I did it!!

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I am still overwhelmed by the exhaustion and emotion that was Twin Cities Marathon Sunday…48 hours ago I was pushing through the last grueling miles, uphill, in the rain.  And then I could see the Mississippi River Valley in the distance.  And then the St. Paul Cathedral.  And then the firetrucks with the flags draped over the downhill to the glorious FINISH LINE in front of the Capitol dome.

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This race definitely gets a thumbs up!

I promise I’ll find the time to write a detailed race report sometime soon.  It was a fantastic race on a (mostly) fantastic day, with a fantastic running buddy, with fantastic spectators and volunteers cheering, and I’m happy with it.  So very happy with it.  In the meantime, I just wanted to report a few post-marathon thoughts.

1. I am so very grateful for the support…during the training, from my fabulous BRF who marathoned by my side the entire way, from the spectators (family, friends, random strangers who yelled out my name to give me a lift as I ran by), the volunteers (especially at the Mile 20.6 water stop!), and each and every person who donated to my ALZ Stars charity team.  It’s not too late to donate, if you were meaning to, but hadn’t had a chance yet.

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Team Kristen – smiling (almost) the entire way!

2. I am so ridiculously proud of my niece, who killed her first marathon (I don’t think it will be her only one!) and raised money in memory of her Grandpa.  I have run two marathons…shared them both with  my nephew Jason, and one each with my nieces Johanna and Katie.  I am so happy, fortunate, and blessed to be related to these fabulous young people who keep motivating and inspiring me.  There will be more marathons with them – I’m sure of it!

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It was my second Twin Cities Marathon with my nephew Jason, and we both set PRs! It was my niece Katie’s first marathon – and I couldn’t be prouder of her!

3. My heart explodes with happiness for all of my friends who trained for and finished their FIRST marathon!  I *might* have done a little arm twisting with some of them to get them convinced to register, and now that they’re marathoners sporting their finisher shirts and medals, I hope they’re basking in their glory and won’t hold the arm twisting against me.

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Go Team Moms on the Run! Here we are ready to head to the starting corrals!

4. “Trust the Training” works.  I have never been more focused or more determined in training for any race.  I was a slave to the prescribed paces in my training plan.  I could count on one hand the number of runs I skipped or modified (even with an Achilles injury for several weeks in the middle of training!).  I didn’t know if I could maintain the marathon pace that my training plan said I could for 26.42 miles (yeah, 26.2 isn’t far enough for me – but I’m getting better at running the tangents!) – but I could, and I did.  Check out my results.  I even have photographic evidence and video proof that I had it in me to finish strong!

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5. I love the long run.  Even when I hate the long run (Miles 22-25 are TOUGH!), I wasn’t even across the finish line yet when I had forgotten the pain of those miles and was running on pure endorphins.  A few years ago I never would have imagined it.  Marathons?!  Yes, that’s with an “S” at the end. Me?!  You betcha!

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6. I LOVE Minneapolis and St. Paul.  We live in a beautiful area, with beautiful lakes and a great big river, with gorgeous Fall colors, and the people…runners, spectators, volunteers, and race staff – are classy and second to none.

262_mile-24Marathon #2 is in the books.  Twin Cities Marathon is my favorite race.  Hands down.  Stay tuned for the details…and in the meantime – THANK YOU for getting me to the starting line and across the finish line.  It means more to me than I can adequately find the words to describe.

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