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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Baby, You’re Much Too Fast

We did the CCVI Trolley Run again as part of the Sweet 16 series. If you remember last year I said I wanted to join our running buddies team because their daughter was born with bilateral congenital microphthalmia with cyst. CCVI stands for Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired. Since then they had a little boy born with the same thing. I shared Facebook posts to help raise money for their team even though at first Hubby and I were not on the team. I emailed the contact with the Sweet 16 series and they said they could not transfer me to the team. The mom whose post I shared commented that she was having that same problem with some other runners that wanted to join her team. She said she would see what she could do. I also emailed a contact with the Trolley Run but go no response. I thought we just were not going to be on the team. Then Hubby picked up our shirts and registration packet and I had the team shirt but he didn’t. I think the mom forgot about him since I was the “squeaky wheel” on Facebook. It was all good though. I donated some money and I know of at least one family member that donated as well. I was proud to wear their shirt for team Wiz Kidz.

Regular Shirt and Team Shirt

The front of the regular shirt and team shirt were the same. The team shirt was red and had the team name on the back.

My in-laws stayed the night once again to babysit for the race. They didn’t take them to church this year because they had to head back to Fayetteville to pack the last bit of things they needed for their new place here in Kansas City. See they rented for a year or so while the building for senior citizens they found was being built. Now that it is finished they had to get ready to move into it. My husband’s plan was to go with them after the race so he could help them move the heavy things. We had planned on going to the Royals game to join my multiples mom club for multiple birth awareness. We ended up selling our tickets since he needed to help his family and I didn’t want to wrangle the twins by myself. So they all slept in as long as they could while we got up at the “butt crack of dawn” to do the race.

We actually left a little later this year then we did last year. We found a parking garage and walked to the buses. The line was a bit longer than last year because we were later. The weather was nicer this year. Something else that was different was the waves. They did not assign colors on the bibs. They had pacers instead. You just line up with your pacer. I lined up with the nine minute mile people with my Hubby. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to line up with other Wiz Kidz members or not. Hubby even said he was told he could still run with them. I was worried we lined up in the wrong place. Then I saw several other Wiz Kidz shirts and relaxed a bit. The race had drones filming the beginning of the race. I didn’t bring my head phones but I wish I had. This race actually says to not bring headsets but people still do.

I saw a lot of people from Rock The Parkway. There was the lady with the comic strip running skirt, and the man with the kilt. I don’t think I mentioned him in my post. The pacer from Rock The Parkway made a comment about the guy’s kilt being a skirt. I almost ran up to him to tell him the joke I saw on Facebook, but the pacer was still in earshot and I didn’t want the encounter to be awkward. The joke was, “Why do they call it a kilt?….Because they kilt every one that called it a skirt.”

The race was pretty good. My time was about two minutes faster than last year. Last year was 40:47. This year it was 38:19. If you did the math you know I didn’t stay with my pace group but I sure did try. One of the multiple moms in my group did it last year and said she was doing it this year as well. She said she hasn’t ran since last year’s race, but she works out a lot. I saw a Facebook post that said she ran it in about 33 something. I see something like that and I just keep reminding myself how much I have  improved and that I am on my own journey. It can be so hard not to compare.

I did note during the run that I was passed by four different runners with strollers. They looked like pretty fit and fast runners anyway. Again, I’m on my own journey. I passed a blind runner and his guide. I heard so many people say encouraging things to him. I told him what a good job he did later in the race. I stopped and got some of the bacon this year. Last year there was a group cooking bacon and I didn’t get any. I don’t know about last year, but this year it was good and crispy just like I like it. I kind of wished there had been a beer stop near it. I said as much out loud and a gentleman passing me said, “Now that is what I’m talking about.”

Something I wish I had a picture of for this post is the sign in someone’s front yard. It was written in purple. It said, “Baby, you’re much too fast.” They also had “Little Red Corvette” playing. I thought that was pretty awesome. In case you have been living under a rock, the world lost a truly great artist, Prince. I wrote this as my Facebook post.

I didn’t grow up with David Bowie’s music. I like his music and one of my favorite movies is Labyrinth. I do miss him and after he passed I showed my kids the movie. Prince, on the other hand, I grew up with his music. When I think of music of my childhood I think of Prince, Madonna and Michael Jackson to name a few. I remember all my friends had the Purple Rain soundtrack but my Mom wouldn’t let me get it because of the song, “Darling Nikki.” I don’t think I actually heard the whole song until I saw him in concert when I was in my twenties. Thanks, Jennifer, that night rocked!

