Thursday, May 26, 2011

So much to tell!

Well, it's been an eventful whirlwind of a couple weeks for me! I think I'll start from the beginning, and work my way back up to what's going on today!

First off, I owe a very big thank you to everyone who was out on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis on May 12th for the Twin Cites 1-mile! As many people know, this event serves as the site for the USA 1-mile championships- having this event at home is such a treat to us local professionals, let me tell you! This event is so well-planned and organized, having waves of local and visiting runners of all ages running through the wide open streets of Minneapolis all night. It is by far, my favorite event from last year, and ranks at the top this season too so far!

I wasn't so sure if this race was going to be my favorite event this year as I went about the earlier part of that day. I developed a sore throat, some congestion, and all-over achiness that morning, and to be perfectly honest, had more of a sense of impending doom than I did excitement as I was making my way to the race course. If it were any other race, I probably would have taken myself out, but I couldn't stand the thought of missing this great opportunity to run at home in such a high caliber race, especially since I had ALL my parents (both mine and Ben's) coming to watch the race. :) I figured "mind over matter" would be the best approach to this race, so when the gun went off, I pushed the way my body felt out of my mind, and instead tried to soak up the energy of the race, and all the fans that lined the streets the entire way. When we reached the 3/4 mile mark, I was still in the game, but was seriously concerned that I may have burnt all the fuel I was going to have, but it is that final 400m of the race where the crowds were erupting with energy. I counted bodies, and noticed I was sitting in 6th place with maybe 300m to go. I finished 6th last year, so I decided I want to improve on that finish, and at east get one more person. Well, I caught the one, and then saw a few more racers not too far ahead of me, from there to the finish line, it was a momentum shift for me gaining, and others coming back to me. The best way I can describe it is it was effortless and magical. I love days like that. Long story short, I managed to nip my very talented teammate, Gabriele Anderson, right before the line to place 2nd in the race.

I was already elated with this finish, but then the cherry on top was to look to my left, and see the team I coach, the Apple Valley high school distance girls, all there, decked out in their gold warm ups, ringing cowbells and smacking around inflatable noise makers that they picked up along the course...I almost cried I was so happy I could do them proud that night. I don't think there was a single runner out there, not even the returning Champion from the men's race, David Torrence, who had more energetic fans than I did...I am so lucky.

The day after this amazing race, I boarded my plane to China...still sick...I was that girl everyone hates to sit by on the plane, sneezing and sniffling the whole way...dang. I got there, raced, and headed right back (as I wrote about in previous blogs). I got home Monday afternoon, unpacked, did laundry, and quickly re-packed to leave Thursday for a trip to L.A. for the Occidental High Performance meet. Luckily by this time my cold was finally breaking, and I was excited to be going to a place with almost guaranteed good weather, a fast field of competitors, and no excuses.

Well, almost no excuses. My teammate Gabe and I both had brought small rolly carry-on bags for this trip, but at the gate in the Minneapolis Airport, the airline had to check our bags because the overhead compartments on the plane were all filled. When we arrived in Burbank, California...our bags did not. Luckily, US Airways volunteered to compensate us for any essential items we needed to buy while we waited for our bags to arrive later that night. We still hadn't run yet, and as professional runners there for a meet..."a business trip" per se...we decided new running shoes, socks, shorts, and a shirt were necessary items. We found a cool running shop in Pasadena called "A Snail's Pace", and for the first time in a long time for the both of us, we bought running stuff. I in my Asics and Gabe in her Brooks gear. We felt like we were donning costumes (yes, again with the costumes!) as we ripped the tags off every single piece of clothing we put on to go for a run. Well, the expected arrival of our bags that night was delayed, they didn't come the next morning...and as the day went on, we began to get seriously nervous about whether we'd get our spikes, uniforms, (and for me, my teddy bear, Roscoe!) before the race the next day. FINALLY, a little over 24 hours after landing in Cali, our bags were delivered to the hotel, and we were able to visit the track for our pre-meet workout in our spikes and clean clothes...haha.

The next day, race day, arrived quickly because of all the stress and distraction of losing our bags. The night cooled down, the wind died down, and as expected, the night was setting up for a great track meet. I had discovered a song on "my iPod" (I put that in quotes because it is actually not my iPod...Ben found it on the ground on a run this past winter, and despite our attempts we couldn't locate the owner of it, so we kind of inherited a new iPod, and new music with that of course!), but this song I discovered, called Walking on Air by Kerli, had perfect lyrics that were inspiring to me that day:

"Do you know what it's all about? Are you brave enough to figure out...know that you cam set the world on fire...if you're strong enough to leave your doubt. Feel it...breathe it...believe it...and you'll be walking on air. Go try....go high...and you'll be walking on air.."

From this song, I decided my mantra for those race was to be strong and courageous, to leave my doubt and see if I could ealk on air, so to speak. I took off from the start, following ckosely behind our rabbit who took the race out in about 57 seconds for the first quarter. I did my best to keep the pedal down, and battle all the way to the finish, placing 4th in a fast race, and running 2:01.08. My PR is 2:01.05, which I ran back in 2007, so getting back within a breath of my best time ever was so encouraging and exciting for me.

I look forward to giving another go at the 800 next Wednesday night in St Louis!

And now, onto other news...

Ben and I began our house hunting quest earlier this year, and really ramped it up this week. We visited 8 houses on Tuesday morning, and at the end of the day, just one was standing out as "the one". We called our parents, and set up another visit to the home, today (Thursday). But, last night, we got a call from our realtor letting us know that another party will be putting an offer in on the house today...and if we wanted a chance at this house, we had to out in an offer of our own. Long story short, we decided to go for it. We got the paperwork sent 12 minutes after 12 noon, when the meeting with the seller was supposed to begin. Included in our paperwork, I felt impelled to write a note, letting the sellers know how perfect this house would be as our first home, and that we would take good care of the place, just as the previous owners clearly had. A few hours of waiting later, we got the call that they had made their decision, and we got it! They said our offer was very close in value to the other offer, but my note is what tipped the scale. So cool. :) As long as everything goes well with inspection, etc., our closing date shall be July 29th, and then we've got ourself a home! Yay for no more pouring our money into rent! Needless to say, we are very excited for this new all we have to do is get some furnuture to fill the place up a bit! :)

Ok, so that ends the saga of my life these past couple weeks...feels like a storybook to me. I am so very aware of how blessed I am for my health, for my family and friends, for my job(s), for my faith, and for my future that I can hardly imagine getting any better...but will always dream and hope it does...because, really, what else can any of us do, but live in positive expectation for the future.

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