Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy Holidays

I'm ton the road to visit the in-laws in Chicago.  And by that I don't mean the actual city, but the northern suburbs.  It's what we've done almost every Christmas Day since we've been married.

Since we always travel on Christmas Day then we have our time with the kids the night before.  First we start with church service.  Last night my daughter Angel reprised her role as Mary
And we lifted candles to celebrate Jesus being the light of the world.
It was so pretty & peaceful!!

Once we were home I usually start with a pair of pjs.  I don't do matching, but they each get a new pair.  And we rip into the presents to end the night.


In my running this holiday season I was able participate in this years Jingle Jog with the Muscatine Running Friends.

We ran to and through various businesses singing songs, handing out candy & spreading holiday cheer.
 It was so much fun!!!

On a day like today I kind of don't have time to run.  But I make the time.  Even though I didn't get to bed until 1:30 a.m. I was up at 5:30 to get a few miles in.  It was dark & the town seemed more deserted than usual.  I ran with no music to just think and enjoy the peace & quiet that surrounded the morning.

I hope that no matter what you are doing during the holiday season that all is well.  With you.  Your health.  Your family.  Your running.
 MERRY CHRISTMAS!!  From me & mine to you & yours!!  😘

Monday, December 22, 2014

Winner, winner chicken dinner!!

Ok, I didn't win a chicken dinner (my son has before though), but I did win a free race entry in to a half marathon next month!!  Woo hoo!


Run With Jess is one of the few blogs that I follow and that is how I came across this free giveaway contest.  I can speak personally that Jess herself is an outstanding & phenomenal person.  Everything about her is wonderful!!  She posted about this giveaway & I glanced at it meaning to enter, but then time slipped away & I almost forgot about it.  When I checked in last night I had just a few hours left to enter & after weighing the pros (too many to list) & cons (ok that list is always short!) I decided to enter & let "fate" decide if I'd be doing this race or not.  The thought of it really excited me because I realized that I've never run a race in Chicago.  Like not even close.  So why not try?!?!

Well, lo & behold, I WON!!!!  I'm so excited & I'm really, really looking forward to this race.  I don't plan to make this a goal race.  I'm already in 13.1 shape & there's too many other factors to try & turn it into a PR or anything.  I'm looking forward to a fun race to just go & enjoy the experience.

If you are interested in registering for this race you can find the details at their home page HERE.  Hurry, the price increases on 12/31.  Maybe I'll see you there!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Meet me in St. Louis

Earlier in November I traveled to St. Louis for 3 days.  I went down to be a trainer candidate for Foundations of Strength & Conditioning.  After completing this I was granted my trainer status which then allows me to train & certify others in this 2 day, 16 hour Y course.  This was a little hard for me to go to because it fell on the same weekend as my son's 9th birthday.  This is my baby boy here.  I've never spent his birthday away from him.  I know at some point it's going to happen, but he's only 9.  Being my favorite son and such a good  boy he's an Iowa fan all the way.  So I bought him tickets to go see the Iowa vs. Illinois game.  I would've loved to have been there too, but just because I have work that doesn't mean he has to sit home with nothing to do!

I'm a little conflicted when it comes to traveling & being alone.  I'm such a people person that I don't like to do it, but yet it has it's good points to it too. So I make the most of it.  Of course, I can't go somewhere big and not run.  What would be the point of going all that distance & not living up to my #sherunseverywhere standard?

After my training on Friday I set out on a short run to see some main sights near by.  Being a wise conscious runner I made sure to notify the hotel desk that I was going out.  After all I am a young(ish) female traveling alone.   While I always have my phone on me, if anything were to happen would anyone even know I was missing or gone longer than usual?  So I think it makes sense to check in with others around me as I ventured into this big city full of strangers.

