What The Moo?

I thought I might do two races in one post because I accidentally scheduled two races in one weekend. Hubby and I signed up for the Heartland 39.3 Series back in October. Then there was the Mother’s Day 5K. I thought it sounded like fun and my daughter is old enough now. So I signed us up. Little did I know that it was Sunday after our Running With The Cows Half Marathon. The last half marathon of our Heartland 39.3 Series. Then I thought that might be a really long post. So I figure it was better to be fair to the experience to each race and to any readers I may have.

Packet pick-up was quite the adventure. I asked my husband if he thought we should all go as a family since it was at Scheel’s. We could use our Ferris Wheel tokens and eat at the Old Chicago that was really close to the store. Well by the time Hubby called to say he was headed to the store to meet me, the cat had an accident and I had a hard time corralling the kids out the door. We got there about twenty minutes past the pick-up time for that day. Hubby saw some of the ladies with Running With The Cows stuff and asked if they were leaving. That is when I noticed the time. They were super nice and one of them said she would go back up and let us get our stuff. I mean she really didn’t have to, but she was so nice to let us do that! We really appreciated it.

We got our stuff and bought the kids two mugs. One was pink for Baby Girl. They didn’t have any colorful ones out for Little Man so he took a black/gray one. We rode the Ferris Wheel in the store. Yes! They have a Ferris Wheel inside the store. The kids played in the play area. Yes! They have a play area too. Then we had to drag them out to eat. It was getting late and we needed to get them fed and in bed.

This was Thursday and the race was Saturday. So we had just a regular family dinner that night. I planned on going to the library and then picking up my race packet for the Mother’s Day run the next day. The library and Dick’s Sporting Good store were really close. So we lucked out on that too. I’ll put that all in the other post.

Let’s skip ahead to Friday night before the race. Boy was it stressful. My in-laws stayed the night as usual. They rented Ferdinand and invited my niece over to watch it with our kids. I planned on making spaghetti, but we had a lot of different leftovers as well. Hubby wasn’t home yet, but said he would be soon. My niece and our kids were getting hungry. So my father-in-law and niece ate leftover chicken enchiladas. My daughter ate leftover mac and cheese from Old Chicago. My mother-in-law, son, and husband ate spaghetti that I cooked fresh that night. I ate chicken rotini. Hubby was later than I thought and didn’t get a chance to eat with everybody else. Actually we all ate in shifts. He was the last. I do not like cooking. It is not relaxing or enjoyable at all to me. I like watching cooking shows but I do not understand the love of cooking. It is tiring and messy. I was pretty proud of the fact that I feed everybody and they were full and happy. I was also exhausted.

They only had the one color this year.

My in-laws took the kids to bed. My niece stayed the night. Hubby and I seemed to be having a good night, but then we got into a fight. I was so hurt that I just left in the middle of it. He stayed downstairs a bit while I went to bed. I have been taking this marriage/wife course which is really expensive. I tried really hard to apply what I’ve learned. It was just so hard with how hurt I was. We even argued on the way to the race the next morning. I had just had enough that as soon as we got there, I put my race number on and told him I would meet him at the end.

When I walked up to the start I saw the 2:30 pacers. I lined up with them and lo and behold my favorite pacer was one of them, Cristal. I was very quite while she talked to a lot of other racers. They all seemed upbeat and happy to be there. I was just hurt and felt very alone. I tried to keep up with her group. She is always so much fun. I smiled a few times at some of her jokes and stories. She also had everybody say Moo instead of Woooo at each mile. I was very sad to lose them at mile four or five. Running with them kind of cheered me up a bit. I mean I’ve never been around so many people and felt so alone. I really couldn’t think of anything else for the rest of the race but how hurt I was and how much I just wanted the race to be done.

Our prize was a medal holder with the dates we completed the challenges.

I mostly walked after mile six. I saw some dark clouds and lightning in the distance. I prayed that they would not cancel the race so I could finish. I had joked around on my Facebook page that I wanted rain on Saturday and not Sunday. That way I could keep cool during my thirteen mile race and it would be nice and sunny with my Baby Girl for our Mother’s Day race. So far so good. It sprinkled a little bit. Actually the weather was quite perfect in my opinion.

I saw Hubby at the turnaround point. He must have lined up in front of me because I did not recall seeing him pass me. Here he was though, ahead of me. I wouldn’t even look at him. I wanted to cry but I just couldn’t. I’m not sure if it was my fear of crying in front of people or something to do with hydration. My time ended up being 2:50 and Hubby’s was 2:41. He was waiting on me. We walked inside together and ate together. We kind of seemed normal, but I still wanted to cry.

