Tuesday, September 28, 2010

195 and 1/2

Here it is...The post I've been promising for weeks now would come.
The one about RUNNING!
See these feet...

In the past 13 weeks they ran 195.5 miles!!
Why the crazy would they do such a thing??
Well, the story goes something like this...
Thirteen weeks ago, my friend Michelle approached me with this question,
"Hey, you want to train for a half-marathon with me?"
My answer, "Oh girl, I am not a runner! There is no way I could do a half marathon."
"But you've been working out, you go to the gym every morning, you could train and do it," she says to me. To which I respond, "Michelle, I'm not kidding, I may work out but I am NOT a runner. The most I ever ran when I was in my best shape ever (which I am very FAR from now) was 5 miles at the most."
Then came the guilt trip. Michelle said, "Well, my sister from NJ is coming out at the end of September and she wants me to run a half-marathon with her. She is fifty and has had cancer so I figure I should give it my best shot to do it with her. And I really wanted someone here to train for it with me to keep me accountable."
And I bit! "Okay, I'm not making any promises except to give it my best try," I said. Wait, did I really say that? Yes I did. I committed to at least TRY to run with Michelle. I got online and found a training schedule for beginners, Kyle found me a jogging stroller so I could run with the boys and the next day I started with week 1.

Day 1 of week 1.....AWFUL! I couldn't get half a mile ran before I had to stop and catch my breath. So continued week 1. Run a bit, stop and breath a bit, run a bit more, stop and breath a bit more until I had completed the miles required on my training schedule.
Michelle promised that my lungs would get better if I would just keep at it.

So, that's what I did. I kept at it. And my breathing did get better. My pace didn't get much faster but I could breathe better and that was a huge improvement for me.
During Week 2 of my training Kyle and our friend Jacob decided they would join Michelle and me in our half-marathon endeavor. We tried to run together. Kyle couldn't run slow enough for me and I couldn't run fast enough for him. It was a blessing though because Kyle did try pushing the stroller while running and realized how much more difficult it was to train while pushing 70 extra pounds around and therefore started trading out watching the boys with me while we each took turns running over the next 12 weeks.

I just knew that as time passed and I kept running I was going to realize one morning that I just LOVED to run. It NEVER happened. Seems like the entire time I just did my best to ENDURE running for the sake of keeping my word. Although, I always felt great after my runs and was really glad that I did it, I never really found myself enjoying the process. AND THEN WE WENT SOUTH!!! Weeks 10 and 11 of my 13 weeks of training were done in Oklahoma and Arkansas where it was EXTREMELY HOT! I was miserable and there were a few days that I couldn't even get all of my miles in because I thought I might have a heat stroke. Certainly gave me a great deal of admiration for those southern runners. And it did make me appreciate my final two weeks of training back in the nice cool Pacific Northwest even if I still didn't LOVE to run.

Somewhere in the process of training Jacob dropped out on us and Michelle got injured and had to stop training (she was completely devastated). And near the end our crazy-cool friend Amanda, who hadn't been training at all, decided to join us. Good thing for her she is a runner by nature and has done quite a bit of competitive running in her day. She said she just wanted to run the marathon to keep me company. How sweet!

And so...
Two days ago WE DID IT!
The Black Diamond Half-Marathon!

This is Michelle's sister Lynnie!
We teased her about being the one who had gotten us into this mess.
It was true! She was a sweetheart, just like her sister. And we were sad that Michelle didn't get to run with us.

Kyle and I were all smiles before the big race sporting our numbers.
We had this to look forward to...

The "finisher medal"
You see, this race for me was not about competition. It was solely about completion!
My goal was to run the entire 13.1 miles without stopping or walking. I really didn't care how fast I ran (or rather how slowly I ran) only that I ran the entire race. And I did it!!!
I did not come in last place, either!
Of course out of the four of us running together I did come in fourth. Ha!

A few pics from the finish line so you know I'm not making it all up...

He made it to the finish in under two hours. 1:53:18 to be exact. With an average 8minutes 39 seconds per mile. Nice work!

Amanda did keep me company for over half the race, but then her competitive spirit kicked in and she just couldn't keep my slow pace....she made me eat her dust! Ha!
I totally didn't mind her taking off, I knew it was in her blood to compete and she just couldn't help herself.

She too, beat me to the finish line!
Lynnie had also come across the finish line by the time I got there.
The cool thing about being the last of our crew at the finish line...
I had three more people there to cheer for me!

And I made it!
Finished in 2:16:17 for an average 10minutes 24 seconds per mile.
I finished 8 out of 19 in my division...not too bad. But that didn't matter at all to me because I had made my goal of running all 13.1 miles without stopping or walking.

I was so sad that Michelle, who got me into this gig in the first place, didn't get to run with us.
But I will say that I was very glad that Kyle and I both ran our first half-marathon together.

And look, we don't even look all that miserable after 13.1 miles of running!

One more pic for you...

This one has our crazy-cool friend Amanda who decided last minute to run the marathon with us. Yea, she loves to run. I think Kyle is kind of liking it now, too. So here I am sandwiched between two people who love to run. Oh how I wish some of that love would have rubbed off on me. However, at about mile ten of this fabulous half-marathon I was thinking to myself, "You know, I could think of lots of way more fun things to be doing with a couple hours of my morning than this running business."

One more draw back to this whole ordeal...after 13 weeks of running....I didn't lose a pound. I started out a big girl running and I finished my race as a big girl running. Oh, I'm definitely in better shape and of course everyone says the whole bit about gaining muscle and muscle weighs more than fat....yada yada yada. Seriously, not one pound. Oh well, that wasn't my goal in the first place. Guess I'll just have to work on that next. Who knows, maybe if my feet had twenty less pounds to carry around they might decide to LOVE running.
So, the jury is still out...will I keep running or close the door on that chapter of my life and get off the roads and head back to the gym? I'm not sure yet.


the deKorne family said...

I LOVE YOU! I am so proud of you for doing that, and I could NEVER do it. And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that you didn't love it. That makes me feel so much better. And the not losing a pound thing-I'm so sorry. No fair. Kind of like how I'm nursing and supposedly burning 600 calories a day but weigh as much as I did 9 months pregnant. Whatever. You are a rockstar!

Dawn said...

You make me smile. I'd be a little ticked if I didn't loose a pound as well...oh well, you ARE in better shape because of it. Think of all the people that sit around, doing nothing except going to all you can eat buffets. Feel better? :)