Garmin Marathon in the Land of Oz Race Recap

In true fashion of this training cycle I debated with myself today…write my race recap or study for my finals next week? Typically school would beat out training, although I’d usually still find time after schoolwork to lace up my running shoes. However, the endorphins have been slowly declining since last Saturday, and in an attempt to keep them alive I’m forcing myself to sit down and recap the day I ran the Garmin Marathon in the Land of Oz…the day I ran my second marathon…the day a ran a sub-4 hour marathon…the day I kind of got this feeling that I can do anything…and the day I couldn’t stop smiling.

I arrived at Garmin International where the race started and finished with enough time to make my final decisions on what to wear, pick up my packet, pin on my race bib, and dance in my car to a few songs.

I headed to the port-a-potties where I came upon a familiar scene. One year ago this is where I ran my first half marathon ever. And, one year ago I pretty much started my race from the port-a-potty. Luckily, I left myself with plenty of time to actually start this race from the start line.

Soon enough the race began and I was running. I didn’t have a detailed plan of how I wanted to run this race, I just knew that I needed to go out nice and easy, not too fast, and that I wanted to be under two hours at the halfway point. Before I knew it my ticker notified me that one mile had already passed…and at 9 minutes and 2 seconds. I had held back a little bit, but I was definitely worried that I hadn’t held back enough. However, I felt good, and plan or no plan, I just like to run how I feel.

The second mile…8:41. The third…8:38. Fourth…8:46. Fifth…8:37. Angela, you are running too fast. You are going to get too tired. I ate my first mocha Clif Shot at mile five, and I clocked in mile six at 8:37, and then mile seven at 8:27.

8:27…Angela you are seriously running too fast.

I was worried. I never trained to run this fast for this long. But my legs felt great and it was a gorgeous morning, so I just kept running. Mile eight…8:35, mile nine…8:30. Mile ten came in at 8:42 and I ate some delicious Clif bites. Around this time I was running near these two men who were very entertaining. I just listening to them cheer on each other and every runner that they came across. They seemed so full of energy I just thought to myself if I can stay near them then I’d be doing well. Mile eleven…8:38, mile twelve…..8:31.

Mile thirteen…8:26. Goodness gracious…that’s fast for me…especially at mile thirteen…especially since I had thirteen more to go. I reached the halfway point around 1 hour and 52 minutes. I just may have PRed my half marathon time, too.

As I was running too fast, but feeling amazing at the same time I was literally smiling the entire time. I even heard one spectator say around mile 20, “Why is that girl still smiling?” I knew a sub-4 hour marathon was definitely within reach which motivated me to keep going.

The second half of the marathon was an out-and-back on a paved trail. The trail was beautiful, and it was so lovely to be able to run for so long through the pretty trees and scenery. However, I knew that my family would be trying to find during the second half of the race, and running this trail was not going to be conducive to them finding me. My family was such a big motivator for me during my first marathon, I tried to prepare myself not to see them until the finish line this time around. Mile fourteen came in at 8:30 (you’re still going too fast), mile fifteen at 8:40 (downed another mocha Clif Shot and thought you are still going too fast), sixteen and seventeen both at 8:43, and eighteen at 8:50.

I reached the turnaround point and I knew I was on the final stretch. I was still feeling ridiculously amazing, but I knew the last part would be difficult. I kept running along, and as I passed a water station I heard the best sound ever. “ANGELA! It’s Angela! There she is!!!” my sister screeched as I ran past her. Somehow her and my dad managed to find me along the trail. I’d given my dad a map and my potential splits to help him navigate, but after being on the trail for so long I just didn’t expect to see anyone. Later they told me they had been close to leaving that spot because according to the splits I’d provided them I should have been coming from the other way. Little did they know that I was running like crazy that morning.

I saw them once again…I can’t explain the excitement I felt as I heard both of their voices. Later I saw that my sister had posted this…

Mile nineteen…8:48, mile twenty (and more Clif bites)…8:53.

About this time I had another very welcome surprise. I saw the most gorgeous six foot eight inches walking toward the trail as it passed along a main road. My beautiful husband also managed to track me down and give me some encouragement…he also added in there, “You are way ahead of your splits!”

After mile twenty ended my rein of sub-9 minute miles. Mile twenty-one…9:01, twenty-two…9:12 (I knew I had been running too fast), and mile twenty-three…9:20, I was slowing down quite a bit, but I knew without a doubt that I would be coming in under four hours. After mile twenty-three I felt really exhausted. To make matters worse, I had noticed that my Garmin had been ticking anywhere from a tenth of a mile to three tenths of a mile before I passed the actual mile markers along the course. My Garmin would notify me that I’d completed another mile, then two minutes later I’d pass the course mile marker.

