Sunday, March 31, 2013
I know it's nearly April and the birds are singing, and the sun is out (finally!!!) but... I wanted to share that back in February I ran my second marathon in Jacksonville Florida! My brother's wife Alex ran her first half marathon that day as well! It was fabulously sunny that morning but freezing with the temperature hovering around thirty four degrees. I couldn't feel my feet as I crossed over the start line. After two miles, Alex and I separated. She had hurt her foot a few days before the race and was taking it easy and I...well...I burned out on training six weeks before the race and while I started out feeling good, I didn't feel so great when I finished. (I later discovered through a client's advice that I ran too fast for too long while training which is the fastest way to burnout...) Jacksonville is just as flat as Chicago. Most people luuurve these kinds of races because it enables them to run faster. I however, can't take the monotony of running through the same terrain for 4+ hours. I knew this when I signed up and thought it would be ok, that my adrenaline on the day of would get me through, but nope, after mile ten I was starting to feel the usual pain in my hamstrings and the tightening of my calves. I pretended not to feel anything, turned up my music and kept my pace consistent. I ran passed the ocean, my feet striking hard, wet sand as the wind tore at my face. It was just like being back at home and running along the lake! At mile thirteen, I was slowing down some. I crossed the half way mark a solid fifteen minutes slower than I did in Atlanta. Again, I picked up the pace while my legs continued to remind me of their discomfort. By the time I reached mile sixteen or so I noticed that if I kept the same pace up I'd finish in 4:16 minutes. I couldn't believe it! I had my Garmin watch on, keeping me aware of how far I'd gone and how fast I was going. Trouble started when I reached twenty miles. My legs said no. I kept having to stop and stretch my calves. My pace slowed considerably. I felt deflated and irritated as I continued through miles twenty two, twenty three and twenty four. I just wanted it to be over. At mile twenty five a huge group of spectators were there yelling out to us, cheering us on. I felt a little more energetic and tried running a little faster. As I crossed the finish line at 4:28, the announcer said "Here comes Melissa with a big smile on her face!" That made me laugh as I trotted down the huge pathway after the finish line as spectators cheered. I spotted my mom first, then the rest of my family. Jeff had gone looking for me thinking I had finished at 4:16 and they had missed me. His phone had magically kept track of both Alex and me. Knowing people were at the finish line, especially after being in so much pain for sixteen miles was like taking a giant gulp of the freshest air I'd ever inhaled. Relief, happiness and love filled me up as I hobbled to meet everyone after grabbing a bottle of water, a banana and a medal. I felt proud of both myself and Alex for finishing despite our challenges. In the days leading up to the race... My aunt Nancy made a fabulous dinner for everyone! Patrick and Alex drove Jeff and me around, showing us cute places around where they live. We visited my aunt Cheryl and her birds! Patrick and me in our "matching" sweatshirts I bought from etsy.com. I was supposed to mail it to him before Christmas...oops.:) It was great to see my family, to have Jeff meet everyone and get away for a while. When we returned to Chicago I felt a little displaced and sad that the race and trip were over. I have my sights set on another race now...Anchorage Alaska! I plan to train smarter for that one. We'll see...
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Sometimes I question why I moved to such a freezing state. Where Atlanta is experiencing the beginning of Spring, I'm still pulling on my sleeping bag of a coat and trudging around outside while the wind threatens to tear the skin of my face off. This picture is from outside of our kitchen window at the end of February. The idea of March is such a tease up here. One would think that Spring was just around the corner but no no...The sky has remained that color you see there for months while the temperature has been hovering around freezing. In the meantime I've been bumbling along in school. I'm learning how to write research papers in my English 102 class, and learning basic drawing concepts in my General Drawing class. I'm finding this semester hasn't been as fun as the previous ones, but I'm learning a lot and that's all that matters right? I drew this Chemex,(I love the shape of that thing!)a mug of coffee and a doughnut one day. I'm learning to slow down and not be in such a hurry to complete a drawing since starting this class. We spend three to six hours on the drawings we do in class. I had no idea I was even capable of doing such a thing but here I am! I'm wanting to take more drawing/painting classes and learn to develop my own ideas. I also want to improve my hand/eye coordination. Of course I had to add some glitter. I'm obsessed with Martha Stewart's brand. The employees that work at Blick Art Store in Evanston are starting to recognize me when I come in. I'm constantly needing something for class, or for my own enjoyment. I love looking at all the paper, pens, glitter, kid stuff, and paint. Being innundated with color certainly brightens a dull dreary day.