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I'm going to run a MARATHON!

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Tuesday, April 26th, 2005
2:47 pm
http://photos.yahoo.com/erinmichelle_82 .... Marathon pics are in the "Sports Pics" album.

(I had to delete the entry with this link so that I could print out the marathon story nicely for an interview - but it's back now!)

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Monday, October 11th, 2004
2:05 pm - A 26.2 mile celebration

Yesterday was such a whirlwind that I almost feel like I'm going to wake up and find it was all a dream, and that the marathon is still ahead of me. However, the pain in every part of my body today is kind of like the pinch in the arm that tells you you're in fact not dreaming. Yesterday was real. I really ran the marathon that I've been preparing six months for, and the day went even better than I imagined or hoped it would … better than if I had planned it out minute by minute myself.


I want to record every detail about my big day, but I know I'm sure to forget many little parts. I'll do my best to write it all on here, and the rest will have to remain a part of my memories – memories that I'm sure I'll keep with me until the day I die.


Saturday night Christi and I put our names and our bib numbers on our shirts, and on the back we wrote "Just Keep Running… Just Keep Running!" which has been our mantra throughout all of our training. We also attached our timing chips to our running shoes. Monkey and Katie arrived from Oshkosh and we visited with them for awhile before heading to bed around 10:00.


I awoke at 3:56 a.m. yesterday and my alarm was to go off at 4:00. The last time I looked at the clock before falling asleep, it was 2:01. Less than two hours of sleep and I was getting up to run 26.2 miles. I was not a happy camper as I got out of bed, but once I was into the shower, my excitement and nervousness replaced my tiredness. I hadn't slept because Christi's stupid pugs, Cooper and Farley, were camped right outside the bedroom door and wouldn't stop panting and scratching at the floor and door. I was nervous and probably wouldn't have slept much anyway, but they sure didn't help my mood. Christi finally took them into another room and slept there with them, so I had her bed to myself for my two hours. I felt bad for her – she only got ONE hour of sleep. When I woke her up at 4:30, though, she was surprisingly chipper, and I was happy about that.


We stretched and attempted to eat, but I was too nervous to eat much. The four of us left the house around 5:45. We walked the twenty minutes to the train station in the dark and my emotions went back and forth between I'm walking toward my doom and I'm about to do this awesome thing!  We got on the train and had to stand because it was so packed. All kinds of marathoners were on the train with us. We got off at Grant Park and it was quite a sight to see. The sun was just beginning to rise and thousands of people were milling about. It was so crazy that all these people were here together and awake at 6:30 in the morning!

We used the bathroom right away while there were no lines, and then we made our way to the starting area. I was glad to see that the pace signs went all the way to a 12-minute mile. We were planning on lining up by the 10-minute mile signs, so there would still be plenty of people behind us!

At 7am we went over to the Buckingham Fountain to try to find Jess, and we had no trouble finding her right away! We all walked back to the starting area. We talked and drank water and I ate a Cliff bar and Christi and I put our Body Glide on all over. At about 7:20 we stood in line to go to the bathroom one last time and we waited about 15 minutes. I was so nervous and excited so I was acting a bit obnoxious, as I tend to do, and Monkey and Katie were ready to strangle me. It was pretty funny. I tried to relax because I was using up all my stored glycogen! (they all laughed at that comment) Christi and I joked to each other how we're always just crazy when we decide to do things. Neither of us has ever run a real race, and it's suggested that you run at least a 5K or 10K before attempting a marathon. They also suggest you start with a small marathon. Chicago is the biggest one in the world. We definitely like to jump right in when we do something!

A little before 8:00 we were in our starting spot and we hugged Monkey and Katie good-bye. Then the crowd started slowly moving forward. Music blasted from the speakers nearby. "Baby We Were Born To RUN!" by Bruce Springstein played and it was so cool. As we were walking, I looked to my left and thought I saw Alex's hat. I thought, no way, but then sure enough, I saw my mom and Dave, too! They were walking in the other direction so they didn't see me, but I was so happy just to know they were there! I thought it was a little boost from God, a sign that I could do this! I said a silent thank you to Him for getting me there and for making it the most beautiful, perfect day ever. I worried for weeks and weeks about what the weather would be like on marathon day. If it were too hot, I'd be miserable. If it were too cold, I'd be miserable. Yesterday, the sun was shining and the temperature was in the mid-50's and there was a constant cool breeze. It couldn't have been more perfect.


As we approached the starting line, Christi and I clasped hands, smiled at each other, and began to run. The feeling of starting and being with all those people was indescribable. I really felt like I was about to do something big. Clothes were flying everywhere as runners discarded the long-sleeve shirts and sweatshirts they had been wearing to keep them warm before they started. When we entered a tunnel beneath the city a huge wave of sound ran through it as all the runners cheered. It was beautiful. I didn’t even feel like I was running – more like I was floating above my body. When we reached the one-mile mark, we couldn’t believe that we had been running a whole mile already. The time clock said 25:00-something, so we knew we had taken about fifteen minutes to actually cross the starting line.


For the first few miles we talked happily and enjoyed all the cheering fans around us. We started to hear our names being called and it was really cool. "Go Erin! Go Christi!" I'm really glad we had our names on our shirts. There were so many people holding signs and some were really funny to read. "You're going the wrong way!" "Diana, I'm missing football for this. Run Faster!" "Run like you stole something!" And just a lot with people's names on them. I saw a few for Erin! I couldn't believe how truly supportive all the people were, the whole entire way. I must have heard my name yelled at least 250 times during the race! For the first ten miles or so I thanked every person who cheered for me, but then that got old. I did smile at every person who screamed my name though, all the way until the end.


