Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Twas the night before Christmas


Twas the night before Christmas, as I think of my friends.
My cards signed with love, as the day soon will end.
Reflecting on memories of a year about to close,
Your love is so precious; like a lovely red rose.
You listened to me talk, when I needed an ear.
You helped me to face, some of my greatest fears.
A confidant so trusting, I never had doubt.
You‘re comforting words, you always sent out.
Faith, you reminded me, to always hold tight,
And the promise of a new day, sunny and bright.
Encouraging words, coming straight from your heart.
“Tomorrow” you said, will give me a fresh start.
I pray God will grant you, what you’ve given to me.
For I’ll always remember, when He answered my plea.
Merry Christmas to you, and a Happy New Year.
All the memories you gave me, I will always hold dear.
~Ruth Ann Mahaffey

A Perfectly Shaped Snowflake...

I was walking to my car after a long day of shopping today.
I noticed the snow.
"It's snowing out!"
I looked down...
A snowflake landed on the arm of my black coat
It was brilliant white,
puffy,
perfect design,
beautiful!
I said, "There's a snowflake on my coat."
It didn't melt!
It just lay there, on my coat. 
It was a perfectly shaped snowflake!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Love the Life you Live

Accept that as you create your right life, you'll become a leader automatically; not because you'll want others to follow your rules, but because they'll want to follow your example.—Martha Beck

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fond Memories of popular toys I grew up with.

50 years of the most popular xmas toys

My sister posted a link to the Most Popular Christmas Toys, By Year Since 1960.  Boy did that bring back memories.

I remember barbie fondly, I think I was one of the kids in my family who had a Ken doll (that's what we called him).  The one I played with had a smooth face, and it included beard, mistache and side-burns that you could tape on his face as you chose his look.  He was the coolest sitting next to my barbie and ofcourse I had skipper in the back of my convertable barbie car with the camper.  I played with skipper with a ripped knee area, I use to bandage up her leg, pretending she had a broken leg, but continued playing with her.  I remember summer days would consist of grabbing all of my barbie stuff and head out to the fields and pretend my day away, playing with the barbie family, making their house out of hay, I use to call them hay-huts.  When, my long-time neighborhood friend would come over to play, she would ask, "what do you want to do" and she already knew the answer.  After a while, she got sick of it and I would continue to play on.  I was playing barbies far beyond the typical age one chooses no longer to play with them, I was probably in 7th and 8th grade when I started getting tired of it and started getting busy babysitting and getting involved in summer softball activities.

There are a lot of key toys they have listed for each year like Suzie Homemaker Oven, Operation, Battleship, Lite-Brite, Strawberry Shortcake, Connect-4, Rubik-Cube, My little pony, Legos, Elmo, sCooter and the rest are during my daughters stages of growing up, but she got into many toys that are not on the popular lists, like making bead crafts, polly pocket and so on.

I use to play with many of these ten-times over plus many that aren't on the popular list.


The one toy that isn't listed, that I absolutely loved and many don't seem to remember or even recall existing was the little doll called 'flatsy'.  Flatsy was an approx. 5 inch little doll, with 5 inch bright colored long hair, flattened out, made like gumby (if any of you remember the Gumby show).  The flatsy doll was sold in a picture frame with a set of clothes.  I had a 2, orange and pink colored hair, flatsies.  (I think the pink haired was called cookie, if I recall).  My flatsy dolls were so much fun to play with because she bent in all kinds of directions, so she would sit easily in a toy chair or car that I placed her in while I was playing.

The other fond memory is playing with the fisher price toys.  My sister and I use to take carpet squares out and design our homes on the picnic tables with all of the furniture and play our afternoons away.  This was more my sisters thing than mine, but, I would chime in on this imaginary play time and again.  It was fun creating spaces for these little people to live in.

When I was in my early teens, I remember I use to create my own imaginary world using only IBM cards.  If you don't know what IBM cards are, these are traditional computer cards used for keypunching in the computer operations rooms of companies, back in the day.  My dad was a computer operator and use to bring stacks of used ibm cards home for us to use for writing notes and drawing on.  So, I would take over our large 8-chair dining room table and design a whole town of buildings, cards and people who lived in the town.  I wish I would have taken pictures of these designs; I remember having fun playing and designing these little worlds.  I'd color, draw doors and windows on each building, made cars and little people who stopped in the local store to buy sugar.

