Mileage Recap~ 5 – 12 March and Figuring Out Aer Lingus

I’m annoyed.  Last week while I was adding my post I inadvertently deleted my menus.  I had my posts in somewhat of a decent organization and just like that when I was trying to add the Dublin Marathon tab I deleted something.  The posts are still there, but it will take a while to put them where I want them to go.  So, my site is a little wonky.  Then that brings me to my next annoyance – Aer Lingus.

I wanted to be sure I would have the true Irish experience, even when it came to flying.  Sooooo, I had the great idea that I would fly Aer Lingus.

Let’s just say, these Irish eyes weren’t a smilin’.  This was not easy to do.  I went to the Aer Lingus site and punched in the travel dates.  Lots of choices came back and soon enough I was choosing seats, meals and put in my credit card!  Yay!  Done!  Then comes the confirmation email.  “Due to some complications, your request cannot be processed at this time“.  Oh come on!  You know how you’re excited to get something done then some little glitch happens and everything comes to a halt.  Next, call customer service.  If only I could find the number.  They had a bunch of numbers on the site and you had to choose the number from wherever you were calling, Europe, Asia, United States and so on.  This also wasn’t easy or straight forward.  I call the toll free number and I get in a hardy Irish accent “Thank you for calling Aer Lingus, we are experiencing higher than normal call volume at the moment“, do tell.  So I waited on the phone for 30 minutes, after the 30 minute mark another recording comes on and says maybe it would be best to email and then the email address is given so fast I couldn’t understand it.  Again, I’m searching the site to find an email address.  I finally Googled to find the address.  Why can’t sites be specific.  You have a problem here is the email address, so easy.  I send my email, but I figure I will try and call again tomorrow anyway.

I call the next day and I finally get through.  The gal on the phone was super helpful, got me booked and I sighed relief that it was over.  Only it wasn’t.  I get an email from my bank the next day.  FRAUD ALERT – someone in Ireland is trying you use your credit card!  Sigh.  I’m glad I called.  I let the bank and card company know, yes, I’m going to Ireland and I made the charge.  Isn’t it a little intrusive you have to verify some of the stuff you do?  I mean I see it both ways for security, but I can’t tell you how many times my card was denied when traveling and I would have to call them to verify, yes it’s me.  Lesson, call the bank and card company and let them know you will be traveling.  I almost want to say it’s none of your business where I am at the moment!  I’m glad though, I had two plane ticket charges because of the online submission.  Unfortunately, the representative never took off the ticket reservation I made on line.  It happens that the flights are a few different carriers under the Aer Lingus flag.  I will be flying United Air, British Airways and Aer Lingus.  I’m glad I got this part out of the way, but will be double and triple checking to make sure everything is still lined up.

This weeks mileage was pretty good.  I didn’t run at all this week, trying to get the fluid on my knee to subside and letting my back rest.  I have foam rolled, did yoga to stretch out my overly tight IT bands and glutes, and focusing on core strength.  It seems to be working.  There were a couple of days with some extreme pain but I can tell there is improvement.

More exciting news – I have broken the 7,000 mile mark!  I was looking at my spreadsheet and low and behold I have made it into the 6000s!

This week saw a total of 30.24 miles.  I rode the stationary bike for 6.2 and walked 3.57 and rode my bike 20.47 .  I have 6974.94 miles luckily awaiting.  Happy Irish Miles to You!

Special Edition Post ~ My First Boston Marathon Experience by Kathi White

I have this lovely friend Kathi White.  She is not only a wonderful human being but an avid and talented runner.  I met Kathi when I was living in Belleville, Illinois.  Needless to say we have maintained our friend and running relationship through our distance.  The creed of my blog says: Never.Give.Up.  It means so much more than you probably think.  It’s not just about running and cycling and completing a race to earn a medal or a T-Shirt.  It’s about fighting the hard fight to finish a task you may find important and your journey.  Experiencing the failure, working hard and turning that failure into YOUR victory.  It can be running or something else.  Maybe completing school, preparing for an interview or pushing yourself to new limits to complete something you didn’t think you could ever achieve.  It’s not about being first.  It’s about doing it…whatever it is.

