The Aftermath

In the aftermath of our race, I discovered something MIGHT be wrong with me.  I cannot stop thinking about running!  I’m not the same person anymore!!! To make matters worse, not only am I thinking about running when I’m awake, but I also can’t stop dreaming about running.  The last three nights I have had eight hours worth of dreams revolving around running.

I really expected to feel relief and pure joy upon completing our half marathon training.  But honestly, I had so much fun that I just can’t wait for this week to be over so I can start running again.  What’s wrong with me??? What have I become?  Is this how it’s going to be when I have my first child?  Will I forget about how miserable the long 9 months were and for some reason block out all the pain from child birth and then want another one and another one and another one???  This is sort of like that time I tried salmon for the first time and rather than having a normal portion of salmon, I ate the whole darn salmon!  I got so sick from the salmon and grossed out that I never ate it again.  So my prediction is that I’ll try to run again and I will hate it because it will be one mile too far, just like I had one bite too many!

I have to admit that I have secretly been surfing the internet (or not so secretly) for half marathons all over the country AND I’ve even been considering running a marathon.  I must be ill.  I fully expected to wake up yesterday and be in so much pain that I couldn’t take another step.  I felt pretty good though!  My inner thighs were the most sore part of my body.  To stretch out our muscles and loosen up, my running buddy and I decided to go on a walk (so I guess that makes her my walking buddy) after class yesterday.  We both showed up like this… unplanned!

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This was just too cute — we had to take a picture.  Anyway, during our walk my right foot started to hurt.  As the walk went on, the worse the pain got.  It felt like the side of my foot but I wasn’t sure.  Today I woke up and could barely walk on my foot.  I’ve self diagnosed my injury as either a stress fracture or plantar fasciitis (which I totally cannot pronounce).  I’m really not sure what to do about my injury other than stay off of it for the next week.  It’s strange that it didn’t hurt while I was running.  One of my sisters had crutches once though when she was like 10 and I thought that was amazing…so maybe I need crutches?!  Why is it that little kids always want injuries?  I always wanted to have crutches, or a cast, or a brace, or even a retainer (so much so that I made one out of a paper clip).  Now I can’t wait for this dumb pain to go away so I can start running again!


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Let me say it one more way….Two hours, One minute,  Fifty-Three Seconds….13.1 MILES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am beyond thrilled with my 9.19 pace.

So let me start at the beginning.  True to my word, I had a carbo cram last night!  My sister and I made homemade spaghetti sauce and it was absolutely delicious and so much fun!  I loaded up on carbs, fresh corn from the farmer’s market, really buttery garlic bread, and about 10 gallons of water!  After dinner I felt quite pleased that my dinner would surely translate into a great run.  I went to bed around 11 but it was just like being a kid on the night before your first day of school.  Except in school there was always the opportunity to “not feel well” and there was no note from my mom to get me out of this!  I tossed and turned and could not stop thinking about running.

I’m not sure I really ever slept but at a lovely 5:30 AM, my alarm clock was beeping away.   I was so wide awake and full of energy that I scarfed down some cereal and even more water.  My sister and I forgot to wake my mom up so our 6:15 departure time because really stressful fast!  We managed to get out the door and greet my running buddy outside.  We headed downtown at which point I had my first break down — I forgot my pink sweatband.  The most important part of my outfit really because I have bangs!!!  Luckily my sister had a bobby pin.  No sooner did I get my bangs under control when the second break down occurred.  We were stuck in traffic….and it was now 6:50.  Ten minutes till show time.  Eventually we had to just get out of the car and head down to the start (which we missed).  It was so freezing cold outside (like 50 degrees) and I did not want to take off my sweats!  Here we are after we missed the gun…  oh and ps I am not sweating yet, I just dumped water on myself!  Notice it’s dark out :/

Disclaimer:  It was so early and we are tired and have no make-up on...don't judge we had to run 13.1 miles!

Disclaimer: It was so early and we are tired and have no make-up on...don't judge we had to run 13.1 miles!

We got stretched out and about 10 minutes after the start we decided to hit the trail!


We caught up to the pack pretty fast and I could not believe that within what seemed like minutes we were at our first water station…two miles done!  I was absolutely loving the experience.  There were bands spread out throughout the course, there were people cheering, there were people slower than me!  It was so much fun!  We got to mile four and there was a girl laying on the side of the road…I hope she is ok — I am just so glad it wasn’t me.  We ran and ran and ran and around mile 7 my running buddy and I got separated.  I strode on and much to my disappointment my mom and sister were waiting at one of the mile markers and I didn’t see them and they didn’t see me!  They did see my running buddy though.

