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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Another Kind Of Brexit

If you don’t read my blogs, then you probably do not know that we signed up for a running series called the Sweet 16. It is a series of four runs that are all four miles. We did the Westport St. Patrick’s Day Race and the Trolley Run. Four On The 4th is the third race. We have one more to go, The Zoo Run. Of course Four on the 4th is the morning of the 4th of July. My sister-in-law and her family have fireworks in their neighborhood on the third but since we knew we had to get up at the butt crack of dawn for this race, we didn’t think it would be a good idea to go.

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My mother-in-law and father-in-law stayed the night so the kids could sleep in while we did the race. Funny thing was that even though we thought we shouldn’t go see fireworks in my sister-in-laws neck of the woods, we went out to Old Chicago to eat. They were having some kind of special on receipts kind of like Chic-fil-a. They still got to bed okay. My in-laws were going to take them to the annual neighborhood Fourth of July kids parade. They decorate bikes, strollers, trikes, whatever and go from the park to the pool which is only a few blocks. My kids just turned four (Hmmm I see a theme here, You?). So they are big enough to ride their trikes. Unfortunately we live on a busy street with a driveway that is very hilly. So they don’t get to practice much. I was a little worried they might be a bit behind everybody. I’ll go back to that later.

Since the Fourth landed on a Monday, my husband did not want to go pick up packets on a Sunday. So we had to get up even earlier to get our packets. It always makes me nervous to think we might be late. We parked in the same area as last year which is nice because we parked right near the end. When we got over to the packet pick-up my husband said something “smart.” He asked what we were going to do for the next twenty-five minutes. Then I saw the line for packet pick-up and I told him it looked like we were going to be standing in line. The line moved okay. A lady started asking people their shirt sizes and giving shirts to help speed up the process for when we finally made to a person with a computer at the table. This time I didn’t even ask for a smaller shirt the lady just decided on her own that I needed a smaller shirt. I can’t lie and say that didn’t make me feel good. After getting our bibs, we only had about ten minutes to drop our stuff off at the car and get back to the starting line. We got back just as they were doing the national anthem.

Right before the start the announcer made a comment about the US getting away from Britain before things got too bad. My husband made a remark about the whole Brexit ordeal. Of course I’m sure a lot of other people had that thought on their minds. We got off to an okay start. We’ve been trying to find me a good cordless headset. I tried out my husbands the other day and set it down on the counter. My mother-in-law picked it up the night before to say something about buying one to my husband. My husband saw she put it back on the counter. Even though he knew where it was, he was not real happy with me because I didn’t put them back where he normally keeps them. He ended up forgetting them that morning. I had my corded headset and I was jamming to a playlist on Amazon Music. The next thing I know I was at the first mile in less than ten minutes!

My ultimate goal is to break a thirty minute 5K or a forty minute four miler. Basically I want a ten minute mile or better. It was looking good for me so far. My Garmin was even in sync with their mile markers. I made it to mile two just fine as well. I was feeling a little fatigued at mile three. I haven’t been running like I want recently. I think I have plantar fasciitis. Now if you read anything about running then you have seen several articles on this. I have skipped every single one because the only injury I’ve ever suffered is some lower back pain. Now I have this horrible pain in the left heel of my foot every morning or everytime I get up from sitting down for any period of time. Of course it is fine after a bit of walking or running. But, Man! Does it hurt first thing in the morning! So I’ve been doing my shorter runs during the week which is between three and half miles and four miles long. I’ve been skipping my  longer weekend runs.

There were only two or three really big hills that I walked on the course. Each time I walked I had people pass me, but as soon as I could run again, I passed almost all of them. I tried to sprint a little toward the end, but the heat was getting to me. It was hotter last year, but for some reason it felt harder this year. I looked down at my watch and was very happy. Last year my time was 44:09 and this year it was 40:34! So funny how well I do during races where I have injuries.

We did our rounds to see the tents and stuff at the post party. They had root beer floats. We each had one and some water and I had a banana. We started home and I realized the kids would still be home. We got back and my mother-in-law was getting my daughter ready for the parade. We decided to go ahead and let them take the kids as planned while my husband and I got cleaned up a bit. We made it back outside our house just in time for the parade. Several waves made it by and we didn’t see them. I even saw some jerk come up right behind a group of moms and kids in his car. He was an older “gentleman” with a handicap sign around his rearview mirror. I said really loud in his direction, “What is wrong with this guy?” Then I saw my people on the sidewalk. My Littles were a bit behind the rest of the crowd which is why I think they were on the sidewalk instead of the road. I’m afraid they are not super fast on their trikes. Baby Girl wasn’t even riding hers. She was skipping in front of my poor mother-in-law dragging the trike along. I took the trike and asked Baby Girl if she was going to ride it anymore. “Nope,” she said skipping along with her helmet still on her head. I put her trike away while she skipped along next to my mother-in-law on the way to the pool. I got out and back to the road in time to see my son riding his trike. He was determined to ride his trike all the way there all by himself. My husband wanted to put something on the trike to help him along since we don’t have one of those trikes with a handle. So he tied some webbing to it but left some slack in it to let our boy know he was doing all the work. After a while my husband did start to pull a bit. Our boy was getting a little tired.

At the pool, they always have ice cream truck. Everybody got ice cream. The kids wanted to try those kiddie things in the shape of Spiderman and Hello Kitty, but they do not taste good. They did that last year and didn’t eat them. I told them they were not getting those this year. We got them ice cream sandwiches because they taste better. Everybody was happy. It was a little cool that morning to go swimming, not to mention crowded. So we walked back home and skipped the pool.

We ended up having my sister-in-law and her family over later to grill some burgers and hot dogs. There is always some fireworks near our house, but my sister-in-law was too tired to stay. Most of her gang left before the fireworks because they saw them the night before at her neighborhood. My mother-in-law and father-in-law stayed with my oldest nephew and we watched the fireworks from up the street. It was a good time, but boy were we all tired.

 

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