Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Every Medal Tells a Story! 2018 Race Bling

Isn't it the truth? There's the race recap and then there's the real story. I love looking at my medals--not just for the blood, sweat, and tears that they represent but because every medal reminds me of what happened out on the course. It's amazing the flood of memories that each medal yields.

I always enjoy these year-end posts. For this post, I'm not going to recap the race. If you click on the race title, it links back to those individual posts. Instead, I want to share anecdotes from each race--something funny or odd that happened along the way. Those are the memories that stand out to me. And it's really those little things that make me line up for more.


Tell me you wouldn't do this one for the bling! I did. It was hot and humid--and yes it was February, but I was with my Weekly Wrap and waterskiing partner Holly and I got to run for the bling. I got my first ever blister at this race on the back of my heel. Fortunately, I stopped at the aid station and in no time at all, was patched up and back to slogging through the swamp. I was amazed at how many people were walking towards the end. It was my personal worst half marathon finishing time ever. But definitely one of my favorite memories. 

Personal Worsting is always better with a friend!
The last time I ran this race was in 1995. There was a deal on registration-$39--which is unheard of for a Chicago race, so I grabbed it and signed up. I figured I'd know a lot of people running it but nope, I was there by myself. While waiting for the race to start, I was standing behind a guy with his bib pinned to his back. So.many.questions. Why? And how did that work out for him?

Did I do something wrong by wearing my bib on the front?
I signed up for this race on a whim. I was in Florida visiting my parents, I had the urge to jump in at the last minute, and that's what I did. I won't be able to do that again since the race has been moved to October. I can't forget about Officer McDreamy around mile 8. "How you doing?" Ummmm fine now!

Officer Friendly right behind me
This race is a perpetual favorite of mine--I've run it 5 times. It's always cold and windy but I love the course and the competition is fierce. While I was waiting to line up, I tried to make small talk with another participant about the Boston Marathon. "Is that going on?" he asked, "after I ran it, I kind of forgot about it." Oh, ok, so you're just slumming at this 10 mile race. What a dick. Maybe that's why I ran this one so well. 
There's always Lagunitas at the finish line, which is really why I come back every year.
Besides being an amazing blogger extravaganza, this race stands out for the weather. As soon as the starting gun went off, the skies opened up and it poured. It rained for almost the entire race and after. We were soaked. On the way home from the race, the sun came out. Of course.

Drowned rats right in the middle.
L-->R Kim, Linda, Michelle, Holly, me, Deborah, Erica, Erica's friend Melissa
A wonderful girls weekend, I was completely unprepared for the hills of this race. I struggled to finish but I wanted to beat my personal worst from Mercedes. I did beat it, but sobbed at the finish line. Why? I don't know. I think I hated life at that moment in time. Then I had a beer. After that, I found out I won 2d in my age group. It really all depends on who shows up, right? Oh, and there was waterskiing with my boys that afternoon. Life is indeed good.

It's a hill. Get over it.
Run/walk intervals for the win, I kind of got annoyed at myself because I kept playing cat and mouse with the 2:10 pace group. This was my fastest half of the year. That finish time was good enough for 15th in my old lady age group. REALLY? Like I said, it all depends on who shows up. Who are these speedy old ladies? 

Free race photos for the win!
Right?
I wouldn't have included this race in my recap here but I did get bling from it! Those same fast old ladies from the Turkey Trot showed up for this one, but I ran fast enough for 2d in my age group. That is one way to get bling from a 5k and I'm thrilled that I've still got some speed in these old legs!

More awesome free race photo love
And no, I don't know this kid but I beat him so really what else matters? :p
What are some stories from your races this year? Do you enjoy looking at your medals and reminiscing? How do you feel about running races with little kids?

I'm linking up with Tuesdays on the Run: Marcia, Erika, and Patti. And yes, I know this was last week's topic but better late than never, right?



37 comments :

  1. You've had some great races this year! I always see people at races with their bib on their back. I wonder if they don't want their pictures looked up????

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  2. Wendy, stop calling yourself old! I am pretty sure I'm older than you, and if I'm not old, you can't be old! :D Congrats on all the races in 2018. Can't wait to read about what 2019 brings you.

