Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Finish Lines, Not Finish Times.

Corvallis Half Marathon 2014
This post is short on pictures and long on words.  Sorry about that. :-)  Evidently I had a lot to say!

I didn't want to do this race.  I knew it would be hard since I had not trained for it.  Truthfully I was embarrassed even before I went because I knew it would be SO much worse than last year.

But I have fabulous friends that encouraged me to go anyway and just do my thing and enjoy the day.  Their arguments were as follows:
  1. Even if you walk the whole thing you are awesome because you are beating everyone one the couch.
  2. The weather will be sunny, you get to be outside in the sun!!
  3. You can listen to music and people watch.  
  4. Nobody but you cares how fast or slow you go.  Let it go.  ;-)
  5. Thirteen point one freak'n miles!  That's awesome no matter how you get it done! (Don't forget the point one!)
So I let all my frustrations go (well, mostly).  I decided that I would just do my thing and participate because I could.  All week long I was up and down about it.  Mostly I was okay with knowing I would not be running it but then the disappointment in myself would creep back in.

I worked really hard on Saturday to get all of my homework done so that I wouldn't have to worry about it on Sunday.  Got that accomplished so that was a good feeling.

Sunday morning I got up and had breakfast early.  My husband, Taylor and Meighan were going to a work party at the lake so Taylor came over straight after work.  It was nice to get some time to just visit with my son.  :)  He always makes this mom's heart full.  Joe ended up getting off work later than usual so when got home they took off pretty quickly.  I was all ready to go but there was still a small part of me that wanted to find some excuse to just stay home.  But I didn't.  I got in the car and headed for Corvallis.

Pre Race picture with the fabulous Wendie!
Walking to the start line I saw my wonderful friend Wendie.  She gave me a huge hug.  She knows I've been struggling and that I really didn't want to do this race.  She has told me "You got this!" in many different ways, both gently and with a slight kick to the butt.  Nothing like starting race day with positive energy!  And it just kept coming.  Next was Josh with a big hug and "whoo hoo, it's race day!"  We wandered over to the start line and found other race peeps.  I have a large number of wonderful people that have come into my life through running.  That right there makes running worth it!!  Next we saw Betsy and Hannah, then Spencer and then Kristy and Tony.  Everyone was giving out hugs and high fives, excited to get the race going.  Hard to have a bad attitude with all that fun energy!

We got in a various spots in the line depending on our race pace.  My brother-in-law Steve found me and we got a chance to chit chat and hug.  I have wonderful brothers and sisters who bless me all the time.  And lucky me that they all have married fabulous husbands and wives that I love having in my life!  Steve is always an encouragement and just fun to be around.

The race began and I had decided to try and run a mile, walk a mile for the whole race.  That way I wasn't busting out trying to do something I hadn't trained for but at the same time I was challenging myself a little bit.  That worked out pretty well for the first 10 miles.  Then I just ran out of gas.  The last three miles were brutal.  I just wanted to sit down and have someone come pick me up.  I kept moving though and that was another victory.

