Category Archives: Running

Hotcake Hustle to Crab Cakes Benedict

A whole slew of events happened Friday afternoon that turned the day from fine to really, really bad so I wasn’t in the mood to cook my ever so exciting recipe from moi.  Instead, we carb’ed up on pizza.  Friday’s turn of events had me so upset, that I questioned going to the Hotcake Hustle in the morning.  Nick reassured me that we didn’t have to go, but I told him that we were still going to run in the race, although I was 100% not feeling up for it.  I’ll fill you in on the catastrophic turn of events eventually, I promise, but for now, just know that I was not having a very good day at all.

The alarm went off bright and early.  7am to be exact, although I had been wide awake since 5am, processing the events from the day before.  Nick and I got layered up and headed out to Addison Circle.  Dodging through the crowd to find the bag check, we somehow managed to find Drake, an old co-worker of mine.  Well, actually, he found us.  Drake ran this race the year before and he warned us about the bridge over Midway Road.  The race course is a there-and-back kind of deal, so lucky for Nick, he only had to run over the bridge twice.  Drake and I were part of the 10K group, so that meant four times over the stinking bridge.  Going into the race, I was not too excited about the course.  I knew it wasn’t going to be scenic and only a quarter of it would be new “scenery” if you can even call it that, since I’d see it three more times in the loops.  The gun shot and we were off.  I quickly discovered that on the upside, being where it was, there was a lot of room on the road, so I got moving quickly.  Nick took off and I lost him until about a half a mile in.  Before I knew it, we were turning around and heading back.  I longed to turn off and go to the finish line but instead, I turned around once again and headed back as I waved goodbye to Nick.  I just wanted the second loop to be over.  There was no mystery left to it and I was bored, but my Nike+ GPS reported back to me a pace that I wasn’t expecting, so I kept pushing through.  The Bridge at Midway road didn’t start to bother me until crossing it for the last time.  Nick and I had climbed steeper hills and bridges for other races, so my anticipation wasn’t near as bad.  But the last crossing of the bridge drained me.  I was so over the course.  I wanted to stop and walk, but I kept telling myself if I walk, I’ll be mad at myself.  I made it over the bridge and was on the home stretch, about half a mile to go!  To my surprise, there were a bunch of walkers doing the 5K who were just ahead of me, right before the turn to the finish line.  The finish line was in sight and it was time to pick up the speed.  Irritated by the band of walkers in my way (like five or six of them), I yelled out (probably louder than I should have) “MOVE”.  I got a couple of dirty looks, but hey, don’t take up the whole road as walkers in a race, it’s a pain for those actually trying to run past you, I’m just saying.

So there was the finish line and Nick waiting to capture it all on his phone.  (And shoot, I’m trying to upload the video, but it won’t let me, so you all will have to wait to watch it.)  The last glance of the clock at the finish line said 57:15.  Woohoo, under an hour (and that’s just the unofficial time)!  We met up with Drake and his friend at the line for pancakes, but gave up about half way through the line and headed home to see the official time: 56:40!  Almost under a 9 minute mile.  The icing on the cake for the race was I came in at #13 out of 72 for my age group for the 10K.  What an awesome feeling to have done so well.  It helps that I just jumped from the 25-29 age group to the 30-34 age group, but heck, I’ll take it!

I treated Nick to one of his favorite dinners for being such a good sport and doing the race with me as well as putting up with me being so upset the day before: Stuffed Peppers Santa Cruz Style, courtesy of Recipes From a Kitchen Garden
And a side salad to go along with the stuffed peppers.
It made for a tasty dinner after a great race.

But wait, it doesn’t end there!  More food is in store!  Nick tried to trick me to sleep in on Sunday, but as usual, his attempts failed.  The trick usually entails closing all the blinds and curtains to make the bedroom super dark.  I have a strong internal clock, so I was awake by 7:30, my typical sleeping in time.  I try to be kind on mornings when he wants to sleep in by getting out of bed and going to the living room to read or start on some chores, but to my surprise, Nick was wide awake shortly after me.  As if Saturday night’s stuffed peppers hadn’t stuffed me to the brim, I asked him if he wanted to go out for breakfast and of course the answer was yes!

