Nike Women Half Marathon: Check!

It’s official! I can cross off one of the bucket list doozies!

Last weekend my Baltimore girls and my entire family gathered in Washington D.C. for the Nike Women Half Marathon.

Post-Race Glamour Shot!

Post-Race Glamour Shot!

I arrived in D.C. on Friday and enjoyed a low-key dinner with my oldest brother and his fiancé. We chose a BBQ restaurant as I felt I needed a good dose of Mac & Cheese and Green Bean Casserole to effectively “carb-up”. The meal, which included banana pudding for dessert, was quite tasty. However, mere moments after finishing his meal, my brother announced that he was feeling “nauseous”, which thus began an 8 hour anxiety-filled waiting period where I contemplated whether food poisoning would be a valid enough excuse to skip the race.

Fortunately, my meat chops (or ribs… whatever) stayed down, and by Saturday morning my only remaining get-out-of-jail-free-card excuse would be the “mother’s note” my mom indicated she would write for me. I can only assume her note would have been fashioned after a doctor’s note or the classic “sorry my child is late for school” note my younger brothers* and I often convinced Cindy to write for us. But even though she offered to officially excuse me from the race, and personally blog the excuse on my behalf, I knew I couldn’t disappoint myself or my fans (that’s you guys!) by backing out of this one.

Race packet pick-up in Georgetown on Saturday afternoon went smoothly, although I did ask the girls several times whether this was real life and whether we were actually going to go through with it. In the spirit of true carb-loading, I had a pre-dinner snack with the girls and then met my entire family for real dinner, or in this case, fourth meal.

Starting Line

Starting Line

I was up at 5:00AM on Race Day to nervously eat a small bowl of Wheaties, literally the breakfast of champions. I had just enough time for a last minute costume change due to weather conditions and to curl my hair into the cutest runner’s ponytail. My parents and my brother walked me down to the starting line, and I met up with KeriAnn and Kristyn in the corrals right as the race was starting.

I definitely started off faster than I expected, and texted my family impressive updates on my progress through mile 7. At mile 8 my NIKE RUNNING app restarted itself. Le bummer. By mile 9 I had strained my knee and was limping/running. My family was cheering at mile 10, and I sped up as I ran by them giving high fives and thumbs up, but as I rounded the bend at mile 11, I knew I’d be walking/limping the rest of the race. And finally about 20 feet before the finish line, I started an ugly painful-looking (and feeling) limp-run that took me across the finish line.

Runners be running

Runners be running

Basically I was an emotional wreck throughout the entire race. KeriAnn is notoriously known as a race puker (sorry, KeriAnn), and I think I unfortunately might be a race crier. I definitely got weirdly emotional reading some of the crowd’s signs. I almost gave myself an emotional asthma attack when I realized I had to start walking. And after I crossed the finish line, I was literally two deep breaths away from a becoming a crying mess. If a half marathon takes to me to the emotional edge, I’m pretty sure a full marathon would send me off the deep end.

Overall, the whole experience was both terrible and exhilarating. I’m definitely not a runner, but I finished a half marathon. It’s an accomplishment that opens your eyes to what you’re really physically and mentally capable of doing. I certainly didn’t come in first place, but I still felt like a winner crossing the finish-line.

I know it sounds crazy, but I think I could be persuaded to do it all over again. And next time I’ll know to bring tissues.

Cross it off the bucket list!

Cross it off the bucket list!

*I believe it’s necessary to reiterate that only my younger brothers and I would stoop so low as to have our mom sign Sickness and Lateness Rep Letters on our behalf, and a shout out to Bobby for being a studious young man who would never have considered faking sick or playing hooky.

My Easter Princess

Better to post a late update than none at all, right?

Prior to Easter my parents and I took my niece to see the Easter Bunny. The lead-up was filled with questions like, “what does the Easter Bunny eat?” and several renditions of Here comes Peter Cottontail (of which we only know the first verse).

En route

En route

The little girl in line in front of us, Virginia (yea, I know, right!), got both stage and Bunny fright. From the sidelines my neice offered encouraging, yet probably unwelcome, tips like “smile” and “say cheeseburger”.

