Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween + Pug-O-Ween

Happy Halloween! I absolutely LOVE holidays and dressing up, so Halloween is one of my faves! Kyle is a bit of a fun hater when it comes to holidays so I haven't gone "all out" for Halloween since we started dating. Gah! Not ok. Last year I sported this froggy look for a Halloween race.

Ollie and my favorite unofficial holiday is Pug-O-Ween and it was this past Sunday! I like to use all my costume enthusiasm on Ollie's costume (see 2012: chiapug), but this year I didn't know if we'd be able to go until the last minute so I didn't want to spend a ton of time and $$$ on her get up. I found her a cute secondhand toddler ladybug costume at Savers a couple of weeks ago, and realized that I had all the makings of matching costume in my closet. I found some wings and a headband and the Ladypug duo was formed.

A trio of adults dressed as pugs won the group contest, but we took 2nd for our efforts.

And even cooler, the @pugsofinstagram account picked up our photo and it's safe to say I'll never get that many likes/comments on a photo EVER.

Here are some pics of Ollie having fun with the other puggies.

Group contest line up.

Pretty lady. Pug.

There's a lot of butt sniffing at pug events. FYI.

We're dressing up at work today too, so stay tuned for more pictures!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

November Goals

November Goals
  • Group run once/week
  • 1 hard fitness class/week
  • 1 restorative yoga class/week
  • Strong 6 mile race on Turkey Day
  • Win NaNoWriMo!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Weekly Reads: Driving With the Top Down

Driving with the Top Down is the most recent book from Beth Harbison. Her books always go on a must-read list for me. They're good chick lit, summertime reads. Last summer's book was just so-so in my opinion, but this one knocked it out of the park! I like light reads with romantic elements, but I like them to still have some good oomph and substance if that makes sense. So picky, I know! I flew through this one and genuinely cared about each of the characters. Definitely check it out.

My rating: 4.5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

Three women, two weeks, one convertible: sometimes life doesn't take you in the direction you expect...

Colleen Bradley is married with a teenage son, a modest business repurposing and reselling antiques, and longtime fear that she was not her husband’s first choice. When she decides to take a road trip down the east coast to check out antique auctions for her business, she also has a secret ulterior motive. Her one-woman mission for peace of mind is thrown slightly off course when sixteen year old Tamara becomes her co-pilot. The daughter of Colleen’s brother-in-law, Tamara is aware that when people see her as a screw-up, but she knows in her heart that she’s so much more. She just wishes her father could see it, too. 

The already bumpy trip takes another unexpected turn when they stop at the diner that served as Colleen’s college hangout and run into her old friend, Bitty Nolan Camalier. Clearly distressed, Bitty gives them a story full of holes: angry with her husband, she took off on her own, only to have her car stolen. Both Colleen and Tamara sense that there’s more that Bitty isn’t sharing, but Colleen offers to give Bitty a ride to Florida.

So one becomes two becomes three as Colleen, Tamara, and Bitty make their way together down the coast. It’s a road trip fraught with tension as Tamara’s poor choices come back to haunt her and Bitty’s secrets reach a boiling point. With no one to turn to but each other, these three women might just discover that you can get lost in life but somehow, true friends provide a roadmap to finding what you’re really looking for.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Marathon Recovery

After the Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon, I gave myself two weeks of recovery.

Day 1 (Sunday) was full recovery, minus walking down the dock (OMG SO MANY STAIRS!) to take pictures of the sunrise. And then sitting in a car for a trillion hours driving home.

Day 2 (Monday) was another full recovery day of doing nothing other than snuggling with the pug. I did make the trek downtown to pick up celebratory sushi and sign up for the 605 Running Co. group! I had to park really far away from the running store, so I got in at least 4 blocks of walking.

Day 3 (Tuesday) was another recovery day back at work. I had two storytimes in the morning, so I got in lots of stretching/dancing with the kiddos. I did sit out of the crowd favorite jumping and counting for my knees' sake.

Day 4 (Wednesday) I finally went out for my first run after a foam rolling session. I did 2.7 miles of slow jogging with walk and stretch breaks. My knees were super stiff and painful to start, but warmed up after about a half mile of jogging. My legs felt insanely heavy.

Day 5 (Thursday) I picked up a Burlesque workout video from the library and did that for 45 minutes. It was laughable. Somewhat fun, but for the most part I felt like a fool.

Day 6 (Friday) I attended a 60 minute hot vinyasa at a nearby studio.

