Thinking Out Loud

It is Thursday already!! This week needs to slow it down. We have only two full days left of vacation. Thursday also means it’s time to think out loud and let it fly! 

Here’s what I’m thinking about:

We’ve had a great week at the beach so far. The weather has been beautiful and we’ve had a lot of fun. From playing bocci ball to walking out on the pier to mini golf, we’ve done it all! We’ve put together a half dozen puzzles this week too. Family fun!   

  I have so needed this week to regroup, refocus and settle myself down. I’ve been thinking about a lot lately and it’s been great to disconnect from back home for a while. I’ve also enjoyed using my solo runs to just think and put some things into perspective. I found a lot of much needed peace. Salt water is good for the soul! 🙂 

I’m pretty excited that marathon training starts next week. I tweaked our Gasparilla plan from February and we’re following a similar plan.  If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it. The plan we followed worked really well.  So we’ll be running back to back long runs. Chattanooga, here we come! 

What’s on your mind? What are you thinking about?

See what other people are thinking about too for Thinking Out Loud Thursday hosted by Running With Spoons.

Go be awesome! 🙂

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Thinking Out Loud

Happy Thursday!!  T minus 2 days until we leave for a week at the beach.  I cannot wait! It is the first time in years Nick and I have gone for a whole week. Hayden always goes down earlier and we usually come mid-week.  This year, we’re there all 7 days and I am so excited!

Here is this week’s Thinking Out Loud!

Thinking-Out-LoudThe beach is calling our names and we have nothing on the agenda for the whole time we are there.  We are planning on living it minute to minute and making it up as we go along.  We’re taking our niece with us this year.  She’s finally old enough for us to steal her and take her with us on vacations.  It’ll be great for Hayden and we’re looking forward to spending the time together.

Last year we were at the beach, Hurricane Arthur roared through Topsail Island.  We spent two days stuck indoors due to rain and storms.  While it was an awesome (safe) experience, I’m super happy that it looks like we will have great weather all week.  hurricanearthur2

I signed back up for the Island Independence 5K.  It’s held on July 4th (the day we leave).  It’ll be a morning of decision whether or not I feel like racing it or not.  I’ve not trained to race a 5K, so I’m a little nervous to bust it out.  We’ll see…  The heat and humidity will help me make a decision.  I’ll see how my runs go over the week and see how I feel running at the beach.  

In other running news, I’m taking part in the Sweat Pink’s One Million Minutes.  The goal is to run one million minutes as a community from June 21 to August 21st.  You can sign up online to track your minutes.  There are also prizes involved for keeping active.  I’m kind of excited to see how many minutes I run over the 60 days.  I track miles like a maniac, so total minutes will be kind of cool to see.  All kinds of activities count too!  My hour BodyPump class on Monday added 60 minutes to the total minutes.

I’m on day 3 of the Clinical Teacher Academy (aka how to be an effective cooperating teacher for a student teacher) and it is going alright. Unfortunately, Cara and I are separated by grade level and we’re in different rooms. At least we have lunch together. Also, most of what we are taking about is relevant to teachers who have never had a student teacher. I’ve had 4 now so a lot of this is a review.  I’m hoping that we can take year 2 together next Summer.

So what’s new with you?  What are you thinking about? Any vacations planned this summer?

See what other people are thinking about too for Thinking Out Loud Thursday hosted by Running With Spoons.

Go be awesome! 🙂

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Soon

With summer break just around the corner, there are so many things that I’m looking forward to doing and celebrating.

Soon…

School will be ending and another year will be in the books! 18 years of teaching complete!

Summer break will start and Hayden and I will be spending days at the pool, hanging out together and enjoying the time off from school.  Summer is my favorite time of the year for this reason alone!

Marathon training will start and I’ll be back on a training plan for marathon #7!

We’ll be headed to Williamsburg for a weekend away with our friends, Nathan and Katie.  I’m looking forward to have a great time running, visiting Busch Gardens and Water Country USA, and going CoLo (Colonial).

We’ll be taking Hayden to her first concert, Mumford and Sons, in June.  We thought it was going to be Fall Out Boy in July, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see Mumford and Sons.  I’m just as excited as her to see both bands.

