Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Race Report

Finally...race report time! Gosh sorry...things have been busy, but I am back!

The day before the race Michelle came in from Portland to run her FIRST half marathon. I had convinced her a while ago to give this one a try. It was close to my house and cheap. She agreed and it was off to the races for a couple months of training. I would call and email to check up on her to make sure she was still liking running. She always told me she did and that she was practicing, hill and speed work! Who! She ws doing a lot more then I was, that was for sure. I was in maintenance mode the whole summer after my marathon so I never did anything more then just run, which was OKAY by me.

When she got to my house we were off to pick up our packets and BRIGHT green shirts. We made some pasta dinner and made sure Michelle had an extra two pieces of bread. That is what is nice about the night before a race...bread is your best friend. We scooted over to Molly Moons for some ice cream, I know weird, and then we were off to bed. The race started a little later then most, so it was weird to "sleep in" the morning of a race. It wasn't raining yet, but holy moly was it cold. AA drove us to the race...he's the best...and gave us blankies to wrap up in. We found Aunt Laura and Chet and Judy (the owners of Jock and Jill and my relatives!) and chatted with them for a while. I looked over at one point and noticed two women wearing matching outfits and looked up and who was it but Jill with Running to Sanity and Mel with Tall Mom on the Run!!! Ran over there to say hi and give pre race hugs, chat about how cold it was and how they should come to Alki to run with me soon! Chris and Meg arrived and chatted with them before we had to go and line up. I have to say it was weird to not line up with Meg. She is always right next to me when we start races. Right there to pray and laugh at each other. But don't you worry people...she will be back in action before you know it. She will soon be a running MOMMA!!!!!! Can you tell I am excited for Siena to join us on our runs???!!!!

Finally it was time to line up and I could tell Michelle was getting a little nervous. Right before the gun went off I prayed for us and then were off! Spotted AA and Meg right at the start line, gave them a wave and then tried to get into a groove. It is so hard to set your pace and what not with so many people around you. I planned on running with Michelle until she sped off. I knew she was in better shape then I was and that she would take off soon, even if it was her first half. We stayed with Aunt Laura for a while chatting about doing races in WARMER climates. :) I had never stayed with Laura that long during races so I was kind of proud of myself. But just like I predicted Michelle and Laura started to pick up the pace. I could have stayed with them, but I really didn't want to die and go to a slow crawl at the end miles. So I let them go and settled in. I was feeling good and at every mile I checked my watch and had to calculate where I was. My new shoes don't have the Nike thing so my Nike watch is pretty much useless. I am asking for a Garmin for Christmas I think...! Anyway, I knew if I could keep my pace I might be able to break two hours! I wanted that sooo bad. I kept Michelle in my view the whole time and around mile 5 I finally caught up to her. As we passed the mile marker I checked my watch and told her we were kicking some major butt! I started to pull away expecting her to join but she fell back. I wanted to see if I could keep this pace so I kept going. At mile 6.5 I took half a GU, something I would later regret. I should have taken the whole thing, because at mile 10 I WAS STARVING!!!

I saw Meg and AA at mile 7 and told them to cheer hard for Michelle who was right behind me. I love seeing people on the course! It helps so much. After I saw them, though I noticed I was slowing down and couldn't get my pace back. Lack of hill training hurt me and my legs couldn't recover after the figure 8 hill earlier in the race. I kept asking God "please give me Your power and Your strength." I kept going though and at mile 10 I was hurting. My hip hurts, I was hungry and I then realized I wasn't going to make 2 hours. I was sad, until I looked over and who was coming up on me but Mel and Jill! Mel told me to stay with them, she was coaching and pacing Jill to a PR. I stayed with them for just a little bit but they had jet engines under their shoes and I let them go. My hip was killing and didn't want to have something really bad happen. Jill raced to a kick butt PR and Mel has found a new love in pacing and coaching. I love it!

Finally the finish line was right around the corner and I was feeling horrible. When I saw AA right before the finish line I looked him right in the eye and told him "I need help!" Crossed the finish line at 2:05 and bend completely in half. I need to stop doing that because medical comes racing over thinking I am dying. Which I kind of think too, but then in 2 minutes I am fine again! :) I grabbed a doughnut and water and went to go stand by the finish to watch Michelle finish. She finished so strong at 2:19 and was so happy it was over! :) She did AMAZING!

After some eating and sitting we decided it was time to hit the road. Michelle was back off to Portland. On the way home I knew my skin was in trouble. I was chaffing so bad and I knew my shower would hurt. Sure enough I took off my clothes and before I got in the shower I looked in the mirror and was bleeding from my sports bra strap and my shorts strap. Does this sound familiar?? Yea haven't learned my lesson yet. Got in the shower and started crying and screaming. AA handed me Advil and I cried the whole shower because it hurt so bad. Oh well, the next morning I was fine again! :)

Over all a great race. One more race in October and then I am done running long for the season. I am starting P90X soon...oh gosh! I am off for a 6 miler today after work on Alki! Should be a good one for some personal time with my main man JESUS!

For pictures, check out Michelle's facebook here!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Super Jock and Jill

Super Jock N Jill recap coming soon. Here are the stats:

Finish time: 2 hours 5 minutes and 20 seconds
Finish time 2009: 2 hours 11 minutes 28 seconds

SOO glad I beat last year's time!

Even though I didn't finish in under two hours like I hoped I am still amazed that God has given me the opportunity and ability to run. More on this later!

PS...Michelle rocked her first half marathon finishing in 2 hours 19 minutes. You go MUSH!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Something to think about...

So I have been running constantly for the last couple weeks. Sorry I have not blogged yet. I just haven't had any funny or inspirational things to share. I just put my shoes on, go out and run. A little boring, but I know what I am running for, to see a best friends finish her half marathon. So I run and run and will run again tomorrow and probably the next day. Did I tell you I got new shoes? Shout out to Super Jock and Jill. They are fabulous!!! I did have a fabulous run last Saturday. AA ran with me for the first 4 miles and then I was on my own for 7 more. I ran pretty fast and I wished I would have worn my watch, but part of it is freeing without your watch. I have to figure out how to attach my Nikeplus thingy to my new non-Nike shoes.

While on my runs this week I started to think about all these new movies and books that are out that supposedly talk about God. "Eat, Pray, Love" "Woman, Food and God," and "The Secret". I know these have all been around a while, but with the movie staring the one and only Julia Roberts all of these books and movies have come out of the wood-works. It makes sense that ll of these types of books and movies are such a huge success. So many people look for purpose in their life, want healing and want to know why this world spins. The problem is these authors and producers use the words, God and Pray way too liberally. I was watching an interview with the lady that wrote, Women, Food and God. When asked what the God part of the book was about she was quick to say it wasn't about a God or a spiritual God. It was more about how everything was God, the trees are God, the orange is God, ect. Comma Wha??? Then I started to hear more about Eat, Pray, Love and how to pray part of the book is taken not a literal sense but a figurative sense. That everyone has a different view of pray. These two things struck me and struck a cord in my heart. So many different people are learning about "God" and "Praying" and the sad truth is, they aren't learning anything about what those two topics actually mean. Ths weekend I just read about a woman who went to a "camp" with the man who wrote "The Secret". She ended up dying in a sweat tent, because the man told her she could push through her own limitations. Not only was that sad, but these people spend tens of thousands of dollars to be told an utter and complete lie. I don't care what Oprah says, or the "radical transformations" people have had with these books and movies, they are filling people's heads with the non-truth. The only truth that talks about the real God, what prayer actually is, and that there is no secret is the Bible.

I am still not quite sure why I have gotten so heated in the last couple weeks about all of this. It doesn't bother me if you write a book about dieting or traveling, but it does bother me when you through words like pray and God around. So the point of this post...well I guess there is no point, other then I am extremely worried with the direction that main stream media is taking eternity. This topic sure gave me a lot to think about while running the last couple weeks. Hmmmmm....your thoughts?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fire, sweat, oh my!

Today was a hard hard day to run. I hopped on the torcher chamber, I mean treadmill, and started off on my run. I have some new sneakers so I was testing them out. I always run a couple of times in a pair of shoes before I decide if they are keepers. Does that make me a bad person, if I return them? Hmmm, probably huh? As I started running my legs would not fire, they refused to get going. Usually the first mile or so it hurts a little bit, as my legs decide to wake up and join the rest of my body on the run, but not this morning. They were screaming at me to stop. I told them to pipe down and keep running, but nope they killed. So at 2.5 miles I stopped. I can count on one hand how many times I have stopped short of my goal run, but this morning it just wasn't in the cards. And you know what made me most mad? I was watching the Today Show and they were about to explain why Bristol Palin and her weirdo boyfriend broke up for the millionth time! But I missed it because I couldn't keep running! Ugh! Oh the small joys in the life! :)

I ran on Monday, an 8 miler in the HEAT! I know I am from Seattle and anything above 70 is a heat wave and everyone runs to Home Depot to by an AC unit and that in the winter we get one snow flake and all of the city gets shut down, but Monday was HOT. I started running and I almost started sweating immediately. And I am no girl sweater...no no. Have you met my father? Have you seen him after a run....N.A.S.T.Y. I got his genes. I am so nasty sick I almost can't handle it. I knew I was in trouble when at mile 4ish, right as I was about to turn around I went to wipe sweat from some part of my body and it felt like sand paper...uh oh....SALTING. How was I already salting at mile 4? I love salting...I think it is kind of cool. Again, I am a "runner," I start at gross. I was running, now to just find a water fountain. I found one and finished up my 8 miler, feeling slow and sluggish. I didn't even want to look at my watch to see my time. Uh it was going to be bad. Until I looked at it and it wasn't bad at all! 1 hour 12 minutes. A 9min 2 sec pace. HA! Love it when that happens!

