finishing in the race!

We’re back at home now – showered, hydrated, stretched, and rested. And it’s only 9:43am! I dig these early morning races. πŸ™‚

The 5K went super well today – I felt like I was dragging big time but in the end, I was quite pleased with the results. From training the last week with my husband, my son’s pace was faster than mine (well, that and he’s skinny and 15, unlike his mother lol) but he stayed with me for most of it. The last 1/2 mile though he headed off ahead of me which was totally cool. I am so proud of him for training with me for four weeks and doing the race. Best summer project I’ve thought of for us to do yet.

I wanted to finish in 51 minutes or under (that’s where we were at 2 weeks ago) and I was really actually hoping for 45 minutes. I knew then I’d be doing at least a 15 minute mile jog pace which I would be happy with – but…my finishing time was 38:24 instead!!! And my son did it in 36:52!! Seriously, so proud. We’ve decided that next summer’s goal is to do it under 30 minutes. πŸ™‚

Here’s my photo gallery from the day – enjoy!

The Brew 2 Shoe 10K/5K was sponsored by a number of great local business (in addition to Manhattan Running Company of course) including Tallgrass Brewing Company and AJ’s Pizzeria – so, after the race, I had a super tasty Tallgrass Halcyon Wheat beer (at 8am) and my son had some pepperoni pizza. Good times all around. πŸ™‚


Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh

Fresh can be defined so many different ways, in fact, the original post for this theme even includes different definitions:

The definition for fresh has a bit of a fork in it – it’s a state (new, recent, previously unknown) and it’s a taste or sensation (cool, sweet, invigorating, refreshing).Β 

For my post I working more with the former definition – something new and unknown – because the whole place I am at right now is new to me but there is definitely a refreshing feel to my photo as well. As mentioned, I’m away from home this week and a little limited to how much I can get out and photograph. However, I’m fortunately surrounded by some really beautiful surroundings and was able to capture this photo:

waterfall pond

The conference center I am at has these small little ponds and lakes in addition to the surrounding forested area and river. It’s quite beautiful and this waterfall grabbed my attention right away – seems fresh to me. πŸ™‚

Weekly Photo Challenge: Golden Hour

I am having way too good of a time with the weekly photo challenges lately. I think that I had I made some different choices in life, I would have really enjoyed being a photographer. I think I am going to make it a goal to do some more research or take a class or something to learn more about it. And I also need to get a real camera – all I have is a digital camera that is more or less the point-and-shoot kind. Some day I’m going to get a real one. πŸ™‚

The theme goal for this week was to capture that golden hour – the hour of sunrise or the hour of sunset. There was one place I really wanted to go to, but I knew by the time I went there to get the good shots, it would be pitch dark and I’d have to walk through a forest area in the dark. And…you know my problem with having seen too many Law and Orders – I was for sure I’d be slaughtered for sure. Side note: I should probably stop watching so much Law and Order.

But I digress – here is my collage of photos from early sunset to beautiful sunrise. This spot is out at the scenic overlook for the Konza Prairie. It’s mad crazy beautiful.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic

This week the weekly photo challenge on WordPress was “nostalgic” and honestly, I had a hard time deciding what to do with it. I’m not from around here so there was no real way to go out and take photos from places from my past. I decided to find a good photo from my past to represent my life growing up – me becoming whom I am today. But, not surprisingly, I could not find justΒ one. So dear readers, today you get a super photo collage of photos that are meaningful to me and that tell little stories along the way. I’ve captioned them so you have a clue what they are and why they’re important.

There you go – a little taste of me throughout the years. There’s a huge chunk of years missing there (like 10 years) but I seem to be missing photos from there. Or, maybe they’re not all appropriate for public viewing. One of two. LOL. In any case, I hope it shows a bit of nostalgia for you – cuz it sure the heck does for me. πŸ™‚

out in the country – and fire!

Yesterday morning we went to a different park on the other side of town for a change of scenery and because if you run the track/path twice, you’ve mostly ran a 5K. We wanted to see it how long it would take to do it, even if walking some of it. But I’ll write more about that in a different post – today, let me tell you about we did that afternoon. In between showering after running and church, we were invited out to a friend’s house, about 45 minutes away in the country. It’s beautiful out there:

They are moving soon and had an old shed and some other stuff to get rid of and that means burning it. If you don’t live in a rural area, that probably seems a bit crazy to you, but trust me, in the midwest, that’s how we get rid of stuff. And who doesn’t love a bonfire? So my family and I got in the car and away we went. One of the coolest things about being out there is the number of goats – including a brand new baby goat!

