Thursday, 22 December 2011

HBBC Tally - Week 5

December 17 - December 23

19 +3: run 3 miles
22 +2.5: run 2.6 miles

Additional challenge and question points:

Weekly Total: +5.5

Challenge Total: 5.5 + 48.5

Friday, 16 December 2011

HBBC Tally - Week 4

December 10 - December 16

12 +2: run 2 miles on the treadmill
13 +3.5: run 3.93 miles (and it felt great!)
15 +4.5: run 4.45 miles
16 +3: 1 hour of yoga

Additional challenge and question points:

Weekly Total: +13

Challenge Total: 48.5

Thursday, 15 December 2011


Sometimes, about a minute or two into my run and usually when I haven't warmed up adequately, I get this awful sensation like something is washing right through me. I don't know what it is, a rush of chemicals or hormones or something, but it's extremely unpleasant and I absolutely detest it. It is this sensation that prevented me from becoming a "real" runner for a very long time because when it comes over me it makes me feel so weak that the effort of continuing to move forward seems impossible. It used to stop me cold but now I push through it and it's over and forgotten in a minute. It hasn't happened for a long while so I had forgotten about it but it happened twice this week. I didn't warm up for either run, just headed straight out, so I guess that's the cause. Anyone know what it is? I hate it. Hateithateithateit.

And another thing! During my last two runs I have gotten into a groove where I feel like I'm on auto-pilot. My legs don't even seem to belong to me. I'm a machine from the hips down and the run is all in my head. What is up with that?

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Kind of Runner I Am

I signed up for the Ottawa Race Weekend today. I've got five months to get cosy with 10k and I am looking forward to it!

Yesterday was the first decent run I've had since becoming sick a few weeks ago, and what a nice morale booster it was! A little over 6k and hilly, which I'm feeling today but I don't mind. It felt great to be out there! As I was looking at my route map it occurred to me that the elevation maps don't always tell a true story. One of my favourite routes covers some nice big hills that don't show on the map because the land elevation is different from the street elevation; two of the hills I like to run are highway overpasses.

As I was running I was thinking about the progress I've made in the past few months. My breathing's better, my form and pacing are better, and I can cover much longer distances. But my speed? Meh. Pretty much as good as it ever was with small bursts of better. So I was thinking...does it matter to me? Is racing important to me? And I have to confess, it's not.

When I think about the kind of runner I want to be, I don't often think about how fast I covered the distance. I want to be the kind of runner who finishes the run she starts. I want to be the kind of runner who covers the distance not effortlessly but comfortably. I want to be the kind of runner who casually says, "Just heading out for a run, back in an hour" or "What a gorgeous day, did five miles this morning and loved every minute of it." I want to be the kind of runner who's lean and energetic and who smiles while she runs. I want to be the kind of runner who signs up for a race not to try to win it but for the fun of it. The only competition I think about is the one in my own head...can I go farther? longer? faster than the last time? That's the kind of runner I want to be, and that's the kind of runner I am.

Friday, 9 December 2011

HBBC Tally - Week 3

December 3 - December 9

4 +3: run 2.65 miles, 12 minutes of stretching
5 +4: run 3.19 miles, 21 minutes of stretching
8 +3: run 3.02 miles
9 +3: run 3.00 miles

Additional challenge and question points:

Weekly Total: +13

Challenge Total: 35.5

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Phoebe Buffay

First of all, with respect to HBBC, can I just say that eating 7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day is hard? Like, harder than running a mile? Who knew?

Okay, I am feeling so much better now! I'm still coughing but I think (I hope!) I might finally have recovered from pneumonia. It was gorgeous outside today, 1°C and sunny, so I decided to go out for a run. I chose a hilly route of 4.26km (2.65 miles) and planned to take my time and enjoy the fresh air, the sunshine and the exercise. The run felt slow while I was doing it but considering that I'm just coming back from being sick, was running 10 and 1s, hit two red lights and ran up three hills I think thirty minutes is a pretty good time. My legs didn't feel strong but that's from lack of recent practice and activity. More running, regular activity and muscle memory will take care of that pretty quickly, I think. Since I haven't been out much lately so I wasn't sure what to wear and overdressed. I should have used this handy "What To Wear" chart that appeared in the National Post last week. D'oh!

The beauty of running at a certain time of day is that the sun hits your back at that perfect angle so your shadow looks long and lean in front of you. You can imagine that you look like a real athlete and not what you fear you might actually look like: Phoebe Buffay.

