Monday, November 14, 2016

Taking My Victory Lap

Way back in June of this year I started a journey.  At first I was trying to keep up with blogging about it here so that you guys could go on that journey with me but a minor surgery sidelined me and I put the blogging part on hold to focus on the journey alone.  I wanted to do a marathon. 

I really can't say 100% WHAT made me want to do one.  But I knew I wanted to do something that the kids could look back on and think, "Mom is pretty badass."  I wanted to actually show them that anything is possible and if you stick with a plan you CAN accomplish what you set out to do.  Plus I wanted lifetime bragging rights!  I mean, it's a MARATHON.  Only 1% of the population can say they have done one.  And I wanted to be one of those people. 

So for 5 and a half months I put in the work.  Long runs on my Sunday mornings, shorter runs 3 times during the week, cross training on Saturdays, missed chances to attend weekend events, running in the heat of the summer, black toenails, missing a couple dance classes in order to get in a run, one terrible yeast infection (don't ask) and a constant fight with fatigue....sounds great right!  Actually it was.  I had the privilege of running with Pink Nation, a sub-team with Sports Backers in Richmond.  They were nothing short of amazing.  The coaches, the other runners, the volunteers that came out to make sure we had water...AMAZING.  I got to see parts of Richmond up close that I have never seen before.  You know that fit right in with my need to explore every nook and cranny of Virginia.  I loved it!  The long runs were not the easiest thing in the world but the time flew for me.  I literally would have run 18 miles and felt like I had only done 5.  I was so distracted the entire time taking in the city, the comradery among the other runners, the flow of advise from the coaches that I felt like the time slipped away too quickly.  Don't get me wrong, it was still work but I was just trying to soak it all in. 

12 mile run on my own in Prince George.  Foggy and alone. 

The first time I ever hit 17 miles!

Found this guy on one of my mid week runs in Henricus Park

Little 10 mile run on the Virginia Capital Trail

More from the Capital trail run.

My first time crossing the Lee Bridge in Richmond on foot and hitting 20 miles!

Along the journey I did have a 4-5 week delay in training as I had some minor surgery that required some down time.  I used the time wisely to just take it easy and work in some travel time and visits to wineries.  After the all clear from the doctor I was back at it and feeling better than ever. 

So after all of that work I was anxious to see it come to fruition.  November 12th loomed before us and as the day got closer I have to admit I got a little stir crazy.  I literally lost my phone (it was in my back pocket), lost my keys (it became a daily thing), and found trying to concentrate nearly impossible!   More than anything I need to do this race to get my sanity back.  Plus Mr. Busy was tired of picking up all of the slack around the house.  Hey!  Laundry was NOT a priority. 

I laid out my clothes and bid the night before, I set two alarms and got to the race venue 2 hours early!  There was no way in hell I was missing this thing.  Once I was dressed and actually at the race I felt 50% of my anxiety disappear.  Sounds like craziness I know to it's true. 

The team met inside the lobby of the Omni and spent a little time there before heading over for a picture on the stairs of the Virginia Capital Building.  Of course we had a few last words from our leader before we parted for the starting coral.  Once in line for the race the only thing to do was keep warm and try take in as much of the atmosphere as possible. 

And then....we were off.  Honestly a big part of the race was a blur.  I just focused on not going to fast at the beginning like we were advised.  That part was easy as one of the coaches jumped in to pace us.  After that my mind just started talking to itself.  I had trained up to 20 miles so I was just waiting to get to that point to see what would happen.  It would be new territory for me.  My family was at the 14 mile marker and then again around 23.  I had heard that after the 20 there was a strong possibility of "hitting the wall" so I asked them to at least be between the 20-25.  I must of got lucky with coaches jumping in just at the right time and with family being there to help me smile because I didn't feel the wall.  I did feel crazy emotional around mile 25. I had a picture of the kids in my pocket.  I took it out and relied on them to carry me through.  It must have worked because the next thing I knew I was crossing the finish line and crying on the shoulder of the woman that gave me the final push I needed to sign up for this journey.  It was an INCREDIBLE feeling.  Pride and gratitude and two of the words that come to mind.  It was my victory lap.

So enough yapping about are some of the pictures from the race.  Yeah I took pictures along the way.  It's what I do people.  If I run the race again next year (I still have to convince Mark it was worth it) I can shave time off just skipping the pictures alone.  Like I would do that!
The ladies with the pink hats are coaches.  They can rock the hell out of a Flamingo hat!

The Virginia State Capitol at Sunrise

Our fearless leaders

Getting our picture on the stairs of the Virginia State Capital Building

In our starting coral waiting to start

Singing the National Anthem...and that guy carried the flag the entire race

The Carpenter Center as seen from the coral

And we were off!

A shot of the James River from the first of two bridge crossings.  This is from the Hugenot Bridge.

And a shot from the 2nd bridge crossing...Lee Bridge.

I made it!!!!!!!!!

I tried to blow up my fitbit!

