Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Non-Proposal

I have been looking forward to writing this post for over one year, but then when it came down to it this past week, I fell into a passive mood and I didn't want to put in the required effort to make this worthwhile.

I'm forcing it out of me. Please bear with this terribly indulgent post, that is entirely about me and my personal non-running life.  But it's high time I share it with you!

The short version:

I got married!  One year ago!  And didn't tell anyone...not family, not friends (until one of my best most intuitive friends guessed that we had!), not the internet. I think this is called eloping?

Well, I kind of told you...there were hints here and there.  I apparently referenced my "father-in-law" once on the blog which someone picked up on.  When we eloped, on our 4 year anniversary of dating last year, I alluded to the fact that we did something exciting that day.

And I'm sure many of you had no freaking clue that we weren't already married, since I call him "the Gentleman" instead of, say, "the boyfriend" or "the husband", etc.  But if you have been reading since the beginning, or know me in real life, you know that he was my live-in boyfriend when I started the blog.

The long version:

Begins in August, 2007....

I met the Gentleman on the very first day of law school.  It was his 29th birthday.  I was 23.  I was going to get dinner with my mom and grandpa that evening.  But instead I learned my grandfather had gone to sleep the night before and despite being in good health, never woke up.

It was a terrible first day of law school.  Meeting the Gentleman was the least memorable part about it.

But, I remember him perfectly.  He had some pieces of grey hair...I didn't have any friends with grey hair.  He had a green sweater on.  He had been a high school teacher for four years.  All of a sudden I was hot for teacher.

Over the course of a semester, we went to happy hours together with our Legal Writing and Research class, went to lunch with friends, went on a hike with a friend, and finally, in December, 2007, went on our first date alone.  Just the two of us.  Finals had just finished, and we realized that with classes out and flirty studying-emails no longer called for, we missed each other.

When classes started up again in January, we were all in.  Law school never really sucked again after that first semester.  He was the best study partner, the best classmate, and just.....the best.

First Valentine's day...
January 2008.  We look so little!

6 months

Getting juris-doctored

It sounds so ridiculous to say that when you know, you KNOW, but I knew.  After years of thinking that I just "loved being independent" and "loved being single," it turned out that actually I just had "only dated people who were not that great."  This was the first time that I didn't find myself making excuses or avoiding phone calls in order to escape a 2nd, 3rd, 4th date with some guy.

And so, within two months of dating, I remember that we both knew and both revealed that we would be together forrrevvverrrrr.  mwuuuuhahaha.

The point of all that is to explain why we were never engaged.  Why there was no proposal.  From the two month point, we had already reached that agreement.  I moved out of San Francisco and into his rockin Oakland pad before our second year of law school began, and then we let the months tick by, life getting better and better, occasionally discussing getting married, but, for two secular people who don't need a stamp from the government to feel committed, we didn't really care when or how it happened.

I should also mention that the notion of a proposal makes me feel sick.  This and this is probably some women's dream, but I'm not even kidding, that is my worst nightmare (although the second link is so, SO adorable).  I hate the spotlight (yeah yeah, I have a blog, I MUST LOVE IT), I hate the idea of walking down an aisle while people look at me, I hate the idea of asking people to travel for me, so I can act like a fairy tale princess (wedding dresses are SO FUNNY, right?  They are PRINCESS dresses, it is so funny).

But, ultimately, even though I escaped the proposal and for one single year escaped any attention on our marriage (which is really only ours, nor yours, not others), there will be something.  Some wedding.  Some time in 2013.


Wet hair, spontaneous drive to get our marriage certificate 12/21/11
We hate all of the pictures from the day we eloped.  Ugh!  We needed a witness, and after my co-worker bailed and we couldn't get a hold of two of our local friends with a last minute phone call, we asked the kid who worked at the cafe in the lobby to be our witness.  He also took pictures.

The first thing we said to the...officiant? whatever she was? was that we didn't want anything formal, we didn't want to have to say anything sappy, we didn't want to hold hands and kiss and all that.

