Friday, June 27, 2014

Being very, very careful!!

Been meaning to tell y'all that I've deemed myself injured.  Now, that doesn't mean I'm not running, but I had to take a serious step back to keep things from spinning out of control.  Ever since the Galesburg Half Marathon I've been dealing with heel pain & tenderness.  At first it wasn't too bad, but recently it was down right painful and hurt all the time.

This was not in my plan as I just recently declared myself serious and going all out on my training to prepare for Howl at the Moon in 6 (EEK!  SIX!!!!) weeks.  So, it must be some kind of Murphy's Law, right?  *Siiiiigh*  I should just take it like a grown mature woman, but instead I want to throw myself on the ground and yell  IT'S NOT FAAAAAAAAIR!  Classy, right?

Getting myself to admit that I was injured to begin with was a big step.  I had others telling me I should slow down, take it easy, back off of training, etc.  And I refused to listen.  But the pain was getting quite annoying and considering I have a high pain tolerance (very high, I personally think my 6 natural labors were "not bad" at all.) when I finally got to the point of declaring "uncle" I knew things were getting serious.  I still didn't want to back off of training, other than the heel pain, running was going really, REALLY well.

I happened to see my physical therapist at a health fair & asked her about my pain.  See, it had a very familiar feeling from when I battled plantar fasciatis (PF) in March of 2012.  And when I say heel pain it's not quite the heel of my foot, but the ball portion on the back of my foot, right before you get to the actual heel.  So it feels like PF, but wasn't bothering my arch like it did last time.  Oh and it's the same foot from when I had serious PF issues before.  So I asked her if it could be PF and she said "YES!".  She warned me that if I ignore it it can lead to achilles tendinitis and that is worse and takes longer to heal.  *gulp*  Ok......ok......she had my attention!  She quickly reviewed the stretches I need to be doing and other treatment ideas (icing, massage, etc.) to help with recovery.  She saved the worst for last (she admitted to this), by telling me that over use (aka running a lot) is also a huge contributor and I should scale back on my running.   I closed my eyes, put my fingers in my ears and said "lalalalalalalalalaa.....I can't hear you".  I KNOW!  My maturity just blows you all away!!  We had a good laugh over it because she knows how I really am and she's loving and supportive, but willing to tell me what I don't want to hear.

With her advise I scaled back drastically on my running and began to implement her stretches & recovery techniques to get my foot back on the road to recovery.  It kinda really sucks because I want nothing but to go out and run big long runs all the time!  And it changes my training plan (one that is not on paper, but all up in my head) and sets me back a notch.  However, I know if I don't get this taken care of now things will likely continue to get worse and then I won't be able to run at all or have a horrible race at Howl at the Moon.  I mean, make no mistake, I will race Howl (unless I'm literally physically uncapable), but I'm not interested in another year of running injured and having "ok" results.

I took several days "off" and by that I mean I still ran, but only for 1 mile (to keep my streak alive) and did some serious cross training to help make up for the rest.  I also bought some insoles to help cushion that part of my foot and am doing other things to "take it easy".  I'm seeing some success and although I've missed some big long runs that I had planned, it's better to miss it now than closer to Howl.  I'm taking things one day at a time and being very, very careful!

So, I leave tomorrow on vacation.  I will be completely MIA for about 2 weeks.  Where we are going there is no wifi and while I do have my phone I don't really want to blog on that little thing.  Plus we tend to use this time away from "the world" to take a step back and not be so digitally/social media addicted dependent.  If anything I'll be posting things on Instagram, but that's it.  The rest of my time will be filled with my family, friends and plenty of time in the Word of God.  Sprinkle in some boating, swimming, archery, climbing tower, zip line, kayaking, sand volleyball and SO MUCH MORE, I won't have much time to be paying attention to anything else going on.  I do have some running plans, but some of that is dependent on my foot.  We'll see how things go.

