One Proud Mother

So I scheduled two runs in one weekend. Hubby and I were set to do Running With The Cows Saturday and Baby Girl and I were set to do the Mother’s Day 5K Sunday. I decided to do two different posts to make it fair to any readers I may have and to the races.

Two packet pick-ups back to back was interesting. I wrote all about the other in my previous post. This one was after a trip to the library. The kids LOVE the library.

We went in to get our packet and I was very surprised. I’ve never seen a line so long for a packet pick-up. I mean Disney, Rock The Parkway, Garmin, Running With The Cows, none of them were like this. My kids were pretty good while we waited. Of course they made out big time after we got our race bibs and shirts. There were tiaras, sunglasses, suckers, etc.

The line for packet pick-up

We walked out and I looked at the shirts once we got in the car. Baby Girl’s shirt looked waaaay too big. Then I realized they gave her a ladies XS instead of a Youth S. I think the lady getting the shirts thought that the other lady that was writing the size on the bib put an X instead of a Y on in front of the S. I went back inside but I went straight to the lady handing out the goodies. I wasn’t going to stand in that line again. She was nice and exchanged it just fine. The new shirt looked much better.

Shirts and finishers charm

This was Friday afternoon. I’m going to skip to Saturday night since I already wrote about the other race. My in-laws did not need to stay for the Mother’s Day 5K. It was just going to be me and Baby Girl running. Hubby and Little Man would come to cheer us on later in the morning. I fed the kids and put them to bed while Hubby went out for our food that night. He went to three different places to get all kinds of goodies. I think that was another way for him to make up for the argument we had the night before and that morning when we did the Running With The Cows Half Marathon.

I told everybody that I would go whatever pace Baby Girl wanted to go since I had a good workout with my half marathon the day before our 5K. So I was mentally prepared to walk the whole thing if we needed.

Baby Girl was not hard to wake up at all. I think she was excited. We had our clothes already laid out. So we dressed and went downstairs for a quick breakfast. Neither on of us ate a whole lot. The race was close so we didn’t have to leave too terribly early. It was still pretty early for her.

We got there and I started taking pictures. I wanted to document her first race. We took some selfies and I took some pictures of the porta potties that were decorated. We saw the kids’ vacation Bible school teacher, but I forgot to get a picture. The kids’ Pre-K teacher said she would be there. Baby Girl really wanted to find her. We got lined up at the start and sure enough we saw her teacher. Baby Girl was so happy we found her teacher. We got a picture with her and chit chatted for a bit.

These were fun to see

Baby Girl, just like any little kid, was a little impatient before the start. Then when everybody else ran, she wanted to as well! I was a little shocked. She ended up running the whole first mile! She walk/ran the next half mile. We held hands almost the entire time. After the water stop, we walked the rest of it. She loved the signs and the people cheering us. I asked if she wanted to help with a race sometime. She said sure. So we will see.

I had to send this picture to the local Harry Potter Running Club FB page.

We were getting close to the finish and I was worried our boys would miss us because we were a little ahead of schedule. Then we saw them sitting on the curb. They waved at us. Baby Girl was beaming. She loved seeing her Daddy. What a difference this race was to the last one! We ran the last few feet. I gave her a big high-five at the end. I am so proud of her. We got our race charms and met up with our boys.

We got chocolate milk, bagels and cookies. We were in the balloon line for some time. They had three really nice guys making balloon figures. Baby Girl got a unicorn on a stick and Little Man got a paint gun. When we turned around most of the people were gone. Even though there were three guys making balloons, it still took a long time. The kids played in the family fun area for a bit after that. Baby Girl got a boo boo doing the limbo. It wasn’t her fault really. She was doing great. She just happened to trip over the big bag of bird seed they had holding down the plastic posts for the limbo. For some reason they had it sticking out under the limbo stick instead of outwards where nobody would be walking.

Little Man wants to do the Father’s Day run, but it is four miles and in the heat of Summer. I don’t think there is any shade where they will be running either. We are not sure about that one yet.

Baby Girl and I did the race in 51:02. I hope we do this one again. I loved doing it with my daughter! My heart just swelled. I wish my boy could run it too, but they prefer all girls in this race. This is one I’ll never forget.

