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Back home... retrospectives on a nine-day road trip

Thursday, November 22, 2012


This is a new 60 year old. On her birthday. In a bathing suit. On a beach. With the Gulf of Mexico stretching out behind the guy who was kind enough to snap the photo.


This is said 60 year old the last day she could call herself 59. But taken where you can see the gulf behind me, by DEBRA0818. What a great day that was.


Speaking of DEBRA0818, here I am with her, and I got to hold Edison (a charming canine).


Here are the two Spark friends (SLENDERELLA61 is on the right) who hatched a plot a year ago to run together. And it ended up being this incredible nine day road trip that I gave myself as a birthday present.


This is the abandoned dog I wrote about yesterday morning. So sad.

So those are the photos I'm putting in the blog for now. I really wanted to write about some of the insights of travel. One of the nice things about driving is that it gives me time to talk to myself and be quiet, away from anything other than having to keep me and Dexter safe on the road.

Home again late this afternoon, I am again a coiled spring... NEED to move. We shall see what that translates into in terms of tomorrow's activity. One advantage: no big turkey dinner, or pumpkin pie tempations!

Hope all my Spark friends had a great Thanksgiving... with focus on the Thanks... because we all have *something* to be grateful for, and many of us have a great deal to be grateful for. As I was counting my blessings on the drive today, I had to put health at the top. How well the body has responded to good nutrition and activity has blown me away.

Bless each and every one of you. Happy Thanksgiving! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 11/24/2012 7:18PM

    That lady is looking great!!!!

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LINDAKAY228 11/24/2012 5:43PM

    Love the way you are living your life so fully and having such great experiences at an age that some consider "old". I'll hit 60 in a little over 2 years and I don't intend to be old then either, but to some it is. I'm living a fuller life now than at any time in the past. And you are an inspiration to keep doing it!

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SLENDERELLA61 11/24/2012 3:21PM

    Really good looking, Barb! Love the bathing suit shot and just the fact that you look so good at 60!! I am so grateful for your road trip, getting to meet you, and being your SparkFriend. Just great. Glad I'm finally able to read your blogs!!

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KARIDIAN1 11/23/2012 11:42PM

    Happy Birthday and welcome home!

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ANDI571 11/23/2012 6:10PM

    Great memories you have had this trip. I'm glad you had such a great time. Love the pictures.

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WATERMELLEN 11/23/2012 6:08PM

    A journey of self-discovery indeed! Love time to be alone and think things through: driving is good for that! Great pics: you look terrific!!

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BOILHAM 11/23/2012 9:02AM

    Great pictures. Inspirational picture of you and Slenderella. You remember when women who had passed the 60 year mark did not look like that!
And a belated
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1CRAZYDOG 11/23/2012 8:00AM

    HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY! emoticon emoticon emoticon

You look FANTASTIC! You have given yourself the most precious of gifts . . . the knowledge that you CAN do WHATEVER you want to do. AND wonderful healthy lifestyle habits. Priceless indeed.

HUGS Barb. AWWW to the abandoned dog. Makes me sad. Don't know how someone can do that to an animal.

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_LINDA 11/23/2012 7:22AM

    You look absolutely AMAZING!!! Love these photos :) This was a great birthday present to yourself and healthy all the way!!
It will sure be interesting to see what you can come up with that can possibly top this in your fitness goals. The fact you are restless already. The little energizer bunny that just keeps on going and going :)


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DEBRA0818 11/23/2012 6:18AM

    Once again, Happy Birthday Barb, and welcome home and Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for visiting and Woo-eee enjoy your R&R! What a trip you had!

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REJ7777 11/23/2012 6:14AM

    I have to say, Barb, you look GREAT!!! emoticon
Happy Birthday!
Love your pics!

Comment edited on: 11/23/2012 6:15:40 AM

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MNTWINSGAL 11/23/2012 1:05AM

    Wonderful photos to cap off a super experience. So glad you did this!

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LJCANNON 11/23/2012 12:32AM

    emoticon What a WONDERFUL Gift you gave yourself!! I know I have enjoyed reading about it, and now seeing the Pictures makes it even more Special.
I can't believe I almost let your Birthday slide by without saying HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

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RONNIEHUEY 11/23/2012 12:20AM

    love the pictures

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DLDMIL 11/22/2012 11:30PM

    emoticon and glad that you are home safe.

