Sometimes I think I like the idea of running more than actually running, and I don't even run much when I run. I LOVE race day. I love the sound of it, the feel of it, the butterflies in my stomach.... knowing that I HAVE to finish that race. I think that is why I sign up for races even when I know I haven't, and truthfully probably won't, train for them. It makes me get out and do the distance, even if I am last, I finished. I did it!
The day to day is harder, there is less motivation and more opportunity to procrastinate. I have plenty of reasons to do it tomorrow. So, I keep saying "tomorrow" and then the tomorrows become weeks and months and I still haven't done anything productive. Next thing I know it's race day and I am thinking back on all the times I should have, and could have, trained and didn't. I have knocked back Half marathons to 10ks that should have been 5ks, but I managed. I want to do ONE race the right way, to get off my asses, yes, I feel I have two, and really train and get it done, just to see what I can accomplish if I actually TRAIN! If I can finish a 5k, 10k, Half and even a marathon with the half ass training I have so far, what can I actually accomplish with real training behind me?
Yet even as I say that, I wonder if I will ever actually do it. I don't do running groups. I have tried, the one I did left me feeling even worse about my "running", never a good feeling to be in a "beginner" 5k program and have almost everyone running just about the whole thing except you. I don't compare myself to others, I believe everyone is on their own journey, and this is mine. I know there are faster people than I am, and there are some that are slower, I just want to get out of my own head enough to see where I REALLY can be....
Anywho... just a little venting today.... maybe someone else has felt the same.... in the mean time, I am going to go walk some today in memory of those that gave all for me to have the freedom to do so.
Happy Memorial Day. Take a moment and remember the reason.
What makes a Marathoner? Is it covering the 26.2 miles? Do you have to run the whole race? Is it ok to walk some of it? What if you are slow, does that somehow make you less of a Marathoner?
While scrolling through Facebook, I came across a post about this very subject and it got me thinking. I have crossed the finish line of a marathon. I did the Rock n Roll Savannah Marathon in 2014. Honestly, I have mixed feelings about "claiming" that race. I did not run nor walk the full 26.2 miles. I rode the "party bus" for the back of the pack and missed a mile or so. This was allowed and was referred to in race packet, so no rules were broken and all was on the up and up. I did have to walk back to the hotel, which made up that distance, so technically, yes, I covered the full distance. Yet, it has stuck in the back of my mind since. I slapped a 26.2 sticker on my car. I have since changed distance stickers and have not re added the 26.2. So, this leads back to the original question. What makes a Marathoner?
If you cover the distance, regardless of how fast or slow, you ARE a Marathoner. I have said before, I am in awe of people that run fast. Truly. I am so not one of them. I am slow, and sadly, I am getting slower as we speak, but I will get back out there. Here are my thoughts, I respect anyone that can go out and run a marathon in 4 hours or less, but the back of the pack that is out there for 6+ hours? Think about that. When the faster finishers are done, have had their after race water and bagel etc, sometimes after the awards, we are still out there one foot in front of the other. That is dedication and determination. It is not for an award, we will not place, we won't make it on the podium, it is for US. We do it because we can, and to show OURSELVES that we can do this. I respect that. I believe that deep down, that is why I never put the 26.2 sticker back on my car. I want to show MYSELF, that I can complete the full marathon before I do.
I have signed up for my redemption marathon in October of this year... hopefully that 26.2 sticker will follow.
Fast. Slow. Elite. Turtle.
I am part of a few different running communities on social media and I am seeing a lot of the "pace debate" and people questioning if they are a "real" runner because of the speed of their mile... I used to be one of them. The simple fact is, if you run, you ARE a runner. It does not matter if you run a 2 hour marathon or a 20 min mile, whether you run the whole race or if you walk/run the race, you ARE a runner. There are no tests to pass, or degrees to earn to show that you are "real" runner. Some people run for the joy of running, some like to run in organized races. Do not let anyone steal your joy of running by allowing you to question your accomplishments. You are out there for you. Yes, some runners are out there for the competition, and they amaze me. I am truly in awe of the speedsters that get out there and run like a gazelle with what appears to be no effort. However, I do not let the fact that they are gazelles take away from my accomplishment as a turtle. We still finish the same mileage. We are running the SAME race, just a different pace, one is not necessarily "right", they are just OURS. Mine is mine and theirs is theirs, and on the next race, we try to do better than before. I have seen posts that stated a 2:20 Half was slow... no, a 2:20 Half is GREAT! Everyone has goals, everyone has something they want to achieve, some want that coveted BQ (Boston Qualifier), some want to run a Half in under 2 hours, some want to run a Half in under 3 hours (THIS GIRL) and SOME just want to be able to WALK a mile. You never know who you could be inspiring with YOUR running!!
I suppose the point of this blog is simply this, you never know the story of the person posting in social media. Try to remember where you came from and where you want to be. Remember that everyone, all of us, had to start by making the decision to lace up and get out there. It is not an easy thing to do, and sometimes it's an even harder thing to CONTINUE to do. You never know what is happening in someone's life, so be kind, be positive, and encourage each other because that is what we do. We are runners.
