Saturday, June 1, 2013

Not Even Half Of My Second Half

I took a poll, and discovered that my blog readers are ready for another race recap.  Okay, so, yeah, the poll was in my imagination, but I did think about it very thoroughly.  You can rest assured that your vote counted.  Yes, yours!  Those of you who did not vote for a race recap, stay tuned.  I'll write about your topic of choice soon enough.  Except for those of you who foolishly voted for "golf."  You could check out my scratch handicap shooting brother-in-law's blog for that (I don't know if I worded that right or not.  He's really, super good at golf, though.)  If you're new here and didn't have the chance to vote in my head, you may want to familiarize yourself with some of the options, like rock concertsreally cute kids, things that annoy me, and, well, racing.

A little over a year ago, at the prompting of my dad and sister, I joined the West Volusia Runners group.  I was reluctant, at first, to do so.  It wasn't the dues ($10/year-not a typo, it's really that cheap) or the commitment (none), it was just that I was intimidated by the other runners.  I had seen some of them at races in the past, wearing their cool matching shirts, finishing before me, and talking together about shoes and pace goals and courses.  I feel my face getting hot as I type.  It's embarrassing, how silly my reluctance was.  Especially now, when some of my favorite things to talk about are shoes and pace goals and race courses.  My dad was the first of our family members to join the group.  My sister and I scoffed, at first.  "We don't need to join a group.  We can always run together.  We love to run; what do we need with motivation?"  Then, my sis moved out of reasonable running distance from me.  Then, I stopped running with any regularity because of the Baby growing in my belly.  Then, she took Dad's advice and joined the group.  Once I returned to running, postpartum, I squashed my fears and nervousness and brought my $10 dues to a group run.  Just like that, I was part of the group.

The most recent of many group pictures without me in them.
To say that I'm glad I joined would be putting it mildly.  So many of the people I've met are truly inspiring.  There's M, who ran her first 5k in August, her first half-marathon in December, and her first marathon in February.  I literally didn't recognize her when I saw her for the 2nd and 3rd times after a couple of months, because she had lost so much weight and had increased her speed by so much.  (Sorry, M, that you had to keep introducing yourself to me!)  There's P, who is so kind and sweet and encouraging and persistent.  She constantly motivates others to improve, and seeing her finish her first marathon was nothing short of beautiful.  There's W, who races in the 70+ age group and is the friendliest morning person I could have imagined.  He's usually one of the last people to rejoin the group, but his dedication is unmatched.  Another M whose pace went from normal to jaw-droppingly fast over the past year.

Group founder/president/chief motivator/proof that good things come in small packages.  See why I'm embarrassed now, that I was intimidated?  
There are people who run while battling cancer, and dealing with tragedies.  There are young runners, old runners, married couple runners, single and looking runners, really fast runners, really slow runners, walkers, ultra-marathoners, trail runners, triathletes, runners that push their babies in strollers, runners that joined to exercise as a family, people trying to lose weight, people trying to improve their overall health, people running to cross items off their bucket lists, people running to meet people, people just running for the love of running.  I could go on, but I'm sure that you get the gist.  It's a great group, and getting to know some of the members over the past year has been wonderful.  Erm.  Maybe I should clarify- I just mean that I don't know all of them, only some.  Not that I only like some of them.

Race #11- Swamp House Half Marathon, March 3, 2013
              Psychological Prowess
When I was less than 2 weeks from delivering Baby in 2012, I volunteered at the running group's inaugural race.  Of course, the individuals had raced before, and many of them had run races together, as a group.  But this race was actually organized and put on by the WVRs.

At that point, I had run a half-dozen or so 5k races, and had briefly considered training for a 10k, but growing a tiny person had taken my focus far off of my running goals.  Many of my family members had signed up to volunteer at the half-marathon, and I agreed to get up at 4 a.m. and help with packet pick-up for reasons that I can no longer really remember.  I do recall thinking that my giant belly was a perfect, obvious excuse for the fact that I wasn't running in the race, and when people said things like, "See you out here next year!" I could just smile and nod and feel confident that they wouldn't recognize me the next year.  (I was right, you know.  Nobody recognized me.)  One year later, the race would be directed by our group president's new race management company, and I may have been more surprised than anyone to find myself so excited about running it that I wouldn't risk volunteering again and messing up my race.

Now, this post is already pretty long, and the fact that I've just now gotten to the beginning of the race might be a little discouraging.  Therefore, I will leave you with some teasers, continue this recap soon, and let you get on with your day.

Teaser #1-

Teaser #2-

Teaser #3-

Teaser #4-

Of course, I also listened to your mind messages about how much you love that I give a bit of unsolicited advice in each blog post.
Great saying, right?  Although that relates to today's post, it actually just served to remind me of something I feel very strongly about advising on: DO NOT pay money to see "Fast & Furious 6".  I haven't seen it, and I won't, unless at some point in my life I have some valuable information and someone is trying to torture it out of me. The fact that a movie like that made $120 million last weekend makes me want to take my family and move to a tiny village where there is no time or money or resource wasted and there are no televisions or people whose names start with "The".

Ever been intimidated by something/one embarrassing?

You only pay for quality entertainment, right?


  1. That African proverb is now and immediately one of my favorite sayings ever.

  2. This makes me want to join a running group and I am not, currently, a runner.