Saturday, August 1, 2009

Beach 2 Beacon Redux...

I am laying on my bed right now.....5 days before my 40th birthday. I have a frozen bottle of water at the end of the bed icing my heel and I have a huge bag of "Party Ice" resting on my right hip and I feel fantastic. I just ran my 4th Beach 2 Beacon 10K this morning. On 5 hours sleep. Ya see, I took our 14 year old daughter to see Taylor Swift last night at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston. We left Boston at about 10:00 PM, got back to the hotel in Scarborough at Midnight. I fell asleep at 1:00 and I was up at 6:00 AM this morning to get ready for the race.
I finished this year's race with my worst 10k time ever....1:10:59. I still feel marvelous about it. Let me run down the morning's events and maybe you will understand where I am coming from.
It was a warm (ok, hot) August morning. When I got to the start, I was very discombobulated and somewhat foggy due to my lack of sleep. Usually, I get there really early, do a warm up run and ton of stretches. I had time for none of that this morning. I got there, met up with my friend Leslie and immediately got in the portapotty line. 20 minutes later, it was 5 minutes to eight and we had to start queueing up. The gun goes off, we walk for about 500 yards because there are so many runners, but finally we start running. I felt pretty good to start off but somewhere after mile one....a dreadful ache started building in my right hip. It's been happening on and off lately so this is nothing new. So , I sent Leslie ahead and I started walking. Now, the young immature 39 year old me wanted to keep running, damn the pain to hell. The smart, more mature 40 year old me....decided not to be stupid and to take it easy. After about 1/4 mile, I started jogging again, nice and easy, and it felt....ok. Not great, but ok.
Now, did I mention it was Africa Hot. Fortunately the good people of Cape Elizabeth like to cheer on us B2B runners and spray us with their garden hoses. BEAUTIFUL!
As I continued to chug along at a penguin's pace ( a little shout out to Mr. Bingham) I started this great, positive conversation with myself. "Jill, you're gonna be 40 in 5 days and you are out on the road, listening to the pounding of your own feet on the pavement as you finish your 4th 10K and your 8th race this summer!" I felt like a Rock Star. I would look to the side of the road and some great spectator would say something like, "You're awesome Jill (my name is on my bib)"
So.....I ground it out.....and it was probably the most rewarding race I have ever run. I realized that all that crap about "woe is me, I am turning 40" is just crap. Being 40 just means I am a little older, a little wiser and not afraid to come in 4,965th out of 5,600 runners. Who cares where I finished....the bottom line is.....I finished.
Now, let's not kid ourselves...I am really sore right now and I likely will be even more achy tomorrow. But that's just a nice reminder...of my accomplishment.
So let's look back to when I started this blog last Thanksgiving. All jammed up about turning 40 years old. Vowing to train for a half marathon and lose weight in the process before I turn 40. I am not ashamed to tell you that I haven't (yet) run the 1/2 Marathon. I am also not ashamed to tell you that I haven't lost much weight either. But I did "Run to Fourty" (note I mispelled fourty on purpose) and I feel great. And I am going to keep running to my next birthday and the next and the next. I am a runner. I run like a girl. And that feels freaking fantastic!

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