Tag Archives: running

My Favorite Holiday Weekend

I love kicking off my favorite holiday weekend with the Heart and Sole Race, in Pittsville, WI. It’s always on July 3rd, so sometimes it’s crazy hot! It’s an evening race, which sometimes helps, but it’s a fabulous five mile race that raises money for their little local fire department. What a great cause!

There are a couple things that I can count on in this race, and this Blues Brothers guy is one of them!

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This course is an out-and-back with four water stations, and they’re all needed since it’s usually so warm. I stop every time! I run this race with my friend, George, and we chat almost the whole time. We both see runners that we know from other races, so it’s nice to wave at our friends when we run by! That’s one of my favorite parts about out-and-back courses… I get a chance to see everyone who hit the turnaround before I did on their way back, and then I get to cheer on everyone behind me once I turn around! πŸ™‚

The finish line for this race is just adorable. So festive!

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I obviously took that photo before the race- when we came through the chute, there were lots of other people with us! I really love small town races. πŸ™‚

I enjoyed some incredible watermelon post race…

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…and granola. Oh, gosh, the granola.

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It’s homemade, and I have dreams about it the rest of the year. It’s sooo delicious, and I love munching on that once I finish the race! πŸ™‚

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Many thanks to this lady, who obviously is responsible for cooking pans and pans and pans of the good stuff!

George and I came in at a strong 47:24, and refueled with cold beer. πŸ™‚

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I came home, soaked in a tub, and hung out with Brian on our newly finished back deck. We live close enough to Riverfront Rendezvous that we could hear Here Come The Mummies as they played, and I relaxed with a glass of lemonade and enjoyed them from the comfort of my own home. πŸ™‚

On Saturday morning, we prepped for a cookout later, and I got ready for our Stevens Point Fourth of July parade. I love parades, and the Fourth of July, and everything patriotic. This is my favorite day!

The common council and the mayor all got together and walked in the parade. It was a lot of fun!

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This is me with “the Marys…” Alderperson Mary Kneebone and Alderperson Mary McComb. πŸ™‚

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Our other friend Mary was driving the truck with the City Band float. Way to go, girl!

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After the parade, I dropped off cookies for our police department and fire department (THANK YOU for working holidays and keeping us safe!), then met Chris and Amy at our house for some lake time!

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We had some perfect weather- hot and sunny with a cold, clear lake to jump in. Before we knew it, it was time to head back to our house for our annual cookout. Of course, I completely forgot to take photos of our friends and all the delicious food, but we had a gaggle over for burgers, brats, sweet corn, and all sorts of traditional grilling foods!

For dessert, we featured my tenth annual flag cake!

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I can’t believe I’ve been making this cake for ten years! I used to choose white cake, but now I make angel food cake with fresh whipped cream for frosting. Delicious!

Once it got a little darker, we played with some sparklers. My friends are the cutest!

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We finished our night with s’mores by the fire, and Amy and Chris stayed for a sleepover!

We woke them up with coffee, egg sandwiches, and quite impressive Bloody Marys.

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Breakfast on the front porch with friends is really the best way to start my day, especially since our post-brunching activity was a walk to the new winery. Brian and I were lucky enough to attend their soft opening the week prior, so we were excited to show off this new facility!

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We strolled through the parks on the way home, stopping to look at the emergency vehicle display.

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Abbie was thrilled with all our visitors and all the time playing outside, but she was really happy to cool off inside for the afternoon. πŸ™‚

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Stevens Point hosts fireworks on Sunday, so Brian and I headed over to the park with our kayaks and watched both our friends in Horseshoes and Hand Grenades play at the park AND the fireworks from our little place on the water.

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Don’t worry, friends: we are experienced kayakers and had both bow and stern lights, as well as headlamps. I get concerned about the other kayakers out on the water- there is a lot of boat traffic out for the fireworks and I’ve seen less experienced kayakers struggle in the wake. Lights are very important, too!

We packed up the boats, drove the three blocks home, and collapsed in bed.

Fourth of July weekend? Complete, and a total success. πŸ™‚

As always, thanks for reading!!

