Well, originally, this week was going to be a down week. Extra recovery. Because I raced pretty hard last Sunday. BUT…I reminded my coach that I was leaving the following week for a cruise and a Disney World venture…so, he shifted weeks and had this one be a bit of recovery, but keeping one day of speed work and shifting my third (and maybe last? Maybe not?) 20 miler to this weekend. Whew.
I won’t lie, my legs felt pretty flat for most of this week. And the heat and humidity returned…which also sucked. I know hot training days equal cool, fast, amazing fall marathons. But it’s still tough and I’m not always the best at adjusting expectations.
This week…I adjusted expectations because speed work morning was close to 80 degrees long before the sun came up. So, it was a challenging, and it really didn’t go to plan at all (save for the first mile, but more on that later)…but for the first time, I didn’t beat myself up over it. I let it be what it was that day. And I moved on.
So…let’s hit up this week, shall we?
Monday: INSTRUCTIONS: NO WATCH ALLOWED! FOCUS ON THE GOAL OF THE RUN = RECOVERY! GO AS FAR OR SHORT AS YOU NEED, AS FAST OR SLOW AS YOU NEED, WALK OR RUN AS YOU NEED.
It was the morning after the Downtown Doubler and I was relieved he set this as an easy, recovery run. Short and sweet too. Whew. I hardly slept Sunday night leading into Monday morning. My left hamstring was still tight from the race, despite having stretched and foam rolled. Mostly, I was tired. So my heart rate stayed VERY low and my pace was just where I felt it needed to be. I had my watch covered and never once even looked at what I was running. In the end, I managed 4 miles, my usual recovery run right now, and called it a day. I did go ahead and do my additional hip strengthening exercises with my morning stretches. Because I had a hard race, my personal training session was cancelled for the additional time to recover. And I did do that extra foam rolling to help with that hamstring. Guess what? It worked.
Tuesday: INSTRUCTIONS: BASE RUN 6-8 MILES – GOAL 7 MILES + 4-6 STRIDES – EASY EFFORT – TRY NO WATCH AGAIN
I had gone to bed early and managed some better sleep. Oh, and the hamstring definitely felt better. Much better. But my legs still felt flat on this run. I took it easy, but it felt harder than it should have been. And I actually checked my pace at the end of the run, and it was a pace that shouldn’t have felt that hard. I wasn’t running great at the moment. It happens, right? Heavy legs don’t last forever, right? I pushed the strides, but they didn’t feel as fast as I could usually run either. I let it be what it was for the day. Did my morning stretches and tossed in the extra hip strengtheners as well.
Wednesday: INSTRUCTIONS: TEMPO RUN – 1 MILE WU; 3X2 MILES AT TEMPO (7:20-7:50) W/ 0.5 MILES RECOVERY; 1 MILE CD
Like I said…it was 80 degrees before the sun came up. The humidity was not fun either. In fact, it made the real feel close to 85 degrees. Isn’t it September? I don’t want winter, by any means, but some cooler mornings (not cold, cool) would be nice. I went through my warmup and it felt…hard. UGH. Not a good start. But I told myself that I was going to just push hard and use the recovery to…well…recover. I managed to hit the actual tempo pace ONCE in the entire workout. The FIRST mile. That was a 7:32…from there…it went off the rails. 7:52, 7:52, 7:58, 8:02, 7:57. Recovery got slower each time too with one of them in the 9s. It wasn’t a good morning for speed work…but I did put in the effort and that meant I was actually okay with it. I met with Corey that afternoon for a killer core workout. I say that because my abs were actually sore through Saturday. How’s that for some personal training growth?
Thursday: INSTRUCTIONS: BASE RUN 6-8 MILES – GOAL 7 MILES + 4-6 STRIDES – EASY EFFORT – TRY NO WATCH AGAIN
I kept the going to bed early thing going because I had some early wakeup calls. When the runs get longer, the bedtimes get earlier because the wakeup times get earlier. The air was thick and humid again, but the legs were actually starting to get some pep in their step. So, while it still wasn’t where I wanted the easy run to be, feeling-wise, it felt better. And my strides, still slower than I know I can push them, didn’t feel as daunting today. I fit in my stretches and foam rolling right after work, because I was cooking up a special dinner to have with friends before we left on vacation. They were bringing their adorable baby over and I was making Tomato & Goat Cheese Tarts for everyone. It was a fun night and…a late one for me…but worth every moment.
Friday: REST DAY!
Because of the later night, I slept in as long as I could before needing to get up, shower, and do my stretching. It was a crazy-busy day at work, but it was also Favorite T-Shirt Day. My co-worker, Kayla, gifted me with a Murderino t-shirt and I had to wear it ASAP! It’s my new favorite. For those of you who listen to the My Favorite Murder podcast…you know. I had a hair appointment that night, and Lauren not only cut my hair back up…and then French braided it. From there, a late night dinner of my “magic sushi” at Dragon King’s Daughter. It had to happen. I had that 20 miler staring me down on Saturday morning. I went home, stretched, foam rolled, and immediately called it a night. I had an early morning, because I was starting before the sun came up.
Saturday: LONG RUN: 17-20 MILES – GOAL 19 MILES – EASY PACE – DON’T PUSH IT! AND PRACTICE RACE-DAY FUELING STRATEGY
I got up 2 hours and 15 minutes before I’d have to leave for my long run. I took my vitamins, drank 20 ounces of water, ate my overnight oats, stretched, did 50 pushups (I do this daily), fueled again with my Maurten 320, put on sunscreen, filled my hydration pack with 40 ounces of water with my Nuun tablets in them, and prepared to hit the road. I left at 6:40 am and ran the first 5 miles of my 20 miler on my own. I met up with Ron to run the Greenway (if you haven’t run it…DO IT). He did just over 11 miles with me. And they were great. We talked the entire time, had some shade in spots, and then…were blocked by a train. Just like after the Downtown Doubler. REALLY!? We did manage to run the flood wall and get across the tracks before the train started up again and we ran back to his car. Here we parted ways and I did the final four miles back to the apartment. From there, I showered, ate breakfast, went to run some errands, picked up some pho and spring rolls for my friend Natalie, visited with her while she gave me (my favorite) homemade birthday present. Who else LOVES homemade gifts? Then we finished up our errands, came home to eat dinner, PACK…because we hadn’t packed yet…and then watched Inside Out. I was a lot for just one day…but I think we are mostly ready for our trip.
Sunday: INSTRUCTIONS: 3-4 MILES EASY/RECOVERY RUN. SLOW!!
No real time for an early bedtime. Not with everything that needed to happen. But I got up with enough time to fit in my 4 miles, a shower, and breakfast. Stretching and foam rolling would have to wait for the time being. We had an early flight to catch.
And now…vacation mode. This was supposed to be a trip where training didn’t have to happen (because I’d be in recovery from the Erie Marathon). I am a firm believer that all things happen for a reason. So, while I do have to train on this trip…and have two back-to-back mid-distance runs…at least I’ll relax and enjoy my time away. Deep breaths.
What a roller coaster of a week. It had ups and downs and lots of emotional spirals that had nothing to do with the training itself…but life. And people in my life. Funny how outside stuff can affect you in different ways. I will never learn that some people will always feel the need to try to tell me how to do things or what to feel…and some people will try to tear me down because they are unhappy with they are…and some people are just jackasses.
I’ve dealt with a lot of jackasses. When I’m down, I don’t need to be kicked. And when I’m up, I don’t need to be torn down.
With all that emotional baggage, let’s dive into this week.
Monday: Another Monday morning recovery run. He wanted this to be SLOW so my legs would be fresh for the first of two speed sessions this week on Tuesday. He gives me a range and asks me to aim for the middle of the mileage. My legs were a bit stiff from all the time on the treadmill at the hotel over the weekend, but once I found my stride, I felt good. I kept the pace conversational. This was a good run in and of itself and I ended up with the higher of the mileage range. 7 Miles total. I also wasn’t meeting with my personal trainer this week, so I felt like it would all balance out in the end. It can be a fine line between doing enough and overdoing it. I wanted to be very cognizant of how I felt each day and adjust as needed. I added my extra hip strengtheners into my morning PT exercises as well.
Tuesday: Speed work. God…I hate speed work. I value it and why it is part of a training plan (especially one where I need to be able to hit and maintain a certain pace)…but it doesn’t come easy for me. Ever. And this week, Daniel was hooking me up with some FRESH HELL. My first ever 1600 Flat Pyramid workout. This is what that looks like: 1 Mile WU; 400m-800m-1600m-1600m-800m-400m; 1 Mile CD. I was instructed to do a 400m-800m recovery jog in between each rep. And the effort on the reps should be “controlled hard” and likely faster than tempo pace, but not quite as fast as rep pace where I get a full recovery. It wasn’t fun. I wasn’t a fan. But I got it done. And I felt powerful at the end of it. I squeezed in my second day of the additional hip strengtheners to the morning stretches and PT exercises.
Wednesday: Wednesday turned into a replay of Monday’s run. So, I ran it exactly as I had done on Monday. 7 Miles. Slow. Easy. This one ended up being a bit faster than the run I did on Monday…and I was pretty certain that would come back to bite me the following morning. That being said, I was hoping that my time stretching and foam rolling would help counterbalance that. I wasn’t checking my watch constantly, because that’s a bad habit that I don’t want to have…so I ran by feel. I ran too fast. No personal training this week…so that was it for Wednesday.
