In Her Shoes

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


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Running at Sea Level is For Sissies

If I didn’t have fun plans over the next few weekends, I would be incredibly depressed. I got home from Denver yesterday and as always, I hated to leave.

Iowa boys

Some of my favorite Iowans

We didn’t do everything on the agenda due to weather, but it was still a blast. My trip was filled with friends, upon friends, upon friends. High school friends, college friends, old friends, new friends. I won’t bore you with weekend details but I will bore you with running details.

I had the day to myself on Thursday because apparently people work during the week. I met my friend Danielle for 5.5 miles around Wash Park (g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s). The run wasn’t the best as I was DEFINITELY feeling the altitude in my lungs. But I couldn’t have asked for better scenery or company.

We were supposed to hike the Manitou Incline on Friday in Colorado springs but we woke up to….SNOW. Erroneous.Snow yuck

So we ditched the hike and went shopping instead. I was disappointed we couldn’t do the incline because a) I was looking forward to the gorgeous scenery and b) I thought it’d help get me more acclimated to the altitude. Oh well. Maybe next time.

Saturday was spent cheering on the Hawkeyes, freaking out about the Hawkeyes and being depressed over the Hawkeyes. After the heartbreaking loss (however, we played great), it was time to prepare for our run on Sunday morning. Danielle, Erin, Tayler and I spent the night eating, drinking wine, drinking beer, eating, watching YouTube videos, singing, and eating some more. We know how to fuel our bodies for runs.

Preparing for the 20

Pre half marathon shotSunday morning we were up and at ’em early. At 6:45am, the four of us were out the door running the 2 miles to the start of the Denver Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon. Dressed in Packer gear. We started the half together, not having goal times…just wanting to get through the full 20 miles. We hit mile 5 (after a biotch of a hill) and I felt great. We zig-zagged through City Park (where we saw Emily about 6 times…Best Spectator Ever Award), 17th Street, Cheesman Park and all over downtown. We hit mile 11 and I still felt great. Cheesman Park wasn’t necessarily the easiest thing in the world, but luckily I had Erin and Danielle next to me singing, dancing and encouraging me. They are honestly the greatest. We hit about 12.5 and sprinted it in. Our Garmin’s clocked 13.4 miles….slightly annoying. Final time: 2:04:12.

10th Half Marathon!

10th Half Marathon!

I had so much fun during this half. Well, as much fun as you can have running 13 miles. I was really worried about the altitude hitting me, but it never did during the 20 miles. My favorite spectator sign on the course?

“Running at sea level is for sissies.”

I loved every second of running with D and Erin. They know how to motivate you when you’re struggling and they KNOW running. Erin kept telling me to relax my shoulders; D was telling me to move my arms with other runners and that my legs would follow; both were telling me to pick people off. Ugh, I wish I had them there for every race!

But the fun wasn’t over following the half. We still had 4.6 miles to run. D stayed back to wait for Tayler to finish and Erin and I headed out to complete my 20 mile training run. In the first .5 miles I thought I was going to die. We took it niiiice and slow. Not too many details about this run, except that it was brutal. But we finished our 20 mile run in 3 hours, 11 minutes, 17 seconds. That was a pretty big motivational boost.

Sunday afternoon was spent drinking beers over the Packer game with more lovely friends who live in Colorado. I’m ready to go back already.

Packer game crew

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Iowans Out Running Around

You know how I’m running a half marathon with 5 of my best friends in May? Well I interviewed each of them!

A little background info about these girls:

We went to college together (University of Iowa), none have ever run a half before and none are really runners. I forced convinced them to travel back to our U of Iowa stomping grounds and do the Iowa City Ronald McDonald House Half Marathon with me!

I don’t expect you to read this whole post, but it’s mostly for the girls to read each others struggles, triumphs, etc. for motivation during their training. We all live in different cities so we’re training on our own. That can be a struggle for anyone, let alone novice runners! I’m so proud of each of them and can’t wait to accomplish this goal with some of the best people in the world.

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GretchenMeet Gretchen. Gretchen is my sidekick. My traveling sidekick, my music sidekick, my partying sidekick, my life sidekick. She is from the fine city of Minneapolis (Minnetonka to be exact) but now lives in Des Moines, Iowa. I’m in her wedding this May and I couldn’t be more excited to celebrate her big day. I have known Gretch since the first week of college…the rest is history. She’s muh girl. In some respects, we are so completely opposite and people would be shocked we’re friends. But I think that’s why we work so well. We’re ying and yang. I’m currently planning her bachelorette party down in Clearwater, FL in April…let’s just say she’s going to regret that.

1. Have you ever run in a race before (5k, 10k, half, marathon, etc)

I’ve participated in Race For The Cure and The Color Run.

2. How is training going?

Better than expected, but it is still early.

3. What is the hardest part about training?

Finding the time, which sometimes means getting up at 4:40 a.m.

