For as long as I can remember, I told people "I can't run." But in March of 2009, I decided that this was no longer an option. From my first 5K to my second half marathon, I've endured my highest highs and lowest lows as an official Runner. This year I want to embrace running for something beyond times and distances.

Running is so much more than merely getting out there. I want to get out there and love it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

light month

So since the 8K, I've taken it REAL easy. It was kinda nice though resting my knees. After that race, they were really killing me. Now they feel almost 100% normal! Tomorrow I have the Lakefront Discovery 5K! After I ran Al's, I looked up the participation and times for last year's Lakefront Discovery and a. like 100 people run it (because most do the 15K), and b. the fastest times in my division are like 24/25 minutes! In Al's I did the first three miles in like 25 and half!! But for some reason I don't think I'll be able to crack that tomorrow. I think I'll be lucky to do it in 27. My first 5K was 27:53 I think? In any case, people keep saying I'll surprise myself, so we'll see. I did a test run earlier this week and it wasn't good at all. I had a side ache the entire time. But I think I'll be better off tomorrow morning with rest and food in my stomach (I was so hungry during Tuesday's trial run!)

After the race though, I really have to step it back up. While I did really need the rest, I have to get up to my three runs a week again and start building my mileage.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Al's Run!!

I DID IT!!!!!!!!

Ok, so in keeping with my race posts, here's a summary:

I went to bed at 9:30pm, ON A FRIDAY NIGHT, so I could get up well rested at 6am this morning. I made coffee immediately. For breakfast I had a peanut butter, banana, milk, protein smoothie and a granola bar. I was pretty nervous. Not really giant flapping birds just yet, but it wasn't your typical Saturday morning (because when am I up before 8am?!?) I iced my knees and watched a Dog Show on Animal Planet. At 8am I walked over to my office to grab my ipod (I had left there accidentally WHOOPS!) GOOD because it gave me a mile and a quarter warm up :) On my way there the giant flapping birds began their dance in my stomach. Guh!

After grabbing my ipod and going to the bathroom for the 9348025th time, I headed to the shuttle area, and I heard "Want a ride??" It was my parents in my mom's bright yellow Cobalt :) I hopped in, we drove *AH* block, parked, and headed to the shuttles. I gave my mom my jacket and yoga pants, she handed me my ipod (almost forgot JEEZ), and my stepdad and I boarded the bus. We spent the next hour chatting about running and life in this Marquette building...I was trying not to think TOO hard about everything! At 10:15, and after ONE more bathroom break, we got in the very back of the 7min mile section which I didn't agree with but David convinced me just to go with it. "3 minutes" "90 seconds" "5...4...3...2....." It's finally here!!!!!!

In a few words: the race was definitely difficult! The whole reason I wanted to run with my stepdad, aside from the comradery (!!), was so he could keep me at a good pace. He's the one who recently finished SECOND in his division at the Cudahy Classic 8K! So I was definitely doing a pretty jaunty pace! The first song on my quick playlist was "All Over the World" by Pet Shop Boys and I immediately got all misty!! I was like: holy hotdogs, I'm REALLY in this thing!! A seemingly lofty goal just a few months totally happening! From that point on, I kicked some ass. Yep, not gonna lie, there were a couple times I felt kinda rough...but not so bad that it was debilitating...mostly my legs hurt, as a good majority of the first half is uphill. But I never experienced one cramp or side ache :)

Then the magic happened.

So my original goal for this race, around 4-5 months ago, was under 50 minutes. As you know, a couple weeks ago I adjusted that to 44 minutes. You may also remember that I completely freaked out after my bad run and figured 44 minutes was TOO lofty. I was rounding the 4 mile marker, I looked at my watch. At 4 miles I was at 34:40. What????? Totally unbelievable! So in the final mile stretch, in order to make my 44 minute goal, I could basically slowly jog to the finish line and make it. This rocked!! But of course I didn't slow down...I really pushed through. It was hard. I mean I had basically been running 8:40 min miles which is pretty crazy for slow little me!!

Right before rounding the last corner, I put on The Hives' "Supply and Demand" and With the finish line in my sights, I scraped the bottom of my energy barrel and seriously sprinted to the end. As I crossed the finish, I did this crazy arms rockin out "look at me I'm AWESOME" move and then basically wanted to throw up :) But I didn't!!! David was behind me and I turned around and said, "ok give me a minute"...after that I turned back and said "Seriously David, that was AWESOME!!!" I can't even describe how elated I was!!! I just couldn't believe I did it. I really accomplished my goal, and in "only" seven months of "beginner running."

