On this day in…

Recently I’ve started noticing Facebook’s new feature, “On this day in…”. It seems in 2009 my life was a little crazy, but 2010 is what keeps making me sad. See, this time last year I was starting what I thought would be the rest of my life. I met with my first client, I prepared for my first group session. I had dreams of spending my summer Bday in my “new place”. It was the week’s leading up to YUT-C I sat in my car listening to lessons on tape so I could pass my pre-licensure exam. I worked crazy hours to meet everyone’s expectations and I stayed up late texting the guy I was dating. What got me through it all was knowing it would be a fast and well worth it year before I sat at my own agency, came home to an empty house full of my own decisions, and went out for exciting nights on the town.

It’s almost the end of 2011, I don’t have an office, I don’t have clients, and I don’t have an apartment. Don’t get me wrong, I DO have fun. There are many people in my life who I have fun with when we do things. It’s hard though when in the back of my mind I’m running numbers to see how long I can keep going like this? Yes, I have a savings account, but really how long will that last? I need to use it to pay off debt if my income isn’t high enough to afford to move out. I’m tired of hearing how so-an-so moved out making $11/hr. I bet so-an-so doesn’t have the kind of student loan debt I have either! If I wasn’t paying for the education, which is currently getting me nowhere, I’d be sitting pretty with an office job. If I had been working for the past 10 years instead of going to school I’d certainly be sitting hella pretty like some of my former high school classmates. If I had a boyfriend or a best friend to live with it wouldn’t suck so much.

Those weren’t the choices I made though, and I don’t regret it for a second. It’s stressful, sure, but everyone has stress. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t have some form of stress or obstacles in their life currently. We all tend to think the grass is greener on the other side, but for now, I’ll keep my own grass. I might not be able to afford to water it, and it might need cut, but it’s my grass and I’ll be damned if I’m just going to give up on it. Besides, tomorrow I have a consultation to set up my oral surgery at which point I can start the good-by to braces countdown.

Facebook I hope you remind me in 2012 how strong I had to be in 2011.

Race Report : Buckeye Half Marathon

Yesterday, I completed my 19th half marathon. This was my fourth attempt at the Buckeye Half and my third completion. Last year, I was miserable with my asthma and dropped half way (it is a double loop course).

I arrived at the race site around 7:30, which was my goal. There was no need to pick up my packet (as I had grabbed it Sat and was already loving on my new hoodie) so parking wasn’t a logistical nightmare.

It seemed I had everything I would need or want for the race except for a minor detail…Garmin wouldn’t turn on! To my absolute horror no matter how many times I pushed the “power” button, the screen remained a cold and silent grey. It occurred to me electronics are moody and as I stayed over at a friend’s the night before, I was charging my Garmin at their house. Naturally I couldn’t log into their computer so I just unplugged and left. Brilliant. I’m happy to report today I plugged Garmin into its home system and everything is operational. At the time I wasn’t too worried though, I figured “that’s what pace groups are for anyway”.

I lubed myself up to high heaven knowing it would be humid. And with enough time to spare hit the port-o-lets and joined everyone at the starting line. During the VERY slow job down there it hit me exactly the level of humidity I would be dealing with for the next few hours.

Pace groups ended at 2:10, so I settled in right behind their mass and the people looking around as if they’ve never seen a race before. I noticed Viper @ The Booze Hounds Inc. Running Team, but there wasn’t time to say “Hi”. I was glad I noticed him though, because I knew he had the same time goal as me and since I was now sans pacer and sans Garmin I could use him as a marker.

Miles 0 -1: I chatted with Shelby and a new friend Jennifer who was running her first half! Very exciting! Soon enough it was time to take off and I tried to settle into a rhythm. I knew the course well and could count off landmarks along the way. Stomach felt uneasy.

Mile 1 – 3: Rhythm slowly draining, watch 2:10 move more and more into the distance. Turned on my Ipod and tried to enjoy the journey.  Stomach slightly settled, but not 100%.

Mile 3 – 6: Shortly after 3 Viper caught up to me and we chatted for a bit. Despite his pace being “slow” for him, it was on target for me and it was a big moment in my running career to be able to pace with someone I admired so much in the running community. Around this point I was feeling bad, talking to him and passing people really put me back in the game. As I neared the end of the first loop I started to feel out of body and sick. I slowed down A LOT and he took off, I watched his yellow top crest the hill and disappear. Good Bye 2:15…am I too sick to finish THIS YEAR TOO?

Mile 6 – 9: I was sweating faster than I could wipe, but my face was ice cold. My stomach was feeling even worse and if I ran at all I wanted to double over and kept burping. Shelby passed just before I ended the loop and told me I was on pace and to keep going. I see the clock 1:10 and decide not to drop. However I don’t run at all during these few miles. Jennifer passes me early in the second loop and is having a good first race. I keep smiling. People start to pass me and say “Some humidity, huh?”

Mile 9 – 11. A meet a woman (OK I didn’t get her name so did I meet her?) who encourages me to try running again. I do, and I find myself running from 9-10. When I slow down for a road crossing I think the only reason I don’t fall forward are my CEP’s. Just after 10 and the water stop a passing car sends dust into my face. As I start to cough I quickly bend over the side of the road and get sick in the grass. My eyes tear up because getting sick is very embarrassing to me. What’s worse? I don’t have water and the previous stop is too far back. I spend 2 miles with the taste of chemicals in my mouth and follow up with a few tiny “pit stops” over the next mile.

