I finished… [5.27.13]

Some time ago a friend of mine asked me to join in on a running adventure.  She wondered if I wanted to run a half-marathon with her, her daughter and another friend.  I said sure and signed up for The Fargo Half-Marathon.  What I didn’t think through was this… running and training for an event in May (in North Dakota) means running on a treadmill (which I do not have) or finding one to go to (which I did have) but would have needed to do at the butt crack of dawn (or before) in order to do it without my girls crawling all over me.

Time marched on and my friends trained and trained hard.  I did not.  At some point, I decided I would do a different race that weekend and as it all turns out, it was the absolute best decision EVER.

I ran… I walked… I healed… I changed… I cried… I smiled… I felt proud…
and I did it all… on my own (sort of).

When they say everything happens for a reason, I believe no truer words can be said in the case of my race/run/walk/finish. 

I think to get through this post, I will put the pictures in and try to tell my story from there.  Not sure how it will go so hang in there…

Preparing for the race was something I didn’t do, nor did I get the cute shirts that Jodi, Dixie, and Amanda purchased.  I’m not quite the correct size for the brand we purchased which is fine.  I’m working on it!  In the end, the perfect outfit came together.  I had considered wearing my pink shirt from last year’s Diva Dash, but in the end… Team Gleason needed to be represented at The Fargo Marathon so… I turned one of my favorite t-shirts into a tank (thanks Pinterest). 

In the pic below, there are so many things to make note of… I will make a quick list…

1.  Team Gleason t-shirt and No White Flags bracelet.
2.  Boston Strong Pura Vida bracelet.
3.  Green and Black Team Lindsey Bracelets.
4.  Argyle Brady Bands headband (Green – Lindsey, Black – Melanoma, Red – Jayme Montoya {heart disease}, Blue – Calvin and all those gone too soon, and Yellow – Childhood Cancer)
5.  Fargo Loves Boston Bracelet

IMG_3125  

Yes, this is the butt crack of dawn.  We had to get up extra early because someone was running the 10k instead of the half.  Check out 2 things in this image… 1) The rain in the background and 2) Lipstick is a very important part of my wardrobe.  I used to wear it all the time and am planning to get started again (if I can keep it away from my kids).

IMG_3131

In the parking lot… Left to Right… Amanda, Dixie, Jodi, and me and my double chins!

 IMG_3132

Me in the lobby waiting for the race to start.  I purchased new socks and headphones the night before at the expo.  Just hoping they worked for me during the run!

 IMG_3133 IMG_3134

This is where I was at the start.  See the happy face of the girl waiting in the rain… yep… this is where I sent Jodi a text suggesting she bundle up. 

IMG_3135

All my bracelets.  I added a piece of fabric from the back of my Team Gleason shirt.  It simply says… INSPIRE.

IMG_3137 

Before the race began, I was standing in the rain and was going to make friends with some people around me, but for some reason I just didn’t feel right.  I sought out people with my eyes thinking that they may be a great person to walk with later in the race, but I didn’t chat with anyone.  Sort of odd for me since I am a bit of a chatty girl.  The National Anthem for Canada was played and then for the US.  I was wishing I was in Boston where EVERYONE joins in… so I sang along myself!

As the race started, I had tears in my eyes.  Could I finish this thing?  I knew in my head I could do it.  6.21 miles is nothing compared to what others do everyday.  People fighting cancer, people with ALS, people with heart disease… I could run/walk/or crawl if I had to in order to finish this one thing I started.

I soon dropped my long sleeve shirt on the side of the road hoping when it was picked up that it would be given to charity.  Pretty sure it was.  I passed the Mile 1 mark and it felt good.  5 to go and then the finish line.  Was I running more than I should, was I going to be the last person to finish?  Not sure, but I was going to finish.

Mile 2 came and my phone app I was using to pace myself (C25K) came to the end of Week 1 – Day 1 and I had to switch to Week 1 – Day 2.  When I did, the music I normally listen to when running disappeared.  I guess a part of training is getting your brain all settled on the programs we use on our phones.  So, all of a sudden I pass Mile 2 sign and I hear the voice of a photography instructor from a class I never finished.  I LOVE her blog, I love her work, I love her attitude, and I decided if Karen can train and complete a triathlon, then who better to run Mile 2 with.  So, I listened to Week 3 of The Photographers’ Workshop.  When I returned from my race I wrote a quick email to Karen to let her know how awesome it was to have her running with me.

IMG_3139

And somewhere between Mile 2 and 3… this guy passed me and it made me think of Steve Gleason and his crew making it to the top of a mountain in Peru.  It made me keep going, because if these guys can do it… so can I.

IMG_3140 

Then I found the next sign… Mile 3.  Somewhere between Mile 3 and 4 I had to switch my running app again so I lost my running partner, Karen and music started playing again. 

