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

Monday, April 30, 2012

12 Minutes

12 minutes -- that's the amount of time shaved off from my finish at last year's Eugene Half Marathon.
13 - that's number of half marathons I have done.
36 - the number of races I have done.
Fastest - that was my fastest finish time so far!
Slowest - that's where I "rank" among everybody from here that ran the race.

Slowest - that's where I "rank" among my Friends that ran the race. 
Equal - that's how my friends yesterday made me feel. Never could I keep up with a 3:04 MARATHON time, a prior Boston runner, a sub-2 hour half marathon. BUT you know what?? Those friends that are far superior to me never once made me feel any less. I really appreciate that! I still feel the support from them. When we part I never feel I'll be made fun of for being a slower runner. I leave their presence and feel excited! I'm excited for them and their success. I'm excited to be a runner. I'm excited about the friendships I have formed all from a common bond. I feel inspired to keep trying to improve. I look forward to seeing them again.

The joke - that's how I am made to feel every single day in this environment where people are openly mocked here for not being able to keep up with faster runners. I am slower than the one openly laughed at. While I should be happy today over my personal victory I am just sad. I've never been embarrassed or ashamed of my running until the daily dynamic changed. It's like I'm the token chubby slow girl that has to be patronized. You know what I mean? The fake support. I fell in love with the running community because of the shared support. In my first 10K race I was injured and under-prepared, but I still went and gave it my all. When I was paused to the side of the road, hurting, thinking I was going to be sick and just really wanting my mom, did the really fast people (the 20K runners) mock me? No. They actually cheered me on and urged me to keep going. I think those of us that support each other and don't judge are the majority. So why is that the minority is what I have to see every day? I notice that attitude is infectious to the point where non-runners are even judging me and looking down on me for "only" doing half marathons. Apparently you aren't "good" or working hard enough or worthy until you do a full. Okay, so what if I do a full? Do you then say I have to do a 50 miler? 100? Am I only acceptable to you if I make the Olympic Team? 

I shouldn't let it get to me. I'm probably just really tired. I know I am. And what is venting going to change? I can't change the world. I'm not some Whitney Houston song. Some will never accept me, and frankly I don't even want them to. I guess I just wish the mean attitudes didn't exist. I might have my bitchy moments, but I can't think of a time where I ever mocked someone just because they don't run an 8 minute mile. I think we all try. We all put out an effort. We all have different reasons for running and different goals. I am not competitive. I never have been. I don't have to be the best. But just because I'm different, I don't think I'm any less. 

Faster. Slower. Sprinter. Runner/Walker. Long. Short. Skinny. Fat. We are all runners. Plain and simple. 

I just wish I could fairly be accepted as one. In the end, my hobby that I am so passionate about - I hardly even speak of it anymore. It's like I'm shoving the biggest part of my life into a closet just so I can stop being mocked. I'm almost to the point where I pretend I DON'T run anymore. I shouldn't have to do that. I shouldn't do it.

Someone just send this to me: Just know that you have people that know you, and are very proud of how you did yesterday. You are awesome.

Well said. I will focus on that!!

Thank you to all of You! You the supportive, genuine friends - even if we haven't met in person yet, I still consider you to be my friends and you never know when we were end up meeting at some race in some place near or far!

39 comments:

  1. I am super proud of you for running. Fast - Slow or in the middle - who cares. You are out there completing the same distance so in my mind you deserve the same respect. Don't let someone else steal your satisfaction of a 12 minute PR - that's crazy awesome!!!

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    1. Thanks, you are right! I mean twelve minutes - that's like shaving off a whole mile practically! Thank you!!

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  2. I agree with Sherry...a 7 minute mile or a 14 minute mile is still a mile! Enjoy your PR...it is AWESOME!!!!

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    1. A mile is still a mile -- I like that! Thanks!!

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  3. First of all, I think you are pretty awesome. Both at running and at life. You can always make me smile and laugh even though I haven't ever met you! So thumbs up to you. And look how much you keep improving. Five PRs in a row!? You are on FI-AH!

