Monday, October 31, 2011

Goals and Chasing Personal Records

Goals are important, right? I need goals or I start to flounder. This goes for training, my career, getting the house cleaned, etc. I set a goal, I make a list or a training schedule and I make it happen. I've been feeling very out of sorts lately and I'm not sure why exactly. Over scheduling has been a problem and that has something to do with my general crankiness but some of that is out of my control. What can I control? My workouts.

I'm signed up for the Disney 1/2 marathon on January 7, 2012. It's my 31st birthday (and will be one year from when The Pilot proposed) so to celebrate, I'm going to attempt to PR. My current (running) PR for the 1/2 is 2:53. I was thinking about walking the race and just having fun but if I go into training for a race with that in mind, I tend to slack off in my training in general. Since I both run and race walk, I've decided to keep track of my PRs as either a running or walking PR. Example, my race walking 1/2 marathon PR is 3:19 or somewhere around there and my running 1/2 marathon PR is 2:53. It's my blog, so I can totally make up the rules as I go along, right?

Anyways, I'm putting it out there that I am going to train hard to 1) try to run the entire distance (in both my running 1/2 marathons, I've done a run/walk combo after mile 10 and 2) I want to finish under 2:53. I have put together a training schedule with the help of some people MUCH faster than me (as in one of those people has FULL marathon times UNDER 3 hours). My cross training is going to involve a weekly trip to the pool and a date with some weights. The amazing Lisa (the girl I almost threw up on back in August) has offered to help me with my "speed work." Again, since I'm making up the rules, I'm calling it speed work even though I'm trying to go from a 13 minute mile to a 12:30 mile. Blistering speed work.

I officially started training yesterday. I met up with Lisa and some other great TNT alumni for a 5 mile run. It was a BEAUTIFUL morning. It was only about 30 degrees when I left the house but the sun was shining. I absolutely LOVE a cold morning with sunshine! I'm special. Anyways, I met up with them, kept up for about a 1/2 mile before my shins were on fire and I had to back off. I took a 30 second walk break after the first mile and then another after the second mile. I really hate that part of running. It takes me forever to get warmed up and feel coordinated. I don't think I felt comfortable until almost mile 4! We did two out and backs so it was nice to see the other girls a couple times so despite being slower, I don't ever feel like I was left behind. Plus, it helps that we communicated before we started that I would keep up for as long as I could and would then drop back so no hard feelings for them dropping me or me holding them back. It was also Lisa's last "long" run before the Savannah Marathon this weekend. She's going to be chasing down a PR on Saturday!! I'm so excited for her and will be glued to my cell phone as I get her race updates texted to me.

Anyways, though I didn't run the entire 5 miles (5.14 miles to be exact), I finished in 1:05 and that is a lot faster than I can race walk that distance so I call it a success. Plus, if I can maintain that pace for the 1/2 marathon, I will PR.

Once they finished 6 miles and I finished my 5 miles, we had some breakfast together and we may or may not have left the meal deciding to do an early summer triathlon together next year....oops.

So here's to goals, chasing personal records and having fun along the way.Link

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Our Wedding: The Party

Continued....and it only took me 3 months (today!) to get the entire wedding story posted.
LinkI have to back up and tell the kazoo story. A week after we got engaged, we had plans to visit friends in Pittsburgh. It was the first time that two of my girls had met The Pilot and with the engagement news, it was a very exciting visit. Well one of my friends’ husbands randomly suggested that we use kazoos instead of bubbles or bird seed when we left the church. The Pilot and I loved the idea! One of the first wedding related packages we received in the mail was a box full of kazoos. It was going to be quirky, just like us!

