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Hydaway… nifty new water bottle

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This is an endorsement… but it is one on a product I bought deliberately and will buy again. Back in 2015 there was a really cool product on kickstarter and I remember watching their ‘ad’ and thinking that it was … Continue reading

Cleveland Marathon Weekend Half Marathon Recap

And already it is over.  Already it is the week after and I am wondering where the time went.  All of the training for this one is in the bag… The hard work is done (for this one) and now it is time to sit back and reflect.

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My first thought (because I just read a Women’s Running magazine article on oooo look at me, I ran my half marathon despite having the flu… isn’t that admirable… look at how awesome I am despite spewing germs over 13 miles and an expo!!!) has been… thank goodness I didn’t get sick through the last few days.  Autoimmune disorder chick doesn’t appreciate the INCREDIBLE ADMIRATION OOOOOOO people get for deliberately spreading germs to 50,000 of the people they contact…  If you wouldn’t go to work and slobber all over your co-workers, don’t slobber all over the race event…

Bear isn’t incredibly thrilled with my reflections… but… it is what it is.  A lot of it is that I’m proud of myself (he’s good with that) a lot of it is that I’m beating myself up (not so good with that).  Now I know, basically, where I stand, and where I need to improve.

My takeaways on the race…

    1. even when the weather apps say it isn’t raining and that rain is pretty far away, don’t believe them.  While it wasn’t exactly rain rain… it was heavy enough foggy drizzle to make the day very chilly and humid.  For not rain… there were a lot of puddles and a LOT of people standing inside for the half hour leading up to race time.  Personally, I thought this was hilarious.  You are going to be out on the course… running… walking… run-walk-running… woggling… whatever you do…. for well over an hour and you are worried about getting wet before the race started.
    2. ‘walkers keep to the right and runners to the left’ gets you run over and knocked sailing if you are stupid enough to be doing intervals and are walking on the right.  WORSE, if you are at mile 12+ you have marathoners RUNNING inches from you despite the fact that you are all the way to the right of the right side of the street and they have FOUR FREAKING LANES to run in… nope, have to run close enough to you that they fling sweat as they pass.  YAY.
    3. Flat course is relative.  There are some kind of big hills.  One is down which was great one is up which I handled better than I thought I would when I saw it… but there ARE hills of varying sizes.
    4. Every other race I’ve done has done a better job of cleaning up after the runners who discard shirts/sleeves/pants/shoes/whatever along the route than Cleveland did.  It’s Tuesday and there are still clothes laying in brightly colored puddles along the sidewalks.  Not cool and it makes Cleveland look very sloppy.
    5. Mario (at the end of the Detroit street bridge was the best cheering section I passed on Sunday.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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It was nice to see people out in the rain cheering everyone on

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That is a LOT of cups

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Yeah, yeah, I have a thing for boats and reflections… Didn’t actually realize what pictures I did end up getting but this wasn’t bad with Tower City in the background.

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It was very cool running across the lift bridges and seeing the G-Tugs hanging out in the fog…

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It was kind of neat running where I walk every day anyway.  It was much more comfortable on the street running than I think it would have been on the sidewalk.

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I kept up with the “3 hour half” pacer for about three miles… but then I lost him along below Tower City.  Shame, too because at that point I really had my heart set on making a 3 hour half.  I wasn’t FAR off… but I wasn’t quite where I would have loved to have been .

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See… this is totally a hill.  Not quite as long as the one in Austin, but a hill none the less.  I loved the signs you pass going up, though… cheering you on…

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This is most true!!!

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I loved passing the interesting artwork.

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and the cool photo ops.

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I had never had Honey Stingers before.  It is my new go-to race food.

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This is an interesting house.  Architecture is kind of interesting in Cleveland.

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Next to the artwork… the people were awesome to pass

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I loved this shirt at the point I caught up to her.  It made me smile because it’s very true.

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This was… interesting… it was kind of annoying when the marathon pacer decided that it was imperative that he cut off the people in the half marathon side of the road so he could high five the people on the stationary bikes because… you know… I was kind of busy running my own race that probably wasn’t as exciting or important as the high fives or the full marathon race… but hey… it was interesting…

I have to kind of pat myself on the back a little, though… I PRed both my races.  I have NEVER EVER run as fast as I did for the 8k and even my Half Marathon time was better than I ever dreamed it would be.  I was hoping to make it (before I set off in the race) in under 3 hours and 25 minutes.  I did.

Now, all I have to do is better my time so I can better my corral in the Princess challenge and I will be set!

Now… onward and upward…

Rock and roll 10k in August
amish 10k September
towpath 10k October (maybe the half??? )
princess challenge 2019
and… next year’s Cleveland challenge series.

I’m trying to not hold out too much hope of being a race ambassador… but I think it would be wicked awesome cool to prove that someone with RA and who is more than a little overweight can ambassador a race and raise awareness!!!

 

Love and Light
April
5/22/2018

2018 Cleveland Marathon Weekend 8k Race Recap…

Well… day 1 (the 8k portion) of my challenge series weekend is done.  The sun is back to shining and it isn’t even noon yet.  Hard to believe… but there it is…

Race day?  Epic

Had to be downtown Cleveland by 7 am.  The race was to start at 8.  Despite feeling shitty and it being windy and cold and humid and rainy (kind of) bear made it to watch.  I was really glad that he was there to cheer me on, even though I know that he would much rather have been in it with me if he could have been.P5191112.jpg

The race started on time with a cheer and a shuffle.  It was a pleasant surprise.  What was just as awesome is that I crossed the starting line about one minute after the “gun”.  Bear and squirrel both snagged pictures of me heading through the starting line.  That was kind of awesome, because I totally wasn’t going to spend $80 on race pictures.

