Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Running On

I have a new venture. It has been a couple of weeks in the making and I've been dying to tell people about it but didn't want to jinx it.

I am the new D.C. Running Examiner on the Examiner website. This is basically a website that has different regional news, information, events, etc., written by local peeps like myself. It's pretty cool. Anyway, I am the local expert on all things running and other related topics.

I've posted my first article, which you can read now! I hope you guys check back often!

Freak Out!

Ok, so I'm having anxiety.

Now that John's race is over and we're back in the real world, I'm starting to freak out. I have a lot of crap to do and I have my own race in less than two weeks. Isn't this supposed to be my taper time?

Last night, I had to renew my CPR certification. In all the years I've been getting my CPR certification, this was the best class. We were done in 3 hours and there's no test anymore! Yippy. And I think by now, I actually feel confident that I could perform CPR and actually remember what to do. I know that sounds terrible, but everyone I know that has their certification, myself included, always says that in the class, they rock, but would they know what to do if it happened in real life? I think I'm ready. Though I really don't want to test it out.

There were only 3 of us in the class. Me and two old biddies. Seriously, they were just not getting it and we were actually done late because they just weren't getting it. One of them even claimed her mouth was getting bruised from practicing the rescue breathing. Seriously. When she was pointing it out to me, I told her I didn't see anything. Which I didn't. She was just one of those women. The awesome instructor, who had to be the most patient woman on the planet, was getting frustrated. And I was bored. I have to say I hope I never collapse around those two. I'd die for sure.

Anyway, my Beginning 5K Program starts tomorrow. I'm actually looking forward to meeting everyone and helping them reach their goals. I just am a bit overwhelmed because I just have a really busy week and I am hoping I'm able to get everything prepared for them before tomorrow.

By the way, election day is in a little over a month. You better vote. I'll try not to get too political here, but it's more important than ever to vote this year. I'm pretty sure you all know who I'm voting for. We have to be the change we believe in, people.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

We Are the Champions

Well, it only took 14 hours and 55 minutes, but my husband is now an Ironman finisher. Pretty awesome!

So, when I left off in yesterday's post, I was going on a run. I ran up to the bike course and ran along there for about an hour hoping to see John. I saw him right before I was turning to go back. He was in good spirits and was having a really good ride.

After a while, we went over to the transition area and we able to see John start the run. He was still smiling!

We walked part of the run course and because the runners were looping all over the place, we were able to see John 3 times! It was great.

We left to get dinner and headed back for the finish. It was after 8PM at this point and Keller eventually fell asleep. And it started raining again.

But then, at about 9:40, John came running out of the darkness with about a half mile to go. I ran with him and he was still in great spirits. We made it to the track and it was great watching him cross the finish line. He did it! We were all crying a bit.

John was in pretty good shape. He was coherent and his body didn't start breaking down until about a third into the run. I think that's pretty good considering he had been racing for 11 hours at that point.

We are so proud of you. You are a true rockstar!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Eye of the Tiger

Well, he's off!

We were up and out by 5:00 this morning. We went to drop off his supplies at the transition areas and then headed to the start. John was in really good spirits. I've seen him nervous before but he wasn't really that freaked out. He just seemed really excited.

At 6:50 they were allowed to get into the water. They had to swim to the "start line." then the sky opened up and it began to pour. I was soaked. The race promptly started at 7:00.

I left to go back to the house and get changed and pick up Keller, John's mom and sister. We made it back to see John on the bike. Then we went to get something to eat. We parked alongside the road so we could see John again. We saw him about 3 times because we decided to drive up and down the road. It was pretty funny.
Now we're back at the house. I think I'm going to go on a run here in a minute.

I will update again soon.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction

Have I used this title before?

Anyway, why are humans never satisfied? Seriously, why do we always want the opposite of what is actually going on?

