Tuesday, October 31, 2017

10K? SURE!


I had the opportunity to do a 10K recently. Normally the race is in November as a tribute to Veterans, but was moved up about a month due to conflicts with the group hosting the event.  The positive was that I was able to participate. The negative was that there was another race, the weather was damp, and not many people showed up--about half of what the normal turnout.  However, since the race was moved up a month, the wind was not as cold, and the temperature was not as cold. It did rain before the race, as we were all standing under an overpass near the starting line. 

For the race, two descendants of those the race is named for were on hand for the event. One raced and one sent us off.  Some Gave All. 


I was chatting with someone under the overpass before the race when a woman I've played running tag with passed by.  She and I met in July at a race, where she'd pass me, then I'd pass her, and so forth. We finished very near in time to each other.  We met again at a race the start of October and the same thing happened.  It's always fun --to me-- to encounter another enthusiastic runner who is out for her own race and can liven up a run.  It was good that we were there together, as we were running together in the 10K without trying.

The course was new this year owing to convoluted road construction on a highway through town.  We wouldn't be able to easily cross the road as in years past, so the organizers had us mostly run along the river. This was a nice path, paved, and a few short, steeper sections. The rain held off during the actual race. 

Up until the last two blocks, the other lady and I were running together even though we were running our own race.  I didn't have it in me in the last block though, and with my full out sprint she crossed the line ahead of me!   

Maybe it was the change in course, maybe it was the lack of brisk wind in the face on the course, maybe it was that I've had another year of healing. Regardless, I happily bested my time from last year by two minutes! 

It was also this race that made me say "get new shoes".  I've been wearing Brooks the last two years because I kept winning a free pair at expos :D  However, after horrible blisters from the June marathon I walked, and those spots being 'hot' and sensitive at this 10K, I decided to go back to my Asics GT.  Just putting them on my feet felt better and the sensitive area wasn't rubbing.  It's all about the shoes, folks, and getting what works for YOU. 

September: Went on vacation, ate out, and wasn't sick

I didn't have any races in September, except the Virtual Running Club National Park race. I did this last year because I wanted the medal shaped like a park ranger hat! This year it was the outline of the continental US.  The tshirt has that on the front and then has Guam, Hawaii, Alaska, and a couple other islands placed appropriately on the shirt. The Mike and I both had National Park shirts to wear on our vakay. . . and we did stop at a national park (or two)!   

The Mike has vacation he has to use, so we decided to use some of it! (He's been unable to take it all the past couple of years).  We decided on Niagara Falls via Canada and camping! Like we have camped together, once, in twenty years! We have slept in the car at a rest stop on the way to our destination. We have slept in the car on a quick trip to Leadville to crew for a fellow bicyclist, at the last minute, arriving at midnight and getting up at 5am for activities. However, we have only 'camped' once and that was a few years ago, for one night only.  I usually do some great planning for our vacations, but this year I wasn't getting much in the "between here and there" search.  I even looked for races, and they were either on the Saturday we were leaving home, or they were on Saturday or Sunday we were returning home and not where we needed them to be, ha ha.  The plan: Rent a minivan and use it for camping.  This meant we had to pack light. We were able to secure a Dodge Grand Caravan, the only minivan that has stow and go back seats so we could set up the air mattress there.  Yes, we literally slept in the car!

Funny and cheap fix:  The Mike had picked up a dashboard GPS unit for $10 at a garage sale because he wanted the parts. Turned out it actually worked!  We used that for the trip versus tying up my data on the phone  and versus spending $8 a day for GPS in the rental.

We took our Thirty-One soft sided cooler for the trip because it'd fit behind the driver's seat.  One caution: it tends to leak if you have something on top of it. .  . for this reason we wouldn't take it on vacation in the future, but for about town or weekend trips it'd be great.  We put a garbage sack under the cooler to protect the carpet.  Packed inside: containers with Hormel ham and turkey; cheese sticks, as well as sliced cheese for sandwiches; mustard; fruit cups; milk; a few cans of soda/pop; Chobani yogurt; and hard boiled/cooked eggs; We did plan to dine out along the trip as well.  In another Thirty One tote, we had chips, crackers, pumpkin seeds, Canyon Bakehouse bread, pretzels, mamma chia packs, plates, paper towels, silverware (not plastic), Tanka bars, The Mike's granola bars, and a few other snacks. 