Kathi is a perfect example of the Never.Give.Up creed.  Here is her story and journey about her experience to eventually qualify and then complete the Boston Marathon.  Total respect.

Boston MarathonMedal Medal 2  Start Swag The Unicorn Thumbs Up WonMedal

Opening dialog from Kathi:

My First Boston Marathon Experience by Kathi White
Wow! I don’t even know where to start! So, I will simply start at the beginning. On Sunday, 17 Apr 2016  when I walked into the expo at the John Hynes Convention Center before I even picked up my runner’s bib, the emotions began to kick in and the tears began! I suddenly realized at that exact moment that this is really happening and I am finally here. 4 years of hard work and seven marathons later this is it!
Fast forward to the next morning, Marathon Monday…I was able to connect up with my friend Jill and ride the bus to Hopkinton with her where Athletes’ Village awaited us. We decided to start the race together. We were in the same Wave but different corrals. You can move back to higher numbered corrals but not move up. Jill decided to move back with me. We had a plan/strategy in mind to run a certain pace and to even try to re-qualify for the 2017 Boston Marathon. We soon learned early on after the first 5-6 miles that may not be possible and we should not stress out about our times and to simply enjoy the race for what it is, the tough course, amazing spectators and everything in between from the beginning Hopkinton until reaching the famous finish line on Boylston Street. After all, I had to stress about my time to even get to Boston in the first place. Why do that now that I was there? Enjoy it I thought. Around mile 10 I decided to pull back and let Jill run ahead of me. She made sure I was ok and not hurt and I assured her I was and to have a good run. I even stopped and jumped on a mini trampoline (actually there was about 6-7 of them lined up with kids jumping on them) that was set up along the course!  Yes, this was my first Boston and I decided to enjoy it, soak it all up and enjoy the experience and the people of Boston and the city’s hospitality. I truly felt like a celebrity amongst the spectators! They almost live for this day on the third Monday every April:),,,Patriot’s Day! The course was tough…rolling hills so I began a walk/run marathon until I finished. This story has a pretty cool ending. I had wondered about Jill after we separated at mile 10 or so and if she had already finished before me, perhaps even requalifying. Just before the finish line, I caught up to her. Unbelievable that we reconnected given we were two of over 27, 000 runners on the course!! Definitely a God thing that we found each other again! You can’t make this stuff up! So we got to finish together what we both started back in Hopkinton!! After all of this I do plan on qualifying again for Boston…it may not be for 2017 but perhaps for 2018! I do plan on going back! It is an awesome event and my favorite marathon of all!! Thank you to everyone for all of the kind words, motivation and encouragement along the way!

Questions from editor:

1.  Why did you want to run the race?  What was the motive for you as a person.
Question 1 Answer–I wanted to run Boston because it is the “Taj Mahal” of races for amateur runners such as myself. I figured if other friends of mine can run it or even people that aren’t trying to qualify and are running for charities, what about me? I can work hard and try and make it my goal to run there too. The motive for me was to keep pushing towards my goal of qualifying for Boston and running there and to not give up even if I didn’t get the time I needed after my very first marathon.
2.  Did you have any detractors?  If so what and how did you overcome them.
3.  Describe your feelings when you tried to qualify but didn’t make it for the time qualifications.
Question 2 and 3 Answers–My detractors were different marathons I would run and not getting the time I needed or being misled to believe I possibly qualified. Two of my marathons I ran early on in pursuit of a BQ (Boston Qualifying time) were Run for the Ranch in Springfield, Missouri in December 2012. It was a loop course,,,I don’t recommend this at all. I was supposed to loop it 8 times. I only did 7 after volunteers shouted for me to come back to the finish. I thought it was strange because I thought I had another loop to run. Needless to say, I listened to the volunteer and finished. My time ended and I was led to believe I had qualified for Boston. Not true. Another race I became too hot and so I listened to my body and from miles 16-26.2 I walked/ran until I finished. When I would try to qualify and didn’t I would get discouraged until I could find another marathon to run and qualify for. I was not going to give up easily and let one or two races define me. The marathon I did qualify at after running two years prior was the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon in Champaign/Urbana. April 2013 I missed my BQ by 41 seconds. I had pr’ed (personal record) by 6 minutes! I was upset to be so close, however I finished in the top 10 in my age group! April 2014 is where I became really hot as explained above. April 2015 was my year! I got my BQ time for the 2016 Boston Marathon by nearly 5 minutes! Boston, here I come!
4.  Talk about the race what to expect so other people may learn from your experience.
 
