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

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Meet My Teammates!

I'm definitely a solo runner. I've tried training runs with people and it just does not work for me. I need my freedom. To choose my own course. Make my own rules. Sing my own songs. Do my own pace. Time for myself!
For a long time I was a strictly solo racer. **Strike that, when it comes to actually "racing" I am still solo.** But somehow I stumbled upon the pure joy of having a "team" during non-competitive racing events. A lot of these people are going to be talked about a lot more - and some you've already seen so much of that you know them by name (Lesley, Giraffy, Rose). In honor of Thanksgiving I am sharing this post. These are people I am so thankful for! They are so fun, silly, inspiring. Just over a year ago I would have never expected that I'd be spending so much quality time with these other runners, but thank you Mr. Internet --- every single person you're about to see is someone I wouldn't have met without the world wide web!

First up, a long long time ago, I can still remember how, the music used to make me smile. Wait, no, not a sing-along. A long time ago, in a land far, far away (i.e. Portland, Oregon) I made my team debut. Leave It To The Beavers was our name. All orange and black, embodying the spirit of Beavers past and present (we had on Bengals jerseys - Houshmandzadeh #84 and Johnson #85 - former Beavers!). It was the 2010 Great Urban Race. Jessica and I signed up on a whim, having no idea what we were in for. Holding/kissing crawdads, borrowing a stranger's car horn to honk, jumping off of sculptures, creating art, jump rope, hula hoops, vats of beer, slices of pizza, and the infamous "driving test" that resulted in a crash of epic proportions - with my body being the one to fly across the ground. It was a total blast!! We covered 6.8 miles that day, sweat so much that we stopped sweating, and didn't win a thing. We didn't care. We felt like winners!

Then came Princess Weekend. My mom was my next team mate for the Royal Family 5K. We never had a name, but we had a group costume. Our costume had to be altered less than 12 hours to the start time because we packed for cold - and that weekend in Florida was anything but cold! (Thank goodness for discount t-shirts at the Rainforest Cafe!) (Okay, so my mom I didn't meet on the internet.) We spent a full day working on our black veils, bedazzled and covered with orange and black streamers. Noticing a color trend here? It was the only race my mom has ever done ... so far. We walked, but I may have run now and then just to get her to speed up and try to pass me. I loved the friendly competition! She now boasts about being a (rubber) medal winning walker!

The grand-daddy of them all was next. Lesley was there to help me lose my half marathon virginity at Disney's Princess Half Marathon. She promised she wouldn't leave my side. She was going to get me to that finish line. Before the first mile was up we scrapped our 2:20 plan. I still think if you cut out the picture taking, this was probably my fastest running time. We would sprint from photo stop to photo stop. The heroes fainted at our arrival. Okay fine, really they quizzed Lesley about GU. True story. And Jack Sparrow? He made me purr. True story. It was the best way to start my half marathon addiction. Even when my eyes were rolling in the back of my head and I was certain I was running on the sun, Lesley never gave up on me. Pretty sure she actually carried me through the finish line - the photos prove it... my feet were NOT touching the ground at all!

I wouldn't have another team until Disneyland. And what a team we are! I say ARE because, um, once on Team Jam, always on Team Jam! Originally planned to be Rose and I, it was an honor to have Giraffy join us. Biggest goof balls on the course? You betcha! Cartwheels, singing, dancing, being hit by parade floats, humping Disney characters, laying on train tracks, that woman that peed herself, the goatse guy, the woman stretching out MY outfit, twinkle-toes. OMG, too many stories, too much fun!!


What's next on the team horizon? Disney World!!
First up, the 5K, with our full team yet to be determined - but at least Abby and I will be doing it. Then the half marathon the next day. Abby, Fred and I will travel around the course at a nice, slow pace, getting photos and .... who knows?!?!? What fun is WDW Marathon weekend without a little "Goofy"ness? The next day Fred will do a his THIRD Goofy! Abby will be on her own team for the relay, but we'll spend that first half keeping each other warm - perhaps doing the Dougie? Once Brian comes running to me, I will then finish off the marathon relay as part of Agony of d'Feet. I hope my feet don't feel too much agony, but come on -- 29.3 miles in 3 days? I've never even done that much in a week! What the heck was I thinking with this weekend?? It is sure to be memorable!

GO TEAM!!

Have you had a team? 
Did you come up with any dirty team names? (what, do you really think Team Jam is about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? 'Cause yeah, it's not.) 
Any advice for a crazy girl about to do back to back half marathons??


5 comments:

  1. I think it's rad that you have made some good friends through racing and the internet!

    I had a soccer team once called the wankerville shankers.
    It was a play on words. Wanker and Shanker... Um bad joke there. "Shanking the ball" is missing the goal though, if you don't play soccer.

    This was a weird comment. Ha! Have a great thanksgiving!!

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  2. oh man so 'the love of my life' did the great urban adventure race last weekend in New Orleans. He's super competitive and asked me if I would be his 'phone line' for the race. I said sure bc I was thinking it was like who wants to be a millionaire where he just asks me a question, I google it and then we're done. Ummm no apparently there is some google temp that you can type all your addresses you figure out and then it will put them in order of how to hit all of them in the least amount of time. The template wasn't working and they started freaking out. I think I would have so much anxiety trying to complete one of those-yours you did sounds more fun so i'm wondering if each one is a different theme?!?

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  3. Such a fantastic giving of thanks post, it really warmed my heart xxx

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  4. Yeah, you might just be crazy doing that much in 3 days!! You will have a blast though.

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  5. Oh my! Seriously, the bar has been set pretty high to be your running partner.

    But don't worry, I'm up for the challenge!

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