Thursday, September 26, 2013

Beyond the Badge 5K–race recap

September 22, 2013


I normally don’t sign-up (a.k.a. pay) to do 5K races.  After all, that distance is the shortest of my regular training days so why pay money to do one?  And rarely – at least here in Indiana – do you get a medal for doing a 5K.  And just like the Hokey Pokey…that’s what its all about!  But I digress. 

I first learned about this race from one of those “races in your area” emails from   It was only $20; $25 if you wanted the shirt.  It takes place at Crown Hill Cemetery which is a beautiful area and has some rolling hills and a very challenging one which takes you to the highest elevation in Marion County.  Plus, this event benefits the Jason Baker Public Safety Scholarship Fund.  Jason Baker was killed in the line of duty in 2001.  Just recently we had another officer killed while trying to rescue a woman and her child that were being held against their will.  So signing up seemed like it was the right thing to do.

At 8:15 a.m. the Opening Ceremony began and at 9:00 a.m. the 5K Run/Walk Start for Individuals & Teams started.  There was also a 1.5 mile Family Stroll that started 5 minutes after the 5K. 

Although he didn’t want to run, my husband surprised me and brought one of our dogs (Gipper) to cheer me on.

The race started on time and it was a cool start but not too bad.  I felt pretty good and enjoyed looking at all the enormous trees and some of the really old headstones. 


There was one water stop around the halfway point and then slightly after that we passed the Heroes of Public Safety area and Jason Baker’s grave.  There were officers standing guard there ; it was very moving.  They were handing out small American flags that you could place at the grave so I circled back around and put one at Jason’s grave.  Some people placed them at the Heroes memorial.



Then…came the hill.  Nearly everyone in the pack that I was running with walked up it.  I was no different.  But I wasn’t doing this race for any particular finishing time.  I was doing it for what it represented.  I must admit that the run down was fun!


Former Colts owner Robert Irsay is buried here and his headstone is on the way up the hill.


This is the highest point in Marion County (Indianapolis) and where James Whitcomb Riley is buried.



Good view of downtown from the top.


Looking back up after coming down the hill.

I saw my husband and our dog Dog face around the 2.7 mile mark.  They ran with me for a little bit and then cut across some grass so that I could see them again just before the 3 mile marker.  The last .1 runs you up a little bit of a hill.  UGH! Smile with tongue out Thumbs down

At the finish line Jason Baker’s dad is there and tries to shake every finishers hand.  Unfortunately I missed him.  But after waiting to greet my husband and Gipper as they walked back in, I then went over and gave Mr. Baker a hug.

For a small event, they had good treats after the race.  They had the typical bottled water, Powerade drink and bananas.  But they also had some delightful chocolate chip cookies and popcorn!  Yes please – I’ll take one of each.

This was a good event and I think that I’ll start doing it every year from now on if I don’t have a conflict.


Although I didn’t get a medal, I got a pooch smooch from Gipper and well that meant even more!


About Crown Hill Cemetery - there are numerous famous people buried there.  And not just famous to Indiana.  Here are just a few:

    John Dillinger, 1903-1934,
    Notorious bank robber during the depression era, his escapades somehow caught the general public's imagination.

    Benjamin Harrison, 1833-1901,
    U.S. Senator, 23rd U.S. President 1889-1893.

    James Whitcomb Riley, 1849-1916,
    Famous Hoosier Poet.

    Booth Tarkington, 1869-1946,
    Author/playwright, winner of two Pulitzers.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

San Francisco!!!

September 13, 2013

My husband and I were in San Francisco back in 2010.  We were there on the front end and back end of our trip to Yosemite.  I was looking forward to going back because there were some things that we didn’t get to do.

My husband wanted to leave Las Vegas early Friday morning (6:30AM) because he didn’t want to get caught in rush hour traffic in San Fran.  So left early we did.  UGH.  It was mostly an uneventful drive. 

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We checked in at the hotel, unpacked and then rested for a bit before heading over to his Aunt’s house.  He met her last year but this would be the first time for me to meet her.  We weren’t there very long – maybe a couple of hours – and then it was back to the hotel for bed.  EXHAUSTED!

