Life is Rich…E-R-S-O-N

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Archive for Running

The KC Marathon Experience

I really wish I could say that I ran the whole marathon, but I didn’t.  I ran on a relay team and I was the finisher.  I ran a 10K – and WHEW was I proud of myself.  It was my longest race distance and I feel that I finished in great time.  I also tried GU for the first time.  “Fifteen before and every forty five” is a good idea – except when your only choice is strawberry banana.  I felt a little guilty taking this GU as I was not running the full marathon, but someone threw it at me as I waited for the ankle chip to be run in from leg 4, so I took it and ate it.  Strawberry banana GU is not good.  I wish someone would have thrown grape GU.  I hope they MAKE grape GU – it would be much better.

There were several other things about this experience that I feel I must comment on.  Thank you to all who came to cheer….EXCEPT blond curly-haired mid twenties guys who we will name Rude Cheerer.  Here’s the problem.  When you cheer, regardless of who is coming by, you should always say “Go Runners!”  Your cheer for me was rude, and it did not help me at all when I hear three consecutive “Go Runners” followed by a “Go Walker…”  I literally stopped running right in front of you…you saw me running, and then saw me slow to a walk for maybe 20 seconds.  “Go Walker” is not nice, nor did it motivate me to do anything but be annoyed and vow to talk bad about you on my blog.

Luckily after Rude Cheerer, I was passed by encountered The Barefoot Runner.  I’ve heard of this amazing creature, and am pretty sure I saw you training at a local high school.  I’m sorry that I yelled “The Barefoot Runner – I saw him!” but I had my iPod on and wasn’t thinking.  I have a rather TERRIBLE case of verbal diarrhea.  Just ask George Brett.  Or Billy Butler.  Anyway, regardless of your amazing accomplishment I really don’t think it’s a good idea to round the corner onto The Paseo and yell out “I love the hood.”  No one in “the hood” cares that you love it, regardless of your shoe status.  Not smart.  Not smart.

Once the Barefoot Runner went along on his merry way, I was stuck with Orange Shirt with No Bib, (Are you allowed to just join in? with NO bib? That would have totally saved me money!), Bright Yellow Guy, and BFFs.  OSWNB (Orange Shirt with No Bib) and I had a great thing going.  He tested all the random snacks that non-volunteer people brought out, and if he didn’t choke or fall over, then I knew I should have some, too.  Good call on the GummieBears, OSWNB.  Bright Yellow Guy was good for me for a bit, too.  I stayed right behind him, almost like I was “speed ghosting”.  But then he stopped and started walking.  I wasn’t about to risk another hearty cheer for Rude Cheerer, so I pushed on past Bright Yellow Guy and hoped he didn’t get a “Go Walker”, too.  BFFs, I have to say, I’m kinda disappointed in you.  I realize I only ran 6.2 miles with you, but I assumed you had been running the entire marathon side by side.  Why did you ditch your friend in the last mile?  It was a good testament to friendships everywhere, and it made me glad that my friends Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Britney, and Three Dog Night didn’t have the option of leaving me.  I ALWAYS charge the iPod.

The best part is obviously at the end.  I never really had the desire to run a full marathon before until I got to the finish line.  People cheering for you (as long as you write your name on your bib, DANG IT!), tears, laughter, fist pumps, claps, etc.  But I would ditch all that, and seriously think about running 26.2 miles because I REALLY want to be given the shiny foil cape!  Oh what fun those were!  They crinkle so loud and look so pretty all over the place.  Do they give those out at every marathon?  If so, I’m grabbing OSWNB and we’re headed out.

Dear Thirty…

Dear Thirty,

Sadly your visit is getting closer and closer.  While I normally love guests, you are unfortunately the kind that stays and gets worse as the years go by.

I’ve been anticipating your arrival for some time now, and have had other visitors along the way.  But it seems that you have been slowly, but surely, leaving little hints of your unwanted visit with other, much more tolerable friends.  I lost the weight that TwentyFive gave me when she stole my metabolism – but you….you are WAY more sneaky than that 25.  YOU bring on weight in 2 pound increments hoping I won’t notice.  But I’ve noticed, Thirty, and let me tell you…I’m on it.  I have been running like the wind (okay, okay, running like a small breeze is a little more accurate, but still…give me some CREDIT!) and despite you threatening me with cracking knees and feet that fall asleep, I’m determined to continue.  The cynicism that TwentySeven brought me probably shouldn’t be blamed on TwentySeven. I think it might have been hiding in there since TwentyThree when I hit the real world and found out thirty grand ain’t beans.  TwentyEight and TwentyNine…now those are real friends I hated to see go.  They gave me no troubles with their brief visits.  But you…I’m sure you, with your 9 friends, will really out do yourselves.  Listen here, Thirty, since I have no choice but to host you and your friends for the next 10 years, I’m gonna do what I can to keep you at bay and not let anyone know you are here (aside from the large party I intend to have celebrating your arrival – but after that….we’re done).

