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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I know I haven't been around much. I moved house, which went badly, The movers failed to show up - twice - and when they finally moved me, they stole my iPod and broke a bunch of things. I dislocated my shoulder unpacking, and now I'm sick (sinus infection). Although I'm being billed for it, the internet is not working in my home, so I can't get online much. I also changed jobs and started a masters program.

Sooo .... life's been stressful, and I'm sorry haven't been around as much as I like. Hopefully, that won't last. Special thanks to Dani1855 for driving several hours to help me assemble furniture - you should have seen me putting together my office chair one-handed!

Many thanks to people who have checked in - I appreciate it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUETINGE 9/24/2012 5:49PM

    Oh Cat, what a handful all at once. I hope by now you're getting settled in to everything. emoticon

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ENDUROVET 9/24/2012 12:28PM

    Ugh - deepest sympathy on the shoulder injury!

Hope to hear more-upbeat news soon (graduate program? in what discipline?)

emoticon emoticon

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DISPATCH91 9/22/2012 1:58PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IAMFRANSGIRL 9/20/2012 4:11AM

    Hope things are going better!

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DORIS39 9/20/2012 1:18AM



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MSEMBERSTORM 9/19/2012 5:08PM

    Hugs! I hope you really mend quickly. Sounds like you have had a challenging time. Big hugs and positive thoughts being sent to you.

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FUNFROG79 9/19/2012 9:48AM

    How awful!! Hang in there, I'm thinking of you! emoticon emoticon

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i'm so sorry you have been through all this along with having fractures in both feet!! i hope that you can start to heal as you take things slower now that the move is completed. it's great to have a sparkfriend close enough to come help with the furniture !!! i hope you take it slow with the unpacking. good luck with your new job!!

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 9/18/2012 4:21PM

    oh Cat!! that is terrible..i am SO sorry this happened!! Hopefully now you are settled and you can concentrate on recovering!! I so wish i was closer....big hugs!!

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SHORTTOOTH1 9/18/2012 3:58PM

    I hope things get better. emoticon

But I second the question, where are you at now?

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ROBYNLN 9/18/2012 3:10PM

    Glad to hear from you. I hope things improve. emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 9/18/2012 3:08PM

    great to hear from you.......
all the best with your new changes....
hope your shoulder will heal quickly...
blessings and hugs......lita

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/18/2012 3:08:53 PM

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IRISHMUM3 9/18/2012 2:20PM

    Big hugs for getting through all of this!

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    You have really been busy and dealing with a lot of stress. I always end up sick when I'm stressed. I hope things calm down soon and that you have a speedy recovery.

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ZIRCADIA 9/18/2012 2:04PM

    It's nice to hear from you!! :) Sorry the move has been pretty rough. *HUGS* I can't believe you got such horrible movers! BOO!

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MDMNINA 9/18/2012 2:04PM

    emoticon Where are you now?

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    The nice thing about having a bunch of bad stuff happen to you all at once is that you have got great material for story telling in the future. We went out for a grossly overpriced dinner one year on Valentines Day. I have had much more fun telling that story year after year than the few dollar ($200.00) that the dinner cost.

Make Today a Great Day!

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Help Me Help Cracker Barrel!

Monday, May 21, 2012

I've only been to Cracker Barrel twice in my life, which is probably a good thing, because it's definitely not diet food. What it is is down home, uber deliciousness, melt in your mouth goodness, Heaven on a plate! emoticon

The first time I was there, I had the beyond amazing sweet potato pancakes. Oh my goodness! They were so good that I didn't even bother with the syrup - I couldn't imagine covering up such savoury succulence. There was a party going on in my mouth, and the guest of honor was my tummy! emoticon

So ..imagine my dismay when I went a second time and saw this menu:

Yes! Sweet potato pancakes were only a limited time offering! emoticon They're gone! Can you believe that the waitress had the audacity of suggest that I might want the multi-grain pancakes instead? emoticon

No. I want sweet potato pancakes, and I'm hoping that if enough people mention it to Cracker Barrel, they'll see the error of their ways and repent of their foolishness.

Here's their contact information:

To save you time, here's my suggested text:

Dear Cracker Barrel,

Your sweet potato pancakes were the best. Please bring them back!

Your name

Pretty please will you help restore sanity to the Crack Barrel cookadoos who ruined my much anticipated breakfast on the road?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DJ1SKYWALKER 8/9/2012 12:28PM

    I actually live near a Cracker Barrel in Virginia and VERY hard to stay away. I LOVE their cheesy hash browns. I love pumpkin pancakes and can't wait for those to come around again in autumn. I will definitely send a note about the sweet potato pancakes because that sounds scrumptious!!!!

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MSEMBERSTORM 6/10/2012 8:58PM

    I love this!!!!!

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EMSSBEARS 5/31/2012 12:37AM

    Never had sweet potato pancakes, but they sound like they would be healthier than regular ones - more fiber for sure-lol. Will send my a message to Vracker Barrell for you:)

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BUSYMOM911 5/26/2012 1:25AM

    I understand completely about finding a treat on the road. I have sent in my request. Let us know if they come back on the menu, maybe a blog (even for a limited time) so we can try them out.

I've never had breakfast there, but loved our last dinner there. Tried to keep calories in mind, so one of my sides was turnip greens. Surprisingly, they were really good (with salt, yeah, a no-no).

