Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year!! (Weekly Wrap-up Edition)

Happy New Year on this last day of 2017. 

This year I did not focus on running.  I took many breaks which has made coming back to running at the end of the year a lot more enjoyable.  I only ran 355.79 miles last year, which included 2 months of no running at all.  Despite the lack of running I did run 9 races and a triathlon.

Instead of running, I did do a good share of biking this past summer.  I got a brand new bike, which I completely am in love with.  I got 591.41 miles of biking in.  I was even in a parade!

On the non-run, non-bike front, I got a new job.  Well two new jobs.  I was laid off at the end of 2016 from a job that I had for 15 years.  After a few months off I got a new job as a contractor.  I helped them move letters from an old system to a new one.  Over the summer I added to my duties and got a title of Scrum Master.  A month ago, I was offered a job as a full time Scrum Master.  This is a job I have been trying to get for the past year an a half.  And after 3 weeks, it's exactly what I want to do.  I hope that it keeps up the fun and challenge.

My cats are still their crazy selves.  My old lady had some issues a few months back.  But she is much better and we found out that her kidney blood work is normal.  They did find a new friend.  I had an outdoor cat come visit almost every day.  She looks in at them and they look out at her.  For the first few months I didn't feed her and she kept coming back.  I saw the enjoyment that she gave my cats, so I started feeding her.  And I did end up name her Duibhe (pronounced Doobie).  It means black in Gaelic.  There is no chance that she will become an indoor cat, but with the freezing temps out there, I want to do what I can for her.

While I took time off from work at the beginning of the year, I did take a Sign Language class.  This is something that really interests me and I wish I could use it on a regular basis so I could really learn it.  Maybe one day....

For Valentine's Day we had a girls night out to do a Murder Mystery Dinner.  This was a lot of fun and we plan on doing it again at some point.

I was lucky enough to see the Eclipse this past year.  Granted it was only 86% of the Eclipse but it was so amazing that I didn't need to see the full thing.  It was a once in a lifetime view.  Though I'm tempted to make plans to see the full one in 7 years.

I did do a lot around my house.  While I had time off in the beginning of the year, I was able to clean out a lot of my house.  This included 10 trips to Goodwill.  While the house is not as clean as it was in March, it still is fairly organized.  I also power washed the side of my house, deck, and front porch.  As well as stained and painted my deck and porch.  The outside looks so nice now.  But there still are things that need to be done.  I also started upgrading some items in my house to start connecting and making my house Smart.  This includes automating my porch lights to go on and off with the sunrise and sunset, my thermostats, and my front door lock.  I have plans on a couple more things that I'd like to connect.

 This next year I don't have any grand plans.  I am signed up for two Disney races, but that's it.  I probably will be signing up for a St. Patrick's day race, but not sure if it will be a 5k or 10k.   I really don't have any other real plans.  I'd like to have a vacation where I'm not running.  I haven't had one of those in like 2-3 years.  Beyond that, no plans or goals for 2018.  I don't believe in resolutions, as I know if there is something I want to do, I don't want to wait till New Years.  And I don't want to half heartedly do something just because it's New Years.  
Though I have been thinking about doing the #365DaysOfHappy challenge on Instagram.  I don't know if it's something that I want to commit to every day, but I'd like to share what makes me happy each day.  We will see if it happens or not. :)

How was your year?  Any plans for 2018?

Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

2017 Races in Pictures (Tuesdays on the Run Edition)

I hope that everyone had a great Christmas!  Next up is New Years an that has us thinking of the past year and what we want to do with the next year.  Looking back to my races last year, I stole this idea from the ladies at Fairytales and Fitness and created these race collages. 

I enjoyed taking the summer off from running.  The Baltimore Relay was a perfect distance for a fall race.  I wouldn't have been able to handle any distance that was longer then that, but still had a race to look forward to.

I only have two Disney races planned for 2018.  I'm not sure what races will be in my future, but whatever I do, it will be a good year.

Do you have a way to capture your race year?

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Weekly Update - Christmas Edition....Sort Of... (Weekly Wrap-up Edition)

Hi All!

