Monday, July 30, 2012

My weekend in Review….

Lots of exciting things happened this weekend!

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For starters, look what came in the mail! Yay! My first set of Sweat Pink gear! I can’t wait for the rest to arrive! :0)

Friday night, I decided to hit the treadmill during the London Olympics Opening Ceremonies. Like my outfit?

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Recognize my outfit?

This was my Halloween costume from 2011 – I entered a Running Skirts Costume Contest and I came in 3rd place!

What other time could I run in my Team USA London 2012 Olympics “costume” and not feel as if I’d lost my mind? Ok, I still felt like I lost my mind, but it was fun anyway! :0)

Back to running….

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I met my running group for a lovely run down by the River! The sunrise was gorgeous as always!

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Saturdays run was HUMID and by the time we reached the end, I was beyond ready to be done. I was hot, drenched, and it was hard to breathe. It’s been a while since a long run left me entirely and completely drenched, but Saturday’s run did. I had to entirely change my clothing for breakfast after our run!

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Yummy breakfast!

After recuperating, I met up with my best friend Kim for pedicures and lunch!

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We also celebrated my mom’s birthday (Happy Birthday!)…..

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…..and somewhere in there, I managed to watch the Olympics!

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A couple of interesting things happened in the Olympics World today…..

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The saddest part of the news being that Paula Radcliffe dropped out of the Marathon due to a foot issue. Incase you haven’t heard, Paula is the fastest Women’s Marathoner in history. A truly amazing athlete. I’ll admit, when I saw the Nike tweet, I teared up.

Actually, I’ve teared up several times this weekend. I tell you, I’m such a SAP. Yes, the disappointment and heartbreak gets me….but when it comes to watching athletes achieve goals and reach their dreams, I turn into a sappy mess. Don’t even get me started when a Team USA athlete wins the gold and the USA National Anthem plays – especially if the athlete starts to cry…oh yea…that gets me. Oh yes, and when the camera shows the athlete’s parent’s crying….yeah, that gets me too. See how my weekend has been? Hah!

Another shocking bit of news also came from the Marathon corner only this time, from Team USA. One of my running buddies sent a tweet my way saying that Desi dropped out of the Marathon due to a hip flexor issue. The minute I got home, I started digging and discovered that someone leaked a nasty little rumor about Desi…..

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Which was not true at this point thank goodness! In Desi’s words…”My race, my call.” You get ‘em, girl!!

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On a side note, I’m in love with Amy Hastings shoes by Brooks! Too cute!

Hope you had an awesome weekend! Did you watch the Olympics? What was your favorite part?

Friday, July 27, 2012

30 before 30 check up!

July 27th – only ONE month until I turn 30! I have no apprehensions about turning 30, I’m actually looking forward to it! My 20’s were amazing and I’m hoping that my 30’s have even more to offer!

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Time to check up and see how I’m doing on my 30 before 30 list!

1.) Go out of my way to do a nice thing for a stranger
2.) Stay at a Plantation Home Bed and Breakfast
3.) Play the part of a Disney Princess
4.) See a Broadway production

5.) Step foot on Canadian soil
6.) Watch the entire series of Star Wars – all 6 movies (So far, I’ve watched Episode 1 and Episode 4.)
7.) Read an entire book series
8.) Take up a new sport (along with running)
9.) Try 10 new recipes
10.) Eat at a Top Chef Restaurant
11.) Purchase a brand new car
12.) Take an out of town trip alone
13.) Go Vegetarian for an entire week
  (I made 4 days- this is NOT for me!)
14.) Take a fitness class (yoga counts)
15.) Learn how to change a flat tire (hopefully not my own)
16.) Take another Photography class
17.) Along with #16, figure out how to use Photoshop
18.) Attend the midnight premier of a movie
19.) Learn how to shoot a gun
20.) Finish every un-read book on my Kindle
21.) Run a Full Marathon with a Charity
22.) Visit a city I’ve never been to before
23.) Dye my hair (it’s never been dyed before!)
24.) Do something I’m completely terrified of
25.) Stay awake for 24 hours straight
26.) Blog for an entire week (at least one blog per day)
27.) Learn to speak French
28.) Watch the sunset from the beach
29.) Save a life
30.) Forgive.