And somehow that is exactly what she made us do! It was pretty dorky. Which you can probably sense from the photos.

And the decorations....oh my.  Oh my oh my.  Yeah, I hate these pictures.  But now they shall see the light of day.


Why is she making us do this...



Pretending to really be feeling the moment

We are not solemn here.  We are actually just confused. 

Yay, we can finally stop following weird instructions!

On our way out.  Success!

The reasons for why we woke up on our fourth anniversary and headed off to the Oakland Court Recorder's office to make it official are many, and simple.  All you need to know is that we just did it.  We talked about doing it for over a year, and one day we just did it.  We finally started saving $140/month because I jumped onto his work health insurance plan.

And then everything stayed the same.  Except we could occasionally call each other "wife" or "husband" and enjoy that it was just for us.

I keep hearing that everybody knows someone who has privately married this way, so surely it's not that crazy, but some people have definitely made us feel crazy.  It was a surprise to me to learn that people I thought I knew well suddenly craved tradition and lacked an understanding for why we purposely did NOT want to celebrate that day with other people.

We are now ready to celebrate, and so we have begun to share the news.  "Congratulations one year ago!!" is not the right reaction.  The celebration is NOW, not one year ago.  The announcement is now, not one year ago.  One year ago...not much really happened.   Except the state of California received notice that we are committed to each other.

So merry Christmas and no more secrets!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Addendum


Hi Friends,

I want to take a quick minute to write this addendum to the last post, in light of realizing that some of you heard a statement that I don’t think I made.  Nothing is wrong, everyone was civil with their feedback, but since at least a couple commenters interpreted that I said something like, “you should be sad for all tragedies everywhere just as much as you are sad for the Connecticut tragedy,” I assume other readers did as well, and there is probably no harm in taking a moment to clarify.

First, everybody had a different reaction last Friday.  Nobody’s reaction is wrong.  I don’t care who is sadder than who, who feels sicker than others, who feels no emotion about it. 
    
My reaction was all over the place.  I felt sick.  Then fine.  Then sad. Then angry. And so on.  But then I got stuck in this place where I tried to make sense of it, make sense of how it could possibly happen, make sense of why it was hard to just STOP thinking about it for one freaking hour.

In trying to make sense of things, I thought about the familiar.  I thought about the senseless tragedies that have affected my own relatives. Thought about what it felt like to be six years old.  Thought about how the city I have lived in for 5 years deals with murder weekly.  I thought about how the shootings that happened thousands of miles away from me in Newton, Connecticut felt closer in my gut than those that happen regularly one mile from my front door.  I wondered why, of all the terrible that exists and always has existed, this one terrible thing keeps haunting me, us.   

When I referred to Oakland, to the Holocaust, to the fact that a (thankfully) minuscule number of humans have been terrible for all of history and in every country, to the observation that modern tragedies unfold in an unfamiliar way with modern media, there was no message as to what that means and how we should react.

I didn’t make any bold statement, I didn’t make any conclusion, because I do not have one.  They were musings.  Random reflections.    

Comments off, this is just an addendum, if you have further thoughts let’s hop back over to the original post.  Hope we’re all good, and if we survive the omen of the Mayan calendar, I have a much happier post coming up.   

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Musings

Cheer up sweethearts!

This is hard stuff.  It is especially hard because with modern social media, reports of terrorizing events are instantaneously and constantly front and center in our mind, as are the streaming emotions of other people.  Within minutes or hours we all knew what had happened.  And then as the days passed, the public emotions continued to roll in, reigniting a wave of sadness every time you turned on your television or computer.

Hard as it is to fathom or believe that anything this unimaginable could happen, and tempting as it is to believe that the world has finally reached the pinnacle of evil, be assured, there have been unimaginable horrors for all of mankind.   The holocaust.  That happened.  Millions of people.  MILLIONS of people killed in a genocide.  Millions of children.  MILLIONS.  What in the world would you blog about then??? MILLIONS I said.  Of children.  


