A Bunch of Busy's

As of late, it appears life has a hold of not just me, but many of you.
A lot of my blogger buddies haven't been posting like usual.
I'm in the same boat.

This is what I've been up to lately:

A new job with a great company!
Back to running on a halfway regular basis.
Then...Doug and I have been canning fools.
Grape jelly. Made from our very own grapes out of our backyard.
Smooshing grapes. No foot wine (or jelly) here...

Salsa...Not sure why we didn't snap any pictures.

Cinnamon Apple Sauce....

And we also made our first batch of apple pies. From scratch.
Take a look at this baby. Yummm...
Neither of us have ever attempted this before.
It's been a blast making new things.
And they have all turned out delish.
Right now, we have a new wine brewing.
Who knows what is up Doug's sleeve that will be next on the list!


A Walk in the Park...Patriot's Run Race Report

The numbers...
Marathon number 25
Marathon number 8 of the year
Second marathon in four days
Third race in less than a week (a 5K race and 2 marathons)
My worst marathon time to date
But the most fun marathon I've run (really walked)

I ran the Patriot's Run on 9.11.09. It's an 'annual event held to commemorate the tragic events of September 11th, 2001. With this event we remember, not only those victims who were lost, but also those soldiers, police, firefighters and others who served this country both on that day and every day thereafter. In this way we honor all the people who work to insure that this tragedy never repeats itself' (taken from the Patriot's Run website).

As I got up and around for the day, I thanked God for my family and friends and our freedom we have. I knew it was going to be a day of remembrance, but didn't realize how much it would affect me. As I was driving the 5 minutes to the race start (kid you not...how awesome is that!), I saw a flag flying half staff and the tears welled up. That wasn't the only time it happened during the day.
This race is run around a 3/4 mile loop, so in order to run the marathon distance, you loop the course 36 times. At first, I wasn't sure what to think about this. But then decided it was going to be a picnic in the park. So, as I pulled into the parking lot, I backed the truck up in a primo spot right on the trail to have everything we needed in a moments notice. I packed lawn chairs. I set up a table that had everything we needed every 3/4's of a mile. It was fabulous! We didn't have to carry our gu, water or anything else. It was perfect. Friends and family always knew where to find us. We passed or were passed by the same people over and over. It was awesome to cheer on friends you normally wouldn't see during a race because they run a different pace than you.

Below is a picture of Karen and me at the start. The lady in the yellow was our surrogate mother who kept things in her cooler for us and cheered us on lap after lap.
The day started very warm and humid. The sun was shining and the race began right in the heat of the day. The race started at noon and ended at 9:11 pm. I opted for the marathon distance, but you could run any amount you wanted, one lap or as many laps you could in 9 hours and 11 minutes.

Karen had a great idea of how we were going to count our laps. She brought Spree's and we set out the amount we needed. Each time I passed the car, I was going to eat one until they dwindled to zero and I crossed the finish line. Honestly, it was genius, as there were many people who had no idea how many laps they had covered. However, after lap 5 or 6, the candy was upsetting my stomach so we just set them off to the side after we finished a lap. Never fear, they were devoured by Doug and Connor when they came to cheer us on.

It was awesome, I wanted some Coke and ice pops, so I called Doug on one of the loops and the next thing you know...there they were! We shared the ice pops with the other runners and they were a huge hit.

Karen was a trooper. She planned on running 14 miles, but ended up with 18 by the time I finished. She is the BESTEST BFF ever, walking with me mile after mile. And that's truly what I did. Walk. Mile after mile. It seriously was a Walk in the Park. But it was the best walk in the park. The man that won the ultra ran and ran and ran and I would guess 95% of the times he lapped me, he said, 'good job'. He was amazing, he never slowed from the first lap to the last lap. He was a machine. Our friend Rob, who came up from Springfield had run approximately 41 miles with two hours still to go.