We decided on the Coffee House Cafe, a relatively new restaurant that is just down the street from us (but we still have to drive to get there).  We’ve been there once before and enjoyed it so we made another go at it.  If you live in North Dallas, I recommend you try the Coffee House Cafe.  It’s not a chain that is typical of this neck of the woods.  The breakfast menu has a lot of interesting items on it, the wait staff is very friendly (thanks for serving us, Georgio!), and the decor is well done- part rustic, part contemporary, all warm and welcoming!

Nick and I started off with drinks.  An Irish Coffee for him and a Bloody Mary for me.
Not able to decide what to get, I asked Georgio what he recommended.  I took his advice of the Crab Cakes Benedict.
Two crab cakes sat on top pieces of toast and were topped with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce, accompanied with a side of breakfast potatoes.  The crab cakes were loaded with fresh herbs.  Nick said that the herbs were a little too overpowering over the crab, but I thought they tasted fresh and unique.  The dish was very filling and I barely made it through the first Crab Cake Benedict, but Nick was happy to help me finish the second one.  (Oh, and in case you are curious, Nick ordered the Challah French Toast Sandwich.  That was really yummy, mixing savory and sweet flavors.)  I’ve really enjoyed the two visits to the Coffee House Cafe and hope to visit the “neighborhood” joint more often!

Do you have a favorite neighborhood breakfast spot that you frequent?  What do you love about the place?


Sweet Potatoes And Sore Knees

I had every intention to do a big workout yesterday; running and strength training, but I woke up with a sore knee from Wednesday night’s run.  My knee has been mildly bothering my since the start of the year and I am partially blaming it on going to BodyPump classes three times a week.  Too many squats, or at least that’s the excuse I’ve justified.  It’s probably time to buy a new pair of insoles, too.  I’ve put right around 300 miles on them and the manufacturer recommends replacement every six months of average wear, not necessarily half marathon training.  So with tomorrow morning’s 10K in mind, I decided that I should take the day off from the gym to rest my knee up.

I got home before Nick, a rare occurence, and fed Jackson.  I was starting to question if he still loved me since I haven’t been his primary chef lately, but sure enough, I won him over last night with a delicious bowl of cat food!

Having fed the cat, it was time to feed the fiance and myself.  On the menu last night was Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Pancetta and Broccoli Rabe, courtesy for the January issue of Food Network Magazine.  If it sounds tasty, and you want to make this dish yourself, you can find the recipe here.

I made a few adjustments.  First off, I am very lucky to have a mother who lives in Oregon and who’s husband has a hobby of hunting for mushrooms.  The result equals I get fancy and expensive mushrooms for free.  Nick is not a mushroom fan, so I don’t torture him too often with them, but this week he’s putting up with the gourmet mushrooms.  The recipe calls for shiitake mushrooms, but I have a nice stash of chanterelles that required hydration.

While those were reconstituting, I made a side salad for mixed greens, cucumber, pecans, reduced fat feta, dried cherries, and kalamata olives; all tossed with a pomegranate vinaigrette I made a while back.Back to the stuffed sweet potatoes, I put the sweet potatoes in the microwave as directed and got the pancetta going in the frying pan.At this point, the mushrooms were ready.  I pulled out enough for the stuffed sweet potatoes and saved the remaining mushrooms and the broth for tonight’s (broth) and tomorrow night’s (mushrooms) dinners.Back to the pancetta, it was crispy and ready to rest on paper towels to drain the excess oil.

My second recipe modification: I couldn’t find broccoli rabe and the grocery store (as usual) so I used broccolini instead.

And added in the chanterelle mushrooms and red pepper flakes.While that was sauteing, I mixed up the ricotta, parmesan, and nutmeg.I sliced open the sweet potatoes.And put everything together.  Voila, dinner is served!Coming in at about 35o calories for the Stuffed Sweet Potatoes and roughly 150 calories for the salad, it was a tasty and satisfying dinner!  My only criticism for the Stuffed Sweet Potatoes is that the dist was a little dry, otherwise delicious!

Nick and I curled up on the couch with our plates (or bowls, rather) for a cozy dinner and Netflix and I propped my leg up for some heat therapy!

Here’s hoping the heating pad will help my knee feel fine for tomorrow’s 10K!  Tonight’s dinner is a recipe by none other than yours truly!  (I haven’t cooked with out a published or family recipe in a while so fingers crossed that it will come out well!)  Look for the recipe and the race recap this weekend!