I'm supposed to be training for the Princess Half Marathon in February, but my running has been about as sporadic as my posting to this blog.  I have realized, that no matter what I have been doing for exercise, running is usually the only thing that prompts me to post.  I don't know the reason, but I seem to think about possible posts while I run.  That never happens when I'm biking or swimming.  But since I seem to be in a better swing of things for my running, maybe that will correlate to my posting.  One can hope.

I've been getting in a couple of runs a week for the past month.  This past week I actually got three runs in.  I haven't had any knee pain, so I have been pushing the runs a little.  My run on Saturday was very good.  I ended up not joining the running group as I only planned on 4 miles and no one could do brunch afterward.  So that meant I could sleep in and run in good temperatures.  When I finally got out it was in the lower 60's.  Even with the wind blowing a lot, it was still great temperatures to run in.  In my neighborhood I usually try for progressive runs without looking at my watch.  Which means if I had a really good first mile, that meant that each mile after I would have to push a little bit more.  That's what happened Saturday.  I had a good first mile.  Then a good second mile.  By the end of the third mile I couldn't catch my breath, but I kept pushing.  I didn't think I had much in me for that last mile, but I was determined to push through it.  I haven't pushed on a run like that in a very long time.  And the time for this run, was as good as my times were when I was in my best running shape.  But back then, I wasn't huffing and puffing and barely getting the last steps in.  But this shows me that it is possible to get back into that shape again if I work at it.  Or maybe close to it.

If anyone is wondering, I have finished up my second week at my new job and so far I have really loved it.  Even though this is a contract position (to hire after 6 months and if all goes well), I have been made to feel like I am one of the team.  The team has been without a Scrum Master for awhile and while they are getting all the items done they need to, it's very chaotic.  I get to start reining things in and get things organized.  It's even more then I could have hoped for.  I can't wait to get things truly started in the new year. 

Christmas is tomorrow and while it will be low key as usual, I think it will be nice to spend some time with my folks.  While my dad doesn't seem to understand a lot that is going on, he is almost always in a good mood.  I'll go over to their house sometime in the late morning.  We will have the homemade Cinnamon Rolls and do the gift thing.  We will eventually start making dinner.  Throughout the day we most likely watch a couple Christmas movies, including A Christmas Story.

I didn't do much Christmas decorating.  But every year, I make sure I put out a Christmas flag.  Here is the one that is out this year.

While I don't do much decorating at my house, my mom will do some at her house.  Here are some of my favorite things that my mom puts out.

My grandmother made these figures.  When I was little, she did a lot of these Slipcasting pieces when I was younger.  I even went with her a few times to make my own.

I made this reindeer - yes, that is a reindeer - when I was in middle school.  I always hated it because it was not done very well and really needs a lot of work.  But my mom loves it.  There probably is a reason she covers it up with that big bow.

And this is my favorite Christmas decoration.  That is my cute little chubby face there.  It is an ordainment that usually goes on the tree.  But the years that my mom doesn't put up the tree, she still gets it out and displays it.  That is one item she will never let me have.  She may even be buried with it. 

This was my second year participating in the  Fairytales and Fitness' Blogger Holiday Card Swap.  This year I got a cute kitty card from Chaitali.  I was able to meet her earlier this year at the Star Wars Half Marathon in Disney World.  Included was an Amazon gift card. Love Amazon!

As I was writing this post, I had carolers come by to sing me a song.  I have never had carolers come to my house, it was amazing!  And they were giving out small bags of home made cookies.  Wow, that was just so special.

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!!!

What are your plans this Christmas?  What are some of your favorite Christmas decorations?

Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Christmas Traditions (Friday Five Edition)

I know everyone is saying this, but I can't believe that Christmas is only a few days away.  was the Winter Solstice.  I know I have stated before, but one of the things I don't like about the fall is that the days get shorter.  And we have come to the shortest day of the year.  My dad has always loved this day.  He says that is because every day from here just gets longer.  That is defiantly something to look forward to.  

