Life as we know it

Our family adventures

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So now what?

Oh my. This is a last weekend of freedom if there ever was one. Starting on Tuesday, we make the rite of passage into school age. We’re going to be in school age for at least the next 17 years. That’s not counting college or if we have more kids!

But we have a nice long weekend to take advantage of first. Mama and the kids had an adventure this morning while Dada stayed home to wait for the new cable to be installed. We had a window between 8-10 for arrival and were told it could take one to three hours for the installation. So the plan was to get the kids out of the house for that installation. We were going to go to the park and then the library when we got tired of the park. Unfortunately we had barely gotten started playing when it started raining a little bit. We decided to see if it would pass. We did have fun for the 20 minutes we were there!
Allie loved the balance beam. I really think she would enjoy gymnastics but we need to get used to school first.
Give Peyton some room and he’s off running! He’s also climbing and getting into everything.
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Peyton tried to climb on the balance beam. Right after this shot he actually tumbled over and landed on the other side. Luckily this is a rubber playground!
By the time Allie found the digger, it was raining pretty good. She wanted to keep sticking it out, but I could see on my phone the radar wasn’t getting better, so we left.
Allie thought it was fun to stick her tongue out to catch the rain drops. Peyton did it too because he likes imitating Allie! This girl cracks me up!
The rain got heavier as we got into the car, good thing we left when we did! We had to make a stop at home to change clothes before heading to the library.

The cable installation went pretty quick and was done right when we were needing lunch and Peyton a nap. Peyton ended up sleeping almost three hours and the rest of us hung out all afternoon. Well, I squeezed in a 3-mile run in between the rains (more on that later) and then cleaned our bedroom.

The other part of the “now what?” title… running. I was ready to sign up for the Madison half this past week before my coupon code expired. I didn’t though and I’m kind of glad. I’m second guessing my plans to run another half this year. It was my goal to run two and I know the November half will be better than my race two weeks ago. But I’m still so slow and I’m feeling a little burned out. I guess I”m not surprised. I was starting to feel really awesome with how I was running about a month before the half. But then I went on vacation and had a rough time running after. I was afraid I had “peaked” early and I think I was right, though the sudden hot summer is partly to blame. And I’m not going to lie. I am still disappointed with my efforts of two weeks ago. I would have done better if I’d been better trained.

I know the November half will be better. But is a pretty quick succession in between races than I’m used to. I usually do the May half and then another in September or October, so four or five months. This would be a little under three months. Doable, but I’m just not sure I want to.

And while I’m not fast by any means, I would like to get faster. And I think the only way to get faster is to do some more cross training and weight training. Unfortunately my time is very limited. So to add cross training, I’ll have to take away running. I’m thinking about dropping to three days a week running and one cross training. After we’re in school we’ll have some more time in the mornings so I want to start going to Body Pump again. I was in my best shape when I was doing Body Pump regularly before the Green Bay half in spring 2012 (which happens to be the only other race I’ve been so bitterly disappointed with). I think I may run three days a week without the long runs. I’ll run a couple 10Ks. Or maybe I won’t race. I’ve always felt like I needed races for motivation, but considering I’ve only run three races this year I’ve had a decent amount of motivation. I guess the motivation to race is a lot less while I’m super slow.

Who knows? I sure don’t right now. I was thinking I’d start the training again in September, with a 10-miler next weekend to start the long runs. That plan was to do the longer long runs a couple times each and be better trained. But I could take an extra week or two to decide. The more I think about it though, my tough half wasn’t the result of under training the distance. Its just under training in general. I ran 73.6 miles in August. I ran 74 in July. With less than half a mile difference, it took me 38 minutes longer to run those 73.6 miles this month. That wasn’t all from the half marathon.