Oh and I had another mutant joke on my Facebook page. See the weather this weekend was supposed to be slight chance of rain on Saturday and definite rain on Sunday. When I last made a joke about mutant powers and the weather with my friends, Nora responded it was her. She has an awesome sense of humor. So when I asked for help with the weather again, she said she would see what she could do. Another friend of mine was shocked to find chicken paws in a store. She took a picture and made a funny post about it. She didn’t buy it, but thought it was funny. She joked around that I should buy them and make a magic weather controlling potion. So when the weather turned out a little rainy to keep us cool for the half marathon and nice and sunny for Baby Girl’s race, I had to joke around about Nora being a mutant. I mean I didn’t have time to make that magic chicken paw potion so it had to be her, right?

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What The Moo?

I thought I might do two races in one post because I accidentally scheduled two races in one weekend. Hubby and I signed up for the Heartland 39.3 Series back in October. Then there was the Mother’s Day 5K. I thought it sounded like fun and my daughter is old enough now. So I signed us up. Little did I know that it was Sunday after our Running With The Cows Half Marathon. The last half marathon of our Heartland 39.3 Series. Then I thought that might be a really long post. So I figure it was better to be fair to the experience to each race and to any readers I may have.

Packet pick-up was quite the adventure. I asked my husband if he thought we should all go as a family since it was at Scheel’s. We could use our Ferris Wheel tokens and eat at the Old Chicago that was really close to the store. Well by the time Hubby called to say he was headed to the store to meet me, the cat had an accident and I had a hard time corralling the kids out the door. We got there about twenty minutes past the pick-up time for that day. Hubby saw some of the ladies with Running With The Cows stuff and asked if they were leaving. That is when I noticed the time. They were super nice and one of them said she would go back up and let us get our stuff. I mean she really didn’t have to, but she was so nice to let us do that! We really appreciated it.

We got our stuff and bought the kids two mugs. One was pink for Baby Girl. They didn’t have any colorful ones out for Little Man so he took a black/gray one. We rode the Ferris Wheel in the store. Yes! They have a Ferris Wheel inside the store. The kids played in the play area. Yes! They have a play area too. Then we had to drag them out to eat. It was getting late and we needed to get them fed and in bed.

This was Thursday and the race was Saturday. So we had just a regular family dinner that night. I planned on going to the library and then picking up my race packet for the Mother’s Day run the next day. The library and Dick’s Sporting Good store were really close. So we lucked out on that too. I’ll put that all in the other post.

Let’s skip ahead to Friday night before the race. Boy was it stressful. My in-laws stayed the night as usual. They rented Ferdinand and invited my niece over to watch it with our kids. I planned on making spaghetti, but we had a lot of different leftovers as well. Hubby wasn’t home yet, but said he would be soon. My niece and our kids were getting hungry. So my father-in-law and niece ate leftover chicken enchiladas. My daughter ate leftover mac and cheese from Old Chicago. My mother-in-law, son, and husband ate spaghetti that I cooked fresh that night. I ate chicken rotini. Hubby was later than I thought and didn’t get a chance to eat with everybody else. Actually we all ate in shifts. He was the last. I do not like cooking. It is not relaxing or enjoyable at all to me. I like watching cooking shows but I do not understand the love of cooking. It is tiring and messy. I was pretty proud of the fact that I feed everybody and they were full and happy. I was also exhausted.

They only had the one color this year.

My in-laws took the kids to bed. My niece stayed the night. Hubby and I seemed to be having a good night, but then we got into a fight. I was so hurt that I just left in the middle of it. He stayed downstairs a bit while I went to bed. I have been taking this marriage/wife course which is really expensive. I tried really hard to apply what I’ve learned. It was just so hard with how hurt I was. We even argued on the way to the race the next morning. I had just had enough that as soon as we got there, I put my race number on and told him I would meet him at the end.

When I walked up to the start I saw the 2:30 pacers. I lined up with them and lo and behold my favorite pacer was one of them, Cristal. I was very quite while she talked to a lot of other racers. They all seemed upbeat and happy to be there. I was just hurt and felt very alone. I tried to keep up with her group. She is always so much fun. I smiled a few times at some of her jokes and stories. She also had everybody say Moo instead of Woooo at each mile. I was very sad to lose them at mile four or five. Running with them kind of cheered me up a bit. I mean I’ve never been around so many people and felt so alone. I really couldn’t think of anything else for the rest of the race but how hurt I was and how much I just wanted the race to be done.

