Finally Catching Up

Passing Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP)Check

Finals Week at U of L (3.825 Cumulative GPA)Check

Home life in balance with great Foster KidsCheck

Spring Racing SeasonCheck

Now, I can finally go back to the end of March and recap the highlights of Spring Break 2017 with my Mom and Dad in Winter Haven, FL.

lake winterset winter haven florida

Lake Winterset

I wasted no time getting down to Florida and enjoying a week in the sunshine state.  I was greeted with a pleasant surprise of an Easter basket.  The most functional item was an OxGord post workout car seat cover that would come in handy the next day.

Easter Basket Ideas

Brad, your sister is never too old for Easter Baskets (-:

The Prizm Run 10K

As usual, I searched for potential races for the week I would be in Florida.  I picked the Prizm Run in Lakeland for its location and purpose.  The race was sponsored by Fuel Church.  The goal was to increase awareness about child sex trafficking, and to raise money to help support agencies who offer support of victims.

The all-day event featured kids races, a 5K, a 10K, auctions, and plenty of BBQ food.  There was a mix up on the course route which looped the park about 4 times.  The last loop made the course just over 6.5 miles instead of 6.2.  I prefer to finish long than short to get full credit for the distance.

Prizm Run Lakeland, Florida

Lake Parker Park in Lakeland, FL

The field was small, so I was only competing with myself and the rising temperatures.  I was 1st place female overall and 4th place overall.  In addition to the course mix up, there were issues with the final results.  Luckily, the runners were able to give proper credit to the order of finishers.  The DJ summed it up well when he said, “We’re church folk.  We’re new at this” which was completely understandable.

Tiger Town

Kelsie Smoot Lakeland FL Tiger Town

Joker Marchant Stadium

After the Prizm Run, I went to Tiger Town to take a few photos of the Detroit Tigers spring training facility.  I quickly made friends with a groundskeeper, and he graciously offered me a tour of the entire area.  He has been working with the Tiger’s organization for over 25 years.  The way he got the job was an amazing testimony of how his integrity paid off in a career versus taking the easy way out.

There were a few players present although the Detroit opener was a few days away.  I was most impressed by the gym area with all of the updated equipment including an AlterG treadmill.

Detroit Tigers Training Toger Town

Tiger Town 9,400-square-foot weight room, the biggest in baseball.  Special batting cage built for Victor Martinez.

The clubhouse was decked out in Olde English D’s, large screens and butter soft, navy blue leather upholstery.  I did not notice the “Men’s” sign on the door until I wrote this blog.

Detroit Tigers Tiger Town Club House

The ultimate Man Cave

The hallways featured a map of where each player is from and a lot of memorabilia.  The Southfield, Michigan home I grew up in was once owned by Denny McLain so this was a full circle experience.

Detroit Tigers Denny McLain

Detroit Tigers Memorabilia


Tarpon Springs

Tarpon Springs is a small town north of Clearwater where Greek immigrants settled and mastered their skill of sponge diving.  There are several authentic Greek restaurants along the main strip of Dodecanese Avenue.

The traditional Greek Salads comes with a large portion of potato salad underneath the lettuce.  The combination is delicious.  Mom and I shared a Gyro, and I plan to sample more traditional dishes on my next visit.  The Greek desserts are a must have.

Dodecanse Street Tarpon Springs Hellas Restaurant

Hellas Restaurant and Bakery on Dodecanese Ave in Tarpon Springs

In addition to the food, I highly recommend the sponges and handmade soaps.  The sponges last a lifetime and there are different types for various purposes.  One product that will become a staple in my self-care items is a sugar scrub. I love the smell and it leaves my skin soft and glowing.  Check out to order online.

Anclote Key

A short ferry ride or boat rental will get you from the Tarpon Springs sponge docks to a small island called Anclote Key.  The first time I visited this place about 7 years ago, I felt like I was in a small piece of heaven.  With every wave washed up sand dollars.  This trip did not fare well for sea shell collection, however the scenery was still appreciated.

Anclote Key Ferry

Anclote Key Ferry

Anclote Key Beach

Anclote Key

Anclote Key Sand

Anclote Key Beach


Kelsie Smoot Alice Smoot Florida

I am a strong woman because a strong woman raised me.

Kelsie Smoot Anclote Key FL

Life is good because I decided to make it that way.


This concludes Spring Break ’17!

Kelsie Lou

Posted in Detroit, Florida, food, restaurants, running, Sports, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Chasing a Pot of Gold

 Louisville St. Paddy’s Day Half Marathon Recap

12 Reasons why my 12th half marathon was all hustle and no luck for this leprechaun:

#1.  The weather went from 75° on Thursday to 30° with “feel like” 22° on Saturday.

#2.  I pulled into Beckley Creek Park at 8:08 a.m. and it took me 25 minutes to park.

St.Paddy's Day 5k half marathon parking louisville

Entrance to Beckley Creek Park from Shelbyville Road.


#3.  This was the first race where I was so late that I missed the start by almost 15 minutes.

Kelsie Smoot#StPddysrun Louisville KY

Photo Credit: Smug Mug for St. Paddy’s Half Marathon &5K Louisville March 13, 2017.


#4.  I forgot to tie my leggings in the waist after a quick restroom break before the race.

#5.  I was stuck behind all the 5K leprechauns until they hit their 1.5 mile turnaround.

#6.  Beckley Creek Park is beautiful, but the concrete paths are very hard on my knees.

Beckley Creek Park St.Paddy's Day half marathon

A view from one of the bridges.


#7.  My phone went dead at mile 5, so I was stuck holding a huge Galaxy Note for no purpose at all.  No pics.  No Drake station on Pandora.

#8.  The hills that I did not train for have my quads feeling like I ran a marathon instead of a half.

#9.  Seeing all the fast runners smile at me as they made their way towards the finish, and I wasn’t even half way.

#10.  Headwind the entire second half of the race.

#11.  Running up the hills I crossed over the first time.

#12.  Not placing in my age group.  I was 3 minutes slower than the 3rd place finisher.


Time-1:54:25, 8:43:57 pace

Age Group- 6th out of 42

Gender- 34 out of 241

Overall- 97 out of 423


*I spotted Jess from the first marathon training group I ran with in summer ‘13.  Like me, she is done with marathons and focusing on more family races with her boys who have taken a liking to the sport.

*Fun costumes!

Louisville St.Paddy's Day 5K

*In the sea of mostly white people showing their Irish pride was a black lady in pink. It had to be Minnie representing the Alpha Kappa Alphas. I yelled out the window, “Hey Soror” as I turned into the lawn to park. She was supporting her daughter April for the 5K. I was already late so why not take an ussie for the blog:

Sorors Minnie and Kelsie

Sorors for life!