I was reading a blog post the other day from my pastor. The man is brilliant, so sometimes it takes a LOT of thinking and a couple read throughs to be able to completely get what he is saying. But this last one was all about goals he had set out for himself and how most of those goals never came true, but what was so exciting was that the life that designed for him, instead of those goals was far more interesting, fun, challenging, rewarding, Christ centered and loving then he would have ever designed for himself. And the one and only person to thank for that was Jesus. Then at the end of his post he left it with, "Thank you Jesus for the life, I have yet to live and the adventure that awaits as I follow in Your footsteps!" Wow! To pray for the future like that, to know that the life He designed is far more then we could ever plan for ourselves. I am putting that prayer on a sticky note, and sticking it on the bathroom mirror so that everyday I will not forget to thank my Savior for the adventure that awaits.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

People! I am so sorry I haven't blogged in a long time. It has been crazy around here and to tell you the truth I haven't had any eventful runs. I ran 7 miles last Saturday and felt great. Just an easy down and back on Alki. I thought about how I kind of missed those Saturday runs, how gross is that? I started to question if I should get a running visor for those hot days? But if you live in Seattle you know that those hot days don't start until about 3:30pm and I do almost all of my runs in the morning. I thought about Mush, my best friend since third grade. We are going to run a a half in September and how proud I was of her for stepping up to the plate to do her first. I thought about Rat, Meg and the Yenster and how much I missed running with them. Good news though! I am running the Spokane 1/2 with my little Ratty in October! Please start praying now that it is still nice weather in Eastern Washington. :) I finished my seven miles and thanked God for a good run and for great friends.

Okay I am going to jump on the crazy bus for a second. Come along with me...its fun! You have heard me say that a marathon was as far as my athletic ability would take me in my life. I made the choice for that to be the case. I would never go beyond running 26.2 miles. I would continue to run and possibly still do sprint triathlons, but after that I was choosing to not do anymore. But after my marathon I realized that a lot more was possible for my life, God willing. So I no longer think that 26.2 miles is my cap. I am not committing to anything more then keeping my hands open to what the Lord wants for my life, athletically but more importantly in what the Lord is going to hand me in life, ministry, work, service, ect. ect. ect. So yes it might sound crazy, but Ironman Triathlons are no longer a "never do" thought along with all of the other things in my life I have said no to. I refuse to make God smaller then He is. He can do anything, which is not crazy...its exciting!

After my long Saturday runs I would hobble into the shower, but not before setting up my computer in the bathroom and listening to a special on Ironman Kona, the world championships of Ironman triathlons. NBC did a special on the 2007 race that included the followings of professionals as well as regular people who were just trying to finish. It is by far one of the hardest races any athlete will ever compete in. The video is an hour and is quite inspirational for anyone training to do anything. Click here if you would like to watch. Get a tissue because there will probably be tears flowing by the end. And although I loved this video and it gave me such drive while I was training there is a part in the very beginning of the video that caught me a little off guard while first watching it, and continues to ring in my head every time I watch the video. It's within the first two minutes where they are describing the race, who the people are they will be following and how hard this race is. The narrator then says, "if you have ever wanted to see how far you can go, come here...." I get it. Trust me I understand. If you want to see how far your body can physically go, you probably should go to Kona to compete in this. However, my first thought always goes to, "if you have ever wanted to see how far you can go, come to the foot of the cross." Never have I felt more alive, felt like I could go farther in life and knew I was on the right path then when I have been at the foot of the cross. Before I trusted my life to Christ I would have never known what life could have offered. And now that I have trusted my life to Christ, the world is in color, possibilities are endless, and fear is something of the past. There are days and even months that are hard, but I know that when I am at the foot of the cross God has an amazing journey for me. God has delivered me and continues to from heartache into His light. At the foot of the cross life is no longer hopeless and dark. At the foot of the cross there are still hard times and mountains to climb, however there is an never ending supply of hope, light and a path that has been clearly marked by our creator and savior.

I want to know how far I can go with Jesus Christ as my driver. I will be at the foot of the cross.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Back Home

I have been gone for about a week. AA and I traveled to Michigan this last week for a Slenk Family reunion. I have so much to say about this trip, this family and how God was so prevalent in them but I am still trying to catch my breath and keep my head above water at work. I did a couple of runs in, despite the heat and humidity. It was an amazing trip. I will have a full recap a little later!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Things learned from Marathon #1

I have waited to post this for a week now. I felt as though when I crossed the finish line last Saturday, that this experience wasn't done and that there were still things that running, and more importantly Christ was teaching me on an everyday, if not hour by hour basis. It has taken me a week to really let this all soak in and come up with some type of conclusion. And the conclusion that I came up is......drum roll please....there is no conclusion.

I have loved learning and experiencing Jesus in different ways over the last five months and the sweet and precious times I have been able to spend with Him over hours of running, and I simply feel like the Lord is calling me to continue running, not because it keeps me in shape or even because I really like it all that much, because we all know I have a love hate relationship with running, but more because it is "our" time we get to spend together. So this is no conclusion post, nope, it is simply things I learned last Saturday, some about running, but more about the Savior that I get the pleasure to serve:

1. God is so good. It is because of Him that I have the privilege to run and to live. He has designed this sweet path called life that I get to experience, with Him at the wheel. There are simply not enough praises and thank yous to Him for this experience and the people I met.

2. Shirts with inspirational quotes during a marathon are awesome! But shirts with Bible verses on them, especially ones that you can recall off of memory are even cooler! Thanks guy in the blue Phil. 3:14 shirt! I loved running behind you between miles 21-23.

3. Yes, you can drink too much water during a marathon. Lesson learned....never again! I am sticking to my plan.

4. The Lord is the one who provides your strength and power. It was amazing to have my prayers answered as I called out to Jesus for His power and His strength.

5. Prayers are always answered, even if it is no or not yet. A hard lesson that I was reminded of at mile 20.

6. Friends, family and a support crew are essential. They were such beacons of hope on the course and to see them FOUR times throughout the course brought a smile to my step and a giddy up to me step.

7. It is okay to walk during a marathon...for crying out loud it is 26.2 miles!

8. To meet "new" friends on the course is also phenomenal...to have something to look forward to right around the bend or over that hill.

9. Around mile 14 I started to think of what I wanted to do after this marathon and I remembered something one of my best friends, Meg, a sweet mommy-to-be, who is an amazing servant of Christ said she wanted to start doing again, journaling. I am going to copy her, and I want to start journaling again, to be able to look back and see the answered prayers and where God has transformed my heart. Not sure if this is something I learned, but thank you for encouraging me, my little Meggggggggie! :)

10. My husband is the most self sacrificing, humble servant-minded people I know. Thank you, my Jamaican sprinter.

11. And finally, like I said above a lesson I learned is that this will not be my last marathon, God willing. I have loved this experience and the things the Lord has taught me and I am ready to learn some more! And so...my next big run....Super Jock and Jill 1/2 Marathon on September 6.

Who is with me??

Isaiah 40:31 But for those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on the wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Thank you Jesus!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Marathon Recap Part 2

So as the full marathoners started our jog across the lake I looked to Heaven and said out loud "okay, Mom you and I for the next 2 miles." I needed her memory and strength to get me across this bridge, the same bridge that she had dominated so many times, so many years ago during Danskin., (tears starting as typing). She was the one who gave Katie and I the ability to see what was possible for women, to push beyond our comfort zone and to find the possible in impossible. So as the wind blew at my face, hard on the bridge, I got to the end and turned around and headed for the tunnel with full confidence that she was watching.
I saw Mel (tall mom) on the bridge, and called out "You go Tall Mom!" She looked right at me and smiled and yelled! I loved it! Thanks Mel for the boost. Got into the tunnel and realized how loud the music was. I couldn't hear my own earphones over the booming music. But as I got closer I realized it was a DJ, not a band, which was a nice change. He was smiling and going crazy! It made me smile, too.
I took a water at the end of the bride and looked up. What did I see but the 13 mile sign. We were half way, and although my stomach was still giving me problems I felt as though my stride was strong. I checked my watch and realized I had run a really slow half, at 2 hours 10 minutes. I haven't run that slow in over a year, but I tried not to let it bug me. I was in this for the long haul, plus I wouldn't have given up for the world stopping to see my support crew and giving all of the American Flag guys a high five. No way, jose, I was going to get the full experience.