Miles this year: 308.55

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Yoga Photos + Purple Northern Lights + Amanda & Mark Madison Engagement

After my long weekend with STREAM Girls, I was absolutely exhausted. I fell asleep on the couch at 7:30!

Luckily, I woke the next morning refreshed, and I was able to help Brian work on our new back deck- I was using power tools and everything! My mom would be so proud. πŸ™‚ Our deck is really coming together! I can’t wait to have dance parties on it and do yoga and feed my friends.

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We took a break, cleaned up, then ran up to Wausau to celebrate Father’s Day with my mom’s family, and I gave some special love to Grampie. ❀

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I started the next week with yoga with Carmel, back up at CSY. It was their four year anniversary, so they had a little party, and brought in a photographer. I love these images! Thanks to Miranda Photography for capturing our sweaty, happy selves.

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Whenever I leave a hot yoga class, I have a total new sense of purpose and lots of energy! It seems counterintuitive, but yoga makes me feel more productive (and happier!) for the rest of the day… and it was made even better when I heard through the grapevine that the northern lights were going to be active Tuesday night. The Aurora Borealis is notoriously fickle and hard to predict- when the best experts attempt to predict it, sometimes it’s not visible, and sometimes they don’t predict it, and you can see it with the naked eye.

Several times, my shooting attempts have been foiled by clouds- it was predicted, and appeared, but I couldn’t see it through the overcast skies. I saw the forecast, and I was a little excited, but as sunset approached, so did a storm. It rained from 8-9:30ish, and I thought for sure the clouds would be in my way. I sat down and watched the 10:00 news with Brian, and kept anxiously peeking out the window every five minutes, until I finally decided to head out around 10:30 and give it a go.

My first stop was a short drive away, at Sunset Lake. When I got there, I wondered if the park was closed, since it was dark. I hoped not, since the gate was open, and I drove down to the water’s edge. I pulled out my tripod, and my camera, and the bug spray, then got set up. My eyes had finally adjusted to that extra-black-feeling darkness of playing in the country late at night, when a boat showed up. They were fishing with a giant light in their boat, and I knew it would be hard to work around their light as I was setting my exposure to the skies… and just when I thought I better shoot fast before they entered my frame, they shone their light right at me on shore, and I could no longer see anything. 😦 It’s a good thing that I know my gear like the back of my hand, so I could operate it without actually looking at the buttons and dials.

As soon as I set up the tripod and camera, I knew I wanted to be lower to the ground to get the angle I wanted. I sat down in the soft earth next to the water, and before I knew it, I could feel the warmth of the recent rain seeping through the fabric of my yoga pants. Oh, well… I guess that’s a sacrifice that I had to make to get these shots.

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I love that the big dipper was so prominent! I was only shooting there for about 15 minutes before I packed up and headed home. I wanted to go to the river’s edge in my neighborhood to capture just how truly beautiful Stevens Point can be. This image was taken three blocks from my home, in Bukolt Park. πŸ™‚

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The next day, I charged my batteries, grabbed clear memory cards, and headed down to Madison to meet Amanda and Mark for their engagement portrait session. We had such a fun time! We started at the Capitol…

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…then wandered to Monona Terrace…

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…and we ended the shoot with a walk down State Street to the Memorial Union, where they had their first date, quite literally on that wooden bench!

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Congratulations on your engagement, Amanda and Mark! It was wonderful to work with you, and we can’t wait until your wedding next year! πŸ™‚

The weather has been so beautiful that I’ve been really enjoying my runs. One of my routes this week wound through campus to the track and back, and I was reminded that, indeed, it is a great day to be a Pointer!

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I recovered from my run with a green smoothie on the back deck. It’s coming along, and I’m so excited!

As always, thanks for reading, friends!

