Saturday, July 25, 2009

My New Job!

Okay Mr. Taxman, you'll be hearing from me this year!
I'm super giddy over today's race results. I ran the Heal 2 Heel 2 Mile race. St. Mark's UMC sponsors this race every year and they have a nice little purse for their top finishers. After I scoped the field and saw "my competition" had shown, and her "competition" had shown too, I wasn't sure how this adventure would end.
It's a quick hilly course through Fairmount Park (near WSU). I ran with all I had... I think... and by the half mile mark I was third with fourth quite a ways behind me. I passed several men, but remained third the entire race.
I finished strong down the hill and clocked a 12:25 (6:17 pace).
"My competition" placed 2nd and her's took first.
At the awards ceremony they started with the checks for the overall females. Starting with third place overall and a prize of $50, was "Lacy Hansen."
I also received second in my age group, since "My competition" is the same age as me.
I walked a little taller today and was excited to see how far I've come since my first Heel 2 Heal in 2006.
Oh and possibly some of the most exciting news of the day..... "my competition" is moving to the East Coast!!! (I'm terrible, I know!)
Maybe I'll own less silver and more gold this coming season.
Here's a picture from last years race...her taking first, and me second...again.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Running Partners

Kenton and I were so lucky to celebrate our 7th anniversary on Sunday. We had a great weekend, which even included watching most of our wedding video with Judah. Wow! Seven years seems like a life time ago in "married years." However, I had a quick perspective change during my Saturday morning run. Many of the people I run with are several years older than I am and most have been married longer than I've been alive. They chuckled and said, "Seven years? You guys are still newlyweds!" Somehow this conversation got tangled up in the middle of the topic of running the hills of San Francisco (How? Who knows?). But one friend said, "yeah, you still got some hills in front of you"... think San Francisco!"
I laughed, but did not disagree. Marriage is beyond tough at times, it's downright impossible. I chimed in, "Yeah, it's one of those things, just like having children, if anyone really knew how hard it was going to be, they'd never do it." The same friend replied, "And then enough time goes by and you forget and you find your self doing it again" (having kids).
The round table opened up and another runner said, "I think it's the same hormone that makes us forget and train for another marathon. We tell ourselves 'never again', but an amount of time goes by and we start thinking, 'it wasn't so bad.'"
I'm blessed to have crossed many tough finish lines. Some literal, some figurative. I'm happy to be in the "training season" of our marriage, having forgotten all the pain and trials of some of our races. We're in a good place, anxious to run the next race. But having a little bit of experience behind us, we might avoid injury or burnout this time around. And when those hills are in front of us, I'm so happy to feel confident and say "bring it on!" We've climbed these suckers before and as long as we're still moving, even if it's a pathetic crawl, we will finish this race together.

We were kid-less on Saturday night and Sunday. We took advantage and slept in until 10 AM!!!! It was the best thing ever. I'm not sure I've slept that long in over two years.
We hit the road for a 20 mile bike ride together. We're both signed-up for The Salty Dog Triathlon in August. It's a friendly rivalry between us. I've always beaten Kenton in foot races, but he's always beaten me in triathlons. I challenged him to a re-match this summer and I'm feeling pretty good about my chances. Our bike ride on Sunday did show us that I might have some more training to do. It was literally the hottest day of the season, like 105 or something. The faithful Kansas wind was in our face the ride home, so it was a nice challenge. However, a glimmer of hope came through for me in the final mile home. It's a pretty solid down hill stretch with one way traffic. I hovered and hit it with all I had....Kenton couldn't catch me. Now, he claims it was a car that turned too close to him that stopped him up a bit. All I know was I got to the stop light and was waiting on him. Challenge extended!
August 8th will be the deciding day. One of us will walk away with the title "Fastest Triathlete In The House!!"
After we stopped sweating profusely, we cleaned up and went to our favorite restaurant, Tsunami. We shared a quiet late lunch/dinner over fresh salad rolls and coconut curry.

It's good to run this race with a friend.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Marathon Touchstones

Our friendly mailman was right on time this morning. We all know he's arrived because the thud of the mail hitting our living room floor is a loud sound we have all gotten use to in the last five years. A louder thud usually indicates magazines and flutters tend to be bills and/or junk mail. Today was a medium thud. Among the mail was a large envelope addressed to me. It had the OKC marathon logo in the return address corner. I opened it to discover a certificate. It was certifying my finish of 26.2 miles on an official course. "Cool."
This got me thinking about the marathon again. It's been nearly two and a half months since I finished. So I can't really use the "I just finished a marathon" phrase anymore. But there are still so many memories that are so fresh from that day. I figured, "what the hey", I'll share some of the "Behind the scenes" memories with you before they fade away.
For starters, this is just a great picture. It's totally my lovely, nerdy family. As we were all walking to the expo the day before the race. I noticed my nephew had his pants on backwards. Long story short, we had a good laugh remedying that problem in public.
I woke very very early that next morning and heard my text message alert. I opened my phone to read this.
As I was walking out to the shuttle stop, my Dad's message sent a burst of excitement down my spine. We all had a lot of stock put in to the day's race.

