No I’m not standing on the USS Abraham Lincoln wearing a flight suit and lying to the American people. I really did run my 5 miles yesterday.
The weird thing. I ran the last five miles of the marathon, which means that I was as fresh as a daisy passing up folks that had been running for 4 hours. God I would have hated me had I been one of those runners. Of course there were also lots of folks that had been running for 4 hours that weren’t sweating all that much and didn’t seem too stressed – that was impressive.
Thanks to Lindsey, Linda and Jill for being great teammates, great runners and more importantly, letting me have the shortest leg of the race. Jill took the longest section with all of the hills (bless her heart) and Lindsey/Linda after each running 6 miles, ran the last five miles behind me to motivate me. I didn’t want to be lapped by folks that had already run, so it really did keep me moving.
Thanks to Tip for lending me his very expensive sun glasses and trusting that I’d return them. I almost didn’t. They were really nice.
Thanks to DeeAnn and Heather for coming up with this crazy idea in the first place and coaching me all winter. I never would have done something like this on my own. And a special thanks to Heather for making sure that I drank water, stretched, wore the right shoes, pinned my bib number below my boobs and took a shit before leaving the house.
Thanks to Donna for encouraging me not to quit every time I whined about the race.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
- Training inside is fine, but it doesn’t prepare you for inhaling the exhaust fumes of passing vehicles, running into the wind or jogging past corn fields recently spread with cow manure. Unless your treadmill is in your bathroom right after my Dad has been inside with a newspaper, you really can’t train for that indoors.
- Running messes with your mind more than your body. I wanted to quit about 10 times yesterday because I thought I was going to be out there forever. It is a lot easier to talk yourself out of doing something than to just persevere. Had I not had friends waiting for me at the finish line, I might have simply run to the closest coffee shop and called it a day, so spending a few bucks and committing to a race is important if you want to meet a personal fitness goal.
- If you look way ahead while you’re running, it sucks. It’s best to look for the obvious obstacles only a few feet in front of you like cracks, pot holes, banana peels, etc. If you can navigate around those you’ll eventually get to where you’re going.
- Anything goes when folks are pushing themselves to their limits. I saw folks bent over side rails spitting and puking. Had it been colder, I’m sure I would have seen the infamous, no hankie nose blow that men seem to master at some point in their lives. While I was waiting for the next water station I was thissssssssssss close to becoming a hocker ho and blowing a big chunk of mucous out of my mouth. Unfortunately, I don’t have that particular projectile talent and knew that any attempt would result in a big wad of snot running down my arm, so I waited for the water and well, took one for the team.
- If you don’t believe in Jesus, sign up for a race. When I had been running the last mile for what seemed like about three miles, I met Jesus up close and personal along with his parents. I think that’s why these type of races are on Sundays, so you can miss church but not really miss anything.
- Everyone has a different type of hell. I saw a woman running the marathon early in the morning. She was chatting with her friends and wearing a crazy hat. Clearly she was having a blast. Then after she finished, I saw her at each and every relay transition point cheering on others. Later she was out on the course and encouraged me when as I was running up my first big hill. So kudos to her and others like her that actually find running to be fun. Who knows, perhaps her hell is something that I don’t mind at all like public speaking or donating blood to the Red Cross.
- My motto has always been Work Smart, Not Hard but honestly, sometimes you just have to work hard and shut up about it. I get that now and frankly, it’s about time.