Exploration and Discovery


February 02, 2020 :: 8:47 PM

I’d apologise for the impromptu concert I gave on the way home from Orlando, but I’m not sorry.

1) I travelled to Orlando solo to run the inaugural Running Universal 5K and 10K.

I did super well on the 5K, even though it rained. I’ve started taking intervals seriously and they work. I finished the race stronger than I began it, which is saying a lot. I didn’t PR time-wise, but I did pace-wise.

I did pretty well on the 10K, too. Didn’t PR, but I had a blast running through the parks and making friends with a dude in a T-Rex costume. 

I saw a lot of PHRC people and met up with a few before and after the races. Dinner Friday night, Saturday and Sunday I corralled with a Gryffinfriend, yelled “FOR BILL!” with another Claw as she ran past, was jealous of the Puff’s Cookie t-shirt… It was nice to bring the virtual into reality, even if it was for a few seconds each time.

2) Running a 5K and a 10K back - to - back didn’t suck nearly as hard as I thought it would. That’s great news for the Rival Run weekend in April, when I’ll do a 5K, a 10K, and a half over three consecutive days. I just need to get the half under control. And it will be.

3) I finally made a long-awaited pilgrimage to Kennedy Space Center on Saturday.

(I have a Challenger/Columbia license plate, so that might tell you a little bit about how important this trip was to me.)

34 years ago on January 28th, I sat in a classroom and watched as Challenger basically disintegrated upon take off.

That affected me more than I could have ever thought possible…

I practically burst into tears the second I stepped onto the property.

That was long before I got to the memorial for the three astronauts who died on Apollo 1.

Long before I saw a space shuttle for the first time.

Long before I saw the memorials to the crews of Challenger and Columbia.

In a weird quirk of timing, I happened to go to KSC on the 17th anniversary of the day Columbia was lost.

In another weird quirk of timing, Ron McNair’s family was on site. His uncle owned a bar in Hartford, CT, and somehow, my father knew Ron. I can’t remember how they met, but I do vividly remember my father’s reaction when his name was read out loud on the news. (McNair was on Challenger’s final flight.)

At any rate, the reveal of Atlantis was super powerful and I burst into ugly tears. As I stood there crying, an employee came over to me and asked if I was OK. (I was so NOT OK.) He told me about how he had worked on all five shuttles and… just a bunch of stuff. It meant a lot to him that he would come over to me and start talking.

Then. I went down to the the memorial area. I cried the entire time I was in the hallway looking at the personal mementos of both shuttle crews. I made the mistake of looking around the corner and seeing a piece of Challenger’s left body paneling and Columbia’s cockpit window frames.

I’m still tearing up thinking about how powerful that was…

 

Good thing green and purple are my colours.


January 25, 2020 :: 5:17 PM

the countdown to #dopey2021 begins now

My thought process regarding any sort of major life decision is always a combination of why not / what’s the worst thing that can happen and a rather exuberant FUCK IT.

After joking that I wasn’t Dopey enough to do the Dopey, it became sort of a half-assed bucket list item. (It might be nice if I did a Dopey Challenge. Maybe in a few years.)

Then, I decided to do my first half marathon.

I’m not particularly pleased at how I did - I trained a lot harder, in hotter weather - but I didn’t get swept and that’s all I wanted out of the experience.

And now…

Why not try a full marathon? I know how to hydrate and fuel. I’ve been working hard and my first half proved I was capable of doing 13 miles. What’s another 13 more? What the worse that can happen? I don’t finish the race?

Ah, FUCK IT! I’m signing up for the Dopey. Go big or go home, right?

 

- - - - - - - - - -

I’ve already done 45 miles this month and FRC’s Racery event just started, so I know I’m going to come close to that total in the next nine days ALONE. I kind of have another goal in the back of my mind to try and do at least 170 miles/month. That actually gets me to 2,040 miles over the course of the year, and I’d be happy with 2,020, but I like round numbers and 170 is better than 168.33333333333333333333.

2020 is going to kick my ass.

And I have a feeling I’m going to love every minute of it (when I’m not bitching loudly about my stupidity).

Look at that smile!


January 12, 2020 :: 7:26 PM

13.1 miles :: 3:55:31 :: 17:58 mm—PB

13.1 - I’m only half crazy


January 12, 2020 :: 4:07 PM

hey, complete stranger, i’m proud of you—random dude’s sign at mile 11

So. I ran my first half marathon yesterday.

Well, I walked it. More like a stroll because it was so damn hot outside.

BUT. I got enough of a jump start that I could walk an 18mm pace and not get swept.

And I wasn’t tired or dehydrated when I finished.

Seriously. Somehow, I screwed up and managed to both fuel and hydrate properly.

Recovery sucked, but walking around with that medal on my neck made it all worth while.

- - - - - - - - - -

There was a lot of bitching in several runDisney Facebook groups about people walking. Too many people walking five or six in a group, people walking in front of runners, people walking, period.

But it goes both ways.

I spent the entire time on the far right side. I didn’t stop for photos. I plowed through water stops, grabbing cups without missing a step. I hardly passed anyone and when I did, I shouted “on your left / right”. I kept looking behind me for runners before I moved.

In three very tight spots, runners tried to pass me on my right. I elbowed two of them accidentally - I was swinging my arms and they basically ran into them. The third one, I managed to get in the nuts. I was reaching back for my water bottle and the dude ran into me. I heard him cuss at me, but really? There was no room on that side. I don’t know why any of them thought they could pass me. In all three cases, I had to move left without a warning and caused one poor woman to trip.

In happier news, the PHRC Cheering Squad was there, around mile 3. It was so great to see them that I promptly burst into tears.

Um, yeah. Ugly crying and half marathons don’t mix particularly well.

My next half is in March and I’m expecting it to be just as hot and humid as it was this weekend.

I’ve got ten weeks to push for a 3:30 finish time. (There’s a hard time limit for the March half.)

I got this.

- - - - - - - - - -

#dopey2021

You can only look forward…


December 22, 2019 :: 7:21 PM

re-run all the races!

We’re not going to talk about last year’s three words, except to say I failed miserably at all of them… 2019 was a year forever marred by the events of December 6th and my inability to get past it.

And that’s fine. I’ve learned from it. I’ve done my best to heal. I’ve tried desperately to put myself first.

For 2020, it’s not so much three words as three sentences.

It’s all about the Twelfth Doctor and what’s become the Whovian Running Club’s new motto:

Run fast.

Laugh hard.

Be kind.

I’m pretty sure that they’re self-explanatory.

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