We Ran A 10K!

Joe and I decided in all of our workout wisdom, to run a 10K (6.2 miles) on Dec 6th.  So with the help of our dear friends, Brian and Kim, who let us drop our kids off at their house in the wee hours, the morning of the race, we were on our way to actually doing this! The race was for Toys for Tots and there would be food and beer and wine IF we made it to the end.  Plus, I’d been wanting to see what all the race hype was about for myself.  I really didn’t understand at this point why people would pay money to run 6.2 miles with loads of other runners when they could simply run the same distance through their neighborhood?  The free food and drinks on this run were enough for me to want to see if I could figure it out.


And now here is why running in a race is better than running your regular route around your house…

1. People hand you Gatorade!  And I don’t just  mean, hand it to  you.  They hand it to you like you’re somebody!  Like, “Hear you go runner!  Don’t want to slow you down, cause you are in the  middle of doing something AWESOME!  So I’m gonna run this out to you while shouting “Gatorade” or “Water”!  cause that’s my job today; I’m simply here to make sure you stay hydrated, cause you’re SOMEBODY”!  Do you know what that’s like for a mother of 3 small kids!?!  For just that one day, for that one hour, cute Marines no less, hurried to hand me gatorade when I needed it most.  For this reason alone, I’m hooked!

2. Competition!  So I can be a little wee bit competitive, and being surrounded by hundreds of other runners is the perfect opportunity to size myself up.  I don’t think of  myself as a runner.  I think of myself as an undercover NONRUNNER, running in a race.   But no one else knows I’m not a runner, until they talk to me that is, in which case the first words out of my mouth are, “This is my first race”.    So as a nonrunner, I was totally sizing up people’s calf muscles as they walked in front of us to put their tee shirts in their car, to try and determine if they were real runners, or undercover nonrunners like me.  Turns out that I was bad at sorting them out.    But adding to this sizing up of the competition, is that people dressed up for this run!  There was “Christmas Tree Guy”, “Ubber Tight Santa Shorts Guy”, “Jingly Shoes Girl”, and countless people running in tutus.  Yes, I said RUNNING in those outfits!  As if running is not hard enough!  These people had to rub it in by doing it in head to toe costumes that I would’t last a evening sipping cocktails in!  But it was cool to watch, especially that “Tight Santa Shorts Guy”!  And it all made me push myself harder than if I were just running by myself.

3. People that Don’t Give a Damn!  Then there’s the people that literally just want to say that they were in a 10K I think.  That’s it.  That’s the goal.  Period.  Like the guy that looked like my Uncle John and worn blue jeans and a long sleeve button down shirt and baseball cap, like he was going for a stroll around his ranch.  And then he leisurely WALKED the whole 10K, start to finish.  Took him over 2 hours.  But he eventually strolled in, and got himself a plate of food, and then probably went home and told someone, “I was in a 10K race this weekend.”  While the rest of us are all fretting about our time and pace, and if we brought the right running gear; all he was concerned about was doing the 10K.  And he did it.  I like that guy!

4. Crazy Ass Bitches!  OMG!  So at these races are a few super buff, silicone implanted ladies.  They are usually in their 40’s, totally ripped, wearing hundreds of dollars in workout gear, have spray tans, and are running with their hair down.  All this, so you can spot them next time you’re at a race.  Cause you want to spot them early, cause they are crazy ass bitches and they are going to do some entertaining stuff!  But be warned, keep a good distance.  So being newbies, we did not know about this type of racer yet, and as luck would have it, we ended up running with a couple of them for the entire race.  These ladies were buff enough to totally out pace me, I’m sure!  But they didn’t, cause they were too busy being crazy!  It started out with them just taking selfies at every single mile sign we passed.  Then they started screaming out to runners as they passed them.  Like a lot.  Then they started taking videos of each other singing as they ran, and at one point one of them laid on the ground next to some road kill like a dead possum while the other took her photo.  And finally, as they were running in across the finish line in this over the top dramatic, leaping way, one of them totally ate it and went skidding across the pavement on her face.  Ouch!  She had to even lay there a minute before she could get up and get medical attention.  Runners High or Crazy Ass Bitches?  First race, jurry’s still out.

5. Old People Rock!  You will meet the coolest old people at races!  Like the kind of old people that make you not scared to get old!  Like the kind of old people that will kick your race time in the butt and hand it to you!  Like the kind of old people that you can’t CATCH no matter how hard you try!  This makes me happy!  It makes me feel like I can just get better and better at something and age is not a factor.  It makes me feel hopeful for a long, healthy life!