Before I knew it, the race was over!  I was running my little heart out for the last mile and pretty soon I was half a mile away from the finish line.  I made a final push, neared the finish sign and heard my mom and sister cheering for me!  I was so excited!!!! My sister snapped this when she saw me…


I crossed the line, fists raised!  Still standing, still smiling.  I grabbed some bananas, apples, bagels and water and set into the crowd to find my fam.  Sadly along the way I dropped my banana and bagel!   I was under strict instruction from my family not to cry like I did during that 1K in 1992.  I have to say that crying never crossed my mind today.  I had so much fun and was laughing and smiling most of the race, including afterwards!  Adding to my excitement was the fact that they give you a medal when you cross the finish line!  And gosh darn it, we earned it!  One of my sisters (who was not here today) told me she’d believe it when she saw it.  When I told her about my day, she first asked if I collapsed and then asked if I cheated!  She’s just mad because… I beat her time! HA!


In my euphoric state I even said….I think I want to do this again!  I’m not sure if it was the endorphins speaking so I am going to give it at least a week before I made any decisions.  But really, I did truly love every minute of the race.  I didn’t love every minute of the training but I’m so proud of us!

If this were a movie (or my carbo cram last night) Chariots of Fire would start to play when viewing this next photo…


WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Much thanks to all those who kept up with my running and ranting (WOW that would have been a much more fitting name!) and also to my running buddy.  Afterall, this was her idea because she wanted a free t-shirt.  I’m wearing mine right now 🙂


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And now, the end is near.

In the words of Frank Sinatra, “and now the end is near; and so I face the final curtain.”  The half marathon is only 5 days away (WOW!) and I could not be more excited to cross the finish line.

Last week was an excruciating running week.  I ran 45 miles, which was the most I’ve run this entire time training.  By the time I got to mile 32, I was fed up.  I was so discouraged, bored, annoyed and frustrated with running that I started to wonder why I ever agreed to this.  Alright, so I’ve often wondered why but last week I just felt beyond burned out.

I thought that all I needed to cheer me up was a trip to pick out my perfect running outfit.  As we drove to the mall (the  mother ship) I felt my energy and enthusiasm returning.  Maybe all I needed was a new matching outfit to put a new stride in my step.  Our first stop was a fail.  Feeling slightly deflated but still upbeat, we drove to another mall.  After the second attempt, I started to feel angry.  Where were all of the cute running clothes?  I saw a cute wind breaker (beautiful pale green, fit perfect, but too expensive).  I saw cute stretchy shorts with polka dots.  I found this amazing bouncy ball filled with glitter.  But I did not find the perfect running outfit.  I did get a new sports bra for the first time since like 8th grade and I must say it’s really nice!  As the youngest of four girls, I often got the hand-me-downs.  When one of my sisters discarded her old torn up sports bras in 1997, I took them and I’ve had them ever since!  So with the exception of my new sports bra, I am acting very thrifty and I will run in one of my running outfits I bought earlier in the summer.

This week is our tapering week.  Today we ran the loop and it was a nice confidence booster.  We both ran fast and effortlessly (which, I must say, I am proud of that because that was the very first run I went on and I thought my lungs and calves would never work again).  I will probably run two miles tomorrow and one mile on Friday and then I’m done running until the 13.1 miles on Sunday.  Piece of cake!

My mom and sister are coming to cheer me on this weekend for the big race.  I’m really excited for them to be here.  I think it’s important that I have family members witness me completing an athletic activity.  This will put my 1K race when I was 7 to shame!  I actually managed to trick my body into thinking it could run.  Speaking of bodies…today I received the nicest compliment from a lady who works at my University!  She hadn’t seen me since last spring and when she saw me today she asked if I lost weight.  I told her no and she didn’t believe me and told me that my body looked really good (which I obviously took to mean that I look like Penny from Dirty Dancing!)  Honestly, the compliment almost made this all worth it….