Ah, the skateboard.  We use to make skateboard routines with music in her driveway.  There was a time we tried a dual routine down this really steep hill in my little town.  I remember falling off as we skidded down on our skateboards, my tale-bone hurt for weeks afterwards.  We did this for a few weeks, it would got old; kept doing it for a little while longer, until one day, I stopped.  I can't even remember why.

It's amazing looking back at all of the toys that we had the luxery to play with, just like music, when you see the toy on the shelf in the store, it brings back fond memories of those wonderful times your choice of toys to play with, your types of play, and the imagination used.  We were lucky to have this time.

Ah, wonderful memories of toys I played with when I was younger.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Nerstrand Big Woods Run, Faribault, Minnesota

I decided to take a drive up to Minnesota to run the Nerstrand Big Woods Run, in Faribault.  I arrived at the run location around 7:30, it was dark and misting.  They were setting up for the run.  The start was in the middle of no-where.  So, I rolled down my window and asked where the nearest town that had a hotel.  30 minutes away, they told me.  I drove to the nearest hotel, Country Inn and Suites, full, then AmericInn, full.  They mentioned that both colleges St. Olaf and another college were having parents weekend, the hotels were booked.  I should try the next town.  So, she called up a hotel and they got me a room.  I drove 20 minutes to Faribault, finding the first AmericInn. the lady at the front desk mentioned that she didn't have me on file and they make that mistake a lot, calling AmeriSuites which is a trucking motel.  She mentioned that she wouldn't recommend that hotel, it's pretty disgusting. So I asked if she had any rooms, she said she thought she had one cancellation, but wasn't sure if that was last night or tonight, the nights blend together.  She said she had a suite and she gave me a discount.  I called the other hotel and cancelled the room they booked.


So, I sit here, after eating my pasta and salad, relaxing before I hit the hay to rest for the run tomorrow.  I plan to run and change into dry clothes in the bathroom and head back home right after the run.  I hope to leave here around 7:30 a.m. to get there at 8:00 a.m., enough time to register and mentally prepare.  It's going to be a cool one, but...


I'm ready.


Isn't if funny! I ran a half marathon today, and ended up coming in at a 10:35 pace, walking the hills. The course was natural paths in the woods, only 2 miles were on a flat road. I was exhausted and not happy with myself because I use to do an 8:30 pace. And each time I run, I get slower and slower. Maybe it's because I ran the chicago marathon last weekend, I'm sure it's part of it. But, even still, this was pretty slow. I realize, when training for the chicago, I got injured more, pulling a muscle here, then laying off my speed or distance to let it heal, cross training where I could. I even threw in my first 1/2 ironman during the heavy mileage, just to get my body going. (I did pretty good on my first 1/2 ironman and I was pretty proud of myself, even though I was in the group of later swimmers coming in and of course on the bike, I was dead last, I did end up passing several people during the run, coming in only 15 minutes slower than my avg 1/2 marathon time, not too bad).. When I was training, because of my injuries, I babied my body, allowing me to run very slow during training runs. Even walking during the longer 20 some mile runs. It's mentally draining not getting back to my time. I have been able to hit my pbr but never getting a new pbr on my halves, if I run a half for 14 weekends straight (during my 1/2 marathon in 25 states goal this year I ran each weekend from Feb through May). I am just going to keep going and learn as I go. I will do another marathon and my next BIG goal is to do an Ironman (in 2 years once I get more coaching on swimming technique and join a bike team next year and get a good bike with clips and learn how to ride that way). I will continue to strive to qualify for Boston, I know I can do it, and each time I do a marathon, I experience something different, but learn from each story. So, it's not that bad that I get a slow time here and there. It's okay! I know when I'm in prime I can make my best times, I just have to listen to my body and sike myself up mentally. I know what works for me. And each person is different. Even though I train with a bunch of guys who are about my pace, One person can train at a different schedule and do differently in a race. I'm learning what works best for me. And that's what counts. The main thing is that I CAN run and I want to be able to run as long as I live, because it does good things to my body and soul.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chicago Marathon, Words of Wisdom

If you're doing something you love with people you love in a place you love, you are going to create something of value to the world.—Martha Beck

Chicago Marathon 2009
I can't wait to get my massage today after running the Chicago Marathon yesterday.

I'm a little stiff but not too bad.

I can tell my training wasn't as good this time.  During the run, my legs, between my torso and my top legs hurt so bad.  Like they weren't ready or trained enough for the run.  My left leg ached, as usual during the first part of the race, but I dealt with it the best I could.  I started out too fast, AGAIN!  When will I learn.  I was running 8 minute miles in the beginning, then got down to less later.  Came in around 1:59 for the first half, then after that, things got tough.

