5 Favorite Race Signs

HEY!! Yes, I’m still here.  Lots of big changes in the past few weeks.  But, I’m here!! This week was my first at my new job.  It’s awesome! It’s a whole different type of atmosphere then my previous job (thats a good thing), but that also means I’m busy 95% of the work day (also a VERY good thing! I hate being bored.) However, today is Friday and I found a free moment to jump on the Friday Five train! w00t!!

I’m linking up with the DC Trifecta, Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!, and Mar at Mar on the Run!  with the awesome theme of “Five Favorite Race Signs”

I love to laugh, so seeing an especially funny sign while huffing and puffing is amazing!!!

  1. “Now that the race is over, can we have sex on friday nights?” – My first Marathon (Baltimore ’14) there was a guy holding a sign that said this around mile 23.  It was hysterical!! I was in a pretty decent amount of pain (stupid shoes) at this point in the run, so having something I could truly giggle at was so great!
  2. “Run Faster, I farted” I think the reason this sign was so silly is because a VERY young girl was carrying it.  She couldn’t have been much older than 3.  Her face every time someone laughed at the sign lit up. 🙂
  3. “No Time for Walken” (with a picture of Christopher Walken) – Clever, cute, and silly
  4. “Hurry Mom, Daddy didn’t feed us!” – This sign was at the Zooma Womens Half Marathon last May.  Perfect for the environment of all women! lol
  5. “Why do all the cute ones run away?” – I saw a sign saying this at the Baltimore Marathon this year.  Again, held by a really young kid.  Super adorable.

I hope you smile reading this silly signs! And have a great weekend!!! If anyone is running the Across the Bay 10k this weekend, I’ll see you there! BEAT THE BRIDGE!! 😉

  • Are you racing this weekend?
  • Have you ever held up a funny sign?
  • What is your favorite silly sign?
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5 people who motivate me! #FridayFive

It’s FRIDAY!!!! A super special Friday at that! 5 years ago today, I was sitting in a tiny little hospital in Weinheim, Germany and my water broke! Tomorrow I’ll have a 5 year old… *sigh* I feel old. what makes me feel young though, is knowing I can keep up with my little boy! 🙂

Today on the “Friday Five” were talking about who motivates us.  As per the usual, I’m linking-up with Courtney at Eat Pray Run DCCynthia at You Signed Up for What?!, and Mar at Mar on the Run.  (The DC Trifecta)  So, lets get motivated!!

1.  My son. He’s my constant motivator, always pushing me forward.  He’ll watch me work out and when I start to slack off he says “You’re getting stronger!” or “You’re almost done!”  I don’t know if he realizes what he’s doing, but it’s very effective.  I know he’s watching, and at this point in his life, he’s like a sponge. He emulates. So, even when he watches quietly, or when he’s waiting at the finish line of one of my races, I know it’s important to finish strong.

2. My Father. In the past year, my father has become my race partner.  He motivates me to be stronger, and to run faster.   Running beside my Dad is one of the things I enjoy most about racing.  Again, he probably doesn’t know he’s doing anything, just having him run with me is a HUGE motivator!  Also, he consistently emails me about upcoming races and events, always keeping me on my toes ready to jump into any distance at any time.

3. Oiselle Volée. Running with this team of REMARKABLE women is amazing.  I’m not fast, so when I see my teammates pulling in Sub 18 5ks, I can’t help but feel a need to push myself.  Head up, wings out!

4. Emily. My I Run 4 buddy is always in the back of my mind when I’m running.  Emily and I are coming up on our one year Match-aversary and since we got matched, shes been with me through every run! When things get difficult I think to myself, “I need to do this, this is for Emily.”  I get the privilege of meeting Emily in a few weeks and I cannot wait!!

5. My BRF. I’ve made countless friends through running.  I’ve even had the chance to meet some of them at races! Seeing my “best running friends” is another kick in the ass to keep going!

Who motivates you? What/When is your next race? 

