Category Archives: Running

CDM Mind and Body 5k Giveaway

Are you a local reader (St Louis area) and want a chance to win a free entry to a 5k? What’s better than running for free? Running a race for free! Read to the bottom to see how to win a free entry (it’s really easy to do!)

Event: CDM Presents Mind and Body 5k Run/Walk and Wellness Expo

When: Saturday, May 28, check-in begins at 7 am, race at 8 am

Where: Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School, 701 North Spring Avenue, St Louis MO 63108

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I think the story of how this event came to be is a good one: 

The event founder, Cynthia Ringo,  is a pastor and a health advocate.  She founded this event four years ago after a life course change and she found herself as a caregiver for her husband who had a stroke and developed vascular dementia as a result of this stroke. She was urged by the doctors and her support circle to make sure that she took care of her health while fulfilling her caregiver responsibilities.  So, along with about 15 other women at the church (Christ Deliverance Ministry), she began a quest on being the healthiest that she can be while inspiring others.  As a result, this group of women lost over 600 pounds collectively, in about 18 months.  This group’s age range spanned from 21 to 65 and included two breast cancer survivors.  The first year the event was held just to support this group and other people in the community who decided to take their health in their own hands.  It has since grown into a city wide event with support from the St. Louis community and businesses alike.

So! If you would like to run this event, I am giving away one free registration for the 5K. The giveaway runs through Friday, May 13 at 5 pm. Simply leave a comment letting me know you are entering, and make sure to include your valid email address. I will choose a winner randomly and notify you shortly afterwards.  Good luck!

P.S. I won’t be able to run this year because of a short trip, so I won’t see you there, but I hope you enter to run and have a great time Smile

And…Sick again

How is it that I have another cold? This year is ridiculous. I’m so over it already. You’d think I didn’t get enough sleep or eat well, but I honestly think I treat myself well and get plenty of sleep, exercise, vitamins and nutrients. I also wash my hands a lot…I’m blaming my students Smile

So instead of being out to dinner at House of India with Louie and his family, I decided it would be best if I stayed home and rested (and stayed near kleenex.)

Last night we had a low key evening—dinner at Bahn Mi So 1 with Louie. We split the bean curd spring rolls (the best!) and I had a tofu curry dish which was delicious. We split the mung bean pudding for dessert, and I would highly recommend you do the same. It might sound weird, but I promise, if you like rice pudding you’ll like it! After dinner we watched a few episodes of The Americans and dreamed about being spies.

I had to get up really early today to head downtown. April and I had signed up to volunteer for the Girls on the Run 5k. We were course marshals, which meant we were in charge of watching a small intersection and not letting anyone through. We only had about 3 people drive up to it—one guy wanted to know how to get to the highway and we tried to help him. Two other women needed to get to a bank for work, and we couldn’t help them. (I did suggest parking and walking, but they insisted they had to park in the garage.)

I’d brought some cowbells for us to cheer on the girls, and I was glad we did! One thing that I was surprised by was how many of the runners wanted a high five. While I will do a high five or a fist bump with friends, it’s not my favorite thing to do with strangers. I kept finding myself get stuck doing a few in a row–I mean, the kids are sweet so you can’t flat out refuse…but you can try to pretend you are too busy ringing your cowbell?! But I’m glad we volunteered. It was good to see the other side of a race and get to help the runners have a good time.

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And the Volunteer shirts were PURPLE. Though they look blue to me in this photo…

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Manning our station.

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Girls on the Run! It’s a good program and we saw kids of all ages (boys too) running, walking, and pushing themselves to do their best. I hope everybody had a good time!

And an early Happy Mother’s Day to my mom (or late, or just on time!) I’m not sure if this cold means that the hike tomorrow will fall through…it goes to show that you can’t plan everything and that some things are just out of your control. Or it goes to show that the universe is conspiring to keep me from doing day long hiking trips when I plan them, since a similar thing happened in April. Like I said, I’m over this. I guess I’m not eating enough oranges or something.

I guess I’m feeling a little bit down. Sigh. This too shall pass.

Race 4 Domestic Violence Prevention

I wanted to put up a quick post to let you know about a 5K race that April and I are running in June for a good cause! It’s the Race 4 Domestic Violence Prevention on June 4th at Carondelet Park.  The race benefits Safe Connections, one of the St. Louis region’s oldest and largest organizations working to prevent and end domestic and sexual violence while helping survivors reclaim their lives. Their services in prevention education, crisis intervention and counseling make a big difference in the health of the community. So even though we had already decided to do a mud run the day after, when we saw this race we couldn’t resist! In fact, we first tried to volunteer to help and were told there are too many volunteers, so run it is. I hope you will consider it too and maybe I’ll see you there! It’s “only” a 5k so you don’t have to make that much of a time or distance commitment, and kids and dogs are welcome too. (Not cats, though, I guess? Hmmm…)

If you are a runner, watch this space: I’m going to have one or two giveaways for race entrees coming up in the next week or so. Crazy, right? People seem to think my blog has a readership of people who run…(but the giveaway isn’t for the Race 4 Domestic Violence Prevention, so please go ahead and sign up if  you are interested—you can get a T-shirt OR a hat!)

