I love CrossFit.

Yep. I went there. Sorry, not sorry. The Kool-Aid. I didn’t just drink it, I fell in the damn pool. As my friend TJ said, “well, that didn’t take long.”

I love, Love, LOVED the WOD yesterday. Right up my alley (“wheelhouse” would be appropriate here, but I hate that word. Please don’t use it. It’s awful.). I’m not the best weightlifter, but I’m decent for the average female. What helps is having a husband specializes in Strength & Conditioning who worked for US Olympic team coaches.
During warmup and practicing form, coach had us demo our movement one-by-one. Most of the women (there was only one man in the class) are beginners…I did mine and he exclaimed, “WHOA! PERFECT! Everyone, this is how you do it. Haley, do it again.” Hahaha. Now, snatch is NEVER perfect. One can almost always improve something about their form. But, compared to the others, it was pretty damn good.
When I told K about it, I said, “I knew you’d be proud!” He said he was, but he said he couldn’t wait to tell his old bosses. The learning. It’s good.

So, who doesn’t do CF (other than occasionally) for 1.5 years, goes back and gets called ‘perfect’? Hahaha. Nothing like a good day at CF to make one feel GREAT about yourself.*

*Side note: wait until a day where I can’t do any of the movements Rx (as prescribed). Then, I’ll feel shitty about myself. Good days and bad. Take them as they come.

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 8.29.34 AMAnyway, back to my perfect snatch. The main WOD was an EMOM (every minute, on the minute) snatch complex and then a clean complex.
Felt so.damn.good. My weights were not heavy. I’d say it was moderately heavy. The hang squat snatch was my limiter and since I could snatch and OHS at 75lbs, failing a couple times at the hang snatch was totally in my head. As always, our mental game keeps us from doing so much.

The woman I lifted with was awesome. She had an amazing OHS. So deep.
Yes, it’s perfectly acceptable to lift barefoot. She didn’t have lifting shoes or Chuck Taylors, and her running shoes were not appropriate. So, barefoot.

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Ass to grass!

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Full DB mode: knee socks, Lulu shorts, and bright lifters.

I’m also loving the WODify program. Many gyms use some kind of software like WODify or Beyond the White Board. This one ranks members by class, and overall for the day. One can see where they rank outside of the class they attended. I got 5th overall in weight for this WOD. Pretty good for starting over.
(Again, this was a strength of mine and I don’t do this to be the best. It’s just friendly competition, and I’m sure there will be days that I’m last.)

I would post a pic of my ranking, but the program shows last names and I’m not posting a screen shot of the other members’ names. So, you get my log:
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I’m not going to CF today because it’s a running WOD. I really, really want to, as I’m always a strong runner at CF. Ten years of long distance pays off when most of these people don’t run. But, I’m resting my knee and sprinting 6 rds of 400m is probably not a good idea. I know I’d try to “win” and I need to leave my ego at home. At any gym we’ve belonged to, I’m usually the best at running WODs. If K is there, I come in second, only to him. Anyway. That’s not why I’m CF’ing, so I need to either do some conditioning at home with the sledgehammer and ropes, or take a rest day.

I will ride my high from yesterdays WOD until tomorrow, where I’m sure I’ll be brought down to earth with how out of shape I am. Today is not that day and I don’t need to be mad about a bum knee.

Hope you have a great day and do something that makes you feel great about yourself!

8 weeks: Back at the Box.

Over the river (Mississippi) and through the swamp...to CrossFit I go...

Over the river (Mississippi) and through the swamp…to CrossFit I go…

8 weeks. Just under 8 weeks until I see K again. I’m resting my knee: no trails. Uneven terrain seems to really aggravate it, so I’m being smart and avoiding my favorite place and races. :( No races until Nov. 29, and that one will be a week-of decision as it’s local. Officially, no events until Jan. when I have 3 planned. Even those I’ll be ok with cancelling as none of them are new states and don’t require more than a 1 night trip. Since I’m not doing any races, this is a short term goal to focus on. 8 weeks. Of course I’m not going to stop after that.

8 weeks: to kick my own ass.
8 weeks: to eat optimal food.
8 weeks: to MOVE. More.

