Saturday, January 17, 2009

Portrait of a Runner



When I woke up this morning to the knowledge that I had an eight-mile run on my schedule, my mind immediately started searching for a way out. But there was no way out. I'm registered for a half marathon in two months and I can't put off training the way I once put off working on college papers. My buddy Lance Armstrong said, "I need something that forces me out the door. The marathon is intimidating enough that you can't just phone that in. You have to train." If Lance Armstrong says that about a marathon, Teri Love says the same about a half.

I finished. And I improved my time from last week. No more soreness or problems this time. Just feeling the extra slippage from my life-long freakish problem of two drastically-different sized feet. Not sure what I'm gonna do about that - for now I'll just see how I continue to recover as I go further.

So... about that "portrait". Kevin took it just after my return this morning.

Notice the contrast between a big, buff, Navy sweatshirt and fluffy, pink, matching hat and gloves. The pink fuzz keeps my head and hands warm. Regarding the sweatshirt: Kara Goucher, an Olympian and long-distance butt-kicker said she wore black nail polish to her qualifying marathon in New York to keep a "tough" mindset for her race. My Navy sweatshirt is my "tough" touchstone. It was a gift from my friend, Frank Wittwer, a Navy pilot, two years before he died. There are few things tougher than military pilots, if you ask me.

If you didn't notice my hips, you're blind. Those suckers help grow 11-pound babies. Hopefully, they will also help me run 13 miles without stopping.

Asics need replacing. Running shoes are costy already, I'm flabbergasted by the thought of buying two pairs, one for each size foot I have. Let's agree that I NOT do that unless I go professional. Maybe I can stuff some lambswool in front of the shorter foot and hearken back to my ballerina days. In case your curiosity is getting the best of you, my feet are over two sizes different.

Today, hopefully, I will make it to the running store and plunk down some cash for some sort of water-bottle holder. I'm sucking on Gatorade now for my longer runs, and it is NOT fun to carry that bottle.

Finally, behold the technology. My GPS graces my left wrist, and my iPod winds around and around and crawls up to my ears and more than makes up for its annoying presence by blocking the messages of running pain to my brain. I currently have a 40-song playlist and the more I run, the more I'm getting bored and needing new songs. Also, I'm noticing the songs that just don't cut it for me. I'm considering removing "Fergalicious" because it annoys me and a few others because they drone. The last thing I need on mile six of eight is droning.

It is a great feeling to work at something and enjoy the results. Today's result is that I'm one week closer to the big race and I'm proud of the accomplishment found even in the training.
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