What I'm referring to is the weather. This last week has been really nice. Not hot, not humid. Nice, fall weather. But yet, people will still complain about it. You know, after they just finished complaining about how hot it was a week ago.

Last Saturday morning I was giving a talk to the Montgomery County Road Runners Beginning 5K group. We started at 8:00 AM and it was about 58 degrees or something like that. Absolutely perfect running weather. In fact, even a little warm for my taste. And I heard some people complaining about how they were freezing. Meanwhile, not a week before it was in the 90s with 100% humidity. There was a race the weekend before (Parks Half Marathon) and people were sent to the hospital for heat exhaustion and other heat-related issues.

This morning is another example. It's chilly and windy, and a bit cloudy. We're expecting some rain. But it's in the high 50s again. It's actually a nice morning. On my way to work, I saw some women doing their morning walk in big coats, hats and mittens. Are you kidding me? We don't live in Antarctica. Then I get to work and one of my coworkers has this thick ass sweater on and is complaining about how freezing she is. She has the heat turned up to the highest level in her office. Seriously, if you go in there, you're hit in the face with a wall of hot air and immediately pass out. It's dangerous.

So, what's the deal, people? Fall and spring are my favorite seasons for the cool mornings and pleasant afternoons. But I just love how everyone sits and cries about how hot it is all summer and how they can't wait for cooler weather. Then the cooler weather gets here and people cry about how cold it is. Mother Nature can't win. Maybe that's why the Earth is going haywire. It's all about Karma!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tangled Up In Blue

The newest season of The Biggest Loser started. Yay!

When this show first started, I really thought it was the worst idea ever. I thought it was going to be about bringing a bunch of overweight people together and tempt them with food and make them miserable. And basically promote being skinny and all that crap. That is so not the case.

They bring people who are overweight to a ranch and make them work out and eat right to lose weight. But they do it the right way: through exercise and a healthy, nutritional diet. And, yes, it's ultimately a game and competition and these people are playing to win some amount of money. But really, they are learning very important skills and tools to lose weight and keep it off by living a healthy lifestyle.

A lot of the contestants often have some type of counseling or talk session with their trainers and the doctors that are involved with the show. They learn why they eat and can't lose weight. Which is so important. Whether it's their environment, their relationships, their emotions, etc., they learn ways to cope with these things so that they can overcome them. And lead the lives they have always wanted. Being fit and healthy.

I know I get all geeky when it comes to stuff like this. And it's not because I lead a healthy lifestyle. It's because I didn't always lead a healthy lifestyle. There was a period of my life where I was very self-destructive and wasn't the healthiest in the world. Yet, through the support of my family, friends, and health care professionals, I was able to get through it. And that is why living a healthy lifestyle is so important for me. Being healthy saved my life.

That is why I devote my life to helping others reach their goals. It is so important to have that person that believes in you and will help you get there. That's why I LOVE Bob Harper. He's one of the trainers on the show. I love him. He, too, grew up in an environment that was not conducive to a healthy lifestyle and so many of his family members are going down a road that is dangerous. His mom passed away from a heart attack. So, his way to combat all of that is to be healthy and active. And he's just awesome. I love him.

I'm stepping off of my soap box now. I'm just really happy that The Biggest Loser is back! It's so inspiring.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Birthday Boy

Today is Keller's 3rd birthday. I cannot believe my baby is three.

Keller was born on a Thursday. I started feeling contractions at 2:30 AM. I had actually had some signs the night before that his arrival was imminent. Anyway, I woke up with contractions and went into the other room to time them before calling the doctor or waking up John. At 3:30 the contractions were stronger and about 7 minutes apart. I woke John up.

When I woke him up, I think all I said was, "John, I'm having contractions." And he jumped up and started getting dressed and I think said, "Let's go." I called the doctor and he told me to come in.

We left for Holy Cross and by the time we left, the contractions were about 5 minutes apart and really strong. I called my parents and I think they jumped into their car right then and there.

