Sunday, October 30, 2011

It's almost over, can you believe it?

This has been a rewarding experience for me. I'm so grateful to everyone who donated money and supported me in my running as well.

This has been a learning year for me as a runner and I've become hooked on the run/walk/run. I ran three miles yesterday morning with a running partner - the running club is new to me. This morning I ran 5-miles with her as a group of my friends gathered for a race this morning.

This was the first race I've done the 4 minutes running and 1 minute walking for time (as opposed to running for the finish as I did with the half marathon). My time was great! I finished the five miles in 50 minutes and 54 seconds (50:54), which is just seconds over a 10-minute pace. That means I ran really hard during the 4-minute segments.

But this project of mine has been about far more than running. This has been about some kids in Tanzania who have been affected by AIDS and are living in orphanages.

In a study done in 2002 of 41 orphans in Tanzania, 34% had contemplated suicide in the previous 12 months. They go to bed hungry, the basic needs are unmet, and they internalize problems, which can lead to mental health problems. Education is one route for employment that doesn't need to be bolstered by unprotected sexual activity in exchange for money. Education increases a child's opportunities in many areas and may help to keep them out of the hands of people who want them to fight wars as child soldiers, vulnerable to every risk imaginable.

I am only a small amount short of my goal. This has been rewarding. Thank you for being a part of it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Race photos! Or: The camera hates me

I will need to check with the powers that be, but I believe I have reached my financial goal for this project! Let there be rejoicing!

You may notice I still need to run 9 miles. I have a race on October 30 that's a 5-mile, but I may decide to do the 5k that morning. Maybe it just depends on the weather. Let's say I run 3 miles. That leaves me six miles I need to run this week. I'm running this evening, but I don't know how long. 

I promised some running photos. They're all incredibly awful, so don't say I didn't warn you. This is me and Tami coming into the finish line. I have the gloves in my left hand and the crazy hair going on. I'm in two shirts. I had planned to take off the long-sleeved shirt, but I never needed to. More on this in a moment.

This is the two of us at the finish line. I like the heat sheets because I've always needed them in the past. I had a cardiac treadmill test last December and the tech told me from what she saw in the results and the at the end of my test, that I need to sit down after a race. She said the way it makes me feel is because I've stopped and my heart recovers so quickly, it sort of throws my body into a moment or two of confusion as to what's going on. I have never passed out, but she said I could. At the end of the this race, though, I ended up not needing to sit down because why? 

Right. I didn't try to kill myself out on the course. In case you missed the message. Please keep up.

I am smiling in the horrible photo below. So is Tami. I think we're happy, but perhaps we're being witty. Maybe both. 

We were pretty darn pleased with ourselves. Note to self: do something about the bangs when they get too long. 

Here's a finish line photo from last month in Ohio. I look determined in this photo, which must be why it's still in the collection. I don't remember doing anything violent or scary, but it seems to me the worst of the photos have been burned disappeared.

Lastly, I forgot to point out how crooked my bib number is. I was getting into the higher miles when I realized I wasn't feeling warm enough to take off my shirt, so I began the process of transferring my bib to my outer shirt. It's a bit of a running challenge to do this - the sort of thing I didn't practice in months of training. Obviously. Because it's super crooked.

But if they can't see my bib number, they can't assign my beautiful photos and video on

 In case you'd care to stalk super ugly photos of running.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Last weekend, I ran the IMT Des Moines Marathon and I wanted to wait before I did a recap of the event. In the meantime, I read someone else’s recap of the event that evening and it occurred to me that he wrote it much as I once would have: stride, pace, pain, mileage, etc.

But this race!!! 

This race was meant to be different. There was a lot of hand-wringing on my part as you all know [sheepish]. My goals were different than I had set for any other race. 