Fellow runners even encouraged each other. We were all in this together and the camaraderie was nice. A lot of people commented on our JUST KEEP RUNNING signs on our backs. One lady even sang the little song to us. (as in the just keep swimming song from Finding Nemo) It was cute. During one of our walk breaks later in the race, two men passed us and said, "your backs have been encouraging us for the past hour!" We passed them a few minutes later, so we went right on encouraging them.


My family said they saw me at mile 2 and screamed my name but I didn't see them. They said I was waving at other people and that I had a huge smile on my face. I really expended a lot of energy those first few miles by yelling and jumping around and waving. I just couldn't help myself – it was all so exciting!

Christi and I took our first walk break after mile 3. The plan was to walk one minute after each mile marker, but the first few breaks were probably only 20-30 seconds since we were so excited and feeling so good. The first few times we caught up to Jess when we started running again, but after mile 6 we lost her. I felt bad, but I knew she'd be fine on her own. (and she was … I talked to her on the phone last night … she finished a few minutes ahead of us and had the time of her life, just like we did)


The first miles just flew by. The first six or eight miles felt like absolutely nothing. I had been so worried about water stations and really, I had nothing to be concerned over. I realized very soon in the race that the first few thousand runners are the serious ones and the rest of the people, like us, were just out there to run 26 miles and have a blast while doing it. No one is really that concerned with time; the goal is just to finish. So at the water stations there was no pressure to get out of people's way or to get the liquid into my mouth really fast. I just took a cup from a volunteer and walked a few steps while I drank it.

We took our first and only bathroom break after about ten miles. We had to wait in line about five minutes, but we didn't really care. That bathroom break made us both feel a lot better! The men had it easy… all along the course men would veer off into the grass or into an alley and just whip it out and pee. I only saw one woman pop a squat.

At mile 11 Christi shouted "There's our friends!" I looked over and there was Monkey and Katie, holding signs and cheering for us. It was so great! I went over and either half-hugged them or high-fived them – I don't really remember – and we kept running. All this time I was looking for my family, hoping to see them soon, and hoping we wouldn’t be walking when they saw us.

At mile 12 we rounded a corner, on a walk break of course, and I heard my brother yell ERIN! When I saw my family waving excitedly I jumped and ran over to them. I had all these plans to yell I'm running a marathon! And I LOVE YOU GUYS! but that didn't happen. I was just so excited and it happened so fast. I first saw my cousin Katie and my uncle Jim and aunt Jill and I high-fived them. I briefly saw Dan (who I haven't seen in almost two months!) and his new girlfriend, Jessica, and then my mom was in my face for a second and I hugged her. Then there was Dave, snapping a picture of me at very close range (that'll be a pretty one! haha) and I gave him a quick kiss and we kept going. I didn't see my brother, Alex, or Dad, and I felt bad about it, so I hoped we'd see them later on in the course.


We each ate a few gel packs along the way, and they helped, but they didn't quite cut it. I had put a few Skittles in my pocket before we started and around mile 15 I grabbed them, all six of them, and we each ate three. They were the best Skittles we've ever tasted!


By this time, I was so proud of Christi. Honestly, I never thought she'd make it even this far. I didn't doubt HER exactly, but I doubted ANYONE's ability to run a marathon after she'd all but abandoned her training in the last two months. But she was just plugging along, like it was nothing! It was just awesome, and I was so happy to have her by my side.

She really started hurting around mile 18. I was hurting by this time, too, but encouraging her to keep going distracted me from my own pain. I saw my cousin, Katie, around this point, cheering us on again. When we passed the 20 mile marker I was so excited. I've never run 20 miles before! This is where the infamous WALL supposedly happens, but we were feeling pretty darn good still!


We were ravenously hungry at this point, but we had no food. Suddenly I spotted a girl handing out Nutrigrain bars. I ran by and took one and said I LOVE YOU! to her. I split it with Christi and it was the best damn thing we've ever eaten in our lives. A little later someone gave me a banana and we split that, too. Best banana ever. Thank God for those nice people. We really needed that food!


Between miles 17 and 20 or so I had about four people yell things like, "Erin! You're looking really strong! Way to go!" After I heard that the fourth time I got paranoid and asked Christi, "are they just saying that because, really, I look like crap?" She managed a little laugh and said no. I realize they probably were serious because I really felt so good and was still enjoying the moment so much that I was smiling a lot and looking strong.

A little after mile 20, Christi said, "I don't know if I have six more miles in me." I told her she definitely did. I was feeling a lot better than she was at this point… I was majorly high on endorphins knowing we only had six more miles to go. I kept encouraging her and she was a trooper. A little after mile 21 we saw my family again. This time I made sure to run up and hug my dad. Then my mom ran with me for about ten seconds and she was so cute! She had this huge smile on her face and she told me how good I still looked and how proud she was of me. It was great. Then all of the sudden, Dan and Dave were running beside us. I had asked Dan to run a few miles with me but I didn't think he was going to. I hadn't even asked Dave because I know how much he hates to run. But there they were, and it was wonderful. They both said how proud they were of us. I had bought a disposable camera for Dave to use and he had it with him and snapped a few pics. They ran with us from mile 21 until about 25. It was so nice to have them there. They distracted us and talked to us and made us laugh. And they got to experience what it's like to run in a marathon! They left us before mile 25 to get up to the finish line and see us finish. We said we'd see them in a little while!

Toward the end, and throughout the whole race, actually, more people were walking than I ever expected. We walked at a fast pace for one minute each mile, but some people were walking for very long periods of time. At times I wanted to run faster but just couldn't get around all the slow people.

