I think this “race thing” can become addictive. I find myself scouring through sites like Active.com, looking for just “one more race.” For me, however, it’s not really about setting personal records (I am, however, working on improving my time). It’s really about the excitement and the sense of accomplishment I feel every time I cross the finish line. Even better, when I cross the finish line and there are people behind me.
There are those that say, “why pay when you can run for free?” That thought definitely has merit, but I LIKE races and there is nothing wrong with that. Don’t get me wrong, races can be a pricey addiction, but it’s one that I’m willing to commit to…and there are much worse addictions out there.
So today, I signed up for another race – the Barb 5K. Since I can’t be in Atlanta, I’m going virtual. What better race to sign up than for a Jeff Galloway – Inaugural race. I’m not ready for another half-marathon yet, but I think I can handle another 5K.
I mentioned, in a previous post, about needing to run an officially-timed 10K to get a qualifying time for February’s Disney Princess Half Marathon. It’s not really a “qualifying time”, but a race pace so that I don’t end up in the last corral with the balloon ladies. I was only two corrals ahead of the ladies last year, which basically meant an approximately eight minute lead – not nearly enough time. The solution was to run a 10K and submit a pace. Not just any time, mind you, but a pace that was faster than the Disney Princess Marathon 16 minute mile race pace.
After a restless sleep, I woke up to an outside temperature of 24 degrees and a 30 minute drive to the race. You know when something doesn’t feel right? I’ve stressed about this race ever since I signed up for it. I made the mistake of looking at the results from previous years, after I had signed up for the race and noticed the slowest time was about a 15 minute mile, give or take a few seconds. Sure, I’ve run faster than that – in a 5K. What if I couldn’t finish? I’ve never run outside in below freezing weather. What if I came in LAST? Horrors!
Arriving at the staging area, I realized that this was definitely a mistake of huge proportions. First, absolutely everyone looked like a Runner, not just your average every day runner, but capitol “R” runner. Everywhere I turned, all I saw was youth. What was this grandma doing here? What had I done? All I knew is that I didn’t want to be the last one over the finish line.
I discovered a few things about myself today. First, I may not be super-fast, but put me in a fast race and I can hold my own – in other words I didn’t come in last. In fact, I finished before they opened the roads back up 90 minutes after the start of the race. Second, it’s so easy to self-doubt. What was I doing here today with all of these Runners? Guess what, I’m a runner too. Perhaps not the capital R variety, but I’m further ahead than anyone still sitting on the couch talking about running. Finally, forget about everyone else on the road. I’m not out there trying to impress anyone other than myself. I’m doing this for me.
Did I train enough? I still have a ways to go, but the good thing that came out of today. I managed a time that should surely keep me out of that last corral.
I was too lazy this weekend. Actually, I don’t know if I would call it lazy. My daughter was working so I was babysitting both Saturday and Sunday. I guess I wouldn’t call chasing a two-year old (he’ll be 3 in February) around the house for six hours each day necessarily being lazy, but when you look at the running I got in… I spent the day chasing this two-year who managed to sneak and eat (or crumble) almost an entire half a bag of chocolate chip cookies (I kept wondering why it seemed he never seemed to finish the ONE I did give him – I finally found the pack.) He also managed to empty almost an entire container of perfume on his bedroom floor. (They are taller than you think). Note: quick tip from a grandmother, all of the above does result in evening 2-year old tummy troubles. Don’t turn your back or take a restroom break for a minute!
All this to say, running wasn’t a priority this weekend. I would love to blame the entire loss on my grandson, but I can’t. I’m a big girl; I have to take some of the responsibility, too. So I did manage to sneak out the house for a minute this morning for a really short run, before my daughter left for work. After all, one mile really is better than none at all.
ps..in the time it took me to dash this off, he managed to find a stapler (he has a knack for finding stuff, I forgot I even HAD a stapler) and one of his plastic animal toys is now dangerously close to meeting an untimely stapling. Gotta run!
