Key West Half Marathon. Why can’t I just throw my bags in the car and go?

Hi ho from Key West.

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No.

I’m not in Key West, darn that, but I was a couple of weeks ago. And high time I do a Key West Half Marathon race report.

Guess this trip started about a year ago when I was on Facebook. Yes, be careful for a harmless click on the big white F in the field of blue can end up costing you more than you think.

Last January a friend posted photos from Key West and the half marathon. Sitting in my cold house in cold Central Georgia, a cold me thought, “Wow. That’s nice.” So I became a fan of the Key West Half Marathon on Facebook.

Well, low and behold in March 2014, a Facebook blurb came up about a price increase in the Key West Half Marathon.

So what did I do? What I’m sure all of y’all would do. I signed up myself, my oldest, and my husband. Just like that.

And forgot to tell anyone till say late summer when I started to think  . . . hmm. We might want to think about getting hotel reservations. (And tell my husband he was going to Key West in January to walk 13.1 miles.)

Here he is after I told him I signed him up to walk 13.1 miles in Key West in January 2015.

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No, sillies. That’s him about 100 yards from the finish line.

But I’m getting ahead of things.

Yes. I let my son and husband know they were going to Key West in January to run or walk 13.1 miles. Not that there’s anything wrong with walking 13.1 miles.

And a funny thing happened. Before I knew it, all that time passed and we were on a plane to Key West.

*   *   *

When we got into our hotel and got conscious Saturday morning this is what we saw  . . .

 

 

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See that bump. Sitting on our balcony having coffee, my husband says, “Look at the iguana.” And sure enough — there he bobbed up and down as the wind tossed his perch on a palm frond to and fro.

We said goodbye our new green friend, the large bug (or reptile) and headed out exploring. And we learned that Key West was home to Truman’s Little White House, Hemingway and chickens.

They were everywhere.

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Can I stop a moment and say roosters crow ALL NIGHT. If you ever doubted that they only crow at dawn, rest assured they crow every second of every 24 hours.

For a seventh generation Floridan, this was my first time in Key West and I did all the tourist things.

Obligatory, goofy selfie and end of A1A.

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Photo at Southernmost Point of United States.

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The line to take the obligatory photo at the Southernmost point of U.S.

 

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We ate and walked and saw chickens and before we knew it we were at the start of the race.

My husband looks like he really wants to be there doesn’t he?

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The crowd in front of me.

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That 2:15 is a joke after mile 8.

The group behind me.

 

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And we started.

Covering 13.1 miles on Key West ends up being your basic out-and-back with unbeatable scenery and lots of heat and humidity. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

We ran by the Southernmost Point again but didn’t have to stop and take a photo.

 

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A lot of race was on the water.

Pretty amazing.

And thank God for the clouds that morning.

 

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Caught my son as he headed back.

 

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I felt pretty good till the turn around. From mile 7 — 9, I started walking some.

Mile 10 on — I was walking a lot.

The humidity killed me.

 

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Yes. My stride at the end was pretty weak.

But I did it!

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But seriously. Can any race be that hard when we finish at a marina?

And there’s free beer.

 

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What a great medal.

 

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And here’s a funny. I thought I recognized this woman and talked with her during the race. About mile 5 or so.

Here we are afterwards.

 

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It was Tina from Elberton. As I case out the usual suspects in my age group for local races, I knew Tina’s face well. But I had never talked with her before.

She was a lot of fun and met her husband and daughter, who lives in Miami.

 

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I was on my best behavior and soon dear husband forgot the misery of those last few miles.

 

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You know.

It’s really a shame it’s so darn hard to get to Key West. No throwing the bags in the car and driving a few hours.

But maybe that’s why it’s so special.

I could really really spend some quality time down there.

Look at this photo taken on the cab ride to the airport.

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I’ll definitely be back.

Thoughts? Feelings on Key West?

Running in heat and humidity when your aging bod used to running in the throes of winter?

 

 

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Running into Christmas. What songs are on your playlist?

Holiday music. I love it.