Of course, getting a cramp in both of my calf muscles, which started at mile 18, wasn't fun either.  I walked the water stations to stretch out my calves and would have to stop along the way to massage my calf so that it wouldn't stiffen up.

Did you ever have that experience when you are laying in bed and all of the sudden your muscle in your leg cramps up?  And if you don't catch it right away, your leg or foot (that has the cramp) is a gonner.  Then you sit there stiff as a tree limb, trying to get the stiff kink out of your leg or foot that has the cramp, massaging the area to get it loose.  Well, that was my experience, but I was trying to catch the cramp before it became stiff.  Every time I would speed up the cramp would come back.  I had to slow down to so that the cramp wouldn't come back.  As I was running the last 10 miles, I would watch people just stop and fall over, because their legs would cramp up and get stiff like that.  I'm guessing it had to do with the cold weather and something to do with diet (once again).  My brother Brian mentioned he got really cramped up right after the bike portion of a 1/2 ironman.  He said it had something to do with salt.  So, I'm going to read up on that.

I realize now that the best training for me is to run 13.1 organized races for 4 months before, Plus, throwing in the regular long runs in addition to that, and then run the weekdays well with the stepper as a speedwork piece.  I just wasn't as trained this time, which means, my body wasn't prepared for the miles.  I was lazier because I used the training schedule.  It wasn't enough.  My cardio was fine, although, my chest hurt some when I was running, so I guess that is telling to how in shape I was.  I also tapered too much the last 2 weeks.  I should only taper 2 days right before the race.  That seems to work best.  My body goes down too quickly when I don't run enough.

Oh, yes.  The quote in the beginning relates to my experience.  As you know, I can't take pictures of myself; my hubby, best friend and main supporter, is behind the camera.  We had a great weekend together in Chicago.  It was beautiful walking the lakefront bike-path to the expo, trying a new Italian restaurant for pasta dinner and of course, we had to go to Giordano's, for the thickest homemade pizza in the midwest, after the race.  And of course, we love taking the metra down and staying at Club Quarters, which is right in the middle of the loop, easy walking access to everything!!!

That's my two sense from my experience running my 4th marathon, 2nd Chicago marathon.

My next goal is to....
  • Start running 13.1 organized runs (based on funding), hope I can start this in January 2010,
  • Run 3-13.1 runs and 1-26.2 run each month, for training,
  • See if my 26.2 time can get better each time I run the 26.2,
  • Work on speedwork, running on the treadmill during training weeks and incorporate speed, like run at 8 min miles (7.5) the full 8 miles on a treadmill each time I run, to get my body use to running the speed. (I know, boring, treadmill, but this really helps push my speed),
  • Work on fixing my aching left leg problem,
  • on my posture (still),
  • Continue to learn and apply best nutrition for training and running,
  • Sign up for more 1/2 IronMan competitions (I like those for training),
  • Write about my experiences, and
  • Incorporate learning lessons in my Bug's Adventure Children's book series (in hopes to share my lessons with children so they can grow from what I learn)
Good experience yesterday, great weather.  Cooler works so much better, now only if I would have been in better shape.  Blah!


Stats:
Place 674 out of 1820 - division
Place 5054 out of 14492 - women
Overall 16020 out of 33475 Total
Chip time: 4:19:14

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cyberworld (Good or Bad)

I kind of fell into technology over 20 years ago. I liked breaking the internals of the computer configuration and see if I could fix it; which then led to a real job working as a Director of Computer Operations where I could let other people break the computers and I would make them better, plus learned more. My career spun off in great directions, I was riding the technology wave as everything developed.  It was fun!!!  I too didn't get a cell phone until I had to because I traveled for work and people needed to get a hold of me.  I remember when they were trying to talk all of us into wearing beepers and building a 24/7 support operation.  I didn’t like that one bit, well things spun off wickedly fast since then, and cell phones are the means to the end for technology. 


It was in 2004, when I got my first cell phone, but used it very rarely. Even today, I still restrict my phone use.  The main reason is because it irritates me that people can't hold a conversation without having their phone buzz with a message or phone call. Even on the train, people can’t sit quietly and read, or do work or whatever, they have to be talking loud on a cell phone.  I find it funny how we were all able to walk the streets just fine without a phone 20 some years ago and beyond.  It seems younger people; 18-27 always need to have that cell phone in their ear talking with someone.  It’s like a security blanket.  It's strange to me.  There are so many times when I want to walk in silence and think.  Don’t people do that anymore?

