Race Recap ~ The Quantico 12K

Hello everyone and a very happy Sunday!

I am happy to say I completed the Quantico 12K Saturday August 25!  This was the first run I’ve done since moving to Virginia.  Overall it was a good run for me.  I have slowly started to increase my mileage in running and the 12K proved to be a good start before training for longer runs.

And this is how the story goes:

Pre run

I was a little stressed out about picking up my packet.  The packet pick-up time was the day before the race on Friday.  I was in no mood to drive in DC traffic after work to pick up the packet, 23 miles there and back, then get up at the crack of dawn to go there again.  So, what did I do????  I waited until the morning of.  The website said that packet pick-up the morning of started at 5 am.  I left for the run at 5 am and a 7:25 start time.  I found myself trying to get on I-95, ended up on the Easy Express, got off that and finally got on the correct interstate.  Arrived at Quantico around 6 am and couldn’t find my ID to get on base.  Ugh….  Had to pull over to the side and finally dug it out and continued on to the designated parking lot.  About a quarter-mile to parking, single lane traffic was backed up.  Again stress.  One thing about showing up for racing events, never ever think you are the earliest, because I guarantee there are about 500 people thinking the very same thing.  Twenty minutes later I was in a parking spot and headed towards the tent to pick up my packet.  Score!  I even had time to use the Porto Potty – twice, with 300 of my closest friends!

The Run

The run opened with the posting of the colors and an invocation.  The announcer made some small talk and then decided to point out the youngest runner was 9 and the oldest runner was a female of 69 years young.  Remember the 69-year-old later in the post….

I popped in my ear buds and started off with some Imagine Dragons, there goes the gun and off I go.  There was a 100 yard stretch of black top before the road entered what seemed to be an enchanted forest with improved gravel.  There was a very thick canopy that covered the trail for about 96% percent of the race.  The weather was cool and the canopy made for a nice run.

About a half a mile in, there were portos to the left ~ people were already stopping to go to the bathrooms.  Oh well, when you gotta go you gotta go!  The first two miles are always a bit of a warm up for me.  I don’t feel bad or good.  Just need to find a good running rhythm.  There were a lot of hills.  Just think of it like the surprise in a box of Cracker Jacks© you never truly know what you’re going to get.  A little hill there…a big hill here.  It was a cornucopia of trail running goodness.  Fun to be had by all!  Around mile 3 I started to “hang” with people in the same pace group.  It’s funny how this happens.  You pass them, they pass you, you stop at the same time for water and so on….  You even start to notice their running attire.  Hmmm I like that top…I wonder where she got that….hill!

Water points were plentiful.  Which was nice because I was really sweating this one up.  Around mile 4 I decided I needed to use the porto potty.  Yes, sigh, I know.  It’s almost like it was calling me.  “Laurel, Laurel…can’t have the full race experience without the stinky porto stop”.   I glided on over and there were a set of four lime green portos with grass surrounding them about a foot high.  One’s door was wide open…like choose me.  I did.  Now these portos looked to have been constructed when Jesus was in the Marine Corps, but I’ve been down this road so many times I looked for the Holy water..in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost ~ let’s go…literally.  Did what I came to do and noticed that there was a hand sanitizer machine on the wall.  Hmmm… should I? Heck yeah!  I used the hand sanitizer that probably was installed by George Washington…glop… a nice bit of what I think was clear goo came out and I clapped my hands together and noticed that instead of that nice alcohol dissipating gel feel there was a tacky gooey feel.  I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  I shot out of that porto hands splayed trying to dry them off and decided to wipe them on the back of my shorts.  To answer your question…yes they stuck.  I’m surprised I didn’t run the rest of the race with my hands stuck to my bottom.  Moving forward….

Ahh mile 4…the woods, the smell of nature and running BO,  the Marine smiling at the turning point before … oh damns that’s a big hill!!  Not only was it a big hill, but it was switching back and forth…a couple of times.  I’m not going to lie, there was some walking involved on this one.

