Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Oiselle- Totally Trials Entry

If you are a follower of 5 Miles Past Empty you know I have been struggling the past year...not just with running but with LIFE in general. But lets be real, running has been a struggle since moving here from the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I left behind some amazing Running Buddies...all of whom are so special to me and shared countless miles with me. One can't help but form a long-lasting bond while suffering through tens of hundreds of miles together. But I digress...

Mel Tall Mom on the Run has been a huge support to me over the past three years. From the moment I met her I knew we would be friends. It's scary though, getting attached and making friends outside of the military circle...how would she react when (not if) I had to move? Would we be true lasting friends across the miles? Is it better to not get close and to save the heartache of moving away, for both of us? These are questions you often ask yourself when making friends who aren't themselves military. You almost feel guilty for exposing them to your chaotic, unstable, ever-chaging lifestyle...but then you take a chance and go for it, you forge a friendship...and through the blood, sweat, and tears you find you made the right choice...you have found a life-long friend.

I can honestly say my life would not be the same had I not showed up to meet Mel for our first Blind Bloggy Running Date on 10/10/09 (read about it HERE). She seems to know just when to call and what to say. She has a knack for saying the right thing at the right time. She is a true friend. That is why I was so excited when she texted me about an opportunity to win a trip to the Olympic Trials in Eugene, OR through Oiselle! As she told me about it my mind was already going a hundred miles a minute...How could we win? How could we make this happen? Mel wrote her blog entry, check it out HERE and emailed me the draft. As I read it it brought tears to my eyes. How could two people go through so much, so many life-changing events in the span of a little over a year? So many ups and downs...if there was a single person who deserves to win I would have to point a finger at Mel. She gives and gives and it is her turn to receive. I wish I could win this just to give it to her, as an appreciation of all her support for me. But of course it is a trip for two and well, you can't have a Tall Mom without a 5 Miles Past Empty...we are kind of like peas in a pod, we go together like shot put and hurdles...wait, ok maybe not...but still we both LOVE running, we are Long Distance Running Buddies, and we MISS each other dearly. This would be the ultimate, perfect mommy, running blogger's dream come true!

So here is our joint video entry, taken from East coast and West, for the Oiselle Totally Trials contest....

See you in Eugene!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

MRI Results...

NO I don't have the results yet. I am hopping it will be soon, the suspense is killing me!

But in the mean time I am taking bets, what do you think is wrong? When I got the MRI I was instructed to hand deliver the disk (with the below images) back to the radiology department at the hospital on post. Of course I took them straight to my computer and looked at them! The best I could do is snap a picture of the screens with my trusty iPhone....Then, as all good little runners with an injury do I called my OT sister and we oohed and awed and looked at some websites comparing healthy knee MRI's to my knee MRI. To be honest I just ended up freaking myself out probably more than necessary...but there certainly is a weird white blob in there. What the heck is that? Any tech people read my blog? Ok, I'm not asking for a diagnosis here I'm just hoping for a HOORAY moment where I learn I just need to drain some fluid off and WHALLAH! Good as new. So yeah, that's what I'm hoping for...

Here I am, taking The Disk to Radiology...


And here are the not-so-great pictures of the computer screen....




Should I be embarrassed to post a picture of the INSIDE of my body? This is kind of weird... Now you all know me a little too well, I mean I haven't see teh INSIDE of YOUR body....

Now I wait. Wait until they let me know something or nothing...

Friday, May 11, 2012

Ten Signs of a Killer Arm Workout...

1. It kills you to wash/dry/style your hair...

2. It is nearly impossible to put on mascara-Dudes, I'm assuming this would be the same for you to shave your face...

3. It is nearly impossible to pick your nose-I tried...

4. Driving a car is scary because you worry about your ability to react and turn the steering wheel...

5. You sit in your car because it is nearly impossible to push the door open from the inside....

6.You decide to wear your glasses to work because putting in your contacts is just too dang painful, but then you realize it's equally painful to put on said glasses....so you go to work blind (see #4 to add to scary driving factor).

