Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Good Day Sunshine - 2012 Roswell GA 100 Miles to Nowhere Part 2

Part 2 - The Ride

We started out at a slow pace only a few minutes behind schedule. Yes! A huge improvement over last year's chaos.

Harvey and Edin were running even later than me, so they joined in on the fun for on lap 2. Steve and Jay were training for Ironman Lake Placid, so their strong bike legs hung with Karen and me for 2 laps and then left us in the dust.

Laps 1-3 were cool and delightful. All was going well. Groups of riders arrived throughout the day and joined in for as many laps as they wanted. Lap 4 started getting harder and I told myself that after 5 laps, we would be past halfway and it would get easier. Katie joined Karen and me on laps 6 and 7 (I think) and explained her sister's new diet plan (hard-core paleo), which gave us lots to talk and think about as Karen rode up the hill away from us. Katie dropped off for a food break on Lap 8, but I caught back up with Karen and we had a low-glycogen laugh when Harvey passed us on THE hill while regaling us with a story about how he had eaten deep-fried twinkies with bacon on them at dinner the previous evening. Somehow, I missed the segueway into this conversation from the previous discussion and the result was so comical that we ended up laughing the whole way up the hill, which was a welcome distraction. Lap 9 was tough, but I had told Karen on Lap 8 that it would be my turn to lead so she could draft.  Yes, I realize that 2 out of 10 laps is not much leading, but Karen likes to be first so she resists drafting just like Natalie does.  So, I had to bring it on Lap 9 so that Karen didn't pass me. Katie and Paul joined us for Lap 10 while Karen went into honey-badger mode and stopped talking. I decided that she needed some encouragement, so I channeled my inner Natalie and sang songs for the entire lap. Unfortunately, on the last 10 miles of a hilly hundred, your mind does not always work exactly right, so I could not remember all of the lyrics to any song. A sound early in the ride had put Prince's "When Doves Cry" into my ear, so I sang that. Some Journey, some Neil Diamond ("Sweet Caroline"), some Britney ("3"), some Adele ("Rolling in the Deep"), and even some Billy Joel. When no one joined in except for Katie on Sweet Caroline, I decided that the problem was VOLUME! I needed to sing louder! Ha. OK, it might actually be a talent (or lack of talent) issue.  So, the singing totally worked because my last two laps were the fastest of the whole day.  BOOM!

Here, Karen and I are comparing our mileage because her Garmin had us going short.  This photo makes me giggle every time I look at it.  Natalie suggested that we caption this one "OK, we are 0.3 miles short, so we will have to do the cul-de-sac three times to get to our number."  Don't laugh.  We would definitely do that.

Photo by Tom Richardson. 
After the ride, it was time to RUN!  Brooks Running sponsored a special prize for a person who rode and ran - a certificate for a free pair of shoes!  What more could you ask for?  Because Karen had gone honey badger on the last part of the ride, I was a little concerned that she might not want to run.  However, after I went inside to visit the restroom and returned outside to start running, she was already gone!  She employed a run/walk strategy and made it very difficult to catch up.  Anyone thinking about doing a longer distance race should consider using a run/walk strategy (walk at planned intervals, walk the aid stations, walk the hills, whatever) because they really do seem faster than straight running, especially if there are big hills or if it is hot.  The walking portions, if you keep a swift pace and don't lollygag, don't lose very much time and allow your heartrate and body temperature to return to normal so that you can run better for a longer period of time.

And then there was Katie.  Katie has long sandbagged her running ability.  Sure, she swam in college and regularly kicks my behind on the bike, but she has always maintained that she is "not a runner."  Well, just let me tell you that she IS a runner.  Katie trained all spring with her local running store's team and she has gotten very fast.  It took me two miles to get anywhere near her on this run and when I clocked her pace on my Garmin, it was 8:00 minutes per mile.  I distinctly remember her telling me at Wisconsin that "I can't run 8 minutes per mile" while were were actually running at that pace.  So, I've proved it yet again.   