(My hotel which was a former YMCA)

My first ever half marathon was run here in St. Louis & I have traveled these for personal reasons before so I wasn't a complete stranger to the downtown area.  I set off wanting to see the "big" sights like the Arch.  It was close to getting dark when I set out & I didn't want to devote a lot of time to running at this point so I only aimed for a few miles.


On the way back I realized I was only a few blocks from Busch stadium so I swung over there to have a look.  I'm NOT a cardinal fan, but was fascinated & taken in by the stadium.  All of my running route was fun & thrilling to me.  I was like a kid all carefree and lackadaisical without any barriers like time or other people to be considerate of.  Just me & my run.  It doesn't happen very often.

(The start of my Sunday run.  Hotel was right outside of the Union Station)

On Saturday I had a full day of training so I purposely grabbed a quick mile on the treadmill so I could have it done & not worry about running later.  Sunday I put more effort into getting a good run in, which meant I couldn't sleep in and had to get out extra early.  I had this magical idea that if I timed it just right I could see the sun rise as I stood at the Arch, which overlooks the Mississippi River.  The weather didn't cooperate and there was no magical sunrise, but I was down in that area anyway and took my time exploring the area.  Without even planning it I found the bridge that lead over the river.  I knew I'd be crunched for time, but could not pass up this opportunity to run across the river.  Even though I grew up in a river town that is something I have never done.

(On the bridge with the Arch in the background)

When I came back off the bridge I realized I was just a block away from the St. Louis Ram's stadium.  I had friends in town for the game.  Their son is head equipment manager & they go to all the games.  So I thought for fun it would be great to circle the stadium.

Then I reasoned that if I circled one stadium I should probably go do the same for the other, Busch Stadium.  I so set off in that direction, only to find out that you can't circle that stadium.  I did the best that I could and got around most if it.


I had completely lost track of time and next thing I realized I had racked up 7 miles.  I really think I could've run all day & all over town.  I had so much fun!  It was a rush, but I made it back to my hotel & to my training on time.  I'm glad I took the time to get these runs done in & around downtown St. Louis.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Tis the season

As usual, life is zooming past me with not enough time to blog about it all.  I plan to pick & choose a few things to blog about, but leave the rest unknown.  It at least unblogged about.  If you want to know/see more things about me on a more regular basis then you catch me on Instagram or Snapchat.  Anyway....

Last week was Thanksgiving.  I hope you all had a great holiday.  Maybe with family & friends.  Hopefully with plenty of food!  I'm not even going to lie, I ate waaaay too much!!  I started out my day with my own little turkey trot.


Then we packed up the family & headed over to Iowa.  Here was my first of many occasions over the holiday weeknd where I ate way too much!!  It was worth it, not to mention being with family.  We didn't do anything special, but for me the simple act of being with family is always enough & very satisfying.

At the end of the day my husband & I headed home WITHOUT any kids in tow. We left them at my parents, something we have rarely ever done.  Don't get me wrong, I live my kids to pieces, but I was REALLY looking forward to doing this!!  Thus began my home alone phase.


I was challenged recently by a friend to stay home for one day.  Stay in my jammies, do whatever I want, but mostly just stay home.  That is actually really hard for me to do.  I can't really say I didn't do anything.  Kids being gone or not, I really needed a day at home to get things done.  My house & it's level of cleanliness/functionality has dropped way below my standard so I wanted to get that turned around.

It was so nice though to do whatever I wanted.  No time frame.   Just whatever I wanted to do in my jammies.  No one to think about, no messes to clean up, no arguing/fighting to listen to, no one to give me weird looks when I break out in song & dance around the kitchen.  It's been 19....NINETEEN years since I've had this big of a break from my kids while still being at home.  I'm not going to lie, I really REALLY enjoyed this time alone.

Eventually though I changed in to running clothes & went for a black friday run.

Afterwards I pulled an all nighter & kept on cleaning the entire time!!  A girl has to do what a girl has to do!!  After getting some sleep (I felt like a party girl crawling in to bed at 6 a.m.) I was back up for even more cleaning and another great & awesome run.
55 degrees at the end of November....I'll take it!!