7. You sneeze and stop your arms at a 90 degree angle and fail to cover your mouth...cleaning the mess might be easier, and less painful than covering your mouth.

8. You don't care that you did not brush your teeth, that is what gum is for....

9. You answer all phone calls on speaker because no way, no how is that phone going to be held up to your ear....

10. You have a broken leg (practically) and you don't even care anymore because your arms hurt so bad.....your arms may actually feel better if they fell off....

Oh yeah, the old Hold One Arm Up With the Other trick...
...and for good measure, these things are hard as well: brushing a stray hair out of your face, shouldering a purse (consider yourselves lucky men, unless of course there is a Man Purse involved, then suffer with us...we understand), drink coffee or any other beverage without a straw or gooseneck, and put on or take off a bra...

I'd say I got a good arm workout on Wednesday....

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Gym Rat-Day 1

...and I don't know if there will be a Day 2. Holy Moly Mother of Guacamole!

So if I can't really run, can only kind of barely swim (not sure though haven't tried yet), can't elliptical, can't jump rope, can't comfortably walk for long periods of time, can't row...then what can I do?

Lift weights with the top half of my body. So that is what I did.
obligatory self-in-the-mirror-at-the-gym photo....
I arrived at the gym and while waiting for my friend, Mom to the Littles (or M2L from here on out), to show up a trainer approached me and started making small talk. I took the bait and engaged in a discussion about my workout, my injury, my preferred method of working out, yadda yadda yadda....Then he got me, "You want to work out with me instead?" Um....instead of half-a$%ing my way through my own weak workout? Instead of picking up something heavy and putting it back down a few times? And well let's be real, some eye candy is always nice at the gym too. So I checked with M2L and she was game....

So we sat through a shpeeel (yes, not spill but shpeeel) about personal training, pros of it, why it's important, how it boosts metabolism, how you can burn more calories just by having more lean muscle mass....all that stuff that we as runners know but often do little about. It was good info but we were there to get a workout in, M2L and and I were ready to rumble.

So we began our workout. M2L began with a chest workout of laying on her back and lifting a medicine ball straight up and then down, every minute for three minutes he would hand her a heavier one...then she did push-ups and slower than molasses had to lower her body, 10 times. Meanwhile I was doing bicep curls and hammer curls and lifting them over my head and all sorts of crazy arm things. I was whining before we hit the first three minute mark. M2L repeated her set twice and I did mine three times, I think....then we switched, twice. After that it was time for abs. I'm not sure if I got in a good ab workout or not because my arms are too busy falling off for me to notice my abs....

Can I just say Holy Moly Mother of Guacamole? Yeah, my arms are DEAD. They don't even hurt they are so dead. I can't lift them. I caught M2L using one arm to push her arm holding her water bottle up to her mouth...I had to lean my elbows on the counter in the bathroom in order to do my make-up. I could barely drive my car...I will certainly have an issue trying to wash my hair tonight. I very well many not be able to move my arms tomorrow, or the next day...Maybe I'll be able to head back to the gym next week...

So, am I going to pay 13 arms and 27 legs to employ a personal trainer? I wish. I really do wish....but let's be real (I know, I already used that but it's my new catch phrase) it's expensive. I mean, I know they have knowledge and education and they are great at putting me through the wringer...but it is just so darn expensive. I'm going to think about it and see if I can save up but for 6 session in one month it is $240. And they want a 12 month commitment. That's a lot of money when I could buckle down and just do it...so what do you think? I know there are a lot of personal trainers out there and a number my friends are trainers...is it worth the cash? And why is is so expensive? I mean really.....I'm not knocking it but it's kind of one of those things where if it were more affordable more people would do it, you'd have more clients and in the long run make more money, which is what it's (seemingly) all about. I don't want to step on any of my trainer friend's toes here, but it truly is too expensive.

