So Saturday night I bit off my freshly polished nails. Still, Sunday came and with it a glorious day with many friends and family cheering my dear runner buddy and I on and an unforgettable, long-suffering (17km of stomach pain and cramps…) 42.195km later I was accomplished: I am unofficially but beknownst to my closest people a marathoner.
I’m terribly tired from the lack of sleep the night before the race and of course from the exertion, but also proud, exhilarated, thankful, certainly stronger and – accomplished.
A big shout-out to all dear ones who have supported us by cheering and providing us with sustenance. I certainly couldn’t have done it without you!!
In school I wasn’t a big fan of running unless there was a ball involved or some other higher goal than simply running around involved.
Then, almost 20 years ago, when traveling around the world my friend declared in Australia that we’s go and buy ourselves some proper running shoes as otherwise our beer consume might turn us into proper barrels. And that’s when my running career started. Thanks to my friend back then who made me puff and swear along Bondi beach.
Over that last three years one of my very dearest friends introduced me to another long loathed category, the races. I’ve completed between 20-30 races a year over the last 3 years. Never ever thought that would happen.
And the third big thing I always denied would ever happen came to pass this year when I thought I might have to step in for mentioned dear friend and actually started training for a marathon. It’s not that I ever doubted that I could do it if I properly trained, what hindered me was my other hobbies and interests. Since I’m a slow runner it takes me well over 2h to do a 20k training run. I don’t mind, my body doesn’t mind but after 2h I do start thinking “well, what else could I do now… this running around stiff is getting lame…”.
Well, enter 2020 and watch me while away a 4h run – my very first 35k ever!! And might very well be my last. That’s why I thought this was reason to celebrate – congrats to me for this huge achievement!!
My neighbor must be somehow related to Francis of Assissi, at least all animals seem to love him. My panther cat took to him as soon as he laid eyes on him. I can confirm that he is the absolut best, he kept me stocked with the most important essentials – comfort food like Maltesers and cookies – during my self-quarantine.
Today he obviously made a new friend… I got pictures from my neighbors partner showing him with the pigeon first on his shoulder and then on his hand. Magic!
My panther can be quite a (male) diva. He loves to be served and obeyed to his every last desire. Sometimes I have the willpower or I’m simply lazy enough to withstand. But when you see this face through the tinted front door window even the strongest resolve melts away after making me smile so hard I’m certain to expect a slight muscle ache in my cheeks by tomorrow morning.
He’s just the sweetest and most stubborn little boy. and he likes his staff well trained. My neighbors know. He’s hanging out with them a lot and they don’t have a cat door so they have to wait on him all the time. But they don’t mind. They are aware the cat took over and they are simply tolerated staff by now.
While we’re sheltering in place most of the time these days the sunny yet breezy weather is drawing the health conscious and outdoorsy ones out. While I’m currently discovering all kinds of new skills such as having a very precise phone conversation in order to get work done efficiently by avoiding misunderstandings – you’d think that’s child’s play but not for everyone my friend – I’m also falling in love with old habits and make them a regular part of my week. Apart from my ever present running and yoga I re-introduced regular walking and hiking into the weekly routine. It offers me a clear end to my work day, fresh air, cross-training and gleeful conversations held at a safe distance if I’m inclined to walk with a friend.
Social distancing might suck but we’re discovering long lost ways to really talk to and be close to each other. And to slow down and reflect when we no longer can rush around and get caught up in all our social events and obligations.
Stay healthy and safe out there. And try to enjoy a walk or two once in a while. You’ll most certainly discover new, less obscured views.
over the weekend my phantasy gave it’s all during one night when I woke up twice to a mind-bogglingly outrageous and slightly disturbing dream. Let’s just say in one a huge fish on ice turned out to be still alive and then magically transformed into a girl I befriended and we were best friends ever after…
I think I might be in need of some quality friends-time 😉
I’ve been into sports more or less all my life. Not in a club or another specifically dedicated way but either watching it or just doing it for myself. As a kid is was mostly playing games that involved running around outside or sometimes playing soccer with my brother and his friends (if they let me). Of course I also had a bicycle, roller skates and at times a skateboard that kept me moving.
As a teenager I wasn’t crazy about gym class but in my spare time I still remained active and rode my bike pretty much everywhere. So that never stopped. But only at the age of 27 did I consciously take up running as a regular habit. At first I found it extremely arduous, I could hardly run a couple of hundred yards without sounding like a steam engine. But I kept at it and stuck with it ever since.
I’ve never turned into a fast runner but I can run moderate distances and as I run slowly I can run for quite a long time no problem. Record is around two and a half hours. In the past years I’ve participated in a few races but after each and every one I was convinced it was the last. I did not like the masses, running with other folks does not appeal to me at all and usually race day is simply not one of my “magical days” when I just get up and run as if I’d never done anything else.
Of course, exercise-induced asthma doesn’t help. But I’m starting to get accustomed to it and know how to work with it. I’ve found my peace with not being the fastest runner but instead concentrate on having fun while I’m out there enjoying nature in all it’s glory. And I think that’s why this year everything’s different.
All of a sudden I’m chasing race after race. Or, well, let’s say I’m easily convinced to join in yet another one. One of my very best friends is an inspiring runner, duathlete and thriathlete. He recently joined the board of a runners club and asked me to join the club as well. He lured me in with the prospect of receiving 10 bucks for every race I finish that is on our race club’s list. So after only a couple of races I’ll have earned back my club fee and after that it’s pure cash… haha, it seems I’m a capitalist after all.
But to be honest, it’s not about the money at all. What spurs me this time is
a) The fact that all the races I’ve joined so far were only regional events with few runners and
b) I’m taking it so easy with the only goal being that I arrive – regardless of the time.
That does the trick. I’ve stopped agonizing about my performance but instead concentrate on the joys of running: The feeling of being healthy and able to run at all, the fresh crisp-clean air, the sounds, texture of snow or gravel under my feet, the friendly folks spurring the runners on, the other participants- joy – it’s all most inspiring. And guess what? I’ve been delivering my best results when it comes to times so far 🙂
Now of course one might think I might be running away from something… which might make sense after as exhausting a year as the one I’ve just put behind me. But then again I’ve always been a rather positive person so I prefer to look at it the other way – I’m running towards something. Be it answers, a new beginning or simply the appreciation of a cleansing shower after the run 🙂
Dear readers, is there anything you totally changed your mind about over time?
When the air is so cold that your breath leaves in little white steam puffs you have to pack yourself up tightly before leaving the house – which makes you look all puffy like a marshmallow 🙂
Wenn die Luft so kalt ist, dass dein Atem in kleinen Dampfwolken aufsteigt weisst du, dass du dich gut einpacken musst, bevor du das Haus verlässt – was dich aussehen lässt wie ein Marshmallow 🙂
This is me on my way to a Blitz-visit in Munich where I’ll meet a friend from work back in Austin, TX. So stoked about meeting her and her boyfriend just across the boarder in Bavaria :-))
Das bin ich auf dem Weg zu einem Blitzbesuch in München, wo ich eine Freundin von der Arbeit in Austin, TX, treffen werde. Ich freue mich so, sie und ihren Freund quasi gleich über der Grenze in Bayern zu treffen 🙂