With the marathon fast (so, so fast!) approaching, I thought I’d share some interesting (from the world wide web - shushhh you, that is sooo a source) with you!
Who’s excited?! I’m excited! I’m excited! And don’t lie, so are you!
Officially the marathon distance 42.195 kilometres or 26 miles and 385 yards.
The average man completes the marathon in: 4h, 32min and 8 seconds
The average woman completes the marathon in: 5h, 6min, and 8 seconds
The current world record was set in the 2008 Berlin Marathon by Haile Gebreslassie of Ethiopia. His time was 2 hours, 3 minutes and 59 minutes.
That means his pace was 2:57 per kilometre (4:44 per mile). Which means he runs faster than Toronto’s subway distance. And did you know, elite runners can’t train on treadmills because treadmills are too slow?! Whoa.
The women’s world record time is 2 hours, 15 minutes and 25 seconds set in the 2003 London marathon by Paula Radcliffe.
The world’s oldest marathoner was 92 years old. She finished the Honolulu marathon in 9 hours and 53 minutes. Slow. Clap.
In 2010 the world’s largest marathons are (by finishers): New York City (44,977) // London (36,632) // Chicago (36,088 **I was one of them!!**) // Berlin (34,002)
In March of 2011 a 400 pound man compelted the 26.2 distance in 9 hours, 48 minutes and 52 seconds.
The average woman burns 2,880 calories during the marathon.
The average age for a marathon finisher is 38.8 years-old overall (40.5 years-old for men and 36.1 years-old for women).
There is a marathon nearly anywhere you can think of, including the Sahara Desert, Mt. Everest, The Antarctic Circle, and The Great Wall of China. [People are crazy]
The top 5 most scenic marathons in the world are: 1. Safaricom Marathon, Lewa Game Reserve, Kenya, 2. Entabeni Game Reserve, South Africa, 3. Antarctic Ice Marathon, 80 Degrees South, 4. Big Sur International Marathon, Monterrey, California and 5. Honolulu Marathon, Honolulu, Hawaii
And with that, I am off to lunch to get a healthy salad, before I do “speed” on tonight’s run. Marathon Countdown: 25 days!!
Update! Update! Let’s talk about me-me-me. So how shady have I been lately? Answer: SO SHADY. Y’all (whatever, I feel like a cowgirl today) have been so kind and polite and courteous to stop by my little blog… but then meanwhile, in Canada, I’ve been a beached beluga whale popping cheese pills in my bed, while watching trashy tv that numbs my sole. STOP IMAGINING THAT. IT WAS A JOKE PEOPLE. A JOKE. GOD… I am not in a polite mood, not at all, so here goes an update filled with crappy photos and with words from the dark (so, so dark) places of my soul.
So this one time, at band camp, I went swimming after a 10k (get with the program people, this was Saturday) and to my horror, but not shock, I still looked bad in my bathing suit. Sure there was less cellulite in the ass and thigh region BUT BUT BUT there was simply just too much of me. Everywhere. I’m onto you skinny girls out there – eating your only food of the day in front of people, and saying you “eat a lot,” but don’t really and thus fooling other girls like me into going home and continuing to eat, because I think you’re eating too, but really, you aren’t. HOW RUDE. Whatever, take it up with my lawyers if you want to argue this point. SURE you’re “naturally skinny” and SURE you “eat a lot,” but I call bluff, your “a lot” is my “small breakfast” Mark. My. Words. On. That. I am tubby because I eat way more than the average human being. It still blows my mind ALL OF SOCIETY ISN’T FAT? Have people not tasted cheese? or ice-cream? or steaks? or potatoes? or chips n’ candy? HMMmmmmmmmm? WHERE DO YOU PEOPLE FIND THE WILL POWER?
These photos are ugly. Except for my hot BFF. She is hot. I am not. And the collage is weird. Deal. I was lazy, you must know this by now. Also know this, there was a lurker, or a subway, or whatever you call it, under my porcelain skin on my chinny chin chin so I cropped it out. I’m sneaky and manipulative like that. I tell you this so you know I am not perfect… oh, what’s that? You already knew that…. ? Me. Don’t. Like. You. [At. All]
Sorry, but not really, I got distracted… so swimming, at band camp? it went down like this: YAY swimming! I LOVE swimming. Assuming, of course, nobody can see me in my skin-tight-look-at-my-food-baby-I-am-pretty-much-NAKED outfit, if nobody can see me then I LOVE swimming. Hell, I’d then swim naked, but people are always there (I have stalker friends, what can I say?) which means no swimming naked, just me being all sorts of self conscious about my body, which results in me not like swimming that much at all.
