Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Marathoning...Muliplied by 0.5

After almost five whole months of stressing way too much and training much too little, I finished my first half-marathon! 

Warning: Reading this breakdown could take nearly as long as it takes to run 13.1 miles, and may be even more painful.

Last Friday, the day before the race, Will, Alison and I spent a few hours trying to make up for the exorbitant registration fee by bringing home lots of swag from the pre-race expo.  Boy, did we win big.  So many Jamba Juice frisbees, packs of tuna fish, and minature boxes of cereal--SCORE. Probably our best find was a giant float up "Charlie the Tuna Fish" that is potentially big enough to lie down on in a body of water...can't wait. On race morning we were up by four AM, and by six we were all dressed and taking the bus down to the Seattle Center where the race began.  While William went up into a different corral to start with his sister; Kathryn and I nervously chatted in our own.  For our first half-marathon, neither of us had any idea what to expect from ourselves.  All of us were just praying to stay free of side-aches or injuries.  Once the gun went off however, everything felt great. It was so much fun running through the normally crowded streets of downtown Seattle, not to mention over the freeway, down the on-ramps, and along the beautiful water front.  Kathryn was my amazing running partner, as she has been all training season. I don't even remember what we ended up talking about for so many miles this year, but having her to idly chat with sure has made the painful time fly by.  She's so great at pushing me up the hills, and I'm in charge of pushing us down them (usually only figuratively).  I really felt great through the whole race until about mile eleven when my whole body really wanted to stop.  This is when I pulled out my ipod to push myself through those last two miles.  Special shout-out to the random combination of Skrillex- Bangarang, and Bruce's -Death to My Hometown; the only two songs I listened to through the whole thing.
When I finally reached the last 100 meters I sprinted to the end, so glad that I could finally be done running. UGH. I do NOT know how marathoners do it.  As soon as I crossed the finish line, SWAG bag round two commenced with handfuls of power bars, bananas, bagels, space blankets, chocolate milk, gatorade, water bottles, Jamba Juice (it had never tasted so good), and obviously a finishers medal.  Despite immediate exhaustion, we somehow found ourselves front and center for the Gym Class Heroes finale concert. Although all of us had made jokes about our total (un)excitment for this musical act, I think we ended up having a surprisingly good time.  Turns out Gym Class Heroes are the background rappers on like 30 popular radio songs, so obviously I did what I do best and sang the catchy hooks for them real loud and often with incorrect lyrics. Quite pumped on a finishers-high, I ended up dancing quite rambunctiously through the whole thing as well.  I even got some shout-outs from the lead singer.  He liked my running man, what can I say?  
All in all it was a fantastic day, and I really can't wait to did it again. I finished my half in 2:02 (9:22 miles), and was absolutely creamed by William who finished in 1:39 (about 7:30 miles...yowza). When I first signed up for this race, the thought that I would eventually be capable of running thirteen miles seemed near impossible to me, so despite being turtle slow, I'm still pretty happy with the end results.  This race has consumed so much of my mental energy for almost a whole HALF of a YEAR, so now that it's over I'm almost a little blue. Also, really sore.  After the race I didn't get off the couch for about 24 hours, and also effectively ate about 15,000 calories. Guess what, running thirteen miles does NOT burn--15,000 calories. 

Of course through the whole experience, we were all thinking about Robbie.  Will, Alison and I all wore old jerseys of his, and I have no doubt that they also were thinking of him through the majority of their run, remembering his strength whenever we got a little weary. I know that despite my non-impressive time, Robbie would have congratulated me on my accomplishment, since he was well aware of my usual sloth-like tendencies.

Overall, it was one of my favorite days (yes, like in my life), from the race itself, to the glorious binge-fest and naptime that took place later.  I kept on saying to Will, "Today is such a great day!" I'm so grateful to have such wonderful friends and such a talented bf to enjoy such monumental weekends with. Next stop...full marathon?

Running (and work and school) pal! (Basically we just do everything terrible together and have one another to complain to)
My love

Miss you Rob.

Monday, June 18, 2012


The other day William and I escaped to the mountain tops. Our hike confirmed to me that when everything on the ground is too muddled and hard, it's not just about getting out, it's about going up.  After sitting quietly in the sun for about an hour taking in the view, Will and I sprinted back down the mountainside.  Of all the things I like about hiking, running back home might be my favorite. Until I make the inevitable clumsy, and probably painful tumble, this will be the closest I will ever get to flying.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Today is Robbie's memorial.

I know that nothing I could write would be proficient in expressing the sadness of Robbie's passing, nor can I even begin to tell how much he is missed, how the past few weeks have been, and how much love and sorrow I feel for the Barany family. Many beautiful sentiments have been said and written by Will and his family, which expresses the fullness of the situation so much better than I ever could.  His obituary is lovely and heartbreaking, which we you can read here.

 Before the day begins, I would just like to say...
Robbie, I am sure you already know how much you are missed. How much we wouldn't give to see your smile and hear your voice one more time.  You have been my friend for so many years, and I was so happy to start to see you as my brother. You were a man of  many amazing talents--talents that the rest of us could only ever dream of. It is so hard to think of the rest of my life, and William's life, without you in it. I don't think I'll ever be able to see otter pops, Emma Watson, or succulents, without thinking of you.  It's hard to realize that the missing, and wishing you were here, is never going to go away. I have so many fond memories of our times together, from going out to lunch in high school, to palling around together that summer we were all in Bellingham. It hurts my heart and makes me lose my breath when I think about how our time to make memories together is over. 
 However, I know that you will be with us, watching over us as we struggle onward, learning how to live in a world without you.  Through all the sadness, I also have felt moments of peace. When I'm on a beautiful run, or listening to the wind rustle through the giant trees at your house, I feel very comforted knowing that you are so happy and are looking down with care on all the people that love and miss you so. I will carry you in my heart forever, and never forget your quick wit and easy smile. Today we will honor your extraordinary life, and celebrate the joy you brought to so many people.  You are missed Robbie, and you are loved.

Robbie's wisteria