Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Route 66- Race Recap

The Race:

Overall Place: 378/ 4684
Gender: 110/ 2971
Official time: 1:48:17

The Countdown: #49 whoop whoop (Oklahoma)

Let's be honest, there aren't too many exciting options in Oklahoma when racing the states, I know, earth-shattering news. This particular event has been on my radar for the past 2 years as my Oklahoma choice due to the ease of getting to and from Tulsa, a large maniac / fanatic presence, and obviously the willingness of my gfs to come along for a gals trip. 

Kim did a fantastic job of choosing the prime location for our hotel (Hyatt). We were within walking distance of expo, start line, finish line, and food (albeit limited choices on the weekend in downtown Tulsa). I was a bit nervous sharing a room with 2 of Kim's friends (strangers to myself) Maureen and Jenny, but crisis averted and we had a blast @ expo and start line shenanigans the day before race day. 

Jenny, Kim, Me, Maureen- hindsight we should have had us tall ones be on the outside as to not cover the sign #tallgirlproblems

Sporting my new free sweatband to try to keep my ears warm on our walk

one of our many failed synchronized jump attempts

Getting our game face on
Race Day:
Race start was kicking off at 8am and with a frigid 23 degree temperature outside, I was 100% on board with sleeping in and staying in the hotel as long as humanly possible. Luckily all the ladies were on the same page. 
Our Room 

The entire clan
L, Hope, W, me, Kim, Jenny
B, Maureen 

I'm sure I'm not alone when I say this, but I'm more than burnt out on half marathons. Been there done that, lets get this over with. That being said, I decided to just have as much fun as I could, take it easy, and stay warm. This is the most clothes I've ever worn for a half (lined tights, compression socks, long sleeve under long zip up jacket, gloves, ear warmer headband) and I'm hoping I'll never have to be this clothed again. 

I separate from the group and walk toward the front of corral A. Even though I had no intention of pushing it, that doesn't mean I have to be annoyed bobbing and weaving behind  individuals who start ahead of me.

In the first few miles (and continually throughout the course)  I was THOROUGHLY impressed with all the spectators that were out on the course despite the frigid temps, seriously, I don't think I could ever stand outside in the 20s cheering on strangers and maybe a few loves ones!

The entire course was a mix of hills going both up and down- very few long flat straight a-ways. I don't mind hills, but I wasn't expecting there to be as many as there were. Aside from the impressive neighborhoods we ran through in the first part of the race, there wasn't much stimulating scenery so I found myself actually kind of bored. I tried to "mix things up" with the photographers, but now I find that I need some new creative pose moves---- open to suggestions. 
Stop! Collaborate and listen!

I was attempting to do an airplane... fail 

And this is "the rocky" 

The other source of entertainment on the course was actually taking advantage of the free alcohol some spectators were giving out. Somewhere around mile 6 I had a shot of vodka that burned when it went down. Shortly after I had a 151 shot from one of the bands along the course, but the mecca of alcohol to be consumed was this gem of a pit stop around mile 11. 

2 shots of beer + one of each jello shot flavors = liquid warm blanket. Definitely the highlight of the race for me and worth actually taking my gloves off to take a photo of. Since this is my 2nd to last 1/2, I kept trying to tell myself to take some photos, "capture the moment", but there really just wasn't much going on. I'm pretty sure in B's recap she managed to get the only scenery worthy of photos as a large chunk was cement and houses. 

Wikipededia informed me that the significance of Route 66 is that it is one of the original highways of  US Highway system and served as the main path for those who migrated west- especially during Dust Bowl in the '30s. In 1985 they removed route 66 from the US Highway system and has been entirely replaced by Interstate Highway system --- since then it has been donned "Historic Route 66". I'm all about experiencing a bit of history while traveling, however the only "sighting" that we were running along Route 66 was this bridge we passed under  with a little more than a mile to go, or the countless race sponsored signs on the side walk

These signs were everywhere. 

Other than that, there was little evidence we were near route 66 (for all I know, maybe we ran on it and there were just no signs?) Definitely a little mis-leading and would recommend as an improvement for years to come. 

