Sunday, January 9, 2011

Freeze Your Thorns Off Virtual 5k Race Recap ----- Warning: Cringe-worthy

Spoiler alert: The following post is pitiful. Pa-thetic. Embarrassing. Ridiculous. Slightly amusing. And very long-winded. Not your typical race recap. Feel free to run and hide if you must.

A couple of weeks ago, I signed up for this 5k on Adam's blog, I Am Boring.  BUT I didn't tell anybody and I didn't announce that I was participating on my blog. I "planned" to do it, and even went so far as to get dressed to run yesterday. (It was supposed to be done yesterday). Things just kept...coming up. I'm still going strong on the 100 Days Challenge, but I ended up rollerblading instead of running. (big surprise). I basically put it out of my head and chalked it up to life happening (I totally could have done it) and comforted myself with the thought that at least I didn't tell anyone I was going to do it.

This morning, I woke up and straightened up the house a little bit and did some studying in the morning while the kids were outside playing and the husband was at work. This afternoon my best friend came over and we watched Julia Roberts movies and gossiped. I was wondering how I was going to get my 30 minutes in today because it has been COLD. My friend didn't end up leaving until a little after 5, and I still didn't know what I was going to do for exercise. One thing was for sure, it would be completed indoors. The missed 5k was still niggling in the back of my mind. I felt rotten for not doing it. I've just been having issues with running lately. I feel like I can't compare to the bloggers I admire most. They're real, and they deserve to have a running blog. I'm a fraud, and I do NOT deserve to have a running blog. But what kind of thinking is that? It's nothing but a cop out. WHY am I trying to cop out???

Anyway, so then I got on the computer and decided to check Blogger, and you'll never believe it. Adam commented on my last post! You know, the guy who hosted the virtual 5k? While I follow his blog, the only time I have ever commented on it was to sign up for the race and because he had so many people sign up I figured I had (rightfully so) gotten lost in the mix. I had NO idea this guy even knew I existed, and here he is leaving a supportive comment about my cheeseburger craving. I felt like a weasel.

At that point, I finally told the universe, "Fine! I will run the damn 5k!!!" I laced up my shoes and threw on a hoodie and trudged out the door, pouting all the way. It was almost dark by this point and I had dinner in the oven. I do not run in the dark as a rule--I've read way too many Ann Rule books to feel comfortable with that. Also I do not feel that anyone has ever presented a valid enough argument AGAINST the existence of vampires. So instead of doing my usual 5k route, I decided to run around my block for 3.1 miles.

Have I ever told you about my block? It's no ideal running surface. It's a loop that is slightly longer than a quarter of a mile in circumfrence. The road is bowed up in the middle, so no matter where you decide to run you are almost always at a slant. There is also a nasty little hill that is just steep enough to be annoying. The most times I have ever made it around the block is 3. After that, my brain starts to turn to jelly. (I really don't see how people do track work--it is BORING). The upside to running this little loop is that my house is always in view and I feel relatively certain that I won't be murdered while running it.

You have to work with what you've got, and by then I didn't have a lot to work with, so I ran around the block 12 times until my little Blackberry running app hit 3.1. I started out sheepishly, fully aware of how ridiculous the situation was. Here it is, Sunday night. Its cold and dark, I am in the middle of cooking dinner, my children have to get ready for school tomorrow, and I have about a million things I should be doing besides running. I didn't even WANT to run, but there I was plodding diligently around the block, drawing curious stares from my neighbors. I had to see the humor in the situation, and I totally laughed out loud at myself a few times! At about 1.5 miles (6 times around) I was thoroughly convinced that I was stuck in an evil time warp and forever doomed to be running around my block. That only lasted for 2 or 3 laps, though, and I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. 4 more laps....3....2...1...I did it! I did it! My time sucked but I did it! As I always do after I run, I felt great.  I'm not a quitter dammit...I TRIED to be a quitter but I just couldn't.