Or perhaps this little beauty:

Friday, 2 December 2011

HBBC Weekly Tally - Week 2

I'd love to win a Gymboss to make sure I hold my stretches long enough!

November 26 - December 2 (still sidelined by pneumonia)

27 +2: run 2 miles
28 +3: run 1 mile on the treadmill, 20 minutes of stretching, 7 servings of fruits & vegetables
29 +2: stretching & hand weights, 7 servings of fruits & vegetables
30 +1: 7 servings of fruits & vegetables
1 +3.5: run 2 miles, walk .5 miles, 20 minutes of stretching

Additional challenge and question points:
+1: HBBC participant with up to date points
+1: Tweet, FB or link back on blog

Weekly Total: 13.5

Challenge Total: 22.5

Saturday, 26 November 2011

HBBC Weekly Tally - Week 1

November 19 - 25 (sidelined by pneumonia)

19 +4: run 3 miles and 20 minutes stretching

Additional challenge and question points:

Bonus points:
+1: link on Facebook
+1: Tweet with link
+2: HBBC linked badge on this blog
+1: Resolution Run sign-up

Weekly Total: 9

Challenge Total: 9

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Pneumonia? I hardly know ya!

I guess I'm sicker than I thought because Saturday's effort knocked me flat on my a$$ for two days. After trying to get an appointment first with my doctor and then with my husband's, I made a trip to the local walk-in clinic. Surprisingly I was in and out in two hours during which time I was seen, x-rayed, diagnosed, prescribed and medicated. Pneumonia. So my 10k running clinic is sidelined and I'm at a real disadvantage for HBBC. It was kind of cool looking at my bones and lungs though!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Energy Begets Energy

The Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge starts today! I think I'm more of a Builder but I signed up as a Doer. As Sam says, go big or go home.

Unfortunately I'm starting the challenge at a bit of a disadvantage because I've been sick in bed with the flu all week. I am shaky and exhausted but still, on the premise that energy begets energy, I decided to try to earn some points. I would have loved to go for a run but settled for a walk on the treadmill. I walked three miles at 4 mph then followed up with 20 minutes of stretching. 4 points!

I used to run on the treadmill all the time but I haven't used it for a while since I've been running outside. Today I noticed how much further 3 miles seems on the treadmill than it does outside. And it sucked. It felt like the treadmill belt was a Möbius strip...endless!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Garmin To A Go-Go

I want a running device. I want a gadget or tool or accessory that tells me how fast and how far I've run, something that spits out data that will allow me to track, measure and compare, something that will motivate me. There are so many options to choose from and oooooh, how I covet them all!

I've been using a borrowed Nike+ for several months (along with a borrowed iPod; thank you, J!) and I lovelovelove it when that saucy minx whispers "200 meters" in my ear so I seriously considered buying one. Unfortunately the Nike+ only works with an iPhone or an iPod. I don't have either and I'm not looking to replace the phone and mp3 player that I do have. They work just fine and it would be an expensive proposition. Oh, and I'd need an armband too. More expense. So as much as I've enjoyed using the Nike+, that's out.

What about a new phone then? iPhones, Android phones and some of the other new smartphones have gps built in and a wide variety of apps that would do the job for me. You can use them as music players too so they'd be multi-purpose tools. A new phone would be expensive, though, especially since mine is still under contract and not due for an upgrade for a long time. A phone is a bit cumbersome too, even with an armband (and it's hard to see the display on something strapped into an armband). So that's out too.

Sports watch? Excellent idea! A Garmin. But which one? I'm torn between the 305 and the 405. The 405 is definitely sexier but is anything that big and bulky truly sexy? The 305 offers an extra field of data on its larger clearer display. The 405 has a touch screen (not sure that's a plus for someone like me) and has a wireless autosync feature. Otherwise they seem pretty even on a feature-by-feature basis, and right now they are similarly priced too. I'm leaning toward the 305 but uuuuuurgh! Decisions, decisions!

What device(s) do you use, and what advice can you offer to help me choose?

