Sandy's 2013 Race Recap

I’m stealing this idea from my friend Danielle (T-Rex Runner), who says she stole it from someone else, so I guess the concept is fair game.  This is actually a good way to kick off re-starting my blog.  I have the best of intentions of keeping a current blog with current races and happenings in my running life.  But then, I never seem to keep up.  Without further ado, here are my highlights from my 2013 running life from January to June 2013.  I’ll finish out the year in a second post.

January
 
2013 started off with a bang by flying to Orlando on New Year’s Eve to run the Savage Seven Day 7 Marathon on New Year’s Day with my husband (our marriage not even a month old at this point) Scot Barco, who had run the previous six days.  This year, the Savage Seven was held outside Orlando in a high school parking lot and we had to run 50 laps to get in a marathon distance.  I’d been bored in the past with double- or triple-loop courses, so this one would have killed me if it weren’t for the excellent race direction by Bettie Wailes, the wonderful teen volunteers, and getting to pass (or be passed by) runners multiple times, thereby having the opportunity to be social. 
New Year's kiss after Savage Seven Day 7, Scot's 7th in a row
After Savage Seven, we headed west to run Mississippi Blues Marathon, a well-organized event with a great guitar medal and harmonica swag, and I ran the entire race with Abbi, Ruth and Lori.  

The cold, rainy finish at Mississippi Blues Marathon with fellow Maniac and 50-Stater friends
Then we visited my mom in Memphis for a day or so, and then we drove back to Florida to run the Goofy Challenge (my 2nd Goofy and Scot’s 1st) as well as the 5K for an unofficial "Dopey" weekend at Walt Disney World.  As if that wasn’t enough for January, I also ran a double: the Museum of Aviation (Warner Robins GA) and Louisiana Marathon (Baton Rouge LA) before the month was up.  Louisiana, especially, was lots of fun and full of Maniacs.
 
February
 
I did actually blog about my experience at the Groundhog Day Marathon in Grand Rapids MI, where I slipped on ice and had a DNF for the full (but got a recorded time for the half).  Because of this injury, I had to DNS the Mid Maryland Ultra 50K, and drop from the full to the half at Mercedes Marathon in Birmingham AL due to their strict 6 hour time limit.  Still, Mercedes was fun and full of Maniacs and Half Fanatics; it was refreshing to get a warm shower, clean clothes, and walk back to the finish line with Abbi to see Scot finish the full marathon with a new PR.  I did finish one full marathon in February: Myrtle Beach SC.  This was the day before Mercedes and had a generous time limit.  Nilda and I were both injured, so we stuck together at Myrtle Beach and finished with a slow, steady pace.

Finishing Myrtle Beach with Nilda - injured runners stuck together!
March
 
In March I ran two full marathons (Little Rock AR and Shamrock in Virginia Beach VA) and two half marathons (Rock ‘n’ Roll USA in DC and Run the Bluegrass in Lexington KY).  Both Rock ‘n’ roll USA and Shamrock were repeat races for me, so I’ll mention that Shamrock was Wayne's 100th marathon, and then shift focus on the other races.  Little Rock is always a big race for Maniacs and 50 Staters and this year was no exception.  The race logistics were good and I took the early start because I was still unsure of my injured leg.  Steve Hughes was the early start 6-hour pacer and I ran with him for a while, ran with Abbi for awhile, then I just could not keep up my momentum on the really long uphill stretch.  I walked for quite some time, then had trouble getting back into the groove.  Still, I saw many people I knew on the out and back section in the last few miles of the course, and had pizza and beer with Scot, Ruth, David and Wayne after the finish.

JC and Julia were on the same flight as me, connecting to Little Rock
On March 23rd Scot and I did something different and ran the Marine Corps 17.75K near Quantico VA to earn our guaranteed entry into the Marine Corps Marathon in October.  Jill and Tim came down from NY state to run it, and it was the first time we met PA Maniac Ashley.  The the following day we slept in, but got out of bed in time to cheer on finishers at the local Runners Marathon of Reston.  Of note, our friends David and JC were finishing a streak of 9 marathons in 9 days across the country.  They made the local Fairfax County paper.

