Sunday, November 25, 2012

Love/Hate

Downer news, read all about it!

I'm not feeling it.  CIM is one week from today, and I'm not excited.  I'm 73% dreading it, 27% excited.

The excitement comes in little bursts when I feel like, "hey, I CAN pull out some awesome and run really well and get a PR!"

The dread comes from realizing, "oh yeah, I haven't had a decent long run in two months or more, my buttcrease/upper hamstring is retreating into its old angry self by the day, my confidence is slipping, and the last four miles of a marathon are mis-er-able."

I'm also dreading the likely chance that this will be 3+ hours of running, hard, in the rain.  Oh yuck.  Hoping the forecast becomes drier.

Have I ever mentioned before? That I hate marathons?

I don't really hate them.  I don't fear 26.2 miles--the miles themselves aren't the hard part.  It's trying to sustain a hard pace for 26.2 miles that I hate.

And of course I don't really hate that either.  I love the results.  I love being done and thinking, "shit, my legs can do stuff and my brain can handle painful things!"  I love the first 22 miles where the crowd is beautiful and entertaining and there is a buzz in the air.

But I hate being too sore for 3 days after a marathon to sit on a toilet without invoking all my arm strength to lower me (you know what I'm talking about).  It can't be healthy for your body to do something to it that results in being unable to walk down stairs for three days.  Right?  Can't be good.

I have to tell you.  After years of having a parent lecture to me that running is bad for you, and marathons are the WORST, I have become a little bit afraid of the marathon.  It can't be good.

This dread is just a mood.  If I were to wait a day, this post might be an ode to the marathon and how excited I am for it.

But my true ode to running is 20 mile-weekend runs, and 13.1 mile races, and waking up to crisp air and 10 miles before work.  Marathons can disappear and I would probably be a little relieved.

Maybe I should have realized this long before signing up for CIM? You think?

It is a love/hate relationship.  I will probably run at least 1 marathon each year for the foreseeable future, until I really become fully convinced it is too damaging a feat for this body.  There is always that craving to improve, and I could pin that on other races like the half-marathon, but it's just so tempting....especially since endurance is usually a strong suit for me, in comparison to raw speed... which makes the marathon and half-marathon a better race for me over shorter distances.

Anyway.  Right now I hate you, marathon, and I'm not particularly excited to see you next weekend.  I'm fed up with always standing at the starting line not sure if my most recent ailment will ruin me and force me to drop out.

This past week has included a little bit of speed work (two treadmill runs happened, 7 miles for one and 9 miles for the other, both at about an average 6:45 pace).

I seem to be accidentally tapering, due to buttcrease/leg-lock issues and due to Thanksgiving.  I understand that some people justify the big Thanksgiving meal by exercising an extra lot (always WAY more people running on Thanksgiving morning than normal...).  I take the occasion to double down in laziness, because eating a lot makes me want to sit a lot, or walk very slowly--not go for a run.  The week is closing out with 60-something miles.  Which we can call a taper since last week was 80+.

My family visited the Oakland zoo on Saturday, so that seven adults could stare at one 16-month old sweetie, who stared at just about everything but animals.

There is a tiger right in the middle, although it seems as though the reality with this picture, is that you will mostly be stuck staring at me

We got our first real Christmas tree on Black Friday.  A sweet little 3-footer, perfect for our apartment.


We own 6 ornaments and are building our collection at a rate of 1 per year,
Tree size scale.  It is about hip height on this laundry-folding girl

A walk through Christmas Past, with all of its fake trees:

Fake tree at my parents

First fake tree together in our apartment, 2008


Fake extreme excitement

Fake extreme anticipation 

Fake fake fake, on the left, middle, and right, respectively


Phony baloney in 2011

Pretending presents are lame in 2010

Faux tree 2011
You might be wondering how a girl with this (half Jewish) nose who has never read a bible could be so mad for Christmas.

I simply love Christmas and the holiday season.  When people complain that it comes earlier every year, I'm thinking--dude, let it be! I love to draw it out.  It IS the best time of the year.  Whether you find the mass consumerism ridiculous, or are 100% Jewish and have never had a Christmas tree, you can't deny that warm fuzzy family lovey feeling.

