Runnin through the summer- Women Rock Half Marathon Recap

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(Edited: I wrote this post the day of the race, labor day, but posted much later…I’m a bad blogger! )

As I just wrote the title for this blog post I realized that a goal that I had for the summer. a plan that started off well, then life happened and my dedication waivered and my 1 mile per day through the summer or #amyrunsthesummer plan fell apart at the seams.  But I don’t need to focus on that right now because there were so many good things about this summer other than that one thing.

I am still training for the Chicago Marathon that is coming up in just about 6 weeks!  I still can’t believe it!  I went to Colorado and ran there, and hiked a 14er with Heidi and did all sorts of running as well as getting a new to me bike to start riding and eventually start training for a sprint triathalon next summer!

But I digress, this post is not about my summer re-cap or failures or sucesses of the summer, but rather about my last weekend of the summer.  This last weekend of the summer I spend running it out. Just like I did last summer.  On Saturday I completed the Women Rock Half Marathon for the second year. 

I kept thinking of this race as another training run in my marathon training for a few reasons – one because it was hot, I mean HOT leading up to the race day, like nearly 90 degrees, sunny and so humid, and two because while I really wanted to PR (this race is my current PR), I knew I should listen to my body and not to anything too crazy.  Well I didn’t Pr, so there goes that spoiler.

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I bought a fuel belt for the first time and tried that out for the run.  It went pretty well once I finally adjusted it up to my natural waist, and cinched it up.  In the first 100 yards, one of my bottles fell out. Thankfully I got it back.  through out the race my glasses fell off my head, my headband slipped off any my tank rode up under my fuel belt.  It wasn’t until about mile 6 when things finally settled down.  My two friends and I started off together, but split up along the way.  I eventually caught up with the one out ahead of my at about mile 8 or so and we pretty much finished the race together, her about a minute or so ahead.IMG_20130831_073531_872

Another new thing that I tried out for this race, because it was just a training run, was UCAN.  They started selling it at my gym a while ago and some of my fellow run-clubbers have talked about trying it and how good it worked for them, so I gave it and bought it too (thankfully at a discount since I am now a gym employee!).  At the suggestion of my running buddies I put a scoop in my shaker bottle and drank that just before I checked my bag, and also had one of my water bottles filled with a scoop+water for during the run.

Good news is that I had no tummy troubles, or any weird side effects from the UCAN before, during or after the run! Woo!  I realized at about mile 4 or so that I was not hydrated enough for the heat, humidity and hills of this particular day and course! I always aim for drinking 100oz of water a day, but Friday I just had other things on my mind at work, so unfortunately, I didn’t get in my 100oz.  In the morning I tried to make up for it on my way to the race, but I guess that just didn’t quite happen.

The bad news of the day came at about mile 10 when my friend Crystal and I cross what is the 10 miler finish line for another race that I have done before.  I told her, you know if they had a 10 milers today, we would be done right here.  That was of little comfort to either of us! 😉  We just had a little 5k left, and it was tough, over the river and over passes up hills and all in the sun.  To make matters worse for me was my TI band and or hip flexor was acting up.  I hadn’t had any real issues with either of those things in the last month, but that day they decided to show up again! I blame the hills. (Chicago is flat right!? I hope so!)  We had past the last aid tent, and next was the finish line my dang I hurt!  The pain was shooting from my hip and down through my knee something fierce!

Then about a quarter of a mile away was Angie, my cheering section for the day!  She ran in the last little bit with me and help me forget about the pain, which really, I don’t remember it hurting that much when I was running with her.  #thankfulforrunningbuddiesagain  We passed Crystal’s husband and kids who were beyond excited to see and cheer for me (they kiddos, not so much the husband ;)).

IMG_20130831_095402_651Finally came the finish! Nik was there again helping to pass out the post-race snacks and I got my new necklace by a “hot fireman” and then my favorite person (just some guy) was passing out iced down wet towels.  That was my favorite thing.  We sat and stretched a bit took our post race pictures and then headed over to the post race party for our free glass of bubbly (I had sprite) and enjoyed some live music by GB Leighton.  It was a much better post race party than last year!  The band is local but very popular around here.  We enjoyed some tunes in the sun and then shortly headed out.

