Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The One With the Bunny...

So, there was an incident at our house on Friday night. 

By incident, I mean death.

By death, I mean murder.

Yep, our sweet little princess found a bunny.  Not just a bunny, a baby bunny.

*Cue Tears*

Now, to be perfectly honest, I was not at home during the incident, so the story is all hearsay.  I arrived at home just as the body was being disposed of.

Although, there were a few witnesses, including our 11 year old neighbor who noticed that Kya had what was first thought to be a bird.

Ken, knowing that his sweet husky would never catch a bird, laughed and said there is no way she has a bird. 

He was correct, the thing Kya was shaking around and tossing in the air was not a bird, but a baby bunny. 

In Kya's defense, there was no blood or intentional harm done to the baby bunny. 

It seems as though she thought she had a new toy.

Clearly, the Easter Bunny hopped right past our house out of fear for his life.

RIP Baby Robinson

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Favorites: Races...

I thought it would be fun to kick off a little series called Friday Favorites.  I will list anything from races to cities to toiletry items.  Sounds kind of fun doesn’t it?
 Since this is technically a running blog, I thought I would start off with races.

#5 
New York City Marathon
 While this race was not my favorite marathon, it is the New York City Marathon and it deserves to be on my list.  I entered the lottery for three years trying to get into the darn thing.  I will admit that I kind of hyped this race up a bit, which partially lend to my disappointment.  The entire race itself from an organizational stand point is simply amazing.  I will never forget riding the ferry over to Staten Island and people watching in the athlete village.  I will also never forget how steep the Queensboro Bridge felt before descending onto 5th Avenue.  I never published my race report from 2011.  I know I really should, but for me the race took place when Ken and I had so much chaos going on in our lives that I felt my view of the race was a little negative. 
 You can barely see my head!
There I go!

#4

 Hospital Hill Half Marathon
My #1 fan at the Hospital Hill Half Marathon
I run this half marathon every year that my schedule allows.  It is the oldest race in Kansas City and I really consider it to be my home town race.  The weather has varied over the years from hotter than all get out to a crisp beautiful Summer day.  Let’s be honest, the first week of June in the Midwest is usually torture.  I love all of the down hill in this race.  I also love that Ken and Kya come out to watch and Kya usually acts silly in the fountains at Crown Center.  This race holds my half marathon PR of 1:53.
Quite possibly one of the most unflattering pictures ever.

 #3
 St. Jude’s Memphis Marathon
The Memphis Marathon was my first marathon.  I could not have asked for a better experience.  The course has many rolling hills, tree lined streets, and music along the course.  The finish is inside the Cardinals AAA stadium allowing your family to get the perfect view of you crossing the finish line.  This race is filled with many special memories for Ken and me.  I will never forget the look of pride and possibly surprise that Ken had when I crossed the finish line.  This race also speaks my language when it comes to finish line food.  I mean, who would not want sugar cookies, pizza, and donuts?
 Memphis, 2007, my very first marathon
Memphis, 2008.  It is hard to believe that was six years ago!

#2
 Chicago Marathon

 I have run the Chicago Marathon three times and wish that I could run it every single year.  It is hands down my favorite marathon.  I love the spectators, I love the energy, and I love the course.  Chicago is also a very easy four day weekend trip from Kansas City.  My marathon PR of 3:56 is from the race in 2010.  It was on record one of the hottest Chicago Marathons with lots of carnage on the course the last several miles.  Thank goodness it was not the Chicago Marathon of 2007.  I will not be running the race this year, but with any luck will return in 2015 or 2016.
Running my PR in 2010

Feeling proud and looking rough, in 2010

In 2011.  This is my life people, always looking up and looking like a little person.

2013


#1
 Ironman Louisville

I mean, are you at all surprised that this is my favorite?  One thing about this race that is down right amazing is the volunteers.  Every single volunteer was so friendly and you could tell they were genuinely wanting you to achieve your goal.  My smile never left my face that day.  It was the best day ever.  I know this race will always have a special place in my heart since it was my first Ironman.  I just hope that I feel the same way about it after this coming August. 
The look of fear
The best day ever.
That wraps up the first installment of Friday Favorites!  Check back next week to see what else will make a favorite!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Throw Back Thursday...

