Tag Archives: friends

Team Devil Horns Takes on the Quad Cities: A race report

This past Sunday, some friends and I ran the Quad Cities Marathon Relay.  For those of you out-of-staters, the Quad Cities are: Moline and Rock Island, IL and Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa.   (Oh, who am I kidding… I had to look that up. I’m from Illinois and I had no clue.)

A few highlights:

  • Packet pick up/pre-race went pretty smoothly. A nice local lady recommended the Blue Cat Brew Pub in Rock Island for dinner. The food was great, but the service was terrible. I was the only one brave enough to try the beer and it was just okay. I’d definitely go back and try some of their other selections some time.
  • The Quad Cities are a LOT nicer than I expected. I guess I didn’t know what to expect, but they had really cute shops, a quaint downtown area, etc. Definitely worth a visit.
  • Race day weather was *perfect*– it was a little chilly at the start and I got goose bumps when I was waiting at the relay exchange zone, but it was perfect for running. Sunny and about 67 or so.
  • The course was breathtakingly beautiful– It was a 5 person relay and 4 of us had scenic routes. There were 3 bridges and 4 towns. One of my teammates got to run on the Interstate bridge from IL to Iowa. Most of the routes ran along the river and it was just a picture-perfect fall day.
  • I’d never run a relay before, so I was a little apprehensive about getting from one leg to another and making sure we didn’t “miss” one another. Luckily, they had a well-organized shuttle system to transport runners from the start/finish line to their legs. My exchange zone happened to be 1 block away from our hotel. I could’ve walked there, but I wasn’t familiar enough with the area, so I rode the bus from the start/finish line and waited for about an hour.
  • My leg was the middle leg, so I wasn’t able to watch any of the other exchanges, but we didn’t get lost and no one had to run an extra leg because the next runner wasn’t there. Definite plus in my book.
  • The exchange zones themselves were well-run. There was a volunteer with a bullhorn yelling out bib numbers so you didn’t have to worry about missing the exchange. Each relay exchange was well-stocked with water and snacks, too.
  • Speaking of snacks—this race went above and beyond in the amenities department. In addition to the usual water/Gatorade/Gu, they had oranges, bananas, cold sponges and even Vaseline on the course. Which made for a *really* funny story when one of my teammates mistook the Vaseline for Gu.
  • As far as the actual running, it went pretty well. I haven’t really been training and the last two races I’ve entered have been disastrous (think: walking during a 5K). My leg was 5.6 miles and my *only* goal was to finish without walking… which I did.
  • The course I ran was scenic and uneventful for the most part. I ran from Rock Island (which isn’t an island) to Arsenal Island (which is). It’s also—according to Wikipedia the largest government-owned weapons manufacturing arsenal in the United States. (which explains the COUNTLESS volunteers in uniform—HEL-lo!!). The last mile and a half or so were along a scenic river path. I had studied the map prior to the race but forgot to pay attention to the mile markers, so when I got towards the end I was having a hard time calculating how much further I had to go.
  • I’ve never run on the second half of a marathon course before and I have to say—it’s different. The only people on the course were uber-fit marathoners and relay participants. So, for the most part I felt like I was running a training run. A training run with occasional snacks, a cold sponge and a gorgeous view of the river!
  • There was very little crowd support, at least during my leg. It didn’t really bother me because I only had 5.6 miles to go, but I think if I was running the half (or the full) I’d probably appreciate a little more crowd support.  But maybe my expectations were too high from my experience running the Illinois Half-Marathon in my hometown.  The volunteers were super nice as was almost everyone we met in the Quad Cities. Good folks, they are.
  • The race was definitely good for relay teams– there was a designated relay meet-up spot where we met our last teammate and we all ran in together. We each got medals and nice tech running shirts. No lame-o cotton t-shirts for this relay team.
  • After the race, we had our complimentary beers (Miller Light) and headed home. Everyone was raving about the course and the weather. Well, everyone except Bobbi who ran the last leg. It was a brutal out-and-back with no river view. She wasn’t impressed, but I can’t imagine how it must have felt for the marathoners to have to do that in the last miles of 26.2.
  •  I think the only *real* complaint we had about the race is that it is gun-timed and there are no splits for individual runners. I ran with my phone and my RunKeeper ap, so I know how fast I ran, but no one else does. And since our team started near the back, we don’t have accurate timing. Again, the scenery and “intimate” feel of the race definitely make up for this, but it sure would be nice to have more accurate timing
  • I’ve totally re-caught the running bug and wonder how much better I could’ve done had I actually *trained* properly for this race.  However, it taught me a valuable lesson:  It seems as though I’m more motivated by successes than failures.   I thought the last two botched races would be the “wake up” call I needed to get me running again.  Turns out, running *well* is what I needed to get going.  Running well, great friends, beautiful scenery, and a perfect day!

