Month: June 2014

Color Run Race Report

My very first 5K + 10,000 people = A very terrified Jodi.

Luckily I was surrounded by friends and family that kept me entertained enough that I didn’t have time to really completely obsess think about it.

Before.After Color Run

However, I did have time to think about it when we spent over an HOUR in the starting chute.

I hate to start off my first 5K race recap (and only second race recap ever) with something negative, but there’s just no avoiding it.  It seemed that they were really unorganized right from the start.  I know that the event was supposed to be a fun-run and really laid back, but I thought it would still be well run considering the amount of people.  Then again, it was my first real race so who am I to judge?  I’m sure I’ll revisit my statements in this report many times in the coming years and think that it wasn’t too terribly ran after all.

The first thing I noticed as we were walking up was the mob of people at the registration booths.  Everyone in our group had already picked up their packets the week before, but were still told by an attendant that we would need to stand in line.  We were all just standing around talking anyway (we had gotten there almost an hour early because we thought parking was going to be a nightmare) so we didn’t think much of just shifting over a few feet to the line.  Of course, it turned out that we didn’t need to stand in the line after all.  Slightly annoying, but not something I would have pointed out had everything else been great.

The next issue was the starting chute.  Apparently they had some sort of a snafu (still not sure what happened) that caused them to delay several waves.  The official start time was supposed to be 8AM, but we didn’t cross the starting line until 9:15!  I’m not sure about you, but my legs get super sore just standing around on pavement.  There was no room to move around and we had no idea when or where we would be starting so we couldn’t walk away and come back.  Several people around us started to complain and I saw several just leave the pack (not sure if they came back – but it seemed like they were gone for good).

Our wave finally got to go and we took off.  My Dad and I started out at a brisk walk and I knew from my training walk with Erin that there was a slight hill at the very beginning.  After standing around for so long I wanted to make sure that I stretched my legs out before I started running at all.  After we warmed up a bit we picked up the pace.  We ran almost the whole way to the first color station and then came to a dead stop.

I had read to be aware of the bottle-necking that could take place at the stations, but I had no idea it would be this bad.  It took us a good 5 minutes to walk through each station and took quite a bit of distance off because I stopped my watch each time so as not to mess up our pace.  I had considered just running past everyone, but I wanted to have fun as well as have a good pace, so we stopped and got doused (even though you can’t tell it from my after picture).  Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures during the race itself because I didn’t want to carry my phone through that mess.  Next time I think I’ll buy a disposable digital camera because it would have been really fun to capture all the people throwing the color.  Most of the attendants at the stations just picked up color and kind of lobbed it in the general direction of the runners, but there were a few that were really into it and those stations were definitely the most fun!

It started to get really hot and the last half of the course was mostly in the sun.  I also hadn’t drank enough water beforehand because I didn’t want to have to worry about finding a bathroom halfway through (and I’m so glad I didn’t after the starting line debacle!)  I was really fighting to push through that last mile and when we made our last turn I was happy to see that it was the worst bottleneck of the race at the last color station.  It gave me just what I needed to finish strong!

As a reminder my goals were:

A.  Finish in under 45 minutes

B.  Maintain a sub 15 minute mile on each mile

C.  Don’t die

I know our distance is a little off, but I’m happy to report that I met all my goals!  (Ignore the time on the watch as well, it stays on Central time.  It’s been messed up for a while and won’t even keep accurate distance at this point so I guess it’s time for a new one!)

Color Run

Overall, even with all the random issues, I would do it again in a heartbeat.  Maybe it was the adrenaline or just all the love and support that I received from my friends and family, but it was one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve ever had.  I was so incredibly proud of everyone!  It was slightly irritating in the beginning, but the feeling I had crossing that finish line made it all go away.

The amazing snow cone afterwards also helped.

Currently, I don’t have anything planned until the Capitol City River Dash in September (my first mud run!) but I think I’m going to see if there are any other local races that might be a little smaller.

Here’s just a little snippet of the day in pictures.

