Monday, October 30, 2006

newbie. probie. amateur.

So the half marathon has been had by me. A bit anticlimactic at this point – as I am sure you can imagine. It was something that I really needed to do and did and now I feel so good about it. My main reason for this was I had already really enjoyed running and I wanted to accomplish something for myself that I loved - you know – before it is time for Baby No. 2. However, after the drive home from Waco to San Antonio, I am reconsidering it, since Ben was and is still being a handful from too much activity and not enough rest. (At the moment he is still awake in his crib and fighting sleep even though he's tired.)

I titled this installment "newbie.probie.amateur." mostly because that sums up my first experience of running and also my first introduction to the world of runners. It is a strange cult and I certainly learned a couple interesting things. For instance – the petroleum jelly that they supply is for the insides of your legs to prevent chafing – not your hands or lips. I only found this out by asking the person in front of me if that was for your hands….she laughed and told me what it was really for. My slight embarrassment could have been spared, if they just put a sign saying "hey newbie, this stuff is to prevent leg chafing – unless you're skinny Barbie girl and your legs don't rub together" I had to stand in two lines…one was the chip line – not the edible kind. The second line to get my chip verified. Then you attach the chip to your shoe laces. I thought it would be cool to have that as a souvenoir of my race, but they take that back at the end, too. It's really a neat little system, because there are these mats that you have at the start and finish of the race. Once you step on them your time begins and once you step on them at the end your time stops. So make sure you step on those mats, to get credit for your accomplishment. It's quite accurate, too, because when there are a ton of people, it won't start your time until you cross the starting mat. I also learned that marathons are a lot like trick or treating, except you don't have to work for it. Every mile or so people are holding out drinks and bananas and lemons and oranges – and even candy! I carried two Tootsie Rolls given to me at one of the stations. Another similarity is that there are some interesting trick-or-treaters. All sorts of getups. Some people have utility belts fully loaded with water bottles, energy gels, and all sorts of stuff! I even saw a man and woman with matching hats with horse heads on them. Then you have people who want to match each other and wear the same shirt emblazoned with their group name on them. It's really quite a sight. I suppose we all want to make a statement at times. What that statement is, however, sometimes uncertain….

The run was a lot of fun. There were a couple downers during the run. The race was an "out and back", so at one point when I am still on the "out" part, I start to see people running toward me down this huge hill and then eventually past me. "What?!" They have already reached the turnaround?! So, I'm like, "OK be positive, so they are already on their way back. It must be up here somewhere soon." Um, not unless you think a mile and a half is soon! The second bad part of the whole race was the last two miles….about 5 people had passed me over the course of a couple miles, and then these 3 girls pass me with fraternity and sorority shirts! I was yelling in my head, "Yeah?! Well, I squeezed out a baby! All you have to worry about it keeping off freshmen fifteen or something like that. The only thing hard about this race is that you couldn't drink the night before!!! So there!" Then comes, "OK Jenny, don't be bitter. In fact, you were once there in college, and definitely NOT running and doing races for good causes, so you have no reason to talk!" When you're running and there is nothing else to do it's amazing how vivid your thoughts become.
When I had about ½ mile to go, I saw Rob up the distance, and he ran the remainder of the race with me. What a good guy, huh? He even ran out of the way before I hit the finish line. He wasn't going to take that away from me, he said. I finished pretty close to my expectations at a time of 2:00:11 – which was a 9:11 pace. I am very happy about that – it wasn't freakishly exceptional, but it wasn't turtle-slow either! After competing and walking around the zoo afterward for the sake of my brother-in-law Matthew and my son, Ben….I am DONE for a few days! Thankfully, all those rich people and businesses who want to advertise their support donated all those park benches to the zoo. I don't know what I would have done then, because I utilized pretty much every bench as we toured the zoo!
You can imagine WHO took this picture - my pretending trying to stretch right, cuz that lady up on the platform keeps trying to get us all to stretch!

The amazing CHIP.


3 miles in - passing by the starting point.

My super husband running the last 1/2 mile with me....about 15 minutes after the mean thoughts about the sorority girls passing me.


Ben and me enjoying sno-cones.

The Results.

Check me out.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


OK - sometimes I fear that I will run out of things to talk about. Does this make me uninteresting? Aw well...what are ya gonna do. I guess that's why meeting new people is an important and good thing. If any one person was interesting enough - we wouldn't need other people and MySpace would definitely not exist. I met an interesting person yesterday the "old fashioned" way - not on MySpace. This leads me to write about it, in turn forcing myself to confess something.
I run. Yep. Sure do. My feet are uglier than before. I have two bruised toes. The middle ones – they're twins. Ben points at them and says "ow". I have removed some monster calluses. I'm pretty sure my boobs are smaller after nursing a child, and running so much. Thank goodness for Victoria's Secret bras. But, hey, I got some pretty tight abs out of it. And I am pretty sure that I could outrun any rapist or serial killer if they tried to chase me in our gated apartment complex.
I met someone Sunday night that also runs. She is very cool. This mom of 2 teens has run FIVE (count 'em) FIVE marathons. (ha - I almost typed marathongs!) The funny thing is that she looked like a runner, and I wanted to ask her if she ran. Having just met her, I didn't want to sound weird, and what did I know about running? But now, after having an intuition that she was a runner, I feel I have achieved a higher Mecca in the running world! Add that to my long list of aches and pains, ugly feet and bruised toes!
I will tell you more about her when I get done talking about selfish does that sound? Gonna do it anyway. About a month ago - I signed up to do a half marathon. I have been so scared to tell anyone for fear of me failing at it and everyone asking me about it, and then me telling them that I failed. Pretty bad, huh? I have kept it a dirty secret - the only reason I told my mom was because Rob started telling me to tell her. That's how afraid I was. So here I am - signed up. The sad part is that I had been thinking about running and marathons nonstop. I found myself thinking about them randomly, then I found reasons to think about them more. So and so on TV is running one. Lance Armstrong is running one. I found out my friend signed up for one, and I got jealous! Jealous. The whole reason I was jealous, was because here was a person who decided to do a half "Mary" as the pros seem to call it on what seemed like a whim, and I, who had been running for quite some time, was TOO CHICKEN to make a choice. Instead, I would play wishy-washy ol' Jenny and drive my husband crazy because I was all talk and no action. Yeah, guys don't like that. Pretty bad, huh? I quickly squashed that jealousy for the simple reasons that I shouldn't be jealous of a person that decides to do something GREAT! So I threw my check in the mail, and Rob found us a hotel since it is up in Waco, TX.
Meeting this person proved to be a good thing. She inspired a renewed confidence in myself and meeting someone who has run multiple marathons – not to mention the Boston Marathon – which after meeting her learned that it is, like, the crème de la crème of marathons. You have to actually "qualify" to be able to run it. You can't just be Joe Runner and go and participate. The half marathon is on October 29th at 7:30 a.m. I am also happy that it just happens to be daylight savings time. Extra hour. Yeah. It is called the Miracle Match Marathon – and it is a fundraiser for bone marrow donors here in the state of Texas. Please pray for me on this day!