12 11 2007

1:44.27. It probably won’t mean much to you, but it may be a number I remember for a long time. I ran my 1/2 marathon today. We went down yesterday afternoon and settled in with the dogs, drove the route, and got Cindy’s rout figured out. We settled in at the hotel, which was full of runners, and tried to relax. It was funny, because pretty much everyone in all of the hotels in Nags Head was there for the race, as 2500 people entered into the 1/2 marathon alone. That doesn’t include the full marathon and the fun run. Anyway…the room next to us had a dog in it too. So of course, it barked, then Moby barked, then it barked, and so on and so on and so on. I didn’t sleep well, as I was up wrestling for a while on how to dress. It was damn cold on Saturday, low 50s, with 17 mph winds, gusting to 22. I mean c-o-l-d. I was also nervous too. So I was up every 3 or so hours until 5 am. I finally decided to suit up in a fleece top and shorts.

Luckily, the sun was out this morning and it was a great day for a run. The experience of the run was really awesome. It was scheduled for a staggered start, with my group starting 3rd. Once the gun went off, everyone just went, so I did too. It’s true that you kinda get carried out with the crowd, although I really kept my pace well. As I said – what a beautiful day. The race was really well set-up, managed and planned. I was particularly amazed at the turnout of supporters. There were some organizations and people who were out supporting us all, cheering, clapping, encouraging us. There were also some great examples of what friendship is all about today. There were several people there, wrapped up staying warm, there only to cheer on and encourage friends. I saw dads and kids, moms adn families and people standing, cheering and waiting for once chance to see someone simply run by. There was a group of like 5 women, with a huge 6-foot sign, cheering and waving and having a great time, waiting to see “Melinda” and encourage her. With so many bad experiences with people lately, it was relieving and nice to see the good in people. I was really moved by the compassion and support shown by everyone.

I also found out that my Nike+ was off today. I guess I need to recalibrate it, but it reads long, that is, it tells me that I have run farther than I actually have. At 13.1 it showed me running 13.96. It also said my overal avg. pace was 7:31, when OBX says my pace was 7:58. I have to assume that OBX is right, as they are a Boston Marathon Qualifier, and they must have to be accurate. The finish was awesome, with my legs pumping as hard as I could, the crowd cheering and crossing the line was fun. The crew was there with water, fruit, thermal blankets and cold beer. They did a good job and it was fun.

My legs really ached at the end, with my thighs tightening up almost immediatley, but I walked it off. So overall, I finished in 1:44.27, a 7:58m pace. I finished 196 out of 2,196. I was 19th in my age group. I feel like I should be more disappointed about my Nike+time being off all this time, but I’m really happy about my time, and about where I was at the finish line. Remember where I was two years ago. A special thanks to Cindy for putting up with me and for helping make this happen and for handling the dogs and getting me ready. She is amazing. I lover her so much.

Next up, Shamrock and Roll in Virginia Beach in March. I’m hoping to do the 1/2, and take a friend to do the 8K and make it a weekend. I love it. I’m addicted, I think.

8 days to go – and more stuff i’ve learned about me

2 11 2007

10:51 pm Thursday night. 9 minutes left on an episode of ER that I haven’t been paying much attention to and charging my nano. My 1/2 is a week from tomorrow, and I feel really good about it. I ran my training 1/2 this past Saturday in just over 1:40 – 7:38 pace. That’s really completely too fast. But it felt good, so I’m not too worried. I still think my pace on race day ends up being around 7:55 – 8 flat. 10-mile run on Saturday, then I’ll back off next week to shorter runs. I can’t get the Counting Crows song Rain King out of my head today. I heard this great live version on Pandora and now I can’t get enough of it. I finally found the right mix of tunes on Pandora for me, and so I’m enamored with the Crows, Martin Sexton, and Amos Lee.

So my therapist says I need to run as far away from customer service as possible, and I don’t disagree. It’s a long story, but it seems that I gravitate towards service jobs because I have a need to please people in hopes that pleasing them = me being valued and loved. So I get it – it doesn’t work that way, but it still sucks that all I’ve ever done is the service thing. So then there’s the spector of starting a new career at 34 – I know – it’s not that old, but I’m not interested in starting all over, nor am I necessarily in a financial situation where I can. So it’s like this – stay in a position where most people I come into contact with are complete assholes and allow them to beat me up (not cool) or take the leap and try something new that ISN’T customer service (scary = not cool).

It seems that I’ve gotten some really neat and varied experience with my jobs thus far, but not enough of those experiences to convince anyone that I can do them for a living – here’s an example: I took over and was responsible for the design of the print media in my last 3 jobs – I can use the hell out of photoshop, indesign, and illustrator. But I don’t have formal training and resume material – so that’s out.


Moby graduated Agility II Tuesday night. He’s great – really a better dog than I deserve. He had a pretty bad week the previous one, but was right back on it this week. He gets some time off until January, and now Delilah starts family dog classes. That’ll be interesting. She’s good except for the damn pawing. I suppose that’ll work itself out too. Bob came over and worked out with me yesterday, and it was great to spend time with him. He really is a good guy and I’m so happy he’s around and close to me. He reminds me that we’re all a little fucked up and it becomes our job to learn from our life experience, to begin to understand cause without assigning blame. Bob’s new goal is to focus on balance in everything he does, and I suppose I could learn from that too. Right now my top priority is to focus on understanding every interaction I have, breaking down why I react the way I do, or why I start to feel that straightjacket when someone starts in on me, and working through it, and stopping it. As it stands now, I feel like I’m a lot closer now than I have been. I don’t get mad so much anymore, but when I work through the situations, it makes me sad…but I’ll get that figured out too. It’s a journey, but I’m learning plenty. And the finish line will be great. Wish me luck. On the race I mean.