Monday, March 18, 2013

VIrtual Running Date No. 2

Good morning Crushers!

It's time to lace up your running shoes (or slippers - I don't know where you're reading this), make sure you have enough layers on (it's snowing again), and head out the door for a virtual jog with me!

As you know, Steve and I are training for a half marathon. I feel like I've been a little slower than normal and I don't know if that's from dodging potholes, puddles and ice or if I'm just actually slower than last summer. An easy way for me to pick up the pace is to do a race of some kind to help stay motivated and to get an official race time. Using Map My Run on my phone is all well and good, but a timed race always seems to help me get a move on!

We signed up to run the Lucky Leprechaun 7K to benefit the MACC Fund (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer, Inc.) The MACC Fund is dedicated to childhood cancer and related blood disorder research. It's an amazing organization that I'm glad to say I helped, even if I did get a race, a t-shirt and a green beer out of the deal. Anyway, back to running...
This is the post-race picture.
I did not run with green beads on - they handed them to you at the finish line.

This race was really well done for it's inaugural race. Thanks to great sponsors including my favorite running store, Performance Running Outfitters, the course was challenging (with one large hill) and scenic, the t-shirts are cute, the post-race celebration was well done, the website and course director were helpful and the chip-timing is always nice to have. The only thing I didn't like was that a) my shoe came untied, but they can't help that and b) parts of the course were very narrow, so I felt like I had to keep my elbows really close to my body otherwise I'd knock someone over.

On the plus side, we both felt really good about our race times. Steve finished in 42:51 and I finished in 46:55. A 7K race is equal to about 4.35 miles, so that was about a 10-11 minute mile pace for me. I would like to say that stopping to tie my shoe cost me a whole minute, but in reality it was probably only like 30 seconds. Oh well!

In addition to running a half marathon and traveling to Australia, I would tell you about how we're trying to sell our house while we ran. We are hoping that with a home and garden show going on at the local Expo Center, people will be inspired by what they saw and our cute little house to buy it. Or at least walk through it. Please! We aren't exactly in a hurry to move, but it would be nice to be settled in a new house by the time Steve starts teaching school next year.

He is great at painting, so it would be nice for him to paint without me in the way (I spill) over summer. Plus, he could have windows open in the nice weather! No one likes to be in a stuffy room without ventilation when painting. Or maybe you do; I don't know.

Remember how I told you about the charity dinner auction on our last virtual running date? I promised to report back on the meal. The dinner food was very good, but it was the passed appetizers that were a really fun addition to the NYC-themed event. Mini reuben sandwiches, mini New York style hot dogs, Buffalo chicken tarts with a sprig of celery and pretzels on a stick with cheese were all very fun! They even had skewers with a bit of New York strip steak and red skin potatoes. Delightful! Unfortunately, the dessert was kind of disappointing. Each of us was served a shot-glass sized portion of "New York Cheesecake" that tasted more like a no-bake cheesecake with a dusting of graham cracker bits and a black and white cookie. The cookie was better than the cheesecake!

If we were running together, I might also tell you about this fabulous book that I read called "Nothing Daunted" by Dorothy Wickenden. It's a story of how two society girls from the East Coast headed to teach children in a rural mountain school in 1916. Not only was I caught up in the bravery of these two women to just head out to tackle a challenge, but I was also amazed by how hard kids worked to get to school. Some of them skied for miles in raggedy clothes just to go to school. When I look at teenagers at the mall complaining about their smart phone or at some of the sassy kids from the inner-city school where Steve teaches, I think, "I don't know if you would ever go to those lengths to learn." What passion these kids and families had for learning!

What are you reading? Have you done any races? What would you tell me if we were running buddies? Let me know in the comments!

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