In Her Shoes

Tackling my bucket list, one half marathon at a time.

She’s ALIVE

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Yes, I’m alive and well. I know you were all so worried. I know, I know. Miss Social Media hasn’t blogged in over a month. And it would have been longer if Emily hadn’t reminded me. So this post is for you, Wank.

But why haven’t I been blogging? Because I haven’t been running…much. Yes, I finished my marathon. And yes, I forgot to post about it. So here I am, finally remembering that miserable but successful day. The Madison Marathon was a month ago yesterday, so I’ve forgotten details except for these:

  • It was freezing at the start…absolutely freezing!
  • I was terrified at the start. I had the worst attitude ever and wanted to get these miserable hours over with. My friend Jen and I huddled in Starbucks until minutes before the gun went off and I ran into my running friends Cindy and Mike who gave me a brief pep talk.
  • Once I got going, I started feeling great. Miles 1-10 were awesome. I remember seeing my family around 5 and I jumped and ran towards them, hugging them all. Hugs subsided after that point.
  • Jen ran with me up until mile 8. We said our goodbyes right by Camp Randall where she told me she’d meet me at mile 22 to finish the last 4 miles with me. She, unfortunately, had to drop out of the run due to a IT band injury.
  • I saw so many of my wonderful Neckerman coworkers at mile 10. There was a long stretch of them on University Ave, waiting to take my picture. I remember I stopped and gave my friend Mel (the one I do most of my half marathons and training runs with) a hug here.
  • The rolling hills on Gorham (miles 11 & 12) were NOT fun.
  • My knee started killing me at mile 13. I saw my family around this time and asked for Ibuprofen. A few minutes later, my awesome brother comes running up to me with a bottle of pills and asks how many I want. Those were clutch. Pain went away within minutes.
  • I started really feeling the pain at mile 17ish. This was through the Maple Bluff neighborhood. The wonderful people of the Madison Marathon decided to put the largest hill in Madison at mile 17.5. I forever hold a grudge against them for that.
  • I saw my friend Mike at mile 19ish and told him I hated life. And that I was never doing a marathon again.
  • Miles 19-22 were a challenge. I wanted the run to be over, I was bored and knew I wasn’t going to see family or friends for awhile. I was aching to find Jen at 22.
  • Jen joins me at mile 22. The first thing I said? “You can talk to me…but I’m not talking back. I hurt. I hate this. I want to cry.” Jen was such a trooper. SUCH a trooper. She encouraged me, pushed me, motivated me, put up with my bad attitude, put up with me snapping at her (“YOU DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH I HURT JEN!!!”) Good God I owe her. So seriously, J, I love you. I could not have finished the way I did without you there.
  • We see my family again at 22.5. I yell at Lauren to stop taking pictures of me while running. (“SERIOUSLY…STOP. YOU HAVE ENOUGH.”)
  • I see Mel right after my parents. I stop. “Mel…I hurt.” She wouldn’t let me stop…and pushed me onward.
  • 23-26 were agony. My quads were pulsating. Jen was amazing. The view was gorgeous on John Nolan Drive. I hated life. Everything in the world was terrible.
  • My friend Amanda joined Jen and I for about .3 miles around 24. She’s a gem.
  • As we are coming up West Wash at mile 25ish (another HILL), I tell Jen I need to walk. WHO walks with .7 left of a marathon?! Well, me. A stranger and spectator (his name was Kevin) comes up and starts motivating me. He gets me running again. What an encouraging guy he was. He left with .2 miles to go. I saw him again at the finish and thanked and hugged him.
  • I crossed the finish line in 4:32. 2 minutes after my goal. 12 minutes after my stretch goal. Did I care? No. Because I was done.
  • The most important thing I remember? My family. They were EVERYWHERE. I think I saw them 14 times on the course. They would drive by me cheering, park the car up ahead of me, jump out, cheer me on again until I passed them, and repeat. It was so amazing. Before the marathon, I was not looking forward to seeing people I knew on the course. Once I was running, I couldn’t have been more thankful for anything else. So to my mom, dad, Lauren, Jeremy and Bennet: you guys were amazing. You kept me going.
  • On the topic of amazing support, I was overwhelmed by all the texts, phone calls, Facebook posts, tweets and verbal “good luck” wishes I received. Before, DURING, and after the marathon. I don’t know what else to say other than I am incredibly fortunate to have the people in my life that I do. I could not reiterate that enough.

Woah, now that I think about it…I remembered a lot. Phew. That’s a lot to post in my first blog back. I’ll be back more often, I promise. For now, here are some pics from my marathon…

Mel made this sign for the marathon. Our friend Krista loves Unicorns, I love the Hawkeyes. Perfection.

Mel made this sign for the marathon. Our friend Krista loves Unicorns, I love the Hawkeyes. Perfection.

The start was FREEEZING.

The start was FREEEZING.

right wrist

Right wrist motivation

Left wrist motivation

Left wrist motivation

Mile 10...I was so happy!

Mile 10…I was so happy!

Hugging Mel at Mile 10

Hugging Mel at Mile 10

My lovely boyfriend high fiving me. No idea what mile this is.

My lovely boyfriend, Bennet, high fiving me. No idea what mile this is.

Mom and Bennet at mile 18. I didn't enjoy this time period.

Mom and Bennet at mile 18. I didn’t enjoy this time period.

Crossing the finish

Crossing the finish

Jen, my savior, and I at the finish

Jen, my savior, and I at the finish

Mel and I at the finish

Mel and I at the finish

My amazing support group and family

My amazing support group and family

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7 thoughts on “She’s ALIVE

  1. Man, baditude at the start! Way to fight through a ton of adversity mentally and physically to still reach a goal. I was thinking you missed your goal Dom style! As for all the support, its absolutely the best part of the marathon. I am sure you know how much your family, bf and friends love you but its a very outward expression of just how much when you may not know you need it most. Welcome back and congrats!

    • Wow it’s taken me forever to respond to this! Thanks for all your support over that last few months. Oddly, it helped an incredible amount. Maybe it’s because you struggled with the same stuff I did, you were a hardass when I was being a wimp and (virtually) kicked me into gear, and you always had encouraging words to share. Onto the next marathon! We need to make sure to coordinate this so we’re training together again…3rd times the charm.

  2. Way to fight though that, seriously! CONGRATS and cheers to you!

  3. I feel like we had the same marathon experience lol! There was a giant hill at 17.5 during my marathon and I hated everything in that moment too. One of my best friends ran with me until mile 4, and then met back up with me at mile 22 to run me in. It was amazing to have her support as I screamed and swore in agony, but I couldn’t have done it without her. Congrats on another marathon! Not every mile in a marathon is pretty, but you finished and you should be very proud of yourself!

  4. Pingback: Must.Blog. | In Her Shoes

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