I load it on my shuffle the night before Thanksgiving and the next morning I run the Atlanta Half marathon to Christmas music. One of my odd little traditions that make life wonderful.

Tomorrow is the 33th annual Madison Christmas Rush, Fun Run, 5K and 8K. I try to run it every year – and so I’m charging up the old shuffle.

 

 

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Here’s my top five holiday running songs. The songs I can’t help but repeat a few times before moving on to the next tune. Do me a favor and leave your favorite in the comments. I’m ready to add some new kick to my stride back up Dixie Highway toward the finish line.

 

    1. Santa Claus is Coming to Town.  Andrea Bocelli

Honorable mention:  Jackson Five, Justin Bieber

 

4. Little Drummer Boy.  Justin Bieber and Busta Rhymes.

I love this. Call me the eternal teenybopper. Guilty as charged.

“Playin’ for the king. Playin’ for the title. I’m surprised you didn’t hear this in the bible.”

 

Honorable mention:  Josh Groban. Well, anything Josh Groban

 

 

3.  Step Into Christmas. Elton John

How cute is he in this?

 

 

2.   Holly Jolly Christmas — Burl Ives.

Maybe it jettisons my subconscious back to sitting in pjs watching Rudolph and all the old Christmas shows. I love everything about this song. His voice. The jingling bells. The 60s Holiday Special back up singers. The lyrics . . .

 

 

“Have a holly jolly Christmas

And when you walk down the street,

Say hello to friends you know,

And everyone you meet.”

 

1.  Merry Christmas Baby — Bruce Springsteen

Bruce and saxophone. Miss Clarence 🙁 but he’s rockin in this video.

 

 

I didn’t know till googling this video that Otis Redding sang a cover of this in 1967.

 

Appendix — Joy to the World, Mariah Carey

These two women can belt out a song.

Honorable Mention:  Natalie Grant.

 

 

Other tunes I love to run to around Christmas  . . . .

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa ClausJohn Mellencamp.

It’s Christmas All Over Again — Tom Petty

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen — Barenaked Ladies

 

So many more.

I’d love to hear your favorites.

Happy Holidays and happy running.

 

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Chickamauga Battlefield Half Marathon. 13.1 Miles of History.

13. 1 miles of history . . . Or so says the back of our dri-fit shirts.

Every fall my running buddy Kim says we need to do this race. So this year, I signed up and when Kim couldn’t join me — I talked my husband into going with me. He walks for exercise.

Like really fast walk.

He’s secure in his maleness to walk 13.1 miles. Which is cool with me because the main thang is to have him walking his little heart out getting cardio exercise.

The man is into history as in would-have-loved-to-have-been a history professor into history, so I thought this was perfect for him. So after I begged and pleaded and promised things I’ll never follow through with, he agreed to go with me.

It’s ironic that recently, we stumbled upon a PBS show about Chickamauga. Okay, I happened to walk in the bedroom while he was watching — remember he is the history nut in the family.

According to the show, Chickamauga is a Native American word meaning river of death. The river there was so named when the Cherokee contracted smallpox. The sick would go to the river seeking relief from their fever  and many of them died while at the water.

Ironically, the battle fought at this river of death was the second deadliest of the Civil War. Second only to Gettysburg. Very sobering and hard to imagine, in a place that today is the epitome of bucolic beauty and tranquility.

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Here we sat last Saturday morning.

Let’s cover why this race is great from a runner’s perspective. You can wait in your car with the heater on. Which is awesome said anyone who has stood around for an hour in cold weather before a race.

 

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As far as the race size — it wasn’t too small; it wasn’t too big. It was just right. The marathon and half folks started together. I was reading about how the first place woman in the marathon was disqualified when her split times didn’t make sense. I think she probably got confused and didn’t run some of the course. Who knows?

Alls I know is that I covered every inch. And then some.

My time was where I seem to be stuck these days — 2:30. Well, 2:31:something. Which is 15 minutes slower than I did consistently a few years ago. But considering the wear and tear on my joints, I’m just happy to be participating in these things.

As much as I enjoyed this race, I encountered technical difficulties.

