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The Good, the Bad, and the Exciting

Hello everybody!  I hope that you all have been well since my last blog entry!  Lots to talk about today so I’ll get started.  I will tie the title together, but bear with me while I do!

The Good:  I am able to go out and run a half marathon with nearly ZERO training.  I haven’t been running a lot during the week and I could go out today and tackle 13.1 miles.  It wouldn’t be a fast 13.1, but I would get it done running the whole way.  I never dreamed that I would ever be at this point.  But there is truth to the whole “muscle memory” thing.  If I cared about my time during these runs, then I would be disappointed.  But since I don’t care, not a big deal.  The more important thing to me is the fact that with pretty much little to no specific training for a half marathon, I can go run the distance whenever I want.  That feels really good to me.

The Bad:  And here’s the flipside to that….it’s very easy for me to make excuses.  How many times I have said this when needing to go for a run, “Oh, I can go out and run a half if I wanted to, I don’t need to get out and run”.  BAD.  Knowing that I can get out and do that has really put a damper on my motivation, my commitment, my dedication.  In a way.  Yes, I am still committed to running, exercise, and doing my best.  However not really in a way that maybe I want to be.  And yes, it IS because I know that I don’t have to do much extra or any, for that matter, training to be able to run the half distance.  It’s been a very easy cop-out actually.  That’s the bad thing.  Although, having said all that, I still feel good about the fact that I can do that.  Sort of a catch 22.

The Exciting:  My friend Trish text me last night.  If you’ve followed me at all you know Trish is my best friend since kindergarten and we ran the Get Lucky Half in 2012 together.  It was our first race that we ran together.  I LOVED being with her, but I was disappointed in my personal performance.  Again, knew I could run the distance and so didn’t put in anything extra to get ready.  I felt like I let her down.  Her text last night was simply, “Want to run dam to dam with me?”  I was instantly excited!  I checked our family schedule and text back “Yes!  Would love to!”  Dam to Dam is a race in Des Moines, Iowa.  It starts at a dam in Saylorville, Iowa which is north of Des Moines (Iowa’s capital city) and finishes in the downtown area of Des Moines.  The race was first created in 1980 and is a 20K (12.4 miles) which according to the website, was the most popular distance of that time.  So what am I excited about?  Running with Trish again.  No question.  We don’t see each other often, so whenever our busy schedules can match up, it’s an opportunity to grab in an instant.

 

dam to dam

I know I can run 12.4 miles today.  However I am taking a different approach to this race.  Trish and I both are going to be doing some different things in terms of our training and we’ll see how it goes.  And in the long run, no pun intended, the most important thing is that we’ll be together once again!

trish and me finish

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Get Lucky Week and Other Thoughts

Wow….it’s been February 8th since I last wrote.  Where did that month go?  I’ll tell you where it went.  Honor bands and basketball.  I am a music teacher and nearly every weekend since Feb. 8th we have been taking students to honor bands, my son included.  My son also plays varsity basketball and our night were filled with game.  Suddenly, all that is over and you feel like life fastforwarded.

This Saturday is the Get Lucky Half Marathon in St. Paul, MN.  It’s a GREAT St. Pat’s Day themed race.  This will be my 3rd year running it.  The first year that I ran in this race was the very first year they had a half.  The Get Lucky used to only be a 4 mile.  I love that Team Ortho added the half option.

If you’ve followed my blog at all, you know that my friend Melissa is running with my this year.  She has never run in an official race EVER and also has never run a half marathon before.  So this is a really big deal for her.  We are running to honor her 15 year old nephew Alex who was diagnosed with Lymphoma this past January. 

So the Get Lucky is this Saturday, and I find myself feeling sad about it.  Why?  Because I heard from Melissa that Alex is in the hospital again with complications from cancer and chemo.   My dad had Lymphoma and was also hospitalized several times as well so I understand how this feels.  My heart just aches for their family. 

Melissa and I will have fun together, there’s no doubt about that.  But we will be thinking of Alex and his parents.  No matter how difficult the half is….no matter the weather conditions (and we just got 10 inches of snow last night and it’s still snowing)….it’s nothing compared to what Alex is going through. 

Sometimes it’s so easy for us to get caught up in ourselves.  What’s going right, what’s going wrong.  Our successes, our failures.  As runners, we post all the time what a great run we had…I’m guilty of that.  We post pictures of ourselves after a run either to just post it or to have a chance of winning a prize in a virtual race.  I’m guilty of that.  And I will post pictures of Melissa and me at the Get Lucky. 

But what I hope for most about those pictures, is that if Alex sees them, he knows that for this race, it is all about him.  We have him and his parents in our hearts this Saturday and every step of the way honors them.  And I hope he will look at our pictures and in some way feel our support.

I will leave you with a picture of Alex.  Recently at one of the basketball games (he was a basketball player) we had pep band.  Alex felt well enough to come to pep band and play his trombone.  It was a great thing to have him up on the stage with us.

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