I, then, was given the opportunity to test Social Networking (SN), and this was only because it was introduced to me (almost forced) by several incidences: first my daughter was on MySpace and Facebook (FB) (once they added High School students to the mix).  The reason I was on it was to regulate, given my concern about the nasty things I heard about child predators on the internet; second, my PhD advisor was an expert in SN and I took a class that introduced over 20 SN tools. (This was when FB was just that, not used widely by the public only some students in college); and third, I was asked to be a guest speaker talking about my experiences with SN, which forced me to dive in and try out test scenarios. (Active and applied research has always been the way I learn).  

I very recently went back through my emails, on gmail, to clean things up since I was on Gmail account (Gmail finally added a folders option on their system to organize, yeah, I like organizing!!).  While going through this “organizing Gmail” exercise, I realized how many people (if they weren't on FB, LinkedIn, Sisterhood, or some other widely used SN) got lost in the shuffle.  

During this past year, when I was taking time off, doing things for me, traveling to meet my 1/2 marathon in 25 states goal, writing, spending time with my husband, etc; I was introduced to so many people along the way. I think without SN I don't think I would have gotten to know any of you. And I am grateful for SN for that one reason.

Although, now I have to make a conscious effort to break from the habit of going on FB every few minutes during the day, I find it takes away from my other things. I am working hard to put a concrete schedule for me to focus on other things during the day, to stay out of cyberworld. I am grateful, but it also is a problem. I'm working through it.


  • There is a certain level of "raw" honesty that goes behind meeting someone virtually. No doubt, meeting someone in person, face-to-face is wonderful, but people reveal more to one another when their faces are hidden. Their insecurities are flushed out by a computer screen. They can say what they want. They can also lie, however, when you do find a friend online, it can go either way ---good or bad. You just have to use your inner judgment and sixth sense, if you will.  More and more people are falling in love with the persona of people, not necessarily the outer shell, and that's a good thing. You sometimes get to know the real person through words. Like many people say, writing a letter is more revealing than speaking your mind. People come out more in "text"---whether by pen or by keys.  (Deb Pasquella)
Thank you again, for sharing your thoughts; this is exactly where I am at with Cyberspace in my world. (Beginner, Expert, Savvy, intermediate, unknown, expert, etc etc etc, working in Cyberspace is a never ending cycle) Be okay with sitting quiet in a room, and keep on running!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Great Discipline Experiment Redux (GDE Redux )


Thanks to Susan Piver, who inspired me to think about this, the GDE Redux. "The theme of this GDE Redux is the same as the last one: Take all the things you say you should do everyday (or most days) and do them. Now, these things aren’t earth shattering. They’re simple and should be within my ability to accomplish. Write. Meditate. Study. Exercise. Drink water. Take vitamins. It’s so embarrassing how simple those things sound." (Susan Piver)  

So, I decided to put my schedule on paper. Although, I seem to follow a schedule daily, it's been more difficult now that my daughter arrived home from being in Spain all last year. She is living with us for her last semester. It's been interesting, at best, and has really thrown my productivity out the window. I think writing out my schedule will help make me more disciplined.  Also, when I decided to transform my career, part of the reason was to allow the flexibility to incorporate all of the things in my life that I love to do.

So, I am writing my schedule here: (it's a bit more flexible because of my marathon training, but this is how it works for me) 
  • *4-10 am train (run, bike, cross train for marathon, ironman, 1/2 marathon) (2 hours of working out) 
  • *** 6-7:30 am meditate, writing exercise 
  • * 10:30-12:30 pm spend quality time with Leon (my hubby), includes lunch 
  • * 2:00-6:00 pm work (book, consulting, writing)  
  • *** 3:00-4:30 pm write  
  • *** 4:30-5:00 pm meditate  
  • *** 2:00-6:00 pm read and rest (1 hr+ within that timeframe)
  • *** 4:00-9:00 pm playtime  
*note: each day is different depending on when my daughter wants to spend time with me, so this isn't as concrete as a typical schedule.  

The key for me is to continue to incorporate writing and mediation in my routine.  
It helps and thanks for the motivation.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Latebird Triathlon


I got up this morning energized, ready to hit the road to do the sprint distance triathlon that I signed up for over 6 months ago. (500m swim, 14 m bike, 5K run) I intended to do the springfling tri; but, the day before the tri I did a half marathon, in May, and I was pretty worn out after the 13.1 mile run.  I called the race director, Cheri, to tell her I couldn't do the tri. Luckily, Cheri offered to move my entry into the fall race.  This worked out well for me, because I am in the last few weeks of training for the Chicago Marathon, on Oct 11 (only 2 weeks away), and used this latebird tri as a cross training workout. 

