Monday, May 19, 2008

Weekend Recap

Survivors Challenge 5K - Jackie's Birthday Party - Sunday morning Brick

Survivors Challenge 5K Fort Smith-

We arrived in Fort Smith about 6:50am, we found parking and were lucky enough that they had public restrooms which they opened just as we arrived. It was a long drive 2.5 hours, I spent part of it sleeping and part of it text messaging with Rock.
We had not preregistered for the race but since we were so early it was a very painless process we got our bibs and t-shirts wandered around a bit and had plenty of time to warm up.
Gary, Curtis, Rock, Arland and I were the only participants from Cabot so we ended up not having enough to field a team for the men or women. OH well we had fun anyway!!

Pattie and her husband were there and they have joined the Cruisers but Pattie is registered on the Grand Prix with ARK. I met Pattie during the WCR Clinic, she lives in Sherwood and it was just sheer chance that she came to Cabot. Gina Lockard one of our participants happened to meet her out shopping I think at Wal-Mart and they struck up a conversation and the next think you know Gina has brought her to our Clinic and now Pattie is a part of us. Unfortunately Gina is moving in June she and her husband are being transffered to San Antonio. I wish she would have found us sooner!!!

So back to the race..... The course had been advertised as flat but it turns out that wasn't exactly the case, it wasn't hilly compared to what we are used to, but not flat either.
I started off at a kind of fast but not too fast pace, I was ok but knew right from the beginning that this wasn't going to be my best race. I never really felt comfortable, not that you are supposed to be comfortable during a 5K, but my breathing was rough the whole time, it never smoothed out like it normally does. I didn't stop at either water stop and I never walked but I just couldn't find that extra gear... until I saw Curtis just before the finish line, he shouted out encouragment to me and all of a sudden I was able to sprint but it was too little too late. I think the fact that I didn't run all week and that it was pretty warm both had an effect on my running!
My finishing time was 28:44... which is still a good time for me but I know I can do better!!!
I am still very happy that I got in a good run and my leg didn't hurt... much. I found everyone including Pattie Rock and Gary were going to run a couple more miles for a cool down. Pattie and I decided to join them, or should I say trail behind them. It was a nice run and I had a chance to chat with Pattie.. she is a very nice lady.
With the warm up, race and cool down I ended up with 5.5 miles for the day.

We met the Race director for the Mount Magazine 15K on June 7th... they were sitting next to us during the awards ceremony, everyone had on their Cabot Cruiser singlets, they asked if we were planning on doing the 15K. It is very challenging 3 miles of rolling hills and then 6 miles straight up. It sounds like fun and we are planning on going.
We stopped in Russellville on the way home and had breakfast at Cracker Barrell.... it was a long way to travel for a 5K, but it was worth it to spend time with our friends!!!!

Saturday night was Jackie's birthday party and she had a room reserved at the new Irish Pub in North Little Rock... Creegans Irish Pub. It was great, lot's of good food and drinks, the way the room was set up it was easy to mingle and have a chance to visit with everyone. Arland, Jane and I rode to NLR with Bailey, she was our "designated driver" so since we didnt' have to worry about driving home we had a few cocktails... I myself had 3 margaritas... mmmmm so yummy!!
The plan was to have dinner and then go to the River Market to Willy D's piano bar... unfortunately we had a 6:00am BRICK on Sunday morning so we called it a night after dinner. Happy Birthday Jackie!!