*The race swag was nice and the announcer had a great sense of humor. The St. Paddy’s Day half shirt is good quality and something I will wear on St. Patrick’s Day this week.

St.Paddy's Day Half Marathon Swag Louisville

Long Sleeve Zip Tech Shirt, Pint Glass, and Finisher’s Medal.


*After the race, I took an Epson salt bath and jumped on 64 to get my pot of gold in Madison, WV as I visited my Grandma and Uncles.


Kelsie Lou

Posted in fitness, half marathon, health, Louisville, running | Tagged | 9 Comments

Christmas Break Run, Sun, and Fun!

Winter break was nothing short of spectacular as I was privileged to spend the entire time in Florida with my parents.  I felt a sigh of relief as Cycle 1 of my KY Teacher Internship which involves a lot of evaluations, meetings and paperwork was completed.  I also survived fall semester at U of L with a 4.0 GPA.  School was dismissed on a Friday, and I was on the highway at 5am on Saturday. My foster daughter was invited, but she chose to stay with her family in Louisville which wasn’t a bad idea for the holidays.


The Hot Chocolate Race Series held an inaugural 5k and 15k in Tampa on December 18th.  My Mom was cool enough to drive to Tampa and pick up my race packet which included a jacket and personalized bib.  I was not expecting my name to be printed on the bib because I registered a few days before.

I had to submit proof of race times in order to be placed in the fastest corral. It didn’t make a difference because the start was slow and crowded due to sharing our start with the 5k finisher’s corral and people more interested in Snap Chatting the race versus running it.  The 5k started about 30 minutes before the 15k.  The sky was overcast and the temps were around 73 degrees.  I knew once the sun peeked through, it would make for a very warm race, especially with an 8:30 start.

Temps maxed out at 84 degrees with full sunshine. The breeze from the Hillsborough Bay along Bayshore Blvd did not provide any relief to a course that was beautiful, but lacking sufficient fluid stops or shade.  The first Nuun stop was at mile 1.  That was good for the 5k runners, but meaningless for a 9 mile haul.  I took some fluids anyway just in case.  The next stop was not until mile 4, then another around mile 6 or 7.  There were a lot of upset runners.


Tampa Hot Chocolate 5k/10k Race Route Bayshore Boulevard

Along the sidewalk, I could see the locals running and stopping at fitness stations for pull ups, squats and other exercises. They made it look so easy because they are acclimated to the heat. Back in Louisville, I was adjusting to the cold. This race was so brutal that I thought about walking the last 3 miles.  Logic kicked in for me to determine a slower 9:00 minute pace would be easier than walking a 15:00 pace while dehydrated.  One lady gave in to walking while cursing the lack of course hydration.  She said she has never walked in a race. I pushed through with pride and removed my shades for better finisher photos which were included with the race fee.


Finally, I met up with my Mom in the finisher area and indulged in what this race is about…my favorite dessert in the world, CHOCOLATE!  As hot as it was, I sipped my hot chocolate and ate everything in my goodie mug. I read reviews about the mug and jackets being cheap quality.  I don’t know if the Hot Chocolate Race Series offered ceramic mugs in the past, but these were definitely plastic.  I doubt I will use it again.  I disagree with the jacket being cheap.  It is good quality fleece, but they run small.  I suggest ordering a size up.

Overall, Hot Chocolate Tampa was a check off my bucket list of novelty races. I do not think the organizers and out-of-state participants expected mid 80s in December.  The medals are the best part of this race.  It reminds me of the golden ticket bars in Willy Wonka.


Hot Chocolate Tampa 15k Finisher Medal 2016

Parking was a little confusing due to construction around downtown Tampa. We parked in a Publix lot and walked over a few blocks to the start.  It was convenient for after the race when I hopped in the backseat and swapped my race gear for a bikini and the lovely wrap from Hawaii my friend Karen gave me.

Mom and I drove to Pass-A-Grill Beach at the southern part of St. Pete’s Beach. We rented our little cabanas and munched on Cuban Sandwiches from Paradise Grill.  The water temperature was cold at 70, but it felt really good for my aching muscles.  Besides, there is not much to keep me from getting into the ocean.

Hot Chocolate 15k Tampa Results:

Time:  1:19:54  started with 8:25 pace and finished with 8:35 pace.

Overall:  103rd of 1,952

Female:  51st of 1,483

40-44:  13th of 266


The majority of the two weeks was spent doing a sunrise run every other day and soaking up as much sun as possible at the community pool of my parent’s gated residence. I teased a few family members up north with captioned “You Cold?” selfies.

I wasn’t feeling the Disney crowds during the busiest days of the year like I did in 2013. One of the locals suggested I visit Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales.  My Mom and I toured the beautiful garden which was envisioned by Edward W. Bok for all to enjoy.  He hired Frederick Law Olmstead Jr. as the landscape architect, and it was Olmstead who came up with the idea to construct Bok Tower on the highest point in Florida.


Peace Lantern

We toured the Pinewood Estate that was built for a snow bird from Pennsylvania by the name of Charles Buck. The 1930s mansion was decorated to reflect how it would be furnished for the holidays when Mr. Buck and his family would come visit. Bok Towers was a nice experience and the weather was perfect.


Kelsie Smoot

Moving on, I had some business to take care of in Lakeland and asked about anything worth seeing. I was led to Lake Hollingsworth and Florida Southern College.  FSC is home to the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in one place.

Voted as the “Nation’s Most Beautiful College Campus,” the centerpiece of the college is the Water Dome Fountain of Knowledge. I spent about an hour walking around the various concrete path walkways and admiring the sweet smell of roses at the Ruth’s Garden.


FSC Water Dome Fountain of Knowledge & Annie Pfeiffer Chapel

Christmas Day, and also my Mom’s birthday was spent beachin’. We rented another cabana at St. Pete’s Beach near the Sirata Beach Resort.  I picked this spot because the Mississippi State and Miami (OH) marching bands were having a battle of the sand outside the resort.


St.Pete Bowl Battle of the Sand MS State and Miami (OH)


St. Pete Beach Christmas Day

We stayed on the beach until sunset with crowds who brought mini Christmas trees onto the beach and built sand snow men.  Mom and I were thrilled to spend Christmas Day and her birthday on the beach.  She took one of her best photos to date with a little sassy coaching from yours truly.


Alice Jean Smoot Christmas Birthday


So where was Big Phil during all of this? I treated my Dad to midcourt 9th row seats at the Amway Center for the Magic vs. Grizzlies game.  Amway is one of the best sports venues I have visited.  I liked the order from your seat service, variety of concessions, customer service and overall cleanliness. Being off I-4 made for easy entry and exit.  I will always try to make Magic games when I am in town and a concert would be nice too.


