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
My u-pick berry haul from this weekend. Only took an hour to get ~11lbs of fresh, delicious, GIGANTIC berries. Can’t wait to clean and freeze them tonight so I can make jam soon!
So pretty in their buckets!
My berry picking partner!
The blackberries are HUGE! Also, the blackberry and raspberry bushes had no thorns on them! I’d never heard of such a wonderful thing. They were so easy and pleasant to pick! I’ve always stuck to blueberries and strawberries because I hate the thorns, but a whole new world was opened this weekend. I cannot wait to eat the jam.
Mr. and I are attending a friend’s wedding this weekend and we are very excited to play, have fun, and help them celebrate. The wedding and reception will be at a state park and they are having lots of yard games for people to play. The groom asked if we had any games to bring them. Well, we don’t, but I’ve always wanted that bean bag toss game so I decided to make one! First, I was just going to make it and keep it but then I thought, what fun to give it as a gift to the couple! Here are some photo highlights of my project:
My friend has a pretty elaborate wood working set up and he helped me with the project and let me use his tools. So very kind.
Under my friend’s guidance I did much of the building myself, but the frame you see behind the plywood tops is something I got at the ReStore – a store that sells used housewares and constructiony stuff. The 2’x4′ frames were already constructed which I thought would be a benefit. Turned out it probably would have been easier to just build them myself because the ones I got had cross boars and weird corner hardware which we had to wrestle with.
I got paint at the ReStore as well in tan and blue because that is the color of the fabric I had for the bean bags. I used extra pillow cases I had laying around from another craft project.
The bride is from Oregon so I painted Oregon on the blue box with the tan paint (the blue looks so grey here but it is because the stupid garage lights are awful).
The groom is from Minnesota so I painted Minnesota on the tan box with the blue paint.
These are the bean bags – which are actually filled with corn – not beans! I used the wonderful sewing machine that was my graduation gift from 2007! These are the first completed project using that machine and I’m so excited.
Fun Fact: This game is known as Cornhole and there is actually a governing organization The American Cornhole Organization. The World Cornhole Championships are happening in July in Ohio 🙂 Anybody want to go?!
MT and I walked in a rainbow themed parade last week. We wore our Funky Running Tights and represented the school MT’s daughter attends. The rain came early and then stopped before the parade which was great.
After the parade I rode my bike down to a Bike to Work party since it was Bike to Work & School Day. My friend Emily painted our faces.