Mile Six (point two) Dedication: The “You’re Crazy” People

crazy

Admittedly, Pinterest-type posters like these are relatively cheesy, however, there’s something about it that rings true. Maybe it’s rather masochistic, but hearing “You’re crazy” is one of those things that makes me feel even more like a badass.

It might have something to do with the fact that those who tell runners they’re crazy are people who couldn’t imagine doing something like that themselves. Which means I, as a runner, am accomplishing something out of their realm of possibility.

That’s kind of cool. Especially given that at one point I WAS one of those “you’re crazy” people. Look how far I’ve come!

So yes, please keep telling me I’m crazy. I’ll keep thanking you and running anyway.

Mile Five Dedication: My Fitness Group

There is a group of ladies that I’m a part of. Every month they come up with different monthly fitness challenges. Many of them check in EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Over the last little while instead of participating in their challenges, I’ve spent time doing my own thing while watching their updates from afar. Guys, this group of ladies is SUCH a motivation to me.

Their determination to finish challenges, their follow-through with daily postings of their workouts, their encouragement of anyone and everyone who might be struggling, it’s impressive to see. These women have come together from all walks of life, yet have created a group that stands together in their unwavering support for everyone there. Even if those people happen to be voyeurs rather than participants anymore.

Mile five is for them. Because I know that even if I’m not posting there, they are going to support whatever I do no matter what. They’re pretty awesome.

Mile Four Dedication: Vinny

I’m realizing you might notice a trend in a lot of these dedication posts. I’ll warn you about that right now.

Mile four is dedicated to my friend Vinny.

Vinny is a relatively new friend of mine, found (as many have been in the past couple years) through the Twitter Machine. He’s a Brooklyn kid (and we all know how much I have a soft spot for Brooklyn). And he’s a relatively new runner.

There’s something incredibly refreshing about watching the journey a new runner takes, especially for those of us who have been doing this for long enough that every so often we forget what got us started in the first place.

Recently Vinny completed his first 10 mile race. It is incredible to actually see progress and determination to get better on a fairly constant basis. He did so well, and I am so proud.

After his 10 mile race, he wrote this post. In there, he says:

That’s what I had to do this weekend. I was rolling through mile 3. Miles 4-6 sucked and were agony. But miles 8-10 were joy. Why? Because when I hit Mile marker 8? I knew god himself wasn’t stopping me from hitting that finish line. And I got rolling again.

Hoo-boy, let me tell you how that made me catch my breath. That line, that god himself wasn’t stopping him from hitting that finish line, that right there is what it means to me to be a runner. That point hits at different times in different races, sometimes stronger than others, but when you’ve never run a distance before, that feeling of strength is POWERFUL. And he’s right. Not a force on this planet or anywhere else is going to stop you from crossing that finish line.

Sometimes this is hard. Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes you feel like you have made the biggest mistake of your life in agreeing to run a silly race.

And sometimes, whether it’s a 5k or a 10 mile race or that damn marathon, you feel something that you know some other runner somewhere else has. That is a powerful connection. It’s an even more powerful motivator.

So, my dearest Vinny, mile four is for you. For your half marathon dreams and beyond.

Mile Three Dedication: Janae and Danielle

I do not read many running blogs, to be honest. Maybe this makes me a weird runner, but there are really only two that I read: Danielle at T-Rex Runner and Janae at Hungry Runner Girl.

It might seem very silly and somewhat fan-girly of me, but these two are definitely motivational to me. Whether it’s reading their race recaps or them talking about training plans or expressing frustration at a bad race/run/training day or even an every day “yep, I ran four miles today, how was your run?”, whatever, it’s something I can read and think “Hey, I’ve been there.”

I very much like the whole relatable factor.

Also, Janae prompted this whole mile dedications, and Danielle has still written to date my favorite post of any blog on the whole interwebs.

So mile three is dedicated to them. Because they write a lot more than I do (which is not terribly hard to do, but still) while not sounding forced. Because they are able to project to an audience relatability and encouragement.

And because they make me laugh. Anyone who runs and can make me laugh? Totally cool in my book.

Mile Two Dedication: Runners

Mile two is for the other crazy people out there with me during a race.