I still hate my body in a bathing suit, and have moments of intense fear about the beaches of my upcoming trip, and how when you google them, all the girls appear to have not eaten for the last 3.8 years, and then I get anxiety about looking like a beluga in a see of skinny dolphins. I’m also going to have to explain what a one piece is to all those skinny foreigners who will think I’m wearing a space suit. LAME. Can’t wait for those good moments, especially as I’m 26 - feeling self conscious at 26 makes you feel like such a winner.
SO…. well, before you read the below. If you judge me, know I am sitting here in my dark corner judging you [and your mother].
SO… after feeling self conscious about my bod, I got dressed and slapped a bottle of cover up on my chin, and went and ate food (salad. thankyouverymuch) with friends and then heard the ice-cream sirens from afar, and I got lured in Oh Ulysses, no! Obviously I was under the curse of the sugar gods. IT’S NOT MY FAULT. I SWEAR.
This is my hometown. I always thought I’d kick ass at the “hometown date” on The Bachelor. Shut. It. You. I coulddddddd sooooo one day be on The Bachelor. I’m skinny and awesome enough. Says my mom. And Mother-E always knows best. ALWAYS. Except for that time she told me where babies come from. She was seriously SO WRONG on that one.
Ok, so now this update brings us to Sunday, as in two days ago…. I woke my big ass up at the crack of dawn and then went for a run with 3 of my lady friends, but not just any run, oh no people, a 30k run, which is 18 miles, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I really, like OHMYGOD did not want to run. But I did. Why? Because I still have this annoying thing in my brain where I think running will make me skinny despite all evidence to prove otherwise.
The run itself took nearly 4 hours, and I cursed a lot on it as there were some MAJOR hills. My camera also died on it, after the above two photos were taken. LAME.
So yea… there’s all that. I had a shitty day today so please, pardon my mood. And in half an hour I’m going to run 8k (5 miles), because the marathon is fast approaching, and I don’t want to come last.
Since I started running way-back-when in 2009, I’ve always compared times and paces to the distance of the 10k (6.2 miles). I’ve always believed that if someone could run a 10k in under an hour, they were fast, very very fast!
I mean really, that’s a perfect 6min/km (9:39/mile) pace, and as I started out running around 8min/km, I was always super impressed when I saw or heard someone had conquered my personal, Are-You-Fast? test, and crossed the finish line of a 10k in sub 1h.
Naturally, I made this a personal goal.
On Saturday, I jumped struggled-rolled-cursed my way out of bed at 6:20am, and at 6:30am sat on my front steps, waiting for my friend, and mentally pumping myself up to finally (finally!) get a sub 1h 10k time.
But… I won’t beat around the bush y’all, I had stomach issues before the race even started (whatever, if you’re a runner, you soooo get this), my Garmin watch kept beeping “low battery,” despite me charging it the night before, and my knee’s scab kept ripping open. Which meant I somewhat gave up my goal of a sub 1h 10k before the race even started, as I was imagined the worst happening on the run (porta-potty stop (eww), garmin dies, and knee hurts).
Then the gun went off, and I was arunning…. well, somewhat. My pacing was awful on this run. It went down like this: speedy-gonzales-walk-speedy-gonzales-walk-speedy-gonzales-walk-speedy-gonzales… SEE? terrible. As per my Garmin I had 3km scattered throughout the run at a pace of 5:40/km (9:15/mile) and then some 2 minutes slower. I was just going, then getting tired so I’d walk, then going again… there was no cool, even, planned pace. It was messy and a simple strategy of sprint-get-breath-back-SPRINT-get-breath-back-slash-dont-die-SPRINT…
At the final 300 meter mark I sprinted my ass off when I realized my time was just within my reach (because guess what? My knee never hurt, my Garmin never died, and my stomach was fine), but as you guys know, I missed it by 0.26ths of a second.