Friday Five! {5 songs that pump me up!}

Good morning! Happy Friday to you! Today started with a bang for me, dropping fresh coffee all over my hand.  If you know me, you know how serious I am about coffee… so the burn on my hand wasn’t nearly as upsetting as the wasting of the coffee.  *sad face*  But!!  There will always be another cup! 🙂

The topic of today’s Friday Five is “5 songs that pump up your workout”.  (Considering I change my playlist monthly, this should be fun!!)  As per the usual, I’m linking up with my girls from the DC TRIFECTA; Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What and Mar at Mar on the Run.

  1. Ginza” by J Balvin.   There’s something about this song that makes it impossible to sit still.  Even right now (yes, I’m currently listening to it) I want to get up and dance.
  2. Plakito” by Yandel.  This is another one that makes every cell in my body start to shake it.  As I was coming up mile 11 at the Chuck12, I put this song on so I could finish strong.  (see the phone in my hand, up by my ear? Yea, I’m listening to this song)chuck12
  3. Another Heart” by Tremonti.  This song has a steady cadence that matches my speed.  I find myself tapping along with the drums every time I hear it.  Which is PERFECT when I’m running and need to push forward.  Songs with memorable drum parts are extremely effective when trying to keep momentum.
  4. Daughter of Darkness” by Halestorm.  Remember that whole drum thing I mentioned?  Driving forward, the whole time.  Also, there’s an awesome little meter change about 2:15 in.  Love love love that!!
  5. Whatever Makes You Happy“, Empire soundtrack.  First off, Jennifer Hudson?  Get it girl.  Her voice is infectious.  It makes me smile.  When I’m running hard and the LAST thing I want to do is smile, this song forces one of out me  🙂 (side note, is it September 23rd yet?!!! – can NOT wait until season 2!)

What do you listen to that pumps you up?

Do you have a power song?

Friday Five!! 5 things that get me to the finish line! #runbaltimore

Happy Friday!! Even though this week was a short one, I’m so happy its over!  Waking up on a Friday sets my mood to “Happy”. 🙂  I’m linking up with my girls from the DC trifecta today, Courtney of Eat Pray Run DC, Mar of Mar on the Run and Cynthia of You Signed Up for What?!.  We have a free Friday today (no theme), so I’m going to talk about the 5 things that get me to the finish line.  Because I have been running a WIDE range of distances the last two weeks, some will be long distance specific, some will be shorter.

