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Run The Bluegrass Half Marathon -more pics!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

with the exception of the final picture in this blog, all pics were taken by the official Run The Bluegrass race photographer, J.A. Laub Photography of Lexington, Kentucky, and I purchased digital download rights to all my pics with my race entry.


STARTING!! (notice how dry we look... that doesn't last)...







HALFWAY!! This is along Old Frankfurt Pike at mile 6.55. It had been raining steadily since about mile 4.





Mile 8.5, just after the turn off Old Frankfurt Pike. Not only can you tell we're soaked, but I like how the road being wet is reflecting the neon orange of my shoes!







They didn't get any shots of us at Mile 11 (stopped only a few minutes before we went through is my best guess... which is where they had not only hydration but beer!)...

FINISH LINE!!! I was nearly in tears. I hurt and was SO COLD! I'm grateful to Amber for running with me the entire race. It really kept me going in the last couple miles.









We had someone take this pic on my camera. They were doing official pics here as well but we had turned out medals in for engraving before realizing it and went to get on some dry clothes.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MONETRUBY 4/3/2014 10:09PM

    Great photos! I love how happy and joyful you look, despite the weather. And you're right, that course looks beautiful, even through all the rain! Awesome job, Thrace!

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RACEWELLWON 4/3/2014 11:57AM

    emoticon Incredible ! Great Photos , yes , tear of joy at the finishing line !! emoticon

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PRIZM96 4/2/2014 2:41PM

    Wow!! I am soooooo proud of you!!! You girls are ROCKSTARS!! :-)

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MAPFARMS 4/2/2014 1:53PM

    This is awesome!! Thanks for sharing. Congratulations! Doing the happy dance for you!!
emoticon emoticon

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ZANNACHAN 4/2/2014 1:52PM

    Brrr. Cold wet rains are the worst--but you rocked the race! Way to go!

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Recap - My Run The Bluegrass Half Marathon Experience!

Monday, March 31, 2014

My friend Amber is nuts. She did 3 training runs a couple years ago (5.5, 8.5 and 12.5) then did a 50K trail race. She’s also taken a course in bull riding. So you now understand. But we’ve known each other for almost 30 years and she’s an amazing person. She’d gotten way more into running than I have as she’s planning her first marathon this fall. A couple months ago she pointed out to me how cool the Run The Bluegrass Half Marathon finish medals were… and I ended up signing up for the race with her.



So the plan was to leave about noon on Friday. My dressage trainer was in for the weekend so I moved my lesson to 9am Friday. The weekend started out wonderfully as the lesson was fantastic! But… on to the half marathon stuff.

The drive down was uneventful. Lots of chatter. I was mildly panicking about the distance, but keeping it together. The race started/finished at Keeneland racetrack which is GORGEOUS!! Big old trees, fence lined paddocks, stone buildings. Their spring race meet doesn’t start until next week but it’s still a fantastic place. We got to the Expo at Keeneland about 2 and started wandering. Very nice expo. Bunch of different vendors – folks selling things (shoes, shirts, accessories, etc.), people advertising their upcoming 2014 races, sports medicine type folks, and of course those associated with RTB – most having something to do with Bourbon or Keeneland!



I did really well in not overspending. Of course I wanted souveniers, but needed to ensure I finished the race first. So my buying was limited to 1 RTB coffee mug with “Z” sticker and 2 RTB etched glass shot glasses.



We had 5:30 reservations for an RTB Farm-To-Table dinner at a lovely place called Wild Thyme in Lexington. OMG, it was fabulous!! Different local made cheese spreads with crackers for an appetizer, then a buffet dinner – antipasta, Italian veggies (cauliflower/zucchini/asparagus/mushrooms)
, Caesar salad, choice of veggie or meat lasagna, pasta with white sauce and pine nuts, pork tenderloin, and garlic bread. Dessert was bread pudding with a creamy bourbon sauce! SO worth the price!! We also got to talk to a table full of other runners which was fun. Though several had done the driven course tour, I decided it was better not to know based on the looks they were giving me when I told them I’d never been in a race longer than 5 miles.

After that we got a bit of our own driving course tour as we headed to Donamire Farm to visit my friend Suzie and my former horse Frankie. Donamire is right on the course at mile 7. Had fun talking to Suzie and a blast seeing Frankie, even if we were interrupting her dinner. After that… to the hotel to wind down and get some sleep.



Got up early on Saturday. The hotel offered a complimentary breakfast. Thankfully they had oatmeal as that’s what I’m used to right now. On the drive over to Keeneland, panic started setting in again. Honestly the only reason I didn’t wig out completely was because I kept telling myself that it would burn too much energy!! The day dawned a bit chilly from a decent breeze, but so far no rain.



