Friday, 9 January 2009


Your Word is "Hope"

You see life as an opportunity for learning, growth, and bringing out the best in others.

No matter how bad things get, you always have at least a glimmer of optimism.

You are accepting and forgiving. You encourage those who have wronged you to turn over a new leaf.

And while there is a lot of ugliness in the world, you believe that almost no one is beyond redemption.

This was a lovely little test that I got from Chad.  I think it is quite apropos to my circumstance.  
You know, if I can get over myself, I can actually have a nice time in Phoenix next week.  If I am stuck on worrying about myself and my performance and my pride and ego, I am certain to have a miserable time.  This sounds like it would be an easy choice, and I guess the choice is easy, but the carrying it out is the tricky part.

I started running when I was 28 years old and had a 3 year old son and 1 year old twin girls.  I really HAD to run to get out of the house.  I got a neighbor to babysit for me each morning and I went out for my run.  I would spend the entire morning in my sweats because I loved my little color coordinated outfit so much.  I had a pair of grey sweat pants (yes, really), a blue leotard - for control - there was no such thing as a sports bra, so I wore the leotard over a normal bra.  I had a grey and maroon sweat shirt - I thought it was super cute - but it WAS the 70's.  I had a pair of gray and maroon Brooks shoes.  I wore those things until they wore out.  

When I was 30 years old, I got very sick.  No one could figure out what was wrong with me.  At that time, I was running 5 miles each morning.  I loved running.  I think I was still wearing the same shoes and sweats... but I was running.  I went to doctors and they sent me home with painkillers.  I knew I was dying.  After 2 days, my husband dragged me out of bed and to the hospital.  They cut me open from just above my navel to just above my pelvis - they didn't know what else to do- there were no such things as CT scans and MRIs back then.  They discovered that I had a ruptured appendix.  The doc told me I would have died within an hour if they hadn't opened me up... when he found out I was a runner, he told me that was probably the only thing that kept me from dying.  

But I stopped running while I was recovering and didn't start back up for quite a while.  After we moved to Denver and got divorced, I started running again.  I was in my mid-thirties.  I ran my first race in 1987.  I was 35 years old.  It was the Bolder Boulder 10K.  It is a huge race.  It was fun.  I had to go to the bathroom during the race, and had to wait in line for quite a while.  Imagine my surprise to see that my monthly visitor (sorry to be so cutesy, but I don't want to be too graphic) had decided to come during the race - totally unexpected, and I had on tiny little pink running shorts.  oh dear.  I made good use of toilet paper and finished my first race.

I participated in races for a while.  Never anything more than a 10K.    

As I approached my 40s, I decided I really needed to quit smoking!  So I did.  And gained weight.  I kept that weight on for a good while.  All of my 40s.  When I was approaching 50, I didn't want to face my 50th birthday as a fat lady, so I joined Weight Watchers (again) and lost 30 lbs.  I have, for the most part, kept that weight off for nearly 8 years now.  Right now I have 8 lbs of it back, and it has GOT to go - ASAP!  

In 2003, I had a heartbreaking end of an engagement.  I thought I was going to die.  So I went out and ran.  I had to walk up a nearby hill, and run down... for 5 minutes.  That was all I could do - 5 minutes, downhill.  After a while it became 10 minutes, and then I knew I could do a mile, and then a mile and a half, etc.  The most I ran was 3.1 miles until 2006... but I digress.

I decided I should do a triathlon in 2004 and I loved it!  I have done one every year since.  But running was my worst sport in the tri.  I LOVE biking the best, and I really enjoy swimming.

On New Years Day 2007, I was talking with a friend who also did the Tri's with me.  We decided we would run a half marathon in 2007.  I started training right away.  She decided not to do it.  I had a Nike + iPod which I calibrated using a treadmill (which much later I learned is not a good idea).  Well, I started running long distances because Lance Armstrong would tell me I was doing great at the end of a run!  I found I could run 10 miles, then 11, then 13!  I thought I was invincible!  I thought I was running an 11 minute mile.  

Months later I bought a Garmin.  And discovered that I was running a 14 minute mile and that my distances on the Nike + were inflated by about 20%.  I was a couple weeks out from my first half-marathon and discovered that everything I thought was the truth wasn't.  So, I made an attitude adjustment and went to that half marathon to have fun.  And I did.  I had the best time.  Every single picture of me at that race, I have a big smile on my face.   I just had a great time.  

I did another half in October of 2007 and took 5 minutes off my time.  I enjoyed that one too.

In April 2008, I decided on a Friday to do a half marathon on that Sunday.  I was ready because I was training for a full marathon.  I had the experience of coming in last in a race.  It is not really an experience I would highly recommend.  It left me with some fears about doing that again.  Ironically, it was my best time ever for a half-mary.

In June, I ran the Mayor's Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska. It was a great experience.  My worst time so far for 13.1 miles.  I needed to walk about half of it.  It was fabulous to have that experience though.

So, now.... I am a week away from the P.F. Chang's in Phoenix.  My training has been side-tracked by injuries and laziness.  I am sick of running.  I want to do something else on my weekends other than my "long run" which consumes a whole day.  I started out good in the fall, but as the length of the runs increased, I really lost my motivation.  

I have Piriformis Syndrome which causes sciatica.  It is quite painful.  When I run, I feel like there is ground glass in my left hip socket.  It is not pleasant.  My back is very painful too.  

I sketched out a training plan here in late November or early December.  I have kept to my plans for the long runs.  But I have probably averaged 1 day of running during the week. I just have not trained.

I HATE HATE HATE to not follow through and not make good on something I committed to do.  I will go to the race and I will do the best I can, but I will know that I could have done better if I had had the discipline that it takes to train for a race.

Sorry to keep whining about this.  I wrote all this to try to work through this process.  If you have read all of it - thanks.  And thanks always for the wonderful words of encouragement you share.  You guys and gals truly inspire me.  


Lily on the Road said...

Hi, Wow, you've done and been through an awful lot throughout your life...yet you've kept your spirit alive and although you've struggled you've come through the other side (a few times)! Good for you!

Last year three of us "mid fifty's" ladies went to Phoenix for the Half Marathon and had a blast! I took my camera on the run, we took photo's of ourselves with the Sun Devil mascot, the hot air balloons and some pretty hot looking motorcycle cops! We went for the fun of it!

There are soooooo many people at the race, it is hard not to have a good time!

Please go, have fun, I run for 10 minutes and walk for 1. This works really well for me and NO, I didn't care that it was my slowest race ever, because I totally enjoyed the whole experience. From the Expo to the party after....

Hope this helps you a little...and I truly hope you have a GREAT time!

Jess said...

Lily's advice is good. Try to just go and have fun, and run what you can.

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Hope is a great word.

I think you should just go have fun and enjoy the experience for what it is, not for what it could have been, what it IS right then while you are there. :-)

BTW, this is what the test said about me. Maybe it explains my viewpoint. I think the first paragraph is accurate about me. The second paragrah, not so much...

"Your Word is "Fearless"

You see life as your one chance to experience everything, and you just go for it!
You believe the biggest risk is being afraid and missing out on something amazing.

Sometimes your fearlessness means you're daring. You enjoy risky activities.
And sometimes your fearlessness means you're courageous. You're brave enough to do the right thing, even when it's scary. "

Joe said...

Work through it you will. Look deep in yourself for your spiritual roots...enjoy the running (even if you don't enjoy it) as a wonderful physical outlet.

And, have fun in Phoenix!!

You'll make it and make it well.

J~Mom said...

I am going to pep talk you until you hate me! :>)

Wes said...

Do your best, forget the rest :-) Luv it!! It really is about finding that balance between running, not running, doing something.