I’m not going to step on a scale. I did that last week and it wasn’t pleasant. I don’t want, or need, to obsess over a number. I know a range in which I feel great, in which I look pretty good, and can perform pretty decently at CF and running with only half-assed training. But, bodies don’t always respond in the way we like them to, so no scale. If I do the above things, my body -and mind- will change for the better.

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The gym is at the base of that big bridge I have to drive over. Big bridges over the Mississippi are a part of daily life here. Thus, the logo. (Sidenote: really not good for my pretty severe GEPHYROPHOBIA. I only have a problem with them over water. I know where it stems from -several incidents/witnessing accidents in childhood. I *HAVE* to cross bridges over water with my windows down and even then I still get a high HR and sweaty palms…also, my mom thinks it’s funny to email me news articles when bridges collapse in water.)
Now that I’ve given myself anxiety for the evening, lets move on. We all have our issues, ok?

Step 1: Workouts.

I FINALLY bit the bullet and paid for a membership. I’ve been dropping in to this box over the past month or two, actually maybe since August. Things kept coming up so I didn’t join: went to Ohio for 2 weeks, then Washington, then my knee hurt, then so on and so on…paid the registration ‘fee’ (covers WODify account and shirt) and did a discounted 6 month contract (with no-fees if we -hopefully- move at some point).

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CFDB bag. Vibrams. Minimus. Reebok Oly Lifters. Jump Rope. Cute G WEAR tank.

The WOD:
10rds for time:
21 double-unders
7 ring dips
7 toe-to-bar
7 pistols

I scaled to 5 rounds. Time: 11:24.
I can’t do anything resembling a ring dip anymore without a band. I can’t do more than 1 toe-to-bar and I can almost do one pistol on my left leg only…my damn right knee is really starting to piss me off and it’s making me weak.
So. I’m starting somewhere (the bottom) and it’s really exciting. I’m actually ok with the current state of fitness affairs. At least I can still do a pullup, DU’s, handstands, and Olympic lifts. And I’m sure there is plenty more I can do. I’m not dwelling on what I can’t do anymore, because I know I will do them again. Probably sooner than later. We shall see tomorrow…

Food
Again, something I’m not going to obsess over. When I eat well, I feel great. The end. I don’t want to add pressure to myself and log everything, but if I attempt to, it will help me be more accountable.
Today:
Post WOD: spaghetti squash with ground beef and veggie sauce (leftovers). Bell pepper from the garden.
photo 1(6)Lunch/Dinner: chicken salad over veggies, some chicken with sriracha, mayo & ketchup.

Not a food photographer.

Not a food photographer.

Some bone broth

Nutrients.

Nutrients.

There you have it.

NH/ME Double: NH. I’m not very good at this.

Click me to see panoramic!

Click me to see panoramic!

What do you do when you have an annoying knee issue because you were clumsy and slid down a wet hill? You go do 2 marathons that you’re completely untrained for, of course. The trip was already booked, my husband really wanted to do NH since this weekend was peak foliage and it was his only chance at a marathon this season since it’s starting to get too cold up there. Maine was sold out so he couldn’t get in to the one on Sunday…so, I did them both. There was no way I was going to sit out while he did the full with my friends.

Hello, Beantown.

Hello, Beantown. I’ll spend Monday walking all over you.

Flew into Boston Friday mid-day after a horrifying landing in a severe storm in ATL. A Maniac friend of mine gave me a quick ride up to Bristol, NH. We hit race registration and that’s when I finally decided to register. The rain & cold had stalled and the weather was not supposed to get bad until after 2p on race day. So, as long as it didn’t rain the whole race, I wouldn’t be completely miserable. To quote one of the pickup volunteers….”You flew here all the way from New Orleans and you don’t know if you’re doing the race? You’re still debating? People do this about 10k’s, not marathons.” Haha. Yeah, well. I’ve done enough races in shitty weather (I’m looking at you, Kansas blizzard, 20 degrees in Tulsa Rt. 66, cold storm in Little Rock, and storming Cajun Coyote 100) and wasn’t in the mood to do it again.

So, we registered and went to the race dinner. I normally don’t do pre-race pasta dinners, but this town was tiny and everyone was at the dinner. My friends said it was the best one they’ve ever been to, as it’s homemade. Sure enough, they were right. A bunch of grandparents made 10 different sauces to choose from, cookies, salad, etc. All-you-can-eat and it was real food. I had a sausage and pepper sauce and it was delicious.

