In just seven days I run my first half marathon. So I hereby proclaim December 8-14 to be National Half Marathon Week. “Says who?” you may ask… well, says me!
Today I had a story on the front page of the newspaper. Actually, it was on the front page of both Section A and Section B, complete with several pictures. That story represents hours of work behind the scenes, coordinating interviews for the reporter, prepping my folks being interviewed, finding background research… I even had to re-design our Web site so they could link to a certain video (which didn’t exist until I did a quickie online tutorial on how to upload videos… now that’s customer service!). My name may not be on the story, but seeing it there in black and white (with color photos!) makes me a really happy girl. Plus, it makes my boss really happy, which is even better. I do these all the time, but this one I’m framing and hanging in my office… it was that good.
I was scheduled to run with a friend tonight, and here’s how the conversation went, via text message, about 30 minutes before our run was scheduled to start:
Check this out… tonight I ran 4.06 miles in only 36:02 minutes… that’s 8:52/mile. I know this because I bought one of those cool Nike thingy’s that plug into your iPod and tell you how fast/how far you are running. It’s a pretty neat invention!
Today my training partner and I set out to run 9 or 10 miles. We got up at the crack of dawn (my alarm went off at 5:00 a.m. on a Saturday… yikes!) and kicked off our run with a group of other crazy individuals around 6:00.
Neither of us knew the course, which wound its way through the ritzy neighborhoods of Fort Worth, an area I don’t typically frequent. The rest of our group wanted to run 12, and when it was time for us to separate and set off on our own for the “shorter” 9-mile run, the directions they gave us were so complicated that we knew there was a 99.99 percent chance we would get lost. The thought of roaming the neighborhoods of Fort Worth, forcing ourselves to run further than we wanted to, was daunting, so we gave in to the peer pressure and did 12 with the rest of the group.
My legs have never been so tired in my entire life. However tired I have been before, I can multiply that by two, and that’s how tired my poor little legs were at the end of TWELVE miles. But it’s also really cool to say I’ve now run TWELVE miles. Gee whiz, that’s a really long way.
My favorite part of group runs is the breakfast celebration afterward. Eating pastries, or waffles, or sausage, or anything else that’s unhealthy is so much fun after you have burned 1200 calories.
The other good thing about getting up early to go for a long run is the LOOOOONG nap you get to take afterward. Sigh. That part is good too.
I did it! This morning I ran NINE WHOLE MILES at the park! Woo hoo!
You see, a few years ago the thought of running one whole mile was so overwhelming. I have asthma. And I’m a bit lazy. And running makes my body hurt. And I’m too busy. And I don’t really like it that much. And it’s usually too cold, or too hot, or I ate too big a lunch, or I had a coke. Hundreds of excuses of why I couldn’t run, didn’t have time to run, didn’t need to run.
And then I started to run.
Before today, the most I had ever done was somewhere between 7-8 miles, during my first unsuccessful half-marathon attempt. This morning, when my alarm went off at the ungodly hour of 6:45 (made worse after my late night rodeo adventure, which I will write about soon), all I wanted to do was hide under my covers and avoid the inevitable exercise. Again, my week was too hard, I am behind on my sleep, I felt a little dehydrated, and my body ached. I am so, so good at making excuses.
But my running buddy was waiting for me, and I couldn’t let him down, so I willed myself out of bed, in a daze somehow stumbled around my house, found my running shoes, and headed out the door.
And then it happened. The weather was absolutely beautiful. Cool and crisp. We started running, and we never stopped. It was one of the best runs I’ve had in months. I think it’s either that runner’s high people talk about, or maybe my body just goes numb and my brain turns to mush as I stare blankly at the endless sidewalk before me, and I stop noticing the pain. Either way, it felt great.
To celebrate, I got a giant latte and a cinnamon roll from one of my favorite coffee shops (Buon Giorno… yum), and now I’m sitting on my back porch, enjoying a quiet, cool morning, getting ready to tackle tomorrow’s Sunday School lesson.
After such a serious blog, I must lighten the mood and brag on myself, and make fun of myself. All of this caffeine is keeping me from sleeping, so I might as well keep writing.
I have been so good lately. Last Saturday, I ran 7 miles (at 6 a.m.!). Last night, I ran 4-5 after class. On Saturday, I plan to tackle 8. Go me. I kind of figured I would have quit this half-marathon thing by now.
Now for the shameful part. Today I ate Chick-fil-a. Twice. For breakfast and lunch. They were handing it out at the hospital and I managed to scavenge enough food to save me from having to actually stop working to eat. I would have had it for dinner, too, but I had a coworker who was hungry, and I gave her my spare chicken sandwich. Yep, I’m selfless alright. And sick of chicken. So for my dinner… some cereal I found in my desk drawer and some cinnamon bread from Starbucks. If you added some Ramen noodles to the list, I’d be back in college.
