Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bike Training Motivation

Last winter, Mike and I tried to get on the trainer as much as we could. We also would go to the gym and use the spin bikes and swim. Even though we don't race triathlons in the winter it is a good idea to keep up our fitness in all three sports because it will make training that much easier to transition into!

Michele from Michele in Transition and I have teamed up again, this time with a bike "challenge"!


The concept is pretty simple, from November 1st to December 13th get in 18 rides (about 3 rides per week). The distance, intensity, speed, etc. is up to you! These rides can be done outside, on the trainer or on a stationary bike, as long as you are riding it counts!

Yesterday, Mike and I got out for our last weekday ride of the year. With the time change this weekend, it is going to be almost impossible for us to ride after work. We might still be able to get a few weekend rides in, as long as the roads are clear of debris and aren't icy we'll try to ride outside!

The ride yesterday was a little bit cold, even though it was perfect weather for running that doesn't always translate onto the bike. My feet, face and hands were the worst! Although I have a bunch of warm weather cycling clothes, I don't have a lot of cold weather cycling clothes. I was wearing my cold weather running clothes, but I don't think that they were warm enough!

 Old photo of Mike on the trainer last winter

Since our tri bikes aren't safe to ride outside in the winter, I won't worry about getting too many cold weather cycling clothes but I might purchase some things for late fall and early spring rides. Suggestions are welcome!

This challenge will be a great way for me and Mike to keep up with cycling in the colder months, and I am almost at 1,500 cycling miles for the year! I may be able to get 2,000 miles if I try really hard!

If you are interested in joining the challenge, check out the Facebook group here!

Do you ride outside in the winter? What are you favorite trainer workouts (looking for some to use!)?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Big Dreams

Immediately after the MDI Marathon was over and we were all walking back to my dad's truck, up a HUGE hill mind you, I said to Crystal, "we can sub-4 next time" (this of course made Mike say, "what about me?!" Obviously, I think you can sub-4 too, Mike).

 Probably pretty accurate!

When I ran my first marathon, I went in with time expectations even though you probably shouldn't for your first marathon. You should just be happy with finishing, but that's extremely hard for me to do. I really wanted to run that marathon between 4:15 and 4:30, which didn't happen.

I ran Wineglass at 5:01:23 and was completely disappointed with myself. I didn't think that I was a true marathoner and I was upset that Mike hadn't accomplished his dream of becoming a marathoner as well.

When we registered for the Cleveland Marathon, I went in a bit more conservatively. I still wanted 4:30, but I told myself I would be happy with 4:59:59. I think I didn't want to set myself up for disappointment again.

The day started out well enough, I was on track for 4:15 or so and then the second half went downhill a bit. The heat got to me, but I still managed to PR with a new time of 4:46:58.

The MDI Marathon started out being just a fun race, without any goal times, because of our 70.3 a few months prior. We recovered quickly, though, and as the race got closer I decided that I wanted to PR. Knowing that MDI was hilly, I wasn't sure what I was capable of and I again thought that something in between 4:15 and 4:30 would be appropriate.

Crossing the finish line in 4:17:37 was amazing!

 Such an amazing day!

In a little over a year, I cut 43 minutes and 46 seconds off of my marathon time. That's HUGE! But, I still want to do better and I know I can do better.  

Using this to help me out a bit

My plan for next year is to run a sub-1:50 half marathon, and if this happens then I am going to go for a sub-4 marathon in 2014 or 2015. We are planning on doing the Philly Marathon next year, but if we aren't recovered from our Ironman appropriately I will put off trying for sub-4 until 2015 (and then Philly would just be for fun). As much as I would LOVE to register for a spring marathon, Mike and I really need to dedicate our time and energy to Ironman training (though, I am going to be jealous of everyone that is registering and running one and it will be hard for me to not make a split second decision!)

I know that I have a lot of work to do, for both the sub-1:50 half marathon and a sub-4 hour marathon, but I like the challenge.

