Follow This Mother!

Ginny Flynn near the 20-mile mark of her recent marathon, when she knew she had a big PR in the bag!

One of the things that impresses us most about mom of three Ginny Flynn is what a prolific blogger she is—and how she always bring her wry sense of humor to her posts. Last Saturday, Ginny ran her hometown marathon—Richmond, Virginia--and she knocked more than 37 minutes of her 2009 time in the same ‘thon. Give it up for Ginny!!

Best recent run: Three miles on Monday. Insignificant distance compared to the mileage in my training plan, but those three miles around my ‘hood, with no watch, were emotionally monumental. It was my first post-marathon run. I never got to do that after my first marathon, in 2009, because I came out of that race with a fairly significant injury that sidelined me for three months. By the time I came back to running, it was like starting from scratch. Monday’s run was like a celebratory glass of (insert beverage choice here). I felt light in my heart and just let my feet carry me as far and fast as I wanted, not because I had to run, but because I am free to do so. It was for the love of the run.

Taper-tantrum: How I feel during the taper can be summed into “restless, sleepless, jealous, temper mental, distracted, anxious, and...sleepless.” The real question: Do I feel some of this because of the impending race, or is it the sudden drop in mileage/endorphins? I fully recognize the value of the taper. The healing properties of the reduced mileage are worth it, but that doesn’t tame my jealousy every time I see a runner on my street. I survived this taper better than others for a few reasons, such as openly deciding I would tackle it with a sense of humor. I even renamed everything on the blog in the name of the “Taper” to make it silly. Because honestly, at my level, if I can’t be silly about being neurotic about not running enough, I really am in the wrong sport.

Nurse Ginny: After my youngest child was born, I woke up one day and decided it was time to start studying to become a nurse, something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m naturally empathetic and like helping people find success. Before you ask how that’s related to nursing, let’s consider the women who work at our OB/GYN offices, the L&D nurses, and the on-call pediatric nurses we talk to at 2:00 a.m. Their job is nursing, yes, but isn’t a lot of their job coaching too? I know my strengths, and I know it’s a good fit. I looked at the area nursing school(s) curriculum, applied to a community college where I could take base courses like Chemistry and Literature, and plugged myself into a “training plan.” It’s a slow process, because I need to take enough classes to be actively moving forward, but not so many that I cripple my household. My plan has paid off: I’ve recently been accepted into a 4-year program.

PR = Proud Runner: I would like to pretend I’m all cool here with the Richmond Marathon PR thing, but to be honest, I’m so not “cool.” I’m off the charts proud of myself. Oh yea!!! I owned that race! I made a plan, I trusted myself, and I executed my plan. Beyond that though, I did some really smart things leading up to the marathon.

Favorite running skirt: I am partial to the skirts, and my favorite is my Cheetah Black skirt. It’s sexy, it’s cute, it’s snug enough that it doesn’t completely fall off me while I’m running, and it’s a conversation piece. I bonded with another runner at a 10K over the cuteness. I fully believe that the Cheetah Black skirt may have saved my life. This summer I was running down on Outer Banks of North Carolina, and I ran out of water. It was 101 degree heat index, full sun, and I was several miles from home. I was getting concerned for my safety. So, I walked up to two dad’s unpacking their kids and surfboards and asked if they had a bottle of water they could spare. They were happy to share H2O with me, and we talked at length about my cheetah print skirt before I finished my run... and here I am, alive to tell the tale!

Sleep tight: I try like heck to have a sense of humor about it, I do, but sometimes insomnia a real challenge. In some ways, working out makes it worse. For many people, insomnia is anxiety driven. Once I’m awake I usually have a few hours to reflect on the following phrase: “I’ll never get through the run tomorrow if I don’t get some sleep.” It fuels the anxiety, and sleep becomes that much more illusive. During the taper this time around, I tried to just say to myself, “Tomorrow’s run is only 3 miles, and seriously, you’re tapering, it’s so not a big deal if you miss it.” Sometimes that was enough to defuse it. I have used some of this anxiety to my advantage. I knew that before my 16-, 18-, and 20-milers, I didn’t sleep. It didn’t matter: I was satisfied with my performance on those runs. So, when I wasn’t sleeping in the weeks leading up to the race, I knew that “lack of sleep” was not going to be an issue on race day.

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Ginny and her Cheetah-clad posse

19 responses to “Follow This Mother!

  1. I’m so inspired by you! I’m trying to get into nursing school also, and recently just completed my first half. I can totally relate to the mood thing also, because on those days when I can’t squeeze in a run, I feel like a crazy person!

    1. skirt-aholism … it’s a funny thing. I cringed when I bought my first one, now I just see them as a required part of running costs! Go for it!

  2. Congratulations on the recent PR! And I love the cheetah skirt-that thing’s sassy! I may have to get one.

    You’re funny too, and something else I get from this short blurb is that you’re not afraid to try new things, like, say, going back to school when you have three children. Yes! Awesome! This trait I find inspiring, so thank you.

    Keep it up!

  3. G is a fabulous choice! Great write-up. And I should know, I get the privilege of training with her day in and day out. Best training partner and friend anyone could ask for.

  4. I’ve seen your name next to some comments for a while, and it’s always seemed like a familiar name. Now, I’m searching my facebook friends to see where the link is – a Richmond friend or a high school friend from the Southside (I grew up in Newport News/Tabb, Virginia). Congrats on rocking Richmond. I’d would speak of nothing else besides that PR for months, maybe years. Well done!

    1. grew up in VaBeach, Richmond for last 10 years… so it’s not outside the scope of possibility. Of course, it’s also possible that it’s a fairly common name!

      Thanks – I plan on boring everyone I know with the PR talk from now until March 20th or so (National Marathon…)

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