Independence Day Celebrations

Happy 4th of July! I am so wiped out from a crazy day packed-full of activity! It all started at 5 a.m…

morningYes, 5 a.m. is a ridiculous time to get up in the morning, especially on a holiday. But these are the insane decisions we runners make weeks in advance, when we’re looking for that “race high” we so desperately need.

But at 5 this morning, I didn’t really need it. Too bad.

I had applesauce and Honey Nut Chex for breakfast.

breakfastI took the breakfast with me on the way to the race, which was 30 minutes away. BOY was I tired. My mom and I picked up Allen and headed west.

We decided on the O’Fallon Firecracker 5K/10K. The race started at the ungodly hour of 7 a.m. because the O’Fallon 4th of July parade started at 9:30.

The race was big: 772 participants running the 5K. After the National Anthem was sung, we were off! And let me tell you it was no picnic…

My first mile was my fastest at under 7:45, but I slowed considerably after that. I just couldn’t keep it going! My legs felt like lead, likely because I spent 3 hours yesterday afternoon grocery shopping and then 2 hours prepping for our 4th of July meal. Oops. My pace slowed to 8:45 min/miles for the second and third miles.

run1The course was hilly and the kicker was in the last half-mile: a hill out-and-back to add distance to the course. The annoying part was that the race was 3.2 miles according to my watch, meaning they could have cut that last hill shorter!

run2I waved to Allen to acknowledge his existence, but I was not happy.


run3My race was slow (compared to my last 5K) but the course was hillier and longer and my legs were more tired.

Screen Shot 2013-07-04 at 6.12.18 PMI still managed to finish 5th in my age group! There were 63 entries in the 20-29 age group, and if I had been in a 20-24 group (like my last race) I would have been 3rd. Not too shabby! All in all I’d say it was a hard effort and I gave what I had on this day. That’s all I can ask for!

My mom finished 18th in her age group out of 103 entries with a time of 29:58. Both of us were happy with our finishes!

After the race, we headed home and stopped for donuts! My favorite local donut place. I got three donuts:

donutsCarmel, raspberry and cinnamon sugar cake donuts. So good. I ate about a quarter of each because I wasn’t very hungry after the race.

I had time to shower and rest just a bit before we headed to the Bridgeton 4th of July Parade.

allenWe always go to the parade and my high school marching band is always in the parade. I used to march every year, and now my brother does!

cityMy cousins Jimmy and Sierra were at the parade and catching all the candy.


sierraDad was feeling very patriotic:


The band came by early this year! Ryan was looking so cool:

ryan1Also hot and tired.

ryan2Mom was giving out water! She stopped to say hi.

parentsSome of my favorite parade entrants:

marketThe Bridgeton Beautification Committee had a float themed after “Soulard Market” and they threw oranges out!

flipsA local tumbling school had girls doing flips along the parade route!

And this awesome guy on a pogo stick:

pogoAfter the parade we headed home to get ready for lunch! We had family over and tons of food!

I made three salads:

salad1Grilled corn and black bean salad

salad2Arugula, watermelon and feta salad

pastaSpinach pesto and olive orzo salad

And I also mixed up some fresh guacamole! So good!

guacMy dad grilled up burgers and we had all the fixins’

toppingsI opted for veggie burger, and it was just as tasty.

lunch2I tasted all of the salads:



pasta2I topped my burger with tomato, onion, colby jack cheese and guacomole:

burgerIt was perfect.

lunch1For dessert, I made two pies!


pie1I made this Caramelized Grape Pie from Alton Brown. It sounds super weird but it was actually amazing. Just try it.


pie7And the other pie was this strawberry pie, but I made a chocolate graham crust instead.


pie6The day was pretty great all around, but I’m totally exhausted! Tonight I think I’m going to opt out of fireworks in favor of another all-American classic: baseball! The Cardinals have been in LA the last two nights and I haven’t been able to finish a game, so I’m determined to watch most if not all of tonight’s game.

Happy 4th of July!


5 thoughts on “Independence Day Celebrations

  1. Pingback: What I’m Training For: July-August 2013 | Expeditions of Elise

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