Eggplant and Turquoise Wedding

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This Brides colors were Eggplant (dark purple) and Turquoise.
Tulle cross backdrop with matching Tulle wrapped gazebo for cake area.

Close-Up of our Tulle Cross Backdrop

Tulle Cross Backdrop with Greenery

Banquet Area

Book Sign-In


Centerpiece View 2

Gazebo for Cake Area

Room View

Delaware Marathon

     I flew into Philadelphia, took a couple of hour drive south to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware arriving after dark.  After walking into my hotel room I could hear the ocean waves rolling in, looking out to see the beach just outside, I knew right then I was going to love this trip!
Love this pic - Taken at the beach in front of my hotel

This will probably sound funny, but it wasn’t until 6 AM race morning when I glanced out my room window and saw runners walking around on the boardwalk that I realized my hotel was literally 100 yards from the start.  Ya I didn’t really look into that ahead of time…

The race started at the town’s band stand, right in front of the ocean.  I was feeling optimistic at the start, I felt great but because of how horrible my last race was (being so sick) I didn’t want to get any hopes up so I just went with the “whatever happens, happens” motto in my head to start.

It was overcast, 53 degrees and just the lightest mist of rain left from the night before.  The first few miles of the course were along the beach or through beachfront neighborhoods.  If you couldn’t see ocean, you could hear it through the pine trees.  I was feeling REALLY good, my body was warming up nicely and my legs really wanted to run.  The first three miles when glancing at my GPS pace I kept thinking I needed to slow things down a little so I don’t pay for it later on.  But every time I would slow down a tad, before I knew it I was back to running a faster pace again.

Rehoboth Band Stand - Race Start
After mile 5 and feeling great, I decided to just go for it and enjoy the run and do the best I could.  This was my last race of the year, so there was no reason to pace myself and conserve energy for other races coming up (like I normally have to do).  My injury had been holding up pretty well lately and I figured if I hurt it again, at least I have time to let it heal after this race.

We turned onto this breakwater trail; the trail was a bit on the muddy side from the rain the night before.  But I think the rain actually helped pack it in, it looked like it was a sandy fine rock mix and it might be easier to run on wet and packed down a little than dry and soft.  I haven’t run a trail run for a long time, I think since Sept 2011 in Colorado.  So my ankles took a bit of a beating through this.  I have strong ankles, but they aren’t used to miles of continual support from dips, holes, mud and trail issues.  But that aside, I still felt really strong.  This area was so beautiful it was forest lined with trees; sure it’s winter so the tree’s had all their leaves piled on the ground around, but it was still peaceful and beautiful.  We passed a couple of salt marshes.  These reminded me of Utah’s Great Salt Lake, the meandering river in the tall grasses smelt heavily of salt.  However unlike the Great Salt Lake, it didn’t have that “stink” that occasionally comes with the salty smell.  It was more of a fresh with heavy salt in the air feeling when you breathed it in.

There was a half marathon running too, but unlike a lot of races that have both distances.  Which generally means when you get to the half turn around you lose 80% of the runners.  This race had the majority in the full, at least where I was at, and most of us continued on into Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes Delaware.

WWII Watch Tower - Cape Henlopen State
Park - We ran past several of these creepy
but cool looking towers.
At mile 10 I realized I just ran one of my fasted ten mile times of the year, so that put me into a pretty good mood.  However, a few miles later I started feeling a little drag, so I slowed the pace a little for a mile or so until I started feeling good again (got another wind) and picked the pace back up for miles 12 & 13.  Had to slow down again around 14, waited to catch a 3rd or 4th wind and then picked it back up again for a few more miles.

Running around the trails of Cape Henlopen were pretty, you had the ocean nearby, creepy looking WWII watch towers, rolling hill trails lined with pine trees. I even had a young deer come out and take it’s time crossing the trail path in front of me.  (Funny that was the 2nd time this year a deer crossed my path in a race, the other was in Minnesota.)

My biggest struggle came around 19, not exactly sure why.  Probably faster paces were catching up to me.  My hip flexor injury was aching a bit more now.  This mile was my slowest of the entire race.  The good thing was, my spirits were high, I had been having such a great run before, I knew that if I could just get my mind and body through this rougher point that things would get better.  So I did what I have learned to do and I really picked up the pace for mile 20.  Pushing for another wind, and pushing out the bad to get back to good again.

It worked, and I played some mind games and tricks I have learned to help myself, pick up the pace and put the pain further and further back in my mind until I tricked myself into feeling pretty good again.  Eventually what I guess I will call my 5th or 6th wind came.

The course was a lot of out and back in several different directions.  But not in a bad way, there were lots of turns so sometimes you forgot you were on an out and back until you’d see a runner come out of a trail or street towards you again.  The weather had been absolutely perfect conditions for running, cool but not freezing, just the slightest breeze at times temps in the upper 50’s by the finish.

Breakwater Lighthouse
The last 4ish, miles were on the breakwater trail again.  By this time my ankles were a little numb to all their twists from the trails surface so I just made sure to watch where I was stepping to avoid holes or deep mud puddles.  I told my mind I loved this part of the course the first time I ran through it, so I was going to love it the 2nd time too.  It worked!

