Tuesday, November 29, 2011

OBX running

I keep trying to figure out what it is I want to say about my weekend of solo running on OBX (Outer Banks of North Carolina).  It wasn't a stellar run.  The air was sweet though.  Blog worthy.

It was a beautiful day.  There was no blast of wind in my face to discourage me, and yet, I wasn't feeling it.

The green was still green and the sky was still blue.  I saw runners and cyclists.  Surfer dudes and fishermen in giant diesel coughing pickup trucks.  The roads were my only option.  It is hunting season.

The watchful lady looked over me with her solitary eye.  I ran from shaded roads to blinding sun and back again.  I was scolded by Canadian Geese, probably because I'm a southern girl, but you never know with geese.  They don't seem very discerning.

And I ran into a deer friend of mine.  Literally, within feet of him.  If I'd been insane, I could have reached out to touch his chestnut coat.  He was magnificent.  I heard him make a low woofing sound of air as he took me in.  The wet black nose flared, and his wide eyes widened.  I'm pretty sure he's telling his deer wife about the magnificent human runner he met on the road.  As I slowly extracted my phone from my pocket for a photo he jumped two graceful bounds that covered about 20 feet, and then he stopped, posing for the camera.  His gaze said, "So are you going to take it, or what?"

I took the photo, and then we both ran on.

I dropped past Shutter Up and ate a small piece of banana and took some water, but it wasn't quite enough.

Or perhaps too much.

Within a few more miles I was done, and I headed for the shower.  Initially, I thought I wasn't strong enough to finish.

And then I shrugged off the mantle of guilt and said, "this kind of thinking is unproductive".

I went back to eating too much pie, drinking margaritas and enjoying the time I get with my father at the beach.  Because some things are worth feeling guilty about, and dropping off a solo vacation run just isn't one of them.

Besides, I told myself on Saturday, It's not like you're training for a marathon or something.  You're just running.  A lot.

~savor the run~

Thursday, November 24, 2011

21 Random Facts: GBA_gf

I was tagged by TMB @ Racing With Babes to post 21 random facts about me me me.  Seems like all I do is talk about myself, but ~ what'ev, it's my blog~.

Richmond marathon '11
 1. CORE 4:  I run with a lot of strong women.  But there are 4 of us who just fit together like a puzzle.  We're all very different, from our ages to our upbringing, but we love to run.  And that love & purity for our sport, plus the understanding that "this isn't a game" and that "any competition you have is really with yourself", is ingrained in us.  Together we're pretty much unstoppable.

 2.  NAME SAKE:  My family's roots are in Virginia.  Very very much so.  My Grandmother is a fried green tomatoes, bacon, fried apples and fried okra kind of woman.  So my entire life I believed I was named for the beautiful state in which I was born.  Uh, Grandma Hannah informed me a few years ago, I was, in fact, named for VMI.  ~um~ sure, why not.

snow run!
and yes, I'm in a skirt
 3.  RUN AWAY, RUN AWAY!:  I love Monty Python, but more than that, I love to run OUTSIDE no matter the weather.  Snow?  No problem.  Cold rain?  Absolutely.  115 degree heat index?  Sure, why not...  So, don't ask me to join you at the Y on a dreadmill "run".  I will be busy that day.  Unless you plead your case really well or are particularly hot and there are mirrors.  And a bribe doesn't hurt either...

 4.  SINGING THE BLUES:  After my marathons I'm typically shut down with a short term depression that promotes some beautiful writing.  And crankiness.  But this year, I didn't have that.  I didn't have time.  I was sick.

 5.  OFF KEY:  Actually, I used to sing.  I had enough talent that I ~ yeah ~ ok, I didn't suck.  But at a young age I suffered a serious ear infection that left me unable to hear myself very well, and I lost my Mo-Jo.

 6.  COWBOY UP:  When I was in highschool I worked on a ranch wrangling horses.  I wore a western hat, long sleeved shirts, and jeans 90% of my time.  I didn't wear skirts.  Couldn't stand them.  ~irony~.  I bottle fed calves, mended fences, and was on a horse for about 4 hours a day/5 days a week during that time in my life.  It didn't suck.