In my niece’s official E.B. pictures, she had the classic creeped out kid face. But luckily I was able to snap a few smiles!

Easter Bunny

Easter Bunny

But the highlight of the weekend came later when my niece softly whispered to me, “you’re my princess.” Sweetest moment of my life!

"You're my princess"

“You’re my princess”

Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms

I haven’t had much progress to blog/brag about over the last month, but I did want to share some photos from a recent trip to Washington, D.C. My Texan uncle was visiting my parents, and as part of his east coast touring extravaganza we gathered in D.C. for the Cherry Blossom festival. The weekend was beautiful!

Mom and Me at the Newseum

Mom and Me at the Newseum

Our weekend included a compulsory tour of the monuments, delicious dinners (and drinks), a trip to the Newseum, and two cups of coffee spilled all over my back.

Hey, Buddy!

Hey, Buddy!

My family will be gathering in D.C. again on the weekend of April 27th to cheer me on (errr… carry me home) for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon.

A view of the Capitol from the Newseum

A view of the Capitol from the Newseum

Mid-March Update: Disney, wine and the FBI

It’s been over a month since my last post so many of you, none of you, or my mom are likely wondering, “what has Kelly been up to, and what has she crossed off her list?”. In theme with many of my prior posts, the answer to your questions are simply, “a lot, but also nothing”.

Cook like an adult: In February, I definitely embraced cooking and mastered a few simple dishes, but after a month of good, self-providing behavior, the habit fell by the wayside. When my friends Pat and KeriAnn visited from Baltimore in March, they opened my fridge and rightly questioned the contents: oranges, beer, and an expired yogurt. Ultimately, our “I’m disappointed in you” conversation ended with a proposed solution to the how-can-we-ever-quantify-Kelly’s-mastery-of-cooking conundrum you have probably been torturing yourselves with over the last month. So here goes, once I am confident I have learned to cook well enough, I will embark on a series of “Chopped” style challenges where you can invite me into your home and I will cook a meal based on the ingredients in your refrigerator and pantry. The assumption is that I will have learned how to cook various type of proteins, vegetables, and starches and can demonstrate those skills by preparing an adult meal without recipe cards, minimal online assistance, and only a single phone-a-friend lifeline. I will update the masses when I am ready to begin my cooking competency testing phase, and you can request reservations for a Chef Kane dining experience.

The most magical place on earth!

The most magical place on earth!

A million princess days: While the intention of this bucket list item was to spend time imagining, playing and essentially acting a fool with my young niece, I’m actually going to take credit for some princess days spent with my bestie, Bridget. Last week we spent our “spring break” in the most magical place on earth, Walt Disney World. We rode all the rides, wore Minnie Mouse ears, and drank around the world in Epcot. I bought some princess-y souvenirs for Veda and made sure to get pictures of all her favorite characters so I feel like this somewhat counts toward my goal. Also, Bridget was super scared on most of the rides (even the kiddie ones) so it almost felt like I was experiencing Disney with a child. Thanks, B!

Minnies in Epcot

Minnies in Epcot

Take a class: I took a Wine and Pizza pairing class at New York Vintners in February with my dearest friend, Kristen. Naturally, we pre-gamed at a neighboring bar before class to ripen our palates for the wine tasting and loosen our reserves as we were placed at a large communal table full of scary strangers (we can be shy). The wine lesson was both entertaining and educational. We learned the practical meaning of terms like “dry vs. sweet” and “new world vs. old world”, and ate a slice of literally the best pizza ever tasted (pork shank, honey, and micro cilantro). So while this was definitely an instructional class about two of my biggest passions (wine and pizza) and therefore qualifies as my “Take a class” item on the list, I’m just not ready to cross it off yet. I really want to take a floral arrangement design class over the summer, and we didn’t even get diplomas from wine school so only partial credit can be awarded!

Fulfill a childhood dream: The FBI application window opened and closed at the beginning of March, and I got my application in on time. I’ll pause for applause. Last month I was telling some of my family’s Foxboro friends about my FBI agent ambitions, and received a similar reaction to what I’ve been getting from just about everyone I share this with: a head-cocked, “You?”. Maybe it’s the platinum hair, maybe it’s the fact that I flipped my hair right before pointing my finger-gun and saying, “Freeze perps”, or maybe it’s the fact that I think FBI agents say, “Freeze perps”, but nobody seems to buy me in the character of Agent Kane. Honestly, I just don’t get it.

