Archive | December, 2013

Frosty Frolic 5K Recap

31 Dec

Well, this race seemed like a better idea when I signed up for it in November when it was still miraculously still 60 – 70 degrees here….however, when I participated in the event Saturday, December 14th, we were in the middle of a blizzard. 20131217-064252.jpg Lucky for me, I was in good company. Somehow I’d convinced my sister, Macayla, my mom and my Aunt Janet to also participate. Oh, and then there were the other 980 participants crazy enough to be out in subpar weather. 20131224-122037.jpg The race was to take place at a local National monument and park. The original plan was to have the participants run through the park and then loop back to the start/finish line via some of the city side streets. However, with the roads covered in snow and conditions making it hard to see in front of you, city police declared the race must remain within the park limits. Hence our 3.1 miles became 2.73 freezing miles, with a delayed start. The original step off time was set for 5:00PM, and then two days before the race we were sent an email saying the new start time was 5:30PM, the reasoning being something along the lines of making sure all the lights were on.

I have to wonder if this was the first time this committee planned a race. First, they underestimated the number of people who would want to participate by nearly 400! We received another email that stated if you were not within the first 650 to register, your shirt would be mailed to you in 4 – 6 weeks. I honestly thought we had made the cut, I registered myself, my sister and my mom before the first cut off date for when the price was set to increase. But lo and behold, upon picking up our registration packets, the only one to be given a shirt was Aunt Janet. I’ll admit I was a little bummed. Then they kept making an announcement that only the first 1,000 people to cross the finish line would be given medals, again if you crossed after they’d all been given out, yours would be mailed to you in 4 – 6 weeks. Talk about some motivation, right? As if the cold wasn’t enough of a motivating factor already.

The race itself, what a nightmare as far as the races I’ve participated in, while that’s not many (this was to mark my 6th race), I do know a thing or two about how these events should be run for optimal success, safety and fun.

With that in mind, the list of things I didn’t like:

  • There was no order to the participants – serious runners, walkers, moms with strollers and young children, people with dogs – we were all mixed together at the starting line
  • Everyone started at the same time – no delays to spread people out along the course
  • The course wasn’t wide enough to accommodate everyone
  • People were very rude. Moms and their strollers running over your ankles because they weren’t paying attention to what was in front of them. Children (3 – 4 years old) suddenly stopping in front of you because they were “tired”, “didn’t want to do this anymore”, “were cold” – you name it, I heard it. Then there were the runners who started in the back and pushed around you on the right to get to the front, thank you for pushing everyone out of your way, it’s not our fault you weren’t where you should have been. And heaven forbid I forget to mention having my legs almost taken out from underneath me by a dog leash. Night race, black leash, runner coming up on your left, dog on your right, you do the math.
  • Horrible lighting. We were warned of pot holes and manhole covers but there were times you couldn’t see the blasted things!
  • Again they underestimated the number of people who would show up, they ran out of hot chocolate (which was promised with water and cookies at the finish line) before half of the participants returned.
  • The course was extremely slippery. I expected a little bit, but this was not treated at all – no salt, no sand, no dirt – just ice, slippery black ice.

 

But even with all of that, here’s the list of things I did like:

  • The starting song for the race was “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman” from Disney’s new animated film Frozen.
  • Crossing a winter 5K off my bucket list
  • Seeing all of the beautiful Christmas lights displayed along the route.

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  • Everyone received a medal for finishing

 

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  • Frosty character photo before we left.

 

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  • Walking back to the car we passed these adorable snowmen someone made.

 

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20131231-204432.jpgThis snowman stands taller than a 6 foot man!

Before the race began, we had planned to all walk together as a group. However, Macayla and I apparently walk faster than mom and our aunt, we were even keeping pace with some of the slower runners. When we turned around at one point, we could no longer see mom and our aunt.

When we came to the turn around circle and were headed back, we noticed that mom had been separated from aunt Janet, so we decided to wait for her. Once mom caught up to where we were waiting she said she had told aunt Janet to go ahead of her, but Macayla and I never saw her pass us. Weird.

The three of us crossed the finish line together, and ironically, mom’s shoe tag registered that she crossed one whole second before Macayla and I. Really?! Go figure.

All in all, I couldn’t feel my toes when I finished and I was wondering if I had lost my mind as a person who hates the cold with a passion, and I have come to the conclusion that this is a once in a lifetime experience that should never, ever, under any circumstance be repeated. Well, unless there’s a winter race in Florida!

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55 Bookworm Questions Answered!

29 Dec

1. Favorite childhood book? The American Girl series

2. What are you reading right now? “The Maze Runner” by James Dashner

3. What books do you have on request at the library? None. I have tons of new books here I need to read first!

4. Bad book habit? I tend to read three or four books at a time, that way when I get bored with one I can switch to another and then come back later.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library? None.

6. Do you have an e-reader? No, but maybe someday.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once? I already answered this, I tend to read several at once.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog? I wouldn’t say they changed, but other bloggers have suggested books to read and sometimes I take their suggestions.

9. Least favourite book you read this year (so far)? That would have to be “Blessings” by Anna Quindlen. I just can’t seem to get emotionally invested or involved. I’m currently stopped on page 113 of 226.

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year? “The Secret” by Julie Garwood

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone? Not too often, I know what I like. But if a friend suggests something I’ll give it a try.

12. What is your reading comfort zone? I love reading about the Scottish Highlands, romance, mystery, adventure, time travel, science fiction – my tastes are really all over the place!

13. Can you read in the car? I can, but it’s not as easy as it was when I was a kid.

14. Favorite place to read? On my bed. My bed has seen many books.

15. What is your policy on book lending? I will lend you a book if I trust you to return it in the same condition I gave it to you.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books? NEVER. That is law number one!

