Trail running is my favorite type of running. It is fun to run through the woods, jump across creeks, and get wet and muddy! Last Saturday we went to the Living History Farms Off-Road (7-mile) Race! We heard about this one awhile back, and the last two years had considered doing it. But for one reason or another we didn't. But this year was to be different! It sounded so fun that all of my family, except Bethany, signed up. With over 2,300 runners, the starting line was crowded. The course was muddy right from the beginning. It was hard to get started going fast. The first couple miles were slippery, but otherwise rather tame. Soon though, we came to a big puddle in the road. I tiptoed across, staying to the side in an effort to not get my feet wet. Yes, I was successful! But, the next thing I knew we reached a creek. The idea of keeping dry was soon forgotten. That was the first of many creek crossings. We went up and down several hills. We ran through prairie grass and through a harvested soybean field. I saw one barefoot runner pass me. I imagine it would be quite a painful experience without shoes, but he seemed to be doing okay. At the last creek I jumped off the bank and went *splash* into the water. Wow, it was deeper than I expected. And the creek bottom was like quick sand! I struggled out of it, and kept running. I will confess I switched to walking for a minute because of the huge hill after that creek. After about a mile longer I finally crossed the finish line. I happened to be wearing a pink sweatshirt, and it hadn't escaped the mud. Someone commented, "That used to be a pink sweatshirt." And a friend comforted me with, "Well, pink and gray look good together." With much Tide, however, Mama successfully got it back to being pink again for me. Hoorah! Go to this link and search for ROAD-O-CROSS Off Road Race to see some pictures: http://www.racephotonetwork.com/QPPlus/Proofs.aspx
Guess what? Mama and I ran our first marathon this morning--the IMT Des Moines Marathon! And we survived. For a long time I've wondered what one is like. The one who started the marathon was Pheidippidies, a Greek soldier who ran the distance to deliver a message. For him, the run ended in death. Yet, hundreds of thousands of people go run marathon races every year. So Mama and I decided to find out what it's all about.
The first half marathon went pretty well. I was at 1:47:44. I felt great, and was having fun. But the last half I deteriorated immensely. It wasn't that I was tired. It was just I was in a lot of pain. Soon I had old men who were walking half the time and running half the time ahead of me. While most people passing me looked pretty good, there was one guy who would occasionally cry out in pain. At times I felt like doing the same, but managed to control myself. I hadn't trained very well for this, and now I was feeling it. So I decided to walk. But, to my dismay, walking felt even worse than running. So back to running I went. As I jogged along, viewing the scenery and my fellow runners, I contemplated, "Why are all these people doing this to themselves?" With a mile left, I once again decided to stop to walk. Then came along two kind ladies who encouraged me to stick with them. They were a big help to me. And so we finished. My time was 4:02:31. Mama wasn't far behind, and she said she felt good the whole race. She had trained a lot harder than me, and it paid off. We were very thankful for the opportunity to do this together! Now the question is, "When's the next marathon?" Come on, start training and join us next year! It is a fun experience you are sure to not forget. www.desmoinesmarathon.com/
For years we have talked about doing RAGBRAI--Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. It is the largest bike touring event in the world. The ride takes a week, but day passes are available. So, this time, RAGBRAI XLV, we decided to ride for a day, "day 4", from Clear Lake to Charles City. It was 57 miles. The most I'd ever ridden before was 20 miles. And that was two years ago with RAGBRAI. So this was going to be fun. My papa and sister drove mama, Daniel, and I up to Clear Lake, and we got started about 6:30 in the morning. The first 25 or so miles were great. We stopped in one town for something to eat. All of my family bought burritos. I opted for a piece of delicious peach pie. Then we got back on the road. We looked behind us to see huge storm clouds. Now we were in a race with the rain! We rode harder and harder, but soon found ourselves losing the battle. We were surrounded by storm clouds.
So, we got really wet. We were soaked, and our breaks didn't work. But we rode on. Eventually the rain passed. Now we were just wet and tired.
By the end of the ride I had great admiration for all the RAGBRAI riders. I suffered so much from just 57 miles. These other riders (a lot of them old enough to be my grandparents) were doing 400 miles across the whole state!
I was so happy to reach Charles City and finish. I felt like I couldn't ride any longer, and I felt like I could barely walk too. It was a neat experience.
My friend and most faithful blog commenter, Olivia, tagged me to do a Q&A post! So here it is, Livy!
1 – What is a nickname only your family calls you? Baby
2 – What’s a weird habit of yours? I don't have any...
3 – Do you have any strange phobias? FDR said that the "only thing we have to fear is fear itself." And better yet God said, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."
4 – What is a song you secretly like to blast and belt out when you’re alone? As you can probably figure out, I do like music! But, I don't like to blast out music. :) I like it soft.