 7.  FASTINISTA:  Imagine what your reaction would be if Sarah Bowen Shea of Run Like A Mother: The Book called and asked for an interview for the magazine article she was writing for Runner's World on women's running fashion?  Yeah, well, I wasn't NEARLY that cool in real life.

 8.  BQ or DQ:  A few years ago a woman posing as my running coach told me I could never be a fast runner and that I could never qualify for Boston.  I stupidly believed her and have always told people I was never interested in a BQ.  Only, you know what?  I ran a 37:41 8K this year.  That sort of performance suggests to me that maybe, just maybe, I've been selling myself short.  So for the record:  One day I'm going to Boston.

 9.  BADA** IN LEVELS:  me ~ "I hung out and chatted with Bart Yasso tonight... I think that makes me a little bit bada**."  Q ~ "Tonight, you are a little bit bada**, on Saturday, you're going to be Galactically BadA**".  Oh, that Saturday, I totally was....  Anyway, my initials are gf, as in Girl Friend.  Thus, GBA_GF.

10.  BFF:  Speaking of Bart Yasso, he actually claims me on Twitter as his BFF.  And Facebook.  And at the San Francisco Marathon/Half Marathon.  So... I guess, yeah, I'm Bart Yasso's BFF.  You're jealous.

11.  PLAYGROUP DYSMORPHIA:  I started running because I was jealous of all my friends who were runners.  They seemed convinced that "I could do this too".  I kept running because we made a habit of "running playgroup".  That is, we would meet for a BOB run, and then let the kids play afterward.  Life was good.  Eventually we were just running with out the playgroup.  Poor kids rarely even get to play anymore....

12.  HEY WAKE UP!:  Hey Wake Up is a Sandra Boynton book.  I love her books.  Particularly But Not the Hippopotamus.  I also get up freakishly early.  I am comfortable with  a little less than 6.5 hours of sleep a night.

13.  FITS OF LOVE:  Bike fit is everything.  I never believed that until I believed it.  Believe it.  I owned a stupid brand new pink schwinn for over a year and rode it about 5 times... I bought a TREK sl1000 used and rode it about 5 times in the first 5 days I owned it.

14.  WEIRD HOBBIES I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR:  I love to decorate cakes.  I don't have time to do that.  I love to draw.  I don't have time to do that.  I love to write.... I make time for that one.

15.  WRITE STUFF:  On a whim I submitted something to a publication this year in April.  I'm now a regular contributor for a local running publication and I LOVE IT.  It's just the right amount of writing for me.  There's no pressure.  And the people who run the magazine seem to rather enjoy my articles, so that's nice too.

16.  BACK IN BLACK:  I'm not elite.  I can run though.  Still, when the advanced "black" team coach asked me to join them this year for a day, I wasn't sure it was a good idea.  Turns out it was one of the smartest things I did in 2011.  My Advice To All My Readers - sometimes it's a good idea, once in a while, to go run with people who are much, much, faster than you are...  Trust me on this one.

17.  OBX.  I go to the OBX the way some people go to the grocery store.  Yeah, like frequently for small trips.  But I love it there.

18.  I DON'T CAMP.

19.  PHOTO FINISH!  My finish photo from Suntrust Richmond Marathon this year should be an advertisement for Lululemon, Brightroom photography, and the Suntrust Richmond Marathon.  I mean seriously, who looks like that after running 26.2 miles?

20.  RUNNERS ARE WEIRD:  I came to this conclusion a while back.  Runners are weird.  We will talk about anything, whether it's appropriate or not.  Many are socially awkward.  Some are geeks.  Some are nerds.  Some are safety Nazi's.  But weirdness abounds.  Even the coolest runners are a little weird.  I get up at 4:30 almost every day so I can run before the sun "wakes up".  who does that?  A weird person, that's who.

