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, April 9, 2010

Pre-Half Marathon Part Two

The stomach flu.

I didn't really see this one coming.

Now while I've received more than my fair share of the stomach flu in my day (I typically get it once a year for some stupid reason), what are the odds I'd get it this week of all weeks?! Well I guess 1/52 which are pretty good odds. But still!! When I was awoken by a very angry belly at around 3:30-4am yesterday, I thought to myself: you have GOT to be kidding me. I tried to pass it off as anxiety and told myself to just calm down. But I recognized the feeling there in the pit of my stomach, and I knew there was no stopping this beast. From that point on, I was up every half hour on the half hour relieving myself via any orifice that beckoned. At some point, leaning over the porcelain throne in agony, I had to laugh. To think how freaked out I was over a little calf twinge, here I am expelling all my calories and fluids just in time to run for two and a half hours or so, when I need these things the most.

Today is Major Recovery Day. I'm drinking Gatorade and water, and trying to eat food. I just don't feel like eating. The thought of food disgusts me. But I just have to force it down. As for tomorrow. It truly is a waiting game. Yesterday I lied on the couch all day in a pool of sweat and every bone in my body ached in sharp throbbing pain. When I woke up this morning I already felt worlds better. Perhaps I'll feel even better tomorrow morning. I won't know until I wake up and get to the starting line.

As anyone who knows me knows: I am a glutton for punishment. I'll put my body and psyche through the ringer if I feel like I'll learn something from it. This will be one of the bigger physical tests that I'll ever have to endure (aside from maybe childbirth and a full marathon, if either of those are actually in my future). But we'll see. While it goes against every fiber of my being, I can always just "go slow"...and just really try to finish. Like I said. We'll see.

In any case, well I worked on the following earlier this week, still under full impression I was going to run this race. I got the idea from a fellow run-blog buddy, Maggie, who ran her first Half back in February. When I read her post, I fell in love with the idea, and had to be a big fat copy cat :) So I may or may not run or finish this race tomorrow, but the thing is, like 99% of a Half Marathon is the training that goes into it. And for the last 12 weeks, that's all I have lived, ate, and breathed...Half Marathon training. The race is the final show, yes. It's the Big Performance to show off what I've done these past 12 weeks. But not making it to the final show doesn't slight the training by any means. So whether or not I run or finish the race tomorrow, I would still like to dedicate each of the 13.1 miles to all the things and people that made TRAINING for this Half possible.

Mile 1: + Purple Watch - for an easy way to keep track of my routes, mileage, and average minute miles that I hold so dear! Hey, it's a cheap way to be a distance runner without a Garmin :)
Mile 2: Google - for all my information cravings...from organizing this whole Half training operation from the get-go, to researching water bottles and compression shorts, to finding ways to strengthen and cross-train, to figuring out how I should be eating (also see #8!)
Mile 3: My sister - for taking up running again and being a full-circle inspiration, as while she took a hiatus, her first 5K was what inspired me to run in the first place! (She also left work early yesterday to bring me Feel Better Flowers, the sweetheart!!)
Mile 4: My mom - for talking me off the ledge this week (back when it was only my stupid calf that was freaking me out). And in case I can't run, she came up with this SUPER sweet idea of putting on a "personal" Half race where she would give me water at different stops, and even have beer waiting for me at the finish line. WOW!!! Best mom ever.
Mile 5: My step-dad - for his always helpful advice and encouragement and for getting back out there after many, many weeks of injuries!!! He ran a marathon awhile back and had a horrible experience with cramping and such. So he knows my thought process right now...the disappointment I'm dealing with.
Mile 6: Chris, my wonderful boyfriend - txting me "I hope your run went well today" while I was out there and he was at work, giving me massages, listening to my rants and reassuring me it'll all work out, and above all else, saying he's really looking forward to this race. For some reason that really hit me...that he's very proud of his little Gazelle :)
Mile 7: Tamra - for always taking an interest in how my training was going, asking me about my long weekend runs, and "stroking my wiener" on FB ;) I love how hardcore she is about running, but also how humble she is.
Mile 8: My sister's boyfriend Nate - for opening my eyes to the kinds of foods I should be eating and WHEN I should eat them. I already see a huge difference!
Mile 9: - I don't know where'd I'd be without a venue for my running rants and epic thought processes!! I do tend to ramble, but it helps me organize my mental state. Running can make a gal crazy, and it's nice to regurgitate the crazy back out into cyberspace!
Mile 10: My blogging buddies!! - It's also nice to know there are a few people out there, people I don't even know personally, who actually identify with me. I'm SURE my non-running friends can get a little sick of Running This and Running That, so it's nice to have these running pals to correspond with...namely Maggie, one of a few people who inspired me to run this Half Marathon :) and CLAIRE who is running HER Half tomorrow too!!! GAH GOOD LUCK LADY!!!! Also anyone else who stumbled upon this stupid blog and leaves their two cents!
Mile 11: My non-running friends :) - For LISTENING to all the Running This and Running That, when it's probably really boring haha!! But if I've inspired any non-runners or on-hiatus-runners to get in the game, then that's just plain awesome!!!
Mile 12: Orange Bomb - A late entry as I didn't use him until Week 8! But helpful nonetheless, especially when I was dying on my 14 miler. I'm sure he'll come in very handy during the race :) (Especially when my body really wants to shut down)
Mile 13: Everything else that's going with me on this race - From my Asics and my bad knees, to my pigtails and my stupid calf muscle. From my shorts that ride up and my favorite sports bra, to my Hammer Espresso Gels and Fuel Belt bottle. From my flu-ridden body and the fears in my brain to the power of mind-over-matter and the smile on my face, we'll all be there front and center, ready to attack this thing.
Mile .1: Myself - Yep I get the little ol' tenth of a mile I am dedicating to little ol' me, but honestly, that's the hardest and best part of the Half. As I always say, I love sprinting to a finish line, whether it be real or imaginary, and this race will be no exception. IF I GET THERE......That tenth of a mile will be absolutely be my happiest and most deserving moment. And this big old baby will undoubtedly shed a few tears when the Twelve Week Journey comes to an end*.

