Monday, August 2, 2010

stories of a not so fast runner....

Last night I went for a run. I was scheduled to go for a 4 mile run but once I was out there it was so beautiful I didn't want to stop. I have gotten into a routine now. I drive my Jeep to the bottom of the hill - if you would see my driveway you would understand. I take some final drinks from my water bottle, clear the calories on my heart rate monitor, turn my Ipod to number 9 and start my stopwatch.

It's so funny the things that I had forgotten about running. For instance I HATE it the first 2 miles and then after that I don't want to quit. At mile 3 I start thinking that I should have worn a different shirt because the cute one I chose is now rubbing the flesh off of my arm pits. At mile 5 my right shoulder goes out of socket (everytime) and then at mile 6 I remember the term "runners trots..." and if you don't know the meaning behind that one I am not going to explain it on here. Although I didn't make it farther than 7.5 last night I remember that at mile 10 I really want to throw my IPOD on the ground because the thought of hearing the theme song to St. Elmos Fire one more time I just might scream. At mile 12 I can't really remember my name and at mile 13 you are cursing the person who decided to put that stupid .1 on the end to make it a half marathon.

And yet for some strange reason I am so excited to be running again. I love the time alone just thinking and pushing myself to do more - believing that I can someday get faster. Oh, the stories I have about being a not so fast runner...Like getting to the half way mark of these little country 5/10K runs and the people that are handing out the water have already deserted the area. I have gotten to the end of a 17 mile walk only to have nothing but bananas and warm bottled water left and the ER people packing up to leave...aren't we the people they should be sticking around for? I have been followed by the ambulance and the people taking the cones down as you pass.

But have to say that the most stressful was when me and my friend Ali were running the Grandma's Half Marathon (aka..the Gary Bjorkland) in Minnesota. At about 12 miles after looking at my feet for the last hour, trying to tune out the band with the bagpipes and repeating the middle school cheer.."I feel good..oohh I feel so good..hey" for the billionth time in my head.. a woman with some sign stepped smack dab in front of me and yells..."Get Off The Course!!!!" You can only imagine the confusion that was going through my mind - which at this point was the consistency of Jello. I panicked and looked around for Ali...Evidently the Evil woman had apprehended her as well because she stood on the sidewalk as dazed and confused as I was. The thing about this particular race is that you have to stay below a certain time. The reason is that the Marathon actually starts at the same time as the Half Marathon but the Marathoners begin 13.1 miles behind us. The problem arises when the slower of the Half and the fastest of the Full combine. They don't want that to happen - I would assume it might take away from the photo finish on the front page of the newspaper if this long legged African guy is neck and neck with a 5'2" pale white woman dragging her right arm and her crying friend across the finish line (okay, it may have been the other way - but it was pretty much a blur at that point. But back to story of the crazy woman - we never found out who that psycho was but we looked at each other and decided we didn't care what she said we were determined to finish that race. So for the next mile we would switch spots of encourager and crybaby about a dozen times. I kept saying "I have NOT come this far for them not to give me that stinkin' medal...I don't care who I have to talk to but I am NOT leavin' here without that thing around my neck..." And all Ali kept thinking about was her family at the finish line ......So we pressed on and crossed the finish line. I do rememver that I had this precious boy with Downs Syndrome place my medal around my neck and then I got my T-Shirt - I was on top of the world...and then tried my darndest not to pass out.

There have been some crazy things that have happened on my journey as a runner. And I am so excited for all those things again....And the one thing that I do have going for me that some of those girls with the long legs and the great feet don't have...after a race of that length and we all loose our toenails I don't even cry because I barely had any to loose in the first place....:-)


Yvonne said...

this is so funny! good for you for finishing the race! my daughter is in training to run her first 1/2 Marathon and i, as her mother, have accompanied her on my bike. it is so very amazing what this miracle of a body can do! CONGRATULATIONS!

Linda Jo said...

Thanks Yvonne - and good luck to your daughter. Honestly the first one is the hardest. So much of running is mental. We can accomplish so much more than we think we can. Once we realize that then it crosses over to other areas of ours lives... (and your a great mom for supportin her...)

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