We made it to the hospital at about 4:00. By then my contractions were about a minute apart. And so freaking painful. They did the initial exam, I was already at 7 cm and was going to be a mom very soon.

We got into our delivery room and the guy came to give me an epidural. I asked him if he was going to paralyze me and he assured me he wouldn't. I was having contractions while he was giving me the epidural, so I had to be sure I'd be able to walk when this was all said and done.

The doctor broke my water and told me things were moving along nicely. At about 6:30 they told me I could start pushing. John was out in the parking lot calling family, so I of course had to wait a little. No one thought I'd be going through such a fast labor. They cut off the epidural and when John came back, it was time to go.

I pushed for about an hour. It was the hardest physical challenge in my life. Because I had been on bed rest for 3 months, my legs were shot. They were shaking and I had no strength to push. I was feeling the contractions and it was not a fun time. They had to give me a shot of something to speed up my contractions because they started to slow.

I really started doubting whether or not I could get this baby out. I said as much to the doctor and John (something like, "I can't do this anymore"). The doctor was a little miffed and basically told me in no uncertain terms that I was pushing the baby out. It's all about tough love with me. The doctor knew this and had to be stern with me.

Just after 8:00 AM, our sweet baby boy was born. John had tears streaming down his face, that was a beautiful sight. We didn't know what we were having and everyone had convinced us we were having a girl. So when the doctor said we had a boy, we were a little surprised. I almost asked the doctor if he was sure, but thought against it. I didn't know if his tough love had ended by then and wasn't sure if he'd slap me. Anyway, Keller Joseph Gill was born. And the light in my life shined as brightly as ever.

Yesterday was Keller's birthday party. It was a hoot. We had a safari party at Andy's Parties in the Kentlands. It was awesome. The kids got little safari hats and binoculars and went on a safari for lions and giraffes. We did a pinata, pizza and cake. It was great. I will post pictures later today.

Happy Birthday, Keller. We love you to bits.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Run for Your Life

I wanted to let everyone know that I'll be coaching 3 new programs at Fleet Feet Sports, Gaithersburg this fall.

I will be coaching a Beginners Running 5K program, an 8K program and a Marathon/Half Marathon program.

The Beginners 5K program will meet at the store every Wednesday at 6:30 PM beginning October 1st. The goal race is the Frederick Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis 5K on December 6, 2008.

The 8K program will meet at the store every Monday at 6:30 PM beginning October 22nd. The goal race is the Rockville Jingle Bell Jog on December 14, 2008.

The Marathon/Half Marathon program will meet at the store every Tuesday at 6:30 PM beginning November 11th. The goal race is the National Marathon and Half Marathon on March 21, 2009.

So, if you're looking to start running or looking for a new goal, or just want to meet new people to run with, there is a program for you. I have heard from a lot of interesting people so far, so it looks like these groups will be a lot of fun.

You can email me at jenn@coachjenn.com for more info. You can also get more info by going to Fleet Feet's website.

I hope to see some of you out there this fall!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Home on the Range

I am home-bound today. After about 3 weeks of a working refrigerator, our oven has decided to poop out on us.

It was nice how I found out too. I was putting together a delicious pizza. It was onions sauteed in balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, arugula and feta cheese. All on a yummy whole wheat crust. I turned on the oven to preheat. After about 10 minutes of the preheat light not coming on, I opened the door. Cold. I think the ignitor is broken. Thankfully I was able to bake the pizza in Marc and Melissa's oven, so my creation didn't go to waste. At least it was good.

So now I'm home because the repair person will be here sometime between 8:00 and 5:00. Nothing like a huge window to completely ruin my day. I was hoping to go get a neti pot today. If you don't know anything about a neti pot, let's just say it's kind of gross. It's a pot that has a long spout and you put some saline solution and some herbs in and irrigate your nasal passages. You lean your head to the side (over the sink) and pour the solution into the top nostral. The solution will flow through the nasal passages and clear everything out. It's hideous, but it helps with congestion, allergies, sinus issues, etc. And I need one. I haven't been feeling well the last few days and I would rather not take medication if I can help it.

