Sunday, October 23, 2016

Urban Bourbon Half Recap

Saturday I ran my 25th half marathon, the Urban Bourbon Half. This was my 3rd year running this race, and I will continue to do it. It is awesome!

After work on Friday I met up with Margie, and we went to packet pickup. Of course we get free bourbon at the pickup too!

We then went to a friend of Margie's house for the night. Her name is Jennifer, and Margie hadn't met her in person before, but they had become online friends through a FB running group. Jennifer offered to let us stay the night with her, since she's only 10 minutes from the starting line.
 She told us she was fixing spaghetti for us, but when we got there, she had totally outdone herself! She had made 2 different pasta's, chicken, meatballs, garlic bread, salad! We all carb loaded so good!

After a fun night of talking, laughing and getting to know eachother, we headed to bed.

*Side note- aren't runners awesome? It's ok if we start out as strangers, our love of running unites us, and we become fast friends. This is the best community ever.

 We woke up at 6 am, ate breakfast and did all the other things we do before a race. Then Margie and I went on to the race while Jennifer went to pick up a friend of hers, and met us there.
 It was COLD. I don't remember the exact temperature, but it was in the low 40's.

 The race got started at 8:30. There is only one thing I don't like about this race, and that is the starting corrals. Everyone is jam packed into the corrals, it's impossible to get even close to your pacer, and all of us who can't get in, have to stand around on the sidewalk, outside of the corrals, waiting for the race to start so we can get in. Not sure why that is, or if it's possible to fix that problem. But other than that, I love this race!

This was a pretty hilly course, but nothing like Iron Horse last weekend.

 Around mile 2-3 I finally started to warm up. After that, the cooler temps felt perfect.
I felt great the whole 13.1 miles. I walked some of the hills, then others I just put my head down and kept running.
 My half last weekend was 2:36. I'm always trying to beat my previous time, so I was hoping since I was running by myself this time, just maybe I could do a little better.

I had one hard moment during the race. At mile 11, there was a little girl holding a sign that said "Run, Mommy, Run".
Seeing that hit me hard. I kept repeating to myself "don't cry, Katie, don't cry". Crying and running don't mix well for me! But I couldn't help myself.
 I just kept giving myself a pep talk, and it didn't take too long to get happy again. I'm thankful no one was around me at that moment.

As I get to the finish line, I see the clock says 2:33. Wow! I was not expecting that!
It wasn't until a little later when Margie checked the results online that she saw my official time was 2:31!! I'm sure I caused her to go a little deaf, because I was so excited.

Here's what that means to me. If I can do a hilly course in 2:31. I can probably do a flat course in a sub 2:30. The Indy Monumental half is in 2 weeks, and I'm gonna get it. Yes I am.

 Jennifer's friend ran her first half marathon, and did great, even though she was sick. I got to wait for Margie at the finish line, and cheer her in.
 We then went to the after party where they had pizza, chili, more bourbon and beer. See, I'm telling you, this race is awesome!!

After the race Margie and I were craving Mexican food. (We didn't eat anything at the afterparty, I can never eat right after a race)

Yes, we wore our medals into the restaurant

The perfect ending to a wonderful race!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Iron Horse half, my new job and a new number

Saturday I ran my 24th half marathon, the Iron Horse half. I had heard about this race for years, so was very excited to finally get to do it!

I met my friend Amy for packet pickup on Friday, and then lunch together. I met Amy through my blog several years ago. In the beginning, I thought she would probably just be a "hi, how are you, goodbye" type of friend. But I was wrong. She has turned into such a great friend, and has stuck with me through the years.
 This was her first time running this race too. And she just had baby #5, 8 months ago!

We met up again Saturday morning before the race, so we could run together. We both run about the same pace, so knew we could push eachother.

It was a gorgeous morning. Nice and cool, although it would warm up soon.

The course was just beautiful. Horse farms everywhere. Lots and lots of hills! I feel like I do better on hills then I used to though, so they weren't too bad.
 We decided we wanted to come in under 2:40. I was hopeful we could do it, but with the hills, I wasn't too sure.
But we powered through. At times when I wanted to walk, she would say "let's just run to that tree", and I would do the same for her.
I thought the weather was perfect. It was a little warm, but there were nice breezes.