  1. My Garmin Forerunner 620 garmin_620_white-orange_l-550x400I’ve only had my Garmin since May, and I’m pretty much obsessed.  If I happen to forget to put it on after my shower, I feel completely naked.  (even right now as its charging, my wrist feels… weird)  This little watch is amazing!  I’m not a fast runner by any stretch of the imagination.  Being able to track my pace just by looking at my wrist makes me feel fast.  Don’t laugh too hard at this, please… On Wednesday, my father and I ran the Ravens5K.  My dad is quick, but I felt pretty strong, so I kept pace with him for a while.  I looked down at my Garmin because I started to have some shin pain.  We were running a 9:30 mile.  (remember that part where I said I wasn’t fast!)  I knew I could keep that pace for the remainder of the mile, but I also knew that if I did, my next two would suffer tremendously.  I told my Dad to run ahead without me, and I slowed my pace about a minute.  If I hadn’t had my trusty Garmin, that wouldn’t have been doable.  Yes, I could have just guessed pace, but I like to see how fast/slow I’m running.
  2. My Brooks Ghost 7’s brooks-ghost-7-womensI cant say enough about these shoes.  After my huge fail at the Baltimore Marathon with shoes, it was imperative that I find a pair that not only fit correctly, but were comfortable!  After a visit to Charm City Run, and a ton of choices laid out in front of me, I believe I’ve found my shoe “solemate”.  I could (and have) fall(en) asleep in my Brooks.  When I put these on, it feels like small pillows under the arches of your feet which as a person who has stupid sensitive feet to begin with, is a welcome feeling.  Except for OCR’s and Fun runs (like the color run that is incredibly messy) you will always find me running/and walking in these.  (side note, I also LOVE the “Run Happy” that goes along with Brooks.)
  3. Music Music-image-music-36556275-1680-1050This is long run specific.  I no longer run with headphones on my short runs because I’d rather use that time to think.  Also, the sound of my feet, and the runners around me tend to give me the same push that my “power” songs do on long runs.  I’ve also run two longer distances sans headphones.  My half marathon training run on the NCR was without music, and I forgot my headphones for the Chuck12, soooooo that was also without music.  However, I plan to use my tunes on my long run this weekend so I’m able to turn my mind off.  (one headphone out of course!)
  4. Nuun Nuun-I-heart-2– again, this is long run specific.  I haven’t found anything comparable to Nuun as far as hydration on long runs.  I never feel dehydrated, and Nuun doesn’t make my stomach hurt – both HUGE things!! I’ve gotten much better at hydrating after nearly passing out on one of my mid distance runs this summer.  Holy humid batman! I realized as I finished that I was drenched in sweat, and I didn’t have to pee.  I was also insanely dizzy and was getting a pretty fierce headache.  These things (pre previous experience) could have been avoided had I better hydrated.  I got back to my car and chugged an entire bottle of Nuun (watermelon – delicious!) that I had waiting for me. My go to flavors are fruit Punch, Watermelon, and the Cherry Limeade Energy. If you’re a Nuun virgin, I definitely recommend giving it a try.
  5. My thoughts Listen-to-Your-Thoughts-Cropped yea, that sounds weird.  Especially because my brain can also be the reason I want to stop running.  On short runs, I think about the people around me, the scenery, my IRUN4 buddy, and my son. On longer runs, I have a little game I play calls “how much is left?”  On my 13.1 mile training run, I was not feeling it… at all.  I knew I needed to complete the distance, but my feet had other plans.  So, I began to think mathematically.  I ran a 6.55 down and back. (again, thanks to the Garmin i was able to track this obscure distance)  At mile 4(ish) I said to myself “you’re over half way to the turn around, just keep moving”.  At mile 10, I told myself “only a 5k left!! That’s easy! DO.NOT.STOP”.  I also like to keep track of my “kills” (Ragnar terminology) when I’m running alone.  It doubles as motivation, and security because I know I’m not the only runner on the trail.  It’s a bit more difficult to do this in a race setting (unless its small) because I’m passing people right and left (all while being passed myself!).    Although, I’m guilty of the last minute kick, passing someone at the finish.  Being that I will (most likely) NEVER place at an event, let alone WIN the thing… I don’t feel bad trying to shave a few seconds off my time by hauling towards the finish.

I hope you enjoy your weekend and this amazing fall-ish weather!! (at least in Maryland)welcome-autumn-

What powers you through a race?

Have you tried Nuun? Whats your favorite flavor?

Do you have a Garmin?  what do you do to keep track of your distance and time if you don’t?

Freekeh Review! #sweatpink #freekehfoods

I was given the opportunity to try and to give away Freekeh for being a SweatPink ambassador! Never heard of Freekeh?  I hadn’t either, but I was eager to try!!  Thanks to Freekeh-Foods and FitApproach, I was able to do just that! I was given a rosemary packet and an original.  Because I knew I’d be mixing it with Chicken, I used the rosemary pouch.

I ended up making a DELICIOUS chicken-freekeh soup with shredded chicken, green onion, fresh garlic, freekeh, and assorted spices.  It was quite spot on actually.

But let me tell you more about Freekeh before I share more about the recipe!  What is Freekeh? Freekeh is a process which means “to rub” in Arabic. Freekeh was created by accident nearly 2,000 years ago when a Middle Eastern village was attacked and their crop of young green wheat was set ablaze. Most folks would sulk over their misfortune, but the crafty villagers rubbed off the chaff, cooked it up and “Eureka!” Freekeh was created.

Freekeh is an ancient roasted grain that is a great improvement to rice or other grains. It has an awesome nutty, chewy texture. We offer it organically in 3 varieties: Original, Rosemary Sage and Tamari. What’s more, freekeh has up to 3 times the amount of fiber and protein as brown rice.  Freekeh is also naturally low in sodium and vegan! (it’s also delicious!)

