Recently I shared (click here) that two of my running friends and I were heading to historic Leavenworth, Kansas, to participate in the Candle Queen's 3 Rd 5K Romp! Well....we did just that on April 26!
The picture below was taken outside of her store right after Mary and I had picked up our race packets!! L to R: Me, Mary, Stacey and Carol (the race director).
Stacey's boutique is PACKED with wonderful clothing, jewelry, signs and her great handpoured candles and so much more!! Mary is making her purchase at the beautiful pink buffet that is the checkout counter!!
The day before the run was rainy and gloomy, but the wonderful old buildings in downtown Leavenworth stood tall and welcoming!
We were both ready for something hot to sip on, so we found a great coffee shop and just enjoyed chatting while the rain came down. Pretty soon it was time for lunch, so heck....we ordered that while we were there!
When Karen arrived in town, we took in a few more of the local shops.
While inside SOUL, we came across the perfect quote for what we were about the do the next morning!
After church, Karen took us on a great tour of the town, then we had dinner!!
The next morning, we were up bright and early for the run. As we were heading to our car, a nice lady at our motel took our pre-race photo.
Last year we didn't wear tutus. . .but this year we ordered these online from Walmart!! It was our premier run in tutus!
It was still cloudy that morning....and COLD...but it wasn't raining!!
This photo shows the race arch that we would all be running beneath in just a short time!
SeeKCRun took so many wonderful pictures that day. You can tell their photos in this post because they put the Queen's 5K Romp logo on the lower left corners! This is one of my favorite pictures. . .also taken prior to the run.
The intersection where the run would start was filling up fast!
Stacey drives the coolest car!!!
We were now lined up , ready for the Candle Queen to blow the horn and send us on our way!!
This is also one of my favorite pictures of the run. It was taken by First City Photos and Frames in Leavenworth! Do you see me? I am in the middle behind a lady in a turquoise shirt!
I did't take many photos along the run because my plans were to totally run as much as I could...not take walk breaks. This first one is blurry because I was running! :) It shows the area where we came off the streets and headed to a gorgeous trail that was below street level and followed a little creek.
In the distance you can see the overpass and the dip on the left which is the creek. It was somewhen past the overpass area that I recall the presence of a lady pushing a jogging stroller on my left and I recall hearing a little one talking, but I wasn't understanding what she was saying. Soon the lady was running along side me and said: "she (the little girl in the stroller) was telling you that she likes your tutu!" OMG.....that was the sweetest moment!!! I now know we selected the right tutus! :)
Unlike my running and blogging friend, Sherri Odell of Adventures of a Middle Aged Drama Queen, I take HORRIBLE race photos! And as bad as I look in this one....it's actually one of my better ones! I think we had just finished the horrible hill that's right around the 1.5 mile mark, turned around, went up the hill again and we were headed down and home! Luckily I saw the camera guy and mustered a weak smile . . . . .or it would have been awful and you wouldn't be seeing it. :)
This photo isn't blurry cuz I was walking....trying to catch my breath after the first hill. This part of the run goes along side the Missouri River. . . what a great view!!!
I am doing something I normally don't do. . .sharing a really bad picture. Once again, it's no where near as bad as my finish line photos usually are, but it clearly shows, to me, how tired I was at that point. And of that I'm proud.
I was not unhappy with my time....while not fast, it was 4 min. better than last year. I did it in 33:44 min. this time. Last time, I was recovering from a knee/leg issue that kept me from doing a whole lot for a coupe of months.
Karen and I run right at the same pace....so it was great that we were able to get a picture shortly after we'd crossed the finish line. The tiredness goes away very fast once it's all over. . .and is usually replaced with happiness over our accomplishment!
One of the many fun parts of this run is the great chalk art Stacey has ready for us to use for photo backgrounds. We were definitely sparkling and shining at that point. . .what a fun, fun run!! This is a wall on her building!!
This year, the Queen's Romp brought in $12, 000 which was distrbuited among 4 deserving groups. While all races contribute to a charity, this one targets local (or fairly local) groups. . .keeping the money close to home. I love that.
While we were running, the cold didn't seem so bad, but standing around after the run for the charity presentation and over all winner announcement, the cold became bad. We headed back to our motel and were THRILLED beyond belief that they still had the breakfast bar open!! Oh my goodness....the warmth of the oatmeal, eggs, muffins, grits and coffee really hit the spot!
While we were running the Queen's Romp, my daughter and son were doing one of my bucket list runs, The Trolley Run, in Kansas City. Love this photo of my kiddos!!
THE STONE RABBIT really likes the finishers medal everyone received who participated in the Queen's 5K Romp!! I also LOVE the wonderful bib and shirt! Thank you, Stacey and team, for such an enjoyable and PINK event!
