Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Chili Bowl Classic 5K

It's been a while.  But I'm going to just jump right in and ignore that little 5 month blog hiatus, K?

I don't often run 5Ks.

a) The cost per mile...it's a bit ridiculous.  When I can pay about the same and run a longer race...more bang for my buck!
b) 5Ks hurt.  They hurt bad.  Marathons hurt, but it takes 4 and a half hours to earn that hurt.  A 5K is over likity-split and it hurts.

Well, when a fellow Skirt Sports Ambassador, who lives in the Cleveland area, suggested an Ohio Skirt Sister meet up, and it just so happened that I had nothing on the calendar for that day...of course I had to quick sign up for a 5K!

Ok, yes.  The event was in Cleveland.

Yessss....I said I was never going back to Cleveland.  Twice.  The first time after the Cleveland Marathon in 2012 and again after Green Jewel not-so-50K in 2015.

But maybe the third time's the charm for me and Cleveland?

On Saturday, February 25, I woke up 30 minutes before my alarm was scheduled to go off.  Rather than tossing and turning for a half hour and waking Randy up, I got up and did a load of laundry.  Ha.  At 5:45am, I hit the open road and headed north to Cleveland.

The Chili Bowl Classic 5K started and finished at The Galleria, a mall in downtown Cleveland that's not really used as a mall anymore.  It's a great location for the runners to have a warm, indoor area to wait before the start and a warm, indoor area to hang out after.

Speaking of "after"...following the 5K is a chili cook off!  The local firemen and police officers compete in a chili competition and the runners get to taste it all and vote for the favorites.  I love chili and would have been all over this part but with some recent food allergy testing, I've found out that I'm allergic to beans and peppers, so......no chili for me.  It smelled wonderful, though.

Before the race started, I met four other Skirt Sports Ambassadors.  I don't have a nice "before" pic, so here's an "after":
From left to right: Walisa, me, Mary, Melissa, Christy.

The race started at 9:30am, which is practically dinner time for this predawn girl, and I didn't really have a race plan.  To be perfectly honest, I was hungry for a PR, however, I haven't trained for speed in a long time and I'm up a few pounds still from eating my feelings last year after I lost two dogs within three months.

My plan became as follows: run as fast as I can for as long as I can.

I set the screen on my Garmin to show heart rate only, no pace, no time, only heart rate to make sure I was pushing as hard as I could and not wimping out.

I had no idea what the course was like.  I knew it was an out and back, but as far as hills...no clue.

Unfortunately, the morning turned out to be a windy one.  18-20mph wind.  And there were hills.  Awesome.  My standing PR was from the Game Day 5K, 3+ years ago on a flat course.

Before the start, I was standing with Melissa, who is a new momma and didn't have any time goal for this event, so when we started moving, she shooed me away to run my own race.

Tall buildings mess with the GPS a bit.

Mile 1 was my fastest because it was mostly downhill.  Unfortunately, that meant that mile 3 would be mostly uphill.  I banked time and hoped it wouldn't come back to bite me.

I missed the sign for mile 2, but it was before then that we crossed over train tracks.  Which meant climbing a bridge.  And, oh yea, we had to do it again on the way back.

The wind was ridiculous and as I climbed the bridge to cross the tracks on the way back (after mile 2) the wind was pushing me backward.  My quads were on fire, my calves were aching, my lungs were burning....I wanted to walk so bad.  And I almost did, but I said to myself:

"Self.  We said we were going to do our best today.  If we come really close to our PR time but barely miss it because we WALKED, we're going to be really upset."

I love getting expert advice on the race course.  I kept running.  Even after I made it up and over the bridge, the rest of the course was a gradual incline.  And it really, really sucked.

There were course marshals at mile 3, yelling and cheering.  That was a nice boost.  We turned a corner and there was the finish line.  I pushed as hard as I could, the race clock already said 26 minutes when I finished, but I know it took me a bit before I crossed the starting line so maybe I made it...