We’ll be headed to the beach for a week with Nick’s family and bringing our niece with us.  We’ve waited for Nattie to be old enough to start traveling with us.

Hayden will be enjoying another week at the Summer Arts Immersion program where she’ll create a ton of art and play her viola.

Nick will be turning 41. 🙂

Cara and I will spend three days at UNCG in a conference for cooperating teachers of student teachers.  I’m sure we are going to have a great time and I look forward to learning ways to better support my future student teachers even more.

We’ll be celebrating our 17th wedding anniversary!

I’ll be running some really fun events with friends.

What is “soon” for you?  Anything fun?  Races?  Celebrations? Concerts?

One Word Prompt is hosted by Lisa of The Golden Spoons, Janine of Confessions of a Mommyholic, and Marcia of Blogitudes.  Head over to these ladies and see what other bloggers’ are posting!

Go be awesome! 🙂

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Friday Five: Good Things

It’s another well earned Friday, the gateway to the weekend!  I think this Friday Five is pretty awesome!  It’s a good time as any to give thanks and appreciate the good things.  I know this week tested my patience.  Imagine teaching 300+ middle schoolers the week they are getting out for Spring Break!?  Hello hormones!  Thankfully a break is on the way and it’s much needed for everyone!

So here are my Friday Five: Good Thingsfridayfivegoodthings

1. Spring Break

Yes, yes, yes!!  7 whole days away from school and 4 of those will be spent with my best girl at the beach.  Hayden and I are taking a trip!  I can’t wait to spend the time with her.  We’ve already made some plans of things we want to see and do.  I can’t wait.

2. Spring is here!

While walking around our school campus, I noticed that the pretty purple flowers that bloom each Spring have sprung!  Finally, better weather, sunshine and warmth are on their way.  Although Wednesday’s night run was tough until we got warmed up (humidity, boo!!), I am thankful to not have to bundle up for every run.  flowers

3. Skirts and Tanks

My favorite time of year for running!!  I love nothing more than wearing skirts and tanks.  I just snagged more Running Skirts just yesterday.  I couldn’t pass up their $50 mystery box of skirts.  I’m excited to see what they send me, hopefully there will be something I already don’t own.  I’m a bit obsessed.  I also just got two new tanks too, one for Flying Pirate!  Do you know how hard it is to find a red tank top!?

4. Summer Vacations

We just started planning some of our summer trips and I’m so excited!  We are headed to the beach with family for a week in late June, early July.  I’m hoping that I can run the Island Independence 5K again this year!  Busch Gardens Williamsburg was running this special deal, a Fun Pass for the summer, for the cost of a one day admission.  We grabbed passes, several friends did too!  So we have a few trips to plan out so we can all go!  It’s only 3 1/2 hours away so it’s a perfect thing to do, even last minute all summer.  Our pool also opens in just a few weeks!  Looking forward to spending the evenings there until we are out for summer.

5. 702 and counting

I am super close to finishing my 2nd consecutive year run streak.  It’s still unbelievable to me that I’ve run a year, at least a mile, but to be closing in year 2 is insane.  I’m blessed that I’ve been able to do it as long as I have and I’m thankful that I’ve been able to do it too, no injuries!  I’m knocking on wood.  My friend, Christine, is super close to her year date!!  I can’t wait to celebrate it with her and run that 3.65 mile run! 🙂  I guess, we’ll have to do a 7.3 miler for mine!?  Too bad it doesn’t fall on a weekend day vs a Thursday.

So what’s good with you?  What are you looking forward to this Spring or Summer?  Any fun trips planned already?

For even more good things, hop over to:

Happy Week!

