Well Hello There Fellow Sparkers, Sparkpage, SparkFriends ;)
It's been a LONG time for me around these parts for sure! As they say I'm "living the dream" so to speak!
In all seriousness though...why have I been soooooooo absent?? I mean I *think* that I am relatively a "committed" Sparker and especially Spark-blogger, just look at the stats, hundreds of entries...so what gives???
Well at the risk of sounding melodramatic...nah, I OWN that, things have CHANGED soooooo very much in my life. I think for the good but definitely change has shifted some of my goals and my focus of energy. During my life "transitions" over the last 2 years, I have eluded to this factor so much whenever I make a grand comeback here.
When I started the month of May I decided to pay a visit to see my super duper sports massage therapist Luann. You see, on the calendar for May was another full marathon and in addition I planned on doing a race that Sunday *GASP* just.for.fun. I added the dramatic gasp in there for good measure - because if you know me, you know that I NEVER, EVER do anything in terms of racing for the spirit of fun ;) My original intention in going to see Luann was to work out the kinks due to my IT band issues and to give myself the extra uumph for marathon day. Up to this point I had myself convinced that I really needed to push myself to achieve the sub 4 - which I achieved 1 time - which I thought should matter EVERY time. However, my perspective changed when I left my Luann that day!
Luann is a tiny, energetic, super cool lady with lots of stories. Last time I saw her was in 2014 in which she was crazy busy doing all kinds of races, mainly biking events. I pay her not just for her fancy hands but also for her inspiration when I need it. As I began to recap with Luann about my recent goings-ons, I confided in her that my heart just wasn't in it anymore. I liked training and everything but it just did not seem very important at all. It was not my world. And then she confided in me - she felt the same way. I was surprised because this is a woman who seemed SO into it, I mean she works at the finish line of races and always seemed so enthusiastic. However depressing this convo sounds - it's wasn't! In fact, Luann with all the energy she always had told me that she is LOVING her races and events that she does do. She worked the finish line of the Boston marathon, met an amputee who ran the race, was so inspired and was thankful that she even had the ability to run/bike. Then she told me about another friend of hers who runs full marathons and his attitude no matter the race - and this guy, as she relayed to me suffered through injuries/had his good races and bad - when Luann asked this friend how was the race he always said..."it was a MAGICAL DAY!" What an awesome, great way to look at things...right? So as I was feeling bad about something that I did not want to say out loud which is that I just didn't care anymore, it because apparent that I DO care at least about the experience. With that in mind...
MAGICAL MOMENT #1
SO, remember when I said that I did a race just.for.fun. For real I did! I got roped (JK) into doing a Warrior Dash in the beginning of May with a fellow Sparker CWRISTON1! Now, don't get me wrong, I have done obstacle courses races before especially since they seem to be all of the rage. But I learned very quickly that I am not good at them nor do I think that they are the bees knees. AND typically when I am not good at things I just don't want to do them. However, when Carol sent to me the link to the website I thought...ah, what the heck, why not, what's the harm right? I knew that I had a marathon coming up the next week anyhow so this was going to be ALL about the experience nothing competitive whatsoever! Nuff said...so I decided to at the very least get into the spirit of things. Being that I love any excuse for a costume I decided that obstacle courses remind me of gladiators, like American Gladiators the show! So that was my costume and I made sure to be very precise about every detail, patriotic socks, iron on logo, bright blue running spandex - oh yeah, it was on! I met up with Carol on race day, I had not seen her since she had moved away and then back to RI. She seemed very happy about the experience and ready to have some fun!
SO, a few things about the Warrior Dash you should know...
A. it is ridiculously muddy (no way to avoid it, like you might as well throw away your clothes afterwards)
B. You have to climb up-up-up in the air over and over again (and hope to NOT fall to your death as you have signed multiple disclosures to say that this is NOT the race organizers problem)
C. The water is FREEZING!!! (they make you plunge into ice cold water, spray ice cold water all over you and have you submerge your entire body into ice cold water - did I mention that the water is ICE COLD!)
I had a fantastic time! I cannot even believe that I made it through! The worst part that I shudder to remember even now was going down this gigantic slide - the race workers laughing at us at the top - then sliding down on my bum all to be hit with ICE COLD freezing muddy water about 5 ft deep, being in complete shock and then having to swim my way out of the pit! This is crazy stuff people!
The running - yeah, there was that too but a 5K which was easy peasy if it were not for those d@mn obstacles!
SO much fun! After the race we were both glad to be alive, happy to be done and thinking about how silly the whole thing was :)
And yeah I would do it again because the experience was...magical
MAGICAL MOMENT #2
Mid-May I did the Shipyard Maine Coast Marathon in Kennebunk, ME. For this race I had someone pretty special in my life accompany me...my dude. This is the second race in which he and I have traveled away to a far away land (New Jersey last time and now Maine which I know oh so far from RI ;)). What I love about MD is he makes everything a fun time! It's like being on vacation which for us means driving in a car for a very long time, him waiting for me for 4 hours and exploring new and foreign lands. It was a ridiculously good time and this is what I remember most...
#1) MD and I hanging out the day before race day eating fudge samples, ice cream (with the worst sprinkle job - half covered ;), eating outside at a restaurant with a fire place in the table (wishing we brought the marshmallows for sure), me flatly refusing to go into a scene that I swear was made for a horror movie (walking on the beach in the dark at night - uh no bueno!)
#2) MD finding me at the half marathon point rocking the Warrior Dash Viking hat, smiling - me asking for water and then using the f-bomb when he said that he did not have any. MD running for about 1/4 mile to his parked car while chasing me, getting a water bottle out of his trunk and chasing me for another 1/4 mile until...AH, he made it, hooray!
#3) A guy wearing an Elvis costume, doing the moon walk with a fake mustache at a water stop! So many funny signs and the motivational ones that said to hit the sign for power!
#4) Not just getting in the car and going home after the race - going to art galleries in the area to look at ridiculously expensive art work my 9 year old could have done, going to a place which claimed to be the local spot and just laughing until my stomach hurt and probably as hard as my legs hurt at the time
About the race though...I did well, better than I expected based on training 4 hours and 7 minutes. I did really well until mile 20 which for me and everyone else became mentally challenging. I attempted to beat myself up after missing the sub 4 mark and my dude said pointedly...what difference in your life would it have made either way? He asked if I had had fun and reminded me that I should be proud to even be able to run marathons, so you know what...
It WAS a magical race!
Such HAPPY stuff people!!! And by no means does this mean I can quitting, just looking forward to many more magical moments ;)