cowbells, hand sanitizer and roller coasters

in elementary school, i was always the last to finish the mile run.

in middle school, i ran on my own (for "fun", and to stay slim), but was still pretty slow.

in high school, i ran once in a while, on my own, and continued my pokey pace. 

in college, i forced myself to jog once in a while (to work off the beer i drank).  (especially during the months i studied abroad in england.)

after having my first child, i trained for my first half marathon to lose the baby weight.  and then another after my second child.  plus a full marathon in between having my second and my third.

over the years, got my pace down to about 8 and a half minute miles.  awesome for me, considering i ran 11 minute miles after my first child was born.

and yesterday i ran in a half marathon (the cellcom in green bay, wisconsin) to lose my third pregnancy's weight. 

(i still have 6-8 pounds to go and a bunch of flab to tighten up.  anyone know how to do that? p90x? 
yeah, yeah, yeah...but i'd rather do something that takes less than 1 1/2 hours per day!)

yesterday was hot, hot, hot.  i didn't train the way i needed to, and was a bit panicked about how i'd do.  luckily, i did a lot better than i thought i'd do. (not just time-wise, but with less pain (until i got out of bed this morning--yow!), less panic, and i enjoyed it.) i expected my time to be between 10 1/2 minute and 11 minute miles, but ran at a 10:04 minute pace.  i finished in 2 hours, 14 minutes.

ten minutes after i crossed the finish line, they CANCELLED the marathon due to extreme heat.

temps were in the upper 80s and many runners had collapsed on the side of the road.  apparently hospitals ran out of ambulances.  the two hospitals in the area were full of runners.  ambulances were running 25 mintues behind, meaning if one was needed, they wouldn't respond until well after the call came in.

the race was well organized, and had planned for the forecasted hot weather.  water and gatorade stations were well staffed and full of fluid.  cups of ice were offered, as were packets of goo, oranges and bananas.  many families in the neighborhoods on the route put up sprinklers for us (i was incredibly grateful). 

but it was still just too hot for many.

before the drama of heavy heat hit, i stood at the start line with a friend. in the minutes before the starting gun was fired, we shared inspirational quotes we'd heard:  "pain is temporary.  pride lasts forever."  "pain is weakness leaving your body."  and of course, some of our favorites from past races (oh, the memories...):

once,  after using an icky porta potty--one without hand sanitizer--i ran the rest of the race hoping to see my husband, and hoping he had some on him.  you know, something all husbands toting two small boys should carry.  when i saw him, he didn't. (my friends were pretty sick of me griping about my germy hands by the time we crossed the finish line.)


during that same race, my one friend fell in love with all the cowbells we heard along the way.  she kept yelling, "more cowbell!" at everyone.  little did we know this was already an actual saying and funny clip.  view it here for a laugh.

the other friend commented, after going up hills and down hills and around corners, "this route is like a roller coaster for my feet!"

well, after that, we decided we should get t-shirts made with our running sayings. (i was ecstatic that mine would showcase what a germ-freak i was....(not!))

the best sayings i found yesterday were from some of the signs people held up for the runners: 

"pain now, beer later."

"my husband is quick. isn't that what you wanted me to say, hun?"

"i'm proud of you, perfect stranger."

"if brittany spears can make it through 2007, you can make it through this race."

heroic runners from yesterday: the older men behind us today were chatting about how they came in to wisconsin just for the cellcom because they'd been in a different state, doing a different marathon (full) the day before.  they were doing the 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. (wowza!)

heated emotions:  while i would have chosen to quit at the half mara point, even if i'd signed up for the full (due to the heavy heat), i know that my body was handling the heat better than others.

i feel for the runners who'd trained hard and were ready to run it through to the end, regardless of the heat. 
i feel for the runners who came to wisconsin just for the race, especially those with lofty goals (like the two gentlemen i mentioned) who may have had to let go of those goals due to the heat and the decision the marathon officials made. 
(don't get me wrong, i think the officials made the right call.)
safety first. 
i also feel for all those who collapsed and were hospitalized.  and for those attending to their medical needs. 
it takes a lot of great people to put on a marathon!

while i ran with my friend for about two miles today, the rest of the time i was on my own.
my first solo race!
it was my first half marthon by myself. 
i was readier than i thought. i did better than i expected.  and i enjoyed running by myself when i thought i'd freak out and panic. 
i bought new earbuds for the race, and even though i accidentally bought the ones that were $40 and not $20, they were worth it! 
me and music made it through.

i missed my dad. 
due to a recenty hip replacement, he wasn't able to come to cheer me on.  while  he wasn't there physically, i knew he was there in spirit.   he was the one who got me running in the first place, and he was my first running partner.  we ran our last half marathon together in 2009.

just before his surgery, doctors commented how bad his hip was due to arthriti,s and they couldn't believe he ran marathons with how deteriorated it was--especially since his x-rays in 2008 looked atrocious, yet he was running into last year! 

i can't imagine the pain he went through to keep running the past four years, and to run those races with me.  i know i will always, always think of him when i run, and a part of me will run for as long as i can for him.  those training runs and races we did together will always be dear memories for me.
so, nope. the heat didn't affect me at all.  except maybe the four or five times i swore i saw brett favre on the sidewalk clapping for the runners....

oh, and i leave you with this cool thing:  if you run races, you can go to www.athlinks.com and type in your name and find all offical races you've been in along with your offical times.  very cool.  i'd lost track of what i'd run, and now i can find those races and the results so i can look back at my progress over the years!

off to get a colder ice pack!


  1. I wish I'd start running again--my current life plan involves getting into shape when I'm 40 (so that gives me a few years of slacking time). That stinks that it got so hot, but I'm glad they were responsible enough to cancel. I really enjoyed this post, and I love the reference to Cowbell (that Will Ferrell sketch is hilarious) :)

  2. I believe I was the slowest runner in my school. :) Even though I was a decent athlete when I was younger, I never did get into the running thing. Could be due to the ACL, MCL, cartlidge issues, shin splints and tendonitis I had from the other sports... :)

    I'm SO impressed by your runs - you rock!!


Stay and chat with us! Share your thoughts.