Tag Archives: Holidays

Resolution 5K

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On New Years Day, my friends, family and I brought in 2016 with a 5K race! I really can’t think of any better way to kick off a brand new year! A bonus to this race was that it didn’t start until 11 AM, so we had time to sleep in a bit – which was nice because we were up until 2 AM at our friend’s house celebrating with a little too much food and quite a few drinks once all of our kids went to sleep ūüôā

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Classy husband drinking champagne from the bottle ūüôā

Even though we were tired, we got ourselves up and got ready to head out. When I mentioned to my husband that I wanted to do this race, I was surprised that he said he wanted to do it too. He’s been really wanting to get back into running more regularly and he thought this would be a great way to kick it off. He said he would push the boys in the stroller so I could race it.

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Going into this race, I didn’t expect to PR, but I did want to push myself to do my best. I hadn’t raced a 5K in a year and a half (shortly before I got pregnant), and that’s when I set my PR of 21:55.¬† I decided to do this race in place of my tempo run for the week, and I figured I’d finish somewhere in the 22-24 minute range based on my recent speedwork. I wanted to make sure to warm up a little beforehand, so after getting our bibs and making a quick bathroom stop, I ran about a mile and a half around the park to get myself ready to race. I got back to the starting line just as the race was supposed to start, said hi to a few friends, and went up toward the front.

The race started exactly at 11:00, and we were off! I spent the first minute or so trying to shake off my nerves. Then I made sure I wasn’t going too fast. I wanted to stay around 7:15-7:20, a pace that should feel hard but not too hard, to ensure I had enough leftover for the last two miles. My first mile came in and I felt good about it. I thought I could probably maintain that¬†pace for the rest of the race.

  • Mile 1 – 7:14

And then I realized that maybe I couldn’t! I have ran this course before during a 4 mile race a few years back, but I had forgotten how parts of it were on rocks and dirt, and how it had some short but steep hills. I tried to maintain the pace I was running but ended up slowing a bit during mile 2. Since part of the course was out and back, I was able to see my friends and my husband with the boys, and that gave me a little boost that I needed.

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I was a little disappointed when my split for mile 2 came up. I was irritated at myself for probably starting too fast, but I tried to keep myself focused. In my speedwork and tempo runs lately I’ve been working on running fast while keeping my body and form controlled, as well as my breathing. This helped me stay as relaxed as possible.

  • Mile 2 – 7:30

During the last mile I started to feel the effects of the little sleep I got as well as the other poor choices I made the night before. But I gave myself a little pep talk and thought about how I have been practicing finishing strong during this training cycle – and how important that is physically and mentally. I picked it up as best as I could, even out-sprinting some people in the last stretch to the finish line.

  • Mile 3 – 7:22
  • Finish Time – 22:48 / 7:20 average pace

My first thoughts immediately after crossing the finish line were: “Ouch. So this is why I don’t race 5Ks very often. They hurt!” Yes, they do. I’m definitely more of a lover of slower, longer distance racing! But I was still VERY proud of myself for my finishing time and the fact that it was within a minute of my PR. Maybe on a different course, with better fueling and hydration I could have done better, but I¬†truly gave it all that I had and I was happy with how I did.

My friend Cynthia came in about a minute after me, getting a HUGE new PR! Our friend Erin finished right after her. Once I caught my breath a little, I went back out on the course to see if I could find some other friends, along with my hubby who was running with Laura since she’s coming back from an injury and wanted to take it easy. Once I found them, we all ran/walked to the end, and we let Kevin get out of the stroller to run the last quarter mile or so. He crossed the finish line all by himself and was so proud!

It felt so good to start the new year in such a fun, active way with some people who I love!

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The icing on the cake was that I actually ended up winning first place in the 20-29 age group! One of my 30 before 30 goals was to place in my age group before I enter a new (and usually extremely competitive!) one, and I’m so happy I was able to do that!

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What a way to set the tone for a new year. 2016, I’m coming for you!

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Christmas 2015

We just wrapped up nearly a weeklong Christmas celebration with family and friends. It was exciting, sweet, tons of fun, a bit overwhelming, and exhausting, but I wouldn’t change any of it. This year felt extra special to me because it was Kyler’s first Christmas. It was also the first year Kevin really got excited for the holiday, because he was able to remember last year.

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Our celebrations officially started on Christmas Eve. I was home with the kids all day since I’m on winter break, so we had some fun wearing santa hats and doing some holiday painting. But the real fun began once daddy got home!

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Ever since Kevin was just a few months old on his first Christmas, we decided we wanted to have a tradition where our kids open a gift on Christmas Eve that contains new pajamas, a movie, and some sort of snack. We continued that this year, giving both boys some holiday PJs, the movie “Inside Out” and a bag of popcorn. Kevin was so excited to put them on and watch the movie as a family with his snack, but first we had something very important to do!

