The Curly Haired Girl That Could

Back to back entries about running! Woohoo! Those of you who dislike running and reading about running are probably sighing with disgust. Oh well.

Today was the Cleveland Half Marathon. I was not sure what I was going to do about the race since I was injured two weeks ago while running Pittsburgh. I do have a  tendency to ignore injuries and advice from my elders, but this time I took the responsible route: I rested, refrained from working out and running, and generously applied my coveted Deep Blue Rub religiously. Friday night I was pretty confident I would just suck it up and run the half. By Saturday morning (and after a talk with my dad), I decided I would just drop down to the 10k. I don’t think either of my parents wanted me to run in fear of a possible injury or flare up, but I had to run some part of Cleveland! I love the course, and I knew it would still be a great race. Plus I could see how my leg felt, and I would still get a medal. So that’s what I did. For the second time this year I made the responsible decision to not over-do it and took the smarter race option.

I’m so glad I did. I ran a quality, consistent time over the 6.2 miles and felt amazing when I crossed the finish line. And when I mean amazing, I mean my legs felt like those of Steve Prefontaine.  I didn’t run as fast I was was running pre-illness in February, but it was consistent, and that’s what I was looking for. My speed workouts will help me get back to my fast pace eventually. t won’t lie….my spirits were a little deflated after Pittsburgh. I hate injuries, I hate disappointment, and I hate not meeting the personal goals I set for myself (Yes, I did say I was down for whatever since I hadn’t trained, but deep down…..I still had some goals. I can’t help it…It’s who I am!). After my race today, I got my running mojo back…and just in time since race season is in full swing. The curly haired girl that could is back with a vengeance, running community! My sights are set on qualifying for Boston next year, and I am up for the challenge!

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Earlier in the week I was telling Kyle how I go through various stages of emotional distress on a race day. Today was no different. Im not sure if every runner goes through this or if this is just me….probably just me since I have so many weird traits and habits. Fortunately today I was able to capture these emotions.

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EMOTION #1 AKA ANGER: On race day I am always angry when I wake up. Probably because getting up at 4am isn’t exactly fun and that moment is always when I am my most comfortable position in the bed. Also, I come up with a lot of excuses about why I shouldn’t run. I always do, but I get angry at the fact that I actually paid money to get up so early.

EMOTION #2 AKA TREPIDATION: Before the race starts there is always that moment of “Oh Shit, can I do this?” I know that I can, but that moment still passes through my brain. Today my level of trepidation was through the roof. I was scared to death that I would injure myself again or worse than I did in Pittsburgh, and the thought of not being able to run terrified me. To the majority of you, running may be silly and a waste of time. To me, it is a part of my soul, my therapist, my release, my internal challenger, and my happy place. I felt like I was on Press Your Luck as I entered the corral earlier…..instead of saying “No whammy, no whammy, no whammy” I was chanting “No injury, no injury, no injury” pretty much the whole race. At least it worked.

EMOTION #3 AKA RELIEF: It’s over! I feel relieved that I finished and can collect that banana I worked so hard to receive. Today I was super pumped that there were fruit popsicles along with the cheese curls and chocolate Moo Milk. I’m not excited at this point or even happy. I just feel like an elephant got off my body , and I can breathe. Relief moment #2 comes when I get into my car and begin the descent home.

EMOTION #4 CELEBRATION: The moment of celebration always comes at the same time after every race: the time that I turn the shower on and hop into the hot water. Seriously, there is not a feeling more satisfying than getting that water (especially on those cold race days).

EMOTION #5 AKA JOY: After the shower, eating, and things have resumed to normalcy, I reach the happiness and joy level. This is also usually the time that I am hanging my medal up with the others and have realized that another race is in the books. I then begin to plan out my next big race and get excited about it.

EMOTION #6 AKA PEACE: The moment of peace comes at the moment I climb into my super comfy bed and go to sleep. Being totally exhausted from a long day of running and getting up early means a very heavenly sleep just like that of a baby. It’s also the emotion I am feeling right now…..

So Goodnight all!


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