Monday, May 31, 2010

And the winners are…

So it’s late. And it’s been a looooong weekend of planting flowers and bbqing among other things so I’ll get right to what you all have been waiting for. The winners of the tanks and tunes giveaway!

ONE MORE MILE SHIRT & ITUNES GIFT CARD: Cassi

ONE MORE MILE SHIRT: Journey2Goal

ONE MORE MILE CAR MAGNET: Andrea Tilley

ONE MORE MILE CAR MAGNET: Michele

ONE MORE MILE CAR MAGNET: Berryfine

ONE MORE MILE CAR MAGNET: Shannonsfoodruns

Congratulations! So you all head over to One More Mile and let me know what you’d like and I’ll be hunting you down soon to find out. And thanks to everybody who participated, I’ve got tons of new running blogs to go check out now (YAY!) and I’ll be posting them to my blog roll shortly for your perusing pleasure.

On a completely different note, I just finished the Become a Runner section, so if you’re a new runner be sure to check it out and if you’re a not so new runner, well, you head on over there too and make sure I didn’t forget anything or leave some words of encouragement to the newbies in the comments.

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day! May God bless our troops and their families.




'Til next time...


P.S. It’s been super crazy around here all week long and I’ve got TONS of stories I need to catch you all up on including: a return of the turkey duck (who turns out to be a prankster), mosquitoes that prey on the vulnerable, and getting my butt kicked by a 12 year old. Oh and I’m racing again this weekend, so I’m tapering fyi. Dexter-Ann Arbor Half Marathon.

P.P.S. My 4 year old would like you all to know that she chose the winners for the contest (randomly out of a big bowl of entries). Although, she is highly disappointed in the results. She of course expected to win despite the fact that she not only can not read a blog, but that her computer skills are limited pretty much to this diuytaehfiaheugahed98a7637tgqrgbdi3801y2hgr7tf8gtebw9qw83e498. So entering would have been difficult. But not to worry, I told her maybe she’d have better luck next time.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The run was a bust but there was a turkey duck so…

I’m calling it a wash. I mean really, how often do you get to see a turkey duck?

Ok ok….maybe I got a quick glance at it swimming on my long run last weekend, but it was near the end and if you will recall that run also stunk so I figured my eyes had deceived me. There was no denying it tonight though. That sucker was staring me down.

As far as the run goes, phflllt (which, if you are unfamiliar with that term, would be that sound you make when you stick out your tongue and blow. My daughter refers to it as the “fancy screwdriver” since she thinks it closely resembles the sound my husband’s power drill.) I should have known it was not meant to be when I went downstairs during my youngest daughter’s nap and the treadmill belt started slipping.

Apparently, my husband had noticed this earlier in the day on his run about halfway through and opted to finish outside. Unfortunately for me, I can’t just pick up and take off on a little run when the treadmill fails and leave my little ones to attend to themselves no matter how many times my 4 year old assures me she is a terrific mommy. But rather than give up without a fight, I did what moms do. I went into problem solving mode and improvised.

After a quick phone call, my parents agreed to watch the girls after we all went out to dinner with my grandma. Then, I’d go run some trails near their house. Jammin’. Run on again.

Only one problem I’d learn later on the way to dinner. We were going to a polish restaurant. Now personally, I’m a big fan of polish food. Put a little dollop of sour cream or add a side of sauerkraut on nearly any dish and that’s fine by me. But a lot of polish food happens to be fried and at least on my easily irritated while running stomach, fried is not the best choice of pre-run meal preparation.

So there I sat at the restaurant with my proud polish Grandma and Dad, staring at the menu. “Just get a salad,” my head kept telling me, but my heart was crying out for pierogis (fried dough stuffed with potatoes, cheese, or sauerkraut), potato pancakes (um…pancakes made out of potato, also fried) and naleshniki (pretty much like a crepe, stuffed with cheese-very polish, or with strawberries or apples-very unpolish, but mighty tasty and also of course fried).

I was weak. I rarely get authentic polish food and despite knowing it would certainly not be as tasty as my Grandma’s (which of course it was not), I passed on the salad and went for the good stuff.

