Boston Strong

The Boston marathon is today. Today an American male won for the first time in almost 30 years. Records were broken all over the womens field. An amazing day for the race and the town itself.
This year i was not there.
I did not see this live.
I headed out on my own marathon this morning at 8:40 am central time. The elite women were already on their way.
To give me strength I had my Boston hat and my Fellow Flowers shirt “you can not destroy the will of a runner” on and ready to go.

The first 5 miles were humid and i was feeling good. It started to rain, no not rain, pour. It was a warm rain though and i wasn’t going to turn back. My body felt strong and I knew i was going slow but to finish was the goal for today. So for the next 15 miles it rained.

There were times during this run where I cried and instead of choking them back i let them flow. I cried for the race i didnt have, I cried for the fear i felt, I cried for the lives lost, I cried for the pain that still remains everywhere. Still i had a smile.

When i run i dont bring my phone, today i did. When i reached 26.2 and saved my route i looked at my phone. My husband wrote an amazing post about our journey on facebook. Upon reading that with the emotion of what i had just done was truly overwhelming.

When i got in the door i heard that an American had won! Meb had accomplished something that he had been so close to before. i watched the live feed from the race and it was not through clear eyes.

For a year I have not been able to read, look at, or hear about Boston without choking up. I avoided the papers and the tv on the anniversary, i couldnt handle it just yet. The pain was still so raw, it still is honestly. To see my friends give the race a go or another go is amazing.
I knew i had to try to deal with this raw reaction in my way and to run the distance again was all i could do. today i ran with a purpose thinking about the bad race i had and how i was feeling at certain mile markers. today added to the miles i have been building since saturdays’ half marathon. 54 for three days.

My Boston time was 4:24:47. My time today 4:16:38

It is true that you can not destroy the will of a runner. it can be broken or lost, but not destroyed. It may take years to revive itself but it will be back.

Winter has been long

Sunday March 23, 2014

When the sun shines and the weather is warm after an impossible winter you can only help but to smile.  A kind of smile that not only lights up your face but your whole being.  That, is how I feel about running.  The winter was long and cold and so had been my running attitude.  I would like to say that it happened after Boston, but I know it happened the winter before.  I had lost my love for the sport. How can a person who had lived, breathed, and talked running just stop?  I ran the 50 miler and after that the honeymoon was over.

I should have been elated that I had qualified for Boston without trying, or that I placed 2nd in my first ever ultra, but all i could think was: what now, what’s next?  it had never been my style to do something mediocre and then try to do better next time.  Do your best the first time and move on to the next bigger/harder thing, that was my style.

I decided to run the 50 miler again and trained, well sort of and had the best race ever.  I ran some after that and it was nothing substantial. I also needed a runner partner to get me out the door.  I always made up a reason not to go if i was by myself.  This was also unlike my previous running persona. Alone.  Always run alone.
Then winter came and it was hard to get out the door when temps were consistently below zero.

My dog Roubaix has been the best running partner anyone can ask for and provided some much needed alone time without being alone.  most of those unmotivated runs were done with him on a trail. unknowingly he slowly lead me back to my dear friend.

Within the last 3 weeks my love for running has returned, I am a giddy child once again.  i can’t wait to run after work, I can’t wait to commute to work, I can’t wait to spend 5 hours on a run.  i give credit to the sun and the warmer temps.  today I had planned a 17 miler with a friend whom I have never run with.  i told everyone about it and I was excited for many reasons.  17 miles would be the farthest i have run since the 50 miler in October and it was going to be on one of my favorite courses.  My running courses are something that I hold near and dear to my heart, they are like my little treasure box that you only look at alone in your bedroom late at night and show only your close friends. So to expose that to someone new was exhilarating!

The weather forecast was not looking in our favor, cold again with the wind.  She expressed some hesitation about the length of time we would be out in the cold early in the morning.  It was ME who told her not to worry, that it would be great and we would thank ourselves afterward.  She ended up getting sick anyway and couldn’t join me in the end.

i had 2 choices: 1. sleep as long as i could and sip my coffee while surfing Facebook.  Take a nap with the dog and not venture outside into the sunny but cold day. 2. Sleep in some, eat breakfast and start dressing for my run.  go anyway. Besides I was so pumped to be running this course and the sun was out.  2 won hands down.
it was not hard, i did not struggle, I wasn’t even cold.  it was truly like seeing a friend you haven’t seen in years and not skipping a beat. I am back and I cannot wait to see what happens!

