Run the Bluegrass in Lexington, Kentucky

Date: April 2, 2016

Distance: 13.16

Location: Lexington, KY

Time: 2:38:40

What a great race weekend. Denise joined me on this one, and I’m so glad. We had a really great time and it was nice to have someone to hang out with. This state marked her 42nd and my 44th–we can see the end!

Friday was an all-day travel day. Both of us had two flight legs to meet up in Cincinnati where we rented a car and drove the almost one-and-a-half hours to Lexington.

The packet pickup was located where the race would begin and end–the Keeneland Race Track. The expo was filled with all sorts of running swag and some nice local features such as Buffalo Trace Bourbon and bourbon-flavored coffees. Yes, bourbon is definitely a “thing” in Kentucky and it became a continual theme throughout the entire weekend. We were even surprised to be greeted in our hotel lobby, upon check in, with free drinks–bourbon and ginger ale. Later, we also sampled what is probably now considered the best dessert I have ever tasted: Kentucky Butter Cake with Bourbon Sauce. Check out a food review here. Evidently, I’m not alone in my appreciation for the culinary delight.


Perhaps the best dessert you will ever try.

The race is listed as “one of America’s standout must-run half marathons,” according to Runner’s World magazine, and I can see why. The location was worth visiting, the course was picturesque, and runners enjoyed one of the best post-race food options I’ve ever seen. Overall, too, the race was incredibly well organized and was not too big.

Course: The course, referred to as “technical” by some online postings I read before the race, was very hilly. There was no huge overall elevation gain, but the course consisted of a series of many small hills throughout the entire course. If someone was not used to running on hills, they would certainly feel it in their quads the next day. Luckily for me, I’ve been running primarily outdoors and on hills. My ten-mile training run probably really helped–I did that one in Emigration Canyon two weeks before the race and that consisted of five miles up hill and five miles back down with a 700+ foot elevation gain. Also, all of the awkward poses I’ve been consistently doing in my yoga classes have helped build my quads as well. Gotta keep that up.

As promised, the course was scenic as it looped through a series of estates with stately houses and expansive horse pastures. Had the trees been in full foliage, the course would have been particularly beautiful. The beauty of the course, I think, mostly made up for the fact that the first seven or eight miles of the race were incredibly crowded as runners were squeezed together on narrow roads. No car traffic, though, so that was good.

Medal and Shirt: I’m pretty sure the race medal is the heaviest one of now possess. I like bluegrassthe design of both the medal and the shirt. The shirts are black, cotton, long-sleeved hoodies–the kind of shirt I’ll likely wear on many weekend days.

Post-race food: Yes, for me, it’s all about the food and this race did not disappoint. After crossing the finish line and receiving our medals, runners were handed water bottles, bananas, chocolate milk, and sacks filled with a granola bar, fruit snacks, a bag of chips, and a candy bar. As we meandered along towards the free beer and pizza stations, we were also invited to have maple, cream-filled donuts. So, in essence, the 1200 calories we had just burned were immediately consumed within fifteen minutes of finishing the race.

Weather: On the bright side, we didn’t contend with rain, sleet, or snow like runners in some northeast races did during the same weekend, but the winds really picked up during the second half of the race and that made the cool temperatures feel downright cold. That prompted us to leave the race as quickly as we could to get back to our hotel for hot showers and dry clothes.

Post-race relaxation: In keeping with the bourbon theme, we took advantage of our hotel’s sampling offer after the race and tried three very different types of bourbon along with a great post-race meal. We were able to relax all afternoon and evening and enjoyed sleeping in the next morning as well. Love it when we have late-departing fights.We both made it home without any glitches, and feel satisfied having removed one more state off our lists.

Next Up: Next up for me? Four races in the Mainly Marathons New England series next month. After that, I’ll be incredibly happy to have all 48 contiguous states completed. Then I’ll get to join Denise again in Alaska in August and Hawaii in January as we complete our decade-long goal to complete half marathons in all fifty states. Can’t wait.

Reboot Day 5–I did it!

