Author: Jilligan
•8:40 AM
Virtual Turkey Trot

Print your race bib and get ready to run!
Author: Jilligan
•5:16 AM

Well, this is it. The day I have been training for. I am so thankful to have made it through without injury, in one piece, still married, and all three kids survived my training. I am blessed to be able to run this with my sister.

I can't wait to finish this experience today and be able to say...I have run a marathon.

Author: Jilligan
•6:43 AM
It wouldn't be like me if I didn't try to make this the most stressful weekend ever.  I am going to San Antonio to run my first marathon ever.  I have tried this race before but didn't make it through the training last time.  I have made it this time.  It will be great but I don't want to get nervous by talking about it too much this morning.

The other stress is where I need the focus this morning.  I made an offer on a house.  Yes, me, by myself.  See we own a home in another town and we haven't been living in it for 5 years.  We have renters and I am thankful for that but it's not the same as getting to live in your own home that you are paying for anyway.  I know, I am rambling.  So that loan is in my husband's name.  This new home loan will be in my name.  Yikes.  I hope they accept.  I hope this is God's plan and I am doing my best to let it be his plan for us and not mine or ours.  I am so stressed about having this trip fall right in the middle of it.  I know the trip will be expensive.  I know the new house will be expensive.  But I think I need them both.  I think maybe, just maybe, I deserve them both.  But I don't want to be greedy so I go back to praying about it and leaving what I can up to God.  I hope that I will be able to see the path he has set before me and I hope I will be strong enough to walk it. 

Just had to get these thoughts down before driving to San Antonio with them racing through my mind.  Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we deal with the stress of the marathon this weekend and the stress of the many, many other changes in our lives right now.
Author: Jilligan
•7:00 PM

24thehardway-6 Hour Race in Pictures

Staging my bag at the campsite.

Last minute thoughts and motivation before heading to the start.
Campsite with nice signs that Kallie had made.  We had a great spot for our awning.
What have I gotten myself into?  About to start the race. 
Darn mosquitoes.  They were the size of a small dog. 
This is my favorite picture but I wish my tongue wasn't sticking out.

First time I was able to think about having food.  Even though it looks like I might not keep it down in this picture!  Peanut butter sandwich and chips from the aid station. Oh, and see my blanket in the background that they had hung up to motivate me.   
Trying to sit up straight for the picture but as you can see above, she already had the ugly shot.
Running strong now.
Looking much better now after a pep talk from "Arthur Itis".  He was doing a 27 hour race.

Staking my flag.

Congrats from Ultra Runner Woman.

Mom and Shirley's sophisticated tally system

Author: Jilligan
•6:44 PM
Finally have some time to sit down and finish up my race report.  I was wanting to wait until I had some pictures to add and the time to comment on them.

The timing of the race was harder for me then I thought.  I hadn't really gotten the breakfast I wanted but had instead had a kolache and a do-nut.  Yes, that made my stomach upset before I even started.  It wasn't my usually stomach issues but just an unsettled feeling in my stomach.  I think I battled this feeling for 3 hours.  My mom and aunt went to the start with me to get some pictures.  Then they settled in at camp.  My aunt said she probably wasn't as sore as she thought she would be mainly because she had to hop up every time I came around the loop.  Sometimes they would be sitting at camp when they saw me and other times they would walk towards me on the loop.  They were always ready with something I had told them I might need or want.  Because of the stomach issues, I couldn't really get my food intake going as soon as I wanted.  Just felt nauseous.  It's fun to look at the splits and try to remember if I stopped at the tent and what I had.  They had water, diet coke, candy, ginger, pretzels, and powerade for me.

I told them I wanted to be seeing them every 12 minutes or less.  When I came around the first time closer to 9, they were really worried.  What I hadn't told them was that I was going to run my first lap and then start my run/walk laps.  I had about 5-6 good miles even with the stomach bothering me.  Then I ran into some mental issues around mile 15.  Nothing hurt and I wasn't having any trouble running.  I was just having some mental/emotional issue.  Who knows why or what it was about?  I cried a little and then got up and got going again.  They told me another girl I had been running near was also crying at that point so maybe it wasn't as unusual as it felt.

