I’m about to make my case to the fact that I’m a runner, as well as present the evidence to back that up!
Here are a couple pictures of me actually running in a race. No, these are not photo shopped! I was there, really!
Exhibit A: Running the 3TV Half Marathon last November.
Exhibit B: Walking the P.F. Chang’s Rock N Roll Half Marathon this past January. I had to walk this one because of three herniated disks in my neck, but I finished.
I am a runner; therefore I have a race schedule. I don’t expect to be winning races at my age, but I do expect to be the best I can be. Here is my race schedule for 2013.
Exhibit C: 2013 Race Schedule.
January 20th – PF Chang’s Rock N Roll ½ Marathon
March 24th – Arizona Distance Classic ½ Marathon
May 19th – Cleveland Rite Aid ½ Marathon or Surfer’s Path ½ Marathon in Santa Cruz (Undecided)
July 21st – Napa to Sonoma ½ Marathon
September 1st – Oregon Wine Country ½ Marathon
November – Yet to be decided, but there will be a race!
I have a coach to help me be the best I can be. His name is Jeff Gaudette and here is his website. Just ask him. He knows who I am. He’s had to put up with all of my injuries and he hasn’t given up on me, not just yet! J Actually, I don’t think he will give up on me as long as I don’t either. And I’m not giving up!
Exhibit D: My coach’s website: http://runnersconnect.net
I am a runner and therefore I train to be the best I can be. I have a training schedule from my coach. Here’s what he assigned for this week. I’ve been doing more cross training the last few months due to an injury, I’m still recovering from. It used to be more impressive, but it’s been awhile…
Exhibit E: Training Schedule
Monday, March 25 – Off / Rest Day
Tuesday, March 26– 60 min. elliptical = Achilles Routine
Wednesday, March 27 – 4 miles easy w/3×20 sec. strides + Core Routine
Thursday, March 28 – 45 min. elliptical easy / 45 min. bike hard
Friday, March 29 – 5 miles easy + Core Routine
Saturday, March 30 – 6 miles easy + Core Routine
Sunday, March 31 – Circuit Training Routine
I have ugly toenails! It’s a runner thing. The jury is still out as to why this happens to runners. Some say it’s just the result of shoes that don’t fit properly. Some say, it just goes with the territory, but I’ve been told by several runners that these identify you as a runner! So here are my ugly toenails.
Exhibit G: Runner’s Toenails. Just kidding! I couldn’t bring myself to post such an ugly picture. Take my word for it on this one! One big toe nail is half off. It’s in the process of growing back, but you can see underneath what’s left. The other big toenail is all black underneath and about to come off and one of my littlest piggies looks like it’s in danger of following suit. I try to make them look better with polish, but I don’t think it helps much. They’re just downright ugly!
I’ve made a huge investment in this body! Almost all runners have to deal with injuries, some of us, more often than others, as is evidenced here. Here are my running related medical receipts for this year, so far. All I can say is, it’s a good thing my husband loves me! Oh, and if you need a good physical therapist, ask for Nate. He treats many athletes, so they can keep hitting the streets.
Exhibit H: Physical Therapy Receipts.
Everyone knows that a girl likes her shoes, but there is a difference with runners. It’s not just the girls who like their shoes! It’s the same for the boys and the girls. We love our shoes! This picture is of mine and my husband’s shoes outside by the pool, because that’s where running shoes are the happiest; outside in the fresh air, in beautiful places! Oh, and we can tell you exactly how many miles we’ve put on each pair.
Exhibit H: “Our” Running Shoes.
Here are the workout clothes, minus the ones in the laundry. I took a picture of the jackets and vest too, but that was really boring, so you just get to see the clothes, minus the under armor. Yeah, this is still pretty boring.
Exhibit I: Workout Clothes.
I’m not airing my dirty laundry here, so you will just have to take my word for this one, too. We have more workout clothes in our hamper, than we do regular clothes. OK, that is partly because my husband sends some of his work clothes to the dry cleaner, but still, workout clothes are a big part of our laundry!
Exhibit J: Laundry. Couldn’t bring myself to post this one either, so imagine the odors. OK, maybe not!
Here are the bibs from the races that I’ve done. I am missing three of them, but they are around here somewhere. That’s just one more thing that attests to the fact that I’ve left the Type A lifestyle behind. My husband on the other hand, he can show you every one of his bibs! There are some awesome memories with the story behind each of these bibs. I’ve written about some of the races in previous posts. I think the most memorable one is the 911 Run to Remember in NYC. The name on the white bib, Sanae Mori, is one of the victims of the 911 attacks. She was a 27 yr. old woman from Japan who was attending a business meeting on the 106th floor of the World Trade Center that day. It was a very moving experience to run with some of the first responders and victims family members. I will never forget it.