Christmas is just 3 days away.  I know everyone has been saying this, but man has the time just flown by!  I thought I'd share with you some holiday traditions that my family has for Christmas.
1. Christmas Jammies - As Christmas would get closer more presents would appear under the tree.  While we were able to touch, shake, and guess what might be under the wrapping, we were not allowed to open any.  Not until Christmas Eve.  And then, we were able to open just one.  And these would always be our Christmas Jammies.  My Grandmother would pick out new jammies for us to wear to bed on Christmas Eve.  Even though I no longer live at home and my Grandmother is no longer with us, I still get a pair of jammies before Christmas. 
We even got matching jammies last year in Denver.
2. Homemade Cinnamon Roles - My mom has been making homemade Cinnamon Roles for our Christmas morning for as long as I can remember.  Not only home baked, but she has always made the bread part of it from scratch.  She starts the process the night before so that it gives time for the dough to rise.  She then finishes it up and lets it bake while we open gifts.

3. Santa Gifts - I have found the different traditions with Santa gifts very interesting.  When we were little, we were only allowed to ask Santa for two things.  The night before we would put out cookies and milk for Santa and hang our stockings (with care).  The next morning we would find our stockings full as well as the two things we asked Santa for, unwrapped, and sitting on the fire place step. 
My dad helping me hang my stocking Christmas Eve in my new Christmas Jammies when I was about 6 or 7.  (No our fireplace did not have a mantel)
Here are a couple of funny stories about Santa gifts......

One year, my brother asked for the Kitt Car from Knight Rider.  He found instead of the car, he got an IOU.  I guess they had those "hot" toys sell out at Christmas back in the 80's even before the Internet caused a frenzy.  The day after Christmas we went on vacation and when we got back, my brother got a card saying that Santa was very sorry for the delay and he could find his gift at the next door neighbors. 
On the first year I didn't believe in the Santa magic, I thought I could blackmail my folks into getting me a Cabbage Patch doll that they had refused to buy me earlier that year.  I don't remember how I found out about Santa, but my brother still believed.  I told them that if I didn't get the doll that I would tell my brother the truth.  Well they apparently don't do ultimatums and I didn't get the doll.  I honestly don't remember if I told my brother or not, but I know that was the last year he believed as well. 

4. Stockings First - Growing up, my Grandmother lived with us.  She was an early morning person, while my mom could sleep most of the morning away.  Like all kids, my brother and I would get up so very early on Christmas morning and rush downstairs to see what Santa had brought us.  We were allowed to play with our Santa gift, but nothing else.  Our Grandmother usually was up with us, or not far behind (especially if we were a little loud outside her door).  Once she was up, we were allowed to open up the gifts in our stockings.  This would give my parents a little extra sleep as they were always up late helping Santa out.  Once they were awake, we were allowed to open up the gifts under the tree.

5. Christmas Dinner - Instead of a traditional Turkey or Ham dinner, we have Goose.  Yes, like they had in A Christmas Carol.  I really don't know where in my family history this tradition started, but it is a yummy tradition.  If you have never had Goose, it's like having the dark meat of a Turkey.  Geese are usually smaller than Turkeys, so there usually isn't much of any left overs.  The rest of the meal is basically exactly as it is for Thanksgiving: Brussel Sprouts, mashed potatoes (with celery root), corn (to be mixed in with the mashed potatoes), stuffing (with a can of Cranberry sauce), gravy, rolls (when we remember to put them in the oven), and deviled eggs.  Mmmmm, getting hungry now.

One last item I wanted to mention is one that started probably 10 years ago or so.  It would be watching 24 Hours of A Christmas Story.  This is by far, my favorite Christmas movie.  We usually have it on for a bit of the day till my mom gets tired of it.  I haven't seen it yet this season, so maybe that's why it's not quite feeling like Christmas yet.  "You'll shoot your eye out!"  Did you know that there were two sequels to this movie?  I knew of one - My Summer Story.  I saw it on TV once and what I remember is the Bumpus' dogs.  And as I was looking up the title of this one, I found out that there is also A Christmas Story 2.  I'm going to have to get my hands on a copy of that one.