So I can’t be too disappointed… as hello improvement (woot woot!). I know given the right situation and my head actually being in the game (not tracking all available washrooms at every and all possible moments, TMI? deal), I could have come in under 1h, but should-coulda-woulda, right? So next time fo-shizzle! At which point we’ll have an Internet part-ay (with lots of delicious food), because I would then consider myself a “fast-runner”!!!!!!
Here some photos to keep the lazy-skip-to-photos-readers (aka people after my own heart) entertained in the meantime:
My body is tired. Very, very tired. In 9 days my legs have run 91km. That’s 57 miles, for you American folk. That’s, ummm, a lot.
I was thinking something on this morning’s run. [So the story goes… as I seem to think a lot] About how being over weight has somewhat been a blessing in disguise. I know, right? Whoa.
But listen me through. I would never (ever-ever) have got into running, simply “just to run” Never ever, like, at all. If I had been skinny, or naturally smaller, not in a million and one years would I ever thought to run because really, what would have been the point?
I got into running “to lose weight,” and as it now appears, 3 years down the road, I’ll probably be a runner the rest of my days Shock. Gasp. Wha? I know.
I’ll always run not because it made me lose weight or because i find meditation from it or because I enjoy the actual act [because I don’t, like, at all] [and btw, who are you people that do?!] but because running has slowly become a part of the new me the better me the me I want to be.
and its given me hope, when I saw none a goal to work towards, when everything seemed wrong let me believe in myself, and see that I can do anything [because really, I can].
And now, on this Sunday afternoon as my body hurts, and mind is weary I secretly enjoy this muscle pain as it’s the feeling of hard work, commitment and dedication.
Three things I’m not sure I would have found, learned, and become had I not ever been overweight, and not got into running.
Exactly one month today I’ll be running the Berlin Marathon. And honestly? I’m not that excited for it. Especially compared to how I was feeling before the Chicago marathon.
My excitement has been replaced with fear. Last year I was simply hoping to stumble across the finish line, enjoy my run, and just be. But this time around? it’s different. I feel so much pressure from my running group, from this blog, from myself to do better. I have a goal this time; a time to beat. Which leaves me not looking forward to this whole thing very much at all.
I know if I cross that finish line in over 5 hours, despite finishing the thing, I won’t be happy. I won’t be proud. I won’t even want to blog about it. I hate that. And yes, I realize how ridiculous I must sound to the non-runner type (my-oh-my how things have changed!). But I don’t feel ready to run it yet. And it annoys me to no end I’m not near (or close to) my goal weight for it. Actually, I think that’s the thing that annoys me the most. If anything, I’ve gained weight since I started training. So, so disappointing.
Why do I insist on running full marathons over weight? It really doesn’t make sense. I’m still not where I want to be running, or eating-wise for that matter. I just feel so unprepared. Like, I’m taking two steps forward, three steps back. I keep self-sabotaging myself…
I’m in Starbucks as I type this (had today off work), and the kind barrister decided to be nice to me by giving me not one, but two free cookies with my coffee. I thanked him, and then mentally promised myself I wouldn’t eat either - I’d save them for my parents - they love chocolate chip cookies. But then they were all I could think about, as I sat here and answered emails, emails to people who have written me, asking me for weight loss advice, those damn cookies were all I could think about. I felt like such a con, eating a cookie and trying to give tips on weight loss. So sad. So, so disappointing - I know.
I know to the person sitting on the other side of this screen, this may all seem absurd. I realize how insane I may sound… really, I do. I’m aware of how proud I should be going from this to this. But it’s just been such a battle… a battle I thought would one day get easier, but it hasn’t, not even a little bit, not even at all.
And now my running ante has been upped. And this time around? I don’t think I can match it. And now a constant fear has been instilled in me, 30 days before the big day. I don’t feel like I’ve trained enough, actually, I’ve been really lazy with my training. I also feel like my eating habits have been awful lately. It’s like I don’t care. Like I’ve given up. But I do care. Actually, a lot. Which as you can imagine, makes for an awful mental battle, the whole God, damn, time.
I don’t know what to do. I feel very (very!) overwhelmed, very frustrated with myself to no end. Maybe it’s because I’m leaving Toronto in 28 days and I keep having second thoughts? Or because I think this may be my last marathon… as it’s just been too hard. Everything is taking its toll on me, and truth be told, I don’t want the next 30 days to come and go. 30 days… ugh, that’s terrifying.