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Weekly Rundown – Vacation Recap

This week was awesome!  We had such a great time in Hershey and visiting friends in VA.  Many laughs, many memories and a lot of fun! Nick gets the “Uncle of the Year” for taking our niece on her first roller coaster! My sister and I faced our roller coaster fears after being taunted by the same niece for riding one. I ended up riding it twice! It was just the kind of trip we needed!weeklyrundown

Fitness

I kept to my workouts the best I could.  I ended up with 27 miles for the week (pending an afternoon progression run). I moved my long run to Monday in order to have it done before we left for our trip.  It was a decent 12 miler.  The humidity made it feel like we were running through sand and my legs felt heavy for the majority of the run.  It wasn’t until we hit mile 10.5 that I finally felt like my body was accepting what I was trying to do.  Luckily, I had Cara by my side.  It makes it much easier to suffer through a bad run with a friend!  I got in all my runs for the week by hitting the treadmill at our hotel.  I plan to do my 45 minute progression run when I get home this afternoon.  I’ll need to get out and run after being in the car for a few hours!  Overall, it was a great fitness week!

Meal Planning

We had a little of this and a little of that!  Nothing better than vacation eating!  I’m looking forward to being back on a meal planning schedule next week.  Sometimes a break is just what we need to get rejuvenated!

 

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Vacation: find somewhere you like with people you love and have the time of your life!

Weekly Rundown #3

Holy Moly!  What a week!  Our family enjoyed some beach time with a hurricane thrown into the middle of it and I ran an awesome 5K yesterday to top off an already fantastic week.  This is gonna be one super sized rundown!

Fitness first!

I had no expectations for my running this week.  A week at the beach is all about rest and relaxation and I just wasn’t stressing keeping up with miles.  I actually did fairly well!  I ended up with 24 total miles, running several one mile days to keep my streak going and a Monday tempo run before we left and a mid-week “I gotta beat Hurricane Arthur!” speedy run.  I went into Saturday’s Island Independence 5K on very rested legs.  I finished off the week with a decent 10 miler today with friends.  I kept up with my three current challenges (2 arms and one ab) too.  Overall, no complaints!

Race recap

I signed up for the Island Independence 5K in Topsail Island, NC on a whim.  Having no details other than what’s on the website, I knew that it was a small 5K, but surely a festive one!  Any races at the beach are always fun!  I was a little nervous though running a beach run in the middle of summer, but thankfully, after Hurricane Arthur came through, the temperatures yesterday morning were seasonably cool and there was a nice breeze.  The course was a loop and I knew that the first two miles I would have the sun at my back and a tailwind and the last mile would be all sun and a headwind.  I had to run my best the first two miles and save something in the tank for the last mile.

I also knew that based on the size of the race that I’d have a good chance of placing in my age group if I had a decent run.  I guessed that anything under 27:00 (per previous year’s times) would be in contention.  Since I’m currently not training for anything, I wasn’t quite sure what I’d be able to do.  I felt tired going into the race and I would know within the first half mile whether it was a good race day or not.  islandindepence5K

It was a good race day!  I looked down at my watch around a half mile in and I was comfortably keeping right a 7:58 pace.  I backed it up just a bit to run an 8:05 for the first mile.   I am a complete crazy person on a 5K with pacing.  On a 5 mile progression run, I’m golden…on a 5K, it’s hit or miss.  I ran the second mile in a 7:58 and still felt strong and not really tired yet.  Once I turned the corner to finish the last mile, the sun was there and a pretty decent headwind.  I could feel the struggle start and I so didn’t want to lose it too bad.  I tucked behind a guy and hoped that he was blocking the wind enough for me.  It seemed to help and I only dropped down to a an 8:10 pace.  I kicked it for the last .10 (7:06 pace) and finished with a 25:07!  I was super stoked!

Once the results were posted, my time was not listed (again! 3rd time now by this race company) so I filled out all the paperwork and waited to see where I placed in my age group.  Everything was fixed and I had placed first in my AG!!  I had run well enough and I couldn’t have been happier to have placed!  It’s not something that happens often.

I would certainly enjoy running this race next year and would consider it if we were at the beach during the same week.  It was an inexpensive 5K and we also got really a really great blended tee and a backpack!

 

The What the What?! 

If you saw this, would you freak out?!  Cause we did!

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Yeah, that’s with no filter too. Scary, huh?!

That would be the start of Hurricane Arthur which came in on Thursday afternoon.   Going into the week, we knew that it was coming, but thankfully,  it would not be too strong or last long so there was no need to have to cancel or alter our trip.  A hurricane is definitely one of those things that I’d love to witness and this was the “safest” way to do so.  We talked to many locals who all advised us to stay.  They likened this storm to a nor’easter in the winter.  Also, add in the fact, I’m married to a weather nerd.  If Nick wasn’t stressing the hurricane, neither were we!

