Last "Tri" of the Year

Our local triathlon club has a virtual tri camp (VTC) every year where each participating member logs their miles for 10 days and the man and woman with the most points gets crowned the VTC King and Queen. Well this year they added a twist and it is men versus the women, and I have not been doing very well for my team with all these rest days the past week. So today I made up for that a little bit with a mini end of the year "tri."

Woke up early and headed to the local (20 yard, warm-Uggh!) pool and got in a quick 1,000 yards(10 points).

Then I loaded up my trainer, gatorade, bike etc and headed to JT's place for a group brick with JC and DaisyDuc. We did 135 minutes on the trainer (45 points) with a few harder sets worked into the first hour then headed out for an easy 4.25 mile run (17 points) around the 'hood.

It was a good workout with great friends. Nice way to spend the morning, although I am sure I will pay for it tomorrow during my 12 mile New Years Eve run with my running club.

I am off to take a nap now then it is time to clean up the house.

Tomorrow is David and JT's birthdays so we are headed to JT's for some partaying and then Monday I am going to kick off the year with a mini tri. A 5-25 yard "swim/polar plunge" in Lake Erie, a short trainer ride, and a short run. Then we are having some friends over for games to celebrate David's birthday. Should be a fun weekend!

Happy New Year everyone!
Breakfast at IHOP after the annual December 24th run in Bedford

Starting to get back into my running groove. I felt like crap the entire run and the hills were brutal, but was glad to know afterwards that it was because we were averaging just under 9 minute miles on one of the hardest routes I run all year. There's hope for me yet!
Christmas Eve
Christmas Morning
Stocking Stuffers
Three Kings Day

Stolen From Su

If I understand this Meme right you bold the items on the list that apply to you then add one of your own to the end. I thought it was a good one.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree

10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game

16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa.
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper

21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne

24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight

28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking

37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer.

40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk.
42. Had amazing friends

43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe.
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach

50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero

58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football

61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater

66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured an ancient site
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played Dungeons & Dragons for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently well enough to have a decent conversation
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour

99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication

106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a sting-ray
110. Broken someone’s heart

111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone(fractured metatarsal)
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about

130. Gone back to school
131. Para-sailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes

134. Read The Iliad
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you

145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident

150. Saved someone’s life
151. Finished a marathon
152. Finished a Half Ironman
153. Finished a 50 mile ultramarathon

A short jaunt on the towpath- JFK Part 2

As I started onto the towpath I looked around. Runners were a bit more spread out now. I had been passed by a large group while I was changing shoes so these were mostly new faces, and a few ones I had seen earlier on the trail. I tried to settle into a comfortable pace as SP told me to run my own race now. I saw B50 back and forth for quite a bit through this section. We just weren't running the same pace and taking the same walk breaks.

There were a few people I noticed more than others. One was Conrad. He was wearing red and we had chatted briefly earlier on the trail. We were both running at a decent clip so we decided to hang for a bit. He had a sub 10 goal as well. My plan for the towpath was to run 20 minutes/walk a minute and walk through all aid stations. I think Conrad was on more of a run to each aid station and wait for his friend plan. I had to lose him a few times for my walk breaks but would see him at the next aid station where he would be stretching and waiting for his friend while I snagged some potato chips, a cookie, and more gatorade. I would have liked to keep the permanent company but I felt like this "easy" pace wasn't quite easy enough and that I needed it to feel like I was holding back a bit. Conrad went on to finish in 9:35!

There were stone mile markers along the towpath. I knew that we got on somewhere around 58 and we got off at 84ish but I didn't pay any attention to the mile markers for the first 15 miles or so. I really didn't want to be thinking about how far I had gone or how far I still needed to go. Instead of looking at actual miles I would occasionally glance at my watch every two markers to see my pace, knowing that if I had crossed one at 21 minutes and the next at 41 I was averaging around 10 minute miles. I feel like a big part of mentally surviving extreme endurance events is just staying in the moment.

The towpath seemed to be more dirt than gravel which was nice. It felt more like a trail than the towpath in Cleveland does. The Potomac was raging until we hit the first dam where it suddenly became calm. I have always loved running along the river and tried to enjoy the chaos of the rushing waters. The views of West Virginia across the river were beautiful too. There were a couple places where you just had to slow and soak it all in.

The wind was a bit fierce for a few miles early on and I threw my jacket back on just in time for a photo. Luckily I found that one in the lost and found.

During each one minute walk I would try to eat some sports beans and drink. For awhile the 20 minute intervals seemed pretty long. I would glance at my watch thinking it must be close to time for a walk and it would only have been 4 minutes from the last walk.

I thought it was so funny how you would see the same people over and over again because of the difference in run/walk plans. I ran with another lady for a mile that seemed a good pace for me but then it was time for her walk break. Everyone was very friendly, runners and volunteers alike. Always commenting on how well I was doing for my first time or cheering for the "pink lady" and "Wild Bill." I saw the same cheering crowd at almost every station along with a man holding a sign for Ray.

Since the healthy aid station stop I had made at 15.5 for orange slices and bananas I made a switch to foods with more sugar and salt. I was taking a handful of potato chips and a cookie at every stop. (Who knew those little half vanilla half chocolate with cream filling cookies were such a great fuel?)

Around 22 miles I accidentally tried to take chips at the same time as another man, Travis. I apologized and we both got our food and walked on. I noticed his shirt said North Country Trail Marathon and I commented that I loved that race and was planning on doing it again next year. We started to chat and decided to run together for awhile. I convinced him to switch over to my 20/1 plan so we would both have company and hopefully run at a slightly faster but still safe pace. This was his second JFK and his goal was to break 10. His wife was also running and he estimated that she was about 30 minutes ahead of us. He was looking forward to seeing their family at the aid station at 30.

What feels like a few miles into our run now but must have only been a mile or so thinking back I saw B50 up ahead and watched as she bit it, Hard on the path. I jogged up to her and Travis said goodbye to me. I looked at her in the eyes and asked if she would be ok. She looked back at me and nodded. Two men had already stopped to take care of her so I decided to catch Travis and keep running. Thankfully one of the men that stopped with her caught us and let us know that she was just fine and that she had just knocked the wind out of herself but was more in shock than hurt. From that point I thought of her often and wondered if I had made the right decision to keep moving along.