*Whether that "end" is actually crossing the finish line or only making it 3 miles into the race, I know deep down in my heart that I tried and gave this thing my all. Life is far from perfect and putting all of one's eggs in a single basket--aka Race Day--puts a lot of pressure on a person to try and MAKE that basket perfect. Odds are it ain't gonna happen. All I can do is stay positive and hope for the best.

...Until tomorrow...


  1. Katie!!! I am so proud of you!!! Thank you so much for dedicating mile 10 to me and your blogging buddies!!! I’m touched! I hope that you feel better so you can show those 13.1 miles who’s boss! I know you will finish, whether it’s in 1:30 or 3:30, you will cross that finish line and feel all those surreal and inspired emotions you’ve talked so much about! As you know, my only goal for my first Half was to finish. And by gosh I did just that (albeit took 3 hours haha!) But I sprinted my little heart out to the finish line and it felt so great! I know you can do that…you have been so dedicated to your training! Rest today and wake up tomorrow ready to kick some road booty! I can’t wait to hear all about it!! Good luck!!!!!!!! PS-what is an orange bomb??

  2. Oh, dear! Stomach flu! You are my new hero when you run tomorrow! You are going to do great!!!!!!!
    -Steph from the stateline

  3. Awww thank you SO much!! Like I said, the least I can do is try! Perhaps tomorrow, I'll be so hardcore about it, something will take over me and I'll really be able to run the whole thing. It's funny how I was getting all focused on doing the thing in a particular time, and now YES I'm only focused on finishing and THAT seems like a feat unto itself!

    Thanks again and you, and all my other runner friends, will definitely be cheering me along in my crazy brain!!

    PS Orange Bomb is my new orange ipod hahaha! I finally bought a new one to replace my archaic antique from 2005!

  4. THANKS STEPH!! You will ALSO be in my crazy brain cheering me on!!! I will try as best I can :) :) :)

  5. Aww, yay! While I'm sad I'm not in this part of your world - I do get to see a little snapshot of it for the Race to Wrigley in a couple weeks! (They advertised it during the Cubs game last night and I got all excited!!) And yes, you have inspired me. If I can get out there and run more often in the coming weeks, I'll see how I do running a 5K distance and who knows? Perhaps we can do a race together in the fall!! Ha! Except, not together b/c you would be like 20min ahead of me. Bloop!

  6. I think you stand a GREAT chance to run a 5K one day!!! You've still got that drum corps HARDCORE Monica in you, so I'm excited to see what happens! I would LOVE to run a race with you! :) You just gotta work at your own pace and be proud of the steps you make (like your weight loss asskicking you just did!!!)

    Thanks for listening to my running ramblings and for ALSO letting me lurk in YOUR corner (creepy!) and cheer YOU on too :)

  7. Yea, I think why I would never think of doing a race or even think of myself as a "runner" is that I've never been fast. Even in my peak of sports and when I would go running. I'm a whole lotta notta lotta fast. But maybe if I find some "casual" race where it's not a bunch of hard-core runners 10min ahead of me, it could be a fun event!

  8. Love it! If you make it tomorrow or put in the time to prep and that's worth plenty...probably more then the race itself.


  9. You definitely don't have to run races for speed! At the very core of most races is the actual event you're supporting! So at the very least you're running to support a cause. I usually pay at least $20 (Wrigley was like $35) to run these and it's like donating without even knowing it? So that's very cool!! And LOTS of people run 5Ks just for the fun of it (why most aren't really even officially timed and called "Fun Runs"!) If you do a bigger event, like for the Cancer Society or Breast Cancer Awareness, they're full of people just like you who want to give it a whirl and have NO desire to run super fast...just do it for fun!! :)

  10. Aw Katesi, as I type this it is five minutes still the start of the race and I'm not sure if you are there, mentally gearing up, or at home wishing you were there. I'm guessing it's the former. No matter what, though, I am so proud of you for your insane accomplishments training for this race! GO KATESI GO!

  11. Oops, I forgot the start was later! So, still in suspense... I also forgot to mention how very awesome your mile-by-mile thingy was. You do know how to get me choked up!!! :-)