Sunday, June 25, 2017

What's Next? (WW # 99)

Go see what exciting things Zenaida is up to!

Our Weekly Wrap Guest Host Series continues strong.  Thanks to all of you for making it a success.  This week's guest host is the lovely Zenaida Arroyo.  Be sure to hop over to her blog and show her some love.  Please do not just drop a post and run.  The sole purpose of this linkup is to support one another.  Our next guest hosts will be Kim @ Running on the Fly on July 2nd and Christine @ Into the Glimmer on July 9th.

Please contact me if you are interested in being a guest host.  There is still one spot available in August. This is a great way to expand your blogging circle or simply make new connections.  To learn more about the Weekly Wrap or being a Guest Host please click HERE.


The aftermath of the Utah Valley Half Marathon at altitude, and let's not forget the 10 plus miles of hiking at altitude the next day,  was a whole week of rest.  Coupled with a long day of delayed flights home, I was spent.  I overslept every morning that first week (ha ha -- I'm actually still doing that).  As this post title implies, I'm contemplating what is next.  

My first run after Utah -- in my new favorite Sarah Marie tank.

The only race I'm currently registered for is Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas and it's not until November.  I'd like to do a fall marathon, but the RnR Vegas date is not working well for that -- unless I choose to do that marathon.  Although the half marathon course runs right down The Strip at night, I hear the marathon course is rather boring.  

Since this is my off season for racing thanks to our southern heat and humidity, I don't plan on doing much training for a few more weeks.  I've got plenty of time for thinking and planning.  I'm just running for fun {if you can call running in oppressive conditions fun} and when I can get up on time work it into my schedule. This week, I managed 3 easy runs for a total of 14 miles.  Shamefully, I have not gotten back on my bike.  And I'm not even sure why.  Laziness?

Of course summertime means as much of this as I can get...

#oldwomenslalom  #watertherapy  #poporocks  #oystersafter

One last thing...major props to the cutest grandson ever and his Allstar little league baseball team for going undefeated in the regional playoffs (and our oldest son as one of their coaches).  They are now headed to the state playoffs.  It is amazing how talented these little guys are!

We are so proud of you two!

And that's a wrap!

Do you have (or take) an off season?

When is the last time you watched a little league game?

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Utah-kin' To Me (WW # 98)

Be sure to stop by and visit with Tara.

Our Weekly Wrap Guest Host Series continues strong.  Thanks to all of you for making it a success.  This week's guest host is the lovely Tara @ Run and Live Happy.  Be sure to hop over to her blog and show her some love.  Please do not just drop a post.  The purpose of this linkup is to support one another.  Our next guest hosts will be Zenaida Arroyo on June 25th and Kim @ Running on the Fly on July 2nd.

Please contact me if you are interested in being a guest host.  There are still spots available in August. This is a great way to expand your blogging circle or simply make new connections.  To learn more about the Weekly Wrap or being a Guest Host please click HERE.


Wow!  Stunning Provo, Utah!  When I left off in Coast to Canyon, I had met fellow bloggers at the expo and we had all dined together Friday night.  It was nice to meet Teresa and Zenaida and reconnect with my #holottafun sisters MarciaMary Beth and Judy.  We made a quick stop at Starbucks for Utah travel mugs and called it an early night.

The 3:10 wake-up came too soon.  I wanted to catch the 4:00 shuttle as they stopped running at 4:30.  I ate my usual oatmeal but carried an extra GU to eat before the start.  Staying minutes from the shuttle parking, in short order I was sitting on the front seat of a school bus for the ride up into the canyons for our point to point race.  .

We had about an hour wait before the start, but chatting with the gang made the time pass quickly.  It was nice to finally meet Kristy who entertained us with stories of her recent Rim to Rim Grand Canyon experience.  There was energizing music playing and fires to keep us warm, but that created smoke that I didn't want to breathe.   We shivered while watching a beautiful full moon set behind the mountains.  It was too difficult to take pictures as my hands were completely numb from the cold.

Can you see the road we ran on?

