Friday, October 21, 2011

That was then, This is now!

    As I sit here wondering about where to hang my finishers medal rack and knowing I have to get another one, I think when did hanging these medals become important to me.Don't get me wrong I liked the medals but up until a certain time to me they were something extra you got after you ran the race. My main concern was my finishing time and my place(overall and age group). It is hard to write these thoughts without sounding egotistical but believe me I'm not.
      Even at Boston and New York I was more concerned with my finishing time than anything else. I had a goal and I wanted to reach it. I also was concerned where I finished and how I compared to other runners my age at some best races in the world. Needless to say I didn't compare as well as I would have liked to but to me that was more important than a finishers medal.
     When did the finishers medals become so important to me? Easy answer-after I had microfracture surgery on my knee and was told there was a possibility I might not run again. I beleived it and went as far as to buy a bike just in case it was true.I did get the go ahead to run but no promises on how much or for how long. This is why finishing each race now is special.
     My 1st race back was the Dallas White Rock 1/2 Marathon that I ran with Jessica. I can't describe the feeling I had when we crossed that finish line together. All of a sudden that finishers medal was the most important medal I had ever earned. I think it hit me right then that those finishers medals were a symbol of all the hard work and dedication I had put in preparing for each and every race.
    I have now found every finishers medal I have and will put them up on my new rack and will buy another one at the next expo.I guess it's true-You never know how much you will miss something until you don't have it anymore. Every finishers medal I earn now will go on the wall where it belongs because you never know which one will be your last. I received a 2nd chance(actually a 3rd chance but that's another story) and intend to take full advantage of it. I want as many finishers medals as I can get.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Baby!

   "I hear it's your birthday. It's my birthday too."(Actually it's not-mine was 6 days ago but this is what song I always play for Mary on her birthday). She never lets me forget that I am 6 days older than her and I always say that I can't help it if I like a younger woman!
    I kow this blog is supposed to be about running after I turned 60 and in a way it is. It is dedicated to the one person who more than anyone else made this possible. I'm not at all sure that I would have anything to write about if she hadn't been standing beside me all those years ago when I decided to change my lifestyle and become a "runner". I still remember all those early races when she was always waiting for me at the finish line urging me on-Yelling"kick Tony Kick" just like we were 18 yrs. old and in high school.
     I remember all those training runs where she would measure my mileage for me and hand me water or when she would meet me at certain spots with fresh cold water bottles. It takes a special person to drive all over Dallas, Ft. Worth, Houston(in an ice storm), and Austin just to meet me at certain parts of a race and hand me a bottle of flat coke. I can't even begin to tell you of all she has put up with and the sacrifices she has made for me and my running.
     So if you get a chance today, tell Mary Margaret Collins happy birthday!!! She is my greatest supporter/fan/coach and she is more beautiful now than the 1st day I sat by her in freshman history class(You can tell her I said that too)!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Yesterday When I was Young!

    As a runner I've always heard the 1st thing to go was your speed. Since I never had much of that I beg to differ. I think it has been my ability to handle the hills in a race, Actually the hills today I 'm not sure any one handled. them real well. Anyone that doesn't think we have rolling hills in East Texas needs to run this course.That said, I have to admit I really like this race, could be I'm a glutton for punishment.
       Jessica and I got to the race about 7 this morning, hit the porta-potties, picked up our race packets, and met up with friends. The 1st thing I noticed was that I had forgotten my flat coke. No problem I would just take an extra packet of E-gel.After another trip back to the car(get my garmin) and a last potty stop it was time to line up for the start. Jessica and I told each other good luck then we went to the start.
    Race time-Everything started out like I wanted it to-1st 2 mi. up and down but not a problem. Then came mi. 3-it was tough-mostly uphill. It was already working on me then I saw David Starrett with his camera taking pictures of me so I had to at least look good. I don't know how he did it but it seemed like everytime I hit a long straightaway David was there with his camera. It helped!
    The middle of the race was series of long hills both up and down but seemed mostly up. I was still right on pace time wise and the fact that I could see the runner that won my age group last race. He was ahead of me but I had it in my mind to catch him. I hit mile 9 thinking I had a chance of running negative splits but by the time I hit mile 11 wasn't going to happen. Miles 10 thru 11 were uphill and pace killers,  The good thing I knew David would be there for one last picture so I needed to at least look like I was running hard.
      The last part of the race I was just hanging on-I was pushing as hard as I could but I could see my competion just moving away from me. By mile 12 he was just a blur(well everything is just a blur to me right now but thats another story). I could only see the color of his singlet when I was at the top of a hill. Finally we turned into the Rose Garden area and guess what-yep-another hill, up the hill,turn the corner, one more hill, then downhill to the finish.
   The finish was great-in the middle of the Rose Garden-on grass and thru the chute. Over at last!  This is my second time to run the Tyler 1/2 and I think this course was tougher than last years if that's possible. Last years course had more twist and turns but I think that tended to break up the hills some. Doesn't matter it was tough.
    It may seem like I'm complaining about this course but I'm not! I like it-Heck when you get that finishers  medal you dang well deserve it, Besides the course is the same for everyone. I really feel like I ran as good as I could today and that's what it all about. I ran 5 min. faster tha I did on my last race and instead of finishing 6 min. out of 1st I was 44 sec. out to the same runner. All in all a very good birthday run and weekend!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

"Still Crazy After All These Years"

   I wasn't going to post anything until after the Tyler race tomorrow but after reading all the different runner comments about crazy, weird, strange, and insane I had to put my  two cents in.I think back to when I 1st started training in 1989(2nd go-round of running) and now I see that all the little quirks I had seem to be common in the running community.
   It seems like all the little "goofy" things I was doing weren't so goofy after all, Reading facebook I can see that all runners go thru some sort "preparation" for each race and sometimes even for training runs. I know I still get excited and a little nervous before each race. If I stop doing this then it is time for me to quit racing. Some of the things that I do have changed and some of them have stayed constant for the last 22 years. At least now thanks to Facebook I know I am not alone in doing what I do.
    So whether you have been running forever or you have just recently taken it up-Remember you are not alone-We are normal, it's everybody else thats strange!
    "Runners-Yea we're different"-to be continued!