As we came off I-90 I knew I would see AA and the crew soon. I kept my eyes alert and sure enough that crimson stuck out in Seattle, as it always does. I veered right to take a GU and water, recharge time! I saw Nathan and Jerry as well, my in-laws! They had come from Mt. Vernon, made signs and everything. I thought to myself, where is Linda Lou (my mother in law)? But sure enough after GU I heard someone yelling my name and there was Linda to greet me for a sweaty sweaty hug. How sweet to have people who love you, rooting you on.


The marathoners and halfers split again, and I knew that the few of us that had decided to do the whole thing were on our own now. I remembered someone once said, you might be alone but you are not by yourself. I prayed again, like I had so many times that day, to keep me strong, to give me His strength and power. You I said out loud, "let's go to work". After another tunnel I knew what was coming. The same road AA and I take to church every Sunday, that we really didn't notice was so uphill, was uphill and waiting for us. It was the first time when I decided I needed to give my stomach and back a break. I walked just for a little but and then ran again. I continued with that for the rest of the way, walking just short little bit, and running far. I thought that I might have taken too much water so I skipped a couple of water stations, to see if that would make me feel better, but it didn't. I realize now I could have run more, but I was so scared I wasn't going to cross the finish strong (Next post..what I learned!).

Finally the top of the hill came and the bridge was upon us, and what did I see at the bottom but crimson jackets! YAY! There they were, as the four of them have always been, there. I needed them, but I didn't know what I needed other then just to see them. As I turned the corner and heard their cheers I looked straight at all four of them as said "this is a really long way." I must have looked horrible because I came to find out that that made Katie cry. Oh she was worried about me! Love her! AA ran with me for a 100 yards or so giving me words of encouragement and all I could say back was..."don't worry about missing me at the finish, I am going so slow, there is no way!" I was sad I couldn't go faster but there was nothing I could do. I was angry to because my legs felt strong, it was just my middle that was killing.

Back up the hill, back down the hill, which by the way doesn't feel good when you are 19 miles in. Back through the tunnel and on top of 99. I could see Qwest, but knew we had to go past quest 1.5 miles and back. When we got to mile 23 you could hear the finish and see the people sprinting the last 100 yards. It hurt, knowing (tears) that I was so close, but so much more work to do. There was a pack of about 6 of us that kept trading for the lead. One would slow and one of us our speed up, ect. This happened all the way until mile 25.5. When I made the turn I knew it was the home stretch, 1.5 miles left, that was it. I saw Jill on the way back and started to cry. I wanted a friend and she was the only one I "knew" out there. I pointed to Qwest for both of us to know we were almost part of the marathon club. For a mile I ran behind a guy with a shirt that read "Phil 4:13" WOW! Thank you Jesus! You are good!

As I got to mile 25.5 and started to make the turn down the on ramp I wanted to sprint and I started to, but oh no. My back screamed at me to stop, so I slowed and smiled at the couple next to me. We all knew were were almost there.

The minute we came off the on ramp there were a bazillion people. I made sure I kept my eyes open to look for crimson. I ran faster, the Lord granting me strength for the last .2 miles. I turned the corner and saw the finish. There it was, the one dumb line I had been chasing for 5 months. One line, that for a lot of my life I never thought I would reach. Something that was impossible, the Lord gave me the ability to make possible. I heard extra screaming and looked to the right, and there they were. The people who had also helped me make this possible, inspired me and told me from the very beginning I could do it. I looked at them and wanted to cry, and I think I was, just no tears were coming. Weird, huh?

I kept running, with my eye on the prize. As I approached the line I raised my arms and stepped across the finish line. (tears now...). I thanked the Lord, clicked my watch and smiled. There it was, finished. I couldn't believe it. I think it has taken me until today or so to actually make it a real thing in my brain.

I bent over, because I was so sick of standing up. I don't think the medical people at the finish liked to see the Jolly Green Giant bend in a half, as they rushed over and asked if I was okay. I was better then okay, but I didn't have the energy to say it so I just smiled and nodded. I made my way through the food, only grabbing oranges to stuff my face with. I saw my aunt Patty and Grandma who had come over on the ferry to see me. They are great!

I thought once I saw AA and everyone I would bawl, but I didn't. I just smiled and laughed and chatted it up. I was energetic, almost giddy. It was so weird for me and everyone else, them asking a lot "are you sure your okay?"
I was more then okay! I had just finished a marathon! Something that 99.7% of people think is impossible and don't try. I was in shock. And happy. And knew this would not be my last. This marathon cemented, that the Lord willing, was going to be a lifelong adventure. Marathon running...who knew!? :)



Here I come off the on ramp...finish here I come!

In the chutes!



There I am...finishing my first marathon!!

Tomorrow....post marathon thoughts and lessons learned!







Monday, June 28, 2010

Marathon Recap Part 1

Wow! I still am not sure I have wrapped my head around what really just happened? I keep saying that to everyone who keeps asking how it went. I feel as though it hasn't quite set in. I have done so many races and half marathons, that to know this one was different hasn't quite hit. I think parts of it have hit but not all of it. I can't wait to see how God reveals Himself through the rest of this "first marathon" process. But let's start this recap and see where it leads us, shall we?

The week before I was a nervous wreak. I wasn't blogging because I didn't know what to say and I was trying to keep my mind off of it. I was very productive either, work was harder then normal it seemed like, making dinner and keeping the house clean was difficult, I just couldn't get my mind off of 26.2 miles. I went to the expo during my lunch break at work, which I was a little sad about because I had to go through it so fast. I have been to a lot of expos but this was BY FAR my favorite. Walking in on a red carpet, music blaring, friendly volunteers, it was all great. I found my race number, got my gear bag and shirt and headed out to start shopping! About a quarter of the way through I realized I should have called my aunt Laura, she was doing the half, and had to have been there too. I called and her and sure enough she was just picking up her bib. We met up, chatted for a while and then I was off again. I found so many great things I wanted, but I used restraint! :) I did get all of their cards though so I could shop online! At the end of the expo I was on my last row and I was wondering if Jock and Jill was there and sure enough I looked up and there was Chet! He gave me a hug and offered great encouragement, along with what I have been hearing all week, "are you crazy?"
The day before the marathon was work as usual, then my sister came into town! She had come from Pullman to see me race. So sweet! I had a different dinner, of chicken, baked potato and asparagus. I usually run the best when I have sushi the night before (I know weird right?) but our favorite sushi place is closed for re-model so I figured I should just eat plain food. Went to bed so early and slept okay.

Alarm went off at 5:20am. That is the benefit of living so close, plus AA knew back roads so after breakfast we got on the road and were there in 15 minutes! AA and Katie were able to park and walk with me to the start which was amazing. I was so nervous I was going to be all by myself and have a panic attack. AA found me the shortest porta potti line (true love :) ) and hung with me before I started to go to my corral. AA prayed for me, and I knew at that point it was me and Jesus.

As I started to walk to my corral I heard a bunch of girls laughing. I turned around and shu dang who was it but the bloggy meet up I heard about, with a ton of bloggy women including Mel with Tall Mom on the Run and Jill with Running 2 Sanity, both I follow. I didn't really feel cool enough to be able to be in the picture with those awesome women so I just smiled and kept walking. I got into my corral and met a nice girl who was running the half. Before I knew it I heard Tina screaming my name! Tina is Laura's friend who has done Danskin Tri with us. Sure enough Laura made her way into my corral to give me a hug and wish me luck. It was so nice and made me feel a lot calmer. Met two more guys who were with Team in Training from San Jose! They were so funny and had just run Rock n Roll San Diego three weeks before! How awesome!
Well after 18 corrals, our corral was at the start line. I couldn't believe it. And as the horn went off and we were off I almost started to cry, but I was smiling too much! This was going to be my victory lap no matter how much it hurt. So we were off and I smiled as we went through this GIANT blow up thing that was over the road, a guy rocking out! Then all of a sudden I looked up and who did I see? Jill from the blog I follow! She doesn't know me but I have been reading her posts about running and Jesus. She was running with a friend but I yelled out "Jill I read your blog and love it!" She laughed and yelled back "Thanks! How are you?" She was so nice! I ended up seeing her a lot throughout the race which was really nice actually. We would smile and cheer each other on. Not right after I saw Jill I looked to the side of the street and saw Suzie from the Biggest Loser!!! I have seen her and her husband Matt at the mall before so it wasn't to big of shock but it still made me happy, (Matt won the Biggest Loser and him and Suzie married after they met on the show. They now live in the Seattle area and he does a lot of races).
As we approached mile 3.5 I spotted Katie and AA in the crimson...GO COUGS...I cut people off left and right to be able to say hi to them, sorry people! I told them I saw Suzie and other runners around me laughed. We kept going and as we came down onto Lake Washington Blvd and there were so many people on the side of the road with American flags! There were people in army fatigue and motorcycle guys and gals! It was a great support.
Around mile 7 I knew I needed a GU, good thing there was a GU stop coming up. I downed a GU and water and started to look for AA and Katie. They were up ahead with Meg and Chris!! Yea! I love my support crew! It was time to change and get out of long sleeve.






