Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mega-Marathoner Christmas Wish List!

Just in time for Black Friday shopping, Steph's 50 brings you the... 
2010 Mega Marathoners Christmas Wish List!!!!

Hey, If Oprah can do it so can I!!!! Below are a list of some of the (in my opinion) best products, apparel gadgets, etc for a blogging-crazy-marathoner on the go! Some of them are classics and some are the newest fun gadgets I've found this year... either way, they're fun and necessary for any running-blogger, especially the mega-marathoners that jet set every weekend. 

*Santa's wallet a little tight this year? No problem... just leave this page open on the computer every day and hope that the husband/wife/parents/family get the clue!*

"Training Program"- What you need to prep for race day!

  • Race Registration! Reg fees can get pretty pricey so any marathoner would appreciate a card with a registration confirmation attached. Simply look up an upcoming marathon your fav runner has been eyeing and sign them up! Check for discounts at popular sites like the marathons maniacs (if he or she is a member).
    • Note: Know your runners T-shirt size and estimate (goal or best) time to date... these are required in registration and t-shirt sizes usually can't be switched and corrals (assigned based on time) can't be changed.  
    • Price: $50-$150
  • Power Balance Bracelet! Looking to increase your balance, strength, and flexibility? An energy responsive hologram built into the bracelet is sited by the creators as the source of this technology. I have one and I think I can feel a difference. Think this is just a bunch of hoopla and it's all in your head? WELL SO IS RUNNING! Running is 90% mental, so if strapping this little bracelet with holograms makes me think I'm faster... I WILL be faster! 
    • Note: This company (specifically Power Bracelet found here gives back to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund!
    • Price: $29.95
  • Marathon Maniac/ 50 Stater Membership! Does your runner need a little motivation to get out there and Run More?!?!? Help them out with their membership to these 2 great clubs. Both give the runner goals, supportive group-members, race discounts, and the potential to meet lots of other crazy runners!
    • MM Membership: 1-Yr is only $10, but you can pre-pay a few years and get a discount, up to 5 years ($42.50). Sign up or renew here.
    • 50-States Club: Annual dues $10/year... you can prepay as many as you want. Sign up or renew here.
    • Note: Do NOT sign your runner up for these without checking that they have qualified. Both clubs have minimum races/states/etc required to get into the club. 
  • Runners World Magazine Subscription! Filled with running tips, tricks, gear, races, and fun stories. This is especially great for the newbie runners with lots of unanswered questions.
    • Note: special $1/issue running now here. Price: $24 for 24 issues!

  • POM Wonderful- I wrote about these drinks earlier this year (post here) and the great benefits of pomegranates... especially antioxidants! This company now packages great tasting small bottles that would be idea for post long-run workouts. 
"On the Run"- Everything you need for your big runs and races!
  • LULULemon Athletica Gear!- I can't get enough of this store. The clothing is not only amazing quality, but very trendy and comfy! Sick of the same old running shorts and tech t's? Lululemon brings a whole new level of athletic clothing for both men and women. I find them ideal for the "quadzillas" out there (me included) who have a hard time finding clothes that fit a small waist but muscular thighs. 
    • Steph's Recs: Run Speed Shorts- They come in a ton of crazy prints as well as basic colors. Super comfortable, they don't chafe, they have hidden pockets all over them, and they're cute! Price: $64
    • Note: I would suggest a gift card as the sizes run pretty small!!!