Oh well. Maybe I'll get lucky and the repair person will be here early. I doubt it though.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dance this Mess Around

I am what you call a "hot mess."

The book I just finished by Chelsea Handler was pretty funny. Anyway, she coined the term 'hot mess' to describe anyone and anything that is just not doing well. And I am that today.

I haven't been sleeping well. My runs yesterday and this morning sucked. I don't know what the deal is. I just can't get things together. It took every last ounce of energy to get myself to work this morning. I really want to go back to bed. In fact, I think I may leave early. I am just not myself today.

I am looking forward to this weekend. My parents will be in town and it's Keller's birthday next Monday. So we're having his party on Sunday. I can't wait. And what's really exciting is that he gets it. He knows it's his birthday and he knows he's having a party. I hope it's fun. I'm sure it will be, but I always worry about whether or not people are having fun.

We're having it at Andy's Parties, where they do everything for you. You just show up. We're having a safari theme since Keller loves animals so much. The kids will get little safari hats and go on a safari hunt to find little toy animals, which they get to keep. There are other games and stuff, including a big lion pinata. I think they'll all have a great time. And I don't have to do any of the work, which is the best part.

Ok, I need to get myself through this day. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm Yours

Today is our 7th wedding anniversary.

I know in the grand scheme of life, 7 years isn't really that long, but it's a pretty long time for people our age. I can only think of one couple of our friends that have been married longer.

It's so weird to think that John and I have known each other for 10 years. We met in 1998 but didn't start dating until 1999 (well, New Year's eve).

For those of you that don't know the story, we used to work together. We were never on the same team in the lab where we worked, but we worked in generally the same area. So we saw each other all the time. And me being the flirt I am, and John being the shy guy he is, I was constantly flirting with him and completely embarrassing him. It was pretty fun.

A lot of the people we worked with were young and we'd all go to happy hours or parties at someone's house. So, John and I would often end up at the same bar or club and I would flirt endlessly and he would be bashful. I guess he was playing hard to get.

Then New Year's eve (1998 into 1999) was the turning point. We kissed after the ball dropped and John kept saying, "You know this changes everything." Well, I guess it did.

So here we are in 2008. We have been through so much, both good and bad, and it's been a thrill. I can't imagine spending my life with anyone else.

Here's to 70 more. :)

Amor vicit omnis.

Friday, September 12, 2008

All You Zombies

I am a zombie today. This week has just wiped me out. Being ‘on’ from morning until night with an almost 3-year old is quite a lot of work. Not to mention working and everything else that’s going on. I am so tired.

The only good reason why I’m so tired today is because the girls came over last night. As Holly says, that is the best therapy. Sitting with my girls, talking about life and love is the best. I am really lucky to have such good friends. I hope they know how much I appreciate them :)

So, Keller is hysterical. Yesterday morning, we were sitting on the floor playing and Lola was sitting on the floor as well. Lola is our dog, for those of you who don’t know. Well, Lola decides that it’s time to do some licking, which is just gross. So, I said firmly, “Lola!” Then Keller added, without skipping a beat, “Lola, stop licking your crunch.” I only assume ‘crunch’ is Keller’s word for ‘crotch.’ I laughed so hard. Then Keller started laughing. It was a fun moment. And Lola stopped, which is equally funny. Keller told her to stop licking her crunch a couple of times this morning too. I don’t know if I should discourage him from saying that or not. What if he tells someone at school to stop doing something to their crunch?

Anyway, I’m so freaking glad it’s Friday. Happy Weekend, everyone!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Will Remember You

Today is the 7th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

It's hard to believe it's been 7 years. Life has changed so much since that day. We got married 4 days after the attacks on Long Island. It was such a chaotic time.

