Tag Archives: half marathon

Measured Success

The very best part about doing something you have never done before is that no matter how you do – it is the best you have ever done.  In the last month I have set two personal records (PRs.) Having never run a 25K or a half-marathon at all until recently –  I was all set to crank out two PRs.

I went after the 25K with an “I have never run this before ever” mentality  and I was pleased to have finished strong.  Knowing that I had another race in only two weeks that was of slightly shorter distance, I set an attainable goal.  I felt like I had a little gas left in the tank when I finished the 25K so I decided to try and go a little faster.

I’m not fast. A year ago I couldn’t run one continuous ten minute mile.  Last week my half marathon pace was 10:07 on average.  That’s measurable progress.  So many people have asked me in the last year why I run.  It’s a simple answer.  There aren’t many opportunities for an adult to have measurable success outside the workplace. For months and months I wasn’t getting faster so I set my sights on distance.  Mission accomplished. My 5K time is creeping faster.  Slow and steady progress. marathon mama

This weekend I will switch gears (oh man, do you love a good pun!!  Switch gears, I am gonna ride my bike, guys.  I kill me.)  My personal triathlon season will kick off at the scene of the original crime.  Last year I finished my first sprint triathlon at an all women’s event.  It’s technically a super sprint (250 yard swim, 10 mile bike and a 2 mile run.) Last year I wanted to finish.  I rode a heavy hybrid and I had run for less than three months.  I was happy with my finish.  It’s a small event.  I finished 64th out of 126 participants. This year?  I am going back to run the same course.  There should be measurable improvement.  Right? And so begins the sleepless week.  I like to set goals.  I like to achieve them.  What’s reasonable?  I am pretty sure that cups of coffee at 10 pm and loads and loads of googling and looking at my runkeeper graphs for the last year will not help. Getting my bike out of the shed might be a good place to start.

I dug a big hole today. It was fun.

I was not a fan of this bush.  It blocks the light. It has big dead leaves all the time.  Recently MQD and I discussed the fact that he isn’t really a fan of this bush, either.

The Offending Bush

I am also not much of a fan of sitting around on my ass.  Unfortunately (for this bush) I woke up this morning not much of a fan of doing laundry or emptying the dishwasher or going to the gym.

So, I started hacking at the bush with a bolt cutter (like you do.) I gave it an all over inspection and made peace with the fact that my ordinarily green self was most definitely going to kill this bush. Sorry, little birds from last spring, but you will not be moving back into that old nest.  I saved that branch with last year’s bird nest for last and captured the Horton Hears a Who-ness of the moment.

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The hacking at the branches was a good time.  It was satisfying.  Quick actions and immediate results.  And then I started to dig.  And dig.  And dig.  My tiny helper grew weary and began to ask “You can’t do it, Mom? You can’t do it?”

Oh.  I can.  And I will.  But it was not a particularly good time.  20140415-130548.jpg

I dragged the zillion pound root ball to the end of the driveway.  Lucy asked “All done?  Nap time?”

Nope.  I explained that the fun part was over and now we had to clean up.

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So.  That’s what we did today.

I skipped the gym.  But I got good and sweaty.

Sweaty Mama

I suppose I will go back to the gym tomorrow.  I can’t just keep digging up my yard.  Right?

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Just Do It

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“You’re a beast!” “ROCK STAR!” “Congrats! You’re my hero!!”

My friends and family have been pretty free and easy with the pats on the back and the “way to go’s” since yesterday.  I will admit to being pretty proud of myself.  I ran my first half marathon yesterday and it was hot and hilly.  I set a goal for myself and I met it in spite of the crummy and unexpected conditions.

But I don’t feel like a hero because I ran 13.1 miles.  It is a half marathon, after all. I am only half crazy, no 26.2 for this girl (yet.)

You know when I did feel pretty spectacular? I had q-tips between my teeth and my cheeks and I was grinning ear to ear at the race expo on Friday afternoon.

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It turns out I really do love swabbing.

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In less than a minute of my day I donated some tissue and consented to be entered in to a worldwide registry of bone marrow donors.  The woman behind the table said “Are you interested in registering with Delete Blood Cancer?” and I said “Sure.” It was that easy.

I came home that evening and looked it up.  What did it really mean?  It means that someone somewhere with a blood cancer might not be a good match for any of the 9.5 million existing donors.  They might still be waiting for a donor that matches.  It might be me.  Or you.

There is a 1 in 500 chance that I will end up donating bone marrow or stem cells to a person with blood cancer.  You might think, oh wow, with odds like that why bother?  Well, that’s why.  With odds like that  – Delete Blood Cancer and Be the Match and organizations like these need as many people to register as possible.

As soon as I got a driver’s license I checked the Organ Donor box. If I have a chance to help someone after I am gone than by all means, I want to.  I have donated blood numerous times and will continue to do so.  But I had no idea until this past Friday that I could register to donate bone marrow or stem cells to a blood cancer patient.

I read all of the material and it scares me a little.  I don’t like hospitals.  Anesthesia freaks me out.  I am not wild about needles and being hooked up to a machine that is draining me of anything for more than a few minutes is a little worrisome. The process of donating if you match a patient is fairly unpleasant and would leave me feeling less than up to par for a few days.  But I imagine someone with leukemia or lymphoma or myeloma probably isn’t wild about hospitals or needles, either. And I’d be willing to guess that cancer probably leaves you feeling pretty crummy.

I really wanted to write a race recap post today.  But every time someone has asked me “How was the Raleigh Rock ‘n Roll Half?” I have wanted to answer “It sucked, it was hot and hilly but did you know that you can register to donate bone marrow without doing anything invasive?  It’s a q-tip in your mouth, that’s it!”

Two runners died during the race yesterday.  I have been thinking about their families a lot in the last 24 hours.   Life is so short. So many people that I have talked to have remarked that it is so shocking and sad that these two men passed away when they were “healthy.”  Healthy people get blood cancer every day.  And then they aren’t healthy anymore. Then they are counting on you and me to give them a fighting chance.

If you are in good health and you are between 18 and 55 you are eligible to donate bone marrow or stem cells to a patient with blood cancer.  There is a slim chance that you will be matched with a patient, true.  But there is a slimmer chance that the patient will find a match if you don’t register.  In keeping with the sporty theme – Just Do It.