I ended up with a finishing time of 3:28:04.  That is significantly slower than last year.  I am not going to figure the exact number in an effort to not be so hard on myself (but it is more than 30 minutes slower, just so you know).  These are my observations that went on during the race.  Remember, I was out there a LONG time.  I had a lot of time to observe and think.
  • The sun was shining and there was a slight breeze that felt wonderful.
  • There were lots of fun people cheering us on along the way.
  • Oregon in the spring is gorgeous!  Cherry trees blooming everywhere, tulips and daffodils in the yards, I love it here!
  • I saw Miley Cyrus.  Ok, not really but I saw a young woman with the same haircut cheering on the crowd who could have been her sister. 
  • On the trail on Bald Hill there were some girls cheering people on.  Most people were just running by, focused on their race.  I waved at them and said thank you!  They waved back and were all excited that I had responded.  This was one of the miles I was running and I was catching up to a woman and they started cheering me on "Go faster, get ahead of her, you can do it!"  Made me laugh.  I told them I would pass her on the down hill.  (That woman actually ended up passing me on the last half mile of the race!)
  • I saw people riding horses on the Bald Hill trail while we were running.  
  • There were amazing volunteers that made sure we didn't get hit by cars.  I personally appreciate this a great deal.  I don't think I would enjoy getting hit by cars.  
  • There was a couple that were on bikes cheering on a friend. I think it was her first half marathon.  She had a couple of friends running with her as well.  It was the woman I had passed on Bald Hill.  They passed me and then I passed them several times along the route.  I think we were walk/running opposite miles.  The couple on the bike cheered me on every single time they passed me.  Whether they were looking for their friend or going up ahead to be ready to cheer her on, they gave me a shout every single time.  I began to feel like they were my friends too.  :-)  
  • I came to one corner at about mile 11 with a whole bunch of volunteers with these clappy noise makers. They were cheering me on and since I was kind of all by myself right then it was like having a huge cheering section just for me.  I shouted "Thank you!" over all the noise and one of the ladies close to me asked me my name.  I told her and she shouts down the street "Her name is Lisa!" and everyone starts cheering my name.  Then people at the end of the crowd shout down to the people on the next corner "Her name is Lisa!" and as I get to that corner they all start shouting my name and cheering.  lol This went on for a couple of streets.  Hard to give up with that kind of awesome encouragement!
  • I couldn't find my inhaler.  My doctor had told me that if I was having difficulties I should talk while walking or running because that would help regulate the breathing better.  If I was alone I should sing.  So, for about 3 miles (miles 9, 10 and 11) I sang to whatever come on my iphone next.  lol  I sang "Let It Go" from Frozen, "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson, "I've Been Everywhere" by Johnny Cash, "Take a Chance on Me" from Mama Mia, "Stronger" by Mandisa and "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5.  I got some funny looks from people and I'm sure I was off key since I had my headphones in but it worked and was kind of fun.   Someone somewhere could be writing in their blog about the crazy singing lady in the race.  :-)
  • I spent a lot of my time praying.  Walking alone gives you good one on one time for conversations with God.  :-)  Mostly I was praying for my cousin and his family.  It felt good to lift them up in prayer.  Funny how praying for others always makes me feel better.  
  • Just as I'm getting ready to start mile 12 I see my friend and co-worker standing at the corner.  Chad was there to cheer on his wife because she was walking the race with her friend (also the parent of one of my students).  So I got a fun boost for the last mile from Chad and the crew that was there for Beth and Sarah.  (You just never know when you are going to see students! lol)
  • People with dogs should not stop in front of runners to get a soda from people on a bike right in front of someone in a race.  Especially when that someone knows if they stop for too long they won't be able to start again.  They were totally oblivious!
  • Got a text message from my bestie while I was still on the course asking how I had done.  I told her that I wasn't done yet and she texted back that she was proud of me for being out there.  We had talked about the race on Friday night and she knew it was hard for me.  Love my friend!  Just another reminder of the fabulous people I have in my life!
  • When I ran into Reser Stadium (and yes, I was running.  I always finish a race running, no matter what!) the song that came on was "Wild Thing" and for whatever reason I thought that was really funny.  
  • When I was done and finally decided to hobble up the stairs to get out of Reser Stadium I saw two girls at the top of the stairs that were passing out bags of ice because it was so warm.  They asked me if I wanted one and I said of course!  Then one of the girls says "I remember you!  You waved and talked to us on the trail!"  I laughed and said yes.  I couldn't believe they would remember me from all the thousands of people that went by.  They assured me that they remembered the "fun" people.  :-)  They brought a smile to my face during the run and evidently I brought a smile to theirs too.  
  • My husband sent me a text that said "Great job dear.  I knew you would just keep going."  He always believes I will make it.  :-)  Even when I don't.  
  • I got sunburned.  In April.  In Oregon!  I had sunblock on but it was an older bottle and apparently it doesn't work anymore.  :-)  Oh well, guess I have a start on the base for summer.  
I had asked my friends to not wait around for me at the end of the race.  I was really embarrassed by how long it was going to take me and since I knew they were going to finish WAY before me I didn't want everyone to be sitting around for an hour or more waiting for me to finish.  I really thought I was going to be done more around the four hour mark.  No one was gathered at the finish line to cheer me on and that was a relief.  But when I came around the corner after getting my finishers medal and some water I hear a shout and here sit Josh, Wendie, Tony and Kristy.  It was nice to lay on the ground and just chill for a little bit and laugh with my friends.  I was glad they were there.  :-)