21.  ~SAVOR THE RUN~:  I could write 10,000 words about why I say ~savor the run~.  Or I could write 3.  "I love running".  The truth is, I love to run so much that I wish I could taste it, let it melt on my tongue, let it slide down to the back of my mouth so that the flavor assaults my senses.  I would want to smell it first though, to get a hint of what was to come.  For that matter, I might look at it on my plate and just admire the vibrant colors.
I have a sensitive stomach and I'm allergic to shellfish.  If I'd known that mousse would make me sick every time I ate it, I might have really savored that first and last taste.  If I'd known I would become deathly allergic to shellfish out of the blue, I would have slowed down and enjoyed that last bite of lobster.  I would have eaten slowly because that was the last bite I would ever get.  Sometimes I think we're (Americans in general) very focused on getting to the next thing.  We're impatient as a society.
I try to be in each moment for as long as possible while I'm running.
Do I savor every run?  No, not a chance, but I think it's an ideal I can strive toward.

Now I am supposed to TAG 10 bloggers - forgive me if you've been tagged, I'm a little behind on my reading!

Alex @ Tales of an Iron Housewife
Rene @ Amherst Shuffle
Jen @ Setting you Free
Mer @ Thereputic Runnings of a Mom
Red @ CAUTION:  Redhead Running
Chris @ Heavy Steps

Shanz @ Shanz1913's 
Pam @ Life Began at 30
Jenny @ Small Beginnings

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Seriously, I *think* this is my last follower racing this month... If I'm wrong or I missed someone, my apologies... 

Carrie is running her first Half marathon on Thanksgiving.

I'm proud of her.

She trained smart.
She listened to her body.
She's going to FREAKING ROCK.

Own.every.mile. Carrie.  You only get to run your first Half Marathon once.  Believe in yourself.  Savor EVERY moment.  Half Crazy, or Half Sane, you're in good company.

Taper Island will be lonely without you!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Short Cuts

I wasn't struck down with the Post Marathon Blues this year.

In truth I think I was so devastated by how the race went that my depression started at mile 17.5 of the race, and had a chance to fully burn off by about 3 days after.  That's not to say that I am not still a little sad about how things turned out... but on the other hand, how could I possibly be sad about the marathon?  It was a beautiful day, 100 of my friends ran it, the people I love finished strong and all are healthy & whole.

I ran alone today.  It was ~savor~.

But it wasn't easy.  I didn't bother looking at my watch, I just ran.  in the dark.  I was meeting some friends about 45 minutes into my run, and I contemplated cutting my mileage short to make sure I had time to get there.  Instead I just picked up the pace.

If I cut the mileage, I would have known.  It would have bugged me all day.  I *should've* run the rest would play in my brain.  And then there would be guilt.  Ah, guilt.  How I loathe thee.  What runner doesn't suffer from some kind of guilt now and again?

Of course, we've all heard of the runner blogger who skims a few miles off her marathon ever year.  I don't really know why she does it.  It makes me sad because in all truth, she's a lovely girl.  Super nice, and full of the qualities we all enjoy in a friend.  The last time I saw her though, I thought she looked a little guilt ridden. Her eyes looked haunted, and she seemed fake.

I wish I'd had the guts to pull her aside and say, we like you.  You're a great girl.  You're too fabulous for words and not because you raise money for (insert charity here), but because you are fun, and funny, and deep down inside I know you have a good heart.  You're going to be a success at whatever you do...  so if you don't want to run the whole 26.2 miles, then don't.  But don't register for it either.

I wish I'd said that because I know what it's like to pine for a short cut so you can get your goal.  Oh, I admit - I thought about it.  I know Richmond like the back of my hand.  At any point I could have made a turn, a cut, a loop, and boom - I could have "run" a brag worthy marathon time.  I would have surely done a sub 4.  Hell, probably could've eked out a BQ in all that.

Of course I didn't do that.

Not because someone might have seen me and asked.  Because that's so unimportant.  I would have known.  I would have seen me.  And at the end of the day, I am the only one who matters to me.  My 4:26:and change isn't brag worthy, but I own that time.  I have to, it's mine.

And maybe that's where my redemption for Richmond marathon will be found too.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Philly Edition of Taper Island

Taper Island.

Well, just cos my exhausted and way over stimulated self is off the island, doesn't mean it's a vacant piece of property.  Let's hear it for Allison - Running Philly 26.2!

