my sneaks eat miles

Is that hardcore or what?  My sneaks eat miles.  That sounds sew B.A.

from 2008: i was an animal then. still one now!

On Running.

I just read this amazing blog about the NY Marathon, about a father and his daughter, and more than three decades of marathons.   The mommy blogger writing the post has been accepted to run this years NYM, and amidst amazing vintage pics of her dad running in the 70’s and 80’s, she explains her drive to become a marathoner herself.

Did you click my link and read it?  Anyways… I wrote the following in her comments section:

I got misty-eyed reading this. What an awesome, lovely, heartfelt post. And those 70′s pics of your dad are SUCH a treasure.

I come from swimming stock. My dad swam, so I swam. And I’ve always been pretty okay at it. Good enough to get onto the teams I needed and place a little bit, but never awesome.

In my early 20′s I messed around with triathlons for a bit. I tried training for a marathon while I was in great shape, and I broke my leg – well, stress fracture, anyways.

Years later… lots of excuses, health issues, etc. I’ve found myself so gravitated to the simplicity of running. All I *need* is my sneaks, and I can go. No pool to drive to, no bike maintenance. Just feet on the pavement.

I live in Hawaii and it’s AMAZING to go outdoor running everyday. I live on a military base, and the commitment to healthy living is so cool. Everyone runs.

I take my dog, and we do 3-4 miles, on a variety of hills, mountains, beach paths, and roads. It’s enough to make me sweat, to clear my head, and to make my legs gets so swollen with quad muscles that my jeans are too tight.

This post is SO INSPIRING to take it up a notch. To really train.

So should I?  I mean, am I brave enough to really train?  I’m not sure.  I want to be.  I feel like I need to be… I’ve always been the kind of athlete that succeeds only via dedication; once my heart goes, my body will follow.

I’d love to step it up a notch, build my endurance, focus on getting faster.  I do a teensy bit of speed work and it always whoops me.  But maybe that’s good.  Oh honestly, I KNOW it’s good.

this is my view when i go joggin

Story Time! 

I mentioned that I messed around with tri’s for a bit.  Triathlons are fun, they’re hard, they can be super exciting… but mostly, there’s a lot of process there.  (Anyone who knows me, knows that I hate anything that’s a process).

To be real about tri’s you have to train in all three areas, and when it comes to the swimming you’d better train in a pool and in open water.  Luckily for me, I’ve always lived within quick access to open water.  You have to keep your bike in good shape, and you have to actually know crap about bikes.  You gotta practice transitions.  There’s just so much gear and stuff going on, it’s intense.

After I graduated from UNF, my first job was working in a call center for AOL.  I sat there with a headset on, getting yelled at from people who wanted to cancel their accounts, and my job – working in retention – was to convince them of why they needed their AOL accounts.  The HORROR.  No one needs an AOL account, and I damn well knew that, but it was awesome pay and it was easy (for me), and you could wear whatever you wanted, and they had an air hockey table.  (Seriously, AOL suck millions into figuring out what made employees like their workplace, and thus they had all of these amazing perks, like a free gym, and BBQ grills so that you could bring a raw steak with you and grill it up for lunch, arcade games that didn’t require coinage, a special room for BFing and pumping, it was honestly off the chain).

Eventually AOL closed up shop, relocated our jobs to India and we all got severance packages.  All those perks + the sweet pay was adding up to too much, of course.

We showed up for work one day and the building was all closed up, and there were a series of little stations we were instructed to go through.  One was a lecture about the severance packages, another about how to make or update a resume, and so on.

SEVERANCE PACKAGES CAN BE SO RAD.

They let us go in April (I think), and my package was for 3 months pay, and healthcare till July 31st.  Or Aug 31st.  Something like that.

For all of the real grownups who had kids and mortgagees, who had worked there for 16 years… the three months was crap.  Like, total crap.  So bad.

But for me, who was young and dumb and had only been there three months – it was crazy awesome.

So for three months, I made training my fulltime job.  I was making money, so why not.  I started with two-a-days and added in extra sessions of stretching or transition practice.  I already owned a roadbike (cycling was huge in college, thanks to Pi Kappa Phi)… I already knew how to swim, and even though I sucked at running, I knew how to do it.

So I trained.  I was at the beach swimming miles.  I was running and biking all over. And then when I raced in some local sprint tri’s, I really enjoyed myself.

In one race, I was the first female out of the water.

And then I came in near dead-last.  I was that BAD at running.

(Story time is winding up, I promise.)

I’ve always hated running, but I’ve just done it anyways.  Or forced myself to.  During every phase of my life, since middle school, I’ve run.  And I’ve always been super slow!  It was a weakness during lifeguarding, for sure.  But luckily for me, I am a sprinter, and in lifesaving situations, it’s a quick sprint that you need; I can manage a decent sprint.

I ran track in high school, and I was a sprinter for sure.  The only white girl on the team doing the teensy short races.  I did hurdles too.  Oh man, that was a mess.  It’s because I was tall and I have long stems.  But it’s not like I’ve EVER been coordinated.

But running was always a means to an end.  It was always secondary to swimming, something I did to cross-train.  It was a filler, to get some cardio in.  It became something I had to do, to get a job in ocean rescue.  (And because my swimming was so strong I could hit the water after a dead sprint and be good to go, I actually catch my breath by swimming).

i' m a mermaid, basically. a fish!

There have been two phases in my life that I actually focussed on running.

Once was with my roomie and collegiate pal, Megan Millar.  She and I were training to do a TNT Marathon.  A coupld things kept us from our goal, 1) the crazy high fundraising requirements, and 2) that’s when I got that stress fracture, I had been training on a broken leg for weeks, wondering why it hurt so much, but just icing it and then running again.  Megs and I had so much fun running.  We’d start in Neptune Beach and run all the way to Ponte Vedra, running along First Street, passing by all the people BBQing and hanging out.  It was always fun.  It the first time in my life that I embraced distance running, and I actually found that I love it.

here's a pic of megs and me, back when we were roomies and runners

The other time was when I was training to get in shape with my friend Stu.  Stu is a super awesome speedy cross-country runner, who won all kinds of races in college.  He’s so fast.  Stu and I became training partners, swimming and running together.  Me pushing him in the pool, him pushing me on the trails.  Stu taught me so much about running, and he really helped me to overcome my weaknesses of fearing distance and going way too slow.  Stu was an amazing trainer, and I’d give a lot to be able to run with him again, good times.

here's me and stu

So now what?  (Yeah, my vapid rambling is over).

I want to push myself.  I want to wake up early and train first thing.  I want to “train” instead of “jogging.”   I want to actually see what I have left in me and see what it can do.

I’m gonna marinate on this and come up with something.  I did resolve to make fitness important this year.  So perhaps this is how, I commit to running and getting into some distance stuff and racing.

I’ll update as I firgure it out.  But for now, consider me MOTIVATED!

as always, thanks for reading! xoxo, hhr

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6 responses

  1. Pingback: she’s going the distance… | happyhippierose

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