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Run Like A Girl

I have finally earned my husband's respect for my running. All along he's been kinda "Yeah yeah, whatever" or "I could do that. It'd probably be easy for me since I play hockey" but ever since I described Sunday's route to him (7.6k of hill after hill after hill) he's all "Wow, that first hill alone would kill me. That's impressive!" Yeah, baby, that's right, it would! And it is! AND I AM!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

If A Body Meet A Body Image: Suat Eman /
Whenever I see a runner I think good thoughts for her (or him) and I call those good thoughts "vibes". I wish her speed, strength, stamina, energy, moderate temperatures, more daylight, clear skies, smooth trails, lots of things. I like to think she feels my vibes and feels energized by them. My kids think I'm a bit delusional for doing this but I don't think I'm alone in sending vibes. When I'm out running, people nod or wave or smile, they move aside or stop to allow me to pass. Those small humble acts are vibes. I feel them. When I'm running with a group, people's vibes are more grandiose and apparent; they high-five us, shout words of encouragement or honk their horns. And I really feel those!

I was running with a friend a couple of nights ago and a man, drunk or toothless or crazy (or maybe drunk and toothless and crazy), shouted something at us. He was completely unintelligible. I have no idea what he said but from his tone I believe the gist of it was, "You go, girls!" Anyway, it was a vibe, I'm sure of it.

A bit later, we passed a young man on the street. We were near the end of our route, energy flagging, breaking form, complaining a bit, and he shouted, "Relax your hands!" What?! "Relax your hands!" Okay. "If you relax your hands you'll be able to run another twenty kilometers!" Thanks! I relaxed my hands. What a nice guy! And that was a vibe if ever I felt one!

Sunday, 13 November 2011


Sunday morning is Run Club so I got up early, dressed, fuelled up well for the planned 7k run and started to drive to the meet. The van felt very strange from the first few seconds, really heavy and resistant, and was making grinding sounds. The heaviness didn't surprise me too much -- my husband had put snow tires on the day before and they always feel a bit heavy at first, especially if there's not already snow on the road -- but the noise and the resistance, the degree of resistance, really worried me. About a quarter mile from home I felt it was unsafe to drive so I turned around and went back. Since I was already dressed and ready I decided to go for a solo run and my husband promised to have a look at the van while I was gone.

It was a beautiful morning, sunny and cool but not cold, and I ran a hilly 7.6k route at a pleasant comfortable pace. It was a fabulous start to the day and I congratulated myself on my discipline and commitment. Go, me!

On my return home, I enjoyed a leisurely stretching session on the front porch (enjoy the show, neighbours!) then went inside to find my husband preparing one of his legendary Sunday breakfasts. O happy day!

"Hi! Great run! Gorgeous day! Did you get a chance to look at the van while I was gone?"

"Yup." Amused smile.


"The parking brake was on."

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge

Run To The Finish blog is sponsoring its fourth annual Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge and my friend, Sam, thought it would be a good way to keep our health and fitness goals on track during the oh-so-tempting holiday season. This is an American challenge but Canadians like us are welcome to join (Yay! We should get bonus International Relations points!). The challenge runs from November 19 to January 6 and participants range from fitness beginners (Builders) to those with more established fitness regimens (Doers) to competitive super-athletes (Show-offs...I mean, Advanced). Points are earned for fitness activities and better food choices with additional bonus point opportunities thrown in. I'll be tallying my points here at the end of each week. That'll keep me accountable (to Sam if no one else!).

Sound fun, right?? Join us! You can read the rules and sign up at Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge 2011.

Monday, 7 November 2011

A Hill By Any Other Name

I've lived here most of my life and I've travelled the roads of this community over and over again.  I've done them walking, driving, riding a bike, pushing a stroller and pulling a wagon but it wasn't until I started running that I noticed the many subtle changes in elevation.  On what once seemed like long level stretches of road, I've become acutely aware of slight changes in grade.  Some of the slopes are visibly imperceptible but my body knows.  The legs don't lie.  Nobody's ever been fooled by "a gluteal illusion" or "a trick of the quads".  A slope, a grade, a change in pitch, a rise in elevation, call it what you want but there's hills in them thar roads!

A hill by any other name would feel as steep

Today's route was a hilly 5.5km.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Fartlek: Swedish for Heart Attack

This 10k clinic is quite different from the 5k clinic I just finished. It's more like boot camp, but the nicest kind of boot camp, and the instructor's like a drill sergeant, but the nicest kind of drill sergeant.   You have to love her because she's so cheerful, so passionate and so committed, and she has a large team of loyal group leaders that work with her so you know she's an awesome and inspiring leader.  I know I am going to get a lot out of this clinic and will be a better runner for it but I think ours is going to be one of those love-hate relationships.  Love her, love the clinic, hate the blood, sweat and tears.

Last night, and this was a first for me, she had us doing form drills and fartleks.  Fartleks?  I can never get that right on the first try.  Fartlet.  Farklek.  Farklet.  Gah!  I can't even say it with a straight face.

