Panama City Beach Half Marathon Recap and a Giveaway!!!

Back in the day…I had run the 5k when this race was called Run for the Red Fish.  This would be my second year running the Half under the new name and the Hubs’ first.

I picked up our race packets during lunch on Friday, now selfie bib photo with the Hubs for this one…it’s all me!!

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There was a staggered start for the three races and we were set to start at 730a.  We arrived about 45 minutes prior to start time for the Half Fanatics photo at Margaritaville that was coordinated by our region ambassador, but she was nowhere to be found so we snapped a few beach pictures before watching the start of the Marathon.

We spotted our friends Christy and W headed out for 26.2 miles, gave them a shout and a wave for good luck!!  We found out Tennessee Fun Runner Friends – Dorothy (dot032) Josie (joheady), and Tammie (tlove1967)…we selfied and chatted our way to the start line.

Once lined up we ended up beside Holly (HoHoRuns) and Karen (karenrunsva), I ran into them at this event last year!!

Can I just say that even though I trained all summer in the Florida heat and humidity, it does not prepare you for 13.1 miles in the mid 70s with sunny skies in December without course hydration!!  Yep, little to no hydration on course!!

We headed out of Pier Park to the left down Front Beach Road.  The water stops were set up every 1-2 miles, however the first three miles had no water for runners.  Coming up on mile 4 we crossed over the get water from a table set up for the runners heading back.  At mile 6 the volunteers were standing with their arms crossed watching runners pass by.  I asked for water, but was told that there wasn’t any and I’m pretty sure I cussed at that point!!

We made it to the turn around and this was the first picture we took along the course.

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I was pretty loud about no water on the course when we passed the table at mile 6 on the return and they STILL HAD NO WATER, one of the two cyclist riding the course looking for a friend offered us a drink from his water bottle and we did partake…THANK YOU random cyclist!! Also, they were kind enough to ride back and tell us that there was limited water at mile 8, they had 2 one gallon jugs dropped off!!  Ummmm, there were over 1000 runners signed up for today’s events and that’s just not right!!

Yes, I had water at mile 8, for as thirsty as I was I only took one cup.  I knew there were runners behind me that needed the hydration as well.

I made it just past mile 9 and had to start my run/walk intervals.  I could tell I was starting to dehydrate, my head was starting to thump and my energy was starting to fade, luckily I was still sweating.  There was no water at mile 10, we were told that they had some at mile 11…SCORE! At mile 11, we were swiggin’ from gallon jugs of water with other runners, why…NO CUPS!!  We passed a runner down in the road with paramedics and heard sirens in the distance.

Somewhere between mile 11 and 12 we stopped for this view.

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My walk intervals were increasing and the run intervals were decreasing…not how I wanted my first post surgery race to go.  But we’re going with it!!  Only ONE mile to go!!

Turning back into Pier Park, I was excited to see the finish line ahead.  Also, Holly was able to get a few great shots of us running it in.  Also, Josie caught me waving or is that my S.O.S to come get me??!!

 

And with all that I managed a 2:24:55!!  I was actually quicker than I thought, I wasn’t watching my watch at all.

 

I downed two bottles of water before heading over the tap glasses with our Tennessee Fun Runner Friends!!

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We didn’t hang out too long.  I was hungry, had a raging headache, and wanted a nap.  In fact, it took two days for that headache to completely go away!!

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AND…Check out my latest Instagram post for a Tifosi Optics Giveaway!!  Everyone needs some cool shades for the holidays!!

 

Let me know…

Do you have a race that maybe didn’t go as planned??  Was it something minor or major??  How did you handle it??  

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Battleship 12k – Race Recap

 

Other than participating in the Old Glory Relay the past two years, this has to have been the most patriotic race/run I have done.

We started the weekend off with a run and breakfast (posted here) on Saturday before heading to Spanish Fort, AL to pick up our race packets for the Battleship 12k.  We usually take a picture with our bibs and today would be no different, other than I wouldn’t behave and the Hubs had to take like 20 pictures to get one that was ‘postable’!!

As we were heading out the RD asked if we had found our names on the back of the shirt??  What??  You know us??  You put OUR names on the back of the race shirt??  So of course we stopped in the lobby to see what he was talking about.  Each runners name was listed on the back of the shirt in a flag formation…AND we found our names!!

