Monday, May 28, 2012

Back on the Bike

Today I got to go on a bike ride with friends.  I had not been on my road bike since last August.  It had been far too long.

After volunteering at an aid station for a local 5k race this morning, 8 of us got on our bikes and rode 20 miles on the path.  There was one almost-going-to-eat-dust moment, which was saved by handlebars on a bike instead.  And then I decided to go on the grass and ended up gracefully dismounting on my feet.  Other than that, all was well.  The bike ride ended with a trip to our normal coffee/bagel place.

I forgot how much I like to ride.  I am a complete novice and know next to nothing about biking, but it is completely different from running.  When I ride, I can go fast and feel the breeze.  Many times while running i feel I'm barely moving along.  But on the bike it is different.

For me, biking takes lots of concentration because I'm new at it.  I'm sure if I rode more and had more experience, I would feel much more comfortable on the bike.  But, that is not where I am right now.  However, even though it takes a lot of concentration, doesn't mean my mind didn't wander.  Two key thoughts from today's ride:

1.  I am going to do a triathlon for sure.  Most likely not this year, but next year.  I am not going to make the switch over to only doing triathlons or doing mainly triathlons, but I want to try one.

2.  Last year I completed two duathlons (run/bike/run).  One was the weekend of the Illinois Marathon this year, and the other one is in June and I'll be out of town for it.  Therefore, I can either find a few others to compete in.  Do they have longer distance duathlons?  The two I've ever done have been short (2/14/2 and 2/11/2).  I'd love a longer 10k/30miles/half marathon one distance.  Please let me know if you know of any.

I hope you enjoyed your three day weekend!     

Sunday, May 27, 2012

One Year

As I was running yesterday by myself, I was thinking about life.  I find it truly amazing how much life can change in one year.  I think every facet of my life has majorly changed, too.  Not just little changes, but major things.

My brother, who I am pretty close to, moved from the city where we were raised in Iowa to Colorado.  This means that instead of seeing him whenever I go to visit my parents or grandparents, I will see him one or two times a year.  I'm going to Colorado to visit him in August. 

My sister lives in LA and I got to visit her in March.  My sister and I are as different as night and day.  But, I loved visiting her in LA.  I liked it when she was in Iowa over the winter holidays.  And, in the most surprising of circumstances, I feel like we're becoming friends.  She is a journalist, so I've sent her random things that I found that made me think of her.  She's sent me some things, too.  Also, I was in an online video from the ChiTown Half Marathon and then got a few paragraphs published about me after the Illinois Marathon.  I sent the links/pictures to my family members.  She always responded with the most thoughtful words. 

It is hard to build friendships in an area where you know no one.  It took me 2 years to develop a circle of friends.  However, from that circle, I know only talk to 2 - my best friend from college (who I do not associate as part of that group), and one other person.  I don't want to go into details, but something happened and I parted ways with the group, never seeing or talking to many of them again.  Do I regret it?  Not one bit.  I don't want to be around people like that.  I would rather be friendless.  Which, it felt like I was, for awhile. 

In the past 5 months, I have made new friends.  People that I enjoy being around.  People that make me laugh.  People that i know I will have a good time with.  People that accept me for who I am and what I like to do and how I like to spend my time.  People that I can see being friends with for years down the road. 

Last year, I ran by myself, 99% of the time on the treadmill.  I could not imagine going back to those ways.  I joined a running group last June and it changed my running ways.  Not only have multiple people become my friends, they've become my supporters, cheering section, and teammates.  The club gives me so much more than I can give it.  I attribute much of my running success in the past year to being part of a positive club.  I know I would not have been able to PR every single distance if it were not for them. 

School is stressful 98% of the time.  I teach well-off kids.  Unfortunately, that means that many of the parents are high maintenance.  However, I like teaching still after 5 years.  This year I got to teach a new subject and got to drop a different one.  This switch has made a lot of difference.  Math is my favorite class to teach, it always has been and always will be.  I guess that will never change.