When we crossed the mile 25 marker, I started to cry. I couldn't believe that we only had a mile to go in this marathon, and that we were going to finish TOGETHER. I think I had hit my wall at about mile 24 and was really hurting now, but I ignored the pain and tried to enjoy the moment. A few minutes later a lady was yelling, "just turn at the stop light and you can see the finish! You're almost there!" Well, we were almost there, but as for the rest, she was lying. We had to go through TWO stoplights, and then go up a big HILL, and then turn a corner, and THEN we could see the finish line. But when we did see that big FINISH sign, we were so excited. A huge crowd of people were cheering their hearts out still, after more than five hours of cheering their hearts out, and it was amazing. Christi and I clasped hands again and ran across the finish line together. It was an unforgettable moment. We had just run a marathon. And we did it together, every step of the way.

The time clock said 5:27 when we crossed, so we knew our time was a little over 5 hours. Our official time ended up being exactly the same: 5:13:56. That is a LONG time to be running. Time was never a factor, though. We went to the bathroom, we hugged people, we ate and we drank. It truly was a 26.2 mile celebration filled with music and so many people and different neighborhoods of Chicago and just fun, fun, fun.

Officially, I finished #27,708 and she finished #27,709 out of 33,125 people who finished. This means that over six thousand people never even finished! We were pretty slow in the whole scheme of things, but I couldn't care less. We finished! 


My family or her parents didn't get to see us finish because the crowds were so big. We walked through the finish area and got our silver blanket things to wrap up in. Next, a volunteer put a medal around our neck and that was a great moment. The moment I was running toward and waiting for. The medal is really nice! Then another volunteer cut the timing chip off of our shoe. Then we made it to the food area, which was VERY exciting. My body has never wanted food so badly. I grabbed an apple and devoured it, and then ate an oatmeal breakfast square, and drank a bottle of water. Ahhhhh, that felt good.

We met up with Dave and Dan, and then with Christi's parents who hugged and congratulated us. Ten long minutes later my family found us and my mom hugged me, crying like a big old baby. It was really sweet. I met Jessica, Dan's girlfriend, and everyone else hugged me, too. A few minutes later Monkey and Katie showed up and congratulated us and gave us our stuff back. Katie was sweet to haul my PINK bag around all day for me!

We took some more pictures, and then my family left to go to Jim and Jill's. Dave and I said we'd meet them there once we got back to Christi's to get my stuff and my car. The Anderson's took us to Christi's, but not before a 2+ mile walk to their car. I was kind of cranky by the time we made it to the car. I didn't really enjoy running a marathon and then having to walk another two miles!

For each of my long runs in my training, I didn't feel all that great during the run, but I felt awesome afterwards. Well, the marathon was the complete opposite. I felt fabulous pretty much the whole race, but I felt like HELL when it was over. My knees and back were on fire, and my stomach was really upset. I was dehydrated and hungry and sore and it sucked.

We finally made it to Christi's and after a few minutes we said good-bye to everyone. I thanked Christi for an awesome weekend and told her how truly proud of her I was. We have been through a lot together over the past years and we've made lots of truly great memories, but this one is definitely going to go on top. We did this together, just like we planned, and it was great.

Dave and I left for Jim and Jill's, and I sat in the passenger seat, clutching my stomach the whole way there. They had pizza waiting for us, and I had a few small pieces as we all re-hashed the day's events. We didn't stay long; I just wanted to get home. Mom drove with us and we made it to Dad's house. We visited a little and then dropped Al and Mom at home and came home ourselves. It was great to be home. I soaked in a cold tub, which was excruciating, but helpful, and then I took a hot shower. I went to bed by 10:00 and slept for about ten hours. I woke up this morning and felt like I'd been hit by a bus. The happiness and pride outweigh the pain about a million to one, though.

I'll post pics tonight. There are also a bunch available for me to buy online, which I'm probably going to do, too. I think I'm going to make a scrapbook of the whole experience.


So that's my story. Yesterday was one of the greatest days of my life, and truly one of the coolest things I will probably ever experience. It renewed my faith in the kindness of people. It made me realize that I can do anything I put my mind to. It was definitely worth it. Would I do it all over again? Hell yeah. Will I do another one, though? Probably not.

But I did it. And I've never been more proud of myself.

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Sunday, October 10th, 2004
6:34 pm

Today I ran a marathon. It was the most amazing experience I've ever, ever had.

Tomorrow I have the whole day to lay around and be sore and bask in my accompishment, so I'll have plenty of time to post ALL the details then.

A whole marathon. I've finally done it, and it feels WONDERFUL.

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Saturday, October 9th, 2004
6:34 pm
Whoa, baby - it's the night before the marathon.

We just got home from the pasta dinner at the Hilton. It was fun! They showed a video of last year's race and when people crossed the finish line I just cried and cried. It was so inspiring! We sat at a table with some nice people... one man from California who usually runs his marathons in 5 1/2 + hours, and one lady who ran Boston twice, and one girl who is running her first tomorrow, like me! The food was just ok, but the experience was fun.

I slept alright last night... We went and bought healthy snacks this morning and got movies (Pieces of April and Farhenheit 9/11) and got subs for lunch. By the time our movies were over it was time to leave and now we're back... the day went really fast. I'm going to head to bed very soon and get up by 4:00. We need to be out of the house by like 5:30 or 5:45... we're taking the train to Grant Park. That Jessica girl called today and we're going to look for each other by Buckingham fountain around 7am... I hope I can find her.

I am so excited. I need to get to bed. This is my LAST POST before the marathon! Holy hell. GOOD LUCK TO ME!

It's going to be the hardest, craziest, awesomest thing I've ever done. 26.2 here I come.

Good night! P.S. It's 8:49pm. The time is wrong on here again. OK BYE!

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Friday, October 8th, 2004
9:09 pm
I'm drunk.

I should not be drunk when it's only a day from the marathon!