I initially had no idea what to do with this grain sitting in from of me.  So, I looked for recipes on the trusty internet! I found an amazing one for soup and decided to make it my own a bit.  In the original recipe found here she used potatoes, chickpeas and carrots.  I wanted to make a bit of a simpler soup, so I nixed all three! Whenever I cook, I like simplicity.  If I try to go crazy, it ends up disastrous!

I used:

  • 2 pounds of shredded chicken
  • 4 cups chicken broth (made from hot water and bullion)
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • Green onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup Rosemary Freekeh (2 servings)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Absolutely delicious!! The end product made for an excellent “homey” soup that took me back to when I was a little girl and my Yiayia used to make Greek chicken soup with Orzo.  The best part though, my picky 4 yr old approved!! That made this mama EXTREMELY pleased!!  Also, Freekeh has three times more protein then regular brown rice! According to the website, Freekeh is comparable to Quinoa in protein and fiber. Win Win! Check out these nutritional facts about the Rosemary Freekeh.

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I would definitely recommend Freekeh especially as fall approaches.  You don’t have to use it in soup to enjoy.  there are SO many exciting recipes available and I’m super excited to use the rest in a completely different way! 🙂

Have you ever tried Freekeh?  How do you make your chicken soup?

Friday five: My 5 most anticipated Fall Races!!

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Happy first Friday in September!!! I’m so excited it’s almost Fall!! My favorite season for so many reasons! Today I’ll talk about one of those amazing reasons…. RACES!!! Fall running is my favorite kind of running!! The temperature is perfect, the bugs are leaving (of they aren’t already gone), and the scenery is more beautiful to run in.  I’m linking up with my girls from the DCTrifecta as per the usual – MarCynthia and Courtney to talk about the 5 races that stand out for me. for this season! (yes, I’m running A LOT more than 5 races this fall!!)

1. Ragnar DC – I’m so excited to be running this again!  Last year was amazing. The race, the experience, the friends made.  If you’ve never run a Ragnar, i DEFINITELY suggest it.  12 people, 2 vans, 200 miles, and an UNFORGETTABLE time! (sleep is overrated) 🙂

image1 (3)2. Baltimore Full – this is my second time running the full. For me, this is a come back race.  Last year (my first marathon ever)  I was dreadfully unprepared.  I had the wrong shoes, my hydration was sub par, and I was battling a knee injury.  This year I take back Baltimore.  Also – it’s the 15th anniversary, so the medal is AMAZING!  This will be part 3 or 3 for the King Crab Challenge, so I get two medals at the finish line. 😉 (i love bling!)

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3. Patapsco Valley 50k – my VERY first Ultra!! I’m scared out of my mind…. no joke.  However, a phrase I’ve been       swearing by lately says “on the other side of fear is freedom”, so I’m facing this fear head on.  Also, after conquering this 50k, I’ll qualify for Marathon Maniacs – another thing pushing me. 🙂 Check out this elevation chart… I’ll need all the push I can get!
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4. 10k Across the Bay – I’ve only heard amazing things about this race, so when my father mentioned wanting to run it I couldn’t have hit “register” fast enough!  This race will be the final race he and I run together this season.

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5. NCR Trail Marathon – this is my last race of the year, and my 3rd full marathon.  I was fortunate enough to be selected as an ambassador for this race (one of 5 total!!) so my entry was free!! Always nice right?? 🙂 The NCR is my stomping ground, where I run ALL of my long training runs.  So excited to “race” on the trail!!

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What are you running this season?  Will I see you at any of these events??

10 Things you have to get used to when in a relationship with a serious Athlete…

I’ve been meaning to write this for a while, but never actually got around to it!  I’m engaged to a man who also happens to be a serious athlete.  Some of the things that I’ve had to get used to aren’t a big deal, some are.