Have you ever priced personal training? What do you think? Why is it that services/things that we seemingly need the most are so expensive: healthy, fresh foods, health care, insurance, etc....I know you can't put a price on health but....

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

You Never Know...

...how good it is until it's gone.

I want to run. I mean I even want to run in my boring neighborhood. Even on the crazy dangerous road outside my neighborhood, even though there is no shoulder. I think it is safe to say I took my running and injury-free body for granted. And now I have more time than I know what to do with as I begin to build my own practice. It was going to be perfect; swimming, crossfit, running in the mornings...but nope. Now I just have time and little to fill it. Although this morning I went to LB's 1st grade Field Day and hung out while they did silly games like chicken dance, tug-of-war, tire rolls, and gunny sack races.

I hope to be back, good as new as soon as possible. I really don't want this to be an injured-I-can't-run-blog...ok, let's be real, I don't want to be injured. Period. And if I'm not running then what do I have to blog about? Maybe I can turn this into a temporary foodie blog? Just blog about all my delicious food choices...oh but wait, then I would need to actually make delicious food choices. Ok, so maybe that could be fun, and necessary. When I'm not sweating I need to focus on diet more than ever...

In other news, I made it to the Top 25 Outdoorsy Moms on Circle of Moms! Thank you all for voting!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Totally Weak.....

Yeah, this is the weakest blog update possible...I've got nothing really other than if you've got a few extra minutes head over to Circle of Moms and vote for me to be in the Top 25 Outdoorsy Moms HERE.If you need proof that I am outdoorsy then here you go...


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Woops, not me but Lazy Dog likes to be outside too....

Windy Oklahoma! Clearly outside!

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Climbing Little Si in WA...Lazy Dog, me and LB
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Outside at Friday Harbor, WA
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Outside Danskin Tri WA
Raleigh Triangle Tri....outside with J-Nnja and LB

Convinced? You should be...look at all those pictures proving I like to be outside!  A lot. So go ahead, vote for me HERE! I'm barely hanging on to #25! There is only a couple more days left then I'll leave you alone a out it. Thanks!!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Trip to the Dr.

Always fun. Not.

I kind of put off going, hoping it would just go away, but Wednesday morning came and I still hurt so I knew it was time to stop messing around and just go. I got to my appointment and waited in the little doctor room. When the doctor came in I had a sinking feeling in my stomach-not a runner, obviously. I don't generally judge but it is nice to know your doctor can relate, will understand your urgency to heal and get back on the road. When she asked me what the problem was I told her I was running a marathon and felt a sudden, sharp pain that eventually caused me to stop running then stop walking. She asked me, "Now did you train for this run, this marathon?" Uh....ok, granted my training was not spot on but yes, I trained. Seriously.

She had me sit on the table and she pushed and my knee cap to and fro, pressed on the sides, underneath (where she identified a cyst that has been there for a few months), she then pulled on the lower half of my leg and it felt like she was about to just pull my lower leg right off, throw it on a rotisserie and fire it up. As I sat there, with my legs dangling it was hurting, it felt like it was just hanging by a thread, it's hard to explain but my right leg was fine, no pain, my left, just hanging there hurt, and it hurt bad. I needed to put my foot on the ground so that it would stop pulling. It was still swollen laterally and underneath.

She asked me if I could have possibly sprained it. I knew the answer was no. I remembered my 20 miler and how we had to call it quits at 16 miles due to pain, then on our retry of 20 it began hurting around mile 14. This time I barely made it 6 miles before it started nagging at me. This was no sprain. But I humored her, she was after all the doctor.

She reached in her drawer and handed me a supplement and explained that many people with Meniscus tears have success taking this supplement and healing naturally, without surgery. I was sold.


She said around 80% see good results and go on to have no problems. She also prescribed Motrin and asper cream twice a day and put in a consult with the Brace Shop. I got this sexy thing.....