I checked my watch....25:49.  One freaking second.  If I was off with my starting or stopping, it was possible that I did not beat my time according to the official chip time.  I had to wait for a while before the official times would be posted.  Regardless, I gave it my all and I was pleased with my performance given the wind and hills....and the extra few pounds I'm carrying around. 

The five of us chatted for a bit, took a few pictures then parted ways.  Walisa and Melissa had to take off for other commitments but Mary, Christy and I didn't have curfews so we headed out to find some lunch.  The smell of chili was making me hungry.  And sad that I couldn't eat it.  (Maybe I'll talk more about that in another post.)

On the way to lunch, I checked the race website and official times were posted!

PR and 5th in my age group!

There was some hooting and hollering in the car...25:45!  A FIVE SECOND PR!

It would appear that Cleveland and I have settled our differences.

Of course my next thought was, "We should find a flat 5K and see what our time is...."

Shut up, Self.  5Ks hurt.

True story.
Do you often have dialogues with yourself?  I know I can't be alone in this...right?

Monday, October 31, 2016

Ragnar Hawaii Adventure: Post 2

For my readers who are unfamiliar with Ragnar Relays, their road races are 200(ish) miles long and teams are made up of 12 runners (6 runners for an ultra team).  The 12 runners are split up into 2 vans.  Runners 1-6 in van 1 and runners 7-12 in van 2.  The locations where one runner finishes and another runner begins are called exchanges. 

To begin, Van 1 heads to the starting line where runner 1 begins.  Each runner in van 1 takes a turn running and after runner 6 is finished, van 2 meets van 1 at exchange 6 where runner 7 begins.  After runner 12 is finished, van 1 begins again.  Each runner runs three times.  Runner 12 ends his/her third leg at the finish line where the rest of the team is waiting and all 12 teammates run across the finish line together.

I was in van 1 as runner 3 so we went to the starting line.  Our start time was 6:20am so we were all up bright and early.

At the starting line.
Meg, Kari, Jenni, Pam, Gracie, me
Here's the line up for van 1:
1. Jennifer
2. Pam
3. Me
4. Kari
5. Gracie
6. Meg

A few miles into Jenni's first leg, I went live on Bondi Band's Facebook page:

Posting as Bondi Band on their Facebook page was one of the highlights of the weekend for us social media junkies.

My first run, 3 miles, started at 8:38am and it was already hot.  I took my time, took a few pictures and enjoyed the scenery.  For three miles I thought to myself, "I'm running in freaking Hawaii!"

About a mile in.  I was on a bridge, there's a waterfall down there!
Mile 2ish
Every Ragnarian's favorite sign.
After our 6th runner finished, van 2 took over and van 1 went in search of food.  We found a pizza place.  I have no idea what it was called and I don't even know what town we were in, but we filled our hungry bellies and we changed our clothes in a bathroom with plumbing, as opposed to a porta potty or in the back of the van.

It was raining when we came out of the pizza place and when we got to exchange 12, where van 1 would take over the running again, we saw this.

I've never seen the end of a rainbow before but we saw it then!  The rainbow touched the ground on the driveway so the vans driving into the exchange to park were driving through it.  It was so cool.

We had no cell phone service at this exchange.  We had spotty service throughout the race but there was absolutely nothing for service at the exchange.  Our van drove down the road a bit to try to find service so we could contact van 2 to find out how long we had before they showed up.  We never got a hold of them...like I said, spotty service...so we went back to the exchange to wait.

Then it got dark.  Really dark.  And cold.  And Windy.  The six of us huddled in the van.  We had a rough idea of when our runner 12 would come in, but no one was in a hurry to get out of the nice warm van to try to find van 2.

Around 7pm, teammates from both vans connected in the dark parking lot and shortly after, runner 12 came into the exchange!

Jennifer was wary about running alone, in the dark, down a mountain, in the wind for 9 miles so Pam volunteered to run with her and then run her own leg (she's a beast).

At 9:12pm, it was my turn again.  I got to run 8ish miles in the dark.

