Monday, February 16, 2015

Back in the Game

On today's run, my iPhone decided it ran out of battery at mile 4. Without tunes and the semi-robotic Nike+ voice in my ear every mile, I had a miraculous 9 minutes of calm, quiet, thinking time... until I turned my phone back on to find that it really had 45% battery life left. iPhone 5, it's almost time to quit you.

But here's the point: during that unplugged mile, I realized that last year was a pretty rough one, running-wise. While my first half marathon of the year was an absolutely fun, motivating PR... my second half marathon led to an injury that made it my last half marathon of the year. In June.

I've become a bit of a regular at PT, I know what questions to ask, how and when to ice/apply heat, and how to run differently to improve my form and avoid injuries.


I've learned that if my knee starts acting up on a gravel trail, following through for the next 11 miles isn't the best choice.

video
(Rockin' that runway limp after the Snoqualmie Valley Trail Half Marathon in June)


I've realized that sometimes, running isn't the best thing for my body.
Still... I keep doing it. I keep plotting out my runs, signing up for races (or entering contests for FREE ones: shout out to Gametiime!), and reading running blogs. Running, I just can't quit you. At least not yet.

Why?

I run because it gives me an excuse to wear Birks and socks (especially PRO Compression socks!).

I run because this is my face after a runless week due to a back strain.

And this is my face during my first run after a runless SIX weeks due to a knee injury.

I run because it gives me a chance to test out my cartography skills.


And also because my stick-straight hair looks freaking ridiculous after long runs.

I run because this girl is seriously disappointed with my walking pace.

And because this guy needed some serious encouragement to finish the Beat the Blerch 10k (or was it the other way around...).

I run because my home is beautiful, and best explored on foot.

Question Time! What's your #1 reason for running?


Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Finish

If you haven't gathered by now, I'm from Seattle. Born and raised, and the furthest I've ever lived from this remarkable city is when I spent four years 90 miles north in Bellingham while earning my degree.

I love everything about this place. I love our seasons, I love the relentless rain, I love puddles that remind me why TOMS are not intelligent Seattleite shoes from October through April. I love the brilliant green of everything here, the first thing out-of-towners usually comment on. I love our craft breweries, our naked Solstice parades. I love how everyone comes outside with sun-starved skin and blinking eyes the first time the clouds clear in early spring.



I love how whenever I travel to faraway places, I soak it in and appreciate each experience... and am still so so happy to be home once my plane lands at Seatac Airport.



I also love our Seahawks.

Now, there will always be people with different perspectives; that comes with every scenario (except for Damon vs. Stefan Salvatore... everyone knows it's all about Damon). Last year, for the most part, we were a Cinderella story. A team filled with free agents, late-in-the-draft picks, and so many young players... we were not expected to excel. Our team had been to the Super Bowl once before in 2005, and lost pretty soundly to the Colts.

In 2014, under the leadership of Pete Carroll and the unwavering trust of Russell Wilson, we rocked that Lombardi Trophy all the way back to Seatown. The town was lit up. Schools were 1/4 to 1/3 empty, with kids being pulled from school to go celebrate at the Super Bowl Parade. We wore our jerseys on staff each Friday for the rest of the school year. Our town had experienced some pretty noticeable success for the first time in a long time, and we were loving it.




This year, we were jazzed. We had a team of amazing athletes, and an outstanding season.

We still lost the Super Bowl. Despite microphones being immediately shoved in the faces of our players, for the most part they were complimentary of the Patriots, excited to have been a part of the huge event, and looking forward to next season. Still, there was a huge sense of loss for them. For all of us watching the game with our Sherman jerseys and Hawktails in hand.

So that got me thinking... is there an equivalent in running? In the Super Bowl, teams have (within reason) a pretty even shot at taking home the trophy. In the Boston Marathon, star athletes have a much smaller margin. Is the agony the same?

What do you think?