Do I Know Storm?

We did two half marathons one weekend after another. Man, it didn’t seem like that bad of an idea back in October when we signed up for the Heartland 39.3 Series. Of course in 2016 we did the Goofy and then we did the training for Superhero weekend in Disneyland. So we were still in better shape in 2017. This year we haven’t done any Disney races or any “official” training programs. We can definitely tell the difference.

I mean I still do a base level type thing that Galloway does for the Disney races. I run from forty to forty-five minutes two days a week and then one long run on the weekend. Although my weekend long runs haven’t been that long. That is probably my problem.

I was really, really dreading running another half marathon. It wasn’t the miles it was the . . . weather! It looked cold and rainy for Saturday which to me was worse than snow. I can handle rain as long as it is warm. I’m not big fan of the cold even if it is dry. I prayed about the weekend. I even asked for assistance from any mutant friends I may or may not know on Facebook. I just wanted the rain to stay away long enough to do the race.

My kids made out again at the expo for Garmin Half Marathon. They loved the Oz cutouts. We got some pictures with them. The kids also decorated some trucker hats from State Farm. While we were there I just kept looking outside at how beautiful it was wishing it could be that way race day.

 

My in-laws stayed that night again. We had pizza for dinner and I thought maybe it wasn’t a good idea. We were hungry and tired, and it was quick, easy and tasty. Hubby had to work a little late. He was so tired when he got home. It seemed to be the theme for the evening. Everybody was so tired. We just ate the pizza and called it good.

This race is even earlier than Rock The Parkway. They moved the route back to the Garmin headquarters. I believe it was the same route I did in 2014. It was cloudy but not as cold as we thought it would be that morning. I was so thankful for that.

I thought that finishing under three hours would be a miracle. The fact that I did worse than Rock The Parkway was still jarring though, but I’m jumping ahead. There were a lot of cute costumes. They were all Oz themed of course. I didn’t see any dragons or anything like that this year. It stayed cloudy, but it did not rain! There were some big drops that sprinkled on us around mile six, but it never let loose. Some people untied rain jackets from around their waist to put on or put up hoods and such, but it never really did anything.

I can’t think of anything exciting during the race. I thought I might have a good run during the first half of it. Hubby wasn’t doing well. Then I kept feeling like I needed to go to the bathroom, but only when I ran (Yup, I went there). When I walked I felt fine. I’ve never used the porta potty while running. So I just sucked it up and ran on anyway. I think if I had stopped and tried to use the bathroom, I might have felt better and had a better run. Hubby ended up staying ahead of me the whole time.

Near Arrowhead Park I saw some marks on the street that hashers make, but I did not see any hashers. I saw a true trail arrow, a beer near or BN, and On On. I thought there might be a beer check there, but I was bummed when I didn’t see any hashers. For a second I thought the hashers were doing and aid station like Little Rock and some other hashers do during marathons.

My time ended up being 2:42 and Hubby was 2:39. It was still cold. We grabbed a blanket that was prepackaged in a tiny Ziploc, but we didn’t put it around our shoulders. We grabbed a Chuy margarita. It was good. They had a band under the parking garage. We parked in the garage as well. So after drinking our drink we headed toward the car. We got some water and chocolate milk too. We changed our clothes and moved the car closer to the after party.

Before we went to the car we saw some people with yummy smelling burgers all wrapped up in foil. I really wanted one. I tried to get Hubby to get one before going to the car, but he really wanted to change clothes. Then when we got back he wanted, “something to drink while standing in line.” By the time we got in line to get the burger they had the meat patty but no buns or anything else. Now I know people who eat burgers with no bun and I just find that really, really weird. I can’t stand ground beef by itself no matter how well seasoned it is. I must have bun, cheese, pickles, mustard, mayo, tomato, and lettuce. I mean just about everything but ketchup. I know they don’t always offer that so I usually settle for cheese and at least one condiment like mustard. So when I heard there were no buns I gave my husband “the stare.” You know the one that says, “I knew we should have come here earlier.”

