Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I came, I saw . . . I finished.

So it turns out I don't have ESP. Funny, considering those are my initials. But really. I believe I am anti-clairvoyant, and here's why:

In twelve weeks of running, I have failed to predict the next song to come up on my iPod 100% of the time. That's right, folks. My record stands perfect at zero hits, a bazillion misses.

Futile attempts to develop some degree of musical prescience only made up a fraction of the time I spent on the treadmill, trail, or road over the last three months. I also counted the bricks in my basement fireplace, and may have even, one groggy early morning, confused the complete lack of pattern in their placement for an image of Hugh Jackman. I made grocery lists in my head, air-viola-ed (left hand only, of course), and played the games I use to get myself to sleep at night (ready . . . name a world river starting with each letter of the alphabet . . . Go! Okay, now shoe manufacturers! Good! How about vegetables? Colors? Authors? Car models? Famous actors who can actually act? I could go on . . .) Best of all, I calculated what percentage of my run was complete, and extrapolated calories to have been burned by the finish line.

Anything to pass the time, right? I love to run, I really do, but sometimes I need something mind-numbing to push my body past the point I was sure I could never reach.

This past January, we spent some time at DisneyWorld, and as we headed in to the Magic Kingdom for the day, we caught the tail end of racers competing in the Disney Half Marathon. I surprised myself by tearing up a little -- these people came in all shapes and sizes, ages, and degrees of mobility, and I was utterly inspired. I surprised myself even more when I heard these words come out of my mouth: "I can do that."

My race was this past Saturday. On the registration website, there's a sweet little exit clause for the half-marathoners: no charge to do a last-minute switch to the 10K race, run concurrently on the same course. So when I checked the weather for race day, and saw 100% chance of rain and strong thunderstorms, I was grateful for a back-up plan.

I will not lie: as all of the short-distance runners began peeling away from the pack at 3.5 miles to finish off their race and I realized I had ten more to go, I wanted, as badly as I wanted a baby to FINALLY EXIT MY LOINS ALREADY, to be done. I wanted to pretend I took a wrong turn and ended up at the finish line an hour and a half early. My sweat-and-rain-water-soaked gear (which may never be the same again) would have been no less soaked from the shorter distance.

And I still can't tell you why I didn't. Extreme amounts of will power? Probably not. Mind numbed by a horrid combination of persistent rain, runner's trots (TMI, but thank my lucky stars for gas station bathrooms), and a total lack of pop/rock/hip hop ESP? Perhaps. The prospect of lunch (ahem -- dessert) at the Cheesecake Factory to replenish 1700 calories burned instead of a mere 750? A definite possibility. But after 200 miles run, twelve pounds lost, a (self-diagnosed) bruised metatarsal, a sprained ankle, and a broken (I'm pretty darn sure because otherwise it wouldn't have hurt so darn much) pinky toe, I don't know how I kept going -- I can only quote my effervescent and inimitable LaneyKate, who's first uttered phrase was this: "I did it."



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28 comments:

  1. Congrats! Way to accomplish a goal. Now a full marathon?!

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  2. Good for you. I went to the gym yesterday and I'm almost as proud as you. We're on totally different levels, you and me. :)

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  3. Way to go Emily. I'm not sure that I EVER want to do a marathon or anything like unto it, but I really admire those who do. What an accomplishment.

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  4. Congrats! I admire people who do marathons.

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  5. ::::APPLAUSE::: YEA!!! YOU DID IT!!!
    NOw I bet you're thinking of so many other things you want to do!! And you will!!!

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  6. Keep up the running, Emily. It's a great habit to have. I wish I could record the thoughts that appear around the halfway mark of a 5 or 10K. Some are comedic gold, the majority are hallucinations. I know I've run through all the ones you nailed above, plus a wicked left-handed air guitar to go with. Congrats on completing your race!

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  7. I'm super impressed!

    Back in Feb I started a couch to 5k program. I was supposed to be running 5k's by two weeks ago. But I've had 4 chest/head colds since I started,and I'm still only half way there.

    But I'm going to make it, dang it!

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  8. There's something to finishing a task that seems too difficult, or strenuous, to complete. Kudos to you, my friend, for sticking it out and finishing the race on the road less traveled.

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  9. You are an amazing woman. I would have stayed in bed in such weather. I am a lucky man. I will do my best to keep up with you.

    Cpod

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  10. I had my comment all planned out, and then I saw that your husband had commented, and I was completely derailed by the public kindness and support. We're lucky women.

    And I am incredibly proud of you. Both for running and for writing about it!

    Hugs!

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  11. Love your new look, btw. I change mine all the time. Easily bored, I guess.

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  12. Yay! You're back!

    Tragically, I too lack iPod ESP.

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  13. Congratulations! You just jumped up 100 levels on the cool meter, and you were pretty high up there to begin with.

    Every time I read a post like this, I'm reminded that I want to do something like this, just to prove that I can. There's a little guilt involved. I could do it, I just haven't.

    I shall ponder this.

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  14. Congratulations! You've done something I would never do in a million years. That exhaustion is what I feel before facing the mile I run every morning. However, I always guess what comes next on the iPod because I listen to the same 5 Bon Jovi songs every time I run.

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  15. You know I already think you are all kinds of awesome. And the blog looks good. New goal? Post more than three times in the next three months. :)

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  16. Awesome. Way to Go.

    Cynedra

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  17. I Am learning to run, but it is usually easier for me when it involves a ball. I think you are pretty darn cool!

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  18. Yaay! Maybe we can run one together someday.

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  19. You did it, indeed! I am impressed. And, also taking note of your "mind-numbing" games for when I run. I think I think myself out of it too much...

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  20. I thought your blogging career was over :-)

    congrats on the run - you are my hero!

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  21. Wow. Good for you! I am very, very impressed!

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  22. Way to go! I think you are awesome in so many ways.

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  23. I'm so impressed. I ran my first 5K last summer and felt like I'd conquered the world. Just the thought of a half-marathon is staggering!

    I also wanted to let you know you won the buttermints on my blog giveaway! Yay! I'll be shipping them off shortly...a brand new batch, just for you. That should help you put back on a few extra pounds. :)

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  24. Whoop WHoop...good job. Way to go lady. You deserved every single one of those victory calories.

    BTW, I, too get the trots when i am running regularly. I hear for race day pro runners plug themselves up with anti-diarrhea pill. Never done it before but it's tempting.

    You'll have to test it out next time for me and let me know how it works. :)

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Sock it to me!