Friday, August 31, 2012

Vineyards and Breweries

Our original plans for the Minnesota trip were to head up north to my grandparents lakehouse, but those plans fell through.  Instead, we spent Saturday at a couple of vineyards doing wine tastings and took a tour of a local brewery.

First, we stopped at Saint Croix Vineyard in Stillwater, MN.  We tried some delicious wines and walked through the vineyard and apple orchard.

Lots of grapes!
J enjoying the tasting
Afterward, we drove into Stillwater to check out the Northern Vineyards Winery.  Here we only did the tasting since it was just a storefront of the vineyard.  (We all agreed that the wines from the Saint Croix Vineyard were better).

Then, we made our way to the Lift Bridge Brewery.  It was started about 4 years ago by a group of friends who enjoyed home brewing.  The tours and tasting are free, and they have a tap room where you can come in and have a pint (with free popcorn) and hang out with friends.

One of the owners and our tour guide
J thoroughly enjoyed this stop
After our tour we headed back into town and grabbed lunch at a great little stop, Leo's Malt Shop.  J and I shared a chocolate malt, he had a burger and I had a chili cheese dog.  All was delicious and I would definitely go back.

Tomorrow I'll recap my race!

Until next time,


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fair Food

We arrived in Minnesota late Wednesday night and planned to go to the Minnesota State Fair the next day.  Knowing that I would be eating my fair share of fair food that was not good for me, I got up and did a 3 mile run at a local park near my grandparents house.

After a quick shower, we were off!  The Minnesota State Fair is one of the largest in the country and is known for their foods on a stick.  J and I did our research and had a few foods that we knew we wanted to try, so we basically ate our way around the fair.

Starting with breakfast -

A cinnamon roll for J, a hand rolled soft pretzel for me!
Both were very good.  We continued to walk around, and my cousins got cotton candy, ice cream, and a Pronto Pup all before 10 a.m.!!  My next stop was the Blue Moon Dine-In for Sweet Corn Ice Cream

It was actually pretty tasty!  You could get toppings on it like bacon and other stuff, but I went with the original that came with some popcorn and a butter cracker.  It doesn't taste like corn at all, and the popped kernels on top gave it a nice play with the sweet and savory.

Jason wanted to try to 1/3 lb bacon on a stick, so we tracked it down and got him one -

J liked - me?  Not so much
Then we walked by a stand selling deep fried candy bars.  J just HAD to have the deep fried Reese's Peanut Butter Cups -

He ended up with powdered sugar all over himself :P
We then walked around the 4-H building.  As I've mentioned in a previous post, I was very active in Georgia 4-H growing up.  It really was a huge part of my life and at times I do miss it.  I made a lot of great friends throughout the years and it really helped shaped me into the person I am today.  It was fun to walk through the Minnesota 4-H building.  It brought back memories of when we used to make things to enter into the state fair.

After we walked through we remembered that I wanted to try the mac and cheese on a stick and the cranberry wontons!  J and I left my grandparents and cousins to find these goodies and yes, we were successful.

After walking through the Home Improvement building and the Pet Center and grabbing one last Pronto Pup, we decided to head home.  I believe I fell asleep on the couch from such a long, fun day, but napping is what you're supposed to do on vacation right? :)

More to come on our vacation later, plus a recap of the Women's Running Magazine 5K!

Until next time,


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I'm Back!

We returned home tonight from our week in Minnesota.  We had a great time and did get some relaxation in as well as doing some fun stuff, including the Minnesota State Fair, a Twins baseball game, and I put another 5K race under my belt!

It won't be easy getting back to work tomorrow, but it's a 2 day work week for both J and myself, as we are taking off Friday and will be escaping to the mountains to hang out with my family and to pick up Guinness! 

I'm off to bed for now, but plan to write a few posts about our trip tomorrow, so I apologize in advance for the photo overload!

Until next time,


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Vinings Downhill 5K recap + What's Happening!

I took a few days off from running due to my knee, and I made an appointment with my orthopedist for September 10th to get it checked out.  Hopefully it's nothing serious...I'm still going to run but just take it easy.

Saturday I had the Vinings Downhill 5K.  I was a little anxious about it because of the hills on the course, but since I'd been running more hills during my training, I felt better prepared than just running the flatness of the Greenway.  My dad and brother were troopers and got up at 5 a.m. and went to the race with me.  My parents were always supportive of my participation in sports growing up so it's cool that they're still into it (my mom had to work and wasn't able to come).

We parked and headed over to get my race number.  My dad taped my knee up with KT Tape (felt like my high school days when he would tape my ankle) and we hung around until the race started.  I attempted to participate in a "flash mob stretch" so that was funny.  Finally, it was time to line up and get ready to go.

I believe there were around 1700 people running/walking the race!  I started near the back since I know I'm not as fast as others and didn't feel like getting trampled.  :)  It took me about a minute to get to the start line.  I waved to my dad and brother and I was off!  There was a nice hill to run down at the beginning of the race but, we all know...when you run downhill, ya gotta run back up.  I was doing a decent job with my pace and my run/walk intervals.  With my knee, I walked a little more than I would have liked, but I don't want to risk injuring it further than it may already be.

I saw the finish line and sprinted as fast as I could.  My brother and dad were waiting for me, and I couldn't help but smile.  I met up with them, grabbed a water, and we decided to walk to the after race party, which was ALL uphill.  We got there and I grabbed a Gatorade and cookie and got in line to get my shirt.  Then we walked around for a few and headed home.

I was excited to get an email just after 10 a.m. telling me the race results were already posted!!  I checked it out, and my time was 35:56.  Knowing that I was running on a bum knee and up hills, I was pleased with my time...only 56 seconds off from my PR!