Mile 11 – 13.1. My “new friend” passes me again, I tell her I got sick, she tells me that’s OK it’s your body adjusting. This blows my mind. I know lots of people puke while running. I’ve now done it twice and I know LOTS of people were doing it out there on that very day, but that doesn’t make it “normal”. Sweat? Normal. Tears? Normal. Puke? A sign something is off. I finally get some water and start to feel better. On the home stretch I keep reminding myself “It’s about an active lifestyle, not an elite performance”. I remind myself I am capable of a 2:17 race. I remind myself I need to be healthy enough to do the RnR next weekend. And I mostly remind myself that I didn’t give up.

I cross the finish line in what looked like 3:02:xx or 3:03:xx, and was presented with a medal. First year they’ve done medals!

A few friends were still there and we chatted a quick moment. I ran into even more friends walking to my car. No one laughed at me. No one asked why I sucked. No one babied me knowing it was a “bad race”. Everyone congratulated me. They spoke to me like they cared about me outside of numbers. And they complimented my new haircut.

Not a personal worst, obviously not a personal best, but really one of the top races where I felt like a runner and not just a bib number. This was nice because I will probably stop racing this route after this year. It’s been a fun few years, but roads tear up my IT band and it’s a boring course to be truthful (for me). I wasn’t designed for Ohio humidity!I’m glad I did it though and I’m proud of every other runner who was out there with me. And proud of all my friends who did the Inaugural Moebius Green, Monster Trail 50K on Saturday or the Cleveland West Road Runners Inter-club Challenge 10K on Sunday. Or anyone else who was out there living it up this weekend!

Tender Tush

No this isn’t the latest chicken cut from Tyson. It turns out riding your bike around like a crazy person will lead to the bottom half letting you know it knows what you’ve been up to lately!

I’m not sure how I accomplished it, well actually thanks to DailyMile I am sure how I accomplished it, but I hit 102 miles for the month, on my bike last night! Normally I struggle to hit 100 for the summer. It was an amazing feeling, but toward the end I could certainly feel the mileage adding up.

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The 5th was on the hybrid, I just needed to get out of the house and rode the opposite direction I normally do, for me this was a great adventure! Ooooooohhhhh.

The 10th was on the road bike, went out with a group and rode the bike & hike around the neighboring cities. Met some nice people and found out my bike goes a lot faster when properly inflated.

On the 17th I ventured out for a ride on the hybrid at dusk where we stopped at Yours Truly and dined on ice cream and quesadillas and my knee bled out.

A few days later on the 20th I went out for an unofficial night ride, again with the hybrid and was happy to be a part of Sheila’s big adventure of getting back out on the trails after a (few) years hiatus. The knee didn’t hurt too much either.

Last night was the same route and bike as the 17th, only we had a group of about 20 with us! On the way out there it was a slower pace in the back and lots of other people were using the Towpath so it was hard to really find a steady pace. Tom went with me, and it turns out it took about 90 minutes to cover 13.5 miles. Fun. We got to talk to a lot of people though so it totally made up for the lack of speed.  Instead of YT we opted for Hoggy’s. Of course there was a kink in the plans, since the main road did not offer a crosswalk and the “bridge” path leading off the trail was gated at the end. We decided the only thing to do was wait for a lull in traffic and go for it!

Just as we were coming up with the brilliant plan and an officer was driving down the road. He saw the massive amount of bikes and turned his lights on. WHAT? He blocked traffic for us so we could all cross safely! How great is that? What perfect timing. The next interesting thing was riding our version of bikes past “bike night” at Quaker Steak & Lube. I couldn’t count the number of men who revved their engines at us as we rode past. Too bad I didn’t take a picture, it was a sight to be seen. The whole parking lot was crammed with motorcycles, they even spilled over into a huge portion of the movie theater lot. People we using lights and flags to direct traffic there was such a crowd.

Side note: Some photos I found here of bike night in 2004. It’s the same location, just to give you an idea of what I am talking about…

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After a fine dinner of extra cheesy Mac & Cheese, a BBQ pulled pork sandwich and a Cherry Coke, we were back on the road. Several members ate and left (they needed to get up early) so on the way back there were only about 10 of us, and 5 took the lead. We cleared the way home in an HOUR. I have never ridden the hybrid that quickly before! I’ve decided I should probably deck it out, with the mirrors and lights and supply pack needed for a longer distance bike since it seems to do better on some of the trail surfaces than my road.

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I’m in pink, she didn’t say 1.2.3 or I would have smiled!

Supposedly, I am going out Sat night for a sanctioned 13 on the Towpath at night courtesy of Century Cycles. There is also apparently a day ride listed on Meetup. I’m not sure if I will go or not since I have the Buckeye Half Marathon on Sunday. Word on the street is VA Beach is always hot and humid so if I want a go at that sub 2:15 I may have to try for it this weekend. I still haven’t decided if I feel like it or not. I also learned I have a friend doing it for the 1st time and is nervous she won’t know anyone. It may be more fun to just hang with her. We shall see.