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Busy weekend

We started Friday night with a date night! Its been awhile since Doug and I got out together by ourselves. My wonderful friend Joanna baby sat the kiddos. We had dinner at Porta Bella, one of our favorite Madison restaurants. In between dinner and the movie, we walked down by the lake. In spite of the stifling humidity, it was really nice!
Saturday was project day.
We were a little surprised to not only get 4K homework, but homework to be done before school even starts! But it turned out to be really fun. We will have one of these “family projects” each month. This one is a treasure box. Allie is supposed to take the box, with three things special to her inside, on the first day of school. After that, the treasures to be added will be books they make at school. I think this is great!
The letter gave suggestions for things to put on the box. I took Allie to Target and we picked out a pad of funky patterned paper in neon colors, some “funky tape” (some kind of scrap book tape), some glitter sticker letters, scissors and glue. This was Allie’s first time using glitter glue and scissors.
I’d say she already looks like a seasoned pro!
Mama helped with the main construction, but all the decor was mostly Allie’s choice.
The project was really fun! Dada took pictures and gave a few ideas but mostly let Mama and Allie work on the box.
Mama helped Allie put her name on the top of the box and we also spelled out “reading is fun.” Allie decided to decorate the rest of the box with letters too.
We put a lot of stuff on that box! It turned out so good. Allie is really excited about the box so we have to put it away somewhere to keep it safe until school starts.
Here’s the finished product!
Today we went swimming. We went to the Goodman Aquatic Center in Verona. This is part of the Goodman Jewish Community Campus. Its a bit more expensive than other pools in the area but we really like it because its super close and they allow pool toys (though they didn’t let us take the big floatie we’d brought for Peyton). Its also never been super crowded the couple times we’ve been there even though we wait and go on the hottest days.
They have an hourly safety check/adult swim time, and of course we had to get out of the pool once we’d finally gotten in! We had some snacks though and chilled.
Since we couldn’t take Peyton’s floatie, we borrowed a life vest to try. He didn’t like it. We didn’t really like it either. Peyton was kind of grumpy at first and I wasn’t sure we’d stay long. But he snapped right out of it when we returned the life vest.
Just look at those smiles!
Allie swims like a fish with her water wings! I still want to get her into swimming lessons. I’m hoping to do it maybe in the spring or next summer after she’s been in school for a bit. Her shyness has gotten better, but some new situations are still difficult.
We ended up staying about two and a half hours. I was surprised Peyton lasted that long! He lasted that long for the swim, but he was definitely exhausted when we got home. We all were. After bath time we had dinner, and Peyton practically fell asleep! I wrote last night about having a hard time putting Peyton to bed… it wasn’t hard tonight, though I was surprised he still stayed up and played a bit in his crib before falling asleep.

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I guess he’s not a baby anymore

Just look at my blue-eyed handsome boy! Peyton is many things, but now that he’s 18 months, I am reluctantly calling him a toddler now. He’s not a baby anymore. I suppose he hasn’t been a baby for awhile now… but I’ve been slow to admit it.
We had his 18-month doctor’s appointment last Monday. Peyton keeps moving up the chart in his measurements, though he is still on the short side. He is his mother’s son, after all! He weighs 24.2 pounds, 51st percentile; height 32 inches, 37th percentile; and head circumfrance 18.6 inches, 45th percentile. He’s toward the middle of everything. He has gotten a lot taller in the last three months, at 15 months he was still in the 17th percentile for height.
Peyton is developing quite the personality. The terrible twos are starting early. He already throws some wicked tantrums, complete with throwing himself on the floor (carpet) in some cases. He already tries our patience, quite aware he is doing so. We are trying to get a better start on discipline with him than we did with Allie.
He is such a sweet little boy. He loves his blankie! He loves his Mama and Dada. He tends to go back and forth in preferring one of us or the other. He’s been doing this super cute thing where he runs across the living room and buries his face in our laps and just laughs. He is very ticklish. He’s got the cutest giggle. And he is always giggling unless he’s hungry or tired. Or getting his diaper changed… he hates when we lay him down for a diaper change!
He plays so well and very attentively. He’s developing an interest in books and he loves playing with his big sister. He loves running around and is getting a lot better at it. He’s starting to climb more. He’s also talking a bit more, enough that the doctor doesn’t seem as concerned with his speech development, so that’s a relief! He’s starting to do so much; we can just see the wheels turning in his mind and it is fascinating. It also leads to difficulty at bedtime some times. I think he always feels like he needs to be moving. So that makes it hard for him to settle down for sleep some nights. Typical little boy I guess. That’s getting better; or maybe I’ve just figured out how to deal better.
Last weekend I organized the kids room, mainly their closet and all their clothes. He’s moved mostly into 18-month sizes, though he still has a few 12 months that he can wear. Its so hard sometimes to believe my kiddos are getting so big! I posted the next photo this week as Throwback Thursday.
Wow! Peyton at 1 day old, and Peyton at 18 months. My baby is becoming a big boy.