Half an hour later I started my run. Tempo run. 5 miles @ 8:30 min/mile pace was the plan. The weather was nearly perfect. Overcast. Mid 60’s. Slight breeze. The first mile was sweet, just under 8:00. My legs felt terrific. But soon enough, just like my head had warned, those tasty polish delicacies attempted to make their reappearance. By mile 2, I was reduced to a walk, albeit a nice walk, on pristine trails with nothing but the wind through the leaves, the song of various birds, and the pitter pat of leftover rain drops falling from the trees.

It was near the end of this walk that Turkey Duck emerged from the woods. He (or she, I’ve got no idea) is big and jet black with a white head. And he’s got one of those things. You know what I’m talking about. One of those red jibbly jabbly things hanging from his neck (wattle…thanks Wikipedia). He must have spotted me first, because by the time I saw him, he was not moving. If I had been running by someone’s house rather than in the middle of the park, I would have thought he was some kind of statue. A big fake turkey duck lawn ornament. He just stood there motionless across the street that at that point was running parallel to the trail I was on as if he was thinking, “maybe, if I just don’t move, she won’t see me.” But I did and I watched him watching me as I passed. The only thing that moved was his head ever so slightly, turning to keep one of those eyes on the side of it on me.

But then as I passed his location, he started to dart out towards me. “Great.” I thought. “Not only did my run blow chunks (almost literally). I’m about to be mauled by a turkey duck. He’s probably protecting a nest or something. I wonder how fast this sucker can run. Or fly? Am I faster than a turkey duck?”

Fortunately, I didn’t have to find out. After his mini sprint, he stopped in the middle of the road and I just kept moving along. I’m sure I was a great boost to his ego. And am pretty certain, I could hear him chest bumping his fellow turkey duck bros after I passed by, “that’s right…keep moving girlie. Did y’all see how she just ran off as I charged. I didn’t even have to get near the trail. Wassup now runner girl?”

So yeah, the run was a bust but now you can answer that age old question. Turkey ducks do exist.


'Til next time...

P.S. Don’t worry turkey duck did eventually waddle his way out of the road.

P.P.S. I apologize for the lack of posts this week (and that the last two runs I’ve blogged about have been not so terrific. It happens but you certainly don’t always need to hear about it. I just had to make sure turkey duck got his props). I’ve been working all week on the Become a Runner section of the site. It’s pretty much finished, just want to go through all the info one more time before I post it. But you can be on the lookout for it this weekend.

P.P.P.S. One more week to get in your entries for the One More Mile shirt and Itunes gift card giveaway.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Are you kidding me?! I forgot AGAIN?!

Some running injuries are unavoidable. Say for instance…twisting your ankle on an unexpected out of nowhere pothole. While other injuries are a product of rookie mistakes like buying a running shoe that doesn’t fit properly because you didn’t realize your foot would expand while running and so therefore you should buy up at least one size thus leaving you with a footfull of blisters or perhaps even taking out a toenail or two after a couple of runs. Then, there are injuries that develop out of sheer and utter stupidness. And THAT my friends, I do believe aptly applies to what I’m dealing with following my long run this morning. 41CvSLVoj6L__AA300_

I, once again, forgot my body glide. (Body glide for those of you who are unfamiliar would be pretty much just exactly like what it sounds. It’s a wonderful little stick that looks similar to deodorant that you apply to wherever you happen to chaff on a run to prevent friction and make the body…glide).

Now, if I’d never dealt with these issues before, this would be perhaps excusable. But alas, not only have I dealt with and know the proper steps to avoid said stupid injury, but I have forgotten to apply body glide on more than one occasion on previous runs (perhaps most notably the case of delayed onset chaffing.) Furthermore, when I woke this morning I spent a good ten minutes looking for my body glide stick which I never was able to find. Finally, I just settled on a teeny tiny dinky little sample of body glide I got from an expo which, while I certainly appreciate the free goods, if you want to feel really silly try applying a miniature stick of body glide to a fairly large area, like my inner thighs (not mine, try your own) while it keeps falling out of the tube.

