Posts Tagged ‘life’

This past weekend, I did something I never imagined I would or could do in my whole life: run a half marathon.

It all started near the end of last year, when I was looking towards the year ahead and wondering what goals and resolutions I would create for myself.  With Dan starting his MBA, I thought it would be wise to come up with some projects/hobbies for myself.  I also felt a void from the intensity of life events last year: finding a new job, buying a home, and getting married, so I knew I needed some new goals to keep me busy for 2011.  I enlisted my bridesman (EW), selected a small, unknown race so no one could witness it, and we set off to train for a solid 3 months.

I’ve also always been able to challenge myself mentally, but never physically.  So many of my girlfriends and people I knew were running; I thought, could this be something I could do?  I am in the best shape of my life so I knew that it was pretty much now or never. So to check it off my life list and to be able to tell my children that their mom once long time ago, ran a race, I set out and started training.

Let me start off with some humble observations from a novice runner and to debunk some myths at least that I’d heard:

  • Runner’s High: oh, you elluded me so.  It never happened for me.  Quite possibly, because I’m not a runner.  I dreaded all the training runs, so much so that it would ruin the Friday nights before the Sat mornings I did my long runs, and I thought if I had to train for any longer, I might just get clinically depressed.
  • Getting “in the zone”:  Again, no zone-age happening here.  I wasn’t able to ever free my mind, nothing about running relaxed me, and I never got “lost” in the music or thoughts or the weather or any kind of BS like that.
  • “If you can run 6, you can run 12” (for example) or “whatever you can run you can just double it”:  Not true.  Every mile was incrementally more difficult than the first.  8 miles hurt more than 6, 10 more than 8, and 12 more than 10.

Now, to race day.

Here’s me praying before the race.  One of my top concerns was having to go to tbe bathroom during the race (which didn’t happen, thank goodness), but which did happen once during a training run- thank goodness for the random porta potty out by a trail.

The other concern which did indeed take place came in Mile 2.  After an adrenaline-filled start, I knew I was going much faster than I should have and there you have it- Mile 2, I got a sideache.  It hurt like a mofo every time I exhaled, and I cursed multiple times. Mile 2, seriously? I clenched my side and slowed down immensely to try to control my breathing so I didn’t have to walk.  I refused to give in.  From Miles 2-4, I suffered through it.

Luckily, the pain subsided and Miles 4-9 went pretty solidly. The turnaround happened around 9 (I was confused at 6 as to why the turnaround wasn’t coming up- should have studied the map better!) but finally it happened and I had renewed strength at mile 10 as I knew I was close to the end.

Between Miles 10 and 11, I had a short-lived burst of energy.  I started giving myself 3209358 pep talks: Great job,  I can do this, You worked so hard for this, Finish strong, etc.  But when Mile 11 hit, my body started feeling the pain everywhere: knees, ankles, feet, thighs, butt, even back and shoulders.  I tried to tell myself It’s all mental, it’s all in your head but was immediately overtaken with my voice of reason Of course it’s not mental- this is PHYSICAL and it hurts.

So 11-13 I really just wanted to finish without walking and not go insane.  My goals changed from finishing strong to just finishing.  I started going through scenarios- if I knew that I would get promoted if I could speed up a little, could I do it?  What if my family was being held hostage on the other side?  I know, I’m crazy.

Finally, I see the high school where we get to finish on their track:

If you look closely, I’m holding up a #1 so I could show my future children. They handed out gold medals (I felt like I had received one for the special olympics) and finally, I was done with a much better than expected time, and the relief that I could check it off my life list and go back to not closely monitoring my wine intake on Friday nights.  Dan’s whole family showed up surprising me at the finish line.

Moral of the story?  I mean, it really sucked. I got nauseous after the race and tried to throw up at the restaurant where we went to celebrate aftewards.  I’m limping around at work and I’m sorry to say I now know what underwear chafing feels like.  I confirmed what I already knew; I am not or will never be a runner, but I’m glad to have been able to challenge myself physically and I do have a bit of pride from doing it on my own.

Fun Facts:

  • I finished 143/289 with a time of 2:07, an average pace of 9:42/mile (training runs were about 10/mile so this was a nice surprise)
  • Dan informed me that the visibly pregnant woman that we saw checking in, beat me horribly by at least 5-10 minutes.

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I pretty much learned everything about sex, alcohol and life in high school from Beverly Hills: 90210. (Team Brenda!) 

This show really opened my eyes to the ‘real world’.  I mean, when we had sex ed in elementary school, I literally thought only white people did it.  I confidently told my classmates that there HAD to be another way, because my parents were Korean, and they definitely did NOT do that. 

I lived vicariously through the popular girls on the show and envisioned having hot boyfriends like them (even though Luke Perry was like 40 when he was filming).  I used to try to purse my lips like Brenda thinking it was sexy, but it never really worked.  (It was difficult with braces and glasses.) 

