Thursday, August 25, 2016

I am not "Lucky"...

Quite a few months ago I was approached on the sidewalk while in Nashville. The well-intentioned man told me, "Congratulations!" I was dumbfounded and looked at him with that expression of confusion and surprise....he noticed and quickly explained, "For your body. Congratulations. I just wanted to tell you that." I again just looked at him, confused. And said, "Ok. Thank you?"

I turned to my friends and was still confused. They assured me it was a compliment. I was upset. I didn't win my body at the county fair....I worked hard for it. They explained it was a good compliment, congratulations for working hard and being fit. I accepted their explanation but it still didn't sit well with me. But I soon forgot all about it.

Recently I was talking with a person about fitness, diet and nutrition, and just all around life. She told me, "You're so lucky." I immediately felt my face get hot and heart pound a little harder. Clearly I have some issues with body image here....I need to work on that. But anyway, I could feel myself getting angry and defensive. I am not lucky. I am working against some difficult genes here.  I have to work so hard to just be within normal/healthy BMI. I work out HARD 4-6 times a week. I watch every piece of food that goes into my mouth. I am working against my bodies natural, comfortable tendency to carry so much excess weight in my hips, buttocks, and thighs. I can SMELL cookies and gain weight. Its true, I ready a study that proves it. Go ahead, GOOGLE "Can smelling cookies make me gain weight" and just scroll down the pages of articles......That is me and my life.

I am not lucky.

I am disciplined. I am dedicated. I am cognizant. I am self-aware. I am determined. I am fit.

Luck has nothing to do with it.....its not luck that I get off work and rush home, say hello to my kid, throw on my workout clothes and go straight to the gym. It is not luck that I pay a significant amount of money for my crossfit membership. It is not luck that I can afford it....I budget it it, I make sacrifices. It is not luck that I have time or energy....I make it happen.

I am not lucky....I'm not unlucky either though, don't get me wrong....but my muscles and strength are not due to luck. They are due to me making a decision that I want health. I want fitness. I want to be the best version of myself for as long as I can.

So if you ever find yourself thinking someone is lucky...remind yourself that it may not be luck. Its most likely hard work and dedication.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

San Francisco 13.1 Recap....

What day is it?? It's only Monday? That means I completed the San Francisco First Half Marathon yesterday. I'm only a little sore, mostly my calves due to the hills here. You can't find hills like this in Oklahoma.

I would most certainly rate this race/course in my top 5 most beautiful and scenic races. As I was plodding along I was mentally ranking them:

1. Big Sur....hands down, no doubt about it. Absolutely breath taking. 
2. San Francisco Marathon and half
3. Seattle Marathon
4. Tacoma City
5. Portland Marathon
6. Las Vegas Rock n Roll HALF---not the full...the second half of the marathon was the most boring, industrial scenery I have ever experienced in my life. Miles 1-13.1 are along the strip and now at night. Beautiful and fun. 
7. Virginia Beach Rock n Roll -but I cannot under any circumstance recommend this race. Ever. Not without feeling so guilty and extreme anxiety for you, your life, and your wellbeing. I think I almost died in this race. It's held Labor Day weekend and it's so hot and humid. I lost count of all the people I saw being taken away by ambulance, in the medical tents, getting IV fluid, one having a heat stroke, and one person died on the course. This, in my opinion, is a very irresponsible time to have a race of this distance. So yeah, pretty but not worth it.

I'll still stay I have never experienced a race that comes anywhere near the local support, crowd, and all around experience as the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. Ever. 

I didn't mean to make this a review of races, maybe I'll thoroughly review and rank my races one of these days.

I really enjoyed this race but I did notice that the local support was lacking. One of the water stops was so understaffed that the cups were empty and they couldn't fill them fast enough for the runners to get any. There were small sections with cheering family members, locals here and there watching from their windows or door steps. Toward the end of the first half there was a nice sized cheering crowd. The ones who were out were so friendly and enthusiastic. One man, a worker I believe, on the Golden Gate Bridge, was cheering and high-fiving anyone and everyone who came along. He was so cool! But overall the sense of community surrounding this race was lacking. But that's OK and really doesn't detract from the overall experience. It's just different. The scenery and views were amazing, even with the San Francisco fog. 

With a 5:30 race start for the first half I was worried that it would still be too dark and I wouldn't get to enjoy the views. But the sun came up and I could see everything around me just fine. 

Pre race selfie....

Starting line view of the bay bridge!

Ghirardelli!! Mmm.... I was thinking how nice it would have been to get a nice piece of chocolate! 

Alcatraz in the distance! 

And of course the Golden Gate Bridge! 1.7 miles across on direction! This was a fun part of the race! Windy and chilly but also just awesome! 

At about mile 8.7, halfway across the bridge on the way back, I finally felt lose, warmed up, my calves loosened up, and I got my second wind, or maybe my first wind. Up to this point I felt slow and tight. So I picked up the pace a bit and just cruised right on along.... 

I heard some lady tell her friend, after a huge awful hill, that it was all downhill from here. I turned a corner and saw right in front of me a huge UP hill. I felt sorry for her friend. I felt sorry for me. It was steep but short(ish) so I did the only thing I could do. I put one foot in front of the other and overtook that stupid hill. 

I knew my Garmin was off by a little bit, as usual, due to running the tangents, or not. And weaving and dodging. So when I hit mile 13 and didn't see the finish anywhere in sight I just had to remind myself it was close. I was close

When I did see the finish I was so glad to be done at mile 13.1 and not going on for 26.2. I came on in to the finish line and as always felt a huge sense of pride and a smile across my face. Another one in the books and I survived. 

Of course the signature pose....

And there you have it, San Francisco First Half Marathon.

I met a couple of nice ladies on the course from Tulsa, OK (because I forgot my headphones and that gave me an opportunity to be present in the race and not antisocial) who may have convinced me to do Tulsa Route 66 in November. I've toyed with the idea of this race for a while now so we shall see....That might just be what's next. 


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