My mind keeps flickering to images of my first grade class.  I can see all the students so vividly, exactly where they sat.  I already had a lot of fears by then—of the clowns under my bed, the boogie man in my closet.  What will this do to those children's minds?

My grandparents were 14 years old when they watched everyone they knew and loved get killed in a mass execution.  How did they cope? They lost their faith.  They started over.  They made a new family together since they no longer had their old ones.  I think they were mostly okay, but I really have no idea.  It seems impossible for those memories not to weigh heavy on your mind every single day....


I thought I realized some good news today.  That out of the thousands of millions of citizens of the United States of America who have ever existed, only one of them was terrible enough to take the lives of children in this way.  Most people are good.   And most of the bad people live in Oakland.  Just kidding Oakland, but I have not forgotten the kids (toddlers even) who have been murdered in this city but haven’t made national news since it wasn’t in mass…and since it was Oakland…I think we're over 120 homicides so far in 2012.  Perfectly average year.  Children included.  

There is no point to these observations, other than maybe to wonder why some tragedies hurt louder than others.  If it didn't happen in the United States, it's a barely noticeable blip in the news.  If it's not a white person, it is forgotten.  I think I get it.  It hurts more when the victims look and sound like they could be our own family. 

But unimaginable things have always happened.  They always will. 

Anyway.  Just musings.  I am no longer interested in what anyone has to say about guns, country, mental illness, religion.  If I were you I'd cruise right on past this post....just another persons musings...

*******

Running has been happening, but I kind of forgot about the blog for about a week there and haven't kept great track of the details.  In a somewhat accurate account, here is Last Weeks Miles in Summary:

12/10 Monday: swim approx. 2 miles.  I'm accidentally getting kind of good at swimming.
12/11 Tuesday: 12 
12/12 Wednesday: 12
12/13 Thursday: 13  (at which point I briefly consider running the number of miles that there are in the day of the month, since I hit it on the head two days in a row.  Then I thought about how that would require running 30 miles on my 12/30 birthday.  Yet, on the 14th I couldn’t crawl out of bed early enough to run 14 miles.  We'll call it a two day streak.)
12/14 Friday: 12
12/15 Saturday: 15 (streak back on!?)
12/16 Sunday: 17.5
Total: 81.5

It turns out that not doing speed work makes 81 miles feel like a cake walk.  My legs only felt tired near the end of Sunday’s run, but other than that, I was regularly hitting 7:45 miles as my “easy” pace which wasn’t happening at all earlier this Fall.  I guess when there’s nothing to “recover” from, easy runs are easy even when faster.

My buttcrease issue has been a whisper.  I don’t feel that tug much at all.  The issue that remains is the leg-lock, which pipes up near the double digits of runs, and only if I’m running hard (faster than 7:45 min mile).  I can’t feel it at all when I’m walking around or lying down at night, which is something like a good sign, since I know right before CIM I could feel that dull achiness at night.

I’m going to try a new approach in the 10 weeks remaining between now and the Napa marathon (yup, I’m signed up.)  The approach goes something like this: screw off, speed work.

Believe it or not, I don’t think the track has done much for me—besides make me faster at the track.  It hasn’t translated to faster runs or races.  It’s true that my track work never had a chance to prove what it was worth, because I usually ended up having to take a one-month break from the track right before a race due to some niggle-naggle. 

Either way, I think I’m going to not do anything too intense between now and the Napa Marathon, besides maybe some steady miles between 6:30-7:00 pace just to get as comfortable as I can around there.

Oh! The other change in my “approach” goes like this: yo, hills, whachu doin tonight? You up? You out?

I used to be a hill fiend.  Just hills, alllllll day long.  Then I discovered the flat 4-mile route around my neighborhood lake, and started chugging along there because I could run faster, which I figured helped me get faster.  But I think I’ve lost some of my natural running strength that I found just from running hilly routes for fun.  Last week, I started throwing in more hilly neighborhoods and less flat lake runs.  It makes for less miles, since I can run 14 flat miles in the time it takes to run 12 hilly miles, but DO I CARE? no. 