It was a different kind of race then I have ever done.  People weren't racing each other, they were racing themselves.  It was a hard thing but everyone was in it together.  Except for a few serious record breakers, everyone else was run/walking.  So chances are when you walked you came up on someone else or someone caught up to you.  It was fun hearing their stories and their goals.  Since it was a mile loop, you meet up several times and were able to check in with each other's progress and pain.  My goal was 20 miles so once I got my 20 miles, I stopped at the tent to put on dry socks and change shoes.  I lost 6 minutes on that lap!  I walked the last 1 1/2 hours just to see how far I could get.  I really think this helped prevent soreness because I really just wanted to sit down in the tent and never move again.

As the race crew monitored your progress they handed you a flag when you came through the tent on what they thought would be your last lap.  I was able to make it all the way around and through the tent again with my flag.  I crossed the timing mat at 5:58 and then walked what I guess to be about 1/4 of a mile more.  At 6 hours, a shotgun went off in the air and we staked our flags at our stopping point so we could get credit for partial laps in the event of a tie.  I ended up 5th because another girl also got 24 miles but crossed the mat at 5:56.  Looking at our splits today, I was way ahead of her the entire race but she ran her last mile and passed me at some point on the last lap.  Maybe I shouldn't have changed shoes!

Right as the race finished the rain clouds opened up and we had to quickly pack up the tent and get everything to the car before the storm got worse.

It was a great race.  I really had a good time and am thankful to have had the support I did for my "20" mile training run.

I was going to do my pictures on here but I think I will do a second post with pictures.    
Author: Jilligan
•1:16 AM

First let me say that I hope this is like childbirth, while painful at the time you later forget that and are willing to do it again. The race lived up to its name, 24thehardway. As I type my blog sitting in an epson bath there are still runners on the course with 8 hours to go. Now that's crazy. There were lots of people trying to set records over the course of the weekend. One guy was running with a 40 lb packback, one lady was setting the masters record, another made up his own race, 27 hours, and still more. There were handicap, seeing eye dogs, and crazies.

We got to town Friday night and picked up our packets. Others had already set up their awnings so we found a great campsite and set our camp up also.  Shirley started at 7:30 so we wanted to be able to focus on her race and not worry about setting up in the morning. After dinner we headed to bed early.

Saturday was a cold start so we bundled up and headed to the course. We had signs, glitter, and glow sticks. We hung our flashlights around the awning and got Shirley started. The one mile loop was wonderful because we were right on the course and saw nearly everything. As you ran across the timing mats your name flashed across the screen with lap splits, count, and times. Shirley finished with 4 laps. We left long enough to grab breakfast and let her shower. I changed clothes and we headed back for my 12:00 start.

My race report will have to be another post because the water had gotten cold in this tub and it's 1:15 am. Breakfast with my great aunt Sunday before heading home. Stay tuned.

Pictures: heading to OKC, campsite, and lap 1 for Shirley.

Author: Jilligan
•8:02 AM

At the chiropractor for my last treatment before 24thehardway. Packed and ready to load the car when the rest of the group gets here. I thought I was finished packing last night but had forgotten my sports bra and a few other things so I repacked this morning. The original outfits were skirts from running funky but those didn't work out so I have had some anxiety about making sure I have everything now. Weather is calling for 30% chance of rain and cooler temps.

I can't wait.

Author: Jilligan
•10:21 PM

First I am so glad I have the Alter G to run on for several reasons. One of the reasons is that I wouldn't have been able to run today because of this dust storm.

I have my tshirt ready to go for 24thehardway. I talked my game plan over with my chiropractor today. Mainly to remind myself that this was just a race to help my long run of 20 miles seem like fun. I only want to get 20 miles (and not be last). Our race skirts didn't work out so our clothing game plan changed. I also made my son a tshirt since he will be crewing for me during the race.

And the last thing about today is that it was my oldest son's 16th bday. Even though he is growing up he wanted the same thing he would have wanted when he was younger, just a little more expensive now-a new baseball bat.