Here is the holder with the medal we got last year.

The food at this race is crazy. There is so much of it, but we just weren’t really that hungry. We ended up with chocolate milk, pizza, humus, cucumbers, and apple cider. It didn’t seem as crowded as last year. When we left the sun was out and our car was super dusty.

I finally got my cry a bit on the way home. I guess you could say we made up in the car before we went inside our house. We relaxed a bit with the kids after my in-laws and niece left. They were watching Paddington Bear 2 when we got home

I have such mixed feelings about this race. I like the Heartland 39.3 Series, but the Running With the Cows course is sooo brutal. I think the thing I hate the most is seeing for miles and miles how far I have to run. It is one thing knowing it, but it is a completely different thing seeing it. I love the band and the kid with the drums and the aid stations. Of course the after race food is amazing if you aren’t too tired to eat. Like I said, mixed feelings.

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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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Irish Goodbye

So we signed up for the Sweet 16 Challenge at the last minute. My husband’s whole family was out of town for the first race because of spring break. So unlike years past, we hired a babysitter to watch the kids and even she was leaving town later that day. We had to basically get there, do the race, and then get back home as quickly as possible so our sitter could catch a flight to Texas to spend time with her grandparents. Like I said . . . spring break!

I went the day before the race to pick up our race packets. I had been out all day with the kids. I can’t remember where. Maybe we were at Science City. I hate driving in the Westport area. So I was a little stressed. I made sure to warn the kids about talking to me while driving in that area. They are pretty good about it and I try to be nice about it too. We got our packet and I got a “kilt” for the green dress run we were planning on doing in Eureka Springs with the Little Rock Hash House Harriers.

The next day was, well, uneventful compared to the years past. We got there and wanted a drink or two with some of our Kansas City hashers that run the race. They said they were meeting a McCoy’s early in the morning. We got there a little late, but McCoy’s actually wasn’t open yet. We went to Kelly’s Westport Inn to have our drinks. We messaged and called our friends, but we never found them. We took some selfies and posted it to our group page to say, “Hey! We are here. Where are you?”

We lined up at the starting line after our cocktails and ran a good race. There is nothing I really remember that was outstanding. It was a different route this year. I saw a sign that said free beer, but I didn’t see anybody giving it out or any Bloody Mary’s for that matter. I guess the change in the route might have kept the people who do the beer stop away? My time was okay. I’ve done better. It was 43:13. Hubby was 42:57. We only grabbed a few treats and left. There was no chocolate milk, but there were pickles. Yum!

We hurried back home and our sitter was happy. She had time to get down the street to her house and catch her flight. The rest of the day was pretty basic.

Our crazy costumes in Eureka Springs

We signed up for the Heartland Challenge again. In case you didn’t know, it is two half marathons in April and one in May. It includes Rock the Parkway, Garmin and Running with the Cows. We would have already had one half marathon under our belts in preparation for the Challenge except Disneyland canceled the Star Wars Light Side and all their half marathons until who knows when. We really wanted to do that and then go to Florida to do the Dark Side to get another Coast to Coast Challenge. Since they canceled the Light Side we did not bother to sign up for the Dark  Side. Hubby did get a little bit of the racing bug by seeing all the pictures from the Disney marathon weekend. He has already declared that he wants to do The Dopey some day.

Our training has not gone well. When we got back from Eureka Springs with the hashers both Hubby and I had a terrible cold. The Westport St. Patrick’s Day run is all Hubby has done this year and my runs have been terrible due to all the coughing. I’ll let you know how we 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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Rockin’ A Bad Memory

Our neighbor’s dog was up late “barking” all night long. It was so weird. It was a cross between a bird’s screech and a dog’s yelp. We got little sleep with that and our daughter climbing in bed with us. My in-laws stayed the night as usual when we do these runs. Our son woke up right before we left. My mother-in-law got him and took him to our big bed where his sister was. They all tried to snuggle and get him back to sleep. We headed to Rock The Parkway half marathon.

It was about the same kind of weather it was the first year we ran it. It was a little cool at first but it was nice and warm later in the day. Last year it was pretty chilly throughout the race. Hubby and I were in the same corral this time. We were in corral F. I think that is because I ran it in 2:30 last year and my hubby came in behind me. I so wanted to do another PR this year since I PR every year at this race. Something else always seems to happen every year. Before the race I always seem to hurt my back.

Yup it happened again. It was almost as bad as in the past, but I still tweaked my back pretty bad. I talked to my chiropractor and running club buddy, Jared, about it. I did not get a chance to up my mileage much for this race so I don’t think that was the problem. Then he mentioned that since the weather got real nice in the Spring people tend to go out and do more. That is where I can tweak my back and not realize that I’m over doing it or not being careful. Of course life takes over and I forget to do my strength training exercises on top of everything else. They are so boring! I really need to fix that.

