American Pharoah

It was time for a girl’s weekend! Shopping & ponies were on the docket.

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We are professional outlet shoppers now. Once we got there, we were ready to split off and meet back up in 2 hours. We decided to all tackle the Shoppes of the Bluegrass in the same direction, so we’d just wave and touch base as we passed each other going in and out of stores.

The real reason for the trip got us doll’ed up for a white party event.

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Downs After Dark @ Churchill Downs!

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We decided to get the VIP Courtyard tickets for a more exclusive event. But we couldn’t find section 119. Then CM and I had to find the ladies room, so we told the girls we’d catch up. After finally finding section 118, I figured we were close enough. Went up to the ushers and they took our tickets, gave us bracelets and said “119 is around the corner”. So we went. No 119. Found the next usher and told her our story, she said “I’ll take you.” Next thing you know we are in box 19, not section 119. Um. Ok. I turn to CM and said “Act like you know what you are doing. Act like we are supposed to be here.” Lady asks if this looks familiar. Yes, yes it does.

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I waved the other girls in and we had a blast. There was only 1 older couple in there with us that probably knew we weren’t where we belonged but no one else was there so I think they enjoyed having people to talk to. A look at the Courtyard, where are real seats were.

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Selfie minus the stick.

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As the races came to a close, I went down to the track to soak it all in. Get up close!

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Here they come!

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Highlight was seeing American Pharoah parade in front of us. Legendary.

Carb Day @ IMS

I was the lucky receipent of some vendor tickets to Carb Day. Best way to attend that shit show, stay away from the drunks in your own private suite with a bartender! After the vendor dog and pony show, we made our way to the pits to see the real action. Normally you get this kind of view fighting your way for a photo opt among the swag merchandisers trying to score a buck on a signature.

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But once I made contact with my friend who works for the Kanaan team, we got a better view. Other side of the ropes!

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Even up close and personal with the car!

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It was really cool to see the guys working on the real deal that would be circling the track in just a few days. We made our way around a few more garages to find swarms of people chasing this guy.

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I had no idea who it was until I heard someone in the crowd “That’s Roger Penske”. I wondered if I got close enough to him, his fortunes would rub off on me. I could use any portion of 1.4 billion dollars. But a picture would have to do.

Then we found the car my company sponsors. Our logo is probably the first thing to wear off in a crash. Play I spy below…

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Just in time for a photo opt with the driver!

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Mini Mini

Previously. With my epic banana fail last year, I employed a Kate Spade cross body to secure all of our necessities. Let’s race/walk/finish!

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This was going to be a questionable day for us. Mama’s been dealing with some Plantar Fasciitis issue the past few months. The doctor cleared her with some heel supports. Said, “Do what you can and take the bus back if you need to.” Urg. No bus. We agreed to see how the day played out.

Even with the 2nd year of wave starts, the crowd is always inspiring to see how many people get involved in this race.

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As usual, the street shows provide some great entertainment.

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After mile 2, they had a special marker for the 500th mile of the history of the Mini Marathon. Mama “thought” it was the finish line. Nope, keep going.

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I love seeing the type of people that compete here. So selfless and thoughtful. This guy was leading a vision impaired gentleman. Mom and I look like this several times at these races!

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Around mile 4, another banner. Not yet Mom. Keep going!

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As we rounded our way towards the track, I asked “How you doing Mom?” Mom, “Well, my heel knows we are doing something.” We started brainstorming our options. Quit, keep going, split up, break, and Herbie’s choice, cut the track. After a few rounds of “What do you want to do?” “What do you want to do?” Decision was, cut the track. It’s a hard hot surface. It was not worth costing the race to do something we’ve done enough times. This was her 8th! Seriously amazing.

Also meant I had time for a pic with a cow!

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So with heavy hearts, we by-passed the gates and walked around the semi to join back up with the masses ready to complete this course.

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We ended up over 10 miles so a solid day for us! Next year, hello 5K! New experience for both of us to share together. Mom’s getting some cortisone shots this week. Mike drop Mini. We out.

Day To Night Time

Last year, I didn’t post about TWR because I was *perhaps* a bit bitter about being surprised by some awesome friends, even though I finished FIRST in my age group. What was I thinking?! This time, I knew there would be no age group awards. I had some nasty throat drain hacking going on all week. It was at its’ peak the morning of the race. TMI, it was like going through the vomit motions without the vomit release. Just empty heaves. Terrible. But the show must go on. So I toe’d the line and went off for a 10k at the Talk Walk Run. It was KVin’s fundrasier for Hear Indiana. I must support! At mile 2.5 I see a girl doing her own vomit show off the trail. I vowed then to make sure she was ok and finished. I stopped and made sure she had an ally. We stopped again at mile 3 of her 3.1, but she did make it to the finish. Then I had to continue for another 3.1. Urg. Great day of training for the mini 🙂

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Best bright spot in my day was this guy, hello Fever Freddy!

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Afterward, it was a quick nap, food, shower then off to support my next friend’s fundraiser. Previously.

No red carpet but the dress was worn.

Fundraising with champagne? Yes, sign us up!

Great awareness for JDRF, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Give back peeps. Everyone should donate time, talent, or treasure.

Holliday Critter

Previously.

Laced up today for my 9th Holliday Park Trail run. In all my times here, I’ve never been fast enough to find the hidden critters on the course. They place a dozen beanie animals on the course for special prizes. The front runners always get them first. This year, I nabbed one!