Last mile was weaving through the familiar surroundings of our hotel- business district of downtown Tulsa. I crossed the finish line and due to some confusion with fanatics / maniacs getting their own medal, I bypassed the individuals handing out medals and made a bee-line for the space blankets for warmth. 

After standing around for a few minutes waiting awkwardly staring at others bibs till I spot another half fanatic, I find out you DO take the medal from the volunteer and then when you get to the maniac / fanatic tent to swap it out to get a different medal. I wandered aimlessly since there are no clear signs for anything in the finisher's area but I do manage to find the tent, swap out my medal, and camp out near a heat lamp till slowly the gals are trickling into the tent
Our medal says fanatic and the ribbon was different featuring the HF colors (blue and gold) 

After a cup of coffee and great stories from everyone's race experience, we leave the MM / HF finisher area since there wasn't a lot going on- most of festivities start closer to when marathoners finish, however we wanted WARMTH and didn't have time to stick around for a few hours. 

W, M (extra globes in pocket, promise didn't gain a spare tire) Kim, L 

Luckily from the finish it was a short, albeit very cold, walk back to our hotel where the hottest shower ever was had. I had the earliest flight out, 3:30, so unfortunately I wasn't able to meet up with everyone for lunch and beers. Kim and I grabbed something on our own and then I headed off to the airport. In and out of Tulsa in 15 hours. 

Time 1:48:17

Mile 1: 7:15 <-- downhills + not feeling my legs 
Mile 2: 8:05
Mile 3: 7:51
Mile 4: 8:07
Mile 5: 8:37
Mile 6: 8:13
Mile 7: 7:50
Mile 8: 8:16
Mile 9: 8:07
Mile 10: 8:28
Mile 11: 8:40 <--- all the shots followed by happy go lucky attitude 
Mile 12: 8:53
Mile 13: 8:22
Mile .23 6:58

Overall I was pleased with the race organization and convenience of everything. Had the weather been warmer, I think I would enjoy the running and finish line festivities a little more. From what I've heard from a lot of individuals, this race is ALWAYS cold so if you plan to do it for 2014, bring your layers. Anytime I can make a girls weekend (or in this case day) for race, it always makes the experience more memorable, so I highly suggested grabbing someone to do this race with you otherwise you might find it kind of boring since the downtown area is a ghost town on the weekends. 

I've been waiting 3 years to say this... but 1 more to go! 

Friday, November 22, 2013

5 for Friday - Trivia, Oklahoma, Wallstreet Journal

ONE: After 4 weeks of trivia, we finally hit the jackpot. Normally I play at a restaurant / bar near my home every Tuesday, however this week The Nashville Predators (our hockey team) was hosting a new trivia challenge. Basically you get a cheap predator ticket with your team registration and get to watch the Preds on the big screen in the stadium since they were playing in Detroit. Long story short we actually won out of 20 teams and got upgraded "ice tickets" aka sit right behind the hockey team. I'm basically a genius... 
Team "We're Down to Puck"

Also got these shirts and I think someone gets to ride the Zambonie during the game.. I called not it. 

TWO: It's Friday and I've only ran ONCE so far this whole week (although I did get in a kettle bell class). My calves and ankles were still a bit sore from Ragnar Trail Vail Lake, so I took some much needed rest days.  I've noticed over the last year that my calves have been taking quite the beating and are constantly sore and it makes me wonder what I'm doing differently compared to the previous 2 years. I'm assuming different gait??

THREE The one run I did get in this week was actually a large group run (about 10 of us) for an article in the Wall Street Journal. They're writing a piece on the culture of our company and needed photos of people working out. It was actually really fun running back and forth with folks, and from what I hear from our PR rep, the photos turned out great. I'll be getting the photos the photographer doesn't use for the article, so I'm hoping to post some in the next few weeks once the article has been published. 