Anyhow, you’d think with all that to do about body glide this morning I would have actually remembered to PUT IT ON. Although technically, I did. At mile 8 of a 14 mile run when I began to feel the burning. And what do you do at that point? I mean, you’re out there after all, miles away from your car. You’re going to have to finish the run and you know with every single step it’s going to get worse. But really, what can you do?

Fortunately for me, dragging my cement block legs served as somewhat of a distraction for awhile. I just never ever really got loose today and was off pace about 30 seconds per mile. For a moment at about mile 6, I thought I was there. My legs finally realized what they were supposed to be doing. I could open up my stride a little bit. Then, bam! Another hill and my legs were toast. It was one of those runs where you just have to be grateful that you CAN even run because it certainly wasn’t what I’d call fun.

And the minute I stopped running, man oh man, I knew I was going to be paying for that forgetful no so little mistake later (um…yeah…totally am.) Pretty sure I was just a few more steps from literally breaking what can only be described as a friction burn wide open. I have never actually seen chaffing as swollen as this before before (and I’m tempted to continue to describe this terrific wound here, but it’s pretty sick so I’ll refrain).

Showering was a special kind of fun by the way. Salty sweaty water on raw skin. Fantastic. But the most brilliant idea of the day had to be when I opted to put a little lotion on it, you know, to ease the pain. (I can hear you shouting from in front of your computer screen “NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” but where were you this morning when I needed you hmm?)

Yes, yes I did actually put lotion on a fresh friction burn which I can only describe as frigggin’ awesome (in the sense that I rarely ever use the word awesome as is it is defined, but rather almost always sarcastically to mean the exact opposite of it’s accepted definition). Could probably only have been more painful if I applied it with a wire brush or added a little lemon.

So tonight I am opting for ice. Because you can almost never go wrong with ice. And lesson learned…never forget your body glide? Nope. I’m thinking…get a whole bunch of new LONGER running shorts. No glide necessary. Problem solved.

'Til next time...

P.S. In the meantime, if you need me, I'm the one walking funny trying to keep my inner thighs from touching while saying "ow ow ow ow ow" a lot.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The delicate art of shedding a layer during a race

Disclaimer: the brains behind this post belong to RunSis (my sister), after witnessing a major malfunction caused by a garbage bag at the Indianapolis half marathon this past weekend. I’m simply doing my part to pass along this cautionary tale to prevent similar misfortunes in the future.

Runners get hot when they run. This is pretty much common knowledge. That being the case, a good majority of runners will start a race with more clothes on then when they finish (at least during the cooler months) dropping a shirt, gloves, hat, or garbage bag somewhere along the course.

SIDE NOTE ON THE GARBAGE BAG REFERENCE: You will frequently find runners at the start of a race in less than optimal conditions wearing garbage bags with or without holes for arms depending on their preference and how long exactly they plan on wearing it. This is not because they are particularly fond of plasticlike apparel or that they are anticipating doing some trash pick up mid race. Garbage bags make cheap and efficient wind breakers/rain coats. They’re light, easy to toss off, and you’re generally not as attached to a garbage bag as you are say your long sleeved Applefest 5K t-Shirt from your first race no matter how ugly with it’s caramel colored slice of pie on puke green 100% cotton it might be. (Sorry…I’m still in shock that my sister tossed the shirt from her first race this weekend.)

Now, if you’re newer to running and/or racing. You might not be aware of the slight undressing that goes on in a race. Neither was I. In fact, at first I was a little put off by it. I mean, you’re just randomly leaving clothes by the side of the road and with some races numbering in the thousands of participants, that seemed like a whole lot of unwanted clothes lying around cluttering up the streets and awful lot like littering.

Until a runner friend let me in on a little bit of what I suppose could be considered runner urban legend, something I’m not entirely sure is true because I’ve never seen it officially documented anywhere on race websites (not that I’ve necessarily looked for it), but seems plausible enough in and of itself so that I could believe it to be true (since I don’t usually continue to find clothing strewn about on the street in the days after a race). And the legend is this: the clothing tossed off during a race is gathered up by some kind soul(s), cleaned up and donated to a homeless shelter. Needless to say perhaps, but this kind of changed my perspective on things. It almost became somewhat of a duty to toss something.