10689812_10152437869457794_7323322614554920204_nRace day: hung out with a bunch of Maniac friends before the start. I asked Alex what pace he was planning on running (he’s training for 100 and was also doing the Double) so I knew he wasn’t running hard. He said, “Whatever pace you’re running.” Oh, sweet relief!  I was dreading doing the whole thing alone since my heart wasn’t in it and my knee definitely wasn’t in it. I was so thankful. So, off we went running 2:1 intervals from the start.

Little Lake SunapeeThe race: GORGEOUS. We ran around Newfound Lake. Wonderful volunteers. Great views. Hills. Rolling hills. I thought the race was going to be flat. Wrong. Not much to say about the race itself. We just kept on the interval. Told stories. Joked. Laughed. One guy was on the side of the road cheering on runners and said, “Oh! You two must be married.” We both laughed…I said, “if we were, we wouldn’t be having this much fun together.” So Alex said, “Oh no, our husbands left their wives behind!” As K and his partner Shawn are much faster than us. Somewhere around there he said, “I’m not very good at this.” I replied, “Yeah, I suck at this too.” Oh, we had good laughs about that all weekend and anytime something got hard or someone at an aid station said something along the lines of, “Oh, you two look great! we replied…”I’m not very good at this.” We’re just doing 2 marathons…but we’re not very good at this.

How about some pictures? There was nothing remarkable about the running, except the scenery.

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Cute towns

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Around and around the lake we go

We ran by  Sculptured Rock park and this was about 20 feet off the road. Alex and I took a pit stop here to take pics and put on our ponchos (and it only rained for about 3 minutes).

Time out for history

Time out for history

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Ran by a barn & B&B that was being set up for a wedding. I’m not into weddings AT ALL, but this was tiny and very cute. I think what I said was, “I really hate the excess & showing off of weddings, but that was pretty much perfect!” I think there were only 4-5 tables and the barn was not very big.
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The houses around the lake were amazing. Some big, but many were just old, small cottages. Loved them. Especially this one only accessible by boat!

Perfection

Perfection

Well, I guess one could walk there in winter. (The locals said it’s unused in winter due to the plumbing)

Um, no.

Um, no. (source)

 

And finally…

Finally.

Finally.

The post race food was great. Tons of food, chocolate milk, fruit, fresh pizzas from the local joint across the street. For a race with less than 300 people, the community support was amazing. ALL proceeds go to 3 local charities. Completely no profit. Overall, a wonderful race. I love a small-town event like this. Would highly recommend it to anyone, even those who are hesitant to do small races: there were cops at intersections, the course was very straightforward around a lake, and still many signs. I felt completely safe and was in awe of the views.

Got in the car and headed to Maine….

More on Maine tomorrow. This post would be too long if I wrote them together.

Kicking my own a$$

Still taking it easy on my knee, but it’s time to see what I can do. I decided to not go to CF this week since I have the double marathons this weekend. I’ll start back next week (and see how my knee is feeling). There’s plenty I can do at home, so I did.

9/29: KB sets during the day. Every time I went outside doing things like laundry and garden, etc. I picked up the KB and did some sets.

9/30: 26lb tire drag, .25mi intervals x4. In between, KB sets: swings, SDHP, squats. Tire “box” jumps. Did this throughout the day.

10/1:
AM: walk, 45min outside
1hr on treadmill after

10/2: forgot.

So, I had this written and ready to publish Friday before I left. I log-in this morning and see I never hit “publish” and didn’t schedule it. Great. So, I update it a little bit this morning and hit “publish”. Then of course WordPress had a glitch and I lost everything I’d written after 10/1. Great. Thanks.

Now you get an even crappier post. Today I’ll be writing my race & weekend recap, for you 5 people to enjoy tomorrow. Let’s just say it was gorgeous. The absolute best weekend to go to North American Canada! (I call everything up North “canada”. I enjoy annoying K by calling Ohio the “tundra that everyone hates”. Haha)

Hope no one wasted their time reading this crap today, but I’m too tired to care to fix it. I would say “happy Monday,” but it’s Tuesday. It’s my Monday though. Tomorrow will be better…tomorrow will be better…if we keep saying it’s true, it’ll happen, yes?