Thursday: Speed Work Session #2. And it was a damn Ladder Tempo that I have yet to master. This is the third time that Daniel has given me this particular workout, and it always seems to fall on the warmest morning of the week. This was the same. It was almost 90 degrees before the sun came up that day. The Ladder Tempo works like this: 1 Mile WU; 3 Miles @ Tempo; 0.5 Miles Recovery; 2 Miles @ Tempo; 0.5 Miles Recovery; 1 Mile @ Tempo; 1 Mile CD. The tempo part he wanted me to aim for a pace between 7:20-7:50, but to adjust as needed to run by feel in the heat/humidity. I’m not good at altering things when paces are assigned. And after the 2nd Mile of the first tempo…I paused and went inside to grab 2 bottles ice cold water…one to drink in addition to the water with Nuun in my hydration pack, and one to pour over my head. I made plenty of stops to pull these out of the cooler and attempt to keep cool when I was dying. I don’t mean to complain about the heat…and normally I wouldn’t…but the heat is KILLING me this year. And it’s mentally draining when I’m struggling to hit paces that never used to be this hard.
Friday: Rest Day. I stretched. I hydrated. I had my friend Michelle over for dinner, wine (I didn’t drink much because of a long run the next morning). I stayed up late. I laughed a lot. I needed every moment of that. Even if it meant I went into my long run a bit sleep deprived.
Saturday: Long Run. I had 16-17 on tap this week. My friend Christine had 14…so we arranged it so that we could do some of the run together. The humidity lifted that morning, so it didn’t feel as dreadful out. It was also the Bra Top Squad meet-up at Seneca Park. So, Christine and I were going to run about 11 miles and then finish up at Seneca with the rest of the ladies that showed up. The sun came out. It did warm up, but it wasn’t the killer heat that had been mentally and physically tearing me down. Christine and I tackled some hills together (which should make our basically flat marathon seem easy) and worked through our run to the meetup. After the picture, we parted and I went on to run 6 more miles and ended with 17 for the day. It was the lift I needed, to be honest. I needed to feel good. I was happy with it, even with the laps around the park for the final solo miles. Cathy was on hand blaring inspirational music from her phone each time I passed.
Sunday: Recovery run day. I had 4 miles to do, and I headed out early to fit them in. I made sure to include one big hill…but I also had a nice downhill in the last mile. I felt pretty good the entire time. And I paused to take a couple pictures in the early morning light. Then, I made breakfast and headed out to see Spider-Man: Far From Home at the theater. After that…I had to finish up some grocery shopping, run some errands, meal prep, and finish up the second season of Westworld. All of which I accomplished.
As of 8:15 pm tonight, my new schedule hasn’t posted. But Monday usually is 6 easy miles…so I’m going with the theory that it will remain that way this week. The rest…well, we’ll see. But I need to get some rest. So…stay tuned for (hopefully) some additional blogs this week. And I’ll catch you all up on what happens this coming week after I work through it.
I don’t even know where to start with this one. And that’s rare for me, because finding words has never been a problem.
Normally, the Papa John’s 10 Miler would be considered my top and favorite race that Louisville has…every year…hands down. But this year…it just wasn’t what I remember it being.
And that’s sad.
First of all…yes…I am very aware that my time is 7 minutes slower than my 2016 time (I didn’t run it last year because my hip flexor had flared back up and I wasn’t allowed to run double digits yet…) This was by design…as this is a training run and not to be treated as a race for my training purposes. Is this hard for me to come to terms with. Yep. Not going to lie. My brain has a hard time wrapping around this style of training more often than not.
Second of all…going into this, the weather was predicted to be…unpredictable. At first, it was we were in a Winter Storm Watch…5-6 inches of snow. Then it was 1 inch of snow…alert lifted. Then the alert came back…and, honestly, I am just so DONE with this winter weather. It’s spring. It’s April. Winter needs to move along. Needless to say, a very small part of me (or maybe not so small) was sort of hoping that the weather would happen and the race would cancel, because, honestly, I wasn’t feeling it.
Thirdly…what the hell happened with the shirts this year? Usually the Papa John’s 10 Miler has really nice shirts…great colors (usually red and black), great logo…all the things. This year, the shirt was bright neon green with this year’s logo in solid black on the front. I hated it. AND…they ran out of female smalls. Never mind that I’ve been registered for awhile and specifically noted the shirt size I wanted was a women’s small. NOPE. In fact, my running coach signed up last minute for it and went to the expo early and the women’s smalls were GONE. So, now I have an ill-fitting race shirt that makes me feel like Slimer from the Ghostbusters with pizza on hand for a snack. I can’t even begin to tell you how much the shirt let me down this year. There was no thought put into them. And that just…sucks!
The rest will be mentioned as this race report goes on. My friend Melissa was a doll and went to pick up my race bib and shirt and deliver it to me, since she was already over in Louisville that day. She had Cathy tape her Achilles while there. After she left, I finished baking up some Lemon Blossoms, did the rest of my stretches, and hauled myself to bed, because rest is ultimately the most important thing going into race morning, even on mornings where you aren’t giving it your all.
I woke up the next morning around 5 am to fit in my stretches and figure out what I, ultimately, wanted to wear to the race. I glanced out my bedroom window and everything looked very underwhelming as far as the weather went. There was some snow in the air, and the grass was white…but the sidewalks and pavement just looked wet. Not icy. Not slippery.
This, obviously, boded well for the race director as the race was definitely a go. But I just wasn’t feeling it. I did my push-ups and my stretches prior to eating something small for breakfast while home. I went to get dressed, opting for layers this time around. I wore some fleece-lined running tights to keep my legs warm (and we all know that I already hate wearing pants when running). I put on a base layer top, followed by one of my warmer running tops (lined) and then my Saucony reflective vest to help with the gusting winds that morning. I originally had on some warm running socks and compression sleeves, but ultimately changed into a pair of my ProCompression socks to keep my ankles warm. I was so unenthusiastic about the race and the weather that I opted to not put my hair in pigtails…and braided it again. my Run The Bluegrass Ponya Band went on over my ears and my Dunkin’ Donuts hat I got at the start of the 2014 NYC Marathon went on to keep my head warm. Despite knowing I wouldn’t need them, my sunglasses were put on atop my head (I feel better when I have them). And that was that. I was as ready as I was going to be for the race.
Cathy had brought the sign with her to the car, but the wet rain was still happening, and that, sadly, would ruin the marker on the poster board. So the sign stayed in the car. We got down to the stadium and parked. Linda and Suzane were parked just a few cars up so I headed over that way…waved at the stranger (I hadn’t met Suzane yet) in the driver’s seat and greeted Linda when the door opened. The plan today was to run at a 9 min/mile (technically it was supposed to be slower). At this point, the wet snow was coming down hard and we were all still trying to figure out what we wanted to keep on for the race or shed. Ultimately, the three of us all decided to keep all our layers.
It was already close to the start time of the race, so we made our way up and over the bridge and toward Third Street. Along the way, Manivannan caught up to us and joined us in the trek. Linda and Suzane decided to take advantage of the plentiful and large line of port-a-potties near the start. The lines moved quickly and that is a good thing. Despite some killer hydration on my part…I was fine and didn’t need to worry about it. Probably good too, because there was, apparently, no toilet paper in the port-a-potties at the start line. Ummm…that’s sort of important. Just sayin’.
After a photo near the port-a-potties, we decided to head into the crowd of runners and find a good spot where to start. We inched our way forward…and then forward some more…because we saw a lot of the green WALKER stickers and wanted to at least get in front of that. Despite running this at an easier pace than usual for me…we at least wanted a good point from which to start.
And after the wheelchair racers were sent off…the start of the Papa John’s snowy 10 Miler…was off and running. I started my watch as we crossed over the mats and waved at Cathy, who looked miserable, standing on the sideline. And fell into an easy pace, dodging some people here and there just to find the space I needed to stretch out.
Apparently before she went to head to the finish and the (hopeful) shelter of Papa John’s Stadium, Cathy stumbled upon Paul and Melissa at the start. This is always exciting…especially since we were hanging out later that night for Wino & Dino (wine & dine, but with vegan foods, wine, and Jurassic Park). Melissa passed her NYC Half Marathon Mylar to Cathy to hold for her while they headed out. Talk about really good timing. Now she can use this one another day! Cathy tucked it into her backpack to make the trek to the stadium.
Once we found some open space, it was time to focus on the miles ahead. Linda’s watch was still set wrong for racing, so, just like in Run The Bluegrass, our run was serenaded by the constant chiming of her watch telling her that her pace was wrong. Not being able to change it…it was just how it was going to be. Good thing I tune things out and after awhile stopped hearing it.
We hit the first mile marker a full 0.1 miles ahead of my Garmin watch. I checked with Linda…she had the same. Hmm…this isn’t a new course…so it should be measured properly, in my opinion. We kept on, hoping that it would right itself as we got further into the race. Suzane wanted to shed her vest with a friend at the water stop after Mile 2…but it turns out he was, in fact, standing at Mile 2, which wasn’t Mile 2…because it was 0.25 miles off where it was supposed to be. Um…that’s a problem!! Having missed that opportunity Linda and Suzane decided to make use of the water stop just after the mile marker. They thanked the volunteers and hydrated before we stopped walking and went back to running.
Linda says I need to be kept on a retractable leash. HA!! We were definitely over the pace we were supposed to/trying to keep on this race. But, in the end, she’d thank both me and Suzan for it. We made the turn onto New Cut Road from Southern Parkway, and Suzan ran over to the First Aid tent to drop off her vest so she could pick it up on our way out of the park and wear it back in. We paused while she did this and then continued on. We passed the Mile 3 marker, now 0.3 miles off the actual distance (as in short) and a lot of runners were starting to take notice and complain about this while out on the course. The entrance to the park was different than I recall from 2016 and the other years I ran prior…and we ended up making some weird cut through a parking lot, back down, and then starting into the park. It was weird, I thought…because we always went in that first entrance and started up the hills. Not this time.
