Monday, December 14, 2009

An Experience to Remember!

I am a 1% - er now!
During the marathon yesterday we were told that only 1% of people ever complete a marathon, so if we made it to the end we would be in that 1%. What an amazing experience this was for us.

We determined very early on that we were in this as a "fun run" not a race. We weren't able to train like we really needed to - in fact the farthest we ran before the race was 13 miles! Only 1/2 the distance we would be "running" or should I say covering for the marathon. We knew we weren't going to be setting any major records! We did relax a little in the week before to give our bodies time to rejuvinate a little. We had completed the P90X program along with a few days of Insanity. This helped with core strength, but it is murder on your upper legs - so we gave ourselves a week back at the gym plus a couple of "off" days. It was nice - but I sure felt lost on those days off!

The marathon kinda started on Saturday for us. We got up early and attended our WW meeting first - had a lot of well wishes there joining the ones from other friends and family. We then drove over to pick up Cotton so we could all go to the EXPO together and pick up our bibs and know - part of the reason you run these things, *laughing*!

The expo was really nice - very well organized with a TON of sponsors there! We got our bibs and our goodie bag - but you had to go to the other side of the room to pick up your T-shirt, so we wound our way through the maze of sponsor booths. Along the way we picked up 3 bags of free dog food, LOTS of business cards - our favorites were some chrome auto emblems we may get (for the 26.2 instead of a sticker!), Heavy Medalz which make hooks and jewelry for many sports, lifespeed sports which make these really nice wood stands to display your medals on, and the vitalsox booth...Cotton and Rick both got a pair of really nice compression socks there. We also went through Lukes Locker - Cotton found the shoes he had been looking for all over his size! As he was trying them on he talked Rick into trying on a pair of Luna Gliders as well...Rick loved them. On our way to the Expo Cotton had talked about how much Angel loved her new Gliders, so I thought, what the heck, I'll try a pair too! Well, let me tell ya - they are amazing! Angel's words, "Like walking on marshmallows!" We asked the salesman how long the break-in period was and we were told it is extremely short...he had people wear them the next day in races - so that is what we did! We finally made it over to pick up our shirts. It was kinda cool, because when we gave them our bibs the person behind the counter yelled, "First timers" and everyone there cheered for us! Really starts to get you pumped up!

We left the Expo, went by Sweet Tomatoes for our "carb-load" lunch, and then took Cotton back home. From there we came back by the house to change clothes and ran over to the mall to get in some steps and a little window shopping. We then drove on over to the kid's church to watch the Christmas program. Sydney did a really great job in her roll. We all went out to dinner, although Rick and I didn't eat much - didn't want to have a repeat of the tummy troubles from the DRC half!!!

We came home a little later than anticipated, packed up, got the running gear laid out and went to bed to try to get as much rest as we could - it was going to be an early morning!

Race morning we were up early and ready to head to the train station nice and early. I ate the small sample Cliff Mojo bar and a banana before we left as I have learned I don't want to run on a completely empty tummy, but I can't have too much in it either! We met Cotton at the train station and rode the train to the American Airline Center and Victory Park which is where the marathon was to start. We got to go inside where it was warm to wait - I for one was glad of that! About 7:30 we went ahead and pulled off the outer gear and packed it in our bags to take to the bag check and headed to the start line. Cotton was in wave "A" with the speedy guys, Rick was supposed to be in wave "D", and I was in wave "E". You are placed in the waves by your estimated finish times, so of course I was in the final wave of the afternoon! You can't move up a wave or you can possibly be disqualified, but you can move back, so Rick moved back with me so we could run this one together - I'm so glad he did!

We stood in line for the 4 available "potties" and were ready to go just about the time the gun went off. This was MUCH better than the Turkey Trot. Even though we were in the last wave it only took us about 15 minutes to get to the start, and everyone there was ready to run - no dodging walkers right away! As we got to the start line there was this machine shooting confetti into the air that you ran through and a GIANT t.v. screen showing the start - which was being televised - and a live band. It was sooooooo cool!

I really don't remember many specifics about the actual run. Just flashes. I know my first three miles were a little slow, but by the 10K mark I was right on my normal pace...stayed that way through the 10K, and even finished the 1/2 marathon a little faster than normal! Whoo - hoo...I was very excited about that! We kept right on running, it kept running through my mind that at this point I was in new territory - I had never run this far before - but I was really feeling good. The new shoes were awesome! My feet felt better than they ever had on any run - so breaking the rule of never wearing new shoes in a race was actually working for me instead of against me this time! No hip or toe problems after 13 miles!!!

We ran and ran and ran....each mile a new experience! At the 17 mile water stop I had to go to the medical tent and get a bandaid for one of my toes - a new blister - from my sock, not the shoe....the toes I had bandaged before the race were doing great! I also was pretty tender on my heel, but it wasn't too bad - just a little redder than normal.... I made it all the way to mile 18 before I started really tiring out. We walked just a little, and then ran a little more. At mile 19 we saw our good friend Mary from the DRC (this was their water stop and was by far the best of the race IMHO! - of course the fact that they had Hooter's Girls handing out water may influence some of the guy runners to vote for this stop as well!) It started to get pretty hilly here again and my legs let me know I was done for a while. We decided to take it easy for a bit and walk.

This turned out to be a pretty wise decision. We walked the rest of the way in - about 7 miles of the course...but we ran close to 19 miles with only one small walk! I was so proud of us!!! Even with the walking our slowest miles according to Garmin was 15:08 at mile 21 and 15:05 at mile 23. Those were the only 2 miles we were over 15 minute miles! We were walking at close to the pace I was running when I had to stop!

As we continued on the course it was uplifting to have people call out to us - "Way to go first timers! " (They knew we were first timers by the color of our bibs) - and, "Go Rick", "Go CJ"! (Our names were on our bibs too!) There were many families out handing out small treats like peanuts or skittles to keep the runners going, a lot out in their yards cheering the runners was really something!

I got more and more excited as we got closer and closer to the finish....first it was just a 5K away, then just 2 more miles, then 1 more mile - people would cheer us on with kind words expressing their confidence that we could do this - but by far one of the best moments of the race was at the very end. We came up the street and we could see the finish line so we talked it over and decided where we were going to start running again...we were going to cross the line running, not walking. We started running and crossed together. As we were walking over to get our solar blankets I heard someone call out to us and looked over to the sideline and there was Clint! He had come out to see us finish! I nearly started crying!!! Our son's friend was there just to see us finish - you see, I knew he was there for us because Cotton had finished nearly two hours before we did - so he was there for us! I feel so blessed! We got our medals and walked over to get our pictures taken, then walked over to meet him and give him a hug! At this point we were exhausted and starving, but mostly ecstatic!

We had been saying all along that our major goal was to finish before they tore down the finish line,(or sent out a search party looking for us!)....They gave you 6.5 hours to finish the race. My goal always was to complete it in under 6 hours. Then at the Expo one of the vendors was giving out pacing bracelets...I picked one up for 5:45 laughingly thinking that would help me make my 6 hour goal. I also picked one up for Rick with a 5:30 goal time. For most of the race we were within sight of the 5:00 pace group - until I stopped at the medical tent. Even when we lost sight of them I was feeling pretty upbeat because we were still ahead of the 5:30 pace group. It saddened me when they passed us by and I knew in my heart I couldn't realistically keep up with them, but when we took off running and crossed that finish line and the clock said 5:58:08 - well, that is JOY! I completed the race in under 6 hours CLOCK TIME! We called Candy to let her know we finished and she told us our chip time was 5:44:04 (well, Rick's was 5:44:03 - darn his longer stride...hahaha!) so we even beat our 5:45 pace by 0:0:96 seconds! How cool is THAT?
I'm VERY glad we did this. Our real goal when we started this was just to lose weight, then to get fit...along the way we discovered running and the keeps us focused - this was our hardest challenge to date - we met it. I don't think I'll every run another, although I won't say never! Just not in the forseeable future, but I'm awfully glad to have done it's to 1%!
For my "statistical" friends - here is the total Garmin info:
Mile 1 11:00
Mile 2 10:32
Mile 3 10:48 5K time about 32:21
Mile 4 11:11
Mile 5 11:23
Mile 6 11:33 10K time about 1:06:30
Mile 7 11:52
Mile 8 11:23
Mile 9 10:55
Mile 10 11:23
Mile 11 11:08
Mile 12 11:20
Mile 13 11:36 1/2 marathon time about 2:26:11 with NO WALKING!!!!
Mile 14 11:52
Mile 15 13:04
Mile 16 12:18
Mile 17 12:52
Mile 18 13:43
Mile 19 13:32
Mile 20 14:16 (see what I mean about it not being that much slower walking, lol)
Mile 21 15:08
Mile 22 14:14
Mile 23 14:43
Mile 24 14:39
Mile 25 15:05
Mile 26 13:36
Mile 27 9:35 for a total Garmin time of 5:34:54 (it pauses and lost connection a few times)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Better late than never - doubled!

Well, it has been a little over a week since we ran the "Trot", but life around here has been as busy and hectic as ever so I'm just now getting around to posting my "run report"!

We got up VERY early on Thanksgiving morning to meet everyone at the train station so we could use the train to get to the race - parking downtown is scarce and we knew it would be ugly around there with the expected 37,000 runners! Cotton and Angel came on over to the house and rode to the station with us. We were getting ready to make the turn into the parking lot when the car behind us started first we were all surprised (read that annoyed), but it was all good when it turned out that it was Clint, Jennifer, and Bella! Meeting there first was looking better and better!