Phillip L. Smoot Sr. and Kelsie Smoot


Phillip L. Smoot at the Magic’s Game

The following day, my Dad accompanied me to the North Palm Beach Mercedes-Benz Dealership where I purchased a 2014 ML350 while wearing my Mercedes-Benz half marathon shirt. It may seem corny, but when I ran that race in Birmingham, AL and earned the 3 point star medal, I thought how nice it would be to drive that emblem.  I would have never imagined owning a Benz less than two years later.


Mercedes-Benz 2014 ML350


My Dad says I don’t drive a car anymore, I have an automobile.

To round off the holidays, when the Louisville Cardinals football bowl game was announced to be the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, it was a no brainer on whether or not to attend. The night before was the Fan Appreciation party where I met the Athletic Director, Tom Jurich, and made a couple connections with U of L staff.

The game day activities were fun with a lot of freebies from Geico and Buffalo Wild Wings. I worked it like a race expo and got every free item and photo offered.



Camping World Stadium.  Citrus Bowl 2016 Louisville vs. LSU

The weather was gorgeous as I watched the game in defeat.  Not a single touchdown, but I am glad they got something on the board.  I spoke to James Quick’s Dad, my former co-worker and neighbor on my way out the stadium.  He mentioned having a meeting with agents soon.  Best of luck on NFL dreams to the Quick family!


I went to the Dillard’s sale on New Year’s Day for Nike running shorts and watched all the NFL Sunday football games simultaneously at Millers Ale House. Who knew there was a freaking Giordano’s in Orlando?  I went for dinner and was eating the left overs all the way back to Louisville.


Kelsie Lou

Posted in automotive, Basketball, family, Florida, football, health, Louisville, running, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

She’s A Goal Digger

This post has been on my mind through miles of running and was written in my head long before I had the chance to sit down and purge my thoughts.  A lot has happened since the start of the school year, so as I continue goal digging I need to archive everything.

I’ve had the opportunity to go back to school for a second masters degree thanks to a C.A.R.D.S. (Competency, Awareness, and Responsiveness to Diverse Students) partnership between JCPS and the University of Louisville to meet the needs of our diverse school district.  I will earn Rank I status along with a MEd in teacher leadership and a diversity literacy certificate.  Fall semester wraps up next week with a 10 page paper and video taped lesson plan project.  JCPS awards me a tuition reimbursement each semester since I teach in a priority school.

Speaking of class, I earned my CCDW permit and purchased a 9mm.  I don’t want to use it, but I will “double tap” someone like my instructor taught me for self defense.


I turned the big 40 in September and celebrated by attending the Bad Boy Reunion concert in Cincinnati.


Turning 40 meant moving up to the 40-44 age bracket, and I was itching for a race.  On October 15th I placed 1st place overall female in the Hurstbourne Hustle 5K.  It was a small crowd of maybe 100 runners.  My time was 23:00.  The sponsors gave me a gift certificate for a Road ID.


After the boost of age confidence, I needed to be a kid again and found an old cheerleader uniform in one of the back closets to wear for my school’s Halloween dance.


Mr. McGinnis and Smoot


During the weekend of daylight savings I went to WV to visit my Grandma.  We had a nice time shopping and she ate at IHOP for the first time.  Breakfast for dinner was my pre race meal for the Marshall University Half Marathon.  Prior to my trip, I checked for races and lucked up on the MUM.


My fitness goal is to be half marathon ready at all times.  On the weekends, I try to get in longer 7-8 mile runs.  This go around, all I had time for was a 9 mile training run about 4 days before the race.    I registered in person as soon as I got off I-64 in Huntington.  The race swag consisted of a Marshall University bag and tech shirt.  Early registrations came with a jacket, but I missed them.

Race morning conditions were foggy and chilly around 37 degrees.  I went out and tore it up with a half marathon personal best.


Finish Time:  1:42:20

Age group:  2/94

Gender:  11/574

Overall:  75/1,005



What I liked about this race was the course, being thrown a football to run the last 50 yards to the end zone, the cookout post race food, Blenko Glass Company awards (they have pieces in the White House), easy parking, and free race photos.  My strong finish made me almost think about jumping back into marathon training again, but that thought left my mind as soon as it entered.  The Flying Pig was my last 26.2.  I need my joints intact.

After the presidential election, it was refreshing to see a diverse turnout for an Angela Davis lecture at U of L.  She was correct when she said, “Freedom is constant struggle.”

Lastly, I got the chance to check out my parent’s new home in Florida.  We went to Ruth’s Chris in Tampa for Thanksgiving dinner and had a great time.  My Foster Daughter and I stayed at Lake Buena Vista Resort for a two-day Universal Studios and Island of Adventure experience.



I normally do not ride rollercoasters, but I was talked into riding the Hulk ride and the Dr. Doom Drop.  I voluntarily rode one of the Harry Potter rollercoasters.  The weather was perfect for the parks and the crowds were really low.  I was happy to experience Characters in Flight at what used to be called downtown Disney and is now Disney Springs.  I was unable to ride the last 3 times due to high winds or lightening.

I can’t believe we are one month away from 2017.  Please excuse me while I get back to my goal digging.



Posted in Education, family, fitness, Florida, half marathon, running, Travel, West Virginia | 2 Comments

A True Love Story

I’m sending a huge shout out to Mr. and Mrs. Phillip L. Smoot to congratulate them on 50 years of marriage!

Phillip & Alice Smoot

My Mom, Alice Smoot, who is from Logan, WV met my father when she was visiting her big sister in Madison, WV.  They were teenagers when my Dad staked his claim.  Their courtship continued beyond high school and into adult years.  My Dad was drafted into the Army, and my Mom pursued her teaching certification in all subjects at West Virginia State.

As a child, I remember my Mom showing me some of the love letters my Dad wrote her from Vietnam.  She still holds onto them with their yellowed papers and ink marks spread like an old tattoo.  My Dad would send my Mom money to help with college expenses like joining Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Phillip Lewis Smoot Vietnam

Phil and Alice were reunited after the war and moved to Bridgeport, CT.   Neither of them liked the area, so they made their way to Michigan where my Nanny lived.  My Dad worked at Ford Motor Company and my Mom landed a teaching job at Highland Park High School.

Alice Smoot Highland Park HS Swim

This photo was taken outside their first home on Harlow Street on the West Side:

Phillip and Alice Smoot Detroit Michigan

My parents had 3 boys, Phillip Jr., Corey and Jason.  I was a year old when my parents moved to Southfield in order to provide my siblings with a better education.  My youngest brother, Brad was born and made our family complete.

