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Wake Up Call From My Grandson

Friday, September 14, 2012

I'm an hour and a half away from home, visiting my daughter and grandkids today.
I had to pick up Joe, my 16 year old GS today because we'll be running a 5K together tomorrow. He drives (a cool looking Mustang, too) but just started, and Mom doesn't want him driving that far on interstates and such all by himself, so I decided to pick him up and Grandma will return him after the race.

I'm pretty excited about running with my GS, because Joe is quite an athelete. He runs cross country at school, and has a PR of 21.27 for a 5K, or is that just for 3 miles? Not sure how CC is timed for 3 miles or 5K, but at any rate, he's pretty fast. Let me throw in a brag for his older brother Doug, who is currently away at University of West Florida. Joe tells me Doug holds a record from his High School in the 5K. Joe doesn't know the exact time, but assures me "Doug was the fastest in HS" when he attended.

Joe also lifts weights, and he and I have often lifted together. He's very strong and can benchpress an unbelievable 230 pounds. He only weighs 140 pounds. How cool is that?

So, Joe and I are talking about the race coming up. He's asking about how far it is away from my house. Is it paved or trail, stuff like that. He gets around to asking me how my marathon training is going, and wants to know how my long runs are going, how far am I up to now. I advised him I've done two LRs that were over 17 miles long and my next week run will be at least 18 miles.

His eyes bulge out, his face lights up, he looks genuinely surprised and says "Wow, the longest I've ever run is 7 miles, how can you run that far?" I told him how I run/walk and just keep going. This kid now has a million questions. "How do you know how far you've run, do you have regular routes, do you use a mapping program to find routes?"

I'm kind of surprised at his enthusiasm. You know, teenagers are not well known for getting excited about anything other than their own immediate needs. So I hold on to my thoughts, and just answer the questions he asks.

Later, I ponder our conversation. A little light goes off in my brain. 17 miles, I think. What!?! Did I just say I ran 17 miles in one day, and intend to run 26.2 miles in a month or so?? Hell, yes, 17.5 miles is a long distance! I had just forgotten how far. I've taken myself for granted, and forgotten just how "far" I've come. It took the perspective of a 16 year old athlete to wake me up.

This kid knows about exercise, pushing yourself to the limit, and how exhausting exercise can be. He's looking at his 65 year old (I forgot how old that sounds to a 16 year old, too) grandfather, who just made the wild assertion that he's run 17 plus miles in one day! And he is impressed.

No wonder his eyes bulged out and he was so surprised! That is a long distance! I'd just forgotten, because I've done long runs so many times.

Do not take your accomplishments for granted. You've come so far and worked so hard for it. Be proud of yourself. You may have forgotten, too.

Thanks for reading and have a great day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LANEYTHEGIRL 10/2/2012 11:53PM

    Very wise words. Thank you for sharing them.

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MRE1956 9/24/2012 3:52AM

    Great to know that you're setting a wonderful example and role model for youth - and even greater that said youth reacted *other than* rolling their eyes or making snarky comments!


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SKINNYPANDA2015 9/19/2012 10:59AM

    Awesome blog! Thanks for sharing, and good luck with your marathon!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 9/19/2012 9:50AM

    It's great to amaze yourself, but even better to amaze your grandkids! emoticon

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RHONDALYN10 9/14/2012 4:09PM

    That is incredible and he has every reason to be in AWE of you!
Way to go!! Keep up the great work!

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JENN03275 9/14/2012 3:13PM

    What a great conversation with your GS!! Sounds like he is proud of his Grandfather too. Especially, having a teenager of my own, that he got excited. At my house, unless it has to do with lifting weights or football the conversation doesn't happen!

That is just do great that you guys are running the 5k together. Very good memories for both of you!!

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MASRITE 9/14/2012 1:43PM

    That is so awesome. So glad that your GS was so into it and excited for you. It's nice for them to have such an athletic grandfather!!

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STRIVER57 9/14/2012 12:02PM

    that is really great. yeah, what we do and what our sparkfriends and teammates do ... we forget how impressive it is. my half is in 3 weeks -- and despite an injury that totally screwed up my summer training program ... i expect to be ready. am i bragging? hell yes.

