Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Much Better Than the Running Itself

I’m registering for another half marathon.

With three under my belt now, I know what to expect when it comes to training fatigue, body aches, and post-race, never-want-to-run-again syndrome. Those are drawbacks, but in the end, they don’t outweigh the rush of coming across that finish line. And they also fail to cancel out the joys of connecting with your running buddies.

This is something that I’ve grown to love about training. Because I’m a wimp and won’t run more than 6 miles solo, I always plan my runs with friends, or in the case of my upcoming race—family. It’s so great to see the same people every week, and have the opportunity to catch up all of life’s little details. After each race I’ve completed, I have genuinely missed that time with my running partners.

I was reminded of this last night, when my cousin K—who’s doing the upcoming Santa Ynez Half with me Mother’s Day weekend—came over for a night of Kathy Smith DVD kickboxing. We set up in front of the TV and laughed to the point of almost peeing our pants as we punched and kicked through the moves together. I love that we are doing this. With busy schedules and two kids on her side, we don’t see each other nearly as much as we used to (despite the fact that we live 2 blocks from each other), so the process is already a real treat.

We decided last night that we would dedicate our race to all the grandmas we have lost. K lost her Grandma Red last year, we lost our mutual Grandma Mary in 2007, and my paternal Grandma Betty passed away in 2005. Sadly this week, my Great Aunt Doris also left us, and K and I are hoping our second-cousin L will be doing the race with us in her honor.

I think it’s going to be a really amazing experience. Celebrating mothers and grandmothers on the holiday weekend named for them; racking up miles alongside family. And getting ready for the whole thing with lots of workouts and laughter.

This kinda stuff sure makes exercising a whole lot easier.


SoMi's Nilsa said...

As much as I love the flexibility of training by myself, I really do miss the camaraderie of training with others. I formed some really close friendships through running (I met my maid of honor when we were both training for our first marathon) and can't imagine life without these pals. I hope this experience continues to be as rewarding for ou as it was for me.

Anonymous said...

I've long thought that's one of the things I dislike about the gym and running and such: no one to do it with. Not that my friends wouldn't be willing, necessarily, but you know how L.A. is: everyone's spread out all over the place. It's tough to meet up when one is in Pasadena, the other Northridge, the other Long Beach... with commutes the way they are, even Happy Hour is a tough sell sometimes!

laura said...

funny....first of all, you brought a tear to me eye....BUT...the part that is funny, is i was just on the phone with your OTHER cousin L, and she agreed to do this with us! So i was going to email you when i got back to my office to let you know, then i decided to read your blog first....and come to find out you wrote about the race!! YAY!!!! This will be so fun! (well...except for the 13.1 mile run!) HUGS!

Danielle said...

My girlfriend wants me to do a half marathon with her this summer. I have only ever done a 5 k, so this scares me. But, I'll try anything once, so I am going to start training.

Big Sister said...

Ok, now I'm feeling left out, especially since it's dedicated to the grandmas. I've got a lot of years on all you young gals, though. I really don't want to cross the finish line via a stretcher. Can I just do yoga poses while holding pom poms the whole time you guys are running?

Mike129 said...

I sometimes run.

You know, like to the car. When it's raining or really cold.

brookem said...

another half! i think it's awesome that you're doing it in honor of the grandmas. im sorry to hear about your aunt. sometimes doing these races in memory of someone really does put perspective on those bad training days!
matt and i just signed up for our next half in may. :)

Mel Heth said...

Nilsa - Your maid of honor? That's so cool! Wish we lived closer - we could train together. :)

Geekhiker - Having other people around definitely makes it easier to run. And when it comes down to running alone or commuting, it's totally worth the drive!

Laura - I'm so excited for all of us! We're going to have so much fun!

Danielle - Do it!

Sister - Cheerleading WAS your forte in high school - maybe that would be good.

Mike129 - Hahaha! Well that counts, I think.

Brookem - I've been meaning to tell you congrats on signing up for your next one too. I saw on FB or something that you had registered.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely tribute to your grandmas. I know they will be with you in heart and spirit, and glad they are not running too! We,
the moms will be there in body; and also glad we are not running too. Thank you for thinking of us; it will be alot of work for you and fun for all of us.

Stephanie Klein said...

I need a kick boxing partner, woman! If only I lived closer... I'd pee in my pants next to you.

LesleyG said...

What an awesome idea! I love it. One of these days, we're gonna run together. And Brookem, too. It just has to happen.

blakspring said...

i think this deserves a big ol' WOOT! a half-marathon is pretty impressive (i'm tired just thinking about it) and doing it for all the amazing women you'd grown up with is even better.