Miles this year: 298.1

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Wedding Recovery + The Bakken Family + Bram’s Senior Portraits

Being in a wedding is exhausting! πŸ™‚ Brian and I stayed with Abbie at the Jefferson Street Inn, so we could just walk over to the gift opening brunch. That hotel was really quite wonderful! We’ve shot weddings there before, and I’ve loved working with their catering and event staff, but we’d never actually stayed there. Our room was classy, the front desk staff was very friendly (I needed extra shampoo to get all the hairspray out of my updo!), and they let Abbie stay there for a small fee. The trip signified many “firsts” for Abbie- her first hotel stay, her first carpet experience (we have hardwood and tile), and her first ride in an elevator! She was such a champ. I love that cutie! We took her for ice cream at Briqs to celebrate. πŸ™‚

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I started the next week with an adorable family/maternity shoot with the Bakken family. Kendi is beautifully pregnant with Teddy, so we had a fabulous shoot with these guys!

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It’s safe to say Jace is excited about becoming a big brother! πŸ™‚

After their photo shoot, I went for a run around the park. I found a little trail that I hadn’t run before, and I loved exploring.

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Hot, humid runs are a special kind of cleansing. πŸ™‚ I got home in time to clean up and finish studying before my first full city council meeting. Here’s the view from my new “office…”

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…and of course, a selfie with the alders from Districts 5 and 6. πŸ™‚

Our friend, Ali, had a cancelled flight, so she was in Stevens Point for an extra day. We met at Emy J’s, caught up, and I learned all about her Brooklyn life! New York sounds like a completely different experience- I’ve been there once, but we went and visited all the sights that tourists typically see, so it wasn’t a really authentic experience. πŸ™‚

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I finished out the week with some fabulous senior portraits for Bram. He’s a very talented soccer player and avid fly angler, so we had a variety of locations for the shoot. πŸ™‚

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It was great to work with you, Bram! Thanks for not kicking that soccer ball right at my head.

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Shots like this are a sure sign of trust… I wouldn’t lay down on the ground with my gear in front of just any soccer player and ask him to shoot the ball. πŸ™‚

I was busy putting the final touches on my STREAM Girls program, and subsequently feeling pretty stressed, so Brian decided to take me on a little date to Belts’! It’s a short bike ride from our home, and we just LOVE their ice cream! πŸ™‚

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It’s easy to support local businesses when their products are delicious! πŸ™‚

Up next? STREAM Girls- all the cuteness of Girl Scouts learning about their watershed and the Trout Unlimited volunteers who help. πŸ™‚

As always, thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

Miles this year: 294.1

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Your new Stevens Point District Four Alderwoman

Since Brian and I decided to change the focus of our business so we are not solely/primarily wedding photographers, we have found ourselves with a new sense of enjoyment- a free weekend. We planned a trip up to the cabin with Nikki to surprise her beautiful momma (Marilyn) on her birthday! I’ve been going there with her and her family since we were a single digit age.

We had a fabulous weekend- Marilyn was surprised, we went on a pontoon ride around the lake, and we took a little time to recharge our batteries before a busy week ahead.

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Brian knew I had a big week ahead, so he surprised me with a beautiful bouquet. I love flowers!!

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Monday was a big day. We have city council meetings on the third Monday of the month, and since my alderman (fourth district) was recently elected mayor, we had a vacancy. I don’t have much of a background in local politics, but I polished up my resume, wrote a very honest and personality-filled cover letter, and threw my hat in the ring. In a case like this, the city doesn’t hold a special election- the city council votes to fill the vacancy.

I was very nervous at the meeting- appointing the fourth district alder was about halfway through the agenda, and I sat anxiously with Brian in the gallery. My original opponent saw my resume and cover letter and dropped out of the race- I don’t know if he was intimidated, or if he was just relieved that someone who cares about the city was going to try and fill the spot. I did have another opponent step up at the meeting, so when the interview portion of the evening arrived, I sat down next to Bryan Worzella. The council asked us a variety of questions about our ideas for the city and our vision, as well as our community involvement. Several members of the council were excused from the meeting, but when it came time to vote, I was elected 7-1. The clerk of courts came down and swore me in right away, and the mayor escorted me to my seat.

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I’m proud to be Stevens Point’s District Four Alderwoman. I love my city and especially my neighborhood- that’s why we chose to root our home and business here.