Day 1:  Indiana:  Introduced to Bonefish Grill. A spendy first meal, but we had a cooler with us for breakfast and lunch items.   

Bonefish Grill Gluten free meal at the front; The Mike's gluten fish & chips in back. 
I think Bonefish must have changed their menu in the last five years or so. I have only been to one location previously, and I remembered a lot more fish on then menu than the $$$$ entrees on this gluten free menu.  Plus, they didn't even offer to bring The Mike bread.  Like, just because *I* am gluten free doesn't mean he should have to go without bread --he does at home, but the restaurant is the time for him to splurge!.
Fall Flowers in bloom frequently on our travels
Our first night travel we played it like we have in years past. . .just drive until we are tired. We learned you can't really do that when needing a campground.  $30 to park the car on a grassy spot, have a picnic table and access to the building with bathrooms and showers. We felt we were hobos compared to the folks with RV and golf carts for getting around! 

Breakfast was a piece of Canyon Bakehouse bread with Sunbutter on top, hardboiled eggs, cheese stick and Chobani yogurt for us. (How did I live so long without Sunbutter in my life?  I never cared for peanut butter and these days peanuts don't like me!  Sunbutter is one of the few sunflower butters that is made in a facility without peanuts (like, what's the point of those other brands!).

We took a stroll to the lake on site, cleaned up and hit the road. We had places to go and things to see!  First up, Henry Ford Museum complex in Dearborn MI.  I had looked ahead of time at the website, but since I didn't know the differences for the different areas I decided we'd just make a decision when we got there and talked to someone about our options.   We decided to go with Greenfield Village and the Innovation Museum.  We erroneously thought we'd have enough time for both in one day.  (Note: you need a full day for each, and could probably spend a whole week here seeing everything).  What is Greenfield Village?  It's a historic village that Henry Ford himself started. It has homes and businesses, vintage transportation, the Wright Bros shop, Edison's Florida home, a pottery, a weaver, a printer, glass blower, so much more, and a roundhouse for trains, and --this is cool---you can go beneath a steam engine, seriously!  Have you ever seen the underside of a train engine?
Steam train engine undercarriage via the "pit" 
I had no idea that Ford created such a complex. He basically wanted to collect buildings and things that were of interest to him and put them in a village he created.
 We had packed cheese sticks and Tanka bars in my purse and snacked on those during the day.  After a eight hours of exploring, we were ready to find a place for dinner and get a campsite.  Using the Find Me Gluten Free app we found Buddy's Pizza and got a gluten free pizza for carryout.  I was unprepared for the question: Do you want it cut?  I've never been asked that before. She said a lot of celiacs don't want it cut, but they do use a clean/separate blade so I said cutting it was fine.
We found a campground for the night, although it too was more for RVs than cars/tents.  It was also close to the shower/bathroom building.  Nice place--definitely a Good Sam(aritan) club--we had someone offer to start a fire for us. I hadn't packed any firestarters or matches! 

My mind kept niggling at the name of the town, Monroe Michigan, but I was coming up with nothing as to why.  Turns out that this is Custer's home town. Yes, that Custer!  Civil War hero at the time he was celebrated here, before he went West.   The campground had some fliers and one of them looked good for breakfast, and was on the Find Me Gluten Free app too: R Diner.
R Diner, Monroe MI
We both had woken up and said, "We need a sit down warm breakfast today".  So glad the R Diner had a brochure at the campground. This diner is colorful, bright, airy, and right on the main drag, so it's easy to find.  They did have UDIs gluten free bread, and knew of gluten free/celiac needs, but I was throwing a wrench into the works with not being able to have soy oil.  The waitress was feeling so bad for me. I asked if they could poach eggs. YES! she felt so great about that. I asked for some spinach and cheese too.  She brought  it out and was not sure about how I was going to be with the presentation. I was ecstatic.  I said "This is how I often have my eggs at home!" (Okay, fine. I don't poach eggs at home). Spinach, eggs, and cheese. What else does a gal need? 

