Thursday, November 30, 2006

Blinded by the light

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend! Brent and I are doing the Rudolph 5K downtown preceding the annual Nashville Christmas parade. It should be chilly, but fun. Our temps have been 75 degrees + all week (which is honestly just too hot this time of year, I refuse to wear short sleeves) and they've been preaching doom and gloom all week about the cold front coming through as I type. They predicted tornadoes, ice, freezing rain - absolute chaos. That never happens here, it snowed a grand total of once last year. So, of course all that's coming down is rain. We're way below the snow line for this front, as always. But, it is going to be much colder tomorrow, which it really should be for a holiday parade!

Michele is running the Memphis Marathon (as is one of my coworkers), Darrell is running a seriously tough trail marathon in Indiana on his quest for 50 states, and David is running a half marathon. No doubt I have left someone out.

Brent has a new toy. Brent's new toy may need to be hidden and hidden well. All he wanted for Christmas is a new flash for his camera. All I want is a gym quality treadmill so I had no problem with his request! It came today and I think Pippin and I may already have some vision loss. There's nothing quite like trying not to fall off your crappy treadmill while seeing all sorts of stars. Poor Pippin, he wasn't much of a hunting dog to begin with and now he'll never be able to chase the 'coons.

We also bought respirators and safety goggles today at Home Depot. Some seriously gross carpet is leaving this house this weekend! We've got visitors coming to clean up for, they can't see that mess!!!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

For the love of a Sangwich

Hey guys!! You are now chatting with an opera veteran!! If you have plans to see this show stop reading, because I'm about to spoil it. But if you're interested in my retelling of Amahl and the Night Visitors keep on reading!

So, the show (well, final dress rehearsal) started at 7. P & S were running late, so when we left here we parked close to the awesome new Symphony Hall and made our way in with probably about 10 minutes to spare. Seating was first come, first serve and since it was an opera and since I work with rednecks not that many people had gotten tickets. The usher said we could sit anywhere we wanted, even the boxes if we so chose. Well, YEAH, we're gonna get a box?!?! How often do 20-somethings ever get a chance to have their own box at the opera??? So, we settled into our box for 4 and the show promptly started at 7. Sort of. The MC said they would be making some final changes and for about 20 minutes they would play small bits of the score and then stop and do it again. We were starting to think there really wasn't going to be a run through when the conductor said "60 seconds and we're ready to go!" YEAH!! The lights dimmed and the show started. It was in English but there was still a little subtitle screen which came in handy for the really high pitched verses. The story was about a crippled boy and his widowed mom who were dirt poor. The boy had a vivid imagination and the mom was pretty much bitter and over it, and didn't listen to anything he said. In the middle of the night 3 Kings following the North Star (to baby Jesus) stopped in for a rest. The mom kept sending the crippled kid to the door to see who was there. I mean, who sends the crippled kid to the door in the middle of the night??? That's so wrong. Three trips to the door and she finally got angry enough to get up and see who it was for herself. About time. A lot more singing, the lady tried to steal some gold while the Kings were sleeping, and finally she understood that they were on a mission to find baby Jesus who would make the poor rich. The crippled kid gets it too and says all he has is his crutch and could they give it to baby Jesus? Suddenly the kid can walk, run and jump. Much miracle excitement ensues. And now the kid wants to go with the Kings and take baby Jesus the crutch himself. This kid really doesn't get that baby Jesus does NOT want his crutch. I'm thinking baby Jesus would prefer some milk or even a hug. His mom is down with the trip so the opera ends with them all heading off to continue following the star to the baby. Oh, and there was a REALLY weird song where one of the Kings discussed what was in the little chest he always carries with him. Drawer #1 was all sorts of miracle curing stones, drawer #2 was "Beeeeads! I love to play with my beeeeads!" and Drawer #3 was "Black Licorice! Black Licorice! I love Black Licorice!" That king is on mushrooms or something.

So, right as the lady is stealing the gold our friend P gets up and and leaves our box. We figure he's going to the potty. He was gone for a while, and I thought he might have gotten lost or had some "problems". No biggie. He comes back in right as the opera is ending and the crutch journey has begun. When it's over and the lights come up Brent asks if he got lost on his way back from the bathroom. That's when P tells us he got hungry so he went looking for food! He ended up buying a sandwich in the symphony cafe and eating half of it because he couldn't bring it back with him!!!!! He totally missed the entire conclusion of the story! He told us there was a guy with a handlebar mustache guarding the other half downstairs. Just like the mom in the story I totally didn't believe him.....until we got downstairs and there was the sandwich and the guy with the mustache. So odd!

We left to go get dinner (dinner #2 for some.....) but messed around in the garden first. We were taking pics when a lady who had obviously spent quite a bit of time in the cafe drinking wine offered to take our pics. OMG, she was roasted. I was dying laughing at the way she was holding the camera and stumbling around. After she took pic #1 she was like "oh, i think i need to re-do that. it didn't look so good" HA! Pic #2 was better and we headed out for our REAL dinner.

Anyway, it was great fun. Am I a big opera person now? No, not really, but it was very cool and we had a lot of fun. The performers were great and the new symphony hall rocks. And it was fun trying to sing everything we wanted to say the rest of the night. And all day today at work. And I will never forget P missing the whole point of the story because of his need for a sandwich!!!

I ran a few more miles on the treadmill tonight. Everything seems to be pretty normal post marathon. The 5K race Friday night will be our last for the year! Other than that we've been painting in the kitchen and we're planning to rip the carpet out of our bedroom starting this weekend. THAT should be an adventure!

It's my bedtime! Happy end of the week!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Hello! That's me, getting my singing voice in tune because tonight we're going to the opera, baby!! We got free tickets through work and we've been dying to check out the new Symphony Center so we're going tonight with newly engaged friends P & S. I'm not totally sure what it's about - some sort of short Christmas opera in English (yeah!) Someone at work said something about the main character giving baby Jesus a crutch which I totally don't get. A) Babies don't need crutches and B) If something was wrong with baby Jesus I'm pretty sure he could fix whatever the issue was himself. But anyway, it should be fun!

With all of our holiday travel (Brent's fam on Thurs, work on Friday then my parents house for Sat and Sun) we haven't had much time to run, but I have had time to sign us up for several races! We're signed up for the new Georgia Marathon in March, the Swampstomper 50K in Memphis in January and today I signed us up for the Rudolph 5K downtown Friday night. The race precedes the Nashville Christmas parade so it should be fun. I bought some cute santa and reindeer headbands for us to wear in the race last weekend. They've predicted some sort of mix of sleet/snow/freezing rain for Friday courtesy of Canada, so it should be interesting!

