Back when I was younger, the carnival with its various rides and games was a huge highlight. It kicked off summer. We participated in all the kiddie games, competing in categories like the three-legged race and the egg toss, to win tickets.
Thinking back on all that triggered an impromptu trip down memory lane. So bear with me as I review old photos from the mid-80's. If nothing else I know my grandma Connie is gonna get a kick out of them - she's a very loyal reader and all. :)
The carousel, a summer fair staple
There hasn't been one at Gala Days in many, many years simply because it is too expensive. In fact, our kids have never ridden on one. We might have to change that. Summer Bucket List perhaps?
Awww... it's toddler Vanessa.
And then another sister gets added and suddenly you have a constant car companion.
This scene was repeated frequently throughout high school as I drug Fe along everywhere with me.
Apparently the cars are a hit no matter what the decade because our kids were pretty pumped about them too. Of course they had to make sure their friends could ride along too. And in case you are having a case of deja vu, you'd be correct since this is almost the exact scene from last year's Gala Days. Graham tried to climb in with the girls but was promptly booted from the car. He recovered quickly and found his own ride.
We enjoyed the yearly parade too. Bailey and Graham rode on a horse-drawn trolley and threw candy with friends while Avery stayed back to collect all the candy. Later we got some homemade pie and watched Graham dominate the bike race. Watch out - he has officially mastered the strider!
Saturday morning was a big deal for me.
I've been training for a 5k for the past 8 weeks or so. It was kind of a random thing. I started running after I broke my hand and couldn't lift weight anymore. I used the Couch-to-5k app on my phone and it was really helpful. Before Saturday I had only run a complete 3.1 miles one other time.
My sister Justy has been occasionally running for the past few years and ran long distance in high school, so I recruited her to come along with me.
There were about 80 or so runners in this particular race. I felt ridiculously nervous, especially considering how extremely casual this race really was. I knew I wouldn't have a problem finishing, but the nerves were there regardless. The weather was perfect for a race; we couldn't have asked for a nicer running day.
Our pace was a bit ridiculous at first. We simply joined the pack and started churning away. The clear leader of the race was a high school classmate of mine who ran in the Boston Marathon this year. Simply put he was quite a bit more advanced than everyone else there... At 3/4 of a mile my running app announced that we were running at a 8:45 mile pace - waaay faster than I ever run. (I usually maintain a 10-11 minute mile for the entire run.) We dropped down the speed a bit for the rest of it. On the last mile I told Justy to go on ahead because I could tell she was picking up speed as I was losing it, so she embraced her kick and finished ahead of me.
My running app messed up and kept the clock running after I crossed the finish line, and the race coordinators didn't write down exact times for every person (I told you it was casual) so I am figuring my time was 32 minutes based on the splits from my RunKeeper app. I was really surprised with that time. My goal was to finish, but I also was hoping to run it in under 35 minutes. I achieved both of those and felt a nice sense of accomplishment once I was done.
I will probably run another 5k again. Next time I will be more cognizant of establishing my own pace. But I also know that is easier said than done. It feels like human nature to try to keep up with the person ahead of you. The other runners obviously push you to up the pace which in turn can make your time faster and make you a better runner. So it's both good and bad.
As far as my next goal(s), I think I will work on increasing speed, sticking to 1 mile or 2 mile distances. I much prefer to run 2 miles over a longer distance. Hopefully as I work on that, 3 miles will become easier. I'm also trying to get back into doing some short HIIT videos at home again. Taking two months off from that has me feeling back at zero when it comes to weights. Hopefully it comes back quickly.
On Sunday we spent the day at my parents'. My dad was bursting with excitement to show the kids the surprise he had in store for them. I wish I had taken video of the "big reveal" because they were so pumped.
Now they have their very own Ranger just like Papa Jeff. Watching both girls learn how to operate it (and almost run down Graham many, many times) led to an afternoon of laughing until we cried. I'm positive this is going to be a favorite for a long time to come.