FOUR Tomorrow I leave for Oklahoma (whoopee). I'm going to be honest, who the heck is every excited to go to Oklahoma? Well I actually am for a very good reason. It's freaking # 


Man has time flown by.  The big 5-0 is celebrated with my folks, but 49 will be with my travel ladies. 
Top: MN in front of our state flags, on the Jersey Shore shortly before Sandy, South Dakota
Bottom: 4 of us in Tx (1st time meeting Kim), Back at it in CO 

Originally started a lot of my travels with Becka and her sister Laura, but Livestrong Austin,  State #24,  is where I met Kim and then all 3 of us traveled for a bit. Shortly after  Kim and I took off (since B & L were basically done). I'm going to miss all our adventures and hope that I'll still want to meet up with Kim for some of the states she has left (OK is #30 for her, so I've got some options) 

FIVE: Temperature for OK will be in the 30s with a chance of snow- yikes. I like running in cold weather, but maybe not that cold. My brother Eric texted me last night informing me that it will be 20 degrees in Ohio for our annual Turkey Trot 5 miler... guess OK is a preparation for OH... stupid O states. It was 65 yesterday and 60 today, sigh. I guess I need to come to grips that it is almost December and it does get cold. 

Do you have any travel buddies you meet up with for races?

Ever play trivia? Strengths / Weaknesses?
I'm not the greatest with President ?s

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Popping my Trail Ragnar cherry- Vail Lake Style

I L.O.V.E overnight relays. To date I've run 8 over the last 3 years.  At first it started out with the traditional 200 mile- 12 person, 6 to a van relay
Regular 12 Person Relays

Then somewhere along the lines I got convinced to run an Ultra - same 200 miles but now 6 people to a team instead of 12
Ultra 6 Person Relays
Reach the Beach 2012- Leg 1, Leg 2, Leg 3
Ragnar NW Passage 2012- Leg 1, Leg 2, Leg 3

All have been a memorable, albeit challenging experience and left me craving more. Then within the last year Ragnar Introduces their Trail Relay options. Confession #1- I don't run trails. I've ran on one trail since highschool and it just so happens it was this summer. It was 2.5 miles and was Hard.... I didn't go back.  Confession #2- I had no desire to attempt any of Ragnar's trail option races, but then I received a text from my friend Scott who asked if I wanted to run the Ragnar Trail Vail Lake. Without thinking or any research I immediately said yes. Scott and friends were a part of my first relay ever, my first ultra, seems fitting to now add my first trail to the list.

I wish I could tell you for the 2 months leading up to the relay that I starting prepping my body, tacking on miles and experimenting on trails... heck even reading about what the relay entailed. For those that have been following for a bit, that just ain't my style- go in blindly and wing it is my motto. (I am type A, but for some reason it just always happens this way for races)

So here I will do my best to break everything down for you on what to expect if you decide to run a Ragnar Trail Relay. First step... forget everything you know about regular Ragnar Relays- it doesn't apply here.  Second tip.. get comfortable, this may take a bit to read... you're welcome.

Regular requires 8 runners; Ultra is 4. Being the first year for all Trail options, the field size is smaller. 84 teams registered for Ragnar Vail Lake, however a few DNS (and quite a few had to drop out half way) As you can imagine, there is also less mileage to run. Still a little unclear on what our total was as the 7.4 run was condensed to 6ish, but I think it was around 110. I believe most trail options are around 120, but I could be making that up?

There are NONE :) You basically have to get your team to the designated parking lot ($10) and then take all your stuff and load it on the shuttle- similar if you are going on a hayride- pick up truck with a large flat bed with hay for seats. You DO have the option of paying $35 for VIP parking which means you can drive your vehicle and park on side of road across from campsite. For us we had 3 runners who were from the area (2 LA, 1 SD) One of our LA girls came later with most of our gear so we had her do VIP since the race already started and no one would be around to help her shuttle everything back and forth.