  • Arm Warmers!- These are starting to pick up with the non-elite runners. I just bought a pair in Chicago and have been wearing them for all my cold weather races. Since the winter marathons start at 6am (and usually under 50-degrees) it's great to have these to start. If you get hot... just roll them down! They don't feel heavy on your wrists, you don't have to worry about throwing away a fav t-shirt, and if you get cold again you just roll them back up. 
    • Note: You can now find these at most big race expos (or their websites) with the marathon name on them. If you're looking for a generic, Nike has a good pair listed here.
    • Price: $20.00
  • Sony Walkman W-Series! These are lightweight, water-resistant, no-chord headphones that I absolutely LOVE. (And I'm not just saying that because Sony sent them to me for free). They have a quick charging option for us flaky runners that forget to charge and they have some pretty cool functions like the "Zappin" function that plays only the chorus of songs and scrolls through. BONUS! For "headphone free" races... nobody every thinks these are headphones as they look more like a blue tooth. They do everything an Ipod does, but they require no chords and they are FAR more water resistant! Tested! I've dumped cups of water on my head while wearing these and they stayed on... and did not zap me!
    • Buy them here. for Price: *$59.95!*
    • Note: These are not yet Mac compatible
  • Garmin Forerunner! If your runner cares anything about pace, these "watches" are wonderful! They are GPS enabled, so they can tell your your distance, time, pace, etc. Why a Garmin over any other? One of the reasons I chose it was because it doesn't require a "foot pad" that calculates your distance as a lot of other sports watches do... making it more accurate. These are probably for the more tech savvy runner or somebody that doesn't mind sitting down with the manual and learning! 
    • Note: I recommend the watch with a heart rate monitor included, found here. 
    • Price: $369.99
  • Sony Bloggie HD Camera! Yes, Another gift from Sony... but again an AWESOME one! This is IDEAL for any blogging-runners as it's a very quick picture OR video! It's easy to carry, fairly water resistant, and takes very good pictures for a quick-shot camera. I would use this as an every day camera, but for a blogging-runner in need of something to bring to document their adventures?... this is a great buy! Shop here.
    • Price: $149.99 (4GB) to $169.99 (8GB)
  • Handheld Water Bottles! Taking too much time to stop for water in your marathon or have a hard time trying the old "squeeze" manuver to try and keep getting more on your shirt than in your mouth? These handhelds are great... allowing you to go miles without having to stop. They hold themselves to your hand so there is no struggle.
    • Nathan Sports Sprint! I personally love and recommend this handheld found here. It's big enough to go about 6 miles at a time, but small enough to be light. It has a one way valve with cool technology that keeps the runner from getting air in their bellies. 10oz. Price: $13.95
    • Fuel Belt 10oz palm holder found here has the added benefit of a zip pocket in the front. It has a pull top on it which tends to keep in moisture and hard to clean. Price: $11.95

"Cool Down"- Everything you need post-race to relax and unwind
  • Arctic Ease Cryotherapy Wraps and Pads! Have an injury or general soreness post-race? These wraps are ideal for icing on the go! They mold to any injury area, stay cold for hours, and don't leak or get you wet like classic ice packs. They also stay at the ideal temperature for icing, without risking frostbite (even after hours of icing) and they are reusable.
    • Note: List of places to buy here or buy directly from the manufacturer here.
    • Prices: $8.99 for 3 pads, $11.99 for 1 wrap (additional sizes at varied prices)
  • The Stick!- A flexible piece of equipment made for massaging and loosening up those tights muscles from your races and long runs. I would suggest the smaller version for ease of travel! Shop here.
    • Prices: From $27.50 (travel stick)
  • "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall! Finished a race and want to get motivated to run further? If this book doesn't do it for you, nothing will. I never thought a book about running could be this exciting. Entertaining, hilarious and extremely insightful. I found it impossible to put this book down and recommend it to runners and non runners!
  • "50/50" and "Ultra Marathon Man" By Dean Karnazes! Essential for any MegaMarathoner... Dean promotes pushing the human body and spirit through running, which all marathoners can understand and appreciate.
  •  Maniac Trading Cards! Finished your marathon(s) and feel like a superstar? Well you are and you deserve a trading card to prove it. The maniacs started trading cards, found here. 
    • Note: 1 order gets you 100 cards and 5 decks (25/deck) of collectible maniacs trading cards... collect all 3,000+!
    • Price: $75