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Kevin and I headed into the kitchen to bake some cookies for Santa. He loves helping in the kitchen and is very enthusiastic about wanting to do everything himself. I decided to have fun with it and ignore the mess ūüôā He even got to lick the mixing beater for the first time ever! The cookies were probably the best I ever made. They were soft and chewy and SO GOOD! The recipe we used is here. The key was taking them out of the oven after 10 minutes.

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We took a few family pictures by the Christmas tree like we do every year, and then it was time for our movie!

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It was so nice to have such a fun, relaxing Christmas Eve as a family of four before our families came into town. I love spending the holidays with our parents and siblings, but there was something really special about just the 4 of us being together on Christmas Eve.

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Kevin started falling asleep, so we paused the movie (promising him he could finish it tomorrow to avoid the meltdown). Before heading to bed, he put out some milk and cookies for Santa. This picture makes my heart melt. He is truly so excited. I love this age!

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His daddy took him up to bed and read him the Night Before Christmas like he has done every year. I went to put Kyler to bed too, and I heard Kevin tell my husband before he left the room, “Daddy, ask Santa if he likes our tree.” OMG. I almost cried. So sweet.

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Once the kids were asleep we got to work on getting the presents where they needed to be. My dad and sister got to our house just before 10 PM, and we spent some time talking and hanging out with them before we all went to bed to get some much needed rest!

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The next day we were all up bright and early, and Kevin was MORE than ready to go downstairs since he knows exactly what happens on Christmas morning now. Most of the next pictures were taken by my dad, who is a great photographer. They do a great job telling the story of our Christmas morning, so I’ll let them speak for themselves!

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Such an awesome day! It was raining pretty much all day so we just hung out inside and spent time together. I loved it. They left the following day, and then my in-laws came from South Carolina for round 2. We don’t have many pictures of that since we mainly took video, but the grandparents spoiled both boys rotten. I think they got more gifts from them than they did from Santa and us combined! That evening more extended family came over and we all had a nice homemade meal together. They spent the remainder of the weekend with us and left this morning. Whew!

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I feel so¬†lucky to be celebrating my 7th Christmas with my amazing husband. It’s so much fun to carry over our family traditions and create new ones together. I hope to someday have 50+ annual pictures by the Christmas tree.

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I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, from our family to yours!

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Previous Christmas Posts:

Heritage 5 Miler

A year ago on the 4th of July I was in Myrtle Beach running a 5K. I got a new PR of 21:55 (7:04 pace) AND beat my husband which was a huge goal of mine. I was hoping that this year on the 4th of July I would be running another race, either pregnant or with a new little one in our family, since we were trying to get pregnant at the time. We found out we were expecting two months later, and this year on the 4th of July I ran the Heritage 5 Miler in Fredericksburg at 6 weeks postpartum.

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Somehow we all got up and made our way down to Fredericksburg by 7:15 a.m., which was pretty much a miracle. I am so thankful for my amazing husband, who was willing to stay with our two boys while I ran. One in the stroller, one in the carrier… ¬†he is a super-daddy for sure!

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I picked up my race packet, made a quick bathroom stop, and lined up with time to spare. Usually I feel nervous before races, but I went into this one with no watch and no expectations (not even a secret goal like usual, haha!). I really just wanted to have fun and enjoy my return to racing without any pressure.

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Right on time at 7:45 the gun went off and we were running!

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The first few minutes felt amazing! I was so happy to be racing again, especially in downtown Fredericksburg, which is one of my favorite places to run. However, after the initial adrenaline wore off I noticed some pain in my left foot near my heel. It made me really nervous, and I wondered if maybe I shouldn’t be running this race.

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But after about 10 minutes my foot stopping hurting and I was feeling normal again… so weird! I got back into my rhythm and enjoyed the scenery around me. I had no idea what pace I was running and I didn’t care. ¬†I wasn’t jogging leisurely but I wasn’t pushing it either, so I was surprised when I passed the first mile marker and¬†a race volunteer¬†who was shouting out times said we were at 9:05. I decided to go with it since I felt good. I knew I could always slow down later or stop to walk if I ended up needing to.

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The course for this race was very familiar to me since I run here all the time. It took us from downtown Fredericksburg onto the Heritage Trail by the Rappahannock River, and then onto the Canal Path. It’s very scenic and I love it! The last time I ran this route I was 34 weeks pregnant and feeling slow and heavy. On this day I was feeling strong and so happy!