And we're off... My Garmin recorded 41 degrees.  Both the rising sun and the breeze were at our backs. You couldn't ask for better weather.  I kept an old long sleeve race T-shirt on (split up the middle for easy removal) for about a mile.   The scenery was breathtaking with mountains rising on each side and the road following a rushing stream.  We even ran through a small tunnel.  I could definitely tell I was running at altitude [5338 feet -- I live at 300 feet].  I've done it a few times and felt that old familiar burning in my chest.  My heart rate was too high and I backed off to ensure I'd have some gas at the end. 

The course passed right by Bridal Veil Falls

I had no lofty goals, except to enjoy the race.  I've done nothing but struggle since returning from my latest foot injury.  After slogging through our humid weather for months already, I hoped the dry air would work to my benefit.  The miles felt hard (thank you, altitude) but my body felt strong.  For that, I was grateful.  I relished every downhill step and wished they all could have been that way.

On our trek to Bridal Veil Falls the previous afternoon, we realized there would be some uphill in our "downhill" course.  I was proud of the way I navigated the hills but was floored to see my Garmin display 459 feet of elevation GAIN.  [What the heck?]   For a full perspective, the loss was 1193.  

Almost there!
The up and down occurred mostly in the first 8 miles.  The last 5 were out of the canyon, in warm sunshine and quite flat.  I caught up to the back of the 10k racers and had to do a lot of weaving.  But, I was pleased to  maintain a consistent pace.  At the midway point, I had calculated a 2:08 finish.  After staring at the finish line arch in the distance for what seemed like an eternity...that's what I got. 

Official (and my typical toothless) finish photo!  Time = 2:08:36

This scenic race did not disappoint!  Sharing it with friends? Gravy on the biscuit.  The race pictures were free.  We received a very nice jacket instead of a T-shirt.  The after party was well done with a city of vendor tents and trucks.  Cinnabun, Ice Cream Pops, Strawberry Ice, Italian Bread, and Chocolate Tru Moo were a few items I tasted.  I was sad the band did not start playing during the hour plus we hung around.  It looked like it going to be an all day party -- but other adventures awaited.  The only negative was having to stop and grab my own cups at a couple of aid stations.  Perhaps they needed more volunteers?

Mary Beth, Marcia, Me, Teresa, Zenaida (Thanks for the fun time, girls!)

I asked our middle son to accompany me to Utah since he missed our trip to Colorado.  He sweetly agreed so we were on a mission to pack in as much adventure as we could (we succeeded).  He was a good sport tagging along to dinner with us non-stop gabbing girls every night and happily took on the role of race photographer as well.  I'm including a few pictures of some of the things we did.

We rode two ski lifts to the summit of Robert Redford's Sundance Resort

We zip-lined with Mary Beth, Zenaida and Marcia (photo credit Marcia and Zenaida)
We hiked from Aspen Grove out to Stewart Falls

We make the steep trek up to explore Timpanogos Cave

Utah, thank you for a wonderful adventure! 

And that's a wrap!

Have you explored any caves?  If so, where?

Would you consider a race with 459 of elevation gain to be (up) hilly?

Where is your next adventure?

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Coast to Canyon (WW # 97)

Please stop by and show Kim your support!

Our Weekly Wrap Guest Host Series is off to a wonderful start.  Thanks to all of you for making it a success.  This week's guest host is the lovely Kim @ KookyRunner.  Be sure to hop over to her blog and show her some love.  Our next guest hosts will be Tara @ Run and Live Happy on June 18th and Zenaida Arroyo on June 25th.

Please contact me if you are interested in being a guest host.  There are still spots available in August. This is a great way to expand your blogging circle or simply make new connections.  To learn more about the Weekly Wrap or being a Guest Host please click HERE.


This week started on the coast of Florida and ended in the canyons of Utah.   Stormy weather, tapering (and pure laziness) kept me from running most days.   A lot of this happened...

I did run get out for 5 progressive miles midday on Tuesday.  The breeze made the otherwise warm and steamy conditions quite tolerable and I really enjoyed the beach side run.  Erring on the side of caution, I decided not to run again until race day.  

Friday was travel day.   Our college kid sweetly accompanied me on this trip.  After arriving in Provo, we headed up to Bridal Veil Falls and traversed the steep rocky trails as far as we were allowed.  It was more challenging than we expected but well worth the effort. 