It’s amazing what a smile can do.

Door County Fall 50.

This is a race that I have had mix feelings about.  Excited, terrified, unsure, confident, and confused.  Knowing the struggle that I endured last year, I was not looking forward to that kind of suffering again.  Running in general for me, as of late has lost its luster, that magic quality that pulls you in to a place of tranquility.  It has been a challenge to even get out the door, to even think about going for a run.  Always being a solo runner, if I didn’t have a running partner I simply didn’t go.

There are many reasons that I will tell you why I haven’t been running/training.  Work, school, kids, spouse, new dog, etc. The list goes on.  One reason is to blame though deep down and I know it. Boston.  I had not recovered from that.  Physically I suppose I did, although my training was nil.  Mentally and emotionally not even a chance.  My will had been broken, that mental toughness that got me through tough training runs had disappeared.  How was I going to run 50 miles with out toughness?!  Last year that is all that got me through those last 10 miles.

Doubting myself and my ability I had to make a decision.  Run or don’t.  If i was ever going to get my love back for running this should be the ultimate test.  With hundreds of miles less in training and my stubborn attitude gone, this sounded impossible.  Even to my partner, he had no confidence in the feat that i was about to encounter.  He will be the first to admit that he would have bet money on me that i would not finish.  But he agreed to go with me against his better judgment.

I made the decision.  Instead of try to beat my previous years time(the plan when i signed up before Boston), I was going to run my race, I was going to finish, I wasn’t going to care where i was in rank, I was going to have the “come to Jesus” meeting with myself and find my love for running again.  This race will be a new start, the pain from Boston will always be there, but it doesn’t need to be at the surface and determine who I will become.  Time to let it go.

Roger and Roubaix make the trip with me the day before, we got my packet ate dinner and prepared for the day to come.  In true Nora race fashion we are there early, and I am pushing the nervousness back down my throat.  The dog is overstimulated and we are all cold.  Race morning brings us low 40’s with 30 mph winds along the coast. I am supposed to have fun?

The gun goes off and we start, I am in the middle of the pack instead of on the start line.  I start slow, I would like to negative split for once.  my nice “slow” pace turns out to be the same pace I started out at last year, oops.

1-10 miles were fine, steady pace ran through the first race stop and got to see my boys. I started the race with a smile on my face and a whatever attitude. I was going to finish that way.

A little chit chat with fellow runners along the way makes the miles go by way faster.  After the pit stop at 11 I was charged up. i was determined to run smart, walk the hills, take time at the rest stops, kiss the boys, and don’t rush. I was slowing a bit the wind ended up being mostly a tail wind(whew), but sometimes made for a nasty cross wind.

The colors were amazing and that’s the part I needed, the solitude to appreciate the smells of nature.  Be in awe of the change in something so alive all around me.   Those next few miles were just that, running through a state park along the water was indeed serene.  For the first time i am running a race with a smile on my face.

i am greeted at each stop from my support crew, roger keeps asking if I want to know how I am doing, my answer is always no. I just want to finish, that is my goal, finish before 6 pm.
i get to mile 30 and more than half way there, looks like i could finish in 9 hours, but i walk when i need to and don’t feel bad about it.  Mile 40 and still feeling good, still with a smile.

I reach the 41 mile rest stop.  This is where it really fell apart last year, the goal then was just make it one more mile.  i knew this year if i could come into the stop feeling good, I could finish strong. I came in without a problem.

Only 9 to go. I ran, I walked.  I wanted to conserve a bit so I could push the last two miles in faster. Last year they were so hard, I was crying in pain.  This year my body was fine, my mind was clear.  I was happy. I get to 48 and it’s go time.  I wasn’t going fast per se, but faster than the 10:20 i was doing.  Man did it feel good to have something left to give.  I look at my watch and i know i can get in before 9 hours.

