Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dallas Rock & Roll 1/2 Marathon

I did it. I completed a half marathon and didn't die. But let me back up. The race was on Sunday 3/27 so my two sisters and I plus our friend and her sister decided to all go up to Dallas on Saturday. The day before the race is when you have to pick up your race packet with your bib (the number you pin on your shirt) and your shoe chip (it has a sensor that automatically tracks your time when you start, finish, and a few spots in between), and race shirt. Then there is the expo. Imagine all sorts of companies setting up booths to sell race stuff that also give away free samples and have drawings for free, race shirts, running shirts, energy snacks and drinks, etc. One sister bought a running skirt and then my other sister won a free one! We carb loaded on pasta then prepared our gear for the next morning. For two of us this was our first big race. We were introduced to "the rules". One of those being to take a picture of your gear ready to go. Here's mine.
We plugged in ipods and watches and tried to get to bed at a decent time.
Lucky for us our friend got the hook up on a great room at the Aloft Hotel which was across the street from the starting line. We didn't have to rush to get up and take a shuttle to the race so we could sleep in a tad. We were extra lucky because we weren't aware that there was going to be a weather change and the 80 degree weather on Saturday was replaced by race temps in the 40's! We could look out the window and watch the poor people waiting for the race in the freezing cold. Another friend of mine that had come for the race came up to wait in the warm with us.
Did I mention the matching shirts we had made? Since our group consisted of two sets of sisters we decided to have cute matching shirts made for the race. We chose "Sisters Rock Dallas" for our slogan since it was a Rock & Roll Marathon and all. The back of our shirts had our maiden names and then a number to correspond with our birth order. Pretty clever, huh? Here are some more pre-race shirt pics. First the whole group.
Then my sisters and me.
Finally it was time to go downstairs for the 8am race. Another rule - the pre-race shoe pic of our shoe chips.
Waiting at the start we got a shout out from the emcee! It was pretty cool to have him shout out "Sisters Rock Dallas"! We were ready!
The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders were there to cheer us on at the start.
The starting line.
And we're off......After only about 30 seconds together we all took off on our own pace. Everyone in our group had different paces and would finish at different times. I knew I would be the slowest. After all, it was my first race and I had really slacked on my training. I knew I'd be walking a good portion. The time limit to get a medal is to finish in 4 hours. My goal was just to beat that. I knew I could go about 4 miles in one hour and that you get slower the longer you go so I thought that I could do it. The first 5 miles weren't so bad. I was pretty much on pace to finish in 3:30. The thing about a Rock & Roll Marathon is that at just about every mile there is a live band playing. This race also had cheerleaders from all the local schools everywhere and lots of family and friends cheering people on with signs. That's about the only thing that kept me going when it got hard. And boy did it get hard. After mile five I got slower and slower and slower. For awhile I felt sick to my stomach, then my hips started to ache, and my feet. My favorite sign on the race said "Your feet hurt from kicking so much butt!". After about mile 5 or 6 I couldn't even run anymore (I was doing a run/walk combo before). I walked the whole rest of the way. I teared up a few times during the race. Once when a firetruck had it's ladder holding a flag over the road for us and another time when a total stranger told me that I could do it and she was proud of me. I had to finish. And I finally did. 3 hours, 49 minutes, and 19 minutes after I started. It was a pitiful time. I only beat about 100 people. But it wasn't about beating people. It was about finishing what I started and I did that. As my sister said, I got the same medal as everyone else. I'm happy with that.
My sisters & me at the finish at the fairgrounds.
Bret Michaels was the big concert at the end of the race. This weird guy in the crowd was so funny that we had to take a picture with him.
At dinner later that night to which we walked to!!!
Me & my medal the day after the race at my parents.
I don't know if I'll run another big race again. I can't say never but I'm not in a hurry to do one next month or anything. I am glad I did this one. Even though the race is hard and I'm still a little bit sore even today, I had a good weekend. And I finished something I never thought I'd do.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pool patio

While Chris was home (he's gone now) we got a few things knocked off our home improvement list. One thing was finally getting some things planted in our flower beds.
The other thing was building a patio next to our pool. When the pool was first installed it came with 3 feet of concrete all the way around. We knew then that it wouldn't be big enough to put chairs and things on so we had it increased to 6 feet around one side. Well, we quickly found out that 6 feet isn't much room to put chairs and still walk around it comfortably. We'd talked about adding a patio for awhile but just now got to it. Chris was here when we hired a contractor and designed the patio. He was even here for the start of construction. But, he missed the finished product which was just completed today. We knew we wanted lights out there because even with the deck lights on it's really dark to use the pool at night. (The little lights in the water just don't cut it either.) We originally talked about adding a fireplace but in the end we went with a fire pit instead.

