Saturday, May 23, 2015

Kansas City Chiefs Arrowhead 5k: Recap





They what???


They changed the course???!!



Say it ain't so!!!


This would be my second year of running the 3rd Annual Kansas City Chiefs Arrowhead 5k, and I was NOT HAPPY when I heard they'd made a "slight" course change this year….

As in, we'd no longer be able to run into and finish on the 50-yard line at Arrowhead Stadium, all the while seeing ourselves up on the giant Jumbotron screen.


What? I don't get to see me up on THAT??


Booooooooo.

Bad form, Chiefs.


Still, though, I was (somewhat) looking forward to this 5k on Saturday, May 23rd. Last year's medal was pretty freakin' awesome, and I figured I could run through a garbage dump for a medal as cool as last year's:



One of my favorite medals, like, EVAH!



Speaking of last year…at some point along last year's race, I hurt my foot…to the point that afterwards, I was wearing a boot for two weeks, as I was pretty much crippled. The funny thing is, I have NO IDEA to this day what I did to hurt it….Did I roll it? Did I sprain it? Did I twist it?

I have no clue. Weird.

But, as Hubby would be the first to tell you, it's not unusual that I can hurt myself and have NO IDEA later what I did to bring on said injury. Seriously, I could lose an arm one day, and someone could ask, "Hey - you lost your arm! What did you do?" And I'd be like, "Huh. You're right. Wow. I have NO IDEA how that happened. Weird."

What can I say? It's a gift.



Anywho, I was a little leery about running this again…what with the change of course, and mysterious foot injuries that could hamper all of my training efforts…but hey. It's a medal.

I'm in.



Normally, our "tradition" is to send Hubby out on a Hunting and Gathering mission before every race to pick up race packets on the Friday before…but because I was a bumbling idiot and didn't read the race instructions carefully, I didn't realize that packet pick-up was ONLY available on Thursday…and/or Saturday morning, race day. This is because packet pick-up was being held at Arrowhead Stadium, which is right next door to our major league baseball stadium, Kauffman Stadium. (Yeah, Kansas City's cool like that…we call it the Stadium COMPLEX because we have two side-by-side stadiums for our football and baseball teams.) Anyway, our MLB team, Kansas City Royals, were playing the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night - to a sell-out crowd - so there's NO WAY ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH that they were going to let anyone come in on Friday to pick up packets.

I didn't realize this until I sent Hubby out there on Friday to pick up the packets.

Oopsies.


So…needless to say…we didn't get our bibs ahead of time.


Our plan was to get up at 6:00 am, get dressed, leave the house at 6:30 a.m., and be at Arrowhead Stadium at 7:00 a.m. This would let us accomplish several things:

1. Get a good parking spot.
2. Pick up our bibs before the line started.
3. Hit the port-a-potties before the line started.
4. Run a 2-mile warm-up before the race.
5. Socialize with friends. Duh.


And, of course, because I have this amazing ability to NEVER, EVER sleep the night before a race, I dozed off after 12:30 a.m. and was wide awake a mere 5 hours later, at the God-awful hour of 5:30 a.m.



Everything went according to plan…donning our bright red Chiefs running clothes, Hubby and I were on the road and enjoying the no-traffic, no-obstacles drive to Arrowhead. We got there early enough to have front-row parking, and walked up to the packet pick-up tent with nary a person in front of us.

Cool. Cool. Cool.

Heading back to the car, we sat inside for a few minutes, donning our bibs and waiting for a very brief and light shower to roll on overhead. Fortunately, the sprinkles moved on and out, and we were able to take advantage of the overcast skies to start our warm-up without dying of heat. So far, everything was going very well, according to our best laid plans. I was still leery of the course change, but I was willing to go in with an open mind.

Besides…did I mention?? This "race" was not being timed.

Nope.

No chip.

Nada.

It was to be FOR FUN.


I know. I was confused, too. We aren't being TIMED??!!


Hubby and I then ran two miles around the stadium BEFORE the race started, because we're weird like that.


Pre-race warm-up…running around the stadium...



After our warm-up run, it was time to start socializing…because, really, that's what running is all about.

The friendships and the camaraderie.

I needed to talk to someone, and I needed to talk to someone, NOW.


I headed over to say hi to my friend, Philip. He wasn't running this one, but was proudly carrying the flag and supporting Team RWB. Philip works up at my local running store, and has been a huge help when I go in looking for various goodies to help me with my racing. He had sold me my black compression socks, which I was proudly wearing today, so I had to go show them off.

