01 January 2008


The goal? Was to finish the race 1) running 2) on my own two feet and 3) not last. I succeeded in those 3 endeavors, although I did not manage to run the entire 3.1 miles. I walked some of it. I'm disappointed by that, but not deeply so.

I had some pain that I've never had running, and was upset by that. Shin splits, I've had plenty of experience with those, but that wasn't the problem. I developed a....cramp, maybe, for lack of a better term...in my right ankle, near the Achilles tendon, but closer to my ankle bone. It hurt, quite a bit. It developed before the first mile was up, and by the time I was finished with the race, I was limping. And wheezing, but we'll get to that.

This race, as I have explained before, was the one I chose because it was a FLAT course. It was a 2 laps of the fairgrounds it was held on. Before the first lap was done, I was wondering why the fuck I thought I could ever do this; I felt like something was trying to claw its way out of my chest, and right at that moment, I'd have gladly allowed someone to crack my chest with bolt cutters to let it out. Took a while for that to fade, too. I've felt that on the treadmill before, but I've just slowed down or stopped until I could catch my breath.

I say to people all the time: "It ISN'T a race, dude, slow down." But this WAS a race, and I was determined to not finish dead last, so slowing, well, wasn't so much of an option, really. I did walk for a portion of each lap, but I didn't stop, not even once, not even when my left shoe came untied with a mile of the race remaining.

DH took a few pictures, and aren't I the fashion plate in them! Grey stretch pants; a long-sleeved t from a public radio station, a black nylon pullover over the t, an orange-and-blue-and-burgundy striped beanie, a black & white number pinned to my tummy, a timer mechanism strapped to my ankle, two pairs of gloves, one cream, one burgundy (which did NOT match the burgundy in the hat, FYI) a red handkerchief, and a red neck-thingy, which I usually wear skiing. It takes the place of a scarf. Oh, and a jingle bell pinned to my left shoe, and my silver iPod in its black case strapped to my right arm in its usual place. The gloves didn't last past the first mile, and by the end of the race, the hat was off, too. Sharp, lemme tell ya.

The only reason I'm posting this picture is that it is a bit blurry, you can't make out the number on my stomach, and I think that if you don't know me very well, you wouldn't recognize me. I'm enough of a paranoid freak that it probably won't stay attached to the post for more than 24 hours.

I had decided previously to run to a Podrunner mix, one of my current favorites, Radiant Dark. At 166 BPM, it is a bit faster than I can really run, but I really like the music, so that was my choice. Additionally, at always at least an hour long, Podrunner mixes are pretty ideal for a race like this.

I couldn't run without music at all, and crossed the finish line to Eminem's Lose Yourself, from the 8 Mile soundtrack. While I'm not a huge fan of Em's anti-woman lyrics or a lot of his ideology, say whatever you like about the guy, Lose Yourself is hugely inspiring and something that gets me revved every time I listen to it. I had listened to it about 5 times before the race, and when I was thinking that I wasn't going to get across the finish line at all, I turned from the Radiant Dark mix to Lose Yourself, which brought me back up to speed.

I was looking at DJ Steveboy's blog a few hours after the race, and I'm so excited about his newest project; Podrunner Intervals. Click the linky above to read about it yourself, but the idea is to bring beginner runners from couch potato to half-marathon. Release date is Feb 1, 2008, and you bet your bottom dollar that I'll be adding that to my list of podcast subscriptions.

The aftermath of the race is that I hurt. I ache. My legs, that spot on my ankle, my lower back, and the base of each of my shoulder blades. I'm exhausted, have a headache, and it took several hours for asthmatic me to return to normal breathing. For all that, I can't wait to do this again. I'm on a high, one that I don't want to end.

I'll tell you this, too. I don't have plans anytime soon to run in temperatures much warmer than it was here today, about 40F or about 4C. No matter what the outside temp, you still sweat, and I was HOT. Any warmer, and I might've been faint.

Here's the best part. Today, my weight stands at 161, up a few pounds from my 40 lb loss, but I'm blaming that on the holidays and all the parties I've been at the last 2 weeks. It'll drop. The best part is that a year ago this time, I weighed 190, and couldn't walk up a flight of steps without wheezing. What an amazing long way I've come.

Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted

One moment
Would you capture it?

or just let it slip?

Eminem, Lose Yourself, 8 Mile Soundtrack


Dawna said...

What a way to ring in the new year!! That is absolutely fantastic. I don't know how you were able to cross the finish line with all your clothes on, though. Running in the winter is the best as long as the roads/paths are clear.

Nothing like pushing yourself to see what you can do, eh?

Lucy Arin said...

yep! There was *not* snow that day, but the next day....woooo, holy snowstorm batman. Luck 'o the draw, really, in Oh-hia-ia in the winter.
I was fine in the pullover/neck thingy/and grey yoga pants for 3 miles. Any more than that, and I'da been tossing layers at DH each time I ran by him.

There's a half marathon here in town in 2 months....I'm thinking about it. You have your choice of 5 K or 1/2 marathon and I'd like to push it, but I am afraid of falling flat on my face. The current plan is to train for it and see how I feel when registration time rolls around.

Half out of my mind, more like!

Anonymous said...

I am totally proud of you. I wouldn't have the guts to sign up for the race, let alone finish it (never mind that I am you from one year ago... !)

You look awesome in that pic, by the way. Rockstar Lucy!