RnR Seattle

I was really on the fence about running the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon this year. I wanted to do it, but I knew it was falling on a weekend when we had two lacrosse games and I didn’t want to miss them. Now that THE weekend has arrived, I have mixed feelings. I regret not committing to it, but I’m also glad I’m not giving up anything here in order to be there.

I hadn’t fully realized how much I enjoyed the experience of that race until I was about to miss it. It was probably the toughest course that I’ve run with the kind of hilly terrain that we’re accustomed to out here, but it was also really beautiful and it was a lot of fun to learn more about a city that I was already somewhat familiar with.

At the time of the race, Kevin was already injured and he and his medical team suspect he probably had at least a couple of bulged discs in his back at back then. I was pretty concerned about him so I agreed to hang back and enjoy the race with him. We weren’t fast, but we had a really good time.

I also got to see one of my favourite bands, Old 97s. I hadn’t been super into any of the race performers at any of the other events I’ve been to, so I felt pretty lucky that my number finally came up with them.

Good luck to all the runners in this year’s events and if you get a chance to take part in this race in the future, take it. Maybe I’ll meet you there!

Vancouver Marathon

Truth be told, today might actually be one of my favourite days of the whole year.

For the third year in a row, Kevin and I set our alarm clocks and ventured downtown to hang out at the finish line of the BMO Vancouver Marathon and cheer on racers as they came in. This year, we had six friends racing, three in the half-marathon, three in the full.

The timing is a bit funny for the races. The half marathon goes at 7am and the full goes at 8:30. Since our fastest halfer was going to be coming in at around the start time of the marathon, that was when we aimed to get there and we got there right on time. We waited for only about ten minutes before he passed by us. Our other two friends running the half marathon course came by shortly afterwards.

We got to take a bit of a breather then and walked around the finish line area and down to the festival on the street below it. We met up with a couple of our friends/finishers and listened to their experience of the race.

Once we parted ways with them, we walked back around and got back up to the race just in time to see the men’s full marathon champion cross the finish line. That’s always a really exciting moment to experience. Shortly afterward, the women’s champion came through. Interestingly, the two are engaged to be married in just a few weeks’ time.

We got to see a couple of local celebrities finish the race.

Then our marathoner friends started coming in.

Yes, he is juggling while he is running or joggling as the kids – and his bib – say.

We got to see all but one of the people on my list finish the race. Unfortunately, by about 1pm, after we’d been there for 4.5 hours, Kevin was becoming weary and his injury was acting up from too much standing. We had to pull the plug on our cheer station.

As always, this is the best experience for getting a boost of motivation and get your head into the right mindset to get back on track. It’s such an inspiring place to be and you’re surrounded by non-stop, endless good energy.

Return to running

One of the items on my 19 for 2019 list was 100 days of running. That was just 100 days of getting out and going for a run – no specific time, no specific distance. Just doing it.

I started out strong during the month of January. In fact, I was ahead of schedule and, frankly, my own expectations. I was rejoicing in my work from home schedule and how it contributed to my successful training and celebrating small victories and milestones.

Then the snow came.

Through Twitter, I’ve made friends with runners from all over the place. I think it’s so cool when I see the ones who live in cold climates out running in the snow. I’ve never done it myself, but I would love to run in legit snow someday. Here’s the thing about snow in Vancouver. It comes in short bursts and then temperature never gets low enough for it to stick around. Instead, it warms up and much of the snow melts. Then it gets cold again and it freezes covering the ground with varying depths of ice. Some of it is obvious, but a lot of it isn’t.

That basically covers the weather report for the month of February and into the beginning of March. And that kind of weather terrifies me.

My fear kept me inside, but at the same time I lost a lot of momentum, too. I don’t even have any races on the docket so it wasn’t like I had something to train for. It was hard for me to get going again once the weather warmed up. Thankfully, I found a scrap of motivation two weeks ago and then another one this morning.

I feel like I’m ready to get back on track and into a regular schedule. I’m hopeful that January mojo will return in the coming weeks. Wish me luck!

