Archive for August, 2009


dear disney

Dear Disney,

The next time you are going to take photos of me running, could you consider making me look like and giving me a body like this first?

run1

Or, if that’s just not going to happen…
would you at least consider something like this?

run2

Or this?

run3

See? I’m not even that picky. So, it wouldn’t be that hard for you to do. And really, it would work out for the both of us: I’d like the photos more. I might actually buy the photos. You would profit. Not so hard, right?

Much obliged,
One who sweats profusely when she runs

[Image Sources: 1, 2, 3]

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2: campus run

Thought I was brilliant. My classes on campus start at 11:45 everyday. But, if I wait until then to drive here then all bets are off when it comes to parking. It seemed only logical then – drive to campus in running gear, run, then change and proceed on with day.

First of all, bringing everything you need for not only running but also complete change of clothes plus what you need to clean yourself up [my husband affectionately referred to it as a “de-stink kit” this morning] is, well, a bit much. Then, post run, trying to juggle all the school supplies, plus changing clothes, plus your de-stink kit. Again, took forever. So here I am, two hours after arriving to campus, and my 30 minute run is finally finished and I am dressed for the day. Phew! As fabulous as the run was [and it was!] I’m not sure if I can make this an everyday kind of thing.

Distance: 2.25 miles*
Time: 30 minutes
Weather: Lovely. Upper 70s – nice breeze.
Tunes: None! Forgot my iPod and thought it would be a nice change of pace [for the record – it wasn’t – don’t go running without music].
Obstacles: Fidgeting with watch – attempt to calibrate only made matters worse; fighting freshman on campus; dealing with the hills on campus [my normal run is totally flat]; and waiting on traffic lights.
Notes: Most enjoyable run I have had since returning to running. Combination of beautiful weather, a change in scenery, and activity on campus kept me feeling good and focused despite serious lack of sleep.

2-miler
*Map doesn’t show that I also ran a lap at the track; I was calibrating my watch – unsuccessfully, I might add.

short shorts

So, my running attire has always been something I’ve struggled with. You see, I own a pair of these:

shorts

And I also own a pair of these:

capris

The shorts are definitely a no go. I know these are “runner’s shorts” perse but I honestly cannot fathom how people run in these. I’ve tried different styles, different brands. Everything. Maybe it’s my leg shape or something but for the life of me they will, without fail, ride up. I will spend the entire run fidgeting and adjusting them and, while this might give me something other than running to focus on [har har!] it’s simply not fun.

Now, the latter – the capris – then seem like the perfect solution. They are light. Made of a wet-wicking material. They are, after all, what I ran the Disney Half Marathon in. But let me tell you – they are hot. And, running in Florida in August, well, hot just wasn’t cutting it for me.

Here is where the short shorts come in. These babies:

shortshorts

So I was stumbling around Sports Authority last week and saw a pair of these. In previous trips I think I’ve glided past them – overlooking them as biker’s shorts or something [and maybe they are?] but on this day, dear folks, desperation had set in. I thought, “what the heck?” And, while every bone in my body screamed “don’t put them on! They will make your thighs look like tree trunks!” I resisted my screaming body and threw them on anyway.

Cue “hallelujah” music here. Well, maybe not that extreme. They definitely didn’t do my legs any favors in the looks department. But, comfort level? Amazing. They are light. Wet-wicking. Short. And oh-so-cool. I took them for their first trip out yesterday and fell in love.

And with all of this I realized – sometimes you have to put faith in something that you wouldn’t normally in order to find solutions. And, by doing so, you might just be surprised.

1: long run

Wow. “Long run*” today and I think I can say that my butt is officially kicked.

I could blame it on a lot of things – not enough water, too late in the day, the awful Florida heat [definitely a factor]. But, mostly, I blame it on myself – how could I have gone so long without running? You know, you work so hard for something and maintaining that fitness level would have been 1000 times easier than starting anew.

But, that’s looking back. And, well, I am just not going to do that anymore. What’s done is done and there is nothing I can do about it.

Distance: 4 miles**
Time: 50 minutes [including bathroom break – haven’t figured out how to stop my timer yet – again, sad I know]
Tunes: Smash Mouth’s All Star
Obstacles: Lack of hydration, temperature [easily in the 90s]

4-miler

*I put “long run” in quotes because well, at this point in my training I find it a bit ridiculous to call a 4-miler “long” yet that’s what it is for my training schedule. Sad, but true.

