Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Go Far Women's Half Marathon Recap: Fargo, North Dakota

I can run, but I cannot count.
Fargo, North Dakota is State #29 (Sorry, Minnesota).
Welcome to Fargo, North Dakota
State #29!
I guess I was getting ahead of myself.
Anyway, Fargo - as I was told on Facebook by one of my fellow 1/2 Fanatics Club members - is flat as a pancake. In fact, my new friend John, whom I met on my post run celebration, told me that Fargo is so flat you can see your dog run away for three miles!
Nice meeting you, John!
We call those shots Picklebacks,  not Brooklyn Hookers!
Maybe due to the proximity of where we live ...
And no, I wasn't doing shots! C'mon, I'm still training for Berlin!
Okay, where was I? The race - it was beautifully organized. The race was developed to honor Dr Renee Schwandt, an OBGYN, who passed away unexpectedly in July 2003. The event is an all-female race to celebrate the strength, determination, and beauty of women and young ladies.
There is however a Go Far Man Lottery
One man is allowed to run each year! I think this is hysterical! He who runs amongst us females is a brave soul for sure!

Dr Renee's sister spoke at the beginning of the race - and I lost it. I have two sisters who are persevering with their own health issues, and for one of these two sisters, I found out on my way to Fargo.
So, yeah - You bet your sweet you know what
that I was going to run as hard as I could 
to get that first place age group win!

My mantras:

  • Trust your training
  • I want my sisters to fight - so I will too
  • I don't want my sisters to ever give up - so neither will I
  • I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me

I started out strong - a lot better than Minneapolis. Since Minneapolis, I found out that I'm lactose intolerant. I have avoided all dairy - with the exception of some Sheep Yogurt - which I eat with a digestive enzyme from Pure Encapsulations. For some reason, even if I take the digestive enzymes with Goat Yogurt, I still get cramping, bloating, and the big "D". Sorry - I'm a dietitian, I talk about GI issues and poop all day long! So yeah, since Minneapolis, it's been Sheep Yogurt for me!
Anyway, I felt great! I was keeping about a 7:45 minute pace for the first 9 miles, then my legs started to get very tired. Especially my quads. In the last two miles I started to get upset with my pace, but I still persevered! It was the wind - it seemed to pick up, and it felt as if I were running uphill.

Out of nowhere, a pacer named Vicki ran up to me, "C'mon girl, you got this! I'm taking you in the last two miles! All you have to do is look at my feet, and breathe!"

I yelled back, "This wind! It's horrible."

Vicki told me to get behind her, "I will protect you from the wind. All you have to do is look at my feet and breathe!" She was like a little Angel that literally appeared out of nowhere.

I let out some grunts and moans along the way - and she would just yell back these amazing and uplifting responses, like, "You got fresh legs - just like when you started the race. Your legs are fresh!" and "You got this, the finish is just ahead," and "Use this downhill, use this downhill, Use the downhill - Kick!"

There was a small downhill, before you ran through a little tunnel, 
but you know the downhill story - 
where there's a downhill, there's always an uphill! 
Ech - I'm telling you - with the wind - that little uphill was a battle.

Finally, the end was in site and I sprinted to the finish. Vicki grabbed me and hugged me! She was literally like a little Angel! Thank you, Vicki! You were great!

I started to cry, again! Everyone asked me if I were okay - "Do you want a water bottle, a banana? Can we get you anything?" Everyone was so nice.

I took a water, and I just kept thanking God that I am able to run, able to run through the fifty states, and that my body is holding up through my training for the Berlin Marathon.

Running is my therapy. It is my happy place. It's where I go to make peace with myself, and my God. It's what I use as a means to feel as if I am empowered, and in control of my destiny. I wanted to run my best because I cannot change or prevent what my sisters are going through - all I can do is run my best.
With each half marathon, 
I also know that I cannot bring my husband back, 
or change the events of 9-11.
All I can do is run my best - 
and I can do that throughout all Fifty US States. 
This to me, is empowering. 

So, I cry at the end of each one of these races because they mean so much to me. This is what I told Kim, another runner, who also asked if I were okay as I sobbed my little eyes out in front of Scheel's Arena. Thanks Kim, for taking the time to ask me if I were okay, and for listening to my story.

And yes, you bet your sweet ass
I took 1st in my age group!

I was shooting for 1:42, but I'll take 1:44.
22 out of 29, I have placed 1, 2, or 3 in my age group!
- And no Edgar, that is not the 20-25 year old age group! LOL!

Train Smart Today!
Or as they say at the Go Far Women's Half Marathon in Fargo, North Dakota:
Nothing is impossible,
the word itself says, "I'm Possible!" ~ Audrey Hepburn
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