It’s Been Awhile…

Hello there! It’s been a long time no see (or read or write as the case may be).  I haven’t died. I’ve just been super busy and super lazy in the little bit of down time I seem to find.  But that’s going to change! I know, I know. I said this before, but I mean it this time!  Why am I so sure I’ll be more consistent with my blogging this time? Well, because of a simple horoscope I read today in the Sacramento Bee (it was in the actual paper edition, I have no clue if you can find it in the online edition).  It said this:

Gemini Sign ImagePhysical activity is more fun, with pain and gain. Work to increase your muscles and savings. Work on your novel or project.

Why does that mean so much? And on this particular day? Well, I’ll tell you. But bear with me, it’s kind of a meandering and seemingly disconnected story.

My last real post (i.e. not a pushed book review from Goodreads, although I do know a lot of people that really enjoy those) was the beginning of this year after I had completed the Inaugural Tinkerbell Half Marathon.  Sadly, I didn’t quite keep up my running (or any sort of exercise for that matter) after the race.  I was continuing my extra-curricular education at community college in pursuit of web programming and multimedia design certificates (I was taking three classes).  I’d also started work as a contract analyst writing some fishery related reports.  All this while still working full time and participating in a bowling league.

A Batmobile
Yep, I got to see all the Batmobiles at ComicCon 2012.

When the semester ended, I was extremely excited for my summer vacation.  Somehow, the summer passed without actually accomplishing much of anything.  I attended Comic Con again, but somehow never found the time to write about it.  I still had the fishery reports to write and that took up a lot of time.  Now, off the top of my head, I can’t tell you what I did over the summer.  I didn’t paint. I didn’t write. I didn’t even play any of my video games.  It’s sad when you can’t remember what you did, only what you didn’t do. 

In August, school started again (I chose to only take two classes this semester – which has been a good choice). I started running every once in a while, but not enough.  Why not enough? Because despite my apathy about running another race after I’d completed Tink, I’m signed up for two more.  The first one is in November – the Big Sur Half Marathon in Monterey.  That one happened because one of my cousins had decided to run it and I didn’t want her to do it alone.  The second one happened because it’s the Second Tinkerbell Half Marathon and many other family members were headed down to enjoy the 5K as part of that weekend. So, I figured why not? November is rapidly approaching and I have not been training. Part of that is due to a fairly severe ankle rolling in June and the lengthy healing process (I can just now start to wear high heeled shoes again – but still only short ones and for limited times).  The other part has just been apathy.  But I’ve known that I need to get my but moving so that I don’t injure myself in November.  So, all week I had actually been planning to do a 6 mile run today. 

My plan was to run back to my home from my cousins (its 6.6 miles) after the combined birthday brunch family gathering.  That way I had to do the distance no matter what.   Early this morning, the gathering was canceled.  I considered not doing the run, or maybe starting small with a 30 minute one.  Then I read the horoscope (see above).  I knew I needed to do the originally planned 6 miles, and I knew it would hurt.  But pain and gain often go together. 

And I did it. It was a slow 6 miles, but it was 6 miles.  I’m going to feel it tomorrow (I’m really feeling it now). But without doing this, I know how bad November 18th would be.  This is the start to being back in training so I can meet my original goal of besting my original Tinkerbell Half Marathon time when I’m back running it for the second time (At this point, I have no goal other than to finish the November one with minimal pain.).

And this brings me back to my goal of writing more regularly.  The horoscope that got my butt moving today has also provided inspiration for my projects.  While I can’t remember what I did over the summer, I know what I didn’t do. I didn’t work on any of the paintings I have started and/or planned.  I didn’t write anything unless it was work related (day job and contract work).  I have not been fulfilling my soul.  It’s time to do that. I’ve been unhappy (for many reasons, but a big one is that lack of creative activity) and I know how to fix that.  So it is time to feed the soul and to feed it regularly. So…

I’ll see you again soon!

After the run, we finished!

Half-Marathon Completed…Now What?

After the run, we finished!I did it. I finished the Tinkerbell Half Marathon last Sunday.  I didn’t quite make it under my goal time, but I was close enough considering I was extremely ill the day before and slept fairly little the night before.  But I finished it.  And best of all, my cousin finished it too. I’m so proud of her (and myself too).  It was hard and it was painful, but I did it.  I never thought I’d ever run a half-marathon and now I can say I have.  I have the fancy (and very heavy) medal to prove it.

