Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hoosier Half Marathon...a run around campus

Hills, hills, and more hills. They were relentless. 13.1 miles of brutality. When the description of the race said "rolling hills" they weren't kidding. Last year we did the 5K, and we thought how bad could the half be? Well, we found out before we got to the first mile. The race started out across from the famed Assembly Hall and immediately headed downhill before turning onto a long stretch of uphill lasting for about half a mile.  
It was freezing cold! Temperature was barely
 30 degrees at the start. 
Our traditional pre-race shoe picture. We dressed in red and white to sport the school's colors. Go Hoosiers!
Blurry picture of the start, but you can see the hill ahead. Yikes!
The Sample Gates. This is the point where we could have split off and opted for the 5K, but we persevered and chose the race we came to run. Once through the Sample Gates, we continued our run through the beautiful IU campus.
There is a lot of green space, trails, and open areas throughout the campus. IU is known for its limestone buildings using the limestone native to this area.
 Contrast this to the brick buildings found on
 its rival school, Purdue University.
We ran by mansions like this one as well as sororities and fraternities on Greek Row.
Kevin tackling one of the multitude of hills on the course. You can see how steep this hill is by looking at the steps on the left leading up to the house. The man in the green shirt halfway up the hill was from California and was using this as a practice run for a 50 mile trail run in the mountains of Colorado he has in a few weeks.
A street named after me!
Official time on my Garmin. Wanted to finish in 3 hours but the hills did us in. We were happy with this since we walked more than we had planned. 
Glad to be done! Now it's time to eat!
Our shirt and medal

Assembly Hall; back were we started a
 little over 3 hours ago!

This is a race that we will NOT be repeating in 2015!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Life With Arthrtis

About 5 years ago, I had to have my wedding ring,  engagement ring, and anniversary bands cut off due to swelling in my fingers from arthritis.  After decades of wearing my rings, I felt naked without them. So, I had arthritic shanks made so that I could wear two of my rings. However, over the last year the pain and swelling increased to the point that I could no longer even wear them. Last week I saw a rheumatologist and finally got some relief by way of cortisone injections into my painful joints. I kid you not, childbirth didn't hurt as much as these injections. First, a numbing injection between the joints and then the cortisone injection in both fingers. My fingers felt like balloons that were about to pop from the pressure of the fluid invading my deteriorating joints. The doctor said that with the stage of my arthritis I may not benefit from these shots but it was worth a try. 
My fingers prior to injections
My fingers today, a week after the injections

Although it's been just a week, I have had some relief from the constant joint pain. The joint on my middle finger is considerably smaller and the swelling has decreased to where I don't feel like I'm sporting sausages for fingers. My next appointment is in 4 months, and at that time I will decide whether this course of treatment is one that I want to pursue.  If I chose injections as a sense of relief, I will receive shots every 4 months for life. I guess I better get over my fear of needles!

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Day 5K Kilt Race

Saturday morning was my second race of the year, creeping toward my 14 races for 2014 goal.  The weather was COLD! Temperatures were in the low 30's but the sun was shinning which was deceiving. I woke up 2 hours earlier than the start of the race, because I ALWAYS get nervous even if it's just a 5K. This is the third year I have participated in this race and love the festive atmosphere it brings. In honor of the occasion, I made a plaid kilt to wear over my tights. It's been a while since I've used my sewing machine, so I had to search YouTube for directions on how to make a simple kilt. It took me just a little over an hour from start to finish, with the finished product turning out better than expected. 
Pinned and ready to pleat
My finished kilt! 
My middle daughter and her boyfriend are dressed festive as well! It was SO cold waiting for the race to start.
Traditional pre-race shoe photo
A "real life" leprechaun
Starting line 
Downtown Courthouse
A downtown dining legend 
The Kilt Run was sponsored by the fire department
View of the city skyline from the course
Crossing the bridge to the finish line
Finished in 39 minutes; walked the first 5 minutes
then used a 1
:1 run/walk interval for the rest of the race (I had so many layers of clothes on that I look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy)

The 5K Kilt run was only a portion of the Get Green Fest that was held on Saturday. Felt great after the run probably because I hydrated well the week leading up to the race. Thanks to watermelon NUUN for helping me recover so quickly! Then it was on to McDonalds for a post-race breakfast of pancakes and chocolate milk.  

