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**

Old Glory Relay

For the second year in a row the Hubs and I were able to participate in the Old Glory Relay with our local chapter for Team RWB.  We have over 40 years of military service between us and are proud to support the mission behind Team RWB –  enriching lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to people in their community through physical and social activity.

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Per the website – The Old Glory Relay began it’s trek on September 11, starting in the beautiful Pacific Northwest in iconic Seattle and will pass through the shadows of majestic Mount Rainier and Mount Hood as it traverses the forests and then the high deserts of Oregon. Old Glory will then cross through the big tree forests of Northern California before heading into the Bay Area and Silicon Valley. Next, we cross through the second largest city in the United States. . . Los Angeles. Team RWB Eagles will connect our two largest West Coast chapters as they run along the Pacific Ocean passing through Camp Pendleton and into San Diego. With one last glimpse of the Pacific Ocean, Old Glory will head east into Arizona, through areas around Yuma, Phoenix, and Tucson; rich with wild west and southwestern history. Next up Old Glory will pass into Texas at El Paso and make the long journey across the full width of the Lone Star State with stops at the Alamo in San Antonio, and Houston, among others. With the Gulf of Mexico to the south, the course will cross the “Mighty Mississippi” River at Baton Rouge and then drop into the Crescent City before mirroring the Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coast, notably passing by the famed World War II battleship, the USS Alabama. Crossing into Florida, Old Glory will follow the Emerald Coast and the “prettiest beaches in the world,” before passing through the Big Bend region and turning south for the last time. Finally, Old Glory will make her way into the hometown of the Team RWB National Firebase, Tampa on November 11, Veteran’s Day.

Our chapter was responsible for Day 54 of 62 and a total of 50 miles.  Below is the opening ceremony of our day.

The Hubs ran Legs 1-3

Picked me up at Leg 4, which was the only WALK leg for the day

The Hubs was back out for Legs 6 and 7

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Then Leg 11 bringing Old Glory over the bridge to Tyndall AFB

I opted in for Leg 12.  I wanted to carry Old Glory across the base in which I started and finished my Air Force career.  I wasn’t supposed to run, but we kept it slow!!

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And this is where the day ended for us, the halfway point.  Last year we were able to add more miles to our day and make it to the party at the end of the day, it just didn’t work out for us this time.

Overall…Old Glory traveled 4600 miles, 10 states, 4 regions with the help of over 62 teams and 10,000 hands touching the flag in 62 days.

Forever may she wave…

 

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 15 – Chicago Marathon Training

Let’s see how it went…

Spoiler Alert!!!  I will not be running the Chicago Marathon…read on if you want to know.

Monday – 3 miles  3.20 miles

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Imagine my surprise when I checked the plan and it read 3 MILES!!!

 

 

 

 

Tuesday – Rest and Stretch

After the events of the end of the week, I don’t even remember what happened on Tuesday!!

Wednesday – 5 miles   5.28 miles

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I actually hit the road a little later this morning since my miles have been dialed back.  This run felt easy and I had no issues what so ever… little did I know this would be my LAST RUN for a few months.

 

 

 

Thursday – 3 miles   Surgery Scheduled

I’ll try to keep this short and condensed… I have been trying to get a doctor’s appointment since August, I have basically been on my period since August 9th, at least I thought it was my period.  I have Tricare Prime insurance and due to where I live I am to be seen on the Air Force Base.  After multiple attempts and being that there was either no provider or no appointments available and they would not refer me downtown, I finally got an appointment on September 22 after I said I was bleeding to death (basically)!!

I had a 515p appointment, but after the doctor read the appointment notes I was called to come in to be worked in between patients because the lab and radiology would be closed at the time of the appointment.  Finally, someone that seems to be concerned.  I had an ultrasound of my abdomen and pelvic area.  The results were not what I was expecting, but I was relieved after I had basically been asking about body changes since November 2016.  My description – I am basically growing a small fruit stand in my abdomen/pelvic area!!  A referral was put in for a GYN and I received that on Monday!!  The only quick thing that’s happened in regards to this.

I had an excruciating episode driving home on Wednesday afternoon, I called Tricare in order to go to the ER due to the PAIN and was told to take Tylenol and call back if anything changes!!  I called the GYN on call provider hoping maybe they could help.  Since I had not been seen there yet, they could not prescribe me any pain medication, but were able to pull up my referral and would work me in for an acute appointment on Thursday morning.

Thursday morning and if feels as if I had done 1000 ab exercises and had a water balloon swishing around in my abdomen.  We made it to the GYN, spent about an hour with the doctor and was told ABSOLUTELY NO RUNNING.  He does not know how I was able to train and not cause injury to myself???  Those back pains, totally related to my condition and not in my head.  The period that won’t end, not what I thought could be related to menopause, but also not normal.

I have pre-op scheduled for 4 October, Chicago 5-10 October and surgery 11 October.  I have been cleared to leisurely walk the 5k and that is it!!  Currently, I am scheduled for a total hysterectomy  with a possible lymphoid dissection  and omentectomy, the last two depending on test results.

Let’s just say, that my organs are so enlarged that he assessed me at being equivalent  to 5 months pregnant.  So that marathon midsection I mentioned a few weeks back, wasn’t due to training, but was definitely  made worse due to my training.

Am I sad, YES but I am so thankful that I wasn’t running the streets of Chicago and end up in the hospital.  I will cheer on the Hubs and hug him hard at the finish, someone has to finish what we started!!

Friday – Rest and Stretch

Moved as little as possible.

Saturday – 8 miles  Monthly Miles

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What I’ll be missing… I’m a little sad that the below scheduled races will be missed, but my life is not worth the risk.  I am hoping that I will recover quickly and find myself on the road in December, for a January race.  Fingers Crossed!!!

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Ask and I’ll let you know…

I want to be transparent about what is going on and with my recovery, I will answer your questions, if I have an answer, it may be after my surgery that I know more and exactly what is/was going on inside.

Tell me something GOOD that happened to you this week!!

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??