Keep Running with Cows

runningwithcowsOn Saturday I ran my first 1/2 marathon of the year. I’m trying to get into shape for my June marathon, and I enjoyed the Running with the Cows half last year.

The course is gorgeous, albeit a bit hilly, and takes runners through country roads and past, yes, cows. I highly recommend this little 1/2 marathon in Kansas because it’s challenging without killing you, extremely well organized, and totally fun. Plus you get a killer cow medal at the end. (To clarify: the medal is killer. I don’t think the cow is particularly vicious.) And you get a cool cow bell, and who couldn’t use MORE COWBELL?

My legs felt amazing and I ran up all the hills for the first half of the run. Once it warmed up a bit, I started feeling queasy, so the second half slowed me down and I ended up walking some of the hills. At least my legs felt great, but I still need to figure out how to conquer queasy when it’s warm or humid.

Even with a porta potty break and will little spring training under my belt yet, I still knocked a few minutes off my time:

2012 results: placed 82 (out of 107) women in my age group with a time of 2:26:36.4

2013 results: placed 78 (out of 114) women in my age group with a time of 2:22:02.4 (10:51/M)

I didn’t do much speed work last year. Ok, none really. Back then my goal was to run a 100-mile ultra this year, but that all changed at the end of 2012 when my daughter decided to skip another year of school and graduate in May 2013 instead of May 2015. With so little time left with my daughter at home, I don’t want to spend all of it out running every weekend, so I’m focusing on shorter runs with faster speeds. And by shorter, I mean marathon distance.

So my little baby graduates next week, and I’m starting to feel incredibly thrilled, sad, happy, depressed, excited, terrified, and melancholy. Next month is 10 years since my mother passed away and July is six years since my daughter’s father died. I’d give up all my silly medals and running shoes if they could be here for this exciting milestone in my daughter’s life.

But I can’t do that, so I guess I should keep on running.


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