The attacks occurred on a Tuesday. It was my last day at work before we were heading up to LI for the wedding. I was finishing up some training for our new employee, Russ, who I didn't know very well at the time, but later he and his wife, Erika, became very good friends. We were in the lab, with our radio playing, when our boss came in to take our radio out. We had no idea what was going on and we thought we were in trouble for playing the radio too loud. That's when our boss told us what happened. At that point, the first plane had hit the first tower and nothing else had happened yet.

We ran to our desks to see what was going on. Shortly after the second plane hit and then the plane hit the Pentagon. Being in Maryland, we weren't anywhere near the Pentagon, but living in the Washington DC area makes you feel vulnerable nonetheless. My brother called and emailed shortly after the Pentagon was hit. I spoke with John shortly after that. They were all watching the news on the big screen in one of the buildings on campus. I was able to get in touch with my dad and everyone in my immediate family was fine. I can remember that feeling of helplessness because my entire family lives in NY and CT, so I just felt so far away from them.

The rest of the day was mainly filled with trying to get through to friends in NY. The phone lines were tied up for most of the day, so it was difficult to get through. But eventually hearing everyone's voice was very soothing.

We left for NY the next day, which was planned. The way we normally go to LI is by crossing the Verranzo bridge into Brooklyn. This passes the lower part of Manhattan, which is where the attacks were. All the bridges and tunnels were closed except for the Tappen Zee, which is on the other side of the island (of Manhattan). So, as we crossed the bridge, we could see the smoke plumes on the other side of the island. It was a sunny morning, but there was a huge black cloud that hung over Manhattan. Both literally and figuratively.

Once we got to my parents' house, we felt better being with them. We had the final things to do for the wedding, but none of us really felt like doing anything. We really didn't know if having the wedding was the right thing to do. Many of our guests couldn't come due to the airports being closed. And the guests that could come, would they feel like it?

During a crying spell of not knowing what to do, my mom said to me that having our wedding was the purest form of unity. This is what people need right now, to celebrate the beginning of something and to celebrate love. It made sense but I still wasn't sure.

Well, obviously, we got married. And it was a beautiful day and a beautiful night. Everyone just let loose and had a great time. So many people thanked us for giving them a distraction and something to look forward to. We were truly grateful for everyone being there.

So, I apologize for being a downer two days in a row. But don't just think of this day as a sad day. But rather a day to love your family and friends. A day to be grateful for life and love. Remember those that were lost and honor them by moving forward.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Day the Music Died

I am on my own again this week. John is in Connecticut visiting the manufacturer of some of the sequencers they use at work. He left yesterday and will be back tomorrow night. It's 3 days, but it will feel like 3 weeks. I really don't like it when he's out of town. But it is what it is.

So, on my 100th day of not sleeping well, I was up at 4:00 this morning. I decided to watch a movie because we have had the same 3 movies from Netflix for months. I watched My Own Private Idaho with River Phoenix. I was obsessed with River Phoenix for a little while earlier in the year and I realized I'd never watched this movie. It was pretty good.

I've often wondered how different the world would be if the people that died so young and in terrible manners didn't actually die. So, if Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, River Phoenix, John Lennon, etc., didn't die, how different would the world be? Or, are these people legends because they died? I mean, John Lennon was a legend in his own time, of course, but some of the others that died really young, like River, were they already legends? Well, I guess maybe River isn't really a legend because no one really talks about him anymore. Just like Heath Ledger was idolized for the first few months after he died, and now no one talks about him anymore.

I have no idea where I'm going with this. Watching him just made be a little sad. I just always have felt a certain amount of sorrow for people that died so young or in such a tragic way. I think River Phoenix could have been a big deal as he got older. He was so talented and so ridiculously good looking. It's sad he had to die at all, but from a drug overdose? It's terrible.

