Saturday, April 27, 2013

14 out of 20 and I'm ok With That

Not to sound complacent mind you. I know that finishing a marathon requires a lot of hard work maybe under other circumstances I might be more annoyed with failing to reach 100% today. And really there is no way to know exactly - if at all- how much today's effort will help or hinder the race on May 26th. The fact that I am really ok with it, however, gives me a better chance of success in the marathon than if I were to obsess for the next 4 weeks about it. Let me start at the beginning ...

My effort today actually started yesterday when I posted on FB asking for a little help from my friends. I was overwhelmed with the replies. So right now let me not forget to say thank you to my local running family Maggi, Julius, Mark and Jeannie, my sister Katie, virtual running buddy (she exists but we haven't met yet)Carolyn and Susan. Susan, I don't now if you'll ever see this, but you are amazing. I do not know who you are except that a little FB stalking indicates you are a friend of Carloyn. You don't know me but you supported me anyway. With all their comments (I'll share them soon) I was really looking forward to the run. I was not nervous or worries on Friday evening as I had been for the 20 miler two weeks ago.

The alarm went off at 4:30. I got up just fine, dressed, had a bagel and water (my usual) and off I went. The moon was full (or just coming off full I'm not sure) and the roads were quiet. I missed the exit from 202 to 422. WHAT? Seriously? I've been driving this route for 5+ years and never missed it before. I thought I could do this with my eyes closed. I probably can do that but not today. Suddenly I was looking at the traffic light for King of Prussia Mall. I made a legal U-turn and was back on track quickly. It was only about a half mile out of the way.

I arrived at the Collegeville Diner trailhead about 5:45. My plan was to start out at 6 so I had time to loosen up my joints. I'm not a fan of strenuos pre-run stretching but limbering up the joints - especially at my age - is always helpful. I did that started my watch and gymboss timer and off I went. For those who know the trail I started at the 5 1/2 mile marker (yes I touched it) and headed west to the light at the diner and then turned around to head east toward Valley Forge.

Full on sunrise was set for about 6:08 so there was plenty of civil twilight going to get me started. I began my run with Maggi and Mark in my head. "Shoulders back, chin up and run by feel". Great advice. For the first 2 or 3 miles, I listened to my feet hitting the gravel trail. This is one of my favorite running sounds. I watched the sun come up over the trail and the mist rising off the open spaces and the Perkiomen Creek. It was here too that I thought of Katie's comment "Remind yourself that you could be doing your 20 in Florida where it will be in the mid-80s with 90% humidity." I'll take her word for it since we all know (depending on how long you've known me) that when *I* run in FL it snows. The temps here were in the mid-40s, clear, and once the sun came up dry.

You'll have to take my word for it that it was gorgeous and very inspiring. I had my camera but it was tucked away in the pocket of my camelback. Photos today would have to happen only when I stopped. Two weeks ago and today I wanted to make sure I did not use any pockets that I likely will not have on race day. Memorial day weekend should be too warm to wear my rain shell so no extra pockets. I managed to rig a comfortable set up for my fig newtowns by taking an old Amphipod pouch that I saved after the belt wore out. I fished the chest strap for the camelback through it and was able to carry it that way without any issue. And it holds just enough FN's for a marathon :)

Speaking of Fig Newtons, one of Maggi's susggestion for things to think about was whether or not Fig Newtowns were named after the town or the scientist. She suggested I come up with arguments for both sides. However, all I could think of was the episode of "Big Bang Theory" where Sheldon attempts to teach Penny about Physics. I love "Big Bang Theory" so I chuckled for awhile thinking about the epsiode. (Thanks Maggi). Interesting trivia side note, it is becaue of running that I watch "Big Bang Theory". Mark D would talk about it ALL.THE.TIME. on our runs together. I kept saying I would watch and never got around to it. Finally he started sending me youtube clips and I was hooked. Now I watch the show and the endless reruns and laugh every single time. Here is a short clip of the Sheldon Teaches Penny Physics episode from the end of the show where she shows off what she has 'learned'. Priceless.

Susan's suggestion was to think about "The Little Engine That Could". This came in handy during the stretch of the run I call "No Man's Land". If you know the trails it's that part between mile 2 the Perkiomen Trail to mile 29.5 of the Schuylkill River Trail (SRT). For those that don't know the trail that's two different numbering systems - just in case that wasn't clear. I never do well on these two parts; separately or together. I swear they are longer than measured and I tend to really slog along this section. So Susan's "I think I can" was an appropriate mantra here. BTW, she also said "You can do this" which also helped push me along.