Sunday was my first official Brick... last summer I rode my comfort bike for a few miles and then ran around the neighborhood so I knew it was hard!!
The plan was to ride out for 30 minutes and then turn around.. this way everyone finishes at the same time, or close to it.
We were late, seems to be happening a lot lately... I guess because it takes longer to load up 2 bikes????
So the group had already left, our plan was to just ride until we saw the lead person and then turn around. I think we ended up with 50 minutes of riding and close to 12 miles. I am getting better at knowing when to shift gears and stuff but it was still challenging. I forgot to turn my Garmin on and I don't know what the problem is with the computer on my bike... but just before the turn around I turned on my Garmin and I averaged 14.4 mph in 6.5 miles.
I turned around when I saw Cindy... she is an awesome biker!!! Very fast!!!! Anyway I actually turned around when I could see her in the distance, but it didn't take her long to catch up and overtake me. She rode along side me for a minute and then she was gone, and she makes it look so effortless!
We had 7 riders and when we got back to the Water company we had a few people waiting to run with us. Bailey, Cindy and David S. are all injured so they didnt' do the run.. Bailey stayed and entertained Michele's daughter Abby so that Michele could run with us. Ginny and her friend Jennifer also met us for the run, we ended up with 7 runners same amount as we had for the bike portion but obviously not the same people.
Arland, Brenda, JamesB.and myself did both the bike and run.
As soon as we started running my calf hurt! Damn I really thought it was all better, or close to it. We kept on running and it did loosen up but I always knew it was there. James and Arland started off together and Brenda, Michele, Ginny, Jennifer and I were together. Michele and Brenda pulled a little ahead and I ran with Ginny and Jennifer... we were running a really good pace but I wasn't feeling good at all!! I had brought some honey stinger chews and enlytene to take after the bike ride but then I couldn't find them... so I had only had a little bit of water, and I started off the morning with only one peanut butter cracker. Luckily Ginny who was running a very easy pace for her was chatting so I was able to just enjoy listening to her talk and that helped keep my mind off of my ragged breathing.
Ginny and Jennifer turned around just before the 2 mile mark and I was by myself for a little while... which was ok with me, I slowed my pace a little. I could see that everyone had turned right ahead of me and I was thinking that I might turn around when I got to 2.5 miles, the plan was for 6 but I was going to cut it short. BUT Michele and Brenda turned back for me so I kept going. We had caught up with Arland and I was really struggling when we reached the 3 mile point Brenda and Arland turned around but Michele who hates out and backs wanted to keep going... we ended up making a big square and adding on about 1/2 a mile. The last 2 miles were rough and I had to do a lot of walking. I guess 3 margartias and no breakfast isn't a very good nutrition plan for a brick!! LOL BUT I didn't have any stomach issues either!!! Good thing since there are no restrooms/portapotties etc in this area!
After the run Arland, Brenda and I went to Michele's house and she made us a big old fashioned breakfast... homemade biscuits and gravy with bacon and eggs. YUMMY!!!!!!!
We both took a nap after we got home and then Arland spent the afternoon playing "pool boy"... the water is still a little cold but the pool is ready!! just in time for the hot weather.

Friday, May 16, 2008

A week of Biking, Swimming and Dancing

I was true to my word this week and as you can tell by the title there was no running. I decided after the WCR 5K that I was going to take the week off and let my calf heal.

On Sunday I took Francesca on her first real bike ride, we met up with Jane, Bailey Sara P. and her husband Marty. We met at Vicki's house and rode the back roads, there was still some traffic and those are some very rough roads, but it is mostly flat with just a couple of challening hills. I think that Francesca and I did pretty good, even though I did scream like a little girl when I ran over a SNAKE!!!!!! I was nervous and didn't really know how to change gears or when. Arland had set us up on the Trainer before we left to go over gears but of course I forgot everything once I got on the road!! LOL This was a beginners bike ride so we stopped a lot to get water and get our butts off the seat. I am also happy to say that I wasn't really sore during or afterwards other than my tender girly area.
We rode 17 miles, not bad for our first ride together.... I really love Francesca and I see us spending a lot of time together this summer!
Francesca is a Specialized Dolce Elite

Monday night I went to a Water Aerobics class at the Community Center with Michele. It was different!! and we laughed a lot. After the class I went home and loaded up my comfort bike and met Michele and Timmy for a ride/run. Michele ran and Timmy and I rode our bikes... I bet we were quite the sight, a runner a hand pedal bike and a comfort bike. I think we annoy a lot of drivers, but hey it's our road too!!!!!!

Tuesday was the "Tuesday night Flyer's" clinic, I had talked Bailey into going and hanging out with me, the plan was to run on the track but there was a big Track Meet so we went to plan B and they ran behind the community center. I wore my jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt so that I wouldn't be tempted to run, my calf was feeling really good! But I followed my plan and Dennis said to me many times he was very proud of me for not running for taking the time off to heal. Bailey, Andrea and I walked and talked, I was really glad I went! There was one moment though when Brenda asked me a question as she went running by and I almost started running to answer her... that was hard!!

