Race Day Dedications

I believe it was Julie from whom I first heard the idea that people race and dedicate each mile to a person or group.  I like the idea of running for others and for having something else to focus on as each mile beeps away on my Garmin.  So I decided to do that for the half marathon.

Just so you know ahead of time, it’s no high-falutin’ list of inspirational characters*.  It doesn’t include things like people who shaped my childhood and made me the woman I am today; historical figures who most inspire me; or people who are making the world a better place right now.  It’s just a collection of peeps I dig right at the moment, looking at life mostly from a running perspective, with some general my-life-is-great-because-of-these-people thrown in for good measure.   The first and last few are in an order of sorts.  Otherwise, they’re in no particular order.  Here is my list:

 

  1. Nina does earn the #1 spot for being the person who slowed herself up (significantly) in order to run with me through my first 5K in May 2011.  She made sure that I met my goal to run (not walk) through the whole race.  Nina also did it again the following year in order to help me break the 30-minute mark for 5K.  (Further, she occasionally takes me to concerts.  It’s like we’re dating.  Very casually.)

    Nina and I before my first 5K

    Nina and I before the Race for the Cure

  2. Letty comes in a close second because she generously slowed herself up so that I would have someone to run with during my first half marathon.  She kept me going with both encouraging words (“We turn around soon, and we’ll be going downhill [big, sweet smile]!”) and with less subtle motivation (“C’mon!  You’re a MOM!  You can do this!”).  She also slowed her pace during this training season to do a couple of long runs with me.

    Pre-half selfie with Letty

    Pre-half selfie with Letty

  3. This one is number three because I will #Run3rd so that others don’t have to run or walk.  That is, I’m running for my charity of choice, Every Mother Counts (EMC).  In developing countries – among other challenges with pregnancy & childbirth – the average distance a woman has to walk for prenatal care is 5K!  EMC helps ensure that mothers around the world get the care that they need.  This mile is dedicated to that cause and to all of the awesome people who helped me almost double my fundraising goal of $500!!  
  4. Jill S. has to be next for just generally being a good, thoughtful, and encouraging friend, but also for being the only other person I know who’s willing to run as early as FIVE AM on the WEEKEND  in order to get the miles in and to not disrupt the rest of the family’s weekend.  If it wasn’t for Jill, I would NOT have gotten all of my long runs in this year.
  5. Amy should be mentioned next for being among my biggest cheerleaders ever.  She always checks up on me, roots for me, and she’s super generous with training tips and advice.  I have a lot of runner friends with whom I can discuss running stuff, but I can always count on Amy to geek out with me on stats and plans.
  6. Julie is on my list for being my awesome training buddy for our half marathon last September.  We had lots of great talks on the run and trained well enough together to exceed our goal time for that race!

    Amy & Julie with me after our September half marathon

    Amy & Julie with me after our September half marathon

  7. Jessica gets a mile for being a great friend and race buddy.  We’ve completed several races together and I expect there will be many more!  Also, her enthusiasm (for running, for her Pirates) is contagious.

    Jessica just before setting a PR at the Pirates 5K

    Jessica just before setting a PR at the Pirates 5K – In a TUTU

  8. Sue, my SIL (and my brudder, Tim), simply must appear on my list, as I would not even be participating if Sue hadn’t helped me financially with my race registration.  SHE is running her first half marathon, and I can’ t wait to hear about how it goes.
  9. 5AM Babes are the second group item on my list because, if I had to name them individually, they’d take up my whole list.  (I guess I should have registered and trained for the full marathon – as if!)  The #9 position goes to Vicki, Sheri, Jill, Tracy, Karin, Rebecca, Kara, Karla, Stephanie, and Jamie for always being there, three days a week, before dawn – and for giving me someone to chase.
  10. Saving the best for last, my parents also make the list for always, always cheering for me, no matter what I’m attempting to do, as well as for just always being there for me when I need help.
  11. Cora, my little sweetie, gets mile 11.  This wasn’t really deliberate, but it’s fitting that mile is where it tends to get challenging for me.  It will be especially true in this race, where I’m told “the hill” is located.  Mile 11 goes to my ever-joyful, yet often challenging younger daughter.  May I always rise to the challenge of raising you to be your independent, best self.
  12. Emily, the little girl who made a mom out of me will be on my mind for mile 12.  She’s getting so big and grown up {sob!}.  I always tell her that she has the hardest job in the house – being The Big Sister.  And she’s a wonderful, giving, kind big sister!  In mile 12, I’m going to have to really dig for a strong finish.  Thinking of my kind, funny, bright older daughter who works so hard to be a good kid, student, daughter, & sister is going to help me work hard to get through this mile.  I hope that I can make her half as proud as she makes me every day.
  13. Bob, my dear husband, gets the last full mile of this race, for too many reasons to mention.  Not the least of which is that he puts up with me.  And sometimes pretends to listen to my chatter about running.
When my body starts working, my brain stops.  So I need a cheat sheet.