As a triathlete, qualifying for Boston isn't in my immediate sights but it is something that I would like to try for some day. Now that I have less than an hour to take off of my time I believe that it is possible with hard work.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Weekend Running and Friendiversary

Today we hit the road for a "long" run with one of the local informal running groups in Rochester. We saw our triathlon group post about the run on Facebook and we were enticed by the talk of donuts, apple cider and coffee at the end of the run.

The Bagel Bunch does an annual run that starts at Kelly's Apple Farm and there are four or five different distance options. Since it is only a week after our marathon we didn't want to run too far and our friend Jess was interested in going to the run too. She wanted to do the 8.5 mile run, so that's what we all did! It was a nice run and we talked to a few of the Bagel Bunch regulars during and after the run.

 Jess and me, don't worry Mike had some apple cider too!

After we indulged in delicious cinnamon sugar donuts, apple cider and coffee.

It was a lot of fun and a nice way to get back into running (it was both of our second run of the week).

Today is also our one year in real life "friendiversary" with Crystal and Joe!

 One year of friendship

Though Crystal and I had been friends on twitter and in the blogging world we didn't meet for awhile. Last year we all did the Cape Cod Half Marathon together and we met her and Joe at the expo and went out to dinner. Ever since we have been great friends and have had numerous adventures.

 October 2012

November 2012

February 2013

June 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

I don't know what we would do without Crystal and Joe in our lives. Even though we don't live really close to each other, whenever we get back together it is like we haven't been apart. 

We love you Crystal and Joe!

Finally, I want to wish some fellow runners good luck tomorrow during their marathons! Stacey, Sarah and Stuart (Crystal's friend) are all running the Cape Cod Marathon! It will be Stacey and Stuart's first marathon. Our friends Amber and Sarah (who is running with Abby) are running the Marine Corps Marathon, and it is Sarah's first marathon as well!

 Well, really tomorrow!

Good luck and enjoy your 26.2 mile victory lap!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

More Sounds and Sights from the MDI Marathon

I'm in denial that Sunday is truly over, so here are a few more sights and sounds from the marathon.  If you missed the day before recap and the marathon race recap check them out, here and here.

Making fun of me, we're pretty sure, about the ocean. You had to be there!

As you can tell by our faces, Crystal and I truly love the marathon

One lucky part of having my parents there as our supporters was that my dad took some videos of us out on the course! Here are a few for your viewing pleasure!

video
Around mile 11.5

video
Still going strong at about 18 miles

video
Mike's finish!

video
Finishing up the race with Isaac

And I LOVE LOVE LOVE this photo collage that Crystal made of my finish with Isaac (by the way check out her recaps of the day before and the day of the marathon)!

Love it!

I never ever would have thought that running for 4 hours 17 minutes and 37 seconds would be one of the most amazing experiences of my life, but it was! I am experiencing a little bit of post-race depression but luckily we have a few more fun things planned with friends in the next couple of months.

I guess for now, I have to accept that it really is over!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My First Marathon - Erica

This is part of a series on my blog called, "My First Marathon". The concept is simple, write a post about your first marathon, a race recap, why you picked it, how training went, if you liked the race, etc. and I will post it on my blog. If you are interested in participating in the series you can email me at fromcouchtoironwoman@gmail.com.

The third "My First Marathon" post comes from Erica, her post had me laughing, shaking my head and cheering her on! Even though it happened almost 20 years ago, you can still learn a lot from her first marathon. I hope you enjoy this post as much as I do!
 

My First Marathon was…

…a long time ago (1996)

…run on a dare

…in San Francisco

…run with a max long run of 16 miles under my belt

…run in cotton, college shorts that I stole from a friend and a cotton tank top (ouch)

…woefully paced

…under 4 hours

… the start of something big for me.


When Jamie posted that she was looking for guest posts on “My First Marathon”, I waxed nostalgic about my first marathon. And then I waved my virtual hand to her and said, “pick me!” so I could write this post.

I was a high school runner, a college drinker and a post-collegiate person looking to get back in shape. I took up running again and once I had my base I started doing local 10Ks. I ran into an old coach who told me if you could run 2/3 a race distance you could do the race. I used that logic to tackle a 15K and my first half marathon. I did surprisingly well in these races so I kept at it.