We took some time to find out what Monroe MI had. It has the La-z-boy headquarters. It also has a National Battlefield called River Raisin.  What? You've never heard of it? Your history books didn't cover it either?  Remember the Raisin was apparently a rallying cry for the War of 1812.  One of the Rangers said it was like "remember the Alamo".  The Ranger put the park in perspective and said that while most National Park areas have one or two views to share, he has five: US, British, Canadian, Native American, and French.

We got back to Dearborn and went to the Innovation Museum.  We didn't have enough time to see this in eight hours, let alone the six hours we had in the day before closing.

Presidential cars through history:
JFK's car
modified -after that event- into a hard top for Johnson's use

FDR's car

Not my first Wiener-mobile
This Museum is amazing. Trains, cars, trucks, race cars, machines, massive gears, planes, farm implements, and more we didn't even get to see!  Before leaving the museum for the night, one of the museum workers suggested dinner to us of a fairly new establishment called Ford's Garage. It's a mini chain and not affiliated with the museum. We thought "why not".  They do have a small gluten free menu. Sadly the piston onion rings were not gluten free. Not that I expected them to be, but they looked really cool on a funnel.


"Uncarburator burger" 

We crossed into Canada and found a campground for the night. It wasn't crowded since it was after Labor Day now and we had good access to the facilities.  In the morning we stumbled upon a gluten free bakery. The Mike was driving and he saw the LARGE sign while I had my head in the map.  Healthy Creations Gluten Free Bakery.  SAY WHAT? A bakery that is totally gluten free?!  Sign us up!  They weren't open. We went to a nearby park in London instead. It was so clean and beautiful. The whole country is clean, manicured, well kept! 
Back to the bakery we went. I wanted everything, but with small room for food that wasn't going to happen. I thought I was picking things that were going to cost a lot:

Four fresh from the oven muffins. 
 A brownie, and one or two cookies. 
Under $10 Canadian 
with the exchange rate it was under $9 US.       
Why didn't I insist on buying more?

The woman was so helpful. She said her sister owns the business. She knew what I could have and couldn't have with my soy oil issue.  DELISH. Highly recommend.

Because we have to do something in the town of London, I found a museum for us to go to.  I actually had in my head that it was a museum about the Mounties. . . um, no. It is the Regimental Museum.  We went to a military museum in another country. Fascinating!  We found out why Queen Victoria's seal/initials are still used, that there are a LOT of hat pins that can be awarded/earned in the military, and saw this amazing Flanders Field Cross bearing the names of Some Who Gave All.  
Next stop Niagara Falls Canada
Dinner view
 Elements restaurant at TableRock in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. They had a lot of options and said they could simply modify several dishes for me, which gave me more freedom on the menu.
"The Seafood Ravioli hold the ravioli" This is what the manager called it ;-)  I was given extra veggies in this filling, tasty, appetizing entree. It was REALLY good!  

The Mike's Strip Steak, with that nasty Gluten  :P 
We usually don't do dessert, but with creme brule on the menu, of course we would!  The Mike ate the blueberries for me :-) 
Creme Brule YUM!  
I LOVE Canada. This is our second trip into the country with my food restrictions of celiac, soy intolerance, no peanuts, no chickpeas. . .and I feel I'm forgetting something.  I try to avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup because I don't like how it makes me feel like my tongue has been coated.  HFCS is not a problem in the most common form--soda/pop.  I drank more Coca Cola on this trip than I have in a while---not really a good thing, right?   Mexican Coke in glass bottles in the USA is what I normally get, or Hansen's (from California) root beer or ginger ale which I can get at Trader Joe's a few times a year.  

View under Rainbow Bridge on the walking path.
After we had a long day of sightseeing, with Tanka bars and cheese sticks for snacks, we stopped at Boston Pizza on Clifton. It came up on the Find Me Gluten Free app, so we said 'sure'! 
TWO sides to the gluten free menu! 