I grabbed a hamburger on the way home because I was starving.  :-)  Imagine that!  I happened to get home at the same time as my family so that was nice.  Decision time.  Do I shower and then nap with a wet head or do I take a nap while I'm still all stinky and then shower?  Normally I don't care but we were going to meet up with a bunch of the running crowd who had done the half and with curly hair, sleeping on it wet leaves me looking a bit like a haystack.  I decided to just get comfy in my recliner and sleep.  I got about an hour nap and then had to get up to pee.  All that water I had been sucking down at the race suddenly need to be gone.

Showers after a run feel so good.  Showers after a race feel even better.  I don't know if it is because the hot water feels so good on sore muscles or if it is just a wonderful feeling to no longer smell like a Yetti.  But either way, I love my after race showers!

Joe, Meighan and I headed back to Corvallis to have dinner with my fellow racers.  It was fun to just hang out and visit.  The skill level of the running people that I hang out with just astounds me.  When I'm doing the comparing thing (which I'm trying not to do)  I can't believe they even think that anything I do is worth celebrating.  But when we are all hanging out and talking about what we have done and what our next goals are, everyone is so excited and encouraging about what everyone else is doing, even me.  Gets me all jazzed up to get out and get going again.  A big shout out to Betsy for her huge PR and Hannah as well.  They have worked very hard and they are getting awesome results!  I'm so proud of you both!!!  Actually I am proud of everyone who did this race.  :-)

The next race I'm signed up for is the Pacific Crest 10K.  I have decided to notch my races down a little and work on shorter distances and getting faster.  I think I will also try to find a couple 5K's to do in May as well.  That being said, I have been asked to join a team for the Hood to Coast Relay.  Yikes!  I reminded my friend that asked me that I'm slower than dirt and her response was "We don't care, we just want fun people."  Guess that makes me a fun people.  I am going to tell her yes for sure tomorrow.  I want to be able to say that I have done that.  Another accomplishment on my list.  I need to remember that the list is pretty long and I have earned every single thing on it.

This picture was on the Run Like a Girl Facebook page yesterday and it caught my eye.

As always, just what I need to remember, right when I need to remember it.  :-)
I'm so thankful for the people in my life, family and friends near and far, who help me remember that I need to proud that I'm out there.  Last week I was overwhelmed by the encouragement I received after posting my blog.  People that I have known and loved for most of my life were immediately letting me know that they supported me and believed in me.  It was a good reminder that I have had fantastic people in all areas of my life for all of my life.  Made me feel incredibly loved.  So a special shout out to my high school friend Kari and to my number one bestie (forever!) Sheryl.  (Sheryl, dinner date soon?)  You both gave me words I needed from people who have known me way back when.  I needed that more than you can know.

 I will be working on focusing on the finish lines, not the finish times.  :-)

**Update:

A big shout out to my friend Christa who ran her very first Half Marathon on Sunday.  She rocked it (of course!) and has been an awesome encouraging friend the past year.  :-) Thanks Christa!!!


3 comments:

Teresa said...

I loved this post! So positive and happy! I hope to have the courage to one day achieve what you are achieving with running. I admire you so much!

Lisa Van Veldhuizen said...

And you certainly have the gift of encouragement! You brighten my day often! Love you sis! :)

Barb said...

Glad you went out and did it! Just wish I could too!