Thursday, April 13, 2006

Future's So Bright......

This will be my last post until the next Journey to 26.2. It sounds like I might be looking for my next marathon to be in early December. Tralaine & Angie want to do Vegas and make a vacation out of it. Sounds like fun but maybe a little hilly??? Sign me up for that.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Stats

Now that I have had some time to analyze the data here are some interesting stats from the race.

The guy who came in first ran 5:33 min. miles and this was his first marathon. He finished the whole race in 2:25:09...Damn that's fast. My body won't physically move that fast and not just because I am short.

#1 Girl finished in 3:05, that means she ran 7:05 min. miles. And she was resting for an hour and twenty minutes before I crossed the line.

I finished in 4:25:23. That is a pace of 10:08 min miles overall, and I had a 1/2 time of 2:04. I was 990 out of 1694 total marathon runners. I was one of 568 women running the full marathon. In the 30-34 women's division I finished 25th in a group of 64.

Now, how do I better those, I know, run more. Happy running.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Running is Healthy Living

Not as sore as yesterday. Woke up with less crampping than usual and don't feel the need to make agonizing grunts and wails as I go up and down stairs.

Think I have told everyone possible that I...Brooke Higgins....have completed a marathon. I know this is not something original or novel but for me, someone that used to drink, smoke, stay out late, and never exercise this is a huge deal. Even one of my friends said that I was their hero. Never thought I would hear that.

Support is still pouring in from friends and family, with many asking when I plan to do my next marathon. But the funniest was that both my dad and Grandma Roberts asked me when I called to tell them I had finished "now that you have accomplished your goal, are you done with this". How could I ever be done with such a healthy habit. Would they rather I go back to the pack a day. They never had anything good to say about that. Must remember to ask that next time they inquire. Thanks Sharon for that idea.

Pictures should be up soon. You can find them at Remember I was bib #1811. Working to get my personal pics online soon. Come back to check them out. Included one to wet your whistle.

Monday, April 10, 2006

I Made It!

I feel bad that I am just now posting this since the marathon was yesterday but I dumbly didn't take the day off today to recover. Had to make a classroom visit at 8am, work all day, and do a training session, I've been really busy. So for those of you I haven't talked to yet, I finished my very first marathon (hilly by the way) in 4 hours and 25 minutes. My main goal was to finish in an hour and a half (but really to beat Oprah's time of 4:28) so 2 goals accomplished. The best part was the big smile on my face and how great I felt.

Matt, Jonas, and John Mc. all ran the 1/2 marathon with great times. Tralaine, Sharon, Angie and I stuck together for about 1/2 the marathon. Tralaine and Angie felt great so they left Sharon and I to run a comfortable pace with a kick in the end. Now I can check this off my list (even though I haven't started the list, maybe that should be my next blog).

Before I sign off, did I say how sore I am today. Hate stairs, my low car, sitting down, and standing up. And this is self inflicted, how sad. This better pass soon. You can check out the results at the Marathon website. Go through the searchable results, I was # 1811. You can also search by name so check out Jonas Heter, Matt Bohm, John McCoy, Sharon Lafoe, Angela Benefiel, Tralaine Benefiel.

Saturday, April 8, 2006

What Not To Wear!

New weather report.....32 at 7am which is race start time. Damn that's cold! Did I say I hate the cold. At least the sun will be out. Glad I brought lots of clothes to choose from. Looks like I will have to layer them all on. ;-)


It is unbelievable how calm I am about this run. The expo was fun and exciting. Picking up my number made me stop and think......"am I really doing this" and you know what.....I am. Can't wait. Hope I have friends to run with.....hope I am not to slow for them but if so I know I can make it on my own (or make some quick friends on the course). Picked up a pace bib and think I might try to stick with them but if I don't then I guess I don't, it's all good.

Going to go drive the course and settle down for the night. 26.2 to go....

St. Louis Here I Come!

It is almost time to leave the house. Just imagine, tomorrow morning at this time I will have already heard the starting gun and be in the first couple of miles. I am overflowing with excitement. This is so awesome. I have everything many clothes it could snow tomorrow and I would be fine. Think the weather is going to be very chilly in the morning so all I have to do now is figure out how many layers.

Have gotten more phone calls of support. Dad's was the funniest (if you want to call it that). He called to wish me luck and followed it up with ...."you're not going to do one again are you?". Guess seeing me bonk on the 1/2 has him a bit skeptical. No bonking this time. Proper hydration, food, rest, and training should do the trick.

