FFTFL premiere

FFTFL premiere

Sunday, August 23, 2015

6 Equals 16, Right?

I am sure with that new fangled common core math I can make that equation work out, but when it comes to long runs, it ain't happening. I have a bad tooth. I have ignored it. And it's my own damn fault. Just another result of my old bad habits of eating sugary crappy food late into the night without taking care of my teeth. Last night this toothache was a pain like no other.

I took two extra strength Tylenol at 9 pm, just before bed. I was up at 1:30 am and just could not shake the pain. I wound up propping up all my pillows to try and sleep upright. I ran through 'The Four Seasons' three times on the DVD player. I held an ice pack to my jaw. I didn't want to take more meds or something stronger because I want them to work when I really need them. DUH. That time was LAST NIGHT!

When the alarm went off at 6 am all I could think was "F*CK THAT!" I went downstairs and informed my husband of the night I had (We mostly sleep separately. Don't worry. It works for us since Charlie worked nights for the first 10 years we were married and I just need the WHOLE bed.). I managed to prop myself up on the couch and sleep. I slept TWO whole hours. The pain goes away during the day and when I am upright. Doesn't make sense, right? I am completely pain free right now, and I haven't had a pill since 11 am. Things that make you go "hmmmmm".

So I suggested we run at the gym, side by side, on treadmills. I honestly didn't have any intentions of doing 16 on a treadmill. Can't imagine that at my gym. The TVs are preset on certain channels and there is no playlist long enough or fun enough to keep me going that long. After my great run on Friday I decided I would top that. I set the walk interval speed at 3.7 mph, set the run interval speed at 5.2 mph (a tenth of a mile slower than the last run) and after a 5 minute warm up at 3.0 mph (cool down was the same) I had at it. I did a one minute walk at 3.7 mph, a 35 minute run, two minute walk, 15 minute run, two minute walk and a 9 minute run to finish 5.5 miles in 1:04:42!! I only walked 5 minutes in a 65 minute run. That's an 11:46 pace!! I know my last run was at an 11:36 pace, but that run was two miles shorter. I'm gonna kill the first five miles of the marathon! And then it will kill me!

Next week's agenda.... 16 miles.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Anxious Anticipation

It's Saturday afternoon, which means I am about 14 hours away from my long run for the week. Tomorrow's distance? 16 miles. I am both excited to take on the task and worried about all the things that could happen simultaneously. The last two weeks of runs have been pretty good, in my opinion. My last longish run wound up being the last training run for the Suffolk County Marathon on the 13th. It was supposed to be two 5 mile loops in the town of Babylon, along the bay, but for some reason it was changed to the 10k trail course of Southard Pond Park. Charlie switched his late night so he could run with me and our friends Laurie and Kim. It was a tough course, lots of gravel and horse manure to maneuver around. We managed to do 7.45 miles in 1:46:53. The best part was the BOGO drinks after the run at Mary Carroll's.  I'm not a drinker, but that Angry Orchard hard cider was one of the best I have tasted!!

Laurie, Kim, Charlie and me (PIC courtesy of Laurie!)

The morning of the 16th I ran a 10k on the treadmill in 1:17:01. That's a 12:24 mile. Then after another treadmil1 run on Tuesday, yesterday I managed to do something I haven't done in what feels like forever. After a 5 minute warm up walk at 3.0 mph, I set the jog interval speed to 3.7 mph and the run speed to 5.3 mph. I walked for 1 minute at 3.7 and then ran for 25 minutes STRAIGHT at 5.3 mph. I then took a 2 minute walk break at 3.7 and finished my 40 minute run with 12 minutes at 5.3. That's only 3 minutes of walking in a 40 minute period, if you're doing the math! I did 3.45 miles in those 40 minutes and managed to average an 11:36 pace!