Mr. Busy's race sign.  I didn't get any pics of him holding it during the race.  By then I couldn't properly use my hands :-)

Following the race I celebrated at my sister's house and then went home for a hot bath and long nap.  I woke up famished and sent Mr. Busy out for Taco Bell AND McDonalds.  I told you I was famished. 

Currently stairs are not my friends and more than likely I will not be running this week.  I do plan to keep up my miles so that I can easily work in a half-marathon here and there during the winter and spring.  I don't want to loose all that I've gained in the last 5 months. 

We also plan to resume our traveling :-)  Next weekend is Bath County and then in December we have a trip scheduled to Claytor Lake.  Happy adventure people!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Camping in Verona

I've been beyond terrible at posting.  And no promise that it will be any better.  Blogging doesn't pay the bills.  But this past weekend was beyond incredible and the pictures are way to nice not to share.  We spent the weekend camping in Verona Virginia, right next to the Middle River. 


Camping right next to the Middle River


I found my future camper :-)

We've visited this campground twice before but never in the fall.  It made all the difference.  I suspect this will be our new "Go-To" spot for camping in the fall.  They will be closed now until the Spring but you can check out their web site here. 


Monday, June 13, 2016

Richmond Canal Cruises

Proving, once again, that there is always more to explore, we spent 40 minutes on Saturday touring Richmond's Riverfront Canals.  I've lived here all my life and this was my first time taking the boat tour.  

We didn't actually plan on taking the tour.  We were visiting some of Richmond's breweries with out of town friends and we stopped for for dinner at Conch Republic.  Next thing you know we were sitting on a flat bottom boat listening to a history lesson being narrated by Cotton.  

Cotton, you see, was the name of our boat captain.   And as you cruise the canal he gives you all the history of how the canal originally came to be...and how it came to be in it's present form.  He also points out some very unique facts about the city of Richmond and other city sites you might want to explore.  

I enjoyed the city's skyline from this unique perspective. We were on the 6 o'clock tour so the sun was still up pretty high in the sky.

Meet Cotton...He likes it when we say "Hi Cotton"

You can find the boat tours in the Turning Basin between 14th and Dock St. on Virginia Street.  Or as Mr. Busy points out it is right next to the Southern Railway Taphouse Patio.  The tours leave at the top of the hour and last approximately 40 minutes.  They run from April to November with varying hours.  Check out their website for the hours and days of availability.  Adults were $6 while children and seniors were $5.

Explore Richmond's was on my bucket list.  I just didn't think I would be seeing them from such a unique place.  Thanks to our friends we now have a great new story to tell and memory forever.

Happy adventuring.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

MTT Post #2

This week the training had to be done alone on Saturday since work obligations had me busy Sunday morning.  6 miles for the long run.  Since I also have another goal in mind I figured a run in my neighborhood would do the trick.  The difficulty in this was I had to make sure I was getting in the miles but had no idea how many miles there were in the neighborhood.  It turned out almost 6 miles on the dot from my front door and then back.

Not too shabby

I didn't feel too bad when I was done.  Managed to make it out with some friends and tour some Richmond breweries.  So I feel like I'm ready to add some extra miles.

On the weekends one day is supposed to be cross training and the other day is the long run.  Since I did my long run on Saturday, I will have to work in cross training after work on Sunday.  What I need to do is work out what that training will be.  I'm leaning towards biking since that is something we enjoy doing as a family.

Looking at my week ahead I have one evening already full so I'll have to find a way to drag myself out of bed for a morning run....already dreading that.  But the other nights are clear.  Looking ahead and planning my time has been helpful.

Off to work now.  Hope you are having a great weekend.

Happy adventuring.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Corporate 4 Miler and More Training

Yesterday evening, after work, some of my co-workers and friends participated in Sports Backer's Corporate 4 Miler.  It's suppose to be an evening of promoting health in the work place while enjoying time being active with some of Richmond's finest employees.  Banks, law firms, counties, hospitals....people who work....all come together to have a great night of fun.  There is always a band, beer on tap, and food to be had.  And did I mention a 4 mile run? 

Since I'm now in training mode....still weird to say....I didn't hesitate to sign up.  Of course my employer made it even more enticing by offering to pay most of the cost.  I couldn't pass that up, right?  Plus I've run it the two previous years so I knew what a fun time it was. 

The course is on the grounds of Innsbrook Office Park in Richmond.  It just makes since to run a Corporate Race on the grounds of several of Richmond's Corporate Offices.  Thankfully most of the route is shaded by race time and the scenery is really nice. 

Before all of the festivities began
This makes me chuckle everytime
Post race hydration is a must
Not bad for being my 3rd day in a row running

Like most races there was a complimentary t-shirt, there were 3 water stops on the course, water/sports drinks at the finish and there was a timer.  No timing chip but a timer so you could record your own time.

So far this week I have over 20 miles logged.  With that being said TGIF because Fridays are REST days! 

This weekend we have a banquet to attend for our oldest daughter, friends coming in town for a visit and some breweries to check out.  Somehow I'm even working an extra 12 hour shift.  Nothing like booking up the entire weekend! 

Happy adventuring!