It’s All In Your Head

The photos from CIM came out today — not that Steve didn’t take a few on his phone. What is interesting about the pictures and the ones Steve took, including a video (which I just can’t get off his phone because he is not here and I am being the hugest bum in the world this week) is that I don’t look like I’m in the most pain I’ve ever been in. I don’t look like I’m basically walking and like I’m positive I won’t be able to finish. For the most part, I look the same as when I was running well. Eventually, I look like I’m about to die in the pictures. But, long before it shows up on film, I was already falling apart. The thing is: it’s not visible to anyone else.

This is right where things started to go really bad, because I remember that guy. And I remember the photographer. And, I remember thinking my legs are failing and I am in excruciating pain:

cim1

Crossing this bridge was probably the hardest thing I’ve done in a long time. It was about four miles to go. Four miles. How was I possibly ever going to make it four miles?

cim2

OK, this is where I finally look like I’m about to fall over. Because I am. The people at the finish line started yelling at me right after this to keep moving and I almost punched them in the face:

cim3

And, yes, for the record, it got really cold after I slowed down. I took the long sleeve off around six miles in and was totally fine while I was moving. But, when I slowed down 2’/mile my core temperature dropped too. I think it screwed me up permanently because I basically didn’t warm up for two or three days.

Just remember, though, no one else can tell how much it hurts.

Running Photos are Terrible

Here is the only photo I can find of the Kaiser Half this past weekend. It doesn’t look terrible, but it doesn’t look so awesome either.

I'm squinting so I can see the finish.
I have my eyes closed so I can see the finish.

And, really, the only reason it doesn’t look terrible is because you can’t see the expression on my face up close and also I tend to stop shuffle-squat-running when I near the finish. Most of the time in running races, if you could see the expression on my face it would probably look something like this (from Chicago and actually a different (color) tanktop and pair of shorts, they just look the same):

Not even sure what I'm trying so hard to do here.
Not even sure what I’m trying so hard to do here.

Or my favorite:

About two seconds before I started crying.
About two seconds before I started crying.

And, apparently, that tanktop, despite being my favorite running tanktop and totally looking hot in TRX class, does not do me any favors during a race.

Triathlon photos, on the other hand, always look WAY better. This is mysterious, but clearly it’s also the primary reason to do triathlon. For one, you can count on looking cool on the bike. Throw on some aerobars and who doesn’t look cool on the bike? (OK, actually if there was a photo from my first year when my seat was so low that I actually had to reach up to my aerobars, it would not look cool.)

But, still, see:

Killing it! Actually, I was definitely not killing it, but I look like I am. And, that's the point.
Killing it! Actually, I was definitely not killing it, but I look like I am. And, that’s the point.
OK, actually killing it this year.
OK, actually killing it this year.
See, even if you're not in your aerobars you look badass.
See, even if you’re not in your aerobars you look badass.

And, even on the run, photos from triathlon tend to make me look focused, not necessarily fast — I have got the triathlon shuffle down — but serious and skinny. And, I don’t make weird faces when I’m running in triathlon.

Throw on a pair of glasses and you must be serious.
Throw on a pair of glasses and you must be serious.
OK, yes, little bit of a doublechin, but come on, I look good.
OK, yes, little bit of a double-chin, but come on, I look good.

I really don’t have an answer to why someone would photograph running like a normal person after swimming and biking, but not when just running. I always hope I’m going to look really cool in running photos, too. I go and eagerly check the race photographer’s website. I even tried to remember to smile a few races — although since I have a dead front tooth now I am no longer smiling in photos. Nothing worked.

I should probably resign myself to looking ridiculous. And very pink. Though I am open to suggestions??

Here is the best photo of me from a running race. And, why does it look good? Because you can’t see my face. Duh.

Looking fast. From behind.
Looking fast. From behind.