Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lady Tutu Race Recap

So back in April I saw an advertisement for an all women's 5K in Gahanna called Lady Tutu.  It encouraged you to wear tutus, tiaras and boas.  I was all in!  I really want to do the Disney Princess Half Marathon and one day I will, but that day is not today.  So I was going to sign up for what seemed like the next best thing.

When I went to the race page to sign up, I saw they were looking for Ambassadors.  I read what they were looking for and thought I might be a good fit.  I sent an email in with my weight loss story and got an email back a few days later saying I was "exactly what they were looking for in an Ambassador."  Yay!

I was compensated with a race entry & a free tutu to help publicize the event.  All of the opinions in this post are my own.

So I spent the last 4 months harassing encouraging my friends to sign up for the race.  The morning arrived and I had a team of about 10 women ready to race.  I picked up my tutu, donned my tiara and I was ready to go.
I made the tiara work with my headband.  This is the tiara I wore for my wedding as well.
The start line had a really nice set up.  There were about 10 tents/tables from all the different event sponsors.  Most had free samples & info to give out.  There were also a lot of women and a lot of tutus.  I loved seeing everyone "dressed up" for the race.

Before our 5K they had the little princess dash.  A few of my friends' daughters ran in this race.  It was really cute to see all the little girls running.  Most of them were decked out in tutus.  A few were dressed to match their moms.  My favorite runner (other than my friends' kids) was the baby who was just learned to walk.  Her Mom helped her walk the whole distance.  It was a precious moment.

When the little princesses had all crossed the finish line, it was time for us to line up for our race.  My team headed to the start line together & we were off.  We split up a little since some of the ladies were going faster than others.  I was nursing a knee injury and decided to hang back and stay with 3 friends who were all completing their first ever race.
Tutu Shadows
 The race was very well run.  We were off ontime, the course was well marked and the volunteers were great.  The course went through one of my favorite areas to walk, Creekside in Gahanna.  It is a beautiful trail that is a little challenging because it has a few hills.  It was an out & back and at the turnaround they had a water stop set up.  The four of us who were walking together were chatting away and before I knew it, we were back on Mill St heading for the finish line where the rest of the team was waiting.
Crossing the finish line (Photo courtesy of Karousel Photography)
I loved everything about this race!  The place, the women, the tutus, the sponsors, the finish line snacks (Cheezits, Doritos & bananas - yum!), the shirt, the medal, and I could go on & on.  I don't remember my exact time, it was just over an hour, but it doesn't matter to me.  I decided during the week to not worry about my time, just have fun, be with friends & encourage those who thought they couldn't finish.  I hope Speedy Sneakers decides to do this race again, I will be there if they do!  Hope you can join me!!

Team Jonesen' Ladies!  (Photo courtesy of Karousel Photography)
My medal & my tiara

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ohio State Fair

Continuing on with my summer summary blog posts, this one is about our trip to the Ohio State Fair this year.  We have gone every year since AJ was born & the boys look forward to it every year.  This year around March, Daniel started asking when we could go to the fair again.  I told him we had to wait until the family got here.

We had a big crew this year heading out to the fair.  It was the 5 of us, my uncle, 2 teenage cousins, my 2 brothers and my 2 nieces.  We got there early because AJ had football camp that evening so our plan was to get there, play and then head out to be home by around 5.  The rest of the crew was going to arrive around 1 and possibly stay later than us.

We got there and went to check out the displays by the Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts & Lego clubs of Ohio.  These are always big hits with our boys.  But after about 20 minutes, everyone was asking for rides.  So we heading to Kiddie Land and started riding.  We did everything!  They boys love rides and with the 4 of us having wrist bands this year, we just got on and off at will.  We met up with everyone else later in the day and the boys loved riding the rides with their 2 year old cousin Luciana.  Most of our day was spent on the rides in Kiddie Land.

We did venture out of there to the midway since AJ was tall enough to ride some of the bigger rides.  We did the giant ferris wheel and the tilt a whirl and a few other rides as a group.  Then AJ decided he wanted to go on the Gravitron (or whatever they called it).  You know, the one that you stick to the wall while spinning at an insane pace?  None of us wanted to take him on, but Alexandra finally volunteered to do it.  They both came off a little green and AJ declared he didn't like it and needed a break from the rides.

So we did our second favorite thing at the fair...we ate!  There were so many choices, I could barely decide what I wanted.  I finally decided on fried buckeyes (twice), fried pickles, and red velvet funnel cake.  Adrian got french fries and Schmidt's Bahama Mamma sausage.  The boys picked on all of that, and got hot dogs and fried Oreos.  I don't even want to think about how many calories we ate that day!