Even though it wasn't all done I decided to call it quits because the husband was home & we had some celebrating to do.  Our 20 year anniversary was Tuesday, December 2.  Since the actual day was going to be "just a regular day" with work & activities we decided to celebrate early.  We went back to where it all started in Burlington, IA and enjoyed some time as a couple just being together.

Of course, living up to my She Runs Everywhere name, I included a run around downtown Burlington.

Eventually we had to head back to reality and went to go pick up the kids from my parents.  I do love them & my life with them, so of course, I wanted them back.  And they missed me too (even if they don't admit it!) so it all worked out really well.

It was truly a great & wonderful holiday weekend.  One like I've never had before!!  And now I'm all ramped up and ready to head into this holiday season!

How was your Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Veterans's Day

I looked back through my blog & realized that I never posted about Veteran's Day.  Which, I find odd since, both Jim & I are both veterans.  It does seem so long ago, ok it was so long ago that we were in.  Even though it's just a glimmer of time it's such a huge part of who we are and how we came to where we are now.

Jim was in the Army for 8 years.  4 full time active duty, including a tour in Saudi Arabia during the First Gulf War and 4 years in the Reserves where he met me.  He was an airborne combat engineer.  His list of accomplishments are through the roof.

I was enlisted in the Army for 8 years.  3 years in the Reserves and 5 in the Inactive Ready Reserves.  To best sum up my time in the service I posted this picture last year.


Sometimes I don't feel worthy to say I served.  But I did and on Veteran's Day I hold my head high for my little itty bitty part I did to serve in the United States Military!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Wildcat 50k

This was my 4th year to run the Wildcat 50k.  I didn't really think I was going to do it this year.  Not from lack of wanting to, more just because of scheduling.  While my running has been ok, I'm far from being trained for this race.  Of course, that has never stopped me in the past.  I don't think I've ever considered myself trained for this course.  Last year I at least had the training miles behind running a 50k, but one could easily argue that I was running so much that I wasn't well rested.  (Am I ever well rested?  I am a mother to 6 kids after all & constantly train without much of a break!!)  Either way I'm never prepared for the hills and terrain that Wildcat Den has to offer.  I did get a good hilly run in last weekend & a stair workout in just a few days prior.  But I know well enough that that is not enough training!  Didn't stop from getting out there & running!!

Even though I'm not logging a lot of miles (really trying to hold off until I start my Boston training) I didn't bat an eye at running 31 miles.  I'm no stranger to this distance or this course.  And lately I seem to have an over abundance of energy.  My runs have full of adrenaline and I just can't wait to go, go, go!  I was hoping that it would hold up through my race & I seemed to be off to a really good start.
(Taken during my first lap.  Thanks for the picture Larry!)

I ran my first loop in 57:58.  Not too shabby and pretty consistent with many other runners.

Loop 2 felt really good with the clock showing 1:57:44.

I finished loop 3 at 3:09:10 and still felt good & strong, but I was starting to slow a little and starting to hurt some too.

On loop 4 at mile 20 my phone, thus my music, died, but I still felt pretty strong until coming back.  The hurt was more intense and I was beginning to struggle.  At least on the inside.  Everyone I saw kept telling me I looked great & strong.  I knew otherwise.  At about mile 24 I had someone come up behind me and strike up a conversation.  I had passed many other runners through out the day and either I zoomed past them or them me with your usually runner banter & encouragement.  This runner though stuck with me and kept chatting.  If ever I thought about stopping or walking I certainly couldn't do it now.  On one hand that's because the conversation was a good distraction.  When it's just me & my mind there's too much thinking about what hurts.  Talking and listening kept my mind off of what was going on & I just moved forward.  On the other hand I wasn't going to totally weenie out when this runner had taken the time to come along side of me.  Yes, we still walked at a few points.  It was almost a must with those steep hills.  But I couldn't let myself straight up walk with a runner right next to me!!  We finished that loop in 4:24 (I'm a little unsure on that time, but it was in that general area).  There was a very big part of me that did not want to go out on that last lap.  The informality of the race makes it so easy to say I'm done & no one bats an eye.  Yet, I knew I'd be so mad at myself if I didn't get it done.

