Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Guest Blogger: Carolyn Hardy

Quick Update:  Training going great...strong and long!  Logistics planning in full swing!  88 Days from launch!  Donations?  Not where I hoped, but still 88 days out.  Cathy Pratt of FINF, reporting $550 in hand. 

Guest Blogger...

One of the best things that has happened during the course of the last year is the dozens of GREAT people I have met as I have planned for and trained for the run.  If nothing else cool happens, these connections are enough!  One of the base core of volunteers helping me is Carolyn.  She will be one of a few people guest blogging for me as I do the run.  I doubt, other than a few grunts, that I will be able to pull together a few sentences once I start.  So, people like Carolyn will be doing the writing as I make my way. 

Here is her bio and her first blog post!

I’m Carolyn – the one behind this guest post here. I’m energetic and spur of the moment. A free spirit of sorts. After lots of adventures backpacking the world, living in Thailand for 2 years as a Peace Corps volunteer, and marrying my best friend, another Peace Corps volunteer, I've settled down in Tampa, Florida. When I'm not working as a software trainer or getting walked by my dog, I swim, bike, run and blog about healthy living and vegan cooking adventures at Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.

Who is the runner in the relationship?
This morning before heading out the door for a run, my husband inquired about where I was running. We’ve mapped out a couple different routes near our house that we used to track distance before we invested in a Garmin. Having (almost) just finished a long racing season that has me pretty burnt out and slightly injured, I’ve decided to leave the Garmin at home. I just want to hit the road, enjoy the run, and not worry about the calculations of it all.

I responded, “I’m running the 5 mile out and back high school route.” He scuffed. See, he was about to head into the office, and he didn’t have time to go on a run this morning. Even though he will hit the pool later this afternoon, he still would rather be pounding the pavement with me.

Or so I thought.

“Remember when I used to be the runner in the relationship?” he proclaimed. “What? We used to go on date runs when we first met. You used to wear that horrible crossing guard vest so we wouldn’t get hit by cars,” I responded. (By the way, the vest is still worn in full force when it’s dark out. Safety first.)

Our conversation continued, and I deducted that what he was really getting at was that his wife was kicking his ass on mileage each week, and he was feeling slightly insecure about it all.

After a kiss goodbye, I was out the door running, thinking and enjoying my time on the road. After thinking back to the start of my adult running journey (I was literally pulled off the track field by my high school swim coach and told, “I don’t think so. Get back in the pool.”), I do recall that I started training for my first road race shortly after I met my husband, Dave. They say the person you marry should bring out the best in you. Dave sure does motivate me to be the best I can be. So after running the Iron Girl 10k in Clearwater, I was hooked on the sport.

A marathon, three half-marathons, a 10 miler, a 15k, some 10ks and numerous 5ks later, it’s safe to say I love the sport. I can’t exactly say I love to race; however, I do love training with friends and running, biking and swimming in new spots around town. I love connecting with other athletes and talking about gear and injuries and which doctors will cure it the fastest. I love finding a bargain on my favorite running clothes or shoes and looking all sporty in my new outfit. I love feeling healthy and fit. And yes, I do love crossing that finish line with a PR.

Sometimes it is easy to lose focus of everything that I do love about the sport. Injuries or a bad race can really set me back physically and mentally. After one too many training runs where I was trying to hit a certain pace for certain distance on a certain day of the week, I needed a break. Even if it was just a mental break that allowed me the flexibility to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. If I feel like biking today, then fine I bike. If a run sounds good because it is beautiful out, then by all means I run until I want to stop. This bit of freedom has made me feel better in the past week since after my last race. (So did the Thanksgiving food coma.)

When I crossed the line at the Women’s Magazine Half Marathon two weeks ago 7 minutes shy of the time I was aiming for and with an injury picked up 2 weeks before the race, I was sure I never wanted to run again.

That lasted for about 2 days when I was already thinking and planning out 2011’s racing season. While I’m not yet ready to commit to any distance races*, I am going to focus on sprint work at least for the first half of the year as I do some 5k, 10k and 15k road races and then head into Triathlon season.

I think it is safe to say, that my husband needs to move on over and make room for another runner in our relationship.

*this is from the perspective of a “commoner” runner where 13.1 miles is considered a long run not just a jog that happens every day before work. ;)

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