Day 7 (Saturday), Day 8 (Sunday), Day 9 (Monday) were all rest days. My allergies and sinuses finally caught up with me. I went to work on Saturday and went to sleep within 20 minutes of coming home. And slept for 12 hours. And repeat after work Sunday. Uff.

Day 10 (Tuesday) was another 3 mile day. My legs felt dramatically better. My knee (L) was stiff for the first couple of minutes.

Day 11 (Wednesday) I spent 60 minutes with a smile on my face in restorative yoga. By far my favorite way to spend an hour of the day.

Day 12 (Thursday), Day 13 (Friday), Day 14 (Saturday) were all rest days apparently. I had an emergency "Help me find a dress to wear for my wedding reception party!!" on Thursday, Friday Kyle and I actually went out with friends, and Saturday I felt the effects of Friday night out with friends and then had the aforementioned wedding reception party. Woof.

Day 15 (Sunday) I finally convinced myself to go to yoga sculpt. And it almost killed me. I'm sore in places I didn't know existed. Holy moly.

After yoga sculpt, I stayed around for the restorative class I'm obsessed with. Except when you destroy every muscle in your body from sculpt, restorative is anything but easy and/or recovery. Uff.


This was the gorgeous sunset as I left the studio. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Thoughts on the Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon

I had so much I wanted to add to my Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon race report, but I didn't want to make it a trillion and a half pages long. I decided to make a reflection post, more for myself, but also with some information for people considering doing this race in the future!

The course was gorgeous. It was not flat as advertised, and definitely had rollers for the majority of the race. Because 13 miles of the race were around the lake, a windy day makes a significant portion of the race unbearable. I had thought we'd get to run on a path in view of the lake, but we really didn't get to see the lake all that much. It was still gorgeous running through the trees and fall foliage.

The course wasn't as spectator friendly as I was hoping/expecting either. It was actually fairly difficult to spectate. My mom was around mile 4, but from there until 13.1 there wasn't much of an opportunity to drive along and cheer. After the halfway mark, there were no spectators until around mile 17. From 17 to the finish, spectators could drive along side you on the race route and leap frog cheering on their runners.

It was a really small race, but on a day that I s-t-ruggled, I didn't appreciate that. At least when I was dying at the Nike Women's Marathon, I had tons of people dying along side of me to keep me company. There was an entire hour of the race that I didn't see anyone except the race volunteers. For faster runners, this wouldn't be an issue at all.

In all honestly, I should've dropped to the 16 mile race or dropped completely after my knee/back/hip issues cropped up in September (the half was full at the time I was considering, otherwise that would've been perfect). I'm glad I tried so I wouldn't wonder "what if" but a marathon is hard when your training goes AMAZING. When you essentially taper for 6+ weeks, it's really really hard. Had Kyle, his parents, and my mom not planned to make the trip, I would've eaten my race fee and stayed home. But I was really really excited to have them there for it.

Sometimes I wonder if my body is meant to run marathons, given my poor performance history with them. Maybe 2015 will be spent focusing solely on building up speed, fitness, and fixing/strengthening my body to better handle the miles. I'm certainly not throwing in the towel on them, but it is certainly frustrating to think I'm on the right track with fixing my issues, only to have the same outcome.

P.S. FREE race photos! Total plus!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Aramco Houston Half Marathon Training

For the Houston Half Marathon, I've decided to do a 12 week training plan. I wanted to give myself enough time to recover from the Bemidji Marathon, but not soooooo much time that I no longer had a desire to run. I turn from motivated running beast to couch potato sloth in no time at all.

I decided to take two full weeks off from running to recover, running only when I needed some endorphins that only running can give you. And only for a few miles at a time. Instead during this period I wanted to add in yoga and strength training.

For the training cycle I plan to focus on more quality miles over quantity. I'd like to keep the strength training and yoga mixed in to the bunch as well as speed work, tempos and long runs. Since running 10-15 miles each weekend is super boring, I've swapped out some of the long runs for a tempo run, giving me two speed sessions in one week, but far enough apart during the week that my body shouldn't hate me, too badly.

This flexibility will also help me through start of winter. In the event of a blizzard/ice storm/major cold front, I can hack a 6-8 mile run with mileage at tempo pace, but I cannot hack a 12-15 mile long run.

What are you favorite workouts to do while training for a half? I'm looking for some pep to add to my routine!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

NaNoWriMo Take 2

This year will be my second shot at NaNoWriMo. For those of you unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo, it stands for National Novel Writing Month, and writers all over the world log tons of hours during the month of November to "win" the task by completing a 50,000 word novel.