It moved to a Category 2 storm when it finally showed up, staying offshore, and we felt sustained winds ranging from 20-35 mph for the majority of the storm.  Towards the last few hours, sustained winds jumped to 40-45mph with 60 mph gusts!  I can’t really wrap my head around anything stronger nor would I want to feel it either.  It was definitely an experience that we’ll never forget!  Luckily, there were several breaks in the storm and we were able to run down to the beach at various times throughout the 12 hours to take pictures and to see one angry ocean.  hurricanearthurcollage

Happy Sunday!

 

WIAW #2

 

Here’s another edition of WIAW!  Of all the days I remembered to take pics of what I ate, it was probably the least appetizing day of food yet, with the exception of our dinner.   I need to take pictures of all the fabulous post run breakfasts and the huge burrito I ate last Friday night.

Anyways, here it goes:

 

Monday

Breakfast:  A cup of coffee and a bowl of Better Oats Oat Fit Maple and Brown Sugar (2 packets)

Lunch:  We had a great day at the pool with my sister and niece, so we made some quick turkey sandwiches before we headed back out for round 2.  I also had a side of cherries and a handful of pretzel Goldfish with my sandwich.  The cherries are SO good right now!

Snack:  A side of chips and salsa

Dinner: Greek style Chicken (one of my new recipes for the week), side salad, and potatoes (didn’t make it into the picture).

The Greek style chicken was a hit at our house with Nick and I!  Hayden liked the feta and olives, not so much with the tomatoes and onions.  Again, another easy weekday meal and it really took only 25 minutes from start to finish.  Nick was in charge of grilling the chicken, H worked on the salad, and I chopped and cooked all of the veggie portions of the Greek topping and potatoes.  I totally forgot to start the potatoes boiling before we started cooking, so they became more of a “dessert” item than a true side.

PROS:  A Kalamata olive with the chicken with the tomato and feta made for a perfect bite!  Love the saltiness from the olives with the chicken.  The tomatoes I got weren’t the prettiest, so the overall color of the topping was a little brown…not the most appealing. The taste overall was great.

CONS:  Unless you flatten the chicken breasts a bit, they aren’t cooking in only 6 minutes on each side.  We luckily did it anyways because the two pieces were huge!

WIAW2

 

Spring Break! Grab the Chipotle Aioli!

This week has been my Spring Break, a much deserved reprieve from school.  My shoulders have returned to their proper position, instead of hanging out somewhere near my ears.  My sleep patterns are topsy turvy, staying up too late and waking up still too early.  I have savored long out-to-lunch lunches vs plastic box lunches (aka as microwave meals) since I have had longer than 20 minutes to scarf down some food.  I’ve had time to eat my breakfast and enjoy a second (or third) cup of coffee. Most importantly, time spent with H and my family has been so nice.

H and I went to visit my sister, brother in law and their newish baby S for a few days.  My mom was already there, so we joined her for the middle part of this week.  H and I drove down mid-day Tuesday, just in time for my sister to get off of work.  I was so happy to get in some baby lovin’.  I hadn’t seen my beautiful niece in a few months and it was so wonderful to see her.

On Wednesday, my sis had to go back to work, so my mom, H and I got to babysit. 🙂  I2013-04-03 14.51.13 needed to get a run in as well, so I headed out early so that we could go to lunch at the Bass Lake Draft House.  The fam tried it out the past weekend and my mom suggested it, knowing that the place was right up my ally.  It was so good that we ended up eating there one more time before we left yesterday.  I ended up trying two sandwiches, El Diablo and the Steak and Cucumber pita. I’m pretty much addicted to their chipotle aioli. The food was fantastic and the cold beer post run was well deserved!  Mmmm….chipotle aioli…oh wait…where was I?