And I must admit, one of the coolest things about the Chicago marathon (in a race for me that was full of mostly uncool things), was the start when the gun fired and 40,000+ tossed off a layer. Pretty sweet sight to behold, all those shirts in the air.

But my sister’s experience this weekend was a little different. At the largest half marathon in the country, on a day when temps were mid 40’s and the wind was strong enough to push my 30 lb 1 year old (and a diaper bag of nearly similar weight) in her stroller unaided (really, it did), there was certainly layers to be shed. But it nearly spelled disaster for my sister on mile 1 who was running behind one poor unsuspecting lady when a garbage bag being tossed off by another runner wound precariously around that lady’s feet and sent her tumbling hard to the ground. My sister managed to dodge the tumble and the lady after untangling her feet, picking herself up and dusting herself off seemed to be ok, but can you just imagine what kind of havoc that little act of tossing a garbage bag could have reeked?

Thousands of runners packed in tightly at the start and one runaway garbage bag causes a catastrophic runner pile up. Even as it was wiping out only one lady, imagine for a second if that one lady was you. All the hard work it took to get there and you’re out on mile one injured from your fall, smacking your head on a curb, or stampeded by the crowd. At the very least, you’ve got to take a little blow to your confidence and certainly your finishing time kicking off your race that way.

And what of Mr. Garbage bag tosser? He’s a hit and run without even a glance back to see the severity of the damage caused. Probably does not even know there’s been any. After all, there could have been a PR on the line. COME ON PEOPLE! We’re better than that. We’ve got to look out for our fellow runner and use just a little bit of common sense.

So what I propose is this:

1. If at all possible (though it not always is) toss before the race begins. There’s no danger of tripping a runner who isn’t running.

2. When you need to toss during the race, weave your way to the side and toss out of the running area where your tossed article of clothing will not interfere with the race.

3. In the case of garbage bag tossing, try to bunch that bag up into a little ball and toss low to the side (out of the running area) so that the wind doesn’t scoop it up and send it flying into someone.

4. If you see someone take a fall, for crying out loud, find out if they’re ok. It’ll probably only take a few seconds, “hey are you ok?” And I know it’s hard to believe but your PR will wait for another day. Someone who’s seriously injured might not be able to.

There’s enough hazards out there for runners, let’s not let each other be another one. Otherwise, you never know when that next stray garbage bag might find your feet. Think before you throw.


'Til next time...

P.S. Did you enter my drawing yet for a free running shirt & Itunes gift card? It's simple. Click here for details.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Tanks & Tunes Giveaway

So surprise! You have in fact come to the right place. We’ve just had ourselves a little makeover from Krizzy Designs. Didn’t Krystyn do a terrific job? If any of you bloggers out there are sick of looking at that boring old blogger template like I was, you’ve GOT to check her out. She’s so easy to work with, remarkably talented in the creativity department, quick and efficient and she’ll build a blog template that uniquely suits you. She also does business cards, invitation designs, and graphics for websites. So be sure to check her out!

Now I realize we have a giveaway to get to but, first things first:

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

Enjoy every minute of it you mamma’s out there! You deserve it!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Grand Prize: One winner will receive a free performance wicking tank from my FAVORITE online running apparel store One More Mile (they’re at all the big expo’s with the funny running shirts like: “Does this shirt make my butt look fast?,” “In my mind I’m a Kenyan,” “This seemed like a good idea 3 months ago,” “Will run for chocolate,” and many more. Just go look at their website. They’re awesome.) AND the grand prize winner will also win a $15 gift card to Itunes.

Runner Ups: One runner up will also win a free shirt of their choice and 4 additional winners will each receive a car magnet of their choice from One More Mile.

