Sunday, October 27, 2013

No title - Just HaPpY!!!

By the time I publish this blog it will be exactly one week since I ran the Mankato Marathon.  I am the worst about doing race reports.  I am not sure why - I think sometimes that writing it down doesn't do justice to the experience itself.  I try to hold onto the memories in my brain, but it seems that is getting harder to do - and that has NOTHING with getting older, right??  SO, this little recap is for me - so that when I am 103 like great grandma I can pull up my blog and remember one of the greatest races I ever ran!
Mankato Marathon 2013

The forecast for race day kept changing.  One week before the big day the forecast called for a high of 55 and no wind!!!  Perfect race conditions for me.  But the day of the race was actually quite cold (32) and blustery.  I was a little bummed cuz I had my outfit all picked out and then had to decide if I would go with tights or stick with shorts.  I went with shorts - but there weren't too many others who made that decision!!!  As I waited in my car for the race start, I wrote names of all the people who donated to the charity I would run for on my legs. It was pretty cool to see the list!! At about 7:50 I went to find the pace group I wanted to start with and also meet up with a woman I kinda know. We had discovered we had the same goals for the race so we thought we would run with each other. We were sh-sh-shivering and bouncing around trying to stay warm. National anthem.  Gun went off and we ran! Then stopped.  Then walked.  Then ran!!  Then walked.  Finally made it to the starting line and the bottleneck eased up so we ran!!!!  My goal was to start out slow which I can never manage to do!  I often run my first mile in 7:05.  This one was an 8:15.  I kept that pace for the first 3-4 miles.  Then we started up a very loooooong hill, so my pace slowed, but it was a fun hill and I had a great time talking to the runners around me. I lost my partner around that time.  Not sure what happened and I felt like I should go back to look for her.  I decided to keep moving forward and hope that she would catch me (I am glad I did - she ended up with a very different race than she planned.) The next 10 miles were about a 8:00 minute pace.  I met a man from a neighboring town and we had a great conversation!  Isn't it funny how you become "friends" with people during those long miles?  I felt great!  Took a Gu at mile 8 and made sure I was drinking at the aid stations.  I really need to figure out how to drink and run!!!!  Most times I walked through the stations.  I saw my kids and parents for the first time around mile 10.  That was awesome!!!  I ran over to get "some love" from all of them and continued on. At about mile 11 a friend of mine caught up and we ran together for a while.  His goal was to do negative splits, so after about 5 miles together he started to pick up speed.  I stuck with him for a while and as he pulled away I made it my goal to always keep him in sight. Miles 16-21 were UNBELIEVABLE!!!  I was keeping a 7:40 pace and felt amazing.  I remember thinking "Whose body is this???"  I just didn't think I should be feeling that strong at that point.  But I did, so I went with it.  It felt great to run like that and I actually got a little choked up. Then came mile 22...  I really needed a Gu or something but was all out at that pont.  I met my son at a cheer station as he planned to run the park loop with me.  As he took off with me I noticed that three of his teammates from his CC team were running with us!!!  That was so cool!!!!  They encouraged me the whole way!  I felt pretty sluggish and my pace slowed, the course gets very windy and hilly.  But it was still a great experience to have my son rooting for me!  We came out of the park and Kellen sent me on my way with a mile to go.  Running down the last few blocks was so much fun!!!  People were line up for blocks and I heard friends and students shouting my name!!  I high-fived a few and posed for a few pics before I decided to kick it in.  I finished in 3:31.  So close to a PR, but today was not even about that.  I SHOULD NOT have been able to run like that.  I was going to be very happy with a 3:40.  I was undertrained and overinjured. The running gods must have been granting wishes that day or something!  I ran across the finish line and right away saw my kids.  For some odd reason, I always get emotional at the end of a race. I gave my kids and parents big hugs!! I hung out in the finisher's chute for a while - I love to do that!  It's so fun to watch the faces of the runners as they cross that line. So inspirational! After that, I headed over to a local sports bar to join friends.  It was the perfect day! One of the best races I ever ran - why?  I had FUN!!!!!!!!  I ran happy!!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Ready to Run!

