Tuesday, April 19, 2016

My Ode to Boston 2016

Heading to Boston my thoughts were all over the place,
Kind of wanting to better my last year's race.

Knowing that I still had a sore rib,
I was mentally prepared to run ad-libbed.

I had trained hard, got in all my hills,
Was super ecstatic when my wave was marshaled by Billy Mills.

Off to the start I was feeling pretty neat,
When wham! Suddenly I was starting to overheat.

I slowed it down drank some more at each aid station,
But my stomach cramped up and threatened evacuation.

I found a port-o-potty, stopped for a pee,
Never had to stop on a course before, hoped it would work for me.

My mantra became you must not quit,
Slow your pace, you will get through it.

Saw D, T, and J at mile 17,
Told them I'm slowing it down I'll get there eventually.

The wind shifted, cooling down,
I knew then I would make it to town.

People around me were all digging in,
A woman runner picked up my hat as it flew off in the wind.

The crowds were amazing, the people were kind,
I tried to take it all in, taking pictures with my mind.

Saw my family, one more time on Hereford Street,
Turning onto Boylston, I new moments like this are hard to beat.


My emotions got me as I neared the finish line,
Thankful, so thankful that I made it there another time! 

Thank you all for the calls/messages and being a huge part,
Having all your support, I carry along with me in my heart.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Icebreaker-Gold Medal Challenge-Guide Recap

At the school where I work we have 7 Grandfather Teachings (Core Values) that we intertwine throughout everything we do. Each month we focus a little more heavily on one particular teaching. One of the hardest for me to teach, and/or have my students comprehend is the gift of Humility. We usually discuss it as the opposite of bragging, but that is what it is not-not what it is.
This weekend that gift kept creeping into my mind. Last year, Steve Sabra, contacted the director of the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon, Chris Ponteri, asking if he could participate as a visually impaired runner. Chris put a query out to see if anyone had experience or would be willing to guide Steve. I was definitely interested, and soon found out we had a an expert in our midst who has been a guide for many different types of athletes needing assistance~Doug.
Fast forward to a year later, Steve contacted both Doug and I to see if we would be willing to guide him again, and this year he wanted to do the Gold Medal Challenge-the half marathon on Saturday and the full on Sunday. Doug and I were both on board. Doug provided Steve with some training tips to be prepared for two long days on his feet, and teaching tips for me. 
Saturday morning, we met around 9:00 to get a few laps in before the 9:30 heat. Was great to see Steve and his wife Pat again. Saturday went smoothly, now just to relax, hydrate and get ready for Sunday. Again, things went well. Steve responded well to the half to the day before, and was right around his goal time! To say I love the Icebreaker is kind of an understatement. It is such a unique and special event. You get to see the everyone from the leaders to the last runners, spectators (one this year who had 95 different flip signs as we went around) and the support from the volunteers to the team that runs this event is top notch! 

Here's where the 6+ hours on my feet with lots thoughts running through my head got me really thinking. Steve does not know Doug or I other than one race a year ago. He drove from Nebraska to participate in this event again, this time tackling even more time on his feet. He put his trust into two strangers to do something most people would not attempt to do. Humility in action. He let us guide him, he reached out to others, so he is able to continue to do a passion he loves. He did an outstanding job, and taught me a better understanding of Humility. Thank you, Steve!

P.S. Congrats to all!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015


The last day of 2015 has arrived. It has been a great year of running for me. I have met some new incredible people, strengthened relationships with some others, and have enjoyed the views along the ride.
2015 highlights include:

  • Guiding a visually impaired runner with the assistance of another seasoned guide. 
  • Running Boston!!!!!!!!
  • Running a race with both my dad and husband, and other extended family
  • New PR for the half and full marathon
  • Zoriana racing two races this year
  • Fun races with great people 
  • Finishing with just over 1796 miles-my highest yearly total
Looking forward to 2016, renewed my membership to the Fellow Flowers Crew. Heading back to Boston. Chosen to be an ambassador for the Her Madison Half Marathon & 5K Which will be a great weekend and event...Sign up today before the first price increase! Join in the fun!


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Milwaukee Running Festival (MRF)

The Inaugural PNC Milwaukee Running Festival. aka MRF

To say I was looking forward to this race is a bit of an understatement. After bowing out of the Marine Corps Marathon, this was now my only fall marathon. Initially I would have been running it a week after MCM, and the plan was to just take it all in. Good thing on thing you can count on in life is life changing. 

