racing to run

I am starting this blog for my dear professor of art at the University of Massachusetts, friend and artist, Jerry Kearns.

I am an artist. In high school and in college I was also an athlete. At the culmination of my athletic prowess I was a downhill ski racer for two of my college years. I ended my career skiing when my frustrated drawing professor, when critiquing my faulty drawings made from my left hand because I broke my right and dominant hand while racing, said I had to chose one or the other…drawing or skiing…art or athletics.

I chose art for ten years. I primarily chose art because I encountered more than one of these types of influencing professors and artists that demanded I needed to focus on not only one specialization, but a specialization within a specialization in order to succeed. (ironically I am an artist who specializes in a material for a short and intense duration and then I may chose another material to focus on and I may fluctuate between drawing and sculpture).  That didn’t bring me ultimate happiness. Now I am not only choosing to just make whatever I damn well see a need to make but I am also taking a stab at long distance running and I am choosing to excel as best as I can doing both. I don’t think art takes away from running, or vise versa but rather balances each other.

I trained for my first marathon, the SF Run Like A Girl Marathon 2009 by myself. My main concern for the SF marathon was to comfortably finish. The NYC marathon is difficult to get into, and requires that you must run 9 nyc qualifying races the year prior to the race. I am not accustomed to racing so this is good for me.

Since September I have been pounding the pavement. It feels great. I am trying to qualify for the nyc 2011 marathon. I have run five out of nine qualifying races. John, my husband, has been awesome at rallying at absurdly early times on Sunday mornings to go support me and photograph the runners. My pace keeps increasing, which is fabulous. I just ran a 5 mile race in central park at an 8:30 pace. I ran the staten island 1/2 marathon at a 9:30 pace. I think running the 5 miler at 8:30 was almost if not more difficult!

In September I had a foot injury due to my increased mileage. It was rough, but I kept icing and taping and icing and running and then when I could rest it I did and now it is 80 percent better. I can run fast and long without a desperate need for ice. In this running surge, I have reconnected with my cancer “twin,” who is the same age, had the same surgeries by the same doctors on the same day, lives four blocks away, our birthdays are two days away, and we love to run. She got me to do the sf marathon last year. She is nursing a knee injury, but we have started to run together for long runs every weekend when we are both in town, and it feels so great to be there for each other.

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