Philip's going to think that I didn't get his photo, but actually, I did. Check this out:


There you go, Philip. Don't ever say that you haven't been featured in my blog. You're welcome.


Leaving Philip, I ran into Derek Mitchell…and if you don't know Derek's story, you need to check out his Facebook page, HERE. Derek is a local Kansas City guy who is on a journey to lose weight…and he's doing it by running a 5k race every month…. His story is amazing, and has been picked up all over the world, as he's an incredible inspiration. Check out this article in People Magazine featuring Derek.



He's also an incredibly nice guy, and I wanted to say hi and give him some support.


At this point, I was on a mission to find another friend, Janae…she's someone I will run into at various races, and I knew she was supposed to be here - somewhere - along with her entire family. I turned around to find her, and incredibly, bumped into her at that very moment:



That was oddly weird, and yet oddly convenient!


And of course, I had one more "friend" to check in with…the Kansas City Chief's mascot, KC Wolf. "Wolfie" has been our mascot since 1989, and was named after the "Wolfpack", a boisterous group of fans who used to frequent Chiefs games.


Is it just me…??? Or does Wolfie look more like a giant raccoon than a wolf???!!


Soon, it was time to get into the corrals, and here's where Hubby and I separated, as he went up to run with the speedy Kenyans, while I headed to the back with the Turtles.


The corrals before the invasion of the masses...


Last year, Hubby insisted that I line up with him and his fellow Kenyans for this race, and so I found myself at the very FRONT of the Start Line as the gun sounded.

Huge mistake.

HUGE.

This was the very last time that I ever, EVER, listened to Hubby and his hare-brained ideas while racing.

Imagine being a turtle when 1,000 rabbits are breathing and running down your neck…it was awful. I seriously thought I was going to be trampled, TO DEATH, by men (and kids, for that matter), who were treating this "family-friendly" race like they were being chased by man-eating Zombies.


Source HERE

I ran like my life depended on it (maybe it did…so that I wouldn't be SQUISHED!!!), and perhaps, just perhaps, that's when I hurt my foot.


Yeah, no. I'll never forgive him for this.



While waiting, I start chatting with the guy next to me, and as we're talking, he mentions that he'd been doing some hill workouts SPECIFICALLY for this race, as he's worried about running up the ramps.

Wait, what?

Ramps?

There's ramps???




Dang, I KNEW I should have studied the course map before this morning. Too late now.

Without any further ado, the National Anthem was played, and we were off.



2015 Course Map


This year, they had walkers and strollers start the race behind all of the runners, which was AWESOME. I was able to get out pretty quickly, and not get hemmed in by folks who are even slower than me. Because we were running (initially) around the parking lot, the lanes were wide, and there was no danger of getting trapped in. Not to mention, the first 1.5-miles were pretty much downhill…which was giving me some pretty good speedage under my belt.

And yes. I know that technically, "speedage" is not a word. But you get my drift. My blog. My rules.

Last year, we pretty much ran the first 3 miles completely in the parking lot, with only the last tenth of a mile going into the stadium. This year, we'd ran about 1.5-miles in the parking lot, when suddenly…I saw THIS up ahead:



A tunnel???!!!!!

AWESOMESAUCE!!!!

It's the little things in life that make runners happy.

A simple change of scenery…from a boring, asphalt parking lot…to a dark and spooky TUNNEL???!!!

And seriously…I kid you not…this is a photo that I took inside the tunnel:



And no, it wasn't that dark in there…but somehow my camera took a photo of how I PERCEIVED the tunnel to be.

How cool is THAT??!!


My giddiness over the tunnel, though, was short-lived. We exited the tunnel to find ourselves confronted with…

…the ramps.

Gah.

Arrowhead Stadium has these unique, spiral ramps on each of the four corners, and we were now experiencing the "joy" of running up one of these…around and around and around, up and up and up, for four stories…




Sigh.

Nothing to do but go at it, as hard and as fast as I could, and just when I thought I was going to puke, we'd reached the top. Running through the interior of the stadium, we went through this one area that was bathed in red:



Again…another burst of giddiness, as this was so different than the "normal" 5k experience…


Soon, we were running DOWN the corkscrew ramp…which was REALLY awesome, as it was all I could do to not fall flat on my face, as I dizzily spun in circles to the bottom:


Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!


This took us back out to the parking lot, but a short bit later, we were running into the Chief's practice facility, and crossing the finish line.

