Fall fun!

My favorite time of year is here! I can’t get enough of the colors, weather, and fall activities. Last weekend I volunteered in the medical tent at the Kansas City Marathon. I really wanted to pay back all the love I’ve gotten as a runner over the years and thought I would do so in my hometown’s big race. By the way, KC was just picked as Frommer’s top 10 world destination cities for the year. This race will take you by many beautiful sites that make KC so awesome! Seeing how a medical tent is designed for 12,000+ runners was really interesting. We were right at the starting line so we got to absorb all the excitement of the pre-race chute and the elation of finishing. We handed out lots of Band-Aids for blistered feet and ice packs for sore knees. Some people had to be carried in for severe leg cramps (ugh, so painful) and our massage team helped with quick relief. Many of the nurses were scanning the finish line looking for people who were shaky on their feet or who were shivering and looking like they were fighting off some hypothermia. There was lots of happiness and excitement as people crossed the finish line but there were some sobering moments during the race. Hold on while I drag out my soap box….. If you are going to run, please train! I am guilty of not being really aggressive with this when I train for a race but I always keep up some level of cardio fitness through the year as a baseline. If you just got off the couch and decided today will be the day you run a 5K, your body (or heart) might decide it’s the last day you will ever run. Also, I had no idea how many people get disoriented while running. We’re talking about not knowing their phone number or how to spell their last name. Please, please, please, at the very least, write your name and number and emergency contact info on the back of your bib. Even better, invest in a nifty RoadID bracelet or something similar. It sucks when you’re trying to give medical attention to someone who can’t talk. You will never be that strong or that in-shape where a medical emergency won’t affect you.

That afternoon, the bf and I went to Weston, Missouri, just 30 minutes north of Kansas City. This super cute town was settled in the 1830s and is still full of old charm, big red barns, apple orchards, and great food and drink. My top picks include: Weston Red Barn Farm for apple and pumpkin picking, the Vineyards for an amazing meal, Pirtle’s Winery for wine tasting, and Weston Brewing Co. for drinks in a cave. Isn’t Pirtle’s the cutest place ever for sipping a glass of wine?My other favorite thing I tried this week was Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pancake and Waffle mix. Fun fact: when I was about 6 years old, I remember thinking, “someday when I get married, I am going to register for a waffle-maker.” I was dreaming big ladies and gentlemen. Well, I haven’t gotten married but I did get a waffle-maker. I guess dreams do come true! Anyways, the mix is awesome! Add a scoop of protein powder and some pecans and you have a delicious fall breakfast!

What are some of your favorite fall traditions?


Tour De Brew


Back in my senior year of highschool, my brother and I biked the Katy Trail from Sedalia, Mo to St. Charles, Mo. This 4-day trip took us along 230 miles of train tracks that have been turned into a gravel trail along the Missouri River across most of the state. It was an awesome trip that took us along amazing bluffs, small towns, and even a tornado encounter. Since then, my biking has been limited to a couple of times a year. After moving to the city, I realized most things that I do or need are pretty close to me. And I still don’t belong to the gym and need excuses to get some daily workouts in. So out came the bike. Now I’m not super comfortable with throwing myself out into city traffic and cruising down the street with crazy drivers but I was determined not to let fear hold me back. Not going to lie, the first time I was hanging out in the driver’s lane, I was shaking a bit and envisioning every head injury that’s come into my ICU. So when the opportunity to do Tour de Brew came up, I jumped all over it. This 30-mile ride highlighted popular breweries in KC plus some historical sites related to beer. And it took place early on a Sunday morning when the roads weren’t full of crazy drivers.

The starting line was at Knuckleheads Saloon in KC’s East Bottoms. It’s a funky blues and honky-tonk bar that even has a caboose outside you can drink in. 

A quick breakfast of homemade energy bars (we’ll discuss that goodness later) and a check of my tire pressure, I was ready to go, as well as over 1,000 other riders.

Pretty soon we were cruising down streets of Kansas City that I would have normally not felt comfortable on. It was great being around other riders with more experience so I could learn some better road habits. Plus with this many riders, I didn’t have to worry as much about a car plowing into us (I still worried).

My lovely crew of friends and co-workers made our first stop and KC’s very own Boulevard Brewery for snacks and hydration. 

Most of these guys had not ridden in a long time or ridden this far so I was super excited we were all out pushing ourselves.

The ride will full of the great sights KC has to offer, like the Country Club Plaza….

Thirty miles later, I was hot and hungry. The post party included tons of brats, potato salad, Boulevard beer, and blues bands.  I was lucky to run into rock star Beth, whom I used to train, and her lovely family. Even without a trainer, she continues to rock it and is still super active. She even gave biking a try with her husband and daughter that day. I love seeing clients keeping up with their goals even if I’m not around! 

My awesome co-workers Maria and Mary made the ride super fun and we all decided we need to get together for more biking adventures. At the end of the day, I felt more confident about road biking and think I might be ready to merge into traffic.

Have you tried something recently that was a little scary?