Sunday, November 17, 2019

What was I thinking race weekend.

I don't know how people do an event and then write a summary the same day or a within a few days. I do know I we all have our own strengths, and so I should not judge myself against others. [I need to note that I thought I published this, and apparently I hadn't!. Blaming that on tamoxifen, and being busy with life.]

Last year my running sibling said "hey, let's do this race".
I said "It sounds hilly, are you sure it's not".
"It's not," I heard in response.

I was thinking "okay, you live with some nearby elevation, I don't, but there will probably be some hills".

Then in July I saw an email and race course info that said 4,000 feet of elevation change. I said "WHAT" to my screen and messaged my sibling. She said I was off.

Even as we were driving up to the town, she still said there's no way there's 4,000 feet of elevation change.

I am an optimistic person by nature, but I also am a realist, so I was internally spazzing about this race that had a reallllly long course limit due to the ultras going on at the same time as the half and marathon on Saturday, and the half on Sunday.

Oh, did I neglect to mention that we decided to do a *trail* marathon on Saturday, and a *trail* half marathon on Sunday. I mean, we are both Double Agents/Marathon Maniacs/ Half Fanatics.

The drive there took me longer due to a detour--don't all driving trips take longer than you anticipate?-- and a stop at REI that did NOT have Injinji tall socks. The sales guy didn't really want to help me anyway, since he had to interrupt his conversation for this lady who was just standing patiently waiting her turn to talk to the sales person in the shoe/sock department.  I did get Tanka bites there, and the salt /electrolyte tabs so I guess the stop wasn't a failure after all.

The county roads in this part of Michigan are wide, and each intersection has a X network of wires  overhead leading to a large street light illuminating the intersection. I thought this was really cool, except for all the wire/lines.  I think parts of upper central Wisconsin had lights like that, but it has been a decade since I've been there.

We head to the race start area, even though we know we can't pick up our race packets because of the time. It was nice to see the parking area, and the sand. Someone I know told me that there is sand there, and to have gaiters for it. Thankfully we did!

In town to the grocery store (The Meijer was HUGE), and our hotel was nearby. The hotel was a great location, but spendy for what we received (basic hotel, breakfast we couldn't eat, and no pool). I reminded myself that it was supply/demand/ tourist town type of thing, and right before Labor Day, so ka-ching $$.

We set out our clothing for race day one and got some sleep which was interrupted by the alarm.  Grabbed some hard boiled eggs, and headed out to the start area for packet pick up. While I have done a couple trail races before, I was still nervous. I've not done with this kind of elevation and was not sure of the trails.  While the trail I did before was Woodside in California, with nice wide trails under evergreens (except for the bottle neck start area to thin out the group), this one had single track that was one foot wide, and single track that was wide enough for both feet, and then some nice area for an ATV to maneuver well, and "two track" (the local term--it's double track where I live) that was truck worthy. I was glad we got there early, to get a parking spot in the main parking lot.  We picked up our packets and-wow- what stuff there was in there!  I was expecting bib, shirt, pamphlet, and some local coupons. We got a t shirt, a technical shirt, a technical hoodie (Runner Inside design), coupons for food at the finish, a rootbeer float at the finish area, a sticker for the race,  and coffee mug. My apologies if I'm missing something. That was for EACH race. We were doing Saturday and Sunday, so we go these X 2.

I took my Bug Soother bug spray to the race, only sprayed my ankles and half way up my calves, and left it in the car. I was more worried about chiggers and ticks than mosquitoes. BIG mistake. Big. HUGE. I was also anxious, even though I knew this was basically going to be a hike instead of a race race.  Do our own thing, but we'd probably stick together. I didn't want to get run over by the fast folks from the ultra, but wasn't too worried on that. I was more worried about the sand. For an area with many trees, I thought there would be more dirt via composting of leaves over hundreds of years. Instead, there were large swaths of solid sand. Across the double track, and ten feet, ten yards and longer in various spots. Those were all on the flatter sections, so perhaps the sand just washed down the hills and collected there. Rambling, oops. Anyway. Sand, and dirt, roots about every two feet to trip over, and some places where the track was only wide enough for a foot, and worn down to three inches below the rest of the surface.