Not that it lasted very long!! By the time we were lining up in our start gates at about 8:45 the light drizzle started. It wasn’t bad though in the 50 degree weather. Might keep us all from getting too hot! Amber and I were in Wave 5 so we started at 9:08. Amber had a Garmin on so she was able to track our GPS location and how far we’d gone from the start, and our current pace since start. I used my phone and a Stopwatch app to track our individual mile times. Mile 1 wasn’t well marked but we were SMOKING!! Didn’t intent on going out fast because 13.1 miles is quite a distance, but the rolling central Kentucky hills made it possible for us to hit sub 12:00 quite a bit in the first couple miles! We would jog the flats, stretch out and let gravity smoke us down the hills, then keep a good walking pace uphills. Miles 1, 2 and 3 were all sub 13 minute miles!



Slowed a bit in Mile 4 with one of the “killer” hills – clocked in at 13:49 and change but overall we were doing well. AND Mile 5 was our fastest at 12:05 so we made up for it!



Throughout the course they had about 7 hydration stations offering water, Gatorade, Nuun (yuck) and a locally made product called SWORD which was really good. I had purchased a 4 bottle hydration belt with extra zipper pocket and carried coconut water with me. With the cooler temps I probably would have been ok, with 2 bottles but glad I had the extra anyway. At several of the hydration locations they also had live music!! And a few of them had portapotties. The early portapotties had lines to wait but by the time we got to the one near mile 6, there wasn’t much of a wait so we opted to stop.

I should also note that by this time, the light drizzle had changed to definite rain, as the wind kept blowing and the temp kept dropping. Made for an interesting exercise – the whole getting in and out of really wet running tights when you can’t really feel your thighs or fingers very well. The potty stop dropped our Mile 6 time to 15:56. Miles 6 thru 8 were along Old Frankfort Pike which is where Donamire is. And of course in a 13.1 mile race, this is also where halfway is. Our halfway split time was 1:27:20 which is a 13:20 minute/mile pace!!

Unfortunately, due to the weather conditions, we didn’t get to see Frankie from the course or many of the area foals that I’m sure were out on Sunday when it was beautiful again. Oh well. The course really is VERY pretty, even in cold rainy conditions.

Mile 7 was back down to a 12:49 pace. Things steadily started slowing down after that though. Mile 8 and 9 were good at 13:13 and 13:09 (fastest of the 2nd half). By Mile 10 things started aching, specifically my left hip, right knee and left ankle. Our downhill runs got slower as did our flat jogs which by mile 12 stopped all together as it became faster to walk the flats. The balls of my feet were a problem as well but that was due to them being WET. Mile 10 was completed in 14:01. Mile 11 was finished in 14:39 and met with not only a final hydration station but a beer station too! Too bad I don’t drink beer… but it was tempting.



Mile 12 finished in 14:48. The final mile and a tenth was rough. I probably should have had a 3rd gel packet back at mile 11 but didn’t. And I was having a very hard time getting warm as my pace had slowed. Only running downhill and the final bit to the finish line. As someone said “Finish Strong!” my reply was “This IS Strong!”. Amber and I crossed the finished line at 17:34 for that last mile plus… ending the half at 1:31:44 which is a 14:00 pace. The whole 13.1 miles was completed in 2 hours 59 minutes and 4 seconds!! We finished under 3 hours!! Our average pace was 13:40. Even the gun time for me was under 3 hours (2:59:39). For someone who really wondered if I’d finish, I was ecstatic!! Freezing cold and hypothermic, but happy nonetheless.



Overall results put me in the Female 40-44 division. I finished 187 of 218 in my division. 2288 of 2535 overall…. 1294 of 1486 against all women.
Cannot wait to see the official race photos! Amber said geeking for the camera gets you more pics so I did… each time. And a couple times that was what helped me get out of the start of an inward funk and kept me going.
I don’t have anything to compare it to, but honestly, this race was well organized, wonderful about communication, and simply amazing with amenities. If only they could have worked something out with Mother Nature, it would never be beat.

Once we finished and grabbed our checked bags (mine had a fleece sweatshirt and a light jacket in it) we went inside where the party was and at least changed out of our soaking wet tops and tried to get a bit warm. Amber surprised me with a finish gift which included many of the items (or types of items) I was looking at buying the day before but wanted to ensure I finished – a 13.1 water bottle, magnet for my car, key chain, tote bag as well as a 13.1 Only Half Crazy magnet and a sticker that says “13.1 It’s not a miracle that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start.” That last one is currently hanging on my bathroom mirror.



