Saturday, June 21, 2008

Running Tag

I can't remember who tagged me - it was earlier in the week and a lot of life has gone by. Whoever it is, I apologize for not linking back to you.

How would you describe your running 10 years ago?

  • 1998...running 4-5 miles, every other day, always solo. One, maybe two, races a year, 5k-12k distance.

What is your best and worst run/race experience?

  • Best - funny, best is not running my first marathon, though that was almost best. No, best was my first solo marathon in Vancouver BC last year, and the very specific moment of running past where I stood to cheer Eric on. That moment is engraved in my memory, along with the approach to the finish line, when the runner next to me said "There it is, the dream - I can touch it"...that moment spoke to my heart.
  • Worst - the worst ever was the first time my heart problem cropped up, during my first half in 2001. I didn't know what was happening, I was out in the middle of nowhere and I was in pain and having trouble breathing. Eric, as is his habit, ran back to meet me and I burst in to tears. Of course he wanted me to stop, and of course, I gave what would become my standard (and stupid) reply "No, I'm going to finish this damn thing".

Why do you run?

  • This one is hard to put into words...for joy, for freedom, for strength, because I want to think I'm tough, because it is spiritual, to build bonds with friends, and release the bonds of daily life, to feel my body moving in harmony, to simply move.

What is the best or worst piece of advice you've been given about running?

  • Best - "You can do it!"
  • Worst - from the cardiologist, when he couldn't pinpoint a cause for my nine-day tight chest and sudden onset of breathlessness - "All runners have trouble breathing and feel pain in their chest when they run". Hello? At that point I had been running for eight years and this was completely new. He couldn't seem to grasp that. I changed cardiologists.

Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know.

  • Given that I am a big scaredy-cat, this is surprising. Eric and I taught whitewater kayaking during our first two years of college. Of course, Eric talked me into taking the class, then continuing, and becoming student instructors. I was an expert at the Eskimo roll - in flat water. I was an expert at exiting my boat in white water. We even did an eight day trip on the Rogue River, including the wild and scenic section. I don't kayak now, it doesn't seem like fun anymore. However, I would like to try sea kayaking.

That's the end of the tag. If you'd like to play along, please do - it's fun to read about other's running past!

Even though the tag is ended, it reminded me of a kayaking story. Probably most of the local runners have heard it, but I'll tell it for the rest of the bloggers out there...

I was not any better at knowing my left from my right while kayaking than I am while running. We used to take the students up to the Sauk River for our whitewater trips. For some reason, one weekend, it was decided I'd lead the group and Eric would be sweep. Eric reminded me that when we got through dogleg in the river, we needed to go left to avoid the giant hole. (Whitewater forms a hole behind obstacles in the river. Depending on the size of the hole, it can pull you in and hold you under). I listened carefully and said I'd remember.

We got to the dogleg, rounded the bend and I went to the left. Straight into the big hole. I got pulled in, my boat flipped and I got out (when you got out of the boat, you grabbed the rope and held on, as the boat provided you extra flotation and usually popped you out of the hole). Eric came around the bend to find almost the entire class out of their boats and floating down the river.

After we gathered everyone up and got them back into their boats, he asked me what happened, and my reply was, "I don't know, I went left!" Of course, we all know I was confused, and actually went right, thinking it was left. The sad part is this: I did it again the next day. However, we proved to have intelligent students, who when they saw me disappear into the hole, figured out I was confused again and went the correct way around it. This time, Eric only found me floating the river. Later that day, we stood on the bank and looked at it, and I finally got it. The funny thing is, my running buddies will tell you that not much has changed...

14 comments:

Irene said...

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who had a clueless doctor!

Journey to a Centum said...

I'm sure some of those students are still in therapy after you subjected them to that kayak eating hole in the river! NO THE OTHER RIGHT!

robtherunner said...

I don't think I have ever heard that story. I know you're directionally challenged though.

Anne said...

Remind me when we eventually run together to not rely on your directions :-)!

I liked your answer to the "why I run" question. You speak for a lot of people.

Laura H said...

Great story! I always get my hands and feet marked L & R, every morning. It really helps!

On "why I run" - I was expecting you to respond with "dudes dig it". But I like the feeling of being tough and bonding with friends too. I wouldn't have met you otherwise!

craig said...

I've been frustrated more than once with non-running doctors' attempts to treat injuries. Glad you got past that heart thing and fulfilled a few more dreams.

Jack said...

I think I finally have my wife trained on right and left ;-)

I kayaked a couple times in the Black Forest in Germany, I had a hard time rolling the kayak back after tipping over.

Sunshine said...

Enjoyed your 5 answers.

Directions, NSEW.. have always been easy for me .. maybe I have a compass (or iron filings?) in my head ... but right and left are way beyond "being trained". I always have to think it through.

Journey to a Centum said...

Now that I think about it the hole was on the left side and I told you to stay to the right! You got it wrong again! Dang it already!

JustRun said...

Ah, I like your best and worst moments. I was just thinking today how strange it is that those things stand out in our minds, but for different reasons than some may think.

Makita said...

We'll be on the Rogue over the 4th! We float on Tahiti (inflatable kayaks)...though 2 in our group kayak. It is always a great time. I'm generally the one that dumps it though - my excuse is that I'm too hot and did it intentionally to cool off. :D

Makita said...

....forgot to mention, we've never done the wild & scenic section. Would love to some time, though. We generally float from Hogs Creek to Indian Mary... sometimes further down to Galice.

Rogue Multi-Sport hosts an unusual triathlon there in Aug - I couldn't find a link to the 2008 event though. (Row Bike Run)

wendy said...

ahhh, that's a great story Michelle. =) sunshine's comment reminded me that I think directions is where the word "news" came from, to cover information from north-east-west-and south...

anyhow, I'm so glad you have this love of running and have shared it with so many of us. It's contagious!

E-Speed said...

Cute story. I think I would like kayaking. My mom really got into it last summer.