Also, a Those People are off to run Philly too.  Coach Black, there's nothing I can say to help you have a great race....  just Try not to Suck, be in the moment, and ~savor the run~.  I think I heard a rumor that Mrs Black is also registered?  So if that's correct, run well Mrs. Black!

Congrats runners...  go, be epic.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

a.k.a. when it all goes to h*ll despite all the training

What happens when you train for something for 20 weeks, and when that day comes, it’s a total cluster f*ck?

That’s how I feel about my race.  

I trained.  I worked hard.  I conducted an experiment of one.  I did my homework.  I kept logs and journals. I know exactly what I ate, when I ate it on every run.  I gu’d, stingered and liquid aided myself for 20 odd weeks.  I did tempo runs.  I did long runs.  I did hot runs.  I ran with people and I ran alone.  I mentally pictured myself on the course.  I crossed on cross days and I rested on rest days…  and …

Nothing I did to prepare myself for the marathon made a difference, because I was sick.

I was sick and I sucked, only, I didn’t know that at the time.  I thought I was just sucking for some reason.

Bad runs happen.  They happen to all of us.  They could happen to anyone at any given time.  I know this.

But somehow, in my mind, I feel like the world was my witness at my suckage.

I guess there are a few ways I could handle this.

1)  I could quit running marathons.  Give them up.  Walk away.  Embrace other distances that are less mentally challenging and physically demanding.  Distances that require less recovery.  And distances that are easily raced.  Not because they’re easy, but because the races are easily found.  If you screw up a 5K, wait till next weekend, they’ll be another one 3 miles away.  For that matter, there are probably 8 to choose from, so you can pick the flattest course or the one with the most spectators or the one that supports the charity you prefer.  And there’s no shame in a 10K.  I think shorter distances are really underrated.  That’s where you gain your speed.  So there you go.  Option 1.  Quit marathons.  Get Faster.

2)  I could find another race to RACE, and figure out if this was an isolated occurrence.  It’s risky.  What if I suck at the next one?  That will be the nail in the coffin.  It could be so mentally crushing that I don’t bounce right back and recover.  Or.  What if I RULE the next one?  What if I own it? Destroy it?  Blow my expectations out of the water, or at the very least, meet the expectations.

3)  I could find another race to run, and see what happens.  Instead of shooting for some UBER GOAL, I could just go for a run and see what happens.

It really comes down to two things.  I am faced with the choice to walk away or to walk on.

Just, the thing is, that the old me… the one you all don’t know... she would have walked away.  She would have said, “well, that sucked, we probably hated running anyway.  Let’s take up roller blading” and that would have been that…   

...and that’s just not who I am any more.

So I will decide what my heart wants to do…

In the mean time, I’m just going to run without any pressure or plan.

~savor the run~

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Photo Finish

The photos from RVA were pretty awesome...   well, the ones that were awesome were awesome.  

mile 21
mile 26.1

can I just say, Young Stephanie & I are seriously bad ass here?  Like, seriously.

finish line!

Congratulations!  Probably one of
the greatest moments of my running life...
so. not. kidding.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

And Then What Happened....

Richmond Marathon Race Report 2011

Slept in a hotel down town with Pixie Green the night before my race (scantily clad pillow fights aside, I slept really well...).  I woke up early and walked to the meet point.  I had connected with a runner on the SunTrust Marathon Facebook Page who needed someone to please pick up his packet.  5 emails and three weeks later, I handed him his race packet on the steps of SunTrust Bank.

I got some pre-race love from SpeeDee.  Connected with the posse.  And got a hug from Coach Black that made me feel down right warm.  At this point, I was pretty sure that TODAY WAS MY DAY. I had a goal, a back up goal, and a basket goal.

In the start corral there was snuggling, it was cozy, Jess & Jodi joined the fun, and we all saw DeNiece “off to find her group”.  It was the last time I would see DeNiece until we finished, and as she walked away I thought – go get it Denise.  Go get that BQ.

Miles 1 – 5 Karasmatic & Q, 3L & KC, & I had way too much fun talking about… well, NOT talking about Lickable Abs, Cycling, and other random sh*t.  There was hazing, razzing, and general love in the air.  I felt PERFECT.  I am certain I drank at least 8 oz. of water in the first 6 miles.  Stingers on schedule.  I felt great, and when it was time to decide on my pace for the next 6 miles, I decided to go for the UBER goal pace.  It wasn't blistering, I run 8:50's all the time.