Selling Like Hotcakes

First off, when I left the house this morning, I discovered ice on my windshield!  I turned the wipers on and used windshield wiper fluid, but it wasn’t making the ice go away fast enough, so I got out for the car and dug in my trunk for my trusty (and rarely used in Texas) ice scraper.  By the time I got around to the front, the ice had melted and I lost all opportunity to take a picture to show it to you all.  Oh well.  The ironic part of it all is that it’s now 63 degrees out.  That’s Texas for you!

Anyway, last night I stopped at RunOn! on my way to a Michigan alumni board meeting and picked up registration packets for our first race of 2012: The Hotcake Hustle!  I signed up for the 10K and Nick grudgingly said he’s do the 5K.  I think I’ve burned him out for anything more than a 5K after completing the half marathon.  I’m sure he’d rather do the mile fun run than the 5K if he could get away with it, but unfortunately for him, we don’t have or know any kids who he could pretend to be the father of so he could run with a kid as a “father duty” of the fun run.  Alone, people might wonder who this thirty-something guy is, running a mile with a bunch of little kids.    I’m teasing.  Nick is a good sport and while running is clearly not his sport of choise, he does it to support me.

With the registration packets came the fun swag!The beautiful Hotcake Hustle 5K/10K Long Sleeve T-Shirt

Hotcake Hustle Coffee Mugs
When I was making Nick take pictures for me this morning he asked if I was selling the merchandise, hence “Selling Like Hotcakes”!

I’m actually nervous for this race.  (Those 10K’s, they make me so nervous every time!)  It’s not the distance, it’s the fact that the 10K portion of it is running the 5K twice.  I’ve done enough loops in my neighborhood to not be very excited to do a loop race.  I guess I could have signed up for the 5K in order to avoid making a second loop, but I wanted to get more mileage in for the day, so that’s the price I have to pay.  However, the reward is pancakes at the finish line!

Before I left the house, Jackson told me he wanted to say hi to you all!

Happy Wednesday!

Uncertainty Has Gotten The Best Of Me

I have to make a confession.  I’ve decided to stop training for the Austin Marathon.  Not knowing if I will be around for the race has made it extremely difficult to stay on track.  Not to mention that, boy, is it time-consuming.  I get really lonely after a while!  I do plan on running a marathon eventually, but the timing isn’t right for the Austin Marathon.  With that said, I am still training…. for the Austin Half Marathon.  Since I’ve already achieved the half marathon already, I won’t have any disappointment if I don’t run in the Austin Half Marathon.  I’ve done some more research and there are actually three half marathons pretty close to each other, so if I can’t make the Austin race, then hopefully one of the other two will work in my schedule.  First up is the Texas Half Marathon in Dallas.

I think this race is mainly for people training for the Big D Marathon in the spring, so it won’t be nearly as exciting as the White Rock Lake Marathon/Half Marathon.  After the Texas Half Marathon is the Austin Live Strong Marathon/Half Marathon

followed by Cowtown Marathon/Ultra Marathon/Half Marathon in Fort Worth.

I think this one is a big deal, but I don’t know a ton about it.  (If you aren’t from the Dallas/Fort Worth Area, I should point out that the two cities are very different and tend to be rivals.  People in Dallas don’t really follow what’s going on in Fort Worth and vice versa.)

So instead of following my marathon training schedule, I’ve reverted back to the half marathon training schedule, with a few minor tweaks.  I’ve kept my short runs at three miles instead of starting at two and working my way up to three.  I’ve done the same for the mid-week medium runs, starting at four miles instead of three.  And finally for the long runs, my base has been eight miles, with a 10K scheduled for next weekend and possibly two 15K races in the weeks to come.

So there you have it.  Uncertainty got the best of me, but I’m not completely getting off track.  Even if it is JUST a half marathon, it’s still a half marathon and in my book, that’s still a worthwhile achievement!

Christmas 2011 Recap

I’ll try to spare you the long-drawn out recap of Christmas since I’m sure my Christmas was much like yours; family, food, presents.