I finish with a smile and in 8:55, only 55 minutes slower than last year but this one was better.  I still managed a 6th age group placing and 14th overall female.  My man is speechless, never in his wildest dreams could i have accomplished this.  Boy did i prove him wrong.

It remains to be seen if my will has resurfaced and if the love is back, right now i believe it is.  I am sore from head to toe, but i embrace all of it knowing that i did something that will change me forever and bring me back.  it’s that good kind of hurt.

Anytime I had a doubt or I focused on the humongous blister between my toes.  I forced that smile and it all went away.  who knew running 50 miles could be FUN!

The person you’re not

Wednesday April 17th, 2013

Today.

I am home. Why do I feel like such a stranger here? Why am I seeing things so differently now? I feel out of place. Why is the norm to put on that brave face and pretend nothing happened? How do I be the strong person for my kids? How?
When you say my name, some form of the word run usually follows it. That is me now, the runner. It defines me and everything that I am and have striven to be. It has come naturally to me and has been the escape I have longed for, for such along time. If you are a runner then you know what its like to have a bad race, especially the first bad race. I had that at Boston, my FIRST EVER bad race. I have never wanted to quit something so bad and finish at the same time. I feel like I have failed everyone around me who was watching me from afar. I failed myself, I could have trained harder, I could have made sacrifices. I let so many of you down. It’s that deep down shame that covers you in a blanket of disgust.
Why keep on running? Why race if I’m only going to fall apart again? I have no answers for any of it. The fight I am having with myself to get over it is a losing one.
The embarrassment of having the bad race at Boston is even worse. I had to walk the last 5 miles and throwing up along the way. Having the crowds around you laughing, saying “run, you’re almost there”, “looking good”, drove the dagger in even further. Walking with your head down so you don’t make eye contact with the spectators who pity you is the only way you can make it through. This person is not me, I don’t race like this. How am I letting myself be so pathetic?
People keep saying, “you finished, that’s awesome”, my response is “whatever”. I want to lock all the memorabilia away never to lay eyes on it again. I didn’t deserve that medal, who am I fooling wearing that jacket?

If that’s not enough, you then add the tragedy that now plagues that day.  Because of my bad race performance I finished about 3 minutes before the first blast. I had “run” in the last 200 yards. If I hadn’t, I would have been right there. I was licking my wounds across the finish and was only yards away from the blast. Freezing cold and confused I knew what happened. I rushed to get my medal and my space blanket, and frantically began my search for roger. We had a meeting point about 2 blocks away. I was hysterical and the further you got away from the finish the less people knew what happened. I had no phone, no way to contact Roger, hoping he was at our meeting spot.
The fear was evident in my eyes the second he saw me. I literally fell into his arms mustering the words “bomb, and I was right there”. From that moment, my life changed.

Calling my daughter when I was back in the hotel was horrible. She hadn’t quite heard what happened and trying to explain it when you can’t even choke out words between your sobs is hard. To hear her cry and say you could have died breaks my heart. I wasn’t there to hug her or comfort her or try to convince her I was ok. Having her so far away.
How do you digest this? How do you put your life back together? How long is that fear going to be present? I am trying to dig deep to find those answers, I come up empty handed every time.
I know one thing. I will not stop running, I won’t let the person(s) who did this take that away from me.

 

things coming to an end?

