Thursday, March 6, 2008
Hobby #1 - Running
please don't pin me as an athlete or some crazy fit person, cause i definitely don't fit into that category, but running has definitely become a hobby of mine for the past 6 years and came as quite an accident.
my sister-in-law Kristie decided to run the L.A. Marathon in March of 2002 and decided to make it a family affair, so Bryan (dh), my mother-in-law Kathy and father-in-law Bob (both 50 at the time) decided to join in the "fun". i should pause here to let you know what kind of family i married into. my husband's family are definitely "athletes". Kathy is a world champion tennis player in her category (and by that i literally mean it - she won the world champion in her age group in Turkey last year at the USTA championships). there was no way i was going to run - i only ran while being chased and the longest i had run was for a mile and a half when i had to in p.e. - anyway - my husband told me that if i just trained with him he would buy me a cat. so i did it reluctantly. well, i got my cat and went as far as 10 miles in my training but then started developing plantar fasciitis in my left foot and stopped...for the time...i found that i actually missed running. i became hooked.
after my foot healed i picked it up again, but read more about training and did it a lot smarter (better shoes, easier paces, walking mixed with running) and finished a half marathon with Bryan and my sister-in-law Mandie in January of 2005. after my son was born we trained for another half marathon and ran with mandie, my brother jake, my sister sara and (her fiance at the time now husband) pete and bryan in January of 2007. i decided i wanted to go longer and in January of this year we ran a 30k in Calico and i found a new addiction - trail running.
mandie's father - rick miller - is an ultra runner (which is very long distances) he has run several 100 milers, including badwater (google it for those of you who want to know what insanity is). he encouraged us to run calico and also to run trails and opened a world of hiking/running that i am totally into.
running not only gives you the "high" that keeps you addicted, but for me it is about pushing my body, and even more difficult, my mind to its limits. there is such a satisfaction in being able to say that my body has never gone that far or that i never thought i could make myself do that. running helps you conquer yourself - your doubts, your insecurities, that script that runs through your brain that we all struggle with which says you can't, you can't, you can't.
i like to attempt to meditate during my longer runs and get in tune with my body and say hello to all my aching joints and thank myself for torturing myself in this way. i like to try to shut off my ongoing chatter in my brain and look around at the beautiful scenery and feel very alive and very thankful. i pray. i thank God for abilities and blessings and creation. i ask God to help me to make it because my body is telling me i won't. i dream about things i want to accomplish, places i want to run and goals i want to set. i turn on my ipod when i need something other than myself to get up yet another big hill. sometimes one needs a little pat benatar to pick up the pace! i love to sweat and detoxify my body and like to think i am starting fresh each time after a run.
after the run i like to rest...and eat...a lot. food tastes so overwhelmingly delicious when you deplete your body of everything. running has also made me look at food differently - as fuel. i don't run well if i had a big meal...don't even get me started about having to poop when you run - i have many horrible stories, but that is for another blog! after running your body is very open and thankful.
i must say as well that the people i have met while running should also be worth mentioning in this hobby. not only has it brought me closer to my friends and family that share the love and also join us in runs and races, but also the community of runners is quite a family in itself. rick said at calico that it isn't just a hobby, it is a lifestyle. i have so much respect for the ultrarunners that i met - their dedication and love for life is intoxicating. while running calico i passed an older lady that was simply beaming. her ear to ear grin lit up her face and passed along a little joy to me as well. bryan (who ran the race the previous year) asked if i saw her - of course i saw her, who could miss that beautiful face? - and asked how old i thought she was. probably 40 i replied. he said she is 65. i couldn't believe it - seriously her legs were amazing - i was jealous. i must add that she was also asian and the ethnic gods smile very generously on asians when it comes to aging, but this was ridiculous. i also met a man who had run a marathon the day before and a woman who ran in a skirt and all of them were excited to be there and run and share in something together.
i hope i can keep my body in good enough condition to continue this hobby. i am not the most self-disciplined person and having a 2 year old who hates being in his jogging stroller provides a definite obstacle, but i will persevere for what the sport has brought to me. i don't know if i will become an ultra-runner, but definitely want to keep pushing myself...my goal right now is to run a marathon when i turn 30 (this year) probably in catalina in 2009. hope to see you there!