A nice surprise at the end of the ride was the arrival of my friends Mickey and John. Mickey and I met as members of our neighborhood's playgroup and our kids are approximately the same ages.  Mickey has recently completed her first triathlon and she runs a lot.
Mickey and John brought their friend Paul, too, and John and Paul continued riding after I was done, so they are the toughest of all.
There were tons of people that I never even spoke with, but here is what I remember: Isabel and her friend ran one ten-mile loop with their camelbacks. Karen and I were inspired and may give that a try one day. Jennifer (training for Ironman Arizona) rode at least one lap. Cindi beat last year's record of 5 laps with her platform pedals and passed a lot of people, including me. Lisa rode 3 laps. Mike and his buddy rode several laps and I think they also ran a loop after their ride. Jason, Brian, Chris and Dave all rode 3 loops and ran once around the neighborhood loop after each one.

Photo by Bill Haynes. Dave on the home stretch.

Photo by Bill Haynes. Jason taking the turn wide.

Dave's neighbor Kate rode several laps way faster than us and then she ran too!
Photo by Bill Haynes. Kate and Steve bringing it home.

Sue and Neil are training for their first Ironman races this year (Louisville and Arizona, respectively), so they each rode 70 miles with a transition run after. Sue even did her transition run on the trails at the Leita Thompson park! Bill did hill repeats. Justin rode a little with every group, which was nice because then we all got to talk to him.
Photo by Bill Hanes. Justin stays on the inside.

Katie staggered her laps with under-the-tent chill time. Becky and her sister (who are both signed up to do Augusta 70.3!) ignored my flat route cue-sheets and drove out to do full goats on Stroup Road.

Karen, Jay, Steve, Harvey, and I finished the full 100 miles plus a transition run of 2.7 miles or more.

After finished their rides/runs, folks stuck around to enjoy Doug's fabulous BBQ and the delicious dishes that people brought. Steve's wife, Buffy, made awesome broccoli salad with bacon in it and Becky made her fabulous rum cake.  Karen (after some encouragement from me) and I enjoyed the delightful coolness of the Chillinator after we finished our rides and run.
Together, we raised a total of $1,556 for the AFLAC Childrens Cancer Center at Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta.  They will use these funds to buy bio-feedback machines (similar to the heartrate monitors we wear while training) to help the kids manage their pain better.

Part of the 100 MTN was the inevitable waiver.  I told you, I am a rules girl.  However, to encourage waiver signatures, I created an elaborate system for folks to obtain their drawing tickets after signing their waivers.  Every participant received a GU Brew water bottle, but the following lucky folks won additional prizes because I drew their tickets from the magic barrels:
  • Bryan Estes won the bike grand prize, a GU Sampler Package of all of GU's nutrition products
  • Bill Haynes won a Specialized 100 Miles OF Nowhere bike bottle from my Fat Cyclist package
  • Karen Richardson won the other 100 Miles OF Nowhere bike bottle
  • Katie Pothier won the Banjo Brothers bento box from my Fat Cyclist package
  • Lisa Bennett won the Brooks Gift Certificate for a pair of free shoes
  • Shanna Rome won the Brooks Jet Blackberry t-shirt
  • Adam Teja won a sampler package of GU gels.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to everyone who came out to ride or run or just hang out with us or who donated to this great cause.  Thank you also to GU Energy and Brooks Running for their support and for providing free or reduced priced goods to use or give away at this event!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Good Day Sunshine - 2012 Roswell GA 100 Miles to Nowhere Report Part 1


First, the was no sunshine at the start of this year's Roswell GA 100 Miles to Nowhere.
Photo by Doug
Second, I realized in the week before the ride that the Fat Cyclist's event (upon which our event is modeled and for which I register each year) is actually called the 100 Miles OF Nowhere.  100 MTN v. 100 MON.  Oops. 

