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I have been really worried about this race because I have had back pain in the lumbar spine for the last 3 races and it really isn’t that fun to run with back pain. I left my office on Wednesday after I saw the last patient and somehow made it to the airport (Midway…boooo) in time to catch my flight. My bestie, Jenn was taking a trip out to Connecticut for work and we decided to take a trip together, roll a race into it and visit my other bestie Jan in Massachusetts. This was the planes, trains and automobiles race (like NOLA). So, we drove to Midway (lots of traffic), parked, took a bus, didn’t wait AT ALL at the TSA (but Jenn always has to be patted down – it’s the shifty eyes) and waited for the plane before us to get out of the way. Our flight was delayed about 40 minutes, we finally got to LaGuardia, then took another bus to rental car lot, got our rental and drove to Shelton, Ct to the hotel across the street from Jenn's office and when it was all said and done…we left my office at 5pm on 05/18 and arrived at the hotel on 2am 05/19. See!?! This is why I drive! Jenn got up and got showered, I just pulled on clothes and we went downstairs and I bought her Starbucks…for bringing me along on her trip! I relaxed in the hotel and packed and went down and hung out at Starbucks ate some mixed fruit and stretched and relaxing as much as my sore back would allow. Jenn, and her friend from work, Geoff, came over and picked me up and we had FANTASTIC salads for lunch and they dropped me at a Starbucks down the road on their way back to work. I hung out there and got bored and started walking and window shopping and ended up walking over 3 miles, but my back was feeling better from it, so I kept going. I stretched more and Jenn picked me up and we headed to Jan’s house, almost 2 hours away in Massachusetts on a pond. We arrived at her AMAZING house that she is still building and we visited and finally ate, dinner at 9pm. The visiting delayed our dinner, but it was pork tenderloin with fiddleheads and ramps, so good!!! Jenn and I got up at o’dark’thirty and headed out to the race at 4am, got to Westfield Massachusetts at about 5am and tried to figure out what we were doing. They didn’t have the bathrooms open and had one port-a-let that someone (the inconsiderate girl in front of me) destroyed so Jenn and I set out in this beautiful park (Stanley Park – named for Stanley Tools Inventor) and found two beautiful port-o-lets and took care of our business. Much better!!! I ate an apple back at Jan’s, larabar at 5:30, a gel at 5:45 and set out for the race at 6am on the nose. It went like, this, one short loop and seven long loops through the park for the race. I felt bad for the marathon people; they had to keep track of 14 loops, yikes! I did the short loop, almost did two then set off on the long loop. 1st lap, no problem, the end of the second lap, some back pain on the L, about a 3, went away during the 3rd lap. The scenery was beautiful, I got lost in the music in my ears and watching the birds and squirrels. Jenn kept popping up here and there during the laps to say, Heh!!! I took a gel at about 5 miles, another at about 8, should have taken one at 10miles, but just didn’t feel like it and it was over, I said something about finishing 31, ½ marathons when I crossed the finish line, it may have been laced with adults only language, I don’t remember, I don’t care. 31 – Massachusetts – DONE!!! And most importantly…very little to no back pain for the majority of the race! THE QUEST IS BACK ON IN FULL STRENGTH!!! My protocol of stretching daily, abdominal exercises daily and inversion daily while taking a 3 week break from running (I am doing other cardio, so I don’t cough up a lung during a race) is obviously working! I have decided to continue the above protocol for an additional month, to let it really heal and that gives me 8 weeks to train up for Durango, Colorado. It was a very good day! Jenn, Jan and I spent the rest of the weekend walking, talking, kayaking, eating, drinking, taking videos of her beautiful house and, most importantly, just relaxing by the fire. It was great!!! Oh wait, my results…2:02:25, 9:20/mile, 10 of 27 overall, 6 of 17 women, 1st in my AG 50-54. I’ll take it!!! Next race, August, Colorado.

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