Friday, January 27, 2017

More Marathon Stuff

The official race pictures are out & surprisingly I don't hate them. In fact, they're the best race pics I've taken!

This was at the beginning of the race. I can't remember where the photographers were on the course but you can see what the morning looked like. FOGGY!

This was the final .2 miles. So happy to be almost finished.

Approaching the finish line. This is also where I heard Scott & Lydia cheering for me.

There's the timing mat!


The Marathon allows you to download the pics for free. That's a great perk because for whatever reason race pics are expensive!

So, I've got a thing for the sticker. It's kinda like if you don't post of FB it didn't happen! Have to have the sticker!

I'm so excited to finally have one of these to put on my car. The only problem is I STILL DON'T HAVE MY CAR!

You may remember 3 months ago this happened.

Yeh, 3 months ago. That is duct tape. That was to attempt to hold some of those pieces in place so we could drive it to the shop without having them flop everywhere. 

Needless to say I'm not happy. I have very little patience & at the moment what little I have is gone. To make a long story short, the body shop has been telling Dean for the last 8 or so weeks that they're "working on it". The last couple of times he called he was told "another week or two". Notice I said the last time DEAN called. Nobody ever called from the body shop including the times Dean called & was told he would get a call back. It's not like he was calling once a week either. It was more like once every 3 weeks if that. Soooo, I just happened to be in the area on the Friday they said they were going to start because they finally had all the parts - 8 weeks ago. I was a little surprised to see my car parked on the street behind the shop in the same condition minus the bumper that it was in when we dropped it off. I wasn't thrilled but stuff happens. 

Fast forward to the Friday before the marathon. I got my hair cut & then went to pick up my race packet. That meant I was going to be driving right by the body shop. I decided to make sure my car wasn't sitting in the same spot it had been but of course it wouldn't be because that was 8 weeks ago. Well, it wasn't in the same spot. It was sitting across the street. IN THE SAME CONDITION AS 8 WEEKS AGO. I parked & got out so I could look at the front & see if maybe they'd been working on it. NOPE. I didn't stick around because about that time the screaming & cussing started at a neighboring house & I figured it was just a matter of time before the bullets started flying. The body shop isn't in a good part of town & here lately there are multiple shootings a day in Baton Rouge.

I called Dean & asked if he'd talked to the body shop that day because he was planning to call & check on it. He had called & they said "we're working on it, maybe another week, week & a half". So obviously this is the company line. 

Dean sent an email to the owner & he got a call back with lots of excuses - we're really busy, everyone wants their cars, blah, blah, blah. He threw in that he was waiting on a machine to free up. Yeh that's what he said 8 weeks ago when they were going to start on Friday. He assured Dean we were "next" for the stupid machine. 

Last Wednesday Dean dropped by the body shop & they were in fact working on it & it was on the machine. He also told Dean that he's responsible for paying for our rental car & he's "not going to make any money on this job since we've had the rental so long". Um WHAT??? NOT MY PROBLEM. Then he said he hoped it would be ready this week. So wait, you mean to tell me you've had my car for 3 months for what is going to take a week and a half to fix???? Well, apparently not because I don't have my car.

 I'm not exaggerating with the 3 months either. Tomorrow will be exactly 3 months since we dropped it off. 

We had lots of recommendations for this particular shop. People say the owner is great, he does great work, etc. As long as he'd had the car he better do great work. I'm so incredibly frustrated. Obviously.

This week I started running again. Feb. 11th I'm running the 15K at The Mardi Gras Mambo. My plan was to run Monday but it was really windy so I ran Tuesday.

4 miles faster than I've done in awhile. I told Dean it's amazing what you can do when you start thinking about something that you're mad about. I started thinking about the car situation & that was all it took.

Thursday morning was another super windy morning so I skipped the run. I don't like wind. I ran 5 mi. this morning. 

We're finally having some winter weather. It was 43 this morning with a dew point of 29. 

That's about all that's going on here.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017


This may be the longest post I've ever done. I can't help it. I want to remember it all.
Friday after work I got my hair cut & headed downtown to pick up my race packet. Being there in the middle of the day is great. It's not crowded & I was in & out in no time. 

My plan for Friday & Saturday was to do whatever I could to try not to think about the race because I was a nervous wreck. We had Italian Friday night at DeGiulio Brothers. I kept with tradition & had a couple of cake balls from Brew Ha Ha. Although, I was very upset that they were out of the King Cake flavor. I got to sleep early & slept really good. Everyone says the night before the night before the race is when you have to get a good nights sleep.

Everything laid out & ready to go.

