Party Like It’s Your Birthday

April 12, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Posted in 5k, People I Meet, running, Training, Triathlon | 6 Comments
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Or rather I’m gonna blog like it’s my birthday. 🙂

Cause it is. 🙂

Whooo go me!

So I’m going to deviate from my normal pattern and do a birthday and race special. 🙂 Cause I can. 🙂

Race Special:

Last Friday started my spring break from school so I headed home for some rest and family time. Saturday morning I got up and headed to the local park for a 3 mile run. When I got there it appeared as though there was a race about to take place.

I parked, and as I did so another car parked behind me and a fellow Star City Strider hopped out! I quickly asked him about the race and he told me it was an 8K for a local charity.

So I said…”Hey, might as well”.

I’d never done an 8K race before…and was scheduled to do 5 miles on Sunday anyway so I figured I’d move it up a day.

Let me tell you…entering a race on a whim makes you feel like a bona-fide real-live runner with a capital R. 🙂

Not ONLY did I run my first 8K race, but I did it with some very prestegious company. James Kipketer, Richard Bett, and David Cheromei. 3 amazing Kenyan runners. It was so incredible to run with them. I can’t even put in to words how cool that was. James Kipketer finished first in a time of 23:23. Yeah. 23 minutes for 5 miles. It was even more amazing that when I was finishing and they were cooling down, they cheered for the runners coming in. It’s just one more reason why I love this sport. You don’t get to play football with Randy Moss or Peyton Manning. But with running…you’re on the same course at the same time. Same playing field. I love it.

So anyway, after an awesome 8K last week, I had a 5K planned for this past weekend. Our first Susan G. Komen race in the Roanoke Valley. I have been looking forward to this for a year!! The Striders helped organize the event so naturally I volunteered to help the day of the race since I would be running anyway.

Carly and I posing at the finish.

Carly and I posing at the finish.

The president assigned me an awesome job…he asked if I could lead the non-competitive 5K portion. I instantly agreed. I wasn’t sure what exactly that entailed…but hey, lead a race? SURE!

So the morning of the race I met up with all our Strider volunteers and got the details of my assignment.

See, I’d entered the COMPETITIVE 5K. I was asked to lead the NON-COMPETITIVE. With this particular race…there are 3 parts. Competitive 5K, Non-competitive 5K, and 1 mile. The two 5K’s start 45 minutes apart…so I could either drop the competitive one…or run both.

There was never a question. I did both. 🙂 Yeah. If I thought signing up for a race on a whim made me feel like a real runner, well doubling my race distance day of the race…yeah, I’m a runner. 🙂 BAMF even.

So I did a 10K race. The bestest was there and I talked her in to doing the 10K as well. Hehe. I was so honored that our Striders president wanted me to lead the non-competitive. It was supposed to be mostly walkers but there were some FAST people in there too. They passed me…but I was fine with that. I’d already done one race that day! Haha.

Running a second 5K carrying a somewhat bulky sign the whole way...slightly less than awesome but still pretty freaking cool!

Running a second 5K carrying a somewhat bulky sign the whole way...slightly less than awesome but still pretty freaking cool!

I was also on the news and in the paper. 🙂 Awesomness.

So to recap…I ran an unplanned 8K and 10K. I. Rock.

2 weekends, 2 races, 2 distances I'd never raced before. BAMF.

2 weekends, 2 races, 2 distances I'd never raced before. BAMF.

Birthday Special:

It’s my BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!! Whooooooo!!!!!!!!!

Since I was home for the last week, there were lots of birthday happenings.

Easter dinner involved my birthday cake for dessert…red velvet, the best!

Mmmm cake.

Mmmm cake.

I also went down to Tennessee to see my adopted sister. 🙂 Today is her birthday too! ❤ We had several adventures which I will cover in the next post. 🙂

My sissy and me, out on an adventure.

My sissy and me, out on an adventure.

And then on Friday the bestest brought me birthday CUPCAKES!!!!

Hello, my love.

Hello, my love.

Oh my GOSH these things were AMAZING. No, we didn’t eat them all. Some were for her boyfriend and his family. 🙂 Let met tell you, one was enough to put me in a sugar coma. So good.

And for my own personal present, I bought myself a new bike seat!!! This puppy ROCKS! More on how great it is in the next post. 🙂

New bike seat!