Every team gets to pick their own spot to set up camp. On the website I believe it says 300 sq feet per team, we were slightly nervous about what to bring as to not exceed the limit. Let me tell you, go crazy as people SPREAD out and they are not strict. First photo below is a few from our campsite

Bathrooms (bc yes its important)
Gone are the traditional port o pottie bathrooms, and instead they have these wooden "green" bathrooms where they use your 'waste' combined with wood shavings(neutralizes Ph)  for fertilizer down the road since its nutrient rich... or something like that. 
Take a scoop of shavings after you go, insert into toilet. Low on shavings, toilet paper, or hand sanitzer in your stall? No problem- take this sign and place it outside. They have a team of folks that are continually re-stocking. 

My last favorite thing about the bathrooms- real soap and water!

"Base Camp"
This is where your start / finish area was, Ragnar Store, vendor booths, mess hall, campfire etc is.

Start line 
Stage where music was played, movies were shown, and people congregated to wait on their runner

Large campfire to keep everyone warm. They also had other smaller camp fires off to the side for cooking smores. You are NOT allowed to have a camp fire at your own campsite. 

Other items of note at basecamp
  • this is a cupless race, meaning you have to use your own cups on the trail, but also they have water, nuun, coffee, and hot chocolate set ups (all free) that you can fill up in your own water bottle etc. 
  • I didn't take a photo but they was a set up of solar panels next to exchange that was used for a charging station (for phones). They also had bikes set up next to the exchange for people to warm up before they ran, BUT they served dual purpose as it also powered the charging station when it went dark- genius. 
  • Soloman is the giant partner for all the relays. They make trail shoes, among other things, and had 100s of shoes for runners to 'check out' on their runs. Listen up as this is very important... these trails are no joke, YOU NEED TRAIL SHOES on this or else you'll lose your footing. Needless to say having them there was a lifesaver as most people didn't think it would be a big deal to wear their regular shoes. Here are the ones I wore for all 3 legs-  XT Wings 3 W.... not sure what that all means but they were a lifesaver and fit like a glove. I asked and they have this service at each of the trail ragnars
  • Free massages the first day as long as you sign up... I really wish  I would have taken advantage of this after my first run (they closed up shop by 2nd run) 
  • Ragnar store- can get your swag here, but they have a lot of trail themed items which aren't normally sold at traditional relays. Bonus for us- Ragnar Vail Lake is the last Ragnar event all year, so all the merchandise was 1/2 off! Craig and I came into the relay with the sweet Ragnar jackets, but with this killer  deal Russ (on the right) had to purchase one too so he could be a member of the cool jacket club... yes it was a 'thing' over the weekend and we made a joke of it
  • Mess hall- in the above campsite photos you can see a large white tent. From 5-10 pm they served dinner (everyone got a ticket for free meal- little secret, they didnt' take my ticket the first time around so I got another meal later on) Under the tent you can sit down and eat, or drink a beer as they were selling those as well. Yes folks... alcohol is ALLOWED. Whether you are in the privacy of your own tent, or just walking around, no one cares--- they even handed out free coozies! We brought a case of beer, some fireball for race finish shots, and after learning that every team is given oodles of flavored teas, a handle of vodka (although we didn't drink any of the vodka tea)

shot glasses were $1.50 each!

Finish celebration!!

Alright so how does the trail running actually work??
  • There are 3 trails, each designated with a color Green, Yellow, Red in order of increasing difficulty. For us it was 3.5ish, 6ish (originally 7.4), and 4 miles. Every team's first runner that kicks off the relay starts on Green and then they hand off to next runner who goes on yellow route and then 3rd runner goes on red and then it repeats. I was runner #3, so lucky me I had the hardest trail first. By the explanation above you would assume that the next run would be green, but you have to keep in mind your team is 8, not 9 so it it doesn't rotate evenly thus my order was red, yellow, green. 
  • All 3 trails go in different directions (or in our case, yellow and green ran together for .5 mile and split off) and reconnected a few times throughout.  All 3 trails then come together toward the end. There is a timing mat 400 m away from the exchange (same exchange / start / finish area) When you cross the timing mat, your team's name pops up on the screen at basecamp, and that is how your next in line runner knows to enter the tent to get the exchange