The pre-race, for me, was kind of interesting.  I’ve done Disney race… I’ve done several others… I’ve done Austin multiple times… this was kind of neat.  The starting corrals were the finish line only backwards.    It was interesting walking past the medals and post-race snacks on your way through to the start.


Most of the race was in places I have walked or driven before.  Yay for driving downtown and knowing where I’m going.  There was some interesting new places though and I loved some of the buildings/doors that I passed by.

It always makes me feel kind of weird that I’m one of the only one that is doing the race completely solo.  I pass, or am passed, by people running together in twos and threes and more… there aren’t many of us (or not many that I notice) that are doing the race solo.  I’t one of the reasons that I run with a bell (or bells) so I can remind myself that I am in this for the long haul and I’m all good.

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When you are towards the back of the pack, you don’t get to see many people on the sidelines cheering… there was actually only one that I saw today (but then it was “just” an 8k) but that one was EPICALLY Awesome!!! “May The Course Be With Your” was at the top of the last hill and a most welcome sight.

And… at one hour and 4 minutes… I crossed the finish line.  My chip time said I did a 12 minute 50 second minute mile for the 5 miles I ran today (and I honestly did do almost consistently a 2 minute walk and 30 second run).  I don’t expect to be able to maintain that tomorrow, but so far I did PR my mile time and I’m hoping to PR my tomorrow half marathon time.

I did it.

And I don’t feel like my hips are going to fall off… My knees and feet feel pretty good (much better after a hot bath)… and my omelette I made me after we got home was incredibly wonderful.

I feel frighteningly good.

More to come tomorrow!!!

Love and light
April
5/19/2018

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Cleveland Marathon Expo Day

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I can hardly believe it is already race weekend.  Today is the Expo.  Packet Pickup.  In just hours it will be race day(s).  I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting, but I was certainly expecting it to be bigger … Continue reading

Side Effects of Losing Weight

I guess I could be imagining things… but maybe not…

I’ve lost 22 pounds.  I’m noticing that what I want to eat (what I can stand to eat) has changed significantly, after even just 22 pounds.  I’ve also learned when I can stand to eat some of my weekly points without freaking out or worrying about what the doctor will say if I’m not where she is happy with by June (and I won’t be and she will be irritated).

This was my week for drugs (okay okay… two weeks ago was my week for drugs, but after doing all the math, I pushed it out to where I could get my infusions at roughly the right time through February hitting all my races without being in huge pain) and I was very grateful for my infusion this week.

When I was walking back to my car after my infusion, this week, I got kind of light headed (and I know it wasn’t from being hungry… I ate a cookie at the infusion center).  By the time I got home, I was starting to feel less achy in my ankles.  My hands were still stiff and hurty but it felt like the meds were working a little faster.

If this is actually a side effect of weight loss, I can totally handle this.

I have had to go shopping for pants.  I’ve dropped one size so far and it was to the point where wearing a belt to keep up my pants was uncomfortable because the belt guides were the only thing that was actually being held up.  The baggy gaps in the pants was very uncomfortable.  So I went to the second hand store (I’m not going to buy new pants that I will not be able to use in a month or two) and got the next size down.

I’ve even started wearing shorts again… and running tank tops (and just as I started wearing shorts, the weather got too chilly again to wear them).  I realized that wearing really baggy stuff wasn’t hiding anything anyway…

And here I am, sitting… looking out over the green leaves that came out of nowhere over the last week.  Listening to the morning birds (yet with the heat on because it is freezing…) and watching the daddy nuthatch bringing food to the mommy nuthatch as she is in the bird house either hatching eggs or caring for her babies…

One week from today is my 8k.  This will be the first race that I’ve done since the Presque Isle half marathon.  One week from right now I will be in Cleveland in my corral waiting for the race to start.  I know that, in running, I’m running away from the thoughts that chase through my head all the time… I know that this race is going to be hard in a lot of ways…. it’s going to be incredibly emotional… I hope I can do this.  I hope I can hold it together.  I hope that I can finish my challenge.

And before I lose it this morning…
Love and Light
April
5/12/18

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Proof I can do the challenge

This gallery contains 12 photos.

Today I decided that I needed to prove to myself that I could actually finish the challenge I set out to do.  Bear and I do 2 hours at the gym on Saturday and 2 hours at the gym on … Continue reading

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COUCH to 5K

So… I joined a Couch to 5k “training” group at work.  When I read the email that was eliciting people to join the group, I wrongfully assumed that it was… you know… COUCH to 5k training.  It does give you … Continue reading

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Taking A Day Off

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When I work during the week, I run ridiculously early in the morning.  My whole run (between 2 and 3 miles on average) is done in the dark.  The birds are up singing but it is dark.  The moon is … Continue reading

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From Fat To Finish Line

I stumbled onto a facebook group called From Fat To Finish Line.  I figured that was kind of me… so I joined.  I didn’t read a lot… then I started to lurk.  I didn’t realize that “From Fat To Finish … Continue reading

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Cleveland Half Marathon is bearing down on me

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Today should have been infusion day. I was supposed to not have one in May so I would be on track for not wanting to chew nails in February for the Fairytale Challenge. I back calculated for when I needed … Continue reading