The night before the race I want to have a carbo cram, which thrills me because my sisters used to go to carbo crams in high school.  Sometimes I would get to go along and I thought they were amazing.  They would eat  loads of spaghetti and garlic bread, make posters, and talk about toilet papering people’s houses.  Then I got to go back to grade school and nonchalantly say oh yeah I was at this carbo cram last night…with high schoolers.  I want my carbo cram to be just like that!  Except since I am just a poor law student, I think I’ll skip the TP part because, well it’s expensive, and now that I’m not 10 I don’t think it’s that cool.

I leave you with parts of Frank’s song…because well…the lyrics seem so fitting for the end of my journey 🙂 However, I have added narration in bold so it REALLY fits.

And now, the end is near; (5 days!)
And so I face the final curtain. (In this case, it’s the finish line)

Regrets, Ive had a few; (every time I run)
But then again, too few to mention. (when the endorphins kick in and I think I like running)
I did what I had to do (my running partner made me)
And saw it through without exemption. (yah I did!)

I planned each charted course; (even though sometimes I forgot street names and got lost)
Each careful step along the byway, (one time I rolled my ankle)
But more, much more than this,
I did it my way. (in a girly, pink, cute outfit kind of way)

Yes, there were times, Im sure you knew (this must be a joke, she can’t run)
When I bit off more than I could chew. (she thinks she can run a half marathon?)
But through it all, when there was doubt, (all I had to do was keep running to prove the haters wrong)
I ate it up and spit it out. (umm…no I’m not bulimic?)
I faced it all and I stood tall; (and sometimes made grunting noises at the gym for fun!)
And did it my way. (In a 13.1 mile kinda way).


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Yummy Protein

I didn’t intend to run today, as I like to take a day off after a long run to let my body recover.  But tomorrow marks the start of the flag football season so we had our first practice this afternoon.  I decided to run to the park, throw the football, grunt a little, and run home.  I actually had the football so the run there was awkward since I didn’t know how to hold the football without feeling lopsided.

Football “practice” consisted of me snapping the ball like 9 times and then going home.  I don’t actually snap the ball during the games, or play offense for that matter.  (Wait the person who snaps plays offense, right?)  I am responsible for blitzing the quarterback. I like to act sneaky on the line, run back and forth, and then get the other side in trouble for moving!  Anyway, football practice ended and I gave the QB the football so I could run home normally.

On the rest of the run, which was the loop run, I was bombarded with nats.  There were nats in both my eyes, flying up my nose, and of course, in my mouth.  It was totally disgusting but I figure I got my protein for the day.  As I approached my house I passed some guys sitting outside who asked what happened to my football.  I told them I gave it to a friend because it was too hard to run.  They then pointed out that I was walking (but believe me I WAS running, I just was a block from my house which is where I do my cool down walk!).  So anyway, I ran just three miles.  It was actually beautiful outside and perfect for running.  But I’m still sad I didn’t have a total day of rest!  Tomorrow I will probably run around 5 miles, lift legs and then tomorrow night we have our first game!

Oh and also….GO PACK GO!!!!!!!!

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Plus Ten

I ran ten miles today, putting my grand mileage for the week at 32 miles.  I’m really happy with this total because according to Runner’s World, I should run 32 miles two weeks before my race!!!!  Kind of weird that I hit the nail on the head even though I’m not following a training schedule (other than the one I make up as I run).

I ran on the treadmill at the gym because it was raining outside.  I figured I didn’t want to risk slipping and falling in the rain, which is always a possibility when you are a klutz like me!  Plus my running buddy is out-of-town so I needed some other entertainment, today in the form of “A Few Good Men” and “True Hollywood Story: Christina Aguilera.”  94 minutes later, I was finished with my run!  Overall, it was a great run.  The gym was too hot but it always seems to be that way.  Even better than the run itself were the non-existent side effects that usually ail me after my long run…meaning I didn’t get a stomach ache today!

After the run I went over toward the weights to stretch.  I decided to stretch fast once I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.  I had unfortunate sweat marks in the form of circles on my shirt.  I’ll just leave it at that!  On the drive home I was listening to an NPR report about exercise and decreasing the risk of diabetes.  The reporter made a comment about training for a marathon and I suddenly thought, geez do I need to train for a marathon?  I have to say that the thought of completing a marathon sounds exciting, but it also sounds psychotic and I’m not sure I’m cut out for that.  I like ice cream and beer too much.  I’ll make decisions about my running future after the half marathon is over!

