If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been CRUSHING a lot of runs lately. Lately, as in the past week, since before then I was kind of taking a break. About six weeks into the new year, I abandoned my New Year’s resolution of 30 miles a week when I started getting a sharp pain in my hip that made even walking painful. This didn’t last long at all, but I stopped running anyway, and got down to business with P90X. This lasted three weeks, and then the “rest week” came. I took the rest part a little too seriously, and proceeded to do absolutely no exercise for a month. Feeling completely uninspired to work out at all, I chose to enjoy my hiatus from physical activity, and let myself get a little squishy. So what do I do when I’ve fallen off the horse? I’m no gymnast, so I have to look outward to find motivation, because I’m always determined to get back on one way or another. And so I utilize Facebook stalking.
We’re all guilty of a little Facebook stalking – it’s essentially the sole purpose of Facebook. Most people I know admit to doing it, but most people don’t advertise the names of the people they’re tracking on the internet. But I’m a strong believer that credit should be given where credit is due, and so it’s time to reveal these names, because these are the people that often get me off my ass when I see that they have just crushed a run themselves, or that they’ve just completed a difficult race in an amazing time (amazing = any time faster than I could run it in).
A couple quick disclaimers. First: these people are all women. I know some pretty quick men, but I don’t compare my time to theirs, so somehow seeing their accomplishments impresses me, but doesn’t get me all fired up. At least not guys that I vaguely know/knew from Facebook. Second: I’m putting your name on my blog without your permission. If you don’t like having nice things said about you on the internet, let me know and I’ll take it down immediately. Or if you just feel like I’m being creepy, either way.
And so, I now present to you my top 5 motivating ladies of Facebook:
1. Gretchen J: In every conversation I have with myself that involves both running and Facebook, Gretchen always comes to mind, since she is constantly crushing runs all over the place. She has always been faster than me, but I never resented her since she played squash instead of xc or track/field when I was at my prime, so the only time she would show me up was at the mile in PE (most of my admiration for my fellow runners is mixed with a tiny bit of resentment because of jealousy, etc.). Last week she crushed a run in Boston in super-hot heat. All kinds of motivation being spread there.
2. Jamie BB: I don’t specifically remember Jamie’s last running feat (that she or someone else posted on FB), but every time I do see something I smile to myself, because Jamie was one of the girls that used to roll her eyes and tell me that I was crazy when I would go running before basketball practice. She said it in a friendly way of course, and I probably was crazy – that wasn’t really necessary – but, I definitely never expected to see her taking up the sport to the extent that she did. I vaguely remember that maybe she did the Boston Marathon too… just kidding, I absolutely remember, especially since I just looked up her time and she did awesome. No holding back on my creepy internet stalking in this post!
3. Laura N: One time in high-school (it turns out that all these people went to high school with me) at track practice, Laura started going on about trying to get into the Olympics. I dismissed that idea, but she said something like, “If you don’t even try, you’re never going to get close.” Very broadly paraphrasing here, this was 8ish years ago. Apparently she has been trying hard, because she got way faster in college, while I was taking a several year break from running, and recently ran the Portland Marathon and qualified for Boston. I don’t actually care much about the Boston Marathon, but I’m realizing that all these ladies have either done it or qualified for it, so I guess it’s just one of the things that stands out more on Facebook. I hope I’m not blatantly passing over some amazing 5k or milers that I know, but it seems like people don’t focus much on the shorter distances after college. Anyway, good job Laura!
4. Rozie J: Rozie doesn’t totally qualify as a Facebook stalkee, since I’ve seen her a lot since high school, but that’s only been in the last couple of years. Before that I was legitimately FB stalking her as she ran a couple of marathons in very impressive times. Rozie was one of my biggest competitors back in high school, until I got injured and she just kept getting faster, so she has always motivated me to work harder. She even did it in real life again for a while until she moved away to somewhere that’s not-Portland.
5. Eli A: I can’t believe I almost forgot about Eli. I did truly forget about him for the past 10 minutes, which is why I wrote that stuff about all these people being ladies. Eli isn’t a lady, and I didn’t go to high school with him. But we did go to college together, and now my FB feed is always showing me stuff about his work with the Austin Marathon, building the running community there, and also running pretty quickly himself from time to time. All impressive stuff. I also want to boost his reputation so my mostly-nude Eli Asch trading card will go up in value.
And so I want to give a genuine Thank You to these people, for sharing their efforts and their victories with me. I’ve had quite a few people tell me that I’ve inspired them to run more via this blog, and so I think that those people should know where some of my inspiration comes from. And again, if you don’t like your name being up here, let me know. As much blogging as I do, I’m not entirely familiar with the etiquette of it all. It might have something to do with asking ahead of time, but that seems hard.
On a completely different note, I’m thinking of getting a camcorder so I can share some of my runs with you (among other reasons). Any suggestions? Quality and price-range are completely undecided on, as is the question of whether or not I’m actually going to get one.
Miles run in 2012: 149