And since this is my blog and not an official race report, I will bore share them with you.

—  The race started. I turn on my iPod shuffle. No sound. For about the first half a mile I fiddled with the shuffle. I fiddled with the ear buds. Never got the blasted thing to work. So I quickly changed expectations — 13 miles. No music. No problem. Said no one ever.

—  Between Mile 7 and 8 my RunKeeper died. Well, my phone did. So instead of carrying a dead phone in my hand, I stuck it in my tights. Before long, my phone would fall down my leg and end up at my knee. Which caused me to stop and reach down into my tights to retrieve dead phone. I did this off and on for a few miles till I thought — this is maddening and carried my phone in my hand the rest of the way.

 

So even with no music or time, I’d have to say this was one of my top three half marathons. And I’ve run a ton.

A beautiful spot. Race day conditions were perfect. In the 30s. No wind. Blue sky.

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I took this because I thought the steam rising off the runners was cool.

 

 

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Yes, we were running through a battlefield. One where many, many young men lost their lives.

I have no notions to romanticize The Civil War.  It was a horrific thing. A horrific thing that had to be.

Slavery was a way of life in the plantation South — an inhumanity unthinkable in our culture today.

History proved war the heinous solution to end an even greater evil.

That was 151 years ago.

I kept having to remind myself that thousands of men died here.

Thousands.

Sixteen thousand, two hundred Union casualties and 18,500 recorded for the Confederate.

I can only shake my head as I type that.

 

 

 

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We did it.

 

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Thanks Johnny for coming with me.

So with no music and no timekeeper to neurotically check, I still give this race a must do.

Thoughts?

 

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Ronald McDonald House of Central Georgia. I’ll supersize that.

There’s been something I’ve wanted to share with y’all.

Last Sunday, my RMHC running buddy and I went to Macon to visit the Ronald McDonald House of Central Georgia. The one where the funds from our Miles of Miles TeamRMHC RunDisney efforts are headed.

I guess it’s the journalist buried deep, deep within my can’t-we-just-all-get-along facade that needs to understand things.

More than a surface explanation, if possible. Since this was possible for us, only an 75 minute drive — if you don’t get stuck behind a logging truck on Hwy 129 — we scheduled a visit.

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“Sorry folks. We’re closed. Clown out front should have told you.”

 

 

No sillies.

“Clark, they don’t close the Ronald McDonald House.”

Of course they weren’t closed.

So I walked up to the intercom, rang the buzzer and a very nice male voice answered.

I explained who we were and why the heck we were there.

And Chuck buzzed us on in.

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Chuck Kent and his wife Jennifer were the volunteer resident managers last weekend. And that nice fellow Clark — er, I mean Chuck — gave us the tour.

The lower two floors are the common areas with the guest rooms on the upper floors.

A few photos.

 

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The main living room.

 

 

More of the kitchen.

 

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They have quite a large kitchen equipped with everything you need to whip up an ice cream sundae or a hamburger with a little of that special sauce.

Chuck explained volunteers provide dinners most nights and brunch on many days. But anytime, day or night, residents can raid the pantry for a PB & Honey. My new personal favorite. Or find the fixins’ for whatever vittles might bring you some comfort.

Every drawer was labeled and the larder full. Chuck said the only rule is “clean up after yourself, just like at home.” At this remark I might have cast a sideways glance at my 10 year old.

 

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The rooms upstairs were just like you’d find in any nice hotel. With the exception of no television. The T.V.s are all downstairs. Which honestly, sounds wonderful.

There was a child’s playroom. A teen cave. A laundry.

I learned today that this very playroom is Charlie’s room. The wonderful Jana Anthoine is the reason I was introduced to running for this wonderful cause. This room is named for her infant son who most tragically died from Group B Strep complications.

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I don’t do the “ask for money” thing very well. But after seeing and hearing about RMH firsthand, I’m excited to have an opportunity to help.

Chuck said that they only ask families for $15 a day compensation. But no one is ever asked to leave or turned away because of inability to pay. They money that we are raising goes directly to helping fund a day’s rest for weary, worried parents and siblings.