The race was a lot of fun.  It was incredible to be able to run through the Disneyland and California Adventure parks.  I almost cried as I entered Disneyland that morning.  There were characters and floats available for photo-ops and just a lot of magic (and perhaps so many good memories of my experiences there with family and friends).  And on the streets of Anaheim, there were high school cheer squads, dance teams, and marching bands to encourage us all to keep going.  Even the friends and family of runners were there to cheer on random strangers.  It was incredible.  For my cousin, she was moved to keep going by hundreds of red hat ladies out at 6-7am to cheer us on.  It was very inspiring.

The Finisher medal for the Tinkerbell Half-Marathon
The medal for finishers of the Tinkerbell Half-Marathon

The morning started off way too early for everyone.  But once we were corralled with thousands of people, you couldn’t help but feel energized.  The national anthem was sung (with fireworks to illustrate “rockets’ red glare” even).  And the race began.  I stayed with my cousin for about the first mile before I left her to manage her pace while I managed mine.  I kept my pace consistent until about mile 9 or 10. It was then that I started to hurt.  And really that does make sense, due to complications with my busy schedule the farthest run I ever did in my training was only 9 miles.  But I kept going.  At mile 11, I was ready to throw up and everything had started to hurt. But I kept going.  About mid-way through mile 12, all the staff along the route had started to tell us runners “You’re almost there. The finish is just around the curve.”  After going around a couple curves, I wanted to scream at them “You’re lying!”.  And then a couple curves later, it really was just around the bend.  The finish was in sight and I could hear my mother’s voice cheering me on.  I crossed the finish line and then kept going through the maze that made up the finisher chute.  I picked up my reflective “blanket”, my medal, some water and powerade, then had to stand in line for a finishing photo, then got snacks, and then made it through the tent to meet up with family and friends.  It was pretty awesome to have my mom and my aunt there to celebrate my accomplishment.

After I was able to calm my shaking muscles, it was time to find out where my cousin was so we could cheer her through the finish.  And finish she did.  It was one hell of a morning.  I still can’t quite believe we did it, although our bodies certainly believed it.  The rest of the day (and Monday too) was quite comical as we tried to keep our bodies moving to enjoy the parks.  Getting in and out of rides was quite the hysterical challenge.  And I don’t even want to tell you have much laughter and pain were associated with the before and after of watching the parade the next day.  I’m just so grateful I had someone with me that understand every grimace on my face and strange sound effect that escaped my mouth as we continued to push our bodies all in the sake of Disney fun.

So, now that I’ve done a half-marathon, what’s next? I have several friends who did their first and caught the runners bug continuing on to do many more half-marathons (and even full marathons).  I don’t think I’m there. While I kinda want to do one of the East Coast half-marathons to get that Coast-to-Coast medal, I’m not totally sold on it.  And there’s a part of me that would like to do another Disney Half to not only improve my time, but also to try to take advantage of the amazing photo opportunities.  But, then I remember I’d have to run faster if I plan to improve my time AND stop for pictures and that does not appeal to me.  I’m thinking I might want to explore other entertaining events.  Devil Dash or run from zombies anyone?

This is the route I ran for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon. I crossed I-5 four times!

A Reluctant Runner

Run Disney TInkerbell Half Marathon Promo Picture

Three weeks from today, I will be in Disneyland and most likely in pain.  I will be participating in the Inaugural Tinkerbell Half-Marathon.  I’m a little frightened.  I’ve never been a runner.  But, for some unknown reason, last April when the Tinkerbell Half-Marathon was announced, I had the brilliant idea that I could do it.  So, I registered at my first opportunity.

I have been training (rather half-assed until about September/October when I started training more earnestly) and I have seen improvements, much to my surprise.  I’ve been “running” two to five times a week.  Running is in quotes because it’s more like jogging. My pace is definitely not the fastest, but I have managed to maintain a fairly consistent pace, even on my longer runs.  I’m clocking in at a speedy 11 minutes per mile, which is actually a big deal for someone who has had the worst shin splints her entire life.  I never thought I’d be spending my Sundays  going on 8-9 mile runs.

I’m quite proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish to date with my training, no matter how long it takes me to finish my first ever (and more than likely my only) half-marathon.  At least I can be pretty confident that I will still be able to move after the run and continue to enjoy the splendor and magic of Disneyland later in the day (after a long shower, some quality time in the spa, and a nap of course).  Plus, there’s the added bonus of knowing I could probably eat three churros without any guilt due to the calorie burn from the race. And I will be able to revel in the knowledge that I pushed myself to do something I never thought I could and/or would do.  Wish me luck. Three weeks and counting…