I chatted with Travis every now and then but for the most part we just kept each other company. Even if you aren't talking it is nice to know you have a friend along for the ride with you. Around 24 miles we picked up one of my friends from Cleveland, BH. BH had a huge year this year, running well in several marathons and ultras. He was walking and he recognized me as we passed and picked it up to stay with us. He said he had gone out a bit fast on the trail, and just wasn't feeling it. He said he was ready to drop and was just trucking along until the next aid station which he thought his wife would be at.

I was disappointed he wasn't going to keep running, it would have been nice to run with someone I knew. But we enjoyed the miles that we did get in together. Somewhere through here we passed the local legend Leo Lightner who I had been lucky enough to run with earlier this fall at West Woods. I think this was his 10th JFK in a row at age 78! As we passed a towpath marker Travis remarked that we must be halfway done. I looked at my watch which was around 4:58 and thought "No way!". I expressed my joy in being right on pace for a 10 hour finish. I didn't think I would be so close to pace yet, feeling that I would slowly make up the slow trail miles over the course of the towpath marathon. Travis wasn't quite as happy mentioning that he would like to have a bit more of a time cushion. The three of us stuck to the 20/1 plan and I continued on with Travis as we left BH at the aid station around 27 miles.

These miles are blending together in my mind which is probably due to the good company. I honestly can't remember but swear there was also an aid station at 25. Seems like a lot of aid stations in a small space though.

At the 30 mile aid station Travis found his family and I ran ahead. I saw a few runners that had blazed by us early on the trail and overheard one of the girls say "I thought running was supposed to be fun, this isn't fun." Thankfully I was thinking just the opposite as I headed for the food. I think this was the first aid station with soup and I gratefully sipped on that while walking through this section. I grabbed three salt pills and took one with some water, storing the others in my fanny pouch thing. I ate a cookie and moved along. A few minutes after the aid tables I hear "Go E-Speed" and see Rootsrunner and his friends sitting at the side of the trail. I stop to chat and he asks if he can get me anything. I blank a bit but then ask for electrolytes. I tell him about B50 and BH and he offers me some gum which sounded good so I took a piece and headed on my way.

During the next 4 miles the trail became a bit more shaded and I spent most of the time just moving forward. I found TB and we ran together for a bit. I would run ahead and make a pit stop and then find him ahead of me again at the next aid station. This happened twice over 8 miles and made me laugh both times as TB commented that it was awfully nice of me to keep making the pit stops so he could catch up to me. (I swear a portalet would magically appear every time I needed one on the towpath, the ultra gods were definitely smiling on me)

During this section after one of my pit stops I got out my carbo pro in a baggie and dumped it into my gatorade. Well I must have somehow got the baby wipes on that bag and every sip I took tasted like baby wipes and made me want to hurl. I thought maybe I just got it on the mouthpiece so at the next aid station I thoroughly washed the cap with water and moved along. Unfortunately somehow I had gotten the baby wipe flavor in the bottle so I had to dump the whole thing and wait for another refill until the next aid station. I was ticked because that was about 300 calories I had to dump but I figured I must be getting enough in at all the aid stations, and that it was better to have less fuel than to get sick off baby wipe flavored gatorade.

Around 34 miles I stopped to empty my shoe and saw a possum ahead running along the towpath towards the runners going the other way. Not sure what he was up to but it was a nice distraction from the task at hand. Later I found out that B50 stopped for him and tried to share her cookie but that he kindly turned her down and said he was headed for the aid station and better grub. :)

It was somewhere before the 38 mile special that the snotting incident occurred causing me to laugh out loud and exclaim that "You Got Me!" Turns out the snotter had sold me my JFK bumper sticker the night before and was very friendly. I saw him back and forth for the rest of the towpath and he would often encourage me and remind me that I was going to finish. To which I replied that at this point finishing was a sure thing, now it was time to think about finishing under my secret dream goal.

I eventually made it to the 38 mile special station and was elated to find jolly ranchers there waiting for me. I took a handful and grabbed a cup of chicken noodle soup. I walked along slurping my soup. Grabbed a P&J sandwich but it didn't taste good so I stuck with the noodle soup and laughed as a lady passed me with soup too but she had managed to find spoons and was doing much better with hers. I laughed but kept on slurping.

This section of the towpath was pretty well lit and I really noticed the fall leaves as I sucked on my jolly rancher. I noticed a runner about my pace and decided to stick with him for awhile to pick up my pace a bit. The miles were starting to slow down and I wanted to get back in a groove. I hung with him for a bit and we picked up others and passed some more of the AM starters. I always tried to pass along a "great job" to anyone I went by. It was such a treat to see so many groups of runners together laughing and having a good time, and thinking of how most of them had already been out there for two more hours than I had.

Check out this Flickr Page for some more fun JFK 2006 Photos

Through this section I started to feel a bit tired, never depressed or like I wouldn't finished, but a little less peppy. I slowed for a walk break. Somewhere after mile 38 I started trying to do some math. It wasn't going so well. I kept running the numbers but they weren't coming out right and I finally decided that I actually had an extra 2 miles more than what I thought was left on the towpath which may have also contributed to the slightly more tired feeling.

Despite those feelings this was the section of the race where I really started to realize what an amazing accomplishment the day was. I had made myself a pact to be happy with whatever the day gave me and I was so excited that it was going so well. During this section I made a lot of self reaffirmation. This is where I truly realized that it didn't matter if I took one more step, I had proven to myself that I was a good runner and that I had earned the title of one.

Luckily I was just really bad at math and shortly after the mile 84 marker I saw an aid station and stopped to get some cola (deciding the poor math skills and lack of peppiness warranted some caffeine!), chips, soup, and a cookie from some very under enthused teenage volunteer's (perhaps they hadn't chose to do this ;)) I followed a taller man I had seen back and forth since before the possum off the towpath with a shirt that said "Size Matters" on the back, and he turned to me and said "We beat the vest." I looked back at him in disbelief and replied "No freaking way!" and then I started hooting and hollering and proclaiming "We beat the vest!" while pumping my fists in the air. I heard a few comments from behind about how I shouldn't get so excited "The hardest part was yet to come." I honestly didn't care one ounce! I looked at my watch which said 7:56 and realized I could walk in and finish under the cutoff and was elated.

I had finished the towpath marathon (26.3ish) in 4:40.44 and was super pumped up for the last section of the race to begin.

C & O Towpath pictures from this site

Just so you know

I just tried orange juice on my cereal for the first time (milk is expired), and it is quite disgusting.