Taking the bad with the good

I worked from home today. Now that I’m able to work from home a couple of times a week, I have started to develop a routine. I wake up earlier than normal and get online to get caught up on what has been going on overnight. Once it gets light out, I lace up and hit the pavement for a run. When I’m done, I come back, shower, then hop back online for the remainder of the day. Last year, I was moved to a new department and manager and it’s literally been a life changer. I adore my boss and my new department is a better fit for both me and what I’m doing now and for my future and my wish list of things I’d like to do. This whole working from him thing, though, it’s the icing on the cake even though I do more and work longer hours when I’m home.

Today was no different.

The morning was busy – so much so that it even threatened the likelihood of my run. Thankfully, I was able to put my major tasks to bed relatively early on and go out a little later than normal. Compromise.

I’d put in about ten hours’ worth of work by the time I’d decided to call it quits and just as I shut down my computer and walked into the kitchen for a water refill, I noticed something amiss beneath the sink. A tiny little bit of sleuthing later and, sure enough, we’d sprung a leak! Ugh.

I like to think I’m good under pressure, but how do you ever really know if that’s the truth? I don’t freak out, but I do feel a little stressed.

I found a bucket and put it under the leak. I texted Kevin and then immediately regretted it. He’s out with a friend at the hockey game tonight and I didn’t want to distract him from the fun of that. I texted the owners of the apartment to see if they had a preferred plumber. (They don’t.) Then I got down to business.

I’m not the handiest of people, but I do have an elevated aptitude for fixing things. I was able to pinpoint the issue (the cold water supply hose to the faucet) and resolve it temporarily (I closed the pipe that feeds it) downgrading the situation from a heart-racing (if you’re me) emergency to a we’ll-get-to-it-sometime-soon annoyance. I’ve confirmed that there isn’t any more water being dripped into the bucket or onto the floor so I am feeling super relaxed about it all now.

Then I went online and checked my email and found that the Canucks tickets I’d listed on StubHub had sold. Say what you want about their fees, but not having to haggle and deal with other human beings trying to debate the price is worth the 10% to me. And the process was SO SIMPLE. Two thumbs up all around. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»

Now I am ready to get this weekend underway. We’re having our first monthly offline date tomorrow (#12 on my 19 for 2019) and hitting up the Vancouver Warriors game tomorrow night. Outside of all that, I guess I’m looking for a plumber. Know anyone?

Things we’ll do this month: January 2019

All the excitement of the new year and I forgot to celebrate the new month by setting some additional short term goals!

THINGS WE’LL DO THIS MONTH: January 2019

Goal setting is fun. It’s great motivation to sit down and hash out the things we want to do and fantasize about the roads that will take us there. When we talk about goals, we talk about money and career and real estate and competition, but we rarely talk about good, old-fashioned leisure. What I’ve found is that having some fun and light-hearted goals is a nice way to interrupt the monotony and drudgery of obligation. Month to month, I will publish a list of things I would like to do during the month ahead. Of course, this list doesn’t take the place of all of my standard goals related to health, wellness, money and spirituality, but I reserve the right to, in some cases, blur the lines.

  • Make some changes on Facebook. I’m back to not liking it. Like really not liking it. I don’t know that I want to quit, but I need to identify and make some changes. Suggestions?
  • Prepare for a minimalism challenge in February. As of last night, it’s a go. And I’m not getting rid of anything else this month in order to pad my stats for next month. (Kidding/not kidding.)
  • Grocery shop once a week. Until this month, we’ve spent years doing this thing where we shop seventeen times a week, responding to daily whims that dictate what we eat for dinner. This week, we took our first stab not at meal planning, but at shopping once and eating what’s here all week. So far, so good and I LOVE not having to go to the store all the time!
  • Research meal prep delivery services. The least convenient part of getting a meal delivery service is the receiving the delivery part. I mean, we are paying someone else to prepare our food because we aren’t at home to do it ourselves. Now that I have the flexibility to work from home, we’ve started talking about incorporating it again. We tried Hello Fresh back in 2017 and it was good, but it’s a competitive market and I want to make sure we’re finding the best balance of quality at the amount we want to spend.
  • Snowshoe. In Kevin’s recent physical state, we haven’t been able to go at all yet this year. If you want to join me on a local mountain sometime, hollah!
  • Give up TV two nights a week. Not in any form. I have a huge list of things I want to work on (freelance projects, personal projects, reading, arts, crafts) and the biggest time consumer that steals time away from those things? Television.
  • Plan my races for the year. I know a lot about what I don’t want to do, but I want to narrow down a little about what I do.