My birthday and anniversary with the Gentleman both fall within five days of Christmas, AND I celebrate Hannukah/Chanukah/Jhannuquah (silent J), so this is a loaded month for me.  I am giddy for every second of it.

And so, even if this marathon in 7 days is a disappointment and/or makes my body unhappy, I've still got December.

Does anyone else secretly hate the marathon? Love/hate it? 

How do you get pumped for a race you are sorta dreading?

27 comments:

  1. Your Christmas pictures are killing me. You should definitely do one of those egotistical photo-of-us collage Christmas cards (which, really, are only acceptable if you have kids).
    Good luck with CIM. I'd be nervous about injury, too, so I don't blame you, but you have on your side a lot of experience racing and running through pain. This could be an amazing race for you! Just stay healthy please!

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    1. My boyfriend and I (childless) made a photo Christmas card last year and so did many of our other childless friends. I love getting those photo cards, regardless of whether there's a photo of my single friend and her cat or of my married friend and their adorable kids and dog. Just sayin'... it's not all about ego.

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  2. I love your little tree! It sounds like your December will be epic no matter how the marathon goes, but I really hope that you have a fantastic race!

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  3. This season rules.

    I might come and watch Sunday's runfest. Then again I might not :P. I ran CIM in the rain! It was my happiest (of 2) marathons. I think the potential is there for you to PR...just stop stressing. How's that for aged wisdom?

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    1. Not stressed....just not excited as one should be. It would be so great if you came up, but if it rains, maybe not so fun

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  4. I love your little tree too. We haven't gotten to the tree-level of commitment yet... I have a few fake garlands to put up, and I'll hang the half dozen or so ornaments I have on that.

    As for CIM, I am so excited!! Will it make you more excited to know that I'm excited? Probably not. But I am. I can't wait, rain or shine.

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    1. That does make more excited. I'm going to feed off of your energy!

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  5. Totally identify with your post. My buttcrease pain is back, my hip bursitis is back and running just hurts so that almost every session now is love/hate. I LOVE the idea of doing more marathons but HATE the idea of months of full on training and the buttcrease/hip disappointment. In the lead up to the marathon 7 weeks ago, each run ended in me being stoked I got through it or crying my eyes out hysterically (in pain/exhaustion/disappointment). I think the emotional rollercoaster is what I hate when you have injuries.

    My coach is really pragmatic in that sense. He says your body will do what it does on the day and just go with it. It is what it is.

    Best of luck!

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  6. I hear ya! I have just signed up for my first half marathon and although I find the whole thing shit scary daunting, I always thinking "at least it's not a proper marathon!" Sorry, that's not very helpful!

    As for Christmas: fake trees FTW! Alas me and the boif have moved into a studio apartment (thanks, extortionate London rent) where there is not enough room for all our belongings let alone faux trees. WAH WAH WAAAH!! x

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  7. We got our first real tree this year too. I love it! I don't even care that I have to clean up the needles daily- my whole apartment smells like Christmas. WORTH IT!

    I'm over marathons. I say this as someone who has only run 3 of them, but after my last one I got genuinely scared of how I felt after it. I realized then that the damage wasn't worth it (for me). Since I am mediocre at best, I decided there was no point in continuing to do them. I love halfs, I'll stick with those.

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    1. I'd love to have some sort of machine which shows how much your body is enduring pre-during-post marathons.... I am still losing toenails 7 weeks later... no not pretty given its about to be summer here. If they aren't falling off they are purple!

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  8. Ehh I have mixed feeling about the marathon but I am way better at endurance so I guess I'd just be relatively better :/ When it goes well though it is the biggest high ever! Sucky marathons just...suck. Yes I don't even really care about the whole its great to just finish. Whatever. Maybe I am a brat.

    I love the holiday season too! It is so warm and fuzzy <3

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  9. Oh I am with you, sista...I love the half distance and prefer it over the full but I do crave the challenge of the 26.2. Walking down the stairs backwards for days after...I do not love.

    You are crazy fast though and I am sure you will kill it anyways...best of luck!