We then headed to the race expo where there were a good selection of vendors (and some very enthusiastic sales people I might add).  Instead of a T-shirt, we received a very impressive and functional lightweight jacket with a thumb hole cuff.

I connected with a few bloggers you may know and we dined at California Pizza Kitchen afterwards.

Judy, Marcia, Mary Beth, Me, Zenaida, and Teresa

I'm saving the race recap and other Utah adventures for another post.  But I'll leave you with this view of the half marathon and 10k runners nearing the finish line.  Yep, we ran down through those canyons!

And that's a wrap!

Have you been to Utah?  What city?

Do you like to run down hill?

Do you make expo purchases?

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Hi, June (WW # 96)
Be sure to visit Mary Beth.

Our Weekly Wrap Guest Host Series is off to a wonderful start.  Thanks to all of you for making it a success.  This week's guest host is the lovely Mary Beth @ Tutus and Tennies.  Be sure to hop over to her blog and show her some love.  Our next guest hosts will be Kim @ KookyRunner on June 11th and Tara @ Run and Live Happy on June 18th.

Please contact me if you are interested in being a guest host.  There are still spots available in July and August. This is a great way to expand your blogging circle or simply make new connections.  To learn more about the Weekly Wrap or being a Guest Host please click HERE.

M - Water Skied  3 x 20 Minutes
T  -  Ran 4 [Easy Progressive]
W -  Swam 30 Minutes
T  -  Ran 5 [Progressive]
F  -  Rest
S  -  Ran 8 [Slow]
S  -  Rest

Monday's holiday started off with another trip to the lake.  The weather wasn't the best, but I had fun slalom skiing a second day in a row.  We made a pit stop at a favorite Mexican restaurant on the way home where anything covered with sour cream hit the spot.  I have to admit the upper body DOMS was significant for a few days, as always.

I decided to practice my dog paddling again Wednesday night (for an upcoming Tri I may do).  It was so pretty and peaceful to swim with the bright crescent moon and pine trees hanging over my head.  The fireflies were flickering and the crickets were singing.  The dog incessantly hacking up a bone...not so peaceful.  I was in a hurry and must have set something wrong because my heart rate sensor recorded an average heart rate of 44 on two different apps.  I think if my HR was 44, I'd be floating face down.

This best run of the week...and it was far from great.

Saturday morning's long run was as steamy as it gets.  I could feel the heat rising from everyone's dewy lawn (where is the next driveway?).  I'm trying hard not to be whiny about it.  I live in the deep South.  I get it.  But the simple fact is -- I can't breathe in it.  Being unable to breathe sort of takes the fun out of running.  So after the Utah Valley Half, I plan to decrease my running miles and increase my cycling miles.  I did this last year and it worked well for me.  It also set me up for productive fall marathon training.

I started thinking about this at mile 2 of 8.

So, I'm off to Utah in a few days where I hope to enjoy pathetically low, rock-bottom humidity and a wonderfully scenic downhill course.   If you are going to be there -- and I don't already know it -- please give me a shout.

And that's a wrap!

What adjustments will you make for summer?

What do you consider the best food after a fun but strenuous activity?

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Coffee Talk (June)

Welcome to Coffee Talk!

It's a muggy and warm morning in Dixie.  I'm sipping and swinging on my back porch -- under the ceiling fan of course.

There's Coconut Creamer in my Dark Magic coffee and the Keurig is on standby.  Let's swing and chat a while.   

Over Coffee...

You'd hear how I've traveled a good bit already this year.  While I had a lot of fun and enjoyed some cool experiences including checking off a bucket list item, I look forward to summer when we typically stay home and just go to the lake or chill in our back yard on weekends. For Mother's Day, the kids gave me a really neat bean bag floating chair.  I plan to live in it all summer.  If only it had a cup holder...   For coffee... 

Over Coffee...

