Monday, November 03, 2014
Saturday I ran the Monumental Marathon in Indianapolis. Their hashtag on twitter and instagram is #BeMonumental. And people were.
Funny thing, I don't remember much about the actual race. It was so cold, I think my brain froze. I was doing a 3:1 run/walk. That's how I trained for it, and that's how I was going to race it. I kept that up the first 4 hours, then I got a little lazy, and I went to a 1 1/2 min run:30 sec walk. Jeff Galloway (former Olympian, champion of the run/walk method) was there again, and he remembered me from the Iron Horse a couple of weeks ago. Super nice guy!!
The wind chill was 15° the whole first half of the race. Brrrrrr... I was concentrating so much on my run/walk that I didn't really talk to anybody. I noticed it wasn't a very scenic race. It was in Indianapolis, which just isn't a scenic city. It's okay, but I'm used to running in the country, with cows and horses and lots of hills. The race was super flat, and I actually found myself longing for a hill.
In mile 14 or so, a blind guy bumped into me. He was being led by a guide, with a rope tether. It was so crowded at that point, I'm surprised he didn't bump into more people. That was a pretty awesome sight.
Somewhere on the course, although I didn't see her, was woman who broke a world record for marathon running with an above-the-knee amputation. She was ahead of me the whole time.
Somewhere along mile 23 or so, we were somewhere weird, and I can't even describe it. It was like being in the country, but I think it was an access road to the freeway, and then we ran around some weird loop that had a big giant blue and red jungle gym thing. And there was a big rooster that came charging out of the trees at us. He crowed and acted like he was defending his home. But there was no home around there. Also in that area, there was a man wearing pants made out of carharrt material -- heavy khaki pants. And his jacket was a button up cotton jacket with a collar. It was like a business casual outfit. But he was running and doing okay. Very odd. A friend suggested that maybe he'd come from out of town and had lost his luggage, so he was running in whatever he had with him.
I kept passing back and forth with a girl named Amanda from Team in Training. She was young, and it was her first marathon. She was awesome. At the end we ran in together the last half mile. When I was at mile 23 and realized that I could totally screw up the rest of the race and still get a big, fat PR, I got all emotional! It didn't matter if I took another hour at that point -- I would still get a PR!! And then mile 24 came, and I teared up again. I crossed the finish line, and my husband was standing there freezing, ringing a cowbell!!! I was so happy! 35 minute PR. Woo Hoooo!!! Oh... Did I mention it was cold and really windy?? Yes it was. Super cold, super windy. But apparently that makes for an awesome PR.
Saturday, September 06, 2014
My niece. She is 32 yrs old and has cerebral palsy. Her first 5K today. Her shirt says "excuses suck." Everyone stood and waited for her. A hundred plus people were cheering for her. Sorry the video is blurry. It's the best I could do
Monday, August 11, 2014
Saturday, August 9th, I got to participate in something I thought I'd never, ever do. I competed in the USAT Age Group National Championships, Olympic Distance Triathlon.
When I got the invitation to participate, I initially ignored it. I'd only done two other triathlons, and I really wasn't very good at it. Then I got another invitation, and it got me thinking. I figured I'm not getting any younger. I probably won't ever qualify again. So why not? My husband thought I was nuts. I don't have much experience with open water swimming, and a bicycle accident in 2000 left me very afraid of the bicycle. I'd only been working on overcoming that fear for the past year. But my husband saw it in my eyes, my mind was made up. I was going to do it. He reluctantly went along with the hairbrained idea. When I mentioned the invitation online, two awesome triathlete friends told me to "Do it!" If they believe I can do it, that was all I needed. Thanks to my coach, I had the necessary training to get it done. I wouldn't be fast, but I would get it done.
So on Thursday we made our way to Milwaukee so I could swim 1500 meters in cold Lake Michigan, bike 25 miles and run 10K (6.2 miles).
Friday was packet pickup. It was amazing! I was standing in line with all the "real" athletes who knew what they were doing. They had no idea I was so nervous. I pretended not to be.
(packet pickup included all my stuff, plus a really cool jacket)
Also on Friday, there was a practice swim. I can swim, but I haven't had much experience with open water or wetsuit swimming. I put off getting in the water as long as I could. Brrr!! It was COLD!! Even in the wetsuit, it was cold. The cold water set off an asthma attack. I went about a half mile, and then had to get pulled out of the water. I was so afraid the same would happen on race day. But I didn't spend all this money and drive all this way to take a dnf (did not finish).
Next on Friday's agenda was bike check-in. I'd never seen so many cool bicycles in my life!! My bike was just a regular road bike that costs several hundred dollars. The other bikes were in the $2000-$10,000 range. But I proudly racked my bike and walked off thinking, "Yep, it's really happening!"
(bike check-in on Friday)
Race morning I got up early and set up my transition area. I pulled on my wetsuit and waited with the rest of the pink cap ladies. At 7:51am we were off! I couldn't put my face in the water without setting off an asthma attack, so I struggled during the swim. But it wasn't unbearably cold, and I finally finished on my own.
(my husband took this awesome picture of my wave start, with the "pink cap" ladies)
I ran to transition and got out of the wetsuit and onto the bike. I was surprised at how well I was riding. Around mile 18 I got really hungry! Like, I thought I could eat an 8 course meal! But I was on a roll, steadily plugging along. I finished the 25 miles in a faster-than-I've-ever-gone time, and pulled into the transition area. I was so hungry I ate all kinds of stuff I'd left there -- chocolate bar, energy chews, gu. A volunteer came over and asked if I was okay. He said I'd been in transition a while (abt 3 mins). I told him I was just really hungry. Then he reminded me I still had my helmet on. I thanked him, took off my helmet, and then took off on my final leg -- the run. About 4 miles into my run, I met a 74 yr old woman keeping my pace. We ran together the final 2.2 miles. She was amazing! She didn't start doing triathlons until she was in her mid 60s!! And she was even scheduled to run the Sprint tri the next day! We both picked up the pace in the last .2 miles. I was giving it all I had when I crossed the finish line. I think I couldn't stop smiling! I think I may even have been crying!!
(crossing the finish line)
August 9th I played with the cool kids, and I held my own. I will do this distance again. And again. And again.
(I couldn't go to Wisconsin and NOT buy cheese!)
(It looks so calm and unassuming)
(most awesome medal EVER)
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