Monday, June 22, 2009

Is the heat on?

It is and it's BRUTAL! I ran 10 miles with two friends on Saturday and we just melted. In 10 miles I stopped 5 times for water and it didn't feel like enough. We started at 7:30am thinking we could beat the heat, but there wasn't a breeze and the humidity was so flippin' high. But that's Charlotte. It's Miami-style heat in the summer and Canada-style cold in the winter. I hate this place.

And that brings me to another topic I hate, relationships. My Sociology Professor at UNCC once said that women at any given time are thinking about a relationship they're in or one they'd like to be in (he also said that men only think about a relationship if there's a problem in it, but that's a whole other discussion/argument/miscommunication/whatever!). I think to some extent that's true and for me right now that's really true. My goal after finishing the Flying Pig Marathon was to open up my schedule so that I'd have time to date and hopefully get into a good relationship. That hasn't happened, but I do have to admit it has been a half-hearted attempt. The only guy I'd consider a date with at the moment is the aforementioned Jarrett Bellini and he lives in Atlanta and doesn't know I exist. I'm thinking for my plan to work I should look around home a bit more, but home is Charlotte. Yuck!

But I've been spending a lot of time lately thinking about other's relationships. This past weekend 4 of my FB friends broke up or admitted marital issues. Which reminded me of what a friend said after I cried to him about a recent break-up. "As much as I'd like to be in a relationship, I don't want to be where you are right now." Not exactly what I wanted to hear at the time, but after this weekend, I really got the meaning. I somewhat got the scoop on two of the four (they were dating each other) and it was just a classic case of a one-sided relationship. I've been on both sides of that and I definitely don't want to be there right now! Another friend got his heart ripped out by a girl that he was REALLY into. I'd feel bad for him, but I'm pretty sure he just went out and got laid right after. He's like that.

On the flip side two other friends celebrated 7 years of marriage this weekend. I would not want their relationship. It's totally not for me, but they are happy. My parents celebrated 40-something years of marriage last week. I have another friend who is getting married and another planning her 10th anniversary celebration. And another FB friend got engaged.

So my post-race goal hasn't quite worked out, but at least I'm not crying about a relationship that failed either. So I'm calling it a win! My next goal is to stop thinking about and looking at relationships.

Now what to do with my thoughts?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Nothing, Working, Running, Cross Training...

"What's new?" It's such a common question. So common that I was asked it twice before noon today. I don't know why it always feels like it comes out of the blue or like I've been caught off-guard during an interview. I always feel I have to search my brain for something spectacular like "oh, I'm going to hike Manchu Picchu next week," or "I'm going kayaking in Costa Rica," or "I'm running for Congress, can I count on your vote?" But after searching my brain I usually come up with "Nothing, working, running, cross training..."

The truth is there is some new stuff going on in my life. For the past four years I've worked a job that changes often. There's always something new. We're currently working on upgrading a computer application to a new and improved version and I've been learning the ins and outs of it including the coding. It's exciting in a nerdy way. I've also been fixing up my condo to sell. Painting, new furniture, etc. A couple of weeks ago I placed in my age group in a 5K. I'm going to Zion National Park and then to Vegas in December. I'm going to the beach in August. I currently have a big crush on CNN's Jarrett Bellini. I'm going to see G. Love in July and Pat Mcgee Band in August.

It's a mental block. The idea that "what's new?", "NEW" means I have to come up with some so mind blowing that the person asking will go "Wow! That's unbelievable!" when all the requester really wants is for me to ask him "what's new." But that doesn't occur to me until after I've searched and come up with "Nothing, working, running, cross training..."

Monday, June 1, 2009

Run for Peace at Home

The Run for Peace at Home 5K was Saturday at McAlpine Park. This was my second year running this nice small race. It was also the second year I placed in my age group at the race. Yay! I ran the race in 26:43. Not bad, but it was more than a minute slower than last year. They split the field for this race and the women start 30 minutes after the men. Weatherwise, I would have preferred to go first. The temperature was somewhere around 70 degrees in the morning, but not a breath of air was moving. The breeze did kick up around 9:30am during the awards ceremony, but it really didn't do much at that point.

This is a great race to run for time. It's flat for about 90% of it. The first mile is completely flat on nice small gravel. There were a few soft spots, but given the amount of rain we've had lately, I was pleasantly surprised to see it was dry. When you get into mile 2 you leave the gravel and move onto dirt. But it's a well worn path with no roots and no ruts to speak of. Just when you get into a good running pace, they add a hill. A big one. It's somewhat steep and long. You even curve around and see that it continues to climb. But then it levels out (ah). Then they add another hill (oh.). Then you get a nice steep decline. At this point I just gallop down it. It may not be the best thing for the joints, but it helps me pass people! At this point you start to emerge from the woods and run around the pond.

This pic was taken by another blogger,

I'm the one in front.

At that point there are people watching and cheering you on. (And as you can see in the pic some people were just watching the geese in the pond.) After circling the pond, you head back out and circle soccer fields. This last mile of the race is again flat with one small, tiny really, hill. But it's only midly insulting and it's a very shady part of the course. You countinue back towards the pond which you circle again. The biggest challenge at this point is not stepping in the geese poop. Nasty little things!

At the end I was able to turn it on a tad for a fast finish and passed a couple of people. It felt great at the end! I knew I had worked really hard and my lungs were screaming at me. I quickly found a friend who had run it and we grabbed water and headed for the massage table. She signed up to get her calves massaged and we met several other ladies in line waiting. When results were posted I saw that I had placed 3rd in my age group and my friend had taken 2nd in hers.

I read some time ago that one of the things that can keep a race from succeeding is if it becomes 'too much about the cause.' This race was to help support victims of domestic violence and it is certainly bordering on becoming 'too much about the cause'! Prior to the awards ceremony a victim was asked to speak about her experience with domestic violence. I'll give you what this woman went through was terrible (the part I heard of it anyway) but it really was uncomfortable to hear about. I'm not saying that we should be sheltered from bad things, but I really don't feel that this was the time for these stories.

Finally, they got to the awards ceremony. My friend and I got really cool little trophies that look like little runner girls with bobbleheads. I call mine 'Bobblehead Aud.' Original, I know. They also gave out 'door prizes' and my bib number was drawn. I won a $50 gift certificate to Dilworth Bar & Grill. That more than makes up for my race entry fee!
After that we walked around and I showed my friend more of the trails in the park. She's new to Charlotte and it was her first time at the greenway. It's such a great park. I wonder why I don't go more often?