I just registered for the Stuttgart-Lauf. It makes it sound so cheerful and LOLly. “Are you having a lauf?”
It’s 7k and in three weeks, so I shook out a little speed work today. Speedier than intended given that I spent a half mile thinking that 7.0 mph was a 9-minute mile.
The stupid. It burns. In the lung area.
Let’s just get this out of the way — I won my age division.
Now let’s get the second part out of the way — I run pretty fast for a 75 year old.
The official times went up last night, and I found my name, along with a very puzzling “1.”
“What does that mean, do you think? I couldn’t have been “1” at anything.”
Yep. I raced in the “Frauen ab 75” division. How? I registered online, so it wasn’t handwriting that had me born in 1934…
OH. Ryan actually figured it out — I saw the word for “year” and assumed they were asking how old I am. NOPE. Year you were born, apparently. So, 1934 it is! (I checked, my mistake didn’t ace any senior runners out of a prize. I was in a class by myself.)
That, amazingly, was the worst of the race/language barriers. I showed the lady the photo of my confirmation, she pointed me to a list where again, I was stunned to find my name — I’d done the registration (mostly) right — and got my bib. Race fees are entirely nominal here — this one was 5 Super Dollars, races tees were 8. Very cooperative.
The weather, was less so. It poured waiting for the race to start, and I nearly tweeted an unflattering comparison between Germany and Oregon weather while I feared for my poor VIP Spectating Committee.
Thankfully, it stopped and held off for the whole race.
The start and finish, from the sidelines and the corral. For a smallish (200 runners and change) all women’s race, there was a lot of support — and I used my very best “Dankeschön” on all of them.
Especially MY little supporter.
Her feet stayed cleaner than mine. The middle 3k was a boggy-trail mud pit. It might have slowed my pace a little while I did the mincing “DON’T FALL DOWN ICK GROSS” prance — or it might have been a good pacer to keep me from burning out.
I chased my German Chelsea Storms through the pit and finally passed her around the 7k mark. It’s weird, in the States even though there are 10k races, they marker them in miles — somehow knowing you have to tick down 10 markers instead of 6 makes it seem longer. I didn’t have on my pace tracker, I didn’t want to be discouraged. I just wanted to finish, hoping for 12-minute miles, and trying to keep my prior 10k record out of my head.
I haven’t been running a ton of miles. I’ve been lifting, and pushing my friend in her jogging stroller, which feels really slow. I didn’t have big hopes. But at the halfway turnaround, I clicked on my phone time — and it said 30 minutes. I had a chance.
A chance made a little harder by the fact that “Saarbrücken” means “all of the bridges in the world to run up and over” but!
The PR (59:20) that’s stood since March 29, 2009, as immortalized by the Blackberry/check out the shadow selfie on the left, has fallen.
And now I shall issue my Expert DIY Speed-Training Running Advice — get a 40 lb bag of sakrete. Put it in a wheelbarrow. Run while shoving it. Seems legit.
Final time: 58:22. (And my hamstrings are letting me remember it today.)
But PRs, blah blah. The real MVPs stood on the sidelines and took a nap while they waited for me to finish.
And that’s the real prize.
I found the starting line AND the finish line, and all of the ks in between. It wasn’t chip-timed, but based on my very best photo forensics, I’m calling it: 58:25. (Best by 55 seconds? I’d really, really like to believe it.)
What I AM sure of, is that I had the best cheering section there.
(The whole story tomorrow, for people who are into that kind of thing, but SPOILER ALERT: yay.)
I think I have a race today. “Think” encompassing outliers including “Can we find it,” “All the signs are going to be in German. INCLUDING course directions…” and “Usual running buddy is okay to sit on the sidelines.”
I have accomplished one important pre-race detail: the soundtrack. And cookies. But since the starting gun isn’t until 4 p.m., there’s a lot of time for awry to go. Weird. I’ve never started a race that late in the day. All the more time to carbo-load, my dear.
Wait. Is this Nordic Walking?
Minimalism is hard. Seriously. In decorating, web design, wardrobe editing… HARD. These jokers aren’t too bad though.
They’re the Brooks PureCadence, and though I’m skeptical if they “hold your foot like an endless hug” a la the literature, so far they make me feel pretty warm and fuzzy. They’re not “Mmm, it’s really a plastic bag with laces and we’ll CALL it a shoe,” minimal, but they’re lighter than any other pair I’ve worn. They passed the first afternoon’s workout of “wearing them around the house,” and yesterday’s four miles. Morning after verdict? Sorey, I’m not sorey.