It was during this section (it's only about 5 miles but feels endless so I had time to work in lots of thoughts) where I thought about yet another Maggi suggestion. "For the first few miles, work out simple math problems in your head. For the last few miles, marvel at the fact that you started out with enough brain power to do math." I didn't do this in the first few miles. I was too caught up in the beauty of the trail to think about much else. So I though maybe now would be a good time to do something along these lines. There were two problems though. One, I can't do simple math problems at any time of the run. My mind tends to jump from one thing to the another without direction from me so it's hard to focus on something like that. The only difference between beginning and end of the run is that the mind jumps a little slower at the end. I thank you for the suggestion though Maggi as it made me think of the Wizard of Oz when the Scarecrow gets his diploma. "The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triange is equal to the square root of the remaining side". I understand that isn't true by the way but I was not going to try to work that out.

I realized as I ran that it's not really all that unusual for me to think about the Wizard of Oz at this point on the trail although usually it happend running in the other direction. As we come out of the tree shaded part into the open space I often think of the four travelers coming out of the woods and into the poppy field. "You're out of the woods..." The song goes and it is often in my head. But I never got to running in that direction today.

I was appoaching Betzwood trailhead now where, as Julius reminded me, "There will be a group of people at Betzwood looking forward to running with you on part of your trek". The group was planning to take off at 8 am. I arrived around 7:40. David wanted to know how I managed to time it so well. Pure luck I told him. I figure how long it should take me and add a cushion. David and I chatted while I stretched. Shortly, Julius, Mark (my Big Bang Theory guru), and Jennifer arrived. Jennifer is new to our group. She was the 100th person join Perkis People on FB. When we finally took off to run I managed to stay with her and Julius for the first mile so I could add her to my list of people I have run, walked or biked at least 1 mile with this year. I'm up to 14 since March 1st. Candy and Eileen were there too. They went in the opposite direction from us choosing to stay on the paved SRT while we went on the unpaved River Trail.

Note: I was not feeling quite as good physically as I was two weeks ago at this point. Mentally I was fine but my legs were more tired than after 8 miles two weeks ago. I guess that's not surprising. I've never tried two 20 milers this close together before. I wasn't wiped out though just feeling the run a little more.

I reminded the group that I was already 8 miles into my day and that I did not expect anyone to hold back with me. So after the first mile I lagged behind but I was fine with that bee bopping along to the voices in my head. Carolyn told me she was looking forward to hearing how I ignored the "voices in my head." Well Carolyn I was lucky today that none of them were negative today. Thanks in large part to you and everyone else who made all those great suggestions for things to think about. In fact, I'm very proud of not having any negativity today even when I realized I needed to stop. So Maggi, I didn't get to tell myself "how awesome you are" that I'm doing great or give myself bonus points for doing it when my brain starts going in a negative direction. Quite frankly that never happened. I didn't pout, didn't almost cry, didnt stomp my feet, or get mad that I had to stop. I'll give myself awesome points for that :)

And Jeannie? I never got as far as thinking about the things I was going to eat but havig my own words directed at me "Keep smiling and keep moving" was a huge boost. Thanks. :)

So why did I stop at 14? I'll tell you but you have to trust that I'm fine even though it kinda sounds scary. Promise? If you can't... stop reading. :)

I have this thing that happens with my heart. It does not happen frequently. Ive come to recognize it as my body's way of saying "you are going too fast too soon"; that I'm increasing my speed faster than my body can keep up. It's hard to describe the feeling. The best I can do is say it's like an extra beat (or maybe a missed beat I'm not sure.) Think about the "flight or fright" feeling you get when you are startled; the adrenaline rush that goes straight to your heart. Well it's like that except instead of a big rush that subsides slowly it's a blip that is noticeable and disconcerting but if I back off my pace it goes away. For example if I start a run with people faster than me (few aren't) and we get up to speed too fast it happens. I drop back and it goes away. It doesn't happen every time. Often if I control the pace when we start and slowly we get 'up to speed; I'm fine. It happens also at the end of a race if I suddenly start sprinting to the finish. But if I increase my speed slowly though over the final mile it doesn't happen.