Well, back to work! I just felt like checking in for a minute. I've got some good pics to share from the weekend including an absolute classic - Everyone (including kids) turned around and sitting properly for the fam photo except my baby. Pippin was turned completely around in his seat staring at me. Baby loves his mamma!!

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Shopping Season Has Begun...

We're Stocking up!!
(pun intended)

So what's next??

Guess who just signed up for the brand new ING Georgia Marathon??? Brent and I! Woo hoo!! Man, we've done so many small races lately that I've been spoiled by the cheaper entry fee prices! GEEZ! $80 a person does not sound like an early discount to me! Ridiculous fees aside I'm looking forward to a larger race with more spectators after doing the smaller ones all fall. I don't think you can trade the charm of the small races at all (esp all the homemade goodies after!) but it will be nice to have thousands of spectators cheering you on! AND, the course will b a lot easier than the marathons we did this fall. YEAH!!! It's not flat AT ALL, but it is certainly no PWP mountains! And I also booked a really cute boutique hotel for us downtown within walking distance. I've spent more money here at work this morning than if I were out shopping. (And yes, we are some of the only people in the world working today. Of course this crappy ass place isn't closed.)

So who else is going to be there????? It will be state #4 for me!!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Flying Monkey Marathon Race Report - Part C

YEAH!! We were finally over the finish line and ready for the finish line party. We got our totally unique, totally one of a kind finishers medals and headed over to the food table. On the way over several other runners we had crossed paths with on the course walked over to congratulate us. Seriously, this was a great group of enthusiastic runners.

Before the race they had advertised Las Paletas popsicles. I've mentioned them on here before, and I love them. I was freezing at the start line and thought "How funny! It's way too cold out here for Popsicles." Wanna know the first thing I headed for? POPSICLES! They had tons of different banana type flavors - I went right for the banana chocolate chip. I think I wet my pants a little, it was SO GOOD! Seriously the best thing I have ever put in my mouth after a marathon! (Oreos and pizza are still a close second, though.) We dropped off our gear at our car, stopped and met the wife of L that we had run with in the early part of the race and hobbled back over asap for the awards ceremony.

I know it was probably a pain for the winners (who had finished two hours earlier!) to wait around (esp in the cold, cold day), but I think that was really cool. It was nice to have lots of people in the finishers area when we finished. Prizes were for top 3 guys and gals, reg and masters. First place was a Wizard of Oz book, second was a monkey slingshot and third a barrel of monkeys. And EVERYONE got a door prize! Brent got a cool shirt about monkeys (I made him pick that) and I got monkey socks. They had lots of other really nice tech stuff (shorts, gloves, watches) as well but I wanted something monkey specific!

Then, I was ready to get my pig on. There was SO much food! Most of it home baked by the volunteers. (There were about 100 volunteers there - a one to one runner/volunteer ratio. Awesome!!) All of the volunteers were stuffing us like turkeys and making sure we were taken care of in every way imaginable. There was coffee, cookies, sausage balls, granola, and so many home baked goodies. I ate it ALL!! We ran into our local running friend J and talked with her for a while. So much fun!! It's strange that neither one of us was hurting that bad, I think my body is starting to get used to this insanity. Around 6 hours a few more people were finishing, and the crowd was starting to thin out. Everyone ran over to the finishing line to make sure these people had a great reception. Around 6:15 or so we were starting to be really chilled so we headed home, with a few extra Popsicles for the road!

Seriously, I would give this race an A++. It was a race dreamed up by locals and embraced by the locals and - really evident in the support of all 3 local running stores and the massive number of volunteers. People came from all over the US to run it, too. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. All the months of painful hill training were worth it. I wouldn't trade Sunday's experience for the world. We could certainly have had a faster time if we hadn't stopped for pictures or had conversations with volunteers or spectators, but would they have known how much we appreciated them??

So, WILL I do it again? I dunno. There's already a huge amount of interest for next year's race locally (and across the US, I'm sure). You can even be emailed when registration opens again! I was planning to volunteer next year and have a nice hill break, but now a new discussion thread has really peaked my interest. People are talking about a Double Monkey. Running the trails of PWP in an organized fashion is strictly prohibited as the trails are really for hikers. But, what if some people got together and ran the trails for an unorganized 26.2 miles on Saturday and then ran the Monkey on Sunday? Interesting. That would be quite the challenge... Anyone wanna come and run it with us? Brent already told me if I'm in he's in. He's the best husband ever.

I promise to take a pic of the medal and personalized finisher shirt and get it up here soon since several of you have asked! They are both really cool! I took my finishers medal to work today because so many people have asked about it.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow! And good luck to everyone doing Turkey Trots tomorrow and throughout the weekend!! I am ready to get back to running myself! We've had one work feast after another this week and I am feeling pudgy!

Have a great one!


Flying Monkey Marathon Race Report - Part B

Part B-

I don't even know how to describe how inadequate I felt with this group! I would love to know the combined total of marathons completed by this assembly of people. Marathon Maniacs were everywhere. It was crazy!!

The first portion of the race was on the grass cross country trails. I've never been a fan of the grass, but I didn't really mind it Sunday. I heard one person say "I heard this was hilly but I think even the grass was uphill."! HA! Several people took off like rocketships with their dogs, I'm not sure how many dogs ran the marathon, too! One older lady ran the whole race with her large poodle. Seriously. At the start the poodle was pulling her and I was thinking 'I've got to get one of those', but we saw her later on a hill and she was dragging the poodle. And yes, the poodle beat us, which is a bit embarrassing. Is it really healthy to run a poodle 26.2 miles?? Do you give them gu's??? I dunno. All I know is Pippin will probably never finish anything longer than a 5K, and 1 mile is really more of his specialty.

Mile 1 took us through some grass and into the main park. We clicked it off in 10:20, right on target. During the next mile we started talking with L. He was in his 60's and from Louisville, KY. He's never been to the park before but this was his 160-something-th marathon, so obviously he's done a few hard ones. We told him a little bit about what we consider the toughest portions of the course are and got to know him a little better. When we approached "Golf Course Hill" we stopped for our first walk break and he decided to keep chugging. Two girls who looked about our age said "We're just going to run the whole thing even if it looks like we're walking." One of them died a slow, slow miserable death well before the half-way point and we ended up beating her by about 30+ minutes. Walk breaks helped us SO much with this one. While walking up this hill we ended up talking to another guy who was taking the exact same approach we were in regard to walking the hills. In talking to him we found out he had done an 18 hour adventure race two weeks earlier and was now starting to train for Ironman Louisville. Wow!! Mile 2 was in 10:09 and Mile 3 was 9:48.