Hope you all are having a day and weekend full of fun and pinkness. You will find many more bloggers who are ready with their shares for PINK SATURDAY by visiting Beverly's blog, HOW SWEET THE SOUND!!
There will be lots to celebrate this Mother's Day by this Mama Robin and her little babies!! She and Mr. Robin built a nest in a wreath right outside our front door. . . giving me a great view of the daily activities going on with the little family!
On a back downspout, there's another Mama Robin. . .awaiting the arrival of her babes!! This nest was left from last summer. . .and I think it was used three times to raise robin families!!
THE STONE RABBIT brought me home a Mother's Day gift!! He found my favorite color of red vincas to put in pots on the back patio!! He's so considerate!!
Here's wishing all of you moms a great day full of family and fun and perhaps some pampering!! I'm looking forward to doing a 5K Mother's Day run with my daughter on Sunday. Tomorrow will be a great day, too, as I'll be attending a Mother's Day Tea with my DIL and grand girl and my daughter!!
Please visit Beverly's blog HOW SWEET THE SOUND for a long list of other bloggers who have great posts ready for you this week!
WARNING.....WARNING!!! This post is HEAVY with photos !! :)
I won't appologize for all of them, however . . actually I didn't share all of the ones I'd originally planned on including. I really did try to weed some out! I guess this is a selfish post. . .one meant as a gift to my running friend (Karen) and myself. . . a way to help us remember a few of the details of our accomplishment: Rocking the Parkway Half-Marathon!
I do appologize for mistakes in grammar, punctuation and spelling. I'm trying to do this in a short amount of time!
We try to get in 3 runs a week. . . doing that in the winter in MO can be a challenge! However, we did the best we could when we could. One of the runs usually occurred on Wednesday nights (yep in the dark...we use headlamps and there are street lights, too) with our running group, KCRunning Co. Groupies of Independence. Karen and a couple of other of us had a 4 mi. route we used. . .and that included 2 very challenging hills! The weather was actually pretty decent on most of our outings. We had to miss a few due to snow, but when the sidewalks and trail were clear, we ran.
Another time we tried to run was on the weekends. That almost always took place on our local trail that runs along a little river. Here it was in January. . .sporting ice!
When the weather was really cruddy we hit the treadmill at our gyms and pounded out a few miles. . . not our favorite way to get in a run, but thankful we could do it that way.
I hurt my hip in mid-Janurary (my fault. . .too eager to do more than what my body was ready to do), so on top of dealing with weather, I dealt with the injury. That slowed me down in getting prepared for the half, but I was lucky it didn't stop me!
In our training for the half, the longest distance Karen and I got in together was 11 miles. Because of my hip, I wanted to be prepared to run part of the upcoming half without Karen (I would slow her down).
About 2 weeks prior to the run I hit another local trail and pushed myself to run/walk the 13.1 mi. distance by myself.
I felt really good after having accomplished that. We'd practiced using intervals of 3 min. running and 1 min. walking. I was able to keep that up for the first 9 mi., then my hip (and glute) were burning. That meant I needed to stretch a bit on walk breaks. I also decided at mile 10 to finish with 2 min. walk breaks. I didn't care how I finished the distance. . .I just wanted to know I could do it!
This is my post-13.1 alone miles photo. . . my worst selfie ever (and I've taken a lot of really bad ones) , but one that showed how spent I was at the end of that personal challenge. . . yet how very happy I was to have been able complete that distance.
Now, fast forward a couple of weeks and it's time to pick up our packets for Rock the Parkway!!
I love packet pickup at the large runs. They have an expo set up featuring lots of vendors showcasing their running related products or services!
One such booth was that of BOOST RUNNING! It's a program offered by BOOST Physical Therapy and Sports Performance. Karen and I have been taking these classes for several months . Their courses aim to keep runners healthy "by incorporating injury prevention exercises, dynamic flexibility drills, hip/core strengthening, and running form."
In the photo below we are visiting with our instructors. They are both physical therapists and USATF level 1 track coaches.
I feel so fortunate to be able to take advantage of their program.
(LR: me, Nathan Carlson, Connie Teague, and Karen)
Here we are early the next morning, just as the sun came up at the sight of the Rock the Parkway Half! In the background was the arch we would be running under to start the beginning of our 13.1 mile run!
We were sporting our brand new neon shirts that let everyone know we were members of Idiots Running Club!! This is an online running group that offers lots of support and fun ...and how we found this group is a great story for another time, but for now, we were proudly wearing our shirts. . .looking forward to meeting other Local Idiots!
Thanks to Facebook, I'd connected with several other Local Idiots who were also going to be at the run! Our plan was to meet up for a group photo before the race started.
And guess where I found the first three fellow Idiots! Yep...at the porta potties. . .thanks to our shirts!!