Like a lot of other people out there, I’ve been listening to a lot of Prince lately and the sign made me smile.

I knew Hubby would beat me on a shorter distance race like this. He was waiting for me at the end. I wasn’t sure what we could do after the race. His parents wanted to hit the road as soon as they could. Last year we went to brunch while they were still in church with the kids. This year we got yogurt, chocolate milk, water and bananas at the race. They also had an after party section at the plaza. It was the similar to last year, but it was so cold we didn’t stay long. This year we actually got some frozen custard and the pizza that they offer. I wanted to find some of the Wiz Kidz team that we knew but even though I saw a lot of Wiz Kidz shirts, I didn’t know any of them. I saw the dad run back at mile three. I figured he finished and was going back to do the last of the course again with his family. I saw pictures later that confirmed that. They looked so good crossing that finish line. They are such a wonderful family.

One of our hashers ran the race as well. She also belongs to the Kansas City Track Club and helped sign us up at the Westport race. We didn’t stick around to talk to Wiz Kidz or hashers. We kind of just ate and went back home. Which was fine, but I think I would have had more fun socializing. At least Hubby got back in time to mow our lawn which really needed it. My in-laws were in a hurry but they knew our lawn would look so bad by the time Hubby got back and he doesn’t really like me doing the lawn. My job is the shrubs. They still left town at a decent hour to get things packed and ready to go. So in the end everybody was happy.

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Rockin’ It Again

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The tech shirts are similar to last year.

 

We did it again! We ran Rock the Parkway. I was so happy to do it, but at the same time I saw how cold it was going to be this year and a wave of dread came over me. The expo was good. I had to take the kids with me to get our race packets. Last year’s expo was upstairs and they have an escalator in the Overland Park Convention Center. I thought the kids would love that. However I saw signs for the expo as soon as we walked in the door. It was downstairs this year. The kids ended up enjoying it even though they didn’t get to ride the escalator. They still had fun because the people that were advertising other races had candy! They each got a sucker in the shape of a flower from the Mother’s Day 5K and a miniature (not fun size) Milky Way for Baby Girl and Three Musketeers for Baby Boy from the Putting The Boots To ALS 5K. Boy, did they LOVE that! I don’t think I’ve ever seen either one of them finish a sucker before that day. Of course the chocolate was gone in a flash.

My in-laws spent the night again, but they didn’t take the kids anywhere this time. We also didn’t do a date night. It was all just in and out kind of thing. I had a hard time getting the Littles to stay in their own room that night. It was cold and they really wanted to cuddle with Mommy and Daddy. I got Baby Boy to cuddle with the grandparents at one point so we could get ready and leave.

I’m positive we left really earlier last year. Hubby was complaining about how early we were leaving this year. I told him we left earlier last year AND it was his idea! He still continued to remark at how there were still empty spots in the parking lot and how we would come later next year. Ugh! I hate stressing if we are going to be late. We did not do a drop bag last year, but since it was SOOOOO much colder this year, we decided to bring some warm clothes with us. Most races have been giving you your race packet in a clear bag which is also your drop bag. Rock The Parkway didn’t do that. They had the bags at the drop off site to give you when you got there. I went ahead and gave them my fleece pullover at least half an hour before race time to kind of acclimate. Hubby waited another fifteen minutes.

Once again Hubby decided to get in my corral instead of his. The body heat from the crowd seem to warm us up since there was a lot of people lined up at that time. We saw on the runDisney Facebook group that one of the Kansas people from Wichita, Jeremy, was there. Hubby commented that we were in the corral behind him, but Jeremy didn’t respond before we started to run.

I really wanted to run with Cristal and the 2:30 pace group, but I lined up with the 2:20 pace group and thought, “What the heck.”  Right at the beginning Hubby and a bunch of other people took off in a flash. The 2:20 pace guy, Brian, said they just didn’t know how to contain that energy and we would pass them all soon enough. The 2:20 pace girl, Sheree, had on a cardigan. I didn’t think anything of it until a lady with some wild running skirt that looked like a comic strip came running by and said something. The lady in the comic strip skirt said she just always thought to use old running clothes that she didn’t mind throwing out when running a race on a cold day. She never thought about old cardigans. Comic Strip kind of thought it was brilliant. I’m not sure why, maybe it was the cold, but I didn’t talk much this race. I kind of just eavesdropped on Sheree and Comic Strip most of the run.

