Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Marathons and Mountain Biking

About a week ago, I ran a marathon!  It was fun.  Prior to this, I hadn't run an open marathon since April 25, 2004.  FYI, that's 13.5 years ago.  WHAT?  Man, I'm old.  Side note - when I looked in my old logs to find the date of that last marathon (Cleveland Marathon, BTW), I took a look at what I did for training for it too.  I did a 23.5 mile run.  Haha.  Whose idea was that?  Also, we didn't have GPS watches then so all my comments are "comfortable pace", "fast pace", "easy pace" with absolutely NO concept of how fast any of those paces were.  #thegoodolddays

I mostly did Philly because I had several athletes running it and because I somehow swindled Kait and Kim into also doing it.  And because I wanted to remember what it felt like to run an open marathon.  It brought me back to my roots.  Kim and I ran through the half in 1:37.  We were both still pretty comfortable.  We started to run some 7:00-ish miles.  We ran through 19 or 20 together.  Kim took off.  I stayed pretty steady.  The last 5 miles was hard!  I ran a bit with my athlete Michele, who was SO tough.  She inspired me!  I finished with a 1:35:35 second half for a 3:12+.  Got a qualifying time for Boston and NYC.  Ate a big burger.  Goal accomplished.

My partners in crime.  #lifetimemiles got us through.
My athlete Becca took a video of me finishing.  I posted it on Instagram (@bethshutt), but I can't figure out how to extract the video to post here again (since it was a repost).  Too bad.  My stride looks pretty much exactly like Shalane's when she was winning NYC.  #ornotatall  :)

SO!  Then I came home and decided it was MOUNTAIN BIKE SEASON!!  Because I have a new mountain bike.  Her name is Cami.  We go on adventures together.  I talk to her.  She somehow gets me home alive every ride (through no skill of mine).  

Cami is purple.  #duh

This is the thing though: mountain biking scares the living s@##HI@#! out of me.  Think of the thing that is really hard and scary to you.  That's mountain biking for me.  For the most part, the trails in New England are rocky, full of roots, and, well, very technical for someone like me with very little skill.  Oh and narrow. The trails are narrow too.  Most rides have one of these challenging elements to them.  Some have all of them - rocky, rooty, narrow, crazy ups/downs.  Sometimes I want to cry when I ride on trails like that.  And I've really only ridden with people that have far superior skill.  And they make it look SO easy.  John does things on his bike that I can't even fathom.  Like wait, did you just somehow get your bike on top of that very high rock and then shoot straight down off the other side?  Yup, he sure did.

Here is where I say something really profound about fear and challenging yourself daily to do scary things; get outside of your comfort zone.  Or maybe here is where I say something about how the fear makes me feel ALIVE!  A little, maybe.  Really the fear just makes me feel...well, like I might cry.  :)  And sometimes I force myself to do the really scary thing that I don't want to do and I feel quite accomplished when I do it!  And sometimes I chicken out even when John is saying "you CAN do this", and I walk my bike down the hill or over the rocks without even trying.  And that makes me feel a little disappointed in myself.  MOSTLY I think I like riding mountain bikes because it is a huge challenge and I'm proud that I take it on, even when I don't rise to the challenge (annnnnd she's walking her bike again...).  The thing is, I'm pretty determined to get better at it and that usually means one thing...I'll use my true talent in life to get there: persistence.

In the mean time, if you are riding in the woods in New England and you hear someone yell "GO CAMI!", it's probably me.  Watch out because I don't really know how to maneuver around people well and chances are, I'll run right into you.  

So go out and do something scary today!  Even if you don't rise to the challenge and chicken out, there is always tomorrow.  :)
One of the best things about about mountain biking is, you can ride when it's really cold!  21 degrees this morning and I was quite toasty about 15 minutes in.  

1 comment:

  1. Nice pics !
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