The walk back to the car was awful. We were cold and shivering. It was still windy and rainy. Did I mention that the temp was now only 39? The walk was about ½ mile. We pulled out our dry change of clothes and did a very comical change in the front seat of her Chevy HHR (with leather HEATED seats it was funny but WARM!). Just a change of clothes made an amazing difference. Still sore – my hip, knees and feet were SCREAMING at me when we walked back in to collect our medals after they were engraved with our times on them – but being dry was a wonderful feeling.

So that’s the whole story. Stopped at Cracker Barrel on the way home for food and didn’t care what I had. In fact, I pretty much let myself eat whatever I wanted the rest of the weekend… and I don’t feel all that bad about it. Maybe I will at BLC weigh in on Wednesday, but I don’t right now. I’ve gotten back in my routine and it will all even out in the end.

I had a good time. A couple times, Amber said “only a Turkey Trot (5 mile) to go” or “now we just have a 5K left!”… but for me it was just to the next hill. I really enjoyed (most of) the hills on the course as they let me constantly meet a goal. I’m really glad that Amber stayed with me for the whole race even though her goal was to finish at 2:45. She kept telling me that finishing a few minute earlier wasn’t a good reason to not finish with me, especially given the weather. She kept me going those last couple miles for sure.

And yes, I’m SERIOUSLY contemplating doing it again next year. Maybe even going down Thursday night after work so I can do the Behind the Scenes tour and breakfast at Keeneland.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PRIZM96 4/2/2014 2:38PM

    You are simply AMAZING! Period. Great job, Thrace! :-)

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MONETRUBY 4/1/2014 9:08PM

    Awesome, awesome job! I am so proud of you! Doing that kind of race is no joke, it is such an accomplishment. I do hope that you do it again, it sounds like it was a great time, despite the weather. Great work!

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NINETOZE 3/31/2014 10:07PM

    Congrats! I ran/walked a half this weekend, too. I finished in 2 hours 51 minutes. I don't know that I could have run in weather like yours tho. You get a few extra woo hoos for that!


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MALAMI518 3/31/2014 9:22PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Thank you so much for sharing all of that! I am registered for my first half marathon in May and love reading all about them. Your report was emoticon!

I need to keep this in mind: "Honestly the only reason I didn’t wig out completely was because I kept telling myself that it would burn too much energy!!" I get nervous enough at 5Ks where I know that I can do it. I'm worried that I'll make myself sick at the start of the half. But I'll keep your words in mind!

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 3/31/2014 4:33PM

    AWESOME! I am so proud of you! YOU DID IT! This is something I will never accomplish. I am not jealous just proud of knowing someone who can. Be proud of your accomplishment and build upon it.

Love the pics!

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MARAGRAM 3/31/2014 4:26PM

    emoticon going!

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DLDMIL 3/31/2014 3:29PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ZANNACHAN 3/31/2014 1:54PM

    WHoo hoo! You did it! You did it! That's awesome. I hope if you do it again next year, though, the weather will be nicer; that sounds pretty cold, wet, and generally miserable. But you did a fantastic job!

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TAILORSMOM 3/31/2014 1:00PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Milestones and other

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

4 weeks from this Saturday I'll be competing in my first Half Marathon. EEK! Yep, I signed up for it. Kind of freaking out, but I'll be ok. I've started walking upstairs (since it's cold again) while I try to get new shoes. I'm on pair #3 and the store has been great at exchanging them. Figures the most expensive pair to date (by $50) is the one that seems to be fitting (not to mention the ugliest... I swear they're the orange color of the sparkpeople buttons that I'm seeing in this compose window or the Add a Blog Entry button).

I still think my at home scale is a bit wonky and plan to replace it with a new digital in the future, but wonky or not, it officially recorded me as having lost 10 pounds during this BLC challenge so far. I'd love to see 15 by the end of the challenge in 6 weeks (putting me under 170 according to wonky scale). Would still have some to go but it would be GREAT, especially since then even on non-wonky scales I'd be SOLIDLY under 180 -- work scale has me today at 182.5 with 2# 9oz of clothing on (I weighed the clothes at home).

Still nothing definite on the farm sale.

Looks like I may have to fork over some cash to get the rental roof fixed.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSENG 3/10/2014 10:04AM

    Great job on the weight loss. emoticon

Good luck with the farm sale and upcoming marathon. emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MONETRUBY 2/26/2014 10:31PM

    You'll do great at the half! You will have the most incredible sense of accomplishment when you finish. You just might feel invincible!

