Monday, September 2, 2013

Medals and Memories...

The thing about taking CR with me to races is that he is super competitive.  He may not know about triathlon as such but he knows a thing or two about competing.  He is all about the competitive advantage.  At the IM expo, he was trying to get me to buy all sorts of gadgets from a bright pink aero helmet (not my style and thankfully not large enough for my head...) to a QR Illicito (yes, that was pretty tempting but I am also pretty sure CR had no idea how much that one would have cost).  It is actually kind of sweet, him shopping for me in this way.  In the end we settled on one thing that wasn't competitive in nature but would display the spoils of competition.  I had hoped to win one when one of you bloggers had another giveaway but after entering the giveaways for five years and not having one show up on my door, it felt like time to get a hangar for my medals.

The hangers available had anywhere from 5 to 10 pegs.  I opted for the large one not really knowing how many medals I had but figured I could double up.  I got home and pulled the medals out of the nightstand drawer.  (You see why I needed a hangar.  Finish the race, receive the medal, deposit it in the nightstand.  Sad really.)  Turns out there were a lot of them...   42 in all.  Clearly I have done a lot more racing over the last five-ish years than I remembered!

I think that is 15 half marathons, 8 full marathons, three 70.3s, three 140.6s and a handful of other races.  

As I pulled the medals out and looked at them, the memories of each one instantly came back.  As if I were looking at a photo album.  Some of the highlights:

The half marathon I ran in the snow.  Yes, it was in Georgia where we get snow one day out of the year. 

My first marathon on my 40th birthday.  Took longer than expected but loved almost every minute of it :)

The Iron distance medals.  

The hardest half iron evah.  Truly earned this one.

My first half marathon.  Can still remembering going through the finish line maze hyperventilating from excitement.  

As the medal says, my first tri.  I remember pulling in from the bike leg SO VERY EXCITED that I got it done.  The bike, that is...  considering I spent almost no time riding before the race.  CR also ever the competitive one was yelling at me to pass people as I was 100 feet from the finish.  LOL.  I did get 2nd in my AG for that one.  Maybe I needed the push :)

The unofficial Dopey!  AKA the Goofy Challenge + a 5k.  Truly exhausting simply because you have to get up so very early each morning to be at the start.  Mostly I just remember standing at the start on the final day barely able to keep my eyes open.  So proud to finish!

My Marathon PR!

Races run with friends!  The eleven with Summer was also memorable because all of the bike racks collapsed with the bikes on them causing some pre-race excitement!  I did the relay with Colleen.  Soooo very cold but loved having that experience!

The marathon in which I learned about Jeff Galloway.  After falling apart around mile 14, I came home and discovered a little thing called the run/walk which has been oh so very helpful to me ever since :)  Really great marathon if you are looking for a low key but well run event.

My second tri and the one which caused me to take a break from tris from 2008 until 2010.  It also showed me that I really needed to work on my bike skillz.   Was so happy to see CR at the finish!

My first half!  Did this with my friend, Wendy.  So very proud to finish.  Five weeks later I did my first iron distance.

...  and those are just a few of the medals that will be going on the new medal hanger.  Aren't you glad I didn't go through all 42 of them with you?  Now, we'll just have to see how long it takes me to actually hang it on the wall!  


Courtney @Trigirl Chronicles said...

That is an insanely impressive amount of medals!! Which medal hanger did you buy? I ended up making my own out of an old piece of 2x10 so I could hang my bibs on the front like a flip book and have my medals hung on the sides off eye hooks. But I definitely don't have 42, that's for sure!

Karen said...

Courtney, I ended up buying one from the IM expo. Ironman brand so way too expensive :) I have a friend who made one out of either a towel rack or curtain rod. I thought it was very clever and looked great! She just wrapped the medals around the rod. Very simple and much less $$.

ajh said...

Love this post. I love my medals and love the memories they bring. I have a medal hangar but have so many more medals than fit. I have more recent ones on the fridge. Last year I took them all to school to share. (Collections - not just showing off)

ajh said...

And yes I love tris. I still remember when you put me in a post about triathletes and I was astonished.

Kate Geisen said...

Very cool. I love the walk down memory lane! And so neat that your husband gets all competitive for you! :)

B.o.B. said...

DUDE! I love this post. I may have to copy it, mkay?

EXCITED about tomorrow!!!!

Karen said...

Feel free to copy as needed for blog fodder :)

Johann said...

I've been running for 32 years now and still have the memories of each race when I look at the medal or whatever we got. Love it!

Carolina John said...

It is cool to see them all pulled out like that. I have an old 3 hook thing on the bedroom wall with our medals hanging. I bet between me and Kelley combined we don't have 42 medals up there! Now I'll have to go home and count.

Did you get into IMNooga? It sold out in < 4 hours.

Lindsay said...

Sometimes I wonder why I hang onto my medals and stuff... Mine too are just stuffed somewhere. Ok well maybe 10 of them are hanging on one of those metal things that were popular a year or two ago. At the same time, I just can't part with them! 42, sheesh. You race a LOT!!

Jenn ( said...

Now that is an impressive collection!

ajh said...

I wanted to ask you about run/walk. I have done it before but usually for an injury. I have a half coming up and I am not as prepared as I should be and would like to try this. What do you usually do for intervals? I have done 10 run 1 walk (minutes) before. Do you do it right from the start? I think it will make my race much more enjoyable and maybe not even slow me down.

steena said...

Very cool! I have medals hanging up on what's actually supposed to be a paper-towel holding, but I looped the medals on it. It's pretty neat, but getting really full. I do love to look at the medals from time to time and remember all the awesome!

Amanda said...

I've been trying to figure out how to display my medals too. Can't wait to see the finished display :)!