I love the dark.  I'm afraid to swim in water with fish, but I love running in the dark.  How messed up is that?

I was mildly nervous about this leg, but it had absolutely nothing to do with the dark.  I've been dealing with a minor but nagging hip injury for the past 2 months.  I hadn't run more than 4 miles in the last month to hopefully rest my hip enough to heal it....at least to make it feel better.  It felt better, obviously it was healing and I knew I'd power through my runs in Hawaii whether I had pain or not, but I'd really rather not hurt.  Luckily, my hip did just fine.  It was a little stiff, but no pain.  Whew.

I was hoping to Facebook Live during my night leg, but since I had no service, there was no Live.  I took a regular video but it will only load sideways.  Sigh.  Technology.

But I did selfie with the One Mile To Go sign.  Of course I did.

After all of Van 1 was finished with our second legs, we talked about heading to the next major exchange (exchange 24), where we would start running our third legs, and taking a nap in the van.  This is what our team did when I ran Ragnar Tennessee, and I think this is the norm.

However, after consulting the map, we discovered that exchange 24 is only a 40 minute drive from the house we were staying in for the weekend.  The better idea was to go to the house and nap laying down.  On a bed.  And take showers.  Yes.  It was unanimous.

We all took quick showers and had only a 2 hour nap to make sure we got to exchange 24 before our runner 12.

Van 1 at exchange 24, ready and waiting!
My third leg began at 8:26am.  The temp was already in the 80s and getting hotter.  Ugh.  I dislike running in the heat.  Not that I expect y'all to feel sorry for me; I was in Hawaii, after all.

My leg was 3ish miles long and Pam wanted to run it with me (after she ran her own leg).  She'd discovered that with the extra leg she ran with Jenni, she'd be close to having 26 miles total...but not quite.  We runners have a strange adoration for things 26 (point two) so she ran my three miles with me.  I love running with friends.

Check out this pic that Jenni snapped of Pam and I heading into the exchange.

It looks eerily similar to the Moms Run This Town logo:

Coincidence?  Nah....

Since I've been home, I've been asked, more than once, what it was like meeting Pam.  Pam is the founder of Moms Run This Town and is a celebrity in the MRTT community.  When I found out that I won this trip, I was excited to go to Hawaii to run and thrilled to be running for Bondi Band, but I was even more excited to meet THE Pam Burrus.

Pam is exactly how I imagined she'd be: beautiful inside and out.  She's kind and funny and supportive and encouraging and upbeat and generous and helpful and a lot of fun to be around.

Pam is everything that MRTT stands for.  It takes a special energetic and dedicated person (with just a little crazy thrown in) to create and grow our awesome community of women.  Women are not always easy to deal with (what?!?!) so she also has to be patient and understanding...often.

I really enjoyed spending time with her cramped in a stinky van for 200 miles.

Hang Loose Haoles finish line photo!

I couldn't resist a selfie with the scenery in the background!
And that's it.  My Hawaii trip came and went in a blur.  There was a lot of laughter, quite a bit of running and a noticeable lack of sleep.  It was everything a runcation in paradise should be...and more.

About the clothes...
Leg 1: I wore the Vixen in Razz (on sale now!).  I adore the ruffles at the bottom, the asymmetrical lines and the 5.5 inch shorties underneath.

Leg 2:  I wore the Redemption Capri in Stargaze (use discount code RMR20 to save 20%).  These are my absolute favorite capris (I have three pairs).  They have a zippered pocket in the back and they fit like a dream.

Leg 3:  I wore the Cascade in Enchanted (use discount code RMR20 to save 20%).  I love the layered look of this skirt and the 5.5 inch sorties underneath.

Special Thanks
~to Rebecca.  None of this would have been possible without you.
~to Kari.  Tons of planning, tons of running, tons of fun.
~to Pam.  The mastermind behind Moms Run This Town.
~to my favorite husband.  For picking up my slack so I can run wild every once in a while.
~to the Hang Loose Haoles.  Y'all are awesome.  Thanks for the fabulous (long) weekend.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ragnar Hawaii Adventure: Post 1

I've been home for a week and I'm still having trouble finding the words to tell y'all about my Hawaiian Adventure with Bondi Band's Ragnar team.