Remember my friend, Phil? He took this very impressionistic, very Monet-like photo of me crossing the finish line:



I think it's blurry because I kicked it up, as fast as I could, as I ran through the finish line…and I think it's highly suspicious that my black compression sock…which just so happened to be sold to me by the guy taking this photo - is the ONLY thing clear and highlighted in this photo.

Coincidence?

Hmmm…


I finished this race in my fastest time yet, an amazing 29 minutes…(I know, not official - but that's what Garmin watches are for!). After gathering my banana and my bling, Hubby and I headed to the car to head home.




What I Liked About This Race:

1. The course. I was worried that by removing the "Finish on the 50" aspect of the race, that we'd be faced with a boring run of 3 miles around a parking lot. To my delight, I ended up LOVING this course. The ramps were pretty cool - both up AND down - and I enjoyed the training facility. I also enjoyed the freedom to run - it was never pinched or crowded.

2. The swag. The t-shirt is a tech t-shirt, and although I wish it came in a Woman's Cut, I still like it. I love any tech tee I can get my hands on. The medal, although not as nice as last year's, is still pretty cool.




3. The size. There's not that many runners in this race…it's not very well advertised. I like the intimacy of it; I think more runners could lead to more logistical issues.

4. Good volunteer support. Lot of volunteers along the course to direct us in the right direction. Chiefs Cheerleaders at the finish line, which was cool.


What I Didn't Like About This Race:

1. Hmmm…I don't know that I have any negatives. I would most definitely do this race again, especially if they keep those ramps in the equation!!!

Peace.

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday Sippin' Wine Sort of Day




Pull up a chair.

Here.

On my porch.

I've got a great bottle of wine for the two of us, so we can sip…and sip some more…and shoot the breeze.

Catch up on things…this crazy life, that we're both living.




If you were here, sitting on my porch, sipping some wine…we'd talk about running. Because, really, if you read here at all, you know how all-consuming it's become in my life.

And I'd tell you that it's a GOOD thing, this running…not that I'M any good at it - not at all - but I'm still learning, and I'm still pushing, and I'm still determined to get better at it - even if it kills me.

Which. Seriously??

It had better not.

I'd tell you how much fun it's become, this setting of goals…this striving to meet and beat some challenges…just to see if I can.

I like those words: "I can."



So much better than the alternative, "I can't."

Because who wants to live life, saying, "I can't"?????

Not me.

**********

If you were here, sitting on my porch, sipping some wine…I'd tell you about the fabulous plans we have coming up this summer…

…including a two-week trip to Europe, where we'll be visiting some seven countries, including one I've hardly ever heard of (Liechtenstein, anyone??!!), and some that have been on my Bucket List foooooorrrrrreeeeevvvvvveeeeerrrrr.

Like, Switzerland.

And I'm hoping for some FABULOUS adventures which I can write about in my own unique way, which will have you, my Dear Reader, feeling as if you'd traveled right along beside me.

London. Paris. Venice. Vienna. Switzerland. Germany. Liechtenstein.




What does one do in Liechtenstein?

Please tell me if you have any suggestions, because really, I'm at a loss.

I think I just like saying that word…"Liechtenstein"...it rolls off the tongue, it does…especially after a few (few??!!) sips of wine.


**********


If you were here, sitting on my porch, sipping a bit more wine…I'd tell you how I still struggle dealing with the death of my father. Oh, I realize it's been over seven months now…but there are some days when the grief and the pain and the tears are as fresh as that day in October, when I got the phone call that changed my life forever. Something so innocuous as a smell, or a song on the radio, can trigger a flood of emotions that almost cripple me sometimes.



This year of "firsts" sucks…the first Christmas without my dad, the first birthday without my Dad, etc, etc…even going to the first Royals game this season sucked, because it reminded me that the last day I had with my Dad before he passed away was at a Royals game.


Sigh.

Death sucks, right?

I know you'd agree with me, if you were here, sipping wine….


**********


If you were here, sitting on my porch, sipping some wine…I'd tell you how awesome my gluten-free diet has been going.

You'd probably laugh, and then roll your eyes, but I'm totally serious.

It didn't always go so well, after getting the diagnosis almost two years ago of Celiac…I can't tell you how many times I accidentally poisoned myself with wheat, and how debilitating those times were. Nowadays, I can go weeks - if not months - since my last "poisoning" - and that's a good thing, trust me.

I'd kill, though, for a donut. I can't believe it's been almost TWO FREAKIN' YEARS since I've had a donut.



If I knew I had only one more day to live…I'd seriously stuff my face with a dozen of those beauties…gluten be damned.