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    1. Ha! That's my story and I'm sticking to it... :p

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  3. Running races with little kids can be a hair raising experience sometimes!

    Well, for someone struggling with age & RA, that's a lot of bling and a lot of EXTRA bling. Sounds like a pretty good year to me.

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    1. Yeah, I guess I wasn't paying attention. My yearly miles shocked me too. Since it isn't the end of the year, I'm not done yet!

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  4. I love all the stories behind the medals. Truly, the memories are golden. Chicago was such a wet (but FUN) mess LOL There's a herd of "old ladies" in my area, because they keep showing up at my races, too. There's been numerous races where my finish time would be 1st/2nd in the younger group. Makes no sense....

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    1. Unfortunately, I wouldn't do much better in the younger age groups either. Lots of competition in the big city, I guess!

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  5. This is exactly why I enjoy race medals. To me they hold the memories. I've yet to run the Shamrock Shuffle. 2019 doesn't work either. :(

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    1. I just can't believe you've never run the Shuffle. It's such a fun race. And it's only an 8k!

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  6. You've had some great races this year - all different locations and distances! Of course the RnR Chicago bling is my favorite :)

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    1. I do like that one too! Lots of good memories from that weekend.

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  7. What a fun bonus recap of your race year! I agree, you are not old, stop it! When you're 70 you'll look back at this age and wonder why you were calling yourself old.

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    1. My 35 year old self is calling me old! LOL It really is a matter of perspective, isn't it?

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  8. I didn't race a single time this year. Jan-Mar were okay, then I foolishly sprained my ankle in April. It's been a long road back. I'm running, possibly slower than I've ever been, but still moving forward.

    Cyclists usually wear their bibs on the back, with an additional bib on the front of the bikes, so maybe he was a triathlete?

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    1. Your injury story is exactly why I don't want to stop. I know how hard it will be to come back!

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  9. It is so much fun to look back on all that you have achieved over the past year. Every medal does have a story. That RocknRoll race was the most fun I've had getting completely drenched! Looking forward to making some fun running memories with you in April

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  10. Sounds like lots of fun. I don't mind kids on the course as long as they're well behaved. They're out there and enjoying running.

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    1. It's a little humbling coming in next to a 10 year old...

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  11. I love all the stories behind the medals :) The bit about Officer McDreamy sounds especially motivating!

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    1. I should have asked him if he wanted to frisk me... :p

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  12. You can't be all that old if you can still knock out 5 half marathons in a year ;)

    A few of the popular races here have a separate kids' race. It's nice that all the kids can participate without being a tripping hazard in the big race!

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    1. I don't mind if the kids follow race etiquette. But in the last 5k, I was stuck behind 2 little boys kicking ice balls down the narrow path. I couldn't get around them.

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  13. As someone who works a lot of races, I'm constantly telling people to pin their bib number on the front vs. the back. For most here locally, it sounds like they don't want pin holes in the front of their shirt. I do notice that after about a year of racing in the same shirt, it does do pretty significant damage, so I don't really blame them on that. The only problem is that our club times races manually, we need to see your number when you finish!

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    1. Really tho, what is the difference if you have pin damage in the back of your shirt vs the front? I have some bib buttons that hold the bib in place without poking a hole in the shirt. I'll have to post a review of them.

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  14. Love your socks in the cocoa classic! These walks down memory lane are so much fun!
    Back bibs are a thing for some runners. Maybe flapping bothers them less?

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    1. Those are dollar store socks from a holiday race years ago!

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  15. Cool bling! Fun stories! Awesome year! Congrats!!

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  16. Sweet bling and even better - stories about every race. Looking forward to reading about all your adventures next year. You are rocking it!

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  17. So impressive. You've had some amazing race experiences this year. I agree. Every race is different and has a story to tell. Thanks for sharing yours.

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    1. Sometimes it's fun to think about what really stood out at a race! Besides the finish line, right?

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  18. That's so cool! I didn't run too many this year but I did snag a cool 5k at a local race and I got to run the Chicago Marathon which was great! It's so neat to see a snipit of your year like this!

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    1. Well, thank you!!! It's been a really fun year!

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  19. You got some awesome bling! I love each one and the story behind it.

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