Have you made any goals for the month of January specifically? Are you trying out any new routines?

19 for 2019: 100 Days of running

Back to work today. In many (most?) ways it wasn’t as bad as I’d been bracing for, thankfully. But it is damn hard to reintegrate. That’s why I’m working from home tomorrow. Gotta ease back into office life.

I am going strong with my 19 for 2019 resolutions and I’m happy about that. I promised a deep dive into a few of them and tonight I’m going to share my first, the one related to 100 days of running.

This isn’t a resolution I came up with, but one I borrowed from another Carly. It’s funny because we live relatively close to one another and both devoted a significant amount of time and effort to running back in 2017. In fact, whether at races or along the local boardwalk, we ran into each other pretty regularly. That was when I first became aware of her 100 days of running challenge. I’d liked the idea at the time, but I never really thought of embracing it. I was reminded of it again in the waning weeks of 2018 and, as appeared on the photo of my resolution list, this became my first established goal.

When I checked in with Carly about it she said her goal had been simply that: 100 days of running, without any distance or time requirement. She said, it was a “good reminder that small steps add up.”

Feeling like I needed to get back to basics and get out of my head when it came to running, this challenge really appealed to me. I took the first few days of the year off, but got back to it yesterday.

Here’s to 99 more!

If you want to keep up with Carly and her other great ideas (here’s a recent piece she wrote about resolutions), check out her newly acquired website, Tenth to the Fraser.

Nineteen for 2019

Looks a little different up there in the title, huh? I mentioned it a few weeks ago, but after 122 days (139 now) of writing I’ve started to feel a little more confident and comfortable in my writing so it feels like time to get back to naming my posts with words instead of just numbers. Now here we are and…

🎊 HAPPY NEW YEAR! 🎊

Yesterday, I looked back at the year that 2018 was and what it meant to me. Today, I’m looking forward.

I wrote earlier this month about one of my resolution strategies for 2019 and my desire to make a 19 for 2019 list of things to do. I even put it on my December things we’ll do this month list. To sum it up, it’s a list of things to accomplish in 2019. Some are habit changes, sure, but others are little tasks I’ve been putting off or that I haven’t been able to follow through on. Some are trying something new or expanding on something tried and true.

Here is my 19 for 2019 list, in no particular order.

  1. 100 days of running
  2. Get an eye exam and new glasses
  3. Create and submit a piece to the Anonymous Art Show
  4. Track spending
  5. Get married…or decide not to
  6. Complete a full month of Yoga with Adriene x2
  7. Pay off my credit card
  8. Give strength training a chance
  9. Read 60 books
  10. PR a half marathon
  11. Daily blogging
  12. Monthly offline date with Kevin
  13. Get hard drives removed from old computers
  14. New and full Moon rituals
  15. Complete French and Czech Duolingo courses
  16. Set aside time each week for goal setting, planning and review
  17. Celebrate minor holidays
  18. Read one book at a time
  19. Post something on Instagram every day

I started to add a little context to each of these goals, but for some there is so much to say. For others, it’s exactly what I’ve laid out. I just decided that, for the ones that have a story, I’m going to plan a deep dive into them separately and at a later date. Watch for them and for updates throughout the year.

Have you done a 19 for 2019 list or did you choose a different way to plan some New Year changes? Are resolutions something you roll your eyes at?