When Dylan broke up with Brenda for the umpteenth time, and she listened to REM’s “Losing My Religion” on repeat in her room, I always thought that would be how I would deal with my first heartbreak.  (The actual situation years and years later involved Boone’s Farm and puking in a friend’s bathroom.)

I always identified most with Andrea (obviously).  She was the smartest one.  Ok… fine, she was also a big dork and wasn’t what you called, hot.  I was forever traumatized when she got pregnant after her first time with a boy, while all the other whores on the show never had a problem.  But that’s how real life is, right?

It’s shows like these that define a generation.  I laugh now about the fantasy world I thought high school would be.  I actually wouldn’t say I had “fun” in high school.  I think back at high school with regret over SAT scores and relive the stress over trying to get into a good college. 

College was where I really felt I grew up and learned a lot about myself and the world around me.  Things weren’t as black and white as I thought they were.  And this process of exploration and discovery was fun!  (That sounded like I dabbled in drug experimentation but that’s not the case.)  I made great friends and kept the ones that mattered.

But seriously, Kelly was a back-stabbing bitch, right?

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Ode to Dinner Club

Dan and I have been going to a “dinner club” for almost two years now.  It started with a friend of mine at work, and expanded into 4 couples eating and drinking themselves silly in the comfort of someone’s house.

The profile of dinner club is different than our “normal group” we hang out with on the weekends.  Dinner club sounds more sophisticated, but let me assure you, it’s not.  Though, there are children and homes involved.  There is an eastside couple with an adorable 3 year old.  She was probably our first kid encounter- like actually hanging out with a child.  Now that she’s older and less shy, one dinner club we literally watched her dance to music for an hour straight.  And it was hilarious and the best time ever.  Apparently she also tried to “wake me up” when I was passed out this weekend.  More on that later.

There is another couple that just had a baby boy who is now about 6 mos old.  This is pretty much the first baby we’ve encountered and he is awesome too.  He’s been to 2 or 3 dinner clubs now but usually sleeps through them.  This past weekend though, he was full of energy and was kicking around.  I let him hold my finger for awhile.

And the third couple is currently with child.  She likes to try to rub her belly on Dan because it freaks him out.  I think it’s funny and encourage her to do so.  Says the guy who wants to have 3 kids?!  He better get used to a big belly.  And that is the first baby in utero we’ve been hanging out with!

So yes, Dan and I are the youngest couple in that sense since we are the only ones not married and without a home.  I felt better at least when we got engaged and I was able to announce I was no longer the whore of dinner club.

So actually, the dad of the 3 year old bet me over the weekend that I would be pregnant by 29.  I remembered this!   I’m going to earn $100 in a little over 2 years.  I’m sure he was regretting this bet though after my behavior by the end of the night.  Am I the first one to puke at dinner club?  Technically, I puked right after we got home out of the car.  But like, right after I got out of the car- into a bag I was holding all the way home.

Poor preggers mama-to-be was driving a caravan of us Seattle folks + a baby back home after I passed out on the floor, and then the stairs of the couples’ house.  Surprisingly, I’m the 2nd person to do this, but that couple is no longer allowed at dinner club (for other reasons).  Dan was afraid we’d be kicked out too so I had to call all 3 couples the next day and apologize.  (It was exhausting!)

Anyway, dinner club is awesome.  I think Dan and I get to benefit most from it as we learn a lot about “adult” life and how surprisingly different but really fun it is.  Staying home and drinking is sounding better and better than going out.  And surrounding yourself with your family and friends is even better.

Various old pics of dinner club… I think there was video of me taken this weekend too that I hope never surfaces:

we did a dinner club field trip to a salsa dancing lesson!

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the future

I went to an alumni event at the UW Business School a couple days ago, where they let alumni network for a bit and then have undergraduates come and speak with you.  They separated us by function (marketing, finance, etc.) and then kids can come up and ask you whatever questions they wanted.

As one of my other friends who was also an alumni put it, there was a lot of awkwardness in the room.   A couple of us gals went out for a drink afterwards and laughed about how naiive some of the questions were, but we wondered if we were also like that when we were in college?  Many of the students wondered if we are now doing what we we thought we were going to do in college.  Have we all figured it out yet?  Not at all.

We were three successful (and very hot) women on top but we talked about how we still don’t really know what we want to do.  We know what we enjoy, but that doesn’t always translate into a viable job in the work place.  My general plan is to work as hard as I can while I’m young and try to retire early.  Easier said than done, I know.

I want to travel, eat a lot of good food, drink a lot of good drinks, and spend time with friends.  I actually like the work life more than the college life.  I think most people are the opposite, but I would not go back to college right now if I could.  I like having money, going on vacations, and not studying for tests.  But of course, there’s a lot of tradeoffs and you learn to manage.  That’s why there’s a lot of drinking going on during the week. 🙂

Anyway, now I’m just rambling, but it was really interesting talking to these girls about future goals and where our lives and careers are headed.  We often don’t stop and reflect upon where we were, where we are, and where we want to go.  I’m excited about my future though and anxious to see where it leads.

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