**********


If you were here, sitting on my porch, sipping some wine…(or perhaps by this point, we'd be guzzling the wine, and really, would that be a bad thing? I think not.)…I'd tell you how crazy-busy our family has been…what with baseball games, and symphony tickets, and end-of-school-year activities, like Academic and Music award nights, etc, etc.

I've learned, more so than ever, that life is short, and by golly, I'm going to cram as much living in to every. single. damn. day. that I can.



Cuz you just never know.

Peace.

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Running With the Cows: A Review




"The only thing we have to fear…is fear itself."

A famous quote…perhaps you've heard it?


This quote could sum up last weekend's race, the Running With the Cows Half-Marathon in bucolic Bucyrus, Kansas.

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I'd like to point out that this is probably the first time I've ever had an opportunity to use the word "bucolic" on this blog…it's a proud moment.
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This was my 5th half-marathon overall, since I delved into this semi-long distance last October. You would think after running four previous halfs, that I would have some semblance of confidence.

You would think wrong.


After my somewhat disastrous half-marathon three weeks prior, at the Garmin Half Marathon in Olathe, Kansas - I was a tad bit anxious for this latest race.

Wait. "Tad bit" anxious??

Yeah, right.

I was scared to death.


All week, negative thoughts consumed my every waking moment…and were often the last thoughts I had before drifting off to disrupted sleep each night. All of those anxious "What if??" questions racked my brain…"What if I can't finish?" "What if my back hurts?" "What if I do even MORE horribly??!!"


Yup. Pretty much. This was me all week.



This is what's interesting about running for the non-elite runners - the good majority of us, actually - who strap on running shoes and head out each weekend to run in local races in our community.

We're not out there to win. We're not out there for the glory. We're not competing against the thousands of other runners beside us at the Start Line.

We're out there to compete against ourselves.

We're out there to push ourselves…to go harder…faster…better than our last race.

We're out there to test our limits…both mentally and physically…to see just how far we can go.


Truth.


And my negativity about this race had me firmly convinced that I had reached my zenith at a previous half-marathon, and I would NEVER improve…NEVER go faster…NEVER get better…and thoughts like that can defeat you before you ever line up at the Start Line.


It had not helped that I'd had a somewhat disastrous training session the previous Tuesday with my personal trainer…she'd pushed me - HARD - and I'd crashed and burned…huffing, puffing, praying for death…one speed drill shy of throwing in my towel and retiring my tennis shoes forever.


So…race day approached. The weather forecasts were ominous…calling for severe weather, hail, overall doom and gloom.



That didn't help my anxiety, but I knew - short of a tornado - I could run in the rain, and I'd just run wet. Fortunately, the temperatures were projected in the 60's - so I wouldn't be super cold. I could do this.


Packet pick-up was the day before the race, and I did get a kick from the bright and cheerful race shirts & bibs:


The front



And the back.

How cute is THAT??!!

Maybe this race won't be so bad…??


The night before the race, I set out Flat Me:



Another of my Sparkle Skirts…cool, comfy, and POCKETS to carry important stuff, like a phone! Hubby told me that I looked like a Catholic school girl, which somewhat fit the theme, because the race was benefiting a local Catholic school, Queen of the Holy Rosary School, in Bucyrus. Only because I was in black, I felt more like Britney Spears, in a "naughty" Catholic school girl uniform.


Our alarm went off at 4:30 a.m., as we needed to be on the road by 5:00 a.m. It was going to take a good hour of driving to reach the race location, and because of heavy rains all week, the race organizers were going to park us in odd locations along the sides of rural roads and then bus us to the Start Line.


This poor town. Thousands of cars parked all along the rural roads…it was surreal.


Because I had been so anxious about this race, I'd literally typed out a checklist the night before - and noted everything that I had done WRONG at the Garmin race…so I would NOT make the same mistakes again. Everything went smoothly as we were getting ready…but then…I began to feel sick.

As in, I'm going to puke, sick.

Gah.

Was this real? Or was it anxiety? I tried to do some deep, focused breathing on the drive to the race, but I was still just…sick. Bleh. Just what I need.


After parking on some road out in the middle of nowhere, we hopped on the school bus and rode a short 2 miles or so to the staging area. Dawn was breaking, and there was a bit of a chill in the air…but they'd opened the doors to the school, which provided a welcomed respite while we waited for race time. The kids at the school had done some awesome decorations in preparation for the race:



My personal favorite, though, was this guy - who seemed to sum up my mood all week:




The school had a bag check, snacks, coffee, and tons of amazing volunteers. It was practically a party BEFORE the race even began.