But this is where the hills basically get to play with your speed. Mile 4 ticked off, still before where it should have at this point in the race. I stopped looking down to see how much it was off. I was done. I know they have no power over the weather, but the mile markers being off were just as annoying. And I usually LOVE this race. I wasn’t loving any of it.
As we came up the climb at Mile 5, the halfway point, we actually hit the mile marker right on. That was exciting. Perhaps it would all be back on and correct. YAY! It was in here that another water stop was around and Linda and Suzan went to grab bottles and I said I wasn’t stopping…it was a downhill and I needed to fly. They grabbed and came with me, cracking their bottles when things leveled out. Just after Mile 6 we exit back out of the park and run back the way we came, so super flat…but as we were heading into that last hill, a woman asked, “Do you run Iroquios Park often?” I said, “Yeah.” And she said, “Are we almost out?” I nodded. “Just up this hill…down the other side, and out. Then you just have to worry about the hill over the bridge at Mile 9 heading toward the stadium.” She thanked me…and Linda called me back because I had gotten too far ahead.
We came down the hill and exited the park, stopping for probably a minute or slightly longer for Linda to take a salt tablet, drink some water, and for Suzan to grab her vest from the First Aid tent and put it back on. Suzan commented that I had white eyelashes. That’s how heavy and wet the falling snow was. When everything was situated, we headed back out down the road.
Mile markers were off…again. And I wasn’t going to even worry over by how much. It was by a good amount. And I just gave up on looking. While running, in an attempt to keep me slower, I was asked about my job, what I love doing, and all this. And then…at Mile 8 (on her watch)…Linda let me go. I think my watch was now ahead of the mile markers, but at this point, I was just happy to attempt to pick up my pace. The problem is…when I start slow…I don’t seem to be able to find my speed so picking it up isn’t easy. I’m not a finishing kick person and that makes the 2 mile push I was given feel like a slog. I also hate running on wet pavement…so there’s that.
Mile 9 came and eventually I made the turn back onto Central Avenue to climb up and over the bridge. I felt like I took on the bridge quite strong and my legs felt good as I battled up and over and took the downhill in stride. My training plan wanted me to kick it in at a 7:45-ish pace…and I was pushing as much as I could at this point given the weather and circumstances. I hit the turn and the flat road toward the stadium. I made the turn…and this is when I saw the finish line.
Outside. Of. The. Stadium.
I had looked at the race course map…and everything had the race finishing INSIDE the stadium. It has ALWAYS finished INSIDE the stadium. Apparently last year it didn’t, but again, I didn’t run it last year and most of my friends did Run The Bluegrass instead of the 10 Miler. I glanced at my watch and knew that the course was going to be short.
I wasn’t wrong. I crossed the finish line and stopped my Garmin, making a point this time to do it immediately instead of throwing my hands up in elation as I finish like I normally do. I wasn’t feeling happy at this point. I was wet, cold, and the course was wrong. I wasn’t amused at all. My watch showed 9.95 miles…so did Linda’s. And Paul’s had the course at 9.92.
Afterwards, I decided I wanted my full 10 miles (dammit!), so I jogged to the end of the parking lot and hit it. Then I snagged a banana, some mini KIND Bars, and a water. Cathy hadn’t eaten, so she nibbled on my free pizza (since I can’t eat Papa John’s pizza…and why let that go to waste, right). I walked back to where she was with Linda and Suzan and they went to go to get their own pizza and celebrate their finish.
It was cold and miserable and we decided to call it a morning and leave. We had invited them to brunch, but Suzan needed to get back to Frankfort…but I supplied them with some Lemon Blossoms for the ride home. As we were walking back toward the cars, we noted the computers where we could pull up results so we braved a few more moments in the cold to check them out.
Glad we did too…because Linda came in second in her age group! Bet she’s glad that I pushed the pace a little now (even though, ultimately, I wasn’t consciously doing this. I just have a high cadence so my pace is faster without me feeling like I’m pushing my limits).
So…the official results of the 2018 Papa John’s 10 Miler were that I finished in 1:23:33, which I already explained why this was kept slower than I raced it in 2016. I was 391/2890 overall, the 101/1573 females to cross the finish line, and I was 24/242 in my age division. It occurs to me more and more that I’m not big on training in races because, ultimately, I compare past results (if I have run it in the past) and then feel like a failure when everyone I know is hitting new PRs and I wasn’t even able to try for one. It just messes with my delicate runner’s psyche. HA!
Needless to say, this year’s Papa John’s 10 Miler, what I used to tote as my FAVORITE local race…let me down. And I just didn’t love it this year. Weather wasn’t their fault, but the rest just felt like it was disjointed and…honestly…disorganized. And that’s a bit of a letdown.
I don’t know if I’ll come back to it. I need to let it sit for awhile.
Thank God I went to North End Cafe afterwards, was able to change into warm, dry clothes, and drink a lot of nice hot coffee and feel human again. No less angry. But human. I felt a lot better after settling in at Melissa & Paul’s house that night for some wine and food and dinosaurs and exploding kittens. Sometimes the best therapy is friend therapy!
Training has kicked in for sure this week for my January races. And these days, I’m slowing down my speeds on races and weaving more runs together. This is imperative. And I have to be smart about speeds at distances because I am just DONE with the whole hip/body falling apart JUST before races. Usually just prior to taper, so when the mileage is super high.
So…that is what went down with this race. I know…I just ran a half marathon last weekend (the Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon), which I finally blogged about yesterday! WOO! See, I’m getting this done early. Good for me! *pats self on back*
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that this week I took two full days off in the middle of the week (Tues & Wed), and then had short runs through to the weekend. Yesterday, I ran half of my distance by myself and then met up with some amazing ladies to do the Thanksgiving course with them (they have never run it) to finish up the rest of my distance. Damn, I love running with people. Maybe that’s why I love racing so much.
Today I was supposed to run/walk this half marathon (which I signed up for last week, no joke) as part of my training, with my training partner, Matthew. But he had some family come through unexpectedly and texted me last night to let me know. It was just me today and I had to decide on my run plan. Since I really took it easy yesterday, I made an agreement with myself to walk the hills and water stops at this race instead of doing the 4 minutes running/30 seconds walking I was originally going to do. Since this is held in The Parklands, I knew there would be hills. BIG hills at times. SO…this was a good compromise with myself now that I had no one to reign me in with standard 4/30 intervals for a run/walk.
Packet pick-up was a MESS! Seriously. It was held at our local Fleet Feet in Louisville, but, the new location has very limited parking spots and the race organizers were setting packet pickup for 5 hours only…on Saturday. Whew. So, I arrived when the store opened and was told I needed to come back at 1 pm. *sigh* There was also race day packet pick-up, but I like being able to pin up and be ready on race day and not have to get there even earlier and concern myself with more lines and people and waiting. Especially when the weather is cold.
It was 20 degrees warmer than my 10 mile run yesterday…but it didn’t feel like it. HA!
Anyway…I went back at 1 pm. and got my bib and my shirt. It was a madhouse. I signed a waiver thingy…had to go up and tell people my bib number. There was nothing on it with my name, so then I started to second-guess myself on that. MEH! I double checked on my phone and I did have the correct bib. I just hate not having the security of my name being on the big itself…somewhere.
I spent the rest of the day grocery shopping and making homemade nut butter. I do that. HA! OH…and I swung by Annie May’s Sweet Cafe to place my Thanksgiving order and buy something to eat post-race (the pumpkin coffee cake was the winning selection!). Sorry, race organizers…I can’t have your Derby Pie at the finish, or beer, or granola bars. I mean…what race doesn’t have bananas??!! So…that happened. I made sure I recovered well from my 10 miles that day so I would be good to go for 13.1. This meant, I did finally get in some stretching. And then, my feet were up and I was on the couch, watching the new Spider-Man: Homecoming on blu-ray. Thanks, Redbox!!
Went to bed later than anticipated (I was up at 3:30 am to do my Saturday run and now I was going to have to do the same to get to the shuttle area and to the start without being too crunched for time)…but slept pretty well. I was probably just overly tired because I was fussing about the time my roommate was going to get up so she could eat breakfast and get ready without feeling rushed. And she is the worst about getting to races for parking. We were parking at Papa John’s headquarters and being shuttled and she still was stressing over that. But not as much as parking in a muddy field.
We were out the door in time to not be stressed for sure. I had my pre-workout mix with me and a Pamela’s Products Gluten Free Big Fig Bar to eat before the race. That was new for pre-race. But as I wasn’t running this race for time…I figured…why not try something new. I had the Pamela’s Products Gluten Free Matcha Happiness Ambition Bar before Monumental and that was new too! Whatever! I needed something to start off my race with some fuel in the tank. And I, myself, failed on the banana front for the second race day in a row. I think it’s time to get back into the banana habit.
I took a short power nap on the way to the shuttle buses and happily toted my blanket from the car with me to the bus and the race start. It was chilly, and while I was wearing my longer compression shorts, I knew I was going to be cold. I am ALWAYS cold. Getting on a bus to the start line was super easy. The return trip…is going to come at the end of this post. Wait for it! It might be in the form of a rant.
But I’m getting ahead of myself! GAH! So much running around in my head.