IMG_3142 

I skipped the Christmas songs and clicked my way through and all of a sudden I hear a song that made me think of my girls.  So, while I may have run Mile 1 on my own, my girls were with me during Mile 3 and the lyrics of this song made me start crying.  Tears were in my eyes and I had to wipe them away and focus.  I wanted to remember the moment forever and where I was when I realized I was stronger than I thought.  When I knew I was going to be okay and that all the work I have been doing on finding myself is working.  Check out the song I heard as I passed the elementary school at this corner… Believe from Barbie and the Diamond Castle.

IMG_3143 

Before the race even began, I knew I wanted to play a song that is near and dear to my heart.  One Day at a Time by Christy Lane has always been Grandma Mushka’s song and I can close my eyes and remember singing it on a big pile of dirt at the farm (she says it was manure… but I like to think it was dirt).  Instead of hearing that, a different song, by Christy Lane played.  I can’t find the youtube link with her, but here is Kris Kristofferson singing one of my Grandma’s faves, Why Me Lord – which again brought tears to my eyes. 

IMG_3144 

At this point, I have run on my own, with Karen, with my girls, and my grandma.  She was one fast walker so she would have and easily could have whooped me in a 10k back in the day. 

In the meantime….

The girl in the tutu passes me and I think… Well, if she is passing me, I better keep going and get going.  You are over half way there!!! 

IMG_3145 

And just before Mile 5 my daycare person (who ROCKS) sends me a text of my daughter from when she was at daycare.  So, I got to run with Sophia as well. 

IMG_3146 

And while I didn’t notice this until now… this was painted on the pavement and I know it says 5 (as in Mile 5 of the 10k) but if you want to look at it differently it could read… 5 — i ok.  As in… I’m okay and I got this!  Because Mile 6 is just around the corner!

IMG_3147 

Where you can see in the distance the most welcoming sight this Fighting Sioux alum has ever seen (on this particular day)… The Fargodome.

IMG_3148 IMG_3150

As I entered the dome, I made sure my favorite running song was playing by the Imagine Dragons (and introduced to me by Karen from Mile 2)… I’m On Top of the World.

I FINISHED!  I did it in 1 hour and 37 minutes…. not 3 hours, but 1 hour and 37 minutes.  I went through Week 1 of my C25k running app and started Week 2 but did not finish the first day.  I entered the dome and crossed the same finish line timing mat that was used in Boston… I crossed it with my hand over my heart to remember Boston.

The picture the pro took has my eyes closed so this is the best shot following the race.  I needed some lipstick for sure!

IMG_3152 

And you can see my finisher’s medal… or as my son calls it my “participation ribbon”.  What a turd!

IMG_3154 

After I finished, I booked it out of the dome to see if I could find the girls.  I started walking their course backward from the finish line to wherever I would find them.  And here she is… Miss Dixie just before Mile 12 of her 13.1 miles. 

IMG_3158 

And while searching for Jodi and Amanda, I saw this guy.  He ran the half-marathon in his full gear.  Wow!  Only word I can think of.

IMG_3159 

Finally found Amanda… she was smiling and upright here, but later she was less enthusiastic and running a bit more ‘slouchy’.  Keep that head up next race girl!

IMG_3160 

And Jodi… after Mile 11 but before Mile 12 of 13.1.  What a smile she has at this point!  Go Jodi!

IMG_3162 

Oops… a little less enthusiastic at this point, but still trucking along.

IMG_3163 

And then I lost them… I couldn’t keep up so they crossed the finish line without me inside.  But, it was well worth it to help cheer them along at the points where I found them.  I still haven’t figured it out, but I went backwards and looped around their course a minimum of 3 miles extra following my race.  Which is in all liklihood why…

My new sock got a hole in it!  (Pardon the crappy looking toe but this is so sad!)  Brand new Under Armour sock… trashed!

IMG_3164 

And a quick pic at the motel before I took off the sweaty clothes.  The motel was AWESOME by the way.  When in Fargo, check out the Hilton Garden Inn.  I even went online and did a review for them they were that awesome!

IMG_3165 

And… one final image of my medal and bib.  I love that there is a Bible verse on my ribbon (and it is on the back of the medal as well). 

IMG_3167       

Oh… I lied… One more image… A series of pics I took of Jodi while we decided what to do for supper and drank our $9 martinis and wine.

IMG_3182

Thanks for stinking with me…  I made it through the race and am ready to figure out what is next on the list of things to do.  Not sure a half is in my future, but you never know.  Don’t think I have the desire to do a full marathon either.  I once thought I wanted to, but I really don’t think it is necessary.  Crossing the finish line after 6.21 was pretty awesome and I am sure will be great again.  The key to the whole thing… I FINISHED!  I finished something I started and I can’t wait to see what is next.