I did go for a short run today. I live near the top of a large hill (some might call it “the Hill” so whenever I run anywhere, it means the first part of my run is mostly downhill and the second part is mostly uphill. I find that my comfortable pace right now is still REALLY slow, so I’ll start running and then think, I need to push off more and move more, and then I do that for a bit, and then I forget and I just end up being all slow again. Would it be appropriate to blame this on my age? In any case, the weather lately has been FANTASTIC for running, so I’ve been trying to do three runs a week. This week I was successful! And that’s not to say that I’m sedentary the rest of the time, because there is dog walking and hiking too. I haven’t been lifting weights or anything, and have been debating if I want to get back into that (I should, but I just haven’t wanted to hit the gym at all and prefer to work out in the fresh air) or quit the gym and learn to do pushups or something.

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Kitty pushups?!

This weekend: Volunteering for the Girls on the Run 5K, some makeup lessons, and (weather permitting) a long hike on Sunday—Buford Mountain is the plan. What about you?

Go St Louis Mississippi River 7K

Quick recap! I’ve done the Go Half several times in the past, but this year I just hadn’t been getting in the long runs so I changed to the 7k, which was a new race.

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I woke up and felt horrible (coughing, bloody nose) and it was cold outside but I’m tough and all so I headed downtown anyway. I parked in the same lot I always park in for these races, which ended up being further away from the end that I would have preferred. The 7K started near Market and 14th just like the other races, but then the course goes across the Eads Bridge to Illinois, through East St Louis, back over the MLK Bridge, and then ends with a WONDERFUL downhill to Laclede’s Landing, after which you can hop on the Metrolink back to the Civic Center stop, included with your race bib. What I wasn’t sure of is if I’d get in trouble going to the next stop (closer to my car) since the materials implied that it would both be okay and not be okay, so I got off and walked quite a ways. Anyway. The race?

Did I mention it was cold? And rain was predicted. I met up with my friend April who was running the marathon relay with some friends of hers.

(We took a great picture, but it’s upside down. I’m totally sick of this—if the iPhone can take pictures any direction why can’t I move them to be right-side up on my blog? I swear, it’s things like this that drive me totally bonkers!).

The race started in waves—the marathon, marathon relay, half marathon, and 7k runners were all together. I thought this was more fun since I’m slow and ended up near people the whole time which I’m sure I wouldn’t have been as much otherwise! The race was FUN. The new course (well, new last year, I think) was great, at least the first 7K of it, and I felt pretty good throughout (other than the whole, having a cold thing).

The finish was the best—you saw it coming back across the bridge! And then you ran downhill all the way. The only hard part was that the last part of the course was a brick (cobblestone?) road and I felt I needed to do some easy stepping. And I got a medal anyway, and only had to run, well, approximately 1:04:38 for me, which is really slow, but whatever. (Seriously, I need to just run faster, but it’s hard when you can’t breathe through your nose, so I’m going to accept it this time. And I’m faster than anybody NOT running, unless they are a speed walker or something…Winking smile

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Car selfie, post race. Woo hoo! And then I went home and took loads of cough medicine and did very little the rest of the day. I’m not entirely sure that running in the cold and wet was the best idea, but I’m not sure it wasn’t! I would do this race again though—it was a fun and unique course, and well run.

Luck

I was sad to wake up and hear the news of the terror attacks in Brussels. I feel like I should mention this, as I sit down to blog about fun things that I’ve been doing. My blog seems frivolous at times, and yet, I feel so incredibly lucky to have the experiences I do, to be able to share them, to live where I do, to have had the parents I did, and I could go on. Sometimes I get angry at how unfair life is, and how much I work and yet still things are so hard, but today I think, I am lucky, life is good for me, I am very lucky for this.  I won’t pretend to have any answers in life and how to solve these horrible problems we have in the world, but I think the first step is to look around, admit how lucky some of us are and to look on everybody with love and compassion.

And…let’s segue into the luck of the Irish. Ha! Terrible pun, but I never told you about the 5 mile St Patrick’s Day Race I ran with April the other weekend. I took the Metrolink downtown with her (I drove to her house which is very near a stop—the Metrolink is very convenient for her and very inconvenient for me, but since she has a pass, it was cheaper for the two of us than driving downtown and parking. For what it’s worth, if she had had to buy a ticket it would have been cheaper to drive, but I digress.)