Saw the fam in the Party Zone at 6, cruised through to the hill at 10.  We held each other in check, I refilled my empty bottle.  There was something on the edge of my mind that wondered why my joints were achy at mile 10.  I brushed it back with a positive thought about not thinking negative thoughts.

Miles 10 – 12 Blair! The KING of Pink Nation. It was GREAT to see him, he has the most epic smile – but I admitted to him, I didn’t feel quite right at this point.  I couldn’t put my finger on the “why” of it.  I dropped back into a slightly more “easy” pace around a 9.  I wasn’t looking at my watch, just running on feel.

So then what happened?  Well, I GOT A HALF MARATHON PR – 1:56:48.

After the half mats I saw Cozy & 3L for the last time and I thought to myself – go get it girls.

Around 14 I had a bad moment where the entire world spun.  This is a distance I normally find pretty easy… so… I was weirded out.  I couldn’t walk a straight line & stumbled a few times.  My head came back to me, and I started jogging.  MTT Coach Val spotted me…  “I’m dizzy”… and so we started walking together.  She was so sweet.  “I had to stop 3 times at Chicago” ~ awe, thanks Val. 

I left her, and turned for the bridge.  I think I was running again, but maybe not.  Who knows, the entire run at this point became a play of "how long can you run before the world spins?" SpeeDee jumped in with me.  I told her that I was chomping down honey stingers and drinking, but something wasn’t on track. 

And then what happened?  “GBA_GF, WHY ARE YOU WALKING?”  And T and I connected again. 

I said, “Oh good, I was waiting for you.”  We left SpeeDee, and I thought, I’m with T now, I’m invincible.

MCM found me on the course at the junk food stop. I was going to refill my hand held.  Uh, that only works if you haven’t lost the lid… so I tossed my hand held away.  Along with my white Nike visor, which, was the enemy at that point.  Not sure why I thought that, but ~ what ev.  Runners are weird.
T, to be honest, I don't remember feeling as strong as we
look right here.

T & I made the turn onto Main Street together.

Oh, and remember that time we made running a marathon look easy?  Yeah, me too.

I gave T a salt pill, and she suddenly couldn’t hang.  Hindsight:  I should have walked with her then.  But I didn’t know how long until my next dizzy spell, so I was afraid to walk when my head was OK.  A bad decision that seemed sane in the moment.

I kept plugging forward until on Main Street at an intersection somewhere near the pastel houses, the Richmond Marathon course actually spun. 
Like, a 360. 
And so when it stopped spinning I was standing on the side of the course with my hands on my knees.  I stood up took two steps, staggered, and reached out as the course spun again.  My hand connected with something metal, the rusty paint bit into my fingers, and I held on for dear life.  I was on the sidewalk, holding a street sign.  When I lifted my head a cop in the intersection pointed at me.  I waved him off and gave him a thumbs up.

I was lying, but ~ runners are weird.

After a minute, I started walking again.  And then jogging again.  Connected with Karen.  And then El.  El gave me her drink & lots of advice.

I made the turn to Boulevard, and then, out of nowhere, Wine Not Whine was with me.  I don’t know how it happened or where she came from.  She ~ shoot I’m all teary thinking back on it ~ she says, “I’m feeling a little super hero formation here…”.  And then Pants Guy joined us for a few steps (Thanks Pants Guy).  So WnW and I made our way to the Party Zone and my head spun again.  I was so happy she looked so strong and amazing as she ran off… and I thought – go get it WnW.

Then I saw H, and said, “hey, it’s not my day.  Its going to take me a while to get there from here”.  I kissed my kids, ate ½ a banana, a salt pill & took a bottle of water.  Got some love from my BFF PAULIE!  (thanks Paulie) Something made me glance back here, and T had caught up.  I waited, we did a GU exchange and T and I, with our bottle of water in hand, set out to finish this race. 

