Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy or Not, Here I Run . . .

I'm in one of those moods which don't accommodate blogging very well -- the whole enterprise seems dubious and narcissistic and, above all, time consuming!

I did get Pater to snap some WIW shots of me when I got home from work yesterday, thinking I'd muster the energy to join the Visible Monday crew, but that didn't happen. Perhaps I'll load those up in a post later in the week, but for now, I think I'll honour my resistance to patterns in an effort to discern what I really want to write about. I'm a creature who gets caught up far too easily in webs of habit and obligation; sometimes I get so caught up that I no longer know, with any confidence, what truly makes me happy. Not that I believe one should only do what makes one happy, but I think it's very important to be able to tell what that is.

I did feel very happy running another Half Marathon on Sunday. I'm not sure why this should be so when such hard work and, inevitably, physical discomfort, is involved, but even before the serious endorphins kick in (for me, around 15-17 kilometres), there's something glorious about the rhythm, the strength I feel, the collective motivation and commitment of the other runners.

The plan was to run with my two sisters, but we didn't manage to find each other in the crowd before the race began. I assumed we'd get together along the way, but that never happened. Instead, I just settled in, tried to find a comfortable pace I could maintain and hoped I could pace myself to something around 2 hours. From what I heard along the way from other runners, I seemed to be managing that, and at about 7 or 8 miles (the markers were all in miles, a bit odd to this Canadian), I looked around and realized that I was keeping pace with much younger runners, both men and women. I took this as a good sign, noting that the very few women I saw of my "certain age" were those who looked really fit, athletic. And I don't know if I'm right about this or not -- I can scarcely believe it -- but it came to me with a shock that perhaps others saw me as one of those fit, athletic, older women. And wouldn't that be cool?! To me, that's a whole other kind of visibility. . . .
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As inspiration for continuing visibility as an older female runner, the fabulous Betty Jean McHugh, an 84-year old Vancouver area runner who holds countless World records in Half and Full marathons, ran the same race I did on Sunday, the Vancouver First Half, and broke the world record by 44 minutes, coming in at 2:27:01. Check out her Facebook page here -- so impressive! The site, Fans of Betty Jean McHugh, seems to be in support of BJ's book, My Road to Rome, The Running Times of BJ McHugh, which I've got to pick up at some point.

As for me, I squeaked in at 2:00:37; if I'd paid attention to time (looked at a watch at least once, for example!), I could easily have got in at least than 2 hours, as I had ample reserve at the end, but having achieved that goal last fall, I don't mind missing it this time.

Turns out that writing this blog post did make me happy after all. Happy enough to wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day. . . . now let's all get out there and share the love!

20 comments:

  1. Congrats on completing the half marathon. What an accomplishment!

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  2. Well done!
    I have no idea how old you are - have never been good at guessing - but you are, quite obviously, fit and young at heart.....and visible!

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    1. 59 in a few months, so I've got a ways to go before I'm where BJ is . . .

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  3. Damn! You are fast!

    I'm glad that writing this post made you happy in the end. Reading it made me smile.

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    1. Not that fast, but those younger sisters keep pushing me! And thanks for smiling at my post ;-)

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  4. You are inspiring me and Betty, even more so. I found myself thinking after I saw your tweet about it Sunday night that perhaps I could even take up running.

    I understand your mood...

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    1. Isn't she amazing?! I've got to read her book. . . and I think she only started running in her 50s or so.
      Do you get that about the blogging mood too? It comes and goes . . .

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  5. What a lovely realisation to come to, that you are visible in that way, and such a great example to others too. Hope you had a nice V-day - hubby took the day off and we had lunch in a great Italian bakery.

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    1. It was a nice realisation, absolutely, arriving as a bit of a shock.
      I had to teach last night, but we celebrated V-day last Friday night. Your lunch sounds nice and it's always a treat when you get to spend an unexpected day together mid-week.

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  6. Wow! Congratulations! IMO it is far more of a contribution to be visible for what one does than what one wears, and you are.

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    1. Thanks. I have to agree with you and suspect it might be part of my blog-malaise lately. . .

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  7. Congrats on a great finish & thanks for sharing the love.

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    1. Thank you and you're very welcome. Hope your Valentine's Day was happy.

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  8. Well I'd sure see you that way:).

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  9. Oh congratulations!! I'd probably see you as very vibrant and fit, just from what I see here, and read. But it is interesting, your thoughts and revelations during the run, and that recognition of how your inner vision had not yet caught up to what perhaps others see. Lovely post.

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    1. Well, I'm still not convinced, internally, that I look as vibrant as a certain kind of older female runner I see, but I began to entertain the possibility that I just might, to others. . .

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  10. Congratulations! I hope you do see yourself as vibrant and fit, that's certainly what I see.

    "I'm a creature who gets caught up far too easily in webs of habit and obligation; sometimes I get so caught up that I no longer know, with any confidence, what truly makes me happy." I have the same issue! It was good for me stepping away from the online world for a few weeks. In my case I decided it's time to detach from the online world and embrace offline pursuits. I'll keep in touch though.

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    1. It's tough, isn't it? You have so much going on in your life offline right now, I can see why you might decade to detach from the interwebs. Glad you'll stay in touch.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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