Wednesday I went back to the water Aerobics class with Michele and then we did Jane's Latin dance class. The water aerobics was ok... we did this thing where we put weights behind our knees, well you had to really squeeze to keep them back there, and by the end of the class my calf was hurting again. It loosened up in the Latin dance class and of course we always have a blast in that class. There is a lady who used to Jazzercise with us who also comes and it always puts a smile on my face to see her.

Bailey also came to class on Wednesday night and had fun. I iced my leg and took ibuprofen before I went to bed and my leg was fine the next day.

Thursday was 10 miles on the bike in Greystone.... Greystone is hilly, I don't just mean gently rolling hills I mean monster hills!!! It was pretty scary, hard and fun all at the same time. We were running late so we missed the runners but we caught up with Jane and Cindy C. on their bikes. They had to leave soon so we really didn't get to ride with them very much. Arland took me all the way out the the very back of Greystone and made sure I rode up every last freakin hill!!!!!! At first I didnt' enjoy the downhills, way too scary, but towards the end of the ride I did relax a little bit. The last hill before you get to the Club House is a steep one and I had to get off an walk part of the way up. I still have a lot to learn about my gears, but one of the good things about last nights ride was I was forced to use them out... you can't ride in Greystone without using them!!!
Arland during our ride

Today is a rest day although I feel like even with all of the activies of the last week it has been a rest week.

I had a massage on Tuesday and OH.MYGOODNESS. that hurt so good!!! She spent a lot of time on my calf's and she said my left one was actually worse than the right (the pain is on my right side) she also said she thinks my pain is tendon related. Several people, Brenda, Michele and Shannon have all had similiar pain and it apparently takes MONTHS to heal :( The good news is they were able to keep running. I guess I need to stock up on frozen pea's and corn!!

Tomorrow we are headed to Ft. Smith to run a 5K that is in the Grand Prix series. Arland was made the official/unofficial race team cordinator and he takes it very serious so we rounded up as many as we could and we will leave at 4:30am to drive to Ft. Smith in the morning. We will have a mens team but right now it is looking like Rock and I are the only female runners. I am a little nervous about doing a 5K after not running all week, but I am going into it with the mindset of I'm just here to run... not race... but we'll see how that goes!!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

WCR Celebration 5K

Saturday's race was our "Graduation" from the Women Can Run Clinic. There were over 900 women competing on Saturday most were clinic participants but they also had an open division that was open to all women.

Last year at this race Joan helped run me in the last 3/4 of a mile she helped me get below 29:00 for the first time ever with a 28:45. That was my 5K PR all summer and I didn't break it until September.
I will never ever forget Joan running with me pushing me even when I didn't want to be pushed, but I would have slowed down and would not have had such a good time without her.

I was nervous about the race this year, I hadn't run a 5K since the Clear Mountain 5K in September and I had just run a Marathon 2 weeks ago. I knew I was stronger than last year I've been training hard and had a great winter and spring. I credit our running schedule during the winter for a lot of strength and increased speed.
I also have had a lingering calf injury from before the Marathon and have had to decrease my running quite a bit the last couple of weeks so I was a little worried.
I still had a pretty aggresive goal... my main goal was to break 28:00 even if it was 27:59 I just wanted to see 27:xx by my name.