Saturday we intended to spend the day running errands & looking for a dress for the Mardi Gras Ball we're going to. I expected this to be an all day affair. Which was good because it would keep my mind off the race. Imagine my surprise when I found my dress at the second store. We had lunch in the food court. I treated myself to Chic-fil-A. It's been awhile. We stopped by Varsity Sports so I could pick up some Gu & home we went. We had Little Caesar's pizza Saturday night. I didn't want to get out & I just wanted cheese pizza. I was all about carbs. 

I didn't get to sleep as early as I planned but I slept ok. I woke up before my 4:30 alarm went off. I was able to get dressed, get band aids all over my feet along with duct tape - weird I know but it helps with blisters. I have an issue with my pinky toes rubbing. I put the band aids & tape on as a precaution. I ate a bagel with almond butter & another cake ball. Breakfast of champions right there!! 

At 5:30 I headed out. One of my favorite Priest in town was doing a 26.2 minute Mass Sunday morning at the Church that's on the course. He's a runner & did the Mass last year for the first time. It's a great way to calm down & relax a little before the race. I met my brother & sister in law there. They were both running the Half Marathon. Another good thing about the early Mass is they open the bathrooms & you don't have to use the porta potties! We got our bags checked & it was time to line up. 

It was super foggy Sunday morning & it was not cold. I've said before how I like running in cold weather. I think it was about 60 when the race started & high humidity but there was a bit of breeze. so it wasn't bad. 

My friend Vicki, her niece Simone & my Godchild Lane came out to watch & even with all of the people out there we just happened to see them before the race. She got a pic of me & Lydia.

This is the race that has the dreaded overpass that you have to go over twice. From here on out it's referred to as "That Damn Overpass". For the Marathon it's at mile 1 and mile 25. 

There are tons of spectators on the route & being that this is Louisiana there's no shortage of food & drinks along the course. I saw Mimosa's, beer, pigs in a blanket (yuck!) & king cake. I stuck with water, power ade, ice, gu & fruit. Oranges & watermelon never tasted so good!

I knew Dean & my friends Cindy & Dianne were going to be along the course I just didn't know where. I saw them the first time at the 10K mark. Cindy has a great voice for this type of thing. I heard her well before I saw her! 

They took pics & videos. This was around mile 7. Right before this I saw Vicki, Simone & Lane again. 

Around mile 9 I saw my friend Autumn. She lives in Pensacola & happened to be in town so she came out & cheered. 

The course is along a lot of the area that I did my training runs. It starts downtown & you make your way through LSU's campus & along the lakes. At mile 11 the Half & Full split. This took me to a part of town that I never run in which was good because there were a lot of new things to look at. There were a  ton of big, pretty houses which is great distraction for me. 

I saw the whole crew together right before the split at mile 11 & by this time Allison had joined them. That's when I found out my brother finished the Half in 1:32. A new PR for him.  Cindy just happened to snap a pic right when Dean told me his time.

At mile 11 I saw my friend Damian. He works the race & was the person making sure everyone knew that the Half turned & the full kept going.  It was great that I was seeing people every few miles. 

I think it was around mile 15 that I saw my crew again. There's an app that I used during my training runs that is great. It's called Road ID - the same people that make the bracelets. The app sends a text message to the people you put on a list letting them know that you've started a run & it sends them a link so that at any time during your run they can click on it & see where you are. I used it training since I was running by myself.  That way Dean would always know where I was. You set the time for how long you'll be running. If at any time you stop moving for 3 minutes it sends another message to the people on your list letting them know that something's wrong because you haven't moved. There's also a loud alarm in case you've just stopped to talk or something to let you know it's about to send the text. I used the app Sunday so that Dean  could look at it & know where they needed to go to see me. It worked out great. 

We have some friends that live around the corner from mile 18 so Dean, Cindy & Dianne headed there & met Paul, Jennifer, Stan & Renee. A little ways down the road were Allison, Vicki, Lane & Simone. By this point I was getting tired but I still felt good. 

In all of the residential areas there were a lot of spectators & they cheered for you & read your name off your bib & yelled at you. It was great. This was also where a lot of people had tables set up with fruit for the runners.

Dean, Cindy & Dianne were at mile 20 I think it was. Somewhere close to there anyway. Most training plans only have you go up to 20 miles. Everyone says adrenaline kicks in at that point. I don't know about that. I kept telling myself I just had 2 5K's left. By mile 23 I had to walk a little bit. The sun had come out by this point & it was hot.  Dean, Cindy & Dianne popped up around that point. I was surprised because I thought they would've headed to the finish line after mile 20.  It was good to see them.  Only 3 miles left. And that damn overpass! 

I think the race directors or whoever measured the route thought they were being cute. Mile 25 is at the TOP of the overpass. Not funny. As I was going down the overpass there were a few people walking in the opposite direction. They'd finished the race, gotten their medals & were headed home. I so wanted to be them. 

