It's been a while. What can I say? I've been busy. Most notably in the last few months, I completed two of my goals that I've been working towards over the last 6 months: running in the Seattle Rock n' Roll half-marathon and running in the Ragnar Northwest Passage Relay Race.
Unfortunately, my right hip flexor and right knee starting hurting badly only 2 miles into the race. Which left 11.1 miles of rather painful running. Not easy to do.
So, to distract myself, I spent the vast majority of the 2 hours of the race dodging loogies and fellow runners. And inhaling, what I am sure, were toxic fumes. I discovered during that race that running is a rather peculiar sport. People spitting everywhere, peeing everywhere, and hitting each other all over the place. Who knew?
Thank you to Kelly Clarkson, whose song "What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger" kicked me into high gear for the last third of the race!
Overall, I ended with a 10:30 pace, which I guess I was happy with under the circumstances.
But all was well. My van was a delight. Yes, a real delight. 5 girls and 1 guy....who was so nice and a real trooper to put up with us. We honked and honked, ran and ran, and cowbelled and cowbelled. We laughed and laughed. Sarah and I were in fine form. One of my favorite moments was when I had stuck a couple energy chews into my sports bra for safe storage during my run. (I can assure you, there is no safer place in the world than my cleavage during a run). Anyhow, as I was looking down my shirt at the chews, I asked "what are these things called again?" One of my teammates replied, (in her Filipino accent) "Boobs." Maybe you had to be there, but it was hilarious.
During one of our rest breaks, we were attempting to crash in one of the designated rest areas. So here we are--in a room chock full of sleeping runners laying on a school gymnasium floor. Then, two clueless maintenance workers stormed into this gymnasium with their hydraulic lift--ever so anxious to change a lightbulb. Beep, Beep, Beep.....Up they go. And up all the runners go too. Oh, if looks could kill. Those are our taxpayer dollars at work, people.
Fast forward 12 hours to another group of runners in another gymnasium trying to get some sleep for the night. And picture one, lone snorer, filling the entire gym with his incredible snore. Finally, one brave woman woke him up. She was a real heroine. The whole thing was rather surreal--eating a baked potato at 1 am and then sleeping with a bunch of strangers in a big ol' gym. I felt like a refugee of sorts. And I guess I kind of was.
Though incredibly sleep-deprived and physically exhausted, we had a great time, and I ran as well as I could expect of myself. I shaved a good minute off of my pace from the half-marathon--which is in part due to the fact that I was not in excruciating pain throughout the duration of the event. Funny how that works.
Downside of the Ragnar: I saw more motherlands than I care to recall. They were everywhere in the locker rooms...a real potpourri of motherlands. Which was all fine and dandy--I was fairly successful at dodging them and avoiding them as much as possible....until one of the ladies plopped herself next to me in the dressing room and proceeded to strike up a conversation with me in her nakedness. I, fully clothed, and she, in her glorious nekedness. I didn't know where to look, who to turn to. It was all rather painful. My friend Sarah got a kick out of observing this encounter and said it was one of her favorite moments of the whole race. Yes, I am sure it was.
So, the big question is: Am I a runner now? The answer to that is no. I have gained an appreciation for it, and I have learned to not hate it. But I don't love it. And...this is the real thing here....it doesn't help me lose weight. All the training I've done over the last 6 months....you would've thought I maybe would've lost some weight. But no. I lost zero pounds. You think I'm putting myself through all of that for no reward??!! Maybe I lost some inches and put on some muscle. It's possible. But not enough to make me think it was worth it. So, I will continue to run a few miles each week---and remain a member of the Running Sucks Club that I am a co-founder of, but I need to pursue other exercise avenues if I want to lose more weight. 5 lbs. That's all I want. Ok...maybe 10. But I'd settle for 5. Is that too much to ask for? Apparently.