Saturday March 23, 2013

The sun was shining, the wind calm. There was no alarm, and a warm cat in my bed. At the leisurely hour of 8:30 a.m. I finally got out of the cocoon I had made throughout the night. Some breakfast and coffee, oh the sweet, hot taste of coffee and a bit of procrastination. I double check the weather and gather my clothes, then have some more coffee and see whats happening on facebook. The hour is nearing 10 and i am still in pajamas.
I kick my butt into gear and I get dressed, ready for the journey that I am about to take and will not take for some time. it is bitter sweet. i have the directions, the gear, and the attitude so I head out.
The sun is bright, almost blinding but it’s warm and the feeling is almost unfamiliar but oh so welcome. It is getting a bit hard to breathe due to the drainage my sinuses have so gratefully started to do. A quick farmer blow and the problem is gone. By now I am taking in the scenery and taking in the sights that are so familiar but today so different. The loneliness and sense of desertness that the landscape has is soothing and brings a smile to my face. It is not as though there is a longing but a peacefulness and life. It is warm enough with the sun to start to melt the snow and the creeks are flowing bringing the debris downstream.
My body is reacting to the surroundings and kicks it in. The animals around are playing and you can hear the birds singing. i am almost half way there and i feel stronger than ever thinking about what this day means and how much I need it. There is no going back, no giving up, just to keep going until the end. I think about what my day would be like without it and come to only one conclusion: useless.
I turn onto the road that I have been on almost everyday this week. I know each turn, each slight hill, but somehow with the sun shining on it, it looks different, happy perhaps. I am almost there and relish in the fact that this road had a part in it.
i contemplate my body and my strength. I have that split second to decide to take a short cut and take the easy way out. My will to not give up overpowers my weakness, I keep going. My attitude remains the same and even though the sun is weaning a bit the surroundings are not.
The home stretch and I am strong, almost at the point of not stopping. i can see the end and I am smiling knowing that I did not give up, making it to the end with a strong will.
even though today’s journey is done, there will be others. they will not be in the near future but they will come soon enough and i will welcome them with open arms and fresh legs.
Goodbye for now my precious 20 miler.

8 weeks my friends

Sunday February 17

it’s getting closer and closer to the big day. today was a long steady distance kinda day. real slow run. right around mile 7 i got a huge pain in my shin, like a shin splint. sucky especially since i had 10 more miles to go. i was feeling great with the sun shining and hardly any wind. a good run overall though.

yesterday i had my first race of the season, it was only a 5k but it was a race nonetheless. i had a goal time in mind like most of us do going into a race. I wanted to get under 20, but it was real cold with around a 12mph wind. I did PR with a 21:45 and 3rd in my AG. I got a sweet water bottle. the plan was to run my 8 after the race. that is about the distance from downtown to home ….. well we hung around too long and i cooled off too much, so we went home and I planned to run later at the gym.  I made chocolate instead. oops.

The new year is upon us

Saturday January 19, 2013

So tomorrow ends week 3 of training for Boston! The weather has been nice for the most part, not much snow and milder temps. Today was in the mid 40’s, but tomorrow the high is 12. My miles for the ultra has helped me start at a higher weekly total and it’s easier. the plan is to cut 15 minutes off my BQ which will put me at a 3:15. 15 minutes may not seem like alot, but if you are a runner you know that is a big deal especially on a challenging course such as Boston. Speedwork is going to my friend and enemy in the upcoming weeks.

i have also decided that I WILL run the Fall 50 again this year and with all that I know now, there are some changes that i will make and hopefully get better than last year. yes it was hard, yes i said i would never do it again, but there is something about the training that sucks you in and man if i did that well my FIRST time, then hell why can’t i win this time! no way i would win, but one can dream!

I had set a goal for 2012 to run 2012 miles. I made that goal with 2039! my goal for 2013 is 2500 miles, with all the miles i will log for the 50, i should do ok, and this year i pretty much took off the months of November and December because i was doing the insanity program so i should have had a bigger total.

i have also started school. I am in a Baking and pastry art program at the local tech college. I get to bake everyday m-f. i have the uniform and a jacket with my name on it, so official! this gets me one step closer to opening my own shop, i come home and am so excited to bake, the ideas come(mostly while running).
with school i had to give up work for the next 6 months, i am working about 2 days a month now which is really hard since i have worked full time since i was 13!

my daughter is in a running program called Girls on the run. it is for girls in 3rd to 5th grades, they work on self-esteem, body image, peer pressure, and running. the running sort of comes in last in the scheme of things. They are looking for some new coaches so i have volunteered. i have also wanted to get the girls who are “too old” for the program and can’t start school track or xc  doesn’t start until 7th grade into a transitional program. i want them to be ready.

so off to rest and stretch.

