50 State Challenge Map

50 State Challenge Map
States completed

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Up next: Massachusetts

It's been two weeks now since the Boston Marathon bombings took place on April 15.  You don't have to be a runner to feel the impact of what happened but as a runner you know that running a race is the last place you'd imagine something that tragic happening.

I've had Massachusetts on my radar now for some time and hoped I could get it in this year.  After what happened I started to peruse races in Boston to see if I could not only run a Half but also pay tribute in some way.  I came across the perfect race.  The Boston's Run to Remember is a race that has always been a tribute to law enforcement officers who have been killed in the line of duty over the years.  It is not only a fun course through historic Boston but a great way to say thank you to these guys.

I'll be flying to Boston Memorial Day weekend to run the Half.  I've never been and I can't imagine a better time to go than now.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Nashville race weekend

Talk about a weekend with some highs and lows.  Without question the best part of it was traveling to Nashville to run this half with some from my running group.  We've ran many races together but this was our first out of state.  And here I thought they were already a fun bunch of ladies when just discussing my life over a Sunday morning jog.  Throw in some country music with line dancing and it's a whole other story.

The low was certainly the terrible race day weather.  We're not talking a light drizzle.  We're talking a constant rain with some heavy winds to boot.  It wasn't fun to run in.  We got soaked.  But, we got through it.  The troopers of the day were definitely my friends Melissa and Susan.  This was their first half marathon and they did it in some pretty challenging weather.  Running your first half is already nerve wracking as it is.  To do it under those conditions was impressive to say the least.  They did great and I'm happy the weather didn't put a damper on their achievement.

Unfortunately, once the race was over getting back to the hotel then turned into an odyssey.  I like to consider myself a veteran of the Rock n Roll Race series at this point.  I've run quite a few.  And they've always been well organized.  So all this was a bit surprising.  The shuttle "service" was terrible.  We had to wait for nearly 45 minutes in the rain as shuttles were scattered about and staff were visibly organizing this on the fly.  Once we got on ours everyone was clearly annoyed, wet, cold, and tired from running 13 miles.  Moods weren't pleasant.  So it didn't help when our driver refused to drop us off at our hotel (as we were told) due to "the street being closed off."  The best part of this was when he dropped us off five blocks away and we then saw him driving right past our hotel on a street that was completely open.  It was at that time I decided we were ready for our evening to start.

That night we all went downtown for some drinks, (I stuck with a Nashville favorite, Yazoo IPA), country music, and lots of line dancing.  It was my first time line dancing and it was a blast.  I was told I'm a natural.

A great weekend with great friends.  With a little bit of luck it won't be the last race I run with this group during my challenge.  As of yesterday I now have 30 to go so plenty of opportunities.

Up next:  Massachusetts.

View of Nashville from my hotel balcony

I've always wanted to take a "finish line" shot at an Expo

Our half marathon first timers Susan and Melissa (L to R)

Group shot with my good friends Lorin, Monique, Crystal, Melissa and Susan (L to R)

Time for an early dinner

These pickles were a game changer.

I skipped the pasta and went with a classic steak and eggs.

You know you're in the south when you come across a piggly wiggly

My lovely sister Carla ready for 13.1

I love this picture because it's what I would look like as just a head and feet.

The group is ready to go.

And we're soaked

Sorry for the blurriness

The restaurant name 'Hog Heaven' says it all.

Sliced beef brisket + mash potatoes + BBQ beans = bliss

Downtown Nashville

Girls will be girls when it comes to Elvis

Wildhorse Saloon

This must be the wild horseman

Brother Trouble

Line dancing and more line dancing

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Up Next: Tennessee

I will be flying to Nashville in ten days (weekend of April 27) to run the Nashville Rock n Roll Half.  I will be joined by Carla, my nephew Richy, and the ladies of my running group who'll all be there to run it as well.

This is the first Half of my challenge that I will be joined by my running group (affectionately known as the Coven) as well as my nephew.  It's going to be a fun weekend filled with lots of country music and line dancing.  Yep - line dancing (never done it).  It's been agreed upon that this is a weekend must.  The pictures will be abundant.

More to come soon.

My nephew Richy is way, way cooler than me.  This is one of my favorite pics of him.

The best running group (and friends) a runner could ask for.

Monday, April 15, 2013

North Carolina race weekend

A great weekend in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  The weather was sunny/warm and the course a beautiful run through Kitty Hawk.  My apologies for the lack of photos but you can say I was a bit caught up in the weekend and simply taking in the whole experience.

I arrived in Nags Head and checked in to the Oasis Suites which offered some stunning views of the water.  I went to pick up my race packet and had an early evening as I was a bit tired from the day. To ensure I didn't oversleep I requested a wake up call for 5:45 am.  I know I don't usually mention this particular detail but in this situation it's important to note.  I say that because I never got that wake up call.

I wanted to be up at 5:45 am to get ready and take the 12 mile drive to the start line for a 7 am start.  However, considering I never got the call I woke up at 6:35 am.  You'd think panic would set in but I remained relatively calm.  I got dressed, drove to the start, and was crossing over the start line just as they were removing the time chip reader.

As I said, the course was beautiful taking you along the water and through Kitty Hawk.  It was a sunny, cool morning which only added to the experience.  I ended up finishing in 1:41:02. 

My next race will be in Nashville in two weeks.  I'll be joined by my sister, nephew, and the best running group a runner could ask for.  It's going to be a fun weekend that will certainly include some line dancing and plenty of country music.

I love the "Welcome to State" sign pic

View from my suite

A sunset over the Outer Banks