Scot and I with David and JC after their 9-in-9 streak finish in Reston VA
Then on March 30th, Run the Bluegrass was my birthday race.  I’d wanted to find a full marathon on my birthday, but that was tricky because it was Easter weekend and races were hard to find.  Run the Bluegrass was a great compromise because friends Abbi and Jamie were pacing the 3-hour group, and I was happy to go at this easy pace on the extremely hilly, but beautiful course.  We were rewarded at the finish with great local beer, and I had pre-ordered a special bottle of Knob Creek single-barrel bourbon labeled for the race.

Linda and Becky horsing around at Run the Bluegrass
April
 
April felt like a slow month with only two half marathons and one full marathon.  In the first part of the month, Scot and I did double half marathons (Dismal Swamp Stomp in Chesapeake VA and Flying Pirate on the Outer Banks of NC).  He had done both of these races before, but not as a double; this would advance him to 4 Moons in Half Fanatics.  Dismal Swamp Stomp had a flat, fast course on a bike trail along the swamp.  I could have PR’d there if only I hadn’t BADLY needed to stop at a port-a-potty mid-course.  

Half Fanatics and Magenta at the Dismal Swamp Stomp start
The following day I ran my second Flying Pirate Half Marathon and got to see some of Scot’s friends and family.  At the end of the month, we made our way to Louisville KY to run the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon.  I ran much of the race with Rhonda and Sarah, and Abbi and Daphne Dog spectated and served as wonderful hosts.  Just a little disappointed that they started closing the course early and I had to wait at red lights to cross intersections in the last mile or so of the race.

With Sarah and Rhonda at Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon; photo credit to Abbi
May
 
By the time May rolled around, I’d spent some time calculating how many more marathon states I needed to earn in order to achieve Titanium, or 10-Star, level in the Marathon Maniacs.  Because I had run so many doubles in the last six months with Scot, and probably would never do as many again, I figured it was “now or never” and put together a plan to add only 5 more races to my existing schedule, and then I would earn Titanium.  That’s what led me back to Birmingham AL to run the XTERRA Oak Mountain Trail Marathon with Ruth (and Natalie, though I didn’t see her after the start) and to meet Half Fanatic Donnie.  It was my first trail race of significant distance, and while the trail slowed me down, it was very kind to this first-timer, and I enjoyed the experience.

With Ruth at the start of the XTERRA Oak Mountain Trail Marathon in Alabama
At the end of the month, Scot and I drove to Burlington VT to run the Vermont City Marathon over Memorial Day weekend.  This was a fun celebration for Maricar’s 100th marathon, and many Maniacs were there setting other personal records.  The race was very well organized and the spectators were awesome in spite of the cold, nearly constant downpour all day long; I ran at different times with Maricar, Peggy and Shawn.  After the race, we celebrated at a pub and a local microbrewery.  Vermont was beautiful, Burlington was fun, and I wish we’d had more time to spend there.

Vermont City celebration for Maricar's 100th marathon
June
 
And that brings me to June, when my Titanium quest kicked into full gear and I had four marathon weekends in a row.  First, I flew out to California to stay with friends Jon and Valery and to run the Rock ‘n’ roll San Diego marathon with Ray and Michelle.  Elizabeth spectated and met us for drinks post-race.

With Elizabeth, Michelle and Ray after Rock 'n' Roll San Diego
The following weekend, Scot and I ran the Ann Arbor Marathon to get revenge on Michigan (remember my Groundhog Day DNF) and so that I could wear my Ohio State shirt while running in enemy territory.  Fellow Maniac Cindy paced this race and I ran with her for the first half.

With our favorite pacer Cindy at the Ann Arbor start
Next up was the ½ Sauer ½ Kraut Marathon in Philadelphia, an easy day-trip from home.  I ran much of this race with Peggy in the unbearable heat and humidity, which did a number on both Scot and I.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay for the after-party.  And then, for the best part of June: Scot and I redeemed frequent flyer miles in order to travel to Anchorage AK for the Mayor’sMarathon.  This was the 50th state for friends JC and Eddie the Barefoot Bandito, and we kept our trip a secret for months, only meeting up with them for meals the day before the race.  Alaska was beautiful and we did some day-trips from Anchorage to see sled dogs, fly into a glacier, and take amazing photos of the mountains.

Mid-course during Mayor's Marathon in Anchorage; never did see a moose
Our glacier landing in the seaplane
That sums up the first half of my 2013 races.  My next post will focus on the second half, and then I’ll be all caught up and ready to blog anew in 2014.

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