Sunday, November 30, 2008

Crunch Time!!!

I feel just a little bit guilty for posting this blog update right now- as there's just about a week left in the semester and I've been intensely caught up in school work, and still need to be for the rest of this week. It seems that I get more random things crossed off my 'to-do' list in the midst of intensive work weeks than any other times. Can't brush off the productivity-zone even during study breaks I guess. :) So, here's the latest updates on a few random un-posted events....

Thanksgiving Day!!!
Pretty close to a perfect holiday by my standards. In the morning I joined 36,000 of my closest friends in downtown for the 8 mile Turkey Trot. Dallas has the largest Turkey Trot in the nation so this event was huge! The entire thing was run in downtown, which gave me the chance to see a lot of sites I hadn't gotten to see yet, Dealy Plaza, J.F.K. Museum, Deep Ellum, etc.

That evening I had an amazing Thanksgiving dinner with friends. Given that I can't cook at all I'm very lucky to have so many friends who can. :)

Running is a mental sport... does that make me inspired or insane??

January 18, 2009 I will be running my very first marathon!!! I ran the Rock n' Roll Arizona half marathon last year, and since then have been running consistently with the idea that someday I'd work up to running a full marathon. It finally occured to me.... what exactly is it I'm waiting for?? To be in the running for a 1st place finish? To run a 5 minute mile pace for all 26.2 miles? To have the perfect schedule that gives me all the time in the world to train? Well, let's be serious- those are never going to happen! But that is the great thing about marathon running- or running in general...the sport is big enough for everyone!

If you've never been a spectator at a marathon finish line before I highly recommend it whether you're into running or not. It's absolutely amazing!!! First the incredible feat of the winners and records holders who run 26.2 miles in 2 hours or less!!!... but for me watching the finishers come in over the course of the next 4 hours beyond that is just as exciting. Nearly everyone of them is crying- for sheer joy or pain I'm not sure yet, probably some of both. What makes the marathon such an amazing event is that it's just a few miles further than the body should be able to run- even at it's best. Which means those last few miles is sheer determination, will, and endurance. And every person who crosses that finish line has an amazing story about what it's taken for them to get there. Whether it's training in spite of a serious medical diagnosis, the guy who 100 pounds ago could bearly climb one flight of stairs, the full time mom who managed to keep up her training for months in the midst of maintaining a busy family life.... everyone has a story! Runners say that crossing a marathon finish line changes your life forever. So I suppose in another 2 months I'll get some idea of what all of that really means.

I've been doing long distance runs for a while now, but Saturday was my first 16 mile run. My friend Andy and I braved the cold to endure the whole distance together. 16 miles is a very long way! The last few miles your body starts to realize that it's never run this far before- and it starts to rebel... that's where the whole mental aspect of the sport comes in. :)

Marathon training programs 'only' prepare you to run for 20 miles. Which means once you get on the actual course on race day, those last 6.2 miles come from....??? you get different answers from different people. But I have heard that people yelling for you on the sidelines can get you through some pretty tough times. Anyone available on January 18th??? :) I'm going to need all the help I can get!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Undy 5000- "Super Susan's Semicolon Friends"

Running in underwear just once this year wasn't enough, so last weekend I flew to Phoenix to join team 'Susan's Friends' in the Phoenix Undy 5000 5k. Susan had so many supporters I'm not even sure if I knew half of them. It was great to see so many people out there in her support.

Congrats to my brother and sister-in-law for running their first 5k races- though my brother has vowed to cut down his 9 minute mile place to a 5 minute mile pace by next year. Well... good luck Marty! I guess I'll chat with you at the finish line next year if you're still around by the time I finish! :) And congrats to my Dad for finishing strongly in spite of an extremely late start and pushing a 2 kid heavy stroller with flat tires for 3 miles.

My mom captured the entire event (honestly, nearly every second of it) on camera. She is a fantastic photographer- so I'm not sure why everyone in these photos looks like they're part of the witness protection program. I'm certain it's a problem on my part because her pictures look fantastic!

Next year- same race! We'll all be back- hoping to run with Susan this time!