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LISAINMS 9/14/2012 11:36AM

    On SP we are surrounded by people doing amazing things all the time. We tend to minimize our own accomplishments compared to others. Running 17 miles is incredible! Heck, running 5 miles is incredible! But that's our norm compared to the general public. I tell people it was an easy 5 mile day and they laugh at me. "5 miles? Easy? Wow." It's good for us to check that perspective every now and then and realize we, too, are impressive.

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KIMPY225 9/14/2012 10:37AM


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CBAILEYC 9/14/2012 10:32AM

    Really nice reminder! And how wonderful to have such a positive response from your grandson! Well deserved, I'd say.

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ONMYMEDS 9/14/2012 10:00AM

    Don't you just love it when you amaze yourself? And it must be REALLY cool to amaze a teenager. Good for you, gramps!!!

Have a great race tomorrow with the GS.

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DAPHNE_RUNS 9/14/2012 9:34AM

    Have a fantabulous race tomorrow with your grandson. I smiled the whole time reading your blog because I was thinking of how you and your family are creating such small but yet very important values in your grandson. Spending quality time with the family is priceless. So here is a new saying, the family that runs together stays together.

Happy running tomorrow......and brag on proud grandpa!!!


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HHOLT6 9/14/2012 9:30AM

    awesome! How cool to be an inspiration to your grandson! I am sure you are an inspiration to alot of people! I'm glad that he reminded you of your accomplishments! emoticon

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My Wife Says I'm Duplicitous.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

She says I used to complain about complaining oldsters when I was a young guy, and have now that I've graduated, I've become one with them.

I don't remember it that way - but I'll take her word for it. Supposedly, I used to say things like "What is it with these old people? They excuse themselves from life and fun by complaining about some issue, like a sore back, bad knees or a million other ailments."

I do have some pains. Wait until you get old, you may have some, too.

My left back/shoulder/neck hurts during long runs. My right shoulder gets sore quickly during weightlifting. You can feel a crunching if I rotate that one! Forget about my feet. The podiatrist wanted me to go under the knife 30 years ago, and I didn't - I got orthotics instead. That pain went away. until I started running last year.

I've kept these maladies under control by exercising with moderation. Believe me, when, for some reason or the other, I got away from exercising, those pains get worse! I NEED to exercise. Like the few times I've been on extended vacations and just took a break. Ooh, my lower back and right shoulder get real painful when I stay away from the weights.

So, I'll keep running and keep working out. I NEED to exercise. So my wife doesn't accuse me of being a complainer.

OOh, I just had a little cramp in my wrist... I think it's from typing too much.

And the knee IS a little tender this morning.....

Thanks for reading, and have a great day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENN03275 9/17/2012 8:04AM

    I think it is inevitable that as we age that we are going to get our aches and pains. Exercise does make it better. I take care of so many people who get joints replaced and experience so much pain and delayed healing because they never exercised!!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 9/10/2012 3:41PM

    Ahhhh Vic, you're like a fine wine, you get better with age, despite the little aches and pains.

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DAPHNE_RUNS 9/5/2012 10:40PM

    I am no longer a spring chick myself and I can feel the aches and pains also. For instance, I fell on my right hand about six years ago chasing my then fifteen month old son. I know rain is on the way because my hand starts to ache.

I have a feeling when you "complain", you do it with a smile. emoticon

Keep moving.

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NWFL59 9/5/2012 5:19PM

    I didn't understand in my youth either and now that I'm of age, I'd rather not experience these invisible but very real symptoms/complaints. I agree that daily movement and exercise is essential to minimize their intrusion into our daily life. I chuckled while reading your blog today -- THANKS
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MBSHAZZER 9/5/2012 5:19PM

    I read that title as "My Wife Says I'm Delicious".... I thought this was going to be a different sort of blog!


Comment edited on: 9/5/2012 5:19:14 PM

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MASRITE 9/5/2012 4:42PM

    It does suck getting older. But, we have to do it. I've got the bad back and the bad knees, but, I keep on pushing at it. What we really need is to stretch. Don't do enough of that.