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It was early to bed and early to rise, we had a 45 minute drive to the start line.

We arrived in our (mine, really) hour before start time manner, parked, stayed in the car with the heater on for a few minutes before heading up the hill for a Team RWB photo (which I cannot find!).  Once we were near the start we were approached by Wear Blue to Remember asking if we would participate in the Circle of Remembrance…ummmm, we’re not going to say no!!

She handed us each a strip of paper with a name on it.  As she handed me my strip of paper, she said ‘this is a very dear friend of mine.’  As everyone drew into a circle, she stated that we were reading the names of the 67 men that were KIA during the second battle of Fallujah. Each name was read aloud, it was soon my turn and I could not read the name with out crying… 2nd Lieutenant James P. “JP” Blecksmith ❤️🇺🇸💙  and the Hubs read…Sergeant Adrian E. Hike ❤️🇺🇸💙.  The lady in charge made her way to me, gave me a hug and told me thank you.  I tucked the names in my belt to carry with me to the finish.

With a few minutes before the start we found our friends, selfie’d, hugged and headed to line up with plans to see each other at the finish.

The race was a point to point run with shuttles that would bring us back to the parking area at the start.  the weather was a little on the chilly side with a slight drizzle and some FAWG (I’m typing this with Katie’s southern accent!).  My plan was to run my 4:1 run/walk intervals.  The Hubs was going to do his thing while carrying the flag.

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USAF Retired – Veteran – Patriot – Warrior

We were off and I stuck to my intervals.  I stopped at miles 4 and 6 for photos and sent them to the Hubs so he would know that I was on my way, hopefully just not too far behind him…RIGHT!!!  I need work on the selfie game at mile 4, what happened to the 4??  I used to be good at this??!!  And can you see the Battleship in the background at mile 6??  It looks soooo far away!!

The last 1.5 miles made this run worth it!!  At mile 6 you can see the USS Alabama across the bay as you approach the bridge, as you make your way to the top of the bridge you can see the flag lined entrance to the Battleship Memorial Park, you make your way around the park you find yourself alongside the battleship for a picturesque finish!!  The Hubs was there to greet me and handed me the flag to carry across the finish line.

 

We got to visit with Jenny and Eric, Katie, Heather, Kari, Dan-el and Holly!!  Everyone got their medal shot with the battleship in the background and we headed for the shuttle line…can you say LAST bus, but the fun bus!!!

I stuck to my planned interval and managed what I thought was a decent time 5 weeks post op.

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And the boys deserved a finisher’s photo…

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2017 was the third running of the Battleship 12k and the medal represented the Navy.  They plan to recognize the rest of the services and first responders in the next few years, with the Air Force being the medal in 2018.

**Race Date:  12 November 2017**

Post Hysterectomy – Week 3

 

Moving it along to Week 3!!  I want to catch everything up before I attempt the Panama City Beach Half Marathon on 2 December.

So here it goes….

These were my checkpoints for Week 3 on the HysterSister website:

BEING A PATIENT PATIENT

INCISION AND TUMMY CARE

VAGINAL CUFF AND INTIMACY

HEMATOMA

ACHY BACK

DRIVING

PAPERWORK

I won’t go into detail with the checkpoints, there are paragraphs for each one on the website.  My incisions are healing well (photos below) and hopefully will continue to do so. Luckily, I will get short term disability for my time off, so I did complete my paperwork that.  Hematomas, achy back, and driving haven’t been an issue.  The Hubs googled Vaginal Cuff and said he wish he wouldn’t have done that!!!

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And my training went as follows…

Monday – 2.30 miles

I was duped into thinking that it was still chilly in the FL…there was no need for the long sleeves and capris.  My current mantra…Stronger Everyday!!  Thank you Karin @runnergirl_1210 for the perfect @momentumjewelry wrap.

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Tuesday – 4.02 miles

Working my way up…4.02 miles this morning!!  I get to WALK a leg of the @teamrwb Old Glory Relay🇺🇸 this Friday, not nearly all the miles as last year but this patriot and veteran will contribute what I can.