Good luck with the farm sale.

Great job with the weight loss!

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DLDMIL 2/26/2014 3:54PM

    emoticon emoticon We are here to support you.

emoticon on the scale.

I agree with you regarding the shoes these days. Why can't they make plain non-vibrant colored shoes.

Train hard and remember to enjoy the race to finish upright and injury free.

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ZANNACHAN 2/26/2014 3:06PM

    Congrats on the race! I know you can do this! And whoo hoo for doing stairs; it's really good exercise (which reminds me, I need to get back to doing stairs myself!).

I hope that this pair of shoes (even if they are ugly) work out for you! I know I'm weird but I hate buying new shoes--so I imagine it's pretty frustrating to have to keep taking them back because they don't work! But good shoes are so important.

I'm sorry you haven't heard anything on the sale front... keeping fingers crossed that you get good news soon!

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FIT4MEIN2013 2/26/2014 3:04PM

    So proud of you! I want to like running and would love to run a marathon (or half. or 5k.) but I just plain HATE it. I am so jealous of those who do!

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 2/26/2014 2:33PM

    WOOHOO! I know you'll finish that half no problem. Taking the stairs is great exercise.

Sorry there's been no progress on the farm front. Wishing you all the best!

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SIMONEKP 2/26/2014 1:17PM

    good luck on the race!!

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MALAMI518 2/26/2014 1:08PM

    I signed up for my first half marathon last night, and now I'm freaking out. I'm glad that I'm not the only one who feels that way! I have 80 days...EEK! I love the fit of my running shoes but not the price or the look. Why are all women's running shoes so ugly?!

Congratulations on the loss! That is fantastic, wonky scale or not.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Am I crazy?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ok, so those who know me already know that I definitely have crazy in me. But an.... opportunity?... to showcase the crazy has come up and it has me wondering.

I also have crazy friends. One in particular. We've been friends since we were working together at McDonald's. I started March 86. She started in July 86. We lost touch for about 8 years at one point, but she's still a very good friend. In the last couple years we've done several 5Ks and 5mile races together. SHE is crazy. A couple summers ago she was regularly going to the local nature preserve and running 3... 3.5 miles or so. Then she sets her mind to an upcoming trail race. She does a 5.5 mile run... an 8.5 mile run... and a 12.5 mile run as prep and then does the race. Did I mention the race was a 50K... yes FIFTY K... 31 MILES. She finished at about 9 hours 15 minutes.

So, that brings me to this "crazy opportunity". Run the Bluegrass... a March 29th run that starts/ends at Keeneland Racetrack in Lexington and runs NOT downtown but out around some of the most beautiful horse farms in the country. They're giving out really nice Nike wicking t-shirts or tanks (the tank is adorable) and these AMAZING finish medals featuring Zenyatta, 2010's horse of the year (despite being a MARE). I saw her when I was watching the reality show "Jockeys". What a horse.



The catch? The run is a Half Marathon! 13.1 miles with a 3:30 time limit.

Now, there is also a 7 mile run. Same shirts, same medal design though a bit smaller. And the course starts/ends the same but obviously doesn't cover the same ground.

I haven't run since November. I've never run more than the 5 mile turkey trot. I've never even WANTED to run more than maybe a 10K. I'm trying to get Shirley ready for the season. I don't like running in the cold and am simply not that motivated (thus no running since November). I'm also trying to sell my farm and move... a potential buyer is supposed to be talking to banks this week.

But I'm competitive. I know even if I sign up for the Half that I won't be running "with" Amber... she does a lot more than I do and is faster. I managed to hang with her for 1 of our triathlons and that was only because she was competing with a double ear and sinus infection!! What I don't understand is why I'm drawn to the Half and not so much the 7 mile. That's certainly NOTHING to sneeze at! I'm fairly confident that I could finish inside the time limit. It's a 16min/mile pace. Typical KY rolling hills so I could at least run half of it (flat and downhill places). BUT I've never tried anything that long.

I'm really not sure what to do. It's not cheap... $60 for the 7 mile, $90 for the Half... plus half the hotel room that Amber already has reserved, plus meals and gas of course.

So... completely crazy? Am I setting myself up for failure... or some great adventure?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMONEKP 2/26/2014 4:59PM

    good luck

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MONETRUBY 2/12/2014 9:15PM

    Of course it's crazy, but that's why you should do it! This will be a huge challenge, but when you complete it (and you will), you will feel the most amazing sense of accomplishment. When I signed up to do a half marathon, I had never even run a 5K...actually, I don't think I had even run a block. But I did finish, and even went on to run a full marathon. And think of how gorgeous it would be, running in that kind of a setting. Just make sure to love every minute of whatever you do!