For now, my most pressing concerns are what shall I wear for my big race?  I’m open to suggestions.  I’m concerned because the run starts at 7 AM — so it might be cool.  I don’t want to be too cold or too hot!  I’m like the Goldilocks of running… I need to be just right!  I’ll probably have to do the one thing my mom tells me I’m not allowed to do.  Go shopping!

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22 Miles…and it’s only Wednesday!

The big race is only a few weeks away (18 days to be exact!!!!) so in an effort to make sure that we get 1st and 2nd place, respectively, we’ve really been training hard!  Ok, we might not get 1st and 2nd place (actually that’s just a matter of perspective) but we’ve both reached the point where we feel confident in our running abilities.

On Sunday we went on a nice leisurely jog….consisting of 11 miles!  When I left our house I was pleasantly surprised by the mid 80 degree day, with the lovely sunshine and blue sky.  5 miles later I was cursing the sun, wishing it was 60 degrees, and raining.  As we approached mile 10, I informed my running buddy that I had enough and I heard myself say to her, “ok I’m going to head home.”  Even though I said those words for some reason I didn’t turn but kept on running.  At mile 10.6 I had to stop for a brief second and contemplated crying but then  decided to finish the run, despite having to run up the hill of all hills.  When we got home we sprayed each other with the hose (and then stopped when we realized that it looked like we were having a wet t-shirt contest).  Despite what it looked like to neighbors, the hose was the best feeling ever!  I was so hot I felt like dying.  After a few minutes we recuperated but then the dreaded stomach ache hit me.  Sadly, I was sick the rest of the day and night — I couldn’t eat anything the whole day!

In honor of Labor Day, we took the day off.  Tuesday we went to the gym and ran 5 miles and then did leg weight lifting.  At the gym I wore the shirt I got at our 5K those many months ago.  It is such a ridiculous shirt…it’s literally covered in ads.  But that reminds me — did I ever tell you that we actually got 1st and 2nd place in that race?!?! Ah that cracks me up!  Not bad for our first race ever!  Or at least my first race since the whooping cough epidemic when I was 7.

Today we ran 6 miles.  It was so hot in the gym and I was sweating up a storm.  After the run I ran to the bathroom to blow my nose and I nearly hallucinated when I looked in the mirror.  I had mascara all over my face, my pink sweatband was too sweaty to hold sweat, and my new bangs were sticking straight up like a peacock.  All signs of a good run!  I went back out and we lifted arms.  I’m benching 200 these days.  Actually I don’t bench anything, who am I kidding.  OH!  And I digress again, remember a month ago or so I was running away from the MPRE?  Well we both passed!  We are officially ethical-soon-to-be-lawyers, who also run in their spare time!  Anyway, that puts our grand total mileage up to 22 miles and it’s only Wednesday.  So proud of us 🙂

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The Wabash Dash!

This weekend we experienced one of the best runs EVER!  Or at least it was one of my best runs.  All in all, it was a successful weekend.

On Friday night I went on the loop run.  It was beautiful out and running felt refreshing and easy.  I didn’t want to run too far because Saturday we had a big run planned.  We woke up on Saturday morning and drove to a trail called the Wabash Trace Nature Trail.  The Wabash is a trail that starts in Council Bluffs and runs 63 miles through scenic farmland and forest.  The path is wide enough for a car, but pretty secluded from civilization.  The path is made of finely crushed limestone, which was great on our bodies.  I couldn’t believe how beautiful this trail was– I’ve been to a lot of amazing places in the world and I really can’t believe this trail was so close to me, yet after all these years  I had no idea!  If anyone is looking for a fun place to run or bike, I highly suggest it!

Wabash Trail

Wabash Trail

The trail is built on an old railroad track and this is one of the many bridges you get to run across.  Also, if you want more info, here is the Wabash website:

We ran 50 minutes one direction (estimated about 5 miles one way) and then ran back.  We actually did the run back 4 minutes faster — we both felt like we were booking it!  Overall, the run was amazing.  It was cool outside so we didn’t need much water and I stayed nice and cool.  I did bring my water belt and it was nice to have some water, but it cut up my whole back!  I have a belt-like burn around my waist.  My running partner suffered from a slight injury too — a bee flew in her shoe and stung her!  She ran for a while, but then realized the stinger was stuck in her foot.  She’s tough though, so she pulled the stinger out and off we went.  10 miles later, we finished our run.  I can’t wait to do it again!

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