My brother holding the church door and going to town with his kazoo!
My niece in deep concentration!
Once my dress was bustled and I had changed my shoes, we headed back to the sanctuary. As we turned towards the doors, my godfather rang the tower bells and we saw all of our friends and family standing outside, humming into their kazoos. It was hysterical. Normally you hear cheering and whistling when a bride and groom leave the church. Instead, we heard this dull humming noise and it was perfect! But not as perfect as our getaway transportation…
We walked past our loved ones to the end of the sidewalk, where we found a pedicab waiting. I think this was The Pilot's idea. We went to a Muse concert last fall and after the show, there were a bunch of pedicabs offering rides out to the arena parking lot. I know we commented on how hard it must for the driver to haul people around. I have enough trouble getting myself going on a bike! Anyways, it was a bright yellow pedicab with a “Just Married” sign on the back (which I made). The Pilot helped me in (I’m so glad we bustled the dress prior to this!) and we took a minute to take some pictures before the driver drove off into the sunset… or just drove us around the parking lot and pulled up to the back entrance of the church. It was so much fun and fit our personalities perfectly!

Our guests headed to the reception, which was just a couple miles from the church. I had one photo that I wanted to get before heading to the reception though. Everyone knows that I spend more time with my Team in Training family than I do with my own family sometimes. And they really are a family. I asked the TNT coaches, trainers and staff to bring their running shoes to the ceremony and hang around at the church for a few minutes after the ceremony. Once we finished with the pedicab pictures, I did a couple of group shots with my team. We were all dressed up…with our running shoes on! I love that my TNT family all humored me and changed into their running shoes for me.
My friends picked on me because I was overly organized with all things wedding. But when an event planner gets to planner her wedding, watch out! This girl ran a tight ship! So much so that we ended up getting to the reception about 20 minutes early! The reception venue wasn’t quite ready for us yet. We wanted to make a grand entrance but they needed to plate the salads first so the bridal party stalled outside in the shade. Soon enough, the coordinator came out and let us know once they were ready and we entered from the side of the building and came inside from a deck that overlooks a pond. When The Pilot and I first started dating, I kept hearing the song, Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap. Every time I heard the song, I would think of him and I guess you could sort of call it “our song.” It’s not really something you can dance to though so we used that music to make our entrance.

We made our way to the head table and my MOH, The Pilot’s matron of awesome and my dad all gave wonderful toasts. Julie kept it clean and didn’t tell any stories from our college days but she did tell everyone how she knew I had met “the one.” I had told her I met someone and that I thought he was pretty cool but she knew it was serious when I told her he was moving in with me…and bringing his worms. She figured if I would let someone bring worms to do composting in the house, then I must really love the guy. Oh so true! The Pilot's Matron of Awesome also gave a great speech and it was a great kick off to the party.
We opted for a vegetarian menu for multiple reasons. The obvious is that The Pilot is a veggisauraus and I would say that 99% of the meals we share together, I also eat vegetarian. Another bonus was that it kept the cost down and we didn't have the logistics of multiple entree choices. We didn't want something that was obviously missing meat (no tofu or fake meat) so we went with cheese tortellini in an herb sauce with squash and zucchini. It was so yummy and I don't think people even realized it was vegetarian.

My favorite part of the meal though was, hands down, the cake. The Pilot's cousin works at a bakery and offered to bake the cake for us....and drive it from Ft. Wayne, Indiana to Columbus. :) Our moms were both concerned about the cake traveling that far but I figured even if the cake fell out of the car, it wouldn't be the end of the world. I sent her some pictures of a cake we liked and told her what flavors we liked and this is what she delivered
Isn't it beautiful?! And it was probably the best cake I've ever had. I had two slices it was so good and would have had more if there would have been some extra space in that dress! Even three months later, people still mention that cake and how good it was! I will say that we were very civil with the cake cutting. We cut small pieces and fed each other with shoving it up each others noses. The funniest part of the cake cutting was my 3-year old nephew. Just as The Pilot and I were finishing feeding each other, I hear "Aunt Amber, can I have a slice??" I looked behind me and there was my brother, holding little G so he could see all of the action. Super cute! If the wedding coordinator hadn't been ushering us to the dance floor for the first dance, we would have given little G the first slice. :)

