Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Crawfish Boil '09

This post is about a month late, but on Memorial Day we went over to our friend Cody's house for a crawfish boil. Cody is my cycling coach/trainer extraordinaire. He lives just a few blocks from us, so after getting back from the Mutt Strutt with Emma, we headed over to eat some crawfish.

Cody, our friends Justin and Charis, and Chad and myself are all from Louisiana, so it was nice to be able to enjoy a Louisiana tradition all the way up in Kentucky. We all pitched in a little bit and Cody had 40 pounds of crawfish shipped in from

These pictures have been posted on Facebook and on Chad's Flickr account, but I figured I would round up a few of them to post here!

Boiling the crawfish with corn, potatoes, and mushrooms

Don't worry mom, this was staged!

Charis, with baby Ruby

Justin, with baby Ruby and friend (the crawfish)

My meal for the afternoon: corn, potatoes, mushrooms and 2 crawfish

Justin, Cody and Chad performing a strange hook-arm crawfish eating act

The group

"Happy" Chad

"Sassy" Chad

"I've eaten too much" Chad

and "I've eaten too much" Justin

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pictures from 5k

Official pictures from the Skelter for the Shelter 5k were just posted on the race website. I found a few good ones of our family!

Chad with Emma, and two of her fans! Chad's mom and dad are right behind him.

This was at about the half-way point. I'm in the far right hand corner.

Over in the right hand corner again. My legs look so long!

Mr. David, in the yellow shirt and white hat.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Skelter for the Shelter 5k Race Report

A few weekends ago, I ran the Skelter for the Shelter 5k here in Nicholasville with my father-in-law, David (or Mr. David, as I like to call him).

The area had been deluged with rain Monday-Thursday, but the weather really cleared up and dried out on Friday and Saturday. Race morning was warm and clear, with not a cloud in the sky. Me, Chad, Emma, Mr. David and Mrs. Suzy loaded up and got to the race site about 30 minutes before the race start. The nice thing is that the site was only about 5 minutes from our house. I love this race because it is local, fairly small, and it raises funds for the Jessamine County Humane Society. Emma loved being at the race because she was able to sniff all kinds of new scents and meet new dogs...and ham it up for the crowd a little bit!

I had high hopes for myself for this race. The first year of the race, I placed 2nd in my age group and last year, I placed first in my age group. So I hoped to at least place in my age group this year, but I knew going into the race that my training wasn't really where I would have liked for it to be. At that point I really had been focusing on swimming and cycling, letting my running fall to the wayside a little bit. This race was definitely a wake-up call for me, and I'm now I'm really sticking to my running schedule and getting in good, consistent runs.

The field seemed to be a lot larger this year, which is great. I love when local races become more and more successful each year. Mr. David found out a few days before the race that his number had been picked in the New York Marathon lottery system, so we were all really excited for him. He was hoping that this 5k would be a good indicator of where he was, training wise.

At 9:00am we toed the line and then headed out onto the course. I was hoping to go under 25:00. The course is a fairly simple out and back, and I felt pretty good at the half-way point when I ran by and saw Chad, Emma, and Mrs. Suzy cheering for me. The course was moderately hilly, but nothing too extreme. The sun was out in full force and I was getting hot. I was wearing a dark gray t-shirt which was a mistake, but oh well. I finished in 26:15, which I was happy with. A ton of younger women finished in front of me, so I was pretty sure I wouldn't place in my age group. Mr. David had a good race, but he did say he was unprepared for the hills. Central Louisiana is extremely flat, so the Kentucky hills were new to him! He finished in right around 30:00 minutes - a great time!

After getting some water and cooling down a bit, we headed home to get cleaned up for the day. A few days after the race I got an e-mail from the race director, letting me know that Mr. David had placed 3rd in his age group! Chad called him to let him know and Mr. David was so excited - he said that he has never won anything in his life! We picked up his trophy last week and we will get to deliver it to him when we go down to Louisiana in July. Overall, it was a great race! It was definitely a good kick in my butt to make me get back in line with training!

A pretty good photo of a fairly un-photogenic duo!

Lining up before the race - me and Mr. David are right in the middle of this group.

This was at about the half-way mark - I'm just to the left of the photographer in the gray shirt

Happy finishers! (Emma didn't run, though!)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Old Friends Horse Farm

Here are a few pictures from Old Friends:

Dan the Bluegrass Man, shaking his head for the crowd.

This mini-horse was so cute. His name is Little Silver Charm.
People Magazine did a piece on the farm last summer and featured this little guy (he's the owner's family pet) and he became a celebrity in his own right!

