MKE Adventures

Last Friday morning, I was on a plane to Milwaukee, to spend a long weekend with my sister and brother in law! I have lots of pictures to share from our adventures!

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First thing’s first, we walked to the Public Market to grab a snack.  We spent some time walking around downtown before picking up our race packets for the Rock ‘n Sole Quarter Marathon.  Then we walked to the Northwestern Mutual building, where Thayne works, and he met us to walk to the apartment.

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We had lunch at one of their favorite taco places, then headed to the zoo!  It was a hot, hot day, but we got to see lots of animals out and about.

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Friday night, Kristen cooked up some spaghetti, and we watched the Martian on HBO – great movie, by the way!

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Saturday morning was the Rock ‘n Sole Quarter Marathon – check out my recap here.

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Saturday afternoon, Kristen and I went to see Me Before You, which was a good movie, we both cried, ate nachos, and enjoyed the movie!  Afterwards, Kristen, Thayne, and I rode our bikes (I rode Kristen’s old road bike) to a beer garden about 4 miles from their apartment.  This beer garden was super neat; it was right off the biking trail.  I don’t think there was any parking nearby, you had to get to it by the trail.  Thayne had a beer, Kristen had a hard cider, and I had a lemonade.  There was a gorgeous river on the other side of the garden, and the atmosphere  was just really cool.

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There were several of these little caterpillars that we enjoyed watching crawl all over the place.

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Once we were finished with our drinks, we biked the 4ish miles back to the apartment!

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For dinner on Saturday, we tried out an empanada bar downtown.  I don’t think I’d ever had empanadas before, but they were super delicious.  It was Kristen and Thayne’s first time there, and I doubt it will be their last! It was good!

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Sunday morning, it was much cooler outside than Friday and Saturday.  We went outside with the kitties for a while, and Tucker even jumped for a bird! Don’t worry, he missed by a mile!

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Kristen and I went on a 25 mile bike ride Sunday morning, too.  25 miles is a long way! Kristen rode her fancy new tri-bike, and I rode her road bike.  It was a lot of fun, we rode on the trails in Milwaukee county, and it was really pretty.  The weather was cooler, there were lots of people out, and it was really fun to bike with Kristen.  It was also my very longest bike ride (so far)!

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We stopped at this cool turtle statue thing on our way back.  We both thought Mom would like it; when we passed it, I said “I think Mom would like this,” and Kristen said she thought the same thing every time she rode by it.

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Sunday afternoon, we did a little shopping, and hung out at the apartment.  Monday morning, after Thayne went to work, and before Kristen came home from training at the gym, Mookie, their other cat, sat on me.  She isn’t a huge cuddler, she sits near you, but not really on you.  I think this was the first tie she has ever laid on me, and she did it in the most Mookie way possible.

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Once Kristen got home, we ate some delicious hamburgers at a cute little cafe, then went kayaking! Neither of us had ever been kayaking before, and there’s a little lagoon right by Lake Michigan, near her apartment, that offered kayaking.  You’ll be happy to know that neither of us tipped over, and we had a blast!  I definitely need to do this again, I think there is kayaking at Shawnee Mission Park.  The lagoon had lots of moss growing, and we saw a few ducks.  We had the lagoon to ourselves for a little bit, then there were 2 other kayaks and a few paddle boats. I think we kayaked and explored around the lagoon for about an hour.  This was SO. MUCH. FUN!

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After kayaking, we went to Atwater Beach, which I had visited a couple years ago, with Mom, Dad, and Kristen.  We put our toes in the water, and it was pretty chilly! We walked all the way down and then back up the 100+ stairs to check out the beach.

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Once we got back to the apartment, it was time for me to fly back.  I had a wonderful time in Milwaukee with Kristen and Thayne. I’m so happy I was able to fly up for a long weekend.  Thanks for having me, sissen and brovver! ❤

Rock ‘n Sole Quarter Marathon

Saturday, I ran my very first quarter marathon (6.55 miles), the Rock ‘n Sole Quarter Marathon in Milwaukee, Wisconsin! This was the second time I’ve raced on a vacation. the first being our Vegas Run-cation last fall.

I flew into Milwaukee Friday morning, Kristen and I picked up our packets, and less than 24 hours later, we were ready to run the Rock ‘n Sole Quarter Marathon!

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It was warm and muggy, but compared to Kansas City, the weather was pretty nice! It was warm for Milwaukee, though, and the race directors had a yellow flag for the race (green is good; yellow means caution, adjust expectations; red indicated timing had stopped, and to slow down; and black means they will stop the race and pull you off the course).

Kristen planned to stay with me, which was a nice way to spend more time together.  I’m sure she would have finished a half hour before me!  We walked from her apartment to the starting line, which was about a mile away.   We used the bathrooms, and made our way into the corral.  There were about 3000 people running the half or quarter, with another 1500 or so doing the 5k.

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We spent the first couple miles running through the Third Ward, and making our way south from downtown Milwaukee.  After about 2 miles, we were heading to the bridge by the lakefront, and you could see the entire bridge was crawling with runners!  It was pretty cool to see.  Once we turned and got onto the bridge, we ran about 3 miles on the Hoan Bridge, with the beautiful lake to our right, and a pretty downtown Milwaukee skyline ahead of us.  The last couple miles were getting off the bridge and heading back through the Summerfest grounds (Summerfest is a huge music festival during the summer in Milwaukee).  We finished under the Hoan Bridge, just outside of the Summerfest entrance.

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The finish festival was inside Summerfest grounds, with live music, food and beer.  Kristen and I took a few pictures (above is near the finish line, outside Summerfest, and below is with the Hoan Bridge in the background).  It was really starting to warm up – actually, after we got home and showered, we received alerts that the race had been red flagged, so all timing was stopped, and runners were encouraged to slow down/adjust paces for the heat.

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Overall, it was a fun race, I’m really glad Kristen ran with me, it was a lot more fun that way.  I had to walk a couple times, but finished with a PR; of course, any time would have been a PR since it was my first time at this distance, but hey, I’ll take it!

Kristen and I went and saw a movie after the race, and when we got back, Kristen, Thayne, and I biked to a beer garden, about 4 miles away.  It was a perfect little afternoon with 2 of my favorite people!

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I like the distance of the quarter marathon, 6.55 miles; the 10k is more well-known, at 6.2 miles, and I really enjoy the 6-6.5 mile distance for a race – it’s challenging, not completely draining, but not just any old 5k either.  Have you ever done a quarter marathon?