Okay…the announcer at the start/finish line was actually really perky and excitable. But he did keep using the same jokes over and over again. It was definitely too cold for the runners to be all excited at the start line, and he kept trying to get us to shout. At one point, I let out a loud “WOOOO!” and he said, “ONE PERSON…ONE PERSON IS EXCIED.” HAHA! Honestly, I was miserable because I had to give up my hoodie and really didn’t want to. But, we all started to crowd into the start corrals, which had tiny little areas for paces. No one really wanted to go up front…but there were some who honestly did belong to be up there and proudly went up to take their spots. There were also some overly-ambitious sorts too. HAHA! But I took up my spot around the 9 min milers at first and then was shuttled forward as the race neared the start time. They played the national anthem (we had NO flag in sight), and then…with a countdown from 10…we were off.
Now…I knew how tough the first 2 miles of this race would be because it was the same route as the Great Pumpkin 10K. I knew there would be ONE SUPER BIG HILL within the first 2 miles. I left the start area feeling good and loving not having any sort of time goal for this run. I just wanted to run it smart and get to the finish line. The first hill I ran up, but knew that the next one would be done at a walk because it would be STEEP! Totally didn’t care that I tossed up a hand to indicate my intention to walk and went up the hill that way. Of course, after doing that, it was difficult to get back into my stride…but I fell back into eventually. The first water stop, I didn’t walk. I had just finished climbing an evil hill. MEH. I kept going. Just before Mile 3, the turn-around for the 10K was happening. Most of the people ahead of me were turning around, but I was continuing on straight. This did open up the course a lot more, which was nice. I crossed over the timing pad for the 5K at 23:42. I can’t complain with that. I walked a monster hill, which also meant I conserved a bit of energy for the rest of the race as well. Miles 3 through the turn-around point were pretty much a steady downhill, with a few small inclines thrown in. Mile 4 was Pope Lick Park where I train a lot with my training partner, so I loved being familiar with the twists, turns, and terrain there. The hills aren’t bad through there and I figured out exactly where we would be turning around.
There was a water stop at Mile 4, but one of the pace groups was right behind me so I had to wait for them to pass before tossing up my hand to alert anyone else of my walk break. I took in some water and a bit of my Nuun Performance, then picked it back up again. The turn around was tight, but manageable. I hate hairpin turns in races, but when you are running an out-and-back race…it’s going to happen.
After turning around, the fun began. I actually caught up to a woman I had been talking to at the start of the race. We were just started talking and she mentioned she was from Minnesota. I told her that I was born in Minnesota. She asked where, and I told her Bloomington. Turns out she was a teacher in Bloomington for 34 years. I never went to school in Minnesota though…we moved to New York before I turned 4. But that was really cool. Her racing season is usually over by now and she goes into cross country skiing (how Minnesotan…my Grandpa did the same thing when he was a runner), but she came down for this one. That’s pretty cool. I was set for some fuel, so I let her go on ahead and I fell back to take in more Nuun Performance. Short break…back to it.
Out and backs are awesome because I can see friends of mine on the course. And I tried to say “HI” to as many as I could. I saw Nikky, Katie, and a few others that I know through Instagram and smaller races. And I got an amazing high five from my friend Melissa, who was pacing the 6 hour group for the marathon. That was just what I needed. I knew a crazy bunch of hill climbing was coming. And that basically started around Mile 9 and lasted through around just before Mile 11. BIG shout-out to my friend Kathryn who cheered for me when I came through the race initially and then on my way back through. It was fantastic to get the shout-out on the course. Really lifts you up.
I was actually concerned as I was coming back as the mile markers were a little off from my watch beeps, but as I started down the steep hill that I had walked up near the start of the race, my Mile 11 beep came just as I passed the sign. All was right in the distance world. With 2 miles left, I just did what I could to get there. My legs were tired, sure. Even walking hills takes a lot out of you. Just not as much. I started to catch up to people, which was nice. And as Mile 12 ticked by, I was ready to get to that finish line. There was one last hill to go up before making the turn to round out to the finish line. I decided not to walk it, but my pace slowed. This nice man in front of me, who had commented about me not liking hills when I was walking the bigger ones between miles 9 and 11 (and I explained I was coming back from injury and just not going to blow it all on a hill), waved at me and said, “Come on! We got this. Let’s do this one together.” It was just what I needed. Up and over and down. From there…it was just a matter of making the turn and taking the road around to that finish chute.
Some of the 10K walkers were still coming in at this point, and there was a couple right at the finish line as I was running in. They were holding hands and pretty much taking up the entire finish area. I squeezed past, which was fine, but it also meant they blocked the finisher photo that Cathy was trying to take.
I ran into Paul and Michelle (I met Paul through the KDF Ambassador Team last year and Michelle is gluten-free like me) just after finishing. Results weren’t posted yet for the half, so we were just sort of hanging out. Cathy was checking the phone for finishing results and told me that I had “unofficially” placed in my age division. Heck yeah! So did Paul, for that matter!! It was cold, so I pulled my blanket out of the backpack Cathy had and wrapped it around me. It wasn’t enough. I was sweaty and the wind had picked up. No Mylar blankets at the finish…no banana…meh. I was over it.
The official results finally were posted, and officially both Paul and I placed. YAY! But now we had to wait for the official results to be given to the age group award holders…which involved a lot more waiting. I was cold and hungry now. But…I’m glad I waited. Once I saw the papers handed off, I went right up there and…yep…there I was. Number 3 in my age division. BOOM!
Paul and I both obtained our age group awards and we went to take some photos. Afterwards, we parted ways. They were heading back to their car and I was on my way to meet the shuttle bus. We were told by people there that the shuttles were picking up at the dog walk park. So, we hiked that way. There were people standing there, so we joined in, after double-checking with the kid who was the volunteer there to be sure we were in the right spot. He said the buses had just left and would be back soon. After 10 minutes, a bus came into view. Full. And kept driving. And then, another 10 minutes later, the same thing happened. One of the ladies who had been standing there before then, flagged down that bus driver and asked about where the buses were picking up people. He said they were told to go to the finish area.
Now we were all pissed as we were told to come here and had been freezing waiting on a bus. He called back to the finish and said a bus was coming for us. Thank God. After a total of about 30 minutes, we were on a warm bus and making our way back to Papa John’s headquarters and the car.
I was extremely tired and hungry. The plan had been to go home and do breakfast, but the whole return to the car took longer than expected. It was almost 11:30…so Cathy decided we would go back to North End Cafe today and have brunch. Good call. We had a 30 minute wait, but we already knew what we were ordering. Coffee…and the potato melt (minus the cheese and sour cream for me). Food and coffee hit the table and then were used as recovery as we both devoured our food. Coffee…they gave us some to go on our way out if that tells you anything. HA!
So…the official results of the Louisville Half Marathon are that I finished in 1:44:09…walking the steep hills and the water stops. Hell yeah! I was 59/749 finishers overall. I was the 12/420 female finishers. And I was 3/76 in my age division. Once again, taking smart and planned walk breaks. It’s all about staying injury free right now. I’ll focus on time again when this body is really ready and fit to race.
For a first-year race…not bad. But they really need to work a bit on the after-race situation with shuttles, when shuttle use is being encouraged. Having runners stand out in the cold that long after a run is not good for anyone involved. Especially runners. Hypothermia is real, friends. Thankfully, it all worked out in the end. Also, I would like bib’s to have some sort of deciphering quality as to which race is being run. There was a mass start for a 10K, Half Marathon, and Marathon this morning and no real way to tell who was running which race. ALSO…I wish the medals were different. The finisher’s medal was for all three races, with no separate ones for the 10K, Half and Full. Which…I guess saves money, but having one for your distance is way nicer.
As part of my self-care, self-esteem building, bettering-of-myself experiment that is an ongoing series of successes and (yes) failures…I’m expanding my mind and still attempting to squeeze in a bit of ME TIME, which feels almost impossible these days…but I work with what I have.
Therefore…I’m listening to music…
In fact, I was fortunate enough to attend the U2 show in Louisville, KY this past weekend. And while it was hot and I wilted and melted until the sun went down, the show was amazing and I (as always) cried during Where The Streets Have No Name as well as Running To Stand Still. U2 and I have been in a musical relationship since I was a child…and, while I have seen them numerous times in concert, this show was on my home turf and I wasn’t going to miss it. I’m glad I went.
Honestly, I needed that show. I’ve sort of given up finding inspiration in music. Why search for new music, when some of the best lyrics, some of the best songs, are in the old favorites? I stand corrected!
I’ve also started diving back into some books. In fact, I’m working on three at this very moment. Yes…at the same time.
So, what is on my reading list at the moment? Well, at the encouragement of my sister, I am working through 13 Reasons Why, by Jay Asher, on my Kindle.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with this book, but in case you’re not…here is the synopsis from Amazon.com:
You can’t stop the future. You can’t rewind the past. The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.
Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.
At work, I often listen to podcasts these days, but there is still room for my beloved audio books. It’s so easy to listen to a book while I do my work…so I can escape and still be productive. Let’s here it for multitasking. I am currently listening to Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow, which is the very book that Lin-Manuel Miranda was reading when he was inspired to write the Broadway musical Hamilton.
It’s fascinating and a nice escape for the first part of my day at work. Once again, here is the synopsis from Amazon.com:
In the first full-length biography of Alexander Hamilton in decades, Ron Chernow tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire, and scandalize the newborn America. According to historian Joseph Ellis, Alexander Hamilton is “a robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all.”
Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernow’s biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of today’s America is the result of Hamilton’s countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. “To repudiate his legacy,” Chernow writes, “is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world.” Chernow here recounts Hamilton’s turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington’s aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.Historians have long told the story of America’s birth as the triumph of Jefferson’s democratic ideals over the aristocratic intentions of Hamilton. Chernow presents an entirely different man, whose legendary ambitions were motivated not merely by self-interest but by passionate patriotism and a stubborn will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power. His is a Hamilton far more human than we’ve encountered before—from his shame about his birth to his fiery aspirations, from his intimate relationships with childhood friends to his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, and from his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds to his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza. And never before has there been a more vivid account of Hamilton’s famous and mysterious death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July of 1804.
Chernow’s biography is not just a portrait of Hamilton, but the story of America’s birth seen through its most central figure. At a critical time to look back to our roots, Alexander Hamilton will remind readers of the purpose of our institutions and our heritage as Americans.
And finally…at the encouragement of my amazing, inspiring, and brilliant friend, Melissa, I picked up a book this past weekend to read. She said that it would really help me through the struggle-bus thought process I am currently working through. So far, she’s right. I haven’t gotten far, but I’m going to make a point to sit down and power through this book. It’s called You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, by Jen Sincero.
It’s very motivating, the bit that I have squeezed in to read. And I find myself nodding and cheering for myself to get this excited about my life. Maybe it will help. I think it will. I’ve already found SO many sentences that I can apply to my current struggles. In case you’re confused…here is the synopsis from Amazon.com:
Bestselling author, speaker and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, cuts through the din of the self-help genre with her own verbal meat cleaver in You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. In this refreshingly blunt how-to guide, Sincero, serves up 27 bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, life-changing insights, easy exercises and the occasional swear word.
Via chapters such as “Your Brain is Your Bitch,” “Fear is for Suckers” and “My Subconscious Made Me Do It,” Sincero takes you on a wild joy ride to your own transformation, helping you create the money, relationships, career and general all around awesomeness you so desire. And should you be one of those people who would rather take a bullet than get busted with a self-help book in your hands, fear not. Sincero, a former skeptic herself, delivers the goods minus the New-Age cheese, giving even the snarkiest of poo-pooers exactly what they need to get out of their ruts and start kicking some ass.
By the end of You Are a Badass, you will understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love, and how to start living the kind of life you used to be jealous of.
So…that’s what is on my reading list currently, but why stop there? I’ve become so immersed in podcasts as of late. And while I love a good true crime podcast, I have been directed to, or even discovered through my own hunting, some uplifting and amazing podcasts that I’ve been diving into at work as well. These include:
Make Your Body Work: Live Healthier, Smarter, and Happier – Dave Smith, Canada’s Top Fitness Professional
Fit Bottomed Girls – Margo Donohue, Jennipher Walters, and Kristen Seymour
The Love, Food Podcast – Julie Duffy Dillon, Registered Dietitian, Food Behavior Expert, and Body Image Guru
Body Kindness – Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN
I really need to think more about working toward my nutrition degree or becoming a dietician. I love learning new things and also…learning how to be kinder to myself during these very trying, often stressful times as I attempt to get this body back to a place where I feel comfortable with it.
AND…I have been out to the movies and had to see, because…reasons, WONDER WOMAN. It was campy and fun and amazing and everything that it needed to be. I was nicknamed Wonder Woman years ago by my running store/group…so this was a must see. And if you haven’t seen it yet…I highly recommend it!
I have numerous more movies on my TO SEE list…so we’ll see how many I manage to get through before they leave theaters.
So…that’s what I’ve been up to lately. And yesterday, I broke out my Vitamix and whipped up an amazing smoothie for breakfast that I’ll share the recipe for in a different entry.
What books/podcasts/music/television shows have you been enjoying lately? I want to hear all about them. Comment below!! I’m always looking for new things to get into!
Wow, I’m behind on posts in the weeks leading up to the races I have coming up. Trust me when I say…I’ve been busy!
When I left you about a month ago…I was getting back to running, easing my mileage back up, adding in some speed work and hills, etc. Right? Right. Not all at once, mind you. That would be Looney Tunes.
So…basically my easing back into things started with a race weekend. As you know from the previous blog, I ran (not raced) the Rodes City Run 10K with my friend Matthew. It was a good way to train, and I learned that small, climbing hills and even the 10K distance were a challenge for this now endurance-less distance runner. My endurance was shot. Gone. Kaput.
I knew this needed to change. I just wasn’t sure exactly how to go about it, especially on my own. That being said…I made a promise to not give up and to keep on going!
The following weekend, after Rodes, I was up to 7 miles for my long run (my PT wanted me to increase my long run each week by 1 mile). Not only was I the milk maid for the #KDFMarathon training run (this simply means I provide the bottles of TruMoo in coolers for those doing the training run. As we know, chocolate milk has been proven to be one of the most amazing recovery drinks around due to the protein:carb ratio). I’m lactose intolerant and don’t handle dairy well at all, so I can’t use this method…but a lot of these runners look forward to that little reward at the end. The run, however, was starting at SWAGS South. And this meant…we were running Iroquois. I guess I was about to test this hip flexor out against the hills of Iroquois Park. It was an all-female cast of characters for the KDF Race Ambassadors that day too!
Talk about trial-by-fire. My running partner, Matthew, joined me and while everyone else was going 10 that day…we were hitting up 7. It was nice to have company, because…once again…I had to do my own thing. I just hoped no one followed me as I did it, because that would really screw up the mileage. There were 2 options that day for those doing the entire 10. Run to the top of the park (recommended for the marathon runners) or run past that hill and go around the base to some other road. I didn’t pay that close of attention because Matthew and I were doing neither. We ended up running to the water stop at the base of the giant hill leading to the top of Iroquois. We grabbed some water…and then continued on around the base, turning the opposite way of the half marathon runners and going more toward the amphitheater. We didn’t quite make it there before needing to turn around, so we just sort of turned into a lot, found a path, and ended up way off where we needed to be to get back. Garmins paused and we crossed through the grass to the main road and got back to the run. The hills did slow me down, but it was probably the best way to get back to running on hills. There is no getting around them in Iroquois. I was tired as we finished up…but as I was the Milk Maid…I needed to wait around for the chocolate milk to be gone.
Which I ended up icing the last 5 bottles because it was after noon…and I had a 2:30 pm Louisville City FC match to get to. First kick. And it was a draw. No purple smoke that day. But we had gorgeous weather. And I got a sunburn. Life was good. Well, maybe not the sunburn part…
Well, that following weekend would be my first real test. And here’s why. I wasn’t allowed to jump from 7 miles up to 10 because…well…obviously injuries happen to me. A lot. And the whole point was to ease the mileage back up there. The challenge, however, was that there was no training run on tap. Why not? Well…two reasons…
Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon in Lexington, Ky, and the Papa John’s 10 Miler in Louisville, Ky. Most of my fellow local runners and ambassadors were taking part in either RTB (and my coach was providing the pacers), or doing the last leg of the Triple Crown of Running with the Papa John’s 10 Miler (aka: my favorite local race…and I couldn’t do it this year BOO!). My running partner, Matthew, was out of town on a family trip. So…there was me, myself, and I.
And on a morning in the low 40s…it was not easy for me to haul my butt out of my nice warm bed, do all my physical therapy exercises and stretching and get myself out the door to run by myself for 8 miles. I don’t mind running alone. I don’t. I do it all the time. I just prefer to run with people. It takes my mind off all the mental stuff. And it’s that mental stuff that tends to mess with me. So the sun was long up before I finished up the stretches and stuff and made myself get out on the road.
The first three miles were awful…and that was the flat part of the course I was running. All that being said, I found my stride when the hills came into play. And these are some pretty tough hills. I wasn’t worried about speed or time…just the miles…but I felt so amazing for those last five miles. And when all was said and done, I finished up in just over an hour. And I felt good at the end. I showered. My roommate made an great recovery breakfast for me. And the weekend was now officially on.
Did I happen to mention that a few other things happened that weekend that sort of altered the way my weekends as of late were rolling? As a side…I started prepping healthy and vegan meals for friends of mine. I love doing this stuff. The problem was, my little side business was growing faster than I could keep up with. I was spending Friday night, Saturday afternoon and evening, and Sunday morning in my tiny little kitchen. And there was more stress than letting the cooking relax me like it had been. So, due to upcoming races and out-of-town trips, I cancelled service through May so that I could come up with a better way of doing this for people, that wouldn’t take up all of my spare time and still allow me the opportunity to help others. I’m still working on that. But for the first time in 2 months, I didn’t have to jump right into the kitchen to meal prep meals that I wasn’t going to even eat. That was also part of the issue. I was cooking for everyone else and letting my own food prep and nutrition slide. That wasn’t the point of this. So I needed to take a step back and figure it all out. It’s a work in progress.
My roommate and I did FINALLY get patio furniture for the balcony. She hung up some lights and now…I just want to have people over to kick back outside, eat some food, drink some wine, relax, and just talk.
Doesn’t it look amazing? I’m so happy with it. Since putting it all up, we’ve been dining al fresco pretty much every night for dinner. When it hasn’t been too chilly out. And I think that only happened once.
Let me fan-girl rave here, as well, about something I found and wanted to share with all you ice cream lovers.
That’s a coconut milk ice cream. It’s completely dairy free. And it is made from real ingredients. None of that low calorie, low nutrition, chemical-laden crap (Halo Top and Arctic Zero, I’m looking at you) that people actually buy. If you’re worried about calories to that extent, maybe you just shouldn’t eat ice cream. If you’ve found a happy, balanced lifestyle…a serving (1/2 cup) of Nada Moo will astound you. It’s the creamiest, most amazing non-dairy ice cream I have ever had. And I’ve pretty much had them all. Locally, I’ve only been able to find a few of the flavors. Vanilla…Ahhh is the only one I can find that I have yet to try. Otherwise I have indulged in, and enjoyed, Gotta Do Chocolate, Lotta Mint Chip, Cookies and Crème, That Snickerdoodle Dough, and Mmm…Maple Pecan. If you live in the Louisville area and spot any other flavor…please alert me!