12.31.18

There are a few things to cover today.

First up: thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who took some time out to send birthday wishes, stories, photos and just general good vibes yesterday. Y’all sure know how to make a girl feel loved. You’re amazing.

Kevin got it in his head that he was going to make me a birthday cake this year and that is the nicest thing a boyfriend has ever done for me. He let me in on the secret prototype on Saturday, the day before my birthday and I gave him some strategy tips, but otherwise it was all him and it turned out to be pretty damn good. Also, delicious.

Second: today continues in the birthday celebrations because I can never have my birthday without thinking of my cousin. It was on this day when my first love, my first partner in crime, my original Kevin joined me on earth 27 hours after my own arrival. He hit me with a super heartfelt and sweet birthday message – complete with photos – in the morning yesterday and gave me a good old cry. I’m pretty sure I still make this face. And his smile still lights up the world.

Finally, I’ve written a few year in review posts already – my year in reading, my year in running – but I always like to do a little overall year in review exercise as well. (This was 2017’s.) Since yesterday was my birthday, I attribute the start of my new year being so close to the start of the new year as the reason I love New Year’s celebrations so much. The fresh start, the new beginnings, the blank slate – I’m just a big fan all around.

I have some resolutions and new practices in my plans for 2019 and I’ll share some of those tomorrow, but today, on the last day of 2018, I’m going to take a look back at the things we did this year.

JANUARY

I started the year with The Bigger Yes, a course facilitated by Laura McKowen and focused on discovering, exploring and committing to your deepest callings. This gave the first months of the year a very inwardly focused dedication and feel. ❀️ I wrote my life story and that was an experience in itself. ❀️ We spent some time outdoors and moving our bodies in different ways. ❀️ I committed to writing and reading more and I followed through with that for most of the year.

FEBRUARY

We celebrated my Mom’s birthday at our place while we hosted a birthday/Super Bowl party and cheered as the Eagles hoisted the Lombardi trophy for the first time. 🧑 We headed down to Seattle for our first (and one of our favourites) race of the year, My Better Half at Seward Park. The weather was crisp and cool and the scenery was incredible. The post-race oatmeal bar was tops, second only to Kevin’s Significant Otter t-shirt. This was the trip on which we unwillingly bought a new set of tires – and a Costco membership! 🧑 Kevin and I celebrated our seven year anniversary.

MARCH

I took a trip to Kingfisher Resort on Vancouver Island to celebrate my aunt’s milestone birthday with her, my Mom and one of my aunt’s childhood friends. We enjoyed supreme beauty and luxury and I even met a new cat. πŸ’› Cara and I went to our first hockey game together. And then we went to another. πŸ’› We started working on our community garden plot and started nurturing the seedlings that produced our summer bounty. πŸ’› I reconnected with my high school friend, Jane.

APRIL

It was Easter! πŸ’š We headed across the border again for the Birch Bay Road Race in April. Unfortunately, we’d followed a bad lead on hotel for this trip and fled the “Birch Bay Stayaway” as someone on Trip Advisor dubbed it. Luckily, we found the Four Points Bellingham via Hotels.com and settled into a more more comfortable room quickly. Unanticipated costs of this misguided hotel booking: new swimsuits from Target. Unexpected discovery: The Pacific Caesar, from B-Town Kitchen & Raw Bar, the greatest salad either of us have ever eaten. πŸ’š Canucks season ended. πŸ’š I got a new boss.

MAY

We celebrated Mother’s Day. πŸ’™ We spent a lot of time in the gardens – our balcony, our community, my parents’. πŸ’™ I basically cooked my way through Deliciously Ella Everyday. πŸ’™ I talked books and podcasts and coffee. πŸ’™ I went through another melanoma diagnosis and two surgeries which I wrote about months later, in September.

