Category Archives: Reflection

4 days to go! I am ready!

4 more days until the marathon, 3 more nights of rest, 2 more short runs, 1 stop at the expo…I am ready! On Sunday, we will see if I am able. 
Thanks to some willing friends and family members, I will have someone cheering for me just about every two miles starting around mile 9!!! I could not ask for any better support than that.
The weather is suppose to be great temperature wise. I just hope that the 30% chance of rain, is just that; a chance. I have no control over that one, so I’ll just leave it at that.
It has been a long journey, that included some really great runs and some really bad ones. I have made new running friends and reconnected with some others. Overall this has been my best season training wise. If you are in the Columbus area and are looking for a group to train with, I’d recommend looking into the Columbus Eastside Running Club. They are a great bunch of people to run and train with.
Thank you’s:
I want to take this opportunity to thank my husband Brian for being there during most of my long runs. I know at one point he wanted to throw in the towel, because it was really cold (and when you are moving on a bike you are colder than when you are running), but he stuck it out. I love the fact that he’s so supportive of my running and I am truly appreciative of everything he does for me. Without his help I would never have quit smoking and become the runner that I am today. I love you!
I am also thankful for my parents in law, who would occasionally watch our youngest daughter so I could run or would make us breakfast when my long run took us to their house. It is a great feeling when you are surrounded by people that are glad to help out without asking or expecting anything in return.
Another ‘thank you’ goes out to my son Brandon, who would ‘watch’ our youngest whenever I needed him to, so I could get my short, medium, or long runs in. It is great to have him in our lives, even though we sometime butt head (ever so gently).
Get read, get set, go!
Once I cross the starting line, I’ll just have to hope that all the training over the last 18 weeks is going to pay off. I am certain my body is ready, I have never been fitter (I have been thinner, but never fitter) and mentally stronger. All I can say is: “BRING IT ON!”
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Posted by on October 13, 2011 in Pre-race jabber, Reflection


For my Omi (Grandma) and BRFs

Occasionally I send cards to my Grandmother in Germany, who is now 94.  With school pictures of her great-grand children to send to her I went a bought her a card today.

For some reason I felt the need to share what was on the front of the card with my BRFs (I know my Grandma will crack out her German/English dictionary and figure out what the card says): 

Do not go where the path may lead;
go instead
where there is no path
and leave a trail.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I hope everyone has a great day!


Posted by on November 27, 2007 in Reflection, Running Friends


A great E-mail

I just got this e-mail from a running buddy from my running group. He almost brought me to tears (marathon blues perhaps?):

Hey Penny, I realized last night that I forgot to mention about your 5 hour marathon idea for next year.  Do you remember back to this time last year?  Think about what your thoughts were about whether or not you felt you should run a half marathon in the spring.  Think about how you felt about running a marathon.  If you’re anything like me you probably thought…I don’t know if I can do that!  

But now you are a marathon FINISHER and you ran a 5:37.  So you’re thinking…I wonder if I could run a 5:00 marathon?  Well, if the last year has taught you anything, it should be:   *anything* is possible!  It might seem intimidating to try to drop your PR by 37 minutes, but is it more intimidating than running a marathon to begin with?  Teri dropped her PR by 25 minutes twice, so her 3rd marathon was 50! minutes faster than her 1st.  This year I dropped my PR from last year by nearly 32 minutes.  

So if you ask me, you 100% can run a 5 hour marathon!!!!!  Will it take work?  Yes.  Will it be easy?  Nope.  But can you do it?  Absolutely! 

Good luck!


26.2 Race Report

I did not sleep well two nights before the marathon, tossing and turning, so I was worried that the next night would be a repeat. But, I was too worn out from the night before that I actually slept very well.

I rose at 5am refreshed, got dressed, kissed the hubby goodbye, hopped in the car, and headed to my sister in-law’s house. We were meeting with another friend there, Brenda, who drove us up to Columbus. Brenda (a previous BQ) was running in the ½ and Teri was trying to BQ.

The MiT group (about 200 of us) met at the Renaissance hotel and headed over together to Broad street (the starting line). They had a pick-up truck waiting for us there. We tossed all our stuff in there so we could pick it back up at the finish line.

The day before I made the decision to run with the 5:30 pace group. I didn’t want to kill myself and if I had the strength I wanted to pull away from them around mile 22. The 5:30 pace group was all the way at the end of the runner’s pack. The nice thing about being at the end of the lineup is that the bathroom lines are less busy. 🙂 With the bathroom business out of the way I headed to the pace leader. There were about 10 other runners milling around. The hubby snuck up on me to give me a big hug and kiss before they (he and his brother) headed to their designated spot. Helicopters flew overhead, then the horn went off signaling the start of the race. And we were off…well…sort off…it took us over 8 minutes to actually make it to the starting line! And then we were off.

The pace leader, Maneesha (I think was her name), followed the run walk method. Run 5 minutes, walk 1 minute. The first 6 miles flew by fast, we all chatted like little kids, all excited. We shared stories, dedicated miles to friends and relatives. Each mile marker we would cross we’d holler “1,2,3 5:30 rocks”…at mile 6 I saw my friend Kay and her boyfriend cheering me on…yay!