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Thankfully my IT band wasn’t hurting nearly as much after we got back to the car because I had a 3.5 hour car trip up north a head of me!  I went up to stay with my sister a brother in-law at their camper up north for the long weekend. 

Of course about 1.5 hours into the trip I got hangry and wanted Arby’s (which I haven’t eaten in about 6 years).  I passed one and decided I would stop at the next one I saw.  Well little did I know they were few and far between once you got out of the metro!  Dang it!  I finally got about half way and settled on a Culvers, well, because they rock, and got a little snack pack lunch.  And low and behold about 45 minutes later TWO Arby’s about 15 mins apart from each other!  Oh my luck!

Well I made it up to the camper and spent some time on the beach with my sister and nephews before the storm hit that evening.

It was a long, but fun day and I have a feeling the rest of the weekend will follow suit!  Hopefully the sun will come out again soon!

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We are all so small

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I have been having sort of a rough week.  Tonight I went out for my nightly training run run/walk/life pondering. I meant for it to be a run, but just before I headed out with the intention of shaking some thing off and just getting to a better state of mind, low and behold another bombshell-type situation.

I tried to resolve it right then and there and instead of saying or doing anything I would regret (read: sitting on the couch all the love long night) I put on my shoes and headed out the door.

My 10:10 (yay) didn’t last long (boo) as my mind got all sorts of distracted.now you see, when I run alone lately I cant seem to actually process thoughts, its too busy saying steady your breathing, pump your arms, and most importantly, keep going! So when my brain got overloaded with the bombshell thoughts it was over.

I ran a familiar trail and there is a loop so I decided to do some super short speed work. 0.3mi loops in 2:10. Cool dude. After that I headed out to the trail again and pretty much stopped in my tracks to a sunset and view much like this. (Of course I didn’t bring my phone this time! Nuts!)

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I Stood directly under the power lines so that all of the tower I could see in the distance lined up perfectly.

It was so peaceful and beautiful.

I thought about the bombshell situations and the other things that have been getting me down. The relationships that I have. If you keep putting Band-Aids on the owies over and over do you still work to save it or cut it off? I don’t know. I still don’t know.

I have been frustrated with just about every other situation that I find myself in. Between work, fitness, weight, personal relationships, marathon training, I feel like I am being put to the test.

Do you ever feel like there is just too much stuff and not enough you?

One weekend, 3 days, nearly 40 miles!! #AmyFTW

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The way this weekend turned out was not at all how I had planned, and I say that in the best way.

I had planned on taking this past Friday off to spend the day at the Minnesota State Fair with my sisters, nephews and mom.  I decided to wear the trusty garmin to track how far we walked through out the day.  It turns out in about 8 or so hours we walked about 8 miles.  However my garmin died about an hour or so before we left so I rounded up a mile as that was our average pace for the day.  I was surprised that my nephews made it the whole day as one has pneumonia and the other had a fever the last three days.  Medicine is great!

Here are a few shots from the day.  First I met Jason and Alexis who are local radio hosts here and some really funny people! They told me about Gizmo’s pizza sandwich which I promptly stolled over and got for lunch.  YUM!  It is sausage, pizza sauce and cheese wrapped up an toasted on hoagie roll.  Holy yum was that good! 

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E didn’t want to keep his tongue in his mouth, so I joined in on the fun!

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The boys were happy to ride around all day in the stroller, especially when mini-doughnuts were mentioned!  E also loved the whale ride in the Kiddie- midway!E stroller E on ride

We all went on the giant slide! B was a little scared so we wanted me to sit next to him on the way down.  He even wanted me to hold his hand.  Then at the bottom he jumped up and said “I want to do that again!” and so did E! Next year boys!  I also found my sugar daddy….or not… 🙂

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by about 6 the boys were still going strong but I was fading, and getting a little worried about the 18 miler that was on tap for the next morning so mom and I dipped out and left the boys with my sisters.

I finally got home at 8 (my mom picked me up at 8am, hello long day!).  I changed my clothes and headed over to my softball team’s bbq to make a appearance then home and to  bed!