How to participate: To enter the drawing you only have to do one thing. Become a follower of this blog. Leave me a comment once you do so and you’re in the drawing. Easy peesy lemony squeezy my daughter would say. If you already are a follower, no worries. You’re in too. Leave me a comment and let me know you’ve been following along already so I know you want to participate. (Note: following anonymously doesn’t count. You must have a screen name to participate in the contest. Otherwise, I’d have to announce the winner as anonymous and I’m no rocket scientist, but I don’t think that will work). You do NOT have to be a running mom, a mom or even a woman to win. You just have to want to win something period. (Am I the only one who thinks it's weird to put a period after wrtiting the word period?)

Want to increase your chances of winning something? Here’s some ways to earn additional entries in the drawing:

Follow me on Twitter – 1 entry

Tweet about this contest – 1 entry

Become a Fan of this blog on Facebook – 1 entry

Suggest my FB page to your friends – 1 entry

Add me as a friend on the Daily Mile – 1 entry

Add this blog to your blog roll – 1 entry

Mention this contest in a blog post– 1 entry

Email me (runfastmommy@gmail.com) something funny I can add to the new Grins & Giggle section I’m creating (jokes, video, pictures, one liners from your kids, whatever but keep it family friendly) – 1 entry

Make a donation of any size to the Make-A-Wish Foundation on my active giving page by clicking here –1 entry

Be sure to leave me a comment about each of these things once you’ve done them. If you already are a Twitter follower, Daily Mile Friend, Facebook Fan or I’m on your blog roll, that counts. Just let me know. The contest will end at 11:59:59PM on May 30th. I’ll announce the winner on Memorial Day, May 31st.

GOOD LUCK!


'Til next time...


P.S. Congrats to RunSis on her PR at the Indianapolis 1/2 Marathon Yesterday. She broke it by a couple of minutes despite the gale force winds smacking her in the face. Congrats also to my brother in law, on a stellar performance for his first half. You both rock!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A picture’s worth a thousand words: The Willow Duathlon Relay

Willow Duathalon 010 So maybe I should have used a few less on that last post eh? That was one loooooooooong post. I don’t even know if I would have read that whole thing. Sorry about all that. For those of you who’d like the abbreviated more picturesque version, this posts for you. Here’s the shorter version of our big win. Although I won’t be recapping the whole entire controversy surrounding our win, you do actually have to read the long post for that. Otherwise, enjoy!

Willow Duathalon 001

Insert Rocky Theme here as we make our entry

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Stupid bib pins. I’m faking that smile.

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On our way to rack our back at the transition area. Um…what is it exactly we are supposed to be doing here?

Willow Duathalon 007

Not sure. But we asked this dude who was looking at us kind of funny. He said, “I have no idea either.” We laughed (see us laughing) and my dad said, “Oh is this your first time too?” Reasonable assumption right? His reply: “No.” Then continued to stare at us. Um…ok.

Willow Duathalon 008

Plotting our transition and what exactly we’ll be doing with that ankle strap.

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Just putting this one in here because I want you all to note the extraordinary reflective powers of my dad’s jacket. You will never ever miss him on the bike. His coat was designed by angels.

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See me there #187. Please note that I would be the only female in the bunch. I am just that fast. I mean look at that one dude’s arm. Ok technically you can’t see him because he’s hidden by #94, but just look at that arm! And where am I? Oh yes, right behind his royal highness, King Superfit. Ok either that or maybe there just needs to be way more women participating. Come on ladies!!!

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That would be my dad indicating to our loyal support crew the exact number of relay teams we are competing against.

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My dad looking focused and determined getting ready for his leg.

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Transition #1. Please note the lady in Red waiting with her bike watching. That would be Team Ray (dun dun duuuuuuuun…..) 5K Run #1 24:40 (a PR),

Transition #1 0:23

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Dad on the bike just getting cranked up.

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THIS is what I did in between runs. I raced my daughter. She won. Are you shocked?

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Almost finished with his leg. 20K in 38:36. He had estimated between 40-45minutes. Transition #2 was 0:24.

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Me about to pass that dude. I have no sympathy even if he did just bike 12 miles. I had a team to beat.