I got to Chicago this afternoon after two and half hours of torrential rain and major traffic... It was great to see Christi! She got me stuff from London and baked a cake that said I'm so proud of you! on it... very sweet. We went to the expo... it took us over an hour to get there with stupid traffic... and we got our packets and Tshirts and some other fun stuff. It was very cool! Definitely got us in the spirit. Then we had a 9:15 dinner reservation at Ben Pow's downtown... a WAY yummy Chinese place. That's why I'm durnk. We just got home... it was SO YUMMY... we had to carb load and we did with tons of brown rice with our ginger shrimp and sweet and sour chicken. Mmmmmm.... We didn't get our table right away, so between waiting and dinner, we both had three glasses of wine... this usually wouldn't be THAT much, but I hadn't eaten since before noon today! So I'm tipsy. I am ready for bed, just about.

I am SO excited for the marathon. We watched a video of the course tonight at the Expo... it took so long just to WATCH it, and it was in really fast-motion! It's going to be so hard! But we can DO IT. I'm psyched. Tomorrow we're going to be lazy all day... and we have every right to be! How fun! We're going to rent movies and get some nutrional stuff to eat all day and all that... Man, I'm nervous.

Ok I'm done typing now. It's been quite hard just to type all this correctly. I'll post tomorrow. Good night. ;)

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8:52 am

Time: 10:15am
20 minutes

I am officially done with my training. I started this journal almost SIX months ago, and now here I am, less than 48 hours from the marathon.

I did a quick last run just now, and I felt good. It's pretty muggy out this morning, and wet. I came in and said to Dave, I feel good! Now I just have to do that thirteen times in a row on Sunday. No problem! 

Last night I read the history of the marathon on the website and it gave a little blurb about every year since it started in 1976. For almost every year, they listed how many people started... and then how many people finished. The two numbers were always quite different! At times, up to 2,000 people who started didn't finish. That makes me scared! Why do people drop out? I'M GOING TO FINISH, NO MATTER WHAT. One year, only 500 people out of thousands didn't finish and it was their best success rate ever. That's still 500 people! That's insane. 

There was also a place on the site to "meet the pace leaders" and I found out that people line up all the way to a 6-hour finishing time goal. I'm going to find the 4:30 pace team and run with them. So I for sure won't be the last person to finish, not by far! I mean, even if I have to WALK the last six miles, I could still finish in an ok time. Not that that will happen, but it's good to give myself that freedom.

I AM SO EXCITED. We're going to expo tonight and I will get my bib number and all that. Then tomorrow we're going to rent movies and veg out all day and drink lots of fluids and I'm going to ice and stretch as much as I can. My back and knees hurt again today - after only two miles - but I'm trying not to think about it. The pasta dinner is at 6pm at the Hilton tomorrow night... I read about it: three courses, salad, pasta, and cheesecake, and water and champagne will be served. How freakin fun. Then I hope to be in bed by no later than 9:00pm tomorrow night! I hope I can sleep.... We'll probably be up by 4:30am or so... I never shower before I run but I'm going to shower before the marathon. Millions of people will be watching me and my people will be hugging me at the finish line and taking pics... I don't want to be uglier or stinkier than I'll already be! Then we'll need time to eat breakfast and digest and make as many bathroom trips as necessary (oh, Lord) and then get down there in plenty of time, by like 7:00! I'll probably be a big old nervous wreck that morning. But maybe not. Man, it's going to be crazy.

Alright, I'll probably post tonight from Christi's after the expo! I haven't seen my girl in two and a half months! I'm excited to go... I'll probably leave here in about two hours. Right now I have to shower and pack! Bye!

(p.s. It's 11am right now, not 8 something like livejournal has posted. I don't know why it's messed up. Ok bye!!!)

current mood: excited

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Thursday, October 7th, 2004
5:15 pm
All I can think about is the marathon. I wish I weren't at school right now... Only one more class (three hours) to go and then I'm free for the weekend. Tomorrow I'm going to run a quick two or three miles and then pack and then head down to Chicago. I can't believe it's less than three days away. Am I ready to do this? I've run 303 miles in my training so far (that I've officially recorded in this journal). That's enough to prepare to run 26 straight, right? I am just so excited. I will be so proud when I'm done! I hope I don't die before I make it to the finish line. I won't. My back has really, really been hurting the past few days, though! Why now?! I'm going to ice it when I get home tonight, and every chance I get before Sunday. I bought a new shirt yesterday at SportMart... it's white and sleeveless and it's made of some material that apparently keeps you dry and cool. The weather for Sunday looks perfect... 68 and partly sunny. It won't be 68 yet when we're running, but I can live with 50's. My mom called me last night and was on the Chicago Marathon website and was crying again. She keeps telling how she tears up every time she thinks about seeing me do this. It's so sweet! She's so excited for me... I'm excited for my family and Dave who get to come down and watch... I think it must be SUCH a cool thing to see. My Uncle Jim and Aunt Jill are coming, too, I guess. Katie ran the marathon last year, and so did my cousin, Buzz. They have been runners all their lives... not me! I hope I can do the family proud though. :) Alright, stupid class is about to start. I'll post tomorrow! It's almost marathon weekend, augh!!!!!!!!

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Wednesday, October 6th, 2004
8:34 am

Time: 9:15am
51 minutes

ughhh... I did not have a good run today. I really think I'm psyching myself out too much.... Today my body and my mind were telling me "I can't do this!" and I'll just have to prove them wrong on Sunday. I'll prove them wrong if it's the last thing I do! Seriously, I felt lethargic today... It probably didn't help that I was laying in bed for 20 minutes right before my run... I was tired, though! I felt like a 250-pound woman today, trying to run... or a turtle. I just felt so slow... I stopped and walked after four miles to get a sense again for the run/walk thing and then my last mile was the fastest and the easiest. I am definitely definitely doing run/walk on Sunday.