That's a major improvement for me and something I need to transfer to the streets when we are out on our long runs. Of course there is a difference between treadmill and outdoor running AND sustaining a pace for 5 miles versus 15, but I feel if I can improve those initial 5 miles, miles 15 and 16 won't seem so bad. If I can continue to push myself on my weekday runs, then eventually the first 10 miles will be stronger, and the marathon possibly won't drag on forever! The reason I am most concerned about this is that damn 4:30 course limit on the 18 mile marathon tune up run we have coming up on September 20th. With that being said, my 16 miler needs to be done under 4:00!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Third Time's The Charm!

Sunday was a great day for a long run, even with the sun blaring down on us. I decided Charlie and I would run the Hope Runs Here Half course and then add a bit more to hit my 14 mile mark. We parked at my niece's house, which is on the course, and headed out to William Floyd Parkway from there. Thankfully my Garmin found a satellite rather quickly and our warm-up walk was included in our total distance.

 At 7:45 am we got going, starting at about the bottom left of that rectangle, under mile marker 4. We then went up that block and headed south towards the beach and over the bridge. The ocean breezes were absolutely mahvelous and exactly the opposite of what the conditions were on that half day! I just ran as far as I could and then would walk a bit. I wasn't using my Gymboss with the 2:1 interval. Charlie said he thinks I am running further without it since all I seem to do is anticipate the beeps of the timer to start and stop. It made the run more enjoyable without all that noise!

The incline of the bridge seemed like nothing compared to the hills we've been running on in Selden. We were able to run up it both going into and out of the beach. We ran passed the TWA Flight 800 International Memorial and out along the perimeter of the parking lot. We continued out, back over the bridge, up WFP and made our left, heading back past the car (I should have stocked it with cold drinks!!), along Grandview and the beautiful Great South Bay. Once we were back on the highway we made another left turn into the neighborhood just south of mine.

Unfortunately, the street we turned onto borders the Wertheim Wildlife Refuge and the biting bugs were out in full force, just like the first time we attempted a 14 miler! We got away from that area as quickly as we could and headed into the Smith Point Estates, where the streets are nice and wide and lined with gorgeous homes to ooh and aah over. The best part about a nice neighborhood like that? SPRINKLER SYSTEMS!!! We ran through them as often as possible.

I had an idea of what our mileage was from knowing the course, so I did not look at my watch AT ALL. It was hard for me, but I wanted to be far enough along on the run to know I *would* get it done. We wound up burning through our beverages pretty quickly so we decided to make a pit stop at Dunkin Donuts and get that really refreshing unsweetened iced tea lemonade. We were only about a mile from the house at this point, and my plan was to run up to the house for more fluids, but I know me. It might have taken too much effort to leave the front door again. We filled up our bottles and I dumped some ice in my sports bra. HIGHLY SUGGESTED! And my watch was at nearly 8 miles at that point, in under 1:50, with the stop.

So back on the road, heading south on WFP and we decided to veer off the half course and start zig zagging up and down the blocks in order to rack up the miles. I slowed down some. The next 4 miles were done in a bit over an hour. My goal was to get the 14 miles done in the same time it took us to do the half marathon, which was 3:25:17. We hit mile 12 at 2:57 and my left calf started cramping, we were out of fluids, again, and it was now almost 11 am, full sun in effect. So we stopped at 7-11 and I got a Vitamin Water and we walked the last two miles, slowly. We got to the car at about mile 13 and just kept walking up and down the block, passing it four times.

Finish time of 3:39:03, but with the two pit stops we had a moving time of 3:35:36.

I need to work on both my endurance for the runs and my walking speed to hold a 15:00 mile and under for the TCS NYC Marathon 18 Tune-Up run on September 20th, which has a 4:30 course limit. It will hopefully be cooler but because it's in Central Park, it will be 3 hilly 6 mile loops. I am concerned but we'll be back to the hills course on Sunday for more hill training. I am going to attempt to get there once a week until that race and at least every other week until the marathon.