Well today, it started early. I backed off and it would go away. But it kept coming back. Every mile or so. I was not pushing, my breathing and effort were good but my heart kept doing it's thing. I was not short of breath, I had no numbing or tingling anyhwere and no pain anywhere. I didn't feel dizzy or weak. (yes I was doing a heart attack check).  It was just annoying. After the break at Betzwood it was fine for about a mile and then it came back. This time though it the frequency started picking up. By the time I made the turn around it was happening even on my walk breaks.

I got back to the bathrooms/parking lot at the trailhead and most of my buddies were still there so I stopped, stretched and chatted. I also tried to assess what was going on. Even standing there it was still happening. I felt tired but not dreadfully so and I had a snot river (sorry) going down the back of my throat since I started the run. I concluded that my body wasn't up to this today and that the frequency increase was my body's way of shouting that enough was enough. So I decided that 14 was going to be it for today. I told my friends that I decided to stop (but without the detail) and Eileen who lives not far from where my car was parked graciously offered me a ride back to it.

I've been home for about 5 hours now. Showered, fed, rested (a 1.5 hour nap) and I feel fine. I'm not going to be upset about this. As I said it would be counterproductive anyway but I really didin't have to talk myself into being ok with it. I had the best 20 miler I've ever had two weeks ago so I know I can do this. As Carolyn would say " I got this ". I'll keep moving and smiling for the next four weeks and assessing my condition and do my best on marathon day. That's all a person can do, right?

Additional good news, my knew feels good too. My left hip and along my IT band was barking at me when I first got home but it's fine now. I'll have to be diligent with stretching that area and doing the excercises the PT gave me last year (I've kind of slacked off) so hopefully that will be a non-issue on race day.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Age and Hyrdration

Today I purchased a knee brace. Last year, while assessing my hip flexor issues the doc did an exray and determined I have a cam impingement on the left side. I'm getting old folks. Ok neither of these is really an age thing. The doc said I was likely born with the cam thingy but age tends to make it more noticeable. Especially in active adults, he said. Since he was getting paid for the visit regardless of that comment it did make me feel better. The knee brace though -- although I know folks younger than me who wear braces of all kinds I didn't until recently and it makes me feel old.

I have to accept the fact that I have to stretch more now before and after activity and even on my off days. Same goes for rolling out my muscles especially the IT band. I'll just have to make all of this part of a daily routine now. Hindsight says I probably should have made it a daily routine regardless of activity level all along and maybe I wouldn't be having these issues. Let that be a lesson to you young'uns reading this.

The good news is I walked about 2.5 miles total this morning doing my shopping errands and my tendon does not feel as bad as it did running 2 miles yesterday. It's still there but not as much. That is encouraging because I am more confident now that if I do stretch and strengh work and wear the brace I will complete the marathon. I've already shifted my goal to 3 and 1 minute intervals instead of 1 mile and 1 minute intervals and if I have to walk more I will. I really hope not but I'll at least allow for the possibility.

On the subject of hydration: I've long been a water drinker and there is usually a bottle nearby. However, I never really measured how much. When not running there was not much regularity to my intake either. I might have a bottle with me but probably only emptied it once or maybe 1.5 times a day and they were small bottles usually only 8 ounces. So I decided at the beginning of this month - just after we returned from the Atlanta trip -  to make an effort to drink 72 ounces a day. Three 24 oz bottles. I've been told that you should drink half your weight in ounces. I don't know my exact weight. I'm not a fan of scales. I don't want to get hung up on the numbers. I know approximatley where it is based on doctor's visits and how I feel so the estimate is likely close enough.

It's been 17 days and I have to say it DOES make a difference. I can feel it several ways. First in my weight. Like I said,  I'm not a big fan of scales (ours is in the basement for that reason) but I can tell by how my clothes feel if I'm gaining or losing a pound or two. In general I just 'feel' better and the water intake is the only major change in the past three weeks. On Friday, I had a very busy day at work. So much so that I was behind in my water intake. I was tired and a little cranky and someone commented that I didn't look well. Scouts honor, I realized the hydration deficit (I had only finished one bottle by lunchtime) and shortly after making it up I DID feel better.

My friend Kristie is rolling her eyes and/or smiling right now to avoid saying "I told you so". She is too nice to say it out loud to me. She's been pushing the hydration thing forever. Sometimes you just have to figure it out for yourself, though. So I share the experience to help someone else figure it out.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Run With My Niece

My niece Carolyn is an authoress, 2012 National History Day finalist in the individual performance category an aspiring marathoner.

She had been running about 2 miles several times a week. Today I was in her neighborhood having spent the night with her, her parents and 4 siblings. Before heading out this afternoon I asked if she'd like to go for a run together. She had already run her 2 miles for the day earlier but accepted my company for another 2 just the same.