Mile 5.  You remember the 69-year-old runner?  Well, at the beginning when they announced her she kind of did a little pageantry dance and started running through the crowd.  The first thing I noticed was she had her hair in a bun with an American and Canadian flag stuck in the back.  Kind of like a nation sharing placard.  You know, the kind of flag you wave at a parade.  I was slowing down a bit.  I was passed by the 69-year-old with the flags in her hair.  Sigh.  I should have said look, I would be a whole lot more impressed if you had the flags of the United Nations on your head!  Now that would be impressive!  There are two take-aways from this…1) I’m happy I was passed by a 69-year-old ~ it lets me know at that age I can still do this; 2)  I have a hell of a lot of work to do….

Around mile 6 we started to cross paths with the triathlon participants.  The trail was divided down the middle and they were running towards us.  There was a turn around point for them and then they were on the same finishing path until the end of the race.  No big deal, just a fact.

Finally, mile 7!  Wait, it’s a 12K… 7.45645 miles…

I had a half a mile to go and I won’t lie…I did slow down a bit and put my hands on my hips.  Chump move, but I did, especially so late in the race.  As soon as my hands hit my hips; I hear this barking behind me “Get your hands off your hips”!  I turn around and there’s this old guy, I don’t know maybe in his 60s or 70s, no doubt a former Marine aaannnnd doing the triathlon, telling me to get my hands off my hips and get a move on… Oh, no you didn’t!  Who did he think he was??!  I turned back around, took my hands off my hips, and got a move on…. don’t mess with a Marine and I did show him my respect.  I love it!  I love military people, as a veteran I think they are some of the best in my book.

I finished the race in 1:26 with a 11:26 pace.  This is the longest I’ve run since I’ve been here and I am pleased with my progress.  I have a lot of work to do, because I’m not satisfied with my result.  After the race we got a nice little swag bag of eats and some hot dogs.  I should have took two of those!  I did have this after at IHOP:

The Nikes© are officially retired.

Total miles completed in my journey = 5588.81.  Miles gratefully remaining 5726.19.  I have 68.69 miles left till my halfway mark.  Kingdom Half Marathon ~ here I come!!  I hope this post finds you at peace, grateful and with much joy in your heart.  Happy Miles to you!!

You know I had to play this!

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 6 – 12 Aug…Manassas, VA

Happy Sunday Everyone!  I’m excited as the approach of the Quantico 12K is right around the corner.  Two weeks to be exact! I had a good training week, slowly increasing my mileage and keeping an eye on recovery and strength training.  I always wonder if the mind overcomes the weakness of the body.  If you’re determined enough, you just make it happen.  Something to ponder.

I ran three times this week combining track, street and trail(improved) running.  On Monday I went to the track after work and ran 3.5 miles.  2.5 miles were steady running and the last mile was speed work.  On Thursday I ran the hood and on Saturday my long run was out on the Mt. Vernon trail.   Each day was hot and humid with a slight breeze every now and again, but for the most part humid.  The temperature was moderate but the humidity was off the chart.  I have stuck to the Asics© and Nikes© and I’m happy to say I feel much better.  Still a bit sore, but definitely feeling much better.

My long run on Saturday started off around 9 am.  A little later than I wanted, but there you have it!  The temperature was 78 when I started and the humidity made it feel a lot hotter.  My first three miles were pain-free.  I had a bit of pain on the fourth mile, and would slow down when I felt the pinch.  I did have a wardrobe malfunction with my socks!  Around mile three they decided to scooch!  That’s a word right?  Left me with two nice blisters on the back of my ankles.  It’s always something.  I’m happy with my performance.  I felt strong and ready to move forward.

Blister

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scooching socks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the things I love about this area is the history.  I decided to spend my day visiting the Bull Run Winery and visiting a couple of battlefield sites.  First, the Bull Run Winery is a must if you are in the Manassas area.  It’s a beautiful place and you can participate in tours and tasting.  They have food for purchase but you can bring in your own if you wish.  How can you go wrong with wine and live music!?  The wine was fantastic and I ended up buying a bottle of Norton.  Norton grapes are indigenous to the area.  The wine can be a little acidic at times, but this one was really very good.

A few shots:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the winery we headed on down to Manassas National Battlefield Park.  In 1861, Union and Confederate forces faced off in the first major land battle of the Civil War.  A couple of pics:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s miles came to a total of 11.11.  I am 96.19 miles from the halfway mark with 5753.69 miles gratefully remaining.  I hope this post finds you in good spirits and at ease.  Happy Miles to You!!

I am a rock…in a good way.

