Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Today's blog is a critique of runners with silly arms. This obsession started when I was visiting my brother and sister-in-law in Chicagoland this summer. I went for a 16 miler on a popular trail that runs through the western suburbs...I had a lot of time to mock the silliness. Fleet Feet was apparently sponsoring some kind of training run that day, so there were A LOT of runners out that morning. Here is what I saw...and proceeded to mock.
1. The Rocky Runner....runs with arms in an upward jabbing motion. I was worried if they tripped, they would lose a tooth or two or give themselves a black eye.
2. The Cleavage Maker....runs with arms tight up to boobies, no arm movements...just squeezin' the girls.
3. The Windmiller....runs with arms in a wide circular motion...think 3 year old kid. BIG waste of energy, especially in the middle of summer in Chicago. However, amusing to watch as long as you give them a wide clearance to avoid getting caught in their windmill action.
4. The Dumb and Dumber....nuff said.
5. The Clencher....runners that clench and release their fists. Do they have finger cramps? Are they saying hi? What are they thinking about? Milking Cows?
I have more, but I'll spare you....I betcha can't resist the MOCK-ING! temptation next time you see a pack of silly runners...just don't PICK 'EM UP!!!!
(see above D and D reference for those of you who are not into quality cinematic masterpieces)
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Now, being a teacher isn't all that unusual. There are lots of people out there having sex...makin' babies....and guaranteeing that thousands of us out there have permanent job security. Thanks, to all of you procreatin' peeps out there...I appreciate the paycheck.
What's unusual about my job is that I am a Special Education teacher....in an alternative school for kids with severe behavior and mental health issues....in the hood. They enroll in my school for various reasons (ie. weapons violations, fighting, truancy, repeated behavior referrals, identified mental illness, returning from "big boy jail", etc.). I have the best job in the world. It's never a dull day. I have big highs, and just as big lows on a day to day, week to week basis. My students have a lot of....personality. They are hilarious. I love them. I can't imagine doing anything else.
That being said, it also isn't the safest job on the planet. I often get threatened, called interesting names, witness various forms of violence, and hear stories that would make your toes curl.
This is one of the big reasons why I run...it keeps me sane. My students think it's pretty cool that I run long distances. I get a lot of good natured teasing. The ones that make me laugh are the kids who say "I could run a marathon G. Pick me up next time and I'll run with ya. I bet I beat you." And, in the next breath, they ask me to pick up the pencil that they dropped on the floor....in front of them.
Other than for the obvious reasons, I am beginning to think I'm not normal. Sometimes (when I'm really desperate), I will go for runs after work in town. I tell coworkers that I'm leaving, and if I don't come back within a certain time period, send help. On the rare occasion that I force myself to do track work, the security guard watches me run on the cameras aimed at the track. Sometimes I will run on a trail system just outside of town (usually before after-school meetings). The first time I ventured out on the trails, I got out of my car and said out loud, "Well, this is a really dumb idea." Of course, I didn't get back in the car. I thought (to myself this time), "I'll just run real fast and get it over with before it gets dark." Ya Bets, THAT makes it better. I ran by some signs with bullet holes in them and picked up the pace a wee bit....one of the best interval days I had...ever.
So here's where the occupational hazard idea sinks in....About a month ago, I was out for a long endurance run in the town where I live. It was a Saturday morning. It was quiet, peaceful, and light on traffic. I had my ipod on and I was in a happy runnin' zone. Unbeknownst to me, a car was in trouble behind me. One of the tires on the car had a blow out....a very loud, gunshotlike blow out. So, instead of losing all bladder control, all heart function, and curling up on the sidewalk in the fetal position, I flinched. Yes, I flinched. I turned around and gave the car my best "teacher look" (known to stop grown men in their tracks), turned back around, and went on my merry way.
Now I feel a little silly letting Chicken Lady get the best of me.....
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
I'm disappointed. I didn't make a PR on Sunday. I was about 2 minutes off. I'm really disappointed in myself. Now, I can come up with the following "excuses:"
- Since March 2007, I've competed in 3 half marathons and two full marathons...I'm just plain tired.
- I've been injured...tendonitis in my ankle, bone spur on my heel, morton's neuroma in my foot, and a calf muscle that is so tight, that a specialist wants to cut me open and slice through the connective tissue to lengthen it.....I was in pain.
- It was a very hilly course....That slowed me down.
