Tuesday Topics: 2019 Missoula Half Marathon Race Recap

Disclaimer:  I received a free entry to the Missoula Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find and write race reviews!  

On Sunday I ran the Missoula Half Marathon.  It was also state #41 in my goal to run a half marathon in each state.  I am hoping to be done with this goal next year.  

I left Saturday morning on a direct flight to Missoula.  The airplane was small.  The Missoula Airport is also small, definitely different from Midway or O’Hare.  I was staying at the Hilton Garden Inn Missoula and they had a complimentary airport shuttle so as soon as I got my luggage, I called the hotel and there was a van waiting for me in about 10 minutes.

My flight arrived early and luckily a room was available for me.  I went to the expo at Caras Park to get my bib.  There were a few vendors but I did not buy anything.  Well I did buy a small bag of donuts.  

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Then I tracked down a friend of mine and met up with him and a few others at Big Sky Brewing Co (they were one of the race sponsors).  I had a flight (they were all delicious) and then went to dinner at Kobe Seafood and Steak.  Then we parted ways since we had to wake up early the next day.

Sunday morning I got up at 4am.  A friend of mine, Rebecca, was also running and she said her boyfriend could pick me up at 4:40am and take us both to the shuttle bus.  There is no drop off at the half marathon start so you have to take the shuttle bus.  We didn’t wait long for a bus and soon we were on our way.  It was about a 15 minute bus ride to the start line.  It was chilly but not cold.  I knew it would warm up later.  There were plenty of port-a-potties and I must have used them about 4 times before the race.

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There were no corrals but I lined up close to the start line.  I don’t remember hearing the National Anthem but soon it was time to start running.  Sure enough by then it had warmed up a little bit.  It was definitely perfect running weather.  

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The course is gorgeous!  You run through the country side and along the river.  I saw cows and horses.  The course is flat with some downhills.  The views were spectacular.  About a mile into the race I saw the 2:20 group and ran with them for about 2 miles.  I was feeling good but then took a break and then couldn’t catch up to them.

I saw a guy playing the piano in his yard!

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I kept running but eventually I was tired.  My left leg began hurting.  I also felt some discomfort in the bottom of my left foot.  I was frustrated because I had trained for this race (and did really good).  For about 2 months on Saturday mornings I ran the hills at The Arboretum to get ready for this race.  I knew it wasn’t a hilly course but figured training on hills still wouldn’t hurt.  I couldn’t understand why I was struggling.I decided then to just keep running and enjoy the race.  There were water stations about every 2 miles.  The volunteers were wonderful in motivating us.  

By mile 9 I was done with the race.  I was tired and sore.  By this time I was focusing on each mile and each one was slower than the previous one.  I saw the 2:30 group but had no desire to run with them.  It was sunny but I never felt very hot.  I did sweat a lot though.

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I saw a group of spectators with a table outside their house full of various adult drinks.  Mimosa?  Sure, why not?  At about mile 10.5 is when the first marathon runner passed me.  He was flying!!  

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With less than a mile to go I asked someone how much longer I had and he told me less than 1/2 mile.  At that moment even 1/2 mile seemed like a long time.  I told myself that it really wasn’t and tried to focus on my morning runs and exactly where 1/2 mile was from my house.  It helped a bit.  I remember then turning left and then right and then a bridge (downhill) to the finish line.  I ran as fast as I could and was finally done.  I think about 5 or 6 marathons runners passed me up by the time I was done.  😉  I did not stay long because I wanted to get back to the hotel to shower, get something to eat, and head to the airport.  My flight was at 12:30 and I wanted to be there by 11:30.  I know I had plenty of time but I hate rushing when going to the airport.  

I was at the airport by 11:15am.  I checked in and sat down to relax.  At 12:00 there was an announcement that the flight was delayed because of the bad weather in Chicago.  Later we were told it would leave at 2:30, then 1:30, then 3:30, then 5:30.  It finally left after 4pm.  However, the plane arrived at 9:10pm in Chicago but we didn’t get to the gate till 10:45 because there were other planes that were also delayed and were waiting for a gate too.  

My coworker picked me up at the airport and she sent me the information she got from the website which of course is different from what actually happened.

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I didn’t get home till almost midnight.  Lola was happy to see me!