I asked the dreaded question, "How long do I have to rest?" Two weeks. Two weeks isn't bad, I'm already almost a week out from the marathon. BUT the bad news is I still have pain, just sitting around doing nothing. She sent me to x-ray for a "baseline" and told me if it still hurts in 2 weeks to come back in to schedule an MRI. Ok.

So I am resting. It seems my 50k may not happen. If by some chance I am able to run in two weeks, pain free and better than new then sure, I'll give it a try. But it isn't looking good, which is a complete disappointment. Lately it has been hard to stay positive and not focus on the negative. It seems like every time I turn around I get punched in the face. I am trying to focus on the good, actually recognize the many good things I have going for me right now. It's tough and I am ready for some good news, some good fortune...so please, if you have good news do share! I'd love to hear it!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Big Sur-The Last 6.3

So I left off at mile 13.7. I was baffled by the sign, what is the significance of 13.7? I had no idea. Despite the pain I was in the miles were rolling by. Before I knew it I was at mile 14! Oh yeah, it was only .3 miles away from the LAST marker....but still.

You can't really read it but it says, "In my country we call that walking." Yeah, we call it walking here too...or maybe dragging, or even crawling. There was certainly no running happening at this point for me.


I kept doing the math in my head and realized I was on track for a very slow finish, if I were to finish at all. My mind was racing with all sorts of thoughts, do I even want to finish if it's a 7 hour finish? I mean, really my pace was between 14 and 17+ min per mile. Up to mile 10 I was doing pretty well, staying between 9:30 and 11:00 min/mile. But it all went downhill as I physically traveled UP hill.

At least the course was beautiful and there was fun stuff to see along the way as far as support. Like these strange, hip hoppy alien dudes....with their turn tables.

They made me smile, but as I got closer I kind wish I was able to run a little faster by them instead of gimping by at a snails pace. They were kind of creepy, in a funny weird train wreck kind of way.


I continued on. Making a plan in my head, trying to decide what to do. Pretending I was not really hurting that bad. I looked behind me at one point to see if I was last. Not yet.


It is so hard when you feel good, when your muscles are aching to run and your mind wants to run, it was like my mind was saying "Come on! Run! What are you doing?" And I would give in and try to run but stop immediately. Mile 14 is where I knew there would be no more running. I tried to walk fast, I tried mall walking. It was painful.


I came up on Mile 15. It was disheartening to know the finish line was still 11 miles away. That is pretty far when you know there is no more running. When you are moving sometimes at a 17 min/mile pace.

I kind of stopped taking pictures around mile 15. I was disappointed. People would ask me as they ran by if I was ok, if I needed anything, or if I wanted them to send a bike, medic, or course official back. I always declined, insisted I was ok, only suffering from a bruised ego and shattered pride. One very nice couple leap frogged with me for a while. They were in no hurry, they would run ahead, stop and stare and admire the beautiful scenery, I'd gimp on by, then they would pass me by again. The husband asked me if I was ok at one point when I was leaning over, head down, hands on my knees and tears in my eyes. I looked up and he said to me, with such empathy I was shocked, almost mesmerized, like he could look into my soul, "Just enjoy the course. You're here, it's beautiful. If you're going to be stuck on a course for hours it might as well be this one. It doesn't get better than this." He was right. I was looking at the stupid ground when the world around me was beautiful. The hills were green, the ocean was crystal blue with white caps, the rocks were a stark contrast as the waves rushed up and out. It can't get better than that. I thanked him and he and his wife eventually disappeared from view.

With my new attitude I resolved to walking. Mile 16 came up and I just kept wondering if I could make it 10 more miles.

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Then came Mile 17.

I stopped shortly after the 17 mile mark at the aid station, for the first time. I asked the lady if she had any icy hot and she rubbed my leg down with muscle rub. I couldn't feel a thing, it was numb from shin to thigh. It didn't help. I asked her where the next aid station was. Mile 20. Ok. Three more miles. I could make it three more miles. I thought. I hobbled on through the water stop and continued down the road.

