Sunday’s race wasn’t what I wanted, but it was exactly what I needed.
This time last year I ran a personal best at the Surf City half marathon, 1:29 hours, and quickly moved on to Boston Marathon training. Since I had achieved the illusive sub-1:30 mark, I saw no need to run any more halves before April, and wanted to dig right into the training block that would set me up for a sub 3:10 marathon time. Cut to the Storm of the Century in Boston on race day and it took everything I had just get under my previous personal best, but nowhere near the time I wanted, or what I was primed to run. Although, I don’t blame the pouring rain we endured in Bean Town that dashed my dreams that day, I blame its sassy, attention-starved cousin, wind.
Which is why the relief I felt on Sunday morning after driving an hour in clobbering rain was short-lived, because just after I turned my engine off, so did the faucet in the sky, but then I read a message from my friend Jess, who was standing at the starting line about to run the full marathon, “So far only drizzle in HB. Pretty windy though.”
Next up was a healthy dose of reality.
While chugging along in the yellow school bus that shuttled us from the parking lot to the starting line, I chatted with a forty-eight year old lady who was bouncing off the walls because this was her second half marathon ever. She only discovered running a year or so before, and was still intoxicated by it all. It was so fun to be a part of her day. Near the end of our conversation, I was caught off guard when she said, “You look like you’ve done a lot of these races.”
Now, if it was a warm morning, and I was only wearing my Smashfest Queen GOLD run singlet and shorts, or a triathlon-kit, sure, I could understand if she would pick up that I was a, “Regular,” but I was decked out in a bulky, cheap sweat suit get-up that I bought the night before because I thought I would have to toss my clothes in the Goodwill bin before the start, (the usual custom at many races), it was not an outfit that screamed, “I’m a runner!” Nevertheless, I replied, “Yes, I do like to race.”
As I walked to the Expo tent to pick up my bib, I really dug into her assumption, and honestly, I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about it. In hindsight I believe it was an indicator of the stress I felt going into this race, because it took another couple of hours filled with stretching, observing, and running each mile with strategy at the forefront, rather than my fitness, (I knew was in excellent half-marathon shape), that the answer finally hit me, running is my craft, and I race in order to hone and improve it.
Therefore, I suppose merely talking about running gives the impression that I truly love it; clearly my smiling Irish eyes give away my cool every time.
The fact is, I do love running, and I am very proud of the growth I have achieved over the last twenty years, especially the last two, but I am very critical of it, also.
That is why I was disappointed when I felt the wind pick up at the turn-a-round on the course at mile 8, which dragged me down from a consistent, 6:35 - 6:40ish min. mi. pace up to 7min. +, the last few miles, and ruined my plans to run under 1:29hours. Instead, I crossed the finish line in 1:30:49. Don’t worry, I am aware that is a good time, but I also know that I am capable of much more.
Nevertheless, I showed up to the race mentally and physically ready to go, (kudos to my coach), and I enjoyed every second of it.
Thankfully, the niggle in my left leg laid low, and I was in complete control of my performance up until the headwind pushed back harder than I could lean into it, and simply slowed me down. But, that’s racing.
The fact is no race will ever be perfect, but they all make me a better runner, and that is the greatest reward.
Also, racing alongside friends and teammates is pretty great, too.
I am looking forward to racing another half marathon soon; in the meantime there is plenty of work to do, but first, another chance for a fancy date night tonight. That’s right! Check back in on FB and IG for updates on a non-running shoe required adventure in my near future.:)
Visual Effects Society Awards Round-Up!!
First off, it’s nice to see you again! Thank you for popping back in this week! Since so many of you followed along on social media last night for our night at the VES Awards, I thought I would fill in the gaps of the night today, rather than waiting a whole week until next Tuesday.