Color Run - 2014“If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now. Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it.”  ~Priscilla Welch



Seattle (The End)

Day 7 – Botanical Garden & Jimi Hendrix Memorial

We decided that we wanted to make sure that our last day was pretty low key, so we decided to go to the botanical garden and Jimi Hendrix’s grave site.  Cliff and I have been on vacation with my parents several times now and we seem to have a theme going with the botanical gardens.  My favorite is still in St. Louis, with Atlanta a close second.  The best thing about this garden was that it was free.  The garden itself wasn’t very big at all, but what they do have is really nice.  It was a perfect place to meander through on a cloudy/rainy day (our first, by the way!)  It looks like they’re doing quite a bit of construction and I’m eager to see what they get done to it this year.  Yet another place I will have to visit again on our next trip.

This was the second time that I was struck by how lush and green everything is there.  I don’t know why I expected anything else, but I’ve never seen flowers so vibrant!  I suppose I just expected the whole area to be dreary and kind of depressing (I love gray days though!) but it was the complete opposite.

Day 7 - Botanical Garden

We walked through the entire park and wound up spending a couple of hours just kind of strolling through all the paths.  It was mostly greenery, with pops of color here and there, so it wasn’t an eventful stroll – but it was definitely relaxing.  I did get to walk across my first suspension bridge!

After the garden we stopped for lunch and then headed over to the final resting place of the late, great Jimi Hendrix.  The memorial was amazing and I was happy to see that there were no signs of vandalism.


We spent the rest of the night doing laundry.

Yes, I do laundry on vacation.  Every chance I can get actually.  All I had to do when we got home was unpack and put it away.  Perfect.

We had originally planned on staying in and eating at the apartment, but Cliff and I decided that we didn’t want sandwiches on our last night in Seattle, so we made our way down to the pub on the corner.

If you’re reading this post from the guest book at the apartment, leave right now and go to Belltown Pub.

Yelp Review

**Warning ** If you’re reading about our weight loss journey, I might disappoint you with this next sentence.


I won’t even mention the Brownie Wakeup.  (Hey – at least we shared it!)

Needless to say, it was the perfect end to an even more perfect trip.

The next morning we got up, dropped off the car, caught our flight and were back in Chicago in less than four hours.  The entire trip could not have been more seamless.  We even wound up getting our parking for free because the hotel had messed up our receipt.  When the attendant came to help us, the machine couldn’t be reset so he just let us go.  It made up the extra we had to pay for the rental car!

On the way home we stopped at Aurelio’s for Cliff’s birthday.  They have the most amazing taco pizza.  Cliff tells me all the time that he has had pizza from all parts of the country and nothing is quite as good as Aurelio’s.  It made me happy to be able to take him there on his birthday (for the SECOND time).  The pizza wound up being kind of a late lunch, early dinner type thing so afterwards we headed straight to the house.  Mom and Dad decided to go ahead and drive home and Cliff and I went to bed as soon as they left.

So, I’m sure most of you are wondering what the damage was weight wise.

We each lost 4 pounds.

Yes, we lost.  Even after the pub food, ice cream, and a bakery right outside our front door.

How did we manage that?

The biggest part was having everything in moderation.  We didn’t eat everything in sight and we shared a lot of the decadent foods that we ate.  There were a few times we went a little overboard, but it was vacation and I firmly believe that everyone needs a little break.

The second biggest part was that we NEVER stopped moving.  Every single day we got in a ton of activity.  On the days where we knew we would spend a lot of the time in a car we worked out at the gym.  My Dad and I even went for a run one morning.  Other days we walked everywhere.  We took Cliff’s watch one day and logged 5 miles just walking around the city on a light day.  Then, of course, there was our amazing hike through the Cascades.

I felt like we had a perfect balance and it made me feel a lot better about traveling on longer trips while we’re on this journey.  Before we left I was super nervous about completely losing my self control.  It was really motivating to come home and see that loss.  Even better than the loss was having the ability to do all the things that we did on the trip.  We would have missed out on so many amazing experiences just as recently as a year ago.  I can’t wait to start tackling more items on my bucket list as we continue to lose the weight.

Thanks for your patience while I shared the absolute BEST trip I’ve ever taken (I’m sure that won’t be the last time you read that line).  I, truly, did not want to leave anything out.  For those of you reading this from the apartment, I urge you to do three things if nothing else.