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We exited the Canal Path to head back toward downtown with about a mile left. When I passed the volunteer standing by mile 4 they¬†shouted out that we were¬†around the 37 minute mark, so I figured my pace must have been about 9:15. I couldn’t believe it, especially considering it was pretty warm and humid.

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I turned the corner to run the final stretch and I saw my boys on the side of the road cheering. It was so great to see the THREE of them for the first time during a race. It felt really special.

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Kevin has become a race spectator professional and loves to give the runners high fives as they pass. It was so adorable when he realized that I was coming. He gave me a big smile and said, “Mama!!” My heart melted ūüôā

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The finish line was just ahead right after I passed them, and it was slightly downhill. Gotta love that! I was so happy to see the clock as I crossed. I did so much better than I thought I would.

  • Finish Time – 46:20 (9:15 average pace)

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After getting some water and a snack I reunited with my boys. Apparently Kyler missed me while I was gone and demanded to be taken out of the Ergo, so my husband was pushing the stroller while holding the baby at the same time. He’s such a trooper!

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We made our way back to the car so I could change into a dry shirt and feed Kyler, then we walked¬†downtown to enjoy the 4th of July festival they had going on. They had a parade, a craft show with lots of tents and vendors, food, children’s activities like a moon bounce (which Kevin loved!), and music. It was a ¬†lot of fun!

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Eventually we all headed home for naps and showers, to rest and prepare for more Independence Day activities with friends later that evening. It was a busy, wonderful day!

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Such a fashionable race shirt!

This was my first 5 mile race ever and I’m so happy with how I did. It feels great to be back out there and racing again. Plus I had a pretty cute cheering squad ūüôā I have a lot of work ahead of me to get back to where I was a year ago, but I know that I’m strong and I’m very excited to see what I can do in the future! Happy 4th of July (a few days late!).

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Christmas 2014

What a whirlwind week it’s been! As of today we are officially finished with our Christmas celebrations… rounds 1, 2 and 3! Here’s a recap of our extra special holiday this year.

December 23rd.¬†Since I am on winter break, we spent the day gearing up for Christmas by wrapping presents, making cookies, and going to hang out with Kevin’s sister and her family that evening. His grandma had also come to town from Tennessee, so it was great to get to spend time with her too!

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December 24th- Christmas Eve. For the first time in a LONG time, Kevin and I actually had no plans with family on Christmas Eve & Christmas morning. All of our family (except Kevin’s sister who lives here)¬†was coming into town on Friday, and so we were able to do our own thing as a little family of 3 (soon to be 4!). As soon as Kevin woke up on Christmas Eve he was excited.¬†The first thing he¬†said when he woke up was, “Santa coming to town?” ¬†This is the first year he is really able to get into Christmas and I love it! We have really been building it up with our traditions of visiting the Festival of Lights, going to see Santa at the mall, watching Santa ride through our neighborhood on the fire truck, etc. This kid was ready for Christmas!¬†For the last 3 years Kevin’s gotten new Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve, so we continued that this year. He was so excited about these pajamas that he immediately stripped and wanted them on!

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We also started giving him a movie last year, which we also did this year. He got the movie Frozen since¬†he’s been obsessed with it, and we watched it together as a family while we ate some yummy cookies.

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We ended the night with my hubby reading Kevin the Night Before Christmas like he has the last two years, and then we got all of his presents under the tree for the morning!

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December 25th- Christmas Day. During Winter Break Kevin had been sleeping in until 8 or 8:30 since we weren’t having to wake him up to go to daycare. Of course on Christmas morning he was up and ready to go at 6:30! I swear he knew it was a special day!

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We got busy right away letting him open his gifts. We didn’t get him a ton of things, because he’s 2 and would be happy playing with wrapping paper, haha! We also knew that his grandparents would be spoiling him. So we stuck to the 4 major categories and kept it simple: something(s) he wants, something(s) he needs, something(s) to wear, and something(s) to read. He loved it all. I don’t have many pictures of him actually opening gifts that aren’t blurry because he was so excited!

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After opening everything up and having breakfast, we spent the rest of the morning relaxing¬†and letting Kevin play with his new things. It was beautiful outside so he rode his new car and I went for a run. After his nap we headed over to Kevin’s sister’s house for a little Christmas dinner and for our kids to exchange gifts.

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That night right before bed my husband got what he said was the best gift of all- he felt our baby move for the first time! He was super active and I told him to come over to see if he would be able to feel it, and after a big kick, he could! It was so amazing and special!

December 26th. The day after Christmas my hubby worked a half day and I stayed home with Kev and waited for my family to arrive! It was another beautiful day so when they got here we took a walk outside, then just hung out and enjoyed each other’s company.

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Eventually we went out to dinner and then visited the brewery that my husband has been working at part-time in the evenings. They all had fun tasting the different varieties of beer while I sipped my water jealously… just kidding ūüôā I do miss my beer tasting days but I know I’ll be back at it this summer!