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Mile 17 was uneventful, but beautiful....except for the early 20 something's standing out in front of their jillion dollar home offering shots of whiskey, jager, and whatever else. I considered taking a shot, with the hopes it would numb the pain, like in the cowboy days when they would take a shot of whiskey before digging out a bullet or an arrow. But I gimped on by as a guy in front of me circled back for seconds....

And then there was mile 18...

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That's all I got for mile 18. And then Mile 19....and 20. I don't really remember mile 19 at all except for the fact that I knew I was going to call it quits at 20. I also thought maybe, hopefully it was mile 20 where they give out "The Most Delicious Strawberries in the World".  I knew I needed to get to the finish so I wouldn't miss J-Ninja and her SIL who had to catch a flight out of SFO later on in the day. I accepted the fact that there was no use in hobbling on to the finish. 6 more miles never seemed so far in my life.

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When I got to 20 there were no strawberries. They were at Mile 23.....I then asked the aid station if there was a shag wagon. To my disappointment they said no but one would roll by in the next hour or so. I figured if I had to wait an hour I might as well be hobbling. So I hobbled on...then discouraged because I had mentally prepared myself to quit. If I hobbled on to mile 23 I may as well go on to 26.2....but I was hurting. Who knew quitting would be so hard?

I came up on about 6 bikers, what were they?Course officials? Medics? I guess. They were circled up in the other lane talking and I hobbled over to a female who was only partially participating in the biker banter. She looked at me and asked if I needed help. I denied needing real medical attention, after all I just just gimped 10 miles, I wasn't bleeding or dying. I just asked her about a shag wagon. There happened to be a Fire Rescue pickup cruising by at that moment. She flagged them down and after some confusion and clarification they decided they could in fact transport me on up to the next shag wagon that was at mile 23. As I climbed into the back of the Fire Rescue truck I felt sad, disappointed, and defeated. The fire(wo)men were very nice. They asked me questions about the run, the pain, how many marathons had I done, where was I from....when I told them NC they immediately understood my disapointment. Neither one of them were runners, one had been and proceeded to tell me how her doctor told her to stop running if she wanted to be mobile in her older age. I mentally scoffed at her doctor's ignorance....or jerky attitude anyway. Either way her story was not helping my worry about my injury.

As we creeped along I told them I was looking out for my friends and sure enough around mile 22.5 we saw them! I yelled out "There they are!" The driver asked, "Do you want out!?" Uh....YES? No really, I seriously wanted out! I knew it wouldn't be right if I got out and finished after riding for 2.5 miles! I said, "Sure, take my D-Tag and I'll go from here." But the other lady said no...which was actually fine by me. I couldn't have stuck with them for 3.5 miles anyway. It made me happy to see them still plugging along, looking good, and doing it! I was proud and happy for them!

As we rolled up on Mile 23 the Fire Rescue Truck stopped and told me I had to transfer to the shag wagon, a big old white passenger van. As I went to get out of the truck my knee completely buckled and I fell, catching myself by the shoulder strap of the seat belt. Humiliating. The driver of the Shag Wagon got out and helped me into the van. A fire man gave me a space blanket because I was shivering. He asked me if I needed anything, which I didn't really, just needed to get to the finish.

We started to make our way to the finish but first had to pick up a girl who had completely passed out. This is the last picture I took...Me in the Shag Wagon heading to the finish line.

As we came to the finish line there were people EVERYWHERE. I wanted to disappear, to melt into the seat, put the space blanket over my head. The guy in the Hawaiian shirt had to get out and part the crowd so they could get me closer to the medical tent. They tried really hard to get me to accept a wheelchair....UGH. No way on earth would they catch me in a wheelchair unless a bone was sticking out of my skin. They handed me off to a PT in the med tent and the rest is history. Two Ibuprofen, bags of ice saran wrapped to my leg, no medal....hobble of shame to the finish area to beg for my fair share of post run refueling food.