I didnt' get in as much of a warm up as I wanted but luckily I caught up with the girls who were warming up and I probably got .5 a mile and then 4 strides... after the strides we still had some time so Kelly and I ran a little bit more.
We lined up at the front and I tried to not go out too fast... The first mile I was just trying to run fast but not too fast, I didn't want to burn out in the first mile like I have done in so many other 5K's!
Kelly was ahead of me as was one of the other girls from the clinic I was keeping my eye on. Pattie's husband Brice was the 1st mile split timer and he called out 8:50 as I was running by, my Garmin later showed the first mile as 8:58.
It was a little faster than I wanted but I felt pretty good... the first water stop was also at the mile marker and I slowed down grabbed a water and then walked a couple of steps to take a drink. That was mistake # 1!!
I had on my i-pod and my fav running song push it came on sometime during mile 2 and my Mom stopped by for a quick visit. I just really was feeling good.... there were a few times though when I felt like I was really giving it a lot of effort but it didn't feel like I was running very fast.
The second water stop was just past mile 2... again I slowed down got water and then walked a few steps to take a drink.. this was mistake #2!! I had almost caught up with Kelly when I stopped for water.
Mile 3 was harder, but I was really trying to push myself, I kept saying you can do anything for a mile. About .25 left to go I see Brenda... I had seen Rock pick up Kelly and when I saw Brenda she had to run by J. to get to me, I was worried she would feel compelled to run J. in instead of me but nope she headed straight for me. I was really starting to fatigue but having Brenda there pushing me really helped... and believe me she pushes you!!!!!!
When I ran through the timing mat I saw 27:55.... but the posted official time was 27:58 so I did meet my goal, but I know I could have done better. Those two water stops really hurt me... one of the reasons the Galloway plan doesn't work for me is because it is physically hard for me to start running fast after a walk break.. I have to ease back into it so I lost precious time by stopping at both water stops. Normally I wouldn't stop at all duirng a 5K except during the summer. I thought about it later and i think my brain was still in Marathon mode and I automatically got water without even thinking about it.
I am still very happy with my time and I won 1st place in my age group for the Clinic Division :)

I also know I ran really hard especially that last 1/2 mile, I actually threw up a little bit right after I crossed the finish line and had to wait a few seconds before I had my chip removed.. I was afraid I might throw up on the poor guy!!

After I finished running I grabbed a bottle of water and Kelly and I headed back out on the course. I wanted to find Aunt Tamara... she attended the Conway clinic. First I saw Kelsie and I tried to run with her but my calf hurt too much so I just yelled encouragment and kept walking. I found Jane at her spot where she was cheering on all the Cabot girls. We chatted for a bit and I yelled my head off at all the runners. For a lot of them this was their first 5K ever and it was cool to see them doing so well. Finally I saw Aunt Tamara, Jane took my water bottle and I ran Tamara in... my calf was still hurting but it was important for me to be there for Tamara. I think it was the last .20 that Brenda saw us and she came and helped run Tamara in as well as Kelly. It was really great!!! Oh and I almost forgot my cousin Jerry came to the race to cheer us on, I didn't even know he was there until after the race was over.
After running Tamara in I went back out on the course and met up with Bailey and some others to help cheer everyone on. We stayed out there until our last walker came through.
I encourage all Arkansas women to run this race in the future!!!!! Seriously there are women of all ages and sizes and too see them finish is just incrediable!!!
Jeff Galloway was at the Race and he was walking the course and calling out encouragment to the ladies and I think he even ran with some of them. I passed him when I was walking out to find Tamara and he congratulated me on the race, he also shook my hand :)

After the race we all gathered together and cheered for everyone who won awards. Shannon Moran from our clinic won the overall clinic division :) she is quite the runner and a truly sweet person!!!

.16 1.12... but I forgot to run my garmin off right away so this isn't exactly right. My garmin shows that I was running at a 7:35 avg pace for the last .16 and my best time was 6:54 :)
I was proud of the fairly even splits and that my last mile was my fastest.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pasta Party/ Slumber Party

Friday night was the Pasta Party for the Women Can Run 5K event. Michele had suggested a couple of weeks ago that if we were going to go to the Pasta party we should just stay in Conway for the night. It really was a good idea so I booked us a room at the Hilton Garden Inn.. we also invited Kelly and Kelsie to stay with us.
We all ended up taking different cars to Conway, Kelly had to work later and Michele needed to drive because she was going to have to leave Conway earlier than the rest of us on Saturday.
I got to Conway about 5:15 and headed straight to the Hotel to get checked in, I didn't even go to the room just got the keys and headed to the Agora Center where the Pasta party was taking place. When I arrived (after making a wrong turn) I could see that Cheryl was already there and so were Jackie & Vicki. We milled around outside, waiting for them to open the doors... well the outside doors were open but everyone was standing in the lobby area and it was nice outside so I was in no hurry to go in.
Bailey called and I gave her final directions, she had missed the caravan coming from Cabot.
It was so great to see Cheryl... since she has been traveling I only get to see her maybe once on the weekends.
Bailey had also just retured from two weeks in California so I was very happy to see her as well!

