Now What?

Inspired by this video!

Post Marathon.  So lies the question, what do I do now?!? I have until June 15th until my training officially begins for the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon in October.  I’ve been enjoying the “break” from spending countless hours each week running, eating, sleeping, running.  And I’ve been finding inspiration to keep me motivated for the next big race!  For one, this video is amazing!

And I’m taking on a new challenge- training to instruct Group Power!

I’m so excited about this opportunity!  I went through a hard 36 hour training the weekend before the Paris Marathon and fell in love!  The beauty to this workout is marrying music with movement.  For me, it brings me back to my days on dance team, learning routines in record time.  I can’t believe how much I’ve missed counting out the beats to music and putting movement to it.  Another bonus?!? It’s a HARD workout!  And as an instructor, our purpose is to inspire others to motivate themselves.  Win. Win. Win!

This week, I completely geeked out!  The Boston Marathon on Monday was incredible!  Meb!  What an inspiring story!  And SO awesome that an American won- a first in 31 years!

“Give thanks. Draw strength from setbacks. Work hard while maintaining perspective. These simple principles can be hard to regularly practice. Of the many reasons to appreciate Meb, his embodiment of those lessons in good times and bad is the best.”

And Rita Jeptoo?  She didn’t even look tired coming across the finish line and setting a course record!  And of course, I was rooting for my girl -crush, Shalane!  Who set an American course record!  Actually, Shalane had a fierce race.  Her finish time of 2:22 would have been a winning time in all but 3 years in the history of Boston- this year included.

Then, yesterday, the annual Drake Relays Grand Blue Mile took to the streets of Des Moines!  The USA 1 Mile Championship Race drew in amazing world class athletes.   It was an honor to watch the elites battle it out for the finish!  And the women set course records!!

Heather Kampf finished 1st with a time of 4:33:62
My favorite Sarah Hall placed 3rd in 4:35:81.

The men were awe-inspiring too!  Josh’s favorite, Leo Manzano, kicked it in the final 400 meters.  We joked because Josh had just said little guys don’t have any kick and wham!  There he went!

photo 4

Before the elites took to the course, we had the opportunity to race!  I’m still figuring out how to run 1 mile.  It’s a lot different than pacing yourself throughout 26.2 miles and I’m never quite sure how to run it.  After last year, when Josh told me I didn’t run fast enough, he committed to pacing me in the race this year. Based on the McMillan Running Calculator, my goal was to run a 6:21.  A little bit lofty, since it meant shaving 17 seconds off of my previous time.  According to Josh, that’s a lot when it comes to 1 mile.  And since I haven’t done any speed work at the track since December, my nerves set in as the race time drew nearer.  We lined up near the front. A handful of kids were at the starting line and I was a bit nervous that they would trip me up, like last year and slow down our pace.  The gun went off and Josh took off!  I held back, nervous of the kids ahead of me.  I didn’t trust them, so I held back.  Once everyone spread out, I sped up and tried to get in pace with Josh.  As we passed the quarter mile mark, he was a few strides ahead of me.  I was breathing hard and at this point wondering if this was worth it or not.  As I deliberated in my head, I decided of course it was worth it, I would kick myself if I didn’t try hard now.  So, I calmed my thoughts and focused on catching up with Josh.  At the half mile mark, we were running side by side.  My heavy breathing ensued and I sounded as raspy as I did during the last 10K of the Tucson Marathon.  I just kept calm and told myself to breathe deep and run.  Josh was great at coaching me through.  He was keeping our pace and keeping me up to date on our status.  I thought for sure we were behind, especially since after we passed the half mile mark and rounded the corner for the final straightway towards the finish, he yelled that this was where we could make up time and kick it in.  I felt like we surged ahead a little faster.  I saw my mom out of the corner of my eye but didn’t have any extra energy to yell at her.  The wind was coming towards us and water was streaming from my eyes.  Around the 3/4 mile marker, Josh yelled out that we were ahead of pace and told me to push it in order to crush our goal.  I just kept running and trying to keep stride with him.  The most awesome moment?  As we ran down the finishing chute, the announcer called out Nicole Russell and Josh Russell!  So awesome to cross the finish with my husband!

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We finished in 6:17:91.  Beating my goal time by 3 seconds and shaving 20 seconds off my time from last year!  I was a happy runner :)! (ok, I still am a happy runner!).  I know it’s not a time to brag about, but for me, it’s a huge deal and accomplishment.  My husband is so unselfish for pacing me through the race and forgoing running his own race, which would be much faster than that.  I am so thankful to have him by my side.

And, of course, my favorite girl of all time ran a rockin’ race last night too!  My niece ran it solo and finished all smiles :)!

photo 2

I love to see her enjoying this sport!  AND, she even asked when we could head to the track and practice hurdles!  A girl after my own heart! Not that I ever ran or aspire to run hurdles, but if that is what lures her to the track, I’m all for helping her get there!  Let’s just say she’s heard a lot about Des Moines hometown favorite, Lolo Jones, who we will see on the blue oval track at Drake this weekend!

Speaking of this weekend… I committed to running the Drake Half Marathon with a friend on Sunday last week.  Who does this?!?  This girl. Coming off the marathon, I should be in good shape to run it.  Especially since our strategy is to run it slow and have fun.  More on that to come…


4 thoughts on “Now What?

  1. I love reading a little more about your lives and hearts through your blog 🙂
    “The most awesome moment? As we ran down the finishing chute, the announcer called out Nicole Russell and Josh Russell! So awesome to cross the finish with my husband!” … I teared up a little! So thankful for you in my brother’s and our lives!


  2. I loved the video. Simply people running yet it brought tears to my eyes. Maybe it is only something us runners understand. As for the Grand Blue Mile, I am so impressed. Way to go!


    1. Thanks! I love the video too- especially the baby pumping arms in the car seat 🙂 Maybe it is something runners understand, maybe you have to experience the camaraderie, the serenity, and the discipline that comes from it.


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