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When I saw it, I quickly tucked it in my pants and finished the race. Well… and started the race. Confession, I found the critter in the women’s bathroom before the race. While waiting in line to for my usual pre-race bathroom break, I saw what appeared to be a pair of hot pink gloves in the corner by the paper towel machine. When my turn came, I got the last stall next to the pink gloves. As I shut the door and notice a #5 sharpee-d on, I reached under the door and grabbed the critter. I was thrilled! There was only 10 minutes to go before the race and everyone all morning just passed on by it. 

So I did, tuck it in my pants, and began racing! I knew it wouldn’t be a stellar race since my sore throat/laryngitis was still lingering after a week. I was just glad to be out there in the elements with some great weather. And not get too muddy!

JS cleaned up her age group top award again! No Red Bull this time. Just a gift certificate and a poster. Still awesome for her! 

My critter got me $10 to a local coffee shop. I’ll have to pay that one forward. Always fun with my trail crew!

It Gave Me Wings

Who signs up for a race when it’s 2 degrees outside?! Wasn’t so sure about getting out of the car.

An hour later…

Now for the middle part: JS and CS agreed to sign up for the 2015 Red Bull Trail Daze race. Third time in Indy and I’ve done all 3!

I have been ready to start running again and this race was the perfect thing to get me started. I wasn’t paying attention to the weather when I signed up. I just really wanted to get back out there. Same race structure as before. 2011. 2012. But this year, I scored the top spot in my age group. I’m such a dork.

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Our prize, a case of Red Bull. JS scored one too! We’re either that good or that stupid and all the stronger runners stayed in the warmth of their homes.

I drank 2 Red Bulls while waiting around for the awards. For someone who doesn’t ingest any caffeine on a regular basis, 2x 80mg was not the best idea. I was super giddy. Everything was funny. Then I crashed hard and passed out. Note to self: Only 1 Red Bull at a time from now on.

Purdue 5k

CS was signed up for the 13.1 miles around the Boilermaker Campus. I did that once, This time, 5k was enough. After a filling pasta dinner at Puccini’s, we relived some of my collegiate memories by visiting the Cactus. God. I. Am. Old.

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The place was still rocking even though the crowd had not arrived yet. It was 9pm.

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We stayed for about an hour then got settled to rest our heads at the Union. After driving up 2 years ago for the start of the half, I learned I didn’t want that experience again. We walked to the start line in 10 minutes, hit the portos and were ready to DFW!

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The half started 10 minutes ahead of the 5k runners. I was so excited to see my guidence counselor wheeling the line again this year. We hooked up with JL and the boys were off. 

I didn’t know how I’d do and really didn’t care. I, of course, was on the FTP. Fuller Training Program. Don’t train, just run. It’s a mental race most of the time at the distances I run anyway. My face always tells the story I am feeling!

Starting faces:

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Mid way:

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Homestretch:

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Finish:

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Me pretty. I crossed the line and the clock said 33 minutes. Mmeph. I wanted to do better but didn’t care. Then I remembered… the first race started 10 minutes ago. Whaaaat?! Didn’t matter. I had a job to get back on the course and cheer CS to his amazing finish! Then I had to watch JL cross the line with his PR before I could figure out my own finish!

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It ended up being a stellar day for our whole crew. CS = sub 2 hour. JL = PR. Me = 2nd place age group award!

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Refueled at Jakes with the game and some food!

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Calzone.

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I may have signed up for a 5k but ended up running close to 6 miles to cheer my team on! GPS data…

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Go Boilers!

CCC

Previously.

Corporate Challenge Captain time again! Still can’t find the elusive female cyclist at my company, so I borrowed another bike and lined up at 7:50 for an 8 am start. I always have to ask for an early start because I have to hightail it over to volleyball right after several miles away. As I rode up, I was the first one in line! Ok by me. ISC Event chair walks up and says “First in line Natalee?”! We have known each other for almost a dozen years and he knows my dilemma each year.

Off to volleyball!

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Had a pregger sub on stand by just in case I couldn’t get to the courts by the first game. Luckily the other team was late, so I made it in time!

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Made it to the tournament but lost in the semi’s again. We are going to get this next year! 

Weekend 2 brought some gorgeous weather. Looking east over the IMS infield.

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With the new venue, teams lost their bleacher spots. We opted for a team tent space as home base.

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I manage to place other runners in the 30 age group but that left me the 10K. Urg. With my lack of exercise recently, this was not going to be fun. 8:27 pace like a turtle. But man, did my hair look nice after that race!

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How many times did I get to golf this summer? Zero. So I was the perfect candidate to do the chipping challenge for us. I nailed the bulls eye on my second shot. Except it was the bulls eye for the teams in the line to my right. I asked for half points? Nope.

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I was prepared for Tug Of War, but game was on while I was out doing other events. My trusty side kick got people organized and over to represent our team. So I became the cheering/yelling section. “PUUUUUUUUUULLLLLLLLLLL!” I really enjoyed just yelling at people!

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TOW tough with mascots!

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Last event of the day was the newest. Pit crew challenge. Team of 4 had to change a tire on each front side of a real Indy car. NS manned the air gun while I handled the tire exchange! So fun!

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Also new this year, a free cold one at the end!

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Team OneAmerica turned out 4th in our division! Very pleased with the results. Crossing my fingers for some swag with the Golden Hanger award!