A friend at my first job was an avid marathoner and he “dared” me to come with him to San Francisco to run the 1996 San Francisco Marathon. I had never been to San Francisco and had a good friend there, so I agreed to go to check it out. He assured me that, “it is not so hilly… for San Francisco.” Ignorance is bliss. I took his word for it and did not look at the elevation chart. I also did not seek out a conventional training program. When you are 25 years old (or when I was at least), it does not seem necessary to really train. Right? Keep in mind, in 1996, there were not really running blogs and marathoning was not as popular as it is now. That is my story and I am sticking to it!

I lined up a friend to go with me to San Fran and accommodations. I trained…some. The time came and I flew from NJ to San Fran for the race.

Being funny in the era before social media – slower traffic keep right!

To be honest, I don’t remember the expo at all. I do remember going to Trader Joe’s for the first time (OMG) and eating huge burritos in the Mission District with Josh and Leslie for carbo loading.

I do remember the race. The race used to start on the far side of the Golden Gate bridge, run through the Embarcadero, though the city, midway was almost to Haight-Ashbury, into Golden Gate Park, up the Alphabet Street Hill (don’t remember the name of the area – I do remember the hill!) and then back into Golden Gate Park and finished at the stadium on a track.

It was foggy on the bridge, but I got a decent start. I went out WAY TOO FAST. Well it seemed fine. I was running 8 minute miles. This was slower than my ½ marathon pace, so that was OK – right? (Um, no. but I will get to that.)

I chatted with other runners and ran through the Embarcadero, past Lombard Street (thank goodness) and through the city. Then, the hills started to appear in earnest. I took this in stride. My first half was 1:45.10. I am not sure why I remember that. I just do. It seemed reasonable to me at that time.

Something happened between miles 13 and 16. I think my newbie confidence and blissful ignorance changed to a panicked “what have I done?” When I got to 16 and realized that a) I had never run farther than that and b) I still had 10 more miles to go, the wind got knocked out of my sails. Oh, and then there were the two huge hills on Haight Street. My friends were cheering for me here and I gave the obligatory smile and waves and then settled in to my fate. My slow trudging fate as it turned out.

I kept running but my pace slowed - ALOT. My 8s turned into 9s and then closer to 10s. But, I kept on. At mile 20, they were offering sports drink. It is called XLR8. They were yelling the name. I thought they were telling me to speed up. I wanted to cry.

Then we turned out of the park and started up a big hill that crossed alphabetical streets. I think we had to run to “T”. Oy. A nice, young woman jumped in and started talking to me. She was supposed to pace a friend but could not find her. She chatted cheerfully and my inner New Yorker who was in pain wanted to strangle her. After about a mile, she found someone nicer than me to “help.”

Game face after the wheels were off!

When we finally got to turn around and come down the hill, I realized that my quads were shot and I trudged down. I had to go to the bathroom, but I was too scared that if I stopped I would never run again. I kept going. I randomly saw a friend from college (in NJ) working at a water stop at mile 23. She was surprised, too, but cheered me on. I waved, thanked her by name and trudged past.

See I sprinted

I finally made it to the stadium. My friends were there cheering. I “sprinted” the last quarter. At least I tried. The last half felt like a death march. My pace slowed from 8 min/mile for the first half to almost 10 minutes per mile in the second half. The good news about that? My overall pace was a very respectable 9 minutes per mile. I finished in 3:55! Under 4 hours? Ah, to be 25 years old again!

After that, I was bit by the marathon bug. I have done 35 marathons including 13 NYC Marathons and 5 Boston Marathons. I have never run such bad splits again, but I have had a few crash and burns in going for personal bests. I still start too fast sometimes … well most of the time. The one big change for me is that I always train. I have a true respect for the marathon distance. Oh and I wear tech clothes!


Small medal/big shirt! Cotton!!