The first few miles were great because there were lots of people to talk to so time seemed to fly by. We caught back up with L so for a little while Brent and I ran with L and IMLO guy. We talked about work, about running, about the loads of marathons he has done. I wasn't really noticing the chilly air or anything, just enjoying the day. Mile 4 was 9:48. Now we started approaching Lunsford Hill, one of my 3 least favorite. We walked various portions of it with L and IMLO guy while we talked about Dean Karnazes and his run home. Mile 5 was 10:33 and Mile 6 was 10:45. We were also walking through the water stops. The water stops were spaced perfectly. I knew they would be ample before hand, so I really only wore my Fuel Belt for "emergency water" and so I would have a pocket for a couple of Kleenex, Band Aids, my emergency cab money, cell phone and anti-inflamms! It was really nice only have 1 water and 1 Gatorade on my person!! The water stop people were great. They were all so friendly and it was great to see all 3 local running stores out sponsoring the race.

We were now coming back down the hill and headed back towards the main entrance of the park. Mile 7 was 10:02. As we started heading back up into the hills L decided to press on during one of our walk breaks and it was just the two of us again. I really don't like the first part of the course from the Stone Gates, I don't know why - I just never have! It's a long, slow hill. We ran part of it and walked part of it. Mile 8 was 12:07. Mile 9 was a little faster with some downhills - yeah! Mile 9 : 9:31. We both really had to make a pit-stop so we waited in line and lost 4 minutes in a port potty line. All of the people we had chatted off and on with kept on going, so we were with a new group now. And a lot of people can pass you in 4 minutes!! But the bathroom break was really worth it. Mile 10: 14:01. Around this point we also saw the first of the fast runners coming back the other way. Talk about exciting!! In a small race with few spectators it's great to have any sort of excitement. They were around 15-something when we were at 10-something. And they were BOOKING it. Deep in concentration. Brent yelled out 'Yeah! This means we get to turn around soon!!" but I think his humor was lost on #1 guy. We saw several more top guys and then the top girl who looked like she wanted to kill me with her bare hands. I guess she was not in a happy place. #2 girl looked much happier so I was really rooting for her. Mile 11: 10:42. We had more downhills and flats in Mile 12: 9:12.

I was so glad to be approaching halfway!! We were now out in no-man's land near the Steeplechase and it's just boring out there. I was ready to turn and do the first part in reverse! Finally we were seeing the backside of mile markers we had seen earlier and it was our turn to be at the halfway mark for real. Mile 13: 10:48. Of course we stopped at the halfway marker for a pic!! It was nice to start seeing the backside of the signs and know that thankfully you weren't back at mile 1 or 2, and before we knew it we were back on the main course. Mile 14: 11:24. Somewhere around in here we started running with a guy who had come out to run the loop in support of the runners. How nice! We chatted with him for a while about his running and just random things. Every conversation was a nice break from thinking about how many miles we had run and how much further we had to go. I'm so glad he came out to give support. There were several other runners out there cheering for the marathoners, which was greatly appreciated. Mile 15: 12:23 Mile 16: 9:51. (You can tell which miles are mostly up and which have a lot of downs/flats.)

A lot of the miles really blend together for me! We were nearly back to the stone gates at this point, which was something I was really excited about. We chatted with an older guy around here. He's probably in his late 60's and runs a marathon every 2 weeks or so. Amazing!! Mile 17: 11:34. Mile 18 took us back down to the stone gates. Yeah!! Brent's knee started bothering him a bit through here, so he'd have to stop and stretch. My left foot had been bothering me since early in the race and we had both taken some anti-inflamms at Mile 12. I think the hilliness and the curviness of the road was really throwing my pronation and making me overcompensate. Mile 18: 10:25. Now we were headed back into what I think is the worst part of the course. It's up, up and more up. Personally, I think it's harder doing the course in reverse, and when that's the second half it's even tougher. Mile 19: 14:21. Also in this portion you do a short loop out to an overlook (view pictured at the left). It's very short (maybe .25-.5 total rountrip) so we got to see the people right in front of us and right behind us. Our IMLO guy and friend L were still together right in front of us! We yelled out for them, and then yelled out for a couple of girls who were now behind us. It was so nice to see some other runners, we'd been pretty lonely for a bit.

And finally....we were now at Mile 20! 13:10, more up and up. I was so glad to see the 20 mile marker!! Only 6 more miles, totally the home stretch. Somewhere around here was a very enthusiastic volunteer in a cowboy hat. She was GREAT. Mile 21 had THE BEST waterstop EVER! They had hula outfits on, a guy on a bike dressed as a flying monkey (which NEITHER of us got at the moment - only after! We were delirious!!) Of course we stopped and had our picture taken. They gave us so much energy. Mile 21: 11:04. (We could hear them before we ever saw them, and could hear them cheering for other runners after we left. That helped SO much!)

Now we were starting to make our way closer and closer to the finish line. The worst of the hills were behind us with just Golf Course Hill left. Mile 22: 12:39. About this time a truck carrying a couple of volunteers came through. The guy driving had his window down and yelled out the window "BRENT! RAE! I READ YOUR BLOG! GOOD LUCK!" HAAA! I have no idea who you are, but THANK YOU! That helped so much!! We had totally run out of stuff to talk about and were pretty lonely on the back stretch. (So who are you???) Mile 23: 10:59

At this point we knew we could beat 5 hours. And at this point I started lying to Brent about what our time was. He had forgotten to turn off auto-pause so his watch was way off, and his GPS doesn't work well out there (he has the 201 and I have the 205). His knee was also bothering him a bit so we'd have to take short, but sometimes frequent, walk breaks to stretch it out. When I'm that close to the finish I just want to GO, so I was pushing him hard, in a loving way, of course. We could almost see the finish line below and I really wanted to be there asap. We'd fallen into the pattern where I was running just a little ahead and then I'd slow down and let him catch up. Mile 24: 13:13. At mile 24 we stopped to eat a few more beans (I was getting really hungry!) and then we trudged on. We made a sharp curve back and were headed towards the finish line. YEAH! Mile 25: 12:44. When we hit the grass I told Brent to give me everything he had. He stopped to stretch one more time and then we ran from the 26 mile marker on. Mile 26: 10:57, the .2 was at a 8:51 pace. Overall: 4:54:16, an 11:14 pace. Not bad!!!

Part C will be the finish line festivities!!

Flying Monkey Marathon Race Report - A

Hey guys!! Guess what - even though we didn't travel I think this will still be a multi-part post! I have so many pics to upload and for some reason our internet keeps going in and out so I think that will make it easier, plus this thing has gotten pretty long.