JUNE

The Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon took place in the beginning of June and we headed down south for the weekend. We did the 5k on Saturday when we got to run through the Museum of Flight hangar and the half marathon Sunday. It was a beautiful course, but Kevin was injured (sadly, a recurring theme for the year) and I kept him company the whole way. No matter, we still finished and collected our medals. We also got to see Old 97s in the post-race concert. πŸ’œ Later in the month we did our last race before we took a break for summer, the Scotia Half 5k, my least favourite race ever. πŸ’œ I got my I Am A Moon Goddess mala from I Am Blessed Mala Beads.

JULY

We celebrated Canada Day and watched fireworks from our balcony. ❀️ I harvested FLOWERS from my garden for the first time! (I usually just grow vegetables.) ❀️ Cara and I made our first appearance as Canucks season ticket members at the Summer Showdown rookie game. ❀️ My month took a woo turn when I joined a Tarot challenge and explored everything I know about the cards with a daily draw. ❀️ I went along for the ride on a Lakers Island road trip to Nanaimo and I got to hang with my girl Lori and *finally* meet her daughter Emily. ❀️ We had a surprise visit from our Amy and had a delightful dinner and catch up session on Granville Island.

AUGUST

A relatively low-key month of getting flowers, growing veggies and closing up shop on the lacrosse season. 🧑 This was also when I embarked on a commitment to daily writing and the realization that not coming up with a unique title for every post set me free.

SEPTEMBER

We picked apples with Barb and John. I started working from home. πŸ’› We started talking about how this old cat can’t live forever. πŸ’› We watched The Good Place and Making It. πŸ’› It was my Dad’s birthday. πŸ’› Kevin went to Philadephia for the NLL Draft. πŸ’› I catsat.

OCTOBER

Here’s where things got fun, most notably because travel season arrived. πŸ’š I went to Chicago with Lesley so we could explore and she could run the Chicago Marathon. πŸ’š I got back and three days later, we turned the car towards Whistler for a weekend in the mountains and the BCLA AGM. πŸ’š The hockey season started up again and we went to our first game as members. πŸ’š Late in the month we went to Bothell and our favourite hotel for the weekend and the Captain Jack’s Treasure Run in Redmond where we got to dress like pirates. πŸ’š To finish the month, we celebrated Kevin’s birthday and then we went to the Canucks game on Halloween.

NOVEMBER

I enjoyed the Canucks Diwali event and then the next day we left for Vegas. πŸ’™ Ten whole days of it including the KronosWorks conference, the Rock ‘n; Roll Half Marathon and 5k. πŸ’™ Almost as soon as we got back, we started preparing for our final trip -and half marathon – of the year, San Antonio. πŸ’™ We started watching Christmas movies and went ice skating at Rogers Arena. πŸ’™ We fully immersed ourselves in celebrating the upcoming holidays, but with tempered it with more old cat contemplation. πŸ’™ We got the tree up and decorated and then we left town again.

DECEMBER

San Antonio was our last stop of the year and when I asked Kevin about his favourite travel, without hesitation, he proclaimed that this was it. We were there for just three nights, we packed a lot of good times during that short span and, you know, it sure feels like we were there longer than that. πŸ’œ I lost some faith in people when I started to contemplate those who seemingly do something kind solely for the attention it’ll get them from strangers, but my spirits were lifted when we toured a couple of holiday markets. πŸ’œ We visited the Anonymous Art Show at North Van Arts where my friend Jane had three pieces on display. πŸ’œ We checked out Fridays on Front Holiday Edition to get some much needed time with friends. πŸ’œ Just after hitting the 120 day mark, I shared what I’ve learned from writing everyday and I celebrated a few of the joys that Christmas cards brought me this season. πŸ’œ I praised the Christmas bakers out there and I spent three consecutive days at Rogers Arena including the home opener for the new Vancouver Warriors lacrosse team. πŸ’œ I also made a Christmas playlist.

If I may add another side effect of writing every day, I certainly keep track of the details and the things that go on in our lives better and the memories remain more vivid. That’s always a plus.