Blue screen in the middle
  • Actual exchange area: you run under a white tent and there are 3 mats color coded (green, yellow, red) you run through yours and your runner is waiting for you on the end of the mat (their mats are color coded as well to be the color of their next run) Your "baton" is your race belt that holds your bib. You take it off and your teammate puts it on there. They also pick up a glow in dark slap bracelet that is same color as their run to designate which trail they need to be on (for volunteer direction as well as when coming in) 
  • Along each trail are little arrows that are the color of your route as well as tiny LED lights of your color for nighttime (which all my runs were in the dark so it came in handy) Along your trail there are 2 other types of signs you look out for- an X means you went the wrong way, normally a few paces too far, and to turn around. (wish all relays did this) There is also a sign that says Danger... this is generally when the hill is steep, (up or down) or extremely narrow and you can fall of the cliff / hill/ mountain. My first run had well over 15 of these in the 4 miles, quite comical. 
  • Start times kick off at 10am and the last group starts at 4:30 pm (we were 4pm start) Because there are only 3 route options for all the teams and they are repeated, there are always people on the trail, however there are no 'kills'. You have no idea if you are passing someone on YOUR particular run, or from an earlier time. For my first leg I could have the option of passing another runner 3, a runner 6, or any one of the runners from earlier start times who are happen to be running that color (but it may be their 2nd run of day)- because of this it doesn't feel as competitive as there are no clear leaders and slackers (unless someone is ridiculously slow and walking) 
  • After your team finishes, you're free to leave. The finish line is anti -climatic because its the same exchange you've run through the entire event. You may be running in with your team while another runner is just finishing an actual leg, so there is potential for it to be a cluster. Afterward we walked around a bit, cleaned up camp, then piled all our stuff and in the SUV we parked by campsite and transferred everything back to the main lot.
So that's in a nutshell how the process works as a whole, now here is my take on how it went for our team / my legs. 

As mentioned above, our team started at 4pm-- this meant that only our first runner got their run in when it was daylight. EVERY SINGLE ONE of my runs were in the dark. Slight exception was my last run started at 5am and the sun came up when I had about 15 min left in the run. Unfortunately that meant 2 bummer things:
    • the runs were that much harder because you couldn't see and foot placing was crucial
    • couldn't take any photos on my runs since it was pitch black / bulk of our time during the event was dark 
I didn't wear a watch, however because our bib / baton had a timing chip on it, every leg is documented, so now I know how slow I was. 