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• I should have done a better job of researching hotels because I regret selecting that hotel.  It was a nice hotel but not close to Caras Park where the expo was held nor close to the Adams Event Center where the shuttle busses were to take us to the start line (it is a point-to-point course).

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• Uber/Lyft is expensive.  Once I figured out how much it was going to cost me to go to the expo and and come back and also to and from the Adams Event Center (this was before Rebecca asked me if I wanted a ride), I realized I should have rented a car.  I checked online and of course no cars were available at the airport.  I will confess or runfess that I cried.  How could I have been so careless about this whole trip?  When I made my hotel reservation for Michigan, Kansas, and Georgia, I picked one close to the start and finish line.  I booked the first hotel I saw on the race website but I should have looked for one closer to the start line.  Oh and to top it off, the hotel was $300. 

• Missoula is expensive.  My flight was almost $600.  I did book it at the end of May so maybe it would have been cheaper if I had booked it earlier?  A few people did tell me that it is expensive to fly into and out of Missoula.

• I had high expectations for this race.  Many people raved about it.  The course is very pretty and flat.  There are also great views but I wasn’t that impressed with it.  I thought the course was nicer at the Delaware Marathon Running Festival.  Sure it was hilly but there was more to see in DE.

• It is a well organized race.  I liked that there were plenty of water stations and volunteers.  There weren’t too many spectators but the ones that were there did a wonderful job of cheering for us.

• Gear bag drop off and pick up is a breeze.  There was a bit of a line at the start line, but it still moved fast.  When I was done with the race I went to get my bag and one of the volunteers saw me walking towards the truck and quickly retrieved my bag.

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• I like the shirt but hate the color.  The marathon runners’ shirt was blue.  

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• Finish time is 2:40:56.  I am disappointed in my time.  The weather was perfect and the course was flat.  I was aiming for a 2:30 finish time but wasn’t even close.  The last time I did a half and got a “decent” finish time was the Covered Bridges Half Marathon in 2015.  I finished in 2:19:51 and that is my second best time after the Hartford Half Marathon.  Oh, and the course in VA was hilly.  

Would I do it again?  Maybe but for sure I would pick a different hotel.  I would also plan to stay longer and do more things in Missoula.

Tuesday Topics

This week’s Tuesday Topic:  Your 2019 mid year review.  You can write about this topic, or feel free to post any running related blog post.  Remember to Link-up with Kim and Zenaida!  Visit at least two of the other linked posts – the more the merrier!  Remember to come back for later linkers!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


Weekly Run Down: Race week and some fun art projects

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It is race week!  By the time you read this post I would have run the Missoula Half Marathon and will be on my way back home.  I am excited to have run in another state and to be so much closer to completing my goal.  

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Well, let’s recap this week leading up to the race.  I plan to have a race recap on Tuesday.

Monday was 4 miles to start off the week.  It was humid and I thought it was going to rain.  It did but later in the day.

I was very tired Tuesday morning and instead of running I slept in and did my quality workout on Wednesday.  It was a fun one!  I did 2 miles warm up, 4×30 seconds with 1 minute walking recovery, run 15 minutes at marathon pace, 4×30 seconds with 1 minute walking recovery, and 1 mile cool down.  I loved the 30 second intervals!  I even got negative splits on the last set of intervals.


Thursday was 5 miles and it was another hot one too.  Even Lola was proud of me!  🙂


I made colored pasta for my students and they loved it.  They also made a lion and a giraffe (forgot to take a picture of the giraffe) with paint and paper plates.  They had a blast!  We have open house on Monday so I wanted to have all of their projects done for parents to see .

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On Saturday I was supposed to do a 20 minute run in Missoula.  I didn’t.  I went to the expo to get my bib and then met some friends for some drinks and an early dinner.  By the time I got back to my hotel I was tired and just wanted to relax.  

The race has a 6am start time so I have to be up at 4am to get ready.  Another Oiselle friend that was also running offered to pick me up at the hotel and take me to the shuttle pick up area.  Then it is about a 20 minute bus ride to the start line.  MT is one hour behind Chicago so you bet by 8pm I was ready to go to sleep.  🙂

I finished the month of June with 106.52 miles.  I am pleased with that number and it is so far my highest this year.

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Linking up with Kim and Deborah for the Weekly Run Down.