For now I am celebrating the fact that I made it through that mental blockade of going past the half marathon distance. I may possibly have more road blocks on future runs, but I need to remind myself of how far I have come since my knee injury and who I am doing this for- both myself and the EJ Autism Foundation.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mental Road Block

I don't know what it is but going past the 13.1 half marathon distance just scares the ever loving shit out of me, and so instead of just doing it and getting it over with, I pussy foot around it. Two weeks ago, 14 miles was on the Galloway schedule. We went to the refuge and chaos ensued. The bugs got the best of us and we called it a day after 5+ torturous miles. Last Sunday we didn't run long at all because Charlie was recovering from a fall at work and a nice gash to his head. 14 had to get done yesterday.

So I hemmed and hawed over the best way to tackle 14 miles. I conferred with Charlie and my friend Laurie. OPTION 1: Run a 7 mile out and back run westward on Montauk Highway? That's kind of boring, a bit dangerous and I wasn't quite sure of the availability of restrooms and convenience stores along the route. OPTION 2: Head to the Selden Hills course, run the 10k course then a flat-ish 4 mile out and back course on Bicycle Path. Advantages to this plan of attack were running with others on the course and using the car as home base for fuel replenishment, but I still don't know about the bathroom situation, and would I even want to run a mile let alone 8 after the hills?... or OPTION 3: Run my local neighborhood for as many miles I can get and then go out onto Montauk Hwy for the last few out and back.

I chose door #3.

The benefit of running local is if I feel like death warmed over I would be close to home and all the comforts of it (read: TOILET!). Another advantage was most of the side streets by me have been repaved, so running is more pleasurable and less treacherous not having to dodge this winter's potholes. Instead of using my Gymboss and the 2:1 run/walk intervals, I decided to run the length of the side streets, which is about half a mile, then walk the cross streets. This method worked pretty well for the first 6 miles. I managed to get them done under 1:30 and then 8 under 2:00. I had a couple Gatorade chews and experienced my first Honey Stinger Waffle. We stopped several times to enjoy many of the neighbors sprinkler systems. It was going well and I was pretty proud of myself.

Then the overwhelming desire to drink something COLD and refreshing came over me and I needed water, with ice, and a straw. So we headed back towards home and Dunkin' Donuts. We got a large lemonade iced tea and walked. I was ready to call it quits at 10 miles, but I was feeling great, actually enjoying myself and Charlie's company. I turn into a happy camper while walking. We agreed we weren't going to attempt to run after walking so much and with fluid-filled bellies. I managed to get us home at 12.05 miles. I felt good enough to continue, but with our stops along the way (chatted with a friend and cousins) we were already out for 3+ hours, so we called it a day.

Am I looking back on the run and wishing I just did the 14 miles? Of course. I might have been able to run another 2 miles, zig zagging my way back to DD at maybe 10 miles, then walking the 4 additional miles. Charlie just asks "How much are you planning to do today?" and sets it in his mind to do it. I bargain and finagle my way out of it. And I am the only one who suffers for it. I SO wanted to be able to write the post "I DID IT! MY FURTHEST DISTANCE EVER!!" But that will be for another day. Next Sunday is our son's birthday, so we're going to head back to the hills for that challenging 10k course, knowing it won't take us forever and a day AND will be great preparation for the bridges and Central Park hills of the NYC Marathon course. So August 9th it must be.


Mistake #1: I rested the entire day on Saturday, but I went to the gym on Friday and got on the rowing machine for 15 minutes. I haven't rowed in a while and although I loved it, my hip flexors and shins were pissed at me. They were still tight yesterday morning.

Lesson: Don't do anything new a few days before long run day.

Mistake #2: July is hot and humid on Long Island. And guess what? It gets hotter the later in the day it is! *GASP*

Lesson: Try your damndest to get out before 7:45 am.