Fast. Slow. Elite. Turtle.
March 4, 2017. This was the day I learned a very hard lesson, in a very tough way. I learned that training is something that HAS to be done, even if it's half-assed it's better than nothing. I have never been one to really train. I am hard headed and stubborn. I sign up for races months in advance and have all intentions of training, I even create training PLANS, but do not follow them. (I am AMAZING at creating a training plan!!) I still show up at packet pickup and get my bib and shirt, go to the race and line up at the starting line thinking, "I should have trained for this." This leads me back to March 4, 2017.
There I was at the starting line of the Myrtle Beach Marathon... Ok, I was doing the Half Marathon, but there I was... those familiar thoughts running through my head.... I had done a 10K a few weeks before and was ok, no cramps, no blisters, mildly sore... thought I was ok for this. My friend Susan from Charlotte was there to do the Half with me too, and my BRB Toria was there cheering us on as she is dealing with/suffering through, an injury that has her out of commission for a bit. I felt ok, just wishing I had trained more, as usual. Canon goes off, yes really, pretty awesome, and off we go!! I start running, feeling pretty good, and I decided to run until I needed a breather... I managed a quarter mile, not bad for no training. Started walking and my friend Susan passed me, made sure I was ok, guess I was already looking like a hot mess. So I watch her red flower on the back of her hat and pink (AWESOME PINK TEAM RWB SHIRT) start disappearing in the mass ahead of me and I think way to go girl!! So I'm moving along, enjoying the sites, listening to my music, walking some, running some... about mile two, I catch back up to Susan. This was really no easy task, she is taller than I am, as are most people, so her stride is longer and she walks faster than I do, I stayed with her, or rather, she stayed with me the rest of the race. She made me faster without meaning to and I'm glad she did, helped end the misery at a more rapid clip! So we are moving along, passing donut places, smelling bacon, and just trying to have as much fun as possible, when I start REAAALY feeling it. My legs were dying, really dying. My quads were shaking, my feet were hurting and I was miserable. I am so thankful for Susan, for keeping me company and for not killing me! Oh, and did I mention it was cold.... and windy. Yes, that too. When we hit about the 10th (?) mile the wind hit us in the face, until about mile 13. (BTW, not at all related to this story, but if you move your fingers wrong on the keyboard, mile become nuke.. how ironic!!) SO! There we are, both in our own little hell, trying to encourage each other, she said she would even drag me across the finish by my ponytail! Gotta love your friends!!! Then FINALLY, we finish, we run across the finish and get our medals and our bottle of water and we did it !!! YAY US!! Toria was there yelling for us! IT WAS GREAT!! I could barely walk, everything hurt and I felt like I was dying, but I did it!!
Now, as I said, lessons were learned in from this race. I have to start training. I got a blister, never happened before, I couldn't move like I had run a full and not the half, I had a pain behind my knee that scared the bejezus out of me, luckily it went away after a day. There was more hurt that happy in this one, however, one of the bigger lessons is that it is always great to have friends with you at a run, whether running or walking beside you, or waiting at the finish, because sometimes, you may need them to be willing to drag you across by your ponytail!!!
I did a trail run. Technically it was my third one, but because I had done it before, I thought I could do this. The previous two were the same race, a year apart. The first time, I did the 5 mile run and the second year I was part of a relay team. This race was a wee bit different. The first one was a loop of 5 miles, it had a 5 mile run, a 50K and a 50mile relay... so there were always people around... this one, well this one went a little like this....
I signed up for the 3.5 mile run. Short distance, I've "done" a trail run, I can do this!! HECK YEAH!! LET'S DO THIS!! So two of my friends signed up too, always good to have friends along to encourage your crazy! So we get there early, about an hour early, and there are people running the trail, an hour before this thing starts. Ok, fair enough, that happens on road races too, they are the 'serious' runners. I may never be one of them, but good on them. They fascinate me. Really. So move on to the start of the race... there is a 3.5 mile, 9 mile and an 18 mile... we are all starting together... AND we are starting by pace. Let me just start by the car a half mile away... just kidding!... wasn't quite that bad! So we're off!! Let me just tell you guys something. This trail was hard! Where I live, it is flat. I think they MADE hills, it was like a roller coaster trail. Up and down, sharp turns, sneaky roots! (I almost fell once, but caught myself by doing that awesome Superman arm waving, forward stumble! WIN!!)
