Monday, November 23, 2015


Yesterday I ran my second half-marathon.
Beat my time by 8 minutes.
How did that happen?
The course was harder, there were tons more people, and I started out feeling nervous & unsure.

So, why? How? Eight minutes is pretty significant (considering my first half was just three weeks prior).
I'll tell you what happened.
I ran with two girls/teammates/friends (I think after you complete an event like that, literally alongside somebody, you move up from teammate to friend level...right?).
They pushed me every step of the way (or, I suppose pulled, as I was mainly the caboose of our little gang). 
I didn't look at my garmin once; I've run shorter distances with these particular two women & without much thought, I gave myself over to the process.
I trusted the process; the pace, as it were.
The last half mile was left leg cramped badly.
If it weren't for my compatriots, I'm fairly certain I would've walked/limped to the finish line.
I ran.
What a day.
I hadn't planned on doing another half any time soon, but a bib became available & next thing you know...
Lining up again.
(You know how it goes)

Today I am sore and tired.
Maybe a tad impatient with my kids.
Recovery is vastly different at age 40 than a decade ago when I first delved into athletic pursuits.
I need to work on that part. I can't very well keep this up if the trade off is being a tired bitch to my family the next day.
What else?
A little more about the group I've been running with. 
They're part of a team/foundation/greater good; they (we) raise money and awareness for cancer, focusing mainly on our local communities. Supporting families affected by cancer, supporting fighters & cancer warriors.
It's one of the most hospitable & welcoming teams I've ever had the privilege to be a part of.

You know me & the whole group thing by now.
It's painful.
I'm awkward & shy.
Slow to warm up.
It takes me a while to not be the quiet one.
Even when I "fit in", even when I'm genuinely included, I still feel kinda like the oddball.
The thing I'm beginning to realize is that most of us feel that way in group situations; we're all goofy and weird and have our quirks.
When there's a greater good, a solid cause, and such a welcoming support system in place, it's hard to feel like an outcast.
And there's a lot to be said for solidarity.

I woke up at 3:30am yesterday to drive to a sketchy empty lot & get into a car full of (basically) strangers. 
Several of whom I've never seen in daylight (we always run before the sun comes up).
I gratefully accepted a baggie filled with three coffee cookies baked in a kitchen I've never seen (I'm weirdly weary about eating baked goods from strangers).
{Says the family *brownie* baker}
The cookies, by the way, were amazing.

These little things are actually pretty sizable hurdles for me.
In fact, it might be harder for me to hand over control of my Sunday to a bunch of people I've only just begun to get acquainted with over the past month than run the race itself.
Yeah, that part is definitely harder than the physical feat.
Running is the easy part.
I'm getting better at the other stuff.
So much better.
Now I can focus on conveying it better in words here.
Maybe more often.
Or not.
Maybe I'll just keep running & awkwardly blog about it again & again.


Fatmarc Vanderbacon said...

that entire blog post is amazing.

congratulations. 2 half marathons in 3 weeks in insane. Much respect.

it took me a really long time to figure it out, but marching to your own drummer is a strength not a weakness. As I get older situations were I felt really awkward, -the outcast, I just look at differently. I was at an event recently, and actually the target of some ridicule. Pretty lame, high school stuff. In younger years I might have gotten bent, but of late my reaction has been - that's the path they choose, I'm very comfortable with my path...

that was long, and weird, and probably awkward too. Sorry buddy, but it was recent for me...

btw- recovery. yeah. so much harder the older we get.


Kim said...

Dude. Thank you so much for reading/commenting/relating. Thank you thank you thank you!