He tried to fix it by asking them for a hot dog bun, but they were frozen. They had them grilling on the grill to get them thawed. We started to walk away, but then they handed me one thawed. I broke my patty in two and tried to eat it on a hot dog bun with mustard and no cheese. It was not satisfying at all. My husband was shocked that they would run out of stuff like that so soon. He was concerned about the slower people who ran the full marathon. He was right. It takes me about six hours to do a full marathon. If I had chosen to run this one there would be nothing left for me when I got to the finish. Actually that is what happened on my first full marathon. They basically had everything packed up and ready to leave.

When I got home I had to joke around on Facebook. I mean I asked any mutant friends to keep the rain away until the race was finished and there was no rain. I had to joke around that maybe I did know a mutant that could control the weather like Storm. I had some friends think it was silly. Oh well, I thought it was funny.

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April Be Cray Cray

So I don’t read a lot of running blogs. Honestly, I don’t read a lot of blogs at all anymore. I used to have quite a few that I read when the kids were little. Now I mostly read children’s books to the kids (which I LOVE to do by the way). Anyway when I have read some running blogs I get a little bored when they go on and on about the weather. So I will try to do just one short paragraph and leave it at that.

April be cray cray. I mean it has snowed two weekends in a row with a high of 83 degrees in the middle of the two. I mean I think I would have been less bummed the morning we did Rock The Parkway if it had been cold and crappy all week. I would have thought, “Huh, okay. It just is what it is and it’s been that way all week.” But Nooooooo! It was beautiful and up to 83 degrees two days in a row before the race day. Seriously, Mother Nature? Oh and since we signed up for the Heartland Challenge, we have the Garmin Half next weekend. I looked ahead at the weather forecast and it is going to be a smidge warmer with rain instead of snow. UGH!

So let me rewind a bit to one of the pretty days. I picked up our race packets with the kids. They always make out with candy or some other trinkets at one of the other expo stands. Little Man didn’t want to go in with me at first, but he was skipping and happy when we left. Both kids got a little plant, some suckers, and a light up wrist band. I picked both our Rock The Parkway packets and our Heartland shirts.

My in-laws stayed the night like they normally do. About this time last year my in-laws were upset with our cat for making noise all night while they tried to sleep. Little did they know it was a momma fox outside. She had pups under our deck. Well at least one fox is back this year. It didn’t make much noise because we turned the light on and peeked our heads out the window. It saw us and ran away. It was a beautiful fox. I mean it was big and picturesque. It didn’t look like the mom or dad from last year. Maybe it was one the pups all grown. Long story short, we know what the fox says.

Hubby was stressed about taxes and I was worried he was going to stay up all night, but thankfully he went to bed even if it was past midnight. We got up and got out without too much trouble or fighting. He was slightly worried that we were under dressed. That is unusual for Hubby. Usually I over dress so he follows suit. It was so miserably cold (oops, sorry, keeping the weather contained to one paragraph maybe be harder than I thought).

We lined up and of course the body heat kept us warm. Our training has been crap so I thought we would be lucky to finish at all much less in the 2:30 group, but that is who we lined up with at the beginning. One of the 2:30 pacers was my favorite, Cristal. We were a little ahead of her. I thought I would stick with her and enjoy her stories during the run. No such luck. She passed me at mile three and I never saw her again.

I was a bit dizzy two times at mile two and a little after mile three. I felt a little better after about two Dixie cups of Gatorade. I took my gloves off and pushed up my sleeves and thought things might be alright. Then I got passed by a guy not only dressed as a cowboy but wearing cowboy BOOTS! How on Earth does he run and not get blisters? I should have asked. He had a flask in his back pocket while carrying a huge flask in his hands. He also had on a cowboy hat. I wanted to take a picture, but I don’t think I could get to my phone. I did tell him he reminded me of a hasher friend of mine. He likes to dress in cowboy attire, but he also likes to show off his legs by wearing Daisy Dukes. This guy actually did not know what Daisy Dukes were.

Hubby was waiting at the beer stop. He was wondering how he was faster than me since I run more than him. The only thing I can think of is the fact that the cold we all got seemed to hang on to be a lot longer than the rest of the family. I think mine turned into a sinus infection eventually. All my training runs were crap. I would have a big wad of tissues on my treadmill to throw away later. He’s been cycling so it isn’t like he doesn’t do anything.