We both were nervous about the first dance to Van Morrison's Someone Like You. Neither of us can dance and we had only danced together once before in public. (It was actually at the matron of awesome's wedding back in April!) We had practiced at home a few times but we both ended up laughing at each other. We just couldn't seem to take it seriously. We figured we'd try to actually dance but if it all fell apart, we could always just pretend we were in the 7th grade and would sway back and forth together. We also had an escape plan....we were supposed to nod to the DJ when to cut out the song. We picked a 4+ minute long song and were afraid that would feel like an eternity on the dance floor. About 2 minutes in, we started looking at the DJ but he wouldn't look up from his computer! We kept spinning around, trying to make eye contact but no such luck! We made it through the entire song and we were laughing through most of it as we tried to make eye contact with the DJ!
We made it through our first dance and then my dad and I were up. We danced to the Beach Boys' God Only Knows. While my dad and I don't take much seriously (as you can see from the first picture), it was a bittersweet moment for both of us.
The Pilot and his mom danced to Dean Martin's Always. Aren't they super cute?!
The rest of the night was a little bit of a blur. I just remember how happy everyone seemed. Everyone seemed to be having such a good time. That was one of the things I noticed from
the wedding video, everyone was smiling and laughing and having a great time and ultimately, that is what The Pilot and I wanted.

Some of the standout moments from the night included the Cha Cha Slide (a personal favorite) and one of The Pilot's grandmas dancing right along side us!
She's so awesome!My nephew is a dancing machine and we all got a kick out of watching his sweet moves. I have a feeling he's going to be a wild one once he gets older...

"Blowin' it up"
What are you doing, G? "I'm shakin' my tail!"
Practicing his lifts with his dad

We also had a photo booth at the reception and it was a big hit! Instead of signing a guest book, we had everyone put their pictures in a scrapbook. The Pilot and I has a blast looking through the pictures the next morning. That photo booth initiated a lot of kissing that night! I won't get too mean and post the really embarrassing photos but here are a few of my favorites.

My brother and his lovely wife. This is totally normal.
I told you G is going to be wild when her gets older. A three years-old, he already looks like a drunken frat boy. All of these photos were unprompted. My brother just told him his picture was being taken and this is what happened.
How many Team in Training coaches, trainers and staff can fit into one photo booth?
A lot apparently.

My only regret? Not getting into the photo booth with The Pilot more often. There is only one picture of us in there!
So that's the wedding story! I can't believe it's been 3 months already! I love him more and more each day....even when he leaves his pot holder out.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Pot Holder.

When The Pilot moved in, we had to combine two households. That's two kitchens. Two bedrooms. Two desks. Two living rooms. All full of crap! And then we got married and got lots more! Even before the wedding we were busting at the seams in my two-bedroom condo. We registered for a lot of gifts that we knew we would need in the future as well as some upgrades (hello fancy sheets and towels!).

The "will need in the future gifts" are in my parents' basement. We have made countless trips to Goodwill with the items we upgraded. We have also taken a second (third and fourth) look at all of the other stuff with a very editing eye. Do we really need that thing? When was the last time we used that thing? That means several trash bags of clothes and shoes came out of my closet. I went from 4 make-up bags to 3 (baby steps).

And then there are the duplicates. Two sets of dishes, extra TVs and DVD players, etc. We opted to keep the newest of all the items unless there was some sort of emotional connection to an item (um, no I will not be getting rid of my crepe maker that I haven't used since I was in the high school French Club.). This is where the potholder came to be an annoyance in my life. I had a couple full-sized, covers half your arm, oven mitts that I like to use (I have a slight fear of the oven and getting burned), along with a new silicone oven grippy wedding gift thing and a trivet. No actual pot holders. I never really needed one. I don't cook much and anything right out of the oven usually gets placed on top of the oven, on one of the burners. The Pilot had a green and white checked pot holder. He wanted to keep it. I didn't think we needed it. I picked my battles though and so the pot holder moved into the drawer with my oven mitts.