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Random Thoughts Thursday 78

Random Thoughts Thursday

• Thanks to Wendy’s post I ordered this book from Amazon.  So far I am liking it and will take it with me on my trip to Missoula this weekend.

Chicken Soup for the Soul

• Ordering from Tieks, Oiselle gear, and Brooks shoes is also what I do too.   🤣


• Speaking of Tieks, these are my newest pair.  Aren’t they bright and lovely?


• I’ve been having some trouble sleeping at night.  A friend recommended Glycine.  I’ve been taking it for the past couple of days and so far have been sleeping well.  I have tried Melatonin but while that does  make me sleepy, I still wake up and then have trouble going back to sleep.  With Glycine I’ve been able to sleep well through the night.

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• I am looking into lodging and airfare for my upcoming 3 half marathons in August.  I belong to a Facebook group and there are a few people looking for traveling buddies.  Part of me wants to reach out to them but then part of me doesn’t want to because well I don’t know any of them.  🙁  Should I?  It will help with the cost and I would make some new friends.

Tuesday Topics: Day in the Life of a Teacher on Summer Break

How is it that it is almost the end of June?  And then it will be halfway through the year.  The past few months have been interesting and challenging.  As I mentioned in this post, my mother had a stroke at the end of March, and our lives completely changed.  Luckily she is doing better and we are taking it day by day.  

I am on summer break but also working summer school.  That sounds weird.  Or should it be that my summer break will start when I am done with summer school?  By the way my last day is July 3rd.

I did a Day in the Life of a Teacher post in 2016.  I decided to do another one now that I am done with the regular school year.  I hope it isn’t too boring.  🙂

Here is a typical day for me (I chose Tuesday):

4:30-5:00 AM
I haven’t been sleeping well so I wake up at this time.  I remember when I needed an alarm to wake me up.  I make coffee and get ready for my run.  Sometimes I do an easy run (4-5 miles) or a speed workout. 

Since it is Tuesday I double check my Tuesday Topics post and publish it.  

6:00-6:30 AM
Depending on my run I get home around this time.  I shower and get ready.  I also make more coffee and my breakfast (usually overnight oats with fruit or greek yogurt with fruit).  I get to school by 7.  There is NO reason why I should get to school at 7.  I guess it is just a habit. 

7:00-8:15 AM
I check email, Facebook, and Instagram.  I also chat with some coworkers.  Sometimes I put my head down for a little bit to rest.

8:15-9:00 AM
I go downstairs to wait for my students.  I started with 14.  Then I had 12.  Then 13 and now I have 12 again.  🙂  We then go inside to get breakfast and take it upstairs to the classroom.  The students eat breakfast while watching “The Magic School Bus”.  They love it.  I take attendance and get my copies ready for the day.  

9:00-10:00 AM
We have reading and small group instruction.  Six of my students cannot read and I sit with them to help out as much as I can.  I think reading in Spanish is “easy” because it is phonetic, but I guess it is difficult for some of them.


10:00-10:10 AM
Break time!  We either do a GoNoodle, go outside to the courtyard, or down to the STEAM Room.


10:10-11:00 AM
I do a math mini lesson and also have small group instruction. 

11:00-11:50 AM
The students work on an art project.  They use tempera paint, watercolors, markers, crayons, felt, and tissue paper for their project.  They are very creative and I love seeing their work.

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I want to make colored pasta for my students.  I think they will love it.

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11:50 AM-12:00 PM
The students get ready to go home.  We then head downstairs.  Half of my students get on a bus to go home and the other half have parents waiting for them outside.

12:00-12:15 PM
I go back inside to use the restroom and sign out.  Then I head over to my mom’s.  

1:00-8/8:30 PM
I am usually there by 1pm and that is when the caregiver goes home.  My mom is eating lunch so I join her.  When she is done I make sure she takes her medicine and then we take a nap.  🙂  My mother takes medicine 3x a day.

After our nap we watch TV,  go to the store, or do errands.  We take advantage whenever we have nice weather to be outside.  Last week we went to Lake Katherine because it was finally nice enough to go there.  We were there for about 2 hours.  Sometimes she isn’t in the mood to go anywhere so we stay home.