Once I got the shirt off I knew I had to get to work. This was the same run/bike course as the Danskin Tri so I knew we had a lot of flat to go, until i-90. Once I climbed the hill up to i-90 the half marathoners and marathoners split. I prayed and asked Jesus to give me His strength and power. I then heard a husband scream at his wife "to get going, go get em, you're going to kill this, I will meet you at the finish, you are my hero!" Oh I almost could have just died right then. The wife was going onto the full and he wanted to make sure she knew she was strong. So SWEET! The wind was tough on the bridge and that is when I started to think that I was in for the long haul. ...
That is all for now...more miles to come....


Sunday, June 27, 2010

We rocked and rolled!

Full race report to come soon but I can say this for now :

1. God is good!

2. My official chip time: 4 hours 50 minutes 2 seconds. Not as fast as I wished but now I have something to beat!

3. Yup, this will not be my last marathon

4. Rock n Roll was so well done!

5. I love you, Support Crew. You are AMAZING!

6. I loved meeting new "friends" on the course. They really did help me, when I saw them.

More to come....time to hang out with AA and rest!

PS...had an intramural kick ball game today...SO FUN!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A little love from Texas

A dear friend lives in Dallas, Texas. She ran the Honolulu marathon last December. She is a real runner. She sent me this email today:

"Shelbs,

Three days to go until one of the best days of your life (you won’t think it is as you run, but it will be once you finish!). I am sending you my love and support from Dallas as you get ready to run your marathon. I have no doubt you will do great especially because you have been so diligent with your training! When you cross the finish line on Saturday, you will feel more proud of yourself than you ever have before and all that time, effort, and tears will be worth it.

I cannot wait to hear all about it and wish I could be there in person to cheer you on. Instead, a little cheer for you via email:

Go Shelby Go! Go Shelby Go!
Run really fast, have a blast!
Go Shelby Go!

Enjoy the experience. Rob and I are rooting for you!

Katie"

Guess what I did...cried....not surprising. I think I am going to write that little cheer down on my arm so I don't forget it. :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The unknown

Just to keep you updated....last night when AA got home we were having dinner and he asked if I wanted to drive the race route after dinner. I knew that I had to do it sooner then later and figured if I were going to do it and I wanted to do it with him. I asked him how he was going to know where to go...he ran to his brief case and pulled out a larger then life map he printed out as well as instructions, what roads were going to be closed and where medical, GU, water and porta potties were going to be. I love that man. So as we piled into the car he asked why I had been so quiet all night? Me of course, having WAY to much pride told him I wasn't being too quiet. Ha! Him and I both knew that it was a lie. As we pulled off the freeway and drove towards where the start line would be, he told me that right over there is where I would start. I didn't say anything back and as he looked over he knew why. I was in hysterical crying mode. I mean the ugly cry people. He asked what I was crying over and I shot it straight...that I was scared out of my mind.

And as soon as it came out I knew what was coming next..."what are you scared for?" I guess I don't know what I am scared for....well yes I do...the unknown. Welcome to my life. I am more scared of the unknown then anyone I know. I am not one of those people that just jump two feet into things without knowing every little detail. And yes I do know this is extremely annoying for everyone around me, I am sorry. 26.2 miles is unknown, Tukwilla to Seattle to north Seattle and back...running...is unknown.

If I have ever needed God more it is when satan has tried to paralyze me with fear because of the unknown. It is a constant battle I have. And I do know that it is more a spiritual battle then anything else. I must rely on God for all things unknown, because He already knows. How simple that is to say, and how hard that is to live. Every morning I have been asking God to take away my anxiety and fill my with joy. I need to make sure I am doing this more then just the week before my first marathon.

Again, yet another great lesson I have learned on this journey to a finish line...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Am I already talking about my next....

Come with me! Let's just hope it is a little warmer!

My Jamaican Sprinter

I have been trying for a while to sit down and write a post about my Jamaican sprinter, AKA: AA, AKA: my husband. To tell everyone how amazing he is and without him I wouldn't be able to do this victory lap on Saturday. I have sat down before, started typing and realized that what I was saying was not doing it justice. The love and thankfulness I feel for him through this process was not coming out in the words that my heart felt. And again today I have sat down to try to write this post that I have been trying to write for five months now and again my words that I will say are in no comparison to how I actually feel. But I could not start this marathon week without expressing how grateful I am for him.

You see, this commitment of running was not only placed on me, but my beloved husband. I would not be the only one who felt the pain of sore muscles or had to put the time commitment every weekend morning. You see, I should have asked AA if it was okay if I ran this marathon because he made just as big of commitment as I did. Without fail he has been there to rub my back, get me water, listen to me complain, run with me at the end of runs, help me in the shower, look at gross things growing on my feet and tell me how much he loves me, even when I was at my lowest points.

When the thought of doing a full marathon came about I had full intentions of running it with KB. But as God had already planned out, one was going to Africa to help women with disabilities, one was going to Lake Tahoe to help college students learn how to grow in their faith, one is at new staff training (she doesn't run anyway...so that doesn't really count :) ), and the last one has been blessed with a baby girl growing inside of her. :) Don't I look like the slacker?! So as I stood alone at the start of training I contemplated not doing it. I didn't know how to run by myself. But it was AA that pushed me and said that I could do this and he would help. And he did.
I remembered when I ran 10 miles one morning. He met me at mile 7 and ran with me. Towards the end I started to panic and told him I could barely run 10 miles, how was I going to run 26.2? He just looked at me, straight in the eye and said that at some point that 10 miles was going to feel like a warm up. At the time, I was mad at him for saying that! He didn't know! But you know what? He did know, and although 10 miles is still hard, it does feel like an extended warm up. He was there when I "quit" running one very very cold Sunday morning. And he was there when I started back up then next day. He was there to catch me after 20 miles and sprint over to Starbucks to get me a frap. He has been there everyday, without fail.

So, Jamaican sprinter if you are reading this, know that I love you more then any of these words could express and that without you, Saturday would not be possible.

Lord Jesus You are good. Thank you so much for AA. Thank You for showing me what love looks like in marriage and for continually pushing me to love him like You love all of us. Lord I do not deserve all of the blessing you have given me, especially AA. Lord I love You.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

It begins...I mean ends...I mean begins...

Marathon week is here. People...this is THE week I have been waiting for, training for, eating for (hehehe), praying for, for the last year. I can clearly remember Meg saying we should do the Rock n Roll a little less then a year ago. And now we are here. The plans is to eat well, sleep lots and get a good couple of short runs in. Holy Guacamole...here we gooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thank you...

Throughout this journey there have been people that have stuck out in my mind, who without them I wouldn't be able to even think about doing this marathon. And there are also people who constantly run through my head during my runs who inspire me and keep me motivated. If you are reading this you might just be one of them, Yenster, Oliver, Meg, Mom, Chris, Rat, Pig, Katie, AA, Jesus, Molly Hightower, Jordan, Dick/Rick Hoyt, Linda, and the list goes on and on.

There is one person who has been with me from the every beginning of this crazy ride called life, my dad. You see when I was born, dad was already on the climb to become one of the most successful basketball coaches on the west coast and now one of the most well known principals in the state. People say I look like him, I don't see it, but everyone else does. When I was little I can clearly remember many times when my mom, Katie and I would be walking through the mall, the store or riding our bikes and someone would stop me dead in my tracks and ask if I was Mike Albrecht's daughter. I would say yes with pride. Often he would ask if we wanted to come with him to different events and almost without hesitation I would say yes. I loved being associated with him. He taught us people skills and how to handle ourselves in public. He taught us to respect the people who were older then us and how to have a good sense of humor, us being the butt of many of his jokes. He taught us how to be great public speakers and how to command a room.

But one of the greatest lessons dad taught us happened every night when he tucked us into bed. Dad would come in, no matter how late he would get home from coaching and say a good night prayer, always the same. Then he would say the same two things every night...EVERY NIGHT! First we would tell us that is he lined up every little kid in the world, which two would he pick? Katie and I. There were no doubts. Even when we were bad or had gotten in trouble that day we knew he would always pick us. He taught us that parents really truly do love their kids.

The second thing he would say was something that I have taken with me everyday and now with training for this marathon I have relied on this phrase almost every run. He would say "if you work hard and try your best you will be successful." But he would leave out "work hard" and "try your best" and expect us to fill that in. Every night he drilled that into us. That is pretty powerful to think about now that I am older. That someone who loved us so much wanted us to know that he believed in us and that we could believe in ourselves. Not working hard was unacceptable and so was not trying your best.

So next Saturday when I stand on that start line of my first full marathon I will say that mantra in my head over and over again and thank Jesus that He gave me such an amazing dad. Thanks dad for giving me confidence, respect, the power of "Wonderwoman braclets" and most importantly the knowledge that I have a dad who loves me.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wow!

