always seems to be running late and I always seem to have anxiety about being late. Well, we had a little friction when we got there. He was getting his podcast ready and I wanted to see the expo since they didn’t have one at the store on Wednesday. We finally agreed to split up and meet before the race.

I got a chance to look around the Mabee Center on the William Jewell College campus. We didn’t do that much last year. We were kind of in and out of there. Well, we did hang out a bit in the “beer room” last year. I made sure it was in the same place this year. I also saw there was an upstairs. I went up there and got some pictures from an open balcony type area. I also noticed there was a door that led right to the path of the starting line. The entryway was a lot warmer on the backside too.

Hubby texted a bit later and we met up just below the balcony area where I took the pictures. He had some Shatto milk since they were there. I had some earlier as well as some doughnut holes from Dunkin’ Donuts. I pointed them out to him, but he didn’t want any. We got our picture with the backdrop before the race. You know, before we get all hot and sweaty. That was nice. Plus the line for pictures after the race was crazy long.

It was a little cool even though it was sunny. I was wearing capris leggings, a long-sleeve technical shirt, a vest, and a hat. Hubby was wearing the same thing except he had shorts on under his cycling leggings. I told him before the race that he should just run in his shorts and he would be fine. He didn’t want to. His cycling pants has a pocket, and he didn’t want to wear his armband.

We found a nice sunny spot on the hill next to the start. A lady took our picture. When the race started we just merged right on in with the rest. Although I think we ended up with the 2:20 pace group. Of course, a lot of people passed me in the beginning. I wasn’t too worried. I knew I wouldn’t be breaking any PRs that day.

I remember thinking at about mile three that I was dressed comfortably. So I knew Hubby must be hot. I can’t remember what mile they were at, but there was a beer and chocolate stop. Woohoo! I definitely stopped at that one. I got a small cup of light beer and a dark chocolate Kiss. Hubby said he missed that one. He got a banana at the Liberty hospital when we ran by though. I missed them. I did pass one of the ladies I had my eye on during the race there. I thought I saw her ahead of me again. So I pushed myself to catch-up to her. Come to find out it was another lady that just looked a lot like her. I mean clothes and everything.

I saw Hubby at a turn around point. He did look hot and I don’t mean cute either. He was drenched and he had his hat stuffed in his pocket. I didn’t see him again for a while. I had my eye on this couple that was running together. I thought I could pass them. As I started to get close I could see Hubby just up ahead of them on the far left of the road. I passed the couple with no problem because of course, I had my eye on catching my Hubby.

I didn’t cough during most of the run. I only coughed when I started to walk. I brought one cough drop and I only used it right before I caught up to Hubby. We didn’t really stay together at first. He ran ahead a few times, but we were more together toward the end. He did pull ahead at the finish line. There was nobody in between us. I heard the announcer say his name. I thought about how cool it would be if he said my name soon after his. I picked up the pace to be sure I would be next. Apparently there was someone just right behind me that wanted to race. I actually pulled through first though. So my name was called right after Hubby. My chip time was 2:43:52 and Hubby’s chip time was 2:43:38.

We got our medals and oh boy! Was Hubby every in turtle mode. He was dragging behind big time. I don’t know how a human can walk that slow. He grabbed me a water and handed it to me at the end, and then I picked up the goodies on the food table I wanted beside Hubby. For some reason, he decided to pick up two of the things I didn’t pick. He kept trying to give me a bagel. I told him I didn’t want it. If I had wanted it I would have picked it up myself. It was nice of him to think of me, but I was right there with him. Again, if I wanted it, I would have grabbed it.

We went to our car. It took Hubby FOREVER to get there. I didn’t change clothes. I wasn’t that sweaty anymore. I just took off my vest. After we drank and ate most of what we had, we went back into the Mabee Center to get our beer and any other goodies. Most of the booths at the expo were gone. We walked around a bit with our beers. As soon as we were finished we left. I kind of wished we had time to go back to these wings that were painted on the side of a building on the race course. I wanted Hubby to take my picture with it. I saw it earlier in the race and wanted a picture then, but Hubby wasn’t with me. I felt weird asking a stranger. I’m sure someone would have done it for me. Oh well.

We had to rush back because before we signed up for the race, I bought tickets to Puffs. We love Harry Potter and last year Baby Girl took an online quiz to discover she belonged to the Hufflepuff house. I thought we might all enjoy it. We got home, thanked my in-laws, fed the kids, got showered, and headed out for The Coterie Theatre.