Nick and I took off on Friday afternoon and headed to Durham, NC to spend the long weekend with his step-brother, sister-in-law, and two nieces.  Nick’s mom and step-dad joined us from Washington as well.  We spent a few hours catching up with everyone before hitting the sack.  I was up bright and early on Saturday, mostly because I had to go to the bathroom and couldn’t fall back asleep, which meant Nick was up, reluctantly, bright and early as well.  We had brunch reservations at 11:00 AM at the Washington Duke, a very nice Inn right near the Duke campus, but I wanted to get a little bit of a workout in before we started to gorge ourselves.  I was scheduled to do a 15 mile run, but I knew that being a holiday weekend and in a neighborhood I wasn’t familiar with, I probably wasn’t going to do all 15 miles.  I got geared up and programmed 4 miles into my Nike+ GPS and took off.  Unfortunately, not knowing where I was going, I ended up going down lots of roads that ended in cul-de-sacs, so my initial plan of a 4 mile run ended up being a 5 mile run due to lack of neighborhood connectivity and running down too many dead-end streets.  Anyway, after the run, I got cleaned up and we all headed to the Washington Duke.

The rest of Saturday was spent lounging.  The boys went to the guitar store and ended up picking up monopoly on the way home.  Apparently Nick’s family gets very competitive when it comes to board games, so competitive that certain games are no longer allowed due to the trauma they’ve caused.  Although there was a bit of wheeling and dealing, our game of monopoly ended up being very civil (probably because we never actually finished).  After grazing on appetizers and a “friendly” game of monopoly, we put some cookies out for Santa and Nick’s nieces headed to bed.  Knowing we’d be woken up fairly early, the adults didn’t stay up much later!

Sunday morning came with two little girls knocking on our bedroom door, saying, “Nick, Kim, time to get up!”  Santa came and we were being waited on so we put ourselves together and headed down for the great present-opening festivities.

Christmas morning
The Stella Christmas Tree
Presents were followed by a yummy Christmas breakfast of eggnog french toast, eggs, bacon, and fruit.  Then it was on to stockings!  The festivities wound down and I made a spot on the couch to get some good quality magazine-catch-up-reading done.  (I hate falling behind on my magazines, but it seems to happen every month!  I guess that’s the trouble with having FOUR subscriptions!)

The day passed by and between lounging and chatting with the women, it was a very low-key Christmas.  Nick’s step-brother and sister-in-law made a wonderful Christmas dinner and when we sat down, we went around the room to say what we were thankful for.  This brought some tears as it’s been a tough year health-wise in Nick’s family, so we were all pretty thankful to have each other together on this day.

Monday came and it was time to pack up and say our goodbyes, but plans are being made for the next get-together.  All in all, it was a nice time spending the holiday with Nick’s family.  I’m lucky to have this new family welcome me in with open arms!

Training On The Treadmill

My friend Abby commented on my recent half marathon recap post, asking if I planned on continuing on to a full marathon.  The short answer is yes, I am training for the Austin Marathon in February.    Back in October, I made the unofficial decision to keep going after the White Rock Lake Half Marathon and work towards the full marathon.  The long answer, though, is maybe.  There is a chance I won’t be around that weekend to go down to Austin for the race.  I won’t know for sure until January, which makes training very difficult.  With the White Rock Lake Half Marathon, I registered for the race several weeks before I started to train for it.  I was motivated the whole way through; I had already paid the $85 registration fee, there was no turning back after that!  With the Austin Marathon being up in the air, it’s hard to keep myself going, but I’d rather be trained and not be able to go to the race than not be trained and go to the race!  On a side note, I meant to post this with my half marathon recap, but I totally forgot.  Here is my completed training schedule for the half marathon with the paces and times for all of my runs.  I’m not particularly fast, but I’ve come along way from the middle of September.So now it’s the “dead of winter”, which is a term I use loosely here in Texas- it’s 70 degrees out today, and I’m reluctantly training.  However, being the “dead of winter” it is dark, dark, dark by the time I get off of work.  Now most women running alone in the dark are afraid of being attached by someone lurking in the bushes.  For better or worse, I don’t have that fear.  I do have a different running-in-the-dark-fear.  I have developed a dislike for running on sidewalks in my neighborhood because they are uneven, lacking ramped curb cuts in various places, and suddenly stop for no apparent reason so I’ve come to prefer running on the street.  Running on the street at night is a wee bit dangerous, especially in a place like Dallas where the car rules the road.  So my fear is two-fold: I’m afraid I’ll be hit by a car if I run in the road and I’m afraid, that with the lack of visibility, I will trip and twist my ankle or worse by running on the crappy sidewalks.  To me comparing my fear(s) with what I consider most women’s fears of running alone at night are like getting in a car crash versus getting in a plane crash.  I feel like my odds are greater for getting hit by a car or falling and twisting my ankle than getting abducted by a serial killer.  Maybe I’m way off, but that’s at least how I think.   So my fears have led me back to the gym.