When I was in LA a few years ago, we happened to be right across the street from the Viper Room, which is where River died. Because of this morbid facination with death I seem to have, we had to go over there. There really wasn't anything to see.

Well, how's that to brighten your Wednesday morning??!! Sorry to be such a downer.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Baby Come Back

This weekend was nice. Uneventful. Which is always nice. Saturday was a wash out and my run was postponed until this morning. So, the day was spent playing with Keller and watching tennis until it was rained out.

Sunday was yet another 20-mile run. It was a struggle this time. I'm just tired. I haven't been sleeping well, plus all the emotional stress of Keller in a new school and trying to figure out what I'm doing with my life. Anyway, we got through it and that's the important thing.

After the run, Allison and Ava came over and Keller was in heaven. He just loves Ava. He was asking about her all day on Saturday, which was weird because I didn't tell him we were seeing them at all. He's psychic. But they played away and Allison and I were able to catch up.

Then is was nap time, which didn't last very long unfortunately. Oh well. But Keller and I had a nice afternoon together and then it was bath time and bed time. And then I went to sleep.

All this buildup to say that I taped the womens US Open final between Serena Williams and Jelena Jankovic. I used to really dislike the Williams sisters because of their arrogance and annoying demeanor. Yes, they changed the game with their power. Womens tennis was always kind of demur. The Williams sisters came along and made it powerful and fierce. Then they kind of fell off the face of the tennis court, getting caught up with other things like fashion design and acting. Everyone wrote them off. Then I guess they got their focus back. And they're really doing so well. I have to respect that. So I find myself rooting for them which is kind of a weird feeling for me. Just because I really didn't like them for so long. But they've both made such a great comeback in their careers. Which means they've been working hard and really taking things seriously. Serena won the US Open and I'm happy for her. It's the first time she's one the US Open since 2002.

If you think about it, imagine being the CEO of a company. And then you were fired. In an ugly manner with rumors swirling about your incompetence and lack of ability. And then 6 years later, you found your way back to the top, in spite of the doubters and nay sayers. That doesn't happen often in any field, and pretty rarely in sports. Once you're down, you're usually out. And it's a woman making such a great comeback, which is an awesome thing.

I guess the point of this whole ramble is that you should never really count yourself out of the game. If you work and believe in yourself, anything is possible. On this grumbly Monday morning, I'm hoping that thought will make this week a great one.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Part-time Lover

I am now a part-time employee. Woo hoo!

I have been contemplating going part-time at work for some time now. I have been feeling really disconnected from my life, namely my husband and child. Since Keller has started his new school, he has been sleeping later in the morning. And while, in general that's a good thing, I leave at 7:00 in the morning because of traffic and the commute into Bethesda. So I barely saw him. One morning, I even woke him up a little (he was awake but still in that sleepy phase) just so I could see him before I left. When I did have to go he would say, "Mama, stay here with Keller" or "Mama, I need you to play." And my heart would break every time I had to tell him I had to go. Well, that has all changed!

I spoke with my boss on Tuesday and I now am on a part-time schedule. I'm so excited. Today, Keller and I played for about an hour! It was awesome. John and I got ready for work at the same time and we were able to talk and catch up. We usually don't get to spend a lot of time together because of our various training regimens. So this morning was really nice. Anyway, after we got ready, Keller and I were off to school. And we play this game when we are in the car together: he wants to find the letters of the alphabet, in order, on the signs and stuff along the way to our destination. We found all the letters, though I cheated a little with 'Y' and 'Z'. They were found in the classroom, where I knew we would find them. Oh well.

But I'm so excited because now I get to take him to school and pick him up every day. And if I can't pick him up for some reason and John gets him, I won't feel guilty about it because I would have already spent buckets of time with him in the morning.

Yes, it's a financial cut. But, really, in the grand scheme of things, spending time with my wonderful baby is a hell of a lot more important.

And, in addition to having more time with my family, I'll be able to coach a lot more. I won't spill the beans on that venture yet, so stay tuned...