When The Pilot is home, he makes oatmeal for breakfast. He uses his pot holder under the bowl when he carries his oatmeal to the office to check his email/blogs/news or to the couch to watch the news or to the kitchen table to eat there occasionally. Once he's done, the empty bowl gets taken to the sink but the pot holder, more often than not, is left where ever he was eating. This is SO not a big deal but for some reason, it gets under my skin when I find that thing somewhere other than the drawer that it belongs in. I have found it on the desk, on the coffee table, on the couch, varies places in the kitchen and on the table. I have seen it in the bathroom (what??) and in the bedroom (breakfast in bed my dear husband?).

Sometimes I just pick it up and put it away. No biggie. Sometimes I just let it go and leave it, he usually comes back for it the next morning (if he's home). No biggie. And then there are days that I lose my mind for some reason (usually for reasons other than the damn pot holder or The Pilot) and I want to throw it at him and make him put it away. There was even one time when I spotted it out of place at the same time that he did. We looked at each other and without saying a word, he smiled and put the pot holder away.

I sort of feel bad when he "catches" me putting it away because I know he feels bad. He doesn't mean to leave it laying around the house. And he just doesn't notice it when it's out of place the way I notice it the millisecond I walk into a room. I feel bad that it's this weird tick that I have. I like an organized home yet there are parts of our house that are usually in some state of disarray (the desk, my craft table, the basement in general). I'm not sure why my brain hones in on that damn pot holder when there is a pile of crap on my craft table.

So the moral of this story, in my opinion? I am turning into my mother.

My mother's "pot holder?" Drinking glasses. When I was growing up, if you left a drinking glass somewhere other than the cabinet or the dishwasher for more than 45 seconds, she would find it, dump the contents and put it in the dishwasher. You'd come back from the bathroom or from answering the phone and your water would be gone. Now I don't doubt that my brother, dad and I often left glasses all over the house for days on end. After cleaning up more than her fair share of spoiled milk, she cracked down on the abandoned glasses. For the record, I still tend to leave water glasses around the house. The Pilot has even called me out on it. I think his problem is more than I will have more than one glass out (one on the desk, one on the coffee table, one in the kitchen) and not necessarily that I left one out. Maybe one day he'll lose his mind though and go nuts like I do about the pot holder.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Air Force 1/2 Marathon

So I'm really behind on my blog posts. So much so that I actually have a list of posts that I want to write. Something tells me that blogging isn't supposed to be stressful!

Anyways, I ran the Air Force 1/2 Marathon last month with my father-in-law (FIL). It was sort of strange because I went into it with low expectations and because of that, I really wasn't too stressed or nervous about the race. I was under trained and I knew it. I was very up front with my FIL because I wasn't sure if I could run the entire thing or if I could keep up with him. It was his first 1/2 and I didn't want to hold him back. I went into the race with the goal of running as much as I could and then I would just walk the rest.

The Pilot was in town (yeay!) so we left the house crazy early to make the hour drive to Dayton. I did the full marathon in 2007 and got stuck in crazy traffic trying to get onto the Air Force Base. I was walking that year and it was only my 2nd marathon and having to run from my car to the start to have the gun go off as I was still trying to catch my breath was just a little stressful! Anyways, armed with that knowledge, we met The Pilot's parents just outside of the base nearly 2 hours before the start of the race. We made our way onto the base and took our time getting our bibs on and walking over to the Air Force Museum. My in-laws are great and picked up my race packet for me the day before so I wouldn't have to make the trip to Dayton twice...yeay!

It was actually pretty chilly out (surprising for mid-September and especially since I think it got to 90 the day I did the full marathon back in 2007). We used the "real" bathrooms in the museum where it was nice and warm before heading to the starting area. Just about everyone else had the same idea to use the warm bathrooms inside before going back out to the start. Once we got the the start, I followed my own race advice and went to the bathroom one more time. This time in a not so warm port-a-potty outside. I'm so glad that I did because I was able to make it through the entire race without making a pit stop! It's the small successes you know...

We said goodbye to The Pilot and my mother in law (MIL) and lined up for the start. There was a fly over of some kind of jet (I'm sure The Pilot knows what it was) but the best part of the start was the....goose flyover. This was mob mentality in its finest. Not too long after the real flyover, a perfect V of geese flew over the start line. Someone pointed up and before you knew it, the entire crowd was cheering up at the geese. So funny....or maybe you had to be there?