We had so much fun that we decided to skip football camp and stay at the fair.  We were there for over 10 hours.  Everyone had a blast...even Zak who wasn't able to do much.  We're already looking forward to next year, especially since Zak will be able to ride with us!  Here are some of my favorite pictures:
The guys on the Giant Slide.  I think we rode this 20 times (at least)
Me & the boys on the monkeys in a barrel ride
Zak kept himself entertained playing on these speed bumps
The whole gang on the merry go round - even Zak got to ride
I got to ride on the Himalaya myself - here is everyone else

AJ, Daniel and Luci on the Gator ride

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Zumba - Week 1

With the busy week we had getting back to school, I haven't had time to update about my first few Zumba classes.  As I told you, I went to the training about a month ago & started teaching at my gym a little faster than I expected.

Wednesday after I dropped AJ off at school, I headed to the gym to teach my first class.  I was a mix of emotions, upset & nervous about AJ, concerned I would mess up my choreography, nervous no one would show up for class, etc.  I got there & set up my music & I got started teaching my class of 7 (average size for that time).  Most of the faces were familiar, a few were new.  I got a huge compliment during break, one of the new students said she was jealous of how I moved & asked how long I had been teaching.  I looked at the clock & answered 30 minutes.  It was a huge confidence boost.  Of course, then two songs later I totally lost the beat, rhythm & moves for "Tambourine" & had to start it all over again.  But other than that, I had just a few missteps and class went really well.

Thursday AJ's drop off was a mess & I was a few minutes late to the gym.  I ran in & started teaching right away.  That was a little nerve wracking, but as soon as I started the stress disappeared.  That class went super well and again I got a few compliments on my style of instructing.

After a great class on Thursday
Friday there was a very small class, which isn't uncommon for the morning classes.  It was kinda nice to be able to play around a little with the play list and chat a little more with the students.  I also tweaked my knee on Thursday and couldn't do as much jumping as I normally do.  I'm icing & wrapping it all weekend and hoping to recover quickly.  Friday went about as good as I hoped for a class.

All in all, it was a good week and a great start to my new career.  I'm proud of how well I did with less prep time than I would have liked.  And I'm excited about where I'm going.  I got my first CD/DVD from Zumba International and I'm excited to add in some of those songs to change up my playlist.  If the knee cooperates, I'll be doing that tomorrow.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

AJ's First Day of 1st Grade

Yesterday AJ started 1st grade!  I thought I was ready for it.  I may have been counting the hours until he returned to school.  But then Tuesday night I all of a sudden freaked out.  I was nervous about him being gone all day, eating lunch there, knowing where to go, making friends, etc.

The one thing I wasn't worried about was his teacher.  We went in Monday afternoon to see his classroom & meet her & my first impression was great.  She is a new teacher this year (she taught for 8 years, then took some time off to raise her own kids who are in school full day now) so I didn't have any reviews from friends with older kids.  But her room looked great.  She understood AJ (that's huge with his speech delay!)  She answered all my questions & noted my concerns.  I left there feeling confident.
AJ in his seat at Sneak-A-Peak
Wednesday morning came & I was up bright & early getting ready.  It was a big day for both of us (more on my big day tomorrow) and I wanted to be ready.  He got up when his alarm went off and did a good job getting through our morning routine.  We were loaded in the car & ready for drop off!
Outside before we left (with breakfast still in hand)
I dropped him off & he walked confidently into the school.  I cried a little a lot.  But I had things to do & the two other boys to entertain so I quickly pulled myself together.  We actually had a great day and it flew by.  One of my concerns was how Daniel & Zachary would do without him all day.  Daniel asked a few times when we would go pick AJ up, but I think he also enjoyed the one on one time with me while Zak napped.

Finally it was 3:50 and time to wait in the line from hell the pick up line.  AJ got in the car & was all smiles.  He told me all about his day.  The best part for him was that it was an "A" day which means he got to go to gym class.  He has been so looking forward to gym class (they don't have it in K).  He said he really liked his teacher & his class and he is excited to see "what I will learn this year."

AJ also told me that he met some friends, including his new "best friend" who went to the bathroom with him & play with him at recess.  He also said a boy had a cheese pizza lunchable & they talked about their lunches (AJ picked a pepperoni pizza lunchable for his first day).  And he saw a few of his friends from his kindergarten class during recess & they all went on the swings together.  All of this brought tears to my eyes because we have been struggling with him meeting people.

When we got home I looked at his folder and he did some cool first day crafts.
His hand print with a poem - more tears!
Very cute book all about his first day
Everything went super smooth and AJ was so excited!  He got right out of bed this morning when the alarm went off and got ready for day 2.  Today was just as good and he was excited to learn that "B" day means music.  Can't wait to hear what "C" and "D" days are.  He's also buying lunch tomorrow for the first time...hoping that goes well.  He's very excited for pizza!!