Saturday we just really tried to rest, which was awesome. We took Pippin over to Shelby Park and went for a nice walk. It rained a ton last week so he hadn't gotten to play much and he was ready to burn some energy. He even wanted to chase these cyclists so we ran behind them for a little while. (We could have so taken them if we wanted to.) For lunch we decided to try San Antonio Taco Co over by Vandy. The place is always packed so we figured it had to be good. Wrong. Ugh, that was soooo incredibly nasty. Here's how bad it was - I ordered the beef enchiladas and Brent ordered the chicken enchiladas. I didn't finish all of mine (mostly because it was gross) so he decided to finish it off. Ends up that I had his chicken and he had my beef - and we didn't even REALIZE it until he ate part of mine. Totally unidentified meats at that joint. And one thing you don't want the day before a marathon is unidentified meat!! Not feeling so well anymore we headed home and watched the Michigan vs OSU game. We saw all but the first quarter making that the most football I've watched in probably 3 or so years.

For dinner we stuck with the tried and true Italian joint a few blocks away (Ricci's on Fatherland and 7th). When we were ordering Brent was asking me which type of pasta he should get and mentioned to our awesome waitress that we were running a marathon the following day. When she left a couple of ladies a few tables over said they overheard our conversation and wondered if we were running the Monkey. Small world! They were not running (smart ladies) but were both runners and very familiar and involved in the local running scene. We chatted for a bit and on our way out we stopped by their table. As we were talking one of the ladies put together my real name (Rachel) with my name on here (Rae-which I've always used a lot because it's just shorter) and asked if I blogged. REALLY small world! It's always funny when you find out someone has read your blog.

We came home and laid out our clothes and got all our gear ready. The weather forecast was for clouds, 10-12 mph winds and feel-like temps in the low 30's. I really hate to be cold so I decided to wear tights with a long sleeve tech and a thin jacket. By 9:15 we were asleep......

5 am came waaaay to early. We ate our Panera Bread muffins and headed out at 6 am. We got there right around 6:30 with pretty much everyone else! Packet pick-up had opened at 6 but most everyone arrived around the same time. The line moved really quickly and I ended up chatting with the people in line around me as Brent moved the car closer. I ended up meeting a lady I have some serious respect for. She's basically legendary in my books, and I've seen her a million times but just never talked to her. Lord knows how many marathons she's run - and she ran a 50 miler 2 weeks ago!! That conversation alone was worth the entry fee price for me.

We got our bib numbers - I was #3 and Brent was #4 - we were ordered in the sequence we had signed up for the race. Obviously B & I are top seeded in the "crazy" department. We got our personalized long sleeve tech shirts - how cool is that!! We were talking to a guy who had run over 150 marathons and he mentioned that was his very first personalized shirt. I am totally going to wear my shirt everywhere!! Before the race we also got to meet LPM in person and also had a quick word with T, the race director. A few pics were taken, some announcements were made, and we were off.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

MISSION Accomplished!!

WE DID IT! 7 or so months of hilly preparation and I couldn't be happier with the results or the experience. It's ass cold today but luckily the rain held off and we kicked some ass-phalt. 5 hours - 5 SCMHOURS! We finished in 4:53 - 4:54 (my watch time was 4:54:18 which included getting a finisher's medal, which was tangled up with a few others and then dropped on the ground, so I'm not sure what our time was when we crossed.)

The whole thing was awesome. And no, that was NOT beer Brent was drinking. The parks strictly forbid beverages of that sort and everyone was there to have fun and no rules were broken. The volunteers were GREAT - esp the lady in the cowboy hat and the Mile 21 water stop crew (pictured in one of the posts below). And the popsicles afterwards - OMG! I was freezing but that banana choc chip popsicle was worth 26 miles of hilly torture.

The winning guy was around 2:50 or something - RIDICULOUS!! Well, I am going to take a WARMMMMMM shower and then a nap. I have SO earned it. I'm really not that sore - yet. My left foot - always my weakness - has taken a massive beating. I've got a large bruise that I felt pretty badly from Mile 12 on.

Lots and lots of pics to follow tomorrow!!! Congrats to everyone else who conquered the Monkey today, as well as all the Philly finishers. Shore Turtle - you are my freakin' hero!!! You're a rock star!!!

Oh, and Brent - sorry I lied to you about what our time was up to those last few miles. See, I knew we were going to break 5 hours for a while, but then I knew we could REALLY beat it if I had a few extra cushion minutes in there. You know I just like to push you. It wouldn't have been the same without you. How about a 50K in January??? We could be ultrarunners...... =)

4:54! and they have popsicles!


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Carbo Loading!

11 more hours...'s getting close

Oh Lordy. It's T-24 hours to the Flying Monkey Marathon. This time tomorrow Brent and I will be almost two hours in with 101 of our new best friends. So that means we'll probably be about......Mile 5? Just kidding, I hope not!!!

But first, shoutouts to everyone else racing this weekend!!! Elizabeth is already running the JFK 50 miler as I type and I KNOW she is doing great because she's a rock star. 50 miles is a helluva long way to run!! Tomorrow as Brent and I suffer down here a lot of great bloggers will also be running Philly!!! Shore Turtle, D, and Curly Su are running the whole and Danny and Kivster will be running the Half. Good luck gang!!! Special, special wishes to Shore Turtle. This is his very first marathon and does ANYTHING (running related) beat that?? He is hands down one of my favorite RBFers, and the very first RBFer we ever met up with. He's trained hard and I know tomorrow is going to be a great day. He's absolutely one of the nicest people you will ever meet and I really wish we could be there, Pippin in tow, to cheer him on. Good Luck guys!!!!!

So, tomorrow. WHEW! The local running boards have been going crazy with all the chatter about this weekend's race. Since it's the first time this race has ever been held and because of the level of complexity of it it really has created a lot of interest. People have Google Map-ed where all the participants live, charted our ages, some people have predicted finishing times for others - a lot of hype which equals a lot of stress!! Even newspaper articles 1 & 2!! (This one is my fave - really worth the click!!)

This past week at work did NOT help. The project (aka the budget) I've been working on for the last six months is due......Monday, of course. From my jerk boss telling me a few weeks ago that "I may have to skip this 'race' because we might have to work this weekend' " (hell no - I would quit first. And perhaps he might want to quit his 2-3 hour lunches, coming in hours after everyone else, and taking his kids to the doctor every other day because his stay at home wife can't seem to manage that...) it just hasn't been the most relaxing of weeks leading up to the marathon. And of course this past week was just terrible. Long and grueling and nothing seemed to go right. Of course my boss is a moron and a total lack of help. But, it all got done about 4:15 yesterday. (Well, everything that needed to be finished before Monday). But that leaves a very exhausted Rae. And a very exhausted Brent, because this was the one week a year that I have to harass him to get the final pieces of my project finished. A few more days and a few more changes and I'm thinking I would have been walking home!! So, when we left work around 6 last night we decided on take out Chinese (I really would have gone postal if we had a bad restaurant experience somewhere!!). Aaaahhh, relaxation!! We stretched out on the couch with a blanket (and Pippin!) and loaded up the Break-up to watch. What I saw of it was really cute and very funny.....until I fell asleep!! Brent kicked me at some point and it seems I was asleep for quite some time! Oh well!! We'll finish it today. It's very embarrassing to fall asleep by 9:30 on a Friday night but I had been up since 4:45 and it's been a very, very long week.