I arrived an hour early for the tri and found they were running ahead of schedule.  This turned out well since I was positioned to start in a late heat. And I like to "get it over with".

I picked up my packet and was marked with my number.  I positioned my bike on the race rack. I went to watch the swimmers in the pool. This is a time for me to prepare mentally for the race.  I always get nervous doing the triathlons because I'm afraid of swimming.  I'm proud that I actually do it. I swim breaststroke; it may not be fast but it allows me to keep me relaxed.  I tend to tense then breath when I'm not supposed to, sucking water when I breathe.  The less water I drink while swimming these races, the better! 

I talked with Joan, as I stood waiting to check in 10 minutes before my heat.  Joan is a good friend, has been a college & USS swim coach for decades, and is a very seasoned swimming expert.  I shared my fears of swimming.  I mentioned that it took me several times to pass beginners swimming when I was 4 years old. She gave some suggestions on perfection; you don't have to have a perfect stroke to swim. I talked with her about my goal to do an Ironman.  I told Joan that I decided to dive in and learn more about the Ironman (time it takes for preparation, training, eating, and the actual race), by doing my first 1/2 Ironman 3 weeks ago and volunteering for the Madison Ironman.  The 1/2 Ironman went surprisingly well, I was 'very' strong in the run, but needed work in both the swim and bike.  I handed out water at both the bike and running aid stations, during the Ironman, and was able to get a better understanding how much effort I will need to put in to prepare for the Ironman, and I realize I am not ready.  l told Joan that I need to work on my swim and bike techniques.  Joan offered to help me learn swim techniques and offered to meet me a few times a week to help me out.  She said many times you need to learn to relax while swimming. If a person is tense in the water they don't swim very well. I was relieved and took her up on the offer.

I excused myself to hit the bathroom one more time, before my swim, and then headed over to check in for my heat.

I sat on the side of the pool waiting with my group to be called to approach the pool. I was the 3rd in my heat, which I wasn't too sure about. Last time I was first, which allowed me the freedom to go at a good pace.  My time is very slow, but wasn't sure how things would work out. The official led the three of us to lane 1 and told us the rules. He gave us permission to get in the water. In a few seconds, he gave each of us a ten second difference to start our swim. I kicked off the edge.  Breaststroke!  I know it's a slower stroke, but I'm comfortable with it, can set cadence to my breathing and able to see where I'm swimming.  I heard Gina cheering for me on the deck. This helped me calm down, knowing someone was there to help me along the way. After a few laps I lost count of my number, I was supposed to swim 20 lengths or 10 laps. I stopped by the end of the lane to ask the guys, who were recording my laps, what number I was on. I was a little confused with their response, because I was counting in laps and they told me the lengths. I tensed with worry. They said 6 and I thought I was on 8, which means I was really on 12 lengths, farther along than I thought. I kept swimming and passed both swimmers. Eventually, the 1st swimmer tried to catch up and kept hitting me in the feet as I swam. This was another distraction during the swim. I finally saw the red flag, which meant only 1 more lap to go, at the end of the pool. I kept a smooth cadence the last lap. I got out of the pool and headed to the transition area to get ready for the 14 mile bike.

I took my time in the transition area, dried off, put on my socks, shoes and helmet.  I drank my powdered protein drink. (I love that stuff, it tastes really good!) I walked my bike out of the transition area to start my ride. I knew the course since I've done this race 2 times prior to this race, so I felt pretty confident, I was going over 20 mph the first few miles. I hit the turn 4 miles in and the wind hit me with tremendous force, and that threw my planned average mph off.  I was going a slower speed than planned. I worked hard to keep the average that I planned, going under some times, but stay determined the whole length, wind hitting me strong. I kept my average bike pace, only going below when I hit some hills and wind at the same time during mile 11-12. I made it in and took my time during transition.

