It’s St. Jude Race Week Once Again

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This week is going to be a hectic one for me. It is my birthday, finals, and the St. Jude Half Marathon occurring concurrently. I also had an opportunity to go to a conference for work, but I wisely turned down that opportunity to focus on everything else.

My 1st race medal - St. Jude Half 2011

My 1st race medal – St. Jude Half 2011

Race week means that I ratchet down my workouts, trying to avoid injury and stay fresh for the big event. I do not always adhere to this since my schedule has been so packed with races, but I am going to do my best to take it easy this week. After all, nothing I do this week is going to drastically improve my time on Saturday morning, so why risk injury?

2012 St. Jude Half Marathon Medal

2012 St. Jude Half Marathon Medal

I have been checking the weather forecast like a psycho for the past few days, and while the weather does not look ideal, it should be warmer than last year’s event that was canceled for the cold and ice (even though some of us crazy runners hit the streets anyway) and drier than the second MRTC RRS half marathon. I can only hope that this remains true.

Photo produced by Competitor Group

Photo produced by Competitor Group

I have reached my fundraising total, so I can cruise along without stressing about finding the extra dollars needed for that. And I think that for the first time, I will squeeze into my Heroes singlet for the race (don’t worry, I will have an under shit on) to celebrate the wonder place that is St. Jude.

This was me as I was about to head out for my very cold 13.1!

This was me as I was about to head out for my very cold 13.1!

I recently upgraded phones, so I have been debating what to do with my new iPhone 6. 13.1 miles can get very sweaty, and with the chance for rain, I decided to bite the bullet and invest in a Lifeproof case, even though the model that I really wanted has not been released yet. I would rather sacrifice some aesthetics rather than my entire phone!

2013 St. Jude Marathon Weekend Medal (w/ a little ice)

2013 St. Jude Marathon Weekend Medal (w/ a little ice)

New phone, also means I need a new playlist, so during study breaks, I will be constructing a list of tunes to help carry me to the finish line!

Good luck to all my fellow St. Jude Marathon Weekend participants and everyone else running this weekend!

Five For Friday

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It has been a busy week here in Memphis for me.  From work and some improvements on the homestead, I have a few subjects to share with y’all.  And instead of dedicating a post to each, I am just going to encompass them all here.

1. St. Jude sent me a thank you for being a St. Jude Hero.  I am not sure if this was a thank you for the canceled St. Jude Marathon Weekend last December or the upcoming Country Music Half Marathon, but it was a nice surprise.  St. Jude sent out a pair of Yurbuds Signature Series Earphones and a Frogg Togg.  So, thank you St. Jude!

Thank you St. Jude!

Thank you St. Jude!

2. I wanted to share a couple of photos from our newly painted living room.  Here are some before and after pictures of our progress.

Before 1

Before 1

After 1

After 1 (with our model Beau)

Before 2

Before 2

After 2

After 2 (with a Beau photobomb) 

3. And my personal favorite addition to the new living room, my new Nest Thermostat.  It was not exactly needed, but it is really freaking cool.  My thermostat is now actually connected to my WiFi and I can adjust my house temperature from my iPhone here at the office.  The thermostat learns our heating and cooling habits, and adjusts accordingly.  I also get monthly reports on my energy efficiency and how I compare to others in my area with a Nest.

I have some work to do to where the former thermostat was, but I love my Nest.

I have some work to do to where the former thermostat was, but I love my Nest.

4. This weekend is the Germantown Half Marathon and I cannot wait for Sunday morning to get here.  I am very interested to see how running this event will actually be healthy. Of course, according to the weather report, it looks like it is going to be a wet race.  Current projections so 100% chance of precipitation at the race start time.  If this holds true, this will be the first race above a 5K in which I have encountered rain.  There is a first time for everything I suppose.

5. Thanks to the lackluster effort by the Memphis Tigers last night against UConn in the American Conference Tournament, this entire town is on suicide watch today.  A 72-53 loss on your home court against a team that you already lost tow twice this not easy to swallow, especially when on paper, you are evenly matched with the victorious team.  I think Giffey just hit another wide open three!

Memphis will be seeing this in their nightmares

Memphis will be seeing this in their nightmares

Sports talk this morning in Memphis has not been fun.

 

St. Jude Running News

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I just read a blog post over at The Smith Summary about some exciting news for my fellow St. Jude runners.