Question 4 Answer–I pretty much answered this in my Facebook post above. For first time Boston marathoners, run the marathon for enjoyment and not to requalify! I had sheer intentions going into it I too wanted to requalify there. I realized after Mile 10 it wasn’t going to happen. The course is tough and a lot of gentle rolling hills. You definitely want to take it easy in the first 5 miles as it is all downhill. If your used to running rolling hills, then you may have a good chance of requalifying there. I decided  to take past runners’ advice and run the course, enjoy it, soak it all in, the spectators, everything about it. As I stated earlier, I worked hard to get there,,,,why stress so much now?
5.  Do you plan to run again?
Question 5 Answer–I definitely plan on running it again! out of all of the marathons I have ran, as far as enjoyment, Boston is my favorite! As I write this, I am already looking to BQ for 2018! I registered for my 9th marathon, second for this year. The town I live in is having its first inaugural marathon this September. The Belleville Main Street Marathon:-)
Happy Miles to You

Mileage Recap ~ 13 – 18 Feb

It seems like an odd date choice but I really haven’t been keeping up on the dates with blogging and I felt like blogging.  This week was filled with running and hiking.  I was fortunate to have a visit from a dear friend from Illinois.  The weekend was spent walking around Old Town Scottsdale and hiking South Mountain Park and Pima Canyon.  I had been to South Mountain Park before but Pima canyon was something new.  It really was lovely and even though the scenery was the “same” it was different if you know what I mean.  Here are a few pictures:

D_L1 D_L2 D_L3 D_L4 D_L5 D_L6 D_L7

Hiking came to 6.39 total miles and 7.28 were running/cool down miles.  I just decided that, during the middle of the week, I would start training for a half.  Unorthodox yes, but who cares.  Of course I will start week one over again next week, but I do have to switch the days the plan calls for runs.

Yesterday’s run was far from stellar.  It was warm, so I had shorts and a sleeveless T-shirt and my water belt with one water pod.  I shot out the door and trotted about 50 yards and had to turn around and go to the bathroom.  I hate when that happens.  Okay, take two.  I trotted out the door and hey there I go!  Everything was moving along then dang it’s like a sauna out here!  I mean really where am I the desert?  No problem, I’ll just reach back and get my wat…what the heck!  No water pod.  I mean the damn thing fell off my belt and I didn’t even notice.  How does that happen?  My iPod wasn’t that loud.  So, I’m about halfway through the run and on the return and I’m looking for the pod like a parent looks for a lost child.  I mean I thought I saw it a couple of times, but it was a desert mirage.  I was thirsty too.  You know the kind of thirsty where you’re licking your lips and opening your mouth because it was so dry.  I just haven’t gotten past the crazy thirst thing here…maybe I never will.  I begin fantasizing that I could put up “If you’ve seen me” posters on stop signs.  Or maybe I’d see it run over in the middle of the road.

Okay, now I’m really thirsty.  Allergies are kicking in…agua please.  Maybe some driver will throw a bottle my way…maybe I’ll have to drink from someone’s sprinkler (yes, I’ve done that one)…then I started thinking about people who are trapped in a natural disaster like an earthquake.  You always hear the survivors talk about “Yep I survived off of my urine for 7 days!”.  Really…will it come down to this?  For God’s sake people throw me a bone!

Anyhooo, I made it home and behold!  There was my water pod about 50ft from my front door.

13.67 beautiful miles this go round with 8,271.19 graciously awaiting.  Stay thirsty my friends and Happy Miles to you!

 

Passion Post #8 ~ Want Life Change…Run a Marathon

A lot has changed since I began this blog a little over two years ago.  What started out as keeping track of running mileage in honor of my late mother’s life has transformed into a major life changes.  I began running for myself.  I liked the results so much I continued on and started this blog and a few small races here and there.  I kept pushing myself into new challenges and eventually completed a marathon in 2013.  There were setbacks along the way…pain and injuries, but I keep going.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this life ~ change happens.  Sometimes self-made other times not so much.