New bike seat!

And to end things properly…

Sisterly Shoutout Special:

Today’s shoutout has to go to Jo. My sister-bear. 🙂 She’s my birthday buddy and the most awesome sissy in the whole world. She’s also in a LOT of trouble for tattling on me!

Ok so I maaaaaaay have talked her in to adopting a puppy while I was in Tennessee…but I mean…it’s not my fault! It was a CUTE puppy! She needed it. I swear.

So she adopted the pup…and brought it home today and I got an awesome text from mom saying that I’m on her hit list now. 🙂

Thanks Jo. Love ya.

Check back later this week for even more news!! *2 posts in a week!?! NO WAY!!!*

Tell It To Me

January 21, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Posted in Blogroll | 9 Comments
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I’m sitting here watching it get icy and cheering the ice on…may as well post this now!

Well….I’m gonna tell it to ya. Thanks to Sperly, I’ve been tagged to Pay It Forward and share 7 fun facts!!!!

So they might not all be fun…but…there will at least be a FEW you guys don’t know!

So here we go………

1. Every post title of my blog is also a song title or lyric. This one is “Tell It To Me” by Old Crow Medicine Show. *nod* Every one. There might be one or two outliers….but as far as I recollect, they’re all song-related. 🙂

2. I am a huge, huge, huge, HUGE University of Tennessee football fan. It doesn’t matter HOW bad their season is, I still love them whole-heartedly. Every minute. Love it.

My first ever UT game.

My first ever UT game.

Even though I went to Virginia Tech…UT is where my heart is. I refused…flat out REFUSED to go to a college football game until I could go to a UT game. My very first EVER college football game simply HAD to be at UT. And it was, thanks to Trace.

I love my vols, and all things Tennessee Orange. No matter what, I love my team. If you look at my house, you can see that. There’s a little bit of UT in every single room.

3. I want to be a vet. I LOVE veterinary medicine. Specifically, I want to be a large animal vet. If it has to do with cows, I will BE there. I love cows, I love doing anything vet-related….and if I can manage it, I WILL be a vet. You have no idea….I love it so much.

4. I have saved every one of my bib numbers from all of my races. I have them hung up in my office. I don’t know why I started…probably because I was so proud I actually finished a race. Haha. But…ever since, I’ve been hanging them up.

I seriously turned in my desk chair and took this picture while writing this post. And that's a UT flag in the bottom left corner.

I seriously turned in my desk chair and took this picture while writing this post. And that's a UT flag in the bottom left corner.

5. I like to draw/paint/etc. Always have. Some of my stuff is decent, some is SUPER random and crappy. 🙂 Maybe if I had more time…I could come up with something good…but most days it’s randomness.

Sunset painting...and the name of my favorite beach. Eh...

Sunset painting...and the name of my favorite beach. Eh...

Sketch of a Garfield comic strip. Taken on a camera phone so...yeah.

Sketch of a Garfield comic strip. Taken on a camera phone so...yeah.

6. I love to bake. I occasionally bake cookies of all varities and mail them across the country to differnt friends. I loooooooove to bake. Love. However…I enjoy baking more than I apparently enjoy eating what I bake. So…I mail it.

7. I used to work in repossessions. Yep. I stole for a living! Well, I basically stalked people and got information to give to the field agents who THEN stole the cars/trucks/tractors/boats/RV’s/tractortrailers/etc. So let me offer some advice…DON’T PUT YOUR PERSONAL INFO UP ON MYSPACE IF YOU ARE IN DEBT. Seriously, I got a girl’s info off there…she had her full name, her husband’s name, her workplace, her dog’s names, pictures of her house, and pictures of the car that we needed to steal ALL on myspace. I told my agent to ask how “Fluffy” was doing when he got to the house.

Well, hope you guys enjoyed!!!!

Now it’s your turn!!!!!!! I tag…….

1. Brian

2. Kassy

3. Jordan

4. Karen

5. Kathleen

6. ScrappyTBear

7. I’m Going To Tri

Let’s see what you guys have!!!!! And anyone else who plays along and lists their 7, leave me a comment so I can come visit!!!!

