Thursday, October 15, 2009

Haven't Been There, Haven't Done That

So why did they give me the tee shirt already?

Seriously, I'm new to this racing stuff. I don't know from race tee shirt protocol. I've been running much of my adult life, and not because someone was chasing me, either (although it's happened), but because I like it. I like the way it makes me feel, I like the solitude it affords and the way the slap slap slap of my feet against asphalt or dirt creates a meditative rhythm that is equally perfect for problem solving or zoning out.

I like running through my neighborhood and stirring up all the dogs, especially the dopey, lope-gaited Belgian Tervuren and his squat-bodied Rottie buddy who, whenever they see me, run the fence bouncing for all the world like I'm about to take them out for ice cream. I guess it doesn't matter how many times a dog sees you, each time is the first time, in dog time.

One of my favorite routes includes about a 3/4 mile stretch of dirt road that leads from our neighborhood to Route 66. There's a beautiful painted pony that grazes the pasture just to the south of the road and if he's out, he always comes to the fence to say howdy. I like the contrast between the brick orange colored dirt at my feet and the shock of turquoise sky above me. Sometimes, I turn off my iPod so I can listen to the world breathe: the whistle of the wind, the screech of scrub jays in the junipers, the grumble of the semi trucks muscling their goods along I-40.

Still, other than the four times I've run La Luz, I've pretty much left myself up to my own devices when it came to running. I could have cared less about personal records or 5k times or carbo loading or whether or not I was running aerobically or anaerobically. I just wanted to get out and move and if some days I did that easier than others, bonus. If not, there was also swimming and biking, hiking and weight lifting.

But for some reason, THIS year? I decided I was going to run my first ever half marathon. That's 13.1 miles for you directionally challenged. And yes, that's also 13.1 miles straight. No breaks for cocktails and chit chat.

So, I have to tell you. I've enjoyed the rigidity of the training schedule. I've enjoyed getting stronger and going longer. I've especially enjoyed this week's tapering which includes some mighty fine excuses to shovel a bunch a carbs down my gullet, more than usual, even.

I'm even enjoying the fear that's been knocking at my stomach all week as race day approaches and the devil on my right shoulder is all, "WTF do you think you're DOING?" while the devil on my left shoulder is all, "DUDE! No pain no gain!"

Thankfully, S.B. is running it with me (although not literally because he's faster than I am). My former boss will also be there, and another friend is walking it. Most excellent friend and professional cheerleader, Doris Rose, will show up for the post-race festivities. Best of all, by the time next Monday comes around I'll most likely have a half marathon under my belt and that tee shirt on my back.

So, if you happen to remember round about, say, 10:00 MST this Sunday morning, send me your good thoughts and help me trot those last few miles in semi dignity across the finish line. And I'll go eat a huge stack of pancakes in your honor.


Bretthead said...

You will rock it out. Have fun!

moi said...

WTWA: Or, limp it out. Either way, I WILL have fun. And pancakes. Because, ultimately, running is just an excuse to stuff my face.

Big Shamu said...

Will be sending you good thoughts. I envy runners, I just can't work up to actually becoming one. Even though I love your excuse to run.

Doris Rose said...

Lovely post, it was like running along side you, which I will be doing on Sunday...except, in my mind. You're a champ!

fishy said...

Okay, I put you on my calendar for Sunday morning when prayers will zoom heavenward in hopes you rock your day. Kudos to you Moi! I will eagerly await the report and Please eat one more pancake for me as I have not eaten a real pancake in 25 years. Sometime soon, please post the pictures of the dogs and the pony on your course. New post at my place.

sparringK9 said...

who you callin squat bodied? i'll be on my knees in a hair shirt come sunday. grrherhahaha youll be awesome. i wish i could run. but i never can. how about that race walking thing? you know it looks like you gotta a rod up...oh never mind. hopefully just basic hiking will git r done. good luck to you superstar!

h said...

Good post. Will wish you good fortune come Sunday. Methinks you should ditch the I-Pod altogether and enjoy all those other things you listed.

Kymical Reactions said...

dang gurrrl. I'll be rooting you on, and will celebrate for you Sunday night with Fergie and Bono and The Edge.

