Alive on the Other Side

Well guys, it’s Monday.  The half marathon is over, and I’m still alive and walking without any assistance from wheelchairs, canes, or walkers.  I have mixed feelings about how it went.  I was not able to make it the entire way without walking a bit.  I started out running with one of the pacers and she claimed she was 2 seconds off the pace, but according to my Nike app we were averaging 25 seconds faster per mile than we were supposed to be going.  By Mile 5 I started to slow.  The back pain started around Mile 7.5 (I used Icy Hot on my shins and they felt fine, but I didn’t think to use any on my lower back).  I walked around Mile 9.5, but right after Mile 10 I saw my sister, brother, and my brother’s girlfriend there cheering me on so that pushed me to finish.

ImageWe didn’t stop during the race, so we needed pictures with my sister and the signs she made for both my aunt and I afterward

Although I’m bummed that I walked, I did beat the time I ran last year by 7 minutes.  I’m pretty proud of that.  That’s like 30 seconds faster per mile.  That’s why I have mixed feelings.  I’m sad that I walked, but I’m happy that I ran a faster time.

*Edit:  I just looked up my official time from last year’s half.  I was 7 minutes 48 seconds faster.  That’s an average pace of 36 seconds faster per mile.  Nothing to sneeze at…

Other than the walking, the day was awesome.  The crowds were huge, just as expected.  Check out this video taken of the start of the race (the marathon, half marathon, and 10k all started together):

Finishing on Broadway in downtown Fargo was also pretty cool.  There were tons of people lining the streets for the last half mile.  The fans were actually great throughout the entire course.  If I’m ever in town and not running, I will for sure make humorous signs and go cheer the runners on.  The comedic relief was a major help.  Some of my favorite signs were as follows:

-At about Mile 3 someone was holding a sign that said “You still have a SHIT TON of miles left”
– “Staying up all night to make this sign was hard, too”  (and it was just a white posterboard with those words written in black marker)
– “Jack Bauer runs until the treadmill breaks”  (any 24 fans out there?)
– “Run fast, random stranger!”
– “Pain now, beer later”
– “Run faster, I just farted”

A lot of the signs were pretty dumb, but even a second’s relief from thinking about the pain or how much farther we had to go was greatly appreciated.

I started the race running with my friend Lindsey.  I pulled ahead of her after about 2 miles (following that stupid pacer) but she caught back up with me around Mile 9 and we finished together.  As we were running those last few miles we discussed how next year we were either going to do the 10k or the Marathon Relay so we didn’t have to run so far.  I can’t say that I won’t for sure do the half again.  I still want to complete one without walking, and Fargo is probably the best place to do that because it’s so flat.  My training was interrupted this year with the whole broken foot thing and then I was gone for a week in Pittsburgh.  But life will happen every year.  I’m sure if I register next year my life will be super busy and things will get in the way of training too.  I want to participate in the Fargo Marathon weekend in some form, because it is a really fun and exciting weekend.  We’ll just see how many miles I will put in next year 🙂

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The Final Countdown

If you need to get pumped up on this Friday, click this link and proceed to rock out:

This is it.  It’s the final countdown.  In less than 24 hours I will be (hopefully) done with the half marathon.  I’m a whole bundle of nerves right now.  I had a running nightmare last night–I dreamed that I only made it 4 miles and then had to quit the race because I was in too much pain.  Not a great dream to have 2 nights before the race.  In addition, it seems like I’ve been talking about the marathon all morning.  We had the annual Staff vs. Student basketball game this morning, and about a hundred different students and teachers asked why I’m not playing (I am not good at basketball, but everyone knows I coach it and I also am usually game to participate in these kinds of activities).  I repeated to everyone that I’m running tomorrow and, knowing my luck, I would twist an ankle and 3 months of training plus $70 would be wasted.

In spite of being incredibly nervous, I’m also getting excited.  I made a randomly awesome playlist to run to (I put it on shuffle and the first three songs that came up were “Get Silly” by V.I.C., “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell, and “Love is an Open Door” from Frozen) and looking at those songs is just getting me pumped.  In addition, the whole weekend is an exciting event.  According to the last numbers I saw, there’s going to be something like 21,000 runners and volunteers participating.  I have no idea if there are estimates on how many people come to watch, but it’s a lot.  There are over 50 live bands or DJs scattered along the course.  Despite the pain of running 13.1 miles, it’s a really fun and exciting event.