Photo produced by Competitor Group

Photo produced by Competitor Group

Starting in 2014, the 2014 St. Jude country Music Marathon and Half Marathon and the 2014 St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend are teaming up to offer some extra bling for runners.  Runners that register as a St. Jude Hero for both events, and raise at least $100 for each event, will qualify for the extra medal.  All participants that earn the medal will receive it at the December Memphis event.  It is called the Music Highway Challenge, and it is a fantastic idea!  In fact, it is something that I suggested on the Facebook wall for the Rock ‘N Roll Series.  This idea is much better than mine since it involves fundraising for St. Jude, but I am happy that someone in a spot of influence had a similar idea.

Proof that I can have a good idea every now and then!

Proof that I can have a good idea every now and then!

I think that this is going to be a huge success for two very popular races.  Now, I need to get to raising some more funds for the kids of St. Jude!

2013: Year in Review

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2013 was a busy year with quite a bit of running and several new experiences.  After this morning’s run, I have logged 835.12 miles total for the year and participated in 29 total events this year!  And I did all of this despite being injured for a portion of the year, and also battling a very hot summer here in Memphis.  I earned some great bling, tried new races, and achieved multiple PR’s.  I also hosted my first event, the Platinum Sombrero 5K, which helped me raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and gain a couple of new friends from the endeavor as well.  This post, if I write in great detail about each event and experience would be several thousand words long, and I am not going to do that to you.  Rather, I am going to do more of a Cliff’s Notes version of the year here with a monthly breakdown.  For in-depth descriptions of my races from the year, you may visit the 2013 page in my blog and click on each race recap.  Enjoy!

This is every race shirt that I received in 2013!

This is every race shirt that I received in 2013!

January: 1 Race (Virtual 5K), 81.59 Miles.  The year started off with my first virtual 5K.  It was the Resolution Run and the proceeds went to the Hole in the Wall Gang and started my year off right.  I ran no local races since I could not work them into my schedule, but I did run a race.

This was one of the better medals that I received in 2013.

This was one of the better medals that I received in 2013.

February: 2 Races (1 Virtual 5K & My 1st 10K), 65.52 Miles.  I started February with another virtual 5K, the Chilly Cheeks 5K.  This event actually netted me a PR at the 5K distance with an elapsed time of 26:30.  Of course, this is an unofficial time, so hopefully I will eclipse that time in an event this year to remove any ambiguity.  My 10K was the Move It Memphis 10K, and since this was my first 10K, it was an automatic PR.  It was a great event and one that I will run again in the future, just not this year since I have another event happening this weekend in 2014.

Approaching the finish at the Move It Memphis 10K

Approaching the finish at the Move It Memphis 10K

March: 1 Race (HalfMarathon 5K), 18.61 Miles.  This is the month that I was diagnosed with peroneal tendonitis in my right foot.  This occurred two weeks before I was supposed to run in the Germantown Half Marathon, so obviously that did not happen.  I did, however, walk the 5K associated with the event in my walking boot.  This caused a few second takes as I limped through the course.

This is me limping through the course in my walking boot.

This is me limping through the course in my walking boot.

April: 2 Races (1 5K & My First Mud Run), 34.64 Miles.  I was making the slow recovery from my injury throughout the month, but I was able to run a 5K, the FedEx St. Jude Classic Fairway 5K, hosted at TPC Southwind here in Memphis as well as my first Warrior Dash.  Warrior Dash was quite a bit of fun, and a nice diversion from your typical race.  Both events showed a nice bounce back for me from my injury.

This is the first race photo that I have actually purchased.

This is the first race photo that I have actually purchased.

May: 2 Races (1 Virtual 5K, 1 4 Miler), 49.71 Miles.  My virtual run was the May the Fourth Be With You 5K, which I obviously ran on May 4.  The nerd in me made me run this race.  My 4 miler was the Zoom Through the Zoo event, which benefits the wonderful zoo here in Memphis.  It was not my favorite event, but it did lead me to begin using Lock Laces, which was a positive development for my running.  Susan and I also traveled to Arlington, TX for her graduation from graduate school.  It was a great trip and I got some In-N-Out Burger from it as well!

