So back in high school I was too busy being boy crazy to think about running. I met a girl who liked the same boy as me.
Twenty five years later, her and I still have the same love… but it’s something we can actually share (and I think it loves us back.)
Marion started running a few year ago with a beginner’s running class and then a Couch to 5K program. Now she’s got three half marathons in her pocket (and I did all three with her!) I always enjoy making friends with runners, but it’s so much more special when my friends become runners. A few weeks ago, I convinced her to meet me for margaritas by promising a 7 mile run before our liquid lunch. In the past, the margaritas would have been enough to sway her. I am so proud of my friend. Most recently we completed the Rugged Maniac in NJ. There were a few obstacles (monkeys bars) that I skipped, but Marion tried everything. When I told her that I was impressed, she was more upset that she had tried and failed. I am still impressed that she tried. She is an awesome girl so I wanted to share her thoughts with you…
Thank you to Jen of Mom’s Gotta Run, my dear old friend who I’ve known way before running became a significant other in either of our lives- although Jen found him first and has gone much further with him – but continues to inspire and motivate me.
Anyone who is close to me can attest to the fact that I am my own best friend, as well as my own worst enemy. It is not that I lack self-confidence, I just happen to be hard on myself in all areas of my life. My relationship with running is as humbling as it is empowering. For instance, while I was training for my first half marathon, I registered with an estimated finishing time of 2 hours and 45 minutes. I was averaging around 12-13 minute/mile at the time and wanted to give myself some slack if anything went wrong. Fast forward to the finish line of the Long Branch Half Marathon in New Jersey- 2:13:09. My first reaction was of joy and amazement that I finished . I was also relieved that I was not dead last, which was always a fear of mine. The very next thoughts went something like this- Wow, so close to a 2:10 finish, really? Why did you walk through the water stops? What if you pushed just a bit harder? It seems that regardless of how well I do, I always find soemthing that I should have done better.
Outside of half marathon training, my normal running regimen is 6.2 miles every other day. Or so it was like for a long time. It is the standard to which I hold myself up to — very similar to when Linda Evangelista was quoted in a Vogue interview saying, “We don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day.” To me going out for anything less than a 10K just didn’t seem worth it. Why? Let’s face it, for the first mile or 2- me, myself and I are in a pretty heated battle over whose bright idea it was to do this thing called running in the first place. They all come up with every excuse in the book as to why we should turn back around right NOW and just stop. It is too cold, it is too hot, my legs feel achy, there is laundry to fold, I can’t breathe right, this list goes on and on. Running is my one and only form of planned exercise, to dedicate anything less than an hour just doesn’t seem like enough time. (This is coming from my former 60+ lb heavier self) So a 10K allows me to get into a groove that I can actually enjoy myself and I feel like I’ve put my workout time in. Plus any extra time spent out on the road alone is a bonus!!!
So why the change in mileage? As the temperatures and my running shorts have gotten higher, I have had to drastically lower my expectations. My pace, which isn’t so fast in the winter (10:30-11min/mile), slows down by 2+ minute/mile sometimes. All of a sudden, I have to start taking multiple walk breaks and my runs soon turn to “wogs” or crawls. I sometimes feel like I am auditioning as Zombie #312 on The Walking Dead. Also, due to schedule changes and my daughter being out of school, I no longer have the same window of running opportunities that I enjoyed all school year long. Instead of hanging up my sneakers until the Fall, I’ve been trying to find ways to balance my former expectations with my current conditions. I have come to embrace 3.1 miles. As busy as the day can be, it is pretty hard to not be able to squeeze 30 something minutes for something I truly love. I run in the early evenings, often between 7-8pm. The sun is no longer blazing and sometimes I might be lucky enough to catch a breeze. I have thrown my expectations of pace out the window for now. I’m out there and I am moving, case closed. Don’t get me wrong, I still silently berate myself when I know I’m covering a turtle mile or I have to stop and walk, but I’ll take that any day over not running at all. I try even harder to live in the moment of every run. The most exhausting part of my day is also the most exhilarating. It is when I am running that I find true happiness and inner peace. The time alone is something that I deeply cherish. For me, running is as humbling, as it is empowering. I might not be going far and I definitely am not going fast, I still try to get out there as much as I can. The times that I can’t make it out, only make me appreciate my runs more.
So tell me please that I am not alone. How does summer effect your running plans/schedule? How do you find a balance between your expectations and the realities of life?