"Blogging and More!"- Finished your run and all cooled down? Time to tell the world!
  • Apple iPad!- Great for a blogging runner on the go. Light weight, fast, easy to use and 3G capable. Do anything you need from checking out other running blogs, updating your maniac marathons, taking notes on all your races, checking out the latest running apps, etc.
    • Note: Engrave your favorite runners name for a personalized gift, right from Apple.
    • Price: $629 to $829 for 3G capable.
  • SkinIt!- Decorative wraps/skins for all your devices. Snaz up your favorite laptop, iPad, kindle and phone. My advice? Make it running related! Get a Boston Marathon wrap or create your own custom skin with a professional picture from your favorite runners first marathon!
    • Price: Varied with sizes ~$30
  • Amazon Kindle! Great for traveling to marathons. Download your favorite Running books ("Born to Run" mentioned above) or even have your Runners World subscription sent to your kindle. Easy and quick downloads and light to carry while on the go. Bring all your favorite books and magazines t the gym without needing a bag. 3G capable so you can download anywhere with no monthly fees.
    • Price: $189 for 3G model
Hope these ideas make your Black Friday shopping fun and easy! Happy Holidays!!!!
Happy Shopping!
"Run to Win"-Meb

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Marshall University Marathon ~ Race Racings (Repeat State)

Tag line: 
"You're at the 30... the 20... the 10... TOUCHDOWN MARATHON"
Marshall University Marathon ~ November 7, 2010
Huntington, WV~ Marshall University and Downtown Huntington
Type: 100% Road/Sidewalk
Year Running: 7th
Registration Fee: $60 Early ($80 late)
Charity Race? No
Runners:  514 Finishers ... 164 Females
Available Races: Marathon, Half-Marathon, Half-Relay, 5M Walk
Average Finish Time: 4:13:58!
BQ %: 20.6%!!!!!

Overall Race Ratings: 4.2/5.0

Average Calculated Rating: 4.0/5.0
~ People come for the flat, fast course, but you get hooked in by the small event, relaxed feel! The final stretch is run with a football in hand in the football stadium! As the comments come in, the organization makes pretty big improvements! It's nice to see another director taking the comments seriously. I was very impressed all around!

Race Director: Let's play race director...
~ The first thing I would do is add a spot for Gel/Gu on the course. Since you wrap through the park a few times they could easily make 1 GU spot that we could hit twice. The awards could use a little help, but that's not a huge deal. Also... it would be nice to find a way to get the kids on campus involved! Put some type of incentive... they would make for great spectators!

Event Organization: 3.7/5.0 (now broken into 2 parts, see below as well) As far as "event organization" we'll include things like Host hotel, website use, ease of travel to the event and to the actual race, etc.
Distance from Airport to Expo/Race: NA (I drove)
Rental Car Required: Yes!
~ I drove, but I know there aren't too many close airports! Hotels are very much "West Virginia" so prepare yourselves for that! Getting around, however, is very easy. This isn't a huge town and everything is pretty easy to find and get to. Parking was SO easy (we literally parked AT the starting line) we thought we had done something wrong or parked illegally. The website is simple but effective-- giving you any/all information you need. I couldn't breathe/smell/taste so I'm not sure how the pasta dinner was... MB said it was terrible. It didn't look great, but I scarfed it down. They gave out A/G awards... but EVERY award was the same (see the bowl below). There were 2 different colors.. I believe for the half and full races. 

The MC at the event was a lot of fun. They call out the name and hometown of EVERY runner crossing and kept music blasting full force. They had massages available post-race which was great! 