I'm so proud of AJ and the wonderful young man he's becoming.  I can't wait to see how much he changes, grows and matures this school year.  Cheers to starting off on the right foot!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Scioto Miles - 10 Mile Race Recap

As I mentioned in my last post, I had two big fitness milestones in the past month.  The first was completing my Zumba training and the second was finishing my longest race of the year, The Scioto Miles Summer 10 Miler.

When I signed up for this race a few months ago, it sounded like a great idea.  I love the Scioto Miles series.  This was a one way walk, start in Upper Arlington & end up 10 miles later downtown.  My friends were doing it too.  And Adrian was going to run it so he's be waiting for me at the finish line.  What could go wrong??

Then life happened, as it always does.  I set up a training plan to increase my mileage & be ready for this many miles, but it never happened.  Family came in 2 weeks before this race & I ate badly & didn't exercise nearly as much as I normally do.  The night before the race, Adrian & I were seriously considering bagging it & just keeping our shirts & hats as souvenirs.

But we knew that wasn't the right thing to do, so we ate right that day, went to bed early & got up at 4:30 to get downtown on time.  We took advantage of our free parking (thank you again State of Ohio!) and headed to the buses to get to the start line.  It was very weird being on a school bus again.  It took less than 15 minutes to get to the start line & after a potty stop, we were ready to go.  The weather was great, only 60ish degrees when we started in Aug in Ohio.  I don't think it got over 70 the whole time.  It was sunny, but not unbearable and there was a lot of shade on the course.
Adrian & I at the start line
Amy, Dana & I ready to walk!
 We started out and realized there were a LOT of uphills on this course.  Amy & I were channeling our inner-Janna to push thru all the hills.  We were holding pretty good pace, chatting away and cruising along.  The course was well marked, the road was closed & traffic was being diverted around us.  There were water stops every 1.5 miles which made it seem like the miles were flying by.

We hit mile 6, which tends to be where I hit the wall & I was still feeling pretty good.  My feet were starting to hurt a little, but nothing I couldn't handle.  Then around mile 7.5 I did hit the wall.  I didn't want to walk anymore.  I just wanted to sit down & be done.  Amy kept talking to me & kept me going.  So thankful I met her a few months ago!

We got on the Scioto trail downtown & knew we were close to the finish.  Around mile 8.5 we caught the woman who had been in front of us most of the race.  We chatted with her for a while & then Amy & I pulled ahead.  We had been at a steady 15ish minute mile the whole race and I was really proud of us.

Then at mile 9.5 we had our last hill...and it looked like a mountain.  I seriously almost cried.  My legs felt like lead and I didn't think I could make it up.  I honestly was going to quit with 1/2 mile left to go.  Amy started to pull ahead & I told her to go.  She yelled back it was either she go fast or not finish.  I took the opposite stance, either I went slow or I wouldn't finish.  I put one foot in front of the other and I finally got to the top, rounded a corner & saw the finish line...and Janna, Dana & Adrian cheering me on!  I crossed the finish line & collected my awesome medal.
The four finishers with our medals

I did it!  10 miles in the books!  And my longest race for the year done!  My official time was 2:37:41, but it really wasn't about time for me, I just wanted to finish.  This was my 10th race for the year, 3 more to go for my goal (although I'm registered for more than that).  This was a great race & I will probably do it again next year...although I'll make sure to actually train next year.  I'm already signed up for the  next Scioto Miles series this fall.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Zumba Training

With the family being here and all the fun things we were doing, my exercise & diet has kinda slipped.  I haven't been doing my weekly workout blog post because honestly there wasn't much to report.  Well, that's not entirely true, there wasn't much daily but there were two big fitness milestones in that month & I'm going to share about one today.

As I shared about a month ago, I signed up to become a licensed Zumba instructor.  My training was on Saturday July 27 in Akron.  It was a blast and I hope to share a little of that with you here.  It was also a long day, but it mostly flew by.

I had to get up at 4:30 and be on the road by 5:15.  I was thankful I had prepped everything (food, change of clothes, coffee) the night before.  I got out and on the road & the ride up went super smooth, other than the constant rain.  I was even early and found a Dunkin Donuts 2 exits from the facility, score!

We started our day with a 50 minute Zumba class taught by 4 different amazing instructors.  They each did a few songs & we followed along.  We were all dripping in sweat and wide awake after that!  After a quick break to change, eat & rehydrate, we settled in for the day.  The rest of the day was half lecture and half practicing the dance moves.  I learned about the history of Zumba, how to structure a class, how to break down & choreograph a song among other things during the lectures.  We also learned the 4 basic dance moves for Zumba (merengue, salsa, cumbia and reggaeton) & probably 20 variations for them, more than enough to get me started.  Then we finished the day with a 30 minute Zumba class and got our certificates.
Now with that class under my belt, I'm officially licensed to teach Zumba!!  I started working on getting a play list together & talking to the group fitness coordinator at my gym.  We decided I would take over an open slot, Mondays at 9:30 starting in Sept.  That would give me plenty of time to get everything together.