    Secondly, I never really understood those that felt the need to tear down others, especially when it comes to running. It makes me mad. If you want I will punch them in the balls. Everyone. Even the girls. I'll even find some brass knuckles.

    Thirdly and Lastly, you inspire me. I haven't ever run a half marathon but you posted about them with such excitement and exuberance that it made me think I could do it too. And of course if I have half as much fun as you have had, I know I'll get addicted too. It's a process for me, of course, but you inspired me to get there. So thank you for being awesome.

    Now I sound like a total stalker. I'm not, really. Just waiting outside your work so I can break some knees a la Tonya Harding. I'm there, in the bushes. Yep. Not stalking at all.

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    1. Aww, that was sooo nice!! :-) And I don't mean all that sweet stuff about me inspiring you - I mean the whole Tonya Harding part. Did you take care of business?? ;)

      But really, thank you. I shouldn't whine, I know it is silly.
      You can stalk me all you want!

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  4. When you say "here" are you talking about your work? Honestly RR, who cares what they think.
    A new PR is something to be so, so proud of! Everyone has different opinions about running that really none make sense. It's just about what your own personal goals are.
    Great job yesterday!!

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    1. I know. I know. You guys are right. I must stop caring! I mean why, why on earth would I care?? I'm so annoying!!!!

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  5. I don't understand why people think it is ok to put people down or judge people. I say fuck 'um!
    There is no need to prove yourself to anyone but yourself.

    Just know that you have people that know you, and are very proud of how you did yesterday. You are awesome.

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    1. Um, I'll echo you with the fuck 'em!! Yeah!

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  6. Congrats on your PR! I was there too and it was a pretty great day for running no? Imagine what you can do if you get all the training done as you would like and you master your tummy issues

    People are people. Ignore the jerks and embrace your true friends.

    One of the things I like about running is you can't really guess who's fast and who isn't . Yesterday a really fit looking young guy just quit running right in front of me and I had to dodge quickly! He was done.

    On the other hand, 30 seconds later a mid-forties (guessing), somewhat overweight (for a runner) lady blew right by me ;)

    What is important is that you raced! Be very happy for what you were able to do!

    Cheers,
    paul

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    1. Mastering my tummy issues is the next thing on my list! It seems to kick in way too often so I think I'm going to start pushing through those feelings during training instead of pausing to let my tummy calm. So I guess either I get used to it or I somehow get over it!

      And this might sound creepy?? I just checked out your blog and read your report, saw your outfit -- I feel like I actually saw you there when I was wandering around before the race! Crazy how there are so many runners out there, but then it really does end up being quite a small world!

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  7. Those are some amazing numbers and you can be be justifiably proud of what you've accomplished. Don't let the jerks get you down!

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    1. Thank you!! You're right! I need to focus on that and how I used to not be able to even run around the block!

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  8. Whomever said that to you is clearly a friend. You should only worry about what your friends think as they will let you know when you are being a little Goofy. Or Minnie, or perhaps...Donald?

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  9. I'm going to be lucky to break 3:30 at Rock 'n Roll next month, much less 2:30, but as Julie reminded me yesterday -- no matter how slow we are, we're still faster than everyone on the couch!

    Those people mocking you: clearly being fast is the only thing they've got going for them. Because they are otherwise small, petty, little human beings, completely beneath our worthy notice. Or, as I like to call them: fastholes.

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  10. Congrats! I love that your friends made you feel equal! Great improvement. Focus on them not the losers who judge you. You are out there. You are running and racing. Be proud.

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    1. Thanks, and I'm happy they made me feel that way, too! I'm glad that those of us that are supportive of each other are certainly in the majority, I just wish I didn't let that minority get me down. Oh well - onward and upward. I shall be proud. Thank you!!

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  11. Mean people suck! You ran a half marathon and PR'ed! That is more than ALOT of people can say!

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    1. Very true. Heck, I always admire anyone with courage to even register for races at all ... perhaps I need to remember that and stop being so hard on myself!

