Friday, August 17, 2018

Star Wars Dark Side 10k 2018 vlog (Friday Five Edition)

I had finally caught up on all of my race recaps!  I know, finally.

In case you missed the recaps from the Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon Weekend in April:
Here is my vlog from the 10k on Saturday.  Enjoy!

I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for Friday Five 2.0

Friday, August 10, 2018

Hamilton (Friday Five Edition)

Last month my mom and I drove up to DC to see Hamilton.  My mom got to my house around 9 and we headed up in the pouring rain to the Kennedy Center for the Saturday matinee.  I had never been to the Kennedy Center and was excited to see the place.

We parked in the underground parking lot and headed up to their Cafe for lunch.   The Cafe was packed and I wasn't sure everyone was there to see Hamilton, or if there were other shows going on.  After we ate, we had a little bit of time before the show started and looked around the gift shop.  I ended up getting a beautiful necklace and bracelet for a great price.

The Kennedy Center is huge and have several theaters.

I didn't know much about the play Hamilton, except it was a Broadway hit, it was about Alexander Hamilton, and that a lot of the music incorporated rap and hip hop.  I knew even less about Alexander Hamilton.  I'm a little embarrassed to say, I thought he was a president.

We headed down to our seats and my mom said that they were in the center about half way back.  The usher walked us down and it was about half way back, but it turned out that our seats were all the way to one side.  My mom said that she called a third party ticket agent and they knew the row, but did not know the seat numbers, just a general section.  Looks like they were wrong.  In the end it turned out fine.  It was easy to get out and we beat the crowds to the bathroom during intermission and the garage after the show.

The Opera House theater was so beautiful!  As I was taking a picture of my playbill with the stage, an usher came to me and said that there was no photography allowed.  I looked around and tons of people were taking selfies, so I thought he meant of the stage.  I get that.  The balconies were so pretty that I had to take a picture of that and he came back and said that there was no photograph at all.  I told him I thought it was just of the stage, and he said no.  It turns out that they were protective of the design of the theater and did not want pictures of it out there.  He walked off and again I see tons of people taking pictures.  I did eventually see something about photography restricted in the playbill, but nothing on the walls as we walked in or any announcement. 

The play was AMAZING.  Probably one of the best plays I've ever seen.  I found myself tapping my foot or bobbing my head along with most of the music.  The actors were amazing.  One of the things I didn't know was that they purposely cast non-white actors as the Founding Fathers.  It made it more of a history of America, not just a history of old white dudes.  It seemed that they also made the point that Hamilton was an immigrant.  With what is going on in the country today, we have to remember that except for the Native Indians, this country was built by immigrants. 

While Hamilton will be in Richmond for the Broadway Under the Stars 2018-2019 season, it was so good that I don't know if I want to wait that long to see it again. It was such a fun day that I could totally do another trip up there to see it again.

Have you seen Hamilton?  Have you been to the Kennedy Center?  What is your favorite play?

I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for Friday Five 2.0

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Big Hairy Audacious Goal (Tuesdays on the Run Edition)

Currently I don't have any Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAG) for running.  Or really anything grand like that.  Well except for retirement, but I don't think that was the intended for this topic.  I have done most everything running wise that is on my bucket list.  Except I'd maybe like to do a 70.3 or commonly known as a half Ironman (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run).  I don't see that happening any time soon.  So I thought I would recap some of my BHAGs from the past.

My First 10k
When I first started running, thoughts of running anything more then a 5k was something I never thought I would do.  While I had walked the Ukrop's 10k a few years in the past, running it was nothing I thought I wanted to do.  In 2011 I joined the training team and each week I surprised myself and ran the whole long run.  And three months later I ran my first 10k.  It's funny reading back at that post as I said that I didn't think I would want to do something that long again.  I love the 10k distance now.  In fact I do the Ukrop's 10k almost every year now.

My First Half
I actually had a different blog when I wrote up my recap of my first half marathon in 2012, the Richmond Half Marathon.  I honestly don't remember what made me want to run a half marathon, but I joined the training team and stuck to the plan.  The funny thing about that is I didn't think I would want to do that distance more then once a year.  Since 2014 I don't think I've done less then 2 half marathons a year.

