It has been a month since I heard the news. It’s been a month of doing absolutely nothing. By choice. But, But. but! Isn’t that what they say? The choice to do nothing is still doing something? I chose to ignore.
In truth I ran in purple this weekend with you in mind. Doesn’t that contradict everything I said I feel? Nothing I said I would do? A prince’s power to make me think of you. A Purple Reign. The night before I got the word. You are still a heartbeat; alive and kicking they say. You just don’t have as much to say. Duly noted. I won’t say it either.
But, let me back up and just say “But, I ran.” I know I will sound like someone else when I offer up excuses, but they are all true. I wasn’t feeling well before the Purple Run. I was tempted to turn a ten into a five and call it good. No. I could only tell myself came here to run. Not make my excuses. The temptation was fleeting and gone before I could really chew on it. Instead I threw up.
This was a good run, all things considered. A solid sub ten minute mile the entire way. Through crowds of meandering families strolling with their strollers and dogs I managed to break an hour. Boston in my ear, telling me he’s going to buy me a beer…right after a run to the Dunk. It’s only an app but it had me giggling. I like my Boston.
I have moved on from this. I’m setting my sights on a half. My first since September. I have moved on.
Categories: Charity, Confessional, life, running
Tags: 10k, Confessional, friendship, illness, insane meoments, love, pace, purple run, race, run, running
Where do I begin? Where did I leave off? So much to say there’s too much to say. Let’s try nutshells, shall we?
Running: January saw 24.25 miles. I’m okay with that number because I was insane at the end of 2016, running practically every single freaking day. January was my rest month. February was a little better: 40.6 miles, thanks to the St. Pat’s nemesis I always blather about. March kicked off with 13.7 miles in the first week. I have skipped a few runs to…wait for it…to weight lift with a certified bodybuilder trainer. I figure if I’m going to punch someone I need to be strong enough to knock them out! Just kidding. I called truce with the nemesis, by the way. I have yet to walk a single step…and, and. And! I find myself with a new PR: 1 hr 4 seconds. The cool thing is, I didn’t “race” this run. I spent the first four miles cruising, just looking for my friend. Once I found him and decided he wasn’t staying with me, I took off. It kills me that I spent only two miles of the run trying to race!
Next up: a NEW 10k for April. This one is a head scratcher. The race director emailed the runners and asked us to decide on the course: did we want to run laps (um. no) or go long. I voted long. Of course.
Books: I read 10 books in January, 9 in February & I’ve finished 7 already this month. That’s what I get for reading Truman Capote, Adimchinma Ibe, David Halberstam, Barbara Gowdy, Marianne Leone, and Laura Esquivel’s incredibly short books.
Music: I have already heard Trey Anastasio. On the horizon I have plans to see Natalie Merchant (of course), The Dead (of course), Phish (of course) and Sean Rowe (of course) before the summer is over.
Truth be told, the summer hasn’t even begun so who knows who will be added to the list.
Travel: Maine, California, Alaska, New York. Not necessarily in that order. More on that later.
Categories: Confessional, running, vacation
Tags: 10k, books, concerts, music, racing, reading, run, running, St Pats, training, travel
So. The St. Patrick’s Day 10k road race has come and gone. I have mixed feelings about the day. I’m not talking about just the race. I mean I’ll get to that in a minute. I’m talking about the whole day from start to finish. I am of three minds when it comes to this 10k. Fear. Fun. Frustration. Fear – for starters, I woke to snow coming down in huge glittery flakes. That in and of itself was enough to get me jittery. I have always been afraid of injury this time of year. It will do me no good to turn an ankle just before Just Cause. As I watched the roadways become blanketed in white I wondered if I really should be running at all. But, this is the year of courage. Or, at least that’s what I told myself. Can’t back out now.
Fun – the whole race was fun. 7,000 people all vying for road space. Sidewalks still snow drifted. Yet, this was my strongest race by far. I powered up every hill with a smile on my face and even a laugh once or twice. I ran through puddles while others tried to dance around them. I just didn’t care. On every incline I looked around for exhaustion but never found it. The whole six felt comfortable and even, dare I say? simple. I found myself goofing off – high-fiving and fist-pumping little kids and adults a like. I didn’t take anything seriously. Even the downhill sprint – I sort of lollygagged my way down, not really paying attention to anything except the clear blue skies and the throng of people trying to hand the runners beer. The first year I ran this 10k I just wanted to finish. Accomplished. The second year I wanted to conquer the hills and not feel cowed by them. Accomplished. This year I wanted to beat my time…but somehow I forgot that along the way.
Frustration – when the finish line was in sight I had two simultaneous thoughts. One, I could run another 10k right now because I felt that good. Second thought – Oh yeah! This is the year I wanted to beat my time! Too late I turned on the jets. There was so much more in the tank that sprinting the last 1000 yards was a breeze. Only. It wasn’t enough. I beat my time by thirteen small seconds. That’s it.
I’m mixed up. Normally I don’t compete with me or myself. At one point numbers were just numbers and times really didn’t matter. Not yours. Not mine. I simply didn’t care until suddenly this year me, myself and moi – we care. I’m confused because I’m mad at myself for making a mockery of the run. I ran so easily that surely I could have run harder for longer. The hills proved that. I could conquer every incline without losing pace. I felt strong the whole way. This lack of focus has bothered me enough that it actually has taken over my sleep. I had a dream that I was able to watch myself run. How stupid is that? A coach pointed out every time I slowed to high five a little kid. “See that?” he would accuse. “You lost three seconds right there!”
I’m not going to worry about it. I’ll take it for what it was supposed to be: a training run for the Toronto half. I haven’t registered but it’s time I put St. Patrick out of my head and started thinking Maple.
ps~ I can’t even post pics from RaceWire. They sent me a group of what they thought were pictures of me at the finish. Yes, I’m in the photos but all you see is a hand, a tip of a shoe, a suggestion of what might be bib #7238. The good news is Kisa got a blip of video when I ran by him at the start 🙂
Kisa was the only one to comment, “how come you haven’t said anything about the 10k?” Well…and here I trail off because I have a multitude of reasons for keeping mum. For starters, I was too proud of myself to put it into public words. Secondly, I was irritated by the walk/run crowd (I’ll tell you more about them in a minute). Third, I wanted to see if I still had a reason, a right, to celebrate.
Let me start from the beginning. January 9th 2013 marked my soft launch into training for both the run and Just ‘Cause. I was pretty religious with the training until February hit. Okay, so I was religious for about a month. Then, I stopped. Just. Like. That. No explanation. Somehow I lost my faith in the run AND the walk. I even started making excuses as to why I shouldn’t enter the 10k. I didn’t think I would or should until I did. Somehow I signed up.
Race day. If you have never run this particular race you won’t know that it is nearly all up. Up as in uphill. I didn’t train for hills. What am I saying? I didn’t train for anything, really. But, here’s the thing. I ran the whole six and change miles. I didn’t walk up a single incline; didn’t walk a single step. Like some other people. I didn’t stop my 11/mile pace for anything (not even a Coors light offered from the side of the road). But, it frustrated me that some “runners” would walk up hills and sprint on the straightaways. Yeah, you’re running a six minute mile…but you’re WALKING the rest of the time. It drove me nuts to be passed by people who I knew weren’t running the whole way.
My last reason for not wanting to talk about the race was a wait and see attitude. I wasn’t confident I wouldn’t feel some kind of knee/hip/ankle pain a day or week after the race. I wanted to make absolutely sure I really ran the whole thing pain free. That was important. Because if it I did, that meant I could keep this running thing going…again. On my terms.And in terms of pain, let’s just say there isn’t any. Finally.