Has it really been over two weeks since my last post?!
It seems like most of our summer activities have been crammed into the last few weeks and we are officially one week away from the first day of school for three of my little people. I cannot believe that in just a few days we will be back to earlier bedtimes, making lunches, and functioning on a much more structured schedule. I’ve really enjoyed the lazy days of summer. I can honestly say that we did not go overboard on the activities and craziness. We had fun times but we also had a lot of downtime. Days with nothing going on but playing and being creative in the house or outside. It was wonderful.
|Blueberry picking a few miles from our house|
|Our kids and the neighbor kids across the street made a play about a family… during the Mexican American War?!|
|They had a few lemonade stands too|
|Lots of barbies- this happens to be a barbie wedding|
|The cast of Tangled stopped long enough for me to take this picture|
|And of course, their favorite musical- Wicked.|
Before I start in our vacation I guess I should back up to the days leading up to it.
A few days before I left a friend and fellow running blogger Amanda from Runninghood mentioned that she and her kids would be traveling through the area so I invited them to stop by for a visit. The kids had fun playing and we were able to catch up and chat.
I also got in a few more workouts including some easy paced runs outside ranging from 4-8 miles. One of my “easy” 4 mile runs was not planned very well. I decided one Sunday afternoon to run during the hottest time of the day and somehow managed to convince Jackie to join me. It was 96 degrees but the heat index was 109! Not my smartest move.
|Waaaaaaaay too hot outside to be running!|
Two days before I left Jackie and I made it to a 5 minute plank! It took us most of the summer but we added a little time on every few days and we made it!
Now for the Vacation…
|En route to Kentucky|
Every two years my mom’s side of the family has a reunion hosted by one of the siblings. (My mom has 3 brothers and 3 sisters and each of them have at least 4 children- who are all having their own children so you can imagine it’s a large crowd.) This reunion was hosted by my aunt who lives in Kentucky. My grandparents rented a Christian camp (after the regular camping session was over) so we had plenty of room for everyone.
|The entire family Sunday morning|
There was a lot of relaxing and visiting. We played games, hiked, fished.
And of course, I found a local road race! I actually found it online a few months ago but wasn’t sure if I could do it because of my foot. (I’m trying to recover from a pesky case of plantar fasciitis.) Having taken off 2.5 weeks from running entirely followed by 1.5 weeks of easy running is not the best (or smartest) way to go into a race. Yes, I realize I probably shouldn’t have done it at all but it was RIGHT by our camp and I LOVE getting to experience new races like this.
My last vacation race was the Quiet Valley Rooster 5k in Pennsylvania last summer. That experience taught me that sometimes the best way to go into a vacation race is with low expectations. You never know what the weather and course will be like in unfamiliar territory- especially with smaller local road races. In the case last summer I had no idea it was a trail/ cross country race until we got to the race. BIG difference between that and a road race!
The race we ran in Kentucky was called the Back to School 5K which raised money for a local scholarship program. I must admit that even though the course had a lot of rolling elevation change (and finished on an uphill) I actually liked it a lot. The course was spread out around the local middle school campus and somehow we never had to go on public roads which made it feel a lot safer than other 5k’s. (I think about this a lot when my kids are racing.) We also ran one lap around the track- in the middle of the race!
My oldest daughter had planned to run this 5k with me and the night before my son decided he wanted to as well. Normally we are all about pre-registering but I had emailed the RD and she just said to come morning of (since we were from out of town) and she would give us the pre-registration rate. My aunt announced the race the night before and two of my cousins also decided they wanted to run. As far as crowd support goes we had a huge fan club. John and my younger two were there, as well as a bunch of my cousins, two aunts, two of my sisters, nieces and my parents. I loved it!
My pacing plan
It’s a little scary trying to predict your 5k pace when you haven’t done speed work in well over a month. I knew my usual 5k pace would be way too fast so I aimed somewhere between 10k and half marathon pace. I thought hitting between a 6:10-6:20 would be a realistic goal. I could always slow down even more (or stop) if my foot hurt. No pressure!!
Mile 1- 6:10. Right where I needed to be. I stayed in control and tried not to think about what my pace would have been if I were healthy. I should note this race has a quarter mile downhill start. Very nice in the beginning but I knew we would have to go back up the hill to finish… I was actually running alongside Abi the first minute (and we were in the 5:20’s). I knew she was starting way too fast but she was excited and the downhill was hard to control.
Mile 2- 6:26. Right around the time my watch beeped at the mile marker I passed the second place female and I think I was around fifth overall. I could feel my foot pain- it wasn’t bad- just not invisible the way I want it to be! I knew the biggest hill was about halfway through mile two. At the time I didn’t think it was that bad but I guess it did affect my time. Halfway through this mile we ran a lap around the track and I was right behind the first place female. Our pace was slowing down so I decided to pass her on the first straightaway. From there I kept going and passed a younger high school age kid.
Mile 3- 6:07. I was feeling pretty good but ready to wrap this party up. Time to head back up the hill to the finish.
Mile 3.12- 0:45 (6:24 avg. pace).
Total Time: 19:30. 1st female (3rd OA) 6:17 avg.
Official Results can be found here.
As soon as I finished I grabbed some water and then headed back to find Abi. She was moving right along and getting close to the final parking lot loop. She said she had just run her fastest mile ever in mile 1! In June she ran a 7:22 at the RRCA one mile championship. In this 5k her first mile split was a 7:21- and she still had another 2.1 miles to go!
She wanted to stop and walk but I reminded her she was almost done. I told her as soon as we got to the top of the hill she would see the finish line clock and she could walk if she wanted to. Of course, when we got to the top she forgot all about stopping and started sprinting it in. She finished in exactly 25:00. (Her second fastest 5k ever.) Then I turned around again to find my son.
He was a little further back and he was ready to be done. He wanted to hold my hand so we ran for a long time hand in hand. I’m not sure how much longer he’ll like to run this way so I’m just going to soak it up while I can!
After everyone finished this race had a one mile walk. I guess the timing company used this time to get all the results/ age group awards together. I walked a mile with my aunt. It was great having so many family members there.
|My two cousins (Daniel & Tab), my older two and I after the race|
|Ashton and my dad just hanging out after the race|
|so proud of these two!|
The rest of our trip was pretty relaxing except for the last night when my husband had a little fishing accident which resulted in a trip to the emergency room…
He had decided to take the kids fishing which was going well for a while until our youngest walked out in front of my husband as he was about to cast. John quickly yanked his pole back so he wouldn’t get Ashton. Unfortunately, he hooked himself in the back pretty good.
It was a triple hook and two of the three hooks were lodged in his back.
|It was not this particular hook but this gives you an idea|
A few of us tried to get it out but it wasn’t moving. Plus, the hook had been in a fish’s mouth minutes earlier so there was no telling how many germs it had on it. It was around 9 pm at this point so John and I left the kids with my parents and headed to the emergency room.
After a few hours we made it back to see the doctor. Thankfully John was given a shot to numb his back area so he didn’t feel a thing as they pushed and pulled out the hooks. Then they gave him a tetanus shot and put him on some antibiotics to fight off any infection.
We got back to camp around 1:30 am and left the next morning for Arkansas. It was a long day but we made it home. I’m happy to report that John is healing nicely although I’m not sure when he will take all the kids finishing again… 🙂
How are you spending your last few weeks of summer?