I didn't have to wait too long for J-Ninja and her SIL to come rolling in. They looked good and accomplished. Of course they were bummed for me and SIL held back her own empathetic tears. She had been in the same DNF boat only two weeks before in TN. She understood. But she came back and finished a tough marathon on this day. J-Ninja too had fought a battle on the course. Beginning at Mile 20 her IT Band flared up and wiped out months of PT to get her to the point where she could run pain free. Big Sur was a battle ground on this day and I surrendered. But I must say I am proud of my effort because I know I could not have done anything more, or different, or better. On top of the pain and injury it was a tough course with weather and hills. I would say this the most technical marathon I have attempted to date and I am already strategizing for my re-match....

So here are the Garmin Stats:

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So, there you have it. My complete Big Sur race recap....

I did go to the doctor today about my knee. It's not great news but it's not terrible either. But this has been long enough and I'll fill you in on that next time....

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Big Sur-Big DNF...

20 miles is nothing to sneeze at. I know. But it is not 26.2.

I traveled across the country to finish a marathon. THE marathon of a lifetime. The most beautiful marathon in the US. I am beyond disappointed. My heart is heavy. I have never had a DNF. I have had moments where I thought about it, where I wanted to, where I should have: Portland, while crossing the bridge and thought of jumping off (seriously), 2011 OKC half when freezing rain was pelting me in the face, Million Inch Run when I could barely stand the pain in my hip and knee...Each of those times I pushed through, I dug deep and drew from within, from a well of desire, determination, and will power. Yesterday I didn't have it. I had no tank to draw from, I was beyond 5 miles past empty. I went from mile 10 to mile 20 in some of the worst pain I have ever experienced during a run. I knew with each step I should call it quits. I know the difference between pain you can push through and injury. This felt like injury. Injury to my knee and injury to my pride. I was all around hurting. Right now I don't know what to expect. It hurts just sitting here, it hurt all night long. I'll probably make the dreaded trip to the doctor in the morning and see what they tell me, probably just to take Ibuprofen and call back if it still hurts in a week.

On Tuesday I started feeling sick. My throat hurt and I had a cough. It only got worse. Wednesday I could hardly swallow, Thursday it hurt to talk. Friday was the hump, I felt awful. Friday morning J-Ninja and her SIL went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and I went back to bed. I drugged myself with all the cold medicine I could safely take. Saturday I felt a little better but still had no voice, throat hurt. and felt very weak. Things were not looking good for me on the marathon. I was worried my cold would slow me down, possibly prevent me from finishing in a respectable time. I was not, however, prepared for a DNF due to my cold.

Sunday morning, or middle of the night Saturday rather, we were up and getting ready to head to Carmel Middle School to catch the shuttle. We got up stupid early, 2:30 AM, and headed out by 3:00. We caught the shuttle at 4:00 and headed out along Cabrillo Highway up to Big Sur. Too bad it was dark or else we could have enjoyed the view. Instead we all fought motion sickness as we wound our way up and down and around to the start. We made it at 4:45 AM, two hours before the start. I should have brought a throwaway sleeping bag (next year-yes there will be a rematch). It was cold and everyone was huddled around, ready to get the show on the road. With this being a point to point race the logistics just did not allow for a late arrival to the start. They had to get the runners to the start and get the busses out of the way and the highway shut down to all other traffic. There was no way around the early wake up and the early arrival to the start.

The sun began to dawn and the mood all around was chipper. I was feeling good. Not sick, my throat was scratchy but no longer on fire. Finally it was time to head to our corral-Corral 3, goal time 4:45 and higher.


Me, The SIL, J-Ninja at the start

The rockn' leg warmers, I didn't get the memo in time...


When our turn came to start we were excited and feeling good. The first 5 miles we had been told "to enjoy". We were to be shielded from the wind by the hills and trees. There were gentle rolling hills and a good start to a brutal rest of the race. I didn't really think to get my camera out until around mile 4.

