Tag Archives: austin half marathon

And We’re off… again

It’s Sunday August 5th. I’ve gotten past my one week post-op appointment with flying colors. The pathology report came back on the tumor and all of the removed structures and everything was benign. So, I can start to feel better and I can go back to training for the Austin Half Marathon. I missed last year because of my back. I want SO bad to do it again this coming February. Knowing that I may be physically pffft but physically fit enough to do 13.1 miles in under 4 hours clock time… well under 4 hours chip time keeps proving something to myself.

So here I am… curled up on my bed thinking about my training plan. I’m drinking my water and thinking that maybe I need to splice in some black coffee mornings rather than morning with coffee with cream or iced coffee cream and sugar. I know the extra calories won’t amount to much but mentally there is a difference.

I went looking this afternoon for the shirt I want. This year I’m buying it.

If found on ground please drag across finish line

Adam thinks it suits me very much. I think he’s right.
I’m torn… I like the other one (God, please let there be at least one person behind me to read this) but I think the Drag me Across the finish line suits me better. Of course, I like the one that says “The miracle isn’t that I finished, it is that I had the courage to start”… because really that’s true.

I know that the kids and I will go into Austin alone. Every year on Marathon weekend, bear gets sick and can’t go… He’s never seen me cross the finish line. I don’t know if he knows how much that bothers me or not.

I know that I’m doing this for me… only for me. I know that no one that I pass will understand that I have RA or what the half represents to me. I know that there are a lot of other people there that are fighting their own battles and they are fighting even harder than I am. But I’m fighting my battle with myself and I know that I can do it. No one understands why I have to do this, no one ever does… but it matters to me. It is the one thing that I do where I have only myself to rely on (myself and last time Jimmy Buffett…wonder who I will race to this time).

I know that I won’t run. I won’t even jog. I will walk every step of the way. I will walk each and every one of those steps this time in my hobbit feet. Those shoes have seen me through a lot, they are now a part of my definition of myself. They have brought me into many conversations that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. This year they will see me across the finish line.

I may not be the fastest, and I may have to start at the end of the pack and take an entire half hour to cross the starting line, but I can walk every step of the way and I can enjoy the experience. This year, I carry my waterproof camera every step of the way and chronicle my training and my race.


Two Short Weeks Left

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship. Buddha Two short weeks left before the half marathon.  It is starting to feel real again.  Can I do the 13 miles, yeah.  Can I do it … Continue reading

Finishing totals…

female 40 – 44
chip time
3 hours 33 min 32 seconds
overall finisher
female finisher
division place
age grade
5k time
ten mile time
final 5K
clock time

I DID it!

When I signed up for the half marathon… I was still 5 months away from my RA diagnosis.  It wasn’t that I didn’t hurt, I did, but I chalked it all up to over-do-ing working out or sitting with my knee the wrong way.  < insert self deprecation comments here, I’m still beating myself up for not going to the doctor sooner…>.

I asked my Rheumy very nicely if I could still participate.  Not only did she say it was okay, she encouraged it.  She said that, with RA, unlike Osteo or some other conditions, walking if fantastic, it keeps joints moving and smooshes out the extra “juice” from the joints.

So I pushed on.  I know I didn’t push as hard as I should have, but I kept working.

I’m not one to say I can’t… even worse, NO ONE needs to tell me that I can’t.

So I did.

Saturday we went to the Expo to pick up my bib (and backpack… outstanding!!!) and extra goodies that the booths were giving away… things to eat that give you energy for the most part.  DH bought me a charm that says Austin Marathon Austin Half Marathon and on the back it has 2010… in sterling silver.

Awfully sweet and I wore it the whole race.

DS wanted to be there and help… so he signed up to be one of the “Love Team” volunteers.  He worked the clothing dropoff from 5 am to 8 am.

We got up and ready at 3:30 am… drove into town (35 miles into “town”) and weaseled a parking spot in the garage that I park in for work… funny… the garage wasn’t full and it was exactly 5 blocks from the finish line, 12 blocks from the starting line and 3 blocks from where volunteers signed in and got donuts and coffee and t-shirts.  He usually dresses all in black… black jeans… black band t-shirts… black boots… black hoody… the lime green shirt made quite a difference in how he looks.

This is him way after his 5 – 8 shift was over.  He took the race to heart and made sure he actually smiled at runners and cheered people on and took bags from people with a cheery face. He did manage to eat a couple donuts but he isn’t a coffee kind of kid (and they didn’t have tea)

The race was set to start at 7 am.  We got there for his shift at 4:45 and I walked around the nearly deserted streets taking in what was going on.  I was concerned that there were so few people actually there, but I wasn’t taking into account that everyone actually COULD show up at nearly the same time… and that is exactly what they did… DS was a bit overwhelmed that almost all of the 9000 half marathoners showed up at about 6… or a bit after.

I managed to easily walk into the port-a-potty at 6.  I was going to try again at 6:30… but the lines for the bathrooms were ALL the way across the street… each potty had a line, each line crossed Congress avenue the whole way (FOUR lanes).. it was ridiculous!

There was a nice lady who took this picture as I was standing in the spot I would “take off” from.  It was 37 degrees (which according to the TV stations is the perfect running weather in Austin) by 6.

This street was absolutely packed with runners… 4 lanes wide… and 5 blocks deep.  15,000 people… 9000 in the half marathon.

It was a little depressing standing around all alone in the middle of all of these bodies, all of these people who came to watch… but it meant that I didn’t “need” to have to find a way to make small talk while I talked myself into being ready for this… I guess this was pretty much why I took up walking like this, because it is a way to be alone with my thoughts and to loose myself in my thoughts.  It is my “me” time most of the time… it evolved into time to spend with DH on Sunday walks.

