My Come Back (Or: Is it a Good Thing to Be a Clydesdale?)

Thea and Mary Beth’s votes put running over the top, so here’s my post.

First, the running back-story:

In high school, I ran track because it was a co-ed sport at school. There were some nice boys on the team. Plus, it did not involve a ball, and I’m clumsy when it comes to sports with balls. I was slow and stubborn, and my height’s suggestion of promise as a high-jumper turned out to be trumped by the clumsiness issue, so my coaches kindly put me in the 1500m event. It didn’t matter much that I was really really really slow, because our team wasn’t too great. We were close to the bottom of the food chain in the school’s athletic system. Example: whenever the pool had to be drained, the maintenance guys drained it onto the track just before practice time.

Then we moved and my new school was serious about track. State-champs serious. I would have none of that, so I didn’t join up.

In college, I ran a little bit when I felt stressed out. And then, after my first year of seminary, I was assigned to ten weeks as a solo intern pastor at a tiny little church where my ministry mostly involved writing two sermons a week and spending gobs of time with the teen-aged girls who lived across the street and had a pretty atrocious family situation (as in, one of them was removed from the home during that summer). Welcome to ministry!! My 22-year-old self didn’t know how to handle all this, so I decided to run a marathon, which I completed under my goal of 6 hours (5:59). I ran in the back with people who had recently recovered from heart attacks. My mom cried when I finished. I took off my shoes and couldn’t get them back on so I had to walk several blocks of downtown Chicago barefoot to get to the car.

Since then, I’ve trained sporadically, run a few 5Ks, and a 25K, aged, and gained some weight.

And now, I’ve decided it’s time to run again. Problem is, I don’t train well unless I have a goal. A big goal. (If it’s too small, I pretend that I’ve been training and then just run it anyway.) Last week I sat down and plotted out a schedule of running by which I could maybe be ready for the River Bank Run this May. I followed it perfectly for about week, but now God is not helping matters because it is cold. I’ve decided that my limit is single-digit temperatures. I know there are some hard-core nutters out there who run in single digits, but I’m not one of them.

Did I mention the whole baby thing? I didn’t get to exercise at all for most of my pregnancy because I was on modified pelvic rest. (Meaning that I had a doctor’s permission to sit on the couch as much as I wanted to. Not as fabulous as it sounds.) 

My Dad is referring to the race this spring as my “come-back.” I’ll let him think what he wants, but ”come-back” is a tenuous word to use for my return to this race since the last time I ran, I think about about 3rd to last for my age and gender catagory. But, this time, I think I’m in a new age bracket, so maybe I can do a little better!

And, I’ve just discovered that my chances at doing better in my bracket get even better: there is a new “Clydesdale Division” for the larger runner at the River Bank Run. Yes, because I weigh more than 155 lbs., I can race as a clydesdale. Clearly, this division catagory was thought up or at least named by a man. What woman in her right mind wants to be called a cyldesdale? 

4 Responses to “My Come Back (Or: Is it a Good Thing to Be a Clydesdale?)”

  1. Mary Beth Says:

    Clydesdale? That’s just cruel. But I admire you lots for doing that!

  2. ppb Says:

    Clydesdale? Yikes. Good for you though. I’m always impressed with people doing those really impressive things that involve special shoes.

  3. Kirstin Says:

    Go Clydesdales! My latest thing has been walking on the treadmill at the hospital’s fitness center. The catch is that I have to get through whatever set of anatomy flashcards I choose before stopping. Yesterday I made the mistake of trying to learn the regions of the brain and walked for a whopping 70 minutes. Why I decided to put two torturous activities together is beyond me, but hey, it’s working.

  4. Erica Says:

    I had this great set of tapes of New Testament Greek Vocabulary that occasionally accompanied me to the gym!