Sunday, January 13, 2019

I Need A Break (WW # 180)

Wendy and I host this linkup for
the sole purpose of supporting active women.
We thank you for linking your 

I'm taking a breather this week and handing the reins over to the delightful and vivacious Kim from Kooky Runner.  Please check out Kim's blog and follow along as she works to smash the impressive goals she has set for 2019.

I'll be back next Sunday with a race recap of the Mobile Half Marathon.   As always, we appreciate you linking with us right here on the Weekly Wrap.  Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Looking Ahead...or Not (WW # 179)

Happy New Year Weekly Wrappers!

Wendy and I host this linkup for
the sole purpose of supporting active women.
We thank you for linking your 


Although it seems to work well for most everyone I know, I'm not a fan of planning too far ahead any more.  Back in the day, I'd plan and research...and plan some more.  I don't set official goals or New Year's resolutions.  I could never understand -- if something is wrong, why would you wait until January 1st to do anything about it?
CHEERS to the New Year!

Of course, general ideas form throughout the year of new adventures to try, places to visit, races to enter, or even unpleasant chores to finally tackle.  But one reason I don't push those REGISTER or BOOK NOW buttons well in advance is that it takes away my ability to be spontaneous.  You never know what opportunities will pop up throughout the year.  That can also be said for injuries, unfortunately.  These days, I'm more go with the flow and have no shame in signing up last minute.

Next weekend, I'm meeting Wendy, Teresa and Karen for Mobile's half marathon.  After limiting my running for a month, I still have a pain in my ass.  Literally.  There may be more walking than running for me.  I've been under a lot of stress lately, so more than anything I'm looking forward to spending time with the girls.

While it was dirt cheap, I registered for my hometown half marathon in March.  That's all the races I have on my calendar so far.  Unfortunately, for a while my racing will be dictated by my sore bum.

In other news, we will be moving to a lake home in a few weeks.  This will occupy (and has already occupied) the majority of my time for a while.  If I never see another cardboard box, it will be too soon.  [If anyone is interested in guest hosting the Weekly Wrap, please send me an email.]  I'm ready to be settled so I can get back to a routine; even if it's a different one.  Side note: you're not going to believe the hills in my new neighborhood!  EEK. 

We hope to go snow skiing in Colorado with the college kids for Spring Break; an unbelievable, mere 9 weeks away.  I'm very excited about that.  That's as far as my ideas go for now...

And that's a wrap!

What are you looking forward to most in the upcoming weeks?

Do you have your whole year planned out?

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Looking Back at 2018 (WW # 178)

It is so hard to condense a year into one post.  I tried!  And I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting something noteworthy.  While it was amazing year spending time with family and friends, of new adventures, of race-cations and more -- I certainly had my share of struggles as well.  I hope you'll hang tight as I take a peek at the highlights. 

***  WINTER  ***

The year began with a January day trip with gal pals to Mobile for the First Light Half Marathon.  It was the coldest race I've ever run with a feels like of 17 degrees.  I was surprised to place in the Grandmasters category with a 2:08.  I followed that a few weeks later with the always hilly but always beautiful Callaway Gardens Half Marathon.   I won a beer stein for my efforts in their small turnout.

Having fun with expo props at Mercedes
with Wendy and Val (#icecreamrunner)

Wendy and I joined forces in February for the Mercedes Half Marathon.  After first reporting a chance of snow and cold temps, that eventually morphed into warm and muggy with heavy rain.   You know we had tons of fun but we still talk about that awful humidity.  It will forever be the Litmus Test to compare all other races {At least it wasn't as bad as Mercedes!}.  I suffered horrible cramps which carried over to my next race.

Enjoying post run fare with Laurie and Kaye

The Montgomery Half Marathon came next.   It's always fun connecting with local running friends. but I was again plagued with cramps.  Humidity always does a number on me.  At least it wasn't as bad as Mercedes.  [See how that works?]

***  SPRING  ***

Late March found me in Gatlinburg, TN where I hiked with our middle son in the stunning Great Smoky Mountains. Over two days we traversed through water, mud, ice and snow for a total 17.2 miles with an ascent (and corresponding brutal decent) of 5,505 feet.  OOF.  We then spent time in Chattanooga where I shuffled my sore post-hiking body through the Raccoon Mountain Half Marathon and he the 10k.  The course was sadly mis-marked and short of the half distance. However, we received a real coonskin cap and other great swag.

I went on to run the Centerpoint Half Marathon in April and felt my time of 2:06 was an improvement over the way I had been running so far in the year.  I  placed second in my age group in this small town race.

Marathon Training in the backwoods Florida heat.

A trip to the beach soon after found me in full marathon training mode.  After a 16 miles weekend run there followed by a 17 mile weekend run at home, I ran the Tear Drop Half Marathon.  Since I had chosen this course for downhill speed work for my upcoming downhill marathon, I ran with no rest or taper. BOOM!  I was thrilled with a 1:58+ and replaced a PR set back in 2014.

Holy Crap!  I DID IT.

I finished marathon training in May clocking my final two long runs of 18 and 20 miles.  I ran our local Jubilee 8k as one final chance for speed training.  After an awful performance in summer-like conditions, I was left wondering how on earth I would get through 26 miles in just a few short weeks.  We also celebrated our last son's high school graduation.  Soon, we would be official empty nesters.