The Children’s Hospital is right next door. A preemie easily can stay up to 90 days at a medical center. If your home is 64 miles away — what do you do? Leave the bitty love behind?

Chuck said their granddaughter needed surgery at Egleston in Atlanta. Their family was able to stay at the RMH at Emory. “Once you have ever had any experience with a Ronald McDonald House — you feel compelled to volunteer and donate your time.”

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When leaving, I felt compelled to take a photo with Ronald. My son was not so sure. After taking this pic, I realized I should have let my son hold the camera out, so he would have been in the frame.

But good luck getting a self-conscious 10 year old to retake a photo sitting on a bench in a public area with a plastic clown.

No. I had one take — and this was it.

 

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Not much else to report about our visit, other than heaven forbid — something happens to a child you love. I now know of the all the good the clown in the yellow jumpsuit does.

Any donation is so very appreciated. Fifteen dollars is all it takes to house a family for a night.

Have you ever wanted a selfie with Ronald McDonald?

Question is my feeble attempt to engage comments with readers of this blog. pooh.

 

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My Ten Things Thankful: Exploding Great Expectations edition.

Expectations. I  try hard not to have them but riddle me this?

How does a gal have goals — either for the next 10 years or the next 10 minutes — without setting expectations?

My Ten Things Thankful —  My 4th of July, Peachtree Road Race exploding great expectations edition.

 

*   *   *

Yesterday, the Fourth of July.

My son and I in Piedmont Park for the customary hold-a-shirt-up pic after the Peachtree Road Race.

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10.   Wait. There was supposed to be three in this photo.

For three months my 10 year old and I had trained to run this race together. It was to be his first 10K.

 

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Our last official training workout on July 2.

 

 

 

9.   I am so thankful for my dog. Who loves to sleep on the cool bathroom tile in the summer.

 

At 5 a.m. on Friday, I wake the boys up to head into Atlanta. Joe stumbles into the bathroom to take a quick shower.

Here’s where everyone must swear not to mention I shared this to Joe.

Half asleep he trips over the sleeping dog and crashes onto our 1925 cast iron bathtub.

I know this has happened because I hear a crash the likes of two-ton meteorite hitting the bathroom tile.

 

See. The dog is always here.

See. The dog is always here.

 

 

Joe knocks the wind out of himself. And becomes hysterical.

 

 

8.   I love that the legs routinely come off our newly restored tub.

 

 

 

 

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See. We are working to figure out a better way to attach the blasted legs to the tub.

 

7.  Poor boy is very upset and says he is too sore to run. After trying 20 minutes to convince him he can do it without any luck, Jake and I leave.  Photo of the three of us in Park after race — gone.

 

 

6.  On the drive into Atlanta  (we are now 30 minutes later than I wanted to leave), I try to relax while talking to my son.

All the while the refrain from Frozen is blasting in my head.

 

 

 

 5.  Because we are late, change idea of parking at park (too crowded by now) and decide to park at start. So I turn onto I-285.

 

Soon after that I saw flashing signs: ALL LANES BLOCKED because of accident. Said prayer for those involved and decided to creep off 285 to Marta station.

 

Parking lot was packed.  I noticed all these people. All very nicely dressed.

My brain is trying to figure it out. A wedding? A family reunion? So weird. Then see a sign Jehovah’s Witness International Convention.

Please do not take this in anyway against the Jehovah’s Witness but there were a million of them.

Every stop the train picked up a handful of late runners  and 3,000 more convention goers.

Each stop took about 30 minutes.

 

4.  I was impressed with the Jehovah’s Witness. As I was crammed in the back of the car standing  by the door.

No one seemed rushed or bothered. Everyone seemed happy. Except me.

Let it go, let it go. That’s what I kept telling myself. So I talked to the nice man from Jamaica right behind me. And the old fellow from Macon in front. And the beautiful young girls in saris right beside me. One of whom was a stunning young Indian girl. The other two looked and talked like they would spill forth from the Delta Delta Delta house at any major Southern university — while wearing gorgeous colorful Hindu wear.