At the start of each wave/category, Race Director Chris had notes for us, and questions. My concern was getting lost, so I asked about flagging on course. I got some "seriously" comments from those around me, but every RD does something different.  I found out that the flags would be pink for marathoners, and that they were frequently on course if a direction/turn was happening, but further apart if there was no other trail option/ we were on the same trail.

We started out and of course I ran a little bit past the spectators due to the energy of race day. We were thinned out in the little loop at the start, then spread out. First it was three of us together, then we gained a fourth person after a while. We hiked and hiked, stopped for pit stop stuff, got eaten by mosquitoes (they were really bad this day). Then we were on a skinny trail skirting the outside of a long winding up hill that looked like something out of Last of the Mohicans. What a gorgeous day to be outdoo---ouch,  mosquito. There were tree roots on all the trails, so I was worried, since I can trip over a piece of gravel in the grocer's parking lot!

Our group of four was passed by the ultra runners in this area. They were very polite, but we still stepped off the trail while they passed. It was fine when it was one or two runners, but when it was twenty in the pack, or ten, it was a mosquito fest, and a time when the clock was still running for us.  By mile 12 my hips were hurting from the pace I was going, and I was getting bitten more frequently, so I just kept walking when the others paused for a pit stop. I could still see them as I wound my way back and forth zig zag up the side of a hill.  As I reached the plateau, I scared up two deer, the only wildlife I saw all day.  The last half of this course had fewer (in my mind) long winding areas, and more constant undulating course layout of going up and then over 'rollers'. If this was a road for a car, it'd have been great for 'hill hopping'!

I took my phone out about the halfway mark. I slowed to take a gel, got some more out of my pack, and figured I'd take the phone out to do a photo and call The Mike to let him know my pace. Thus, this is the ONLY photo I have of the marathon trail.

Pretty much the widest part of the regular trail system,
not counting the occasional bit of double track. 
I couldn't help myself, I started slow running in some areas. I was tired. I needed to pee, but if I stopped I was swarmed by mosquitoes. I just wanted to be done. Oh, wait, look at that, Mile 16; no wonder--I'm hitting the wall. Up and down and up and down and some longer climbs where the trees were much taller and more space between them.

The aid stations were fabulous. All staffed by Scouts and 4Hers. While I had some Huma, GU, and a Sunbutter sandwich on Canyon Bakehouse bread with me, at the aid stations the watermelon and oranges were a welcome break of sugar, vitamins, and fiber, and the carbonation of Coca Cola was great. Except, the HFCS Coke (and Tamoxifen) given me an urgency to pee.  I just kept telling my brain that I really didn't need to stop. The mosquitoes finally lessened and I was able to make a stop without being lunch.

I was glad to have read the the race pamphlet part that it was pretty much downhill in the last mile of the race. Thus, I was perplexed when I kept seeing the "Caution Hill" signs and seeing a steep descent and having to go back up again when my Garmin was getting to 23, 24, 25 miles. I was on top of a hill when my watch was at 25 miles. I was like, "THIS IS IT. IT IS ALMOST OVER" and was SO happy. And then. . . it wasn't. My Garmin has never been off like this before. Sure, a tenth of a mile or so, but not this. I rolled into the last aid station when my watch said 26.2. I even showed the Scout dad --lol.  The leader said that it was a mile or so to the finish.  I continued run/walking along the top of the hill, saw some pink flags, and more pink flags, and was confused. It was a triangle on my side of the road with foot prints to the left/downhill and right/uphill of a boulder.  There were pink flags across the road on the opposite side. I was perplexed. I was there for maybe a minute, if that, and an ultra came up behind me.  He said we had to go to the right. I forget the term he used, but it was a tight lollypop. We went up this short hill with medium steepness, looped around at the top/flat area, and then came back down. From here it was ALL downhill.  The road part was a bit steep for running down in my opinion, but those ultra folks did it so beautifully. It was like watching ballet on a hill!  Then I laughed. There was a bench built into the side of the hill on this steep part!    Once past this steep part with roots here and there, it was on to prairiescape and still a descent. I started running, knowing the finish was near, and hearing the spectators, and honestly, I had a hard time slowing down. I wasnt sure I was going to be able to stop past the finish line!

