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Here I am...back in my little house in New Brunswick. It's hard to believe that I was in Philly only a short time ago with so many wonderful people. I miss you all already.<br><br>
Before I got pregnant last fall, I'd planned to run the NYC marathon. I'd trained all summer and raised a lot of money (thanks in part to many of the 30s) to run for a cause close to my heart. The trip would have allowed me to meet some of the 30s, too, icing on the cake. So I was disappointed when I decided to pull out.<br><br>
I stayed as active as I could throughout the pregnancy and it wasn't long after I delivered in June that I was back on the trails. I ran a few races over the summer and was pleased with the results. So when I found out how many 30s would be in Philly, I decided I'd make the trek and join in the fun.<br><br>
I signed up to run the half marathon. Getting my training runs in was tough with being a new mom and all. But I've been lucky to be blessed with a pleasant baby and an understanding husband. Three weeks ago I ran a half in my home town in Nova Scotia and was happy with my finish. I felt I was ready for Philly.<br><br>
During the first 8 miles I had a lot of energy. I took in all the sights, rode the wave of runners. I'd never run with so many people before. Never had experienced this many spectators. I loved it. Miles 9 to 11, I started to tire. My legs felt heavy but I kept pushing. I perked up for the last two miles, knowing that I was almost finished and I'd see my friends. I rounded the last corner singing Elton John's Philadelphia Freedom, a smile on my face. I'd reached the goals I set for myself and finished just under 2 hours, 19 minutes.<br><br>
This weekend was about running, of course, but it was also very much about meeting a group of 30s. And what a fine group they turned out to be. Let me just say that everyone is even more beautiful, both inside and out, in person. It's funny...but I feel more a part of this online group than I do of the local running group. No matter what kind of runner you are, you're always made to feel important. And you can be yourself and still be accepted. And that means a lot to me.<br><br><b>Jill</b>...thank you for getting our Philly shirts together! They turned out so great and I'll wear mine with pride!<br><br><b>Maria</b> you and your sister remind me so much of my girlfriends here, it really made me feel at home. I loved your energy.<br><br><b>Kate</b> thank you for being my shopping pal. It's too bad we missed the frog tour, that would have been fun. Next time, ok?<br><br><b>Litch</b> it was very nice of you to ask about my Lena. I thought it was cool how you remembered her name.<br><br><b>Noni</b> I felt lucky to be party to your fantastic attitude!<br><br><b>Keriksen</b> you are one speedy man! Holy!<br><br><b>Theia</b> you have such a big heart. As I watched you with Heather's little girl on saturday night, all I could think of was, "That woman will make an excellent mom!"<br><br><b>BigG</b> thank you for sharing your peeing bush with me! Only a fellow runner can truly appreciate the importance of a well-placed peeing bush!<br><br><b>Bard</b> you had a smile on your face the whole weekend! Gotta love that!<br><br><b>Frankie</b> I really appreciated your offer of a drive from the airport and I'm disappointed I missed you guys. You're a true gentleman.<br><br><b>Winter</b>...my lovely Canadian counterpart...we must get together to party again someday soon! I got the feeling that given more time, we could have turned that city on its end!<br><br><b>Scratch</b> gotta love your determination and attitude! You had that half by the balls, man!<br><br><b>Liam</b> it was such a joy meeting you and your lovely <b>Adrienne</b>! I can't believe you guys came from so far away but I'm very glad you did! Steal me some Irish pub glasses, will you please?<br><br><b>CoachT</b> my hope is that someday I'll find a coach as good as you to help me through a full marathon...you rock!<br><br><b>Solar</b> I'm so glad you had a great marathon experience this time around! You deserved it!<br><br><b>Larry</b> you can be on my "unchosen" team any old time you want and I'd be proud to have you!<br><br><b>Voodoo</b> pass me another one of those raviolis...yummy! I know this marathon wasn't one of your best, but I thought you took it like a real champ!<br><br><b>Nettie</b> one of my proudest moments was sharing that last mile with you and some of the gang! You really showed how to kick it, girl!<br><br><b>Bob</b> you can finish like a real pro...not even breaking a sweat! And I love the Bobcam shots...awesome, every time!<br><br><b>Dave</b> I'm really glad you came out to join us!<br><br><b>DrWu</b> thank you for sharing some of your experiences with us! Someday I hope to have that many marathons under my belt!<br><br><b>Nick</b> thank you for the compliments, you're very sweet!<br><br><b>Solitude</b> it was great that you came out to be part of the cheering section! And I really enjoyed the late night chat with you, Beth and Prae!<br><br><b>Beth</b> thank you for sharing your room with us! Congrats on your PR!<br><br><b>Notey</b> it was great to have another NASCAR fan to chat with! Good stuff for tracking down the final race for us!<br><br><b>Pacer</b> you are amazing! I think it's really great that you help others reach thier goals!<br><br><b>Moon</b> I can't believe how far you've come...what an inspiration!<br><br><b>Maureen</b> you had us laughing so many times!<br><br><b>Heather</b> your little girl is so proud of her mommy! What a great role model you are!<br><br><b>HighHeat</b> you totally rock for being our photographer! Great shots!<br><br><b>Kenyan</b> thanks for putting up with all our crazy shenanigans! Seems like you fit right in!<br><br><b>PhillyTom</b> I hope I have even a fourth of your energy someday!<br><br><b>Lori</b> thank you (and your hubby) for being such wonderful hosts!<br><br>
And so it's with a bit of sadness that this weekend is over. I just hope that I'll get to see you...and the other 30s...very soon!<br><br>
Colleen
 