The Mike's gluten pizza (round) and my GF pizza (square)
Our desserts were a little different. . . I would have liked that brownie, but I went for the pudding and gummie worms GF dessert.  Don't judge: when was the last time you got gummie worms in a restaurant?! 
Does the wonderful energy of the Falls ever get old?  (No. The answer is No. I can't believe you even thought about it!)
Breakfast before heading out for sightseeing. The KOA had cute Nutella jars, so we had to get those.  The summer sausage I had brought from home purchased at Natural Grocers. No MSG. No gluten. No soy. Very tasty.
The beautiful Butterfly Conservatory was amazing. 
Fort George. First foreign military museum for us.  The Fort grounds are well cared for, and the employees have fun--the Musket demonstrator had us laughing with the demonstration. 

We crossed over to the USA, found a campsite, the visitor's center and got a tip for dinner. Lewiston NY up the road a bit.  Water Street Landing had a lot of variety on the menu in general, and an option I felt safe with for my gluten and soy needs was the burger. I wasn't so sure about the bun, but the waitress said it was gluten free--who has ever had a gluten free bun that has seeds on top?!  I halfway believed her, but was a little dubious since I asked for no potato chips and then they were served on the side. I cut off the burger that was touching the chips and didn't eat them because they were fried in soy/vegetable oil. 
If you've never been to Lewiston, it's a historic town to see on a gentle Niagara River and a place where many of the slaves seeking freedom crossed into Canada.  

Later, we went to a grocery store in Niagara Falls NY to restock our cooler. I was ecstatic to see a freezer section full of gluten free delights.  I splurged and bought a cake I didn't really need :D  It was about two inches tall and four inches square.  It also took me four days to eat it. The cake was really good and the frosting was overly sweet to me.  


The USA falls allow a person to get MUCH closer to the action. 

Rainbows viewed with the Rainbow Bridge in the distance. 

In case you go to Niagara Falls, let me share with you something we did not know while we were in Canada--if we had, we would have stayed at the KOA another day. You can WALK across the Rainbow Bridge into the USA/Canada.  You have to have your passport on your person. It is fifty cents. Quarters fed into a machine, and paid when you leave Canada to cross into the USA.  It's where you can get the international photo of one person in one country and your travel partner in the other country. It's where you can pose with one foot in each country (of course, then you can't get the photo and the sign). 
Hershey Store, Niagara Canada

We walked across the Rainbow Bridge to Canada for lunch. Why?  Because I knew we'd find gluten free food in Canada in the tourist area and I honestly didn't know where to get close gluten free/soy free food while we were on the States' side.
  .
Hard Rock for lunch: 

Just look at that GF Bun!   The waitress said she knows of at least a dozen types of GF buns available in and around Niagara of which she is aware!  A dozen!  It was light and tender too. 
We joked we should have gone to Hard Rock Niagara USA as well. They're both "right there".  I haven't been to a Hard Rock in the USA since before I was aware of my food restrictions.

After some more sightseeing, we started our return home.  

We camped at Evangola State Park, which we stumbled upon as it was getting dark. We had a nice campground area with paved parking for our camping. We bought some firewood only to have it start to sprinkle after we started our fire. We hopped in the car. Then it stopped and we started the fire again. Then it rained again, but not for long.  Third time was the charm with the fire ;-) 

In the morning, we packed up and went to explore the park.  
It was a smart move with this view for breakfast. 

Lake Erie
Before our trip, I tried to find local races to do along our route and came up empty. While we were enjoying our breakfast there were people walking around with bibs. . . a low key 5K was being held at the park.  LOL--the park ranger didn't even know!  Sadly, I left my running shoes and gear at home in trying to keep packing to a minimum.  I had hiking shoes, birks, and boots. I thought another pair of shoes would be too much. Plus, no sports bra was packed either.  No run for me. 

We headed on down the road and in the afternoon stopped at a Wendys for lunch, and made a trip to the grocer across the road for some more yogurt and browsing. 
These are AWESOME. They're huge too!  


We also found this gluten free pasta, so we had to buy a couple boxes. :-)  

I've cooked it up since then. It is really good and definitely one I'd buy again. Shocking, since I don't much care for corn pasta, but I do like rice pasta.  
It's made in Italy, and packaged in the states by Dakota Growers.

We were exploring a bit more before getting on the road again, and we encountered packet pickup for a marathon on Sunday. UGH. TWO races I did not have on my radar that I could have run in. Okay, just kidding. I wouldn't have been able to do the marathon, because it was in Pennsylvania, on Sunday, when we needed to be MUCH closer to home!   It was still sad to see running events and know I couldn't participate.  



