• 2014 races,  running

    Year of Running 2014

    Today, I’m linking up with Miss Zippy for the Year of Running

    I haven’t posted much about running lately, but I’m still doing it. I owe you (really, I do it for myself) a few (like 10 or so) race recaps. I’m running 5-6 days each week with typically three weight sessions at the gym. And I’ve started doing squats. Lots of them. They burn so good at first, but I feel so much stronger.

    2014 has been my best race year ever. I PR’d nearly ever race the beginning of the year. I had a very strong summer with my lowest 5K time yet (18:56!) and finished the fall with a PR in the 10K (41:47).  I’m really happy with my year even though I’m not happy with my final race of the season (Thanks to the 102 degree temperature I had during the race. I won, but it wasn’t my fastest time, and well, I really wanted to end this season with a bang.). In 2014, I ran 19 races and won all but one (I did a race in Birmingham on a whim when we were in town for a family wedding.). In a few weeks, I hope to have the privilege of sharing with you a really awesome honor I’m pretty excited about.


    • Best race experience?
    • I have a few memorable race experiences from the past year. One of my goals for this year was to break 20 minutes in a race. I’d done it countless times on my own (with my Garmin), but for some reason, it wasn’t happening in a race. 

    Back in March, I finally broke that mark in a trail race. I love trail races as I grew up running trails, and I was really excited that I broke 20 in that race.

    Then, in May, I broke 19 minutes in a 5K which was very awesome. I thought I could get down to 19:30 or so, but the thought of breaking 19 was not something I considered. I had a stellar race that day and have been thrilled since.

    My final 10K of the year was also really fun. I PR’d a 10K a week or two prior (41:47), but this race was just fun. I ended up running it from about mile 1 on with a friend from church. It’s always nice to run with people, especially in freezing temps and brutal wind. I also broke my own course record for this race, which was cool. 

    • Best run?
    • I had a really good 10K around my neighborhood a few months ago. I really felt like my speed was struggling (my 5K’s were around 20 at the end of the summer, but there’s that heat and humidity factor in good ole SC) and had been slightly (ok, really) discouraged about that. One night, my husband was cutting our grass and I went out for a 3 or 4 miler that ended up turning into a 10K. I think I ran it around 42:25 and at that moment, on really tired legs due to mileage/workouts earlier that week, I knew I was back.

    • Best new piece of gear?  
    • Hands down, my new Garmin is my favorite new piece of gear. For Mother’s Day, Kevin and the boys gave me the Garmin Forerunner 220. I had a 110, but it stopped working and I needed a new watch. 


    • Best piece of running advice you received?
    • Run your own race. I used to have the tendency to stick with certain people at the beginning of each race, but then I realized I needed to run my own race. A lot of people say to start out and build, but that doesn’t work for me. I’m much better at maintaining a pace, so I start out strong and I’m usually able to keep up that pace for the whole race. 

      I was also told to remember that it’s a 10K, not a 5K when I’m running a longer distance. If you’ve read this blog for long, you know that I like shorter and faster distances. While I enjoy running 7-8 milers regularly, I’m not a huge fan of the half and I have no desire to ever run a full. It’s just my thing. Some people get more enjoyment out of longer races and the training process. I’m not one of those. 
    • Most inspirational runner? 
    • I really like Kara Goucher. She’s an elite athlete and a devoted wife and mom. I think she’s cool. And Lauren Fleshman is another runner I really like. And to stick with the blogworld, Janae from Hungry Runner Girl is very inspirational. She’s an awesome mom and incredible athlete and I think it’s be fun to share a run and a donut (or three) with her. 

    • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Ridiculously exciting and fun!

  • 10K,  2014 races,  running,  running gear

    A 10K course record and how I deal with cold-weather running

    It was freezing this weekend and I had a race. By freezing I mean it was about 34 degrees at the start of the race. That’s cold, especially when it was in the high 60’s and 70’s only two days before!
    I ran the Honda Turkey Trot this weekend. It’s always a fun race and it benefits our local food bank. There is a 10K at this race, so I signed up for that. I don’t have many opportunities to run 10K’s locally, so I jump at the chance to run them when I can.

    I really should get another pullover to wear for racing in the winter. I feel like I wear this one (or a similar one that’s practically the same color) for every winter race. We just really don’t have that many races in the frigid temperatures.