They are teammates and competitors and some of the most awesome and crazy people I know.

Like I mentioned yesterday, part of the thrill of a race is the number of people out there yelling for you. The other part is the number of people running WITH you.

There’s something almost therapeutic about knowing that these runners have put in the miles and the sweat and the tears and in some cases the blood to get to where you both are standing. They are the ones who nod to you as you pass them on the road.

They are the ones who will stop and ask how your run went when they see you wearing a race shirt, or the ones who will say, “Hey, I ran that one too! What did you think of [random part of the course]?”

Just last week, they were the other person on the elevator, sweating and trying to catch her breath just like I was.

Runners have made this sport great. They’ve made it an event filled with adrenaline and endorphins and high fives and commiseration over that one hill that made you want to die.

They’re the ones you see out in absolutely crazy weather running like it’s any other day, the ones who you know have sat in front of a computer screen filled with a training schedule and weather forecast, making sure all the workouts were doable.

They’re my comrades in arms, so to speak. They make these races special.

Mile One Dedication: Spectators

This one goes out to the spectators. The people who wake up early to go sit on the side of the road and watch people work through mile after mile.

To the people who will yell and cheer your name as you run by.

To the people who have cups of cold beer at mile nine. And mile eleven.

To the people who make signs that make me laugh.

sign sign 2 sign 3

To the people who care as much about you finishing as you do.

To the one guy during a half marathon that was wearing a tie dye “Grateful Dad” shirt that we saw EVERY HALF MILE (I’m still not sure how).

To the people who run almost as much as the race itself just to be able to see their runners more than once or twice.

To all of them out there who make the racing experience one of my favorite things in the world.

Mile one is for them.

I Would Walk Five Hundred Miles

A while back I mentioned that Janae from Hungry Runner Girl had talked about dedicating miles of her races to people. I’ve kept this idea in my head for a while and feel like my upcoming (less than four weeks!!!) races are the perfect place to start.

I have been a very big proponent of not running because of anyone but yourself. I run for me. Full stop.

That said, many times during a race when your legs are dead, and the finish line is so far away you consider the fact that it might be faster to fly (slight exaggeration), it takes the thought of someone else to give you an extra boost.

For me, the people in my life are a huge motivation in my running. Not in the traditional sense, as in they’re out there cheering me on, but more in their support on a day to day basis. For understanding most of the reasons I run, and maybe not understanding the rest but supporting me nonetheless.

There are other reasons people and things give me motivation, and over the course of the next few weeks I’ll detail someone or something or some place new for every mile I’ve got coming up. Nineteen point three miles, nineteen dedications.

Here we go.

Over and Over

Two months ago I said I wanted to write more. And here we are. Hashtag goal fail. Hashtag silent blog.

Oops.

I had this whole post somewhat written about running and failure and training and not having motivation, but you’ve heard that story before. Actually, over the last year, I’ve told that story far too many times.

You know what’s motivating?

I get to to this again.

ragner

In just a few short months I’ll be heading back up to Madison and embarking on another round of Ragnar Chicago.

It’s kind of difficult to put into words the full range of emotions I have about Ragnar. Rereading what I wrote about the last round, I can still remember how nauseating the heat was, how the dehydration hit like a mack truck two days after the race, how I limped more than walked normally in the week following. However, I also remember the sense of accomplishment and of teamwork. I remember how twelve people came together, most of us knowing only one or two others in the team (which is exactly how this year will be….I know two of the guys on the team, and that’s it), and spent the time laughing and having fun like we’d known each other for ages.

I love Ragnar. I would do one every year if I could. I am SO excited to have this to look forward to.

But first comes Disney. First comes the Glass Slipper Challenge, and the already-had conversation about taking our time goal down a notch as training over the winter, for a myriad of reasons, has gone, well, let’s just say it hasn’t gone so well.

More races are coming. More miles and blisters and sweat drops (or sheets) and tan lines. And I couldn’t be happier about that.

 

Unrelated, good luck getting this song out of your head:

She’s Going the Distance

The thing about birthdays, as I’ve said before, is that they give you bench marks on life. For example, twenty-two was a wonderful year, full of graduating and getting a job and buying a car and moving to St Louis.