So as I was saying, this trail was different. I was alone.. A-L-O-N-E. No one was around. The group of us took off and then it was me. So here I go making my way through the wilderness, wondering what I have gotten into, looking for snakes and bears, and hoping to be going the right way. Also saying a few choice words to myself. I really started to think I was lost! I mean I am walking along for what felt like hours and I did not see or hear another person. No one.... I started to think I may have taken a wrong turn or something... I wasn't sure how I could have done that, but I'm not thinking clearly at this point. I'm wondering if Yogi is gonna try to come take my Glukos Gummies!! Then I see it!! The most beautiful thing in the world to me at that moment!! Nope, not the finish, a trail marker! I know I am headed in the right direction and all will be ok!!! It was a beautiful site!! So I continue on, with a little more pep in my step!! I can do this!!
aLittle while later, I am on the trail alone still, enjoying the view, it really was beautiful! I had turned off my music and was just looking around, ever vigilant for bears and snakes! I saw a lot of squirrels and birds, and a few suspicious sticks... my legs were getting really tired and I was seriously questioning my sanity with about a mile or so to go when I saw something!! I SAW A PERSON!!!! When you are a BOTP'r on a trail run and you see another person, it is like a Bigfoot sighting!! I couldn't believe it!! I stopped! Then started moving faster! I was going to catch him!! OH IT WAS ON!!! I was moving! Leaping over roots, slipping on pine straw, nothing was going to stop me! This was where that Superman arm waving came into play! I caught them at the split of the 9/18 mile and 3.5 mile runners! They were 9 milers. Well crap. At least I caught them! YAY ME! I make my turn and I am almost there! I am gonna make it!! YES!! I'm thinking I never wanna run this one again! FINALLY, I see the finish line!! I run through it and my friends and I agreed to do it next year!!!!! Naturally. We are runners... we encourage each others crazy. :)
Ok people, I got a new treadmill... it was delivered this Monday and I am only able to write about the "adventure" today because, well... it seriously kicked my fanny... here's how it went down. True story.
Monday morning the delivery truck shows up with a box. A very large, very heavy box, which they very nicely placed in my living room. Once they left, I tried to move said box and dropped it on my feet. Score one to the treadmill. ALREADY.
I finally maneuver this thing to where I can work with it and open the box, then I have to laugh. There are instructions on the box on how to open the box, so I do my best and finally get the thing open... it is worth noting at this point that I am not the most patient person ever... by far. So, I get into the box and see the bottom of the treadmill and lots of parts and pieces that I am supposed to put together. Since I will be attempting to run on this and it uses electricity, I decide to actually look at the directions. It says you need to have two people to put it together. psfh! I can do this by myself!! Besides, I am the only one here that can put it together, my mom lives with us, but she is recovering from surgery and cannot do anything at the moment, so off I go, me, the treadmill parts and pieces, my tools, and the directions!!! WOO!!
The adventure began at about 10:30am. I had to take breaks, (no patience, remember?) and I finally finished at about 8:30pm! My arms were sore, my hands were red from turning the screwdriver, no power tools could be used!!!!!!!!!!!!, my arms and shoulders were dead and my feet hurt. OH and I had the various bumps, bruises and cuts from the card board, slipping screwdrivers and running into the treadmill as I was putting it together... BUT I DID IT AND IT WORKS!!! Score 1 for me!
Ultimately though, the winner of the battle is not me, you see I was looking at a different treadmill and it sold out. This treadmill had all of the same features and a little bit more but was close in price. What's a girl to do right? So, I got this one... I did NOT look at the measurements. Now the treadmill has taken over the living room, like seriously taken over the living room. MY LIVING ROOM BELONGS TO THE TREADMILL NOW.
Mary 1 Treadmill 100 (it owns the living room and it beat me up)
Where to begin... the beginning I suppose. How did I start running? Well, my version of running... I was honestly at the dentist office with my daughters and saw a postcard for the inaugural Susan G Komen 5k in our town. I thought, I could walk that... and so began the madness, it's funny how that happens. I did walk it, that was followed by another 5k and then another etc. I eventually ran a half marathon, then another and another, etc... The year was 2013, I was 41 and I became a runner. I ran everything I could, all the 5ks I could find and I loved it. I was an interval runner, which in my case meant I walked a lot, but I got it done. It was odd, because if you had ever asked me in my life if I would be a runner, you would have gotten a snort laugh and a NO, never thought of it... but that postcard in the dentist office changed everything. Running became my release, my sanity, my ME time. I *GASP* ENJOYED it and it put me in a great mood!! My kids would ask me when I was going running because they knew they were more likely to get a yes if they asked for something after a run. :) This continued until last year, then I hit a few bumps. We all have injuries that sideline us and that is something we deal with begrudgingly, but mid 2015 until just recently was a massive wall, mentally. Those are the worst kinds of "injuries" because those, you can't just wait a few weeks and all is ok, you have to work on them. You have to face demons and BEAT them, and it's tough stuff. I will spare you the details, but will say, I am finally winning my demon battle and am back to running. Which is what this is all about. My journey back. I have my goals set and I plan to make them, I hope you will come along for the ride!!! I plan it to be a fun one, because I am all about the fun!!!
This is the story of me... a Back of the Pack runner that started this journey a few years ago then lost her way. I am starting over and you are invited along for the ride! The highs, lows, wins and lessons, and most likely some venting!! Welcome!!