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 12 Jan – 18 Jan

The temperature has been everywhere this week ~ teens to the 50s.  Unfortunately, today is my rest day and I won’t be take advantage of today’s warmer weather and sunshine.  Needless to say the week started off with some pain but ended with my hip and knee feeling pretty good.  It’s great to get back to my normal routine of yoga and the purchase of some new running shoes didn’t hurt.  I wonder if buying new running shoes has some sort of placebo effect?  Your body starts hurting ~ go buy shoes and hey…I feel better already!

If you’ve been following the news in the running community many of you are aware that many runners dedicated their runs on 18 January to Meg Menzies ~  Facebook page here:  Meg’s Miles Supporters.  When I checked last, the page is reporting that 94,000 people took part and over a million miles were logged.  I didn’t know Meg.  I’m very sorry that she lost her life so young to a driver under the influence.  Her children are without a mother.  I understand the pain clearly of losing a mother so young.  Although life moves us forward, the memory of loss will always remain.  I used to think that was a bad thing ~ but in reality it’s not.  Memory of loss, even when it’s difficult, makes us into who we are and no matter how painful it is at it’s rawest moment ~ we learn to use that pain in triumph.  I don’t just believe it ~ I know it because I’m living proof.

Mileage Recap this week:

Sun ~ 4.79 elliptical and tread

Mon ~ rest

Tues ~ yoga – hip stretching

Wed ~ 5.02 tread run

Thur ~ rest

Fri ~ rest

Sat ~ 5.27 ran outside

This week saw 15.08 miles with 10,288.48 miles happily remaining.  Get rid of the small stuff and make room for what matters.  Here’s to a great week.

Mileage Recap 22 – 29 Dec End of Year 2013 Goal ~ 1000 Miles Reached

Road to 1000 The road to 1000 total miles has been completed.  It is 31 degrees today with winds of 11 knots.  Normally Sunday is my rest day, but when I ran yesterday I found that I was .35 miles short of my 1000 mile goal after yesterday’s long run for the end of the year.  So out I went this morning to complete the goal.  Why not let it ride you ask?  Well, one of the purposes of this blog is to keep track of the mileage.  The way I look at it, it’s 13.1 miles in a half marathon not 12.5.  If you’re going to do it ~ then complete to the best of your ability.  There is a lot to be said about completion and seeing things through.  It’s not necessarily how fast it was done, but that it was done.  As you know this can be applied to almost anything in life.  Running is just one of many vessels.

I took the above photo this morning.  From the photo it doesn’t look like a big hill, but it is steep and long.  It has gravel and footing is not guaranteed.  Just when you get to the top there’s another hill.  It’s where my running journey began.  It represents strength, determination, dedication to task, and importance of being humble.  Running down this hill is what caused knee surgery in 2011, a little too sure of myself and going too quickly down a hill I wasn’t prepared or trained.  The hill put me in my “place” if you will.  Not like I had to be reminded, but there is always something greater and bigger than you out there.  Now when I travel this path I have only walked down.  Showing some respect and realizing the end goal or the completion of my 11315 task is greater than saying I ran down that hill (face intact)! It seemed fitting to end the year on this hill.

shoes 2

I’m continuing to “mark” my shoes.  The previous background picture on my blog, the shoes were new with no mileage.  I’m happy to say I’ve reached my goal and now the shoes are turned inward with 500 miles marked on their “soles”.

Weekly Mileage recap:  18.96 for the week and puts me at 50.31 for the month of December.  Total miles completed stands at 1,002.51 with 10,312.49 adventures waiting…

Sun ~ Rest

Mon ~ 3.35 run

Tues ~ Rest

Wed ~ 3.24 Christmas day walk with the family

Thurs ~ 4.02 run

Fri ~ Rest

Sat ~ 5.49 run

Sun ~ 2.86 walk

May the end of your week be positive ~ Happy Miles To You:)

 

 

Pre-Marathon Expo

Let’s see if I can get this post out with proper spelling, etc unlike the night before.  I guess that’s what happens when you are blogging at 930 PM trying to get words out and thinking one thing while typing another.  Sigh.