Mistake #3: Got all my gear together and filled my two 10 oz hydration belt bottles full to the brim with Gatorade. 20 oz of piss warm Gatorade is not enough fluid for 3+ hours of activity in said hot and humid weather.

Lesson: Either create a loop course to make pit stops at home to refill fluids or plant a stocked cooler on the course or make a quick pitstop on the course.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

101 Days

Gulp. Double gulp. 101 days until the NYC Marathon. Training? This shit is hard! Now I know why only 1% of the population has finished a marathon. If it was easy we'd all be doing it. So far my longest run was the half we did on June 14th. That was a challenge to say the least. Running a fall marathon means training in the Long Island heat and humidity. I don't want to turn into a whiny bitch, but my 5' 175 lb body was NOT made for running in those conditions! I melt like the Wicked Witch of the West out there!

Since the half, my longest run/walks have been 10.65 miles (in 3:02) on 6/28, a 10k (in 1:30) on the Selden Hills course on 7/5 and 7.85 miles (in 1:47) on 7/16 with my running buddy Laurie. The 6/28 run involved a lot of walking, but the 10k and 8 miler were pretty strong runs. It was my 2nd 10k on the hills and Charlie's 1st. That course is no joke, and I think running slow and steady shorter distances on it will prove to be better training than trying to go long on the flat area around my neighborhood. The huge hills are a mental challenge that I really need to stay engaged and NOT talk myself out of getting it done. Plus, the course is about a 20 minute ride from our house and a gaggle of people are always out doing their runs, so it's a lot like the atmosphere of a race, without the entry fee!

We're Hillbillies!

My buddy Laurie and I doing the Suffolk County Marathon 8 mile training run in Sayville

According to Galloway's plan I am behind, which really helps add to the stress of all this. Last Sunday we attempted a 14 miler in Wertheim Wildlife Refuge only a few blocks from our house. We were nearly abducted by the multitude of insects inhabiting the hot and humid woods along Carman's River. It was really funny at first since Charlie was bombarded pretty much the moment we got on the trail. And then they started attacking me. Not so funny. We tried our hardest to get the hell out of there and the 1.5 mile loop somehow turned into 4 miles. It was like being in the hedge maze of 'The Shining.' That run felt like the biggest waste of time, but we got out there and did 5.5 miles in about 1:30. I don't know exactly because somehow my Garmin didn't shut off and it managed to add 1.7 miles to my distance while sitting on the kitchen counter???

We didn't even attempt a long run this past Sunday because Charlie had a little mishap at work the Tuesday before. Apparently he was stocking a warehouse shelf and fell about 10 feet off the ladder, knocking his head either on the ladder or the concrete floor. He had a really nice gash in his left eyebrow and was gushing blood. He refused medical treatment or a ride home. I got the pleasure of observing him for signs of a concussion and watched him sleep when it was time for bed. And the next morning he had the perfect purple eyeliner on his upper lid. Now it's a complete shiner, reminiscent of Petey from 'The Little Rascals.' He was forced by his boss to see a doctor on Thursday before he was permitted to return to work. Other than a horrific scar, he's going to be okay.

I'm Spanky!

I've been pretty consistent with getting to the gym to either do a short run or cross train. I <3 the adaptive motion trainer. It's a combination of a stepper, elliptical and arc trainer that gives my hips a great stretch and continues to strengthen my legs without any impact whatsoever. If I'm not on that, I'll put in some time on the arc trainer or elliptical. The silver lining through all of this is I've lost about 18 pounds since February 16th. Of course those were pounds I found with inactivity and overeating during my year hiatus from running. This truly is a never-ending journey! I want to be down another 10 pounds on marathon day, which is about 3 pounds a month. Doable. No- DONE! No excuses. Please hound me on My Fitness Pal- my screen name is lindak71.