Taking it back to 2009.

We rode the train to Hermann, MO for a little day trip.

We had a little fun on the train ride home, complete with meeting our new friend JT the carney.

Michelle, Heather, Melissa, me and JT


Heather and me with our other new friend that was passed out.



Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ambitious...

The bike.

I do not want to say that I hate it, but I kind of do. 

Too bad the bike portion of the Ironman is the longest leg, coming in at a great 112 miles.

I vowed this training cycle to put on my big girl pants and ride my bike more. 

Yeah, so far the Kansas Spring/Winter has not allowed too much of that.

A few weeks ago we had a gorgeous 70 degree Saturday.  Ken and I loaded up the car with my bike and his kayak and took off to Shawnee Mission Park for separate outings.

I had planned on riding 30 miles in the park.

Notice I said planned.

I forgot that Shawnee Mission Park may as well be the Rocky Mountains for someone that has not ridden her bike outside since, I don't know, August 26, 2012.

That would be the date of Ironman Louisville.

Yeah, I had not taken Fern (that is my bike's name) outside since the Ironman.

Maybe it was that whole numb hoo, hoo incident or maybe I just could not handle throwing on the bike clothes.

At any rate, I have an Ironman that is less than five months away, so it had to happen sometime.

Back to my point, planning a bike ride of 30 miles for the first ride in over a year in the Kansas Rockies was not my smartest move.

We will just say that the thought was rather ambitious.

I am pretty sure I almost died.  It was awful.

My heart rate has not been that high before.  My life flashed before my eyes and I was wondering how I ever rode 112 miles in the Kentucky hills.

I made it 20 miles.  I considered this a victory.

I also have vowed to get back to the park more often and hopefully whip my sorry butt back in shape. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Vacation Planning...

For the last few months I have been a vacation planning fool.

Ken and I have a great adventure planned soon which involves visiting Germany and Switzerland!

We are both very excited experience a little slice of heaven that each country has to offer.

We will be starting off in Munich Germany.



We will of course stop for a pint or two at the famous Hofbrauhaus.



We also have a day trip or two planned to neighboring villages.

After Germany we will head to Lauterbrunnen Switzerland!


Doesn't it look gorgeous?

I know Ken is the most excited about visiting Switzerland!

We plan on doing a lot of hiking and going white water rafting in the Alps.

We can both hardly wait!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

An Adventure in Pacing...

One of my friends that I met hiking the Grand Canyon is an ultra runner.  In fact, she is the only other person that I know that has ever expressed interest in running Leadville.  I remember when I first mentioned it to her, her eyes lit up. 

Fast forward a few years later and Amy signed up to run her first 100 mile race.  While it was not Leadville, it is still 100 miles and 100 miles is an awfully long way to run.

When she first told me about it, I knew instantly I wanted to be a pacer.  While I have never run an ultra before, I know that it takes a lot of support, just like my Ironman races, so I wanted to help in anyway possible.

When someone asked Amy what a pacer is, she described a pacer as a mother hen, drill seargent, cheerleader.  Now, if that does not describe me to a T, I am not sure what does.  Probably more so the cheerleader and drill seargent.

Kari, Anna, Marsha, me, Kristin, and Amy at the pre-race meeting.

Kristin and Amy both took off at 6:00 am Saturday morning and were scheduled to have pacers overnight on Saturday night. 

I met the crew in Iola, KS around 5:00 pm on Saturday and quickly learned we had a weekend of shennigans ahead of us.  The theme song from the movie Deliverance quickly became our anthem.  Me, being me, I finally asked the girls if they know what happens in the movie and of course had to do my best squeal like a pig impression.

As a side note, Kari told me she was not too sure about me until that moment. That is when she realized that I obviously was cool.  :)  I mean, only the coolest can do a squeal impression.