I spent the weekend at my parents house and really enjoyed spending time with them and my brother.  I was also able to visit with a friend back home.  Guinness will be staying with my parents until Labor Day weekend since we are going to Minnesota for a week.  It was hard to leave him as he is my child, but I know they'll take great care of him.

In other news, I was the lucky winner of Yo Momma's Runs Cheribundi giveaway!  I'm so excited about giving these babies a try post workout!  Look for a review soon!

Some of our plans for our Minnesota trip didn't work out, so I decided to search and just see if there was a 5K close to my grandparents house for me to do....and I found one!  I'll be running the Women's Running Magazine 5K on Sunday morning!  I think it will be fun and my grandparents will get to see me start and finish a race :)  I would LOVE to PR since I came so close on Saturday, so fingers crossed!!

I'll try my best to do some blogging while we're out of town, but if not expect a few posts following my return.  Hope everyone has a great training week!

Until next time,


P.S...My brother is slacking on sending me the pictures he took at the race, so when he FINALLY does I'll add them to the post...I got tired of waiting on him and wanted to get it posted!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


After a few days of resting my knee, I had a 5 mile run on the calendar for the weekend.  Sunday morning was the ideal weather for it!  I was so excited when I stepped outside.  There's not much better than a nice, cool morning to get your run on.

I decided to stay near home and did the same route that I did on Tuesday, only adding a mile to it by running into the neighborhood next to ours and down to the highway an extra time.  I felt REALLY good during the whole run.  The night before J and I shopped around for a different knee brace for me but I had no luck, so I bought some athletic tape and taped below my patella and then put on my knee sleeve.  That extra support really helped me out.

I did my 5 miles in 59 minutes.  The last time I did 5 miles I went to the greenway, which is fairly flat the whole way, and ran it in 58 minutes.  This time I was running with a bum knee and there were some hills, so I was pleased with my time.  When I looked at my splits, I was pleasantly surprised!

Gotta love the negative splits!
My run was definitely amazeballs.  I felt so good and so empowered after I finished.  It was a great start to a Sunday.  I also ran in my Sweat Pink shoelaces that I won from Amy at Pumpkin to Princess a few weeks back.  I forgot to take a picture of them, so I'll include one in my next post.  Tonight I have a 4 mile run on the calendar.  Hopefully it will have cooled off a bit AND stop raining after I get home.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pain Pain, Go Away...

Last night as part of my 15K training, I had a 4 mile run on the calendar.  When I got home, I went onto MapMyRun to plan out my route, changed and was out the door.

I was feeling pretty good until about a mile in.  My right knee started to hurt right below the patella.  I have had trouble with my knees since 8th grade when I twisted my knee playing basketball and tore my meniscus cartilage in my right knee...had it cut out when I was 20.

I come from a line of weak knees.  My dad has had both knees replaced and, before then, had somewhere between 7-10 knee surgeries.  I thank him every time I hurt mine for his crappy genes.

So...back to my run....I kept going...not really pushing myself, but not slacking off either.  I had to stop a few times because of the pain in my knee, but I finished the 4 miles.

Later, my knee really started to hurt, but I didn't realize how bad until this morning when I started to go downstairs to take Guinness out.  I had to hold onto the railing and try to minimize the bending of my knee.

At work the only time it really gave me problems was getting up and down from my chair.  Walking around I feel okay, but putting a lot of weight on it really hurts, so here's what I'll be doing for the next couple of days...
Gotta love R.I.C.E
Today and tomorrow will be rest days, and hopefully I'll be good to get my 3 mile run in on Friday.  But...just in case...I checked our insurance and luckily the doctor that performed my knee surgery ten years ago is covered.  

On a happier note, today I received my first "bling" in the mail for completing the Virtual Wounded Warrior Dash 5K on July 4th.

Do you have any injuries that come back to haunt you?  How do you deal with it?

Until next time,


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Running with the Pup

Sorry I've been absent!  Honestly, after my run last Tuesday after softball, I slacked off majorly.  I know...bad runner!!  We went up to the cabin and spent the weekend relaxing, and the last thing I wanted to do was run (even though I took all my running stuff with me, it stayed in the bag).

So last night I decided that I would go for a quick one mile run, and take Guinness along with me.  I have the Vinings Downhill 5K next Saturday, and a sticky situation comes with it.  Guinness will be spending 2 weeks with my parents while J and I vacation in Minnesota.  I plan to take him down after the race, but J has a paintball tournament on the same day, and I don't want to drive down to Vinings, then back up to my house to get the pup, then 1.5 hours down to my parents.  I don't have anyone that can watch him while I run.  So....the plan is for Guinness to run the race with me.

Guinness gets a bit of leash time, but not nearly enough.  He's curious and likes to sniff EVERYTHING.  Last night he did pretty good as I tried to keep him away from the edge of the street.  Our biggest problem comes when we meet another dog.  He goes CRAZY - pulling me all over the place.  I know the other dog owners thought I didn't want him to have anything to do with their dogs (which isn't the case) - I just want to teach him to ignore them while we're running!

So we only went a mile, but other than encountering the other dogs, Guinness did pretty well!  We did a 10:56 mile, which isn't too bad.  Maybe him pulling me along will make my time better! :)

I also ran for the first time with the new compression holster shorts.  It wasn't too bad...the pistol stayed put and didn't move around a lot.  I plan to run with it today on my 4 mile run and see how it does then.  I did have to rip the size tag out as it was rubbing and poking my skin.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I'll try to do better about being more consistent with my posts.  I just don't want to post for the sake of posting when I don't have much to say. :)

Anyone have any tips for "training" your dog to run with you?

Until next time,