Carrabbas Relay

I had the pleasure of volunteering at yesterday’s Carrabbas Half Marathon Relay.  I took a couple of pictures while I was out at McAllister Park but neither turned out as well as I had hoped so no pics for this entry today (sorry).  Because of the heat, humidity, and the fact that I knew I was going to be out there for half the day, I opted to leave my fancy-schmancy camera at home and took photos with my phone.  Oh well.  As Da says, “I have the pictures in my mind!”

Yesterday was the first time I was a course marshal and a chip remover (or as I termed it, “Chip Clipper”).

Being a course marshal was pretty cool.  I got to wear the orange safety vest and was responsible for telling drivers to turn around so they wouldn’t hit the runners and point the runners in the correct direction when they came off the trail and headed onto the pavement.  After almost taking the wrong fork in the path at the Birdlover’s a few weeks ago because the course marshal had wandered off, I know how important it is for SOMEONE to be where they’re supposed to be during the race!

I had a few surprises: the curious little fawn that wandered to almost an arm’s length away from me and then scampering quickly away was the best one.  The idiot award goes to the “stoner” who drove up the road and almost hit me, even after I had begun waving my arms manically to get him to stop.  His question to me was classic: “Well, how am I supposed to get out of here?”  I turned to him with what I can only imagine was a mixture of annoyance and incredulity and calmly stated, “You’ve got enough room to do a perfect 3-point turn.”  So what does the dumbass gentleman do?  Attempts to drive forward (yes, into me & the runners) and make a tight u-turn.  Guess his car doesn’t have a “reverse.”

One job I hope to never have again is Chip Clipper.  My colleagues from the best junior high school in Texas will tell you I’m pretty-much a germophobe and hate to be touched and I don’t know what possessed me to volunteer to remove timing chips from the shoes of sweaty runners in the first place.  Let’s just say the moment that grossed me out was the first time someone’s sweat dripped on my arm while I was snipping the twistie holding his chip to his shoe.  Blech!  I couldn’t get to my towel fast enough.

The best part about being a chip clipper was getting to cheer in both the early and the final finishers.  That was the coolest!  Especially for the final finishers.  We were the only ones left to cheer them in. Trust me, as a “back of the packer” myself, it means the world to have someone standing there to recognize your accomplishment as you cross the finish line.

The Carrabbas relay makes the second time I’ve been out to McAllister Park.  I don’t know why my friend, the Ironman (as in Ironman Triathlete), says the park isn’t safe.  I guess if I were to be out there alone, it wouldn’t be the smartest place for me to be.  That’s why I’ll make sure Hub goes with me.

I plan to head back and explore some of the trails, at the very least stay on the main road through the park.  It’s a beautiful place.

Despite the idiot drivers.

No Hello!

I yelled at a fellow road warrior yesterday.  I don’t usually get angry with the folks I share the road with, but this guy really made me mad.  What did he do?

He didn’t return my “hello.”  It’s not the first time.  Yesterday was, however, the first day I turned around and yelled that I wish he would “JUST THIS ONCE!” say something back.

He & I have crossed paths hundreds of times on the Parkway over the past four years.  Each time I see him coming toward me, I call out a greeting.  Each time my greeting is met with silence.  Most days I shrug it off.  I greet everybody I meet: runners, walkers, cyclists.  It doesn’t matter who.  It’s the polite thing to do, we’re all neighbors, and we see each other all the time.  We all, for the most part, share an encouraging word with each other as we pass by.

So why was yesterday different?  Why did his silence yesterday trigger the angry response and not any of the times before?

I have no idea.

Dandelion Seeds & Onion Skin

Returned from an EXCELLENT two-miler about 30 minutes ago & I had a whole blog entry … a rant, really … composed in my head.  I changed my mind about the rant, though, and I’ll tell you why:  I was thrilled to be able to put my Saucony on my left foot.  I was thrilled to feel nothing … no pain, nada … when I took those first steps down my street.  I was thrilled with my pace.