We had a very pleasant time around her neighborhood. I introduced her to run/walk intervals and she filled me in on people she meets on the route of her morning run. Typically she tells me there is a boy and his father waiting for the bus on weekdays. The little boy is in first gradie, Cara thinks, and always says hi to her when she passes. Then there is the crossing guard on the intersection that she passes more than once who looked like she was seeing double the first morning so Cara stopped to chat and explain her circuitous route. She also told me about the man who sits on his porch smoking. I gathered this is the least pleasant part of her journey.

Cara is not yet 16. I'm not a very good aunt. I can't remember if she is 14 or 15 right now but you get the idea. She has a great future ahead of her as a runner if she contines to take it slow and steady. If you are reading this and you are a runner, please leave a comment to encourage her. She does, from time to time, read my blog. If you comment I'll be sure to share them with her in any case.

Cara became the 13th person on my list of folks I run, bike or walk with this year.

A personal training update - I belive I have (right) quadricep tendonitis. I know it's dangerous to self diagnose on the Internet. However, there is no doubt the affected area is my quad tendon. And every description of the ailment fits what I feel to a "T". I hope to get through the marathon with stretching before and after running, icing as needed afterwards and careful miles between now and then.

Now I have to decide if I'm going to try another 20-22 next week as planned. I can't just stop running. With 5 weeks to go it's too soon. One day at a time. :)

Keep smiling and keep moving folks!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Somedays I Just Don't Get It

On Saturday I sailed through 20 miles. Relatively speaking that is. 20 miles is never easy but I've done them before and compared to those I've in the past and to some 15 and 18 milers I've done I sailed through this one.

Today? Not so much. I went out for 5 miles. I decided to leave the watch and gymboss home. I did wear my Road ID because I never leave home for a run, walk or bike without it. I planned a route I knew the mileage on. A mile into it ----- Pffftttt. I was done. I walked a bit. I loosened my shoes because they felt tight. Tried again. Nothing. I had not umph or desire. I ended up taking a 40 minute walk. Ugh!

I figured I'd go home stretch maybe try to do some yoga poses. I'm a mess. It's gigantic effort to do anything. Unfortunately this is affecting my mood in a major way.

Monday, April 15, 2013

4:09:44

I know what happened is not just about the runners. But I am a runner who has completed 4 marathons and it is through that lens that I see the events of today's Boston Marathon.

4:09:44. That is the time on the clock in the photos and videos just after the first blast. The clock is significant to me. It means that I and most of my running and walking buddies would still be on the course. 

We would have been stopped from completing the race in the final miles: At a point where it's all about finishing; at a point where it's all about putting one foot in front of the other and don't stop until you get there. I don't think I would be able to comprehend someone telling me I had to stop. I know I would not be able to understand being told the reason is because there was a bomb - if in fact someone would have told the participants that right then.
My focus at that point in the race is getting it done. I know only one way to the finish line and that is via the race course. Today I and my friends would have had to stop and await instructions on how to get back to our family, friends and fans waiting for us ........ at the finish line.

At the finish line. Where the bombs were detonated.

Where my husband and the families of my running and walking buddies would have been waiting for us. They cheer wildly for those who finish before us anxiously searching for our colors or bibs. Today they would not see us. Today our friends and family would have been innocent bystanders likely in the way of the explosion and its aftermath.

My husband, Dave, has often told me and reminded me today, of how much he gets out of watching the joy on the faces of the participants as they approach and cross the finish line. Joy on the faces of all finishers but particularly those at the back of the pack. He follows my training and knows how hard we work just to get to the starting line and appreciates the smiles when we finish. Today, someone's friends and family members were denied that picture. Some of them may have been injured or worse.

I am just sick over this. I know it's not just about the runners but it is because I am a runner that today's events affect me so. I see the replays of the explosions and every time my heart lurches and I want to cry. I see the man in the orange shirt whose legs give way underneath him as the first blast goes off. It makes me want to cry and if I wasn't so angry I probably would.

Instead I'm going to finish my training with renewed commitment to making it my best FINISH ever.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

I did it! 20 miles

I can't believe I not only did it but I feel great after. At the end of last week's 15 miles my legs were toast. That is probably the biggest reason for my nerves although I didn't actually put that in my list. I did mention that this 20 mile run was going to hurt and that's kind of what I was referring to. The last three last week were really a struggle and quite painful. I finished today without that pain. Oh, don't get me wrong, me legs feel worked but not incapacitated.