At mile 10 I saw the hubby, brother in law, his brother and sister in law, their daughter, and two friends. All cheering me on. The hubby had a sign. I asked how Teri was doing and was told it didn’t look good…bummer. 😦


Orange tank top, black shorts, under the left turn arrow in the road. 

Mile 10 to 13 were a blurr, we chatted, shared stories, etc. I saw the hubby and gang again. He gave me a banana and we switched out two bottles. And off we were again. At that time there were only 4 of us left who hung with the pace leader. Everyone else dropped back. I saw my father in-law at mile 16. He was holding up a sign my 7 year old made the night before at their house. I about cried. That pictures is going in my gym once it is done!

I saw my running friend Janice on her bike. She was going to run Teri from mile 10 to mile 18. I asked her how Teri was doing and it did not look good.

Around that time my right foot, pinky toe started to hurt pretty bad. I could tell there was a blister in the works. My left foot was already in pain, under the ball of the foot, but luckily that had not started until mile 8. I was pleasantly surprised however that my right leg was not hurting at all and there was not a peep from my knees.

Mile 18 is where the race actually began. It was just about all uphill for the next 3 miles. The pace group pulled away from me and I had to take more walk breaks. I managed to run walk through the uphill part and passed an MiTer. She then passed me and we played that back and forth game for about a mile. Coming onto OSU campus I started a conversation. Her name was Pru. During the last 5 miles Pru became my hero. She pulled me, but she made sure she didn’t push me. It was her second marathon this year and she was way behind her time. So she decided to make the best of it and help me to the finish line. She didn’t put that into words, but rather her actions made it clear.

My stomach was a mess, all that GU made it very upset. I had only been chugging water the last few miles, but that didn’t help. I was suppose to GU at mile 20, but had put it off. At mile 22 I was only able to take one “drag” of that stuff and tossed it to the ground. I’d rather be “undernourished” then puke up all I had taken in the last few hours. During that time we did a lot of run walking…Pru’d say “to the traffic light” I’d say “Yes” and we’d start running. Then I’d say “to the parked car” and she’d say “Of course!”.

Pru asked me if I was alright and ready to run in the last 4 10th of a mile. I said yes and off we went. Then I saw my husband, Teri, Brenda and all others…it was so good to see them cheer me on, just what I needed and finally we made it to the last turn and down to the finish line.

I was hoping that it would hit me that I finished the race, but I am still waiting for the moment. Maybe it’s coming to me bits and pieces at a time, like today (Monday) as I am sitting in a restaurant having lunch with my husband. I was like “I can finally buy that 26.2 sticker!!!” I got a bit choked up (no, not because of the food), but that moment passed.

After finishing the race I was like “never again, I am never running an other marathon…E V E R”. Now, almost 24 hours later I am ready to tackle the ugly hill at mile 18. This year it might have kicked my butt, but next year I plan on returning the favor!

The next big race is the Indianapolis 500 ½ Marathon in May ’08! I am sooo looking forward to it!


Why I Run

In the Runner’s Lounge blog Amy talks about “Why we run” and listed different blogger’s “why I run” lists.

I have been meaning to put my own list on paper/blog, but never taken the time. Lucky me, I have the time right now, so here it is:

Why I run (in no particular order):

  • I want to be around my children and their children, possibly even their children…AND grow old with my husband.
  • Running is cheaper than smoking.
  • The conversations I have with myself are very entertaining.
  • I love hearing people say “You ran HOW MANY miles?”
  • Collecting medals is much more rewarding than collecting baseball cards.
  • Because I can do this by myself, without having to be accountable to anyone.
  • It is a great weight maintencance program (I LOVE Peanut M&Ms).
  • It makes me feel good and gives me confidence.
  • I want enough racing bibs to cover an entire wall.
  • It is about the only “ME” time I can get, the kids can’t keep up with me running. 😉
  • It gives me the chance to make real life and online running friends.
  • I want my children to realize there is nothing wrong with exercise.
  • Last but not least: Because I can!

Posted by on August 28, 2007 in Reflection


Another notch

With the abduction and murder of Kelsey Smith another notch has been made.  Another reminder why we (mainly females) have to constantly be aware of what’s going on around us. When coming into a parking garage to ensure that nothing strange is going on, when running/walking in a park one is not being followed, and even when just running daily errands to make sure some stranger is not paying too much attention to us.

What happened to Kelsey SmithDru Sjodin, and many others shapes how women have to/should be constantly alert of their surroundings.  It is saddening that we always have to have this kind of guard up, that we don’t have the ever so assumed right to be carefree, to enjoy, and be lost in the moment.

Once again I will be watching my back more than usual while running down country roads during training; when I walk in a parking lot from and to my car.

One would think that as a woman, living in America, I should have the right to run/go wherever I want to. We should not have to be limited by suggestions: “Well, you really shouldn’t run there by yourself!”, “You really shouldn’t wear your shorts that short, etc!”. Pretty soon we’ll have to implement a buddy system just to get home safely from where ever we are coming from.

I am very saddened by what happen to Kelsey, Dru, and all the other victims/families of violence.  My heart aches for all of you and the for the notch that will define us further as to how we have to be on guard in order to stay safe.

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Posted by on June 8, 2007 in Blogroll, Reflection