- Booker T. Washington
It's not often that I actually think about life when I run. Sure...I think...but I think in the way you remember old camp songs to sing to yourself as you plop one foot in front of the other, or misc. movie trivia...or trying to recite the alphabet backwards. See...when I run, I run not to think about the things that trouble me...I spend enough time and energy worrying about stuff during my non-running hours, I'm not about to let those issues creep into my "me" time.
So when Thursday night's JP Morgan Corporate Challenge (3.5 mile race) came, I did my usual...found my rhythm both in my feet and in my head...however, I can't remember for the life of me what song I was singing. Whatever it was, it was quickly swiped away about a mile into the race when I read the back of royal blue a t-shirt with a goofy space-like cartoon character...
...In memory of Myke Minbiole...
...it read prominately across the back.
Now as a charity runner, I've come to appreciate the notion of running in memory or in honor of someone. And usually, when I see a shirt such as this, I smile at what the runner is accomplishing and give a mental shout out to their honoree...
...except this shirt caught me off guard.
See...I know Myke's wife, Julie. Less than a month ago the pair were victims of a hit and run car crash a few blocks away from our home. Julie survived. Myke unfortunately passed away. In a few days they would be celebrating their one year wedding anniversary.
While running, my heart simply broke for her.
I sped up to run with the men in royal blue shirts and introduced myself to one of them. We briefly exchanged words...and they shared a heart-touching story about a about Myke and a project they had recently worked on. The impact that Myke had on so many was evident. His spirit was encaptured in their smiles and fond memories. I could go on...but it'd get really heavy...and we all know that I'm not one to be heavy...
After another mile or so, as I went on to finish the run, I thought. Not the usual thoughtless thoughts about movie quotes or the latest top 40 hit or what I was going to have for dinner....but really thought. Thankful for air in my lungs, the most amazing greatest family anyone could ever ask for, my husband who is my rock and my best friend, a job that pays even though it can frustrate the hell outta me, and all the little things that make my life, my life. I ran and counted my blessings with each step.
The details and numbers of the race are pretty much irrelevant in comparison to the events that took place during the run, so I'm not even going to share them with you. Let's just say that I did well. Surprisingly well for me. I chalk it up to being inspired by the guys in the royal blue shirts...but mostly inspired by Myke.
On a lighter note, yesterday I had off at work, so I woke up early (namely because of Phog) and went for a 4 mile run at just over a relaxed 12:00 pace (while singing "Bad Moon Rising" over and over and over in my head)...followed by 40 minutes in the pool for 1200 yards.
And this week's running highlight? ...I finally got new running shoes. I have still been running in my marathon shoes from last year. 'Bout time I upgraded, right? Hopefully my beautiful new Mizuno Wave Nirvana 3's will be good fortune and less shin splints...and hopefully they will be named within the next few days...the Big Bird shoes are going to be retired right along side my Dave Grohl shoes...maybe I'll even recycle Dave, though I have a hard time letting go of shoes that have been so good to me.
This morning we had 8 miles on the schedule. When we woke up...it was in the lower 50's and pouring down rain. Totally craptacular weather...and we made the executive decision that we needed to just sleep in with the understanding that tomorrow we're doing a brick workout. I was okay with this...and welcomed the nice day off!
I hope everyone is having a wonderful and well-deserved holiday weekend...till' next time, campers...keep on running!
Mike dismounting his bike in T2...
Preparing for the run in T2. This dad was too cute as he picked up his little girl in the finish chute!
...about to officially earn the title of triathlete!
Assessing the sunburn damage. It's a lot worse than it looks here. I'm just waiting for it to start peeling. The prospect of sun screen never once crossed our minds. Oops.
Today I was so inspired from watching the yesterday's tri, I decided to make myself get on the bike this afternoon and practice the art of clipping in and out of my pedals. Lucky for me, I wasn't too difficult! I was out there for about 30 minutes and really got the hang of it. I haven't fallen yet, but I know my time will come. It was quite cold out today (like 30-40 degrees chillier than yesterday), so I bundled up in a sweatshirt and my biking shorts and headed to an empty parking lot. Mike joined me for two reasons--one, to make sure that if I fell, I had someone there to help me...and two, to make sure that if I fell, I had someone there to point and laugh.
