Let’s talk about trail running…

And the nightmare of a half marathon that I just endured this morning.

OH.MY.GOSH…  It was hell.  This race was 85% up hill, and I don’t even know how that works seeing as we finished right where we started, but these weren’t just normal hills, these were all but walls of dirt where you had to start using your hands to climb.  Just insane inclines.

And HOT!  There were long stretches through fields with no shade what-so-ever.  It wasn’t supposed to be over 80 before noon, but it was 93 when I crossed the finish line at 11.  With the humidity, it was like running through water (really fun with asthma).

I am pretty much a walking disaster on any given day, so this trail run with roots sticking out all over the place had me thinking “hello shattered ankle, I can’t wait to meet you later”.  I even started the day by forgetting a glass of water on top of the car and watching it roll of the side of my car and shatter on the street at the first stop sign.  I am hazardous when left to my own devices, much less trying to run over roots and stumps.  BUT, I made it with only getting slightly tripped up about a dozen times and not actually falling (winner me!). 

I met some really cool people along the way, though.  This was unlike any race I had ever run in the effect.  I paced a man for the first half who told me he had open heart surgery a year ago, and this was his ultimate goal.  For the second half, I paced 2 girls from Kalamazoo that were just nothing but fun!  It was such a pleasure just joking and chatting with these strangers that you are basically going through hell with.

I have never been so happy to have a race over with, and even though it was a nightmare, and I feel like I got insanely drunk and then threw myself down a hill, it is over, and I have that experience to learn and grow from. 



30 Day Running Challenge: Day 4

Tell us about your first race or when you plan to start!

My first race was a Susan G. Komen 5k in downtown Lansing, and I personally believe there is no better place to start racing than an event like this.  I have been doing this race for 8 years now, and it is such an amazing experience. 

An event like Susan G. Komen is so welcoming to a new or inexperienced runner.  The whole point is to be there, supporting a cause, rejoicing with survivors, celebrating the lives of those who have been lost, and to champion the hope for a cure, and the run is just an added bonus.  But it is just a very friendly, supportive place to run I feel.

I didn’t realize this until I went out to my first non-charity run, which was a 10k.  I felt so out of my element and so intimidated.  The runners were there to RUN, get PR’s, crush previous times, and beat out as many people as they could.  I ended up running a great race that day, but it was just a different feel than I had been used to.  ( I must note that I do feel much more comfortable at all races now that I have a few under my belt).

But, there will still be nothing like that feeling of your first race, and it was just extra sweet for me that I was running for a cause 🙂

Awesome dipped in awesome, covered in bitch sprinkles. Yep, that's me.

Watch Your Step

I have never pretended to be graceful, and I always have the amazing super-power of proving why; I fall all the time.  I walk into walls, I spill things, I will trip on things that aren’t there, I have just been blessed that way.

Today while enjoying a run with one of my dear, dear friends and her 3 little girls, I managed to catch my foot on, and proceed to trip over, a slight crack in the sidewalk.  This happened 2 minutes into our run after I had made the joke that I should borrow one of the girls’ helmets because, back to the first point, I am not graceful. And sure enough I just bit it!  It wasn’t even a clean fall, it was one of those tripping, trying to catch myself for a good 6 feet, but still failing, trip.  Scraped hands and all, I picked myself up and kept going, laughing at myself along with a 12, 10, and 5 year old. 

About a mile later, the best part of my day happened when Bailey, the 5-year-old, called back to me from ahead, “Stephanie, there is a crack in the sidewalk up here, so don’t hurt yourself!”… perfect execution, and straight from the heart.

I am usually against running with people, but lately, I need it.  The option to stop is not as readily available as it is when you are by yourself, and having someone to talk to or just give you a boost, or for you to give them a boost, makes runs go by so much faster.  I didn’t realize how badly I was in need of a training buddy until today, especially one as awesome as this friend, who comes with a cheering section of 3.

Falling aside, it was a great run, and I have found my excitement for training once more!  Running is the most love-hate, turbulent relationship I have in my life.  A great run makes me feel on top of the world.  A bad run can make me feel like my life is falling apart and I can do nothing right.  It almost sounds like an abusive relationship because when it is good it’s great, when it’s bad it is the worst.  You can call me a bipolar runner; my highs are so high and my lows are so low.

But, I have found the magic ingredient that should help: a devoted running partner.  I am lucky in the fact that I love her to death, we laugh together, she is great at giving advice, and we run about the same pace.  She is perfect for me!

So onward my running partner and I shall go, tripping and all, to our half-marathons coming next month.  Hopefully her kids will be there to look out for me along the way.

So True!