I woke up too early Saturday morning. I set my alarm for 6:30 AM to meet my running group at the Pannikin in Leucadia by 7:30, but I was wide awake at 6 AM and I decided to get up and watch some TV and kill half an hour. We canceled cable a couple of years ago and I still think it is one of the best decisions I have made as a parent, but it really limits what the adults can watch on TV. We basically get the local networks; my biggest regret is that I have yet to see an episode of "Jersey Shore." The local networks at 6 AM broadcast, for some unknown reason, infomercials, and not just about anything, the 6 AM crop sticks to crazyathleticcontraptiomercials. These range from Knock-Out Abs, a device that you do sit-ups and there is this punching bag that you hit while you are doing sit-ups which I guess would give you some knock-out abs, because sit-ups and boxing aren't enough on their own, they have to be combined.
There was the air-climber which is a step-in-place machine with springs and it looks like they spent way more on faketanning and hair and make-up than on development, because, come on, you're just stepping in place. The thigh glider was my favorite, I think it's supposed to work the legs, but I'm not really sure what it's working here; I was just surprised it wasn't pay-per-view...
I also watched a little bit of "Melt It Off With Mitch" which wasn't half as interesting as the Thigh Glider, but great name, though. I know people get a sense of satisfaction in ordering these products and they have great intentions of melting it off or gliding thighs, or climbing on air, but these are about as useless as the January 1st gym membership. They make it look so easy, so beautiful and made-up-spray-tanned, but it's not easy. It hurts and it doesn't get any easier, you may get faster, but it still hurts. And not just running, it all hurts, but you have to have a plan and stick with it. Sign up for a race, make a plan, get outside, and keep at it.
My neighbor is new to running and has no business lacing up running shoes and signing up for a half marathon, but that is exactly what she did. If she would have asked me, I probably would have told her to enter a couple of 5k races and then move up to a 10k and then maybe try a half marathon, but she didn't ask me, and that's great because she is smarter than I am and the bigger the challenge, the bigger the pay-off. I would see her running along the coast every Saturday and she would post her updates on Facebook...ran 5 today and it hurt...torn hamstring...7 miles, hamstring hurt, but it's done...10 miles...12 and a half. And my favorite, "DONE!" I would see her and cheer for her on those Saturday mornings on the coast and she was hurting, you could see the pain in her steps and I would see her out walking, hobbling, the next day to get the mail, but she was out there, every weekend, overcoming injury and doubts, walking when she needed to, and yesterday she ran 13.1 miles.
I woke up early yesterday morning and got my kids dressed and fed and headed out to the Carlsbad Marathon because I wanted them to see their mom racing and in pain and beautiful. I wanted them to see the winners, the Africans seemingly gliding over the pavement, expressionless and fluid,
and I wanted them to see the struggle, an elite friend who had to pull out due to injury, another friend who placed 7th overall and smiled the whole way, and another running buddy who I am sure is the fastest person to ever talk so much on a run - he was talking as he ran by us, pushing a little over a 6-minute/mile pace. My kids saw these people, people they know from track workouts and long Saturday runs, and I hope they remember the race, and I hope they know that it's not easy, no great accomplishment ever is.