We'll catch up when I get back!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Third Thursday Blog Hop - Love Your Uniqueness

It's been a loooooong time since I blogged for the Hearts at Home Third Thursday Blog Hop.  As an avid fan and supporter of this ministry I want to continue to participate & should even enjoy/take advantage of a topic given to me each and every month to blog about.  Hearts at Home is focused on motherhood and that is the entire basis of making me 6packmomma.

The theme for the conference this year (I attended Nationals in March) is Love Your Life!  And this month we explore Love Your Uniqueness.  Unique is probably a very nice and gentle way to describe me.  Others might use the word crazy, or odd, perhaps strange, definitely weird and who knows what else one can come up with.  Others might be offended or hurt by these words.  I simply embrace them!

I've never been ashamed of who I am.  I am guilty of hiding who I am, but it never came from being ashamed.  Or maybe it did on some level.  I mean it's hard when you're different.  I have a loud, out going personality and I am FULL of spunk!  And that's not always well perceived.  Without launching into a multi-hour therapy session I also grew up with a lack of self esteem and it being properly role modeled for me.  So for many reason I've always been afraid to show who I really am.  I contained myself.  Worried about what others would think about me and used that as a way to decide how I would "be myself".

About 12 years ago I had some major life changes & I decided to throw all of that out the window.  Sure, I still struggle with low self esteem from time to time, but it no longer dictates my life.  And I still worry about what others think about me, but I really don't care (in a nice respectable way).  I am me and all of my crazy spunk is what you get.  Even though I didn't set out to do this, I ended up being able to show my children this great example.  Turns out my 6pack are also full of crazy fun loving spunk too!  And I want to encourage them to be who they are and to love every part of it as well.

In my running this has probably played out big in terms of my attire.  I was first in my community to wear a running skirt.  Did I get looks?  Stares?  Snickers?  You bet.  But I really loved running skirts so I kept wearing them.  My crazy, fun, wild knee high socks.  I've had drawers full of them for YEARS, but only wore them under my pants and we're for my enjoyment only.  Such a shame!  People enjoy them now on a very regular basis (although with the hot summer temps they are in hibernation).  My Bondi Bands that I routinuely wear....oh I know people thought I looked goofy.  I'm not blind or deaf.  I know when I'm being talked about or laughed at.  Didn't stop me from wearing them.  Those are just a few examples where I embraced my uniqueness and loved every bit of who it made me to be.

Of course I love the physical and personality characteristics about myself....things that I really can't control.  It's who God made & created me to be.  I'm loud and love to laugh and talk (oh boy can I talk!).  I really, really, REALLY love to run (in case you didn't know that yet!)  I'm competitive.  I love to sing - even when I'm out of tune and not being serious.  I love to dance.  Behind each of these traits I know I've been faced with someone who doesn't want me to be that way.  I should be more quiet.  I shouldn't run so much.  Don't sing in public or while driving down the main street of town.   And yet, I still stick with who I am and for the most part keep true to myself.  Sure, I need to be mindful when NOT to do these things.  There is a time to be quiet or not run so much (I really can't think of when though!!) and I actually hold back on my singing while at the Y working out.  Not because of what others think, but because I am just mindful of the public and others wanting to work out.

I really wish I had time to go dig through pictures and show off my uniqueness.  Although the point of this post is not to brag or show off who I am.  But if pictures speak a thousand words then I have plenty that, she's different!  I hope they also scream that I'm full of life and zest and spunk and I LOVE WHO I AM!!!!

What are some things that make you unique?

Do you love your uniqueness?  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

FIFA World Cup Soccer (Futbol)

It may be a surprise (or not) that I love a lot of different sports.  I'm a competitive person by nature and I just love a good game and/or competition.  Yes, running is at the top of that list, but there is so much more out there.  But, unfortunately, not enough time to partake in it all.  I'm very guilty of having great interest in something, but not fully paying attention to the details.  So I pick and choose, going through phases of really getting in to watching a sport.  This comes and goes with my life and whatever else is dictating my time.  Sometimes it doesn't matter how much I want to watch something, it just doesn't work with my schedule.  I recorded every single episode of the 2014 Winter Olympics and didn't watch a single one!  It was a busy time and I simply had to rely on daily newsfeed to keep updated on what was happening instead of watching for myself.