Last year I attempted and failed. I wrote a fanfiction novel rekindling Eleanor and Park's (of Rainbow Rowell fame) relationship 20+ years in the future. I started off with a bang, and as I plugged away at the novel I realized that my idea was more of a novella than a novel. Novella:
a fictional prose narrative that is longer and more complex than a short story; a short novel.

I had written almost 11,000 words and realized if I ended it where I wanted to, I would only get about halfway to my word count. To stretch it to 50k words, I'd have to add a bunch of fluff to bulk it up. I chose to do neither, and went back to my towering pile of books to read that I had neglected for half the month.

But *this* year will be different!

I'm doing some NaNoWriMo events at my library to help other NaNo'ers, myself included, in succeeding in their goal. The first of which was a workshop the beginning of October led by my friend, and successful published author and numerous time NaNo winner, Lacey. I went in to the workshop hoping for inspiration and enlightenment, and I left with both.

I also left with a magical unicorn fusing of two ideas I had been tossing around in my head over the last year!!!

So with this magical unicorn idea, I'm planning to work my booty off to hit my word count. And maybe I'll even share some snippets after all is said and done.

Who's with me??? I'm jerilee40 on the site if you want to friend me so we can NaNo together!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Weekly Reads: Like No Other

Like No Other has been described as this year's Eleanor and Park, so of course I had to read it. It was told in a dual perspective and I really enjoyed learning more about Jaxon and Devorah, and especially Devorah's Hasidic upbringing.

The story didn't end as I was expecting, and that almost made me like it even more. Definitely worth a read, but E&P it's not.

My rating: 4 stars.

Summary from goodreads:

Fate brought them together. Will life tear them apart? 

Devorah is a consummate good girl who has never challenged the ways of her strict Hasidic upbringing. 

Jaxon is a fun-loving, book-smart nerd who has never been comfortable around girls (unless you count his four younger sisters). 

They've spent their entire lives in Brooklyn, on opposite sides of the same street. Their paths never crossed . . . until one day, they did. 

When a hurricane strikes the Northeast, the pair becomes stranded in an elevator together, where fate leaves them no choice but to make an otherwise risky connection. 

Though their relation is strictly forbidden, Devorah and Jax arrange secret meetings and risk everything to be together. But how far can they go? Just how much are they willing to give up? 

In the timeless tradition of West Side Story and Crossing Delancey, this thoroughly modern take on romance will inspire laughter, tears, and the belief that love can happen when and where you least expect it. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

605 Running Co. Club Member

A new running store, 605 Running Co.,  opened up in Sioux Falls this year downtown, and they have been doing a great job of hosting group runs for area runners to meet up with each other. And they carry Oiselle. So win-win, right?

Before the Sioux Falls half they announced an upcoming running team. YAY! I want to be on a team so badly. And then they announced the time requirements. Lololololz. Nope.

While flipping through instagram on the way home from the Bemidji Marathon, I saw a post announcing their Running Club! I hobbled downtown on still trashed legs Monday afternoon to sign up. I'm so excited to meet other runners in the community. Some of my favorite people are those that  I've met through running, and I'm excited to make new running buddies! I'm sure it'll only help my running as well!

When I signed up I was given a spike bag, and got to pick out a shirt to wear for races. They had adorable long sleeve and short sleeve options, and I was set on a grey one with GREEN logo when I realized, uh.. I never race in anything but a tank top. I asked if they had tank options, and they said they certainly could. So sweaty sisters thinking of signing up, you're welcome!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fitness Class Challenge

After my pre-marathon injury scare, I discovered a new yoga studio in town. They had so many cool classes I'd never even heard of, and couldn't wait until after the marathon to try them out. Now that the race is over, I'm excited to give them a try!

My challenge is to try every class they have to offer in the next 3-4 weeks. My biggest challenge when it comes to anxiety is the fear of the unknown, and this spills over into something as silly as a fitness class. Will I look weird, will I know what I'm doing, will I look weird... I'm hoping that by making myself go to a variety of classes in a short time period, I will be forced to step out of my comfort zone, learn about some new classes that I may LOVE and may help me with my running/strength/flexibility/injury prevention, and I'll get the "unknown" out of the way so I'll be excited to go more frequently.

