Monday, June 1, 2015

Back-to-Back Half Marathons & The Boys' First Official Race!

Well, hello there, June!

Today I turned as I was turning the calendar page to a new month, I laughed at how the month of May looked like one of those messy, scribbled up, wadded up coloring pages they give the littles at restaurants to keep them occupied during the long wait for chicken nuggets.  Every square inch of the thirty-one day page was either written in, marked out, or shredded from children constantly yanking it off of the wall to double check the days' events.

Somewhere behind all that messy madness were two brightly highlighted boxes that read Race Day! I'm not sure why I thought running two half-marathons in one month was a good idea, let alone a realistic possibility, but I'm thankful for whatever moment of inspiration motivated me to sign up, because it feels so good to be racing again! Here's a little recap on the events:

{Running with Purpose: Remembering Steve and my beautiful friend, Jolynn, and all those who suffer from Lyme disease with every step.}
The Prairie Fire Half was a local race, which was nice, because I was able to run the race and get back home before the crew even realized I was gone. (They usually don't miss me much until they're starving or can't find something.) Those 7 a.m. start times can be tough, but they're perfect for those of us moms who want to make the most of weekend time with the family.

This was my first time running this particular race, and I really enjoyed the fast, flat course.  Much of the course was off-road on trails that looped through parks, by the river and adjacent to some really lovely neighborhoods.  I didn't make my goal time, but finished well under the two hour mark, so I was pleased with that.

{Ready to Run!! That's my this won't hurt a bit game face.}
Three weeks later, I headed up to my favorite university to join one of my college friends for the Bill Snyder Highway Half.  This was definitely the most scenic race I've ever participated in. It was a bit hazy and overcast the morning of the race which made for mild temps and beautiful sights across the sprawling green Konza Prairie that enveloped the highway along which we ran for the first eight miles of the race.

The night before the race I was pretty restless with pre-race jitters, so catching those much needed zzzz's was almost impossible.  For two weeks prior to the race I had been trying to get over a bronchial infection that had put a serious wrench in my training and still had me coughing and wheezing at times.

I know what you're thinking: whyyyyyyyyyy you do dat?  I think it's called runner's denial.  I'll be fine. It's not that bad.  They'll have medics along the way....the things we tell ourselves!
To be honest, I really was expecting the race to be a struggle, and at times it was.  The first half of the race went pretty smooth, we even tackled, in good time, a 3 mile incline that I thought would never, ever end. Then, around mile eight, even though my legs still had some good giddy-up in them, I could feel my lungs beginning to give out.

It was pretty much down hill from there.  Not literally.  The hills kept coming, and for the first time ever I had to stop and walk during the race. I'll admit having to slow down injured my pride a wee bit, but what they say is true: it's the tough races that make you a stronger runner, not the easy ones. Such is life.

{Willie the Wildcat wanted to have his picture taken with us, since we finished in two-hundred something place.}
The very best part of the race was running with my wonderful friend, and fellow K-Stater, Jill. She is such strong runner, which made pushing the pace, especially at the beginning really fun!  Our fastest miles were actually uphill! Jill is as stubborn as she is strong, because she would not leave me on the course, and I had really slowed down the pace.

I finally convinced her on the last mile (when I stopped again to catch my breath) to run ahead and finish strong. When I got to the finish line, I didn't even want to see my time, but was completely surprised that at 1:52.38 I still managed to keep it under the two hour mark, which wasn't terrible for having to walk twice.
Getting to see my parents, who came up for the race, at the finish line and knowing that cold beer and the best donuts (not together, but much of both) were in my near future were a fine consolation for my craggy lungs.

The final race of the month was a bit of a spontaneous one. The boys have been asking when we could all run a race together and, because our weekend schedules have been a little crazy, I thought a virtual run might be a great way for the guys to test the waters a little.
So, I signed us up for the Remember the Fallen race hosted by Virtual Strides.  We chose this run because our family has a great love and respect for our military, and a portion of the race fees is donated to the families of our service men and women who have lost their lives in dedication to our country.
Because I wanted keep track of the boys' times and make sure we were covering exactly 3.1 miles, I took them in groups (thinking I could keep up!). Ben and Andrew went first, and never. slowed. down.  Then, I turned around and ran the same loop with Henry and George, who also had no problems passing me:
{Et tu, Jorge??}
They all LOVED the run, and I know once they experience the atmosphere of a live race, they are going to love it even more!  Steve and I were so proud of them! Children have so much spunk and enthusiasm - they are natural athletes.  I think their zest for life is such a beautiful image of purity and hope - they really believe that anything is possible!

Benedict: 23:47
Andrew: 26:34
George: 30:55
Henry 31:29


  1. I am very impressed. Amazing job mama! And 1:52 with walking? Hello speedy gonzales! Love the fact that you did a virtual run with the boys and honored the fallen military. We obviously have a deep connection being part of the military, so I appreciate this very much! Love the pic of your son saluting!!

  2. Thanks, Sue! You are one who inspires me every day to keep running! I do love that the boys are starting to get into it to. My big dreams is to run a marathon with one or all of them someday! :)

  3. Wow! I'm so impressed, Susan!


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