Half a Dolphin Down…

…and (a much longer) half a dolphin to go! This weekend, I’m checking state #15 off my half marathon bucket list (only 35 to go after tomorrow) with the Yuengling Shamrock 1/2 Marathon Though home base is in Philly (Cleveland come June), I’ve been working in KC since January and 4 weeks has turned into 3 months. So, instead of driving 5 hrs from Philly yesterday, I cashed in on some rapid rewards and enterprise points and flew from KC to Raleigh Durham and spent 3 hrs in the car driving to Virginia Beach. I’m the crazy cheap one in the family and, let’s face it, every meal I’ve had out here, I’ve had some sort of coupon or discount for.

Anyways, the dolphin challenge means I ran the 8K this morning and the Half Marathon tomorrow. If i were completely crazy, I’d be doing the whale challenge which is the full and the 8K over 2 days. Did I mention more bling from this? I got in around 7 last night and checked into my hotel. Along the beach. Let’s face it, I’ve needed to hear the ocean for awhile- very soothing! I’m digging the expo staying open until 9. I headed over and picked up my stuff, but running 2 races means 2 bibs, 2 shirts, 2 string bags and me being OCD about not messing my bibs up. Don’t believe me? See last night’s post. I also got some green related stuff to wear tomorrow. I headed to dinner at an Italian place a few miles away and enjoyed myself at the bar, so much so that I almost left with my glass of diet coke.

This morning, I woke up at 7, changed and headed to the 8k start 10 blocks away. Did I mention I woke up to this?


You’re jealous, I know. I got a block before coming back to get my Garmin. I got to the start with 3 min to spare and jumped over a rail to corral 1. The gun went off and so did I. I ran my fastest mile in a long time (8:10 ish) and started wondering why I hadn’t run this course sooner. The first 2 miles were along Atlantic Ave before looping back on the boardwalk. Mile 2 came in at around 840 and mile 3 came in under 9 min as well. I started getting excited about a possible PR, but a side stitch nearly took that away. After I got myself together, we did a quick 90* turn back onto Atlantic ave for 1/2 a mile and brought ourselves back to the boardwalk for a straight shot to the finish. My lungs and chest decided to start dry heaving on me with 1/4 a mile to go (really, they couldn’t wait till later?). None the less, I finished in 43:14, a PR by 46 seconds! Don’t believe me?


I got some bling and headed back to my hotel for a shower, although, if I waited awhile, the rain could have helped me just fine. Day 1 down, day 2 to go!


Charlotte Turkey Trot 8K

Thanksgiving has come and gone and the food has been devoured.  People were doing whatever they could to not feel bad about the amount of food that was to be consumed Thursday and onward, so us runners took to the roads and had ourselves some Turkey Trots. Some were on Thanksgiving, others were this past weekend.  In Charlotte, the 23rd annual Charlotte Turkey Trot 8K was at 9 AM Thursday morning.  Perfect time AND it’s less than 10 minutes from my uncle’s house.  My uncle and sister went to pick up bibs and the snazzy long sleeved shirts on Wednesday around 3.  That worked out perfectly as no one was there and if they found they missed a bag as they were sorting through stuff, one of them could go and pick it up without waiting 20 minutes in line.  My mom and arrived around 630 Wednesday.  We drove from St Louis to Nashville, TN on Tuesday and Nashville to Charlotte on Wednesday (a grand total of 720+ miles.  My dad came in from Ohio with Olive the dog and my mom, sister and I hijaked my uncle by convincing him to take a walk with us and the dog so Dad could put up a 4 foot blow up turkey in his yard.  After uncle Tom was surprised with the Turkey, we gave him surprise #2- Happy Tomsgiving Long sleeved shirts that we would all race in on Thursday (See Thursday’s post for pictures!).

On Thursday, we prepped stuffing and turkeys before leaving for the race at 835 AM.  A grand total of 10 of us (4 Guenthers, my uncle, my aunt/uncle/cousin and my other aunt/cousin) and 2 other families from the neighborhood went over in orange long sleeved shirts (safe to say that we won’t be shot at by hunters) to SouthPark in Charlotte.  I headed closer to the front of the start to avoid the people who have no idea what they were doing.  At 9:02, we were off through the neighborhoods of Charlotte.  People were running with turkeys on their heads, dressed up as Indians, someone dressed all out as a turkey and so on.  Someone even had forks, spoons and knives taped on their outfit.  My legs were still a little tired from the NYC Marathon and my calves were burning most of the race.  Charlotte decided to be a hilly area on the map, which really didn’t help things all that much.  My goal was to beat my aunt and that’s all that really mattered.  The course shuts down half of a road which is nice, you just have to watch cars in the opposite direction, especially if you cross the double yellow line.  At the end, you go up this big hill, which I forget about every year until I come around the corner and see it.  I finished in 47:40 (a minute slower then last year) but I was expecting something over 50 minutes for some reason (I need to learn to tell time!).

This race has always been good to us.  Granted, I do think they need to come up with some sort of system to get walkers and strollers in the back, or at least the slower runners not in the front.  I appreciated the fact that I wasn’t fighting dogs on leashes this year like in past years (yes, in past years, OWD (Olive the Wonder Dog) was illegally brought to and allowed to run in the race).  The weather couldn’t have been better this year- sunny and in the 50s and we were able to get in and park and out quickly.  Definitely a race I’d suggest, just as long as we sign up before you do!

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