Life is all about growing and at age 47 I am ready for change. I’ve been trying to write this post for months but I just didn’t have the time, energy and frankly I do miss my friends back in the Midwest.  I have been associated with the United States Army for over twenty years as vet, spouse and DA civilian.  I would not trade my time serving the military for anything.  Like all people I’ve had good experiences and less than stellar ones with my association.  But as I get older, I know there is more for me to experience and goals to achieve.  So I am reinventing myself and venturing out to try something new.  I no longer work for the Army and I packed up my stuff and moved to Arizona.  Whew!  New places, faces and challenges.

Moving is tiring and so is change.  You may be asking yourself what does this have to do with running a marathon?  Sort of like “hey you know I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night” therefore implying I can do anything.  But…after running a marathon I know I can do anything (within reason of course).  It’s not like I didn’t know that beforehand.  Sometimes along the way we tend to forget we have the power to change our circumstances.  You can do anything you want with the proper planning and passion.  Running a marathon is a life-changing event.  It’s physical, but in my opinion a more mental trial.  You prepare, train and plan.  You nourish your body and be disciplined to follow a regimen that will take you to completion.  When the physical you doesn’t want to participate the mental you must convince that physical self to move forward.   Let’s not forget the passion of will.  You must have the will to succeed and finish.  This is with all things in life.  If you don’t like it then have the courage to change the circumstances.  Stop talking and start walking.  I’m not advocating everyone go out and run a marathon.  Running a marathon was just a normal progression for me and I’m blessed to have been able to rise up to the challenge physically.    Even more blessed that it opened my eyes to new change.

So here I sit, a new path to forge; challenges to tackle and new adventures ahead of me.  It is also scary.  I’m ready to test these feet in a new place.  Here’s to new beginnings ~ Happy Miles to You.

Thoughts On ~ “Ok, you’re a runner, get over it”

There is an article making the rounds called Ok, you’re a runner get over it, by Chad Stafko.  No doubt if you blog about running, read about running or run you’ve most likely read the article.  I’m posting it here for two reasons.  One, Mr. Stafko lives in a neighboring city about 15 miles from me.  So at the very least I find it amusing that his article, published in the Wall Street Journal, has received so much retort from other writers including Mark Remy from Runner’s World Magazine. Two, I’ve been giving a lot of thought about my blogging and social media in general.  I try very hard to make my blog fun and interesting about the topic of running.  I’m a normal Joe, I blog about my running experiences and what they mean to me.  I’m not a psychologist, former running pro, journalist or running coach.  I don’t take myself too seriously; I’m not arrogant or in-your-face about running.  I do it for the joy it brings and share my experience with others, but I’ll get into that later.

You can read Mr. Stafko’s article here: Ok You’re a Runner Get Over It

You can read Mr. Remy’s article here:  Response to Stafko article ~ it’s pretty funny

I don’t know Mr. Stafko and the article doesn’t faze me in the slightest.  He is writing his opinion about runners and that is his right.  We live in a great country!  I will say the article is a bit strange, almost whiney.  It’s apparent he thinks “runners” are braggarts.  Not only do we brag about our running accomplishments but when we are out on a run we are somehow bragging to those that pass us by on the road.  A sort of in-your-face mentality ~ look at me.

I got the idea about blogging about a year ago by reading someone else’s blog.  I thought it was a neat thing to do for the purpose I was trying to serve ~ trying to log 11,315 miles to honor my mother, nothing more nothing less.  I didn’t even do research on other running blogs before I started.  I just jumped in and started.  I’m surprised to see how many other people were blogging about running.  Lately, I’ve been kicking around in my head whether or not it is an arrogant thing to blog or should I just stop doing it altogether.  It really didn’t cross my mind I might be bragging.  I often ask myself why does anybody want to read my tripe.  Who really cares?  So what, I’m running ~ it doesn’t mean I have to tell the world about running.  I just wanted to share with others the different races in our area, what they’re like and my experience participating.  Maybe it will spur interest in others who would like to participate in the sport as well.

The subtitle for Mr. Stafko’s article states ~ Running a marathon is hard enough without also patting yourself on the back every step of the way.

