Friday, September 9, 2011

Monkey Ball 10

I'm reeeealy behind in my blog posts.....but I do have a refreshed blog header! I'm REALLY a pilot wife now...the blog says so.

So in between all of the craziness, I am still trying to train for a 1/2 marathon. Oh yeah, that little thing! I coached a couple weekends ago and walked 6 miles with our current walk team. They were faster than I expected them to be and I ended up with shin splints in the first mile. Boo! (The shins would go on to hurt at the next training also.) I trudged along. I love coaching. I really do and as much as I hate to admit it, I'm not going to lie. There are just some days that I'm not feeling it. I'm not having a good workout or I'm just tired and not really jazzed about being social. It happens. It's rare but it does happen. Especially when I've been burning the candle at both ends as they say. I'm spread a little thin these days.

So anyways, I walked 6 miles with some of our 1/2 marathoners. I had 2 people still out training for a full marathon. I ran back out to catch up so I could at least do the last mile or so with them. The problem is that the people out there, Speedy McSpeeders Kim and Marcia, walk faster than I do. A lot faster. So I tried to run next to them. My run is just a smidge faster than their walk though. They were cruising along so I just turned around and ran back to the starting point....always keeping Kim and Marcia within ear shot.

When we got back, my Garmin was reading just over 9 miles. Crap. I really wanted to get in a solid 10 miles. In my head (and per my coaching advice), 10 miles is really what it takes in training to pull off a 1/2 marathon. I knew that given my exhaustion and earlier shin splints, that calling it a day at approximately 9 miles would not be a big deal. But I got out of bed to coach and to do 10 miles and that is what I was going to do.

I turned around to make a lap around the building where we meet and some of our other runners were finishing up. It was my lucky day. Ann, (Parker's mama) shorted her run by a mile and still needed to get in another mile so she offered to run with me! While I was still feeling a little anti-social, I was so glad to have some company to pull me through that last mile. Plus, if you ever need a dose of sunshine mixed in with some humor and a little reality, hang out with Ann. She's AHHHMAZING!

We are about 1/2 a mile into the lap and I really wanted to walk. I told her I wasn't feeling it and I'm not kidding, she jumped in front of me, hopped off the path and grabbed a hedge apple off the ground. She jumped back onto the path next to me and told me that by the time we were done she will have done a 1/2 marathon that morning and she deserved a medal. The hedge apple, or as she called it, a monkey ball, would be her medal. She said that since my goal was 10 miles and I was going to finish it even though I wasn't feeling it, then I deserved a medal too.

Ann started telling me the story of her first full marathon. I was actually there the day she was supposed to finish her first marathon. I was coaching the 2008 Nike Women's Marathon with TNT. Ann knew going into the race that she was injured and had to make the decision to drop to the 1/2 marathon. I remember how upset she was, even though she tried to hide it. What I didn't know was that NOT being able to do the full marathon that day really lit a fire in her. After recovering from her injury, she went out one day with some family members and she ran a full marathon. All 26.2 miles. It wasn't an actual race, it was just a day on the path. But a marathon is a marathon and that deserves a medal! When they crossed that imaginary finish line, the only thing around was a monkey ball/hedge apple so that was what they used as a medal! She kept it until it rotted and then actually replaced it with a fake one to commemorate her first full marathon. Isn't that a great story??

While Ann was telling the story, it took another few hundred feet before we found another monkey ball. I picked it up and we carried our monkey balls back to our starting point. I don't know why or how but carrying that darn hedge apple distracted me enough to actually let me enjoy the last little bit of that run.


A blurry cell phone picture of Ann with her "1/2 Marathon Monkey Ball" and my "Monkey Ball 10." Yes, Ann gets the pocket size monkey ball because she is actually pocket sized. :)

1 comment:

  1. What the heck is a monkey ball?? It looks like a furry tennis ball.