“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the Bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”– Mark Twain
I remember reading that quote on a poster in my 9th grade classroom. I think if someone had walked up to me the first time I read that asked me what I wanted to do at exactly that moment I would have said pilot a sailboat. I tend to be kind of a literal thinker. LOL. Still, I think about this quote from time to time, particularly when things aren’t going my way.
It’s easy to be safe. It’s easy to hide away in your safety bubble and protect yourself from the world. It is much harder to put yourself out there and try something outside your comfort zone. And I always think about that when I hear judgemental bullshit from non runners.
I don’t care how fit you are, I don’t care how skinny you are and I don’t care how young. Until your ass has been 13.1 miles or 26.2 miles during a sanctioned event you don’t get to call me slow. I just thought I should proclaim that to the internet.
I was at the gym today doing weight work (which is kind of a miracle, I hate the gym) when a guy saw my Disneyland half marathon shirt and asked me about it. When he asked me my time, I told him. He said “wow, that’s slow,” with a smirk. Now understand it is slow. I am slow. I don’t mind being slow and frankly killing myself to finish 5 seconds faster then last race isn’t why I’m doing this at the moment. Maybe one day I will feel that way but I don’t at the moment. Still, the sneer really pissed me off. So I looked at him and said “Yes it is, what’s your half marathon personal best?” He told me he hadn’t run a half marathon yet. I turned “Well then,” I said, “I guess as slow as I am, I’m still faster then you.”
I wish I could say that was my parting shot and I walked out the door with perfect timing but my workout wasn’t over yet and sadly, neither was his. So I did what all smart women do when confronted by a guy with a small peepee who can’t backup their trash talk. I smirked for the duration of my workout.
According to my race ticker I’m 2 months and 4 days away from the Marine Corps Marathon. Two years ago the idea of doing a 1 miler was crazy to me and here I’m about to go 26.2. I still haven’t fully wrapped my mind around that one but I’m thinking the plane ride to DC will help.
In other news remember when HZ did the Little Rock 5K last year? It took me over a year and six 5K races before I beat her time from that race. I’m not saying that to brag I’m telling you that because for all my half marathons (I just finished #9 and #10 will be Labor Day weekend) I’m still pretty slow.
I think it’s important to point that out.
I know a lot of you visit this page from time to time out of curiosity and maybe longing.
13.1 miles seems a LONG LONG way for the big girls. I know because the first race I ever wanted to do was this one:
That’s 13.1 miles though the Disneyland, and Disney’s California Adventure Theme Parks, through the city of Anaheim around the field at Angel’s Stadium and back to the Disneyland Resort area for the finish.
The starting line was less then a half marathon distance from the house where I grew up. It might as well have been on Mars.
So I missed out on
Note the word Inaugural. Every race only has one of those and I missed this one in 2006.
Then I missed it again in 2007 and 2008.
By 2009 HZ and I had a deal and I’d already gotten one race under my belt. So I signed up because I’m a Disney geek and I’ve ALWAYS wanted this medal.
But the closest I got to that action in 2009 was:
And boy was that really depressing.
$120 down the drain for the race (the mouse is expensive)
$8 for parking (the mouse is expensive)
And STILL NO MEDAL! It remains the only race I never showed up for because:
1) I knew I couldn’t finish
2) My ankle and knee were alternately wonky from something stupid I’d done while training
The blogs I wrote are HERE and HERE. While I did my best to sound like a good sport about it but I was pretty angry with myself.
That being said allow me to introduce:
The 2010 Disneyland Half Marathon Medal. Why is it shaped like a 5? Because it took me five YEARS before I could register for this race knowing I can walk/jog this thing and still finish within the time limit. Granted, the first 3.5 years didn’t count because I wasn’t active but you get my point. So I’m racing for the 5th Anniversary finisher’s medal. And when they hang this thing around my neck I’m going to grin, and cheer, and try not to kick myself for missing out on the first 4 years of medals. (Oh come on you all know I’m obsessive compulsive by now).
But you know what? I will have this one. I’ll have #5 and be living proof that it’s never too late to get your ass up and active. It is never too late to talk to your doctor about starting a walking program. It’s never too late to set a goal for yourself, even if it’s just a small one.
Women and funny creatures. No matter what we have we’re not happy with it until years later when we decide our hair/bodies/teeth/etc. were just fine and we should have appreciated them more before they changed.