I also just discovered that I had about 70 unused Christmas cards from the past few years but I have no idea which versions I sent to everyone so I have no idea what to do with these perfectly good cards.

Goals today are to get in a spin workout and some pilates. Wrap some Birthday gifts. Pack for the trip to Michigan. Update my blog to "beta" after making a backup up of all posts to word (anyone have a quick fix for that?). Post about the second leg of JFK. Organize the tupperware cupboard. Do laundry. Perhaps organize some photos, digital and hard copies.

I think I can handle it!

2 a weeks

I have become a Tuesday and Wednesday Runner. Well at least for the past three weeks I have :) Last night I ran 2 light miles with my husband which was nice. I know he hates it so I try to enjoy it for both of us.

Tuesday night it was back to hill repeats. I couldn't quite keep up with the boys but I held my own. We did a hill ladder workout on the less steep but longer back hill in the park. 4 mile warm up then 1/3 hill, 2/3 hill, hill, hill, 2/3 hill, 1/3 hill. My best guess is that the hill is between .2 and .25 miles long. I managed to negative split the ladder so I was happy with the workout.

Stats for the run:

19:16 2 miles (9:38 pace)

18:45 ~1.75 miles (10:43 pace)

Hill Ladder (Hill ~.20-.25 miles) (.33, .66, 1, 1, .66, .33)
Hill Split (rest/down hill)
35.87 (1:02),
1.0037 (1:32),
1:37.63 (2:19),
1:36.24 (2:21),
59.06 (1:42.04),

16:20.64 ~1.75 miles (9:20 pace)

I'm a far cry from 7:30 pace right now but I definitely felt stronger after the hill workout so maybe my speed will start coming back to me!

I haven't forgotten about JFK or a few other posts rolling around in my brain, I just haven't had time to get them down, but I do relive JFK at least once a week at group runs with those who haven't heard the story :) Trying to drag this one out as long as I can!

Bizarre Phone Call

This was so odd I had to post about it.

Went to a party Thursday night for a TNT friend I hadn't seen in forever. I got there early and was helping set up. Someone brought up having drama and I realized I have no real drama anymore. At least not the kind that always seemed to surround me in high school and college, and for a few minutes it really made me breathe easy.

Well about 5 minutes after I say something along the lines of "it is so nice not to have any drama anymore" my phone rings.

Unidentified Caller

So I pick up and hear "Who the hell do you think you are?"

I hang up because obviously this call is not for me.

Phone rings again so I pick up and declare "I'm sorry you must have the wrong number"

The retort comes "Well who is this?"

I repeat that I believe she has called the wrong number.

retort "This isn't Colleen?"

me "No this isn't Colleen, you have the wrong number."

retort "Well who the hell is this?"

Me "Elizabeth and I am sorry but you obviously have the wrong number."

retort "Well you're a bi&^h anyways." click

I put my phone back in my pocket completely in shock of what has just happened.

Obviously someone was really in the mood to give someone a talking to and since she wasn't able to get a hold of Colleen she felt I was a good surrogate.

Some people!

2 out of 3...

isn't so bad right?

I managed to wake up earlier two mornings in a row but this morning was a bust. I got up, walked across the room to turn off my husbands alarm, and then I marched over to my alarm and reset it for 40 minutes later.

For reference my alarm is on our dresser which is about 3-5 feet from the bed. I think I woke up to my alarm 4 or 5 times, got out of bed and turned it off and went back to sleep 4 or 5 times. I'm crafty like that! I even took out my ear plugs thinking that the noise of the humidifier would draw me from my sleep, but it was a no go.

Oh well! On my run tonight I was a bit drained so a double with a swim this morning probably wouldn't have been too bright anyways!

I am going to attempt for the early start again tomorrow though to get into the pool, wish me luck!

Onto other business.

I have had all my Christmas cards written and ready to go since last week. I, at the time, wasn't waking up early, so I thought to myself let's order our stamps online this year to save a trip to the post office. I ordered them Thursday. Are they here yet? NOPE! Uggh. And to top that off I had to go to the post office this morning anyways to drop off our cards going to foreign countries but couldn't buy the stamps there because they already charged my card for the stamps I ordered online :( I do have one thing going for me though, our cards this year are totally non religious so it is okay even if they arrive after Christmas.

We do have all our presents wrapped and the decorations are up so that is good. Of course all of the gifts are hidden in the guest bedroom because my cats have a ribbon and tissue paper fetish.

I have been looking over training programs for the 5k and I think I may be in serious trouble. The First program looks rough. I am not sure if you are supposed to base it on your current 5K time or your desired time but either way the paces are FAST. Much faster than the 11 minute miles I am now accustomed to after running 50 miles at that pace. I think I can handle the shorter stuff fast but some of the tempo runs look wicked. 2 miles at something like 6:46-7:08 pace, Yikes! Basically the 400 pace would be something like 5:46-6:08 and long tempo paces would be from 7:16-7:38 pace I distinctively remember seeing mile repeats at 6:11 pace and almost fainting. I'll have to look tomorrow at the time frame etc. Chili Bowl in February may have to just be a warm up for the real PR test if I can't get my speed up fast enough this winter. Right now I am kind of enjoying running just for the sake of running at any pace I desire.

Good Sign

It's 6 AM and I am up and getting ready to head to the pool.

This is a good sign that I may be able to climb out of this funk I have been in!

My trick? I set David's alarm clock to wake me up instead of mine. What you may not know about me is I am a snooze aholic. I can press the snooze for hours and literally fall right back to sleep after every snooze. Our bed is so comfy and most mornings it is much too difficult for me to drag myself out of bed. It seems to get especially difficult in the winter when it seems to always be dark and cold. I am hoping this new trick will keep me waking up earlier and getting more done in the morning!

This weekend was productive despite feeling like crap. Friday I had a migraine and stayed home but I got all my holiday cards addressed and I finally finished A's scarf that I started for her 2 years ago! Saturday was candy making day. I cut back on the amount I am giving this year but still went to help David's mom and sister with the production of the candy. My head was fuzzy all day long but I managed to survive. A nice surprise this year was that we were done with everything including clean up by 10 PM. And that was after starting an hour late. The third person really helped!

Yesterday I didn't manage to get out of bed to run but after sleeping in super late I did get up and start to tackle the mess that has overtaken the house. I got caught up on all the dishes and laundry and cleaned up the living room and hall.