This past year has been a roller coaster of emotions.  I would say that I am happy the majority of the time, but there was a time in the late fall where I was completely ticked off.  Although I've gotten over it for the most part, when I really think about what happened it bothers me.  I cannot state enough how much communication is needed in the world. 

I could list other areas of my life, but I don't want that information visible for the world to see.  Looking back from last year at this time to this year, I can definitely say I am a happier, healthier person.  I'm curious as to what changes the next year will hold for me.

Has your life changed a lot in the past year?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Rockford Half Marathon 2012 Race Report

Half marathon #11 is done.  And there are many, many stories to tell about Sunday's race.

 Let's start with the weather.  If you live in the Midwest, you know that it was incredibly hot yesterday.  I am not sure what the high was, but I could feel the heat radiating off of the pavement.  Thanks to no shade on the course, and a change of plans (see marathon #3 comment below), it looks as if someone painted a tank top, shorts, and ever-so-stylish compression sleeve white line on me.  Oh, I can't forget the sunglasses tan, too.  Someone told me that it reached 94*.  Perfect conditions for a PR, right?

PR I 8 seconds.  I was hoping to run a 1:35.  I had done some math in my head the previous week and 1:35 sounded like an ambitious but good number for me to shoot for.  I heard from friend's that it was supposed to be hot on Sunday, but I didn't realize how hot until Saturday night at 11 PM when I decided to check the weather.  Low of 73 and high of 87 with nothing but bright, sunny skies.  Knowing that I could not kill Mother Nature, I decided to change my plan.

The race started at 7 AM, which was good.  I thought that I could run the first 10 quick and run in the last 3 at a comfortable 7:30 pace.  It worked, for 1 mile.  I felt awesome at mile 1.  By mile 2, I was already sweating.  I didn't have time to do a warm-up before the race, so mile 1 was it.  I don't sweat a whole lot, but I was dripping by mile 2.  However, I still felt good and was running sub-goal pace.  Miles 3, 4, 5, and 6 went by relatively easily.  I attempted to take a GU at mile 7 but the thought of that substance going down my throat was awful.  I managed to take 2 little globs of it before throwing it away.

Then, it started to get really hot.  It was uncomfortable to run.  At mile 9 my goal was to finish.  I didn't care about PRing,  I wanted to get this run over with as soon as possible.  My pace had drastically slowed due to the heat.

At mile 10 and 11, I walked through the water stations.  I knew I needed to drink more water.  I took 2 cups at each station and made sure I consumed it all.  However, to occupy my time I started to do some math in my head. I knew a PR was still possible, so I tried to go fast.  But, fast when it is that hot out is really not that fast.  At mile 12 I ran next to a guy for a minute before passing him.  As I ran by, he called out "Hey, did you run the Illinois Marathon?"  I told him yes.  He said to me, "I recognize your shoes and your stride."  Which, according to my friends, is code for: I looked at your ass during the Illinois Marathon so much that I remember it.  Thank you, kind friends.

I finished the half marathon and was so happy to be done.  The official stats:

Official Time: 1:40:06 (*PR by 8 seconds)
Overall Place: 30/742
Gender Place: 5/???
Age Group Place: 3/71

After finishing my half marathon, I grabbed some water, ice, and got my camera and some Shot Bloks from my checked bag.  I changed into a different tank top and ran to mile 12.5 on the course to take pictures of my friends who were running the full marathon.  The original plan was to take pictures at mile 12.5 and then meet them at mile 23 to run in with them.

However, thing didn't go according to plan.  I saw my friend S first.  He said that my friends J and M were back a little bit and M was struggling.  She wanted to quit.  When J and M got to me, they took my bag of ice and were so happy for it.  J and M were attempting to go for Marathon Maniac status, so this was there 2nd marathon in as many weeks.  I told them that I would run a bit with them.  I ran and walked with M.  We stopped and walked and talked with everyone at the aid stations.  We took pictures by the mile signs.  We talked about a wide array of topics...everything from college to training for races to marathon bucket-list races to family.  J and S were always within sight, if not at our sides.  It was a total team effort to finish. The four of us crossed the marathon finish line, holding hands, together.