The fun continued when I learned that there was a guy that would come into the aid station that the other ladies would slap his butt.  He quickly became known as "Butt Guy."  We later learned his name was Rick, but Marsha still only knew him as Butt Guy.

The girls with Butt Guy and Butt Guy's Friend

Kristin and Amy came rolling into the aid station in Iola, and I was the first pacer set to go out with them.  Poor Amy had been vomitting and was not feeling too well.  She and I quickly talked about the strategy and she told me that if she was not doing too well, for me to go on with Kristin who was feeling fabulous.

Me, Kristin, and Amy about ready to take off after mile 51!

Amy decided to stay back, since she was still not feeling great and Kristin and I lead the way.  We ended up running 10 miles to the next manned aid station.  Kristin is quite the talkative person, just like me, but I ended up talking most of the time just so she focus on running.

This was my first time to be running so far so late at night.  We were on the Praire Spirit Trail that used to be railroad tracks, so it was very flat and lined with trees. Two super funny things happened during my first run and that is when Kristin told me if we were stranded out there, she would kill me a bunny for food.  Ha, ha!  The second funny thing was when she sore something was following us and jumped a bit.  I am the biggest chicken in the entire world and had to be the brave one, when in all honestly, I wanted to take off!

We came into the aid station at mile 61 only to learn that Amy had spend miles 51-55 vomitting and dropped from the race.  I know she was bummed, but I know she made the right call. 

Kristin and Mary getting ready to head out!

The rest of us loaded up in the van and made our way to the next aid station.  It was pretty chilly out, so Amy and I stayed in the van while the others waited at the tent for Butt Guy to come into the station. 

Amy and I were discussing nursing school classes (Amy is a doctor) when suddenly Anna came running into the van saying something was out there.  Sure enough, we heard the music from Deliverance and saw a head standing outside the van.  It of course, was Kari.  We about peed our pants it was so funny.

Kristin made it in and Anna took off with her for the next round of pacing.  We ended up getting a little bit of sleep in the van at  the next aid station.  I of course, threw out some cracks about never having slept in a van in a parking lot before.  I also told them this was the weirdest slumber party I have ever attended.

Anna and Kristin made it in and I was quickly up for my second round of pacing duties.  We had nine miles to cover and it was 3:30 am.  I know that may not sound like much fun, but it really was.  Okay, maybe fun for me and not so much for Kristin. 

We made it into the next aid station and could tell that the sun would be rising soon.  Mary took off with Kristin and the rest of us hung out in the van eating Oreos and candy.  It was really tough I tell you.

We did get to see Butt Guy come into the final aid station.  He got his usual slaps on his behind and took off.  Kristin and Anna took off for the final round, which was seven miles.

Sadly, at mile 97 Kristin just could not move anymore.  She had made it so far, but physically and mentally she was done.  Anna called us and we hopped in the van and found her and tried to will her to go on, but she was done.  We all gave gave it a strong effort to get her to continue, mainly because we wanted to make sure she was really not capable of going on. 

She wasn't.  The poor girl had so many blisters on her feet, that she could not even wear the flip flops we brought her. 

She ended up covering 97 miles all on foot, which is more than I have ever covered.  Even though she did not finish the full 100 miles, she fought a hard race and did an amazing job. 

I was so honored to be a part of Kristin and Amy's Crew.  We had so much out there and laughed so much.  To think that everyone but Anna and Amy were strangers to me up until the Friday prior, is hard to believe.  I left the weekend with a few lifelong friends that have vowed to crew and pace again. 

Yes, there is already a next time, as Amy has decided to sign up for a 100 mile race in October. 

Until next time girls!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Kansas Wine Kind of Day...

Yesterday we spent the day with Rob and Michelle venturing along the Somerset Wine Trail.

The wine trail is four different wineries, with one of them being Somerset Ridge, where we happen to hang out at all of the time.

Michelle and me being transported around from winery to winery.

Michelle and me in one of the wineries that is located in a barn.  Clearly, we are not in Sonoma.

It is a shame that we never laugh together.

Rob and Michelle at Somerset

It was a fun little Saturday outing with friends!