If you’re looking for a small(ish) fall race, I highly recommend trying it out. We are definitely going back next year and some of us are thinking of running the half. They also have a 5K and a 1 mi fun run for the kids. I really can’t say enough good things about this race and the Quad Cities in general.

And, now for the pictures:

Me flashing the Devil Horns at the finish line. (I hope to use this one day as a "before" picture)

Erin, Bobbi, and I on our way to the finish

Team Devil Horns Finishes together

Celebratory post-race beer!

SWAG

Metal

Foto Friday: Facebook meme edition

I don’t know about y’all, but I’m getting annoyed by all the facebook memes going around.  I refuse to play out of principle.   However, if I were to play, here’s some of the pictures I’d post:

Throwback  photo
fb instructions:  Change your profile pic to a pic of you back in the day

pampasan chair--check, hammer pants--check, day glo shirt-check= genuinely happy Christmas smile

Sibling  photo
fb instructions: If you love your brothers/sisters, post a photo of you together

Of course I love them! From left: David (half-bro), Jo (sis-in-law), Ryan (bro), me, Kelli (half-sis)

Celebrity photo
fb instructions: Post a photo of the celebrity you’ve been told you look like

I did an entire post on this once. I’m still going with Jewel.  Not so much these days, though.

Couple photo
fb instructions:  In honor of Valentine’s Day, post a pic of you and your significant other and tell how long you’ve been together/how you met

This was taken on NYE. I love it cuz we're REALLY laughing, not doing our usual smile-for-the-camera bit

We’ve been together a little over a year.  Our “story” isn’t really one to pass down to the grandkids, so we’ll just say we met in school and re-connected years later ;)

And, just for fun…
Here are my entries from the Urban Dictionary:

1. Girl’s name
2. A very hot girl who is secretly very dirty but no one would know it.
3. A rampant sex beast – amazing in bed.
4. other meanings: flows like water (turkish)/ melody (old french)/ free man (german/french)/ love (gaelic)/ beloved (latin)

or, alternatively:

A crazy pyscho feminist who rages on most days about nothing in particular, leading you in circles going no where but confusion

Carich Likes/Dislikes

LIKES . . .

DISLIKES . . .

Modern Family, Better Off Ted, The Big Bang Theory American Idol, Jersey Shore, Grey’s Anatomy*
Being home to make dinner every night Working out at 5 a.m., cleaning up from dinner
My Real Friends Facebook-only “friends”
Working out at the gym—yes, even the treadmill! Being sore from working out 4 days in a row
Sleeping Work
Sporcle, Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud, Scramble Facebook “games,” Xbox 360 shoot-em-up games
Blog lurking Blog writing
My incredibly unfashionable snow boots, striped purple cardigan, oversized hoodies, and wooly red socks Just about every other item of clothing in my closet
Warmer weather, no snow Rain (and corresponding headaches)

*to be fair, I’ve only watched 1-2 episodes of each of these shows… but enough to know I don’t get what the fuss is about!

Foto Friday: Photobooth fun!

A few weeks ago (I told you these updates would be non-linear!), I attended my friend Jacqui’s wedding. It was a lot of fun, but I don’t have many pics from that night (other than a HILARIOUS–but unintentional–shot of me doing the “Carich dance.”)

The wedding was super fun… and they had a photobooth!  I’ve seen this on TV before, but never in real life. 

Basically, they have a booth set up and you get your picture taken (like you did at the mall when you were in Jr. high).  Except now they give you two printouts of your photos–one for you to keep and one that you paste in a book for the bride and groom.   There’s also a digital record–which Jacqui posted on facebook for the world to see.   SO FUN!!

Kyle and I. That last pic is horrendous...and priceless!