I got a free entry in exchange for doing a little publicity (Thanks Clare!) and April and I decided we would stay together the whole race. Our friendship really blossomed during a race a few years ago (we were both in drastically different places in our lives then than we are now, but I think…both much better off and happier!) so we thought it would be another excellent bonding activity. We were correct! Anyway, April has had a few injuries and her knee started bugging her, so we did a fair amount of walking, and I am just really slow when I am running, so whatever on the whole RACING bit, but the run is just so much fun—people in costume, people with kegs, people all wearing green and shamrocks and whatnot. It was a wonderful way to spend 1:11:21 or so.

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We stopped near the finish line to try to get that picture. Not our best, but not our worst!

Anyway, I realize this seems like a half-hearted post, but I wanted to write about itSmile 

I’m back to work after Louie and I took a little trip to Chicago for a few days. Today I dropped Chloe off at the vet to get her eye checked up on—it’s still looking weird so we wanted to get it looked at. Mackenzie is a little tired, probably from allergy meds, but she sees a specialist next week, and we will hopefully get to the bottom of her issues (hopeful, I’m hopeful for her). It’s hard to transition from vacation to home, but it’s not so bad. Chicago was great and deserves it’s own post, so I’ll tell you about it soon! One thing is that we really mastered the public transportation…well, at least, we used both buses and trains and only ended up in a rough neighborhood on the Southside one time (where a bus driver pulled up and asked us, what are you doing here?). We ate some good food, saw art and stuffed animals in museums (that’s dead, stuffed animals…) and overall had a great time.

I’m off to lunch and then teaching. Not overly busy this week but lots to get done.

Snowball Series Race and Rockwoods Reservation

After so much travel/busy weekends it was great to have a weekend that wasn’t too crazy! However, we ended up filling our time with activities and I missed my regular Sunday night blog time (I’m sure you missed me!).

To give myself a good reason to keep running through the winter, and to push myself, I signed up for the Snowball Series. The first race was Saturday morning at Queeny Park, a 3 mile race. It didn’t start until 9 am (this is early for real life, but late for a race) so I didn’t have to wake up until 7 am. I got there around 8:15 and had to pick up my race number and shirt…my number wasn’t there. After talking with the race director and searching my email to prove I’d registered, a woman came up and handed him…my race number. Evidently she had picked up for a group the day before and somebody had mistakenly given them mine as well. Problem solved! Since it was cold, I went back to my car until it was nearly race time.

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The race wasn’t chip timed—it just started in the parking lot and headed down a hill. I hadn’t checked the course ahead of time, but soon realized we basically ran down a steep hill, around a bit, back up the hill…and then did that again, to make  3 miles. On the one hand, I live at the top of a steep hill so I’m used to this, but on the other hand, I still hate running hills. My goal for the race was to the run the whole time, and I did that, with the exception of the water stop. I didn’t really need water since it was cold, but I thought, in all honesty, that’s not a good reason not to drink water, so I made a short walk break just to drink a little bit and then ran again.

I finished in 37:34, just in time to get to the snack tent to see people taking the last of the cliff bars and doughnuts, but not in time to actually get one myself. Race directors, even the slow runners deserve food, and parents, don’t let your kids have the snacks that are for the runners unless you are sure that all the runners have had a chance.

After the race I went home and had second breakfast (oatmeal, better than doughnuts anyway!) and then Louie, Mackenzie (the dog) and I headed out to Rockwoods Reservation for some hiking. It was a little chilly but sunny which made it the perfect day for hiking!

From my book 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles the author recommended the Lime Kiln Trail so we decided that was our best bet. One thing that the book said was that dogs aren’t allowed at Rockwoods Reservation but a little internet research told us that policy had changed a few years ago so now they are.

It’s hard to write about hiking. Well, honestly, it’s hard to write anyway, but hiking can be especially boring. We went up and then around and finally back down. There were leaves and trees and rocks and more leaves and trees. Mackenzie had a great time smelling everything and Louie and I had a great time being in nature and getting fresh air.

There was a llama and alpaca farm near the trailhead. What strange and fascinating creatures!

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The hike was a good one and we’ll go back to the area to try out some other hikes as well.

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Louie took a picture of me at this creek crossing but he hasn’t shared it yet (clears throat loudly).

So that was Saturday. Other notable weekend activities include some light Christmas decorating and going to a Korean Restaurant called Joo Joo.

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We are in the home stretch now. Only two more full weeks of teaching until Christmas break (I’m taking two weeks off). It’s a busy time, as times are, but the holidays are approaching…

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And on that note: off to work I go. Practice, teach, rehearsal, sleep, rinse, repeat Smile