Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chapter 2 page 482–miles 7-8

These 2 miles weren’t exactly difficult especially since they were so close to the water with stunning views the entire time!  They were; however, a bit remote (I know how stupid that sounds).  This was the part of the route where the turn around occurred and where the HUGE amount of participants (that had brought so much energy) started to dwindle (I love me some crowd energy as you know).  I don’t want to make it sound like I struggled or that I didn’t like this section, but it kind of felt as if we (me and a couple hundred of my new closest running buddies) were out there alone (alone from race officials not alone from other participants). . . like if we would have had a medical emergency that it might have taken SEVERAL minutes for help to arrive.  Maybe just my perception, but it felt rather isolated.  Oh well, it was beautiful.  Here are some of the photos “C” took  - double click on any of them to begin daydreaming!

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(left)  Me to “C” and MOA:  “Hey guys, I think that’s rain coming”

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(right) Can you see the 3 men dressed in tan just ahead of the white shirted person?  They were HILARIOUS – these guys were dressed up as Reno 911 cops – OMG – they posed for HUNDREDS of pictures before the race and they were just a hoot!!!!!  A+ group costume!!!

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(left)  Golf anyone . . . during a half marathon FORE and by the ocean – ahhh, that’s not like golfing in the cornfields of IN

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chapter 2 page 481–Big Sur 2nd 5K

Still clicking off 14:00-14:30 m/m pace and feeling strong, the route heads out of a “town” feel and is completely surrounded by the indescribable beauty of Monterey Bay.  In case you missed the other recap posts – click HERE for the start and first mile or click HERE for the first 5K.  The weather was still really good – no wind, no rain, cool but warming up a bit, and overcast. 

The 2nd 5K was rolling and still fun.  There were tons of people already on their way back (it was an out and back route) and with personalized bibs – several of those corral A & B’ers yelled “Looking Great Wells!”  (Wow, I’ve never been in a race when the speedy corral people even smile let alone yell for slow polks like me – awesomely selfless of them!).  It gave me a lot of energy to cheer for those participants on their way back and to pick out a few who looked like they could really use a pep talk . . . so out came my “FREE HIGH 5’s” Smile  

Enough yapping – here are the photos (courtesy of “C”) – double click on any photo to enlarge:

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(left) beautiful Victorian house; (right) yeah, it’s just that perfect

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(left) another “different” type of music along the route – it’s a tuba and trombone group – totally awesome sounding and a fun change, but different!  (right) – just for your daydreaming pleasure

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(left) the only photo of “C” during the race (I’m sorry girl, I wish I could be more engaged in photography during a race – at least it’s a cute photo); (right) those are some of the early runners coming back (that’s about mile 12.3 where they are).

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(left) – a house with a beautiful painted mural on the outside (who does that?  LOTS of people in Monterey – beautiful and unexpected!); (right) just a look back at the bay

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(left) another course entertainment band taking shelter from the forecast rain under a gas station awning; (right) we ran through a quaint town called Pacific Grove

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(left) Pacific Grove decorated their light posts with banners so us out of towners would know where we were Smile; (right) That mile 4 marker is on the HUGE MOUNTAIN that I had mentioned last post . . . too bad you can’t really see how STEEP this hill is.  I walked the whole thing (yeah, I did – not apologizing –it was STEEP) and it took me more than 4 minutes!!!

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(left) Look at that cute pink house; (Right) awesome outfits that really show the joyous spirit of the participants (you know I love happy people!)

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(Left) we’re heading down the hill on the left side of the cones while those finishing the race are going uphill (cruel) on the right side of the cones; (Right) just some wild flowers growing on a dune. 

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(Left) MOA & “C” checking to see if I’m still coming (I am, slowly, but I am!); (Right) the Bay behind the runners on their way to the finish line.

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Just some general race pix showing the out and back with the Bay always in eye’s view – ahhhh. 

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Isn’t it stunning?  Look at that beautiful blue sky and the blue water below – oh man!

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That’s MOA in both photos wearing the red shirt. 

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(left) check out that HUGE house on the left – yeah, it’s my vacay home – NOT!; (right) ummm, are those storm clouds?

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YES, those do appear to be storm clouds for sure . . . but they are far away?!?!

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More general race pix

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(left) a city park across from the bay – that’s so pretty!; (right) mile 6 this is where I had to do a small pep talk and remember that on 11/11 I had done 11 miles so I can so totally do this!  The 2 steep hills and the rolling hills (remember I live in SUPER FLAT Indiana!) had taken some out of my tank, but after my pep talk – I was back in the game and moving forward confidently.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Chapter 2 page 480–Big Sur first 5K

It’s not that I’m trying to drag this out, it’s that there is so much to tell and I don’t want these posts to get too long and boring.  HERE is the link for the start and mile 1 (in case you missed it). 

The first 3 miles went pretty smoothly – with the exception of one BIG hill at about mile 2.5 (spoiler alert: there was one GIGANTIC MOUNTAIN at mile 4 …OMG!).  Everyone was in such a good mood and it was just taking it all in.  The weather was even beautiful – no wind, cool but not cold, and despite ALL the warnings of rain – NONE!  I had established a consistent 14:30 m/m pace (not flashy, I know that – but doable and enjoyable).  Again, thanks to “C” for her willingness to take these photos and to share them with me. 

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(left) Headed under a tunnel that goes under the cross over into the Fisherman’s Wharf; (right) a bagpiper playing at the far end of the tunnel allowing it to echo for the entire length of the tunnel – super cool (but different, right?)

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(left) The Army language school, (right) across the street for the language school –isn’t it beautiful?!?!

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(left) more stunning scenary; (right) mile marker 2 (click HERE to learn more about the race’s new mile markers)

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(left) just a quick look back at where we just came from; (right) that purple shirt says “Hormonal Hotties” –so cute, really shows the fun spirit of the participants

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This shows the hill at mile 2.5, we’re on the left going up the hill (that’s MOA in the red shirt) and on the right . . . YEAH, that’s the winners with like .5 left to go (the men’s winner was 1:03:48, the women’s winner was 1:14:16- smokin’ FAST!).

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This is the entrance into Cannery Row.  Click HERE to learn more about this historic and scenic area. 

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That’s MOA’s pony tale and red shirt Smile This was an out and back course so that cross walk was mile 3 and 12.

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What do they can you ask?  Sardines and Anchovies (blek).  It was made famous when John Steinbeck wrote about this area.

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The white building straight ahead (on left) is the aquarium – no worries, we visited it so you’ll get to see LOTS of photos in a future post.  Ahhh, first 5K done – okay, still keeping with the 14:00 – 14:30 m/m pace . . . no problem, feeling strong!