What the hell is Ditch the Tiara?

Redefining the word beautiful...one dirty, sweaty, bruised up mile at a time, with a few downward dogs along the way...

Monday, May 4, 2009


Woke up bright and early at 3am, with dual alarms set between Mike and I to ensure we wouldn’t miss the 4am bus departing for the start. I didn’t get a great night’s sleep as the elephants in the hotel room above us didn’t settle into bed until well after 10:30pm. And along with having a hard time falling asleep the night before a race, there’s the panic you have of not waking up on time so you wake up at least once an hour to be sure you hear your alarm.

Peeked out the 5th story hotel window, prepared for rain to be pelting down the glass and was pleasantly surprised to see the reflection of myself against a very dry window pane. I knew it. In the 5 or 6 years I have run this race, it was always perfect on race day!

The race start was chilly at 6:15am and Mike and I warmed up before the race, meeting up with fellow HEPster bsg. We ran for about 10 minutes, did some last minute stretches and wished each other luck. We were all looking for some PRs (personal records) today. I had a really tough first half. My legs and body seemed to be weighted down but not from fatigue. As I mentioned previously, I’ve been in a funk. Quite honestly, I have come to a point in my life where I am simply trying to make sense of it all. What is my purpose? Who am I supposed to be to my husband, my dogs, my family, my friends? Who am I to be to myself? I have been trying to find some meaning and reason for the things I experience and do. Why are certain people meant to be in my life? I have been so busy wondering what all the obstacles and challenges were meant to teach me so that I could finally live my life, happily. And then it was pointed out to me by a work colleague that these obstacles and challenges WERE my life. So in the very simple words of Shawshank Redemption's Andy Dufresne, I could get busy living or get busy dying. It was somewhere around mile 20 that this epiphany struck me.

I shed all of the weight of the world so to speak and got my running legs back. At mile 20, I apologized to Mike for yelling at him at mile 17 – [sidenote] he dropped the lid of his water bottle and with headphones blasting into his hears shouted to me “I DROPPED THE LID” and I shushed him, thinking jayzus, I am right here and not everyone in Ft Collins needs to hear you screaming about your lid. He shushed me right back and seemed to soak up all of that negative energy I was harboring. Poor thing. All he wanted to do was run a good race and he loves me so much that my mood really does affect his. Now that I think about what transpired, it’s so comical and funny to me. We got into a fight over a bottle lid? hahahahaha

We got past the shouting-lid-loss-issue and I felt amazing. My legs hurt like hell but it didn’t matter. My right quad and IT band were screaming at me. I can be a real champion between miles 20 and 26.2 when I want to be. I felt stronger and faster than I did for the first 20 miles. I encouraged Mike on as his legs and muscles were destroyed from the severe downhill course. I have much more experience in the final 10k of a marathon then he does so I did everything I could to urge him on, forbid him from walking and make this fun for him. Do you have any idea how hard it is to make mile 24, 25, 26 of a marathon fun? It ain’t easy. And quite honestly I don’t know if he ever had fun during those last miles, but I wanted him to finish strong. We finished in just under 4:15. It was his fastest marathon time and another solid performance for Team Freisem. We were greeted at the finish line by our wonderful friends and celebrated with burgers and beer.

I was feeling a teeny (ok a lot) bit down about not having run it faster (for myself) afterwards. Jess, bsg and Mike all had time PRs. Somewhere along the way I had forgotten that I was no longer training for "just a marathon." I was not looking at the big picture ie. IRONMAN. My coach candidly pointed out that I had just run my 39th Marathon and in his book, that is a PR any day of the week. Ok, ok. I’ll take it… I am blessed with strong legs and an even stronger desire for success. But there comes a point that I have to measure my success with a more positive and loving attitude for my accomplishments. In simpler terms, once in awhile, I really do need to stop and smell the roses…


RunnerChick said...

Ya Team Freisem! You look HOT in that dress! I may have to get one after all. Loved your story about the bottle lid. So sounds like me to over-react to something so stupid. Congrats on a great race both of you!!!

Go.2.Belle said...

like my age. Im 39 again! YAY!

Trina aka Doll said...

Everytime I think, I can't, I think about what you do, and realize I probably can (at least try). Muy inspirational. (besides when we skate and I say "can't" I donate $1 to the margarita scholarship fund)!