Thursday, February 23, 2012

"So We Planned it All Out For the Middle of June"

4 months to go...

OK, not really, but it does feel like time is speeding up the closer that we get to June 23. I also keep having moments of, "Holy crap, this is actually going to happen. There is actually someone who is willing to do this, to legally bind themself to this hot mess for better or worse." Wow.

I will also know by Monday if I am in the Garry Bjorklund or not. If I am, maybe I should play up the bride thing just a bit, just to keep the race-related pressure off. Brandon re-earthed this picture:

It has come up a few times, but I keep saying no because:
1. It's $1756.00. My ACTUAL wedding dress was $100. No.
2. Custom fitting and consultations in Seattle. I don't plan on being in Seattle until after this race and the shindig are well over. No.
3. With all due respect to those who like them, but I just can't do a running skirt. I can't. I've tried them on in the store, and I just don't like the look. (Though my co-workers thought I looked adorable in this skirt-capri thing we got in a few weeks ago.) So, no. 
Not that it's not a cute idea, or not that it's something that is totally ridiculous (I know of a couple that got married mid-Rock-n-Roll Las Vegas--that would be a perfect time for this dress). In my situation, though, probably not the best call. 
If I do decide to do this, maybe I'll just find a dollar store headband veil thing. That way, if I decide I'm being too ridiculous or show-boaty, or if it annoys me, I can rip it out and chuck it in the garbage at an aid station and not be out too much. This is, of course, if I even get in the darn race. To be honest, I'm not expecting an entry. Then again, I never expected to actually make it to the planning and execution of a wedding ceremony, or find someone willing to spend the rest of their life with me for that matter, so nothing is impossible I suppose. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"And if My Day Keeps Goin' This Way I Just Might Break Somethin' Tonight..."

The past week and a half, since I've been back from Marquette really, have felt a lot like this:

Or like this

Yes, there has been a lot of frustration, coming from all angles of life. So today, even though it was one of the better days in this stretch, I took my frustration out on some innocent pavement. It didn't start that way, but the more I thought about it, the harder I seemed to go.
The result--this:

Not that those numbers are anything spectacular, but they are significantly faster than what I have been doing of late (the glaring exception being I-Falls). It does give me hope that I do have a bit of foot speed in me. In February, with pretty weak mileage since last summer, I will take those splits. Now is the time to get back to it. 
Why, you ask?

Yup. I threw my name in the hat for the half. I told myself (and my mother) that I'm not going to really race it and that I'm more doing it for the experience of running a Grandma's weekend race... but I'm not going to go out there and slack, either. If I can get out there and make a decent showing, I'll be content. 
Racing plans aside... I do feel better. I tried a long run to alleviate stress, but I think I needed to tell myself I was going hard to really just let it out.
Hopefully this lasts. Otherwise...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

"I just want to celebrate!"

The Team/Staff party was this afternoon. It was a great chance to hang out and chat with fellow team members and co-workers. I am so happy that I have this awesome group of people with whom I can live, work, run, and race. Seriously, these people are incredible.

Plus, our gift this year was sweet, despite what the non-running hosers have to say about redundancy.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"Every Mile a Memory..."

For the better part of seven years, this was the town I called home.

Marquette, Michigan. The Queen City. 
It was my college town. It was the town where I stayed after graduation while I figured out the next step. It was where I did almost as much, or maybe even more growing up than in the eighteen years prior to coming there. It is where I made some enemies, but made far more friends. It was where I trained for and completed my first half-marathon, firmly landing me back in to the running game.
It was where I made more memories than I can count. And I know this, because they all came crashing down on me in the two days I was there last weekend. 
I never noticed it as much when I lived there, nor when I was back for past visits, but that town is down right haunted for me. Around every corner, down every street, anywhere I go, there's a ghost of Lindsey past waiting for me. 

