Sunday, November 22, 2009

One America Indianapolis 500 Mini Marathon

So the Mini has been something I had always thought would be cool to do someday. I just never saw myself as being in shape enough and I didn't think I'd be able to with the thousands of people at the start line.

Hubby and I have tried various things over the course of the last year, including a membership to the church gym and buying a Wii fit to use and so forth, but it would last as a phase and fizzle out, just a diets do.

So we both knew that if we were to get ourselves into shape, we'd have to make some sort of commitment to it where we had something invested in it. Hubby kept kicking it around and finally said OK I'm gonna do it, after talking with me about it to make sure I was OK with it.

So upon reading all the stuff on it, I really wanted to give it a try, but was very nervous about it as 1. I am MAJORLY out of shape and 2. I've never had any sort of real athletic background. I know I can make it 1-2 miles easily but can I make it for 13.1 miles maintaining a 4mph pace?

So I hemmed and hawed on it for several days and emailed the contact email/number from the marathon website ( asking if they would work with me on using my guide dog during the race. So over the course of the week, I went back and forth on whether or not I could do it, as my biggest obstacle to training is we are going into winter and with not being able to drive, I am not able to get to the church gym to work out. I've been in touch with the gym and church staff to see if there was something I could work out, but it wasn't panning out on a consistent basis. So I realize that the majority of my training for this is going to be outdoors and in the neighborhoods around our home and had to determine if I was willing to make this commitment to doing this.

Rei and I went to the church for another thing last Thursday and we did 4 one tenth of a mile laps around the gym in just about 10 minutes. So we came home and Hubby and I talked about it and decided to go ahead and go for it.

So then we began to measure out some routes here around the house and was able to determine a 1.75 route and a 1 mile stretch between two roads making it easy to do a nice long stretch without crossing streets and on a nice wide paved pathway.

So on Sunday Rei and I walked the 1.75 mile route in 31 minutes
Monday we did it in 25 minutes
Tuesday we did it in 22 minutes
Wednesday we did a 2 mile route in 33 minutes, but that included a pit stop for Rei
After Wednesday, I was feeling quite sore and such so we took several days off and today, Sunday- we walked the 2 mile route with MD and AC on their bikes.

Unfortunately, time wasn't nearly as good as we had another pit stop for Rei and AC screamed and cried most of the way after 1 mile as he was mad that he wasn't in front and that MD was faster than him. So had to stop several times trying to get him to knock it off.

We did make it through the route though in 38 minutes, and Rei and I were doing very well and feeling good. We probably would have continued on a little more if the kids hadn't been fighting and melting down.

So since Hubby and I have signed up, Dad and my Aunt have signed up as well! They will be walking it with me as Hubby runs it. We are just going to have to figure out how we are going to handle soccer/childcare the day of the race, and continue to train and improve paces and distance that we are able to go.

Now we have to work our way though the access issue we are having with the mini committee. More on that in the next post.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Last warm trip to the Zoo with Grandma Roberts

The girls were out of school for Parent teacher conferences on Nov. 13th, so Grandma Roberts was interested in going out and doing something together, so we decided to take a trip to the Zoo. We couldn't have asked for any better weather, as it was in the upper 60's and nice and sunny. An all around beautiful day to go to the zoo!

We started out at the seal/sea lions exhibit:

Then to kill a half hour before the dolphin show started at 10:30, we went through the forests section.

First was the red panda and tiny deer:

Then we went on to see the grizzly bears and Bald Eagle:

The tigers weren't out as seemed to be the thing for the day for the big cats, as the lions weren't out when we got to the plains either.

So we'd made our way through the forests and headed on over to the dolphin pavilion to see the dolphin show:

Grandma Roberts and the girls as we are waiting for the show to start:

So from there we headed over to the desert biome, which we saw LOTS of critters!

A tortoise in the sand:

A tiny bird on the cactus plant:

Rei intently watching the Meerkats:

A couple of Lizards resting on a rock:

From here- the girls and Grandma Roberts went into the Snake house, where since there were several school groups and it was dark in there, I said I'd just walk through the bypass and wait at the other side for them to come out.

As Rei and I stood there, I was looking around at the different rock formations and noticed that over my head- there was a small group of Quail up high on the rocks, with this one particular male that was extremely interested in Rei. The group worked their way down the rocks to just about just over my head, peering over the edge of the rock trying to get a better view of Rei- allowing me to get some really good pics of them. LOL!