"Does anyone know why we do drills and fartleks?" she asked.

The group murmured tentatively and I thought, "Because you said to."

"Does anyone know why we do drills and fartleks?" she asked again, more emphatically this time, and I thought, "Because you said to, SIR!"

Correct answer:  To improve our form and raise our anaerobic threshhold.  Sounds awesome!  Can't wait!

Well, it was hard.  It was sweaty.  My hips ached, my quadriceps burned, my heart was jackhammering in my chest and my lungs wanted to burst.  I was physically exhausted and my "sprint" back was laughable.  The whole exercise underscored all my weaknesses and shone a big bright light on the things I need to improve.  But damned if I didn't feel fantastic when we were finished!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

One Step Forward

Last weekend I accompanied a friend on a short run.  It was a cool and sunny morning so I was enjoying it tremendously, happy to be out in the early morning air.  My friend is new to running (or rather, getting reacquainted with it after many years of estrangement) so she was running at a pace that was challenging for her but was not, alas, comfortable for me.  I'm a very fast walker so I tried walking alongside her but that felt awkward too so in an effort to find a compromise between speed and comfort, I eventually turned around and started running backward.  Obviously I wasn't running backward at the same pace that I run forward but it felt quite comfortable (except for the nagging fear that the next sound I would hear would be the *BONG* of my head hitting a light post) and I was able to keep pace with my friend as we chatted and moved along our route.  After the run I was not at all fatigued but very surprised to feel like my abs had had a good workout.  Who'da thought?

This is the starting line, not the finish!

Out of curiosity I went home and Googled "backward running".  To my surprise and delight, there is a whole world of backward running!  It seems that backward running (also known as reverse running and retro running) is a legitimate sport and exercise in its own right.  It has its own clubs and races, has many websites dedicated to its practice, and boasts an impressive list of benefits.  One of those benefits is, as you may have guessed, that it is great for the abdominal core muscles.  I think I am going to find somewhere safe and level and obstacle-free (such as the local high-school track) and incorporate some backward running drills into my routine so if you see me waving at you and running but getting smaller and smaller, it's not an illusion.  I'm running backward!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

A Real Runner

I started to feel like a Real Runner when cars stopped to let me cross at intersections, when pedestrians moved aside to let me pass and when (holy of holies) other runners gave me a wave, a smile or a nod.  I thought, "If I can fool them I can fool me."  But I didn't have the confidence to say it out loud until I ran my first race.  "I am a Real Runner." When did you feel like you had become a Real Runner?

Monday, 31 October 2011

You've Come A Long Way, Baby Image: dan /

June:  I am finally successfully running outside. Not far, and not fast, but I am doing it! Woohoo!
October:  I haven't stopped since and now run outside three or four times a week.

June:  I've been a treadmill runner for years and running outside is soooooo different!
October:  I use the treadmill when time constraints and weather conditions keep me from running outside.  I'm glad to have the option but now treadmill running seems boring and tedious.

June:  Is it 5k? I can do about 3k now so I'll work towards that!
October:  I was disappointed when the club's run was "only" an "easy" 5k.

June:  I hope you're not expecting conversation during the run. I'm not one of those chatty runners you see out on the trails. I am too busy remembering to breathe for chit-chat. And I am focussing hard on motivational thoughts such as "If you make it to the next intersection it will be easier for the paramedics to recover your body when you collapse" because I know the power of positive thinking.
October:  I chat and laugh the whole time.  Unless I'm alone.  And even then sometimes.
I am very grateful for friends who encourage and motivate me, running partners who make the time pass swiftly and pleasurably, and running instructors and leaders who teach, guide and correct me.  I am still learning and improving, getting stronger, going farther and faster.  You can do it too, and I hope it brings you joy!

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Be Kind To Yourself

Be a better friend to yourself.  Be as kind and generous to yourself as you are to others.  You can't change the past so accept it, forgive yourself and let it go.  Do not judge yourself so harshly and do not worry about what someone else may be (but probably isn't) thinking.  Be present and aware and appreciate what is happening now.  Enjoy the sunshine on your face, the breath in your lungs, the movement of your body and the company of your peers.  People want you to succeed.  They want to help you succeed.  They know you can, they know you will and they are cheering you on!  So smile!  And run!

Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said: "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Monday, 24 October 2011

The Climb

Today's run: From home, across the overpass and back four times, and then back home again without stopping. The elevation map was beautifully symmetrical.
4k, 25 minutes, uphill both ways.