Today I signed us both up for the 18 mile Marathon Tune-Up run on September 20th (Charlie's 49th birthday) in Central Park. The course is 3 six mile loops complete with aid stations. The course limit is 4 hours and 30 minutes. That's a 15 minute mile average. Sounds doable, but I need to step it up the next two months to get there. My first 5 or 6 miles are strong and consistent, and then I start listening to that nagging voice in my head, screaming at me "THIS IS HARD!" "I FEEL LIKE SHIT!" "MY LEFT CALF IS ABOUT TO START CRAMPING!" "HOW AM I GOING TO DO THIS FOR 26.2 MILES??!!??"

My friends who have completed the NYC Marathon previously continue to tell me that the palpable energy of the city and the 2,000,000 spectators will get me through it when I don't think I can. I pray they are right. And when I don't think I can do it, I need to put one foot in front of the other for all the people who WISH they could, including all of the kids that the EJ Autism Foundation, the charity I am running for, helps support here on Long Island. The BEST news I have to share with you all? Due to the tremendous turn out I had for the paint night/raffle event I hosted this past Friday, I ACHIEVED MY GOAL!!!! My friend Geri with Let's Party 'Artsy is a great painting instructor, and 28 friends and family members came to support my cause, painting a beautiful red sunflower, as well as purchased hundreds of dollars worth of raffle tickets for prizes donated by RoadID, Albionfit, Fusion Life Brand, Tupperware, The Pampered Chef, Bulu Box, Martha Clara Vineyards, Sayville Running Company, Kay Cameron Jewelers, Unique Fitness (my gym!) and Vanity Hair Salon. I am SO grateful to everyone who wants to help kids diagnosed on the autism spectrum as well as help me realize my dream of running the NYC Marathon with Charlie. I need to remember each and every one of you who helped while I am out there pounding the pavement. I shall not squander this opportunity and your generosity!!

All my friends and family's masterpieces!

I continue to fundraise.... My NYC Marathon Fundraising Page

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Slow and Steady

Can I say I am thrilled I am running my dream race as my first marathon? The NYC Marathon just has something about it that draws me to it. Maybe it's the opportunity to run with 50,000 other runners through the streets of all 5 boroughs. Maybe because NYC, specifically Manhattan, is probably my favorite place on earth and the finish is in glorious Central Park. Most likely, however, it's probably because it will be my first and ONLY marathon. I know a lot of people say they are "one and done" and then get the marathon itch desperately needed to be scratched... I just don't think this body can take much more!

Following Jeff Galloway's run/walk plan has helped mentally, somewhat. When running, I can feel better knowing I only have to run for two minutes. I can handle that! But holy sh*t, that 1 minute walk break goes by 4 times as fast!! My short runs during the week have been great. I hit the treadmill at the gym and the runners around me really keep me going, like I am proving something. I'm a runner, dang it! Yesterday I managed to start off walking 1 minute, then ran the next 11 minutes to complete my first mile. I would have managed the 2nd mile the same way if I hadn't had the bladder of a frigging hummingbird! How does one sweat buckets, take in only 16 oz of water and *still* need to pee? First 1.8 miles in 21:30, (insert bathroom break), then another 2 miles in 25 minutes. So close to 4 miles. The right hip and the left heel are feeling it, though. Came home and iced the hip and rolled the feet on a frozen water bottle. Feeling much better this morning.

A major milestone last Sunday for Charlie and I was running our first half, Hope Runs Here, since the shit-show Festival of Lights Half Marathon in Brooklyn, November 2013. We went from one extreme to the other! 22* with a windchill of 'colder than a witch's tit' to 75*, God-knows what humidity, running 13.1 on the surface of the sun. The saving grace was that it was in MY town, 5 minutes from my house, running many of the roads of our regular route. We got to pass my niece's house where my 8 month old great nephew "cheered" me on, and since my cousin wasn't out (when I TOLD him to be) I harassed him from the street. The furthest we ran up until the half was 10.45 miles, and I had to walk much of the last 2 because my left big toe locked up on me. Never experienced that before. So, the plan the week before the half was TONS of water and a daily banana.

