Judy’s Graduation

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Another whirlwind weekend!

The Deer
After work we drove down to DJ’s house and packed our stuff into her car for the trip out to Rapid City. DJ, Abbie, Eric and I got on the road for Sioux Falls. We were stopping at Byron and Paula’s for the night. The drive was going well until just before exit 402…we hit a deer. DJ did an amazing job of not losing control. I knew it was bad when I saw pieces of the headlight and black pieces of the car flying past as I looked out the back window. We were less than 2 miles from our exit to Byron and Paula’s house. It happened right before the exit ramp so we drove off the ramp and took a look at the car. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good either. There was no way we could drive this across the state. We called 911 and got a trooper out to look at it. He was cracking jokes about it and was giving us a hard time (in good fun). When he left he said “Don’t take out any more of my wildlife!” Byron and Paula met us and we drove the backroads back to their house. The rest of the evening was consumed with taking to the insurance company.

The Drive West
Thankfully, DJ was able to get the car to the collusion shop Saturday morning. She called a couple different places and finally one was actually open this holiday weekend! They drove the car there and they gave her a loaner to drive back to Mankato but we couldn’t take it Rapid City. Byron and Paula lent us their car which was so nice! We put all our luggage in DJs car and headed down the road to Rapid City a little later than planned but that was ok.  We stopped in Mitchell for lunch at DQ and stopped a few more times but eventually we got to Rapid City.

The Party
The first stop in Rapid was Judy’s Party. She had a nice turn out. A lot of family was there. I got to see Aunt Jill since she lost all the weight…she looks amazing! The theme of the party was balls. They had meatballs, melon balls, cheese balls, cake pops. It was nice.  After the party we went to Mass with Eric’s parents and eventually found our way to their house for dinner. It was a nice weekend but we stayed pretty late.

The Run
I was feeling pretty lousy. I hadn’t run in over a week and really needed to. It was pouring rain though and I mean pouring! Eric said let’s do a run around the Mall and back to the hotel. So we ran up the hill to the mall, around the mall and back to the hotel. It was 2 miles. We were soaked when we got back. My feet stayed pretty dry until we ran a lap around the hotel parking lot to get to 2 miles. It was one giant puddle.  That was it for my shoes and socks. Thank God we were done. We took a quick shower and headed to Libby’s to see Matt and Amy before they left for Colorado. Matt had to work on Monday.

The Lunch, Kohl’s, Graduation & Dinner
We had lunch at Pauly’s which was pretty good pizza. After lunch the girls (DJ, Abbie, me and Eric’s mom) went to Kohl’s and the boys (Eric and Eric’s dad) went home. Eric’s mom had never been to Kohl’s. I think she liked it. I bought a new pair of shoes and Abbie and DJ bought swimsuits for our hotel pool. We got back to the house and I picked up Eric and we went back to the hotel so he could shave and get ready for graduation.

Graduation wasn’t too bad. I saw the whole “agenda” and thought we will be here a while. There were 5 speeches, a Lakota Honor Song (that was cool!) and other random events. But they read through the names really fast and ignored middle names. They also went two different directions on the stage and did pictures after the left the stage so it was well managed!

We meet Judy on the floor (they also don’t have a recessional) and took some pictures. We went to Olive Garden for dinner…all of us. Of course we had an hour wait at Olive Garden but when you are trying to feed 22 people you would expect that. We got seated at 8:15 so it was a late dinner. We didn’t get out of there until almost 10pm. We headed back to the hotel for a swim and hot tub. It was so nice to sit in the hot tub! It was a long day.

The Drive East
DJ picked us up at the hotel and we went to say our good byes to Eric’s parents. We didn’t get out of there until 10 or so. Eric brought home a box of medals and ribbons…most of which are not his but he doesn’t care he wants them. He is a weird boy. We went to Libby’s house to say good bye to them as well…another hour or so. This family loves the long goodbyes. We finally got out of Rapid at around 11:30. The drive back to Sioux Falls was uneventful (thank GOD!) but long. We didn’t get there until after 5. We moved stuff out of Paula’s car into DJ’s rental, a Suzuki (they aren’t sold here anymore).  It was a very nice car. There was a little drama when Beth called and asked if we were going to pick her up from work. We were just getting to Worthington, over an hour away. Ethan wasn’t answering his phone and he had our car. The boy was sleeping and didn’t wake up to go pick up Beth. For a while there, we weren’t sure where our car was…I was a little annoyed thinking that we would have to wait to go home because our car was MIA. But it was at DJ’s house when we got there so we quickly threw our luggage into our car and did a short goodbye and was on our way home. We didn’t get home until after 10pm…a long day of driving.