Third, though I say it every time, I think that I overcommitted in the weeks before this event.  The Beast of the East was on May 20.  The following weekend was my sister's wedding.  And the next weekend, the Tri-the-Y kids triathlon in Athens on Saturday with 100 MTN on Sunday. Whew!  While I took the kids to Athens for the race, Doug smoked boston butts on the grill.  Each set of butts (they fit on the grill 2 at a time) took 12 hrs to cook, with checking and intervention every 2 hours.
Gratuitous photo of my kids in their new Dream Team outfits.  So proud!
This year, determined to streamline the process, I researched making screen-printed signs.  Pricey!  Instead, I used Word to make sheets of logos that I could print, copy, and paste onto foamcore sheets.  A new step was to have the helpful young man at Dick Blick Art Supply cut the foamcore for me.  It was WAY easier and more professional-looking than last year.  Dick Blick's fancy-bladed cutting machine is far superior to the dull x-acto knife I used.  My kids helped me make the signs after a last minute trip to Performance Bikes for chamois butter.  They also helped make drop boxes for donations and drawing tickets.  Who doesn't love arts and crafts?
My sister Emily and Ioannis (her new husband) stopped by on their way home from their honeymoon (Dagny calls it their moonbeam) and helped us finish the art projects and we started talking, so I was late getting out the door to put up the signs.   I forgot how to turn on the hazard lights in my car and reload staples into the staple-gun, but finally figured them both out and finished putting up the signs way after dark.
Sunday dawned cool and humid, but we got the tents up in good time.  I had a huge problem with the math for converting scoops of GU Electrolyte Brew to 1/4 cups to whole cups, but finally figured it out (with a little help from Doug) so that my GU Electrolyte brew tasted right.  Brew on the right, water on the left.
Below is a photo of me giving the pre-race instructions to the crew.  If you know me, you know that I am into rules and this race was no exception.  I laid it out very simply.  Take your bike bottle and sign the waiver.  Put your tickets in the drawing barrels.  Please donate to the AFLAC Childrens Cancer Center at CHOA.  No public urination, start out slowly, please stop at all stop-signs.  For the most part, folks complied with the rules and I definitely did not see any public urination.  : )

You can see Doug's chillinator in the background.  After last year's heat, Doug upgraded from the hose chair and built a bike-through shower to keep us cool.  He was not interested in anyone falling out in the driveway.  The chillinator was fabulous, especially in between the later laps when the day heated up.  We will have to think of a way to make a permanent outdoor shower at our house!  Because there was a cop following us on at least three of our ten loops, I think someone made a complaint about this.  The chillinator does look a bit like a gallows.
Photo by Doug.  From left to right:  me, Adam, Karen, Steve, Jay, Dave, Bryan, and Jason.
Tomorrow, Part 2 - The Ride.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

This is the End

After the pre-race meeting for the Beast of the East, where the race director (Scott) announced that this would be the last year of the race, I thought about all of the song titles that would capture my feelings about it being the last running.  This is what spoke to me the most.

I first discovered the Greater Smokey Mountains Triathlon Club in 2008 when I got plantar fasciitis and trained for its 5K swim race.  That race was an amazing experience for me and I have loved Lake Chatuge and the GSMTC ever since.

My first time at the Beast of the East was in 2010.  It was a low-key, no-frills event, but Lake Chatuge was beautiful, the bike ride was challenging and scenic, and the run was an effort.  Last year, GU allowed me to race at Rev3 Knoxville, so I missed racing with Karen and Becky, but this year I was back!  Doug, the girls, and I met Karen and Tom to camp in the Clay County Recreation Park before the race.  My second adult camping experience was great!  Car camping is the way to go for me.  We had a blast feeding the fire and testing different kinds of s'mores.  Doug and Tom know how to camp!

Tom showing off his outdoor chef skills.  He made us a killer pre-race dinner.

Doug coming in from his ride of the course - 2/3 mph faster than my race pace.
It wasn't a surprise when Scott said he was done directing races, because I knew that other races (Rev3 Knoxville, Gulf Coast, and now Mountain Madness) had moved into the late spring/early summer slot.  Still, it wasn't a bouncy "It's the End of the World as We Know It" I felt as I lined up in the lake with Karen.  It was melancholy.

