Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Recap

2013...the year of the unexpected...pushing beyond my expectations and making things happen.

I raced... 4 marathons. 7 half marathons. 1 Five miler. 1 Four miler. 1 5k. 50 mile relay (25 miles total). 1 Tough Mudder (12 miles)...

Logged my highest miles for a year coming in at 1523. 


Trailbreaker Half Marathon-Breaking a Guinness World Record for most people tethered together to run a half marathon...with my DAD!

Running the Blue Ridge Marathon, meeting GREAT people, and placing in my age group!
Racing this guy at Crazylegs...and not only did I beat him but set a PR while doing it. Also getting to run again with my dad and meeting up with running buddies after.

Wisconsin Half Marathon, fast times by all, getting to see some of my favorite running peeps and finding a local brewery in Kenosha!

Madison Mini-Reuniting with friends from Blue Ridge (even if they are Hawkeye fans) and meeting others!

Chicago. PR. BQ. Enough said.

Fall 50 Relay was a unique experience, beautiful scenery, and a mixed pair 2nd place. And also free pizza and beer after in a heated tent!

My last race of the year with my friends from childhood.  Linds' first half marathon ever. Love getting to run with friends. This one is at a brewery!

It has been a great running year. I've mentioned before how humbling running can be. I continue to run for me and against me and along the way get to meet and interact with amazing people. Some people call me lucky...luck doesn't wake me up to run, luck doesn't push me when I want to walk, luck doesn't go to bed early to get up early. But when I look back at the things I've done this year I feel lucky to be so blessed with the love of the run.

How did your year go? What were your highlights? 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The blogger who doesn't...

So having a long month of a not so great November, prompted by a not so busy December weekend gave me a lot of time to think and reflect, sadly the post I wanted to write came out in my 12 mile run today, I hope to capture some of the musings, but surely won't be able to recreate the clarity that only running can bring...
The good, the bad, and the ugly
For those of you who follow my blog, I did a lot of racing this year, namely a lot of long distance racing. Some were better than others, but let's face it by the end of my last race on November 2nd I was done. I knew it mentally, but also had a foot pain, that forced me to stop running for a bit.
Bill and I at the end of the Fall 50 on 10/26 ~25 miles a piece and still smiling :)
Our finisher medal and 2nd place for Pairs Mixed
Me, Lindsey (her 1st half~YAY), and Jamie after Tyranena

While I wasn't running, I attended a conference in Hartford, CT. I got to catch up with my friend who I met in Charlotte in 2009. My brother Doug came down from Vermont and spent a night with us. We were a lot to handle, but he hung in there like a champ!
Suzanna and I in Connecticut
Suzanna, Doug, and I behind the scenes art museum tour

The conference was wonderful, but the way home, not-so-much. I ended up stranded in Cleveland, OH for an extra day or so. Missed a extra day of work, and then was asked to make a change at work after coming back. It turned out to be one of the most stressful weeks I have had in a while. I also found out that I did not certify for National Boards that week...thankfully I was home home when I found that out...home for deer hunting.
I have never deer hunted in life, but had agreed to give it a whirl this year. Many of my friends who have known me for a while, couldn't believe I was going hunting. I wanted the bonding experience with my family and am so glad that I decided to do it. Turned out being home with my family and friends, sitting quietly in the woods was what I needed most. I felt a calmness as I sat in my stand, and a sense of direction of things I need to do in my life, and things I need to let go. 
Trying not to freeze
Haleigh and I in the stand
My city gurl is countrified...

Thanksgiving was great, followed by a fun Craft Day of Black Friday shopping with Jamie and Heidi. We missed Julie, who was in Houston, but hoping to get together over Christmas.
Menards was amazeballs!
Just so we could text Jason inappropriately, lol...
November ended and I sat down and looked at my miles...or lack thereof. Not surprising, I had my lowest miles for the year. A whopping 49 miles. However, I did some math and after skipping December first if I ran at least 3.9 miles a day for the rest of month I will have my highest yearly mileage ever! 1500 or bust. Well I am my own biggest competitor, and of course that has kicked me into high gear. 
What amazes me, that since I have taken this challenge upon myself, my focus, my clarity, has come back. My blog states that running is cheaper than therapy, but as my brother Doug and I recently discussed, it is BETTER than therapy. 
This past week I have felt so much more grounded. Outside stimuli that recently upset me, gives me pause, but like water on a duck's back, I let it roll off. Taking time off of running is good for me, but too much time for me is bad. 
Running continues to remind me that I carve out that time for ME, so that I can be better everywhere else, a wife, mom, friend, coworker, teacher. 
Running is my balance, my reminder this weekend during my long run, without it I am not the me I like to be.

