“Learn to light a candle in the darkest moments of someone’s life. Be the light that helps others see; it is what gives life its deepest significance.” – Roy T. Bennet

Posts tagged ‘runner’

Pear Blossom 2018 – A Race Recap

Three times a charm, right?

Going into this race, I had far too much adrenaline rushing though me. For the entire week leading up to it I was jittery and could hardly sleep. I always feel so undertrained, so amateur. I run with a stroller and barely hit forty miles in a week.

And I have other aspirations. This month I tried to start my schooling, and it didn’t end well. I lasted two days with Ezekiel hanging on to me as I tried to do my homework. It didn’t help that I was incredibly sick that week and lost five pounds. With no energy and no way to do my work, I gave up. The only attention Ezekiel was receiving was negative, get off my lap, let go of my pencil, give me my book, don’t do that, don’t do that, don’t do that…

There is always next semester, and my son needs me as he grows, far more than I need to start my career. We have Nate, after all, and I have a job, and I have my art.

Back to the race:

The only test run I did was a short four-mile loop with a big hill. With the last two miles clocking in at a 5:15min/mile pace, I felt buoyed for the race.

Then Thursday hit, and I was called up for a phone interview. Since the reigning champions weren’t attending this year, I was the next “obvious winner”, as the writer put it. Cue jitters x3.

(last year’s run)

The day of the race, Nate and I bundled up and headed to the start. It was pretty cold out and I was reluctant to strip down to my shorts, but when the time came, I stood shivering at the starting line in the 6min/mile corral. I tried to find Nate, but apparently he was stuck in the bathroom line for nearly ten minutes. We had time for a quick high-five before the gun went off.

The first mile went by quickly. I felt strong and ran it in 5:29. There were four guys ahead of me at the time. I ended up passing one and then he came back to pass me at mile 7. Ah, well.

The cyclist eventually found me. He had been leading the wrong woman for the first two miles. I kinda wish he had stayed with her because he was rather distracting. He would yell to me the mile times and, while I had felt strong in the first half, once we started back and ran into the crowds behind us, his incessant bell-ringing was a needle in my brain. I lost focus and slowed down from 5:35 miles to 5:55 miles.

I would start to gain momentum and then we would hit a group of onlookers and there that bell would go again. Maybe I somewhat blame the guy, but I also need to learn how to focus better. As a lone runner, I’m not used to loud noises or people talking to me when I’m trying to focus.

My body felt strong, and when I felt it tiring I would pull myself up a little taller and would feel a little lighter. It was fun to watch the people go by as they headed to the halfway point. There were two guys dressed up as Minions, a guy in a suit, my husband passing people right and left. When the last of the runners went by, I focused on the road ahead and when I turned the final corner, I came in smiling and confident in the race I had run.

I didn’t know my final time for about 20 minutes after the fact. People were shaking my hand, telling me to wait around for interviews. I sounded like a complete airhead during all of them, but I had never talked into a camera like that before. I had to tear away in order to catch my husband racing in to the finish, beating his previous time by 2 minutes.

With a final time of 57:57 in a 10 mile race, I’m feeling pretty good. I hold the new record for my age group in women’s, and was less than a minute off the actual course record set by Marci Klimek (an Olympic trials qualifier). Next up: the Eugene half-marathon in ten days.

Also, sorry for the screenshots.

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To Those That Worry About My Health

Every week, I am met at some point in time with the question/statement, “You’re eating enough, right?”

My answer? I can never eat enough. I am a breastfeeding, ultra-running, metabolism-of-a-teenager mom and I am ALWAYS HUNGRY. I wake up and eat right away and I go to sleep dreaming of what I will eat tomorrow. When I run, I think of food. When I relax, I think of food. When I eat, I think of food. I get seconds, thirds, sometimes fourths. Free samples are the first thing I beeline to when I walk into Costco or Trader Joe’s. Yes, I barely weigh 100 pounds at times but I am trying my best and, man, you don’t even know how hard it is for me to gain weight.

But that doesn’t mean I am going to give up running or even decrease my mileage. Just please, please, please stop questioning my health because I hear it all the time from everyone I know and your overwhelming concern is becoming overbearing. Did you know that I can eat half a bag of Costco trail mix in one setting? Can you? Stop talking to me about my weight because if I said anything about yours, the world would be in an uproar.

Please.

And thank you.

Two Days in the Life of Zeke

These last two days I have been taking Ezekiel to try out new things and documenting it. He won’t ever remember, but he enjoyed them all just the same.

Day 1:

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To start things off, we went to Barnes & Noble. We walked the two miles to get there in the somewhat cooler morning before the heat hit us. His favourite thing to carry around with him is his hairbrush, which may seem rather odd, but when a baby is teething they will chew on anything.

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The wall in Barnes & Noble has a little mural on it. He kept trying to pick off the little black painted spots, confused as to why they wouldn’t come off in his hand. I attempted to read a book to him but since he wouldn’t stop trying to eat it, I gave up and put it back before I was forced to purchase it.

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We walked the two miles back home and rang up his grandma to see if she desired a hike. Off to the Forest Park trails we went, right at the hottest time of day. I lathered Ezekiel in sunscreen since he is an extremely ivory child.

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He didn’t (and doesn’t) understand the idea of a selfie, hence the look of confusion on his face. Also, it turned out that during the two-hour trek up and down and up and down the mountains, he had been carrying a load the entire time. Perhaps that is what this look is about, him having an uncomfortable warmth in his pants while he was already uncomfortably warm in the sun. The last mile was somewhat of a jog, and then I eventually had to bare all to potential hikers when he decided he was too hungry to wait until the end. Have you ever tried a brisk, midday hike with a baby latched to your chest? I have now.

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He seemed a little tired and frazzled when we went to a goodbye party for a friend. This is his grandpa (and my dad). Ezekiel found a piece of onion on the ground and did not enjoy it as much as he thought he might. To end the first day of documentation, I had to work at an obscurely late hour and came home to my baby fast asleep in his crib. His dad did well.

Day 2:

Since we had journeyed nearly eight miles the day before, we decided (I decided) to continue on our streak of keeping away from the apartment as long as possible.

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We went to KidTime, a hands-on children’s museum half a mile from where we live. Although Ezekiel is little, he enjoyed climbing up every stair and incline he could find. Someday, he will be an ultrarunner. I know it.

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(Cue the blurry photo of an active child.)

He kept trying to carry on a conversation with the other baby in the mirror. Right now he also likes to grab hands, and was slightly frustrated when he couldn’t hold hands with the baby. We spent an hour at the children’s museum and then joined a group run for a six-mile jaunt on the greenway.

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After the run, I still didn’t feel like heading home, so we took a detour to the library. Ezekiel was stealing toys from the other kids and attempting to eat books, so we didn’t meander there too long. I began to feel a little peckish, so I grabbed a sandwich while Ezekiel nursed. He wore himself out with all his thieving.

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(A baby with his bounty.)

Finally, as the heat steadily rose, we made our way back home. He is, at the moment, appreciating the luxury of a good, long nap after a nice, cool bath. On a side note, tomorrow I am running approximately twenty miles out of pure enjoyment. I hope I don’t get lost.

To Run

I started running when I was 18, near 19
It felt nice to breathe in the fresh air
I kept running, it became a daily activity
And I know now I will never stop
Unless physically removed from the ground

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