Lets talk normal stuff.

Since I’ve been back from the Blerch, eating through Seattle, & Ohio, I’ve been craving vegetables and fish. Thankfully I stocked up the last time Whole Foods had wild caught salmon on sale. Some things I’ve eaten this week:

mushroom & truffle eggs

mushroom & truffle eggs

Shouldn't have made the basil pesto look like a log of poo

Shouldn’t have made the basil pesto look like a log of poo

And another meal of the same

Pesto didn't turn out much better...

Pesto didn’t turn out much better…

Didn’t even try this time.

Can I have some?

Can I have some?

Finally something different

I could live off this.

I could live off this.

My knee. Sigh. I’ve rested it a solid week now. Iced it religiously for 5 days, and no-so-religiously for 2-3. Today I tried some intervals (not fast sprints, just decent slower running in between kettlebell movements) and it wasn’t feeling great. Gggrrr. It’s becoming really annoying. It’s not painful enough that I think it’s a major tear or rupture (read: No way I’m going to the Dr), but I’m not used to feeling anything that uncomfortable when I run other than the normal muscle discomfort after 30-50miles. Yes, I know, I know, you can go ahead and hate me. So, what to do? Nothing of course. I think it just needs more rest. Unfortunately, I’ve got a double (2 marathons) this weekend. I should be able to make it through them fine considering I finished the Blerch the day after I fell, but it will probably be slow and less-than-fun ideal. K will look at it and give it some sports med/trainer movements and try to narrow down what it may or may not be. Then, we’ll decide what to do. I’m getting around fine and obviously can still physically move/run, so I’m doing the healthy thing and will ignore it a while longer (and rest)!

While resting my knee, I worked my arms, shoulders, and back doing CropFit! Functional fitness, FTW!

This week I’ve completely redone the garden. I needed new dirt and the boxes had become overgrown. Then my wonderful fur children decided they NEEDED to hunt and dig something that had been living in there. My 2 year old rosemary that survived the harsh winter and a week of below-freezing temps (3 days in the 20’s!) was near death. Got that transplanted to a pot and went to work…

Before

Mess.

Mess.

Dog damage

Layout

Fuckers.

During

Out with the old

Out with the old

Moving dirt.

Moving dirt.

Please let me play in it…PLEASE

Digging asshole

Digging asshole

In charge

In charge

After
(the middle section isn’t finished, but that won’t be finished for a couple more days. This is close enough to finished)

Before I got this chicken wire fence up, the dogs ran thorough my rows, dug, and dug up 2 cauliflower. My carrot seeds were meticulously planted. I’d worked so hard for 4 days, for it to be destroyed in just a couple minutes. I was furious. Actually, furious doesn’t describe it. But, I’m hopeful. I threw in more seeds, said “fuck it” and the dogs knew they were in trouble. My uncle has carrots and beets sprouting already and when he thins his crops, we’re going to put some of his baby plants in my middle section. So…hopefully between what they didn’t destroy and the transplanting, I’ll have some strong crops. I’m really excited to have a TON of beets. I love them.

Carrots, beets, cauliflower, bok choi, cilantro, chard

Dog proof

Dog proof

After the dog drama, my mom and uncle both praised my extensive work and care to another uncle. I was floored. See, we’re not an overly praising family. (How I ended up independent and not really needy is beyond me.) My uncle is a master gardener and hunter and could (and mostly does) live off the land. He’s impressed and thinks it will do well. And my mom said, “Maybe that agriculture education at Texas A&M wasn’t a waste after all.” Ha. Gig’Em!

Seattle & the state of my knee

Arrived in SEA Fri mid-day. Plenty of time to hunt for food and get my friend Halbert ready for his race Sat. The races started at 9am both days, and it was so nice to not be rushed for an early bed/early wake-up. (Which wasn’t so fun when it was HOT on Sunday)

Dinner: Sushi & ice cream! Based on the recommendation of a friend who lived in the neighborhood of packet pickup, we hit Ballard for some really good, and really inexpensive sushi. Then, we could walk it off and find more calories. We ended up at Full Tilt, a local ice cream joint that is also an arcade. So fun!

Delicious tuna.

