swimming, Firecracker Flight 5k, and Freezonis

This summer has been stressful, for sure, but I’ve had such a good week that I don’t care.

Admittedly I haven’t been able to run a whole lot during this week, but at least twice I’ve had the opportunity to go swimming with my best friend Theresa’s three daughters in their backyard pool. Swimming with three little girls (ages 6 and 3-1/2) is a surprisingly outstanding workout! I greatly enjoyed using their diving board to practice diving, and several times I even attempted to do a (forward) flip. I’m still working on that – I didn’t quite pull my body all the way around before my back hit the water, which stung and even left a few bruises. I’m working on finding the nerve to get a really good amount of height off the diving board, maybe a double bounce. Totally worth all the bumps and bruises. So much fun!

On Thursday and Friday, I babysat those same three girls so that their parents could make a quick trip to Chicago. It was a busy time, and it reminds me again why I have great respect for parents. Even with these outstanding girls, it wasn’t easy. I had a great time, though, and I’m incredibly thankful that I was able give their parents a chance to get away.

Also on Thursday morning, I woke up feeling like my right eye was slightly swollen. I didn’t think much of it, but within a couple of hours I could tell that something was definitely wrong. My eye was discharging quite a bit of fluid, and overall it just felt unpleasant. I diagnosed myself with conjunctivitis, also known as pinkeye. Since I was babysitting, I couldn’t easily get out to get medicine for myself, and it proved to be a challenge to deal with my eye issues as well as the kids. (Plus of course I was washing my hands every chance I got in an effort to prevent it from spreading.) I was honestly a tiny bit worried that I would have to spend the night at an urgent care center (or worse yet, the ER) to get medicine for my eye. Thankfully I was able to get my hands on an old bottle of Neomycin/Polymycin (prescription) eyedrops around 10:00 that night, and my eye quickly began to improve. The skin around my eye is still quite raw due to the moisture from the discharge, but my eye was largely recovered within 24 hours.

Two or three months ago, before we’d planned their trip, Theresa and I had signed up for the Firecracker Flight 5k on June 27. Trip or no trip, we’d paid for the race and we still wanted to run. Since Theresa and Hubby didn’t return until after 10pm on Friday night, I slept in their guest bedroom overnight. At 6:45 on Saturday morning, we sneaked out of their house and got dressed in another bathroom on their property, where we wouldn’t wake the girls.


parking lot selfie

Incidentally, this wound up being my first race without my parents (aka my support team). I love my parents, but… I had so much fun at this race without them! Maybe I’ll have to add a few more parent-less races into the mix…

After we parked, Theresa and I collected our bibs and tank tops, then posed for a pre-race photo:


About two minutes before the race began, I discovered that I had maxed out the data on my phone for the month (meaning no streaming music), plus when I upgraded my OS last week, I’d removed all the music from my phone. That meant no music on my run. It really couldn’t have worked out any better, because I didn’t have the time to panic or get upset about it. All I could do was roll up my earbuds and do the best I could.

The weather was beautiful. I think the temperature was around 70F, with a light wind and partial cloud cover. Couldn’t have been more perfect. The race was relatively small – I’m guessing around 600 people – which meant the course wasn’t too crowded. I’ve never been a fan of listening to my breathing, but without any music, I just did my best to tune it out.

I cheered myself on quite a bit during this race, telling myself I was doing great, to take it easy or to dig a little deeper, that I’m strong and can push on. I had an interesting chorus of trivia running through my head, various factoids I’ve researched lately. Since I had no music, and since I hadn’t trained quite as well as I might have, I reminded myself regularly that I didn’t need to have any expectations on my time – just run the best I could and enjoy it.

I was honestly a little surprised. I knew it would be hard to run without music, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d feared. There were a handful of hills, but those didn’t really bother me. I ran the first mile a bit faster than I’d hoped, but not bad, and I reined myself in nicely on the second mile. In the third mile, I really let loose, and I was able to finish the race strong, which felt fantastic. My chip time was 41:17, an outstanding time considering the hills and the other adjustments from this run.


As we crossed the finish line, volunteers draped celebratory medals around our necks. This is the first-ever 5k race that has included a medal. It’s like the cherry on top of a great race with a great friend!

After the race, I pulled the car into a QuikTrip to buy us drinks. We were both hot and pleasantly tired, so it seemed appropriate. Inside, Theresa quickly zeroed in on the Freezoni machine, where we could get a nice big icee. It was a brilliant idea.


us in the car with our Freezonis

Wowee, that Freezoni tasted good… too good, probably! I was just sucking it down throughout our drive home, and even telling Theresa how good it tasted. Unfortunately, the sugar plus the large amount of hydration was too much for my stomach. Back at Theresa’s house, I threw up the drink into a sink. I was so embarrassed!! Lesson learned: don’t drink Freezonis so quickly!

All in all, though, this was still a fantastic morning. I’m thankful that I have a running friend – she makes the races even more fun. And I’m thankful for Freezoni drinks, even if I did make myself sick. It really tasted incredible!

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