“We’ve run this 100 times.”  Stadium to the Arch.  We saw Cherine (thanks Cherine) and then Illusive at a water stop; (thanks Illusive, you were great).  Into Bellevue, through the arch  (Yeah, Blair, I saw the sign… and Coach Black, was that the Black Team’s sign tacked onto the bottom?) and I let T go… and I thought to myself, “She can still get it… I SO hope she can get it". - go get it T.

I turned my watch screen so it only showed "time of day."  See, I had another spell that stopped me in my tracks and I thought, “Your race is over.  You’re now in survival.  Stop trying to kill yourself and be smart.”    

I walked a water stop keeping strictly to the shade, ate a stinger, and walked while I waited for the spinning to stop.  I started running again at a slow jog with the hopes that I could catch Young Stephanie (who I could see in the distance).  I thought, the sooner you finish, the sooner you can go to bed. 

My head ached.  My body ached.  I was sleepy.  I could not imagine why I felt this way, but I thought, “It’s a marathon, it’s supposed to hurt.”

I saw The White Rabbit on Brook Rd… and when the white rabbit took my hand and said, “com’on you’re running” I started running, and then I ran until Lombardy, AKA, The Lombardy Wind Tunnel.

El, Young Stephane, (me in the back), and Karasmatic
I don’t know if I was walking or running when I heard my BiolaBud (I pretty much love you) with yet ANOTHER Stephanie on the course inviting me to join them.  We picked up some random runners, and ran together past the Lululemon corner(Cheers to you all, you really know how spectate runners).  And then we caught Young Stephanie and gathered her into the fold, and I was determined we were going finish this together.

Chronologically things are a bit blurry.  It was running punctuated by world spinning.  

I looked down Grace and saw a pair of Viking horns. I thought, “oh, I’ve really disappointed Q.”  (hey, we’re honest here on the blog).  I heard his voice all the way down the street, “I thought I’d missed someone!”  He ran back to me and fell in beside me to run with me…  “What happened?”  Not accusatory, more... curiosity.

“Well.  It wasn’t my day. I got dizzy, and walked through the dizzy parts…  I think that added a lot time to my run today.”

He looked/sounded a bit shocked.  “Well, I think it probably subtracted a lot of time from your hospital stay…” I laughed as he continued, “so yeah.  If you run through dizziness they get to scrape you off the ground.”

We chatted a minute and he left me in the capable hands of beautiful Karasmatic! Young Stephanie, Karasmatic, El & I made our way in SUPER HERO FORMATION down the street.

Southern Comfort joined us and I realized:  Today wasn’t my day, but THIS was how it was meant to be.  

I was running in with my posse, I was with 2 of my favorite coaches. We were laughing about my disastrous marathon.  We were laughing, and I can prove it.  (Photo credit to Kty J
And then what happened?  I made peace with my day at mile 26.  It wasn’t my day.  But it was a great day for a run.  And well, we all know how much I love my run.

I have a saying I came up with a few years ago…

“When something goes wrong in a marathon, it doesn't go wrong by 2 minutes.  It goes wrong by 26+ minutes.”

Well I missed my goal by 26+ minutes.

10K 55:57Half 1:56:4820 mile split 3:09:57Chip Time 4:26:19

At the finish, when I connected to H, my son G was laying on the sidewalk “spectating”.  He was asleep in a sunny patch.  Turns out G was pretty sick all day.  

And late last night, after the race, I joined The Vom- Squad complete with fever, chills, & body aches.  So there’s an explanation as to why it wasn’t my day, or an excuse, however you want to look at it.

A few small words on RVA 11

"It's all mental until you pass out.  Then it's physical" ~author unknown~
That's the truest thing I can say about marathoning.  Ever.  Recap coming, I promise, but here are some high points from the weekend on film.  (also, I ran into some formatting issues with Blogger - it doesn't want to play nice).