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Allie’s school

Tonight we went to an open house at Allie’s school. She’s starting 4k at La Petite Academy in Oregon on Sept. 2! I can’t believe she is only a week and a half away from starting her school life. She is very excited abd we are excited for her. We enjoyed meeting Allie’s teachers and were able to get questions answered. And its pretty obvious both Allie and Peyton loved it there!





Allie has her own cubby. Unfortunately her name is spelled wrong, but that will be fixed before school starts. She can’t wait to use her My Little Pony backpack.


We got to go outside and see the playground, another big hit.


Allie liked running up and down the hill. Dada had said something about sledding in the winter, so she said she was sledding.


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So glamourous

I am so proud of my Allie. Her hair has been getting really out of hand and we needed to get it cut. She wanted me to do it. We had a bad experience last time I tried to take her somewhere to get her hair cut. I’ve done her bangs but I wasn’t going to do her whole head. I found the Scooops Kid Spa and asked her if she’d like to try it. Its a ice cream themed kids salon. You pick your “flavor” for your cape, strawberry, chocolate of vanilla. Then after the cut, kids get a tiara and an ice cream treat. Allie got really shy at first and asked me to pick her cape. I wasn’t sure we could get it done, but the stylist was really patient. They put My Little Pony on the Ipad and the stylist gave her a stuffed zebra to style her hair along with a comb and a clip. Allie held my hand for awhile but slowly got more comfortable, even talking a little bit and letting go of my hand. It all turned out great!
Mama got a tiara and an ice cream treat too! And of course we bought the zebra!
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I read about this place when it first opened about a year and a half ago and thought it sounded kinda silly. But we decided to try it and it was a lot of fun. They have manicures and pedicures too and birthday party and mother/daughter packages. Too bad just when we decided to try the place, I went back to get the phone number to make an appointment and found the announcement on their web site that they’re closing on Sept. 1!

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Madison Mini Half Marathon

Oh where to start! I will sum it up: Disappointing. Pretty much, we didn’t have a real August day until today. The humidity was high and the temp shot up. But was I said yesterday, my slowest half marathon is still faster than not running at all.

But to go back to the beginning, how about we start with a cute picture of Peyts? We love this new tank top. You can’t see the picture here, but its a pirate. We like to call him pirate Peyts because he does this pirate eye thing, though not so much anymore. He likes to say “arrrr” though. So this tank is perfect. Not to mention he looks like a cute little thug.
After carb-loading at Pizzeria Uno, we headed home and made signs. Allie was very excited for the signs.
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Then it was time for bed. Mama went to bed at 9 but stayed up until 9:30. I didn’t have trouble falling asleep and I slept well. I felt good when I woke up! We got all ready and headed out the door. We left a little later than we would have liked. But I remembered all my stuff (including my shoes… I had a couple dreams where I suddenly was at the race start without my shoes). Dada dropped me off a short walk from the start. I got there and found a long portopotty line. Luckily I just barely made it in and out as the race was starting.

The plan was for Dada to drop me off and head over to see me run past on State Street by the Overture Center. I figured they’d see me around 7:30 because I thought the Overture was at mile 2. It was closer to mile 1 and I was going faster than I expected and we just missed each other.

I started out well. I ran 4 miles before I stopped for a walk break and fuel. My pace was right around 12 minutes, a little faster than my normal but I felt good, I didn’t feel like I was heading out too fast.

