Jan. 14, 2009

The Naples Half Marathon 2009 is This Sunday

Running Ain't For Sissies

On top of sparing you a real estate related column this week I will also spare you the clichés comparing running marathons to being a real estate agent or surviving this rotten economy. I was so tempted to do it just to give the kids online something to yammer about.

 

The Naples half marathon is this weekend and I’m blue. I’m a little sad that I’m not doing it. It’s become a love hate relationship this year between me and that run. Though I love the accomplishment of doing it, I hated the pain. I didn’t roll over on doing it this year, a few road blocks popped up and I was slightly derailed in training.

A couple of years ago a few fellow associates and mortgage brokers use to run as a group after work. Running was for fun and games, plus it’s free and good for us, right?

Though I don’t recall how it all began, we eventually started doing 5K runs. It was casual and fun and for the most part it was more about just doing something as a group. In actuality, it probably wasn’t so much about the running but more about the charge of being up early and camaraderie over the breakfast afterwards.

Since every club needs a name our little group was title the Running and Limping Club. As the oldest of the runners I filled the role of the “limper”. My knees are a tad on the crunchy side.

A couple years back, a handful of us ran the Midpoint Bridge race from Fort Myers to Cape Coral. Afterward, at the breakfast part of our togetherness and completely high on endorphins, someone came up with the brilliant idea to run the Naples News Half Marathon. I really don’t recall agreeing to do it but before you know it the Running and Limping Club was hoofing the big loop around Coconut Point from Corkscrew Road, Three Oaks, Coconut Road and 41.

This was before I began writing for the Naples Daily News so there was no compelling reason for me to run because of affiliation. It was simply an exercise in masochism.

Quite frankly, running because you have to put in time and distance is worse than dental work with garden tools. Being a bad runner and running because you have to stinks to the tenth power. I wasn’t a born runner, I run because I just don’t watch what I eat. I clean my plate, I eat the fries, I’ve never scraped the frosting off of anything and butter is my friend. I’d be a heifer and a half if I didn’t pound the pavement.

Making a commitment to punish myself and my over forty knees every other day was an exercise in tolerance and endurance. In the end I figured I’d get to put a check mark beside “ran a half marathon” which would be directly under “jumped out of a perfectly good plane” and two notches below “have a litter of children”.

Fortunately, a retired running coach named Jim Porter gave me all sorts of suggestions and tips for running. Back in the day, he had a couple of his track team members turn pro and become marathon runners all over the world for major running shoe brands. I listened when he told me to not clench my fists and make the OK symbol and I would relax and run better. I took every tip I could get.

Coach Jim learned about the latest in shoe technology; the iPod and the sensor in my shoe that measures the time, distance and calories and stores the data on the web. Just when you thought something as organic as running couldn’t be computerized it was. Every minute of my agony was recorded for posterity. It also recorded the times I walked, too.

Ultimately, the goal was to finish the race. Almost two and a half hours of running is harsh. Thirteen-ish miles of sweat, tears, swearing and a couple of times wanting my mommy. There were definitely no speed records being set but I crossed the line and got that check mark. It was a great accomplishment and a super experience.

Knowing how hard all of this years runners trained I wanted to I wish them all good luck and good weather. I’ll only be a spectator this year since I didn’t train and I’ll cheer you all on from the side lines.

If you’re looking for something fun to do head to Cambier Park at dark o’clock on Sunday morning. Come stand on the side lines with me and applaud the runners that worked so hard to get there and people watch the spectators. It’s really a fun atmosphere even if you’re not running. Everyone is in such a good mood and you can feel the positive energy. It’s an awesome event.

A little later this spring I’ll still be running like a little old lady and starting from scratch with the 5K’s again. I will still carry my cell phone in case I need to call a cab for a ride. I’ll run but I’m all for quitting after getting stung by bees, breathing in a swarm of gnats or throwing up in front of rush hour traffic.

Then next race for me and the Running and Limping Club will be the Susan G. Komen® Race for the Cure at The Coconut Point Mall on March 14th. When you half marathon runners are recovered from the parade of pain maybe you come up to Estero in March and help save second base. Your mothers and daughters will thank you for supporting the cause.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Real Life in Bonita Springs is a project by Chris Griffith dedicated to writing useful blog posts for consumers about the Bonita Springs, Florida area.  Find out what it is really like to live in Bonita Springs, Florida by reading about our fair city. You’ll get the latest in local real estate information, Bonita Springs real estate market reports and a little bit of humor.  If you have topic ideas, feel free to request a story about the idea, after all, this site is just for you.

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