Saturday, December 24, 2011

HBBC Update #5

Has it really already been 5 weeks?! This holiday challenge was truly tested this week as Jessica traveled to Afghanistan and Jennifer prepared for her husband's homecoming from Afghanistan (after 7 months). Life gets hectic, but that's no excuse for slacking in the fitness/health department, am I right? Sure, we can scale back a bit, but in our best efforts to win one of the HBBC giveaways, here are our latest point totals:

Here's how we did this past week (17 December- 23 December):

17 December - Ran 2.06 miles (2 points)
18 December - Ran 3.2 miles (3.2 points)
19 December - Rest day due to travel
20 December - Rest Day
21 December - Ran 4.06 miles & did a 50-40-30-20-10 ladder of burpees & sit ups (6 points)
22 December - Walked 2 miles touring the camp (1 point)
23 December - Ran 2 miles and walked 2 miles (3 points)

Weekly Total: 15.2 points


17 December - Ran 3 miles (3 points)
18 December - Ran 3.77 miles (3.7 points)
19 December - Unexpected Rest Day due to stomach flu:(
20 December - Ran 3 miles (3 points)
21 December - Ran 5.17 miles (5.1 points)
22 December - Cleaned the house from top to bottom, baked 120 cookies (2 points)
23 December - Ran 3.51 miles (3.5 points)

Weekly Total: 20.3 points

Friday, December 23, 2011

Hurry Up and Wait!

I was chatting with Mike Wear, who blogs at Just a Little Run, and he had a great suggestion for a post, so here it is!

In the Marine Corps, we spend a considerable amount of time rushing to get places only to sit around and wait for some uncontrollable factor to come to fruition.  Case in point - our trip overseas.  It started with a 0500 showtime at Camp Pendleton on Friday, 16 Dec.  There are a lot of things to do the morning of a deployment - draw weapons, load all of the baggage, validate rosters, etc.  Additionally, we had a lot of family members and friends show up to see us off (you can see pictures on our 1st Radio Battalion, Company C Facebook page).

Back in the old days, Marines went to war on ships, floating across the ocean for many weeks.  Luckily, we get to fly!  We headed to our Aerial Port of Embarkation and got weighed in and manifested for the flight.  Then we sat and waited for 15 hours...there were multiple delays because our plane was having mechanical issues.  Two separate times we gathered up all of our stuff and stood in a big formation waiting to load the plane, only to find out it was a false alarm!  So, hurry up and wait!

We finally made it to our second stop and offloaded to allow the crew to refuel the bird.  That should have taken about 2-3 hours....until they came in to make the announcement about a fuel leak that needed to be fixed.  The delays went on pretty much all day, with the airline telling us every few hours that it would "just be a few more hours"...Finally at 1500, they decided to send all of use to stay in a hotel.  We were just glad to have beds to sleep in - here's how we'd been sleeping at the terminal!

Additionally (and I'm totally not kidding!), they drove us to our hotel in a STRETCH HUMMER!!!  Totally crazy.  As Marines, we are used to riding in something just a step above a prison bus!

As expected, we had to head back to the terminal at 0200, only to wait all day long with the same routine...delay, delay, delay.  They did allow us to walk over to the store and the food court for lunch, but it made for a very long day.  Again, at 1500, they decided to send us to the hotel again, because the plane was not going to be ready tonight!

So, it hasn't been all that bad.  Here are some of the positives:
1) Due to the delay and getting to stay at the hotel, I've managed to squeeze in two runs!!!

2) The amazing volunteers of the USO provided us with delicious snacks and just friendly faces at both locations!

3) We are not sleeping on the cold, hard floor and I got to get two free nights in a Marriott!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Impromptu 1/2 Marathon

On Tuesday, December 13th, a group of Stroller Warriors got together to run Kimi's Make-Up Half Marathon. Earlier in the week, she posted her intentions on our Facebook page, asking for suggested run routes. Her post was met with overwhelming support and people offering to run various distances with her. Kimi's goal was to run the half in under 2 hours in the same year as the birth of her second daughter. And yes, she always looks this happy...even before running 13 miles!