I wish someone did pat me on the back ~ it might have made me move faster ~ :).

In my opinion the above statement is a little clueless.  If you’ve gotten off your duff and completed any race, no matter how long or for whatever reason.  I humbly offer this:

In the immortal words of our Vice-President Biden to President Obama as they rolled out the health care plan.  “This is a big f***ing deal”. 

Ask yourself this:

Why go to college and place the “University “X” sticker on the back of your car window?  Because you are proud of your accomplishment and wait for it…it’s a big “f***ing” deal.  You spent four or more years trying to better yourself ~ it’s big.  It’s the same thing as placing the 26.2 sticker on your car.

Yes it is.

I have to say, I have never met any runner that went on and on about a race they ran.  As-a-matter of fact I’ve only discussed runs and running experiences with other runners.  Why?  Because that’s who’s interested.  Most of the time runners never discuss about the end of a race and the medal.  It’s what happened on the way to the finish that counted.  Some of these races are life changers for people.  Sure, is cool to get the t-shirt and the medal.  Are they fun to receive?  Bling, yeah!  But that’s not the only reason why people run.  People in running community are some of the most giving and supportive people around.  I live in a large military community and a lot of these runs help support the troops or a soldier who has died in the area.  Many of these races support cancer, soldiers, and community.  We can quibble about the percentage that goes to the cause, but in my book if you’re willing to come out and run so a dollar can be donated for your favorite cause ~ then who is it going to hurt.

Mr. Stafko also mentioned “selfies”.  I’ll be honest I didn’t know what a “selfie” was.  I understand now it is taking a picture of oneself.  I’ll agree selfies are a little strange to me.  I’ve only done it twice, really, and it was weird both times.  I won’t do it again, I’m pretty sure.  I’ve only done it to say hey I was here.  But if you do it, I don’t judge.  It is what it is.  🙂

I have read many “why I run” themed posts.  I started a post about a month ago titled “Who do you do it for”.  I never posted it but maybe now is a good time to share some running reasons for me.

Why I run or started running:

1.  To honor my mother.

2.  To lose weight.

3.  Keep healthy

4.  Challenge myself

5.  Calm myself

6.  Participate in community and give back

A short and humble list.  No flashy pictures with bling just an honest assessment.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to polish my 26.2 sticker on my car.

To all runners and non-runners alike ~ happy miles to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap 1 ~ 9 Nov

I am slowly recovering and taking my time before I start longer distances after running the St. Louis marathon.  I didn’t have any injuries but I did have pain that manifested about two to three days after the race.  The most prominent was the top of my right foot.  It was really hurting for a few days so I forced myself to do lighter “runs” if you will, using the elliptical and treadmill for about a week.  I iced and used my foam roller ~ both seem to help quite a bit.  The “rungry” also didn’t happen.  I find that amazing as well.  When I ran the half I was extremely hungry for a couple of days.  I’m chalking this one up to eating well.  I really made sure I stayed hydrated and ate enough(tried to eat the right foods).

It’s funny, I had no problem with the taper before the marathon.  It was aftermath of “still wanting to keep moving” I found more difficult.  The urge to go out and run, knowing that wouldn’t be a smart idea.  You have to give yourself time.  It’s the smart and healthy thing to do.  So, catching up with a few days this was the recap:

Nov 2 Sat ~ 3.49  walked

Sun ~ rest

Mon ~ 3 miles elliptical

Tues ~ 1:15 hrs yoga

Wed ~ 3 miles elliptical

Thurs ~ Fri  rest

Sat ~ 2 miles treadmill 3 miles elliptical

Total = 14.49 miles.  To all of you who visit from time-to-time, follow my progress, or just the curious.  I thank you and happy miles to you ~ 10,395.70 thankfully remaining.

 

Mileage Recap 20 ~ 31 Oct

Still recovering from the St. Louis marathon last Sunday.  I have pretty much laid low the entire week.  I have some pain in the top of my right foot but for the most part I’m feeling okay just a little tire.  Got out yesterday for a walk, but I will add that to my November mileage.  I was able to get 32.23 miles including the marathon to round out October with 103.77.  I hope everyone had a lovely Fall weekend ~ 10,410.19 miles remaining.  Happy miles to you.

