Sunday, February 23, 2014

No Easy Task

Some of you may recall that I registered for my second first marathon, to be held March 29th.

Unlike when I started training for my first first marathon, I've been pretty quiet about my running habits around here.  That's about to change.  (Fair warning, Sha.)  See, now I don't know whether or not I'm actually going to run the full marathon, and I need to make a good, long list of pros and cons.  Here they are, in the order they pop into my head:

Pro:  The marathon course is one I've run and volunteered on before.  I know it's pretty flat, and pretty.

Con:  Today, I ran my longest distance ever.  13.27 miles.  The race is 5 weeks away.  I haven't run enough miles.

Con:  My feet hurt.  My toes feel bruised, and one of my arches is bruised.

Con:  My calf muscles hurt almost the whole time I was running today.

Con:  A couple of weeks ago, my IT band issues arose again.  What if it starts hurting at mile 5 and just gets worse as I run?

Pro:  I know the folks in charge of the race.

Pro:  It's the only marathon I know of that is close enough to allow me to sleep in my own bed the night before.

Pro:  I'll have a lot of friends and family members there.

Con:  I planned to run 15 miles today.  I took a couple of wrong turns and realized around mile 11 that I was either going to come up short by 2, over by 1.5, or would have to run past my car to meet my goal.  I chose to cut it short.  What marathoner would do that???

Pro:  Most of my family members and running pals are confident that I can run 26.2 miles.

Con:  I am not.

Pro:  One of the worst things about today's mentally draining run (it was also physically draining, but mentally, much worse) was the dense fog that I was running through for the entire 2 hours, 24 minutes, 41 seconds.  (10:51 pace is pretty stinking far from my goal).  I was drenched from head to toe.  The hairs on my arms had tiny water droplets all over them.  I am not exaggerating when I say that I was dripping wet even before the temperature went up over 70⌠£╚.  (Gah!  I always forget how to make the degree symbol.  Anyway, you get it.  I'm not googling it again.  ²?  Ñ?  ◘?  ┼?)  My hair was hanging in these awful, stringy, clumps, and despite the blanket of wet, I was still red-faced, hot, and sweaty.  Discouraged, angry, sad, and sore.  Not a pretty sight, to say the least.  When I finished running, I went into our running group's clubhouse to use the bathroom.  I dropped my car key, struggled to get my shorts back up, had to wipe the seat afterward because of my sweaty backside.  The entire time, I was mentally berating myself for stopping after just 13 miles, while the wussy back of my head was all, "Thankyouthankyouthankyou for stopping!"  Anyway, as I was washing my hands and noticing in the mirror how thoroughly revolting I looked, I saw a sign hung on top of the mirror that read, "Smile!  You're a beautiful runner!"  I did.  Because I am.  I <3 WVR.  Then, I remembered about how pretty my hair looked after I had it colored and cut a few days ago, and that I don't always look like I just swam 13 miles in a hot tub while wearing running clothes.

My biggest problem with selfies is that I can't seem to look at the camera.  How is that possible?
Con:  Marathons are really hard.  I know this not from experience, but because I'm smart.

Pro:  I had a 5-day long migraine that made me want to crawl under my bed and cry.  That was really hard, but I got through it.  I even washed dishes and changed out of sweatpants after the 3rd day.

Con:  Running a marathon is a choice.  Being attacked by Satan himself with a hammer inside your forehead, scrambling all your thoughts, pushing you off balance, making you cry when your family members speak, and using a chisel behind your ears is not a choice.  I've found that when given the option, I choose easy rather than hard.  Case in point, today I ran 13 miles instead of 15.

Pro/Con:  If I skip the Tomoka Marathon, or switch to the half, then I'll wait until November to run a full.  Charming registered me for the Savannah Rock 'n' Roll as a Christmas gift, so I'm in for that one, but racing in November means training all summer.  Also, if I skip Tomoka, the not-enough-training I did do will have been for naught.  That's annoying, when I consider how much time I've spent away from my kids, how many times I've rearranged schedules to run, etc.  But, then, there's the fact that I didn't do enough training.  And then, there's the terrible thought that if I didn't do enough training for this marathon, then when will I step up and run enough to properly prepare myself for a race so long?  Which leads to the obvious question- how can anyone go to the starting line of their first full marathon and feel completely ready?  It doesn't seem possible.

Okay, that last point on the list was maybe not so concisely a pro or con, and maybe more like a glimpse into "Freaking Out" by Me.

I know that not every run is easy, or fun, or rewarding, or will make me want to run more and more.  But knowing that, and getting past it to run even more miles next week, are very different things.

Today's advice is to give me advice.  Should I run 26.2 miles in 34 days?



Check out the update to my previous post, if you haven't already.  


Friday, February 21, 2014

Partying Like a Mother

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to party with famous writers in a running store with a hundred or so runner moms, hummus, ice cream, cheap wine (that just happens to be your favorite) and vegan, gluten free chocolate chip cookies?  Well, I'll tell you.  It's pretty fabulous.

Fit 2 Run, a smallish chain of running stores, hosted said Mother Runner party in their Orlando store.  The authors of the books Run Like a Mother and Train Like a Mother, Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea, came to visit and give away lots of stuff to the attendees.  Now, you know I love to run.  You know I'm a mother.  You know I love to read.  You do not know why I haven't read their books.  No one does.  It doesn't make any sense.  I did purchase RLaM at the event, so I definitely will rectify the situation soon.  I feel fairly confident that I will love their books as much as my friends do, and that I will be shoving them on people  recommending them very soon.