I cannot stress enough how much fun I had growing up and having both of my parents in the home to provide stability, love, positive examples, support and encouragement.  They both worked more than one job.  My Mom never had a summer off.  She was always doing extra service at youth sports camps and lifeguard duties.  My Dad would come home with salt on his skin from hot conditions in the plant.  My Dad side hustled everything from silk screen shirts to jewelry at the weekend flea market.

Together, my parents owned a commercial cleaning business called P&A Cleaning.  Those 10 years of extra income put Corey, Brad and myself through college.  The grandkids got love too!  My parents looked after them as if they  were their own.  All of the Grandkids have had the opportunity to travel and do Disney.  My Dad never hesitated to roll out when the plants shutdown.

I didn’t expect to write this much, but the lovely part of blogging is I never force it.  I want to make sure I recognize the two people who have made me into the woman I am today.  I am blessed to have taken after the best of both worlds.

My Mom and Dad recently relocated to Florida to spend the rest of their lives together.  I had a very tough time after they left Kentucky on top of still grieving Kevin’s passing.  I was sobbing on the phone to my Grandma and she told me it was normal to be upset.  She described them best when she said, “Your parents are your jewels.”

I am grateful for the time they spent with me in Louisville.  The Ohio Valley air quality made everyday life for my Dad difficult.  He is doing much better in the Sunshine State.  Phil and Alice are exploring all the restaurants and enjoying life.

Phillip Smoot Sr Florida

Phillip L Smoot Sr Alice J Smoot






Posted in Detroit, family | Tagged , , | 21 Comments

Family First

The Smoots

Photographer: Rachel Norris, Panache Louisville Photography

Location:  Papa John’s Park

Date: July 2, 2016

Smoot FamilyPhillip and Alice SmootAlice and Kelsie SmootPhillip Lewis Smoot Sr.

Phillip L. Smoot Sr. Jr, III, IVPhil JrTrey and Prince

Kelsie Smoot

The SmootsPhil Jr and KelsieBig Phil and Jr

Smoot Family Photo





Posted in family, Louisville, Photography | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Detroit Summer 16

Detroit Summer 16

I refuse to be in the doldrums over Kevin’s passing. There is no way he would want me to be all depressed anyway.  My longtime friend from Southfield High School and beyond sent me an invite to her 40th birthday celebration a couple of hours before Kevin passed away.  She wasn’t expecting me to attend because of everything going on, but she wanted to keep me informed.

The weekend of Tajuana’s birthday, I made my way to Detroit with an unannounced stop at my Brother Phil’s house. We went to Coney Island where I introduced Crissa to Coney’s, chili cheese fries and Greek salads.

On Saturday, my friend Maxie took us downtown to Pizza Papalis. Their deep dish is good, but lacked the thickness of Chicago’s Giordano’s.  We rode the People Mover and got off at Woodward so I could check out the new Nike Community Store.  I loved the store layout and friendly service.

Detroit greektown_1468639213542

Kelsie and Crissa outside Pizza Papalis in Greektown, Detroit.


We walked to Campus Martius, and it was refreshing to see young adults playing basketball on the four Nike courts and engaged in sand volleyball.

I haven’t been on the Detroit Riverwalk since the 2013 Auto Show Shuffle. It’s impressive to see all the progress being made downtown.  I didn’t see the new Hockey Town construction, but I did see the cranes from the People Mover.

It was time to switch gears and roll up on Tajuana at her party. It felt so good to see my friend and be amongst all her family and friends.  True friends are hard to find.


Friends 25 years Strong!


On Sunday, Crissa and I drove to the Mt. Olivet Cemetery for a Sunrise Race I found on Running in the USA. They had a 1.5 mile walk, a 5K and a 10K.  Crissa forgot her running shoes (again) and changed from the 5K to the walk.  I chose the 10K because it is my weakest distance.

It was ironic for the only race in the area that weekend to be at a cemetery. I didn’t let it get to me as I recalled running through Cave Hill and Frankfort Cemetery’s.  I ran with a goal to place in my age group.  The weather was in the low 70s, clear skies and low humidity.  The Mt. Olivet Cemetery Sunrise Run benefited the Make-A-Wish Foundation

At mile 2 I linked up with a running partner. We held a good pace and he really pushed me through.  He tried to get me to leave him when he took longer stops at the water stations.  I refused to bail on him because we ran in perfect cadence.  I warned him that I do kick at every finish.  It was close to the finish when I sprinted to the line and finished around 30 seconds ahead of him.


I found this beautiful photo of Noah and I online.  Photo Credit:  Brandy Baker, The Detroit News.

I introduced myself to my running buddy and his name was Noah. His wife’s name is Kelsey.  I thanked him for running beside me.


After the race an outreach group called “We Care About 7 Mile” served a nice breakfast.

Results of the 9th Annual Sunrise Run:

1st in my age group with a time of 48:41/ 7:51 pace.

4th place Women’s division.

12th place overall.

I’m glad I got to be around family and friends for the weekend. I was able to link up with my other Brother Jason who hates taking photos, so next time I will have to sneak one.  At least I have my most competitive Words With Friends player back.  I saw my Aunt Mary and visited Corey’s children who were getting ready to take family photos.


Corey Jr, Kelsie, Trinity, and Chloe.


Last stop before hoping on 75 South was a Bread Basket corned beef with some onion rings.


Bread Basket Special


Eat. Run.  Repeat.


Posted in Detroit, family, fitness, health, running, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Remembering Kevin L. Carter

Kevin Lamor Carter

Kevin l carter obituary kentucky

aka “Chairs” “Pellet” “Frank” depending on how you knew him or where you met him.

6-27-77 Bridgeport, Connecticut


6-28-16 Louisville, Kentucky

 Kevin and I met on Friday, December 4, 1998.  I remember the date so clearly, because I went to Atlanta with my friend Tajuana for Thanksgiving.  We partied so hard that I had to stay in my apartment all week to recuperate. I decided to get out that Friday and hang with my girl Tonya. She told me her friend was coming over and he was bringing a friend. They pulled up in a white Dodge Caravan. I sat behind the passenger and Tonya sat behind the driver, a dude named Jermaine.

Kevin, who introduced himself as “Phrank” asked my name and where I was from. I told him I was a student at Indiana Tech and I was from Detroit. I picked up on his East coast accent right away and was turned on by his swag. I didn’t vibe with the Indiana boys that much being a city girl. Kevin asked me how long I would be in Fort Wayne, and I replied with a Foxy Brown rap lyric from Jay Z’s Paper Chase “Til May down this ____.” In reality I was supposed to finish my Engineering degree in May ’99, but I put off my senior project second semester.

