To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Friday, March 25, 2011

Why I Love Being A Runner

I was reading Meagan's Princess Half recaps and I got that whole warm, happy post-Princess feeling back. It really was such an amazing experience. I promise I won't blog about this one race all the time. But like any "first" in life, it is memorable and left a huge imprint on my life in general, not just with regard to running.  As much fun as I had at the Princess Half, no matter how many times I run that same race it will never compare to the fun that Lesley and I had that morning. So, two days after the half, I decided to return to Florida in January 2012 to run the WDW Half Marathon (minus the 1,000 character stops, whining and hallucinating). I'll miss the fun princess atmosphere and all of the women out there together, but this just gives me a chance for new memories!

With this little trip down memory lane that I took, I noticed I was sitting here smiling. As much as I sometimes hate it - I always love it. Running. I love to run -- just like my necklace says (as Lesley was kind enough to remind me during that crazy, curved hill at mile 10!) I have no eloquent words to describe it, but we all know what I'm saying, right??

I love that feeling when I finish a run. Sweaty, tired, sore, stiff, thirsty, hungry ... whatever the feeling is that day, I always love it. As bad as I might feel, I'm always happy I went out and tested myself.  Prior to September 13, 2009 I couldn't run from my house to the end of my block without walking at some point. I never toyed with the idea of doing a 10K, 15K or *gasp* a Half-Marathon. I mean that's just not what I was made for. I don't have that slender runner's body. I have hips. They aren't going anywhere. I'm not exactly tall, which means my legs aren't exactly long. I'm bow legged like you wouldn't believe. Ugh. My left food always turns out a bit when I walk and run. I hate it, but I try to fix it and I can't. I have a little belly that doesn't want to leave. (But then do I ever do ab workouts? Not yet. But soon!)

I'm just an average woman. But I feel above average when I run. In my little skirts, with my trusty Garmin, I feel on top of the world. Even at the lowest points of runs where maybe I realize I'm dehydrated or my body is hurting, I still feel unstoppable. I mean I ran 13.1 miles with minimal walking. I mean Lesley did NOT go easy on me (and I'm so glad she didn't) and we RAN that race. We pushed my body the hardest it has ever been pushed in my entire life. And when it was done, delirium and all, I was happy. I was smiling. I was proclaiming that I was ready and looking forward to the next half marathon (now 16 days away)!

Running makes me feel like I can do anything. I've scaled crazy ass hills during races and survived. I've run at a near 5K PR pace in humid, 80º+ temperatures (puking at the finish line) and survived. I've traveled out of town alone to run in new places and survived. I've raced with a cold (setting my current PR) and survived. I've raced with hip bursitis and survived. I've raced while recovering from H1N1 and survived. I've gotten tipsy off rum, ran my fastest mile ever and survived. I've passed out at night (only once!) from rum and then ran 10 miles and survived.  I've set goals, achieved them and survived. I've slept two hours and run 13.1 miles and survived. I was the most non-runner you've ever met, I decided to become a runner and I survived!

Perhaps the best thing about becoming a runner is "meeting" all of you!  The whole running community is so crazy supportive! I, believe it or not, used to be a pretty hard core bowler. During college I was in two leagues at the same time, and would spend many nights at the bowling alley practicing and studying. I pretty much swept the city tournament and bowled at Nationals when I was at the top of my game. Then I moved to Florida and was unhappy being around teams that actually blatantly rejoiced in the failure of others. It wasn't fun anymore. By the time I moved back to Oregon and I had lost the love of a sport I was really good at, and it was all because of the bad vibes going around. But running is the opposite. I love that about you all! I have never raced and felt that someone was wishing for me to trip and fall. I never felt mocked by other runners when I wasn't as face. I have been encouraged by elite runners (passing me during a 20K while I was struggling to finish the 10K) while I was leaning over in the bushes ready to be sick. In what other sport can you find that? The spirit of everyone is just so awesome! Even when I have a bad race I always have fun - largely because of the support of my fellow runners. 

Basically, we are cool! I'm always so grateful to all of you that read and comment on my posts! And I love reading your blogs. I always learn new things from your experiences and the advice that you share.  With that said, I will totally point fingers and blame some of you select individuals .... for what? For turning me into a race addict! I mean how many half marathons have some of you done at this point?? In just 365 days?? You ladies are crazy ... and I LOVE IT!!!

And that's all I have to say for today! Now let's go grab our shoes and run!

16 comments:

  1. Yes to all of it!! I LOVE running :D

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  2. I want to be one of those 77 year old folks running 26.2. Once a runner, always a runner!

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  3. I loved this post. It's fantastic that your memories and new goals can keep you fired-up and in love with your sport of choice. Very inspiring!

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  4. LOVE this! Couldn't have said it better :) We're awesome :)

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  5. If ever you move up to Portland, have I got the PERFECT bowling league for you!!!! We'll crush the competition!!!

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  6. What a great post! You are such an inspiring runner. I love your attitude and all those smiling pictures! I'm totally considering the WDW half cuz of the cool special 15 year anniversary medal. I'm a sucker for some "special" bling.

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  7. I love running too! :) Great post

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  8. I want to be a runner & cool like you and just maybe it will happen this time (check out my latest So Skinny post). You inspire me girl!

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  9. Your blog is one of those that always puts a smile on my face because I can totally relate with your love and enthusiasm, 100% of the time. I'm a lot older and not half as cute as you but I share your "bug." You little Fruit Fly!

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  10. Awwww ... you gave me that warm fuzzy feeling.
    Oh what the heck, let's all be cheesy and give each other a virtual group hug! :)

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  11. Love this post! You capture what makes running so great. :)

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  12. Hey woman!!! Thanks for keeping up with my little blog! I don't think you've entered my spibelt contest yet!! http://tinyurl.com/spibelt
    Cheers!!
    Liz
    PS. We're gonna have to meet up sometime, maybe at the Disney Princess Half next year?? Think about it!!

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  13. Oh, and you CLEARLY won my power bracelet contest so if you want one let me know the color beads and how many you want!!

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  14. Look at you being all happy and bubbly. Must've had a good visit with BB. ;-)

    Runners rock!!! Still thrilled to have shared your first half with you!

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  15. Great post-you got this totally right!! I loved your numbered list comment on my last post too :)

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  16. A nice motivational post! It was such a great time and I need to be like you and remember my accomplishments when I get down and whiny!

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Thanks for reading my little blog, your comments rock my compression socks!! ºoº