I didn’t see hubby again until about mile eight when I started to hit my first big wall. The longest training run I’ve done since Eureka Springs (St. Patrick’s Day) and my cold is eight miles. So I was feeling it here. Then it started to mist. It was getting really cold. I noticed my arms were really red where my shirt sleeves were pushed up to my elbows. I pushed them back down and realized I couldn’t feel them. I was worried. I could feel my fingers, but my arms were numb. I put my gloves back on my hands just in case. Then Hubby passed me again after he was done at the porta potty.

I picked things back up again at mile nine. I think this is where it sleeted on us a bit. I was worried it was going to do that on us the rest of the way, but it cleared up before mile eleven where I hit another wall. That was also about where I lost the icicle that was on my hat. I hoped that it would be there until the end so I could take a picture, but it broke off at some point. There was a lot of walking from mile eleven on to the finish.

I don’t normally get the mylar blankets, but I sure did grab one this year. I was so sore. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to get my foot up on the bucket for them to cut the timing chip off my shoe. I decided this was the second worst race I’ve done behind Pike’s Peak Half. Of course Pike’s Peak Half is a great story.

I called Hubby and he finished first this year. My time was 2:38 and his was 2:36. It is hard to believe I’ve finished the race in 2:20 in the past. I think it might have been the year I had just done the Goofy Challenge. So I guess that makes sense since I trained for a half and a full marathon back to back just a few months before Rock The Parkway.

Hubby was waiting at the beer truck. All the good beer was gone. They had some horrible fruit beer. Hubby and I are not against fruit beer if it is good and this was not. We got chocolate milk and a few small pieces of soft pretzel. I just wanted to get the heck out of there. We did our usual picture in front of their backdrop though and headed home.

We asked my in-laws to take the kids to their Taekwondo lesson while we ran. They were still in their uniforms and playing when we got home. Hubby took a shower first because he doesn’t like it that hot and doesn’t take a long shower. I knew I would probably use all the hot water. It was the only way I could feel somewhat like normal again.

Sorry I didn’t contain the weather to my one paragraph, but it was just MISERABLE! I’m so crossing my fingers for better conditions next weekend. I’m going to take it easy this week. I’m still going to do my regular runs, but I don’t think I’m going to push it. Now to be fair, this is a great race. My experience has more to do with the weather and my training than anything that the race officials or anybody else could control. We will probably do this one again. We usually do.

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Just Keep Mooooving

Once again, no rain! How did that happen? How did we do three half marathons in Kansas in the Spring and not get rained on during a single one of them? We were pretty lucky I guess.

I was worried we were going to be late (as usual I always worry), but I could have sworn the time for the Running with the Cows was a 6:30 AM. Websites and emails said it was 7:30 am. I was nervous because neither Rodney nor I had ever ran this particular half marathon. We weren’t sure where to go or what to expect. I eventually figured that I just confused the time for this race with the Garmin Half we did earlier this Spring.

The drive there looked easy enough. It was pretty much a straight shot down US 69 for us. There were signs as well. We got parked in a field near Queen of the Holy Rosary in Bucyrus, KS. We got out and didn’t have to walk far until we were at the start. I was a little bummed because my cordless headset LG HBS760 was not working. I mean it was able to charge, but once I turned it on, nothing! I love my cordless headset. I was so upset I had to use my headset that was not cordless. Then my phone started to act up and I couldn’t even get any music to play at all. I didn’t want to have to deal with the cords if I wasn’t even going to get to use it. Hubby got a new phone and I helped him get it set up so he could listen to a podcast. I just wasn’t in a good mood from the get go.