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SEAJESS 9/5/2012 1:33PM

    Oh, I hear you about the exercise! It's like skipping my meds.... I'm stiff, achey. Isn't that supposed to happen AFTER you run? (Thanks for the foam roller tip, Live2Run4Life!)

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 9/5/2012 1:09PM

    The pain is probably from tight muscles, especially in the back. These can be released with a foam roller, trigger point ball, soft ball, or some other self massage device. Do you use any of these? A regular sports massage is a good investment for anyone, but especially those of us with miles on our body. It doesn't have to hurt, or at least, not as much.

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LAURIE5658 9/5/2012 10:50AM

    It's like hubby and I (ages 56 and 54) sit down in the evening and compare aches, pains and bodily functions gone bad that day LOL. It's normal!!! (isn't it?)


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EWL978 9/5/2012 10:34AM

    Oh, you guys are all alike!! That's why we gals love you so much!! emoticon

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PATTERD707 9/5/2012 10:26AM

    Great post, God gave me my wife to remind me of my duplicity, I'm convinced of it.

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MARATHONDAD 9/5/2012 9:48AM

    aslong as u dont start telling the story how u walked 5 miles to school with one shoe up a hill in 10 feet of snow ahahah

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ONMYMEDS 9/5/2012 9:48AM

    What? Wait a minute!! 66 is OLD??? Who told you that? What a bunch of BS.
90 is OLD.
66 is......mellow.

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NICHOLE_4 9/5/2012 9:08AM

    My Dad is the same way, he explained it that his brain is still 25 but his body is 57 and the two don't get along LOL

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TORAMPAUL 9/5/2012 9:07AM

    I enjoyed your blog :) Hope you have a great day, too.

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Good Long Run This Morning.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

I'm getting close to my longest distance run again. Did 15.2 miles this morning, previous longest run to date was 17 miles. When I hit that distance, I backed off and restarted the marathon training program. If I had continued I would have peaked my training way too early.

So far, I am injury free for the most part. Some tenderness in the left knee, which will not go away, but certainly does not count as painful. I wear a knee brace and KT Tape for the longer runs. Some shoulder/neck pain, which I have always had. I first noticed this when I went for long motorcycle runs. After a couple of hours in one position, I had sharp pain in my left shoulder/neck. Nothing to stop me though, just a nuisance pain. It stops and becomes a dull pain for a bit, then goes away once I stop doing whatever irritates it. Tried KT tape and that helped a bit.

Today was difficult. Just too dang hot and humid, but I get it, slow down in the heat! Lesson learned.

Had to learn to keep the ego in check and understand a 15 mile long run in the heat that takes over 3 hours to complete is a good thing. I am old and slow, improving as I train. Training runs are not races, and I was slow to learn that. But, I get it now.

Now that my Hal Higdon program is calling for "sorta long" runs mid week, and really long runs on Saturday, I have decided to skip one of my mid week runs. I just can't recover quickly enough for my Saturday long run if I run 4-7-4 miles on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. So I'm trying a Tues and Thurs only run now.

Hoping the weather cooperates and the cool weather arrives on schedule, just as my distances get longer. That would be good.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WAVAIRENE 9/4/2012 10:49AM

    Wow! You are dong so good. You're an inspiration. I can't imagine running 15 miles at all...let alone in the heat and humidity. Try to avoid the heat injuries. :)

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MASRITE 9/1/2012 10:36PM

    Wow, 15 miles. I couldn't imagine. Hoping the weather cools down for you. And nice that you're listening to yourself and slowing down. It's not a race, you just need to finish.

On a side note, my husband and I are meeting with a running coach tomorrow. Looking forward to it. Hoping it'll get me re-motivated and back into running. I miss it.

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ONMYMEDS 9/1/2012 3:09PM

    I sure do not envy you having to run in the heat and humidity, but since your marathon is in Savannah, you should have no surprises after training in those conditions.

Sounds like you are doing everything right, adjusting your training as needed and respecting the messages your body is sending out.

It's not easy finding that correct balance, particularly with a new activity and at our advanced age. Being new at this running business, we have no history to guide us and nothing to tell us we may be trying to do too much too soon or for too long. It's a real "seat of the pants" learning process. Just because we are older does not necessarily mean we aren't capable. And, so far, so good.