OK…so I have a LOT of work to do this month! I have a feeling that this list will turn into a 30 DURING 30 list which is totally fine with me! :0) I like challenges….so we’ll just have to see where this adventure takes me!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

2012 London Summer Olympics

Who are you following?

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I know my eyes will be on the following athletes:

This past January, I had the incredible privilege of observing and cheering for runners competing in the Marathon Olympic Trials in Houston, Texas!  I watched as Desiree, Shalene, Kara, Ryan, Meb, and Abdi pushed their limits and crossed the finish line as the top 3 qualifiers in each race for the Olympic Marathon.  You bet I’ll be cheering for all of them on race day!

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From July 27-August 12, my DVR will have to work overtime!

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For a complete schedule of events, check out the London 2012 Olympic Website.

Also, you can follow London 2012 adventures on Facebook and Twitter!

At the moment, my DVR is showing that the Opening Ceremonies begin on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Central Time!

I’ll be watching! Will you? What athletes are you following?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fall/Winter Racing Schedule

Yesterday, I eluded to the fact that I’m currently training for Goofy’s Challenge, but I failed to mention the other races on my calendar!

  • Gulf Coast Mandeville Half Marathon in October
  • (Possibly) Pensacola Half Marathon in November
  • Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge January
  • Rock and Roll New Orleans Full Marathon in February

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I ran the Gulf Coast Mandeville Half Marathon this past year with a few friends and I’m excited for another fun-filled girls weekend! :0)

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In January of 2010, I ran my very first Half Marathon – the coldest race I’ve ever run to date! Despite the freezing weather, we still had a blast. This race was my first experiences with a RunDisney race and I had so much fun, I came back for more the following year! In January of 2011, I ran my very first Full Marathon in slightly warmer weather (still cold, not freezing). In January of 2013, I’ll run my very first Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge (the Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday and the Full Marathon on Sunday)! I’m even more excited for this race because I’ll be running the 20th Anniversary of the Disney World Marathon – with a ton of promised surprises along the way! Can’t wait to check it all out!

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Also, this past March, I ran Rock and Roll New Orleans Full Marathon on a healing knee injury. I am anxious to run this race again injury free!

I will have additional races sprinkled in during my training, but nothing planned on the calendar just yet! I have a tendency to over-schedule races so at the moment, I’m starting small! :0)

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What does your Fall/Spring race calendar look like?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A few odds and ends

  • Have I mentioned that I’m currently in training for Goofy’s Challenge? (cause I am….)  Training is going well so far! I’m still foam rolling and I have not had any significant knee pain! Yay!

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  • Have you checked out my Facebook page yet? If not, stop by and say hi! :0)
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  • Recently, I’ve discovered a new obsession – Spaghetti Squash. As an alternative to pasta, I love this low calorie, lower carb option over typical pasta! I definitely have a new favorite! :0)

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  • I ran 3.5 miles tonight. I waited until the sun went down and Jason joined me for part of the way! It was a really nice and relatively cool(er) night.

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I love watching the sun rise and set! :0)

Ok that’s all I have for now! Just a short update!  Have a fabulous Tuesday!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Freak Storm

Last night, a crazy-out-of-no-where storm blew through my area. Around 9:30 p.m. or so, the electricity shut off and I was told that over 800 homes in the area were without power. Tornados were sighted just south of my area (about 10 minutes away or so). 

I stayed at home for one of the last Hurricanes (Hurricane Ike), and I remember the wind howling, but nothing like what we heard last night!

Around 4:30 a.m., I woke up to get ready to meet my crew for GoRun & guess what? The electricity was still out. Ugh.

