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I had been looking soooo forward to this race for so many reasons…first, running with my sister, Peggy… second, running in the cold is just easier on me because I have such a low sweat point and three, running a fairly level course that has a reputation for having a good fun loving crowd!!! I had been struggling to train as I have been plagued with right greater trochanteric bursitis (in layman’s terms…sore right hip) but I had an injection in it a month before the race and it was feeling pretty good, until about 3 weeks before the race when I stepped on a stick that was buried under a pile of leaves and twisted my left ankle and re-injured my right hip at the first mile of a 10 mile emergency run!!! What is an emergency run? That is a semi long run that comes up because my dog, Trixie, is acting like the devil and really needs it!!! I was so bummed when I twisted my ankle, I have never done that before, ever…in my whole life! It was so sore I couldn’t continue and limped back to my truck with a fairly disappointed dog to boot! I coddled that right ankle and only ran once in 3 weeks, using my spin bike for cardio instead. I’ll admit, I hit the spin bike hard to keep my wind up…I was hoping that muscle memory would get me through the race (33 under your belt in 3 1/2 years does give you something to fall back on).

The day before the race, Brian and I flew out of Midway Airport at about 1:30 in the afternoon and were at BWI at 4:20pm. We grabbed a snack as we knew that Peggy and her number 2 son, Kyle, weren’t going to be at the airport for at least an hour. Kyle is a teacher and had to work until 4:15 and then pick up his Mom and get to the airport. We went down to baggage claim and there sat my bag, but Brian’s was MIA…we checked at the baggage check point and found it…how do I put this…remember the Samsonite commercial with the gorilla? Worse… Apparently the bag had fallen off the baggage trailer and the handle had caught and it got drug across the tarmack at 60 miles an hour for long enough to break the handle and wear holes in the duffle was practically smoking when we saw it. It was hysterical!!! There were a few items that were not salvageable, but the GoPro, the glass bottle for his cologne and Vitamins were intact, somehow!!! We dealt with a Southwest Airlines employee that thought my husband was the bomb, because he could laugh at the whole thing instead of taking out frustration on her like many before him had! We were given a new bag and compensated for the destroyed items and soon, after that Peggy and Kyle showed up and we headed out to Rehoboth Beach stopping to buy a GoPro cable (casualty) and Subway for the runners and our crew. We finally got to our hotel, which was semi-murdery, but we were too excited and beat to worry. Peggy and I did some stretching together and got off to bed, I could hear her rolling around and I was awake off and on as usual the night before a race. She woke me up at 4:30am, thinking it was 5:30, I got up just before 5 and we did our routine. We collected our race packets and had to go back and get the after party wrist bands for the boys. It was a short 2 minute walk, so easy peasy! I told Peggy that I would handle pre-race and race time nutrition, she was already on hydration with her 24 oz water bottle that she runs with. We discussed the temperature, what to wear, where to put the bib when she would likely remove her outer layer, we woke the boys and we headed down to the bandshell. Of course we hit the bathrooms…as any runner knows…there is a bathroom frenzy prerace and we were part of it…twice! We had eaten our banana 2 hours before, our Lara bar as we were stretching and I gave her a gel to take just before the race started. The boys came down and we stretched a little but it was tooooo cold to get down on the ground and stretch so we mainly just kept moving and talking and just trying to keep the jitters at bay. The race was better than 1,500 in the ½ marathon and the marathoners started with us too and they were about 1,000 strong. Peggy just kept telling me she didn’t like crowds, but I told her that the first mile we would be bumping each other and then it was spread out. I’ve done this 33 other times and it’s always the same! Finally we were off and we had agreed that Peggy would set the pace and we would run together the whole race. She kept telling me that all she wanted to do was finish and never walk or stop the whole race. I told her my needs were the same and I didn’t want to crap my pants and long standing fear of mine since I heard that it happens to distance runners! No, it hasn’t happened to me! We ran along, chit chatting intermittently, I reminded her to drink water, asked her