We walked over the the station and everyone bought their day passes for the DART train, finishing up just in time to board the train for downtown Dallas. The ride itself was pretty uneventful, other than watching Bella's face as we emerged from a tunnel and she realized she could see "outside" going by really fast!

After a quick walk, we looked at some of the big jump houses - Bella actually jumped on one and slid down the small slide - but then she was ready to go back to mommy and daddy. It was about time to head to the start area. Rick brought a backpack to put our wind suits and sweats in since they didn't have a bag check at this race, so we all slipped those off and stashed them in the bag, passed out GU packs, and got ready to run.

Cotton and Clint were going to really run - so they went off towards the front of the line. They have markers set up with pace times you are supposed to go by...for example you go to the sign for the 7:00 if you run a 7 minute mile. These appear to be suggestions only as both Cotton and Clint advised us later that even that close they were still dodging walkers at the actual start line!

Rick and I opted to stay back a little farther with Jennifer, Bella, and Angel. We knew we weren't going to set any speed records, but we figured we could still beat my time from last year. We were being chip timed so it shouldn't matter how long it takes you to cross the start - YOUR time doesn't start until you cross the start line...they just keep up with how long it takes you to finish. It turns out that it DOES matter how far back you start - more on that in a minute.

We waited patiently as the warm up portion of the program finished and they announced the start of the wheelchair race. Then finally the countdown and the gun - the race started promptly at 9:00. It turns out it takes a LONG time for 37,000 people to cross the start line. We finally got the to line at 9:32! We were so far back that we had to just walk in fits and starts before we finally got to the line. We honestly thought that once we got there that people would start running - at least a little. Boy were we wrong!

They were trying to make some running "lanes" around the outside edges of the street - some even on the sidewalks, but there was no guarantee that by the time you got to the little opening that some walkers wouldn't decide to walk side by side and block that lane so you would have to make a fast stop to avoid running into them - wait for an opening to get around them and then try to take off running again. I never realized how much this "start and stop" action wears on a person...I guess because I'd never had to run like that before, but it really tires you out and makes your legs feel like you are running on tree trunks after a while! To let you know how bad it was - it took us over 12 minutes to run the first mile! This is usually our fastest mile - and we normally do the first mile of a race in under 10 minutes....this was NOT good!

Somewhere between the start and mile 1 Rick and I got separated....I was running in front of him and I guess a group of walkers got between us and he got caught. I stopped at the top of a hill and tried to find him in the crowd, but it was impossible...if you can believe that! I couldn't spot him at all! So I took a deep breath and figured I would find him at the finish line - and off I went. I continued the start stop running pattern until the 5K turnoff. This is where the majority of the walkers make their turn to get to the 5K finish line. Unfortunately it is nearly 3 miles into the race! By this time my Garmin was telling me that I had been "slogging" along for 35:24. My slowest 5K time is about 32+ minutes, so I knew this wasn't going to be a pretty time today! Mile 3 was also one of the fastest miles I ran all day - a 10:37 pace....all I could say was WOW! (and not in a good way.) I saw the sign for the turnoff and noticed the measurably thinner crowd ahead when what to my wondering eyes should apper, but a runner carrying a bright red backpack!!!! I sprinted ahead and caught up with Rick and we were able to stay together from that point on! YEAH!

The rest of the race was pretty uneventful, we ran along but had to walk a couple of times - much less than at the beginning. Finally at mile 6 we had to take a break. The backpack was much heavier than we thought at first, and it was taking a toll on Rick - I was hurting from all the stopping and starting - like I said - it felt like I was running on two sawed off logs. We walked at a pretty decent clip through the residential section of the race - our average pace here was a 13 minute mile, so we weren't just strolling, but we were certainly not going at our normal run pace either. We finally caught our breath and started running a bit again. This is where we got our one big laugh of the race. As we were nearing the turn to leave the neighborhood and go towards the viaduct overpass we passed a couple on the corner waiting for someone else. He saw the backpack and hollered over to Rick, "What's in the pack?". Of course Rick has his iPod headphones on and can't hear, so I hollered back the answer, "All my clothes!". The couple cracked up and the laughter caught Rick's attention. He pulled out his headphones to find out what was so funny, and laughed along with us when I told him of the exchange.

Now we got to look ahead to the viaduct! This is probably the hardest part of the race, and the part that took me down last year! I was determined that wasn't going to happen this year. I ran the entire thing at about an 11:10 pace. For this race, on this day - it was pretty darn good for me! I did NOT WALK ONE STEP OF THE VIADUCT!!!! That alone was a major victory for me. In fact, after our short walk through the neighborhood we didn't walk again at all!

We ran well right up to the last .2 miles...the finish of the race is uphill and it is a was wonderful though as we started up the hill to hear "Go BOALES'!" To glance over and see Clint and Cotton by the rail cheering us on! Rick ran on over to the rail and gave them the backpack and then joined me to finish the race. As we neared the finish line we again hear a distinctive "Whoo - hooo!" and look over to see Angel, Jennifer, and Bella waving and cheering us on. It was just enough encouragement at just the right time to pull us on up and over the hill to the finish. We finished together holding hands. An awsome finish to a horrible race!

My time last year was 1:25:51 - this year 1:35:09! When we do this again next year we WILL be starting much closer to the start line - it isn't worth the 10 minutes it cost starting that far back! My pace last year was a 10:33 minute mile average - this year, an 11:33 average. Lesson learned ... again, but even though it wasn't what we expected going in, we both finished, we weren't injured, and we will be back!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly!

Today was a MAJOR learning experience - AGAIN! I am thinking that this is how it will be for me always. I don't think I will ever really know it all, and each race brings different trials. Today was a real test for me for many reasons - but let me start at the beginning.
I really had high hopes when I woke up this morning since I had such a good race last week with my 10K. We were up at 4:45 to get ready. We decided to use the DART train this year because of the parking situation at the race. Cotton came over and we rode together. We got to the race in plenty of time, but I needed to find the "break" area quickly. This is my normal habit - the problem this time was that we walked through a lot of grass on our way, and our feet got SOAKED! OK....lesson #1...pack dry socks! We took our break and then headed to the bag tent to store our bags with our warm-ups and after race "stuff". Once again this year we saw our dear friend Mary...she was Cotton's first grade teacher and she was so excited that he was with us this year. She couldn't believe how much he had changed - of course she hadn't seen him since he was in about the 3rd grade or so...she was really surprised at how tall he had gotten!
We went on over to the start line and Cotton went on up much closer to the front - we headed toward the middle. We warmed up and I re-did my shoes because my socks were slipping down and bunching up under my arches. I tightened the laces much more than I usually do - Lesson #2....the race is NOT the time to make changes in how you fix your shoes! The start was only slightly delayed due to some kind of technical problem with the timing mat, but only by a couple of minutes. The horn sounded and we were off......deep breath - and go!
The first 3 miles were really good. Felt good - had to keep slowing Rick down! We ran the splits in 9:54, 9:42, and 9:40. This gave us a time of 29:17 at the 3 mile mark. I was quite happy with that. The next 3 miles were almost as good - but part of this part of the race is run through a few of the neighborhoods around the lake and it feels like all of a sudden out of nowhere come these NEVER ENDING HILLS! Our splits here started to show how much of a toll these hills were taking.... 10:35, 10:54, and 10:47. I struggled more through here than I thought I would too, but still posted a 6 mile time of 1:01:34 - so right on pace for what we ran the week before in our 10K. This was actually about 4 minutes faster than last year and I was feeling better by then so I was quite pleased with the race up to this point.
We were still in the hills and mile 7 was run at an 11:04 pace. More than the hill though I was beginning to have some stomach problems. It actually started somewhere around mile 6, but it was really getting bad now. This has not ever happened to me before. I get up and run with very few problems, so this was quite the surprise. At 7.5 miles I finally knew I HAD to stop. We passed the water table and one of the gentlemen was kindly pointing out that there was a porta-potty just around the corner for the "inopportune" stops that some runners need. I rushed through the water stop and ran to the the other stop. This stop actually cost us close to 3 minutes....I was sooooo bummed! We did figure out that we had eaten dinner much later - AND it was a much heavier dinner than normal - I'm pretty sure that is what caused the problems I had, and we have determined that if we go out for dinner the night before a race from now on it will the the traditional spaghetti only! Lesson # 3.
After the stop I felt a little better and we were off again. During mile 8 I paid the price for the change in the way I tied my shoes. I started feeling hot spots on my arches at about 8.5 miles. Not painful, but not comfortable either. Incredibly, even with the stop we ran mile 8 in 10:38...(thank heavens for a few downhills here :) ). Mile 9 was where I was worried, this is where I pretty much hit the wall last year - this year I was feeling good other than the hot spots on my feet. Mile 9 split - 11:19 - and NO walking! We completed the 9 miles in 1:34:37. Our normal time around the lake (9.1 miles) is 1:37, so when you add in the "missing" minutes from the stop earlier we were still right on schedule.
The last 4 miles were not at all what I had anticipated. My feet were really starting to hurt but I was determined I wasn't going to let Rick know, I was going to just push through the pain and go. I did pretty good until mile 11 or so. We went through a water stop where, as planned, I slowed to a walk, but when I tried to run again it was so painful I couldn't. I told Rick about the blisters that had formed on my arches and he said it was OK to walk. We did for just a little bit and then I knew I would just be so angry at myself if I gave up at this point so I just kicked it back and ran again. Our splits here were: Mile 10 - 11:28, Mile 11 - 12:02, Mile 12 - 11:54. Somewhere in the last mile - I'm not sure of the exact distance we had left - slightly over .5 miles, Cotton found us and cheered us in. He was AWESOME. He had already completed the race and came back to help us during that last part. It was just what we needed! Mile 13 was completed in 11:56. Now at this point we should have only had .1 miles to go - but for some reason it always seems that at every race we run the finish is a little farther than the distance it is supposed to be. This one had .36 left. We ran that in 3.58...This gave us a Garmin time of 2:25:57 - that would have been a major PR for me....I do have to mention here that Rick stayed with me for the entire race this year - so even if I had kept the 2:25 it would not have been a PR for him...but it was GREAT having him right there with me every step of the way this year - even more so since I was feeling so bad through the entire last half of the race.
The "ugly" part of the race came after the finish. We went to pick up our bag at the tent, stopping for water along the way. I had nearly finished my water and tipped my head back to get the last little bit. When I finished the drink I felt a bit woozy, grabbed Rick's arm, and down I went! Passed right out! THIS has never happened to me before either! There was a Dr. standing right there and he stayed right with me until I was able to stand up and walk over to the tent where they got me a chair to sit down on. We waited for Cotton and by the time he found us I was feeling a little better. Rick and Cotton decided to go ahead and walk me to the medical tent and they found me a cot to sit down on and got me some more water. It was determined that because of the problems I had during the race I had lost more fluids than I normally would, and hadn't taken in enough to replace what I lost...between that and burning a lot of calories and not taking in enough of those either I just got a little light headed. I drank some more water and then we headed over the the food tent to get some much needed nourishment. After getting a little food in my tummy I felt MUCH better. Lesson #4...there is a reason that marathoners and 1/2 marathoners carry more than just GU with them during a race - next time I'll have some "real" food with me too!
Now for the official results. The clock time was 2:29:37. The official time this year was 2:28:08 where last year was 2:26:21, so I did not beat that time this year....ah, well....many lessons learned and there is always NEXT year!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Human Race