7 am the gun went off.

I didn’t hear it.  5 blocks back… you couldn’t really participate in the excitement that was happening at the starting line.  That is too bad.  They really should put speakers further back the corral.  It would have helped a lot to get into the whole morning.  I guess only the elite runners really matter and really need to be a part of the excitement, but it would have been nice.

By 7:10 am I made it to the starting line (so, I can actually subtract 10 min from my ending time).  It was more of a mosey down through town towards the starting line.  Passing piles of clothes all along the way.  Hoodies… blankets… gloves… these would be picked up and sent to charity.

The mosey turned into a run (jog) as people hit the starting line.

Not me.  I walked every step of the way…. Pissed people off in places because I wouldn’t get out of the way… but it was a FOUR lane street and we had all four lanes and there were HUGE spaces for them to get passed me and there were walkers spread out all across the road, so I don’t feel too horrible about being on their road.  I paid as much as they did for my 3 foot square that moves.

SO we were off (all 15000 of us loonies)

I figured out that Austin has some very interesting companies… like Lucy In Disguise… the building is really neat.

I’m not sure what “other people” do when they are doing these things… but I took the opportunity to look at things that I’ve never seen before… some of the things were things I never passed before, others were things that I never passed this slowly before.

It was great.

I had 3 hours and 30 min to reflect on a lot of things.  There wasn’t a lot of “being still” but there was a lot of reflecting…

Water Stops are wonderful things.  I’m not sure why they only put about 1/4 cup of water in each glass… but I made ample use of at least 2 glasses at each stop.  I also had MAJOR problems just dropping the glasses on the ground… I always made sure that I dropped the glasses in the boxes put there for that purpose.

Oh… and… no, it wasn’t raining.  That was from the water making it onto the ground.

I’m still not really sure what the petroleum jelly on a tongue depressor was for.  I didn’t take any at any of the stops.  Now, I keep thinking I don’t know what I was supposed to do with it if I had taken it.

At water stop 10 they gave out bottles of Power Ade.

At water stop 12 they gave out water and power ade.

once in a while there were random people/groups giving out candies or cookies.

It is amazing how much it helps to just have the smile and friendly hand out even if they “have to”…

This is the obligatory tree picture.  One always seems to find its way into pictures I take.  This one, along Lady Bird Lake was just there when I needed th see something great… something peaceful and lasting…. and by mile 7 finding my center was all I was after.

DS caught up to me at about mile 11.5.

By this time, I was seriously starting to have my doubts about being able to finish.  By this time, I had stretched out several times and my hips and toes were really hurting.

Backwards through the course he comes.  He yells “HI” and falls into step beside me.

He said that lots and lots of people were really happy to see him walking the “wrong way” in his LOVE TEAM t-shirt smiling…

I still don’t think he quite understands exactly what it means when you are out there to see a smiling face… to see someone who even seems to be cheering you on.  I know that none of the people I passed were out there for me personally, but they were out there, and that mattered so much…

from the back side of the finish line looking at those coming behind.

I wasn’t the first one to cross by a LONG shot, but I wasn’t the last one to cross either.

The miracle wasn’t that I finished… it was that I had the courage to start.

I did it in about 3 hours and 30 min real time.  Not quite as quickly as I figured, but I hadn’t planned on the mile 11 hill, either… and I did finish and I made a lot of people proud of me.  More importantly…  I made ME proud of me.

There were times when I doubted that I would EVER do it.

Now… I’m thinking I can do it again.

today… I hurt.

my knees ache like RA ache

my hips hurt like I wasn’t ready for the mile 11.5 hill

I don’t have my medal yet… they ran out before I made the finish line.

I don’t have the T-shirt that fits… the one I got is a small and that is SO not going to fit

both of those last 2 will be remedied…

oh.. and here

Is me… Picture taken at about mile 12 by DS who promised to take pictures.  He did.  He’s a good kid.

Anyone interested in all the pictures… they are on my facebook… friend me… and have a look

Sweating to Lunch

I haven’t decided yet if it is a good thing or a bad thing that many of the people that I work with have started frequenting the same gym that I do at lunch time.

It is good to workout, and a workout at lunch relieves stress and makes the afternoon fly.

It is good to be in a gym where people are there to work out and not to be seen at the gym… where imaginary sweat isn’t wiped away after three peddles of the stationary bike and a sip of latte.

I feel like a goon, though, with everyone watching me sweat my butt off (almost literally) every day.

I guess it means that they know I’m dedicated to being healthier.

LunchTime Run

This morning I pushed through what I had to get done as quickly as I could so I could run at the gym at lunch time.   I got in 30 good minutes before I got called back upstairs to see what some idiot was doing on the database.

Found out it really was an idiot doing something.  Ended up “only” gettng to run 2 miles but at least it was a good two miles.

Cross Training Day 1

Okay, so I have the pager, and I opted for not running today, but going for a swim workout.  60 min of swimming and water aerobics.  Tonight, I’m wiped.  I’m not sure what it is about working out in the water, but it always makes me really tired.  I probably would have stayed and worked out longer, but it got to the point where I was starting to be really chilly in the water, even though the water was pretty warm.  The walk down to the pool was very sweaty, the walk home was just enough to warm me back up to normal feeling.

Went hunting for workout music this morning.  I found a bunch of Nike workout music on iTunes.


Am I Crazy? Signing up for the Austin Half Marathon on the Susan Komen team

I’m trying to decide if I’m crazy or not. Don’t get me wrong… THAT I’m crazy (or at least a little left of center) is a given.  But I’m trying to decide if my lunacy has gotten to the point … Continue reading