Looking back on the year there were a number of joys, adventures, opportunities for growth, love and generousity. I had wanted 2018

On this, the final day of 2018, I invite you to look back on your year and contemplate the good, the challenging, the beautiful, the lessons and all the experiences you had, the people you knew, the things that you learned. As they say, out with the old and in with the new.

12.10.18

My formal running plans for 2018 have been completed. All that’s left is any training or leisure runs I decide to do. While the temperature is still above zero, I’m going to take advantage of not being super freaked out about slippery surfaces and the kind of weather I love to run in: rainy and cold.

Truth be told, we weren’t as dedicated to running in 2018 as we were the year before, but we did take part in some decent events and we had a lot of fun along the way. When I went through my medals the other day, the list wasn’t nearly as long as it felt, BUT I ran in 11 organized events in one Canadian province and four US states – WA, IL, NV & TX. I earned 13 medals with three more on their way to me now.

Here were my 2018 running events:

  1. My Better Half
  2. Birch Bay Road Race
  3. Goonies Virtual 5k
  4. Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle 5k
  1. Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half
  2. Scotiabank 5k
  3. Chicago International 5k
  4. Captain Jack’s Treasure Run
  1. Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas 5k
  1. Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half
  1. Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Half

I’ve already sung the praises of Orca Running back when I wrote about the Treasure Run in October, but I’ll say it again: they’re the best. The organization and the races.

As we reviewed our medals and talked through our races, I decided to categorize some of the best and the worst.

Favourite event: My Better Half. It’s a Valentine’s Day race. They had an oatmeal bar at the finish line. And a photo booth. What’s not to love?

Favourite medal: Captain Jack’s Treasure Run. Another all around great Orca Running event. This medal was big, but also beautiful.

Most meaningful race: Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Half. My first solo run at that distance and I felt really good and strong and proud.

Event I’d love to do again: All the Orca events (My Better Half, Birch Bay Road Race, Captain Jack’s) and RnR San Antonio.

Event I’d never do again: Goonies 5k or anything from Virtual Pace Series. Virtual events can be a lot of fun. There’s an opportunity to pull off some great community vibes – Hogwarts Running Club does a great job. VPS just sends you a medal and calls it a day, though not before emailing you every single day to try to sell you on another virtual race. In truth, it’s a total cash grab and you’re just ordering a medal online. If it’s your thing, that’s cool. It just isn’t mine.

Least favourite event: Scotiabank 5k. The course was ridiculously crowded because it was super narrow. There was nothing fun about that. (For the record, I would consider the Scotiabank Half – I’ve heard good things about that.)

What were your favourite races of 2018? Which ones are glad are in the books?

12.09.18

Honestly, the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Half Marathon might have been my most meaningful race of the year.

After I finished it last week, I said:

The race contained many opportunities for self-reflection. I’m mostly going to reserve that story for another day so that I can digest it a little first.

With a little time between then and now, I can say that it wasn’t that it was super challenging – not any more than any other race – it was just that it was different.

In most races, I’m running with someone else. It’s a social situation. Because I have a low level of competitive drive, I mostly approach races as a way to have a good time. It’s fun for me. I’m shorter races -5 or 10k – I usually start with Kevin it another friend and then we see what happens. We rarely finish together. In longer races, however, I let whoever I’m with take the lead. If they want to go slow, I’m good with that. If they want to go fast, I do my best to keep up. Mostly, though, it’s chatting, looking around, seeing new things and finishing. I’m not there to win it and we all get the same medal in the end.

In Seattle, I kept Kevin company through his injury (which is still ongoing and hindsight dictates he probably never should have done that race in the first place!) In Vegas this year, Courtney and I spent the duration of the course catching up after years of not seeing each other.

At RnRSA, however, things were different. I was on my own and I *literally* had to run my own race. I didn’t know a single person there. Originally, Kevin was supposed to be running, but a flare up of his injury prevented that. It was hard on both of us – physically for him because, of course, he was on a lot of pain and emotionally because it was the second big race he’d missed this fall, not to mention that he’d invested a LOT of time and effort into getting better. For me, I wasn’t mentally prepared for the responsibility of managing myself and my performance for 13.1 miles. I spent a lot of time going through it – mostly unknown – in the days and hours leading up to the race. I knew I could finish, I was just fretful and how exactly.