Today we joined with thousands of others around the world in the Nike Human Race. Ours was held here in Allen at 7:00 AM. It was a little cool, around 47 degrees, and it was still pretty dark at start time - just the way I like it!

There weren't all that many runners here at our race in Allen - which was fine by me since the trail we were running on wasn't real wide - made for a "painful" start because if you got behind a group, even if it was a small group, you couldn't pass - you had to run at their speed until there was an opening.....this is always frustrating for me since I know I have to get my best times early in the race before I hit the wall...

It was really too dark for me to really look at my Garmin at the first part of the race, so I just went with how it felt, and it felt GREAT! There was water just before the 2 mile mark and I looked at my pace at that point and I was looking at under 30 minutes for the 5K mark...whoo hooo...well, it turns out looking and doing are two different things here. Mile 1, despite not being able to get around a few people easily, passed in 9:58. Mile 2, slightly faster at 9:52. Mile 3 was my slowest of the entire race 10:08. That put me at 29:54 for the 3 mile mark - and about 30:17 for the 5K. I'll take it - getting closer and closer to breaking that 30 minute mark!

The last half - for the first time EVER was actually better than the first half! NEGATIVE SPLIT COTTON! Mile 4 was completed in 10:02. This one I understood because I actually forgot to take my GU at the turn around and had to walk a small way to get it opened up and taken in....only a few steps - and I think mostly because my hands were so cold, and I slowed at the water stop too. Mile 5 was my fastest in the race - completed in 9:41! Mile 6 was nearly as good with a 9:44. I actually passed 2 people here in this mile...haven't passed people who were still running at this distance ever - I've passed walkers, but not runners :) I was happy!

The last .3 miles were pretty much up an incline. I chugged on up it, trying to pick up some speed and keep up with Rick. Just before I got to the finish line the girl I had passed in mile six came up on my left side. Luckily I caught a glimpse of her over my shoulder as she closed in and I thought to myself, "Oh no you don't" - I shot off like a rocket and crossed just a toenail ahead of her.

The last 3 miles were completed in about 29:29, and then of course you need to add the 2:59 for the last .3 miles, so my time for the entire 6.30 miles was 1:02:21! A NEW PR BY 5 MINUTES!
Can you tell I'm excited? Now I'm really looking forward to the 1/2 next month...hope I can PR that one too!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

13 miles!

Today Rick and I got up about the same time as most Sundays to get on out to the Rock. It was a little cooler than normal, which makes me VERY happy. I simply do so much better in the cold! It was about 47 degrees when we started our run this morning.

Once we got "layered" up and stretched out we walked from the car to the road and Rick told me to take off - so I did! I felt like I started out pretty slow - it was feeling really good - but it turns out I did the 1st mile in 9:54, the second in 9:58...not bad times for this slow girl!! When we reached the 2 mile mark it was time to turn around and head back towards the car. This would give us 4 miles + the 9 miles around the lake so we could make our goal of 13 miles this week.

Like I said, I was feeling pretty good, and the 3rd mile proved it... another 9:58 pace - so the total for the 3 miles was 29:52. Pretty good for knowing we were doing 13! I just kept going....mile 4 passed in 10:14. At this point we were back where we started, so we went to the car and slipped out of the warm-ups - we were definitely warmed up! I had a little G2 - Rick took some as well - and we were off for the last 9 miles of the run.

Now it felt more real. We knew EXACTLY where we were and where we were going, as well as each stop along the way. In some ways that makes it a little easier. The miles slipped by pretty easily at first: 5 - 10:31, 6 - 10:40, (That gave us a 1:01:19 time here - just about where we were last week, and that made me very happy as well!) 7 - 10:32, 8 - 10:32, 9 - 10:47, (again - our overall time was 1:33:13 - 24 seconds faster than the week before - BONUS!).

At this point everything was icing on the cake...we had just matched our long run for the it was a test to see if we could run the other 4 miles without walking. I was still feeling pretty strong, so I was pretty psyched that we could do it! Mile 10 - the 1st half - was just like the 1st 9 miles, then I guess I hit the proverbial wall! At about 9.45 miles out of the blue my legs felt like someone had added about 20 lbs. of weight to each foot! I just kept pounding the pavement and kicked that puppy out in 10:43:59. I was really glad Rick was there with me. It was at this point we stopped for our next-to-last water break. I was tired, but not yet tired enough to walk...and when I thought about how consistent our times were with the week before for at the 9 mile mark I just felt like I would be so disappointed in myself if I walked anywhere in the last 3 miles! Less than a 5K to go...we can do that, right? Off we went again. Still struggling mile 11 took 10:41:76. Certainly it wasn't like the heat was getting to me this time! Mile 12 - 10:44:17. We stopped again for water at the dog park water fountain. My thighs just above the knees felt like someone had tied double half-hitch knots in them - but we only had .73 miles to go...No stopping us now - right? As we came close to the car we tried to kick it up a little. We completed our last full mile in 10:55:77, and the extra little bit in 0:0:40.15 for a total time of 2:17:01. I was so happy with the walking at all, and once we got to the car and I looked at the history, I was even happier....I told Rick - 13 miles, we finished STRONG, and not one mile took over 11 minutes!

I can not believe how well this run turned out. When I think back to when we made the decision we were going to try for a full marathon and started our training for the 1/2 next month and the full in December I hated to think about where we were then. We started with that 1st 2 mile stretch we ran today. We barely made it to the 2 mile mark! We had to run/walk back to the car because we were so tired and sore. To me this is an amazing adjustment our bodies have made to the rigors we are pushing them through. We are looking forward to our Human Race next week, and the DRC 1/2 in November. Since we will be running the 10K next week it will be the next weekend before our next real long run....we are going for 15 miles then...wish us luck - as always my #1 goal is to finish, #2 - finish with NO WALKING!

By the way - if you are looking for a smaller race to might think about this race. It is a 5K race that was established after a 16 yr. old boy died of sudden cardiac arrest. The foundation was formed to help prevent SCA in youth through effective heart screening in student athletes. Just seems such a great cause I felt I should offer what little support here I could. Thanks!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Running with Angel

I don't know if you ever read the story about what happened during my 1st ever 1/2 marathon....but my angel helped me through that and allowed me to accomplish my goal. It was a totally amazing experience, one I will never forget.Today I had another amazing run, a run with Angel. Let me tell you about it!

Last night we took our son, Cotton, and his girlfriend, Angel, out for dinner to celebrate Cotton's 27th trip around the sun! While we were visiting we got to talking about running the "Rock". Angel mentioned that she would like to give it a try. She has only run a couple of times before, and I think they said her longest run had been about 3 miles. I told her that I would be happy to run with her if she really wanted to go. Cotton warned her that we get up REALLY early to go run, but she said she wanted to give it a try, so we all agreed we would meet there between 5:15 and 5:30 A.M.

I was really excited because, like most people, when I find something I enjoy as much as I enjoy running I like to share it. Angel was going to give me that opportunity. I found out later that she was worried that she would upset our training schedule for our marathon. Nah, our goal isn't the same as Cotton's! He is training to finish the marathon in a time that would qualify for Boston - so he has a very specific schedule that he needs to follow to accomplish that goal which includes long runs, intervals, hill repeats, track runs, etc. Our goal is to get across the finish line before they send out search parties looking for us! This allows us a bit more leeway in our training so I was happy to take a day to let her give White Rock a try!