Mile twenty-four…9:33. Come on Angela, you are almost there…less than thirty minutes more of running. When you are running for so long, it’s definitely okay to talk out loud to yourself. Keep going!

Twenty-five…9:34. Hold on girl. Keep running! Twenty-six…9:37.

I saw the twenty-six mile marker. I could hear the crowd at the finish line. I rounded the corner…I heard them announce my name, “Angela Habermehl, twenty-six point two miles…!”

I saw the timer…I saw the “3”…

3:54:01.27. Sub-4 hours.

And that’s when I knew that anything is possible. It really, honest-to-goodness, is. This whole training cycle I questioned my ability…my ability to actually train for the marathon, my ability to get faster, my ability to sub-4 hours. But I did it. I did it all.

I know that I had so much more than just my two feet moving one in front of the other working for me leading up to and during the race. My husband, dad, and sister who all came out to support me…my family and friends all thinking about me from home…people sending up prayers for me…that little redbird I saw the day before…all kept me going. So much more…thank you.

much love, ang

Happy Birthday Pretty Blog!

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Today marks the first birthday of this little blog! I can’t believe an entire year has gone by since I wrote my very first post, ironically titled Yay! My First Post! I have learned so much about myself, met so many creative and inspiring people, gained so many wonderful opportunities, and done things I never imagined would ever be possible…all because I started writing this little blog!

I want to thank you ALL for continuing to read my rambles, for inspiring me, and for always, always, always supporting me. I always say that to overcome an eating disorder, or any other struggle in life, you need to find your voice…your own voice free of negativities and self-doubt…even if your voice is small and stuffed way down deep in your pinky toes. Grab on to that voice; feed it, nurture it, and love it, and your voice will grow.

I love that voice.

ang

Two Thousand and Eleven, It’s Been Lovely

In two thousand and eleven I…

…started a blog! Never before in my life did I have the intention of writing and then sharing my writing with anyone and everyone on the internet. However, I’ve ended up absolutely loving it, and I credit my blog along with other blogs I read for being the fuel behind two thousand and eleven’s greatness!

…started out the year with a four mile race, Love 2 Run, in February. My blog wasn’t born yet so I wasn’t here to tell you about it, but I did PR (it was only the third race I’d ever done before in my life, and the second time in this race) with a time of 35:15.

…ran my first 10K…then my second 10K…then my third 10K…each one with a PR!

…trained my dog to give high-fives.

won a local race! It was a small 5K race…a very very small race, since I won with a stopwatch time of 25:09. Nonetheless I won an awesome trophy, and it was for a super great cause to support a local little girl with osteosarcoma. The same little girl who happens to be my Make-A-Wish wish kid and who is a huge inspiration to anyone who knows her.

…greatly improved my body image.

didn’t get into nursing school.

got into nursing school!

…ran my first half marathon, which happened to be my one really big goal that I wanted to achieve this year! I also had a secret goal of running it in less than two hours…which I also achieved with a time of 1:59.10!

went to Mexico with all my amigos!

…was a blonde for awhile. Literally, not figuratively. Well, maybe both.

…ran my second half marathon and PRed with a time of 1:52.52.

…got my husband to run a 5K with me…and my mom, sister, and stepdad! It was for the Susan G. Komen race in Kansas City, obviously a great cause, especially considering my mom kicked breast cancer’s booty.

…coached middle school volleyball with some of the sweetest girls I’ve ever met!

tried mushrooms…grilled…and liked them.

…raised money for Girls on the Run as a SoleMate!

…ran a marathon. A MARATHON! A ridiculously hilly but beautiful nonetheless twenty-six point two miles all over Kansas City, Missouri, and I loved every single second of it…all four hours and fifteen minutes! I set out the year with hopes of finishing a half marathon…what I didn’t know was that I was going to fall in love with running. Once my half was completed in April I knew I needed more! Never before in my life did I imagine I’d run a marathon, but crossing that finish line was the proudest moment of my life.

This year has been amazing. However, it wouldn’t have been nearly as great had I not walked into the women’s restroom back in February and discovered a little post-it note on the mirror that said, “You are beautiful.” That’s when I discovered Operation Beautiful and the entire world of blogging…a world of inspiration, motivation, and support from some pretty amazing people.