So, it’s lots of fun to go out there and pet all the goats – they’re kinda like dogs or pets. But, to get to the bonfire part, here’s what we were burning:

Before the Fire - Old Shed

Before the Fire – Old Shed

After checking the Rural Fire folks (who I believe have to give permission to burn on any given day – well, I think that’s what they do. I really don’t have a clue. I live in town and have no understanding of country rules.) to make sure all was good, the fire was lit. I may be in my mid-30s and all grown up and stuff, but there’s still something about a fire that is strangely cool and beautiful at the same time. I think it’s the colors – I’ve never seen any person be able to create the same vivid color of flame outside of nature. I took some pictures of it – sadly, I’m only a pretend amateur photographer so these photos do not do it justice.

It was pretty beautiful (in that weird, fire-kind-of-way) and all went well until the wind kicked up and we had some complications – but we got those handled and everything was all good. It was definitely not a normal Sunday afternoon/evening for my family and I’m quite happy I brought my camera to take photos of the good times – in fact, here are some more random photos from the earlier afternoon.

Oh, I should mention that Sunday afternoons = no makeup or doing hair. So no judging me on my Sunday beauty. Or the fact that I’m holding a newborn goat and a beer. LOL.

That’s all for now – will write more about running adventures tomorrow – when The Cutest Boy starts his training for the 5K!!!

running lucky


Some days I feel pretty darn lucky to be able to get out of the house and run. Yes, I said it, it’s official: Β I’m running again. I suppose that’s not a complete secret to most since I’ve mentioned it a few times lately, but I have been doing my best to NOT talk about it nonstop. Part of the reason is that I’m a little afraid I’ll jinx it – like, if I start talking about running – or worse: call myself a runner (gasp!) – then I will get injured or hurt. But I’ve been going about it differently this time around – started out really slowly rather than my normal “hey! let’s run 2 miles for our first day!” style – and it’s been now over a month and some weeks.

I’m to the point now that I’m running in the day. Usually I run at the crack of dawn before the sun comes out but that really hurt me when I ran that race last year – I just was not prepared for the heat and sun. I just registered my son and I for a local 5K for early August and because of that, I’ve been out mid-day or early evening more often now. Of course, this summer in Kansas has yet to be brutal so it has been all good so far. We’ll see how I feel when the heat really gets going.

But I digress. Back to why I feel lucky to be running. The other day I took the photos above while out on Linear Trail running. I had my phone with me because 1) my iPod shuffle was dead, 2) I was too amped up to run without music (more on that later), and 3) I was running alone on Linear Trail in the near evening and I bring it along in case I’m raped/mugged/killed along the way. As I was beginning to run, the amazing beauty of the area just hit me and I’m quite thankful that I am able to be out there soaking in the nature and feeling good. And feeling mostly safe – I mean, I’ve never been attacked on Linear Trail but I also have seen way too many Law & Orders to completely trust a wooded nature area alone.

The other reason (besides nature) I feel lucky to be able to just leave and go running is due to stress. I think that is what is the major difference this time around. Whereas before (and it started that way this time as well) it was all about making myself leave the house to run, now it is more about me being so amped up, stressed out, crabby, or having a million things on my mind that I feel if I don’t get out the house and go run, there will be serious hell to pay and I will go crazy. I’m super lucky (though maybe self-made lucky) to be a tad addicted to running to cure those antsy pent-up feelings rather than a host of other things I could be (and have done) in the past (read: alcohol, drugs, smoking, etc.).

So that’s it for today – just a little note to say I’m damn happy to be running again and looking forward to see where it takes me. Who knows – maybe it will take me to running an entire half-marathon. πŸ˜‰

Weekly Photo Challenge: Changing Seasons

These are two of my favorite “changing seasons” photos I took this year. Both of them are from my neighborhood – we have quite a few trees around here because the neighborhood is fairly old and established.

The leaves-changing-in-fall colors of the trees on my street were awesome. I wish I would have taken my camera out earlier to get photos of the brilliant red-orange leaves, but sadly, I did not. One day while coming home from the store, I saw these two trees and had to get them captured. I took the photo while standing in the alley behind my house and I’m sure my neighbors thought I was crazy (but that’s not anything new).

I took the photo of the chilly winter-is-coming sky while laying on my back deck. The branches framing the sky – some with a few leaves left, some bare – looked ominous to me and I wanted to capture it. This was actually harder than you would imagine considering how excited Miss Cleo was about having me laying on the deck. It’s pretty hard to capture a picture with an eighty-pound black lab licking your face.