 

 

October was quite EVENTFUL…Not being able to run the Chicago Marathon that I trained so hard for, major surgery, walking 2 5ks, and lots of love from my social media family!! Thank you for your support during this eventful month…Love and Hugs😊💕

Total October Miles – Picture is from last week’s Run to Margaritaville 5k, somewhere around Mile 1.

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Wednesday – 5 miles

I made it!!!  5 miles walking…done, just a small goal I set for myself.  I don’t care what anyone says, walking is HARD!!  Honestly…I ran about .25 miles at the end just to see what it felt like.  Shhhhhh, don’t tell anyone!!

 

Thursday – Rest Day

Friday –  6+ miles

I was well enough that I was able to participate in Team RWB’s Old Glory Relay!!  I completed 2 legs and my next post will have all the deets and pics from this event…Spoiler Alert!!  Can you pick me out in the photo below??

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Saturday – 7.15 Run/Walk Intervals and .30 mile Walk = 7.45 total miles

Prepping for next weekend to make sure I won’t get swept at the @battleship12k ❤️🇺🇸💙

 

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Let me know…

Have you ever had to wait it out for recovery after surgery??  How did it go??  Were you a patient patient???

 

Post Hysterectomy – Week 2

Well I made it to Week 5 post-op, but I’m backing it up a little to keep you in the know as to what I’ve been up to!!

I was told about the site HysterSisters and it’s been a great help.  I receive an email each week with checkpoints and links to other information if needed.

Topics covered for Week 2:  PERSISTENT CONSTIPATION (using stool softeners), BLADDER ISSUES (such as urinary tract infections and bladder spasms), CONTINUING INCISION CAREFIGHTING THE FRISKIES (not even outercourse is allowed!!  I never knew this word existed!!), INSOMNIA (nightmares are common after surgery), GOOD BODY MECHANICS, ASSISTANCE FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS,  NURTURING YOUR SPIRIT, and KEEPING TRACK OF SYMPTOMS (to take to the doctor at your next appointment).

If you read my last post My Post Hysterectomy (non) Running Life… then you know that the doctor cleared me to walk…YAY!!!  And I wasn’t going to waste any time getting back on the road!!

Monday – 2.29 mile walk  So you ask…What is it you’re doing with all this down (recovery) time??? Well, I can tell you so far…

*I’ve added songs to my 5k walking playlist – the one above by Amy Stroup
*I’m not only contemplating changing the color of my hair, but also getting BANGS!!
*Wanting so sign up for ALL the races in 2018
*Thinking I need a RETURN to running gift, you know like a PUSH gift, but in line for a runner…say a Garmin 935
*Where to vacation after recovery, why not?? It’s not like I’m sitting on a beachor       drinking mimosas for breakfast

Tuesday – 1.50 mile walk  How cool is this Ink n Burn shirt!!

Wednesday – 3.10 mile walk  Sporting the shirt I trained my ‘GUTS’ out for on this one!! Counting this as my trial 5k for Sunday’s Run to Margaritaville 5k (walk).

 

Friday – 3.11 mile walk  I almost ran today…but I just froze and raised my hand hoping someone would stop to help.  I was charged by a large momma dog and her pup on the route I ran in the mornings during summer training and had never once encountered a loose animal. Luckily, the owner pulled up, called them and they jumped right in the truck. Come to find out, I pass their house on my way out and back, never knew there were dogs there!! But that didn’t stop my walk…got it done!!

Sunday – Run to Margaritaville 5k!!  Walked the Run to Margaritaville 5k with 1beachteacher in 51:38 while the Hubs ran the Half in 1:57!! Ummmm, it was just a tad bit chilly this morning on the beach, we’re wearing gloves!!  This race was a disappointment after last year.  They had a full on breakfast post race last year, this year there was coffee and bananas, however after waiting for a 1:57 half marathoner… 1 banana left!!  Not right!!  There were still others out on the course, sure they could have a beer but I bet they were hungry!

 

Let me know…

What are your upcoming running/racing plans??  What is your Bucket List Race??  Do you have a pre-race routine, at the house and the start line??  

See you soon with Week 3…you’d think I would have had this done with all that time off from work??!!

Week 14 – Chicago Marathon Training

Let’s see how it went…

Monday – 5 miles   4.16 miles

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I loved my Mermaid hat so much from Sunday’s long run that I had to wear it again on Monday!!   I tried switching things up a little and ran my normal route in reverse…it was a little backwards!!