Every time I visit my sister,  I pass the turn for the American Tobacco Trail on the way to her house.  I have friends who have run the Tobacco Road Marathon and Half or have traveled there for a Saturday long run.  They all rave about how nice it is and that’s a great place to run.  I was going to finally have the opportunity to check it out.  So excited!  In addition to running the ATT, it was also the start of April which meant another 5 by the 5th virtual run!

I laced up, drove the 20 minutes to the trail, and headed out once I got my bearings of where I was going.  Since I had to run 5 miles, I was just going to do an out and back along the course.  The trail isn’t really a woodsy “trail”, which I knew, but more of a pea gravel trail so I was happy to be running on a softer surface, just to mix it up.  ATT is very flat too; I had a slight uphill grade going out.  I had an awesome run!  The weather was perfect and the trail provided a lot of scenery and the miles flew by!  I ended up running the fastest 5 miler so far during this virtual run series, beating my February 5 miler by :30!  April 5 by the 5th

It was a great visit to my sister’s!  We enjoyed our time with them, relaxing, hanging with baby S and the rest of the family.  I look forward to more trips especially during the summer, when H and I can head down for a few days here and there.  I also would love to plan for our running group to head to the ATT for a summer Saturday long run.  It would be a great way to mix up our summer running and maybe we can sneak in a visit to Bass Lake, I’ll definitely need another chipotle fix.

 

 

A Color Me Awesome Week!

The last two weeks have been jammed pack and I really had all intentions of blogging about it but I just was holding on, waiting for Spring break.

The weekend after Wrightsville was the start of the local Spring racing season and we kicked it off in true Woo Hoo fashion at the Old Town Beerun.  It was a great time spent with friends even though the weather was less than cooperative.  Find our recap here:

I celebrated my 39th birthday the day after the Beerun.  It was the only good thing about a Monday…haha!  Nick and H bought me some beautiful tulips and some other goodies (my favorite coffee and sea salt chocolate) and we went out to dinner at our favorite restaurant, Lindley Park Filling Station.  It was low key day, but it was perfect.  We were hosting a cookout the following weekend with some of our closest friends.

This week also brought another surprise.  I had applied through Active Ambassadors to become a member of Team ZonePerfect.  It had been several weeks since I filled out the application and I didn’t expect to hear anything for a few more weeks.  I received an email inviting me to join 99 other moms to joint the Team.  They are asking us to spread the word about their kiddo friendly line, Kidz ZonePerfect bars.  I still am learning everything that will be involved with the sponsorship, but I’m excited for the opportunity.  My bars and other goodies should be here any day.  H and I are pretty excited to try them out and pick our favorite flavor! #sponsored

We finished off the school week with a “Run to Frozato” with our girls running club.  We had 35 girls show up to run/walk the 2 mile trip to get some yummy frozen yogurt.  The girls did amazingly well.  The group I ran with held to a 3 minute run, 1 minute walk for the whole 2 miles. They have really come a long way since our first time meeting.  I’m really proud of them!  It was a lot of fun and they were super proud of themselves too.

And finally this weekend brought the much anticipated Color Me Rad run.  As soon as H saw the website for this race, she HAD to do it.  We were excited to be able to run another 5K as a family too. Several of our other running friends all signed up too, so we had a pretty large group all running together.  The race itself was super fun but before that, not so much.  It was a little hectic at times with over 7,000 runners and I had flashbacks of how I felt running the Cooper River Bridge Run a few years ago.  I do not deal too well with the lack of true corrals and although we were in the 9am wave that really meant nothing.  Everyone was all jammed together at the starting line.

We got separated from our group of friends moving to start the line.  Every time we’d look for someone, all you would see were white shirts.  It was hard to pick anyone out of the crowd.  I held on to H’s hand for fear that we’d get separated.  We ended up starting with only 1/3 of our group.  We stopped on the side of the road once we took off, hoping to be reunited with everyone else.  We ended up finding Bonnie and her kiddos and Carole and Henry and his niece and nephew.  We didn’t catch Christie and Eric.  (We later found out they were in our same corral, not behind of us like we thought).