Then Saturday was the day! The 18 miler!  This was the longest run that I have ran since 2009 marathon training.  It was my longest training run that cycle and it was terrible.  This time I made it better.  The first 3.5 were with a fellow marathoner Laurie.  We met up back at the gym with our run club and did another 8.5. My friends Jeff and Stacey stayed with me and Stacey was even my fuel-mule! (I need a fuel belt stat!!)  We looped back to the gym and I got a bottle of water and some chomps, and headed out for the last solo 6.  That was the worst.  It was close to noon, humid and hot and sunny!  It sort of reminded me of the 2009 Grandma’s marathon, but I pushed through and made it back to the gym!  I had a frosty smoothie, foam rolled and headed home to sit in the AC.  Oh! I also bought new shoes! Thanks Brooks!long run

Once the running portion of the day was over it was time to drive down to Mankato for a house warming party! I didn’t even have time for a nap, but I felt surprisingly well!  I think I am finally starting to understand this whole proper fueling and hydration thing! WIN!

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Sunday morning I has all of my alarms turned off and I still woke up before 9 am! I guess I wasn’t as tired as I thought!  I had 60 mins of cross-training on tap for Sunday and it was HOT!  But since I was biking I wasn’t as worried about it.  I explored my running trails, and then some. I was on my way back to my house, when I met an un-friend on the trial! A snake! YIKES! I didn’t see it until I was riding over it! EEK! It was black and white and definitely NOT a gartersnake! Sorry little guy or girl, but I ran over your tail!  Alll in all I put 12 miles on my new to me bike, which I just named today Mr. Melvin Yellowstone, or Melo yello for short.

So that was my weekend.  Lots of miles on me.  Did you count up all of those miles!?  I did…8 walking, 18 running, and 12 biking! That’s 38 miles!!! In three days! That’s lot of miles! Yay Me!

I’ve been quiet lately because I haven’t quite been living up to my training, and a little down about things, but this weekend, I have started to get my mojo back.  I’m getting back to my rhythm.  Here’s hoping the streak continues!

I’m coming for you Chicago!

Color Run – St. Paul

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It’s been quite some time since I have actually taken the time to sit down and write a post.  Life has been busy with softball, volleyball, marathon training, working two jobs, and the little time left over that I have left over for life!

There are have been SO many things happening since I have last sat down to write. The most colorful was the Color run in St. Paul on the Minnesota State Fair Grounds.  It was a really fun and well organized race!  Thanks to my trusty zip lock bag I took my phone along for the ride and was able to get some fun pictures with my friends Crystal and Linda during the run!

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Jenna, baby fox, me, Linda and Crystal all clean before heading to the start!IMG_20130714_092118_878

In the middle some where, reppin Minnesota!!IMG_20130714_095011_807

All done!  Woo!

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I sweat the rainbow!

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Apparently the color does not wash out well from freshly highlighted hair! next time I’m covering my hair in vegetable oil or a bandana!IMG_20130714_132753_369

Baby-mania

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Hi Friends!

I have been meaning to write this post for a while now.  I feel like I have had so many things going on that when I have had time to sit down and write, I just haven’t wanted to take out the lappy, or sit at my desk and actually type it all out!  So here you go, a blog post written in the front seat of my friends truck whilst slowly heading though Mile Lacs on our way home from my friends’ cabin up north for the 4th of July weekend.

A couple of weekends I made the trip down to Madison WI for my sorority sister’s baby shower.  Since I went to school in Wisconsin I feel like 90% of my friends (made up stat…) from school live in Wisconsin now.  I luckily had a sister who lives in Hudson so I got to have someone to ride with for most of the way down which is nice.  I got to stay with my sister Natasha who bought a house almost a year ago and spent the weekend catching up with her and hearing her baby news.  There are 11 of my sorority sisters who are having babies in 2013.  It is totally and utterly crazy.  I am staying away so that I don’t the baby fever (quite yet).

The baby shower was at the mom to-be’s best friends moms house which was so gorgeous!  It was a very fancy shower!  They had a plated lunch all set out for us and Sangria (for the un-pregnant ladies) and lemonade for the baby mama’s.