I'll just start at the beginning and show you lots of pictures of the gorgeousness I got to look at for 4 days.

My plane left Columbus on Tuesday night.  I had the last flight out of Cbus to LA so I could have the first flight out of LA on Wednesday morning.  Yes, that meant I'd have to hang out at LAX all night, but it also meant I'd get to The Big Island at 1pm and have much of the day left to enjoy.

I wasn't alone in LA all night.  Another teammate, Jennifer, was also flying into LA Tuesday night and had a long layover.  We were on the same flight out of LA at 7:45am.

Exhausted and excited.
I'm guessing it was around 3am.
I barely remember Wednesday night.  After being up for 36 hours, I think I passed out before my head hit the pillow....but I do remember the sunset.

Sunset Wednesday Night

There were three Moms Run This Town chapter leaders on our team.  A few years ago, an associate at a local running store mistook our group name for Moms Take Over This Town.  He spoke the truth that day.  We do, indeed, tend to take over.

With Pam and Jennifer
We have a thing for unicorns.

Thursday morning, we hiked to a lagoon.  Rumor had it that sea turtles hang out there and we can swim with them.  We can swim with them, but we can't touch them.  There's a hefty fine for touching the turtles so we were careful to keep our hands to ourselves.

The Big Island is more rocky than sandy.  We hiked over fields and mounds of igneous rock to get to the lagoon.

Hindsight: hiking over all that rock the day before we begin a 200 mile relay probably wasn't the best idea but....Hawaii.

Oh, how I love palm trees.
The Lagoon from afar.

This dude was just chillin' on the beach.  No one touched, promise.  We were told that our touch can remove protective oils from the turtle.  I'm not sure if that's actually true, but no one wanted that to happen so we didn't test it.

I sent this picture to my little ladies and told them I found Squirt!  Finding Nemo reference....anyone?


We saw lots of turtles.  They didn't come near us, but they didn't seem bothered that we were there, either.
I'm really glad I learned to swim last winter.
The current pushed me to areas where the water was over my head several times.
We took a few team pics on our hike.  Well, not the whole team, one of our teammates is the Nathan rep and he was working packet pickup so he couldn't hang with us until after the event.  There were two other men on our team.  One was the photographer and the other didn't want to be the only dude in the picture.

The ladies of Bondi Band's Hang Loose Haoles

Hangin' Loose
As far as "sight seeing" goes, this was all I did.  Thursday night, the ladies of Van 1 went to bed early because we started running at 6:20 on Friday morning!

The rest of our sight seeing was done on foot as we ran across the island.  In my teeny tiny humble opinion, it was the best way to see the fabulous Big Island.

I'll stop here.  I don't want to break the Internet with all of my pictures.

The rest of my story will come in a few days.

Have you ever run a Ragnar?  This was my third.  I've also run Tennessee Road and West Virginia Trail
Have you ever been to Hawaii?  First timer, here!

Special Thanks
~to Rebecca.  None of this would have been possible without you.
~to Kari.  Tons of planning, tons of running, tons of fun.
~to Pam.  The mastermind behind Moms Run This Town.
~to my favorite husband.  For picking up my slack so I can run wild every once in a while.
~to the Hang Loose Haoles.  Y'all are awesome.  Thanks for the fabulous (long) weekend.

Friday, September 23, 2016

This happened...

About a month ago, Pam, the founder of Moms RUN This Town announced that she would be taking one lucky chapter leader with her to run Ragnar Hawaii with the Bondiband team in October.

Over the next few weeks, Pam came up with little challenges for us chapter leaders to participate in. By far, my favorite was to ask our chapter members to post videos on Instagram talking about what they love best about MRTT.  Some of my members made videos, some wrote posts on our Facebook group page.  Regardless of how they got their messages out there, I really enjoyed them all.  It's so special how a group of women, most of whom have never met in person, can have such a positive impact on one another.