  1. Get used to NOT having weekends.  Your mans’ scheduled becomes your schedule.  Wanna go out on Saturday night?  Can’t… he has an early game on Sunday.  You’ll actually find yourself enjoying staying in and going to be early. You might even find yourself reminding him that he needs to sleep.
  2. If he’s not talking about his teams, something is probably wrong.  You will undoubtedly know EVERY name on each of his teams.  You’ll probably learn things about these men that you, in any other world, wouldn’t care about.  But because there are SOOO many to keep track of, those little tidbits of information prove vital when you remember said guy and catch your man off guard.  (Listening is important!!)  If your guy stops talking about his teams abruptly, someone is wrong.  Yes, men cause just as much drama as women, if not more.  Maybe there was a fight within the team; maybe someone quit unexpectedly causing your guy unnecessary stress; either way, you’ll know when he stops talking that someone happened.
  3. He’ll forget things that are important to you, because they aren’t related to him or his teams.  For months, you’ll be talking about YOUR event, because its important to you.  You’re training, you’re making plans, you’re excited.  He’ll most likely not be there.  If he’s not playing a tournament, he’s training.  You need to make sure you’re prepared and excited in the things YOU think are important. Because most of the time, you’re on your own.
  4. Your house will begin to carry an… odor.  Even if your guy is meticulous with cleaning up after himself, sweaty man isn’t a smell that just goes away.  The car, the bedroom, the home itself will smell of old shoes and sweat (for at least 2-3 days after an event) so much that you can taste it.
  5. You will become a therapist if his team loses.  All though it might not last very long, a big loss can be catastrophic to your man, especially if he knows the other team.  He’ll need you to reassure him – it wasn’t his fault that the team fell.  He can’t run an entire team, even if that’s what he thinks.  If you’re an athlete also, try to give him advice on how to have a better game next time.  (Supportive and helpful!)
  6. Be prepared to have plans cancelled at the last minute.  Pick up game? surprise practice? Eh no biggie, you’ll get used to it.  Be sure not to plan ANYTHING without being “ok” to do it alone.  You will find yourself spending a lot of time with… yourself.
  7. If he gets hurt, so do you.  This is his life and all the sudden he can’t play.  His attitude will change, his behaviors will change.  He’ll try to do things at home to make up for the lack of sports, but that hurts too.  He will gripe and will complain.  Do NOT take it personally. He’s bored, he’s angry, he wants to be doing ANYTHING that involves him running around, and he can’t.  (small silver lining – you’ll be able to spend time with him without spending time with his team). You’ll also become somewhat of a nurse to your guy… when he’s in pain you can’t stand it, so you’ll try everything in your brain to make the pain stop.  Trust me though, he loves when you take care of him.
  8. He is ALWAYS hungry. Always.  He’ll polish off an entire pizza, then look for more. Keep the house stocked at all times so the beast can feed. If he’s not able to feed, you’ll experience something called “HANGER” (he’ll get Hangry). These times are when unnecessary fighting occurs.  He burns a lot of calories when he plays, he needs to replace them or he gets grumpy.  ALWAYS HAVE FOOD!
  9. The end of a season is the end of his world (temporarily). He’ll pace the house… not really knowing what to do with himself.  He’ll go completely stir crazy and clean the entire house in a day… or channel his inner child, and climb a tree. (yes, there’s a story there…) Makes sense though, all the sudden a HUGE portion of his life is gone.  Make the most of this time.  He’s yours again!  For the brief off season (very brief) make plans, go outside, soak up as much time as you can!
  10. You find yourself trying to get better at sports. You constantly see your man succeed, you want a bit of that happiness for yourself.  Hopefully you’ll already have an athletic outlet, if not, you’ll find one fast.  Your man and his abilities on the field will make you want to try to be more successful at whatever you do sports wise.  This can be REALLY beneficial because you’re now as busy as he is.  (i.e. training runs – those can take HOURS!  And you feel amazing afterwards!)

It’s not easy dating a serious athlete, but it can be fun as long as you make it!  It’s the beginning of a new season, so I might come back to this frequently.  I’m happy to be my guys cheerleader – all day.  When his team and he are successful, it makes me so proud.  The happiness he has coming away from an excellent game is contagious.  Life is what you make it… that goes the same for being in a relationship with an Athlete.