A/G Award and LD Snack!
Race Organization: 4.5/5.0
Hydration Color/Type: Red?/Gatorade (Why can't I remember???)
Gel Type/Flavors/Availability:  None
~Post Race Food: .They had a full grill set up for hamburgers and hotdogs. They also had a table FULL of little Debbie snacks... oh and there was some healthy stuff like fruit (but who caressss). 
~ Water stops each and every mile +. There were also rest stops all along the way. They had mile markers at each mile and they were pretty dead on! No clocks. This happened on the course, so I'll include it here-- they did have a nice memorial moment by giving us flowers (optional) at mile 25 to carry with us about 200m to a fountain to place next to. I thought that was really nice! They also gave us footballs to carry the last stretch of the course in the football stadium, which was a very nice touch! 

No gel/gu at all... as the only marathon left in WV (and a pretty fast one at that) I'm thinking this race is going to grow pretty quickly and they're going to need to get some gels! 

Course: 4.0/5.0
MarathonGuide Rating 
Garmin Distance: 26.26
Type: 100% Pavement/Sidewalks
~ Elevation Gain/Loss: NA
~ This twisty-looped course was pretty basic until the end. The last .1 or so is run IN the Marshall University stadium, where they hand you a football, you run to one endzone and back to the other. That makes for a unique experience. There is a point where you go by a river or lake of some sort with the coolest fog coming off of it-- very eerie! The scenery was ok. The elevation is VERY flat... almost NO hills, except for dips to go under train tracks/tunnels. Let's not forget... this course is extremely fast with one of the highest BQ %'s I've ever seen! 

Spectators: 3.7/5.0
~ Any race around a college campus on a Sunday morning is going to be QUIET! This race had a very quiet feel to it but it was a relaxing quiet--peaceful-- that or I had WAY too much cough syrup before the race. There were lots of spectators in the park, which we wind through twice, but aside from that they are scattered throughout. 

 Pace Group: NA/5.0
~ NA

Runner/Corrals: 4.5/5.0
~ No Corrals, but runners were really fun and friendly. I found the runners to be exceptionally talkative! There WAS one girl that I liked toying with for a while that was blatantly trying to race me and would slow down as soon as she went past... that was fun! Lots of maniacs because this is one of the very few (and possibly only now that Hatfield-McCoy is cancelled) marathons in WV. 
Steph with Marathon Maniacs- GO LIPSTICK LADY!
Expo: NA/5.0
~ No real expo (only a few small vendors)

Swag: 4.1/5.0
~T-Shirts: Since I signed up a little later, I got a tech-t. They DO have the option (if you sign up early enough) to get a really nice Marathon Fleece. JEALOUS!!!! But the shirts were pretty nice. Long sleeve and technical. They have the HUGE marathon logo on the front. eek... 3.4

~Medals: The medals had a huge improvement from prior years. Although they totally copied off the flying pig "animal butt on back" I still love it! 4.8

~ Goodie Bag: None
Results: Stephanie
Chip Time: 3:25:05
Place: Overall- 71/514, Gender- 6/164, A/G (F25-29)- 1/13

Happy Racing,
"Run to Win" - Meb

Monday, November 15, 2010

Run/Weekend Updates via Picture

I'm still feeling pretty sick... better than last week, but I can't seem to kick this cold bug. Yuck! It's definitely made worse by running outside now that the winter weather kicked in. Since I'm not feeling my best, this post will be made mostly via picture. 

I lost another one of these...
As you can tell from the other toes... I really couldn't afford that. Damn!

This is my OFF weekend so I did a quick 10 miler before I went to a Crossfit competition with a friend... just to watch! If you don't remember, I did a post on crossfit found here about 2 months ago. Watching these things sure makes me want to join their gym... but with my running, I just can't risk getting hurt before April!