Self doubt, it’s such a nasty thing, and unfortunately it’s really taken over my life in the last few weeks.
Brown squirrel brown squirrel. Shake your bushy tail. Take a peanut in your hand and… OMIGOD, remember that song? It’s been stuck in my head all morning. And now, yours.
Shots shots shots, shots shots shots, (<— sing that as if you’re LMFAO please n’ thank you). So, I got my last set of travel shots this morning. Hurt like a bitch too. They snuck an extra one in for good measure, to ensure I don’t die from some disease I had never heard of. I could actually hear the needles go into my arm. So that wasn’t pleasant at all.
This is a legit concern of mine. I put the second Starbucks lid back this morning, and this man gave me a dirty look, to which I was all like, shut it yo, I’ve washed my hands twice today and I wanna save the planet. Rude. But wait, maybe he’s right…
Then there was last night. Last night I gave my second talk/speech/ramble. I was nervous. It was scary. But I think it went well. For the first 10 minutes of talking I was all like, omigod-all-these-people-are-looking-at-me-this-is-awful and then I somewhat settled in, could actually breath, and enjoyed it. So… I gave them this blog. I know, right? Whoa. Maybe it’ll help someone, maybe it won’t… who knows. Essentially I just invited them to the dark corners of my brain. Welcome, stay awhile, won’t you? There’s lots of pink, fluffy, sparkly things here… it’ll be fun. I promise. ((Afterwards, when I was walking home, I freaked out about that, but so the story goes whenever someone new finds Little Blog…))
Tonight is the final hill training session: ten hill repeats = shoot me now. Naturally, with hills being all steep n’ shaz, I have no desire to do them, but will for the one and only reason of being able to colour in my little excel-box tomorrow.
Just gonna throw this out there, but the iPad 2 is, well… I’m just not that impressed with it. Sure there are some super-duper cool apps, but it’s still missing so many key things. If you’re looking to buy one, I’d hold off until a later version - how does it not even offer bullet points, bold, or italicizing, when it’s a note-taking device? And don’t even get me started on the horrors of the Tumblr App.
I’m exhausted and busy and exhausted lately. And actually feel really sick as I type this. Perhaps from the shots? Perhaps because I am so (so!) stressed (packing and sorting will do that to you)? Perhaps because I’m running on an embarrassing few hours of sleep?
Lately (last few months) I do this really weird thing when I’ve driving where I imagine the worst case scenario happening to me. Like, I imagine the oncoming car swerving into me, or my brakes not working, or a car T-boning me. Every. Single. Time. I. Drive. At. Every. Single. Moment. It’s like my sub-conscious thinks I’m going to die or something.
This Saturday I’m running a 10k race. I’m really hoping to break the 1h mark; Fingers crossed people!! My 30k times went down like this: First 10k: 1:03:19 Second 10k: 1:07:56 Third 10k: 1:07:22. I will be over the moon if I see 59:59:59 at the end of Saturday’s run - I think it’ll be hard, but is doable.
You know when your eyes just feel heavy you’re so tired? Right. Now.
I’ve also been (epically) failing at the whole weight loss game lately. If it was a snakes and ladders game, I’d be sliding down those snakes like a boss. LIKE A BOSS. But I’ll leave that for another post, because I can’t bring myself to think about that (as I feel my stomach resting on my thighs… le sigh).
Luckily, I still arrived nice n’ early to the race which allowed some time to use the “washroom,” take some photos, and find a Luna bar, as I hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast (I know, I know, I’m such a planner).
As you know, I love races, and this one was no different. My mind was in race-mode the second I arrived at the park. The heat didn’t bother me, nor did that little thought in the back on my mind about my serious lack of sleep and planning. I got excited, and despite the self-created shady circumstances, I felt ready, ready to run!
I had broken the 30k into three 10ks, and had reduced my goal from “beat last year’s time” to “finish.” Really, beggars can’t be choosers, so I wasn’t going to be picky given my circumstances. And then I was off!
I started out with the 3:00 hour pace bunny. No idea why, or how that happened, but very quickly I realized their pace was way too fast for me (obvs), so I slowed it down, and fell into a comfortable 6:40/km (10:30/mile) moving pace.
