Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy Holidays

I'm ton the road to visit the in-laws in Chicago.  And by that I don't mean the actual city, but the northern suburbs.  It's what we've done almost every Christmas Day since we've been married.

Since we always travel on Christmas Day then we have our time with the kids the night before.  First we start with church service.  Last night my daughter Angel reprised her role as Mary
And we lifted candles to celebrate Jesus being the light of the world.
It was so pretty & peaceful!!

Once we were home I usually start with a pair of pjs.  I don't do matching, but they each get a new pair.  And we rip into the presents to end the night.

In my running this holiday season I was able participate in this years Jingle Jog with the Muscatine Running Friends.

We ran to and through various businesses singing songs, handing out candy & spreading holiday cheer.
 It was so much fun!!!

On a day like today I kind of don't have time to run.  But I make the time.  Even though I didn't get to bed until 1:30 a.m. I was up at 5:30 to get a few miles in.  It was dark & the town seemed more deserted than usual.  I ran with no music to just think and enjoy the peace & quiet that surrounded the morning.

I hope that no matter what you are doing during the holiday season that all is well.  With you.  Your health.  Your family.  Your running.
 MERRY CHRISTMAS!!  From me & mine to you & yours!!  😘

Monday, December 22, 2014

Winner, winner chicken dinner!!

Ok, I didn't win a chicken dinner (my son has before though), but I did win a free race entry in to a half marathon next month!!  Woo hoo!

Run With Jess is one of the few blogs that I follow and that is how I came across this free giveaway contest.  I can speak personally that Jess herself is an outstanding & phenomenal person.  Everything about her is wonderful!!  She posted about this giveaway & I glanced at it meaning to enter, but then time slipped away & I almost forgot about it.  When I checked in last night I had just a few hours left to enter & after weighing the pros (too many to list) & cons (ok that list is always short!) I decided to enter & let "fate" decide if I'd be doing this race or not.  The thought of it really excited me because I realized that I've never run a race in Chicago.  Like not even close.  So why not try?!?!

Well, lo & behold, I WON!!!!  I'm so excited & I'm really, really looking forward to this race.  I don't plan to make this a goal race.  I'm already in 13.1 shape & there's too many other factors to try & turn it into a PR or anything.  I'm looking forward to a fun race to just go & enjoy the experience.

If you are interested in registering for this race you can find the details at their home page HERE.  Hurry, the price increases on 12/31.  Maybe I'll see you there!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Meet me in St. Louis

Earlier in November I traveled to St. Louis for 3 days.  I went down to be a trainer candidate for Foundations of Strength & Conditioning.  After completing this I was granted my trainer status which then allows me to train & certify others in this 2 day, 16 hour Y course.  This was a little hard for me to go to because it fell on the same weekend as my son's 9th birthday.  This is my baby boy here.  I've never spent his birthday away from him.  I know at some point it's going to happen, but he's only 9.  Being my favorite son and such a good  boy he's an Iowa fan all the way.  So I bought him tickets to go see the Iowa vs. Illinois game.  I would've loved to have been there too, but just because I have work that doesn't mean he has to sit home with nothing to do!

I'm a little conflicted when it comes to traveling & being alone.  I'm such a people person that I don't like to do it, but yet it has it's good points to it too. So I make the most of it.  Of course, I can't go somewhere big and not run.  What would be the point of going all that distance & not living up to my #sherunseverywhere standard?

After my training on Friday I set out on a short run to see some main sights near by.  Being a wise conscious runner I made sure to notify the hotel desk that I was going out.  After all I am a young(ish) female traveling alone.   While I always have my phone on me, if anything were to happen would anyone even know I was missing or gone longer than usual?  So I think it makes sense to check in with others around me as I ventured into this big city full of strangers.

(My hotel which was a former YMCA)

My first ever half marathon was run here in St. Louis & I have traveled these for personal reasons before so I wasn't a complete stranger to the downtown area.  I set off wanting to see the "big" sights like the Arch.  It was close to getting dark when I set out & I didn't want to devote a lot of time to running at this point so I only aimed for a few miles.

On the way back I realized I was only a few blocks from Busch stadium so I swung over there to have a look.  I'm NOT a cardinal fan, but was fascinated & taken in by the stadium.  All of my running route was fun & thrilling to me.  I was like a kid all carefree and lackadaisical without any barriers like time or other people to be considerate of.  Just me & my run.  It doesn't happen very often.