    I’m certainly not an expert on running in the cold, but I’ve found that I need to keep my chest bundled up, my ears covered, and gloves on to perform my best.  For this race, I wore my Reebok pants (I love them – they are so comfortable and warm), a Nike Dri-Fit long sleeve tee, and my Nike Dri-Fit jacket. This jacket is really warm and it has a hood if I need it. I usually unzip it during the race, but not on Saturday. I also wore my Nike ear band. I love this. If my ears are cold, it’s just not happening. I can’t stand for my head, but especially my ears, to be cold when I run. I also wore a pair of gloves. Though I have running gloves, I really like my $3 gloves from Old Navy, so I usually wear those.

    About 10 seconds after we got started and the wind was blowing crazy, I pulled on my hood and wore it to the halfway point.

    The race started out really well. Lately, I’ve been focusing on not starting too fast on the 10K. I have a tendency to start it just as fast as a 5K which doesn’t always bode well at the end. I like to start out around a 6:50 pace and then build. During this race, I just ran how I felt. I wasn’t in the front of the pack like normal at the start of the race, but by mile 1, I was only a few runners back from the top male.

    My friend Jimmy was running the 10K as well, and by mile 1, I was with him. He’s really fast, so I decided I’d stay with him through the race and didn’t bother looking at my watch until mile 4.

    The first half of the race was great, even though it was freezing. I seriously felt like my face was gotten to be frost bitten. The second half of the race was good, but it was more challenging as we ran the last 3.1 miles facing the wind. Even still, at the 4 mile mark I was just at 27 minutes, so I knew I had the chance to break my record on this course (43:01 from last year) which was my goal.

    During the last half mile or so, I pulled off my ear band and took off my gloves. I looked at my watch and knew that I was going to break my record (which turned out to be the course record). Jimmy and I ran across the finish line together at 42:10. Not bad with all the wind! I was really happy with my time. I think I could’ve broken 41 minutes had the wind not been so bad (the course also measured nearly .10 long).

    I finished as the top female and fourth overall. I won an awesome (even though it’s not exactly beautiful) trophy of stacked canned goods with a turkey on top, a “Run Like a Turkey” medal hanger, and $100 for breaking the course record I set last year. I was really happy with my time and the way I ran. And it was a great way to end my last 10K race of the year!

    All of the runners above go to my church. We all won some kind of award which was cool!

  • 10K,  2014 races,  PR,  races

    A 10K PR and how to take embarrassing race photos

    This past weekend, I ran the Pecan Festival 10K. This is always a fun race for me. The past few years, I’ve run the 5K, but this year, I decided to do the 10. There haven’t been many 10Ks lately, so I jumped at the chance. This course, which is traditionally one of the fastest, has not ever been that way for me. I haven’t broken 20 minutes on it in the 5K (my PR is 18:56), so I wasn’t expecting a super fast time, but I felt I could break my 10K PR (43:01) which I set about this time last year.

    It got cold Friday night and was freezing Saturday morning. The race started at 9, and thankfully, by then, it wasn’t raining. We got up and I ate breakfast (two scrambled eggs with toast and jelly) and then drove to the race. We got there at 8:52 and I still had to get my packet. Talk about getting there last minute! My warm up consisted of darting from the car (before Kevin parked) to the gym to get my packet and then running to find my husband so I could give him my bag. I stretched during the announcements.

    I typically start out fast when I’m running 5Ks. I have a harder time building in a race if I don’t start out fast than I do starting out fast. On Saturday though, I had a specific goal: break my PR, so I was careful not to start out running a sub-6 minute mile. I started around 6:30 and then slowed down to 6:40-50. The first two or three miles felt really good. The weather was great and I was even second-guessing my decision to wear two long sleeve shirts.

    The course wound through some old neighborhoods and was relatively flat until about mile 4 where there were a few hills. My fourth and fifth miles were slower with the hills, but even when I looked at my Garmin at 4.2 miles in, I knew I was going to PR. At that point, I had somewhere around 15 minutes left to my PR. I decided not to push too hard because I didn’t want to burn out (even though it was only a 10K) and I wanted to finish strong. My last mile was my fastest.