Please allow me to tell you all about the party.  (Cupcake has been pretending lately that she's in the Terrible Twos phase, and has been incredibly rude and nasty.  Spitting, screaming, hitting, etc.  I'm being extra polite in an attempt to balance the scale of manners for our family.  It might exist.  Like karma.)  A couple of months ago, I found out about this event from a facebook friend and secured free tickets for myself, my sister (J), her sister-in-law (Kap), and our like a sister friend (K).  All the tickets were free, actually, I didn't do anything special to get them.  K picked up J, then me, then Kap, who had taken J seriously and brought some road sodas (vodka and gatorade) for us.  Of course, we didn't actually drink alcohol while K was driving.  That would be unfair illegal.  Once we arrived, though...
K

Kap
I also snapped a picture of J after she took her shot, but she didn't make a funny face.  We found the Fit2Run store inside the mall, got our raffle tickets and stood in line to meet Dimity and Sarah.  We were given tags on which to write our name and a running goal for the year, and reading some of those was inspiring and interesting.  Then, we had some time to mill around, eat our free snacks, drink our free wine, and do some shopping.  I had the authors autograph the copy of their book that I purchased.  They both misspelled my name, but it is a pretty difficult one.  All those Ns aren't really necessary, I guess.

Then, it was time for the reading/speeches/giveaways.
I did not look up Sarah's skirt, although we just happened to sit behind them and my head ended up between her legs.  See arrow.
They raffled off some truly fabulous prizes.
I'll add links to the companies that sponsored this event at the end of this post to give credit where due, but I need for you to understand the degree of fabulousity of these prizes.  Compression socks and sleeves that come with cold packs which slide neatly into slots in the socks.  The most amazing athletic sunglasses I've ever seen in person, with 3 sets of lenses for optimum eye shade in any weather.  Insoles.  Hats.  Visors.  Race entries.  Shoes.  A Soleus running watch.  Two women from our running group won prizes- a pair of the Superglasses and a yoga mat/tension band set.  Of course, as at any event like this, there's one prize that you don't want.  Everyone is different, but for my friends and me, that I-know-it's-great-but-just-not-for-me prize was the tutu.  It's on the top right, hanging above the table in the picture.  It's a top-of-the-line tutu, for sure.  It has layers and layers of lightweight tulle (or whatever foamy fabric tutus are made of), and it has a race bib belt built in to the waist band.  Actual retail value- $30.  I think you know where this story is headed.  Kap had left the store and hit up the food court, and gave her raffle ticket to J.  I'm still not sure which of them originally held the number called for the prize, but J was the one to accept it and then gave it to Kap.  When J claimed the prize, Dimity asked her if she is a "tutu kind of gal."

No.

I remember not so long ago, J was agonizing over the decision to wear a running skirt or stick with shorts.  "They're just so...girly.  I'm running to run, not to look fashionable."  She did eventually start wearing skirts for running, and a while later, I did, too.  My favorite running bottom is actually a skirt, with a nice zipper pocket and comfortable shorts built in underneath.  But a tutu?  What is the point?  I'm not hating on women who run in tutus.  For one thing, I'm working really hard on being less critical and judgmental of others, and for another thing, I usually finish ahead of the tutu wearers.  Kap was quite a bit more accepting of the tutu than I might have been, and she's faster than me, so maybe I'm all wrong about tutus and their wearers.  It's certainly possible.

After the big giveaways, and hearing the authors read excerpts from their books (which were laugh out loud funny- another sign that I've been missing out), we got to pick up our goody bags.
You see those socks?  3 pairs of running socks!  For free!
In short, it was a fantastic night.  Running.  Mothers.  Talking.  Free stuff.  More free stuff.  Vodka/gatorade cocktails.  And the vegan, gluten-free cookies were not as terrible as you'd think.


Would you have asked the authors to correct the spelling of your name?

Ever won a prize you didn't want?

Links to good stuff:
Saucony   Gu   FANCY TUTUS!   Headsweats   Strava   Cool Compression Gear   Nuun   Knuckle Lights   Zooma   Scott James Jewelry   NordicTrack   Superglasses   SofSole   Ultimate Direction   Sweaty Bands   Trigger Point   Stinky lady wipes   Larabar   Soleus   Dansko Footwear   Run.com
These companies all made it possible for us to party like mothers and take home a goody bag to beat all goody bags.  Thank you!

UPDATE:

I can't believe I forgot to mention the guy we encountered in the parking lot as we were leaving the party!  He came out from between some cars, and said, "Good evening, beautiful ladies.  If you could spare anything, I'm just trying to get some shelter and blah blah blah."

I said, "Sorry, no."  I think J, K, and Kap ignored him.  Then, he called us the most insulting name I have ever been called in my life:  "Oh, ok.  I see you Kardashian b*****s."

"Did he just call us Kardashians?  Ewwww!"

We discussed which of us he thought was which Kardashian for a few minutes, and then dropped the subject.  Until Kap pointed out this local news story with the sketch artist's depiction of THAT GUY!

No, Mom, we did not call the police and tell them that "the same thing happened to us."  Dropping insults when denied a handout and firing a gun while you steal someone's car are not exactly the same thing.  But this should serve as a reminder to be really, super careful.  Don't get carjacked, ladies.