Last week I did get in 2 short runs at a pretty slow pace. Today I am going to start my "official" training to PR my 5k in February. Looks like I will be spending some time on the treadmill to get in some speed work. This could get ugly ;)


I don't know what is up but this week I have just not had the will to post or comment. I am reading and I will click to comment, but then I realize I've got nothing.

No clue what that's about. I think the looming cold weather and the early darkness probably are playing a part. Might also be this empty feeling I have since doing no excercise since Thanksgiving.

Anyways bear with me. I am sure I will be back up and posting in no time.

We've only just begun- JFK Part 1

Friday morning I rushed around hauling all my packed stuff downstairs and making a last minute CD for the trip. I was riding with three Cleveland runners, Rootsrunner, Dr. Louis, and B50. We made really good time with Dr. Louis at the wheel. We were all pretty excited for the next day and discussed all the little intricacies of our planned wardrobe, pace, etc. I provided my friends with pace charts for 10, 11, and 12 hour finishes. We arrived a bit early so we went straight to Boonsboro to check out the first few miles of the course. Gulp!

The first 2 miles or so are up a monster hill. You start in Boonsboro on US Route 40 and head uphill about 2 miles to jump onto the Appalachian Trail. We drove up the hill then hopped out and checked out a bit of the AT. Not too many rocks right there so I wasn't too worried and we headed out to pick up our packets.

I ended up purchasing a bumper sticker and a hoodie and figured that was my motivation to make it to the finish line. You can't wear race memorabilia if you don't finish the race right?

We headed to the hotels and laid out our stuff for the next morning and then it was off to dinner. I scarfed down a small pizza, a bottle of gatorade and carbo pro, and a beer and was getting extremely tired and figured I would get a good nights sleep.

Hmm not so much. I laid in bed all night tossing and turning and never drifted off. So it was no surprise to me when we got our wake up call at 4:45. I jumped up and made some coffee. Took a quick shower then body glided everywhere! I did not want any chafing this time around. 26.2 miles is one thing with chafing, 50 miles with chafing is quite another! Downed another bottle of gatorade and carbo pro and got dressed.

On the way over we all pumped up our tunes. I chose "I can't get enough" by the Infadels to get me ready. I managed to get down a banana and an apple but food didn't really sound all that appetizing.

Found a short line for the portalets outside the high school and I partook then it was off to the gym for the pre race chat. I searched for SP's friend and his wife who were so kind as to offer to take my road shoes to mile 15 so I could wear my trail shoes on the AT. I found them and shortly after found SP. We decided we would all try to run together on the AT since we all wanted to finish around 10 hours.

I had hydrated a bit too well and had to make a pit stop at a gas station on the way over but made it to the start line in time to realize it was pretty warm and tied my jacket around my waist. I wanted to keep it in case it got cold later. If I were to finish in the dark I knew I would want it.

The group starting was huge, over 1100 runners. Nothing like the 100 or so that had done North Country and YUT-C. The race started and we all jogged up the road. I wanted to jog up the hill.,I didn't want to go too fast, but I also didn't want to walk and risk having to try and pass on the single track AT.

My shins were on fire instantly but this has been common lately and I knew it would subside in 30 minutes or so. I also noticed my left contact didn't want to sit right in my eye. We all laughed and joked as we made our way up the hill. I spotted a man having trouble keeping his shorts on and nicknamed him assman. Unfortunately for him that is awful early in the race to have your shorts falling off! I commented to SP that we need to beat assman to the AT because frankly I didn't want to stare at this mans posterior for 15.5 miles!

We managed to jog most of the hill but some places were too steep and we power walked. We made it to the top in about 20 minutes and headed onto the trail. This section passed quickly as we cruised along the trail passing a few people and being passed by a few others. SP's friend TB was sailing on the down hills while we were a bit slower. After about a mile or so of trail it was back to the pavement and a huge incline.

I knew about the pavement and I knew most of the elevation gain was in the first 5 miles but shit this hill was not what I had envisioned! We power walked up the hill with about 100 of our friends. We chatted with a Reston Runner named Jim and awed at a very tall runner who was walking up the hill about twice as fast as us. He claimed it was all in the turnover but I started taking my steps in time with him and still couldn't keep up. I noticed another Cleveland runner I had seen at YUT-C and figured I should keep behind him since he had run about 30 minutes faster than me at YUT-C.

We finally hit 5.7 miles at around 60 minutes and it was back onto the trail for the next 10 miles. After the pavement it was a quick downhill with some technical rocks. A few runners came flying by down the hill but most of us were running around the same pace. We came to a point where if you had kept running straight you would have went straight off a cliff. The view was awesome and a few runners stopped for a picture. We turned to the right and continued down the trail. I spent the next few miles following SP and keeping track of her foot placement. This was her 4th or 5th 50 miler so I figured she knew what she was doing!

That plan worked out great for me and we hit 9.3 miles pretty quickly. After a steep descent we exited the woods to loud cheering and a huge crowd. It was surreal to come out of the solitary woods and the rocky trail to this huge crowd of spectators and volunteers. I grabbed two pretzels and waited in line at the portalet. I ate a handful of sports beans while waiting and SP said she would walk until I caught up. After the short wait I headed up the trail.

I tried to jog to catch up but this was a steep incline and there was a long trail of runners walking. I would jog a bit then walk a bit until I finally caught SP. I felt bad because I didn't want her to slow down for me. But it worked out fine and we began to run at a good clip again after the hill. This section was rockier than the first miles on the AT but most of it was runnable. My mantra became "Stay Upright." I had visions of face planting on one of the pointy rocks and that wasn't how I wanted to end my day. I only saw one man fall here and he hit his knee pretty hard but seemed to be okay. We stayed in this group of 4 or 5 for quite a ways and SP and I would trade leading on the trail.

At some point a young man came running by and we chatted a bit. This was his 2nd or 3rd time at JFK and his plan on the AT was to walk the downs and run the ups. It must of been working well for him because he predicted we would be off in 3 hours which was faster than I had planned. Well he cruised along and probably did get off in 3 hours. My body was starting to get sore so I took 2 ibuprofen as we walked up another hill. I had 6 pills with me (the max allowed in 24 hours) and hoped not to have to take all of them. We talked with the man who had fallen and he asked what our plan was for the marathon on the towpath. I said we were hoping for 5 hours, he was hoping for the same. Other than those few small conversations we didn't talk much. The trail was pretty technical in areas and I really just wanted to focus on getting off the trail in one piece.