I was alone, but feeling good, people watching other runners to kill the time, and to see if I recognized anyone. I ran the whole thing doing my usual, “10 and 1s” (where I run 10 minutes, walk 1 - as per my Garmin’s beeps) and was thrilled at my mental strength. When I felt tired and wanted to walk, I’d see I had 3 minutes until a walk break, and would actually suffer through it, as apposed to walk early. It was the 1st race I didn’t “give up” at any point (yay!!).
The km marks quickly went by, and then suddenly I was more than 1/2 way done. There isn’t too much to say about this run, because it’s the world’s most boring route (route and other dirty deets found here), and little happened to me throughout it; simply put? I just kept running. Although, it must be noted that at the 26k (16.3 mile) mark I fell. Hard.
I’ve never in my life fallen while running, but yesterday I wiped out. It was at a crossing where cops were holding back some very angry cars, who were all holding down their horns, when I completely wiped out (tired? distracted? I don’t know). But I flew to the ground with a slap, and then the car horns suddenly stopped, and I felt everyone’s eyes on me. I was sooooo embarrassed, that despite the pain in my left knee, I popped right back up, and just, kept, running. Te-doo-te-daa nobody saw that, right?
After I was out of everybody’s sight I had a panic attack. I know, I know - drama queen? I don’t know why, but falling jolted my mindset and freaked me out. I started to cry and couldn’t breath. I sat down for a moment and slowly calmed myself down - after talking myself through it, I luckily soon got that first real gasp of air, which was amazing and much needed. I then walked a few steps, and soon after started running again.
I was on the home stretch baby.
Kilometer 27. Kilometer 28. Kilometer 29. Omigod I swear this is way longer than a kilometer… and I could see the finish, so I sprinted my ass off (see the spike below, at the end? that’s me FLYING. Also, the huge drops are my 1 minute walks).
When I looked down at my watch and saw 3 hours 18 minutes, once again the tears came. I was over the moon with happiness! I had just taken 15 minutes off last year’s time, and did better than I had thought possible. I fought the crowds to find my friend Angela, who also did an awesome job, taking 10 minutes off her 15k time, and hugged her until I realized I had to keep walking before my legs froze.
It was over. I was done. And I was ecstatic about my race. My full marathon falls just over a month away… whether or not I can maintain that pace for another 12k? I’m not sure… but if I do, it’ll have me running the Berlin marathon in about 4hours 50 minutes, which is my ultimate goal (marathon in under 5)!!
Long story short, after the race my friend and I ended up heading to McDonalds by default, as it was the only thing open around midnight! My Big Mac was the most delicious burger I have ever eaten, ever (<— exaggeration, but seriously, McDs is da bomb) and very well deserved *as I pat myself on the back.*
[[for peace of mind I worked out the calories after, because, you know, I’m annoying like that, and I still lost more calories on the run than my combo. Score!]]
Here some official race photos of last night’s run - awkward neck pull - as the majority of them are awful, but enjoy!
Today I slept in, have tried to nurse my knee back to bending abilities, because whoa - scrapes hurt, watched trashy tv in bed, and just all around been useless. Aka, today has been great. My muscles don’t hurt that much either, which I’m not sure is a good thing, or bad - perhaps next time (marathon time!) I’ll know I can push myself that little bit more?! Hmmm…
Overall it was a great weekend, which could have gone terribly wrong - I’m not sure I’d recommend going out the night before a 30k race to anyone any time soon - as I think God was just watching out for me this time… :)
To tell you about my 30k (18 miler) race, I need to start at the beginning. The beginning being Friday, the day I decided to drive up north to a cottage with friends, for drunken good times the night before a huge (huge!) distance race.
The decision wasn’t an easy one, but ultimately I decided that as I’m leaving Canada in 31 days for my Big Trip I should try squeeze in every second of debaucherous times with my friends. Makes sense, right? Right. [[hussshhh. It did at the time]]
The race I was running was a night run - it started at 5:30pm on the Saturday, which would allow me to make some poor life/running/training decisions the night before, yet still have plenty of time to drive home and take a nap, before heading downtown for the race.
As per the usual, Friday night was awesome-awesome. I had set some ground rules for myself in an attempt to help myself stumble through, what I had resigned to be, a rough run. Number one? No drinking. Number two? Go to bed before 3am. Number three? Try stay off your feet.