4. What do you like about training?

The foreignness of it. I have never challenged myself like this before and I like accomplishing the longer ones, because each is a new milestone.

5. Why are you running?

To get out of my comfort zone… and because Megan Cabalka is a bully.

^^^ME?? Nooo…

6. If you normally do a different physical activity, what is it?

Elliptical, biking, interval training, and yoga.

7. Any injuries?

In my life? Yes. From running, no (fingers crossed, don’t fail me now, knees!)

8. What are you looking forward to most?

The end, even though everyone is like, “ooooh, it’s about the journey, not the destination.” I’m all like,”I’m done, get me a chair and a beer.”

9. Do you have a time you’d like to do the half in?

Ha. As long as I finish the race, I’ll be happy.

10. Tell me your best joke.

Iowa State Football.

^^^HAAAAAAAAAAA!

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NicoleMeet Nicole. This girl is a gem…and half mermaid.  She and I are identical when it comes to our careers. We both went to college aspiring to be the next Erin Andrews. We double majored in Mass Comm & Journalism and Health & Sports Studies. We took the same classes, did the same internships and worked for the same student TV station (Daily Iowan TV). We really pushed each other to be successful, sometimes in a competitive way ;). Nicole is goofy and carefree but the thing I’ve always admired most is that she knows what she wants and she goes out and gets it. She’s persistent and successful. Nicole lives with her husband Marty (Matt..I just call him Marty) right outside Iowa City.

1. Have you ever run in a race before (5k, 10k, half, marathon, etc)

A 5K is the most I have run in a race.

2. How is training going?

It’s going alright, but I definitely think it would be easier to run outside if the weather was better. I get so bored on a treadmill even when I have a TV to watch! I’m constantly looking at the time.

3. What is the hardest part about training?

Finding enough time to dedicate to the longer distance days and still do other workouts.

4. What do you like about training?

How good I feel after it’s over, and it makes me make better eating decisions.

5. Why are you running?

Because I want to develop this hobby more, so that I keep running as I get older. And it’s always for fun to do things with a group of friends rather than alone.

6. If you normally do a different physical activity, what is it?

I also do bodypump at the gym and occasional a combat class…as well as volleyball 2 nights a week.

7. Any injuries?

None so far 🙂

8. What are you looking forward to most?

Being in good enough running shape after this is over, to be able to do these more often rather than needing to gear up like this. At least be able to do a 5K or 10K race on a whim when I feel like it!

9. Do you have a time you’d like to do the half in?

Absolutely not…just to not have to walk at all.

10. Tell me your best joke.

Ah jeez…k I’ll go the “running” theme route…and I always love a good blonde joke!

Q: Why was the blonde jogging backwards?

A: She wanted to gain weight!

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TorriMeet Torri. Ahh, Victoria. She’s one of a kind. A Disney princess at heart. Probably Cinderella? Maybe Rapunzel? Let’s just say when we roomed together junior year, we had a doll posted up on our TV stand that said, “A face without freckles is a night without stars.” I don’t know why that still sticks out to me. Torri has a heart of gold. She always gives the best advice and cares deeply for absolutely everyone. She just graduated from grad school and moved from St. Paul, MN back home to Souix City, Iowa.

1. Have you ever run in a race before (5k, 10k, half, marathon, etc)?

No! This is my first time ever doing any race-related activities and it’s completely scary and overwhelming. I feel like it’s crazy to have my first race be a half marathon, but I’m pumped for it anyway!

2. How is training going?

I’d say so far, so good for training. Thanks to the miscalculations of our “trainer”, I started training a week early. This was probably a good thing since I got Influenza last week and only did one day of training :/ Whoops! I felt so guilty everyday that I missed! But I’m back on track for this week and it definitely seems like it’s getting easier…(If I was answering this after our run on Saturday, I might be saying different)…

3. What is the hardest part about training?

I have never liked running. EVER. I am noticing that I do alright for a little bit and then my head starts telling me how bad I want to stop running, even when my body isn’t tired. I think controlling the “I can’t” thoughts is the hardest part. I talk to myself a lot in my head while I’m running and I’m really trying to convince myself that I can stick with it! It’s a constant battle.

4. What do you like about training?

I like having an end goal and something to work towards. It’s really motivating me to stay on track and to push myself. Having a schedule is awesome and this is a great way to feel like I’m doing something with my friends even though were hundreds of miles apart!

5. Why are you running?

When this idea was proposed, I thought “no way”. But after thinking about it, I KNOW it’s going to be an awesome memory for all of us and there’s no better people than to share that memory with. I want to be able to say I’ve run a half marathon because that’s something to be extremely proud of. It was also really helpful that I read the email about this while I was watching The Biggest Loser. I was feeling inspired when I agreed to running 🙂 Hahaha

6. If you normally do a different physical activity, what is it?

Hahahaha…Um…Not a whole lot. Turbo Jam every now and then (I know all you girls miss Turbo Jam)..Chasing around my adorable little cousin…That’s really about it. Training has really kicked my butt in gear!

