Monday, May 25, 2015

Georgia Pre-Memorial Day Half Marathon Run

My 24th state! 
The Pre Memorial Day Half Marathon in 
Snellville, Georgia.

I needed to get a flat run in and I hadn't run in Georgia yet.
So, with no time between my growing Nutrition and Wellness Business (Beyond Nutrition-RDN), and working part-time as a Registered Dietitian at Kessler Rehabilitation Center, I searched the races listed on the 2015 Half Marathon Race Calendar
Ech, I waited too long to register.
I procrastinated because I've been running with a right leg proximal hamstring strain, super tight calves, and swollen achilles/ankle. I waited too long and so when I tried to register, the Pre-Memorial Day Half Marathon in Georgia was closed. I have no races planned until September and October - this was my only free weekend and the only weekend before my daughter's summer classes start. I was hoping it could be a short Mother/Daughter get away.
I reached out to the race director, Deborah Montgomery!
Asked if I could run in the race.
She was awesome - and extended registration!
I was in!
Juliette and I flew in on Saturday, tooled around Atlanta, and ate lunch at Cypress Street Pint and Plate.  It was either really great or we were starving, or both! Next, we took off toward the Stone Mountain Inn at Stone Mountain Park in Georgia. The hotel was beautiful, and Stone Mountain Park was really nice - lots to do - especially for families! I immediately regretted not planning on staying longer! Check out this quartz and granite outcropping, it's part of the Appalachian Mountains:
There's even a carving of the confederates on horseback.
Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis
are blasted into the other side of the mountain!
Jules and I planned to take the Summit SkyRide up to the top after the race. Yeah - there's no way I was going hiking up this mountain after a half marathon.
Speaking of which ...
The race was adorable. It was a local race. You ran around Lenora Park, which was very pretty and nicely paved. But I'm not kidding - you literally run around and around - five loops and then there's an out and back. Each time you completed a loop, you stop at this one water station, which was also supplied with Gatorade. When you stop in and grab your drink of choice, the volunteers check your bib, and let you know when you need to run your out and back.
It was a great, little, no frills, local community half marathon.
There were no bells or whistles. No screaming fans - actually other than the other runners in the race cheer you on. You run this if you're Half-Crazed and trying to complete a half-marathon in every state, for the raw love of running, or you have been motivated as a community member to get up and move! And for this, I applaud Deborah Montgomery and her volunteers for organizing this race - because they are helping to motivate the people in their community to get up and move!
And as I posted on my Beyond Nutrition Facebook Page:
I wish you all a Happy Memorial Day!
Let's remember and honor those who fought 
and died for for our freedom, 
but let's also not forget the top things killing Americans:
Poor Nutrition,
Way to go Deborah Montgomery for providing the "get up and move" motivation to the people in your community and surrounding areas! keep moving people!
And even though I tried to move as fast as possible,
this was not one of my fastest half marathons.
I pushed as hard as I could but after about mile 9,  my right hammy was on fire, and the pain started to shoot up to my periformis. Even so ...
I took 3rd overall!
Pre-Memorial Half Marathon
Georgia, State #24
Almost 1/2 way done!
I haven't planned any races for June. For weeks, this hammy pain was really bad. In fact, I saw Dr Metzl this past Tuesday. He basically told me I have no "arse" - great hammies, great quads, and calves, but no butt!
Baby Ain't Got No Back!
So, this is my new theme song: 

Gotta concentrate on my butt strength, like the ones Dr Metzl lays out in his book, Running Strong
Have you heard of this book?
Have any of these exercise helped you?
Train Smart Today!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon

The Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon was very emotional.
This is the only other memorial run that I've participated in other than that which remembers the victims of September 11. What I didn't expect was to feel and see so many similarities in sharing such a horrible tragedy.
Like this,
The Wall of Names

Side-kick and I arrived Saturday, and went to the Expo. You could feel the energy and excitement building. I love the pre-race Expos, where else could you find a Magic Pain Relieving Cream, called "Real Time". You bet your sweet arse we bought that stuff! I bathed in it too - right before the race!

Next, we picked up our packets - 
did you notice how I said "WE"? 
In spite of the steel plate in his leg, Ron (aka "Side-kick" - now that he's running I think he deserves to be called by his first name! LOL!) committed to run in any 5K race offered alongside the half marathons I run! Maybe I should have bought two bottles of the "Real Time"? I'm really proud of Ron - not only does he claim to "hate" running, but running is painful to him ever since he crushed his femur riding his dirt bike about 10 years ago. Nonetheless - he made this commitment last year - and he's actually seeing it to fruition!

