Going the distance

3 years ago

"…when I overtake a twentysomething year old guy I always want to yell over my shoulder:  ‘hey you were smoked by a forty-seven year old woman wearing a skirt’.  I never actually do this, but I always want to!"

The song by Cake always gets me in the mood to run.  You know, the one where the guy sings about driving and striving and hugging the turns?  Love that song.

I don’t run as much as I used to. I can list several excuses slash reasons but it’s mostly down to injuries that don’t mesh well with heavy mileage and the time-management challenges that go with parenting my virtual twins.

The 10K is my favorite distance to run. I’m not a speedster but my speed is respectable. I enjoy sign up for a half marathon now and then but I have a hard time fitting in long runs to properly train. The 10K lets me focus on endurance and I can finish a race without needing a pit crew. I do have a pit crew but their focus on my hammies and tired tootsies isn’t reliable. If one of them is cranky or needs a snack, it becomes all about them.  Not good pit crew qualities.

I ran a 10K this morning, my first in…wow, I don’t know how long. It felt good. This will pass for my final long run before I run the Rock & Roll Liverpool Half Marathon next week. I’m so unprepared.

Today’s race had a companion 5K, so the Hubs and the boys went out in the double wide (that’s slang for our side-by-side double jogger. It is a beast). I finished respectably, 1 hour and 4 minutes. I kept to my slower half-marathon pace and didn’t try to show off. My best 10K time is about 10 minutes faster than what I ran today, but that was a few years ago and I was running with Hubs, who makes me run faster than I like (he can be a bit of a competitive show off but he’s a good running partner).  I wasn’t winded at the end today but my legs were tired. My normal maintenance runs have been 3-4 miles and I haven’t been out running in a couple of weeks.

Things I didn’t like:

• Being passed by people pushing strollers;

• Being passed by dogs (I am mostly okay with being passed by a Golden Retriever but my ego smarts when a Jack Russell Terrier sails right by);

• Parents who run the race and allow their child to bike the course.   Kids on bikes don’t bug me but kids on bikes who weave in between runners and have zero situational awareness about sharing the road with cars are not on the list of my favorite things. Splat.

Things I liked:

• Overtaking a twenty-something year old guy gasping for breath. I always want to yell over my shoulder “You were just smoked by a forty-seven year old woman wearing a skirt”. (I never actually say this but I always want to).

• Time to be alone with my thoughts. I stopped running with headphones long ago. I solve problems, re-hash conversations and make mental lists. Most of the things I write about are things that pop in to my head while I’m running, to include the name of my blog. I find it therapeutic to empty my head and enjoy some mental free association.

• Hearing my little kids chirp “go mah-meeee go” when I’m near the end. That will never get old.

Today’s race was in honor of Police Week. It was pretty well organized and they had purple G2 at the end, which I love. There were also lame raffle prizes – cheap tee shirts and cheap wine. I’m not a snob. Cheap wine can be fun but this was Barefoot Moscato. Pass.

The course guards were interesting. Do you call them course guards? Pointers? Direction-givers? The men in the little yellow safety vests? We had 2 kinds of people pulling this duty today, and before I make fun of them, yes, I totally realize they were volunteering their time on a Saturday morning.

We had the clappers and the texters. The clappers enthusiastically cheered as the runners passed their station. They shouted encouraging words such as “lookin’ good” and “you got this”. Over the top Special Olympics finish line style clapping. The texters completely ignored the runners because they were too busy with their phones. I am not the runner who needs lots of crowd support but I would like to have the warm fuzzy that one of the course guards would notice if I fell and hurt myself.  I have mental images of me sprawled injured & unladylike in the road and some guy standing 3 feet away posting selfies on Instagram.

I was happy I got out and ran today even though my legs were telling me “we’re so over this” during the last half mile. I need to make more of an effort to make time to run more. Today was nice. I was happy to have some time alone with my running shoes and my thoughts.

"No trophies, no flowers, no flashbulbs, no wine"…wait a minute, I have wine!




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