I started loop 5 with some legal pain relieving drugs in my system because there was no way I could do this last lap without it.  At least not without coming to a complete walk.  I had lost track of that runner who finished loop 4 with me.  All that chatting & I never asked what his name was (I found out later that it was Jeremy).  Once I got started I saw him up ahead of me & used that as a focus to try and catch up with him.  Before I could though another running friend caught up with me & we got busy chatting & keeping each other company.  Honestly at this point I would've kept company with a serial killer & I wouldn't have cared.  Anything to keep me distracted from the pain and to keep me from walking.  It worked.  The pain didn't go away and I slowed even more, but I was ok with all of that considering my lack of training.  It wasn't a complete shock that I was running this way.  Eventually with the help of my running friends I finished loop 5 with a new PR of 5:44:45.
(Celebrating my PR)

Overall it turned out to be a really good day.  I was slightly bummed that while I had been the lead female the entire race, I slipped to 3rd within the last mile.  And while I had good pace I slowed with each lap.  Even, consistent pacing has never been something I've been good at.  But looking big picture I ran well (especially with no training), met some new friends, saw some old & got to spend my day doing what I love.

Also worth noting that my husband, Jim & 2 sons, John & Andrew came to run as well.
Before the start of the race.

John (age 13) completed 2 laps, 12.4 miles.  That is the longest distance he has ever ran.  Andrew (a week before his 9th birthday) ran 1 lap, 6.2 miles, the longest distance he has ever ran.  Jim, who rarely ever runs was there to run with the boys as they did their loops.  They are all superstars!!


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Trying out the app

I recently upgraded to a nice new fancy smancy phone.  I previously had a smart phone, but it was in fact quite dumb.  I could never add the blogger app like I wanted to.  So I thought I would give it a try.  Especially for those short efficient posts that I'm trying to do every day.  So let's see how this goes.

Since I have you here let me jazz it up with a few pics & some running randomness in my little corner of the world.  I took this one last Saturday on my morning run.

It was such a great morning for a run and as soon as I ran past this my brain screamed "THAT is a sight to remember!!"  So I back tracked a few steps to snap the shot.

After I was home from said run I was checking on my Instragram & saw that I had a new follower.  Look:

I literally stopped dead in my tracks & let out a shreak!!  If you're not a runner you have no clue who Bart Yasso is.  I know the name in a heart beat & was awe struck.  Ok, never mind that he also follows thousands of other bloggers & runners.....it's still gold to me!

Do you have anyone famous that follows you on a social network site?

Anyone else use the blogger app to post?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

October/November Rewind

Oh hey there!!  I'm not even going to beat around the bush to point out the obvious, that I've become rather sucky at this blogging thing.  I'm full of excuses (most of them valid & understandable) and I've considered on more than one day to call it quits & close up shop.  However, I'm still hanging in there & not ready to cut to drastic measures yet.

To plunge back in I'll give you the run down of September & October.  While I have taken a big step back from blogging and computer use in general, my running hasn't changed too terribly much.