Agent Kane

Agent Kane?

SUPER BOWL VICTORY!

RAVENS SUPER BOWL VICTORY!

Obviously, the Ravens know they have this guy to thank. After this I’ll probably make another trip to this mall Santa next year, and this time I’m asking to win the lottery!

He really is magical!

He really is magical!

This might go down as one of the best weekends in the history of Kelly. Saturday morning I ran(ish) 4 miles to officially kickoff my half marathon training. Saturday afternoon my glorious and newly engaged friend, Kristen, invited me into her bridal wolf pack. Saturday evening we went to the BEST concert ever, The Lumineers, and Sunday the Ravens won the Super Bowl.

Concert Pic

Concert Pic

In typical Sunday football fashion, I boozy-brunched all morning and afternoon in honor of my pre-game superstition (the more I drink, the better they play!). Our Super Bowl viewing was full of touch down dances (I might have chest bumped a dude after the Jacoby Jones kickoff return) and beer bottle challenges (impromptu case race against a much larger group of table-neighbors and Spoiler Alert: we won). Beyoncé knocked my socks/pants off, and I immediately messaged my own Beyoncé and Michelle (Bridget and Maureen) to confirm our Destiny’s Child Karaoke reunion tour which will be taking place in 2013.

Case o' Buds

Case o’ Buds

The power outage was a surprise, but gave me the opportunity leave my bar mates and friends and watch the remainder of the game in my purple pj’s. Once the game heated up again, I knew I made the right decision since Kane’s are notoriously bad losers (cough, Jordy, cough) and if a loss had occurred my bar table surely would have been flipped (since I was already threatening to do it when they were winning by almost 20 points). When they finally did win, I did a little dance, shed one graceful tear, and then immediately went to sleep.

Ultimately, it was a great game, a great day, and a great weekend.

Side note: Over brunch the question arose about which brother the Harbaugh parents would be cheering for, and I said obviously the older brother because you never want the younger one to beat the older one. This is apparently not the universal answer, just a weird (and probably paranoid) competitive dynamic that would occur during Kane family football, basketball, and Monopoly games.

Pre-Super Bowl Update

I know this is a sure way to jinx them, but I wanted to make sure everyone was aware that the Ravens are headed to the Super Bowl on Sunday and I had specifically Christmas-wished for their  victory. I’m not saying I should be given all the credit for their playoff performance, but I probably deserve a “thank you” phone call from Flacco.

I’m all set for Sunday. I’ll be anxiously watching the game (and Beyonce’s Half Time performance) in NYC with a bunch of non-fans. And since I’m watching the game with non-fan-friends, it means victory or loss I’ll be tipping the cars by myself.

You're welcome!

You’re welcome!

Bucket list updates:
A million princess days: This time we pretended Veda was an artichoke that I dipped in butter. Obviously, my niece has inherited some of my quirkiness.

Me and my artichoke

Me and my artichoke

Give up drinking games as sport: Since this one isn’t going to be crossed off until the day after my 30th birthday party (after all no Kane celebration is complete without a flip cup tournament), I have at least another 9 months of complete drinking game buffoonery. In that vein my 2nd BFF and I created a new drinking game titled, “I Am Ready.” We are currently in the app development stages, so please look for beta versions to be released over the next few months. The last part was a joke; unless of course someone would be willing to fund our initial start-up costs……

Go to the Doctors: I get credit for going to the eye doctor and the lady-part doctor this week, but I’ll still need a physical and mole-check before this one is officially crossed off the list.  Note: Out of respect for my favorite blog follower, my grandma, I decided not to include the photo of me in the lady-stirrups even though it was tastefully filtered and my legs looked super tan.

Cook like an adult: I’ve actually impressed myself with my progress on this one. Over the last three weeks I’ve made dinner almost every night. While they’ve been pretty simple to cook, they look fantastic under the right filter!

Dinner

Dinner