Also don’t forget the poll in the last post!!! *points down*

Winter Wonderland

December 19, 2009 at 6:41 pm | Posted in 5k | 10 Comments
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Well there certainly is a winter wonderland covering most of Virginia right now!!!

It started yesterday around 2:30pm…and by 3pm the roads were nasty to say the least. Therefore, I’m stuck here. *Here being…my new home, not where I want to be which is home with Tracy and Carly an hour away*

At 7pm it looked like this outside.

So much snow!!!!

So much snow!!!!

 

And by this morning….

See that? There's usually a step DOWN on to the deck...not so much anymore.

See that? There's usually a step DOWN on to the deck...not so much anymore.

 So…I sit. And wait.

However this nice person did come by!

I don't know your name, TractorMan, but I sure do love you!!! Thanks for diggin my car out!

I don't know your name, TractorMan, but I sure do love you!!! Thanks for diggin my car out!

 

So, I guess we should go in to it.

The Work Week:

Well, technically I think it’s been 2 weeks…but they were a blur. Main points were the last few days before break. The kids were NUTS and they all seemed to think rules should fly out the window. I made several of them quiet upset by still enforcing all the rules and writing them up for infractions.

Too bad. So sad. Fairness sucks. 🙂

At school for the last two weeks there has been a plethora of goodies and junk. Biscuit breakfasts, Holiday lunches, cookies, cakes, candies as far as the eye can see. And I packed on about 5lbs because of it. Or rather because of my lack of self-control. *glare* But let me tell you something, you just can’t say no to a cookie you didn’t have to bake!

So that leads us nicely in to….

The Workout Week:

Well, the good news is I ran some!!! The Jingle Bell Run was last weekend and I ran the WHOLE thing which was my goal considering I only ran once the week before it, and barely 2 miles for that one. So I’m proud that I ran it, and mom came VERY close to placing in her age group…the competition is steep at that race with nearly 1500 participants!

Here are some highlights!

Race Start

Here we are...getting ready to go. Can you spot us???

It's a train, it's faster than a....no. It's not fast. It's just me and dad being less than great at photography. Love him anyway!

It's a train, it's faster than a....no. It's not fast. It's just me and dad being less than great at photography. Love him anyway!

"I'm bored, it's cold, and let's hurry this thing up!!!" says Dad.

"I'm bored, it's cold, and let's hurry this thing up!!!" says Dad.

"Silly dad, they have panera catering and I planned for this. HA!"

"Silly dad, they have panera catering and I planned for this. HA!"

 

So I didn’t come close to placing, but mom probably got 4th in her AG. I should check these things. But that’s ok. I ran.

Then this week I ran…once I think? I can’t remember. But I need to get back on the training wagon like woah. I’ve been looking at several halfs and fulls for spring. It’s time to kick it in to gear once and for all!!!

Let’s hope I can start tomorrow…the snow is making it kind of impossible for today.

The Knitting Week:

Um…I packed all my projects to take home and work on? That….is where the knitting starts and ends.

OH! But I did enter a knitting-related contest over on Meghan’s blog/podcast!!! *fingers crossed*

Other than that…no news.

Favorite:

I’m gonna steal the favorite that I used for  Meghan’s contest.

This week’s favorite thing is holiday traditions!!! My personal favorite is The Official Uncle Jimmy Christmas Present.

Uncle Jimmy and dad always exchange tool-type items. Dad is a retired professor turned contractor, and Jimmy does excavation. Hence the tools.

So every year at Christmas, dad gets Jimmy a present, and I am in charge of wrapping it. Originally, it was just normal, boring wrapping…but several years ago, Jimmy decided to give me a gag-gift for Christmas. Then the next year it was a present wrapped in layers and layers of paper. Then a present in a box in a box in a box….

So he really started it. It’s so not my fault.

And about 5 or 6 years ago, I started getting revenge.

One year the present consisted of layers of paper, layers of duct tape, wall paper, and fireworks.

See? It had a warning label and everything!!!

See? It had a warning label and everything!!!

Then there was the one that had battery powered christmas lights and barbed wire.

It lights up!! I mean come on, that's just awesome.

Last year I got a maze that you can put something small in…like a key. So Uncle Jimmy had to un-wrap the maze, which was in multiple boxes…then work the maze to get the key out, and the key then unlocked the padlock and chain that were wrapped around his real present…which had hardened insulation (The stuff in the can, “Great Stuff”) and dryway spackle. Mom…less than amused. Jimmy couldn’t stop laughing.

