Kentucky Running

running.jpg

I ran my first 5K when I was 17 and my first half marathon when I was 20. Since then, I’ve run a handful of 5 and 10K's and one or two half marathons a year - nothing too crazy - and I certainly haven't ventured into full marathon territory. Around this time every year, I start slacking on my fitness. I'm over the cold temperatures and my new year's resolutions have worn off. However, I usually try to combat this lack of motivation by signing up for an upcoming race since it essentially forces me to stay in shape. If you're in the same rut, I recommend signing up for something like a race or an intramural event because it definitely makes you think twice before hitting snooze or driving past the gym on your way home from work.

I've listed my favorite Kentucky races, and I love them all for different reasons. If you're looking for a running buddy or want to sign up for a race, let me know! It's always better to have a friend there for motivation.

Favorite 5K Races:

November 24: The Great Turkey 5K, Bowling Green

November TBA: Girls on the Run 5K, Lexington

Favorite 10K Race:

October TBA: Medical Center 10K Classic, Bowling Green

Favorite Half Marathons:

April 2: Run the Bluegrass (shorter options available), Lexington

April 30: Derby Festival Mini-Marathon, Louisville

October 16: Iron Horse Half Marathon, Midway

 
iron-horse-finish-line.jpg
 

I'm ready to try some new races. Here are the ones on my radar for 2016!

April 16: (Un)Pleasant Hill Trail Runs, varying lengths, Shaker Village

August 13: Midsummer Nights Run 5K, Lexington

September 17: Railrunner 10 Miler, Nicholasville

Because that was a semi-boring post, I'll share a humorous little backstory about my first half marathon...

first-half-marathon.jpg

The race itself is only notable since it was my first one, and it had some big hills, which are no longer part of the course. However, the pre-race details stick out the most. For starters, neither Alex nor I were really familiar with Louisville at the time, so we stayed in a hotel on the outskirts of town. When we checked it, I was really excited to learn that the hotel had free (aka really cheap) drinks and appetizers. It was a month away from my 21st birthday, so I felt pretty fancy drinking a glass of the white zinfandel out of a plastic cup. Alex was already 21, and I think she was smart enough to not partake. After our wine and cheese, we lounged by the hotel pool with the sound of interstate traffic drowning out our gossipy conversation. The hotel's policy was that an employee had supervise the pool area whenever it was occupied. Since it was late April, we weren’t in our bathing suits and weren’t even thinking of getting in the pool. Nevertheless, a pimply teenage employee sat out there to monitor us until we left to carb-load at a pasta dinner. While the evening wasn't too crazy, I laugh every time I think about how slick I thought I was drinking cheap wine. If I drank that now on a night before running, I would probably be seriously sick during the race. Oh, to have the liver of a college student...

Since this was my first half marathon, I took training really seriously. I followed one of the training plans from Hal Higdon, and I found it to be a really great starting place. Now, I’m lucky if I get two or three 10+ mile runs in before I run a race. I just try to consistently run about five days a week in the months preceding the race.

Cheers and happy running!

Laura

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day in elementary school was just the best! I loved picking out my box of Valentine cards, carefully tearing down the perforated lines of the card stock, selecting which card I would give to my closest friends and secret crush, and taping a piece of chocolate on each one. I loved decorating my shoe box that would become my Valentine mailbox and making crafts out of pink and red construction paper and doilies. I loved looking through all of my cards during my afternoon ride home on the school bus. Seriously, it was one of the best days of the year! Then middle school happened, and Valentine's Day became one of my least favorite days. It became a stressful holiday where I had to think about romance or worse - the lack of romance in my life, depending on the year. Although I've been fortunate enough to have the BEST Valentine the past few years, it still stresses me out. Candlelight dining and the pressure to make the evening feel special is just too much for me.

Around this time every year, Jay and I hesitantly look at each other and agree to not exchange gifts. Inevitably, he'll surprise me with flowers, and I'll make him a sweet treat. We'll decide to do something together because that is way more fun than receiving heart-shaped jewelry. A couple of years ago, I happened to be in San Antonio for a work event that ended on Friday, so Jay flew up and joined me for the rest of the Valentine's weekend. We rode bikes to missions along the river, ate well, and enjoyed the 75 degree weather. It was the best!

san-antonio.jpg

This year, we have less time to get away and are planning a longer trip for later in the year, so we're heading to one of my favorite places in Central Kentucky - Shaker Village! We are spending the night, going to brunch, and if the weather cooperates, hiking and exploring the village in the afternoon. It should be just long enough to feel like a mini-getaway.

If you haven't been to Shaker Village recently, it has seriously gotten cool. There are so many events I want to go to in the next few months, from beer and bourbon tastings to concerts to yoga and paddle boarding. We're heading to the Bee My Honey Brunch, which couldn't be more perfect for us with brunch fare, honey, and bourbon.

One thing that I do like to do on Valentine's Day is have a festive outfit. Since it falls in the middle of winter, little red dresses and pink skirts are out of the question in Kentucky. Because we're having a casual Valentine's Day, I'm all about being comfortable and wearing practical clothing. Here's what I'll be packing for our weekend...

Sweater    Blouse    Jeans    Nail Polish    Bracelet    Flats

 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on Valentine's Day! Some people love the romance and others prefer to pass on celebrating. What will you be up to?

Cheers!

Laura

Christmas in the Bluegrass

 
christmas-image.jpg
 

There's just nothing like a Kentucky Christmas, and signs are popping up everywhere that the Christmas season is upon us. Just this week I felt my first true nip in the air. While I consider myself more of a warm weather kind of girl, a nice chill just seems right for December. Today we are outlining our top picks of things to do in the Bluegrass for Christmas. We've picked activities in several locales, so whether you live in Louisville, Lexington, or a small town, you may be able to find something on this list for everyone.

Family Fun

4th Street Live Ice Skating (Louisville)

Triangle Park Winter Ice Village and Skating (Lexington)

Christmas at the Galt House (Louisville)

Reindeer Ramble 5K (Lexington)

Southern Lights Holiday Festival (Lexington)

Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting (Somerset)

Shows

The Brown-Forman Nutcracker (Louisville)

Bowling Green Orchestra Holiday Pops (Bowling Green)

Radio City Rockettes at The Grand Ole Opry House (Nashville - This is obviously not in Kentucky, but it is a fun show and close enough for many Kentuckians to visit.)

Food

Christmas Tea at Shaker Village (Harrodsburg)

The Whistle Stop Cafe Holiday Dining (Glendale)

Christmas Markets

Wine+Market Holiday Open House (Lexington)

Christmas Market at Michler's (Lexington)

This is certainly not a comprehensive list of holiday events in the Bluegrass, but it is some of our tried-and-true favorites! We'd love to hear your  picks for holiday happenings!

Cheers!

Laura & Sarah