Since all of the chapter leader participants are scattered across the country, Pam couldn't deliver the news to the winner in person so she asked all of us to give her the name and phone number of someone close to us who could tell the winner and video her reaction.  Pam really wanted to see the reaction.  I don't blame her.  If I had something as awesome as a trip to Hawaii to give away, I'd want to see the reaction as well.

My friend, Megan, was my contact person.

When Pam announced that she picked a winner, I sent Megan a text asking if she'd heard anything.

Waiting is so hard.
I've never been good at it.

Much later, I did notice that Megan never said "I haven't heard from Pam."

I wrote a post to my MRTT chapter, who were all waiting on the edge of their seats for news, telling them that a winner had been chosen but I haven't heard anything so I'm not the winner but I deleted it because I'd rather make that announcement after I knew who the winner was and we could congratulate her.

Then the doorbell rang.
You must be viewing this post online to see the video.  You can't see it in an emailed version.

Megan along with two other predawn runner friends, Lyndsey and Angela, and their kids were wearing leis and Megan was holding champagne.  I screamed.  I cried.  I drank from the bottle.

Ho-leeee shit, y'all.  I'm going to Hawaii!!

I did eventually drink from a glass.
I'm not completely uncivilized.
HUGE thanks to Bondiband and Moms RUN This Town!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Adora Deer

Adora came to us 10 years ago as a tiny puppy.  She was about 7 weeks old, a little imp of a thing, with ears that didn't quite have enough cartilage to stick up all the way.  She was freaking adorable.  I mean, look at her.  So stinking cute.  She was our new foster puppy and I had delusions of letting another family adopt her once she was spayed and vaccinated.

Adora got her middle name, Deer, because A, her ears, when held in a certain position, resembled a deer's ears and B, I sang the "doe a deer" song from the sound of music (you know the one, "Doe, a deer, a female deer.  Ray, a drop of golden suuuuuuuun...") except I sang, "Adora Deer, a female deer..."  It drove Randy crazy, but Adora liked my singing....

Anyway, all of our dogs have middle names and it should have been a sign back then that Adora would become a foster-fail.

On her first night with us, Adora decided that Jackson was her buddy.  Jackson didn't share her feelings.  Adora didn't care.  She wanted to snuggle with Jack and she moseyed her cute puppy butt into his crate...he growled at her, how dare she encroach on his personal space.  Adora wasn't deterred.  She plopped down right against him as he heaved a big sigh of disgust.

From then on, Adora was his puppy.

As time went on, we came to the realization that Adora was the perfect addition to our family, if an unexpected one.  Odie, Jackson and Adora quickly became a pack.

They pack-hunted, pack-napped...

...and pack-begged for treats.

Adora Deer was the sweetest and gentlest of the pack.  Even as a tiny puppy, I never had to teach her to be gentle like I did with the boys.  She never accidentally bit my finger when taking treats, she was never one to jump up on people, she practically potty trained herself by copying the boys...she was just....chill.  Very low-maintenance.  Like I said, the unexpected, perfect addition to our pack.

We lost Jackson less than three months ago.  Odie and Adora took it well.  There didn't seem to be any mourning period for them (I, however, didn't want to get out of bed for three days).  They ate, slept, played...all pretty normal.  I was a little jealous of their ability to cope so well.

Two months after Jackson's death, Adora didn't want to eat much.  She'd eat a few bites, then walk away from her bowl.  Not totally unusual for her, but after a week of this, I took her to our vet thinking that she broke a tooth or had some other dental issue.


Her teeth looked fine.  The vet suggested that we look at her belly.  Maybe she has something intestinal going on, her blood work was wonky, it might be a gut issue.  We got meds, I made her bland meals of boiled chicken and rice, which she ate, but when we switched back to dog food, she stopped eating again. 