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Five things I did this summer! #FridayFive

Yes, summer is coming to a close, however, if you’re anything like me, Autumn is more fun.  Autumn means better weather, hoodies, boots, and MARATHON SEASON!! Still, some people love Summer.  To each their own. 😉  I had a pretty eventful summer in regards to me as a whole.  Lots of BIG changes.

I’m linking up with my girls from the DC Trifecta, MarCourtney, and Cynthia for this summer edition of the Friday Five!

1. I BOUGHT A HOUSE!!! 

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Yes, I’m excited too! My fiance and I bought a house together. 🙂 The first one for the both of us. Over the last 2 months being a homeowner has been nothing short of amazing.  Yea, when stuff happens you can’t “call the landlord”, but it feels so awesome to come HOME to a place that is yours.  A house full of your stuff that is also full of love.

2. I got engaged! 

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If you hadn’t figured that out from “fiance” in the house comment.  My boyfriend of a little over two years proposed – at a race. How neat is that?  We were COVERED in mud, and he got down on one knee and asked me to be his “warrior” forever. SWOON.

3.  I got accepted into College!

yes, it’s as exciting as it sounds.  I already have a degree, but I can’t do much with it, soooooo I want to go back to school.  I was no only accepted, but offered Financial Aid for two epic schools in Maryland.  I’m stoked about being a college kid again.  Anyone else really like school???

4. I did some soul searching!

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My life wasn’t going the way I wanted it to.  So, I sat myself down and thought hard about what I needed to change, how I needed to change these things, and what I could do to “fix” my life.  I think having so many big things thrown at me at the same time made me second guess… well… everything.  It’s amazing what some reflection can do for someone! You’re probably muttering softly she thought? ok… awesome?  But really, it is.  Trust me.

5. Family!

I spent a LOT of time with my family… lunches, dinners, races.  My Dad even came and stayed with me for a few days! I love my family, so spending a good chunk of my summer with them was amazing and rewarding.  I was able to run with my Father, laugh hysterically with my sister, and spend time with my 2 favorite littles! (my son and my nephew)

What did YOU do this summer?  Anything exciting? 🙂

My Dad’s first 1/2 Marathon! {Frederick Half Recap 2015} #runbaltimore #runchat

This past Sunday, I had the honor and privilege to run my 4th Half Marathon with My Dad.  My Dad started running last year on Fathers Day when I asked him to run a 5K with me. We finished that 5k in a little under 40 minutes.  Now, my Dad is running sub 29 minute 5k’s like it’s his job.  🙂 You give this man a challenge, he stares it in the face and kicks it in the balls. He’s run countless 5ks, a 10 miler, but said he’d never run a half.  Until I mentioned the King Crab Challenge.  He seemed excited.  “I’m in”. Of course, I’m giddy like a freaking school girl!! My Dad’s going to run with me!!!! OMG!!!!  Training starts, he keeps me posted with texts and pictures, he ROCKS his 10 mile race, and send me a message about a 12 mile training run and he also BEASTS!!! Then, I get a message that breaks my heart.  My Dad hurt himself… “we’re going to have to run/walk the Frederick Half”.  Of course, I don’t care… all I want to do is be with my Dad, but I know he’s disappointed. I told him straight up. “This race isn’t about pace… it’s about you and me crossing the finish line, together.”  I drove up to Frederick from Baltimore and coincidently met my Dad at the Expo! He was coming in from another part of Maryland. (A good sign I think)  🙂 packetpick

We drove to his house in Hagerstown (40 minutes away – a lot cheaper than a hotel!) and settled in. Had some pre race grub at TGIFridays with my Mom, and went to bed pretty early.  I of course laid out Flat Stacey before bed… I knew we’d have an EARLY morning and I didn’t want to forget anything…

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We got up a little after 4am, left a bit before 5 and got to the Frederick Fair Grounds.  Because of out early departure, we got ROCK STAR parking!! (so glad we left early!!!) We were ON the grounds instead of last year when it felt like I had to walk half a mile just to find the car post race!! WINNING!!