We started passing some 5 AM starters with a mile or 2 to go on the trail. The sweeper was walking behind a young woman in her orange bib and we joked that he wasn't doing a good job of sweeping as the trail was still covered in leaves (insert chuckle here).

After we passed the sweeper the downhill started. I encouraged any orange bibs I passed as I tried to make my way down the rocky hillside. I had to slow a few times to find a safe place to pass and to let those behind me through but for the most part I was able to run my own pace here. I let SP go as she was much better at the downhill. Someone informed us we were almost to the switchbacks.

The switchbacks were not as bad as I thought they would be and for the most part were runnable. The rocks here were larger, mostly boulders so you could run on top of them (thank goodness for trail shoes!). I made my way down without any trouble although my stomach had began to rumble and I realized I was starving! The photographers were waiting for us as we descended the switchbacks (they had also been waiting on the downhill at mile 9) so I smiled but kept my eyes on the path. I didn't want to be caught slipping on the hill on photo!

We ran off the trail at what I thought was 15.5 and found TB's wife waiting with our shoes, she had them set out with our fresh socks ready to go! What a Saint! As I am switching my shoes out I hear Rootsrunner behind me ask what I need. He was supposed to be well on his way along the towpath and caught me off guard. Turns out he sprained his ankle really bad and was done for the day. He went and got me water to refill my bottle which had been empty for a ways and then gave me one of his gels. I stretched and headed on my way.

My left contact had been moving around in my eye the entire time on the trail. Apparently it didn't get the memo that in order to avoid rocks you need to see them. Well on this little section before the towpath it finally fell out and landed on my cheek. I stuck it in my mouth as I tried to follow those around me up and down a few narrow trails before finally coming to an aid station. I stuck the contact back in and grabbed a banana and an orange. A man told me this was 15.5 so I hit my watch split again and was happy because this was more in the range I expected than the 3:09 we had coming off the trail. B50 came up right behind me and we all headed onto the towpath. SP told me to go ahead so I began my marathon on my own after stopping to ask some ladies if they could throw away my orange peel and in return they asked for my number. My split at 15.5 was 3:15 and I was told the next aid station was 6 miles away.

I was off the trail and was happy for it but mostly because that meant I was closer to the finish line. The AT was rough but because I envisioned the whole trail being like the worst parts I think it was easier for me. My right ankle was a little tender from a few near twists and my left hamstring was tight but I felt pretty good starting the marathon.

Official Photos Are Up

My official Photos

And some in the lost and found:

Late on the towpath

Early on the towpath

I think we can check the not looking bewildered at the finish goal off :) I may have to buy all of these ones!

One not like the other ones

First of all can I just say how much I love my Aussie friends who hate and love toast?

I am pretty busy at work so I anticipate a race report Friday once I am fully stuffed with turkey and too lazy to do anything but blog!

Until then a funny story from the race.

Somewhere later on in the race on the towpath I was passing a gentleman in yellow on his right. I had seen him back and forth for several miles since we were on different walk schedules. I guess I should have announced myself because as I got on his shoulder I was rewarded with a spray of snot right in my face. Always the politically correct one on the trail I announced "You Got Me!" He was extremely apologetic and I laughed it off. I mean I can't have been too pretty anyways we were over 30 miles into the race and I had made several trips to the ladies room along the way. I definitely had this feeling all day that I was picking up a gazillion germs and that I would promptly be getting really sick after the race. Luckily I had baby wipes in my fanny pouch and was able to clean up the damage :)

I must say though he had pretty good aim because I was wearing a hat and he managed to avoid the brim and get me directly on the cheek! Impressive!

I don't even know where to start...

I did not sleep at all Friday night.

I did not fall!

I freaking beat the glow vest!

I saw a possum on the towpath running the wrong way!

I got snotted on in my face!

I passed tons of people.

I never hit a wall or felt extremely low.

I went nuts when I realized I could walk and still finish.

So I didn't walk and I ran it in to crush my goal by 40 minutes.

I screamed and pumped my fists like a freaking maniac at the finish.

I met new people and made new friends.

But I also ran a lot on my own and really owned my own race.

I negative split this beast by about 40 minutes.

I woke up at 4 AM this morning starving and walked 1.5 miles to Bob Evans for breakfast.

I am absolutely ecstatic.

I feel almost guilty for how much fun I had yesterday and how well my body performed for me.

I feel validated.

I feel like I am truly a runner.

Most of all I feel loved. I had so many friends and family call and comment to wish me good luck and to check in on me after the race. There's no way you could do this stuff without that kind of support.

I will work on a race report this week. I think this may have to be at least a 3 parter. A lot happens in 9 hours and 23 minutes!

Some stats to keep you at bay

15.5 miles (when you get off the appalachian trail) 3:15:35
41.8 miles (after a marathon on the towpath) 7:56:19
50.2 miles (8.4 miles of rolling roads) 9:23:34

5th out of 34 in my age group 244 overall
Belated Friday Photo, post finish JFK

I just realized my eyes look absolutely crazed in this picture, not the most flattering effect, but you know what I think it's okay to look strange after 50.2 miles of relentless forward progress.

Veni Vidi Vici

Short story!!! 9:23 and change!!! holy cow! What a freaking blast! I will post more later!

Thanks so much for all the well wishes you guys definitely helped me blow away my goal yesterday!

JFK Lists

Packing List:

baby wipes
"fanny pack"
hand held bottle
carbo pro powder in a bag
finish line bag
sports beans
band aids, ibuprofen, immodium, tums, rewetting drops (in fanny pack)
motel info
pace/split time cheat sheet
race info/maps
light jacket
heavy jacket
2 pairs contacts (back up in fanny pack)
a book to read (before the race)
safety pins
long sleeve technical shirts (4 options)
technical tees (3 options)
running shoes (3 pairs, 1 trail)
shorts (4 options)
sports bra (3 options)
soap and towels
socks (4 pairs running)
sun glasses
sun screen
tights and fleece pants
body glide/zinc oxide to prevent chafing in sensitive areas!
gatorade mix

I think I have thought of everything

Lighthearted but important Goals:

Have Fun
Meet several new people
run with someone or a group the entire way, running is better with friends
Finish happy, raise arms and pump fists, do not look bewildered to be at the finish
Eat early and often
walk early and often especially hills!