My First Tri
The next year, in 2013, I did my first triathlon.  It was the Pink Power Sprint, which was an all women pool tri, which is very first timer friendly.  This is another one that I don't remember why I made it my big goal.  I just knew that I had been swimming and biking since I was little and now that I had been running for a couple years putting all three together might actually be fun.  While I could run, bike, and swim with no problem, putting all three together was something I just knew nothing about.  I joined a local tri training group which helped conqueror my fear of doing something so daunting.  I was glad to have the training group as they showed us things that we would need to know, I also still have great friends that I met through it.

My First Marathon
In 2014 I had run a couple runDisney half marathons and started eyeing a new challenge.  I was one of those that said I would never run a marathon.  Never say never!  I had signed up to run the 2015 WDW Marathon as my first.  Despite having food poisoning and going to the ER the day before, it actually was a great race.  I followed my training closely and that really paid off.  Should probably remember that next time.  lol

First (and only) Dopey
In 2014 runDisney announced a new challenge, run the 5k, 10k, half, and full in one weekend.  They called this the Dopey Challenge, because you have to be, well, Dopey to do it.  I had always been intrigued with Dopey and after I ran my first marathon I knew it was something I wanted to do.  And in 2016 I did.  Luckily I am a stubborn person.  Training for this race was long and it was hard.  It was the hardest weekend I had ever experienced running.  By Sunday I was done.  I had pain in my calf before I started the marathon and just did everything I could to finish.  This is one that I don't think I want to do again.  I'm glad I did it cause now I know I can do anything as long as I put in the training and commitment.  

And then of course I went to Disneyland the next weekend to participate in the Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend.  Yes, I did 7 races in 11 days covering 71 miles.  I didn't plan it that way.  They had announced the Star Wars Weekend after I signed up for Dopey and I didn't want to miss the opportunity to be part of the inaugural race and well it's Star Wars.  The funny thing is the Star Wars Half was the most fun race of all of them. 

Back to Back Marathons
After I finished Dopey, I knew the next marathon I wanted to run was the Marine Corps Marathon.  Since the Richmond Marathon is just two weeks after MCM I decided to join the Richmond Marathon training team.  This would be the first time since my first Half Marathon that I would be training with a group.  I was very excited to not have to worry about fuel since they would have SAGs.  And I would have the chance to run with others.  I knew that I would probably change my race distance at the Expo and just run the half or 8k.

The MCM was HOT and the last 8 miles were miserable as we were out of the fun part of DC and there was no shade.  While I am very proud of that race and did PR, I knew with the great training I had had, I could have done better if it weren't for the heat.  I left changing the race distance for Richmond at the Expo.  By then I felt great.  So I decided to run the Richmond Marathon 2 weeks later. I am now a Marathon Maniac

MCM Accomplished

Richmond Accomplished

We will see if I have any other crazy goals at some point.  You guys will be the first to know!

What have been some of your BHAG?  Do you have any coming up?

Friday, August 3, 2018

Napoleon Exhibit (Friday Five Edition)

For my parents birthday (they both have a birthday on the same day) last month we celebrated by going to dinner at Amuse which is in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and then see the new exhibit about Napoleon. 

Since it was my dad's 80th birthday, I wanted to surprise him with a bunch of balloons that said "Happy 80th Birthday".  It turns out that I couldn't take them in the museum with me.  So I had to run back to my car and leave them there.  Dinner was amazing as usual.  We love going there for dinner.  After dinner I told my mom that I would take the presents that I had given them and put them in her car.  With my hands full I went to the parking garage and to the top floor to their car.  I went down 3 levels to my car to get the balloons.  Then back up three flights to their car to put the balloons in their car.  Wow that was exhausting.

After dinner we went to visit the Napoleon exhibit.  This was a very interesting exhibit.  I never knew much about Napoleon except he was short, always stuck his hand in his jacket, and tried to take over a lot of Europe.

There were a lot of paintings.

And more paintings. 

And clothing that was featured in paintings.

And the hat.

It also had a lot of explanation and history throughout the exhibit.  I felt like I learned more that evening then I had in some of my history classes.  They even had an Emperor's seat where it videoed you and put your image on the wall like a painting.

Me in the chair.

Me and my dad watching the video of us, which was used to project our image on the wall.

My dad in the fake painting on the wall.

The VMFA always brings very interesting exhibits to Richmond.  I'm glad we were able to see this one.

Do you have a favorite or memorable exhibit that you have seen at a museum? 