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Also an early riser, Marsden (@RunningLonely on Twitter) was also there!! Finally got to meet him in person (and the infamous pig!) w00t!! My Dad was more than willing to take the “pictures or it never happened” shot for us. 🙂 He ended up kicking some serious tail on the course, setting a PR! WTG 🙂

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It was a bit chilly, to be expected at 6 (something) in the morning, so my Dad and I jumped into the bag check area, where we could hide from the wind.  We stretched a bit, and chatted.  I think I was more nervous than he was at this point… I was nervous pacing, tried to play it off as being cold, not sure if that worked, but he’s my Dad, he didn’t prod. 😉  We took our obligatory pre race selfie and headed to the start line before the National Anthem.

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They chose a recording this year for the Anthem… maybe because of the mishap with the words last year?? Maybe not. Either way, it was beautiful.  Also, during the National Anthem, a BEAUTIFUL hot air balloon flew over us.  I definitely didn’t expect that! Everyone start looking up, so I (obviously) did also, and I’m glad I did! Check this beauty out…

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We noticed that we were next to two Army guys, full battle gear from head to toe.  Cover to boots… I was really impressed. More impressive, throughout the race, they were keeping a 12:30-13:00 pace.   My Dad and I passed them at one point, to which I yelled out “thank you for what you do, you guys are AWESOME!” and they waved at me. Pretty sure words weren’t happening for them.  So.Much.Sweat.  Seriously though, utmost respect.  To run a 1/2 marathon in little clothing is difficult… to do it in what THEY had on??  That’s BAD ASS!!

soldiers

Annnnnd off we went!! Slow and steady, as planned.  I looked at my Garmin and we were keeping a 12:30 pace, which was actually A LOT faster then I thought we would be able to do considering my Fathers injury.  We kept chugging. Talking to each other, making comments about how beautiful Frederick is.  We passed the School Board office. (My father is an administrator for the Washington County School district – so stuff like that is important, lol).  We passed landmarks I remembered from the race last year and I told my Dad how great he was doing.  We hit the 5K mark at under 36 minutes! (Injury or not, thats not too shabby!)  We passed the elementary school, and the beautiful dog park.  What stuck out for me this year that didn’t happen last year, we passed a church on our left, and the two Ministers were outside blessing the runners!!! It was so amazing! They were making the sign of the cross and telling us we were doing great!  Perfect for a Sunday morning!! I smiled at my Dad and told him to “Make sure Mom knows we were blessed today”, he chuckled. 🙂 Around mile 7, my Dad told me he felt a weird pain in his knee.  Not a new pain, but a pain that was new for today.  I immediately slowed down and ran in place as we tried to figure out what was going on.  His ITBS was acting out something fierce.  We thought we’d solved the first injury problem, only for another one to be thrown at us half way through a race!! OK… no problem, we’ve got this.  I talked to him, we made a plan.  “We’re going to finish.”  Speed didn’t matter, time, didn’t matter, we were going to finish, and we were going to cross the line together.  Around this point, I say this sign…

awesomesauce

…coincidence? I think not.  My dad? He is the definition of “Awesome sauce”.  🙂 We kept going, run/walk. (however, I was amped up and couldn’t walk, so I ran in place, or ran backwards constantly talking to my Dad keeping his spirits high), there was NO way I was going to let his first BIG race experience be a crappy one. NO WAY!  He told me to go on ahead of him, I looked him square in the eyes and said “nope. not the point today.  today is about us.” I saw a HUGE flag coming up. I remembered from last year that if was an older firetruck parked in someone’s driveway! I told my Dad and I don’t think he believed me… 😉

americanflag

I was right… 🙂  Nothing inspires you more than Old Glory (apparently!) So my Dad picked up the pace a little!! He got a good quarter of a mile in before the pain was just too much and we had to slow down again.  However, he was happy with the pace he kept for the 1/4 of a mile. Seeing him happy made me happy. 🙂  We kept running, talking, people watching, spending time together.  we paced a BUNCH of hilarious Runtelligence race signs, some of which were so funny I had to stop I was laughing so hard.  I snapped a picture of this one because my Father and I are both oenophiles. 🙂  He told me to go on ahead of him, I looked him square in the eyes and said “nope. not the point today.  today is about us.”