I think it was around 2:45am, when I looked down at a rum n’ coke in hand, and was dancing with my friends to LMFAO’s Everybody Shuffling (which btw, I really want to learn the dance to in the video). Needless to say I broke all 3 rules…
I woke up around 9am on Saturday, feeling exhausted. My legs actually hurt from dancing, and I had a wicked headache <— awesome ((but I should note: not from drinking. I think I only drank 2 drinks over the whole night. I’m not that stupid.)). I hung-out with my friends for an hour, or two, fueled up on bacon, eggs, sausages (omigod where was my carb-loading?!), Timmy’s coffee, and then made the drive home to become one with my bed for a glorious (glorious!) nap. [[I should note, I was sooooo tempted to skip the run, and just stay up north. Soooo tempted]]
I awoke from my nap 40 minutes after my apparently-not-set 3:20pm alarm (it went off at 3:20am this morning) to my mom frantically yelling at me that I was late, and my friend was here. OMG this is going to be the worst race ever! EVER!!
I was out the door and on the road within 10 minutes of waking up, blasting air conditioning around me to try and disguise the 30° (which felt like 40°) weather, on route to what I thought would surely be a horrific race…
This is what it’s all about. This moment. Right now.
I am alone in my room, it’s just after 1am, and I can’t stop smiling ear to ear. Really, I can’t. I’m over the moon with happiness. About me. My body. My life. And I’m not on a high from seeing a new lower number on the scale, or fitting into an old pair of pants, but because I did something tonight I thought wasn’t possible for me, something I thought wasn’t in my life’s cards.
The 30k race was amazing. Tears come to my eyes as I type this… to think that I just ran 30 kilometers in 3 hours 18 minutes (official!!), quite easily? Well, I never. Ever-ever-ever-ever!
And with that, I will tell you this, from my (little) life experience so far, there is nothing more satisfying and self fulfilling as accomplishing a goal that first seemed impossible. Absolutely nothing in this little world of ours.
Anything is possible for your life; I whole hardheartedly promise you that.
After I gave my notice to my job, they asked me to stay two weeks longer. Hmmm, ahhh… ummmm, ok then, I said. This means I’m now working up until Friday, Sept 16th, and I fly out of Toronto Thursday the 22nd. Not even a full week off! Aka the reason I sometimes lock myself in a closest, rock myself ever so gently and sing lullabies to myself, in an attempt to escape my world… why? because my current life “to do list” currently runs from my toes to my hoo-ha!
So, being the bold person I am (false. this was actually terrifying to do) I asked if I could get 5 random days off until I leave, to run errands, pack up my room, and get my shaz together. And today? today is day 1.
Today’s list and random thoughts
Sleep in and give God the glory-glory (done and done. although, I thought 9am was still too early. stupid internal clock)
Watch Rookie Blue, I know, I know, this is not productive, but a girl needs her zen time, okay? And I get mine from this show. Which, btw, you should all be watching.
I have a 30k race tomorrow!!! That’s, like, 19 miles folks (and by “like” I mean 18.64). As in it’s SUPER far. I need to get my race kit all together, go buy gels, and mentally think about how much I’m going to kick this race’s ass. Last year I ran the race in 3hours 33 minutes, which means this year’s goal is simply to beat that.
In an unfortunate turn of events, this weekend is my friends’ big cottage weekend. Sad times there. But being the stupid person that I am, I’m driving up north this afternoon, will spend the night avoiding all booze, and staying off my feet, then drive back to Toronto tomorrow morning, to stumble my way through tomorrow’s 30k run (it’s a night race - 5:30pm start).
Before I leave for what is to be a beautiful drive up north, I’m going to attempt to tidy my room and start boxing (boxing!! ahhh) stuff for London. All my London stuff is being shipped there before I go, so whenever my heart desires, I can book a flight to London Town to be reunited with all my stuff. SCARY.