It’s that time of year again…

Tuesday December 25th (aka Christmas)

Last year about this time I got what every runner dreams of getting. my very own Garmin  with most of the bells and whistles. i have used it pretty much religiously since, it’s very hard to get out the door for a run without it.  But this watch and i have had our ups and downs you see… there is that beginning stage where we are feeling each other out and figuring out which buttons to push to make it work. Then you think you have it and while running inside finding out after that you didn’t turn off the GPS! or having it die on you while 6 hours into your first ultra(awesome by the way). thinking you should use some of the other functions that it offers because you only use the same 5, and you should get the most out of it, right?! then failing miserably.

next week we start a new journey, we will begin training for Boston  man oh man, i am nervous for this pfitz 12/80 plan especially since for the last month i have been averaging less than 20 miles a week. However i have accomplished my goal of 2012 miles in 2012 with about a week to go!

Today after the children were off to their respective parents houses, we went to exercise. i was off last week due to a gum surgery that left me without any physical activity. wouldn’t want to bleed out before the holiday!
i went to this new trail system that is about a 2 mile XC ski loop, this would be perfect! I get there and quickly find that it is less than ideal: no grooming has been done since the snow fall last week, lots of people have tried to ski, snowshoe, walk, etc, thus leaving uneven terrain that makes snowshoeing a bit difficult. i pushed through though and made it 2 laps with a total of 3.5 miles. not what i was hoping for but it was 17 degrees and a bit windy so i figured i did my part for the day.
as a runner or any athlete for that matter there is a point at the end of an especially hard workout where you breathe so deep into your lungs and you swear you can feel every bit of it expand with every breath leaving you with a smile on your face. to others this smile may look like a grimace, but to you it is a realization that you worked your body no matter the distance and thats a hurt we strive for.
Today I wore that smile proud.

Fall 50, the good and the bad

Sunday October 21, 2012

Let me tell you something. Yesterday was a day I will never forget. I have spent many days training and thinking about it.
I have spent 114 hours, logged 736.41 miles, and burned 67,000 calories yet nothing could have prepared me for what happened. My body and mind were pushed to unthinkable levels but I still made it. never running that distance before and having my longest training run be 31 miles doesn’t even compare to 50 miles.

Since about Thursday started the pre-race bitchiness. it is not intentional but happens nonetheless. i get very anxious and nothing seems to go right, i have to have a plan for everything, etc… It had been raining and the forecast for Saturday said 40 degrees and rain: fanfrickentastic, just how i wanted to spend 8 hours!
Friday comes and it is still raining, roger and i made it to door county thursday night and stayed in a nice bed and breakfast. We relax and go pick up my race packet, eat some fish(it is friday in wisconsin afterall), and start to pack and plan. Rogers plan to be my pit crew on his bicycle, that meant we needed to be strategic in clothing/food choices for both of us.
I made my morning smoothie friday night, and at 4 a.m. the alarm went off. The anxiousness was gone, race day is finally here. Coffee and a smoothie, done. bathroom time…not yet. roger eats, we  pack the last minute things, try to go to the bathroom again….nope. So off we go, out the door at 4:50. it is an hour drive to Gills Rock and I don’t wanna be late. we get there about 6:10 and it is still real dark and they are still setting up the start area. pretty sure we were the first ones there. I am ready, pit stop to the luxurious bathroom for one last try….nothing!
So here I am letting Rog lube up my legs with his magic stuff to help block out the cold. get your mind out of the gutter…not that magic stuff.
we start late because the shuttle with most of the solo runners coming from Sturgeon bay was late!!
Lined up and surveying the competition the gun goes off at 7:10 a.m. Only goal: finish under 8.5 hours!

And we are off, my goal for the first half was a 9 minute pace, then I would kick it up little by little each mile after that. well I have a tendency to go out too fast at the start, so crossing the start line I took it easy. I stayed with a few people and felt good, slow, but good. Over a mile away you could here the crowd and the music blaring. It really was awesome.
By this time I knew Roger was already on his way back to Sturgeon bay with the car and then he got on his bike and the plan was to meet me no later than the 24 mile rest stop. So for almost the whole first half I was on my own. Bring It!