I’m sure that my life will never be the same- I’m now spending all my free time (and then some!) trying to learn the inner workings of Stevens Point. Unfortunately, my editor at Hoopla fired me over the new job- since she also edits the City-Times, she said that being the staff photographer for Hoopla would be a conflict of interest. What a bummer… but I didn’t have too much time to think about it, as I rushed to La Crosse right after the council meeting.

I checked into my hotel, got a quick little sleep, woke up for an even quicker run…

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then I headed over to Festival Food’s Onalaska office for my third and final day of headshots for that company.

Luckily for me, the Greenfields leave nearby, so after my photo shoot, I was able to meet them for dinner and snuggle with the newest member of our Delta Omicron family, baby Gloria! ❀

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She’s absolutely perfect, and I’m so happy for Jaime and Karl. πŸ˜€

Once I got home, I immediately met with the major, the city attorney, and our comptroller/treasurer. There’s so much to learn! When I was overwhelmed with learning, I got a release through a workout with the reel mower.

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Gosh, I love that thing, even when I let the lawn get too long and it’s difficult to operate.

That’s all for now, friends- thanks for reading! Up next? A trip to Chicago followed by a little more time up north.

Miles this year: 286.1

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I can’t believe I left my keys on the hood.

Yes, you read that right. Apparently, I was unloading the car when I got home, and I put my keys on the hood of the car. Later that evening, Brian and I hopped in my car to drive to hang out with some of our friends, and he used his car keys. We were several miles from home when he looked down on the hood and noticed my keys were sitting there.

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They’re not magnetized or anything- I don’t know how they stayed! I urged Brian to pull over, but he said, “If they haven’t come off yet, they’ll be okay until we get there.” We drove the last few miles with baited breath, but they didn’t budge. I’m so lucky!

I paid forward my good karma by donating a photo shoot for the absolutely precious little Bennett.

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His momma and daddy tried for many years to have this little peanut, and we all eagerly awaited his arrival!

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Congratulations, Kostuhoski family! ❀

I spent several days doing headshots for a couple different companies, including my physical therapist’s office, Point Forward. Look at these friendly PTs! πŸ™‚

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I also had the opportunity to do headshots for the Festival foods company.

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I did about 130 of them, and they all look pretty much like this. πŸ™‚

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After my first day shooting for Festival at their Green Bay support office, I swung by my favorite fly shop, Tight Lines. They were prepping their gear for the busy guide season.

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I dropped off a couple beers (share the love with your fly shop, people!), had a few laughs, then headed home to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Brian. Margaritas, fajitas, and eating on the porch. I love summer in Wisconsin.

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I had a bunch of other shoots, but made time for a little community race that raises money for CAP services. Our friend, Jenny, also ran the race! A little warm weather 5K was perfect for a weeknight.

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I finished off the week with my last TU chapter board meeting at Shooters in Plover. We’ve switched our meeting location to the new community room in SentryWorld. It’s an incredible facility.

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Our weekend included a shoot with all of the individual students at Heywood Music Studios. Here’s the group shot from their spring piano recital!

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Always a busy girl, and always running around. More adventures to come.

As always, thanks for reading!

❀

Miles this year: 282.1

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Running analysis (a.k.a. I have weak WHAT??)

After a couple weeks of recovery post-marathon, I was ready to revamp my running technique. I know my gait needed a few modifications, so I scheduled a running analysis (gait analysis) at Point Forward Motion Analysis.

It was very interesting. I learned more about my body than I ever thought I’d want to know. πŸ™‚

John is the guy in charge, and he outfitted me with little electrodes.

  
  Once they were attached, I went for a little run on the treadmill.

 There were several video cameras, recording me from different angles. They ran the footage through their fancy computer, and it gave me lots of data. I was especially interested in the angles of my joints mid stride.  That data helped John identify my weak muscles.   

 He used that information to give me a series of exercises to help me strengthen those weak areas, and he placed electrodes on the muscles. I then performed those exercises while watching a big tv screen that indicated when those muscles were activated.  