Therefore, the VES awards are similar to the SAG awards or DGA awards, in that it is an award voted by peers in the industry, vs. an overall award like the Oscars or Emmys that are voted by a wide spectrum of professionals in the industry. Both are fantastic, but I believe the VES awards are more meaningful because they are awarded by professionals who understand and appreciate Outstanding visual effects, vs. other professional who know a lot about writing or wardrobe, but not much about Visual Effects. In any case, earning a VES award is a BIG deal for us VFX folk.:)
In fact, it is such a big deal, that even though Lost In Space still has a few days left to shoot out the second season, (they started shooting in early August), and the awards show are on a Tuesday night, (Why? I do not know), Netflix flew Marion and the show’s other Supervisor, Jabbar, down from Vancouver to attend the awards, and then turn around to fly back up today to finish out the schedule. Whew! So, if any of you think we are ballers who can just fly Marion up and back from Vancouver on a whim, uh, no, Marion would have been a “no show” at the awards if Netflix did not insist on him being there, thereby footing the bill. Thank you, Netflix!
Honestly, my favorite part about that whole scenario (besides hugging my hub, of course), is the car service Netflix provides. I don’t drink, so it isn’t that I wanted to party, it is that if I am ever offered an opportunity to be driven around LA and not pay for it, (cab, Uber, etc.,) I leap giant buildings to grab that carrot. If you have experienced LA traffic only once, or an infinite amount of times like me, you’d do the same. Plus, who doesn’t appreciate having their door opened for them?
On the subject of budget, I spent a pretty penny on the hair and make-up shellacking I endured for the Emmy’s, and for my dress, but that was not how I approached this event. I was willing to buy a dress if I had to, but I didn’t, because one of the dresses Hannah gave to me from Eva Mendez’ collection a few years ago, (they have a connection) fit just fine, so wah-la, I had a free dress!
I opted to do my own hair and make-up too, which is like giving a three year the keys to drive a tractor, but I think I did okay… Yes, I did put my hair up, but I added a little bling:).
We did have to rent Marion’s tuxedo, but if this trend continues for LIS Season two, we will make an investment. Two rentals within six months is not cost effective. Didn’t he look handsome?
Okay, onto the show!
The VES Awards are held every year at the famed Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, which is where many events are hosted. For example, the Golden Globes. In fact, do any of you notice that they seat the movie stars on the ground level at The Golden Globes, and they plunck the TV peeps on the second level? Our table was on the ground level! As soon as I realized our geographical destiny, I knew we were in for a festive night!
However, before dinner, (yes, they fed us!), it was fun to catch up with colleagues both Marion and I worked with over the years, but hadn’t seen in a long time. The highlight for me was seeing one of the first Supervisor’s I ever worked with, Ian Hunter, from New Deal Studious. Ian won for his model work on First Man, and is nominated for a Bafta Award AND an Oscar. He is a previous winner of both prestigious awards from his work on Interstellar.
The show itself was fun, but long, and the ballroom was freezing! Nevertheless, none of that mattered because Lost In Space was nominated in five categories, and won four awards, including the BIG one…. Outstanding Visual Effects In A Photo Real Episode, AKA, Best VFX in TV.
It was pretty much no contest on the TV end as Netflix’s series reboot Lost in Space found four trophies including the big one, Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode. - Deadline Hollywood
Naturally, I was beside myself to watch Marion shine so bright. He and the entire VFX crew truly earned every accolade they have received for their work on Lost In Space Season One, the VFX in the show are stunning. However, what meant more to me than him winning anything, was listening to both his peers and executives from Legendary Pictures and Netflix say such wonderful things about working with him. I know first hand what it is like to work with Marion, and I couldn’t agree more. I have said it before, but it is worth saying again, he is kind, hard-working, talented, and has worked on a variety of projects over the years, ranging from box office smashing hits, to small projects that never saw the light of day, and he has brought integrity and his “A” game to every single one.
I could go on and on, but I will wrap it up by encouraging you all to watch the show on Netflix if you haven’t already, it’s fun.:)
Since Marion is almost home for good, (this mid-week trip is just a tease), I thought this new song, "No Place" from The Backstreet Boys was a timely tune. Enjoy.:)