Monday, February 28, 2011

I Had A Secret: The Reveal

Well, not just me keeping the secret.  It was Shelley and me holding it together.  We had big plans people, really big plans.  The secret was that I started training for a half marathon while Shelley was training for her half marathon in Austin.  Shelley was going to run Austin then back her training up and ramp it up again to run the half at the Armadillo Dash.  And I was going to Texas to run it with her on March 6th.  We've been training, emailing, texting and so looking forward to finally getting to meet each other in person.  Included in our larger than life plans was that I was going to come in and stay a couple of days after the race so Shelley could try to get in touch with some of the other Texas bloggers - Roxie, Kelly, Anne, and maybe even MizFit and see if we could get around to meeting some of our other virtual friends face to face!

But then, stuff happened.  It started after Shelley did her 10 mile long run, with an achey ankle.  She nursed it, cursed it, and finally ended up going to the doctor who told her "no running!" and to rest it.  But still, we clung to hope that our plans would come to completion.

You know one of the things I've learned in life is that sometimes when a wrench gets thrown into your plans, sometimes it's just the first sign that maybe the universe has other plans for you and is just choosing not to reveal them yet.  But with time reasons are revealed, and the next thing we knew, Shelley's mom was diagnosed with cancer.  Then, on her next visit to the doctor, because her ankle wasn't getting better, he said, "No running for 6-8 weeks!"

Ahhh, there it is.  As you know I'm a big believer in signs and although it sucks, I feel like Shelley's ankle "happened" because she was going to need to be sidelined and not even have to worry about thinking about her training or her planned races because ultimately she would need to be with and care for her mom.  And so, the best laid plans....

But then, suddenly, last week I had another secret.  I didn't tell anyone except Mr. Helen and even then I only told him right at the last minute because I didn't want him to slip and tell anyone.

There is a Half Marathon race here that is run every February and it's done no matter the weather.  The race director is a local guy who just loves running.  It has the feel of  a guy that wants to throw a big party and he asks some of his friends to help with the party and some of his friends to come to the party. Just a few years ago it only cost $2 to enter it - probably so he could pay for the Gatorade.  the cost is up to $12 now but even then on the application it says if you can't afford the fee, just come and run and maybe next year you could pay a little extra. This is a 'no frills at all' race.  No medals and only 3 water/Gatorade stops (in 13.1 miles!), although they have added part chip timing. You do it for the glory of saying that you did it.  This race is known to be hilly and to challenge even the best runners.  No PRs are set on this course.  I've never run it and have pretty much actively avoided it because I've heard the stories of the hills.

So last week a couple of my runner friends contacted me and started poking at me about running the race since my plans had gone awry. Even though I was about 90% trained to do a half marathon (didn't get in my last long run)  I had every excuse in the world, "I can't because I'm undertrained.  I've been on a treadmill too much - no hill training at all.  My longest run was only 10.2 miles that's not long enough.  I've been under super stress with my inlaws lately! What if I'm last?  What if the sweeper car makes me get in?  What if I totally suck?"

But my friends just kept after me, even offering to pay fee,  telling me I needed it as a stress reliever and one finally said, "well you're all trained up and nowhere to run so why not?" and that made me cave.  But why did I give in? I was still feeling all those terrors... but I couldn't shake the feeling that it was what I should do. Do it for Shelley because she couldn't run and also because I wanted to do it for Judy (Shelley's mom).  To show them they could face the unknown and conquer it.  I'm not kidding people, I was terrified of this race.  So, I kept the secret and I didn't even tell Shelley.  It was hard, but I really wanted it to be a surprise for her. (Also, just in case I backed out at the last minute.  Shhhhhh.....)

Friday I worked on hydration and carbs - woohoo - carbs for breakfast, lunch and dinner!  Saturday morning I got up bright and early to get my hydration going and to eat some breakfast.  I had typical race day jitters and my race day stomach.  A familiar feeling that doesn't go away until the gun goes off to start the race.  My girlfriend picked me up (I think she was afraid I'd back out lol!) and and off we went...

Interested in how I did... if I finished?
Come back tomorrow for the rest of the story!


  1. Oh man, I'm both disappointed that you are not in Texas and sitting on the edge of my seat! You are such a sneaky one!

  2. Now THAT explains the mystery. I was confused when I saw the Sat. status,
    "hmm..I didn't know she was running a half" then I thought, I guess I missed it, there are so many bloggers running in so many races....a ha, I know myself better. I would have known if you were planning on a half.
    Great for you and doing it for Shelley and Judy, although by the look of things, Judy seems almost ready herself.

  3. First I'm really sorry that your's and Shelley's plan to run that half together isn't going to happen. But we both know there will be other races and I'm sure one day you will do it together because that's meant to be too.

    Second, I'm not curious if you finished: I just know you did! But girl can you keep a secret :)
    Can't wait till tomorrow to hear how you've been doing.

  4. Can't wait for part deux! You seriously rock.

  5. Ooh....I can't wait to hear the rest of this story - you ARE sneaky, indeed!! I'm sure you did great. All of those early morning runs surely paid off big time - heck, just committing to running the darned thing is a win-win situation :)

  6. I read that FB update and thought I had totally missed something lately LOL!

  7. Wow - two great secrets! And while I know you are bummed that you didn't get to see Shelley in person, I couldn't agree more that her ankle injury sidelined her so that she could be with her mom too.

    I am so proud that you didn't let the fear of this race get in your way - can't wait until tomorrow!!

  8. Can't wait to hear how you did Helen. Good for you!

  9. Oh, darn it Helen! You and your cliffhangers! Seriously, that is a great way to write posts. I have loved your serial love stories.

    And yes, I'm with the other commenters--I have no doubt that a super-athlete will finish a half-marathon.

    Oh, and I so much LOVE a marathon where the fee is only $12!

  10. We will get together and meet in person yet!

    I'm sure you did great at the race. No doubt. :)

  11. Can't wait to hear "the rest of the story!!!".

  12. I still can't believe you did this - and you are quite right...the ankle happened for a reason. I have not only learned to be patient throughout this time period, but also that yes, there is always a much bigger picture happening. Your calming reassurances helped to keep me from going off the deep end more than once and I can't tell you how much I appreciate that.

    Oh, and best internet friend, ever! :):):)

    Can't wait for the rest of the story, Paul Harvey. ;)

  13. You sneaky lady you! I can't wait to hear the rest of the tale!

  14. Helen, you are amazing!!!! I bet you ROCKED the race.

  15. Such a tribute to Shelley, her mom and your own darn self! Can't wait to read the ending.

  16. There's always a next time.
    For every single thing.
    We always (always) get a second chance!
    Thank goodness!
    Can't wait to meet you in person!
    And can't wait to see the wonderful results!

  17. waiting for your part two and totally nodding at your interpretation of shelley's ailment.

    there are no accidents huh?