When I go out to eat, mostly I ignore the calories & enjoy the experience. There is enough time to watch calories later. The weight didn't get there overnight, and it's not a race to get it off. If it takes a few more days because of my enjoying eating out, so be it. Life is too short not to enjoy the 'treats' along the way.

PS - Thanks for recommending Bahama Breeze a while back. That place is awesome.

Comment edited on: 5/26/2012 1:26:29 AM

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DUKELETO 5/25/2012 8:19PM

    I have to admit, i had most of a big boy breakfast for dinner last night!!!!

(I do avoid the place as much as I can lol!)


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NIGHTSKYSTAR 5/24/2012 10:39AM

    wow--i just read all the comments and i'm kind of appalled at some of the comments. I sent in the request to Cracker Barrel right after i left..and i have to confess i told them i wished they would open one we have noplace decent to go for good hotcakes!!
Folks that were negative,...there is NOTHING wrong with splurging!! It doesnt mean you arent being doesnt mean you arent means you are listening to your dear self and grantintg a wish..once in a while. If someone told me i could never ever ever have buttercream again. that it would make me not serious...well..sorry but i'd tell them what i think!!!
I choose not to have hotcakes becausee for me it would be a daily thing..i'm a chef, its my profession, and i know myself. I hardly think going to a place twice warrants being not serious about your food plan, its showing you are able to have a treat and acknowledge it..and fit it into your food plan!!!
"let he who is without ever having taken a bite of anything offplan..ever..cast the first stone..."

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DISPATCHER04 5/22/2012 6:10AM

    OMGosh, Cat--send me all the food that the other posters don't want/can't have. I'll eat it. emoticon emoticon

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8THTIMEUP 5/22/2012 5:42AM

    The woman is looking for her 2nd serving of sweet potato pancakes IN HER LIFE and we've got folks belittling her and advising her to just give up? She wasn't even asking for an opinion, just HELP because a big corporation was taking away her breakfast choices.

White flour haters are refusing to offer succor and then passing moral judgment? Well, go eat your angry, bitter breakfast bowl of twigs and bean juice. I'm going to fill out a Cracker Barrel complaint form for every adult member of my family in your stead in an effort to get back those Sweet Potato Pancakes for a fellow Sparker (and for me because they sound delicious!)

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CHRIS3874 5/21/2012 10:04PM

    I feel like I live in a real backwater instead of a provincial capital- I thought Cracker Barrel was a brand of cheddar cheese not a restaurant.

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50FITNFUN 5/21/2012 9:21PM

    Sent my email to C.B. post haste! Port Orleans Riverside's restaurant, Boatwright's Dining Hall, had THE ABSOLUTE BEST sweet potatoe pancakes with honey pecan butter EVER! But then, for some odd reason, they discontinued breakfast service. Cracker Barrel was a happy, more accessible, second best. Now, if I want them, I have to cook them myself. Thankfully, I was able to obtain a copy of Boatwright's recipe.

On those rare occasions that I feel the need to make them(usually when I visit family in Connecticutt) I make regular sized cakes for everyone else but only 2-3 silver dollar sized cakes for myself. That way, I satisfy the craving without killing the diet.

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DORIS39 5/21/2012 9:17PM




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DISPATCH91 5/21/2012 8:40PM

    I'll do it.

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DOTSLADY 5/21/2012 8:14PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonWhat's in 'em? You know I can't condone white stuff even if sw. potatoes are in them. LOL. We'll have to find you a healthy recipe?
emoticon emoticon

If I could, I'd make 'em for ya.

*I'm walkin' outta here shakin' my sweet potato*

Don't be hatin' on me.

Comment edited on: 5/21/2012 8:17:59 PM

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L*I*T*A* 5/21/2012 5:54PM

    thanks for the information....
sent it in........
don't have Cracker Barrel near by....
blessings and hugs.............lita

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SLENDERELLA61 5/21/2012 5:33PM

    There are healthy choices at Cracker Barrell, including grilled chicken tenders, sliced tomatoes, poached eggs, cottage cheese (although it isn't low fat), buttermilk to drink. Baked sweet potato is good. I usually splurge on one veggie that has some southern cooking (i.e. unhealthy fat) such as turnip greens with pepper vinegar. The decaf coffee is good. We go a couple times a year, usually when traveling. It's one of my hubby's favorites. I wouldn't order pancakes. Sorry.

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ELISELOVE1 5/21/2012 5:17PM

    i've been there.

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PICKIE98 5/21/2012 5:10PM

    The only thing edible I have found there is the roast beef dinner,, the rest is worse than what I scrape out of pans before I wash them,,
They can send that stuff back down where it came from..

IMHO you are better off to go to some mom and pop place...

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SERAPHGYRL 5/21/2012 4:33PM

    Ok...why would you want an irresistable menu item back on the menu when you're trying to get fit? LOL I happen love LOVE Cracker Barrel pancakes although I've never tried the sweet potato kind. I, fortunately, know just how badly they fit into my daily calorie intake so it's a rare treat to have them. I went to Village Inn last Saturday though and got a side of 4" whole grain pancakes instead of hashbrowns. They weren't Cracker Barrel (what do they do to make them so crisp and yummy?) however they were quite delicious. I ate them as my meal and brought the rest of my breakfast home.

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ENDUROVET 5/21/2012 4:32PM

    We used to stop in at Cracker Barrels when we were traveling - here lately, not so much since they are generally PACKED & the service tends to be marginal (when I'm hauling the horses I tend towards Waffle Houses or similar so my babies don't have to stand in the trailer any longer than they have to!).

