In Spirit

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This is where I would normally write about the CCVI Trolley Run, but we missed it this year. I had planned on visiting my father on May 6th, but he did not last that long. I had a very distressing phone conversation with my father the Thursday before the race. He had just been transferred from the DeWitt Hospital to the Arkansas Heart Hospital in Little Rock.

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We decided to skip the race and a few other things going on that weekend to rush and see my Dad. We rearranged a few things including this race. The Sweet 16 Series Challenge allows virtual runs. I emailed and asked if we could in fact do the CCVI Trolley Run virtual. The nice people running the series agreed. With everything in place we packed the kids and got ready to head to Little Rock, Arkansas.

My father wasn’t the only one having a medical emergency. My husband’s cousin went into a diabetic coma. His aunt flew in from Florida and came to our house with my in-laws to eat a family dinner together before my in-laws drove her to Batesville, Arkansas to be with her daughter and the rest of the family. We were getting it from both sides.

By the time we made our trip on Friday, Hubby’s cousin was awake and doing a bit better. My in-laws decided to meet us in Little Rock to help with the kiddos since they were already in Arkansas. It was a tough call bringing the children. Some say they shouldn’t remember their grandfather in the hospital like that, but at the same time it might be the last time he would get to see them. I chose to verbally prepare my kids for what they might see and let my Dad see them. If you remember my husband had pneumonia last Fall. So the kiddos were somewhat familiar with hospitals.

We got in late Friday night almost Saturday morning. I’m not sure I want to take you along on the roller coaster ride that was our weekend. Let me just say I got tired of hearing how things either couldn’t be done or certain doctors or personnel was not available because it was the weekend. I’ve had a C-section with the twins years ago and my husband was admitted on a Saturday with his pneumonia. It was all at the Overland Park Regional hospital. So I’m not sure what level they are or how it compares to Arkansas Heart Hospital but we definitely like the care better at Overland Park Regional. I mean I do not recall anybody saying we had to wait or couldn’t do something or talk to someone simply because it was the weekend.

Like I said it was an emotional roller coaster. My Dad hung on long enough to see me, my Mom, and my sister all together. The funeral for my father was the following weekend.

It is always nice to be together with family. One would just wish it was a happier occasion. We got a picture of my sister, brother, and all the cousins. We figured the last time we were all in a picture together I was about one years old. Crazy!

When we were at the hospital we actually asked to speak to someone about the care my father received over the weekend. We spoke to a nice lady that gave us a card with an email address on it. I do rough drafts of just about everything, let it sit, edit it a few times and then send the final draft. It was a week or so before I sent the email. It was three pages when I printed it off later. I copied my family just so they would know.

A few days after that I got a response. I did not include my phone number and they wanted to talk to me. I gave them my number and they contacted me after Memorial day weekend. I was told that because of my letter some changes were going to take place. That made me feel good. I really don’t want any other family to go through what we did.

As of the last editing of this post, June, we have not done our virtual run yet. I’ll let you know how that goes. June itself is going to be another roller coaster. My husband and I have a wedding anniversary, my Dad’s birthday, the kids have a birthday, and then of course Father’s Day. I’m just going to take deep breath and take it one day at a time.

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Another Kind Of Brexit

If you don’t read my blogs, then you probably do not know that we signed up for a running series called the Sweet 16. It is a series of four runs that are all four miles. We did the Westport St. Patrick’s Day Race and the Trolley Run. Four On The 4th is the third race. We have one more to go, The Zoo Run. Of course Four on the 4th is the morning of the 4th of July. My sister-in-law and her family have fireworks in their neighborhood on the third but since we knew we had to get up at the butt crack of dawn for this race, we didn’t think it would be a good idea to go.

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My mother-in-law and father-in-law stayed the night so the kids could sleep in while we did the race. Funny thing was that even though we thought we shouldn’t go see fireworks in my sister-in-laws neck of the woods, we went out to Old Chicago to eat. They were having some kind of special on receipts kind of like Chic-fil-a. They still got to bed okay. My in-laws were going to take them to the annual neighborhood Fourth of July kids parade. They decorate bikes, strollers, trikes, whatever and go from the park to the pool which is only a few blocks. My kids just turned four (Hmmm I see a theme here, You?). So they are big enough to ride their trikes. Unfortunately we live on a busy street with a driveway that is very hilly. So they don’t get to practice much. I was a little worried they might be a bit behind everybody. I’ll go back to that later.

