Wowza-has it really been three whole months?! Time passes SO quickly. I must admit, other than being busy, I have had extreme writer’s block. It could be that my brain gets overwhelmed with all of the end of year activities as well. Being the somewhat of the perfectionist that I am (although I have mellowed out over the years), sometimes it is hard for me to just start something if I feel I don’t have the right words. This does make me crazy at times and adds to my anxiety. End of year competencies at work are the worst to come to terms with in my head. But alas, they are all done as of last Wednesday 12/3. The last thing I had to do was finish my PMP aka “Performance Management Process” and submit it to my manager. To those of you who have never had to suffer through this, it is basically bragging on yourself about your accomplishments as a staff member so that you can get your yearly raise. Seems it’s not enough anymore to just show up to work when you are suppose to be there and do a good job. One must go “above & beyond” these days, but that is the subject for another blog. So let me get to it and halfway recap the last quarter.
My last blog was a recap of the “Scout Strong Challenge” half marathon. I mentioned that I had won my age group but did not realize it until results were posted later in the day. Since then I received this in the mail:
I thought it was pretty cool and of course I LOVE medals! So it looks like I will be doing this race again which they have moved to the Spring. I hope there is more participation. I’m excited to see how this one will grow. My next race was the “Sports Fantasy Fund Run” which supported three worthwhile charities in the Kansas City area. It was held on Saturday, September 20 in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. There was a 5k, 10k, & a fun run for kids. This was a very fun race. All of the Kansas City Team Mascots were there and of course my favorite to see, running or not , was the KC Royals mascot- Sluggerrr. I would have went just to see him whether running or not. I ran the 10k and came in 1st overall with my best 10k time ever.
Plus, I got to meet and have my picture taken with former Royals Outfielder, Les Norman. We had to show off our face paint together! This was before the Royals had won the Wild Card spot in the World Series Playoffs. More on that later.
Next up was the Kansas City Zoo “Run for the Penguins” on Sunday 10/5. I had not participated in this 4 mile race since 2011. Funny what a difference three years can make. In 2011, there was a handful of people there & I remember I waited for a good 45 minutes in a cold drizzling rain. Part of the race fee included entrance to the zoo afterwards, so after the race and changing into dry clothes, it was a fun day. There were no long lines to see the animals and parking/getting out was uneventful. This year…whoa! I didn’t make a big deal about getting there early as it was a beautiful sunny morning and I had nothing but time. What a shocker when I got there and there was nary a place to park. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I created my own parking spot! After all of that driving around, my time to find the port-a-potty before race time, was cut dangerously short. I literally did a “warm up” run to find the nearest one which was thankfully close to the start line. I lined up with about 5 minutes to spare. I am not exaggerating when I say that there were THOUSANDS of people there! Nevertheless, it was a fun course running inside the zoo and I scored a new PR for a 4 miler. Needless to say, I did not stick around to tour the zoo this time. I just wanted to find my car and go home. They did serve breakfast after this one though which I thought was awesome.
The Des Moines IMT 1/2 marathon was next on Sunday, 10/19/14. I had driven up the day before so as not to be tired and ready to race. Let me just digress a moment and forewarn you- DO NOT stay at the Comfort Inn! I did not realize until later that it is in the not so great part of Des Moines. Without going into detail, just trust me on this one. I was shocked as I had had such a great experience with the one in Maryville, MO. I cannot say enough good about this race. The 1/2 course is great with few hills and fabulous crowd support. Short of Chicago, I have not been to a race with so many bands. It was a beautiful day and I ended up with a new PR for the 1/2 marathon with an official time of 1:48:06 (8:16) pace. I would have liked to have stayed for the after race treats & eats because there was a plethora of them. I have NEVER seen so many food vendors after a race. This is another reason to run this one plus the swag was above average with a very nice long sleeve technical jacket. Unfortunately, I had to get back to crappy hotel to clean up and check out on time and begin drive back home. I would definitely recommend this race to anyone. I can’t speak for the full marathon course, but you will not be disappointed with the overall experience. The expo was awesome as well.