We realized the adults ate earlier after the race, but that was a few hours ago. Hubby said Subway had a buy one get one free foot-long subs. We stopped by one on the way. The kids and I stayed in the car since I thought he would be in and out. Several minutes went by and Baby Girl asked if she could go in and be with her Daddy. I said she could. We were there for about a half-hour when Big Man and I decided to go inside.

I had seen a family sit down and eat, and I thought I saw Hubby through the window order our food. When I walked inside he was at the back of the line. There was a group of soccer girls and a mom ordering. I asked Hubby what happened. He said the deal was only on the app. He didn’t get a chance to ask until he was next in line after the family ordered. There was only one worker there (one worker on a Saturday!!!!) and she wouldn’t even start the order until it came across the system. He let the soccer group go ahead and order, but they got one sandwich started and his order came across. Then, of course, they had orders for all the girls and apparently some other people that were not there. I was worried we would be late for the show!

We were not late. Thank goodness! We had time to pick-up our tickets and sit down to eat. The downside was that the kids could not play while we ate. They had to have a parent in the play area with them even though we were seated at a table about 15 feet away. They were fine though. I finished pretty soon. I took Baby Girl to the bathroom, and then it was time to get in line. Hubby took his ticket from me so he could finish his drink. We got good seats. The last time we were there they had the kids sit on the floor in front of the stage. This time there were chairs.

About the time Hubby sat down, I thought that maybe Big Man might need to go to the bathroom as well. Hubby took him and came back pretty quick. A cosplayer that was outside earlier came in to watch the play with some family or friends. She was dressed as Bellatrix. We got a picture with her at the Wizard race during the summer.

The play was funny. It covered all seven years of Hogwarts from the view of the Hufflepuffs. Hubby and I were a little stiff from sitting so long. We took the kids to the play area after it. We chit chatted with one other parent about the race right before we left. The dad approached us because I had my finisher shirt on.

All and all it was a pretty busy day. We have another next weekend. We have the Westport St. Patrick’s Days Race and then Baby Girl has a Taekwondo tournament. The race is only four miles and we do it every year. We will see how it goes.

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Family, Running

What’s Up?

What We’ve Done Recently

You may or may not know that the winter time is usually slow for us around here. Well, race wise that is. We were super busy with the kids, Christmas, holiday travel, and work travel. I think I mentioned I got a job in the late summer. I work for a Seattle based environmental and civil engineer firm that specializes in stormwater management. I got to go there for their Christmas party.

I’ve never been to Seattle. I was excited and nervous at the same time. I was nervous to meet my coworkers in person. I always get nervous before I travel. I guess the fear of missing my flight, my luggage getting lost or forgetting to pack something important always causes butterflies in my stomach. I was super nervous about what to wear the day of the party, but luckily everything went well. I didn’t get to see much of Seattle though. I was kind of in and out there pretty quick.

When I got back I got a call from the Parks and Recreation department in Johnson County. I’ve mentioned a few times that I took my kids to several parks around the Metro as part of something called, “Kansas City’s Passport to Adventure.” If you visited a certain amount, you got entered for a drawing. Well Baby Girl won one of the big prizes. She was so excited. It was like an early Christmas present. She got a backpack with all kinds of books, water bottles and a gift card to the department to spend on classes or other activities.

Soon after that we traveled to Branson with my husband’s family to have some fun at Silver Dollar City. From there we traveled all through Southern Arkansas seeing my family and some of Hubby’s family. The kids got so many presents and even got to ride horses at my Husband’s aunt and uncle’s place. It was a fun and exhausting trip.

When I got home my company asked me to help with their website. I’ve been doing some research. As you know, this blog is mostly for fun. I haven’t really done anything super fancy to it. I might try to zhuzh it up just a bit though to practice some things. The two hosts are quite different and of course my plan here is a free one. We will see what I do.

As for the future? Well of course we have the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. Go Chiefs! Hubby and I signed up for the Heartland Challenge again as well as the Sweet 16 Series. This year I signed up both kids for the Zoo Run. They showed an interest. We will see how they do with that extra mile.

My back has flared up again right as I should be training for our first half of the year and the Heartland Challenge. I’ve been seeing my chiropractor again. Hopefully I will get back into shape now that the holidays and tailgating season is over. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed.

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Family, Running

Everything Is Awesome

Everything below is my own opinion. I did not receive compensation for mentioning any of the places I dinned at or shopped.