I've never played soccer, but my all of my kids have at one point in their lives.  My boys have had much more lasting interest & ability in playing the game versus my girls. Although my youngest played for the first time this year and showed a natural taking to the sport that her older sisters never had.  We don't call her mini me for no reason.

I have coached soccer before.  A couple of years ago I was asked to coach, mostly because they were short on parent volunteers and hey, Carmen is athletic....she likes to run, she has a million kids.....she can do this!  So I took on coaching mostly just to help out.  I mean I have to be there anyway, so why not.  I ended up LOVING being a coach for soccer and it helped give me more insight to the game.

None of this doesn't make me the world's greatest soccer fan by any means, but as I look back they are little seeds that were planted to bring me to my current fascination with it now.  I've always heard about the FIFA World Cup, but didn't pay much attention to it.  The most I could probably tell you about it from years past was the song that Shirka sang for it.  Haha, and that has nothing to do with the actual sport!  But this year my eyes and ears were full on completely interested in this.  Not only for the reasons mentioned above, but I had also just visited my cousin Miles, who really is all about soccer.  I don't think there is anything he doesn't know about the sport.  And, come on, I have a Mexican heritage, all of my cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. have always been all about futbol.  Part of me wonders why I didn't embrace it any sooner, but there's no time to figure out they mysteries of life.  FIFA is here and now and I'm all in!!

I've watched several games.  Mostly of the countries that I'm interested in cheering on.  I have many reasons to support many teams.  I have a friend who lives in Brazil.  Boom, I cheer for Brazil.  My cousin Miles is from Columbia so I cheer for them.  Mexico....of course I cheer for them!!  I realized that I had cheered for many other teams, but remained clueless about Team USA.  Paid no attention to them whatsoever.  My bad.  When they finally played, of course, I cheered for them!  My cousin Miles is definitely my go to man to clue me in on anything and everything that I need to know about each game or just soccer things in general.  There is so much I still don't know or understand.  Things can and will get complicated when 2 teams that I have reasons to cheer for play each other.  Yesterday Brazil played Mexico.

As much as I want to stay neutral and cheer them both on my instinct takes over and I was definitely cheering on Mexico!!  Kind of like running where you want your friend, your opponent to run well, but bottom line you hope to smoke them out on the race course.  Yesterday was my first match up with conflicting interest.  I know as the tournament progresses there will be many others.  I'll take each one on as they play.

Overall, regardless of who wins/looses I really enjoying watching every game.  I always say this with other sports that I watch, like football, baseball, track, etc.  Just give me a great game, a great competition and I'm completely satisfied with what happened.  I want to cheer (which I do with great LOUD enthusiasm) and experience the highs and lows of the game.  I want my heart to be pounding.  My hopes soaring high, then crashing low and back and forth.  Yeah, it's great when my first pick comes out on top.  But I really thrive on the competition.  I am a competitive person!!

Are you watching the FIFA World Cup this year?

Who do you want to win?

Monday, June 16, 2014

What's Next?

I used to do a lot of racing in the summer.  I can remember in my early adult years I'd run a race almost every weekend.  Of course, adding to my 6 pack slowly, but surely, over the years helped change that.  In fact, by time #6 came along I only did a couple of races the entire year.   Then, once I started doing longer distances the frequency of the racing also changed.  I'm sure I still race more than I realize, while it's not every weekend, I probably do at least 6 - 8 races a year.  That makes one every other month on average, but most of them are in the traditional summer months of June, July & August.

