My First Ever Half Marathon …

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!!!

A special thank you to Jennifer & Brad for your hospitality and to Ginna for getting me to Austin! YOU ROCK!!

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).

Waiting at the start.

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 ;-))

What’s next?

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!!

Just one of the examples of a personalized tribute canvas.

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!!

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7 Responses to My First Ever Half Marathon …

  1. You’re rock Henrike !!! Super blog for a superwomen !

  2. Barbara says:

    Great recap! And of course I knew you could do it….you are amazing. You can do ANYTHING!! So glad you joined us and accomplished this goal….Now on to the next one!! Thanks for the kid words….all I did was suggest it. YOU did all the work!

  3. bmmcmillan64 says:

    It was wonderful meeting you in Austin and BRAVO for all you do!!

  4. binzee says:

    rock on henrike! to hope and survivorship worldwide!

  5. Anna says:

    Congratulations Henrike….for completing the Austin Half and for all you do for Livestrong! It sounds like a truly inspirational event!

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