28 May 2012

I had lots of fun STORMing THE CASTLE

Yesterday I ran my very, very, very first 5K race.  It was called STORM THE CASTLE.  Best name for a race.  Ever.  

I love how I started with half marathons and marathons before trying out 10K and 5K races.  I wonder if this is normal, or if it is as backwards as it feels.  

The course ran through the Castle Air Museum.  Therefore, this race marked the first time that the number of parked aircraft I passed outnumbered the number of parked automobiles.  

Since I've never raced a 5K before, I wasn't sure what to expect for pacing.  I have run tempo runs that have been longer than 3 miles before, so I should not have been perplexed.  But I never can seem to get a handle on my opening pace.  I always plan for a reasonable opening pace, but I just simply need to face the truth. 

The truth is that I just don't know what a reasonable opening pace is for me.  I'm still figuring all of this out.  I'm sure that I will still be figuring all of this out in another five years.  I ended up running a 8'44" pace for the first five minutes.  What?  The plan was a 9'45" to open and then progressively speed up.  That clearly didn't happen.  I distinctly remember feeling like I was running pretty slow because of all the faster runners.  But I wasn't running slow for me.  8'44" is like my 400 interval speed on a good day.  But it didn't feel hard during the race.  Perspective, I suppose.   

About two miles in I lined up with the woman who would later edge me out by 1.8 seconds to claim first place in our age group.  Fairly soon we passed a teenage boy.  This teenage boy didn't seem to like that because whenever we pulled ahead he would surge ahead and then fade a little.  This would repeat.   

We pushed and pushed until the end.  I crossed the finish line at right after she did and spent the next two minutes trying to prevent myself from vomiting!  Yes!  I feel like a real runner now. 

I stuck around for awards and discovered that I earned 2nd in my age group and 5th overall for the women!   A humble 27:25 for my debut in the 5K.  That equates to an 8'49" pace.  I'll take it.  This is totally a personal record for me.  I can't think of another time when I've run about 3 miles at that pace.  

Now I'm hungry for an even faster 5K time.  

05 May 2012


I think that I have a brain tumor.  

I've been attacked by these bursts of creativity.  It all started with a my cat sitting at our dining room table as if he were a seated human guest.  I took a picture.  I snapseeded it.  For a lark, I put the photo into Penultimate and drew the standard mustache, goatee, and angry eyebrows that are the hallmark of stereotypical photo vandalism.  My son saw what I did and immediately wanted to give it a shot.  He added bloodred eyes and dripping blood to the cat's mouth and captioned the photo with "I am a monster!" This revealed the possibility of drawing new eyes for the cat. 

Whatever I did, my son twisted it.  This, in turn, pushed my creativity further.  I saw new things that could be done with the photo.  

I've completed fourteen portraits of my cat so far.  It's only been like three days.  I can't stop.  I've transformed the cat into a professor, Paul Stanley, Mad Headroom, Wendy (of Wendy's), a nun, a fruit ninja, and Groucho Marx (above).  I feel the need to parody famous works of art and corporate logos.  I can't stop.  

I am reading this book on creativity entitled Imagine by Jonah Lehrer.  In illustrating one of the discoveries regarding the machinery of creativity, he mentioned a type of brain tumor can causes unbelievable bursts of creativity.  

I now believe that I have this tumor.  

I'm also feeling these remarkable bursts of this heightened tranquility and joy during the last 5-7 minutes of my run.  It's completely odd and completely noticeable.  My senses are clearer.  Maybe it has to do with the time of year and the fact that I am starting with my nightrunning.  I don't know.  

It's probably a tumor.   

01 May 2012

One Year Later

Some milestones you have no choice but to reach:  first tooth, first words, first steps, first day of school. 

Some milestones you are proud to simply survive:  first failure, first heartbreak, first car accident, first job.  

Some milestones you reach because everyone else seems to be doing it:  high school graduation, college graduation, marriage, kids, mortgage.  

Some milestones are personal and precious.  One year ago today I completed my first marathon.  

The unintended consequences of becoming this marathon chick include but are not limited to the following: severe increase in patience for everything BUT bad drivers, purchase and use of Vespa, fearless attitude towards solo travel, too many pairs of running shoes and expensive Lululemon running gear, a huge repository of trivia from hours on the road listening to Radiolab, The Nerdist, and Real Time with Bill Maher.  

Happy Marathon Birthday to Me!