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A TALE OF TWO RACES

BIG SHOUT OUT TO THESE FELLOW RUNNERS:

(If you’re a blog reader and I know you and I didn’t mention you I’m sorry!!)

Bill Brinkerhoff – training for the Ann Arbor Marathon with a 1/2

Chris Lawrence ~ 1st ever 1/2 marathon

David Martel – 5k – Getting back into the groove

Jeff Morris – 5k-  Getting back into the groove

Jennifer Olmstead – her millionth 1/2, and  proving once again what a beast she is

John Schaefer – 1st ever 1/2 marathon

Kathy Sample – training for the Ann Arbor Marathon 1/2 with a 1/2

Erin Snyder – 1st ever 10k

OK, now for my story.

Once upon a time there was a middle-aged woman who decided she should take up running.  Prior to this point in her life she HATED running.  From time to time she tried to make running a part of her fitness regime.  All attempts ended in failure.  She rationalized these failed attempts with thoughts like:

“I’m just not made to run.”

“Runners have long lean bodies – you do not – no wonder you don’t enjoy running.”

“My knees just won’t withstand the pounding.  I mean there are some knees that are made to run.  Mine are not.”

…….and then the best of them all:

“People that run long distances are just a bit crazy.  You are not crazy, therefore you do not like to run.”

Then one day I changed my mind.  I decided I was that crazy.  We’re all a  little crazy aren’t we?  And runners, well, they just push the envelope.  I have learned to embrace the craziness of running as it has helped me overcome all of those other excuses.  My knees are fine.  My body is far from long but it is getting leaner and leaner and you know what?  I AM made to run.  Aside from those with physical disabilities, we all are made to run.

365 days ago I completed my first half marathon.  Today I completed my third.  Today I ran the 39th annual Dexter-Ann Arbor Half Marathon.  1st and 3rd.  Night and Day.  Completely and totally different races for me yet both of them left me with a feeling of sheer joy and accomplishment.

2011

2012

Rewind to last year.  The farthest I had ever run before race day was 12 miles.  I ran 12 miles once in that training cycle and didn’t particularly enjoy it.  Race day came.  I had a vague goal of trying to run 13.1 in about 2 hours.  I was nervous and excited and just wanted to get the show on the road.  It was hot and humid but not unbearable.  Through mile 6 I was just fine.  I started to struggle a bit between 6 and 8 and then tanked from 8-13.  It was hard physically and mentally.  I think I walked 5 different times (and it wasn’t even on the hills!!) It felt miserable and I just wanted to be done.  I finished in 2:04:15.  Not too far away from my vague goal so for that I was happy.  My first 2 thoughts after I crossed the finish line were:

1. Oh, Thank God that is over!

2. Who in their right mind would ever run twice that distance in one single race?  Not me!  Not in a million years.

Fast forward one million years  year.

This training cycle has had me running 20 mile long runs 5 times, sprinting around a track to the point where I’m not sure I can breathe, and running 6, 8, and 11 mile tempo runs with The Stubs in full protest.  I didn’t always enjoy the workouts while I was completing them but I always felt a huge sense of accomplishment after. I knew that I was working toward a goal and each workout was getting me there one small step at a time.

Race day came. My goal was to use the race as a training run and to figure out how I was going to handle the water stops.  The goal pace for the run was to be 9:44 translating to a 2:06 finish time.  Slower than last year but there was a good reason.  I was never nervous before the start just a little excited.  I had nothing to be nervous about.  I wasn’t racing I was just going to run.  So I ran.  And I felt great.  I had to talk myself out of attempting a PR on 3 different occasions.  The only time I walked was through the water stops so I didn’t choke. Otherwise, I never even thought about walking.  In fact, the whole run felt easy both physically and mentally.  I finished in 2:04:20.   Very familiar number and 2 minutes faster than goal time. My first two thoughts after I crossed the finish line were:

1. Dang, that’s it?  It’s over already?

2. Hmmm. I think I could turn around and run the 13.1 back to Dexter without too much protest from The Stubs.

So there you have it.  A Tale of Two Races.  One year apart.  Same course.  Very different runner. And yes, that runner is a little crazy.

and that’s the truth!

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5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Chris L. #

    Christy, this was a treat to read!! thank you for sharing ~ you make me smile (and sometimes just plain laugh out loud!)

    June 3, 2012
  2. Christy P #

    Thanks, Chris. It was an honor to watch you cross the finish line today!

    June 3, 2012
  3. Nice race! Sounds like you are ready for the big race now. The last statementis a very true statement . Running is what you put into it. I love it so much now that yesterday I put on a trail running festival with three races and over three hundred runners! Check it out sometime http://www.wareagletrailraces.com and if you want to really get something out of running try volunteering at a race it will show you another side of running. Then when you have done all that come run an ultra and see the real crazies. Thanks for all the updates I have really enjoyed reading them all.

    June 4, 2012
  4. danlynnemixer@charter.net #

    Great job Christy and a fun read. You will fly around the second 13.1 after the first 13.1 just count the miles down and soon you are in single digits and soon you have less than five to go and then two and one and the last 100 yards. Its over and you feel a feeling like you’ve never felt before, pride, joy, tears, love, no pain at least for a while. I will be there with those same feelings and tears running down my face knowing you have done all the right things to be there. Relax, be cool for the next 12 days. Soon to celebrate, Lynne

    June 4, 2012
  5. You could have also called this posting, “A Tale of Two Runners.” You’re not the same person nor the same runner you were a year ago. I’ve loved both watching and being a part of your transformation. Wow!

    June 5, 2012

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