    When I turned to head back to the finish and had about .2 miles left, I knew I was going to PR big time. I saw my husband standing on the corner taking pictures and yelled to him that I was PR’ing. When I rounded that corner, I saw 41 minutes on the clock and knew I could break 42 (not something I’ve ever done in a race – I was wanting to break 43 and would have been satisfied with a 42:50). This excitement caused me to raise my arms in the air and yell “I PR’ed” to the event timers who are also friends as I was going across the finish line.

    And when you do things like that, pictures like these happen:

    And then you get really embarrassed. Especially after someone tags you in them and you’ve warned everyone around you that has seen them not to tag you.

    But it was fun. And I PR’ed (if you hadn’t already figured that out!): 41:48!

  • 2014 races,  5K,  running

    Darlington Race Weekend Recap

    This past weekend was filled with running and it was so much fun!

    You may remember that last year, I ran a half marathon in Darlington. This year, I decided against the half, and ran two races: a 5K on Friday night and a marathon relay Saturday morning.

    The 5K was fun Friday night.

    These two little guys were excited about the race. We’re not really NASCAR fans, but you know all little boys like race cars. They thought it was especially cool that not only did we get to drive thru the tunnel beneath the track, they got to run on the actual track and stand where the race winner is presented with a trophy. 

    I can’t wait to run real races with them one day!

     My heart.

    The home stretch. This was not my fastest race. Granted, there were two tunnels with steep inclines and a big hill, but still, I didn’t go all out. I knew I had 6.5 to run the next morning and realized about a mile into the race that chicken and rice is not a great thing to eat before a hot race!

    Kevin deserves the trophies. He’s my greatest encourager and he’s always right there telling me to sign up for the next race and waiting at the finish line.

    Former Patriots take the win. The three of us all graduated from the same college. The guy on the left won the 5K and the half marathon the next morning. The man on the right was 2nd overall. They both ran competitively in college. I wish I had.

    My friend Kayce and I with our Miss Southern 500 leg pop.

    On Saturday morning, we ran a marathon relay. I ran the last leg for our group. It was really fun. When it was time for me to start, I knew we were in second by a good bit, so I didn’t worry about my time. I had a bit of a stomach bug over the weekend, so I was just happy to run.

    I had a great time cheering on the marathoners as they were running their last miles. When I got back to the track for the final 1.5 or so of my leg, my teammates ran with me. It was nice to have that encouragement because I needed it. My stomach did not want to be running.

    All in all, it was a great weekend of running. 

    While I was running the relay, the boys were playing soccer. In six seasons, I’ve missed two games. One of those was last year’s half marathon and the other was for the relay Saturday. In each of those games, K.C. has scored two or more goals. I’m beginning to think I’m good luck when I’m not at his games!

    So thankful to be able to run!

  • 2014 races,  5K,  boys,  clemson,  soccer,  weekend

    Snapshots from our weekend

    Our weekend started out as it normally does this time of year with soccer practice right after work. We decided that Fridays would be the best night for soccer since the boys are both in real school and K.C. especially has a lot more homework. I didn’t take any soccer pictures because I’m helping Kevin coach. (I use the term “coach” loosely!)

    After soccer, we went to our Friday night spot for dinner then went to pick up a birthday gift for Kevin’s best friend. That night, we watched the special Saving Dr. Brantly on NBC. It was really interesting.

    Saturday was a busy day that started off with us leaving our house at 6:45 for a race.

     My friend Kayce and me before the race.
    It was H-O-T, but I was very pleased with my time. I’m still about a minute slower than I normally am (finished in 20:32 Saturday), but with temperatures in the high 90s even first thing in the morning and high humidity, I’m happy. I finished as the first female and 3rd overall. Racing season has officially started again!
    As soon as the race was over, we headed back to town for the boys’ soccer games. With them playing on different teams this year, we’re thankful that there are only two days that they play at the same time. This past Saturday was the first day. Thankfully, their teams played on teams side-by-side, so I ran back and forth so I could watch them both. 
    Kaden played so hard! He only walked over to me on the side one time, and if you know our Kaden, you know he likes the snacks and trophies. I’m so proud of him!
    K.C. played awesome, too! He’s in an older league and he played so strong! He hardly sat on the bench. Watching him wearing number 4 (Kevin’s number), made me think of how Kevin must’ve looked when he was little and played. Our boy is competitive! 
    (Most of the pictures are from my phone and I was at Kaden’s game the same time K.C.’s ended, so I didn’t get his picture with my phone.)
    After the soccer game, Kevin’s best friend and parents came over to watch the Clemson game. Brian’s birthday was yesterday, so we celebrated with a cake.
    We had dinner with some friends Saturday night. Maggie is one of the best cooks in the world. Kaden loves cooking with her, so she had some cupcakes waiting for him to ice when we got to their house.