Drank some more powdered protein drink, changed into my running shirt and cap and walked to the run start. I started running where my chip got activated and felt really strong. I ran really well. I passed the first two runners and ran up the trail hill. The soft ground in the wildlife reserve felt so good to run on!!! The first mile had a pretty good hill, but I run this course for training, so I was pretty strong running the hill. I passed my next 2 runners, on the sidewalk for a short stint, and then turned back on the reserve trail, which again was so great to run on. They had a table with cups filled with water; I grabbed some water and kept going. I ran more and passed another runner and hit the 1/2 mile bridge that runs along the marshy area of the reserve. I thought to myself, wow, I'm really feeling strong during the run, and it feels great. Keep going with it. I ran through the woods for the next mile and then hit the field which was the mark for one more mile to go. I ran around the field corner, picked up a water cup, and saw two runners walking. I kept running my pace, passing the first guy and then was up to the next guy, who mumbled something. I said what? And he said, "Where did you come from?" It took me a while to respond, pausing I said, "I just keep chugging along". Then passed him and turned to run up the hill along the residential area of the field. I saw someone in a red shirt in front of me about 500 yards, and I just kept running. Eventually, I caught up with her and passed her the last 100 of the race. I ran down the hill and saw the finish line up the sidewalk. I ran to the finish very strong.

I wasn't sure about my time, because of the bike and the strong wind, but it was an awesome cross training workout!!!! I took a shower and went out to see what my results were. I came in at my regular swim time (slow but finished), 2 minutes slower on the bike and 2 minutes faster on the run.

I was very proud to have accomplished this training race today.

Perfect weather and challenging conditions.

Well worth the trip!!! =)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cowtown in Fort Worth, Texas

I decided to sign up for the Cowtown half in Fort Worth, Texas this weekend. I was going back-and-forth as I always do, but the flight that I found was unbelievable, too good to pass up. So, I'm booked and ready to fly out later this evening. I am staying in the middle of the city and am looking forward to spending the day in Fort Worth after the run in the early morning. I don't know what to expect for weather, so I am packing a variety of choices, just in case. It looks like a nice run, and of course, it will be my half in the 17th state. Moving right along. We'll see how things go. It is sunny in Wisconsin today.

I arrived in DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth airport) at 11:00 PM, very late night. Took a Super Shuttle to Fort Worth, which took about 20 minutes. I met a nice lady, on the shuttle, who was coming in from San Francisco to surprise her sister on her 50 year birthday party. She was the last one to show up and knew her sister would be surprised.

Once I arrived at the Omni hotel, I was exhausted. I didn't sleep well, but got up at 5:30 AM to walk to the Sundance Square, which was only a 5 minute walk, to register and pick up my timing chip and number. After I registered I walked back to my hotel, and went to the workout room to warm up my legs for 10 minutes. At 7 AM, I headed out to the start line. It was very windy and cold, around 35 degrees. I found my place in to start, around the 2:00 marker, not sure I could really make that pace today given the late night and little sleep that I had. I was a little off kilter. While standing in the start, I met a wonderful lady name Marina, who was a police officer for Fort Worth, running the half marathon for the first time. We ran together for the first 3 miles and then I was just warn out and told her to go ahead. I struggled running into the wind. There were several small-long inclines during the run, that really tuckered me out. I watched for mileage and listened for time, and realized if I could make it in by 2:11 I would be very happy. After the 5th mile, my legs, knees and feet were hurting. I looked down at my shoes and realized these were not my white running shoes I typically wear for the half. I must have grabbed the wrong pair when I was packing. These were my older shoes that I used for walking. After I realized this, I thought I was toast. But, I chugged along, and listened to my aches and pains to make sure I wouldn't pull any muscles. The wind kept up it's fierce force. I kept going, running the whole way. There were some water stations where runners had to wait for the volunteers to pour water, I just kept going through those without water. I didn't want to lose what cadence I did have during this run. At around mile 11, I was ready to be done, knowing I only have 2 miles left, I kept telling myself to keep going. Which I did, and finished with a time of 2:04.59 chip time (board time was 2:06).

Not too bad given how hard this run was for me.

After the race, I ran into my friend, she came in at a 1:55 pace, you go girl!!! That was awesome. She offered to show me around town, but all I wanted to do at that moment was get out of my wet clothes, take a long warm shower and eat a big brunch. And that's exactly what I did. It felt good. After I rested, I walked around the city. It really is a nice city and the people are very welcoming and friendly. I ate a warm turkey melt sandwich on a pretzel bun, it was delicious! The bartender helped me out with additional highlights around the area.

I took pictures, enjoy the album labeled Cowtown for more visual effects.

That's about it.

I'm excited to have completed a half marathon in my 17th state. I am now on the half2run leader board, I am getting closer to the 25 states.

That's that!