I found out that Comic Strip is a few years older than me. One of her kids was running the race as well but at his/her own pace. Comic Strip has ran 30 half marathons and done 45 triathlons or maybe it was 45 half marathons and 30 triathlons. I don’t remember. I wasn’t really trying that hard to eavesdrop. Cristal’s thing was telling people to ease up on the uphill and to yell, “Woooo!” at every mile marker. Sheree’s thing seemed to be to tell everyone to lean forward and enjoy the downhill. I think that bit of advice helped me just as much as Cristal’s advice from last year.

The course was the same as last year, I think. One of the spectators was dressed as a pumpkin. She was dancing around and yelling nice things at the runners. She would tell us how bad ass we were. She was pretty awesome. Since the course was the same, I remembered that there was a beer stop somewhere in the neighborhoods. Last year I think it was kind of off course and I couldn’t make it over. This year it was in a grassy median. So I jumped off real quick and grabbed me a shot of beer. It was light, it was cold, and it was goooood.

I thought I was going to lose the 2:20 group at mile six, but somehow I caught up with them. I think I had a little extra energy that I exerted to make it up some hills that they were taking easy. That and I flew down the downhill parts. I was so happy to keep them in sight the whole time. I  did lose Sheree behind me somewhere around mile nine or so. I could still see Brian though. So I kept running. I kind of felt bad at one point. I ran past this lady that was stopped off the side. It kind of sounded like she was crying when I passed her but I wasn’t sure. I was trying to make it past an intersection nearby because a police officer was letting cars go here and there when there was space. I was a lone straggler that would have kept the cars from going. I was trying to help out by catching up to a group not too far in front of me and giving the car some space to pass. I noticed the lady and turned to look at her just as I was in the intersection. I also noticed that the police officer was kind of eyeing her as I passed him. I hope if she did need help he was able to offer it to her. She wasn’t too terribly far from the intersection.

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I think I like last year’s medal better

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This year and last year’s medals

Since I didn’t see Hubby stop to walk and wait for me at the beginning, I thought he decided to go ahead and run his own race. He is still doing bicycle rides, but he isn’t running as much. He had some issues on one of the few long runs he did with me. He was concerned that I would beat him. I really didn’t think that was possible. He has always been faster than me no matter what. Running just doesn’t come easy for me.

I made another PR at Rock The Parkway. Last year I took fifteen minutes off my best half marathon. This year I took another ten minutes off of the previous year’s Rock The Parkway because you know I did not PR at Disney. My time this year was 2:20:17.7. I was so happy! I sent a FB message to Hubby to see where he was. When he did not answer right away I wondered if there was the slight possibility that I did in fact beat him. I sent him another message telling him where I was just in case. A few minutes later he came up with a lady in a Disney shirt similar to the one he was wearing. One of the first things he said is that I “snuck” past him. He told me I would have beaten him quite a bit more if it hadn’t been for the nice lady from Orlando pushing him. She was actually wearing a Disney Half Marathon shirt from a few years earlier and not a Goofy shirt from this year like Hubby was wearing. She told him while they were running that she worked at the Disney races this year. She might have been one of the people to hand us a medal. He said she came up to him during the race because she recognized the shirt. She was really nice, but she hurried off after meeting me. I guess she needed to find her group of people.

We only took a few steps and Jeremy from the runDisney Facebook group hollered at us. He was with his wife. We all introduced ourselves and talked about the race. Apparently Rodney bumped into him in during the race and talked for a bit before they lost each other. It was nice finally meeting someone from the Facebook group. We missed the meet and greet a Disney. So Jeremy is the first we’ve met. We talked about local races and Disney races. It quickly got cold again, so we parted ways to go to the bag drop.

We did not stay at the after party long. There was chocolate milk, bananas, yogurt, etc. We ate some of the food. There was a good band, but it was soooo cold. I think I really liked the vibe a Waddell & Reed better. They had cute little temporary benches and couches on the grass. They also gave runners a free beer and sandwich after the race, but not every race can do that.

I told Hubby before the race that I wasn’t sure we would do Rock The Parkway again. I really like Waddell & Reed’s course and after party better, but then again, I seem to PR every time I do Rock The Parkway. Of course Hubby hasn’t done Garmin yet and I did it a few years ago. I guess we will see. And Oh, we are officially signed up for the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge in November!