I'm holding the box with the maze in it. Beside me is the real present, under lock and key.

I'm holding the box with the maze in it. Beside me is the real present, under lock and key.

So far this year I haven’t made it home to wrap the present yet, because there is about 16 inches of snow outside and…I can’t drive the hour home because the interstates are shut down. But I have a pile of stuff ready to wrap the present. The pile includes curtain rods, cammo pants, dryer vents, cell phone chargers, cell phones, and bubble wrap. It’s starting to get hard to out-do myself.

It wouldn’t be Christmas without the “Official Jimmy Walker Christmas Present”. This is my first year living this far away from my family…so coming home to wrap that present is something I’ve been looking forward to for weeks. It’s my favorite part of the holidays, and I prepare for it all year long. I can’t even begin to put in to words how much I love this tradition. It’s more than playing a prank…I really feel like the effort I put in to this present, is equal to how much I love my whole family, and the holidays. Now my cousins take the present that their parents get me, and they wrap it in much the same fashion that I wrap their dad’s. Everyone is involved at this point.

So. That’s my faaaaaaavorite Christmas Thing.

Other Junk:

Well you heard about the snow already…so I’ll skip that part. In fun news I got to give Carly her Christmas/Graduation presents last week! She loved them.

Pretty gloves!!!

Pretty gloves!!!

And we also baked cookies. A metric ton of cookies.

Mmmmmmmm. And yes, I ate ALL the cookies.

Mmmmmmmm. And yes, I ate ALL the cookies.

And my neighbors got a puppy…

Olive!!!

Olive!!!

And…oh yeah…I GOT A DOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where am I? Why won't you let me sleep?

Where am I? Why won't you let me sleep?

He’s 2 years old, and his original name is/was Miho…but I’m thinking of changing it to Hemingway. I really wanted something that sounded like Miho, so as not to confuse him too much…but I just can’t find anything I like. So I’m pretty sure his name is now Hemi.

Paco…wasn’t too happy, but he’s slowly warming up to the idea. Last night he got semi-comfortable with the idea.

This is as close as Paco was comfortable getting to the new addition.

This is as close as Paco was comfortable getting to the new addition.

 

So far the new doggy is doing well. He has had a few indoor accidents but that’s kind of normal for confused/stressed animals. He was/is house trained according to his previous owner, but I think it’s just the confusion of the situation. I’m pretty sure he’ll get over it in a week or so. I hope.

He knows “sit” and “no” and today we worked on “stay” and “lie down” He did pretty well! We also are working on “don’t pee in the house” and “don’t put shoes in your mouth”.

Mostly, he just sleeps though. He seems really unsure about what’s going on, and what I want him to do. And he really does not like to go outside in the snow to use the bathroom. Haha. Poor guy. It’ll take time, but he’ll adapt. The good news is he is MUCH more accepting of Paco than Paco is of him. He has barely looked at Paco, but doesn’t fear Paco like Uri does. I think they will eventually be friends.

I’m also SUPER excited for Uri and Hemi to meet. I think they will get along well. They are about the same size I think. Hemi is really not very big for a boxer!!!

Well anyway, that’s all I have for this week. Time for the…

Sucking Up Shoutout:

This week’s shoutout goes to my family…in particular mom.

Mom, if you read this. DON’T KILL ME!!!!!!!! I KNOW I don’t NEED a dog right now. I KNOW you will not be happy about the dog and I especially know dad is NOT going to let the dog come to the house for Christmas….but….just try to be understanding.

The doggy is good with cats and doesn’t beg for food like a certain overweight gray feline we both know.

He’s a sweet dog….he really would behave if he can pretty please come over for Christmas!!!!! Mom, don’t freak out. I have wanted a dog for years….and I shouldn’t have to beg for your permission at this point in my life, but I feel like I do…

So just don’t freak out, and don’t make me feel bad about getting a dog. 😦 I wanted a doggy.

I got a doggy.

Don’t get mad.

Love you, mommy.

HOLY CRAP IRONMAN IS ON AND I FREAKING FORGOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! UGH!!!!!!!!!

And lastly…here’s my “Go dig the car out” outfit.