I’ve been bouncing back and forth between excitement and nerves all morning.  I texted my aunt this morning about my dream making me nervous, and she replied that she’s pretty nervous too but tomorrow is going to be “all about mind over matter.”  I’m trying to believe that and tell myself that I’m going to do it.  It’s probably going to hurt, but I’m going to do it.  I want the feeling of crossing that finish line and being proud of myself.  Pushing through pain for 2 hours and 20 minutes is totally worth that.   And hey, I get to have a day of carbing up–nothing like eating carbs all day and not feeling badly about myself!

If you are awake tomorrow morning between 8 and 10:30 AM CDT, please send some positive thoughts my way.  I’ll probably need as much help as I can get :S

 Half marathon countdown:  0 days, 19 hours, 16 minutes

Aaaaaand We’re Back!

I’m back for my first real post in almost 3 weeks!  I had to double-check that, because it doesn’t seem like it can possibly be that long since I posted, but it’s true.  Life has been absolutely crazy these past few weeks, but I’ll try to be brief and get myself caught up.

I was in Pittsburgh from April 21-25 for the NCEA National Convention.  I went with two other teachers from the Catholic elementary schools in Fargo.  I hadn’t met either teacher beforehand, but we got along really well and had an amazing week.

Displaying photo1.jpg

The three teachers at a Pirates game

The conference was wonderful as well.  I attended some incredible speakers and got a ton of great resources that I will be able to use as I transition to the 6th grade classroom next year.  Plus, it was a much-needed break from life in Fargo.  Next year the NCEA convention is in Orlando, and I’m really really hoping my principal asks me if I want to go again!

I came back from Pittsburgh, was at school for two days, and then left again as a chaperone on the junior class retreat.  We went out to a campground on Pelican Lake in Minnesota.  I didn’t know what to expect on the retreat because they had asked me to come along only 5 days before we left, so I didn’t have much time to prepare.  The retreat was another amazing experience.  It was definitely about the juniors and helping prepare them to lead the school next year, but the chaperones got a lot out of it too.  This was another event that I hope to be asked back to.

We got back from the retreat on Thursday afternoon.  I was in Fargo for approximately 24 hours before we took off for Rochester, MN for my cousin’s wedding.  That’s about a 4.5 hour drive from Fargo.  I was pretty exhausted before we even left, but I wanted to go support my cousin and see my family.

Displaying photo2.jpgDolled up for the wedding with my cousin, brother’s girlfriend, and sister

I won’t lie, I was not excited for this wedding.  It’s the first one I attended since breaking off my own engagement.  I was supposed to be at this wedding crazy excited to get married myself in 50 days, and instead I was hoping to be able to get through the day without breaking down.  

I would be lying if I said it was easy.  There were several moments during the ceremony when I forced my mind to wander so I wouldn’t get overwhelmed by what was happening.  This was also the first time I had seen several family members since everything happened, so they asked how I was doing and wanted to talk about the very things I was trying not to think about.  I got through the ceremony, dinner, and toasts, and when the dance started I was fine.  It was good to dance with my cousins and just have fun.  Hopefully now that the first wedding is out of the way things will get easier, since I have 3 more to go to in the next 6 months.

I’m finally back in Fargo for a few weeks, but that doesn’t mean life is any less busy.  We have 14 school days left (!!!) so things are getting crazy.  On top of that, this Saturday is D-Day (aka, the day of the half marathon).  I have no idea if I’m ready.  My longest training run was 10.17 miles (ran last Tuesday).  I’m hopeful, because that’s over 2 miles longer than the longest runs I did before that 2 other half marathons that I’ve done.  I think this race is going to be a mental thing for me–I’m pretty sure my body can do it, so long as I don’t psych myself out.  As I was nearing the end of my 10-mile run, I thought to myself “at this point next Saturday, I will still have a 5k to run.”  I started feeling desperate and panicky.  That’s exactly the type of crap I need to NOT do on race day.  I need to just make up my mind that I’m going to do it.  After everything I’ve lived through these past few months, I can run for 2 hours (my time goal is 2:15–about 10:18 min/miles).  And I want the feeling of pride after I’ve crossed the finish line and know I did it.  I want that badly.  I’m trying to spend a lot of my time this week visualizing it.  That was a piece of advice I was given back when I did Weight Watchers–instead of focusing on the pain of what you are going through, visualize how good it will feel when you finish.  Hopefully that applies in half marathons too.

This post didn’t really serve any purpose other than to catch up on where I’ve been the last few weeks and explain why I’ve been neglecting you.  My mind is pretty focused on the half this week, so that’s probably all I’ll be talking about.  Hopefully next week I’ll be exciting and interesting again (I AM exciting and interesting sometimes, right?)!

Half marathon countdown–4 days, 16 hours, 43 minutes (thanks to the Fargo Marathon app I downloaded this morning)