More hills, more fun, less speed, get faster.  Or get less injured.  That’s the plan.

Oh yeah, and my weekend was sublime. I got to hang out with my Montana butterfly, and….I got to reap the rewards of running the 2nd annual Jingle Bell Hell, with 5 participants!!! (two of which did not participate, technically, due to not feeling well and going home.  Read XLMIC's recap in the link for details).

(Almost) winning the race while running in zig zags

I totally killed that race and probably set a remarkable course record.  Somehow I got duped out of the grand prize trophy, BUT I did get some seriously valuable goodies (all edible, some eaten mid-run, including half a donut, which actually sat fairly well while I ran).

we swept the top three placings!

I’ll be back next year so that the trophy will be mine.  You can come too as long as I get your portion of donuts.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

2012 in Running Blogs: a Look Back

It's only December 11, 2012, but it's NEVER too early to try and be the FIRST blogger to pump out their "year in reflection" post.

But in a turn for the unexpected, this post is not (entirely) about MY year and my happenings.  It's about you! and us! all of us floating in the pot of running blogs!

Here we go, rev your engines, step into......

The Highlights of the Year 2012 in Running Blogs

1) Suddenly out of the ether, GOMI is invented by a fat lonely catlady (synonymous with "one who snarks," right?) and bloggers around the world realize "oh shit, I better reel in the intensity to which I sound like a privileged dunce," except for the bloggers who are, by nature, privileged dunces.

I learned that "white knight" is not a term reserved for corporation law courses, that there is no such thing as being a blogger without being narcissistic, and that YOU'RE just jealous, haters gon' hate, sad lonely life, etc etc.

I actually have no idea when the website began, but as far as I can tell, it popped up this year.

2) Janae, the one and only hungryrunnergirl, shook the blog world upside down by announcing her pregnancy, crushing naysayers who said it was not possible for her blog to get any more cute.  Now there is a baby on it, and so, it just got that much more cute.

3) Aron ran 50 miles and made the Bay Area look like the place to be if you enjoy beautiful things (trails, neverending trails).

4) The Boston Marathon was ferociously hot, in the first sign that 2012 would be the year of glee for people who wish for terrible conditions on Big Marathon Race Days.



5) Page's ankle :(  The worst timing ever for an ankle to spazz out, right before the pretty young thing's first attempt to become an Ironman, but she handled it (and continues to handle it) with good spirits.

6) Kris Lawrence came out of nowhere and became the mother hen (I mean this in the nicest possible way) to the rest of us.  She proved to have a maddeningly perfect combination of running talent, wisdom, entertainment, and good writing skillz.  Whenever we had a question about an injury, a running plan, a race, we crossed our fingers that Kris would comment and let us know what to do!

7) Oiselle became the new Nuun by pouncing on women running bloggers to market their brand, which seems to work for 90% of consumers,  and annoys the other 10% (is that too generous of a number for the minority?).

8) YOU got a PR! and YOU got a PR! and YOU won your age group! and YOU won a race! A lot of studly running took place this year.  Sorry for not taking the time to name y'all.

9) FitFluential confuses everyone as to its purpose, and with the passage of the year, clarifies its purpose with a strong message of "fitfluential means: fitfluential!"  Thanks for clearing that up.

What club!? I don't get it!?


10) I learn that there can be constructive criticism and great discussions on blogs, by the rad people who read this here blog and comment.  If you haven't realized it yet, I should alert you, the comments are far and away the most interesting thing about roserunner.blogspot.com.

11) Cely almost kills herself when a shard of glass attacks her arm, and I make a mental note to tell every blogger to PLEASE not suddenly die before I've ever met you.