Neon Coaches with Q
 The MTT pasta-thon was super fun.
Sprint Mint ... which fit into the Scooby Doo inspired
clothing choices.
Q was hazed by one of my favorites ("Nutty")
with the gift of a "new" pair of running shorts
constructed from the NEON flag.

post shake out run Pixies

Friday we met the Posse for bagels
Karasmatic, WnW & Kristi

Back Row - Southern Comfort, WnW, 3L, T, DeNiece, Pixie
Front Row - Kristi, Karasmatic, me, Cozy KC
At the pre-race bagel carb up we connected with pretty much the entire posse.  On Saturday morning I saw every single one of these women on the course at some point.  One in the corral before her EPIC BQ run, several on the course as we connected for a few miles here and there.  I never imagined on Friday how much these women would mean to me on race day.  I know...  silly silly me.  Marathoning brings out the very best in people... and these women are already beyond wonderful.

K.C., T & Pixie Green
wine-not-whine is GBA.

Birch is ... well, it was warm at the expo.

Me, Pixie & T
 Then Pixie & I hit the expo with her friend Bob, and ran into some GBA friends at the expo, which was fun.  Birch was volunteering at an information table with The Man & a few others.

Pam from Life Begins at 30 joined us!
And after that - we headed out of the city to have pasta with the Posse.
me & T's Doodle
oh, and I am married to
this guy.

the posse

We connected with quite a few bloggers,
Setting You Free's - Pixie Green
Life Began at 30 - Pam
Pace of Me - Jess
Racing with Babes - TMB
Long Legs on the Loose - Kayte

and we connected with quite a few locals

 <--- 3L & me!

Earth Mama Mer  --->

And then with a full tummy, Pixie and I went back to the hotel for a pillow fight... for sure that's what happens when two bloggers as HOTT as us share a hotel room, right?  

There's a lot more to this weekend, and EVERY ONE of the women in the photos here had a galactic day, and so that, made it a GREAT day....

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Some Final Marathon Thoughts

There is no such thing as the wall.

Parcheesi is no longer in my vocabulary.

"It's all mental until you pass out.  Then it's physical" ~author unknown~

My bib # is 2297.

Friday, November 11, 2011


No doubt a brain and some shoes are essential for marathon success, although if it comes down to a choice, pick the shoes. More people finish marathons with no brains than with no shoes.
Don Kardong

~savor the run~

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Marathon Takes Dedication

A marathon takes dedication, hardwork, and dedication.

I said dedication twice, because it takes twice as much dedication as hard work.  If you don’t stick to the plan there’s not a lot that hard work can do….

But as I’ve said before, and I’ll say again, this is not that kind of dedication.

I’m probably the luckiest runner in the world.  I have a support system that is enviable, and I would be a fool if I thought I could get to the start line without the help of the people in my life.

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”  ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Mile Marker 1 is dedicated to the man I love.

2 is for my parents.  I'm under the impression that they think I’m a little nuts.  But it would seem they still love me anyway, so that’s nice.

3 is for my 3 Klingons - B’nut, G & C…. My little nut keeps me on my toes, my son inspires me to be ~epic~, and my C is a reminder that fashion is above all other things… form follows function… function follows fashion.

4 is for 4 strong women.  Pink Brooke & her Pink Running Wife.  You two inspire me for reasons I cannot explain in 2 sentences.  and for Ellie - savor every mile.  and for Pam because she knows the meaning of being a good running friend.

Mile 5 is for the ones we lost this year.  I think it's summed up pretty well on this sticker.  ---->

Mile 6 is for, "And then what V?" 

“Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant.” 
― Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes

"Lucky" #7 is for The Witch Dr's MAGIC THUMB.  

Mile 8 is for Birch.  Can I just say I'm so glad I was such a "jerk" that day you were working the SAG?  Thanks for reminding me that it's hot in Texas, to Try Not to Suck, and that I know how to Run like SNOT.

9... nine, feeling fine... and that's probably because I trained for this marathon with an AMAZING Posse.  This mile is dedicated to the YMCA Tuesday Morning Posse of Stephanies, Shannon, & so many others!  And I appreciate them all, even when they're having a tough time.  Miriam is one of my favorites & hot damn she is fast! believe in yourself, I do!  Stephanie, Stephanie & Mustang: embrace the moment and have fun.  Shannon, be a PR, be a PROUD RUNNER.  Kathryn & Kristi - Run Well!  Ga & Kathleen- you're only half crazy, but that's OK!  You've all worked so hard!  And NO ONE who consistently meets for a 5:15am run is any thing less than BADA**.  You ladies ROCK!