Scott said "GO!" and we were off.  I veered all over the place on the way out to the first buoy like I always do, accidentally scratching some guy on his foot.  I thought it was Jay, but he said it wasn't him.  It was actually impossible for it to have been him because he was WAY in front of me.  Ha!  I forced myself to calm down and enjoy the marvelous lake.  I concentrated on swimming with a purpose and made it to the giant concrete thing in good time.  I thought I was near Steve for most of the first leg, but I didn't see him on the swim after that.  After turning around the concrete thing, I headed for the second buoy.  It didn't seem to be getting any closer, but I concentrated on reaching forward and that seemed to help.  AND, I noticed that I was following some bubbles.  For the first time in my triathlon career, I was drafting on the swim!  OK, really, I was veering in and out of the draft, but still.  It was a huge relief to let the other person worry about where we were going and just aim towards the bubbles.   I made sure to go around the last buoy and made it up onto the shore.  Doug was there waiting and shouted out "FIRST WOMAN!"

                                   45:32 for the swim and transition #1
WTH?  How did that happen?  I was sure that I had been following another girl.

Going out on the bike, I mosey-ed along and thought about what Julie Moss said about being in first place at Kona in 1982, about how first place was hers and no one was going to take it from her.

Yeah, I did not feel that way.  My bike strength can't support that kind of attitude, so I watched woman by woman pass me.  The first was turquoise shirt in mile 5.  She looked really strong as she stood to climb past me.  I made peace with the pass by telling myself I would either get her on the run (it was WAY too early to be standing on the climbs) or if she was strong enough to stand on the climbs and then run she was the stronger woman and deserved to win.  A tall, thin lady passed next and then a brother/sister team on Litespeeds who appeared to be taking turns leading.  I HATE that.  Drafting is illegal, so I made it my mission to pass the woman on the run.  Then, sometime around mile 20, Karen passed me.  I gave her the lowdown on the leaderboard and then she was gone.

The bike beast (a 4 mile hill, that requires standing at the top) was challenging and I kicked myself for not stopping at the porto-john located at the top of it.  Instead, I soldiered on and stopped at the oasis instead.  The oasis is a gas station that sponsors the race that is located out on the highway portion of the route.  Becky and I stopped during one ride of the course years ago and bought gallon jugs of water that we used to fill every bottle we had and dump on our heads because we were overheating.  The potties were locked!  After I waited for about a minute for the person in there to leave, the clerk told me they were out of order.  Curses!

"Just go on the bike," I told myself. 

"No, I don't want pee socks. They will smell and give me a blister."

So I soldiered on, bladder throbbing, and looked for some cover.  Finally, I found a warehouse building and squatted in the cover of the clover-covered hill beside it.  My hover needs work and my behind got very close to the delightfully soft and cool leaves.  Ahhhh, sweet relief.

Until the stinging started.


I sat in ants!

Ever seen a triathlete dancing around swatting ants off of their bare bottom?  I'm sure it was hilarious.

Chastened and covered in pee, I made it to the next water stop and waited while the volunteer filled my bottle and rinsed my hands after I explained to him that I had had a potty incident.  He said that the girl in front of me had the same problem.  "That is Karen," I told him, and decided that I would catch up to her because she would laugh at my story.  But, when I caught up to the girl, it wasn't Karen.  She had also stopped beside the road to potty.  I could not hang with her and she left me before we got out to the highway.  I was still in a great mood and enjoyed the beautiful day and lovely scenery, even on the not-so-fun highway part of the ride.  I knew that I would not be able to break 3 hours on the bike, which had been my stretch goal, but I abandoned the idea and just basked in the great weather.

                                3:14:19 for the bike and transition #2
Going out on the run, I was in 6th or 7th place.  I racked my bike and grabbed my shoes and GU to put on while making another pit stop.  Alas, I forgot that the lake bathroom is almost always wet and sloshed right through a puddle.  All that trouble and I would start the run with wet socks.  CURSES!  I took them off and wrung them out while using the restroom, but they were soaked.  Whatever, it was time to go to work.