When I went to pick up my bib yesterday there was a Running Health Expo as well, different companies selling all sorts of running gear as a precursor to the race.  I’ve never been to one so it was pretty neat, at least for women.  Sorry guys, I know they were selling stuff for you too, but let’s be honest, this was all about women.  Shirts, skirts, socks, running bras, onesies for babies and the almighty headband.

The first part of the Expo was the “Brooks” store.  I happened to migrate over to the shoes where the salesman asked me would I like to try on a pair.  Yes.  As
I was trying on the holy grail of moderate stability shoes, the young man said
oh so cavalierly “you know if you spend $150.00 you’ll be a VIP”.  I looked at him quizzically.  “You know, Very Important Potty”.  At that moment the clouds parted, light shone down and a choir of angels descended.  What does that mean, I asked.
“You don’t have to wait, you get to use the special potties”. You mean I can potty like a rock star?  Yes, oh my yes.  I began to have visions of Charmin served up on silver trays as I walked into my USDA Grade A porta potty.  Hmmm.  He continued to look at me with a twinkle in his eye.  You’re good, I said.  Again he batted those baby
blues.  Alas, I had to let him down gently, I’m afraid I’m not in the market for new shoes at the moment, so I sulked my way over to the sports bras.

So many choices and so many colors.  There is no discussion here, yes…I’ll take that one.  Sigh, yes I’ll need a small.  Walking…walking…STOP! Oh my LAWD what do we have here?  After leaving the spectacular land of sports bras I found myself in headband heaven.  All women runners are aware of the headband craze.  I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard “That’s so cute”!  My goodness.  They have us hook, line and sinker.  Do I need another headband, no.  Did I buy another headband, of course.  Walking…walking…ooooh compression leg sleeves.  The woman at the kiosk asks, “should I measure you”?  Yes.  I’ll take those.   Walking…walking.  Hmmm, I’ve lost my friend Kathi, oooh Jamba Juice.  Yes.  Finally found Kathi and we took our photos.

Laurel and Kathi Laurel and Kathi Arch0001

Believe it or not, I got out of there fairly cheaply.  It was a lot of fun and I came home with some good stuff.  So this is what it looks like for tomorrow.  Throw-away gloves, body glide, temporary inspirational tattoos, compression socks, new rockin’ headband and my give away ~ give away.  I have a courage bracelet that I plan to wear on the run.  When I finish the race I plan to pass it on to someone else.  Think of it as a good luck charm.

Expo Visit

August Giveaway – Another One Bites the Dust

Having a giveaway is a great way to give back, show thankfulness and gratitude and frankly is a lot of fun.  I did my first one in July to celebrate reaching the 500 mile mark.  Gave away two Twete Bird headbands to two lovely ladies.  I got such a kick out of the happiness it brought I wanted to keep it up.  Enjoy – keep running and be thankful you can.

August Giveaway – Another One Bites the Dust!

Feet1
Guess which one fell off?

If there is one thing I’ve learned (or lack thereof) from running is keeping your toenails isn’t always guaranteed.  If you run a lot ~ sometimes, no matter how hard you try to prepare with the right shoes or socks etc…you may experience the joy of losing one or two nails and experience even more excitement trying to grow it back.  Soon you’ll be hearing “what happened to your toe?” as you try to hide the loss with a band-aid, or “ewww, that’s kind of gross”.  At least for the ladies, we can cover it up.  As one runner put it,  “OPI” is a girl’s best friend.

To date I’ve lost three toenails.  No doubt this is due to shoes not fitting properly.  I should wear 8s but sometimes the 7-1/2s just feel better in the arch.  If I run a long way in the 7s – I might pay for it later.  This last loss was the fall out (or I should say fall off) of the 50 Mile Challenge Walk in rainy cool Midwest weather.

So here’s the rub (no pun intended – get it “rub”)  do you have a favorite or funny “foot faux pas” story; a lesson you’ve learned the hard way from your training or runs?  Let me know to win – drumroll please……two bottles of OPI A Woman’s Pragueative (left) and Oy-Nother Polish Joke! (right).  I loved these colors the minute I saw them.  They remind me of the warm humid summer air August will bring in the Midwest!

You can comment or email us at wesoar11315@gmail.com to enter.

You can visit the giveaway page here:  https://11315miles.com/giveaways/.

Winner will be selected and announced 31 August 2013.  Good luck and have fun!

August Giveaway
A running girl’s best friend.