The plan for today is MORE REST and DE-STRESS! Tomorrow is going to be stressful enough so today I am just going to kick it, finish packing my Halloween stuff up (I had to buy more containers to pack it away) and finish watching the movie! The weather tomorrow is VERY questionable. Today is bright and sunny (but cool) but some sort of cold front is coming through this afternoon. It may rain on us tomorrow and it looks like it's going to be a bit cold. No fair. Hopefully that will keep the stupid cougar away!! Our goal for tomorrow is just to have FUN! We're going to do quite a bit of walking so hopefully that will help us not bonk too hard in the later miles. I'm guessing it will take us between 5-5:30 hours, a lot of that depending on the weather now, too.

Have a great Saturday everybody!!! Go Michigan!!! And Good Luck to ALL my fellow monkey runners tomorrow!!! May we all finish in ONE piece!!!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Totally our luck

If I am attacked by a cougar on Sunday running a marathon, I am going to be REALLY mad. And they'd better bury me in that finisher's medal.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I really wanted to be Yoda!!

Courtesy of the awesome Redhead Fangirl

Your results:
You are Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan Kenobi
Qui-Gon Jinn
Han Solo
Boba Fett
Princess Leia
Luke Skywalker
You are civilized, calm, and
have a good sense of humor,
even when those around you don't.
You can hold your own in a fight,
but prefer it when things
don't get too exciting.

(This list displays the top 10 results out of a possible 21 characters)

Click here to take the Star Wars Personality Quiz

Sunday, November 12, 2006

What a difference a week makes

Hmmmm.......I just don't even know where to start. Maybe with what we've been up to lately. With the reformatting of lappy it's been a while since I've had a chance to really post.

Tues - I voted, most of my idiot coworkers did not. One of them didn't vote because she didn't want to end up waiting in line and miss Dancing with the Stars. I am so not kidding. (TIVO people, TIVO!!) She's 52 years old and is apparently in love with Mario Lopez and it frightens me. I'm glad the finale is this week because I won't have to listen to her talk about it anymore. The main race for Congress was really close so we went to bed not knowing if "our guy" won or not. I ran a few miles on the 'dread while watching election returns.

Wed - Our guy didn't win so apparently for SIX years I'll have to watch a poser on the news. Get ready for some classic, embarrassing TN moments because I'm pretty sure this guy will deliver. I don't remember what workout I did, but I think it was abs.

Thurs - I don't remember much about Thursday......I'm pretty sure I ran on the 'dread for a few miles.

Fri - On a side note I'm STILL trying to get over my sinus infection and I'm pretty much sure it's never going to happen. I'm down to a really, really annoying cough. Friday I woke up at one in the morning coughing a lung up. Friday morning I coughed all over someone I really, really did not want to cough on for an hour and a half. Very embarrassing, but what can you do??? We went out for Indian food Friday night which I LOVE but couldn't really enjoy because the spiciness wasn't working well with my raw, raw throat. When we got home I grabbed a blanket and a spot on the couch to rest and catch up on some TiVo.

Sat - The best thing about training this time of year is NOT having to get up at 6 am on the weekends to avoid running in 90 degree temps!! It was 80-something here on Friday, but of course a cold front and rain came through Friday night and cut the temps literally in half to 40 degrees. We slept in until 8:30-9:00ish and then had some toast before setting out for our 10 miler. I wasn't in the mood for a boring greenway run and I really wasn't in the mood to run at all. I was in the mood for some sweatpants and rest but I knew I'd feel better if I ran a few. We decided to run downtown and just have fun with it. The wind was soooo cold and cutting!! I was wearing a light tech jacket with a thin tech shirt and my tights because I hate cold wind!! Brent had a thicker long sleeve tech shirt on and some shorts, and we both had gloves. I tucked my headwrap thingie into my belt in case the wind bothered my ears. This sinus infection has really zapped a lot of my energy so we started out nice and slow. The main annoyance is all this crap in my chest and how if I get to warm it all wants to come up. Ugh. We decided to run from our house across the James Robertson bridge into downtown. All of our bridges have nice sidewalks so it's really easy to cross over into downtown from East Nashville. We normally run across the Woodland St bridge so it was a nice change. JR was a long uphill while Woodland is a shorter, steeper incline. Great hill training either way. But - UGH - the wind when we were on the bridge was a real bear.

Once we got across the bridge we headed towards the new Court building. It was dedicated in October but we haven't had a chance to run past it yet. Very nice!! It's built to look like an old building and it has tons of fountains we will certainly be enjoying in the summer! From there we ran through downtown, through Printer's Alley and the Arcade, and over to the Country Music Hall of Fame. We have a new star walk (like the one in Hollywood) that I figured would be there but we never could find it. I guess I need to Google it. We thought it might be on Music Row, so we headed that direction and we also wanted to check out the new Demonbreun St bridge so we headed over to it. The new bridge is very cool, very Art Deco. You should definitely take a walk or run across it, you can't really appreciate the details from you car. We ran up to the infamous "naked statue" roundabout and watched a couple of guys filming a truly terrible looking "B" movie.

All morning it had seemed like there was an exceptionally large amount of people milling around downtown. There were a lot of purple Baltimore Ravens jackets walking about in prep for today's football game, but it still seemed strange. Once we were on Music Row we saw where a parade was forming on Broadway. Duh, the Veterans Day Parade! Sweet!! We ran over to where the parade was lining up and asked someone when it started. 30 more minutes.....hmmmm... we were already up to about 6 miles with 10 planned. We decided to run the parade route and then run back to the start. It was very cool heading down Broad with it totally closed off to traffic. People sort of cheered for us as we went by - it's not like they had anything else to do until the parade started! We circled the new Symphony center and then headed back up the parade route. A toothless guy even checked me out. I was SO glad I had worn my tights. HAAAA! We got back to the start right at 2 minutes until parade time. We stood on a bridge since it didn't have much of a crowd, and I found the guy who had soldier's heads on sticks to be quit interesting.

