Monday, October 05, 2009


Yes, you read that right, that is not a PR.

That is also not a 2:TEENS:00 time.

What that is, however, is the second half marathon time in one year.

And a watermark over my chest because I'm not paying $80 for 5 digital photos, thankyouverymuch.

So, you know, I could sit here and be all Woe is me I didn't get a PR during my second half marathon of the year and WOE I didn't make it into the 2:TEENS even though I kept up a 2:15 pace until mile 5 when my thirst took over all my other senses and led me by the ear from water station to water station, but I'm not all that woeful.

Because - for one - I killed my goal. I ran two half marathons in a year.

And - for two - now I can do something NEW.

I can go out into Nature and run around on NEW trails I've never run on before. I can see NEW things like wild animals (although, please no mountain lions) and farm animals (goats - I'm coming for you) and animals like squirrels that will make any runs with my sidekick, Jada, really fucking interesting.

I can try out NEW gear like running shoes with weird tread and socks that cover my ankles. I can try out NEW features on my Garmin like the compass and the mapping that will tell me how to get back to my favorite routes even when I'm not on roads carefully mapped by Google.

Ahhhhhhhhh - I love NEW.

And because most everything about yesterday's race was not NEW, I will spare you the mile by mile details because it was basically just like last year's race of the same name except with the following refreshing, surprising and horrible differences, respectively:

Now, the lack of American flag shorts wearers was not a difference that I missed. I mean, I really don't need the blow to the ego of some 70 year old beer gut chugging past me at mile 9 just as I'm working up my big internal "You can do it" speech. It's just not that motivating to watch all that red, white and blue hustle by as you dig deep down and try to muster all your energy to push on.

See - no American flags in sight. How can this be?

However, I suppose it's possible that there were American flag shorts wearers and I've managed, somehow, to move my ass up in the crowd just far enough so that they don't pass me at my lowest moment. Perhaps. Or perhaps their shorts were in the wash and they instead wore their Elvis costumes.

2. I managed to see my next door neighbor on my way to my corral even though there were 12,000 other people there

Another Mystery in Racing was the moment when I was approaching Corral 8 (just like all 3 years I've run this race - see, the same), felt a tap on the elbow and turned to find my neighbor, a man who recently dusted me on a training run even though he was nursing a sore ankle, there to smile and wish me well and stagger off to Corral, like 4, or something. He's a very nice man, who's always very encouraging and camaraderie-ish about the running, otherwise I'd say something snarky even though I'm not sure what that would be because he is just that nice.

But I should note here that our (mine and Bubba's) ability to find friends in large crowds (over 5,000 people is our specialty) is starting to border on Super Hero-like. Seriously. Three years in a row, we managed to bump into our two close friends before AIDS Walk SF (25,000+ people) without any pre-arranged meeting place or even knowing we were all going. I managed to run into a good friend and my "It's your fault I'm running" buddy at the Turkey Trot (6,000+ people) a few years back while just standing around with the dog. I had a chance encounter with my cousin at a race we were both participating in (granted, only about 1,000 people, but still)- which doesn't sound all that chance except that my ability to recognize faces or do any other cognitive activities while running is pretty lousy.

And now this - my neighborly neighbor just right there and Hey! Have a great race! even though there is, like, a 1 in 24,000 chance that I'd even see him.

I do hope this is the early development stage of our Super Hero Friend Finding Powers because that'd be excellent. Make finding each other on the mountain in Steamboat a lot easier, too.

3. Two people died during the race

What's not excellent, though, is that two people died during the race yesterday. I'm not going to go into details or get all religious-y on you because I'm not the news and I'm not religious, but I will say that it breaks my heart.

I always imagine, when we're crowding into our corrals before the race, that we're all there filled with similar emotions and anxieties and excitement and expectations. We're all fiddling with iPods and watches and doing stretches where there's no room to stretch. We're all looking around at other people's pace bands and funny shirts and trying to make small talk when in our heads we're all just thinking "PR PR PR".

And it makes me feel better, when I'm all wacked out with the Pre-Race Crazies, that in a couple hours we'll all be crossing the finish line and getting our orange wedges while some nice volunteer wraps sacks of ice around our aching knees and we admire the newly earned medals hanging around our necks.

It just never occurred to me that all of those folks who started the race wouldn't finish the race. That this race would be the last thing they did.

Makes me sad is all.

And hopeful that they said the same goopy goodbyes and good lucks that Bubba and I do before races and that they felt the satisfaction of competing in a race for which they'd long prepared. And, in the end, they'll still get their medal. If not an orange wedge and a good ice pack. One without holes that's tied tight and doesn't leak down your leg when you start walking to the car.