Relieved to be on the run, I started out way too fast.  6:36 pace.  Oops.  I toned it down a bit as I passed the other potty girl, who settled in right behind me while we chatted.  She said that she could not run in heat.  Could have fooled me!  I passed the tall thin lady and Karen and shared good words with both of them.  I saw the drafter, but did not pass her until after climbing the run beast (entire height of the dam plus the hill before it).  I waited behind her for a minute or two, trying to time the pass to my advantage so that it would stick.  No need.  She heard me behind her (because I am quiet and graceful like a giant wheezy dump truck) and slowed down so that I had no choice but to pass.

2nd!  I was in 2nd!

My run plan (courtesy of Doug) was to hold just under 10 min/mile for the first half, and then turn it up if I felt good in the second half.  Except for the screw-up in mile 1, I stuck with the plan and after finding my lost GU in the bathroom at the turn-around (did not need to use the bathroom - just went in to find my GU), I started loop 2 feeling good.  My heel had a hot spot, but I moved my foot around in my shoe with each step to relieve the pressure.  I passed Sarah from GUTS and a guy with happy rainbow-colored sneakers.  We chatted and I felt relieved each time a cloud passed over the sun.  Coming down the other side of the dam, I looked ahead and saw that turquoise shirt girl was walking.  BOOM!  I leapt into the air and had a dance party for myself.  The rest of the run felt like a victory lap.

OK, it was a victory lap with furtive glances behind me at every corner to see if the tall lady or Karen or my "I can't run in the heat" buddy were gaining on me.  I walked up the steep part of the run beast (climbing the back of the dam) both times and encouraged the folks around me to do it too.  I walked fast, though, with powerful strides and was probably in Zone 4 both times.  Still, better Zone 4 walking than blowing up.  I think the walking was a good strategy because it gave me time for my HR and body temperature to come down a bit.

The hot spot on my heel turned out to be a huge blister.  I was pleasantly surprised to see no blood on my sock when I removed my shoes, but it was not a pretty sight.

I crossed the line in what I recall as 15:56 and change, but my official results are 6:01:55.  I was the first woman and 9th overall out of 12 women and 31 total racing.  It was an awesome day, especially the lake and camping and hanging out with Jay and Kristen and Steve and Buffy and sharing post-race Young's double chocolate stouts with Karen and Tom. 

Photo courtesy of Kristen Petillo

My bum knee did not bother me and I paced the bike well enough to run so I am not as scared about Vineman.  I may not make any time goals, but I think I can still finish feeling good enough to enjoy a post-race feast.

Beast of the East, you may be gone, but you will not be forgotten.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


While I'm working on the Beast of the East post, here is something to think about.

Last weekend, Karen and I rode 85 miles on our bikes.  We did six loops of Mountain Park and some other stuff and were thoroughly tired by the end of the ride.  So tired, in fact, that the guy who stopped his car to yell encouragement to us and Karen's insistence that we only do a "half-goat" made perfect sense to us.  For those of you who were not depleted of glycogen, a half-goat is riding halfway down Natalie's parents' street where the goats live.  Of course, if you know Karen, you know that she and I are goal-oriented.  If we are close to finishing a certain number of miles or minutes or if we start down a road, we must finish.  So, the half-goat turned into the full-goat.  And then, when we wobbled into the driveway, we looked at our watches and wobbled right back out again to go back up the hill so that we could reach 85 miles and 6 hours.

Stupid?  Maybe.  What difference did the extra mile of the full goat or the extra three minutes to get to 6 hours make?  Physiologically, probably none  But we had an adventure!  How many 40-something-year-old women get to have adventures?

So, the following day ( Mother's Day) it rained all day so I was not able to get out in the morning for my long run.  Doug and I checked the radar obsessively and I sallied forth into the mist in the afternoon as soon as it looked relatively clear and after I put Dagny down for a rest.  Just past one mile from the house, the heavens opened and dumped on me.  I rationalized the rain with the fact that I was already going to be wet from sweating and kept going.  I was extra careful crossing the big road with the light so that I didn't risk falling in front of a car and mused about how the rain was an adventure.  And then the universe laughed at my big thoughts and I tripped on the sidewalk and fell.  Luckily, I remembered to roll, so it didn't hurt so badly.

But why not have adventures?  Why not run in the rain?  Why not ride bikes with friends?  Why not try tap dancing or Zumba or kickboxing?  Why not have adventures to anticipate or remember instead of marking time through the days?