The parade started and I have to say we were the life of the parade. I waved and cheered for everyone. Most everyone yelled something at us and usually it had to do with the fact that we were the only two people out there not bundled up like a snowstorm was coming. The first car was a Major General, and the second car was Jerry Reed. He yelled at Brent: "BOY, what are you doing out here in you underwear?!?!?" He was totally fascinated with Brent in shorts. I had no clue who he was, but as soon as we got home Brent broke out Smokey and the Bandit and I have now been schooled. (He was the truck driver in the movie and has also had a lot of country songs. And he's a veteran.)

We cheered for lots of service people, bands and local politicians. The Mayor, who is our May-ghber since he lives just 3 blocks away, yelled out to us "Didn't you know it was cold today?" and Brent yelled back "It was warmer when we left." Some other service person yelled that Brent needed to "do more research on the temperature before he left the house". I totally entertained a group from the Navy who were walking behind a strange little plane. For some reason they found my cheering quite entertaining. At least we could provide some laughs for people. AND, we were exciting enough that some participants ran over and gave us some flags to wave. But the clowns totally freaked me out. I just didn't get that.

We stood out there until our body temps dropped to the point where we WERE cold. We headed back waving our flags as we ran. We ran past all the parade crowds and back across the Shelby Street Pedestrian bridge home. We hit 10.1 miles exactly when we got home. We had SO much fun, the miles totally flew by.

The rest of the weekend has been a blur, we did some major shoe shopping Sat afternoon and then headed to a party. After the party we went to an art opening so it was a busy and really, really fun day. Today was more painting, we finished painting our living room and started the dining room. This afternoon (about 3 pm) Brent said "this time next week we'll be at PWP". HAAAA! If we're still out there at 3 next week it's going to be BAD news! I can't believe the race is less than a week away, but we're also really excited for it to be here and over with!!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Veterans Day Run

Hey guys! We've been reformatting our computer all week (and for a day or two we didn't think lappy would make it) but she's back and faster than ever! So, I have a lot of writing and reading to catch up on.

BUT, I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Veteran's Day and let you all know that Brent's life has just been made complete. And sadly, not by me. Our 10 mile easy final long run before next weekend's marathon took us from our house and through downtown. We didn't know until we got there that a Veteran's Day parade was taking place. It's a cold and blustery 45 degrees today (total opposite of yesterday's sunny 80+ degrees). BUT, who doesn't love a good parade!! And who doesn't enjoy running the parade route!!! ANYWAY, loads of details and LOADS of pics to come, BUT here's what made Brent's day:

Jerry Reed, grand marshal of the parade, hanging out of his convertible and yelling at Brent (who was wearing a long sleeve tech and shorts) "BOY, what are you doing out here in your underwear???" I thought our marriage was nearly over when I had no clue who Jerry Reed was.

More details of how Brent and I totally MADE the parade (because we are THE most enthusiastic cheerleaders you've ever seen) later but for now it's time for me to shower!!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Exercise your right!

Hey! Did YOU vote today?? We certainly did. TN is a major battlefield this year - particularly the race for the Senate seat Bill Frist is leaving. Since August we have been FLOODED with ads for Corker and Ford. To the point that I was insanely excited to see an ad for some sort of toy for children last week. It's been out of control - every day I get calls from one of the campaigns, multiple fliers in the mail every day and on our house. It's been a dirty, dirty race with all sorts of nasty ads. There was the one "Playboy Playmate" ad that got a ton of publicity and is now rated as one of the Top Ten most racist political commercials of all times - the only thing that offended me about it was that the chick playing the "Playmate" in the ad was nowhere NEAR attractive enough to EVER be allowed near the Playboy mansion. On the Today show last weekend they said Corker has had 12,000 commercials and Ford has had 7,000 commercials. Oh yeah, I believe it. In total they've spent over $40 million dollars on their campaigns. INSANE. Can you imagine all the good that money could have done for schools and other good charitable things instead of driving every resident of Tennessee insane?????

We got in line at 6:45 this morning to vote, our polls opened at 7 am. We were about 15th in line, not bad. We were out of there by 20 after 7, and by then the line was out the door. It was nice to see so many people out voting. We got to work and as I was talking to our janitor about how important it was to vote (he had already voted) one of my coworkers walked in to make some coffee. She's 24. She heard our discussion and jumped in with a "There is NO way I am voting. I am so sick of hearing about this election so I am protesting by not voting." How ignorant is that??? Even if you don't like the candidates you should still vote, it's your right. When I think about all the people who have had to fight for us to have the right to vote it's very irritating to hear that type of opinion. I told her she can't complain about the country if she doesn't even care enough to vote, but there was no convincing her to go. Oh well.

Now, I need to go and vote again - this time for Joey on Dancing with the Stars! No voter registration card required!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Marathon Part 3: The Slightly Shorter Ride Home

So after crossing the uneventful finish line, grabbing some juice and goodies and chatting for a minute we headed back to the motel. When we had checked in on Friday the innkeeper had told us there was no checkout time! He said to enjoy the race, come back and have a shower or enjoy the hot tub, and leave when we were ready. How cool is that?? Their motel was sold out for marathon weekend so you know they have to love it!

As we pulled into the motel a guy named Jim who had worn a Knoxville Track Club singlet was leaving. We'd traded back and forth with him for about the first 17 miles of the race. We'd shared encouragement on the hills and he'd amused us as he danced (literally) through water stops. He yelled out to us: "Did you have fun?" We yelled back "Yes!! Did you?" His answer: "If it ain't fun I don't run!"

We made our post race "chip" update call to Mouse and told her Brent was a marathoner! She was as excited as I was, and Brent started to get a **little** more excited about his new status. (On a side note, he is now very happy to be part of the Marathon club.) We had tried to send blog updates/texts during the race but the reception out there just wasn't strong enough. We took showers, checked out and headed to the Mexican restaurant next door. There is something about pizza and also Mexican that is THE perfect post endurance race food to me. We hobbled in, had some chips and cheese dip (I LOVE CHEESE DIP) and some enchiladas. We saw a couple of the race volunteers come in while we were eating, and as we left (hobbling) Brent said he saw them chuckle a bit. Who cares??? We just ran TWENTY SIX.TWO MILES! Chuckle away and pass me the cheese dip! I earned it!

While we ran with the 50 states couple they gave me some alternate directions for heading back to Nashville. That was extremely nice of them and all, but when I'm running I have no sense of math or deep levels of detail. I sort of become the average American who isn't even sure who their state's governor is. I nodded the whole time she was throwing out landmarks and thought "we'll just ask for directions on the way home." Brent thought he knew how to get back, and for the most part he was right. It had turned out to be a beautiful day - the sun was out now and the changing leaves were gorgeous. We even saw an Amish horse and buggy on the way back! And now we could enjoy all the scenic rolling hills knowing our run was over. There was one highway intersection where we weren't quite sure - and of course we went the wrong way. TN highway markings SUCK! There's no arrows telling you what town you might end up at if you go that way. We stopped at some diner and found out we had gone the wrong way. Oh well. We headed back the RIGHT way and that was the only time we got lost. It took us right at 2 hours to get home, not bad at all considering it took us FOUR hours to get there the day before.