What are some of your Christmas traditions?  Do you have a favorite Christmas movie?  Any funny Santa stories?

I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for Friday Five 2.0

Friday, December 8, 2017

Mixed Emotions (Friday Five Edition)

Today was my last day of my current job.  I will be starting my new job on Monday.  I decided to take a whole day off in between jobs.  I have been going through a whole lot of different emotions in the last few days.

1. Excited - I have been very excited about this new opportunity.  It's a smaller company and I'm doing exactly what I have been wanting to do for a few years now.  Really, if it's half as good as I am hoping, then it should be great. 

2. Nervous - Change is hard for me.  I like to know every little detail about everything.  I don't know a lot about this industry.  I don't know a lot of the details of what my teams will be doing.  I won't know anyone there.  I don't know the schedule that I will be on. 

3. Sad - I am leaving a lot of good people that I worked with.  I really enjoyed working with a lot of them.  I will miss working with them and seeing them every day.

4. Anxious - I haven't heard from my consulting company since last week.  I filled out my background paperwork and even though I know everything is good, but it still makes me worry. 

5.  Happy - I know that this is exactly the right move for me.  I've been listening to an inspirational podcast called "When to Jump".  It has different guests on talking about the steps they take to find their passion in their life.  While I don't know if this job is my life's passion, but it is something I will enjoy doing. 

Do you go through all these different emotions with new things in your life?   

I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for Friday Five 2.0

Friday, December 1, 2017

Where's Heather Been? (Friday Five Edition)

I know it's been forever since I have posted.  Work gets really busy and then when I get home, I just don't have the energy to concentrate on writing a post.  I also haven't been running, so I feel like I don't have a lot to share.  It's funny as when I run, I come up with so many things to post about that I forget half of them by the time I am finished.  These things rarely come to me while I'm doing other things.  So no running, means no thoughts on new posts.  So here are some things that I have been up to.

1. While I hadn't run a single mile since the Baltimore Relay, I finally got out there on Thanksgiving morning.  I didn't do a Turkey Trot, I just got out and ran in my neighborhood.  It was a cool morning, so I was bundled up.  I took it slow and things felt good.  I was glad to get out there again.  I have since run a couple more times so hopefully I’ll be getting back to it regularly.

My next race is Princess in February so I got to get my but into gear and start training.  I just pulled up the training guide from the runDisney site and it looks like I'm 5 weeks behind (3 if I cut out the 14 mile week, which I usually do).  I will have to see what other training guides I have and morph something together.

2. I was in a Parade!

I'm not one to go to a parade and have never been in one.  The weekend before Thanksgiving there is a local parade that happens every year.  Our bicycle group has had a spot in the parade for many years now.  A couple weeks before, there was an email that went out requesting volunteers to be in the parade.  I thought about doing it but wanted to wait till it was closer to that weekend to see what the weather was like.  And then I forgot all about it.  Two days before a friend of mine asked me to do it with her.  How can I say no?

On that Sunday it was supposed to start at 2 and we got there a couple hours before. The weather was beautiful!  It got to be in the mid-60's with a sky full of sun.  As we were getting to our staging area I noticed that people were already out and setting up chairs along the route.  We met up with everyone and decorated our bikes with Christmas lights, bows, and bells.

We had a pretty good turn out with about 15 people in our group.  We chatted with everyone while we waited and watched all the other groups get together.  At the last moment, the stars of our group showed up.  A father-son duo who had high wheels.  They were even dressed in old-fashioned clothing to match.

As we started out, we had two people walking with the bike club sign in front, the guys on regular bikes behind them, our stars, and the ladies brought up the back.  Us ladies were in the back to give the high wheelers plenty of space to be able to circle round and round without having to stop when the parade got backed up.  I loved being behind them to watch them work the crowd.  They were the hit of the parade.  Everyone was pointing to them and getting photos as we rode by.