Sunday Funday!
and a Packer victory!
The little ladies who benefit from my running :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

10/10 ~10:10

9+1=10   6+4=10  10 /10
So it's been awhile since I have been in high school, but a have a lot of memories of running cross country back in the day. One memory is my Coach 10:10 story that he always told us on 10/10 of each season.
Here's the gist of the story:
He was running a race in high school. He and his biggest opponent were going back and forth throughout the whole race. He finally broke away and won the race. He felt completely spent, exhausted, but happy that he beat the other runner-his time 10:10.
 A week later he ran against the same runner. However, the runner didn't give him a run for his money, my coach easily beat him. Coach knew he had beaten the kid mentally and he would own this race. As he crossed the finish line he was almost afraid to hear his time, knowing that it wouldn't be anywhere near his time from the following week...his time 10:10.
I emailed my cross country coach on 10/10/13 wishing him a happy 10/10 day. I told him about my upcoming Chicago Marathon, and my goals for the day. Thanked him again for being an influence in my running life. He emailed back reminding me the importance of believing in yourself which is the one of the morals of the 10/10 story, and my sectional race my senior year of cross country-which was a race that was run with heart, no doubts.
The power of your mind, believing in yourself. My bib number last week adding up to 10/10. Coincidence? Perhaps, but I'd rather believe it was a sign to remind myself of what I can do.
Thanks Coach Miehe for instilling the love of running. Go Redbirds!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Chicago Marathon 2013 Recap

Saturday morning I wanted to get a good start on my way to Chicago. Didn't want to be rushed and wanted to enjoy as much of the weekend as possible. Made it to the expo around noon. 
Just wanted to take in the event and shop (runner's paradise). I spent way too much money and spent a lot of time of my legs, but it was oh so worth it.
Bart Yasso and I 
#ownchicago Hell is the Regrets you have in life
Deena Kastor
By the time I arrived at my hotel, I was pretty amped up. I tried to relax a minute, but decided I would head out and find my dinner and figure out my game plan for the morning. Noodle and Co. it was, taxi in the morning, and I laid out my outfit. Sent my last texts and hit the bed, thinking I might struggle to fall asleep. The good thing...fell right to sleep. I woke up a few times in the middle of the night, and a few minutes before the alarm went off, but overall it was a good night sleep. I ate my breakfast and got myself dressed. Took a selfie to sent to my parents and hubs so they knew what I was wearing when they were looking for me.
The bellman assisted me in catching my cab and away I went to check this thing out. I wasn't sure what gate to even go in, but the volunteers were wonderful, things were clearly marked. I walked over to gear check, sat down for a bit...

I sat and watched the runners coming in, chatted up the young man next to me, who was from San Francisco and looking to run a sub 2:45. Like most runners I meet, he was very nice, loved hearing about his training, diet and his goals for the day. I shared mine with him, and we went our separate ways, I dropped off my gear and starting heading toward the corrals.
Corral C was easy enough to get to, I again sat down on the curb and waited, choosing to rest my feet, and try to warm up, I was chilled by this time even though it was not that cold out. Finally, I decided that I wanted to move closer to the 3:30 pace group so I meandered that way. 
Closer to the start I finally took off my sweatshirt and threw it into the dumpster for charity. Then it was time for the star spangled banner. One of the coolest things happened. As the singer's mic started cutting out, and coming back in the runners took over. From then on whenever her mic cut out again, the voices' of the runners carried on and brought us to the end of the song. Very powerful. 
And like that it was Go Time. I had decided to hang with the 3:30 group for as long as I could. That was an 8:00 pace and what I knew I could do, for hopefully most of the way. This strategy worked. When I would go through aid stations, I would grab my Gatorade then use it as a quick pick me up to catch back up with the group. This worked, sometimes I would get a little behind or be right behind the pacers, but I kept them in my line of vision. 
When I got to the half way point I knew my Ragnar blogger friend Marcia was on the course with a pumpkin head. I looked for her, and sure enough saw her. That was a huge pick me up to see someone I knew. 
As planned, dedicated a mile to someone during the last half, take the pressure off of me. I'll admit I only did this so-so, it was not as focused as I thought I would be. I would think about someone else when my song changed, or when the mile marker versus my Garmin mile.-Yeah my brain was not fully capable of doing anything other than running.  
I was able to stay on course with my pace until mile 17. Mile 18 I could feel it, at this point I just wanted to get to mile 20, knowing that I only would have 6 miles left. Doing the math in my head I knew I could still reach my goals barring major cramps, falling, sh*ting my pants, etc. 
The last 3 miles were tough, but I kept thinking about something I read on Facebook that said "Die with memories, not dreams." This kept me going. Around the last mile there were tons of people and I was ready to be done, I didn't do a lot of looking around while I was running, but I looked up, not sure if I heard her, or just knew, but there was my mom (dad and hubs, too) cheering for me. I looked at them threw my hands up and blew them a kiss. 
Running by my family
That is what I needed to finish the last mile. As I came to the 800 m, 400 m, signs I was happy, I even managed to pick it up for the last 100 m. I hit the Garmin and saw 3:35.  Seven minutes off my PR, five minutes below the Boston Qualifying time for my age. I cried. I hurt. I was happy. I was humbled. 
Made my way through to gear check, got my phone, decided where to meet my family, as the line to get into the runner reunite area was pretty long. Seeing my family got me a bit teared up again. These people are my rock, and have supported me through lots of miles and races, I was so happy to have them there to share this moment with me.
Mom and I 
Dad, me, Mom
Jason and I 
We made the trek to grab some grub, unfortunately my stomach wasn't really ready to eat much yet. I did eat some fries and have a beer. Usually it takes me a bit and I am ravenous, this didn't happen for whatever reason. But Jason's sandwich looked good!

