Archive for November, 2012

Take 2: I don’t think I’m quite done sharing my half marathon experience. ūüôā

(Actually, I was just looking through my notes app and found this note I had written, but never put into a blog)

In my last post about it, I shared some¬†logistics and¬†some feelings, but I want to share more – maybe physically how it went. It’s probably more for me documenting my run . . . and maybe you really are curious about it.

My plan was to start out at a 10:30 to 11 min/mile¬†pace to¬†conserve energy for later, obviously that didn’t happen. ¬†Looking at my times posted¬†below, I started out ok, but got caught up in the energy of the race and, most likely, some adrenalin too!! I must confess I am a numbers person.¬† I like to know how far I run and how fast I run.¬† What can I say . . . it is just the way I run . . .
Mile 1: 10:21
Mile 2: 9:35
Mile 3: 9:46
Mile 4: 9:56
Mile 5: 10:00
Mile 6: 9:54
Mile 7: 10:02
Mile 8: 10:07
Mile 9: 10:02
Mile 10:10:17
Mile 11: 10:06
Mile 12: 9:36
Mile 13: 10:13
I felt I was running at a comfortable pace, not pushing too hard.

I had two water bottles – one in each hand.¬† I was drinking water with Nuun, electrolyte enhancer, and also water with Fluid, which is a carb/electrolyte enhancer.¬† Around mile 6 I took a hammer gel slowly for about a mile or two. I’ve found for my digestive system I have to swallow the gel slowly and not too much at one time. As the miles ticked on I relied on the Fluid drink with carbs for my energy.

My legs felt strong, but my hip flexors were screaming, especially going uphill. I just had to push through.¬†There was enough going on with people and new surroundings to keep me interested and not bored. I didn’t listen to music, but there were between 5-6 different bands playing along the way and that was a great energy booster. High five to all the band members cheering us on. Almost stopped to dance, but well ‚Ķ I’m racing ‚Ķ my first race ‚Ķ I didn’t want to stop for anything.

I think around mile 10 I was really counting down the miles and they seemed farther and farther apart. My legs were being pushed way beyond their comfort Рkinda back-talking to me. I kept on keeping on … after all I was racing!!

Yay, we were back in the neighborhood we passed¬†so many miles ago. Yay, we were back in the park. Could I make it? It really is amazing how our minds can take over and just tell our tired achy¬†legs to go on and actually push a little harder. I think once I knew it was only¬†a half¬†mile more, ¬†I just pushed harder knowing this torment would come to an end. Then I heard my name being announced for the world to hear – Patty Vander Dussen. It was surreal. I’ve been to marathons and half marathons where my kids ran and I cheered them on and heard their names announced. But wait this was me – all 58 years of me¬†– this was my race, my dream.

The cool thing was, yes, I was tired and achy, but all the struggles I had as I was¬†becoming a runner with cramps, nausea, low iron – none happened this race day.¬† I had trained. I had learned what I could do and what not to do. How to eat. How to hydrate. How to sleep. How to strengthen. I trained for the race. I ran the race. I won the race – well ‚Ķ for me, I won. ūüôā

Such a parallel with our spiritual lives. It’s a training, a discipline, overcoming struggles. Getting stronger. One day we will win this race. We will cross the finish line. I want to have run my best, my hardest both with my body and with my God.

If you got this far, thanks for reading just one more time about my FIRST EVER HALF MARATHON!!!

Patty ūüôā


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Sometimes unplanned runs just turn out to be the best runs of the week, like my run around Sly Park Lake.

My son, Matt, and I were only going for a couple of miles out and then back  at our local lake, totalling 4-5 miles.  It was an absolutely beautiful fall morning, just the perfect temperature for a run Рnot too hot and not too cold.  Perfect!!

You can see from this picture that the lake is really, really low right now. 

When Matt and I got to about 3 miles we just decided to go for it and continue running around the lake, which totals 8.5 miles.

I’m not sure if it was the wisest decision of mine, seeing as I had planned not¬†to run any trails until I had purchased some trail running shoes, which have a stiffer sole.¬† This was mainly due to breaking my foot last March while running around it.¬† I was¬† ultra-careful as I ran past the place I broke my foot and all rocky, rooty places on the trail.¬† In the back of mind, I knew if anything happened to my feet or ankles I would bear the consequences of “I told you so” for years to come.

I was determined to continue this run, enjoy the day and the beauty surrounding me, try to keep up with Matt, AND NOT DO ANYTHING HARMFUL TO MY BODY!!

Well . . . I made it safe and sound and ever-so-happy that¬†I finally¬†ran around Sly Park Lake with no incident¬†of ill-health in any form.¬†¬† The third time’s the charm and I’m soooo¬†happy!!! Woohoo!!! ūüôā¬†

Yes, I was going to wait until I had trail running shoes.

I was. 

I really meant to.

What can one do when faced with such a situation as this?¬† My son had time and wanted to go with me. Marley, our dog, was thrilled.¬† I was thrilled Matt had control of her.¬† When the question came up whether we should just continue around the lake instead of heading back after 3 miles . . . well, just maybe, endorphins had kicked in and made me say, “Yes, let’s do it!!”

I’m glad for this run.¬† I’m glad nothing happened.¬† I’m glad I ran with Matt and Marley.¬† I’m glad it was a perfect day.¬†

I’m thankful for my health.¬† I’m thankful I can run.¬† I’m thankful for such amazing beauty to run in and the creator Himself, who allowed this moment in my life.

I am looking forward to many more runs . . . and getting trail shoes . . . ūüôā

While the weather is this beautiful and before winter sets in, make sure to get outside and move in one form or another.¬† You won’t regret it. ūüôā

Patty ūüôā


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