Sunday, February 27, 2011


Thanks, Kanye!

Today was my first race in almost a year...the last one I did was in May, the day after fiance and I got engaged. (I kind of don't count that race because I totally phoned it in by gabbing with a friend and staring at my sparkly huge ring the whole time.) I have never been the biggest fan of running — I enjoy saying that I ran a race, but I've never looked forward to the actual physical fitness part.

To say that I was dragged into this race kicking and screaming this morning would not be much of an exaggeration. It had snowed here last night and it was still snowing this morning...the parking for the race was about a quarter mile from the registration, and we trudged through slush and wet sidewalks the whole way. Uphill. Ugh. So by the time I picked up my number, my feet were ALREADY wet, I was ALREADY cold, and I was NOT feeling it. And knowing that this race is the first in a series of three — 3 miles this week, 4 miles next Sunday, 5 miles the next — didn't really motivate me to put myself out there today. They give out a medal after each race, and then you put them together for one massive medal, but I was more than content to have a piece of the puzzle missing. Really.

<---Last year's medal. Mine is in a box somewhere.

Eventually I got caught up in the spirit of the race (fiance calling me a quitter had no bearing on my decision), and before I really had admitted or accepted that I'd be running, I was taking off my nice long puffy coat as if in a daze and haphazardly pinning on my number.

The start of a race is always tough for me. Well, the whole thing is, but the toughness of the start is that everyone and their handicapped brother is passing me, and I need to stubbornly maintain my own little slow pace so that I'm not fried in the first half mile. So I kept trudging along, trying to pay no mind to the legions of people passing me (racers: note that this is a weenie race and didn't have markers for starting with people of your own pace), and listening to my ipod on full blast.

After a short little jog we came to THE hill. This thing is long and winding and seemingly never-ending. I had remembered this sucker from last year. Not fun. My first step up coincided with the opening bars of "Stronger" by Kanye. And I thought...this is the perfect song! As I slowly journeyed up the hill, I listened to the music, really feeling the whole "N-n-now th-that don't kill me, will only make me stronger" thing, and I was also saying to myself - I can do a plank for a minute in boot camp! DIG IN! DIG IN!

And you know what? It freaking worked! I made it to the top of the hill without stopping! Take that, all of you people who passed me at the beginning! Look who's passing you now!!

(Okay, I wasn't actually that vengeful or psycho, but it was a nice moment.)

I also raised the roof at the top of the hill. I hope the course photographer caught that.

The rest of the race, while I would never call it a "breeze," was not so bad. And, for the first time in my pathetic jogging life, I caught a wind. I knew I was less than a mile from the finish, and I felt good. So I picked up the pace, turned up "I Like it Rough" by Lady GaGa, and got a movin'. For the second time today, I was passing people. I felt like a runner — you might even call what I was doing "running," NOT "jogging."

I wish I could top off this heart-warming story by saying I had my best time yet, but I actually came in a full three minutes after last year's time. (And really, there had been room to improve.) But I can honestly say that I can't remember ever having that "runner" feeling before, and I hope to have it again. I got a taste of what all those whacko nutjob hardcore runners always talk about, and I want more!

This blog needs more posts like this and less about dieting, skin care and old people's clothing.

On a less serious note, way to go Meg!
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