We made our way to the store and when we got back to Tonya’s house, Kevin told us to go inside and he would be there in a minute. It was taking a while, so Tonya and I stood on the porch to see what the problem was. That’s when I saw Jermaine bringing a wheelchair around to the passenger side. I got all dramatic and was like, “Girl what happened to him? Why is he in a wheelchair? Is he in a gang?” Tonya was like, “I don’t know, I don’t know,” in her Southern accent.

Jermaine pulled Kevin up the steps and we all sat around and talked and had drinks. Some other people stopped by, and we partied like normal college kids. Kevin did what most Indiana corn balls were lacking. He asked me on a date. We made plans for dinner and a movie. It turned out the van was his. I was nervous about who was going to drive and how independent he was. None of that was an issue. Kevin refused to use hand controls and drove with a t-ball bat instead. To this day, he is one of the safest drivers I know. We ate at Applebee’s and I don’t recall the movie we saw.

From that point, it was on and poppin’. I called my Mom and told her I was not coming home for Christmas Break. Kevin took me to his hometown of Bridgeport, CT where I met his father’s side of the family. Of course, we went to New York and I was blown away by the City.

Kevin carter bridgeport ct

Harlem and Manhattan

Kevin lived with his mother, Pearlie, her husband, his younger siblings, and nieces and nephews. His older sister Janice was murdered in 1995 in Fort Wayne, so his mom was raising her children. Kevin went to Janice’s funeral in ’95 and it was 2-3 weeks later that he suffered a spinal cord injury which gave him a T-6 paralysis. He was only 16 and a 6 foot 5 basketball star at his high school. Kevin would often point out UConn players on TV who he played against.

Complications from being bedridden and depressed made him develop blood clots. His legs were amputated above the knee. He told me it was easier for him to lose the dead weight. The next issue became the muscle spasms. His legs would spasm so badly that they would cross over. I remember pushing down on his legs to try and keep them flat. On those tender spots is where he developed skin ulcers.

Kevin and I moved into together the summer of 1999. Our apartment was laid because he and I both have good taste in fashion and style period. Kevin had numerous surgeries to skin graft bed sores and treat infections. Kevin was still in good spirits. He loved video games, music, good food, movies and going to Detroit for corned beef and Bridgeport for pizza.

Kelsie smoot 1999

Kelsie Summer ’99 East Central Towers, Fort Wayne, IN

I finally graduated in May 2000. Kevin and I lived in Fort Wayne until September 2001. We both felt like we had outgrown the city and it was time to move on. I went back home trying to figure my life out, and Kevin moved back to Bridgeport, CT. Distance could not keep us apart and before I knew it, I called myself moving to Bridgeport. It was right after 9/11 and I remember driving through NYC and seeing missing people flyers all over the place. The smell of flesh was in the air from the 9/11 attacks.

Kelsie Smoot fort wayne indiana

Photo taken by Kevin as he was recovering from a surgery in a rehab center in Fort Wayne, IN.

Winter came and no engineering companies were responding to my resume. I drove back to Detroit. At the same time, Kevin’s mom Pearlie and her husband left Fort Wayne, moved to Indianapolis, and finally settled in Louisville. Kevin and I would meet up in Louisville quite often. I experienced my first Kentucky Derby cruising in 2002. I went back to Detroit telling everyone how live Louisville was. It was pretty wild back then before police started shutting down Broadway.

Kevin l carter indiana 2004

Holiday World Wave Pool in Santa Claus, Indiana, Kirk (Willie), Janai, Kelsie, Kevin. 

Sadly, Kevin’s mom passed away on Memorial Day 2002 and he was crushed. He flew into Detroit and we drove down to Louisville together. Kevin was so broken and until his dying day he took her birthday, Memorial Day and Mother’s Day very hard. I was extra sensitive to him around those days. This past Memorial Day is when we went for rides on the Can Ams. It lifted his spirit.

Kevin carter kelsie carter kentucky


We both took time to learn ourselves a few years after Pearlie’s sudden passing. Those 20’s can be something else! Kevin and I went through a lot, but always found a way back to each other. His health was pretty stable besides a dehydration or minor infection bout which would put him on IVs for a few days.

After I completed my Master’s Degree in Education, I relocated to Louisville with Kevin. I picked out a gorgeous halo set diamond from Shane Co. Our plan was to get married on 7-7-7. The day came and went and we looked at each other like “you didn’t plan anything and I didn’t either.” We talked about getting hitched in Hawaii and I was like why spend all that money. Both of our families and friends are all over the U.S. and buying a home was more important.

My name became Kelsie Carter on November 24, 2007 in a Justice of Peace ceremony at our apartment’s clubhouse at Blankenbaker Crossing. I wore a non-traditional dress with a white fox fur. Less than 6 months later we purchased a home in PRP and were living the dream.

Kevin and kelsie carter louisville 2008

Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Carter in 2008

Next up was babies. Kevin got some news that was hard to swallow, but we still decided to move forward with in vitro fertilization. We did two rounds which both failed. It was a major let down for both of us. Things began falling apart with our marriage. We separated in 2009 and divorced in 2010.

Kevin carter louisville ky ichiban

Kevin outside of his other favorite restaurant Ichiban.

I covered up his Kevin tattoo on my wrist with some flowers and kept the K. As I type this, I glanced to see the “evin” which I’m now glad was not completely covered. Everyone thought I was going to move back to Detroit and he would go back to Connecticut. They had us messed up. We love the warmer weather and quality of life in Kentucky. We both bloomed where we were planted and he ventured towards the Lexington and Richmond area.

Kevin carter kelsie tattoo

Last summer, Kevin told me to write my name on a sheet of paper.  A of couple days later my signature was tatted under a Queen Chess Piece. 

I deactivated my Facebook and got into running seriously. I also became a therapeutic foster parent. I was tracking workouts on Daily mile, and Kevin would try to comment on my posts. I was deleting them and blocking him as I was training for the Marine Corps Marathon in 2013. I was still dealing with some anger of our divorce.

I had to make sure my mind was right before I hooked back up with Kevin. My Mom and I went to a Colts vs. Bengals game on October 19, 2014. I made a blog post and low and behold Kevin made a comment. Being the site administrator I was able to see his URL and email info. I decided it would be best to contact him privately before we interacted publicly.

I poured my heart out to Kevin and told him all was forgiven. I gave a stern warning to not post anything crazy on my blog. Kevin emailed back thanking me for making him the man he was and apologizing for his wrongs. The topper was the fact that Kevin Carter was at Lucas Oil Stadium for the same game and saw me and my Mom! He was too nervous to approach me.

We left the correspondence at that and he gave me a hard time about reppin’ the Bengals because I was a Colts fan with him. I do confess I always wished they loss after we broke up.