After our last night of camping, we went for an exploratory hike before getting back in the car. 
Art in nature.  At first I saw a tree cut down, and was sad that humans cut short nature (along an undeveloped lakeshore area). Then I saw a tree root/trunk as a shoe climbing up out of the Lake. :-)  (Marblehead Ohio--you can see Cedar Point rides across edge of the lake). 

A pit stop was needed:  Culvers.

We needed to get out and walk/explore and we pulled off the interstate / toll system at the point for the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Part of this is a state park and part of it is national park area. There are also sections of this that are private, and it was weird to drive from protected land to open land and back to protected land.  

For all the exploring/travels we have done, my husband had not seen Lake Michigan up close. WHAT? I exclaimed when he said it.  We HAD to go to the Lake. The parking lot/swim area is in the state park which has a fee for parking. Do not balk at this. It is well worth it.  A large changing room building, a large art deco building that has concessions in the summer, and  wide open beach for the water.  There are plenty of hiking trails too, if you have the right footwear. 

Enjoy the road. Get out and explore. Don't let food issues hold you back from seeing what nature has to offer.  Pack a cooler. Pack a campstove if you need to do all your food prep. 



Sunday, August 27, 2017

I just want to eat! Conference food & race

Last month I said to myself, "you need a new fighting cancer shirt".  The one I had was the basic gray with white lettering from RaygunShirts in Des Moines Iowa.   I asked them to make the print on a black shirt for me, me Melanoma color.  They said "Sure". 
The note they sent along was so wonderful. It made my eyes leak.  
 Stage 1a Acral Lentiginous Melanoma or my "toe cancer" as I called it. I'm at a higher risk to have regular sun melanoma as well.  As a result, I took advantage of the sale Athleta had last month and ordered more of the UPF swim shirts they have (Pacifica, long sleeve and short sleeve).  I wear these out mowing, and in the car on road trips, and for the pool/ocean too. The guy at the camping store said the UPF protection is usually good up to 50 washes.  
A fellow Melanomie shared that Rit Sun Guard can be used to put sun protection into clothing. However,  does say that it's works best on cotton and not synthetics.  j
I was excited for the conference, but also for the race on Sunday. It turned out that America's Finest City half marathon would be on the Sunday after the conference, so I stayed an extra day to run!  I haven't been doing running in training. It hurts to run on the treadmill, even though the pain doc said that the treadmill would be better than running on asphalt. Running on asphalt is slightly better than concrete. I've been working on keeping my head/chin in a tucked in position, so as to not extend my neck in a fashion that pains me post car collision.  I ran a 10K in mid July and was feeling good about it--I even biked to and from the race!  However, I still stuck with weights, yoga and walking for training of this race. I was using it as a guideline for how my body was feeling all over, and gauging if I could work towards running in training too.

I packed single packets of Sunbutter for breakfast on race day, as well as maybe the flight home.  I also had my Tanka bars, cheese sticks, and my 'granola' mix as I call it (sunflower & pumpkin seeds, Guittard chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and Trader Joe's dried coconut flakes).

The flight out was fairly boring.  There was so much cloud coverage for most of the flight, that I kept my window shade closed. I had a Mamma Chia drink before leaving the house in the morning, and then my packed snacks.  

After checking into the hotel and for the conference, I met up with some other folks and had a cheese appetizer. The bread went to someone else who could eat it, and I enjoyed the cheese, olives, and dates. Later I went out and enjoyed a raspberry Mojito, and a huge Paella dinner. I shared the lobster (too much) and the mussels (I don't care for them).   

Paella, SO GOOD!  

The conference started the next day and I was hungry.  I took a packet of Sunbutter down to breakfast with me, and some of my Canyon Bakehouse mountain bread. I had fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, and a Chobani yogurt. However, the bread, as usually in a catering event, was served on top of bread to absorb the grease.  **Always be on your toes at a conference!   Their sign said gluten free, obviously it wasn't.  When I said something to the staff, I was told "eh".  Different chain than we've been at before, and I can say the Marriott folks were very accommodating and said, "oh, I see, yes. Let me get you some fresh bacon."  NOT this place though.

