Monday, October 20, 2014

Rock N' Rock St. Louis Half Marathon

Number 7 Half Marathon Complete!! And I did it! I wasn't feeling too good about this one, but I finished and my time was even better than I expected. Sarah and I adopted the saying, "Forward is our pace" Ha!

Sarah and I decided that we wanted to run a half marathon this fall so we decided on the Rock N' Rock Series in St. Louis on October 19th. We signed up back in June (I believe) and it came up really fast. I started training back in July, but I wouldn't say I was serious with my training this time. I did get up to running 10 miles and longer runs on the weekend with 2-3 other runs during the week. It was tough training in the heat of summer, but helped once the cooler temps came around. 

We drove over Saturday afternoon, went to the expo to pick up our packet, ate dinner, and then went to bed early. We had a convenient location, within walking distance of the start and finish line. Our wake-up call was at 5:30 am. 
My definition of carb-loading= cheese, spinach and mushroom calzone 

Hello Arch!

Start Line

Before race. Looking pretty good for 7 am.

Let's just say this wasn't an easy course! Lots of hills. It was a different kind of hilly compared to Iroquois Park. There were hills throughout the race and they were long steady inclines. I felt pretty good the first 6-7 miles and stayed with Sarah. Around mile 8, I was not feeling too hot. I started to get cramps and felt nauseous. At that point Sarah and I parted ways. I pushed myself the last few miles and I felt my body was giving out on me, with my hips, and especially my right knee killing. I actually took a short potty break, so considering my time, I did pretty well. I was quite relieved to cross that finish line with the official time of 2:04:54 (pace 9:30). 

My Splits:
Mile 1: 9:22
Mile 2: 9:22
Mile 3: 9:17
Mile 4: 9:07 
Mile 5: 9:08
Mile 6: 8:57
Mile 7: 9:11
Mile 8: 9:33
Mile 9: 9:43
Mile 10: 9:29
Mile 11: 10:27
Mile 12: 10:12
Mile 13: 9:45

As you can see, I was struggling the last few miles, but I made it!
Yep, beers after the race 
New Medal :) 
Next Half-Marathon: Derby Festival on April 25, 2015! 

Monday, July 14, 2014

It's been awhile...

Hello out there! It's been way too long since I have blogged. Summer and school (and fun!) have gotten in the way with my blogging. I plan on doing a lot of updating soon. I will probably back date a lot of posts (*cough*) since there have been lots going on this past month that I didn't blog about.

My summer has been going well- practicum and class is chugging along as usual and I've had a lot of fun enjoying the summer as well.

This post I would like to share a picture of my family that I was able to see last week. Which made me very happy! Keep checking up on the blog because I will start posting more, I promise.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Strawberry Pickin'

This weekend I made a trip to Huber's Farm. Brings back the memories from when I was a little kid. I went with Katelynn and Brian. I'd never picked strawberries before so it was an adventure. It was a beautiful day outside too, couldn't have asked for better weather.

We rode the tractor and picked (and ate!) around 3 pounds of strawberries. They were quite delicious. After, we enjoyed some Sangria and listened to live music. I would say it was an overall good afternoon :) Plus when I got back home my Mom was in town visiting me. Hooray!

Here are some pictures from the day

Monday, June 2, 2014

Encounter 2014: Catholic Conference

Hello all! Life has been quite full of school things lately. When they say grad school is demanding, they are right! I've just about completed my May term and going to start my summer practicum full time soon. 

Hello from Sister Erin! Ha! Joking...
Aside from school this past weekend I went to St. Louis for Encounter 2014 which a is young adult Catholic conference. I almost didn't go because of my big exam that Monday, but I was convinced to go and so happy that I went. It was perfect timing to recharge and focus on my spiritual life. 

I arrived in St. Louis on Friday night and caught the last session of the night which was called "Post College Life." What happens after college and how to deal with the unknown is what was discussed. Jeremy Rivera led the talk and he had a lot of past experiences that he shared. There was also an open mic so others in the crowd were able to ask questions. The talk was ok, but not great. I thought it needed more substance. It was a good start to the conference though. 

Saturday was the best day! It was full of big group and smaller talks. In the morning we had mass and Ike Ndolo was the singer/band the entire conference. Let me tell you, he was awesome!! I'm not used to upbeat music during mass and church events but I loved the energy in the room and singing worship songs. Mass was led by Father Chris Martin who is a young priest in St. Louis and the vocations director in that archdiocese. It is great to have a young face on the altar. The homily, prayer, and music made a good and prayerful mass. 

Later that morning I went to a talk by Fr. Chris Martin called "Discerning God's Will." I gave this talk two thumbs us. Father shared a lot his past experiences with figuring out his plan by in and out of seminary. One analogy that I would like to share about what he said is this:
Discernment means choosing between multiple (or two) good things. It's not like choosing in general in which there is likely a good vs. bad choice. Discernment is like going to a restaurant when you are starving. You have to choose between ALL the good things on the menu. You can't go wrong. But...if you don't choose in a timely manner then you continue to starve and suffer. Like discernment, it may take some time to choose and be led by God, but you can't take you whole life to pick the best. Take time with God and make that choice and be serious about your discernment. 

Lunch and study break followed for me. After, there was a big group gathering and the talk was about "hunger and desires." Basically that bottom line was God can only fulfill our greatest desires, it may be tempting to gain desires from earthly things, but God is the answer. The breakout talk after that was from a Sister that was awesome as well (awesome was a theme here is you couldn't tell ;) ). A quote that I loved from this talk: "The entire life of good Christians is the exercise of holy desire"- St. Augustine. Falling to God and being completely open to him will make your life more holy and God can complete your deepest desires. Very powerful! 

That night after dinner was adoration. BEST ADORATION EVER. I've only been to Eucharistic Adoration a few other times but this one was amazing and I could tell the Holy Spirit was truly there. The priest and servers walked around the entire room with the Eucharist in the Monstrance. People were crying with arms in the air, I've never seen anything like that before. It was like God was only a few feet away. Music with the entire group singing made the moment beautiful and an experience. Confession was offered as well and that just topped off the night. Much needed and I appreciated the multiple priests that volunteered their time. I was able to hang out with a lot of new people in my church group that I didn't know well. It's always great to make new friends :)

I would say it was one of the best weekends I've had in awhile. It helped me to reconnect to the true purpose of life. If you ever have the opportunity to attend, I highly recommend it :) 

Whole Group Picture