How’s my what?

This entry’s title is courtesy of some probing (word choice?) and uncomfortable questions I sometimes get asked after going for a long run or bike ride. After riding for 5 or more hours on a small bicycle seat, there is concern for a certain part of the body. I decided not to talk about it in this post, but I thought the title was funny, so I left it.

This past weekend was race-filled and lovely. Saturday featured both the Evansville Half Marathon and Dog ‘n’ Suds 5k – together comprising the Dog Tired Challenge!

Evansville Half Marathon
Official time: 1:59:11 – I broke two hours!

Shirt from The Oatmeal!
Shirt from The Oatmeal!

It’s a great PR, and something I was aiming for. This is more or less the same course I ran a few weeks ago – only I ran it much slower then because it was hot and I had some IT trouble. Saturday was cold, and I haven’t had leg trouble in a long time, so I booked it around Evansville with nearly 2,000 other participants, including Ashley. It was great!

I was very impressed with the logistics of this race. It was incredibly well-supported, with water stations at almost every mile. There were course marshals on bicycles everywhere, and other race support driving around on carts. The community showed up in droves to cheer on friends and family, including a lady playing the accordion, some other ladies dressed up in pajamas, a group of high school students dressed up as characters from Cinderella, and many others. Once we got onto the Pigeon Creek Greenway portion of the race, volunteers had listed one by one all of the cities and states represented by participants, which was a huge task. People came from all over the country (and Canada, as it turns out) to run in Evansville – including a friend from Des Moines, Iowa, whom I hadn’t seen in a while. I happened to walk past her on the way to the starting line, which was lucky.

It was thrilling to see such community support on the first cold day of the year. It was eventually warm for runners, but for supporters who were standing around cheering on all the participants as they waited for their friend or family member, it was uncomfortable – but they were there anyway, and that was exciting to see and be a part of.

I anticipated that I would enjoy running the Evansville Half Marathon. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I’ll definitely sign up for this one again!

Dog ‘n’ Suds 5k and the Dog Tired Challenge

Ashley displaying her racing swag alongside Sadie's majestic ears.
Ashley displaying her racing swag alongside Sadie’s majestic ears.
Sadie’s second 5k – we took it pretty easy. We still won third place in our respective age categories, and were awarded trophies!

Dog ‘n’ Suds was a 5k in our neighbor town whose proceeds support the local humane society, and we’re suckers for anything humane society. Sadie was adopted from a shelter, and we do what we can to support efforts to give homeless dogs a home, since we can’t adopt all of them. This race was special for a number of reasons: 1. Sadie could run with us. She may not have thought this was the greatest thing, but she came along anyway. 2. This 5k was part of the “Dog Tired Challenge.” Anyone who ran both the half marathon in the morning and the 5k in the afternoon got a special medal (which is actually wooden). So, we got a medal in the morning and a second medal in the afternoon, plus two new T-shirts. Can’t beat that.

Winning third in each of our age categories was a surprise, since we didn’t run very fast (go ahead, Andrew, blame it on Sadie – everyone will believe you) because Sadie isn’t a very good runner. Still, Ashley finished 3/4 and I finished 3/5, so we got trophies!

13 days to go!
In the back of my mind always looms my marathon. I constantly think about it when I’m out for my daily runs. Am I running strong enough? Is my cadence high enough? Where are my feet landing? Relax your shoulders. Run faster. Run easier. Run further.

Don’t stress out.

I’m so excited for this marathon. I’m anxious, sure. But it’s not a bad anxious. I’m excited for what’s to come, and to get it done. I don’t know what I’ll feel like when I go across the finish line. I’ve been working hard to help ensure I’ll be strong then. I do know I’ll be confident when I stand in the starting corral watching the sun rise behind the St. Louis Arch.

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