Yesterday was the last day of my 5-day reboot and I am happy to report, I dropped a total of 5.5 pounds. More importantly, I feel really great.

Again, I didn’t follow the juice plan exactly, but–like yesterday–followed the plan’s intent. I had four juices along with chicken broth.

Sure, I was a little jealous when I had to watch others in my family eat real food, but it really wasn’t that bad. I wasn’t hungry, I had energy, and I will definitely do it again.  Glad to blog about it, too, because it really did help motivate me to stay on track.

What I craved today when I work up? A mango and some peanut butter on a graham cracker. Today’s breakfast seemed so indulgent! Now, I feel as though I’m back on track to following a nutritious, healthy diet. “Reboot” is a great name for this effort.


Calcium-Rich Cucumber (I drank this on days three and four and really liked it)

1/2 pineapple

8 celery stalks

2 large cucumbers

2 limes


Micro-nutrient Madness (I didn’t try this one)

2 oranges

4 carrots

2 orange bell peppers

4 celery stalks

1 cucumber

Reboot Day 4 Report

I must admit, I’m not exactly following the plan. Instead of the two juices I was supposed to have, I started getting creative, based on what produce I still have left. Let’s be honest–I’m too lazy to go to the store and buy more pears and apples.

Still, I’m following the intent of the plan–drinking two green juices and two “other” juices each day, and also making sure I am drinking regular water and coconut water. Tonight I allowed myself to have some plain yogurt with blueberries after my yoga class. I really needed some protein, I think. In fact, for people going on longer juice fasts, I think it’s recommended that they include protein powder in their juices, which makes sense to me–particularly for people who work out regularly.

As far as my workouts go, I haven’t been running these past four days, but I have gone to two Bikram yoga classes. I went Sunday and today and felt pretty strong. I wouldn’t at all say I’m feeling lethargic or experiencing any other symptoms some people report such as headaches or dry mouth. I feel good! (And, according to the scale, I’ve dropped five pounds–nice).

Plan recipes:

Chard Rock Cafe (I didn’t make this one)

6 carrots

2 cucumbers

1 lemon

4 large chard leaves

4 stems and leaves fresh oregano (optional)


Anti-Aging Beet Carrot Grape (I drank this one on day 5–liked it)

2 cups red grapes

4 celery stalks

4 beets (I used two)

4 large carrots


Reboot Day 3 Report

I woke up yesterday morning feeling VERY hungry so I was especially happy that I had a green juice already prepared in the fridge and I didn’t have to spend the 30+ minutes needed to make juice.

After I downed that, I headed in to work–but only after stopping at Vive Juicery.


Sweet Mint & Local Love

Conveniently, Vive is located only a couple of blocks from where I work and they offer a wide variety of juices. Instead of following the day three plan on the 2016 Juice Challenge Website, I decided to take the easy way out and buy today’s juices.

My juice choices for today? Vive’s Local Love (beet, carrot, apple, swiss chard, lemon and ginger) and Sweet Mint (spinach, pear, cucumber, green apple, and mint). Click here for a link to their complete menu.

If I were following Joe’s Reboot, here’s what would be on the menu:

Pear Power

4 pears

2 lemons

8 celery stalks

2 cucumbers

handful of basil (may substitute other greens)


Carrot Apple Ginger

6 carrots

4 apples

2 inches ginger


I have to admit, I’m not a big fan of beet juice. I’ll have to remember to keep that in mind in the future. Too bad, because it has the lovely color of a Cabernet or Pinot noir. I can pretend, right? I also will share that I felt as though I had too much juice to drink. At 6:00 p.m. I still had two more juices to force down. Again, not hungry at all due to the quantity of juice.


Reboot Day 2 Report

Day two done with nothing noteworthy to report. The second day of the reboot felt like any normal day and included a trip to the dog park and a Bikram Yoga class. My big splurge? Eating a pear before I went to bed. It was incredibly good.

Did not feel hungry during the day with the five servings of juice, coconut water, and pear.