    We had a real Southern meal complete with fried chicken, rice and gravy, macaroni and cheese, beans, and to-die for biscuits. And banana pudding for dessert.

    Yesterday was promotion Sunday at church. The boys moved up to a new class and we moved up to teaching 5K which is Kaden’s class. After church, we went to lunch and then had the best day at home. We built forts and tunnels and after practicing spelling words that included the word “mine”, the boys went mining for treasure.

    After dinner, we took my sister to her new apartment and the boys had fun exploring and Kevin fixed a few things for her. 

    We stopped by Wal-Mart (one of my least favorite stores) to get a few things and the boys saw these ninja costumes. And we got them. And they were only $6. And they’ve been Ninjas a million times already, but it makes them happy, so there. haha

    We had an awesome weekend and I’m looking forward to a great week!
  • 2014 races,  5K,  races,  running,  weekend

    Snapshots of our weekend + a race recap

    Our weekend started off nice and hot (by hot I mean the heat index was well over 100 when I left work at 5) with the first soccer practice of fall. I was so proud of our boys at their practices! This is the first year they’re playing on different teams and it was cool to see how they each did.

    Kevin is coaching the younger team and has Kaden. I’m also out there to help him out. I help by keeping the kids in line, throwing the balls back, and doing whatever he tells me. Soccer is not a sport I’m too familiar with, but I definitely know more now that I did when K.C. started playing three years ago!

    Kaden was really aggressive and fast during one of the drills. I think the fact that he’s one of the older kids on the team is good for him. He’s really stepping up and working hard.

    Thankfully, the boys practice on fields side by side, so I was able to watch K.C. some, too. He did a great job from what I could tell!

    After practice, Kevin and I had our weekly date at a local place. I love it when we walk in and they know to give us extra ranch without even asking. We typically go to this place after every ball practice. It’s also my favorite pre-race meal, and considering I had a race Saturday morning, it made perfect sense to go there for chicken sandwiches.

    When we got home, our neighbors who have recently moved, were at their house. It was nice catching up with them.

    I don’t know what got into me, but I was in a cleaning and organizing mood Friday night. Needless to say, I cleaned out a good portion of our closet. I didn’t take any pictures, but I should have. We have a large walk-in closet as it is, but I’m shocked by how large it really is when it’s straight and the twenty or more excess, empty shoe boxes are gone!

    We also stayed up later than we have in a long time Saturday night and it was so nice!

    We had an early morning Saturday. I had a race out of town that started at 8. When the alarm went off at 6, I tried to go back to sleep. I even sleepily asked/told Kevin it was ok to miss the race. He, my constant encourager/cheerleader, said no, so we got up and went to the race.

    When we got there, a friend told me to be prepared to race because there was a girl from the high school’s cross country team running who runs in the 19s. I was in the “win the race, but don’t go all out because it’s a million degrees” mindset. Needless to say, that changed.

    I started out on the second row which is odd for me. This girl (who was an awesome runner) stayed side-by-side for the first half mile or so. At that point, I didn’t know if she was starting strong and pushing me to see if I’d slide or if she was running with fuel left in her tank. I decided not to take a chance and sped off. I stayed ten or so yards in front of her until sometime on the second mile. At that point, we went into the full sunshine (the rest of the course was mostly shaded). I looked behind me with about half or a quarter mile to go and saw that I had a large lead. I didn’t want to let up, but I also didn’t have to worry about her sprinting at the end.

    I finished the race in 20:47 which is slower than I normally run, but for the temperature, I was really happy. It was also the best race I’ve run in months.

    I had a fresh peach after the race which was a welcome change from the typical banana, and Kevin and I talked with our friends until the awards ceremony. I’m partial to trophies and medals (mostly because my boys like them), but at this race, I won a facial from a local spa. I haven’t had a facial before and I’m excited about it!