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I found out all too soon why….a tree branch feel over the power line on the road adjacent to ours. Great….

No electricity didn’t stop me, however! :0)

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I met up with my friends and we sported our new Run Louisiana gear! Heather is the current Claim Your Journey Runner of the Week, by the way! :0)

As we ran, we saw a Coast Guard helicopter flying low over the lake. We found out that they were searching for a body….sad times. :0( Last night, 2 young guys were night fishing when the storm hit (I’m telling you, this thing came out of NO WHERE). When the 20 year old didn’t answer his cell phone around 9 p.m., his mom called 911. Their boat was found capsized & around 4 a.m., they found 20 year olds body. As we were running, the Coast Guard copter was searching for the 27 year old who was in the boat with him. What a sad story. I will be praying for the two families at such a horrible time.

After our run (a nice hot, sweaty, muggy 8 miles), we met at our usual Saturday morning hangout for breakfast!

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I had scrambled egg whites, grits, and beignets! Super yummy!!

Our electricity finally came on around 11:15 a.m.! You don’t realize how much you miss it until it’s gone for a while. Definitely don’t want that to happen again any time soon! Now, I’m planning on basking in the non-humid coolness of my living room for the day!

Hope you have a fabulous weekend!! :0)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Food, glorious food!

Thanks for all of the Blogiversary wishes yesterday! I had a fabulous day followed by an evening of fun with friends! We went for a run, then stopped at our favorite Thursday night restaurant for dinner!

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I had a yummy grilled Shrimp and Avocado Salad followed by….

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FroYo! It was oh so good! :0)

Wednesday, I posted a picture of my dinner creation on facebook and a friend of mine asked why….why do I post pictures of my food on the internet? Good question! Well, as long as I can remember, I’ve always taken a picture of my food – especially if it’s food I really enjoy, or it’s reaaaally pretty!!

I looked back in my phone and sure enough – I have a ton of pictures of my food!!

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Grilled fish from O’Charleys (my favorite restaurant).

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Homemade Whole Grain Zucchinin Bread with Homemade Strawberry Chia Seed Jam! (Also a banana and coffee!) I used Pure Maple Syrup in place of sugar in my jam.

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Pineapple Salsa over Asian Marinated Grilled Chicken and Spaghetti Squash! (The marinated chicken was my own recipe – I took the pineapple salsa and adapted it to fit with our dinner.)

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Pineapple-Strawberry green Monster smoothie breakfast!

1 cup cubed fresh pineapple
1.5 cups halved strawberries
1 cup spinach
1 scoop whey powder
1 cup ice
1/2 cup water
Blend and voila! :0)

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Because I’m not good ALL the time – we ate out for lunch at my favorite homemade plate lunch restaurant! A southern girl loves her rice and gravy, ok? :0)

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Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers – oh my goodness so yummy! (Vegetarian) Instead of celery (cause I didn’t have any), I used spinach and in place of red peppers (again, I didn’t have any), I used green!

I have many more but I won’t bore you! :0) 
What’s your favorite food/recipe? Please share!
Have a fabulous Friday!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Little Celebration

Three years ago, I decided to train for and complete a Half Marathon.

Three years ago, I timidly joined a running group in my hometown – scared out of my mind and uncertain of my own abilities. I’m SO glad I made that small step (and another and another).

Three years ago on July 19, I began blogging to document my journey!

I cannot believe it’s already been three years!

I re-read my very first blog post today and I am very grateful for how far I’ve come. Through these past three years, I’ve shared my joys, my struggles, my injuries, and my personal bests. Thank you for letting me and my crazy life into yours!

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(Source: Google Images)

As a little blogger-birthday gift to myself, I purchased my own domain name! Yay! What once was mydisnehalf.blogspot has changed to www.justmeandmyrunningshoes.com!

Happy 3 year Blogiversary,
Just Me & My Running Shoes!

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I can’t wait to see what the future brings!

