In Her Shoes

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


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Running 17 Miles Hurts But 18 Is a Cinch

A successful 18-mile run calls for a blog post. After all, that’s what I’m supposed to write about, isn’t it?

My 17-miler in Minneapolis last Friday (week and a half ago) didn’t go so well. I was in vacation mode and wasn’t in the mood to get up and run 17 miles. But then again, who ever has an itch to run 17 miles? Maybe Dean Karnazes, but that’s it. Don’t lie to me and tell me you do. Anyway, my route was gorgeous…ran around the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes (Lake Harriet, Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles). But even with the gorgeous scenery, I hated almost every minute of it. I think it’s because I did it alone. In addition to running 17 miles, WHO in their right mind wants to do that alone? Definitely not me.

So this weekend, I finally had 2 days of peace and quiet in Madison. No plans. Zip. Zero. Zilch. This girl isn’t familiar with that concept lately. And I was able to reconnect with my running buds! We met bright and early Saturday morning: half of us with 18 miles on the schedule and half with 20 miles. I won’t bore you with details, but it went great. And even better…I had energy left at mile 18 and kicked out an 8:55 mile. Who am I?

Half-way into it, we ran into a fellow runner who is pacing the Chicago Marathon in a couple weeks. Her name is Kay. Kay has done…take a deep breath…101 marathons. And has done one in every state. How incredible is that? My mind was blown. Just thought you should know there are THAT ridiculous of people out there.

I’m heading into week 11 with confidence. I’m definitely nearing the burnt out stage of training, but I only have 8 weeks left. That seems like a lot of time, but it will be gone in the blink of an eye. This weekend is my first half marathon (Brewers Half Marathon) since June and I’m super excited. Quite a few of my friends are running it as well and we’re making a weekend out of it in Milwaukee. Plus, I absolutely love kick-back weeks.

Lastly…guess what! A friend of mine from college is on this season of The Voice! His name is Michael Lynch, so look out for him in auditions next week (if you watch the show). Here’s one of his videos from a couple years ago, but still SO good.

 

And in honor of the season premiere last night, here is my beat of the day. Caroline Pennell quickly became my favorite.

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Love Wins in this Love/Hate Relationship

This past weekend was the Madison Half Marathon. It was full of gloriousness and lots of…not gloriousness.

The running fun started on Friday at the race expo, where Krista (and the Rock ‘n’ Sole people) convinced me to sign up for yet ANOTHER half in 3 weeks in Milwaukee. I mean…why not, right?Rock 'n' Sole lured us in

The fun continued Saturday night when a chunk of our Saturday morning running group got together for a pre-race meal at Mel and Tim’s house. We ate delicious food, listened to funny stories from Mel’s English “mum”, Irene, and talked about our goals for the following morning.

Left to right: Krista, Mel, myself and Tim

Pre-race group shot: Krista, Mel, myself and Tim

Mel, Tim, Krista and I woke up bright and early Sunday morning to meet near the start line. The four of us started together, but Krista and Tim quickly pulled away. Mel is my running twin. We always (freakishly) have similar races and we mesh so well on our training runs. We’ve both been dying to run sub-2 hour halves for as long as we can remember. I finally did it a few weeks ago in Iowa City and this was Mel’s race to do it. We stayed together for the first 6.5 miles until I started dragging. I just wasn’t feeling it so I told her to go ahead without me. I’m so glad she did…she ran a 1:58:07!! I’m still so happy for her.

As for me, it wasn’t my best race…it wasn’t my worst. I finished at 2:05:03. As awesome as it was to run another race in my hometown, it wasn’t awesome that we had to run the largest hills in Madison. To make matters worse, I’m pretty sure I had a strand of strep throat, but there was no way I was throwing my medal and $75 registration fee in the trash. I was running that race no matter what. I was hoping to break 2 hours again, which is where my frustration comes from.

When I take a step back and think about this race, I am so torn. I absolutely hate running. It’s stupid. It’s frustrating. It’s hard. I hate paying for races (they can get so freaking expensive). I hate stressing out over the weather the days leading up to the race.  I hate waking up at the crack of dawn to go for a run. And I absolutely hate the feeling at miles 11 and 12 where I just want to break down, give up and walk the rest of the way.

But then again…running is the best. I love the feeling of standing in the race corral, listening to the countdown. I love the extra boost of energy you get when you see friends along the course cheering you on.

**Pause for a hot minute: I had the best cheering section ever for the Madison Half: Lauren, Jeremy, Emily & Bennet. I saw them 4 times on the course and each time they were screaming bloody murder at me. I’m a lucky girl.

Bennet, myself, and Emily. Jeremy and Lauren dipped out before we could take a group shot.

Bennet, myself, and Emily. Jeremy and Lauren dipped out before we could take a group shot.

Resume…

I love when you’re struggling and a stranger pats you on the back as they pass you. Or vice versa. No words need to be exchanged…you know what that pat meant. I love crossing the finish line–regardless of time. And I love the medals. But the best part? Running friends. There is nothing better than waking up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning for a training run…and realizing you don’t have to do it alone. And then you spend the next 2 hours chatting the miles away to the point that you don’t even realize you’ve cruised through 10 miles.

I have been fortunate to meet the best people in the Madison running community. These strangers became running mates who have become friends. The pros of this sport definitely outweigh the cons.

Post race group shot


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Important Message to All Concertgoers

I clearly don’t blog enough, because I need to get something off my chest that happened almost 2 weeks ago at the Ed Sheeran concert in Milwaukee.

BTW, who knew it would be filled with all teenage girls? I’m sorry, but there is a HUGE difference between Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran. Back to my story…

Remember when we used to go to concerts to enjoy the artist? And watch them perform live? I do. But clearly the young, current teenage generation DOES NOT. And they will not remember Ed Sheeran performing live. Because they watched the entire concert through their cell phones.

Proof: Cell phone mania

And this incredibly tall young lady was obscuring my view the ENTIRE night.

Young chicks. So much to learn.

That is until I went up to her and said, “I’m sorry to be rude…but you’ve LITERALLY been recording this entire concert and people can’t see behind you.” Then walked away.

Slightly biotchy on my part? Maybe. But the girl didn’t raise her phone one more time the rest of the concert. So the point of my rant: PLEASE for the love of God, be respectful of people around you at concerts. I understand you want pictures to remember the moment. But 5 is plenty. 100 is overboard. And 18 videos are insane. Enjoy the concert, people.

I wish more bands would implement the “no cell phone rule” like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Sorry for the rant, I just needed to get that out there.

Today’s “beat” is more of a documentary of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros who I’m dying to see in concert. Enjoy because it’s simply wonderful.