Monday, December 16, 2013

Rehoboth Loopfest - More Pinnacles of Camaraderie, Inspiration and Loop Love

So much to say. It was another peak experience weekend, like only a Loopfest can deliver. So much fun and emotion and happiness. I hope you have read all the other Rehoboth posts by now. I will throw in a few comments from my perspective, plus lots of pictures!

I flew into DC on Thursday, and went right out the airport door and into the welcoming arms of VBlevins. She opened up her home to 3 of us, and was the consummate host all weekend! We had a mini-meetup over chili and beer with Caitlin, Zamgirl, Peg and Col. Cannon. Then I got a good night's sleep on the couch, even though I was surrounded by Dallas Cowboy paraphernalia.

Friday we made the drive to Rehoboth, picking up a stray KevHash along the way. Finally we made it to Party Central, the Big House, Loopfest Delaware...

 (the snow was on Sunday morning)
The house quickly filled with loopsters, and it was so much fun to see old friends and meet some new ones. It was a great mix of young and old, crazy and quiet, men and women, but all connected by the Loop, so conversation was easy and smiles and laughter flowed freely.

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I got to meet a few more of my heroes, including Unlikely Runner, Compulsive Runner, Runningplaces, Pearl Girl, GingerSnap and the always effervescent Quadracool!
Race day. Due to my plantar fasciitis, I had only run 4 miles in the previous 4 weeks since my last pikermi, and not a whole lot in the 4 weeks before that either. The heel felt better, but was not fully healed. I had gone back and forth on whether I should run or not, or if I should start and then bail after 5 miles when I would be back near the start. I wanted to pace Peg for her first marathon; not because she needed it, but just because I wanted to share the big day with her. It was the end of a long journey together, and I knew it would go well. But I knew if I ran too far, the heel would hurt and it would delay my recovery.

I had kind of decided to start and drop at 5 without too much damage, but the idea of a DNF grated on me. I just don't like the idea of not finishing what you start. I had managed 13 OK 4 weeks ago, and felt better now then I did then. No, don't be stupid, I said. There's no reason to be macho - they don't give medals for bravery... Then I realized, yes, yes they do actually. Big freaking huge medals. So then I changed my mind and decided to just do it. Run the first 9 miles with Peg at 8:30-8:40 pace, and then jog it in home and get my medal for bravery. So I would be this idiot.
 The race went according to plan. I got to be the calm voice of reason for Peg while she fretted about everything from wind to rain to cold to crowds to pace. But she ran like a pro and we were right on pace. Weather was perfectly cool. The rain quit just before the race started. The course was flat and fun. It was a blast seeing loopsters at the two turnaround points - so many!

Here we are at mile 5, just cruising along having fun.
The foot was hurting by then, but I was all in. We cruised through the trail section and then it was time to let her loose. Here we are just before mile 9.


Peg was right on schedule and looking good, and I felt pretty confident she would take care of business the rest of the way. (Spoiler alert: She did)

As I turned around and headed back I felt a little adrenaline, and opened the pace up a bit, from 8:30 to about 8:00/mile. Felt great to feel like I was racing a bit, passing lots of people. Plus that was when about 20 loopsters were coming the other way, so I heard "Go Bangle" constantly! Lots of fun! I shouted some encouragement too and got some high fives.

But after about two miles, the lack of training was evident, and I was tiring. And the foot was really hurting. So I eased off and took a few walk breaks. Chatted with one lady in the last mile, and that kept me going through the pain. With no time pressure I just made my way back to the finish and the party tent.


The post-race tent was fantastic! Unlimited food and beer, dance music from a DJ - It made for a festive atmosphere and I got to hear everybody's race stories.

Then it was time to look for the marathoners to come in. Jenster and I cheered GregNYC in for his 2:45, and then went back for more beer. Much later, I went back out with Running_Eng to look for Quadracool as she went for her BQ. It was close, and I didn't know exactly how far off my watch was, so we just cheered her on and hoped she had it (She did)

Then a little later Peg showed up right on schedule, and I might have got something in my eye and a frog in my throat because she finished strong. I limped around looking for her for a while until we could finally celebrate with a ridiculously long hug for an introvert like me. It was the culmination of many, many texts (we never actually spoke all year long), and it really felt like a victory for me too. So proud.

There's that big-ass medal for courage...
Then we toasted the victory in the ocean, mainly so I could ice my foot.
Then the party began in earnest. Post-race at the house:

Gingersnap rolling it out. This chick is freaking hilarious, as long as you don't mind sailor-level cursing!

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The big winners
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KevHash needed a rescue
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After a glorious shower, we all got cleaned up and went out to dinner. The ladies REALLY cleaned up nice!
and I bestowed my annual loopfest kiss to Pearlgirl, because she's just so OSOM!
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KevHash with a hint of what was to come.

On to the local watering hole, the Purple Parrot, where we barely fit in the door, but managed to take over the place eventually. There was singing, there was dancing, there was silliness. Much of it by these two.
Mr. Bacon was a crowd favorite, for girls and boys.
and some people were just too sexy for their shirt. Mrs. Bacon showed us all how to get down.

The lights went on at 1AM, but the music and dancing continued for at least 20 more minutes. It was fantastic. I told the LBC that nothing good happens after 2, but they went out anyway. I called it quits.

But we had another whole day on Sunday for hanging out, watching football, giving foot rubs, eating, drinking, and more loop love. I love you guys!

I ended up extending my weekend into a business trip in PA and NJ, and when a few hours opened up and I was near Allentown, I figured I might as well message Mark Remy, who had just posted they were on a snow day. And he said, "Sure, I'll meet you for a beer". So this happened.
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  Life is good.

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