Post Race (Walt Disney World Marathon)

That. Was. AWESOME.

We went slow. We took our time. We rode a roller coaster. We stopped for a couple of character pictures. Lauren kept us paced wonderfully and I finished feeling strong and was able to enjoy the rest of the my vacation at Disney World.

It’s worth noting that my journey to the start line wasn’t perfect. I ran the 5k on Thursday (it was a blast!) and on Friday I volunteered for the 10k. My official volunteer title was “screaming fan.” So I stood outside and cheered for everyone. It was cold, I got there at 3:30 and by the time I got home I was so tired the room was spinning. My throat was incredibly sore and I was a mess. We went to Epcot Friday and that may not have been the best idea.

I slept until about noon on Saturday and for the first time ever, spent a day at Disney World without any park time. It was weird. But, just what I needed.

I woke up Sunday feeling great. And that continued all day! Nothing hurt during the race (beyond the normal aches that come with running a marathon). It was awesome.

I’ve never finished a marathon feeling strong. My first marathon started with a 5k PR (not good) and ended with me walking most of the final 8 or so miles. My second marathon (which I was horribly under trained for) resulted in a DNF. And my makeup was painfully slow and again, ended with me walking most of the last 6 or so miles.

This marathon was so different. I felt strong. I felt able. We were singing at mile 23. No joke. I was that asshole singing “Do you wanna run a 5k?!” after we passed the mile 23 marker. I had a blast and felt awesome.

I’m excited to see what happens in Cleveland this May.
It’ll be totally different. I’ll be by myself. I won’t have a roller coaster to ride at the halfway point. Meeko and Belle will not be present for pictures. It will also likely be hot. Though, it’s Cleveland and last year it snowed so… I’m really not thinking about the weather.

But! I am thinking goals and plans for this year. Which is really tough because I’ll finish school in May and then I have no idea what will happen. I don’t even know where we’ll live. I feel stuck. But, I’m excited for the spring.

I’m hoping to run Cleveland as close to 5 hours as possible. Though I’m not sure quite yet what I can really do in the next 18 weeks. ::shrug::
Disney training averaged 2 runs/15 miles a week.
I’m hoping to average 3 runs/22 miles a week for Cleveland.
That means I’d like to get about 400 miles in before I cross the start line in Cleveland.

Wish me luck!

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Pre-race

It’s Christmas break. I have a lot of free time.
Let’s write a blog.
I’m running a marathon in six days.
Actually, six days from now I’ll hopefully be stuffing my face and feeling a little drunk in Epcot. #bestlife

Training was a thing that happened.
Seriously.
I mean, it was all over the place, but I’ve run consistently, at least once, usually twice a week since July. And, even with that little bit of activity, I’m seeing big gains. Am I close to being able to get a new half marathon PR? Um, no. Absolutely not. Do I feel like there’s a very real possibility of a marathon PR this weekend… well… yeah. I do actually.

It’s worth mentioning this will only be my third marathon. My first one was a mess, I walked most of the last ten miles because I went out WAY too fast and crashed and burned hard, and my second marathon included no consistent training of any sort or kind.

But this has been nice. I’ve had some great virtual training buddies and even if we haven’t run together (because I have zero time management skills among other excuses) knowing that I could have people to run the marathon with if I keep my shit together has been incredibly motivating.

I didn’t get the long runs I wanted, but I didn’t get hurt. My hip started acting up on my 18 miler (my only run over 13, we’ll see how that works out for me) but I was able to finish the run and still maintained a pace of 12:09.
So like… we’ll see what happens.

Champions

I don’t write much, but I have so many feelings and I wanted to get them down.

The Lebrons.
In 2010 Lebron James went on ESPN to announce that he was abandoning the city that adored him, breaking the hearts of thousands as he ran off to Miami to play basketball with his friends. Apparently that worked and he won a couple championships blah blah whatever fuck that guy.

Eventually though, Baby Bron Bron decided to man up and come home so he could deliver on the promise he made to Cleveland. Deliver the first championship in more than 50 years.

I am in the minority in Cleveland. Most people were quick to forgive and forget. But, after failing to secure the championship last year, I continued to be bitter and angry.

::sigh:: But now I’m not sure how to feel.
He did it. They did it. It wasn’t just Lebron. It was the entire team. They won a championship and Cleveland is walking taller, looking brighter, and seems like a new place.

If you aren’t from Cleveland, let me tell you about it.
I was born and raised in greater Cleveland. For my entire life I’ve been told that our sports teams can’t hang. And thus our city can’t hang. Our river caught on fire. We can’t do anything right. We are eternal fuck ups. That’s just Cleveland. ::shrug::
And this mindset bleeds into your soul. I’m not trying to be dramatic, but honestly, it’s unreal. You start to think that because you’re from Cleveland the odds are against you. The world is against you.

But last week, everything changed.
The Cavs were set up for the standard Cleveland ending. Down 3-1 in the NBA Finals. Up against a team from California, a place where everything goes right.
But they won game 5. Then they won game 6. They forced a game 7. That alone was so not Cleveland.
Then, I still can’t believe it, they won. They. Won.