Where do I start? These last two weeks I feel like I have been running around like my head was cut off. Between work, life and well running I haven't quite had the ability to stop and think about my 20 mile run I did on Saturday. Until today, I was thinking that that 20 mile run was just another thing that was on my to-do list. Do it and get it done, then move onto the next thing. But today, I actually sat down and thought, wow, I ran fro 3 hours and 10 minutes and didn't stop.

The day started at 7am with my alarm clock blaring. I actually had gotten a great night sleep, which is rare when I have a new, higher mileage planned the next day. I quietly got out of bed, trying not to wake up AA. I got dressed, made a light breakfast and sat and watched the news. At 7:30 I was off. To tell you the truth I purposely did not make a conscience thought that I was actually going to be running 20 miles. All I knew is I wanted to be done in 3 hours and 15 minutes. The first 7 miles were great. I was feeling amazing and I saw AA to take a GU and water. I took off for another 4 miles and looped back around to our apartment, where I got another sip of water. I was having some stomach issues but I knew it would go away. My prayer was answered within a mile and I was feeling fine. I knew I would see AA around mile 14 for another GU and water stop.

It was amazing weather. I was in a tank and shorts and there was so many runners out, I didn't feel so alone. I made the turn at Alki and spotted AA across the street from Spuds. I GU'd and watered up and told him I would need water again in 2 miles. After my water and GU I passed a man with a fuel belt and a marathon finisher's tshirt on. He was a real runner, but you could tell he was struggling. I told him he looked strong. He answered back something about not feeling so strong. I smiled and lifted a prayer for him. He needed it. As I ran on Alki I could feel my body starting to break down. Between then and the end, countless prayers were lifted to the Heavens. God was so good. I knew He was right there with me. I never felt alone, and even in my most painful moments I knew He was pushing me to keep going. I saw AA at 16 and begged him to meet me at 18. I told him I had nothing left. I was serious, nothing. There was a empty feeling in my core. He assured me I was almost done. Ugh, he was right. I begged again for him to be at 18. He agreed, I truly do have the best husband. At around mile 17.75 I thought I had passed where AA was supposed to be. I started to cry and panic. I looked up long enough, through my tears to realize I got the two piers confused. He was going to be right up there in a little bit. I found him, just where I left him. Thank you Jesus for water and AA. I was really struggling now, my back and knees were shot. I wanted to cry but that would have taken way to much energy. AA saw it too. He told me he would be at 19 and then at 20.

Mile 19 came around, I needed AA and water. But he was no where. And then my i-pod died. I started to panic again. I was about to pass out, I needed water and Beyonce :). Every step I begged God to give me energy, power and strength. In hind sight, He did give me that power, strength and energy, but at the time I could not feel it. Finally AA came out of no where. I took my last drink of water and headed for the last mile. I looked at my watch at mile 19.60 and realized I had less then half a mile. Oh my gosh, I was going to do this. Thank you Jesus. Finally at mile 20 I pushed end on my watch looked at AA and started to bawl. I felt bad because there was a family of four standing right next to us with two really young kids. They probably thought I was a lunatic who had just run a couple of miles and now was crying like a baby. My feet hurt so bad and the only words I could get out were, "shoes, my shoes." AA bent down to undo my laces. I wanted to take off my shoes, but realized that wasn't the smartest idea. I cried and kept crying, while AA asked what I needed. I didn't know what I needed. I looked up and what did I see? The holy grail of STARBS! "I need a frap, please get me a frap." AA smiled, handed me his sweatshirt and helped me cross the street. Sitting was not good, standing was not good, so I just paced back in forth in Strabs until AA got my drink. He looked at me at one point, and asked if I felt weak. I said yes, even though that wasn't the truth. Sure my body felt horrible but I felt strong. Stronger then I ever had before.

It is true what it says in the Bible, God will deliver you out of your pain and agony. You will get to the finish line of the race and He will be there to catch you. God is so good. And with the full marathon only a week and a half away I can't help but thank Him for everything He has taught me through this experience. I feel strong and ready, and even if I am not, I know God will deliver me. Oh how I love God.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

This morning...

I ran 20 miles. Then I cried. Enough said.

PS...I will have a better run recap later, when I can actully think. Peace out! :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The little voice

If you are a runner or even just a breathing person you know all of the voices that can enter our head. "You aren't thin enough, or smart enough". "You don't run as fast as him, my muscles hurt too much". Or even worst, "you aren't Christian enough or you don't shine light". Oh boy, when that voice enters your head, hit your knees and pray.

There are so many voices in our everyday life. Some loud, some quiet. Some that sting for a long time, some that just come and go. When I run, every single time, the voices shout so loud to stop, to quit, that I am not strong enough. It is exhausting. At times, the physical part of running is the easy part. But there is always one voice trying to scream at me the truth. "Keep going, you are strong, you are doing amazing, only a little bit longer". The key to being successful at running is being able to find that one voice among all the other ones screaming at me lies. And with 18 days left until the marathon the lies are coming at full force.

The parallel to this and to my relationship with Christ is uncanny. The number of lies that are told from the world and satan are numerous and with little time between them. But there is always the one voice of Christ shining through all of the dark ones. Christ is the light and the voice that we need to find and follow. At times, the voice is faint and hard to hear, however it is there. The one voice that will lead us to the light and a finishline.

Thank you Christ for being our shining light, our one hope and friend. Jesus You are Lord. I praise You for everything You are to me and to this world. Lord help me be a better person for Your kingdom. I love you!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

PEOPLE!!!!!!!

Okay people let's get serious!

I just got my confirmation email from Rock n' Roll!!!!!! I am number 19,077. Yup you read that right! I am in the 19th corral. I wish I was in the 18th corral because I think that will more reflect my finish time, but that's okay. It will just give me something to chase the whole time. "Look for the guy holding the 4:15 time sign and follow him to the finish!" :)

WOW this is exciting...I am scared out of my mind. I printed off all the information who I will probably just hand to my coach AKA: AA AKA: Jamaican Sprinter and he will tell me where to go.

Bad News: There are only two GU stops along the whole course...this is not going to work. Coach can you meet me around mile 15ish for a GU? Thanks lovebug!

Okay have to go now...feeling sick...OH LORD HELP ME! :)

PS...ran a small 7 miles yesterday and felt GREAT, ran 10 miles on Monday felt like crap. Hmmmm...I am not consistent at all! Let's pray that on June 26 I am on FIRA (fire...with an accent :) )

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Outside

Please look outside...it's pouring...I mean dumping people. Guess what? I have a 5 mile run after work today. Joy to the world, happy happy joy joy. NOT! Ugh! I am sick of this weather!!!!!! Come on sun!

Okay no more complaints. Just needed to get that off my chest.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Montana

Very very very quick....this is the recap of the last 4 days of running:
  • Thursday: Wake up in Idaho...get in the car....drive to Montucky...I mean Montana to get the wedding plans going! AKA...no running.
  • Friday: Alarm goes off, roll over push AA in the chest, "please get up and run with me???" He agreed! YES! We start our run. When I think about Montana in May I think hot and sun. Nope FREEZING FREEZING FREEZING. Made it less then 3 miles before I was crying to go back, because my ears were going to break off of coldness. I mean my ears hurt so bad it was like stabbing a needle into my brain...okay, a little drama queen for you but you get it.
  • Saturday: Had time to run before the wedding, 7am, look outside SNOWING! I mean blizzard people. Well, nope not running. Call Christina to tell her, "move wedding inside NOW!" :)
  • Sunday: WAY TO MUCH DANCING...legs hurt...no running. However I did exercise my butt muscles by sitting for 11 hours in a car on the way home...they were sore when I got done. :)
Not a lot of running, but a lot of loving, making new friends, reuniting with old ones and remembering how sweet Jesus made marriage. Jesus loves us so much He gave us marriage. Thank you Jesus. Congrats to Andy and Christina! I LOVE YOU!

Tomorrow...hitting the treadmill early!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Real Quick

Quick summary of this weekend...BUSY! I am so tired today I could fall off this chair. And I had a rager headache this morning...great. Good news....yesterday at oh dark hundred hours (although it was very bright for 6:30 fricking am) I climbed out of bed, munched on some protein and carbs and headed out to run run run. 16 miles. Do we all remember the last time I ran 16, yea the time when I got to 15 and I thought my back was going to break in half? Yea that great run. So as you could probably guess I was really scared to do this. But I headed out and prayed, "please Jesus give me Your power and strength" and you know what He did! The first 4 miles I was all by my lonesome. Mile 5ish a woman wearing a cute running skirt got ahead of me. She was tall as well so our strides were right about the same. I watched her calves the whole way up the dreaded mile long hill. I made the pass at the end of it. Her and I caught back up to each other numerous times throughout the next 2 miles. She was quick off of the red lights but my pace was just a bit quicker. At one point I ran behind her and didn't push myself. I looked up and she was veering off the left, she turned around knowing I was right behind her and waved goodbye. So nice! I prayed that I hope she knew Jesus and their relationship continues to blossom.