Once we were inside we grabbed two table, we had a large group. The dinner is good, several choices of pasta's and salad with rolls. They also had cheese cake which was pretty yummy.
This year we had two Cabot girls in the fashion show, Heather and Sara S. and they were SO cute!!!!! They were the best looking models and had the most personality!!

Jeff Galloway was the guest speaker I was looking forward to hearing him speak but he ended up being kind of boring. I am not a follower of the Galloway plan, I have nothing against it but it doesn't really work for me. Anyway Michele was anxious to leave and wanted to bolt in the middle of this speech but I wouldn't let her!! I felt like the mean ol mama!
When he did finish speaking while everyone was still clapping I jumped up and said let's go, I had seen one of our Cabot ladies come in with a race packet so I wanted to beat the lines!! Last year you picked up your packet before the dinner this year they waited until after.

We then headed to Kohl's and I got some cute stuff for Kylie... a skirt a pair of shirts and two cute tops all for just $15.00!! woo hoo I love a good bargain!

The others were going to Target but I decided to head to the Hotel... I had started getting an uneasy feeling and was worried that maybe we didn't get double beds. Well I was right as soon as I walked in the door and saw the one bed I headed back down to the lobby. The Hotel was booked and nothing could be done but they did promise to find me a roll away bed.
I had just gotten back to the room when Kelly and Kelsie arrived...I saw the look on Kelly's face when she saw one bed. I told her I had tried to get another room but they didn't have any and they only had one roll a way bed left. She tried to find a hotel room close by but, while she was doing that I discovered our toilet was broken. GOOD GRIEF!!! I was seriously starting to get stressed out.
Luckily they came with the roll a way bed right after I made the toilet discovery so I told them about it and they called maintence. During all of that I guess Kelly made the decision to just go home... I couldn't blame her at that point!!!!
Michele and Abbie arrived just as they were leaving. No one wanted Kelly to leave but I also didn't want her to feel bad about her decision so I asked Michele to just let them leave.

We had a good evening... we all prepared for bed and then chatted and watched Hannah Montana. It was hard to go to sleep because we just wanted to keep talking but we had a race the next day so had to force ourselves. Michele stayed up and read for a little while but once I made myself stop talking I was asleep within minutes.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Toad Suck 10K

Last Saturday was the Toad Suck 5k/10k race. I know it is probably kind of crazy to run a 10K race a week after a Marathon, but... you already know I'm crazy!!! LOL
The 10K is part of the Arkansas Grand Prix race series and so we ran so we ran to help make sure we had a women's team and a men's team.
Kelly, Michele, Arland, Gary and myself all raced... there were others as well but we had all just run Nashville.
Going into the race I had proclaimed that I really was just running for fun... I needed to get in at least 6 miles so might as well do it in a race... right???
I have been having lingering pain in my right calf, and my chest cold was still hanging on, but I didn't feel terrible, just not quite right.
My only goal for the race was to finish in at least an hour... 59:59 would be great!!
Well I'm happy to say that I finished in 58:45 and I was third in my age group.