7. Any injuries?

No! (Knock on wood) My hip hurts every now and then when I’m running and I’m noticing my toes go numb sometimes. Nothing too extreme, thankfully.

8. What are you looking forward to most?

I am really excited to see what the environment is going to be like. I think it’s going to be so fun, especially since it’s in our old stomping grounds. I am also looking forward to the finish line. Is that bad?

9. Do you have a time you’d like to do the half in?

I just want to survive. However long it takes me to finish, that’s the time I want to do the half in. Obviously I’m hoping to not take all day, but all I care about is finishing.

10. Tell me your best joke.

This is throwing me for a loop! Thank God for Ellen’s “Classic Joke Tuesday”…In the spirit of one of our last reunions where the Little Mermaid shenanigans occurred (and we got the pleasure of viewing Nicole’s BEAUTIFUL dress), I remembered this one:

Why did the Little Mermaid wear seashells?

-Because D shells were too big!

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KristinMeet Kristin. Oh HBK (her nickname). Kristin is my twin. We are literally the same person. It’s quite weird. Her family is my second family and I text with her parents on a regular basis. Heck, I could have a career as a professional karaoke singer with her brother-in-law. She’s a space cadet but incredibly intelligent. She could quite possibly be the biggest people-person I know. She has a great personality and an even better sense of humor. No matter the situation, she knows how to make light of it. Kristin is from a small town in Iowa called Tripoli (pronounced Trip-o-la) and now lives in Cedar Rapids, IA with her boyfriend.

1. Have you ever run in a race before?

Generally do 5k fundraiser runs…have never done a half marathon though.  I ran the Chicago Marathon in 2009.  Coolest thing ever and I would absolutely do it again….if I was in shape.

2. How is training going?

It’s going well because it’s such short miles right now.  Once it starts really picking up I get more out of my comfort zone.

3. What is the hardest part about training?

Time commitment!!!  I feel like Jessie Spano on Saved By The Bell…..”there’s never any time!  there’s never enough time!”

4. What do you like about training? 

It’s a huge stress reliever for me and it’s the one time a day that I’m alone and not talking 🙂

5. Why are you running?  

Because Cabalka told me to….

6. If you normally do a different physical activity, what is it? 

Walking the trash cans to the end of the drive way every Tuesday because that’s garbage day.  Kidding…I do a lot of different stuff but not on a regular basis.

7. Any injuries?

None, knock on wood.

8. What are you looking forward to most? 

Seeing my best fraaaaands!!!!

9. Do you have a time you’d like to do the half in?  

Nope, just wanna party.

10. Tell me your best joke.

What do you call a cow with no legs?  GROUND BEEF

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JamieMeet Jamie. I call her Hi-May. Jamie is LITERALLY the most hilarious person you’d ever have the chance to meet. And I don’t mean funny in a way that she tells great jokes. Her mannerisms and attitude is just great. Jamie is a spitting image of my mother. Elementary school teacher, optimist, enthusiast, worrier and cheerleader (not the sport). Jamie is the epitome of a believer in Karma, an 11:11 wisher, and dream catcher user and knocker on wood. I’m just giggling at her writing this. I love my Hi-May. I was in her wedding last July and she is one of my favorite people on this planet. Jamie lives outside of Chicago with her husband Joey, whom Grechen and I had a minor crush on freshman year of college. So technically, I love Joey more than Jamie. I kid, Hi-May.

1. Have you ever run in a race before (5k, 10k, half, marathon, etc)

I have ran in a few 5K’s and the Soldier Field 10 mile race in 2010.

2. How is training going?

Training is going great!

3. What is the hardest part about training?

The hardest part is not the stamina it is pain that running causes. My
knees and ankles feel sore and my right hip thigh area gets extremely
tight. I have started to use a rolling pin to loosen up my muscle.

4. What do you like about training?

I like that I am not training all by myself. Even though I run alone,
when it gets hard I think about all of my friends pushing through and
it gives me motivation to keep going. It’s a good feeling knowing that
we are all in it together.

5. Why are you running?

I am running because Cabalka convinced me.

6. If you normally do a different physical activity, what is it?

I usually don’t run for exercise, typically I use the elliptical
trainer, bike, and do yoga, but now it’s running, running, and MORE
running!

7. Any injuries?

Hopefully nothing major but at this point I am dealing with a really
tight right thigh/hip.

8. What are you looking forward to most?

Running with my friends and feeling like we accomplished something
challenging together.

 9. Do you have a time you’d like to do the half in?

My goal is just to finish!

10. Tell me your best joke.

Knock Knock
Who’s There?
Cockadoodle
Cockadoodle Who?
Not cockadoodle who, cockadoodledoo!

^^^of course this is PG…she’s a 3rd grade teacher.

Wahlah. There you have ’em. My frens.