At mile 13, we turn a corner and see the finish line. As we get closer, I see the clock says 2:35. I'm yelling "we're gonna make it!!" We were so excited.

Our finish time was 2:36. Mission accomplished!

Monday I started my new banking job. I know it's only been a few days, but I can already tell I'm going to love it. I'll have 3 weeks of training before starting to work in the call center.
 Already during this training I've been so glad that I have banking experience (I worked for 5 years in a bank years ago). So much of this has come back easily to me, and I've thought wow, if I didn't already know this stuff, I would be LOST!

 Again, I know it's only been a few days, but it feels like I'm rediscovering who I am. Having a home daycare for the past 10 years, I guess I kind of got lost, like my brain turned to mush or something.
 So now, being back in the field, I feel like the part of me that I didn't even know existed anymore, is coming back. And I kinda like her! ;)

Yesterday was my birthday, my 2nd day on the job, and my boss bought key lime pies for us (he knew that was my favorite pie), and I got a very sweet card from all the call center employees. I was just blown away, these people don't even know me! I was very impressed.

In a way, it's hard for me to think about being 39 now. The one thing I've wanted more than anything in this life (to be a mom), most likely won't ever happen. But I'm going to focus on the great things that are happening and getting ready to happen. I don't know what this year holds for me, but I am determined to make the last year in my 30's the best year ever!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

5 Things Friday

Happy Friday!

Here's some things from my week...

1. I had heard a lot about LeTote, so  decided to try it out. I was not impressed at all, and won't continue my subscription. These are the things I picked out for my first tote.
Cute, right? Well, everything was at least one or two sizes too small. The scarf looked well worn, and the adorable Jessica Simpson pineapple purse, was dirty! For the outrageous cost, no thank you.
 I've subscribed to Gwynnie Bee for over a year, and will just stick with that!

2. My 9 year old niece, Maia (Kristin's little sister), knows me so well! This was something she wrote one day for school. (She was supposed to use the word 'hope' in a sentence.)
"I hope we get Blue Bell (ice cream) back cause Aunt Cake loves it."
How adorable is that!! I love that she calls me Aunt Cake.

3. I got asked this question for the 100th time. I love it!
People have been telling me that for at least 10 years. Funny thing, no one has ever told my twinnie that!

4. Tomorrow night Jeremy and I are going to see Lindsey Stirling. I am so excited. We love her!!

5. Sunday I'm running my 24th half marathon! I've never done the Iron Horse, but I've heard great things about it. Among other things, it's very hilly.
 Today I'm meeting my friend Amy, at packet pick up, then we're getting lunch, and get to run together on Sunday!
Have a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Hikes and Runs lately

This is my last week of 'freedom', before my job starts next Monday. I have not been taking one minute for granted.

 I found some new places to hike. I love hiking almost as much as I do running.
A friend of mine told me about Cove Springs, in Frankfort. Beautiful trails, as well as a couple waterfalls. I had a great time, being alone (literally) in the woods, just enjoying the beauty and the sounds of nature.

Trail running or hiking is so different than road running, obviously. I can't get lost in my music, my podcast, or even my thoughts, like I can when I run on the road. You have to always watch where your next step will be, you have to be much more aware of your surroundings. In my case, I get lost so easily, it's ridiculous! So I'm always paying attention to the trail, making sure I don't miss a turn. (Which I always end up doing anyway)
 This sounds cheesy, but when I'm on the trails, I feel like I'm using 100% of my senses. And it's incredible.
 There are days that it's nice to zone out and run, not needing to think about anything. But then there are other days when you just need to be fully aware, you need to be completely in the moment, and not miss a thing. I am so thankful to experience both.

My oldest sister, Molly, hiked 5 miles with me at Creasey Mahan Preserve on Monday. Personally, I thought the trails were pretty boring. A lot of it was overgrown, the few trail signs they had, were pretty confusing. And we even had a map! It promised several waterfalls and hidden springs, and there were none. I don't think I'd go back there again. But we had an awesome time! I just adore all of my sisters.

Btw, Molly recently started her own blog, Color me veggie. She's a vegan, and she posts some amazing recipes, and other inspirational things. I am sooo impressed with her willpower. She's really amazing. She's going to do a guest post for me soon!