Speaking of travel, I'd admit how I utterly failed in my Starbucks mug collection efforts.  Colorado?  No.  Although there was a Starbucks at the ski resort, it sadly did not sell mugs.  The driving was so desolate to and from the nowhere town we stayed in, we were lucky to get gas station coffee.   I did snag the beauty pictured above during an Oklahoma pit stop.  How about Wisconsin?  No.  I had the opportunity to buy a mug at the airport but was so overloaded (OK -- more likely overwhelmed)  I couldn't fathom carrying one.more.item.  What was I thinking? 

Over Coffee...

You'd probably be able to tell how excited I am to be going out west to run the Utah Valley Half Marathon next weekend.  This will be a new state for me.  Although I'm not a 50 stater, I do like running in new places.  The course should be stunning!  I also love a good down hiller.  But the thing I'm looking forward to most in Utah?  Low humidity.   I'm simply giddy about that.  Connecting with other bloggers will be a blast too.  And rest assured, I will come home with a Utah mug no matter how much stuff I have in my bag.

I'm ready to get my Tri game face on!

Over Coffee...

I'd ask if you thought I was crazy to be considering a sprint triathlon one week after the half marathon.   It is one I really enjoyed last year but I completely let the date slip up on me.  Keep in mind, to help calm a cranky hip I haven't been on my bike since April.  Nor have I attempted a brick workout  Technicalities.  I have paddled around in the pool a couple of times.  Here is the real clincher.  I've seen the finisher's medal.  It is soooo pretty.

Over Coffee...

While on the subject of swimming, I'd ask if you like to swim outdoors at night.  I find it so peaceful. Just this week there was a beautiful crescent moon shining between the tall pines.  I had James Taylor coming through the speakers.  I could see the fireflies twinkling.  I could hear the cricket's soft lullaby. Ahhh....  Until a dog starting hacking up a bone.  Swim time over!

What would you tell me over coffee?

I'm linking with the lovely Ultimate Coffee Date hostesses Coco and Deborah!
Be sure to stop in for coffee and chat with everyone.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Let's Go, Summer! (WW # 95)

Our Weekly Wrap Guest Host Series is off to a wonderful start.  We thank those of you who visited and commented (and provided a link back to!) our first guest Wendy @ Taking The Long Way Home last week.  We already have several ladies scheduled throughout the summer.  Our next guest hosts will be Mary Beth @ Tutus and Tennies on June 4th and Kim @ Kooky Runner on June 11th.  

Please contact me if you are interested in being a guest host.  There are still spots available in July and August. This is a great way to expand your blogging circle or simply make new connections.  To learn more about the Weekly Wrap or being a Guest Host please click HERE.


M  -  Rest
T   -  Swam 20 minutes
W  - Ran 4 Miles [progressive]
T   -  Ran 5 Miles [3 tempo + 2 repeats]
F   -  Rest
S   -  Ran 12 Miles [slow]
S   - Water Skied 3 x 20 minutes


Can you see my photo bombing dog's reflection?

It was certainly a challenge earlier in the week to work around our stormy weather and heavy rains.  Tuesday night, I was able to hop in the pool for a short swim between storms.  I find swimming at night so peaceful -- probably because no one is doing yard work or using their incessant saws, drills, power tools or other noise polluting machinery.   {Rant over.}  The water was nippy so I wore my wet suit (right side out this time!).  I was shocked at how much easier it is to swim with it on.  It was cool to be able to record my heart rate with the Blink 3.0. 

A break in the rain Wednesday morning

Saturday, I ran into my friend Barbara at the park and we ran the last few miles of my long run together.  This gal is super speedy and always beats me at the local races.  After suffering a hip fracture during a January half marathon, I truly admire her pluck and determination to come back to running.

With less than two weeks now remaining until the Utah Valley Half Marathon, the training is mostly over.  Honestly, I'm still struggling to come back from my latest injury.  I'm not sure why it feels extra tough this time.  It could just be bad timing as our humidity is sucking the life right out of my runs.  But, I will do the best I can and look forward to the beautiful downhill canyon course in Provo and meeting a few bloggers as well. 

I hope everyone is enjoying their Memorial Day holiday weekend and unofficial start to summer. Patriotic holidays always make me think of my Dad who served in World War II.  The weather was iffy around here today but we managed to get to the lake between showers..  We also had our typical crazy backyard BBQ Sunday afternoon with a menagerie of dogs, grand kids, and adults.  Actually...that was just us!

