Naperville Half Marathon Recap

It’s done. I’ve joined the club. My journey to the sub 2hr half marathon club started one day when I decided (on a whim) to run a half marathon. I had no idea what I was in for, and had only run 6.2 miles prior to signing up. In 2010, I trained myself and enjoyed every minute of it all to myself at the Inaugural Monster Dash Half Marathon.

2010: Inaugural Monster Dash Half: 2:24

Ran it again in 2011 with my brother and my time improved.  

2011: Monster Dash Half: 2:09

I knew I could have run it faster because I had not trained as well second time around. The improvement was enough to make me wonder what life was like on the other side of 2. I ran four more half marathons to find out:

2012: Inaugural Chicago Women’s Half: 2:01:31
2013: ING Miami Half: 2:01:18
2013: Oak Brook Half: 2:24 – Oops, What happened there? Worst. Race. Ever. .

Because that race was awful, I trained so hard for Naperville. It was my last chance in 2013 for my legs to prove they were capable. Race week my friend sent me goal pace text messages every day that read: “8:45”. My mind was ready. I sprinted, I ran hills, I boxed, I jumped boxes, I practiced fast feet drills from my track days. I cross trained with spin class, I hit PRs with weights on leg press and squats. I built a better body to run faster.

and…***drum roll please***

2013: Inaugural Naperville Half: 1:55:03.

In addition to my improving time, it looks like I have a thing for inaugural races. I love the smaller ones (Miami being the only exception of course) 

When you run for charity, as I did for Naperville, you can’t help but think about all the people who donated to your cause. How could you let them down with anything less than what you consider an epic race?

The homestretch!

Homestretch, baby!

Homestretch, baby!

The race itself was excellent. Maybe the ridiculous cold weather has something to do with being able to sustain a faster pace for longer. The course was beautiful, slightly hilly and packed with spectators with great signs. The weeks before the race, I worked hard to avoid the mistakes, aches and pains I experienced with the Oak Brook half, which were primarily due to dehydration. I foam rolled my calves almost daily and worked on the minor tibialis anterior pain I experienced upon dorsiflexion – again all related to dehydration. I drank water and electrolytes like it was my job. The thing is that when you want something so badly, you won’t let anything get in your way when it’s dangling right in front of you. So what’s next for 2014? Is there another club I want to get into?

Happy but completely FREEZING. It was 35 degrees.

Happy but completely FREEZING. It was 35 degrees.

Maybe the 1:45…we shall see. For now, I’m retiring my racing legs with a smile.

Live an Authentic Life

I was truly honored when friend Sophie asked me to contribute a piece to her new website! The secret is that I am an ordinary person living an extraordinary life. I am a mother, wife (married for 15 years), daughter, employee, and friend. Despite my ordinary roles, I have the potential to be amazing. I know this because I create that potential. I have come to terms with my identities in all my roles, dismantled all the ‘rackets’ (preconceived stereotypes) associated with them, and have created a transformation for myself to achieve my goals. Sounds like something from Star Wars? It’s all quite simple in fact. I am a working mother of two, who makes time for a fitness life – which is critical to my happiness – and am celebrating my 15th wedding anniversary this July. My identities are interconnected! It has taken me years to reach this level of high self-esteem and self-confidence; and it began after taking a course in 2002 with Landmark Education (yes the lessons learned still live strong in 2013!). I’ve also recently read similar lessons in Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements and I want to share with you some of my favorite lessons learned, because you too, have the possibility to live an extraordinary life.
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