I got to the start line with Hubby and we laughed at how close the 2:15 pacers were lined up with the 2:30 pacers. I haven’t looked it up, but I’m guessing there is a reason that they line up that close at all the races? This race didn’t seem to have as many participants as Garmin or Rock The Parkway anyway. I got a little panicky because I didn’t think my phone was going to work at all. I really needed my Charity Miles to work for my Doctor Who Running Club team. I’m on Team DoctorDonna. I felt like I haven’t been pulling my weight because I’ve missed some runs, but in all fairness I missed them to be with my family during our difficult time of losing my father. I just took a deep breath and rebooted my phone. It sometimes takes a while and if there was some kind of weird update or something that it needed to do it could take up to a half hour or more. I crossed my fingers that did not happen. I was lucky and my phone came back on in time for the start. I did, however, forget to turn my Garmin on right at the start. My Garmin would go off every 1.1 miles as if I had just did one mile because of that late start. It was all good though. I really wish Charity Miles would automatically link to my Garmin account like a lot of other apps do.

We started off okay. Like I said it wasn’t too crowded. Hubby wanted to do his thing of running, then walking, and then running again when I caught up with him. It was what paid off for him during the Garmin Half. He did fine with that until about mile four. It was hot and it was zapping his energy. I didn’t see him again until the end. It was about mile five that the 2:20 group caught up to me. I tried to stay with them, but I just couldn’t. Maybe the heat was getting me as well.

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A picture of the course from my Connect App

We did a turn around on the course at about the half way point. It wasn’t a true out and back though. We took a turn off and around back to the original road where we started. It was kind of a big square with the small turn around point. I saw Hubby after the turn around point. He was back with the 2:50 people. I asked him if he was okay and he just made a funny face like a dog panting. So I knew he was in good spirits. One lady running next to me in my same direction thought I was talking to her. I told her what I was doing and that I was just worried about my husband with all the people having issues at races like this. When we were at Rock The Parkway we didn’t even know that a young gentleman had issues. We found out about it when we heard a pastor ask for prayers for the family at our church later that day. The pastor mentioned that he died. We were at the Arkansas Heart Hospital with my Dad weeks later when we saw on the news that someone had a heart attack at another race. We didn’t see much more of that report because my Dad’s doctor came out to talk to us.

I mentioned the two runners with the lady beside me. She didn’t know anything about them, but of course she could have been from out of state. There was as lady behind me that caught up and talked to me about the poor gentleman at Rock The Parkway. I told her that Hubby has a family history of heart problems and that he is on medication. We chatted about some other things. She was doing a walk/run thing like we do at our Disney runs. I left her behind when she walked, but she would catch back up to me when she ran. We didn’t talk much more during the race. The 2:25 people caught up to me at mile ten. There were several people who would go back and forth passing during the last part of the race.

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The cow in the upper corner can be taken off and worn like a pin.

I finished with my Garmin at 13.12 miles in 2:29:25. My official time on the website was 2:29:23.1. Interesting since I started my Garmin late. I got my medal and water. My right leg felt like I was trying to get a charley horse the last two miles. I didn’t hurt as bad when I was done. I went to the KC Running Company tent to get our Heartland prize. It was a medal. I asked the lady if I could get my husband’s as well. She asked if he was also a first time finisher and I said yes. She handed it to me no questions. I got the same thing from the lady handing out the little cow bells. I got a pink one for Baby Girl. I wanted a purple one for Little Man but they didn’t have purple. The nice lady gave me green one though which is another favorite color of his. So to you nice ladies that did that without question, thank you.

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I called Hubby before I got the Heartland medal and asked where he was. He said he was at mile twelve and that he was fine. I guessed it would take him about twelve more minutes to finish. I waited in a shady spot for him. When he didn’t show at the time I thought he would, I got worried again. I thought maybe I should walk down the street a bit. I prayed he was okay. I think losing my Dad had me super emotional.  I finally saw Hubby from where I was standing before I started to head down the race route. I’ll admit I teared up a bit when I saw he was okay and headed back toward the finish line. He finished in 2:50:26.2. I had on sunglasses so nobody noticed I was upset. I wiped away my tears and stood next to the guy giving out the Running With The Cows medals. I put his Heartland medal on him after the other medal was placed.

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Hubby was hot and there was no cold water. Too many runners had gone through already and taken all the cold ones. Hubby was drinking the water warm. I had cooled off a bit waiting for him to finish. We went inside someplace next to the church. We turned off the wrong way at first and did a loop back outside. Don’t ask me how or why. We went back in and found the food. Oh My Gosh! I’ve never seen that much food at a race. Seriously! It was crazy. I should have gotten a picture, but I was hungry. We definitely got our fill of food that morning.