The course was a little different from the last time I did the race and I was excited because it meant not starting off on a big hill. That excitement was short lived when I realized we would start up on a different hill. Boo! It seemed like all of the hills (really there weren't that many, I just hate hills) were very stealthy. You didn't really notice them until you were 1/2 way up the hill and then it just felt like they wouldn't end! We trucked along for the first 4 miles. It went really quickly and I found my rhythm a lot faster than I normally do, so that was great. I think the cool weather had something to do with it. Just after mile 4, we saw The Pilot and the MIL...our personal paparazzi....especially since they were on the actual base and there weren't too many other spectators out there. The Pilot's dad is retired army and The Pilot's mama has a spouse ID and was able to get The Pilot onto the base to cheer for us. It was so fun to see them out there!
The Pilot captured these gems...faces only our spouses could love?
Note the woman in the pink skirt behind us....that's Virginia...more on her later.
We kept on going and chatting. It was a great distraction to be able to talk for most of the race because I forgot that I was running a few times! That started to change by the time we got to mile 10. I definitely lost my steam around then. That's when my lack of training become very obvious. I told the FIL that I wasn't sure how much more running I had left in me and gave him the option to go ahead but he stuck with me and we took a walk break. I knew I didn't want to walk too long or I wouldn't be able to start running again, and would end up walking the last 3.1 miles. I did manage a run/walk for the next 2 miles and as we closed in on the finish, I kept thinking that I could run the remaining distance. I probably thought this at least three times in the last mile but every time I started to run again, my legs would tell me no. Even as we could SEE the finish line, I just knew I didn't have enough running left in my legs. We took one last walk break, nearly to the 13 mile marker before started to run for the last time.

I told the FIL that we needed to make it look good because I knew The Pilot and the MIL would be taking pictures and video has we came in the finish chute. I was feeling kinda crappy but I went with my Goofy Challenge motto, "fake it 'til you make it." That meant I was going to run in the finish chute and smile.
OK, so I thought I was smiling. Fail.
I'll also point out that the Air Force Marathon has the most obnoxious finish. You actually have to pass by the finish line, do a U-turn and then cross the finish line. After 26 or 13 miles, seeing the finish line is a beautiful thing but having to PASS it and then come back towards it is a kick in the stomach!
Throughout the race, we made friends with a woman named Virginia. We first noticed her around mile 4 when she commented that she wasn't stalking us, she just liked our pace. She was doing a run/walk through the entire race and she would pass us on her runs but then fall behind us during her walks. Well as we made that U-turn into the finish chute, she was right behind us and worked her way in between the FIL and I. That might have annoyed me that she wedged herself into our finish photos but since we struck up a conversation with her a couple times, it was all good. She was just part of our 1/2 marathon story for the day!

FIL must have been saying,
"Woman, why are you photo bombing my first 1/2 marathon finish line photo??"


We all came across the finish line in exactly 3 hours. If you want to get technical, I came across first in 3:00:18 and the FIL was sauntering along behind me at 3:00:19. ;) I probably should have let him "win" since it was his first 1/2 marathon and he slowed down to stick with me. Oh well, I think he still likes me.
It took awhile to get through the food line (free pizza for finishers!) and while we were standing there, both of my calves started to cramp up. I really wanted to sit down but there was no where to go. As soon as we grabbed our goodies and found The Pilot and the MIL, you betcha I was sitting.
Pilot, why are you taking my picture right now?
I know I look like crap and I don't need that documented.

Seriously, Pilot....get out of my face before I slap you with this pizza.
Half Marathon Finishers!

We hung out for a little while before heading our separate ways. I was definitely really sore and was not looking forward to sitting in the car for the hour+ drive home. I knew once we got home that I wouldn't be able to get out of the car. So how do you remedy that stiffness? Stop at an antique fair on the way home. I changed my clothes in the car before leaving the Air Force Base (shhhh....don't tell) and we hit up the Springfield Antique Extravaganza on the way home. We wandered around for about an hour and a half (and didn't buy anything!) before my stomach got all wonky and we decided we better head home. For some reason my stomach gets angry after most longer races and even more so after the races that I run instead of race walk. I haven't quite figured that one out yet.