So now that I'm done with my spring marathon and kicked off the summer with a half marathon I bet you're wondering what's up next.  Or, you're not and I'm just going to tell you anyway.  If you're newer to me, my running and/or my blog then you don't know yet about my big summer race I do every year.  Well, every year for the last 5 years.  That would be Howl at the Moon.  I consider this my #1 race of the year.  I'm not sure why, other than it's the only race where I'm not boxed in with a distance.  Nothing wrong with a set distance, but I love the mentality of "the sky is the limit".  My only limit is the 8 hours I have to run.  8 hours is a long time!  If you've never run that long, go out and try it.  In the August heat.  It will at some point feel like an eternity of running & moving forward.  And yet, no matter how hard & miserable I get doing it, it just fuels my passion & love of running even more.  Weird.  I know.  Expect nothing less from me!!

So without going in to too many details that I will give when I do a pre-race write up, let me say that with this being my A race, it's all I want to focus on to get ready for it.  I will say, as a repeat of last year, I really want to hit 50 miles.  That was my goal last year, but spent the summer plagued with issues stemming from a massive fall & muscle tear in May.  I was not trained for last year.  Yes, I still managed to run 45 miles so I have nothing to complain about, but overall it was not a good race.  My goal for this summer is to train, train, train.  NO EXCUSES!  I know everyone oooohs and ahhhhhhs over my running and I realize I have plenty to be proud of, but I haven't really trained for any race for well over a year.  Oh, yes, I'm out there running every day.  But I know better, I'm not really training.

Of course, here is part of my problem.  I do not like training plans.  I'm a very free spirited, let things just happen kind of person.  I like being in charge of my own running.  I like to break the mold and accomplish things without doing what everyone else says I should be doing.  At first this worked well for me and my racing results drastically dropped (or in the case of Howl really increased).  If I have to be honest with myself though I really did get lazy and used a lot of bs excuses to get away with whatever I wanted.  I know that lazy is not a word anyone uses to describe me, but it really can be true.  My running as a whole has just hidden all of the discipline and hard work that I really need to be doing.

I have no clue if any of that makes sense.  Maybe you all are just thinking I'm coo coo for cocoa puffs.  I've run one too many miles.  But it makes sense to ME!  And I'm ready to change all of that and make Howl a break out race to take my running to a whole new level.  Deep down inside I really do believe I am capable of SO. MUCH. MORE.  How much?  I don't know, but I don't feel like I'm at my top level yet.  I spent plenty of my younger years truly wasting away my talent and I'm not about to let it go now!

In the mean time and amongst a lot of running and training I do have some other races on my calendar.  The only one I'm actually signed up for is the Bix 7.   Ohhhh and if you click on the link who do you see on the front cover that will be running this year?!?!  MEB!!!!  Don't worry, Ryan is still my #1 man, but how cool will it be to have Meb there!!!!  I have some other races planned.  Some I'm thinking about, but am not sure if I'll do them or not.  Will likely decide at the last minute.  Others I'm sure I'll do, but, again, just won't sign up in advance.  OH!  And I can't forget that I am also signed up for a Color Run in my hometown.  After last year's horrible run at an event similar to this, I kind of swore I'd never do another again.  But my best friend who NEVER runs has taken up running and this will be her first race.  I'm honored that she asked me to do it with her.  Running is not always about me, but others as well and I wouldn't ever miss this chance to run with my bestie!!  Of course, it will be a less serious event that I could care less about my finishing time.  I need to step back for this from time to time anyway, so it's a win-win no matter what.

I'll keep you all posted on my training and races I do.  In the mean time it's train, train, train!  No excuses, I'm ready to break through to a whole new world.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Vacation Recap

I was gone all last week on vacation to the Virginia/D.C. area.  The reason I took this trip was for the purpose of taking my 2 youngest teenagers to see the sights of our nation's capitol.  4 years ago my husband took our 2 oldest teenager on a very similar trip.  In the past we had traveled to D.C. and saw a lot of the same things.  The first time we went was in 1999.  We had 2 kids with a 3rd on the way.  We were only in the area for a couple of days and did very little.  Then in 2003 we returned with our 4 children & spent a full week out there.  I've been blessed by having family (an aunt, uncle & cousin) that lives in the area & we've never had to stay in a hotel.   It always makes a trip a lot cheaper when you don't have to add in that cost.