May the Fourth Medal

May the Fourth Medal

June: 2 Races (1 5K & A Virtual Week Long Marathon), 75.56.  My 5K was the third race in the M-Town Series (I did not run in the second one due to travel) called the Gibson 5K.  It was a hot run, but it was worth it.  The virtual marathon was for the One Fund for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing and required that participants run 26.2 miles over the course of the week.  It was a nice training tool for me and benefited a great cause.  I also spent a week Cancun, Mexico, which is always a great thing.  And I even kept my running streak active for the entire week that I was there.

Photo cred to my sister-in-law for the pic of the week

Photo cred to my sister-in-law for the pic of the week

July: 4 Races (1 5K, 2 Virtual 5K’s, including my 1st hosted event, & 1 virtual 10K), 89.33.  This was the most running that I had ever done in a month up to this point, and I earned quite a few good-looking medals.  I ran in the Stars and Stripes 5K here in Memphis, the Captain America 5K, First Avenger 10K, and Platinum Sombrero 5K.  All three of the virtual runs benefited St. Jude and my personal event netted $734 for St. Jude!

Finalized race medal for the Platinum Sombrero 5K

Finalized race medal for the Platinum Sombrero 5K

August: 3 Races (1 5K, 1 Virtual 5K, 1 Virtual Half Marathon), 77.11.  The hottest month of the year and I was thankful for the taper that came before the Tupelo 14.2 in September.  My 5K was the Bardog 5K here in Memphis, the virtual 5K was the Jedi Challenge (another Star Wars run?), and the virtual half marathon was The Walking Dead 13.1, which had a neat, but small medal.  I used the virtual half as my last long training run before my taper.  Susan and I also discovered the greatness that is the Memphis Farmers Market, which became a weekend staple for us throughout the rest of the year.  And I returned to the University of Memphis to obtain my MPA.

A great place to spend a Saturday morning.

A great place to spend a Saturday morning.

September: 3 Races (1 14.2 Miler, 1 4 Miler, 1 Virtual Half Marathon), 82.37 Miles.  The first day of the month saw me run the longest distance of my career up to that point in the very hot and humid Tupelo 14.2 Miler.  The event is known for their medals, and they did not disappoint again this year.  My four miler was the Cooper Young Festival 4 Miler, which saw me shave over four minutes off of my PR for the distance and my virtual half, the Heroes in a Half Shell Challenge (Teenage Ninja Turtles theme) was another great training run excuse.

Awesome finisher's medal

Awesome finisher’s medal

October: 4 Races (1 4K, 2 5K’s, 1 Half Marathon), 80.09 Miles.  I ran two events in one day, the Tap N Run Memphis event and Zombie Hunt 5K, both in the Memphis area, but with drastically different weather events.  The first race was very hot and the second one saw some rain.  The half marathon was the 4 Bridges Half Marathon in Chattanooga, TN, and despite a chip malfunction, I set a PR but nearly five minutes!  It was a fun event and the trip out-of-town served as a nice anniversary trip for Susan and me.  I ended the month with my first ever Color Run, an event in which I was an ambassador.

4 Bridges Medal

4 Bridges Medal

November: 3 Races (2 5K’s & 1 Half Marathon), 100.54 Miles.  I ran all three races over the first three days of the month, which is a great test of endurance.  My first 5K was my fourth True Blue 5K at the University of Memphis, which is my anniversary run, the half marathon was the Midsouth Championship Half Marathon in Wynne, AR, and the second 5K was the SCS Race For Education here in Memphis, but was actually just short of a 5K.  The half marathon was the cheapest ($27) that I have ever run, and was my second fastest half marathon ever!  Plus, Susan and Beau surprised me at the finish line.  This race qualified me for Neptune status in the Half Fanatics, which was cool.  November also saw another addition to our family when Susan and I adopted Molly.

Post race w/ Beau

Post race w/ Beau

Meet Molly

Meet Molly

December: 2 Races [1 Half Marathon (Canceled, But I Ran Anyway) & 1 4K], 80.05 Miles.  December was supposed to see me run my third consecutive St. Jude Memphis Half Marathon, but due to the cold and ice, the event was canceled.  I decided to run the event anyway, as did several other fellow runners throughout Memphis.  I ran in the Starry 4K a couple of days ago just to guarantee my monthly race running streak.  My first semester in grad school ended with a 4.0 and I am now ending the month with my taper for the WDW Marathon.

This was me as I was about to head out for my 13.1!

This was me as I was about to head out for my 13.1!

All and all, 2013 was a very eventful year, both for my running and life in general.  I am looking forward to next year being an even bigger and more eventful year.