6.  It’s peaceful.  You heard me.  Once the mass of runners had passed my slow butt up, it was just me and Joe running (cause he’s a sweetheart who chose to run with me at my pace, instead of getting a good time in his division), and once we got up that HILL OF DEATH and we were headed down hill in mile 5 and 6, it was so serene.  Just us, on a country road, running through cow fields, and since we were going down hill I could even carry on a conversation every now and then, as long as I used no more than 5 word sentences.  But Joe’s known me for awhile and we stuck to common subject matter, so he filled in the gaps that my short sentences left, and it was a cool time.

7. People Cheer For You and Announce Your Name!  Man, coming in from a race feels good.  You’re done, for one!  But the people cheering and clapping and the radio announcer announcing your name and info like he knows you, like other people should know you, now that’s awesome!  “Here comes The Shaw Family from Dripping Springs!”  Best of all is your kids cheering for you!  You feel like all those times they caught you sneak smoking have all been made up for when they see mom and dad running across the finish line after a 10K!  Even better, is if your kids get to run across the finish line with you, like Loralai and her friend Lily did.  Such cool parents, I tell you!

8. Food and Drinks.  Of course this was a perk!  There is definitely no cooler full of ice cold gatorade and beer, along with hot BBQ waiting for us after an at home run!  We dove into that free beer stand like a couple of college kids at a frat party!  Ah, we love you Firemans 4!

So what were our times, you ask?  Well they were the same, cause Joe ran with me, and our times are only reflective of MY time, cause Joe ran with me.  Got it?  So 6.2 miles in 1:15:39!!!  That works out to 12.5 minute miles.  Through the hill country!!!  AWESOME!  My goals were, 1. To not come in dead last in my division, 2. Keep time under 1:30:00, and 3. Finish.  I did it all!  I measured up to the other runners as a completely unstunning, middle-low runner.  And it felt so good!

The rest of the afternoon was spent hanging out on the lawn at Spicewood Vineyards with our friends, sipping wine and beer, and watching the kids play in the creek and climb trees.   The weather held up and it was a well spent Saturday in my book.

Bryan and Will
Bryan and Will

Then it was home, where either the wine or race had more of an effect on me than I thought, and I took a 5 hour nap.  Sometime around noon, the next day, I could walk again.  Joe fared much better than I did.  He was even able to pull dinner together that night.  Go Joe!

Will we race again?

We WILL!  It was fun and I would never have run 6.2 miles otherwise!  The most we ran to train for the race was a little over 4 miles.  So now we have something else to do while on our RV trip; race!


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Renos and More Renos…

So part of doing all these renos on the RV is having to really think hard about what drove us crazy about our trip last time and things we want to be different with the RV.  This is a little hard to do, because as time goes by, you are just left with all the good memories and it can be difficult to drudge up the bad.  Lucky for me, certain things just stick with me!  Like….

1. ANYTHING that just sits on the floor is a fricking nuisance!!!  Past trips this included things like, the trash can, dog water and food bowls, kennel, and heater.  In such a small space (34×6=204sqft), floor space is a covited thing and not to be taken for granted!  So anything that just sits out on the floor, becomes something to trip over, spill, kick, and knock over 1000X a day!  AN-NYO-ING!  So with this in mind, we are working very hard to make renos that will keep shit off our floors!  For example, Joe has installed this trash can that slides in and out of the cabinet.  Not only will we no longer be tripping over our trash, but it will keep the baby and dog out of it as well.  This is so HUGE!!!  Thank  you Joe!

We have will soon also build the dog kennel into one of the dinette benches.  This takes care of us needing to bring a kennel and also gives us a place to put Darby’s water and food bowls, so once again we will not be kicking them and the baby  will not be eating/playing with her food as well.  Win/Win.  Thank you Pinterest for the idea!

Here’s the bench the kennel will be built into.  We’ll cut out the door and side, under the table and put gate metal, so she can see out and get air flow.

2. Our bathroom is teeny tiny.  There is no changing this.  However, we can spruce it up a bit and make it look as nice and big as possible.  So, that’s what we’ve done!  Joe changed out the sky light above the shower to one that is clear.  So now you can look at the trees while you shower and it lets in a ton of natural light that makes the space really nice to be in.  We also added this shower curtain and extendable bar, making showers much nicer than before and giving the bathroom a little more room when the shower is not in use!

Joe was also going to install a shampoo holder in the shower, that would keep me from having to set all our stuff in the bathtub before driving from place to place.  Which is good, cause there’s a lot to remember to do before driving off already!  Like that one time I forgot to close the door to the RV and we drove off….but I digress.  However, we are starting to get lazier smarter and have decided to just hang a mesh bag in there instead.  This will also give us a place to put the kids bath toys.  That’s right Kids, you will have bath toys on this trip.  You are welcome, and remember that Mommy wants land, not diamonds when you are older.  He also made the 1 bathroom drawer pull out further (little change, big difference!).  And we ripped off the maroon-hunting-camo-border that was over the sink before.  Ewww.  So now our bathroom is as FABULOUS as it can get, for only being 4 sqft.