It's typical in our area that the 8th grade class is offered a special class trip to go to the D.C. area.  Sometimes they take a big charter bus, sometimes they fly.  Either way it costs a lot of money.  For our particular school it's somewhere around $800-$1,000 and that is just to go.  You also have to account for spending money and some meals.  While we are all for creating memories for our kids and giving them those opportunities it's just not feasible to spend that much money on a trip.  Of course, we always give our kids the option to pay for things themselves, but they don't usually want the trip that bad!  Being seasoned travelers we've also learned a lot of tips & tricks along the way to get the most out of a trip on a lot less money.  Anyway, 4 years ago when our oldest really wanted to go, but couldn't save enough money in time, we proposed to her that we ourselves would give her a D.C. trip.  Aside from not being with all her friends we could give her the same sightseeing and traveling opportunities, only cheaper AND we would foot the bill.  To give credit, where credit is due, this was the idea of my husband.  As it turns out he traveled with our oldest while I stayed home with the other kids.  As a last minute amendment he took our other daughter who would need an 8th grade trip not long after.  They had a great trip and of course took the opportunity to stay with my family while out in the area.

Fast forward to now.  I have an 8th grader and a 7th grader.  Instead of taking 2 trips back to back we combined them together.  And, as it worked out, I traveled with these 2 and my husband stayed home.  However a few things changed.  My aunt & uncle no longer lived in the D.C. area.  They had since moved 2 hours out into the mountains of Virginia.  However, my cousin had since grown up, finished college and lived in the area.  So a little different set up, but I still had a place to stay and no hotel.  I'll take whatever I can get!!

Of course, you know by now that I ran the Galesburg half marathon on Sunday morning and then hopped in the car to drive to Virginia.  The plan was to visit my aunt & uncle first.  This Aunt is my favorite aunt ever!  We have the same middle name, she's always been super cool to me & I've always looked up to her!  When it comes to family, she's one that I've just always clicked with the best.  The plan was to get to her place even if it was the middle of the night.  However the later it got the more I traveled into mountainous areas.  I was advised that it would be tough driving and not that I didn't believe her, but I thought I could handle it.  I wised up and decided to not risk it and pulled over for the night.  Not wanting to spend money on a hotel I simply parked the car & we slept in there.  First time I've ever done that.  It was kinda weird, but when you're tired it doesn't matter.  At the crack of dawn we hit the road again and what should have taken me 2 hours took me 4 to get to their house.  Mostly because the route I had to take was not a main highway, but 2 lanes topsy, curvy, up and down mountain driving.  And twice I missed my turn and had to back track.  It was beautiful to drive through and we definitely got to take the scenic route and that made it worth the experience.  We may do things the cheap way, but it's always still a great experience.

My Aunt & Uncle live literally on top of a mountain on a ridge.  It was so beautiful and peaceful, removed from the craziness of life.  I could live up there & be very happy!  The first thing I did (my aunt knew I'd want to do this) was go for a run.
Boy did I need to shake my legs out from all that driving.  I kept it short, but it was such a neat experience.

We spent the day visiting and sightseeing their area.

 The next day we packed up & headed toward my cousin's place which was right outside D.C.  Of course I squeezed in another run that morning before we left and took the time to just sit on the deck to have a few quiet moments to myself and stretch out.  It's not that often that I get to enjoy the mountains like this so I was taking every chance I could get.

It was less than a 24 hour visit with my Aunt & Uncle, but absolutely wonderful none the less.

The rest of our visit was spent going in to D.C. and visiting the monuments, museums and just taking in all the sights.