I'll just hope for that because that's what I know how to do.

And before this race recap turns into a big sad sob-fest, let me tell you that I have signed up for another race.

Go ahead - laugh if you must.

And feel free to point at the screen and go, "FINNY LIES!", because I know I just said I was going to do something NEW and this race, the aforementioned Turkey Trot, is not NEW, but I've assumed since the last Trot that I'd do this Trot again and I kinda like the tradition of Trotting before The Thanksgiving of Many Desserts, because of the minuscule amount of guilt it removes (about 300 big calories - whoopy) and because it means I can have race fries before Thanksgiving dinner on the way to my folks'.

Yesterday's Race Fries + Bonus cheeseburger! I think I know why I'm not "streamlining".

Hi mom! I eat fries on my way to Thanksgiving at your house! Forgive me! I'll bring a green vegetable!

I should say though that the course of this year's Trot is "Brand New" and, I believe, removes the oh so treacherous freeway on-ramp that had us gaining, like, 70 feet, or something, so I guess that covers off the NEW requirement. And as long as they really prepare for the nearly 10,000 people they're expecting and it's not a total shitfest like it was in '07, I'll keep up this tradition even if I make the switch to trail running the rest of the time.

But if I get slammed by even one stroller - be it single or double-wide - I'm done. No more trotting with idiots who think that the 9 minute pace sign really says, "Hey, smush all your strollers in here because who wants to stand waaaaaaaaaaaay back there by the Strollers and Families sign".

Turkey Trot people - take note.

And that is all the running I've got to talk about.


  1. Fo and I always thought running into you and Bubba at AIDS Walk was some wonderful karma gift. But I don't think we'll ever run into you at a half marathon because I don't do no running and Fo don't do nuthing by halves.

  2. Super congrats!!! I'm so happy for you, what a great goal - two in one year. I'm slowly getting back on the wagon and hope to do a half in the two half marathons only 8 years apart!!!

  3. YAY!! It's the post-race break! It almost makes up for all the suffering, right?

  4. Congratulations Finny! You almost had me crying there in the middle, but you recovered nicely. Very sad though. I can see that this running is addictive -- Go You!!!

  5. A. I love your new haircut. You are so, so pretty! Love it. Love it. Love it.

    B. Who cares about the teen thing? Really? You ran 2 halves! I am super proud of you!

    3. yum

  6. Good job! I'm sorry to hear about the folks who died... all I can say is (and I know it's trite) at least they died doing something they loved. We should all be so lucky.

  7. So I totally cried at no. 3. I so know all those pre-race emotions you are talking about and how big and loving the whole thing feels when there are thousands of people lined up-who have all been training and are excited and got up at ungodly hours to make it there in time to do their cute warm-up activities. The kissing and good lucks. It is sad and no, not just because I am 14 months pregnant.

    And, congrats! Two halves and I love love that first photo. Might be worth $80. Although, I could totally clone stamp out that watermark for long as you'd bail me out of jail.

  8. Great job! That picture looked crowded - those people were totally slowing you down.
    And yay for your fancy new do. Careful, "short" hair is addicting. I lost ponytail status long ago and I love it.

  9. go not only finished buy you didn't get carted off by ambulance or police which I think is a bonus.

    And I have to admit it. I'm one of those who thinks it's funny to run people over with the stroller. Only if they are total asses, though. And my kids think it's great. It's bad when Olivia (4 and in the front of the double) sticks her feet out, so they get rammed in the ass and the ankle.And Jackson (18 months and behind Olivia) claps and says "Mo" which means more. Perhaps I'm a bad influence. Super Nanny would have a field day with me. :)

  10. I was going to comment about the loveable dorkiness of the first picture of you and then I read about the dying. Seriously sad.

    BTW, my word verification was "ofansult" which I think is TOTALLY appropriate because I am your FAN and I *INSULT you. Hahaha!

    *with love in my heart

  11. Ahh! Yay! Go you! Sounds like G&T (with cucumber) time!

  12. You're awesome! Nuf said.

  13. Congratulations on a successful race; I'm truly tickled for your success.

    I am participating in my first 10K on Oct. 24, due in large part by reading about your exploits. However, my efforts pale against yours since mine is just walking and not running. No matter, I've been working hard since spring on preparing and I'm super proud that I've progressed to this point. The walking is proving to be aquite beneficial for my arthritis, fibromyalgia, and bone problems. Thank you for the inspiration. On the days my joints hurt too much, I think about you and determinedly tie up my shoes to venture out the door. Now I'm walking 3 miles a day which is a major accomplishment for me.


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.