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!!

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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…

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…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… 😉

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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.”

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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, 😉

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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

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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?  🙂

Who wants to race?

I have so many exciting events coming up, I can hardly control my excitement!!! On April 5th I have a 5.7K in Canton (Baltimore) hosted by the Brigance Brigade Foundation.  This race benefits ALS patients and their families.  Probably thinking, why 5.7?? Baltimore Ravens Senior Advisor to Player Development O.J. Brigance has ALS.  He founded said Brigance Brigade.  The distance for the race is the same as Brigance’s former jersey number, 57. Pretty sweet huh??

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The VERY next Saturday, I’m running the CharmCityRun Sole of the City 10K!! This event will also run through Baltimore, but will be a bit longer. 🙂 This event benefits the Erika Brannock Fund – Erika Brannock is a 29-year-old preschool teacher from Towson, Md., who was seriously injured during the Boston Marathon Bombings on April 15, 2013. (information obtained from CCR). I’m super excited about this race… no it’s not the longest race I’ve done… but it’s supposed to be a WHOLE LOT of fun. A friend of mine ran it last year, and is STILL talking about it. So, should be awesome! 

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My next race will be my longest to date… My first half marathon!! *shudder*… just kidding, also super excited for this one! 🙂 It’s called the “Nut Job Challenge“.  A Twilight 5K on Saturday evening May 3rd, and a Half Marathon, yep, my first 13.1 at 0700 on Sunday, May 4th!!! Training for this bad boy has been a lot of fun actually.  I ran a 14K over valentines day weekend in Virginia beach (almost 9 miles), so my body had to prepare pretty quickly. (I had a medical emergency and couldn’t start training until the middle of January). This Half marathon is also 1/3 of the King Crab Challenge which I’ll talk more about later. Regardless, SUPER STOKED about my first half. (which will obviously talk place around historical Frederick) 

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Next….. On May 10th, is a race I hold near and dear to my heart. 🙂 The Warrior Dash. This race, last year, was my first ever mud run, first ever obstacle race, and first ever “oh crap… can I actually do this??”  Well, guess what ladies and gents… I DID IT!!! I reined victorious! Left with my Warrior horns, mud in places I didn’t think possible, a beer in hand, and the BIGGEST smile on my face.  If ever you have the change to do a race like this, please do it.  It’s incredible. Yea, it’s only a 5K, but with the 12 intense obstacles and the amazing camaraderie you get while on the course, it feels like so much more. Truly, an amazing experience. I can’t WAIT until this year!!  Also, this year I decided to become a St Jude Warrior! I’m a whackadoo and have forgotten my information for fundraising, but don’t worry, an email has been sent to St. Jude to retrieve!!! Funds will be obtained for those amazing kids fighting the amazing fight!! Let me ask you one question though?? Are you a warrior??

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On June 14th, I’m running part 2 of 3 of the King Crab Challenge. The Baltimore 10-Miler!!! All around Druid Hill Park in Baltimore, staring at 0730. 🙂 This event benefits Back on my Feet. (BoMF).  Back on my feet is a nonprofit organization that uses running to help those that are currently homeless.  Hoping to change the way they see themselves so they can make a real change in their lives that result in better living and employment. 

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On June 15th, Yes, THE VERY NEXT DAY!!! I (for the third year running) I have the GBMC Fathers day 5K benefiting the AMAZING NICU at Greater Baltimore Medical Center.  Having personal experience with both the hospital (I work for GBMC) and the NICU, (a handful of my dear friends babies have spent time there) I know that every penny counts. “Your support will touch more than 500 critically ill and premature babies cared for this year in the GBMC Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). These fragile babies are cared for by hospital staff specializing in newborn care and require equipment designed just for them. Remember, your support is the biggest deal to our smallest patients.” (taken from the GBMC website).  Definitely a cause I can get behind. My munchkin was in the NICU, not at GBMC, but in Germany… which was even more heartbreaking. This year I’m hoping to convince my Dad to run with me. 😉  This race will be run around the beautiful GBMC campus and through Towson University and SEPH. (really, it is very picturesque.) 

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The next weekend, June 22nd, is another AMAZING race!!! But, just for females!!! I mean, any race where you get a rose at the finish is pretty special. 😉 Yes, I’m talking about the Baltimore Womens Classic. 🙂 Another 5K, but a GREAT one. This race begins and ends around rash field in Baltimores inner harbor. This race is the Mid-Atlantic’s largest all women’s 5k. The BWC raise funds to provide direct support services for female cancer patients and their families across the state of Maryland.  At the end of the race (as far as I can remember from last year, you’re presented with a beautiful rose, a medal, a towel, (lol) and a glorious array of healthy treats!!! Yummy!! 

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On August 9th, I’m running the Charles 12.  This race should be really awesome.  Per the CCR website, it’s “Maryland’s most monumental race”. From the CCR Website – The Charles Street 12-mile race will begin at The Shops at Kenilworth and take you down one of Maryland’s most beautiful and scenic byways. The Charles Street 12 will treat runners to beautiful views of Maryland’s most charming neighborhoods including Towson, The Orchards, Roland Park, Homeland, Guilford, Charles Village, Mt. Vernon and Downtown Baltimore. While you will be running fast on this course, don’t miss the views of some our best universities, museums and landmarks including Towson University, the Cathedral of Mary our Queen, Notre Dame College, Loyola College, Johns Hopkins University, the Basilica, The Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walters Art Gallery and the Washington Monument…. So nice!!! This race benefits the Children’s heart program at the UM Children’s Hospital, and of course their families, from before birth, through early adulthood. <3. 

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On August 17th, @ 1800… yes an evening run!!! I’ll be running a 5K trail run through the gorgeous vineyards of Boordy.  I ran this last year and actually PR’d. lol on a trail run. 🙂 Must have been the wine at the finish line waiting for me. 😉 Anyway, this race takes place in Hydes maryland and is mostly off road. Hopefully the weather will be as beautiful as last year!!! 

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And finally, the 3rd of 3 for the King Crab Challenge and the second half of the MD Double… On October 18th, I’ll be completing my 2nd half Marathon at the Baltimore Running Festival. At 0945 on the 18th, my last race (ha…we’ll see) of 2014 will begin. At the end of this half marathon, I will be awarded my Half marathon medal from that day, the Md Double medal from completing the Baltimore Running Festival and the Frederick Running Festival, and an Amazing Backpack for completing the King Crab Challenge.  It will be a truly monumental day!! 🙂 So much to look forward to this year…. LETS DO THIS!!!! 

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