If that's not love, I don't know what is :)
But the bike? It's not so scary. And...judging from today's performance, I might just be good in the saddle.
...and if by fun you mean awful and wet and all around tough...then why yes! It was a fun run. (In retrospect, it sucked at the time, but now I can honestly say it was fun.)
Tonight’s “easy” 6 miles was anything but easy. The weather, when paired with my blah mindset, made for a tough run. When it got to the point I was ringing liters of water out my shirt after a half mile, I started questioning the sanity of our little Tuesday night running group. I wanted to turn back at the North Avenue bridge and just cut it short...a 5k seemed like a brilliant idea given the weather conditions. But I didn’t. I pushed through the crappy weather...and in due time, the rain let up a little bit.
I went from dodging puddles to saying ‘the hell with it’ and started running right through them. What was the point? My shoes were already beyond squishy with water...my toes were waterlogged...and I couldn’t possibly get any colder. And after a while, I got over being pissed off at the fact I was running in the rain...and tried to have fun with it. I splashed around...I tried to scare the geese (which, by the way...plot their revenge by strategically leaving their droppings in murky puddles for unsuspecting runners)...and I even came up with my own lyrics to “Singin’ in the Rain,” which of course turned into “Runnin’ in the Rain.”
The plan was for 6 miles...but our designated turn around point came up a little short. For you crazy numbers people, here is what my splits looked like: 11:12, 11:39, 11:21, 11:51, 11:27 and an 11:20ish pace for the last half mile. I averaged 11:34 for 5.6 miles--not shabby given the weather. But not great either.
Obviously, I’m still having issues pacing myself. I was supposed to fall between 11:58 and 12:28 for tonight’s easy run. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing that I’m coming in under the paces we’ve determined for me with my respective marathon time goal. Then again, I’m not sure if I’ll really know until we’re deeper in the official training when the longer distances creep up.
After finishing off the run along the lake, I headed to the track to meet up with Jason, Leah & Mike for our first stride workout. They were nearly done when I arrived.
Strides? They’re so awful it’s funny. After I did my first two I really just wanted to throw a toddler-sized hissy fit and go home. Different and new muscles ached. Thighs burned. And my lungs breathed fire. I know they’ll get easier in due time. But I was soooo not feeling them last night. And still, I still managed to squeak out 8x100m on the track, stride the straight/walk the curve. I didn’t time them (namely because I didn’t feel it was necessary to), but I may just do it in the future for comparison reasons...I’m one of those people who likes to look at two different sets and actually see the improvement unravel before my eyes. In fact, sometimes I think I need that to convince myself that I should continue to run.
I’ve concluded that there is a special place in hell for the person who originally discovered the benefits of doing strides. Dare I say I like the thought of LT runs more than strides? We’ll see if that holds true in the future.
This morning I’m a bit sore in some new places. And dead tired. And really hungry. The one good thing about last night’s workout...I’ve learned that I apparently have good running form according to Coach Leah. So at least I’ve got that working for me. :)
Until next time, campers...
Uhmm yeah....guess who is stuck in an elevator!? (For all you short bus kids out there, that'd be me, Mike, Leah & Jason.)
Awesome. And by awesome I mean a claustrophobic terrifying nightmare. Did i mention we all smell like homeless people? Still haven't showered from this evening's run. It must be a GMR preview. Tragically Awesome? I think so.
Editor's Note: After 15 minutes and some sketchy crow-bar type rod that pryed the door open, we were finally free. Thankfully no one cut the cheese. Although visions of the elevator drop scene in Speed were dancing in our heads. After driving Leah & Jason home after the madness, we realized that we managed to lock ourselves out of the condo. I'm telling you...we're brilliant. Apparently getting stuck in sucky situations is my bag, and I'm bringing everyone down with me.
I realize there's room for improvement...and I know I'm not as fast and as dedicated and as super runner extraordinaire as some...make that most of you out there...but damnit, I'm on my way.
So WATCH OUT...cause I'm right on your heels...and if you're not paying attention, I'm gunna pass you one of these days.
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