When my body starts working, my brain stops. So I need a cheat sheet.

And the last .1 is for ME.  (I said I’d #Run3rd, but I guess I’m running 14th, really!)  I hope to have enough juice to crank out this little bit for a strong, fast finish that I can feel good about.

Thanks in advance to everyone on this for helping to inspire me through this race.  Hope I make everyone proud.  Here goes nothin’!

 

*It also doesn’t read like a list of people upon whom I’d like to exact revenge – people whose names would help me pound out angry mile after angry mile.  Like Galen, that kid in first grade who’d steal my paste and eat it; that guy in junior high who said I was fat because wasn’t a stick like the other girls at that age; or people who stand too close to me the grocery store checkouts.  But I could see the utility of that type of list, as well.

Slacka$$! And Weird Data

Just for fun, I thought I’d play a little bit of catch up before the pre- and post-race excitement begins here shortly (expo TOMORROW!).  I’d been dragging my feet like crazy about blogging here, primarily because we’d all been dragging our feet – almost literally – about running.

My intentions were good.  Soooo good.  I was going to train, train, train for the Pittsburgh half marathon, once I’d finally gotten registered in December.  Then winter set in.  Set in hard.  But you know about that, and I’m sure neither of us feels like revisiting that topic, now that the weather has begun its attempt to look like spring.

So rather than writing posts titled things like, “Look How Few Miles I Ran This Week!”   Or, “Taking Sleeping in to a New Level,” I haven’t spent a lot of time on here.

I haven’t done a monthly rundown all year.  But now that Mother Nature finally started to cooperate, and we’re all able to start running consistently again, I thought I’d recap the last four months.  And then I went to Garmin Connect for my reports, and realized that something was amiss.  Check this out:

What's wrong with this picture?

What’s wrong with this picture?

I had to go back and check, entry by entry for January, and discovered a run, from January 6th, recorded as:

44 Miles
6:53 Minutes
Making the average pace :09/mile

Here’s where my watch seems to think I was:

Was I going in two directions at once?

Proving what I feel like all the time: Going in more than one direction at the same time

I’ve done that thing before where I’ve forgotten to stop my watch and got in the car to drive home.  But clearly, this was something glitchy, as I can neither drive my car 400 MPH, nor fly (which the map would pretty much insist I was doing).  Amusingly glitchy.  THIS turns out to be the reason I also record my workouts in a notebook, with additional details like what the weather’s like and whether or not the gear I’m wearing is sufficient for the day’s elements.

I had attempted to run that morning, but the temp was dropping fast at that precise hour of the morning, and the snow was blowing directly into my eyes.  I ran once around the inside lap at Lynch Field – six tenths of a mile that also registered as a line item on my Garmin activities – and then promptly drove back home.

Anyway.  As much as I’d love to know how that weird Garmin thing happened, let’s just fix this.

That looks more like it

That looks more like it

 

Check out February, when only seven runs were completed.  UGH, it makes me sad to think about what more could have been achieved in better weather.  However, it’s also interesting that I was spent roughly the same amount of time running in January as I did in February, even though January included almost twice as many outings.

Now that I’ve reviewed the year to date, I have one final training run – a short run of 20-30 minutes, followed by a handful of strides – that I’ll do in the morning.  Then I’ll be toeing the line in three days for the half marathon.  I can’t wait to get there and finally experience my first big race!

Next week, I’ll take a few days off and then get back to my routine of running three days a week, plus my long run on the weekends.  I have to consult some “experts” (my more seasoned running friends) about how soon it’s acceptable to do another long run, and what distance makes sense.  I am hoping to actually do what I intended to do after September’s half marathon, after which I was sidelined with a three-week cold, which is to begin doing weekly long runs of 8+ miles, whether I’m training for something or not.  The idea is to keep my endurance level UP so that, for the next race, I can focus on building more speed.  I’ll continue to search for a fall half marathon that’s inexpensive and that I can drive to one Saturday or Sunday morning in October or November.   I’m hopeful that this is the kick-off of several more months of 80+ mile months and another half marathon in my near future.