When we first got to Conway the wind was howling and it was pretty chilly.. I though great I'm going to have to run with this jacket on because I can't take it off! I knew I would get warm during the run so I resigned myself to just tying my jacket around my waist. By the time it was time to line of up for the race the sun had come out, the wind was still howling but it didn't feel quite as cold. Livia was there with Kylie so I gave her my jacket and was very thankful I made that decision!!
We had somehow gotten towards the back of the pack... Vicki made us move up some but we didn't get far. When the race started we had to do a lot of weaving! we had gotten behind lot's of kids and familes etc who were mostly walking. In some ways it was good, it helped me go out a little slower, although my first mile was a 9:17 or something like that. I pretty much did the same thing I did in Nashville I started off at a comfortable pace and just tried to maintain it. Arland, Kelly, Michele and I had all started together, Michele tried to stay with us but soon enough she was off on her own. She is really a very fast runner and I was glad to see her go. She had a good finisning time but it could have been even faster if she hadn't turned back for us at one point.
When the 5k and 10k split there was a big sign but Arland and a couple of others missed it, luckily I looked up in time to see it and got us all back on track.
Arland, Kelly and I all pretty much stayed fairly close to each other... both of them were ahead of me for the most part but never so far that I couldn't see them.
The wind really was terrible but I was just thankful the temp's were much cooler than last year. Last year at this race I was miserable pretty much the whole time and had a terrible finishing time... this year was MUCH better!!
There is one kind of steepish incline on Salem turning onto Tyler street. This was the only time I walked, my heartrate was starting to get a little bit out of control so I decided to walk the really steep part.
The last two miles of the race I passed a TON of people... that is always a good feeling!!
As we were approaching the highschool track I saw Livia and Kylie... that was pretty awesome!!!! Next thing I know aunt Tamara is running beside me she stayed with with me until just before we turned onto the track... oh the dreaded track, I don't know why but finishing a race on a track is always hard for me, I guess because I just want it done!!
Cindy C was sitting in the infield taking pictures and shouted out some encouragment... somehow I managed to dig in deep and was able to have a strong finish and passed a couple more people.
It was a great feeling of accomplishment... I was able to slay the toad suck dragon and redeem myself from last years terrible race.

Afterwards I got lot's of hugs from the gang and talked to a few other people, I love talking to people I don't know after the race. I have made several friends this way :)

Once the 10K was over it was time for the Tad Pole race's. Livia had packed Kylie's running skirt and top but with the cooler temps and wind she ended up running in her capris and t-shirt. It didn't matter she is so cute not matter what, and all she really cares about is getting a "number". She did really well in her race... she ran the entire distance 200m without a single walk break!!
She got her ribbon at the end and she was a happy camper.

Because of the kid's races I missed the awards ceremony but Arland or Kelly or someone had picked up my age group award for me.
I have to enjoy these while I can... pretty soon Marianne, Brenda and Kelly are all going to be in the 45-49 age group.

After the awards ceremony we all headed to I-hop for breakfast and then Kelly,Michle,Livia,Kylie,Abby,Alex and I headed to Toad Suck Daze in downtown Conway.
It was almost 4:00 when we got home on Saturday and we were exhausted... so much so that Kylie and snuggled up in the bed and took a nap. BAD move! I couldn't get Kylie to wake up and she ended up sleeping until almost 6:45... believe me I paid for it later!
Michele and Abby came by Saturday evening and Michlele worked on my calf.. she is a Physical Therapist and it really helped!!

Oh I almost forgot... while we were still in Conway we went by the "The Ride" and ordered a new bike for me... we are going tomorrow morning to pick it up :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Nashville Marathon Part 4 (Finally)

Thank you Nashville and the Country Music Marathon for hosting my birthday party on April 26th!!! It was pretty awesome to have 30,000 at my party!!!

Thank you Dad & Vanda for the Birthday e-mail, I was able to read it on my phone just before the start.

Thank you Rock for the great Birthday Text message, I read it about 2 minutes before the gun, of course we didn't start for another 30 minutes but knowing that you were thinking of me at that moment was awesome!!

Thank you Brenda, Gary, Kelly, Michele, Robert and Arland for training with me and being such great friends and for running a marathon on my birthday!! I love you guys!

Thank you Mother Nature for not raining on our parade.... the rain stopped just before the start and stayed away the rest of the day. We could have done without the sun BUT we are thankful for the cooler temps and no rain so I am NOT going to complain about the sun and heat later in the race... although it did get kind of warm!!

Thank you Bailey for the Text messages and the Birthday song left on my voice mail. I didn't hear the song until later but of course you know it made me cry!! Oh and by the way I read your text messages while in a port-a-pottie... multi tasking... ya know ;)

Thank you CMM for having so many port a potties along the course!!!

Thank you Jack in the Box for being open and having clean bathrooms!!!

Thank you to all the volunteers who did such a great job at all of the aid stations!!!

Thank you Nashville residents who came outside and set up your own aid stations along the way.