Since the Fourth landed on a Monday, my husband did not want to go pick up packets on a Sunday. So we had to get up even earlier to get our packets. It always makes me nervous to think we might be late. We parked in the same area as last year which is nice because we parked right near the end. When we got over to the packet pick-up my husband said something “smart.” He asked what we were going to do for the next twenty-five minutes. Then I saw the line for packet pick-up and I told him it looked like we were going to be standing in line. The line moved okay. A lady started asking people their shirt sizes and giving shirts to help speed up the process for when we finally made to a person with a computer at the table. This time I didn’t even ask for a smaller shirt the lady just decided on her own that I needed a smaller shirt. I can’t lie and say that didn’t make me feel good. After getting our bibs, we only had about ten minutes to drop our stuff off at the car and get back to the starting line. We got back just as they were doing the national anthem.

Right before the start the announcer made a comment about the US getting away from Britain before things got too bad. My husband made a remark about the whole Brexit ordeal. Of course I’m sure a lot of other people had that thought on their minds. We got off to an okay start. We’ve been trying to find me a good cordless headset. I tried out my husbands the other day and set it down on the counter. My mother-in-law picked it up the night before to say something about buying one to my husband. My husband saw she put it back on the counter. Even though he knew where it was, he was not real happy with me because I didn’t put them back where he normally keeps them. He ended up forgetting them that morning. I had my corded headset and I was jamming to a playlist on Amazon Music. The next thing I know I was at the first mile in less than ten minutes!

My ultimate goal is to break a thirty minute 5K or a forty minute four miler. Basically I want a ten minute mile or better. It was looking good for me so far. My Garmin was even in sync with their mile markers. I made it to mile two just fine as well. I was feeling a little fatigued at mile three. I haven’t been running like I want recently. I think I have plantar fasciitis. Now if you read anything about running then you have seen several articles on this. I have skipped every single one because the only injury I’ve ever suffered is some lower back pain. Now I have this horrible pain in the left heel of my foot every morning or everytime I get up from sitting down for any period of time. Of course it is fine after a bit of walking or running. But, Man! Does it hurt first thing in the morning! So I’ve been doing my shorter runs during the week which is between three and half miles and four miles long. I’ve been skipping my  longer weekend runs.

There were only two or three really big hills that I walked on the course. Each time I walked I had people pass me, but as soon as I could run again, I passed almost all of them. I tried to sprint a little toward the end, but the heat was getting to me. It was hotter last year, but for some reason it felt harder this year. I looked down at my watch and was very happy. Last year my time was 44:09 and this year it was 40:34! So funny how well I do during races where I have injuries.

We did our rounds to see the tents and stuff at the post party. They had root beer floats. We each had one and some water and I had a banana. We started home and I realized the kids would still be home. We got back and my mother-in-law was getting my daughter ready for the parade. We decided to go ahead and let them take the kids as planned while my husband and I got cleaned up a bit. We made it back outside our house just in time for the parade. Several waves made it by and we didn’t see them. I even saw some jerk come up right behind a group of moms and kids in his car. He was an older “gentleman” with a handicap sign around his rearview mirror. I said really loud in his direction, “What is wrong with this guy?” Then I saw my people on the sidewalk. My Littles were a bit behind the rest of the crowd which is why I think they were on the sidewalk instead of the road. I’m afraid they are not super fast on their trikes. Baby Girl wasn’t even riding hers. She was skipping in front of my poor mother-in-law dragging the trike along. I took the trike and asked Baby Girl if she was going to ride it anymore. “Nope,” she said skipping along with her helmet still on her head. I put her trike away while she skipped along next to my mother-in-law on the way to the pool. I got out and back to the road in time to see my son riding his trike. He was determined to ride his trike all the way there all by himself. My husband wanted to put something on the trike to help him along since we don’t have one of those trikes with a handle. So he tied some webbing to it but left some slack in it to let our boy know he was doing all the work. After a while my husband did start to pull a bit. Our boy was getting a little tired.

At the pool, they always have ice cream truck. Everybody got ice cream. The kids wanted to try those kiddie things in the shape of Spiderman and Hello Kitty, but they do not taste good. They did that last year and didn’t eat them. I told them they were not getting those this year. We got them ice cream sandwiches because they taste better. Everybody was happy. It was a little cool that morning to go swimming, not to mention crowded. So we walked back home and skipped the pool.

We ended up having my sister-in-law and her family over later to grill some burgers and hot dogs. There is always some fireworks near our house, but my sister-in-law was too tired to stay. Most of her gang left before the fireworks because they saw them the night before at her neighborhood. My mother-in-law and father-in-law stayed with my oldest nephew and we watched the fireworks from up the street. It was a good time, but boy were we all tired.