Taking a picture, of taking a picture, of food.

Arcade!

Sat AM (Halbert’s pre-race) we hit PCC Natural Market. Whoa. Loved that grocery store. I have a thing for grocery stores. Whole Foods is usually good, but overpriced. And their deli/prepared foods bar is usually slathered in canola oil and/or other less-than-ideal ingredients. Not this place. AND it was open at 6am. I think this ties with Central Market for one of my favorite chains. Anyway, I got some pumpkin grits. I will try to replicate this at home. They were delicious. Sure they had some sugar (not really that sweet though), but all the ingredients were REAL. No funky oils. So yes, this was good enough to write about.

Pumpkin everything!

*MY KNEE* While spectating I fell. The race was in a park and there was a steep hill going down to a soccer field. The finish line was on the edge of this long downhill. Anyway, it was really wet due to morning dew and I slid…into the splits. Thankfully my muscles were ok, and I saved my groin from pain, but my knee twisted in a really funky way. It still hurts, 5 days later. :( It’s not serious (I don’t think), but it definitely feels ‘not right’. I wasn’t going to skip my race. Not an option and I knew I could walk it if I had to. I felt it all day, but nothing terrible. Anyway, I’m taking it easy this week, but it’s really annoying.

Sat PM. Since the race started at 9 (I spectated and got a ton of books signed by Oats), I left the race site later in the afternoon. This left minimal time downtown before things started closing at 6p. (Why do things close downtown on a weekend at 6?! AND it was home football weekend, TONS of tourists). Dinner plans: restaurant hop to try 1-2 things at each place and not sit in one spot all evening.
Vital Tea: one of my favorite tea shops in the country (located in San Fran & Seattle) to stock up.

Fish market to buy some smoked salmon. (no pic obvi)

Beechers & Le Panier. I had to bring my travel buddy to Beechers. Can’t pass up their cheese. I would never have thought to Le Panier, but someone at the race said it was a “MUST” as it was the best French bakery they’d been to outside of France. I was skeptical and I’m not a big bakery fan, but it was now my “pre-race” so I figured something small wouldn’t hurt. What the hell. Well, it was good, but I do live outside of NOLA where we do have some amazing French bakeries. So, is it the best? I don’t know. Was it good? Yes.
Champignon (mushroom) pasty of some sort. (living where I live, it’s a word we use often. Cajun French comes in handy after all)

Halbert had to make sure his macarons & croissants were safe.

Safety first.

Oysters: Well, I’d had macaroni and a pasty, so who cares what my stomach does at the race tomorrow, right? I figured I’d be going slow and goofing off anyway, so it didn’t matter (nothing bad happened! No porta-potty or woods emergencies!)

Mmm, bivalves.

Sunday race: Nutella & some cake. See race report.

Sunday PM: Tipsy Cow Burger Bar with Anne. I got “the Arsonist” and another chance for more Beechers. I debated if I wanted something that hot since I was flying all day Monday, but I reasoned with myself that we were in the PNW and not in the Southwest or South, so the chances of it being “hot” on my scale, was slim. And I was right. Not hot, but delicious, complex pepper flavors.

Arsonist.

Oh. Did I mention the truffle fries? Ohsogood even though they are not a traditional compliment to a spicy burger.

Truffle everything!

Wish I had more time, but I wasn’t going spend more time in the area without K. It’s just not as fun when he was supposed to be there.

That’s it. Hope you’re hungry now!

Beat the Blerch

Signed bibs!

This weekend was the inaugural Beat the Blerch marathon (and 10k and half) outside of Seattle. Also known as: the non-runners marathon. The “sit on the couch and eat cake and watch RoboCop” marathon.  Sure there were some fast runners there, but there were less than 300 full marathoners and most were there to have a good time. If you take racing really seriously, this isn’t for you. Move along, un-fun people and make room for us, those who like talking to people, wearing costumes, and eating cake.

MMM…CAKE.

Costumes!

It was unexpectedly popular (by the Oatmeal and the race director) and the site crashed almost immediately upon registration opening. I had a great team of family and friends registering and I got in! The website crash and very long wait-list showed the demand, and Oats and the RD got approval for a second race, on Saturday.

The Oatmeal ran in costume too.