My ankles hurt today... I think I should have gotten new shoes but it's too late now. My knees hurt, too. I'm icing them right now. I just iced my lower back for about 15 minutes and my back is what I'm most worried about. It's been hurting lately, even when I'm not running, and today I felt the pain after only a few miles... my back is what holds me up, it CAN'T hurt during the marathon! I'm going to ice it every day, and take ibuprofen, and buy some Icy Hot to put on it before the race. I wish there was something magical I could do to loosen it up before the race, like some magic massage or stretching technique.

The first three miles of every run is so hard, and I always feel like I've never run before! Thankfully, most accounts by people who've run a marathon say you don't even notice the first few miles because there's so much going on. Boy I hope so. I just need to think positive, and mentally prepare myself for it to be a GREAT experience. I'm just so nervous! And I know I'll probably be on my own for most of it.... I've been on my own for all of the runs before, but this is different. I'm kind of thinking I'm dumb to be doing this when I've never even run a real race before. I'm worried about the water stations. I'm worried about being the last person to finish. I mean, somebody has to be last, right? I know people finish in five and six hours, and I want to do it in like four and a half (but if I don't finish by then, I'm not going to get down on myself!), but I'm still worried there won't be any of those slower people in this race. (out of 40,000) I know I'm silly.

Anyway, about being on my own... Christi is starting with me (thank God) but I don't know how long she's going to go. I might meet up with that Jessica girl, but I'm using run/walk and I don't think she is. I might beat her, she might beat me, but when I'm taking walk breaks and she's not, we won't be able to run together. I'll pass her, then she'll pass me, blah blah blah. I'm going to ask my brother, Dan, to meet me at the 20-mile marker and run a few miles with me. I think I'll really need some motivation at that point, seeing as though I've never gone that far before.

Today I have a lot to do before my class at 4:30, and I want to stop at SportMart and see if I can find a new shirt to wear for the marathon. That's another thing I'm worried about. It's going to be COLD, but I want to wear a tank top. I can't put something over my tank top because then my bib won't show. Maybe I could wear a zip up something that I could toss off when I get hot... I hate breathing in the cold... it makes my nose run and my eyes water. I think I'll feel a little better about the whole thing once I get to the expo on Friday or Saturday, and then maybe take a look at the course, at least the starting line. It's all just so new to me and I'm freaking out!

Man, this has been a loony entry.. I'm sorry. I needed to vent a bit.

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Tuesday, October 5th, 2004
11:34 am
I got the night off last night (so happy!) and we went to the Bistro for dinner and it was DELICIOUS. And we were treated so well! When we got there, there was a flower on our table and a bucket of champagne next us. We had escargot and scallops, then shared a cup of crab bisque, then Dave had the Filet Au Poivre and I had the Trout, then they brought out three desserts with three candles (for three years, I guess ... and I had only mentioned our anniversary in passing a few days earlier), plus an extra one to go "for later ... wink wink". Our bill only came to $62 when it should have been about $200. We left a hefty tip and left there so full and a bit drunk. It was my last time there til next week so everyone wished me luck at the marathon! Anyway, it was a really nice night. The chocolate dessert they sent home hasn't been eaten yet... there was no "wink wink" last night... we were too full and tired from that rich food and the alcohol! Seriously, we were in bed by 10:15 last night, it was so funny. That was my last bad food and my last alcohol until after Sunday now. I'm going to eat healthy this whole week!

Right now I have to go to school... I have to go early to work on a project for my Publication Design class, then I have three classes until 8:10 tonight. I wish I didn't have school at all this week, but at least it isn't hell week like last week. I can't wait for Friday to get here and I can see my Christi and get ready for the marathon!

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Monday, October 4th, 2004
12:05 pm

Time: 11:15am
30 minutes

It's cold! It's 48 degrees right now. I just ran three miles and it was a good run except that running in the cold BITES. My legs got red and itchy and my nose was running and it hurt my lungs to breathe. As of right now, it's supposed to be 67 degrees on Sunday, but it won't be 67 at 8:00am! I just hope it's not quite this cold because it's really distracting. Anyway, I ran the last mile home really fast... I mean, I really pushed myself and I was hurtin by the time I got home, but it was GOOD because I'm obviously going to need to push myself on Sunday. When I looked down at my pedometer timer, though, I had only run home about 40 seconds faster than I ran out. And I was running much faster on the way back! It just shows that speeding up temporarily or walking for a minute doesn't really affect your time all that much.

I think I'll run four or five miles on Wednesday, and two or three on Friday and then I'll be done til Sunday. I'm still not positive what I'll wear for the race. A girl at work who has run a lot of races told me yesterday that I might have some troubles with the water stations since I'm not used to them and since people need to get through them quickly and all that. Great, another thing to worry about. I heard awhile back that I should wear my name on my shirt so strangers can cheer me on, so that's cool... I'm going to do that! About dedicating the miles... there's a thing on the marathon website where you can dedicate each mile to a different person in your life... I wouldn't do it through the website, but I thought it was a cool idea anyway. When I went to write people down, I realized that I definitely don't have enough people in my life who I TRULY care about enough to dedicate a whole mile to. Even people who I really love, like a few friends or like my Grandma or something... they didn't really have anything to do with this, so I'm not going to dedicate any to them! Later in the week I'll write the list on here... but I'm going to dedicate numerous miles to just a few people..... Dave, Mom, Dad, Dan, Al, Christi, Monkey, God, ME....

I'm going to get in the shower and then do some shopping. I'm really really REALLY hoping to get cut from work so that I can have the day off and we can go in for dinner tonight.

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12:35 am
I haven't written in almost a week so I felt the need to update before I go to bed...