By the time I came out of the trail and into the beach town of Rehoboth again with a couple miles to go, I was feeling pretty great.  My legs were feeling strong; I was even wishing I had pushed it even harder earlier on.  I knew what my finish time was going to be, and I was SOOO excited.  To top it off I was experiencing what we call a “runners high.”  I was about to have one of my best race times of the year.  So I just relaxed, lengthened my stride (only my hip flexor hated that) and pushed on a bit harder and faster to the finish.  When you get to this “runners high” things just aren’t hurting or bothering you, you feel like you could run forever and you’re in such an excellent mood!  This was only the 2nd time ever in a marathon I had this happen the last time was years ago in St. George, Utah.

After I crossed the finish line I realized I could have kept going, that is how great I was feeling!  I went into the finish area, and they had one of the biggest food catered finish line buffet’s I have ever seen (pancakes and lots of toppings, shredded beef sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, probably other stuff too I didn’t see.  Normally my stomach doesn’t want to eat for hours after I run, but today I decided to give it a try.  I piled up a couple of pancakes and poured on fresh strawberry and blueberries and syrup.  It will sound odd, but the shredded beef looked good to, so I grabbed some of that to go with the pancakes, LOL.  Found an ice cold can of Coke, took a seat to enjoy my finish feastJ  Met some really nice runners and had fun chatting with them.

Santa's Beachfront House - Also on Boardwalk at race start
Normally my walk back to a hotel after a race feels miserable, but I was still feeling pretty great.  Just a bit more cold now.  I probably could have ran the ½ mile back up to the hotel, but I didn’t I just enjoyed my stroll past all the shops and decided to take the longer route and walk up along the beach back to my roomJ

I had a great trip, loved exploring, sightseeing the lighthouses and WWII watch towers.  Lucked out and collected some sharks teeth and really large seashells on a beach after high tide before other beach combers found themJ Discovered a cup of hot chocolate was perfect to keep me warm so I could walk on the beach in the winter eveningsJ

Delaware was my 31st state, my 14th marathon this year.  Sure it’s a few short of my original plans for the year, (thanks to the injury) but I have no complaints!  This injury could have prevented me from running all of my fall races, so I actually feel really lucky! 

Harbor Refuge Lighthouse
Originally I set out to run 50 states + D.C. in 3 years.  In order to do that, I will need to run 19 marathons in 2013.  I have them planned out, and I know I can push my mind and body to do them.  But will happen?  Obviously running a marathon in every state is very expensive, and I tend to likely make it more expensive staying in the area a few days to explore the sights – I estimate it will cost me near $30,000 for the next 19.  At this point I am hoping for a lot of winter and spring weddings, I already picked up a 2nd job and I am actually thinking a 3rd might not be a bad idea.  So will I finish next year?  We’ll see…

Thank you to everyone who read my blog, and have been a support to me and my goals!  I know I have a ways to go, but when I look back at all I have accomplished over the past few years, I have to say I even amaze myself at it all, LOL

With the New Year coming up my advice to anyone who has a goal (no matter the type of goal, big or small).  First decide what you want to do or achieve, and then DO IT!  If you want something bad enough, you’ll find ways to make it happen!

Someone suggested to me to share some of my year’s race highlights, so here is a little bit on each one:

Hawaii – Scariest race! Heat and dehydration made me lightheaded and delirious started seeing things probably should have been pulled from the race but managed to keep it from the medics.

Louisiana – I was so sick in this race with the flu and bronchitis it was absolutely miserable, kind of shocked I even finished, it’s one (New Orleans) I’d like to do again (not sick).

Georgia – Who would have guessed Atlanta would be so darn hilly, lots of never ending hills.

California – Big Sur, Breathtakingly beautiful coastal run but also some of the steepest hills I have ever run – fun though!

Nebraska – Got to see great family and I LOVED the race cups with lids and straws, also my first time running 2 marathons in 8 days!!!

Wyoming – HOT, absolutely NO shade 90+ temps, SO HOT!  But loved running through the frog area and seeing my niece, nephew and sister cheer me on near the half-way point.

Minnesota – So beautiful along Lake Superior first time a deer jumped out and cut me off in a race.

Montana – Beautiful course, but had a moment that slapped me in the face and made me finally begin training properly again.

Idaho – Loved this course, first race after my dad started training me again and this is where I had my best time of the year.  (That night, I pulled a bad hip flexor injury that put me out for 6 weeks and almost ruined my entire year of running – made me realize the value of cool down and stretching after a race!)

New Hampshire – First race I entered but couldn’t run because of the injury (took the trip anyway) but I will return hopefully next year to run!

Connecticut – Pretty course, first race after injury, went pretty good with all things considered.  But wished I didn’t catch a bad cold the day before!

D.C. – Got to say I ran in a Hurricane, since we were in the hurricane front.  First time to D.C. loved it, but definitely need to go back (no storm) and see all I missed (race 1 of 3 in 15 days)!

Missouri – Hilly course, forced to run in new shoes (my poor feet) but did okay for being (race 2 of 3 in 15 days)

Texas - *sigh* I was sooo sick in this race, REALLY shocked I finished this one my body was ready for it to be over by mile 3, but a finish is a finish I guess! (Race 3 in 15 days)

Delaware – Great race had a runners high could have kept on going long after the finish!  What a great way to end the year!!!!