Thankful today for many things. Feeling very blessed tonight.

Author: Jilligan
•6:23 PM

I had my first experience with my new love, the Alter G treadmill. I was really contemplating not going because I was full of self doubt. I didn't think my cardio was strong enough to run 15 minutes straight. I was worried because I didn't think I could fit in the medium shorts. I could go on and on. Anyway, I went. I loved it. I ran at 60% of my body weight. I ran 2.5 miles in 15 minutes. I still need to get used to the placement of everything on the machine but it will be a great tool. Really wonderful for speedwork when your body doesn't think you legs can run that fast anymore.

Now if I can just figure out how to afford it this month.

After treatment...a blanket of ice. These things are great. I found them at wally world and you can cut them into whatever size you need. I hold them in place with plastic packing wrap.

Author: Jilligan
•4:00 PM

The best thing about the day after a long run is getting to go to the chiro for an adjustment. And it's a day off! Now for a little tens and ice.

Author: Jilligan
•9:16 PM

I did my best to stay on the park trail and I made it for 10 miles but then I ran out of daylight. I came home and changed out of my trail shoes and headed back out. I tried to avoid hills but it was just too boring. I got 14 in and ran out of brain power.
I came back to the house and asked for some help to finish the last 4. My DH hopped on his bike and off we went. I had plans to doing the boring half mile loop 8 times but really just wanted to quit. No reason really just wanted to quit. So instead of the half mile loop I just headed away from the house. It meant a few more hills and that may have been my downfall. I made it out one mile and turned around and made it back in another mile. I still wanted to turn towards the house but knew I would be disappointed. We turned away from the house to get another mile but that's all I had in me. Knee started really bothering me. I made it to the house with 17 miles registered.

So analysis: knees sore and being iced, back sore and has heating pad, bottom of feet strangely sore and that's all.

No school tomorrow so I will be able to make it to chiropractor and I should have time to actually follow his advice and run on the alter G.

Found a great clearance sale at a local sporting good store and my DH bought me some adidas marathon shorts. Love them and they have a cute little running icon on them.

Author: Jilligan
•8:43 AM

I am so tired. I took a nap yesterday and was still tired. I slept 9 hours last night and feel exhausted this morning. Still have 18 miles to run before the weekend is over. These long runs sure do take up a lot of time. Plus I have to run in the daylight so I can go on the park trail for a smoother surface but not kill myself because the city decided to grate(?) the path.

I was going to start at 5 this morning knowing it would be defiant to run in the street until the sun came up. However, when that alarm went off at 4:30, my brain and my body didn't want any part of it. Not sure how I am going to get myself united to finish this marathon training. Any ideas?

On another note we did get rain. My son's XC meet was a muddy mess. He improved his time from last week but is still afraid of success this season. He isn't running anything like he did over the summer racing season. Not sure what's up. By the way look at the shorts he likes to run in. Not quite what an elite runner would want but perfect for 7th graders!

Author: Jilligan
•9:11 AM
I have been having some pain in my knee probably since the July 4 race.  It hasn't been the same type of pain as my ACL or meniscus.  It wasn't muscle soreness.  It didn't really bother me while I was running but really bothered me after, really.  I have iced, tensed, heated, taped, and braced.  I was resigned to the fact that it was probably a stress fracture.  I was waiting until our new insurance kicked in so I could go to the dr to get it checked out.  Finally, yesterday I was able to get in to the chiro, (x-rays are cheaper here and he is pro-active).  After a look at the x-rays, we(he) ruled out a stress fracture.  There is some more wear and tear since the last knee surgery and it is clear the meniscus is completely gone now.  My tibia was out of alignment and was rubbing on another bone or my knee cap.  He said it was almost like a dislocation of the bone which could usually only occur with trauma.  Is it possible that this has been out of place for 3 years?  I have had pain in that thigh and calf every since my surgery.  He wanted me to tens my calf and thigh because there was a lot of buildup of "knots" because of the tension on the muscles due to the misplacement of the tibia.  He suggested no outside running but instead to try his Alter G machine.  With a few "treatments" and a few weeks of alter g running, I should be good to go.  His hours aren't that convenient for me since my daughter is going to school with me now.  I think I will be able to get in for treatment 3 days a week and alter g running 2 x. 