I don't have a dog, but I like to borrow other peoples dogs and pretend ;) I dragged my friend Jason and his puppy "Pumpkin" to a Christmas Stroll up near work and they had a puppy costume contest. Remember Alaska and my Moose Antlers I ran in? If not, check it out ... here. Well pumpkin became the "Christmas Moose"... and TOTALLY WON! We don't lose here at Steph's 50 Marathon Challenge and that includes the dogs! 
I did this...
... for the first time in YEARS! How does one run one of these long sprint races??? I felt like crap and coughed up a lung afterwards, but turned out I got 10th woman out of over 900! I ran a 21:28, which I guess is a 6:55 min/mile pace. Not great, but it got the job done! Also, I convinced a bunch of people to dress in tutus for the race...
Team TUTU after the Who Dey 5k!
Most of the people here are part of our UNDEFEATED flag football team!! Woohoo! So a football-inspired 5K was just perfect. Here is more tutu-ness....
Two TUTU Totin Tools!
After watching the benGALS get a serious beat down, I went home and passed out for a few hours... All this activity is probably not going to help the cold situation-- but it sure is fun! 

Coming Up:
...this Weekend!!!!!!

Happy Running,
"Run to Win" - Meb

Friday, November 12, 2010

Spinx Run Fest ~ Race Ratings (repeat state)

Tag line: "Easy stress-free marathon!"

Spinx Run Fest ~ October 30, 2010
Greenville, SC~ Greenville Drive Stadium
Type: Road with "Rabbit Trail"-- track-like surface option
Year Running: 6th
Registration Fee: $65-$85 Early ($95 late)
Charity Race? No
Runners:  604 Finishers ... 220 Females
Available Races: Full, Half, 5K
Average Finish Time: 4:19:44
BQ %: 13.91

Overall Race Ratings: 4.2/5.0

Average Calculated Rating: 4.0/5.0
~ This found this race very stress free. Everything you need to know is communicated so well and everything is easy to get to. It's very simple with nothing crazy going on... but still fun! Based on past and current comments, this race is maturing into a fantastic marathon. It seems that the director takes any and all comments to heart and tries to improve every year (ie. "bad" shirts in 2008... fantastic shirts in 2010). 

Race Director: Let's play race director...
~ This race can use a little help with the race organization. We need maybe 2 more water stops in the 2nd half of the course for when it gets hot. Also, port-a-john need to come in pairs of 3-- one is not enough. Since this race was cancelled in 2009 and just coming back up, I'm sure they weren't able to get a good estimate of the number of runners participating. Also, the timers were all off-- but most runners wear watches anyways! The director DID send out a survey and listens to the runners, so I wouldn't be surprised if a few of these things were fixed for next year. 

Event Organization: 4.3/5.0 (now broken into 2 parts, see below as well) As far as "event organization" we'll include things like Host hotel, website use, ease of travel to the event and to the actual race, etc.
Distance from Airport to Expo/Race: About 15 miles
Rental Car Required: Yes!
~ You HAVE to check out their website here. It has to be one of the most intricate and well-written marathon websites I've ever seen. Everything is very clearly marked and any information you need is available... it's also kind of cute :P There is a slightly further airport that is a little less expensive, but GSP was definitely on the pricier side. One you're there though, Greenville is pretty easy to get around. There are plenty of hotels within walking distance that have very good rates. The expo is also very close to the host hotels/start. 

I also wanted to note that this race is 180-degrees from the other big marathon in SC- Myrtle Beach, which got cancelled this year due to a few snow flurries. That whole mess, made this race seem so much easier, stress-free and fun! Also-- The race director sent out an email with a survey on the marathon... I haven't seen that in a LONG time! I think it's just great. 

Race Organization: 3.5/5.0
Hydration Color/Type: Yellow Gatorade. 
Gel Type/Flavors/Availability:  Various/various/1-2 stops
~Post Race Food: .The post-race food was a little unusual. They had some good poppy-seed breads, as well as some really great fruit. The usual bagels were available along with chicken salad sandwiches... then they also had this bowl of hot stuff that was either really hard grits or really soft mashed potatoes. I stuck my tongue in it and immediately threw it out. iiiiiickkkk
~ They could definitely use a few more water stops  (about 8 total), especially in the later miles. There was supposed to be Gel at 2 aid stations, but I only noticed them at 1. They did have a few options on gel with both GU and (gag) Accel gel (aka battery tasting). There were always port-a-johns available, but it was usually 1 at a time, so you may have to wait. If I had been racing this course, I would have been a little frustrated here. The start, however, had a ton of port-a-john-- shortest lines I've seen at a race. They also had a little expo pre and post race with local vendors, which was kind of neat! They had some issues with their clocks... they were scattered throughout the course, but they were definitely not started at the same time (sometimes at all). Mile markers very well placed! 

