Sunday, April 11, 2010

Running Nuns, Abducted Aliens & Why Runners Are Weird...My 1/2

For starters...


I broke 2 hours in the 1/2 marathon. Woooooooohooooooo! Officially 1:58:22 at the Martian 1/2 Marathon this weekend. Despite the cold a couple weeks back that put me out of commision during the worst possible time of training and the lack of miles on my last few long runs, somehow I was able to dig down, waaaaaaaay down and gut those last three miles out.

Here's the splits for those who care, scroll on for those who don't:

Mile 1- 9:16 (little faster than intended, but figured I'd roll with it)

Mile 2- 9:19

Mile 3- 9:01

Mile 4- 8:59

Mile 5- 9:09

Mile 6 - 9:01

Mile 7 - 8:48

Mile 8 - 8:46

Mile 9 - 8:50

Mile 10- 8:51

Mile 11 - 9:26 (starting to get real tough here)

Mile 12 - 9:02 (this mile had to have more downhills then 11, because I swear this was the worst mile EVER. I have no idea how it was faster than 11. At one point, I yelled at the dude in the Martian shirt "where the heck are those stinkin' Martians?" They were used as mile markers and I could have sworn some super fastie decided to play a joke and swipe Alien numero 12. It felt like that mile would never end. Fortunately, they were right around the corner.)

Mile 13- 8:56 (one more small yet somehow still painful hill, then downhill to the finish)

.1 - 0:51

Honest to goodness it was you guys, guys or the nuns that got me through this race. That's right folks nuns and not just any nuns mind you, running nuns. And not even just any running nuns, but nuns who run in the desert in full habit. Swear. Have a look. Click here to see one of the good sisters running.

You see a couple of weeks back, on a whim, my sister-in-law asked me if I'd shadow run* for these nuns, The Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, who are trying to build a chapel in the desert of Arizona. They're raising money by running. I never mentioned it here, because it all kind of happened fast and just about the time I was getting sick. In fact, the day that we did the shadow run was the first day I conked out on a long run due to that nasty upper respiratory bug. But my sister-in-law got down to business and turns out, she rose enough money to make our team the top fundraiser (Go Teri!) for which we received a bunch of free shirts, medals, a lovely letter, and the promise of an entire day of prayer dedicated to our intentions. Half jokingly, I asked my sister-in-law if they could pray for my race because I was seriously going to need a miracle to get through it. Being the giving sister-in-law she is, she went right ahead and asked. The nuns not only obliged, but promised we would see God manifested in my race results. And of course, my only thought on hearing this a couple of days before the race was...crap, now even God is expecting me to do well.

But besides having the pressure of GOD HIMSELF on me in those final three miles, three miles that I had not been able to work up to in my training (I had only got up to 10 miles on my long run) there was also you guys to contend with. I was seriously tanking on mile 12, but just kept going, "COME ON KELLY! You can NOT go back and report on your blog ANOTHER missed goal. It's time to hit one baby!" (yeah...that's right... I often refer to myself as baby during races or on particularly difficult runs. I'm also not above using expletives when necessary. Silently in my head of course, but foul mouthed nonetheless).

Somehow, someway...I got through. And when I finished all I could think of despite my absolute and utter exhaustion was, I know I could do this faster. And right there, that's where it is. We're weird.

I mean think about it for a minute. We get up at 5AM on a Saturday morning, drive 1/2 an hour (or more) dressed in the least amount of clothes we can possibly handle despite the almost freezing temperature, then stand in a line bouncing around to keep warm at a port-a-potty for a good 15-20 minutes in attempt to perfectly time that last trip to the pot. We then run X number of miles during which at various times, we mentally wrestle with throwing in the towel and perhaps even wonder why we signed up to do it in the first place. But still after physically exhausting ourselves, the very minute it's over, I mean before the timing chip is even cut off our shoe, we start planning the next race.

Even when I ran my first marathon and could barely manage to walk across the finish line, as they wrapped that space blanket around me, I was already thinking about what I could have done diffrently to finish faster. A normal person, would probably have been thinking about oh...I don't bags, being carried to the car, perhaps some other use for running shoes. But not me. Good race or bad, for some reason I can't help but want to go faster, see if I can improve my performance. And I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm not alone in this. Yes, there may be some of you out there who run just for the sheer and utter enjoyment, but I hear the talk around the finish line. If there's one thing the good majority of us have in common, no matter whether you're a super elite fastie pants or a huff and puff back of the packer, we've all got this inner desire to do better, run stronger, faster, or further. And it's something alot of people out there, just don't get. It's weird.

But maybe weird isn't exactly the right word. I prefer...exceptional. Yep, that's what I'm going with. And I happen to like us that way :-)

'Til next time...

P.S. I HAVE MORE TO REPORT. Big news from both my mom and my sister's races. They both did great! I've also got pictures to upload, a race review for you and of course along with races come funny stories. So be looking for posts in the next couple of days about things like rules for port-a-potties, sacred bib pins, and in particular I've got a FOR WOMEN ONLY post coming in the days ahead about a topic that needs to be seriously addressed but few dare to bring it up. I'm going there. So brace yourself.

P.P.S. Before I am struck by a bolt of lightning, it would probably be a good idea to thank the Big Man upstairs for his help on race day making the goal achievable. So thank-you Lord! And although they are not quite capable of controlling forces of nature that could render me obsolete, I'd also like to thank my mom & dad, my husband, my friend Maura, the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, and anybody else who offered up a prayer for me on race day. How could I have not hit that goal with you all covering me with your prayers! Thank-you so very much! You all get a piece of this little victory too!

*Shadow run would be running a race not actually at the race, but wherever you happen to be. We couldn't make it to AZ, so we ran our race here in MI on the same day the AZ race was going on for the nuns.


misszippy said...

Great job! An awesome accomplishment.

PiccolaPineCone said...

You didn't just do it, just doing it would have been 1:59:59... YOU DESTROYED that 2 hour barrier. Yay you!!
So looking forward to your post on porta-potties and the related topic of women peeing in public (that`s my guess for your comment about `going there`). Funny there were NO porta potties at my race this week-end, not an insufficient quantity, NONE! Also bib pins are not automatically given out with numbers here... which I can understand the rationale behind (we all have a million at home) but I keep forgetting to BRING mine to races. Anyway looking forward to your posts on peeing, potties and pins - all topics near and dear to my heart!

Erica said...

congrats that is sooooo awesome!!! nuns and martians I think I would have been incredibly distracted!

Staci Dombroski said...

Way to go!!! That is awesome :)

Maura said...

Wow, look at all those sub 9 min miles!! That's AWESOME! Job well done, friend.

So, what is next? Has there been a decision re: a fall marathon?

runnanna said...

You did awesome! So proud of both you and runsis!

Anabela (Bela) Neves said...

Woohoo that's great time. Congrats!

Cynthia O'H said...

Nice job, Kelly. You really got moving through the middle.

I'm glad you, your mom and sister ran well. Looking forward to reading the animated stories (I'm sure) that will come out of this.

TLS said...

so sweet! so awesome! So cool! I am so very happy for you Kelly! AMAZING times!!!
Big Congrags to your Mom and Sister! Who are amazing women also!