After running on the dreaded treadmill while we were in Mexico last month, I thought getting back on the treadmill was going to be miserable.  To my surprise, though, it hasn’t been so bad.  I zone out and pretend I’m outside.  It’s not quite the same, but I’ve mentally determined every quarter-mile of my outside run and when I look down at the treadmill dashboard to see how far I’ve gone, I refer that to my mental image of where I would be in the neighborhood.  The best part is that I don’t have to run up the dreaded hill at the end!

Anyway, here is my training schedule for the full marathon, including the first 12 weeks that I completed in training for the half.  Things have already been pushed around in the past two weeks and the holidays present their own challenges, but I’ll do my best to stick to it and hopefully within a month I will know for sure if I’m training for nothing or training for my first full marathon!  (Hopefully I can keep my motivation up for it in the meantime!)

My First 13.1

I know, I know, I said I was going to write this blog entry earlier this week, but the professional photography wasn’t live when I thought it would be and then the rest of the week got away from me.  Excuses, excuses.  Anyway, I’m here to give you the full report on my very first half-marathon!

All week long the receptionist at my office kept talking about the big cold front that was coming in over the weekend and how it was going to pour all weekend long.  I didn’t want to believe her.  Every time I check my weather app it forecasted blue skies on the race day, but Friday morning I checked and it looked like the inevitable might happen… the rain and the cold.  But still Saturday looked  worse than Sunday, so I was hopeful that mother-nature would get it out of her system the day before the race.  That evening, Nick went out with his friend and when he came home a few hours later he had this troubled look on his face.  He played me the voicemail that was on his phone from his godfather, Ken, who was given only a few months to live during the fall.  More or less, this was the voicemail:  “Hey Nick, it’s Ken.  Guess what, I’m in the French Quarter.  We are making our way to Texas (from Florida) and will be there for the weekend.  Sunday would be a great day for us to get together.  We’ll be staying in Hubbard (about two hours from Dallas) at my sister’s place.  Give me a call when you get a chance.”  The timing of this couldn’t have been worse.  Obviously we needed to go see him but what were we going to do about the race.  I said it was just a race and we could forego it and drive down to Hubbard Sunday morning.  Nick, knowing how hard I trained and how important this race was for me, nixed that idea right away.  After throwing a few ideas around as to how we would make this work, we decided that we would leave straight from the race, stop at the 24-Hour Fitness in downtown Dallas to shower, and continue on to Hubbard to visit with Ken.  It sounded like a good idea at the time.

Saturday morning,  Nick and I headed down to Fair Park Saturday morning to go to the expo and pick up our registration packets.  On the way there, Nick asked me what my goal was in regards from this race.  I told him I just wanted to cross the finish line.  That was my original goal when I signed up to do this race.  Obviously over the 12 weeks I learned where my pace might actually fall and so I had an ideal pace in my head, but if I didn’t fall within that pace and finish time, I wasn’t going to beat myself up over it.
Race Expo
The expo was pretty cool.  We stopped by the Luke’s Locker booth and got some good deals.  The women’s stuff was pretty picked over but I got two new pairs of Nike Tempo shorts- my preferred running shorts- on sale, so I can’t complain too much.  The expo was very crowded so we didn’t stick around too long.  Plus, with the race and a trip to Hubbard the next day, we wanted to get all of our weekend chores and errands done on Saturday.

Saturday night we packed our bags and got our running clothes together, had Nick’s favorite pasta dinner and I called it a night.  Nick on the other hand stayed up working on his iPhone games.  I work up periodically and came out to remind him of the time and how many hours were left until we had to get up.  I don’t think he appreciated it that much!  He finally came to bed around 2:00 AM for a few hours of sleep before the alarm went off at 5:00 AM.  We had a quick bite to eat, grabbed our stuff and were out the door, walking into a light drizzle of rain and 30 degree temperature.