Willow Duathalon 056 Sprinting to the finish. Well at least I’d like to think I was sprinting, but that might be a stretch. 5K Run #2 25:15 (would have been a pr if I had not just pr’d :-) It was a good day.)

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Victory hug. Finishing time 1:29:15

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Chloe rocking out at the finish on her “stage” and cheering the runners to the finish line.

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A victory dance with my baby because I’m pretty sure we just won.

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Papa’s turn.

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Yep. VICTORY!

‘Til next time…

P.S. Giveaway is coming! Be sure to check this blog on Mother’s Day for the details and a little surprise :-) As a matter of fact, you might not hear from me until Mother’s Day. I’ve got some work to do to get this little surprise in order. Sorry no hints. You’ll have to come and see for yourself.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Apparently...we DU not exist

So the Willow Duatholon (ahhh...Duathlon. Why can I not spell that word to save my life?) was yesterday. 5K Run 20K Bike 5K Run. My Dad and I teamed up to form a relay. On a Whim was our name since that's pretty much how we decided to do it. I was the legs. He was the wheels. Together we were the equivalent of one mean green ferocious duathlete.

Really, I wasn't too nervous about the event in the days leading up to it. I figured I could handle two 5K's considering the mileage I'm putting in right now. At least, I didn't think I was nervous until Friday when I lay awake all night thinking about how I really know nothing about duathlons, transition areas, body marking, ankle timing chips, etc. It was a USAT event, which basically means there's all kinds of rules that apply and even though I'd read through them a couple of times, I had this sinking feeling that I'd missed something and we'd get disqualified for something stupid like not entering the transition area in the exact precise correct way thus blocking the flow of traffic and getting in the way of some hard core athlete who would surely plow us over creating a terrific hazard and making it difficult if not impossible for the rest of the field to get through effectively ruining the entire event in the process. A stretch? Yes. But these were my fears nonetheless.

No worries though, because once we arrived at the race in the morning I was pretty sure we'd be disqualified before I even set foot at the starting line.

For starters, before we could pick up our race packets, we had to buy a one day USAT membership. No big deal. This we knew. But unfortunately, it didn't seem that the race officials knew about us. My name wasn't on the list and neither was my dad's. "Did you register online?" "Can you spell your name again?" "Collins...does that start with a K or a C?" "Ok how about his name?" "Can you spell that again?" Finally, this poor race volunteer just called over this other lady who hence to fore will be known as "The One Who Knows" or "The One" for short since she seemed to know everything about everything there was to know.

"Only one person's name is on the list for relays." She told Volunteerman A and then went on to explain that participants who signed up online did not need to sign a waiver. They already agreed to it online. While she did so, I took the liberty of peering over onto the participant sheet myself and finding my dad's name. **WHEW** We were in. Crisis averted. Since we had mailed our entry in, I reached for a form to sign considering I had just listened to the whole discussion about who signs and who doesn't, but was stopped short and told I didn't need to. Come again? I just heard you say I did. "You signed up online. You're all set." The One confirmed as she headed over to another table. "But we didn't," I tried to explain, but an antsy group of soon to be one day USAT members had waited long enough and we're beginning to growl things like "just give the money and move." So move we did since The One had anointed us and Race Volunteerman A just smiled blankly.

On to packet pick up, where we learned not only that we should have been stamped at the USAT table to indicate our new albeit temporary membership which hadn't been in the commotion, but also that id's were being checked before packets handed out which neither of us brought. However, just as panic began to set in, a fortunate turn of events occurred. The bib number we were assigned was missing so with the ensuing confusion surrounding the bib, nobody seemed to care too much about our ids. The One came back over to save the day assigning us a new bib, #187 (make a mental note of this number), and just never really addressed the what am I supposed to do if they forgot their license question from Race Volunteerman B. So now with bibs and pins in hand (say it with me now: STICK Y BIBS! STICK Y BIBS!) we moved on.

Next was chip pick up where friendly Race Volunteerman A, who was apparently working double duty, equipped us with an ankle strap and timing chip #187 and astutely noted this was our first time. I'm thinking it was when I asked him if the ankle strap we put the timing chip on went on your ankle that tipped him off. Just a guess though.