I'll have my culinary throwdown entry up around noon tomorrow!


the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

In the words of the immortal Mel Gibson, as spoken on the battlefield of Bannockburn, 1314....


go get you some miles, babe!

Aunty Belle said...

Run fer the Roses, Moi!!
May the wind lift ya on its wings...go girl go!!

(aw, what am i saying?? I is suspicious of runners and other manic exercise folks. Somethin' ain't right about 'em...they look cute, an can eat 50,000 calories day, oh sure--but most have knobby knees, an' we all KNOW that is a deal killer. Right? )

Pam said...

You go girl! I have learned a lot about what it takes to do these things having listened to a friend's training schedule for marathon running and biking. ANd good for removing the Ipod from your ears because it sounds like you have that Chariots-of-Fire experience of being in the presence of God when running. I'll be rooting for you and wishing I was a runner. But I bounce. It hurts. Not fun.

PS - come snarking if you get the chance!

Bretthead said...

Some of my favorite 5Ks are the ones with beer stops along the route.

moi said...

Shamu: We're all runners. Some of us just choose not to practice :o)

DR: You're the best!

Fishy: Not a "real" pancake? A fake one? I didn't know there were such things.

K9: Don't worry. I don't understand race walkers, either.

Troll: No iPods or other MP3 players are allowed in the race, so it will just be me and my thoughts.

Kym: What, what, what? Fergie? Will you tell her I love her, I don't care what anyone says about her shoes?

Pirate: You, you are racing a GAZILLION miles! Now that's impressive. Will you have pancakes, too?

Aunty: Yes, some elite runners can get that gaunt, stripped like a piece of beef jerky look to them. I don't know any who look like that, though. I think it's because we all eat :o).

Pam: It is your knees, your hips? You may want to check out

WTWA: So I have heard! I want to run THOSE races. Ones sponsored by Jose Cuervo would be good, too.

Thank you all for your generous and heartfelt good wishes. I'll try to do everyone proud and not barf on my shoes.

Jenny said...

You know I'm on Team Moi for this event and I just think you're so very awesome for taking this on. It's not like you wake up one morning and say "I think I'll run 13 miles"... it's a lot of training and a lot of guts to do it.

Go Moi! Go Moi!

Buzz Kill said...

I'm still chuckling at the 2 dogs. You talk about them like gang members lining up to jump you. In your training routine, what's the longest you run? Have you run the 13.1miles in training? I don't run, that's why I ask.
Run Forrest, run!

moi said...

Boxer: That you for your support. It will come in mighty handy when I hit mile ten and want to smack myself. Or curl into a tight ball on the warm ground and never get up again.

Buzz: My husband and I followed Hal Higdon's 12-week schedule for beginning half marathoners. (Higdon is an eight time running Olympian, four time world master's champ, long time runner and writer.) His schedule requires that first-timers not run for a specific time goal, but simply to finish. Training is designed to prep the body very slowly for the ability to stay on its feet and running for 2 to 3 hours. Like most training schedules, his has you running up to but not including the full 13 miles. The longest we ran was 10 miles, with the highest mileage week topping out at 25.

Gnomeself Be True said...

I take long walks in the desert for photography.
One of my favorite sounds is my feet crunching along through the dirt and rocks.

Gnomeself Be True said...

Good luck and kick butt.

Karl said...

Good morning Moi,

Best of luck on your run, sounds as if you prepared well for it.

I'll be thinking about you Sunday morning. Just as you start running, I will be sitting down to brunch after finishing my run, maybe all have pancakes.

Far too often, people that where iPods while running, end up as hood ornaments.

moi said...

Gnome: It's a very satisfying sound, isn't it?

Karl: Another runner! Yay! Yeah, gotta be careful with the iPods.

Anonymous said...

Howdy i am new to this, I stumbled upon this board I find It positively accessible and it's helped me a lot. I should be able to contribute and guide others like it has helped me.

Cheers all, See You Around.

Anonymous said...

Hiya i am fresh on here, I came upon this message board I find It truly accessible & its helped me alot. I should be able to give something back and help others like it has helped me.

Thanks Everyone, See You Later.

Anonymous said...

What's Happening i am new here. I hit upon this chat board I find It quite accommodating and its helped me so much. I should be able to give something back & support others like it has helped me.

Cheers all, See Ya About.