 

 

Tuesday –  Rest and Stretch  Just Lazy!

But I had a nice surprise in the mailbox!!  We received our Chicago International 5k Bibs!!  I’m pretty sure this is the pre-party to the marathon??!!

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Wednesday – 8 miles   8.19 miles

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Yep, I’m winning!!  I managed to get out early enough to get all 8 miles on the plan for today!!  My pace was 2 seconds faster than last week, which makes it 16 secs overall, right??!!  Not much, but it’s the little things!!

 

 

Thursday – 5 miles   5.02 miles

The Hubs was over in PC for work so we were able to run together for this one.  I tried out my Houston Strong Runningluv…love it!!  I got 5.02 miles and he logged 8.59, he’s an overachiever!!  Look closely and you can see my gum!!

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Friday – Rest and Stretch   Eat and Nap!!

Actually, I don’t even remember where we ate dinner??  But I’m pretty sure I was in the bed by 9p!!

I’ve been having some female issues for some time, since August 9th to be exact and I was finally seen today.  As a retired military veteran, I am seen at a military treatment facility, but due to being a retiree/veteran I am low man on the totem pole when it comes to getting appointments.  I  by no means overuse the facility, I actually can’t remember the last time I had an appointment for myself??  I see an off base provider for my thyroid issues.  I basically had to say I was dying in order to get an appt/test to which I was told that there was not one available to read the test once finished, so expect a call on Tuesday…I really hope I’m not dying!!

Anyway, I did receive a call around 6p in regards to my test in which they are referring me to an off base provider and the waiting game starts…good thing I’m not dying!!  I will provide more information once I have more information which likely won’t be until after we run Chicago!!  But if you don’t mind, cross your fingers and toes for me!!

Saturday – 9 miles   10.05 miles

AHHHHHHH, how nice to have a single digit LONG run!!!  But we wouldn’t be us if we didn’t take it to double digits!!

We were still awake at 4a, but didn’t hit the road until close to 530a.  We actually had a cool breeze for most to the run and we had some fun with the Halloween blow-ups in the last mile.

And we are kissing this run goodbye…

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We also ran the #IrmaReliefRun but forgot to print our bibs.  Unfortunately, this virtual race only raised $4000 vs. the $55k that was raised for Harvey.  I wish it was just a little bit more, but I feel good that we did our part.

 

Sunday – Rest and Reset

It was nothing but chores and food prep today.  It has been a few weeks since I’ve had this much time at home on the weekends, it has been spent on the roads!!

Here is what is on the menu:

Instant Pot HB Eggs, Bacon, Chick Pea Budda Bowls w/Quinoa , Honey Sriracha Glazed Meatballs w/Orzo, Carrots and Chicken Breast w/roasted vegetables and Grapes.

 

You guys…I really only have one more week to post before we are on our way to Chicago!!  I’m pretty sure I will be too busy to blog while I’m up north??!!  How crazy is it that I’m about to run the streets of Chicago with 39,999 Runner Buds!!!

Let me know…

Do you have a hat hoarding issue??  Or what running/sporting gear do you hoard??  Do you get nervous before a race, ANY race??

Week 13 – Chicago Marathon Training

Let’s see how it went…

Monday –  5 miles

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Gotta love it when the Monday training run goes as planned and when the Hubs is in town for Storm Duty still!!

Got my new Hoka Bondi 5s and I’m loving the color and the cushion!!

 

 

Tuesday – Rest and Stretch

I know I didn’t run, but I really don’t remember what I did??!!

Wednesday – 8 miles

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And YES!!  Finally, that elusive mid week 8 miler was had today!!

I was so excited that I was able to get myself out the door with enough time to NO KIDDING log the miles that were on the plan!!

 

 

Thursday – Rest and Stretch

I swapped Thursday and Friday this week.  I really didn’t want to visit ‘Ol Milly, it’s been so nice hitting the road and I knew I had the opportunity to go in late on Friday, so…

Friday – 5 miles

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I ran Thursday’s mile today!!  A couple of loops around the neighborhood got me the 5 miles needed and yes, it is still hawt and humid in Florida!!

