Suz's love for COWS + Allan's work with LASERS = one unique blog name! Welcome to our blog filled with race recaps, pictures of our labs, and everything else we share with blogland!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Locomotive Half Marathon

Before I get into my race recap let me back up and say that this half was going to be my half for Grandma Lil's 96th Birthday Virtual Race hosted by the lovely Rachelle. I am waaay behind on reading blog posts but I saw the title of it when I was scrolling through and assumed it was a half this year like it was last year. Nope, it's a 5K. Thank goodness Rachelle told me that doing a half was fine and a big thank you for hosting such a fun virtual race. Never before have I been an overachiever when it comes to running longer than I'm supposed to so there's a first!

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Before the start
The Locomotive Half Marathon took place on Sunday, February 17, in Kennesaw, GA, and it was cold. It was around 27 at the start and I don't think it got above 35 before the finish. Thank goodness the wind wasn't as bad on Sunday as it was on Saturday or it would have been brutal! I realize that may sound like a heat wave to many of you living in colder places but that's cold for me.

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Both the shirt and medal had a great old school picture that made me want to take train ride across the country
We wound our way through Kennesaw past several businesses and into a commercial area very similar to Research Park here in Huntsville. We also ran past the municipal airport but I guess it was too early for anyone to be out flying and it was pretty windy so it wasn't in the cards to catch any planes taking off or landing. There were a few spots around the aid stations where water had frozen on the road but the volunteers were great about warning you to watch your step. Part of the course was an out and back which was nice since I wasn't familiar with the area.

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Even though it's a white tech tee I do love this shirt!
Although I ran with a fuel belt this was probably the first race that I didn't need my Gatorade that I carried until the last few miles. There were 8 aid stations along the course that offered water and Powerade. Unfortunately there were no gels or chews offered on the course.

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This is one of my favorite medals!
Three of my friends ran the 5K and it went along part of the half marathon course and they all seemed to enjoy it. I felt like the field was a pretty fast field and judging by the fact that most of the post-race food was gone I guess I was right. I finished at 2:38:11 which isn't fast but there were several people behind me so I can only imagine how they must have felt when they finished and there was nothing left but tortilla chips and Muscle Milk. Hopefully they will do a better job with post-race offerings next year!

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Post-race photo
The half is the last in the Locomotive series that includes a 5K, 10K, 15K, and half. I may try to do the entire series at some point. It was a small half in terms of runners and we all know those are my favorite! I also got to spend the weekend with a college roommate whose condo I'm in love with. She and our two friends prepared a delicious post-race lunch that we all enjoyed before saying goodbye. The weekend was far too short!

Have you run a race series before?
Small, medium, or large half marathon: which is your favorite?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Safe in His Arms by Colleen Coble

Since I reviewed Blue Moon Promise back in March of 2012 I've been waiting for the next book in the Under Texas Stars series and book two was everything I'd hoped it would be. As with any of Coble's series there's no need to read the books in order but if you have read the first one (Blue Moon Promise) then you had a little more back story on Nate and Lucy. It was so surprise at all to me that I fell in love with Margaret in the opening chapter since I could relate to her feelings about being so tall and more at home doing man's work. Combine that with the fact that I have a red-headed sister who can be a little stubborn at times and you pretty much have a main character who is a composite of the two of us! When Daniel Cutler is hired by Margaret's father to be the new foreman on their ranch I knew that was going to be trouble in both a good and bad way. It's obvious from the beginning that while both Margaret and Daniel are attracted to each other they are both wrestling with demons from their past. As danger makes its way to the ranch they are each in harm's way and soon are forced to deal with Daniel's past and Margaret's uncertainty about the future. In true Colleen Coble fashion the story unfolds amidst romance and mystery and I found myself yet again surprised at how things turned out in the end!

 Book Info

About Safe in His Arms
 
Sometimes it takes a stranger to see you as you really are.
Under Texas Stars, Book 2
Born and raised on sprawling Texas land, Margaret O'Brien prides herself on her competence as a rancher. But her father believes she's made for more than just dawn-to-dusk work. He wants her to have the love of a good man, to raise children, to build a life. But Margaret gave up such dreams years ago. She's convinced no man would have her, that the ranch is her life now.
So when Margaret's father hires Daniel Cutler as a new foreman, she's frustrated and suspicious. Then an overheard conversation links him with a gang of bank robbers, and she's downright worried. Daniel swears he's not involved, but Margaret's not convinced. She knows the man still has secrets. But would a criminal be so kind and talk so convincingly of his faith? As a series of tragic "accidents" threatens all she holds dear, Margaret must decide what to trust: her own ears, her best judgment . . . or what her heart keeps telling her. 
 
Link to buy the book: http://ow.ly/hc6cu     
 
Meet Colleen:  
  
Best-selling author Colleen Coble's novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, ACFW Book of the Year, RWA's RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and is a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana.
Find out more about Colleen at http://www.colleencoble.com/.
 
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I received this book free of charge from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.