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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Cecily is Four!

My baby girl, my Little Sheriff is FOUR today. Where has the time gone? It really does seem as if it was yesterday that we were celebrating our wedding anniversary with my being in labor. 

She is so full of life and precocious as can be. She does everything on Cecily time and in Cecily way. While it is definitely frustrating at times, I wouldn't have it any other way. We are two peas in a pod, her and I, and I love her to bits. 

Happy Birthday my sweet girl!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Celebrating Seven Years!

Today we're celebrating seven years of marriage! It feels like it was just yesterday that it was our wedding day. I normally post a sappy wedding post reminiscing over all our beautiful photos, but this year I decided to post about our trip to Cumberland Gap we took a couple weekends ago for our anniversary. 

Several years ago I wrote a post about 10 places in the US I must see and Cumberland Gap was on the list. I don't know why, but I just think it's so neat to hike the Wilderness Trail like Daniel Boone and the 300,000 pioneers that crossed from Virginia into Kentucky during the late 1700s and early 1800s. The highway that used to run through the pass was taken out about 20 years ago and the trail has been restored and the forest allowed to grow back around it. 

About a month ago, Alan told me that he was planning a kids fall fun weekend in Louisville for us but about a week later he told me that the trip was actually a surprise to Cumberland Gap and Cumberland Falls for our anniversary. He knows me too well and knew that I was planning on seeing my friend that moved near Louisville so he had to fess up!

We left our hotel Saturday morning and drove down to the visitor's center on the Kentucky side, parked the car and set off to cross the gap to Virginia. There was another parking lot much closer to the "Saddle of the Gap," (aka center) and pretty much everyone parked there - in fact we were the only ones that hiked from the visitor's center! 

After we hiked the gap, we took the trail down into Cumberland Gap, Tennessee and saw an iron furnace along the way. All that is left if a portion of the stack, but cool nonetheless. 

We had been hoping to get lunch in Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, but there was only a coffee shop and no food. There was a festival going on that day, but we didn't have cash, so we were going to have to hike back before getting lunch. We decided to head on over to the Virginia visitor's center and then go back into Kentucky. 

Unfortunately both of us forgot our water bottles and were dying on the way back. We hiked a total of 8 miles at Cumberland Gap and by the last couple miles I was just powering through to get to the car and to water. We finally got back to the car and decided to grab lunch and then drive up to Pinnacle Overlook. 

Originally Alan wanted to hike up there and I talked him out of it. When we started the drive up on the switchbacks, he was like thank you so much for talking me out of this!

At the top you could see Tri-State Peak, where Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee meet, as well as two CSA forts.We only stopped at Fort Lyon because by that point we were both exhausted. 

On the way back to our hotel, we stopped at Cumberland Falls, which was beautiful. It is one of two waterfalls in the world that has a predictable moonbow and we happened to be there the weekend that it was happening. 

We were there for about an hour or so, but ultimately decided to grab dinner and head back to the hotel. It would've been awesome to see, but we were going to have to wait another couple hours and we were tired and hungry. One of these days I will be back!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Urban Bourbon Half Marathon 2016

Yesterday morning I ran the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon with my best running friend in Louisville, KY. Awhile back I wrote about my bucket list races, and this one was on it. I'm excited to say that I have ran two of them this year and a third will happen in January.

I ran this race with my friend with whom I ran the Anthem 5k, Healthcare Classic 5k and Freeman Lake 10k. This race had a 15 minute mile pace limit and the course closed after 3.5 hours. Her main goal was to finish within the time limit and ideally with less than a 15 minute mile pace and in 3:15. I knew we would have no problem finishing before the course closed but I figured it would be close on her second goal. 

Yesterday morning was freezing and I'm so glad I brought capris! I had a sweatshirt on and almost kept it for the race, but I knew I would lose it somewhere on the course so I reluctantly gave it to Alan when we lined up with the three hour pacer. I knew we probably wouldn't stay with them, but figured that we would stay as long as we could. I figured they would do a run/walk split similar to what the pacer in the Evansville Half Marathon does, but nope. Not even close. Oops! 

Mile 1: 12:21

We stayed with the pacers for the first mile and then we had walk a chunk of the second. My legs cramped up, just like in the Evv Half, and I needed to work it out. Since this happens almost every run, I'm thinking that I really some calf compression sleeves. I actually didn't feel very well that morning and I felt really bad that this was her first half, that she worked so hard for all year and I was slowing her down. I kept telling her to just leave me and that I would catch up once my legs felt better. She told me no, that I didn't leave her so she wasn't leaving me. 

Mile 2: 15:04
Mile 3: 14:56
Mile 4: 14:07

Sure enough, somewhere around mile 3 I was fine. But the hills were coming. Part of the course went through Cherokee Park, which we ran for the Healthcare Classic. We were letting gravity carry us down the hills and running partway up them. 

Mile 5: 14:29
Mile 6: 15:12
Mile 7: 15:21

Some ladies from Mary's running group were manning the water stop around mile 7 and we were bolstered through.

We were almost to mile 9 and I desperately needed some water. It was downhill so I just took off and let gravity carry me.

Mile 8: 14:53
Mile 9: 15:20
Mile 10: 15:04

At mile 10 I told her that all we had left was a 5k and she told me that she was hitting the wall. You know, the one where you feel like you can't go any further. We were doing a run/walk the entire time and every time I got water and/or Powerade at the water stops, I felt sick. I'm sure it was a carryover from not feeling so hot when I woke up, but I was struggling too and trying really hard not to show how much. These miles kind of blur together but at some point we walked every other block through part of miles 10, 11 and 12.

Mile 11: 15:05
Mile 12: 15:38
Mile 13: 14:52

At mile 12 there was a balloon arch because the kids race started there and ran 1.1 miles to the finish. We were joking that it was the fake finish and cheered as we went through it. We were maybe a quarter of the way into mile 13 when I heard a policeman say to a driver that the end was right there and they could wait til it passed. I looked over my shoulder as we turned onto Main Street for the last stretch and saw that it wasn't that far behind us. I mentioned it to her and said we can run this last bit, it's only 7 blocks. So I started counting them down. At 1.5 to go, we saw Alan taking pictures of us, and we gave it everything we had to go through the chute.

We finished in 3:15:11, with a 14:54 minute mile pace, right where she wanted to be. I do feel bad that I wasn't 100% to run with her, but I'm so glad that we were able to get each other through. She was so so excited to finish her first half, something she never thought she could do. I'm so happy Mary chose me to do it with her. I'm so proud of you lady!

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