The Pictures


Run and Ride 10K Picture

A Non-Water Ride

This past weekend was busy! Friday after work, we had to pick up our race packets in Eden Prairie and rush home. Eric was refereeing games at the Shakopee Cup. We got home and quickly changed clothes and I dropped him off at the field on my way to the Spring Lake Regional Park for a run. It wasn’t my best run but I was suffering from a tight chest…I think I suffered bronchitis again. I managed 4 miles on the hilly course before I headed home. Around 10:30 I picked Eric up from his third soccer game of the night.

Eric left early Saturday morning for one soccer game. DJ, Beth and Abbie came up and we went to Valleyfair. Our race packet included 2 tickets to Valleyfair. Since I have a season pass, I gave the two tickets to DJ and Abbie and we bought on for Beth. I managed to get on 3 rides (Monster, Corkscrew and Tilt-a-Whirl) before Eric called that he was on his way to pick me up.

Twins Game
It was Dairy Queen Hat Day at the Twins Game. It isn’t a bad looking hat. 

The irony is the hat colors match the Tampa Bay Rays team colors which is who we were playing. Oops! We watch most of the Twins game. It was a beautiful day for a game. Not too hot, not too cold, a little breeze. We left after the 7th inning stretch so we could relax at home a bit before I went back to Valleyfair and Eric went back to the soccer fields. We listened to crowd roar as we walked to our car…we missed it…the Twins won!

A Non-Water Ride
DJ, Abbie and I went back to Valleyfair…Beth sat this time out. DJ decided to get season passes…it was a nightmare to get it all figured out because the woman in the ticket booth didn’t know what she was doing. And then her printer ran out of paper and we had to go visit guest services and almost an hour later, they had their season passes. We went into the park and hit a few rides. I had my first Cheese on a Stick. I have one each year so I can remind myself why I don’t by them all year long but this one was actually very good! Darn…I want another one! Just before 9pm we jumped on the Monster again. There was lightning sighted so all tall rides had to stop. DJ and Abbie got on right before me. But we were on the same “ride.” Well it started to sprinkle a bit. The let the first group off, then the second group…the one with DJ and Abbie and then as they were loading for the next one the downpour hit. All the people who were just loaded were getting taken off. The other 4 of us stuck on top were like what the heck. Then we waited. By this time it was pouring and DJ and Abbie had sprinted for cover. I was stuck on the top of Monster with nothing to cover me. My “car” was facing up so the rain started to collect where I sat. It was cold and miserable. They left us there for maybe a couple minutes. Before Anthony, the life guard by day, saved us. He said your ride just became a water ride but don’t work I’m a life guard, I’ll save you. Apparently the policy is not to move a ride when it is raining and lightning…smart right? So we were stuck. But as soon as the supervisor left, Anthony brought us down…he rushed us off, I’m sure because he didn’t want to get in trouble. I was soaked. Thankfully DJ had a sleeping bag in her car that I could wrap around myself to stay warm.  I was so glad to get home!

After the 10K race (previous post) we took a quick shower and headed down to Amboy for Danielle and Bradley’s wedding shower in the church basement. It was nice to see the family again met some of the people who to the church. It was a nice brunch. We went to Bradley’s parents’ house afterwards and chatted for a while before we headed back home. It was a long busy weekend.

Valleyfair’s Run and Ride Route 76 10K

Monday, May 18, 2015

What a beautiful race day, 68 degrees, raining and wind…yep, beautiful. ARGH! I guess I was happy it was raining because 88% humidity without rain would have made it worse.

The Start
We started the race in the parking lot by Wild Thing. We rain down the parking lot towards the river and ran along the river. Most of the first mile was in the parking lot. We came into the park somewhere around the High Roller and rain past the Wave ride. There was a water stop right around the Wave. We continued to run through the new (old) area called Route 76.  We ran under Wild Thing and past the Steel Venom and back to the parking lot where we cut up to the new bike path along Hwy 101. Here we ran a very long straight path to The Landing Park. I have run along a portion of this before so I knew what to expect.

The Middle
We had another water stop at mile 2.5 and then before long we were turning into the Landing Park. I had never been to the Landing but I always wondered what it looked like behind the fence. It is actually pretty cool back there. It is an old 1800s city with a main street and a church, stores and houses. It was really a nice change of scenery from the dreary highway!!  Just before mile 4 was another water stop. They definitely had plenty of water stops…it was such a nice difference from the last race we did where there was only 4.