I couldn't believe how many people were there to watch this parade.  I think a lot of it was the beautiful weather, but still couldn't believe all of the people there.  I was glad that we were one of the first groups to go.  When we were heading back to our cars we past the staging area and there were still groups waiting to go.  We all were glad that we were done.  A few of us then went on to get some pizza from a local restaurant to continue the fun.  It really turned out to be a fun day.

3.  With my longer commute I have been getting into Podcasts.  I've been totally into true crime ones lately.  The latest one that I've been listening to is "Someone Knows Something".  Each season he looks into a cold case of a missing or unsolved murdered person.  I feel like it's very well done and brings you into the investigation with him.  I'm on the last episode of his latest season and am already missing it.  I'll need to find a new one.

4.  My Old Lady cat got pretty sick.  Brianna is 18 years old, so if something is off with her, even just a little bit, I get very worried.  This time around she had diarrhea.  She has never had diarrhea in her life, so this was a big deal for her.  At first I thought it was constipation as she would just squat in the litter box (or somewhere outside the litter box) for a very long time.  She also wasn't eating or drinking anything.  I took her to the vet the next day and he confirmed it was diarrhea.  We also saw that she lost another pound since February and is down to 4 pounds (she was only 6 pounds at her heaviest).  They gave her liquids and said that if she isn't better in a few days to come back.

Well, a few days later she was starting to eat and drink a little, but she was still squatting here and there.  I wanted her to get another round of fluid so I took her into the vet again.  He didn't do any blood work the first time we were there since her dehydration would throw her numbers off.  This time he did.  While we waited, he showed me how to give her fluids so that I could do it at home if needed.  I did it a few years back for her brother when he was sick, it's not too hard.  Once the blood work was done, I heard the vet go "Wow!" from the back area.  My baby girl has had issues with her kidneys.  A year ago, her numbers were in the red.  In February they were barely in the green.  They are now fully in the middle of the green and she is doing great with all her other numbers.

We were sent on our way and told to get her to eat as much as possible to get her weight back up.  If she was still having diarrhea issues, it might be something more then a bug and we would put her on steroids.  A couple weeks later, she is good and gets to eat whatever she wants to eat.  She loves chicken in a can and the left over turkey I saved her.

5.  I saved the best for last......

I got a new job!!  I will be a full time Scrum Master for a smaller company.  And, yes, I still want to get a post out there on what that really means.  My last day of my current job is Thursday 12/7 and I start the next Monday 12/11.  I am very excited for this new adventure in my life and hope it's half as good as I think it can be.  One of the best parts is, is it's closer to home.  No more commute into the city!

What have you been up to? Did you have a good Thanksgiving?  Any true crime/unsolved mystery podcast recommendations?

I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for Friday Five 2.0

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Baltimore Marathon Relay Leg One (Tuesdays on the Run Edition)

This past weekend I was part of a relay team that ran the Baltimore Marathon.  The team was made of of Ana, Meg, and MerandaLacy decided to join us a few weeks ago to run the whole thing on her own.  This was the first time I had ever participated in a relay, so I really wasn't sure what to expect.

On Friday Lacy and I drove up from Virginia, while the others drove together from Pennsylvania.  Lacy and I were the first to arrive so we decided to take a quick walk through the Expo.  I went to pick up my bib and ended up picking up everyone's for the team as they were all in one envelope.  We walked through the Expo and Lacy picked up her shirt.  I wanted to wait for everyone else to get mine.  Shortly the rest of the gang joined us.  The Expo was good.  I really didn't want or need anything, so it was a quick trip through.  It really kinda reminded me of the Expos that we have here.  Nothing like Rock 'n Roll or Disney, but the Baltimore race really isn't that size, so that's not a fair comparison. 

We picked up our shirts and walked to the Inner Harbor to find some place to eat.  We ended up stopping at the first place to eat.  We had some good food, good wine, and great conversations.  We headed back to the hotel and called it a night. 

We had already decided who would run which leg.  Because I was very under trained and dealing with a knee issue, everyone was nice enough to let me run the shortest leg, which happened to be the first one.  I really had not looked at the map at all before the weekend.  I did take a peek at the elevation the night before and realized that I had very steep hills for the first 3 miles or so.  But then it did even out some with a few steep down hills.  Honestly, I was OK with that, mostly because the up hills were first.