Other years have had some absolute highs, 27 coming in very close to the top of the list. But nothing will compare to 29.

This year is going to be a phenomenal year.

A couple of weeks ago at work, I submitted the goals that I am working towards for this fiscal year. This was right around the time that Angela was posting her October goals wrap-up and listing her November goals (let’s be honest, we aren’t the Type A A-Team in our Disney races for nothing). In our emails surrounding both of her posts, we talked a lot about goals. Running goals, life goals, wedding goals (on my part), etc.

I’m not one to set New Year’s Resolutions. It seems to me that if you want to improve yourself, the time to start is now, not in a few months at some arbitrary point in the winter. Yet somehow, my birthday benchmarks always make me take note of some goals I’d made without consciously considering them.

I suppose this year is a combination of goals and a “pre-30 Bucket List.” And what better way to hold yourself accountable than writing them out for the entire interwebs to see.

So. My goals for 29 years old/pre-30 bucket list.

1. Get through the wedding under budget. Wedding world is expensive. When we first started talking budget, we had a figure in mind that was almost immediately blown out of the water when we started looking at what we WANTED to do. When we found a place that would do everything and more that we were looking for, we bumped our budget up a little bit more. And then we sat down and had probably the most intense, down-to-the-penny type conversation I’ve ever had with another person. That figure (which is honestly nearly double what we originally set) is what I’d like to spend less than. Really. Granted, after going almost $300 over budget on my dress this past Saturday, it probably won’t be easy, but I think we can do it.

2. Find a pair of jeans that actually fits me. It’s interesting, this whole taking measurements for dresses thing. The size chart made me both chuckle and sigh, as my bust and waist size had me between two sizes, yet my hips had me between two different sizes that were a couple sizes bigger than the bust/waist sizes. Yay for being pear shaped. Later that day, I did actually find a pair of skinny jeans that mostly fit, yet I still spent part of the evening pulling them up. I want a pair of jeans that fits, that doesn’t have the gap in the back, that I won’t spend a full day pulling back up to where they belong.

3. Run a half marathon in under two hours. Over the last year or so, my focus has shifted away from running (clearly). I want to put it back. It is invigorating to run. I have missed it. And setting this goal (that is entirely doable, by the way) gives me something to focus on. Once the marathon was over, any and all focus on timed events went straight out the window. See: Tough Mudder, where the goal was to just finish the damn thing. Yesterday Danielle at T-Rex Runner posted about her absolutely incredible PR. I don’t even know her and was damn near cheering in my seat reading about it. A PR is satisfying on levels that are hard to describe. I never started running to race people. I actually hate racing people. But racing against my past self? That’s something I can get behind. I will cheer on ANYONE who’s going for  PR, and I’m still cheering for Danielle. My goal is to be able to cheer for myself come February, and as a pipe dream, again in April.

better

4. Run. In races and new events. For fun. For health. Just run. I feel like I’m well on my way here, as I’ve already scheduled a few new races coming up. I’ve got a 10k on Thanksgiving, a 15k in December, obviously my Glass Slipper Challenge in February, and I’ve signed up for a half marathon in April as well. And then? Then I shall do Ragnar Chicago again. I lovelovelove Ragnar, and reading Janae’s updates on Ragnar Vegas gave me some SERIOUS running jealousy. I suppose it was just really good timing then that last week I got an email about joining another Ragnar Chicago team. I am so excited!!

5. Be healthier. I was going to go into more detail here, but I won’t for a whole lot of reasons. Suffice it to say, I have health and fitness related goals that I’ll be working on this year, I just won’t be listing them out for the whole wide world.

6. Write more. This is one that I won’t put many specifications around. However, I do know that I like writing. I would like to do more of it. Whether or not it’s in this space remains to be seen.

7. Stay happy. The last year has been the happiest of my life. Things are in such a remarkably good place, and I would like to keep it that way. There are some big things and some not so big things to look forward to, but every single day I want to be happy. I want to take a few minutes every day to appreciate the things around me and what I’ve been blessed to have. I want to remember that though there could be rough times ahead that life is awesome.

8. Win a fantasy football championship. We’ll just have to see how this one goes.