Thursday, May 14, 2015

Nike Southeast

This just so happens to be a Thursday, so I'll transform this post to a Throwback Thursday!  It's also my friend Megan's birthday, so happy sweet 16 to that peppy girl!

The varsity cross country team and I made the journey to Cary, NC the day after Thanksgiving (also a Thursday) to get ready for the Nike Cross Nationals Southeast Regional race that Saturday.  I had done post-season races the past two high school years, but I had gone to Footlocker, never Nike.  This year was the strongest girls team West has had, so our coach wanted to take the opportunity to take us to compete post-season together.  Footlocker doesn't have team competitions, so that meant that we had to go to Nike.

It was an early morning leaving home, so I took breakfast to go.  I was getting in the Christmas spirit now that Thanksgiving was behind with a Gingerbread Clif Bar and my Charlie Brown Christmas Tervis.  When we stopped at a gas station, they had the Dunkin Express, and they had these new protein bars that I had never seen before!  I picked up a couple to save for later.
Take a look at that gingerbready goodness...
Somehow it always seems to happen that we get more snow at Thanksgiving than Christmas...I've never had a white Christmas, but I've had multiple white Thanksgivings.

Meet Trot!  Like a turkey trot!  Ya know, those races people run on Thanksgiving, although they never run any other time, but think doing a little trot makes up for all the extra they will eat?  Well, I got this at Build-a-Bear, and decided to name him Trot because I would still be trotting in my training/racing through the Thanksgiving season.  This race would be my "Turkey Trot."

I don't know where these curls came from, but we thought it was funny.
The hotel we stayed at had a popcorn machine in the lobby!  (Super buttery and salty-->I'm thinking it was really to make guests thirsty so they would buy some of the drinks at the front desk right next to it)
Tony Mitchell, everyone!
He is such a great guy.  The whole Mitchell family is sweet and a great example of a family with hearts for the Lord.  They just make me happy!  Tony is really a kid at heart, always ready to help others and provide laughs!  He was there because his daughter Abby was racing this weekend, too.  I was not planning to take a picture of him, but while I was photographing other things around the course, he started jumping around, waving his arms, and yelling, "Makenzie!  Over here!  Over here!  Take a picture of me!"  So I did and kept it for giggles.

Dream dog!  (Other than pugs)
Those crystal-like eyes are beautiful, too.
When there is an animal I like, I don't mind to approach strangers to ask if I can pet it.  Luckily, they usually don't mind either!

The WakeMed Soccer Park is the location of this race, but the location has about as much or more emphasis on running as soccer.  The teeny-gravel path is a great running surface, and runners even have their own sign.
Here we are in front of the tent where they were selling shirts, bags, hats, etc

I think you can tell what this is a picture of.
Going on fun trips with your teammates calls for LOTS of pictures!  This one courtesy of Elizabeth Liposky, front and center there.  We are all very appreciative of the toboggans every runner received in our packs!
Dinner for my family was at Noodles & Co.  If you know my food preferences, you will totally understand why I took a picture of that sign.  I eat original.  Made-to-order meals are my favorite.  "King Burger" from BonQuiQui "Where We Can Do it Your Way--But Don't Get Crazy" couldn't handle me.
I love hot food.  Hot as in heat and spicy.  I also love Colorado, and Boulder is in Colorado.  Therefore, I love Smolder from Boulder seasoning.  (Putting my inductive reasoning skills to use)
Exclusively @ Noodles!

Mom and I hit up Target every chance we get, and race trips are no exception.  I don't even have to buy anything to have a good shopping trip.  Browsing satisfies me just fine, especially at Christmas time!  Target is probably my favorite place to shop, and where I buy most of my Christmas presents.  I actually ended up getting the Dunkin Donuts Maple coffee from Mom at Christmas!  The So Delicious Pumpkin Spice Coconut Milk is still on my "wish list" to try.

If only I were a guy, I could have Snoopy Christmas boxers...they even came with a little gift bag!  I was going to buy the pajamas even though they were mens, but the smallest size they had was large, which, obviously, would not work.

Have you ever slept on Hampton pillows?
"It's so fluffy I'm gonna die!"
(Catch the allusion?)

I was so excited to get to talk to one of my friends I met at Furman cross country camp last summer!  We even have the same name!  She is from Florida, so even though I thought it was cold, she was an ice cube.

I was so excited for two of my running friends that qualified for nationals that day.  Logan was at Footlocker, and Adam won Nike!  He later went on to place 2nd at the National race, and I must say, I watched the entire thing live streaming and it was so intense.  Thanks for the excitement, Adam.

It was a fun new experience to end my cross country season, but I can't wait to get back at it this summer and fall.  It'll be here before we know it!
Dad is the cookie monster.  Shame on him for eating and driving.
Almost that time again!  Furman, the Kenzies will be back!