There was a mid morning snack. I had the fruit. I have to wonder why they served fruit ninety minutes after breakfast that had fruit.

Lunch. Failure.  Complete failure.  I had a sticker on my name tag that was suppose to mean "go to the catering staff, show them, and ask for your gluten free and soy free meal".  In reality, when I did that, I was directed to the buffet. After standing in line for twenty minutes, I saw this dish and tag: 
Being a farmer's daughter, I knew that Farro was NOT gluten free. I pointed this out to the catering staff and was told "it is gluten free, we checked everything."  After I sat down with my lettuce and parm cheese, the catering staff gave me a gluten free meal from the kitchen. I was SO mad and upset that I could barely eat, but I needed to eat something, so I ate the chicken only.  
The afternoon snack was not much better. I was jealous because I thought everyone had donut holes, but it turned out they were pretzel balls with cheese for the side, and then packages of nuts (which had soy).  I guess I don't even know why nuts would be served as they are a major allergen for so many people.  I ran up to my room and grabbed a Tanka bar and cheese stick.  

Dinner that night was a mixer which was another buffet. I ate some plain rice and a piece of fish, literally was trying to not cry from being sooooo hungry. I stayed for a bit to socialize, and then left for the grocery store a few blocks away. Hormel ham slices, cheese, crackers, chocolate milk, avocado, and a few other things.

The next morning I found someone from the conference and let them know of the issues. They were shocked to hear this.  I know I am not the only celiac at the conference, and I know there are others who have more restrictive food needs than I have (some are gluten, dairy, and nightshade free, some are vegetarian, some are vegans, etc).  The person told me to know that I will have food for lunch and dinner, and that I can send in the receipt for reimbursement.

Knowing I only had two more Sunbutter packs left, I saved then for race day and travel home day, and had the eggs, fruit, and yogurt for breakfast.  Lunch was plain and I did not care. I had something to eat. I had salt and pepper to add some flavor to it.  

Veggies, beef, chicken.  Simple. Edible. Needed 

The afternoon snack was like the hotel didn't even try. I don't get why they had sandwiches only. 

NO thank you.
They kind of look good, but they also look like a whole lot of bread. 

I'll have my usual: 
Rice crackers, cheese, Tanka bar. 

Dinner was hilarious.  I let the catering staff at the table know I was gluten free. I didn't feel I was understood. I wrote on the back of the printed menu, "Gluten Free and Soy Free".
"My" meal was served.

Vegetarian is not gluten free. 

A table mate said, "that'd be gluten free". 

I hope they didn't serve it to someone else. I turned on my phone light and picked it apart. Beans, greens, and squash is not the gluten free meal when others have the meat and fish. 

Sigh.

Frustrated, I said, "I'm going up to the room to get my ham, cheese, crackers".  On the way out of the dinner room, I saw a head catering man. [He had a different jacket on than others]. I showed him the photo and he said, "I will get you your meal. That is not it."  I came back to this:
MUCH better!  Slightly different than every one else's. I was still a bit worried about eating it, but I needed food, I had a race in the morning, and I knew there'd be portapotties on course.  

I stayed for a little dancing, and then headed to the room. I had to be up around 3:30am to dress, get a Lyft, and head to the park for a shuttle to the start.  

Flat Quirky: 

Raygun printed design on my own running tank, and my new Sparkleskirts skort.

I knew the course had a hilly/downhill start and a hilly/uphill finish.
I knew some of the course, as I had run from the Cabrillo Monument back to the hotel two years ago.
I thought I remembered it.
I didn't.
The weather was also muggy/humid. For some reason we in the flyover states haven't had much of it. 

The start was a bit of an undulating road for the first couple of miles. We also didn't actually start at the monument/statue, but in the parking lot of the monument.  I loved the downhills. FLYING. I was FLYING.  The incredible feeling of flying.

Then we got to the Sheraton where the course was a turn right for a loop, and then go the other way for a loop.  With the humidity and sweating, my Glide had worn off. Thankfully there were running paramedics on the course and I asked a couple of them for some Vaseline or some such. 

