Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Run-ey-moon

If you've spent any significant time with a runner, you know a few things:
  •  Runners each have a little bit of crazy in them.
  •  Chafing, bodily functions, and fluids of all type are common conversation topics.
  •  Runners will take every opportunity to talk about running.
  •  GU is not the same as goo.
I started running a few months before my wedding, but it wasn't until I ran 3 miles one morning while on the Honeymoon that I realized I had become a runner.  When I was pregnant and still running (much slower and less often than before, of course), I understood that running would continue to be part of my life for as long as I was physically able to do it.  
Someday, I'll tell you all about why and how much I love running, and how much I love racing.  Try to contain your excitement, 'cause this is just a recap of the most recent race I ran.

Husband, for a long time, was one of those, "I'll only run if zombies are chasing me" types, although he did play basketball at the gym a lot, so sprinting short distances wasn't foreign to him (more on that later).  For reasons still unknown to me, in late August (read: 90+ temps, with 90+ humidity), he decided that he would like to start running.  I felt like a zoologist, making a breakthrough discovery during my field research in the jungle.  I wanted so badly to jump up and down and shout my glee to everyone in earshot, but I felt it was important not to spook him.  I was afraid that if I pushed too hard, he would quit and never want to run again.  Baby and I joined him for his first few jaunts.  I pushed the jogging stroller and offered lots of walk breaks.  Then, he started going out on his own.  Then, he started going faster and farther.  Then, he started talking about goals.  Then, I signed the two of us up for a 5k race in DeLeon Springs, and he didn't even protest!  My sister printed out a training plan for him at his request, and he stuck with it through heat, cold, wind, rain, holiday indulgences, illness, iPod malfunction, and baggier-by-the-day pants falling down.  

Finally, race day arrived.  A second-to-last minute change in babysitting plans meant we needed to drop the kiddies off at a friend's house by 6:30 a.m. (Thanks, Kim!), and we got to the race about 45 minutes before the start.  We picked up our packets (disappointingly un-stuffed, as goody bags go), pinned on our bibs, 
and found a bathroom with a short line and sketchy-but-flushing-for-the-moment toilets.  We then went to the finish line area and dropped off flyers for my running club's Spring race.
That left us with just enough time for a short warm-up run; about 1/2 mile.  We got back to the start line as the National Anthem was playing, and worked our way through the crowd in the wrong direction as we looked for my friend who was also running the 5k as her first-ever race.  There wasn't a mat at the start line to record the time we actually started running the 3.1 miles, and since we were some of the last people in the pack of racers, the clock time was about 30 seconds slower than our actual time.  

I had planned all along to pace Husband, and the first mile was less than 10 seconds slower than our goal.  Shortly after the half-way turnaround (where I accidentally cut him off and almost made him trip [Sorry, dear!]) we took a walk-break through the water stop.  Our second mile ended up being about 20 seconds slower than our first.  After the 2-mile mark, I think he was really wishing that I would just. stop. talking.  In my defense, it's hard to know which words will be annoying, and which will be motivational.  Lesson learned- most were annoying.  He did not care to be distracted by the fornicating cows in the pasture we passed, nor did he want tips on how to go faster.  He did, however, appreciate it when I informed him that once we saw the 3-mile marker, we would only have to run the same distance as our house to the end of our street.  When we got there, he took off like Tim Tebow with an open receiver.*  Just before he crossed the finish line, I heard the announcer say, "Now that's how you finish a race!"  I don't think I stopped smiling for the rest of the day.  I got tears of pride and happiness in my eyes when I saw the love of my life go off behind a tree and start dry heaving.  As I picked up a cup each of water and warm gatorade, I felt truly ecstatic to have shared the experience of running a race with him.  
Yes, my eyes are closed.  Yes, it's the only picture I have of the two of us.
Turns out, Sweat + Pride = Romance.  Or maybe my mushy-gushy feelings of sappy love were just inspired by the cows...  His clock time was 31:49.

I left him alone for a couple of minutes while I attempted to find my friend who was also running her first race.  She was walking, about 1/4 mile from the finish.  She had run most of the time, though.  I walked with her for a bit, and let her know that it was against the rules to walk across the finish line ("It is?  Are they going to make me start over?") She agreed to start running at the 3 mile marker, and finished really strong.  7 months after the birth of her 2nd daughter, 19 months after the birth of her first, and just a few weeks of training later, she ran a 5k in the very-respectable clock time of 38 minutes, with about a minute of time taken off from not having been anywhere near the start line when the race began.
She was the last registrant, but far from the last finisher!  #949

We all enjoyed some post-race fruit, juice, fig newtons, and the fact that we were surrounded by people willing to listen to us talk about running.  Both Husband and my friend say they're excited for their next race, and I couldn't be happier to hear it.

Today's advice: share something you love with someone you love.  You'll love it.

What makes your heart go pitter-pat?  

Care to share any of your accomplishments?

*I'm sure I have to explain this joke, and I am making no guarantees that it will be funny, even after it makes sense.  You see, Tim Tebow is not so great at throwing the football, as professional quarterbacks go.  He's much better at running.  So, the joke was that if he saw an open receiver, he would run even faster with the ball to avoid throwing it and risking an incomplete pass or interception.  


  1. I think this might be my favorite race recap, ever.

  2. Awesome to be able to share running together! My hubby claims he's run all the miles already in his lifetime...he was a runner in his "former" life running Track & Cross Country:-( Maybe he'll come around yet, but at least it's my hobby!