All of those "excuses" are a bunch of malarkey. Here's the REAL reason I didn't make a PR: good ol' fashioned fear. I have done interval training and speed drills....I know what to do. I held back. I was afraid of tanking at the end and crawling across the finish line. I thought I was "pacing" myself. I KNOW I could have ran at a faster pace the whole race. I actually sprinted the last 2 miles of the race and had energy to spare. Stupid, stupid, stupid fear. I thought the sprint saved me at the end and would put me over the top, but it didn't.
Like Mr. Stampfl says.... I need to defeat fear and conquer myself...I was my own worst speed enemy on Sunday.
Now, on a happier note, I had an AMAZING time at the race. Twelve of my friends, in three teams of four, ran the marathon relay....many of them weren't runners months ago. I've never been a spectator at a race. I LOVED IT!!! You definitely see some amazing acts of humanity on the race course, but to be able to watch from the sidelines, you get to see so much more! While I waited for my friends to finish, I watched parents cross the finish line with their kids holding their hands. I saw two team members of one relay team run across the line, one on the other's shoulders. I saw relay teams run, hand-in-hand, across the line and end in a big group hug. I heard the announcer read names of people in their 70s as they crossed the finish line (they are my heroes). I watched as people ran across that line, arms spread wide, faces up, tears streaming down their faces (and mine).
Friday, April 4, 2008
The Bets's Six Word Memoir....
So, Kate, Liz (Kate's Mom), Kris (fellow teach' in the 'hood...and Kate's best bud), Ruralrunner (random fellow blogger/teacher I met on runner's lounge), and Fatrunnergirl (jus' cus I like her blog, and us fat kids gotta stick together!) consider yourself tagged.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
2. I go to Walgreens, the grocery store, post office, etc. Townie stops me and says with a chuckle, "Hey, Betsy did you run here?" "Why aren't you running?" "Wow, look at you! You are dressed in normal clothes! I didn't know you wore anything besides running gear!" "If I forget something on my list, I'll call ya and you can just run back up here for me, right?" I usually just laugh and say "Ha, ha...good one!" However, this is my internal response when I'm feeling extra snarky....
- I have a life outside of running. I eventually stop and interact with people. I'm not a hamster. Running is not the only thing I do.
- I have a job. I'm not a fast runner and no one is knocking down my door to offer me big money endorsements to run around town. So, yes, I do own "normal" clothes and shower on a very regular basis, thank you.
- No, I will not "run" your errands. I would likely knock myself out with your milk jug and break all of your eggs. I will not pick up your feminine products or hemorrhoid cream and run down the street...I would most definitely ruin my chances with Hot Runner Guy.
3. A few weeks ago, some old lady and her husband (not Chicken Lady) were stopped at a light at a busy intersection in our downtown area. She rolled down her window and finger waved at me to come over to her car. Seriously?! You want me to run into the middle of the intersection and risk getting flattened? Ah....no. I like all my appendages right where they're at, thank you.
4. Mile 23 of my last marathon...I'm nearing the beer stop. My legs are shredded. I am feeling EVERY step. I know that if I stop, I'm never going to start again. The beer stop has some very chipper spectators, which I appreciated. One of the spectators saw me, ran across the race field and waved me down, yelling "Stop!" Ah....no Silly Lady, I'm not gonna do it and you can't make me (I think I may have actually said that out loud). So, Silly Lady jogged along next to me and said, "Oh honey, I just had to stop you to tell you that my name is Betsy too! You don't often meet another Betsy!" You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me. Obviously Silly Lady has never run a marathon.
My Blog List
O'Fallon (IL) YMCA 15K Winter 2007
St. Louis Track Club Half Marathon (spring) 2007
Spirit of St. Louis Marathon 2007
Boilermaker 15K Roadrace 2007 (Utica, NY)
Lewis and Clark Marathon 2007 (St. Charles, MO)
St. Louis Track Club Frost Bite Series 2008
Go! St. Louis Half Marathon 2008
Route 66 Festival 10K 2008 (Edwardsville, IL)
O'Fallon (IL) Summer Sizzler 15K 2008
Lewis and Clark Half Marathon 2008 (St, Charles, MO: DNS-cancelled due to Hurricane Ike)
O'Fallon Fall Finale 15K 2008
St. Louis Track Club Half Marathon 2008 (PR!)
Mountain Home Half Marathon (Arkansas) 2008 (2nd in age group!)
Great River Road Run (IL) 10 miles
St. Louis Track Club Frost Bite Series 2008-2009
Phoenix Rock-n-Roll Marathon (AZ)
Go! St. Louis Half Marathon 2009
Kentucky Derby Half Marathon 2009
race wish list
Marine Corps Marathon
Great River Relay
Chicago Distance Classic
- ▼ April (7)