A Packers victory on the way home. I hung in there for as long as I could, but by 7:30 I was going downhill fast. My head was pounding, I had the chills, so to bed I went. Thankfully I woke up feeling great, not even as sore as I thought! 

Went to school with my blue shirt on, and a smile across my face. I received flowers from my three cheerleaders (JB, JZ, and PMS) which was a great surprise. Again, my parents and hubs continue to be great supporters for me and I appreciate all they do to let me do what I love. 

Chicago was wonderful all around, the texts, tweets, FB posts that I received were awesome. I feel blessed to have such great people in my life that cheer me on (even if some of them think I am crazy). I am humbled my the 26.2 miles again. It is hard. Every. Time. 

Link to results and official pics: HERE

Monday, September 16, 2013

Blue Ridge Marathon Giveaway

If you know me in real life and talked to me at after the Blue Ridge Marathon last year. You know I LOVED it and had a great time. If you follow my blog I couldn't even sum my experience into one post. I had to recap it two parts. One-click here Two-click here

The good news is is that YOU can run the Blue Ridge Marathon for free! 
Here's what you can do, answer a question, Tweet, comment...I'm using Rafflecopter and you can Tweet more than once a day to gain more chances to win. 
I'm looking forward to going back there, and hope that you will join me!
If you have any questions leave me a comment or Tweet me @librarian262

And the deets:
  • The winner will be chosen via the Rafflecopter widget below.
  • The winner will receive an entry into the 2014 FULL 26.2 Marathon.
  • The winner will receive a code via email to waive the registrations cost & online registration fee.
  • No airfare/ travel expenses included, no lodging included, no pasta supper included.
  • You can receive an entry Daily for tweeting about the contest so make sure you come back each day to enter via the widget.
  • Contest runs Sept. 16 through Midnight (PST) Sept. 22 2013. Winner chosen Monday Sept 23.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Madison Mini Recap 2013

Madison Mini was upon me. At the beginning of the week, I realized I had made zero plans for this race, other signing up. I asked my blogger friend Rachel if she might be able to pick up my packet or consider letting me crash. She said why not both! Perfect. We enjoyed a beer together and talked about running and called it an early night. I accidentally set my alarm for the wrong time, so she also woke my butt up! Ugh. It was her birthday so what a great way to start her day. We got to the race, checked gear, used the bathroom, and found our corrals. I was in corral B, which was probably the closest I have ever been to the front of a race. True to form, I took off too fast, my first mile was a 7:08 and my second 7:05-why oh why can I not learn not to do this. Ugh. Anyway, the race had a lot of iconic Madison landmarks, so it was nice. For me, the second half felt hilly, really hilly. I tried to keep it in check, other than mile 13 mile 10 was my slowest. At the finish I was able to find one of my Tweeples that I met in Roanoke. While waiting for his wife and Rachel to finish we hung out with another friend of theirs. (They were all clad in Iowa Hawkeye gear, but I am brave and Wisconsinites are pretty kind) I kept going back to the meet spot for Rachel, but just couldn't find her. I decided to go get my gear bag, which had my phone. I ran into another runner friend of mine from Milwaukee, Kinley, so I got to talk to her a bit. Also, had my butt grabbed by another friend, Yomarie, she scared the crap out of me, lol. I finally got a hold of Rachel, and decided it was time to get a beer.  Hope you had a great birthday girl! Can't wait until November to see you again!
While in line for beer, I got a call from my friend Tim who was watching Yomarie. 
Yomarie, Me, Tim

On my way up to see the Hawkeye gang and Tim, I ran into a guy who had passed me during the race. He had HAVE tattooed on his left calf and FUN tattooed on his right calf. I told him I saw him during the race (when he passed me) and that I liked his tatts. He told me they were a gift to himself for his 40th birthday. (Love me some tatts). Anyway the rest of the morning was spent hanging out with The Hawkeye gang, Angie, Josh, and Tereasa. We met several other Tweeples including @runbangrun and @RasberiRunner.
Me, Bang, Josh, Angie, Tereasa

I also ran into Greg, who I ran with at the Haunted Hustle. He and his wife both ran. He was running Boston and was right there when the second bomb went off. Although we have corresponded since then, I hadn't seen him and it was so great to see him!
Greg and I

So the day was truly wonderful. I was able to head home and enjoy a homebrew with Jason, dinner with the family and relax. 

Because this post isn't long enough I must include 2 more things...
I didn't know they did a separate M2 Challenge (combined race times of the Rock N Sole and Madison Mini) until I saw someone else post about it.  Guess what? 1st place in my age division?! Bam! 

My friend Julie, who I posted about the Brewer game, was having a blogger friend from Chicago come to The Compound after the Madison Mini. Her husband had ran the race. I FB her how did he do, his time was 15 seconds faster than mine. I said, wow we probably ran near each other at some point...Her response...Well he has HAVE FUN tattooed on the back of legs for everyone running behind him to enjoy...small freakin world!