I talked a big angry game about “No, I’m not going home for a parade for the Cavs.” But that was before game 5. That was the the Cavs looked like the Cleveland I grew up in. By the end of game 6 all I could talk about was the parade. I knew it would happen. It had to happen.

And it did.
The Cavalier’s championship parade was the weirdest/scariest/happiest/best experience I’ve ever had in Cleveland. I still can’t think about the championship without my eyes stinging and I’m shocked that I didn’t cry during the parade.

I went to the parade with my brother, my husband, and his parents. We left home at 7am. We took the bus instead of waiting the 3-4 hours to take the train (Yeah. There was a 4 hour wait for the train at some stations). I’ve never seen so many people in one place. I’ve never seen Cleveland so happy.
The happiness was infectious. Bridges were closed to vehicles. Crowds were 5 or 6 deep hours before the parade started. If you haven’t seen pictures, google it.
The parade was delayed an hour as they tried to make enough room for the parade to go down the road.**

** This is because for some reason they decided not to put up barriers along the route, which would have avoided a lot of problems, but that’s neither here nor there.

I wrote this in June and never posted it.
I’m posting it now, with this minor commentary.
I didn’t edit it or add to it.
Cleveland is the city of Champions. It’s still real.
Magic.

Do you ever have this problem?

I have found twice in the last week that I sound like an asshole.
And there’s nothing I can do about it.
I have a Ragnar sticker on my laptop. One of my TAs asked which Ragnar I ran.
A totally harmless question.
Except I sound like a tool when my answer is Chicago, Key West, Cape Cod, and So Cal. And that’s toned down because I ran Chicago and Key West twice and I’ve also done Hood to Coast. But like… a lot of people run one. And then when I rattle off four I sound like a boob.

Then today, someone asked if I’ve ever run a half marathon. I said yes. “Oh, which ones?” Uh… 28 of them. And 5 of those I’ve run more than once.
Like, when did I become this person?

I remember running my first Ragnar and meeting people who had run, what seemed at the time, like a million races. And I don’t know. I just lose track of the fact I guess I’ve become one of those people.

Five Things Friday

1. School has really picked up in the last two weeks. Yesterday was my first Management Science exam. I have never in 17 years of schooling run out of time on an exam. Until yesterday. It was terrifying. I’m trying not to think about it.

2. I took a study break last night and ended up moving C and I from an oceanview room to a balcony on our upcoming cruise. For a cool $41. YES! Neither of us have ever been on a cruise. I’m pretty excited.

3. I think I’m getting really sick. I don’t quite understand how. I’ve been doing my best to get enough sleep and my eating hasn’t been too awful. I also haven’t been at derby. Derby is such a great place to get sick. You know, sweating and sneezing, and coughing, and drooling all over each other.

4. I don’t have to have five. This is my blog.

5. I’m really glad it’s Friday. This should be a nice weekend. Not too busy, but busy enough that I won’t be tempted to spend the whole weekend in my pajamas with the cats, not that that’s a bad way to spend a weekend.

I quit derby. But maybe not.

So, I quit derby. Kind of.
I decided that’s what I wanted to do.
Not at first, though.
My home team captain emailed me to check in because I’ve been MIA for a couple weeks.
I had planned to give her a quick “oh, haha yeah idk. lolz.”
But instead I started word vomiting. About how I’m not improving and it’s because I’m not coming to practice and I’m too far behind and I’ll never catch up. And I’m awful. And I still can’t skate let alone derby. and blah blah blah.
I thought I did a nice job taking responsibility for my position.

And I ended it in true awkward me fashion “so, like, do I just keep not coming to practice? How do I quit?”

Her response was not at all what I expected and now I’m all confused again.

::sigh::

In other news.
I have set a fitness goal.
Weird.
I don’t do that.

but I did that.
I signed up for barre code’s unlimited month pass, for at least the next three months.

My goal is to attend at least 15 classes a month for the next three months.
So far on this third day of February, I’m at zero. HAH
Good start, self.

But, we’ll see how it goes.
I’ll keep you updated.
I really like these classes. I like how I feel during class. I like how I feel after class. And apparently I like exercising in a man-free environment. Who knew?!

Derby. 5 Things Friday

I know you’ve been on pins and needles waiting to hear how derby tryouts went and well, that’s going to be the focus of my five things Friday.

1. I did my laps. I got 27 laps in 5 minutes and it was harder than I remembered, but I was able to successfully do it.

2. I still can’t turn around toe stop. Like, I can pretend and do this weird half fake thing. But, the way I’ve gotten comfortable turning does not work well if you have any sort of speed and as a result, I can’t turn let alone stop unless I’m moving very slowly.

3. Because of this (I think because of this) I got an email saying not that I just failed to make team, but that I was ineligible to try out because I failed to meet WFTDA minimums.