At about 6 or so we have dinner.  I wash the dishes while my mother watches TV.  Sometimes she likes to sit in the balcony and listens to music.  If there is time I’ll check the post for comments and respond back. 

At 8 she takes her bedtime medicine.  I also give her an insulin injection and check her glucose level.  We check her glucose level 3x a day and write it down in a sheet of paper.  We started doing this because her doctor asked as to.  She also wanted us to inject her with 5 units of Novolog (a rapid-acting insulin) before every meal.  We no longer give her Novolog but still keep a record of her glucose level.  We’re hoping that based on the daily numbers we won’t have to check her glucose level 3x a day. 

I hate having to prick her fingers to check her glucose level.  Currently she has the FreeStyle Libre which is a “small, water-proof, fully disposable sensor worn on the arm. When scanned over the sensor, the reader shows a real-time glucose reading.”  It is easy to use and we don’t have to prick her fingers.  However, it is expensive.  I paid about $150 for the reader and the sensor.  The sensor is only good for 14 days and then it needs to be replaced.  Since we already have the reader, for the next time we only need to buy the sensor.

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Between 8-8:30 pm I pack up my things and go home.  I get there around 9.  I wash my breakfast container and coffee mug and go to sleep.  It’s been a very long day.

During the school year I would leave school at 3 and get to my mom’s at 4.  I blame it on traffic.  🙂  I do this on Tuesdays and Thursday.  I also go on Saturday morning after my long run and spend the night there.  Then I go home on Sunday evening.

This routine leaves me exhausted.  I am not complaining but simply stating why I am constantly tired.  It definitely does not help that I have not been sleeping well.  I know how important sleep is and how much better I feel and function when I get enough sleep.


My runs help me focus and think.  My runs are my ME time.  I look forward to them.  Sometimes I think about everything going on in my life and sometimes I just focus on the music.  I have a running playlist on Amazon Prime but recently started listening to Pandora.  I have a station (is that what it is called?) that I like but I hate the ads/commercials.  It is tempting to upgrade it to skip the ads.

Thanks again to everyone for your support and encouragement.

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Tuesday Topics

This week’s Tuesday Topic is a FREE topic.  Feel free to post any running related blog post.  Remember to Link-up with Kim and Zenaida!  Visit at least two of the other linked posts – the more the merrier!  Remember to come back for later linkers!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Weekly Run Down: A fall and some bruises

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I had a great week and, yes, I fell again on one of my runs.  Monday was again 3 miles.  I like the short run to start off the week.  Saw some pretty colors which is not unusual considering all of the rain we’ve been having here.


I took Tuesday off from work to take my sister to the airport.  First a run, of course.  I had to run 5 miles and it was right before the turnaround that I tripped and fell.  I couldn’t believe it!  I was on the ground for a few seconds before I got up.  I checked for blood and saw none so I knew it wasn’t that bad.  I scraped a little my knees and my chin.  I was happy I did not hit my head.  I thought about calling an Uber to get back home but decided to just keep running and maybe walk too if needed.

I was very sore the next day.  I could barely walk.  I took ibuprofen during the day to feel better.  And I did!  🙂

The photos below are from Saturday.  Still a little purple but definitely no longer sore.

Thursday’s run was fun!  I had to do 2 miles warmup, 5×2 minutes with 2 minutes recovery, 5×1 minute with 1 minute recovery, and 2 miles warmup.  It was a humid morning too!  I was extra careful and looked down a lot because I was afraid of falling again.


I nailed each interval except the last one.  Guess I was tired.  🙂


Saturday’s run was at The Arboretum.  I haven’t been sleeping well and then sometimes wake up at 3 or 4 and cannot go back to sleep.  I didn’t sleep well Friday night and I struggled to get up the next morning for my run.

It was a gorgeous day for a run!  It did get sunny and warm later on in the morning.  I had to run 9 miles (my last run before my half marathon) with 3 miles at marathon pace (10:43).  It took me about 3 miles to actually feel good to run.  I did want to quit halfway but knew I would probably regret it later.  Plus I have my 3 half marathons in August and quitting is not going to get me there.


Today’s run was at Lake Katherine.  I was also there on Tuesday with my mom.  We talked and enjoyed some quiet moments looking at the ducks.  

Linking up with Kim and Deborah for the Weekly Run Down.

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