Thursday, August 29, 2013

A nerd at the speed of ... a running nerd

If you have come here looking for information about donating to the JDRF in support of my fund-raising campaign, please click here, and if you want to read my manifesto about why I'm running 12 half-marathons this year, click here. Thanks! 

 Picture this: You're running along a lovely mountain road. It's early morning; the weather is gorgeous, the world feels quiet. You're sweating a bit because you're in mile eight of a half-marathon, and many of those miles have involved quite a lot of climbing. You hear a clicking noise behind you, not a particularly loud one. Crickets? No, too rhythmic for that. An approaching car in need of a tune-up? No, too quiet for that. And then, in a blur, a runner passes you. She is tearing. Running as though she can fly, running like a gazelle, like a cheetah, as though she can suspend gravity. And the noise -- she is snapping her fingers. Like, while she runs. Wtf?

Ok, there may be a slight dichotomy between how I would like to appear while I'm running, and how I actually appear while I'm running. Only one part of the preceding narrative has anything to do with the reality of the race I ran on Saturday, from Boone to Blowing Rock, NC. Well, the parts about "lovely mountain road" and "quiet" and "climbing" -- those are true. But also what is true is the snapping part.

This route was just spectacular. And the weather was just perfect. And my playlist, which I'd hastily thrown together in the day or two before the race, was just awesome. I had expended a significant amount of energy on anxiety in the weeks leading up to the race because I was terrified of the amount of ascents (totaling almost 1,500 feet). I was sure I would have to walk, or barf, or quit altogether (or perhaps all three, in that order). My sister guessed that maybe I'd psyched myself up so much for the race, anything short of total misery was bound to feel like bliss -- she's probably right. All I know is, I positively enjoyed that half-marathon. Relished it. I experienced a couple of distinct endorphin rushes, when the perfection of the scenery and the clean mountain air and the fact that I was not dying and the beat of a new song on the playlist combined and I just couldn't stand it ... so I'd start snapping. It was the only thing I could think of to do besides cheer or stop for a quick dance break, which would have been weird, obviously. *cough*

I didn't pass very many runners -- I was keeping my pace nice and moderate so I wouldn't burn out during the climbs. And I'm pretty sure those I did pass would not use terms such as "cheetah" or "fly" or "suspend gravity" to describe what they saw. Also not "blur." Perhaps they thought, "So that is what a controlled fall looks like." Or, "Oh dear, another runner being chased by a bear." Maybe, "I wonder if that lady thinks there are free donuts at the end." And almost definitely, "What kind of an insufferable dork snaps her fingers while she runs, as soon as I get a chance I'm going to body-check her face-down into the ditch."

I owe many thanks to the people who've donated to the JDRF to support my fundraising. When I am not thinking hard about snapping, I really do spend quite a lot of time mentally scrolling through the donor list, rereading the supportive comments, thinking about what might have spurred each individual to put any chunk of change down after I asked them to. Is it because they'd like to see me cured of this disease so I stop talking about it? Because they don't like what they know about the disease, and would like to know that they, their children, all their loved ones never have to worry about developing it? Because they were touched by someone else who has or had Type 1 diabetes, and this is a tribute to that person? Or does it have little to do with diabetes, and more to do with just wanting to give me a little round of applause for the physical challenge I've taken on? Could it be just mindless generosity? "Someone I know is trying to raise money, which isn't usually fun -- sure, I can throw into the pot."

Whatever it is, thank you.

1 comment:

  1. Love you Alison! You inspire me to try harder and smile at the weirdest times. . .Hurray for all nerds!