What that means is that I probably won't stop running outside.  I just can't lose the cardio.  This injury won't cause anything severe if I don't stop running, the pain will just continue.  With treatment and a few adjustments to running, I hope to alleviate some of the pain.  Just after one day of treatment, ice and new placement of the Tens unit, I am already much better.  18 miles this weekend will be the true test.

Author: Jilligan
•6:14 PM
I forgot to mention that I got my race skirt in.  I had to wash it first because it had a terrible smell to it.  Still can smell it after so may have to wash it again.  I love the colors.  It is made by Running Funky.  We went with the super hero print for the skort and the lightning print for the compression shorts.  I had a blue shirt that matched it but it was sleeveless.  I found another one today at Target.  I really want some knee highs to wear but haven't found any close and don't want to pay more for shipping then I am paying for the socks.  I still have a little while to work out the sock issue.  I didn't think I would like running in knee highs but I really do.  I will try to get a picture of the skirt.  Aside from the smell, my only other complaint is the fullness of the skirt.  It is really a fuller cut then I am used to.  Glad I got the medium(uh hum)! 
Author: Jilligan
•6:13 PM
After much debate about the expense, the time, the nerves, I finally booked my room in Vegas.  Looks like I will drive out with the help of a few willing souls and then drive home the day after the race.  Because of my DH's job change I had to wait to purchase anything else for the trip until we got our finances back in shape.  Flights and hotel skyrocketed so the trip was looking like it wasn't going to happen.  I kept trying to figure out ways to make it work and looking at every bargain website there was.  Because I was going by myself (DH can't go now because of new job), I didn't want to stay very far away from the race sight.  That meant a higher priced hotel.  I felt confident about being in Vegas by myself because the last time we were there was for a youth football tournament and my oldest son and I were by ourselves most of the time.  Since the plane tickets were out, I didn't want to drive by myself.  Luckily my mom and my aunt said they would go with me.  My uncle will go if he can.  So now we have a road trip planned.  As soon as I get the confirmation email from the hotel, we will officially have a room.  Race has already been paid for. 

So now the key is to survive the San Antonio Rock 'n' Roll marathon and make it to the Vegas Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon 3 weeks later.  I am so excited and so thankful to have family that will drop everything in their life to let me live mine.  18 days until 24thehardway, 40 days until San Antonio Marathon, my first, and 61 days until Vegas Half.  Pretty intense end of year, but I am really excited.

Oh, on the weight front, I am stuck at 88 pounds lost since October 8, 2010.  I wanted to be at -100 by Oct 8, 2011 but don't think I will lose 12 pounds in 4 days.  Maybe I can make it to 90.  I am definitely tired of dieting and my running is suffering because of the lack of calories.  I will be adding more food to my diet after October 16.  Just wanted to try to make my goal.  Time to run so I better hit the road. 
Author: Jilligan
•10:08 PM
Tried my new running skirt tonight.  Creases were much better.  I loved the daisy print but I am thankful to the people at Skirt Sports for the replacement skirt which is a great purple print.  I emailed begging my case for a replacement, return, or other helpful information regarding the crease.  They were kind enough to mail me a new skirt and a shipping label to return the other skirt.  The only thing I can tell that might have caused a problem was a small catch in the seam.  What great customer service!

Long run this weekend was 12.  I got 10.  I got sick to my stomach.  Not really, "I need a bathroom now" sick but just upset stomach sick.  Definitely didn't fuel myself properly over the weekend.  I do great with my fruits and veggies during the week but the weekend is another story.  Plus we were at the boys stock show this weekend so way too much soda and not enough water.  Also, very little sleep.  Overall, the run was good.  Legs felt fine.  Lungs were good.  Nose ran a lot. Weather was nice.  It got too dark on me to stay on the trail so I had to finish on the road. 