I fully intend on keeping fun colors in my hair.  So bring your greys, Thirty, you bring ’em….and I will cover them up with whatever I need to in order to look like I am still rockin’ it with my friends from the Twenties.  Oh, and don’t go thinking you can continue to slide a pound or two in here and there…like I said, I’m on it.  I will continue to run like the wind small breeze that I am.  Mark my words, Thirty.  You can bring your luggage filled with cracking knees, age spots, wrinkles, and one piece swimsuits.  I will toss them out with ibuprofen, my dermatologist, and…..alright, the one piece can stay IF it is a tankini.  That is totally not your fault – I blame that on Baby.

So…Thirty.  We will meet soon.  But please don’t be sad when after the fun party….we’re finished.  I’m sure I’ll be singing a different tune when Forty comes…but until then…I’m so over you.

Love, Erin

My Cure for the Race

I used to be a runner….not in the sense that I was running marathons every weekend…I probably averaged about 20-25 miles a week.  Regardless of how far you go or how fast you pace, I say you are a runner if you run…even if it is only to the bathroom when you really have to go…

I stopped running while I was pregnant because, honestly, I was afraid to do it.  But, after that baby came out, I was a determined woman.  I signed up for Race for the Cure when Baby was 2 months old and was sure it would be just like old times…breathing crisp, morning air in my lungs, hearing the sound of my feet hitting the pavement, watching the cracks in the sidewalk going by…it was going to be awesome.

Well, I wake up the morning of the race to go meet my team (we raced for a friend’s mom who is a Survivor) and 29,000 of my closest KC running friends downtown only to find out that the high temperature of the day was to be 95 degrees with 5000% humidity and last night’s low was a chilling 77.  Still, I am determined to rejoin my running community with full force regardless of the temperature.  It would STILL be like old times….minus the crispness of the morning air.

I arrive at the starting line and am already sweaty and red faced.  Seriously?  I count the walk from the car to the starting line as my warm up seeing that we had to park a good mile away or so and figure that was good enough.  Plus, the emcee said “GO” right when I got to the starting line, so I had no choice.  I was off….

The first steps were exhilirating!  “I still got it, I own this race” I sing to myself as I went up the first hill.  Then I realize am in WAY OVER MY HEAD.  What was I thinking?  After the first 5 minutes I can’t even breathe normally and my stretched out stomach skin (gross, I know) is swaying back and forth so I have to adjust my stride.  Forget ‘listening to the sound of my feet hitting the pavement’.  All I could hear was my heart pounding louder and louder with each step I took.  But I was committed – and I tell you – I ran with gusto.  And walked.  And ran a little slower.  And walked.  And then jogged a little bit.  You get the idea….

The finish line in my sights, I decide I need to finish with all I’ve got.  Plus, there were several people there watching me and I certainly didn’t want them to notice how extremely tired and out of shape I am.  Forty minutes after starting this brilliant idea, I cross the line.  Forty minutes?  I’m pretty sure people can WALK 3 miles faster than that.  Seriously, a nice saunter and you could beat my amazing 40 minutes.

At least now I get to go eat breakfast and go home.  Once home, I realize that my legs have cramped up to the point that I walk like Frankenstein.  My knees are achy, my feet feel slightly swollen in my shoes, and my hips a clickety clicking with each step.  I admit to Husband it was difficult and that I hadn’t worked that hard in a LONG time.  He says very nicely, “Yeah – it’s been about 9 weeks.”  How sweet Husband is, to remind me of my hard work to birth our beautiful baby, and acknowledge this difficult task of bringing life into the world.  It would have been a great moment to relish in, but instead, with my crampy legs, achy knees, and swollen feet,  ALL I could think about is how much better I would feel if I could just get another epidural after my sad little 5K performance.  Plus, then I could eat all the popsicles I wanted…..