    We were home from the race by 10 AM and decided it was a good time to do some yard work. I may have had to ask my husband exactly how to do it, but I weeded a flower bed while he pruned our palmetto trees. We did some work inside after that and were able to mark a few things off of our to-do list.

    My mom has been asking me to clean out my childhood closet for oh, about two years, so Saturday seemed like a good time to do that. We went to my parents that afternoon and visited. I also cleaned out two totes full of things to keep and about four giant trash bags full of things to donate. I didn’t even begin to touch things like my boxes of third grade memories which I’m sure are full of papers and spelling tests.

    Kevin helped my mom cook dinner and it was delicious. My husband is becoming quite the chef!

    Kevin’s parents had us over for lunch after church Sunday. We enjoyed visiting with them before going home to do a few things around the house.

    My little chef helped cook our entire dinner last night. He loves being in the kitchen with me and I love it, too.

    After we played, Kevin and I each took one child to work on upcoming school work. Kevin and Kaden worked on reviewing letters while K.C. and I went over his spelling words.

    The boys have been asleep by 9 each night since school started and I don’t really know what to do with myself. I don’t want to jinx it, but I hope it continues. They’re getting a good night’s rest and we’re having an hour or so to chill after they’re in bed. It’s nice.

    I have to brag on our big boy: This morning, when I walked into our bedroom after I took a shower at about 6:30, K.C. was up and dressed. He had gotten up, come downstairs, and gotten dressed, then, he went back upstairs and woke up our sweet baby boy.

    And because I can’t brag on one without the other, Kaden walked into school all by himself (K.C. was there of course) today. They encourage us to let our kindergarten children out in car line the second week of school, so today, Kaden had to walk in on his own. I was so proud of him. I may have teared up watching my hearts walk in side-by-side. I’m going to take a picture next time.

    There you have it, our weekend!

    Runners: How do you feel when you slow down in the summer due to heat?
    I have a love/hate, mostly hate, relationship with the fact that the heat makes me slower. I’m used to one speed and I don’t like it when I’m giving more effort for less speed.

  • 2014 races,  5K,  birthdays,  family fun

    Catching Up

    I’m back! I took a little hiatus over the past two weeks and have hardly opened my computer. It’s been good spending extra time with family, thinking, healing, reflecting and praying. I’ve missed you all though and I can’t wait to get caught up on your lives! And a huge thank you for all the emails, comments and texts!
    ————-
    We had a great weekend. I’m particularly enjoying the three-day weekends I have in the summer. It’s a definite perk of my job!
    On Friday, the boys and I went down to my parents for most of the day. They had a great time playing outside, riding the mule and playing Monopoly. Kaden had a little too much fun and ended up taking almost a two-hour nap!

    I’m glad Hot Rod was close because we may have run out of gas!

    When we got home Friday night, I cooked dinner and then we played outside. Kaden helped me repot some hibiscus I bought for the front porch and plant some flowers while Kevin and K.C. rode electric scooters.
    On Saturday morning, I had a race – the National Trails Day 5K. It was at 8 am, but even at 8, the humidity was through the roof! I feel like I raced worse than I have in a long time, but I was happy with my time (20:24) considering the humidity and my lack of taking a day off before the race. I’ve gotten in the habit of making Friday my long run days since I’m home, but after the last few races, I’ve decided to cut down on my miles on Friday. After running four the day before Saturday’s race, I’ve decided that on race weeks, Friday will be my new non-running day. 

    I finished as the top female and sixth overall.

    After the race, my little ones took a cool down run with me. This picture of Kaden makes my heart smile!
    After the race, we went home and played before going to my SIL’s to swim all afternoon. I also made K.C.’s footprint. When we were little, my mom did our footprints for our grandparents and she and my dad and I decided to do the same for the boys. Kaden and I did his last week, but K.C. got stung by a wasp and we decided to wait for his. Saturday was the day.
    My parents’ good friends invited us to go to dinner with them and then back to their house for dessert, so we met my parents, nana and their friends for Mexican. We eat Mexican way too much – I will admit that the amount of Mexican I consumed greatly decreased when Kevin and I started dating because he’s not crazy about it. That said, it seems like it’s our easy, fast go-to when we can’t decide what we want to eat and we’re both burned out of it. When we got to my parents’ friends’ house for dessert, the boys had a blast. They have some wild bunnies that they’re trying to get back to health and the boys had fun feeding them with an eye dropped. Kaden also helped Mrs. Maggie make chocolate icing and ice the cupcakes while K.C. played with their dog. It was a fun night!