This motley crew gathered at 9 am to start the run. We even had some club members volunteer to stay back at the house and watch the kiddos! We took off at varying paces on the first of three loops. The first group averaged about an 8:45 pace for the first 4 miles. As we passed the house, a few ladies headed for their cars and the rest of us continued on the second loop. Our pace slowed to about a 9:07 mile, but our spirits were high and we chatted the entire time. Because of the course, we got to pass some of the other ladies and that was a great source of motivation. 

As we made the turn around and headed for our last leg of the course, our Stroller Warrior leader joined us with her son in tow. It really boosted morale to have some new blood coming along. About 2 miles out, Kimi put her headphones in and our pace dropped back to 8:45ish. She was determined to finish under 2. We turned toward her house and she picked up the pace even more. 

Coming toward the finish line

Kimi's reaction to finding out we actually did 13.25 instead of 13.1!

She finished the actual half marathon distance in 1:58:47! And we made it to the finish line in about cutting it close!  We had one other girl run the entire distance, and she did awesome!

Our most fashionable runner, Nicole, finishing strong!

Nicole gets a congratulatory hug from her youngest son!

This club is so incredible that Stephanie (the group leader) had a medal made and inscribed for Kimi:

And of course, a shout out to my little running buddy, Reagan, who rode the entire 2 hours in the stroller with minimal complaint. Only made me stop twice for snack/drink breaks:)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Care Packages for Deployed Marines

Yes, this is a running blog, but I'm going to take a little liberty here and go down a different path (I can do that, I'm one of the co-writers)!  As my company gets ready to deploy to Afghanistan, people are always asking, "What do you guys need?  What can we send you?"  In an effort to help, here are some ideas that I've gathered from other deployments:

Hygiene Items
Travel Sized toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner
Colgate Wisps (pretty much the greatest invention ever)
Baby wipes
Foot powder

Anything home baked!  Homemade chocolate chip cookies can do wonders for morale!
Beef jerky
Sunflower seeds
Picky Bars (ok, this one's really just for me, but they are AWESOME)
Candy (not chocolate though)

Hand/foot warmers 
Phone cards (so the Marines can make morale calls)

If you want to send something to the Marines of 1st Radio Battalion, here are the addresses for the deployment and they will be activated on 5 January.  You don't have to know anyone in the Battalion, just address it to "The Marines of 1st Radio Battalion" and someone out there will truly be grateful for your kindness and generosity!  (There are three addresses because we have Marines at multiple locations.)

Rank Name
UNIT 42605
FPO AP 96427-2605

UNIT 42606
FPO AP 96427-2606

UNIT 42606
FPO AP 96427-2607

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Race Directors: How about a little leeway!

Have you ever signed up for a race and then a personal commitment, injury, or work got in the way and you had to drop out?  Did you get your race fee back?  If you couldn't get your money back, were you able to at least transfer your race number to another runner? Or has this happened to a friend of yours and you had to morph into a pirate runner under their name? (I ran my first marathon as Maria Buss...definitely NOT me!)

If you answered "No" to the first two questions, you're in the same boat as we have been. I do not understand why the rules are so strict regarding race entry.  Now, I write this never having been the coordinator for any major event, so I have no real idea how much work goes into what they do (but I know it's a lot).

I think it would be reasonable to have a cutoff date for dropping out of a race, this would ensure race directors have accurate numbers of participants, time to make race bibs, etc.  The no-refund policy from the get-go is sort of ridiculous.  You have to enter early enough to get the cheapest entry fee, but if something comes up you lose money. Or at least make the transfer process available for those who have a friend willing to run in your place.

There have been some awesome race directors out there who have refunded my money, and a big THANK YOU to them for being accommodating.

Let's get the word out...NO MORE STRICT POLICIES! If you agree, let us know what ideas you have for making the process easy and fair!  

Monday, December 19, 2011

Someone's joining the skirt revolution...

And it's me! Courtesy of my dear sister, Jessica, I am now the proud owner of a running skirt!

I'm not positive, but I think this baby will make me faster:) This awesome skirt is one of the designs by the famous Running Skirts, created by twin sisters attempting to add a little flare to our lame running apparel! 

These women are absolutely stunning and I can't wait to try out this skirt that has been featured in so many running magazines. They also included a pair of free gloves in the package and the skirt came in a great mesh bag that will be perfect for keeping my daughters socks together in the laundry!

So here's a HUGE thank you to my own dear twin and to this set of twins who are changing the look of women's running!