We got to the meeting place at about 5:20 and they were there waiting for us. Cotton went ahead and took off and the rest of us warmed up a little and then we were on our way. Angel has a good form and she was running well. We got just about a mile and a half before she needed to rest a bit and walk some. This is what we had all told her she would need to do. She walked a little, ran a little more, and walked and ran. After that run she was feeling the effects of the energy drink she had that morning so we rested a little extra :) .... Then we were off again, in search of a good water fountain. We did the run-walk to the fountain and all got some water. Angel felt pretty good - so I continued letting her set the pace. I would just tell her when we hit each mile mark.

I really figured that we would get to the 3.5 mile water stop and she would be ready to turn around and head back to the car. That would give us a 7 mile round trip run - which is REALLY good for someone just starting out...but she said she thought if she kept doing the run-walk she could make it the entire 9.1 miles around the lake - we went once again.

As we would come to different parts of the trail I would talk to her about our experiences, "This is where I 'died' when I got ticked at some runners that passed me so I tried running really, really fast...I should have known better!", or "Oh, cool, we are nearly to the spillway - you'll like that, it is a great downhill for a pretty good piece!". After the spillway she needed to stop and adjust her socks...they had slipped down and bunched up underneath the arch of her foot and they were rubbing a little. OUCH...the beginning of blisters! NOT fun!

We got to the spot where I thought she might have some problems and I told her that we had gone 4 and 1/2 miles, so there was no turning back now, and that if she would run all the way to the next bridge I would tell her something really cool that she had just accomplished, besides run/walking the "Rock". She took off and we ran to the bridge. As we slowed to a walk I turned and grinned..."You just ran 1/4 mile UPHILL, after running half of the lake! What an AWESOME accomplishment!" I was just sooooo proud of her!

We made it to the next water stop and she pulled off her shoe and sure enough there was a blister on one foot and a hot spot on the other. She was still trying to run/walk, but Rick made her stop and walk when he noticed that she was really beginning to favor the foot with the blister. It was throwing off her gait, and that is a way to really end up injuring yourself. He told her not to try to be a hero, to just walk the rest of the way. I know she was feeling really good, and really wanted to run, but she listened and we walked most of the rest of the way.

For only her 3rd time running, to have run nearly a full 10K (6.1 miles) I was so impressed. We had a really good talk, she kept a pretty steady walking pace, and we completed the "Rock" in just over 2 hours.

I felt amazingly good through the entire run - I was able to run and talk, to push her just a little, and we got to watch the sun rise over the lake! What a blessing for me! I am so, so glad that we were talking about the run at dinner, that she said she would like to try it, and I am so VERY glad that she came out and gave me the blessing of being my running buddy today! Rick and I were talking on the way home, and we feel that we would love to run with her any week she wants to come and join us.....She'll probably end up speeding me up in the long run (pun intended, lol).....

Can you see how lucky I am? I have run with the Angels TWICE now!!!! Thank you ANGEL!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day 5K Complete


The results are in: Rick and I both posted an official time of 31:35 for a 10:10 overall pace! He took 4th in his age group and I took 1st in mine....unfortunately, due to the length of time before ANY results were posted we weren't there when the awards were given out, so had to forfeit our medals......I am NOT a happy camper right now!!!!!!!


Well, we finished the first in our series of races for this season, and as far as I'm concerned it was a success....I met the goal I had set for myself! I ran the entire race, did NOT walk ONE STEP! It has been a long time coming - since back in February when I ran the Cowtown 1/2....I don't know exactly what happened there, but I haven't been able to run a complete 5K since then without walking at least a little near the end.

We got up early this morning, since the run was at White Rock and parking is limited, and drove down to our regular parking spot at the Big Thicket. We walked from there to the Bath House to pick up our bibs and shirts - walked back to the car to lock up the shirts...(had them stolen at the last DRC race because we didn't have a safe place to store them!) and walked back to the Bath House to wait for the start. I was a little surprised when we got there and found out that the race wasn't chip timed - but more about that later! There were nice people setting up a drink station at the finish line, so we were able to hydrate a little with some gatorade before the start.

We walked over to the start area and got in the line towards the middle of the pack and waited for the "shout" - no gun - and off we went. I felt REALLY good...was into a good pace right away, feeling strong and not breathing too hard. The 15K racers peeled off at about .75 miles into the race so the pack thinned out pretty good there. At the one mile marker my Garmin beeped and told me we had just completed the first mile in 9:23 . This was quite the surprise becaue I just didn't feel like I was pushing that hard...I was still feeling strong and breathing easy! This is better than my first mile in any 5K I have run before by over 10 seconds! I did try to slow it down a little, knowing that when I start out that fast I generally can't get all the way through the race without walking and I REALLY didn't want to walk today!

We continued to run and just under the bridge there was a water stop where I grabbed a cup of Gatorade and swigged a bit down...didn't really even slow to a walk there - but jogged on through! Whoo hoo!!! The next thing I knew we were at the turn around. Still feeling good - where normally I would be starting to really labor with my breathing.

At the two mile mark my Garmin again beeped and told me we had just completed mile 2 at a 9:44 pace! Can you say AMAZ-Z-Zing!!! Still going strong...still able to talk (a little) to Rick to let him know I was OK. Then we hit the 2.5 mile mark....I guess that is where I hit the proverbial wall.....I no longer felt as good - Rick could tell I was lagging back and slowing down. He was very encouraging and kept reminding me to dig deep - that I was stronger than I thought and I could do this. We were going uphill at this point and I was really struggling to keep going, but I wasn't stopping!

We hit the 3 mile mark and Garmin let me know how much I had slowed down... this mile was completed at a 10:32 pace. (About my normal race pace) Still not bad, and I'm very pleased. I struggled up the rest of the hill gasping for air all the way and was sooooo happy to start running down the hill into the grass because that meant we were closing in on the finish line. Rick and I hit the cones leading to the finish line and we really kicked it up a notch and sprintedto the finish line (Garmin says we did this part at a 6:58 pace!) Once through we stayed in the chute to turn in our bib information to be recorded and headed over for fluids and bananas. After we cooled down a little we watched several other racers come across the line. I really wanted to stay and see what our official time was and how we did in the overall and age categories.

Here is the only place I really have a complaint - we waited at the finish for over an hour for the results! When we left at 9:00 they were still waiting! In this day of chip timing and computer mobility I really don't see any reason that the 5K results weren't being announced before an hour was up. As of this posting I still don't have official information.....It is for this reason that we will not run another Thurston Racing event until they get this fixed. It is a real shame too, because it was a nice event - well organized with nice was just the timing that made it frustrating. I guess we may be a little spoiled by the other races (even those that aren't chip timed) by having times posted by the time you get your water and cool down a bit. You can go check out the preliminary results to see how you did and leave if you need to.

Anyway....I know I reached my goal of not walking at all through the race, and my unofficial time, which will be a bit slower than the official time since I got all the way through the chute before I hit stop on the Garmin was 31:46...the best 5K time I've run this year!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I'm Baaaaaack

Well, it is official. Summer is over! Yesterday we had our faculty retreat and team building activity which typically signals the end of summer for me.

This year it was the best in a long time. We went to the Heard Outdoor Rope Challenge course. Our principal split us into teams that approximated who we worked the closest with at school during the year. 5th and 6th grades were in a group with the PE teachers, our Resource teacher that works with our grade levels, and her aide. We were a GREAT team. Even the folks at Heard said so. We were told that we made their job really hard because everything that they normally told teams to work on we were already doing. But then - we already knew that...we pretty much get along, both at work and outside of work. I think that helps.

Our day started out with a 13 foot wall to get our team over. There were 16 people on our team, 2 couldn't participate because of injuries, so 14 of us were up to attempting the task. The rules were that you couldn't use the rope to pull yourself up, once you had two people up top each time a new person got over the wall the person that had been there the longest had to go back down, and once you had been up top you couldn't help get anyone else over the wall (other than by suggestions out loud). We got all 14 people over the wall in a little over 26 minutes! Our two tallest team members boosted people up, then another member would climb over and push a bit more and the folks at top pulled people on over. The hardest two were the first and the last person. Our first person pretty much had to just haul herself over the wall on her own, and the last person we had to use an extra harness as a grip because she just simply didn't have quite enough of a vertical leap to reach the outstreached hand of our team mate. It was awesome!

Because we finished that so quickly, we had the opportunity to try the swinging log. The challenge here was to walk from one end to the other of a log suspended in the air. Easier said than done. I managed to make it without help from any of my team mates, but it wasn't near as easy as I thought it would be with my gymnastics and balance beam background.

After that, our second station was the zip-line. Normally you have to climb a ladder to some U staples in a tree...climb the staples to a platform, walk on a rope suspended between the two trees, attach to the zip line and "fly" down. Because of time limitations we were only able to do the zip line. I managed this one too - the climb up wasn't too bad, and I knew I could do the zip line part since I had done that at Sky Ranch. The scary part was that the platform is VERY is really scary to try to sit down. There really wasn't a way for me to sit without looking down at the ground - and of course one of my great fears is heights. Once I got in my seated position I was ready to go .... a quick prayer and close your eyes, roll forward and you are off. It is a rush once you are speeding down the line!

