Friday, November 30, 2012

Bad Race = Good Race Picture

Despite being miserable I remembered to smile for the camera, and somehow my worst race produced my best running picture. Normally I am way too embarassed of race photos to post them, but this is one of the best ones I've taken. No chewing, no gloves in the sports bra, no mid-sentence talking mouth, no unflattering up-the-skirt view. It's a miracle!
Photo credit to brightroom, Inc.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Seattle Marathon 2012...26.2 miles is no joke.

A few months ago hubs and I looked at the Seattle Marathon and kind of (really) wanted to do it. But, it was the day before my best friend's due date and I didn't want to be out of town when she went into labor. So, we found other races to do and put it out of our minds.
Then on November 6th, my friend gave birth to her beautiful daughter and we realized Seattle was now a possibility. However, neither of us had been training to run a marathon and it was less than 3 weeks away. We don't always make the most rational choices when it comes to running so of course it sounded like a great idea and we signed up.
Now, 26.2 miles and 3 days of the worst post-race soreness ever later, I have learned my lesson. 19 days is not enough time to train for a marathon. Also, running 2 marathons 6 weeks apart = not a recommended race schedule. I know some people are experienced long distance runners and have no problem with this. Less-than-experienced long distance runners recovering from injuries and a cold may have a problem with this.
But, we finished the race! And in the end that is all that matters. And despite all of my frustration, self-pity, anger, and tears, hubs never left my side. That is a true friend. There is a big possibility that I would have dropped out of the race if he hadn't been there with me.
So for now I will ignore the fact that it was my personal worst marathon time and focus on the fact that I have an awesome husband who will run 5 hours with me, then drive 3 hours home while I sit in the car stuffing my face. Love you hubs! 

Bundled up and leaving the hotel. It was 38* out.

Hubs snoozing in the parking garage

Ready to go! Blissfully unaware of the hours of pain that lie ahead

Hubs ready to run

Following the race - my giant apple fritter from Pike Place Market

Don't worry, I didn't eat the whole thing. I don't want diabetes yet. Or ever really.

We were so cold and hungry after the race we forgot to take a finish photo. This is a fake finish photo in our kitchen.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Today I am Thankful for Zumba and Italian Food

Happy Thanksgiving!

My day of thanks started out with a 90 minute zumba party, complete with DJ.

My good friend Rachelle joined me. Zumba is our special time.
After zumba and a shower, we headed over to my parents' house for Thanksgiving dinner, Italian style!

Mom's delicious homemade baked ziti

Buttery garlic bread

Grilled chicken with sauteed mushrooms and linguine alfredo

Chocolate amaretto cake
After dinner I may or may not have eaten leftover chocolate amaretto buttercream frosting while watching X Factor. Overall, a pretty perfect Thanksgiving in my book.
3 days till Seattle Marathon!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fast Enough to Matter

I am not a fast runner. I am getting faster. But I will never qualify for Boston or win my age group. Whenever I try to run fast, I get injured. And I feel bad if I can't meet certain paces/times. I would rather enjoy running at the pace that comes naturally and feels safe, then push myself to run faster because that's what "matters" to other people.

My first marathon didn't go perfectly, but I still had an amazing time and was proud to have finished. My time was 5:05. The non-runners in my life were so happy and proud of me, they didn't care it took me more than 5 hours. I was happy, but a little embarassed by the 5 in front of my time.

I was feeling ok though, and still proud of my accomplishment. Then I came across a forum discussing the NY Times' decision to only publish NYC Marathon runners who finished in 4:30 or less. The majority of the posters agreed with this decision, and made hurtful comments about how runners who take more than 4 hours aren't taking it seriously and aren't really runners. We are joggers or run/walk-ers. People were saying that someone who took longer to run the same 26.2 miles was not accomplishing the same thing as a runner who finished in 3 or 4 hours.

I felt really bad about my time after that. I could never dream of finishing a marathon in the 3-hour range. I don't get what these people were hoping to accomplish by posting that. What do they think gives them the right to judge other runners? What makes a 3-hour marathoner any less of a runner than a 5-hour marathoner? They were bullying runners who probably had to summon a lot of courage to even start running in the first place. I had always thought the running community was supportive and encouraging, but this forum completely changed my mind. Some runners are just arrogant, or bitter, or out to make other people feel bad.

Your marathon time does not define you. If you are lucky, it becomes a lasting part of who you are and what shaped you. I am proud of the 5 hours and 5 minutes I spent running some of the most joyful, difficult, and satisying 26.2 miles of my life.

I hope that I will always focus on the journey and the accomplishment, and not on the fact that it takes me a little longer to get there than other runners.