{Motivation Monday-It feels like the first time…}

Two weekends ago when running the Glow in the Deke 5k with my best friend I got to experience the race from a perspective I haven’t been in a while…for the first time. My friend ran her first 5k without stopping to walk or take a break. She was someone who had been a non-runner just months before. I’m talking someone who always said she HATED running. I was sooo proud of her!

While running with her I reminisced over what it felt like to run two miles and three miles for the first time. It reminded me of what it felt like to run when a couple miles was the most I’d ever ran, and when I finished my first half marathon, and 16 miler, and 20 miler, and marathon. And guess what? The feeling is the same no matter how many miles you run. Anytime you run a distance you haven’t before, the pride you feel when you hit stop or cross that finish line are the same. You feel so accomplished, prideful, emotional, excited, and tired.
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“At mile 20, I thought I was dead. At mile 22, I wished I was dead. At mile 24, I knew I was dead. At mile 26.2, I realized I had become too tough to kill.”

My friend shared how she felt emotional as she came around that last corner of the track thinking about how she was finishing a distance she had worked hard to complete. I didn’t tell her, but those emotions are not just something she experienced. Stand at the finish line of most races and you see it in people’s faces and body language-emotions. I once read somewhere that a marathon finish line is a melting pot of emotions, and I couldn’t agree more.

Some people are running for others who can’t, in memory of a significant person in their life, to overcome, to succeed, to move on, to start new, to test their limits, and for reasons we can’t begin to understand. Running races and finishing new distances makes you feel real and raw in a different way hence the wide range of emotions. Take two minutes of your day and check out the raw emotions this amazing photographer caught at the finish of this year’s Twin Cities Marathon earlier in October. I promise it is worth it; I teared up and couldn’t stop smiling at the same time!

Many a times I’ve fought back tears when crossing the finish line whether it is a new distance, an especially challenging race, or being so overcome with joy and pride at something I worked so hard for. Many times these emotions are strongest the first time and we forget the feeling of being a new runner. It was great to be reminded of those challenging days when you never knew how a run would feel or if you would survive it.
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I loved being around other runners who seemed to be new to running, too. I was overcome with pride for them. Seeing others do something I love and watching them experience it in a positive way makes me so excited. While most of us wouldn’t want to go back to the very first time we ran (or a first time at a distance), this week run for the first time. Run a new distance, a new route, with a new friend, or at a new time. Take a run around a route where you first began to run and reminisce of over those first miles where you became a runner one step at a time. Take those first steps or celebrate how far you’ve come!
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“The person who starts the race is not the same person who finishes the race.”

Happy Monday!

{Glow in the Deke 5k-2013}

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This past weekend I had the opportunity to run the Glow in the Deke 5k again. This time I ran it with my best friend, her husband, and my own husband. I don’t run a lot of 5k’s because I often feel you just don’t get to run enough miles for the money. This race is different. They really think of everything and turn this into an event fun for families and those who like to have adult fun, too.

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The race takes place in the evening hence the glow in the dark part. The course takes you through the UW-La Crosse campus, to the trails in the nearby marsh area (gorg!), and then back to campus.

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Water stop!

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If you ever read this blog, then you know how I like my scenic paths and trails. The whole course is lit up with tiki torches, colored flashlights, people with glow sticks, paper lanterns, and Christmas lights. The race finishes at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium with 300 meters on the track and your time on the big-tron.
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Post-race is the Deke’s Dash for the little runners. Then you have a choice of what to do with the rest of your evening.

Option 1: You can stretch out on the football field with blankets and the family and watch a movie geared at children’s ages on the bigtron.

Option 2: If you are child free or have a babysitter, then you can enjoy the local food vendors, live band (Spicy Tie Band was awesome), and enjoy the beer at the beer tent. All proceeds go to the Boys and Girl Club and their partnership with the Hope Lives Foundation.

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An added bonus: The participant t-shirts are tech tees that have glow in the dark writing on them.

I will be making this race an annual event. Definitely consider this race if you live in the area!

3, 2, 1…Glow!

{Friday Fab 5}

This week was one of those weird weeks where it feels like I can’t believe today is Friday and TGIF.
{#1-I heart pumpkin anything…especially pumpkin dip}

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I ate mine with apples and it was the perfect fall snack! Warning: this recipe makes a lot. I’d recommend cutting it in half if you don’t want a huge bowl!

{#2-Wine & Memories}

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Ryan and I cracked a bottle of wine last weekend and added our cork to our vase with corks inside. Per a Pinterest idea I found a while back, we’ve started dating and writing what we were doing when drinking the wine on the cork. It is a fun way to look back at all the little celebrations we’ve had. The wine was purchased while in Texas Hill Country while on vacation this past summer. Another tradition we’ve started is buying local wines while visiting places and saving them for future dates to reminisce and enjoy the places we visited.

{#3-Getting back in the groove…the running groove}

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They say it takes 21 days to make a habit and I’d agree most of the time. Lately I’ve only been running with the cross country kids and not so much on my own. While it saves time, I don’t get that I’m a runner and I loved that run feeling, so this week I started my mission of getting in some quality runs solo after practice. I managed a blissful, geeked out smile 8 miler and a recovery 4 miler in addition to practice runs. This week was about falling in love with running all over again runs. More on those later!

{#4-Chicken Quinoa Chili}

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This was one of my freezer meals I wrote about in August and let’s just say…AMAZING!

{#5-Fall Runs}

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I’ve made it a goal to really enjoy fall outdoors (and not just by running) since it is my favorite way to experience the season. What are your fall goals?

Oh, and it’s not too late to sign up for the Glow in the Deke 5k this Saturday. It is a great family event and you can read more about it here.
Happy Weekend! ๐Ÿ˜‰

{Glow in the Deke 5k}

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So last week I got this postcard pictured above in the mail. I had sort of forgotten all about this 5k race I did last October with some of my best friends. This 5k is not about competition, rather it is about having fun. The race is at night hence the the Glow in the Deke title. The race had been going on for several year, but last year they changed it up completely. Last year we got really cool technical tees with a big star on it that glowed in the dark just for registering. The star on the front glowed surprisingly very bright. Add glow sticks and jewelry and you’ve got yourself a good time.
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But wait, there is more! The race started and finished at UW-La Crosse. From there the course took runners and walkers through the scenic marsh trails of La Crosse which were lit up with glowing lights to illuminate the way. If you did the race then you too got a peak at my favorite tree all decked out in lights and paper lanterns.

Us by my favorite tree!

Us by my favorite tree!


After the race there was a band, food, and beer for those interested in celebrating after their hard work. The best part of this race though is the money raised goes towards the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse. The race had both runners and walkers and is perfect for people of all ages. Kids love the glow stuff; adults like the chance to exercise have a beer (responsibly of course). What a perfect way to be a role model for your children in how to lead a healthy active life and support your community by getting out there with them. The race was well ran, organized, and very family friendly. It was a win-win race.
We didn't want to be rude and let the beer go to waste.

We didn’t want to be rude and let the beer go to waste.


Next years date per the postcard is Saturday, October 12. Mark your calendars. It sounds like race organizers are going to make this years Glow in the Deke even more fun. Check out www.glowinthedeke.com for more information.
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