I made the final turn in which you can see the finish line about a half mile away. Then I hit mile 26. Almost there. I couldn't believe it. I saw Dean right before entering the finish line chute.  

Right before this point I saw Scott & Lydia cheering.

And I did it!!
 I crossed the finish line, got my medal, a bottle of water & then saw my crew. They rewarded me with a bottle of chocolate milk. So so good. My official time was 5:21:18. I was hoping to be under 5:15 but when I saw the forecast & knew it was going to be hot & humid I changed my goal to under 5:30. 

Along with my Louis Vuitton bag, that medal is my most prized possession! 
That's the Louisiana state capitol in the background. 

I got hugs from all my peeps & I'm sad because none of us thought to take a group pic. I picked up my bag from gear check & immediately put on my Oofos. Y'all those are the most comfortable things I've ever put on my feet. Next up I went to the PT tent where my friend that got me through my training was & she stretched me out. I really didn't feel awful. I was hot & my feet were hurting a little but mainly just my pinkie toes. There were blisters on both toes. So weird. 

Everyone left & Dean & I headed to the finish fest to get some food. I wasn't hungry at all. That's been a huge benefit of marathon training for me - I don't want to eat after long runs. I got some crawfish etouffee & crawfish mac & cheese & ate a few bites of each. This race has food provided by a bunch of different restaurants in town & there's all sorts of good Louisiana food. There was live music too but I was ready to go pretty quick. All I really wanted was a Route 44 Sonic Dr. Pepper. I think I started thinking about it around mile 20.

Truly the best Dr. Pepper I've ever had!!

My plan was to go home & get in the pool. That's what I did after all of my long runs & it really helped with soreness & recovery because the water is really cold. By the time we got home I was cold. Apparently, that's something that happens after you run a Marathon. There was no way I was getting in that pool. Instead I got in a hot bath!

I was ready for bed early Sunday night. Right before bed I checked my steps.

That is a record I'll never break!!!

Monday when I woke up I was scared about how bad I was going to hurt. Well, I was pleasantly surprised. I was sore but nothing like I thought I would be. I could've gone for a run. I went Monday afternoon & had a massage & that felt great. I was surprised when the masseuse told me that my back was the tightest part of my body. Today I'm pretty much back to normal. I'm taking the week off from any sort of exercise. I'm ready for a little break. 

Tuesday afternoon this was delivered to my office.

It was from my friend Autumn congratulating me again for my Marathon. I thought that was the sweetest thing.

This medal represents so much. I've never been an athlete, I never played team sports & I quit a lot of things that I started. Running is the one thing that I haven't quit on. I set my goal & I did it. First with the 5K, then the Half Marathon & now the Full. It was the hardest thing I've ever done & that's why it means so much to me. People keep asking if I'm ready to run another one. NO. This was a one & done thing. Since I started running 5 years ago I swore I'd never run a marathon. I knew there was no possible way I could do it. Well, I did it. I'm a Marathoner.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Race Week

It's finally here. Race week. For the last several years this has been race week but this year is different. This year it's race week for my first (and only) Full Marathon. I still can't believe I'm actually going through with it. 

Everything was going fine with my training until 2 weeks ago. I started with the sinus/allergy thing that I get. I took meds, I rested & I skipped some training runs. Thankfully, I was starting to taper so I didn't miss any long runs. I ran 10 miles the Friday before New Years & all was good. The day after New Years I woke up feeling awful so I went to After Hours. They diagnosed me with Bronchitis. Lovely. I really don't have time for that. I took my meds, I rested some more. Here it is a week later & I'm still coughing. It's extremely annoying. 

My last "long run" was scheduled for Saturday & it was 6 miles. Winter decided to arrive in Louisiana Friday & Saturday. The temps were in the 20's with wind chills in the teens. I like to run in cold but that was a little much. I still wasn't feeling great so I postponed my run to Sunday. 

I got it done Sunday afternoon. The sun was out & it had "warmed up" to the somewhere in the 40's. That's definitely my ideal running temp. By my 2nd mile I was sweating. 

 I ran again this morning.

Just a short 3 miler. This is going to be my last run before the race.
 I'm nervous. Like really nervous. I shouldn't be. I mean it's just a run. I can walk if I get tired. I've done (2) 20 mile training runs. Surely, if I can do that I can make it 6 more. People do it all the time. 

This is part of my problem.

3 different weather apps with 3 different forecasts. I'm not concerned with the rain. I'm concerned with that big 77 degree high. That's hot! I'm trying not to worry about it because there isn't a thing in the world that I can do about it. Well, except pray for a random cold front that nobody's expecting.

So, the next time we "talk" hopefully, I'll be able to say that I'm a marathoner.