 

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Baby, You’re Much Too Fast

We did the CCVI Trolley Run again as part of the Sweet 16 series. If you remember last year I said I wanted to join our running buddies team because their daughter was born with bilateral congenital microphthalmia with cyst. CCVI stands for Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired. Since then they had a little boy born with the same thing. I shared Facebook posts to help raise money for their team even though at first Hubby and I were not on the team. I emailed the contact with the Sweet 16 series and they said they could not transfer me to the team. The mom whose post I shared commented that she was having that same problem with some other runners that wanted to join her team. She said she would see what she could do. I also emailed a contact with the Trolley Run but go no response. I thought we just were not going to be on the team. Then Hubby picked up our shirts and registration packet and I had the team shirt but he didn’t. I think the mom forgot about him since I was the “squeaky wheel” on Facebook. It was all good though. I donated some money and I know of at least one family member that donated as well. I was proud to wear their shirt for team Wiz Kidz.

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The front of the regular shirt and team shirt were the same. The team shirt was red and had the team name on the back.

My in-laws stayed the night once again to babysit for the race. They didn’t take them to church this year because they had to head back to Fayetteville to pack the last bit of things they needed for their new place here in Kansas City. See they rented for a year or so while the building for senior citizens they found was being built. Now that it is finished they had to get ready to move into it. My husband’s plan was to go with them after the race so he could help them move the heavy things. We had planned on going to the Royals game to join my multiples mom club for multiple birth awareness. We ended up selling our tickets since he needed to help his family and I didn’t want to wrangle the twins by myself. So they all slept in as long as they could while we got up at the “butt crack of dawn” to do the race.

We actually left a little later this year then we did last year. We found a parking garage and walked to the buses. The line was a bit longer than last year because we were later. The weather was nicer this year. Something else that was different was the waves. They did not assign colors on the bibs. They had pacers instead. You just line up with your pacer. I lined up with the nine minute mile people with my Hubby. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to line up with other Wiz Kidz members or not. Hubby even said he was told he could still run with them. I was worried we lined up in the wrong place. Then I saw several other Wiz Kidz shirts and relaxed a bit. The race had drones filming the beginning of the race. I didn’t bring my head phones but I wish I had. This race actually says to not bring headsets but people still do.

I saw a lot of people from Rock The Parkway. There was the lady with the comic strip running skirt, and the man with the kilt. I don’t think I mentioned him in my post. The pacer from Rock The Parkway made a comment about the guy’s kilt being a skirt. I almost ran up to him to tell him the joke I saw on Facebook, but the pacer was still in earshot and I didn’t want the encounter to be awkward. The joke was, “Why do they call it a kilt?….Because they kilt every one that called it a skirt.”

The race was pretty good. My time was about two minutes faster than last year. Last year was 40:47. This year it was 38:19. If you did the math you know I didn’t stay with my pace group but I sure did try. One of the multiple moms in my group did it last year and said she was doing it this year as well. She said she hasn’t ran since last year’s race, but she works out a lot. I saw a Facebook post that said she ran it in about 33 something. I see something like that and I just keep reminding myself how much I have  improved and that I am on my own journey. It can be so hard not to compare.

I did note during the run that I was passed by four different runners with strollers. They looked like pretty fit and fast runners anyway. Again, I’m on my own journey. I passed a blind runner and his guide. I heard so many people say encouraging things to him. I told him what a good job he did later in the race. I stopped and got some of the bacon this year. Last year there was a group cooking bacon and I didn’t get any. I don’t know about last year, but this year it was good and crispy just like I like it. I kind of wished there had been a beer stop near it. I said as much out loud and a gentleman passing me said, “Now that is what I’m talking about.”

Something I wish I had a picture of for this post is the sign in someone’s front yard. It was written in purple. It said, “Baby, you’re much too fast.” They also had “Little Red Corvette” playing. I thought that was pretty awesome. In case you have been living under a rock, the world lost a truly great artist, Prince. I wrote this as my Facebook post.

I didn’t grow up with David Bowie’s music. I like his music and one of my favorite movies is Labyrinth. I do miss him and after he passed I showed my kids the movie. Prince, on the other hand, I grew up with his music. When I think of music of my childhood I think of Prince, Madonna and Michael Jackson to name a few. I remember all my friends had the Purple Rain soundtrack but my Mom wouldn’t let me get it because of the song, “Darling Nikki.” I don’t think I actually heard the whole song until I saw him in concert when I was in my twenties. Thanks, Jennifer, that night rocked!