Yay for public humiliation.

Long sleeve tee. Pink gloves, blue XL vest, cammo pants, and trash bags tied to the belt loops. I was prepared.

Long sleeve tee. Pink gloves, blue XL vest, cammo pants, and trash bags tied to the belt loops. I was prepared.

 

Happy Holidays!!!!!

I Try

April 27, 2009 at 7:56 pm | Posted in 5k, Cross Training, People I Meet, running, TNT, Training | 4 Comments
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Yeah. That’s right. I did my first triathlon!!!!!!!!!!

Angel’s Triathlon!!! J I was sooo nervous but I did pretty well!!! I met my 2 goals which were to FINISH and to do so in under 2 hours!!! YAY!!!!!!!

So we’ll start on Saturday.

First off, on an un-tri-related note…my cat decided to be a holy terror. I was sitting in the living room having lunch and from my bedroom I hear a massive crash that sounds as though he may have set a bomb off somewhere in my closet. I fully expected to walk in my bedroom and be able to see through to the neighbor’s apartment. Thankfully that was not the case…but somehow…SOMEHOW my cat had managed to JUMP to the very tip top of the closet…a good 8 feet from the ground…and then had proceeded to shove everything off the closet shelf. Everything.

When I got in there, this is the scene I saw.

 

And then…from above…lept my cat. He jumped down…walked out of the room…then came back in, sniffed the wrecked pile of stuff in the floor as if to say “I heard a crash, I came as quickly as I could. What happened???” and then once he saw that none of his belongings were involved in the crash, he went to rest behind the door.

 

Yeah. That’s the face of evil. But it’s cute evil.

So after I cleaned up his mess, and cleaned my apartment, and packed, I left for mom’s at around 1pm. Mom and dad then drove me to where the Tri Club was meeting to go to the race. And let me just say, I only freaked out about what I was packing about 3 times…which is good for me.

Oh, and before I left, Tracy wrote some good luck messages on me. One from the dog…and one from him.

We loaded all the gear in to the vans and we were off! And I proceeded to mildly freak out about the reality of the impending race day.

The race was about 2 hours away and we were staying with one of the club member’s parents. They were making dinner for us and had some wonderful snacks ready when we got there. While we waited we chatted and I got to play a pretty decent game of chess! Woot for chess!!!

Dinner was amazing and then we went over bikes and checked the gear. (Read as: Everyone who knew what they were doing checked their gear and bikes. I pestered people with questions and said about 40341 prayers. However the Tri Club is amazing and dealt with my questions VERY well. You guys rock.)

 

So…then we had a small meeting and then it was time for bed. And…I woke up around 3:30am or 4. Because let’s face it. I worry. A lot. And I freak out on a regular basis…and…there was plenty for me to worry over. Or at least I thought.

By 5:15 when the alarm went off I’d given myself an awesome upset stomach. Thankfully I didn’t have time to freak out too much because we had to be out the door by 5:45. So…I packed and ran!

We got to the race site around 6am and set up our transition areas and get body marked. Since this was my first time one of the other more experienced members helped me set up. Actually almost all of the other members helped me a GREAT deal. They ALL wished me good luck and they were all amazingly supportive. Not once did they make me feel like an outsider in their club/sport nor did they treat me like I had no clue what I was doing…which…well that was the reality of it. I am so grateful to the entire club for being so overwhelmingly helpful, friendly, and supportive.

For this race they ask you who you’re running for, meaning someone that currently has an illness or has passed away due to an illness. I chose 3 people to run my race for; my friend’s cousin who had passed away, Matt; My former art teacher who died of cancer, Sally; and my friend’s mom who is currently fighting cancer, Shirley. The names of these 3 people were written on me in permanent marker and are still on me right now.

So once I had everything set up…and had re-checked it umpteen times I began to go over my game plan. By this time I was trying to figure out what part of the tri to worry about most. I knew I could deal with the run…because I’m a runner. I know how to do that. I’ve got plenty of experience. So that leaves the swim and bike to fret over. Well….I’d swam almost double the distance of this swim earlier in the week so I knew I was capable of it…and I’d tried biking this week and…well…you know that story. So…my logical deduction was that I should worry about the bike. Ok. 15 miles of biking. If I can get through that…I can do this.

Right.