how the pace was and she seemed to be moving well with no trouble. Pretty soon we came across the 3 mile marker, it was the first mile marker that either one of us had noticed. I think that made Peggy feel confident that it was right there, seemingly around the corner from the start. At 4 miles I handed her a gel and told her to warm it in her hand for a while and take it in the next mile or so. It is easier to stay ahead of the nutrition than fall behind, so we did. I pushed water and reminded Peggy to keep ahead of that too. At about 5 she seemed to settle into a good groove and I stopped talking to her much to allow her to ride the groove. I would ask about the pace and her temperature but I pretty much left her alone. I had a groove going myself so I settle in and relaxed. The running traffic became 2 way at about 6 miles and Peggy decided to tuck in single file behind me. She told me later that she liked following me and the one time she was leading she was very forthcoming in telling me, “I’m better with you in front”. We stayed single file off and on for the majority of the rest of the race and at 8 miles I handed her another gel and she warmed it in her hand and took it before the 9 mile marker. I felt well, nutrition wise and didn’t feel like I needed another gel, but I asked at 11 miles and she declined too. We kept the water flowing and other than an occasional point at this and that and chat we zoned out and before long we hit the 12 mile marker. I pointed at it, Peggy was a long side, “look at that, can you believe it”, we had clearly chosen a good pace as we were both comfortable and happy all the way to the 12 mile mark. Peggy had told me for the last 5 miles that if we kept this pace, she would be fine, she was right. We crossed the finish line together and we both met our goals, run, without walking, stopping or pooping our pants!!! LOL!!! The after party was crammed and loud, but there was food and plenty of it, so we went through that a couple of times and Brian bought us Starbucks (which was across the street). They were playing dance music and serving beer so we joined in with the beer drinking but not so much the dancing. Peggy told me later that her legs were feeling noodlie, I have felt that often, but she had a second plate of protein and that seemed to fix it. We walked back to our hotel, Peggy and I did our stretches and got cleaned up and walked around Rehoboth Beach window shopping. Before long it was time for dinner so we decided on a place that was a short walk from the hotel and had tapas at the bar with a friendly bartender named, Holly. They all decided that I should order and we would share the 6 dishes that I selected. The food was amazing and Holly was engaging and entertaining. Peggy and I were in bed at 9pm and asleep by 9:01. At 5am I woke up and could hear that Peggy was awake, we decided to go for a walk on the boardwalk…we talked…got caught up and watched the sun rise as we sat on the beach. We took a stop to warm up at Starbucks and headed back to the hotel 3 hours later and the boys were up and showered so we headed out for breakfast, walked around a bit more trying to replace some of the casualties of the “bag” incident from the airport. We checked out and had that long drive (almost 3 hours) to the airport so we left early and stopped for lunch. Finally the weekend was over with Peggy and Kyle. It was so much fun I hated to see it end, but back to work and reality we go…and here are the stats I finished 1049 of 1547 total runners, 64 of 120 in my age group, with a time of 2:22:39 and that is a 10:53 pace. Peggy, in her first ½ marathon in her life finished 1048 of 1547 total runners, 33 of 85 in her age group (she is 2 years older than me), with a time of 2:22:39 which is a pace of 10:53 as you know!!! Every time I looked over at Peggy during our run to check on her she was plugging a long…her answer to my questions “how’s the pace?”…”how’s your temp?”…”are you drinking water?” were all affirmative. She is an exceedingly positive person and she handled her first race with such ease that she impressed the hell out of me. Peggy asked me what my favorite race was on the way to the airport…”this one!” I said, having a positive running buddy made it for me, having it be my sister was the icing on the delicious cake!!! I told Brian on the plane home, I really needed a win…and this race is nowhere near my best time or placing in my age group but we ran together, with no pain and truly enjoyed the accomplishment…that’s a win!!! Peggy has no idea how much I needed this and it wrapped up a tough training year on an unexpected high, YEAH US!!! Next race…not planned yet…Peggy wants to do more…stay tuned…

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