(The start of my Sunday run.  Hotel was right outside of the Union Station)

On Saturday I had a full day of training so I purposely grabbed a quick mile on the treadmill so I could have it done & not worry about running later.  Sunday I put more effort into getting a good run in, which meant I couldn't sleep in and had to get out extra early.  I had this magical idea that if I timed it just right I could see the sun rise as I stood at the Arch, which overlooks the Mississippi River.  The weather didn't cooperate and there was no magical sunrise, but I was down in that area anyway and took my time exploring the area.  Without even planning it I found the bridge that lead over the river.  I knew I'd be crunched for time, but could not pass up this opportunity to run across the river.  Even though I grew up in a river town that is something I have never done.

(On the bridge with the Arch in the background)

When I came back off the bridge I realized I was just a block away from the St. Louis Ram's stadium.  I had friends in town for the game.  Their son is head equipment manager & they go to all the games.  So I thought for fun it would be great to circle the stadium.

Then I reasoned that if I circled one stadium I should probably go do the same for the other, Busch Stadium.  I so set off in that direction, only to find out that you can't circle that stadium.  I did the best that I could and got around most if it.

I had completely lost track of time and next thing I realized I had racked up 7 miles.  I really think I could've run all day & all over town.  I had so much fun!  It was a rush, but I made it back to my hotel & to my training on time.  I'm glad I took the time to get these runs done in & around downtown St. Louis.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Tis the season

As usual, life is zooming past me with not enough time to blog about it all.  I plan to pick & choose a few things to blog about, but leave the rest unknown.  It at least unblogged about.  If you want to know/see more things about me on a more regular basis then you catch me on Instagram or Snapchat.  Anyway....

Last week was Thanksgiving.  I hope you all had a great holiday.  Maybe with family & friends.  Hopefully with plenty of food!  I'm not even going to lie, I ate waaaay too much!!  I started out my day with my own little turkey trot.

Then we packed up the family & headed over to Iowa.  Here was my first of many occasions over the holiday weeknd where I ate way too much!!  It was worth it, not to mention being with family.  We didn't do anything special, but for me the simple act of being with family is always enough & very satisfying.

At the end of the day my husband & I headed home WITHOUT any kids in tow. We left them at my parents, something we have rarely ever done.  Don't get me wrong, I live my kids to pieces, but I was REALLY looking forward to doing this!!  Thus began my home alone phase.

I was challenged recently by a friend to stay home for one day.  Stay in my jammies, do whatever I want, but mostly just stay home.  That is actually really hard for me to do.  I can't really say I didn't do anything.  Kids being gone or not, I really needed a day at home to get things done.  My house & it's level of cleanliness/functionality has dropped way below my standard so I wanted to get that turned around.

It was so nice though to do whatever I wanted.  No time frame.   Just whatever I wanted to do in my jammies.  No one to think about, no messes to clean up, no arguing/fighting to listen to, no one to give me weird looks when I break out in song & dance around the kitchen.  It's been 19....NINETEEN years since I've had this big of a break from my kids while still being at home.  I'm not going to lie, I really REALLY enjoyed this time alone.

Eventually though I changed in to running clothes & went for a black friday run.

Afterwards I pulled an all nighter & kept on cleaning the entire time!!  A girl has to do what a girl has to do!!  After getting some sleep (I felt like a party girl crawling in to bed at 6 a.m.) I was back up for even more cleaning and another great & awesome run.
55 degrees at the end of November....I'll take it!!

Even though it wasn't all done I decided to call it quits because the husband was home & we had some celebrating to do.  Our 20 year anniversary was Tuesday, December 2.  Since the actual day was going to be "just a regular day" with work & activities we decided to celebrate early.  We went back to where it all started in Burlington, IA and enjoyed some time as a couple just being together.

Of course, living up to my She Runs Everywhere name, I included a run around downtown Burlington.

Eventually we had to head back to reality and went to go pick up the kids from my parents.  I do love them & my life with them, so of course, I wanted them back.  And they missed me too (even if they don't admit it!) so it all worked out really well.

It was truly a great & wonderful holiday weekend.  One like I've never had before!!  And now I'm all ramped up and ready to head into this holiday season!

How was your Thanksgiving?