Thursday, October 30, 2014

I run my own race.....I don't want to race you.....

                   We all run for different reasons. I may run for sanity, you may run for speed, some may run for health, others may run to connect with something bigger; the reasons are unique as each runner. Coming into running not particularly fast or fit, or young for that matter, has allowed me the freedom to very much define and mold the sport of running as it best suits ME, with very little care, concern to regard for how others might define it for themselves. 
             All that aside, there are some runners out there who fail to see the endless array of possible ways in which people might relate to running, aside from just "speed". Some of these more nearsighted runners seem to think we all have similar goals and dreams when it comes to running. For example, I have encountered a few runners these past 2 years whose initial response to knowing my obsession with running is putting up an immediate competitive front; they might bring up times and even go as far as labeling certain finish times as "fast", or "slow", or ask if you "jog" or run? 

           You can tell you are dealing with an overzealous, competitive runner in 3 ways. One, the runner will often not ask you any personal questions about your own running experience EVER, such as why you started running, what you get out of it, etc. This is simply because they assume they already know this information about you. Two, the runner will immediately bring up times, paces, past races, number of races and you will immediately know by what they say, what they think is "fast" or "slow". Three, you might not feel so good after talking to them. 

           To this day I am not quite sure what to do with these types of runners. I have never pretended to be fast so I could care less if you are faster. How does one go about telling an overzealous runner you are not interested in stealing their show? 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Marathon #3 in the bag...reflections...

                  So, marathon number 3 is in the bag!! I am sitting here basking in the warmth of my bed and so happy to be resting. I will post all my pics soon...but for no I am taking a rest. My medal is a heavy piece of art and I am beyond delighted....I could be like one of those Debby-downer women we all know too well and start picking apart my success, but I will save you the sob story and just celebrate......so what that I've gained some weight, which in turn brought my time up some....I will not let that ruin my great feeling. Marathoning has never been about speed. In trying to pin point what IS marathoning about I started to make a mental list....so here it goes:

* we ALL have had this feeling that we are just off somehow. The whole time I am training I have to roll back these self-deprecating thoughts that gnaw away at my confidence, that little voice that says, "you don't belong here.", the voice that says, "you will fail at this.".....the ONLY thing that makes the voice go away is the triumph of the marathon. I went into this race with 2 main goal....1, run all the way and 2, finish. I accomplished these goals and I have once again succeeded in rolling back the voice....crossing that finish line is proof that I am exactly where I need to be. 

* Marathoning is about being part of this amazing tribe. When I meet another runner I immediately have a higher level of trust in them....there are some very specific lessons that running teaches all of us, the lessons about perseverance, trust in our bodies, listening to our bodies, trusting in the process, the ideas that bad days almost always followed by good ones.....marathoners carry these gifts in them and therefore the connection is one of immediately trust and camaraderie. 

* When preparing to run for one marathon you learn a lot about your body. But when you train for one or several marathons yearly you learn an enormous amount about your body. You learn how your body heals, how food can make or break a run, how sleep affects your performance. You also learn how to distinguish between severe and less severe injuries...marathoning teaches you to simply work with your body better and better each time. 

* Marathoning also allows you to experience and meet an constant flow of inspirational stories, truly the best of human nature. This past race I ran right behind a lady who had a picture of her son whom she lost in battle, some were missing limbs, some were elderly folks barely able to walk smoothly, some were in hand cycles...marathoning is a rich array of survivors, people who have met hell and have come back triumphant. One could easily be surrounded by all types of people in this life, but how rich it feels to constantly be surrounded by these amazing people with stories that will just break your heart.....You always come back to the thought, "If they made it after what they've been though.....so can I."

Monday, October 13, 2014

20 miler done......

                  Being a full worker and full time mommy does not allow much absent time for marathon training. On this day I woke at 4am and was out the door at 4:30am....not a soul in sight for the whole first hour. And even when I did see a human being into the first hour, I did not see another for a whole 45 minutes. Lots of people out a bit later, in groups, doing their long runs. Absolutely beautiful day! I have started off with a very tight and demanding training schedule, but as like started to happen I realized just how little energy I had left each day. So, now my goal is simply to finish. A secondary goal, and not much of a priority is to beat my time from my first marathon, which was also a road race.  More later.