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The Grump Needs To Run More

I used to read stories about how much people hated the taper before a big race. I didn’t really notice it for the Goofy Challenge because we were at Disney and Universal having fun. We did a lot of walking at the parks, and we still did at least one training run while we were in Florida. It was several loops around the time share, but we made the mileage. I have noticed a change since the race though. We still have Rock the Parkway half marathon coming up but it isn’t a full marathon (thank goodness). It isn’t a huge challenge like the Goofy. I wondered if I was actually missing the super long training runs on the weekends or worse yet the super long back to back training runs!

I’ve been a little moody and the only way to help has been to run. My twins are threenagers which can drive anybody crazy. I just hate it when I yell or get mad at them. They can be very challenging at times, but I know they could be worse. I love it when we cuddle and laugh. I feel like we do that best when mommy has run some stress off that day. I mean really, who LIKES conflict and who doesn’t love a good cuddle? I even read a saying the other day, “I run the crazy away.” I think that is so me.

When I think about my Goofy training schedule I do have to give a shout out to Jeff Galloway’s training program on the runDisney website. I LOVED it! The first marathon I trained for was not fun. The training was so monotonous. I just about burned out before I even got to the race. I was running five times a week with a cross training day (which I normally skipped) and one rest day. The long runs gradually got longer every single weekend. I don’t remember who created the program, but I got it from one my running clubs at the time.

Galloway’s program kept things fresh and I don’t ever really recall dreading a weekend run like I did with the other program. In the beginning, Galloway’s program only has you running three times a week. You have forty-five minute runs every Tuesday and Thursday and then a long run on Saturday. The long run did gradually get longer. Then as we got closer to the race it changed from one Saturday long run to back to back long runs on Saturday and Sunday. Then the next two weeks you only had one moderate run on Saturday all while keeping your forty-five minute runs on Tuesday and Thursday. You had two weeks of moderate runs on Saturdays in between the really hard back to back long runs. It was great! It kept you from getting burned out while still keeping your endurance.

I haven’t been training all that much for Rock the Parkway. I’ve gotten a few six mile runs on Saturdays, but I should probably bump it up a bit before we do the race. If not for the race then at least for my sanity.

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Laissez Le Bon Temps . . . Meh

I think I mentioned before how happy I am that we signed up for Rock The Parkway again. It is a nice way to keep up the momentum. I am really enjoying my running again. Of course we had tons of mail to read when we got home. That is snail mail AND email because I don’t keep up as much on my email while I’m on vacation. Does anybody? Anyway, I saw an email for the Mardi Gras 5K here in Kansas City. It looked like fun, but Rodney wasn’t very interested. So I asked if he would mind skipping a bike ride that one Saturday to watch the kids so I could run. He agreed.

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I kept the masks and beads for the kiddos

 

Now fast forward a few days later and he sends me a link to a Facebook group running from a sports store in Westport, Run 816. They were going to do a run and then tap a keg of coffee stout beer. Well now, that is right up our alley and we both put down that we wanted to run that day. Then my husband realizes it is the same day as my Mardi Gras 5K. As luck would have it, the Mardi  Gras 5K was earlier in the morning in Power and Light District which isn’t that far from Westport. I could run it and then we could meet up for the Run 816 event. That day was not good for my mother and father-in-law though. Hubby really didn’t want to drive two cars. So we finally asked my sister-in-law if we could drop the kids off at her house to play since it was on the way to both races. She was game! So Rodney volunteered to work the Mari Gras 5K while I ran it and then we would head to Run 816 when I was done.

Thank goodness both runs were not at the butt crack of dawn. The kids got up and were super excited about staying at Aunt Rhonda’s house. They had been there a few days before and played outside with their cousins on their old swing set. The weather was actually nice enough for them to do that. So we dropped them off with no incident.

Rodney checked in for the volunteer position but he was a lot later than the rest of the volunteers due to the fact that we had to drop the kids off and I was with him. There was no way the rest of us were getting up that early. It was fine though. He sat at the computer and helped register late comers for the race.

I was really surprised at how small the race was. I mean it wasn’t too terribly early in the morning and it was a Mardi Gras run. I mean a lot of the people that were there were dressed up for Mardi Gras. They were having fun with it as one should. There isn’t much to say about the race itself. It was an out and back type thing. We got beads at the water stops. I think there were two water stops. I did notice that the two mile marker was a little early compared to my Garmin. When I finished the race I thought I might have made a PR but then I looked at the distance. We ran 2.92 miles. Meh.