The classes:

  • Indo Row
  • Yoga Sculpt
  • BarreAmped Fire
  • Tabata Row
  • BarreAmped Bootcamp
  • Fusion Yoga
  • Shockwave Express
  • Row & Core
  • Power Vinyasa Yoga
  • BarreAmped
  • Power Row
  • Row X
  • Restorative Yoga
  • Shake & Flow
  • STOTT Pilates Athletic Conditioning
  • Hot Pilates
Whoa, that's way more classes than I was expecting. Maybe I'll shoot for 75% of them by Thanksgiving. Has anyone ever done rowing classes before? They sound terrifying!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Houston Race Decision + Spring Race Plan

When I signed up for the Houston half marathon lottery, I was really torn about signing up for the half or the full. I was happy to see they had a transfer option for enough time after the Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon for me to determine if I needed to "OMG RUN ANOTHER MARATHON ASAP" or if I wanted to stick with the half marathon.

With some hip/knee issues cropping up toward the tail end of marathon training, the half marathon was the obvious choice. And since my number one priority for the race weekend, and trip down south is spending time with Jenn and Megan, this'll help keep me from being insane. :)

So right now the plan for the spring is to run a bunch of half marathons. Houston in January, maybe Get Lucky in March, and Brookings in May (Green Bay also in May TBD based on flight prices).

And a spring marathon?

Or a marathon in 2015 period....?

Is still under review.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bemidji Cabin Weekend

My race weekend started on Thursday. Kyle worked until noon, so I got to spend the morning running errands. And somehow managed to sneak in a manicure appointment and a trip to my favorite coffee shop. Hashtag priorities.

When Kyle was finally off work, I somehow managed to convince him to take me through the Starbucks drive thru for MOAR COFFEE PLZ and Ollie enjoyed the long long drive thru line.

Poor Ollie didn't realize she wasn't coming along with us, so she was really mad when we dropped her off with Kyle's brother for the weekend. Even though she loves her uncle.

The drive was long and boring, and I made a crucial and poor decision to deviate from the pre-determined dinner plan (I researched all nearby restaurants and menus for hours before the weekend, I heart food), and it ended up being a bust. Except for this monster beer. They were joking when they said tall. Geez.

We got to our lake cabin resort after dark, so we ended up just going to our cabin and playing some card games. At what felt like midnight, I told Kyle we had to crash so I could get some rest. Only to realize it was actually 9:15. Whoa, it gets dark out in the wilderness.

The next morning I woke up before the sun and had to snag some pics of the fog rolling over the lake.

Life goals: lake cabin.

Kyle and I set out to explore some of the surrounding communities, but not before some selfies on the dock. Obvs.

On our way to a sporting goods store (per Kyle's request, obviously), I had an inkling that Paul Bunyan was nearby and I made Kyle stop and take a picture with me.

After grabbing lunch, I decided we should do some more driving and head to Bemidji to the expo. The race started so late, I was planning to just pick up my bib the morning of the race.

I'm really thankful we went, because I was much more relaxed race morning knowing I was ready to go.

You all know how Saturday went, since a late start marathon and a slow time means that the race was

Sunday I sucked it up and walked down the giant staircase down to the dock to catch the sunrise. And my mom snapped this pic of us down there. Precious.

Sweet wooden "medal"(?) over the water during the sunrise.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Weekly Reads: Glory O'Brien's History of the Future

Glory O'Brien's History of the Future is A.S. King's newest YA book. She is such an amazing novelist, and I wish she had been writing books when I was a teen. I received an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review, and a chance to promote it to my teens if I liked it. Spoiler alert: I loved it.

The premise of the book is a bit far fetched (Glory drinks bat dust one night and can see people's futures afterward) but it wasn't done in a way that made me obsess over the insanity of it. It deals with some typical teenager issues: sex, STDs, post-high school plans and obsessing, friendships, relationships, family issues, but it is so much more than a regular coming of age story.

Read this now. And then read it again. It's that good.

My rating: 5 stars.

Summary from goodreads:


Graduating from high school is a time of limitless possibilities—but not for Glory, who has no plan for what's next. Her mother committed suicide when Glory was only four years old, and she’s never stopped wondering if she will eventually go the same way...until a transformative night when she begins to experience an astonishing new power to see a person’s infinite past and future. From ancient ancestors to many generations forward, Glory is bombarded with visions—and what she sees ahead of her is terrifying.

A tyrannical new leader raises an army. Women’s rights disappear. A violent second civil war breaks out. And young girls vanish daily, sold off or interned in camps. Glory makes it her mission to record everything she sees, hoping her notes will somehow make a difference. She may not see a future for herself, but she’ll do everything in her power to make sure this one doesn’t come to pass.