We got moving along the course and the hectic feeling went away pretty quickly.  It was still tough keeping up with the kids with everyone dressed alike.  Need to figure out something different to do next year, if we run it again.  The kiddos had a blast!  The color stations were spaced out well, just far enough apart where the kiddos could walk/run and not get bored or whiny.  This one of the first 5Ks that H was probably disappointed to see the finish line. We arrived back at the start, fully colored from head to toe and smiling.  It was a wonderful time with our family and friends.  We stuck around for the last “color bomb” where everyone throws their packets of colored goodness everywhere then headed home, leaving dusty reminders of our fun all over the car. 601344_357524511035679_323518562_n

“You’ve got to be noisy and colorful and lively.”

~Mel Brooks

Lucky #13! Wrightsville Beach Half weekend recap

This weekend was just fantastic! The family (Nick, H, and I) and our close friends, Carole, Henry, Bekah and Kirsten hit the NC coast for the Wrightsville Beach half marathon weekend. It was a total spur of the moment race for me, having signed up in January just because Henry and Bekah were running it (having both ran it last year) and it seemed like a great idea for a March half and my 13th half marathon, our family’s lucky number. Seemed kind of appropriate for a Wright to run Wrightsville for the 13th one?

My family and the McMurray’s headed down to Wrightsville Beach early Saturday morning and arrived around lunch time jut in time to hit the EXPO. We snagged our bibs and really2013-03-16 14.50.58 nice race tees (one of my new favs!). Carole and I even scored super cute tech tanks for $10 from How Far is the Bar. We found a great restaurant, Dockside, nearby on the water. The grilled mahi mahi tacos were delish! The weather was absolutely perfect for sitting outside, sun shining and a slight breeze.

After lunch, we checked into the hotel and headed to Wilmington to check out the St. Patty’s day Festival and to walk along the Riverwalk. 2013-03-16 16.34.23 We opted for an early dinner, which was Mexican fare, for my traditional pre-race meal. Black beans and rice always seem to do me well! The chips and salsa probably help some too, putting all that sodium into my body. Whatever it is, it works for me! We topped it off with a visit to Boombalatti’s for some yummy ice cream. I enjoyed the Caramel Macchiato, coffee ice cream with caramel and whipped topping swirled together, in a waffle cone. I was a little worried I may have overstuffed myself, but I went to bed full and happy.

4:30am came a little too soon Sunday morning. I slept well, but woke up several times, 2013-03-17 05.26.47fearing that I wouldn’t hear my alarm. I hate that feeling! I had already laid out my clothes the night before so I quickly got dressed and ate breakfast, going downstairs to the lobby for a much needed cup of joe. I was ready to go by 5:30am and headed down to the lobby to meet Bekah who was coming to meet Henry and me at the hotel so we could all head to the finish line together to catch the shuttle to the starting line.

We arrived to the finish line, hit the port-a-potties and jumped in line just in time to catch the last shuttle heading to the starting line. We didn’t exactly time it too well, but none of us were really stressed about it. We ended up realizing that we could have just walked to the starting line (maybe 3/4 of a mile). We would definitely go that route next year. We got to the starting line with 15 minutes to spare. We hurried to the bathroom again and found ourselves caught with our pants down (literally) as our wave started. We headed to the starting line, yelling “wave 2” as we went along, as they were making the “last call” announcement. The 3 of us crossed the starting line by ourselves and Henry bid farewell to Bekah and me and sped off. Bekah and I took off, realizing that we were running a little too quick from all the excitement and slowed up just a bit.

We ran the first two miles around Wrightsville Beach, making a loop through the small town, before crossing the Intercoastal Waterway, heading back up Eastwood towards Military Cutoff and Landfall, a huge resort. We ran really well the first 3 miles, averaging a 9:02 pace. We were hoping to catch up with the 2 hour pacer so that we could settle in for an easier pace for a few miles and just let some miles pass by us. Knowing that we were behind them at the start meant that we could hang for a few miles and still be under 2 hours overall. We picked up our pace for the next 3 miles, averaging an 8:48 pace. It was at mile 6, shortly after entering Landfall, when we finally caught up to the 2 hour group.

We were pretty excited to finally catch them, only to be a bit disappointed that the pacer was singing “99 bottle of beer on the wall” once we caught them. It wasn’t exactly the vibe we thought we’d find once we found them. After hanging around for a mile, we made a decision at that point to push just a bit and we pulled ahead of the group. By doing so, we caught up with the 4 hour marathon pacer who was a bit more chill and we hung with her group for a mile.