First 5 were great, fell into a good rhythm and watched the leaders pull further and further away. I was a bit faster than I wanted but overall consistent.
8:31, 8:24, 8:33, 8:31, and 8:42. The first rest stop was at 4.8, my plan was to stop for water but i saw a few women that were near me stop and being competitive I wanted to beat them, so i kept going. By the next mile I was wishing I had stopped for water.
Miles 6 to 10 were pretty much of the same 8:56, 8:41, 8:27, 8:41, and 8:25. There was the first “real” hill at mile 9, i ran it. i know alot of ultra people walk the hills to conserve energy, but as a pride thing i just couldn’t! For pretty much of this time there were the same people around me, i would pass this one guy, he would pass me, back and forth, etc.
Miles 11 to 15 felt good still. the second rest stop was here at 11.1, i did get water here. It tasted sooo good. 9:11(hill), 8:23, 9:09(hill), 8:20, and 8:26. The weather changed a bit here from super cloudy to kinda cloudy.
Miles 16 to 20 were beautiful. 8:57, 9:29(hill), 8:37, 8:36, and 8:49. between miles 15 and 16 there was a nice long hill, i look at the ground almost directly below me while going up as to not psych myself out as to “how much is left”, and surprise i’m at the top! you take a left near the top and then there is no sign as which way to go: continue straight or turn right? There was a spectator at the corner, good thing because i would have gone straight.”Go right”, she says. After that turn the course took us into Penninsula Park/Golf Course. It was breathtaking. the leaves were mostly still there and shaded and really a sight to see. All of a sudden I have a running partner, “I’ve been chasing you for the last 5 miles”, he says. Chit Chat ensues, and we go through the next rest stop together(18.8), and shortly after that his posse greets him(kids, wife, parents, in-laws, friends).
Miles 21 to 25 had lots going on. 8:37, 8:56, 8:53, 8:39(rest stop here at 24.1 also big hill), 8:49.

This is me right after trying to use the bathroom….nada.
 by the frantic look in my eyes you can tell that i am freaking out to see if anyone was passing me

Roger caught up with me shortly after my running buddy stopped to say hi to his family, i was glad to see him! he informs me that i am the 3rd female, what, how did that happen? There are two women behind me though, I recognize both of them from the group at the beginning, damn!
my running buddy passed and he was now in orange. I didn’t try to catch him, kept him in sight though.

You can’t tell
 but i am yelling at him as hes trying to put gels in my pockets of my shorts,
 while i want to do it myself. “you’re not helping”!

Miles 26 to 30 i would say was the start of the decline. 9:26, 9:13, 9:03(rest stop 28.4), 9:10, and 9:12. I was out of gels by now and about 4 hours in. My stomach was starting to get angry because i had no real food and i was getting frustrated.  I started to eat some mixed nuts, a granola bar, and a couple fruit chews. that helped. I had some IT band issues earlier, I have never had this before but by hearing about what it entails I knew immediately that’s what is was. this cannot be happening today of all days, seriously?! thankfully it dissipated leaving me with a very tight right hip! The guy i had been running with was still in sight and had a couple people riding bikes with him, one stopped to take this lovely picture of us. Before the next rest stop I passed him, at what point you ask…I have no idea! 20 miles left, which means i could finish under 8 hours, that’s crazy! i was thinking at this point even if i run 10 min/mile it will take me 3 hours and 20 min. which would get me there just under 8, but i still have to run for 3. more. hours. WHY!!!

Miles 31 to 35, I got passed at the 32.2 rest stop by a woman who was close to me most of the way. i went to try to go to the bathroom….zilch, i really should have just stopped trying at this point. 9:25, 9:41(rest stop), 10:05(hill), 9:45, and 9:39. Coming out of the rest stop it went into a very steep hill, I walked that one. Now I was 4th woman. all i can think is i will still place because at least one of them was in the masters and the woman who just passed is also. Once you have a taste of that glory it is all you can think about. Roger informs me that there is another woman not too far back, the other one from before! Don’t fall apart.

That really just sums it all up, wanting to stop, but going again hurt even more,
mile by mile.

Miles 36 to 40, ok now i’m losing it. by this point i am running at least a minute slower per mile that the first 20. 9:59(rest stop and the other woman passes me, fml), 10:33, 9:52, 9:49, and 9:50. All that is going through my head is mile by mile. One mile at a time, literally roger would meet me at every mile marker and see what i needed. i needed something to look forward to, otherwise i don’t know what would have happened.