Keep up the great work, friend.

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DAPHNE_RUNS 9/1/2012 2:19PM

    Vic, another run in!!! I loved my long runs on Saturday. I looked forward to planning my run throughout my neighborhood. My only regret is that I did not include hills (bridges) in my training.

You are doing great---rocking out your long runs and being very aware of your body's limitations.

keep making it happen emoticon

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LAURIE5658 9/1/2012 1:50PM

    Vic, you are doing it right!!!!! I know you are suffering with the Florida weather and I can just sorta kinda appreciate that. I don't have that intensity here. The key is you are FINALLY adjusting your pacing accordingly. Great job!

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    emoticon job!

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RHONDALYN10 9/1/2012 12:45PM

    Great job. Respecting the heat is so important.
I only run 3x a week - it works better for me. M, W and F is my long run.
You are doing incredible out! Keep it up.

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Old Friends

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Old friends, the next best thing to family. As the years pass, I am more appreciative of my old friends. Peoiple I've know since childhood, or old Navy buddies.

When you make a good bond with someone, time passage does not matter. I've bumped into childhood friends that I haven't seen in almost 50 years. Really. Friends who recognized me instantly. How does that happen?

When I was in CT recently, at a local supermarket with my DW, someone called out "Vic" I turned and there was an old buddy of mine. He recognized me from 50 years absence! I had to do a little more looking, but eventually, there he was - George. He was with his wife, Pat. I recognized her right away, perhaps, 'cuz I paired them up. They had been partners since high school!

When I went to my first Navy reunion, 10 years ago, it was like I'd just seen the guys last week. Amazing how the mind can transition like that. These guys were my brothers. We lived, ate, showered and slept together in the same barracks. Fought with and cared for each other like brothers do.

Today, I got a phone call from Murph, who lives an hour and a half from me. Our old buddy, Bubba,who was with us at our Navy Radio station in Panama Canal Zone was coming to visit family in Florida, and would stop by and see Murph.

So, Murph wanted to know if I was available. Heck yeah, I'm available. So, today I am going to see Murph and Bubba. Bubba and I haven't seen each other in 47 years. Wonder if he'll recognize me?

Cherish the friends you have now who are good to you. You will appreciate them so much more as the years pass.

Thanks for reading and have a great day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKINNYPOWELL1 8/24/2012 11:25AM

    Enjoy your buddies, it's so great to have ole friends. Yall are the good ole boys.
Happy weekend. Make sure to tell the boys about your new fan club....Vic's Chicks, hee hee. emoticon

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WAVAIRENE 8/23/2012 12:26PM

    Have a wonderful reunion. It's nice when that happens...especially when you're feeling better about yourself.

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LAURIE5658 8/23/2012 12:03PM

    Vic, my buddy, have a great day and enjoy meeting up!!


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PATTERD707 8/23/2012 11:03AM

    So true about old friends. I've got a few I'm going to call today to get caught up. Thanks for the encouragement.

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KIMPY225 8/23/2012 10:36AM

    Have a great time!

That is some great advice for friendship! emoticon

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Embracing Aging, One Race At a Time.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Had a good nights sleep, and the alarm went off on time at 6 AM.

My granddaughter was visiting, so we woke her up, got her dressed and ready. All my gear was ready, so I did the same, had my coffee and oatmeal and was ready to go.

DW was driving us to the race, which was only 15 minutes away, so we got there in plenty of time to find a nice parking spot. This was a big event. I think over 2000 runners.

I decided to line up at the beginning of the 9 minute per mile pace group. Thought I'd be far enough up front to avoid the slowest runners and the three abreast talkers. Not so.

After the horn went off, I crossed the start line mat almost walking. Good thing I wasn't going for a PR this time, 'cuz the start was very slow. I still had to do a lot of bobbing and weaving around slow runners who had lined up in the 8 minute per mile slot. I'm still learning, so next time, in order to get out there at a decent pace, I will start at the starting line.

So, I run a bit, and I notice a stabbing pain in my left foot big toe. It feels sharp, like I'd stepped on a tack. I wiggled my toes around and the pain came and went. This was not going to work. I had to stop, remove my shoe and sock and probe around to see what was in my toe. Couldn't see anything, so I just scratched around until the pain was gone. Started running again, and all was fine. After the race was over, I found a splinter in my toe! Probably got it while doing all the yard work I did the other day.