I saw Hubby right away at the end. He was talking to the guy that volunteered with him at the computers. I think his name was Greg? He sounded like he was addicted to challenges. He talked about signing up for several Rock and Roll marathons. I have to admit I like some of the challenges I’ve seen. I saw that Go Girl Run Half Marathon Challenge and I’m tempted. I told my husband I might do it next year or sometime soon. I really have no problem with little challenges like that as long a they do not involve another full marathon.

Anyway we headed into Power and Light to see what all was there for the after run party. There wasn’t much to say about it either. I can’t really remember, but I think there was red beans and rice, cookies, coffee, and oranges. I don’t think there was your usual bananas. I think the only think I grabbed was a cookie. Meh.

I probably wouldn’t run it again. It might have been more fun if I had more friends sign up and run it with me. There are of course lot of restaurants and bars to hang out in with your friends in Power and Light. There were several other Mari Gras events planned for the Power and Light District that day, but we did not sign up for any of them. We had free beer waiting for us.

We jumped in the car and headed for Westport. I changed my sweaty clothes in the car. Hubby had some running clothes on under some warmer stuff he wore to the Mardi Gras 5K. I felt pretty good and I was ready to go. They already had the keg tapped and I was curious. I got a small sample before the run. I don’t know if I mentioned how I do NOT like coffee. It is the in your face taste I don’t like, but I like the smell of coffee beans. I can also handle some beers with a little coffee flavor. This was one of them. It was pretty good.

When the time came, we went outside wherethey briefed us on where the run would take us. They had maps in the store and signs along the course so nobody would get lost. It was really great! The run was nice and scenic as well. We ran near the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and saw the sculptures outside. We ended up doing 3.12 miles. I still felt pretty good afterwards.

When we got back we had more beer. We wondered if the store was a chain. Rodney recalled seeing a picture on Facebook of a friend of ours in Arkansas with a Run 501 shirt. The area code for some places in Arkanas is 501 and the area code for some places in Missiouri is 816. We thought if it was a chain it was a cool little concept to just use the area code of the city for the name of the store. We were told that wasn’t the case though. Run 816 is not apart of any chain.

We had a good time chatting with some people that have done some Disney runs. We were wearing some of our Disney gear and so was this other lady. She did her run at Disneyland. Since we are thinking about doing a Coast to Coast medal, we picked her brain a bit. We also talked to some Mud Babes that I had meet at a handful of runs I attended over the years. Mud Babes are apart of a running group in Kansas City called Trail Nerds.

I started to think about it and the most fun run that day was the one that was free. I spent $35 to only run extra mileage. Westport isn’t very convenient to where we live. I would probably run with them again for a special event like that. It was nice. So hey, it is kind of how the saying goes, “Sometimes the best things in life are free.”

 

 

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Rockin’ It

So Rock The Parkway Half was my miracle race in more ways than one. My husband didn’t do much training. Ha! He did like maybe three runs before the race and that includes the Westport St. Patrick’s Day Race. Like I said, he does a lot of cycling so he isn’t totally out of shape or anything. He did a 2:22:38.2 half. He was hurting a little after it was all said and done, but nothing too major. My husband was absolutely amazed by how well he did considering all this. I was even more amazed by my results.

If you think the medal looks heavy, you are right. It's not as big a the Little Rock Marathon though.

If you think the medal looks heavy, you are right. It’s not as big a the Little Rock Marathon though. We will have to do that one some other time.

My issue started the Tuesday before the race. Of course most races like this run on Saturday morning. I had planned to rest on Tuesday except for walking to the nearby church to vote in the most recent election. I came back and didn’t stretch because I walked and it was only a little over a mile round trip. I sat down to my laptop to do some work. It sits on the kitchen bar and I sit on a bar stool. We have an open floor plan which I love. I can work and watch the kids play in every room on our first floor. The issue is that it isn’t real great for my back (you see where I’m going here?). I was sitting at the laptop when I felt a little something in my lower back. I got frantic and start stretching like crazy. Every half hour or so I would lay on the floor and try to stretch out whatever was hurting my back. It just kept getting worse throughout the day. I thought maybe once I got some rest that night I would feel better the next morning.