Time Goals:
Dream Goal 9:59, ~12 minute pace

Realistic Goal 11:00 ~13 pace

Just Finish 12:00 ~14 pace

What I have going for me:
No ITB problems
a half ironman, two marathons, and a 50k finish since August
several long trail runs
Oh I almost forgot, Youth! I definitely think being 25 is an asset when attempting the impossible

What I have going against me:
20 mpw average for the past 16 weeks (averaging 2 runs per week), damn ITB
Left calf is a bit sore
Back is acting crazy today, hopefully just a pinched nerve from anxiety about race, will try to remain calm

I feel pretty good about everything. I am excited and plan to enjoy myself. I am disappointed that I did not come into this with the fitness level I had planned on but realize that there are more important things than running this thing fast. I am extremely happy to be able to even attempt this race. Regardless of the outcome of the race I have a very positive feeling about this year. I stepped it up in distance in both tris and running, I had a great race at Boston and a half marathon PR. I can't be disappointed with that!

Thank you so much for all the support! It really puts things in perspective for me and I just feel good about everything.

Good luck to those running Philly this weekend! Go Su! And good luck to Trisaratops who is attempting to PR a half marathon on Sunday! Rock it girls!

Oh and Go Blue!

Have I mentioned...

that I am running 50.2 miles in less than 48 hours?

Oh and can I say that I think that JFK is participating in age discrimination (thanks JC!). Age group awards go to 19 and under, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70 and up, oh and top 5 women top 10 men. What happened to 20-40??? AKA me.

Oh well I will just have to aim for top 5 (Just Kidding!)

Haven't packed or printed my official list of stuff. Beginning to freak out!

On a pleasant note I had the most wonderful run last night with JC. The weather was cold and rainy and windy but I could not have had a better time. Running the perfect pace with a good friend cannot be beat! For a brief 50 minutes or so I completely forgot about the task I have mapped out for Saturday and had no worries.

Oh and it must be said now in case I forget GO BLUE! I expect to get the good word of us defeating the bucks upon finishing my little Saturday task.

YUTC Recap


My First Official Ultra

Where to start?

So I guess I have some 'splaining to do. This race was not in my original plan. In fact I didn't really know if I was going to do it until the Thursday beforehand when I called the race director to reserve a place for me at the start.

Before I went up to Manistee I emailed Wild Bill to let him know I wasn't going to make the weekends trail run because I would be running a trail marathon up in Michigan and that I was a bit worried about my hamstring. He replied that I would be fine and that if it went well I should run YUT-C with them the next weekend.

Wild Bill before the start of YUT-C

Never put ideas in my head! So North Country went well. My hamstring hardly bothered me at all and I had one of the best times I have ever had on a run. I was hooked on the long trail run so I wrote Bill and asked for some details about the 50K.

My ITB had flared up during the marathon so I rested all week and iced and took anti inflammatories. Friday morning I went out to test the knee with my girls and had to hold back tears the ITB hurt so bad. At 18 minutes I had to stop and turn around to walk back in the dark. I had a plenty long walk to think about what I was going to do about the race the next day. The smarter part of me was saying just go and volunteer and take a DNS. The stubborn part of me just wanted my knee to miraculously heal so I could do what I wanted, which was to attempt the 50k. I have no idea what came over me but for some reason it was REALLY important for me to finish that race, even though I had not even paid the fee yet and no one except Bill and the girls even knew I was going to attempt it.

Me before the start at YUT-C

So Saturday morning I drove to Bill's and on the carpool ride to the race we discussed my options. All agreed that since it was a loop course I should start the race and I could always drop if I felt bad. Aleve was recommended but I held out not wanting to mask any issues.

RH pre YUTC- He has won the Mohican 100 miler- serious badass ultra runner

We got to the parking lot after a requested stop at a gas station. I was determined not to have to use the restroom in the woods!

The parking lot is at the top of this hill the start is behind the photographer in this picture.

I went into the cabin and picked up my bib and goodies. Trekked back up the hill to drop my stuff in the car and grabbed my gels and gatorade etc then headed down to the start.

Rootsrunner and I pre start

JA and I getting ready to start.

Pre race instructions

YUTC Start

The course was a big figure 8. On the way out for the first figure 8 we started going clockwise around the first loop then counter clockwise around the second, then we turned around and did the opposite. On the third big loop we just did the first hillier loop clockwise again with a short detour to make it an official 50k.

The race started and I quickly fell to the back. We were on pavement and I didn't want to push the ITB. All my friends were getting ahead quickly. We finally got off the pavement and went straight up a metal flight of stairs. Sweet, walking already!

Shortly thereafter we finally hit some trails. I fell in with two gentlemen while trying to shimmy up and down some technical hills. I couldn't run up or down so as not to irritate the ITB so I told them to holler if I ever got too slow for them and they wanted to pass. We ended up running together through almost the entire first figure 8.

Shortly before the first aid station and just after about 30 minutes spent traveling a 1/2 mile of straight up and down hills and a tree so big you had to lay down and roll over it Wild Bill came running up from behind. I asked where the hell he came from and found out he had got lost and way off track. Since he had lost some time he said he would run with me the rest of the way.

Blurry shots of my early group just before the 1st aid station

We went through the first aid station and he tried to get me to hurry along. I need to work on my aid station speed. Bill got ahead of us for awhile after the aid station and when we made a pit stop at the real restrooms! But at some point during the next loop we ended up together. Bill kept trying to go the wrong way but I kept him on track. There was a long stretch of pavement that was a bit confusing and we kept watching for a flag indicating we could get back on the trail. We moved pretty well through this loop since there weren't many hills or rocks.

We hit the aid station again and headed onto the rest of the first loop. It was pretty rocky through here and there was one monster hill. We started to see the leaders trickling back towards us and got a friendly hello from FD who let us know it was only 5 minutes to the aid station. Eventually we finished our first figure 8 and were heading back out to do it again backwards. My new friends had dropped back as I hammered along with Bill so we wouldn't see them again for awhile.

Finishing the first figure 8

Bill walked ahead as I made sure to take in all the nutrition I needed. I accidentally drank two glasses of Heed thinking it was water. I did eventually figure out why that "water" tasted so funny. The volunteers all joked that I should take my time and get in my nutrition because I would catch Bill anyways. I was just glad he had decided to stick with me. Company sure makes a run much more enjoyable!

