Thursday, March 7, 2013

Juggling a Life

How to Juggle...I have no idea how to do it, but I would love to know. Today I am exhausted and worn out. The lower half of my body hurts. I can’t walk properly. I am tired. My mind is not in a good place. It’s one of those days where I just want to find the highest cliff and jump off.  I feel completely incompetent as a wife, mother, business partner, friend, sibling, daughter, and volunteer. I want to crawl in a hole and sleep for days and avoid everyone and all responsibility. But I know these thoughts and feelings are just temporary. They shall soon pass and I will be back to my usual happy, hyperactive self. It’s just that today I am not feeling it. I am tired of trying. I am tired of doing what is right. I am tired of seeing the brighter side of every situation, the silver lining, the greener grass, or whatever you would like to call it.  That being said, I have trained myself so well on pointing out the positives that I can provide you with some nicer news. 

On Sunday, I finally ran my first official half marathon race. The E Murray Half Marathon, held in Lincroft, NJ. I have run just over 850 miles since January 1st, 2012. More than 300 of those miles have been training for Boston. It may be a little bit backwards to be training for a marathon when I haven’t done a half race yet, but if have met me, you know that I don’t always follow conventional ways. (Feel free to analyze that however you want.) Gary suggested that I do it to see how I am doing with training and to get used to a large crowd. He and a few members of the running club were signed up for it, so I said sure. I got there really early because I did not preregister. That probably was not the best idea because as I stood there waiting for my friends to arrive, REAL runners were walking past me. These are people on college and state track teams gliding pass me in their swanky track team jackets. It’s nice to show team solidarity and be proud, but that is intimidating to newbies like myself. I tried to ignore them but they were like tigers in a cage pacing back and forth in front of me, waiting to bite my hand off if I reached out to touch. Okay, so they were just warming up, but that is what my head saw. So I ran to my car and to text friends to distract me. (Thanks everyone for your pep talks.) Gary finally texts me that they are in the gymnasium bleachers so I head to meet up with them and it helped A LOT!

It was pretty cold out and we were all jumping around trying to get warm. Ali, Joanne, Sue, Big Mike, and his friend were there. They were pretty relaxed and talking about what pace they would most likely run at and then we were off. I am pretty sure someone (Gary) told me this was a flat course. Maybe he didn’t, but I had it in my head that this would be easy. It was FULL of hills. Not too bad, but I was not really expecting it. I knew I was running at a slightly faster pace than I had been training, but it was okay. I felt pretty good despite the pain in my left calf. I blame the adrenaline and the NYC Marathon runner in front of me. I kept pace with him for a good 10 miles. Then there was the 77 year old man. He and I were neck and neck for at least 5 miles. He was a sweet man who started running 25 years ago. He told me to just enjoy the sights and sounds of the race….and then he kicked it into high gear, leaving me to eat his dust. Impressive Old Man, IMPRESSIVE! One day I will be able to do that. So at the end of it all, my official race time was 2:13:36. According to Endomondo (my GPS tracker) my 13.1 time was 2:11:41.Race time is what counts, but I take note of that 2:11:41 because that means I PR'd my half-marathon distance by more than 3 minutes.  Yeah me!

Funny Quote on another blog.
This was a bare bones race and we didn't get medals for finishing. It would have been nice to hang my first half-marathon medal on the wall; however, I got something better than a medal. Hard core Ali who never thought I could run called me a “runner.” That’s a badge of honor to newbies. When we start running, we never think of ourselves as a runner. Well, I don’t and neither do some others I have spoken to. We shuffle, move our feet and TRY to look like we are runners. I read some articles that say you’re a “runner” when you complete your first race. Another article said if you’re out there consistently, you’re a runner. So I could say, I have done both and; therefore, I am a runner, but when I see tigers pacing back and forth in front of me, my mind tells me that I am not. When I tell people that I am running Boston on a charity bib and they give me the “Oh, you’re one of those” comments, my mind says, “you’re not yet a runner.” But the fact is, I AM a runner. I get out there every week and push myself to do things I have never done before. I am out there before the sun comes up, when it rains, snows, sleets, hails. I love it when I am running. I feel good even when I am in pain. I may not be fast, but I am doing it. And I am running Boston for the Massage Therapy Foundation, which supports MY profession, which allows me to support my clients and community; which includes those individuals who don’t think I am a “real runner.” And, as I said before, Hard Core Ali called me a RUNNER.  You just can’t beat that label.

Sue, ME, Gary, Hard Core Ali, Joanne
Thank you to my friends at the Somerset Runner’s Group for supporting me and keeping me calm at my first half-marathon race.  You guys ROCK! 

Please support my fundraising efforts for the Massage Therapy Foundation:  Thank you! 

1 comment:

  1. finishing Boston, like everyone else starting that race, says to me that not only are you A Runner, but also A Runner having where-with-all, cahones, & a sense of PR goals that supersede the norm (of most other races) - Finishing is your goal, and you will reach it with every physical & mental benchmark you achieve in YOUR Plan to Finish...not "The Other Guy's" Plan or opinion of how you should construct yours.
    in my opinion, as a less-experienced runner and Finisher of one (flat) marathon: physically, you are ready; mentally, you will cross the Finish...maybe with some of that sweet, 77-year-Old Man's enthusiasm!
    Glad to see your writing as part of your mean: TRAINING!
    Rock On, Kathy - Rock ON!