(My immediate future might just include a little celebratory Fro-Yo after tonight’s run!) :0)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rock and Roll New Orleans Marathon with ACS DetermiNation (Part 3)

Just incase you missed it, here’s Part 1 and Part 2 of my RnR NOLA weekend recap:
Race morning came bright and early as always. I went through the motions of stretching, foam rolling, getting dressed, etc. The entire time, I kept thinking, “I want to go back to bed!” To be honest, I was scared to death of running – unaware of  how my knee would hold up – 26.2 miles is a LONG way to run. I was scared that what happened in Houston would happen to me again during New Orleans.

This day however, was a NEW day. Even though I felt a lot of anxiety and fear as I attempted to put on my race gear, I tried to tell myself that everything was going to be ok. My mind could not fully comprehend the fact that I was about to run 26.2 miles. I could think about the first half, just not the 2nd. Every time I thought about Mile 20, it made me sick. I tried not to think about the race, but I knew I HAD to mentally prepare myself.  I decided it was best not to make myself sick so I put the race out of my mind completely. Also, the last time I ran over 13.1 miles was December 3 – THREE months plus one day to the Rock n Roll NOLA Marathon. Could I still run it? Would I make it? I couldn’t think about it.

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Race gear set out ready to go!

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I decided that my Sparkle Hearts skirt needed a 2nd chance (it’s last chance was in Houston…not a good one….). I also pinned a sign on my back that said “Injured but DetermiNed to finish”…get it? :0) Also, I can’t forget my 26.2 tat that my awesome running friend Heather gave me!! :0)

We met as a team in the hotel lobby and walked over to the start line. When I say it was early, I mean we were some of the first runners out there! Rock N Roll moved their start line this year so I was very turned around and didn’t know where we were for a few minutes!

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An empty start line….

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My hometown race team!

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Rock N Roll DetermiNation Louisiana!

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Southwest ACS

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Jason even walked over to the start line with me! He’s such a good sport! (Once the race started, he walked back to the hotel and went back to sleep….Lucky!!)

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Runners milling around the courtyard waiting for the race to begin.

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I found two of my friends who were running the half! We just so happened to be in the same corral! Yay!

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Meet Andrea and Kelli! Now, they are two of my favorite running buddies!! :0)

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We are crazy! Hah!

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Ready or not, here we go!

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The race led us through downtown New Orleans I’ve run this course several times so I was very familiar with the area. I never get tired of seeing it! :0)

Another change this year - the Full Marathon/Half Marathon didn’t split until Mile 12. In the past, the runners split around mile 4…or was it 6? I can’t remember.

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These guys were a huge motivational boost! As they passed the crowds cheered them on! These guys were wearing Full Marathon bibs, too!

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My buddy Kelli stayed with me for most of the race and surprise surprise, we made awesome time considering my knee issues! I was having so much fun, I forgot that I was NOT in excruciating pain!!! Yay!

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A little after Mile 12 is when the Half/Full Marathoners split off. I said goodbye to Kelli and set out for the rest of my journey.

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As you can see, THOUSANDS of runners flooded into the park. I was told that a very large number of people were running the Half when compared to the Full Marathon.

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After the split from the Half Marathoners, I suddenly felt very desolate and sort of alone. The number of people around me was a lot less and I noticed how quiet the world seemed at that moment.

My knee ached but not at ALL like Houston. I ran this race in pain, but the pain was tolerable if that makes sense. It’s funny to see the above picture because little did I know, the girl behind me became friends with me somewhere around mile 20, and eventually crossed the finish line together!

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A part of this race that I had not run before (this was my first RnR NOLA Full) was the lake front. What a GORGEOUS day for a run!  I loved all of the “Wrong Way” signs too!


My #1 downfall…I forgot to wear sunscreen. Oncology Nurse FAIL. Sad times.

