Friday, October 22, 2010

How Fast Is Slow Enough? How Slow is Fast Enough?

A little over 5 years ago I watched my husband complete his 3rd or 4th, sprint triathlon.  I also watched women doing it who were just as old and heavy as I was,some of them even older and even heavier.  And, I thought, maybe.

 The first time Sweet Baboo asked me if I would run with him shortly after that, I did a slow, shuffling jog maybe 20 yards before having to stop and walk.  It was a perfectly flat, neighborhood road, and that's all I could manage, before stopping to walk slowly, and catch my breath. It was a start.  Everything has a beginning.

It took years before I could run the whole way through a 10k, and then a half marathon, Even longer before I could run the whole way through a full marathon  I might have been able to do it faster, but I'm tentative, and afraid of being breathless at times  I still am, a little.  I call myself lazy, tongue-in-cheek, but what I really am, most of the time, is fearful.  I'm fearful of lots of things.  It's just gradually my fear of not finishing overcame  those other things.  I would do the next longer distance, sometimes going to dark places and hating it the whole time, but as soon as I crossed the finish like I would mutter to myself, "I bet I could do that better," or, "I wonder what else I can do?"

So I did my triathlons, and occasionally did duathlons and running events to support that.  Along the way I discovered, much to my (and anyone who knew me for a long time, honestly) surprise that running was my preferred sport.

I never planned on doing anything like this; it existed in some other realm of people who were the other, those people who were willing to give up time to train, which still seemed like work for me.  I had turned ankles, and IT band syndrome, and sore hips, but the soreness and the injuries would fade, and I would learn from it, and get back out there and start again.

Less often, I saw wonderful things and had wonderful feelings that, while fleeting, left me searching for me chances to feel that way.  Most of those times came with trail running, so I drifted in that direction.

I do not come from a family of outdoorsy people, like Sweet Baboo does.  My people are not runners, or even hikers.  My people are drinkers, and eaters.  The drinkers are the skinny ones  The eaters tend to live a bit longer, but not a whole bunch.  I'm not all that crazy about how either of those extremes winds up, late in life, so I went my own way.

Is a 100 miler in everyone?  Is it even in me?  I don't know.  All I know is, I'm constantly amazed as what I can get this body, now nearly 46 yeas old, to do.  When I do local 5ks and 10ks I love watching the women cross the finish line of their very first 5k or 10k, and I wonder where it will take them next. I admire all the people who do various things for charity or in honor of some dearly departed loved one because, honestly, I'm completely selfish.  This is for me.

So, tomorrow at 6 am, I'll begin a new journey.  Regardless of whether I finish 100 miles, or 100K, I'll learn something, and have a new experience I never had before.  On the other side of this experience will be lessons that I'll generalize to other parts of my life, like I always do.

So the take home message here is that you can do more than you think you can.  You can amaze yourself.  You can.  You may not want to run 100 miles.  But you can do something, I bet, that you never thought you could.

Dread Pirate will be updating to my facebook wall.

See you on the other side.



  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this. This year I did my first 5K, my first sprint Triathlon, and a 150 mile two day cycling event.

    I was a larger girl, and I still am. And sometimes it is hard to think that I could EVER do all things I want to do...even after the things I have already accomplished.

    But you are such an inspiration. What you have done and are doing is inspiring me to keep trying. To keep trying for the 1/2 marathon, the 1/2 Iron Man, and someday I hope to do ultrarunning like you are doing.

    Thank you for embarking on this journey. You may be doing it for yourself, but you are inspiring others in the process.


  2. Good luck tomorrow! Can't wait to read about your 100 mile adventure.

  3. You are an inspiring matter how long you go tomorrow, it'll be a lot! Have a blast!

  4. What a wonderful post.

    Good luck tomorrow, we're all rooting for you.

  5. Amazing post. I love following your blog. I am cheering for you tomorrow.

  6. Sending you "whinge and bitch your way to your big achievement" vibes from Australia! Go Misty Go!

  7. inspiring as always--looking forward to the report!


  8. You are fantastic and so is this post! I know you'll do great at javelina and can't wait to hear about it.

  9. You are definitely an inspiration and I'm very appreciative that I get to tag along in the journey even just a bit.

    Can't wait to read your race report telling us all about how you rocked this race!

  10. Wow, you are awesome! That was a great post! I hope you will come by my site on Tuesday because I have a great surprise for you!

    Good luck and have a great race!

  11. My people are eaters and drinkers as well; which is why I'm a runner.

    Yes, of course, you can do this. Next, we'll make bread!

  12. thought about you this morning as I was out running - sending good vibes and mojo from WV your way!

  13. Sending good thoughts your way......I absolutely love that you thought "I wonder what else I can do?" Here's something else you've already done - given me one more place to look for an example and inspiration - athletically and in life, with your professional and personal drive and determination, and been one more amazing woman I've been fortunate enough to find virtually even if we never meet. Can't wait to read all about it!

  14. You are one of my heroes, and I'm wishing you all the best today!

  15. Take that fear - you my former plus-size running goddess are out there right now kicking ass and doing it. Whether "it" is 100 miles or kilometers, you rock. Now you know that you can save your fear for truly scary things - say, the return of stirrup pants or high school reunions.

  16. I can identify so much with this...well, the beginning of the journey, anyway. I've been thinking about you today and wondering how it's going. I'm sure even when it's going ok it's terrible...which will maybe make the story even better in the end.

  17. You are truly awesome - LOVE this post.

  18. Great post - inspiring! All the best for tomorrow, looking forward to read the race report!

  19. You have inspired me from your very post. Thank you for sharing your journey. I am one of the legions of people that can say I am a better person for having met you.

    I really hope we get other opportunities to run together.

  20. "you can do more than you think you can. You can amaze yourself. You can. "

    I sent my friend a link to your post-Leadville entry and told him I wanted to be like you and do the things you do even if they scare me. Because how awesome when you do it, even if you don't do it "well" compared to everyone else? you continue to be my inspiration!! thanks!

  21. I found you through Christi at Pedestrian Runner. This post spoke to me so much! I relate on so many levels. You are an amazing inspiration, and I hope my journey takes me to the places yours has taken you. Congrats on such a HUGE accomplishment!


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