A friend of mine posted this on Facebook today. Apparently it’s several years old but I’d never seen it before.
I think they should show this to every male and female in the United States from the age of seven. This is what women try to be and this is what men want to have. How sad for us all.
Funny people, runners. No matter where they start they always want more. Even the slow ones like me. For half marathoners it’s the marathon. For marathoners it’s a BQ. For BQers it’s another BQ or an ultra. And somewhere in the middle of all that are the people who decide one sport isn’t enough and sign up for Duathlons and Triathlons.
The thing I find most interesting is the types of runners I meet.
I find I gravitate toward the people who say “Go for it! Give it a shot!”
And I get very very frustrated with people who are quick with cautionary tales. Don’t do X! they say in horrified tones. Then they offer themselves or the failings of others as an example.
You know what? Keep it to yourself.
If someone wants to give me a tip I’m always willing to listen. I prefer, of course, to ask rather then suddenly find myself facing down a barrage of unsolicited advice but hey, whatever works. Feel free to talk but don’t EVER tell me what not to do.
I am not reckless and I am not foolish.
What I am is determined.
What is it that Henry Ford once said?
“Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re probably right.”
I’m tired of dire warnings cloaked in worry and affection.
We’re all adults. Yes we get pissy and crazy and do stupid things to ourselves and each other. But in the end we are all responsible for our own actions.
If I had followed the “smart” path I would have bailed on the first race I registered for on a dare. I would have stayed on my low carb diet until I lost the weight I’ve been obsessing over and then I would have registered for a nice safe local 5K when I reached 135 pounds.
I’m not 135 pounds and I didn’t register for a 5K until I’d registered for 7 half marathons.
Even then I only did it because I wanted the medal.
And you know what? Don’t tell me to be smart because I’m not smart every time I go out for a run with all the pounds I’m carrying above 135. You can keep your “don’t” because I’m going to. I’m going to run. I’m going to walk. I’m going to drag my sorry behind over 3 marathon finishlines so I can qualify for the Maniacs. And I’m doing it because I can.
If for some reason I am physically unable to do this then I won’t but I’ll know that until that point I gave my very best effort.
There are people in this country who sit on the couch 18 hours a day. Their lives can be measured only in the number of shows they have seen.
There are women in the world who live in fear, who hide themselves and cover their bodies, not because they choose to, but because they are terrified of the consequences of what will happen if they don’t. What would they pay, I wonder, for the opportunity to lace up a pair of running shoes and race through the streets of their neighborhoods with no worry for safety. Would they pause to worry about getting a blister?
I am grateful to have been born in this nation, at this time, with these opportunities. And these are the things I think about when I go out to do the miles. Funny how when I do that the blisters seem less painful, and the distance seems shorter.
Maybe if you stopped fixating on the dimples in the road of life you’d find the distance shorter too.
Today I spent an hour and some change watching the Lakers play the Celtics at the gym. I’d gone there with the intention of doing four miles (maybe six) and walked in during the 3rd quarter of the game. Now, the fact that I didn’t know the Lakers were playing tonight should probably tell you something. The fact that I was the only person in the gym who (silently) cheered when the Celtics won should tell you something too. But it was a nice distraction considering my fabulous running watch had a dead battery and I forgot my ipod.
An hour and five minutes later I got off the treadmill knowing tomorrow morning Kobe Bryant will be crying in his Wheaties. Heh.
Understand I know nothing, heck I know LESS then nothing about soccer. But I love it. LOVE THE SPORT!
You know what I mean?
NOW do you know what I mean?
Meet Cristiano Ronaldo, he is a baby, and a manwhore, and he’s Portuguese which frustrates me because that is a language I can’t even pretend to understand.
But he looks really nice shirtless.
Really REALLY nice.
As do so many of the futballers.
So I’ll be watching World Cup on the treadmill, and preparing for the America’s Finest City Half Marathon. AFC is San Diego, CA. On August 15th. I’m going to burn like a poptart and melt like a ball of wax but I’m hoping to outsmart the Endless Summer and cross the finish line before the heat gets to me.
Here is a picture of their bling from 2007
I borrowed that picture from THIS Flickr site. That dude runs his races exponentially faster then I do so he’ll probably be on his sixth beer by the time I get my medal.
So I’m in training for this and the Marine Corps Marathon.