Miles Ran
September:  117.61
October:  114.78

Races Ran
September:  Rival Game Relay
October:  Knox College Homecoming 5k

Run Streak Continued
September:  856 days
October:   887 days

Total Mileage for 2014
1172.26

So there are your basics.  And it's all I really have time to blog about anyway.  Since things are changing in my life (mostly all for the good) I'm left with little leisure time on the computer so I'm going to attempt to continue to blog, but focus on short efficient posts.  We'll see how it goes!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

RGR Race Recap

Ok, this post is not going to write itself.  I wish it would just magically appear.  You know...transmit from my brain to le blog.  The problem (in my weird little mind) is that this was such a grand experience that I don't know where to start and there is SO MUCH to tell.  And, well, let's face it....I can talk & recap things until the cows come home.  I recently verbally recounted the race in its entirety to my RP while we were on a 20 mile run.  Her last long run before Chicago.  No, it didn't take the entire 20 miles, but from about mile 11 to 15 I told her allllll about it.  Also I'm such a detail person that it's then hard to get all of that down into word format for you all to read without it feeling like a novel.  Anyway....here I go......

(taken right when we got to Ames)

Once 4 Jills & a Jack got to Ames, the starting point, we sat down for a nice dinner, hung out/prepped for the race in a college boys (RP's nephew) dorm room and then headed to the start line which was right outside the football stadium.  Despite the really nice fall weather we had been having it was pretty chilly going in to the evening hours.

(waiting to start)

(moments before RP started)

RP was our 1st runner and she set off on her leg at 10 p.m.  The rest of us took one last trip to the porta potty and was ready to pull out of the parking lot.  Except I spotted another support vehicle.  Not ANY vehicle, but one from the opposing team.  There it was all, all decked out in its ugly ISU support and completely unattended.  So I pulled up next to it and said....."wouldn't it be funny if we messed with their vehicle?"  Now, I like to have fun, lots of good, innocent fun and when I say mess with their vehicle I didn't mean anything like slash their tires or key their vehicle.  But we still had some window paint left over so I was thinking of  leaving a smack talk note for them to find.

Now, even though I had only met Patches a few hours earlier I quickly got the sense that she was quite the smack talkin' daredevil who could not pass this opportunity up.  So even though it was my idea, I quickly volunteered Patches for the job & she got the work done.


Soon after we headed down the road to catch up with Kandice who was off with a bang on her first leg.  Ideally in these races the support van drives ahead to each pitstop/exchange point and waits for the runner to finish their leg.  However, since it was dark and we were in unknown territory we had decided to not do this.  We drove ahead a few miles at a time & waited for the runner to catch up & gave them support if needed, even if just verbal or emotional.

What started as a bang with Kandice quickly faded and she wasn't feeling too good & her supper was threatening to be upchucked all over the country side.  She hung on for as long as she could, but it because very evident that she was beyond struggling & about ready to die .  Being the team we were someone was always ready to jump in for another runner and since I was next up I finished the last 1.5 miles of Kandice's leg and went right into my leg which was suppose to be 6.7 miles.

 Patches meeting me at the end of Kandice's leg & the beginning of mine

Despite jumping into it full force and feeling very off I still managed a good pace.  Being in the dark on a rural country road didn't bother me too much.  We were required to wear a head lamp, a flashing light on our back & a reflective vest.  Still these were very rural places with no other form of light.  In theory it was kind of freaky, but I'm kind of used to running solo in dark surroundings.  Guess all my late night/early morning runs were good for something.  I did eventually move off of the gravel back roads & on to a paved highway.  However, I never felt like I settled into a good flow of movement.  I think there was too much going on and I felt off the entire time.  Luckily I was on auto pilot and just kept moving forward at a good pace.

When we approached my end point my team was close by letting me know where to go to find the exchange point.  Except that even with them following the maps and having a phone on GPS we still couldn't find where we were looking for.  Finally we saw another team and the pointed us in the right direction.  Once I got there GG was ready to go for our next runner.

Almost immediately we, again, had issues following the map and/or GPS.  Nothing was making sense with what was going on.  Every time we followed the map we were going the wrong way and had to back track and come up with some other plan, ask other teams where to go or simply figure it out our own by spotting other teams & following them.  All while GG ran the wrong way too far and had to turn back to get on the correct course.  This was beginning to be a little thorn in our side.