Happy Marathoning! Your first marathon will always be special, but learn from it and you will continue to progress and exceed your expectations.

Erica lives and runs in Chicago now and is training for her fourteenth New York City Marathon on November 3rd in her quest to get 15 (NYC Marathon finishes) by 2015 to be guaranteed entry for life. Erica blogs at Erica Finds. She is more of a blogging runner than running blogger, but writes on health, fitness, running, travel, deals and ideas. Basically anything that she finds that could be of interest!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mount Desert Island Marathon Race Recap

I almost don't want to write this recap because then it will mean that one of the most amazing races of my life is truly over. (I know, I know. I say that a lot). If you missed what happened prior to the race, check out my post here.

No turning back now

Sunday morning, we woke up at 5:53am (Mike had gone past :50 and he didn't feel like changing it, ha). I had actually slept really well, for the most part, and I got ready quickly. Crystal and Joe were up too, and so were my parents, and within 40 or so minutes we were all dressed and had food with us for the drive to Bar Harbor for the start of the race.

My mom, dad and Joe were going to be spectating so we all drove in my dad's truck so that we didn't have two cars. After getting some gas and coffee for Joe, we made it into Bar Harbor easily. Since the roads are closed my dad went down a side street and we sat in the truck for a few minutes while it was raining. I actually saw some people that I knew, the parents of two girls that I swam with growing up, and after chatting for awhile Mike, Crystal and I decided we should get out of the truck and get ready.

We were walking down Main Street and as we rounded the corner we bumped into, almost literally, Sara and Eric. They were running the half marathon so they had to catch the shuttles that would take them to the halfway point of the marathon (it is a point to point race).

Almost two minutes later we ran into Carrie, who was running the full, and Jen, who was running on a three-person relay team to run with Carrie. It was really funny because Jen said to Mike, we know who you are! I actually saw more blogging friends than people from my hometown at this race!

Mike realized that he didn't have bandaids for his nipples, chaffing isn't good! So he went into a coffee shop to request some, and he was successful! Then we saw Isaac and Crystal and I went into the public restrooms before the line got really long.

We told my dad we would meet him at 7:30am to give him our throwaway clothes (since it was still raining) and Mike realized he still needed to go to the bathroom! We met up with my dad and then we got ready to line up, without Mike still. After a few announcements, Mike made his way into the crowd.

The national anthem was played and then we had a moment of silence for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. At the end of the moment of silence a bagpiper started to play "Amazing Grace" and I got really emotional. I started to cry because it was so sad and a beautiful tribute.

After that Mike went ahead of us, we all wished each other luck and it was almost time to run the marathon! The MDI Marathon always plays "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC at the beginning of the race, and when I heard it start to play I knew it was time. We actually started a little before 8am (7:57am according to my watch) and Crystal, Isaac and I crossed the start line!

 Mike at the start!

I love how Crystal and I look the same!

About .2 miles in to the race we saw my parents and Joe and they wished us luck! The beginning of the race takes you out of Bar Harbor and goes toward Otter Creek. Isaac did a great job of telling Crystal and I to reign it in, and every time he did that we would put our hands out like we were slowing down.

There wasn't a lot of crowd support at this point (cars aren't supposed to follow the runners) but there were a few people out, like a mime! Mile 3 has the biggest hill of the race, and as I tried to rush up it Isaac told me that we had time for awesomeness later.

 You can see me in the background in the green jacket

Crystal and I were taking our energy chews every two miles, with the water stops, and around mile 4 we saw a photographer! We had our jackets on at this point and Crystal unzipped hers and said, "I have a bib!". The photographer laughed and said he wasn't the police.

Mike out on the course

After getting through the top of the hill in Otter Creek we were welcomed by a nice down hill. Some runners in front of us were taking photos and the guy asked the girl, "do you want to stop?" Crystal and I both yelled, "don't stop!" The girl liked that we said that but the guy looked annoyed with us, ha!