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Great race, and a great report Colleen! It was an amazing weekend, wasn't it? I just wish we'd had more time to talk. I hope to see you at another 30's gathering soon!
 

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What an awesome report!!!!!!!!!!!! Great job on doing two halves so close to each other! Congrats to you!
 

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<b>Colleen</b>, What a nice report. I enjoyed being lost in the crowd with you after the race. We should do that again.<br><br>
Congratulations on a very good showing!!!
 

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Great report! You ran an awesome race. Two halves close together...should get you thinking about a whole marathon. Congrats!
 

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It was a sincere pleasure meeting you this weekend! This RR has made me a little weepy!<br><br>
Great job missy! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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<b>Colleen,</b><br><br>
What a great report and a great job on meeting your goals for the race. Im so glad you made the trek down. With you and I living what seems to be worlds apart, I had no idea how many chances Id have to meet you.<br><br>
As for the airport pickup, anytime you need one and im in town, ill gladly offer my services. I felt bad, thinking great we missed picking her up and now shes going to be pissed at me. I was so relieved to see you at the bar that night. Kinda funny that you asked me if I were mad at you, not a chance!<br><br>
Im glad you had a great time, hope to see you at another race sometime down the road.
 

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Great stuff. It's hard to know that you had a baby this year. What a great duo of Kickrunners I got to come in after me at the half, too.<br><br>
Thank you for you and <b>Beth</b> to help keep my nerves in check at the start. Sorry that I just kind of took off and settled into my solitary mode once the race got going, but the two of you there before the race started help me a lot.
 

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Thank you for sharing your own experience of this weekend! The personal comments to all of us as individuals was a very nice touch. Congratulations on such a good race. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Congrats! I'm amazed how far and how quickly you've come back after the pregnancy. Simply amazing! And I'm glad you enjoyed the crowds. It is a hoot, ain't it! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">
 

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<b>Colleen</b> - if it weren't for those darling pictures you post of <b>Lena</b> every so often, I would've never guessed you had just given birth not that long ago when I first saw you in person in Philly.<br><br>
Congratulations on a great race! I'm glad the experience was such a great one for you, especially after that not so promising start in terms of getting here. I really hope we get to meet up again at some future gathering.
 

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<b>Colleen</b>, congratulations on a successful HM - so soon after your last one!<br><br>
I'm glad we had a chance to get to know each other a bit over burgers and potato skins - sometime we have to meet up when we're not all tired from running in the morning. I think you'd be voted most fun for a night on the town! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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It was a duck, and I'm totally holding you to this. I had a wonderful time hanging out with you on Saturday and Sunday, and I'm so impressed with how well you've been training with such an adorable baby (her being adorable is not a problem, just that you can't run with her yet). Great job on your run!
 
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