4.15.2014

Chubby Lane: Day 3

At 1:40 am this morning I was running through a hotel lobby with my arms full of crazy running gear trying to get in the car and to the runner exchange. In that moment, I'll admit, I questioned my sanity. Normal people are sleeping and I'm heading out to run in the rain. I'll be honest, I was nervous about running at night out in the Virginia countryside. All this combined with the fact I knew I'd be heading out alone had me feeling a bit anxious.  We rushed out to our exchange spot and released our first runner while dancing on the side of the road to "Insane Membrane." Guys, the LED arm bands we wear just invite dancing!Yuri tackled hills and pouring rain like a beast. At this point I started my pre-run freak out. I get obsessive. I like to thrip or check my gear. But, it was dark and I was feeling a little a bit loopy.  I kept loosing my gear. I made a teammate call my phone 3 times because I kept dropping it. She was so sweet and indulged my crazy. In fact my whole team was great because I was strung out. I was the third runner and as it got closer I started to crash. So, Ben gave me a energy shot, loaded with caffeine.


This reflects my feelings. Crazy! When it was time to leave, I was a ball of nerves. But, as my feet hit the pavement I was overcome with peace. It was so incredibly peaceful. My music app wouldn't play, so it was just me and the sounds of the night. I headed out at 4am. I was having an adventure while the rest of the world was asleep. I thought running at night, in the rain, would be terrifying but it wasn't. It was exhilarating. I ran through the countryside and through a sweet little Virginia town. I even ran by Chubbys Lane.



My team was close by the whole time. I only got spooked once. While the van was out of site a big rig pulled over right beside me. When I got beside the truck they turned their lights off. I started feeling nervous and was frantically looking for my team. Which, of course, I couldn't find. At this point, I had my pepper spray locked loaded. I brought it for wild animals but I was about to use it on a trucker. Then when I got to the end of the truck, he started backing up. I almost peed my pants . . . again. I was gearing up for a dead heat when I realized he was picking up a trailer someone had left for him. He wasn't trying to murder me. He was trying to do his job.  Still, I was pretty relieved to see my support car.  The rest of the run went amazing. Just me and the sound of the falling rain. I even set a PR. 



I came off the run elated. I had a runners high combined with a caffeine rush from the energy gel. I may have ran around the van and tripped on the luggage rack. I feel like I should apologize to my team for the crazy hyper moment I had because I ran alone in the middle of the night. All of my team killed those rolling hills. Rain can't keep the Blue Boston Boomerangs down. 

Remind me I said that later because we are heading out again tonight. Two legs in less than 24 hours. Below is a picture of were we will be running on our schedule. I took this in our awesome command center. 


When we aren't running (or sleeping) we've been trying to enjoy the amazing landscape. We've been between Roanoke and Charlottesville.


Natural Bridge, VA


4.13.2014

My redemption: Day 2

I won't say the day went off without a hitch. Someone (me) woke up late and was rushing to the drop off point. Luckily, we made it in plenty of time. Just a little hectic though. Oh, and then there was the brief moment when we lost a runner in the middle of nowhere. But, all in all, today was the greatest day. Just amazing. All of our runs went beautifully! My leg was fantastic. I felt hydrated and great. I did not pee my pants and I held a respectable pace (9.30) through rolling Tennessee hills. I got to run with Ben and it was just lovely.


We took these awesome railroad pictures while one of our poor teammates was running some brutal hills.  

All of our team mates had great runs.  Go Blue Boston Boomerangs! The weather was warm but our group missed running in the worst of the heat today. That was definitely a welcomed change from yesterday.  


  
We may have been blasting Bon Jovi singing at the top of our lungs as we encouraged Yuri while he tackled some beautiful Tennessee hills on the way to Davey Crockett's birth place. 


In fact, we did a lot of cheering.  One of my favorite things about this run so far is being part of a team. I love supporting each other and knowing I have the support of this group.

The runners had a picnic that was donated by Panera. At this point we had been on the road since 4 am and had just finished our leg without a full meal. I always love Panera but this was extra amazing. 


We even got a chance to be interviewed by the Johnsoncity, TN TV station.


