Hiking Pinnacle Mountain

Hiking Pinnacle Mountain

Our church has a fantastic women’s outdoor ministry. They get together once a month for some sort of outdoor adventure- hiking, canoeing, ziplining…something fun. I haven’t been in a while (was pregnant and then with a baby) but now that Tyler is off work on the weekends, I knew I was able to take a day trip with them soon.

And when I saw that the November hike was Pinnacle Mountain- I signed up! It’s 1,013 feet- located outside of Little Rock.  We got up early and drove to the state park.  We hiked the entire 3.5 mile base trail and also the .75 miles up and .75 back down from the summit.

We took the West Summit Trail (apparently the East is reallllly hard. They did it a few years ago and it wasn’t fun because it was so hard!). This was labeled moderate, but it was moderate-to-hard, in my opinion.

It had been cold in the 30s, but on Saturday warmed up to the 60s and was GORGEOUS. This made the park very busy, but it was still a great hike. The base trail was quiet, but the summit hike was very busy.

We got about half way up and stopped to take a breather. Beautiful views.

A couple ladies in our group stopped short of the summit (one had been up before and decided she just wanted to people watch from a bench! ha!). The last 1/3 of the hike was more of a climb. It was over a boulder field- nothing but big rocks to climb up and over.

But we made it to the top! I’m so proud of my mom. She’s worked out hard these last couple of years (she did her 200th 9Round workout not long ago!) and she made it to the top!

At the summit!

Renee, on the left, is our fearless outdoor leader. She does a great job planning these outings!

I can now check “climb a mountain” off my bucket list. 🙂


Self-Prepared

Self-Prepared

For the first time ever, we did our own taxes.  Before, we have had an accountant do them.  Tyler used to own a business….and it was just better that way I suppose. And while we still had difficult taxes (3 1099s, 2 W-2s- my two freelancing jobs, his insurance business stint, and both of our jobs) we decided to give good old TurboTax a go.

And we did it.

And I hope we did it right.

I’m mailing them off today (nothing like the last minute, huh!?)

I’ll tell you what, it was WAY better than paying hundreds of dollars for someone else to do them.  And next year, we’ll be much more prepared and have kept all the stuff we needed (instead of scrounging around for it all…”Where is the property tax receipt?”) and hopefully this will be the start of a newfound relationship with TurboTax. 🙂

I feel so adult now.  I did my own taxes.

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13 in 13 Race Recap

I CAN NOT believe I’ve done 14 races (12 5ks, 1 10k, plus 1 triathlon!) this year.  I set out to do the 13 in 2013 because it seemed like something that would keep me active all year…and it has!  I didn’t focus on improving my running as much as I would have liked (all my Zumba and then tri training meant doing different things) so my times were pretty consistent all year…but I’m proud to have accomplished what I set out to do: do 13 races in 2013! (actually beating my goal by adding the triathlon!)

My year started off with a bang at the Booneville Relay for Life 5k back in January.  It was spitting snow and FREEZING and the race was small…but I got 2nd place female and won a trophy! ha!  (The funny thing about this race was it was soooo tiny…they had homemade bibs!)
April was busy busy busy with a race every weekend!
The first weekend I ran with Alden at the Reach Out and Run 5k.  This was SO fun to run with my best friend and push her to finish strong.
 The next weekend I ran the Miles for Mutts 5k with Amber.  Another race with a friend- so much fun! There were TONS of dogs on this course since it was for the Humane Society….we were dodging doggies for 3 miles! ha!
  
The next weekend I headed to Tulsa to meet up with Cristi for the Color Run!!  The whole experience was exciting!  The color powder did stain my skin a bit…so the “high” from this race lasted for several days until the pink wore off!
The last weekend in April, I did the Charleston Inferno Run for the fire department.  It was cold and misting rain…and I stepped in a HUGE puddle about a mile from the finish completely soaking my show.  It was a good race though!
The Hot Foot Run was next…and it’s the only run I didn’t get a picture of myself at! I went alone (Tyler wasn’t feeling great and slept in…he was usually my paparazzi at races!).  This race was so special because of the firemen running in their gear.  The race was also SUPER hot and I had to walk more than I wanted because there were no water stations.
Next up was the Color Me Rad in Little Rock with Tyler, Mom, and Nancy.  Sooooo fun to share this with them.  We had a great time dancing through the color stations.  I liked that this one was smaller and had both wet and dry color stations.
  
