Friday, July 22, 2011

Running With Celebrities in my Mind.

Disclaimer: I'm not really interested in celebrities. I don't care who is dating who, who is pregnant, or who got arrested again. I don't even notice the headlines of Star, People, or any fan mag while standing in line at the grocery store. Unless they are running. That gets my attention. Suddenly I have something in common with this celebrity and can relate to a person who's life is very different than mine. When a celebrity, such as Oprah, makes it known she is in training, I feel instant camaraderie.

Sure I know Oprah has access to the best trainers, nutritionist, doctors, and massage therapists that money can buy. But she is a busy woman who needs to put in the miles and I know what that feels like. Her feet are still going to need to run every step of those 26.2 miles, and she has earned my respect. And beating her became my obsession during my own marathon.

"Beat Oprah, beat Oprah, beat Oprah" was my mantra for the first 18 miles. Then I forgot all about Oprah and just wanted to finish. My new mantra became "Just cross that finish line and you never have to do this again!" I did finish at a very humble 4:41;30, but Oprah had me beat by 11 minutes. No excuses, she did the work.... but I noticed she isn't running anymore, and I still am, "So who's winning now, huh Oprah! Huh?"

Some other famous marathoners that beat me include Meredith Baxter (Family Ties) at 4:08:30, Alanis Morissete at 4:17:03, and P. Diddy aka Sean Holmes at 4:14:00. However, I smoked Katie Holmes at 5:29:58. (Notice the verbage becomes much more violent when I am in the lead?) I slaughtered the youthful and petite Katie Holmes! Yes, while Katie was crossing the finish line, I was at home, showered, feet up, drinking a smoothie and bragging on the telephone. I also anihalated David Lee Roth who ran a 6:04:43, and... well, I think that is about all.

Most people know that Will Ferrell is an accomplished marathoner at 3:56:12, although his streaking scene in "Old School" did not really do him justice. Will Ferrell is not the only or the fastest Saturday Night Live Veteran runner. The real speed demon is Dana Carvey who finished a marathon in a very impressive 3:04:21.

Now the politicians. Most people consider the controversial 2000 election to be a very close race, some dispute the actual outcome. I say "Let these two settle this matter in a foot race!" Both George Bush and Al Gore have completed marathons under belt, but there is really no contests here. At the risk of ostracizing a large portion of my fan base (maybe 2 out of 4?) let me point out that regardless of your political affiliation, you cannot deny that George Bush at 3:44:52, kicked Al Gore's 4:58:25 fanny. Whipped it, good and proper. Sarah Palin also kicked the butt of Al Gore and your's truly at 3:59:36. But the fastest are democrats George Dukakis at 3:31:00 and John Edwards at 3:30:18. Now that is a close race!

My favorite celebrity racer isn't quite a marahoner (yet), but Drew Carey is coming up fast. I'm not even mad that he beat my half-marathon time by a few seconds at 1:57:02. I'm so proud of Drew Carey for shedding 70 pounds and embarking on this healthy lifestyle. I love his quote "I feel like I am aging backwards!" Here is a fun guy I would run with for sure. He could make me laugh without beating me or my ego too badly.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

You will be paid!

On a recent vacation I went to dinner at a Chinese restaurant and was overjoyed at my fortune that read, "You will be rewarded for all your hard work this past month." I had been feeling mentally beat up by the trials of owning a construction business during this great recession and was desperate for any sign of hope. I actually got so excited, that after reading the message to my husband I decided to save this fortune in my wallet. Whew, easy street was around the corner. "The check is in the mail" will no longer be a lie told to me, or told by me.

My husband tried to ridicule me for putting my faith in something as trite as a fortune cookie, but I had evidence of their validity. "Read Austin's" I said, referring to our six-year-old son. Austin's read "You are respected in the community and an influence on others." See! My son is respected in the FB community, I quote him all the time and he gets several thumbs up. No coincidence that I got the one about hard work and he is complimented on his personality. So I smugly kept both our fortunes, not letting my husband be a joykiller.

But reality set in as I returned to work and the "checks in the mail" were mysteriously lost, jobs were given to lower bidders, and we were plagued by trivial complaints. Then something else occurred to me. Maybe the fortune was referring to running? Hmmm. "You will be rewarded for all your hard work this past month" took a different ring.

I had recently upped my mileage and started doing something very foreign; speedwork. I smiled to myself realizing that it was already paying off and smiled wider as I realized this is what I love about running. It always pays dividends. In a business world where we sometimes work and don't get paid, (true of anyone in sales) or bid and don't get the work, or have our profit eaten away by unforeseen events - this has never been my experience with running.

Maybe this is one of the reasons I have focused on running while experiencing difficulties with work. Running never lets me down, it never rips me off, it is always satisfying and stress reducing. Running pays in immediate results (endorphins) and long term benefits (health). You get out of it what you put into it. Running has been a reliable source of joy in my life for many years. I have been paid for my hard work this past month, as well as many years prior. Again I smiled at my "fortune" and the reminder that I am blessed with ability and willingness to be a runner.