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 2/12/2014 1:36PM

    Crazy is as crazy does. Go for it. You have the time to train, to really commit to it. Yeah it will be a stretch. However, having a goal is good. Sign up for the full Half K. You can change your mind later and do the 7 mile one if you need to, but putting the money out there will make it more real and goal than the "I want to run" feeling.

I agree that using a run/walk system is a good idea.

Whatever you decide have fun!

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RUNNINGWILD 2/12/2014 12:39PM

    I've done a lot of half marathons and, with a 3:30 cut off, it's not crazy to consider doing this race. I have a couple friends who have signed up for it. They rave about the scenery. You should do it. You could WALK the entire thing and finish before cut off. Seriously, you could.

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DLDMIL 2/12/2014 12:28PM

    I am not a runner in the run sense. I mainly walk and jog a little, trying to build up my jogging spurts. I personally think you should go for the half. Do the Galloway run/walk system. You are not crazy, just pushing yourself.

GO for it.

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ZANNACHAN 2/12/2014 11:34AM

    Crazy is a given (says one crazy to another)... the question is if it's the good kind of crazy or the bad kind?

I have no advice... I don't know enough about running except to know that you won't have a lot of time to train. But if you think you can do it... why not challenge yourself? Even in the worst case scenario, you'll still have accomplished more than, say, I have, who haven't even tried.

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JOHN_SKIM 2/12/2014 9:51AM

  Try it! Go for it.

If you think about it, it means that it is possible.

TRY the longer ONE!

Just saying... :-)

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Comparison - Old vs New

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A couple people have asked if I have pictures for comparison of the current (aka old) farm and the new one I'm looking to buy. This is as good as I can get.



Current location. 3.788 Acres. 300' of road frontage total. Had an option to purchase more land, but that fell through when XH left and took his income. Current owner won't split off what I could afford so that's a dead end for me. Also tried to pick up the 1.6 acres at the back of next door neighbor (would make the property a backwards L) but she has never said yes (never said no either but still... no yes).



New Location. 2 parcels for a total of 17.6+ acres (the woods at the bottom continue for a bit off the picture). Kind of funny in front with the "cut outs" for the houses but it works.



Current Location. House = 4 bedroom, 2 full bath (plus sink and shower in partial basement). Full unfinished attic, 1 car attached garage (with an 8x12 "extra" unfinished room off the side of the garage), plus covered front porch. 1 car detached garage. 1 additional building (used to be a brooder house for chickens I think). No silo - we took that out. Barn is massive... approx at 5600 sq ft footprint with 2 stories in most places but tall enough for 3 in much of it - in one location there are 3 stories).



New Location. House = 2 bedroom, 1 full bath. Full unfinished basement including coal cellar. Full unfinished attic. Covered porch to the rear of the house (used to be enclosed I think). Old "summer kitchen". Bank barn refurbished with 4 large stalls in the bottom and very useable on the main level. They also started putting in a wash stall on the side towards the house that doesn't show up in this satellite photo. 2009 built 36'x80' pole barn with four 12'x20' stalls plus storage space. Full loft built on 2' center beams (intention was to build out an apartment). 110'x200' sand outdoor riding arena. technically 2 ponds... one holds water the other doesn't but fairly easy fix.

Location isn't as "good" real-estate wise (worse school district). But why do I care? My mortgage would go up, almost double. But really....



SO totally worth it!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITNHEALTHYKAL 2/11/2014 11:59AM

    Tammy you said you are trying to sell your farm on an Azure post this week. Did you buy this one?

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ZANNACHAN 11/26/2013 2:10PM

    Sounds like its a good fit for you... keeping my fingers crossed!

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MOTIVATED-ME 11/24/2013 2:16AM

    I think it look greats - i wish you success with the purchase.



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MONETRUBY 11/21/2013 9:26PM

    This sounds fantastic! I hope all works out for the best.

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RODGRODMEDFLOD 11/20/2013 4:57PM

    That's awesome, good luck with this!

emoticon

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 11/20/2013 4:20PM

    I agree with Kal... S*W*E*E*T! Thanks for sharing and I hope it all works out for you.

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FITNHEALTHYKAL 11/20/2013 4:03PM

    SWWWEEEET!!!!!

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STILLWATERSSB 11/20/2013 4:01PM

    Wow! Thanks for the visual! That had to be time consuming! Property looks wonderful and just think, one day soon, it will be all yours!

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