In this masterpiece about freedom, feminism, and destiny, Printz Honor author A.S. King tells the epic story of a girl coping with devastating loss at long last—a girl who has no idea that the future needs her, and that the present needs her even more.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Race Report: Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon

I woke up race morning an hour before my alarm, and ready to rock. My stomach felt good (this never happens), I slept well (this never happens either), and my body felt good (this sometimes happens). The race didn't start until 9:40am, and we were staying an hour away from Bemidji. I had a ton of time to relax, drink water, choke down my pop tarts (pre-race is the only time I'm not starving, and have to force feed myself, it's annoying) and get ready to go.

Kyle and I hit the road, and two emergency potty stops later (I guess I did good on the hydration front!) and we were there. I did my warm ups and stretches inside, GU'd about 15 minutes before the race (I never do this, but since I only had 1.5 poptarts eaten, a late race start, and potentially a long day of running ahead of me, I thought it couldn't hurt!). I'll definitely plan to do this again for marathons, as normally I'm starving at mile 3 and throw off my whole GU ingestion plan.

Kyle's parents, my mom, and her friend Kristi joined us inside and before too long it was time to head outside for the race start! The field size was small: less than 200 total. The pace groups had 5-10 people around each of them. I lined up behind the 4:30 group and we were off! 

I wanted to start in the 10:30s and assess how I was feeling. Assessment: I feel like I'm walking. YAY! Legs feel great. It's cool, and I ditch my gloves at mile one. I expected it to be colder. Hmm. So did everyone else wearing parkas/pants/hats/long sleeves, etc.

The trees are beautiful and we're running on a pretty bike path with trees on either side of us. I check my garmin to see what this "easy" pace is clocking in at. 10:15-10:30. Yay! The first few miles were super flat, and exactly what I was expecting the race course to be like.

1. 10:22
2. 10:27
3. 10:20

I got to see my mom around mile 4 and that gave me a huge burst of energy. This is fun! I have spectators for a marathon. Yayzies!!

She snagged a bunch of great pics (foreshadowing: Thankfully she got these pics, because I wasn't having nearly as much fun the next time she saw me).

From here we took a slight gradual downhill to somewhere, I got really turned around in this section, and I started counting down to seeing Kyle and his family in about 2 miles. I focused on form on the downhill section and really spent the whole race up to this point making sure my booty was doing some of the work and I was rewarded with speedier miles than I'm used to seeing.

Mile 6 came and went without seeing Kyle and his family. We were treated to some HILLS and even some sandy/rocky miles that were also on hills. What the...??

4. 10:08
5. 10:22
6. 10:31
7. 10:08

We got to the turn around area around mile 8, hill after hill after hill, and finally a runner next to me said "I thought this course was supposed to be flat??" To which I thanked her for stating that, because I was beginning to think I was delusional.

When we hit the turn around and a little downhill stretch I realized my legs were starting to feel taxed. Uh oh. On another uphill, my right hip flexor started to smart a bit. When we got to the packed sand part of the course, on the uphill, everyone ahead of me started power walking up it, and I joined them.

8. 10:24
9. 11:00
10. 11:11

Mile 10 came and went with no Kyle and his family and I started freaking out that I wouldn't meet up with them on the course. I had Kyle set to give me round 2 of my GUs and some sport beans if my stomach was revolting. Ensue panic.

The next two miles were super hilly, and with my hip flexor stabbing me on the uphills, I was power walking up and running the downhills.

My overall pace started to slip and I started to freak out a bit.

I finally saw Kyle and his parents just before the halfway mark and I tossed my arm sleeves and grabbed my GUs. According to Kyle I looked really strong here, but I felt majorly defeated. ALREADY. Oy Jerbear. I saw my mom a few seconds later, and my collapsed form in the pictures says it all, uff.

11. 11:35
12. 11:57
13. 11:33

I think I went through the half around 2:20.

I started to feel really defeated at this point. Going in to the race, I thought I would finish in the low 4:40s. I knew there was no way I could replicate those early 8 mile paces and that I was fading fast and hurting. I threw myself a gorgeous fall foliage filled pity party for much of mile 14. :/

This stretch was a very long and very gradual uphill section, completely closed off from spectators. I was also at the back of the race pack, so there were very few in front of me or behind me. I decided to turn off my music and just enjoy the day the best I could. 

