Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tests of Friendship

What kind of friend am I?  Hard to say sometimes.  I’m the kind of friend who will leave a pregnant girl and run “fast”…. I mean, she SAID I should but…  I’m the kind of girl who will go to the pool with my friends to support their swimming… of course, I swim laps around them and it’s one of my favorite things to do so maybe it’s a good idea that I explain that it’s not a sacrifice…

Well, all my friends came to the conclusion that they were going to run, not race, the.....

Part of me REALLY wanted to go do it.  I know it would have been a great way to spend 13.1 miles with KC, Kristi (who really needs an epic blog name), 3L, Karasmatic, SpeeDee and to see Lion, Shy A… basically anyone I’ve ever listed in the last 3 years on this blog, including a red shirt and a former Cookie, were all there (with the exception of T, who’s running hood to coast this weekend)....  So I wanted to run...

And then what happened....? 

Well, many of you know that after Prov Half on 8/7 my hamstring got pissed off at me and we got into kind of a snit.  Hammy didn’t speak in a civil tone for 4 days, and even after things started to cool off thanks to our new BFF, Tiger Balm, it was still a little tense around here.  I eased back into my training plan and life was good.

Life being good and all, I still asked the opinion of my favorite people before registering for the race.  Mixed reviews.  “Come join us!” & “we’re going to have so much fun just running” was intermingled with “Are you kidding? We swore off that race years ago!”, “...the road is heavily cambered, so the legs...” & “Don’t leave your Nov marathon goals bleeding on the streets of Ashland!”.  

However, the e-mail that closed the door was the one from The President of the RRRC…

 ….asking the membership to volunteer if they weren’t running.

With the weather issues, they were worried about having enough volunteers. And we ALL know that I suffer from VOLUNTEERAHOLISM.

So of course, you all know what happened next.  

I shifted all my runs around for the week so my long run fell on a Thursday, and ran 5 days in a row, and got up at 4am on race day so I could run 4 miles before reporting to Water Stop #1 at 6:15am in a Tropical Storm Warning.

I had a great time handing out water, cheering for my posse, and was done with my volunteer assignment really early.  Like.  Wicked early.  I had an entire HOUR at least until any one of my friends could possibly finish the race.  Consider that one of my friends runs 7’s.

So what was I to do?  

Stay in the rain and cold?  Or go home, make coffee, and eat pancakes all morning in a toasty dry house while the storm raged around me?

What to do... what to do...

Yeah, right.  As if.

I made my way to the finish line and watched strong beautiful runners finish in 1:16:andchange, followed by more beautiful strides… until eventually the first of my friends finished looking EPIC, I might add.  So I moved to just after the finish line to congratulate that runner, and to where I could see everyone as they came across the line.  Great move on my part.  

I ran into Coach Black ("hey, you people!").  We had a nice chat about what kind of friend stands in the freezing rain and gale force winds for 40+ minutes waiting for their friends at a Half Marathon.  He postulated I could write a whole blog post on the topic… he’s right.  Of course, he was waiting for Mrs Black, and ~ah~ that meant that regardless of the weather, he was sticking it out in the rain.

The truth is, seeing my friends finish is priceless and special.  Even though I was freezing in my soaking wet cotton “volunteer” t-shirt.  Even though the wind was whipping giant drops of rain at me.  Even though I had my phone wrapped in plastic wrap.  

Of course, as a “much needed” volunteer I was happy to have a really solid excuse not to race in the slop, again.  I mean, I just did a soupy HM at Providence RNR…  and to be honest, this rain wasn't even as bad as that was... seriously people.

But there’s still a part of me that questions whether or not I chickened out.  I have had two “fine” half marathons this summer.  I think if I’d made my goal at either one of those races, I might have actually done this one.  I was afraid, a little, to not make my goal a 3rd time in a row.  What’s that going to do for my confidence?  I’m already struggling with that right now. 

(~I kinda suck at running~)

I amend that.

(~I kinda suck in general~)

Of course, what if I‘d raced and had an EPIC day?  I could have PR’d, I could have regained the lost confidence, I could have pissed off my Hammy so bad I missed next week’s long run….

Confidence is mental. 
And Training Issues are not the same as Mental Issues.
Hamstring issues (which have apparently resolved) are also not Mental Issues.

So I suspect you’ll all have to suffer through about 8 weeks of me talking about mental training while I talk myself back into my UBER goals here at NofSahm.  

~lucky you~


MCM Mama said...

Dude, cut yourself some slack. You were needed in the role you played and hammy got the break it needed.

You are going to rock the marathon this fall. Just sayin'

Melissa Cunningham said...

totally agree with MCM mama!!!!

Michelle said...

Ditto! There aren't enough volunteers around! Way to support them. It's good for you mentally! Fall marathon....WATCH OUT!

Jenny said...

It was so great seeing you at the first water stop!!! Thanks again for being there and making the event a success!I know you are gonna rock the marathon in November!