GrapeFest!

My big event this weekend was my half marathon, of course, but before that there was GrapeFest!

GrapeFest is an annual wine tasting/showcase event in Grapevine, Texas.  I’ve always wanted to go, but never worked it out in my schedule until this year!  Even so, the timing of my visit wasn’t optimal for my race schedule.  I knew that I was taking a risk going to GrapeFest the afternoon before my race, but I figured I would simply rest my legs and drink LOTS of water while relaxing in my hotel room afterwards. Unfortunately, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and by hell, I mean racing after attending a wine festival.

Wine

Our first stop was at the Argentinean tent, where $14 got you tastes of 6 Argentinean wines not available in the US, along with a lovely souvenir wine glass.  While we were in line to get our punch card and our glass, a woman tripped on a curb and hit her head.  It was quite the dramatic way to begin the event and a good reminder not to drink too much!  Thankfully, she was OK and we headed into the tent to wait in line for what seemed like hours to get our first taste of wine.  To pass the time, I decided to snap a pic of us….except I kept having technical difficulties.  Dara offered to take over and she had technical difficulties.  Thank goodness Erica was there, or we would never have gotten a proper picture!

What would we do without Erica's selfie skills??
What would we do without Erica’s selfie skills??

Honestly, I prefer a nice sweet wine, but apparently they don’t like sweet wine in Argentina.  I ended up with a dry white something or other that was actually better than I expected.

I wanted to try to catch up my friends from Homestead Winery, so after the forever wait in the Argentina tent we went in search of the tent they were in….with a few pit stops on the way.  One VERY worthy stop was at Dr. Sue’s Chocolate, where I fell in love with Midnight Mocha.  Chocolate and coffee…merged together.  It is divine!

I may have made inappropriate noises when I tried this in the shop.
I may have made inappropriate noises when I tried this in the shop.

We never did make it to Homestead, but it’s just as well because I have their wine all the time!

After our second stop at the Argentinean wine tent, we scurried across the street to the sparkling wine area.  I do love sparkling wine and ended up with another commemorative glass!

I thought the bubbles would show up better in the pic.  This was hands down my favorite area!
I thought the bubbles would show up better in the pic. This was hands down my favorite area!

Festival Food

After all the wine, we decided we should get something to eat.  Only, there wasn’t ANYTHING that was pre-race approved.  Erica, aka Stomach of Steel, had a hankering for chili pie.  I couldn’t even imagine eating a chili pie.  And Dara, bless her heart, because she is from “up North”, has apparently never even eaten a chili pie.  Before I even ordered, Erica knew that I would be getting fried pickles because “it is the Texan thing to do”.  I ate about half my bowl of pickles then made the sign of the cross and prayed that all this didn’t affect me during the race!  Of course, I was still planning to drink tons of water.  Good intentions, right??

Fried pickles.  Totally worth all the race stomach issues.
Fried pickles. Totally worth all the race stomach issues.

Runner friends protect clumsy runner friends

After the woman tripping on curb and hitting her head event, Erica took it upon herself to be my personal protector for the remainder of the day.  I think she felt a little guilty about leaving me unattended for a few days (which is when I ended up doing the stupid single leg dead lifts).  She also knows how clumsy I am and that I don’t always watch where I’m going.  I’m probably not much different than the kids she teaches in preschool.  #sadbuttrue  Every time we approached a curb or anything else that I could trip over or run into, Erica pointed it out to me.  If only she had been around to point out the folly in my choice to do those dead lifts…..my hamstrings are still angry!

It was a wonderful time with wonderful friends, though, so the race day stomach issues and dehydration was totally worth it!

Happy Tuesday!

Jen

 

 

 

The Bummer Summer of Feet

Before I get to the running update, I am going to share what has been going on with Alli. 10 days ago, I took Alli and a couple of friends to a trampoline park.  There were 2 other kids there (LITERALLY) and she managed to collide with one of them during the first 5 minutes.  She was doing a back handspring when this kid darted across her path, apparently, and she kicked him in the head.  My gut instinct at the time was that she fractured it, however, there was minimal swelling and no bruising even though she couldn’t put any weight on it for a good 30 minutes.  She ended up walking it off and back on the trampolines.  I told her we needed to keep an eye on it and she HAD to tell me if she felt any pain in the coming days.  She played softball in the All-Star tournament all weekend and would complain about it hurting after the games (but she ALWAYS complains about her feet after running around in those cleats!).  I knew that something had to be done when she told me how much it hurt during tumbling last Monday.  I made an appointment in the office that handled Taylor’s broken foot a couple of years ago and we went down Thursday afternoon for the consult. Turns out, Alli fractured her growth plate.  Waiting for the appointment actually turned out to be a good thing, because the ortho told me that it was more evident with a week’s worth of healing (and would have likely been missed had we gone immediately).  As a result, Alli has to wear a boot 24/7 for the next 2 weeks.  She had a little melt-down in the car because she doesn’t want to miss a minute of volleyball (luckily we still have a 2 week break!).  Sadly, swimming is off-limits as well.  the boot I had promised a trip to Bahama Bucks and was SO glad that we waited until after the appointment, because she needed some snowy goodness to melt her sorrows away!  Even so, she barely ate.  sno cone love By the time we got home, the initial shock of the situation had worn off and her mood had started to improve.  Our strategy is to follow the doctor’s orders to the letter in hopes that healing will happen quickly!  She will go back in 2 weeks for a follow-up X-ray and based on the findings will find out if we get out of the boot or wear it a bit longer.  Alli has been such a trooper and refuses to let it dampen her spirits.  She even asked me if she could run (?!?) on it.  You can all stop holding your breath – I said NO!!

Most of you know running has been going very well for me over the past months.  I’ve been able to make a complete recovery, thanks to the guidance my partner/coach has been able to give me.  However, running wouldn’t be running if there weren’t bumps in the road, and I recently  hit a speed bump. True to my normal self, I really didn’t notice it at first.  Some familiar stiffness has been creeping back in, specifically in my ankles and feet.  Yes, my calves are tight.  Yes, I know my calves have been tight.  Yes, I have still slacked at foam rolling my calves.  Why?  Because it hurts like hell and it is a pain in the arse!! LOL

I discussed the issue with my partner and he encouraged me to scale back my running while in Orlando and step up the foam rolling.  Honestly, I foam rolled once while I was down there.  I know….stupid.

When we returned from vacation, I eased back into the swing of things and running was feeling pretty good….until last Friday.  Even when I have been hurt, I rarely have TERRIBLE runs.  Friday was a TERRIBLE run.  Everything hurt from the get-go and I never found my rhythm.  I was only running 3 miles, but by the last .5, I knew something was wrong.  I started limping and my right ankle was in pain.  Of course, I KNEW the cause.

I shared all this with my partner and, naturally he told me no running until we get a handle on this.  I’m happy to say that I AM getting a handle on it!  I have foam rolled, stretched, taken Epsom salt baths, worn compressions, iced, slathered essential oils and taken anti-inflammatory drugs.  I can say that waking up this morning I feel better than I have in several weeks!  I’m still in awe of the maturity that I have gained as a runner over the past year.  Even though I am still the Queen of Stupid Sh*t (#QOSS), I have been able to take this set-back in stride and welcomed the rest.  Mind.  Boggling.

I am hoping to be out again my mid-week, although I will be taking it easy because I don’t want to miss the 15k that is planned for this weekend.

Until then – Happy Foam Rolling!

OH!!!  How ’bout that US Women’s National Team!!!  GO USA!!!

Jen