      Thank you!

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    2. JenniferMay 01, 2012

      That's right! You have to run your own race!

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  12. Congratulations on a new PR!!!!!!

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    1. Thank you very, very much!!!

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  13. i find it super sad that there are people that think that, let alone say it to your face. We all love running, or we wouldn't do it. Thats what it is about. Who cares how fast we do it. Fast is relative to you. You were fast yesterday! Be proud of what you have accomplished!! Congrats on a PR!!

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    1. Thank you - today I will focus on the awesomeness of that race! I mean really I did run my ass off and my body still feels it. I need to just pause and enjoy this soreness because I earned it!!

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  14. I was incredibly STOKED by your fantastic PR. All the hurdles you have overcome with the meniere's is inspiring to me. I see a very STRONG woman who takes control of her destiny and laughs at a challenge while she overcomes it.
    I am glad I have met you.
    Every race where we cross paths, my day is that much brighter.
    BTW- love the T shirt! I didn't notice it was Mfield until this post! I missed that at Eugene- Where in the world did you find it?!

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    1. You are so nice! It's funny because I've told people in the last day how I love running into you because it always makes it a good day and you are just always so inspiring and .... all over cool!

      Thank you!!! :-)

      And it is okay you didn't notice my silly shirt - I think we were both kind of out of it when we met. I was totally in zombie mode. Anyway - I got it off of the website where we registered for the Prefontaine Memorial 10K!

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  15. long time reader here but mg first time commenting. Do NOT let anyone bring you down. I am so proud of you. I, too, am trying to break 2:30 in the half (I'm only a few seconds away!) and reading that you did it gave me hope. A runner runs. Simple. You don't need to be a marathoner, or do 50 marathons in 50 days like Dean Karnazes, or BQ. You don't even need to run a 5k. If you run, regardless of the pace, distance or grace, you are a runner.

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  16. BRAVO to you!!!!
    fantastic PR!!! 12 minutes is huge!
    where is here...your work...or blogland...I guess it does not matter...it is sad but you should ignore the negative people...life it too SHORT.

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    1. Thanks soooo much!!

      Yeah, "here" was referring to work. I got to talk it all out last night though, so I feel MUCH better!! And you are very correct - life is way too short. No more room for Negative Nancy's in my life!! :-)

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  17. Amazing!! Another PR?! And by 12 minutes? You simply amaze me!

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  18. I'm late reading this post, but I know how you feel. I'm super slow. Like really, really slow. But you know what? A couple of years ago, I couldn't run to the mailbox without having to stop and walk. Now I've done 13 half marathons and I'm training for a full.

    I show horses, too, and my horse is completely not suited for the kind of riding we do, but he likes it and we try our hardest every time we go to a show. Sometimes we win, but more often than not, we end up at the bottom because he's not the right breed. So going to races is my escape from that. Something I totally do just to have fun and NOT compete.

    I get asked all of the time what my last time was, etc, and I cringe because I can almost hear the judgement when they hear how slow I am. On the flip side, I also get comments about how I inspired someone to start running and how excited they are to try it, too, and I think in the end it all balances out.

    Maybe one day we'll meet at a runDisney race and then you can kick my ass becasuse you're way faster than me! So great job! (And your blog is always so entertaining!)

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    1. You and I are in the same boat! I couldn't run anywhere at all. I mean 60 seconds felt like death! We've come pretty far. High five to you!!

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  19. Oh perfect timing on this one! I get talked down to about my running all the time from some of the women I know. Heaven forbid I spend an hour running while you and everyone else are still sleeping? Sometimes I want to scream "heaven forbid you forgo your nightly glass (or three) of alcohol." I dwelled on it and let it bother me but I realized that they can say what they want but I'm the one improving my life, not drinking it away trying to be a stepford wife.

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    1. Great point! I guess the talking down stuff might just stem from some sort of jealousy? Who knows, I mean we are doing something good for ourselves, so more power to us!

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