***  SUMMER  ***

June found me high atop Colorado's Rocky Mountains at 10,507 feet for a PR attempt on REVEL's downhill marathon course.  Having snow skied a few times and run a half marathon in CO, I knew the risks of high altitude.  I crossed the halfway timing mat with a pleasing 2:05 and then suddenly became very ill.  I was able to finish in 4:48 with more walking than running during the last half.  Teresa and I had been trapped in transportation hell with little sleep, perhaps triggering the altitude sickness, but rest assured -- there was plenty of giggling over the weekend.

I flew from Denver to sea level on the Florida panhandle where I did not move from my beach chair for a few days.  I was eventually able to slowly shuffle around and enjoyed kayaking with the family in beautiful Holmes County Creek.  We swam in the crystal clear springs.

Go AUM Green!

With a nasty lingering illness as we traveled to watch our grandson's baseball team advance from City to Regional to State Playoffs (and later on to the Dixie Youth World Series) it was soon time for the Chicago Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon in July.

On the streets of Chicago with Marcia & Wendy.

It poured buckets of rain in Chicago and my endurance was sorely missing from being sick and under trained.  But, it was a wonderful opportunity to re-connect with fellow blogging friends and finally meet feels-like-we've-already-met friends too.

Kim, Linda, Wendy, Deborah, Sara, Michelle, Kim
Marcia, Me, Susie (& Lindsey not pictured) enjoyed a lovely brunch.

After Wendy graciously hosted my visit to Chicago, I returned the favor as she came to water ski in August.   It's a rare treat to ski in tandem!  We enjoyed a couple of days of skiing, pool shenanigans, back porch swinging and even a little running too.

Always looking for new ways to have fun, I threw in a Coosa River Adventure complete with rapids and tipped kayaks (OK OK, that was just me).  It was so much fun that I repeated the adventure with my sons and sister.  We began to prepare our home of over 19 years to be placed on the market; thinking this would be a great empty nest diversion.  Little did I know how stressful that would be.

***  FALL  ***

After a slow start, I packed a lot of waterskiing into late summer.  September's final weekend found me on my last run of the season.  We continued to stay busy throughout early fall viewing lake properties and readying our own house for sale...and watching college football.   ROLL TIDE 

While upping my base mileage from a low summer season, I ran my first 5k of the year in October and another in November, both rewarding me with age group wins.   I wanted to run more 5ks but we had heavy rain most weekends this fall.  I felt strong in our city's Capitol 10 Miler and hoped it would translate well to my first half marathon of our racing season.

Although very festive, December's Candyland Half was disappointing.  Those hills never stopped coming and my aging body simply hurt the whole time.  It still does.

We've received several offers on our home recently and as the year winds down, we've contracted with a buyer.  We will be starting a new chapter.  There will be new roads to run,  mountainous hills to conquer on foot and bike, many slalom sprays to make, and other water adventures too.  Most importantly...we hope to make many wonderful memories with family and friends.

And that's a wrap!

Happy New Year Weekly Wrappers!

Wendy and I host this linkup for
the sole purpose of supporting active women.
We thank you for linking your 

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Happy Holidays (WW # 177)

You'll find no wrap up here today
I'm just stopping by to quickly say

As this year comes to an end
It's time to cherish family and friends

I hope your holiday is joyful...bright
The things you wish for, soon in your sight

Mailbox greetings I send to you
Wishing happiness, health, a PR or two

But most of all I'd like to say
Have a Merry Christmas Day!


Wendy and I are taking a break to spend time with our families.  However, we've opened the link for those who wish to share posts with one another.  Next week, please feel free to link your yearly recaps here on the Weekly Wrap.  These can either be in place of your normal weekly post or in addition to it.  

Happy Holidays!

Wendy and I host this linkup for
the sole purpose of supporting active women.
We thank you for linking your 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Bling in 2018 (WW # 176)

Since I won't be running another race until January, it felt like the right time to wrap up my year in bling. Even though I ran a few other races of varying lengths, I'm devoting this post to the medals earned at the half and full marathon distances.  .

This is nothing but a quick [shameless] show me the medal post.  One can never have enough bling -- or so they say.   I'll be reviewing my year a little later.  I've linked each medal with its corresponding race recap if you are interested in reading more detail.  Please feel free to post your Yearly Wraps here on the Weekly Wrap as we wind down the year.

First Light Half Marathon (#50)

The medals and awards were hand crafted by adults with disabilities.

Callaway Gardens Half Marathon (#51)

A beautiful but hilly run deep in the Georgia woods.  It's a favorite race I keep on repeat.

Mercedes Half Marathon (#52)

This was the pinnacle of humbling humidity.
 But, it's always a fun time when Wendy and I are together.

Montgomery Half Marathon (#53)

Calf cramps get me every year at this race.  This year was no exception.

Raccoon Mountain Half Marathon (#54)

This was an add-on to a hiking trip with middle son.
Not even measuring 12 miles, it became the half that wasn't.

Centerpoint Half Marathon (#55)

Running this race several times in a neighboring town,
I'd never placed...until this year - with my worst finish.

Tear Drop Half Marathon (#56)

Run smack in the middle of marathon training, I was blessed with a shiny new PR!

REVEL Rockies Marathon (#4)

I hoped to set a marathon PR, but the high altitude had other ideas for me.
Teresa and I had fun but spent our weekend trapped in transportation hell.

RnR Chicago Half Marathon (#57)

The one where it rained and rained and rained...
Meeting so many blogging friends made this race all worthwhile!

Candyland Half Marathon (#58)

Although a last minute substitution, this race was big on Christmas cheer.

And that's a wrap!

Do you have a favorite medal or race experience from 2018?

Wendy and I host this linkup for
the sole purpose of supporting active women.
We thank you for linking your