Almost as an afterthought we added the sidewalk from the deck to the pool. I'm so glad we did because we've got lots of stickers in the yard and this way we don't have to drag shoes out there to swim.
I love how it turned out and can't wait to use it. It's too bad that Chris will be gone for most of the summer because I can not wait to have a big party out there! Sorry honey!

A Day at the Park

We didn't take any big trips for Spring Break but stayed closer to home. Since Chris was only here for two weeks that suited us just fine. We took the kids to the putt-putt place, we went back to the animal safari place we went to last summer, and we had a picnic lunch at the park. We hadn't been to the park in awhile and they had replaced the old playground equipment with new ones. Yea! The boys tried so hard on the monkey bars but neither one of them could do it. They could hang with the best of them but just couldn't move from bar to bar. Hey, I'm not sure I could do it anymore either!

The boys did not want to leave but eventually we had to go and take my mother-in-law to the airport. Now that the weather is nicer and the playgrounds are nicer I'm sure we'll be going back.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Family Fun

Yesterday we took the boys to a local Family Fun Center that we had never been too. The main attraction for us was to play putt-putt golf. Our guys were so excited to start. Alex loved it and did a great job. He was patient and waited for his turn. He was excited over every putt no matter good or bad. Zachary on the other hand got tired of playing after about 5 holes. He didn't want to wait for his turn. He didn't want to get out of other peoples way and didn't care if he knocked your ball (or better yet purposely picked up and moved your ball). We took a potty break after the first 9 holes and had a drink and a snack.

Zachary didn't play the last 9 holes at all. Instead he sat in the grass and played by himself pulling weeds or stacking up rocks, mostly complaining that he was ready to go.

There was a cute rock crocodile that the boys just had to check out!

When the long long golf game was over we had two tickets for go-karts. Luckily they had two double seaters so we had no problem riding with the boys. Alex and Daddy smoked Zachary and Mama but we still had fun. The last fun of the days was the soccer cage. We thought the boys were too young for the batting cages but until yesterday we had never even heard of a soccer cage. It was the same principal. The soccer ball shoots out and you kick it.(The oldest cruddiest soccer balls I have ever seen!) There were a few targets to aim for too.

We've already decided that maybe Alex & Daddy should go back by themselves for another round of golf this week! After playing we headed to eat some barbecue before heading home for a movie night. Chris even blew up the air mattress thinking that maybe the boys would fall asleep and we'd have a slumber party. Of course that didn't happen but it was still fun!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bike rides

*Chris is home! I just wanted to get that out of the way before I go on with this post. He's only here for a few weeks of leave time but he's here.*

Yesterday the boys FINALLY got to ride their bikes for the first time since they got them for Christmas. I know, bad mama, right? Anytime the boys or I thought about riding the bikes it was either a super windy day, or raining, or something and it just never worked out. I'm glad that Chris got to be here though because he had to do some adjusting on the bikes. Zachary's brakes were so tight that he could barely pedal. I think most kids this age (4-5) can usually at least ride a bike with training wheels by now but for some reason Alex & Zachary have always had a hard time pedaling. We had trikes and even a big plastic three wheeler but they would mostly just push it around with their feet no matter how hard we tried. This time, though, they pedaled. Alex did a pretty good job. Zachary wasn't too bad but they both need more practice. Our main problem is that our driveway has a pretty good slope to it so it's harder to pedal uphill. Then if you do make it to the top you come flying down - not good. But, for now they both had fun riding around in the flatest part of the driveway. We'll find a better place to ride another day.