Even though I had taken my bib off, when I crossed the finish line they tried to give me the full medal.  After expelling that I had already run the half and have my medal from that, and was just running the full in support of my friends, the people (and my friends) insisted I get a full medal, too.  I tried to give it back, but they wouldn't let me.  I'll be getting a 3rd medal in the mail, too, for placing.

I signed up to run a 13.1 mile race.  I knew the course and hoped the weather from last year would be the same (cloudy, springing, with the temp. being in the upper 40s.)  What I ended up experiencing was record heat, running/walking 27 miles, and helping my friends achieve their goal.  I am far more proud that I could help them out, than the PR I got.

Sometimes you just have to be thankful that you can run rather than worry about what the clock says.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Diabetes Blog Week: Diabetes Device

Today's topic is about devices:

Today let’s tackle an idea inspired by Bennet of Your Diabetes May Vary. Tell us what your Fantasy Diabetes Device would be? Think of your dream blood glucose checker, delivery system for insulin or other meds, magic carb counter, etc. etc. etc. The sky is the limit – what would you love to see?

My dream device is to have a functioning pancreas again.  That way, I would not have to check my blood sugar, give myself insulin, count carbs, or have high or low blood sugars.  Life would be rather ordinary...something I have no memory of experiencing.

I think the medical field should invent some sort of pancreas necessitate.  That way, when a pancreas starts to give out, they can necessitate it.  It would be similar to what they do with a heart.  This amazing machine would also be able to completely restore malfunctioning pancreases, like the one i have in my body, to complete normalcy again. 

I hope they find a cure soon.  If they did, I would be first in line to get it. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

D-Blog Week: 1 Thing to Improve

Today's Diabetes Blog Week topic is:

Yesterday we gave ourselves and our loved ones a big pat on the back for one thing we are great at.  Today let’s look at the flip-side.  We probably all have one thing we could try to do better.  Why not make today the day we start working on it.  No judgments, no scolding, just sharing one small thing we can improve so the DOC can cheer us on!

The list of things I could improve upon is endless, mostly in part because I'm a perfectionist.  But, there area  few simple, manageable things I could do to improve my diabetes care.

First, I could use more of my fingers to test my blood sugar.  I only use six fingers (not my thumb or pinkie on either hand).  I test around 8 or more times a day.  I've been diabetic for over 22 years.  I've only ever tested on those 6 fingers.  My fingers are getting tired and worn out from testing.  I could easily improve the happiness level of my fingers if I were to test on all 10.

Second, much like the first, I could change my pump infusion set regularly.  I've gotten into this really bad habit of changing it when it needs to be changed, instead of when it should be changed.  This means that I sometimes wear pump sites for 5 or more days.  It takes longer for my body to recover from longer pump sites and also the insulin is not absorbed as well in days 4 and 5.

The two things I listed above are small changes that would benefit me.  I hope to improve upon them in the future.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

D-Blog Week: 1 Great Thing

Today's topic was rather challenging for me:

Living with diabetes (or caring for someone who lives with it) sure does take a lot of work, and it’s easy to be hard on ourselves if we aren’t “perfect”.  But today it’s time to give ourselves some much deserved credit.  Tell us about just one diabetes thing you (or your loved one) does spectacularly!  Fasting blood sugar checks, oral meds sorted and ready, something always on hand to treat a low, or anything that you do for diabetes.  Nothing is too big or too small to celebrate doing well! 

When I first read the post, nothing came to mind.  I haven't perfected any bolusing, don't rage bolus well, struggle with lows and highs.  After some serious thought, I discovered something.