After a quick lunch break we were off to station 3. Here we saw bungee cords strung in a spiderweb shape between two trees. The objective was to get all members of our team from one side of the web to the other without touching the cords and you couldn't use a hole more than two times. We quickly developed our plan and "carried" it out, once we had two members through (one rolled under the web, the other stepped through a large hole on one side that was fairly low) we started with our smallest team member, lifted her up and simply passed her through the smallest, highest hole. Then continued this process until we had everyone through. The next to last person crawled on the backs of three of us to get over, since there weren't enough people left to pass them through....and the last person simply rolled under.

Our final task of the day was called the mountain save. There were 3 platforms. We were divided into two teams of 8 people and placed on two of the platforms. One member of each team was blindfolded as an "injured hiker" We had to move from our platform to the middle platform and the to the platform the other team was on without touching the ground. They had to do the same thing. We were given two planks to accomplish this with. Neither plank would reach all the way across the space between the platforms. We figured out that if we placed one plank as far out as we could, had 3 people stand on the end of the plank to hold it steady, we could send one of our smaller team mates out on the plank where they could place the other plank - lined up - to the other platform. This created the bridge to go across. Using this strategy several times we were able to get all 16 people to the right place.

All in all it was a good day - and a nice way to get to know the new members of our team and see how they approached problems - how they "fit in" to the dynamics of the already established teams.

After we returned to the school, I rushed home to change clothes and get to the gym. It was a short run day - I managed 3.25 miles in 35 minutes on the treadmill and another 2.2 in 20 mins on the elliptical. Wish I could run as fast as I can move my legs on the elliptical!

Monday we have the official opening of the school year with convocation and workshops. Then I'll be off and "running" for another year!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bugged again

After a brief hiatus I'm bugged again. Body Bugged that is. Back in March when my subscription was up for renewal I decided I needed a break. A break from strapping the hardware on my arm every morning....a break from worrying about how many steps I had (or hadn't) taken that day....and a break from typing in every bite I had eaten. I had been 'bugged' for over a year at that point and felt pretty good about knowing what I needed to do. And I've done "O.K." I haven't gained or lost much...just hanging steady. BUT now it is time to get back on track again. Having that marathon motivation going is just what I needed. I would like to get back down to where I was this time last year (that is onlly 4 lbs away) .... I know I'll feel better running if I do that.

The other cool thing - and one of the things I missed while not wearing my bugg - is when you do something special - like hiking the mountains in Colorado - you can actually see how many steps you are taking and how many calories you are burning. I think everyone that was there was wishing I was wearing the bugg and mentioned it at least once....good incentive. We have a couple more hiking trips planned this year and it will be interesting to compare those hikes with our normal weekend activity levels.

They have come out with a new version of the body bugg - V3. It is slimmer, black, and goes on your left arm instead of your right. I like it a lot better than my old one. It isn't nearly so obvious under the sleeve of your shirt....a lot of people won't even notice it at all.

So - I'm bugged again. This time though I'm not the only one. Rick is bugged now too. It is kind of fun to work with him and to realize how much you have to think about the activity to try to get those steps in! We have a tendency to think we are much more active, walk a lot more than we reallly do. It is the same thing I went through when I got mine the first time.

Yesterday was our first day wearing the bugg - by the time he got home I had over 6,000 steps to his barely over 2,000.... we both broke 10,000 before bedtime - a good thing and our goal for each and every day.

This is one more way for me to measure progress as I work toward the goal of completing the marathon in December. I'm not even kidding myself into thinking I can run the entire distance...that will be my challenge, but I'm trying also to be realistic about it....but the pedometer portion of the bugg is going to let me know if I'm working harder each week toward my 26 mile goal. We'll see how that works out as the weeks contine by.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

One of THOSE days

You know, you never think it will be one of "those" days when you wake up. It seems like just an ordinary, regular, same ol' same ol' day when it starts. You get out of bed, you make the coffee, you let the dog out, you get ready to shower, you complete your morning routine. You are now dressed, made up and ready to go. It's all good! Then IT happens. What is IT you ask?

You get ready to walk out the door to go to the workshop you have been attending and your purse is missing....not totally unusual...You have been known to set it down in other than the normal spot. You don't panic, yet. But today is different. Today it is not in ANY of the normal spots.

"Hmmmmmmmm", you say, "let me think(as panic begins to set in) ....where did I have that last. I know I had it yesterday when I attended the workshop, I had to have it because that is where my keys to the car are and I couldn't have driven there without it. Oh yeah....I put it in the back of the car."

THE BACK OF THE CAR?!? Oh no, it can't be....but it is. The purse is in the back of the car...the car is locked...and hubby is already at work. Your workshop starts in 30 minutes....OK, it is officially now the start of one of THOSE days.

You call hubby and explain what is going on. He offers to come unlock the car...."No," you say, "I'll just call ****** and let her know that I won't be able to make it today - please pick up my stuff for me." You make the call, leave a voice mail asking her to call you back ASAP, sit down at the computer to get some work done, and the phone rings. It is hubby....

"Hey, how about ONSTAR? Can't they unlock the doors for you?"

Whoo, hoo! THAT day may be coming to a quicker end than anticipated....So, you call Onstar. You give them all the pertinent information (also store the number in your phone, which for some reason ISN'T in your purse, locked in the car....who knows how THAT happened). After a few minutes of checking out all the info the nice man from Onstar informs you that they will now connect to your car.

Tapping your toes you wait impatiently. "Hmmmmm, is your car outside?" the nice man asks.

"Why no," you reply, "it is in the garage. (Nice and safe from vandals, you think smugly to yourself.) OH, you realize....."Would it help the signal if I open the garage door?", you ask.

"Yes, that might help." door. The signal has been give them a call back number after they inform you that it will take about 10 minutes and do NOT touch the door handles of the car. You wait. And wait. And wait. The phone rings....THAT day is not over yet.

"This is Onstar calling about your locked car. We have been unsuccessful in unlocking the car, we would like to try again."

"Please do!"

"We will call back in about 5 minutes, thank you for your patience."

You wait. And wait. And wait.

Your girlfriend calls back. You inform her you will be late for the meeting, that you are a complete dufus and locked your keys in the car, but Onstar will be rescuing you and you will get there eventually. She says she will let your team know....(you can hear her trying not to laugh while she is on the phone with you!)

Onstar calls back. "I'm sorry, we have been unsuccessful with unlocking your car after 4 tries."

It is definitely one of THOSE day. You call your girlfriend and let her know you WON'T be at the workshop after all...please pick up your materials for you, you call hubby and let him know you are stuck at the house, and you come back inside and laugh at yourself, for what else can you do but look at the humor of the situation. Life throws you curve balls when you least expect of these days I'm going to take one of them and hit a home run with it!!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Spreading my wings

As I was riding in the car the other day I got to thinking about my in my profile I say that this is about my my life - my life as a wife, a mother, a MeMaw, a teacher, and a runner - yet all I ever write about is my running. I think I'm going to try to change that a little. I'm going to spread my wings and write about well as the marathon!

You know teaching is so filled with contradictions.

There is of course the issue of testing - you know THE TEST! As a 5th grade Science teacher, of course the test I am talking about is the TAKS Science test. My students completed the testing last month and the results are due back sometime this next week or so and we are all anxiously awaiting the scores...the teachers at least as much as the students! There is a lot of stress and pressure associated with the is one of my least favorite parts of what I do.

On the upside...there are those moments that touch your heat. They don't happen every day, so now that I have a place where I can "write" them down, I thought - why not!

Friday morning, during one of my Science classes we were working on an experiment. The kids were spread out all over the room pushing cars with pencils, marking down distance, taking turns nicely - discussing was awesome. I travelled around the room listening to the discussions, pointing out ways to make the data more accurate - helping them check their results, etc. On one of the trips around the room one of my students glanced up at me and asked, "Can I tell you something?" (Always a dangerous question!) "Did you know that you are the main reason I'm thinking about becoming a teacher when I grow up?"

Wow! Out of the blue, no warning, no preparation...such a statement. It was one of those moments in teaching that you don't ever want to lose. I hope she stays with it...I hope she dreams big. I don't know what will happen to her in her future, but I do know the impact that her simple comment had on me! A simple moment I don't ever want to let go of!

Don't worry - I'll still be telling you about running...but I will be posting more about life in general as well.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

White Rock in December

It's offical. We registered. We will be trying to run the Rock in, let me rephrase that. We WILL run the rock in December! I'm excited. This is my goal for the year. I KNOW if I put my mind to it I can do it. I look forward to posting how my runs and training are going...follow along with me!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Lovejoy Country Run 5K