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December 27th- Christmas, Round 2 + Gender Reveal Party! We woke up on Saturday morning and had Christmas, round 2 with my family. Kevin got some really special things, like his very own oversized chair with his name embroidered on it from my dad, and a personalized big brother book from his aunt. He also received an Olaf stuffed animal and blanket from my dad’s girlfriend, which he hasn’t stopped carrying around since! After opening presents we made breakfast together, which is another one of our family traditions.

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After presents and breakfast and lounging around, Kevin went down for a nap and I went for a run with my hubby stroller-free, which was so nice! We had to hurry up and get back though so we could shower and get ready for our gender reveal party. The party was at Kevin’s sister’s house, and by this time the rest of his family had arrived- his parents, brother, his other sister, her husband and their kids, etc. It was awesome to have everyone there together along with our friends. I’ve already written about the reveal, but it was AMAZING! We found out we’re having another baby boy, and we could not be happier!

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December 28th- Christmas, Round 3.¬†Time for round 3! This morning we headed to Kevin’s sisters house again for Christmas with his family. He has a really large family and everyone was there. His mom made a big lunch and then we had a crazy opening-fest. There was paper everywhere, it was insane! His mom goes all out for her grand babies… all 6 of them! It was a lot of fun though and a great way to wrap up our Christmas celebrations.

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And now… we REST! So thankful that I still have one more full week of winter break left!

Fredericksburg Turkey Trot 5K

Happy Thanksgiving!¬†I love this holiday because it is a time to reflect on what’s really important and all of the blessings in my life. On Thanksgiving and every day I am thankful for my family, my health, my job, my friends, and for this little hobby of mine that I love so much- running!¬†We started our day by doing a local Turkey Trot 5K. This was the first time¬†I had ever done a Thanksgiving Day race and I was so excited!

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Kevin was too!

The race didn’t start until 9:00, so we were able to relax a little at home before heading out, which was so nice! We made the short drive down to Fredericksburg, found parking easily, and made our way to the high school where packet pick up (and warmth!) was. It wasn’t too terribly cold- maybe 35 degrees- but we definitely enjoyed being able to stay warm inside while we waited for the race to start.

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While we were waiting two of my running buddies came in to meet us. Amanda, who rocked the Richmond Marathon a couple weekends ago, and Laura (and her husband), who is now 34 weeks pregnant! Whoa!

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We decided us girls would stick together and I would push the stroller so our husbands could go ahead and try to actually race. The race was broken up in waves so they went toward the front while we had to go to the back¬†with the other strollers.¬†We knew¬†that we would be¬†keeping it nice and easy since I haven’t run with the stroller in a while (my amazing hubby always does) and Laura is doing¬†more walk/running these days.¬†Finally they called our wave and we were off and running! They moved this race from a commercial shopping area where it’s been for the last couple years back to the historic downtown area this year and I loved the course. We ran the first mile and a half straight through and then stopped for a walking break. Laura has some varicose veins that cause her legs to hurt when she runs sometimes and today they were flaring up pretty bad. We stuck together and enjoyed just being together and getting active on Thanksgiving- it didn’t matter to me whether we were walking or running.

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One of the coolest parts of this race was the awesome energy it had surrounding it. Lots of locals came out to cheer us on, and there were a lot of people running in costume. We were right near a guy running in a snowman costume the whole time. He kept running ahead and then stopping to cheer and give high fives, and Kevin LOVED it! He thinks every snowman is Olaf (from Frozen) and got so excited every time he saw him again. It was great entertainment for a 2 year old ūüôā¬†We started running again and eventually saw Kevin walking back to meet us after he finished. He grabbed the stroller so I could finish without it, which felt great! We also saw our other running buddy Leslie cheering right by the finish line, which was so nice. She also ran the Richmond Marathon a couple weeks ago!

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Finish Time – 42:53 (13:48 average pace)

Once we were all done and had a chance to talk, Kevin told me that he ended up finishing in¬†23:16 (7:29 average pace)! He hasn’t been able to run a 5K that fast in over 2.5 years! I was really proud of him. After we all finished we started walking back to the car and saw this epic finish by all of these runners in costumes. SO AWESOME!

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After the race we drove straight up to Pennsylvania to be with my family. Since we knew we’d be in traffic for a while and getting there¬†in the late afternoon we opted to relax the rest of the day and order Chinese take-out for dinner. It was delicious! Tomorrow we will cook our Thanksgiving dinner ūüôā

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Kev loves his Yaya (my sister)!

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How did you spend your Thanksgiving? What are you thankful for this year?

Previous Thanksgiving Posts