Around this point I got passed by a guy in a green shirt that said "Fear the turtle 26.2" on the back. He was walking and jogging and I decided to join him. Thank goodness for that man. We finally made it to the top of the long incline and started in to my favorite part of the course: a tree covered secluded trail. It was so stinking pretty, I wished that I was just out on a nature hike with my camera. I continued my run on flat/downhills, walk uphills through this few mile stretch, leap frogging with the turtle all the while. Does that make me the hare? Hmmm...

I was supposed to see my mom and Kyle and his family during this area, but silly me didn't realize I was asking them to spectate in a wildlife refuge area that would require a MN park pass. Oops. Good thing it was beautiful!

Around mile 16 we ended up on the shoulder of the road coming out of a camp site and stayed on the shoulder of a road through the rest of the race. Dislike. During my 17 I came barreling down a hill to find Kyle and his family there. Yay! I asked Kyle to walk with me for a bit, but he didn't quite understand me. I told him I was looking at running a 5 hour marathon, so not to be shocked by my slower paces, to which he replied "Well pick it up!" Ohhhhh I hadn't thought about doing that..... :P This comment will take second place to when I called him at mile 18 of NWM crying because I was in so much pain, and his reply was, "What?? You're not done YET??" Didn't help. :)

14. 13:23
15. 12:53
16. 14:07
17. 12:37

I left him and kept running only to run into my mom a short while later! 

She had been waiting forever to get a pic of me in front of the lake, and a car went in front of her just as I was in front of her. Here I am checking out the white caps on the water. It was windy!

To my surprise my mom jumped in to run with me for a bit! Again, I wish someone had gotten a picture of this! 

After this surge of energy, I started to really struggle again.

Miles 18 to 22 were a black pit of despair. My hip flexor pain had transferred into knee pain and I was struggling with a capital S. When I saw Kyle's mom at mile 21 I asked for ibuprofen but she didn't have any. I asked at the next aid station and they said they only had aspirin and could only give it out if I was experiencing chest pain.  Um... I have chest pain??

These miles were the worst because there was no one in front of me and no one behind me. Turtle guy passed me around mile 20 and he just kept trucking on, because I never saw him again. There weren't any runners or spectators, and the water stations were still a couple of miles apart.

A truck stopped during a particularly loooooong walk break and asked if I was doing ok. I said I was but that my knee was killing me, so I'd likely be walking it in, but I'd planned to finish. The lady said she didn't have any ibuprofen/tylenol/etc, but could get me a water. 

Like a beacon sent from the heavens, she returned what felt like days later, but in actuality was more like 10 minutes with Tylenol and water. I almost cried I was so happy. I was finally back to my run/walk strategy instead of my just long long long long walk strategy.

18. 13:04
19. 13:12
20. 14:18
21. 13:59
22. 16:27<--I may have walked this whole entire mile. :/

My mom caught up to me at mile 23 and asked if she should walk with me to the finish line. I told her, "nope! I have to run when I can!" And for the love of all things holy, I caught a second? third? twenty-seventh? wind.

I put my head down (the wind was really gusting, so this was a necessity), and just went. This was also the period that I calculated I was going to run a PW if I didn't do something immediately. It wasn't fast, but at least it resembled running!

Within a mile I ran into turtle! And I blew by him. The aid station at mile 24 asked how my knee was feeling when I was running by and I said, "great! Someone may have slipped me some stuff!" with a laugh and ran off. I heard one of the volunteers repeating what I said, and everyone laughing. Hey I can still tell jokes when almost dead, fun!

I did some more math and realized if I could run the rest of the way at my current pace, I could finish under 5:15. New last minute goal in place. Go Jerbear Go. 

I ran by the Bemidji football stadium and pretended everyone in the stands was cheering for me. I ran up to Paul and Babe and realized I only had a mile and a half to go! (Only.... lolz). 

24. 11:38
25. 11:38

I cranked up my music as loud as it would go and tried to zone out the pain. The last mile was particularly rough because there wasn't anything blocking the wind. Also I could see the Sanford Center but couldn't remember where the start/finish line was in relation to the building. I tried to "sprint" the final half mile in, but man it wasn't pretty. I started to feel like I was going to barf. I took to counting seconds left to get my mind off of things. Until I got to zero and still wasn't at the finish line yet. Ok, start back at 15!

I turned off my music for the final little stretch and heard my name over the loud speaker.

26. 10:47
.35  3:37 (10:02 pace)
I finished marathon seven in 5:14:41.