Thank you Nashville kids for all the high fives... some of you were outside for hours and we all appreciate it so much!! The crowd support for this marathon was pretty awesome!
Yes is it did thin out a little big after the 1/2 split from the full but I still thought it was awesome!

Thank you Andy's friends who included me in the birthday song you sang to Andy and the "other lady" me... during the first 1/2... I don't remember what mile it was, but it was pretty early in the race.

Thank you Michele and Kelly for running the first half with me. I had promised myself I would run my own pace and not let the excitment of the race and my desire to run with the girls make me go out too fast. I did a pretty good job of keeping a conservative pace and it made the second 1/2 of the marathon bearable! Kelly and Michele would get a little ahead but always within eyesight and then they would walk or slow down so I could catch up. We stayed together until after the 1/2.

Thank you everyone who shouted out great skirt!!

Thank you Bailey for the GREAT running shirt you had made for me. On the back it said "Annette is Rockin Nashville" and "My second first marathon"

Thank you Vicki for asking me why Nashville was my second first marathon. I heard other people read my shirt and talk about it to their running partners but you were the first person who asked me about it. Turns out that Vicki was from Chicago and understood immediately. We ran together for about a mile and I think at first we both thought we might get to run the rest of the race together, but she was too fast for me and I lost her at the next aid station. I did get to see her at the turn around during the last leg of the race, she looked great!!! Oh and she also was rockin a pink skirt!!

Thank you Rob for being my beacon... Rob was wearing a bright yellow shirt and we played leap frog quite a bit during the last 1/2. At some point we finally started a conversation and although we never ran together for very long it was always great to see his shirt ahead of me... well sometimes he was ahead and sometimes he was behind.

Thank you Nashville Cheerleaders!!!! There were ton's of cheerleaders from schools all over Nashville and they did such an awesome job. I wonder if any of them could still talk the next day???? You guys always seemed to pop up right when I needed you!!!

Thank you for the Down Hills... really the course wasn't as hilly as I thought it would be. I did hear a lot of people saying they wished they would have done more hill training... I was usually passing them while they were saying that!!!

Thank you Cabot for being hilly!!!

Thank you CMM for all the port a potties... oh did I already say that .. well it bears repeating and I know that Kelly feels the same way!! Unfortunately we both had to visit quite a few of them!!

Thank you stomach for never really causing me too much trouble... yes I did have to "use" the port a potties a lot but luckily it was never an emergency situation. I never had to stop in the middle of the course and cross my legs like I sometimes do during training runs!!

Thank you Cheryl for calling me around mile 20 and giving me so much encouragment!!!

Thank you Mom for being with me during part of the race.. it was mile 9, I knew you were with me when I suddenly felt like I was floating on air, and then when the breeze played with my cheek. You kept me going for a long time. I remember asking you to stay with me as long as possible, I said thank you Mom, but it's only mile 9 so don't leave me. I know you are pretty busy up there in heaven so you couldn't stay with me the whole race, but I am so happy for the time I did have. I miss you!

Thank you Body for not falling apart. I went into the race with a chest cold and a sore right calf/hamstring, and although I "felt" my leg the whole time and also had problems with my left foot the pain was never unbearable. There were also a couple of times when I had some coughing problems but they never lasted long. I do wish I would have had something to blow my nose on... that was a big problem!!! LOL

Thank you medical tents!! I had to stop somewhere in the first 5 miles to get some vaseline to slather on my chest. You should have seen some of the looks I got!!! I had applied body glide everywhere except to the area on my chest where my sports bra always chaffes me. Usually I don't feel it until later but becasue of the rain before the start I started off with a wet sports bra and I was really starting to feel it.
I also stopped at a medical tent around mile 17 or so to take to Tylenol. I have never taken anything during a long run or a race but the pain was starting to get to me.

Thank you Shannon for being in the exact right spot at the beginning of the finishing chute... I needed that extra bit of energy you gave me.
Thank you Brenda, Michele, Arland and Gary for also being there at the finish to cheer me in. I did finish really strong and it felt great to really run across a Marathon finish line. Take that Chicago!!! LOL

I could go on forever with the thank you's but I guess I should wrap this up. I had an awesome experience and could go on forever about it. I wanted to finish in 5 hours and I didn't meet that goal, but when I crossed the finish line I was healthly, I didn't throw up and I could still walk. Maybe that means I didn't put enough effort into the marathon but whatever, I am happy.

