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Hello!  Yes, I’m alive.  I’ve had a super busy 10 days both personally and professionally so the blog suffers.  It’s weird, I probably have the time to sneak in a post here and there more frequently than I have been but I just don’t have the mental/creative energy.

BTW, when did Craig Monroe start to do color in the studio for Fox Sports Detroit?  Yes, I just finished watching the Tigers beat the Twins – whoo hoo – 2 wins back to back. – I know, random.

So, today was a big day.  Today I ran my 5th 20 mile run in this training cycle.  Originally, I was going to run yesterday morning with Kristi but that ended up falling apart.  I was just too busy at work to limp roll in at noon. This change of events meant that she ran her final 20 miles solo and so did I.

While I knew I would miss her company,  I also was looking forward to accomplishing the task alone.

I’m not much into signs (very much unlike my good friend Sue B) but I couldn’t help but be motivated by this ironic event: As I’ve mentioned before, I am dedicating my first ever marathon to my father who died from complications of Multiple Sclerosis 14 years ago.  The Ann Arbor Marathon happens to be on Father’s day (sign #1 if you’re keeping track) Today would have been my Dad’s 80th birthday and I was scheduled to complete a very big physical goal (sign #2 if you’re keeping track) and it turns out I had to get through this 5th and final 20 mile run solo. (sign #3.)

What I think it all means is that I was meant to be alone on my Dad’s 80th birthday training for a race I never thought I would be attempting on Father’s Day.

I think about my Dad a lot!  We were very close and one of the things we shared was a love of sports.  By the time I was 4 he was wheelchair bound so he couldn’t physically teach me but his verbal skills were amazing.  He taught me how to ride a bike, shoot a basketball, swing a bat, field a ground ball and pitch a softball.  During the run I spent a lot of time thinking about his coaching.

Spoiler Alert: This was the very first training run that I did not hit goal pace or better.  Normally, my little competitive self would have been really pissed off and let it ruin all most of my day.  Instead I think that all of those signs allowed me to truly live in the moment and enjoy the run, think about my Dad and allow myself to feel like a bad ass because I was running 20 miles @ 6:00 a.m. on a holiday weekend.


1. Wake up at 5:00 a.m. to eat, drink and properly use the bathroom before heading out (TMI? Too bad.)

2. Write down my route because Tom asked me to.  Then realize that I created this route in MapMyRun so I can just pull the damn thing up on the laptop for him.  Duh!

3. Chose outfit: Compression shorts, tank top (yay), buff (to keep my long hair out of my eyes. Ha!), short socks (not compression socks)

4. Pack fuel belt: with water, 2 Gu, 2 Swedish Fish (just in case I hate the Vanilla Bean Gu or I get lonely), iPhone, money, chap stick, and electrolyte pills.

Side note – I used to feel sorry for myself thinking that my fuel belt must really weigh a lot.  I weighed it last week all packed up – a whopping 2 lbs – Suck it up little girl.

5. Head out the door at 6:00 on the dot.   I was ready to go at  5:54 but I told myself my run started at 6 so I started at 6.  Weirdo.

My plan was to keep my pace between 9:45 and 10:00 the entire time.  Goal pace was 9:59.  Based on our 15 miler last weekend that resulted in an average pace of 9:25, I thought I was being reasonable. The first 7 miles of my run thought so too.


I took at GU, and a pic – drank some water and was off again.  Someone forgot to tell or at least remind The Stubs of my plan.  My pace started to increase.  I attempted to adjust.  As I thought I was running faster, my Garmin disagreed.  Other than The Stubs feeling a little lead-like I felt pretty good so I just decided to give in to their desire to go slow and reassess in a few miles.  As I hit miles 9 and 10, I could tell that my very calculated plan to run at goal pace was dying a slow death.

I thought about my Dad and wondered what he would advise.  I never really answered the question.  Instead my brain started playing songs that my Dad loved:  Take Me Home Country Roads (John Denver), Come on Eileen (Dexy’s Midnight Runners), and Dancing the Night Away (Leo Sayer.) – now you know I come by my weirdness genetically.  Well just thinking about his random taste in music made me laugh.  That’s when I decided to just have fun with the run.

Here I am at 12.5 – I don’t look too miserable or disappointed do I?

And here I am at 15 – still don’t look too bad.

Then the rain came.  It rained early – during miles 3 and 4 but it was a light rain.  It was fun.  I enjoy running in the rain. (as long as it’s above 60 degrees.)  At mile 15 I was in a full-blown downpour.  15-20 was full of lots and lots of water:  coming from the sky, puddling on the ground, splashing up from cars that were driving fast out to M-14 and yes from my body.  I was still sweating like a hog.

At 17 I decided to text Tom.  I was going to finish this run come hell or high water but I didn’t want to have to run any more that 20 miles.  I knew I would finish the run about 1 mile from home.  I also knew that I wouldn’t want to walk much of that mile because I would just get super chilled.  I stopped at an overpass, sent my text and was off to ENJOY the next 3 miles.  And you know what, I did!  When I hit 20 I began to walk and Tom showed up about 5 minutes later……with lots of towels!

I was very happy to be done but even happier to have enjoyed it.  Normally, I would have come up with a good long list as to why I didn’t meet my goal but this morning I didn’t care.  I truly didn’t care. I had just run 20 miles beginning at 6:00 a.m. on what would have been my Dad’s 80th birthday.  I was dang proud of myself and I know my Dad would have been too.


5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Chris L. #

    I’m so glad you had a great finish and enjoyed this special occasion (with all 3 signs and some John Denver, too!)
    You *should* be proud! Good for you!

    May 26, 2012
  2. Wow! What a great story! It is amazing how liberating it is to run and not care about time, isn’t it. The world is a much bigger picture than our running times. I’m glad we both had sort of the same experience with time this weekend-Sign #4-if you’re paying attention. 😉

    May 27, 2012
  3. One of the best posts yet! I love all the signs, and I really like the fact that you carried the Swedish fish (just two!) in case you got lonely. I’m sure they were thankful for all the water.

    May 27, 2012
  4. Susan C. #

    Happy 80th birthday, Uncle George! Thanks for the memories of your awesome dad.

    May 30, 2012
  5. Nancy Townsend #

    Love your blog. Thanks for the sweet memories of your Dad. You really should consider taking some goody goody gumdrops with you on your next run.

    May 30, 2012

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