I knew this race was going to amazing. As in inaugural event, I knew there could be some kinks to iron out, but having known the race director Chris, and the people he surrounds himself to put on events, I was confident any kink would be minor to the amazingness

This event consisted of a Milwaukee Miler on Saturday, along with the Expo. Sunday was a 5K, Half Marathon, Marathon. 

Before the mile on Saturday, was a Walk A Mile With Ruth, a walk to celebrate health and wellness to one of the sweetest, kindest, and badass Runner out there. Ruth originally thought perhaps she'd be doing the mile walk with a walker, but of course, her determination and positive attitude has allowed her recovery to be steady and stronger each day. She walked the whole thing no problem, in the rain, and a smile that radiated on us all so it felt like we were walking in sunshine.
Zoriana walked with me, which was a great way for her to get to preview the course for the Miler. She got a little nervous before it, and asked if I would run with her for awhile. I ran with her, she was doing great, asked to walk for just about 15 seconds, and kept going strong. I ran over to the finish, and waited for her to come around, and when I saw her coming she looked fantastic! I love watching her run. Her time was 8:19! 
Then it was Expo time. I loved the products that Brew City Brand Apparel had for sale. I bought several items, hesitated about buying the Finisher shirt, it was gray on gray long sleeve with thumb-holes and a hood. Knowing they were going to be at the finish, I thought I'd wait, because you know, superstitious. Turns out they were sold out, but I ended finding something else that I loved, too! Really awesome stuff, love everything I bought! (typing in my zip up hoodie right now)

Sunday came, and not only did the rain go away, we even got an extra hour of sleep because of daylight savings time! How great is that?! I was pretty much ready to go, had my basic goals planned, knew my parents were going to try and make an attempt to see me around mile 20, Jason was going to be at the finish, and Alberto was going to try to be somewhere on the course.

Gear check took a little bit longer than I anticipated, so I ended up packing my clothes to toss, so it worked out well, save them for the next one.
It was pretty exciting to know how hard this race fought to be in existence, and now it was Go Time. I might have teared up a bit waiting at the start...And like that we were off.
If you've read my blog before, you know I start off too fast almost always. I tried to keep it in check. 

Things were going well, miles were quick, but my body felt good. I tried to focus on my marathon rituals that I like to do-dedicate miles to people and reflect on them during that time. Stay in each mile. 
I was doing a pretty good job, but here's the thing, this course is no joke, there are hills and there was some wind. I worried a bit about maintaining pace, but tried to focus on the present.

So here's how it went down:
Continued to feel pretty good, was neat to see some friends running during the 13/14 mile turnaround. 
It was about at that time, some serious red devil/white angel thoughts starting entering my head. When I saw my parents at mile 19, I am pretty sure I high-fived my dad, but there was no smile. There was GU at that mile, which I dropped, so they threw it to me, I had to stop and bend down to pick it up and groaned, holy tightness, that hurt. Shortly after that I saw Jason, I told him the wheels were starting to fall off. He told me I was had this, and I could do it! Then he posted this on Instagram, awwww! 
Then the struggle got real. I saw Alberto and his wife, and shook my head. Ugh! Mile 21 the red devil on my shoulder told me to stop and walk, or quit. White angel was having none of that crap, get it done, you are almost there now, your time is good, you got this. Then mile 23 my music stopped. I was all about the mental game at this point, counting, etc. Just keep moving, get to the finish.

I could hear the finish, I just had to get there. I did not have a lot left in the tank and the wind greeted us strongly in that final stretch, but the end was in sight.
I gave Chris a big hug, wow! It was an amazing course! (more on that in a bit)
Jason came to the end of the chute, I just wanted to sit down. He walked with me, Alberto and his wife came over. Legs were pretty mad at me for a bit. I finally changed, walked over the announcer stand to talk to Bill, he somehow had missed me come in, and I wanted him to know I was done. Big hugs! 

The course-I am not a Milwaukee Native, and I saw things on this course that I did not know existed. However, I heard that sentiment from life long residents. It truly was a showcase of our city, well thought out. The crowd support was pretty decent. The aid stations were plentiful and no Gatorade-YAY!! I love nuun! The course really was tough, with the hills and wind, but a good tough. PR worthy, never saw that coming :)
It was so exciting to see this event come to fruition. The media support was great, I saw it on several different news channels that night, and the paper the next day. I am exciting to watch this race grow and mature in the years to come! 

P.S. Sidenote: The blue and orange colors are the same as my alma-mater UW-Platteville so totally loved that!