5 – What’s one of your biggest pet peeves? Being late.
6 – What’s one of your nervous habits? I'm not nervous enough to know.
7 –What’s a YouTuber that almost always makes you laugh? Studio C
8 – What was your first stuffed animal and what was it’s name? I started getting stuffed animals before I can remember. Maybe my first was Fuzzy or Blue Bunny or... I could name them all right here, but that might take up too much space.
9 – What’s the drink you always order at Starbucks? I've never been there. But my favorite beverage is usually water--simply cool, clear water.
10 – Do you have any weird body skills? No
11 – What’s your favorite comfort food that’s bad but you eat it anyways? I like all desserts, but I refuse to believe that they are bad for me. Hey, life is short. You might as well eat what you like. I stay away from stuff like potato chips, soda pop, meat, etc..., just because I don't like them. But I love dark chocolate--it tastes good and it is good for you. I set my 5K PR of 21:45 after eating pecan pie and ice cream the night before. :)
12 – What’s a phrase or exclamation you always say? To my siblings, parents, and friends: "Will you play something with me?"
13 – What did you use to wear that you would never wear now? I'll skip this one. :)
14 – What did you want to be when you were young? I have wanted to be so many things--everything from a mail deliverer to a Himalayan mountain guide. My strangest dream of all was to be a football player. That was when I was very young. Haha...
15 – How tall are you? 5' 8"
The optional bonus question is, what are 5 ways to win your heart/become a great friend? HaHa...
1. It shouldn't be hard.
2. Really, if you just smile at me...
3. Or talk with me...
4. And be friendly.
5. I love people and love friends, and know I would love being your friend too. :)
Here are some nice quotes.
“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.” ― Linda Grayson
"Sometimes me think, ‘What is friend?’ Then me say, ‘Friend is someone to share the last cookie with.’" -Cookie Monster
“In prosperity our friends know us; in adversity we know our friends.” ― John Churton Collins
"We must hang together, or surely we shall hang separately."-Benjamin Franklin
"I believe in angels, the kind that heaven sends. I’m surrounded by angels, and I call them my best friends."-Pamela Daranjo
"It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like ‘What about lunch?’" -A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
For years I have wanted to do a triathlon. So, this year on July 1st, my mama and I finally did one! I figured it might be our first and last one, but we were going to have fun.
With the triathlon there was a duathlon and a 5K run. My papa was doing the 5K. We all started out together running. I knew running would be my strong point, so my strategy was to do my best in it and just try to survive the rest of the race.
That went as planned. I set a PR in the 5K. And then I was totally out of breath. I was tired and ready to stop. But, no, now I had to bike 13 miles. The first 10 miles seemed all up-hill with the wind in my face. I was passed by a lot of people. But finally I made a turn and the wind was at my back. Hooray! I finished. Now all that was left was the 300 meter pool swim.
I took it easy and just went for a nice, slow swim. I'm not a great swimmer. It was a challenge to swim straight across the pool without swerving into the other lanes. And since I was so tired, it was hard to pay attention. I almost collided a couple times with other swimmers who weren't paying attention either. But I had fun and didn't drink too much water. After awhile I was done.
We enjoyed watching mama finish her swim. Then it was time for granola bars and medals!
I won my age group. I know it sounds great, but actually I was the only one in it. Papa got a medal in the 5K too!
We all had fun. Thank you to the Reinbeck Running Makes Cents Organizers! And thanks Charity for taking the pictures!
This next "dream come true" is literally a dream come true--a nightmare come true. We go to a lot of races, and one thing I've noticed about them is they all start precisely on time. So what happens when you show up late? That is what I found out at this year's Sturgis Falls Half Marathon!
The race started at 7:00. I thought it was to start at 7:30. So, I was walking a few blocks away with my sister when we heard a gun go off.
"That must have been the start of the race," my sister said casually.
"No, it couldn't be," I replied. As we drew closer, I realized it was. By the time I was ready, the last walkers were disappearing beyond the horizon. A sinking feeling came into my stomach. I adjusted my race number and set my watch. Then I started. I had 194 runners in front of me. A little before the first mile, I started catching some runners. That made me feel better. Soon I found this was actually fun! I was especially happy when I caught up with my parents. Only one runner passed me (after I passed him) the whole race.
All the runners in front of me were a real inspiration. I set a PR on my first 10K: 46:28. The race went by quickly. I finished with my watch reading 1:39:39, and with the official time of 1:44:20. I was in about 33rd place, and 3rd in my age group. So the nightmare had about the best ending possible. I hope I never, ever do this again, but it was an interesting experience. It is a bad idea to be late in any case, but it is an especially bad idea to be late to a race. :)
My whole life I've loved pancakes. And my whole life I've wondered what the International House of Pancakes is like. Whether I'm at home, McDonalds, or a Mexican restaurant, you can usually find me with a stack of pancakes.
