{End of Summer Thoughts}

Back to school. Back to school to prove to dad I’m not a fool. Well, sort of. TodayΒ ,Yesterday Two days ago was the first day of school and the return of the crazy life. Before things get too busy, as you can see in the prior crossed out words things have already started to get busy, I wanted to take a few moments to savor my many great summer moments and memories while also reflecting on my 2013 goals.

This summer I had the chance to run some great miles in great places before and even after hurting myself. In June I was ramping up my mileage in what I was planning to be a new PR attempt in September. I was putting in some great mileage weeks and even ran a few two a days. I met goal #2 on my 2013 list by running my fifth half marathon this year; this is the most I’ve completed in a year. In October I will look to add on to this goal at the Honky Tonk Half in Wisconsin Dells. June also brought the chance to run in several locations in Houston, TX while visiting my sister.
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The month of July began on the road with chances to run in more beautiful places (with more great people) like…
Mustang State Park-Padre Island,

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Ocean Drive Corpus Christi,

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And…
St. Louis, Missouri!

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I got to visit some great places (and people) in Texas such as…

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and

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and

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I, well really we, but you know whatever Ms. K. wants is what Ms. K gets, so I got to visit New Orleans…

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And Memphis.

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Then came the injury of the summer during what would have been my sixth half marathon this year, the Dances With Dirt Half Marathon. Little did I know it wouldn’t be a simple two or three weeks off. I’m still dealing with swelling after each longer run and when standing on my feet all day. The injury though was responsible for me doing something I hadn’t done in far too long-biking!

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August snuck in faster than I care to admit, but brought more chances to travel and run in fun places such as NYC! My long run walk route is detailed in the photos below.
Midtown Manhattan to…

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To Union Square Park,

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to Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment, to…

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Greenwich Village to…

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the Hudson River Trail to …
toΒ 20130904-184734.jpg
Battery Park to…
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the Statue of Liberty to…
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Financial District to…
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the Brooklyn Bridge to…
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Brooklyn to…
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the Manhattan Bridge to…
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Manhattan to…
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Chinatown to…
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the Subway to…
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eat this yummy cupcake for a famished runner!
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Then of course there was the miles of walking to take in the sites like…
Grand Central Station,

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Times Square,

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Central Park,

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FAO Schwartz,

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And so much more!

I have a lot to be thankful for. Despite the ankle, this summer was awesome! When life gets stressful this school year I need to come back to this post to remind myself that life won’t always be like that. There will be a chance to catch my breath, run in great locations, and visit amazing cities again.

Until then I’m gearing up as best as I can for my marathon NEXT (insert major freak out sound) weekend. I’m so unprepared all I can do is laugh and hope I don’t fall down the canyon to an untimely death. Or maybe at that point it will be a welcomed break from the pain this race is going to ravage on me.

What summer memories will you cherish in the years to come?

{Friday Fab 5}

{#1-Beach to Bay Relay-Corpus Christi}
Ryan and I ran along Ocean Drive for several of our vacation runs. It is a scenic place to run and covers part of the Beach to Bay relay course-the biggest relay in the US. I just learned about this relay from my dad and stepmom (who hands out water at one of the water stops). The relay is held annually in May on Armed Forces weekend to honor those who serve. This May will be the 39th running of the relay with 16,000 runners making up 2,600 teams. Teams run from, you guessed it, the beach to the bay! It sound like crazy fun to me! Check out Beach to Bay Relay for more info!
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{#2-Running New Orleans}
While Ryan and I were stumbling walking out of the bars on Bourbon street we saw this lady. I suppose this would be a scenic route to run, but I’d recommend hitting the trails that line the Mississippi and Jackson square for a more relaxing environment without the crazies and the occasional smell of urine.
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{#3-Moving in Memphis}
This time I’m not talking about running. We skipped running in Memphis, gasp, for a good reason. We were limited on time and I really wanted to visit the National Civil Rights Museum. We were so glad we did! It was way more than I expected. The museum takes you through a short timeline of civil rights before leading you through an in depth timeline of Martin Luther King Jr.’s events in the months, days, and minutes leading up to his death parallel to James Earl Ray and the federal government.

The museum is housed in the very building from which Ray shot Dr. King. You stand in the spot where Ray stood when he fired the fatal shot. Next you walk through an in depth timeline of the 65 day search for who killed Dr. King and see actual evidence collected during the investigation. Then you read through information from three later investigations brought by King’s family and others into whether Ray really was the guilty person. A walk through the last 45 years in civil right progress leads you to the outside of the Loretta Motel where King was shot outside room 608. You walk on the balcony, see Dr. King’s room as it was that day, and stand in the very spot where his life was taken! I usually get into history, but this was so much more. I was overtook by emotion standing in the VERY spot this amazing leader stood when he was fatally shot.

The experience was way more important than a run that morning. The only message more powerful than the history itself was the importance the museum put on educating young people of the cultures and people in the world around them. Yeah, for this museum. If you are ever in Memphis plan to visit for 3-4 hours!
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{#4-Running St. Louis}
Thursday we started our last day on vacation with a run around the arch. The shade and scenery were great. The stair workout was a plus!
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{#5-Dances With Dirt}
On Saturday Ryan and I are off to run our first true trail race-the Dances with Dirt Half Marathon. No bike paths, not a couple miles off the beaten path; we are talking all off road and hills. The drop in temperature from vacation should make this a race way more tolerable than any runs we’ve had recently. So looking forward to not being drenched with sweat until a few miles in. Full race report to come after!
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Happy Weekend!