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.

IMG_20170311_100004539

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.

IMG_20170311_105631502_HDR

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.

IMG_20170311_143804264_HDR

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.

IMG_20170311_143810467

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.

Standard

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.

IMG_20160705_163747871

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.

 

Standard

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.

IMG_20160513_121737719

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.”

Standard

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.

11068101_10155566185635790_1018760537_o

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.

Standard

Show Some Green

I can’t remember if I signed us up for the Sweet 16 series or Rock the Parkway first, but as I keep saying, I want to keep up the momentum. Of course now that we are officially signed up to do the Goofy Challenge my husband is going to have to train, right?

Anyway, as I said in the last post the Sweet 16 series is a combination of 4 races that are 4 miles each. So the first one we crossed off our list was the Kansas City Track Club’s Westport St. Patrick’s Day Run. I have wanted to do this one for a while. My husband has always been kind of blah about it. I knew it was stroller friendly and we totally lucked out on this race within this series. I asked my mother-in-law if she could watch the twins during any of this and she said yes to all but this one. They were going to be out of town that day. That is why we were lucky. This race was the only one that was not at the “butt crack of dawn” (you will see me refer to this a lot when I get up early in the morning). So it was perfect for taking the kids.

11181538_10155566135510790_1519773836_oIt was a little cooler on race day than I expected. The twins were fine. We brought some dry clothes for us to wear and a towel to dry off on afterwards. We put the towel over the kids like a blanket and Baby Boy kicked his side off him. His sister was still a little chilly even with the towel, so my husband put my shirt on her and gave me his at the end of the race. My husband runs faster than me even if he doesn’t do anything other than bike riding. I’m not sure what the kids thought of all the costumes and green people were wearing during the race. He did tell me that toward the finish line Baby Girl kept hollering, “Go! Go! Go!” I guess she got caught up in all the cheering people do at the end of a race. I love that she did that.

The race was on 3/14/15. Some of you might know that was official “Pi Day.” For those of you that do not know or do not remember pi from math class, it is basically the number that never ends. The first part of it is 3.1415. I remember one of my math teachers had pi as her border for the top part of her classroom. Well she had whatever would fit in the room. You can Google pi to get the actual definition here. Since it was “Pi Day” they gave you a small key lime pie at the end of the race. We stuck around chatting with some hashers we don’t get to see very often (in case you haven’t read my previous post and do not know, hashers are basically runners and beer drinkers). We were some of the last people to leave and ended up taking a whole box of those pies home. They had a lot leftover at then end of the race and started giving whole boxes away to people. Some people told us we needed to go back and get some more since they were doing that. We shared with my in-laws when they got back to town.

All in all, it was a good run. We had fun. I think the kids had fun too. They never got out of the stroller, but they had chocolate chip cookies at the end. When you are a kid any day you get a chocolate chip cookie is a good day, right?

 

Standard