12) NYCM was.....cancelled.  The blog world pounces on categorizations of people as either "classy" for not running/wanting it to be canceled, or "ignorant die bitch" for wanting the show to go on.  Ultimately, everyone turned into a zombie and said "so devastating, so sorry, take some of my money" so they didn't get in trouble.

13) Runner's World Magazine stoops to a whole new level of stupid typically reserved for People magazine by giving way too many shout-outs throughout the year to runner blogs as if they are worthy of sharing tips and jokes next to Ryan Hall.  

I pay for magazines for the professional content; I read blogs for free to check out the thoughts of my hobby jogging peers.  Don't mix up the two!

Yeah yeah, in the age of the internet, everything is merged.  Whatever.

source

14) The CIM mini-monsoon (I'm coining this phrase).  Sacramento joins Boston and New York in knowing runners can rise to any occasion, and giving them the challenge they crave! (not me.  that's not me).

15) Some of my favorite bloggers start blogging less, down to a trickle, barely at all, and I crawl in a corner and cry.

The year is NOT OVER, and more epic moments will still be added to this blogger world.  Mark my word.  It's all about to go DOWN.  I don't really know what I'm talking about....

What running blog memories of sweet 2012 did I forget? Let me hear it, we have time yet this year for a Part II!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

On Balance

Week in recap:

Mon-Wed: relax, stretch, walk, eat.
Thursday: Swim, 80 minutes.
Friday: 9 miles
Saturday: 16 miles
Sunday: 15 miles.

Friday was an odd return to running after last Sunday's marathon...one calf got angry in a peculiar way. It reminded me that this calf anger happened at mile 23 of the marathon and was the main reason I pulled over to a tree for a stretch session (along with a call for help from my hamstrings and piriformis).  But the rest of the day, both after the marathon and on Friday, the calf felt 100% fine.  And 100% fine when I went for a run Saturday.  So....nothing learned.

The weekend runs were fun, comfortable, and easy, but I definitely was ready to stop running exactly when I stopped.  No energy to run farther--don't know whether that is because of "marathon recovery" or because I didn't bring enough food to chomp on (about 150 calories of gummy chews). Possibly both?

*****

Here I am now, with my belly full of latkes, matzoh ball soup, hamentashen, and jelly donut (don't make me spell it out for you.  Hannukah.  I ate a Hannukah meal) my mind has wandered onto a topic....a topic that has flittered in my mind before...

Oh silly, I know you don't know what hamentashen is.  It is this. 

There's this word that I hear a lot.  I hear this word often in a specific context, in blog land, from women, who blog about food and exercise.

The word:

B-A-L-A-N-C-E.

I can find you 3,000 blogs about balance.  "Cuddles and Yoga: a post-college girl's journey to find Balance in the city."  "Eating Peanut Butter While Running: seeking a healthy Balance while planning a wedding and raising three dogs."


My interpretation of "seeking balance" on health blogs is that it is code for "one who is desperate to make some meaning out of a bland life (harsh?) wherein the goal to look more attractive/skinny."


Everywhere you look, someone is trying to tell YOU how THEY maintain a very balanced life.  What the crap does "balance" mean to them?  Does balance = diet?  Does it mean how to eat and exercise and stay young and look good and show it all off for the internet?

I do not know what it means.

From the internet, I have deduced that "balanced" means some combination of:

  • yoga
  • homemade nut butter
  • buying a really nice camera
  • photographing everything
  • pilates
  • small portions
  • blogging daily--scratch that--thrice daily
  • photographing yourself
  • taking a lot of traveling vacations
  • talking about being balanced

And therefore, I am completely off balance.  I'm that awful table at every restaurant that rocks back and forth until you stuff napkins under it.  I don't carefully monitor and plan the details of my life, from the food to the exercise to the fashion, so I'm a mess.

Here's what I know.

The people in my life who actually seem balanced--which to me, means they are happy, mentally stable, have good relationships with people and with themselves, who can adapt to life changes and arrive at work every day in once piece--never actually talk about "balance."  They don't overanalyze, they aren't constantly searching for a meaning, or for a health trend, or for approval, or for "balance."  They are just living.  They're doing just fine.