Course: 4.3/5.0
MarathonGuide Rating 
Garmin Distance: 26.6
Type: Road with "Rabbit Trail"- Sections had "Track-like surface"
~ Elevation Gain/Loss: NA
~ This race got a little confusing- we knew we crossed our own paths a few times, but couldn't exactly figure out how. I think there was some sort of worm-hole we went through :) The course was very pretty, especially in the park areas. It ALSO has this rabbit trail thing... basically it's a normal bike path, but on 1 side it has this strip you can run on that is similar to running on a track, only even softer/bouncier. It felt SO good in the 20-miles. This is not as flat as you would expect... there were several sections of short, but steep, rolling hills. Definitely tough on the ole' hammies! The best part is the last .15 or so... they wind you into this big baseball stadium and you run the perimeter of the outfield. As you enter they put you on the big jumbo-tron screen. SO cool! 

Spectators: 3.7/5.0
~ I was pleasantly surprised by the number of spectators. They seemed to be stationed all around the parks and cities so you never went TOO long without at least a small cheering section. They were always very excitable and even if they were out for their own runners, whey cheered on the rest of us crazies. 

 Pace Group: NA/5.0

Runner/Corrals: 4.2/5.0
~ No Corrals necessary. Runners were VERY nice. This is now one of the few SC marathons so of course there are a lot of maniacs and 50-staters. Everybody was very upbeat and friendly. I tried to make friends with most people around us... only one guy did not want to talk and he ended up seriously hurting at the end-- serves him right. Brent (MM) was kind enough to run with me the whole race and endure my babbling/crazy dance moves around mile 23!

Expo: NA/5.0
~ I was unable to attend

Swag: 4.2/5.0
~T-Shirts: The shirts were long sleeve tech T's about the same color as the blue ribbon below. They have white stripes down the sides, which I always find slimming. And a very simple design with the race logo. It's sweat wick and comfortable and definitely designed to be worn a little baggier-- which means I swim in a small. 4.3

~Medals: The medals were unusual with a stone-looking pattern, and a woman racing in the middle. Don't know how the guys felt about the fem-medal, but I thought it was kind of neat. 3.6

~ Goodie Bag: Nothing special here, BUT-- upon finishing the marathon, you're rewarded with an additional blue finishers cap with a cute design and very comfortable! Loved it! +.2

Results: Stephanie
Chip Time: 3:51:53
Place: Overall- 178/604, Gender- 40/220, A/G (F25-29)- 9/46

Goals! I had 2 special goals for this race. Let's see how I did...
1) Get a "jumping jack picture" like Dave Mari always does! CHECK!!!!! (see above)
2)  Finish with all the costume accessories I started with! FAIL!!! I started losing pieces of my ammo belt and eventually Greenville, SC would be covered with fake bullets... eek. 
... Ahhh 1 for 2 is NOT bad! 

Happy Racing,
"Run to Win" - Meb

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Marshall U Marathon ~ Post-Race Thoughts

We made our way to Marshall University in Huntington, WV (only about a 3 hour drive from my house) on Saturday evening. Did a very chilly self-guided tour of the University (primarily the bookstore), went to the packet pick-up and pasta feed and were back at the hotel by 6:30. Where I pretty much immediately fell asleep until marathon time the next morning. 

