25 August 2012

A wedding weekend

So this weekend I headed up to the Cities to see JB and Dave get married. I was excited to get back to the Cities for some fun. Mike was going to come along but he's busy working on the shop and needs all the time he can get.

I did get to get a massage from Keith, which was much needed. And I went to Target, which is typical of a Cities trip, and I hit Chipotle, which wasn't as good as I remembered.

So I went alone to the wedding, which was okay. It was beautiful and they are both very happy. I got to see Erin again and her guy Mark, and Laura K. I did feel a bit out of place though. But I guess that's to be expected.

And stupidly, I didn't take any pictures! Oh wait, I have one of me...

18 August 2012

Work trip fun

Every now and then, my boss lets me travel for work. This doesn't happen often, so I'm always excited when I do get to go...even if it's to Arkansas.

This year, I got to go to training on SharePoint. So excited I was...not. The training was okay. A lot of it was talk, talk, talk by the instructor and then follow the directions on the example/training sheets and call it good. For some reason, a lot of the class had trouble with this. Apparently reading wasn't their forte. I got worried a few times because I was done way ahead of everyone else, but eventually I got over it and enjoyed the break. Of course I used those breaks to go back to my room and work.

I relaxed the first couple nights but then I decided to get out of the room and hit the town. So I hung out with a Chief and LT.

The first night we went to a baseball game. The Chief got cheap tickets from someone, so we were able to get nice seats for low cost.

It was an awesome night for baseball and the boys even bought me a Guinness. I couldn't argue with that. And I got myself some cotton candy. :)

The next night we had our class outing and went to a really great restaurant - awesome food, great drinks, and good music.

Friday was our last day and we got out of class early. The three of us, and one other gal, went out to lunch. Southern barbecue and I wasn't as impressed with it as I was with Texan. E told me later that Arkansas uses a mustard base, which wasn't all that great.

For our afternoon fun, the girl went back to pack, and Chief, LT and I went to the Clinton Library. That was awesome. We got our picture taken in front of the "Oval Office" by a security guard. We had to laugh because he commented on LTs shoes. :)

The library also had a display for the St. Louis Cardinals. I had to send several posts to K, since I know she grew up cheering for them. Gotta love Stan.

After this, we walked over a very long bridge and around a corner and down another block or two (the lady at the Library information desk said it was much closer) to see the USS Razorback. That was very cool. I know I had been on a sub tour one other time, but this was a smaller group and since I'm married to a Navy boy it was much more interesting.

 A big prop and anchor. I kind of wish I could bring this back home, but I don't think it'll fit in my carryon.

I had to take this picture. The cup with the shaving brush is just like one that Dad had. I kind of wonder if Mom still has it.

Friday night, we went out to a place like Carnaval (up here) where you can eat all the meat you want. They served their sides family style, which was okay, but I really wasn't impressed with the food. After, we headed to a hole-in-the-wall club where our teacher was playing in a band. That place wasn't bad (considering it was a true hole-in-the-wall) but I had forgotten what it was like to go to a bar or club where they allow smoking. We walked in and it was like walking into a wall of smoke. Uffda. It was fun though.

The next morning I headed home. All in all, a good trip and I met some great peeps. Not sure I learned a lot though. :) Oh well.

But the bigger kicker was as I was driving home from Mpls (where I flew out of since it was cheaper and because our airport ramps were under construction over the weekend), I ran into two of my friends from college...at a rest stop! How random is that?!? It was so fun to run into Al and Rachel. We caught up briefly but they were on their way to SoDak for a week long vacation. Of all the gin joints in all the world...

11 August 2012

New Races

Over the past few years, I've had pretty much the same runs, over and over again. This year I finally got to do a new one. First was the Firecracker run, which I haven't posted about here yet.

I won entry into the Lennox Firecracker 5K via the Runner's Block fun0run. I hadn't been running a lot, but since I also signed up for 5K in a week after this, I thought maybe it'd be good to get a practice run in.

So Wednesday morning, July 4, I got up and traveled to Lennox to get signed up. I was a little nervous - for one, I've never been to Lennox and two, I had no idea where I was going. Plus, I only knew of one person who was for-sure going to be there, and I wasn't sure how I'd meet up with her (that ended up not being a problem).

Anyway, I got there early, which was good because there are a lot of people who don't pre-register so the line got long in a hurry. It was a decent run - not super well marked at the start, but people seemed to know where they were going. There wasn't official time, but I don't think I did too bad. It was a beautiful morning for a run, for sure.

Well, then today FXB decided to host a Farrells to Farrell's run. It ended up being about a 10K, which was awesome. People could either bike, blade, walk, or run it. I opted to run it and I'm happy to announce I ran almost all of it without stopping. I had one 1/4 block where I had to so I could avoid traffic, but for the most part I kept a steady (albeit slow) pace.

I decided to try my compression socks today since I've been having problems with my knees. And of course, I had to wear my standard race shirt - my lime green runner's dream shirt from Skirt Sports (who refuse to make more). And then I tried out my new shorts that are a little bright. Normally I wear black, but since this was a new run, I thought it good to try something new. 

The route was good, I will say. It was a good training run for TCM. The first mile was fairly flat (a couple hills, but nothing bad), but then right at mile 2 (like TCM) there's a steep hill over a bridge. That was perfect. And I ran up and over it without stopping. YAY! I have not been training like I should for TCM so this was a very important run.

It was kind of rainy and dreary, but it was fun to be out with so many folks who understand fitness, even if they don't all understand running. :)  And Farrell's was great in having water stops set up at appropriate places. The only bad thing was we had to fight traffic a few times, so that threw times off, but I tried not to focus on that.

Coming in at the end. I look fat. I have a lot of work to do. But it was fun to have so many people there that I work out with to cheer me on as I came in. And I wasn't the last one, which was also good. :) Our "prize" was a keychain with a little Farrell's boxing glove. :) Very nice.

Another fun aspect of this one is that I got to reconnect with my friend Sarah whom I used to run with . She and I became friends because we were stalking the same blog writer (how funny is that). She only lived a couple blocks away so she went and got her car and took me back to Southside. A bunch of my 5AMers biked the route so they just headed to the nearest bar for a drink to celebrate instead. :) Being the big drinker I am, it took all I had to bow out of that one. haha

The fun thing about both of these was the thrill of a new race and a new route. It's nerve-wracking but kind of exciting at the same time. TCM, St. Patty's, Avera's...those are all routine for me and I know the rhythm which make them easy to participate in, but trying something new was a lot of fun.