First of all, and most importantly, I would like to say THANK YOU to each and every one of you who supported my Austin Half experience (whether it was via a donation, by supporting me to make it to Austin and have a wonderful weekend, or by virtually cheering me on). It was YOU that kept me motivated and determined enough to finish the Half Marathon. Together we’ve raised an amazing $1722 for LIVESTRONG!! YAY!!!
When I first told folks I signed up for the Austin Half Marathon, people thought it was a crazy idea. Ha, they probably were right on that assessment. See, I trained for the half for three month only (in a place that is very FLAT), and I ran while Northern Germany was affected by a Siberian cold weather front. Those of you that have been to Austin know that Austin is neither cold, nor flat 😉 In fact, when we made it to the start line, most runners were bundled up in layers of clothing, while I was wearing my Team LIVESTRONG running shirt and capri pants (and layers of sunscreen).
It struck me as funny that everyone from Texas loved the “cool temperatures” – LAF’s president and CEO Doug Ulman mentioned as much after the marathon, then looked at me and went on saying “…well except for you!”. Ha, it was indeed a challenge – much more so than the hills. I was a bit afraid how I’d handle those hills, but I managed to run or at least jog all of them and didn’t walk them (except for a few metres of the last big hill – I just needed to catch my breath on that one, but was surprisingly fine otherwise).
The times I did stop to walk were the water stops and the times people, cheering runners on from the sidelines, were making comments about my yellow tutu. There were quite a few runners who were dressed up in some crazy way, but somehow wearing a yellow tutu prompted people into yelling crazy comments, inventing crazy chants or even asking to get a photograph with me 😉
One of the most humbling moment of being able to finish a half marathon was seeing other athletes and their determination to conquer their challenges. I jogged past this athlete on one of the hills, and how can you not yell “You’re AMAZING – keep going!” from the top of your lungs?! I’ll never forget crossing the finish line. It was weird, because for the first time since cycling/walking/running for Team LIVESTRONG there was no yellow rose waiting for me at the finish line. However, I did see a familiar face as Liz Kreutz was waiting just past the finish line and took several pictures of the back of my shirt (this is a picture I took prior to the run).
And, I saw my AMAZING Team LIVESTRONG mentor Barb at the LIVESTRONG tent (who believed I could finish the 1/2 when I didn’t… and who got me hooked on #plankaday – ha, just check out her blog http://runningstrongforhope.blogspot.de/2012/02/planking-strong-for-hope.html and you probably will be, too).Oh, just wait until you read about our plankaday adventure at the LIVESTRONG Assembly ;-))
Well, my hiatus from cycling is about to end (finally), so signed up for the Philly Challenge in August (http://laf.livestrong.org/goto/survivor) and the Austin Challenge in October (http://laf.livestrong.org/goto/canvasproject).
I’m also very excited about a new “art” project for our young adults with cancer group, called the Germany for LIVESTRONG Canvas Project (find us on FB or check out our blog http://thecanvasproject.wordpress.com/). We create one-of-a-kind tribute canvasses to honor, remember or celebrate people affected by cancer for a $28 donation (plus shipping) to LIVESTRONG. We’re overwhelmed by the reaction of folks who already received their canvas – it is so meaningful for us to work on these, and to see how people treasure them is priceless!!
Again, THANK YOU for everyone who supported my running journey – I will keep running (and actually signed up for a few races in Germany) and will keep this blog to share my adventures (on a more regular basis – sorry for the lack of posts over the last couple of months)! Come run with me!!