When I started running, the first pair of shoes that I got professionally fitted for were Brooks (Adrenalines, and these are their skinny cousins.) I’ve dabbled in them since, but I’m glad to add these in, most especially since even the few ounces they lack, made the jogging stroller seem lighter. Placebo? Me no carebo.
Zoe and Beans and the Magic Hoop is an excellent example of “Healthy Living” and a pretty good unwitting take down of all of the health “experts dot com.”
Beans the dog doesn’t WANT to workout. He’s quite happy just as he is. But Zoe makes him, and Beans goes along with it, thinking she knows best. But then he turns into an elephant too big to go back through the hoop and so he gets put on a stupidly restrictive diet plan which makes him very sad. Of course, because he doesn’t get food all day he’s starving and eats five bags of the very “bad” choccy bears for dinner.
It does not end well.
“Beans Special Diet Plan” is on page 12, and it’s not too far from some of the plans I’ve seen touted out there, so hey, free post idea! However, the healthy moral actually seems to be: know who you’re taking diet advice from…and sometimes you need a few choccy bears.
By the “Real World’s” Judd Winick. He’s said some comforting and profound things lately, and this says about 1,000 words more.
I’ve never been so glad not to have TV. I’ve been following the news constantly, being bolder in the links that I click, but somehow reading the facts in black and white and silence seems right. The 24-loop of graphics packages, repeated video, and the show business of speculation is always more about the circus, than the stories.
And sometimes — like this drawing — the fewer words you use, the more you actually say.
It doesn’t change anything, it doesn’t make anything better, and it doesn’t turn back time, but it’s something. A tiny thing to keep a community and country close in our thoughts when it feels so awfully far away.
And so we put on our gear and ran. Because it seemed like the only thing we could do.
It’s a jinx-proof proclamation because it wouldn’t dare otherwise — we’re done with winter. DONE. Finished. With the end of the cooping-up weather, we’re also making more tiny steps — away from home sweet home to a new home sweat home.
Yeah, it’s pumping a little bit of iron-y that the weather gets nice and we retreat INSIDE to workout, but it has kindercare — and a nice, nice lady who lets Frankie sit on her knee while I rush around lifting stuff.
During one of my “I’m new at this and so is she” checks, (oh, every ten minutes or so) I found her sitting happily with her new buddy at the play table, not missing me in the least. I couldn’t have been more proud.
If she keeps liking it, maybe we’ll get to keep this month’s auspicious badge. (Fingers crossed, NOW no jinxes not-heretofore-enforced.)
She also came along on a perfectly lovely long run yesterday. In my head, I felt like I was doing a figure eight — I guess it’s more candy-corn shaped, but we’ll take it.
We will also take the 70 degree temperatures that let the last remaining layer get shoved under the jogging stroller. Arms! Out! And a tiny bit pinkish at the end!
Seriously, the second you start contemplating SPF, it means you’ve won.
(And here’s the real gold medal — we went to the gym, car, kindercare and the rest without uncle back up…and we did just fine. Win!)
It’s three adjectives and a value-laden term too many, this story.
As I just joined a German gym, this seemed relevant to my interests — and it is, but not for the reasons you’d think.
“Rampage” is a pretty specific word — one usually used to imply malicious intent on the behalf of the actor. In this case, it seems it’s chosen in error. If you click through, you find out that the “grotesque,” “hefty,” and “sizeable” woman only began this “rampage” when fellow gym patrons told her she was too big for the sauna, and that people like her would have been “drowned in the Middle Ages.”
I might have a LOUD RETORT to that kind of harassment as well.
Good LORD, the woman was at a health club, doing precisely as I was instructed in the first five sentences of my gym orientation this week.
“We go in the sauna naked in this country, just so you know.”
She made no mention of any size restrictions on this particular custom.
In any event, if you were inclined to fat hate or body shame, why on earth would you do it at a gym? If a stranger meeting your notion of arbitrary physical ideal is important to you, wouldn’t you celebrate their attendance at your health club? Gyms can be intimidating enough, just knowing how to operate all of the machinery without looking foolish — add in this layer of bullying, and it makes braving the gym even more foreboding and less appealing.
Now, the editorial adjectives are added in a Daily Caller reblog of a Daily Mail story, and I wasn’t there — but both stories used the word “rampage,” one that means “to rush wildly about.” Sounds like the actions of someone pretty spry to me.
The woman allowed herself to be photographed for the story and says of her actions, “I did not want to sit back and take the insults and asked them to stop.”
So the women who told her that she was too fat to live are in big trouble, right? Nope. For standing up for herself, the “sizeable” gal is facing “hefty” charges.
Now THAT’S grotesque.