As those who read my blog know, I run.  I run more than your average person, and like running and exercising more than the average person as well.  I also belong to a running club.  In the club, there are all sorts of athletes - old, young, those who run 5 minute pace for 20-mile runs and those who run 15 minute/mile pace for long runs.  There is quite a bit of diversity in the club, which is something I truly enjoy.

On Tuesdays, the club has practice on a local track.  There are two groups, which more or less break down into a fast group and a slow group.  I'm part of the fast group.  When I first started running track with the club last year, I got some suspicious looks.  I wear my insulin pump so it is visible to the world.  Sometimes the tubing sticks out and it will occasionally make noise.  I originally got a lot of "why do you wear a pager?" questions about my insulin pump.

After explaining that it is an insulin pump, that I have diabetes, the type 1 kind and have had it since I was 4, people often give me the same response.  It goes something like "I'm impressed you run so well with diabetes."  Or, "I could never run if I had diabetes."

I have about a 1-minute response that I say to almost everyone regarding running and diabetes:

"I love to run, and I have diabetes.  Having diabetes does not mean that I cannot run.  It means that sometimes I have to eat while running and other times I will feel like crap, but that depends on my blood sugar.  Diabetes has actually helped me become a more disciplined and better runner...."  plus a few more sentences.

I guess 1 great thing I do is tell people that people with diabetes can run, and can run.  Diabetes does not limit what I (or you) can do.

Monday, May 14, 2012

D=Blog Week: Diabetic Running Blogs

Although I don't blog about diabetes a whole lot, last year I participated for a few days of Diabetes Blog Week.  This year,  I hope to do the same, with the goal of actually blogging about diabetes the entire week.

Monday's post is:

It seems the most popular thing about Diabetes Blog Week is that it helps us find blogs we weren’t reading yet and connect with some new blog friends.  With that in mind, let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by making some new connections.  Think about the d-blogs you read that you think we may not know about and introduce us to one that you love!!  Let’s all find a new friend today!

Most of the blogs I read are not related to diabetes.  I have some in my reader, but don't read them.  But, there are a few diabetes bloggers that I really do enjoy.  When there is a post in my blogger reader by them, I always click on it.  Below are my favorites:

Scully is one of my favorite bloggers because she cycles, runs, and is incredibly honest.  I can remember when i first read Scully's blog I thought she had run a ton of ultra marathons and could learn so much from her.  I have learned so much from her, even though she has not run an ultra marathon.  I had the honor of meeting her last month when she came to Illinois.  She is very laid-back knowledgeable.  It was an incredible experience to say something about diabetes and for her to completely understand what I said.  She is an awesome person.

Marcus is someone who I have always admired.  He has given me a lot of advice over the past few years that probably would have taken me a long time to discover.  He is also fast and ran the Boston Marathon this year.  Marcus is on the Team Type 1 running team and inspires others through his work with the team.

My last favorite blogger is a person who rarely blogs, Ryan.  I first got acquainted with Ryan back when I lived in Ohio and we saw the same doctor (who was phenomenal). Ryan, like Marcus, runs for TT1.

There are so many diabetes blogs to read, but these are my 3 favorite.  Do you have any recommendations for me?      

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Icing on the Cake

I thought the weekend of the Illinois Marathon just could not have gone any better.

Perfect weather?  Check.

Perfect race?  Check.

Perfect celebration post-marathon?  Check.

And then I opened up my mailbox last week and found a nice surprise.  In all my excitedness, I temporarily forgot that I was interviewed by the newspaper after crossing the finish line.  I opened up my mailbox  to find the newspaper from the day after the race.

As I went trough the newspaper, finding my name in the results, I glanced at their special section, only to spot my name in bold.  They have various little articles about people who ran either the half or full.  One of those articles is about me.  