20 days until OKC 6 hour race. 
Author: Jilligan
•1:39 PM

I emailed Skirt Sports to see if there was anything I could do about the seam in the skirt and they are sending me a replacement. Go customer service. Thanks to Mia Somers and Skirt Sports I can continue my love affair with running skirts.

Author: Jilligan
•7:38 PM

Tonight's run was about trying new things. I tried some new socks and my new running skirt. My DH is busy with the "kids' project" so I had Kallie. She had a friend over so treadmill it is(was).

I was concerned about the socks because they were thicker than I usually wear. But...I...loved...them! Probably a little warm for anything in the summer but they felt good. I liked the extra cushion.

The skirt is a different story. I loved the look and the fit. The compression shorts fit great and stayed in place. The bad thing and nearly unbearable was the seam in the crotch. OMG. May try to wash it again and use fabric softner. Otherwise it will be for looks only.

Other then that everything else was great. Lungs, legs, and mind all worked together to get me through. I am really liking this running business.

Author: Jilligan
•9:39 PM

This morning I got up to run, got on the scale, and went back to bed. 1 1/2 hours later the scale was friendlier but the morning was gone so the run got pushed to tonight. It was just 4 miles but I was nervous about my legs since I had my long run yesterday and no rest day between. Thighs were a little sore starting out but otherwise felt fine. I ran 3.5 and then met up with my daughter. She was wearing boots. We walked the last .5 together. It's amazing that a run of this length is nothing to me. It felt good to be able to do it without any problems. Running is feeling good. I almost enjoyed even the first mile.

No pictures from tonight's run because the phone service has been spotty today so I didn't even carry my phone. Instead I will give you a picture of my ghetto marathon shirt that I had made at the fair.

You can be jealous. The back has my name on it.

Author: Jilligan
•8:17 AM

Last week after my run I thought I was extremely sore. I ached all night. Even the sheets hurt me. When I was still achy and feling bad the next day, I decided I must have gotten a flu bug or something. Chest hurt, feverish, achy, etc. I took the week off from running and spent a lot of time walking.

So yesterday was really the first run since the long run on Sunday.  I ran 4 miles back and forth across the golf course during the boys and girls XC meet. I was proud about that in and of itself because I could do it and I wasn't winded.

Today was 16. I started at 5:00 this morning and at 52 degrees. Long sleeve shirt and tights, reflection gear! I had one bathroom break and carried my hand held water bottle. I had one pkg of shot blocks.  I stayed with my 3/1 intervals the whole way and never needed an extra walking break. It was a good running day.

Longest run ever. Never made it this far during the last marathon training. It ended with a stress fracture. Things are looking good. Time to fully dedicate myself and finish this.

Author: Jilligan
•2:03 PM
Cross Country Meet

Sept 2011

Sept 2011, The Girls

Sept 2011, The Kids

Sept 2011, The Men

Sept 2011
Author: Jilligan
•8:50 PM

I was kind of complaining to my DH about not having anywhere exciting to run. This weekend I had 15 miles on schedule. Due to a CC meet, nap, and wedding, I didn't get it done yesterday. On the way home from church DH and I were trying to think of somewhere to run. I didn't want to run around the school (my .5 route) 30 times and I didn't want to run the park (2 mile route) over and over.

I hadn't been to our ranch in a long time so I thought I would run the park and then out to the ranch. It took me 3 miles to get out there. I was cresting the first hill when I saw this:

22 mule deer. They saw me about the same time. By the time I got my camera out of the camelbak, they had started to move away.

They stayed close and split into two herds. One set crossed the road in front of me.

When I turned the corner I was watching the other group and didn't notice the buck standing right beside me on the other side of the road. He took off pretty fast but I got one shot of him. The camera wouldn't zoom in before he ran off though.

So I didn't know I had it so good. How many people can say they saw a herd of 22 deer and 1 buck on their 15 mile run.