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MIRAGE727 11/22/2012 10:28PM

    What a fun blog. Feel free to move down to The Sunshine State full time! You know we have races all year long! Once again, it was wonderful to meet you, Barb! And we will consider the Lincoln Half in May!
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PATRICIAAK 11/22/2012 8:58PM

    Belated Happy Birthday

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DEBRITA01 11/22/2012 8:26PM

    Looking good at 60, Barb...Happy Birthday! emoticon emoticon

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DALID414 11/22/2012 8:17PM

    I hope I look like you at 60!!

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RAVISHING819 11/22/2012 8:15PM

    YOU ARE DOING A FABLOUS JOB! emoticon

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HEALTHY4ME 11/22/2012 8:07PM

    Happy Thanksgiving and you look fantastic. I hope that I can say the same, I have 4 years to get to 60 and way I am going I will need all four years to get a lot of work done..... I need to lose 50 lbs and get more flexible, limber, and stronger. MUST get the weights planned out and keep up with my walking. Maybe new knees in the picture but not sure I want them.... eeek.

CONGRATS!!! and glad you had a great time.

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LAWANDMUSIC 11/22/2012 8:06PM

    You look great. The water behind you is beautiful, too! I hope you had a safe drive home. Be well!

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MAGGIE101857 11/22/2012 8:05PM

    Welcome home! It sounds like you had a great time and a SUPER birthday!!! Looking good, my friend!!!

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Some word images to amuse you, from this trip

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

ONEKIDSMOM doing pushups in the room... I can't remember why? Maybe SLENDERELLA61 does... why did I do that set of pushups? Was I down there to examine the carpet & just did it? LOL... one of the "benefits" of ageing up is that one forgets more of the motivations of silliness and just is amused. And one of the benefits of being fit is that you can do those silly things "just because".

Example: ONEKIDSMOM doing bicep curls with a 10 pound bag of ice while waiting in line to pay for it. The other customers and the convenience store employee probably thought I was losing it.

ONEKIDSMOM being followed by a dog at one Florida rest area that seemed to have NO human attached. Poor thing. But obviously I could not take it with me.

Today I shall drive across Mississippi and Arkansas on my way home. More adventures. May your day and mine be smooth sailing, safe travelings and wise choices.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 11/24/2012 7:16PM

    Silliness, and the ability to laugh at oneself, are part of what keep us young even as we age up!

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WATERMELLEN 11/23/2012 6:10PM

    One of the nice things about being a certain age is that we give ourselves permission to be silly any time!! Just don't care . . .

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CONCHA77 11/23/2012 8:59AM

    Sounds like you had another great adventure, Barb. Good for You!!! emoticon

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_LINDA 11/23/2012 7:12AM

    More proof why you were successful with your run :) You talk the talk and you walk the walk (and run it) Loved this list (except I really hope that poor doggie did have a home)

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LJCANNON 11/22/2012 8:47PM

    emoticon Who cares about the Funny Looks?! It is hard to be still when you feel Fit and Healthy!! It is amazing how much you have accomplished on this Trip, not to mention how much FUN you've had!!
emoticon I am just thrilled that you are sharing it with us!!

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LEANJEAN6 11/22/2012 6:46PM

   
Happy Thanksgiving to you! Whew! I AM so happy that you are back home!---That was a long trip for you!---Lynda emoticon

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BOILHAM 11/22/2012 8:52AM

    Funny. Yes, it does become natural to do these kind of exercises when you feel good about yourself. Perfectly normal for you and me, but not for everyone. There are a lot more of 'them' then there are of 'us' so expect the funny looks.
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ROXYZMOM 11/22/2012 7:31AM

    Very cool...stay safe!!

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SUNNY332 11/21/2012 10:26PM

    Too Funny! Glad you are having fun!

Do have a safe drive home.

Sunny

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ANOTHERMOMOF2 11/21/2012 9:18PM

    Hope your drive was a good one today.

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LESLIELENORE 11/21/2012 5:50PM

    Stay safe!

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DSSECRETS 11/21/2012 1:37PM

    Hey, what else is there to do in a hotel room but exercise!
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Have a safe trip home.

-Darren

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1CRAZYDOG 11/21/2012 11:23AM

    LOL! Love biceps curls with a 10 lb. bag of ice! You rock it.

Travel safely, Barb and happy Thanksgiving . . . wherever you end up tomorrow!