I can't even get one "floor" on my Garmin for going up and down my stairs at home (12 stairs).
There was a LOT of elevation on this course.
Garmin lied to me this day! 
Oh, the finish was glorious. I was so excited to be finished. The medal is HUGE. I walked around with it tucked in my armpit due to the weight.  I changed my shoes for Oofas and I walked, stretched, and then sat for a caricature and talked with some other racers, and spectators. I think everyone I spoke to was from Michigan, so they were shocked when I said I was not!  I was a bit worried as to where my sister was, but I knew she had people with her.  We had brought the cooler with us, so I had some chocolate milk, my Tanka bites. Then I had to sit, because my body started working the food rather than just going forward.  
Weighing in at 1#8oz 
My sister finished!  Yeah, let's go get some food!  She wanted to go back to the hotel and I said, "oh no, we are going out to eat". She said, "Like this?"  Yes, like this. I am HUNGRY.

We went out to eat at a local place with good food.

gluten free bun toasted. I was hungry. I didn't trust the bread, but I needed my burger. 

Returning to the hotel there was a deer family across the parking lot in the trees. 

DIRTY feet 

I think I'm ready for the night 
Went to sleep so exhausted. The alarm went off in the morning, and I rolled over. I couldn't believe how good I felt. I was surprised!

Then I stood up.
I almost fell over.
The legs that felt fine in the bed, were wicked sore upon standing! 

We knew movement was the best thing for us though, so even though our bodies were saying 'no', our minds were telling us 'do this!'.

Back for more! 
By the time we were walking around at the start of the half, our bodies / legs were feeling much better, but we both knew we were taking today in stride. No  power work for us today.
We were surprised that parts we expected on the half weren't there from the day before, and I was hoping to get a photo of that loooonnnng steep decline today, but that wasn't on the course either. We later learned that a tree fell overnight and blocked the route--I guess adding obstacles isn't a thing :)

Most of the trails were like this, some were narrower with a definite 'gully' of sorts with the path being wide enough for one foot only. 
Strange how basically the same course can vary from day to day. 
The second day we encountered no mosquitoes! It was definitely less humid as well.  
The lovely "Caution Steep Descent" yellow signs. 
When we got to the end of the main part of the course, and moved to do the lollipop up a steep hill, my sister said this was part of the ski lift area.  Even without being someone who skis, I could definitely see the remains of the ski lift. 
Thank goodness that is over!  Longest marathon time and longest half marathon time for me. 
Somehow I wound up with more elevation than was suppose to be on the half course. Perhaps that was due to the redirect of the course from down trees.

When we started I realized I forgot to remove my ring. I am thankful the Camelbak has a closed hook within it and that is where I put the ring. It took several hours before I could put the ring back on. I never use to have this problem. I think there was only one half marathon (Chicago, 2012) where I had a little swelling. I'm putting this back on Tamoxifen again. I started that this Spring and it doesn't matter if I'm doing a 5k on the treadmill, or longer distance like these two days, my hands swell. 

Since the chain sporting store I stopped at didn't have tall Injinji socks in stock, I wore my fun Halloween socks. 
Before leaving the parking lot, we spied this sign. I *know* it is a fat bike, but the sign looks like a pair of binoculars :-)  And now you cannot unsee that, can you? 

The toes were dirtier than the day before! 

Leukotape held!  Thank you. Even with the blister being filled underneath, the tape held. 
It also only came off after soaking the feet in the shower/tub. 

Fanatic Maniac?  Finished one race, ran another, 2019. 

We did some car sightseeing in Manitee and definitely would come back to see the town. This was a gorgeous looking day, and no matter how much I really wanted to get to the Lake, my body was NOT willing to walk that far, especially across sand. 