I could tell right off the bat that this was gonna be a fun new adventure in my life!!
L to R: me, Beqi, Tressie and Tammy!
In a bit, we found our pacer Jen (who is also a member of the Idiots Running Club) and we took our first group photo!
I have to point out that I met one of my new heroes that morning, too. She is in the white shirt. . .her name is Carol. She's about to complete her 300th marathon! Yes....300!!
Front Row: Jen, Jodi Second Row: Carol, Tressi Back Row: me, Karen, Beqi, Tammy and Laura
Soon we were joined by Bruce (Back row, left) and Rob (Back row right!)
I also saw Sherri Odell, of Adventures of a Middle Aged Drama Queen, whom I first met last fall via a FB running page! She's been a running dynamo this spring, completing several halfs! And after seeing our shirts that morning. . .she's a member of the club, too!! :)
We were pretty much at the back of the pack as we waited for the run to start. Last fall Karen and I finished the KC Marathon Half in 2hrs. 49 min., so we felt comfortable about starting out in Jen's pace group of 2:50!
We also saw one of Karen's friends (Pam. . .she didn't get the message about wearing neon green! haha).
The race started and soon we'd passed beneath the blue arch and were on our way!!
While our plan was to use the 3/1 run/walk intervals, we adjusted that in the first mile and totally ran it without walk breaks. . . mainly because it was so crowded on the course at that point, so we weren't going very fast. The pack thinned out at mile one, so we started using our intervals.
OK, so you can see I'm not a super serious runner because I take too many photos along the way!! One of the things I love to see (and remember) are some of the great signs !
The KC High Five group folks are awesome!! They volunteer to give out high fives to the runners/walkers as a way of support! You can see Karen's Idiot shirt . . . Pam in the red shirt is in front of her. I'm the schmuck taking the pictures! haha
This guy was delightful!! He obviously enjoyed the reactions his sign brought!!
Now that I reflect on his message, I realized this was the first half I'd done where my feet didn't hurt. Other body parts were out-hurting my feet that day!
The course of Rock the Parkway takes us along a beautiful boulevard and stretch of amazing homes. . . and fountains. Here is the only fountain picture I got. . .and you can tell it wasn't running. I think the KC fountains were turned on a week or two later. Did you know we are called The City of Fountains? Yes we are!
Nuff said. :)
I did take pictures of mile markers 2-6, but thought I'd spare you those photos.
At mile seven, we'd already done a 10K distance, plus. This is about the point I was starting to feel my energy level dip. It was the time my mind to started telling me such things as:
"you can't do this"
"you are too old to be doing this"
"why did I let Karen talk me into signing up for this race, knowing we wouldn't have time to really build up for it" (kidding, Karen) (not)
"when's are next walk break?"
blah, blah, blah.
And then POW. . .we find this just when we needed the strength !!
(In all honesty, I took this picture prior to mile 7, but as I recall, there was another Power Sign later in the run. . .just when we really needed it, but I didn't get the picture of it.)
By this time, we were realllllly feeling it. We thought this was gonna be a pretty flat course. WRONG!!
There were several hills.
We added extra walking intervals.
We were feeling aches in new places.
We kept plugging away. . .we pushed each other.
Then somewhere between 10 and 12 this vision of PINKNESS popped into view!! It's pretty hard to focus on your aching body as you see this happy, waving lady encouraging us to keep on going!!
And mercifully, just as we were feeling our worst, we heard someone from the crowd say something like "he's taking pictures over there"!
OMG....I never take a good race picture.
Why wasn't he at mile 5 or even 7?
However, being runners we've learned to react fast. . .and we quickly looked in the direction of the camera guy and mustered feeble smiles and waves!!
I've often dreamed of having a great finish line photo like the ones I've seen so many other runners achieve, but alas, mine are always horrible. I usually look like a gasping fish out of water by the time my foot hits the line at the end!
We just had 1.1 miles to go. . .but how LONG of a distance that seemed to be!
Karen and I crossed the finish line at exactly the same time. . . 2:44:21:4!!!!
We were thrilled!
Pam finished before we did. . .I think by 3 minutes.
It was so hard to believe it was over!!!
We did it.
It was hard.
It was soooooo FUN!!
We found our pacer friend and fellow Idiot, Jen, before we headed home. However, before we left, there was one more picture I wanted to get. . .one I'd missed right at the end of our run. . .
that of lovely MILE 13!!!
No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get both of us in the photo and still capture the 13! It didn't matter. . .what mattered was that we DID it!!
Thank you, Karen, for helping me become a better runner!!
THE STONE RABBIT is a big fan of our shirts!! He thinks we've found the perfect running group! :) He also loves the amazing finisher's medal we all received. . .and he's pretty certain is weighs nearly as much as he does!!
