July was a bit more steady in terms of running. Even on a three week vacation I managed to get in regular runs. I love running when I travel because it gives me a new way to see the location. I enjoy looking up routes, checking out local running sites, and then mapping out a place to go. I started my vacation in Anchorage where Mr. and I ran the Boondocks Breakaway 5k. It was a memorably difficult race as we’d arrived the day before and had Opening Night festivities with friends the evening before the race.
The Boondocks Breakaway 5k was through wilderness on a cross country skiing track in Kincade Park. It featured rolling hills and lots of twists and turns. It was a smallish crowd of maybe 50 runners and Mr. and I were certainly in the back third. The folks were kind and I won a door prize of an awesome waterbottle! While running we saw a moose right on the side of the trail. It was my first live moose sighting – pretty nuts how huge it was and Mr. tells me it wasn’t full grown. We got in one other run on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail while visiting and since we didn’t have a race photo (too distracted/hungover to remember to take one), we got this gem:
After Alaska, I flew to Chicago where I got in a jaunt through my childhood neighborhood. Such fun to see the changes to the streets and houses while plodding along. My Dad’s garden was in fine summer form!
Next, my dad and I drove to Iowa to see my sister and her family. While there, I couldn’t pass up the Solon Beef Days 5k. Beef Days. Yup – I was cracking up when I heard about the race and it was a short drive from my sister’s house. It was quite the adjustment to run in the heat and humidity of Iowa summer. It felt like running through pudding the air was so thick and hot. My big sis was a champ and major kudos to Solon for having a rad trough. All I ever want to eat after a race now is watermelon. Perfect.
While in Iowa my runner brother-in-law suggested a trail at Harvest Preserve. It was a beautiful shady trail but ended up being half hike half run. There is an impressive sculpture collection at the Preserve so I kept stopping to check them out – also, I was clearly the first person there that day and had to contend with the plethora of spider webs across the trail. It was early, but hot and this pic is me with sun and sweat in my eyes.
The final stop on my trip was the Philly area to visit my brother and sister-in-law. They live near a cool two path on the Delaware River so I made my way along that canal for a nice 5 miler while I was visiting. I tried to find a race in the area but the only options were a 45 min+ drive and I just didn’t want to loose that much time with family. The two path was half shady and nicely maintained. There were locals fishing in the canal, bikers riding by, and families walking with strollers. It was sparsely populated though so the run was quiet and beautiful.
While I am proud I continued to get some runs in while on vacation, I didn’t’ quite get in my full monthly mileage as I’d hoped. Still, I ran 24.7 miles in 5 different states and completed two more 5k races!
July Mileage: 24.7
Year-to-date Mileage: 206.7
Year-to-date Races: 10
I couldn’t be more proud of my tenacious and curious Mother. I was graced with a family of learners and surrounded by smart people who asked questions about the world around us. The very definition of a life-long learner, my mom instilled in me curiosity, patience, and a deep passion for knowing.
When I endeavored to complete grad school, my mother was my champion (along with so many others). When the coin flipped and she faced the challenge of grad school, I was honored to listen to her puzzle through problems and talk about the ups and downs of classes. She finished her Master of Education degree almost one year ago and I am still glowing with pride and awe for the diligence and tenacity she exhibited in her pursuit of the degree. Having taught others most of her adult life (students and other teachers), she has always stayed abreast of current issues and needs in educating, and best practices and pedagogy. To me, and I believe her as well, the degree was a formalized acknowledgement of her lifetime of striving to be better, do better, and know more.
She was recently given an award from her primary professional organization for Outstanding Master’s Thesis. Her research was well reasoned and her passion for students and teachers shone through her work. Here she was, many months after completing school, doing more work; preparing a presentation, creating a research poster, spending time and money to disseminate this work she literally put blood, sweat, and tears into (the blood was from paper cuts!). Momma presented on her research to her professional peers and has no doubt, from this research and her decades of work in the field, made a lasting impact on teaching and the lives of those lucky enough to be in her tutelage.
My mother is always busy and so am I. We don’t live terribly far apart but it is still somehow difficult to make the time to spend together. This year, we vowed to get together more often and have, so far, done a pretty good job of seeing each other every few weeks. We’ve seen comedy shows, gardened, ate food, celebrated birthdays and holidays.. and regardless of the venue or activity I always find myself saying good bye and feeling so fortunate to learn from a woman so full of grace, humility, joy, and love. She and I can talk so pity to the companion who tries to keep up with us or interject (sorry to our husbands!). Basically, I love her. And, I wanted to brag about my awesome mom.
- 44.3 = Miles I ran (or 71.3 Kilometers, or 233,904 Feet, or 2,806,848 Inches, or 38.5 Nautical Miles).
- 5 = States I set foot in (Arizona, Colorado, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington – listed in alpha order not awesomeness order)
- 3 = Siblings I hugged (That is all of them – a feat considering we live in Washington, Iowa, and New Jersey)
- 3,751 = Approximation of the times I kissed my newest family member (my nephew) (Sadly, I did not get to hug and love on my two intelligent, funny, kind, wonderful nieces)
- 3 = Lbs lost (slow progress is the best kind when it comes to healthy weight loss!)
- 1 = New jobs accepted (can’t wait to start it!)
- 14 = Days spent with Mr. (Summer traveling is fun but I miss him!)
- 3 = Times I ate Dunkin Donuts (4 times I drank coffee from D&D – (There aren’t any in WA and I love them so! With all my travel I had to get as much as I could!)
My sister sent me the most joyous email this afternoon. It included this gem of a video and made a gigantic smile break out on my face. Please Don’t Go Girl has always been one of my top five New Kids on the Block songs. I grew up loving NKOTB and still do. My sister and I are somewhat obsessed still (she more than I). I am counting the days till we get to see them in concert for the fourth time in the last 5 years. July 9th we get to see NKOTB perform after enjoying the Boyz II Men set and tolerating the 98 Degrees set. 28 Days.
And, before that wonderful event, I get to fly to Alaska for a friend’s wedding, visit the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown NY, and see my dear dear siblings and father and nephew! The next 28 days are going to be wild!
EDIT: Can we also talk about how several of the NKOTB appear to be in love with the same girl yet none of them take any issue with that? Oh music videos from the late 80s! The lip-syncing is TERRIBLE (sorry Joey!), but their dance moves are smooth as buttah. They truly have just gotten better over the years. Take a look at them now: Remix (I like the) – NKOTB