In the 12 weeks leading up to this day, I thought I would be so nervous, but when we got into the corrals and walked towards the starting line, there wasn’t an ounce of nerves in me.  I was just filled with excitement.  We crossed the start line and we were off!  At this point the drizzle turned into real rain and as we wound our way through Deep Ellum and into downtown, the rain continued to pick up.  I felt pretty emotional in the first two miles.  I was excited to be apart of this race.  25,000 people came together on this freezing cold, rainy day to run 13.1 or 26.2 miles.  For some reason, this really touched me.  The miles passed and I was drenched, despite wearing a trash bag the whole time.  At about mile 4 I decided there was no point in avoiding puddles.  My feet were soaking wet and they weren’t going to get any more dry over the next 9 miles.  I was gratefully for having wool socks on instead of cotton socks.  My feet stayed warm the entire time, despite being soaking wet.  At mile 7 I hit a wall.  I was fatigued and needed to walk just a little bit, just to the top of the small incline, which was about a block, if that.  At mile 8 I decided it was finally time to start drinking water, a challenge in itself.  I grabbed the first dixi cup I saw and took one small sip before dumping the rest of it down my chin.  That little sip was going to have to hold me over until mile 9 and the next water stop.  After repeating the same experience at miles 9 and 10, I stopped running at the water stop at mile 11 and walked with the water, drinking two full cups.  At the end of the water stop, I tossed my two empty cups and started running again.

Right around mile 11 I spotted my boss and his wife and their two kids who had come out to cheer.  When I spotted them I was so happy to see familiar faces.  I really appreciated all the spectators who came out to watch that day.  It was a huge help getting through the miles, but seeing familiar faces really perked me up.  Thank you so much Brian, Koko, Austin, and Miles for coming out!  I know the weather was awful so thanks to you four and every spectator who was out there for sticking it out and giving the runners the support!

The last few miles are a bit of a daze for me now.  I remember thinking somewhere after mile 11 that I was crazy for wanting to continue on and train for a full marathon!  Around mile 11.5 or so, the marathon and half marathon joined up again (we split at about mile 8- the full went north to run around the lake and the half went south towards downtown, Fair Park, and the finish line) and I saw the first place marathon runner pass me and head to the finish line.  Damn was he fast!  At mile 12 my Nike+ GPS paused and stopped playing music, which was über frustrating.  I couldn’t get the music to play so I ran the last mile in “silence”  I’m so glad that happened on mile 12 and not mile 2.  Running 1 mile in silence is torture enough!  Fair Park was in distance.  I crossed through the gates and saw the finish line just around the corner.  At this point, I think I stopped feeling the motion of my legs running.  I ripped off the garbage bag that I wore the entire race and made my way to the finish line.
Just crossed the finish line with garbage back still in hand
Clock time of 2:33:21

As I crossed the finish line I grabbed a mylar blanket and about burst into tears. The past 12 weeks had been so emotional for me.  Deep down I knew I could do it, but fears and doubt filled me along the journey.  Running my first half-marathon has definitely been a mind over matter situation for me.  And honestly, after so many miles, my body becomes numb and I don’t feel anything physically anymore!

From the picture above, you can see that my clock time was 2:33:21.  My official chip time, though, was 2:09:42.  I am quite pleased with my time.  They ushered us into the finishers pavilion to get our medals and finisher shirts, so I didn’t get to see Nick finish.  I got my finisher picture taken, despite shivering and dripping all over the place.
Freezing cold, dripping wet finisher picture

Once Nick and I met up we decided that going to 24-Hour Fitness to shower was a horrible idea and that we’d rather take hot showers in the comfort of our own home, so we headed home before taking off for Hubbard, TX.

(Okay, I’m wrapping up, so bear with me for just a little bit longer.)  In sum, it was a very rewarding experience.  Even though it was pouring rain and freezing cold the entire time, I wouldn’t have asked for my first half marathon to be any other way!  Here are the things I was so grateful for on the race day:
1. Wool socks
2. Garbage bag
3.  A hat (which I never, ever wear when I run)
4. Spectators
5. My boss and his family for coming out and supporting me
6. My friends and family who were thinking about me from afar
7. Nick for being my cheerleader along the way, telling me I can do it no matter how frustrated I got!  I’m so glad we got to do this race “together”.  Although we didn’t really physically run together, having you in the race with me and being a part of this goal of mine means so much!  I love you!

Thanks everyone for your support!