First Run- Red- deemed hardest. 4 miles 47:26; 11:51 pace <--- indication of how hard it was (surprisingly looking at the rest of my teammates times on these, the guys were 38s, and the girls were 49 and 50s, so not bad!)
  • I cannot begin to tell you how difficult this leg is. First off, these aren't 'deep in the woods' trails. For this particular run, along with green, these  are "open spaces but narrow dirt / sand on the side of the mountain, be careful you don't fall off to your death" type of trails
  • As soon as we split from yellow trail we started to climb. One of the trails was STRAIGHT up and had built in wooden slabs to climb. The was a guy right in front of me who passed where we turned to go up this hill and then hit one of the X signs mentioned above. I let him know it was this way and he laughed because there is no way in hell this is runnable.
  • Although this was the steepest of the hills, the rest were no picnic either. Hardest part was figuring out where to run on some of them because parts were compact dirt, parts were sand, therefore it was more effective to walk then run for a lot of the hills.
  • I fell 3x and perfected the art of galloping down the hills since they were so steep running down them proved to cause one to fall. Normally I LOVE downhills, but these actually started to slow me down vs. the ups because there were so many danger signs I wanted to take it easy. 
  • I broke out in laughter when I saw the one mile to go sign because I felt like I had been out there FOREVER
Second Run- Yellow- deemed moderate (actually the easiest) 6 miles 56:44/ 9:27 pace. Not going to lie, I'm surprised my pace was even this fast because I walked a TON with all my headlamp problems
  • This was the most level of all the runs as there was only one large hill throughout. 
  • Right away I start with a pack of people and in the first mile as we spread out I realize that my headlamp is not as bright as it should be. There are branches randomly on the trail that I kept tripping on, potholes of sand I kept rolling my ankle in, and constant squinting to see where I was.
  • Unfortunately this pattern continued the entire race. I kept stopping to adjust my headlamp, turn it on and off, but nothing seemed to work. 2 people asked if I was okay and I just let them know I couldn't see. When I was able, I attempted to catch up to those around me so I could use their light. 
  • Way more sand on this run, which if it were daylight would be easy to spot and avoid, but I managed to find all the soft spots which really slowed me down. 
  • By the end I realize my last run will also be in dark and I need to borrow someone else's headlamp because it is not fun tip toeing around fearing you'll trip or turn your ankle for 6 miles. 
3rd Run: Green- deemed easiest (ya right) 3.6 miles 43:11; 11:59 pace--- eek! I was the slowest on this trail
  • Despite being called the easiest, it was pretty damn hard and had a large amount of hills. Below is a shot from our campsite- you run up the winding dirt trail all the way to top of mountain and although it seems like you can't go any higher, there are more hills to be climbed and descended. 
  • This run contained a hill so steep you hand to not only get on all 4s and climb, but you also had to hold onto roots in the process since your hands were not enough. I accidentally grabbed a piney shrub which hurt like hell and I had to remove the needle later. 
  • My legs were actually jello by my 3rd run, so most of the uphills I straight up walked, as well as the downhills when it was dark because I didn't want to trip. 
  • Once the sun came up I was AMAZED by how much easier it was. I'm pretty convinced that if my whole run was in the daylight I could have knocked several minutes off the run. 
  • Aside from just walking a lot, my pace was also slower because I stopped to watch the sunrise. This trail held the highest point on all the others, so watching the sunrise over all the valleys combined with being able to look out and see 50 or so runners who were also running this trail or red trail  was truly breathtaking- it was like little ants in a maze
  • Prior to meeting up with the other 2 trails before hitting the 400 m mark, there were several hundred yards of asphalt... OMG was it ever glorious. I will never underestimate the difficulty level of running on sand again in my life. 
All the runs were challenging and even if you are an avid trail runner I don't think it would have been a walk in the park. My biggest achilles heel was not being able to see since this added a whole different level of diffculty. 

Overall it was a great experience completely unique from what I've become accustomed to with the traditional overnight relays. I think some of the pros and cons are pretty obvious based on what was listed above, but here are the ones I didn't touch on as much

  • No vans = easier to stretch out so you're not cramped the entire race + no smell clothes everywhere that you're forced to smell the entire trip
  • Can bring portable grills so that combined with the one free meal = eating actual food vs. granola bars and trail mix (this translated to no digestive issues for me!)
  • No sense of urgency, everything laid back. Not racing to meet you runner, just simply walk down to the tv and wait for your team name to pop up
  • Lots to do- walk around, explore, meet other people etc. Potential interaction with those that are camped around you. 
  • More sense of community for runners as a whole instead of team vs. team. (if you like the competitiveness of it, then this would be a con) 
  • Medals. I do love Ragnar... I do, but I'm kind of over their cookie cutter medals that are the same each year. I love the rustic-ness of the trail Ragnars, and I'm sure they'll all be the same as well, but for now, its one of my favorites (if you can't tell in photo, its wooden)
  • No vans = you're not bonding as much with your teammates as much as you typically would. Nothing like being cramped in a small space to bring out the best / worst in one another. I was runner 3, so I was typically aiming to sleep when runners 7 and 8 were running. We're all on our own schedule, so you felt more independent and not relying on the whole team. 
  • You can't cheer on your runners unless you stand near the 400 m mark since it passed by our campsite, I did that at the end. Since your team isn't on the trails for support, less motivation which is something I need. 
  • you're outside the entire time. Once the sun went down it got COLD (30s , 40s) and rained. I didn't pack enough clothes and it was impossible to get completely warm .
  • Anti-climatic finish. As stated before, you're just running through the same exchange you've done the whole time, so the only way you know when someone is finishing is when their team runs in with them. We were lucky that we were all dressed up so it was obvious who we were, however the early finishers didn't get announced. 
  • Not sure if its good or bad, but the race is shorter. We start at 4:00 and ended in the 9am hour. Unofficial finish time was 17:33:00-it just felt different. 