If you managed to hang there with me through this entire post. . .well, thank you! It's so great to be able to spend some time reflecting on such an experience.
I hope you visit Beverly's blog, HOW SWEET THE SOUND! She will definitely have a long list of other bloggers who are sharing with you this week!
It's hard to believe that it's been a YEAR since we hit the road and headed to Leavenworth, KS, for the 2nd Annual Queen's Romp!!! And yet. . .it has been an entire year since the three of us, along with 1,197 other gals romped that 5K distance for one of the most beautiful, fun and inspiring events around!
Below, we (L to R me, Mary and Karen) are pictured in this pre-race photo! Behind us is the wonderful Candle Queen Boutique, home to some of the most amazing handcreated candles. . .plus fabulous boutique clothing, jewelry and loads of other delights!!
This photo shows just how very PINK the crowd was right before we headed off!! Besides seeing a ton of PINK in that run .....we saw lots and lots of tiaras and tutus !!! Photo by SeeKCRun.
Bonnie's birthday was in March and Marian's was earlier this month. Since our schedules didn't work out this year for us to celebrate them separately , we did the next best thing and had a Double Celebration!
Our first stop was a huge indoor "pop-up" flea market called The Fleeting Flea!! Several vendors had set up their booths inside an empty retail location at a local business area. . . and the result was impressive!
There were so many wonderful and unique finds.....and all were so well displayed!!
After shopping at the vintage sale, we headed to The Urban Table for a delicious lunch! We all ordered the same dish. . .a great salad of lettuce , kale, green apple strips and mandarin oranges then topped with grilled chicken.
We also visited a Whole Foods store and another store filled with used furniture. . . so many nice pieces in one spot!
After many hours of shopping and dining, we returned to enjoy the birthday cake and the exchange of gifts!!
It was a lovely weather day, full of fun and food with two great friends!
Bonnie brought Marian and I each a bouquet of her lilacs. . . AND she also brought me some delicious PINK Easter PEEPS!!!
THE STONE RABBIT loves the PEEPS, but he is really smitten with the lilacs. He misses our old yard where we had a great lilac bush. He used to spend lots of hours beneath that bush, enjoying the scent of those blooms.
Please visit Beverly's blog HOW SWEET SOUND!! You will find a lot of others who have PINKS or Spring related posts to share with you this week!!
This is the beautiful view we have from a living room window for a few days each spring.
This morning, THE STONE RABBIT decided he wanted to hop up in the treee and snip a few of the blooms before they were totally ready to leave the tree.
He was able to gather a few of them. . .right before.........
he FELL OUT OF THE TREE and BROKE off one of his precious ears!!!!
I was sick.
However, being the strong bunny he is, he reassured me that a little glue will make him good as new.
I'm still sick about it. He's been with me for way over thirty years. . . perfectly fine until today.
I know one thing that will perk me (and YOU) up and that's visiting Beverly's blog HOW SWEET THE SHOUND. There will be a long list of other bloggers who have PINKS and springy thingies to share with you this week!
THE STONE RABBIT and I are putting finishing touches on our Easter preparations. We wish you and yours a great weekend. . . one that is filled with many blessings of the season and perhaps a great egg hunt!!
Please add a visit to Beverly's blog, HOW SWEET THE SOUND, to your weekend list of "good things to do"!! There you will find lots of other bloggers who have Spring or Easter or PINKS to share with you, too!!
This is the "Spring wreath" I hung on our front porch last year. It is a pretty dark picture, but it was the only one I guess I took after looking back at the photos . Anyway, if you look closely, you can make out a bird's nest on the top, just to the right of the bow!! That bird took my "welcome' sign to heart!
I took this picture from inside the house....through one of the little glass side panels on our front entry. It was a lot of fun to watch her build the nest, then to keep an eye on her as she sat on her eggs.
The really sad thing is that she was spooked every time the front door opened and she flew off. After a while, she quit coming back, realizing the eggs weren't gonna hatch since she'd missed so much time keeping them warm.
This year, I got the wreath out again. THE STONE RABBIT and I decided we'd add the old wood rabbit I'd found at a flea market a few years ago.
I hung the wreath up. . .and guess what I spied perched on top of it a few minutes ago. . .yup. . a robin!!!
I am sooooo happy to be saying "it's Spring"!!!! While we had a relatively mild winter in our part of the country, it was still long and cold! I'm looking forward to the next three days of warm and dry weather, because next week it will be wet and cool! That's springtime for 'ya!! :)
Hope you find some fun things to do this weekend!!! Be sure to add visiting Beverly's blog to that list. At HOW SWEET THE SOUND you will find a long list of other bloggers who are ready to share a variety of topics that are Spring or Pink related!!!