I ran the ranch a few times and headed back towards town at 11 miles. I called for a ride at 13 cause it was too dark. I was going to finish when I got home but I was too stiff when I got out of the car. Called it quits at 13. Every long run from here on out will be my longest training run ever.

No stomach issues today as far as the bathroom but had some trouble with an acidic feeling from not enough calories. It's all a work in progress.

I don't think the pictures will post in the blog in order but I hope you can get the idea.

Author: Jilligan
•9:32 PM
Cooler temperatures moved in with some moisture.  This morning I didn't get up to run my 4 miles because it was lightning.  Then it got really cold and while I was sitting outside at my son's football game, I got really stiff.  Thank goodness Jo challenged me to walking 12000 steps a day so I did get in my MED.  I will not get in my run.  Tomorrow is a rest day so I will push today's run to tomorrow.  I have my warm clothes ready and am actually looking forward to a cool run.  I know my lungs will burn.  I know my eyes will water.  I know my nose will drip.  But I also know that I am alive, I am healthier, I am lighter, and oh, I will be older. 
Author: Jilligan
•6:10 AM
The good news is my run this morning felt.  Great.  Nothing hurt, nothing wanted to quit, and I kept my head up.  I am hoping that will help with strange soreness I am having in my back after running.  Also it's so much easier to breath when you are looking up.  Of course, I scanned the ground.  Running alone in the morning, I can't pull a "mary ann" and fall.  No one would find me until the kids started coming to school and they might think I was just another animal on the playground to climb on.  (And M.A., I only said that because I know you are stalking this blog right now)

The bad news is that somewhere on a run I lost my butt.  This morning I put on one of my favorite running skirts and I couldn't keep the panties in place.  I haven't been drying my running clothes so I know it wasn't the dryer's fault.  I couldn't hardly believe it and once even stopped to make sure I hadn't put the dumb thing on backwards.  Nope, it was right.  Just lost my butt.  Oh well, that's one thing I have lost that I won't be looking for.  I think I still have plenty and may just have to go down a size in running skirts from this company.

The ugly...well, what could have been.  Can you imagine if I had fallen and my underwear weren't in place?

At least I made you laugh, maybe?  Have a good day.  Glad to have my mileage for the day out of the way.  Board meeting tonight but I may try to pull a double run day if I don't get home too late.
Author: Jilligan
•6:35 AM

It's time to bring the focus back to me. I have allowed the stress of the past few weeks tough decisions to overshadow my goals. Any decisions we make as a family should contribute to my goals not take away from them. I did that to myself. I stopped making myself important.

Here's what I am going to do to get back on track: give up soda (again), run in the mornings, actually drink water, and lose this last 20 pounds. I started this morning with a 4 mile run and half mile walk with the dogs. I will not stop for my 44 oz this morning and I will not go to the soda vending machine. These may seem like little things but these are addictions. I need to become addicted to running again. I need to become addicted to myself! I need to withdraw from my other addictions.

I have done it before and I can do it again.

Author: Jilligan
•4:53 PM
Tomorrow my DH starts a new job. Friday my DD started a new school. Sometime in the near future the boys will change schools and we will move. My job will not change. Change is good but the unknown is scary for everyone. We hope we have made a decision that will be positive for our family and for each other. We are trying to give our kids a good life, a happy life. We moved here because we thought it would be a better place for our kids to go to school. It was the wrong decision for our oldest son and it has been a miserable time off and on for him over the last 4.5 years. It was a great decision for our middle son. He got lucky. It was a bad decision for my husband. He loves what he does for a living but wasn't happy where he was doing that work. Things were good for a while but due to some unknown reasons, things changed. For me, the last move was a move of indifference for me. I left my nice house and friends. I left my running buddies and my students. But I have made new friends. I advanced in my career. We had access to a stronger church. My daughter doesn't remember where we lived before now. To her, this is the home she knows. She doesn't know we are moving yet. She just thinks she changed schools to be closer to me.

Because we still own a house in the last town we left, we have not been able to buy a house in the town we live in. We are basically paying a huge mortgage on a house someone else gets to live in. We have lived in the house I grew up in. Luckily for us, my mom moved about the time we did so the house was available. It has served us well in the past but it is closing in on me now. I need my own house. This move will force that change.

