A Green Winter Wonderland

I couldn’t believe the weather forecast. Snow! It felt like Spring just a day or so ago. It was in the seventies. This was crazy! I didn’t want to run in snow! I was going to run the race in a green dress too. I tried it on to see if it was doable, but it was still a little snug even with the weight I have lost in the last year. I don’t think I could put anything under it to keep warm. So I had to scrape the dress idea. I hate the cold so much. At least the Westport St. Patrick’s Day run wasn’t at the butt crack of dawn. That would have been even colder.

The Hash House Harriers were still talking about a run later that day from the same part of town. One of the runners was doing the race and wanted to lay a trail from the same area since we would be out and about anyway. In case you don’t know, the Hash is a “drinking club with a running problem.” I wanted to do both runs, but I wasn’t sure Hubby wanted to with all the ball games going on that afternoon.

The day of the race we finally found the parking garage that was recommended in our race guide. We tried to find it last year with no success. So we just parked along one of the side streets. This year we found it and there were hardly any cars in the garage. We picked a spot next to a door and hoped we were okay. We didn’t pick up our packet the day before because it was in Westport and since the race is later in the morning we just got up a little early to get it that morning. No sense in making two trips out that far. I think a lot of people had the same idea because the packet pick-up line was pretty long. Thank goodness they were working quick inside to get us all through.

We went back to our car to drop off some of our stuff and put on our race bibs. We didn’t take their pins. We have too many at home. I had some in the car. We were shocked to see the numbers of cars that appeared once we were back out at ours. Apparently we got there early enough to beat the rush!

After we were ready, we went to Kelly’s Westport Inn. The hashers were meeting there. We went upstairs which is where we were last year. It was totally empty. The bar was shut down as well. We spotted them in the back when we went back down the stairs. There was only one couple there at that time. Hubby said something about doing an Irish Car Bomb. We did one before the run. I kept thinking how crazy we were for running in a race in the snow.

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The start of the race

We met up with some other hashers outside of Kelly’s and took off down the race route. I didn’t see any of them until the end. Hubby realized that he is faster than me at the beginning and I usually catch up to him at the end. So thankfully we ran our own race and I finished maybe a minute or so behind him.

My first mile was super rough. I looked down thinking I was at least a mile and half in but my Garmin said I was barely at a mile. I turned it on before I passed the starting line. I gave myself a pep talk. The first mile is usually the worst in just about any run I do. After the first mile it seems to go faster. My first mile was 12:04 minutes per mile. That used to be a normal pace for me. My pace now is more around 11:45. My second and third mile were much better. I’m not sure if I was just trying to get out of the cold or what but they were 10:09 and 10:05. That is really good for me. My goal is to get to a ten minute mile.

I remembered that the people who gave out Bloody Marys and beer were usually right before the last big hill. I pushed it a bit and made that last mile 9:33! That is really good for me. The people handing out the Bloody Marys and beer must have been scared away by the cold because they were not there. So of course I had to have a Bloody Mary when we got back to Kelly’s.

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The finish line after we checked out some vendors and got some refreshments.

My time on my Garmin was 42:57 for 4.11 miles. My official time was 40:23 for 4 miles. Like I said, I started my Garmin before the start line. We spent the rest of our time at Kelly’s before the Hash run. Several people started to show. The snow didn’t scare everybody away after all. We were supposed to leave and get something to eat, but someone got some kind of mini calzones for everybody. We had some more drinks and Jello shots. Of course I over did it a little because I don’t go out like that very often.

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Snow!

The time came to leave the bar and run again. The cold didn’t spoil my fun since I was already somewhat used to it. I had on my fleece since we were doing a lot of walking. I forgot to turn my Garmin on but I did my Charity Miles for both the race and the Hash run/walk. I think we did about three miles on the Hash run.

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More snow!

It was a full day of running in the snow. My in-laws had just got back into town the day before our race. So they had not seen the kids in about a week. They were happy to watch the kiddos for us. I think we forgot to tell them how long we would be out that day though. Next year I must have a better game plan for the adult refreshments. I’m not twenty anymore.

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All Day Running In Green

I think I mentioned that we signed up for the Sweet 16 again. If not, then we signed up for the Sweet 16 again. As you may or may not remember, the first race on the list is the Westport St. Patrick’s Day four miler. We did not take the kids this time. My mother and father-in-law stayed over and watched the kids the night before so we could have a date night. Then they took the kids to Wonderscope the next day while we did the race. We went and saw “Dead Pool” on our date. Meh. I liked “Ant-Man” better.

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We actually ended up staying out most of the day after the race, but I’m jumping ahead here. We didn’t do the packet pick-up Friday. So we got there early enough to get it the morning of the race. Hubby also decided to sign us up for a family membership with the Kansas City Track Club. We got some hats and a T-shirt with our new membership. We saw one of our hasher friends, Don, but he didn’t hear us when we tried to get his attention. We took our stuff back to the car and got ready for the race.

It was the same course as last year, I believe. It had rained earlier so even though Friday was really nice and warm, Saturday was a bit nippy. I kept my eye out for the Bloody Marys since I remember them from last year. Sure enough, they were in the same spot. Only the Bloody Marys were really bad this year. They were warm temperature wise. I really do not like warm tomato juice or Bloody Mary mix. Yuck! They were also a little too spicy. The spice might have went over a little better if they had ice in the cups. I don’t know. They were also handing out free beers. Next year I guess I’ll just go for the beer.