I really ate well and hydrated the week before. I stuck to the plan. I worked a race with the timing company the day before and that really helped lift my racing spirit. I just couldn't plan for that heat. We started out well, under a 13:00 mile the first 2 miles, and then hit the port-o-potty. I thought that was going to be a sign of things to come, but the bladder held up after that, however, the brain slowed down. After passing Keri's house at almost mile 4, along the bay, where there is usually nice wind gusts, the air was still, and hot. Did I mention it was hot? No shade? No wind? Humid? I knew we were at the back of the pack and I am SO okay with that now. It can't be about time for me right now. It's about getting out there and finishing. Just after that we met a 68 year old woman named Louise and chatted with her through the beautiful Smith Point Estates. Such an inspiring woman!

We walked a lot with Louise. Then she found another friend and we were able to start our run/walks again (like it was Louise's fault...). This course had phenomenal race support! Water at every mile, EMTs riding the course, ambulances every few miles... they were certain to take care of anyone in need. I was asked several times if I was okay, maybe because I was melting right before their eyes.We plodded along. Slower, but feeling good. I started to notice a twinge in the left calf but willed it away, maybe with a little more walking. After turning down Pinetop and being showered by several hoses and sprinklers, I was only 2 short blocks from my house, but heading home wasn't an option. I needed to get this run done to prove I could do it again, even if it was almost an hour slower.

There was a course limit of 3 hours and 15 minutes. Under cooler circumstances I may have made it. By mile 11.5, on William Floyd Parkway, a police officer was telling the back of the pack they should not turn off and instead head to the marina and the finish line to beat the clock. There was no guarantee I would beat the clock if  I did short the course, but on top of not making the limit I would feel guilty about short-changing myself. Charlie and I decided to stay on course and grind it out. All finishers got a medal, whether they were timed or not. My medal needed to mean something more than just race bling. It had to prove I could do that half mary again. It is half way to a marathon, which is only a little more than 4 months away. A few of us pushed on.

I am sad to say we didn't beat the clock. We had a finish time for a split second and I managed to get a screen shot before the timing company amended the race results. I managed a "sprint" at the end and Charlie and I crossed the finish line hand in hand. There is no picture of that because the race photographer must have punched out. But I finished, 13.1, and I wasn't hurting. I didn't start sweating profusely, feeling the need to both regurgitate and defecate at the same time. My system wasn't in shock. I was able to receive all of my friends' congratulations and love for getting back out there and making it count. I am very thankful they stuck around for us!!!

I even enjoyed a post-race beer and I NEVER drink beer!
our truly earned race bling

race results- not dead last (like Brooklyn!)!

Not the best picture but the gang is ALL here!

We got to enjoy a post-race party and socialize. There was no hour long commute ahead of us! I could only imagine how I would have looked getting out of the car after a ride like that! The 5 minutes nearly did me in! Maybe that was because we stupidly (sorry Gigi, Jan and Laurie) parked at my niece's house which was over a mile away! I believe I walked that mile at 1.0 mph. I was begging a couple of kids to go get a ride for us. 

Since we did the half, we are ahead of the marathon training plan. There will definitely be some schedule adjusting of long runs. For example, I am not too sure I will be doing a 17 miler on my son's birthday on 8/2 or the 23 miler on my birthday in September, especially since we have tentative plans to run the NYRR 18 mile marathon tune-up on 9/20, Charlie's 49th birthday. It's three 6 mile loops in Central Park. There's a 4.5 hour time limit on that. Definitely need to pick up the pace.

I am doing all of this to for the EJ Autism Foundation. I'm still fundraising and am just over half way to my $2,500 goal. I have a big paint night/raffle event coming up in July, and if I get a big enough crowd, I might just hit my goal a few months early!