Bluefish restaurant. DELICIOUS


salad . Thankfully my sister will eat blueberries (yuck). 

steak and potatoes.  It was a little rich, but so good. 

Monday morning we could move a little bit but were quite stiff at the get go. Once we got to walking, we were doing well.  After dropping my sibling off at the airport, I headed out of Michigan. I made my path based upon a billboard for Five Guys :-)   

Five Guys never tasted as good as it did this Monday after a double weekend. It was SO good.  They also loaded up the fries when they heard I did back to back races, and I honestly could not eat all!! 

My driving attire for the legs. Injinji compression toe socks (purple of course), and my Oofos which made massaging the feet a little easier when driving down the road with the forward/back movement. 

I still can't believe I hadn't posted this before now. I got caught up in various things.  This weekend I'm heading to Tulsa for Route 66 Half on Sunday. First time I'll do that race without my running sibling. Instead, The Mike is coming along for a vacation weekend :-)   

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Summer time, fun time

It seemed to take too long for my Colophony allergy from surgery to go away. Someone told me "you had wrist surgery, not foot surgery". Alas, I need the wrist and hand to move for sports bra, for tying the shoes, for pulling on the exercise clothing. I was going for some walks with my slide in shoes, but it isn't the same as being laced up and going OUT!

Beautiful view of the Corn Gold fields of Iowa. 
(drat, you can see the dashboard reflection in the window ;) )
The fields where I live aren't looking like this yet, thanks to a wet spring that delayed planting. 

My Salsa Fargo got out this year! I haven't ridden much (at all) the last years since I had my wrist injury in the car collision. Putting weight on the wrist was painful and difficult.  I am happy to say that while I still have the scar tissue inside that needs to break up, that riding the bike for an hour is something I can do again (happy dance) and I could probably have gone longer, but without actual bike shorts on it wasn't that comfortable!  I know I need to get back to yoga, but hand planting at home has been painful with the scar tissue, so I keep delaying it. 
Then I had to face facts and that I had a double race coming up in August (the end of August) and I needed to get miles in on my feet which meant I needed new shoes. I bumped up to these Saucony in the hopes that I would not need the separate Plantar Fasciitis insert. So far, so good!  The local store also started carrying Injinji toe socks, which is probably not good for feeding my habit of toe socks.  I so far am sticking with the same color for the duration. I finally tossed my first blue ones, and now have dusty rose/lavender ones in my stash, and these new orange and navy blue--I love that color combo!  Maybe I'm not a true exercising person if I don't stick to black socks :P  

Aren't they beautiful?  Purple too!  
They'll go great with my purple race attire for #pancreaticcancer awareness

At a race in June I got a bottle of this BodyArmor. I had been putting off trying it, since sometimes things don't agree with my body.  One hot and exercise sweaty day, I finally pulled it out of the refrigerator one day and had it. The last time I had coconut water was not a good experience for me; although it was plain coconut water.  This Fruit Punch flavor is really good!  I tracked down more at the store, and am happy to that during the back to back race in August, I can have this at the finish line in the car (thankfully I can drive rather than fly)

I worked up the courage to go tackle the Hill Repeat hill, and managed to bungle my audio cord on my Maui Jim sunglasses. The sunglasses fell from my tank top to the ground. I've dropped them (ahem, many) times before with no issue except for the freaking out that I was dropping them.  This time, probably because it was an asphalt road versus other materials, one of the lenses broke top frame to bottom frame. I didn't realize it at first, and a couple miles later when I went to put them on for a sunny area, I realized what had happened. Thankful for Maui Jim's replacement policy, I was able to get new lenses, rather than have to buy a new frame! 

Sometimes the light isn't just right, or the graffiti has been erased and it isn't as colorful, or the ground is just ground underneath the bridge.  This day the light showed the layout of the road a bit further, and the giant washout /whirlpool area that had occurred during the flooding earlier this year. So much water came down river, at different times, that a couple of the trails in my area were eroded to the point that they are closed.  Still, this is better than the Missouri River flood plain in western Iowa, which has left fields unplantable, and roads destroyed.