That brings me to the most recent race on Saturday, 11/15/2014 -the Pilgrim Pacer’s half marathon put on by the Trail Nerds. It took place in Shawnee Mission Park in Kansas. I had originally rolled around the idea of a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5k, but by doing this 1/2, I would qualify for the Half Fanatics. It was a cold 27 degrees, but I dressed in layers and it was fine once I was warmed up. The forecast was originally calling for snow which I was grateful did not happen. We had nice heated tour busses to take us from the parking area at a local business to the park entrance. I had about 30 minutes to wait in the cold before start time, but there was coffee and hot chocolate to assist with that. I HATE using port-a-potties, but I especially HATE them in bitter cold weather. Baring the booty in an ice cold johnny room is not my idea of a good time! The course was a little on the tough side with some pretty steep hills and finished with hills. It was an out and back, so I knew what was coming at the end. It is a beautiful park, and just the fact of not having to be around traffic on the trail was a beautiful thing. I chatted with a “Marathon Maniac” toward the end which is always a nice way to get through those last fatiguing miles. I finished 1:49:35 which was 0:1:29 slower than Des Moines, but given the cold and the hills, I was pleased with that especially with the other stats: 43/273 overall, 15/152 females overall, & 2/45 Master’s female.
With the three 1/2 marathons accomplished in 67 days, I qualified as a “Half Fanatic.” So proud to join as Fanatic #9607!
As of today, I have put in 1,233 running miles this year. I will fall way short of my goal of 2,014 in 2014, but I can’t be upset with myself about that one. I have had the most phenomenal running year yet since I began this running journey. Some of the highlights: Meeting and running with Jeff Galloway, meeting the great Meb Keflezighi, discovering #runchat, joining a running group for Sunday long runs, new PR in every distance I have ever done, running injury free, and of course…FINALLY qualifying for Boston. I can’t say enough good about the running community. What a diverse, supportive group of people. My life is definitely better because of running.
You know it’s all about that race, that race…no trouble, it’s all about that race, that race…You know my run friends they say don’t worry ’bout your time… (wa,wa wa,ooo), ’cause you still get a shiny medal to hold at night… (wa, wa, wa, ooo),
But for me a PR is what I’m longing for…(wa, wa, wa, ooo), before time gets away and I can physically run- no more….Because it’s all about that race, that race…”
Yes, I’m corny too. But I love to parody a song I hate, and I truly HATE that one! Mostly because I have grown tired of folks telling me how skinny I am, etc. My response has become, “Have you ever seen an elite runner who has an ounce of fat on their body?” Ain’t gonna find no big booty/boobs on them honey! Take for instance Deena Kastor who set the World Record in the Women’s Masters division for the half-marathon with a time of 1:09:39-something us mere mortals only dream about! I don’t imagine her “boy” cares if he has a “little more booty” to hold at night! (Side note: I read that the singer of that song has lost 18 lbs, hmmmm).
There’s no doubt in my mind that I would not have accomplished my times without being the 15 pounds lighter than I was at this time last year. Now PLEASE don’t start a debate with me on weight, women’s body size, men’s body size, fat vs muscle, calories, carbs, & protein, Ferguson, or whether Santa Clause REALLY gives a lump of coal to naughty boys & girls! I am only stating what I know to be true for me. People should really just keep their rude comments & opinions to themselves unless asked. Rant over.
So as not to bore you with excessive text & pictures, I will dedicate this blog to running only. I shall bore you next week with more of my frolicking and life perspectives…IF you can stand it!
Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald
Until We Meet Again,
*Special thanks to fellow runner/blogger Shaun Byrne (@byrne1324 on Twitter) who lit the fire under me to get back to blogging! Check out his blog at runnerscommunity.blogspot.come & tell him Stephanie sent ya! ( Yes I AM a child of the 70’s)!