In Her Shoes

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


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Flashbacks for Motivation

Thank god I blog. Why? Because I can look back at previous posts to remind myself why I signed up for a marathon.

I’m feeling really overwhelmed this week and I need an attitude adjustment. Fast. Yesterday I hit that point where the marathon just…consumes me. I didn’t think that would set in until Friday. It’s all the stupid race emails I’m getting from the Madison Marathon. The last two I’ve received…I started tearing up at my desk at work. Pathetic, I know.

So I’m writing to build some mental strength.

Background info: I’m running the Madison Marathon on Sunday. This will be my 2nd marathon. My first marathon was June, 2012 in San Diego.

Why did I sign up for the Madison Marathon back in April? “Because I Can.” That’s what I titled my blog post. “Because I’m fortunate enough to have the ability to run.” I signed up after the Boston Bombings because I was pissed. Pissed that two people would do something so foolish, inhumane and so full of hate. And to the running community. So I need to remember that on Sunday. How? “Because I Can” will be written on one wrist.

How did I feel days before my first marathon last June? Did I have the same nerves? All I can remember is being so excited to fly out to California and see my sister and cousins. Welp, once again, thank god I blog. I was actually FREAKING out 5 days before the marathon. HEY, just like yesterday…5 days before the marathon.

How prepared am I compared to last year? I think I’m a stronger runner this year. I’m faster at the long distances and I know my body more. I know when to slow down and when I can push myself a little harder. But was I religious about sticking to the training plan as much as last year? Nope. I skimped out on some mid-week runs due to an incredibly busy fall. HOWEVER, I was religious about my long runs. AND last year, I only did a 16, 18 and 20 mile run. This year I did a 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 mile run. How I found time for that, I’ll never know {patting myself on that back for that one}.

Enjoy it. That’s what everyone keeps telling me. My response (to myself): How do you expect me to enjoy 26 miles of running? I barely drive that distance in a week. Once again, attitude adjustment. No, I might not enjoy the 26 miles. But I’ll enjoy everything about the experience afterward. After I completed my marathon in San Diego last year, I was the happiest person on the planet because it was over. And I did it. And I was so proud of myself for it. I can’t wait for that feeling again.

Lastly, whenever I’m in need of running motivation, I turn to Pinterest and search “marathon.” This is my favorite:

you're capable of so much more

Sayonara. See you on the flip side. Unless I need to vent through my blog one last time before Sunday, which may again, benefit me in the future.

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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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Because I Can

I signed up for another marathon. Wait…WHAT?

After running the San Diego Marathon last June, I vowed to never run another marathon again. Well, apparently I lied. I am officially registered for the Madison Marathon on November 10th.

I'm running another marathon

So why did I sign up? Because I can. Because I’m fortunate enough to have the ability to run.

And because of this. (No seriously. That link is worth reading.)

And this:

Good people

And for statements like this (taken from a friend’s Facebook page):

Burning out someone’s candle doesn’t make yours shine any brighter. I’m sick that the Boston Marathon, a day meant to be a celebration of confidence, motivation, self-awareness, support, and strength could turn to this. I’m running Chicago, and expect to finish in somewhere over 4 hours…right around the time explosions hit Boston’s finish line. October 13th I’m no longer running for a personal challenge. I’ll be running with vengeance for this foolish hatred, for the victims, and with hope….for change.

The day after the Boston Marathon a local news station’s Facebook page asked if the bombings would deter people from signing up for future races. Me? Hell no. It did the complete opposite.

So there you have it. I’m running another marathon.