Kristin and I before the race...


I was walking through the cafeteria, when I saw someone sitting on the floor, stretching out, who looked familiar. I gave her one of those, "I know you from somewhere…" looks…and realized she was giving me the same look. Recognition suddenly dawned; it was Heather, a fellow blogger here in Kansas City who writes at "What the Heck, Why Not?" I'd discovered her blog quite awhile ago, and had been wanting to meet her "in real life." It was great to FINALLY meet in person!!


Me, Kristin and Heather


You can't tell from this picture, but Heather is Kenyan. She's one of those super-fast runners who basically finishes races an entire time zone ahead of me. But this is what's cool about the running community - everyone is so stinkin' NICE, no matter how fast or slow you run. Everyone is there to support everyone else.

It's pretty cool.

And speaking of bloggers, I also FINALLY got to meet ANOTHER local blogger/runner, Allison. I didn't get a photo with her, but she writes at Dailey Runs…and she's ALSO Kenyan. Sigh. If you want to know how the other half lives…i.e., fast runners…check out Heather's and Allison's blogs.


Beep Beep!


At this point, I needed to get outside and do some running to warm up. This is one of the mistakes I'd made at Garmin - socializing too much before the race and NOT warming up - and I wasn't going to repeat this. In fact, I think my unofficial mantra for the morning was, "Don't do a Garmin. Don't do a Garmin."

So…heading outside…I ran for about 5-10 minutes…enough to loosen everything up…and it was then time for more socializing.

Because that's what racing's all about, right??!!


Actually, it was time for a group photo of the Half Fanatics…which I'd qualified for after the Garmin. I'd somewhat organized this photo op the night before on Facebook, determined to get a picture of all the Half Fanatics running, because, by golly - I'm now IN this darned club, and there'd better be a darned PHOTO:


A HUGE group of Half Fanatics were represented!!! Awesomesauce!!!



It was now time for me to say goodbye to everyone - including Phillip, Bill, Sandy, Paula, Kristin, Hubby - and sadly, even THIS guy, the Cow:



I needed to get into the corrals and start focusing on what was ahead. Time to get the electronics all turned on (Garmin watch, headphones, music, etc) and make sure everything was working. Time to breathe. And I was STILL feeling pukey. Bleh.


My trainer had set a goal for me to finish this race in 2:38…which would give me a 2-minute PR (personal record). So, I lined up by the 2:40 pace group, thinking I could hang with them most of the race and then push out a little ahead at the tail end, giving me that 2:38.

Speaking of goals…the night before, I'd read a bit of "Meb for Mortals: How to Run, Think and Eat Like a Champion Marathoner", and I'd specifically focused on the chapter dealing with goals.

Meb suggests that you set not just one goal, but several goals, for a race: an A Goal, B Goal, C Goal, etc. His A Goal is obviously to WIN the marathon, but if he can't win, then what's his runner-up goal? If he doesn't make his runner-up goal, then what's the NEXT runner-up goal? And so on, and so on.

Taking this into account, I'd set up the following goals:

A Goal: Beat 2:38 (which would be a PR)
B Goal: Meet 2:38 (which would be a PR)
C Goal: Run 2:38 - 2:40 (which would beat or tie my previous PR)
D Goal: Beat 2:47 (which is my worst time so far - Garmin - gah)
E Goal: Beat 3:00
F Goal: Just Finish


My ultimate goal was the A Goal…but I'd settle for any of those.


Soon, the gun went off, and we were off.


The Start Line from above...



In my attempt to "Don't do a Garmin" for this race, I was determined to be caught smiling and having fun at ALL photo ops. In this first one, I did not disappoint:




The course consisted of mainly straight, long, hilly passages…with a few sharp turns thrown in. The race advertises itself as "gently rolling hills" - and they weren't kidding…about the hills, anyway. I'm not so sure about the "gently" part. Some of those hills were long…and I was determined, though, to take them slow and easy and not get wiped out too fast, too soon.

Don't do a Garmin.

The school children had done some awesome chalk art on the roads the days before the race, which somewhat broke up the monotony:



Running with the 2:40 pace group, though, was presenting a problem…they were going just a tad bit TOO slow for me. Without realizing it, I found myself slowly creeping up on the 2:35 pace group. Checking all my systems, I was assured that I was NOT going too fast, too soon…and I told myself that if I had to fall back at some point during the race with the 2:40, I still had that option. So, I kept going.