Which now brings us to this past week. I got up to meet at Senaca Park for the training run for the half marathon. I was supposed to do 9. The group for th half was doing 10. I figured, if I felt good, and the hills didn’t kill me, I could do my first double-digit run since the Disneyland Light Side Half Marathon (which I did injured, as you recall). The running gods were with me. Matthew and I took on the hills of Cherokee Park and did, for me, the entire route as it was mapped out ahead of time for the training run. And these runs have been going on since Rebel Challenge weekend when I was in California. I walked around for most of these runs, showing up in the cold just to suffer longer than most as I was not allowed to run. This run felt so good and gave me the mental boost I needed. Double digits. And now…taper.
It was an all-female cast of KDF Ambassador characters that morning too. And I also ended up being overdressed, despite the 39° start. When I finished about an hour and a half later…I was dying in the sunlight. It heated up quickly. I was wishing I had gone with shorts at that point.
And this past month, I’ve gotten back into a training plan using my coach, incorporated strides after my easy paces, stuck to my assigned paces, and yes…have done 1 round of fartleks, and 2 rounds of 4x400s as far as my speed work goes. So, yes…I am incorporating it. Speed work and I are still…not friends. In fact, I normally wake up those days not feeling well because it does just wind me up. And I have yet to have speed work day go smoothly. But, at least I’m out there getting it done, right?
Oh…and with the free time I have at the moment…I also snuck in a bit more “ME TIME” by going to the movie theater to see Beauty & The Beast. And it was a beautiful, amazing movie. And I’m glad, after putting it on the back burner and never having a moment to just go see it…that I finally made time.
Tapering because I have 2 weekends in a row of half marathons coming up. I think I’m running 8 with the group this weekend. And that’s it. That’s what I’ve been up to. Pretty boring, right?
Stay tuned…I’m sure there is more to come. But I need to foam roll and get some sleep…because it’s another wake up at the ass crack of dawn morning with body pump and some cardio after. But, hey, I’m getting stronger and faster and better…and that’s only for the better.
The mileage is totally going up as my race in early September creeps closer and closer. And as there weren’t any running plans being tossed around with the normal group I run with…I made plans to run with a couple of speedy guys in Frankfort, Kentucky on Saturday. We were doing 18 miles. And for the first 13 miles…we were running the Kentucky History Half Marathon course (which is hilly hell)…and then we were going to run to their neighborhood for the additional 5 miles.
This started off really well, and the first 13 miles went great. After that…it all came apart and went to hell. We started off this massive hill and it was just like…my legs didn’t want to move anymore. They were feeling fantastic up until that point. And this…this just killed me. Nothing messes with your head more than having a great run go bad. I felt bad, slowing down the speediest of the group, as he wanted to do the 18 miles at his MP, and I was running at least a minute slower than he needed to be running. When I hit the hill…it was even worse. The struggle…was more than real. It occurred to me that my September race was going to be way harder than this, and the fact that this course completely shattered my confidence I had been building up.
It was brutal and after I sent one of the runners on, and the other one never got past the 13 mile mark because he stopped to talk… got myself a bit lost and turned around in a city I really know nothing about. I might have cried a little. And ugly crying and a bad run make everything worse. SO…I ended up turning around, heading back toward downtown, and rounding off the mileage on my own. I got there, but it wasn’t pretty and I felt pretty defeated the rest of the day. But, on the plus side, I did get the mileage in and I stepped a bit outside of my comfort zone to do it too.
So, when I went on my little shakeout this morning, I had a little heart-to-heart with myself as I ticked off a couple of easy miles. And that is…my new focus…and I leave it to The Doctor to share it with you…
I get so down on myself and hard on myself regarding the paces I can hold, maintain, or even run at different points of the week. Right now, I need to just focus on the whole…running thing…and less on how much or little time it takes me. Let’s face it. A 7 mile hill climb at the start of a marathon is going to SUCK…and right now, I should focus on just prepping myself mentally as well as physically by simply setting the numbers and data aside…and basically…just running.
And with all that being said…the best thing ever happened this past week as plans for my September race started falling into place. One thing that is going to be entirely necessary is having people around to get me through what will likely be a challenging and…humbling race. And all the ladies that are traveling with me are on board. And I feel a LOT better about at least my post-race stuff thanks to that simple fact.
The gang is getting back together. It’s been way too long since the four of us have gone on an adventure. And I promise not to get my purse stolen this time…
Anyone else watching the Tour de France? I was watching it yesterday and was just blown away by the way these cyclists command that course. They are amazing and inspiring. Seriously, it does make me want to get back on my road bike…but ever since taking that spill and having so much trouble unclipping…I just haven’t felt like risking my bones and body in another potential fall. So, I’m watching all these athletes cycling like mad on the roads of France and they’re just…FLYING!
And I get on a bike and I feel like…
True story! Well, the only way to get better at something is to practice, practice, practice. I am going to look at getting my clips loosened…or possibly new pedals. We’ll see what happens after that. Fact of the matter is…I want to get back on my bike.
My other favorite thing this week…going over to Bryan & Michelle’s house on Friday night, eating Daiya pizza, watching Kung Fu Panda 3, drinking a little wine (Reggae Red Wine), and just having more laughs than I’ve had all week. Seriously…it was just the unwinding that I needed at the right time. And I love these two. Two of the best friends I’ve made since moving to the area.
And…SHE. BOUGHT. PIZZA. I. CAN. EAT! So much love! I was eagerly eyeing them in the oven ready to devour. We all know…pizza is my favorite!
I made Gluten Free and Vegan S’mores for dessert. I think Michelle now wants a kitchen torch (which is how I toasted said marshmallows)!
They were a hit!
Pizza party, Panda, and discussion of what a Chi Biscuit would include. HA!! God, I love my friends.
And that was pretty much my weekend! It was a decent week leading into the weekend. And when my Saturday night finishes up with dinner at Shalimar (mmm…Indian food!), it’s a good time.
Speaking of movies…last night I watched the movie Chef. It had been on my list for awhile, and all my friends kept telling me I had to see it. They were right. I loved it. It made me really want to go to culinary school. Maybe not to run a food truck…or…perhaps…to run a food truck. HA! If you haven’t seen it…get on Netflix and watch it. You will thank me for it.
So, that was pretty much my week. Sort of a bumpy ride…but more ups (mentally and physically, HA!) than downs.
How do you overcome challenges? Ever have a run fall apart on you? How do you mentally and physically recover? I want to know!!
Oh…it’s National Ice Cream Day…so…scoop up some goodness today!!
In the midst of everyday stresses and stressors, it’s always nice to have a little break from the things that are just…making you feel so BLAH about life and what you are doing with your life.
For me, this week, it was having my beautiful sister, Karla, drive up from Birmingham, Alabama, with her eldest son, my nephew, Landon. I didn’t know how much I needed her and the distraction of having her and Landon here to really just allow me to relax, smile, and be me again!
Family, especially my sister, is, apparently, the cure to what ails, troubles, and bothers you. I’ve been having…a not so amazing time these past few weeks…and, unfortunately, it’s something I am not really allowed to discuss. Censorship sucks, yes? YES! But…just trust me…the type of personality I have and the person I am…it’s been bothering me on a fundamental level, which, has added a lot of added stress to my already chaotic life.
But this weekend…was amazing. I love spending time with my sister…and it doesn’t happen often enough. So, her texts and calls that ask what I’m doing on certain weekends means…she’s coming to visit. And I LOVE when she comes to visit. She and I are best friends and sisters and just…have always been close. So, me living this far away for 11 years (YES…11 years as of Friday)…has not been easy on either of us. But here is some of the mischief that we got into this weekend, helping me to not even think about the bad and sucky things that have made a certain portion of a time of my day…a thing I have resented and even loathed at times over the past couple of weeks.
Here’s to sisters…and nephews…and family…and general FUN! They make the world right again.
1. Fish in the Water
One thing Karla and I had discussed for Landon to do while here was to go to the new water park in New Albany. Unfortunately, Friday left us with thunderstorm warnings and the threat of pop-up storms. So, at around 3:30…when she arrived and we left the office…the lifeguards were being sent home and the park was closing. So, Plan B…go to the YMCA and let him swim. He was swim tested and given permission to go to the life guard chair in the lap pool and to go down the slide in the kids pool. So, for a good portion of the afternoon…about an hour and change, that’s what he did. Cathy, Karla, and I all sweltered to death in the humidity of the pool area of the YMCA while he played and cooled off in the pools. It was worth it to see the smile on his face!
2. SUSHI TIME!
My sister commented a week or so ago about how delicious my vegetarian sushi looked when I Instagram-ed it and posted it to Facebook. And then…I had a brilliant moment of brilliance. My nephew, Landon, is a very, very, very picky eater. BUT…he does love cheese things. Cheese quesadillas, cheese sandwiches, mac & cheese….ALL THE CHEESE! With the excitement over sushi on my post, I thought of the perfect place for us all to grab dinner, that even Landon couldn’t turn his nose up and refuse to order anything. Dragon King’s Daughter to the rescue! For those of you who are not local, Dragon King’s Daughter is an Asian-fusion restaurant with two locations…one in New Albany, Indiana, and one in Louisville, Kentucky. The menu includes traditional fare from the Far East, as well as contemporary fare with a unique twist. They offer classics of Japanese dining such as lemongrass miso, vegetable, and sushi rolls, as well as a multitude of new creations including a mixture of East and West forms and flavors. On the kids menu…a cheese quesadilla…and for the adults…we all went sushi. My sister and I figured we could get a roll each and split one…so I got the Vegetable Roll, she got the Buffaroll, and we split the Green Acres Roll. Cathy went for the fishies…and got the Shrimp Tempura Roll and the Dragon King’s Daughter Roll. And after that…a trip over to the Comfy Cow for an ice cream dessert. What a great first few hours.