Prior to the marathon I figured out that I would hit my 1,000th running mile for the year at mile 5.6 of the marathon. Crystal said that my milestone was coming up and Isaac said he would have to get the noisemakers ready. Crystal and I laughed and then he literally pulled noisemakers out of his shorts! When mile 5.6 came we blew the noisemakers and yelled, "1,000 miles!" and continued on our way.

At this point we turned off the main road and enjoyed some scenery on a back road. Isaac was telling us stories of his marathons and he got to marathon #3 and said, "a facebook friend of mine had started posting about couch-to-5K and I got back into running after taking 6 years off". Yep, I'm that friend!

Isaac kept telling Crystal and I to slow down and keep an even effort. And he said that we were tricking him into telling stories so we could speed up! At this point we were running by the ocean and I saw some triangle thing on a rock and I said, "I don't know what that is". Almost in unison Isaac and Crystal said, "the ocean". Very funny guys!

At mile 8 we were back on some main roads and running by the Seal Harbor beach. There were a few hills at this point, but we still kept an even effort. I don't remember much about this part of the race other than that Isaac told us about marathon #4.

 Mike, still thumbs-upping at this point

Getting ready to shed our jackets!

My parents and Joe were coming up around mile 11.5 near Asticou gardens, and I spotted my dad on the corner. I waved to him and he signaled to my mom that we were coming. All of a sudden, Isaac says, "hi, mom" really casually. He had told us that his mom couldn't be there but that his dad was, but I guess she surprised him! We rounded the corner and we saw my mom. Crystal and I threw her our jackets, since the sun had come out and the rain was gone for good.  We hadn't seen Joe yet, but we saw Isaac's dad and as we got to the turn to head into Northeast Harbor we saw Joe!

We got to the mile 12 waterstop and I was still taking energy chews every two miles. As we ran through Northeast, I mentioned that I hung out there a lot during high school and pointed out a few sights. We passed Carrie and one of the relay team members at this point and cheered her on.

This part of the race takes you on some back roads so that you can pick up Sargent Drive, which was the part of the race I was looking forward to the most. We got to the halfway point around 2:07:40. As we approached we could hear an announcer and some song came on, I guess it was Hakuna Matata, and Crystal and I started dancing.

We continued on our way and I mentioned that soon we would be at single digits, something I was really looking forward to.  We got onto Sargent Drive and we saw the tree! There is a big tree that kind of looks like a bonsai tree and we all said, "ok we've seen the tree, we can stop now". And a guy in front of us said, "there's no beer or bbq here, keep going!"

The views were gorgeous and Isaac pointed to the other side of the sound and told Crystal we would be running to that point. He asked me if I could swim there and I said yea but I would get there a lot later than them if I did that!

When we hit single digits I cheered on the inside, and verbally, a little bit and then continued on my way. We saw Isaac's parents right around mile 18, Crystal saw someone she knew from Instagram as we turned on to the main road again and we were all still in good shape. One of Isaac's bosses had seen us at this point and he followed us on the road and said, "I knew you'd be running with two pretty ladies". We all laughed!

Here comes, Mike!

Giving a wave

Still happy at this point

This part of the course was a bit frustrating because of the cones on the road. They didn't give runners a lot of space so we had to run in single file. Luckily, we didn't have far to go and made a turn down a side road (which made us bypass a HUGE hill) and then I saw my dad! I asked him how Mike was doing, and he told me great, and then we saw my mom and Joe. They wished us luck and we kept going.

After getting back on the main road, my parents and Joe passed by us. My dad honked and Isaac said, "do you know those people?" I said that I may or may not be related to two people in the car and Crystal said, "three". I joked that Joe was my brother, and Crystal said, "brother-in-law" (since we joke that Mike and Joe are brothers).

There was a steep hill toward the last turn and then we were at mile 20. I took some more energy chews and walked at the water stop (we saw some kids that Isaac works with), which was probably a bad idea looking back on it. I was struggling to get the chews down at this point so I just held them in my mouth. We ran through Somesville, by the bridge, the bookstore and Isaac just kept us going.