Each person of the relay team had to take the bus once.  Leg 2 and 4 had to take a bus out and leg 1 and 3 had to take a bus back.  Seemed fair.  Since Meranda had the second leg, she had to take a bus out to where I would be meeting her.  She had to be on her bus by 7:30 and the race started at 8.  The race started outside Camden Yards where the Orioles play and the bus area was outside the M&T Bank Stadium where the Ravens play.  The two stadiums are just a few blocks away, so Lacy and I walked down to the buses with Meranda and dropped her off.  Then we headed back to the start line.

We still had about a half an hour before the race started so we stretched and sat near the bathrooms.  They actually opened up part of Camden Yards were the bathrooms were so we took advantaged of real toilets.  We both went 2-3 times even though we really didn't have to go.  The weather was a little cool, but it was quickly warming up.  The race probably started in the mid-50s.  Perfect weather for running.

We decided to head to the start and I walked Lacy up to the front and then headed back to my pace area.  There were no corrals, just signs with paces listed where you were supposed to line up.  I found a place in the 12 minute mile area, even though I know I am much slower then that.  I had found a nice empty space and just stayed there so I could do a few more stretches.

Right before the race started, Meranda texted me that I would be running through the zoo.  The zoo?!?  Wow, now I was really excited.  They played the national anthem and then we were off.

The race started through the inner part of the city.  We headed up one hill and it would even off and sometimes even go downhill for a little.  Then it would go up another hill steeper or longer then the last.  I kept looking back to see how many people were behind me and I kept seeing a stream of runners and then the police car that followed the last runner.  I felt like it was the balloon ladies stalking me.  Every time I got towards the top of a hill, I would look back and there was the police car.  I tried not to push it harder and hurt myself, but I was so terrified to be pulled off the course for going too slow and ruin the race for the other ladies.

I was running a 30:30 and was hitting every run interval.  I was proud that I kept up a pretty good pace, despite all of the up hills.  We ran through neighborhoods that were a bit sketchy.  Though there were a lot of people sitting on their steps and porches watching the race.  Like I do at all the other races, I wave and say hello and thank you to everyone that took the time to come out.  I very much appreciate anyone that comes out to watch and cheer us on.  I knew that the worst of the uphills would be over around mile 3, but they just felt like they went on forever.

We come up towards a park and I knew the Maryland Zoo had to be coming up.  I didn't know if we would be able to see any animals or how many.  But I just couldn't wait.

We got to a back entrance gate and they had two birds out for us to look at and take pictures.  They are Common Ravens named Rise and Conquer.  They are the live mascots of the Baltimore Ravens football team.  They are at every home game.

The next animal that they had out was the Lionhead Rabbit.  He was just a fluff ball of fur and so cute.

The next was another bird, the Kookaburra from Australia.

The last animal that they had out was a Penguin.  They actually had it set up with someone taking your picture.  This guy just kept looking at the person that was having their picture taken with him.  He just wouldn't turn around to face the camera.

So I decided to take a picture of him staring at me after our picture was done.

We ran through a little bit more of the zoo, but none of the actual exhibits were open or viewable.  All of the animals that we could see were the ones that they brought out to the course.  We exited the zoo and ran through a bit more of the park that surrounds the zoo. 

I noticed that because of being in the park and zoo and not having a strait shot behind me, I really didn't know how far back I was in the race.  I knew that I had spent some time taking pictures but I felt like I was making some good time.  There were still people around me, not tons, but enough to make me feel a little more comfortable.  Most everyone had pinned on the back of their shirts if they were running the relay or the full.  I do remember being very happy that I was only doing 6 miles instead of the full 26.  With my lack of training and only running once the 3 weeks before the race because of my knee injury I was getting tired and very happy to be about a mile from my end.

The park had a very beautiful lake.  It was starting to get a bit warm, but still a nice run.

And more hills.

And more hills.  At this point my knee was really hurting.  Hills are the trigger for my latest knee pain and I did a good bit of that.  I really couldn't wait for the end of my leg.

