This weekend was another mini family vacation. Tommy took Friday off of work so we could head up to Alma for my college homecoming celebration. On the way to Alma, we planned to stop in St Johns at Uncle John’s Cider Mill. We LOVE the donuts and cider there, plus they have a pumpkin patch and fun fall activities for the kids. Unfortunately the weather forgot to cooperate and it was very cold, windy and spitting cold rain. We decided to make a quick stop despite the weather. The kids enjoyed the ride out to the pumpkin patch. We posed with some of the fall decoration cut-outs and the kids quickly picked out their pumpkins. We took a few more pictures before heading back to the barn to get cider and donuts.
After the cider mill we got back on the road and headed to Alma to visit with my college roomies. My roomie Anna was a "townie" meaning she was from Alma so we spent time at her parents house during college. Her parents are gracious enough to let us all "hang out" there when we come back into town. We spent the rest of Friday with Anna, Christina, Anna's parents, and Anna's baby Lydia. So much fun and it was a great way to get my baby fix! I don't have any picture of me holding baby Lydia but here's a picture of my kiddos helping to feed her a bottle - so cute!
I had a race Saturday morning, so we left relatively early and headed up to Mt Pleasant to our hotel. It is always rough getting the kids to sleep at a hotel, they are typically wound up and of course we can't put them in a separate room and "ignore them" until they go to sleep. Wow, that sounds terrible, but I think you guys will understand what I am meaning. We woke up bright and early Saturday morning so we I could get ready for the race and drive back to Alma. Now, this was DEFINITELY a small town race. The Matt Reinke Scot Trot 5K is a walk/run to benefit the Matthew J. Reinke Scholarship Fund at Alma College. Matt Reinke graduated the year after I did and unfortunately passed away shortly after graduating. I didn't personally know Matt, but since Alma is a small college, I did know of him. I was excited to take part in something to honor him and provide scholarship options for students looking to come to Alma College.
Of course there was also my selfish motivation to run the race... The last time I was at Alma College was two years and 100+ pounds ago. During my four years at Alma and all the years following I would tease people who ran (in jest of course), and I never would ever have imagined I would run even one mile, let alone complete 3.1. It was a joyous day for me to return to my college a changed person who had the capability to not only complete the 5k, but also compete.
The race was very small, with approximately 47 runners. I did appreciate that they had a separate walking division that got separate awards. I thought that was a great way to get people involved who may not normally do a 5k. There was no water stop halfway through (which was fine, especially given the weather) but they did a great job of having volunteers on the course to ensure people were going the right way. I went out pretty strong as usual, then watched someone roll their ankle within the first 100 yards so that was a reminder to me that I needed to be careful. My goal was to do well but ensure I didn't do anything to jeopardize St Louis! I honestly don't remember much of the race, except that the fall colors were beautiful! I was focusing on running strong but making sure that I paid attention to my body and didn't run if I was feeling pain etc.
I checked the results as they were posted and I was pleased with how I ran... official time of 24:22.3! Not bad considering how little I have been running lately. I came in 13th overall out of approximately 47 people and 2nd in my age group. I was slightly disappointed but when I realized that I was beaten by nearly 2 minutes I decided that it just wasn't meant to be. We decided to hang around for the awards ceremony because they were doing a raffle drawing. Good thing we did. Turns out the girl who took first in my age category was the overall female winner which means I got first in my age category! Hooray! I was so excited, to come back to my college and not only complete the race but be in good enough physical shape to actually place... it felt amazing! It was definitely a moment where I realized just how far I had come in a few short years. If I could only ever win one age group award, this was one that I will treasure forever.
The rest of Saturday went by way too quickly - homecoming parade, walking around campus, hanging with my besties, departmental receptions, and dinner at my favorite Alma restaurant with a great friend.
We headed back to the hotel, but not before getting lost (only I can get lost in Alma after having lived there 4 years). We were exhausted but it took forever to get the kids to sleep. Sunday I woke up way early and got ready for church in Alma. It's always fun going to mass at St Mary because its the church my husband and I got married in. We actually arrived early so we decided to take pictures in the park beside the church to waste some time.
After church was lunch with good friends and then more hanging out with my besties Anna and Christina and baby Lydia. All in all a very good weekend well worth the trip up north. Hopefully I can get my act together tomorrow and get ready for St Louis! I leave Friday morning - ACK!!
On a separate note, I apologize for the lack of posts about running lately, but I have been doing alot of resting lately to ensure I am healthy for St Louis. I promise to get back to the "healthy living" posts after St Louis!