Saturday, January 16, 2016

Two Races. Two States. Two Days.

I've been so crazy busy at work this week and just plain tired at night that I haven't had time to write anything about my Back2Back Challenge.  So here goes...... 

One of my goals for 2016 was to complete the Back2Back Challenge this month.  That's two half marathons in the same weekend and in different states.  You could also do two marathons if you wanted to.  Two of my running friends did the full on Saturday and the half on Sunday.  My hat goes off to them! Kim & Philip are BEAST! As for me, my goal was to do the half marathon for both races.  I was a little nervous about this before the race.  I've never ran to long distance races within the same weekend so I wondered how I would feel.  

The first race was in Jackson, Ms.  It's called the Blues.  I'm not sure of the exact reason they named it the blues... maybe it's due to the HILLS.  Yes, HILLS! and lots of them.  Maybe people get the blues when running them.  :<>)  It's a tough course and this year we started the race off with rain. It was a nasty morning.  We were actually all just praying for no lightening so they would not cancel the race.  We were ALL determined to do this Back2Back challenge and get the extra bling.  Thats right... us runners LOVE our BLING. 

The race started with all of us in our garbage bags or plastic to try to stay dry.  However, I soon ditched mine cause it was getting hot in the garbage bag.  I had on a new vest that kind of repels the rain so I wasn't worried about a little mist.  The rain finally stopped so we were all just focused on the hills.  One of my girl friends actually thinks I'm crazy cause I do like hills.  It makes the course interesting compared to flat one.  If you ever want to do a challenging course, I suggest trying the Blues.  It won't disappoint.. I promise!  

My bib for the race!
Byron, Kathy, Frank & Me after we finished.

All I could think when those hills got tough those last miles and my mind starting asking how the heck I was going to run another half the next day, I remembered what my calendar had said ...

I love this! And one of my spin teachers use to tell us to say this to ourselves.. "I can, I will, I must"... when things got tough.  I thought about what an inspiration he was to me when he taught.  He use to show us motivation videos at the beginning of the class.  He's a good person and probably doesn't realize the impact he has on others.  Thank you Robbie Hinton! 

So we all finished and headed home to take a quick shower and head to another state.  Driving from Jackson to Mobile basically took us back by our homes.  The next race was in Mobile, Alabama.  I roomed with two teammates that are married.  I'm thankful they let me room with them since I was alone to save on cost.  I thought it might be weird rooming with a married couple that I didn't really grow up with but it was very normal.  I guess runners have a special kind of bond.  We share many things.... all our aches, pains, blisters, and even our snoring.. ha.  

Mobile was a different kind of morning compare to the start of the blues.  It was cool, but no rain.  It was perfect running weather.  Our hotel was right down from the start line.  It was perfect.  Some of the group woke up saying how tired they were but I felt good.  I was really shocked but I honestly think it was because I did my run/walk program at the blues and was going to do it in Mobile also.  I seem to not be as sore or tired when do my run/walk program vs. just running full out.  It's like a long training run rather than a race.  

My Bib for First Light

Some of our group at the hotel before the race.  I LOVE these people! and I LOVE my running vest my hubby got me for Christmas!

We all finished and when we crossed that finish line and got our medal for Mobile and then the extra medal for the Back2Back it was all worth it!  Some of the other runners that didn't do the Back2Back were coming up to us asking why we had an extra medal.  We explained it to them and they were like .. wow... wish we had known.  I guess not everyone reads the website when they register for the race cause one of the questions was .. "are you doing the Back2Back?".   There was a "B2B" on top of our bibs that let the people at the finish line know that we had done both races so they could give us our Back2Back medal.  I'm so glad we didn't have to wait for them to mail them to us after checking race results.  Boy it is a nice medal!

Blue side for Blues

Yellow Side for First Light
 Next January I hope to be at Disney doing the Dopey Challenge so I'm glad I went ahead and did this Back2Back this year!  I'm also now considered a "half fanatic".    The first light medals were homemade which I absolutely love! They were made by a group of 

special people in Mobile.

I had never thought about checking into how to become a marathon maniac or half fanatic until someone mentioned it to me.  I almost qualified to be a marathon maniac at the beginning of last year with my 3 marathons but you have to do them within 90 days and mine were in 92 days.  I missed it by 2 days!!!! I must plan better next time.  Since I did these two halfs in the same weekend I now qualify and can join the half fanatics.  YIPPIE   Being a member you can get race discounts and special running clothes that identifies you are in the club. :<>)

I had Philip snap this in our hotel room before we checked out.  So glad I did! Scrapbook photo! (If I ever find time to get back to my scrapbooks!)

Well that's it for the Back2Back.  Two half marathons down for the year and it's only January.  Got a couple more to go, but my main focus will be on my training for ironman Augusta in September.  Today Kathy and I did a brick workout.  That's where you do a bike ride and then run directly afterwards.  It's important to train your legs to be ready for race day.  It was tough, but we did it.  So happy to have a few friends that have joined me on this journey.  I was determined to do it even if I did it alone but it's like icing on the cake to have friends by my side.   

Happy Training! MUAH D

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