After three weeks of not being able to do anything without some measure of serious pain … this morning was a real thrill!

So why the rant in the first place?  Well, I’ll tell you:

I realized yesterday that someone who had been very close to me for many years made a fool of me and I was angry.  I pouted about it all yesterday afternoon and really couldn’t fall asleep last night until I turned it over to God.  I, of course, took it back from Him when I woke up this morning and I stewed on it as I got ready to head out the door.

That anger propelled me forward through my first mile to my turnaround point.

And then I let it go.  All of it.  The anger, the humiliation, the disappointment, the embarrassment, the feeling of betrayal.

My turnaround point is at the top of a hill.  Imagine little dandelion seeds floating away on the wind or the outer layers of an onion falling away.  This is how I felt as I left all that ugliness and hurt at the top of that hill.

While I’d love be a Pollyanna and say I skipped merrily home with a smile on my face and a song in my heart, I can’t.  I still feel sad and empty.  I know these feelings will fade with time and I’m okay with this.

What really matters is my foot is healing, I had a GREAT workout this morning, and after three weeks of wanting to workout but not being able to, I’ll never … EVER … take my feet (or any part of my body) for granted again!

What goes up

“Lisa you have inspired me …”

A colleague texted me a couple of days ago (which reminds me, I need to send her this link) letting me know that she and her husband have registered for the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Half Marathon.  I was talking to another colleague the day before who was thinking about entering the race but wasn’t too sure about the 6:30 am workouts.  Really?  6:30?  I told her it would be nice to sleep in to work out at 6:30!  She thought I was kidding.

I’m mentally preparing myself to begin my own half-mary training on Monday and am not relishing the return to a 4:45am wake up calls!

Which is why I headed out the door this morning to test the foot out.  Each step hurt as I hobbled down my street and out to the Parkway.  I can’t count how many times before I hit my pre-determined turnaround point that I wanted to a) stop; b) sit down; c) cry; d) give up & go home.

But I didn’t do any of these.  For this reason, and this reason alone, I’m really proud of myself.

Something propelled me forward.  Step by step.  I thought the entire trip was going to be painful, but it wasn’t.

I discovered that there wasn’t as much pain when I went uphill.  I began looking forward to the uphills.  I remembered I live at the top of a slight hill.  I got really happy!

Until I remembered “what goes up must come down.”  My foot really hurt on the downhills.  I gimped down each hill relishing the prospect of the next uphill and home.

Home!  I knew what was waiting for me … ice & elevation.

I’m enjoying both as I type this.

That and the company of a man who loves me and knows how important it was for me to head out this morning.

Despite the pain.

Hero of Integrity

One of my clerks asked me if I was running the Komen race today.  I told him I wasn’t as I missed the deadline to get my entry fee in.  He said he didn’t pay, either, but was going to run anyway.  I gave him a look of extreme disapproval, explained that what he was planning to do was wrong, and walked away.

Did I mention he’s a seminary student?

Flash back two weeks ago to a golf tournament Hub & I were watching on TV.  It was sudden death, Brian Davis called a penalty on himself allowing Jim Furyk (I player I respect and often root for) to win the Verizon Heritage.  As hormonal as I am lately, I’m sure I cried while I was witnessed the scene unfold.  Brian Davis, a man I’d never heard of, became an instant hero of integrity for me.

Integrity isn’t a word I throw around lightly.  I was really pretty disappointed with my clerk and his cavalier attitude about running the Komen race and not planning to pay the entry fee.  For me, this is wrong on two levels: he’s studying to be a preacher and what he was planning to do is theft.

Aren’t preachers supposed to be moral role models?  Don’t they teach ethics in seminary? I don’t know about anyone else, but I sure don’t want to be receiving teaching in the Word from someone who doesn’t give a second thought to taking something and not paying for it.  And theft is exactly what running a race without paying the entry fee is called.

If he wants to run 3.1 miles and not pay for it, he needs to do what I’ll be doing in a few minutes … run around the neighborhood.

That’ll always be free.