Sunday, September 29, 2013

Akron Marathon 2013

Saturday was the Akron Marathon, and it was a glorious day to run.  The temperature started in the 50's, and it never got hotter than 73 before noon.  The race started at 7:00, so the half marathon runners were in really comfortable temperatures, and the full marathon runners didn't get too hot either.

Full confession:  I had a meltdown before the race.  I had a team dinner with the Towpath Turtles, and although I was worried about how I would handle it, I actually had a great time.  Then the next day everything hit me--HARD.  I would not be running this race.  I would not be running for a while.  I am wearing running shoes and I can't run.  It's unfair and stupid.

That day at work ended in a semi-stressful way, and I sobbed my way home.  Of course, it wasn't about work at all; I realized right away why I was crying.  When I got home I had just enough time to plaster some makeup over my tear stains, and then I headed for Parent/Teacher conferences.  Then I came home and broke down again.  This is how I looked:

Ok, this was bound to happen; it was just a matter of when.  I got through it.  I realize that I have tiny problems, more specifically one teeny-tiny broken bone.  On Saturday morning, the kids and I walked about a mile to the Blue Line where we cheered on runners right before the big hill on the marathon route.  I got to see David and Heather, who were doing the Full-Mary, and Meralee, who was doing the Turtle relay.  What I DIDN'T see was that Meralie was literally carrying me on her back:

Meralie had this sign on her back the whole time!  I am so touched that Flat Stephani got to be a part of the Turtle Relay!  This is one of the kindest things anyone has ever done for me, and it makes me feel awesome.  Thank you Meralie; you exemplify the Turtle spirit, unlike my Grumpy Turtle above.

I have already requested my status to change from "deferred" to "registered" for the 2014 Akron Marathon.  I'm going to kick that half marathon in the behind.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Wearing Shoes (2 of them!)

Guess who is wearing two shoes?

This is EXACTLY how I look when I have matching feet!

The orthopedist told me that I could stop wearing the boot as of last week, but I was too scared to take it off.  I don't feel entirely healed.  Also, I wondered if the doctor knows how much I have to move around.  Anyway, I figured that I can't be TOO healed, so I kept the boot for one more week.

Then I started thinking that maybe I need to walk in shoes (the doctor told me to always wear my sweet running shoes) to strengthen the bones and ligaments of the foot.  I dunno.  All I do know is that I am SO HAPPY to be out of the boot and in shoes.

Today the Towpath Turtles did their relay practice.  This is where we support our relay team for the Akron Marathon by choosing to run legs of the race with our members.  It's a fun way to taper for the race, and it's a good way to cheer on the relay runners.

This has been an awful year for injuries.  I'm out with a broken foot, Deb has stress fractures on her femur and is on crutches, and poor Rosie fractured her femur at the finish line of the Natatorium 5k last week.  Ladies, I know your heartbreak (although I know I can't begin to match your physical pain).  We will recover from these setbacks, and we will be stronger than ever.  I promise.

Turtles and TORN members, I will be thinking about you this week as you go crazy with tapering, and I will be at a location on the course to cheer you on next week.

Fear the Turtle!

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fear the Turtle!

Today the Towpath Turtles ran the Natatorium 5k.  This is a fun course, fast and flat.  Of course, if you've read my previous post, you know that by "fun" I mean that you feel great when you are stuffing your face after the race.  If you are "having fun" while actually running a 5k, then you aren't running hard enough!

I wasn't at this race today, but I have been cheering on my Turtle peeps by sending them good running vibes.  Of course, I am also stalking their facebook pages to get the results.  It looks like the Turtles represented in the Nat!

Congratulations to Shelby!

Way to go, Kathy!

The motto on our club shirt says, "Fear the Turtle," and I really like it because deep down I would love to believe that there is SOMEBODY who comes to the race, sees us, and thinks, "Oh crap.  The Turtles are here.  There goes my place in my age group."  Of course, that is a horrible thought, and I guarantee you that nobody else in the Turtles thinks that way; I am the token meanie.   A more appropriate slogan might be, "Be Inspired by the Turtle."  I ABSOLUTELY hope that there are people at the races or on the road who look at us and think, "Wow, if they can do this, maybe I can."

Do you think you are too old to run?  We've got mothers, fathers, and grandmothers of all ages running with the Turtles, and they are having a ball.

Do you think you don't have the body of a runner?  What is that anyway?  Many of the Turtles don't look the way we envision runners, but I assure you that we ARE runners.

Do you worry that you are the one person in the world that won't be able to experience the fun of running and the thrill of a runner's high because you aren't worthy, aren't capable, or just CAN'T?  No?  Good.  I'm sure it's just me.  The Towpath Turtles helped me to overcome that kind of negativity.  Besides, you can't NOT have fun in the middle of the long run.  The goofiness has to emerge at some point.  We've had our fair share of weirdness on the Towpath; it takes the form of top-of-your-lungs singing, train-whistling through tunnels (guilty), acrobatics and surprising stunts, and REALLY dorky jokes.

Do you think you wouldn't do well in a running club?  You might surprise yourself.

Believe me, these Turtles are worthy of emulation.  A healthy dose of fear certainly wouldn't hurt our egos, though!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fall for Running. . . without Running

Fall is coming; I can feel it in the cool night breeze on my skin when I read in bed with the windows open.  I can smell it in the morning air (when I can smell at all--allergy season starts again).  Fall is my favorite season; it's one of the reasons I moved back to Ohio.  I get to see beautiful scenery like this:

Fall is the Blue Line Run, the Akron Half Marathon, the Columbus Hot Chocolate, the Buckeye Half Marathon.  Fall is gorgeous Sunday morning long runs where the Towpath Turtles run farther than they ever thought possible.  Fall is hill repeats and track workouts after school.

I am doing none of these things this year.

I am still here, though, and I am enjoying these things vicariously through my friends and my fellow running bloggers.  I love your posts and your pictures.  I read the blogs and I close my eyes and think, "My time will come.  I will be patient."

Yesterday the kids and I manned a water stop with some other club members on the Akron Blue Line Run, which is a test run for the Akron Marathon.  My son was so excited to see all the runners ("We have more customers!" he shouted each time he saw a group), and he loved pointing out which cooler contained water and which had Gatorade.  That boy is going to be my runner.  My daughter will take more convincing.

I loved seeing people I know in the running community.  I loved the high fives and the sweaty hugs.  I am still a runner; I'm just not running right now.

My time will come.  I will be patient.

Perspective} fitness friends