I haven't run since my long run on Monday. I know that's absolutely terrible, but this week was HELL WEEK and I didn't have one spare moment to run. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were GO GO GO from sun-up to sun-down with school stuff. Friday I slept in and, well, I guess I COULD have run before work but I didn't. I worked Friday night, last night, and a 14-hour day today. I made a lot of money but didn't get to do much else. I got to spend yesterday with Dave before work and we had fun, like always, but it sure wasn't enough. This is the first time in my life where I actually have more money than time! Christi got home safely from London on Friday night and I talked to her for a while yesterday. I'm really excited to spend the whole upcoming weekend with her in Chicago!

So... the marathon. A week from right now, it will be all over. It's so crazy. This morning was the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon and I could see the runners from the Bistro windows. By the time they were by us, they were on mile 24. The first people (the winners, I assume) went by around 10:30 (they probably started at 8:00) and there were still some going by around 12:30 and 1:00. It was so inspiring, and I was watching them in awe and excitement, silently willing them to KEEP GOING! thinking, that'll be me in a week! Augh! I'm really psyched.

I met a girl, Jessica, on Friday night who is a friend of a girl I work with, and she's running the marathon, her first one, on Sunday, too. She's running all on her own, and she runs at the pace I do, so we exchanged email addresses and phone numbers and might meet up and run together, at least part of the way. Christi is starting with me and I'm not sure how long we'll run together... maybe 6 miles, maybe the whole darn thing! Whoever I run with or don't run with, though, it's me and me alone who will get me through this thing. I hope I'm mentally up to it! It'll be really cool to know that my mom and my dad and my little bros and Dave will all be there waiting for me when I'm done!

This week I have to really focus on preparing myself. I'm going to run probably three short runs, starting tomorrow morning. I'm going to eat healthfully and drink a lot of fluids and stretch every day. Tomorrow night, if I get cut (I'm scheduled to work but it's supposed to be slow...), Dave and I are going to go to the Bistro for dinner because tomorrow is our three-year anniversary. We were going to perhaps go tonight because I was only on-call tonight, but of course I ended up working a double. So anyway, if we go tomorrow night, that will be my last unhealthy meal for the week, I swear!

I'm going to run a marathon in six days! Holy crap!!!!

I'm exhausted, so I'm going to bed now. Good night.

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Monday, September 27th, 2004
3:15 pm

I am so happy right now. After such a shitty few days, it feels really good to have things go my way today!

*I don't have to work tonight. Kelly and Didier, two of my managers, decided to use an on-call person tonight and give me the night off because they know I've been stressed and that I just ran 19 miles this morning. So I have the night off!

*I was freaking out about my News Writing and Reporting assignment this whole weekend... We have to cover a meeting and write an article on it, and it's due Thursday. I had no idea what meeting I was going to attend in the next few days, and I just got an email back from a girl I have class with. There's a meeting I can cover tomorrow night, and it fits into my schedule almost perfectly!

*Last week, I ordered two perfumes from 1000perfumes.com. (Addict by Christian Dior and Deep Red by Hugo) There was a mix-up with my check card and the billing/shipping addresses not matching, so they had to cancel my order. Last night I re-ordered them using Dave's card, and all his information, but the woman in sales must have recognized my email and phone number, because she emailed me apologizing for the mix-up last week and saying "Thank you for your order. Because of the mix-up last week, we are including the larger bottle of Addict instead of the 1.7oz. one." It's like a $40 difference between the small bottle and the bigger one! How nice!

*My security deposit from my old house finally came today, so that's an extra $335.00 for me!

So yeah... I'm a happy girl right now. Tonight I'm going to use my time off to clean my room and do some homework and relax a bit. Oh and it's my dad's birthday today. Happy Birthday, Dad!

current mood: happy

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1:46 pm
Time: 9:30am
Running Time: 3 hours, 21 minutes
Miles: 19

I did it. I've completed my final long run. I didn't make it quite as far as I would have liked to, but I'm still proud of myself for getting through it. The Hal Higdon training goes up to 20 miles, and my marathon training book that I've been reading goes up to 18 miles (two 18-milers), so I fell in between those two, which is fine by me. I'm still not completely over my cold... I coughed a lot and sniffed a lot and my head kinda hurt. I'm pretty confident about the marathon now, though I still know it will be the hardest thing I have ever done. But I made it 19 miles all on my own today. On marathon day, I (hopefully) won't be sick, I'll have thousands of people around me, running with me and cheering me on, I'll have my loved ones waiting for me at the finish line, and I will have prepared a bit better in the eating/hydrating/icing department. I know I can do it.

I ran on a new road today, Henneberry Road, and it was so beautiful. The weather was fabulous - 77 degrees and sunny - although I hope that on marathon day there will be more clouds in the sky. The sun was really beating down on me today, which made it a little unpleasant at times. There was no traffic on this road and I could see for miles all around me. A new chant today, besides all my old ones, was: It's just me and the world God gaaave me. It's just me and the world God gaaave me. At times I added: And the bright, hot sun God gaaave me. I sang songs and told myself how strong I am and thought about the people I'm gonna dedicate each mile to. (more about that some other time) Anyway, the first two hours were just great. The third hour, though, was hell. I came home around 2:15:00 and peed and ate a second gel pack and got a new water bottle. I felt good going back out there, but after just a few minutes, I could tell my energy levels were really plummeting. The worst part today was my back hurting SO badly. My lower back and my middle back on either side of my spine were just on fire. I was mentally drained by this time, too. I could barely think, and my head started to hurt. I need to really mentally prepare in the coming days before the race, because running this far is almost as mentally draining as it is physically draining.

I had two instances today where I almost choked to death because I inhaled water. I was so thirsty, and I gulped the water too fast, once from a bubbler and once from my bottle, and I had two coughing fits that made my stomach hurt pretty badly. I was running so slowly toward the end, I kinda wanted to shoot myself. But I made it. Oh, and I used run/walk again today, like I will in the marathon. I started it after three miles, and walked 60 seconds after each mile.