HUGS

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DLDMIL 11/21/2012 11:21AM

    Thank you for blogging your trip and run with us. We have all felt a part of the adventure. Drive safe. emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/21/2012 11:22:24 AM

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EBEAMS 11/21/2012 9:46AM

    Sounds like a great trip! Thanks for taking me along on your run yesterday! I knew there was a reason I felt fabulous! Have a safe trip home today ...

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SPARKLISE 11/21/2012 8:33AM

    emoticon emoticon

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CELIAMINER 11/21/2012 8:10AM

    If you were on the ocean, I'd wish you fair winds and following seas. Since you are on the road, I wish you smooth, save travel!

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MIRAGE727 11/21/2012 7:53AM

    Have a very safe trip home, Barb! D & I so enjoyed meeting you & being able to share such a wonderful morning with you! Best race I've never run...yet!
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PATRICIAAK 11/21/2012 7:32AM

    Wishing you an uneventful trip and a happy, healthy and blessed Thanksgiving.

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MSLZZY 11/21/2012 7:22AM

    Enjoy the trip and safe travels to you! DS is
waiting for you to get home and share all your
adventures. HUGS!

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DEBRA0818 11/21/2012 6:59AM

    Have a beautiful day, Barb, as you make your way surely home to a fine Thanksgiving feast with your family.

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AZMOMXTWO 11/21/2012 6:53AM

  have a great day this blog was fun to read

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Back in vehicle jail...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I used to have this really fit friend. She taught aerobics at the Y. We took a trip together relatively regularly. She could NOT sit in a car for very long without getting fidgity and uncomfortable. I did not get it then... I'd been "trained" by the way my dad traveled!

Guess what? I'm her now!

I was on the road before 6 Eastern time. Stopped several times to walk around a rest area, fuel up, bathroom break, or get more coffee. By 2 p.m., when the sign at the side of the road pointed to Gulf Islands National Coast? Yep, Dexter was tired of my whining and headed straight for the exit. We ended up at Pensacola Beach. A kindly gent, walking in the surf, volunteered to snap my picture to prove I was there. As with all the photos from this trip, it will have to wait until I get home to show up here.

Speaking of home, as soon as I got off the beach, I decided I've got what I needed from this trip, and I'd like Scotty to beam me up. Unfortunately, I drove. So... I told the GPS to take me home... and it proceeded to drag me through Alabama and into Mississippi on the way. For a bit there, it was pretty well off the beaten track, but fortunately it came out at a point that was good for a stop. After a good night's sleep, I'll see how far I get tomorrow.

In the end, I'm grateful the weather has been so good for this trip. And while I may whine a bit about vehicle jail, I think I'm learning the ropes of the exercise yard available. And healthy choices for food? I packed a car full, and have been using it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 11/23/2012 7:08AM

    I loved the road trips I got to be on as Mom was interested in site seeing and looking at attractions of the area we were going through so many stops was the norm, but I am afraid a carful of healthy snacks was not the norm -had all my favorite salty snacks :P It is nice to see what our countries have to offer which you miss when you fly over them.
More proof that your healthy life style choices are here to remain!!

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BOILHAM 11/22/2012 8:56AM

    Thanks for the blog. It makes me want to jump in the RV and head out for the open road. I love road trips.

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MOBYCARP 11/21/2012 7:22PM

    Now you're scaring me for the next time I drive to Nebraska. Not that I'll let that stop me, the next time all our schedules work out; but I'll have to deal with the stuff you're dealing with now.

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LJCANNON 11/21/2012 7:05PM

    emoticon I am glad that you are taking breaks and staying Safe & Alert. You and Dexter are a Wonderful Team!!

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IRONBLOSSOM 11/21/2012 1:49PM

    I definitely know how you feel! I did a long trip once from California to Indiana via Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, etc... I was going to go up to Michigan too but after South Dakota I was so ready to be out of the car that I just turned right and BOMBED down the freeway to get home! :-) I actually still regret that I cut the trip short as I never know when I'll do something like that again, so ENJOY every second of it!

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MIRAGE727 11/21/2012 8:01AM

    We can totally relate since last Christmas we did the road trip from Dunedin, Fl to Lincoln, Ne by way of New Orleans, my original home town! 1800 miles one way and we always stopped for the night. Continue to be safe and have a healthy happy trip!
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DEBRA0818 11/21/2012 6:58AM

    So GLAD you go another trip to the beach for your birthday even if it means cutting out other scenery you might have seen. Not being able to drive on freeways, I am in AWE of your ability to drive down to the tip of Florida and back to Nebraska solo and in SUPER AWE that your car is packed full of healthy fruits,vegetables and water as road trips have always been an excuse to go Full Junk Food for me. What a great example of healthy living you are!