 

3.  Then the crazy preacher man got on the train. And stood right in front of me.

 

“The Church is in me,” he started. That sounded great. Then he latched onto my son like a piece of gum that inevitably finds the bottom of my shoe. We learned stream-of-consciousness about his playing basketball in college and then how no cop better try an illegal search and seizure on him.

 

By this time, I have given up all hopes of getting to the start of the race before 9 a.m.

I had fallen down the rabbit hole into an episode of Seinfeld.

 

 

2.   I became the crazy talking lady on the train.

 

We switched trains and headed up toward Buckhead. Gathering more runners each stop. Till Lindbergh station. The train driver told all runners to exit and wait for the Lenox train.  The Marta guys outside were telling all runners to stay on till the Buckhead station.

Crazy late runners don’t need this.

A few of us stayed on the train and headed up to Buckhead. As woman stood beside me freaking out that the train wasn’t going to stop.

Then I noticed two women in front of me. They touched and held onto each other like a couple as the train lurched.

I locked eyes with one of the woman and it all came out.

My 10-year-old was supposed to be running with us.

My sleeping dog.

The 1925 cast iron tub.

The ALL LANES BLOCKED.

The mass of sweet convention goers.

WILL THE TRAIN STOP AT THE BUCKHEAD STATION???

 

 

1.   We stopped at the Buckhead station.

The entire train heaved a sigh of relief. The couple and I offered a “have a good race” to each other and Jake and I started the mile and a half walk to the start.

 

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No, the picture at the end of the race didn’t look as I imagined — but once I LET things GO — things turned out pretty awesome.

 

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Yes — there were only two of us in the photo but to heck with expectations.

Thankfully, I’m not the best at making realistic ones.

Reality is well reality.

And pretty good.

 

 

Linking up with . . .

Ten Things of Thankful

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5K School Fundraisers. Trick or Trot Your Way to $$$.

What school isn’t hungry for great ideas for a fundraiser? Wrapping paper, candy, candles.

As a girl, one year I went door-to-door selling scented candles. Each time someone would buy one, I was like God bless you. Now I like scented candles as much as the next person — but frosted glass and pictures of sad-eyed puppy dogs? Guess you can never have enough of those.

Breaking ground and new vistas for fundraising, our local elementary school holds a 5K the weekend before Halloween. The Trick or Trot 5K and Fun Run.

They make a huge profit and create a fun family event for the community.

This year’s race was last Saturday.

 

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You can tell by the photos that it was cold. Cold for us Georgia folks away.

It was a beautiful day. As any runner knows, standing around in the cold before a race might not be the most pleasant but cold temps make running the race all the better.

Trick or Trot co-organizer Stephanie Keener said that there were 455 race registrants for both one mile Fun Run and 5K.

That’s a great turn out for any local 5K.

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Though the Fun Run wasn’t timed, the majority of attendees participated in the mile race. Adults and children running, walking or skipping the distance.

Keener said that 169 folks completed the 5K.

Here’s a list of the top 11 Over all finishers.  I went all the way to number 11 to include the lovely Elizabeth Branch who was top finisher for the women. Woo.

1.    Zach Massey
2.    Alex Branch
3.    Jeremy Craft
4.    Jordan Hilsman
5.   Kingsley Sitzmann
6.   Dennis Sitzmann
7.    Rodney Whitacker
8.   Juan Rangel
9.   Thomas Hume
10. Jim Branch
11.  Elizabeth Branch

Below are the children of number 10 and number 11. So very cute and so very fast.

Like mom and dad.
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Kate Branch (11) finished 2nd in her age group. Big brother Alex (12) finished 2nd Overall. AMAZING.

 

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Trevin Peters (9) was the second place finisher in 4th grade. And second in his age group. AWESOME.

My son and I were signed up to run the 5K. As I stumbled to the coffee pot in the dark last Saturday, my mind was telling me to do the Fun Run because other than PE and rec league football, my 9 year old had not run any distance.

I discussed this with him and he agreed to the one mile.

We dressed. Bundled up in the car and headed to Rutledge where the race started.