After a great day out and about with The Mike, we stopped at a different HyVee grocer and found Marie Antoinette's Gluten-Free Baking Co goodies in the freezer section. Since it was my birthday, I picked cherry pie over some of the other delicious looking treats!
So flavorful, and great to have without having to have baked it myself!  :D 

Upon the recommendation of a local trail runner who has completed the race(s) I will be doing, I bought some trail shoes for the race. In talking with the running store guy, I decided it was probably a good thing to have. I can have these for the longer first day, and if I feel the traction is too much, I can wear my regular shoes the next day. These saucony have deeper traction that may help on sandy areas. I am so nervous for this race!  I have only done one trail race, and it was a beautiful area in California made among the evergreens of a forest.
Did you notice they're purple as well? I hope I don't grab one of each type of shoe to go out for a run!

To new events, and a beautiful summer that is just half started. 
Treasure each day, regardless of season. Each day has more to offer. 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Feeling GREAT, (re)building fitness

No matter what you plan for surgeries, sometimes there are things that throw a wrench into the works.
Carpal tunnel surgery for the right hand was at the end of March. I was expecting six weeks of low activity with the right hand.
I prepped food, diced and froze onions for easy meal prep, and more.

What I didn't take into consideration was:
1:     Having a horrid reaction to something topical post surgery. Six days post surgery and the reaction kept building, and we went to the ER when swelling at my left eye lid occurred.   ER Phy. Asst took one look and said essentially 'oh yes, you need Prednisone'. 

I happened to have an appt with a dermatologist at the University Hospitals the next day and the ER doc said to definitely keep that.  The experienced dermatologist took a look at it and said "pine resin allergy"  "Colophony"!  I am excited I have a name for it. The bad part is , in can be in pretty much anything: makeup, surgical prep wash, adhesive bandages (hence steri strip issues). He recommended Domeboro for soaking on the blister rash (mix, submerge washcloth, put washcloth on forearm) and then cover with a prednisone ointment as well.
Three weeks post surgery, the reaction is still visible but not scary to view
I thought the hard part of the surgery recovery was going to be the waiting to do stuff, but it was the trying not to scratch off my arm! 

2.    Not having enough food prepped. Seriously, not sure what I was thinking, but I look back and wonder how a week's worth of food was suppose to help for a month!  We do not even have that much freezer space! 

3.   Working out. Somehow I was thinking that since my wrist was going to be tied up/bound, that I would still be able to go do stuff.
Um, that didn't work out. Not being able to use the wrist meant tying shoes was a no-go, putting on a sports bra was a no-go, and washing my hair was a no-go. So even if I had gotten up with The Mike, and he had dressed me in female sports attire, I wouldn't have been able to get the thing off, and I wouldn't have been able to clean up by myself either.

4. The length of time it took for the forearm to completely heal. (sigh, that was three weeks of rash/soak/ointment/binding).

What I had taken into consideration:  Making weekly appointments for hair wash/style. The Mike may have been able to wash my hair, but I wasn't going to ask him to blow dry and straighten it for me! 

After a few weeks of going stir crazy, going to the grocery store and getting gluten free/soy free frozen meals (SO thankful they exist in 2019!), making a date night to the custard/ice cream store, I felt like I could do stuff, but my wound and doctor said no.

I found the UDIs Mug Cakes at a store about an hour from me. I thought they were a nice treat, but not something I'd have every day. Each individual package has directions on them too, so I think they'd be great for travel/hotels! 

 My first day back working out was a walk down to the river. 
Did I mention there was flooding in March?
It left yuck in so many places.  It isn't as bad as those in Western Iowa  or Nebraska have had though! 

There there is this tree that makes me laugh. The park is off the bottom and is only held together in this section due to the dastardly Virginia Creeper! 
The Mike volunteered at a bike race in April, and registration was at a winery!  It was a gorgeous day and I had to capture the gorgeous Spring day in the sky/clouds, and the pattern of the grape vine fencing. 
Who can have a bad day when the sky looks like this?
(and when it is not a drought!)