I did try to get a couple of Nashville Motorcycle policemen to give me a ride to the finish line. I asked if they would give me a ride but the policeman said it would be $50.00 and they were going the other way. LOL

I had so many moments with a lot of people on the course. I thanked Rob and Vicki but there were many more that would give me a shout out or run with me for a little while. All of those people helped me make it through this marathon and I wish I could thank them all personally.

The biggest thank you has to go to ARLAND... I love you baby and thank you for always supporting me and encouraging me. I know there have been times when you think I'm crazy but you never stop supporting me.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Nashville Marathon part 3 ( The Start)

I woke up around 3:00am to the sound of thunder and pouring rain, my first thought was good, maybe the front will pass through and be done before we head to LP field. I dozed off for a little bit and then at 3:15 I got my "breakfast call" from Gary. I grabbed my cinnamon bagel and got back in bed, I would eat a little bit of bagel doze a little bit and then eat a little more. I think this was probably a good plan and I will try to do it again in future races.

At 4:15 it was finally time to get up, Kelly had gotten up at 4:00 to shower, I had showered the night before so I could get a few extra minutes of sleep.
Again it all worked out really well with 4 people getting ready for the race, it helped that Gary was just around the corner and the guys could go to his room and change or shower.

We could hear that it was still pouring down rain... bummer :( The rain wasn't really the bummer it was the thunder and lightening that was worrying me!

We met Michele, Brenda and Gary downstairs about 5:15, there were a ton of runners milling about and quite a few of them were wearing trash bags. Brenda had texted me on Thursday to remember to pack a trash bag and I completely forgot... next time!!

Brenda and Michele had run into a local runner Kathrine, she was actually staying in the room right across the hall from them...small world!!

No one wanted to go out into the rain but it was time to head to LP Field and the shuttle busses that would take us to the Start.
We lucked out the rain had slowed down a little and it wasnt' too bad, we also lucked out and did not have to wait in line for a bus very long at all!!!
It was such a relief to be on the bus, until they turned on the aircondtioning!! LOL

Once we made it to the Start area we quickly found port-a-potties and the gear check for Gary. It was still raining and it was funny to see all the people huddled under the eaves of buildings and under awnings, basically any little bit of shelter they could find from the rain.

Michele, Kelly, Arland and I were in Corral 15, Brenda was in 7 and Robert in 9 although he stuck with Brenda and I think they ended up in Corral 6. Gary our fastie was in Corral 3. We all hugged and said our good-byes while we went to our respective Corral's.

It was FREEZING and windy and rainy, pretty miserable overall. Someone had given Kelly a trashbag so she was a little better off then the rest of us. Arland had been considering wearing a shortsleeve tech shirt for the race but I talked him out of it, I knew about mile 6 he would be wishing he had on his Cruiser Singlet. While we were huddled together in the Corral I apoloziged to him for making him change!!! LOL Michele had on her sports bra and skirt so I put my arms around her and Kelly snuggled from the side and Arland snuggled me so we all got a little bit of relief from the cold. During the wait for the start I could feel that I needed to use the restroom again, at the time it was just pee but the lines for the port a potties were huge and it was almost time for the start so I just tuffed it out. I was pretty miserable and didn't get to enjoy the start as much as I did in Chicago.

Finally at 7:30 we were crossing the start line, it felt good to be moving and when we started the announcer said go get warm! LOL

Of course the need to pee sensation just got worse but I was trying to hold off as long as possible, luckily Kelly also had to go so we were on a mission. Kelly saw a fast food restaurant and we cut across the street, it wasn't open but someone said that Jack in the Box was open so we headed over there, luckily we were able to get right in and take care of business.
It was nice to use a real bathroom and be able to wash our hands etc.

After we left I looked down and realized that I hadn't started my Garmin, I remember hitting a button when we went across the start line but I guess it was the wrong one. Michele had .63 on her Garmin so I knew how far off I was but later in the Marathon I couldn't remember and I was always confused about my time.