My current monthly splurge is the New York cheesecake pancakes at IHOP - there again, I order them w/out the fruit since they're plenty sweet & decadent all alone.

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    Cracker Barrel changes the menu a lot. I'm not a fan of the place. I still don't know what is good to eat there.

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_LINDA 5/21/2012 3:09PM

    Honestly Cat! This stuff isn't diet food! I thought you were serious about losing weight! Eating out regularly at places like these isn't the way to do it! This sounds a lot like IHOP, neither restaurant of which we have in Canada, which is probably a good thing although I am sure our Denny's is just as bad :( I rarely eat out, just asking for trouble if I do.
I love sweet potato fries but never heard of them as pancakes, unfortunately, I am sure they are out of this world :((
Hope you didn't take offense, just concerned about you is all.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 5/21/2012 3:08PM

    LOL!! I'll do it, but only because you asked. i have been to one cracker barrel. In florida. it was the highlight of my first (and last) 3 days there. i didnt have sweet potato pancakes. i had the blueberry ones...and i had syrup, and more..i think they brought me 4 little bottles (i think maple is one of the best things on earth..i would love everything drenched in it. ever dipped sausage or bacon in it? mmmmm)
anyhow. i hope they never build one here in the very tip top of NY. i'd be doomed as far as weight goes. i love hotcakes. i never have them BECAUSE i love them, and most places dont make them right. hahaha. Cracker barrel does...
ok off to send it...for my Cat!!!

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MARATHONDAD 5/21/2012 3:06PM

    consider it done lol

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NANAW12001 5/21/2012 2:46PM

  I love Cracker Barrel although I never tried the SP pancakes.

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CJBAGGINS 5/21/2012 2:43PM

    Oooooh - they removed them from the menu? How bold of them!
What a shame!

Sorry that you were disappointed when you went for breakfast!

I hope they repent of their evil ideas.


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ARRRRGH We There Yet? - The Flying Pirate Half Marathon

Saturday, May 05, 2012

OK, so I'm doing these out of order. The previous blog was about the Country Music 1/2 in Nashville. A week earlier, I headed for the Outer Banks

to do the First Flight 5k and then the Flying Pirate Half Marathon.

I hadn't been in North Carolina since 2010, and as much as I had enjoyed flirting with the exceptionally handsome honey-voiced state trooper who'd pulled me over for speeding, I tried to obey all traffic rules this time around. emoticon

I juuuuust made the expo before it closed and grabbed my bib numbers and swag before jaunting up to Duck, NC to enjoy a beautiful sunset.

(That's Nags Head, on the way to Duck.)

Saturday was warm and sunny - not a cloud in the sky. I cheerfully sauntered my way to a shiny medal in the 5K and then returned to my hotel to shower, change and enjoy the sites. A word about the "hotel" ...

I knew I was getting a deal on, but there's usually a reason when a place is cheap. emoticon At first, I was psyched to discover that it's actually a time share, and I had a one-bedroom flat. However, the "kitchen" was missing a stove and a refrigerator! I could have lived without the former, but the latter rather defeats the purpose. So when I returned from the 5K, I rang the font office and mentioned that there was a gaping hole where there ought to have been a fridge and could they please fix it.

WELL -- the woman tartly informed me that a kitchen doesn't necessarily guarantee a fridge. emoticon Umm .. sure. If you're AMISH! Of COURSE a kitchen has a fridge! Doy. She also informed me that I was going to have to pack up and move the next morning because it was week to week, and people had reserved that place. She seemed to think I was odd to find her request peculiar and somewhat offensive. Why couldn't they have told me that up front? It was 2 in the afternoon. Had I not called them, when were they planning to let me know??

I told her I was racing the next morning, so I was going to need to move a day early. It worked in my favor, because I was on the third floor (walk up, no lifts) and the new place was on the ground level, so fewer stairs after the race. Also, the new place was much bigger AND had a jacuzzi tub in the bedroom. SWEET!

I packed, moved, and unpacked. Then I went out for "linner" to get to bed early for the race. I found a seafood buffet and was up to my elbows in fake butter, sucking with unseemly enthusiasm on a crab leg when the nice waitress, who had already showed me - twice - how to crack the blasted things open, conversationally said it was a shame the big storm was coming in.


It was?! The sky looked fine to me.

Oh yes, she assured me. It was rolling in overnight, and it was going to be miserable the next day.

She wasn't kidding. It came down in thick sheets. It looked like that Hollywood rain you see in movies that's so heavy, you think it looks fake. I had my wipers on high the whole way. I drove past the start to the finish and parked there, queuing to shuttle back to the start. I was drenched to saturation just waiting for the shuttles, and I assumed that it couldn't get worse.

I'm kidding. It didn't get that bad.

But it did get THIS bad:

I knew the course had been changed somewhat from previous years, but I did not realize that much of it was going to be trails ... which became muddy and pot-holed. I gamely plodded along. My sneakers squelched with each step. They said that they would call the race if there was lightning, and about halfway through the ordeal, I did find myself wishing ....

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What! You weren't there! It was bloody miserable!