Just a sample of what we did.  I don't want to give you a step by step account and really drag this post out.  It's already long enough.  Of course, we were there for their 8th grade trip, but I couldn't resist keeping my running streak alive & getting a run in each day.  I also couldn't resist making each run count and be memorable.  One day when we went into D.C. I was dressed in running clothes.  Right before we were done for the day I went for my run along The Mall.  I ran from the Lincoln Memorial all the way down to the Capital building.
It's a lot longer than it looks and it took me longer than I expected.  A lot of stop & start with all the traffic & streets to cross.  I underestimated the time and was trying to hurry back to my car & the kids (they were sight seeing while I ran).  Of course I hit EVERY single light and rush hour was setting in.  My meter had expired as well!  Yikes!!  I made it back ok with the kids there waiting and miraculously with no parking ticket even though I saw officers out issuing them.  Phew!

My other memorable run I wasn't really planned.  We had gone into D.C. early so we could get tickets to go up into the Washington Monument.  I figured I'd just run a simple mile later that evening when we got back to my cousins.  We ended up having to kill about 30 minutes while we waiting for our tour time.  Not really enough time to actually do anything.  So I ran. I only needed 1 mile to make the day count.  I wasn't really dressed for it.  Khaki shorts & a tshirt.  But I had running shoes on, even though they were old retired ones.  What else do you need?  Well, I ran much slower than usual.  I had enough time to get it done, there was no real rush and I also had to account for the lack of, um, usual running clothing.  I ran 2.5 big loops around the Washington Monument and I was good for the day!!

Overall this was a really great trip!  It was really weird & different, but so memorable and fun.  I've never traveled this extensively without another adult with me, but I managed to survive (albeit with a lot of wrong turns & missed exits.....I could do a whole post on that alone).  I was able to create life long memories with my 2 kids, give them an 8th grade trip that was far cheaper than if they went with the school and sprinkle in some running memories as well.

A big shout out to my cousin Miles who was a great host as well.  He put up with us and crammed us into his itty bitty apartment that he's used to having all by himself.  Our time & visit with him was definitely the icing on the cake!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Run Galesburg Run Half Marathon Recap

After missing this race the past 2 previous years I finally decided to commit to getting it done.  I don't know if I'll run it in the future.  In theory I'd love to, but it seems to be a busy weekend so we'll take it one year at a time.  Ideally I shouldn't have even run it this year as it was the best day for me to leave on my vacation.  I decided to plan around it though.  Since this was going to be the last year for race directors, Nick & Tracy (friends of mine) I had to make it happen.  I felt like I was running to honor them & the time they put into this great community!!

I knew it was going to be a nice muggy morning, something I was not looking forward to.  And, I will admit that I had looked up previous years finishing times to get a general feel of how fast times had been.  Of course, you never know what speedy person will show up, but I got the general feel that I actually had a shot at winning this race.  I'm not going to lie, that would be cool & I even envisioned how that might look.  Keeping with reality though you never know what will happen on race day or, as previously mentioned, who might show up.  At the last minute I heard of someone who might be good competition and also saw that a local cross country standout was running her first half marathon.  I wasn't counting my chickens just yet.

For the first time ever I had signed up to run for a team & help raise money for them.  Team Asha for Life Community is a organization started by some local community leaders & business man.  It was an honor to participate on behalf of this team.
 A BIG THANK YOU to Sarah R., Nancy, Nikki, Sarah B., Deanna for not only supporting me in my efforts, but Asha as well!!

One of the nice things about a local race is being able to roll out of bed an hour before the event and make it there in just a few minutes.  I had been up late the night before packing & getting ready for the race so getting as much sleep as possible was nice.  But, then again, when you know you have a race (and big vacation plans right after) who can sleep really well anyway?!?!  (Racers know exactly what I'm talking about!).  After the team picture, one last stop at the porta potty (for a smaller race they had plenty of them) and it was time for the gun to go off.