Juices for the second day of the reboot are included here:


One of my Costco staples

Morning Green Glory 

Kale, spinach, and romaine (I used Power Greens)

2 cucumbers

6 celery stalks

2 green apples

2 lemons (I used 1)


Radiant Antioxi Orange

4 small oranges

6 carrots

3 cucumbers

2 yellow bell peppers

2 inches of ginger (I used less)

Reboot Day 1 Report

I started my 5-day juicing reboot yesterday and decided to follow a plan shared by the Reboot with Joe website. (See yesterday’s post for details).

Mean Green & Sunny Citrus

Mean Green & Sunny Citrus

Because I’ve done this before, I knew to expect to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. All the prep work and clean up is pretty time consuming. I also know how hard it is to follow any sort of strict diet with a teenager in the house. As I dutifully followed my fruit and vegetable liquid diet, my 17-year-old son enjoyed a BLT sandwich, pot stickers, and more. I also woke up to see a can of Pringles on the kitchen counter–evidence that he had made a late night snack run.

Oh, to have that youthful metabolism again.

Day 1 was easy; I knew it would be. I think the juices taste pretty good, and I also know how great this process will make me feel–that’s the best motivation. I know also, from previous experience, that days 3-5 will be the hardest.

And, can I say? The Pear Pie juice is REALLY yummy. This was my first time trying it and I’m a huge fan.

Mean Green Juice (2 servings)

2 cucumbers

8 celery stalks

4 apples

16 leaves kale (I substituted handfuls of spinach)

1 lemon (I used half)

2 inches of ginger (I used about half)


Sunny Citrus Juice (2 servings)

4 beets

1 grapefruit

2 lemons (I used 1)

4 carrots

1 knob of tumeric (I used ginger)

Pear Pie with raspberries

Pear Pie with raspberries


Peach or Pear Pie (the recipe suggests this makes one serving, but I found that it made enough for two–maybe my sweet potato was too large)

1 sweet potato (may substitute yam, jicama, or squash)

2 pears (may substitute peaches or nectarines)

1 apple

1 1/3 cups of blueberries (I used raspberries; blackberries would also work)

Dash of ground cinnamon


Note: These three juices were not all I consumed. The plan calls for 5 juices and coconut water or vegetable broth along with making sure to drink lots of water throughout the day. When I juice, I do not feel hungry at all.

Let’s do this juice thing again.

Just over two years ago, I watched the Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead documentary and, like many, was inspired to buy a juicer to incorporate more fruits and vegetables in my diet. Not long after, I decided to complete a modified 7-day juice fast, which I blogged about on here. The results were great–I felt good and I lost almost 10 pounds in one week. I also liked how the experience left me with a new appreciation for food I need to chew! I realized how enjoyable eating solid food is, because I really, really missed it during that week.

Since then, I’ve continued to incorporate juicing into my diet–not as strictly as the seven-day stint, but sometimes I’ll juice for an entire day or–more commonly–I’ll simply add juices into my normal diet. Juicing really is a great way to get those multiple servings of fruits and vegetables we are supposed to be eating every day, but often fail to do.

On social media, I follow the filmmaker (Joe Cross) on Twitter @joethejuicer and sometimes will check out his website. I’ve also enjoyed paying occasional visits to my local cold-pressed juicery. So, you could say, I generally “dabble” in juicing.

Joe the Juicer

Joe the Juicer

This past week, Joe encouraged followers to complete a 5-day juice challenge–a “reboot.” He provided an easy-to-follow plan, with recipes, though, so anyone can follow it whenever they want. In fact, I’ve found a couple options. Here’s one plan: 5-day Jump into Juicing Reboot, but the most recent one is found here: Joe’s 2016 Juice Challenge.

I fully INTENDED to do the 2016 reboot challenge, but I didn’t due to travel snafus last weekend and my inability to get to the store to stock up on all the produce I needed.

I’m ready now. I paid a visit to my local grocery store yesterday, purchased all the needed fruits and veggies, and am prepared and motivated to do this. I decided to write blog about my experience again–mostly as a way to hold myself accountable. My odds of blowing it are lessened tremendously if I know I’ll be checking in online about by efforts.

Wish me luck! I’ll let you know how it goes.


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