I was (of course) near the back of this soggy parade. Some of the (smarter) people dropped out and presumably caught rides to the party in Pirates Quay at the end. For a time, I was dead last, and this incredibly annoying man motored along in the LOUDEST buggy I've ever heard. I mean, c'mon - if I'm going to be last, at least let me trudge along in peace and QUIET! I finally turned on him and faux politely waved him on. Oh no, he explained. He wasn't allowed to pass me. I told him to turn off his buggy, chill a few minutes and then come check on me. He wasn't happy, but thankfully (schadenfreude, anyone?) a poor man fell behind (Don't feel too sorry for him - stay tuned) lagged quite a ways back, and then a few others did, too, and pretty soon, I could no longer hear Mr. Chinese Motor Torture.

The volunteers were strangely enthusiastic during the ordeal, God love them. I tried to muster up the same, not always succeeding, but at least I remembered to thank them. I formed a nasty set of blisters, which I cheekily took photos of later, but I haven't uploaded my photos from that card yet, so you're spared the unpleasant sight. I pretty much minced along a muddy, sometimes flooded trail in the woods for the final three miles.

Do I look happy?

I was super annoyed when I saw the chap who'd fallen so far behind get driven up to where I was and dropped off. Hello? Cheat much? (See, that's why you oughtn't have had any sympathy for him earlier!)

I finished. I was hypothermic and a little disoriented. I knew I had parked one lot over form the finish, but the finish was supposed to be a shopping center, and this was the YMCA, which, by the way, wouldn't even let us in! I was so sodding wet that I almost sat down in their parking lot and relieved myself, but thankfully, someone opened the door, and I scooted in past the astonished receptionist. I think she wanted to say something, but I looked so wretched and fierce that I frightened her, and she let me pass without comment. Trailing water, I found the ladies, where my sweatpants puddled pools of water on the floor as I made a puddle of a different nature in the appropriate place.

I decided I'd live .... but just barely.

There wasn't much of an after-race affair, but the nice folks offered us eggs on biscuits, wrapped in foil to keep warm. Mine was tepid, but it was heavenly! I ate it standing on theYMCA porch with another woman who looked as bedraggled and forlorn as I did. Once I ate, I felt reason returning and realised that I needed to get out of my wet clothes. I asked the woman if she was ok, as she had the same glazed look in her eyes that I'd had before wolfing down the biscuit.

She was waiting for her husband, but he hadn't come, and she didn't have a phone. I handed her mine. She couldn't reach him. I offered her a ride, but she seemed a little nervous about accepting, even though she lived in Duck, where I was heading.

I limped across the parking lot and then across the next parking lot to get to the one in which I'd parked some six hours earlier. The lot had flooded, and I had to wade through ankle deep water to reach my car. The phone rang. It was the missing hubby,who politely identified himself in a way I found utterly charming, and I told him where to locate his poor wife. I put my thermal wrap on the seat to keep it dry and began working my way back to the hotel.

Right before I got "home", I saw Duck Donuts and without even thinking, I pulled in. When I got out of the car, I emptied the pool of water that had formed on the wrap, limped inside the shop, and was greeted by a divine aroma. emoticon I bought two doughnuts, drove back to the flat, limped in, stripped off, and ran the jacuzzi.

And panicked. The handles disintegrated in my hands! It was crazy. I couldn't turn off the water!! I tried several things and then pulled the plug so at least it wouldn't overflow, called the front desk, and pulled on enough clothes to be decent for the (very nice and very nice looking) maintenance man who showed up.

He eventually fixed it. The whole time we were chatting, we could hear the piercingly loud alarm clock next door. Mr. Handsome Fix-It looked at me questioningly, and I commented to him that I was glad I was only there to race and not for anything romantic because the walls were way too thin. He stopped what he was doing and gave me a funny look. Then I added that I had clearly heard the folks next door fighting the night before, and I sure hoped there wasn't a body lying over there. emoticon

"Great" he responded. "Now I have to go over there and look."

"Would you mind turning off the alarm while you're there?"

He laughed. And he did! Thanks, Mr. Handsome Fix-It!

I ate the doughnuts while lounging in the jacuzzi. Does it get any better?

I ended up with three (count 'em!) medals: one for the 5k, one for the Flying Pirate, and a third one for doing them both in the same weekend!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ENDUROVET 5/20/2012 10:17PM

    Very late w/my congratulations, but great job me matey!!!
I have been so depressed & demoralized, I haven't scouted out any future half's since my GF Karen backed out of our NM plans in April...
But I'm serious about doing another one, maybe over Labor Day weekend? That would get my training interval about right...

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RAVEN1025 5/20/2012 3:08AM

    My, my, what an adventure! I am sure the Jacuzzi felt heavenly after all that!!
Congrats on another race down, and more BLING!

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DISPATCHER04 5/16/2012 10:02AM

    Cathoney, you have the most entertaining blog! :D Thoroughly enjoyed your adventures. :) One of these days I'm gonna run a medal race. ;)

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    I thought I might enjoy a pirate race until I read about yours. LOL. I do love the medals though. Congratulations!

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SUETINGE 5/8/2012 6:17PM

    I'm so glad to see you're able to race (and collect your bling emoticon) again!

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BUSYMOM911 5/7/2012 1:15AM

    Glad you saved this race adventure until you had the time to give it the attention it deserved. I know this really happened to you, but it is so funny. (I think you made up the whole thing just to entertain us. LOL)

This race seems to have been billed in error. It really was a mud race. You know, Cat, that nothing 'average' happens to you. You should be expecting the extraordinary.

After all, that's what YOU are!
emoticon & emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/7/2012 1:16:23 AM

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MSEMBERSTORM 5/6/2012 7:32PM

    I so love the way you write and tell of your adventures!!!! You are amazing. Congrats on your accomplishments! You so rock!

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MDMNINA 5/6/2012 1:04PM

    You are such a world traveler for you runs! Please be sure to let me know the next time you come down my way! There must be a WDW run that you want to do!

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DISPATCH91 5/6/2012 12:44PM

    Cat love your blog and the pictures. So proud of you girl. You are determined lady.

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 5/6/2012 9:59AM

    ooo nice bling!! now, you asked a question, so i'm going to asked if sitting in a jacuzzi eating donuts got any better...YES!! you should have asked mr handsome jacuzzi ficer to join you!!! emoticon
and hey..did room # 2 have a fridge?

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ROBYNLN 5/6/2012 8:16AM

    Great race report! You def EARNED those medals. emoticon The Flying Pirate was already on my bucket list. If you don't mind telling me which rental agency you used, so I know to use another. emoticon

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HEIDI-25 5/6/2012 7:51AM

    Wow is all I can say!!

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_LINDA 5/6/2012 1:36AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
VERY WELL DONE!! Way to perservere through such horrid conditions!! You are amazing and should be very proud of yourself -proabably the hardest earned bling you will ever get!
After the blisters heal, and the deep cold goes away, you will be able to savor your victory more -job well done!!
You rock Cat!!

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IRISHMUM3 5/6/2012 12:29AM

    Wow! You are definitely tougher than I am. Congrats on that set of medals - well earned!

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L*I*T*A* 5/6/2012 12:16AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEBULACLARK 5/5/2012 11:47PM

    Arrrgh!!! Cat! I love living vicariously through your adventures!!!!! So proud of you as usual!!!

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EMSSBEARS 5/5/2012 11:43PM

    WOW you went above and beyond on this one. I am so proud of you. You really went thru ever possible obstacle and opportunity to give up and still kept on going - congratulations for trudging thru the elements. emoticon

I must say you earned those those medals. But I'm with you on the first room - I would expect any room called a kitchen nowadays (and most hotel rooms for that matter) to have a refrigerator of some sorts.

Again I am so proud of you emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/5/2012 11:44:26 PM

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Left, right, breathe. Left, right, pray!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My friend and I met up in Nashville to do the Country Music Half Marathon. She loves country music, and this is her favorite race. I tolerate some country music in small doses, but - as everyone knows - I'm a complete bling ho' and it's always more fun to race with a buddy.

The hotel offers a shuttle from the airport. I called, and a nice man picked me up. We got to chatting, and I just adored his Tennessee accent. I told him about my trip to North Carolina and how the honeyed words of the state trooper were so delightful that they took the sting out of being pulled over for speeding. emoticon

We got on so well that I even convinced him to go through the Arby's drive through so I could grab lunch! hee hee hee Every time I've seen him since, he's referred to me as "Speedy"! I told him that I'm only fast in my car!

After the expo, we visited the Grand Ol' Opry. Keith Urban just played there, and I recognized a few of the artists scheduled to appear in coming weeks. It was fun to wander around, soaking up the atmosphere.

And then in case that wasn't enough culture, we visited Cooter's Garage. YES! THAT Cooter! WA ha ha ha!

We raced today. Up at 4. Out the door at 5. Stuck in traffic at 6. Race started at 7. I crossed the start line at about 7:40. There were a bejillion hills, and they all seemed to be going up! I really struggled - this wasn't my best race. Nashville is an attractive town, and much of the race meandered through neighborhoods, where people set up tents in their yards, tables filled with goodies, and leisurely sipped drinks whilst watching us shuffle past. There were 30,000+ runners, and I was definitely near the back by the time I finished at 3:58.

It was way too hot for me. The temperature broke 80 before I finished, and it was intensely sunny. A woman near me keeled over and complained of "heart trouble". I couldn't see any medics or police nearby, so I jogged back to some Team in Training coaches I'd seen a few blocks back and told them what happened. They were great about calling the race people and running back with me to stay with her. I hope she was ok.

Despite my difficulties, there were some fun moments. A woman was "pole dancing" with a stop sign until a female police offier escorted her away from the course. Little kids cheerfully offered to turn their garden hoses on us, and a charity organization HULA HOOPED their way through a half marathon! The ladies - literally - walked and hula hooped - the entire way! Amazing.

I'm gimpy with blood blisters. My friend finished faster and with no adverse effects, so she's going to the concert this evening without me. I'm cooked! I'm in the hotel, watching "return of the King" on the telly, icing joints, despairing over my sunburn and admiring the newest addition to my bling collection. emoticon

(Mine's in the center - SWEET!)

13.1 miles, 29000 steps, 3087 calories burned, four new blisters - and one gorgeous medal!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAVEN1025 5/20/2012 3:02AM

    Congrats on the finish and a delightful addition to your bling collection!!

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50FITNFUN 5/6/2012 9:36AM

    Oh, Cat! I am in tears emoticon emoticonfrom laughing so hard! North Carolina seems to be a constant "state of experience" for you. I loved your recap and the photos...although I am slightly disappointed at the lack of photo of Handsome Mr. Fix-It.
emoticonon earning all 3 medals! You certainly did work hard to get them. I can't wait to be sharing the Philly R-N-R with you this September. Races are so much more fun when you are in the mix! emoticon

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    I really enjoyed reading about this. it sounded like a totally cool trip. I love Nashville, even though I'm not a huge country music fan. I hope that lady was okay too. You were great to help her. Loved the pole dancing, hosings, and your medal. Congratulations!!

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DISPATCHER04 5/4/2012 6:40PM

    Cat, that's AWESOME! :) I'd love to run a half marathon. :) That's some pretty bling you got there. :)

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ALICIALYNNE 5/4/2012 8:00AM

    I know I'm late, but just now read this. Next time you're in Nashville, visit the Frist museum! You want culture, there's your culture emoticon.
Congrats on finishing the race, and with such a good time!

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EMSSBEARS 5/3/2012 12:42AM

    Well I think you should have gotten some kind of rescue medal to for going back and helping the lady not only going back to check on her, but running back to get help then running back further to get help, then running forward to stay with her, then running on to finish the race no wonder your friend finished the race first- she didn't have near as fat to race as you did-lol. I am so proud of you.


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DOTSLADY 5/2/2012 2:46PM

    How DO you do it?! You and Timex ...
emoticon emoticon

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NANALD 5/1/2012 5:59PM

    emoticon Congratulations!!!! You are awesome and I love the bling! You deserve all the bling you can get! Thanks for sharing your adventure and I am glad you found time for some fun along the way. Are you going to give the hula hoop a try too? emoticon

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WESTIEGAL1 5/1/2012 4:50PM

    yay for you!!! Congratulations for finishing!!! emoticon Special kudos for going back to help the lady with heart problems. You are a guardian angel. Great job! emoticon emoticon

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MDMNINA 4/30/2012 2:34PM

    Yes, I know you are addicted to your bling. I wonder if I will be that way after the Tower of Terror Ten Mile!

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    congrats cat, you are totally awesome!!!! the race is even more awesome since i know you ran 2 last weekend and already had blisters on your feet. i don't see how you do it but i'm glad you have found the determination to keep going.

i am so glad you like our accents and you can't beat southern hospitality....... now you know what i sound like here in tuscaloosa, alabama !!!

your bling is great but i think you deserve another medal for going back to help your fellow runner........ you may have saved her life. i'm sure she would love to know who you were and thank you. you are an incredible person and she would be honored to meet you!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

also i love the dukes of hazzard too !!!!!!!!

Comment edited on: 4/30/2012 12:00:37 PM

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FLORIDAFAN 4/30/2012 6:46AM

    WTG! Cat! Keep that bling collection growing

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CJBAGGINS 4/30/2012 12:58AM

    "A woman" was pole-dancing with a stop sign. 'Fess up - that was you, wasn't it?

You and poles, Cat, I tell you ... And you thought you only had a bling addiction.


Sorry about the blisters. That sucks. But emoticon on the finishing and getting that bling. Fantastic!

And what a wonderful thing you did getting help for that woman. that's hero material right there ...


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DEBULACLARK 4/29/2012 11:39PM

    YOU GO GIRLFRIEND!!! You never cease to amaze me!!!! Keep inspiring us Cat! We all need it!!!

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SIXFULLERS 4/29/2012 10:06PM

    Amazing Cat. You are simply amazing!

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MSEMBERSTORM 4/29/2012 5:22PM

    Congrats on the new bling! Glad you are doing good!

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JULIE_MAY 4/29/2012 12:39AM

    You are truly amazing! Not to mention my new role model. I always thought I was too old to earn any "bling" on my own merits - I've contented myself with admiring my daughter's loads of dance medals. Now I want some of those for myself! I will continue to visit your blog for motivation and inspiration.

You are emoticon!!!! emoticon

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ROBYNLN 4/29/2012 12:08AM

    WTG! You perservered and conquered the race. CONGRATULATIONS! Emjoy your bling.

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DORIS39 4/28/2012 11:49PM




emoticon emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 4/28/2012 10:36PM

    You are amazing!! That is fantastic to finish a race under those conditions! Being from the frozen north, I would simply MELT if I tried a race in heat like that lol.
Very sorry about the blisters :(( -please invest in some good quality sweat wicking seamless socks for your next race -your feet will thank you. A spark buddy of mine recently took the plunge before her next race -will be interesting to see how she fairs with her new high tech socks in it.
I simply cannot picture or even imagine people hula hooping through a race that long! emoticon emoticon
Enjoy your well deserved bling!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ENDUROVET 4/28/2012 9:01PM

    Great job! I was a little disappointed but not unduly surprised that my new junior rider trainee (my groomer's 13-yr old stepdaughter) was not up to doing a full 50 mi today, esp when weather has suddenly switched to summer heat...
So we only got 25 mi in, but it was all good.

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AMUNET_RA 4/28/2012 8:58PM

    Mild-mannered Cat dons her cape and does it again! emoticon

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50FITNFUN 4/28/2012 8:33PM Marie Osmond, you're a little bit country after all! emoticon Cat! Congrats on earning yet another fabulous medal. While it would be ever so lovely to have had a stellar finishing time, you overcame sweltering sun and painful blisters, a hilly course and backtracked a few blocks to get help for a fallen racer in distress. You persevered. You finished. You are a winner! emoticon

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 4/28/2012 7:40PM

    You are so my hero!!!! I am so darn proud of y'all ah cood jus' sca-re-um!!!
You got a ticket? for speeding? hmm..was the cop cute?
ice and elevate my friend!!!! hopefully you feel better soon!!!!
and um..i've met Keith Urban. back in 2000. hes still as hot as a race in nashville!!!
Wish i could be there with you..but i can be bursting with pride and bragging from here!!!

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L*I*T*A* 4/28/2012 7:04PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IRISHMUM3 4/28/2012 6:58PM

    I agree with Marathondad - Congrats on doing it!

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MARATHONDAD 4/28/2012 6:29PM

    the time doesnt matter all that matters is you finished

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Hot Totties Rock - Cat's Perspective

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

My spark buddy Beth and I signed up to do the Virginia Beach 1/2 marathon relay this past weekend. You can check out her blog here:

And yes, the cheesy grinned moron on her background page is none other than moi. All I can say in my defense is that it was quite warm, I'd just worked hard, and I'm wearing my first new bling in ages! WOOT!

As many of you know, I destroyed my knee at the beginning of the year, came to America for surgery and have been lingering ever since. After almost a year on the sidelines, it felt absolutely brilliant to get back into it. So the saga begins ...

On Saturday, I rented a car and drove to Virginia Beach. Sadly, the whole rest of the world decided to drive, too. Not wanting to miss the fun, Mother Nature opened up the skies, only encouraging more poor form from frustrated motorists. The three-hour drive took over seven hours, including my accident. Yes, I rear-ended someone. ... and not in a good way. emoticon Bad Cat! He wasn't hurt, thank goodness. I have some cuts and bruises, including one on my forehead that I can't quite explain. We were in gridlocked traffic. I wasn't going fast, and somehow, I managed to do a real number on the car - a craptacular little Chevy malibu with uncomfortable seats and awful wheel alignment. Oh, and now a bashed in front fender. Oops.

I found the hotel, the expo, Beth and her DH, put the accident behind me, and focused on my first race since the God-awful nightmare in Walt Disneyworld in January. This was my first ever relay, and it was definitely an experience.

3 a.m. Wake up
4 a.m. Ready to go. The shuttles begin running at 4 and end at 6. decide not to wait until last minute.
4:10 a.m. Head out to shuttle. Discover that drivers have no clue where they're supposed to be going or that they're supposed to be - in fact - shuttles. Sit on super ultra "nipplingly" cold air-conditioned bus, wishing the nice lady bus driver wasn't menopausal until 4:50, when the drivers finally figure out where they're going.
5:00 a.m. Arrive. No racers. Volunteers milling confusedly. No one know the bag check is. People, "bag check" is a FLEET of UPS trucks that collect our things and drive them to the finish line. They're fairly hard to miss. Find bag check. I'm the first person to check my bag. This has never happened to me before.
5:15 a.m. Find shuttle to relay point. The relay shuttles are supposed to run until 6, but they just cram us all into one shuttle and go.
5:30 a.m - Still going.
5:45 a.m. - Still going. The driver asks us if we know where the drop off is. Since we're only supposed to have traveled seven miles, I'm concerned that we've been tootling hither and yon for almost 30 minutes. Eventually, our driver decides that we should be on some military base, a decision the armed sentry most vigorously protests.

"Sir! You MUST leave these premises!'
"But I'm here for the race."
"Sir! There is no race here. You MUST leave the premises!"
"I've got the people for the race."
"Sir! Turn around!"
"So this isn't where we should go for the race?"

Yikes. Eventually, mensa member bus driver realised that he should not have driven through the cones blocking the road, the police office standing at the intersection blocking aforementioned road, and police cruiser blocking the same said road, to access a secure military facility. Give this man a gold star.

5:50 a.m.We were dropped off at the correct place and had a long walk to the relay point. A lot of smart people nipped into the McDonalds for coffee, breakfast, and a place to sit. Stupidly, I walked all the way to the place and sat on the ground for three hours until it was my turn to race.

This is the tricky part of relaying. I was fired up to race when I got up, but by 9 o'clock, my hips were whinging, my knee wanted me to reconsider, my tummy was ready for I don't even know what - lunch, I guess. The sun was up full, it was warm, and NOW it was time to race.

Well, once they announced that the first Hot Tottie team member was on her way in, I revved right up. Beth looked great. I could tell she was tired, but the cheerleaders on the side of the road gave her a warm welcome, and she finished strong. She averaged 30 seconds faster per mile than she'd expected, and we were in great shape for the second leg.

I have only recently started walking again. The most I'd trained was six miles, and at a 21:00 minute per mile pace, so I was worried. I did the first two miles in under thirty minutes, but the knee was screaming, so I slowed down and just enjoyed it as a walk. I ended up averaging 17:30 per mile, so it was still a big improvement over my training pace.

Along the way, I saw Elvis, Beaker from the Muppets, a Super Family, a devil, and other odd assortments of fun runners. I saw an older man struggling a bit and walked a few miles with him. He looked to be about 70 and we got to chatting. He does the big Goofy race at Disney every year and is their race administrator for Facebook. I told him my story about how I was treated, and he was incensed. Hopefully that will never happen to anyone else. I met several people doing their very first race and many wonderful charity racers.

"Fitty" and her DH were waiting for me at the finish line. I trudged through the end of race tents and then back to the hotel. Being part of the Rock N Roll race series, we had a concert on the beach to look forward to in the evening, including headliner Bret Michaels

Whilst waiting for Beth, I chatted up a nice man who gave me VIP passes for the concert! Sweet! Unfortunately, getting up so early doesn't leave much in reserve for evening entertainment, and after an hour or so, Beth was cooked, and I wasn't keen to sit there by myself. Luckily for me, my hotel was a mere five blocks from the concert, so of COURSE I could hear it clearly. I sat in the outdoor hotel hot tub, watched the stars, and listened to Bret Michaels wail away. Great show, and a sweet ending to the weekend.