It was a great day. Perfect weather, a fun race, a great race buddy, awesome super spectators/paparazzi and half marathon # 6 is in the books.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Is it just me....

...or are those chocolates winking at me? I found this in the kitchen one morning. Obviously The Pilot had been there...or the cats grew some thumbs.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hopefully they are in a better place

I sure picked the wrong day to go to Zanesville. I was headed to Zanesville this morning for a meeting and just as I got outside of Columbus, I started hearing the news reports about exotic animals on the loose. Say what?? As I got closer to Zanesville, I saw a sign instructing drivers to stay in their cars and to call 911. I saw a large road kill of some kind along the side of the road about the same time I saw the sign but it was pouring rain and there are always deer on the roads just outside of the city. The reports were coming in all day but you betcha I took a good look around before getting out of my car when I reached the office and then again when I left. It's all over the news and I'm sure you have all seen it but I did want to put my two-cents in.

It's just an ugly situation all around. I feel sad for the sheriffs that had to make the call to shoot many of the animals. I'm glad to see that many animal rights groups are coming to their defense. It's not their fault that those animals were loose. It's not their fault that they are not trained to handle wild animals. They are there to protect the citizens and I really think that is what they did. Those poor animals were out of their normal surroundings and scared. They are also wild animals. It sounds like they were not socialized (as much as a wild animal can be socialized/tamed) and it's not like the sheriff's department could sit around and wait for animal handlers to arrive (they did later and I guess some animals have been transported to the Columbus Zoo).

Obviously that man had some serious issues. Not only did he takes his own life but he took the lives of those animals before he even opened those cages. Reports are saying that the conditions that the animals had been living in were deplorable. Even if the animals has all be captured and could have been relocated to zoos and animal sanctuaries, I bet many of them were already sick and dying. The blame is placed on that man who owned the animals. It is placed on the people that sold him the animals. Animals are living things, not trophies, not collectibles.

The entire situation is sad. There are already a lot of jokes going around and I can only imagine what the late night comedy shows are going to be saying about this rural part of the state but it's not funny really. A man lost his life (whether that's karma or not, its not for me to say) and a lot of innocent animals lost their lives because of his actions. As horrible as it may sound, those animals might be better off. No animal deserves to be treated the way it sounds like those animals were being treated and it may have been too late for them anyways.

Of course no one will ever know every side to this story and the authorities are still finding out more and more but based on what I know right now, that's my two cents.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What Did You Say?

So when I get sick, I really get sick. I don't just get the sniffles for a few days. Anyone remember the World's Longest Cold? How about my souvenir from the Mud Run?

I mentioned that I was in Tampa not too long ago for work. It was a great meeting but by the last day, I was really run down and my throat was getting scratchy. I flew from Tampa to Nashville and then Nashville on home to the C-bus. I spend much of the flight to Nashville sweating profusely and trying to do anything to keep from crying on the airplane. With about 30 minutes left in the flight, I thought my eardrums were about to explode. Only once before have I had so much trouble with my ears on a flight but I was recovering from a head cold that time so it was a little expected. I didn't quite have a full blown cold when I got on the plane but by the time I landed back in Columbus, it was definitely a cold.

Anyways, I thought I was dying. It was some of the worst pain I've ever felt. I couldn't hear anything out of my left ear and my right ear was throbbing also. When I landed in Nashville, I called The Pilot thinking there was some magic pilot trick he knew. No such luck. Gum, swallowing, nose blowing, drinking....none of if worked. My ears wouldn't pop and it was excruciating. I was so close to just staying in Nashville. I didn't want to get back on that plane.

The ears didn't get much better until the next morning. I definitely had a cold but the pain in the ears eased up a little. The Pilot and I had a busy weekend so there was no rest of the weary. We took our "mini-moon" (I'll post about that later) and then had a family reunion to attend. By Sunday night, I was starting to feel worse and my ears started to hurt really bad again.