We allowed ourselves to just wake up on our own Saturday morning.  After a quick breakfast stop at the Denny’s near our hotel, we headed out to spend the day in the city.  As I said, there were a few things on the list that we didn’t get to see when we were here in 2010, so that’s what we tried to take care of first.

First stop was the Painted Ladies.  Maybe it was because it wasn’t sunny but we both agreed that they weren’t as pretty as we were expecting.  Have the pictures we’ve seen been photo shopped?

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Next we were on the hunt to find the Big Arm Chair at the Clift Hotel. I knew about this because a friend had posted it on her Facebook page but we didn’t have the time to look for it in 2010.

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The last driving destination was to Lombard Street.  It was shorter than I thought it was going to be but I can now say that I’ve been down it.  We then parked to take some pictures of it from the bottom.  I wonder if there is NEVER a line to drive down it.

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We then drove to a parking garage and headed to Fisherman’s Wharf.

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I definitely wanted to have seafood for lunch - or dinner - so as we walked by restaurants, we were making mental notes.  But first we went to Ghirardelli Square.  They were having their Chocolate Festival but we didn’t buy tickets.  We checked out the old factory and I was pretty sure that we would be back later for some chocolatey goodness.

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We headed back down to Pier 39 to see if we could catch some of the America’s Cup racing.  We got lucky and actually did get to see some of it.  We don’t know anything about this race but its kind of cool to say that we saw it.

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We were also near one of the piers were the seals congregate.  We only got to see them in the dark in 2010 so I’m glad we got to see them again!

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The other thing that I’ve always wanted to do was ride a Trolley Car.  I know that it wasn’t about San Francisco but I’ve always envisioned channeling my inner Judy Garland and singing “Ding Ding Ding Went the trolley” (from Meet Me In St Louis) while standing on the side!  We had to wait in line – and it took longer than I expected – but there was a guy/street performer playing the guitar & singing while we waited.  He wasn’t a very good singer but he was funny.  Once we finally boarded and the trolley took off, I softly sang.  Check that off the ol’ Bucket List!  Smile NoteThumbs up

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So….the trolley ticket that you buy is just a one way ticket.  Best plan would be that we’d get another ticket and ride back.  But there were some issues at the other station, one of the trolleys had broken down and the line was extremely long.  Thus we decided to walk back.  We thought we’d walk until we got tired and then maybe take a taxi the rest of the way.  Part of our journey back was through China Town and they were having their Autumn Moon Festival

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That place was PACKED!! I thought we’d never get through there.  But the next thing you know we were actually pretty close to the Wharf (thanks to my sense of direction NOT my husband’s…I’m just sayin’) so we just continued to walk.

We decided to have dinner at Castagnola's and I got the Lobster Ravioli.  It was pretty good but not as spectacular as I‘d hope it would be.  What was FABULOUS was the sundae that we got for dessert when we walked back to Ghirardelli Square.  SO. GOOD!  Thankfully (and yet, sadly) we shared this monster.

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After a short walk back to the car, it was time to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge.  Yep, we’ve done that before as well but its kind of a must do when in San Fran.

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We had such a great day.  And then trying to leave the city was the most excruciating experience ever.  It took us a little over 2 1/2 hours to get from the Wharf area to finally get on the Bay Bridge.  There were times when only one car would make it through an intersection.  There were times when NOT A SINGLE car made it through the intersection.  This exhausted me out more than the entire day in the city.  I was on the constant verge of falling asleep when we got back to my husband’s aunt’s house.

We were headed home the following day Sunday, the 15th.  Our flight was to leave around 11:30AM but since there was an Oakland Raiders home game that Sunday, it was suggested that we get to the airport early to avoid potential traffic.  We didn’t have any traffic issues and found a restaurant that was showing the Colts game which helped pass the time.  Sadly, the Colts lost.   We had just under a 2 hour layover in the Vegas airport and then we were finally wheels down in Indianapolis at midnight.

Great trip.  But always good to be back home