Our prize was a medal holder with the dates we completed the challenges.

I mostly walked after mile six. I saw some dark clouds and lightning in the distance. I prayed that they would not cancel the race so I could finish. I had joked around on my Facebook page that I wanted rain on Saturday and not Sunday. That way I could keep cool during my thirteen mile race and it would be nice and sunny with my Baby Girl for our Mother’s Day race. So far so good. It sprinkled a little bit. Actually the weather was quite perfect in my opinion.

I saw Hubby at the turnaround point. He must have lined up in front of me because I did not recall seeing him pass me. Here he was though, ahead of me. I wouldn’t even look at him. I wanted to cry but I just couldn’t. I’m not sure if it was my fear of crying in front of people or something to do with hydration. My time ended up being 2:50 and Hubby’s was 2:41. He was waiting on me. We walked inside together and ate together. We kind of seemed normal, but I still wanted to cry.

Here is the holder with the medal we got last year.

The food at this race is crazy. There is so much of it, but we just weren’t really that hungry. We ended up with chocolate milk, pizza, humus, cucumbers, and apple cider. It didn’t seem as crowded as last year. When we left the sun was out and our car was super dusty.

I finally got my cry a bit on the way home. I guess you could say we made up in the car before we went inside our house. We relaxed a bit with the kids after my in-laws and niece left. They were watching Paddington Bear 2 when we got home

I have such mixed feelings about this race. I like the Heartland 39.3 Series, but the Running With the Cows course is sooo brutal. I think the thing I hate the most is seeing for miles and miles how far I have to run. It is one thing knowing it, but it is a completely different thing seeing it. I love the band and the kid with the drums and the aid stations. Of course the after race food is amazing if you aren’t too tired to eat. Like I said, mixed feelings.

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Just Keep Mooooving

Once again, no rain! How did that happen? How did we do three half marathons in Kansas in the Spring and not get rained on during a single one of them? We were pretty lucky I guess.

I was worried we were going to be late (as usual I always worry), but I could have sworn the time for the Running with the Cows was a 6:30 AM. Websites and emails said it was 7:30 am. I was nervous because neither Rodney nor I had ever ran this particular half marathon. We weren’t sure where to go or what to expect. I eventually figured that I just confused the time for this race with the Garmin Half we did earlier this Spring.

The drive there looked easy enough. It was pretty much a straight shot down US 69 for us. There were signs as well. We got parked in a field near Queen of the Holy Rosary in Bucyrus, KS. We got out and didn’t have to walk far until we were at the start. I was a little bummed because my cordless headset LG HBS760 was not working. I mean it was able to charge, but once I turned it on, nothing! I love my cordless headset. I was so upset I had to use my headset that was not cordless. Then my phone started to act up and I couldn’t even get any music to play at all. I didn’t want to have to deal with the cords if I wasn’t even going to get to use it. Hubby got a new phone and I helped him get it set up so he could listen to a podcast. I just wasn’t in a good mood from the get go.

I got to the start line with Hubby and we laughed at how close the 2:15 pacers were lined up with the 2:30 pacers. I haven’t looked it up, but I’m guessing there is a reason that they line up that close at all the races? This race didn’t seem to have as many participants as Garmin or Rock The Parkway anyway. I got a little panicky because I didn’t think my phone was going to work at all. I really needed my Charity Miles to work for my Doctor Who Running Club team. I’m on Team DoctorDonna. I felt like I haven’t been pulling my weight because I’ve missed some runs, but in all fairness I missed them to be with my family during our difficult time of losing my father. I just took a deep breath and rebooted my phone. It sometimes takes a while and if there was some kind of weird update or something that it needed to do it could take up to a half hour or more. I crossed my fingers that did not happen. I was lucky and my phone came back on in time for the start. I did, however, forget to turn my Garmin on right at the start. My Garmin would go off every 1.1 miles as if I had just did one mile because of that late start. It was all good though. I really wish Charity Miles would automatically link to my Garmin account like a lot of other apps do.