Anywho, that’s really it. And as I’m home alone all day, doing tedious things, prepare for lots of great, nay awesome posts and twitters from yours truly. <— this is your waning Internet friends.
truth be told as of late, I’ve been abandoning you, little blog. of course, several reasons are the culprit of this, the main one being there simply isn’t a lot to say. but then again, there is. there always-always is… my brain thinks about everything from every possible angle a thousand and one times a day, so i doubt there will actually ever be a time i have ‘nothing to say.’ but i’ve been guarded recently. very guarded. reasons? unknown.
i have, however, been writing. hand writing that is on paper; in cursive, and pen, and in a leather bound journal with no lines. always trying not to let my writing slant down. private thoughts. big thoughts: fears. hopes. and dreams.
i’m leaving in a month and 3 days which is scary as f*ck. sometimes i even have to stop to breath, when i realize my sister, and mom, and friends won’t be a phone call or hug away. but i’m happy. so happy. giddy almost, actually. life is good, and over the last few weeks i have come to note just how fortunate i truly am. whenever i look at the moon i think about how it’s the same moon i’ll be looking at in nepal. or cambodia. or indonesia. the world is suddenly so little then. that makes me feel safe.
often, i think about london. the uncertainty of it all - no job. no house. no friends. no life. a blank slate, if you will. but it’s that blank slate that’s also giving me the good type of butterflies. and letting me dream big. or sometimes small. little things excite me, like how i can’t wait to run along the thames. or see big ben on the horizon. or walk on cobbleston streets…. so much unknown. yet so much possibility.
i’m in the perfect state of limbo right now. although, truth be told, i feel like i’ve been in this state for a long (long!) time. since i was 18 i knew i wanted to travel. do a big (big!) trip. see the world. have an adventure. push myself into the unknown. for the last 8 years i’ve been waiting… planning. in my head, and on paper. which has left me in this permanent world of, what i like to call, life-limbo.
i never considered anything long term: a house. a boyfriend. a job. why? because i always knew i would leave at some point. no matter what happened, i would leave in the future, so there really was no point. and now i am. in a month and 3 days i have a one way ticket from here, to there. i’m still in shock i’m doing this. even though i always knew it would happen… always.
the trip. everest. the beaches. i have no doubt will be amazing. but what i’m the most excited for is landing in london and just being. long term being, that is. actually wanting to settle down. actually knowing i want to stay somewhere. creating a permanent life for myself. thinking long term. i’m so excited for that.
but i am happy. life is so, so good. so good that i even catch myself wondering if this whole traveling-moving thing is what i truly want. but it is. it really is. i know if i didn’t do it i’d regret not doing it forever. and ever. and ever. maybe i’ll crash. burn. and return home soon. but even then, lessons will be learned. eyes will be opened. experiences will be made. about me. about the world. about life… and i believe it’s through mistakes, and lessons, and taking chances, that i’ll figure out who i am. what i want. and what this little life of mine is really all about. so…
Yup, it’s true. Absolutely everything about running races I love-love-love! LOVE! Despite hating the actual act of running, I am hooked on races, and will most likely always run because of them.
Without a doubt my absolute favourite part about races, whether I’m a spectator or participate, is watching runners see their loved ones. Tears people! I always get tears. It’s a special moment for everyone involved, such a happy occasion, filled with frantic waves, huge bear hugs, screaming cheers and huge bursts of energy fueled by even the most tired runner’s heart.
I also love waiting for the race to actually start. Besides the whole why-is-it-so-early? thing, it’s prime (prime!) people watching time. Everyone is so nervous, so anxious, waiting for their big moments to shine. I always wonder if the race meant as much to them, as it does to me. If it was also an internal and physical battle getting themselves to that start line. Was their journey filled with self doubt, fear and a tiny bit of hope too? Were they too doing something they once believed not possible? I wonder what their training schedules looked like, and if they also had crazy (awesome) colour coded excel spreadsheets. I try to guess whether they are natural born runners, or earned every step they will take that morning, just like I had to.
Then the gun goes off! And the crowd goes silent. You guys, it’s finally race time! Breath in. Breath out. This is what we’ve all been waiting for! This is what everyone has been training for! Runners are friendly people - they instantly have something in common - good luck! you too! - you hear throughout the crowd. So many well wishes, so much energy, excitement everywhere you look.
Running is an independent sport, I absolutely love that. Actually, that’s the reason I keep doing it. I love how it’s up to you and your body to get your training in, eat right, and set your own personal goals for yourself, no matter how big or small. The race is the cherry on top of the training period, it’s the party, the victory lap for all your hard work. Hard proof you set a goal and actually accomplished it. Whether it’s your 1st race, and the goal is to finish, or 30th race, and you just want to have a good run – it’s all about proving you can it to yourself, and nobody else, just you.