Two thousand and eleven, it’s been lovely.

ang

Happy Holidays Indeed

I’ve spent a week filled with family, friends, a lot of working (you gotta love retail!), and cookies by the dozens. I may or may not have eaten approximately twenty cookies yesterday alone. I’ll leave that up to your imagination.

It has been an absolute blast, and when I have the opportunity to spend time with family I often walk away from it wondering why we don’t spend more time together. Seriously, when a Giambalvo met a Daleo magic happened.

Now I know why I’m getting those wrinkles…err, laugh lines.

Cutest Mamaw ever. She is pretty much the queen of this beautiful family.

Twins! For real, though.

Aunties, uncle, and momma…

I might have forced my sister to take this photo with me. Handwarmers are back baby!

Notice anything odd here?

This was one of the most famous pictures of the night…the tallest member of the family with the shortest members. My family gets a pretty big kick out of my husband’s tallest…which makes sense since our average adult height is probably around 5’0″!

Some dancing ensued…

Too much fun!

This was only the beginning of my Christmas gatherings, but unfortunately there were not eighteen italians running around with cameras at all of my other festivities. I am so blessed to have such an awesome family. I love each and every one of you! And before any of you (family) calls me and asks me to take one of these pictures down (because I know what you might be thinking)…my answer will be no (well, except maybe the shake weight picture!) You all look amazing and beautiful and gorgeous in each and every one of these, so I don’t want to hear otherwise!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, too!

ang

An Extra Special Merry Christmas To…

…Sarah from Once Upon a Lime!!! Merry merry merry Christmas girl! You are my giveaway winner and will be getting a stack of four Soap It Up soaps (and maybe some extra goodies!)!!!

(Please e-mail me at a.habermehl@yahoo.com with your mailing address!)

First of all, congratulations on getting married this year and celebrating your first married Christmas! That is way too fun!!! Second of all, cucumber cantaloupe and peppermint cocoa are two of my favorite flavors (okay, so they all might be my favs) and you will be getting BOTH of those! Woohoo!

I loved reading all your comments on why this time of the year makes you smile…you all made me smile! I wish that I could send a soap package to each and every one of you because I appreciate you all so much, but unfortunately going back to school has made me poor. I’m sure you understand. But…I will try to send you a bunch of Christmas cheer through my blog…did you get it yet?!

For now, I have to go get ready to do some Christmas shopping, get my cookies ready for my cookie party (YUM!), and wrap up my gift for my girlfriend’s gift exchange tonight!

Ho ho ho ho ho!

ang

Christmastime Makes Me Happy

I am having the best time reading all your comments on why the holiday season makes you happy! I would definitely have to say that getting to spend time with family seems to be the top reason, and I would have to agree one hundred percent! There is still time to enter the giveaway…all you need to do is go over to this post and leave me a comment telling me why the holiday season makes you happy! (You must live in the US, and you cannot be a relative! Sorry!)

This photo of my sister and me is from my most recent family get together this past weekend! Of course we had a blast visiting with the whole big italian family!

Because I have asked you to tell me why the holiday season makes you happy, I’ve decided that I’ll tell you why Christmastime makes me so happy.

Reason number one: Spending time with my family! Duh!

Christmas is one of the only times of the year when I get to see my entire family all in the same place at the same time. So many of my favorite family memories dating all the way back to when I was a little girl come from this time of the year.

Reason number two: Cookie parties!

Umm…you get to bake a ton of cookies, go to a party, eat a bunch of cookies, and go home with a ton more. This needs no explanation.

Reason number three: Giving presents!

It’s truly a fun feeling when you know you got something (or made something) for someone that they absolutely love! Many of my gift recipients have gotten (or are going to get, HA) homemade soaps this year, and I’m pretty sure they adore them. (If you don’t then you are crazy and should just give them back to me because I am now a soap hoarder!)

Reason number four: Getting presents!

Just admit it. You love getting something that you really really want. I was super stoked when the husband got me my new running shoes for Christmas…even though I picked them out, typed in the credit card number online, and opened the box when it showed up on my doorstep.

Reason number five: Peppermint flavored things!

I drank way too much coffee on Sunday and that was because my mom-in-law had peppermint mocha creamer at her house. I made some peppermint bark rice krispie treats for dinner club, and I also have a bar of peppermint soap that I’m going to have to show great restraint to use it for washing and not for eating.

Reason number six: Giveaways! Have you entered yet?!

Reason number seven: Christmas lights. Prettiness!

Reason number eight: Winter break.

