Thursday, April 28, 2011


I finally have two seconds to sit down and tell all of you (the two of you who read this) how my race went. Here we go.
I'd like you to meet my running ladies, from left to right.
Michelle, Karen, Cindy (up) and Ashley (that's me). See how happy we are at dinner? It was rough getting there- let me tell you!
We left Lincoln noon-ish and had a great drive down to Olathe, Kansas where we were registered to run the Olathe Wizard of Oz Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K. Michelle ran the full 26.2 miles and K,C and I ran the 13.1 mile distance. Yep, you read correctly- I actually ran. And enjoyed myself too.
After about and hour and a half, and 2 pit stops,  I got a call from my hubbs just to inform me that James had been picked up from school early, lay down on my couch and then threw up all over it. I'll be honest here. My first thought really was "Oh no! My poor baby!" My VERY NEXT THOUGHT was "why on my new couch?!" Not my finest moment, I'm sure. But so it was.
We arrived just in time to get lost trying to find our hotel. Which made us late for the race Expo. But don't worry- there was nothing to see there. Hence, no pics.
But we did go eat right after that with all of these wonderful people:
I'll make the introductions. Left to right, again. First there's me. Then Roger and his wife Shirley. Then Karen, Michelle and Rob who was the race director. Then there's Cindy standing up again, and Aaron and Kendra. These were really really REALLY neat people! Roger and Shirley are retired. Shirley doesn't run more than a 5K. But Roger has run Boston 10 TIMES! The only reason he wasn't running this race was that he was recovering from Plantar Fasciitis. Roger also has a really cool connection to history. He was fishing buddies with a man who ran the olympic trials with Jackson Schultz and Charlie Paddock.
Who are they?
 Have you never seen Chariots of Fire?! They are the unbeatable Americans. Who ultimately are defeated.
But I digress. Buddies with a man who ran with the best but got kicked out of the trials for getting hammered. Sloshed. Soused to the Gills. Fall-down drunk.
So that's why he's neat.
Rob, the race director, was full of information! He had great stores to tell and although I can't remember a single thing he said right now, I can tell you they were fun to listen to.
Aaron and Kendra are married. Aaron does the Ironman triathlon. Now THAT is insanity. And Kendra is a runner in a big, winning-every-race kind of way. She actually placed second in the women's over-all Marathon with a time of 3:45. That's 3 hours, 45 minutes. Which qualifies her for Boston. She was so neat. Definitely inspiring. And she has kids. Two of them actually. And the youngest was 11 months old!
So this was our race posse.

On the morning of the race, Cindy and I woke up at 5, got ourselves ready, and moseyed downstairs to meet our compatriots. We ended up meeting these people:

Aren't they just fantastic?! And they ran the entire race just like that! These two awesome ladies were also a great example to me of what running can be. They are both almost 40, run at least two races a year and "Galinda" is running the Chicago half in a few months. So cool. These women knew how to have fun in a race!

So here's how the race went:
I began, I ran, I ended.

Actually, it was a nice race. Except for the weather
30 degrees with s 30 MILE AN HOUR HEADWIND!!!!!
It was rough. But it did not rain. So I guess we have to be thankful for that.

Since you don't really want to hear the course and a mile by mile breakdown, I'll just give you the cliffnotes version.
It was cold, windy, not sunny. The police and volunteers who stood out in that weather directing race traffic were heroes. The course was pretty fast, with only a couple of hills. There was some neighborhood running which I always love because as I pass the houses I always ask myself how I would make that house better. There was one house with a little girl holding a large pom-pom, hiding behind the storm door. Every now and then, she would stick her little arm out into the cold and shake the pom pom at the runners. I also think she was cheering for us, but it was hard to hear over all that wind. It was really cute.
I was genuinely surprised when I reached mile 9. I felt great- not at all like I had just run 9 miles. So, I downed some "Magic beans", put on my headphones (because I had been running without them), picked up my pace significantly, and ran my little heart out.
I reached the  finnish line rocking out the "Eye of the Tiger", a personal favorite.
If you really want to see a picture of me with my medal, you'll have to e-mail me. There's no way I'm posting that. Embarrassing.
But here's an awful picture of the medal:
Karen said that after I ran this race, I would know if I am a runner for life, or just a one-time-gal. I am proud to say, I'm a runner for life.
Dang it. Better find another race!

Friday, April 22, 2011

coming soon

A picture of my medal.
A picture of the people I ate with.
A picture of the people I ran with while we are eating.
A stirring story of overcoming all obstacles to win the day.
Or just a story about the race.
Because I just KNOW you all want to hear a mile-by-mile breakdown.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Here's what I've been up to

See these legs? No, they are not mine. But one day. Some day.
I have taken up running.
Remember when I announced my intention to run the Olathe, Kansas 1/2 Marathon?
Well, that's on saturday.
And boy am I ready!
Not just "ready", I'm READY. (puff out chest)

My girlfriends are the best. And there's really no other way to say that. It's just a fact. They have run (almost) every step of the training period with me, encouraged me, pumped me up, let me take a breather. I owe my preparation for this race to them.
The winter's here- maybe I've mentioned them- can be rough. But you fantastic women kept me motivated to run in the snow, the wind, the cold, the sun, run long distances, short intervals and kept me going when I thought I couldn't possibly go another step.
You have helped keep me hydrated. THANK YOU.
And entertained. I love hearing all of your stories. And even if I've heard them before, I'll never ever say that to you- because I just like hearing you talk about your lives.
Talk about consistent! I love having group discussions at the YMCA. People there must either think we're crazy- which maybe we are a bit- or they probably get a little jealous because we have so much fun together. You know what? I'm just going to go with that second option. Knowing I would bump into  one, some, or all of you at the Y and hear you ask how my running was going, that kept me going strong even on the hardest of days. You all inspire me.

So ladies, here's to you. I'll run this race for me and for you too.

And then I will go and have delicious pie. Maybe I'll have a slice for each of you.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Library

I love our local library. But really, who doesn't appreciate the beauty of books? I love to look at the stacks in the Library and observe the books themselves. Which books seem most loved? Where are the newest versions? Who would check out a book about christmas tatting ornaments for an elderly couple from the AFC west?
I love the diversity found in the library reading rooms.
The children in the kids section: babies, toddlers, crazies, and grade school-ers.
The pre-teens in the "chapter book" section. Sometimes I actually see a lone teen-ager meandering through the aisles, looking for "that book that one girl said was, like, pretty good... um, Twilight?"
I love to see the adaptive adult class working on the computers- they are much better at navigating the Library comps than I.

But who doesn't also love the idea of having one's own library? A refuge from the storm. The rock of knowledge in an increasingly fragile world. History makes mention of some of the most important, well cultivated, incredibly beautiful libraries. The Library at Alexandria, pre-fire of course, stands as a prime example.
 Oh to have sat in that library.
There are other great examples of libraries that were not destroyed: the New York Public Library is one of the greatest in the world. Should I ever go to the big apple, I would want to spend a great deal of time in their magnificent library.

But this is a fantastic library too: The Prague Baroque Library.
I love everything about this library.
Except for one thing:
I cannot fit it inside my home.

Which I think is a shame.