St. Louis Rock ~n~ Roll Marathon Recap Oct 27, 2013 ~ Anything Is Possible

I’m happy to report I completed my first marathon, 26.2 is in the bag:)  It was a wonderful, fun experience.

0400 AM  ~  Got up ready to go.  Surprisingly I slept the night before with no problem.  I was calm and I was glad none of my cats decided to “play” during the night.  Maybe I should chalk it up to inexperience but I didn’t have a case of the jitters.  Ate a banana drank a glass of water and a cup of coffee.  Checked the temperature and it’s 31 degrees.  Not happy about that, but at least it wasn’t raining or windy out.  If you’ve been to the Midwest, you know what I’m talking about.  Put on my gear and I was out the door.

0515  ~  met Kathi at the train station.  There were a lot of other runners already waiting (this was kind of neat) so the excitement was high on the train.  By the time we arrived in St. Louis the train was already packed with runners.

Getting started

Kathi and I on the train.

0600  ~  Arrived in St. Louis and made our way to the venue.  I was beginning to worry a little because it was cold.  I’m not a stranger to running in the cold, but I was really hoping it would be warmer for this first run.  Again, oh well and suck it up.  The first thing Kathi and I do is roll on over to the porta potties.  That’s right, no line you’re going to go even if you don’t think you have to go.  It’s one of those things before you run, I don’t have to go now but maybe later I will, so you try.  After that we strolled over to the gear check.  I was still wearing my pants at this point realizing that I would have to shed them at the gear check.  After about 5 minutes of banter between Kathi and me, “Are you going to take your pants off? Yes, are you?  Yes, right now?  Yes, are you…right now?”  Crap we have to take our pants off…it’s cold:(  We finally take our pants off and check the rest of the gear.

cold morning

No estoy pantalones!

0630  ~  we make it on over to the Soldiers Memorial for a picture with one of the local running groups the Road Warriors.  They are a great group of people that enjoy running and offering support to other runners.  Always a pleasure to be around.

Road Warrior Photo

Where’s Laurel and Kathi:)

0635  ~  We decide that we want to go to the bathroom… again.  Directly in front of us is a string of portas that are heavily backed up…no pun intended.  I was starting to get nervous and I didn’t even have to go.  Then out of the corner of my eye I see another string to our far right and no lines.  I point and we literally start running to these portas.  It appeared that others were catching on as well, STEP IT UP.  The jog became a little faster.  Whew I’m in the front of the line baby! It was dark and difficult to see which ones were occupied and which ones were free.  Then there was the occasional battle cry, “don’t use this one…it’s out of paper!”  The tsk, tsk of another runner, “that is not how I want to start my day” and all the affirmations of yes, yes.  Finished there and bolted to my corral.

0650  ~  Arrive at my corral, 10, and begin the wait game.  This really was a very interesting aspect of the race.  You’re pumped and ready-to-go but waiting for the race to start.  The sun was just beginning to rise and you could see that beautiful sunrise of bright orange and yellow mixed with a splattering of clouds against a struggling dark blue background.  It was electric.  I started my Garmin at least three times before I actually got going.  Since I was in corral 10, 1 – 9 went first.  This was new for me as I’ve never participated in a race this size.  So you would move up as each corral left the gate.

0710  ~  I was off.  I started strong and felt good.  In past races I usually dislike the start.  You’re always trying to dart around to find that nice hole that you can run your own pace.  It was really difficult to do this with so many people so I didn’t even try.  I went a nice normal pace and just really enjoyed the run.  I also wanted to make sure I didn’t start off to fast and had energy for the end.

I’m not going to mark time anymore because honestly after the first two  miles there was no point in me watching the clock.  I had a long way to go.  Instead I focused on the mile markers and how I felt.

Around mile 2 my hands were starting to get hot.  I grappled with throwing away my gloves so soon, but decided to do it anyway.  I should have waited a couple more miles because my hands were cold, but there you have it.  Throw-away gloves were a very good idea.

Around mile 4 I was hot and ready to shed the throw-away headband and take my long sleeve off.  Chucked the headband, danced around to take the top off, dropped my iPod and cracked the screen and Walla finally felt a little better.