3. Playtime at the County Fair
It just so happens that the Floyd County Fair happens across the street from where I life. Convenient, yes? After dinner and dessert, we came home and walked over to the fairgrounds to scope out some rides and the barns with Landon. He went on three rides (he had 4 tickets, but he wanted his mom to ride with him on one he wasn’t sure about). He loved going to see the animals. And one of the highlights for me was seeing my sister crack up every time the goats bleating. Her laugh is so contagious. We all shared lemon shakeups and just walked around. After that…it was time for showers and then we were all down on the couch to watch Zootopia and then…they took over my room and went to bed and I crashed out on the couch so I could get up early and head out for my 12 mile run and get it done before too much of the morning was passed.
4. It Runs in the Family
One of the best things we decided to do, was to go for a short run together. After my 12 miler, I got home and Karla and Landon put on their running clothes. We hiked up to Sam Peden Park and ran a loop. It was hard for Karla, as she hasn’t run in a long while…and she’s not used to the crappy air quality of the Ohio River Valley, but she was a trooper and pressed on. I ran right there with her to encourage her…and Landon…he was busy chasing down the Army men who were running there. He beat quite a few. It was awesome. Landon has amazing speed and gorgeous running form. He’s a natural and I love watching him run. Needless to say, it was a great way to start the day as a family.
5. Wild Eggs
Breakfast was the next most important stop on Saturday. We stopped off at Highland Coffee for some coffee first…and then took the drive over to Westport Road to go to Wild Eggs. Landon already knew he wanted pancakes and BACON. He made sure to tell me that if I got an omlette, he wanted my BLUEBERRY muffin. Since I can’t eat the muffin, I was totally cool with this. It had been forever since I went to Wild Eggs for breakfast…but it was a nice return. They even have gluten-free bread and a gluten-free menu now. LOVE that. Yes…it even includes gluten-free pancakes, French toast and the like. That was exciting. But after 13 miles of running and a hike to and from the park…I wanted some protein. So I ordered the Surfer Girl Omlette (fresh spinach, wild mushrooms, tomato, cream cheese and onion and topped with diced fresh avocado, pico de gallo, sour cream and fresh alfalfa sprouts. Served with skillet potatoes). I got mine without the cream cheese and sour cream. My sister got the same thing, just without the mushrooms (she hates mushrooms). And Cathy got the Kalamity Katie’s Border Benedict (green chili cheddar corn cakes,topped with chorizo, two poached eggs and queso fundido, pico de gallo, sour cream, green onions and avocado. Served with skillet potatoes and an Everything Muffin). And, yes, I got a blueberry muffin for Landon. He was pretty full after eating the two pancakes that were as big as his face and the bacon he ordered…but he took a few bites. The rest…came home with us and then went home with them today.
6. Pierced Ears
Okay, here is something that I didn’t expect to happen this weekend. My sister and I got to talking about earrings…and she brought up how her daughter (she’s 16 months) had her earrings work out perfectly…and how my mom (whose holes closed because she stopped wearing earrings) had just gotten her ears pierced a few weeks ago. I said that I keep saying I need to get it done but just haven’t pulled the trigger. I think a part of me thinks it will fail again. As a kid, I gave the pierced ears a try about 5 times, but always and an allergic reaction to them. My sister was the same way, but it worked for her as an adult. So, she told Cathy to pull into somewhere that could pierce my ears. We did. And now I sit here with beautiful 4mm white gold studs in my ears. Karla taught me how to clean and turn the earrings every day (3 times a day)…and the rest is history. So here is hoping that they work out this time around…because I have wanted to have pierced ears for a long, long time. Leave it to my sister to get me to do something like this on a short weekend visit. HA!
A shopping trip to a few of our favorite stores followed up that little adventure.
Because you can’t just spend the day shopping when you have a 9-year-old boy with you, we took Landon to the Renaissance Fun Park. We had discussed Go Karts…but opted, instead, for putt-putt. It had been ages since my sister and I went putt-putting. It was a lot of fun. The easy holes on the course they put together there are actually quite challenging. But we had a blast. Afterwards, Landon and I took on some air hockey…which he won…and then he played a few more games after that…until the money on his card ran out. It was worth every moment to see him out there laughing and being a competitive little boy.
One of the main reasons my sister aimed for this weekend was that the local professional soccer team, Louisville City FC, was playing on Saturday night. And, since Landon is a HUGE soccer fan, and soccer player himself, we thought it would be fun to take him to a match. I said I wanted to get him a replica jersey for him to wear during the match and she picked him up a hat and then got a t-shirt for Chace. I made sure Karla wore the logo t-shirt I owned to the match as well. They got some pizza for dinner and we settled into our seats at midfield to enjoy. I have never seen Landon so into an event as that soccer game. Seriously, he was shouting at the players and the refs…and it was just magical and fun and amazing. I bought him ice cream at half time because…it’s my job as Auntie…to spoil him and get him hyped up on sugar. HAHA! In the end, after a horrible call by a ref, we ended in a draw of 1-1…and Landon had hoped that some of the players would come over to the midfield (they usually do) so he could get pictures and some autographs, but they all returned to the locker room without coming over. He was bummed, but he still had a fantastic time, and I loved seeing him light up the way he did when Louisville City scored the first goal of the match!
9. Home-Cooked Breakfast
I gave my sister and Landon the option of grabbing breakfast out at a restaurant before they hit the road…or having me cook breakfast for them. Landon really wanted waffles (with powdered sugar, which he now LOVES thanks to Wild Eggs putting it on his pancakes), scrambled eggs…and bacon. So, my sister and I hit the grocery store for bacon (this vegetarian does not have bacon on hand), eggs, and a gluten-free waffle/pancake mix. And then, this morning, I got to cooking. I started the waffles first, knowing that would take the most time. He wanted the Mickey Mouse shaped waffles…so I made that happen for him. And, because we adults weren’t too sure we wanted waffles, we had gluten-free avocado toast with our eggs. I started cooking the bacon before Karla emerged from the bedroom, but she took over that so I could focus on toasting the bread, doing the waffles, and scrambling the eggs. It all finished up at the right time…everything done when it should be. Breakfast was served. And I didn’t take a picture of it, but Karla and I cook epic breakfasts together. And Cathy now has lots of bacon in the fridge for this coming week. Which makes her happy.
After that…they had to hit the road and get home…
It was hard to let them go, but I know Karla’s husband and other two kids were missing her and Landon like crazy. I just was having such a good time and all the time together went by way too fast.
They got home late this afternoon…and she said that they missed me as well.
You know…it’s heating up outside. Yes. It is. And I sort of love it. I really, really do! I mean, I don’t want those blazing hot triple digits, but I have been waiting for the warmer weather…and suffered through the chilly, cold, bitter winter. We never really have spring here, so…yeah, I’ve been waiting for this.
Yesterday was beautiful. It was humid, but definitely not as stifling as last week. And I met with my training partner in a new space with new people…the Louisville Landsharks. Most of them were keeping their runs down to an hour or 2-6 miles, as they were all doing the TriLouisville triathlon this morning. As he and I are both running hilly races (and selfishly, we really didn’t want to take on Eastern Parkway), we continued on into Iroqouis Park, and ran all the way to the top and then back. It was one of my best training runs to date. I felt good during and after. Now before…before…not so much. Let’s take a look at some stuff this week.
1. Grandma’s Marathon When I started back to training this past January, after being cleared to run, and getting approval from Katie, my physical therapist, to follow the Norton Training Program as they all prepped for a late April marathon or half marathon (I ran the half), it was all part of going back and forth between the full and half training program as I prepped for the NYC Half Marathon and then…Grandma’s Marathon. I was signed up to run it. It’s my grandpa’s absolute favorite marathon. And this year…it was their 40th Anniversary. Big!! I pepped for this by jumping right into a 20 miler in April because…I needed to see how my body could handle long, long distance. I came out of it feeling great. But I didn’t feel ready. So I transferred my bib and that was that. The race ran yesterday…and that morning, I felt good. I felt really good. Physically, I could have gone out and run this marathon and completed it. But I think, mentally, I need more time before tackling the 26.2 mile distance. So, while giving up my spot in that marathon was the best choice, it wasn’t an easy one. I don’t regret it…but I know I could have done it…now. Even though the race did get black flagged due to extreme heat. Runners were allowed to stay out…but that’s pretty intense. Still…I do sort of wish I had gone…but I know this will just make me better and more prepared (mentally) for my brutal (but beautiful) September race.
2. The Best Water Stop Ever
Need a good laugh? Check this out. As I mentioned, Matthew and I were running 14 miles yesterday and we took it to the hills. Along the way, there are a few spots we can stop to refill our water bottles. When the weather gets this humid and hot, hydration is important. So, on our way back to our starting point, we made our final water stop, thinking we were actually embarking on closer to 15 miles (which was fine…) to finish up. We filled up at the water fountain, took some swigs and poured the water over our heads to cool down. And started on our way again. Only to see that our finishing point…was not but 0.15 miles away. Seriously, we rounded the corner from the little alcove the water fountain was in and…BOOM. We could see our start point. We both busted out laughing. But it did get us to our 14 miles we set out to run…so there was that. This is what happens when you do something new. You don’t exactly know how much further you have to go. HA!