I was wrong. I was in tears in the next morning! I could find no relief no matter what I did. It hurt to even lay down. My mother-in-law took my kids to a play date while I went to my chiropractor that was just a few blocks away from them. I had been pretty loyal in seeing him when I could since my insurance covers almost all of my visit with him. I “bragged” to my mother-in-law in the car that I usually only take about 10 to 15 minutes on the table. I told her I knew some people he worked on for an hour and did not know what on Earth would cause that kind of work, “Bless their hearts.” Ha! I walked in and he couldn’t even touch me until he had a heating pad on my back for at least 8 minutes. By the time I got out I had been there about an hour!

When I went in I was more concerned with the pain but by the time he was done with me I asked about the half marathon to come that Saturday. He got this look on his face like I had just sprouted horns out of my head. He said it might be possible but it would hard to do. He recommended that ice it at home and not use anymore heat. He also said no running until maybe Friday. He told me to find a firm mattress to sleep on for the first night maybe two nights. I tried to think of a bed in our house that was firm. I think that is another issue. Our mattress is so old and too soft. He said some people were known to sleep on the floor. So that is what I did. I slept on the floor for two nights in a row. I wanted to do it all the way up to race day, but my husband asked me not to. I think he was worried the floor was too hard for me. It was a little difficult to get to sleep at first but my back felt so much better in the morning.

I tried icing my back sitting in a chair, but it just wasn’t working for me. So I laid down on the floor to ice my back to make sure I got the full benefit of it. I did that every few hours. We also moved my laptop in the dinning room so I could have my feet flat on the floor. I did not like it there. I just couldn’t see everything like I could from the kitchen.

So race day comes and I am super nervous that I won’t be able to finish. My husband is supposed to be in a corral up in front of me. We get at the front of my corral with the 2:30 pacers. He looks at the sign and asks me if I am going to finish it in 2:30. I laugh as I say, “Yeah, right. I wish.” He decided since his corral was the very next one he would at least start with me. I usually don’t like that, but he promised he wouldn’t try to stay with me. I hate it when I know I’m the reason he isn’t doing his best.

Once I got running, I actually felt fine. My back didn’t hurt. It was sunny but a little cool. I wore arm warmers and kept them on until about mile 4. I got one off just fine, but the one under my arm band for my phone was harder. I kept pinching myself. It didn’t hurt real bad, but I pinched it quite a few times. I finally got it off when we got to a down hill portion of the run for me to slow down a bit. When the race was over, I had some nice bruises. My husband wasn’t happy about that for several reasons. One was that it kind of looked like I was abused.

Ouch! I didn't know I had bruised myself this bad taking my arm sleeves off during the race.

Ouch! I didn’t know I had bruised myself this bad taking my arm sleeves off during the race.

The rest of the run was beautiful! We could not have asked for better weather or a day to go for a run. I stuck with the 2:30 group. I was running and thought that the pace was actually doable. One of the pacers, Crystal, was a hoot. After each mile marker she would count down from 3 and everybody would scream, “Wooooo!” She talked about slowing down on the up hills. I just can’t do that. I like to power up and get over it. I stuck with them all the way up to about mile 8. She had said we were a minute or two ahead of 2:30 pace schedule. I kept them in sight all the way to mile 11 and caught a second wind. I didn’t catch up to them completely and lost them the last mile or so. I wondered what my time was when I crossed the finish line. I mean the time flashing there was not right because we started in waves and I was a few waves behind the first group.

I found my husband and we walked around a bit. They had one band on the course and some singers at a park later on in the race. There was a band at the end. I would have excepted a few more bands during the run since the name of the race is Rock the Parkway. We tried to get some massages. I told my guy what happened to be sure he didn’t accidentally do something worse. I felt pretty good except behind my right knee and my calves. He only worked on my calves. I think he might have been scared to touch my back. After that it was pretty dead except the line to get pictures in front of the Rock the Parkway banner. We got a few of us together and then we walked back to the car which I think was a mile in itself.

My legs were a little stiff when we got back home. My in-laws stayed the night and watched the twins since we had to get up at the butt crack of dawn to do the race. My husband’s legs were worse due to lack of training. After we cleaned up and got back to our day, I checked my results. I always start my phone a little early. My phone said I did 13.38 at 2:37:29. My chip time was 2:30:42.3! I check my best time for a half and it was 2:39:21.4. I shaved off about 9 minutes with a bad back! I was happy just to finish. I was ecstatic that I finished with that time.

I think we learned some lessons from all of this. I learned that we need a new mattress even if my husband does not agree. My husband learned he needs to train more (something he already knew really). I learned to sleep on the floor a few nights before a race to improve my results. I’m just kidding, but I am sooooo using Rock The Parkway as my proof of time for Goofy.

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