When I re-read the small article, I kept thinking, "did I really say that to the reporter?!?"  I think I may have been a little too excited.  The article is quite nice, though.  Here's a brief overview:

"At the rate (insert the city I live in and my real name here) is going, she'll run a full marathon in under three hours by 2014.  (My name) marathon debut was in Chicago last fall, and she covered the course in 3:43.  In her inaugural Illinois Marathon on Saturday, her time was 3:26:40.  "I'd heard the course was flat and fast,"  (name) said.  "Awesome."  (Why did I say awesome here?!??!  I thinking because I said "awesome" about 5,329 times after the race was over).  Her reward was a time that fell significantly under the cutoff for her age (3:35) to quality for the Boston Marathon.  "I've been running competitively four years," she said.  "I started off with half marathons.  After today, I like the full the best."  

I'm not sure if I like the full marathon the best.  But, on that day, I certainly did.

Have you ever been quoted in a newspaper following a sporting event?  How did you sound?  This is the first time I was quoted, but I was in a video from the ChiTown Half Marathon (put out last week).  When I was in high school, my picture was on the front page for basketball.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

Disappearing Bar Graph Race Results

Every person I've ever known has enjoyed one subject in school more than another.  For me, I always loved math, although English was a close second in high school.  I loved algebra the most.  Solving for "x" was enjoyable for me.  I could go on and on, but that is not the point.

One of my favorite running websites is  This website compiles all of the races you've ever run and gives them to you either by year or distance.  Personally, I like to see my results by distance.  For me, this includes a "duathlon" portion, "races: road" portion and a "trail races" portion. 

A few days ago, I logged on to athlinks to see if the Illinois marathon results were up.  I love to look at the bar graphs it shows you in relation of how you finished compared to the rest of the field.  Although I can see the number numerically, I think the bar graph does a better job of depicting that information for me.  However, when I logged on to the site, it did not give my marathon a bar graph.  Thinking that was weird, I clicked on my half marathon races.  Non of them had their bar graphs, either.  All of my bar graphs no longer appear, which makes me very sad.

Thinking it was perhaps only my account where the graphs disappeared, I clicked on a friend's account.  His graphs were gone as well. 

I have to ask...are your bar graphs on the website?  Or, do you know what happened to the graphs?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Running a Marathon with Diabetes

One year ago, I had never run a marathon.  My longest run was 15 miles on a treadmill.  I did all of my runs solo.  I was a novice runner (and still am), learning how to train, fuel, and be successful.  By no means have I figured everything out, but I have learned so much in the past year,  not only about how to train for a marathon, but also how to manage diabetes better.

 #1 - Wake up on the lower side of normal
Waking up with a blood sugar over 150 was not good for me, or my training.  I wanted my blood sugar to come down, but was always afraid of giving too much of a correction bolus.  My goal was to wake up between 70 and 90.  I know that seems "low,"  but it worked the best for me.  On marathon morning, I woke up at 66 and was happy.  Please remember that "low" is different for everyone.  I can function fine at 66, while you might not be able to.

#2 - Consistency
I did all of my long runs in the morning, most often starting at 7 AM, the time my marathon started.  I do all of my runs during the week at night due to scheduling/job/life issues, but I always did my long run in the morning to train my body to run at that time. 

#3 - Eat the Same Thing
I eat the same thing 99% of the time for breakfast. Therefore, I know exactly how much insulin I need to give myself.  My breakfast is not a typical runner's breakfast, but it works for me.  Finding something to work for you is so important.  So, what do I eat?  When I answer this, most people stand and stare at me in disbelief.  I eat yogurt, berries, and cereal.  I also have some peanut butter and a CLIF bar before I start a long run.  I do not bolus for the CLIF bar.  I eat a lot in the morning because I need that much food for the quantity of running I do.  I rarely need to use the bathroom, too (1 time in training in a year...not too bad!).

