Reasons? Wrapping up a big meeting at work yesterday. Gorgeous spring-like weather conditions in Chicago right now (which I predicted here). Wearing some fun fishnet-like tights to the office today. The end of the NHL lockout. Adding a new item to my Goals For 2013 - to have as much fun as possible, all the time.
Having fun is such a simple and downright obvious goal and I feel like a dork for even having to mention it. But I so frequently forget that running is not just about the numbers, it's first and foremost for enjoyment. Thank you to all of you for reminding me of this, especially in response to this dilemma.
Other reasons for life's goodness:
Tomorrow I'm off to Las Vegas for the weekend to celebrate one of Adam's milestone birthdays! I am super excited. Some highlights of our plans: Staying at Mandalay Bay for the first time, going to see O at the Bellagio, and (for all you Food Network fans) reservations at DOCG by Scott Conant and Emeril Lagasse's New Orleans Fish House. Yay for birthday celebrations!
|This would have been the perfect birthday cake for Adam. Steelers-themed AND Vegas! Note to self for next year.|
Some side commentary: I am not a gambler. Although, on vacations like this, my usual practice is to bet a single dollar at a slot machine. After one pull, I walk away.
Depending on the outcome, I will alter the way I recap my bet. If I win, say, $2, then I tell people that I went to the casino and won TWICE the amount of money that I bet! But if I lose my $1, then I tell people I went to the casino and only lost $1.
In short, I describe the percentages when I win, but use the actual dollar amounts if I lose. (Horrible, I know!)
Also - thank you to everyone for providing their thoughts on my Las Vegas race dilemma a few weeks ago. Ultimately, I have elected not to run the race for various reasons, most notably because of my now-wonky ankle. But, let it be known that when I contacted the race director to ask about transit options, he offered to send a friend, one who is also running the race, to drive me. Now that is personalized service!
Wisconsin Half Marathon
I just signed up for the Wisconsin Half Marathon.
This race has been on my radar screen for a few years. I am very excited to run it, given its lakefront course and its cheese theme (e.g. "We're on a mission from gouda!"). The registration fees are very affordable and I used Kim's $5 discount code (KIMRUNSWI) on top of the already great price.
My friend Katie lives nearby, and is willing to let me stay with her the night before (thanks, Katie!) It will be awesome to catch up with her that weekend! She's so considerate that she even asked me about feeding me carbs the night before. =)
There has also been talk of a Chicago Running Bloggers get-together for that race. If so, it would be super fun for everyone to hang out together. I think Katie would really enjoy meeting the running bloggers and vice versa. No matter what, the weekend is going to be a blast and I can't wait!
Now on to other important details. The Wisconsin Marathon/Half has the "All Cheese Corral." Description:
"This is a start area for any registered runner willing to don the dairy that makes Wisconsin famous. There is no time requirement or pre-registration required. If you would like to participate, all you have to do is arrive on race morning wearing some kind of cheese-themed apparel."
I am intrigued. I love cheese.
Out of principle, though, I cannot wear a cheesehead. It is a Green Bay Packers symbol, and I grew up in Chicago Bears country. Being seen with a cheesehead would risk getting me kicked out of the Bears Fan Union (sorry, Helen). Adam would agree with this from a Steelers NATION perspective, too. Please note the use of the capital letters (Adam).
So, no cheese corral for me. But, this doesn't mean that I can't load up afterwards on so much local cheese that my car sags and that mice start following me home! (OK, maybe not the mice part.)
Michigan Wine Trail Half Marathon
Speaking of the Chicago Running Bloggers, last night the ZOOMA Great Lakes Racing Series tweeted that they thought we would be very excited about their upcoming race announcement.
This immediately set off a tweeting frenzy amongst several folks. I am so curious to find out what the announcement is! Maggie joked that we could start some rumors, such as ZOOMA Great Lakes in Gary, Indiana (for those of you who are not familiar - Gary, Indiana held rank for awhile as the Murder Capital of the U.S.) I said that in all seriousness I was hoping for a race in SW Michigan, which is where I got married. Then Maggie shared with me that there is a Michigan Wine Trail Half Marathon that takes place in Baroda, Michigan.
I got married in St. Joseph, Michigan, and Baroda is just a little southeast of St. Joseph. How awesome!!! It's all about any excuse to go visit the area - and if it's running-related, all the better!
A couple of drawbacks, though - the first being that the course is described as "CHALLENGING." Note that the race's website lists it just the way I have it here - in BOLD CAPS. This is scary. I have enough issue dealing with half marathons on flat-as-a-pancake courses. (If you look in the Funk & Wagnall's dictionary under the words "Midwestern flatlander" you'll see my mugshot.) But it's all about the experience, right? I just hope I don't come in last place.
The second drawback is that this race is pricey. The Facebook page says that 2013 registration will open up at $85. I am surprised, since this appears to be a relatively small, local race. Other than headliner races like the Rock N Roll half marathons and the Disney races, I've never seen such a high starting price for a half marathon. Maybe the high cost is because they are offering a wine-tasting party for post-race?
Regardless, I will be giving this race a lot of thought in the coming months. I am excited for the prospects!