In the next minute, I ran into a couple dudes from of whom I chat with a ton about running :) We all finished relatively close to one another so that was pretty exciting too! Then my mom and sister ran up to us and that made me even MORE excited!!! We all chatted about the race, I got water, my free snicksnacks (pita chips!!!), and scarfed down a half of a banana. We capped off the event by going to one of my favorite local restaurants Buckleys and I celebrated with a Guinness ;) I used my mom's Blackberry to discover the following SUPER FREAKING AWESOME info:

Katie Nelson
bib number: 2690
age: 29
gender: F
overall place: 1134 out of 3185
division place: 86 out of 367
gender place: 280 out of 1444
***time: 42:41***
~link to my stats

42 freaking minutes and 41 seconds?!?!

Totally NUTS. So basically I was in the top 23% of my age division 25-29 (which, BY THE BY, I'm at the END of!!!) and in the top 19% of my gender. And, roughly, in the top third overall. (hopefully my math isn't totally brain is tired??) For only running for SEVEN months, I think that's pretty damn awesome.


Now how about a piece of humble pie, huh Katie??

I could NOT have done this without all the friends and coworkers behind me, well aware of this race and well aware of me racing this race. Talk about motivation!! I also could not have done this without the knowledge that my mom and sister were waiting for me at the finish. Especially considering that just ONE YEAR AGO I was waiting for my SISTER at the end of her first race...JEALOUS of the fact that she could run and I couldn't!!! And finally, I couldn't have done this *WELL* without David at my side keeping my pace. I really don't have any words to describe...such a milestone, and such an experience.

Ok I think I'm done with this novel of a post. My legs kinda hurt and I might need more beer ;)

Next stop??? My Halloween 5K in three weeks!!!


Friday, October 9, 2009

Day before Jitters

Alright so the day is almost here. You'd think I have a marathon to run tomorrow. It's "just" 5 miles guh!! I just never got over that bad run from last week, AND my knees are totally shot. I don't know what I did, but my left one hurts SITTING DOWN. It's seriously lame. In more ways than one? Anyway! So I mapped out the gist of the route:

View Interactive Map on

And for the heck of it, here are my mile markers:
Mile 1: Milwaukee
Mile 2: A little after Knapp
Mile 3: Roughly the end of Lafayette Hill
Mile 4: Almost to the Mason Bridge
Mile 5: FINISH! Start haulin' once I hit VB though.

"During Al's Run in Milwaukee, I'd like to take a Knapp, but at the End of the Hill and Under the Bridge I must Finish!"

Ok that helped! I broke down the route, so it seems way easier to handle. NOT that it wasn't easier to handle in the first place, but for some reason, I'm a little more excited now :) I can almost see all the people and hear the crowd! Alright, good stuff, I'm golden now! My knees should break in heading into mile 3 per usual and after 3.5 I should be able to really bust outta the box!

Well wish me luck internet friends who may or may not read this blog :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

minor set back

So I'm usually gushing about how friggin rad my runs are, hey? Well I'm not superwoman afterall. My run last night was atrocious. All I was going to do was a ~2.25 mile fartlek/interval type run right? Oh man. So right when I started I felt some pain in my right shin. And after my second speed-up, I felt like I just couldn't breathe right. So after barely a mile and a half, I just had to stop. (I had ONLY been running 14 freaking minutes!!) I caught my breath for five minutes and ran the rest of the way home (not even a half mile) like three times slower than when I started. It was very disappointing. And for the rest of the night my knees and shins hurt pretty bad AND my exercise-induced asthma kicked in. Something I haven't suffered from at all since I first started running. My knee was even worse this morning.

SO! Apparently I must not have waited enough time to run since my 6.6mi on Tuesday?? But c'mon two days? So bizarre. I guess my body just needs rest. And of course I seriously don't want to overdo anything before the race. So lesson learned: just take it easy this week. I got a bunch of long distance in this past month, so I'm good there. I'll run once, maybe twice in the next week, but real easy. Hopefully I didn't mess up my knee or anything somewhere back there :(