There were some slight up hills in the first 4 miles, but I ran it all and still felt good. Even when I stopped I probably could have kept running but I wanted to get my fuel in. Mile 4 was right outside the zoo. I texted Dada where I was. He texted a few minutes later that they had gotten to one of the side streets near the zoo… and just missed me again. Darn it!

After the zoo the route headed into the arboretum for a portion of the “arb loop.” It was this loop I ran twice for my 13-miler two weeks ago. I had run the other direction and remembered the big hills going this direction. So I was planning to stop. I passed a bunch of people who were walking by this time through mile 5. I had planned to stop every other mile. When I got to mile 6 I kept running because I knew the big hill was coming up. I took my walk break around 6.5 and that is when it started falling apart.

Unfortunately this hill was really two in one and it was long. So I walked longer than I liked. Then I started running again… but it was getting really hard. There was another long hill just past the visitors center. Then we went down… it didn’t seem to do any good. I couldn’t get into a good rhythm. And when I did get into a good rhythm there was an aid station. The problem was the heat, so I made sure to stop at the aid stations.

After the arb loop we turned left to head up what was deemed on the route map, “cemetery hill.” It was actually before the cemetery and it was huge. But I was walking anyway. I was really really upset at this point because I just couldn’t get going. My back was hurting and my stomach was upset. This had started just outside the arb before I’d even taken my second fuel.

I realized why it was so hard as I approached the mile 9 marker. The flag had been changed from green to yellow. The flag system was green meant conditions were good but yellow meant take caution. It was the heat. The temps were in the upper 60s/low 70s, but humidity was near 100%. I stopped feeling so upset about my sluggishness at that point. Everyone around me was walking and I became more aware of ambulances and medical personnel on the course. I asked one of the volunteers and he said they’d changed the flag about a half hour before. I hadn’t noticed the change but that was when I had started feeling so bad.

I was still hoping at this point that I might finish under 3 hours. And I was also anticipating finally seeing my family. Doug had said they were just past mile 10. I passed the area I thought they were and thought I’d missed them again. But he texted where he was and then I saw them a short time later. I was so excited!

Dada took these pictures before I got there:
Above is Allie’s sign and below she’s holding Dada’s sign.
Peyton held the sign too, but he didn’t quite get the idea.
And there I am! As always seems to happen, Doug gets a nice action shot and there is nothing in the way, and then suddenly someone or something is in the way! Today it was a skateboarder. Its too bad, I actually look happy in this picture!
I suppose I still look happy here too! It was because I saw my family, certainly not because I felt good running!
I stopped for a few minutes to give everyone kisses and take some pictures. Then it was time to go again. I had about 2.5 miles left and I still thought here that I could finish under 3 hours. I didn’t feel too bad, but that changed fast.
Around after mile 11, I was ready to be done. I had many thoughts of “why do I do this?” and was considering quitting. I actually thought about going to medical personell and hitching a ride to the finish. I wanted them to change the flag to red, which means the race is canceled, hitch a ride to the finish. I had a side/front stitch. My legs hurt. My back hurt. My stomach was hurting worse every time I tried to run. I had stopped sweating, which I knew was not good at this point. I did more walking than running from this point on.

Those last 2 miles were soooooo long. I texted Doug a few times that I just wanted to be done.  I knew by this point I wouldn’t make it under 3 hours. My time after mile 12 was 2:47:something and I was not going to run a 13 minute mile at this point. I managed to run a little more in mile 13 than I had in mile 12. But I had to stop when I felt like I was going to hurl, which was often. I was also having a hard time catching my breath. That had been a problem since around mile 7.

Finally I saw a sign for half a mile to go. They had photographers at that spot. I wonder how those pictures turned out? I think I ran a little and then just kept walking. I was going to run to the finish so I had to decide when to get back to running. I started running a little later than I thought I would, I was waiting for the 13 mile marker but there wasn’t one. But I was rounding the left turn to the finish and I just booked it, my fastest sprint of the race. It would have been to finish strong, but at that point it was just to finish.