So, despite the fact that neither of us showed id or signed a USAT form and I kept waiting for some really official looking person to run over and tackle me shouting something about a lack of appropriate documents or being improperly vetted, we managed our way to the start curious to find out whether or not there were any other relay teams (this was only the 2nd year for a relay and the previous year there were only two teams) and to find out what else exactly we should be doing.

We somehow managed to muddle our way through racking my Dad's bike (more on this later) and then I headed off for a 1 mile warmup to plan my attack on those two 5K's and also because I was planning on hauling a$$ on that first one to see what kind of time I could post. Then after a short meeting about the course, I was off and running still not knowing if we had any competition and hoping we'd get the transition done right. It was a nice flat course on the road which was very very wet from the thunderstorms that had threatened to cancel the event earlier that morning, but it was running on home turf for me, one of the metroparks I frequent, and I loved every minute of it.

Running into the first transition was downhill at the top of which, I spotted her. Right next to my dad, was another lady standing next to her bike. We officially had competition (dun dun duuuuuuuun.....). There was at least one other relay team.

I ran in, peeled that chip off my ankle and strapped it onto my dad's as quickly as I could. As he took off, I left the transition area to catch myself a quick potty break, which btw had been cleaned again since I started which was kind of cool, (it's the little things that amuse me) and my sister immediately reported that we had no other competition. Just the one lone relay, Team Ray was challenging us for a first place finish. I kept a close eye on Team Ray's biker to see when she left and just how far ahead we were. About six minutes after I came in, their runner came in. We were looking good.

Now at this point I was pretty stoked, estimating that if we both ran fairly similar times on the next run that would give our team a substantial lead so unless Team Ray had some kind of phenom on the bike, my Dad and I were going to not only complete but WIN our first event together. Then when my Dad came into the second transition well ahead of his swiftest prediction, I figured that had all but sealed the deal. Team Ray's runner was still sitting tight in the back of her car like a tailgater just outside the transition area waiting for her partner to come in and watched me take off. We were in tip top shape. There was no way she was gonna catch me on that 2nd run, unless she was SERIOUSLY sandbagging on the first.

Run #2 for me, went far better than I expected. Although I'll admit I felt a little loopy at the start, it'd been a long time since I had anything to eat and since my dad surprised me coming in faster than he predicted, I don't think my gel had kicked in yet. Still I lost less than a minute off my first 5K pace and the first mile which I expected to run at about 9:30 minutes, I ran in 8:30. Miles 2 and 3 were progressively faster and I finished strong.

Needless to say perhaps, but when the race ended, we stuck around to hear the results. After the overalls, age groups, Athenas and Clydesdales were all announced. The very last award was handed out to the top relay team. "First place relay team," announcerman said over the loudspeaker while my Dad and I looked at each other beaming, "Team Ray with a time of 1:41:22"...applause, applause.

I proceeded immediately to begin adding in my head. "There's no way." I said to my Dad amid his "WHATS?" as Team Ray jumped up cheering and ran forward to claim their plaque. Now I'm no math major and that's probably an understatement, but 25+25+40 does NOT equal +1:41. So I jogged back up to the results posted on a wooden easel near the refreshments, squeezed my way in amongst the small crowd and ran my finger down the bib #'s looking for ours only to discover....it wasn't there. I spun around to my Dad to tell him and as fate would have it, guess who happened to be walking (very quickly) by on her way to the 3Discplines RV. That's right. The One. Who happened to be the only one, I wanted to talk to at that point.