Yes, we brought home some wine too!  

Giant victories for me post surgery:  
1. I was able to finally use this again. The hand pain (post car collision) that kept me from using it for three years is gone post carpal tunnel surgery!  

I am working my way up. First three minutes was a hard and now I'm at six minutes.
It may not be Olympic level, but I'm getting back fitness. 

2. I am able to knock off /drop the weights that the jerks leave on the leg press machine. I haven't been able to do this for three years and is the main reason I stopped going to the gym :(  Regardless of the signs posted to have courtesy and remove weights from machines, this guy never did. He still doesn't.
I figure if the guy doesn't care enough to stack the weights where they belong, then apparently it shouldn't matter if they drop two feet onto the mat? Those big weights are 100# plates. I might have been able to lift 100# before my injury, but not now :(  

3. Leg press, and then toe extensions with the weight.
Along with some exercises still for the Plantar Fasciitis which rears its head every so often, and ab work, that's what I'm doing for the gym.  I've been trying for the weights 3 x a week, and then five miles 2x a week. After today's five, I think I'm ready to take it to three days a week for mileage!  

I still cannot place my hand flat on the floor, as for some yoga poses.  I'm working on it!  

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Have feet will travel, broken wing

Training was not good this winter. January I had an awful cold and on day four I went to the doctor. She pretty much rolled her eyes at me, but ordered some tests that I had to go to another facility to have done. I went there, they didn't do them. I had to go to the ER to have them done.  I went home to rest and feel like I was dying.  Fever, wicked chest issue. Had to sleep sitting up in the chair because my throat would get irritated. I could only take shallow breaths. Friday afternoon I listened to my voice mail . I didn't even recall my phone ringing. Who was it? That would be my doctor calling Wednesday evening with an apologetic sound in her voice. I had RSV and she said I 'might' need to go to the hospital if I got worse. Gee, thanks lady.  This is a wicked respiratory virus that babies and elderly folks get. I have no idea how I got exposed. I guess that bottle of Purell in the car for use after shopping just didn't cut it! 

I canceled a week of physical therapy for my plantar fasciitis because of the illness.

February had to be better, right? As it happens, it takes several weeks for your body to feel normal after RSV. Then The Mike got ill. Then I got a cold.  I also 'graduated' from physical therapy and was told to continue with stretches at home.  I bought a square foam cushion like we used in PT and also a round disc that we used. When I walk in/out of one of the rooms in the house I have to use these  for an obstacle course.  I use them regularly as well, but it's added bonus for going in/out of that room.

Before I knew it, March was here!  HOW did that happen?  I had a half! I didn't buy race insurance because I had to be in DC anyway and I had trip insurance if I was going to not make the trip.  Guess there is a reason why I hovered over the race insurance button last fall!  
Cool tank tops with racer names.
 I love this idea but I wish my name was on a purple or pink shirt instead of the grey :-)

How excited can a walker be? 
 WOO HOO!  This was going to be an attempt at running some, and walking most, and I knew that. I knew my time wouldn't be great, but that I was getting it done.  I have gained about ten pounds since last spring when my plantar fasciitis took hold. This was essentially a redemption for me, since November's Tulsa run also was still on bad PF foot.
The Route

The snow
Friday's weather was awful and I was so thankful that was Friday and not Saturday!  Rain, sleet, snow--and sooo cooooold.
It brought a smile to my face to walk out of the expo and see people twirling in the light frozen precipitation--it wasn't heavy enough to show up in photos of it falling. On the metro from the airport, there was a couple from Florida heading straight to the expo (I stopped at my hotel first). I am sure they might have been a couple twirling in the snow.  Unless we have to drive in it or shovel it, most enjoy the first flakes of snow.

