Sunday, January 18, 2009

Running. It Sucks.

As I see it, there are only three reasons to run. Ok, maybe four. 1) to lose weight, 2) as a means to work out the craziness in your head, and 3) because it's a race. The fourth one would be because your dogs like it so much. When I took them to the park yesterday, I was carrying the bag with blankets, book, camera and toys and thus was unable to run. Frankie and Georgie were very disappointed. They kept taking off in a run hoping to convince me to follow, but all they got were a lot of jerks on their collars. Those dogs LOVE to run. Anyway...I digress.

You will notice in my list of reasons to run that "because it is fun" is conspicuously missing. That is because it is NOT fun. It's boring. It's painful. It's dumb.

Which begs the question, why the hell am I entering races? The answer? Because I'm dumb.

On New Year's Eve, I ran a 3 mile "Midnight Madness" race. Christy wanted to do it and neither of us are big fans of the high expectations that are never realized by New Year's Eve's parties, so it seemed like a good idea at the time. Our soccer friend, Aimee, joined us. And somehow we convinced Jamie to play, too. Before this race I had never run 3 miles consecutively. I probably ran 3 of the 4 miles of the Mud Run, but that was interspersed with walking. I wasn't sure I could do it. Turns out I could. I did it in 27 minutes and got 2nd in my age group. Woo hoo! I had been running first with Christy, then with Aimee when I decided that I'd try to catch Jamie. This was seriously my only motivation to keep running. I got close, but he beat me by 17 seconds.

Since then I've run four times. Two times were 2-milers to the Castle for soccer. The other two were 1.5 milers to exercise the dogs.

And today I did the PF Chang's Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon.


Let's start with last night. My friend Laura had a PastaPuzzleParty in honor of the race. It was kind of ironic that she made pre-race pasta since I was the only one there doing the race and I don't like pasta. But it's the thought that counts and everyone else there loved the pasta!! I did carb-load on bread and about 38 Hershey's chocolates.

The party started early so that we'd finish the puzzle early, with the intention that I would go home early and thus get to bed early. We did the puzzle in pretty good time and had a pretty good time doing it.
Manually blurring out NFBF's face

I was home by 10:30 and I should have gone to bed! Instead I started uploading music to my iPod. At 12:30 a.m., I realized that maybe I had stayed up too late. I was in bed by 1:00 and got up before 6:00. 4+ hours of sleep is better than the zero I got before my last adventure race.

When I went to the kitchen for breakfast I was bitterly disappointed to find that Old Mother Hubbard's cupboards were bare, save for a box of close-to-stale Lucky Charms. Close-to-stale Lucky Charms it was. Breakfast of champions.

I picked up Craig and off we went.

His goal was 1:45. My goal was 3:00. I only signed up for the race because my firm offered to pay the entry fee. I like free things so I couldn't turn down the offer. My initial plan was to run 2 miles and walk the rest. After the successful completion of the Midnight Madness, I modified the plan to run for the first 3 miles and walk the last 10.1. A lot of people at work were training for this race and would ask me how my training was coming. Training? What training? There was no training. Who needs training to walk??

I was part of this madness - 22,000 people did the half marathon! I started out running fast, faster than a lot of the people around me because they were pacing for 13.1 miles. I was pacing for 3. But then my plan failed. At the 3 mile mark, I kept running. At the 4 mile mark, I kept running. At the 5 mile mark, I kept running. WTF? My left foot started to hurt at 5 miles but I wasn't tired yet so I ignored it and concentrated on my right foot instead.

About two years ago I wrecked my heel playing soccer. It's been hurting a lot the past two weeks so I put some insoles in my shoes for the race to try to keep it cushioned. I think this was a mistake as they made my shoes fit too tight. By mile 7 (yep...still running!) both of my feet hurt.

At mile 8, my right knee started to hurt. But I kept running. Seriously, WTF? At mile 10, I gave in to my aching feet and walked. Sadly, this didn't help at all. Finally I sat down, took off my shoes and removed the insoles. That was a little bit better, but damn my feet hurt. After I walked for a mile, I hated that there were people passing me so I started running again. Also, I figured if Laura could run 11 miles (she's training for a full marathon), then I could too! I ran the remaining 2.1 miles and I finished the damn race in 2:05.

I ran 12.1 miles in one day (and walked 1). Ridiculous.

But they gave me a medal...My acceptance speech: I would like to thank the Tragically Hip ("The Hockey Song") for popping onto my iPod right at the mile 11 mark and inspiring me to keep running. I'd also like to thank Indigo Swing and the Mighty Blue Kings for making me run happier during miles 3-5. George Michael gave me "Faith", the Velvet Underground gave me "Rock and Roll" to my great pleasure. "Paper Planes" (M.I.A.) and "For the Girl" (The Fratellis) made me sing out loud.  I guess staying up late to load up the iPod was a good thing!

Funny signs I saw on the course:
"Farris! Quit Now! You are never going to make it!"
"Golf is easier!"
"You'd better hurry. It's almost kick-off!" (Our Arizona Cardinals were playing for the NFC championship. It was a big deal here in Phoenix.)

And a shirt I liked:
"If you went for a run without sacrifice...congratulations. You just JOGGED!"

Oh, and Craig crushed his goal with 1:32!!! He finished 310 out of 22,000. What a rock star!


Lemonade - An Event Company said...

to think what would happen if you tried. totally insane. you are benjamin button, getting younger and younger as the years go on.

Anonymous said...

HELLOOOO...helps if you tell people so we can come watch! Last I knew you were "thinking" about it.

Sarah F. said...

good god you are a rock star! who suddenly decides halfway into a planned walk that no, they'll just run 12 miles instead? BUT, are frankie and georgie livid that you went running without them?

Karissa said...

5th valid reason to run is if someone is chasing you with a knife that is one of mine!