Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm Back In the Saddle

So after some gentle prodding from a blogger extraordinaire, Running Diva Mom, I have decided to blog again. I told her this weekend I’m a blogger who doesn’t blog.

I guess I have been feeling that way about a lot of things, after taking a lot of time off of running due to a knee issue, I felt I was a runner who wasn’t running. After not finishing the book for one of my book clubs I felt like I was a reader who wasn’t reading.

But that is really not the case. Instead of looking at what I am not doing, I need to look at what I have been doing, and a lot of it has been great! I played beach volleyball on Bradford Beach in Milwaukee, a beach that we started frequenting at the end of summer with some co-workers.

Cliff jumped into a river after swimming upstream, Boogey boarded in the Atlantic Ocean with my Brother Doug and Cousin Amy, after a fun-filled long weekend at Doug’s home in Vermont.I was a member of the 62 person team The Jennipede, who broke the Guinness Book of World Records for the most people tethered together while running a marathon. Raising over the goal of $500 for the Jenny Crain Make It Happen Fund. I read two audiobooks (Lolita for a book club & Before I Die) on my way to work, which is less than a 10 mile commute.Reading book three of the amazing Maze Runner Trilogy, even taking two of my students to an author event to meet the author James Dashner. Read Neither Wolf Nor Dog by Kent Nerburn for my SEED book club.Read Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard~haunting as a mother of two girls. Went for an 8 mile run with a member of the Jennipede who blogs himself, Bill at Loves to Run and turns out to live super close to me. Hopefully that was the first of many more shared runs together.

Went to AASL (American Association of School Librarian) National Conference in Minneapolis, MN. Had a wonderful time meeting new people and connecting with an old friend as well. Lots of great authors and great books!

So I lost track of how many miles I have run this year, because how do you record a run of 10 minutes with 1 minute walking /1 minute running when you are used to running 5 at a time? Or after a 1 ½ mile run that knee pain made me stop? Or the quick, race the kids getting off the bus run that lasted 12 minutes? But I am ok with that. I’m even semi ok with the extra 10-15 pounds I’m carrying right now. Because it is who I am right now~And I like me.

Now that we are up to speed with what I did/didn’t do, let me tell you about this past weekend.

Luckily I was able to purchase an entry to the Tyranena Beer Run ½ Barrel Race with someone who couldn’t participate. I was excited about this race for several reasons. The first was that this would be my first official run after taking most of the summer off due to a knee pain. Secondly, my husband brew’s beer, so I thought he would enjoy spectating this race while sampling their wares. Thirdly, I was going to be meeting up with Jamie from Running Diva Mom, as mentioned above. We were also going to be meeting up with some other bloggers that Jamie has “met” via the blogosphere. A couple of these ladies are organizing a team for Ragnar Relays which I plan on participating in with them, so that was super exciting.

I got to the race early, which was no surprise to me, as I am always early. It turned out the husband did not come, so I was riding solo instead. I was able to catch up on gossip via a cell call on the way to the race so that was a nice treat. Anyhoo, check in was easy and I was able to go back to my car and drink a little more Gatorade and water. Finally I went back to our meeting spot near the port o potties and was easily able to recognize Jamie and her paparazzi-I mean family. They were a terrific group of ladies with a great amount of energy.

Jamie and I discussed our plan for the race, and realized we would be able to run together. My goal was to run and have fun, and enjoy the race. Right before the race we met Rachel from Running in Real Life and Falon from Falon Does Marathon . So it was great to meet them in person!

It really was a different experience for me to not step up to the line ready to race. It is a competitive running gene that I was born with and usually after the start I GO! How nice it was to find a comfortable pace with great conversation while traversing the countryside over 13.1 miles. Jamie’s family was super supportive and familiar with the area, so they were all over the course. They took a lot of great pics and cheered us on (Go Jamie and Amy)! Her Grandma even honked the horn in support because she was in the van. There were hills, some bigger than others that zapped the wind right out of me. There were some smells that almost zapped the food/drink right out of me. But there was scenery that took my breath away in a good way. The lake, the leaves, the countryside, the Brewery! Jamie was so good at remembering the course from a few years ago, so I knew what to expect as I was running. I was chugging on empty as we neared the finish, my endurance just not being there without training. To date this was one of my slowest half marathons, but it was definitely the most enjoyable.

Afterwards, we were rewarded with a great big piece of lasagna, Jamie and I both opted for the veggie version. I was able to try the Brewer’s Gone Wild-Hop Whore-an Imperial IPA that was delicious. I also had their Bitter Woman IPA, which was also good. I cranked up the music on the way home considered the day a success.

Sunday morning I was super lucky to also get to spend another day outside. My two wonderful cousins Amy and Tracy came up to go hiking at Lapham Peak State Park with their cousin Jill. We had great conversation, more hills to climb, lunch at Water Street Brewery, followed by Starbucks. I was home in time to watch the Packers roller coaster to another victory. 8-0 Baby, you know what it is!

And this was written on the waiting window while we were waiting for our coffee:

Read, every day, something no one else is reading.
Think, every day, something no one else is thinking.
Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do.
It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity.
-Christopher Morley


Rachel said...

It was so nice meeting you Amy! Can't wait for Ragnar. I am so glad you guys are excited for it!

Running Diva Mom said...

LOVE the race report!!!! So glad we you have had such a good time lately and that I could share in a lil bit of you. Are a real sweetheart, Amy! And I'm so luck to have met you in real life, not just the blogosphere. Can't wait for many more fun advenures!!

Love to Run said...

Congrats on another half marathon finish! It may not have been as fast as you wanted or are used to, but at least you were out there having a great time. 2 great ladies running, must have been a wonderful sight.

Thanks for the shout out on the post. Glad to hear you are back blogging. Can't wait until our next run, I am up for anything.