Today was a good day for a run. We got up early to get ready. We were both really tired for some odd reason, but we had paid our money and we were going to go run darn it! We strapped on the ipods and the garmin and we were off! After a quick stop for energy drinks it was up the road to Lovejoy. It was really close to the house, and that alone was nice - but seeing the organization of the race made it even nicer!
When we drove up there must have been 8 - 10 people directing traffic through the parking lot making sure everyone got parked in the correct area. Then it was off to the center courtyard where pre- and post- race activities would be held. It was nicely set up - and made for an ease of race day registration, listening to music and announcements, etc.
When it came time for our run to start (after the 1 mile run) it was a very efficient start. There was someone at the start line reminding everyone that the very start was for the elite runners who would be running a 6:30 or less time, and to place yourself accordingly - to stay on the sidewalk until the elite runners got into place. Rick and I walked to the middle of the pack - which is about where I need to be :) .
The gun went off right on time and we were off! The course took us across the parking lot to the main road, up a mild hill to the turn, along this country road where you could see lots of trees, a pond, a few houses, etc. and back the same way. There was a good water stop with lots of volunteers placed about 1.25 miles in on both sides of the road so you could stop both going out and coming back. The course was pretty flat.
I started out a little faster than I normally do - probably because of the cooler temps. My first mile was completed in 9:33! This is one of my fastest mile times since we came back to running! The other nice part of this was that when I got close to the turn-around Rick wasn't too far ahead of me. I think he was really surprised to see me that close to the turn-around. We high fived as he went by and I just tried to keep my pace going. My second mile was done in 10:27 - and that was with a slow walk through the water that time I was starting to feel the run, but I was pretty determined that I was going to have a better time this race. I was still feeling it the last 1/2 mile, but I was plugging along when out of nowhere I got the "heaves"...I thought I was going to lose it on the track. within .2 miles of the finish I had to stop and walk...Rick caught sight of me and urged me on and I did jog over the finish and had a respectable 31:34 finish to take 5th in my age group. After I caught my breath we took our stuff back to the car. I asked how he had done because I lost him after mile 2. He finished with a great 28:27! He just keeps getting better and better - I am soooo proud of him! After we checked our times we headed to the cafeteria for a wonderful pancake breakfast that was paid for by our entry fee.
This was a well organized, very enjoyable race. Everything had been thought out in advance, the signage was well placed, but most important EVERYONE, from the folks in the parking lot to the volunteers serving the pancakes were very friendly and helpful! This is for sure a race I will look forward to doing again next year to see if I can get that time down a little more!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

DRC Rock and Roll 5 mile run

Today was a pretty good day to run. A little warm - a LOT humid, but OK. At 73 degrees it was warm for me - I do best in the mid 60's. There were a couple of glitches along the way but we made it!

We got there in plenty of time, but the parking lot was full and because of the rain they weren't letting anyone park on the grass - so we parked in the church lot on Garland road where they club had gotten permission for overflow parking. We walked on down to the clubhouse and picked up our numbers and shirts. Then it was to the porta-potty line. With three minutes to the start I gave up! (They had THREE potties for 600 people!) We went on down to the start line only to find that they had delayed the start of the race 15 minutes! I was about 6 people back in the line when I left - had ANYONE bothered to send word up to the potties then I could have stayed in line. I was NOT a happy camper! I really wasn't happy after the race when we got back to where we left our bag of goodies and someone had stolen it! Yeah - we had to leave the bag because the car was about a 1/2 mile away and we couldn't walk back and put the stuff away and then walk back to the start line again. There has GOT to be a better way to do that!!!

We finally got started and I tried to just run and not worry about anyone or anything around me. I looked down when Garmin beeped at me and I had completed the first mile in 9:57! This was my first under 10:00 mile in FOREVER! I couldn't believe it.. I just kept on going at about the same pace and figured I'd see what happened.

Well, hills are what happened! We came to this big hill and I ran up it, then we had to make a right turn and there was MORE hill. My legs were not happy, and I was having trouble breathing - so I walked to the top and then took off again. It seems I always have trouble breathing in the heat - so my strategy became run as much of the hill as I could then walk to the top and start running again. Finallly at the three mile mark we were pretty much done with the hills....that is a mile and a half of hills!

Back on the flats and I was good to go again. I felt OK, but I could tell I was wearing out. The last mile was really about .25 to go I had to go back into walk run mode. At about .10 this gal passed me up and I struggled to get back by her. I was successful and I was pretty proud that I had enough steam to pass at that point. Just at the finish line this guy came running out to her to tell her to "finish strong" and he was going to run with her...well I wasn't going to let her pass me - so I put on the after burners and took off. I DID IT....I beat her and passed another 1 or 2 before the line as well. Whoo hoo! My Garmin time was 54:50. Not incredibly fast - but about my average. I think if the course had been a little less hilly I would have made my 52:00 goal time...ah well, there is always next year, right?

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Well, they opened the registration for the White Rock Marathon. I thought we were going to run it. I was getting ready to put it in my race list even. Then I went to register. $90.00! EACH! I don't want to pay $90.00 to run 26 miles and probably not be able to walk for a week. Are they all that expensive??? Am I doomed to not reach my goal of a marathon this year because I'm just to cheap? Perhaps this is the way I'm to find out that 1/2 marathons are the most I need to do and I just need to focus on getting that time down.... Hmmmmmmm I'll have to think about this some more.... Hmmmmmmm

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Great Race!

This has to be a post about more than a run. It encompasses an entire weekend, so please be patient!

We left home on Friday evening just about the time we had planned, after leaving our home in the capable hands of our daughter and son-in-law. We had a pretty uneventful trip, the only snag being stuck in traffic on 75 for about an hour, which delayed our arrival in Temple.

We spent the night in Temple, got up and had breakfast, loaded the car and went on in to Belton to visit with Rick's mom and aunt. They live in a nursing home there. It was a pretty good visit overall, and Rick's mom looks much better than she did the last time we saw her.

Then it was off to Austin. We called and found out that we couldn't check into our hotel until about 3:00 pm so we needed to find something to do in the meantime. We drove around and tried to find Capital Camera - a favorite place of Rick's back when we lived a lot closer to the Austin area. After NUMEROUS calls to Google we were finally given the phone number of a store that sounded similar. When we called the conversation went something like this:

Us: "Is this a camera store?"
Them: "No, this is more like a photography studio. Maybe we can help you, what camera store were you looking for?"
Us: "Capital Camera."
Them: "Oh my, that store has been out of business for YEARS! Ummm, there is another store for professionals that might suit you, Precision Camera." we went. (After another chat with Google, LOL).

After the camera store we thought we would try to find Mellow Johnny's...Lance Armstrong's bicycle shop. Another call to Google....unfortuately, every time I asked for Mellow Johnny's they tried to find "Miller, Johnnys"! Pretty funny...I already knew where my Dad and brother were! We had been there one other time so off we went to find it from memory. After some driving around we were able to locate the store. We spent some more time looking around there and determined we were pretty close to the hotel, so we decided to go ahead and see if we could get checked in.

After FINALLY locating the hotel, we successfully checked in an hour early and got our room. We also got a map of the 10K route. The start line was right outside the front door of the hotel! That was BONUS!

We were then off to visit with my "Austin" family. We went on out to Jonestown where my sister and her husband live. My Mom and Dad park their RV there when they aren't off seeing the U.S. (and sometimes Canada by accident!). My niece lives right there as well, with her 8 year old daughter. My oldest brother and his family live in Cedar Park which is close by. When we got to my sister's house my brother was there, but unfortunately his wife and youngest son were up here in the Dallas area looking at colleges!

We had an awesome visit! My sister cooked baked spaghetti for us (our carb load!) with salad and toasted garlic bread and brownies for dessert. It was great. We sat around the table and visited for hours. I haven't laughed that hard and that long in a LONG was AWESOME! We had a great time. We didn't get back to our hotel until almost 10:00 and it was off to dreamland.

We got up about 6:30 so we could have a light breakfast - after all, it was part of the package! Then it was back to the room to get ready, check out our mail and etc. and get ready to run. We knew it was going to be cold this weekend so we had packed all our cold weather gear. I wore my long sleeve pink shirt, long black running pants, pink headband, pink Tahoe cap, and of course my running shoes...also my iPod and Garmin...I was ready to go!

We walked out the door of the hotel about 8:20 so we could be in the start area by the time the wheelchair race took off at 8:30. The temperature was 38 degrees but there was NO wind. It didn't feel that cold at all - just a little chilly.

Just as the wheelchair division started I realized I needed to go! I ran back into the hotel - but forgot to get the room key from Rick...the line for the public restroom was all the way from the back of the hotel to the front door so I just turned around and went back but by that time the starting group was so packed in that I couldn't find Rick! I was going to have to do this one on my own!

They closed the gates for the timed run and started the countdown. The gun went off. We stood. Finally we started making our way to the startline as I watched the clock overhead tick, tick, ticking away. It was at 5:39:9 when I crossed the starting line. (One of 6,644 timed 10K runners starting!) The course started out over the congress street bridge at a very slight uphill. I was a little stiff, but we weren't going very fast because there were just so many people! The route starts out at an elevation of about 468 ft. to slightly above 500 ft. at mile marker 1. At the road in front of the capitol building we made a right turn, ran a little ways then made a left so we could get to the back of the capitol. This was a steeper grade and we were up to about 530 ft. We turned again around the backside of the capitol building and there was a rollilng hill here. Not too bad, but you were beginning to feel it. Mile 2 was deceiving! At mile 2.25 you hit the worst hill in the race!!! You go from an elevation of 500 ft. to about 560 ft. in less than .25 miles. My legs were feeling the hills already, but I thought I'd be able to make it to the top when out of nowhere the group I was running in just stopped and started walking! I was right in the middle of the pack and they ALL stopped! There wasn't any way for me to get around them, so I walked too. I walked as fast as I could, and I was passing a few of them as best I could, but it wasn't easy. We reached the top of the hill and started running again. There was a pretty decent downhill here and that helped - although I have learned you just can't let yourself go on a downhill, you have to control your pace here too! At about mile 3.5 you get to the best downhill in the race. What a relief to let gravity do some of the work! I looked down and I was running at about an 8.5/M pace and it felt pretty good, although by now I was wishing I was in my short sleeve running shirt and shorts. When there isn't any wind at above 40 you really don't need all the cold weather protection. You should have seen all the cold weather gear along the course that people were discarding! Now we entered the flatest part of the course and here is where the burn hits. you know you are getting close, you are so tired, you've used so much energy on those hills it is hard to catch your breath... you just really have to push it on through. I kept running and made it through the 4.75 miles right on pace (right at about 10.5/M pace). I really felt like I might PR this one...after all I only had about a mile and 1/2 to go, right? Unfortunately for me mile 5 starts going up again! This is right on a major street, they only block off about 1/2 the street, so you have to stay within the cones, so it gets a little more crowded again and you have to do a bit more dodging of folks than you had been. From 5.25 to 5.5 is the worst of this part of the run... After that it is on a slight downhill to the finish. I was able to pick up my pace, but by that time I knew I was too far behind my goal to PR. The hill at mile 5 had done me in! I knew I was going to reach my first goal though - finish :) ! That I did! I actually did pick up the pace the last .2 miles to just under a 10:00/M and when I stopped my Garmin it read 1:07:45.32. My 3rd non-goal was to finish in around 1:07:45 so I was VERY happy. Rick was right there waiting for me too!