One day, coming home, my parents asked my sister to pick out a restaurant she wanted to stop at. There was Culvers, McDonalds, a tenderloin place, or an IHOP among the choices. When I saw the IHOP I grinned with excitement. Without giving my sister (who doesn't especially like pancakes) a chance to say a word, I announced I wanted to go to IHOP!
So IHOP it was. After studying the menus for about 10 minutes, we all came to our conclusions of what to order. There was far much more than pancakes to choose from. One could even get a cheese burger with fries and onion rings. My family all found something they liked.
I ordered this stack of double blueberry pancakes (600 calories). There were four flavors of syrup to choose from: old fashioned, butter pecan, blueberry, and strawberry. I think old fashioned was my favorite.
The pancakes were wonderful. The waiters and waitresses gave very helpful service with a smile. I enjoyed my visit, and I hope my family did too...so we can go again sometime!
I have now reached the grand old age of 16. To celebrate I am starting a series here on the blog of 16 dreams that come true for me this year!
Number one has to be what I did for my birthday: run 16 miles.
Friday, the ninth, I had the privilege of spending the day with Bethany, the editor of the Clarksville Star and the Butler Country Tribune Journal. Yes, Bethany--my sister! I got to sort through photos and type out the traffic violations report. It was so fun to see who had been speeding and who had "forgotten" to wear their seat belts in the previous week! In addition to this, we put on a lot of miles on the road.
Here we are at the tiniest church in Iowa! It is located in the charming town of Bristow.
The church's caretaker, Sally, was very hospitable. After giving us some history on the church, she invited us inside her home to see "a few" of her teddy bears. She has a collection of almost 2,000! Everything was literally covered with teddy bears! They were so cute!
In the afternoon it was time for a spelling bee! My last spelling bee I came in last place. So I figured I couldn't go wrong today. Things couldn't turn out any worse from last time!
The words for us in the high school division ranged from cornucopia to memorabilia. None of us were good spellers. We just took turns getting word after word wrong. It was kind of funny! Finally, though, I somehow won. The adults had it just as hard, and Bethany ended up taking first in that division!
Below are the first and second place adults along with the retired teacher who gave out the spelling bee words.
We later covered a kiddie parade and took pictures of the carnival and the musicians. Here we snapped a photo of me with the Lone Ranger, Silver, and Tonto. Wait...I didn't know the Lone Ranger had a beard...or that Tonto wore flip flops?! But, oh well.
It was an interesting day!
April 29th was the day of the Drake Road Races in Des Moines! My mama and I were doing the 1/2 marathon and Bethany was doing the 5K. We arrived about an hour before race time, and began to warm up. It was a cool morning, and it was cloudy. I was very glad it wasn't raining. At 7:30, we 857 half-marathoners crowded around the starting line. We listened to a man sing the National Anthem. Then a shot rang through the air. The race had started. I was far enough back that it took a few moments for the crowd around me to begin flowing along.
This was the largest race I'd ever ran in. I was wearing my new Garmin watch, and my goal was to have around an 8-minute pace, at least for the first few miles. With so many runners, the first 3 miles went by quickly. The regular road traffic was controlled by police officers, and every other mile, helpful volunteers had water stations set up. At first, there was a lot of downhill. But what goes down must come up again. Around mile five, that began to happen. In all the excitement I guess I had taken off too fast, and now I was enervated. I was about ready to start walking, but I figured I'd try to hang in there awhile longer. The good point of a race with so many participants, there's always someone you're passing, or in my case, always someone who is passing me. I enjoyed the live music along the route. One man was out with his guitar; there was a whole group of musicians, and also there was a little girl with her cello. It made me smile to see all the friendly faces out watching the race. Slowly, but surely I made it to mile 10, and then had an extra burst of energy. There was only a 5K left. At last I found myself taking the final turn, where on the horizon lay the finish line. Oh, what a pleasant sight! The runners behind me were encouraged too, and I soon was passed five or six more times. With the last block, I decided I could manage a sprint after all, and I finished with a time of 1:45:03. I greeted my siblings who were there just to watch today. And we watched our mom finish. She met her goal of beating two hours. Bethany had enjoyed the 5K too. I learned the winning time for it was 15:12. And the winner of the 1/2 marathon was 1:08:56. All I can say is, wow!
Then we went and enjoyed delicious chocolate chip cookies and fruit too. There was more music from two musicians and then the award ceremony. There were very neat prizes. Overall, I thought it was an excellent race. There were nice t-shirts, plus all finishers received a medal! It was fun, and I hope we can go again next year. Here is the video my siblings filmed!
Howdy! This page is filled with writings from the youngest one of the Carson family!