Monday, September 21, 2009

Project 365/262 One busy day

Warning:it's a long one!
Saturday we had a full schedule: Hubby's long awaited Mud Creek Crawl 10K, MJ's birthday party and JD football game. The day was packed! I created a photo collage for the day plus a POD. The party went off without a hitch, we are thankful for the family we have. JD's team won by a touchdown, he is a sub and played very little but he is very happy with time he gets to play. We need to rethink taking the girls to the games, they are a bit restless for this type of activity.
I will let Hubby tell you about his race.
Here is the collage:


Mud Creek Crawl 10k
I've heard a couple old sayings often repeated throughout my lifetime - "every picture tells a story" and "a picture is worth 1000 words". I'm not sure if 1000 would be enough to tell the story of this picture but I'll do my best to tell it in even fewer words than that.
I committed to running the Mud Creek race last year around the Thanksgiving time frame. It was to be a "grudge match" that came about after a lively lunch discussion with a group of friends/co-workers. The challenge to run came from one of my much younger, much healthier co-workers. He was 25 and "fit as a fiddle", I had just turned 39 and was at least 30 pounds overweight. We were discussing brother Michael's top 10 finish at Mud Creek in '08 and my friend made the remark that "the running gene must have skipped me". He also made it clear in no uncertain terms that I had no chance to beat him in any race of any distance whatsoever. I tried to point out that his youthful exuberance was overlooking the facts that 1) the race was a handicapped race (with the handicaps of age and body composition being to my benefit), 2) although you couldn't tell by my current physical condition, I was probably more of a natural runner than he was, 3) I had many months to prepare, and 4) don't overlook my competitiveness. His youth and pride continued to lead him astray as he kept talking until the only resolution was for us to race. I don't know if its a result of being the "baby" of the family, growing up with the constant comparison to older siblings, or just simply deep seeded insecurities, but there are two things that don't go over well with me. Please don't tell me that I "can't do" something and you shouldn't tell me that you're better than me...at anything. That lights a competitive fire within me that is hard to put out.
Long story short, I joined the Biggest Loser in January of this past year to get in shape, won that competition (I can't compete and not want to win), discovered a love for running that I wish I'd found 25 years ago, and trained every day with this race in mind.
Between January and now, my friend moved to Florida for work. He couldn't make it back to race so I won our competition, but by forfeit. It was not as gratifying as a mano-a-mano race would have been.
In terms of the race itself, I ran my personal best on this course (52:12) with a 13th place actual finish. After the handicaps were figured in though, I was bumped from 13th to 18th so I missed getting a medal by 3 places. Once I receive the official times from the race coordinator, I'll have a better idea of what my target time needs to be next year to get a medal (because I can't race and not want to get a medal).
What the picture can't show you is that there are a lot of other people represented here, helping to push me along. Looking over the past year, there are a number of things I'm thankful for:
  • the support of my family. My wife has been very patient with my training schedule and my obsessive competitiveness (both Biggest Loser and this race). My brother Michael has trained with me almost every Wednesday or Thursday for the last 3-4 months and his coaching and encouragement have been invaluable. My sister, "C", and another brother, "D" have kept up with my adventures and been very supportive. Even my Mom has chipped in with her own version of support, trying to let me down easy if I didn't win the Biggest Loser, saying "you can't win all the time, you have to expect other people win some of the time". I thanked her for the support but asked her to not to let that thought cross her mind again :)
  • the support of my friends. During the Biggest Loser, I had a number of people who tracked w/ my progress and offered encouragement at every step of the way. And during my training this summer, I've got a good friend who has taken the time to train with me on a number of occasions.
  • my health - the best overall benefit of this is that I've regained control of my health, hopefully for the longer term. I'm back in shape and intend to stay that way.

Mud Creek 10K
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