Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Runners. Yeah, we're different.

Adidas used this as their campaign slogan from 1999-2000, around the time of my sophomore year of high school. They ran ads featuring runners in usual runner-type predicaments: squatting behind a tree doing their business on a busy trail,taping nipples, rubbing vaseline in precarious places that are prone to chaff-age, and perfecting the single-barrel farmer blow. Our cross country team was so inspired by the unusual ads that we adopted the slogan as our own and even had t-shirts printed. After all, we could have been our own Adidas ad.

One of my coaches, Aaron Ciszek, was a crazy fast runner, sub 2:45 marathoner, and swore by chips and salsa as the best pre-race dinner out there. He was frequently seen around town on his bike with his skis sticking out of a piece of pvc pipe fastened to the back of his bike frame. He was almost always heading up the snow-packed streets to the ski mountain. Usually in a blizzard.

Rumor had it that my other coach, John Smith, shaved his legs. Apparently, smooth legs took vital seconds off his triathlon swim time. In the four years he coached me, I only remember him competing in one, maybe two, triathlons, but his legs were always silky-smooth. He loved to say, "boot & rally" which loosely meant, "If you're gonna puke, puke, but you better get right back up and finish what you started." And we always did.

And, if you can believe it, our coaches were not the strangest sampling of the team. We also had a skilled river-dancer, a boy named Michaelangelo who penned love poems, a kid with a hit-list reserved for anyone who crossed him (we all tried our hardest to stay off the list!)and
possibly even a witch.

For all my mocking, my cross country team was full of some amazing people. People of character and commitment, with just a pinch of crazy. After all, we LIKED running, which alone is reason enough to claim residency in the not-so-normal column. Like most runners, we know the horrible mental and physical pain that comes with the eighth-400 meter repeat, the loneliness of long, weaving trails and two hour runs, and what it feels like to "boot & rally", wipe your mouth off on your sleeve, and keep on trekking.

And here's the kicker- we run anyway!

Again and again and again.

Monday, January 24, 2011

And Just Because My Life isn't Crazy Enough......

Several years ago, when T was 8 months old, we bought a new house, moved across the city, and started our lives in Littleton, CO. Not only did I have my sweet boy at the time, but also a sassy, energetic 2 year old girl. Jer was working the usual crazy hours of a man in the car industry, and I was staying home with my two kiddos. So, just to make things more interesting, I suggested we get a puppy. That was probably the hardest winter I've encountered. Charlie peed everywhere, chewed everything, and even partially-digested some of our socks. Yup, I found them in his you-know-what while pooper-scoopering our yard.

So in true Jenny fashion, I decided we, once again, could not let our lives become too easy. However this time we had 3 kids, my husband still worked the same crazy hours, and I am homeschooling. Naturally I decided it was a good time to train for my first marathon.

Sunday was my longest run ever- 14 miles. It was 25 degrees outside, windy as all-heck, and I had been experiencing some GI discomfort from our recent vacation. It would have been easy to put it off for another day. But if you haven't noticed already, I'm seldom drawn to the easy-way.

I was on a trail near my home that weaves its way for miles and miles through neighborhoods, farms, and parks. The sky was the Colorado-blue all natives love and huge, white mountains hovered behind me on my way out, and loomed in front of me on my way back home. It was beautiful. Everything about the run was beautiful. God's creation surrounding me. The comaderie of the other runners- equipped with jackets, gloves, and camel-baks- also out on their weekly "long run". And the fact that I was doing it- I was mentally blocking out the sharp-pain through my knees, the chaffing on my abdomen and armpits, and the reality that this run was barely more than half the distance of the race I had signed up to run.

When I finished I thought, "Man, that was tough. I never want to run that far again."

Well, at least not again this week.

Total running time was just over 2 hours.

I am awesome at this blog thing....

Don't you love how I made this grand entrance in to the blog-o-sphere with a post entitled "Finally, a blog" and a written commitment to write about Watson family 2008. That's right, I posted twice two years ago and haven't logged on since. I am awesome. Which also explains why I have so many followers......

I'm not making any commitments to blog-evity this time. And it's quite possible you may not hear from me again until 2013.