**Map only shows two miles – the distance to get there – but obviously I had to come back.

the disney half marathon

So, though I’m quite awful at running, I’m not entirely new to the sport itself. I have, in fact, run a half marathon before. Not just any half marathon either, but the Disney Half Marathon. [Pathetic results can be found here.]

Since it’s the only race I’ve run, I feel compelled to share a recap of the day. So here goes nothing.

The day began in the wee hours of the morning. You know, those hours where you can name a handful of people that you could probably call because they are still awake from the night before? Yea. Those kind of hours. We arrived to the “retention area” which I like to think of being like a ridiculous-sized waiting room. Except outside. Without chairs. And lots of things for sale. Oh yeah, and at a ridiculous hour in the middle of the night. Did I mention that?

This is me and Mr. Shinsplint hanging out before the race. You can tell it was early. We were not so awake. And, to say I had a simple case of the jitters would be a major understatement.

Pre-Race Jitters

So, after an hour or so I headed off to my race corral. Having never done this sort of thing before and wandering off in the dark, on my own, made me a bit nervous. So, by the time I made it to my starting point I was all in disarray. Here is where I think having a running buddy would have helped immensely. Or having my husband on the phone. That would have worked too. Something to calm me down.

And off I go. I think this is right after I actually passed the race “start” line. You know, since you actually start running/jogging long before you cross the start. Ugh. I think I titled this photo something like “chasing light” – because, well, at that awful hour of the morning you kind of feel like you just might be.

Chasing the Light

Hey look – it’s me. I’m somewhere mid-way through the race at this point. I wish I knew what the mile markers were on these because I am fairly certain it would say a lot. My guess here? Less than 7 miles – I don’t look happy yet and once I get past half way of my run [regardless of the distance] I’m usually pretty happy.

Emerging

And here it is: complete happiness. Actually, if I’m going to be fair here I should admit that I’mactually laughing. You see, Disney had photographers hidden all over the course [I think that’s normal for races, but I don’t think this many is typical]. So, by this point – the last quarter of the race – I’ve adjusted to having them appear in weird angles or having to run around them. But this particular photographer? He was wedged between a concrete siding and a trash can. And by wedged I mean wedged. And, when runners came around the corner he popped his head around and snapped and then disappeared again. It sounds ridiculous, I know. But that’s because, well, it kind of was. But hilarious too. So, I am, quite literally, cracking up.

Epcot Ball

The grand finale. Woohoo. Actually, I don’t think I’m even in this photo. But, you can see what it looks like. It was, to say the least, quite marvelous.

Grand Finale

So, what’d I think about my first half marathon? It was frustrating. It was inspiring. It was entertaining. It was both mentally and physically exhausting. But mostly? Mostly it was addicting.

And so it began.

words

Me: “I started a new blog on running.”
Mr. Shinsplint: “Oh really, why?”
Me: “You know, to document what I think, how I feel. To babble about running.”
Mr. Shinsplint: “And who are your readers going to be?”
Me: “Well I don’t really need readers – it’s for me – but maybe any one of the million other bloggers who blog about running.”
Mr. Shinsplint: “Wait, you’re telling me other people blog about running?”

Ha! The fact is: people blog about everything. I mean that: everything. Kind of scary, really.

shoes found

It should come as no surprise that this morning [as I was getting ready for my run, mind you] I literally stumbled upon my misplaced shoes. Remember? The ones I finally broke down and replaced yesterday after weeks of agony in their absence. Ugh. Oh well, now I guess I have a pair to rotate with. And, you know, it is afterall supposed to be better that way.

new shoes

Went to the Gainesville Walking and Running Store and emerged successful. Not only did I score the footpod attachment to my brand new Polar bpm-monitoring watch [more on that later], but I also got brand new shoes. You see, my favorite beloved Brooks from my Disney Half Marathon [more on that later too] cannot be found. I suppose that’s what five months of being stagnant will do to you: make you lose your shoes.

Anyway, so what shoes did I get? Are you ready for this? The same ones. Well, the new model of the same ones. I tried on some Mizunos for $ that I thought felt great. Then he handed me these for $$$ and I realized the Mizunos felt awful in comparison. Walking on these is kind of like walking on clouds. They might just be better than going barefoot. Now if that isn’t saying something then I don’t know what is.

new shoes

why

Why in the world would I begin another blog? Good question, actually. This time though, it’s not for the world. It’s not for publicity. It’s for me. To document a journey. To find strength in myself. This is a journey I look forward to. And, one that I hope I will want to reflect on.