The End
After the Landing we came back out onto the trail by the highway. It was around Mile 5 and another water stop! It was really awesome. It was such a humid icky day that water was definitely needed that often. It was at this point I told Eric to take off on me. Mile 5 was very slow. I was struggling at this point. It didn’t help that I have a stuffed up noise and was coughing up the junk in my chest…I think I have bronchitis again.  My chest felt heavy the whole run and I knew Mile 6 was going to be bad. :( Before long we turned back into the Valleyfair and ran along the service road under Wild Thing, ran through the new picnic area (where the mini golf used to be) and back out to the parking lot to finish. My time was 1:17.29. Not bad for this cold suffering heavy chested woman! I was hoping for 1:15 but considering the conditions, I’m not upset with my time. We also got a really cool medal.

Pictures, Maps and Splits


Juliette’s Graduation

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

This weekend we traveled to Nebraska for Juliette’s graduation. She is the first of three this year.  We left Friday morning (after a nice 5 mile run).  Picked up DJ in Mankato and headed for The Rose Theater in Omaha for the play Charlotte’s Web. Morgan was one of the lambs. It was a good play and was only an hour so that was great! We stopped at Chick-fil-a for DJ to try and finally got to Bonnie’s house. First stop was of course Starbucks!

The Party
DJ, Chris and I went for a woggle. That is we walked/jogged a 5K. It was so nice outside and it was a nice change of pace. After a quick shower we had lunch and Chris and Leilani’s house and then off to the Graduation party at Juliette’s friend’s house. There was good food and an inflatable slide. It was supposed to be a bouncy house but the company was running late and each time the upgraded Bonnie and finally we got the slide. It was fun to climb up and slide down but it was bit under inflated so it was quite challenging!

DJ, Chris, Leilani and I played some badminton too. After the party, we had dinner at Chris and Leilani’s house…lasagna! There was also a stop at Starbucks too.

The Ceremony
Sunday morning we woke up early and went to 9am Mass. After Mass we went to Starbucks for breakfast and got ready for the ceremony. Bonnie and I went early to drop off Juliette and reserve seats. The rest of the family came just before the start and we got some snacks for the long ceremony. There were over 400 kids so it was bit long. I got some nice pictures.  Afterwards it was the mass chaos outside the arena. That was compounded by the pouring rain. This was the first graduation with rain!

Juliette and I went to Starbucks to celebrate her accomplishments and eventually made our way back to Bonnie’s house. We had burritos and cake for dinner. It was delicious. After everybody left, we ventured out to Noodles and Co. for a late night snack.

The Drive Home
Nothing spectacular happened on the drive home. We left around 10am, after a Starbucks run. We spent some time in Mankato with DJ and the kids shopping and having dinner. We eventually got home around 6:30pm. It was a long and exhausting weekend but we had fun.

The Pictures

Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon Relay

Monday, May 4, 2015

All I can say is THANK GOD WE DID THE RELAY! I had tossed around the idea of running the Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon (LMHM) since the Hot Chocolate 15K would have been a good training run. And after the Hot Chocolate 15K, I thought maybe I could do a half marathon. I had the endurance. I just had to get over the mental hurdle.  Thankfully Eric and I drove the course and thought maybe not for my first time half. I’m so glad we didn’t do the whole thing. I WOULD HAVE DIED. I felt dead when I got the relay exchange point and that was only mile 5.6. There was still over 7 miles to go

Starting line selfie
This is a busy half marathon and a driving and parking nightmare. DJ said she would chauffeur us around which was a blessing. We parked the car and walked down the staging area. We made sure Eric caught the Relay bus and DJ and I hung around the back of the pack as I was in the last wave. While waiting for the Biff, DJ got a call. It was Ethan. His car died at an intersection in Shakopee (when the mechanic told DJ that car didn’t have much life left, who would have thought that meant a couple days). So she had to leave me and go back to Shakopee to rescue Ethan.

The Start
This is the first race I have been in that had pacers. I went with the 2:30 pacer as that was a comfortable pace for me…or so I thought. They walked us from the staging area to the start line and then bang we were off. I started off slow. I had almost 6 miles to cover so I didn’t want to go out fast and Eric wasn’t there to push me. The first mile was fairly flat with a slight downhill but right before the end of mile one was the first of many big hills. This is by far the hilliest course I have ever run. Omaha was nothing compared to this. It was very hard. It was also very humid. I should have worn a tank top and brought my own water. Bad move on my part. My first mile was 11:41 which I thought was really slow.  Mile 2 had more downhill than up so my pace for that mile was just over 11. This was the mile I met Linda. She came up to me and said keep your head up, you are the queen. I have a horrible habit of running with my head down. Eric tells me to keep my head up all the time. I just can’t seem to do it. I guess my brain is so heavy from all my smarts. LOL!  Linda ran with me the rest of the way. She used the Galloway method (run/walk). And to be honest she was the best person to buddy me up because with all the hills, this was the best method for me on this day.