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We were cruising along, hoping for a miracle at mile 5 that would keep the winds at bay, giving us a nice easy run. We were feeling good and on track for our 5 hour or better finish. I was happy to not be feeling sick, I was able to breath and wasn't coughing. Win for me! I felt like the miles were cruising by, before I knew it we were at mile 5. When we came to mile 5 it seemed calm, there was no wind, the fog had rolled out to sea, chatter around us led me to believe we may have lucked out with the wind. I had hung on to my Goodwill sweat shirt in case the wind was cold and finally decided to toss it, I must have known that would be a significant decision because I snapped this picture as it flew to side of the road.


I worried I might get cold and wish I had it, but it was heavy and I was getting sweaty.



At the 10k point we had sun and little wind.... but...

That is not my shadow to the left, it can't be, I dont' think? Weird. 
As we rolled along to mile 8 it began to look like this...


We were closer to the water and the fog was around us. The wind was brutal. I immediately regretted my decision to toss my sweatshirt. It was freezing and I would have paid money to buy someone's sweatshirt. I was looking along the ground for a discarded one to snatch up. But if they hadn't tossed it by this point, they surely weren't going to now. It was crazy windy and cold. This was going to be rough.


I know that it must have been beautiful behind that fog...all these were taken during mile 8...LONGEST MILE EVER.





Finally we rolled up on mile 9. My knee had a twinge of pain, but nothing significant. I could feel it, knew it wasn't comfortable but also knew I could keep going.


We plugged along, enjoying the view...



I took like 90 pictures. I realize I can't put them ALL in this post...but it was so beautiful.....


As we hit the beginning of our 2 mile, 600 foot climb we came face-to-face with The Drummers, marching us to our doom....it was scary.IMG_3496.JPG

My knee was hurting but I was trying to ignore it. I'm not sure why we slowed but as I came to a walk I felt a sharp pain, like nothing I've felt before. I leaned on the guard rail and realized this was bad. If I could just make it up to Hurricane Point I would be ok, right? Maybe. As I made my way up a few people asked me if I was ok. One man in particular whose shirt read "Life is short. Running makes it seem longer." jogged up beside me and asked if I was ok. My mind raced, how could people tell I was hurting? Was I running like a gimp? A limp? Either way, I told him I had bit of pain. He told me, "It's not this up you need to worry about. Over the top is a steep 8% decline. That will be the deciding factor for you. Take it easy on the down." For the rest of the climb I tried to ignore the pain, to will it away. It didn't work.




J-Ninja and SIL pulled ahead, I kept my eye on their neon leg warmers. Luckily there was a beautiful view and I was able to catch up while they admired the scenery and we got this picture.


We made it to the top. Mile 12!


And then mile 13.


I love this bridge. I have a picture of my dad standing here. It was a special memory for me and I thought about him a lot during the run, about driving this very road with him and stopping along the way to see all of these same views.


As you can see, at least this far back in the pack, people were just enjoying the view and soaking it all in. This was not a go-all-out kind of run, it was an enjoy-the-experience kind of race. I must say the piano music was quite beautiful. We could actually hear it from a distance before we came up on it. It carried along the cliff walls and urged us to keep going, until we could see him.


..then 13.1, the halfway point...

What in the world is up with Mile 13.7? Over half way? Yes, for sure...


This was the point where J-Ninja and SIL surged ahead and their neon leg warmers disappeared. I wouldn't see them again until Mile 23--when I would pass them in the Shag Wagon....more on that later.

This also seems like a good place to close for the night. After all how many pictures can I fit in one post? I'll get the second half, or last 6.3 rather, up tomorrow hopefully.

So what do you think? Have you ever DNF'd? It is hard, nothing good about it. I feel completely defeated, all around, not just in the race but in life. But it is temporary, I won't let it keep me down. I have to pick myself up and keep on. But for now my pride and my heart hurt. A feeling I am becoming quite familiar with. I am due a stroke of good fortune....soon, I hope.


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