Of course there was the presents, lots of presents.  If you’ve seen my instagram back then you would have seen my pictures of the haul I made for our present that I bought from Kohls and Goodwill for baby Hunter.  I teamed up with a few girls and pooled our money for a little bit bigger gift for the be-be. 

Side note – if you got all “eww gross” when I mentioned buying clothes at goodwill, I did mention the idea to my friend before actually purchasing (and she was all for it!)  In my defense Goodwill is a great place to buy kids clothes!  Let’s be honest, kids/babies only wear clothes for a few months and they they grow out of it.  So what’s the point on spending $25 on an outfit or two, when you can go to good will and buy 10 pieces of clothing for $25 (like I did).  My mom has taught me well in this aspect.  She has bought each of my nephews entire wardrobes from the local Goodwill!  This summer we my sister/BIL got a seasonal spot for their camper and can have a full closet of clothes for the boys and not have to pack up for them each time they go up north.  

Any hooters…It was a really nice shower and was nice to catch up with the girls at the shower.  Let me give you the breakdown of the girls there: There were seven of us sorority sisters there and four of them were pregnant, two had two kids already,  and then there was me.  The token childless woman.  Oh well, I had a glass of sangria and didn’t have to chase any tots around the house.  I just got to enjoy!

Before the shower I got in a run in the morning.  It was hot and humid and started to rain a little when I got to my half way point.  My marathon training plan called for me to run 9 miles that day, but I had stayed up late chatting with Natasha the night before and so I over slept a little and only got in 6 of my 9 miles.  But I’m glad I got in what I did because I didn’t feel so bad about the AMAZING cupcake that I had at the shower! It was SO good!

 

So here is a slight update, I wrote this on the 4th and it is now nearing the end of July! So I’m going to wrap this up here with a few pictures to top it off!

There are some pictures of my pre-shower run and then shots from the shower with my sorority sisters!

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Racing with an identity crisis!

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My run club group is notorious for a expensive wonderful habit of having a big bandwagon affect on us members.  I guess we’re a little sheepish.  One person says they are going to do a race and then before a few days go by 5 more people have signed up!

This was the case for Lake Waconia’s Lola’s half marathon/10 mile yesterday.  Last month there was lots of chatter in the facebook group about signing up for this race and before I knew it there a number of people signed up!  I did not sign up as my 2013 racing budget is pretty much maxed out with all of the races I have signed up for so far, and the Chicago Marathon that is taking a big chunk of change!  But I always said that I would be there to cheer on all of my run club peeps!IMG_20130608_104111_635

So anyway, my friend Linda was amongst the people who signed up.  She registered for the 10 miler.  Then a short time later she boarded a flight to Africa for ~2 weeks!  When she got back the time change got the best of her so she recruited asked if I wanted to run in her place on Thursday.  I’ve been running, not in any way shape or form actually training for anything, but I’ve been running.  So I said yes thinking it would be a fun race with the run club people! 

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Do I look like I mean business?

I’ve never done this race before (I heard it was just the second time they’ve put it on) and it was great! The course was freaking hilly well marked and the lake and houses were pretty to look at!

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This was about mile 7, I really just wanted to sit and and relax!

The sun was out and hot in the first 3 miles or so and that made me nervous but eventually we got into some shade and the clouds came out for a bit.

IMG_20130608_092908_042 Sugarbush…It sounded funny…

I wanted to run a good time since I almost PR’d last Friday, I thought maybe I had it in me.  The stars didn’t quite align for me, but I did much better than my last 10 mile race by around 20 minutes and just over my PR by about 7 minutes!  For not knowing that I was running this race until Thursday for a Saturday race I thought I did pretty well!  My chip time was 1:53:01 and my PR is somewhere around 144/145.

IMG_20130608_103845_790 After I finished I hung out with Linda and waited for the rest of the group to come in.

As I walked back to where Linda and her kids were standing and cheering, there was a half marathoner laying on the ground in pretty rough shape! Linda told me that she was wobbly on her feet and went down just after I finished.