Saw AA at mile 10, I was feeling pretty good. Slurped down a vanilla GU and headed down to Alki. At one point my leg was feeling really bad. I looked to the Heavens and asked God to put His healing hands on my leg to take away the pain...and then boom! Right then and there it was gone. Oh Jesus You are amazing! Passed a woman at mile 12 , turned around and told her she was looking great! She smiled but I knew she was feeling it. I saw her again at mile 15.5. She gave me the thumbs up this time. I love nice runners.

I finished at 2 hours 28 minutes. About the same time I finished that last one, but this one I felt so so so much better. I could have kept going a couple more miles I think.

THANK YOU JESUS for the boost of running confidence. I am going to listen to Pastor Richard's sermon on forgiveness tonight. I am guessing it is going to be a good one. I will keep you updated!

Friday, May 14, 2010

I came across this...

The last couple days on the way to work, I have thanked Jesus for the sun. It is such a mood booster! And even though all of us who get to go to work (yes I said get to go..there are so many people who don't have jobs right now) and only get to enjoy the sunshine for the last couple hours of the day, the sun just makes you happy. Today, I started to dream about how I would love a pool and I would love a nice man to come over to offer to clean my sunglasses and offer me frozen grapes. And then I realized I have had that before. My Jamaican sprinter and I's honeymoon! I came across this picture. Oh what peace it was to sit there read, swim, be next to my new husband and have some nice man give me frozen grapes.

So I have decided...because there is no trip to Mexico, Hawaii, Baja, or any other pool living countries anytime soon I am off to Target today to buy me a kiddie pool. And then I am going to march over the AA's work and demand he feeds me frozen grapes and cleans my sunglasses while I squeeze my Joly Green Giant body into that kiddie pool. Yup it will be just like Mexico! Wish me luck!

PS...Yesterday I went on a 7 mile run at Greenlake, AKA, the new Jersey Shore, and all I had on was shorts and a tshirt! THANK YOU JESUS!!!!!!!!! No more layering...for now. I just looked at the forecast, rain again on Monday. FABULOUS!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Kirkland Half Marathon

The night before the half marathon I thought to myself, "I have done this three times before, this is easy, I will sleep so well tonight." Did that happen? NO! Ugh! Slept horrible, alarm blaring at 5:45; Got up, changed, breakfast and then got loaded into the car. Off to Kirkland we went. I love when AA comes with, that way I don't have to worry about parking, directions, ect. It was cold that morning and I was worried I should have worn pants. But, there was no second guessing myself now, too late!

At about 7:25am I kissed AA goodbye and lined up. I looked down at one point before the horn went off and what did I see? Bare feet. BARE FEET PEOPLE! EWWW! I looked at the guy like he was crazy...because he was! It grossed me out so much I had to move spots...couldn't look at those feet anymore! The horn went off, I waved to AA right after the start line, put my head down and started running. I knew this was going to be a hilly course, but was still hoping to beat 2 hours.

When I say hilly I am not joking. I knew that we were going to climb for 7 miles. I just kept telling myself, "just get to 7 miles and that it is all down hill." Every corner we turned it was a new hill, some short, some steep, some so long you couldn't see the top. At mile 2 Aunt Laura passed me, I kept her in sight for about 4 miles, then she was off. People were walking up the hills, but I kept plugging along, sometimes only going as fast running as the people walking, but I knew I did not want to walk. At mile 4ish, this women got right in front of me on a hill, which was fine with me. Her and I both knew I wasn't going to pass her anytime soon. I watched her feet as we both climbed the particular mountain, I mean hill. When we got to the top and I thought I could breathe again, I looked up. Do you know what her shirt said? "You are stronger then you think you are." Wow! Tears came to my eyes. Was that needed or what! I wanted to stop her right then and there and give her a hug. Then I remembered that if anyone tried to stop and give me a hug while I was running I would deck 'em. So I just kept running. She stayed in front of me almost the whole race. We would trade positions and the Lord knew when to put her in front of me so I could read the back of her shirt.

At around mile 4.5 I said to myself "I am never doing this dumb race again!" That message pretty much stayed with me the rest of the way. Uphill all the way is well uhmmm...HARD! At mile 7 I thought I would see AA. I needed to see him. I was hungry and needed GU. Mile 7, no AA. Mile 8, no AA. We were going downhill and flat for this part of the race so I wasn't entirely angry that I wasn't seeing him. At mile 9 and 10 when there was no AA I was worried I wouldn't have enough energy to get to the finish line. Then just as God heard my call I looked up. There was a women pushing her children in her BOB stroller. In a bright pink shirt, the back read, "I can do all things, through Christ, who strengthens me." WAHOOOO! That was a boost. As I passed her I yelled out "I LOVE YOUR SHIRT!" She told me thanks and God bless. Wow, thank you Jesus!

Finally I saw AA. I slurped down a GU and some water and was off to the finish. I checked my watch and sub 2 hours was still possible if I picked it up a little. The at mile 11 the hills started again. I turned a corner at one point, saw and hill and literally yelled out loud! The volunteer who was there looked me dead in the eye and told me I was almost done. He was right. At mile 12 I checked my watch and realized that sub 2 hours wasn't possible. I got a little sad but realized that this course was the hardest course I have ever ran and the fact that I was going to PR was an accomplishment in and of it self.

I crossed the finish line at 2 hours, 3 minutes and 7 seconds. I had a great time, even though I was by myself. This was the first half I had done without KB. I felt like I was missing something the whole morning and the fact of the matter was, I was missing something...my girls. Oh how I love those girls.

Thank you Jesus for an amazing race. Lord thank You for giving me strength, funny moments, women that encouraged me with their shirts and most of all for the reminder that You are in control. Lord thank You for AA's support and love. Lord I love You!

Here are some pictures from the race!

Mile 10...finally AA finds me!


Do you see that girl in the teal tank? Well let me tell you about her. I chased her down for two hours! She was in front of me the whole way, and then with .20 miles left, I passed her. I PASSED HER! Then even before I knew what was happening, she saw the finish, put her jet boosters in and passed me at the last minute! UGH!

Done! YAY!

"Uhmmm AA, please come and save me. I need water and Snickers....NOW!"

Ahhh...so much better! :)


Aunt Laura and I!


After the race, we drove to Mt. Vernon to celebrate Mother's day with the one and only Linda Lou Who. About Marysville something started burning on my back. I lifted up my shirt and told AA to figure out what in the H-E-Double hockeysticks was going on! A huge rash was forming from my sparts bra. This has never happened before so I didn't know what to do. The salt from my sweat that was now dried onto my skin was rubbing in it as well. Let me tell you the joy I felt at that moment...NOT! Once I got to the farm I took a shower. As I stripped down I realized the rash was on my front too, right under...uhmmm...well...my girls. I decided for the sake of... well everything I wouldn't take a picture of that. My shower was so painful I got out as soon as I could. It feels better today. And you know what this means?? I AM GOING SHOPPING FOR A NEW SPORTS BRA! WAHOOO!






Thursday, May 6, 2010

Dear Marathon...

Dear Marathon,

Let's just get something straight right here and right now...you are getting to me. I am tired, hit the wall, have bonked, but yet, I still cannot keep my mind from thinking about you. Every thing I do, eat and watch these days has a positive or negative impact on how I run that day or the next. You have taken me away from things I love like, sleeping in, waffles (not enough protein in the morning), my Jamaican sprinter and reality TV. How dare you!

Marathon, if you wanted to bring my body, mind and spirit to the limit to see what I am made of, you have been successful. Marathon, I have run 334.9 miles since I started this journey and I can barely see the finish line, which is actually the start line on June 26.

Marathon, let me just get one thing clarified, you have shown me more about pain, endurance and more importantly Jesus then I can say. So I guess, Marathon, thank you. I truly do hate you sometimes, but overall you have taught me a lot, about who I am, where I am going and how to always look up.

I will see you today at 4:30 for a "little" 7 miler. Lets be on our best behavior okay?