I didn’t feel well the week before the race, but I suspect that sort of helped to make me happy with my decision to have fun and not run the half marathon for my finish time. I’m not feeling inspired right now to be entertaining or witty (as clearly I usually am), so I’ll just run down some bullet points:
  • It was the best race I've ever run!
  • I had fun. My overall pace was 11:56, but I don’t know how fast I ran because my running partner, Tami, and I ran four minutes and walked one minute. Also, I was wearing someone else's Garmin and it was set to different measurements than I use on mine. This was probably a blessing in disguise because I couldn't continually check my pace. 
  • Got there early without a rush.
  • Ran back to my car to get my cell phone. Warm-up! 
  • Met up with friends from my running club.
  • Saw the Grim Reaper at the start, hugged him later near the finish line.
  • Mugged for the photographers a couple times rather than having all my photos look as though I'm trying to wreck myself.
  • Forgot my gloves at the start line, so I picked up a dark blue pair from the street right in front of the State Capitol and wore them almost the whole time.  [I have no shame] They’re Roosevelt Rough Riders blue, so I’ll wear them to the football game this Friday!
  • My Garmin watch wouldn't latch onto a satellite, so I wore my friend Cindy’s watch. She’s just the most amazing person to have around on race day. 
  • We hoped to match strides with the winners of the full marathon as they lapped us, but we’re pretty sure they took three or four steps to half of one of ours. It was a sort of blur.
  • Eight records were set on the day including a 5K in 15:05, which is a 3.1 miles in 15 minutes and 5 seconds. Amazing! That's 4 minutes and 51 seconds per mile. Can you imagine? 
  • Crossed the finish line after seeing Cindy and my friend Ann, who rode around the course route on her bicycle. I got hugs and a banana. Both very helpful for energy.
  • Enjoyed a band called The Snacks at the finish line. Wow! They were slightly insane and completely enjoyable.
  • ATE FOOD! I managed to eat BBQ and other snacks including beer. It never bothered my stomach because I didn't run myself to death in this race.
  • Laughed. I laughed quite a bit. Remarkable: I'd like to replicate that for every race. 
  • Stayed almost until the last participant crossed the finish line. I’d like to say I stayed for the entire thing, but I conked out. It was after 3pm and although the course was supposed to close after seven hours, they stood around and waited - and THAT is why the IMT Des Moines Marathon is such an amazing event in my humble but accurate opinion.
  • After the race, I didn't cry, I didn’t feel like crying and I had fun. Also, sore? I was not.
  • I don't have photos yet, but I will post a couple when I get them. 

This year’s race was easily the best race I’ve had even though my finish time was the least impressive of any run I’ve ever participated in. I may have to rethink the ‘run faster’ approach. While I didn't give it my all, I'm happy. I think giving it my all may be limited to 5k races in the future. I'll keep you posted. [smirk]

Now to begin winter running. Fun? no. Challenging? yes.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Race day is almost here!

This Sunday I'll be run/walk/running through town, Water Works Park and Gray's Lake then back into downtown. I'm really looking forward to it. Here's the map of both the marathon and the half. They connect into each other, so I will be on the course when the runners fighting for the prize pass by. That's always a big deal and it's the only time I get within shouting distance of an elite athlete. 

Don't tell anyone from out of town, but the course, although apparently considered to be flat & fast, has hills. Nice long killer hills. For those of you who don't know, I love hills. However, the half route is, in point of fact, flat. 

You can click on the map to embiggen it. 
If you don't know Des Moines, you don't realize what a beautiful course it is. 
Please come visit and I will show you around. Free offer. 

My goals for this race stand from the last post with the exception that my time will be around 2:40:00. If I run the entire distance with my running friend from the club, I may be at this or later. If I break away or (heaven forbid!) she hurts a lot, I may be in sooner.

Either way, I'd better not be crying again. 

Here is an article that was published in today's Des Moines Register (local section). They included this photo of me and my co-worker from last year's run. He didn't know I had submitted it. Oops. He has a good sense of humor...

Why do I run with my chin in the air? 

When Caron Osberg of Urbandale lines up at the start of the IMT Des Moines Marathon on Sunday, she’ll be on familiar territory. This will be her fourth time taking part in the event.

Osberg, 46, a recruiter for technology firm QCI, walked the 26.2-mile full marathon route in 2008, then walked the 13.1-mile half in 2009 and ran the half last year. She’s running the half again this year.

Although her 2010 time of 2 hours and 12 minutes easily landed her in the top half of her age division, Osberg said she felt hesitation at first.

“It took me a year to stop being intimidated by other runners,” Osberg said. “I know now that everyone who crosses the finish line is a winner.”

That’s an attitude race director Chris Burch hopes is contagious.

“Our race isn’t just about the elite runners who take home the prize money,” Burch said. “The vast majority of our athletes are people like Caron, who work hard to get to race day but whose lives don’t center on running. Without them, we wouldn’t have a race.”

Osberg runs with the IMT Des Moines Marathon Running Club on Saturday mornings and loves the routes that take her through downtown Des Moines.

“There's so much energy and so much to look at as you run past the artwork, the beautiful landscaping, the buildings, the gardens,” she said. But her own neighborhood offers opportunities, too.

“I spend most of my time there running routes as I need them: short, long, looping, hills, flat,” she said. “Urbandale has every route I need for training and for fun.”

— Elizabeth Keest Sedrel for the IMT Des Moines Marathon