IMG_20130608_100602_090 The woman’s dad came over and eventually the paramedics took her to the ER, but luckily the medical staff took really good care of her and she was conscious the entire time she was laying on the ground. You can see her sweaty body marks on the street! I would imagine she was extremely dehydrated.  The staff was SO great taking care of her and making sure the other runners took care to run around her (she was in the middle of the course).  I felt so bad for her since the finish line was JUST 100 yards away!  She didn’t get to finish! 😦

IMG_20130608_103833_918 Traditional finish line pic!

IMG_20130608_104311_878Run club crew!

 

IMG_20130608_104422_773Linda” and Linda!

IMG_20130608_105610_921Medals and Beer! IMG_20130608_112405_995 Post race party!

After the race Lola’s had a great post race party for us – beer and burgers and pork sandwiches! Yum!

IMG_20130608_110222_847 After I had my fill of Lola’s I headed over to meet a few other friends for drinks at Floyd’s

IMG_20130608_122424_807 More Hydrating!

Once I finally made it home it was time for an icy bubble bath, and a movie night!

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One one thing that I am not so sure about is my bling…It says half marathon, but I only did 10 miles. I have no idea if they had separate medals for the two races, but that is what the 8 year old gave me at the finish line so that’s what I took! Oh well!

It turned out to be a great race, with wonderful weather and great friends!  I’m glad that I had the opportunity to do this race and I think I will do it again next year!

Mt. Huron

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On Sunday Heidi, her husband Chris and I headed out to hike my very first 14er. We got up bright and early and headed out at about 4:30 (she wanted to leave at 4, the delay could have been my fault…sorry heidi!) for the 2.5 hour drive up to the Mt. Huron trail head.

Once we made it into the camp ground area there was a road that was for 4WD only and since these two just got their new fancy-shmancy Forrester with 4WD Heidi had no problem handling the 2-ish miles.  However she wasn’t quite as confident in her skills and Chris and I were. I probably would have behaved the same though! Yikes! There was some tricky spots, but she handled them like a champ!

Once we finally got to the trail head we were one of only three vehicles there so we knew it was going to be a quiet day on the mountain.  We headed up the switch backs and stopped for a few water/snack/photo breaks.IMG_20130603_142000_627 We stopped for lunch right above the tree line and looked at the last part of our hike.  I’m not going to lie, I got freaked out!  I am afraid of heights people! YIKES!

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IMG_20130603_151121_868 Once we got our summit-ness done and started heading down the mountain, we found that there was a LOT of snow.  What is the best way to get down a mountain?! Glacading AKA sliding down on your butt AKA sledding with out the sled! There were three spots that we found were good for the glacading, but I only took video sliding down two of them. IMG_20130603_151208_353 The second one was a little hairy/rocky and I decided I’d use my hands to avoid the rocks instead of recording my sliding.  It turns out that was for the best, because one of the rocks I hit on the way down sliced up my pants! (below) woops!IMG_20130604_153329_499

Here are the two viedos I took.  They make my day each time I watch them and I hope you like them!

Number 1:http://youtu.be/g0NiFyvcX0A

Number 3:http://youtu.be/sc06OJoDr4c

Once we actually got to the summit it was sooo windy and I was freaked out of my head a little nervous about the height so I didn’t take any pictures but Heidi shared the pictures that she took at the summit with me and those are all below! Enjoy!

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I found this summit video on youtube and you’ll get the feel of being at the summit! EEK!

http://youtu.be/iQzUoG1sYps

After we got home and showered and went to a pizza buffet and get ice cream!

Then next morning we got up bright and early so Heidi could take me to the airport and go home! 😦 It was a great trip with some great memories! Thanks for putting up with me Heidi, Chris and Fred!

More running and my first Slurpee!

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Continuing recap of my Colorado vacation/work out we’re up to the weekend!

Saturday Heidi and I met up with Lynne at Centennial Cone for a trail run in the morning.  The girls are going to run the Mt. Evans Ascent next week so they needed some long run training.  Heidi and Lynne ended up doing 9.5 miles and I did 4.5 miles.