We got home, took a 30 minute power nap, baked some brownies and headed over to J's party. We were SO zonked but it was a great party. We got to meet quite a few of the local bloggers, and it was really nice to put faces with blogs. Although - since everyone was in costume I doubt I would recognize anyone in their normal clothes! It's so weird to meet people who know who you are (or who your dog is!!) before you've even introduced yourself. You really get to skip all the "I like to run" diatribe when someone says "Oh yeah - you ran a really long race in Miami earlier this year". Ha! We stayed for a couple of hours and then headed home to CRASH (and take a pic of my swollen feet). I slept like a baby and woke up the following morning like a pirate with two wooden legs. For some reason Brent wasn't all that sore, which he repeatedly demonstrated by LITERALLY dancing around the house.

Monday I was just barely sore and decided to run 2 recovery miles on the treadmill. Everything felt good, except for my extremely sore throat. Tuesday (Halloween) I sneezed ALL DAY long. By 9 am a coworker told me "Bless you, and bless you for the rest of the day." We raced home from work and got dressed up for the trick-r-treaters. 251 rascals later and I was ready to climb in bed. The turnout was unreal. We had tons of Supermen, princesses, and pirates. HUGE groups of kids would pass down the street like one of the Biblical plagues. Brent wore my witch outfit with a scary skeleton mask. Lots of kids got scared when they saw him, but in my friendly Darth Vader costume holding Pippin dressed as Spiderman I was able to convince them to come on up. One scared kid gave Brent a hug before he left. Another little one cried when they saw him!! Tons of kids wanted to pet Pippin, and so tons of kids were licked by Pippin. One kid asked me if Pippin was pregnant. Obviously I need to walk him more! We had several parents take our pictures with their kid and were even videoed a few times. With just 15 pieces of candy left we switched off the lights and took cover. I was asleep and dead to the world by 9:15. On Wednesday I had a full blown sinus infection. On Thursday I was coughing and coughing and coughing. On Friday - still coughing. Today - still coughing, but not as bad. I've GOT to get rid of this sinus infection in less than 2 weeks and be rested for the Monkey! We had planned to run 11-12 yesterday, but ended up doing 5.2. All the crap I've been coughing up just wasn't working with running yesterday, and getting my rest is more important than logging a few miles.

Well, I need to upload the pics for this post and then have some dinner! More about this weekend later! I've got Halloween pics of us and the house but I need to download them to the computer so that will just have to wait.

MAJOR congrats to all the new and repeat Ironmen from IMFL yesterday and all the new and repeat marathoners from NYC today!! WAY TO GO!


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Look ma, no accent!

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The South
The West
The Inland North
The Northeast
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

For some reason, whenever we meet or talk to some of the other RBF-ers they always say things like "we sound so cute". Huh??? We just sound normal. Nothing Southern going on here. Or at least in our heads. And this meme (stolen from ShoreTurtle) proves it!!! Although I do feel a bit like a traitor that "South" came back 2nd place! I've lived in TN all 29 of my years!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Vote for something fun! / Good Luck Runners

Hey!! Exercise your right to vote for something fun over on Jag's blog. We went to her Halloween party last Saturday which was AWESOME. She really, really knows how to decorate for Halloween! From pictures on the wall, to a crime scene in the bedroom - even the BATHROOM was decorated! Anyway, she has a special blog set up for people to vote (you did not have to be at the party to vote) so head over and vote for your faves. And PLEASE do NOT vote for Brent and I - we were NOWHERE NEAR the best dressed. We could probably win for the "most tired" since we had just finished the "super cute marathon" a few hours earlier! (I have a great pic of how swollen my feet were that night that I still need to upload!). Anyway, it was a great party so go and vote and you can see some additional pics here & here & here (taken by others at the party).

AND, good luck to everyone racing this weekend. It's another big marathon weekend - NYC!!! Last year's finish was breathtaking and we're hoping our local channels will be covering it again this year. I only know one person running - Steph - so good luck! And good luck to Lance Armstrong and Dean Karnazes. I know lots of people will be watching Lance. Also, good luck to all the runners locally participating in the Team Nashville Half Marathon tomorrow. I think Michele and Lana are both planning to run it. We had thought about it but since we did the hilly marathon last weekend we're going to run 11-12 miles of flat this weekend while we "taper" for the Monkey which is SOOOO close!! The shirt and swag last year were really good, but I need a non-hilly weekend, non-race weekend! And Good Luck to anyone else competing this weekend that I may have forgotten!!

Have a great weekend and Part 3 of the Marathon Recap + Halloween Pics are still to come!!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Marathon Part 2: The Road STILL not taken by many

Hi guys! Happy November!! Can you believe it?? We ended up with 251 trick or treaters last night!! INSANE! We would've ended up with more but we were starting to run low on candy so we turned the lights off and hid out in the back of the house. More pics and stuff from Halloween later, it's time to talk marathon now!