The pre race dinner
Outback salmon is my go-to for prerace meals. Protein, some carbs, and not heavy in the digestive track for Saturday. Had an issue today for the first time ever!  My salmon wasn't done in the middle.  Sent it back and my meal was comped. Um, OKAY.

Flat Quirky 
The Quirky Gluten Free runner runs with cancer awareness these days. While my sister is a breast cancer survivor (pink) and I am a melanoma cancer survivor (black), I run for my mom and the other 45,000 people each year who will die from pancreatic cancer. 9% survival rate is not good enough. If you know someone who is diagnosed, or needs help, visit for information on local to you doctors, treatments, so much more, and a listening ear.  If you know someone impacted by melanoma cancer, visit  for more information and assistance. There is so much information that needs to be shared--including visiting a dermatologist and oncologist who KNOW melanoma. 

The Blue Mile. 
The most solemn mile on the steepest/toughest and quietest part of the course. What we do does not compare. 
 The course  had some rough streets-one was a really rough street, overly filled mounds of asphalt right next to a nice hole--and beautiful scenery. It was not the same course I had run a few years ago and that was great. It made it new for me. 
Before the race I was feeling bad because I hadn't trained and I couldn't believe I was going to do a half marathon without training. Ten years ago I would have been laughing had you told me that!  Today I know that a half or full or ultra is about training, but also about preparation, mental attitude, perseverance and determination.  People who haven't done a race don't understand, but those who have know that perseverance and determination will get us all past that wall we inevitably encounter!

Just before the race I decided to post on my personal FB page that I was doing this race. I needed some positive vibes on a chilly morning (chilly, but not as cold as Friday was!). I walked over to the start too early, and so there was standing around in between tall buildings where the wind can seem colder.  I had a good first 5K to the race, running and walking, and enjoying the sites. The next part to the 10K was okay time (slowed slightly from the 5k) and I was still feeling good.  Mile 8 my Plantar Fasciitis poked its head out and said "watch it". I concentrated on walking with rolling my foot as I learned in physical therapy. I did that for a couple miles. My foot was feeling better. The tips I learned helped --though I'm wondering how I'll do a half and full back to back this summer! Then when I was just moving along and thinking of some things I hear my name!   I look around and see a friend who came out to see if she could spot me (and she had to walk her dog!).  That was such a pick me up!  The  next few miles to the finish were a run/walk/run/walk mix to carry me through. My time was slower than I was wanting, but it was a finish with no visit to the med tent! 

Thankfully these were moving stairs
After the race, I headed to Five Guys for lunch--and was told that I'd be the 'last bun' because their truck was late. I laughed and said I wasn't getting the bun and they could give it to someone else.  I was so thankful that the escalators at the metro stops were working! 

The City Tap House
The next night I met up with friend at The City Tap House. There are a couple locations within DC. Friend said the beer was good, the food was great, my burger and salad was great and what I needed after a light lunch of fish at the conference.  Conversation and catching up was wonderful.

My conference was fabulous and I learned a lot. Then it was time to head home. Heading west it was interesting to see how the landscape changed. I saw ice on Lake Michigan as my flight came in for arrival.

Connecting flight home was on time, and the clear fields outside of Chicago gave way to the snow covered fields of home. 

Well played Rock 'n' Roll series!  

Me heading to expo : you've done RNR before. You dont need to buy anything. 

Me at expo: OMG this shirt has runner names on it!  (silent shout) I found mine!   I *must* buy! 

Me in checkout line:  Hey, I have been looking for a large bottle opener for traveling,  to open Coca-Cola Mexican glass bottles. (real cane sugar formula)

Dang. Need to buy this new version of the glass too.

All bought... because of that tank!

Well played indeed. 

As I write this, I am mentally prepping for my surgery later today for carpal tunnel.  Apparently this is what is bothering my wrist since the car crash of Nov 2015.  I have a hard time understanding how carpal tunnel is responsible for so much, but this is what the docs tell me. I fear I'll get this part fixed and it'll still be something else. 

Last night I prepped food for a bit, froze some prep stuff as well as lasagna and chicken breasts. To improved health and one foot in front of the other.!