GG made it to the next exchange point and then Teri took off.  She only ran a few minutes and then had to disappear down a path.....a completely dark, unknown path, where a vehicle could not go.  *gulp*  We as a team was not ready to lose sight of her, but felt we had no choice.  We followed the map meticulously and waited for her where she would come out of that path.  And we waited and waited and WAITED!  Something was wrong and we were all slightly panicked over it.  Seriously, just imagine being in a horror movie and that weird creepy music begins to play.

We headed back to the last exchange point to see if we could find some other teams.  Maybe Teri was lost & went back there??  A million things raced through our minds.  At this point we were also contacting the race director.  We had been having one problem after another with our maps & routes and now we've lost our runner.  While we out doing we came along side of some other teams.  We pulled over & asked if they were going the right direction.  They thought they were, but according to our maps, they weren't.  I wasn't about to just drive off and let these people also get lost.  One runner right out refused to get in my van when I offered.  Another runner put full faith & trust in us and hipped in without asking any questions.

Well, long story short, we did not have the most recent updated maps and WE WERE WRONG!  No wonder we were having such a hard time!!  We found the exchange point.  We apologize profusely to Adam (the runner who blindly jumped in our van....good thing we weren't serial killers or anything) for taking him in the wrong direction and giving him a joy ride.  We actually met up with his team at the exchange point and they kindly gave us updated maps (they were an Iowa team.....no wonder they were so wonderful!!)  And Teri....she had missed the exchange point, ran 3 miles too far before turning back around and then kept running since we, her team, was no where in sight.
Crazy runner that we picked up!  He was a good sport about it!!

Yeah, all of this was just in the first 4 of 20 legs!!  After that we settled into a routine and knew we had the correct maps.  The race director finally caught up with us and apologize profusely for what had happened & took responsibility for not making sure we had updated maps.

On my end, when I picked up my 2nd leg (7.1 miles) it was 3 or so in the morning.  Again, it was weird, but peaceful to be running down a road in the pitch black.  I actually had no fears of anxiety about this part of the race.  Half way through my leg it started to rain.  A nice sleety pelting my face sideway rain.  By my 3rd leg (6.9 miles) it wasn't raining, but lack of sleep was catching up with me.  By this point I have been up and in motion for 24+ hours.  I never really slept.  I'd close my eyes, maybe get 5 minutes here or there of shut eye, but no real sleep.  And it was taking it's toll.  Each leg I ran slower and slower and I was miserable, but yet in a fun once in a lifetime experience kind of way.  Perhaps it wouldn't have been quite as bad if I was running on flat paved roads, but contrary to the belief that Iowa is flat & boring we were running very hilly back gravel roads and that just made it that much more challenging.  Leg 4 (5.5 miles) was my shortest leg, but it still took "forever".  I wanted to quit and my team mates were more than willing to jump in & take my place (at one point I ran a few miles for someone myself), but no matter how slow I was going I knew I couldn't give in.  So I kept on running!!
See that hill?  There was nothing but one after another!!

Done with my final leg!

I could tell you story after story after story of what else happened, but I'm sure you get the idea of how the race went.  And honestly, somethings that happened on the race.....stays on the race and between us 4 Jills & Jack!!  We finished at 5 o'clock the next day and I've never been so happy to see a finish line in my life!!


It's pretty safe to say that I'm in no rush to complete this kind of race any time soon.  Although knowing me I'm a sucker for a running adventure and I'll likely do it again.  For now though I'm happy just to say I've done it!!  And the time & memories I spent with my 4 other teams mates is unbelievable & I'm glad that I was able to spend this time & create these memories with them!!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Shaggin' Wagon

As soon as GG had asked me to be on the team for RGR, I was quick to volunteer my van for use.  Typically teams rent a big passenger van for these types of races.  I think they may even be required for the big races like Ragnar & Hood to Coast.  At least that is the impression I get from the many blogs that I read & pictures I see from said race recaps.

