Friday, September 30, 2011

Courage to Start

The Miracle isn't that I finished.  The miracle is that I had the 
courage to start. 

This is one of my favorite quotes.  It's been my Facebook favorite quote for years.  As I always say, "The hardest part of the run is walking out the door".   So, how do you start?  That's the tough part. 
Run.  How did I start The Run
I was NEVER a runner. I was a swimmer.  For almost all my life.  Wasn't all that great.  But, wasn't all that bad.   I just picked it back up this summer. After MANY years away.  It felt good to be back. I felt at home.  

But, a runner? Pfff. That's silly. Freshman year in college my friends and I would run (jog) here and there to try to keep off the Freshman 15. It worked (thank God). Until I turned 21 and life became, well, more beer friendly.  After college I would run a mile here or there and think I was "running". Riiiiiight. It wasn't until MANY years later (3 years ago) that a co-worker came into work wearing a medal. I asked her what it was. She said it was from a half marathon she ran the day before. Well, I wanted one. So, she said, "come run the Chicago Rock n Roll Half Marathon in 3 months" Hell, I can run two miles, how hard would 13.1 be?  So, I half-assed trained (not) with a goal of just finishing. Finish I did. Not pretty. But, I did it. I was proud of myself. I saw possibility.

So, I continued the run. Kind of. Kept it light. Nothing much. But, I ran. Until last year. When my kick ass rockin' 102.5 year old grandma got sick (she lived on her own but I took care of her needs). Really sick. She was dying. She was supposed to live forever. Anybody who knew me knew this. Believed this. She didn't see the Cubs win the World Series. She surely had a few more years in her. But, sadly she didn't. After being a vibrant living person, she spent 3 long months in and out of the hospital and nursing home. It was hard for me to fathom this was the end. I worked all day, spent my evenings with her. Then came home at 9, 10, 11 pm and ran. And ran. And ran. Ran from the stress. Ran to be alone, away from everybody depending on ME. Ran. I ran further. I ran faster. With everything going on, when I was on the run I felt great. The world felt great. Life was great. All that was not true. But, in those moments they were.
And, then she died. I crumbled. She was the person that loved me most in the world. And, then she was gone. Forever. The thought of life without her was overwhelming. I didn't think I could ever run again. But, I had 3 weeks until my 2nd Chicago RnR Half Marathon. I HAD to do it. With an angel on my back I ran. I crossed that finish 30 minutes faster than my first. My eyes filled with tears. Of joy. Because I KNEW grandma got me over that line.
So, I continued to run. I went even further. And faster. I found friends that encouraged me. Texted me before runs. Messaged me after with congrats. Made me music mixes to get me going. I felt encouraged. I felt strong. I felt loved again. Somehow along the way 65lbs fell off. I felt better about myself. Hated life less. Liked me more.
Then I found Daily Mile . And the people of Daily Mile. My life hasn't been the same since. :D
So, yeah...... that's my running story. To be con't..............

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bra Burning

This whole ruling on women marathon world records becoming invalidated if the women run in a mixed race has got me steamed. IAAF gives women's marathoners the middle finger

I just don't get it.  So, the men can be paced by men and it's ok.  But, if the women are paced by men it's not ok.  Listen, I don't care if Paula Radcliffe is paced by flying monkeys.  As long they don't fly her through the race and over the finish line she's getting there with her own damn legs.  Her legs.  Her race.  Her time.  Her record.

Ugh, really?  We will go back to separate races for men and women?  Really?  We are going backwards are we?  Ah, progress.

I think I shall grab my girdle, walk five steps behind men, dragging our cattle.  To go do the laundry.  While pregnant.

God, I feel like taking off my bra and going for a long run.

Oh, wait, I can't run.  That's right.  Sucks for me.

Shop Local

My friend Mike asked the question on his blog, "Do you have a favorite local running store" Per usual I couldn't just answer, "yes". 

I most certainly shop at my local running store: Naperville Running Company Naperville Running Company It's a small store (newly moved 2 doors down and now all swanky and new). But, the service there is top notch. They were named 2009 Running Specialty Store of the Year  Well deserved too. Each time I have gone in for new running shoes it's at least an hour of time, if not more. They watch me walk, they select shoes, I try on shoes. I run around the track in the store. I try on more shoes. The salesperson talks to me. About running. My running. We talk about races. What races I've done and am doing. What races they are doing. Each time I feel like I have a new friend.

Seriously. They are great runners. I am not. Most are runners from the local Division III college - North Central College who have won friggin ridiculous amount National Cross Country Championships over the years. But, they still give me little ole me advice. They get me excited for running.

I try on more shoes. I complain that the women's shoes are not pretty in my size. I get on the treadmill . They videotape my running. I make fun of my form. I complain that I didn't wear a running bra, that I shouldn't have worn a skirt. I make them laugh. I run some more.

I pick out shoes. I buy new socks. I get some Honey Stingers. They check me out. They smile. They invite me to go running with them anytime. How about Thursday they ask. What? Me? Run with You? Um.... really?

I walk out with my new shoes, some new friends, and a smile on my face.

Yes, I shop at my local running shoe store. Absolutely.

Friday, September 23, 2011


I'm stuck.
I'm injured.
I'm not running.
I'm stuck.
My life is stuck.

I need to run.
To save me.