A trip to the doctor on Monday morning revealed that I did indeed perforate my right eardrum. And the left ear was infected. Boo. Antibiotics and some rest and I felt a little better....temporarily.

After some failed attempts to speak to someone with some medical training at the doctor's office on Friday and Saturday because it felt like my ears were getting worse, I spent the weekend feeling kinda crappy and exhausted. Again, no rest for the weary. The Columbus Marathon was on Sunday and I had to coach (post on that coming soon).

It turns out coaching and running around Columbus for about 21 miles was not what I needed. It was back to the doctors office for me on Monday morning. Even though it certainly doesn't feel like it, my right eardrum is healing well and the infection in my left ear is gone. So why am I still in so much pain? A sinus infection. More antibiotics and instructions to rest. I think maybe I should listen this time.

I realize that this is a graphically challenged blog post but when I googled "perforated eardrum", I about gagged at the images that came up. Ick.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sorry About That

I was in Tampa for work last week. When I checked in, I took a picture of the view from my room and sent it to The Pilot:

I got this in response:

Oops. It was beautiful in Tampa and The Pilot was stuck in rainy Bangor, Maine without internet for several hours. There isn't much worse than that when you are stuck in a random airport hotel. Obviously the life of a pilot is far from glamorous.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


The Columbus Marathon is this weekend. So is the Nike Women's Marathon out in San Francisco but this year I'll be staying on my home turf to coach the Columbus 1/2 and full marathon. Our local chapter of Team in Training has runners and walkers doing both races so the coaches divide and conquer. While I had an absolute blast coaching out in San Fran last year and lots of our local alumni are headed out for the race, I'm super excited to coach back in C-bus this year. These teams have raised buckets of money for blood cancer research and patient services and I cannot wait to share the total with week. :)

Our teams have been training for months, most of which were over the long, hot and humid summer but they toughed it out and made it! I'm so proud of all of them, especially when they all hit "The Big One." A couple weeks ago, we peaked out on the mileage and they are now tapering and resting up for race day. "The Big One" consisted of anywhere from 20 to 22 miles for the full marathoners and 10 to 12 miles for the 1/2 marathoners (I think I finished the day just shy of 13 miles). We lucked out and it ended up being a beautiful day. Lower humidity and temperatures were brought in just for "The Big One!"

Obviously I love Team in Training for all kinds of reasons but on this day, all of the reasons were wrapped up into one! Our amazing volunteers that help participants with their fundraising as well as some of the coaches and trainer all got together to hatch a plan to make the day of the longest mileage extra special.

The morning started off somewhat normal. Everyone gathered and we got started right around 8 am to go over announcements and the maps (it takes a little planning to make sure no one gets lost and gets in the correct distance). We headed out and the participants quickly realized it wasn't just a normal training day.

The volunteers pretty much painted the course purple and green! There were balloons everywhere. There were creepers amazing volunteers that came out to hide in the bushes take pictures as we walked and ran by. There were people cheering for us at the water stops! They had signs stuck in the ground to help motivate everyone to keep going.
Obviously this was my FAVORITE of all the signs:

Team hero, Parker and his family were out all morning with us. His aunts were running and his mom was helping with all of the decorations/snacks. That's Parker next to me with his brother , the "side hero!" One of my walkers, Mary Beth stopped long enough for a photo but she was at mile 10 already with 10 more to go!
There was a finish line for every single participant from the first to the last. This meant it was a 7+ hour day for many of the volunteers. I mean seriously, I am constantly amazed by the selfless people that I encounter just about every day through Team in Training. They inspire me to keep going. They inspire me to be a better person. They inspire me to stay involved so we can find a cure.

A lot of my walkers always worry that they are going to be last. And I always tell them they won't be last....because that's my job. The coaches are always at the end, making sure everyone succeeds and makes it to the finish line whether its in a race or at training.

Crossing the finish line with the other coaches and trainers.