Group shot-- fun with props!

Me, Erin, Steph

Kyle is P.I.M.P.

Halloween Weekend

Yes, I’m a week behind… but that’s how I roll!

Last weekend was super fun-filled.  It started off with a surprise 50th birthday party for my Aunt Shelly.    It was a great party–lots of friends/family, good food, etc.

I loved this idea:  They had “50 faces of 50″ where everyone got a mask/necklace with a photo of Shelly at various ages.  I think mine was 1972:

DylanFace

My cousin's son, Dylan, had a lot of fun with it too...

DylanShellyMask

He's a ham

They also did a really sweet slide show set to music.  There were a couple photos of me in there that I’d rather forget ;)  If I can get a copy of them, maybe I’ll post.  Maybe not :)

 

ShellyPartyDana

Shelly and Dana watching the slideshow

MeganCari

Megan and I (photo credit: Dylan)

 

DylanDonna

Dylan and Mom attempt a self-portrait

After the party, I made the wise decision to bring copious amounts of wine to my friend Kim’s house.  She’d had a rough week, so I decided to cheer her up.  Greeat idea.

And now… the Halloween pictures:

I had been teetering back and forth between going out for Halloween and not.  It’s my FAVORITE holiday, but none of my usual crowd was doing anything.  So I was happy when some of the boyfriends friends asked me to join them.  YAY for dress up!

Since I didn’t really have a costume “planned,”  I dug out the dress-up tub and put together this concoction.  Most people thought I was your average run-of-the-mill Streetwalker, but I prefer to call her Charlene.  I think she has an 80′s Southern vibe to her (maybe b/c I wore the same wig as Dolly Parton?  IDK)

 

CharleneBefore

The "getting ready in the bathroom" pic. LOL.

 

 

Charlene

The bigger the hair, the closer to God

 

 

 

 

 

GroupShotatO2

Outside a bar w/random cast of characters

 

GroupShotbest

our group at the party--note the tights

 

GroupShot

another group shot--this time w/Chad aka 'Death'

 

 

CharleneWaldo

Charlene and Waldo

CariAndy

Andy's Hooter's girl was a BIG hit.... He makes a better girl than I do!

 

 

 

Bloggity Bloggity Boo

I’m going to stop apologizing for not posting more often.  To paraphrase a popular book/movie title:  I’m just not that into it.

But, since you’re all dying to know what I’m up to, here’s the rundown:

  • Halloween– I was going to do a Foto Friday each day this month of my favorite costumes from prior years.  But, well, I didn’t.   Look for one soon.  Maybe.   I’m working on my costume for this year.  Last year I was lame and didn’t dress up.  This year I’m dressing up, but I don’t have any definite plans, so my costume might be lame.  Whatever.

  • Family stuff-  Last weekend we threw a shower for my sister-in-law. It was fairly low-key but I think she got lots of stuff.  There were LOTS of babies there.  We figured out that out of the 7 “kids” in my mom’s family, 6 of them will have a new grandchild this year.  Yowzah!!   I’ll post pictures if I ever get any (I am still sans camera).After the shower my friend Kelly and her two kids stayed with me overnight.  It was the first time I had youngsters at my house.  It was fun and I  survived!

  • Running--  I made it one full week on my new program and then completely fell off the wagon.  I started back yesterday.  I was hoping to run a race in late November, but it is already full, so I’m looking at one on Nov. 1.    There’s a 10K option and a 5K option. I can’t decide which to do.  I won’t “technically” be done with my 10K program by then… but maybe if I sign up for it, I’ll have the motivation to kick it into high gear?   Or should I just do the 5K and work on getting a better time.  (note: Nov 1 is the day after Halloween and thus far my longest run is only 4 miles.)Oh, and I still haven’t bought my “rewards” for the last 5K. I’m thinking of getting an iPhone instead of a sports watch.  They have apps for running PLUS it has a camera and I’ve wanted one for a long time.
  • Friends– I have another wedding in November. The bride’s sister had a super fun couples shower a couple of weeks ago complete with HILARIOUS scavenger hunt and newlywed game.  Alas–no pix of that either.   The bachelorette party is in a couple of weeks.  Hopefully I’ll be able to take pix by then.   Posts without photos are just no fun!
  • Pop Culture stuff– Besides running (or not) and planning parties, I just watched the entire season of Warehouse 13.  Good, not great– Kinda like an Xfiles/Alias mixture with some Star Wars references mixed in.  The first season just ended, but I’ll probably watch next season.  I’ve also been catching up w/Glee on Hulu.  Hopefully I can start watching in real time this week.   This week’s Mad Men (which I just watched yesterday) had me dumbfounded.    I’ve been trying to watch Season 2 of True Blood, but I have to rely on the kindness of others for that since I gave up HBO (damn economy!)   I also watched the Rob Zombie movie House of a Thousand Corpses this weekend.   It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be.  Kinda reminded me of a Nine Inch Nails video. 