I see a little pattern that formed over the course of my longer runs... 15-miler=GOOD, 16-miler=BAD, 18-miler=GOOD, 19-miler=BAD (the end, anyway)... so that means: 26.2-miler=GOOD! I'm getting really excited. And scared. I have no idea what to expect, really. It's going to be insane. I've never even run in a real race! I mean, I'm not really competing against the people around me; more just with myself. But I will be surrounded by 40,000 other runners and over a million people will be watching. It's going to be such a crazy experience!

In other news....... I had a terrible weekend. I worked Friday night, Saturday night, and yesterday brunch. Saturday I was supposed to go to the Brewers game but had to bail at the last minute because I had to get shit done for school because I have NO TIME to do anything anymore. I was in an awful mood at work Saturday night, then I had to be back there yesterday morning and I didn't get out of there til almost 5:00 when I should have been out around 3:00. I was supposed to work a double yesterday but I paid someone to take my shift. I'm so tired and stressed out lately, I can't stand it. Last night, just to be able to do something, Dave and I ate at Applebees and went to see The Forgotten. Then I went to bed early. I slept almost ten hours last night, and when I woke up this morning, I felt like I could have slept about four more hours. But oh well.

I have to work tonight and I DON'T WANT TO! I'm hoping to be cut, but it's doubtful. I'm gonna be soooooore. Tomorrow and the next day will probably be much worse... but I'll live. I'm just really happy that I'm done with long runs and now I can look forward to the big day!

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Friday, September 24th, 2004
9:37 am

Time: 8am
Time ran/walked: 1 hr, 8 minutes
Miles: 6.4

Damn it. I couldn't do it.

Most people don't expect their bodies to do anything for them when they are sick. How could I have expected my body to take me 21 miles when a cold is having its way with me? I'm surprised I even made it as far as I did. I wanted to stop after only a few minutes, but I just kept telling myself: suck it up and get through it, and then your last long run will be over. But I just couldn't. I felt awful. My nose was running and my throat and head hurt and my whole body just felt so fatigued. If today had been the marathon and I was still sick like this, I would have had to trudge along as far as I could, maybe attempting to finish in the six and a half hours that the course is open for.

So my long run is postponed again, most likely until Monday morning. I hate that I still have to think about it now! I just wish it was behind me. And now I ate pasta and drank a lot of fluids last night, went to bed early, and was up by 6:45 this morning, all for nothing! I know I can run 18 miles, but I don't want to go into the marathon not having run at least 20... But I can't do it any later than Monday because I will need that remaining 13 days to recover and do shorter runs. It's getting so close!

The only good thing about not doing the long run today is that now I won't be sore for my four shifts this weekend. It's one thing to sit in class while you're sore, but quite another to work all night and move around a lot while you're sore. I was worried about having a miserable weekend because of my aches and pains. This cold better be gone by Monday, darn it.

current mood: sick

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Wednesday, September 22nd, 2004
8:07 am

No 21-miler today. Postponed til Friday morning. I slept better last night - and for almost ten hours - but I'm still really sick. If I were to go running today I wouldn't be able to breathe out of my nose and I'd be coughing every minute or two. I feel groggy and my head feels like it's floating above my body. I think this is the first real cold I've ever had. I never knew they were so shitty! Dear Lord, what if I felt this way on marathon day? I would be SO MAD!

17 more days.

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Tuesday, September 21st, 2004
5:28 pm
I am sick. Really sick. Miserable. I skipped one class today but went to the last two... I'm at school right now, waiting for my last class to begin. I am planning on doing my looooong run tomorrow morning, but we'll see how I feel when I wake up. I probably got less than two hours of sleep last night because of my sickness...we'll see how tonight goes. I really want to do it tomorrow though, and get it DONE! 18 more days.

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Monday, September 20th, 2004
10:40 pm

Time: 4pm
Weight training: biceps and triceps
100 crunches
Treadmill- 2 mile run (17 min.), 1/2 mile walk level 10 incline (7 min.)

I went to Motion with Dave this afternoon. That wasn't the original plan since I was supposed to work tonight. I SO didn't want to work... and then they called me at 1:30 to say I was cut! I was so unbelievably happy. So we worked out, and then we went to REI in Brookfield. I got Body Glide and Gu packs and a new water bottle and a black fanny pack thing to wear during the marathon. So I'm good to go now! Then we came home and made delicious pork chops for dinner, and some cookies, and we rented Taking Lives. (pretty stupid, but Angelina Jolie was HOT, as always). Now I'm going to be heading to bed because I am starting to feel really sick. Dave has been sick with a bad cold the past few days and now I'm getting it. I NEVER get sick and Dave always does, and now that I live with him I'll probably be sick more often. He's worth it, but I'd still rather not be sick. I sure hope I'm alright by Wednesday though because I have to run TWENTY ONE miles that day.

What else? The weekend was good... Money was good at work. Did a little shopping with Dave on Saturday. Yesterday was Alex's confirmation and I was his sponsor. I didn't have to work last night so mom took Al and me to Houlihan's in Lake Geneva for dinner. That's about it. Back to school tomorrow.

Good night.

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Friday, September 17th, 2004
11:50 pm

Time: 1pm
Miles: 5

I had a fantastic run today. I LOVE FALL... it's my favorite time of year and today was just perfect out. As I ran on top of fallen leaves I started thinking about how far I've come in this whole thing. Back in April when I started, the weather was still chilly and fall seemed so far away, and now summer is gone and I'm still running and the marathon is only three weeks away. It feels pretty good. Anyway, I wanted to try something today... I know what it feels like to do run/walk from start to finish, and I know what it feels like to run fourteen or fifteen miles straight and THEN walk, and then try to start running again - it's agony. I know I want to use run/walk in the marathon, but I know I won't want to walk right away after the first mile (even though Jeff Galloway says do it right away!) because I don't want to look like a wimp. So I wanted to see how my legs would feel to walk after four miles of running... I figure I can run four miles or so then start the run/walk process. I walked for one minute after four miles today and my legs felt fine... and my fifth mile was my fastest, most comfortable mile, so I think that's when I'll start the minute of walking each mile in the marathon.