Well the event started at 8:00am. My start time wasn’t until 9:19am. So…I had some extra worry time. But thankfully, MOM APPEARED!!! YAY MOM AND DAD!!!!!!!!!!!

They set to work taking pictures and around 8:45 I got in the warm-up pool and did a few laps and before I knew it, it was time for me to line up.

THEN I WAS DOING A TRIATHLON!!!!!!!!!!

 

Nice pic, mom.

I PASSED SOMEONE SWIMMING!!! Yeeeah me. Go me. I was one of the two people with the VT Tri Club that was doing their first tri. She and I decided that our goal was to pass someone at some point in the race…and I SO TOTALLY DID!!! So did she, so congrats to her!

Anyway, then I was off and running to my first transition. I spent a little extra time here because I wanted to make sure I got everything right and also since I FAIL at drinking water while biking…I made sure and drank before I got on the bike. So…then I was off. And I biked.

And I kinda rocked it.

I did stop twice to drink and take a Gu because everyone had told me hydration was key…so I went with it. And really, the bike part was kinda nice. I enjoyed it. I did go slower than I would have liked but I am still kind of scared of going fast down hills so I stayed within my comfort zone and just enjoyed it. I got a little sore but not too bad. Before I knew it, I was biking back towards the transition area. I only had to get off the bike and push it one time because there was one very evil hill. Actually, there were two evil hills, but the second one had AMAZING crowd support and I’d like to give a huge shoutout to the Angel’s Volunteers…without their cheering I never would have made it. I still can hear their voices in my head. I think they knew how hard that hill was so they positioned themselves there for a reason. I can honestly say I wouldn’t have made it up that hill still biking if it hadn’t been for them. So…if you were volunteering for this race, thank you. You have no idea how much your support meant. You are the ONLY reason I got up that hill.

And then it was time for my second transition. Time to run. Running. I got this. I’ve done this. I know I can do this.

I got part of a Gu…got a lot of water…and ran.

And mom met me and ran with me!!! YAY MOM!!!

But dang. I was exhausted. Just…spent. I ran. And I ran as much as I could. But eventually I had to walk. It was hot, pushing 80 degrees, and I was TIRED.

So I walked some and ran some…and WAS able to finish the race running!!! And actually my run time wasn’t terrible. I’ve had worse run times!!!

Looking back…you know what part I liked the best? The bike.

Remember what I decided to worry about? The bike.

Yeah.

So my times were as follows: Swim – 8:08. T1 – 2:31. Bike – 1:08:23. T2 – 1:19. Run – 35:34.

Total time: 1:55:52. Under 2 hours. I did it.

I TRI’d my best. And I’m now a triathlete. And the USAT sticker is now proudly on my car.

And when I got home from the tri, there was a surprise in my freezer. The worlds most amazing boyfriend left ice cream cupcakes and some…instructions for how to arrange them depending on if I finished or not (He was exposed to my excessive worry…I think I damaged him) which was awesome. He had to leave for a business trip so that’s why he wasn’t there to support me. 🙂

And I’m already picking out my next triathlon. I’ve found some awesome ones in Tennessee later this summer… J

And Shoutouts:

Heather: For being the best trainer ever. For always making me feel better. For picking me up when I fall. For pushing me. For telling me I could do this. For never giving up on me. For being a BAMF. Thanks.

Jan: Thanks for getting me through the half. And thanks for checking in to see if I’m doing ok. J Your support means a lot and I promise to continue to keep you updated about my progress!!! MCM is coming up and I plan to bug you plenty about it!!!! I can’t wait to start back with TNT again soon!!!!

Dad: Thanks for driving. And you’re a great pack mule. LOVE YOU!!!!

The Race

December 27, 2007 at 5:42 pm | Posted in Books, Training | 2 Comments
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Well I’m a bit late on this. I got quite busy toward the end of training and then after the race I developed a stomach condition right as I was ending my recovery and starting to train for my Jaunary race. The stomach condition lasted until….well it’s still here. Currently I’m on medication and hopefully it will work this time. It appears as though I have some small ulcers in the end of my small intestine that may be causing my symptoms.