winestation

I could tell the pain was getting close to unbearable for my Dad so, I started to tell him how much we had LEFT to go instead of how far we’d gone.  We were really close actually, and I think it helped. He told me I could leave him again, yea… no. Not happening.  I made a comment; “the end is near!” which afterwards made the people around me laugh. He says “That could be taken the wrong way…” 😉 “THE FINISH LINE!!! Geeze, the finish line is near!!” Eh, comedy is always good right?? 🙂  Then I saw it… The hill at mile 12.5 that kicked my ass in 2014. I also saw a sign (like an ACTUAL paper sign) that said “Eat this hill for breakfast”  I told my Dad, “Dad, I’m taking this hill, I’ll wait for you at the top ok?”  He nodded and I took off.  I think I would have made my friends at NP Baltimore pretty proud… I ATE that hill for breakfast.  I turned around and my Dad was right there… I was trucking up that hill!!  Apparently, he also wanted hills for breakfast, 😉

hillsforbreakfast

We saw the race track… I told him, “Dad, this is it.  You get on this track and you’re done ok?? The finish line is ON THIS TRACK!!” He started to run again. I got pumped so I ran too.  We saw the finish line, I pointed… “Look Dad!! The finish line!! Look!!”  We heard the announcer say our names “Anastasia Miles, Stephen Miles… thats a whole lot of Miles!!”  Yea, I laughed.  And Bam!! Just like that, my Dad is a half marathoner!!  At that moment my heart swelled with pride!!  His smile when he got his medal was like a kid getting a toy on christmas morning!  He earned that thing!!!

   dadfinisher     mefinisher

meanddad

While looking through the race pictures, I cried… hard.  I had no idea ho much physical pain my Dad was in until I saw those picture.  For him to push through that, to finish and to be smiling as much as he was through the entire ordeal makes him that much more of a hero to me.  He inspires me to do great things.  I can’t wait for him to get well so we can run together again!! 🙂

Thank you Frederick RUnning Festival for putting on an AMAZING event, and for helping make my Dsd’s first half an unforgettable experience. 🙂

My 4th 1/2 this weekend…. #runbaltimore #oiselleteam

So, this weekend is my 4th half marathon, the Frederick Running Festival.  If you’ve been following my blog for a bit, you know this is my second time running this race. The first time was my first half – ever, last year. You can read my recap here if you’re interested. 🙂  Am I prepared?  No.  Will I finish? Of course.  Will this race be as special as last year? Yes.  Why? This year, instead of running my FIRST half marathon, I’m pacing my father for HIS first half!!  Also, this year, instead of staying at a hotel, I’ll  be staying with my Dad the night before.  He lives closer to Frederick then I do.  (I live in Baltimore.)

Why am I not prepared… hmm… I could make excuses all day and they’d be pretty good ones… but it all comes down to me not getting my ass out and running.  My longest training run for this 1/2 was a 10k… a race.  Also (ha, check this list out…)

  • I’m in the process of buying a home
  • I’m having a small procedure two days prior to the race
  • I’ve been battling an ongoing sinus infection for 3 weeks
  • I recently moved EVERYTHING of mine out of my ex husbands place
  • My son is testing for early admission to Kindergarten (he’s 4)

So, yes, all excuses that shouldn’t have anything to do with me slacking off on training… but they did.  *smack on the wrist*. My Dad is a beast.  Again, for people that frequent this blog… he kicks my tail OFTEN at races.  I usually can’t keep up.  But!!! The beast pushed a bit too far and pulled his groin… so this turtle (me) is going to help pace him to a SAFE finish for his first half.   Both my father and I are competitive.  (I blame him for my constant need to compete… its a good thing, don’t worry!)  But we also both understand the need for safety and are smart enough to know when to stop pushing.

I’m beyond excited to run/walk this race with my father by my side.  He’s only started running in June of last year (a 5k), and for him to be completing a half with me this weekend fills my heart with joy.   Will we see you there?  What are YOU running this weekend?  🙂