This is not a motto I mold my life around. Know why? Because Tracy Lorensen can do anything. Yes. She’s like a hybrid of Aquaman, Thor and the Amazing Flash. I’m not even joking. So yea… I do my best not to compare myself with her.
Yet somehow, somehow, I find myself training for a half marathon with her.
Often, as I’m putting in the required amount of training miles, I relive the day that I agreed to this absurdity.
I had just taken a shower, Caleb, who had been talking about running a full marathon in the States for at least a year now, was anxiously awaiting the minute registration would open and out of the blue I hear, “Samara! When are you getting into the States? Do you want to run the Lincoln half with Tracy? I’m signing us up now…”
There had been no prior talk of Tracy running the half, in fact, I was under the impression that Tracy didn’t particularly like running… but without any prior thought, the word “Great!” was blurted out of my mouth as if an alter ego had momentarily taken over my body and mind.
And that was it. Mere seconds after that word tumbled out of my mouth I was registered and the registration fee was paid for out of my eager team leader’s pocket.
Things just got real.
I had trained for and ran a half marathon before. The training process, while vigorous and exhausting was actually kind of enjoyable for me. I did all my long runs with a close friend and I found various other different people to do the short runs with.
I’m a social creature. If anything made that process at all bearable, it was being able to do it with people whom I love. The conversation and relationships built during those unthinkably long runs outweighed the fact that every morsel of my being was screaming, “Why!! Why are you doing this to us!!”
The actual day of the half marathon, I did really well…until the last two miles when my body decided that it had had enough and was going to just die. Literally die. I could barely pick up my feet to cross that finish line and I promised myself, ‘Never again.’
Well promises are made to be broken? Right? Right?
So, here I am again.
The first two months of training were actually ok. Tracy and I would go on our runs together and used the month of January to get our bodies used to running…so the runs weren’t long or fast, just nice.
Knowing that Tracy was soon getting on an airplane for the States made these runs very special to me—something I looked forward to (read ‘looked forward to’ with the understanding that there was still a fair amount of moaning and groaning on my part,) they were part of our busy schedules that I knew I would get exclusive time to just spend with Tracy.
And then. She left.
I mean, I always knew it was going to happen. Always. It was never a secret. It wasn’t a surprise.
And you know what didn’t leave?
The fact that I needed to train for this freaking half marathon that is haunting my future.
Tracy left and in her place came this giant cloud of smog covering the entire province of Chiang Mai. Public service announcements about not exercising in the current weather conditions were aired and thousands of Thai people began wearing masks while they drive their motorbikes trying to keep the toxins out of their lungs.
But training called.
Tracy’s absence also brought on the increase in miles. Four miles turned into five, then into six and eventually a nice ten. Forty-five minute runs have gradually become two and a half hour runs…
By. My. Self.
At this point, my body has pretty much rejected me. I have dealt with every runners ailment you can think of. From runners knee to lost toe nails to nasty blisters to chaffing… flipping chaffing. Chaffing chaffing chaffing.
As the miles were getting longer and the days were getting hotter I started getting extremely dehydrated, but being stubborn and not wanting to run with a bottle of water in my hand, I did the next logical thing…
The night before my long run, I went and hid bottles of water along my trail. Genius.
The next morning as I was running along, my little self was just soooooo excited about these hidden oasis’ that I would stop, thirsty or not, and gulp down some water. Five times I did this.
And then, blump blamp blomp, went my stomach for the rest of the run.
Still not sure which was worse…total dehydration and inevitable heat stroke, or the pure excitement I had over the hidden treasures that, in turn, led me to running with a stomach that was getting closer and closer to vomiting at every step.
Meanwhile, Tracy is growing stronger everyday in Omaha continuing her training like the graceful gazelle she is. As my miles continue to take me longer and longer to accomplish, hers, it seems, are taking her less and less.
I’m sure you’ve all seen this image:
Change the wording a little to read: “What Tracy looks like when she’s running”… the rest can stay as it is.
This week, I’m supposed to take off. I had a small procedure done in my armpit (I told you my body has turned against me,) and the doctor said I’m not allowed to sweat. Ha.
Normal Samara would be all, ‘BooYah!!’ but something strange has happened to me and I feel kind of gyped out of my precious training time.
I have yet to process these feelings… they are new and confusing to me.
So here I am. In Thailand. Alone. Training to run the Lincoln Half Marathon on May 3rd.
Because, if Tracy Lorensen can do it, I totally can too!