Halloween is my favorite holiday. It is just so much fun! I love all the costumes. I mean you can be anyone. You can be scary. You can be brave. You can be silly. You can be a hero. The one thing that gets me about Halloween is the cost of the costumes.

We signed up for Nebraska Furniture Mart 5K Halloween Run/Walk again this year. They encourage costumes and we tied for Best Family Costume last year. Baby Girl already wanted to dress us as Sarah Sanderson from Hocus Pocus. Little Guy wasn’t too keen on being Billy Butcherson. Then I thought of Thackery Binx. Little Guy likes animals, but again he wasn’t super stoked about being a little kitty. So then we thought of Black Panther. It just wasn’t really going well. Then Baby Girl realized we would be doing the run again this year. She really wanted to win that family category. Our award last year was some chocolates. We dressed as Harry Potter characters. We had Harry, Hermonie, Sirius, and Professor Trelawney. The other family that tied with us dressed as Incredibles.

So we went through ideas. I really wanted a Wreck It Ralph theme. I wanted to be Shank from the second movie, but Hubby has grown a big grey beard (which would have been great for Dumbledore last year). Then I thought Nightmare Before Christmas would be cool. Hubby could be Santa. Nope. None of those got the family excited. Then Baby Girl said Lego Movie. She wanted to be Wildstyle and Little Guy was super happy about being Emmet. So then we were back to what Hubby would be. He jumped at the opportunity to be Gandalf the Grey. So I got started looking at Google.

I searched and found Hubby his stuff right away. It wasn’t too expensive. Little Guy was good to go as well. Then I started to search for us girls. I saw the cutest costume for a different character for Baby Girl. It was for Mayhem in the second movie. She had some cute little pigtails and everything. It was affordable as well. Then I saw there was a adult version of Wildstyle. Holy Cow! It was twice the price of everybody else’s costume! That was just crazy! I mean Wildstyle basically wears a black hoodie with some painted-on scribbles down the front. Seriously, these people wanted fifty bucks for it! No way!

So I got everybody else’s costume from three different locations to get the best deal. I shopped Amazon, Party City, and Target. I get free shipping with Amazon and I had another costume shipped to Target to avoid shipping fees. Party City doesn’t ship to the store. So it was the only one I had to pay shipping. My costume was a bit of a different story.

I did more Google and Pinterest searches. I found a lady that did her own Wildstyle as well. She hand links to Amazon for the paint and hair extensions. I found an affordable black hoodie at Sam’s and I started to paint. It took me four days to paint everything. I had to paint three different sides to the hoodie and let each layer dry. I was worried my hair extension were not going to be here on time. I stopped by Party City to buy some. There were not really the right color, but I thought they would work okay. I got lucky though and my other extensions arrived in the mail just in time. I didn’t have to use the ones from Party City. They are still unopened.

All in all, I think everybody was happy with their costumes. We did have a little switch up with Hubby’s wig. I had a hard time finding a long gray wig for a man that did not come with a beard. He already has the beard. I finally just searched for long gray wigs for woman and bought him one. The problem was that when it came in the mail it looked like it had some green in it. It was weird. Maybe it had green because it showed a zombie lady on the cover. I don’t recall the description saying it would have green in it. I got a chance to use the Kohl’s return system for Amazon, and it is AWESOME!! It’s so convenient and easy.

We actually replaced Hubby’s wig with one we got at Spirit Halloween. We went to IHOP for my free anniversary pancakes and there was a Spirit store across the street. The kids begged to go inside. I reminded them of some of the scary decorations they have, but the kids said they could handle it. Ha! Wrong!

Little Guy was somewhat okay. He stayed in front of this TV screen watching a video of how all the animatronic decorations are supposed to work. He really wanted us to buy the three headed dog because it reminded him of Hagrid’s Fluffy (they had it listed as the mythological Cerberus). Baby Girl on the other hand was acting very jittery and would only hang out in front of the Hocus Pocus merchandise. They had what looked like a short haunted house, but it was too funny. There was nothing scary inside it. It was a bunch of TV screens with bubbles. One might have had some octopus legs and another showed a shark, but it was not scary at all. Hubby was trying to tell them about it while I purchased his new wig. Baby Girl was the only one that would go through . . .eventually.

So we got our costumes and race day was quickly approaching. I mean there are tons of people I know that do not even have a clue what their kids will be for Halloween, and here we were ready to race in our costumes. Then BAM! Baby Girl had second thoughts about her Daddy’s costume.