3. Mediterranean Food
My roommate might be addicted to a meal that I make…although not too often. I say this because last night, I had the bright idea of making some Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) for dinner. I had one last batch of grape leaves in the fridge to use. But…as I went to get dinner prepped, as the rice was cooling…I noticed the grape leaves had gone bad. I told her we’d just have them tomorrow, but she insisted she’d been looking forward to them all day, and actually went out to Meijer to pick up more grape leaves. That was how much she wanted me to make these. So…for dinner, I cooked up the dolmades, served it with tzatziki and a side salad of greens and veggies and a garlic vinaigrette. It was really good. I love making these. Sort of labor intensive…but worth it. Besides, the Mediterranean Diet has been proven to be the healthiest one out there. Consider me…a giver of health. HA!
4. How A Superhero Learns To Fly…
So…last Sunday, I had my friend Natalie over for dinner. I cooked up Smokey Zucchini Cakes with a Creamy Lemon Sauce, and some Cauliflower Breadsticks. She brought the fruit. SO GOOD! And then, we all settled in to watch Zootopia, rounding out the Disney Animated Movies In Order (as it is currently the last one) marathon. She had never seen it, so that was fun. But, during the movie, there was a loud BANG that sounded at the door. Instead of cowering and wondering what it was, Cathy, Natalie and I sprung up to go check it out. We ain’t afraid of no ghost…intruder…whatever it was. Turned out it was the wind, but it we all laughed at how we were ready to get our crime fighter mode on. Which started this talk about being Superheroes. Which lead to Cathy in a Jane hat (Firefly), carrying a Captain America shield (Marvel), with a cloak on (Lord of the Rings) and a pipe…for some reason (Sherlock), armed with a plunger (Dr. Who); Natalie in a pirate hat and coat, armed with a pistol and sword; and me in a mermaid dress and a squid hat carrying a Dinglehopper…er…I mean a fork…
We were…the Fandom Fighters…and we went outside in public like this and got caught by one of my neighbors. It was so much fun. I haven’t laughed like that in a long time.
Don’t ask why I have a mermaid dress…
5. Blueberry Picking
Cross another thing off the Summer Bucket List. For real. Yesterday…after my humid and hot run, and after refueling with some Allergen Free Biscuits and Jam from Annie May’s Sweet Cafe…Cathy and I headed out to New Salisbury, Indiana, to Bryant’s Blueberries. There, under the screaming hot, mid-day sun…we picked 10 pounds of blueberries. What am I doing with 10 pounds of blueberries. Jam!! I am making jam. And, apparently, scones. Because Cathy keeps mentioning scones. And…I’m sue there will be pancakes. Pancakes are always a good idea. Or…maybe donuts. Hmmm…I’ve been meaning to make some donuts.
Or maybe…blueberry bagels. I need to make bagels. I might make bagels…I should make bagels.
Anyway…I have ALL THE BLUEBERRIES!! Blueberries for days!!!
And I’m known for my jam…so…I can’t wait to give some of these out to people!!
6. Finding Dory
Well, the Renaissance Faire is a no-go this weekend. It is, after all, Father’s Day weekend. That being said, Cathy and I needed to fill in some time…so we are off to see Finding Dory this morning. SO excited for this sequal. Finding Nemo is probably my 2nd favorite Pixar movie (the first being Inside Out). So, this is a big huge deal for me. And I’m so excited to go. Other than being a film lover, and someone who used to want to animate for Disney, I just love the Finding Nemo story. And it is INCREDIBLE how far technology has come since the release of the original movie in 2003.
7. Earth to Echo
Okay…I realize that the film, Earth to Echo, came out over 2 years ago, but I’ve been in this 2 year loop of ALL THE DISNEY ANIMATED MOVIES for the past 2 years. So, now I’m watching movies I wanted to see, but couldn’t since Disney was taking over my life, time, and movie watching time slot. I had my eyes on Earth to Echo for a long while…as it was made as an homage to Spielberg. I mean, the plot is pretty much lifted from E.T., but also borrows heavily from The Goonies and other 80s movies about kids hanging out and doing things. But it is filmed in that old-school Spielberg technique which just makes you feel like you are right there in the movie itself. I didn’t expect too much, but this film was adorable and I loved every moment of it. Seriously. If you overlooked this one…it’s on Netflix…go watch it…NOW.
8. Father’s Day
And…last, but not least…HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!! My dad has been such a steadfast, supportive, and integral part of my life. I may live in a totally different state, but he has always cheered for me, guided me, and helped me to understand the value of making it in the world…on my own. He’s why I am a strong, independent woman. My dad is one of the nicest men in the world, still opening doors for my mom, my sister and me when we are with him, still waits at the security check until I am completely through at the airport, and still wants to take me out to eat when I come visit. He’s my (super) hero…and I am lucky to have such an amazing man to call my dad!!
Did you do anything special in honor of Father’s Day? Seen any good movies lately? Ever pick blueberries?
Like it or not…summer is here. This…this is the weather of my people!! Yes…I understand that I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota…but let’s ignore that for a moment and focus on the fact that…THIS is the weather of my people.
I love summer. Even the hot temperatures that slow me down when I’m out running. Goal this summer…to not be injured and out all summer. The past two years…that’s exactly what has happened.
NOT. THIS. YEAR. (I hope). So…with that in mind…
1. My fist humid, hot, sunny run… (IN SUMMER!!)
So, it only seems fitting that my first hot run back this year was done with two of my favorite people to run with…Tammy and Matt. We headed out early on Saturday, trying to beat as much of the heat as possible to get in our 15 miles. It was brutal (humidity-wise), but it kept me on pace and I had good conversations and we pushed through our miles that morning, finishing up just after 9 am.
This picture represents your brain on 15 hot, humid miles on hills. Whew.
2. Morning Running, Soccer and Dinner with my Sole Sister…(IN SUMMER!!)
I was THRILLED to have company on my Thursday morning run this past week. I am usually doing my (early) morning runs solo, but Natalie had this past week off for vacation and we managed to work it out so that we could run together one morning. The best option was Thursday…I had 5 miles on tap so she came over around 4 a.m. and we headed out, running together down to the YMCA and then back to the apartment. We had great discussions and enjoyed the last morning of cooler temps.
And then last night we put our season tickets to work by taking in the Louisville City FC (that would be Louisville’s professional soccer team…they play at Slugger Field and if you haven’t gone to a match, you’re missing out!) match. It was hot, but what a game. We were up in the 2nd half…until a late goal by Wilmington Hammerheads FC tied it up in stoppage time. And, while we put though a valiant effort to come back, we just didn’t have time. So we drew…2-2. MEH. But I’ll take a draw over a loss. Tonight, Natalie is coming over for dinner. I’m cooking up some Cauliflower Breadsticks and Smokey Zucchini Cakes. There will probably be peach wine too.
3. Cotton Candy Gapes…(IN SUMMER!!)
Nothing makes me happier than the return of Cotton Candy Gapes!!
If you haven’t tried these yet…you are SO missing out. These plump, juicy, all-natural green grapes (non-GMO too) is a new variety of grape that is brought to you by Grapey. These grapes actually do taste like that pink spun-sugar treat that you get at festivals and fairs. And I mean exactly like cotton candy. Cathy spotted these at the Whole Foods in Louisville yesterday, so this is my afternoon snack this week!! So excited. I do know that Kroger eventually started carrying them last year. Anyway, if you love cotton candy, but could do without all the stickiness and ALL THE GRANULATED SUGAR that comes in that fluffy treat…these grapes…will blow your mind. They will blow your mind anyway. Try them. Trust me.
4. Zootopia on Blu-ray…(IN SUMMER!!)
Well, I wrapped up the Disney Animated Movies In Order marathon viewing last weekend, but one more was just released. And it is one of my favorites. ZOOTOPIA! And you better believe I went out to Target on Tuesday and snagged a copy of it.
Seriously…I am Officer Judy Hopps. She’s totally just like me. I relate to this. You will too. If you missed seeing this one…or wasn’t sure what to make of it…trust me…you’ll love it. Redbox it, Netflix it, Buy it. But WATCH IT!
5. Louisville Says Goodbye To The Champ…(IN SUMMER!!)
Okay, I almost didn’t take on the “in summer” part there…but it’s the theme. Regardless, on Friday, Louisville, Kentucky put on a beautiful, memorable goodbye to The Greatest. Muhammad Ali’s procession, burial, and memorial was held in Louisville this past week and it was a memorable and beautiful event.
All week since he passed away, the Muhammad Ali Center in downtown Louisville became a memorial to the late boxer. Now, I didn’t grow up watching boxing or knowing much about the sport. That being said, I do know a lot about Muhammad Ali. You can’t live in this city and not know much about The Greatest. I was able to watch the last couple hours of the memorial service after work on Friday and the speeches were amazing. Billy Crystal was fantastic when he spoke. I was tearing up during different speeches and admired how stoic the family members were. He was laid to rest in Cave Hill Cemetery. This city mourned, celebrated, and came together to celebrate the life of this hometown hero. RIP, CHAMP. RIP!
My trip to the Ren Faire this weekend has been pushed to next weekend, which is good…because I think I would have melted out there today. I want to get out and about at some point because I don’t do well just sitting around the apartment on a Sunday, but it will be in air conditioning.
Anyone else happy to have the warmer temps? What is your favorite part of summer?