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Italian Travel and Random Thoughts

Italian Travel and Random Thoughts

Saturday, April 5, 2014

When we line up at the start of every race my running partner Hilary and size up the competition.  We think we can beat this girl, she looks much slower than us. Or, “We should try to pass this guy at the end of the race, he’s looks slower than us too.” The one thing that we don’t worry about is setting a PR. Runner’s are always after that elusive PR. If you’ve run a distance more than once you expect to PR. We Runner’s talk about the PR like it’s the Holy Grail.  “I here people all the time, “My last PR was at the Brooklyn Half” or “I’m planning on shaving my time down by 3 minutes to PR.”
You know what I’m planning on in my next race? I’m planning on finishing the race. 

I am 55 years old. I work full-time. I have a husband, three kids, one of which will be having a crisis on any given day, a pet, a house under repair because of the polar vortex that was nice enough to allow four pipes to explode in protest of the extreme cold. I have a house missing any landscaping courtesy of Super Storm Sandy. I’m on the board of a local theater group, I volunteer for causes that are close to my heart, and I try to cook healthy as much as possible.  The one thing that I don’t care about is a PR. 

Don’t get me wrong. If you’re a runner and your PR is your ambition I respect that.
I just think that those of us who have managed to jog over the hill and get to the other side should get extra bonus points for getting out there in the second place.  (The first place always goes to someone thinner and faster). I have run marathons, half marathons, 5K’s , 10K’s , 10 miler’s, etc. You name it I’ve run it (except for those ultra’s, that’ll never happen). I have finished every race I ever started and I have managed to not come in last (one time I was second to last but not last)!
I still consider myself a runner even though I have never run faster than a twelve-minute mile. Most people my age are sitting on the couch and eating cookies!
I don’t have high blood pressure, adult onset diabetes, or a heart problem.  I can run to catch a bus, train, or plane without getting out of breath and I can out walk anyone on a tour to anywhere! I don’t have to stop for a break while I’m out shopping with friends and I don’t need to buy bigger clothes every season.

I am a runner. Maybe a little chubby, maybe not so fast, but every race that I finish is a victory. I may never PR with some amazing time, but I will always have a personal resolution to finish whatever race I start. So I guess you could say I have a PR before and after every race.  That must be some kind of record for something…

Monday, October 14, 2013

In Other Words...

         I have an issue with words. Not all words, just those other words. You know, the words people say when they are trying to explain something that they think you don’t understand. It’s the sentence that begins with “in other words,…”. This saying makes my blood boil! I immediately have to wait for clarification of the meaning of the words that were previously stated. “In other words” instantly follows without regard to whether or not I have comprehended the original words or not. What was wrong with the first words? Having survived on the planet for over fifty years I feel entirely put off when someone uses “in other words” to describe something. I fully understood the meaning immediately. I “got it” with the first words. I didn’t need the other words. And what are the other words anyway? Do they really create a better understanding of the topic at hand? If they do, then why bother with the first words? Just go directly to those other words right off the bat?
Sometimes I think people use those other words because it’s a habit. In other words like when people say like after every other word. Like I was going to the store so I like bought some juice because I was like thirsty. Why do they have to say like? It is what it is. Isn’t it? It’s not like anything. It is just that thing. Whatever that thing is.  I can understand if they like something. “I like this food.” Or “I like this dress”. I’ve even heard people say “Like I like that sooo much.” What? What does that mean?? In other words, I like don’t get it.
Another linguistic issue that I have is when people go instead of say. Specifically, when a person is telling another person about a conversation. “So he goes, Wanna go out? And she goes, no I wanna stay home. So he goes how about a movie?” You see where I’m going here? I’m not going anywhere. I’m just saying. She’s saying and he’s saying. If he was going or she was going then there should a destination at the end of the sentence. Sometimes when I’m going somewhere I’m also saying something. This is not the same as when I’m just going. If I say I have to go it usually means a trip to the closest bathroom.
     This leads me to something else that truly baffles me. How is it that some people don’t know whether they’re coming or going? Just saying…

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Who Moved MY Mile Markers!!!

Who Moved My Mile Markers!!!!!!!!!!!    

When I first started to run I ran the Long Beach boardwalk. Originally I could only manage the first half a mile and then I turned around and ran/walked back from where I came. It was a quarter mile warm up from my house until I got to the boardwalk, then a half-mile jog on the boardwalk, then I would walk the quarter mile home. As I improved my distance I was able to run as far as the Playground on Magnolia Boulevard along the boardwalk. 2 miles.  It took me months to be able to run a round trip. 2.1 miles there and 2.1 miles back.  It was a monumental achievement to be able to continuously run 4.2 miles. Imagine the ocean and beautiful sandy beach on one side and buildings to block the wind on the other. Since I run the speed of a turtle I had plenty of time to meditate and enjoy the beauty on my runs.

When I trained for the marathon I would run from my house to the boardwalk. I’d run to the end 2.5 miles and run off for another mile until I got to the Atlantic Beach Bridge. Then I’d turn around and run back. I’d run off the other end of the boardwalk and run to the end of Point Lookout and back. It was 9.8 miles from one end to another with barely any cars for interference. For years I knew exactly where to run to in order to complete whatever workout I had planned.

Every runner, expert or novice knows the distance. If someone were to ask how far did you run? The answer is always specific. One mile, 4.3 miles, 6 miles, whatever the total mileage was. To this tree is 2.1 miles, or to that hill and back, 10 miles. It becomes a silent gage of fitness level whenever you run to a certain spot and back.
It is the one constant, the solid measure of achievement or disaster on any given run.
Abilities change, out fits change, weather changes, but the distance remains the same.

Then Super Storm Sandy hit and the boardwalk and much of the town was destroyed.  My lovely city of Long Beach, even ten months later, still does not have all of its residents back.  The sand and streets have for the most part been returned to where they belong, but the people and the boardwalk have not.

I have no more mile markers!

I can no longer run from here to there without thinking about how far I’ve gone. The streets next to where the boardwalk was are too congested to run on so I’ve had to choose other routes.  Every time I change my route I must make a conscious effort to figure out the distance. Instead of contemplating world peace on my regular route I’m worried about actual distance.  It’s frustrating!!! It becomes a chore to constantly have to think about how far it is to run to this point and back.

There is good news on the horizon. The boardwalk is slowly being replaced. One block at a time it is growing. As the distance on the boardwalk increases so does my ability to stop worrying about how far I’ve run. I can get back to the task at hand.
World peace!