Hubby and I sat down and ate. We both agreed we didn’t really like the course. It was so hot and there was no shade. It was just brutal. It was the wrong course to not have music. I used to run “naked” all the time. I mean no Garmin, no phone, and no headset. Once you get used to it, it is kind of hard to go back to the “old” ways. The band at the beginning was really cool and the guy playing drums in the middle of a field was pretty awesome. The people at the aid stations were great. We just weren’t “feeling it.” We probably won’t do it again unless we try the Heartland again. We do like a challenge.

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Lucky Tin Man

It seems like it always rains during the Garmin marathon. I had been eye balling the weather app on my phone several days in advance. It looked cold and rainy. Then the temperature looked a little better. I was still going to need long sleeves for sure or arm sleeves. I just knew it would rain though. I’ve done the half one other time and it rained. Then every time since then when I saw a friend post something on Facebook about running it, it also seemed like it was raining.

The last time I ran the Garmin Half it was actually at Garmin Headquarters. There was no issue with the traffic and everything started on time. The start location this year was pretty close to us in what we thought was in an industrial area. While driving there we noticed it was really congested way before we got to our exit. My husband is a firm believer in the zipper method when it comes to merging lanes. He does not think everybody needs to be in one lane for miles and miles leaving a perfectly good lane open for people to merge. When I think about it, it makes sense and isn’t a jerk move at all if everybody did it. It is a matter of taking turns.

Anyway, once we got off the exit ramp, parking wasn’t really an issue. We stayed in the car to stay warm for a bit, but I’m always anxious about being late. I also like to just see the people out there especially if there is a chance for costumes. We did see some Wizard of Oz costumes before the start. Funny thing, the start, it was delayed about a half hour because of the traffic jam. There was an empty vendor tent nearby with some people huddled in it. We went in as well. It was out of the wind and a bit warmer with all the body heat. It had rained earlier and out one entrance of the tent the sky looked clear while the other entrance of the tent looked pretty cloudy.

When we lined up I think we were with the 2:25 group. I edged toward the 2:20 people a bit. When we started the group was going kind of slow, so I ran ahead a bit, but I was still passed by a team of ten people dressed in a Chinese dragon costume. I wasn’t feeling good about that. I thought those people have to be pretty confident about their pace to do that.

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This course had a lot more hills than any of the others I’ve run around here. They weren’t big hills, but there was a lot of them. Hubby stuck to his plan. He would run, then when his Garmin went off to walk he would do that until I caught up to him. Then he would run again. It paid off for him. He finished before me this time, but I’m jumping ahead right now.

Our running club, Olathe Running Club, had an aid station along the course. I said hi to a few members I knew. Our president was dressed as Dorothy. Again, I didn’t get pictures. I made a mental note of when each pace group either caught up and/or passed me when I did the race, but I waited so long to write this that I have since forgotten. Just know that my time wasn’t a PR but it wasn’t bad for me.

I saw a ton of little ones that wanted high-fives. If you have read any of my posts you know how I feel about hi fives. I’ve gotta do em. I actually saw some little ones that looked familiar. I gave them a high-five and then saw their mom. We are Facebook friends. She has twins and belongs to several of the same mom groups that I participate.

About the middle of the race I took off my long sleeve shirt and tied it around my waist. I still had a short sleeve shirt and a vest. The wind came right after I did that and I got chilled. I thought about putting my long sleeve shirt back on, but it was nice and warm again soon after I decided to leave it.

I saw a lot of backed up traffic here and there. I do not recall the race causing such an  issue when the route was closer to Garmin headquarters. There seem to be some unhappy motorist.

I don’t recall anything else unusual during the race. I finished in 2:27:20. Hubby finished in 2:25:39. The medals were really cool. The half marathon medal that we got was a twister with different items from The Wizard of OZ. It would also spin. I think the 10K was a little Toto in a basket that moved. The full marathon was the wizard as himself on one side and his persona on the other side. Come to find out the group dressed as a dragon did the full marathon and got a Guinness world record.