I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for Friday Five 2.0

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Pony Pasture 5k 2018 (Tuesdays on the Run Edition)

As I was doing all of my recaps for the last few races I participated in, I realized that as of June, I had done at least one race a month.  Being half way through the year, I decided to see if I could finish the year doing at least one race a month.  I signed up for the Pony Pasture 5k that was on July 28th.  It was down by the river and after looking at the race results from last year, I knew that I would be able to finish before they packed up the finish line.

Pony Pasture is a popular hangout on the James River.  It is where people come to walk some of the trails, put their kayak/canoe/tubes in to ride down the river, or swim.  I was down there a few weeks ago with my photography workshop taking pictures.  The race was to start at 7:30 and while you could pick up your packet the night before, there was also packet pickup before the start of the race.  While the parking lot there is big, it would not accommodate all of the people expected, so they set up a shuttle from a shopping center which was close.

I had decided that I would pick up my packet before the race.  And since I knew the parking situation was not great, especially if I want to bring my shirt back to my car, I decided to get there a little before sunrise and take pictures as the sun rose.  I got there about 5:50 and brought my camera and tripod down to the river.  For the next 30 minutes or so, I just took different pictures as the sun came up.

By 6:30 I was packed up and ready to find the table where I could pick up my bib and shirt.  There was only one person in front of me and they just asked for our name, no ID needed.  The bibs were not chip timed, so I got the next bib on the stack.  They gave me my shirt and that was it.  The shirt is one of those soft cotton ones, which I like to wear around the house.

The park had real bathrooms, so I went to use them.  I then walked around some, stretched, and played on my phone till the race was ready to start.  At the start it was 72 degrees with 100% humidity.  I was drenched before we even started.  I debated on carrying a water bottle with me, but in the end I decided it was too much trouble.

The race was an out and back and everyone lined up on River Road for the start.  They played the national anthem and then we were off.  Not knowing how my knee would be, I decided on a 30/45 run/walk.  Soon enough the runners were ahead and there was a good little group around me doing different run/walk intervals.

River Road is very pretty with the river very close.  There were plenty of trees which provided plenty of shade, even though it was overcast through the first part of the morning.  They did not close the road from traffic, but since it was 7:30 on a Saturday, there were not a lot of cars out yet.

There was a water stop just after the first mile marker.  Just in time as I was getting thirsty.  Soon after that I could tell my knee was going to act up.  It wasn't hurting yet, but it was tight.  We continued down the road to the turn around.

Since it was an out and back, we had the same water stop again a little after the second mile.  On hot days like that, I am glad we had a second water stop.  By the second mile, my knee started to officially hurt.  I continued on, running slowly and making sure I took all of my walk breaks.  It wasn't bad like it was for the Star Wars Half, but it did hurt some.

Before I knew it, I had hit the 3 mile marker.  I couldn't believe that I was almost done.  Despite the humidity and a little bit of knee pain, it felt like I was only out there for a mile.  The finish line was a turn into the parking lot and down a small hill.  There were still tons of people there cheering the finishers on.  Since it was not chip timed, several people were calling out the bib numbers and the time as we ran down the chute.

This being a small race, there was no medal.  I kinda wished we got a medal instead of a shirt, but that's OK, I did only have to spend $20 for registration, so it's a win either way.  The only thing I didn't like was that I didn't see any water or fuel for after the race.  I didn't look very hard, as I had water at my car, but I did think that was odd.

I walked down to the water and got a finisher picture with the river.  I stretched some and headed home.  The good news was by the time I got home, my knee felt good.  So maybe I am on my way to recovery with it <knock on wood>.  Overall, I really enjoyed this race.  While it wasn't as exciting as the Run and Ride 5k from last month, it was just peaceful.  Everyone was super nice and encouraging and being down by the river was the icing on the cake.  I would do this race again.

Would you rather have a shirt or medal?  

Friday, July 27, 2018

Star Wars Dark Side Magic Kingdom 2018 vlog (Friday Five Edition)

I had finally caught up on all of my race recaps from the Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon Weekend.  Now I'm making my way through the vlogs.

In case you missed the recaps from the Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon Weekend in April:
Here is my vlog from Magic Kingdom on Friday.  Enjoy!

I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for Friday Five 2.0

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Star Wars Dark Side 5k 2018 vlog (Tuesdays on the Run Edition)

I had finally caught up on all of my race recaps!  I know, finally.

In case you missed the recaps from the Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon Weekend in April:
Here is my vlog from the 5k on Friday.  Enjoy!