There was no reason to rent a passenger van when I own one!  Yes, 6packmomma here is always traveling in style with some sort of  "bus" and it's no stranger to being full of people and stuff going all over from place to place.  I think She Runs Everywhere also applies to my van!!

I've never been one to name my vehicle, but kinda wish I had a cute name for it right now.  Actually our last van was a big red passenger van & sometimes I'd call her big red.  And sometimes I do say big blue when talking about our current vehicle.  Other friends & family have certain names they call my van....church bus, Peterson mobile, boat, stranger danger van, rapist van (don't ask, but it's all in innocent fun!) or just plain BUS!  And in my town everyone knows my van by sight and sees (or hears....as in the noise from the kids or perhaps screaming mother on occasion) it coming from miles away.  I do not have to have a special license to drive it since it's a personal vehicle.  However, I do have a class D commercial vehicle license (not a full blown CDL) which lets me drive an actual church or other business vehicle.  Anyway, I'm used to hauling it around.

I headed over to Muscatine with my van on Thursday morning.  I actually had a funeral to attend first (worked out to be perfect timing.....may you rest in peace Great Uncle John) then headed over to GG's house.  I actually have never decorated my vehicle windows so I wasn't sure what to do.  But GG had all the supplies, I just had to get creative & get decorating.


I didn't get as many pictures as I would've liked, but you get the idea.  We wrote all over the windows with our team name & other sentiments like #1 Iowa, Tiffin or Bust, our initials on the back & then a tally for each leg that we ran.

Then we drove half way across Iowa and then back like it was just your average Thursday & Friday.  So many stories and moments of fun were crammed into my van within the next 24+ hours.  Don't worry, I'll recount SOME of them, but some things stay between us team mates.

Somewhere along the way Patches came up with the idea of calling it the Shaggin' Wagon.  If she told the story then I don't remember it.  But we liked the name & it stuck.  As a team we were able to fit very comfortably into the van, plus had it loaded with ALL of our stuff.  It worked very well as our traveling headquarters since we had to eat, sleep (if you wanna call it that!), change clothes several times, be back seat drivers and navigators and who knows what else.  But it successfully got us from point A to point B with no problems and that's what we really needed!!

Do you name your vehicles?

Have you ever, more less, lived in your vehicle for a time while you traveled?

Monday, September 22, 2014

RGR - 4 Jillls and a Jack

This week I'm going to write a couple of posts to sum up my race experience with Rival Game Relay.  I feel it's too much to put all in 1 post.  And quite honestly I need to work on smaller, more efficient posts here on SRE because I just don't have time to write up big posts at this time.  Since there is SO MUCH to tell you about RGR, I wanted to start with the basics of telling you who my team mates were on this magical and unicorn filled journey.

Team Captain Terry contacted me months ago to ask if I was interested in doing this race.  He knows I love running and racing and most importantly Iowa, even if I've lived on the other side of the river for almost 20 years.  So, of course, I said YES!!!!

Terry is better known to me as the Gray Ghost or GG.   I met him 5 years ago when I first tagged along with the Muscatine Running Friends (MRF) to a race.  We've done many of the same races & always keep in touch.  Even though he hasn't been running all his life he has a vast experience with running & racing & I look to him as a great mentor full of wisdom.


Next is Kandice.  She is GG's running partner.  So he refers to her as her RP.  I've known Kandice mostly via GG, but she also lives in Muscatine and does events and race with the MRF.  She's very smart and technical when it comes to life and running.  But she also has a great sense of humor (she has to, right, being GG's RP) and loads of fun to be with.  I've had a few brief interactions with her, but  this was the first time I really got to know her.


Next is Teri.  She is the most genuine and wonderful person you could ever meet.  Her heart is so full of love and kindness!!  Even though she has lived in Muscatine her whole life, I've only personally known her for the last 6 or 7 years.  She is the heart and soul of MRF and always a joy to be with.  Teri has an extremely extensive running and racing career although had never done a relay such as RGR before.