 No cheating! One of my weakest areas are my glutes. Even though I regularly do squats, I’d somehow trained my body to use my quads instead of my butt. Gosh, darn it! It sounds like that’s a common problem with runners, so I didn’t feel too bad about it, though I was really interested in learning how to teach my body to squat correctly. I’m glad I had those electrodes to give me some feedback when I was using the right muscles! For the record, my calves are also weak. When John suggested that, I thought he was crazy. I’d just run my ninth marathon- how could I possibly have weak calves?!

Well, he asked me to do some one-legged heel raises… turns out, I could only do a few. I guess I do have week calves!

It was a pretty awesome experience, and I left with a whole new idea of what I want my running to become this year. I love finding new muscles to strengthen and new ways to be faster and stronger. This isn’t going to be easy, but improvements are worth working for. πŸ™‚ Thanks, John!

Miles this year: 278.1

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Life has sure been busy.

I’m starting to learn that being busy is just a state that we all know as adulthood.  I keep thinking things will slow down, but they don’t! πŸ™‚ I did take a very brief break after the race, but it didn’t last!

While I’ve been out on adventures, here is what you missed:

-An Earth Day presentation. Matt, my TU chapter president, and I, made a PowerPoint to share what TU does in our community. The Jensen Center was packed with friends of water in our area. πŸ™‚   

   -I ran up to Wausau and did a few headshots and event photos from an oral health presentation sponsored by Fehrman Orthodontics.  

   -I cooked a killer batch of fajitas. They were pretty, too…  -I religiously went to yoga at Community Soul.   

 -And last, but not least, Brian and I celebrated my one-week-post-marathon anniversary by running a little five mile race in New London. It’s called the Sturgeon Shuffle, and the course runs along the Wolf River while the sturgeon are typically spawning.  It was a great race, though my legs were feeling pretty tired near the end. Marathon recovery is no joke! I do love running along the water, and this course is an out-and-back, with a two mile option. It starts and ends at the school, runs through a little park, then the rest of the course follows the river. I loved that part of it. Brian was a trooper and stuck with me through the whole thing, even though I felt like I was running excruciatingly slow. Post-marathon muscle fatigue is such a weird and very real thing. It was a relatively small race, with chilly and windy weather, and it was well organized. They had bananas and delicious cookies at the finish, so I was obviously pretty excited for that! We finished and warmed up inside the school until it was time for awards.

Brian placed 2nd in his age group. I got 3rd in mine, and we both came home with these fabulous mugs as awards.   

 I’ve been traveling all over the place, shooting places, people, and projects… and I can’t wait to sit still long enough to share them all with you! 

I’ll be back soon. πŸ™‚

Miles this year: 266

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Oshkosh Marathon 2015 Race Recap

My ninth marathon. Oh boy!

Brian and I went to Oshkosh on Saturday night to pick up my bib, and we spent the night with my mother-in-love, Jean, in New London. We were lucky enough to get to hang out with my sweet nephews, and we brought pizza, so they seemed extra happy to see us πŸ™‚

I had my fly box in the car, so I got to show the boys a little piece of my passion… apparently, the boys like bugs! They thought it was awesome. I relaxed and painted my toenails, a pre-marathon ritual, and caught up with Jean.

We went to bed pretty early, and amazingly, I slept soundly through the night. My 5:00 alarm went off awfully early, and I peeled myself out of bed, took my thyroid meds, and started getting ready. I got dressed, braided my hair, and made oatmeal. Brian brewed coffee and helped me get everything together, and we headed out to Oshkosh. We met Lydia and Matthew at a coffee shop near the start line, and we huddled in the warmth of the store before we made our way to the start.Β Β The race starts at the same place that we have our annual Wisconsin TU banquet every year, so I’m very familiar with the area.Β Β Our men came and acted as pro spectators for us- I think Brian shared some of his secrets with Matthew. πŸ™‚Β Lydia and I made our way to the crowd and settled into our pace group.

The view in front of us:Β Β …and behind us…Β …and us!Β Β Β They sang the national anthem, the gun went off, and we started shuffling along. We talked and talked for the first few miles. Before I knew it, we saw the boys!