Conditions were near perfect. It was still cool…still cloudy…and there was a gentle breeze blowing in. The 2:35 pacer, Kelly, was running 3:1 intervals, with slight slowdowns as we climbed the hills, and a slight speed-up as we crested and cruised over the top of the hills. By Mile 3, I was totally in the groove, thinking that my A Goal was still within sight.

I had studied the course ahead of time, and knew EXACTLY when to fuel up with my GU gels, and when to grab water. Again, this was a result of Garmin. I was not going to BONK and hit the wall too soon.

Don't do a Garmin.


My music was amazing…I have over 800 songs on my running playlist, so I never really know what's going to come on. I listen to everything from Tom Petty to Aerosmith to Johnny Cash. At Mile 4, I had to laugh…as Britney Spears (don't judge) began singing, "Hit Me Baby One More Time":


Wearing her naughty Catholic schoolgirl uniform….


Around this time, I ran up on a running maniac, Sandy, who's a rockstar…we chatted for a bit, but then I was off.

Around Mile 5, I ran into Kathi, my Red Cross buddy…we chatted for a bit, but then I was off.

This was becoming a pattern, it seemed.

Before I knew it, we were at the halfway point, where we turned around and began running back in the other direction. My A Goal was still in sight, as I was still hanging with the 2:35 pace group, with no issues, other than I was starting to feel a blister burning on my left foot - right where my beloved (not) bunion is.


More hills…more pasture…more cows…the only break in scenery occurred when we'd come across the numerous aid stations scattered throughout the course. The volunteers here were pretty amazing; most of them appeared to be kids - probably the kids from the Queen of Holy Rosary Catholic School.


At Mile 8, we began "The Climb." This was the longest, and steepest, hill on the course…it went on for what seemed like forever. I looked up ahead, and could not see the crest anywhere in sight. I swear to God, we were climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and I began to struggle a bit mentally, wondering if I would EVER make it to the top of that darned hill:


What it looked like from my point of view...



Running is 90% mental and only 10% physical. It's that 90% mental that I have to work on…so I was, once again, DETERMINED to "Don't Do a Garmin". No negative thoughts were allowed to cross my mind on this day. As soon as I began to feel defeated - especially on this stupid mountain - I pushed them out of my head and focused on my goals.

Especially A Goal:

Beat 2:38.

It was still in sight.

And again, my music came to my rescue. "Deep Way Down Deep" by Selah came on, and I knew I had to dig down deep and push through for about 3 more miles. It's funny how we hear the songs we need just at the right time.


After what seemed like forever, we crested The Mountain, and began a long, slow downhill for awhile. Everything was still going right…I was fueling when needed, and feeling strong (other than the blister pain.) Around here, I ran into another friend, Paula, and it was good to chat with her. These little chats with friends are uplifting and supportive, and I always appreciate running into a familiar face along the road.


Soon, we were approaching Mile 13.

By now, I realized, that unless disaster struck - like a tsunami, earthquake, or tornado - I would reach my A Goal.

I was going to beat 2:38.

And I was one happy runner, as this photo bears out, taken at Mile 13:



Turning the corner for the last .1 mile to the Finish Line, I kicked it in to high gear. Running as hard and as fast as I could (thanks to my Beast of a Trainer, who makes me do this on my Speed Drills), I gave it everything I had. Wanting to puke, but not wanting to mess up my Finish Line photos, I gunned it…and soon, the Finish Line was in sight:








My time?

2:34


COWABUNGA!!!!!!


My best time EVER!!!!




After the race, Hubby and I stayed for awhile, cheering on the other runners and chatting with friends. There was a potluck luncheon in the school, which I heard was FABULOUS, but being Celiac, I tend to stay away from those…which sucks, because I was STARVING at this point.



Eventually, we caught a bus and headed back to the boonies, where our car sat, forlornly on the side of a bucolic pasture road…and it was time to head home and call it a day.

Oh, and that doom & gloom weather they'd been predicting all week?

Didn't happen.

And neither did the puking that I was SOOOO feeling all morning.

Life is good.


Things I Liked:


1. Organization
2. Shirts/Medals/Cowbells
3. Aid Stations/Volunteers - plentiful. Oranges, snacks, Oreo cookies, milk, candy, etc.
4. Weather conditions
5. Indoor facility to hang out before the race


Things I Didn't Like:
1. Parking.
2. Hills - although none too steep, there were a LOT of them. That last hill was a killer.






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