Monday, May 11, 2015

Life Is Beautiful

April was a good month. That's a bit of an understatement. The premiere of From Fat to Finish Line happened at the Nashville Film Festival! It was a whirlwind trip for Charlie and I. We landed Saturday at noon and left Tuesday, same time, but we made the most of every minute we were there! Mark, team mate Lealah's other half, picked us up from the airport and we had a mini reunion with Allison, Lealah, Rik and Cynthia. Meredith and Dave were napping after the 5k the team had run that morning, so I didn't get to catch up with them before Allison generously drove us to our hotel across town.

I purposely picked the Hampton Inn Green Hills, the closest hotel to the premiere location, the Regal Cinemas Green Hills 16. We could see the entrance to the venue from our window, a very short walk for people who didn't rent a car! The festival site mentioned a different food truck would be on site every day, and I spied the big red truck from that window. We ran down and each got a Sonoran dog from The Rolling Feast (delish) and bumped into Brian, one of the talented cameramen who worked on the documentary. We went back to our room and while snacking I was texting Jen (From Fat to Finish Line, Jersey Jen, Runner #7, awesome chick) and I was trying to figure out where she was staying. Well, turns out, we were in room 504 and she was in 502! I jumped up and ran to knock on her door, only to think, "Maybe I should have asked first..." She wasn't *quite* ready, but after getting to finally meet her talented, sweet husband Marty I got to give her a big squeeze.

Pried myself away from Jen so we could get ready for the pre-premiere red carpet activities, which included photos in front of a step and repeat on an actual red carpet and several interviews of both the cast and the team from Media Meld Studios, the production company that developed the doc. We finally got to meet up with John and his husband Ric, Meredith and Dave, Angela and her Dave, and those Charlie and I saw after the airport. It wasn't quite right being there, just the 7 FFtFLers. For different reasons, Katie, Andrea, Ada, and Jen couldn't make the premiere and Carly was going to the second screening the following Friday. It was definitely a  bittersweet celebration.

Charlie and I before the premiere

red carpet photo shoot

So, we've seen a few rough cuts of the film before the premiere to give our 2 cents as to what we think is perfect or could be improved. Nothing can compare to seeing it on that huge screen with the sound system that a theater has!! This was the probably the 6th time I have seen the film and I *still* needed tissues, which Cynthia graciously shared with me! Hearing the other 11 stories of their fight against obesity and their breaking points is heart wrenching. I could see a piece of me in every scenario told. There were definitely many, many funny moments throughout the race captured on film, but seriously somber ones as well. The film pretty much embodied the roller coaster of events and emotions one goes through on his/her weight loss journey.

the q&a session after the screening


The word surreal doesn't even come close to describing what this night was like. All I can say is that I am so grateful I was able to experience it and that Charlie was there to share it with me. We are looking forward to the film possibly screening a lot closer to home so our kids can see it on the big screen as well as all my family and running friends.

The rest of the trip was spent reconnecting with my team mates, talking and laughing, A LOT!! There was a lot of good food and drinks added into the mix. We didn't see much of Nashville and I am okay with that. I know there are must see attractions, like the Grand Ole Opry, but country music isn't my thing, so it just didn't have the pull for me to take time away from my friends to visit. Unfortunately, John and Ric left first thing Sunday morning, Lealah and Mark that afternoon, and Rik and Cynthia Monday morn, so we didn't get enough time with them. Monday we had a great breakfast with those that remained.

and then there were four...
I have to thank Michelle, a From Fat to Finish Line Facebook group member, for coming all the way from Pennsylvania to be at the premiere and hang out with us! She has a great success story of her own and is a triathlete. The From Fat to Finish Line FB group is a great place to find inspiration and support for your own fitness/health journey. Athletes of all sizes and capabilities post and comment on what they are achieving on a day to day basis. Since I am training for my first marathon, I find the information and opinions of others a great help in figuring this whole thing out. More on that to follow...