 

 

 

Saturday – Rest and Reset  Cardio Shopping/4 mile walk

Well, not exactly a rest and reset day, but I did end up with a few fall outfits.  And I logged 4 miles walking the outlets doing all that shopping!!  Actually, my purchases were only from two stores.

I was trying hard to coordinate and make sure that I had something else back in my closet that I could pair these pieces with.  The Hubs was shocked that I took what I did, this was actually the first time in a while that I felt like something actually fit that I tried on!!

And pay no attention to my permanent Flip Flop toes!!  I thought the lady that did my pedicure what joking, but nope there is a permanent space between my big toe and second toe.  Just a random thought to share, plus it’s the first thing I notice when I look at the pictures!!

Sunday –  18 miles   17 miles run/1 mile walk

On our drive back from our Saturday outing, we took Scenic Hwy 30A so we could pass through all the little coastal towns and see that gorgeous emerald green water of the Gulf.  As we were driving, we decided that we should run along the Hwy for our last longish training run!!

Well, there is a paved trail that runs along 30A is called the Timpoochee Trail!!  Who knew??  Now we know!! We parked at Rosemary Beach and ran west towards Seaside.  And of course we took a picture in front of the iconic post office.

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We had hit the 8 mile mark and decided to continue up the road another mile to Water Color.

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Once we were headed back, it seemed as if the little towns were waking up.  Shops were opening, families were headed to the beaches, and traffic started to pick up along the Hwy.  We made one pit stop on the return leg, you have to love public beach access with CLEAN public restrooms!!  About mile 16 the heat was really working me over, the Hubs took my vest to lighten my load to coax me along for the last 2 miles.   At mile 17 we STEPPED out on the Hwy to take a picture of the palm lined entrance to Alys Beach.

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Shortly after that picture, I sent the Hubs on his way to run the last mile while I walked!!  He came back to get me, bringing me a bottle of water and encouraging me to finish it up!!  If you follow me on IG you’ve had to seen our celebratory twirl video!!  The Hubs had never twirled before and has the greatest facial expressions!!  The picture below was taken at the turn around in Water Color, but it has my mileage stamped on it so it gets posted!!  We changed clothes, grabbed a cawffee, and chatted with visitors to the area that ended up knowing the Hubs, they had worked with him on projects when he lived in Nashville…talk about a small world!!

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To say that I am excited to start getting hours back on the weekends is an understatement!!  I am overjoyed that I only have to run for 1.5-2 hours next weekend!!  Looks like we’ll be putting a wrap on this training soon!!

Let me know…

Do you do something to celebrate the end of a training cycle/last long training run??  What is it that you look forward to once the training cycle/race is finished??  Do you have any recommendation on getting rid of the Marathon Mid-Section??!!

Week 12 – Chicago Marathon Training

Let’s see how it went…

Monday – 5 miles   6.24 miles

We celebrated the day off with an early morning run, not as early as our weekend runs, but still it was early.  We ran the gently rolling hills in the Cove area and finished along Massalina Bayou.

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Tuesday – Rest and Stretch

This is when all the Mean Girl Irma stuff started!!  Stores were selling out of water and the three gas stations closest to base had already sold out of regular octane gasoline.  It was still early to determine where she was going to go, but after seeing what happened with Harvey, the panhandle wasn’t wasting time preparing.

Pretty sure I took a nap after work!!

Wednesday – 8 miles   7.45 miles

I managed to get my run in before work, however I got out a little later than expected because I couldn’t separate myself from my pillow!!

It was good that I got my run done in the morning.  Work started getting crazy with all  running of Hurricane checklists…it’s always good to be prepared.

Thursday – 5 miles

Oh this was hard!!  Why am I so sore??!!  I ran the first mile and had to stop and stretch the calves and shins.  I walked the second mile and it felt like they had loosened up a little.  I ran the third!!  The forth was split 50/50 run/walk.  Why was this sooooo hard???

Friday – Rest and Stretch

Travel Day!!  I was driving to Pensacola for a Saturday morning 5k, which meant I would sit in the car for a while…normally 2.5 hours.  Well…Irma evacuees, totally did’t think they would be headed west since Harvey had just moved through, but we shared the road at a steady speed.  That is until mile marker 31!!  It started as stop and go, but at mile marker 26…it just stopped.

I called the Hubs and asked him to look at FL511.com and tell me what was going on with the traffic.  Sure enough there was a wreck.  I sat for a little over 30 minutes before we started creeping along.

