Friday, June 14, 2013

2013 Allstate 13.1 Chicago

"Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it."
Oprah Winfrey
Never has that been so true for me.
That Auntie O is so smart.

photo courtesy xaarlin

Remember that quest?
The one where my audacious spirit set out to slay that dream dragon lacking all logic and having no remorse?

Well let me refresh.

Last year, my mind was settled on it being THAT year. That year where I put everything I had into my goals, pursue the seemingly impossible, and become the running powerhouse that always danced around in my head. I was going to be unstoppable.
Fast. Fierce. Fired-up.

What I instead got was a beaten and battered body,
a weary and worn soul,
a million miles away from my desired destination,
and in the end a very fresh start.

I put everything into my running in 2012.
Life was handing me some pretty rotten lemons, and my cooping method was to pour myself into the one thing that was consistently mine. It's been no secret where that led me, effects of which I still feel from time to time these days. I let myself become nothing more than a vapid running machine where everything else important in my life took a back seat to my running goals. Faith, family, career, love, health, and happiness.

Not my brightest hour, yet not my darkest.

That gal, the one who consistently puts her head down calmly powering forward in solitude when the road gets a little bumpy will always live inside of me. That's who I am, driven and independently rampant. But that wild-beast needs a bit of taming every now and then.

Even when dreams still lay unfulfilled, I wouldn't change the course of events that have led me to where I am now. I've worked my way through more heartache in the past 18 months of my life than I ever dreamed possible.

photo courtesy xaarlin
what a terribly fake smile, pretending like my stomach isn't seeking revenge on me

Countless career dead ends,
leaving the city I'm madly in love with, 
the not-so-patient wait for a babe,
dreams that I've had to shelf,
the realization that I'm not as together of a lady as I've always thought,
and the fact that running is just a small piece of the life puzzle.

You live, you learn, and you move on.

Running is still very present in my life, but it isn't the center of my happiness and worth. Fulfillment of my running goals no longer trumps my to-do list and instead running is just a piece of my life that brings a bit more beauty to the simpler less important pieces of the life puzzle. It's just there, patiently waiting for my heart to ready itself for big hairy goals once again.

I ran. I had an off day. I got out of the race exactly what I put into it, which sadly wasn't much. And I'm 100% at ease with that.

photo courtesy Nina

There will always be another opportunity to go for a PR when the timing is right.
Maybe then late nights out with irreplaceable friends won't be as important as long runs,
proper fueling prerace will surpass the desire to indulge in a once in a lifetime fatty-fat-fat filled amazing dinner,
and water intake will exceed cider beers, Not Your Father's Root beer, and cold glasses of white wine.

Day before race, taking in Chitown by foot like a tourist with break taking rooftop views

This wasn't that time, but I know that PR is out there when my heart is ready to take it on and all my priorities are right where they should be. 

Until then I'll be celebrating the victories that I have made, small as they maybe.

At the end of the day, I finished in 1:33 and some change, which is by no means anywhere close to a PR for me as I've had workouts better than this in recent months. But that's what the bod was willing to give me on that day with the fragmented "training" I put in leading up to the race. And I'll take it because honestly, I wouldn't change a damn thing I did before the race for a better result. 

Stats are stats and cannot replace some of the sweet romantic life moments I've had in the past few months. I'll take those bliss filled moments with friends, old and new, over another PR notch in my belt of racing any day.

After all, life is only as sweet as the people you hold in it.


  1. Very nicely said, my mind wanted to chant it softly while reading.
    A great lesson to share about balance and keeping variety and people in your life...and hard apple cider. You're an outstanding runner! The line that best resonated was- thats what my bod was willing to give me that day. Good to remember the difference between your best and what you got for the day and enjoy that you can do that effort!

    1. so true, somedays you fly and others you don't. it happens to everyone, pro or not. that's why the stats don't really hold importance for me any longer, one day cannot reflect the sum of all the parts a person is.

  2. Aahhhhh, I LOVE THIS POST.

    Not, of course, because it wasn't your race day. I wish that part was different (hey, we can dream!). But because you sound so happy and balanced. Always, LIFE is more important than a PR. Always.

  3. Cool medal, wish I raced it! Best of luck with your training going forward this year. (We met at the Shamrock Shuffle in April)

    1. Yes yes DJ I remember!!! Cannot forget a face I meet while waiting in line for the restroom ;) Hope that your training is going swell as well!

    2. We had the same finish time too if I remember correctly, lol. So far so good...I'm getting ready for the Tinley Park duathlon in two weeks and just started my program for the marathon in October. #fingerscrossednoinjuries

  4. I ran this race with you... although a little further behind. It was my first visit to Chicago. I'm a Georgia girl. I had big plans to PR, and no such luck for me. As for getting out of it what I put in, yep. I have not eaten good for the past 2 months. My 10 min. away from my goal pace showed this. Ah well, I had a blast in Chicago, an experience I wont soon forget!

    1. but the best part, there will always be another race. pr's are really really hard to come by, like freak accidents pretty much. you'll get it girl, just keep your head up, keep working hard, and take from each race what you can!

  5. I'm a new reader, but I really loved this post. I've had a string of bad weather marathons hit me in the last year that I feel like I've been chasing a BQ time for-ev-er. I know exactly how you feel. It has taken me a while to realize that it isn't that big of a deal. One day, when the stars align again both you and I will get that PR we've been hoping for. Giving up happiness in every other aspect of life isn't worth it. :)

  6. I can empathize in this post, because I can feel a bit of the pain you've felt just by your words. I think the bumps life hands us sometimes are hard-but seeing how hard we work to overcome those hills are the moments that truly matter.
    I could say I am sorry you've had hard times (because I truly am), but it sounds like you are overcoming those difficult situations FULL FORCE, just like the awesome 'beast' that you are. Keep rockin' it girl. xoxo

  7. The past 15 months have been hard on me, but you have a much healthier way of dealing than I do.

    It is so awesome to see you on Mondays. Looking forward to next Monday. V is completely obsessed with Mike. LOL

  8. I love the quote by Auntie O at the top. My god its so awful to be sucked into the "fast food" mentality of american culture and expect drastic changes without lifting a finger and then be disappointed- DUH (been there, done that), but seriously you have such a great outlook on life and running. You know your priorities and have a good balance with them. And.. I couldnt agree more with the last few sentences. While its nice to chase PR's and goals, the moments with friends and family will always trump "that time I got a PR...."

  9. Well this certainly is a beautiful perspective :) Which is definitely worth a lot.

  10. rockin! are you wearing boardshorts?!

  11. My shorts are actually running shorts by New Balance. Forget what they are called, but NB actually had awesome shorts. Materials are very light and quick drying, they really don't absorb much. I also like the fact that they do not ride up or chafe like other brands, material doesn't catch on itself.

    Couldn't resist the pattern. Tie-dye makes running more fun.