I've never heard of 2Tom Sport Shield before, but I am a firm believer in them now. The paramedic unfurled it, and then said just to rub it all over. She was going to throw the package away, but I took it and the wipe and put it in my sparkleskirt skort pocket for use later if I needed it. That stuff stayed on and only came off with soap and water.  It was awesome.   

The wipe was still very 'slippery' after the race. I put it in a ziploc and am wondering if I can get another use out of it.  I put an order in for some from Amazon though.  

Race on. We had to get to the 10K by a certain point. I did it, with time to spare! More time than in my July 10K.  The downhills may have had something to do with that, but I was elated nonetheless.  

I had to stop and get a photo at the Cancer Survivor's Park.  The sculpture in the background (blocked off) depicts many entering treatment, but fewer exiting.  I am one of those who exited!

I took excitement and inspiration where I could, because I forgot how long running 13.1 can be.  Running a race with 7,000 friends is different than walking Williams Route 66, or Little Rock half when there are a lot of people around!  

Then the hills started. . .  gentle climbing, and I enjoyed seeing T-Rex for some laughs.   

and the hills just kept coming. A gradual one to start, and then we turned the corner and it continued to climb. We passed an intersection that reminded me of a San Francisco hill. Then we just continued on this long, so long, a climb. Up and up and up. I was hurting up the hill. I'm not sure I could have run that whole stretch even in my best shape! Up to Balboa Park.  Then we turned on a flat road. Such a beautiful flat road! (Except everyone kept trying to shove gluten pretzels at me).  We went past the Museum of Man.  Beautiful architecture, and I knew we were almost at the finish with all of that.  A turn here, a curve there, a straight away and the finish.  

The beautiful, beautiful finish line!   


I may have burned some calories.

You know I don't post my times, because my time is for me, not for anyone else. Knowing Quirky's time doesn't mean anything when we are racing against ourselves. I am not an elite runner!    
The beautiful disco ball 40th running medal.
It's so much fun to spin! 

After a Lyft ride back to the hotel and a quick clean up, I went to the pool and hot tub to relax and stretch the muscles.  I also had a fabulous Margarita and a bunless cheeseburger with fruit at the pool. Salt tasted fabulous!   I let the jets of the hot tub pound on my feet and thighs, and up my spine. I did lunges and bends in the hot tub and the heated pool. I thought I was feeling pretty good.

A group of us headed over to Coronado Beach and played in the surf. My blister on a blister was popped after the surf play. I usually try not to pop the blisters, but this one was right on the side at the base of the toes and rubbed against the Birkenstocks.  I couldn't travel like that the next day.  I just popped it, kept the skin there, and put a bandaid over it.

That night I wasn't too hungry, and had a cheese and meat tray at the hotel restaurant again. 
It was simple and I had salt :D
Cheese, cured meat, fresh olives, and dates. I didn't have the pickled onions or cauliflower. 

Monday flying home day was also the day of the solar eclipse in the USA. I thought we'd be in the air when the eclipse was happening, but it turns out it started as we were waiting in the airport.  I tried the hole in the paper part and it didn't work too well. A nice young woman had some eclipse glasses she let us use.  I got a nice photo through those glasses. Then the clouds covered the sun and moon, and I could see it with my Maui Jim sunglasses (not that I stared at it), and I tried to take a photo through my lenses.  I think it worked well for being a guessing photo.  

I was a little stiff when I woke up the day after the race, but I stretched and thought I was doing well. I thought wrong.  Even waiting at the airport for a couple hours wasn't bad.  I had a window seat on the plane. The folks next to me didn't get up at all, and one fell asleep. I didn't want to wake him up, and since I'm short, I was able to do some stretching in the chair. Arms up and forward. Legs down and under the seat. After getting off the plane in Chicago, I headed to the yoga room to stretch.  Afterwards I thought I was doing well.

Then our flight was delayed due to a computer glitch malfunction.  I improvised using my orange juice bottle to rub out the muscles like "The Stick". It worked.  I stretched some more and walked a bit. We were finally able to board, two plus hours later.  

I did some yoga on Tuesday and stretched. Wednesday resumed with yoga class and some light walking. Yesterday I signed up for the Williams Route 66 in Tulsa in November.

Run on.