Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cincinnati Mini-Vacation!

This May we traveled to Kings Island for my first 10k - the Beast 10k.  Here is just one photo from that race, I am hoping to "back log" my race recaps from before I had my blog set up.  But, in the mean time - I finished that first rough 10k in 59:51.

That's me in the light pink towards the back of the pack - very start of the race. 

The race was early in the morning before the park opened but we decided to stay around and go to the park.  I had my first episode of sensitive runner's stomach that day plus it started pouring late afternoon between these two issues we didn't get a ton of time to explore the park.

Because of that we decided another trip was in order - we figured we would go in the summer but with my races scheduled it just didn't happen.  So, October it was.  As the weekend approached I considered going to the zoo in Cincinnati instead as I figured it would be cheaper.  Everyone told me that they would do Kings Island over the zoo, but anyone who knows my daughter knows that she just HAD to go to the zoo.  So, since we have a zoo membership here in town, the zoo was relatively inexpensive so we decided to do both!  

We left home early Saturday morning and drove to Kings Island.  It was nice to do the park without the heat we dealt with this summer - however it was almost too cold!   It was approximately 50 degrees, but with the high winds it felt MUCH colder.  Pretty much everyone was there with winter coats, hats and gloves.  I brought coats for our family, but they were not winter coats by any means.  We spent a big part of the day shivering!  We did have fun though - the kids enjoyed the Dinosaurs Alive exhibit with trick or treating with the dinos.  They also had a Halloween event that had a little petting zoo and kiddies games.  And after that we spent the day riding the kiddie rides in Planet Snoopy.  The park was all decorated for Halloween - there were quite a few "interesting" decorations (see pictures by following the link near the bottom of this post).  It was a great weekend to visit KI (minus the cold of course!)   Just a few pictures: 

We left the park sometime before 6:00 because they were starting to set up for "Halloween Haunt" and we wanted to have the kids out of there before that got going.  We headed to the hotel and ordered pizza for dinner - YUM!  After getting everyone settled I was dying to go for a run (it had been nearly a week) and my foot was feeling pretty good despite having walked on it all day.  I headed down to the fitness room and ran about 5.7 miles on the treadmill at somewhere around 9:05-9:10 per mile.  I got off once to get water and the treadmill reset so I don't have my exact stats. I had to stop before my goal of 6-8 miles because my foot was starting to hurt.  

After a good night's sleep we headed off for the Cincinnati Zoo on Sunday morning.  We were excited for some of the "big animals" that we don't have at our local zoo.  We needed to leave by 3:00 or so to make it home to pick up our dogs so we knew we didn't have a ton of time.  That meant we had to move somewhat quickly to ensure we saw everything.  Luckily, after an hour or two my foot started to loosen up and we were able to see pretty much everything at the zoo.  I want to add that we LOVED this zoo - I am SO glad we decided to hit the zoo against the recommendations of others.  My daughter loved every minute of the animals and I thoroughly enjoyed photographing all the animals!  (If I was better at it,  I would pursue it as a career!) Just a few of my favorite pictures from the zoo...
One of my favorite pictures from the weekend.  I look ridiculous, but for good reason, a lorakeet biting my ear!
Natalie loved feeding the birds but refused to have them land on her, so mommy became the bird perch! 

Before crossing the bridge to the zoo

Loved this guy - he would charge towards us full speed and then pose. Too funny!

I could have watched the polar bears all day! Man I love them.

LOVE orangutans and this one was all about posing for me! 

If you want to see more photos, check them out here.

Hope you all enjoyed my mini-vacation recap.  I know its not running or weight loss related, but as most of you know I am laid up waiting for an MRI tomorrow.  I can walk on my foot without pain now so I am hopeful that I will get good news at my follow-up on Tuesday!  I do have some stiffness and weakness in my ankle but I think its due to wearing the boot - so I need to work on that if I am cleared to run. I probably won't run my 5k this coming weekend - I will just walk it (it will pain me to do this, but I need to be make sure I am as healthy as possible for St Louis). 

Please keep me in your thoughts tomorrow afternoon - I will report back as soon as I know anything regarding my injury!  

Question for my readers:  What do you pack for a destination half marathon?  I am flying and don't want to check a bag so I am limited to a carry-on.  Any advice will be greatly appreciated!  


  1. I start with packing the race essentials - everything I need to run a race. Then I mutlipurpose outfits like my pjs become my fly home clothes. If I know without a doubt that it's not going to rain then I wear my running shoes and they are the only shoes I take. If there's a chance it'll rain then I pack my running shoes and wear something else (don't want my running shoes to be wet for race day) - that said, "C" only wears/takes her running shoes. I pack a back pack in my carry on so that in case you get too much stuff you can check it on the way back (never know - first BIG race - exciting expo) - also the backpack allows you to carry lots of stuff at the expo or just when sightseeing (the rnr race will give you a drawstring back pack, but MOA and her mom found it way too small to carry all the freebies). Reuse clothes if you can (wear capris more than once, have a long sleeve shirt that you could either sleep in or use on race morning or wear while you're there in restaurants if you're cold). Definitely pack your camera and small toiletries (in a quart size baggie). Don't forget your fuel - I pack it in my baggie of liquid toiletries, but I'm sure you have to do that since it's considered food. We've flown with just a carry on - it's not too hard.
    How fun - glad you're feeling better. Good luck with the MRI.

  2. I love the Cincinnati zoo! My dad's family lives in Ohio and his sister lived in Cincinnati and every year when we'd visit we always went to Kings Island and the zoo. You're pictures are fabulous and I'm glad your foot is beginning to feel better! What kind of camera is that around your neck? I've been wanting a new one.