2014 Running Goals

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2013 was a successful year of running for me.  I achieved multiple goals and pushed myself to new levels.  But more on this in my year-end recap post, which will most likely be published sometime tomorrow.  Today’s post is about the upcoming year and what I hope to accomplish.  I am hoping to continue to build upon my successes in 2013 with my 2014 campaign.  These goals are going to be in addition to my 2014 goal of completing at least one RAK (Random Act of Kindness) per day in 2014.  More about this endeavor here and my progress will be tracked here.  Now onto the goals!

This is my ultimate goal!

This is my ultimate goal!

Run a Marathon.

        This goal will be realized within the first two weeks of the year when I complete the Walt Disney World Marathon on January 12.  This is probably my biggest goal of the year and it will be reached to launch my year of running.  I read somewhere that less than 1% of the population has completed a marathon, so it would be some great company to be associated with.  I am already getting antsy about the race and I am really looking forward to the run.
This is going to take some getting used to.

This is going to take some getting used to.

 

  1. Redeem My Germantown Half Marathon.  I did not complete this race last year due to my peroneal tendonitis and had to walk the 5K instead.  This tends to be a race that several runners PR, but that is not my goal.  Rather, I just want to be able to complete the 13.1 miles that I could not complete last year.

    We shall see!

    We shall see!

  2. Become a Tough Mudder and a Spartan.  I ran the Warrior Dash last year, and I loved it.  I wanted to try some more obstacle races, but none come to Memphis, so there is the added expense of traveling to the race.  I have already scheduled trips to Nashville for Tough Mudder in June and Tampa for the Spartan Sprint in February.  These events seem to be even tougher than the Warrior Dash and will certainly push me further.  Susan is still not convinced that I should run in the Tough Mudder, but the registration has been paid for, so it is all systems go.
  3. Try New Races.  I presently do not have a set number of new races to try, but I already have six new races added to my schedule, with prospects for at least three more new ones.  We will see how this goal progresses, but I imagine being in double digits of new races in 2014.
  4. Run More Half Marathons in 2014 Than My Entire Life Prior.  I have officially completed five half marathons in my running history.  This number could have been seven, but due to injury in March and ice in December, the number remains at five.  I have already scheduled three half marathons with the Germantown Half in March and the Oak Barrel 13.1 and Country Music Half Marathon, both in April.  Also, I will be running the St. Jude Memphis Half Marathon again in December and I hope to run the Disneyland Half in August and Greenline Half in October.  We shall see.  There are a few other attractive options as well.

    Log 1,000 miles in 2014

    Log 1,000 miles in 2014

  5. Run At Least 1,000 Miles.  This may be aggressive for the year, but I ran over 800 miles this year, which included an injury that sidelined me for a month and required a slow rehab to get to running again.  The monthly total this goal will require is 83.33 miles.  I was near or above this total in all months except February, March, April, and May, which coincides with my injury.  Spreading out my half marathons will help with my mileage goal as well.
  6. Focus On Cross Training.  I have TRX straps and get the Spartan Race WOD emailed to me so I do not have a real excuse for the lack of cross training that I am doing.  Cross training will aid in my running and overall fitness, therefore it should be higher on my priority list.  Also, with a Warrior Dash, Spartan Race, and Tough Mudder on my agenda, a focus on my fitness besides running is going to be paramount to my success.  I am also thinking about doing CrossFit once the WDW Marathon has been completed.  My uncle-in-law (is this a thing?) does CrossFit and he raves about the benefits.  Of course, most people who do CrossFit talk about it non-stop (like us runners, I suppose) and it seems to be its own culture.
  7. Continue My Race a Month Schedule.  I have loved running a race each month this year, and my current race streak is at 14 months, so continuing this streak will be added to my running goals.  I will probably run less races in 2014 than 2013 since I will be focusing on more substantial races and not incurring the cost of the several smaller races.  I will still run in a few 5K’s, but just not as many as in 2013.  Also, I will do very few, if any virtual races in 2014 this year.  They were a great motivator for me this year, but I do not need them anymore and the whole concept has jumped the shark a little bit.  They help raise money for some great charities, but the market is now saturated and the impact has been diminished.
  8. Complete At Least One Pull Up.  This will go with my focus on cross training, but I have never been able to complete a pull up.  We would have to do pull ups in gym class and football when I was younger, but I could never get my chin over the bar.  My peers would have a good time with the fat kid hanging on the bar, unable to even do one pull up, so for my personal pride, I want to complete at least one unassisted pull up by December 31, 2014.  This is not exactly a running goal, but it is associated with my overall fitness, so I included it.