Exhibit K: Race Bibs.
These are my finisher medals from the races I’ve run. We’re not even two years into this running thing, so not too shabby for a start! One of these days, there’s going to be a full marathon finisher medal in this group. I just know it!
Exhibit L: Race Finisher Medals.
Another thing you will see among runners is weird tan lines. I guess this applies more to the ladies. You’ve heard about the “farmer’s tan”. I think the “runner’s tan” tops that. You might notice the Road ID and Garmin tan lines on the wrists, the phone arm band tan line, the t-back top tan line, the tan line around your ankle from your running shoes, the really odd tan lines from the tape the physical therapist applies, and the tan line from the running shorts in various lengths. All of these tan lines are not so appealing when you put on a bathing suit. I try to blend them with spray tan in a can, but I know they’re there.
Exhibit M: Weird Tan Lines.
Ok, you really didn’t think I would post that picture, did you?
This should count as proof, too. We’ve spent good money on gear. These are all the miscellaneous tools of the trade. This is the gear. Some of these items are for injury and recovery. In case you aren’t familiar, the taller cylindrical items are foam rollers. The smallest ones are for travel. There is also a PVC pipe and what’s called “The Stick”. These are items that are used for sore muscles. We roll on or over the sore spots to help them heal. This is where the term, “hurts so good”, originated from. The tennis ball and la cross balls are used for healing, as well. Placing these balls right into the joint socket in the hips and pressure points in the legs, back, shoulders and neck brings almost instantaneous pain or relief, whichever applies for the given area. The rest of the gear doesn’t really require any explanation.
Exhibit N: The Gear.
Lastly, may I present to you an expert, eye witness? He’s a Marathoner, (That’s hot!) and he’s been with me at every race. He’s my husband. He said it himself that I’m a runner. I say that counts!
Exhibit O: My Husband.
Why do I need to validate myself as a runner? Well, today I guess I feel the need because of the race we attended this past weekend. My husband and I were in the Arizona Distance Classic, in Tucson, AZ. It’s a beautiful course that winds through the foothills of Oro Valley. It was enjoyable, because of the surroundings and because my husband was with me.
Let me put in another plug for Mr. Spargo before I go on. He’s trained hard and trained far beyond me this past year. Every race for him now just gets better, as he puts his training to the test. For this race though, he sacrificed what could have been another personal record and stayed with me, the whole race! He’s awesome!
The sad and frustrating part was that it was yet another race that I ended up having to walk most of the course. I have been recovering well now from my injuries and finally got workouts on my schedule that had miles of running without walk breaks. Because of what’s become a long and frustrating string of injuries this past year, I’ve been forced to do a lot of walking in these races. I wasn’t expecting to have to do hardly any walking on this one, but my knee didn’t hold out well on the hills, so we walked most of the way after mile four. Walking doesn’t make me feel much like a runner!
I do know that my “who” is separate from my “do”. In other words, my identity isn’t in what I do, but it’s in who I am as a person. My “who” isn’t what my profile says I am. I do domestic activities, but that doesn’t make me a Domestic Diva. I run, but my identity isn’t in running.
Having all of these setbacks has caused me to do a lot of thinking on this running thing. Why do I run? Why do I want to be a runner? I know the answer to those questions now. I love how running has influenced my “who”. Running has changed who I am. It’s made me stronger in many ways. I’m mentally tougher. In order to reach a goal, you have to do things that are unpleasant, things you probably don’t feel like doing. I don’t wake up every morning and look forward to my run. I actually, put it off. I like to take my time to relax in the mornings, drink my coffee, read, and get caught up with my Facebook friends. I almost never get that “runner’s high” you hear about, so most of my runs are more of a chore than fun. But I love the sense of accomplishment when a workout is done! When that runner’s high does happens, it’s just an added bonus.
Running has increased my tenacity. It’s helped grow that “never give up” spirit. It’s helped me learn to push through obstacles. It’s taught me the importance of taking care of this body, so it can be healthy enough to last many more years. It helps me to be a better me!
So yes, I’ve had to walk more than I’ve wanted to. I’ve had setbacks I didn’t want to have. I’ve not been able to complete my goal of doing a marathon yet, but I’m not giving it up. Actually, my body mechanics aren’t really built well for running and if you throw in the age factor, it’s going to take a “God thing” for me to finish a marathon. I have to put in a plug for my friend, God, here. I don’t do anything without his help! He takes my “do” and makes me a better “who”.
So, the moral of my story today: No matter who you are, let your “do” make you a better “who”. If you need a little help sorting out your who and your do, my friend is always ready to help. Just ask.