10 is for Lion.  It's just nice to know you're out there, quietly supporting and cheering.  And know that I'm doing the same.... all awkward and ~junk~.
me & Coach Black

11 is for Coach Black - because if he'd never invited me, I never would have run with Those People, and it turns out that some of Those People are kinda cool. You People, have a great race!

“What is a teacher? I'll tell you: it isn't someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give of her best in order to discover what she already knows.” ― Paulo Coelho

Mile 12 is for Professor S. (first decide if this is you, or not you, so if n=2, p=.5....).  On Saturday, "Try not to suck."

And Mile 13 is for Professor S.  On Saturday "Savor every moment."  

Mile 14 is for Rene' & Meredith.  One of these days we're going to get to the same state and run together.  It's just going to happen.  Thanks to both of you for being there for me even when you're not... and Mer don't ever doubt it, it stretches from one side of the country to the other....you know what I'm saying.

15 is dedicated to NOT TACKLING THE RED SHIRTS!  ...it's harder than it looks. 

16  is the Lee Bridge.... and it's for SHANZ who was recently quoted as saying, "Don't place a limit on yourself and dont make excuses". Coz that's just how we bada$$ mother runners roll, true?  (that post was more timely than you could possibly know, friend.  thanks.  And by the way my race plan includes making this bridge my b*tch.)

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.” 
― Paulo Coelho

17 I can't see a VCU sign and not think of, Cozy KC.  This mile is for you.  I'm so glad we found each other.

Mile 18 is for The MAN and the coaches of MTT Pink, Purple, Teal, Red, Black, Yellow and Green....  you've inspired me with your wisdom, your wit, and your ability to discuss literature at 5:30am.  Thank you.  *And The MAN, the color is Sprint Mint, incase you need a bottle.......

Cozy, 3L, & GBA gf
19 is for 3L.  imagine a runner at the back of a room.... sweet 3L, you are the next level.  You inspire me to be great.  and Gracious.  And your wisdom stretches far beyond running.  And thanks for being the kind of friend I can call for a Woodbridge pickup.

20 is for DeNiece & Ocean - you two are great neighbor runners.  Run well today.

21 is for SpeeDee.  Because she knows why.  Today there is no such thing as the wall.  VH.
illusive he's not

Mile 22 is for Illusive Dave... who's working on eluding his illusiveness these days, and I'm glad for that.  Dave - BTW - is a freaking awesome wedding date, should you need one of those.

23 is for Karasmatic – because she gets Tequila inspired running, and because she has mad skillz on that road bike.  Thanks for being so unexpectedly wonderful.

24 is for Pixie Green... I can't even find the words...

“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” ― Paulo Coelho

Take up running, it's fun!(even the cranky hot coach thinks so)
25 is for Q... or is that I.Q.?  Or Vinnie? (~gag~).  It's hard to say everything I'd like to say here.  I think I will just go with "Thanks for not being the coach who pats me on the head and tells me what I want to hear... and at the same time, Thanks for being the coach who pushes me a little harder, a little farther, and a little smarter with every word you share with me.".  And was that an STFU?  Because it sure sounded like an STFU...  

Mile 26 is for my running wife, T"It's not Napping, it's Running".  It's supposed to be hard.  If it wasn't, it wouldn't be worth doing.  If I could sum it up in 12 words or less:  "I know a GREAT place for running" & "Are you awake?".  Because honestly there are either no words, or 1200.... but not a whole lot in between.

And the last .2 is for me, because once upon a time, I might have doubted I could run a mile.  

So google purple hair, and the first link says something about "Fun Hair".  And you all know how much I love fun.  So in honor of my sense of fun, and my Scooby Doo inspired race outfit, I had T "fix" my hair.  She's a genius.  It's Freaking amazing.  

My bib is #2297, my hair is purple, my outfit is epic... yes, I am ready.  It's time to run.

galactically bada** = Always epic.
I have a fever... and the only prescription is more cowbell.

“It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” 
― Paulo Coelho, 

~Savor the Run~