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Along the race course, I met several people – some from the Lafayette area, others from various outlying states. I received several comments, well wishes, and pick me ups from the sign on my back! Everyone was absolutely wonderful! Around mile 18, someone asked if I knew the time. We hit mile 18 around 4 hours! Not only were they shocked, but so was I! Prior to my knee injury, my goal was to finish the race in less than 5 hours. I knew I couldn’t make that, but I’d take what I could get! :0)

I also met a girl who used to live in NOLA but now lives in St. Louis. Her and I ended up running the rest of the race together!  You’ll see my explanation later, but this race severely lacked in the amount of supplements along the race course. I finally came across bananas around mile 23 (I could have used that banana at mile 18). I felt MUCH better after eating the banana and before I knew it, we were in City Park! I honestly do not remember a Marathon being THAT hard to run. The bottom of my feet were killing me, both knees hurt, and I wanted to lie down on the side of the road and sleep. I never hit the”wall” that I hear people talk about, but the race itself was still hard.

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Mile 26 was located inside of City Park. We tried to run as much as possible but it was really hard. We ran until we couldn’t feel our legs anymore, then we’d walk. The hardest part of walking was  running again. Ugh.

We hit mile 26 and before I knew it, there was the finish line!

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All of the tears, the pain, and the sorrow related to my injury came back to me in that moment – the hours spent with my Physical Therapist building strength in my legs and overcoming my injury. I was reminded of the hours I spent fundraising and the long miles I ran on those early cold Saturday mornings. I could feel it – this dream – this intangible dream I held on to for SO long was so close I could taste it.

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There’s my running coach and Melissa! :0)

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I started crying the moment I visualized the finish line. I found my husband waiting for me right before I crossed and I threw my hands in the air and cheered. This was IT. I had done it.

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As soon as we crossed the finish line, Stacy and I hugged and cried together. This was her first time to run a marathon and my first since being injured. We both overcame great obstacles that got us to that very moment.  I was given a medal and I saw my husband just a few seconds later. I hugged him and cried some more. I was still in shock – I still couldn’t comprehend the fact that I ran 26.2 miles that day.

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I took a picture with my new friend then we parted ways. I am grateful for her – I’m not sure I would have made it through those last few miles (alive) if not for her pushing me!

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After leaving the finish line, I made a bee-line for the DetermiNation tent where I knew FOOD would be waiting!!

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Glorious food! That was by far the BEST Turkey po-boy I’ve ever eaten…yes, that’s how hungry I was! :0)

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We took a few pictures at the DetermiNation tent, then we met up with Kelli at her hotel room. Kelli let me borrow her shower since we were leaving that day and didn’t have a place to clean up!

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My ever loving supporter! :0)

Overall, I had a great race – I loved the course, the feeling of accomplishment, and my new medal however, I felt as if this race was lacking in a few areas:

#1 – FOOD! Hello! If I’m running 26.2 miles, I need refuel! I’m sorry but a PB&J sandwich at mile 13 is not what I need – I need at least a 1/2 of a banana at mile 18, not mile 23 when I’m about to die. I felt as if the Disney Marathon knew what they were doing – they knew exactly what to have every few miles. Take notes from Disney, Rock N Roll – they’ve got it going on!

#2 – A lack of BioFreeze at the medic tents shocked me. I’m glad that I ran into a BioFreeze rep at the Expo because she gave me a handful of samples to carry with me during the race. Those BioFreeze packets came in handy with my knee and I’m very grateful for the rep who helped me out!!

#3 – This one is not RnR’s fault, but it still bothers me. In 2011, ACS had a TON of cheerleaders through the ENTIRE race course – it was SEVERELY lacking this year. SEVERELY. Needless to say, cheerleaders along the course line was not the only thing this race was lacking on their part and my ACS post-race survey was not the most positive one.  I still plan on running the race in 2013, but I want to volunteer with ACS for other weekend festivities instead of running with DetermiNation again.

So, there you have it! Four months overdue, but better late than never, right?! :0)

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