At mile 20.5, I stopped to walk. Crystal kept going, which I'm glad she did since I knew she was going to do amazing. After a brief walk break, I picked it back up. We actually caught back up to Crystal but then the hills were unrelenting. Since the sun was out, I was getting hot and I had to slow to a walk on a hill again.

At this point Crystal said, "I love you guys", and she was gone. I was getting frustrated with myself that I had to walk but Isaac kept me running on the downhills and wouldn't let me walk too long on the uphills (we actually negotiated at one point when I would start running again, ha).

At the mile 22 water stop, I took two waters and dumped one on my head. I spit the rest of my energy chews that were still in my mouth out in the cup and I was done with nutrition for the day. I said at one point, "what is wrong with me?" (because of all the walking) and Isaac laughed and said, "maybe it's because you've run 24 miles".

We finally got to the top of the final, big, hill and I was able to pick up the pace again on the downhill. I had slowed for four miles to above 10 minute pace, but not too bad. Isaac told me that we were on track for 4:18. I willed myself to keep going, had to walk a bit, but then I saw my dad! We started running again and he said we weren't too far from the finish (which I knew).

 Mike bringing it in to the finish!

So happy to be done!

With .5 miles to go, I walked a few steps more and then continued on. Finally, I could see the finish line! I saw my mom and Joe, then I heard Crystal telling me to get to the finish line and I saw Mike!

As we got closer, I told Isaac to give me his hand and we held hands as we crossed the finish line! I was done with marathon #3 and other than a few slower miles in the end it was the best experience ever!

We reunited with everyone and I found out that my finishing time was 4:17:37, an over 29 minute PR! Crystal had crushed her former PR as well and Mike PR'd by about 11 minutes with a new PR of 4:07:39!

 Love all these people!

Isaac was initiated into the jump photo!

We saw Danielle, who did great at the half marathon and then we took some finishing photos. After we said goodbye to Isaac and we walked to my dad's truck. We visited the Bass Harbor Lighthouse and took some more photos to celebrate the experience.

 Happy marathoners!

Contemplating what is next

It's really hard for me to admit this weekend and race is over. It was my hometown race, and though challenging, it was an amazing experience! I can't thank Crystal and Isaac enough for running with me, and Mike for putting up with this hard race and believing in me. I can't thank my parents enough for feeding us and providing us all lodging for the weekend, and cheering us on. And Joe for coming to yet another race to cheer for us.

I am DEFINITELY running this race again and I hope to better my course PR. And now, as long as I feel good after our Ironman next year, I'm going for sub-4 at the Philly Marathon in 2014!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pre-Marathon Activities

This past weekend was FABULOUS!! I have a lot to write about and I didn't want to cram it all into one post, so I am going to write about everything that happened prior to the marathon.

Mike and I left Rochester on Friday morning with Bernie in tow. We ended up hitting some traffic so it took us longer to get to Maine than I would have liked, but around 7pm we pulled into the Wal-Mart parking lot where we met up with Crystal and Joe. Then we all drove to my parents house and everyone got to know one another.

Saturday morning we slept in a little bit and the four of us got ready to go to the expo in Bar Harbor. While we pulled up we saw Isaac walking up to the hotel and conference center. After parking we all went into where we thought the expo was set up. A guy told us, "go this way" and pointed us down the stairs. We saw a breakfast set up and realized this wasn't where we wanted to be, though we should have taken some free food!

We finally figured out where the expo was and picked up our packets easily. We did do some exchanges of our jackets, since they were HUGE, and then browsed some of the merchandise. After Crystal told me that Sarah, someone I went to high school with, had said hi to me and I didn't realize it, I went back and found her. We chatted briefly about the next day and then Mike and I went to buy some shirts.

 Who is ready to run a marathon?

After we were content with our purchases, we drove into town and picked a spot for our two mile shakeout run.

 Running along the pier

We decided on the shore path in Bar Harbor, which is a really short path near the ocean. We had to do a few out and backs along the path, and I think we were frustrating some of the people walking on the path, but it was a good run. Joe even joined us for it!

 Friends!