Rewind to the start. My alarm went off at 4:30. By 5:15 I was in the car and at 5:57 a.m. I was off on the first part of my run. 8 or 9 miles on my own. I decided to really focus on keeping my pace and running by feel. I'm proud to say I did not look at the pace numbers on the watch at all the entire run. I did look at it for mileage a few times especially near the end. I wore my gymboss to time my intervals and let the watch beep off each mile as it came.

The first 9 seemed almost too easy. Even the return which is a net rise in elevation and has some hills that in the past have done me in. The pacing really helped. They didn't seem so bad at all. I remember finishing 9 and 13 on separate weeks over the winter and really pushing to get past those. Not today.

At 8 a.m. the rest of Perkis People and some from Misery Loves Company (our trail running partners) met up for the beginning of a point to point run from NW avenue of Forbidden drive to the Art Museum. I warned John T and Julius from the getgo that I would not be trying to keep up with them. I was determined to keep my own pace and especially since they had fresh legs at this point they should go on ahead if they wanted an not feel they had to babysit me.

We stayed together anyway until about mile 3 on the trail (mile 12 for me). At this point the trail takes a slight incline before heading downhill at mile 4 to the end. Up to this I worked to keep my breathing and pace steady with 3 and 1 intervals. As the incline approached I backed off my pace a little to keep my breathing steady. Then cruised down into the parking lot at the end of this part of the trail where Maggi and Russ were waiting for us with water, gatorade and snacks. They also accepted our extra layers and brought them to us at the end.

As we started off again I checked in with John T about the crossover to Kelly Drive. Last time we did a point to point I was doing support so I never ran that portion before. He assured me I couldn't miss it and went off with Amy and Julius. Since the group start at NW Ave, Dennis paced right along with me. I haven't seen him since the marathon last year. It was nice to see him and add him to my list of people I've run with. We talked about the Phillies for a bit but by the time I got to 15 miles I wasn't much for conversation. Dennis was a great companion and simply stayed with me as we made our way across the bike path on Lincoln Drive and then down Kelly Drive to Lloyd Hall.

I was amazed at how good my legs felt after 15. None of the pain from last year. I could tell I had run on them but I was able to keep going. At mile 17.5 we ran into (almost for real) Roy "Attititude of Gratitude" Kardon who was out with the ACS Determination group for the day. I didn't take a photo. I didn't want to stop. As it was he caught us in a walk break so we where able to do a sort of hit and run hug and continue on. At mile 18.5 my camelback went dry. That's good to know. I've never taken it to empy before. I think if I make sure to take water at the rest stops along the marathon course I'll be fine.

As each mile ticked off at this point I fist pumped and cheered. Dennis started reminding me that we were almost there and with 1.5 miles to go he said "Only a few more cycles (intervals)".

I thought I would reach 20 before Lloyd Hall but instead at Lloyd Hall I was only at 19.94. So I had to go beyond my cheering friends and finish. Then a bunch of us went up to the Art Museum and ran up the steps. Yes. I ran up the Art Museum steps after my 20 mile run. Not fast mind you but not walking either. :)

This pacing thing is great. I've read about it and swore I would follow it but I always get caught up in some reason to ignore it. Today I stuck to running by feel and it made all the difference. I would love to run 12 minute miles on long runs. That is what I've been striving for. Today I ran 20 miles in 4:05:46. That's only 5 minutes and 46 seconds off the 12 min/mile pace. My average pace was 12:17 mile AND miles 17-20 were progressively faster than 16. Woo Hoo!

If I dare to think ahead .... had this had been race day I would have had 1 hour, 24 minutes and 56 seconds to run 6.2 miles to clear 5 and a half hours for a marathon. Too early to start talking about race day goals but clearing 5 1/2 hours would be a great accomplishment.

Friday, April 12, 2013

20 Mile Nerves

The confidence I had for 15 and 18 miles has flown the coop. I am more nervous for tomorrow's 20 miler than I can remember for any other run; including race days. Things I'm obsessing about - in no particular order:

#1 - I have to get up early - something I have not been good at lately.
#2 - I have to run 8.5-9 miles by myself first. I'll probably be fine on this if I can just get past #1
#3 - I will run the last 11.5 - 12 miles with the group and worry that I'll be too tired to keep up.
#4 - Convincing group to leave me behind when they try to stay with me because that's the kind of running friends they are. It's happened before even if they deny it.
#5 - What to wear. Long sleeves or short. It's going to be that in between kind of morning.
#6 - Whether or not to publish this whiny rant.
#7 - It's going to hurt. I know it's going to hurt.
#8 - If I don't make it I will have to cancel running the marathon.
#9 - I didn't sleep last night. I'm not sure if it's related to the nerves or not but what if I don't sleep tonight either?
#10 - I don't like feeling like this so why did I plan another marathon.