Kevin, bless his heart, got up with me in the morning and walked me down to the start line. As in many other ways, he and I are opposites in our starting approach. He likes to be there early whereas I like to spend as little time as possible milling around. With me being the only racer on this day, we went with my preference and had a leisurely wake up and walk over.

When we got there, the corral ten ahead of mine were at the start line, but unlike Vegas, runners were moving through the start area pretty quickly. I’d say we probably only waited about fifteen minutes before it was time for me to say goodbye and enter my corral.

When I’d walked away from Kevin, I was pretty nervous and emotional. When I collected myself a minute or two later, I looked back and he was gone. I looked up the street back towards our hotel and I couldn’t see him there. It was like he disappeared! I thought maybe he’d gone into one of the port-o-potties lining the streets or that he’d taken off right away because he wasn’t feeling very good.

I got my game face on and it was almost immediately after that when we started running. It was crazy efficient – especially with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Vegas (aka total mayhem) as my last reference point.

Imagine my surprise when there was Kevin standing right on the start line waving to me. It was a wonderful and happy way to kick off the race!

I started strong and I felt really good. There wasn’t much scenic about the start of the route, but it was neat to run by well established cactuses and observe a totally different horticultural landscape. The course was super flat and took us through the city and out along some highway infrastructure for the first maybe 8km before returning us back into the city to see some of the monuments that I recognized from our bus tours the day before.

I was really excited to see this Christmas tree in Travis Park, but I was even more excited to turn a couple of corners from there and see Kevin on the side of the road, looking for me and waving.

I made a mention of how much fun it was to see him cheering us on from the sidelines in Vegas this year. And I’m going to revisit that again now. It’s one thing to go out and cheer on runners at any race. If you’re the kind of person that does it, you’re an angel and you may never know how much it means to the people you clap for, high-five or even just smile at. It is so meaningful. But if you are the friend or family member of someone who is racing, their heart may very well explode if you surprise them at the side of the road in the middle of a race. When I saw Kevin smiling and cheering and saying I was doing great, it propelled me forward, but it also made me want to cry with joy. It meant everything to me. If you get the chance, please do this for your family and loved ones. Or strangers.

We headed north from the downtown area and out toward the San Antonio Zoo. Once up there, we did a turnaround and came back through Brackenridge Park, another example of a different natural setting that was new to me. Part of the fun of running in a strange city is to see new things and this portion of the race was a highlight.

The temperature was about 21Β° throughout the race and very humid. Fortunately, until around this point (8-9 miles/13-15km), we’d been in the shade for most of the race. The remainder of the course would have the sun shine on us almost constantly and it would also introduce some decent elevation, though thankfully, in short bursts. We also returned to the city atmosphere, running roads from here until the end.

I mentioned a number of times that San Antonio is a city in which art is immersed at every opportunity. Whether through murals or structures, music or some other unexpected dose of beauty, the city is rich in culture.

I don’t know if I’ve ever taken a selfie while running before, but I really loved this mural!

The last miles of the race are a blur. We were mostly on neighbourhood streets with some good sponsored cheer squads working hard to keep us moving. Eventually we returned to the area near the Alamodome and I knew we were getting close to the finish.

I was spent by the time I crossed the finish line, but I was also pretty proud that I remained steady throughout the course and that I’d been consistent with my hydration. I knew I had some blisters that would be a problem and that I had to give some thought to new shoes, but I also felt strong. I’d proven I could run my own long race after all and that felt really good.

And as soon as I came out of the chute, there was Kevin waving and waiting on me. ❀️

I gathered my loot and we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the next event on our short vacation agenda.

I loved the RnR San Antonio. Of the three RnR events we did in 2018, it was my favourite. They’re all visually pleasing in their own ways, but as far as destination, organization and overall vibe, San Antonio takes the cake.