Monday, November 18, 2013

3 of 8: The Turkey Trot...with the Marines! (training for theSpartanRace)

I'm writing this as my thighs ache. This past Saturday was the Turkey Trot sponsored by the 3rd Battalion at the Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH). I signed up for this because it was advertised on a list of other runs that were happening on the island of Oahu in the Hawaii Sports Magazine. At that time, I figured it would be better because it was 6 miles compared to the other Turkey Trot that is happening on Thanksgiving and it's 10 miles with you determining the time that you can run the 10 miles.

I picked up my packet the day before the event (friday) and noticed on the course map that I would be running past the housing area where I used to live in the 1970's. I figured I do a quick drive-by and see how it looked but the base renovated that neighborhood. What used to be a big park area where all the neighborhood kids would play on the playground-there was a street with new housing that led to the shoppette that was there connected to other buildings where I took hula lessons.

Our elementary school was there but no longer were there the jungle gyms or the metal looking fire truck that I remembered my 7 year old friend kissed a boy. How odd that roaming through an old neighborhood brought back so many memories. Anyhow, I digress...

As I drove back to the office, I noticed how neatly the racing bib, shirt and other information was held together by a rubber band. I think I got a kick that it was so OCD organized because the shirt size was the very size I specified and whoever put these packets together made sure that whatever anyone specified on the registration is what we got in our racing packet. There was no scrambling or rummaging through boxes. They basically distributed the packets through your racing bib number. 

When I got home that night, I prepped what I was going to wear on Saturday as well as cutting my shirt into a muscle T-shirt because I didn't want to wear out any of my other exercise tops. I set my alarm to 3:30am, so I could leave the house at 4:00am.

By 4:00am, I was on the road considering that it would take me about 45-55 minutes to get to the other side of the island. Mind you, the race was at 7:00am but I wanted to make sure that I got there early and just relax because I am always nervous before any run.

I pulled up to the event parking and noticed that it was the parking lot next to the base theater where I saw Grease for $0.10! As I relaxed, other individuals were parking and getting out of their cars (they were the volunteers). Then, murphy's law for runners kicked in because I had to use the bathroom. Thank goodness, the theater actually opened up their doors for the participants to use the restroom. 

When I stepped out and walked towards the field since it was now 6:15am, I sat down in the pavilion to begin stretching and just loosen up. It was then I noticed that majority of everyone that was participating were fit. what.the.heck... I cursed myself because it dawned on me that I was running with the MARINE community. How could I have overlooked that especially when my dad is a retired Marine who STILL RUNS and who is currently training for the Spartan Race and intent on waiting for me at the FINISH LINE? I texted my dad who laughed and encouraged me to have fun and knows that I can finish this race. I texted back thanking him and that he had more faith in me than I did at that moment. 

As 7:00am approached, the MC went over the course with us, which was 2 laps around my old neighboorhood. Then, the MC shared about where the water stations were going to be and I heard, "Officer's club". I paused and panicked because I remembered that the Officer's Club was located on top of a hill.

I hate hills...

I had to suck this one up and take it with a grain of salt. I had to tell myself silently that if I got through the Spartan Race, I can dang well run around my old neighborhood and walk quickly up that hill TWICE. 

The airhorn went off and everyone ran or walked. Well, I was one of the few that walked for awhile then started running at my own pace. It was hot and hazy. First lap, I grabbed water and ate some sporty beans. Second lap, I was sweating like crazy. I didn't want to look behind me because I was afraid I might be the last person running. However, I knew I wasn't because I bypassed this girl and her mom on the first lap.

When finally got to the finish line, I noticed that my time was 1:25:06. If you're a runner and reading this, it may be a slow time for you. However, I just beat my personal goal because this was the fastest I've ever ran. It was 15-16 minutes per mile! Not bad for a 6 mile run (for me, that is).

As I think of this, I think of how much I have changed from when I first started my fitness journey to now. I think of how many things have changed and through life-change is inevitable. For example, look at the old neighborhood. It was renovated. It was new. And that's how it is with us when we decide to make a change for ourselves for the better. Looking back is a great thing because it reminds you of where you came from and it keeps you grounded. It's interesting on how things will come to mind to use as an object lesson for myself to understand why I am on this journey to be healthier physically, mentally and spiritually.

Nevertheless, I have two weeks to get myself prepared as much as I am able for my upcoming run, which is #4 of #8....the Honolulu Marathon that I will be walking and running. Let's just hope that I am not crawling to the finish line on that day.


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