My ITB hadn't made a peep so I headed back out for some more. It was a tough course but we managed to get through the next figure 8 without any problems. Shortly after the next aid station we picked up a lady who had run the grand canyon. She paced along with us for awhile but took advantage of a bathroom stop I had to make to zoom ahead. Both Bill and this lady were in awe that I knew the way so well. Ever since the first trail run I did where I was completely and utterly lost I pay attention, especially if it is a trail I will cover multiple times. I managed to navigate us through just fine and we never got lost.

After the bathroom stop I headed to catch up with Bill and a road runner asked me how far I had to go. I looked at my watch and looked at him with a blank expression. I had absolutely no idea how long I had gone or how much I had left! I laughed and told him I had no idea but that I would probably be out there for 7 hours. It was a nice feeling knowing that I had no clue how far I had gone or had to go but I didn't care, I was having a blast!

We passed a few people through this section. One guy was cramping really bad but said he was okay. Once we got back to the crazy up and down section with the big log my body was starting to get sore so I took an aleve. I was thankful to witness some of the leaders walking through this section too. I don't know how anyone could have run through it. It was a huge hill and instead of making the trail a big switchback up to the top, the trail literally went all the way up then all the way down several times. You would literally pass right by where you just were climbing up, very crazy. What was really getting to me was I knew I would be back at this place in another hour or so on my last loop.

We did finally make it through the hilly part though and saw our friends coming back at us. Poor BH waved hello to me and bit it face first into the dirt. I felt awful but he finished with the group he was with so it must not have been too bad of a fall.

Before the end of the loop I made another pit stop this time I had to use the woods, uggh! And of course as I am hiking up my shorts I see the lady that we ran with earlier, she laughed and ran on back out onto her last loop.

Finishing my second Figure 8 Loop

Mmm Food!

Cramp guy and I at the aid station at the end of figure 8 number 2.

I got to the end of the second figure 8 and the cramping guy I had passed earlier was already there. Apparently he had pulled a Bill and got lost but never got back on track. FD did the same thing and bailed because he knew there was no way he would be able to figure out what he missed and make it up. Cramp guy took off with Bill and I though. This was his first ultra and he hadn't done much training. He had obviously never done a trail race because he kept trying to run beside Bill rather than behind him. Hopefully he picked up on the trail etiquette eventually but I know Bill was getting pissed. Bill would speed up to try and drop him and the kid would do the same. Bill would slow down and offer to let him lead and he would just drop back beside Bill. I just watched it all from behind trying not to laugh too much! (I want to state for the record though that even though cramp guy finished before me I beat him because he definitely didn't do the whole 50k)

When we got back to the crazy hill and log section I lost the guys. They were way too fast for my ITB. I told Bill I would catch him at the aid station. He had to wait quite a while for me. But he let cramp guy know he better hustle because Bill had years of experience and I had incredible leg speed and as soon as I got to the aid station we were going to run him down, LOL.

I had to make a pit stop in the woods again and oddly enough I thought there was no one around but as I headed back onto the trail I look across the river and see that same lady again!

After my pit stop there is a short section on board walk with stairs. I hustled through this because I knew Bill was waiting. As I got off of the board walk and onto the pavement before the aid station there was a big groundhog sitting in my path. I have heard they can be mean so I didn't want to get too close. I tried to shoo him away and once I realized that wasn't going to work I made some crazy barking noise at him which scared him off the trail. I realized how silly that was but just laughed and ran on. Bill wondered what had taken me so long but I think he was secretly glad he had a reason to lose cramp guy.

The rest of the way went fine. I am sure I was slowing down but we ran most of it. I bit it hard coming downhill and over a rock and smacked my back but got up and walked it off. I actually started to run right away but Bill stopped me and told me to walk and make sure everything felt fine first. After the aid station Bill realized I wasn't going to make it under 7 hours. He could have left me and I told him to but he didn't! Such a nice guy!

We saw a group of boyscouts at the one monster hill and they asked how long we were going. 31 miles! We told them we had been running since 8 and that we were almost done. I think they thought we were nuts!

We finally came down a technical hill and out onto grass and then the road and I knew we were minutes from being done. I told Bill to go ahead and he said no that I should finish first because I had earned it. I had the biggest smile on my face. I could not believe I just ran 31 FREAKING MILES! I was elated.

Finishing my first Ultra

As soon as I finished I demanded my beer, lol. Microbrew! I got a picture with the race director then hobbled over to the cabin to get some soup and other goodies. I periodically burst out with "I am a freaking ultra runner" or "I can't believe I just ran 31 miles!". Everyone else was much calmer, old pros and all that. But I wanted to party! My crew went up to the car to change and get ready to leave. They told me to join them after I got done celebrating. I poured my beer into my handheld so as not to get everyone in trouble for drinking it at the park :) It was too much fun!

Post race microbrew

Eventually I made my way up to the car and called my husband and A to let them know I finished. We went out for lunch and got some chocolate milk! Surprisingly I wasn't very sore. My ITB was a dull ache but not worse than it had been. I made an appointment for the Monday after to go see the doc and was happy with my decision to run the race.

I am sure I lost a lot here by not finishing this post until now. But at JFK next weekend anytime it gets bad I will just think about how excited I was at the YUTC finish line and I will know the whole day will be more than worth it.

For Friday's Random Photo...

Go check out Eostre's blog

Tonight we head out with that crowd again to see one of my college sorority sisters in a play! Fun stuff!

Giving Back

For those that don't know I am a huge sucker for animals but especially for cats. I have been to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge several times and I wish I could go more often. One of their big cats just had to have a ton of procedures done to determine what the illness was that she had. It is looking like kidney disease. Obviously taking care of big cats costs a lot of money and these procedures are above and beyond those normal costs. Winter is a really slow time for the refuge so they don't get much in the way of funds from visitors.

If you have a few bucks laying around and want to help out a good cause I would appreciate it if you visit their blog and click on their paypal button.

Since I did not do an event with TNT this year I am hoping that perhaps friends of mine will donate to Turpentine Creek in honor of my efforts at JFK in a few weeks. After the race I am hoping to have a party and perhaps I can also turn that into a joint fundraiser with half the proceeds going to LLS and half going to Turpentine Creek.

Hope everyone elses voting experiences went more smoothly for them today than mine!


Apparently I have the post office to thank for having to cast my ballot provisionally, not the BOE. I called back voter registration to figure out why the heck I was on the voting black list.

