Saturday, January 25, 2014

Asheville Hot Chocolate 10k

January 25, 2014 8:55 AM
Asheville, North Carolina

Time Pace Division Division
Bib #
Michael 45:51 7:23 M1-14 1/12 34/284 46/791 496
Malissa 1:13:54 11:54 F30-34 73/97 400/507 658/791 495

Written by Owen:

Michael and I ran this race back in 2012.  It is still my 10k PR to this day.  I really wanted to run it with him again this year, but Malissa wanted to run it too.  So I watched the kids (and Graycie) and cheered on Michael and Malissa.

It's a 10k, in January, in the mountains.  It was especially cold this day, getting down into the single digits.  So we bought a sweater for Graycie.  She took the "Where's Waldo?" teasing in stride.

Alicia and Graycie in the hotel before the race.
Asheville is very pet friendly, so we took Graycie with us. We drove to Asheville the night before the race and had dinner at Cracker Barrel.  We left Graycie at the hotel, hoping she would behave.  When we returned, the hotel room looked fine, I wish I had a camera in there so I could know what she did while we were gone.

We got up the next morning and drove to the start.  The course was changed a little, due to construction, which made the hill at the start and finish even longer and steeper.  No PR's today!

In the car before the race
Alicia, Kyle, and I waited in the elementary school while Michael and Malissa ran.  It was so cold outside, but luckily the school was nice and warm.

The huge hill at the finish.

Here's video:

Michael accepts his 1st place age group award.
 We had planned to do some sight-seeing in Asheville before heading home, but scrapped that when it started snowing and blowing hard just after the race.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Louisiana Marathon

January 19, 2014 7:00 AM
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Time Pace Division Division
Bib #
Owen 3:34:46 8:12 M35-39 30/117 157/767 187/1,474 8814

Written by Owen:

Wow, what a trip!  This trip was so much fun.  You would think what I remember most about this trip is the fact that we were in the car, driving for over 26 hours over the course of five days, but I barely remember that at all.  That's how great this trip was.

We knew we couldn't make a trip to Louisiana without stopping to see the guys at Duck Commander.  So Friday we drove more than halfway there and stayed in a hotel in a small city in Mississippi.  Saturday, we got up and drove to West Monroe and had a blast touring the Duck Commander warehouse.

Michael next to the World Record for the biggest Duck Call, as seen on the show.

This was as close as we got to meeting them :(
 After touring the Duck Commander Warehouse, we made a couple of stops in West Monroe that we had seen on the Duck Dynasty show.  First up, we went to Haskell's Donuts from the episode where Si won the camper after winning the Donut eating contest.
Eating some hot donuts
 (just ask Jase how good these donuts are)
Next, we ate at Cypress Inn, where we treated ourselves to alligator, frog legs, and crawdads.  I was impressed with the kids, they each tried everything.  The frog legs were everyone's least favorite, too strong of a fishy flavor.  The alligator and crawdads were delicious, however.  Not your typical pre-marathon meal, as everything was deep-fried, but wow, it was good.

At the restaurant.

After our meal, we hopped back in the car for the 3.5 hour drive down to Baton Rouge.  I was a little worried, when the sign said we were entering Mississippi.  I was just trusting the GPS and had to stop and look at a map. I then realized, due to the shape of Louisiana, that we would cut through Mississippi to go from West Monroe, LA to Baton Rouge, LA.  Weird.

After we checked in to our hotel in Baton Rouge, we walked to a nearby pizza joint and had some delicious pizza.  The kids got a kick out of the name: Schlittz & Giggles.  I guess they actually use Schlittz beer in the dough recipe.

We then walked back to our hotel, which was on the banks of the Mississippi River, so we walked down to the river and took some pictures.

Sunday morning we got up and walked to the start of the marathon. The start was like any other, couldn't wait to get going.

Just before the start

The obligatory pre-marathon selfie
The race started and ran back by the hotel.  Everything felt great.  Mile 19-20, things started to get hard.  Just then, the 3:35 pace leader, and two runners obviously running with him,  passed me.  I did what I always do and promised I wouldn't let him get out of sight.  Usually that doesn't last very long, but this time I was determined.  Over the next six miles, I passed 100 other runners who probably were thinking the same thing, but I was the only one that was able to actually do it.

At mile 25, Malissa called me and told me where she and the kids were.  I couldn't wait to see them, they were just before the finish. I gave them five, then crossed the finish line, immediately after the 3:35 pace group leader, for a time of 3:34:46. Much faster than my goal for the day, but I felt great and the pace leader passed me at the right time.

After the race, we went up to the hotel room, where Alicia gave me the best foot massage ever.  She's such a great helper. My feet could not be more nasty, but she didn't care, it was wonderful.

I got showered, we got checked out of the hotel, and we went back to the banks of the Mississippi River for some daytime pics.

We then drove to Phenix City, Alabama and spent a day and a half visiting Malissa's brothers. We really enjoyed it.  The kids did, too.  They always enjoy spending time with their cousins.