Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Gryffs & The Hares: A Quidditch Story, or, in other words, How A Virtual Running Club Got Me to Walk 59 Miles in a Week

I've talked about the Hogwarts Running Club a few times on this blog.  Last week we started a Quidditch match between the four houses.  Three groups of 75 people each in Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin, and Ravenclaw.  Though we were all racing at the same time, each of the 12 teams was in a race against just one of the teams in another house.

I was put in the GryffinRoar team against Luna's Hare Raisers.

Each of the individual races amounted to a single win.  If two houses got the same amount of wins, the house with the fastest combined time won the tie.

 GryffinRoar and Luna Hare Raisers were very evenly matched.  Through all of last week we were constantly switching places.  It was pretty exciting, actually.

(Okay, a momentary interlude.  I'm listening to a Spotify station, Discovery Weekly, and this song entitled "3000 Miles" by Emblem3 is playing, and it seriously made me laugh because the distance each team had to travel was 3,343 something miles or so.)

The Eagles won their match against the Snakes.  The Badgers won their match against the Eagles.  It looked like the Snakes would win against our Gryffindor team.  A lot of these matches ended late last week.

Still, back and forth us Gryffs and Hares went.  There was serious hope, and a good chance, that we could win, but it was a nail biter, major time.

Twice, close to midnight, I was walking to get in miles.

Saturday was a hard day.  I hit a MAJOR wall.  With some of the teams finishing it looked like we lost our chance at an overall first.  The snakes were rooting for us to win our match against the Hares, but the snarky/cynical side of me concluded that it was because if we won our match, it would guarantee the Snakes winning the Quidditch cup.  Someone mentioned on the GryffinRoar forum that, whether or not there's self interest involved in them cheering us on, they're showing us true spirit, #OneHRC spirit, or something like that.  Then, in the back of my mind, I was all like, "Well, if it's in the spirit of #OneHRC the snakes would equally be cheering for the Hares, which from my knowledge isn't happening."  Could be wrong.  Suddenly I was feeling a little used and contemplated the idea that losing and pushing the Claws to an overall win wouldn't be a bad thing.  Dark moment this was.  Thankfully I snapped out of it, after a couple hours . . .

I realized, no matter who won overall, I needed to give it my all regardless, no regrets.  If we lost it wasn't because we didn't try.

We did try.

And we pushed hard.

Saturday night I went to bed, having walked 10 miles that day, with our Gryff team 30 miles ahead of the Hares.  Sunday morning I woke up and the Hares were 150 or so miles ahead of us.  Then 200 miles ahead.  Then 300 miles.  And so on.  It didn't matter how much we worked we just couldn't make up the distance.  And while I was at church the Hares crossed the finish line in Orlando.

We were crushed.  I was crushed.

Then we pushed just to finish.

When I signed up I promised 7 miles a week, a mile a day.  Last Monday morning was when we crossed the finish line, 7 days from starting, and I did a total of 59.4 miles, just short of 60 miles, walking on the treadmill and around the house, showing proof by using the Nike+ Running Club app by posting screen shots after each walk to my personal thread.

I'm still amazed I walked that far.

 Throughout the race it was fun seeing where my walks brought the team.

 Sometimes I wrote a little something when posting to Racery.

 The final stretch!

 Where I ranked, out of 900, after posting my final miles.

Now I'm sitting at #200.

The overall rankings, though there's a Hufflepuff team still working to finish, and we're all cheering them on, helping them not give up.

In the last few hours today the last two Gryffindor teams, Godric's Pride and Mane Attraction, crossed the finish line.  These last few days our house adopted the hashtag #OnePride.  Pretty much for most of the race our three teams stayed close together, showing how evenly balanced we made the teams, but also a symbol of our solidarity.

It is disappointing our team lost, but in a way we didn't lose because we pushed ourselves and didn't give up.  I didn't think I could get so many miles.  I was unsure about signing up, not wanting to let the team down.  For health reasons I've never talked about I can't run, so I walked all my miles, averaging 20 minutes a mile.  A lot of time!  Pretty much this was all my free time last week.

And I'm sore allover.  A good sore.

And, for the record, Epsom salt baths are pretty awesome.

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