Thursday, May 28, 2009

In which I get some perspective.

Earlier yesterday DP and I had an exchange about someone complaining about how long and hot a run someone took their dog on. Turns out that the large, healthy animal in question was, in fact, taken on a 5 mile run, and it was 79 degrees. That got me to thinking about some of the things I did in the past that, at the time, seemed arduous and difficult, both to me and others around me.
Thanks to, I can now investigate and see how long they really were.

Investigation #1: Often, my mother could not pick me up from school on time, so I (age of 10) chose to make the long trek home. Oh, how I suffered: me, my backpack, and the long walk through the wooded suburbs in Alabama. Why, in winter, it would sometimes get down to the forties on occasion.
I mapped this. From Green Valley elementary school to my old house, it was a whopping 1.1 miles utilizing all the shortcuts I used to take.

Investigation #2: Middle school. Hoover, AL. I did the President's Physical Fitness test. Oh, how I kvetched about being made to run around the track at school for what seemed like hours. and HOURS. I fanned myself, walked when the coach wasn't looking, grousing, what are we, communists? OH, how I suffered.
I looked this up. Turns out that this was a 1 mile test, and most kids finished it in about 15 minutes or less.

Investigation #3: September, 1984. I got tired of waiting for my ride home from work. I decided to hoof it, walking along the railroad tracks that I knew ran behind our apartment. When I got home nearly an hour later, there was much hysteria from inlaws and my family. Why didn't you wait? Why didn't you call? OMG DO YOU KNOW HOW DANGEROUS THAT WAS?
I mapped this...the afternoon walk through a completely flat, Dallas suburb, was 2.2 miles.

Investigation #4: It was a bad, bad break up in 1998. Angry and grief-stricken, onc day I put on my cheap trainers and headed out the door. I walked for a while, and then saw a hill. I charged up the hill full speed, making it about 1/3 of the way up the hill, and then walked the rest of the way up, lungs burning, heart pounding, stomach rebelling. Then I turned around and walked back home. I discovered, accidentally, that this made me feel better, and did it a couple more times after that, but never more than once a day. Here's the profile of the outbound portion of that run:

Eventually, though, I wasn't angry any more, and after about 2 weeks, I stopped running up that hill.

Investigation #5: 2006. I did a half iron in Oklahoma City called, "The Redman Half". I remember it being quite hilly. Up and down...up and down. Then I did the half marathon and finished in the medical tent with goosebumps and an IV drip.

I mapped that single loop bike ride.

Drumroll please. Here it is:

Huh. Okay. Well, maybe it was the run that whooped me??

Well. It's all about perspective, I guess. Few things scare me any more. Some things nauseate me a bit, but I still toe the start line.

The more you do, the more you know you can do.

Have fun. Go to and map out some of those daunting experiences that you had long ago--it's really good for your mojo, to see how far you've come.



  1. "The more you do, the more you know you can do."
    That's why I'll be doing week-apart half-marathons on bronchitis-interrupted training. Becuase I know I can. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels nauseous thinking about doing hard things, though.

  2. i love mmr. very entertaining to see how "far" you went back in the day when it seemed like an eternity! the break up hill is intense - certainly looks like a great place to blow some steam.

    both of those last 2 elevation charts are very up and down, and i know that wears on me so don't think it wasn't hardcore of you! :)


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