3. No desk space.  Being that Joe works from the RV everyday, he really needed a space.  He can still work outside if he wants or in the bedroom, but now he has a real, grownup space to work from too if he chooses.  Making this mod, really opened up the whole living room space a lot!  The previous entertainment center was just a big box of space with no shelves and opening to both our bedroom and the living room, making it a hard storage space to work with, and so it mostly went unused.  Now we have usable shelves, and a desk, and a more open living room!  Love!

This mod also gives us this added shelving in our room.

4. Kids Room.  It’s a tight space, but I really wanted to make it theirs!   So we did the new flooring and are working on making them a chalk board and a felt board.  Then we made sure that their toy closet JUST had toys in it, and not all our camping gear taking up half of it like before, especially since not having enough toys was a problem last time and this time we have a whole nother kid!  One mod that is all my idea and I’m really excited about doing is changing this awkward bench in their room into a compartment to hold dress up clothes (and not just a bag of old yarn like last trip) and also turn it into a play kitchen.  Cool huh?!  I’ll post pics as soon as it’s done.

This pic is of nothing I was just talking about, cause we haven’t actually done much in their room, yet.  Nothing to see here, but a girl reading to her dog.

In addition to that we let the kids decorate each of their bunks with sticker decals.  And Joe is building a rail and curtain for Juliet’s bunk (the middle one).

5. Living Room.  Joe added a sky-light in the living room!  We have light!  Real, natural light!  It’s glorious!  Our RV had a sky light in every room (kids bedroom, our bedroom, and the bath), except the living room.  It made for kind of a gloomy, dark space.  The new sky light changes all that, and even makes the room seem bigger!  Yay for bigger in an RV!  Even just seemingly bigger!  This was a big mod and I’m so proud of my man for making it happen!  He plans to put up a more detailed post about it soon, cause apparently no one does this?

Here Joe is wiring the fan in the skylight.  He’s so talented!
Joe might be doing things like adding skylights, but where would we be if I wasn’t adding things like this basket?!  Which will be used to hold our hats and winter gear incase you were wondering.

6.  Kitchen.  On our last extended trip, I ended up packing the kitchen like we were just going camping for the weekend and would be eating hot dogs and roasting marshmallows for 5 months. I brought crappy pots and pans, dull knives, and very little else.  I also had no counter space, a hood vent and light that didn’t work, lots of unused storage space in cabinets, and a single drawer that held all utensils.  And although I had thought to I very quickly realized my lack of preparedness and want to make some changes this time!  Joe has already built me some additional storage under the couch for more pots and pans.  We also added some storage in the kitchen cabinets that will allow us some space to put some larger items like the crock pot and blender and a REAL coffee pot!  Last time we had this little one that made 1.5 cups at a time.  That was awesome. Originally, we were going to rebuild the cabinet shelves to make them closer together and add a third shelf.  Then I found these hanging shelves for $9 each on Amazon.  Way easier!!!  So now I have an extra kitchen drawer since I don’t have to store the foil and baggies in a drawer anymore!  Now what to do with that drawer!?  Oh, the possibilities!

We also added a magnetic knife rack, so we/the kids don’t accidentally stab ourselves trying to grab a fork in the “everything drawer” anymore!  We also have big plans for the spice storage, but we are still working those details out.  Last trip I swear I only brought salt and pepper and garlic powder and they all just rolled around in the cabinet and were a total pain!  I’m so excited about having lots of spices that have a designated space!  I really love to cook and this will make that a lot easier!

As you can see, our current spice situation leaves a lot to be desired!

Speaking of easier, I remember counter space being a huge problem last time too, and so we/Joe have added this counter extender.  Yay!  Every little inch counts!  And this little fold out makes me think that cooking Thanksgiving in the RV just might be a possibility!  In addition to all the useful mods, I also wanted the kitchen to look good!  It was ugly as sin for our last trip.  That maroon-hunting-camo-border was in the kitchen too, but making it even worse was that before leaving on the last trip in an attempt to help me destroy it, a couple of my drunk friends had ripped half of it off.  Half.  And that’s how it  stayed until we/I did THIS to the back kitchen wall!

This picture also shows the counter extension and magnetic knife mount by the cook top.

I’m very excited about my new kitchen!

It’s been really fun making the RV really truely US!  It’s such a tiny space that it makes it so much less intimidating than a house to remodel!  Which I know helped me a lot!  I’m glad we had a little experience to help with our reno decisions too.  It’s been really fun thinking of ways to best use every space!  I just kept thinking that everything should have at least 2 different uses.

It’s really hard to show and mention every single reno we’ve done, so we will upload a video home tour, like all good RV blogs should have, very soon!  Just a few small things left to do on her.  You know, those “small things” that never end!  But it feels good to have so many of the big things out of the way!

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