Really consider, in what world is it "balanced" to neurotically document every meal and/or exercise activity on a public diary?  You have be out of control (aka "UNbalanced") if you need to hold yourself accountable to an audience of hundreds in order to get through the simple tasks of the day, including eating a meal.

Here's what I also know.

Balance is an important conversation to have.  But not so much in the context of balancing french fries with kale.

I recently had some good conversations with Margot about how to balance a full time job with quality running.  It was something I hadn't thought about much, but I felt it was a worthwhile topic to explore.  Running has become as second-nature as brushing my teeth in the morning, and sometimes I forget that it is actually hard shit.  Sacrificing your sleep, your free time, or an extra hour at work in order to run, is not always easy.  I feel like whimpering with sadness half of the time when I hear my alarm go off in the morning.  

And for what payoff? For little PR's here and there that matter to no one except yourself?

The more responsibilities you have--whether work, school, family, pets, children, second job, running hobby, music hobby, friends, volunteer, sick relative--the more that "balance" is a legitimate concern.   We can only spread ourselves so thin.

What it comes down to for me, for the balance of my simple life which consists of work, my significant other, family, friends, running, fun times/entertainment, is choosing what is worth it.  And running is almost always worth losing that 90 minutes in the morning where I could have been sleeping, working, relaxing, socializing.  For the endorphins, for the little PR's, for the cleansing sweat, the fresh air, satisfying that itch in my legs.

I could go on about the things that I think are worth it.  People come first.  They always come first.

So....cheesy as it is....what does balance mean to you? And if you answer that it means "healthy diet and regular exercise," just gag me.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Smile

I suppose I had a more spectacular time in that storm than I realized, because I am grinning like a goof in every picture that the marathon released.

oy mate, jolly good time 
Follow me, chaps! Away we go, fun times ahead
Chip chip, cheerio! I can't rub off me smile blokes, blimey!
I got a pocket, got a pocket full of sunshine

Evidently, I equate goofy smiles with a chimney sweep accent or something of that sort.

I'm feeling gently hesitant about posting these photos, because this time the race slapped DO NOT COPY on every picture.  Buuuuut this is only a small dip into the proof of my goofy smiles....there are many more.  If you think this is really terrible of me (i.e. you are the photographer or a party pooper), let me know, and I'll think long and hard about taking them down (41 seconds long, hard like marshmallow texture).

Photographs courtesy of here.  Buy a picture if you like.  Find a beautiful person and just buy it.

Finish line.  Happy-ish?

Another reason I know I must have been having fun, is because although for several months I have been tinkering with the notion of running the Napa marathon in March of 2013, now the idea thoroughly excites me.

Reasons why I was planning on running it:

1) It is in my hometown.  Very convenient, and the one and only time during the year I can get my family to watch (if I'm lucky.  My dad has come to the finish line both times I ran it, and my mom cheered from the sidelines one year.)

2) I ran it in 2007 and 2010.  I'm really into this 3-year pattern, so it looks like I'm on the hook 2013 and 2016.

3)  I knew I wasn't going to be in top shape for CIM due to my time off in October, and thought it would be nice to find a different marathon later in the winter that I would feel more confident about.

Reasons why I am now even more interested in running it:

1) I was going to decide on Napa after CIM, to learn if I would desire a marathon that soon afterwards (about 12 weeks).

I usually only do one marathon/year, because I sense from the soreness afterwards that it is too intense on my body, and because that 'I WILL NEVER DO THIS AGAIN' feeling that sneaks up on you at mile 23 is usually too fresh in my mind to try it again within 10 months.   I did two marathons in 2011 (Eugene and CIM), but they were 7 months apart.

With CIM now behind me, I feel spritely and ready to jump into another marathon soon.