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The after party was great even though it was a bit chilly. They had chicken sandwiches and hot dogs in one area. The other area they had margaritas and beer with heat lamps! I was all good with food in my belly and an adult beverage. We had a nice conversation with a gentleman visiting from New York. We told him what he could do around town while he was here.

This is my only second Garmin, and I still like it. Also the rain held out and was sunny the rest of the day. The Tin Man would have been a happy camper. This Heartland Series isn’t bad. In case you don’t know what it is; it’s a series of three half marathons. There is Rock The Parkway, Garmin and Running With the Cows. We only have Running With The Cows left to do to complete it.

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My Wicked Good Half Marathon

The weather started out nice. The temp was blah blah blah blah. I’m pulling your leg. I won’t do that to you. Although I will say that my husband kept telling me I was going to get rained on during the Garmin Half Marathon. I looked at Google weather and it only looked like a 10% or 20% chance. Here is hopefully a quick summary of the weather. It was in fact nice at the start. It clouded up when I got to mile four. It sprinkled on us when I got to about mile six. It hailed a bit a mile seven. It poured on us before I got to mile eight, and then it stopped about the time I got a little past mile ten. I blame the hat I wore for the hail. I wore my Pike’s Peak hat. I think I have mentioned how that one went in my previous posts. If you don’t remember here is short version of that one. I trained for a half. I got to the last aid station from the top and they turned me around because of the lightning storm and hail. So I ended up almost doing the full marathon that day.

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I was actually looking forward to a little rain for my Garmin run. I have been coughing and sneezing ever since we got back from the cruise. My allergies have been driving me crazy. The rain helped me breathe a little better. I just wished the temperature had not dropped so much. I wore my arm sleeves just in case because I hate getting cold. I got some under arm chafe either from them or my shirt. It still hurts but at least it isn’t bleeding like my legs were after I did the Pilgrim Pacer Half Marathon a few years ago. I wore capris this time so that wouldn’t happen.

There were a few things that made me laugh on this course. The costumes were one thing. We had a few Dorothys and some witches. I saw maybe one scarecrow and one tin-man. Being a hasher you would think I would be wearing a costume, but I haven’t been feeling the costume vibe a whole lot lately. I love dressing up the twins for Halloween, but I just haven’t felt the need to dress up myself in some time.

I laughed at the signs for the first water stop. There was reference to melting witches. There was also a few cardboard cut out witches there. I saw one lady take a selfie with one of the witches.I didn’t see any other Wizard of Oz references until almost the end. There were a few signs there too. I don’t remember what they said. I don’t remember much about the end at all except the “yellow brick road” at the finish. I was definitely tired and walking more the last three miles.

I also found it funny that some people were being so careful about getting their feet wet. I just powered through a few puddles. I did not splash anybody. That would have been rude. I guess that is something else I am used to doing coming from a hasher background. I ran a lot of trails with wet feet in my time. I have run through ponds, rivers, and ditches. One time someone set a trail that had us in a ditch for almost three miles! The bushes and trees were too thick on the sides to just follow it. I was not happy with the guy that set that trail. I wasn’t mad so much about my feet being wet as I was about the possibility of falling and busting my behind. It was summer and the ditch was mostly moss and algae as opposed to water. I have always found the bright side of running with wet feet to be that at least my feet will be nice and soft when it is all said and done.

All and all it was a pretty good run. I did better than I thought I would. According to my Map My Run app I did 13.4 miles. I guess I was a ways away from the start. It also said I did a 12:19 average pace. My official race results were emailed to me which was super nice. That said I kept a 12:12 pace. That is huge for me. I know some of you fast folks might think that is slow, but I’ll take it. It makes me laugh to think of an interview with Kara Goucher talking about how slow a 10 minute mile pace felt to her while she was pregnant. I know she is a professional and all, but shoot I’d love to have a 10 minute mile pace.

Since the theme of my post seems to be about things that make me laugh or put a smile on my face, I have to say seeing the twins at the end was super awesome. I’m sure my face must have lit up when I saw them. My husband and his parents brought them. I am so grateful to them for bringing the babies. I gave Baby Girl and Baby Boy a big kiss. That was the real highlight of my run.

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