also known as
“Cheeseburgers in Paradise”
I’ve been a “weekend running-warrior” (or jogging-warrior as it would’ve been in the ’80s), most of my life. Running only to burn calories or to rock the latest leg warmers. It was merely a WORK-out. 30-min run then “Hello Cheeseburger.”
Running had a nice place in my life. A little compartment called “WHATEVER.”
Then it all came crashing down…
“That Day.” That warm, sunny, I-love-everything kind of day when a really cool girlfriend asked me to DO SOMETHING NEW: “Wanna run a Half-marathon with me?” I gulped, hid my panic attack and of course accepted the rose. Me and FOMO go way back. Being the competitive type, I then yelled out to the universe: “Let the GAMES begin.”
BEEN THERE and SCARED OF THAT?
Something new and challenging to prove to yourself: “I can do this” or at least “This seriously won’t kill me?” You probably had a touch or FOF too. . . Fear Of Failure.
ATTENTION NON-RUNNER PEEPS
My story has to do with running, but I promise it’s not Runner’s World propaganda. It’s just a love story with added blisters and lots of sweat.
I took inventory of the situation and the only two things I knew about running 13.1 miles: It was freaking far and would probably require some cursing.
1) Asked my new BFR (Best Runner Friend) “What finish time I should shoot for?” Note: She gave me a crazy low number and said: “just keep it under this, and you’ll be fine.” FINE?
2) Committed to memory commonly used curse words.
3) Installed PaceKeeper App on my phone. This little app that would let me know “how I was doing” at keeping my magical marker for success: PACE. I would later rename this the “PaceReaper.”
As I started training, I discovered this “recommended” pace was unbelievably fast and the pain level was practically childbirth-level. On the positive side, my new curse word list was coming in very handy.
I often heard the universe shouting back to me: “Game on sister and May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor.” Watch what you throw out there. Just sayin.
For any out there who have not participated in a race, whether it’s a 3K, 5K, whatever-K, just lacing up and stepping out is a big YOU-achievement! It will empower you! Superpowers will be revealed. Walking, limping, or crawling across a finish line, it makes no difference. You go out, give it a try and get a metal!
One Kick A$$ Mantra:
“Pain is temporary. Pride is forever.” AMEN
As my 12-week training began, and I discovered I was losing what little love I had for running. I just wanted to get it over with and throw away my running shoes forever. Seriously, the unnecessary pressure we put on ourselves.
Did I understand this race was not going to define me? I wasn’t going to “win” or “lose” nor be forced to enter the Cornucopia of Terror. It was just taking a stab at a fun, new experience. Do you hear me peeps? Not a make-it or break-it situation. No one would starve or disappoint their District.
I’ll skip my training details, except I cried a lot. There were “good tears” after my first ever double-digit run, but the other breakdowns were of the “hot mess” variety. All runs had one thing in common, my mantra: “Cheeseburgers are perfect, and I hate running”!
Let me interject some fun stuff about this otherwise miserable 84-days of training:
- John, my then 7th-grade “runna” son, was excited to educate me on running shoes and proper pee color for hydration.
- Emily, my then 9th-grade artsy daughter, was excited to INK up my legs for the race.
- Jack, my then, now & forever hubby, was just glad I hadn’t killed anyone. . . Yet.
I’ll also skip race details and overused port-a-potty jokes and forge straight to the finish line. I did finish my first half-marathon as my leg-art encouraged me to do, but spoiler-alert in the title, eight SECONDS over my mystical, magical, you’re-a-winner number.
PERSPECTIVE? I could only see a big f.a.i.l. What? “Big baby” I could hear my inner-goddess saying. You just accomplished:
1) running 13.1 miles and
2) learning 16 new curse words you didn’t even know existed. Pull up your big girls leggings!
Did I let that first race end my running career? YES, I was a crybaby, and we broke up.
But those lousy eight seconds called me for a second date, and I decided to “swipe right” for one more go. ONE more . . . Then one more, then step-by-step I found myself head-over-heels in love with all things running (including all words on running).
Do you have an 8-second-fail? Something you’ve tried and didn’t exactly hit your goal, so you called it quits? Can you dig down deep and use your 8-seconds to ignite a flame, fuel a passion, or to push you in some other direction? Use it. Make it count ladies! Be like Katniss: “The girl who was on fire!” (again, sorry for my love of YA movies).
I wouldn’t trade that first race experience for all the roses and burgers in the world. I would have gone on my merry way with a bad taste in my mouth for running and my feet never to hit the pavement again.
But I was blessed by the disappointment-gods!
Running has become a real passion. I crave it like extra pickles on a well-done burger. Because of my continued relationship with running, I have:
- Meet zillions of a-ma-zing people I would have never have crossed paths or greenways with.
- Discovered runner shopping is way more than JUST running shoes (yea).
- Learned a whole new language containing fun words like fartleks, butt-cave, carb-LOADING, and REST-days. Doesn’t that sound fun, even if you’re not 5??
Most exciting of all, the entire family understands me when I yell: “DRINK MORE WATER, “Pale Straw Yellow people, Pale Straw Yellow!”
Take It & Fly
I. Passions can be found in the darnedest ways. Don’t sell yourself short or take it all too seriously!
II. Failure, real or perceived, can be powerful. May it play ever in your favor.
III. Cheeseburgers are a perfect pairing with that free BEER you get after every single race. It’s carbs and hydration!! You won’t go hungry in these games!
Thank you 8 Seconds!