13 Miles, 13 Revelations

We did it! My sister Shelly and I tackled The Qualifier Half Marathon together, in Mid-Michigan’s scorching 90-degree weather, no less. Of course, we did some walking, but ended up sticking together the whole time and notching a respectable 2:33:12. While the race was the main reason Jeff and I flew home to Michigan for the long weekend, we had plenty of other activities to keep us busy. And plenty of time to realize a few things…

  1. Shelly is a rock star when it comes to competition. I trained a little heavier for the half marathon than she did, and she totally motored us through. The course started at Delta College and winded through fields and residential areas to finish in the perfect spot, the bar-lined Midland Street. Hundreds of people lined the route, offering water, Powerade, ice cubes, sprinklers, energy goo and cheers. The marathoners merged into our route after a while, and I felt even worse for them having to deal with the heat running 26.2 miles. (Seriously, I can’t even imagine running that long.) It was tough, but Shelly kept us moving – it was so great getting to do the race with her!

    Drinking my celebratory beer at the finish line

    Drinking my celebratory beer at the finish line

  2. We made sweating like pigs look good. Yes, Shelly and I bought matching shirts for the run. We wanted something like the Nike men’s “Running Sucks” shirts, but alas, no women’s sizes and we weren’t ambitious enough to get crafty and chop them up. We settled on the Nike Splash Tank, and I rounded out my outfit with liquid lime Nike Free Run+ 3 shoes and Nike Phantom Training Shorts. When you’re running 13.1 miles, you might as well use it as an excuse to go shopping.
  3. My little nieces are growing up too fast. Ava and Macy sprouted like weeds since last time we saw them. Ava turned 4 this month, and one of our weekend activities was attending her fancy-pants dance recital at the Midland Center for the Arts. The show was three hours long and sucked up a boatload of Lori and Cory’s time while we were in town, but it was so great packing the seats with our extended family to watch Ava dress up like a little Broadway performer and sing and dance to the Aristocats song, “We are Siamese if you please.” And Macy just turned 1, and is turning into a little ham who loves all eyes on her. Thankfully, Jeff and I spent a lot of time with the girls, playing with Ava’s new guinea pig Clifford Neil Diamond, bouncing in the girls’ inflatable bouncy house, searching for toads and more.
  4. Jeff’s golf game is turning around. He and a bunch of college buddies played the Michigan State Soccer golf tournament on Friday, and Jeff’s team came in third! The Wednesday night Nike golf league he just joined must be paying off.
  5. My grandmas are doing surprisingly well. While both are struggling with some memory problems, Grandma #1 is happy as a clam in her new assisted living home, and Grandma #2 has perked right up with a recent med change. Just knowing they’re (hopefully) not going anywhere for awhile makes saying goodbye a little less painful.
  6. My Pinny High girls will always be some of my best friends. No matter how often I get to see my friends from middle/high school, we always fall into the same old good times. Jenny, Ashley S., Shelly, Dave and I switched things up (by not automatically going to Bay City or Linwood) and headed to Midland for some bar-hopping. At Oscar’s, Bar Oxygen, a quick dash through Diamond Jim’s, and the memory-filled Boulevard, we caught up on life and downed some Tequila Rose shots. And on a related note…
  7. More and more, my siblings are becoming some of my closest buds. It’s great merging friends and family! Guess that’s part of growing up?
  8. Ant farms are awesome. Ava’s Uncle Yeggie (Matt) gave her an ant farm for her birthday, and lucky me, I was around when she got the ants in the mail. We carefully poured them into the farm – and scrambled to pick up escapees – and watching as they scurried around their new home. I had an ant farm and a multitude of random pets when I was young, so it’s great to have a little niece who loves animals, bugs and reptiles as much I did as a kid.
  9. BBQs are even more awesome. To celebrate Lori’s 30th birthday, Mom and Dad hosted an outdoor BBQ. Friends and family lounged outside under the shade, ate BBQ chicken, watched Ava (and her not-so-kitty-friendly dog Sampson) play with Oliver the cat, and sampled Uncle Ron’s latest homemade beer. It was fabulous. Although it reminds me…
  10. My little sister Lori turned 30, which means I’m officially getting old. ‘Nuff said.
  11. I’m thankful Jeff’s good with kids. It’s cute seeing him make Macy smile, and it’s cute seeing Ava drag him around.
  12. I miss coney dogs. A super-tasty “goodbye Michigan” coney dog oozing with bacon and cheddar at Detroit Airport’s National Coney Island made me realize how darn good they are and how hard they are to find out of state.
  13. I miss my family and Michigan friends even more.
Checking out the new residents of Ava's ant farm

Checking out the new residents of Ava’s ant farm

Amazed by the ants!

Amazed by the ants!

Little Macy and her few-toothed smile

Little Macy and her few-toothed smile

Nick, Chepy, Steve and Jeff at the Michigan State Soccer golf outing

Nick, Chepy, Steve and Jeff at the Michigan State Soccer golf outing

Proud mama and papa with their tiny dancer

Proud mama and papa with their tiny dancer

Cheering on our niece the Siamese kitten

Cheering on our niece, the Siamese kitten

Shelly, Ashley and Jenny at Bar Oxygen in Midland

Shelly, Ashley and Jenny at Bar Oxygen in Midland

Little brother Dave and me at Bar Oxygen

Little brother Dave and me at Bar Oxygen

Shots for all! Toasting our time at Boulevard Lounge

Shots for all! Toasting our time at Boulevard Lounge

Party people at the Redick BBQ

Party people at the Redick BBQ

Relaxing on the hammock with the girls

Relaxing on the hammock with the girls

So close to the end!

So close to the end!

Finishing the last tenth of a mile in The Qualifier

Finishing the last tenth of a mile in The Qualifier

Thank heavens we're done!

Thank heavens we’re done!

Bouncing with Aunt Shelly and Uncle Dave in Ava's inflatable house

Bouncing with Aunt Shelly and Uncle Dave in Ava’s inflatable house

Uncle Jeff and Macy

Uncle Jeff and Macy

Saying goodbye to the little squirts

Saying goodbye to the little squirts

Flying the friendly skies on our way home :(

Flying the friendly skies on our way home 😦

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3 comments

  1. Mary Beth

    Kristi I think we were at the dance recital also. My niece Lori’s daughter danced in it too. Where you at the night show or the afternoon. Monica and I went to the afternoon. The rest of the family went to the evening one. We had to do it that way because at the time we got the tickets mom was still at home and we couldn’t leaver her alone. Sounds like you had a great weekend. Love to read your post to see what you guys are upto Love ya. ME

  2. Pingback: Cancer. « Our Oregon Trail

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