-robin

I finished… [5.27.13]

Some time ago a friend of mine asked me to join in on a running adventure.  She wondered if I wanted to run a half-marathon with her, her daughter and another friend.  I said sure and signed up for The Fargo Half-Marathon.  What I didn’t think through was this… running and training for an event in May (in North Dakota) means running on a treadmill (which I do not have) or finding one to go to (which I did have) but would have needed to do at the butt crack of dawn (or before) in order to do it without my girls crawling all over me.

Time marched on and my friends trained and trained hard.  I did not.  At some point, I decided I would do a different race that weekend and as it all turns out, it was the absolute best decision EVER.

I ran… I walked… I healed… I changed… I cried… I smiled… I felt proud…
and I did it all… on my own (sort of).

When they say everything happens for a reason, I believe no truer words can be said in the case of my race/run/walk/finish. 

I think to get through this post, I will put the pictures in and try to tell my story from there.  Not sure how it will go so hang in there…

Preparing for the race was something I didn’t do, nor did I get the cute shirts that Jodi, Dixie, and Amanda purchased.  I’m not quite the correct size for the brand we purchased which is fine.  I’m working on it!  In the end, the perfect outfit came together.  I had considered wearing my pink shirt from last year’s Diva Dash, but in the end… Team Gleason needed to be represented at The Fargo Marathon so… I turned one of my favorite t-shirts into a tank (thanks Pinterest). 

In the pic below, there are so many things to make note of… I will make a quick list…

1.  Team Gleason t-shirt and No White Flags bracelet.
2.  Boston Strong Pura Vida bracelet.
3.  Green and Black Team Lindsey Bracelets.
4.  Argyle Brady Bands headband (Green – Lindsey, Black – Melanoma, Red – Jayme Montoya {heart disease}, Blue – Calvin and all those gone too soon, and Yellow – Childhood Cancer)
5.  Fargo Loves Boston Bracelet

IMG_3125  

Yes, this is the butt crack of dawn.  We had to get up extra early because someone was running the 10k instead of the half.  Check out 2 things in this image… 1) The rain in the background and 2) Lipstick is a very important part of my wardrobe.  I used to wear it all the time and am planning to get started again (if I can keep it away from my kids).

IMG_3131

In the parking lot… Left to Right… Amanda, Dixie, Jodi, and me and my double chins!

 IMG_3132

Me in the lobby waiting for the race to start.  I purchased new socks and headphones the night before at the expo.  Just hoping they worked for me during the run!

 IMG_3133 IMG_3134

This is where I was at the start.  See the happy face of the girl waiting in the rain… yep… this is where I sent Jodi a text suggesting she bundle up. 

IMG_3135

All my bracelets.  I added a piece of fabric from the back of my Team Gleason shirt.  It simply says… INSPIRE.

IMG_3137 

Before the race began, I was standing in the rain and was going to make friends with some people around me, but for some reason I just didn’t feel right.  I sought out people with my eyes thinking that they may be a great person to walk with later in the race, but I didn’t chat with anyone.  Sort of odd for me since I am a bit of a chatty girl.  The National Anthem for Canada was played and then for the US.  I was wishing I was in Boston where EVERYONE joins in… so I sang along myself!

As the race started, I had tears in my eyes.  Could I finish this thing?  I knew in my head I could do it.  6.21 miles is nothing compared to what others do everyday.  People fighting cancer, people with ALS, people with heart disease… I could run/walk/or crawl if I had to in order to finish this one thing I started.

I soon dropped my long sleeve shirt on the side of the road hoping when it was picked up that it would be given to charity.  Pretty sure it was.  I passed the Mile 1 mark and it felt good.  5 to go and then the finish line.  Was I running more than I should, was I going to be the last person to finish?  Not sure, but I was going to finish.

Mile 2 came and my phone app I was using to pace myself (C25K) came to the end of Week 1 – Day 1 and I had to switch to Week 1 – Day 2.  When I did, the music I normally listen to when running disappeared.  I guess a part of training is getting your brain all settled on the programs we use on our phones.  So, all of a sudden I pass Mile 2 sign and I hear the voice of a photography instructor from a class I never finished.  I LOVE her blog, I love her work, I love her attitude, and I decided if Karen can train and complete a triathlon, then who better to run Mile 2 with.  So, I listened to Week 3 of The Photographers’ Workshop.  When I returned from my race I wrote a quick email to Karen to let her know how awesome it was to have her running with me.

IMG_3139

And somewhere between Mile 2 and 3… this guy passed me and it made me think of Steve Gleason and his crew making it to the top of a mountain in Peru.  It made me keep going, because if these guys can do it… so can I.

IMG_3140 

Then I found the next sign… Mile 3.  Somewhere between Mile 3 and 4 I had to switch my running app again so I lost my running partner, Karen and music started playing again. 

