Saturday, November 22, 2014

Richmond Marathon Recap

This will be as informal a recap as they, I apologize in advance.

I am trying to do 3 marathons in 90 days in order to qualify for The Marathon Maniacs. Knowing nothing about Richmond I opted to drive there that morning, park, run, then drive back home. Chris watched the kids and all three were texting me all morning with encouraging words. I got to Richmond and was very lucky to find parking right on 15th and Main Street, walked uphill to the race start and met a wonderful new marathoner in the bathroom line. Below is the machine where you get the info to park. I got my cell and it cost $5 for parking.....sweet!

These are the few pictures I did like of me of the many I noticed were taken....from mile 1-13 it was amazing....Richmond is beautiful this time of year. The leaves have fallen or are about to fall, the houses look interesting, the neighborhoods were very welcoming, lots of unofficial stops for anything from candy, beer to vaseline. at around mile 18 I was feeling to demoralized and exhausted, mile 24-26.2 I was my fastest....I have no idea where all the pain from earlier went, but it went away and I pretty much bolted to the finish line....I was so pumped at the end, even the person who gave me the medal even had to tell me, "you can stop running now"

I think I am going to leave behind my hydration pack next time. Maybe it will save me a few minutes on time.

Texting back and forth from the kids and hubby

         I walked 1.3 miles back to my car. A wonderful way to help recovery happen MUCH faster.....and this tree just looked amazing at the top of this hill.....

The medal is gorgeous and heavy....lots of fall leaves, even on the strap. My students on school really liked my medal and some even wore them during class. 

The clouds were very cool at the end.....and look at this public art.....

Me trying to be creative and take pictures of myself in the cylindrical reflection. 

Inspiration goes around and around

                 I was going through the "poor me's" a few days back. The "poor me's" means I was spending a lot of time feeling bad about myself. Distance running does a funny thing to ones perspective of personal achievement. Last week I ran and finished my 4th marathon ever, yet, the celebratory feeling never even got going. The last 2 miles, all I could think of was getting into my car and going home and getting this race behind me. What was I feeling so bad about? I was feeling bad about my time. It took me over 6 hours to finish this one. almost a whole hour slower than my fastest and 20 minutes slower than my previous, #3.  

                 What had caused me to be slower? I had gained some weight, 20lbs to be exact, and I was mad at myself for allowing this to happen. But share that gripe, about not being happy with your time, with any non-runner and they will pretty much tell you how proud you should be. Not even that, if someone were to tell me they just ran a marathon in that time, I would absolutely celebrate their accomplishment and make sure they knew how impressed I was. So why can't I do that to myself? Why am I holding myself up to a standard so above others?, why can't I just be happy with the fact that I ran 26.2 miles, non-stop....?

                  Just then, I get tagged on a Facebook post from by friend who had just run in very cold weather and she was thanking me for inspiring her and for teaching her to like running in the cold.....I can't give up after a post like that? No matter what my time is, running is a part of me and sticking with it, doing the journey with it is what it's all about. My slow, curvy, relentless racing self has a place in this sport, no matter how much my various self-doubts try to convince me otherwise. It's not about acing each and every race and getting a PR each time....It's about how you go about dealing with the injuries, and the tough cold morning runs, and negotiating what food choices we make, or don't. From this point forward I will simply ignore the self-doubts that creep in after these tough runs, or tough races. I will remind myself that my part in this sport is absolutely essential, if only to inspire 10, 5, 2 or even one other person to go out there and run.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

As simple as it gets...

Running is so simple. You put on your shoes, and out the door you go. 

       I have found that surrounding yourself with simple things, simple relationships, simple love, simple jobs, simple and uncomplicated friendships can add to my general happiness. Too often, when I've met people who have all sorts of drama in their lives, the phrase, "Oh what a tangled web we weave" keeps crossing my thoughts.  Too often these people have often taken the few large decisions they could make in their lives and all the way through they've chosen the most painful, complicated paths, instead of the more simple ones. Make no mistake, I've been there too. I chose to stay with a very wrong person for EIGHT LOOOOONG years before I chose to save ME, my sanity, my future, my vision of my future. People who choose sanity over chaos have my deepest respect; and too often the ones who live the simplest lives have walked through the worse types of hell. 

      But there is good news..... The very simple act of running and making room for this sport in our lives can truly come in handy to help us, in essence, take the garbage out, make things less complicated. 

      How you ask? Let me explain. Running has the power to change one's life. It not only has changed mine, but millions of others all over the world. Just read any blog about running, you will quickly learn that running has allowed people with all sorts of living hell to simplify their lives and find true happiness and hope.

      On a more technical level though, when you go out and sweat, let the wind blow on your face as you run around your neighborhood, you are teaching your body to crave this very act of moving through space. During every one of my runs, at about mile 3, I start beaming, a huge smile comes across my face and all is good with the world for the rest of my run and hours and even days after. It is about mile three that my body has gotten over the initial stiffness and is now smoothly moving though space and I realize just then how amazing this gift of running is.....All things fall into place and all that does not below is clearly seen as extra.....

So just get out there. Forget paces, races, speed, other runners....just go out there and do your best. Afterwards, bask in your triumph. You'll see that within a few weeks you begin crave how good you feel after every run and naturally fall into a pattern that works for you. The rest works itself out, I promise. Your daily runs, like as in meditation, will allow you the clarity of mind to know what needs to be done next. Your runs will allow you to learn on a very real level that nothing is impossible.  

Perhaps I am truly unable to express here in this post just HOW it is that running changes lives, but I just know it does....One thing I do know, it's that running is so important to my own personal sanity, and to my physical and emotional well being. It is the activity which shines on a light on life itself.