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books? Only text books.

18. Not even with text books? See previous answer.

19. What is your favourite language to read in? English.

20. What makes you love a book? It’s a combination of things, I have to be able to connect emotionally. I want to “become” part of the story and escape life for a little while. I want to travel to new places, meeting new people and feel like I’ve lost part of my family when I read the last word on the last page.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book? If a book made me stay up late into the night, if the characters stick in my head or the story was unbelievably fantastic.

22. Favorite genre? I don’t really have a ‘favorite’ genre.

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did)? Historical. I’m sure they are full of wonderful information but I just get so bored.

24. Favourite biography? Can’t say I have one.

25. Have you ever read a self-help book? Can’t think of any, not sure I’d tell you of had though!

26. Favourite cookbook? I just got a Disney Princess cookbook for Christmas (don’t judge me!) that I can’t wait to try out!

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)? I’m not sure. I don’t know of any have inspired me so much, more or less just happy I love to read as much as I do!

28. Favorite reading snack? Anything chocolate. Usually a piece of Ghirardelli.

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phenix.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book? I don’t read what they have to say because their opinion doesn’t matter to me.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews? I always read a book wanting to like it, really hoping to enjoy it. But if someone asks me my opinion of it, I’ll tell them it was terrible for points A, B and C. And it’s okay if they disagree with me, makes for a good conversation.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose? Spanish or Italian – there’s something romantic about the way those languages roll off the tongue.

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read? Humm….. “Gone with the Wind” but that’s because I choose to tackle that beast the summer before 8th grade. I didn’t fully appreciate the story back then.

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin? I don’t tend to feel intimidated by books unless they’re on a subject I’m loathed to read about.

35. Favorite Poet? A tossup between Emily Dickinson and Emily Brontë

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time? I haven’t check books out of the library in years! But when I did it was 5 or 6 at a time, sometimes more.

37. How often have you returned books to the library unread? Rarely, but when I have, I’ve always felt like I’d betrayed the characters I never met.

38. Favorite fictional character? I can’t pick one, I feel like that must be something like asking a parent to choose their favorite child. I have connections with characters because I recognize something in them that is similar to me, or represents a trait I’m trying to develop on myself.

39. Favorite fictional villain? I’ve never liked a villain. So I don’t have one.

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation? Well, on the flight to Walt Disney World in October I had “50 Shades of Gray” with me! Hahaha

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading. Probably a week, I was away at summer camp and my mom wouldn’t let me pack a book! Hahaha!

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish. Speak.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading? If someone turns on a movie or a TV show, I find the noise very distracting. If it’s a movie or TV show I like, I’ll end up watching.

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel? I really like how “The Hunger Games” and then “Catching Fire” were adapted.

45. Most disappointing film adaptation? “Twilight” but some of that can be chalked up to a terrible director and horrid acting.

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time? With or without gift cards?! Easily $50 -$100. I try to avoid the book store unless I Kobe I have some spending money saved up!

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it? I always read the book jacket or the back of the book, if they can’t hook me there, I don’t usually read the book.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through? Boredom.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized? I try. It doesn’t work. I have too many books. I have books stacked on the floor.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them? I do not understand people who buy books, read them, and then get rid of them. I don’t get it.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding? No; but there are plenty of books I’ve been trying to get my hands on and can’t!

52. Name a book that made you angry. The Namesake. I still don’t understand why all the incoming freshmen were forced to read that awful book. I did throw it out afterwards.

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did? Harry Potter series

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t? I can’t think of one at the moment, but I’m sure there’s at least one or two!

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading? “The Kingdom Keepers” by Ridley Pearson. I know they are meant for kids, but when it comes to reading, I’m just a big kid who loves to get lost in a good story!

Wordless Wednesday – 12/11/13

11 Dec

It’s beginning to feel and look like a long distance Christmas… 😦
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DIY Earl of Sandwich Holiday Sandwich

1 Dec

One of the things I miss most about living in Florida is Earl of Sandwich and it’s a stop I always make when I go back to visit my friends and coworkers. Before moving down there I’d never heard of this place, but I was hooked after one night out with friends and a delicious ham and cheese sandwich. And then I was introduced to the Holiday Sandwich and it was like a little piece of heaven between a bun!
20131201-121906.jpg I have talked this sandwich up many times, and even introduced it to my family when they came to visit me in Florida. My dad liked it and I tease him by sending home pictures of my sandwich to which he responds with “bring one home for me!” 20131201-122541.jpg And with thanksgiving leftovers currently filling the refrigerator, we decided to give recreating this delicious sandwich at home a try!

You will need:
• Sub Buns
• Turkey (the photo from Earl of Sandwich is thinly sliced, but we used the leftovers from Thanksgiving)
• Stuffing
• Cranberry Sauce
• Gravy 20131201-123323.jpg There’s no exact measurements of science behind building the sandwich. Start with your sub bun and a layer of turkey. Then put a layer of stuffing and on top of that a thin layer of gravy. 20131201-123936.jpg Next add one more layer of turkey, a layer of cranberry sauce and a tad more gravy and you’ve got it! One at home version of Earl’s Holiday Sandwich! 20131201-124412.jpg I wanted mine flatter like the original sandwich, so we put it in the quesadilla makers for a few seconds (this step it optional). 20131201-125105.jpg 20131201-125341.jpg What do you think, pretty similar, right?! Hope you’ll give this a try sometime this holiday season, I promise, you’ll love it! 20131201-125621.jpg