Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Life Without Limits: A Great Read

What an excellent book.  While on my flight to Austin, I started reading Chrissie Wellington's A Life Without Limits: A World Champion's Journey.  It was such an easy and inspiring read that I found myself getting up early, heading down to breakfast by myself, and devouring more pages with my morning coffee.  I have tackled a handful of sprint triathlons and have always thought about training for something more challenging.  But what I liked most about this book was learning about her dedication to nonprofit work and various causes as well as her travels.  She was an accidental triathlete and ended up being one of the best in her field, while also inspiring many with her kindness.

Never, ever give up - and smile.  What a great mantra that we should all adopt.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Her First 5k: The Great Pumpkin Race

When I started this crazy race-all-50-states thing, I wanted to find a way to get my girls involved in the races as well.  For Bridget, that meant using the jogging stroller for many races, but this year was different.  This year, she raced a full 5k ON HER OWN!

The first year we decided that Halloween races would be our thing was 2010.  We raced our first 10k together in costumes.  Her favorite book at the time was Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy.  So she picked the costumes with her starring as Ladybug Girl and I was Bumbleebee Boy (errr Girl).  We raced in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the Day of the Dead 10k.  Thanks to United, our stroller didn't arrive in time for the race (it actually was delivered 2 hours after the race - thanks, but no thanks).  Fortunately, Greg secured us a rental (he made the arrangements from Ohio - what a great man). We totally rocked the course and ended the day with a visit to the Children's Discovery Museum.

In 2011, we added Megan to the mix and raced in Savannah, Georgia around beautiful plantation homes.  B and I went as witches complete with tons of tulle and witch hats.  Meg dressed up as a cheetah and even won her age group!

Last year, we ran in Seattle and braved the drizzle that Seattle is well known for.  This was B's first race solo and she ran the Kid's half-mile fun run.  We dressed as draculas, but she made her dad carry her cape while she ran!

This year, we ran side by side in her first full 5k.  She dressed as a cheetah and I went as Robin (Batman's sidekick).  We held hands crossing the finish line.  The best part was hearing her tell me as soon as she saw the Mile 3 sign that she didn't think she was going to be able to finish the race when she started.  But now she knew she could do it and was beyond excited.  When she finished, she told her dad that her legs didn't even hurt!

She's still moving at Mile 2!

Top left 2013, top right 2012 in Seattle.
Bottom left 2011 in Savannah, bottom right 2010 in Albuquerque

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Austin City Limits and the Monsoon

A weekend of amazing bands...with no kids.  Sounds awesome and it least until the monsoon hit (that's my unofficial weather term).

The trip started with a funny challenge.  Because flights to Austin are not price-friendly, Greg cashed in miles for my flight and he used a voucher to offset part of his flight.  He booked my flight problem.  When he booked his flight, he couldn't get on my route.  United was more than willing to help us...for a fee of "ouch" dollars.  Ok, so we will play the game of who-gets-there-first.  I flew from CLE through O'Hare then Austin.  He flew through Houston then to Austin.  Would you believe we arrived within a half hour of each other.  It was a gamble because O'Hare doesn't exactly have a good on-time arrival. We left Cleveland in 30 degree weather and arrived in a sweaty, humid 95 in Austin. Phew!

We checked in our hotel and began the sweltering 2.5-mile trek to Zilker Park to enjoy the afternoon and evening's lineup.  Friday was amazing.  Vampire Weekend, Arctic Monkeys, Queens of the Stone Age, Muse, Depeche Mode. Friday did not disappoint.  We ended the evening with a margarita and chips and salsa...and a good night's sleep.

On our way to Zilker Park, I noticed a cool yoga place, Wanderlust.  After a quick bowl of oatmeal and coffee, I headed over or a hot yoga session.  Wow - loved this place! Great vibe, small room, really good and interactive instructor.  I sweated through every layer of clothing during the 95-degree hot yoga session. Greg met me after class and headed off to Frank's for the most decadent and not-at-all-healthy hot dog.  He had the Notorious P.I.G., a jalepeno and sage sausage dog with mac-n-cheese and BBQ sauce drizzled on top.  I had the Southern Belle, which a basic dog with a spicy pimiento cheese drizzle and fried green tomatoes.  Simply yum! Best of all, they didn't mind seating us with me being a seaty mess.

Saturday was equally as amazing musically as Friday. We enjoyed Wilco and Kendrick Lamar, before being treated to a kick-ass show by Kings of Leon.  I was in complete awe of their live performance. And I definitely can't wait to see them in concert for a longer performance.  But here's where the evening turned on us.  As we were walking away from the Kings of Leon performance and heading over to listen to the last few songs by the Cure, a downpour hit.  We ran to a big tree, which provided ZERO coverage.  We knew we couldn't walk back in this mess and the pedi-cabs were hiding.  So off to the bus we went.  We stood in line for about a half hour before loading onto one of the most freezing cold buses.  We probably would have enjoyed the A/C had our clothes not been wet and hanging on us.  We managed to walk the mile back to our hotel from the bus unloading zone, took a hot shower to warm up and ordered room service.  That may have been one of the most appreciated meals yet!

We woke up Sunday to the bad news that Sunday's lineup was cancelled.  Bummer! Phoenix, Atoms for Peace, Franz Ferdinand, Lone Bellows and Eric Church would have to wait another time.  In spite of it all, we can hardly wait to go back!

Taking a break in the shade...Wow, it was hot!