Must go......St. Louis here I come.

Friday, April 7, 2006

Only 3???

Just got back from my last run before the marathon and man did it feel great. Ran a little under 3, it seemed silly but did get my legs stretched out. My whole week has taken so long to go by and then this morning I woke up and realized this thing is 2 days away. I have tomorrow traveling and preparing and then bright and early Sunday morning I will take off on the longest run I have ever done. Our adventure races have been longer (11 hours) but at least you get stops during transitions to catch your breath. This is going to be constant. I am getting concerned about the weather, it seems that the morning temp is going to be below 40 and I am such a big wimp when it comes to cold. Clothing choice is going to be important so I will pack it all and decide that morning. Don't want to sweat and then get cold.......Brrrr!

The other day, Tralaine emailed and said that she thought we would be running with around 6,000 people. That is, by far, the most people I have ever been in a race with. I get to wear a time chip on my shoe and everything.....this is the real thing. How exciting......

Must finish work to start packing:-P

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Getting Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Support from my friends and family just keep pouring in. The other day Debbie put a poster on my front door reading "Go Brooke, 26.2, St. Louis Marathon". Even though I have known her now for about 7 years, both of her kids were students in my 3rd grade class, we have really become friends over the past year when we started running together. What a smile that poster brought to my face. And because of the poster, I have had phone calls and emails from people that have seen it and want to say good luck. Yesterday I received a card in the mail from my Mom #2, Diane, with a wonderful note saying how proud she and Alan are of me to accomplish this goal. My friend Carmen, a CIS in St. Louis with eMINTS, sent me a Hallmark e-card this morning reminding me she was thinking about my run and to let her know if I need anything. But the most inspirational came from Mark, Zen Running Master. He should write a book he is so good at this.....

"I am excited for you - and I continue to believe the very best is possible for you this weekend. Reaching this type of milestone in our lives is something commendable - for many reasons. It speaks well of our maturity - our discipline - our desire. It is a testimony of the deepening and broadening our our skill and talents. It shows a deepening of our ability to accept a difficult challenge. Each of these components stretches us, causes us to get outside our comfort zone, and helps us create and believe in other possibilities."
And he ended with....

"...Wish I was running alongside you each step of the way. Just know that even though I am not there with you in physical presence, I will be with you mentally, and in complete support."
How can you not succeed with that in your head??? :-)

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

The Finish is in Sight

My first marathon is coming up in 4 days and I can see the finish. My Zen Running Master, 1st marathon trainer,aka Mark, says that at this point I need to visualize myself running over the finish line with a smile on my face, successful, accomplishing my goal. What a journey this goal has been. I just took up running a little more than 4 years ago inspired by Tralaine, my sister, who herself had taken up running and had even run a few marathons.

My goal of racing in an adventure race was inspired by the EcoChallenge, created by Mark Burnett, I, along with Michael (husband), Bob (friend), and Andy (brother-in-law) have participated in 4 races as a team finishing 3. During that time I raced in a few 5K's before letting Tralaine, my sister, talk me into trying a 1/2 Marathon. She said if I could do the Adventure Race then I could do a half-marathon.

In September of 2004, I competed in my first 1/2 Marathon in just over 2 hours with Tralaine by my side talking me through the whole thing. Setting a goal of under two hours the next year was not such a victorious showing After bonking horribly in that 1/2 marathon last September I decided to one up myself and go for the whole more 1/2's, it was time to push my limits and take the cake. Show that a bonk couldn't stop my natural progression. I picked a race and ask for some guidance from a new friend, Mark, from the Y. Unfortunately, I tried for Dallas last December but had to take a break due to a knee injury.

But now I have tried again and I can taste the finish. The official training started Christmas eve with an 8 mile run in a cold mist and I worked my way up to 22 miles. My runs have been in the cold, wind, and rain, sometimes alone and sometimes with friends and family but always knowing I had support. Recognizing that I have so many people behind me guarantees my success. So I am not just visualizing myself running across the finish, I see Tralaine with me but everyone else cheering me on from the sidelines.....Michael, Mark, Debbie, Jonas, Matt, Mom, Charlie, Dad, Beck, Grandma & Grandpa Roberts, Diane, and Alan and everyone else that has asked why, how far, or when about my running.