Shortly after this point, the half marathon course split from the marathon course, so I had to say goodbye to Lydia. Our first few miles had gone by so quickly that I wasn’t ready to say good bye! It snuck up on me. Luckily, I had a huge bridge to climb to distract me, and then I was looking down on Hwy 41.Β Β Miles 3.5 to 17 were out-and-back on the Wiouwash trail. It was beautiful! Sometimes we were sheltered, but it was mostly open.Β 
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Β I was happy to make it out to the turnaround and head back.Β Β Unfortunately for me, it was super windy, and the “back” part of the course was hard-fought with a headwind. I still managed a smile for my halfway selfie. πŸ˜‰Β Β In the meantime, Brian and Matthew went out to meet Lydia. I’m not sure how far this was on the half marathon course, but Lydia looks awesome!Β Β 

Β Β Β I think almost every race I’ve run has had someone who runs the whole race with a full-size American flag. I loved cheering on this guy when I passed him!

We ran past a lot of water on the course. I was thinking about fishing and Trout Unlimited and high capacity well pumping and invasive species and all sorts of other water stuff for a good chunk of the race.Β Surprisingly, I didn’t think there was enough water stations on the course, but that may be just because I am a sweaty, thirsty runner.

We ran though a little bit of campus, and along this little trail along the water, too.Β For a majority of this race, I ran with a guy named Mike. When I say ran “with,” I really mean that in a totally unusual way. I drafted off him from miles 4-6. Then for miles 6-17, we’d run together for a mile or so until we hit a water station. He didn’t stop for water, but I always stop and walk through, so I can drink my water or Gatorade. It would take me about a quarter mile to catch up to him, then we’d run together until the next water station. It was kind of fun. Eventually, around mile 17 or so, I couldn’t catch up to him. Luckily for me, he reappeared around mile 22, and we gave each other pep talks along the way. For example, I confessed to him that I was running without my glasses, so I couldn’t see that well. About a mile later, I said, “I’m going to walk for a bit at the next block.” He replied, “Oh, come on- you can make it to the next turn.” Of course, about a quarter mile later, I realized there was no turn!

That’s the kind of marathon buddy I needed. It was perfect! Eventually, I out ran him, and made it into the final mile by myself. I was starting to feel my muscles on the verge of cramping, both hamstrings and calves. I started giving myself an audible talking to… “Come on, girl. You can do it!”

It helped to have my sole sisters cheering me on virtually. I love these women! I had been texting them mile updates and photos, and they helped me through the rough times.Β 

The end of the course is up and over a bridge, with a kind of sharp angle at the bottom. It took all of my remaining bodily control to make the corner and not take out the spectators standing at the end there. πŸ™‚ The final .1 is along the river, and it would have been fabulous, if anyone was paying attention to the race. Kids were playing, and anglers were fishing, and there was no one there to give me a little push for the last stretch. I was feeling pretty miserable, and making a sound kind of like Darth Vader, if he knew how to whimper. πŸ™‚

Luckily, I hung in there for the last minute, and found myself running through the chute!

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My official time was 4:40:54. So close to a PR! Darn wind. πŸ™‚

Lydia convinced me to stretch, even though I didn’t want to! Plow hurt so good.Β Β As we relaxed on the grassy knoll, I drank the chocolate shake that Brian brought for me (thanks, baby!), and then they called my name to the podium… 2nd place Athena!Β Β Β 
Β I caught up with Mike for a quick photo, then we headed out.Β 

Of course, the only thing to do after a race is have pizza and beer. Of course. Glass Nickel, FTW!Β 

I stretched and danced and ate and drank until I was full and happy, then I napped in the car on the way home. Brian went straight to Belts for an ice cream dinner, per my request, and I crashed hard and early at 7:30 pm!
It was a great race.

Some people don’t believe in weight-based classes like Athena, and I don’t always race as an Athena, but I do feel like there’s something special in taking ownership of my size and reaching for goals anyway. Until I competed Athena, I never felt that powerful feeling of competing against someone else- I was always competing with myself. There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact, I usually prefer it… but it was kind of fun to race hard (for me!) against other runners and know that I had a chance to win something.