And that's a wrap! 

How did you celebrate Memorial Day?

When and what is your next event?


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Runfessions (May)

I'm linking with my friend Marcia today from Marcia's Healthy Slice.
Please stop by and join in with your own Runfessions!

I Runfess...

I drank the Kool-Aid...or at least I'm drinking it in smoothie form.   My college kid is home off and on for the summer and has brought the smoothie train with him.  [That...and a new puppy.  Heavy Sigh.]  After refusing to buy a ticket for years -- being too lazy to drag out the blender and then having to clean it -- I have hopped on board that speeding train and don't want to disembark.   Oh, the things you can hide put in a smoothie!

I Runfess...

Speaking of hiding things, I'm now trying beet powder for inflammation.  Wendy feels she's had success drinking beet shots, so I thought...what the heck.  Beets it is.  But because I'm so cheap wanting something more economical, I bought beet powder.  If you don't mind your food turning bright red, there are a lot of options here.  Red Oatmeal.  Red Yogurt.  Red Smoothies.  Red Mashed Potatoes.  Kidding.  My old lady supplements arsenal is growing!  I already take Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM for joint mobility and flexibility, Vitamin D-3 for healthy bones, and of course Whey Protein to give me those enviable muscles.  Bahahaha. 

"Mom, why is the banana smoothie red?"
"Just a few raspberries honey..."

I Runfess...

In my mind (and let me admit what a scary place that can be!) I've been planning to do my first sprint triathlon of this season in June.  It was my first and favorite from last summer -- Callaway Gardens.  Except, I finally went online to check the date.  It is one week after the Utah Valley Half Marathon.  Have I swam one stroke?  Well OK -- I did just this week in a state of pure panic.   But, I haven't been on my bike in weeks.   Brick workouts?  Ain't nobody got time for that!  I still may take the plunge.  The swim is so shallow, I could walk it.  Seriously.  Plus, I completed two long rides inside their hilly gardens (45 and 60 miles) over the winter.  Surely I can bike the required 9 miles?  I'll pretend the running leg isn't happening.

My first sprint triathlon!  I placed 5th out of 29 in my age group

I Runfess...

When I got in the pool in my panic-induced state this week, the water was still nippy. I decided to wear my spring (shorty) wet suit.  Yes, the same one I nearly dislocated my shoulder contorting into recently to water ski -- only to ski wearing it fashionably inside out.  Let the record show it's much easier squeezing into it right side out.  OMG -- Why haven't I done this before?  Swimming is so much easier with the buoyancy of a wet suit.  I get it now, triathletes!  And, I'm a little embarrassed that it took me so long.

I Runfess...

I finally did it!  I obtained Gold Status at Starbucks.  I slaved diligently for months shoveling up those pretty stars, drinking that coffee flavored Kool-Aid.  So naturally I was expecting something truly magnificent for my efforts.  Fireworks.  A trophy.  A free drink!  Extra stars!  Nope.  Nothing.  "Congratulations on becoming a Gold Status member..."  {...Crickets...}  So I haven't been frequenting the joint as often.  Oddly enough, I've dropped a couple of pounds.   Go figure.

What do you need to Runfess?

I'm also joining on the Friday Five 2.0 linkup
Stop by and see what everyone is talking about.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Pancakes and Puke (WW # 94)

We are changing things up for the summer here on the Weekly Wrap!

Announcing… the Weekly Wrap Guest Host series.
Our guest host this week is Wendy @ Taking The Long Way Home. 

Make Sure To Follow These Rules:
Linkers:  1) You will link as usual either here, on Tricia’s blog, or on the Guest Host’s blog. 2) In addition to the normal Weekly Wrap Rules, you are required to read and comment on the Guest Host’s post.  3) The Guest Host will read and comment on your post – just make sure you followed rule #2.  We think this will be a fun opportunity for you to connect with some different ladies.
Guest Hosts1) On your spotlight week, you will include the Weekly Wrap link at the bottom of your post.  2) You will read and comment on each linker’s post. Be forewarned, this is a lot of reading!  3) If linkers do not play by their rules, you are allowed to skip their post.  4) We ask that you encourage your readers who normally don't link to join us on the Weekly Wrap.  We think this is a great opportunity for those seeking to grow their blogs or just want to make different connections.
If you would like to be a Guest Host or have any questions regarding the above, please e-mail me (see CONTACT ME tab), Tricia or leave a blog post comment below.  Many thanks to Wendy for agreeing to take the lead on this.  We hope to provide many more guests!