I am trying not to eat through this stress but I haven't been exercising through it either. I have been withdrawn. I have been sleeping alot. I spend most of the time in my room, in bed. I know it isn't healthy but it's the only way I know how to cope without the food.

Tomorrow is the next step in the process. I hope my husband is happy with his change. I hope we can all be happy again because of it. I hope that we have done something good for our family. Please pray that this will be a positive change that will benefit each and every one of us as well as the new people we will have the opportunity to bring into our lives.

By the way, I am still looking for a running partner. It is getting harder to train for this marathon. The miles are lonely.
Author: Jilligan
•1:46 PM

Here is my Aunt Shirley's version of the race report. What a great time we had! Can't wait for 24 the Hard Way.

Author: Jilligan
•9:57 PM
Before the race

After the race with my trophy

Coming up the hill at sunrise

Coming up the hill at sunrise

The beginning at dark:thirty!

Author: Jilligan
•7:24 PM

A half marathon for $20 can't be beat. It was very small, my cousin told be the smallest marathon in the U.S. This year there were about 50 preregistered for the half and 50 for the full. My aunt was doing the 5k. Since it started at 5:30 and was 2 hours away we went up the night before. Even though there wasn't a prerace pickup Sunday, the RD met us and gave us our numbers and shirts. We drove the course twice. Once with the race map and then once with directions from the RD. We decided on a spot my aunt could park so I could trade out my water. After we thought we had the course figured out, we headed to the hotel and to eat.

This morning we woke up to cool temps but thankfully no wind. We headed out in the dark to start the race. I had planned on running 4/1 but my garmin didn't cooperate. I started getting worried because it hadn't beeped but couldn't see well enough in the dark to know what was going on. I decided to run as far as a I could and then when I had to walk I would try to fix the garmin. I made it 2 miles which happened to be a major turn on to the highway. With my headlamp and a smooth surface I finally felt comfortable enough to fiddle with the watch. I got it going a little after 2 miles which meant it was pretty much good for nothing but intervals and mental math.

I was having serious stomach issues and so was another guy near me. He had gone into the bushes several times and got to the port-a-pot before me. I ran on cause they told us there would be another one at 6 miles. When I met up with my aunt at 5 miles, I grabbed some kleenex, traded waters, and trudged on. I was constantly looking for somewhere suitable for a bathroom. At the 6.5 turnaround, I asked what happened to the 6 mile port-a-pot. It was moved to mile 3. Ugh. I made it back to about 7 miles and used a tree I had seen earlier. It was far enough down the ditch and weedy enough to be out of the way. I prayed for 3 things: no rattlesnakes, no dogs, and the ability to squat. After I squatted, I added the ability to stand up to the prayer. I felt much better after that.

The course was pretty much a solo event. There was one manned water station at the turn around. Every 2 miles there was a case of water with an ice bag on top. The sloshing of my water was annoying to me so I ended up dumping my water and bending over for water once. I had some self doubt at mile 10 and really tried to play the poor little ole me card but there was no one to listen and no one who cared so I had no choice but to keep going. After mile 11, I felt okay again and picked my head up to start watching for the 5kers. I meet up with them at mile 12.5 or so. My aunt and I passed each other with a quick word and I headed to the finish. I got a great turtle for finishing. I bettered my last half by 18 minutes. I ended up 7th in my age group. Officially results will be mailed.

My aunt bettered her time by 3 minutes. Each race is not chip timed. It took me about 3 minutes to cross the start and it took her at least 5. We waited for door prizes but didn't win. Then we headed to the breakfast buffet.

We had a great time with lots of laughing. I am pretty sore but I think the 2 hour drive has a lot to do with that. I told my aunt racing was like childbirth and we would soon forget the bad parts of tyis run and be ready to race again. My pictures include a view from the side of the road which is how it looked from miles 2 to 10, a view back in to town from the 6.55 turnaround, the ugliest race shirt ever, and my turtle.