Despite the wind, the weather was beautiful, and I was so happy to have company of friends for the course. Thanks for the support, Lydia, Carmel, and Stranger Mike!

I’m already looking for my next race… I wonder where I’ll go! I have my heart set on Missula for next year, but I might pick something for the fall. πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading, friends! πŸ™‚

Miles this year: 259

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My last Taper Week + Conservation Lobby Day

I love spring. Sure, my allergies “reappear” after a winter of hibernation, but it’s worth it. There is nothing like opening my windows to let in some fresh air!

I started spring cleaning in my office, too. As our business has grown, my office space gets more and more cramped. It’s fun to reorganize my photography gear, though… I always find props I’ve forgotten I own and, inevitably, a few spare memory cards. πŸ™‚

 Abbie has loved the warmer weather, too- we’ve been out running a bunch!

  
   I’ve taken her along a lot lately, because I won’t be running as much after the marathon. πŸ™‚

I spent my last taper week busy with both work and play, and a little of “doing my civic duty.”

Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters hosts an annual Conservation Lobby Day, where they gather conservation-minded citizens together, teach us how to lobby our legislators, and let us loose on the capital. Actually, “let us loose” doesn’t exactly describe it- they made appointments for all of us with our respective senators and representatives, and gave us our personalized schedule when we checked in. Thanks for being awesome, WLCV!

My friend, Jen, spent some time behind the podium…

 …and Matt joined her to show us how to demonstrate effective lobbying.

There were a lot of people who came to the event, which was held at Monona Terrace. I love that facility, though I think I’ve only been there for music conventions and weddings, so this was a nice change of pace!  Trout Unlimited had a good showing, too!  The WLCV staff gave presentations on the main topics that we were going to share our passion about with our legislators. It always helps to have some facts in your back pocket when going into a meeting. The topic that resonated the most with me was from Helen.

 I’ve see Helen at many different water events, and I love her approach. This issue also really matters to me… as most of you know, my degrees are in music and education. I don’t have a background in science or natural resources- no hydrology, geology, soils, fisheries, or anything related to conservation. I heavily rely on our DNR scientists to tell me what is needed and necessary regarding having a sustainable and healthy ecosystem here in Wisconsin. Sure, I know how to catch a trout, and I have a few ideas regarding how to make things better environmentally, but I don’t know enough to make big decisions on my own. I’m continually surprised when some politicians think that they can make big decisions in other fields while knowing minimally the subject at hand. In that case, maybe I should be the head of the fisheries department? I’ve seen a few deer on the side of the road, does that make me qualified to make decisions about deer hunting licenses? I love that Wisconsin has lots of opportunities for people to make their opinions heard, and gives experienced anglers and hunters a chance to weigh in on issues (like though the Conservation Congress), but we still need professionals to help us make educated decisions and set guidelines. I don’t think there is weakness in asking for help from experts- I think that is a sign of an intelligent leader, and it is definitely a better fiscal idea to have your own staff than to contract out to other scientists.

Anyway, we reviewed the main issues, ate lunch, then I ran rampant all over Madison. πŸ˜‰ Our Capitol is a beautiful place!   

  

     My first stop was at Rep. Katrina Shankland’s office.

 

The assembly was in session…

 …but Katrina’s staff met with us. I was excited to meet Annika, since I’d emailed back and forth with her many times! Annika took us down to see if Katrina could pop out to check in with us, and she did!

Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to see us, Katrina (and thanks for taking our picture, Annika)! 

 I had a short break before my next meeting, which was filled with an interview for a new organization called Love Wisconsin. I’ll share more about that collaboration when I have it! It was fun to be on the other side of the lens.  I was taking pictures inside of the Capitol building and had a couple TU photobombers…

…and before I knew it, it was time for my meeting with Sen. Julie Lassa.
 We crammed a whole lot of water-lovers into her office, and she was very kind and receptive to our concerns. Thank you, Julie! Thank you for organizing such a great event, WLCV! I hung out with my conservation friends for the night, then stopped at my accountant (my Aunt Tina!), and made a quick stop at Bloom Bakery on the way home. Bloom is in Middleton, and they specialize in gluten-free and vegan pastries. Gorgeous and delicious.  

