When official race pictures come out, sometimes I spend a little time spying on the woman who won, or the front few elites.  It's fun to see photographs of that woman killing it, and then I can say "oh, I was running right there too! 8 minutes afterwards...."

Since I was the 7th woman at this last race and I think most if not all of the 6 woman ahead of me were Bay Area local, I thought I'd take a look-see.  And I wanted to confirm whether those intimidating women I had seen at the race start were indeed the ones who won.  Because you see, I don't think I mentioned this in the race recap, but I never saw a single woman after mile 6.5, at which point I passed the two women who had been in my eyesight since the first mile.

Well what I found was just crazy.  Blew my mind a little.  The top four women were all posing together in photos afterwards....and all had the same name emblazoned across their chests or fact...they all belonged to the same San Francisco running club.  The Impalas.

A power hug of people I admire but do not know

Ahem.  How do I become an Impala.

I am so enticed by the idea of joining a club like this, and having an inspiring coach whip me into shape so I can drop minutes from my race times.

Unfortunately, they practice in San Francisco at Keyser stadium (at least this is what I think I found when I researched this club a few months ago), which is terribly impossibly inconvenient for me -- I would have to walk 2 miles to BART, ride BART for 20+ minutes, then grab a bus or walk a few miles to the stadium.  I don't know where to find that extra 2-hour roundtrip time.  So a non-option really.

I know of some local running clubs and coaches, thanks to people like Merilee, but there's still an inconvenience factor since I am so accustomed to running out my front door instead of driving to a track in Berkeley to get my run on.

But, I'm putting my feelers out there.  Considering the idea of maybe, one day, training for a marathon with a team or under a coach.  It might be oh-so-wrong for me, and make me resent running, with flashbacks to high-school where my stomach would flip with anxiety all day long when I knew I had a hard track workout after school.

As if there weren't enough pictures of me running already floating around, here are some more, and they have a big ugly stamp across them so you know I am cheap but have screen shot skills.  This happened last year at Oakland; they took a quatrillion of pictures of me.  Ready, set, scroll scroll scroll outta this mess of pictures.

PROOF that I wuz here

2686 PROOF

Bullet PROOF

Raise the PROOF

PROOF.  disappear.

copyright.  Just keeping you in check.

PROOF of life

proof that I was about to pass a girl.  This proof is true.

Proof that I make little munchkin kids stare

Proof that I secretly ran this race all by myself

Proof that I should not have brought my ipod
Proof that I can outrun the stealthily parked car

Proof that who cares you're running, I have to cross the street

Proof that I might have a gobble-gobble neck in about 20 years

Proof that Oakland is beautiful. 

Proof that running 12.8 miles will suddenly give you Madonna arms

Proof that this terrible gag is finally, graciously, over

One brief thing on the last topic and then we're outta there--

I am bad at expressing myself.  I'm better in writing than orally, but still I often don't convey the point that I think I am conveying.  Or maybe some of y'all just read too fast and miss the point.  I would like to try and summarize what I was meaning to express, and what I did not mean to express.

1) I meant to express that I am frustrated that throughout my life as a runner, many people do not believe that I get joy out of it, and only believe it is for vanity and weight loss.  Not even heart health or disease prevention, just for appearance.  This belief persists because a lot of people do hate running.

2) I did not mean to express that I am cool for not needing to lose weight (which, in the distorted world of Hollywood, I would need to do) or that I think I am better for loving running than someone else who is struggling with running in order to lose weight.  Just as I am annoyed of the assumptions people make about me as a runner, you should be annoyed if you thought I was judging you as a running.  I don't care why you run.  I hope you like running, and I bet you do now, even if at one point you only did it because your doctor told you to, or because you wanted to look more Hollywood.

Remember here, I posted about "not meaning to be mean".  If what I write irks you, talk to me.  In the comments is fine, email is better, we can meet at the cafe down the block too.   This blog is merely my little running bubble world, you can show me your bubble if I have something wrong.