I reached out to Kevin when my nephew, Lil’ Jay was murdered in Killeen, TX. Kevin knows my entire family and how close we are. He was hurt at the news of this tragedy. Up until this point Kevin and I only communicated via email and maybe a text. The day of Lil’ Jay’s funeral Kevin and I talked for 5 hours straight getting caught up. He took me to our favorite restaurant, Ruth’s Chris after I got back to Louisville. He came fresh to def with his Ralph Lauren and Polo Black cologne to match. That boy hadn’t missed a beat.

For the next year and a half, we grew to become Best Friends. We did a lot of traveling. He was the behind the scenes guy. He knows how protective I am over content. This is my legacy, and I don’t let just anybody get a photo, let alone a name mentioned up in here.

Kevin was flattered to see his photos on my blog. Even when he would get on my nerves, I never had the urge to delete any of his content. Kevin is my family whenever anybody gets done with it.

Kevin Carter gatlingburg tn

Anyone who knew Kevin recognized that he made a huge to-do about his birthday every year. He celebrated the entire month of June. I knew not to ask him for anything during that time. For 2016, Kevin and his friend Steve were planning on hauling their bikes up to Bridgeport for a week or two. Kevin was so excited about going home to see his family.

Kevin Carter True Friends

Tez, Steve, and Chairs.  The realest of the real.

At the same time I was noticing that Kevin was looking very thin. He was in the hospital a couple months ago for what he told me was dehydration. He did mention having kidney disease, and I told him he could have one of mine if it came down to it.


On June 3rd, LeeAnna and I met him in Lexington for lunch at BD’s Mongolian Grill. Kevin had a meaningful conversation with the both of us. We sat and talked for three hours and ended up tipping twice due to shift change. I noticed that Kevin only ate a few bites of food. Being the gentleman he is, he followed me to the gas station and filled up my car before LeeAnna and I drove back to the Ville.

Kevin carter richmond ky

Kevin settled for the Charger R/T after wanting a Camaro which I told him was not practical for the wheelchair storage.

Something that stood out to me in the last few weeks is how complimentary Kevin had been towards me. He told me on several occasions how proud he was of me as a foster parent and new homeowner. He showed major love as a friend.

Kevin lamor carter louisville ky

Kevin Carter living life to the fullest.

Kevin called me on Thursday, June 9th with a weak voice saying he was going to the hospital in an ambulance. I asked was there anything he needed me to do. He had given me a key to his place back in January, so it was nothing for me to make sure his things were in order. I told Kevin to call and let me know what the doctors said. He was just at his family physician the day before complaining of loss of appetite and severe back pain.

I woke up the morning of the Muhammad Ali funeral service and I did not have any calls or texts from Kevin. At 6:20 a.m. I asked how he was feeling. He replied back “better” that evening when I had made it up to Milwaukee. I didn’t hear from Kevin the entire weekend which wasn’t that odd due to him not feeling well.

That Sunday is when the ICU nurse dropped a bomb on me that Kevin was very sick. I was at his side the next morning. The doctor explained he had severe blood infection that the strongest antibiotic was not helping. There was issues with his intestines, and his red blood cell count was dangerously low. The doctor asked was he having difficulty breathing and he said yes. She made the decision to place him on a ventilator. I was worried and nauseated by the prognosis. I’ve been with him through several surgeries and even wearing a protective suit to see him, but a ventilator? Nah, this was all new. I wanted to pass out in that ICU room but I couldn’t let him see me break. I did start to tear up a little and he told me “don’t start that @$#%.” Like a little kid, I got my act together real quick.

Kevin told me he loved me four times and kissed me on the lips. I was kicked out the room as they went to sedate him and hook up to the vent. All this happened Monday, June 13. Kevin endured two rounds of dialysis that week, and it helped his kidney function a little better. The surgeon saw the problem with his intestines through a dye test, but Kevin would not have survived the procedure.

They took Kevin off the propofol and he was more alert, although he could not talk being hooked up to the vent. He gave me a high five when I told him about the Gold Jacket 5k and how I got won 1st place overall female for him. He kept touching the ring medal. I wanted to leave it with him, but I was afraid it would get misplaced.

I didn’t visit him directly on his birthday, Monday June 27th. He had a room full of people and I knew he needed some rest. Instead, I sent some texts to his friend Tez who let Kevin read them.

I went to see Kevin on Tuesday afternoon and I saw a drastic change from two days prior. I could look into his eyes and see that he was tired. Kevin had fought all he could. He was in pain. I later learned from a nurse associate from my old job, that Kevin refused treatment that morning. He refused to have a tracheostomy. Kevin made the decision to be off of everything. It was all in his favor. He made the choices himself.

I didn’t know those were Kevin’s decisions when word got to me that they were pulling the plug about an hour after I had left the hospital. I was hysterical thinking someone else was making those decisions, but that wasn’t the case. I told Kevin’s friend that he wasn’t going to make it through the night.

Around 9:30 p.m. I was feeling antsy. My foster daughters joined me for a late night walk. I was breaking down knowing that the end was near. I started to go back up there, however, I didn’t not want to remember Kevin dying. I wanted to remember our positive interactions with one another. His friend who was delivering the text messages for me called and said he had just left the room. I was talking to Tez when he got the text that said “He’s Gone.”

I sat on my deck and looked up and the starry heavens and told my baby goodbye. Kevin suffered through so much trauma, yet and still he hardly ever complained and lived his life to the fullest. Kevin Lamor Carter taught me how to love myself, how to be kind to others and the true meaning of patience. There will always be a place in my heart for my ultimate soul mate. His memory and legacy live on through my actions in this world and the actions of those who he touched. Whether you were his nurse, waitress, friend or family, he treated everyone the same.

Kevin chairs carter

Collage by Steve

Kevin had a low tolerance for slackers. He would get on you for not living to your potential and gaining the most out of life. His smile was infectious. Kevin loved to eat good so there was no going hungry around him. When we reconnected last year one of the first things he told me was he needed to fatten me up. With running I am not able to hold weight like those thick days that he liked. Kevin fattened me up with love, friendship, loyalty and life.


Vegas Helicopter Ride with landing in the Grand Canyon Birthday gift to Kevin.

I love you ALWAYS Kevin Carter! You mentioned in those emails we exchanged about “love is love from this lifetime to the next.” I cherish those words because I know we shall meet again. You sent me a sign the other night that you are OK and you were checking on me. Although you are gone in the physical, your spirit lives forever in our hearts!