The humidity this morning was 89% percent so this was not going to be a fast run for me. At the 1 mile mark my time was 9:53 not so bad for my slow start and splinter removal time. I was really perspiring a lot, and was grateful for my recent hot/humid training runs. They prepared me well. At the 2 mile mark I read 19:13 as I shuffled past. Good enough. Then came the 3 mile mark which read 28 something, and I sped up as much as I could - I like to run across the finish line. First time for me, they said my name as I roared across the mat.

The clock said 29:22 when I passed the finish line, but that was gun time, so I knew I'd be in the 28s somewhere for chip time. That's a great time for me in this kind of weather. I believe my training is paying off.

DW and GD were right there, and got a picture of me, tired but happy.

After the race, there was plenty of food and drinks available. I only had a banana and some water. There was a booth where one could get his body fat calculated. I hesitated, but finally caved in and went for it. Surprised myself, with a 17 percent body fat assessment. Better than I expected.

The organizers, Track Shack, always put on a good run, and this wasn't any exception. I had a great race and made a decent time as well. 28:47 final time. I came in 5th out of 18 runners in my age group.

They even gave me some bling for participating! Cool, huh?

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FANGFACEKITTY 8/24/2012 5:09PM

    emoticon Congrats! I only wish I could go that fast! Maybe in 20 years I'll catch up to you.

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MRE1956 8/22/2012 6:35AM

    I wish more people would "embrace aging" as you do - gotta HATE the youth obsession this country has!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 8/20/2012 10:32AM

    emoticonGreat race and you are always my hero.

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LISAINMS 8/20/2012 10:25AM

I run in 90+% humidity for 6 months out of the year. Great job on your time; humidity is taxing! I share your frustration with slower runners/walking groups being oblivious to the rules of common sense at a race start. Lots of bobbing and weaving. Congratulations on making your way through and earning your bling!

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TEDDYBABE 8/20/2012 1:40AM

    89% humidity. Wow you did great. Thanks for the blog!

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WAVAIRENE 8/19/2012 11:33AM

    You are doing fabulous! And I love the pic they shot of you at the finish line. You look so happy. Well done!


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RHONDALYN10 8/19/2012 8:14AM

    I am thoroughly impressed! Your training is showing in your results. Way to go!!

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PMFISH 8/18/2012 9:10PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon Great run!

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DAPHNE_RUNS 8/18/2012 7:32PM

    Body fat....what body fat. You are in great shape. Being consistent with your cardo and strength training will definitely help prepare you for your marathon. And awesome job on your 5k. It was very humid today and you still finished under 30 minutes.

Comment edited on: 8/18/2012 7:33:38 PM

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NWFL59 8/18/2012 7:14PM

    Congratulations and well done! WooHoo! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MELISSAD71 8/18/2012 6:27PM

    Way to go! I am so inspired! emoticon

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WONDERWOMAN 8/18/2012 6:23PM

    Great race. Great report. Us old folks learn more quickly than those young 'uns.

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MARATHONDAD 8/18/2012 6:18PM

    I love reading your blogs and find u so inspirational !!!!!

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LAURIE5658 8/18/2012 4:32PM

    Vic, what a great finishing time even with the splinter. Your pacing simply amazes me. Congratulations!!!!!

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LUCKEGIRL40 8/18/2012 3:28PM

    Excellent! Good Job!
My goal for next month is to be able to run a 5K in 30 minutes or so. We'll see what happens.

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KKINNEA 8/18/2012 2:54PM

    Great race - you aced it!!!

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ONMYMEDS 8/18/2012 2:04PM

    Not bad for an old geezer. emoticon
I thought the same thing on my last race regarding where to be at the start, and had the same experience. I'm with you buddy. From now on, I'm going to be toeing that start line with the speedsters. And besides, if I pass out, there will be that many more people to either come to my aid or stumble over me.

Well done!!

Comment edited on: 8/19/2012 1:06:03 PM

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JEWELMOTI 8/18/2012 12:35PM

    Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! emoticon

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