This is my current slate of running and fitness goals for 2014.  I have scheduled several events already for 2014 and I am looking at multiple others as well.  I am hoping for another successful year in 2014, building upon my knowledge and experiences from this past year.

Race Medals and Stickers: A Discussion

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Disclaimer: this was supposed to be posted a few weeks ago, but oh well.  Better late than never, I suppose.

So over the past few weeks there have been a couple of discussions on the Runner’s World Facebook page concerning the practice of awarding race medals and runners putting stickers on their cars to brag about the achievements.  I am certain that some of this curiosity was prompted by that article in the Wall Street Journal a couple of weeks back.  And after reading some of the responses on the posts as well as on some other running sites, one thing became certain to me, runners are a passionate group of people!  So I decided that I would give my opinion on both of these issues and see who agrees/disagrees with me.

Race Medals

This is my medal rack thus far

This is my medal rack thus far

It seems to be that the first derogatory comment about race medals anytime there is a discussion about the topic is some form of how we should not be a society that just gives a trophy for participation.  While I agree with this sentiment, I do not agree that it applies here.  For the most part, completing a race, rather it be a half marathon, marathon, ultra, and the list could go on for days, is a major accomplishment for the runner.  People run races for a myriad of reasons, and completing the race is a milestone and should be celebrated.  So what if it was not run at a world record pace or that you finished 150th.  You finished the race, met your goal, achieved more than you thought you could.  Take for example my first half marathon three years ago.  This race was a goal event for myself.  I had just completed a major victory in my weight battle and wanted to keep pushing forward.  I wanted to accomplish something that I thought was impossible.  Before I began training for the St. Jude Half Marathon, the longest distance that I had ever run in my life was a 5K.  This event more than quadrupled this distance!  It took hard work and dedication to complete the race, and I was damn proud that I did!  Going from well over 300 pounds to completing 13.1 miles in a 16 month span was an accomplishment in my book.  I was a guy that would get winded checking the mail, and now I ran further on that day than I had for the decade and a half combined prior to my weight loss journey.  I certainly earned that medal on that chilly December morning, and I have earned every other medal that I have received since that point.

My 1st race medal - St. Jude Half 2011

My 1st race medal – St. Jude Half 2011

No, I will not be on the podium as a top finisher in my next race, but I will be competitive with what I have accomplished in the past.  Too often we get caught up with winners and losers and forget that one of the things that makes running so great is that we are competing with ourselves.  Just be getting out there when it is cold, rainy, hot, or we do not feel like it is defying the odds one more time.  We are reaching greatness in our personal history and we deserve a trinket for our efforts.

Race Stickers

Will this hinder your drive home?

Will this hinder your drive home?

The amount of venom for race stickers actually surprised me.  How does it affect your daily life if another person has a sticker on their car?  If the sticker is not hindering their sight lines, derogatory towards another group of people, or obscene, what is the big deal?  If the driver has earned the sticker and wants to share that fact with the world, so be it.  They are proud of what they accomplished and want to brag about that.  By having a sticker on your car, most people are not inferring that they are better than you, but rather that they have accomplished a feat and it makes them proud.  The most appalling comment about stickers on a car was someone on a message board trashing people with the 13.1 stickers on their cars.  The poster’s stance on that distance was that it is an easy distance that anyone can complete whether they train for it or not.  Therefore, completing 13.1 miles is not a triumph and should not be something to be proud of.  I call bullshit on that notion.  Some people can run 13.1 miles without an issue I am certain, but those people are the exception, not the rule.  Rather, it is a triumph to complete a half marathon.  Be proud of your accomplishment, and if you feel inclined to share this information via a decal or magnet on your vehicle, go for it.

After my first half marathon, my running coach from my gym sent me a 13.1 sticker for my car.  I did not hesitate about putting that on my car.  I was proud of my accomplishment and thought that in no way was I showing up someone else.  I have since traded in that vehicle and currently I have no decals on my truck.  It is not that I am suddenly anti-decals, but rather I do not have one at the house that I can use.  But I can guarantee that after the WDW Marathon on January 12, 2014, there will be a 26.2 sticker on one more truck on the streets of Memphis!