4. Bad: Well, that’s frustrating right? I was told I’d get another email with more info in the following days. It’s been a week and so far nothing. Being ineligible for failure to meet minimums makes me wonder if I’m allowed to skate with the league at all, because that wording makes it sound like I shouldn’t. I haven’t asked for more info yet because regardless of the answer I’m freaking out a little.
Thursday night I finished tryouts and found out I didn’t make the team. Friday I had a meeting with my academic adviser. She told me that I need to quit derby because I don’t have time for extra curriculars with the classes I’m taking this semester. She promised that this will be my hardest semester and I should be fine to go back to more free time in the summer, but I should cut back for the spring.

5. Good: This result was not unexpected. I was just thrown off by the wording of the email. I was also thrown off by how I felt after. Initially I felt indifferent (I didn’t read anything past the “unfortunately it’s been decided” for about two hours). Then I felt angry. Mostly because skills testing was the first day. Why couldn’t they tell me then and there that I didn’t make it? They must have known at that point, right?

::shrug::

Back in October (after the cluster-fuck and waste of time that was my first bout on a home team), I told C that I was going to stick it out through home teams and when I failed to make a travel team, I’d move to reffing if I still wanted to be involved with the league.

So… I guess that’s still the plan?!
But there is definitely an if hanging over the want to be involved in the league.

Five Things Friday (I)

Five things Friday seems like a really easy and pretty thoughtless way to keep up with what’s going on.
So, here is my five things Friday for January 8, 2016.

1. Derby! Tryouts. Tuesday was all minimum skills testing. Stops, balance, hits, etc etc. Thursday was derby. We scrimmaged and it was awesome. I felt great during both halfs. I had some great moment. I drew a track cut on the opposing jammer. I jammed (what?!). It was great. I really enjoy skating with the vets because they’re really good. And they communicate really well and they make me better.

2. Derby. Crap. I’m really scared that I’m not going to make the B team. I’m working hard to mentally prepare myself. And regardless of what happens, I feel really good about how far I’ve come. I know I’m still not great, but I can almost play along with the women I’ve been amazed by for the last year. And, if I don’t make it, hopefully they give me some good feedback so I know what specific items I need to work on for mid-season tryouts.

3. Seeing everyone’s pictures and posts from Disney World is making me so excited. I’m 90% sure that C and I are going to Marathon weekend next year. Maybe with his parents, maybe not. We shall see!

4. School starts again on Monday. My first semester wasn’t what I expected/wanted/planned/feared. My GPA wasn’t quite where I wanted it, but not bad. I don’t know. I think I know how to make next semester better. I’m excited and nervous to jump back into it.

5. Speaking of school, I need to figure out what my summer internship is going to be. I think I know what I want to try to intern in, but I’m not sure. My biggest problem is that everything sounds great. There are a few different places that you can take my degree, and they’re all really interesting to me. I guess that’s good because it means I’m in the right degree, but…. I don’t know.

That wasn’t as easy as I expected. Maybe I should do a three things Thursday.

Oh, we’re trying out for travel teams already?

Almost exactly a year ago, I went to a roller derby bootcamp. This was the one step required before trying out for the fresh meat program.
I had skated exactly once (the day before) since middle school. I had no business being there, but I went. And, it was exactly what I’d hoped. It was scary. It was intimidating. It hurt. But, I did it.
A few weeks later (after countless open skates) I tried out and made the fresh meat program. Yeah, okay everyone made fresh meat, but you had to show up! And I did!
And that’s all I planned to do. Show up until they asked me not to or it stopped being fun.
The last year of roller derby has been…. trying.
I’ve had the highest highs and the lowest lows. From bouncing off the walls because I was so excited for practice to crying on the drive home and vowing to never return.

Tomorrow is our first practice of 2016. League practice, which will be a run through of what to expect at tryouts and team practice, for the team I still don’t really feel a part of.
Then on Tuesday, travel team tryouts.
The grand prize.
My expectations are modest, at best. I’m hoping to be an alternate on the B team. Because, let’s be honest, that seems like a bit of a stretch.
(Last year, everyone who didn’t make the A team was given a spot on the B team. This sport/league is all about being inclusive, which I am more than happy to play along with. But the inclusive spirit is only to a point. That A travel team is not fucking around. Those women are serious and they are tough).
I still can’t turn around toe stop (one of the most used moves in roller derby). I still stand up too high when skating. I’m afraid of getting hit. I can’t get the timing right for hitting. I barely understand the rules. But I am constantly assured that this is okay. Derby is a complicated sport and I’ve been learning for less than a year.

Ugh. I’ll write about how it goes. Don’t expect sunshine and rainbows. Expect thunderstorms and small rainbows off in the distance. Maybe. The rainbows are a maybe.

Real talk: I’d feel so much better if I hadn’t decided to quit and then talk myself out of it during our winter break. As a result of this I haven’t skated since the Monday before Thanksgiving.
Yeah. 7 weeks. Fuck.
This is gonna hurt.

My goals and resolutions…

I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next year. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next week. How am I supposed to plan and make goals around that?
Nope. Sorry.

But, I do have an inspirational quote (cause white girls love inspirational quotes):
The time’s going to pass no matter what, so do something with it.

Bye.