Like a lot of other people out there, I’ve been listening to a lot of Prince lately and the sign made me smile.

I knew Hubby would beat me on a shorter distance race like this. He was waiting for me at the end. I wasn’t sure what we could do after the race. His parents wanted to hit the road as soon as they could. Last year we went to brunch while they were still in church with the kids. This year we got yogurt, chocolate milk, water and bananas at the race. They also had an after party section at the plaza. It was the similar to last year, but it was so cold we didn’t stay long. This year we actually got some frozen custard and the pizza that they offer. I wanted to find some of the Wiz Kidz team that we knew but even though I saw a lot of Wiz Kidz shirts, I didn’t know any of them. I saw the dad run back at mile three. I figured he finished and was going back to do the last of the course again with his family. I saw pictures later that confirmed that. They looked so good crossing that finish line. They are such a wonderful family.

One of our hashers ran the race as well. She also belongs to the Kansas City Track Club and helped sign us up at the Westport race. We didn’t stick around to talk to Wiz Kidz or hashers. We kind of just ate and went back home. Which was fine, but I think I would have had more fun socializing. At least Hubby got back in time to mow our lawn which really needed it. My in-laws were in a hurry but they knew our lawn would look so bad by the time Hubby got back and he doesn’t really like me doing the lawn. My job is the shrubs. They still left town at a decent hour to get things packed and ready to go. So in the end everybody was happy.

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Four On The Fourth For Murica’s Birthday

Another race at the butt crack of dawn. Since it was the Fourth of July and usually hot, the temp was just right at that time of the morning. My in-laws stayed the night and were back at home with the kiddos. I always seem to be real nervous before I get to the race. I know it isn’t nerves about my performance since the race was only 4 miles. I think I get nervous because I worry about just getting there. I guess I’m worried my husband or traffic or something will make us late. In case I haven’t mentioned it before, my husband is real bad about being on time for things. That makes me worry about the Disney races. They are so early in the morning it will be so easy to oversleep or just drag butt.

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The woman’s shirt is super cute.

There were no waves or anything for this one. It actually looked like there wasn’t that many people there. I thought I started okay, but man a lot of people passed me! I just kept thinking that maybe I would be passing quite a few of them toward the end. I did pass a few people but I don’t think I passed as many people that passed me earlier. It all kind of reminded me of this scene from an old Goldie Hawn movie. She plays a woman who coaches boys football in high school. She encounters several obstacles and prejudice while at her school. The kids didn’t want her as a coach so they destroyed something of hers. I think it was a watch or something from when she ran the Boston Marathon. So she challenged the boys to outrun her. If I remember right, she said if she was the last one running then she stayed and if they beat her she would leave. I remember all those boys passing her super fast on the first few laps. She just had a steady pace. I kind of fancied myself to be like Goldie Hawn’s character with the steady pace. Since I didn’t pass that many toward the end, I would have to say my pace was really slow. If her character did Boston, she was by no means slow. She also won the challenge of course. It would be mush of a movie if she lost. She told them they owed her a new watch. I couldn’t find the clip but you can enjoy the trailer.

I didn’t do as well here as I did in the Trolley run. I was about 4 minutes slower. My husband reminded me that the Trolley run was almost all down hill. There were medals at the end of this race and root beer floats. We didn’t stay long. The later it got, the hotter it got. Also my husband needed to pick up something from the grocery store. I about froze in the refrigerator section since I was still in my running clothes and covered in sweat. I over pack when we travel and I don’t pack enough for local races. I didn’t bring any extra clothes to the race because I usually don’t want to have to run back and forth to the car or keep up with them. I wonder how that will all balance out for the Goofy Challenge.

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Trolley Run

We did the CCVI Trolley Run at the end of April. It was the second of our Sweet 16 Challenge. I had never heard of it, but apparently it is a pretty popular race. Our Parents as Teacher Educator told me before the race that she walks it every year. I don’t remember how many people ran. There was definitely a lot of people there that morning. We parked at the end on the Plaza and rode one of the several buses to the start. The website says, “Over the years, the Trolley Run has become the largest timed four-mile run in the United States, and the first major run in Kansas City to use chip technology for race results.”

