Monday, December 14, 2015

Wreaths Across America Fort Jackson National Cemetery

Declan's Scout Troop volunteers every year to help at Wreaths Across America at the National Cemetery (as well as other events held there). If you ever have the opportunity to volunteer or just attend one of these events, please take it. It was a very moving ceremony and experience. 

These are just a few of the pictures I took on Saturday. 
Cheese head... It was really a beautiful day, even though since it is averaging in the upper 70s it doesn't feel like we are 10 days to Christmas!

There are over 4,000 service men and women buried at Fort Jackson. 

The Patriot Guard 

Honor Guard members waiting to lay the wreaths. 

Presentation of Colors

Waiting to pass out wreaths to family and friends of fallen service members.

So beautiful.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Wreaths Across America~Meeting Our Nations Heroes

Yesterday at Wreaths Across America - ​ Fort Jackson National Cemetery​ I was standing by two of the gentlemen in this picture and their spouse(s) during the ceremony.

  The one woman started feeling not well in the heat of the day (80 degrees in December), and had to be attended to by the medics, so one of the volunteers offered to sit with her while the gentlemen went to pay their respects. She was worried about getting pictures for them, and was rather upset that if she didn't walk down with them no one would take a picture, so I volunteered to go, as Declan was passing out wreaths. I had a nice chat with the men as we walked down to section where their friends have been laid to rest, including talking about my daddy.
The secretary of their group Mr. Rolf gave me his e-mail address and I put it in my phone, however between there and home my phone glitched, and I thought all was lost. I sent an e-mail with my fingers crossed that I remembered correctly, and then reached out to my friends at Team RWB Columbia, SC​ for suggestions as to how to find them. My friend Linda​ suggested the Lexington County VA office, and low and behold Mr. Lundeen already e-mailed me back that he knows them! However, the best part is... When I was checking the rest of my e-mail, Mr. Rolf had emailed me back as well! I am so glad that Declan and I were able to go help at this event with FortJacksonPack89/Troop89​, and that I got to meet these amazing heroes! 

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

The year of the half...

At the beginning of 2015 I decided that this was going to be the year of my half marathon journey... 9 states and 11 half marathons, 3-10Ks, and countless 5Ks later, and it looks like I am done for the year (even though I would really like to get a December half in).

This is how my bling board looked like at the beginning of the year....
My season started off with the Smiths in Florida for the Enchanted 10K

And the MGC Long Run here in Columbia

 Then March was the Run Hard Half. The Gervais Street Hill at miles 10-11 was a killer but the joy of having it done was amazing!

April started my Rock and Roll Half Marathon Journey with Raleigh

Once again a great course, with a few changes from last year. My favorite mile is always mile 11, the Wear Blue Mile, it always slows me down a little, because I bawl my way through it. This year was no exception especially since Pat's placard was the first one that we saw as we entered the mile. 

I decided that Nashville was a must do.

Let me tell you Nashville was hilly as all get out. However the crowd support was amazing! Saying there is music every mile is an understatement! 

May was 
Sunset Beach was a well run, small half. Quiet streets through coastal NC, and you start and end on the beach! Miles 3 and 11 are the bridge from the mainland to the barrier island so as long as you are prepared for that you are in good shape!

Wear Blue's Memorial Day Run, this was our local shadow run put on by my local group. We had about 70 people join us at Riverfront Park this year. Always a good time to remember those that fought for our freedom. 

And San Diego, where I met Meb (OMG!), who by the way was so nice. He was supposed to be on his way to give a commencement speech, but stayed around to meet those of us in line. 

June was National Running Day at Fleet Feet

The Cape Fear River Run Half where my friends and I agreed to be the pacers. Since I had just done San Diego, I said I would be the sweeper. ;-) 

July brought my hottest half of the year Chicago. However it was one of my favorites because Jerry got to go with me. Jerry ran the 5K.  
 Plus I got to meet Derek Mitchell, and run the finish of the 5K with him, and go out to brunch with a bunch of the Misfits! 
 The guy in the orange shirt is the founder of Charity Miles, which is an app that you put on your phone. They have sponsors that donate an amount per mile that you run with the app going. Between meeting Derek and meeting Gene, I was in amazement the entire meal. Both of them and their stories are incredible.
Jerry was my saving grace during the half! It was hotter than I thought it would be that day, and I didn't take my camelpack on the plane. Jerry found me at about mile 5.5 with water and walked with me until almost mile 7. Then he found me again about 12.5 and went to the finish with me. 

August, I drove over to Atlanta to run the Alien 13.1, another small local half marathon. This one was hot as well, but most of it was ran after dark, which was a first for me. 
I had my first ice bath experience after this one in the hotel. About mile 11 a car coming towards me temporarily blinded me and I stepped off the sidewalk and twisted my knee. I don't know how the professional athletes do those! 

 September was Virginia Beach for my birthday weekend and my Roadie! I got to meet up with Derek again. I did the Mile in the Sand with Derek, plus brunch and the Team RWB dinner.

 Then another Hot half!

My favorite guy on almost all of the RnR halfs! Usually when you see him, it means you are more than half way! 
On the 11th I ran the Run for the Troops 5K with my Team RWB Chapter.

 Later in the month I did the Stephen Stiller Tunnel To Towers  with Natalie and Reanna.

 October was once again a busy month! First I flew to Brooklyn and did the half there!
Then I flew to Philadelphia and did the half there! 

Talk about amazing experiences! I had never been to either city before, so I enjoyed getting to run through the cities and see all of the sights while running. Rock n Roll really does a good job working with the cities to make sure that everyone is safe and gets to experience a lot! Both of these trips I stayed at Air BnBs. Gene from Charity Miles talked about his great experiences with the site when we met him in Chicago, so I thought it was worth a try. Both of my hosts were amazing people, and very helpful. 

 November was a slower month, due to my dad's illness and passing. I ended up passing on my race entry into the Lexington Half to a friend, because I was in Arizona. The week before I flew home to be with my parents though I did get to run Savannah with Reanna for her first half, and my eight track!
 I saw Eric running by us as he was finishing the full and made him stop for a quick picture.
The day was humid as all get out, but the city and Rock n Roll made a good call by shortening the full.   I think Eric said that he had 22 miles instead of the 26.2. 
Reanna and I did the 5K on Sunday, love the Remix medals! 
So here are the pictures of just my Rock n Roll Medals from this year. I can't quite get pictures where you can actually see all of the medals from this year, so I figured this gave you an idea. ;)

As of right now, I don't have a December half scheduled. I did register for San Antonio but I cancelled my hotel when dad got sick, and had never booked air, so it worked out. There are a couple this weekend within driving distance, but we already had plans with Declan's Scouts so those are off the table. 

2016 right now I only have the Walt Disney World Half Marathon in January. I would like to do Raleigh, and DC's Rock n Rolls, as well as the Mike to Mike.