So, with a Yee haw we were off. Actually we were all a bit confused! Lots of "Oh, was that the start?" were buzzing around. Brent and I were towards the back so we jogged towards the start line (a chalk line on the pavement) and our marathon journey had officially begun. We started out slow, no reason for hurry, and within the first mile we were already headed up a small incline. For some reason my calves were tight from the beginning. Great! I think I was a little underhydrated - I normally drink a TON of water every day, but with Friday's impending (and then VERY long car ride) I had laid off the water to avoid small town gas station detours. Mile 1 ticked off in 10:07. Mile 2 carried us up our first steep hill, as we were headed up it we were neck and neck with another young girl. Brent yelled out "This is the last hill, right??" to lots of amusement. We were both starting to warm up but the wind was a real pain. I ditched one arm warmer at Mile 2 water stop, 9:55. I guess when you're creating a small town marathon you have to come up with some strange little off-shoots to end up with 26.2 miles. We took a little out and back detour down a small country road. It was nice to see the faster people ahead of us. We turned around in the middle of one of the roads, and the girl we had joked with earlier nearly missed the turnaround! She was in her own headphoned world and a volunteer had to run after her to catch her. Ha! Mile 3: 9:54 After the turn around we were back in the wind. Why does it seem like the wind works against you at every direction?? The leaves were gorgeous out there, and the scenery was so rural. There were cows everywhere kept in their farmland by electric fences. Brent knows me SO well and he warned me NOT to touch the fence. But it's so intriguing!! How hard do those things shock anyway??? Mile 4: 9:53 Mile 5: 10:07. We headed into a large park around Mile 5. Once again we got to see the faster runners coming back out. The course ran through some beautiful fall foliage and then down around a lake and back. It was pretty cruel, you had to do all these little jaunts out and back and then around before you got to leave the park. Mile 6: 9:40. Once we left the park we had more small rollers, and within miles 7-9 we hit the largest of the hills. Just when you thought you had reached the peak you just kept on climbing. I was really surprised how well we were doing on the hills, we were keeping our overall 10 min pace and we weren't getting that fatigued. Compared to the hills we'll have at the Monkey most of these were nothing, but they were definitely still challenging! Mile 7: 10:17 Mile 8: 10:40 There was a waterstop right near the highest point of the course (somewhere in Mile 8) we walked through the waterstop and confirmed we had made it to the highest point. Yeah!! All of the volunteers were SO nice. It was pretty crappy outside with the chill in the air and the wind, but they were all so happy and constantly thanking us for coming out. Once we made it to the top we enjoyed some smaller hills and some cows stuck in "mud". Brent keeps reminding me that is NOT mud, and it certainly did NOT smell like mud. We were VERY careful not to trip and fall in there ! UGH!! Mile 9: 9:49. Once we left the cows we came upon an older couple (maybe late 50's/early 60's) wearing matching 50 states shirts. We ran with them and talked for a while. They've done 78 marathon together!! Can you even imagine? I guess once you tackle 50 you might as well keep going! She said her favorite was Marine Corps, and her least favorite had been Delaware! She also highly recommended Big Sur for its beautiful scenery. She was starting to struggle a bit so we wished them well and kept on trucking. Mile 10: 9:49, Mile 11: 9:45. The last two miles of the loop had some seriously steep hills in it. The 50 states couple had warned us about the last few hills and they were RIGHT. To me they were tougher than the climb to the highest elevation. They were sharper and steeper. I was already starting to get a little tired so I knew when those hills came at the very end it wouldn't be easy. Mile 12: 9:29 Mile 13: 9:41. The cruel twist of fate here was that you actually had to cross the start/finish line again and turn around and do it all over again. How mean is that??? You cross the line, people are cheering, and you have to say "We've got to do it again!" Pure Evil!! We chugged back out slow and steady. Within Mile 14, as we were going back up the initial hill and dog came tearing out chasing a truck. UGH! This has been the first race where I've wished I had my Dazer! Mile 14: 9:55. We walked our first hill during Mile 15. It was a really steep one and now that we had run the course once I wanted to save our legs and walk that one, the top part of the highest ascent, and then some towards the end. There were NO spectators for this race - NONE! Some volunteers at the top of the hill (their waterstation) cheered wildly for us to make it! All of the volunteers were so energetic, but it would have been nice if some townspeople had come out. We also never found a sign with our names on it! Bummer!!! We found a sign for a "Brenton" so we decided that would have to be close enough. There were plenty of other signs - and a LOT of "Git-R-Dones". Mile 15: 10:44 We headed back down the little offshoot and back out. The wind was NUTS. It was feeling colder than it had been all day and I was starting to think about putting my gloves back on. Mile 16: 9:30 We headed back in the park, seeing the faster people once again, and made our final lake lap. On our way back out we saw the 50 states couple, just plodding along. Mile 17: 9:48. Once we left the park I knew it was time for the highest point ascention. We took it slow and easy, and Brent was starting to fall back a little. We walked up some parts of the hill. Mile 18: 10:29 Mile 19: 10:47. Brent started telling me to go on without him at this point, but after watching the 50 states couple I just didn't want to. We had started together and we should finish together. I wasn't in it for time, just for the training experience of it. I slowed down to his pace and tried to be as motivating as possible. Mile 20: 11:29. Mile 21 had the worst portion of the hills, 13:17. Brent was really starting to feel the distance at this point. Mile 22 had us back past the cows for the last time (ugh the smell was worse the second time around). Mile 22: 12:32. I was trying to think of anything to keep Brent moving, and to keep pushing himself. I offered to sing, and I asked him what he wanted to treat himself with after the race. I said I planned to eat a bag of Cheetos. He said he planned to get trashed! Mile 23: 11:43. By this point a lot of the volunteers had already taken down their water stations or just left them. I know it's no fun to stay out there in the cold wind, but come on! Not everyone is doing the half!! I saw an unmanned station with lots of goodies on it during the 24th mile. I jogged ahead to check it out and spied a little bag of mini Oreos. SCORE! If anyone ever asks me what one of my fave races has been I always say Memphis. They have all the pizza, beer, soup and OREOS you could want in the finishers area. (The Pig also has Oreos!). I took the Oreos and headed back over to Brent to show him my loot. He wasn't very excited. He wasn't in a happy place. I would jog ahead and then jog back to encourage him. My legs were getting tired, my back was hurting, but my main job was to keep him moving so we could get out of that weather! Mile 24: 11:32. I ate those Oreos like nobody's business. The whole little bag in maybe 4 or 5 minutes. I have a pretty weak running stomach, I've been really lucky this training cycle in that seems my body has gotten used to this distance running thing. That is until I cram a bunch of OREOS down the chute! Ugh, around the final water stop at Mile 25 I wasn't feeling so hot, but here we were - the FINAL mile!! Mile 25: 12:36 (lots of hills there so we had done some walking). I was REALLY trying to pump Brent up the final mile. Finishing your first marathon is HUGE but he was in a pretty grouchy place. I kept telling him how you never have another "first" marathon "GOOD!" and to just visualize the finish line up ahead and picture the medal, but I wasn't getting much back. At one point he snapped at me and said "At YOUR first marathon YOU got a medal that SPINS AND YOU got to lay on the beach for a few days." Errrr......ok. We kept charging on, and before we knew it we had reached the top of the FINAL steep hill and could see the finish line down below. We pushed and pushed and pushed and Mile 26: 11:44, total watch time 4:36:41. 10:35 pace.

We made it to the finish line to the cheering crowd of.....10 or so people. Very few of the other participants had even stuck around. A lady welcomed us at the finish line and THEN wrote down our time after quizzing us on the course and how challenging it was. Our real time is something between 4:40-4:45, not the 4:50 she wrote down. I have my watch set to stop when I stop, and there were a few times I totally stopped and waited on Brent, I can see it being a total of 5-10 minutes, not 15-20. We grabbed some juice and then headed back to our car. Brent was a marathoner! I was a 2nd time marathoner! I was tired but nowhere near as tired as after Miami. I really think if I had run my own race I could've beaten my Miami time which is nuts considering how tough this course was.

Our super cute marathon was in the books. Now it was time to ATTEMPT to find our way home.....

And Blogger is being super rude uploading photos tonight so the rest of the race pics are here.

Good night!