When I was about half a mile away from the relay exchange I texted Meranda to let her know.  She said that she was at the top of the hill.  Which hill?

I turned the corner of this last hill and I saw a bunch of people.  I knew that this must be the relay exchange.  Way down the road I saw someone waving frantically.  I thought it was someone on the side of the road to cheer for someone near me.  They were a bit away from the crowd and didn't pay too close attention.  I got a little closer and I realized that it was Meranda waving for me.  Yay!  I was done!  We had a quick hello and selfie.  She took the timing chip and I took her throw away and she was off.

I looked for some water and food, but all they had was the water station that was a few yards past the relay station.  Huh?  No water bottles to take with us on the bus back to the festival?  I couldn't believe that 'cause I was very thirsty.  They only had 2 water stations on my leg and I wanted water.  I walked down to the station and it looked like they were pouring the cups of water from gallon jugs.  There was one sitting on the table that was about a fourth full and I asked if I could take it and they said yes.  Yay, water for the ride home!

I headed to the buses.  They were using school buses to shuttle us around.  I got in and sat in the front.  There were still about 10 seats that needed to be filled before they would head back to the festival.  As we were waiting we talked to the bus driver.  He said that their instructions was to get as close to the football stadium as they could and good luck.  No instructions on the best route or what roads would be closed.  Thankfully our driver knew where he was going and got us back fairly quickly.

I went back to the festival and got my medal and food and more water.  By this point I was really hungry.  I don't eat much of anything before I run and after 6 miles and about an hour I needed some fuel.  I had about an hour before Lacy would pass the finish line so I headed back to the hotel for a quick shower.

I got back to the finish line and found Meranda.  By that time she had finished her leg and walked to the finish line.  As we were watching everyone and chatting, Lacy finished.  We both saw her but neither one of us were ready to take a picture.  Oh well.

We met Lacy in the medal/fuel area and headed towards the water.  She looked like she put almost everything on the course.  I made sure that I kept giving her another bottle of water when she was done with one.  We took a few pictures by the water and headed so that Lacy could get a massage.

Meranda and I left Lacy in good hands and headed back to the finish line.  We wanted to see Ana cross the finish line.  We knew that she was wearing a black tank top and black shorts.  Not long after, Meranda asked if that was her.  I looked, but she had already passed and all I could see was her back.  By the end of this race it was in the upper 70's, so very hot.  She had taken off her top and was running in her sports bra because of the heat.  We decided that we thought it was her and headed back to the medal/fuel area and as we were heading there we got a text saying that she was done.  It was her!

At the same time Meg was having a hard time getting back to the festival.  Her bus driver kept getting lost and it was taking them forever to get back to the festival area.  We found Lacy again (who looked much better after her massage) and Ana and Lacy went to find Meg and head back to the hotel to shower and get ready to check out.  Meranda wanted to get a massage, so I went down with her.

They were offering to do acupuncture as well as massage, so I decided to try it.  I've always been interested in trying it, but never got around to.  So I jumped at the chance.  I told her what was bothering me (at this point, my knee was fine, but my hips were stiff).  She had me lie on my back and she put the needles on a few places in my legs.  There wasn't any pain when she put the needles in.  I'm not sure if it helped or not, but she had stated usually only one treatment isn't very noticeable.

It was now after 1 and our checkout time was 2, so we headed back to the hotel to get ready to head out.  We checked out of the hotel and had Chipotle and Subway for lunch before we headed our respective ways home.

The weekend was so very quick, but it really was a lot of fun.  I wish we had more time hanging out.  This was the first time I had met Meg and Ana and I wish we had more time to get to know each other.  We will just have to do another race together then. :)

Meranda continued on to leg 2.

She passed the tracking chip on to Meg for leg 3.

And Ana took the last leg and ran to the finish line.

While we ran the relay, Lacy ran the whole 26.2 miles!

Have you ever been part of a relay?  Have you ever done any of the races in the Baltimore Festival (marathon, relay, half, or 5k)?