Friday, March 22, 2013

Well, It's Official...We're Running Pittsburgh!

A new city.  Our first spring race.  Our first hilly course!  I'm EXCITED!

Yo Pittsburgh!
As you might have picked up, I've been having some ankle/arch issues which have turned out to be (by my best estimation) Posterior Tibial Tendonitis.  Because runners have a love/hate with looking up their aches and pains online (we go from "a little kink" to "death by foot cancer" in under 12 minutes!), I waited for a few months before finally giving it the Ol' Google.

I had a good laugh when the first result was..."PTT is highly prevalent in active women over the age of 40".  Consider me diagnosed.  Thankfully, the injury is pretty common and the treatment is something I can handle myself.   So I'm on Recovery Road and feeling better about KNOWING what the heck is happening.

Because of the injury and indecision about my running, I'd put off registering Mark for the Pittsburgh Marathon.  I've got pain after about 10 kilometers.  How exactly will I be running 42? Anyone?

I put it off one day too many and the race sold out yesterday!  That's when God stepped in and took the wheel :)  After my panic over the bright red SOLD OUT sign, I went to Facebook and the first entry under "Bib For Sale" was a couple who had a marathon bib AND a half marathon bib for sale.   I knew it immediately -  It's time to run my first stateside half marathon!  The body is saying no no no to the full but I'm sure I can rock a half.  I contacted the couple and had both bibs in my hot little hands within a couple of hours.  Thanks Nick Williams!

In all of this I realized that somehow I've become a girl who runs a few marathons a year and will say yes to almost anything.  No IDEA how that happened.  Actually, that's a lie.  I know exactly how it happened.  I started setting seemingly ridiculous goals when I turned 40 and the train hasn't stopped since.

Stop eating animals when you (think you) love meat.
Run your first half marathon when you (think you) hate running.
Start a blog to chronicle your experiences even though you truly believe that no one will read it.
Be honest in every single word.

Quit your government job and get back to your first love.  The gym. Boxing. Clients. Sweat.
Run The Marine Corps Marathon - your first.  Finish with a smile on your face.

Say YES to pacing at the Western States 100.  Soak up every moment.
Run your second MCM and see what you can do.

Say YES to running your first 25 mile trail race all the way across the country you love.
Start selling whole, plant-based food from your kitchen.  Take the next step.  Be a benefit to others.
Say YES to Pittsburgh.  Do what you can.  Just keep running!
Set your sights on an Ultra Marathon attempt in August.
Try the Raleigh Marathon in October.

There have been many smaller races and goals along the way but these are the highlights.  Not because I'm blowing the Lauren Horn, but because I have been motivated throughout the years by women who didn't start running until their 40's.

Sure, I felt kinda crappy about it.  "I'm only 29 and she's 40 and running her first marathon.  I suck!  Wouldn't that be cool?  Can I be her?  No.  That looks hard.  I hate running."

It's the same feeling we ALL get when watching the ParaOlympics or the veteran doing an Ironman after losing a leg in one of our wars, or the 65 year old woman crossing the finish line at Western States 100, or the father pushing his mentally disabled son in a Jeep-inspired wheel chair across all 50 States.  "My God.  They're doing THAT and I can't get my ass out of bed to get to the gym?"

But the inspirational story fades.  You turn the channel and the Ironman coverage is replaced by the Sunday NFL game - bust out the vegan nachos and settle in!  The father and the wheelchair, the veteran-turned-athlete, the woman who didn't start running until she turned 40 - all of them live somewhere in your mind.  Deep in the back of the brain closet.

One thing I've learned is that there is ALWAYS someone doing 'more and faster' than me.  I have to let it motivate me - not stifle or deter me.  I'm happy that I can sign up for a marathon and not worry (much) about my ability to complete it.   I love that I can run a half marathon any day of the week and not give it a thought.

But there is always the friend who runs a marathon an hour (or more) faster than I do.  The friend who is an Ironman.  The friend who runs 100 mile races through the mountain ranges of California - it goes on an on.  Their accomplishments drop my jaw on any given day and my abilities may inspire my clients to do better because I'm a little older than them.  All relative.  All good.

So, set your ridiculous goals and start stepping toward them.  You will not be disappointed.

See you in Pittsburgh on May 5, 2013!  Cinco De Mayo Margaritas to follow...

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