Monday, March 25, 2013

Tammy Brooks Tries Something New And Lives To Tell The Tale!

Tammy Brooks is a regular at Momentum Mondays, a class I lovingly refer to as being full of "grown-up juvenile delinquents". Tammy is our token good girl, and we love to tell her how perfect she is. She is the embodiment of patience, joy, and balance. She knows when to push herself and when to run at a conservative pace (unlike the rest of those hoodlums who grin wickedly when their coach pulls her hair at their "too-brisk for their own good" times) Tonight Tammy even showed up wearing an all-white jacket, which makes her an angel in my book! But secretly, she gets a kick out of hanging out with the trouble-makers--the ones like David Grear, and Kelly Alsin, and Lori Lynch whom are always running their workouts to fast and muttering snarky things about their coach under their breath! And lately, though she won't fess up, Tammy has even been ENABLING their bad behavior! Tammy, we love you. You truly define what it means to be a "self actualized runner!" That is the highest form of runner there is!

Tammy's Long Training Run In March (Aka the Lake Sammamish Half Marathon!)
By Tammy Brooks
Let me start my essay with a qualifier. For me, running on the other side of fifty isn't something I over think, so writing an essay makes me sort of chuckle. Honestly, I am content to lace up my Brooks running shoes, go outside and run happy. I head out the door with no running goal, no garmin and honestly no pressure. Just so you know, when Coach Alexa instituted a ban on running watches for the month of January, I concealed my grin and silently whispered my gratitude. The good news is that I am a compliant soul so I do put forth effort on Monday nights. Yes I am grateful for the hills once I get home and soak in the hot tub. Yes I am a stronger runner when I focus on my alignment and my breathing. Yes, I am inspired by the dedicated runners who show up every Monday with a positive attitude, good work ethic and words of encouragement for everyone in the group. Still, I am content and complacent in my own running nirvana. So why would I add on the stress of a half marathon in March when I can show up at the waterfront on Saturday morning, run with my girlfriends, and then slurp down a 16 ounce peanut butter-espresso yogoccino with no remorse? 

For the record March is way too early for a half marathon if you agree with my "run happy" way of thinking. When Alexa suggested that I sign up for Lake Sammamish and use it as  a "long training run", I was stuck on how to respond. I don't mind  a long run but I am not super motivated to wrap a timing band around my running shoes and steadily pace myself for 13.1 miles. I was caught off guard though, and Lake Sammamish seemed reasonable so I signed up. A few days later, the runner's registration remorse creeped in. I wasn't entirely confident that I could pin on a racing bib, ignore the timing band, and really treat it as a training run. Why was it, then, that I registered for this half marathon?

Well I will admit that I like showing up on Mondays to hear the weekend running anecdotes. There is also something motivating about joining the crowd and getting through the challenge.  The goal for me is learning how to join the crowd and still keep a reasonable pace.  Saturday was the perfect day to go out for a "long training run" along side 1700 runners. Who knew that in early March we would hit a sunny morning and enjoy such spectacular views along the lake? I managed to keep a steady pace, and I didn't give the timing band or the mile markers any consideration. Even better, I was running with two of my favorite people who were content to just be in the moment and run. So was there an "aha" moment at Lake Sammamish? Yep there was. (Keep in mind if I answer no, Alexa will make me rewrite the essay!) The payoff came near the end of the race. I finished Lake Sammamish feeling  relaxed and strong. The long training run was all about finding my own pace and being content to stay in the moment. I wasn't searching for the finish and it came sooner than I expected. This is a great lesson for any run of any distance. What are my plans for next Saturday? I will be running with my girlfriends and slurping on a 16 ounce yogoccino!


  1. Great essay & great attitude from one of our favorite "Coach's pets". Way to go Tammy and great shout out to the yoguccino, too. Yum.


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