Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Christmas Eve

I know, Christmas in October?
Well, Christmas didn't exactly come. 
But a Christmas eve-esq night?
Yes, I enjoyed one of those.

Where no sleep was plenty. Where I woke up a few times in the night, disappointed it wasn't up and at 'em time yet. Where I arose for good while it was still dark. 

The night before game day!

See, this free adrenaline- and the free t-shirt- is what keeps roping me into these running experiences! The adrenaline gets going long before necessary. No task seems impossible. Even the thought of getting up at 5:55 is exhlerating rather than exhausting. It's crazy town, I'm telling you. 

So Saturday morning I beat my alarm clock to that second chirp since it was a one-chirp-only kind of morning. I jumped into a well thought-out running outfit, threw on a little make-up and earrings because...well, why not, I guess I thought looking good might make me run faster. Sometimes you just have to go with it, you know.

I ate something, can't remember what. I skipped the ritualistic drinking of a Red Bull for the unnecessary addition of hype. I'm not really an energy drink-er. Just on game day. Similar to how someone would drink Egg Nog on Christmas. Or cinnamon apple cider on Halloween. Or chocolate milk on day 1 of your period. I suavely- or usually- consume a chilled Red Bull before a race. But this time I didn't. 

Instead, I jumped in the car and went to meet up with my girls. At which point we start strategizing. Well, kind of. Ours went more like this,

"So, are you going to take IBprofen?"
"I don't know. Are you?"
"Well, then we won't feel how bad it hurts."
"Yea, I'm totally not prepared for this race. Give me a couple."

"Ok, so we're not running together?"
"Nope, I like running alone. You both make me nervous. I don't want to hear or see you til the end of the race."
"Ok, but how will we find each other?"
"You'll be waiting for me at the finish line with a cup of water in your hand."

"So are we going to run when the gun goes off? Or just wait?"
"You know my best race ever was when we started 6 minutes after the gun went off."
"Oooohh, that sounds like an idea."
"So what's our plan?"
"I don't know. I guess we'll PBE it." {pronounced pea-bay, meaning play by ear. coinage courtesy of Jono. all copyrights reserved.}

"This is going to suck, right?"
"Yes, basically."
"So what's your goal."
"To finish. And to PR. Same goals as always, right?"

before: ignorance is bliss
So obviously we had very solid plans going to the start line. Including looking like idiots doing high-knees, butt-kicks, and karate kicks for good measure. All in the spirit of getting loose. And our planning was so solid, that when the go gun went off, we were apprehensive. We still hadn't decided when we were starting, i.e. when we were going to cross the starting line with the correct-to-the-second chip that was attached to us. So there we were, awkwardly giggling and asking, "Are we really doing this? Are we really trying to get up the guts to cross the starting line? I think we need to just go for it."

At which point, we took the plunge, about 4 minutes after the gun, all together. United as one for a brief moment in history. With Laura singing to us at the top of her lungs. And had she continued in such fashion, I may have scrapped my I-will-run-with-no-one rule just to be entertained by her for 6.2 miles. Forget dinner and a show. I would've happily settled for race and a show. 

But after about those first, say 30 seconds, there were no more laughs. Only pain. Like 90% capacity pain. Because the night before I had gotten a pep talk, sprinkled with strategy. The gist was one in the same, "You should hurt the whole race."
What if you don't like pain?
My mantra had always been "comfortably uncomfortable."
Wasn't that good enough. Why the hurt? Why the pain?
She said because on game day you give your all. And comfortably uncomfortable is not your all.
So I was just following orders.
And when your existence is described by words such as hurt and pain...
well, there is no laughing. 

We all just ran. And when I wanted to give up- which was on the average every 5 minutes and 34 seconds, I remembered my temporary go-to-saying that was written articulately on my lady friends as if it was talking to them as well....
Never give up. 
So I didn't. I just kept running. And then once I completely stopped running. But I wasn't giving up....I was recovering. For a solid 12 seconds. All in an effort to find that finish line faster.

Can I tell you something?
I've spent many a runs imagining myself crossing finish lines.
My reaction, my emotion, the drama.
I mean, what does it feel like getting your best time?
And let me tell you, my dreaming was a lot better than reality.

When I finally crossed the finish line, I officially wanted to die. And to cuss. And to write off running forever.

Yes, forever.

after: how come you forget misery so quick?
There waiting for me at the finish line were my girls. Laura was still talking and singing as if she hadn't just run the fastest race of her life. And Kady was still very friendly to me despite my rude ignorance- not ignorance, ignor-ance, like I was ignoring her despite my best efforts to talk- of her at mile 4 1/2 when I was huffing and puffing so hard that I couldn't even respond to her when chance allowed our paths to cross. She's a quick forgiver, that Kady.

So all the Christmas Eve anticipation... was it worth it?
Did Christmas deliver?

I guess so.
Finished the race. And PRed. Loved breakfast. Got plenty of girl time.
So it was all good.
Minus that 51 minutes and 49 seconds of hell.

I think I prefer Christmas Eve over Christmas day.

stalk AGNG:


  1. Loved this post. Obvi. I was kind of laughing when I looked at the results that everyone who finished around our time started like right at the gun and we were like still mosing on over from the pottties and taking pictures for people after the gun. Like no biggie we will start when we feel like it. Great morning. Can we do it again next weekend? Minus the running.

  2. Individual perspective is a funny thing. I knew exactly what I was running into when I found you at 4.5 and expected no response, that pep talk was all for me! Do you remember me telling you to pretend like I wasn't there? I told you to just ignore me and you responded, "But we are here. Let's help each other because we ARE here." Those words have been rumbling around in my head the past few days - obviously another running story that is nothing about running.
    Laura - I'll do the weekend over again in a second. I'll even run, you two just need to slow the heck down!

  3. love the phrase pea-bay. too funny. you are amazing! i really want to turn myself into a runner. You are an inspiration to me. I will have to go on the couch potato to 5k plan. :) no joke. but i really want to make it there someday.


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