    We taught Sunday school and went to church yesterday morning. We have a joint worship service in the summer which allowed the boys to go to Children’s Church. We don’t typically attend the service during the time CC is offered during the regular year, so I was happy they got to go to it yesterday. They loved it!
    After church, we went to Kevin’s parents to celebrate my MIL’s birthday. We ate a delicious meal and visited all afternoon. The boys sure did enjoy playing with their cousins.

    Last night, Kevin put together the gas grill we got for Christmas. I see barbecue chicken in the near future. The rest of the night, we just relaxed and it was good. 
  • 2014 races,  5K,  races,  running

    Race4Taylor 5K Recap: A New Course Record

    This Saturday was the Race4Taylor, one of my all-time favorite races. It was the third year that I’ve run it and the fifth (and final – makes me sad) race.

    Last year, I set a new course record at this race. My goal this year was to run strong and break my record.

    My legs were feeling pretty tired Saturday morning. My Fridays off have unofficially become longer run days which isn’t a great combination with a Saturday race, especially one I want to run fast.  That said, I ran seven relatively easy miles and did a gym workout Friday, which meant that I ran 17 miles in the three days leading to the race. Not the smartest decision ever, but I won’t complain because I really had a great run Friday morning.

    When we got to the race Saturday, I ran a brief warm up and stretched really well. My run club sponsored me in this race, so I wore my singlet which was really comfortable. I’m pretty loyal to Nike dri-fit racerback tanks, but this singlet felt surprisingly good. I also wore my new Mother’s Day gift: my Garmin Forerunner 220. I’ll do a full review of it later.

    This race attracts around 400 runners each year and all the top runners from anywhere remotely close were there on Saturday.

    I didn’t get as fast of a start as usual. I somehow got lost in the bog of the runners from the second and third row. If you race often, you know that everyone, regardless of ultimate pace, runs fast at the beginning. This is great and by about half a mile in (at the latest), the crowd has thinned. My slower start hurt me at this race though. I like being out in front from the beginning.

    I ran the first mile great, albeit a little slower than normal in 6:13. My first mile has been right at or under 6:00 for my last few races. It’s around this point that the 5K and 10K broke off, so once this happened, it was me and a little boy with a few men in front of us. I always watch this small group of guys who run faster than me and feel like if I can see them at certain points, I’m doing well.

    Mile 2 on this race killed me. Flat out killed me. It’s when I started feeling the previous day’s miles. It’s also the mile of rolling hills. It’s relatively flat where I live, but this course has some hills. Not a steep up and down, but rather a few nice, long rolling hills. If you’re into that sort of thing. My legs weren’t feeling it Saturday. I looked at my Garmin at some point on this mile and had to give myself a pep talk because at that point, I didn’t quite know for sure whether I’d even beat my record from last year. I wasn’t looking for a sub-19 like last week, but I did want to be somewhere below 20. I ran this lovely second mile in 6:38, 25 seconds slower than my first mile.

    Mile 3 was better. While the road did look like it was going on for days, I managed to give myself a big enough pep talk to finish the race with a 6:18 mile for a total of 19:45. I also broke the course record of 20:25 which was my PR for most of last year. I was first female and eighth overall. I was happy with my run!

    I won another bobble head trophy – seriously, is this not the best trophy? There were also pirates running with us and anyone who beat the pirate got an “I beat the pirate” cup. I got this as well along with a gift card to a local running store and a cash prize for setting a new course record.

    I really hope this won’t be it for this race. It’s a great race, but an even greater family is behind it. The family who owns and operates our local timing company began it after their son was killed in a tragic auto accident almost six years ago. I’ve gotten to know and love this family through the incredible sport of running. They are an inspiration to all of us. Through their foundation, they’ve given tens of thousands in scholarships. I’m thankful to have crossed paths with them and know that I don’t speak alone when I say running means more because of them.