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LEANJEAN6 11/21/2012 6:38AM

    OMG Barb!! Drive very carefully!!! --I will be happy to hear that you are home! You are one brave girl to set out alone!---Whatta role model you are!!!---Lynda emoticon

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OVERWORKEDJANET 11/21/2012 5:37AM

    emoticon Enjoy every moment on the highway...no matter how flat your bottom gets

If I could spend my life driving through every state and looking at all the variety this country has to offer I would be a very happy woman.

I also make sure I get out of the car every 2 hours and run/skip/jog to get my blood moving again. 10 minutes up and down small trails, beaches riversides is just enough. Jogging in parking lots plainly amuses some folks!

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KARIDIAN1 11/21/2012 12:26AM

    I like to travel by car and loved the motorhome when we had it. Would get out and walk around to stretch and limber up when we would stop. We used to have a touring style motorcycle and felt the need to take a break and stretch about every hour or so.

Looking forward the the photos. Scotty hasn't been born yet so you have to go the old fashioned way and drive Dexter. Wouldn't a transporter be great?



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ANDI571 11/20/2012 11:27PM

    emoticon I used to love to travel and keep the roads hot. I can remember 12 to 16 hour days when we were young. Now it's like where is the closet place to go so we can just sit and relax. I still will never foget traveling throuh our beautiful country. Traveling by car will always be my favorite. We live in a beautiful country that's for sure.

Stay safe!

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DLDMIL 11/20/2012 11:22PM

    Drive safe and can't wait to see your pictures. emoticon

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DALID414 11/20/2012 11:10PM

    Can't wait for all the photos!!

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SONGBUDDHA 11/20/2012 11:09PM

    I have gotten really good at walking and jogging around rest stops. Not pretty, not fantastic, but very necessary and functional!
have a safe trip home.
annjie

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MNTWINSGAL 11/20/2012 10:53PM

    You are having a great road trip and making some wonderful memories. Drive safely!

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The softer side of the Florida pilgrimage

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.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNY332 11/21/2012 10:29PM

    You sure are having a great time and I am so happy for you.

Enjoy the drive home.

Sunny

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LESLIELENORE 11/20/2012 6:28PM

    Have a great Thanksgiving whatever choice you make!

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KRICKET57 11/20/2012 2:18PM

    Sounds like you are having a great trip! Enjoy Thanksgiving wherever you are!


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SLENDERELLA61 11/20/2012 11:43AM

    Barb, so glad you had a great time with your SparkFriend in Naples. Hoping you make that turkey dinner in an upright position, smile on your face and wanting to drive to Florida again!!! This year I'm grateful for so many things, but getting to know you has been one of my greatest joys!!

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LINDAKAY228 11/20/2012 11:19AM

    So glad you got that chance to go and meet her in person! It is so fun when I get to meet my spark friends. It doesn't happen often but we truly connect. Glad you are having such an awesome trip!

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WATERMELLEN 11/20/2012 7:28AM

    Loved Debra's blog and pics, and so glad you turned this pilgrimmage into a vacation for the soul as well as the body!

Safe drive home, now!

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BD3269PM 11/20/2012 6:53AM

    Great trip! and I hope you make it to celebrate Thanksgiving with your sister emoticon

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DEBRITA01 11/20/2012 6:46AM

    emoticon to good memories and good times!

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LEANJEAN6 11/20/2012 6:42AM

    Oh Barb! I am so envious that Debra met yu!--Lucky her! --Drive safe girl!!-----I am thinking of yu--Lynda emoticon

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_LINDA 11/20/2012 1:12AM

    Wow! What a great ending to your race -wonderful planning to meet everyone along the way! I will bet those tired feet enoyed that dip in the ocean. Something I am having a little trouble imagining with snow and ice on the ground :P.
Do have a safe journey back, pull over for a nap if you feel tired at all.
Have a Totally Terrific Tuesday!

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DEBRA0818 11/20/2012 12:14AM

    emoticon

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ANDI571 11/19/2012 11:35PM

    What great memories you have made this trip. Drive safe no matter what you decide.
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MNTWINSGAL 11/19/2012 10:23PM

    Sounds like a great and memorable adventure. Do drive safely!