The next race was the Splatter Me Colorful in Van Buren.  I did this with my coworker Autumnn and her friend Sara.  The wet glow paint was fun..and the after party at the finish line with the black lights was GREAT!
July 4th was my next race..the Firecracker 5k in Greenwood.  I totally dressed for the occasion (but didn’t win the costume contest!).  It was a hot one….but the fire department was shooting water from the trucks keeping you cool.
Next up was the Lavaca 9/11 Memorial Run.  This one also had firemen running in their gear. It was a warm day…and mom came with me to this one.  I got a 2nd place medal in my age group!
In October, I ran the Arkansas Best 5k at work.  It was a little chilly (and I hadn’t ran much in the weeks prior) but had a great time.  It’s fun to run with your coworkers!
Next up was the Tri for Roses indoor triathlon.  I got 2nd place in my age group and finished strong!
The next race wasn’t ideal…but I did it!  It was the Turkey Run 10K.  I ended up having terrible knee pain around mile 4 and had to walk a bunch of it at the end.  But I stayed in my 12-13 minute mile range and finished in 1:18ish (clock time said 1:20…but I know my actual time was a little faster!)
The last 5k was the Greenwood Yule Run in December. I was really looking to this run and attempting to PR (runner speak for beating your best time- PR= Personal Record)…however my IT band inflammation I incurred at the Turkey Trot prevented that.  But Mom and I had a GREAT time dressing up…and she actually ran almost 1/3 of the race!  So proud of her! And we won the costume award for dressing up! ha!
When I set this goal, I knew I was capable of doing all these races, but I really thought that doing them would magically make me thin and “at goal” and all those magical weight loss things.  Truth is…that didn’t happen. 
But I did learn SO much about myself pushing myself this year.  I learned how to encourage friends running with Alden and Mom.  I learned how to push myself when I just wanted to stop in the triathlon and 10k.
I learned what the running community felt like at the Hot Foot Run.
I learned how to just suck it up and do it in all weather.  I was able to use these events to meet some neat friends in person (Cristi at the Color Run), and somewhere in there, I learned that I really could push myself and do what I set out to do.  This was a lofty goal when I started, but I completed it (plus one!).
I’m not doing the 14 in 2014…but I will keep running and pushing myself.


The Day I Became a Triathlete!

I wanted to give a detailed recap of my experience with the Tri for Roses women’s indoor sprint triathlon.  Like I said yesterday, this was a special race for me.  It was something  that I NEVER thought I would be able to do…much less WANT to do! ha!
When the race happened last year, I sort of ignored it. I hadn’t even done my first 5k yet, so a tri seemed ridiculous. But, when the signs when up this year, I thought “Why not?”  I’m not at my goal weight (and heck…I’ve said before, I’m even up from this time last year!) but I’ve made strides in my fitness and learned it’s not all about the scale.  It’s about pushing yourself and challenging yourself.  So I signed up!
I asked the race coordinator, my friend Tracey, a bazillion questions beforehand…but she was nice enough to answer them all.
I felt as ready as I could be when Saturday rolled around.
I got there early to watch a couple waves…so that was helpful.
The only mistake I made was to eat some energy chews before the race.  They made my heart race during the swim….which was scary.  But other than that, it went well.
I was in the final heat and we started at 9:15.  I got in the pool and warmed up well.  But when the race started, I couldn’t calm myself.  My heart was RACING and I had to take a couple breaks swimming on my back to catch my breathe.  But I finished the 300 meter swim in 6:31.  
I’m second from the left in the orange/blue top.  I swam in my compression capris and a good supportive sports bra.  Then I only had to put on a shirt for the rest of the race.
Then I had my transition, where I ran from the pool to the gym floor, got dry, dressed, and on the bike.  My transition was 2:18.  Then I did 8 miles on the spin bike.
I felt pretty good spinning.  My music was rocking and I was on pace for my 20 minutes (2:30/mile) ride.  I had some trouble in training with tailbone pain…but I was feeling ok on race day because I had taken it easy on the bike the weeks before.
I finished the bike like 2nd or 3rd in my heat in 19:40.  I was actually finished about 10 seconds earlier, but it took a second to get my mileage verified by a volunteer.  Oh well.  During the bike, I was CHUGGING water.  I mean, I had only been going for 15-20 minutes, but I needed a refill.  Thankfully, Tyler was there taking pictures, so he refilled my bottle for me.
The last leg was a 2 mile run.  But…it was on the indoor track….28 laps!  I am a slow runner, so there were some fast ladies who were whooping me.  Around lap 8 or so, I started struggling.  Tyler was there cheering me on and helping me, and later he told me that he was about to coach me to just stop and walk a bit because he could tell I was struggling.  He actually said that he was worried I would have to walk the rest of it.
But something came on my music that pushed me.  I just sprinted the next lap…and that gave me tons of energy…and I finished strong.  My bestie Brandy was there counting laps (for another racer), and she was AMAZINGLY encouraging during the run.  She would pump her arms and dance when I came by…so I made it my goal to always be running past her and Tyler.  When I had to walk, I tried to just do it on the back curve for a few seconds.
When I started my 28th lap, my lap counter told me to finish through the chute….so I ran that last lap strong and came through the finish line! I ran in 22:52 (some fast miles for this 12 min/mile runner!)
Woo hoo!  I’m done!
It was the Tri for Roses because you got a rose at the finish line!
I cooled off, changed clothes, and waited for the awards.
Brandy gave me this BEAUTIFUL bracelet that made me cry.  It said “She believed she could, so she did.”
I absolutely love it.  She’s just such a great friend and encourager.  I’m so glad she was there Saturday
They ended up keeping up with the standings on paper printouts, so I knew before the awards that my time was 51:21, and I was placed in second in my age…so it wasn’t really a surprise when they called my name. ha!
My age group of 20-29 had mostly first timers, but I was proud of my performance!  I got 2nd out of 7 girls in my group…and 13/26 overall (exactly midpack….just like my running! ha!).  I won a medal and some beautiful roses.  And  I’m pretty sure I’ll attempt the co-ed indoor tri in the spring.  It was a fun experience and so rewarding to push myself.
I cannot believe it.  Like I said, I’m not “at goal” or “thin” or the picture of what most people want to look like….but I’m proud of me.  These thick thighs are strong.  They pushed me in the pool.  They helped me bike faster than I ever have.  They carried me two miles after all of that.  And you know what, I’m happy with who I am.  I’m a work in progress, and Saturday, I got a little non-scale victory.  Now, I’m a triathlete. 🙂