She kept saying Gandalf was only in the movie for a few short seconds and nobody would know he belonged with us. I mentioned he could try to be Vitruvius earlier. He was the master builder that helps Emmet and Wildstyle in the first movie. Hubby didn’t seem to excited about being him. Besides Vitruvius’ beard was white and not grey. The kids then remembered Metalbeard. I didn’t think we could get the beard right and Hubby said he didn’t want to look like a Transformer. As the race got closer, Baby Girl was getting real upset about her Daddy’s costume. She even begged him the day of the race to not wear it. We told her that he didn’t have any other costume if he didn’t wear it. So she finally let it go.

Packet pick-up was at the store the day before the race. I asked the volunteers when they would do the costume contest. One of the people there called someone to check. They said it would happen throughout the race and they would announce winners at the end. That kind of made me nervous because last year they did it all before the 5K started. I noticed the nice big white moon on the front of the shirt and thought it might glow in the dark. We have several Halloween shirts from Old Chicago that glow in the dark. The 5K shirt from last year didn’t look like it would glow, but it does. I tested this year’s shirt out when we got home and it does not glow. Bummer.

Nebraska Furniture Mart 5K T-shirt and finisher medal
T-shirt and finisher’s medal

The day of the race we didn’t leave at the time I wanted to. I had low tire pressure the night before and asked Hubby to fill it up using our compressor. He said it would be too loud at night. I got the kids up, fed and dressed. We were ready to roll, but Hubby was still dragging. Then when we got in the car we realized we hadn’t put air in the tires. Ugh! I really wanted to get there before the kid’s fun run even though we were not signed up for it. I wanted to make sure we didn’t miss the costume contest.

We finally left. We got there in time for our race, but the fun run had already started. Most of the roads were blocked. We had to move a cone to get in the parking lot. Hubby wasn’t exactly dressed yet. He was getting his costume over his running clothes and I told him to meet us at the start. The kids and I took off across the parking lot. It was quite chilly. Thank goodness we did have warmer clothes under our costumes. I saw the backdrop for the pictures and turned back to look for Hubby. He wasn’t in sight yet. They asked us to line up at the start. I really wanted a picture without the race bibs, but the race was about to start. I bent over to put the bibs on the kids. I looked up and saw Hubby. I thought he saw us too because Baby Girl was wearing all white and Little Guy was wear all orange. There wasn’t a lot of people around us. I thought we stood out pretty good. I looked up again after getting one kid’s bib on and Hubby disappeared! I was getting on the second bib when my phone rang. It was Hubby and I didn’t answer it in time. We walked a little ways as I was calling him back and we saw him on the street corner in front of the start. We headed to the end of the corral for more time to pin our numbers. I was still pinning my number when we walked over the timer strip.

Family Picture At Nebraska Furniture Mart 5K
Gandalf The Grey, General Sweet Mayhem, Emmet, Wildstyle

Baby Girl wanted to run with her Daddy this year. Last year Hubby and Little Guy ran together and they beat us. My plan both years was to run the pace my kid wanted to run. My wig was slipping because I didn’t pin it to my head, but I still ran Little Guy’s pace. He really didn’t like that Baby Girl was ahead. My wig was such a pain during the run. I was happy anytime he wanted to walk so I could fix it. We were pretty close to Hubby and Baby Girl most of the race. We took a cup of water on the way out, but we passed it after the turn around on the way back to the finish. I asked Little Guy before we got there if he wanted another cup of water and he said no. The lady passing out water headed straight for Little Guy, but I told her he said he was fine. She noted how red he was in the face. Yup, my Little Guy gets super red in the face, but he is usually fine.

We caught up to Hubby and Baby Girl before they reached the three mile mark. Baby Girl took off running again. Little Guy wanted to go in as a group. I caught up to Baby Girl and told her what her brother wanted to do. She said she didn’t care because he beat her last year. She wanted to be first in this year. So she ran ahead. She was first, but not by much. Baby Girl’s time was 45:20.90, Hubby was 45:21.08, Little Guy was 45:21.19 and I was 45:24.36. Later Hubby told me the reason they beat us last year was because he pushed Little Guy a bit.

Gandalf the Grey at finish line
You can’t see me. I’m behind Hubby.

We got our medals and walked around a bit. Baby Girl need to use the porta potty. On the way to the potty we noticed that some of the booths were handing out candy. One was even handing out full size candy bars! The guy joked and said they wanted to be just like “that house” you went to on Halloween. I helped Baby Girl go to the porta potty and we doubled back to meet the boys at the booths we passed. It wasn’t long when the DJ asked us to gather around for awards. As we passed this one lady, she said, ” I hope they give you guys the family costume award.” I smiled and said thank you.