Miles 41 to well the end. First off my Garmin died at 40.2. it was fully charged, now what? The next rest stop was at 42.2, I had orange slices and shoved apple slices in every pocket i had to take with me. I noticed that the older woman who passed me first was having a hard time before the rest station and looked as though she might not go back out. I flung my watch at Roger, why wear it if its dead? the slow process of starting running again commences. That woman never made it out of the rest station.

not puking, just trying to get a breather in between
slams of diet coke. mile 43

I really don’t remember much till about mile 47. I do remember thinking that i would let everyone down back home who was cheering me on from afar. how ashamed i would be if i just quit, im not a quitter! So i pushed a little deeper, from an unknown place of pure will. I latched onto a guy who was leap frogging with me pretty much the whole race. he was now my rabbit, i knew i could go a bit faster and he was watching his pace. at this point i knew i couldn’t let go, so i told roger to meet me at the finish.
even this guys tween daughter starting running with him at 48. even at this point the miles seemed to go by fast, even though it was hard, they seemed to fly by, one by one they were counting down for me. until this:

Why did i think this was a good idea?
who do i think i am to be running 50 fricken miles?

Also what did my rabbit do? he sped up, yep that’s right he was going faster! i pushed i really did, i watched as he pulled away. i saw the crew in their yellow vests waving their orange flags. it was like a dream where you are running and going nowhere. they seemed to be getting further away, i tried to run faster but i couldn’t feel my legs. i turn into the parking lot finally and the guys daughter runs with me to the end pushing me, yelling at me, telling me i’m almost there. and there i am somehow crossing that finish line with a time of 8:00:12. how did i just do this? and i placed, what? i have nothing left, i literally gave it my all. i left everything i had on the course and no regrets.

i did it.

I thought i would cry as i crossed the finish line, i was so exhausted that i couldn’t even do that. We hung around because i did indeed win second place in the open division which was 39 and under, i had to get my sweet medal after all that!!  As the sun set it got pretty chilly, i was standing in the sun and felt this huge pain in the hip that was bothering me. I got stung by a bee! really?!

I did cry though…. later that night back at the hotel after the awards ceremony, after all the great jobs, well dones, and congratulations were exchanged. upon reading all the well wishes from everyone back home i got one that tugged a heart string and the waterworks started to go. i lost it.  i did not however know the extent at which this went to until i got home today. this is what waited for me:

As i sit here and write this I tear up still. i am lucky to have people in my life who believe in me, in what i can do even when i doubt myself. I am lucky to have an amazing partner who got my through this one mile at a time, letting me yell at him and not letting me quit. For the next couple of days i will be in active recovery, resting mostly. in a months time i will be at it again, i do have Boston 2013 to train for after all!

i found a little something today

Sunday September 23

Today was the last long run of my training cycle for the 50 miler in about 4 weeks. I ran 29 miles, the plan was to run 30 but i chose to run a flat easier last 8 miles than hills. the sacrifice of one mile was worth it. I have been having some pain in soleus(the bottom of my calf muscle) and it travels from the bottom of my foot up to my hamstring. I was hesitant about the run this morning because the last 4 miles of my run yesterday it flared up. This is my own fault though, I am horrible at stretching. I literally don’t do it. I ran strong the past 2 days and i went out today with the intent to not pay attention to pace or time, just run at a slow even pace. this run was about time on my feet not the speed or even necessarily the miles.

I am a religious runner when it comes to listening to music, if my iPod is dead i will wait for it to charge or not go. today at 2.5 hours in my iPod died. so i ran last half with no music. fortunately i was on a cty hwy with little traffic and the last 8 were on the local trail. truthfully it wasn’t that bad. I CAN RUN WITHOUT MUSIC!

If you are a runner you know that all sorts of things go through your head while running. you can have your best ideas out there on the open road. Today my mind was on my wedding. yes folks i am engaged and we have decided on a 2013 winter wedding. thinking about where, what to wear, and cakes!