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Waiting for mom…my heart! 🙂

By now, we were starting mile 9 and the real work started for us. I held our pace around an 8:56 for the next few miles, hoping that by mile 11.5-12 we could start picking our pace up again. Bekah and I hung together until the water station around mile 11-11.5. I opted not to take water. I was still working on my chomp from mile 9, so I was waiting until mile 12 to take water. I kept going like I had at all the other stations knowing that Bekah would catch up to me, but we just didn’t hook back up the last few miles. The sun was definitely out in full force now, which I knew would be my downfall if I started getting too hot, so I continued on, staying around an 8:45 pace through mile 12. I took water quickly right past mile 12 and pushed through to the end, finishing the last .1 (.2 on my Garmin) at an 8:22 pace.

I came through the finish line chute, finishing under 2 hours (1:59:46) on the gun clock and with a new PR time of 1:57:07, Garmin time! (Unfortunately, at this point, my chip did not work at the finish line and my tag time was not recorded. I am working with the race directors/timing company for the “proof”). 2013-03-17 21.29.38

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I was greeted by Nick and H right after finishing and turned around to look for Bekah who came in right after me. I was so happy to see her! She saw her family and we all jumped the “fence” to get away from the crowd that was leading towards the food tent. We weren’t ready to have food just yet.

2013-03-17 08.53.19After a round of pictures, we grabbed some snacks and drinks and caught Carole and Nick up on our running adventure. Our friend, Cindy, was also there, running with her tennis girls. We found her and chatted with her for a bit about her race. She did amazingly well, finishing in 1:32! She’s a true badass, ran with an uncooperative leg and still killed it. She’s awesome!

We stayed at the post race party for some time, just enjoying the warmth and 2013-03-17 09.44.20sunshine..ok, and free beer. It was so nice! We grabbed some sandwiches for lunch and went back to the hotel to shower and rest for a bit. We decided to hit the beach. H is a beach girl at heart and she was playing in the cold water and building animals in the sand within minutes. We opted for a late afternoon movie, OZ in 3D and IMAX. Go see this movie, seriously. Absolutely fantastic. I rarely want to see movies again, but I would see this one in a hot minute. As soon as it finished, H looked at me and said, “Can we buy it?!” It is THAT good! After dinner at Fox and Hound and another round of ice cream, we headed back to the hotel for the night.

On Monday morning, we all took our time getting up. It was nice to be leisurely. We met up for breakfast and finally checked out by 11am. We weren’t quite ready to head home just yet, so we took another trip to the beach, heading towards the Shell Island Resort, a 2013-03-17 14.27.24place that Nick and I had stayed at several times, years before we had H. It was nice to see how much work they had done to save the beach on the north end of the island. The last time we were there, the beach was slowly washing away and we were always fearful the resort would be go with it. The beach expands 1/2 mile past the resort now. We ventured down to the end to look across the water to Figure 8 island.

2013-03-18 11.55.40When we came to the end of the island, we saw the most peculiar thing, a mailbox sitting on a post in the sand. At first we kind of ignored it, but then curiosity got the best of us and we went to check it out. Written on the outside of the box was “Leave a note” and inside the box were pens and 2 small notebook journals. Each journal was just started this past weekend and several notes had been written in both. Some were just simple reminders of great weekends; other entries had quotes. H sat on the nearby bench and wrote something in one of the books. She didn’t want anyone to see what she wrote so we respected her privacy. I totally wonder what she wrote about?! What would a 92013-03-18 11.55.50 year old want to say in a journal post? It was pretty sweet to see her taking her time, going back a second time to add more to her note. Henry, Carole and I all wrote in the other journal, leaving our thoughts in the mailbox.

It was the perfect ending to a wonderful weekend. Something so surprising as a mailbox on a beach, just sitting there, asking us to leave a note. It was exactly the thing I needed to see. It gave me the time to reflect on this past weekend and more importantly, my family and friends, and to leave a little note, a small token of my gratitude. 2013-03-18 12.42.05