The Race That Wasn’t, But Then Was Anyway

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At this point last week, 20,000+ runners were supposed to be running in the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend events.  It was going to be my third consecutive year running for the kids of St. Jude, and honestly, I was aiming for another PR.  But a funny thing happened in route to race day, Mother Nature decided that December 7 was not a good day to run and dumped ice and cold upon the Memphis area.  Some may argue that the event cold have gone on as planned, but the St. Jude powers that be made the difficult decision to cancel the race for the safety of the runners, spectators, and volunteers.  Many people forget that races require more than the runners to transpire, and I cannot imagine how brutal it would have been to work an aid station for six hours in single digit temperatures.  Not to mention with the fact about ice accumulation from the discarded water cups around the stations.  St. Jude made the correct call.  It was a call that disappointed all of us, pissed off a few, baffled others, and inconvenienced most.

This was me as I was about to head out for my 13.1!

This was me as I was about to head out for my 13.1!

But a crazy and inspiring thing happened after St. Jude canceled the race.  Some of us crazy SOB’s ran the race anyway!  That’s right, all over Memphis, and even the southeast, there were courageous runners sporting their St. Jude Heroes singlets, bibs, and plenty of cold equipped running gear.  One group ran the majority of the course and even received their medals at the end since the medals were already at the finish line.  Some ran in their neighborhoods, some on treadmills, and some out of towners ran once they returned to their hometowns.  It truly was an amazing experience.

This is what the finish line for the St. Jude Marathon looked like Friday afternoon

This is what the finish line for the St. Jude Marathon looked like Friday afternoon

I am one of those people who ran the race despite it being canceled.  I logged my cold 13.1 miles for several reasons. One, the event is about the celebration and awareness of the wonderful patients at St. Jude.  We are running for those kids, therefore, despite cancellation, I ran for those kids.  Second, I was scheduled for 13.1, so I wanted to run 13.1.  Simple as that.  Three, in a weird way, I hope people seeming myself and the others running around town will inspire them to join the race next year.  To raise money for St. Jude and make the event an even bigger success.  This year, the heroes program raised a record $8.1 million for the kids of St. Jude with over 14,500 individuals competing as heroes!  Maybe next year the total can eclipse $10 million!

2013 St. Jude Marathon Weekend Medal (w/ a little ice)

2013 St. Jude Marathon Weekend Medal (w/ a little ice). Not my photo, but this was from the Commercial Appeal, found via Google Image search.

After cancellation, St. Jude handled the situation better than anyone could have imagined.  The Heroes Lounge was still open downtown for all heroes to enjoy.  St. Jude communicated every step of the way, and provided several alternatives for registered participants.  Registration fees could be donated to St. Jude, refunded, and transferred to the Rock ‘N Roll New Orleans, Phoenix, or Nashville events.  All race shirts, medals, and goodie bags that were unclaimed could be mailed to you or donated to St. Jude.  Also, all registered participants for this year’s race will have priority registration for next year’s event!  Any of these options would have appeased most, but all of them truly were above and beyond!  Of course, there were gripes and confusion about some of these details.  Some people want their race materials despite the cancellation.  Then some people cannot understand why you would want something for a race you did not run.  My argument to that logic is everyone is different, but a lot of people did run this race, organized or not, so if they want that medal, fine.  If not, I am sure a patient at St. Jude will enjoy it.

I went to the expo before cancellation, so I got my race shirt, bib & bag. Also, the singlet & other shirt were sent previously to heroes.

I went to the expo before cancellation, so I got my race shirt, bib & bag. Also, the singlet & other shirt were sent previously to heroes.

Personally, I do not know how or if to claim this race.  It obviously does not count towards my total of half marathons which is a bummer because it would have been my fourth in four months, but I will live.  I might count it as a virtual run since there was, at least at first, an infrastructure for the event and several others running with the option of a medal and race shirt I wanted them.  Also, how does this race affect my race streak?  Virtual races have counted during the streak, but what about canceled races that I ran anyway?  I made it to December and through an injury, I am not going to let a little bit of ice derail my goal for the year!  I guess I will find a local 5K or something just to cover my bases.

Also, this was the weirdest run that I have experienced in my neighborhood since people were honking, waving, and even taking my picture!  These gestures told me that I was making a wise decision running for St. Jude that day.  These people did not know me from Adam, but these saw the St. Jude logo and thought about those kids, even if it was just for a moment.  I hope that the other runners experienced the exact same sensation!