Proof that my friends are awesomer than I am

Friend #1 ( Yesterday, via IM):  Hey, did you know that Cross Canadian Ragweed is playing here in a couple months?

Friend #2 (Today, via email):  Air Supply is coming to Indy.  Tickets are CHEAP.

See…  my friends not only know my obscure quirky really *cool* taste in music, they also know that I’m always down for a live show!

Foto Friday: Wild Wedding

Remember when I told you my friend Stephanie was engaged? Well, now she’s hitched and I was lucky enough to be one of her bridesmaids.  Some of my favorite shots from the festivities:

Bachelorette party, complete with homemade shirts

Bachelorette party, complete with homemade shirts

Clennon and I at the rehearsal dinner

Clennon and I at the rehearsal dinner

the bride and I before the ceremony

the bride and I before the ceremony

the entire bridal party!

the entire bridal party!

In the limo

In the limo

Pit stop at Tumble Inn

Pit stop at Tumble Inn

and another outside Senators Inn

and another at Senators Inn

Cory & I before our grand entrance at the reception

Cory & I before our grand entrance

A few of my besties

With some of of my besties

who likes to twirl!

And my hot date...who likes to twirl!

It was a super fun night… with LOTS of pictures, plenty of beer, and a bunch of laughs.  I’m so happy I was able to be a part of such a wonderful day!

Foto Friday: Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Last weekend (yes, I’m that far behind) I took a road trip with Stephanie and Drew to visit our friends Jennifer and Drew in Ohio.  We visited them in their lovely home and then went to a Cubs-Reds game.   Cubs lost (boo!), but a  great time was had by all:
Steph and Drew at a bar in Kentucky

Steph and Drew at a bar in Kentucky

recreating their engagment pix

recreating their engagment pix

our hosts... pondering something serious

our hosts... pondering something serious

Steph and Drew overlooking the river

Steph and Drew overlooking the river

The view from the bleachers

The view from the bleachers

My BFFs:  Self-portrait attempt #1

My BFFs: Self-portrait attempt #1

We ate a LOT of contraband peanuts

We ate a LOT of contraband peanuts

Jennifer and Drew

Jennifer and Drew

Dorks

Dorks

Self-portrait attempt #2.  This pic is horrible, but I LOVE it 'cuz it's so real!

Self-portrait attempt #2. This pic is horrible, but I LOVE it 'cuz it's sooooo us!

The game went into extra innings.  They stopped serving beer after the 7th. What else was I going to do?

The game went into extra innings. They stopped serving beer after the 7th. What else was I going to do?

A mini-reunion

Some of you might remember that a while back, I re-connected with my college friend Jessie via facebook.  (Don’t remember?  Read this post!)

Well, On Thursday, I was lucky enough to re-connect with Jess in person–after 10 years!!  She was in Chicago visiting family, so our friend Kelly and I drove in to meet her.

We had some beer, some Chicago-style pizza and lots and lots of laughs.  We were able to reminisce about the “good ole” days and I was able to meet her partner Kirsten, who is a doll.

The only thing missing from this reunion was our other friend (and now my sister-in-law) Jo.  She lives in Southern Illinois and couldn’t get off work, but we called her so that she could at least feel like she was part of the festivities.

Here’s to old friends!!

Kirsten and Jess

Kirsten and Jess

Kelly and I-- self-portrait!

Kelly and I-- self-portrait!

The girls of Hewett 6 (minus Jo)

The girls of Hewett 6 (minus Jo)

group shot self-portrait: Kelly, Cari, Jess, Kirsten

group shot self-portrait: Kelly, Cari, Jess, Kirsten