The park that I always do my long runs in, recently opened a new section. It's a 19 mile paved path, that now connects to the Louisville Loop, which is a 100 mile trail connecting a bunch of parks and neighborhoods. I am SO excited about it. It's so pretty, it's flat, and I just love it!

I'm still working on 100 miles for the month, up to 30 so far!

Monday, October 3, 2016

A concert and some time with my favorite girl

Happy Monday! (I can still say that for the next couple weeks, until I start my job. Hopefully even then, Monday's will still be happy!)

Friday I finished up my mileage for the month to reach 100 miles. Now that I've done this 3 months in a row, I know that I can do this every month. I'll have to figure out how to keep it up, even with working and going back to school (more on that later), but I know I can do it!

Friday night I went with my parents and a couple of my sisters, and nephew, to hear Eric Genuis. He is a world renown pianist and composer. And he lives in my town!!
 He is incredibly amazing, his music is just breathtakingly beautiful. He has a violinist and cellist play with him too. Check him out, if you get a chance.
 Btw, my sister Lily, who sings like an angel, actually sang with him once, at a private concert for Kevin James!

My nephew and I at the concert

Saturday I got to spend the day with my precious Kristin. Her chemo started last week, so she was feeling pretty yucky most of the week. Thankfully by Saturday she was feeling much better.
She had an MRI and bloodwork done recently, and everything came back PERFECT!! Praise God!
 I'll just be glad when chemo is done (next Spring) and she can go back to being a perfectly healthy 14 year old.

My favorite girl ever
Of course she wanted to go shopping! So that's what we did. We also went to see Sully. That was an excellent movie. I had no idea of everything that he went through after landing the plane in the Hudson. I knew he was a hero, and thought that was the end of the story, but it sure wasn't.
 I loved seeing that he's a runner too! When life was just overwhelming, he would run. Loved it!

Did you notice my hair is suddenly long? Yea, there's this magical pill you can take and it just grows overnight. I wish it was that easy! Cutting my hair so short was a huge mistake, so I got some clip in extensions. I have long hair again, and I'm happy. :)

Just so you know I'm not lying about Lily singing like an angel, here she is singing with her friend Jessie, at her church yesterday.

Have a fabulous week, my friends!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

New shoes, new gels, and a new job!!

It looks like I'm going to reach my 100 mile month goal again. This will be 3 months in a row!
 Setting this goal for myself has been so good for me. I love love running, but there's a lot of days I just feel like being lazy.
 But knowing I have to run 100 miles, I HAVE to get out there and run. Of course, I'm always glad I did it.
 One of those days I was not feeling it was this past Sunday. I never run on Sunday's. I do my long runs on Saturday, so always rest on Sunday.

I did 10 miles Saturday, but the month is almost over, so I needed to cram in a few more miles, meaning I needed to run 4 on Sunday. I put it off as long as I could, then I forced myself to get out and run.

I got to watch this gorgeous sunset during my run!

I got some pretty awesome new Brooks Pure Flo's! My favorite shoes evah!!

 I also got some new energy gel's. I went through a box of Honey Stinger's, which were great, but I was ready to try something new.
 I received a discount code from Indy Monumental (the half I'm doing Nov. 5th) for a box of Boom gels, so decided to give them a try. So many flavors! I tried the banana peach today during my 7 miler, and it was really good. Not as sweet as the honey stingers (good thing), and not as gooey as the GU's. Just perfect!

 And now for some wonderful news...I got a job! I'll be working in the call center of a bank. My boss wants me to start out there, and then he's hoping to promote me to another position where I'll be able to work in different areas of the bank. I'm really excited about working in banking again, I loved it when I did that years ago.
 I'll be starting October 17 (day before my birthday!).
I can't put into words how happy I am. After 10 years of being home with daycare kids; getting back into the real world, making new friends, actually making some money agin- it's going to be wonderful.
 This means I can sign up for more races, buy more running clothes... haha!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Indy Women's Half Marathon Recap

Saturday I ran my 23rd half marathon, The Indy Women's half. This was my 3rd year running this race.

I had been stalking the weather for this race for awhile, and it looked like it was going to be exactly the same as last year- thunderstorms. I was praying it wouldn't get cancelled again though!