Crowd waiting for awards
Waiting

They announced a few costumes that won. Hubby actually won a category. I think it was most fun costume or something. He got a gift card to Nebraska Furniture Mart. They announced a scary costume award and I think something else. Then they started in on race awards. There was a lull at one point, so I asked if they were done with costumes. It was still cold and we would probably leave. One of the ladies at the award table said she didn’t know. We thought they probably were and we were about to leave when we heard them say that they did not have any boys eight and under run the 5K. Umm. . . our Little Guy is seven. If they didn’t have that many sign up, then he might have won something. I went up again and asked the same lady about it. The lady said, “Oh no. We just did that one just now.” She then said they didn’t have any female eight and under. I told her my daughter was seven and she ran. She told me they were trying to figure it out and pointed to a guy with some pages that was talking to the DJ.

Hubby went to a wall that had results posted. He went and took pictures with his phone. He came back and said Little Guy was fifth in his age group, but Baby Girl was second!!! She won second place! Cool! I went back to the award table again. Both ladies that were there before were gone now. There was a gentleman that had been handing out the medals. I told him we saw on the board that not only did they have girls eight and under, but our daughter won second. He said that they would probably announce that soon, but he wasn’t a race organizer. He was Noah’s Dad! I thought he looked familiar. There was an email or something that went out and said this race was now benefiting Noah’s Bandage Project. The kids and I volunteered last Spring for Noah’s Crown Town 5K. I told him that and we shook hands.

Back of T-shirt Says Noah's Bandage Project
Back of T-shirt

Now by this time Baby Girl needed to go potty again. I think she drank some more water. The one guy with pages was making phone calls and the DJ was about to start a dance competition to have something fun to do while we waited. The guy with pages hung up and started to announce winners again before the DJ could get all that started. They announced third place for girls eight and under. No body came up to the podium. She must have gone home. Then they said Baby Girl’s name for second place! She was walking on clouds. She had the biggest smile. After getting her medal we raced to the porta potty again. We looked around a few other booths after the potty and then headed for the car.

Little Guy was not a happy camper. Daddy won a costume prize and sister placed in her age group in the race. He didn’t win anything. I reminded him of how proud I was he even did it at all. A lot of people don’t really run races. I also reminded him of how hard I worked on my hoodie and I didn’t win anything or place in the race. I told him I was super happy for Baby Girl and Daddy too. It didn’t help much. I will say sometime later in the car he congratulated his sister and Daddy. My heart melted.

We took forever to decide to eat a Bob Evans. My husband likes their food and the one at the Legends is the only location in the whole Metro. I’m not sure why Hubby was resistant to eat there at first. Baby Girl got the cute little piggy pancakes. She ate the whole thing. As a matter of fact, we ate everything! Not a single piece of food was left on anybody’s plate. I guess we worked up a good appetite.

pig face made of pancakes

Our day wasn’t over yet! I had to hurry and clean up when we got home. Shawnee Indian Mission was having their festival and my mother-in-law thought it would be a good time to finish out our little passports. We got these Kansas City Passports to Adventure and we only needed to visit twelve sites to get entered for a drawing. Then we also had a neighborhood Fall Festival later that afternoon.

Well, we made it in the early afternoon to the Shawnee Indian Mission Festival. Let me just say it was interesting hunting someone down that knew what we needed for our passports. We went to three different buildings and a tent before we found the right person. The kids were thrilled to get their stamp in their passport. They played a few games outside and then Little Guy was ready to go home. On the way out they spotted a craft booth that had knitted stuffies. My kids LOVE stuffies. So I bought a unicorn and a Pikachu. We started to head out again, but they spotted a rope bridge the Boy Scouts put up next to one of the buildings. It was a dollar to cross it and there were at least six kids already in line. I told Baby Girl we only had about an hour and a half left of our neighborhood Fall Festival. She decided it was time to go and skip the bridge.

Halloween pumpkins

We got home and I talked Hubby into going with us to the neighbor Fall Festival. They had BBQ, wine, a dessert competition, face painting, balloon artist, pumpkin decorating, and a bouncy house. The kids had a blast. We got two small pumpkins, a pink poodle balloon animal and a purple poodle animal. I made chili when we got home. Man, was that a day. I think we all slept good that night.

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