Official Results won't be posted till 11/27, but as it stands now we got 3rd place- whoop whoop. Despite the naivety and unpreparedness going into the race, I'm so glad I came and I look forward to doing Ragnar Trail Atlanta this April, maybe next time I dress up requiring a stache I'll learn how to put it on right?

Have you considered a Trail Ragnar?

What headlamp do you use? 
Thinking I need to upgrade from petzl to a higher voltage or brand?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I look good in a stache....

This past weekend I ventured to Socal to run my FIRST Trail Ragnar Relay. My team was comprised of my favorite relay buddies who ALWAYS get into the spirit of having a theme, this one did not disappoint.

Super Ragnario Bros
Sporting the homemade Warrio look

Full team (L to R) : Yoshi, Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong, Warrio (first row)
Peach, Toadstool, Boo

Ragnar Trail  is a COMPLETELY different experience compared to Ragnar Relay, that I want to do ins and outs justice since many people have asked for my feedback on wanting to know how the trail relay works. Recap will come in the next day or two, but it was such an amazing and unique experience that I decided I will definitely be doing another trail Ragnar. Atlanta is April 4-5 so you will see me there! 

More to come 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Weekly Recap - DC trip!

4 mile run with Fleet Feet Crew

Les Mills body combat class
Trivia night with team "Coming in Hot". Last week we placed 3rd, this week we came in 2nd... basically we're either ridiculously smart or know a lot of useless knowledge.

4 mile lunch run with 6 co-workers. 1 mile in it ended up working out that everyone split off in 2s and had a running partner. Its been a very long time since I've ran with someone and had a conversation the entire time-- way overdue.
Kettle bell class after work.

Dinner at my FAVORITE Thai Place, Smiling Elephant where I embarrassingly ordered 2 entrees, followed by concert of my all time favorite Nashville band that made it big, Kopecky Family Band. I've seen them at least 7 times and each time I'm amazed.

It's neat to follow them from the beginning and watch as they start to make it big. They were on the Tonight Show a few months back and I'm so grateful despite their growing success, that they always make time to do a show in Nashville when they can :) 

Thursday- Quick 3 mile run followed by packing for trip to DC 

Friday- Flew to DC by way of Chicago (why is it so hard to have direct flights!) Hung out with my college bestie Kim and finally got her out of the house for dinner and drinks (she's a stay at home mom and rarely gets a night sans child)  Horrible blogger as I didn't take photos, but dinner we ate all the unhealthy things followed by a wine tasting a few doors down. After 3 glasses Kim was 3 sheets to the wind and my entertainment for evening. 

Saturday- sight seeing monuments in  DC with Kim! (my first time EVER in the area)  It was humbling and lucky for us to be there Veteran's Day Weekend. I almost cried when there was a TV station interviewing a Vet at the WW II memorial and he was relaying his account of events... truly humbling and puts things in perspective. I'm glad I didn't go on the 8th grade traditional trip to DC as I don't think I could have truly appreciated the sacrifices and history as I can now. 

Showcasing the Potomac River

Korean Vets Memorial 

Reflecting Pools 

Representing Ohio at WW II Memorial 

View of the entire WWII Memorial

In front of White House

Sunday- Woodrow Wilson 1/2 (recap).  Enjoyed the laid back run, gorgeous views, and of course knocking off another state! 

Mileage for the week: 24.1- highest in quite some time + 2 classes. I'm getting slightly better about consistency and balancing exercise, work, play time, and travel. One thing that I've learned over the last few months where I've had more time at home is that there is ALWAYS something to do in Nashville- if I'm bored, feeling lonely, etc, I have the power to get out and do something with day. I've made it a small goal of mine with these quick recaps to always do SOMETHING each day that is noteworthy- it can be an activity, or a workout, but something that was accomplished. So far so good :)