I didn't include anything about the recent Pancake Run For Missions 5k last week.  The temperature wasn't too bad (66), but the humidity was 100%.  I was happy to run fairly even splits but it certainly wasn't my day for speed.  I could still feel those Door County Half Marathon hills.  This 5k is a favorite of mine.  It runs through such a beautiful, grand, older neighborhood and (doh) they serve pancakes afterwards.    And...give out trophies.  {Just sayin'.}  It was good to see some old running friends and meet a few new ones too. The sweet lady (age 44?) who won overall female had not raced at all since running track in high school.  You go girl!

The summer heat and humidity returned this week with a vengeance.  I managed a slow 10 miler in Saturday's steam bath and some downhill interval training in Sunday's -- my 400s averaged 7:49 and my 600s averaged 7:52.  It was all I could do not to puke.  {Keeping it real!}   Other runners talk about acclimating to it but I never seem to.   Kudos to those that can.  In my mind, that would classify as a super hero power.  [For the life of me, I could not come up with a good super hero name.  Ho-midity Humbler?  Give it your best shot!]

Unfortunately my left hip continues its crankiness, which is just another item for the it's-always-something file.  It does seem somewhat better after rolling that piriformas with a tennis ball and stretching that hamstring.  I'll definitely keep that up all week.

Highlights of the week:

My running friend Beth at the Pancake 5k.
Age group award.  Whoot!
New shoe day.
Have you heard about the Runner Girl Gang?
You are all part of my sisterhood!
I surrender to thee, Humidity!

And, no puking for the win!

And that's a wrap!

What are your tricks for beating the heat and humidity?

What is your Super Hero power?

Any tips for un-cranking a cranky hip?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Shut The Door (WW # 93)

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap!
This link was created to support active women.  
JOIN IN!  Click HERE  to see complete rules.

Tricia and I are thrilled you have chosen to link with us on the Weekly Wrap.  If you link early, please make sure you come back later in the week and check some of the other posts.  Our simple tip to the newcomers for making this linkup work for you:  the more you interact with others, the more they will interact with you.  We hope you'll find the connections, support and motivation you've been searching for right here!


Hmmm...  How do I start this race review?  My friend Wendy has already posted such a wonderful recap.  I could just say "ditto" and move on.  You have my permission to skip ahead, but I hope you'll hang tight.

Ten weeks ago, I returned to running on a freshly healed fractured foot.  Trying to be prudent, I added mileage relatively slowly, at least initially.!  Sadly, it still does.  Wanting to get back in the game at any speed, I took Wendy up on her offer to come to Door County, Wisconsin and run in beautiful Peninsula State Park.

Thank you for my #holottafun Momentum bracelet, Wendy!

I fretted about the storms on travel day, but thankfully everything went smoothly and soon enough I'm in Wendy's car road-tripping for the final 3 hour leg of our journey.  It was the farthest north I've ever been.  For a little perspective, it is higher than Toronto, Canada. 

As you can imagine, time passed quickly as we Thelma and Louise'd our way north.  Soon, we were driving through quaint coastal towns dotting the shoreline.  Wow!  Such a picturesque place!  Her parents were gracious enough to open their home to me and I could not have been more appreciative. {Thank you Papa D and Mama J for your hospitality!}  We dined on delicious fish tacos as we celebrated Cuatro De Mayo that evening, thinking Cinco would not be the best idea before our race.

After a rare opportunity to sleep in Friday morning, we had a fun day playing tourists.  We enjoyed many hilarious attempts of nabbing the perfect picture on the curvy road to the ferry dock.  But, we decided the outtakes were better than the picture itself. 

