Monday, October 19, 2015

A Very Special Running Club

It's been super quiet around here. The summer passed very quickly, like I knew it would...and suddenly we were moving Girldoll out of our house and into her dorms. 

Um, yeah. That. 

Before and after photos of getting
my girl moved into her dorm.

The thing that made it easier is knowing how happy Girldoll is at her school. She is one of the most well-adjusted people I know, and I am thrilled that she is thriving and making new friendships. Her move happened to coincide with the annual closure of the gym where I work. This turned out to be a blessing because I missed her so much, it was hard to concentrate. It was unchartered territory for me and I felt emotionally lost. There were a few instances those first couple of days where I was so distracted, it felt unsafe to be driving. I was a freaking zombie.

The first two weeks Girldoll were gone were some of the hardest days I can remember having in a long time. I had the sensation of being homesick, except that I wasn't the one who moved. I'd get a reprieve a few moments throughout the day when I was focused on a task, but having the feelings rush back with such intensity was almost worse. Time has made things more manageable. We've settled into a new dynamic with just three of us at the house, but it's the little differences - like only bringing out three plates for dinner, that stumped me at first. 

I have been keeping busy with projects at the house, and shuttling Boydoll to school and his various activities. Speaking of which, I was seriously spoiled over the last two years my daughter was driving. Holy crow, all the mileage and time I'm spending in the car these days.
All that driving has me like... 
What does any of this have to do with fitness, or anything remotely close to the name of my post? Well, it doesn't. And therein lies the problem. I have reasons galore for not running - or not exercising much at all, for that matter, apart from teaching my spinning classes. I've slowly gained nearly 30 pounds over the last two years, also for a host of reasons, and it's made running miserable. Something has to give because I am starting to fight my way through teaching my spin classes. 

Do I want to do something about it? Absolutely. What I won't do is tear myself down over the weight gain; it serves no purpose to disparage myself or hate on my body. I know what I need to be doing, and it just needs to get done.

Apparently, my solution to this self-imposed running hiatus was to register for all the races. As if my looming half marathons coming up in November and January weren't enough, I recently have discovered the beauty of virtual races. No costly travel expenses or timing chip to contend with, just lace up your shoes and get out there. Where and how you get your mileage is on your honor. The best part is that you still get a medal! After registering for two virtual charity races and sharing them in a Facebook post, a friend innocently wrote this in the comments: 

If you like Harry Potter 
you should check out the 
Hogwarts running club, 
they have some awesome ones!

In the spirit of full disclosure, if I had to chose between Star Wars and Harry Potter in terms of fandom...the Force would beat out the Ministry of Magic, every time. Maybe I'd feel differently if I was younger and the Harry Potter books had come out when I was in grade school. Regardless, nothing comes close to waiting in a line that wrapped around the theater to see Episode IV, A New Hope with my dad in 1977. Nostalgia wins, every time.  

You guys. I'm so hosed, but in the nicest and most magical way. Not only did I join the Hogwarts Running Club on Facebook -- their motto is, 'Run like you know who is chasing you!' -- I got so caught up in the thrill of these themed races, I ended up taking the Sorting Hat questionnaire to formally determine which house I should join to add my mileage 'points' to. Although the sorting feature is down on J.K. Rowling's Pottermore site, I was able to track down the actual test online. It turns out the Buzzfeed quizzes that you see circulating on Facebook are surprisingly accurate in this case. Well, as accurate as selecting a house at a wizard school from a fantasy novel can be. Both questionnaires sorted me into the same house: Gryffindor. Go...Lions?
This was exactly the same expression
on my face after I was sorted into Gryffindor?!
I'll be running the distance of a full marathon, split over 5 races: three 5k, one five-miler, one 10k...and one 9-and-3/4k, because obviouslyI'm running my first virtual race tomorrow: the Hedwig Memorial 5k to benefit the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Check out what the medal looks like, y'all:
Avada Kavadra to kids' cancer!