Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Half Marathon Playlist

Here is my playlist from the 13.1:
I know, I know...I have crazy random music taste. It's all over the place.

California Love - 2Pac
Waiting Game - Yellowcard
Shiny Toy Guns - Le Disko
White Lights - Rufio
Let Me Entertain You - Robbie Williams (wondered what this guy has been up to since '99 and turns out he's still at it.)
Life Is a Highway - Rascal Flatts (WAY better than the original!)
Maxwell Murder - Rancid
Our House - Madness
Here it Goes Again - OK GO
Fat Bottomed Girls - Queen
Where the Blacktop Ends - Keith Urban
You Are Loved (Don't Give Up) - Josh Groban (pushed me up Corkscrew Hill! Surprisingly motivating)
Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin' - Journey
California Girls - Katy Perry
Body Count - Justin Timberlake
Rusty Cage - Johnny Cash
I Want You Back - Jackson 5
I Wish You Were Here - Incubus
Sweet Child of Mine - Guns N Roses
You Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC
You May Be Right - Billy Joel
Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Scream - Michael Jackson
Living on A Prayer - Bon Jovi
Jump - Van Halen
Say Anything - Bouncing Souls
Freefallin' - John Mayer
Drink & Fight - Lagwagon
Back in Black - AC/DC

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My First Half Marathon!

Last Saturday, I ran my first half marathon ever! It was amazing. It was a gorgeous course running from Santa Ynez to Solvang (30 min. from my hometown). I ran with my cousin & friend, and we stuck together the whole time! I keep thinking that when my children look back on this picture, it will be neat to see the gas prices waaaaay back in 2013!
Rach forgot her bib in her mom's car, so she got a random bib 2 minutes before start time! It was so funny to hear people at the aid stations give us water and say, "Great job, Kara! Go Roxanna!" It's her sexy running alter-ego :) 
Before the race & scenery along the way:
We got stuck in the porta potty cube of death before the race! There was a big square lined with potties on three sides. People were lined up in all directions, it was madness. We ended up in a line that was actually 4 lines merging into two. There were probably 200 runners waiting, and we all were saying there was no way the race would start on time because there were so many of us still waiting. WRONG. They started anyway. And we still had to check our bags because we didn't want to lose our spot in line! So here I am crossing the start line, running while putting my phone in my armband and hooking up headphones! 
The residents along the course were AMAZING! We saw a woman walking a turkey, people sitting in lawn chairs cheering us on, but the best were these people:
Sitting at the end of their property, in the back of their pickup truck with their dogs, waving an American flag. They said, "God Bless America!" as we ran by and I was so happy to be home. You just don't see or hear that sort of thing in Santa Cruz! 
Lindsay, Matt, & the girls met us at about the halfway point in Los Olivos. I could see the big flagpole for about a half mile, and it really gave me a burst of energy knowing that they were there waiting for us! 
I ran up and saw Ada cheering, "Go Mommy, you can do it Mommy!" And Lola didn't know what was going on until I kissed her cheek :) 
I didn't think I was going to be in the picture below...
I was feeling pretty amazing after scaling Corkscrew Hill to Josh Groban's Awake. I felt like I was in a movie! The golden rolling hills, the oak trees, the green lines of vineyards...it was so beautiful. I absolutely loved running with Jessica and Rachel. It was so good to know that when one of us was weak, another would be strong and lift the others up!
So there was this bison, a very protective mama! She charged Rach when she went in for a picture, and it was the funniest thing I've ever seen! She moved SO fast and everyone running was cracking up. I wish I had a video! 
I LOVED miles 4-9. I was in my groove and my calves had loosened up. By mile 10, I needed a potty break and so did Rach. We stopped and then continued on, my hips and pelvis hurting more with each step. I've worked so hard since having Lola to get my shifty hips tight again, and I feel like all of my hard work held up until mile 10. My body was exhausted, and I had eaten all of my Skittles & Shot Bloks. It felt like all of my ligaments just relaxed and I could feel my bones moving and rubbing against each other. 
At the 11.5 mile mark, I saw a sign with a hot pink shirt on it. I thought, "Hey, I have a shirt like that." Then I realized that Rachel's pic was on the poster next to it! It was my awesome sister-in-law, Kandie! She made a poster and came at the point where I wanted to quit. If it weren't for her at the bottom of that hill, I probably would've walked up it instead of run! Sorry for the big sweaty hug, but I was so happy that you came out and surprised us...we needed it at that point!
I wasn't mentally prepared for the hills at the end. I looked at the elevation map and thought once I made it past Corkscrew Hill, I was home free. Do not discount those rolling hills those last 3 miles! They may look small but they are no joke. I was getting goosebumps and felt like my legs were going to give out at the tops.
I kept saying to myself, "You run 2 miles in your sleep. You run 2 miles in your sleep."
When I finally rounded the last half-mile (worst of my life), I could hear people cheering and knew the finish line was close. I first saw my Nana & Bobba, which was a surprise because they were driving up from a long week of serving at the Los Angeles Temple! I know they were tired and it meant so much to see them there! I almost burst into tears. Then Matt lifted Ada over the railing and she ran across the finish line with me. 
What a perfect way to end a race. See Bobba in the background? :)
She was smiling and waving at everyone cheering us on. I have a future race buddy on my hands!
She loved wearing my medal & almost snatched one of her own!
The three of us, after completing our first half marathon together! My hot pink compression socks saved my calves...and made me stick out in a crowd. Matt said he was looking for my socks! They are miracle workers.
Afterward, Rach & I took advantage of the free massage booth. That should be a part of every race...best feeling ever! I walked (slowly) away with a bruise on the top of my left foot, and my right pinky toe is still numb. My knees and ankles are starting to feel back to normal.  
Ada wanted to ice her feet along with Rach :)
Then we headed to Kay's Country Kitchen in Old Orcutt for the best breakfast food in the West. Seriously. Matt and I split the BAGS Omelette and Texas French Toast. I ate my full halves of everything. Matt says he doesn't like me running half marathons because I eat all of the food he was planning on finishing for me! 
I finally got my big Dr. Pepper that I was dreaming of the whole run.
Our gun time was off because of the porta potty debacle, but my official chip time was 2:57:27.5. I am happy with that because I wasn't out to set a record, I was out to push myself to finish and never stop. Not bad for having surgery 44 days previous! I feel so empowered and strong after finishing this race. I am so grateful for a strong body and for a will to push forward and work hard. I am so grateful for a Father in Heaven who gave me this body, this beautiful Earth to enjoy, and these wonderful people I get to call family to support me in all of my endeavors along the way. 
We decided that this needs to be a Mother's Day Weekend tradition, so I am excited to run it again next year with more friends and with this experience under my belt! Thanks for a wonderful time Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Hyundai Santa Fe’s Epic Playdate Recap!