We started off okay. Like I said it wasn’t too crowded. Hubby wanted to do his thing of running, then walking, and then running again when I caught up with him. It was what paid off for him during the Garmin Half. He did fine with that until about mile four. It was hot and it was zapping his energy. I didn’t see him again until the end. It was about mile five that the 2:20 group caught up to me. I tried to stay with them, but I just couldn’t. Maybe the heat was getting me as well.

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A picture of the course from my Connect App

We did a turn around on the course at about the half way point. It wasn’t a true out and back though. We took a turn off and around back to the original road where we started. It was kind of a big square with the small turn around point. I saw Hubby after the turn around point. He was back with the 2:50 people. I asked him if he was okay and he just made a funny face like a dog panting. So I knew he was in good spirits. One lady running next to me in my same direction thought I was talking to her. I told her what I was doing and that I was just worried about my husband with all the people having issues at races like this. When we were at Rock The Parkway we didn’t even know that a young gentleman had issues. We found out about it when we heard a pastor ask for prayers for the family at our church later that day. The pastor mentioned that he died. We were at the Arkansas Heart Hospital with my Dad weeks later when we saw on the news that someone had a heart attack at another race. We didn’t see much more of that report because my Dad’s doctor came out to talk to us.

I mentioned the two runners with the lady beside me. She didn’t know anything about them, but of course she could have been from out of state. There was as lady behind me that caught up and talked to me about the poor gentleman at Rock The Parkway. I told her that Hubby has a family history of heart problems and that he is on medication. We chatted about some other things. She was doing a walk/run thing like we do at our Disney runs. I left her behind when she walked, but she would catch back up to me when she ran. We didn’t talk much more during the race. The 2:25 people caught up to me at mile ten. There were several people who would go back and forth passing during the last part of the race.

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The cow in the upper corner can be taken off and worn like a pin.

I finished with my Garmin at 13.12 miles in 2:29:25. My official time on the website was 2:29:23.1. Interesting since I started my Garmin late. I got my medal and water. My right leg felt like I was trying to get a charley horse the last two miles. I didn’t hurt as bad when I was done. I went to the KC Running Company tent to get our Heartland prize. It was a medal. I asked the lady if I could get my husband’s as well. She asked if he was also a first time finisher and I said yes. She handed it to me no questions. I got the same thing from the lady handing out the little cow bells. I got a pink one for Baby Girl. I wanted a purple one for Little Man but they didn’t have purple. The nice lady gave me green one though which is another favorite color of his. So to you nice ladies that did that without question, thank you.

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I called Hubby before I got the Heartland medal and asked where he was. He said he was at mile twelve and that he was fine. I guessed it would take him about twelve more minutes to finish. I waited in a shady spot for him. When he didn’t show at the time I thought he would, I got worried again. I thought maybe I should walk down the street a bit. I prayed he was okay. I think losing my Dad had me super emotional.  I finally saw Hubby from where I was standing before I started to head down the race route. I’ll admit I teared up a bit when I saw he was okay and headed back toward the finish line. He finished in 2:50:26.2. I had on sunglasses so nobody noticed I was upset. I wiped away my tears and stood next to the guy giving out the Running With The Cows medals. I put his Heartland medal on him after the other medal was placed.

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Hubby was hot and there was no cold water. Too many runners had gone through already and taken all the cold ones. Hubby was drinking the water warm. I had cooled off a bit waiting for him to finish. We went inside someplace next to the church. We turned off the wrong way at first and did a loop back outside. Don’t ask me how or why. We went back in and found the food. Oh My Gosh! I’ve never seen that much food at a race. Seriously! It was crazy. I should have gotten a picture, but I was hungry. We definitely got our fill of food that morning.

Hubby and I sat down and ate. We both agreed we didn’t really like the course. It was so hot and there was no shade. It was just brutal. It was the wrong course to not have music. I used to run “naked” all the time. I mean no Garmin, no phone, and no headset. Once you get used to it, it is kind of hard to go back to the “old” ways. The band at the beginning was really cool and the guy playing drums in the middle of a field was pretty awesome. The people at the aid stations were great. We just weren’t “feeling it.” We probably won’t do it again unless we try the Heartland again. We do like a challenge.

