Last Saturday when we ran our three miles, I discovered that I have two options. Option number one is to be irritated and frustrated with myself during the first mile because it hurts, it burns, and my legs feel like two big lead tree trunks I'm trying to haul up and down a hill. The result of that first option is that I don't get enjoyment or satisfaction out of the next two miles which are not quite enjoyable but definitely satisfying. For some reason after the first mile of excruciating shin splints, I get this lovely cool feeling down my legs, my joints limber up and I can feel my legs lighten up quite a bit. I feel like I can move along at a steady pace and not fall on my face or look like a complete idiot limping up the road. I find myself saying, "Lori, you suck. You can't even run one mile without gasping for air, whining about your legs, and talking about how miserable you are. If you can't run one mile how are you going to run a half marathon?" The result? I get ZERO enjoyment out of the next two miles.
So on Tuesday night I chose the 2nd option. I chose to listen to my body and run/walk the first mile, and I didn't beat myself up. I chose positive self talk, and positive reinforcement. I chose to remember that the first mile is the hardest, and that doesn't make the next two useless; It makes them worth it. So when I got the rushing cool feeling in my legs and I could run without pain I went after it. I chugged up the annoyingly long and steep "Gathering Oaks" hill and made it to the top with no pain and a sense of victory! By the time I finished my three miles, I had a different attitude, a sweaty back, swollen hands, a very red face, and I felt like a RUNNER. I haven't felt like a runner so far. Doing three miles every time I run now, I'm totally a runner. Yup, "Lori, the runner". Soon it'll be "Lori, the half marathoner". And as dorky as I used to think those 13.1 stickers were, I think I'm going to get one. And I might even clean a spot on my car for it. Hey, at least it's not those little stick people.
On a side note, anyone else ever wanted to go out and buy those stick people but do it wrong. Like buy two women, three men and a dozen kids? Doesn't that just scream, "I belong to a freaky religious cult!"?
Okay, back to my running questions. I'm dying to know why my face turns sooooo red when I run and then stays that way for up to an hour. I seriously look like I got fried in the sun on a beach in Florida, it's so red. Is that a bad thing? The coach didn't say anything, but it's pretty obvious.
Another funny thing happened at my Tuesday night run. I got there all jacked up because I had run up the hill the Saturday before, and I was all pumped about running again. I was feeling pretty stoked, and I walked up to the other TNT folks that were waiting for the coaches. (Someday I'll tell you about the coaches, but I have a feeling the story will be even better as I get to know THEM better. They are characters!) One guy started talking about how at the last tri he did there was a guy that died of a massive heart attack right in the middle of the race. Well, one story led to another, and soon enough other people started showing up sharing their stories. So here I am, out of shape, almost 35 years old listening to stories about people only a little older than me dying during a race. Talk about getting you pumped up to do something physical! All I could think of was, "If I die on the course, who will go tell Aaron? And then all Aaron will say is, 'I refuse to ever do anything physical again, it killed my wife'". I kept thinking all these terrible things about people just falling over on the course and what do you do? Well, according the guy with the first story, you give them a wide berth and keep on going. How the HECK do you run around a dead guy and just keep going? Not sure I could handle that. Yeah, I guess that wasn't all that funny, but apparently people die all the time during these bigger races. That's comforting.
Not to switch subjects again, but I'm going to. Why in the world does a pair of running pants that constricts your legs cost 65$? Black shiny lycra, size large, hugging the dimples in my BUTT, and I wanna pay 65 DOLLARS to do that? No thanks. Oh, and the shirts are around 40-50 bucks. And they are tight. And the people who SHOULD be running are us chubby folk. I'm going to open a chubby chick running store. I will sell running clothes for chubby people that are comfy and don't show off the 2nd dimple from the top on your right cheek like a flashing red light bulb on a dark and stormy night. Good grief!