I took a quick peek at the Disney Princess Half Marathon website today. I find that it’s always a great wake-up call. In fact, as I’m typing this, the countdown clock says 97 days, 2 hours, 28 minutes and 29 seconds until Disney Princess Weekend. I must admit this is the second time I peeked at the clock today. Have you ever asked yourself why you put yourself through torture? Perhaps torture is a strong word, but do you ever ask yourself, “Why, why, why?”
Is it because I’m hoping that suddenly I’ll have retroactively trained hard for the past year? I know I didn’t. Heck, you probably even know I didn’t. You have but to look at my blog posts to see that missing gap of several months to know, I didn’t.
Is it because I’m hoping that suddenly, I will be able to finish a complete run with zero walking? Heck, I’m a grandma who just started running a couple of years ago after a hiatus that lasted, oh, a few decades? (That’s a sneaky way of not sharing my true age, just call me grandma).
I don’t know the reason, what I do know is that clock set off a spark in me tonight that motivated me to brave the cold and freezing rain to head to the gym (bet you thought I was going to say outside). What I do know is that I have a few hours over 97 days to be ready. I don’t have to run the entire way, I just have to finish. I’m not worried about being elite or measuring myself against anyone, just myself. If ever there was a time, it’s now, just 97 days, plus a couple of hours before my next personal victory! The two miles tonight is just a step to help get me on my way.
Today was one of those iffy kind of days. Of course I woke up with the intent to be super active. My plan was to go into work and spend a couple of hours catching up while the office was quiet. From my office I was going to go for a quick run, not far, but a much needed trek. After the run, I was going to buy a new crock pot and a few healthy eating choices for the week. Sounds like a plan, right?
You know how it is, the best laid plans… Work didn’t quite go as I expected. The Internet was acting funky and almost everything I needed to do required me to access work sites – server not available. After managing to get through about three hours, it was still super-cold and windy outside by the time I left. Who wants to run when the wind was making it difficult to barely catch a breath?
Instead of the run, I headed to the store, I didn’t buy the crock pot, but managed to get some veggies and some ice cream. Technically ice cream isn’t a healthy snack, but I was thinking of it as more of a mental one.
Driving home…ah…the guilt set in (or rather guilt in the form of the vanilla ice cream in my trunk). Why did I change my plans for today? Wasn’t I the one stressing last night about getting ready for a 10K? Heavy sigh… The good thing is that we can always change our minds when we make a decision against our better judgment.
I can happily report that I went to the track, ran 1.5 miles, most of it against the wind. I’m feeling much better about myself and my decisions now. The moral of the story? Ice cream can wait…but in case you’re wondering the cold temperatures were enough to keep the ice cream safe until I got home.
The proof of time is due by December 1, 2014 for the 2015 Disney Princess Half-Marathon. I must admit it did send me into a bit of panic as I realized that I had not actually ran a timed-10K as I planned and the deadline is a month away. I’ve done plenty of 5K’s, but no timed-10k. How is it possible I completed a half-marathon and numerous 5K’s, without a 10K in the mix? Now as the clock ticks nearer to the deadline, I find myself frantically searching for a timed-10K race that is within driving distance to where I live. In fact, I was actually so desperate, I was willing to drive three hours to get to New Jersey to take part in the Biggest Loser Race. This was until I logged in and saw the race was actually tomorrow. Needless to say, a search of Active and other race sites were not producing the most fruitful results for November events I was hoping for.
As usual, when I’m working on a particularly time-sensitive task, my mind wonders. I was out to dinner with a friend talking about running. She said, she doesn’t pay to race, period. She runs, but she doesn’t believe in spending money on something she could do for free. I must admit it caused me to pause for a moment and even now as I was desperately searching for a race to spend my money on so I can get in a better corral at a race I had already spent my money on, I had to ponder.
Why do I race? I’m not really sure. What I can say, however, is that I enjoy it. Sure, it’s nice when I complete my own personal 5K’s or further, but there is something about the validation of setting a goal to cross a finish line. Sure, there are so many other things I could spend money on, but I don’t think it’s a waste. To some, they may think of it as paying $25 – $60 on a t-shirt that I’ll hardly wear, but you know…we get one go around. Pick your poison, so to speak, mine is running in a race.