IMG_3142 

I skipped the Christmas songs and clicked my way through and all of a sudden I hear a song that made me think of my girls.  So, while I may have run Mile 1 on my own, my girls were with me during Mile 3 and the lyrics of this song made me start crying.  Tears were in my eyes and I had to wipe them away and focus.  I wanted to remember the moment forever and where I was when I realized I was stronger than I thought.  When I knew I was going to be okay and that all the work I have been doing on finding myself is working.  Check out the song I heard as I passed the elementary school at this corner… Believe from Barbie and the Diamond Castle.

IMG_3143 

Before the race even began, I knew I wanted to play a song that is near and dear to my heart.  One Day at a Time by Christy Lane has always been Grandma Mushka’s song and I can close my eyes and remember singing it on a big pile of dirt at the farm (she says it was manure… but I like to think it was dirt).  Instead of hearing that, a different song, by Christy Lane played.  I can’t find the youtube link with her, but here is Kris Kristofferson singing one of my Grandma’s faves, Why Me Lord – which again brought tears to my eyes. 

IMG_3144 

At this point, I have run on my own, with Karen, with my girls, and my grandma.  She was one fast walker so she would have and easily could have whooped me in a 10k back in the day. 

In the meantime….

The girl in the tutu passes me and I think… Well, if she is passing me, I better keep going and get going.  You are over half way there!!! 

IMG_3145 

And just before Mile 5 my daycare person (who ROCKS) sends me a text of my daughter from when she was at daycare.  So, I got to run with Sophia as well. 

IMG_3146 

And while I didn’t notice this until now… this was painted on the pavement and I know it says 5 (as in Mile 5 of the 10k) but if you want to look at it differently it could read… 5 — i ok.  As in… I’m okay and I got this!  Because Mile 6 is just around the corner!

IMG_3147 

Where you can see in the distance the most welcoming sight this Fighting Sioux alum has ever seen (on this particular day)… The Fargodome.

IMG_3148 IMG_3150

As I entered the dome, I made sure my favorite running song was playing by the Imagine Dragons (and introduced to me by Karen from Mile 2)… I’m On Top of the World.

I FINISHED!  I did it in 1 hour and 37 minutes…. not 3 hours, but 1 hour and 37 minutes.  I went through Week 1 of my C25k running app and started Week 2 but did not finish the first day.  I entered the dome and crossed the same finish line timing mat that was used in Boston… I crossed it with my hand over my heart to remember Boston.

The picture the pro took has my eyes closed so this is the best shot following the race.  I needed some lipstick for sure!

IMG_3152 

And you can see my finisher’s medal… or as my son calls it my “participation ribbon”.  What a turd!

IMG_3154 

After I finished, I booked it out of the dome to see if I could find the girls.  I started walking their course backward from the finish line to wherever I would find them.  And here she is… Miss Dixie just before Mile 12 of her 13.1 miles. 

IMG_3158 

And while searching for Jodi and Amanda, I saw this guy.  He ran the half-marathon in his full gear.  Wow!  Only word I can think of.

IMG_3159 

Finally found Amanda… she was smiling and upright here, but later she was less enthusiastic and running a bit more ‘slouchy’.  Keep that head up next race girl!

IMG_3160 

And Jodi… after Mile 11 but before Mile 12 of 13.1.  What a smile she has at this point!  Go Jodi!

IMG_3162 

Oops… a little less enthusiastic at this point, but still trucking along.

IMG_3163 

And then I lost them… I couldn’t keep up so they crossed the finish line without me inside.  But, it was well worth it to help cheer them along at the points where I found them.  I still haven’t figured it out, but I went backwards and looped around their course a minimum of 3 miles extra following my race.  Which is in all liklihood why…

My new sock got a hole in it!  (Pardon the crappy looking toe but this is so sad!)  Brand new Under Armour sock… trashed!

IMG_3164 

And a quick pic at the motel before I took off the sweaty clothes.  The motel was AWESOME by the way.  When in Fargo, check out the Hilton Garden Inn.  I even went online and did a review for them they were that awesome!

IMG_3165 

And… one final image of my medal and bib.  I love that there is a Bible verse on my ribbon (and it is on the back of the medal as well). 

IMG_3167       

Oh… I lied… One more image… A series of pics I took of Jodi while we decided what to do for supper and drank our $9 martinis and wine.

IMG_3182

Thanks for stinking with me…  I made it through the race and am ready to figure out what is next on the list of things to do.  Not sure a half is in my future, but you never know.  Don’t think I have the desire to do a full marathon either.  I once thought I wanted to, but I really don’t think it is necessary.  Crossing the finish line after 6.21 was pretty awesome and I am sure will be great again.  The key to the whole thing… I FINISHED!  I finished something I started and I can’t wait to see what is next.

-robin