As I drove in to town, I thought of the countless trips made in and out--as I was coming from the West, I thought of rolling in from St. Germain, Wisconsin and Houghton, Michigan, coming back from trips to see significant others, the pangs of separation filling me with loneliness and sadness. I thought of one particular trip back from Wisconsin in the wee hours of the morning, knowing deep in a breaking heart that it would be the last time, and it was a break I would have to make even though everything in me was screaming not to. But, because of the decision made one teary, cold July morning, I have the memories of returning from Houghton and being with "the Techie", something I would not trade for anything. 
As I caught a glimpse of the bike path, I thought of the day I made the resolution to run a half marathon by the end of 2010. I remembered the old blog I started to recount my journey, and the battle to learn new habits and work this sport I remembered back in to my life. I remembered the joy as I completed runs of higher and higher mileage--6, 7, 8, 11, and that last 12 miler done on my own on a steamy August morning just hours before I would move away. And, I remembered the day I ran the inaugural Marquette Half-Marathon. 2:02:55 and a dream come true. 
As I drove out to Gwinn, I thought of all the drives I made while subbing and student teaching--gas gauge solidly in the danger zone, praying the beastly teal tank would make it back to town; of all of the times I tried to get the screaming and crying out of my system before I had to be calm and student teach (for the record, most of those efforts were in vain. I was nothing but a pure mess during that semester.) 22 miles of stories, the young teacher-candidate questioning her choice and wondering what the next steps would be either way she chose.

As I went from place to place in Marquette, a ghost appeared behind every corner. I saw myself in the pep band at a hockey game, walking along on campus, dancing at the Upfront and Company, navigating the streets in a truck you could hear coming miles away. I remembered friends with whom I've lost touch. I remembered boyfriends. I, as much as I didn't want to, remembered the one from Wisconsin, and I know that no matter how many other memories I have to replace them, that town will always hold the ghosts of those three disastrous years. 
And then I saw how things have changed--the college kids I knew then are now the adults they were trying to become, with jobs, houses, and kids. Businesses have changed. Roads have changed. Campus has changed. I have changed. 
Sunday afternoon, rolling westward on US-2, I thought hard about my life, and how far things have come just in the last 18 months. 18 months since I loaded that tank of a truck in the middle of the night and left while the rest of the town lay sleeping. I came back and ran that same race nearly 15 minutes faster. I got the courage to admit I didn't want to teach. I was given a blessing beyond my vocabulary to find the job at the running store, and have it become what it has. I, despite screaming tantrums to the contrary, have grown to love the hillside city on the far western end of the lake. 

I moved to be with that "Techie". I saw with him a future I wasn't going to find with anyone else, a future that wasn't going to be found in that Queen City, no matter how much I loved it. That future brought me to the Zenith City instead, where I began that "real life" I had been trying so hard to find.
I pulled up, passing the old teal tank with the for-sale sign, to the apartment I now call home. I had been back in Marquette to work on things for our wedding, but I was happy to be back home and with the person who is the reason this event will be happening in the first place. 
Sometimes, it's fun to go back and remember your past. But, when your present is this good, it's even better to come back to it. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

"I Get Knocked Down..."

So, I ran Tuesday and I was all like this:

I felt great, and it was my best pace on a non-racing run for quite some time. 
Though, I noticed the nagging soreness in my throat getting worse and worse. 
I woke up Wednesday morning and I was all like this:

Ever since the Great Mono Experience of 2005, I have been impressed with the extent my body will go to in order to get me to stop and take care of it. With the exception of the 4 hours in which I haunted the store as the near mute waste of space I was, I was curled up in a ball on the couch coming in and out of fitful naps. Whatever I had, it was not nice, and it was angry at me for being so ballsy as to run Tuesday. I  probably should have called and not even tried, but I had duties to tend to, so in I went. Thankfully, my co-workers covered for me and let me out much, much earlier than originally scheduled. Props to them, seriously. It's a far cry from the experience I had back in May, when I had no choice but to go in with raging food poisoning. 
So, after spending Wednesday mainlining juice and tea and drifting in and out of wakefulness, I am feeling much, much better today. However--lesson freaking learned. I will give my body one more day to really kick this, and THEN I will run again. Because, I have learned my lesson--listen to your body, or it will shut you up and make you listen, Lindsey Ann. 
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