-Shelbs

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sick

*Cough Cough, sniffle sniffle* Do you feel bad for me yet? Sunday we drove home from the farm after celebrating my amazing mother-in-laws birthday. Happy birthday Linda Lou Who! The plan was to go to church and then I was going to run, hurry get in the shower and then get ready to help my friend Katie move. Sad :(. So the plan was going according to plan when going home from church I looked at AA and told him my throat hurt and I was feeling extra tired. He said his throat hurt a little, so I didn't think anything of it. I strapped on my shoes, kissed him goodbye and hit the road. I knew something was wrong when I was feeling so tired going DOWN hill. But I plowed through the first 5 miles, often at stop lights having to bend over, hands on my knees. I never EVER do that. AA ran with me the next three miles, instead of at the end. I told him how tired I was, just after 5 miles. He told me I was doing fine and then took off. I knew what he was doing, he was trying to get to the intersection first to make sure there were no cars coming as the red hand flashed. Usually we could have both made it before the light changed, but today I just couldn't. I needed to stop for just 30 seconds to catch my breath. So he came back and realized I wasn't kidding. After we parted ways at 8.5 miles I doubted I could go any further. But I told him I would see him in 50 minutes when I was done with 6 more miles. Down the hill, around the ben and I was heading towards Alki. I told myself to check in at 12.5 miles knowing I would at least get myself to 13.1 to see my time. I was running so slow at 12.5 I really didn't know how much further I could push. It was the first time while running I legitmatly knew I couldn't do this, that day. But I kept going, so tired. I checked in at 13.1 miles. This was the first time since training that I didn't break the 2 hour mark for a half marathon. I was sad but knew I only had .9 miles to go. AA found me on Alki. I told him I had a mile left. He left to go park the car. And when I was finished I couldn't find him anywhere. I started to cry and hyperventilate all at the same time (not a good idea) because I needed to sit down. The people at Spuds probably thought I was CRAZY wondering around looking for somebody and crying. AA found me, loaded me in the car and proceeded to help me once we got home.

The good news, I finished, I am not as sick as I have been in the past, I can sill breathe through my nose (this is the best news of all) and I think I am ready for the Kirkland Half on Sunday. My legs are pretty tired, not sore, just tired from this morning's easy three miler. This is strange because I haven't felt this tired after running just three miles in a long time.

On Sunday at church I was reminded yet again how good God is. And while running it struck me even harder how amazing God is. That is the good and bad part of running. Everything is magnified; little pains, extreme highs and lows, and the clear distinction of how my life would cease to exist without Christ. I think about people who don't have Christ and how easy their life looks. And then I think about my own life, back when I didn't have Christ either. The best way to describe the difference is that I used to live a life in black and white. Now I live a life in technicolor. Life simply was not life without Christ. Life is not easier with Christ, no sometimes I think the exact opposite. But Christ teaches us to have endurance. I know I have talked about this before, but it is so pivotal in our everyday walk with Christ and our everyday run. You don't need endurance until you feel like quitting, and if you are like me I need a lot of endurance.

Remember that endurance only comes from the Big Man upstairs. Keep running...especially towards Him!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Her.

Today I woke up and saw the sun. Hi sun, thank you for coming to join us this morning. Jesus, thank you for sun. I had a six miler ahead of me today. Flat, that is what I wanted, so I layered up and went to Alki. As I started my legs felt heavy, uh oh. This is going to be harder then I wanted. As I prayed to "please make this go fast" I felt the wind hit me straight in the face. Great. But as I plowed through one mile then two, I started to think how I would write this post. What do you say or write about something that only you and a couple others feel? How do you convey your emotions the way she would have wanted you to? But as mile three and four passed I couldn't figure it out. So then I just figured I would jot down some thoughts that have come across my mind for the last week in preparation for this day. These moments come across my mind here and there throughout the years, almost always bringing me to tears and smiles. So here are a few things I have thought about in the remembrance of her birthday:

1. I clearly remember the door opening to my bedroom one winter Saturday, still dark outside the hall light was too bright for my eyes to stay closed anymore. As I opened them, I saw her standing there, tall and lean, hair in a pony, PJ's still on. "Shelby do you want to go shopping today? Just you and me?" As soon as I heard that I was up brushing me teeth wide eyed and bushy tailed. We ate every meal together that day, just the two of us. I got a pair of blue keds that she asked if I wanted. That day it was just her and I.

2. She promised her friend Cheryl that when she got better they were going to train and compete in the Ironman Triathlon. THE only race that will push you past your limits, she was ready to take on head first. The day after she went to be with Jesus, Cheryl hopped in the pool and swam. This was her first day of training for the Ironman. Cheryl not only trained but competed in the furthest death defying race one can compete in. She crossed the finish line that day threw her hands in the air and sobbed. Later that week she gave her Ironman medal, the only tangible thing she had to say that she had completed this to Katie and I. "You girls deserve this," she told us.

3. She would come home from long 60-80 mile bike rides, we would run in the garage to come and say hi. She would always wait to take of her sunglasses until we were with her, because she knew how cool we thought it was to see the salt build up she had on her nose. We didn't know why she got that, but we knew it was because she worked hard and pushed herself to the limits.

4. The week before she died I watched as she climbed out of bed, with just a shirt and undies on. As I turned and looked I was shocked at what I saw. He legs were as thin as my arms. And as I started at what should have been strong powerful legs that had biked, ran and swam almost everyday for the last 15 years, all I saw was something that was so alien to me. When she did die I thought about how happy she was to get her body back in Heaven, in one piece, full of life.

There are so many more memories that flood my brain with emotions. But today those are the ones you should know about.

She, my mom, would have been 50. I miss her more and more as each day goes on. But the fact of the matter is she wouldn't want us to sit and be sad. So we won't. We will run, and laugh and live life. She has the best seat in the house to watch us live. We will continue to run after Jesus, because we know that is what she wanted us to do.

Have a fun party today mom. We are going to go and eat Spud now. Love you.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Just a couple of things...

I am going to write two things in this post.

The first will be for all audiences. The second will not. If you are grossed out easily, if you believe that bodily fluids are nasty (like I do), if you believe in the statement TMI, and if you want to not think of me any differently then you do now, I beg of you to only read the first part of this. After that just say to yourself "that was a funny and nice post Shelby, see you tomorrow for your next post." Please people, I beg of you! The only reason I am posting said posting is because it is a part of running. A part of running I pray I will NEVER, EVER be a part of. But anywho...more on that later.

First... today I had to run home to grab something at lunch. Right before I flew out the door on the way back to work I saw my lonely Ipod sitting in the desk. I had forgotten to plug it in to charge yesterday, so I figured I better do it now before I forget again. The day before I was pretty mad at said Ipod because said Ipod has horrible earphones. If any amount of moisture gets into the volume control of the headphones the volume either skyrockets to unheard of volume or decreases to where you can't hear anything and the worst part is it stays at that volume! As you can see this can be annoying, because well a) I run in the rain, uhmmm ALL THE TIME (remember the last post, yea the one where I pretty much quit this whole running thing) b) I sweat like a pregnant pig in heat all other times (oh...comparing myself to a pregnant pig, maybe I should try the whole self confidence thing?). Moisture is getting in those earbuds no matter what I do. So of course this happens yesterday, I get mad, throw said Ipod to the ground and finish my run. So today before I plugged said Ipod in I put the earphones in to see if things had dried out and I was able to change the volume and song. As soon as I turn it on I was able to change the volume...SUCCESS! And then, this is where the fun part starts, I checked to see if I could change the song...SUCCESS! But this was no other song I changed to...it was an ultimate dancing, hip shaking song. So what did I do in my slacks, heals and pearls? Turned that bad boy song up and danced around the apartment. I was having so much fun pretending I was Beyonce with flicking my hair and moving from left to right. I only stopped once to make sure the construction workers down below our apartment couldn't see me. After the song I realized I had to get back to work. So I plugged the Ipod in and ran out the door. As I got into my car I got a little sad. But you will have to wait until tomorrow to know why.

Second....THIS IS THE TMI PART OF THE POST! If you are choosing to read this please raise your right hand and repeat after me: "I (say your name) promise to not barf, pass out or think of Shelby as any type of monster, sick nasty loneytunes person. I hear by give myself full permission to read this and not blame Shelby for any nasty thoughts that might come my way after reading this. I promise to not judge runners or look at them any different when I see them running on the side of the road, by themselves. Amen." Okay maybe we didn't need an Amen at the end, but it is me after all. Good, now that we have all this legalistic stuff our of the way I am going to proceed to post something from a running blog I follow. She is 6'0'' tall (like ME!), played bball for the Zags and is a mother of two (not like me!). On her first marathon this is what she experienced:

"I had always heard of people wetting themselves during a race. After my experience at my half marathon where I had to pee the last 3 miles, I could understand it is horrible holding it in. My bladder is not good for races.Weak Mommy bladder + being hydrated + long potty lines+ impatience= YUCK!! I saw my pace group fade into the distance about 200 yards away, I wanted to catch up but I hurt. We got into the tunnel after 1-90, it was dimly lit and I decided to pee, just a little. In hindsight, first I should have gone a second time before I started the race and second I should have just dropped my pants and squatted. Instead the urine started to flow and flow...everything I drank for the past 3 days came out. My spandex, legs and socks were soaked. At that point I was HUMILIATED and totally lost it mentally. This was the worst case scenario, I am sure I was not alone in the accident department, but REALLY??? WHY?? Training for 16+++ weeks in the snow, rain, heat, with stomach aches, time away from my family and friends and my race was ruined because I WET MY PANTS. CURSES!!! UGH!!! So I kept running, wet."