Back to the vet for more blood work and we were instructed to give Adora whatever she wanted to eat as she'd lost more weight.  This time the blood test results were even more wonky and over the next couple of weeks the vet went in search of cancer and found it in multiple areas of her body.  By this time Adora had lost ten pounds and, though she was taking prednisone, she would only eat a few bites of chicken several times a day and select dog treats: the stinkier, the better.  Her feet would slide out from under her when standing on the tile floor, she was losing her balance frequently and her walk was slow and deliberate.

Randy and I knew that we didn't have much time with her.  On Monday morning, she was barking out the front window and wagging her tail while begging for treats.  By Monday night, she could barely lift her head.  She wasn't eating and she wasn't drinking.  Tuesday morning, she had no tail wag and she didn't get up to go outside with Odie.  We knew it was time.  

Adora Deer, my sweet, sweet foster-fail passed away surrounded by love and tears on Tuesday morning.  Just before her heart stopped, I asked her to give Jackson our love.  I'm sure moments later, there was a lot of tail wagging going on in Doggie Heaven.

Cancer has claimed two of our dogs within three months.  My emotions swing like a pendulum between heartbroken and really fucking pissed.  Most of the time, I can keep myself together, but every once in a while, a tantrum sneaks up on me.  I'm sure, with time, that will lessen.  I hope it will, anyway.

Happy tails to you, Adora.
4/26/2006 - 6/21/2016

Friday, June 3, 2016

Bayshore Marathon Weekend Recap

In the week leading up to race day, I tried hard to not stalk the weather like I usually do.  The weather is out of my control and will be what it will be.  Still....watching the weather change from high percentage of storms--undesirable-- to warm temps with high humidity--also undesirable--was a little stressful.

I packed several clothing options ranging from capris and long sleeves to shorts and a tank and decided to make an outfit decision Friday night.

The trip to Traverse City would be a 6.5 hour drive from Columbus and since Sarah, Megan and I were well-hydrated, we anticipated many stops making our drive a little bit longer.  We left Columbus at 7am on Friday and headed north.  I don't even remember what time we actually arrived with all the potty breaks and construction traffic.  We rented a house for the weekend.  This worked out so much better than having a hotel room.  We had space to roam, stretch our legs and we weren't stuck on two double beds in a studio hotel room all weekend.

Our home away from home.
Packet pick up started at 5pm so after we settled all of our stuff in the house we headed out to get our bibs.  Bayshore is a small event, only about 7000 participants running the marathon, half marathon and 10K, so you can imagine that packet pick up is a small event as well.  There were a few vendors, but certainly nothing like the huge expo at the convention center for the Columbus Marathon every year.  It was nice to get in and out.  Bigger is not always better, y'all.

After we got our bibs, we went to dinner at Poppycocks; the food was delicious.  There was a wide variety of options on the menu.  All three of us got different pastas and all of it disappeared.

When we got back to the house, we all picked out our race outfits and went to bed early-ish.

Temps were going to be in the mid-60s at the start and it was going to get hotter by the minute so I went with shorts rather than capris.  I wanted to minimize the sunburn so I opted for short sleeves instead of a tank to spare my shoulders.

Peek-A-Boo Skirt and Circuit Tee
I slept on Friday night.  Like, all night.  Maybe it was a fluke.  Or maybe it was because the bed was so comfortable.  Or maybe I'm getting better at the mental game of the marathon.

Megan and  Sarah were both up before me on Saturday and I heard them, but didn't actually wake up until my alarm went off at 4:45am.  We'd planned to leave the house at 5:30am and I left exactly enough time to get myself ready.  No extra time to second guess my outfit or my race plan.

Speaking of my race plan....it hasn't been a secret that I'm chasing down a 4:20 finish this year.  If it doesn't happen at Bayshore, that's cool, I'll keep trying, I will chip away my time until I get there, then I'll chase after another time.  I knew when we started, the temps were going to climb quickly so 4:20 might not happen.  Plan B was sub 4:33, my current PR.  Plan C is always survival.

