The Runner

A bio update:

I have 2 full marathons under my belt now (and a bunch more half marathons). Fargo in 2011 and Grandma’s in 2015. I ran my second marathon nearly an hour faster than my first and I feel like I trained for it half as much. Weird how that works. So what started as an on-line journal to chronicle my training has turned into more of a place to post musings. I feel like I kind of have the hang of this running thing now, but there are still days when I don’t feel like a “real” runner. Whatever that means. I’m beginning to think maybe that never happens. Just like that first mile never doesn’t suck. I’m nearing 35 now, have been teaching for 11 years, married for 7 years, have a 4 year-old son with autism, and a need for a new challenge. Someone once said, “I run half for vanity and half for sanity.” I totally understand that. Running is a hobby now. A community that I’m a part of. An specific interest like anything else (golf, knitting, model airplanes, chess, politics, puzzles, dog ownership, photography, fishing, etc.). People nerd out about it the same way they do other hobbies and I love that. I like to read books and magazines and blogs about running. And go to running stores. The only shopping I actually enjoy doing is looking at accessories and gear related to running. I like to talk to people about running, and I get excited about running in new places. I drag myself out of bed at 5:00 a.m. to run because I know I’ll feel worse if I don’t. I love it when somebody else discovers running and we can share the ups and downs and insider insights of a race day or a crappy run or a bad wardrobe choice. It’s the closest thing in my life to religion or spirituality. I never thought this would be part of my life or identity. In general I love that runners are such a supportive and diverse community. I guess part of that is because 99% of us aren’t out there to try to win anything. It’s just about beating the voice in your head rather than other people.

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Hey, remember that time I ran a marathon and wrote a blog about it? Yeah, I was starting to forget too. (And I’ve kind of forgotten how to work this thing, so that explains why there’s old stuff and new stuff and sad stuff and funny stuff all mixed together.) And that’s why I signed up for another marathon. I was starting to forget how proud I was. Look how funny and clever and cute I was before I turned 30 and had a kid. A lot of things have changed since then, though the description below hasn’t changed all that much. Now I’m 33, mom to a 3 year-old, I’ve run a whole slew of half marathons since running Fargo, and I guess I’m ready for another big challenge.

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(original entry)

Tiffany Scheffler, high school English teacher    Age: 29              Kansas City, KS

I work out every day before school. My alarm is set for 4:50 a.m. I run tortoise style. It’s a shuffle, really. A trot, if you will. It’s not fast, it’s not pretty, but it gets the job done. I don’t always enjoy it. Sometimes I have to walk.  I still consume just as many calories as I burn off, probably more. Sometimes I deal with painful chafing. I don’t ever run without music. I worry about pooping my pants. I once gagged on a GU energy gel and have been scared to try them ever since. I have a husband who leaves water bottles in the park for me. I have a noisy treadmill that requires a magazine under one side to level it out. I like to talk about running on Facebook. I love getting race medals and t-shirts even though I know I could just buy them. I hate the wind more than I hate hills. I like the way running makes me feel about myself.

I completed my first half marathon in Fargo last year. Since then I have completed two more in Omaha and Kansas City. I have registered for my fourth half marathon, “Rock The Parkway” on April 2nd. It just seemed like the time to try my first full marathon. And what better place to run it than where it all began?

2 thoughts on “The Runner

  1. A few random running thoughts for you as you prepare for your first marathon. During training figure out what sort of fuels you are going to use in the race. I hated GUs at first (only tried fruit flavored ones), but once I tried chocolate I loved them. I now eat chocolate and vanilla bean GUs like they are candy. So if you tried a fruit flavored one, try a vanilla or chocolate, or the other way around. If you just can’t stomach GUs, try sport beans or shot blocs. If you can get your hands on whatever the drink the Fargo Marathon provides its nice to know if you like it or not come race day. As far as race day goes, go out slower than you think you should, if you think you are going to slow…slow down more. Its a long race and since your goal is to finish healthy, a slower start will mean you will be fresher at the end and that will make for a much more enjoyable experience. And my last thought (for now) is trust your training, it seems like you are pretty confident in your training plan, so when you toe the line come April know you have put the work in and the hard part is over and enjoy the race experience.

    • Thanks, Jeff. All good stuff. I believe it was vanilla that made me gag, so I will give something fruity a try. So far I haven’t met a sport bean, GU Chomp, or Cliff Shot Block that I haven’t liked. 🙂 I can tolerate the Accel Gel, and I don’t remember who makes that one. I feel so proud of myself because I’ve already purchased some Powerade Moutain Berry Blast, the official drink of the Fargo Marathon thinking that I should try it. Don’t be surprised if I send some questions your way through here or your beautiful wife.

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