Monday, April 23, 2012

2012 Roswell GA 100 Miles to Nowhere

Or, Time Keeps on Slippin' Slippin' Slippin . . .

Doug and I have been trying to set a date for the 2012 100 Miles to Nowhere since January.  With the lacrosse tournament, my sister's wedding, vacation, the Beast of the East, the 5K swim, etc. etc., there was really only one weekend that worked.

SO . . .

Join us on Sunday, June 3 at the Brown Dog House for 100 miles of delightful riding and running fun (and a yard party/aid station/sprinkler festival).

The Ride:
Ten (or however many you feel like) loops of a 10 mile loop (here is the route), from our house in Roswell, past the horses, through the City of Mountain Park and back home.  Riders of all abilities are welcome and there may also be a group of us riding a shorter flatter route from a nearby shopping area (directions will be provided).  We ride at dawn, but will be back by the house every 50 minutes or so, so start whenever works for you.  If you are nervous about riding with cars, plan to do your lap(s) earlier in the day.  I will draw a random winner of a GU prize from the waivers of the people who have ridden at least one loop and everyone gets a special GU surprise. 

There is NO FEE.  However, this is a fund-raising ride, so I ask that you please donate what you would have spent on the ride to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.  Here is the fundraising page for on-line donation.  We are raising funds to buy biofeedback devices and training programs for the AFLAC Cancer Center to help care-givers teach kids to manage their anxiety and pain better.  This will give you a good mantra as you go up Mountain Park Road. 

Due to the fabulous help of GU and my friends, tons of aid-station fare will be provided at the house. 

The Run:
New for this year's event is a run leg!  Bring your running shoes and once you have finished your bike lap(s), run at least one mile from the house (there are big hills whichever way you go) and your time will be entered in a drawing to win a FREE PAIR of Brooks shoes!  Thank you Brooks for this prize!

The Fun:
This is a family yard-party event.  Doug is making pulled pork, frothy beverages and other goodies.  Bring your kids, your neighbors, your ride buddies, and a dish to share and stay to cheer on the other riders or run through the sprinkler.  Childcare is not available since Doug will be cooking, so please bring an extra adult or swap off with another rider if you bring the kids and they will not be riding/running with you.

Sign Up:
Send Steph your email address to be added to the Evite invitation which contains directions and all of the other details.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Save the Date - 100 Miles to Nowhere

The Roswell, GA edition of the 100 Miles to Nowhere ride will be on Sunday, June 3, 2012 at dawn.

If you want to sign up with The Fat Cyclist to raise money for Camp Kesem and get awesome swag, go here NOW.  It will sell out today - I am not kidding.

However, if you just want to join me and my band of biking buddies in Roswell, I will post full information and directions as soon as I confirm our charity, but I can't wait to tell you that I have prizes!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Let's Get Ready to Rumble!

Last weekend, we all raced at the Red Top Rumble at Red Top Mountain State Park.

The Rumble is my very favorite race of the year.  Doug raced the inaugural running several years ago while the kids and I spectated.  From our car, we could see the lines of runners snaking through seemingly unmarked woods and I was inspired.  I was injured in year 2, so I volunteered at the last water stop with a nice guy from Big Peach Running Co.  In years 3 and 4 I got to run and it was beautiful.  Running around the lake on a pine straw trail watching the sunrise is fabulous!  Because there are no mile markers and Garmins don't work well in the woods, you can just run like a kid.  Here is a photo of *some* of the kids.  Top row from left: Katie, Jay, Daniel, John, James, Doug, Steve, Eric; second row:  Sarah, Michelle, Nat, me, Lisa, Michelle; front row: Eli, Dagny, Brady (in red), a girl I don't know and Annika. 

Greg was taking the photo, but for whatever reason, we missed Dan, Karen, Tom, Dave, Jason, and a bunch of other folks in the photo.  Red Top is like old home day because lots of peeps show up.

My knee has been bothering me since the Goofy, so I was not gunning for any particular time or place.  I knew that my run fitness was really good from last year's training plus the Goofy miles, but the knee . . . who knew?