I have felt really inadequate in my running lately. I read blogs like Detroit Runner and Bookworm Runs (my two favorites) and I think to myself, "These people are runners. Not you." They get out there every day, they have GARMINS and they talk about things like mile splits and race schedules. They take pictures of their runs. They DO it. Me? I can't afford a Garmin, so I have no idea what my mile splits are. My running routes are not picture worthy. I live in the middle of nowhere, and not a lot of races come to my area. Who wants to read a running blog about someone that is barely a runner?I don't know why all of this has been affecting me lately, but it has gotten harder and harder to get out the door and run. When I had a race to train for, it was easier, but now...

Going around and around in a circle tonight, I finally just told myself to stop it. All of an excuse. Every bit of it is an excuse to give up on myself, to not push myself to be better than I am, to let myself off the hook before I really mess around and accomplish something big. It never gets any easier, this mental game. I think that for the rest of my life I will have to fight against the part of me that doesn't want to be healthy. That part of me is cunning and creative, and as soon as I let my guard down --I am toast.

 I have no one to compare myself to but me. I run, not because I am trying to be as good as somebody else, but because it is part of who I am now. I blog because I love blogging and being a part of the blogging community. I'm not going to let myself ruin either one of these activities for me. My blog may not be a running blog in the strictest sense...but I do come to it from a place of honesty. I'm real. I'm a total spazz, running around in circles in the dark just so I do not have to live with the fact that I didn't run a virtual race that I wasn't certain I was going to do in the first place, but I'm honest about it! And people seem to be okay with this--it's me that's the problem. And it all boils down to excuses, excuses, excuses!

So the moral of the story is just do what you say you're going to do when you're supposed to do it, would you? Then you won't have to give a race recap of this caliber! But thanks to Adam for commenting on my last post! You made all the difference. ;) Tonight's run was a total mental workout that was much needed.

Oh, yeah. My time: 43:05. Not even close to my best, but I don't care.  I needed all that time to work a few things out. ;)


  1. I WANT TO READ YOUR BLOG...thats who wants to read your blog!!! I love it! And you ARE a runner. It doesnt matter how much or far or fast you do go and you run. are funny as heck and I love to read your blog!!! more negative running thoughts from you...ookay???

  2. I can totally relate to you every now and then i will question myself saying "what business do i have running and writing about my so called runs when there are people out there who are "really runners"?" but like you did you have refocus and tell yourself your doing it for yourself. I too live in a small town, the races i do do are usually 45 mins or more away so they are few and far between and most of my runs are around my not scenic uninteresting block and as of late i have been feeling like barely a runner :). You never know one of your runs that you think isn't that important might be the run that motivates me to get off my butt so I am glad to hear you managed to get the virtual race done. and Adam is so good about commenting on blogs and I think he follows like every running blog out there. Have a great week.

  3. Ummm brought tears to my eyes. Thats the Jennifer I know and love... determined and stubborn!! :)

  4. Jennifer, you are so open and real and honest and THAT is why I read your blog! :) Oh, and you are a runner if you run. Which, I believe you just ran 3.1 miles, right?! :) Seriously, forget the fancy gadgets and all that. You don't need those to be a just need your sneakers and the road and the motivation to just get out there and do it. You are awesome and amazing and THANK YOU for always keeping it real!! :)

  5. Um..... excuse me. You are not JUST a runner. You are a HALF- MARATHONer. Soon to be a MARATHONer. What part of that makes you NOT A RUNNER???? You are just a silly, silly girl. But I love you.

  6. Honesty is what make a great person and a great blogger. We all go through these doubts. I do on an almost daily basis.

    And you are a runner. Don't let your brain tell you otherwise!

  7. I wish I could be a runner like you. I like to work out and run but I do not think I am a "runner". I am so impressed and inspired by your abilities. Do you think I could turn myself into a runner, or do you think its genetic?