I didn’t know until later that Doug and the kids had made it to the finish, albeit kinda far away. We weren’t counting on them being at the finish because of traffic and parking. That was why they were trying to see me in three places along the course. But they did make it and Dada even managed to get a picture! I’m in the middle of the yellow in the blue shirt and orange bondi.
I sprinted through the finish, couldn’t breathe, and a wonderful volunteer put me in a wheelchair and took me to the medical tent. I’d figured I’d need to go to medical but thought I’d be able to walk. I just needed to sit down and to get cooled down. I was most worried about getting my medal, which one of the medical staff went and got for me. And even though a half hour earlier I wanted them to call the race, I asked and found out the race was still going, wouldn’t be called off and I’d get my official time, as slow as it was.

I ended up being in the tent about a half hour and glad I had my phone to let Doug know. He said it was weird because he saw me finish and then didn’t see me again. They weren’t able to get to me in the tent with the stroller so they just waited by the lake. I downed some gatorade and chocolate milk in the tent, laid down with some ice under my neck. I was there longer than I thought I’d be but I was dizzy when I’d lift my head to take a drink. Finally I was ready to go and I went to see my family. I was glad to not be hungry at this point because everything was finished and there was no food left other than a few granola bars and bananas.
Then it was time to walk to the car, which at least wasn’t too far away. Allie was pretty beat by this time, and of course I was. So we walked slow. We picked up McDonalds on the way home. I wasn’t hungry at all but figured I should eat. I was actually nauseous up until dinner time tonight. I still am a little. That heat and humidity really ruined me today. After lunch and a shower I took an hour and a half nap… didn’t do much today after that either! I still feel a little nauseous but also a little hungry. My body was feeling a bit better earlier but the soreness came back after I sat for awhile. I’m glad I at least didn’t get a headache today!

So I don’t know what happened to me out there. I expected the heat to become an issue just because of the timing of the race. I ran my long runs between 6 and 9, finishing right as the day was heating up. So I knew running between 7 and 10 would be warmer. Then we have this crazy humidity and the hourly temps just kept going up. I did stop at every aid station but one, and in the later ones I took two cups of water. My water bottle had Propel for my electrolytes. I was pretty hydrated leading up to the race. I suppose I could have taken some Gatorade at some of the aid stations, but I have never done that in a race and that may have upset my stomach worse. I’m sure it wasn’t just my hydration that led to this.

I guess long story short, it just wasn’t my day.  I admit my disappointment. I really didn’t meet any of my goals. This was my slowest half by far and I certainly wasn’t smiling when I was finished! My official time ended up 3:08:07, overall pace 14:26. My splits tell the story. There were timing mats at 5 miles and 10 miles. My 5 mile time was 1:03:20, a 12:40 pace, which is quite speedy for me. My 10 mile time was 2:15:42, my pace slowed down to 13:35. Then my last 5K time (mile 10 to 13.1) was 53:11, a 17:11 pace. WAAAAAY slower than even my slowest 5K.

But what’s done is done. If the race was two days ago when it was nice and cool the result may have been different. But it was today, the first real August weather day. I wanted to do the Madison Mini once. It was a cool route and I suppose fun enough, but I won’t do another half marathon in August!

I’m planning to run the Madison Marathon half on November 9. In fact, I might sign up soon because I have a discount code. That run will be better. I will be better trained and it won’t be August! Time to make my training plans… but I’m taking it easy first. I probably won’t run a ton of miles the rest of the month.

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Race day eve

Well, here I am. Its been nearly two years since my last half marathon. I had wanted to make my half marathon come back a little sooner this year. But all the same, I’ve made it. I have trained. I am ready. It may be my slowest half marathon ever, even slower than mylast half at 20 weeks pregnant back in October 2012. But my slowest half is still faster than not running at all!

Its funny how even as I look forward to running, I dread it too sometimes. I expected to be nervous for this race. But I’m not. I’m just excited. No matter how slow I am, I have achieved a goal. And there’s nothing like crossing the start of the goal race. Well, except maybe crossing the finish! 