Since basketball season has started I feel like I never get to see my bundle of 6’8″ handsomeness anymore. At least when he breaks from school I will get to see him more and we will get to sleep in together a few mornings!

Reason number nine: Spending time with friends.

This can probably be added to number eight, but many of my friends are teachers so I get to spend more time with them throughout the holidays as well. Please bring on the dinner clubs, cookie parties, gift exchanges, wish list parties, and New Years Eve parties galore!

Reason number ten:  Last but not least we cannot forget the true reason for smiling this holiday season. We get to celebrate Jesus’ birthday!

Woowoo!

ang

Happiest Time of the Year Means Time For a Giveaway!

The happiest time of the year is among us, and I wanted to celebrate and show my appreciation for you. I was doing some Christmas shopping over the weekend and I had a great thought. I have shared so much of myself here on this blog over the past several months which has been amazing for me, so I wanted to share some happiness with you!

If you’ve been stopping by this little blog at all for the past few months, you know that I’m a big believer in following your dreams, and I really think that anything is possible. That is why I am so proud of my beautiful mother for starting her own soap business this year. She found something that she loves to do, she made a plan, and she took a risk. I’m extremely happy that she did, because I have probably never smelled better than I do now. This home will never be without a stack of ridiculously delicious soap.

And now, one lucky reader will also get the opportunity to smell magnificent over the holidays because I am giving away a stack of four Soap It Up, Gourmet Soaps By Di! I’m warning you though, you will most definitely want to eat the soap they smell that good. I would probably advise against it, even though they are homemade. Yes, homemade! The soaps make excellent stocking stuffers or little gifts, but you’ll probably want to keep them all to yourself!

There are three very easy ways to enter:

  1. Leave me a comment telling me what is making this the happiest time of the year for you!
  2. Like Soap It Up, Gourmet Soaps By Di on Facebook and leave a comment telling me  you did!
  3. Purchase a Soap It Up soap online (here) and leave a comment telling me you did…(and tell me which scents you picked because I want to know because I love them ALL!) Leave a comment for each soap you purchase!

You have until the end of Wednesday to enter (you must live in the United States…sorry!), and you must leave a comment for each entry. (I know that many of my family members like to read my blog, and I am really, really grateful for that. However, I know that my family also has easy access to these soaps and probably a stack at home already, so I’m excluding family members from this giveaway!)

Merry Christmas from My Pinky Toes and from Soap It Up!!! Thank you for being a part of my blogging journey so far!

ang

For You

I have so many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving and every other day, but here on this little blog I wanted to express how thankful I am for you.
These past nine months that I’ve spent writing about my feelings and stories of my life have been truly amazing. I feel like I have grown so much…grown stronger and maybe even a little bit wiser. Just maybe.
But I wouldn’t keep writing if it weren’t for you. Knowing that you spend a little bit of your hard-earned time with me each day on here motivates me to keep on keeping on.
I’m so grateful that you inspire me to write.
Thank you!

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And of course I’m beyond thankful for these two in my life.
ang

What is Faith?

Today I feel like I was able to have my own mini celebration.

About nine or so months ago, I would wander around the university bookstore and I would always stop in the same aisle. It was the aisle that had the stethoscopes and blood pressure cuffs, along with various other nursing accessories. There was was thing in this aisle that I really wanted to buy. It was kind of silly really. It was just a red and black lanyard keychain that said NURSING all around it.

At the time I was afraid to buy that lanyard. I was afraid that I’d end up with this red and black lanyard that would only remind me of a failure…because I was afraid that I wouldn’t get into the nursing program. How embarrassing would that be?

So I didn’t buy it.

And in March, I didn’t get in…but begrudgingly, I kept the faith.

And today I am enrolled to start the nursing program in January at the University of Central Missouri!

I marched into that bookstore, I pulled that lanyard off the shelf, and I paid for it. It is no longer a symbol of failure, but a symbol of hard work and perseverance.

 And most importantly…that little thing is a symbol of faith.

While I was there, I decided to continue my little celebration with another special little purchase. Why not?!

My very first scrubs!

I really did have a moment when I took that small, unflattering piece of boxy fabric to the fitting room (i.e. public bathroom) to try on. It was a moment of reality…

…I’m going to be a nurse!

ang

Eleven Eleven Eleven, Eleven Eleven

I wish for the day when all people, women and men, will truly love themselves all the way from the tops of their heads to their little pinky toes.

On a day like today, you have to wish for something big, right?!

To start making this wish a reality, allow yourself a Friday affirmation!

ang