They keep The Wicked North in the barn during the day because he has ankle problems and they don't want him running around all day on it. The tour guide said that he is the gentlest and sweetest horse he has ever met.

Churchill Downs

Chad's parents recently came to visit us in Kentucky. We had a blast with them during their stay - we went to a lot of neat places around Lexington and Louisville and thoroughly enjoyed our time with them.

We went to the Mary Todd Lincoln House in Lexington, which was fascinatingly creepy. Then we ventured west to Louisville to eat at Lynn's Paradise Cafe and visit the Kentucky Derby Museum. When we pulled up to Churchill Downs, we found out that they were running races that day. That was a bonus, because I figured they wouldn't be racing in June. So we were able to watch two races (I made $15 on my first ever horse-racing bet!) and visit the museum. The coolest part of the whole Churchill Downs experience was getting to watch "The Greatest Race" a 17 minute film on the Derby on a 360 degree screen. It chronicled Derby day, starting at 5:30am and going through to the finish of the race. I was in tears at the end (along with a lot of other people in the room!) watching Calvin Borel win on Mine That Bird and then point upwards, in honor of his late parents.

We also toured Old Friends, a horse farm in Georgetown, KY, a retirement and rescue farm for pensioned Thoroughbreds. We mainly went to see Popcorn Delight, the horse that played Seabiscuit in the movie Seabiscuit, but it was really neat to see all of the horses that they have there. I know nothing about horse racing, but I really appreciate the care and attention that owners and trainers give to their horses. There are 48 horses at Old Friends, and their collective earnings from their combined careers exceeds $500 million dollars - wow! The people at Old Friends want these thoroughbreds (most of which are very old at 23+) to live out their days with the dignity and respect that they deserve.

Here are some pictures from Churchill Downs, with pictures from Old Friends and a Skelter for the Shelter 5k race report to follow in the next two posts.

One of the horses getting ready to race at Churchill Downs

The starting gate

Trying my best on a jockey simulation game. (I didn't do too well, considering that I'm about two feet taller than most jockeys!)

Memorial for Barbaro - "The Horse that Captured the Nation"

Inscription on Barbaro's memorial:
"I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast.
And when I run, I feel His pleasure." - Eric Liddell

The famous Twin Spires
(with Mr. David and Chad's heads barely visible in the forefront)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Training Update

I apologize for the lack of training updates, but life and work has been crazy these past few weeks. We've been celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and graduations and wow have we been busy! But amongst it all, my training has held up pretty well.

My ideal week would include 3 swims, 4 runs and 3 bikes. For the past couple of weeks I've only been able to manage two workouts per sport per week, but I still feel like I am in a good place with my training. Here are some of my thoughts on each area.

  • I've developed a love/hate relationship with swimming.
  • I thought I was getting kind of ok at swimming, but no, I still pretty much suck!
  • I was convinced the Lame Duck tri swim distance was 400 yards, but no, it is 1000 yards!
  • The good news is that my swim workouts are no shorter than 1000 yards. They range from 1000-2000 yards.
  • I think I will be able to do 1000 yards of the crawl comfortably by early August...just in time for Lame Duck!
  • I've developed a love/hate relationship with biking.
  • But I love it more than I hate it.
  • Chad got me some great cycling gear for our 4 year wedding anniversary - gloves, 2nd water bottle holder, and a Yakima trunk mounted bike rack.
  • I went on my first 20+ ride last night - 25.25 miles in about 2 hours.
  • This was my first ride in my new Pearl Izumi gloves, and I later realized I had them on backwards.
  • Biking fatigues my legs unlike any thing else - I think it is the very hilly terrain of Jessamine County that gets me.
  • The country roads, creeks and rivers of Jessamine County are absolutely beautiful.
  • I've seen more of the county on my bike in the past 4 weeks than I have by car in the three years we have lived here.
  • I still have not gotten a brick workout in yet, but I'm hoping this Sunday will be the day!
  • Oh running, my original friend, you are not so easy to do after a week of biking and swimming.
  • I think my body and legs are still trying to adapt to three different muscle groups being worked each week.
  • I've realized that I need to put just as much effort into running as I do with biking and swimming.
  • I don't want to put off run workouts because I think to myself "oh, it's just 3 miles." I need to do the short runs, and I need to work on increasing my speed.
  • I am going to do a 5k with my father-in-law this Saturday morning - the Jessamine County "Skelter for the New Shelter 5k." This is a great local race that benefits the Humane Society. Last year I took 1st place in my AG with a time of 25:49. I'm really hoping to go sub 25 this weekend, but I will be ok with anything in the 25-27 range.