As the car bumped over the train tracks out of town my son said, “Mom. I really want to run the 5K.”

I explained again how I didn’t think he was trained. Code for — you will have a meltdown half way through.

“Mom. I want to have a sense of accomplishment today, then wake up for my birthday tomorrow.”

What’s a mom to say to that?

Participating in an organized event and crossing the finish line is all about accomplishing something.

Never be discouraged — no matter your place. Everyone who completed the distance finished ahead of everyone who stayed in bed.

My son and I started the three miles and all was great till .87 miles when he asked if we were almost done.

That’s when I started pointing out the cows.

 

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We got the to the turn around and I needed motivation for a nine year old who wanted to accomplish something.

But had forgotten that fact.

 

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I reached in my sweatshirt pocket and felt some rolled up bills. Change from a twenty I broke earlier in the week.

As we walked along the asphalt, I pulled out the roll. “I will give you this money — no matter how much it is — if you finish without complaining.”

148.    Joe Miles,     48:37.7

149.    Jamie Miles  48:43.1

 

 

Keener said that she and her co-chair Kristi Fridell, worked great together in months of preparation before the big day.

“It was a lot of fun. A lot of hard work — but we were a great team.”

How much did the Trick or Trot raise for the school?

Are you ready?

The profit was over $11,000.

That’s a lot of wrapping paper.

Thanks so much to two very talented ladies.

Have you ever run — walked — a 5K with a child?  Bribery or no.

 

Linking up with the fabulous Greta@gfunkieds and Sarah@sundayspill for #iPPP.

GFunkified

 

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Tower of Terror 10 Miler. Not So Scary at All.

Sometime we need to revisit things in life because they didn’t go as planned the first time around.

Last September my husband and I ran the inaugural Tower of Terror 10 Miler at Walt Disney World.

We died.

Okay not literally, but that race kicked my rear. 

Lots of heat and humidity. We had only run about eight to nine miles maximum in training. Because what is 10 miles? At night?

Well, it was a lot more than my sorry behind could handle. We ended a pretty pathetic duo. Rather than riding all the rides afterwards as planned (the park stays open till 4 a.m.), we sat on a bench for two hours chasing a Tylenol with a few beers.  The only rides we felt like attempting were — well, let’s just say there wasn’t any 40″ height requirement.

I was determined to have a great race. Because all my race experiences at Disney have been great. I wasn’t going to let 10 miles get the best of me.

So last weekend, once again we found ourselves in the parking lot at Hollywood Studies at 9 p.m. checking the college scoreboard on our phones and taking goofy shots because how else were you going to kill two hours before the race started?

 

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The race commenced. We were pretty far back.

Which was fine, because I was going to take it slow have fun and my husband was going to walk.

He walks fast. So fast, I can’t walk with him. So we had major inappropriate PDA at the start (because we might never see each other again) and went our own way for 10 miles.

Now for some of my outstanding photo journalism.

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There was a little bit of cross-country running about mile 5.

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This guy and girl were with me the whole race. Every time I looked up at a mile marker, he was taking her photo.

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Not sure who he was supposed to be. Her costume was a cross of Jasmine and the Cheshire Cat.

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Was standing there taking the photo below when a creepy Walking Dead-esque pallbearer sidled up to me.

I got away speedy fast.

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About this time I stopped taking pics because it occurred to me — once you’ve seen one picture of sweaty people running at midnight  you’ve probably seen ten more than you really care to.

So I finished my 10 miles, got my coolio medal and sat on the ground and waited for my husband praying my phone battery would last till we met up.

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We met up for the after race photo.

The photographer told us to kiss.

I included this proof because as I turned to my dearest, I kind of forgot what I was supposed to do.

 

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Yes. I still was a little oopy after running 10 miles in 79 degrees and 79 percent humidity.

But after properly hydrating, we were able to ride the ride that bears the race’s name.

WARNING: The photo below is why you will never EVER see me sitting on a bar stool at 3 a.m.

Scary.

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So what’a ya think? Up for running 10 miles at 10 p.m.?