We tried over and over to beat the timer!
The cars coming to and from the ferry were no help at all.

Wanting to see a lighthouse, we visited Eagle Bluff and then drove the race course.  Obviously completely off of our rockers, we decided those hills would be manageable the next day {bahahaha} and proceeded to the expo.  We couldn't resist the quarter zip pullover in raspberry.  In fact, Wendy wore hers the next day.  She also splurged on a parking pass which garnered us a sweet spot right at the runner's village.  We dined on delicious walleye with her parents and called it a day.

It's race day!  The temp?  Low 40s.  {Woo Hoo!}  The wind?  20-30 mph!  {Oh My!}  Unsure of whether we would be sheltered from it, I dressed a bit too warm.   After a quick porta-potty visit and the obligatory pre race photo, we headed toward the starting line.  It was quite crowded and we stopped moving forward near the 2:25 pacer as I planned to start slowly anyway.   After a good luck fist bump, we were off.

Pre race.  Can you tell it's windy?

The bagpiper playing as we started  (and again later on the course) is one of my favorite memories.  I was caught up in the throng for about a mile before there was enough space to maneuver, but that fit my plan.  We inhaled a few swarming mayflies for extra protein and then Wendy was gone from view.

Not the hilliest race I've run, but they just kept coming!

La de da.  Up, down, left, right.  Keep it slow.  Repeat.  On top of the first huge hill, there was a pirate ship complete with costumed pirates working the aid station.  It was tempting to stop for a picture, but I didn't.  La de da.  Don't push too hard yet.  At some point I spotted Wendy over to my left.  Where did she come from?  I checked in and we both admitted it felt hard but we seemed OK.

La de blah, la de blah.  Man those hills kept coming.   I was pleasantly surprised by the number of spectators at the cheer zones.  Each time, their roar was a nice boost.  A freaky costumed white bunny was offering beer.  I declined.  Wendy and I swapped places over and over in the heart of this race.  Then, she pulled ahead toward the end.

The view from Peninsula State Park.
The blurry dots are mayflies!
I was trying to leave a little gas in the tank for a finish line sprint.  Mile 12 felt especially tough with the glaring sun and stiff wind as we ran back along the sparkling bay.  When I saw the finish, I gave it everything I had.  I didn't think I had caught Wendy and was shocked to see our exact same finish times 2:12:06.  We doubled over...completely spent.  And hugged hard.  She was a beast and definitely showed RA who is in charge!  Her parents were there cheering at the finish line.  That really touched me as I've never had a parent at one of my races.  In fact, it made me a little teary eyed.

DETERMINATION.    It's written all over our faces.

This race was a huge challenge.  I walked occasionally.  Had to!  My heart rate was extreme (average=178  max=212).  I was grateful for no issues other than mild foot cramping, causing me to take all of my Salt Caps.  Naturally, my thoughts ran the gamut of never racing ever again to wondering if I could hit my 50th half marathon by year end.  I think the latter won out.

We hit the runners village and sat down to compare notes while sipping our free beer.  Before we knew it, everyone was packing up.  They wanted us to go to a nearby location where they had a live band and were raffling off door prizes {fail--we forgot our tickets!}.  At Husby's, Whiskey Trio was rockin' the tunes and we couldn't help but sing away the afternoon in the warm sunshine.  Taking requests, they sang Sweet Home Alabama for the "first place lady runners up on the balcony". 

Why is this so hard, Wendy?

We stopped for a jumping picture at the beach and again were more amused by our hysterical failed attempts than the good picture.  We capped off the evening dining with her parents.  I inhaled delicious salmon topped with triple berry chutney and we celebrated our finish with fresh, local cherry pie.

I know that was a lot to get through.  However, it is my way to preserve a wonderful and special memory for half marathon #45.  I can't thank Wendy enough for the invite and the ensuing #weholottafun.  I'm already looking forward to our next adventure {talking to you Chicago!}.  Go places.  Do things. Connect with dear friends. Have fun.  Sing.  Play.   I think you'll agree the numbers from a race are truly incidental to the experience itself.

And that's a wrap!

Tell me about the hilliest race you've ever run!

Happy Mother's Day!  How did you celebrate?