#4 - Know Your Nutrition Plan During the Race
Going into my marathon, I knew I was going to eat GU rocktane at miles 6, 12, and 18.  I packed an extra GU to take at 22 if I felt like I needed it, but didn't end up eating it.  After taking my GU, I always washed it down with water afterward.  Between my GUs, I took Gatorade from the aid stations.  Gatorade is tricky because sometimes one glass can be much more sugary than another.  I find that I need to keep nourishing my body during the race to perform well.

#5 - Know Your Insulin Plan
Many people set temporary basals before and during exercise.  However, I am not one of them.  I don't touch my basal rates.  I have pretty sensitive to insulin and don't have high basal rates to begin with and it causes me more issues post-exercise.  I leave my basals exactly how they are and eat throughout the race (see Goal #4).  I take in a lot of carbs during the race, but only take a very, very, very small bolus for all of it.  During the marathon, I took a bolus of 0.2 units at mile 12 and nothing again.  I ended the race at 165. 

#6 - Know Your Nervousness Level
I learned this lesson the hard way.  Before my ChiTown Half Marathon in April, I was not nervous at all.  I had just come back from Los Angeles and was ready to run for fun.  The end result was going low and having to walk over 3 miles of the race.  I was so furious, mad, and frustrated by the experience.  However, it ended up being a great learning experience.  As I race more, I am less and less nervous.  Nerves make my blood sugar go higher, so I know I need either more food or less insulin to have a good race.  I did know that I would be nervous going into the marathon.  However, I'm racing a half in 2 weeks and plan on taking less insulin on purpose to cover for lack of nerves.

#7 - About Carb-Loading
Runners are supposed to carb-load before their big race.  However, I do not believe in carb-loading.  It actually causes me to have far more problems.  Eating something simple works much better for my blood sugar.  I like to eat foods that I know how they will react in my body.  For me, this means not eating pasta, rice, or desserts. 

Please remember that these are things that I do.  I am unique, and so are you.  What works for me most likely will not work for you. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Recovery Week

It is hard to believe that the Illinois Marathon was one week ago.  My legs are recovering nicely from the race as well as my face from smiling so much.  As I type this post, I am still smiling about the race.

Recovery and taper weeks are hard for me.  I like to run, so giving my legs the proper rest they need is something that I struggle with.  My next race is in 2 weeks - a half marathon, and I want to be ready for it when the day arrives.  Therefore, this week was about taking it easy.  Here's what I did:

Sunday - rest
Monday - rest
Tuesday - 3 miles
Wednesday - 4 miles
Thursday - 6 miles
Friday - 5 miles
Saturday - 1 mile
(tomorrow) - 12 to 15 miles, to be decided in the morning

I also did some biking and walking this past week to help in the recovery process.  I've discovered that walking helps my legs recover so much quicker from a workout.  Plus, I find it very relaxing. 

After my marathon on Saturday, I decided that I would take 1 full week and not run 1 miles faster than 8:00 pace.  It worked well for Sunday and Monday, when I rested, and Tuesday and Wednesday, when my legs were still recovering. On Thursday I went to my running group run and ran a nice, easy pace with my friend. 

Then came Friday.  My legs were starting to feel better and I just wanted to run.  The weather was practically perfect, nice and warm.  I lifted my 7:xx ban but decided that all miles had to be above 7:30 pace.  The run was wonderful, and ended in a 7:45 pace for 5 miles.   I'd say recovery week is going well thus far.  Soon, it will be over and I'll be able to run normal mileage again.

How do you recover from races?  I eat when I'm hungry, which is usually all of the time, and run a lot less. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Illinois Marathon Race Recap

On Thanksgiving, over 5 months ago, I decided to sign up for the Illinois Marathon after talking about marathons with my uncle.  I then created a plan.  There were ups and downs along the journey, but when Saturday came around and I got out of bed, I was excited.  I was ready to run after 3 weeks of tapering.