We actually saw our hashing buddies head into Kelly’s. We stopped and talked to them and followed them inside. Some of us drank a Guinness or two. I’m not sure why but my husband bought a round of Fireballs. Now I don’t normally do whiskey. It just isn’t my thing. I’m okay with Crown because it has that nice vanilla flavor that I like in rum. Fireball tastes pretty good but there is something in it that makes me feel really bad later. No, for the smart alecks out there, it isn’t the alcohol. I know a regular hangover. There is something different in Fireball and I don’t know what it is unless it is the cinnamon. I took the shot because I thought just one wouldn’t do much harm. Boy, was I wrong!

Anyway, we left Kelly’s to find brunch somewhere and saw a gentleman with a pony keg of Flying Monkey beer on his back. He ran with it in the race. Apparently he did a good job of not shaking it up too much. We had brunch but, I can’t remember the name of the place. These three nice people let us sit at a table with them there since it was packed. They wanted to know our thoughts about running and drinking beer. We proceeded to tell them about hashing. Now if you don’t remember what hashing is, it is a “beer drinking club with a running problem.” There were some girls promoting Jamison while we were there and we got some free shirts and buttons.

Now Hubby and I had not really planned on going to the hash run that day. I hoped that we could do it since we don’t get to much anymore. He called his mom just to be sure things were okay. She said they were still out and about playing with the kids so they were okay with it.

We went to the hash run. I think we only did a little over two miles. It started and ended at a bar/restaurant. The three people we sat with at brunch actually attended. My husband and I got a funny picture of us by some artwork/graffiti on the run. It was a good time. Thankfully I did not have a bad hangover or one of those weird Fireball hangovers. I think I want to do the St. Patrick’s run again next year but I want to run it in a green dress. I don’t know if we will get a chance to do the hash run again after the race. We seem to do those “once in a blue moon.”

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A Shout Out To My Treadmill – Yuck

I hated running through junior high, high school, and college. I barely made the requirements to running a mile for the presidential challenge thing back in the 80s. It wasn’t all my fault though. I will never forget it. I was counting my own laps but the teacher wanted each of us to choose an “official” lap counter. When I came around my last lap my lovely frenemy said I had another lap to go. We didn’t have the word frenemy back then but I think that is a suitable word to use to describe her now. Anyway I had other negative experiences with running. Maybe I will go into them later, but this post could be really long if I did.

After I got out of college a friend of mine told me about Jazzercise. I loved it because I like to dance and it wasn’t like the old school aerobics classes. I bumped into a guy that dated a friend of mine in college and he asked me if I did any kind of workout. I proudly told him about Jazzercise and then he told me about the Hash House Harriers. He assured me that it wasn’t about drugs or anything like that. It is just a group of runners that like to drink beer.

If you know anything about the Hash you know their motto is that they are, “a beer drinking club with a running problem.” Each group you meet has similarities but each one can be very different. I was lucky enough to join a group that had a really good balance between the running and beer drinking. You had a great adventurous run outdoors and then had a few beers with some friends. It wasn’t a big kegger party like some groups do. The runs my original group did reminded me of being a kid. I was a bit of a tomboy and I loved to explore the woods and trails around our house and on my grandfather’s private land. Our Hash group would do all kinds of runs like that. They really brought the love of running out of me.

I could go on and on about the Hash but as I said before this post would end up being super long. I’m sure this won’t be the last time I mention them especially since they are the reason I got into running. I did Pike’s Peak because a large group of the older members did it and I really look up to them. That was kind of my gateway into just regular road running. I had to train so I ran whenever I could fit it in and wherever I could do it. It was also the end of Jazzercise. There are all kinds of cool running gear and clothes out there but for the most part running is very cheap. I really hate paying membership fees as I think I mentioned in a previous post. The only way I am going to join a gym or an exercise class is if they could show the babies a good time while I workout. That or if they have something extra special I want that I do not normally get to do like rock climb.

So I am sure you are wondering what all this has to do with my treadmill. Well I just wanted to give you a little background information. I know a lot of people do not like treadmills. I know a lot of people do not like road running and only run on wooded trails. I used to think I was the latter. Now that I have small children I am a fan of anything that can get me moving.

We originally got the treadmill because we came across a really good deal and my husband and I both hate running in the cold weather. We also hate the fact that the winter days are shorter. A treadmill is very handy like that. I have also gotten some really good speed training thanks to my treadmill. I mean I can set that sucker to my desired pace and it is just me and my will standing in the way of finishing my goal. It is also nice to be able to catch up on your shows if you have a tablet or DVR. You just run and watch the drama.

I still miss running on wooded trails. One of the things I used to love to do was hike up the “difficult” side of Pinnacle Mountain, go down the “easy” side, and then do the base trail back to my car. I think all of that was only about three miles, but it was almost all up hill. Pinnacle Mountain is not a real mountain in terms of places like Pike’s Peak, but it was still a workout. I also loved the view at the top before they did all the development around that area. That is another silver lining to treadmill running. It gives you an appreciation for any running you do outdoors including road running.

My main point is that I am glad we have the treadmill. It has helped me train during the winter when I couldn’t take the babies outside. It has helped me train when I haven’t had any other time to train than when they nap. It has helped me train to go faster. A lot of people knock the treadmill, but I wouldn’t be where I am today if we did not have one. So thank you to my husband and Sears for our treadmill. It has been at least two years now or maybe three and I still use it as designed and not as a clothes line.

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