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Lucky Tin Man

It seems like it always rains during the Garmin marathon. I had been eye balling the weather app on my phone several days in advance. It looked cold and rainy. Then the temperature looked a little better. I was still going to need long sleeves for sure or arm sleeves. I just knew it would rain though. I’ve done the half one other time and it rained. Then every time since then when I saw a friend post something on Facebook about running it, it also seemed like it was raining.

The last time I ran the Garmin Half it was actually at Garmin Headquarters. There was no issue with the traffic and everything started on time. The start location this year was pretty close to us in what we thought was in an industrial area. While driving there we noticed it was really congested way before we got to our exit. My husband is a firm believer in the zipper method when it comes to merging lanes. He does not think everybody needs to be in one lane for miles and miles leaving a perfectly good lane open for people to merge. When I think about it, it makes sense and isn’t a jerk move at all if everybody did it. It is a matter of taking turns.

Anyway, once we got off the exit ramp, parking wasn’t really an issue. We stayed in the car to stay warm for a bit, but I’m always anxious about being late. I also like to just see the people out there especially if there is a chance for costumes. We did see some Wizard of Oz costumes before the start. Funny thing, the start, it was delayed about a half hour because of the traffic jam. There was an empty vendor tent nearby with some people huddled in it. We went in as well. It was out of the wind and a bit warmer with all the body heat. It had rained earlier and out one entrance of the tent the sky looked clear while the other entrance of the tent looked pretty cloudy.

When we lined up I think we were with the 2:25 group. I edged toward the 2:20 people a bit. When we started the group was going kind of slow, so I ran ahead a bit, but I was still passed by a team of ten people dressed in a Chinese dragon costume. I wasn’t feeling good about that. I thought those people have to be pretty confident about their pace to do that.

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This course had a lot more hills than any of the others I’ve run around here. They weren’t big hills, but there was a lot of them. Hubby stuck to his plan. He would run, then when his Garmin went off to walk he would do that until I caught up to him. Then he would run again. It paid off for him. He finished before me this time, but I’m jumping ahead right now.

Our running club, Olathe Running Club, had an aid station along the course. I said hi to a few members I knew. Our president was dressed as Dorothy. Again, I didn’t get pictures. I made a mental note of when each pace group either caught up and/or passed me when I did the race, but I waited so long to write this that I have since forgotten. Just know that my time wasn’t a PR but it wasn’t bad for me.

I saw a ton of little ones that wanted high-fives. If you have read any of my posts you know how I feel about hi fives. I’ve gotta do em. I actually saw some little ones that looked familiar. I gave them a high-five and then saw their mom. We are Facebook friends. She has twins and belongs to several of the same mom groups that I participate.

About the middle of the race I took off my long sleeve shirt and tied it around my waist. I still had a short sleeve shirt and a vest. The wind came right after I did that and I got chilled. I thought about putting my long sleeve shirt back on, but it was nice and warm again soon after I decided to leave it.

I saw a lot of backed up traffic here and there. I do not recall the race causing such an  issue when the route was closer to Garmin headquarters. There seem to be some unhappy motorist.

I don’t recall anything else unusual during the race. I finished in 2:27:20. Hubby finished in 2:25:39. The medals were really cool. The half marathon medal that we got was a twister with different items from The Wizard of OZ. It would also spin. I think the 10K was a little Toto in a basket that moved. The full marathon was the wizard as himself on one side and his persona on the other side. Come to find out the group dressed as a dragon did the full marathon and got a Guinness world record.

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The after party was great even though it was a bit chilly. They had chicken sandwiches and hot dogs in one area. The other area they had margaritas and beer with heat lamps! I was all good with food in my belly and an adult beverage. We had a nice conversation with a gentleman visiting from New York. We told him what he could do around town while he was here.

This is my only second Garmin, and I still like it. Also the rain held out and was sunny the rest of the day. The Tin Man would have been a happy camper. This Heartland Series isn’t bad. In case you don’t know what it is; it’s a series of three half marathons. There is Rock The Parkway, Garmin and Running With the Cows. We only have Running With The Cows left to do to complete it.

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