Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Check that off my bucket list!

It's still unbelievable.  I really did it!  I ran a half marathon!!  That's 13.1 miles!  To be fair, I didn't run the whole thing - I didn't even try to.  My training had been sporadic, so I knew that running the whole thing would be impossible.  My game plan was run for 3 minutes, walk for 2. And if that failed, just keep putting one foot in front of the other until I crossed that finish line.  Quitting was NOT an option!

I was so nervous at the beginning of the race.  I mean, there were all these super-fit, athletic people doing these impressive looking stretches, talking about "fueling" and wearing these water bottle belts.  I felt so out of my league!  Then, the announcer told all racers to start lining up.  Oh my God Ohmygod ohmygod, am I really doing this?!

The music was pumping, and people were cheering.  It was pretty exhilarating. The countdown began, and we were off!  Well, sort of.  There were so many people that it actually took a few minutes for the line to get going.  I took a nice, leisurely stroll to the starting point, then I starting jogging.  I had a timer app set for my intervals, and it was working nicely.  The first 3 miles were around the lake, and it was beautiful.  The sun wasn't too hot yet, and there was plenty of shade.  It seemed to fly by!  In between mile 3 and 4, I ran by the shop that J used to work in, and he was standing out there with Little Toots.  Seeing them was just the pick-me-up I needed.  I gave Tooties a kiss, and asked what time it was, but J didn't know.  I kept running.

At mile 5, I just had to see what time it was.  I was thinking it would be like 9:30 because I'm so slow...but it was only 8:48!  I ran 5 miles in 48 minutes!!  I was super thrilled.  Unfortunately, checking the time messed up my interval app, and it started randomly beeping.  I completely lost track of if I should be walking or running.  At mile 7, I gave in and started walking.  I met a young girl whose mother and sister had left her in the dust, so we walked together.  At mile 10, I was hurting.  My hips were screaming, and my lower back hurt.  It was weird - I thought for sure that my feet and calves would cramp, but instead it was my abs and lower back.  Now I know what I need to work on!

The last 1.1 mile of the race seemed like it was completely uphill, but I saw J and Tooties again!  I made it to the last leg, and I ran across the finish line!  It took me 3 hours, 20 minutes and 57 seconds, but I didn't even come in last! Over 100 people finished after me *brushes off shoulder*

Two days later, I'm still sore, but I feel like an Amazon!  I'm so proud of myself, and Tooties told me that she wants to run fast like mommy.  That makes the blisters and the fatigue worth it!

And crazy me, I think I'm signing up for another 13.1 in October!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

National Running Day

Happy National Running Day!  Remember how I signed up for a half marathon?  Well, it's on Sunday!  I cannot believe how time flies when you're under-prepared for a long distance race!  My training has been minimal, but whether I'm ready or not, Sunday is the day!

I'm not running for glory, or to win.  I'm running to show my daughter that she can do anything she wants to do.  I could tell her that she's strong and beautiful and capable, but how will she ever believe it unless she can actually witness someone (like me) BEING strong and beautiful and capable.  I didn't have anyone like that in my life, and I spent much of my youth thinking that OTHER PEOPLE could run 13.1 miles, or write a book, or climb Mt. Everest, but not me.  I was plain.  I was boring.  I was average.  Until one day I decided that I don't want to be plain and average, I want to be remarkable.  So, even if it means coming in DEAD LAST, I will finish my 13.1 miles to show my daughter that she can do whatever she decides is worth doing.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Lessons from my Father

I am six years old, and I really, really have to pee.  I have just been playing with my sister and our dad, building a rad blanket fort out of a My Little Pony sleeping bag and the orange and blue Playskool slide, the kind that makes your hair stand on end with static electricity if you are in a 5 foot radius.  Holding my legs together, I run up the stairs to the bathroom.  The toilet is wedged in a little corner, right next to the bathtub.  I can easily see the shower curtain in the mirror over the sink. I wriggle out of my pants and sit down, when all of a sudden... "ROAR!"  My dad flings open the shower curtain, jumps out the bathroom, and quite literally scares the piss out of me.

It's not the first time, nor will it be the last.  At least he wasn't wearing the green Halloween mask.

This is the most important lesson I learned from my father: Expect the unexpected.  Monsters jump out the shadows, and you have to be prepared.  Some may argue that he made me a paranoid person, but I choose to use the word 'cautious'.  I check behind the shower curtain before dropping trou, peek into the backseat of my car before I unlock the door, and I prefer to sit facing a door at a restaurant.  Nothing can surprise you if you're looking for it.

Was this my dad’s intention?  To make me a cautious person?  To keep me out of danger?  No, probably not.  I think he really just liked to scare the pants off me and my little sister.  But, now that I look for that “ROAR” to come at me, out of nowhere, I can forgive the emotional scarring and night terrors because I know I’m a safer person.  I’ve never been mugged, attacked, or even in a bad car accident, and I really do think it’s because I’m constantly on the look-out for danger.

Don’t think I’m an overcautious recluse, though.  I take chances, and have adventures.  I’m no Evil Kenevil , but I don’t let fear stop me from doing something I really want to do.  I’ve been rock climbing, eaten sushi, and have sung in front of one thousand people.  I was nervous, but I did it.  Those are the kind of risks people should take in their life.  Walking down a dark alley wearing your best jewelry?  Not so much.

Thanks to my dad’s sadistic sense of humor, I learned a very important lesson: Expect the unexpected…and always check behind the shower curtain.