We had lots of photo ops along the way which will take up the majority of this post! Enjoy! IMG_20130601_073058_233IMG_20130601_071348_959 IMG_20130601_075227_743 IMG_20130601_071707_028 IMG_20130601_074602_259 IMG_20130601_074856_143 IMG_20130601_075409_145 IMG_20130601_080306_111

On our way home, Heidi took me to 7-eleven where I had my very first slurpee! Yes, I am a child, but I really wanted one!

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On Sunday Heidi, Chris and I headed out to a new to them bike trail that Chris biked down and Heidi and I ran up.  It was a shot run, but I got in my #rwrunstreak mile done for the day!

On our way back home we drove through Guanella Pass and had more photo ops! Woo!  We stopped to see Mt. Evans, Sawtooth and Bierstadt.

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Next up in the 14er! YIKES!

Drop Your Drawers 5k

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Day two Night two of my Colorado trip went like this!  If you missed day one check it out here!

Friday night Heidi, Lynne and I met up at the Denver Zoo for the Underwearness 5k race.  Last year I went out to visit Heidi for the first time and she talked me into running this race for the first time.  So when I heard about this race again, I decided what better reason to go out and visit Heidi and Friends!?

Last year I ran this race in 33:14 which given the elevation (exactly a mile high!), I was ok with.  This year I finish in 30:55!  According to my Garmin my miles came out like this:

Mile 1: 9:54
Mile 2: 11:11 (stopped for water and fix the shoe)
Mile 3: 9:47
Average Pace: 10:18 

The course was short, my garmin had exactly 3.0 miles, but my pace is faster than last year so I am happy! And bonus, if I would have not stopped to fix the shoe I could have PR’d (maybe) and beat my old 5K pr of 29:49 set way back in 2009! Then Heidi and I would have both busted our 2009 PR’s in the same year (and a mile high!).  But alas, it was not my day.  It was a run race, and I walked away happy.  Also, knowing that there was free  wine in my future made me happy as well!

 

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Traditional finish line picture above, and below is a jumping shot, because Lynne and Heidi do them, and I wanted to join in the fun!2013-05-31_19.19.49[2]

 Lynne was so kind to share some post race pictures that she took with her phone, since Heidi’s isn’t great, and I didn’t have mine!

After we all finished the race and took lots of finish pictures  (and I got my camera and phone) we headed over the zoo to see all of the animals!

IMG_20130531_194130_331 Heidi is ascared of the geese!IMG_20130531_195822_065 The big lioness came up to check out the little kids (for real!)
IMG_20130531_202747_546  Lynne and I gathered up our free drinks!

IMG_20130531_203440_174IMG_20130531_203026_430The giraffes were my favorite! I am so tall!

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By the time the three of us saw all the animals/ran out of free drinks/ the sun went down, it was pretty late and Heidi and I were pretty hangry so she decided that I needed to experience Little Caesars for the first time.  Yes, I have not ever (I don’t think) eaten Little Caesars.  I did and it was yummy especially after the 5 drinks I had at the zoo! woo!

We headed home and promptly sat on the couch watched an episode or two of Bones and hit the hay! Saturday was trail running day so we needed our rest! Stay tuned for that!

Heidi and Lynne recapped the 5k here and here check ‘em out! (the both got shiny new PR’s!! YAY!)

Colorado…hit the ground running…err hiking!

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Oh my goodness I have so much to talk about! I literally just got off the plane from Colorado (2 hours ago), have laundry getting washed and have just enough time to start to catch you all up on what I have been doing these last 6 days before I head out for run club (my #rwrunstreak is still going strong!)

I left for Colorado bright and early on Thursday morning to visit my good friend and running buddy Heidi.  We didn’t quite have any plans for the day but I knew that was not going to last long and it didn’t! 

We headed out to Boulder to meet Lauren and go hiking at Mt. Sanitas.  IMG_20130530_112937_772Lauren and I  IMG_20130530_115318_366 Heidi and Lauren

IMG_20130530_113131_428Looking out over Boulder

After our hiking adventures Heidi and I headed over to the Avery Brewing Company for some beer and burgers.  Heidi and and I each sampled two beers with our gianormous burgers.  IMG_20130530_131812_602

Friday was 5k day and Zoo day! Stay tuned!

Heidi wrote a hiking recap too, you can read it here!