Yesterday? My awesome diet consisted of quiche, a large meatball sub, Doritos, and four granola bars for dinner… two on my way to class, two after class on my way to go running. And then I topped the night off with cereal around 10:30. Because they say the best thing to do is eat dinner right before you go to bed. I think Oprah had that in a book somewhere.
Sunday? Well, I managed two dinners that night. One from Taco Bell, one from Red Robin. Tacos, burgers, and french fries. Oh yeah, and I also had donuts and barbecue.
Yep, I’m a regular Olympic athlete. On the outside, I’m a lean-mean running machine, and on the inside, I’m one giant clogged artery. But this giant clogged artery is just doing her best to survive, and will get back to eating healthy as soon as her schedule slows down. Don’t judge me, just love me.
Tonight I went running in the park. All by myself. Like the big girl that I am. Normally I run with my friend, the super runner. He can run further and faster than I’ll ever be able to run, but he’s nice enough to go with me so that I don’t have to do the long runs by myself.
Because let’s face it, I’m a running disaster waiting to happen.
Let’s see. Tonight I ran about 5.5 miles. I had an asthma attack. I got lost. And toward the end, my stomach cramped so bad that I couldn’t walk. And all of that happened several miles from my car. Plus I got lazy and walked a lot more than normal.
I think there’s a strong possibility that if I continue to run alone, somebody will find me wandering the streets of Fort Worth, looking for my car. Or I’ll be passed out on the sidewalk, and runners will have to step over my limp but well-dressed body as they go by. Either way, it won’t be pretty.
So I’m either going to have to call my running friend again, or I’m going to start running with my inhaler, my cell phone, and a whistle. And maybe some flares. And a pistol. And an atlas. Looks like I’m going to need a backpack that matches my running shoes.
1. Good old Tiffany saved the day yet again. She got my sewing machine to work, and thanks to her help and encouragement, I have successfully pieced together my first quilt! It helps to have friends who are talented, occasionally it rubs off on me. It also helps to have a hobby that involves an excuse for a girls’ night. Not that anybody ever needs an excuse for girls’ night! This means I’m well on my way to becoming a quilting phenom… maybe I’ll be the female Michael Phelps of quilting. I’ll post photos as soon as I can find where I put my digital camera…
2. I ran seven miles tonight at the park. It was ugly. On Saturday, when I did six, I felt fantastic. Tonight, I just wanted someone to shoot me. Funny how that happens sometimes.
3. I think I have a ripping problem. Or a “moving too fast” problem. Today, I bent down to grab something off the bottom shelf of my storage cabinet, and stood up too fast. Riiiiip. My high heel got caught on my cute black skirt and ripped a hole right through it! It wouldn’t be so bad if this wasn’t the millionth time I have ripped my clothes at work. I had to go home and change. I loved that skirt, but alas, now it’s just a distant memory.
4. I’m now a girl with two jobs! As if I didn’t have enough things going on right now, I have taken the job as a graduate assistant to a professor up at school. In exchange for working on projects for them from home, I’m getting free tuition PLUS a stipend! Hooray! The only challenge will be fitting in that work between my full-time job, my homework from grad school, my half-marathon training, my tennis game, my new quilting hobby, my Sunday School teaching, and my social life. Yeah, I think I can do it! (In reality, I’m super thankful to have this new job, because private school tuition is EXPENSIVE, so this is a huge blessing!)
5. A few months ago I blogged about running into a guy from high school whom I hadn’t seen in nine years. When we finally ran into each other, I was getting my hair done and had a head full of goop, wearing a shower cap, sitting under a hair dryer (hey, having hair this naturally blonde requires a lot of work). I looked awful. Well, guess who I saw AGAIN after I ran my six miles on Saturday in the heat of the day. Yep, same guy. Only this time instead of a head full of goop, I was sweating PROFUSELY, my face purple, huffing and puffing. Boy do I know how to impress a guy! Groan.
Sorry, my head was just swimming with information. I’m probably still a bit delusional from lack of oxygen to my brain after all that running. I’m off to go soak my poor muscles and slip into bed early. Thanks to everyone who has been leaving me comments, it makes me so happy to see them!
Well, my flight is now booked. I’ll be flying DFW to Brussels to Venice, and coming home Barcelona to New York to DFW. Between the flight and the cruise, I bet I see 20 cities on my trip. That part is exciting.
Unfortunately, I may have to sell a kidney to pay for it. Because of the mix-up with my frequent flier miles, I had to pay FULL PRICE. Gulp. Maybe I should get a part-time job. Or find a rich, unsuspecting man to marry between now and then. Nah, maybe I’ll just stop eating out so much. (this reminds me of my favorite first line of any book… the first line of Pride & Prejudice… you should look it up, and you’ll love it too).
Spending $1500 very unexpectedly kind of stressed me out (let’s just say I was very close to hugging the toilet), so I went for a long run at the park tonight with a friend. We ran for a little over an hour–we’re not sure how far we went, but I’m estimating it was about six miles. I’m still planning on running that half-marathon in December, so this was a good step in the right direction!
All of that running made the expensive ticket seem a lot less important. I think I’m just too tired to care!