Mile 4

Here I am at mile 4. My shirt is secured. Thanks to Karen Conley for supporting me and taking this picture.

Everything was easy breezy at this point.  The run was fun and I felt pretty good.  I made sure I drank plenty of water not passing up too many of the water stations.  Everyone is different when it comes to water, but I wanted to make sure I didn’t get dehydrated.  I tend not to drink as much when it’s cold, so I forced myself to take little sips.

Around mile 9 or 10, I forget, they offered the first GU gel.  Let me personally testify, chocolate and GU, uh no.  I picked up the small packet, ripped it open and began to eat it.  Nasty, is not the proper word.  Let’s just say, licking the asphalt, might have been better.  Dang!  That was bad.  Maybe they meant to do that.  Here, little girl I’ve got something yummy for you.  So yes, I did need water with that treat!

My first mental hurdle was at mile 12 when they started peeling the half marathoners away from the full marathoners.  I admit I looked at them in envy.  Wow, they’re almost finished and me I’m going to run this…again.  It’s easy to get sucked into that mindset, but I made that left turn and kept fighting for every mile.

At mile 17 I looked across the street and saw mile 24 with the lead runner heading toward the finish line.  That’s a mental mountain.  Look forward and keep going.  There were a couple of points on the route that intersected.  You might be at mile 18 and to your right you could see mile 21.  It’s tough.

My right hamstring started acting up at mile 18.  There was a lot of pain.  I had to focus and slow down a bit.  When I had to slow down I did, when I could pick it back up I did.  Mental, mental and more mental.  I kept fighting for every mile.

Another GU gel was offered at mile 19.  Oh no you don’t!  I’m not falling for that again.  This gel was mandarin orange.  Oh…really…sure it is.  I took it anyway.  Yes, it tasted like man….CRAP!  It did give me a boost.  The things we must endure for a boost.

Miles 20 – 23 were tough.  The pain in my leg would come and go and I had to adjust the pace the best I could.  As Ron the pace guy neared me with his bright shiny placard with 4:45 in big black writing, I was determined that he shall not pass!  So, I pulled it together and moved forward to mile 24.

My good friend Karen was able to make it to the 24 mile marker and take a photo.  Let it be known, if you are going to do something ~ go big or stay at home.  Folks, this may be one of the best photo bombs yet.  There is no measurement for the level of awesomeness for this quality of photo bomb.  I will say this, we’re both smiling at mile 24, therefore brother, and you’re alright with me.

Photo Bomb

Mile 24

 

Photo bomb1

Just because one isn’t enough.

Mile 24 became mile 25 and you know the rest of the story.  I finished with a time of 4:41.  I’m happy, empowered and ready to do it again.  A special thank you to my husband Dave who has supported me through all my training and my friend Lorene who was at the finish line.  A hearty thank you to everyone who offered well wishes and encouragement.  Happy miles to you.  With hard work, determination and the right attitude…

Anything is possible…..

FinishedKathi and Me

….even drinking Michelob Ultra Light afterwards.  (If you follow this blog you understand!:)

After Beer

 

 

 

Pre-Marathon Expo

Let’s see if I can get this post out with proper spelling, etc unlike the night before.  I guess that’s what happens when you are blogging at 930 PM trying to get words out and thinking one thing while typing another.  Sigh.

When I went to pick up my bib yesterday there was a Running Health Expo as well, different companies selling all sorts of running gear as a precursor to the race.  I’ve never been to one so it was pretty neat, at least for women.  Sorry guys, I know they were selling stuff for you too, but let’s be honest, this was all about women.  Shirts, skirts, socks, running bras, onesies for babies and the almighty headband.

The first part of the Expo was the “Brooks” store.  I happened to migrate over to the shoes where the salesman asked me would I like to try on a pair.  Yes.  As
I was trying on the holy grail of moderate stability shoes, the young man said
oh so cavalierly “you know if you spend $150.00 you’ll be a VIP”.  I looked at him quizzically.  “You know, Very Important Potty”.  At that moment the clouds parted, light shone down and a choir of angels descended.  What does that mean, I asked.
“You don’t have to wait, you get to use the special potties”. You mean I can potty like a rock star?  Yes, oh my yes.  I began to have visions of Charmin served up on silver trays as I walked into my USDA Grade A porta potty.  Hmmm.  He continued to look at me with a twinkle in his eye.  You’re good, I said.  Again he batted those baby
blues.  Alas, I had to let him down gently, I’m afraid I’m not in the market for new shoes at the moment, so I sulked my way over to the sports bras.