Sunday, 23 October 2011

You Can't Judge a Runner

Meditations on today's run.

You can't judge a runner because you don't know
if she's running to generate energy or to burn it off
if this is her first run ever or her last run this season
if this is her first warm-up kilometer or the last minute of her cool-down
if she's running from depression and perfectionism or running for peace and acceptance.

You can't judge a runner because you don't know 
if she's running to get fitter or running to get faster
if she's swallowed her pride or swallowed a bug
if she's running through a stitch, a cramp, a sprain, a strain, an injury or an illness
if she's running just to see tomorrow or hopes to see her grandchildren some day.

You can't judge a runner because you don't know 
if she's running to meditate or running a race
if this is her best day or her worst
if she's running to live longer or running to live better
if she's running a tempo run, a long run or just plain running.

You can't judge a runner because you don't know 
if she's already left it all on the road or if she just doesn't have it in her today
if her run is a cerebral experience or a physical trial
if she's running to clear her mind or because she cleaned her plate
if she's running for health or for happiness.

You can't judge a runner because you don't know 
if she's been running since 1990 or since yesterday
if she's running from something or to something
if she's running to beat the rain or because she enjoys the rain
if she's running to get healthy or running to stay healthy.

You can't judge a runner because you don't know 
if she's shedding body weight or the weight of the world
if she's grieving a loss or celebrating a gain
if she feels alone or if she feels empowered
if she's loving every stride or hating every second.

And you can't judge a runner because you don't know 
if her run's about the destination or about the journey.

Monday, 17 October 2011

I like how they gave him bib #100

Today's Inspiration
Yesterday, a 100-year-old man, Fauja Singh, earned a place in the Guinness World Records by completing the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in just over 8 hours.  Full story here.  His average speed was about 3 mph, a pace so slow it took a contingent of supporters to keep him from falling over.  Just kidding!!  In all seriousness, it is inspiring to see a man of such advanced age taking on such a physically demanding challenge, training for it, and completing it.  Imagine the discipline.  Imagine the passion!  Take that, you mall-walking grannies!

Fauja Singh in training.  I like how they gave him bib #100
and I love the slogan on his t-shirt:  Sikhs in the city. 

Tomorrow's Inspiration
Starting on October 21, an Ottawa-area man is going to attempt to run seven marathons in seven days.  Did you get that?  Seven marathons in seven days!!  Now, I know a couple of women who ran recently ran a half marathon and took almost seven days to recover from that so I can't begin to imagine how this guy's going to feel at the end of this feat.  Ouch!  He's doing it to raise funds and awareness for CHEO's Youth Net program.  Again, imagine the passion!  Full story heredonations and run tracker here.  Whenever I see a runner on the road, or hear a story about a person like this, I send out a good thought for them.  I'll be doing it for this guy and I hope he can feel my vibe!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Here we go!

Here it is, my first post in my first blog.  Expect it to change over time - style, layout, frequency, font, focus, content, everything - because I will change over time.  Sometimes minute by minute.

Today's run 
12°C, cloudy, cool and windy so what to wear?  I opted for a jacket and pants over a short-sleeved tee but soon found myself with my jacket tied around my waist and wishing I'd worn shorts.  I mapped out a hilly 6.6 km route and though it's the first time I've ever run outdoors in windy conditions (19km/h) I was able to maintain my standard 5.6mph speed.  It felt harder than usual though!

As I was coming to the end of my run, I saw Bev.  She went to run club this morning and ran with the 10k group.  She said they did a slow 7k.  I'll be running with them soon enough (next week!), and never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd ever be in a place where I could.  Go, me!

I am thinking about the Warrior Dash and I think it's going to be very challenging for me unless I start working out and strengthening my upper body.  So that's one more thing to add to my to-do list: get fitter.  Because I want to do that race and, more importantly, I want to enjoy doing it! 

I was skimming through a magazine this week and came upon an ad for Shredded Wheat.  The text included this:  0 mg Sodium.  At first glance, I thought it said, "OMG! Sodium!"  I'm spending far too much time online, obviously.

Monday, 19 September 2011

A New Runner's 5k Army Run Postmortem

Behind the starting line: It's really cold this morning. Maybe I should have worn pants and kept my jacket on. My hands are freezing. It becomes more comfortable as we join the thousands of warm bodies corralled behind the starting line. What will it be like when we start running? Good thing I don't run fast enough to create a wind chill factor, ha ha! I decide to stop worrying. Besides, other people are dressed like me and they look like they know what they're doing. I wish there was room for a stretch or a warm-up. I probably should have done that before coming.