Then this past Wednesday it all changed.  One of the current instructors at my gym decided she didn't want to teach anymore and wants to stay home with her kids.  She asked me to take over her three classes...starting this Wednesday!  Wow!!  That is a lot more work and a lot quicker than I was expecting.  But I said yes and I believe I am ready for the challenge.

I have my set list together.  Have two more practices with friends scheduled.  And then I go live on Wednesday.  Check back then for a full review of the first class to see how it goes.  Or if you're local, come check out my first class at KeepFit10 in Reynoldsburg at 9:30am on Weds.  I'll also be there on Thurs at 9:30am and Fri at 9:30am.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Downtown Columbus

In addition to our trips to the zoo, we have also made a few trips to downtown Columbus this summer.

We are very lucky that Columbus has a few kid friendly areas, the fountains at Bicentennial Park and Columbus Commons.  We hit up both places on two different occasions.  They are walking distance from each other so we made a day of it and did both places.

The first time we went with my uncle and cousins.  It was a Thursday afternoon so the Commons had their weekly food trucks at lunch time.  Adrian walked down from his office & met us for lunch.  We got a variety of food, all of it delicious.  The only problem was the trucks were running out of food.  It was the first nice Thurs we had in a while, so I'm sure all the people who work downtown were anxious to get out & get some grub at lunch time.  We made the best of it & had a good time.  After we ate, we walked about 4 blocks & played in the fountains for a while.  Then we walked back (uphill - that's fun with a wagon & a stroller!) and enjoyed some yummy Jeni's ice cream before heading home.

The second trip was with my brothers, sister in law, nieces & mom about a week later.  The food trucks weren't there, so we got there a little earlier and hit the fountains first.  It was a little cold & the boys weren't really feeling the water play this day, but they still had a good time running around with their cousins.  Then we headed back up to the Commons where they were having their weekly "Commons for Kids" event.  The boys played on the inflatables, with the life size chess pieces & rode the carousel.  We got a quick lunch from Mickey's Late Night Slice & some more Jeni's ice cream.  Another fun day!!

Here are some of the pictures from our trips:
Zak & Daniel playing in the puddles during break...they freaked out when the water came back on
Uncle Carl pulling the babies around in the water
Zak testing out the water...he was not a fan!
The whole crew during our first trip
AJ, Daniel & I drying off after fountain fun
Jeni's chocolate ice cream - yum!
Zak on Nemo & Daniel on the Frog Prince

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Zoo Trips

So instead of doing separate updates for the kids this month, I'm going to do a few posts on what we've been doing the months of July & August, some of which will be photo dumps & some will have an actual post.  I haven't been blogging much because we have been SO busy having fun!  The month of June was just OK for us, mostly because Adrian was on call the whole month & we never knew when he was going to have to work.  But July & August so far have been amazing.

July started with Adrian getting a 5 day weekend  over the 4th of July.  Since the boys had been asking to go to the zoo we decided to do that on Wednesday.  The weather was perfect, partly cloudy & not too hot.  The zoo wasn't very crowded & we got to do everything we wanted.  We decided to buy the "Zoo It All" wristbands which allowed us to do everything.

We started at Dinosaur Island, which is really just the same boat ride we've always had but with some cool dinos to look at.  The boys loved it!  Then we left the zoo itself and headed out to Jungle Jack's Landing to ride the rides out there.  We rode for about an hour & a half & then took a break for the lunch we packed.  After lunch we went to Stingray Bay & loved touching the sting rays!!  Then we ended the day back at Jungle Jack's Landing & rode rides for over 2 hours.  It was such a perfect day!!  I took a ton of pictures, but somehow they were all deleted from my phone.  Here are a few from Adrian's phone:
AJ & Daniel being goof balls!
Daniel loves to pose with all the animals
AJ on the manatee
AJ & I on a ride...this was so much fun!
Frog Hopper - always a favorite!
Dinosaur Island!!
Then in mid-July my uncle & two cousins came to visit & we decided to spend another day at the zoo.  We did a very similar day to our July 3rd family day, except we actually saw some animals on this trip.  We again started at Dinosaur Island, then did the animals in Asia & then headed to Jungle Jack's.  It was another super fun day!!  Here are some of those pictures:
Zachary was obsessed with this dino on the way to the ride!

T-Rex!!  Arg!!
AJ & Zak touching sting rays
AJ & I on the log flume, his favorite ride!
Daniel & I having a blast on the scrambler
Uncle Tom, AJ & I on the roller coaster.  This was my first time, it was so fun!  We rode it twice in a row.

We love our local zoo & are so glad to be members & go multiple times each year.  This was the first time we've done the rides & since everyone had such a blast, we may upgrade our membership soon to include both these rides & the water park.  We'll see how finances look next May.