So remember when I wrote about Hyundai's Epic Playdate Sweepstakes HERE? And I wished so badly that I could go? Well, I was invited to it! :D Ahhhh!! 

We left Lola with my mom in Santa Maria, then Matt & I took Ada down to Dos Pueblos Ranch in Goleta for the day. I've driven by that sign hundreds of times before, and it's easy to see why Cabrillo first came to shore here. We were treated to delicious food (hello breakfast burritos!), engaging game stations, fun music, and gorgeous scenery.

It was a perfect, blue-sky, sunny Santa Barbara day for us. First thing was first: hula hooping!
This is serious business, guys. Tongue action required.
Check it out, I'm wearing my blarf! It's my scarf I bust out for blogging events. I feel the need to be fancy since other bloggers are much more fashionable than I, so the blarf comes out :)
Ada played photographer:
Then we did sand art together. Liz from Say Yes to Hoboken put this activity on & was so nice. Hi Liz! :) This was Ada's favorite! After every other activity, she would ask to go back to sand art. She & I could've stayed there all day! 
Definitely my daughter :)
We had to take advantage of the photo-op in front of the shiny new Santa Fe! Matt's sold. So am I...it's a beautiful car & perfect for family adventures! 
There were ballon making classes:
Giant beach ball volleyball:
Matt punching the ball & taking out a kid (not really, I hope)
They even had a big Quiet Tent! Absolutely genius. Ada said she wanted to lay down at naptime, so we did just that. There were pillows, books, and soft music playing. I was kidding with Matt that we were going to fall asleep and then Ada would be wandering the ranch alone!  
Buncha nuts.
We had a tin foil contest...Ada didn't want to be a warrior - she wanted to be a princess.
She didn't mind getting a whipped cream beard though!
She knew what to do with that! Mmm.
Papa was a...super balloon shiny turban guy?
This Princess sure loves her Papa :)
He's good at carrying stuff on his shoulders.
Eating McConnell's ice cream! The best.
Then there was a paint fight! Maggie from Mighty Girl organized it, and it was awesome. She was so sweet, and it's a good thing I had no idea how huge she was in the blogging world before I met her because I would've said something ridiculous. Well, I still might have anyway, but I wasn't nervous talking to her at least :) 
Look at that sweet face. Does that look like a girl who's about to douse you with paint?
After the paint war, it was time for us to head home. We were pooped from all of the FUN! 
Ada was so overly tired from missing her nap, so on the ride home she was cranky. She was asking for snacks but I didn't have any, so we stopped at McDonald's and got her some fries. I think she ate one before I turned around to see this:
 I think that is the sign of an EPIC day indeed!
Thank you so much to Hyundai, Federated Media, Clever Girls, and Dos Pueblos Ranch for putting on such a wonderful event. They really thought of everything and it was such a great time!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
All images & content on this site © Kara Miller 2008-2013 unless otherwise noted. Do not use any content without permission or giving credit. Thank you!