But if any of those World Cup guys decide to pull a Brandi Chastain and yank off their shirts before, during or after their games I would be okay with that.
You can find mine HERE. Please note it’s an Excel spreadsheet that downloads. This way you can grab it and tailor it to you if you want. Or if you REALLY want to see an image but don’t want to download just post a comment and I’ll link you to a picture snapshot.
Basically it’s organized like this:
I set it up so the white background is what I’m supposed to be doing every day. The yellow background is what I actually manage to do. This is a clean copy of the original version I just added the two races from this past weekend in so you can see an example.
The trick is to keep track of how many miles you are supposed to complete in a week and stick with it. If I can’t do today’s mileage I’ll try to switch it around with another day so I staying consistent. Do yourself a favor though and don’t just add up your mileage and try to kill yourself.
What do I mean?
This week I’m supposed to run 12 miles and walk 30 minutes. I did a half marathon on Monday which is 13.1 so technically I’m good for the week but I’m still going to go out and move a bit each day so I get used to putting in the regular miles. I’ve now completed six half marathons so I kind of know the drill.
But what if I hadn’t?
If you’re new and this is your first shot at the ball don’t add up your mileage on Saturday, realize you’ve done nothing all week and try to pull off a 12 miler. You will be sore and miserable and you will be conscious of every ounce you have ever gained through treats and frosty cold adult beverages. And you’ll hate yourself. Then you’ll quit. Not worth it!
If you were to ask me right now I’d tell you hell no I can’t do a marathon. Marathons are for crazy people! Notice where I am in my training. My big mileage this weekend would be five miles, not too a big deal for someone who has completed six half marathons. But I’m still starting small like everyone else because building the miles is so important for building confidence and staying healthy. That’s right, healthy!
If I find myself needing to make up miles I listen to my body. If I feel like I can do six miles that’s what I do. Sometimes I push a little more and sometimes I ease off. A major injury is going to derail your plans far more quickly then missing a couple miles during the week.
And that’s all I have to say about that.
P.S. Feel free to ask me any questions you have about running, walking, competing, regular workouts, gear, weight, etc. I really don’t mind sharing.
Fat isn’t just a state of body, it’s also a state of mind. And it’s a scary state of mind because once you start thinking of yourself as fat, it’s VERY hard to stop thinking of yourself that way.
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t think I was fat. Even when I was a fit 135 lb athlete in high school. I was curvy. I had hips. My coach didn’t approve…so I was fat.
And I’ve been ‘fat’ ever since.
The human mind is a funny thing. 5 years ago, when I was actually at my highest weight ever–a weight that actually (according to the charts for my height) considered MORBIDLY OBESE, I didn’t SEE myself as a fatgirl. Sure, I knew I was squeezing my thighs into the sausage casings I called pants..I knew I was refusing to buy size 20 (or probably 22) clothing. But for whatever reason, when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t see FAT.
But when I looked at pictures, I couldn’t avoid it anymore.
This is the fat me. The me that for whatever reason I couldn’t see when I was actually that size, but now that I’m seriously almost 60lbs lighter, this is the me I see in my head now.
It’s fucked up. And not right. And I’m trying to fix that self image with this post.
I still have those same clothes so I had someone take pics of me in them so I can see for myself the progress that I’ve made and hopefully, eventually, I’ll fix the mental image.
Am I finished? Nope. I’ve got another 30 lbs to go. But am I still the fatgirl? Kinda. In my head. But I think it’s time I overcome that, don’t you?
I had a quote on my bedroom wall in high school. I knew it was a speech by Teddy Roosevelt but this was before the days of google where you could type in a snippet of a quote and find out who said it, where and when.
I would heart Google for that alone.
It got to the point where the quote had been on my wall for such a long time I didn’t even notice it anymore so when the time came to pack for college I crumpled it up along with other stuff and tossed it out.
I found it again not too long ago. Not for myself but to print and share with a friend who allows the doubts of others to infect her spirit and enthusiasm. Finding it again reminded me of the doubters in my life as well.
Some people mean well and others really don’t.
Regardless of who or what is at issue, however, there is one inalienable truth (ohhh SAT word!). You have the power to achieve for yourself what others are unlikely to ever imagine for you.
The Man in the Arena is the title of a speech given by Teddy Roosevelt at the Sorbonne in Paris, France on April 23, 1910.
The speech is notable for the extended passage:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.