Due to the nature of this condidtion I have not been able to train since September 22nd. I miss it very much. Although I don’t currently run, running is still a huge part of my world. I’m reading “The Perfect Mile” right now as well as “The Courage to Start”. Both of which inspire me to get back out there. I’m hoping to go for a “test run” this weekend. I have missed the January race training and I’m considering a march race. I’ll certinaly do some 5K’s but I think I am going to fall 1 short of my goal of 5 5K’s for 2007. I’m considering the goal of 8 5K’s for 2008.

Apparently I never wrote a review of my half marathon.

Hmmm….

Well, here’s the course map…

And this is the metal I got at the end

2007 Finisher's Medal

So we will now continue to a 4 month overdue race report:

I arrived in Virginia Beach on Saturday before my race. I went straight to the race expo to pick up my packet and bib number. Being my first half marathon this was all very new to me. I also did some shopping at the expo. It was amazing and I found myself wishing I had more time (and money) to spend there. Next race I will arrive two days prior to the race so I can more fully enjoy all that the expo has to offer. There were lectures and clinics that I would have liked to attend.

From the expo I went on to the hotel. I found my room and my coaches. My roommate soon arrived and we chatted a bit. All of the Team In Training participants were staying in the same hotel, but we were not all from the same area. There were TNT members from 11 different states. We had a banquet that evening with guest speakers. One being my favorite author and Runners World columnist, John Bingham.

johnb
I was thrilled to meet him. He signed my copy of “Marathoning For Mortals”. I can’t tell you how excited I was to meet him.

The morning of the race began at 3:30am. We had to be downstairs and ready to leave by 4:30, so I got up with plenty of time to prepare. My stomach was a ball of nerves. I took some medication to settle it. After a bit I felt better and was able to eat some of my energy bar.

wholeteam

That is our team just before leaving for the race start.

We arrived at the start by 5:00am. The elite athletes went off at around 6:30. I was in corral 18 or so…there were 22,000 people racing that day. It was close to 7:30 by the time I made it to the actual timed start mats.

vtme1

I supported my school and our fallen 32 victims. I also met some of the Run for 32 participants. The organizer of this group was featured in this month’s edition of Runner’s World.

Once we started running, the race was rather fun. There were bands and cheerleaders all along the course. They compete for a cash prize with the winner being voted on by the runners so that was enjoyable. Around mile 2 the elite runners were on mile 8 and passed us on the opposite side of the road. It was truly amazing to see these people run past. Just to know you are literally following in their footsteps. The race winner ran the 13.1 miles in around an hour. Quite amazing.

Miles came and went, bands went by in a blurr. Water stations were a welcome respite. We enjoyed some gel packs as well to keep our energy up. Around mile 8 I caught up with my coach.

coachb

Coaches for TNT have to be highly visible. Coach Brett and his wife Edna had their hula skirts on so we could find them. The coaches for TNT stay out on the course until every one of their participants from their region has finished. They run the race twice, practically. They often double back to run with faster or slower runners.

Coach Brett also caught up to me again around mile 10 when I was really feeling the pain. Miles 11 and 12 were the worst. It was really helpful to have all the spectators along the way though. With TNT you have your singlet with your name on it, and many spectators know this and read your name and cheer for you. It’s really encouraging to have people you don’t know cheer your name. Often these fans are former TNT members or are cancer survivors who know the meaning and work of TNT. I was honored to be running for such a wonderful cause.

I vaguely remember somewhere in mile 13 Coach Brett being beside me and telling me I had .25 miles to go. I knew I was struggling but didn’t care. Somehow I find some extra energy in the last quarter mile and sprinted in. It was an amazing feeling.

I finished the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon with a chip time of 2:25:31 and a clock time of around 2:57.

I was very proud of my effort.

medal

At the end of the race was the worst part. You went from an all out sprint, to a dead halt while volunteers handed out metals, water, iced towels, and took your chips off your shoes. You could literally feel the lactic acid burning in your legs.

The best part about the end was the ocean being right there. It felt wonderful to go straight into the cool ocean. It really helped with the sore muscles. I was so excited that it was over, but sad as well. I didn’t have my family there to celebrate with me. Next time I’ll make sure I have a support crew. I did enjoy spending time with my teammates though. We were all really proud, as well as really tired.

Eventually it was time for the post-race party and then the drive home. All in all it was a wonderful experience. I hope to have many repeats of it in the future.

And on that note, I’m off for now!

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