The Middle
I really don’t remember much about the middle miles. It was on a straight road and was constantly up and down. Every hill looked like the next one.  It got so bad before mile 3 we started walking up the hills. I was soaked with sweet from the 85% humidity. I really wished it would have rained to cool me off. Mile 3 had the first water spot. It was a God send. I grabbed three glasses, two to drink and one to throw in my face. It was refreshing but immediately after the water stop was another damn hill! This one was doozy, 80 feet in 4 hundredths of a mile. I know that doesn’t seem like much but at mile 3.1 it was like torture!  The downhill of this hill was fun but of course it didn’t last long as there was another hill. (Do get the theme here?)

My Finish
I wasn’t 100% sure where the relay point was. I mean I know where it was on the map but as far as the distance I wasn’t sure. I just knew it was under 6.  The last two miles I kept thinking to myself “Thank God I only have 2 to go.”  Just like the mile 3 water stop, the mile 5 water stop had the same thing. It was at the bottom of a long downhill, just before another horrible uphill. I wish the water stops were at the top of hills because I can walk up the hill, grab water and sprint down the hill and have momentum to go up the next hill. By having the water at the bottom of a hill, all the momentum of the downhill is crushed by slowing down and for me walking to get water. That is probably my biggest complaint. Anyways, I did the same thing again, 2 to drink and one over my head. Shortly after that was the relay exchange. I said my good bye to Linda and wished her well. I was never so happy to see Eric in his bright lime green shirt in all my life. We did a quick switch and he was on his way to the finish. I’m not sure what my overall time 1:04 (11:30 per mile pace). I’m pretty proud of that because it was a tough course. Here is my elevation chart:

Eric’s Run
Although Eric’s leg was longer, it was not as hilly and he actually got to run along the lake so he got some breeze. My leg was in a wooded residential area with no breeze and lots of bugs. Eric started off strong. I was tracking him on my phone and he improved my 11:30 pace to almost 11:15 but then it started plummeting. I was so confused. After two miles the pace was back around 11:30 and every time I looked at where he was at, the pace was getting closer to 11:40. I was so confused. Eric is a pretty fast runner and he should have been killing my time but he wasn’t. Something was wrong, very wrong. I was a bit concerned but he was still moving so I knew he would eventually get the finish. He sped up a bit near the finish and came in with a time of 1:26. After the first mile and half he got shin splints. He was in pain for most of the run. So I died from heat and humidity and he died from shin splints.

Our overall time was 2:32.30 (11:32 per mile pace). I’m pretty happy with that.
We survived...barely!
2015 Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon Finisher Medal
Splits and Maps

Sleeping Swirl

April 2015 Recap

Friday, May 1, 2015

Runs: 14
Miles: 50
Races: 3 (Goldy’s 5K - 33:36; Hot Chocolate 15K - 1:56.32; Unleash the SHE 5K - 34:35)
Outdoors: 14
Indoors: 0
Longest: 9.41 miles
Average Pace: 11:56

April weather was amazing. It was sunny and warm most of the time. All runs were outside. I have a feeling that will be the case through the summer. My pace is a lot faster than March which makes me very happy. We have started running before Twins games. It really helps kill the time between work and the game and it is promoting health! Yay! The first game we ran around Lake Calhoun and the last game we ran around Lake Nokomis. If the rain holds out, we will run around Lake Harriet tomorrow. 

I had three races this month. The Goldy’s 5K was the second weekend. I tied my PR on that race. This is one of the few races were Eric and I decided to run alone. He ran his race, I ran mine. I can’t believe I did so well!  It really made me happy considering all the “not-so-great” races I’ve had so far this year.  Hot Chocolate 15K was my big race this year and I did really well. I finished faster than I expected and I felt great afterwards. I can’t wait to do another one! The last weekend of the month we traveled to Rochester for the Unleash the SHE 5K. My time wasn’t as fast as Goldy’s but that is ok. It was longer than a 5K and it was almost entirely women and it was a small race. I had a huge goal this month and succeed! I finished my 15K.

Trophies for April

Nothing special this month…just the normal ones.