We got the official results when we got home. Rick finished in 1:00:14.5 for an average pace of 9:42/M! He was 104 of 182 in his division! I am soooooo proud of him!

I finished in 1:07:44.0 for an average pace of 10:54/M and was 83 out of 181 in my division, so in the top 1/2...I'm happy with that. I always look back and try to see what I could have done better, where could I have picked it up so I could have made that 7 a 6, but for this race, and those hills, I'm happy. I know I will get better with time, I'm just going to patient and it will probably come when I least expect it!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday Run

Wouldn't it be great to enjoy a sunrise run on the beach like this?!?
It was HARD to get up this morning. It was hard, but we did it. 5:30 we were on the road to Arbor Hills. I was just hoping that it wouldn't be so hard to run today. We stopped for a small cup of coffee - so I could wake up, lol- then off we went.
We got there and parked, we were only the second car in the lot this morning, and got ready to head out. It was really dark, and I was a little concerned we wouldn't be able to really see where we were going good enough to run...that turned out to be an unfounded concern as we headed out in the gray light before dawn. We decided on the more uphill version for the first lap this morning. We started out slow and steady and I made it a decent ways along the trail before my legs gave out. I walked - for a VERY short amount of time and took off running again. One more stop and then off again. During the second stop I was going to look at the Garmin to see how we were doing and the silly thing shut completely off! Then when it came back on the timer didn't start back again. This really upset me because I knew this run was going better than the last two! After the first lap we stopped by the car so I could have some light and see what was going on. I got it all set up again and found that it had stopped at .87 miles (our first stop!) We drank some water and took in a little GU and headed out again.

For reasons still unknown to me this second lap felt GOOD! This is the first time I've felt good running since the first 10 miles of Cowtown! I ran the first mile at 10:42 and the second mile at 10:43, so my pace was nice and steady and Rick said I looked more relaxed than I have the last few runs as well. My legs didn't hurt (well, maybe just a little - but it was certainly manageable!) and I felt strong! We got back to the car without stopping once!!! After this part of the run Rick and I discussed how much better this was and came up with a couple of ideas. Our first theory is that I simply don't warm my muscles up and stretch out enough before we start - thus my leg muscles "locking up". Our second theory is that I simply run better in the cold...our last two runs have been in the afternoon when the temperature was in the mid 70's...I know that I run better in temperatures below 70. I also know that if I am going to participate in runs in Texas anytime after March I have to prepare my body to run in the higher temps. I'm hoping that we can better prepare ourselves this year, now that we have done one summer running season, and perhaps become better runners for it! We discussed changing our run next time and trying out the shorter inner loop before we add in the middle section of higher hills to see if I can get warmed up better, or if this just poops me out quicker, LOL...Time will tell!

After our talk we decided we had enough time for the shorter, inside loop so we took off running again. We hit the first downhill slope and my legs let me know I was doing more than I should! I kept going but about 1/2 way up the next uphill my left thigh just locked up! I walked a little and then ran as far as I could. I had to walk about 1/2 way up the last hill, but I finished pretty strong.

All in all we ran a little over 5.5 miles and I feel a little better about the run next Sunday in Austin. I was really getting worried that I wouldn't even get a good start on that one. I guess my goals are:
1. To finish
2. To finish without walking
3. To finish in about my normal time (1:07:45)
4. To beat my best time (1:06:03)....
Remember, this run really has no goals for me, LOL!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Rick and I started a new training program about a week ago with our know, they say you need to shake it up every once in a while because your body adjusts to what you do all the time. He found this program in a magazine called the Tabata program. You lift the weight as many reps as you can for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds and do it again. In the magazine they work one or two body parts and do 8 sets! We tried it with our regular routine - I can only do about 1/2 the weight I was doing, and we can only do 4 sets - BUT believe me when I say this is a heck of a workout!

We started this last week. This week we did weights on Tuesday and after the weights we did 15 minutes on the elliptical (I finished 2.2 miles in 20 minutes), then ran Arbor Hills on Wednesday ( that is the one I blogged about earilier). It wasn't a bad run, but I did have to walk a LOT more than I normally would and the 4+ miles took me 52 minutes to get legs felt like chopped liver!

Thursday was another weight workout. I could really feel the leg machines and for the first time in a long time actually had to stop because of some muscle cramps!

Yesterday it was back out to Arbor Hills to run the hills again. All I can say is OUCH! My legs were soooooo bad! Jello has more consistency than my legs after this run. I did finish much quicker, but I still had to walk. Rick was patient (as always) and stayed with me to coach me along. We are trying to get some more speed out of me, LOL. I did one really good sprint, but boy did it take a while to recover. I'm also getting a little better at speeding up when I feel myself tiring.

After the two loops that we call our normal run we walked over to one of the hills, walked down and ran back up...walked across the park to the other hill and walked down and ran back up. The last hill was actually the best part of the run for me! Sheesh!

Next week we will be going back to our "old" workout and still running Arbor Hills...we need the hill work to prepare for the Capitol 10K next Sunday and I won't have a good run at all if my legs are burned from the we will break from that until after the 10K.

We are both looking forward to Austin - we last ran this race in will be nice to see how close to the time we ran "back when" we can get to now, LOL!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Just bloggin'

Today we will run Arbor Hills again. We've been a little remiss in our training the past week. Seems life has been in the way...again! You know how that goes, you plan on running - someone comes over, you plan on running - there is a good show on TV, you plan on running - you take a nap, etc...

Nah, it hasn't been quite that bad, I call it more of a recovery time from our back to back weekend races, but we haven't run as much in March as we normally would have. We do have a race a week from Saturday and we took a look at the elevation map - thus the trip to Arbor Hills to practice our "elevation running". It starts out uphill!!! It goes uphill for a long time!!! I think we need to practice on some hills again!!!

Seriously, I do think that our practice there helped me a LOT at the Cowtown, and it certainly can't hurt, so off we go. I may even try a few intervals to help with my speed. We will be going to the hills today, Sunday, and hopefully at least one day next week to prepare. I'm going to try to improve my time over the three runs. We did elect to be chip timed for the race, just for our own information. I would so LOVE to finish the race in around an hour. (My best is 1:06). BUT I'm NOT going to set a goal time this race. As I mentioned in my last post I think that this is hampering me in the long run (pun intended) because I think that my subconcious mind keeps me from doing my best when I do my goal will be to complete the race without walking. Of course a lot of that will depend on how bad those hills are! We ran this race MANY years ago (around 1985 or so) and it didn't seem that hilly, but then I was a lot younger and not nearly so wise in the ways of hills either, LOL...We'll see how it goes...wish us luck!!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Just got the official results from the Allen run. Rick ran an amazing 29:04 (a 9:23/M pace)! He came in 5th in his division and 171st overall. I am soooo proud of him!

I ran at 32:20 (a 10:23/M pace). I also came in 5th in my division - but I really felt good when I realized that I was the oldest runner in my division!!! Doesn't look so bad when everyone else is 50 - 51 and you are 53. I have one more year in this division and then I move up. If I had been in the older division I would have taken 1st place....of course there were only 2 other runners in that division - there were 17 in mine! I came in 243rd place overall. This also looks better when you know that there were 474 runners in the race. Rick was in the top 1/2 and I was right in the middle. Seems to be where I am in most of the runs we participate in, LOL....Not bad. I feel better today....Now I'm looking forward to preparing for Austin and the Capitol 10K. No time goals for this one. I'm going to see if that makes a difference.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Why do I feel that every 5k I run will be "the one"? This will be the one where I will for SURE break the 30 minute mark...I know it! I'm always wrong! Today was no different. I felt so good this morning...I had a plan...I knew I was going to do it. I should have watched the weather channel!