Patches is a name that I had heard many, many times.  For a long time I actually thought Patches was a man.  Only because.....idk, it sounds like a man's name or nickname.  But it really is her first name.  And she is ah-mah-zing!!  And I think the funniest, spunkiest person alive.  RGR was the first time I had ever met her in person and she is all that and a bag of chips.  In years past she was a collegiate runner and still kicks butt in my book.

Last, but not least, there was ME on the team.
I'm not sure what the others would say about me and what I contributed to the team.  But I know that all together we made such an awesome team & had A LOT of fun!!!!  Even though (spoiler alert) I am not addicted to this type of racing (not that that's a bad thing, but I can see where it's just not my thing) my team mates still made every single moment of this race worth it!!!!





Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Boston Bound

On Wednesday I was eligible to register for the Boston Marathon.  Or so I thought.  I thought my BQ time was good for 2 years.  And for the last 2 years I have ran well below my BQ cutoff (which is 3:40).  My first one was 3:29:50 in April 2013 and then exactly 1 minute "slower" with 3:30:50 in April 2014.  One puts me 10:10 below my BQ time needed and the other 9:10.  Since I thought my time was good for 2 years I was going to register on Wednesday using my faster time.  Except, as I learned, my time from April 2013 was not any good.  Turns out your BQ is only good for about 18 months.

My bubble bursted a little because mentally I was all psyched out to get it done on Wednesday.  But I wasn't too worried.  Except for the realization that I would be on the road running RGR during that time.  Again, there should have been nothing to worry about.  But I, being Mrs. Worse Case Scenario, was envisioning waiting until I arrived home after being on the road and finding the marathon already full.  Oh, no, not that nightmare.  So there was no way around it.  I had to register on Friday when it came open for the next round of qualifiers.

While I was on the road, either literally running or riding in the shaggin' wagon (a term given to my van by another team mate) I knew I needed to save my precious phone battery power for 2 things.  My family....in case anything went wrong and they really needed to get a hold of me (or vice versa) and registering for Boston.  I have a very low end smart phone, but it gets the job done when I really need it to...even if it's a pain in the rear.  As it turned out I wasn't running when registration opened that morning, but I was the next up runner so I made sure I was all ready to run with plenty of time to still mess with my phone & registration.  After nervously watching the clock inch toward 9 a.m., my team mate Patches, heard me declare my intentions and saw me starting to type on my phone. She graciously offered to let me use her iPad to get my registration done.  Yes, yes, yes!  That made things so much easier than me squinting and struggling over my itty bitty screen.

Once you fill out your registration form & submit payment (that is held until final authorization) you get this nice little email.

And then I had nothing to do, but wait.......  But I had PLENTY to keep me occupied.  Like finishing my relay race across Iowa with little to no sleep.  (I keep giving you details of RGR and I promise a full race report will happen).  According to the email I wasn't expecting to hear any official word until early October.

However, on Sunday I received this email:


I had my confirmation that I WAS GOING TO RUN THE BOSTON MARATHON!!!!

I don't think words can express how happy & excited I am to be doing this race next year.  So many emotions and thoughts constantly swirl through my head and even though it feels like forever away, I know it will come faster than I realize.  I'm already planning for this to be a marathon PR.  Come January I'll be bringing it on like Donkey Kong and for a change take on a serious training plan.  I'm not taking this lightly with hopes to do ok.  I'm going to blow it out of the water!

I'm sure you'll hear me talk about Boston off and on for the next 7 months.  For now I'm just busy telling every person I know, maybe even some strangers that HEY....I'M BOSTON BOUND!!!!

Are you planning to run the Boston Marathon in 2015?  I'd like to meet as many running friends as possible!!  Have you run the Boston Marathon before?  I'd love to hear about your experience!!