Apparently they sent my voter regsitration card out and it was returned to them, this would explain why David got one and I did not. When it got returned to them they sent out an address confirmation card which I immediately signed and returned. They did not receive it in time so I was allowed to vote but had to vote with the provisional ballot.

I am still not happy about it but at least I understand. What I would have preferred was for them to just check my ID that I was required to bring with me to vote against the address that they had in the book and when they saw it was the same they should have let me vote on the standard ballot. You would think that procedure might make voters in that situation a bit happier. Also since this is the second time I have had to vote provisionally for a reason other than what is listed on the provisional ballot options you would think they would add some other options to the envelope. I love having multiple people tell me they have never heard of cases like mine, it really makes me feel special. And them reassuring me over and over again that my provisional vote will be counted really makes me feel better, umm not.

So now I am just ticked at myself for not sitting and reading through the provisional ballot information at the polls and realizing that I needed the poll worker to seal my ballot. I must have been their first provisional voter because they weren't really clear on what to do and almost let me walk out without signing the ballot and then it was just set on top of their booth, they didn't even have a box for them. Ahhh. 2008 I should just take the day off work and work the polls, maybe then I will have more faith in the system.

F$#% the Man

The BOE man that is. I am LIVID. Apparently I am doomed to vote provisionally for the rest of my life. I would really like to know what on earth I could have possibly done wrong this time. Regardless let's just say that after already having lost most faith in the system in 2004 when I was forced to vote provisionally after having just voted with no issue in the primary (my address had been changed in the system to a different county and address I had never lived at nor heard of) , I now have pretty much none left. Well I guess at least this time I was in the book, so maybe a tiny little ounce of faith that in 2008 my vote might count.

To top that off I am kicking myself because I just realized that the poll worker did not seal my provisional ballot so even if I do call on November 20th and they tell me that my vote was counted I have no way of knowing that it was indeed my vote that was counted.

I am so angry and my run isn't until 6:15 tonight. Grrrr.

On top of that I have severe abdominal cramps. This makes me an emotional wreck. My poor husband had to stand in line to vote while I was on the phone with the BOE then voter registration crying and trying to get someone to let me vote on a real ballot. He knew he was in trouble when he went to the poll worker and saw my name beneath his with a big black bar stating "Must vote provisional."

When I get angry I cry. It is the most bizarre thing. I haven't been that angry since the last election. I apologized to the poll workers as I left but I still feel bad about losing my cool. I mean honestly I should have known something would go wrong and I should have been prepared to just bend over and take my provisional ballot like a good little girl.

But you know what this is a freaking democracy and it is my right to vote and if I fill out all the forms just like everyone else and bring my ID just like everyone else I should freaking be able to vote just like everyone else. I shouldn't have to wait two weeks and call in to check and see if my vote counted.

Okay this isn't helping I thought writing this all out would make me feel better but I am still angry.

ps. I didn't even rememeber to get my I voted sticker, but I probably would have felt like a hypocrite wearing it anyways.

Weekend Wrap Up

Yesterday was probably my last long run before JFK. It was gorgeous out, and warmer than I thought it would be. Rootsrunner, D and I headed out for a mini JFK simulation. We hit some pavement, trails, and towpath for 2 and a half hours. About 14.5 miles. If I can keep that running pace most of JFK the walks and aid stations will probably average me out to around 12-13 minute miles. I can definitely live with that!

The run was beautiful. The first 30 minutes were rough, pavement and straight up hill, but after that I warmed up and felt great. About 45 minutes in a new trail experience rammed me, literally. I have had sticks suddenly jump on the trail and trip me before but never have I had a stick come out of nowhere to gore me right in the belly. Luckily it wasn't sharp and it more stunned me than anything else, so far I don't even have a bruise :)

The rest of the run was just nice as we hammered through the woods and I listened to ultra stories and did my best to avoid mud. We shimmied across streams and climbed over logs. All three of us nearly bit it on leaf hidden roots but no one ever hit the ground.

I have often thought about how as individual as we all are someone somewhere is almost always thinking, feeling or doing something the same as us. And half way through our run sure enough we ran across the path of another group of three runners one woman and two men running through the fields. I don't know if it was just me but it was one of those moments where you don't feel so alone if that makes any sense.

The rest of our weekend was super busy visting with friends and family and I am still pretty wiped out, but I did manage to do some strengthening excercises tonight and am planning on going out with my Tuesday running crowd for the first time in forever tomorrow night.

Don't forget to go vote tomorrow!

Getting Back into the Swing of Things

Really short recovery run this morning. It's cold out! I felt pretty good. A little labored but I guess that is to be expected after the beating I gave my legs at Chicago.

Got screamed at by someone in a car (I was on the sidewalk). What possesses people to do that? It scared the living hell out of me and then I can't get my mind back to a good place for far too long. I try not to let that bother me but it does. I mean seriously, do they think they are being original? That runners have never been yelled at before? That what they just did was something quite extraordinary?

At least he didn't yell "Run Forrest Run."

Getting off on the right foot...

was not what I did this morning. Woke up late, huge traffic jam, got off at the wrong exit, 20 minutes late to the doc appointment, had to reschedule for midday Friday, boo! Got into work and half way through the day realized the tea I thought was caffeinated was not so all those cups I was drinking to give me an extra boost were not working. $10 for decaffeinated Green Tea (the label said nothing about caffeine), uggh, had I known I would have just drank the herbal.

BUT I ran for 45 minutes tonight with friends downtown, pain free!

Now that's what I am talking about!

Photo Frenzy

Not sure when I will catch up on posts about my life outside of running so here are a ton of photos taken over the past several weeks.

Highlights from most recent to oldest

Halloween Bash at T's
BYOP Party (Bring your own pumpkin)
Chicago Marathon
Birthday Corn Maze Celebration
West Woods 6 Hour Run
Miller Family Golf Outing
Disc Golf Outing
Spring Roll night at T's
Furniture Purchase Labor Day Weekend (Which supposedly will show up Saturday)

If you scroll way down there's a Chicago Marathon Recap hiding somewhere
I've got him under my spell ;)
Oh no a Samurai!
Vampire Kitty
Not amused by the camera
Bobbing for Apples
Hawtness at the Halloween Party
No one told me it was cheating to retrieve it by the stem
Going for it sans stem. I achieved the goal but it took several tries.
Post Bobbing for Apples
Thirsty Pumkin
David's Pumpkin
My pumpkin
I'm Ragged, I'm Raw, I'm a Rock Star