I began chasing her down, apologizing because I knew she was busy and explaining our scenario as she continued her hustle. "Yeah, I wondered what happened to you guys since I had worked with you. But I just figured you guys didn't finish," was her reply (ok absolutely no offense was taken at the didn't finish remark since we DID completely look like we had NO idea what we were doing there. We did after all call ourselves On A Whim. I'd have thought the same thing if I were in her shoes). "So does this mean our chip malfunctioned or something?" I ask. "Well, it could have. But in the 9 years we've been doing this, that rarely happens. Where did you wear it at?" She replied. But we all know already, I'd determined the appropriate extremity for the ankle strap so that couldn't have been the problem. For a minute, I thought she was going to just walk away and that was the end of it. The thought of just going home crossed my mind, but my Dad and I both really wanted to know what our official times were not just my rough Target watch estimate and gosh darn it we paid our money just like everybody else and if we won our group we deserved that plaque even if it was only beating out one other team. So I stood my ground waiting for an answer. (Later I'd learn where exactly THAT competitive bone came from, as the last words my mom said to my dad (in my "DON'T TOUCH MY BIB PINS!" voice)as she took my fidgety girls who had waited around far longer than they were capable of out to the car was "DON'T YOU LEAVE HERE WITHOUT YOUR AWARD!" She looks all sweet and just hurray for participation, but don't let that fool you. She's harboring a tiger on the inside).

"You know. I'm pretty sure we won too." I told The One. "I finished my run a good 6 minutes before the other team." "Really." She replied with a sigh. "Hold on just a minute then, I'll check the tapes." She told us. I was thoroughly impressed that I had just competed in an event that had tapes. That's right, you go on and check those tapes I thought.

So while everyone else headed home, my Dad and I had a seat on a curb with another friendly pair from Ferndale who were awaiting some results of their own, well at least one of them was. Apparently his chip failed to record his last run and he, like anybody else would, really wanted to know how he finished. We joked about what had happened, talked wet suits, plotted my blog title, and re-added our best guesses on our times to just re-confirm that we weren't crazy. Upon doing so, I got to have my ego stroked a little from Mr. Ferndale, about my run times. "You beat me," he said at which point I felt obligated to remind him that I did not bike 12.4 miles in between runs. In fact had I, the likelihood that I would have even run that 2nd 5K would have been significantly reduced. I'm not so good on bikes. I run into things. Things like parked cars. Really. Ask my husband.

Mr. Ferndale's missing time was rescued by another race volunteerman not too long after. But Race Volunteerman C knew nothing about what was going on with our missing time. So as Mr. & Ms. Ferndale headed off, my dad and I continued to wait until finally The One reappeared with a little plastic box in hand. She squatted down next to us and showed us her little box full of timing chips in little compartments. "Did a volunteer give you your chip?" She asked. "Yes," I said "the guy..." "From the USAT table," she finished. I shook my head yes and she pointed to her box at the chip marked #176. "I thought so because I still have your chip," The One said which caused my heart to beat a little faster because (retrieve your mental notes here)...we had chip #187! I reminded her of the switch and was ready to rip off my long sleeved pull over to flash her my bib that I was still wearing, but it wasn't necessary. She remembered on her own. "OH! That's right. This is easy to fix." She said. "I'll be right back."

And when she came back, she came back smiling with two official time printoffs and two plaques because she did find our time and WE WON!! After an apology, The One told us even though they had marked the switch on the sheet, she had forgotten about it. We of course were just thankful she was willing to take the time and go to the extra trouble when she easily could have blown us off as a couple of rookies who made some silly mistake.

Here's our official time:
Run 1 (5K)- 24:40 gun start (No mat for the timing chip at the start. Still this was my fastest 5K ever. Previous PR was 27:13, this was 3 years ago, the last time I ran a 5K)
Transition 1- 0:23
Bike (20K)- 38:36 (he thought he would finish sometime between 40-45 minutes. Way to go Pop!)
Transition 2- 0:24
Run 2- 25:14
Finishing Time- 1:29:15

And just in case you'd like to see how much we smoked our competition (or maybe if you don't believe we actually participated and you think I made up this whole elaborate story) click here for the official results link.

So as usual there's more to say on this and of course, pictures! But since this is even longer than the Martian 1/2 Marathon post. I'll give you all a break and fill you in on the rest of the details tomorrow.

'Til next time...

P.S. Whassup Ferndale?! I know y'all stumbled on over here to hear how the results turned out. Hope we bump into you both at another event sometime this summer. And I was kicking myself for not having wished you both best of luck on the rest of your races this season. So good luck! May your timing chips never fail! Stop by anytime :-)