My plan for this particular day: start off at 10 min pace then pick up the pace a little in the second half.  I had my music turned up a little louder than I normally listen to it.  I thought if it were louder than the voices in my head, that would be helpful.  Ah, the mind games we play....

At mile 12, my average pace was 9:59.  Then the wheels started to fall off.  At mile 12.5, I thought I might need to pull over to vomit.  I think I gulped a little too much Gatorade at the previous water station.  Rookie.  I walked a little, started to feel a little better and went on my way.

Miles 13 and 14 (10:42, 10:52) were a little rough then I got myself back together for 15-18 (10:04, 10:30, 10:31, 9:54).  I knew at mile 13 that it was too hot to speed up so 4:20 finish would have to wait for another day and by mile 23, Plan B went out the window as well.

Mile 19 was rough.  It was the slowest mile at 12:36.  The sun was out, it was hot, I couldn't get enough water.  I refilled the water bottles in my belt at every water station and was drinking Gatorade and water constantly.  And I could see Grand Traverse Bay.  It looked nice and cool.  I wanted to lay in it.  Face down.  Then I wouldn't have to finish this damn marathon.  Why do I do this, anyway?  Idiot.

Miles 20-25: 10:34, 11:52, 11:21, 11:27, 11:07, 10:36.  I was struggling, but by the looks of a lot of people around me, my struggles weren't as bad as some others.

Mile 25 was at the top of a hill.  Of course it was.  It was also a residential area and there were a lot of spectators out.  That was helpful.  Keep going, Jamie.  One foot in front of the other.

Mile 26, 10:35, I could hear the finish line...then I could SEE it!

The last .29 was an 8 minute pace.  Get. This. Shit. Done.

We finished on a high school track.  There were people in the bleachers cheering and a man (the race director?) with a microphone announcing all of the finisher's names.

I crossed the finish line 4:34:42, just a minute slower than my PR time, was handed a medal, it's heavy.  I like it.  Then a medic grabbed me by the shoulders, got down in my face and asked if I was ok.  I was fine.  Hot, thirsty, tired, a little delirious, but fine.

A volunteer handed me a bottle of water.  I sucked that water down and got another bottle.  I hung out in the finish area, drinking water, until Megan and Sarah crossed the finish line.

We all need showers but first, let me take a selfie.
Once we were all accounted for, we hobbled off to find the car.

The next 30 or so hours were filled with grunting, wincing, gingerly walking and a whole lot of laughing.  I'm sure y'all won't find out shenanigans near as hysterical as we did so I'll spare you most of it.

We ordered pizza Saturday night.  When the pizza delivery guy arrived, Megan and I hobbled to the door to greet him.  We were so tired, we considered asking him to come on in and feed us.

Sunday morning, I was awake, laying in bed and I heard Sarah yelling from the other bedroom, "Someone call the fire department!"  Megan and I rushed (I use this word loosely) in to see what was wrong and Sarah said, "I need to get off this top bunk!"

And we started our day in a fit of giggles.

We all had leftover pizza for breakfast and it was decided that the pizza had to come in the car with us so we could eat it on the way home.

I got to share the backseat with the pizza.
 ...and we laughed all the way back to Columbus.

This weekend could have been a huge disappointment.

It wasn't.

I had a ridiculous amount of fun with my people, the course was gorgeous and, with the exception of miles 19-25 being too hot to keep my goal pace, I had a great run.

The muscle soreness has worn off but I won't be running for a bit.  With every marathon, I promise my legs 10 days of no running.  Usually days 1-3 I swear I'm never running again, but by day 5, I'm ready and when day 10 rolls around, I can't wait to get out there.  My 10 days of rest not only allows my body time to heal, it keeps the love alive.  I'm looking forward to Tuesday.

Have you ever run any of the Bayshore events?
If you travel for races, do you go with friends?  Or would you prefer to have your family with you?  I'd love to have my kids at races, but they don't sleep well in hotels.  It's best for all of us if they stay home.