Jeremy and I headed to Indianapolis around noon on Friday. We stayed at the Marriot East, which was about 15 minutes from the start line. Before I get started on the recap, I have to tell you about this hotel.
 So, Jeremy is a little crazy sometimes. Ok, maybe more than just sometimes. ;)

 He goes into the hotel to check us in, and as the girl behind the counter, named Ebony, is looking up his name, he starts singing some Chaka Khan...Tell me something good...
 She says "well, you just earned an upgrade to the presidential suite"
What? Woohoo! We went from a regular room to the presidential suite, just like that!

Then a little bit later another guy who works there called the room and asked if we were going to be in there for the next few minutes, he had something for us. He then brings us up a fruit basket! (It also had several different granola bars in it.)

It gets better.
Jeremy had to run out to the store, so he picked up a Starbucks giftcard for Ebony just as a little thank you. When he gives it to her, she's trying to hold back tears...wait for it...she says "well, that just earned your name on the breakfast list". She was giving us the breakfast buffet, at no charge, normally $21.95! (Btw, they let him fix a plate to save for me to have after the race.) He told her of course she had no way of knowing this, but last weekend was our 10 year anniversary, and the next day, Saturday, was his birthday!

It gets better.
We then go to check out of the hotel Saturday afternoon, and the manager just happened to be in the lobby. Jeremy told him thank you, how excellent everything was, how awesome the employees were, and what a great time we had.
Then HE said "I want you guys to have lunch on me".
What??!! He gave us a free meal at their restaurant, the Skylight Bistro.

I can't tell you how amazing this burger tasted after my race!

It was absolutely amazing! They just went out of their way to treat us like royalty, for absolutely no reason. There is nowhere else I will stay when I'm in Indy from now on!

Ok, now to the race.
We get to the expo, and the first face I see is my girl Kim. I think I see her at every single race!

I woke up at 5:30, and an hour later Jeremy dropped me off at the Sheraton, near the start line. Surprisingly, it wasn't raining when I got there, although it was very wet.

The first few miles were dry, then around mile 3, the rain started again. This time in a torrential downpour. It lasted for about 8 miles. The last couple miles were just a few sprinkles here and there.

It seems like every race I run, it is raining. Not even kidding! It's so funny.
It honestly doesn't bother me though. Maybe I'm just used to it? When it's cold and raining, that's not fun. But a warm rain doesn't bother me. It definitely keeps me cool!

I did come close to wiping out a couple times though. Quite a few of the roads were horrible! Lots of potholes. When it's pouring rain, and there is a lot of standing water, it's easy to step into a pothole unknowingly!

Something happened to me that I had never experienced before. Right around mile 3, I get to the intersection, and the police officer isn't stopping traffic!! He's kinda just standing there, not doing anything! There was a lot of unhappy women, let me tell ya.
 As I got closer, the women just started putting their hands out, trying to stop it themselves. Thankfully the cars stopped for us.

Then that happened to me AGAIN at mile 11! I didn't pay attention to the street names, so I don't know if it was the same intersection or not.
 A few girls had stopped, and another lady and myself said we're not stopping!! So we got the cars to slow down and then stop. All while the cop is just standing there like he's clueless.

Other than that, this was an excellent race, as always! The volunteers were so amazing, standing out in the rain, cheering us on.

One thing I did wrong: I only brought one gel with me. I usually bring 2 for my half's. It was stated that there would be gel's on the course in 2 places, so I took it for granted that there would be. But... there were no gel's on course.
 I could really tell my body was missing that extra energy that it's used to.
Lesson learned, you and only you are responsible for your fueling. If there is some on course, great. But don't count on that, always be prepared.

Finally, after a very soggy run, I crossed the finish line in 2:38.
I promise, one of these days I'm going to get a PR of under 2:22. It will happen!

That is my average time for half's, so I was happy the rain didn't slow me down!
As soon as I finished I heard someone calling my name, and it was my precious friend Elizabeth. We met through my blog, and even though we've ran several of the same races, we hadn't been able to meet, until now. It was so great to finally meet her! (I know she hates pictures, so I didn't ask for one. ;))

The birthday man picked me up after the race, and we went back to our presidential suite. :)

At the finish line we got a food goody bag. How cool is that!

I love, love, love this race, and hopefully will do it for many years to come. Just please let us have good weather next time!