Ready, Set, (Here We) GO! (Again)

I’m sitting in a really small, local, empty coffee shop in downtown Duluth, MN. Duluth is a place I’ve been to a lot, but I’ve never really explored. A really large town that I am only really familiar with the mall. But, after tomorrow, I’ll know at least 13.1 miles of this town pretty well. Yes, it’s time to run another half marathon. 

I’m all set, conditioned, and trained to run the Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon, more commonly known as Grandma’s Half. This was supposed to be my first half marathon, but as some of you may know, I ran Chicago’s Get Lucky! Half Marathon back in March, and that was a wonderful experience where I learned a lot about myself and got in much better shape.

My mom had told me to see it as a pre-Grandma’s type thing, but I refused to see it as that. I took it for what it was – my first half marathon – and trained for it to be so. It was a great experience, and I feel a lot more confident going into this race with that experience under my belt. Not to mention that the training time was almost three times more than I had for Get Lucky.

I’m not writing this post just to talk about training, or how excited I am to have that medal in my collection, or how much I’m looking forward to just spending some quality time with my running shoes in foggy weather for about two hours. I’m going to talk about the biggest difference there is for this race – and that is that I got the opportunity to have a press pass for the event. And that’s actually a pretty big deal for Grandma’s. 

Basically, I drove to Duluth for a noon luncheon (free food!) honoring the Marathon magazine; who was honored with the Marsh Nelson Media Award. Even though there was free food (that was pretty tasty, just not enough of it,) I have to say that my favorite part of the afternoon was the press conference. I got to listen to the elite athletes, most of them Olympic-bound, talk about how they got to this point, why they’re doing Grandma’s, and their future plans. One of the women is just seventeen years old. Talk about inspiring. 

My favorite quote from the press conference had to have been with the third woman to speak. The moderator asked her how she’s been recovering from her other three marathons she’s ran this year and she replied with “Well… I try to sleep.” For some reason, I resonate with that quite a bit. Not from marathon recovery, but more from recovery from everything else. I’ve got a lot going on this summer – my weekends are booked until August, I’m working as much as I possibly can, and I’m doing my best to have at least a little bit of fun, and the only thing I can really do about all of it is try to sleep. Last weekend, we took over Ely for the Great Northern Radio Show. As I threw all of my running gear into my trusty duffel bag, I realized that I had just been packing it for Ely less than a week ago. Immediately after I get home from Duluth, I need to start getting myself ready to head to California for VidCon, something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time, and another completely different experience from anything else I’ll be doing this summer. 

Between all of these activities and jobs, the only thing I can really rely on is at least trying to sleep. I’ve started to help myself out with that by taking the early morning runs out of my life (for now,) but I’m slowly realizing that there’s just never enough time in the day to exercise anymore. We’ll see what happens, I guess.

But for now, I’m just going to publish this blog post, and then watch Netflix until my parents get into Duluth. Maybe hit up the camping surplus store down the street. And pick up my race packet… eventually. Pasta. Sleep. Run. Sounds like a good weekend to me. Ready. Set. Go? 


Author: erikabunk

Raised in Northern Minnesota. BA in Radio/Business & Entrepreneurship. Painfully average marathoner. Spends too much time on Spotify, in search of the best record store in the world, and dreams of returning to Reykjavík.

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