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KARIDIAN1 11/19/2012 10:18PM

    What a fun cap to your trip- seeing another SP. Relax and enjoy the drive home and be safe.

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1CRAZYDOG 11/19/2012 9:55PM

    Glad you've had such a marvelous trip! Just drive safely, no matter what route you take!

HUGS

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MSLZZY 11/19/2012 9:32PM

    I have a "notion" that you will be home, safe and
sound, to enjoy that very special Thanksgiving
meal with your son! You've had quite an adventure
and made wonderful memories. Hugs!

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DLDMIL 11/19/2012 9:30PM

    What a great vacation. emoticon

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For those of you waiting for a photo / half blog...

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
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5139451


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. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAKAY228 11/20/2012 11:18AM

    How wonderful for you and congratulations on your success and having someone running with you! And such a great friend to take the pictures and post the blog is awesome!

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DAWN14163 11/19/2012 3:03PM

    What fantastic medals!!! Great photos, you both looked to be really enjoying yourselves. Congratulations again.
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ANDI571 11/19/2012 2:57PM

    emoticon I am so excited for you. Job well done my friend.

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LESLIELENORE 11/19/2012 11:50AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon How inspiring! I am very impressed.

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OVERWORKEDJANET 11/19/2012 5:30AM

    Well done. Enjoy the Florida sun for a few moments before treking home.
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KRISZTA11 11/19/2012 2:53AM

    Congrats to both of you,
and thanks for sharing the link to pictures! You two look great, strong and happy!
Real inspiration...
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Comment edited on: 11/19/2012 2:59:01 AM

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MIRAGE727 11/18/2012 10:16PM

    As mentioned to Martha, thank you for the opportunity! D & I had a wonderful time. In spite of the fact that we didn't do this race, (We did clock some good walking miles!)
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This was so much fun! I can't say enough about meeting you and Marsha! We will get 2013's bling for this race!
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BFFs 4Ever!
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ANOTHERMOMOF2 11/18/2012 9:27PM

    Congratulations!

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1CRAZYDOG 11/18/2012 8:57PM

    Congratulations!!!!!! emoticon emoticon

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MOBYCARP 11/18/2012 8:44PM

    emoticon
Now you make me want to do a half marathon. Did you mention sibling rivalry some time or other? emoticon

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DEBRITA01 11/18/2012 8:41PM

    emoticon You ran away from home ...and in good company. Congrats to you both...awesome job! emoticon

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MJREIMERS 11/18/2012 8:09PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
You should be so proud of yourself! It is great that you had support when you "ran away." Congrats!!!!

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DLDMIL 11/18/2012 7:53PM

    I read Mirage727 blog and he took some cool pictures. emoticon emoticon

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DLDMIL 11/18/2012 7:47PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 11/18/2012 7:08PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 11/18/2012 6:47PM

    Love love love the pictures . . . what a great community here at SP. Huge congratulations to you and Marsha for planning and carrying out your plan. You have to be totally delighted with your accomplishments!

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ROXYZMOM 11/18/2012 6:41PM

    You guys were too cute - smiling in every picture! I loved looking at all the pictures and reading about your adventure. Thank you!

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KARIDIAN1 11/18/2012 6:28PM

    Checked out the photos and you both looked and did great. Looks like you had a great time and now have added more bling to your medal collection.

Have a safe trip home.

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DEBRA0818 11/18/2012 6:17PM

    Running away from home never sounded so good!!! Great pics of you and your fellow runners from the link you posted. What a great day!

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_LINDA 11/18/2012 6:00PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
You. Are. So. Amazing!!

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DALID414 11/18/2012 5:35PM

    Awesome job!!

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MDOTZERO 11/18/2012 5:33PM

    Congratulations!! You gals did great!!!

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SHARON10002 11/18/2012 5:05PM

    Wonderful blog with pictures! I knew you'd beat your previous personal best! WOOT!
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SUNNY332 11/18/2012 5:02PM

    You officially "ran away from home". Too funny.

I went to the blog and it was great. Loved seeing the photos of you and Marsha and getting your race medals from the soldiers. Awesome!

Thanks so much for being such a powerful inspiration.

Sunny

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SUSANNAH31 11/18/2012 4:57PM

    The photos are great - and show just how much fun you all had!
Congratulations!!

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