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So, Brian and I left the house on 10/24/2014 at 5:45 in the morning. I had pretty much packed the truck up the night before except for our bags and the food. As I have done for many of the road trips, I packed a cooler full of food so that our stops are fuel and potty breaks only. I had an assortment of good prerace food and some good stuff for Brian too. Our trip out was pretty uneventful and we got the conference center in Florence, Alabama and I collected my race packet. As always we loaded ourselves into the hotel and realized that we were just a short distance from the start and near lots of places to eat and drink. We settled our stuff in, we are great at this now as we have done it so much that it takes us about 10 minutes to make ourselves at home! A good prerace meal was needed so we headed out the Texas Roadhouse and had some meat and sweet potatoes and 1 beer. We walked through a couple of stores and did a little window shopping on the way back to the hotel and then returned to veg in front of mindless TV and get ready for the race. The race was an 8 am start so I got up at 6 and did my thing, finally waking Brian at about 6:45 and we were on our way by 7 and at the start at 7:15. I did my usual bathroom, bathroom, bathroom, ate my Larabar and stretched for a good long while. I had been plagued with some plantar fasciitis in my L foot for about a month before this race, and, though it only bothered me for about 24 hours after my long runs, I was aware of soreness there that morning. At 8am sharp we were off. It was a beautiful day, about 60 at the start and going to be closer to 70 at the end. The course had some hills, but it wasn’t super hilly. At one point we ran through a pine forest, God that smelled so good! I usually have L foot pain for the first mile of a run and then it eases and I don’t notice it much more, but I had it and it kept on and it actually got so bad at mile 5 that I was limping. I stopped to stretch it, realized how sore it was to even walk and called Brian to let him know that I was struggling and that I was going to finish, but saw no need for speed and was opting to take it slow and not tear it up worse in the remaining 8 miles would. He agreed and I started up again at a much slower pace. I made two goals for myself right then: 1 – I was going to finish, and 2 – I wasn’t going to cry. It was extremely painful and the last 3 miles were horrendous but I finished and got my ribbon and another state done, and, no, I didn’t cry! You know, there is a whole race happening behind me! I usually run as fast as I physically can, I run at a pace where I am out of breath and going to die if I run any faster. For this part of Alabama, I was running with the housewives, the fun runners, the old guys, the little kids and the fat people just there to do something better for themselves. These “back of the pack” runners are talking, laughing, joking and exchanging emails and recipes; this was all a fantastic distraction! Those “fun runners” have no idea how much they helped me get through that race! It’s so much fun back there that I might just run slowly more often. I made Brian take me to the first aid tent and the trainer, his name was Wes, decided that I may have both plantar fasciitis and a fractured heel. He strapped an ice pack on my foot and Brian piggybacked me down to the food where I ate hardy. The bad thing about running slowly is that I have a lot of time to think about how hungry I am!!! Another state done, I was 9 of 21 in the 50-54 AG, 105 of 240 women, 265 or 449 overall runners with a pace of 9:59. I have since been to the podiatrist and it is not broken, but really-super-inflamed plantar fasciitis. The good news is that I finished Alabama…the even better news is that I had already built in November and December off from racing so I will have plenty of time to rehab my foot. Next state…sometime in January…stay tuned…

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