Taking a break in the lawn chair...
Doug and Tom taking a lap...
What stole my heart the most were two men carrying flags during all 9 hours and 11 minutes of the race. One of them is a local runner, Greg Vaughn, that carries the American flag on all of his runs.
The other is a man who carries the 'Flag of Hope'. It is a flag that has the names of all of the victims and rescue workers of 9.11.01. It was beautiful. He has already run all 50 states, but is making his second round with this flag. It was such an honor to run with them.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this race. The only issue I heard of, which was a biggie, was people not knowing how many laps they had run. When they went to ask, the computer tracking the laps was like 15 minutes delayed, so you could have finished your laps, but didn't know 'real time', so most did a few extra laps to 'make sure' you did what you wanted. That kinda sucked, but all in all...it was the most fun marathon I've done. Just to have access to everything you needed at all times. To have your friends and family at every mile. To have soooo many friends out running and you were able to see them over and over. It was such a good time. It's probably not for those that want to PR, as there were people on the track, all running/walking different speeds. But if you want to go out, have a fun, laid back day, this is the race for you.
This race is already on the list for next year. Hopefully, running all 9 hours 11 minutes!


To Hell and Back on Labor Day

Let's start off with what most of you already know about me lately.
My running routine has sucked.
I haven't run over 16 miles in a WEEK'S time OVER the last 10 weeks.
Yes...it's true.
It's that bad.
So when Doug and I discussed the Heart of America Marathon, I really dismissed running it.
Until last Thursday when I brought it back up to Doug.
Really...what was I thinking?
We ran this last year and it was hot, humid, hard and hilly.
Race Report from last year is here.
It's slated as one of the hardest marathons (non trail) in the country due to all the the aboved mentioned reasons.
So...Thursday, I musta been feeling invincible and we decided to sign up.
Why, again?
Could be because it's in Columbia, MO.
Home to Doug's beloved MU Tigers.
There's a $25 entry fee.
It's low key.
Or to just torture myself for my lack of training.

This year it was humid, hard and hilly. The heat held off and we ran over 5 hours in fog or heavy cloud cover so I think that saved me.
I started out well. Taking it very easy. Run/walking with a ratio of 4 to 1 and walking up the hills and running down them.
I was very surprised at how well I was fairing.
Until the last six miles when my back started acting up.
But I hung in there.
It wasn't pretty.
But I did it!

I know I said last year we would have plans over Labor Day so this marathon couldn't be an option, but I SWEAR next year we will NOT be doing this marathon.
It certainly knows how to kick your arse and take your name.

So...that's marathon number SEVEN for the year.
When is number eight?
Mmm...could be...Friday.
Yes...THIS Friday.
Stay tuned.


A Royal Kinda Day

I spent most of the day at the K yesterday.
Kauffman Stadium.
Home of the Kansas City Royals.
First Go 'Round...The 1st Annual Royals 5K.
Showing some team spirit before heading out.

It started with Rock Star parking.
Five steps from the start.
Here are Karen's boys, pumped up and ready to go...

The 5K was run mostly around the stadium, in the parking lot, so not too breathtaking.
But...what was exciting is running through the tunnel...into the bull pen...onto the warning track...around the stadium to the finish line with your picture displayed on the jumbotron.

Here's a picture of Team Wobo as they crossed the finish... So fun!

Karen, the boys and me on the field.

Then it was off to the best feast ever...Orange juice. Bananas. Chocolate milk.
All the usual treats you enjoy after a race.
But this race went above and beyond.
Not only did we get the above mentioned, they also had smoothies. Ice cream. Orange crush. Chocolate doughnuts. Powdered doughnuts. Yummm...
But the kicker...
Hot dogs!
And they were sooo delish.
So good, I had two!
At 9:00 am.
Yes...it's true.

Then it was home for a few hours before returning for the Royals game.
Such a beautiful night.
And yes...more hot dogs were involved.
Except this time with onions and peppers.
This is a pic of Karen and me.
Being twinkies.
Our three strands of beads.
Our necklaces from the Nike Women's Marathon.
Our t-shirts from the Royals 5K.
In this picture, our hair even looks to be the same color.
Gotta love the BFF!

And Doug, looking sweet, as though he's kissing my ear.
Not the case.
He's biting me!

Then our Ace...Zack Greinke.
The best pitcher around.
Sad he didn't get the help he deserved for a Royals win.
Oh well...you can't win them all.

Fun times had by all.
A Royal(s) Kinda Day!