I ended up getting in about an hour later than I normally would, but we still went for pizza!!  Hey, we have a race in the morning!!

Saturday – 20 miles   Semper Fi 5k

This was a last minute sign up and I’m glad we did!!  Our friend Dan-el raves about this event, so we had to see what it was all about.

When we were walking to the start we saw the ranks of Marines lined up and waiting.  Oh, all the Marine…in their little green silkies!!  Anyway…

The start went off as scheduled.  As we were approaching mile 2 we heard the Marines singing  Jodys!! And they were getting closer and closer and closer.  If you follow the Hubs on IG you may have seen his stories of us running with the Marines…more like trying to keep up!! It didn’t even take the whole 2nd mile for them to leave us in the dust!!

We were hanging out after the finish drinking water and eating bananas when they announced that results had been posted.  Not expecting anything special we went to see where we were.  I saw the 2/2 by my name and asked the Hubs, does that mean 2nd in AG??  And then I went on to say that it really didn’t count because it wasn’t 1st and it was’t under 30 minutes!!  I was joking of course, but I had read several post of women that stated those very things!!

Well this ended up tying up the morning because now we have to wait for the award ceremony!!  Drink more water and eat more bananas!!  As we were waiting, things started to escalate with Mean Girl Irma and the Hubs phone was going off non-stop.  He works for an energy company and needed to do a press release relating to the storm and head over to Panama City since the cone shifted and it looked as if we may get some impact of the storm (he’s a PR/Communications guy).

Long story short, too late!!  I took 2/8 in the 45-49 AG and stayed to collect my glass!!

And these are the local agencies that we contributed to…

The event was able to raise $26,000 for the local children’s charities-

  • Boys & Girls Club of the Emerald Coast
  • New Horizons of Northwest Florida
  • Escambia Westgate School
  • The Miracle League of Pensacola
  • Gulf Coast Kids House
  • LEAD Academy of Santa Rosa

Sunday – Rest and Reset    20 miles

We were out and about at 4:30a again!!  The Hubs didn’t have to report to work until noon so we were taking the opportunity to get this run DONE!!  It starts to become daunting after weeks of build up and now we would be fighting the wind vs. the humidity!!  Geeeez, give us a break will ya??!!

Everything was fine and dandy until around the 12 mile mark when we made a right hand turn to head back over the bridge.  I just wanted to stop and curl up behind the barrier and have the Hubs come back and get me.  It had nothing to do with the run, but everything to do with getting pelted with sand, dirt and what ever else was laying along the bridge.  I was lucky enough to have sunglasses that protected my eyes, but the rest of my face, chest and legs felt like I was being stung by hundreds of bees.  I kept my head down to forge through the wind and sudden gusts, but that hurt as well!!  There  was a point where I felt like someone was pushing on my head holding me back.  Once we were off the bridge we were in a somewhat protected area, but man my neck hurt!!

Mile 13 was the longest mile EVER…16:29!!! Talk about feeling defeated.

That wind took all my energy, every last ounce.  I held it together until around Mile 15 and then I started getting slower and slower and slower!! Mile 19 was a 15 minute mile…WTH??!!  I started out feeling really good and was excited to see what we could do, but Mean Girl Irma made me question my marathoning abilities!!

But we logged 20 miles!!  I know Chicago is the Windy City, but I hope I don’t have to battle wind like that of Hurricane Irma in October.

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And I managed a little food prepping’…  I am doing the Lunch Prep Challenge with Denise from Sweet Peas and Saffron the next 3 weeks.  The menu, shopping list and recipes are emailed on Thursday for Sunday prep.  Denise also includes gluten-free, vegetarian & vegan, nut free and low carb variations.

On the menu: Chickpea Buddha Bowls, Greek Chicken Wraps, Apples w/Peanut Butter, and Rice Cakes w/Hummus

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As of Monday afternoon, Mean Girl Irma was downgraded to a Tropical Storm and had pushed through our area.  There were a few power outages, but nothing significant.  The Hubs stayed in town until Tuesday morning when the energy company sent Linemen and trucks to help restore power in south Florida.

Let me know…

What significant weather have you had to deal with during training or a race??  What significant weather impacts your area??