Close up of the male up high:

About 10 ft over my head:

The female comes into view as they are working their way down the wall of rocks to get closer:

The second male comes into view as they are now about 6 ft over my head:

The first male checking us out:

Then all three came into view and were checking us out:

So I turn around, thinking ok taking a LOT of pics of these birds. Take some pics of the other side of the walkway.

Another Tortise:

So I took these shots and turn around and here is that male quail just over my head. Seriously, with being tall, I could have reached up and touched him, he was that close and had worked his way down to see what we were all about.

Then the female popped up too!

By this point is was nearly noon, so we decided to head to the food court area to eat our picnic lunch. We found a table right off of the little pond with the lemur island and the flamingos in the background. There were a bunch of ducks in the pond so the girls went over to see the ducks as we got food out and ready.

The flamingos and thier reflection in the water:

MD feeding the ducks her cookie crumbs:

Lemurs on the watch:

After lunch we headed over to ride the Zoo express, however it seemed neither the train ride nor the roller coaster ride was open on this day. So we went on to the plains, to find that they are in the process of constructing a new Cheetah exhibit, so that we would have to go in so far and turn around and come back, as the emus, gazelles, and ostrichs weren't out because of the construction of this exhibit. As we made our way around, we also were unable to find the lions either, so thinking they may have been inside as well.

We saw a baby Giraffe and his mama:

The baby was picking at the grass over on the hillside:

Then there were two other adults taking it easy and nuzzling on each other:

So we moved on around to the Rhino exhibit was was rather surprised to see this one laying by the water. They were draining and cleaning this pond- which went through to the Ostrich, emu,gazelle exhibit too, so there wasn't much water there for him/her to get into.

The rhino laying on his side by the water hole:

The other pair in this exhibit:

"Ya lookin' at Me???"

So from there we went around and tried to see if we could find the lions without any luck. So then we came to the Baboons. Which normally, with my dogs, they usually are the one animal that run from the presence of the dog- the larger males coming to the front, getting agressive and noisy, the babies and mama's retreating up high and hiding.

Since there was quite a few people standing at the rail, Rei for the most part went unnoticed, so it wa nice actually see them at ease. We walked on around to find the end of our line, where the path was blocked off, and to my surprise, saw one of the baboons playing with a red Kong! Makes complete sense, but wouldn't have thought of them giving these to the baboons to play with as well. :)

So we head back out of the plains and came to a big rock and KT wanted to climb up on it to ge a picture of her and MD:

Then she asked to have Rei up there with them:

From here we went to the Encounters area, where we saw the domestic animals: the goats, chickens, sheep, burros, llamas, and ponies.

The girls petting the goats through the bars:

Rei and all three burros checking each other out:

Rei and the sheep nose to nose:

This young Llama was DETERMINED to see Rei! LOL!

Grandma Roberts and I did notice though that the zoo employee that worked inside the encounters area had came outside and was leaning against the fence and intently watching us as we made our way through the outdoor portion of the area.

From here we made our way up to the front of the zoo to go through the oceans area. However we did stop first and go into the dolphin viewing dome, which is a dome sphere at the bottom of the dolphin pavilion tank, so that people can see the dolphins swimming around.

And along the way we saw the outside portion of the Polar bear exhibit:

Going around to the entrance took us back past the sea lions/seals and this time they were laying out on top of the rock, one barking loudly:

In we went to the oceans exhibit and came first to the rays swimming along:

Then was the shark petting area, which KT has had an increasing facination with each time we go to the zoo.

MD looking at the sharks swimming by. She was very interested in them, but never got up the guts to actually touch one yet:

KT petting a shark going by. She got to touch several on this occasion:

Then after MD finally said no to touching a shark, we moved on and came to the inside viewing window for the sea lions/seals and here's the girls watching the sea lion swim by:

We kept on moving and worked our way around to the Penguin exhibit where it was interesting to see, as the penguins were molting.

Rei watching a penguin darting by underwater:

Then the girls started being silly, going up and down the glass "Swimming like a penguin"

Then last for the animals, we came to the indoor viewing area for the Polar Bear:

After leaving the Oceans building, we were ready to call it a day after walking the entire zoo, which was a first for us and we'd been there for nearly 4 hours. We were all ready to head home and get off the feet for a while and better yet take naps!

We made one last stop, at the gift shop, where the girls each bought themselves a webkinz with thier piggy bank/birthday money. MD getting a dolphin and KT getting herself an elephant.

We head on out and head home, all four of us VERY tired but VERY pleased with a lovely day!