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On a sad note, Brian’s Dad passed away of complications of Alzheimer’s Disease on 04/10/2014, so, though I had signed up for my Arkansas race (to be run on 04/12), we didn’t go and I will do it later in the year.

Brian and I are getting into the longer rides in the car to go to these races and this one was going to be 10 hours minimum, so I downloaded a book on my IPad that I could read aloud to Brian (you know, with accents and voices and everything). Well, we got up super early in the morning on 05/02/2014 and hit the road by 4:39 am. And…what seemed like 30 minutes later…we were in Buffalo picking up my race packet for the run on Grand Island, New York. The book made the 10 hour ride fly and I really got a chance to work on my Scottish accent. We have started reading the first in a seven book series called, “The Outlanders”. So far, five stars!!! So we picked up the race packet and stopped at REEEEEED ROBBBINN, YUM!!! for dinner. It was great, because it was my usual, bonsai burger with a side of steamed broccoli. Fantastic pre-race meal and the other thing that was great about the book is that it distracted me from the, day before the run, jitters that I always have! Grand Island is a little island that lay between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. It is about 20 minutes south and a little East of Niagara Falls. We had made a reservation on the island for a little flea bag motel that got 2 stars, YIKES!!! After our dinner we stopped at a liquor store for reinforcements and headed to the motel. The attendant at the motel couldn’t have been nicer and actually gave us our choice of 2 queens or 1 for the same price. So we took the 2 queens so that Brian could sleep crosswise on the bed and I could get a comfortable night’s sleep before the race. We headed off to Beaver Island State Park, on the southern end of the island to see where it was and drive the route if possible. It wasn’t marked but we pretty much figured out where I’d be starting and ending, so it was all good! We then went to Walgreen’s to get snacks for the next morning, went out for a couple of beers and back to the hotel for rest. I got up at about 7 am, the race wasn’t until 9 am, so I had plenty of time. I got cleaned up and dressed in long sleeves and long pants because, though it was 45 degrees, there was a pretty stiff wind and we had noticed that there were chunks, large chunks, of ice floating in the Niagara River, the running path was along the river, I figured the breeze off the water might be chilly. As usual we had plenty of time to get there and I was stretching and it started to rain, lightly at first and then harder as we got closer to the start gun. I kissed my crew goodbye and got lined up and we were off. Brian always films with the GoPro at the beginning and end of the race, sometimes the middle if it is a double loop but this was a largely flat, out and back race so I distract myself from the jitters by looking for him and waving to my adoring fan!!! I ran, and ran and ran and it was no problem. I have a good training regimen and good music and I was just starting to think that I had over dressed as I was starting to get hot with my clear glasses fogging up, which I took off and held in my hand. Then we hit the turn around and I turned into a pretty stiff wind that thankfully cooled me off and I put back on my glasses and kept on running. I didn’t stop at all and I came in at 1:57:36, 158 of 377 overall racers, 46 of 182 females and 4 of 14 women in my age class, 50-54, with a pace of 8:59. They gave prizes for the first 3 spots (missed it by this much) but it was super fun and that is 15 states done!!! Brian and I went back to the motel, which was no frills, but perfectly clean and located conveniently for us. We went off to get some food and continued on to Niagara Falls, Canada. We had heard that the Canadian side was better. We crossed over, meandered our way to the area, found a parking lot and walked down to take a look. It was so misty and foggy and drizzling so it was hard to see the falls at first then it cleared up and we were able to see them and take pictures. We did a fun little pub crawl and got some food and met a couple from Canada, got invited to their wedding in Punta Cana. The invitation came from the slightly over-served bride to be and her husband to be was rolling his eyes, but for us it was pretty funny. We found a nice place to have a good piece of Salmon and Brian and I decided that it might just be okay for us to get married one day. Then we got back to the truck and had a flat tire, which we changed in short order and headed back to the island. The next day we got up and fueled up and had to find air to check the tire and did that. Heading home we found that the ride home was a little longer than the ride out and I read for the better part of 10 hours until my voice gave out a couple miles from home. Another fun weekend!!! Next, West Virginia in five weeks!

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