Anyway, I sent a message out to the hashers. If you don’t know who they are, they are a group of runners that also like to drink beer. I remember at least two of them saying they were going to run Rock The Parkway. Laura responded that she was the only one. Don and Shelley ended up going on vacation. She said not to wait for her because she was real sloooooooow. Ha! If she is slow than I’m not sure what I am, but I am jumping ahead here.

Hubby and I ended up at the front of corral F, but there were some confusion between E and F. The announcer saw a lady with an E bib on and said it was corral E. I looked around and saw the confused look on the majority of the runners’ faces. One guy a few feet back said, “Corral F everybody. This is corral F.” You can be in a different corral as long it is behind the one assigned to you. So this lady wasn’t doing anything wrong. The announcer was just confused. It was nice being in the front of a corral. We didn’t have to weave around a bunch of people.

Hubby and I were pretty close at the beginning. I saw a girl pass me that looked like Laura. I wasn’t quite sure. At some point, I think during a water stop, I must have passed her because she passed me again. This time Hubby was near and I asked him if he thought that was her. He said he wasn’t sure, but I could holler her name. I yelled her nickname and she turned. It was her! I had to tease her a bit about saying she was so slow when she has passed me twice. Not that I ever claimed to be fast.

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One of the times Laura passed me.

I had a fun time running with her. We chit chatted a bit. She was concerned that there might not be any beer left at the unofficial aid station. I wasn’t concerned because there always seemed to be some there when I went through. Thank goodness we weren’t running in snow like the Westport run. Then there probably wouldn’t be any beer at all. There was a sign that said bacon and beer was up ahead. The beer was actually quite a ways from the sign. We sprinted toward them when we finally saw them. We got beer but there was no bacon. I’m not sure why. I didn’t ask. We passed Hubby and didn’t see him again until the end. Laura got a few pictures. I have to say that girl is good at some selfies.

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Laura’s mad selfie skills

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Beer stop

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Where is the bacon?

Laura pulled ahead of me at about around mile eight. I could still see her, but then I lost her for a bit until around mile ten. I was trying so hard to beat my 2:30 time from last year. I really wanted to keep up with her, but I didn’t train very well because of my back issues. Laura ended up finishing about three minutes before me. I got a 2:26:37.6 which I was happy with because at least it was another PR. I called Hubby to see where he was. I knew he had his headset with him so he could answer. He joked around with me that he had already finished. He was actually a mile or so behind us. I chit chatted with Laura while waiting on Hubby to finish.

We heard there was beer up with the refreshments. There hasn’t been beer in the past. So we were a little skeptical. We walked up the hill and sure enough there was a Martin City truck there. I got Hubby and I some chocolate mile while we waited in line. Laura didn’t want one. We tore off the ticket part of our bib and handed it to them for our free beer. Laura and I got a coffee stout. Hubby asked for Highway Man. The workers all laughed. Apparently that one is a really good beer that would not be free. I can’t remember what Hubby actually got. Laura took a cute selfie of us drinking our beers.

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Another awesome selfie by Laura

We chit chatted a bit again and then Laura said she was headed home. Hubby and I always do the picture so we went to where they had the back drop. They arranged things differently this year and I kind of like it. It didn’t seem as crowded. We stood in line for pictures and didn’t notice there was no photographer until we were close to the front. We got our picture anyway with the help of the people in front of us. You know the ol’, “I’ll take your picture if you take mine” routine. I think our picture ended up being pretty good.

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When we came home I found out that Little Man never went back to sleep. At least this race wasn’t at the butt crack of dawn. So he wasn’t too tired. My in-laws also mentioned how our cat howled all night long. Hubby and I tried to tell them it was the neighbors dog. Hubby posted our picture on Facebook and mentioned that I got a PR and he was pretty slow because he didn’t really train at all. Come to find out I didn’t PR. When the results came out Hubby emailed me and told me my best time was last year. In 2015 I did 2:30, in 2016 I did 2:20, and this year I did 2:26. I guess I got a bad memory. I was shocked when I realized I did it in 2:20!

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Edit: My in-laws, Hubby, and I were all wrong. The noise the night of our race was a family of foxes living under our deck. Now we know what the fox says.

Oh and did you like all the pictures? Of course I didn’t take any of them except of the shirt and medal. The rest was provided by either Rock The Parkway, my buddy Laura, or the nice people who took our picture for us. Thank you!

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