Monday, November 19, 2012
It's November, nearing Thanksgiving, and what better time to work "pilgrim" into a blog? OK, tongue in cheek, but as I drove South (farther from home and turkey dinner potential) this morning, it was something I needed to do... like a pilgrimage.
You see I started reading blogs by this amazing woman two Sparknames back. She seems to have wormed her way inside my mind, already. Like me, she blogs to keep herself motivated. So, since I was in Florida anyway, I drove on down to meet Debra0818, 3 hours further down the road.
It was the perfect thing to do. We sat and chatted like the friends we have become through blogging, filling in the blanks that don't always make it into writing. And I got to hold and pet Edison, and get my doggie-fix. I've been pursuing canines all trip long, this one was ready to jump in my lap and make himself at home. If you've been over to Debra's blog you've already seen the snapshot.
I'll have another to add when I get home. Debra snapped one of me with my jeans rolled up and my shoes off, with MY camera. Feet in the gulf on a beach near where she lives. It was the perfect day, neither too hot nor too cold. And watching those perfect waves lapping in... well, remember I live over a thousand miles from a coast. This truly was soul-filling.
Between meeting so many committed Sparkers and hugging a cousin I hadn't seen in person in 22 years... and touring the Dali art museum (Marsha and I took that in the day before the race), this Spark "notion" (see, MsLizzy, I WAS paying attention) of going to do this one half marathon has multiplied into a great vacation.
Seeing and appreciating people is something we all need. Which brings me to the homing instinct... my kid sis is hosting a Thanksgiving meal. I might make it back if I drive long days tomorrow and the next day. But... not at the risk of driving drowsy. So I'm now in for the night, and decisions about route (scenic versus quick) will wait for tomorrow.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
First off, I'm going to point you to an incredibly supportive Spark friend who came and took photos of our race / event this morning. www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
Monty (Mirage727) and his wife Darren (DSSecrets) came out just to watch, cheer, and Spark us on. We share a Husker Fan perspective, so there is a connection there, but we actually found each other blogging here on Spark. We had a collection of Super Stars between the cheering section and the running buddies.
It was a cool, humid morning, overcast here in St. Petersburg. We were pumped and up by 4:30 a.m. to get the couple of blocks to the start from the hotel. We connected via cell phone before we dropped off the gear bags. We RAN the PLAN. I was SO proud of us.
We both finished with these HUGE grins on our faces, and it was just over the top that we also both established personal bests for the HM distance (13.1 miles, in case anyone doesn't have that drilled into their brains by prior blogs).
I can't tell you how satisfying it is to have a plan come to fruition like this, but YOU, my fellow Sparkers, already know. It has been a great trip so far, and as predicted, I'm totally ruined for the upcoming Nebraska winter.
I successfully ran away from home.
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Got to St. Pete relatively early yesterday, which gave me time to walk around. Yes!
My running buddy got here in time to check in for the Half Marathon last night, which gives us today to do some "fun" stuff before tomorrow's main event. Healthy fun, Spark friends, no worries, we aren't going to let the program run off the rails at the last minute.
Observations: meeting on line and later in person? You've got a head start on the "getting to know you"... you are way into follow up questions and comparisons and you can just continue where you left off in the last blog / message board.
Once again... if you can meet your fellow sparkers face to face... go for it!
Friday, November 16, 2012
Yesterday, while plagued with the panic point related to the low tire pressure light (it went away on its own, and the tires did not LOOK low), and later by road construction (warning Northerners, the South doesn't get the months of November through March off from this plague), was highlighted with some incredible vistas. I remember reading about the Tennessee Valley Authority and how it created lakes in generating power... well, I drove through the passes of Tennessee after Western Kentucky yesterday and it took my breath away.
Also note I now understand my daughter in law laughing at the rivers in Nebraska. I crossed both the Ohio and the Tennessee rivers in the past two days. All I can say is "Impressive". Speaking of being in awe of modern technology, what about the technology that allows us to blithely drive over bridges and not be stopped by mountains? What an achievement in infrastructure!
Oh, and of course, being me, I have to find those little points over which to shake my head and laugh at myself. The body says "I'm OK" as you approach a rest area, then as soon as you pass it, "I need to go!" No wonder MOTHERS go crazy. I was glad I was driving alone, at a few points, because nobody else (except however many Spark buds read my blogs) knows my chagrin!
Downtown Atlanta? We were STOPPED on I-75. I heard on a local radio station that there had been an accident earlier, but what a mess! We were SO stopped, I took a couple of photos through the windshield and felt totally safe doing so. Certainly weren't going anywhere at the time!
So, now I figure I have only about six or seven hour drive today, and I'm waiting for full daylight. It's drizzling, and might burn off shortly. Meantime, you get this little blog. And I'm going out to walk around before I start driving.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Hi, my name is Dexter, and I am Barb's Honda Fit. She's done / asked me to do some strange things since she took me home last May, but driving myself while she takes a phone call is NOT one of them. That silly little phone was ringing inside her bag and she ignored it until she made me pull off the road and stop after we successfully negotiated the change of highways.
But LAST NIGHT? She left me outside this building they call a motel in the mountains and this strange substance grew on my windows and lens covers overnight... in fact it covered my whole outsides. It was cold and white. I had to really run my defrosters to get it off in the morning. And the cold temperatures made my tire inflation signal go on in the morning. That freaked her out a bit, but then she remembered the GPS could search out a Honda dealer anytime she wanted, and give her driving directions.
The old cars in the lot used to tell me stories about the old days when humans actually read papers called maps, and calculated gas mileage using something called long division! Travel is so much easier these days. They have these overhead message boards that even say which routes have delays in big cities. Doesn't STOP I-75 in downtown Atlanta from turning into a parking lot when something happens in the city, but at least it warns the drivers that it's coming.
Anyway, she's left me outside of one of those motel things again... there is this funny looking tree beside it. She called it a palm tree. What an odd thing. Its leaves are all spiky and its trunk all covered in diamond shapes.
And her? She seems to be nuttier every day. Muttering about coiled springs and being cooped up. She says tomorrow's drive will be shorter. Oh, and she promises photos of that parking lot, when she gets home and can upload them.
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