Seriously, dude. Life is good.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

All Summer Long

I'm driving to work this morning and this song by Kid Rock comes on. In case you're living under a rock and you listen to the radio during the minute or so a day that they don't play this song, it's a song about good ol' Kid's summertime shenanigans.

It got me to thinking about life back in the day. You know, when there is little responsibility and you can just live day by day. When does that change? Is it with college graduation and entering the "real world?" I don't think so because I had a lot more fun after college than I did in college, and I went to a party school. Don't get me wrong, I had a blast in college, and have the scars to prove it. But my 20s were a whole different ball game. Anyway....

Does the responsibility come with marriage? Owning a house? A baby? Well, definitely a baby. But why do these things prevent you from living a carefree life? And I don't mean a "I don't give a sh*t about anything" life. I mean a "I love life and will live for the moment!" life. Wouldn't it be better to live a life that you enjoy rather than just trying to get by? Of course. No one just wants to get by. But somehow along the way that's what happens.

I don't really want to get by. I want to break free, as Freddie Mercury once said. Oh man, I am so corny today. I'm living for the moment and having a good time. Damn it.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Let the Music Play

Let's just say that I'm never doing another summer race.

The Virginia Beach Rock and Roll Half Marathon was a race I enjoyed and hated at the same time. I woke up for the race at about 4:30 after a night of not sleeping well. But that's not unusual. I opened the door to the hotel and the air just kind of hit me in the face. It was 800% humidity out there. Great.

After getting ready, we headed over to the start. Our hotel was just a block away, so at least getting to the start wasn't stressful. I was pretty excited once we got to the start. I just love the atmosphere at race starts. You can feel all the emotions, it's great.

At about 6:45, John left to go to his watching point along the course. I did a short warm up and headed over to my start corral. As I get there, I see a familiar face: Maddie! Maddie and I worked together at Fleet Feet. We caught up for a little while and then got ready to start.

The race started at 7:00 and it was about 7:10 or so by the time we started. I felt pretty good at the start. But by mile 2 I started feeling really sick. I was feeling dizzy and light headed and thought I was going to pass out. I couldn't believe this was happening again! I vowed then and there not to do another summer race. I was seriously considering going to the next medical stop.

I managed to get through the dizzy spell and keep going. But at this point I knew I wasn't going to have the race I wanted and it was really all about getting through and finishing. It was so hot and humid, I was soaked and feeling awful. And I wasn't the only one. There were tons of people dropping like flies. When I started seeing people that you could just tell were fast and used to doing really well, stopping and looking they were going to puke, I didn't feel so bad that I was having a bad race too.

The course was really flat, which was nice. There was a bridge to cross, and it was a little steep, but it wasn't as bad as some of the other bridges I've run over. The only real gripe I have with the course is that we ran through Camp Pendelton military base and I couldn't really figure out why. Regardless, there was no shade and we just winded through the base. It was silly.

Anyway, once we got to the beach area, the crowds started picking up and that is always helpful. We made our way onto the boardwalk and that was fun. Actually, the whole course was fun with the bands and cheerleading squads along the course. Spectators were really everywhere and there was hardly a moment where you felt alone.

Finishing was great. I thought it would never come. This was a really hard race and not because of the course, but the weather just killed me. When it's that humid I can almost feel my life and energy just seeped out of me. Like air being let out of a balloon. It sucked. But I can't blame the race for that. It was a really fun, well-organized race and I had fun. I just wish it was held in October.

After the race, we got cleaned up and went to breakfast. A woman there was stranded and couldn't get in touch with her husband. So we gave her a ride home. She was really nice. She only just started running this past June and now she has a half marathon under her belt. That's awesome. I love hearing stories like that.

We headed back to Williamsburg and hung out there for a while. We had a yummy dinner and then headed home. And now we have today off from work and school. Yeah, three-day weekends!