 On Friday afternoon, I took my boat out for the first paddle of the year, and it was every bit as fabulous as I remembered.  I spent Friday night shooting the awards banquet for the School of Business and Economics here at the University.   

  

  

       I love shooting this event. Those SBE people sure know how to put on a beautiful banquet and an efficient awards ceremony. Congratulations to all the award winners!

Saturday morning was a haircut and blowout…  …and final prep for Sunday’s race.

Up next? My ninth marathon recap. Thanks for reading, friends!

Miles this year: 232.65

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20 miles + sole sisters + adventures in canvassing

I can’t get enough of my little mountain. Rib Mountain is still a challenge! We park at the bottom, then run up, around some trails, and back down. Thanks for the miles, Carmel!  

 It was the first run with bare shoulders of the year. Liberation!

When I got home, I took a peek at the bottoms of my shoes, and even though I’m not at my typical 500 mile retirement, it is time. Shoes don’t wear themselves down. My sidepiece tattoo reads, “Turn dreams into reality,” and that’s what I’m doing. It’s intentional, not accidental. I had two new pairs of shoes waiting for me, just itching for the right moment to make their debut.Someone else in our home got some new duds… Abbie is a lucky girl- she got all new bling and a new collar. She lost all the tags she had when the ring stretched out, so I ran by the vet to get a new rabies tag, and the courthouse to get a new license tag, and I ordered her a new ID tag. For the record, we ordered from Boomerang Tags, and they’re awesome! Lots of choices, great prices, and fast, free shipping. I tried out my new shoes with these three runners…  

  We had a great hilly trail run together!For my twenty miler, these girls teamed up to run with me. Lydia took the first ten miles, and Carmel took the second ten. Lydia and I ran through town, and through the reserve, and looped over toward Sentry. We ran up their big ramp… …until their security guard came out and asked us to walk instead, for our safety. I’d never run up there, so it was funny that we got in trouble right away!

We stopped home after seven miles for fuel, water, to warm up, and to put on some gloves. It was SO cold and windy that our hands kind of froze into claw hands. We struggled to unwrap the Starburst at home! Ridiculous. The gloves helped, and we finished off the first half. Carmel was waiting for us, and they had a ceremonial changing of the guard. πŸ™‚ I looked pretty curly good for halfway!  Carmel and I looped through a different part of the reserve……and it was every bit as cold as it looks! I love these boardwalks, though πŸ™‚It was a great run, even though it was cold. It kind of felt like I never really warmed up and found my groove, but my girls kept me going by talking nonstop through the run. It is so much easier to run with the support of my sole sisters! 

As soon as I got home, I chugged a glass of water, grabbed my keys, and went to Starbucks for coffee. Next stop? Belts. Of course. Gosh, I so love sprinkles.

I ate my ice cream in a mustard bath, then grabbed my laptop and materials out of my office. The only thing that could make my day better than working from the couch with a cozy blanket was a visit from my best friend, Amy. I ordered her wedding invitations, and they’d come in. She drove down to pick them up, and surprised me with a cupcake! Doesn’t this just make your day?It sure made mine. Love you, girl!

So, that long run and visit was my Friday, and I spent Saturday canvassing for my friend, Mary. She ran for alderman in district 7, and I’m proud to announce that she won! It was the first time I’d ever knocked on doors for someone in an election. I was totally surprised at how many people don’t vote, don’t want to vote, don’t care about politics on any level, and, perhaps most surprising, how many people have no shame in telling me such. Luckily, most of the people we spoke with were interested in what is going on and were very receptive to Mary’s ideas. Well, I suppose that’s obvious since she’s the new alderman! πŸ™‚  

Way to go, Mary!! 

Up next? Easter, and a week on the road. Thanks for sticking with me on my adventures!

Miles this year: 208.45

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