Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Good, the Sad and the Impressive

The Good

Jason and I (although my part has been minimal and rightly so) have almost completed painting the spare bedroom and the study.  I've been given the closets to paint, and let's just say I'm really glad no one looks in the back of the closet.  It is an improvement from the non-painted scuffed up wall that was there scary.  And I would not ordinarily volunteer to paint, but I hated to sit comfortably on the couch while Jason worked, so I helped.

The carpet folks will come on Saturday and take care of the bedrooms which are currently concrete floors (thanks to Jason).  I cannot WAIT to get my little home back in order!  It is starting to give me the heebie jeebies!  I'm ready to clear out the front room, rearrange it to our liking and clean the floors!  I haven't done much to them besides vacuum since we've been working on the house but...they are starting to get to me too.

And then there is Thanksgiving and I am so excited this year!  My in-laws and my parents are coming to my house.  There will be 8 of us total.  I have never hosted a Thanksgiving lunch (or dinner or breakfast), never made a turkey or anything (except pecan pie).  I've also been saving my pennies for Black Friday shopping with my mom. I'm sad that Julie and my mom-in-law won't be able to shop with us, but I do have one buddy and for now that will do.  I'm not really one to get up at 3:00a.m. and hit the stores, but I don't think I'm in the market for any hot ticket items either.  Still, I am pumped about a fun day of Christmas shopping with my ma.

The Sad

Due to the fact that the carpet folks are coming on Saturday, and I'm in a lovely state of recovery...I have written the race director of the Dizzy Fifties ultra and told him that he can give my spot to someone on the waiting list.  I ran the Dizzy Fifties 40 Mile last year, and it was such a wonderful experience.  The course is sort of a figure 8 and runners hit the aid station every 5-ish miles.  A lot of folks complain that it is boring because the figure 8 is run over and over again, but for this inexperienced trail runner, it was just what I needed to become familiar and comfortable with the terrain.  Part of it is smooth and flat, and part of it is hilly and more technical, but not so much that it is overly difficult to run.  This race was why I thought adding 10 miles would be so doable.  I did not take into consideration just how different trail running courses could be (which should be obvious, but lets place major emphasis on the inexperienced part of my trail running know-how).

I'm a little sad to be missing it simply because it was a special race for me.  If there was nothing going on, I might be tempted to do the 50 mile and...I don't know, go for a better 50 mile time and experience.  Regain what I felt in the 40 mile...something like that.  But, that will have to wait another year.  I am ready to focus on full body fitness, my core, my arms, my speed and doing another 50 mile would NOT help with that.  It would be another recovery period and I do not have the patience for that right now. 

The Impressive

I work with a lady named Maxine who is a runner.  I realized this shortly after I started working at UAH and recognized her during my run one morning.  After seeing her out there several times, I brought it up and she and I have been pals ever since.  Maxine is 66 years old and she ran the half marathon on Saturday.  She was the only one in her age group to run it, and I was so impressed.  I sure hope I am still running these events when I am 66. 

At the race, Saturday, I introduced Mom to Maxine.  I had already told Maxine all about Mom, how she trained me for my first marathon and ran it with me, how she'd run a marathon in all 50 States and run a total of 60 marathons before the age of 60.  Maxine, being a mom and a runner, loved the stories I shared.  She told me yesterday that she prayed for Mom to make her 4:30 goal in the Rocket City Marathon coming up. 

THAT is what I'm talking about.  I was so hesitant to write the post before this one.  I'm not really into the controversial and I usually keep my opinions to myself on such matters because there is always that small doubt in my mind whispering, what if you don't really know?  What if there's something you did not consider? 

As cheesy as it may sound, I like to focus on the positive, the amazing, the impressive, the inspiring, the uplifting, the sunny side of things (just call me Pollyanna). When others argue and debate heatedly or light the spark of a controversial discussion, I am more likely to walk away and ignore it than to engage.  But when it comes to running, something that can bring a community together, promote physical, mental and spiritual health, help people feel amazing about themselves - something that is so accessible to all, and rightly so.  I want to tell those who exclude, make fun of, and put down other runners to can it. 

What is impressive?  Two women in their 60s talking about their next marathon.  A stranger praying for another to achieve her goals.  Spectators cheering on runners they don't even know.  The winner of the race remaining at the finish line to cheer in every runner that comes through, no matter how long it takes them to do it. Celebrating with your fellow runners who achieved their goals, no matter how much slower it was than your own. That, my friends, is impressive and that is what it is all about.


  1. Oh Jane, you have made me feel incredible! Here I am worrying about my first half marathon this weekend, thinking "am I a little bit crazy, I've only been running for about 1 year and I'm 54 years old!"
    Thank you for giving me a bit more, no, a lot more momentum to take on this first one.
    I want to believe that you're never to old to run, (even if you don't start till 53). In fact, I think that will be my mantra from now on. "Not to old to run, not to old to run..."
    Your Mom amazes and inspires me too! WOW - 60 marathons?!
    Keep writing and running, you're amazing at both!

  2. You are NEVER too old to start running! And GOOD LUCK on your first half-marathon this weekend! I will be thinking of you and I hope you will let me know how it goes!

  3. I don't think it sounds cheesy to say that you like to focus on the
    positive, the amazing, the impressive, the inspiring, the uplifting, the sunny side of things. It is how we all ought to think and focus. What a wonderful world this would be if we would all focus on those things. The amazing thing is that you were born with such a delightful personality and you DO focus on those things 99% of the time - you have mastered it and that is why people like to be around you and why we all love you so much! That's why you think celebrating your fellow runner who achieved their goals is impressive. YOU, my dear daughter, are impressive!!

  4. Ma, you are a nut! I still think it is only you like to be around me (and maybe Jason and for sure Chance), but I appreciate the sentiment all the same!!

    And of course you don't think it is cheesy. You are cheesier than me! ;)