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  10. I'm thinking back to your post a few weeks ago about letting CIM go. So I'm going to quote you and say... let it go. Just show up and see what happens. It might be an inflamed buttcrease shitshow, and if so, hopefully you'll know whether to cut your losses or soldier on. On the other hand, it might be one of those good days where the leg cooperates and you surprise yourself (on that note,... I know you're not looking for "build-me-up!" comments, those are two fast treadmill runs... and I suspect you already have a "lifetime accumulated miles base" that's huge enough to let you get away with some missed training due to injury downtime). Hope you get acceptable weather either way.

    As for marathons in general? We don't have to run them just because they're there. I know I'm excited to jump into some shorter stuff. Forget the marathon for a little while and enjoy your "half"s.

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  11. Ugh. I'm nervous/dreading Sunday as well. I really hope it does not rain. At least there is soup.

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  12. Just caught up on your posts. Bullet point style

    - love that thanksgiving, graphic design dress
    - first place woman at the Jets half, freaking fantastic especially with all this butt shit going on!
    - stop stresses and non-nonchalantly race a PR. We all know rose runner kicks ass and rock it. Good luck lady.

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  13. I have already forgotten you with blonde hair. It's very strange.

    Also, I have one word for your buttcrease. RUDE.

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  14. I love the marathon, but it terrifies me. I love it when it's done. Running 26.2 miles is just hard. I have a love/hate relationship with training. Obviously I get pumped for a race by spending hours browsing post-race dessert options. Because I never eat dessert if I don't run 20+ miles. The important takeaway for me in this post was that you are a fellow half jew! Happy early Hanukkah!

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  15. SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP

    I am not joking. Are you resting enough? Stressed? I am one of those weirdos who LOVE the marathon but I start to get overwhelmed and restless when I am tired. This always happens right before or during taper. I pretend like I don't care but I do. Then I sleep like a crazy lady and wake up on race morning as if it's Christmas. You will do great! Keep that butt in check ;)

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    1. Sleeping well. Not stressed. Honestly, just not pumped because I am worried about my body. And rain. Hopefully it still feels like Christmas on Sunday somehow

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  16. Yay! Another Christmas Lover! I am so jealous you got your tree already. I wanted to last weekend but things came up and it never happened.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your marathon love/hate! But I love that you can be honest and open here and really write what you're feeling. Hopefully it helps to sort of "talk it out" on the blog.

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  17. I'm sure the race will go fine. Blah blah blah. I'm also sure you don't want to hear it.
    More importantly, I wanted to share that I am an Israeli (Jew), and as soon as I immigrated to the US I started celebrating Christmas. It was literally something I wanted to do my ENTIRE life, but never had a chance. I married an American (not even Jewish), and every year we buy a Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving, put on the holiday tunes and make our dog dress up as a reindeer.

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    1. Good for you! Holiday spirit! I have a bunch of cousins in Israel. I've never asked what they think of Christmas....

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  18. yeah I wouldnt be excited about rain either... but better than heat I guess!!! Hope the excitement picks up a little...or maybe you will run great dreading it!!!! either way, good luck and hope the buttcrease holds up!!

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  19. Not sure what to say about CIM - the forecast for the next 4 days is awful, with heavy rain seemingly every day. I wouldn't be excited to run 3-4 hours in the rain either. Sounds like a death march. My guess is that you'll end up running it, and it will go great - but that's all I'll say on that.

    Nice on the real xmas tree! Make sure to put it in a stand and water it, or else you may end up getting a fire if it dries out too much. I think that's how the majority of xmas tree fires start. It will also start to turn brown if you don't water it enough.
    http://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/home_fire_prev/holiday-seasonal/holiday.shtm

    lol on the xmas pics!

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  20. I'm pretending I don't actually have to run a marathon on Sunday. We don't, right?

    Also:a fellow half Jew! I had to read the bible in a lit class in college, but that's it.

    Also:I HATE Christmas but I hate holidays in general.

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  21. As a physician, there are no studies that indicate running marathons increases any risk for arthritis later in life! I don't mind that it is going to rain, but I I definitely not thrilled about the 27 mph headwinds we're supposed to have : (. I run in the rain a lot....I'd stick to capris/leggings and a lightweight shirt. When it rains, I usually wear my Nike water/wind proof vest. I also usually wear a baseball cap to help keep the rain out of eyes.

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