When I woke up on Sunday I still felt like hell warmed over. MB told me not to run, the smart side of my brain told me not to run, my running nose told me not to run... and I decided NOT to run.... for approximately 10 minutes. Then my maniacal self got ahold of me and as another Marathon Maniac would tell MB later ... "She's Star Chasing!" Damn straight I am! If I didn't get this race into my schedule the way it is right now, I wouldn't make 30 marathon-states in 1 year and I would never get my 10th (and highest level) spinny star from the marathon maniacs. You've GOT to have keep your priorities straight!

So in attempts to give myself pneumonia keep my streak alive,  I went out in the 30-degree weather to run another marathon. When I decided to run I said I was going to run EASY and just get a 4:00... 3:59:59 was all I needed and I could do it without exerting too much of myself. 

Now boys and girls, who here can tell me what happens when I say I should to take a race easy? ....yep, Little Johnny in the front?
... LJ: You idiotically run like a banshee from hell
... Yes, that's correct.

Game Time... HUH!
I tried REALLY hard not to do it. I stayed in the middle at the start line, instead of going to the front so I couldn't keep a count of the women around and know what place I was in. Alas, it was meant to be. I didn't want to take my hands out of my sweatshirt because it was SO cold -- which also meant I wanted to take off and try to get my body warmed up! By the time I got to mile 3 I was running a 7:38 min/mile pace. .... Damn! 

I even tried to take a potty stop to slow down my time and get away from the few girls around me that I could see. But around mile 10 this old couple (likely from the pits of hell) just HAD to tell me I was in 7th place... damn them! So this is how the conversation in my head went...

Good Side: You ONLY need a 4:00! This race doesn't mean anything and you have Philadelphia coming up! Why don't you at LEAST slow down to a 7:45... maybe 8:00 pace. Save some energy. Hey, you can run a 9 min/mile pace for the rest of the race, put in a good effort, STILL pick up another BQ and go home without killing yourself and giving yourself pneumonia! 

Bad Side: HEY! There are women RIGHT THERE that you can SEE and they are BEATING YOU! You can catch them. I wonder what the awards are!? That one you saw take off is definitely out of your A/G... chances are if you catch at least 1 or 2, you can score if your A/G. HEY... while we're at it... wouldn't it be cool to get another 3:20-something.... ooh ooh or another PR!?!? Screw the cold... running is good for you! Hence, running hard must be REALLY good for you. Go for it! This is SO going to help you recover from your cold... I promise *Fingers crossed*

I ran a 3:25:04, was 6th overall and 1st in my A/G. I caught 2 people, but then 1 sneaky one came out of nowhere and caught me. ... you decide for yourself which side I listened to! 

The Race!
The race itself was very cold the whole time I was running-- warmed up a bit for some of the later finishers. The course wound us through the school, some parks, some parts of the "city" a few times. Nothing stand-out as was indicated on the comments on marathonguide. The support was pretty good. They DID do the flower memorial at mile 25. We were able to pick up a flower and carry it about 200 yards to drop it in a box to memorialize the victims in the plane crash in 1970. They also gave us football as we entered the stadium and we were able to carry them from endzone to endzone for quite the little photo-op! 

There ended up being a ton of maniac in this race (probably because there are so few WV races). I was able to get a photo-op with the group that finished between 3:20 and 4:15.... then later with a group that finished around the same time MB did (~5 hours). I also got a massage, cheeseburger, and waited for MB to come into the stands so the DJ could harass her for me, yelling "MaryBeth is entering the stadium. There is a message from your daughter to move your butt!" Thank you MR. DJ! Muahahahahaha!
Marathon Maniacs Group Pic 1

Marathon Maniacs Group Pic 2
Patient Update!
Still sick... hacking up a lung and generally feeling very crappy. Good news? NO marathon this weekend!!! There is the Who Dey 5K (Cincinnati Bengals) that I will be participating in! I'm TRYING to take it easy and rest so I'll be ready to go in Philadelphia next weekend!!!

Happy Running,
"Run to Win" -Meb