Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Got My Sticker

I got my sticker.  I earned my sticker.  I want to continue to live up to my sticker.  I have to admit that when I see the sticker on someone's vehicle, I'm curious to see that person.  Maybe I want a visual of what an athlete looks like.  Maybe I am expecting to see someone more like me or maybe someone completely not like me.  I don't know why- but my senses kind of tingle when I see that 13.1 sticker on someone's car. 

And now I have one of my own.

I am 3 days into recovery from the run and still a little sore in the legs.  I've got some blisters that are still causing some foot pain.  Have a bruise in a tender spot on one foot.  But nothing that won't heal within the week.  Nothing that's going to stop me from hitting my workout today. 

And now I have that sticker on my car.

When I went to the Expo for packet pick up on Friday, there were vendors selling the 13.1 sticker.  There were t-shirts about finishing the event.  I didn't feel right buying any of it, though.  I hadn't finished yet.  It wasn't a confidence thing- I was feeling great and excited about the next day's run.  I just wanted to earn it before I got my hands on it.  And I'm glad I waited.

When I first started running, I went to a local running store for help.  They did video gait analysis of me running on a treadmill.  I bought shoes and clothing.  And I spent a lot of time with the store staff- all of whom are, of course, runners.  I loved the vibe, the energy, the encouragement.  Now, when I started looking into a more minimalist style of running and wanted lighter, thinner shoes, I went back to this same store.  It didn't go so well. I ended up with an employee who is old school- you run the way you run and all this talk about changing your form is bull.  Didn't buy anything that day.  Went back in Sept with knowledge about what I wanted in a shoe- less rise in the heel, lighter weight, but still feeling like my foot and arch was supported.  Got the exact right shoe for my needs at the time. 

Overall, my experiences with this store have been positive.  It's where I bought my first running shoe, my first running outfit, my first running belt.

I walked in last night, looked around for a moment and then announced to the 3 employees standing close by:

"I need my half marathon sticker!"

We actually celebrated together.  They asked if I'd done the Mini, if it had been my first.  I shared my short version of my running story.  They congratulated me.  And I felt like I was crossing that finish line again.  it felt great to share my accomplishment with runners.

Best of all, I ended up getting my sticker for free thanks to the store's loyalty program (I had credits saved up).

So while I know I'm the one who has done the work and while I know I'm the one who's made the choices, I also know that the positive experience I had at Blue Mile way back when this all started was part of my success and I was really excited for Blue Mile to be part of the celebration of my goal.

This was my first running shirt.  Bought it at Blue Mile.
 My first running outfit- all from Blue Mile.  Shoes, shirt, capris, bra, socks.
Now, I might not have much I wear from Blue Mile anymore (being honest).  I've been buying most of my gear at Target or Meijer.  I do just fine with less expensive stuff.  But I still really think that investing some cash into that first set of clothes and shoes and having that positive experience helped me continue on in the early stages of this journey.

I went from excitement over "real" running shoes and clothes to satisfaction and pride in a goal met. 

I now have a medal and a sticker.  13.1 miles.  What a journey it has been to get to this place.  And still so strange to me that I even set the goal or that I'm even looking ahead to my next accomplishment.  Best of all, Jeff is talking about starting to run now, too.  I think that running a 5K with him would be an incredible goal - I think I'd be even more proud of us together than I've been of me all along.

How about you?  What's your "sticker?"  What would motivate you to set a goal you never dreamed you could accomplish?  What are you working towards right now?

Blue Mile doesn't know me and had nothing to do with my post. 



Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

Awesome! I want a sticker! Maybe I'll just go for the 5k. We used to do those a lot as a family when I was growing up--so fun!

Lola said...

It is kind of funny- I felt the same thing about the sticker at the Expo. I have not bought mine yet- but I plan to. I didn't buy it at the Expo for the exact same reason- I had not earned it yet. I knew I would- I knew I would finish and do well- but I just couldn't buy it then.

This HAS been an amazing journey - and while the finish of this race had me saying "never again" at that moment - in clear retrospect, I know exactly why I WANT to do it again. I can't do the Women's half this year in Sept- but I do want to do the Indy Monumental Half - are you with me? (by the way- maybe I'll come up and do the Fishers Freedom Fest 5k with you too).

Unknown said...

Congratulations! You deserve to be proud of yourself!

Call Me Cate said...

I love this post. And my husband is the same way about the stickers, only it's more of a superstition thing I think (not that he would ever admit that). I actually wish I had thought ahead enough to buy his stickers or magnets for him so I could hand them to him when he crossed the finish line.

Congrats on earning that sticker!

Dillypoo said...

I'm soooo excited and please for you! And I can't wait until I get my sticker, too!

Rebecca said...

I've seen stickers like that in the past and had NO idea what the numbers meant. Now I know! Thanks ~~ AND Congrats!!

C. Beth said...

Wooo hooo! This definitely makes me want to buy another magnet (and take it off this time before I go through a drive-thru car wash.)

What a cool path you've taken. I, too, am really excited about Jeff!

Amy said...

So glad you waited until you finished the race to get the sticker. And how cool that the guys at the store could celebrate with you.

Karen M. Peterson said...

Super extra giant congratulations, Liz!

You really DID earn that sticker!