The weather was perfect.  It was in the low 40s during the race.  I was assigned to start in corral B, which meant that I would be starting 2 or so minutes after the gun went off.  My goal was to run a 3:30 (8:00/mile pace), and I thought I wanted to start slow.  Mentally, I decided to treat the marathon as 5, 5-mile runs with an extra 1.2 at the end.  This would help me focus on small portions of the race instead of it as a whole.  Before I knew it, the gun went off and the race started.

Miles 1-5: 7:58, 7:58, 7:58, 7:59, 7:52

I was so happy to start running.  We ran by some fraternity houses which provided some quality entertainment.  I was shocked that I was able to run a steady pace for the first few miles.  From what everyone says, you can tell if it will be a good race or not by mile 6.  I kept telling myself that I felt great, and for the most part, I did.

Miles 6-10: 8:02, 8:01, 7:55, 7:58, 7:50

Miles 6 and 7 were windy.  We were running on a long street out in the open.  It wasn't the most thrilling part of the course, but there were still people all around due to the crowded half marathon.  When I saw 8:02 beep on my Garmin, I didn't get anxious.  I didn't care at all.  I felt good, strong and confident.  While we were running through a park, I was lucky enough to get behind two friends who were talking about running etiquette, such as spitting and snot rockets.  Just after they finished their thought, one guy blew a snot rocket in my direction.  That action propelled me to pass them, and thanking them on my way.  They chucked as I left them behind.

Miles 11-15: 7:56, 7:51, 7:46, 7:46, 7:43

After the half marathoners left us at mile 12.5, the field was drastically reduced.  I knew this was going to happen and mentally I was prepared for it.  I started to feel really good at this point in the race, and my times reflect that.  According to the official race results, I ran the first half marathon in 1:44:01.

Miles 16-20:  7:39, 7:33, 7:28, 7:39, 7:40

Then, I started to feel really good.  I ran 7:28 for mile 18.  What was I thinking?  At that point in the race, I knew I would qualify for Boston.  I was soooo happy.  At mile 18 I took my third and final GU Roctane.  I continued to run and feel good.  It makes such a difference passing people rather than getting passed at this point in the race.  I was running by all guys, passing them one at a time.  The crowd, which was fantastic, was cheering for all of the runners.  Many of them commented on my neon pink Newton running shoes.  I probably had 10 "I like your shoes" comments.

Miles 21-25:  7:47, 7:52, 8:00, 8:12, 8:30

By mile 23 I started to get tired.  I thought about the Chicago Marathon and my most recent disaster of a half marathon.  I wouldn't give up.  I was almost done with my marathon and wanted to soak in every second.  I focused on Boston.  I tried to tell myself to catch the 3:25 pacer.  Or, the guy wearing a flannel shirt ahead of me.  (How does a person run a marathon in a flannel shirt?!?!  I did end up passing him.)  I told myself to be in the moment because this feeling will not last forever.  Cherish it while it does.

Mile 26 - 7:43

Last 0.2  (0.22 according to Garmin) - 1:44 (7:22 pace)

Second half marathon: 1:42:39

When I turned the corner and saw the football stadium where the finish was, I was overcome with joy.  I was so happy.  As I made the last corner and went under the tunnel, which was so neat, and onto the football field, I saw the clock.  I knew that I had run even faster than I had even imagined.  I sprinted into the finish line and as soon as I crossed it wanted to jump for joy.

I got my medal and some water.  I still had energy in my legs to successfully climb up the stadium stairs.  I was cold, but the sheer joy radiating inside of me made the cold easy to deal with.

My overall stats:

Time: 3:26:40
Pace: 7:53
Overall Place:  191/1891
Gender Place:  29/742
Division Place:  7/131

texted me all of my official information that day.  I also feel blessed to have supporters that I've never met but consider friends - my blog friends.  I could list what I am most thankful for about every person, I just want to mention one.  My friend Scully came to Illinois to run with me this race.  She put up with my nervousness before the race and excitement after the race.  It made the weekend so much more special.

This race will always hold a special place in my heart.