I also love (lurrve!) the spectators during races. Obviously, what runner doesn’t? I love how complete strangers come together to cheer people on. How spectators spot someone with self doubt and fatigue written all over their body and offer instant words of support. It helps, that is does, and that’s why I love it so much.
At mile 21 during the Chicago Marathon a women told me she had seen me 4 times, and that I looked great. Great?! Me? Great?! I didn’t feel great, but maybe, just maybe… and so I kept running. The power of a stranger’s words is at it’s greatest form during a race.
And then there is the home stretch. After the pain, the blisters, the mental breakdowns, the end is finally near. The finish line! The cheers! The announcer! And your brain switches. Can I do this? Yes! I’m going to actually do this!! And without warning, adrenalin kicks in and you’re off! So close, yet so far… everything stops in those final meters, it’s just you and that finish line. Closer. Closer. DONE!!
And it’s over. You can stop now. And you get your medal from a complete stranger who you want to bear hug and cry into their shoulder to. Suddenly everyone with a medal has formed a secret society with each other. We did this! I did it, and so did you! A slight head nod; congrats! A smile; you too!
And then you get to watch people walking around with their medals after! That, I love too. Standing tall, head held high, perhaps with a hobble (ß a sign of strong fight). I love feeling special, hell, I am special. I did something most people will never do. And then you get to go home (after a party, or two, in your honour), and add your new shiny medal to your wall, thinking of that special day every time you pass it by.
There is nothing quite like running a race, setting a goal and accomplishing it. Nothing quite like it at all….
races, my God, I love them.
I love Sunday evenings, truly, I do. Despite the gloom of the next work day being mere hours away, there is something about Sunday nights, that settle me, assure me, and make me excited for the coming week.
They’re usually spent alone in my room, sorting things out, getting things ready for the upcoming work week, and most importantly, they allow me to get my thoughts in order, to once again start fresh.
They’re the eve to a new beginning. The night before a brand new start. Every seven days they swing by without fail and give me hope, hope that the following week will be different. Better.
No matter how terrible the week before was eating-wise, no matter how many things I ate that I shouldn’t have, none of it matters come Sunday night. Sunday night presents me with the opportunity to start fresh. Start new. Make the coming week a good week. A great(!) week, at that.
This past week I ate poorly, in fact, I nearly didn’t care what I ate. If I felt like it, I ate it. Actually, that was the name of the game. And just as the past 26 years of binge eating has left me, this past week left me feeling my pants fitting tighter, and a hate and guilt for myself starting to creep back in. It left me lying in bed and wishing and hoping I hadn’t eaten that, or this, or all those other things.
Saturday night I ate five (f.i.v.e. omigod) fudgsicles in one sitting. While eating them I even thought, “what the eff am I doing? I’m not even hungry." I didn’t know why, but I just kept eating them, knowing full well I was running 23k the next morning, knowing how badly I wanted to lose the final 30 pounds, knowing how wrong, how stupid, how bad it was… I guess if I write honestly, I would have to assume it’s because I felt lonely, and dum-dum-dum felt comfort in the food. (*cue all people who don’t relate to this thinking I’m coo-coo. maybe I am*). But really, it was sad. I was sad for myself in that moment, how I wanted to just watch tv, just be, but couldn’t without feeling the need to eat something.
But now it’s Sunday evening, and what’s done is done. Despite the wishing and hoping and regretting, nothing can change the past. But I can change the future. That, I can. Tomorrow I get a new beginning, and tomorrow I want to make it right. I need to make it right. I will make it right.
This Sunday evening I’m making a promise to myself, that this coming week I will eat right. Eat healthy. Eat balanced. Eat, well, normally. No binge eating. No skipping meals. No sneaking food. No eating when I’m not even hungry. I just want a normal week, I just want to be normal. I don’t want to obsess, I don’t want it to consume me, I just want to be. True, I’m not quite sure I know how to do that, but-but-but I’m trying, and at this point, that’s the only thing that counts.
Tomorrow is a new beginning. Tomorrow I get to start fresh…