I toed the line and went out pretty fast (it is downhill!  use the gravity!).  I chased Dave and then Nat and her sister.  I ran with Eric for a while and then James until I had to make a pit stop, and then my knee decided it was done.

So, I walked it in and picked up the trash off of the course.  Littering is a huge pet peeve of mine, and some buddies mentioned a lot of trash on the Mountain Mist course last week so with the potential for knee failure, I was primed to carry a lot of junk out.   

And?  There was not much trash at all.  I picked up what I found and deposited it in appropriate locations (cans or aid-station bags).  : ) Yay!

While I was still on the course, they ran the kids race.  It is so cool to watch.  Curtis rides his mountain bike out front to show the way and the kids chase.

Here are Annika, Owen, Dags, Jack and Eli talking some smack.

Racing!  Owen did not yet know that (1) Annika's goal was to win, and (2) that she is right behind him.  He picked up the pace when he figured it out.  Doug said the lookback was priceless.

Here comes Dags!  She loved the cheering and fun atmosphere.

Doug and Karen both ran PRs.  Jay and John passed me like I was standing still.  Nat ran with her sister and we all had a great time.  The food was awesome (egg strata, sausage and biscuits from Colonnade chef and ultradude Ryan Cobb) and a good time was had by all.

Here is hoping that my knee gets its act together so I can get back on the trails and roads!  The Georgia marathon is not looking good.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

There's a Hole in My Bucket

The darn bucket song irritates me because I want to just take the stupid bucket from Goofy and fix it myself.  It makes me not like Goofy.

In the late 1990s, when we were just out of school and under-employed (but glad to be employed at all, because the market was bad that year!), my friend Stephanie made a list of the things she wanted to do before she died.  We talked about the inherent morbidity of the list, especially since she had no reason to think her death might be emminent (it was not - we work together now) but decided it was a good idea.   Why not make a list of the things you always meant to do but never got to?  Stephanie read some classics and learned to juggle and a bunch of other things.

I never made my list.

Since then, the "Bucket List" has made its way into the common vernacular and everyone has a bucket list, much like a "top 5 list."

For whatever reason, though, the idea of the bucket list also irritates me just like the bucket song because it seems to represent doing something just to check it off the list and not because of value of doing the thing or the reason that you put it on the list in the first place.  And, it seems that my bucket has only a very small hole because stuff keeps coming in faster than it comes out.

Anyway, about eight years ago, sometime after Natalie started running marathons, Joe told us about how he had been to Disney World to run the half-marathon.  A half-marathon!  It seemed to us like an amazing athletic feat.  I knew Natalie could do such things, but she is special.  However, if Joe could do it, maybe I could too.  Joe encouraged me to give it a try and Doug was game, so I signed up while Joe decided to attempt the marathon.

Here is my race report from that half-marathon.  Doug, Joe and I were astounded at the people who were doing the Goofy Challenge that weekend, which is completion of the Donald Half on Saturday and the Mickey Marathon on Sunday.  I remember standing in my corral at the start of that half, marveling at those uber-athletes wearing the orange Goofy bibs.  Soon after that race, Doug started running (and by the way, he is really good at it) and now we run all kinds of races.  So, last year when Doug signed up for the Goofy, I was jealous of him and then thrilled when he suggested that we invite my parents to join us so I could run too!  WHOO!

We had a great time doing the Goofy.  I still can't believe that we did it.  I walked around Epcot for the rest of the day telling Doug, "We did the Goofy!"  My friend Cathy from the Savannah marathon was there too, and I ran the marathon with her and her running buddies, including Moore on Running.  It was awesome.  My favorite part was singing "Sweet Caroline" with Annie coming down the exit ramp to Hollywood Studios.  I could go on for days about the awesomeness of Disney or the way they can put on an event. 

Instead, I will leave you with some photos and the memory my dad relates every time we talk about Disney World.  He recalls a girl with big glasses and long blonde pigtails in a homemade shorts outfit skipping down the path with her sister (in a matching outfit with long brown pigtails) singing "It's a Small World".