I've been searching motivation quotes all week. I've found some but they aren't sticking. Grrrr..... I guess I better practice what I preach. Keep smiling and keep moving. I hope it's enough.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Back on Track (I hope)

Today I ran 15 miles mostly with 3 and 1 intervals. I felt so much better than last week right from the getgo so that I feel much better about walking last weekend. It was the right thing to do.

I started from the Dog Park on Longford Road at 6:30 ish. I wanted to try to get 6 or 7 in before meeting the group at 8:00. I also wanted to make sure I was at the group meeting spot before 8. I ran the first segment using 1 mile run and 1 minute walk. I felt like I was struggling with that so I switched to 3 and 1 intervals for the second segment. I think the struggle was more mental than anything else. My pace was fine - actually should have been a bit slower. I was still obsessing about so much missed training days in the beginning. Once I got past the first three miles I loosened up and let that go and felt much better. My average pace for both segments was the same and that's why I think the 'struggle' was all in my head. I made it back to the group meeting spot with 10 minutes to spare having completed 6.91 miles.

It was great to see so many of the group out again today.
It was a gorgeous day for a run or walk.
Everyone had different miles and methods in mind and off we went. I went out with John T and Kristen R. Kristen brings my total to 10 people I've spent 1 mile with since March 1st. We ran 3 and 1's for 7 miles - out to the 4 1/2 on the Perkiomen Trail and back. Bless their hearts they stayed with me even when I started to slow down at toward the end. We didn't talk much just enjoyed the company and the sounds of sneakers squishing crushed stone.

Back at the parking lot John T stopped. He had planned 7. Kristen wanted to do 9 so she kept going to the 0 and back. I was going in that direction as well to return to my car at the Dog Park but I left her to go ahead. I continued 3 and 1's until I got to 15. I didn't turn the watch off right away so my total is a bit more than that and the last .19 was walking. There are two segments here because I messed up starting the interval timer on the Garmin. I only just discovered that I could do that and I'm still getting used to it. Here is the first part and the second part.

Overall I felt pretty good through 13 miles. The last two were less enjoyable. I chalk this up to two things. I need to go out slower (my average pace for the first half was 11:46 with walking intervals that means my run intervals were too fast for me) and a little bit to the illness time off. After I got to 15 today, I thought for about 5 seconds about continuing my intervals back to the car. I still had a mile and a half to go to get to the car and quickly nixed the idea. I was done. I had promised myself 15 for the day.

Now the big question is what to do next week. The group is doing a point to point run from the NW Ave end of Forbidden Drive to Lincoln Drive, across the bike path on Lincoln Drive to Kelly Drive and down Kelly Drive to the Art Museum. It's about 11 miles to Lloyd Hall and another mile if you do a loop around the Art Museum. Am I up to doing 20 next week? Should I go out early and do 8 then the point to point with the group? Right now, I'm thinking I will try for that. The danger is that I am not ready for 20 and will fall apart before I get to the end. I guess that's the worst that can happen and I can always walk to the end if that happens. The best would be to make it and I have to try.

I'm getting anxious to finish 20. Generally, 15-20 is where I hit my breaking point. My legs were really tired today after 15. How much of that is long layoff? I have to start finding some positive thoughts between now and next Saturday.

Keep smiling and keep moving. And thanks for reading this.

I'm off with my granny cart now to walk to the Acme for some produce. It's too nice to take the car.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Baseball Hat Vacation 2013

We just returned from a very nice vacation. The primary reason for it was to get hat #19 for Dave's
collection. So I'll start with the game even though that was smack in the middle of the trip.

We saw the Phillies and the Braves for opening day 2013. In case you don't know, Dave wants a hat from every major league team but has to see the team plan in their own stadium in order to get the hat. We both like to travel and watch baseball games so it's always an enjoyable adventure. We don't specifically choose game where the team whose hat he wants is playing the Phillies. This was only the third time. We saw the Phils and the Marlins last year and a couple years ago we saw the Phils and the Nationals.