Posts tagged ‘running’

June 26, 2011

B.A.A. 10K and Goodbye (for now)

This morning felt like sweet, sweet redemption.

I ran the inaugural B.A.A. 10K and what a difference a…well…a day, a month, an attitude, a training plan make. I was completely relaxed at the starting line and could not wait to feel myself flying down Comm Ave. past Boston University and then looking downtown Boston square in the face while pushing myself toward the finish. This was my first 10K but felt worlds better than the last 5-miler I ran in May.

With a time of 53:14, I met my goal of 8:30ish miles but, quite frankly, this wasn’t at the forefront of my mind today. I wanted to do well, yes, but I really just wanted to have fun. Yup, I even wanted to finish with a smile on my face. My last race felt tortuous and I hated every moment (even crossing the finish line). Today, I finished fast, happy, and strong with my head held high, grinning wide and proud…really, I probably looked a bit crazed =)

Today’s race was exactly the sort of race every runner deserves to have now and again. I was completely present in every moment, painful and thrilling, and finished with my spirits soaring. This is why I run, I kept telling myself. When else have I ever felt such joy and community and pride? Only when running.

On this gloriously happy note, I have to share that I plan on taking a bit of a break from happyaspie for the month of July – and possibly beyond. Blogging has begun to feel like a chore and the joy I originally felt has waned. Don’t get me wrong; cooking and writing about food are very important pieces of who I am. That said, happyaspie has begun to take charge of my meals and I am no longer cooking for me but for an audience. I find myself changing my plans to prepare something “bloggable” and I have taken fewer culinary risks because I worry that if something doesn’t work out, I’ll have wasted an opportunity to write.

Just as I was part of every moment of today’s race, I want to live in the present with my food rather than imagining how I will find the best lighting, what I will write about and when I will find the time. Happyaspie began as a wonderful adventure and I never want to write begrudgingly. Instead, it is time for a break, time to recharge my batteries and remember why it is that I started happyaspie in the first place.

Thank you all for reading for these wonderful 4 months – I hope to be back again!

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May 29, 2011

Finish or Bust

This morning I ran Boston’s Run to Remember 5-mile road race.

This is not the post I had hoped to write.

I had done all of the prep work. Following my Smart Coach plan, eating well, resting and stretching, torturing myself on the foam roller, all to get a mother of a stitch right before mile 3. A stitch so sharp and sudden that it took my breath away and forced me to move to the side and walk it out for a minute or two.

I haven’t had a stitch in years. I forgot that they used to plague newbie cross country runners and made many a training run miserable for a lot of us.

My first thoughts? This cannot be happening. What will everyone think? (You know, all of my fans.) I’m going to DNF. I hope I can at least walk to the finish.

I even thought of taking off my number to avoid embarrassment.

After letting myself have these wild and self-ridiculing thoughts, I took a deep breath and told the DNF to take a hike. I was crossing the finish line as a runner.

My stitch subsided and lingered as a dull ache in my right side. I chugged along, surprised to still be running under 9 minute miles, and realized that this is what being a runner is all about.

Running can hurt. A lot. At times it makes me cry and hate my body or want to throw my sneakers into the back of my closet for eternity.

Then I catch a glimpse of myself in a shop window or hear my name called over the loudspeaker as I plow toward the finish and I remember, OH, this is why I run.

I run because it makes me feel alive.

My body is amazing. My legs pulled me up and over each and every hill this morning even when my brain was screaming at me to stop. My lungs stuck with me through every step and even that aching reminder of a stitch reminded me that I am stronger than I think. Always.

Do I wish I ran faster today? Sure. I’m totally bummed that I didn’t reach my goal. I’m really grateful that I finished, though, and that I finished with a kick that I did not know I had.

In case you’re curious….

Mile 1: 8:07

Mile 2: 8:11 (<– goal pace)

Mile 3: 9:28 (<— STITCH)

Mile 4: 8:51

Mile 5: 8:22

I have a 10K next month and while I don’t want to repeat today’s race, I also know that anything could happen. I can only do my best to prepare and then let the race be what it will be.

I’d say heading to the beach this afternoon is the perfect way to recover. Happy long weekend, y’all!



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