You know you have a good group when you can laugh about being crowded in a car like this. We are doing our official team sign... why? Because we are cool like that.

We also got to watch one of our teammates in another group complete his second full marathon. Yes, full marathon. Johnny Clemmens is running a marathon a day until we get there. And, he did it so fast I couldn't even get a good picture.


Then the highlight of my day. I got to lay on finish line at the Bristol speedway. 


  
Dude, the bank on the curves was insanely steep!


Then, we headed to downtown Bristol. Some amazing folks bought us a delicious dinner, then us gals got to take a photo standing on the state line of Tennessee and Virginia. The middle of the road is a state line.




Tonight we are camping in our support trailer and the guys are sleeping in a church gym. Well, except the team running. Because remember someone is always running, no matter what.  I'll admit, we are tired. But, in the best way. Not only have we had fun but we've got to share with so many people why we are doing this. Because yes, we've had a blast but this is more than fun. We are running with a cause. To stand with Boston and the running community. And, to benefit kids wounded in the bombing and to help underprivileged kids in Boston have access to sports. I love that this is an adventure with a purpose. 

We are still short of our goal of raising a $1000 before we leave Tennessee. We will officially head out of the state tomorrow. Please consider helping us out (if you haven't done so already).  Donate at www.runnowrelay.com. 

PS. Tomorrow is our first night leg! I'm a touch nervous. We will be running through the Virgina hills. Oh my!!!

4.12.2014

Dead Chickens and Country Roads: First Leg Run Now Relay

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Today... today was crazy!  We launched the Run Now Relay (see all of my posts about the Run here) to Boston today.  Over a 1000 miles.  The launch was amazing and beautiful.  I cried a little.  It has been so emotional getting ready for this trip.  And, there is so much much meaning and emotion tied to the run. We opened the a local 5K (65 Roses at LeeU) then had an awesome send off ceremony in front of the Bradley County Courthouse.  We even got a resolution from the State senate.  It's this super legit looking document that has my name on it.

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And, of couse we ran.  My team, the Blue Boston Boomerangs covered our first 30 mile leg.   We stayed under 10 minute miles for the whole 30 miles.  Aren't we a good looking group?

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Where is Ben?
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I ran second in the group.  My run started off great, then it got weird.  Like hilariously awkward.  I'll be honest, there was a moment where I questioned if I would divulge the exact events of my run with the internet.  But, I believe in full disclosure and often the funniest things are often the most embarrassing. And, I love a good funny story.  Got to have a sense of humor about life right?  So, here we go.

I was nervous about road running.  I don't do it often, I am greenway girl.  Here is a shot of the roads I was running on.

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At first, I was killing it.  But, after a couple of miles I got HOT.  It was 80 degrees and I was running at 3pm  in bright sunshine.  It has been the coldest winter ever and I think that my body was in shock.  I had tried to hydrate before my run and about two miles in I realized this was a bad idea.  I not only felt a bit dehydrated but I had to pee.  Yep, you know where this is going.  Around this time, I ran past a dead chicken on the side of the road.  I've since determined dead poltry is a bad omen.

Now I am running, hot as hell and have to pee so bad.  And, this is the location where I am running.  No gas stations, no stores. Just rolling Tennessee landscape.

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Somehow I managed to accidentally turn my Nike+ app off.  This is maddening because I loose all concept of time.  How far have I gone?  How fast am I going?  Still hot.  Still have to pee.  Our team is using a walkie talkie app which is awesome but I didn't realize I needed to turn the volume up in the app.  The team is trying to check in with me but I can't hear them.  All I know is that it turned spotify off. No music, no nike app and I still REALLY have to PEE.  Like, at this point it is getting serious.  This might be more info that you want, but I've had two babies guys. This affects your ability to hold your pee.  All that crap about women having to pee all the time?  That is legit.  Blame it on motherhood.  As I am running I start to see an oasis up a head.  Civilization!  And, a gas station.  A beautiful beacon of hope in the country isolation.  I run, as fast as I can.  This burst of speed only makes my need to go to the facilities all the more intense.  I frantically run inside only to discover, they have no bathroom.  No bathroom!?!  And, they didn't really seem like friendly folks who might let some crazy runner use the employee bathroom.  It was also super crowded and people were staring at this weird sweaty woman pacing the store.  I did try to call a team member but they didn't answer and I couldn't work the walkie talkie.  So, I started running again.  A car came really close to me, I got startled and . . . .