Kevin and Kelsie Carter

Kevin and Kelsie Kentucky Oaks 2015

(I thought this was going to be a teary eyed blog post and surprising I was able to tackle it with dry eyes. Let me be a witness for any and everyone who has lost a loved one that you must stay strong and lean on God, friends and family for support. Birth and death are cycles of life. The hardest part for me is knowing what Kevin is doing in heaven. I’m not in a rush to find out as I know God is still working on me. My engineering mind is curious to know all the answers. I can’t help it. J)

Kevin Carter Richmond Kentucky

Rest in Heaven My Love,

Kelsie Louise Smoot

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Pro Football Hall of Fame Gold Jacket 5k

Pro Football Hall of Fame Gold Jacket 5K Recap

Columbus, Ohio


This Race is dedicated to Kevin Carter

I heard about the Pro Football Hall of Fame Gold Jacket 5K from my weekly email. The name and location of Columbus, OH caught my eye.  I went on and saw how awesome the medal was, and penciled the race on my calendar.

Over the last two weeks, I’ve been going through some difficult times with my Best Friend fighting for his life in ICU. I was nervous about leaving Louisville and his condition worsening.  My gut told me to go ahead and run a race I was really looking forward to.

Besides faith and prayer, running has been my escape from the stress. No days off in the heat and humidity just to give my mind positive energy to deal with the challenges coming from different directions.  I made my mind up to be happy regardless of the chaos.

My oldest foster daughter was away with her Mom for the weekend, so it was just LeeAnna and I on a quick road trip to Columbus, OH. We stopped in Hebron, KY for the Gap distribution Center and followed 71 N all the way to Second Sole in Gahanna for packet pick up.

Gold jacket 5k shirt

Gold Jacket 5k t-shirt


The medals and age group awards were on display. I was pleased with the black and gold shirt and design.  After we checked into the hotel we stepped out for pizza at Taranto’s.  The service and pizza were both amazing.

LeeAnna and I laughed all evening as I tried to finish up my Rock ‘n Sole recap. I got a call that my Best Friend was doing much better and able to communicate with simple gestures.

The race started at 8am from the Second Sole location. It was sunny and 74 degrees.  The course was down and out with a water stop at the half way point.  We ran along N Hamilton Road at the start.  LeeAnna was by my side, and there was a young lady who passed us.  She was running at a nice pace.  There were about 6 men ahead of us.

As we turned into the subdivision off Beecher Road, I passed a young man and I noticed the first woman was losing her pace. We turned into the campus of Columbus Academy.  This must be a very prestigious school.  A half day of Pre-K is 10 grand and high school tuition is 22K.  I was happy to be in a shaded area as I ran tangents on the curves.  It was on one of those tangents where I took the lead for 1st place overall female.

I told myself not to celebrate anything yet. The humidity was kicking my butt and I never underestimate the ability of others.  I didn’t know who was behind me, and I wouldn’t dare turn to look.  I would peep the competition at the turn around.

There was a group of 3 men running together, and I was a few strides behind them. At the turn around I saw another woman who was about 20 seconds behind and the #3 and #4 women.  Near mile 2, I spotted L and she yelled my name.  I gave her a thumbs up as I passed another man.  I knew I was holding a serious pace because I couldn’t hear any breathing behind me.

I told myself “Go!”

Coming out the subdivision and back onto Hamilton Rd, there was a slight incline. Hill repeats from spring marathon training gave me the confidence to power up and over.  There was a straight shot to Second Sole.  I was on the heels of the 3 guys and one of them took off so I wouldn’t pass him.  No other woman caught up to me, and I finished 1st place woman overall.

I stood along the course to chat with runners who traveled from nearby states for the medal. I spotted LeeAnna and yelled her name.  She got into beast mode as I coached her to the finish.

Awards were announced at 9:05 and she was elated to win 3rd place in her age group.

Gold jacket 5k age group award

LeeAnna 3rd place 14 and Under



This is where it gets tricky. The online results listed my time at 20:09.  I believe this is a minute faster because my Garmin registered 21:09 which is 10 seconds away from my 5K personal record.  I was 5th place overall out of 187 runners.

Kelsie Smoot Gold Jacket 5k

Betcha can’t do it like us…NOPE!


We drove back after a hearty meal at IHOP and went straight to the hospital to show off our bling. Kevin gave us high 5s.  I am so glad I followed my heart to do this race for both me and LeeAnna.  This was her first experience hearing her name called for a running award.  If I let worry consume me to stay in Louisville, I would have missed my blessing.  This serves as a reminder that I am on the right track in life and doing right by those I love, especially Kevin.



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Summerfest Rock ‘n Sole

Rock ‘n Sole Half Marathon Recap

June 11, 2016

Spontaneous Summer Travel:

My brother is living the bachelor lifestyle in Milwaukee, WI as a transportation manager in his post Army career. I thought it would be a good idea for my two Foster Daughters and I to raid his bathroom counter space with girlie toiletries and leave overwhelming scents of Victoria’s Secret sprays all over his bachelor pad.

You all know me. to the rescue for an out of town race.  I discovered the Summerfest Rock ‘n Sole Races consisting of a 5K, Quarter Marathon and Half Marathon.  Summerfest is a concert series in Milwaukee that has over 800 bands on 11 stages, over 2 weeks.

There was no question that I would register the girls for the 5K. I decided at the last minute to run the half marathon and gave myself about 10 days to max out at 10 miles as a brief training.  With school being out and not really having a race schedule, my max mileage has only been 6 miles.

I Am Ali:

We took our time leaving so we could see Muhammad Ali’s funeral procession. There was no way I was leaving Louisville without experiencing a major part of history.  C went ballistic when she saw Will Smith.  I must admit, Jada’s husband does have a million dollar smile.

Muhammad ali funeral procession

Muhammad Ali Funeral Procession 6-10-16


Rock ‘n Sole Expo:

We made it to Milwaukee in about 6.5 hours due to traffic and construction. We met Brad at his job for keys to his place and went to the Italian Community Center for the Race Expo.  It was easy to find with free parking.  The area was busy because the Pride Festival was taking place in the same vicinity.

Rock n sole half marathon swag

Rock ‘n Sole Half Marathon Swag


The half marathoners received gender specific tech shirts, and the 5K participants received cotton shirts. BMO Harris Bank is a major sponsor and they gave out free socks.  The usual vendors were there with gels, headbands, shoes, and gear.  Carmex was generous with samples along with Silk Yogurt.  We passed on the food samples, because I had dinner picked out at AJ Bombers.  At this point C realized she forgot her running shoes and would be doing her race in some Jordans.

Downtown Milwaukee:

AJ Bombers is the Travel Channel’s Food Wars winner for the Milwaukee Burger. We ordered cheese curds as an appetizer.  I would describe them as lightly battered cheese nuggets.  They were served with a chipotle sauce and the table got real quiet, meaning they were good!

