Sunday, September 4, 2011

Run! Run! Run Dena Run!

Really, after running 13.1 miles, this is a fabulous sign to see on the bathroom mirror. Aha couldn't make it to Anaheim yesterday with me because, let's face it, MS Sucks. Yep, yesterday, MS won the battle of Jay vs It. For two years, he's been with me at the Disneyland Half Marathon. We go down the day before and spend the afternoon together going to the Health and Fitness Expo where we pick up my race number and swag. We have dinner with friends who moved from San Antonio a few years ago (the 'she' of the couple is one of the sole reasons I survived my business trips to San Antonio - which lasted almost a year!); and he sends me off at 4:30 AM the morning of the run.

I'll see him somewhere along the route (last year at Angel Stadium) and he is always waiting at the finish line for me. I've run 7 half marathons (including this one) and he's been at the end of 5 of them. The two he missed, were due to MS. Which leads me to restate that MS Sucks. So when I saw this sign waiting for me in our bathroom; it was all worth it.

More than one person has asked me why I run.

It's an interesting question. My friend who used to live in San Antonio is a brand new runner and she was telling me how boring it was to run on the treadmill.

She is right. Any runner who has had to run more than 3 miles on a treadmill will tell you that it doesn't matter if you're listening to the best book you've ever read, watching the best television show or movie or even talking with your best friend; the treadmill is an instrument of torture. I told her that she needs to reserve the treadmill for bad weather days and run outside. Hopefully she'll take my advice because she's supposed to run the D-land Half next year. and I want to run it with her.

But why do I run?

To begin with - I'll call it what it is. When I lost a lot of weight 3 years ago (46 pounds) I did it by changing my relationship with food (info for another post) but also with running. Running allows me to eat more of the things one shouldn't eat if I didn't exercise. I don't plan to EVER put that weight back on and running will help make sure that never happens.

Secondly, sanity. There is something about those endorphins that help me stay off the roofs of buildings. It won't remove all the blues, but a great many of them.

Thirdly, my mind is really clear when I run. I do some of my best thinking when I run. I wrote the toast my brother and I gave at our parent's 45th anniversary party while running; I wrote the thank you remarks I gave at my 40th b'day party while running and I have worked through many a training class while running.

Fourth, let's face it; if you were to write an essay about my athletic ability you'd be done inside of 50 words. I have ZERO athletic skill and I'm not real comfy with that. Team sports tend to be a disaster for me in that, I'm the one who tends to not be able to: make the basket, hit the ball, make a good serve, swing a club or most importantly, win the game. Thus, running, an individual sport, seems to be the best way for me to go. Don't get me wrong, I have to be careful not to fall each and every time I go out, but at least, I'm the only one who must deal with that event; not a team. Oddly enough, I do participate in one team running sport; the Ragnar Relay and my team seems to love me and love my skill. So as long as they'll have me, I'll run with them.

Finally, truth be told, I like it. It used to be that you couldn't get me to run; anywhere, from anything, nothing. At all. Ever. Both my parents were runners (3 marathons between them) and they used to try to drag me and my brother out to run. We fought it tooth and nail. Now, wait for it, we are both runners. But I do seem to like it. A good running day generally guarantees a good rest of the day. A bad running day, well you can do the math. What do I love best? When it's over. The feeling of, "well, that's done" is fantastic. And that feeling is quadrupled after a half or full marathon. When I was walking back to my el crappo hotel after the race and I was talking with my Mom, she said, "good, that's behind you" and she is right. That almost feels better than finishing. Almost.

Finishing...let's talk about the goal of these races for a moment. Finishing is the numbers 1, 2, and 3 goals for me when I run these races. What my time is for the race comes in 7th or 8th after finishing, finishing, finishing, not bleeding, not injured and upright. Only then do I care about my time (which incidentally was 2:27:38 for today's race). And then, I don't really care that much.

The D-land HM is terrific. Only in a Disney race will you see multiple Princesses (or these women's versions of the Princesses based on still needing to wear running clothes), at least 3 Tinkerbells and a Goofy. Lots of people running in Mouse Ears and various Disney headwear. Yeah for them. I don't run in costume - EVER. Not for me. I'm a purest, running skirt (have dumped my running shorts in favor of them; check them out here), tank top, running bra, socks, shoes and hat. Not injuring myself is paramount and wearing the right clothes is the first step in that direction.

So, I'll keep on running. I'll keep on not dressing up and I'll keep on doing these races until I can't anymore.

Don't forget to stretch,

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