Saturday, October 6, 2012

My new homegirl


There aren't many days in a persons life that can trump the moment you meet your idol.

Just another typical Friday for Chicago Runner Girl...hanging out with Deena Kastor

Yesterday was that day for me.

I am always amazed by how normal (some) elite athletes are. This crazy fast woman who holds the women's American record in the marathon at an incredible 2:19:36, is the only American woman to ever run sub 2:20. Yet, she still walks around expos wondering in and out of booths just like the rest of us like she is no big deal. Deena is an Asics sponsored athlete that even waited in line to pay for a pair of gloves that she could have otherwise gotten for free. 

This woman has been my running idol for the past 12 years where I noticed her immediately. Never thought I was one to be in awe of people, I mean I think we are pretty much all the same, but this woman had me more flustered than I have ever been in my life.

I started to sweat, my heart was racing, and I turned into that creepy fan that no one ever wants to become. 

By the time I was able to gather myself to meet this awesome lady, my mouth was incapable of formulating sentences and I had the most terrible case of word vomit my life has ever seen. I have no idea what I even said to her, but it more than likely made absolutely no sense. But she embraced me just as if we were old pals anyways.

And it. was. AWESOME.
Just what I needed.

Being truthful, all the marathon hype surrounding me lately has begun to wear me down a bit. The non-stop questioning about if I'm running this year or not which is always followed by "what's your goal" and "what's your PR" from people who aren't familiar with my situation has been exhausting. Trying to explain that there is no goal seems to be a foreign idea to a lot of runners.

Honestly, I want to race the marathon tomorrow but I can't. And that is no ones fault but my own for being a dumb-dumb and not taking time off when I should have earlier in the year. Tomorrow is going to be a bittersweet experience for me where a small piece of my heart is still bummed about having to take a pass on going for that PR. 

Talking to Deena yesterday about how she has been on the DL since the trials due to back pains where she has only been able to get back into her normal training routine recently was oddly comforting to me. There she is, all speedy and cool holding records and winning races as a professional athlete where she has had to shelf some of her goals as well to take care of herself. Not that I will ever be on the same level as her, but it is always comforting to know that elites have to take a time out every now and than too to take care of themselves.

Deena will once again have her day, and so will I.

On to marathon #7!


17 comments:

  1. I hope you have a great marathon! And I hope the weather isn't too cold! Happy running!

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  2. Aww! Deena sounds so cool! So happy you got to meet her and that the exchange made you feel better about just running for fun tomorrow. People thought it was so bizarro this year when I was training for "only" a 5K, then run 20s for fun, then doing a 50K but not a marathon... I just want to have fun! Not every race is a PR effort! :) Of course, I am much much slower than YOU and DEENA :)

    Have fun tomorrow! :)

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  3. How awesome that you met Deena! I was tongue-tied when I met Kara Goucher in May! Fortunately my friend had the word vomit issue so we did just fine with her blabbering and me gawking. It's also nice to realize they're human and have ups and downs like us. While it's sad that Deena's been hurt, I can see how it would also be a comfort for you. Oh and you're not the only dumb-dumb...I ran until I tore my calf last month...scratch November's Ultra! Have fun spectating and good luck with your next race!

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  4. So freaking stoked for you - between Deena and Desi I wish I had stalked the expo all day. I'm a little sad to have missed them both.

    We are going to have a GREAT day tomorrow. There's something so liberating about transferring all the focus to the runner we're supporting...can't wait!

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  5. LOVE this!! I met Meb a couple of weeks ago and I totally get how awesome it is!!!! So excited for you to kill it tomorrow, PR or not! ;)

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  6. Love it!!! It is so awesome to hear about these amazing athletes that are so down to earth and so HUMAN. What a true inspiration!!!

    It was so great to finally meet you yesterday in person! I wish you and your hubby a fabulous race tomorrow! Actually, I might even see you before we start - I'm meeting up with Xaarlin and her BF beforehand at the Bank of America hospitality tent and she said you would be there also. Hope to see you!!!

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  7. SOOO awesome! I am beyond jealous but you deserved to meet her!!!! Best of luck tomorrow! xoxo

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  8. Lucky ducky! Deana is such an awesome inspiration!

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  9. That is so awesome! Good luck today to you and your man!

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  10. What an incredible experience - I can't wait to read about how you did today! :)

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  11. That's awesome. Great picture of you and her.

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  12. I felt the same way when I met Desi the eve of the marathon Olympic Trials. She was just walking around the lobby of the Four Seasons. I couldn't believe it. I mean shouldn't she have been in bed or with her feet propped up on a pillow? I was speechless, but managed to say "hey Desi, good luck tomorrow". With that she told me good luck and I about died. Did she really think I looked good enough to be in the Olympic Trials?! I had to tell her that I was running the Houston 1/2 on Sunday and NOT in the trials. She came over and we chatted for a while and the whole time I was excited, but a wreck. Meeting her was awesome, it totally made my year!

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  13. That's awesome that you got to meet Deena, she's always been one of my favorite Olympians - when she got the bronze in the marathon in 2004 that was one of my favorite Olympic memories. I hoped that she could make the Olympic team this year, but hopefully in 2012 she can give it another go.

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  14. "Trying to explain that there is no goal seems to be a foreign idea to a lot of runners." I think we get so caught up in plans and goals that we forget it's supposed to be fun. SO MANY people kept asking me what my time goal was for the marathon. I can't tell you how many times I said "I don't want to have a time goal ... I just want to finish and enjoy the experience." And I felt like a weirdo every time, but that was my honest goal. And you know what ... I did exactly that and it was SO FUN. Time isn't always everything. For my first marathon, it was all about the experience.

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  15. I think that it is nice to meet people that like that. Because there are some athletes that they don't know what humble word means.

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  16. Thanks Britt. I really love her. This is super healthy and thanks for the post.

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