  • 2014 races,  5K,  baseball,  boys,  celebration,  Kevin,  motherhood

    Mother’s Day Weekend 2014 and an 18:56 5K!

    I had a great Mother’s Day and weekend this year.

    My weekend started early with my first Friday off. While the boys were off at school and Kevin at work, I went to the gym to work out and ran 8 miles. When I got home, I put up the hammock, made a green smoothie and sat outside and had some Jesus time.

    I picked up Kaden from school and he and I went home to eat lunch with Kevin. After lunch, we went out and did a little Mother’s Day shopping before we picked up K.C.

    Once we picked up K.C., we went to the library. The boys love to read and I love books, and one day, I mentioned something about getting a library card. They latched on to this and chose to go to the library for our first fun Friday of the summer. A few minutes and 8 books later, they had library cards and mine had been updated.

    My sister was over at her boyfriend’s grandmother’s pool and they invited us to go swim, so we did that for an hour or so. I was pleased with how well the boys did swimming because it’s been a while since we last swam.

    That night, we had our third baseball game of the year. They did a great job!

    We got up early on Saturday morning for a race. I was thrilled with this run and PR’d with an 18:56! I didn’t go into the race expected to PR as I had tired legs from my run the day before, but I did and I am still walking on air!  Kaden particularly liked this race because there was cake!

    Yes, I am aware that I look more excited about my 18:56 than the winners of the Boston did.

    We had brunch with some friends after the race and my goodness, it was delicious!

    We spent a few hours at home doing nothing, then ran out to pick up some last minute Mother’s Day gifts before going home for dinner.

    I woke up early Sunday morning and decided to go ahead and get ready for church while Kevin and the boys were sleeping because I knew we had a busy day. When I got out of the shower, Kevin had cooked breakfast and the boys had made the sweetest cards. He did a themed “championship” breakfast. It was cute! I always eat scrambled eggs and cinnamon toast before races and that’s what he’d cooked. He’d also put a few recent trophies on the table and we all drank out of race cups.

    Kevin and the boys gave me a new Garmin Forerunner 220 which I am loving. The boys also picked out some jewelry by themselves. The cutest thing, though, had to be the clay pieces they made. K.C. asked me to get him some clay last week because he had made something for me in art for Mother’s Day, but his art teacher couldn’t find it. We got clay and he spent some time Saturday afternoon making a cup bowl (what he called it) while Kaden made me a pizza and chocolate chip cookie. While I love and will always treasure the other gifts, the cute handmade things like this just make my heart smile brighter!

    After church, we celebrated with our families as my SIL hosted lunch at her house. We hung out by the pool all afternoon and just relaxed.

    Kevin and the boys sure make me feel special and loved every day and Mother’s Day was no exception! I love my boys!

  • 2014 races,  5K,  weekend

    A weekend with some firsts

    This weekend was full of firsts.

    For starters, on Friday night, I coached my first ever baseball game. The boys are on the same team and Kevin was the assistant coach, but when the head coach quit, Kevin became the coach and I somehow became the assistant coach. It was fun! Our team did fantastic! I think we were both thrilled! We have our next game tomorrow night and I can’t wait to see how we do.

    On Saturday morning, I ran the Petal to the Medal. It was a trail race through one of our state parks. It was beautiful. I love trails and feel like I thrive on them (even if my time isn’t a PR). I finished this race in 20:29 (6:36 pace) and was first female and fourth overall. You can read the full recap by clicking here..

    The best part besides the actual race were the fresh grilled cheese sandwiches and chocolate milk at the finish line.

    Saturday afternoon was another first for us. My sister’s boyfriend loves to fish and they invited us to go bow fishing with them Saturday afternoon. If you don’t know what it is, it is exactly what it sounds like: fishing with a bow and arrow. I almost jumped off the boat when they caught the first fish – a gar (a trash fish) which looks like a swordfish. I attempted to take a turn, but when I walked to the front of the boat, the fish disappeared. My sister and I soaked up some sun on the back of the boat while the men fished.

    Sunday afternoon was another first in a long time for us. We slept late, went to church and lunch and after lunch, took a nap. I’m talking multiple hours. It was nice! I also finished my first book of the month, Swimming Lessons.