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Hello, It’s Me.

23 Sep

Once upon a time, I thought, “hey! I’ll write a blog! It’ll be great for accountability and I’ll meet new people and…it’ll be great!”

So here I am.

 

But haven’t been terribly consistently accountable.

I *think* I might be getting close to organized enough in the other areas of my life to jump right back in – and hopefully, to even eventually share some of the awesome things I’ve done so far this year but never posted. We’ll see. No promises, right?

And now it’s coming up on Fall Race Season – you know, that time of year when I spend several weekends either travelling somewhere to run or running at home (mostly the former though). Last year wasn’t completely disastrous. Until I got to the end of October and then beat myself up – privately of course – for my horrible performance at Marine Corps Marathon.  I swore that I would never again run a marathon without doing the training.

Well. For the last 2 months I HAVE been doing the training. Mostly. Yeah. I started late, missed a couple of the shorter long runs and more than a couple of the short mid-week runs.

But I’m hitting the road. And the treadmill. Ya’ll I did FOURTEEN miles on a treadmill when the temps were over 100 a few weeks ago. I ran nearly every day when I visited my dad at the end of August. Usually around noon. In Texas where, again, it was pretty darn hot. But it all felt good!!

Now I’m 36 days away from my redemption at MCM – and feeling confident that I won’t repeat last year’s mess. Because I’m spending a lot of time with hills. BIG hills

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Just an example of how things are running at home….this from my 18 miler turned 19.5 miler last week….

I’m kind of being helped along by a couple of changes being made by the Marines due to some logistical difficulties this year. The Guantlet and The Bridge have both been moved up by a couple of miles so SCORE! And, as I mentioned, I’ve actually done some training this year.

But before then, I have a few other things on my plate –

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Tomorrow is the Hogsback Half Marathon – I discovered this one on the Twitters when someone mentioned the great post-race feast and I’m glad I did. It’s a fairly small event, with a gorgeous course – seriously, no part of this course is ugly! – great post-race festivities. And, they offer an early start for us slower folks which is really nice because you’re finishing with #allthepeople and not straggling in

After that, starting in October, there is the Hartford Half Marathon – I did this one once before I moved to CT. A few years back they changed the course and this will be my second year running the new course. This is another fun post-race – particularly the Mile 27 Beer Garden (the Hartford Marathon Foundation also offers a full on the same day) and the longest drinking fountain ever! Instead of bottled water, you get a water bottle which is pretty awesome.

The following week I will be travelling to the Sweetest Place on Earth. That’s not a typo! I’m heading to Hershey PA for the Hershey Half Marathon. This will be my third time running this one and one that I plan to keep on my must-do list for as long as I can. I mean, great swag and fresh chocolate at mile 12? Yes please!  A few of my friends are planning to run this one as well which adds to the great weekend!

Then. Dun dun dun….it’ll be time to head down to DC and #runwiththeMarines. I’m not out to set records, but I am out to do the best I can. And again, lots of friends running this one as well but I will probably spend most of the 26.2 on my own. Laser like focus right? And I have a plan…

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My MCM Race Day plan – based on the original timing

My plan – for all of my events coming up but most especially for the Marathon – is to stick with the intervals I’m training with. No funny stuff!! And really work on not taking off so “fast” and holding back the first few…or first 10-15 miles.

Run my own race, work towards the goals I’ve written down. Trust myself. I’ve done it before and I can do it again, right?

Did Someone Say Chocolate?

12 Nov

Playing catch-up again!!!
So, in a nutshell…

Hershey Half Marathon – a fun, cold chocolate and friend filled weekend!

Marine Corps Marathon – a fun, friend filled weekend with a fairly disappointing race

Wine and Dine Half Marathon – seriously. At Disney again with my Ohana?! It’s a win-win situation!!

Up first –

Hershey Half Marathon

After running this for the first time last year (review of last year’s adventure is here!) I’m pretty sure it’s going to become an annual event – I left work early that Friday (what? You didn’t realize I was working again?! Hah! Well, there’s a story there too!) and headed over to PA with my trusty sidekick

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He doesn’t really have a triangle coming out of his head!

My friends Jennifer and Mark were going to be at Disney the week prior to the half, coming home that Saturday and Jenn very graciously offered my their house so I could avoid hotel costs. We got to their house around 7 Friday evening and settled in with snacks I’d brought from home.

Saturday was expo and HersheyPark day and I was hoping to run into a few friends.

This year they moved the expo over to the stadium, outside. In the cold wind. And I’m not sure why but the crowds seemed much heavier this year – there was a wait in line to get bibs and then a separate wait in line to get shirts/swag. And as you can expect there were some complainers in the crowd!

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I picked up my swag and shirt

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And also a pair of BondiBand compression socks since I’d forgotten to pack some of those! Then it was time to head into the park…

Where I ran into the Grace clan and joined them on a couple of rides before heading out to get my long awaited Phillie Cheese steak over fries that I loved so much last year!! Which worked perfectly since my new pre-race carb load dinner has become very meat and potato centric in the last 4-5 years.

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Race belt makes an appearance so that I have a place to store the chocolate from the chocolate mile 😀

I got my clothes all laid out, and everything I was going to need for 13.1 the next morning and got into bed. I expected the family to come home in the wee hours and wanted to get in a few ZZZZs before they did.

Before I knew it my alarm was going off and it was time to get up and dressed. And I had hoped to get Phred out for a walk before I took off. As I was heading out the door, Jennifer, Mark, Brian and cousin Roger came in so I happily left Phred in Bri’s capable hands 🙂

 

Unlike last year I expected the traffic and left early enough to avoid it. I was, however, unable to avoid the cold wind! There had been talk of us all meeting up pre-race but the only person I managed to find was Cannon (on account of he’s so tall and was wearing his purple Dopey cap!) and once we entered the starting area we split up so he could get to the front of the line where he belongs!

Things started on time and the course was as I remembered. Which is to say, hilly – but gorgeous with great crowd support where needed. And, as last year, my favorite part was running through the Milton Hershey School grounds – those kids are all completely awesome!!

The chocolate mile this year was Hershey Kisses! And, spoiler alert, so was the medal!!

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I finished up with a decent time but not great…and headed back to the house to take a quick shower and get on the road home.

It was great to see Jennifer and Mark, even though it was a very brief visit and, as always, a nice visit with the chocolate 😀

I was looking forward to heading back out the next weekend for my Fifth Marine Corps Marathon – I’d be running with friends for the first time and was sure we would have an awesome time. Plus I’d get to see my Disney Ohana again!!

 

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