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Central Park and Good Bye Big Apple: NYC Part 3

We packed so much into 6 days that we were ready for a leisurely day in Central Park. But walking through Central Park can be a daunting adventure. It encompasses 840 acres of land and is packed with things to do. We started out with an uptown bus tour covering the upper east and west side of the city as well as the lively and diverse borough of Harlem. We passed Museum Row but due to our limited amount of time, we did not visit any of them. On a side note: the Metropolitan Museum of Art or The Met, the MoMA, and the American Museum of Natural History are my favorite ones.  Once in Harlem we stopped outside of the famed Apollo Theater to hear music from years gone by.  
The Apollo Theater in Harlem

The Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

We had reservations for lunch at The Boat House in Central Park which is located on The Lake and is quite the place to dine among New Yorkers. The lunch menu was about half the price of the dinner menu, so we opted for lunch. In the summer the restaurant is open air (weather permitting) and our table was located as close to the lake as we could get. The food was scrumptious!
Our table by the lake at The Boathouse
The Bethesda Fountain in Central Park
featured in numerous movies and television shows
The Mall in Central Park runs through the middle of the park from 66th to 72nd Street. The canopy of trees offered us some shady relief from the sweltering humidity and 90 degree temperatures that plagued us all week.
My favorite picture of the entire trip!
8 great friends spending time on a once in a lifetime trip!

This mosaic located in the 2.5 acre section of Central Park known as Strawberry Fields, is dedicated to the memory of Beatles member, John Lennon

The sweeping stairway in Tiffany's
My purchase in the famous blue bag!
 I bought the least expensive item that I could find.   
Inside Trump Tower on 5th Avenue

Columbus Circle

The famed Plaza Hotel along Central Park South and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan home to the adorable children's book character Eloise.  You can stay in the Eloise suite
for a mere $995 a night!


Outside view of our home away from home for 6 days

Our private shuttle to the airport offered door to door service

View of the East River after take off from
 LaGuardia Airport with Manhattan in the background

A great view of Manhattan, Central Park, and the
Hudson River
Good bye city life, Indiana here we come!

What a wonderful time we had together in NYC. Even with one of the hottest summers on record, we still experienced the trip of a lifetime. We will forever treasure this time we had to laugh, talk, and reminisce.

Look out Nashville, the GEMS are about to
 invade your city this summer!

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Date with Good Morning America: New York City Part 2

Our second day in New York City, 6 of us got us early and walked to Times Square to be apart of Good Morning America. Sarah, a first grade teacher and super scrapbooker, made a sign(and hauled it all the way from Indiana) so that we might be picked out of the crowd for TV.  Her sign worked, because we were featured on TV several times. Thanks Sarah! She also brought along stick on mustaches which  brought us a lot of laughs. That morning we saw Barbara Walters, Laura Spencer, George Stephanopoulos, and Sam Champion up close and personal.  It was a morning to remember.
Good Morning America at Times Square
The day was still young and we had an agenda to adhere to
The heat was taking its toll on our mustaches

Next stop, Macy's at Herald Square
One of the only wooden escalators left in the
 United States 
is in Macy's at Herald Square
Taking a break from shopping.  Waiting for our table at
 Rosa Mexicano
Rosa Mexicano located in Union Square has the best guacamole made right at your table
The Strand Bookstore in the East Village of Manhattan is home to 18 miles of new, used, rare, and out of print books
No trip to NYC is complete without a stop at Max Brenner's chocolate and ice cream shop
Pre-show dinner at the world famous Camine's in the Theater District

We saw The Lion King at the Minskoff Theater. The show was spectacular! This is the second time I've seen it on Broadway and the second was better than the first.

The next day we continued touring the city by subway, on foot, and our hop-on hop-off bus

 Federal Hall where George Washington was inaugurated  as the first president of the United States

Trinity Church on Wall Street and The Flat Iron Building in Manhattan are just a few of the architectural wonders we saw on our tour of the city

The Empire State Building and a beautiful cathedral on
5th Avenue

St. Paul's Chapel across from the the World Trade Center became a relief center during the rescue effort of 9/11

One World Trade Center 

North and South Pools at the WTC Memorial
New York Stock Exchange

The United Nations and The Chrysler Building

We ended the day with a dinner at The Crooked Knife, a charming restaurant located in Manhattan's West Village

Walking back to our hotel at Times Square.
Tomorrow, Central Park!