Linking up with the fabulous Greta@gfunkied (who would totally be up for running 10 miles at 10 p.m.) and the equally fab Sarah@sundayspill for #iPPP.

 

GFunkified
Later in the week, I’m going to post why combining a trip to Disney and a race is such a great idea. Even for two middle-life nuts like us.

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Peachtree Road Race. A Fourth of July tradition with 60,000 of your closest friends.

And sweatiest friends for sure.

Ran the Peachtree for the first time in about five years today. And it really was great fun.

Decided I’ve got to do this every year.

The first time I ran it was in 1988. I had just gotten in engaged two days before to John Miles.

We ran it together till Mile 5, when he thought he wouldn’t get a t-shirt (back then you had to finish in 55 minutes to get a t-shirt) and he left me.

For the record, he might have got his shirt first, but we both got the green shirt that year.

 

No idea where either of those shirts is . . .

 

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Now I was sure it was going to pour.

But it never did.

 

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Walking under that flag never gets old.

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Bumped into my next door neighbor.

Who is speedy fast so he said, “hi.” Took a pic. And ran on.

We don’t look so bad for just getting up that darn Piedmont Hospital Hill.

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Finally, made the turn and headed down to the mud pit, er, Piedmont Park.

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Now I know how Seattle Slew felt on a sloppy track.

Well, if I was a gifted athlete who happened to be a horse then I would know exactly how he felt.

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Kind of like Woodstock without the music, drugs (except Ibuprofen) and nudity — for which we can all be thankful.

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Yes. After today, my childhood friend can check the Peachtree of her bucket list and I can start my streak of running them again at one.

Have you ever run the 6.2 down Peachtree?

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Getting ready for the morning. Peachtree Road Race.

I never set my clothes out.

Lord knows I should because I’m forever late.

But tonight I did.

Running the Peachtree Road Race again for the first time in a while.

It might be raining but I’ll be there.

Will you?

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This time on the run, it wasn’t about me. Or this time at the beach either.

“Isn’t Tebow coming?”

My running buddy asked me Saturday morning.

No. I hadn’t planned on taking the dog.

I was stressed and running with him pulls on my arm, which pulls on my shoulder, which starts to throb.

I don’t want anyone pulling on me for one hour — my running time. Especially an 80 pound, excited Labrador Retriever.

“No. I’m not going to bring him this morning. I just want to run in peace.”

Kim frown a bit and  drawled, “But he alwaaayyys comes. He’s just part of us.”

Ugh.

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Tebow looking for Kim the other day.

 

Don’t get me wrong. I love my dog. I really do. But sometimes, he is like another child clamoring for me with more responsibilities. Sometimes I want to run just with my girlfriend and my 25-year-old newly married self.

Me 25 years ago. Before kids. Before gray hair and bad knees.

My friend was right of course. The poor dog stood at the door dying to join us.

“I’ll take him,” Kim volunteered.

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There they go.

Notice who’s not looking back.

He’s so darn happy to be moving forward outside, no way he’s going to look back.

 

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Notice who’s still not looking back.

We started to run and I enjoyed not having a stegosaurus tugging on my arm.

I felt a smidgen mommyzilla. Like when I had toddlers and was so relieved when someone offered to take them from my arms and give me a break.

Talking with friends yesterday, one very busy, working outside the home single woman mentioned she was headed to the beach with her children. She wanted nothing more to plop herself on a chair in the sand with her coffee in the morning moving  only to follow the sun till five that afternoon.

But her children are not play-in-the-sand all day children. The girls want to shop the outlets and the boys want adventure. She reluctantly decided that this time at the beach it wasn’t about her. This time it was about her children. And she’s already planned a weekend trip by herself with nothing but a book, lawn chair and bathing suit.

Yes, sometimes we’ve got to leash up the dog when we’d rather go it alone. Because we love the dog, the dog needs exercise and we brought the darn creature into our home in the first place.

And a having a good friend helps.

Always.

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(I made her take this goofy shot to post with our run on RunKeeper.)

Are there days when you just can’t take the kids with you to the store? Or times when you want to run off to the beach by yourself?

 

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