Fast forward to this weekend…it was a quick trip just for the race. I did squeeze as much as I could, but I had friends doing the race both days, so I got to spectate Saturday and participate on Sunday.

Packet pickup: easy. It was at a big RoadRunner Sports store and we were in/out in less than 5 (ok, 10, got distracted by the goodies!) minutes. The shirt is AWESOME. Thick long sleeve 1/4 zip with tumbholes? Plus, a “0.0” Blerch sticker and magnet? Yes, please! (already getting our $100 worth!)

Schwag!

Parking was a breeze! We got nervous the week of the race since an email was sent out saying they oversold parking passes. However, there were schools and businesses across the street from the park with tons of overflow parking. But, the field had plenty of spaces. It was never an issue.

Even the parking lots are pretty in Washington! Ever done a race where they spray painted spots? Details make a difference!

I was so excited to see a huge bank of porta-potties! I was so impressed with how many they had. I’ve done marathons 5+times this size that only had half this number. NEVER any line to them. Not once. Anyone who walked up to them, found one that was open. And clean. Very, very clean.

tons of places to pre-race poop!

The race started at Tolt-McDonald park. Tons of room and a very charming barn that housed bag-check, post race food, and other logistics.

Gorgeous barn.

Ever seen one of these solar, cell-phone charging trailers? Yeah. He paid to have one out at the race. So cool!

Need juice?

From there, we ran about a mile and hit the river, then over some bridges to the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. This was gorgeous. The crushed gravel had some rocks that were a little bigger than I’d like for crushed gravel, but it was fine. Nothing to complain about, especially since the scenery was gorgeous. It was 86 degrees by the time we finished, making for a really hot day, but I was so thankful for the trees.

Trail

Blerchy tu-tu and pretty trails.

Overall: WORTH IT. For the cost of an average marathon ($100), the race company and the Oatmeal went above and beyond. I do so many of these I never have any expectations. This ranks in my top 5 marathons. The shirt, FREE RACE PICS, the HOURS of book & bib signing by Oats, the abundance of food, the aid stations, the fun volunteers, the tons of porta potties, the ease of parking/logistics. All top notch. My mom even saw my race shirt and said, “Did you buy that too?!” (she meant in addition to my race packet). For her to comment on it…huge compliment that she didn’t think that it was the race shirt.

Cake.

 

Lots of Nutella pushing Blerches.

More cake.

Other stuff: BLERCH. The volunteers were so fun! They all embraced the “Blerchyness” of the event and pushed cake, Nutella, magical grape drink (explained in his book, and yes, it is magical), and then other regular race foods such as Gu shots, energy bars, chips and pretzels, bananas, etc. Due to it being on the trail, the aid stations were 3-4 miles apart because of the limited road access. This was fine for me, but the heat at the end had us wishing there were 1-2 more on the course. However, that was impossible. For people who haven’t done trails or ultras, I can see how it would be a shock to go from a road marathon with water every mile, to this. However, the aid stations were well stocked, and FUN.

Oats signing my book, fun spectators, me being chased by a Blerch, and a cute shirt.

Blerch. Blerchii.

The race/run itself was uneventful for me. I ran with my friend Carrie from El Paso. I had talked her into this race while visiting her and her husband for Bataan Death March, so I felt it was the right thing to do to stay with her. We ran her pace, then when she started slowing down and our walk breaks increasing in time and slowing in pace…I made the call to go to my interval timer (about halfway). Things got better after that and had a negative split overall. We were maintaining a consistent pace doing 3:1’s and picked up 2 nice ladies who where half-assed run/walking. They were lovely and fun. Then, over the miles, picked up 2 more and went down to a 2:1 interval based as a request of the ladies we picked up. We had a fun group during the hard miles of 15-20. The rest fell off by mile 23, but we waited for them at the finish.

Running with Carrie

I made some new running friends and had a delicious post-race burger with Ann from Kansas City. As a cancer surgeon, we hit it off and had lots to talk about besides racing. Turned out, she has a friend who was in the Army…who was one of K’s chemo providers when we lived in El Paso.  <3 SMALL WORLD. I love races where I have no goals other than to finish. It allows for maximum fun, and you never know who you’ll meet!

(My post tomorrow will be non-race food & fun during the quick trip)