 The three of us who would be running together

All that running made us hungry, just kidding we needed to start carb loading, so we drove to Jordan's for some breakfast. All five of us ended up getting some variation of the pancake special, I indulged in some blueberry pancakes of course!

After stuffing ourselves, we said farewell to Isaac for the rest of the day and went back to my parents' house. We got ready and shortly after all of us went into Acadia National Park so we could show Crystal and Joe some of the sights. Since we didn't wan to walk too much we drove up to the top of Cadillac Mountain.

 Some photos, Bernie came of course!

Doing our thing on top of a mountain

The views from the top

The views were gorgeous as usual and we got a lot of good photos!

 Bernie and Mike on Sand Beach

We drove a bit more of the park loop road and then went back to my parents' for some relaxing and a big pasta dinner, complete with garlic bread!

After a little bit more relaxing, it was time to get ready for bed so that we would be well rested for the marathon!


Stay tuned for the actual race recap!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Marathon Excitement

I haven't talked about taper at all, don't worry we have been. It has been GLORIOUS cutting back on our mileage. Don't get me wrong there are times I want to get out there and run farther than we are supposed to, or faster (which sometimes I still do that, oops) but I do like to give my body a break before the 26.2 mile victory lap.

Our final runs have been going well, though my watch is being weird and has said that it is at 99% battery life for awhile now. I did get it to drain the battery a bit, but I didn't fully kill it, and then it messed up distances (one time too short and the other time too long) on the last two runs.  I think tonight Mike and I are going to hard reset our watches so they are in good shape for the marathon.

The thing that I am the most excited about for marathon weekend, other than the race of course, is getting to see these people!

Top: Us and Crystal, doing our jump thing
Bottom Left: Us with my parents at Seneca7 2012
Bottom Right: Us with Isaac in Maine

Mike and I will be heading up to Maine on Friday and we get to see Crystal (and hopefully Joe)! Crystal joked that she gets to see my parents' house before she gets to see ours, and it is true! I guess we're taking our relationship to the next level if she's meeting the parents, ha. 

We're hoping to meet up with Isaac at the expo on Saturday, do a final shakeout run and eat some delicious breakfast/brunch foods! I'm also going to be running with him and Crystal during the marathon. 

And of course, my parents will be cheering us on and providing food and lodging for us the entire weekend. 

I'm so excited, I can't wait!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Let's GLOW Volunteer

Trails ROC put on another amazing event last night called Ready, Set, Glow. It was a 5-ish mile trail run at night with a bunch of glow sticks on the course and the runners. Unfortunately, with it only being a week before our marathon we didn't think it was a good idea to race, so we volunteered instead.

We were assigned to the Owl's Maze in Dryer Park with another volunteer, Jen. This was the most confusing part of the course because it had a few right-hand turns and there was two-way traffic at times.

The Owl's Maze before it got dark

Eric took us out to our station well before the start of the race, which gave us time to get "glowed up". Thanks Jen for bringing all the glow sticks!

 I missed the memo on the black long sleeve shirt and #trailsroc sleeveless

Jen is ready!

While we were waiting for the runners, and as it got darker, we kept hearing noises and one time I got a little freaked out. Mike kept making fun of us!

Me and Mike, Mike and Jen

The race started at 7:00pm and since we were at the halfway point, we knew it wouldn't take long for runners to get to us. Around 7:20pm the first runners appeared!

Mike at his post, directing the runners

 Some of the runners

We basically had to direct people to the right and offer water refills. It was really fun to watch everyone snake through the Owl's Maze, you could see the lights for a long time. Apparently, the runners said that they could hear us for awhile, we were cheering really loud!

After the last runner came through the second time, we packed everything up and walked back to the parking lot. We had some delicious chicken curry soup and rolls, and after hanging out for a bit Mike and I headed home.

We had SO much fun last night. I don't think we've had as much fun volunteering before, and that's saying a lot since we have volunteered at some pretty cool events. It was amazing to see everyone having a fun time!

Volunteering always gets me pumped up to race, so I'm looking forward to next weekend even more now!