We got up this morning and I was ready to go. I was excited. My feet had stopped hurting, even though I had to do 5 miles on the elliptical on Thursday because my toes hurt so bad I couldn't run on the treadmill. (I got some pretty ugly blisters from the Cowtown run!). I felt GOOD! We headed out the door and on the road to the race. I thought this one would go pretty good since I was familiar with the course and should know more about how to run it - take note of the word SHOULD.
We got there in time to pick up our timing chips and make our way to the start-line to watch some of our friends make the "fun run" start. We watched the runners and walkers take off and enjoyed visiting with some of my co-workers from school. They were there to walk the 5K. Once all the walkers were done we made our way for the start line. I asked Rick if he was going to run with me or "go for it". He grinned - I told him to go for it...I'd meet him at the finish - after all, I had my own plan for this one!
I felt like since I had done so well at the first 5k this year, that if I could do the first mile in just under 10:00/M I would make my goal. The gun went off and off we went. When we turned the first corner and headed into the downhill (that would be an uphill on the way back) I glanced at Garmin and knew I was in trouble...the first digit in my time was an 8! No way I could keep up that way I should be anywhere NEAR that pace, LOL. I tried to slow down a little and watched Rick get farther and farther ahead of me. At the end of the first mile I was ahead of the time I wanted, but I was still feeling pretty good. The 1/2 way mark of this race is the turn onto a major roadway, Exchange. I was feeling good here too, although the wind was blowing pretty good it was from the side. I was beginning to tire and my Garmin was telling me about it as I was seeing the number 10 way too often. Then it happened. We turned back in front of the Natatorium, on Riverside, I think, and we were running into the wind. It was a killer. I think it was blowing even harder than in Ft. Worth the week before. I was already slowing down too much and this certainlly wasn't'd think I'd learn eventuallly wouldn't you?!? I kept putting one foot in front of the other hoping against hope I wouldn't have to walk - after all, I had run 11 miles without walking just a week ago, I should be able to do a measly 3 miles today, right? WRONG! It did help when I glanced ahead from the second water stop to see Rick ahead on the bridge walking....I didn't make it quite that far. I walked the water stop, ran, walked, ran, walked, and so on for the rest of the race. I was on my pace all the way to 2.5 miles...I would have at least done a 30 minute race - but it was not to be...once again the hills and the wind were out to stop me from reaching my goal. It was a real bummer when I saw a co-worker from last year running. I said Hi, she asked me how I was doing and I told her I was running behind my pace...she told me this was her first race ever and I congratulated her. We stayed pretty close together for a while although I pulled away on the steeper part of the small hill. We were less than 1/10th of a mile from the finish when she passed me and made me look like I was standing still...very demoralizing, even if she is more than 20 years younger than me! I finished in about 32:23...even though at 2.67 miles I had a time of 26:41. The wind just takes it out of you, specially when you are going uphill at the end of a race!
My splits were unimpressive this race:
Mile 1 - 9:37
Mile 2 - 10:15
Mile 3 - 11:13
Can you tell where I was running with the wind, and where I was running against it? LOL
I told Rick that I think we didn't have nearly enough recovery time from the Cowtown legs felt like lead after the first mile and a half...although that is better than the last time...maybe I am getting stronger. Anyway, after the race we talked about how we felt and we both agreed that we felt worn from the race the week before, we started out WAY too fast, and that the wind had a real impact for the run. I also decided that making goals for myself at least may be a mistake. I had no goal for the Cowtown other than finishing - and I had a PR...I think that I may keep myself from reaching a time goal subconciously, because I would just have to set another, faster goal if I met that one - so for the next few races I'm just going to go at it like it is just another run for fun, no goal in mind and see what happens....
wish me luck!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Cowtown 1/2

Well, its over and we did it! I wasn't sure how this one was going to go but it was MUCH better than expected.

We got up at about 3:30 and got ready to go. It was COLD outside and while I was making the bed I could hear the wind howling. I told Rick - this isn't going to be pretty! We finished getting dressed, double checked all our gear, and headed to the car. We were on the road by 4:04 AM. We got to Chris and Candy's about 4:45 (a little early, which is on time for us, lol) and went in while Candy got the kids up. The girls elected to sleep in their clothes so that they could get a few more minutes of precious sleep in the morning! We gave them the hats and gloves we had bought for them and headed for the car. By the way, Peyton looked so cute in his new "Superman" attire! After stopping for the traditional coffee (and juice and donuts for the kids) we were on the road to Ft. Worth.

Getting there was MUCH easier this year. In fact Rick was quite surprised when we first pulled up to the parking garage. There really wasn't any traffic to speak of. We all pulled on the coats and hats and bundled Peyton in the stroller with extra blankets and went to find the registration table. Got our bibs and headed to the shirt table to get the shirts, then of course Memaw had to check out the porta potties...did I mention we stopped for coffee in Lewisville, LOL. As soon as everyone was ready we went back to the parking garage to put on our bibs and D-tags. (The D-tags are the newest form of timing chips. They are disposible so there is no big back-up at the finish line waiting for someone to cut off the chip, and directors don't have to pay for those that are lost because someone walked off with it still on their shoe.) We went back to the garage to do this because it was about 40 degrees outside with a windchill in the 20's! It was COLD!

We waited in the garage until about 15 minutes to start time. Chris was running the 10K so his starting area was different from ours for the 1/2 marathon. We were also looking for Granny (Chris's mom) who was going to walk with the girls in the 5K. After another quick stop we tried making our way to the start. Can I say crowded. We got to a certain point - we could hear the speaker telling us there were only minutes to go, but we couldn't move at all. Rick could at least see and tell me what was going on, but I couldn't see anything but people's backs.

The gun went off and.......we waited. It seemed like forever. Then there was movement ahead of us, a parting of the crowd and I could see the people walking to the start in front of us...they were on another street! I was soooo confused. How close were we? Were we past the official start pad that we had to cross? Were we going to have to back-track? I was trying to ask Rick, but he already had his headphones in and couldn't hear me. We finally started moving and I saw that we had been stopped behind a barricade that had been pushed aside. Once we actually got onto the street we were almost at the start line and off we went! It was actually a pretty smooth start for the number of people running. There were over 3700 in the 1/2 marathon.

We took off at a fairly slow pace. I was glad Rick was staying with me at the beginning. We usually get separated pretty quickly. He runs much quicker than I do. I wanted to keep about an 11:00/M pace for this race. I knew if I did that then I would beat my time from the DRC 1/2 in November. Even though we didn't officially set any specific goals for this race this year since our training had been "off", you still ALWAYS want to beat your best time, LOL.

I remember looking down at the Garmin at the 0.6 mile mark and yelling over to Rick, "Only 12.5 miles to go!" There was another runner just to the right of us that groaned, "Don't say that, is that really true?". We were laughing and joking about how we were almost to the finish with only that little distance to go...runners are a fun bunch! He sped up and went around us, but we kept to our pace.

Then next "big" memory for me is just past that point, as we came to the top of that small hill, and crossing of a major intersection. As we topped the hill the wind came blowing right at us. It was hard (gusts of about 30mph) and cold. You could hear the crowd ahead of us gasp as it hit them...we gasped literally took your breath away! We pushed on.

At mile 3 I took my first gu pack. I know I need to take them at about every 3 miles for the majority of the race to keep my muscles from locking up. This is where the Garmin really helps me. (Well, that and keeping my pace fairly steady.) At mile 4 there were people to call out the time...Rick couldn't believe we were only at mile 4! I was finally warming up a little and elected to take off my sweat jacket and tie it around my waist. At mile 6 I reached for my next gu and knew I was in trouble...ALL MY GU WAS GONE! I guess the bouncing around of the jacket tied around my waist knocked it right out of my pockets. Every single packet was gone. I yelled at Rick and told him what had happened (after he pulled his headphones out of his ear) and he offered me his supply of gu.

At mile 7.6 we hit another hill. The bad part of this one was that not only did we hit another hill, but this hill was going straight into the wind! Uphill and into the wind....NOT a good combination! The next vivid memory for me is on up the course about a mile or so when we hit "Hawkeye's Hill". Hawkeye is a local radio disc jockey who was running in the race. At the bottom of the hill there was a sign telling us we were at his hill. At the turn there was another sign...Hawkeye has already been by, but he wishes you the best of luck in the race. Then a final sign, Good luck from the Big 96.3.

I was really feeling pretty good, even as we entered mile 10. The legs felt good, my breathing was good, our pace was good. I was beginning to believe we were going to REALLY beat my best time! Then we came to mile 11.

Mile 11 was just around a turn in the course. Uphill. Into the wind. By now, as you can imagine, with only two miles to go, we were pretty tired anyway. As I bent forward to lean into the wind my back just locked up and started having spasms. It hurt sooooo bad. I looked at Rick and was about to cry because I knew I was going to have to walk up the hill. I wouldn't have been so crushed if we hadn't been having such a great race up to that point. If we had been having problems because our training for this one had been less than for the DRC I think I would have been OK with it. But I felt good! I felt like if it had JUST been the wind, or if it had JUST been a hill I would have been OK.....but the combination of the two, that close to the end of the race was just too much for my poor old back. We walked up the hill and once at the top took off running again. There was only one more hill and I had to walk just a little of it and then it was on to the finish line.

This is always an amazing part of the race for me. There were crowds of people waiting for their friends and family to come by and they were cheering every runner on. As we neared the last turn there was a group yelling out, "You are almost there...this turn and then the straightaway to the finish line. You can DO it!" Then we turned the corner and you could SEE the finish. I was really focused on the fact that we only had .17 miles to go when I heard, "GO CJ, GO RICK, YOU CAN DO IT!" I glanced over to the side of the road and there was Candy and Peyton. She told us she would meet us at the food tents.

Rick and I crossed the finish line together. Yes, he stayed with me the entire race - even though I know at the end it was all he could do not to keep going. I do appreciate that. I know it helps him when he stays with me at the beginning, because I can help him slow down his pace at the start....but he could also pick up the pace for the last couple of miles, and this race I just couldn't do that with him.

We finished with a time of 2:25:39. Close to a minute faster than the DRC. The medals are awsome! The feeling of finishing - even better!!

About Me

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This is about my life. My life as a wife. My life as a mother. My life as a Memaw. My life as a teacher. My life as a runner. My life such as it is.