It was kind of cool and a little cloudy that morning, and of course it started at the butt crack of dawn. I was glad my mother-in-law and father-in-law were able to stay the night and wake up with the kids. Our kids are not really early risers. Of course that means when I get them to preschool in the Fall I’ll have a hard time getting them up and out the door.

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Before you start wondering how my in-laws are able to watch our kids so much, I think I mentioned they moved to Kansas City. Maybe I didn’t. I’ve been trying to remember everything I’ve written without having to read it myself. I barely have time to write much less go back and read what I wrote months before to refresh my memory. So just to save myself some time, my in-laws are selling their house in Fayetteville, AR and moving to Kansas City. They are already staying in a duplex and have purchased a condo type thing for seniors. They just wanted to be closer to all the grand kids since my sister-in-law lives in Roeland Park, KS. I am very lucky and grateful to have them all live close enough and be so willing to watch the twins when we need it.

So back to the race. I did my best time for 4 miles! I did it in about 40 minutes. Although I’ve been told it is mostly a down hill course. They had us split up in waves. I think my bib was yellow and I remember passing a lot of green bibs. The Hubby wore a yellow bib too though. I can’t remember how they had the waves split. I do remember that we wore our race shirts from the St. Patrick’s Day race. Hubby asked if we were going to wear the Trolley Run shirt to the Fourth of July race and so on. I said, “Sure. Why not?”.

I also remember a couple that had some funny shirts on that day. I think it said something like, “Fear The Bacon,” or something similar. I remember someone was cooking bacon and giving it out along the course. I didn’t see the “bacon couple” getting any. I thought they would for sure get some. I was tempted. I remember the Bloody Marys on the St. Patrick’s Day run. I ran by them thinking it was another water stop. When the guy said it was Bloody Marys, I did a bit of a U-turn making sure not to get the way of my fellow runners. He laughed and handed me the cup. I kind of wished someone had one that morning.

My in-laws took the kids to their church with them. So they were not going to be home for a little while. The Hubby and I decided to do a quick brunch and Bloody Marys since I mentioned having a craving for one from the previous 4 miler we did. We were already in the car and driving away from the Plaza when we saw on Google that Tomfooleries Restaurant & Bar was supposed to have a good one and it was on the Plaza where we just were! We tried to find something else since parking was bad and we already left our choice spot. There was a Barley’s Brewhaus on our way home so we stopped there. The Bloody Mary’s were alright and the brunch was pretty good. Hubby wanted some sausage type thing. I got a California omelet and asked to have bacon added. I love my veggies, but bacon makes everything better. We really should have shared a meal, but his meal just didn’t sound appetizing to me at that moment.

I can’t remember if it was later that day or a day or so later that I saw one of our friends in our running group on Facebook with his family at the Trolley Run. I hardly ever have time to look at my news feed. I usually just check my notifications and whatever happens to be at the top of my news feed when I do it. Well I smacked the palm of my hand to my forehead when I saw his post. Of course they would be at the run. CCVI stands for Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired. His sweet little girl was born with bilateral congenital microphthalmia with cyst. The picture on the post was so precious. I think she is maybe 2. He was holding her hand crossing the finish line with his pregnant wife holding her other hand. I think we are going to try to do the run again next year unless something major prevents us. I hope to do it with our friend and his family. It is a really fun run and for a really good cause.

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Rockin’ The Sweet 16

So I was worried about momentum. I think I’ve got that covered now or at least I hope I do. I’ve been meaning to write this post eons ago but I got all caught up in the spring consignment sale for my multiples group. I am a board member and I have to stay and help the whole weekend. We are there from the very beginning to the very end. It is a lot of work! Some moms work so hard they do not even get a chance to get their things together to sale for themselves. Luckily I took several days to get a little bit done here and there and got it all ready in time.

Anyway, I found a half marathon here in Kansas City that is pretty popular. It is called Rock the Parkway. We did it a few weekends ago. Oh, and when I say we, I do mean my husband and I did it. Yes! He did a major run with me. Well, he ran it. We almost never run together because he is always going to be faster than me. I’ll have more on that later.

I also found a local race challenge called the Sweet 16. It is 4 races that are 4 miles each. So far we have done 2. We did the St Patrick’s Day Run and the CCVI Trolley Run. We only have the Four on the 4th and the Kansas City Zoo Run left to do. I’ll do something on the 2 we have done so far soon.

Oh and as of today we are officially signed up to do the Goofy Challenge in 2016! How is that for momentum? I’m so excited. I had to write a little to get you caught up on what is going on right now. I’ll try to remember details for the three races we have done so far and do a write up on them soon.

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