Early in the race, Kenton missed one of his projected stops. He was riding his bike along the course and wasn't where he said he would be.

I really didn't have the freedom to call and talk on the phone, but I was worried. So, this text prompted me to call him and talk on the phone while I ran a marathon. Long story short, he was fine, just a little bruised.

As I was running, my Dad was running his second half-marathon. It was weird to know he was out on the course with me, but I just couldn't see him.He triumphed against the wind and finished with a new PR. I keep waiting for the day he decides he's ready for the full and we can run one together. (Hint, hint..nudge, nudge)
I'm very lucky to have such support during these races. My sister kept Judah overnight. She, my brother-in-law, Jeff, and my Mom wrangled two very rambunctious boys in downtown OKC, while they waited for our finishes. My little man had too much fun while waiting and crashed into his cousin, leaving him with a nice shiner for the next few weeks. Here's the aftermath.As I was in the last few miles I heard my text alert go off. I'm not sure why I checked it, but I'm so glad I did. I opened it to read a message from my beloved Wendy. She got me through my first marathon and I really needed her at that moment. Then there she was, perfect timing.
If she only knew, what that did for me.
After I finished I sent her a message back. I'm doing that in the background of this picture. It's a great shot though. My family is partaking in all the free food we could pilfer. However, my bro-in-law, Jeff, is covering his nose. He has a big aversion to cheese and the smell of melted cheese from the Carl's Jr. burgers was getting to him. I later went back in the finishers area and asked for a cheese-less cheese burger, so he wouldn't be left out.

Later, after I had gone back to the hotel. I was checking the results and trying to see if another friend had finished. I couldn't get any results for her at that time. I was worried that she hadn't finished and something had gone wrong. Finally, a text came to me asking how I did. I told her my time and then I asked hers.

She had just completed her first marathon and she was sweet enough to ask about my quest for the BQ. I stole this picture from her, but it's such a powerful one. She's embracing her husband after her finish. I tear up every time I see it. It's what I think we all feel after a very hard battle.

There are no pictures, no texts messages, no documentation, and possibly no real proof that my mom was there in the middle of all this. She was behind the camera, picking up my husband from the ghetto as he wrecked his bike, wrangling kids, or cheering for her family. She did it all. Those touchstones exist on my heart. I don't take her support lightly. She gets no credit, but I know that I couldn't be half the success I am if it weren't for her. I love you Mom.

This was her and I this past weekend sportin' our Firecracker Age Group awards.

I can only hope these precious memories are preserved, always.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

That's My Boy!!

Today marks the fourth anniversary of my running life. Just four tiny years ago my Dad signed me up to run the one mile event in the Derby Firecracker Run. What a whirlwind of change that has occurred since that day!
Today we arrived a little later than I prefer for a 7:30 start, but we made it with about 15 minutes to spare. We got out of the car to a decent rainfall. It felt pretty good considering that it's the 4th of July and usually you come to expect a hotter than hades sort of run.
We headed for the start and took our places. Kenton was even lining up!!! WHOO-HOO!! Now, he wasn't "racing" he had planned to run 4 miles this morning and it just happened that his course was the same as the race course...weird, huh?
He came up to wish me luck and told me to get to the very front. I pointed out that my competition was already up there, so there was really no use. If she signs up, I'm automatically out of the running for an overall finish.
The gun went off and so did we. It's a nice course that weaves through the park, the high school yard, and back through the neighborhood, finishing right where you started from. I could see two girls in front of me and did all I could to keep them in my sights. I finished strong while a pack of boys thundered up on me in the last yards. I kind of hate that. I hold my pace for miles and in the last few feet someone turns it into a sprint race. Oh, well...that's racing, right?
Since this race excludes the over all winner from the age group, my competition took the overall and I took the gold medal in my age division. I'm very proud of that, but I'm more excited about my time. I set a PR for a four mile race. My previous time was just under 28 minutes, today I clocked a 26:34!! I'll take it!
After the 4 mile winded down it was time for the one mile. Judah was signed up to run this race. I was so blessed by the time he and I have spent this week "practicing." We had really pleasant and fun times running a mile each morning to get ready for today. He asked if I'd load Kid's Bop on to the mp3 player for him. So he was ready, with his finger on the play button. Once it was go time, he was off. He ran a nice even pace and avoided being a jackrabbit like most kids are. We chuckled as he started singing along through his pants for air. He's a little stubborn and doesn't like to be told what to do, so he avoided my suggestion to "kick it in" for the finish, but he finished with a nice, smooth 11:30. I was very very proud of him. I've been telling Kenton all week how excited I am for the possibility of him and I running together one day. He's well on his way. I tell him every time, "Judah this is great! I couldn't do this when I was 24 and your doing it at age 5!!"
Here's to PR's, health, family, Freedom, and three generations running this race together!
Happy4th Of July!