AJ Bombers Milwaukee

AJ Bombers Cheese Curds, Milwaukee Burger and Custard.


We tried the Milwaukee burgers with fries and tots on the side. I could have eaten two, but I didn’t want to regret it the next day. We ordered custard to-go as we strolled along the Milwaukee River walk.

milwaukee river walk

Milwaukee River Walk


5K and Half Marathon Start:

The race director sent an email the night before stating there would be a one day heat wave with a chance of thunderstorms. This was not a day to push for a PR. The temperature was 72 ̊ with high humidity.  I noticed a majority of the half marathoners were not wearing hydration belts.  Even with 10 water and Gatorade stops along the course, I have to have my own fluids to consume as needed.

Rock 'n sole half marathon start

Rock ‘n Sole Quarter Marathon and Half Marathon Start


Rock ‘n Sole Half Marathon Course:

We took off onto 1st Street and I remembered seeing the temperature go up from 72 ̊ to 73 ̊ on a tower.  The saving grace was the overcast skies.  The field was crowded and finally thinned out as we looped Lincoln Ave and ran up the ramp to I-794.

Rock 'n sole course photo

Rock ‘n Sole Ramp Onto I-794

Rock 'n sole half marathon course mile 3

Rock ‘n Sole Yellow Flag Warning at Mile 3


I stayed to the right as I ran along the interstate. I knew I would be taking a ton of photos, and I did not want to interfere with the safety of others.  I spotted a runner who was barefoot and thought how brave he is for running on that hot concrete.  I know his feet have to feel like leather.  I can’t have all that going on.  My bunions are bad enough.


Rock 'n sole half marathon i 794

Minimalist Running


The views of Lake Michigan were therapeutic. I stopped for a photo at Hoan Bridge.  It wasn’t until after the race that I saw the official camera guy in the background.  Oops.  I messed up his photo.  I took another selfie as I crossed the bridge to show the elevation change.

We made it back the Henry Maier Festival Park where there was a split for the Half and Quarter Marathons. There was a decent amount of crowd support.  I asked someone what this building was and they told me the Milwaukee Art Museum.  The design reminded me of a stingray.

Lincoln Memorial Drive was very scenic and I thought how the girls should be finished with their 5K by now. I told them to refuel and find a shady area to wait for me.  I wanted to finish under 2 hours even with all the pausing to take pictures.

One of my favorite course entertainments was a saxophonist at the Veterans Park. He was jammin’.

We followed along a residential area with motivational signs. Next up was the North Point Light House.

The route followed along Lake Park Golf Course, and finally we made the loop back towards Lake Michigan between miles 8 and 9. I remember there being a downhill section and I turned it up a notch.

We ran pass Bradford Beach and no one was out, but later that evening all the beaches were on Jam! It was so crowded that we could not find a place to park, and Brad was being all cautious with his new, pearl white Cadillac.

Anyway, the clouds were clearing and I came across the best stop along the course: Wet Towels.  I ran with that towel a few minutes as I cleaned the sweat off my body.  It was very refreshing, and I could feel a slight breeze from the lake.

At mile 12, I saw a man passed out and getting oxygen. It was a scary sight and a reminder of how treacherous the conditions had become.  I later found out that the official stopped timing the race at 2:18 due to the heat.

I killed it on that last mile because I knew there was a chance for me to finish under 2:00. I heard the girls yelling my name as I neared the finish line.  I grabbed some water and the potato chips were on point from all the salt I loss.

Rock ‘n Sole Finish Festival:

The half marathon distance is my favorite because I put in work, and I can carry on with my day as usual. The Rock ‘n Sole post-race was the best one I have experienced.  There was plenty of food, freebies, and photo set ups.  A tent was set up to get official times.  Voila!  I made my goal by 2 seconds!!

Rock n sole half marathon medal

Participants in all races received the same medal but in different sizes.


I finished 632/1,344 Overall.

229/615 Woman’s Division.

31/79 in Age Division.

I negative split on the final 5k.

Spending time with Brad:

Brad wanted to take us to dinner at his favorite Mexican spot. His buddy from the army joined us with his family at El Fuego.  Being complete opposites with politics, music, and lifestyle makes for some interesting conversation.  We both think the other has “problems.”  He even called my parents to tell them about me.  It’s all love though.

El fuego milwaukee wi_1467080452978

On Sunday, we took in a Brewers vs. Mets game. We about froze our butts off with a 30 degree temperature drop.  It was a good thing I snagged some deals at the outlets on fall gear.  It would have been nice if the weather was flip flopped for the race and the game.

2 for 1:

Brad wanted to take us to an Italian spot after the Brewers game, but I thought it would be nice to have dinner in Chicago on the way back to Louisville. As a foster parent, I am all about exposure to help my kids feel comfortable in certain life situations and have experience from different cultures.

I told C and L that they would taste some real Chicago style deep dish pizza. Not that hot and ready stuff.  We parked at Navy Pier and went straight to Giordano’s.  The wait was an hour, so we ordered then walked along the pier.

My Mother called being such a Mom asking what time we were leaving and concerned about me driving from Chicago so late. I told her I was living the life and it wasn’t like I had to go to work on Monday!  She had great news that she and my Dad finally closed a deal on a house in Florida!

Before I jumped on 94 I had to pull up on one of my homies Nixon, who I call Deep Dish. He’s a former co-worker of mine living his dream as a writer and film producer.

Life Changing News:

By the time I reached Gary, IN, I received a phone call asking for Kelsie Carter. I knew right away that it had something to do with my Ex Husband.  He was in ICU fighting for his life with various complications related to his injuries sustained as a teenager.  I was able to talk to him for 2 hours until he fell asleep on the phone.

After a short nap I was at the hospital before they made the decision to sedate him and put on a vent. This is why it has taken me so long to recap my Milwaukee Trip.  My last post was “Summer off to a Great Start,” but that phone call changed everything.  Although we are no longer married, we have grown to be Best Friends to the point I don’t like the label Ex Wife or Ex Husband because people assume we should be at odds.  We do more for each other now than we did when we were married, and unfortunately some people are jealous of our bond.  These last two weeks have been some of the worse of my life.

I must say that faith in God, running, my foster kids, family, friends, and at times being still have helped me deal with the void of not having my best friend to talk to because he is on a ventilator. This time last year, we were on a freakin’ helicopter in Vegas, poppin’ bottles in the Grand Canyon.  With life, you just never know.

Like my friend Gaines told me, I have run too many miles to be defeated.

Love Is Love

Kelsie Lou

Posted in Chicago, family, food, half marathon, health, Milwaukee, running, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments