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Niagara Falls International Marathon-October 23, 2011

Thursday, November 03, 2011

So- where to begin.
Since Christmas Eve, I have been planning on doing a marathon. My BFF's husband screwed up my gift to her (a Garmin) and bought her what I did. So I had to come up with something VERY quickly for a Christmas gift that showed I love her very much. So we had talked about our bucket lists and that one day we would like to do one. She was going to do one in October and I was going to do another half. I told her that I just didn't have it in me to go that far. I'm too heavy, I run too slow, and really? Running for hours on end just doesn't fit into this full time nurses calendar. But.. I had to show her how much I love her, so to show my dedication, I signed up for the Niagara Falls Marathon for October as well. She was pleased as punch that I would go the distance for her, as a gift. I... was scared spitless.

So all this time we planned, in May we ran a half marathon again, don't know if I even posted anything about that one, (will check and do so if I need to) and it sucked. Way too hot. This summer was WAY too hot, WAY too many bugs and I did one long run of 26km or 16 miles that was so bad that I couldn't even step OVER road kill, I stepped ON it. I was THAT tired. I hit the wall, and hit it hard. It was a long 8 km walk back home.

So in August we decided that due to injuries (torn gastrocnemius for me and back issues for her) we would step down and change into the marathon RELAY. It was a load off our minds and our bodies AND our stupid training which never went by the books.
Our friends Marc and Aimee were upset (it was to be their first marathon as well) but we explained why and they were ok with that. Disappointed, but 'ok'.

In October, our friend Aimee decided at the last moment to change her half marathon (Smutty Nose) to a full marathon. Just to see if she could. The pressure was off, but you know what? Even though it was last minute, even though she hadn't trained for it, even though she'd only been running for 1 year.. SHE DID IT!

So, in speaking with Penni (BFF) we talked it over and thought.. well.. if SHE could do it.. why not us? Life isn't easy. A marathon isn't easy. BUT, how do you KNOW you can't do it unless you try? How can you expect to EVER be ready for one? We poured over past blogs about training less distances then the full marathon. There were lots of people.
We made the decision and switched back. The only difference? We told NO ONE.
Not spouses, not co-workers, not running friends. NO ONE. You know why??? Because we were terrified of a DNF. TERRIFIED. For some reason, I'm not able to associate myself with quitting. Just can't do it.
But we were also freaking out because we were ill prepared. But we decided to try it anyways.
When we had announced that we were not prepared for the full marathon, my mom was relieved. "You shouldn't be running those distances with 5 sacks of potatoes on you". It IS hard, probably harder than being 50 pounds less. Well, actually I KNOW its easier if I was thinner. But it wasn't happening. Weight loss is not happening. Big appetite and despite running for HOURS, no loss. Many people said it was probably muscle, but I know better. This fat around my middle KNOWS it ain't muscle.

I've got a big appetite, I eat large portions. I sometimes chose the wrong type of food. Too high sodium. Too high carbs. One day, I'll be back down to 180's and less, but for now, I'm over 200 pounds. And 200 pounds running for 6-7 hours is NOT my idea of a good time.

So

We tell no one. Assume its a relay. Anticipated time is over 6 hours. 3 hours for Penni, and 3 hours for me. My parents are going to meet us at the finish line. I can't tell my mom because she will have a heart attack with nerves and stress thinking about her baby doing something stupid like a marathon.

We went to Niagara Falls again, this time we know what to do, where to go and what to expect. We had dinner with our friends Marc and Aimee and finally told them what are plans were. They were ecstatic. Marc especially. We were pumped. This was going to be FUN. We were going to finish, and we were going to do it TOGETHER. Which, also took a load off because I knew that if I was hurting I'd have friends to push me, to keep me positive and cheer me on, and I would do the same for them (although they never needed it).

And so, our journey begins..

More to follow

Its been a few months; so its gets harder to remember, the more time passes.
We stayed at a great place, and had a wake up call, and 2 alarms set. Either way, we were up at dawn anyways. The plan was for me to tell my mom at the last minute that I was doing the full marathon, because, honestly? I thought she'd have a stroke if she knew I was going to attempt it.
We waited for our friends (Gotta say I hate relying on other people to arrive on time); and made it to our bus on time (2 min to spare!) and made our way towards Buffalo.. around and around and around.. guess the bus driver never actually figured out how to GET there! Some passengers had to tell her (hey! No jokes about female drivers!)
Made it to the Museum and we went inside and used the TWO bathrooms.. omg.. that many people waiting in line was ridiculous. It was just as bad outside. HUGE lines. I waited until everyone was actually ready for the gun before I attempted to go. I'm always at the back anyways, and so a few minutes goes by after the gun and I have free toilets! Chip time is chip time!
We all started together and the people we were running with Marc and Aimee, do shorter interval runs 3:1 vs Penni and I, which we do 10:1; but figured, 1. We've never gone this distance, 2. We've never gone this distance.. lol.. so we went slow and easy.
Marc has bad knees. NO knees pretty much, so slow was ok for me. Slower than I would have ran if I was alone, but glad I wasn't alone. We started at the end, and there we stayed.
I posted on facebook on the bus ride that we had changed our minds and decided to do the full marathon, so there was a lot of 'pinging' of notifications to tell us good luck and that we were crazy.
The weather couldn't have been more perfect. Sunny, 15 degrees, with a light breeze.
We made our way through Buffalo through the residential streets. Not a whole lot of community support, but it was a nice area. Then on to a yucky area before hitting the bridge. Lots of road killed squirrels and one road killed rat. The bridge was awesome, running right through customs (the custom guy saw us on the bus before we even crossed into the US). Lots of pics here.. will post later.
The other side of the bridge was commercialized and truck stopish. Not a great area, glad I had people around me.
Then we saw others!!! AWESOME!! They were like RIGHT IN FRONT OF US!! We could see them! Then.. realized that they were actually about 3 km ahead of us and we had a LONG way to go just to catch up!

No the area was running along side the Niagara River and it was pretty, beautiful houses.
Still running 3:1 but things are starting to ache.. a lot. Feet, knees, yep.. I was updating Facebook every few miles, to let people know our progress, my mom was happy with this as she could gauge how long before she had to leave home.

We knew we were falling behind at the 15km mark. WAY off, like 30 min off our usual half marathon time. But we kept going.
Marc was really hurting by the half marathon mark. His knees were like glass.. and I knew where he was coming from. I hurt everywhere. There was NO place that didn't hurt.. well.. ok.. my calves felt great, but I had on zenzah leg sleeves, and I gotta admit, they were AWESOME.. I never wear new stuff in races, but I figured, if they didn't feel good, I'd take them off and stuff them in a pocket, right?

At the half way mark, Marc couldn't go on, and we were torn, not wanting to leave him behind. We were more than 30 min off our longest half marathon time; but didn't want to leave him either. He insisted we go. But then, I was actually a bit miffed, because we went way slower than we normally did because he set the pace, and the ratio, and now how do you make up for that after falling behind SO far?? It only gets worse, not better.

Then I realized that I probably wouldn't have finished if I had gone any faster, or any longer ratios.. there's no way. So he did me a favour by doing what he did. And for that, I'm grateful.

We had reduced our ratio to 2:1 by this point and it was just 'us girls" now. We talked about how much FUN this was going to be. How we'd chat and laugh and giggle.
Well... yeah.. nope.. not for me. My two partners stuck by my side, and for that I'm grateful again. But I'm a very private person when it comes to suffering and omg, I suffered. Every step was painful. Walk breaks got longer, and run times got slower.
Their pace was extremely slowed because of me; they wouldn't leave me.
They had no pain.. no suffering.. until
yes.. that's right.. they FINALLY suffered.. lol.. (I'm so mean).. Penni was about 20 miles in before she started hurting.. and yes.. we cried.. and cried.. and cried.. and laughed (well, not me.. ).. ;0)
I listened to them talk, as I didn't have the energy to do anything but put one foot in front of the other.
I remember saying that I just couldn't do it anymore.. the running part.. I had to walk.. and as long as I kept my walking at a certain pace.. under 11 min/km that we would make the cut off mark. We walked for almost 12 km.. that's right.. THEY walked (and could have run) for TWELVE km's.. THAT is love.. THAT is dedication!

Penni and I had a secret word for giving up.. her's was 'kitty" and mine was 'pineapples".. I soon started screaming out pineapples (ok.. in a hoarse voice that only she could hear) and yet I kept going.. kept moving.. I feared that if I stopped I would never be able to get going again.

After all my worries about how to fuel for SEVEN hours.. what to drink, when to drink.. what to eat.. I had a half a piece of multigrain pita bread. I had GU stuff in a large bottle that I sucked on. Aimee gave me some electrolyte capsules to prevent cramps. How do you know if they have worked when your entire body is one big cramp? I didn't have stomach cramps.. or leg cramps.. the WHOLE body was one huge mass of the worst spasm you have ever experienced.

At the park, we thought the falls were around the corner, and we started to panic that we weren't going to make the cutoff.. something was remembered about 7 hours.. I thought it was 7 hrs 30 min. I knew there were 2 behind us for sure.
I also know that they were shutting down aid stations before we got there, tearing down porta potties and water stations.. a few left some cups for us; but the Heed had bees in it.. a bit disappointing.

As we rounded the bend we ran.. held hands.. and ran.. and the freakin end didn't come.. we couldn't see the stupid finish line banner.. and then one more corner.. and we did.. still holding hands we sprinted to the end... and notorious for me.. yes. .I totally and utterly pissed myself as I crossed the finish line holding the hands of the best two women you could ever meet.

My time?
7:00:02. HOLY CRAP

Talk about body cramping.. seizing of muscles.. the worse Charlie Horse you have ever had.. ALL OVER.. EVERYWHERE.
My mom was there, my dad... crying and sobbing

more photos later with better updates.. time is of the essence.. before I'm too old and forget!!!




  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ITSHOWYOULIVE 11/3/2011 10:49PM

    Ooooo!! So excited to hear the rest!

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JOPAPGH 11/3/2011 7:40AM

    Looking forward to the race report!

Niagara Falls 2011 was my first marathon, on my 51st birthday. Check out my last two blogs for my Niagara Falls marathon story and race report.

John

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Gravenhurst Sprint Triathlon COMPLETED!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I will have to add pictures later, as I'm laying in bed icing my left knee post my first and last sprint triathlon. Last, because I'm a horrible biker.. and hated it.. it doesn't help that I have a mountain bike and not a road bike; but I still hate it.. and thats ok.. I'm ok with that!
Here's the dish:
750 metre swim
20 km bike ride (hilly route)
5km run (VERY HILLY ROUTE)

Started off with a 5:30 alarm.. met my BFF Penni at the coffee shop so I could put my bike in the back of her truck and we'd only have to park 1 vehicle.
To the event. Parking was about 200 metres from the event; and the walk was fine; lugging all our crap was NOT FUN.. but necessary.
The temps were warming up quickly as the clouds were burned off. Penni went off to the starting line for her dualthon (5k, 20km bike, and 2.5k run)-I have to mention that Pennster and I are relatively new to biking.. new as in I just learned how to change gears last week! Training started in April with my first bike ride in about 20 years!
I digress
Off I go to the steamship (a VERY cool way to start a race!) which was delayed (and I can't figure out why) but we all managed to put on our coloured caps (mine was PINK) and jumped into the warm lake. I chose not to put on a wet suit because 1. I'm not investing in something I'll never use. 2. I'd probably never find one in my size. 3. I'd look utterly ridiculous!
Once you jumped in (about 5 foot drop) u treaded water to the starting buoys.. next thing I know they call out 20 seconds to start and i don't have my goggles on or my nose plug (EEK!).. I put them on.. and realize that if I don't pee now (yes, I know.. in the Lake.. eww) that I was screwed.. so I warmed up the lake with about 300 other people (ya'll know that at least ONE of us peed, right?).. the horn blasted and we took off. I was near the beginning, but lordy knows I didn't stay there.. I thought I was a decent swimmer (and yes, I passed a few) but these other people? ATHLETES!
I couldn't control my breathing as the waves were WAY bigger than I imagined and I managed to swallow about 3 litres of lake water (which, by the way? tasted pretty good!).. now I usually do a breath on the right, and every 4th stroke, come up to the right for a breath.... not this time.. my head was up for a LONG period of time.. I just couldn't breath! It took about 400 metres in before I felt that I wasn't going to be run over by other swimmers, and yes, they WILL run you over.. and near the end I pushed past 2 girls who were ahead of me and one really old guy from the 1st wave (I was the 3rd wave). YEAH FOR ME!
My times weren't what I expected. I wanted 18 min and secretly hoping for 15 minutes, but with the number of bodies climbing on top of me and over me and the waves.. well.. lets just say I'm glad I didn't have to be rescued!
21 minutes was my time; and I'm ok with that.
Climbed up the stairs (like pool stairs) and ran across the boardwalk.. yes, that's right people.. in my bike shorts and tri top.. I ran.. barefoot.. to the transition area, about 100 metres from the water.. maybe a bit more. Found my bike, and put on my helmet, dried my feet, socks on, shoes on, chapstick on (OOPS, it was so hot by now that the chapstick had melted on my face!) doh! So I wiped off the chunks, grabbed a stick of gum, put on my garmin and took off walking/running my bike through the chip board to the 'mount' sign.. took a minute to mount the bike as my pedal got caught in another guys bike.. (DOH!) and took off.. me beating him for about.. uhm.. ONE SECOND before he roared past me.. damn!
There are many hills in the race.. rolling is a lie.. tortuous is more like it.. the first two are immediately upon entering the bike portion.. I made it up the first and flunked on the 2nd ended up walking. Now all the people I passed on the swim are whizzing passed me.. 'ON YOUR LEFT' "ON YOUR LEFT" "ON YOUR LEFT" I wanted to scream.. "YEAH, YEAH!! I FREAKIN KNOW! JUST GO!".. but I kept my cool (cause really? I couldn't breath) and took sips of water from my camel pak/bak.. (best idea EVER for people who can't balance a bike and drink water!)
I made some decent rolling hills work for me; but never managed to pass one.. ALMOST passed this Asian lady but there was a hill coming up and there's was no point in me finally screaming, "ON YOUR FREAKIN LEFT!!!" when she'd pass me in about 3 seconds anyways.. lol.. so for a minute it seemed like I was drafting her (I totally was not!) and she glanced back, so I said.. "I'm just not fast enough to pass you, sorry!" and she took off.. the big hill at the end, I couldn't make it up either.. but neither could the majority of the people I was riding with.. so I didn't feel THAT bad. Lots of support on the course, which was nice.. not like a half marathon, but still enough. Road was open to traffic (no choice really) and so there were a few near-misses cause people were constantly passing me. I saw Penni make the turn about 5 min before I got there; so I knew I wasn't that far behind. I pushed it near the end and about 1 km before the end I saw Penni ahead so I booted it and screamed passed her, "ON YOUR LEFT OLD LADY! MOVE IT MOVE IT!".. giggling like a maniac.. if I could ride with no hands, I so totally would have.. childish, yes, I know, but I was feeling quite euphoric that the end was within reach.. I got goosebumps, I DID! With Penni hot on my tail; I soared through the bike finish, almost forgetting to dismount! DOH! Managed about 1:03 ish for the bike. My plan was 1:20 and secretly hoping for 1:10.. so I did good considering it was my worst.
Then the racking of the bike, I downed a few M and M's about 2km before the end of the bike ride to sugar up (I don't do gels or chewies, eww) and grabbed a sip of water, my baseball cap, attempted the chapstick again (what was I thinking??!!) and wiped the excess wax off my face and took off running. I couldn't figure on how I could run and change my settings on the watch, so I just hit 'lap' instead.. ran for about 200 metres and then the heat just got to me. OVER WHELMING. Shoes felt like they were sticking to the pavement.. legs, yes.. like BRICKS (so very, very true).. so I walked.. ran.. walked.. then saw Penni coming up behind me not far from her turn around and she left me to go run a great run; while I trudged up and up and up this stupid freaking road. NO SHADE. NO WIND. Over 100 degrees F; or over 40 degrees C.. THAT is hot! I drank so much water on the bike that I cramped up in my left shoulder/rib/upper diaphragm.. so I walked again. I ended up walking 99% of the route. I was only passed by 2 people.. but realized quite quickly that it looked like I could be last.. couldn't see anyone behind me. I turned around and about 2 minutes later I realized I wasn't last.. 2nd to last.. then 4 min later I realized I was 3rd from last (YIPEE!)..I ran for about 20 seconds then had to walk.. about 2 km from the end I saw the girl who was 2nd last coming up strong behind me.. well.. stronger than walking, anyways.. and I just didn't have it in me to run.. I was toast.. melting.. I took the water stops to dowse myself with water, rather than drink it.. about 200 metres from the finish I started to run again. I'm sure the other people milling around the finish line figured it was already over, but I got a few, "GO GIRL! ALMOST THERE!" cheers, which helped. I finished the run smiling with the peace sign on both hands. Penni caught my finish and I walked over to the tent to get ice applied to my neck and back. I had trouble catching my breath and now know what an asthmatic feels like.. like the hole is too small and the breath isn't getting in fast enough.. I panicked a bit; but Penni was there with me; so it didn't take but 2 minutes to be able to breath again and to realize, that no.. I was not going to pass out. A few minutes with the ice on the back/neck was a great idea.. knee gave me no issues (until walking in the parking lot!) and we were shocked to realize there was no finishers medals.. REALLY?? MULTISPORT?? NO MEDALS?? wow.. very disappointed.. the 2nd race now, that I've not received a medal and really? Thats more important to me than a gift bag full of crap.
Grabbed my ice water, headed for a burger (not bad) and Penni lined up for a massage, which we ended up waiting around for 30 minutes for a lady who had NO pain, NO injury and was just chatting with the guy; while Penni is waiting and she's got a bad leg!! We left and managed to walk our bikes and gear to the truck, she drove me to my car (while I'm crying telling her I may not be able to do a marathon after all) and of course, she knows.. and she loves me anyways.. (sigh) do I know how to pick BFF's, or what??!
Home in traffic with 40+ heat and jumped in shower, downloaded photos, posted FB on my pics/status; got my stats (will post later as well as pics) and that, is THAT. Triathlon.. OFF the bucket list.
So I sit icing my knee (I'm sure its because I've gained 10 pounds and not because of anything I did) and typing away with a hot laptop burning my thighs.
I'm not hungry.. not thirsty.. not sore (except for the knee which is hot -poker fire in the medial aspect).. I'm no longer sweaty... and I'm feeling proud of myself.. even coming in 2nd last. I'm ok with that. I didn't have any expectations.. just didn't want to quit. Didn't want to be last; but would have been ok with that too. I was hoping for 2 hours, and I got just over that.. again.. not bad. I placed fairly high in the swim for my time.. lots of people did over 20 min swims.. so I know that is a strong point for me.
I'm happy we are having leftovers and that I won't have to cook.
Sprint triathlon? CHECK!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOHNSONZ 7/17/2011 10:07PM

    Wow - Jen - That was exciting to read.
Great Job! Don't stop now.
You did Awesome!!
WooHoo

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FITWITHIN 7/17/2011 8:04PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonon finishing and checking one off your Bucket List. I thinking about doing a sprint. I'm like you bad knees when I emoticonI'm suffering for the rest of the day. I still rusty on the emoticonbut I'm getting better each time. Last year was the first time I was back on a emoticonin many years. I can't wait to see the pictures.

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2011 Hamilton Around The Bay 30km 2 person relay

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

So this is my first official race of 2011- I planned the first 15km leg of this relay.
My parents live in Hamilton and this race is the oldest race in North America.. older than Boston even!

Well, a couple of weeks ago I had a long run; about 14km or so; was a great run but I did NOT stretch, nor walk a lot, nor cool down, had lunch plans so quickly showered, (after finding a blister on my girlie bits) and met my BFF (and relay partner) for lunch. Had a fab lunch and when I got up I was REALLY stiff! Back of my right leg was really sore. Limped around and it got worse. LOTS.
Saw chiro guy the next day as it got REALLY bad and he said I tore my popliteus muscle -which is a muscle at the very top of the calf muscle, below the back of the knee.. very small tear.. but not fun; very hard to walk.. ice, rest, ice, rest.. Ibuprofen.. yes. Stayed off of it for a week and then had a run last week on it. Felt FINE, until 3km and then BA-AD pain, but this time to the lower calf.. not achilles.. just lower calf, both tibia and fibula sides. Couldn't complete more than 4km cause the pain was so bad; made no difference whether I slowed to a walk or not.
SO-some kind of ultrasonic machine to my leg a few times and rested with NO running before the race. It was still swollen but I wasn't walking strange anymore.
Race Day!
Sunny skies but REALLY cold.. -10 degrees celcius.. and close to -20 with the wind chill. Got in the car and made our way to Copps Collesium (early).
Our usual underground parking spot was blocked by cops and barricades and there was a guy waving us in the closest parking lot to Copps.. the day before the parking was like 8 bucks for the day; so I thought.. why not?
Pull in.. "TWENTY BUCKS LADY!".. I was like WHAT??!!! Are you KIDDING ME??!
I think I'll leave.. he said, "No backing up, there's a line up of cars behind you, we have to park 7,000 people; so move it!"
So I gave him the stupid $25 bucks and made our way to another guy waving us down to park up against the back of an apartment complex. We park.. 'GET CLOSER, REALLY TIGHT" so I have to let Penni out cause our doors are almost kissing the ones next to it... I repark.. I get out.. no car beside me.. open the front door, rear door.. keys in pocket and lock the doors, do to the back of the car and start taking our running stuff out.. realize I might be too cold with only THREE jackets/shirts I have on.. take off my racing jacket and put on my thermal jacket.. they start parking a guy next to me.. "MOVE CLOSER" he screams.. "GET IT TIGHT!".. so the guy lets out his passengers and starts to back up.. he's backing up near my feet.. I said, "hey! Just give me a second, k?!" and the attendant guy says.. "NO! Have to hurry!" So I push my butt into the rear door and push the front door shut so the guy can park.. then I turn back around and go to open the rear door (which is not COMPLETELY shut) and...
LOCKED!
My keys, my bag, my race bib, my music, my garmin, my money, my EVERYTHING AS WELL AS ALL MY BFF'S STUFF IS LOCKED IN THE CAR WITH MY KEYS!
O
MY
GOD
Yes.. LOCKED
I have a thermal jacket on and two long sleeve technical shirts. I'm in the shade and its -20 outside. No hat, no mitts, not NOTHING!
So I freakin panic! I yell at the guy for being an arse whole and he made me lock the keys in the car (in hind site he didn't MAKE me lock the car but he did make me shut the doors-really MY fault)-he just stood there with snot dripping down his nose and freezing on his face. We asked if anyone had a wire coat hanger (another runner said it wouldn't work with my car anyways-some Jeep thing) and then couldn't find the number for CAA. My BFF and I both had our phones on us (THANK YOU LORD!) and I called my mom (30 min away) and told her what happened. I had a spare key (which, by the way, does NOT work on the one freakin key hole I have in my car) in my purse which I left purposely (thank god again) at her house. She found it and started to make her way downtown. I called CAA (Like AAA) and they would be 45 minutes before they could get to me. I had 1 hour before my race. 45 minutes before Penni had to board her bus to the half way mark.
I was TOTALLY freaking out.. not only because MY stuff was in there.. that's bad enough.. but my BFF's stuff was ALSO locked in there and TOTALLY MY FAULT!
arghhh
anyways; my parents broke sound barriers and speed limits and made it down there in less than 15 minutes (THANKS MOM AND DAD!) and she threw my purse at Penni from the window.. I prayed over and over again for the stupid key to work-cause its on the list of things to fix on my car! Stuck it in the key hole.. jiggled.. jiggled.. jiggled.. jiggled
OMG
jiggled
CLICK
HOLY CRAP!
It opened!
With thirty minutes to spare we got our stuff out (our breakfast now frozen and unedible in the back seat) and Penni ran off to the bus (WE ARE FREEZING BY NOW) and I did NOT lock the doors again! I didn't give a rats behind if someone stole whatever was left inside of it!

I made my way into Copps.. well, it was 7,000 people for the 30km race; and a TOTAL of 11,000 people (the others were for the 5km race)-so it was BUSY!

Saw this veteran..
He actually was in front of me; and went back into Copps after about 1 minute of running.. so kinda sucky that he was lying about being in all those races.
We walked to the start.. and walked.. and couldn't find the end.. so walked some more.. three more blocks down.. still no end.. so walked some more.. I heard a bull horn, so I figured it was a 'reminder' like 5 minutes or something, yanno? Cause I didn't hear anything else... and then walked some more.. didn't have a watch on, just my garmin.. then finally made it down four blocks and found the end of the line.. stood there.. moved over to the right side (my parents were 4km up on the right-waiting to take pictures).. stood.. stamped my frozen feet.. checked my time on my iphone 9:38!! wha??!! We're still standing here! It's late! Then we start to walk a bit.. FINALLY. we're moving.. still no starter pistol or anyone saying GO!
So we walk for two blocks or so.. just kinda going with the flow.. no 'mat' crossing.. no CHIP board crossing.. just walking.. then suddenly we're kinda jogging a bit.. (I'm very close to the back) and I realize we're WAY past the road we're supposed to 'start' at.. no chip board?
Then I realize that we had started about ten minutes prior!!!
wha???!!!
Wow.. that sucked.
So.. ran.. felt great.. COLD, yes.. but stuck one ear bud in (music was not recommended) and put my music on low.. (I use Nike, so its on my ipod).. and had started my Garmin when we started to jog.. my pace was about 7-7:15 min/km which was good for me cause it felt fine.. not too fast, good breathing, no shortness of breath.. felt no twinges.. fantastic! Taking a week off helped!
3km in and suddenly the back of my right calf is tight.. I mean.. PAINFUL TIGHT.. like.. WHA??!!!
getting worse with every step.. now I'm limping.. I walk for a few steps but it doesn't make it feel better.. not worse.. just not any better.
So my parents are at 4km.. so I'm getting hot and decide to take off one of my thermals.. here they are taking a pic of me..

Took my orange thermal off and told them my calf was messed up.. they asked me if I was going to continue.. ABSOLUTELY!
I took off running again.. THIRSTY!
Lost one of my gatorade fuel belt bottles along the way :0(
They were meeting me at around 7km marker.. I plodded alone; my pace hovering back down towards the 8min/km pace.. only ONE water station was passed.. THREE porta potties at that one THREE!!! ( For 11,000 people!)
There were people peeing in alleys.. between cars.. it was TERRIBLE!
Made my way passed the 7km mark and never saw my parents.. kept going.. started on Woodward and got hit straight in the face with Lake Ontario winds.. WOW.. Co-OLD!
Kept plodding along.. hit the 10km chip mat at 1:26.. now take off about ten minutes for getting to the starting line.. LOL...
Called Penni from my iphone to tell her I was slow.. my plan was 2 hours.. I was secretly hoping for 1:45.. (shhhh) and she didn't answer her phone! ARGHH
Called her at 12km, 13km, and 14km.. finally she answered her phone.. I'M SCREWED!!! My CALF IS SCREWED!.. She said it was fine.. take my time. just take it easy.. what a BFF!.. At 1/2 km to go..
I decided that no matter WHAT I did I couldn't get rid of this pain.. I was limping SOOO badly.. so.. what do I do? I'm SOOO close to getting there in 2 hours still!
I RAN.. like.. RAN.. sprinted.. you should have seen the looks I had.. passing about 20 people.. and I sounded like a wounded, wet, bull moose.. OMG.. I was grunting.. surging.. grunting.. sprinting.. went about 1/2 the distance and went.. OMG!!! I'm gonna puke! I ran harder.. I couldn't even feel anything anymore the adrenalin just took over.. saw Penni.. she took pictures..



Yes... it was a horrible run.. I stumbled to the ground to undo the chip timer (stupid way to do the relay, having to TIE it to your shoe) and shoved it at Penni.. I finally stopped my garmin after swallowing down my bile

So it was really close, if not 2 hours for my 15km.

Now it took us about 2 minutes to exchange chips, tie shoes, start her garmin and itouch.. I didn't realize that I didn't even cross the 15km chip mat!!
WHA?!

There's Penni trying to see her itouch in the blazing sun.. LOL.. took her a bit.. but she got it and OFF she went!

Now Penni crossed the 15km mat.. that made no sense.. and she got all the hills.. THANK YOU PENNI!
She does a lot of hill training at home.. I do rolling minute tiny hills. she does H.I.L.L.S.
I grabbed the bus back (thank you!) and limped my way to the first seat
Long bus ride back just seized up the leg.. so when it was time to get off I was REALLY limping, hardly weight bearing at all. Walked back to Copps, then into Copps then UP the stairs (didn't want to look like a goof and take the escalator-HIND SIGHT.. SHOULD HAVE!) then DOWN the stairs to the designated meeting place (GREAT IDEA!)

ate my food and waited about 30 min for parents.. then we waited for my BFF.. boy its a long wait when you don't know what's happening.. I was so worried.. she's been deathly ill with influenza A for the past month.. I was thinking she even had pneumonia cause her cough/breathing was so bad.. I was soo worried that she'd have problems breathing and she had this HUGE hill to go up.. bigger than heart break hill at Boston!

It was at the 26km mark; so just when you feel REALLY tired and exhausted they throw this son of a gun at you.. and you know what?
SHE DID IT! She conquered that hill!
When she came in at 4 hours I was 'whoo hooing" and my mom came up to me crying and telling her how proud she was of us! Took a video of Penni.. can't post here.. and it was very emotional.
She waited downstairs for us.. I had to go back UP the stairs and then back DOWN the stairs to meet her.. OOOOO.. what a meeting!

Fantastic! We cried.. and limped back to the unlocked car..
Chocolate milk enroute.

Hot shower, ice to limpy bits (painful!) a whole lotta Ibuprofen
and out for a celebratory dinner.
Info:
Place:219
Gun Time:4:00:21.7
Avg Pace: 8:01
Chip Time: 3:53:42.9
Bib #R432
MUSKOKA MAMAS
Place: 77/85 Open Female
Jennifer Smith Gun Time: 2:09:43 Pace: 8:39
Penni Patenaude Gun Time: 1:50:40 Pace: 7:23
Gun Time: 4:00:22

And that, my friends.. is THAT!
I'm really stiff and sore.. right calf thingy has improved just now hurting EVERYWHERE, even my flanks, ribs, arms.. etc.. now onwards and forward!
Next:
sprint tri in July!!
EEEK!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LORENVER 4/4/2011 5:13PM

    Wow, even though things were kind of a mess it sounds like you are still happy you went. Congrats, now take care of that leg!

LV emoticon

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PJDKSMITH 4/4/2011 10:23AM

    OOpps! Decided to throw in a half marathon in June at Niagara on the Lake for some training.. why not run in a really pretty place, get free schwag, t-shirt and medal for doing something I have to be doing anyways? Plus.. gets me away from the house having ME time! AHHHH I am one smart cookie! LOL

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TX_WILDHEART 4/2/2011 5:42PM

    You should have thrown your water bottle at the parking guy. Just saying@! Love the play by play - but worry about you and your pains! Hope you are better now!
Rhonda


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PURPLEPENNI 3/29/2011 11:35AM

  OMG! I'm going to cry just reading your part about when I was running! I'm sorry it was so agonizing for you physically and then mentally when I was gone. I just don't stop EVER when I run. I don't stop to pee. I drink when I walk, I "gu" when I run. Stopping to adjust my MANY layers and take my inhaler before the big hill was the most I have ever stopped! EVER! I too was hoping for 1:45 but 1:50 is fine considering the past month and how freakin' cold it was on Sunday!

I love you BFF and we got MANY more races in us...even if they are slow! emoticon

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JOHNSONZ 3/29/2011 10:40AM

    I have been wondering about you!! WTG!!
Glad to see you're staying in the game.
Love seeing that Smile!!
WHooWooo
emoticon

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Niagara Falls International Half Marathon.. GOAL COMPLETED!

Monday, November 01, 2010

For months now, I've been working towards running a half marathon. I started with the c25k program January 2009-initially being able only to run 10 seconds without bending over, hands on knees, dry heaving. I've graduated to a half marathon completer.. and I did NOT come in last!
Here's how it went:
Oct 24th-Niagara Falls, Ontario- The full marathon was starting in Buffalo, NY, USA and ended in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. The only marathon that starts in one country and ends in another. VERY COOL!
The weather:
Overcast, with the occassional burst of sunshine and an occassional burst of spittle of rain. 18 degrees celcius at 10am which was gun time; with about 99% humidity; so for weather-wise, it was warm. I was over-dressed.. something I didn't want to do.. here's pic prior to us leaving.

When I look at this pic; I look like a stuffed sausage.. ick.
Stayed at the Crowne Plaza on Falls Ave; which, to be honest, wasn't all that great, and we would have been better off just staying at the econo lodge, or something cheap. The Crowne Plaza had buses that picked us up to take us to the starting point (which was 21.1km from the falls)-WHICH by the way; when you drive it? When your driving in a straight line? IS FAR! I'm used to running out 10-11km and then TURNING around! 21 km straight out is FAR!
Here's a couple of pics:

This is a pic from about 10km from the finish line. There is a 'tower' in the distance.. the little tiny tower? yeah..that's probably NOT EVEN 10km from here!
THAT was daunting.
My BFF Penni went with me; THANK GOODNESS.. and we decided to drive the route the Friday night before. When we drove it, it kind of freaked us out when we were SOOOo far away and realized that we were CLOSER than we were going to the finish line~

Skylon tower -The Finish Line- ZOOMED from 10km away

The Skylon Tower, up close and personal.. BIG HUH?
We went to the Fitness Expo held at the Skylon Tower Friday night, and I'm glad we picked up our race kits then, cause Sat afternoon it was PACKED!
The infamous John Stanton was there, I was lucky enough to get my training log signed by him AND he posed for a pic with Penni and me!

What a great inspirational guy.. he reminded me that since it was my first half marathon, it will ALWAYS be a PB.. personal best.. and my two goals were:
FINISH and TRY to finish under 3 hours.
We picked up our race kit (the importance of having your race receipt came in handy here-as there were TWO Jennifer Smith's registered)- cool swag stuff but an AWFUL jacket, instead of a t-shirt. It was like a garbage bag. Pretty but NOT practical at all. Not water resistant even!


But, what are you gonna do?
Buy a t-shirt! So I did.. actually bought a couple of things at the fitness expo.. they had great deals on running room, brooks, nike, comfort fit bras, etc.. if you forgot anything (god forbid!) you could ALWAYS find it here!
We did some sight seeing on Sat and sat at the expo for a schpeel from John Stanton and Katherine Switzter.

Katherine is the first woman to run Boston -illegally, of course, but changed the history of the world by doing so. SHE is the sole reason why women are ALLOWED to run marathons. Shocking, I'm sure.. being ALLOWED to run? But until 1967 there NEVER was a woman who ran. EVER. She's an amazing spokesperson for women's rights, and you feel empowered by listeing to her account her tale of that enormously important event. I bought her book, Marathon Woman, which I have yet to read, but, luckily, have now had inscribed (yeah for me!) and will enjoy every minute of it!



An amazing story, you should all read!

Anyways-about the race.

The area near the finish line..

OOO, free massages at the fitness expo! WOW! PERFECT!
Oh, I forgot to mention, TWO days before the race I put my back out.. yes.. yes I did.
Well, not two days before the race.. Thursday night I put it out, leaning over picking up laundry, starting to stand back up, twisted a bit to start to stand and had the sudden urge to cough.. so I did.. and TWANG! OUT..
ooo.. was I mad!
Friday, my chiropractor was good enough to fit me in; and said my S.I. joint was f*cked.. and I should probably take it easy.
A four hour drive to Niagara Falls did not help.. so I was in bad shape. Friday night was still bad.. Sat at the expo I got to walk around a bit; and then had one of these 'massages' by a massage therapy student.
It hurt.. it did.. the S.I. joint gave off electrical shocks down my back, into my butt and down my LEFT side.. even though is was the right side that was usually painful.
The guy was awesome.. very gentle and wanted every detail.. like a chronic pyriformus injury.. right hip.. to S.I. joint messup related to a coughin spell.
After my 15 minute massage I suddenly felt better!
We walked for a bit, taking it easy... sight seeing for about 2 km or so.. and it felt great!
THANK GAWD!
Woke up Sunday morning.. race day,.. with just a 'twinge'.. I lucked out, I really did!
Anyways.. Sunday morning.. all our stuff was laid out the day before.. shoes, chip, fuel belt, jacket, shirt, pants, socks, bra.. music.. extra food, camera.. bibs.. we were PREPARED!

Penni and I in the lobby at 7am waiting for the buses.
WHICH I have to mention.. there was fantastic organization with this run.. I mean.. a free breakfast, a pasta dinner, buses.. enough porta potties.. nice race kit stuff, good communication.. it was really awesome!
Here's a map of the course:


The starting line.. people were friendly and welcoming.. saw a couple of girls in the vibram five finger shoes.. asked a bit about those.. they SWORE by them.. but of course, I passed one of them on the course.. and I did NOT pass a lot of people!

We started on time.. no issues.. it took about 1-2 minutes just to get to the 'starting' mat.. so it was a good thing it was chipped!
The pace I kept was about 7:30.. for the first part, I thought I'd do John Stanton's 10:1 pace.. run/walk ratio. BUT after 10 minutes, I really didn't feel the NEED to walk.. so I didn't.. it wasn't until about 20 minutes, when I noticed my pace was over 8:00min/km that I walked. I kept my 'walking' brisk.. less than 9:00min/km.. and walked very little. Stopped at almost every water station (every ONE MILE!).. they had awesome water stations.. with 13 festive and excited volunteers. Sometimes it was water, other times it was gatorade.. near the end there were orange slices, but not until 20 km in!
Here's a pic along the way.. and YES, I walked long enough to take a pic!

There was one guy.. a bigger guy.. younger than me though, who I noticed was walk/running near my pace.. I thought, if I can keep him in my sights, I'm good. We ran passed each other, then slowed for a walk then the other passed, gawd, we must have done it TWENTY times, before a REALLY great song came on my ipod and I SPRINTED.. yes.. I SPRINTED.. right passed a water station.. just WHIZZED by about 20 people... And let me tell you, there were some 'walkers' there? They were FASTER than me!
now, somewhere after 10km I just plum got pooped. I was over dressed, I had sweated every inch of my long sleeve technical shirt. I drank at every one, BUT one water spot AND drank both my fuel belt gatorades. I walked.. more than I wanted, because by then, I noticed that I was 'ahead' of my expected time for 10km.. I was at 1 hour and 14 minutes and was tired, yes.. but not exhausted... so I walked.. and walked.. and walked.. what a mistake! If I had kept up the pace I could have been done in 2:30!!! ARGHH.. anyways.. the last 10km was crap.
I just played head games with myself as some walkers would blow by me.. 'You're too fat to run, look at you? You ROLLED SAUSAGE! What gives YOU the right to think that you can run a half marathon?!".. despite the fact that I have previously ran OVER 21 km TWICE!!!.. head games are BAD!
Here's my stats from slowgeek.com

Now, my garmin is GPS, my nike is OFF.. I know.. It said I finished the half marathon about 2km from where it actually ended, so I know my pace wasn't 7:35/km or 12:13/mile.. but it was close!
I had 6 GU chewies about 12 km in, NEEDED them.. then thank goodness I brought a granola bar with me; cause at mile 12? I was DONE! STARVING.. absolutely ravenous~
I ate that, shoved the garbage in my pockets.. and kept on.
It gave me the extra OOOMPH to hoof it near the end. I saw the finish line was coming up, although poorly laid out because there was a sharp turn in the 'chute' before you cross.. so spectators can't see you coming, unless they're looking at the jumbotron which was post AWAY from the finish line!
So I blasted it at the end..like 4:23/km sprinting.. and shot past the finish line at 2 hrs 53 min chip time. I was pleased.. TWO of my goals met.. my mind was not pleased though, knowing full well I walked to much!
Penni finished 2:23 chip time and didn't even see me cross..
My parents drove so they could see their daughter run a race.. and left TEN minutes before I crossed the line!

I got worse with the self portraits.. cut myself out of most of them.
When I saw Penni she was COVERED in salt.. ALL over her face! COVERED! They had a great bag full of food.. bananas, rice chips, apple, cookies, water, at the finish line.. cool, big fat medals.. and one of those solar blankets for everyone.. which, being next to open water was needed when you finally cooled down.
I drank two bottles of water.. then we realized we missed my parents after wandering around for 30 minutes.. we gave up.. and then realized that the hotel room was about 5 or 6 km away and we had no ride back!
DOH!

The baggage buses were full of baggage.. there were no notes/comments in the paperwork about what we were going to do! DOH!
I thought we would finish about 2km away from our hotel.. I was wrong!
And after finishing 21.1km I REALLY didn't feel like walking another 5-6km with legs that were like jello!
Luckily we had packed 5 bucks each into secret pockets.. we limped our way to a line of taxis near the bus station.. and asked how much to the Crowne Plaza.. ten bucks?? PERFECT.
It was a quick 10 minute ride and we thanked the driver perfusely for being alive.. and hobbled our way up the stairs and had showers, drank more water.. and took advantage of our 'late' checkout and pakced and left.
I drank another bottle of water in the car ride home (3 hours) and we stopped at Jack Astors for late lunch, early dinner, we were STARVED!
A huge glass of chocolate milk, and an enormous 750ml glass of sparkling lemonade. the chocolate milk barely hit the table before the waitress looked down and saw it was gone.. I was worried she wouldn't move her finger out of the way fast enough, and I would accidentally try to suck on that.. I SOOO love chocolate milk for post recovery drinks!
Anyways.. so in thinking back.. another 1 hour to get home.. so.. 12 water station stops.. what.. maybe 100 mls in the cups.. 1200 mls total.. two gatorade fuel belt holders.. 400ml each.. 800+1200=2000ml.. 2 bottles of water post race.. 1200ml.. total now 3200ml.. 1 bottle in the hotel.. 3800 total now.. 1 bottle in the car.. 4200 ml now.. chocolate milk.. 600ml.. total now 4800 ml.. HUGE lemonade.. at least a litre.. 5800ml.. got home and drank a big glass of water.. 700 ml.. GRAND total of 6500ml.. and..
I NEVER PEED once!
Talk about being dehydrated, huh?
I finally peed at 9pm that night.. 11 hours and 6.5L later.. and it was a TINY amount and DARK.. ee gads!
I drank 2 litres of water the next day, and it wasn't till the afternoon that I no longer felt dehydrated!

So.. stats.

Place: 1896 out of 2198 participants
Jennifer SMITH Washago ON CAN
Bib #3289
Gun time: 2:56:25.1
Chip time: 2:53:49.6
Pace: 8:22
Women 40 - 44
category placed: 176/204
Gender place: 1114/1369

So overall, not the slowest.. not the fatest, OBVIOUSLY.. what I did feel good about.. is that guy? The one that we kept passing each other.. over and over again?
Well, he came in about TWENTY minutes after me!!!

So.. sorry it was so long.. but I wanted to give you a real FEEL for being there.
I'm glad its done.
Planning now a 30km relay in March
a 5km resolution run on New Years Eve and a Triathlon relay in the summer.. gotta figure out if I can swim though, huh?

Later gators!
Jenny

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KKANAC 11/2/2010 10:05PM

  Even though you told us about it in person, it was really great reading your play by play.

kkanac = aka Cheryl Case

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ITSHOWYOULIVE 11/2/2010 2:04AM

    Congrats on the great time!! Ya' done great!! Looks like a lot of fun! I love it when a race has a great expo :).

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MARLIE13 11/1/2010 9:46PM

    Ooooh congratulations! What a fun report to read and I LOVED all of the pictures! Great job!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 11/1/2010 11:05AM

    Excellent blog Jenny! Thank you so much for sharing the details.

Congratulations on your race!!!!! That is so awesome. Love the way you are figuring out what you are going to do next.

I find it hard not to over dress too. I think that is something that just comes with experience.

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JOHNSONZ 11/1/2010 10:43AM

    WOW!! Amazing!!
AND LOOK AT YOU - YOU ARE SO SKINNY!
I have not come by in awhile.
Keep up the Great Work.
Thanks for sharing...
Lynn
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45ANDFIT1 11/1/2010 5:45AM

    CONGRATULATIONS!! emoticon emoticon

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6 days until my first Half Marathon! Eek~!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Well, peeps.. I'm not lost.. just here; trying to find my way around life in general. Haven't posted my calorie loss with runs in I don't know how long. I'll get on it; swear!
My last long run was Sept 30th of 19km. Before that was Sept 12th of 22.99km.. so I know I can do the half marathon; just how WELL.. I don't know.
As some of you know I'm a bit hard on myself. Running these long distances have made my running goals change. I went from running 5k's in 32 min to running 5k's in 40 min! Things slow when your going longer, but my slow was ridiculous!
But last week I ran at the YMCA at the indoor track. NO HILLS, NO WIND, NO TRAFFIC.. and I managed to run.. for the first time in MONTHS.. 6 km without stopping, slowing, pausing, walking.. nothing. Managed 42:38.. so I'm happy about that.
I thought I had 'lost it' but found my mojo again!
My goals for the half marathon are as follows:
1. HAVE FUN!
(while that doesn't seem possible for someone like me -someone who wants to puke if I'm running beside/near anyone-I'm certainly going to make an effort for it to BE FUN!)
2. FINISH
-not asking too much of myself here. I'm pretty sure I'll finish unless something breaks or I have a heart attack or something ... ;-)
3. FINISH UNDER 3 HOURS
Now.. here's my dilemma.. my nike system is funky-it keeps pace faster than is true. It keeps distances farther than is true. SO.. what does this mean? This means when I THINK I've gone 23km in 3:08:39; I've actually only gone 20ish km in that time.
My pace says 8'12" per km; but its more like 8'58" per km.. with LOTS of walk breaks here and there.
I usually run (10 min jog: 1 min walk) at a pace of 7:39min/km. I walk at 10-11min/km. I've had issues regarding having to walk too often and beat myself up mentally in regards to that.
I'm better now that I can run for longer than ten minutes without stopping.. but the conditions have to be right.
-first-good breaky
-good poop in the am
-hydrated well the night before and the morning of
-enough carbs to sustain me.
-drink gatorade/powerade along route
-dress accordingly
-not too humid
-not too cold
-not too windy
-not too much traffic
-good music
and for the moon to be over venus in the house of the Pluto moons.. ahh.. shoot.. you know what I mean.
Conditions have to be perfect for me to have a 'good' run.

I'm going to the Niagara Falls International Half Marathon on Friday with my BFF. I'm excited just to be going away. Staying at a fancy hotel and planning on doing some shopping and girlie stuff while there. Unfortunately there was no 'double' beds or 'king' beds available, so we're sharing a double.. and will be awfully close.. hahahhaa.. should be fine.. I'll kick her in the tub if I have too.. hahahaha.. KIDDING!
Race is Sunday.. weather.. supposed to be lightly raining and cool-between 8-15 celcius.
Wondering what to wear, what to take, will take passport as the dollar is at par and we might be able to get some good deals.
I'm figuring on finishing at 2:59; but secretly hoping for 2:45... but will be ok with whatever I do.. its my first, so anything will be my PR (personal record).
So, I'm still around peeps.. still hanging in there.
Haven't lost ONE SINGLE SOLITARY pound.. but am able to get back into my size 12 jeans without a problem; so I'm not too worried. Hanging around 192-195.. dependent on the crap I've eaten.
AFTER the half; I'm either going to plan a triathlon or a full marathon.. time consumption is an issue so we'll have to see. But this isn't the last you've seen of me.
Not by a long shot!
Later Gators.. will keep you all posted!
Jenny

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ITSHOWYOULIVE 10/24/2010 7:21PM

    Well, considering how far behind I am in my reading, you have probably run your half by now. Hope it went super well and can't wait to hear the review!!

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LOVETHEFITLIFE 10/18/2010 10:20AM

    you are going to do great!!! i am looking forward to running my first half! i was right on target earlier this year and discovered i was preggo! so its time to start again!! Good luck!!!

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KRICKY 10/18/2010 7:30AM

    That's so awesome! I need to get back to running and do a 1/2 too. Niagara is so cool!

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ANEPANALIPTI 10/18/2010 5:58AM

    You're going to do awesome I can't wait to hear about it! :D

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