WHAT!??????? The only thing I have to say about that is this:

Lord, thank You for the ability to run, thank You for the people who support me and who want to see me do well. Lord, there is one thing I ask of you, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Jesus let this never happen to me. Please Jesus I will never complain about being cold or hurt or sick again. Please Jesus! I love you Jesus!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Interesting turn of events

So usually I start these things with "on Sunday at oh dark hundred hours, ect, ect. ect." Well this week was a little different. On Sunday, instead of running before church, AA and I slept in (does 7:15am count as sleeping in?) and then went off to run the Top Pot Doughnut 5k at Greenlake. What is better then a little fun run in the morning and free doughnuts afterwards? Well to me that day, anything would have been better. I was excited that morning as I got dressed and pinned my number on. I was excited as I visualized my time as I strapped my timing chip on. However, the minute I stepped outside I was in a bad mood. It was freezing, and on that second of that minute I was livid that it was freezing. It wasn't like this was a rare occurrence. It is always freezing when I go out to run. Not once this year have I been able to just wear shorts and a tank. Nope, layers, layers, layers.

As we started walking to the start line I looked at my Jamaican Sprinter and told him, "I quit, I quit running, I will run this race and the Kirkland 1/2 and then I am done." And I was serious. I was so mad that it was cold. I was sick of always being freezing, I was sick of always being sick, I was tired of being always being tired, I was sick of always hurting and aching. I was mad that I have to run everyday by myself, at times for more then 2 hours, nothing has ever felt so lonely. And I made the thoughtful decision that I could just quit. And yes I might let some people down, more importantly myself, but at that minute I didn't care.

That day I had an 18 mile run planned. So after the Top Pot 5k (3 miles) I was going to have AA drop me off and then was going to run the last 15 miles. That thought made me furious and probably played into my decision to quit running. But now that I had quit I didn't have to. Ha running take that, put it in your pipe and smoke it!

As we lined up for the race, I was so mad I started crying. I was freezing, my stomach didn't feel good and I hated that I had just spent X amount of money to run around Greenlake. As the horn sounded we started. I stopped crying long enough to tell my Jamaican sprinter to keep up. He has always ended runs with me, not started, and today I was mad so I had a little getty up in my step. We stayed together for 2 miles, strictly because I was sick of running by myself for all of these months. But then at mile 2 I was so mad I couldn't help but take off. I didn't even say goodbye to AA or that I was going to lengthen my stride, nope I just took off. I was running faster then I had ever ran before, yet I knew I still had a mile left. Could I run at this pace for 8 minutes? Well we were about to find out. I would spot someone and tell myself, beat her, beat him. And you know what? I would surprisingly. Then at about 1/4 mile away from the finish I felt like I was going to bonk. "No, Shelby, keep going, don't you dare bonk on me," I repeated to myself. I sprinted the last 400 yards. I was mad and this finish line was going to get the brunt of it.

After the race I said nothing, just got in the car. AA looked at me and said, "you aren't serious about quitting?" Yes I was. Never again was I going to freeze, be alone, feel sick and now know the pain that was coming during the run and worse, after. But when I got home I couldn't focus on anything. I changed from pants to shorts and left. To the gym I went, just to run 3 more miles. I climbed on to my "best friend" the treadmill and started running. Faster and faster and faster I kept running. Finally after 3.28 miles I had to stop because I felt like I was going to pass out. My feet, knees, and legs felt great. They could have kept going forever it felt like. But my head was in the wrong place.

At home I climbed into the shower and sobbed. And then I remembered Sonja's husband (remember Sonja, the ultra marathoner I follow?) saying, "you may be by yourself but you are not alone." That made me cry harder and I realized I couldn't just quit running. First I was not raised to quit. Second, the one person I follow with all of my heart, Jesus, hasn't quit on me, even when I know I seem impossible.

So yesterday I quit running. But thanks to Jesus today I will start again. I will run 7 miles after work today and then continue on my training plan. The next three weekends are full of trips, half marathons, and other goodies so running exactly to my training plan will be hard. But that's okay. I will keep going. I trust in the Lord that the freezing weather He gives me is for a reason, the pain in my body I feel after is His way of reminding me that running, as in life, isn't easy, and that when you feel the most alone is when you have to rely in Him the most.

Oh how running can bring out the glory of God. Thank you Jesus for these constant reminders.

PS...God? Can you just turn up the heater, just a little bit? Thanks.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Really funny story

Yesterday after work I headed down to Alki for a 6 mile run. I was a little nervous just because I forgot my ear band and only had my hat. And remember...my ears? They are WEAK! They can't take any wind, rain, nothing. They freeze, they make my brain freeze, bad very bad. And it was just about to rain and the wind was kicking up. I was scared. But to my amazement, through all of the wind I was just fine, so were my ears. Thank you ears for cooperating. Do you want to know what wasn't cooperating? My left leg. Injury report 2010: I now have a sting in my pinky toe in my left foot that runs up the outside of my shin. Thankfully the pain stops before my knee. It feels as though my pinky toe is broken and the pain is shooting up my leg. I did not break my pinky toe so I have no I idea what in H-E-double hockey sticks is going on! So with about a mile to go in my run I told my leg to get it together, I was running here! It didn't, but I kept running anyway to its dismay. It got back at me later, trust me.

But here is my "funny" story. This morning, my leg aching, my alarm clock blaring, I climbed out of bed at oh dark hundred hours to go to the gym and run three measly miles. I do my usual, tinkle, get dressed and put deodorant on all without opening my eyes; kiss my Jamaican sprinter goodbye and head to the gym. When I round the corner at the end of the road to hit the gym, not one car in the parking lot. Not ONE car people! Usually I am fighting people for a spot. I win usually, because they see this scary blond haired monster with black mascara smeared down its face packed into this little red beep beep car and they figure they better just let me have the spot. Thank you people, love the scary blond monster. ANYWAY!....I look towards the gym, not one light on, not one. No one in the gym. For two seconds I get excited, is today I holiday I forgot about? I run through all the holidays in my head that I think you get off from work for. But as I was running through them I realize that on all of those holidays except for Christmas the gym has been open. WHAT IS GOING ON??? I think to myself. I do not have the brain capacity this early in the morning to figure out what is going on. Ugh!

I still have no idea what happened to the gym this morning. I do know that I am very mad at the gym. Gym: Do you hear me? I AM MAD AT YOU! You get my up at oh dark hundred hours and you aren't even open. Yea gym...pissed, peeved, irritated. You got this blond monster all riled up! UGHHHHHHHHH! Are you scared, because you should be! Even if I know you will be open this afternoon. I am one angry monster!

Gym? I will see you this afternoon for a run. You better be ready for this monster to dominate you! Or just come in, run three miles and leave. But I will do it all with an angry look on my face, unless of course I run into one of my fav women at the gym, in which I will only smile at them, and the go back to being angry. Gym, I hope our relationship can be come back to it's love hate relationship instead of just the hate hate relationship we have now.

On a "brighter" note I have an 18 mile run on Sunday after church. Lord help me, literally.

Jesus, thank You so much for the ability to run and to live in a place where it is so easy to run and to live healthy. Lord thank You for giving me the resources to be able to go to a gym. Lord thank You for the ability to wear shorts, for I know in so many countries in the world that is not allowed. Lord thank You for being my best friend, constant companion and ultimate running buddy. Lord when I feel alone You are there. Thank You Lord. I love You!

Monday, April 19, 2010

My new mantra....

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning, the devil says, "Oh crap, she's up!"

Friday, April 16, 2010

New little secret!

Today...no foot pain...as of yet! This is a good thing. The only sting I felt was my first step out of bed this morning, but other then that I am good to go, hopefully. Can't you tell me confidence level isn't quite where it should be?

Well today will be brief, I have a little trick up my sleeve for all of you, like me, who hate the torture chamber, I mean treadmill. If you are like me, it gets so boring...oh so boring. And at times it seems harder then if I were to just run outside. So on my short 3-4 milers I do on the treadmill I run the first 1 to 1.5 up hill. Okay I am not talking mountain training I am just saying a 1-2% increase. You put it at that level first thing, so as you are walking on the treadmill getting "warmed up", (aka, fixing your ponytail, trying to figure out what song is going to pump you up, this morning it was "Welcome to the Jungle", sizing up who is next to you, this morning it was a 60 year old women who came up to my hip, and trying to rub the mascara off of your face, because you know that is why everyone is giving you the scary face) you will never know the difference. And then at a 1.5 mile you go back down to 0% and you know what? It feels like you are flying DOWNHILL! So then you just keep telling yourself, just another 2 miles, all downhill!

So there is my little tidbit for the morning. Hope you enjoy! :)

PS..THE Pioneer Woman flies into Seattle today, would it be considered stalking if I went to the airport found out which gate planes were flying in from Oklahoma and well "just hung out" and maybe, just maybe if I were to happen to find her strolling around, while I was of course "strolling around" ask her to be my new best friend? Just saying...it might happen.

If for whatever reason I haven't posted something in the next couple days I have either a) convinced her that I am her new best friend and have left everything to go live with her on the ranch or b) have been locked up for uhmm, well, stalking. Maybe I will just wait until tomorrow to see her....