The weather forecast that looked perfect at the 10-day, is less perfect now. There have been chances of rain. But as the week went by, the chances lessened. Now it appears the chance is very very small. It will be humid, but I’m used to the humidity. The hourly forecast for start time is 64. By time I finish around 10 a.m., the forecast is 71. Its warmer than I’d like. And the last hour will warm up fast. But the important thing is the only hourly chance of rain is 10% chance at 10 a.m. Of course it could still rain, but I like that forecast way better than the one I saw a few days ago that said 80% chance!

I’m about to head to the packet pick up and then on to the carbo-loading. I’ve actually been carbo-loading for a few days now! 

My race day clothes are already set out. I have to add my garmin, my shoes and my race bib. Very important that I don’t forget my race bib. When I ran the 5K of this race, I think that was 2010, I forgot my bib at home. We had to hurry home to get it and I barely got to the start in time. That race didn’t go well. This one will go much better.

I suppose I have goals for the race. They are simple for this one. My first goal is to finish happy. My second is to finish faster than my slowest half (which actually wasn’t 2:51:34 in October 2012, it was my first in San Diego when I waited 15 minutes for a port-o-potty on the course. My time in that race was 2:55:something). I suppose my lofty goal is 2:45. That could be doable. We’ll see.

More important than the goals, however, is that I got myself to the starting line and I will get to the finish. And my family will be there to see it.

Now time to go eat some pasta!

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Badger day

We went to the Badgers scrimmage on Sunday. Allie liked seeing the football players, but was kind of bummed Bucky wasn’t there.
We did get a poster with their schedule on it though!
We were there an hour. It was longer than either Mama or Dada thought we would be there!
Peyton seemed to like watching the action on the field. Dada has already started teaching him about the game.
Allie was a little cranky and didn’t want us to take her picture. She later relented. I love the hat, sunglasses and little Badger princess shirt!



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Blooming Butterflies

Last night as we were pondering what we wanted to do this weekend, I saw a line on a Facebook page I follow about Olbrich’s Blooming Butterflies. Tomorrow is the last day, so I’m glad we saw it! As I’ve written about here before, Olbrich Botanical Gardens is one of our favorite places and holds a special place in our hearts as it is where we had our wedding reception. It was just after Doug and I got engaged in July 2006 we went to Olbrich for the first time to see the blooming butterflies and as I looked around I decided I wanted to have our wedding there! We hadn’t made it back to the butterflies until today.
Peyton actually didn’t mind the carrier today. Usually he starts getting cranky if he’s in it too long.
Allie was very excited to see the butterflies. And we saw plenty right from the moment we walked into the conservatory. Peyton enjoyed it too. It was fun to see him watch when one caught his eye.
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We were in there for a long time. It was hot in the conservatory, and Allie was tired and a bit hungry. We got there late without having lunch because we’d had a big and late breakfast. Luckily once we got out to the outdoor gardens, moods improved. We let Allie lead the way and explored some of the gardens.
Just look at these cute pictures! So many great spots for pictures at the gardens.
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We had a great time and were at the gardens a couple hours. We weren’t outside very long but then Allie was cranky again and we decided it was time to go. We decided to get our late lunch at Red Robin and enjoyed that. It was such a nice family time! We haven’t really done much in the last few weeks as we’d been getting ready for vacation and then recovering from vacation.

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One week to race day

I’m ready! I wasn’t so sure after my runs this week. I ended up skipping an extra day after last Sunday’s 13. My two other runs during the week were hard. My legs felt dead. I was trying to decide how to do my last few runs before race day.

But this morning my legs felt good! I ran 8 miles and did have to stop a few times but only on the big hills. My overall pace was good. I’m trying to keep my walk breaks short to keep my miles a bit faster. I don’t know how long I can keep it up in the race but I will try!

The race day forecast sounds perfect. Very small chance of rain, low of 59 and high of 79. Assuming it doesn’t warm up too fast, I think it will be great.
Doug and I are planning for his and the kids spectating. As much as I love to have my family at the start, its going to be crowded and its tough to navigate traffic and parking at the Memorial Union. So I think they will drop me off at the start and then head down to mile 1 or 2 to see me run by. Hopefully they can see me a few times on the course and at the finish. Though the finish is the same place as the start so we don’t know if that will happen. Anything will be great as long as my family is there cheering for me!