Since the race started at 6:30AM, we planned a big dinner at a great little restaurant, Mickey Mantle's Steakhouse. Of course we ate at Mickey Mantle's Steakhouse
After all - I'm a Yankee's fan. 
Oddly, I had no idea he was from Oklahoma! Dinner was great - best steak ever - the heck with pasta, women can't carb load anyway. Besides, I ate enough carbs the last several days - which is when it really counts! Why not some alanine, carnitine, creatine, and glutamate from red meat for energy production? After dinner, we were exhausted, and called it a night. 

Sunday morning, Ron and I woke up at 5AM, had some coffee, water, peanut butter on white bread - and started the walk from the hotel to the start of the race: 620 N Harvey Ave. 
The race start was directly in front of 
When we got to the memorial, we were amazed. The City of Oklahoma did such a beautiful job of remembering each person killed in that senseless 1995 bombing. It was still a little dark that early in the morning, so all the chairs in the "Field of Empty Chairs", which represented each person lost in the bombing, were still lit. Besides the murder of 149 adults, there were 19 pre-school children killed in this bombing. I cried when I saw 19 small chairs representing these children. So like 9/11, this bombing was senseless. 
Field of Chairs
Walls of Time and
Reflecting Pool
Before the start of the race, there was 168 minutes of silence. During that time, I prayed for continued healing and peace for the victims' family and friends, as well as the survivors. The pain never goes away, it changes over time, but it never goes away - I guess you just learn how to live with it. 

After those moments of silence, I could feel my focus strengthen - I was determined to run a good race - I wanted to take first in my age group. There was a lot of meaning behind this race. First, it was my 23rd state on my journey to finish a half marathon in every state - and my late husband was born February 23rd. This meant something to me. And as with all my halves - 
I run to
Never Forget,
and to tell my children,
they will not get us,
nor will they stop us -
not in New York, not in New Jersey,
and not in the other 48 states!
Second, this race was important because I lost a dear friend, Anne Boggess Nightengale, to cancer on February 26, 2013. Anne was born and raised in Oklahoma. Anne and I went to Engineering Skill School when we worked as Safety Engineers for Aetna Insurance in the 80's. For six weeks we shared a dorm room - we simply hit it off and became lifelong friends separated only by a phone call and some miles. I had to run for Anne. I wanted to make her proud. 
I miss you, Anne.
You were beautiful inside and out.
Anne Boggess Nightengale
I was so obsessed with taking first that I actually panicked around mile five - a women, who looked like a really strong runner, started to pass me. "How old are you?" I yelled out. When I found out she was younger, I was like, "Okay. Whew! You're not in my age group! Okay - go ahead!"
Hell yeah I was focussed on that 1st place age win!

But then came "Gorilla Hill".
I thought Oklahoma was flat? Isn't it home of the twisters? People - mostly school children - lined the streets dressed like bananas - and they were handing out bananas. It warmed my little beatingpoundingsuffering nutritionist's heart to see those schoolchildren handing out bananas! The children were so adorable - I even overheard one little boy say, "Don't you want a banana? They're good for you!" 
.... but then, my focus kicked me back into gear and I thought:
'Sorry kid - I trained with and brought Gu!
Maybe next time!'
Firefighter responders climbing Gorilla Hill, 2015
Bananas in the background!
That hill wiped me out. I started calling on John and Anne. C'mon you guys - help me out! I wanna finish strong. Don't let me give it back. I was nailing it, running 7:30' mile pace for the last three miles - now I was falling off the charts! Ech ...7:55'. 
And of course the camera person is always there after a hill - 
to capture your best look!
Thumbs up, Dude!
I placed first in my age group, but actually took 3rd Overall Female Masters! I felt really strong - even my banged up hammy! It must have been my angels!
It was a great race.
I was so proud of Ron - it was great to see him finish his first 5K!
Post race photo's
Congratulations Ron
- even if your medal is "So Small!"
This race was very well organized. It was a beautiful, positive way to remember those who were lost in that senseless tragedy.
All those tiles in front of the building were created by small children
Here is one tile: Love Heals!
Ain't that the truth!
Thank you Oklahoma,
Thank you Oklahoma City,
Thank you Calvin and Virginia Moser for taking so much of your time to share
with Ron and me
your story of that awful day - and the making of the memorial.
God Bless America!
Train Smart Today!