  • Spend LOADS of time going through Pike Place Market (go on a weekday, trust me)
  • Have at least one dinner at Belltown Pub.
  • If you love music, horror flicks, fantasy, or anything else that’s awesome – go to the EMP.

I hope you enjoyed my (lengthy) review of Seattle.  I highly suggest everyone visit this city at least once.

5 stars for sure.

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” ~ Confucius

Seattle Part 5 (it’s coming to a close soon, I promise!)

I feel like I could start each and every post about our trip to the Pacific Northwest with “Today was the best day of the trip.”

On Day 7 we decided to walk down to the Seattle Center and check out the Chihuly Gardens and the EMP (Experience Music Project Museum). Dale Chihuly is an amazing blown glass sculptor with exhibits all over the world. I think Cliff and I turned my entire family into Chihuly fans when we all went to St. Louis a few years ago and saw several of his pieces at the botanical garden. It was a no brainer that we would have to see the permanent collection in his home state.

While the pieces were amazing, I was a little disappointed with the trip overall. It was over $20 per person to get in and it took less than an hour to walk through it all (and that was at a very leisurely stroll). I can’t complain too much because they did take the only picture that had all four of us in it.


Again, words don’t do it justice.

Day 6 - EMP & Chihuly Gardens

After our (brief) walk through the exhibit, we decided to break for lunch before deciding what to do next. Dad had found a sushi joint that he wanted to try and who am I to argue with my father? 😉 It just so happened to be a few blocks away so we decided to check it out.

Best. Decision. Ever.

I had always wanted to go to a sushi restaurant where it moved around the table!

Day 6 - EMP & Chihuly Gardens1

It was absolutely delicious, and (as you can see) we had WAY too much sushi. It was totally worth it and I’m sure we wound up walking it off. I will definitely go back on our next trip. The location is perfect and the price was very reasonable. With tip, Cliff and I polished off all that sushi for less than $40. It was A LOT of sushi.

After lunch Mom and Dad decided that they wanted to head back to the apartment, but Cliff and I had been dying to check out the EMP so we parted ways and Cliff and I walked back to the Seattle Center.

And we didn’t leave for almost 5 hours…

It was like someone had gone into our brains and picked out all the stuff that we liked and put it into our own, completely geeked out, little museum.

Here are just a few of the completely unrelated exhibits that we saw while we were there:

Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses

Fantasy: World of Myth and Magic

Icons of Science Fiction

Hendrix hits London

Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film

Not only did we see those, but there were permanent features like the Guitar Gallery and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.

You would think that would already be more awesome than one building could contain, right?


Almost the entire second level consisted of sound rooms and each one housed a different instrument that you could play (for free) for 10 minute increments. They even had a room to go in and record a performance and they would put it on a DVD for you (also free!)

Seriously…it was the most splendidly obscure mix of perfect. I can’t wait to go back (and yes, that is me standing next to an outfit that was once worn by the awesome Katee Sackoff when she played Lieutenant Starbuck in Battlestar Gallactica)

Day 6 - EMP & Chihuly Gardens2

After the EMP we went back to the apartment to relax before dinner. Mom and Dad had purchased an admission to the Chihuly Gardens that allowed them to go back at night and see it all lit up, but we weren’t interested. Instead Cliff surprised me with an impromptu anniversary dinner (we were going to be back in Louisville on our actual anniversary) at a Brazilian Steakhouse down the road from our apartment. Neither of us had ever been to one before, and we all know that I’m not one to turn down steak, so it seemed perfect. 

Yelp Review

Well, it would have been perfect a year or so ago, but it was a bit too much for our smaller tummies. It was all you could eat of 17 different kinds of meat, plus a crazy bar of sides.

** And for what it’s worth, I still prefer Cliff’s steaks.**

The best thing we had was the grilled pineapple. No I’m not kidding.

However, we had a great time and it was definitely an experience that I’m glad we got to have together (like all of our firsts, I suppose). But I don’t think either of us would go back to one, it’s just a waste at this point.

After dinner, we walked down to the corner market and bought a small container of Red Velvet Ice cream and split it. I’m eternally grateful that I never discovered my love for Red Velvet cake while I was eating everything in sight. Things would have been REALLY bad for me.

Yet another (near) perfect day. Surprise, surprise. 

“Ask yourself if what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.”