Saturday, March 17, 2007


my dad has been a runner all of my life. when i was a kid, we'd be driving somewhere, and if he saw someone jogging on the side of the road, my dad would say enthusiastically, "there goes a RUNNER!"

i ran a half-marathon on sunday! Sacramento's "Shamrock'n" race. this was the first time i'd ever done a sport event by myself, ever, and i was really excited just to believe i could do it, and to have signed up for it.
it was spring-forward day, so that meant i had to get up before sunrise to be at the location (Raley Field, in "West Sac", directly over the picturesque yellow bridge) on time. i was so appreciative to see the gorgeous pink sunrise that morning, to be up with the birds, riding my bike across town with the fragrant spring blossoms greeting my nose. there were some 2500 runners in the half marathon, all abuzz like bees or ants pre-race; the energy was so up! the last few minutes before the race, as everyone was congregating in their places for the horn-blow start, i closed my eyes and faced the warm sun. i was grateful to be a part of this group of people-animals who were willing to wake up early on a sunday to celebrate their functioning bodies.
though i have gotten around to doing many athletic activities in my life, i grew up believing i was *not* athletic (or graceful) (i made a trade with my 3rd & 4th grade teachers ~ i'd grade papers if they didn't make me go to P.E.). the little kid in me was in awe of this feat. the adult in me was in awe at my body's sturdy capacity to do *work* ~ i don't even really start to warm up until mile five. the first seven miles i took it very gently on my joints and rolled my feet and kept my stride short. after mile seven, and especially after mile nine, i had no doubt my joints could take it that day. i picked up my pace and was running pretty fast, for a tortoise like me. the birthday boy, Sealion, rolled up (after his nightshift and a glass of wine) looking very handsome on his bike, and accompanied me the last three miles. it was nice to have his friendship and conversation to keep my momentum up those last few miles, although i think my happiness (possibly a.k.a. runner's high!) was largely carrying my feet! we crossed the finish line inside Raley Field, on their powdery-dirt track. i pushed it those last few feet, and was so proud to hear my name called out on the PA as i crossed under the balloon-arch Finish Line.

there goes a RUNNER!

photos: who's that cheese-ball with the big grin on her face in mile 12?!
i was not tired at all, i was just hamming it up. ;)
finish line, and my time on the digital read-out.
celebrating at Cafe Bernardo with the shirt and matching finisher's glass i earned.
mr. Sealion talking on the phone during his birthday breakfast/dinner/whatever you call it after a nightshift ~ we'll call it dinner, since he's on his second beer! ;)

two side-notes ~ i employ a running technique made popular by a well-known and accomplished marathon-runner, Jeff Galloway, in which you take possibly frequent one-minute walk breaks in order to prevent joint injury. when i first started training this way, i was taking a break every five minutes. now i take one at every mile (which ends up being about every ten minutes ~ tortoise, as i said). Mr. Galloway swares that marathon runners who *take* walk breaks finish with shorter times than if they did not ~ and he's speaking in terms of hare-times; not tortoise-times. ;-D i saw quite a few fellow runners doing the same thing.
the second note that i must add is that i believe i couldn't have run this if i hadn't improved my diet over the course of the last year, and especially the past six months. last february, i was having trouble running over two miles because of joint pain (when, before, i was running four-five miles at a time, no problem). for more on this, i invite you to go to . . .

poem for march

Blades of grass hold droplets of dew.
I am the grass.
I am the dew.
I am the sun and its spectral-shining through.