Out of the Vortex and Back to the Blogosphere

5 07 2019

I guess I stopped blogging almost 2 years ago.  I started visiting various fitness websites and spent a lot of time checking in there, building relationships with people, getting in weight loss challenges and stuff like that, thus spending most of my online energy in other places.  However I started this blog in 2008 to chronicle my journey from that of non-runner to Couch-to-5k-trained slow-running racer to my first half-marathon.  Having completed that, I caught the running bug big time and decided to do a race in all 50 states so I kept the blog going to write about those.  Then I got distracted.  But I’m back, for real, starting now.

FIRST, THE UPDATE:

Since the beginning of the 2019, I haven’t done a whole lot really– just a 5k or two, a 10k, a 10-miler and a half-marathon.  But I did two fairly eventful things within the first six months of 2018, so I’ll write about them first.

Ages and ages ago when I was training for my first 10k, I worked with a nurse who was very athletic.  She’d done half and full marathons, plus triathlons and even a half Ironman once.  We were talking about those and I mentioned I could never do a triathlon because I don’t swim.  She said, “well you could do a duathlon.”  A duathlon?  I’d never heard of those.  “Instead of swim-bike-run, they have you do a run-bike-run.  There’s one coming up soon.  You should do it.”  So I said, “okay” and impulsively signed up.   I figured I’d just train for it and knock it out of the park (meaning: not come in dead last but maybe second to last).   But it wasn’t really as easy at that.  There was stuff like riding up hills and riding in the street and riding close alongside other people, things I’d never imagined doing.  I signed up for a group ride at a local park as part of my training, and I was so slow I got lost.  The night before the race, I chickened out and didn’t go.  The failure (because that’s how I saw it) clattered around in my mind for a few more years.  I ran a full marathon, got a little better on the bike, and started to feel like maybe I wasn’t as big a loser as I’d originally thought.  So I signed up for the same race again eight years later in 2018 and this time trained like it was my job, watching YouTube videos, going to seminars and even riding the course once before race day.

Then the day arrived.  It was rainy and cool, the course got shortened because of road construction, and the start of the race was held up by lightning a few times so it wasn’t the typical well-attended and vigorously competitive event.  But on June 9, 2018,  I completed my first duathlon.

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And I didn’t even come in last!  I came in 5th to last!  But the best thing about it was: there were only two of us in the Female 60-64 age group and since I came in second, I got an age group award too.  And that’s how I caught the duathlon bug which resulted in me signing up for another one this year.

Last 5 MedalsJust like the very first 5k I ever ran when I got a ribbon for coming in 7th in my age group (out of 10 of us), that serendipitously-acquired medal inspired me to decide I’m not as shitty of an athlete as I originally thought I was, so I might as well keep on training and try to do it again.

I have my next duathlon in just about one month and I don’t think there’s a single thing that can make me chicken out the night before like I did so many years ago as a fledgling runner.

Then the following weekend, I completed my first Spartan race.  It was a BurpeePalooza because they make you do 30 penalty Burpees for every missed obstacle, but I got it done.  I weigh too much and have too little grip strength to shinny up the ropes or swing from the rings or any of the acrobatic stuff that comprises probably 1/5th of the obstacles, but I’m a beast at carrying heavy objects and am not afraid to climb high walls or netting so I did okay.  I freakin’ HATED the mud though!  I said I’d never do another Spartan because of the mud.  But now they have mudless events in baseball stadiums, so I’m going to give it another go.

 

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My next Spartan is in November, so I have plenty of time to try and develop more skill with the pull-up type stuff I couldn’t do last year but I can’t promise I’ll be successful.   I’ve still got a big bucket-butt that weighs too much so I’ll hedge my bets and practice doing Burpees as well, just to be on the safe side.

Those were the two big events from the first half of 2018.  I expanded my athletic horizons and learned a few new things.  I feel like I can do more than just run now and that makes me really happy.  I like having goals to strive for and competing against nobody but myself as I seek to attain them.   Since I’m only competing with Me and my last performance, it doesn’t matter if I suck at it or do worse because I always learn something.  That means it’s always a Win.

NEXT TIME:
Five more states off the bucket list.

Oh and there really IS a Blogosphere!  There’s pictures of it on the internet.  Who knew?  And it even looks a little like outer space.  So I can picture myself floating around in the darkness and finally ending up back here where I belong.

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