It's not good that I'm not doing a long run this week but oh well. I'm psychin myself up for the 21-miler this coming week! I think I'm going to do it on Wednesday (and perhaps skip my class that night) and run it in Burlington because I know the area better and I know where there's less traffic. Only 20 miles are scheduled (only! haha) but I'm going to go to 21 I think so I know what THE WALL feels like, and see how it is to push through it. I'm a little nervous!

I was talking to my mom about the marathon on the phone last night and she made me feel really good. She told me how she's been telling people about it and how she gets all emotional just thinking about it. She has really changed her tune! When I first said I was going to run a marathon, she said "I'll eat my shorts if you run a marathon." That was even before I started training at all, so I didn't really blame her. But even when I had started and was up to 8 or 10 miles, she still didn't believe me. She didn't take me seriously at all until very recently... and it feels good to be proving her wrong! Once I'm done I'll say I told you so, and then thank her for the support, and I will definitely thank the two people who believed in me right from the start, Dave and my dad. They never doubted me!

I was thinking today how I'm going to pray every night from now on for the weather to be perfect come October 10th. Cool, a bit overcast - but no rain - and a slight, continuous breeze. I'm telling you, if it's unusally hot, I'll be really upset! Even today, it was barely seventy degrees, but I was sweating my butt off because of the hot sun beating down on me! And rain would just really suck. Anyway, I'll still pray for good weather, but more importantly, I'm going to start praying to actually make it to marathon day without an injury or something else happening that would stop me from participating. I would be so devastated after all this work! And I truly hope I don't have any knee or stomach problems the day of the race. The entire week leading up to it, I'm going to think about nothing but how I'm preparing my body for what I'm going to do. I'm going to stay really hydrated and eat lots of carbs and protein (and no junk food! and no alcohol!) and get a lot of rest and take ibuprofen every day. I think I've decided what I'm going to wear on marathon day... I think I need to get some Body Glide just in case (where do I buy it, I wonder?), and I want to get a small fanny pack I can wear (the belt thing I have is way too big). I'm getting really excited... I'm really relieved that my attitude has gotten back on track. It sucked feeling so discouraged for awhile there! The 18-mile run really boosted my confidence, and now the race is actually getting close, which is cool.

Alright I'm done rambling... I worked tonight and now I'm going to spend some time with my Davey :) and head to bed. Not sure if I'll run tomorrow. I might sleep in and work out and go to work, or I might sleep in and go shopping and go to work. Sunday I have to work and then go to Al's confirmation and act as his sponsor. We're understaffed at the Bistro right now and so everyone has extra shifts... I work FIVE shifts next week and that is just too much! This is probably the busiest I've ever been and I'm sure I'll be crazy stressed. 18 credits, writing for the paper, running, and working... it's too much I tell ya!

And that's all for now. Night night.

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Thursday, September 16th, 2004
10:32 am
I'm not running today. I say that a lot, don't I? How do people train for a freakin marathon despite their busy, busy lives? Well, anyway, I've spent the morning writing my article for the week and now I have about four things to do for my classes this afternoon and this evening, so I just don't have time to run. I won't be home til 9:30 tonight, so running then is out of the question. I'll run tomorrow, though. I promise.

Yesterday after my shower I took off my toe nail polish and wouldn't you know, two of my toe nails were black and blue underneath! I had a feeling that's what I'd find since a couple of my toes were REALLY hurting after my 18-miler. It's kinda ugly, but it makes me feel like a real runner! I hope my toe nails don't fall OFF after 26 miles.

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Wednesday, September 15th, 2004
10:39 am

Time: 10am
Miles: 2
100 crunches

Oh yeah, baby. Two miles today when I was supposed to do fourteen. Not so good!

It was nice to go on a shorter run, though, because I haven't done one in a long time. I mean, when I got back home I felt like I had left a split second ago, but really, I'd run two miles. Six months ago, I would have been really proud of myself for running two straight miles. Anyway, I could just tell that today wasn't going to happen as it should. I went through all my normal preparations this morning... eating breakfast, drinking a lot of water, stretching, putting my gel pack and chapstick in my pockets... all that. But my stomach has been hurting, and my legs are extremely sore from my workout the other day. It was NOT a smart idea to work out my legs so hard and I should have known that. I did quads, hamstrings, calves, plus a lot of leg presses, plus the sit-down bike on a high resistance. It was just too much, and I'm still really feeling it today. It's really hot out today, too. I know... excuses, excuses. If I have any problems on marathon day, they're not going to reschedule it for me. But I'll deal with that when the time comes. I guess I'll try again tomorrow... I'll probably just do another short one tomorrow, and Friday, and maybe even Saturday. I guess I won't really be doing a long run... I don't think it's that big of a deal, though. I showed last week that I could run 18, so I know I can run 14. Therefore, I can break it up. Next week will be twenty miles, and the last really long run before the marathon.

I started too late today, too, and I have so much to get done before class this afternoon, so it's better that I'm home already. I'm going to jump in the shower and then get to it. Oh, and Christi is definitely going to start the race with me, and she's going to go as far as she can. She's saying that she doesn't want to quit and that she wants to finish... she really hasn't trained as much as she should, but who knows. I haven't trained to the extent that many people do (I've missed quite a few scheduled runs) but I still feel confident that I can finish. But... she hasn't run the long runs that I have, so I just want to make sure she doesn't hurt herself or something! I guess we'll see. I'm just glad she'll be with me on the starting line.

24 more days. Holy crap.

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