Huge Check Mark

Monday, August 13, 2012

Well . . . without much hype and missing many training updates, the Gopher to Badger Half Marathon was this past weekend on Saturday.

I shot a beautiful wedding with Jen and Andrew, up at The Refuge in Oak Grove on Friday. After being on my feet all day, I got home at 10:15ish and hit the hay, immediately, if not sooner. My morning alarm was brutal, but I got out of bed at 6:15am to make some coffee and fix myself a piece of peanut butter toast. I hadn't picked up my race packet prior to the race, so I had to hustle to get to Hudson by 7:15, but I just got in under the wire and loaded up in one of the last shuttle buses.

As we made our way to the start in Stillwater, I sat next to a crazy Irishman who told me all about his past as a professional lightweight fighter, his marathon and ultra-marathon history and how his goal was 1:34 for the day, since it was a training run for the upcoming Twin Cities. I told him my goal was to beat 3 hours [or before they closed the course on me]!

I've never done a race completely by myself. I didn't know a single person. And at my urging Tony kept his plans and stayed home with the boys, instead of lugging them everywhere to cheer for me. It was very odd. I didn't bring my phone or any music with, but thankfully it was only a short time before we were running. I knew I didn't have a chance in heck to come close to my previous times, so I wasn't too nervous. There was just a short burst while we sang the National Anthem, but it quickly left as I started chatting with the 2:15 pacer from Minnesota Pacers [they are amazing by the way].

Unfortunately the course was quite hilly, which I wasn't prepared for, but had been forewarned about. Who am I kidding? I wasn't prepared for anything! The last time I ran was the week of July 25th, when I wrote this post. My longest training run for this half marathon was 5 miles and I didn't run a step in the month of August. No exaggeration. I couldn't have run more than 20 miles in training for this over the course of 3 months.

I had a few friends suggest faking an illness or an injury, but it didn't even cross my mind. See, this run was suggested as a part of my Career Development Plan at work, as the discipline required to train for a half marathon translates so well to all facets of life . . . when you are actually able to be disciplined and train! Unfortunately that part didn't happen, but I knew that my like minded competitive and athletic boss would never let me live it down if I didn't finish it. Just like I wouldn't let it go either.

So I ran. And at 3 1/2 miles in a hill killed me. So I walked.  And I lost my 2:15 pacer group. For quite some time I was in no man's land between pacers, before the 2:20 pacer finally caught up with me. I alternated walking and running and running and walking. I drank water and gatorade at every aid stop, which I never do. I ran and I walked and I set arbitrary goals like running until a sign, or walking until a driveway. I counted seconds and then minutes and tried to do consistent intervals. I tried to encourage as many as I could along the way.

I blocked out miles 5-10.

But suddenly, it was mile 10 and I knew I would finish. The 2:30 pacer passed me at 10 1/2 miles, but I kept my sight on her and tried to gauge our distance. I ran almost all of mile 11 and then told myself I didn't care if I walked the whole rest of the way in . . . but then a girl who started with me at 2:15 called out to me as she started to run it in and I couldn't push aside my competitive drive.

So I ran. And I kept running.

And I finished a wholly untrained for half marathon with hills in 2:35:22.
Miraculously, not dead. 2:35:35 #halfmarathon #notimetotrain #gophertobadger


Immortal Beloved said...


Kelly Bartlett said...

Great job!

Sarah said...

Way to go!

Bree said...


Ericanandy said...

That's quite an accomplishment! Congrats lady!

Noe said...

You are my hero... one day I will be like you... that's all I can say..

Erin said...

Very impressive, Leah!!!!

Megan said...

Add this to another reason you're my hero. :) Seriously amazing!

Jocelyn said...

Nice work...and btw, you look way too good for having just finished 2+ hours of running!

DianeTaylor said...

Way to go Leah!!!! I used to love running and did alot of it in my
40s. Then my knees started bothering me - and that wads the end of my running days. It was just too jarring on my body - now I power walk, wearing a Walkfit vest with weights. It's my go-to aerobic activity, and much less jarring on me and my poor middle age body :(

You are a ROCK STAR!

Julie S. said...

That is AWESOME! What an accomplishment!


Blog Design by Nudge Media Design | Powered by Blogger