Stay tuned, because the Hot Totties are reuniting in January at Walt Disneyworld to do the Chip and Dale marathon relay. I can't wait!

~ Chip

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUDICAT63 1/18/2012 5:57AM

    Well done you! You are amazing you DO KNOW THAT don't you? You bash anything that tries to stop you on your way to where you want to go - I am so thankful that you are my friend! emoticon emoticon

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MAPLELEAFMOM 10/6/2011 12:46AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

You are both such incredible women and I am soooo proud of you both emoticon You are SOOOOO Amazing!!!!!

UGH on the accident but way to go on making it a fantastic weekend regardless !! I hope your cuts and bruises are healing quickly emoticon

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ESBELL 9/14/2011 11:34AM

    You are such a hero to me - finishing races with such strength & pride. I hope one day to grow up to be as amazing YOU!

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BRAVAH 9/13/2011 9:22AM

    Hi Chip!

I had typed out a huge and lovely response and clicked post - not realizing my stupid internet connection had timed out. I don't have time to write it all again, but wanted to tell you how awesome I think you are!!!!! Woohoo! Great job in the race! And thanks for the great story!


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DANIMITE2 9/11/2011 7:55PM

    Got all teary...soooo proud of you my friend!

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DOTSLADY 9/9/2011 10:50PM

    How DO you DO it!? emoticon You amaze and delight ... you inspire me woman.

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DISPATCHER04 9/8/2011 2:53PM

    Very cool, Cat! :)

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 9/7/2011 5:45PM

    Wow! Sounds like an interesting time was had. Glad the ending was better than the beginning. Thanks for sharing your adventure.

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DEBULACLARK 9/7/2011 5:14PM

    Another adventure for Cat!!! Always fun to read about them. I'm sorry about the accident. Glad for the great ending. Nice...Bret Michaels...nice.

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ZELLAZM 9/7/2011 2:08PM

    WTG and thanks for the very colorful report!

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FUNFROG79 9/7/2011 1:11PM

    How eventful! Bret Michaels is great!

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 9/7/2011 11:57AM

    You are a wonder my friend!!!! You never cease to amaze are so strong in every sense!! Well done!!! and sorry about the accident..that just plain sucks.

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JCSTELLA 9/7/2011 10:17AM

    Rough starting ending fabulously!! You should be so proud of yourself!! I loved reading this blog :)

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SAFETYSUE 9/7/2011 1:47AM

    Love your blog, so many adventures. Accidents are so stressful, so glad you are ok!
emoticon emoticon

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MSEMBERSTORM 9/6/2011 10:24PM

    You are freaking amazing.

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AMUNET_RA 9/6/2011 9:04PM

    Another adventure!! Glad the accident wasn't worse! Congrats on your bling! ((HUGS)) I am always so proud of you!!

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SUETINGE 9/6/2011 7:19PM

    YAY! Bling, a good race and music in the hot tub.

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DISPATCH91 9/6/2011 6:49PM

    What a time you had. Sorry about the fender bender..bummer. The hot tub listening to the music sounded like a good ending for a day.


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JAXMOMMY 9/6/2011 6:27PM

    Thanks for sharing your adventure Cat! I could just hear the bus driver and the guard at the base! I've had similar encounters, yes that is encounter with a S, at VA Beach and/or Norfolk military bases! Hurray for you racing! I am planning on heading to VA Beach for a fun visit this weekend! Hoping for no rear ending experiences!

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ROBYNLN 9/6/2011 5:45PM

    Love your report. GREAT job on the marathon. Keep up the good work.

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ENDUROVET 9/6/2011 5:43PM

    Ha ha, what an "adventure"!

This is why I am opting for a "staycation" - just can't make a Sun-night Vegas run work w/my schedule, so we will stay in Big D at the fancy new Convention Ctr hotel, where I can catch a shuttle (hopefully that knows where it's going ;-) to the starting line...

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DDUNKIES 9/6/2011 5:34PM

    oh my dear Cat- you're writing absolutely cracks me up!!! i always feel like i am on the adventure with you- LOVE YA donna

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SLCOLMAN 9/6/2011 5:27PM

    Woo Hoo!! Awesome :)

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L*I*T*A* 9/6/2011 4:54PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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50FITNFUN 9/6/2011 3:54PM

    Firstly, I would like to point out that in my Sparkpage background picture, you are the proud and fabulous looking " Hot Tottie" on the right, while I am the happy, but dorky, tater tottie on the left! You'd think with 2 hours (and actually I think it was closer to 1hr, 40mins) I could have at least thought to take off the sweat band and fluff the hair. But there you have it, I left my brain..and dignity, somewhere along the course and was just thrilled enough for the both of us to have Bill take our triumphant photo. I'm already imagining how fab we'll both look at the end of the longer race in January! emoticon
Now, onto your blog....OMG, you have me rolling on the floor and holding my sides...(rear ending, but not in a good way...craptacular chevy, your bus foray onto the military base)...I think half the fun of doing the races is the strange things we hear, witness and experience throughout the event. And your recount of he weekend is so well written that everyone can share the experiences too! This is a great blog. I'm happy to have been able to be there with you! emoticon

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