I peed in pants.

It wasn't a ton but it happened.  It is okay to laugh. I did.  How could you not?  My first leg on my crazy real journey and I peed in my pants.  IN MY PANTS.  I still had no clue how far I was from the end of my leg.  About this time I saw a team mate and good friend come running towards me to check on me.  He asked how I was.  And, being me (no sensor) I just yelled out I peed in my pants.  He sweetly asked if I needed some space and I informed him I just needed a bathroom.  Before I REALLY peed in my pants.  Luckily for me, the team was parked at a gas station.  It turns out, I was less than a quarter mile from finishing my leg.  If I had known this I might have tried to push through.  But instead I gladly handed over our GPS tracker to Ben and let him finish.  As I got close to the gas station my friend and the only other girl on my team walked up to me and asked how my leg was.  To which I responded again, I peed in my paints.  She laughed and awkwardly said "really?"  Which seems to be everyone's response.  Because seriously guys, I peed in my pants. I told my teammate to not make me laugh and to please grab my suitcase.  Which, she awesomely did.  And, I cleaned up, changed and got into the car.   At this point, I bonded with the two other guys in my team.  Because telling two dudes you don't know that you peed in your pants, is a touch awkward. I thought about not saying anything but the guys had to know something was up.  And, I find hiding things makes it more weird.  So, I just owned it.   It happened.  In fact, it happens to runners a lot (google it).  Actually, marathon runners have been known to do much worse than pee in their pants.  It can always be worse folks. Oh, I did keep my pace just under 10 minutes, which was my target. Now, that the most embarrassing thing ever has happened, the rest of the trip should be gravy right?


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PS.  The rest of the team is doing GREAT.  We are ahead of schedule.  You can see all of our social media posts on our tagboard page and you can get a live feed tracking the runners here.  Please follow along.  I'm posting on all my social media channels too. I run again at 7am and this time,I'm going to pee first.

 

4.09.2014

$26.20

I leave for my relay to Boston (from Cleveland, over a 1000) in two days.  With the marathon so close you can't escape the media coverage and we remember the lives lost and lives forever changed by the bombing.   The main reason for this run is to raise funds to help children in Boston.  I am $600 short of my $2000 fundraising goal.  I am asking my friends, family and blog readers to consider donating $26.20 (or $13.10) to the relay.  In case you aren't familiar with those numbers, they are the mileages of a marathon (and half).  You can donate at www.runnowrelay.org, click donate and put BARKS in the comments.  This is a tax deducible donation and 100% of the money raise will go to benefit the kids in Boston.  We are working with two amazing partner charities.  One Step Ahead foundation is working to help provide prosthetics to the children who lost limbs in the bombing.  DreamBig! helps underprivileged girls in the Boston area get involved in sports.


I want to be able run across the marathon finish line after completing our 1000 mile relay and present a huge check in front of the Boston track association.  A check that isn't just a donation but a check that shows that we care.  That we won't forget what happened.  That we will not live in the fear that terrorist seek to instill.  A message that we, as a nation are strong and that we stand with the running community.  Runner or not, that is message we can all stand behind.  Please help me send a message of solidarity and hope.

Click here to donate: www.runnowrelay.org (put BARKS in comments).  I'm suggesting people donate in marathon mileage increments ($26.20 or $13.10).  But any amount would be awesome.  Thanks for supporting me on this journey. 
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PS.  Here are a few some news stories about our run.  We've received some awesome local and national press (Yahoo!, The Chicago Tribune, Local Paper and Radio Interview). And below is a picture of Henry on the front page of our local paper, he is the one in the batman shirt.

  

PPS.  Here is a video profile that was done on me and why I run. 
Run Now Relay - Jamie Barks from CraigWalker on Vimeo.
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