So many choices and so many colors.  There is no discussion here, yes…I’ll take that one.  Sigh, yes I’ll need a small.  Walking…walking…STOP! Oh my LAWD what do we have here?  After leaving the spectacular land of sports bras I found myself in headband heaven.  All women runners are aware of the headband craze.  I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard “That’s so cute”!  My goodness.  They have us hook, line and sinker.  Do I need another headband, no.  Did I buy another headband, of course.  Walking…walking…ooooh compression leg sleeves.  The woman at the kiosk asks, “should I measure you”?  Yes.  I’ll take those.   Walking…walking.  Hmmm, I’ve lost my friend Kathi, oooh Jamba Juice.  Yes.  Finally found Kathi and we took our photos.

Laurel and Kathi Laurel and Kathi Arch0001

Believe it or not, I got out of there fairly cheaply.  It was a lot of fun and I came home with some good stuff.  So this is what it looks like for tomorrow.  Throw-away gloves, body glide, temporary inspirational tattoos, compression socks, new rockin’ headband and my give away ~ give away.  I have a courage bracelet that I plan to wear on the run.  When I finish the race I plan to pass it on to someone else.  Think of it as a good luck charm.

Expo Visit

Passion Post #3 ~ Disappointment Breeds Victory

I truly believe that disappointment and failure breeds the passion for victory and success.  That feeling of wanting something so badly, only in the end not to obtain or achieve your goal is a hard lesson.  I’ve experienced that disappointment through sports, education and life. Some of those life experiences worse than others.  One things for sure, I’ve always had this tenacity to come back and fight harder.

Circa late 1970s and I’m in Middle School in Victoria, TX.  I’m in the 6th grade and interested in trying out for the girls basketball team.  I love basketball and I wanted to be on the team, so badly.  The day comes to try out and let’s just say…hmmm I had a lot of work to do.  All in all I thought I did fairly well and when try outs were over we were told that the team postings would be listed on the locker room wall by the end of the week.

Friday was finally here and there was a buzz of excitement in the air.  If you’ve ever tried out for any sport, you are well aware of the jitters that go along with waiting to find out if you made the team.  I make my way down the cream-colored, fluorescent lighted hallway.  I see the two lists on the wall.  One is for the “A” team and the other the “B” team ~ the A team being the more skilled.  I move to the front of the crowd, I can already see disappointment in some girls faces and joy in others.  Some girls are running away crying and others laughing wildly.  You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach, the twisting of nervousness and the lump that forms in your throat waiting for good or bad news, I had it.  I look at the A list and my name is not there.  Okay, I understand that one.  I step to the right to look at the B list…and my name isn’t there either.  Disappointment ~ that split second of reality that occurs when the realization failure is taking place.  That point between anger, sadness and bewilderment.  I was disappointed.  I turned to my friend Stacy, who also didn’t make the team, and said let’s try out for something else.

I was already plotting my comeback.  I wouldn’t be denied.  No way ~ no how.  So, we had to settle for tennis that year.  No offense to all the tennis players, tennis is great.  Really.  Ok, it wasn’t great for me, but it kept me busy.

That winter I practiced my basketball skills every day.  I’m not kidding, every day.  I wanted to be on the team and I was willing to do what it took to make the team.  I dribbled here, there and everywhere.  I improved.  When it came time to try out in 7th grade I made the B team.  Again, I wanted to be better and again I practiced.  I let my passion for the sport lead me.  By 8th grade I was on the A team, starting point guard.  It wasn’t easy, but through hard work and not giving up I achieved my goal.

I picked up my race bib for my first marathon today, the St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon.  This moment took me back to that time in middle school.  The marathon is a goal I want to achieve.  There were moments when I thought I would never get to this point.  Through hard work and perseverance I will run in my first marathon at age 45.  My passion has brought me to this place.  The marathon is only the vehicle for this passion.  As you know, it’s the journey.Laurel