Excited? to be running the Mankato Marathon on Sunday!  I have no goal in mind except to finish with a smile.  My training has well, it has sucked.  I have had a really stupid hamstring issue for over a year.  And believe me- I have done everything to get rid of this thing, everything except take time off :)! So you may ask why in the heck am I running it then?  Well, I think a while ago I mentioned that I was asked to run for a charity.  The charity is The BackPack Food Program.  This charity provides weekend meals for children who qualify for the Free and Reduced Lunch Program. It's super cool because teachers just sneak the meals in backpacks on Fridays and holidays and the kids then have meals for the weekend!!  Anyway, there are three charity runners (we are called Champion Runners)  and we each set a goal to run $1,500.  We did that and then $5,500 more!!!!!  Isn't that awesome?!?! So, the charity is the reason I have stuck with the marathon. It's not going to be pretty and I am surely not going to PR BUT it is in my hometown and that is FUN!!!!!
Watch my little little video!

Something else really cool about this weekend.  Along with the marathon there is a half marathon AND ONE OF MY FIFTH GRADERS IS RUNNNG IT!!!!  I have known Noah since he was just a little guy and have watched him grow up through the grades.  He has always been a great runner and decided this would be the year to try his hand at the half.  He trained so well - it is fun to listen to him talk about his long runs and tapering!!  He has set great goals for himself and I know that he will accomplish them! Send out a little cheer for Noah on Sunday morning!!

The weather forecast took a turn recently and there is a possibility I will be running in snow!!!  But just at the starting line.  High of 52 for the day so now the question is what should I wear?

Just put together a new playlist and my fave song on it is Timber by Ke$ha!!! LOVE that song and it makes me wanna dance.  But my son thinks I am weird.  He doesn't know cool when he sees it!

What do you wear for chilly marathons?
What's a song that you would suggest for the playlist?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Life is a Game of Ping Pong

     Imagine a giant ping pong table with two players hitting the ball back and forth, back and forth.  One player's name is "All That Is Good" and the other is known as "That Just Sucks."  This seems to be a never-ending game this weekend with no clear winner!  I wanted to write a post with wonderful and inspirational words. But I can't do just that - I need to include some other things that have happened this weekend - to recognize that while my life is okay right now, others are suffering.

* I ran the most beautiful trail half-marathon this weekend.  For those of you that live where a a change in season means a change in the landscape you know what I mean.  I ran through a forest filled with hues of gold and red.  I always wish that when I was trail running that I could look up to see all that is around me, but I am so busy looking down at the roots and rocks.  I did glance up a few times to see the sun streaming through the trees. Serenity.  I took first place in my AG and won a bright yellow and black fleece blanket that says "disaster zone."  Hmmmmm.

* A very dear girlfriend ran the Chicago Marathon today.  She trained so well and so hard and should have easily run a 3:05 marathon.  But something went wrong.  Her hamstring hurt at mile 10, but that was not the worst of it.  Her vision became blurred as she continued on.  She crossed the finish line at 3:37 and then passed out!  When she came to she was in the med tent and she has no idea what happened.  Her heart feels sad.  I wish I was there to give her a big hug!

*  A friend that I started running with over a year ago ran a 10K yesterday with hopes of a PR.  He ran the same course last year and this year he SHATTERED his record!!! And is he ever FAST!!! It has been exciting to watch him grow as a runner.  Last week he took his car to the shop and ran the mile and half home from there. He texted me "I am a runner."  Yes, you are!

*  Cancer sucks.  Yes, it does.  My coworker and friend's husband was winning his fight and things were looking good.  Now cancer is invading.  And tonight he had a stroke.  There are no more words to be said.  Just please pray for them.

* I want to end on a good note - maybe that will mean "All That Is Good" is winning.  My son, the runner, earned a spot on the Varsity CC team for the Big Nine Meet.  That's a huge deal for an 8th grader!!  The meet is on Tuesday and although I cannot attend because of Open House at my school, he knows I will be there in his heart- coaching and cheering and celebrating.  Mighty proud of my kid!