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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