Wednesday, April 4, 2012

3325 Inspirations in Less Than A Mile

Today's Miles: 2 miles at tempo pace

Yes. You read that right. I'm running again!! YAY!! YIPEE!! I mean REALLY running again. WOOHOO!!! I bumped my long run to 4 miles yesterday!! I'm so stupidly excited about it too.

Aren't you? Why not!? You should be!

This has been one incredible weekend!

On Friday, after flight delays (again), I made it home in time for Mark and I to close on our house loan!! WOOHOO!!!



But that means we get to start building soon. Well. After Dad builds a barn for a farmer whose barn burnt down over 2 years ago. 

Oh. And after the first cutting of hay comes off - because you know we're building in the middle of HIS hayfield on OUR land.

No worries. It will probably take until June to get everything ready to break ground anyway. (But bet on this, when that round baler leaves the driveway, I'll be out there with a shovel digging footers if I have to!)

Other exciting stuff....

This weekend was Knoxville Marathon weekend. No, I wasn't running. Psht. I'm just up to 4 miles!

But, my niece Robin ran in the Kids Run on Saturday evening. She was so nervous - my fearless niece that stands on the back of her horse because she thinks she's a trick pony rider - was nervous about running a mile. I'll admit, I wasn't so sure she could do it either. Our practice run a few weekends ago was.....unproductive? She's a weaver. She'll look to the left, then start weaving to the left. Look to the right, weave to the right. Mark & I were certain she'd trip someone. She also would only run for about 3 minutes, then need to walk. So, I was expecting more of the same for the Kids Run.

On the way there, she kept saying "I haven't trained for this." With a lot of anxiety in her voice.

So, how did she do? The gun went off - and so did she! I kept yelling after her, "Robin slow down." I didn't want her to sprint out at the front because she wouldn't make it to the end. Then after 1/2 a mile I'd yell "Robin Slow Down!" Simply because I couldn't keep up with her!!

She ran the ENTIRE mile! She'd slow down a bit when I'd yell for her, then she'd shoot off like a rocket again. Weaving her way through the 1300 other kids (and about 800 adults). She did great! I was so proud of her! And I'm so proud of me!! I ran my fastest mile ever!!! 9:13 minutes!  (If she runs again next year, it's ME that's going to have to do some training!)

Sunday was RACE DAY!!

I had several friends running in either the 5K, the 1/2 Marathon or the full Marathon. They all did exceptionally well!! I was lucky to be stationed where the 1/2 and the full split off. The 1/2 runners went past me down to Neyland Stadium & the finish line. The full runners went another 25 miles and passed me on their way to the finish line.

I felt like a cheerleader again! 5 hours of "Great job!" "You're doing great!" "You can do this!" "Stay strong!" and my favorite line of the day "LESS THAN A MILE!!" It was amazing to see people's spirits raise up when I said that one! Some dug deep and punched in another gear. Some were relieved that the end was near. Some were pissed that they still had further to go.

I witnessed incredible things on Sunday. Determination. Courage. Will power. Strength. Insanity.  Desperation. Hopelessness. Limpers. Bleeders (someone forgot to tell one poor fella about nipple chafing....bleedingnippleslookspainful). Draggers (one lady literally had two people - one on each side - holding her upright by the back of her shorts and her elbows while she "ran" the last mile). Beggers. Winners.

I saw incredibly talented runners take 13.1 or 26.2 miles with apparent ease and speed. I saw 400 lb men & women struggling with their will power to finish 13.1 miles - and THEY DID!! I saw an 82 year old man compete using a WALKER!! I saw a crippled man with leg braces walk 13.1 miles!

See that's the thing about running. You don't have to be in first place. Not in the race. Not in your age group. Everyone that went out there and stepped across that start line was a winner. Some didn't even finish the race. But they had trained for it. They had sacrificed. They had won.

Mark asked me why anyone would subject themselves to that kind of commitment, (pain), anxiety, (pain), exhaustion, (pain), etc. (yougetmydrift). It's nothing I can accurately describe. "A feeling of accomplishment" doesn't do it justice. It's something you have to experience to understand. And it doesn't have to be 26.2 miles. Or even 13.1 miles. It could be a 10K. Or a 5K. Or a mile. Or a trip around the block! It's whatever YOU set your mind to DO!

The best part of the weekend, was running that Less Than A Mile with my friend Amy Gibson Hammontree. This was her first full marathon. And it was a TOUGH course. I am so proud that she ran a marathon, and so proud for her courage to tackle the Knoxville Hilly Marathon. When I saw her running towards me, I was so excited...and a bit worried. So, I decided to run the last mile with her to keep her company and keep her going.

I've never before talked to someone after they've run 25+ miles - and let me tell you this...It.Ain't.Pretty. (Or coherent.)

She didn't have to say much though...or rather she just couldn't. The fact that she never stopped and kept running and made it across that finish line was AWESOME! Jumbled words and tears and all. I am SO proud of her.

Maybe one day I'll find the courage to tackle a full marathon?

Gotta run...


  1. Kristy, I just love your blog. And yay! You are running again!

    Thanks for your help & advice - and thanks to all the awesome volunteers at the race. I didn't thank them enough along the way...mostly because I was not having an easy morning and could barely form words.

    (And yeah, you can totally do a Full. There's supposedly a "flat" half in Tellico Village in late June, too...)

    1. No problem! I hope some of my 'wisdom' helped you along the way. Now that you're about to embark on training for a full - I'm useless. I'll have to pawn you off to Jennie Vee.

      And ever since I ran the Knoxville Half, I'm committed to volunteering every year (unless I'm running it). I just remember being towards the end, and there was NO ONE. I really needed some encouragement, and there was nothing. So, even though I'm really there to make sure everyone makes the right turn, I also feel like I'm there to be a cheerleader. And Knoxville's course is very non-cheery. There are some sections, but a lot of desolate areas too. People just watch, they don't cheer. That's sad. And frustrating. So, I'm glad to do it!

      And if I ever decide to do a full, it likely be in Florida. In December or January. Where it's FLAT! And when it's COOL!

    2. Yeah, there were people on 21st street that were there just to see the wreckage from that last hill. One dude said, "Lookin' good, guys..." but that was about it. I'm pretty sure there were some frat boys with a table full of jello shots going through the Fort, too. I didn't verify, but they kept awfully quiet about their little card table full of dixie cups. That's when I started talking to myself.

      I'm with you on Flat. Bloody hell. I'm emotionally scarred and it's going to take me a while to try Sequoyah Hills again.

  2. Knoxville is ridiculously hard. Just for future reference - Murphy, NC 1/2 marathon is harder. But JV ran the 1/2 as a good warm up for Boston! So if you ever get in to that race - you've got a great training ground!!

    That would have been hilarious to be running along and grab a dixie cup thinking you're getting water. Hello!

    And did you talk out loud to yourself? I do it all the time when I'm running. My neighbors think I'm insane.

    What full are you working towards?

    1. Oh I was totally talking out loud. I kept saying, "I'm not tired." Then when I saw the stadium I started singing parts of UT's pregame show. I'm sure people thought I was crazy and I didn't care one bit.

      I'm doing the San Francisco Full on July 29. Eep. I don't think I comprehended what a long way 26.2 miles is, until last weekend.