Starting line: There are so many of us that we walk through the start and then jog slowly for a bit before we can speed up. I am impressed by the variety of shapes, sizes, and ages of the runners. More than 7300 runners with a single purpose: to cross the finish line. All that energy, enthusiasm and glowing good health! Awesome!

.25 km: I am not used to running in the morning, not used to a cold start (literally or figuratively) and it's uphill. What have I gotten myself into!? I am already behind my teammates but I can see them and I am keeping pace. I think about all the people who are wishing me success today, all the people who pledged money for my run, and all my friends and Running Room classmates who are running in this race and the half-marathon later. There's so much good will and energy that I can't fail. I send it back.

.50 km: Are you kidding me? My new capris are falling down! Note to self: try new running gear in action before race day. Uuuuuuuurgh! *hoist*

1.25 km: Oferpetessake. I accidentally reset my borrowed Nike+ so I can't keep track of my time and distance anymore. And I suddenly feel hungry. Really hungry. Like, hollow hungry. Should I have eaten more? Should I have eaten later? *hoist*

App. 1.5 km: I am still behind my teammates but there's a bit of a downward slope so I can still see them. The distance between us is widening. They are younger, fitter and faster than I am and I am happy I am not slowing them down. Our original plan was to stay together but that didn't seem fair (to them) so I'm glad we changed it. Go, girls! So far I have not been able to hit my stride. (I never will during the entire race, at least not for more than a minute or two at a time, because I am either slowing down to avoid, turning to manoeuvre around, or speeding up to pass other runners. I hadn't anticipated this. Interesting.) *hoist*

App. 2 km: My God, it's hot! I am completely overdressed. I'm so hot that I wonder if I can take my shirt off and run in just my sports bra (as if!). But the bib's pinned to the shirt, my earbuds are snaked through it, and I've got a waist pack on. Too complicated. Sanity prevails. The course has levelled out and I've lost sight of my teammates but there are lots of people lining the course and cheering us on so I feel encouraged. I think I see people around a pace bunny slowing to a walk. I follow suit, glad to have a little rest, but a few seconds later we're all running again. *hoist*

App. 2.5 km: By now I am convinced that my teammates are so far ahead of me that I'm looking across the canal for them, trying to spot them amongst the runners who are on their way back. Oh, what is this I see before me? A hydration station! I have my own water with me and I don't feel thirsty but I feel I have to grab a cup, sip, and toss it into the grass just to round out my race experience. Hee! *hoist*

App. 3.25 km: I catch up to one of my teammates. I am happy and relieved to see her. She looks happy and relieved to see me. We take our pre-planned walk break and will run the rest of the way together. *hoist*

App. 3.5 km: I drop my water bottle. Know what's a bad idea? Turning around and running in the opposite direction when there's a wall of 3000 people behind you, that's what.

4 km: I know I'm at 4 km because I see a sign that says so. The 4k mark is where I typically lose my oomph. True to form, I feel my blood sugar drop and my energy levels nosedive. I take a short walk break. This has got to be the longest kilometer EVER. *hoist*

4.5 km: Only .5 to go and I am struggling so I walk another few seconds to get my heart rate down and even out my breathing then try to catch up to my teammate. *hoist*

4.75 km: Suddenly my teammate takes off like a bat out of hell. What the...?! A couple of seconds later I realize the finish line is just up ahead so I take off too.

5 km: Woohoo! I am DONE and when I realize that I did it in less time than I anticipated I am overjoyed and very proud of myself. I see my teammate leaning on the fence, breathing hard, and I join her, all smiles.

Post finish line: We reunite with the teammates who have already crossed and as we wait for our last member, we compare our times and experiences. I am chilled to the bone. And wet. Man, it's cold! Once we are all together again we pick up our dogtags. The young uniformed soldier who gives me one thanks me. Thanks me. "No, thank you," I say. "No, thank you," he says, "For being here and running today." My God. As if my time and effort compares. But I let him have it because there are hundreds of people crossing the finish line and waiting for their tags too. There are snack tables everywhere. I see energy bars, bagels and fresh fruit. Who can eat right after a run? I'm not hungry at all!
Pledge total: $565

Place 3234/7353
City Orleans
Bib # 10976
Time 35:22.2
Chip 32:29.6
Pace 7:05
Category Women 40 - 49
Category Place 299/1010
Gender Place 1407/4291