Ready to Start

They start the 5k and the half marathon at the same time so there is a lot of people at the start, but after 1.5 miles it thins out really quick.  There were 394 finishers in the 5k and  177 in the half marathon.  The first few blocks of the race have a few turns to get us out of the downtown area then there are long stretches at a time.  I started out toward the front of the pack.  I don't like to be caught up behind lots of people.  But I had to be careful to not take pace with the front 5kers who tend to be more speedy.  That's always the trick with me, one I haven't mastered; having a good solid pace, but not going out too fast.  I usually err on the side of caution and take it slightly easy.

After the 5k turn off and things thinned down I was the lead female until about mile 5.  I was feeling pretty good.  Not awesome, it's my best race ever, but not bad in any way either.  Again, I was really holding back to make sure I didn't completely fade out.  It was also pretty warm and really muggy!  I felt like I had to play it smart.  Of course, I always think like that then later wish I had pushed harder.  At about mile 5 another female runner passed me and took the lead by about 30 seconds.  For most of the race I was not far behind her.  I had never met this person before, she had come from Boulder, CO and has a coaching business She Does Tri.  When I picked up my race packet the day before I noticed she was a sponsor listed on the shirt so I asked my friend Tracy about her.  (I also looked up her finishing time from last year & knew this was my competition).  From my point of view it appeared she had a man pacing her.  When they passed I could hear him "coaching" her and he constantly turned around to look at, what I presumed to be, me.....her competition.  I kept them close and secretly hoped that maybe she'd hit the wall or something and I'd be able to come back & get her.  That sounds so awful to say, but I really mean it in a nice, simply strategic, kind of way.  Hello, I didn't come out to take 2nd on purpose.  Of course, neither did she.

From mile 5 to 10 (or so) there is very little to no shade and lots of looooong country roads.  Or at least it seems like it.  I felt myself slow a little at mile 5 when I was passed, but nothing too drastic (15 seconds) and held on to that pace until mile 8.  That's when I really felt the heat & humidity hit me & I slowed down to an 8 minute mile.  (don't laugh....for me, that's a pretty slow race pace!!).  By then 1st place runner was well ahead of me and I just went into finish mode.  Those last miles seemed long and slow.  Even when I hit the last mile I didn't have much in me to finish hard and strong.  At least not yet, I felt so overcooked that I was still concerned that too much too soon would do me in.  Not until I made my final turn did I kick it into gear.  I was welcomed with a sea of friends, fans and supporters.  Thinking about it just now actually brings me to tears.  I live in a really great community with a lot of wonderful people.  They all treat me like I'm a rock star Olympic athlete (which we all know if far from the truth) and love me for all my quirkiness!  I was met with waves of clapping and screaming as Galesburg's own 6packmomma finished as 2nd overall.

Photo credit:  Register Mail, Steve Davis

Despite being really hot & tired and feeling disappointed when I saw the clock, I still had my usual spunk in me to raise my hands and give a holler of joy.  A huge thank you to Steve Davis who took this picture.  I didn't even see him when I finished, but I'm not surprised he was there to capture such an epic moment in my day!!

I finished with a time of 1:40:55.  Such a disappointing time, but it is what it is.  I say that in only a way I can.  I know that every single person whom I personally know & supports me raves about it being the best finish ever.  I know I have a lot to be proud of, but for me this is not my best.  So it comes with a grain of salt.  Anyway, I was met at the finish line by Krista, who placed 1st.  So sweet of her to hug & congratulate me.  Of course, that is one of the great things about runners.  Sure, we want to beat each other, yet at the same time we love & support each other....even if we've never met before. 

Here are my final stats:
16/177 overall
2/96 females
2/39 age group 30-39, turns out Krista was also in my age group.  Due to overall awards I was completely bumped out of my age group which allowed my friend Elizabeth to place 1st.
With Elizabeth & our awards

I don't know how many actual Galesburg finishers there were, but I was the 1st Galesburg female & my buddy Jason was 1st male.  We were awarded prizes for this category.  They also award 3 deep overall so I was also given awards for that.  Not only did I get 2 nice trophies, but I got double the winner swag with 2 very nice leather Saucony leather bags and hats that were imprinted with the race logo on it.

Overall, it WAS a really good day!!