Speaking of spritely, I'm kind of into the idea of not going "all out" in marathons anymore.  Remember my love/hate post about the marathon? A huge part of the hate was my fears, which were based largely upon concern that marathons are unhealthy for my body.  Because in the past, it has left me absurdly sore, and unable to really run like myself again for 2-3 weeks.  That's concerning to me.  Having finished this marathon feeling so....normal, and not facing that 'I WILL NEVER DO THIS AGAIN' moment during the marathon, I have so much less fear for it.  So much less.  I can run a marathon at 88% effort, and be relatively kind to my body.  This is a relief to me.  And a huge epiphany.

Three cheers for running timidly!

2) The never-ending hunt for a PR.

To be sure, I'm not going to run Napa to avenge what could have been at CIM.  I'm not expecting anything BIG out of Napa.  I just want to be there.  This event has been a big part of my running life and I want to revisit it and my hometown streets.  I won't be disappointed at all if I land on another 3:11.  Or another rainy day.  If it's rainy AND windy again, I will cry.  And run naked to avoid chafing.

3) I had so much fun at CIM.  Mostly because of the friendly faces I saw everywhere.  So please, I beg, sign up for Napa with me! It will be so much more fun this way.  You can stay at my parents house with me! Or we can rent a comfy room in Calistoga.  Do it!

Napa looks like a fast course, but in my past two experiences, it is not a guaranteed PR course.  Kind of like the Healdsburg Water to Wine half marathon I ran, the "net downhill" rolling hills knocks you off pace, because it always feels like the uphills are longer (or harder to recover from) than the downhills.

Also, it is monotonous.  Vineyard, vineyard, oh boy, another vineyard.  It is directly into the morning sun, so wear a visor--and, it seems to rain every few years.  The crowd support is great in about 3 spots, and lonely as can be elsewhere.  It finishes at my high school, which is....oddly depressing to me.  I don't know why.  But I don't feel like a champion when I'm walking around the "senior row" where I acted like a douche 10 years ago.

CIM aftermath.

shiiit, my chest chafing marks still hurt! I think I forgot to mention, these are from my t-shirt, NOT my sports bra.  So I'm confused why not EVERYONE got this kind of chafe mark?  That bright pink Target running shirt is either trash-bound, or I will only wear it inside-out now.

I'm taking it easy this week, just some light walking and movement to loosen the legs up (no running yet).  I was going to swim this evening but work kept me later than planned.  I will likely swim Thursday, run Friday, and am feeling optimistic and excited about this graceful recovery and refreshed body (minus the chafing).

I have some things in mind to get my leg-lock issue settled before jumping back in to running hard.   Most of it involves stretching.  Maybe less speed work.  Possibly doing some Jillian Michaels dvd's.

Napa: who's there, who's square?  

Monday, December 3, 2012

I Survived CIM 2012

Super-sized blog recaps are for races that deserve it, but yesterday I was in a "just get this over with" mindset from the moment I woke up....and with that attitude (among other things), I ran 26.2 as comfortably as I could given the weather, without whipping out the appropriate drive, intensity, or pain that would be necessary for a PR.

Unofficial results posted: 3:11:47, 63rd place woman, 24th in age group (compare to 101st place woman last year with a 3:05:08!), 7:19 pace.

I went to bed Saturday night dreaming that the storm, which was forecasted to bring 25 mph headwinds promptly at the 7:00 a.m. start time and then seize around noon (seriously, do weather gods HATE marathons this year?), would finish early and become gentler.  Instead, I woke up, checked the weather, to find that 7:00 a.m. was now scheduled to have 35 mph winds.  WHAT the what?  Look outside window: oh yes.  I do not want to be outside.

Got it done, went outside, took the shuttle to the start after happily bumping into Beth, Katie, Jana, and Cate.  We were all kind of giggly with excitement and denial about how the wind was howling at the rain (which was pouring) outside the bus window.

I stood fort in the VIP tent, which I got into for being a very famous running blogger.  That doesn't exist, stupid, it was a VIP tent for Folsom hotel stayers.  I watched the tent slap us and knock chairs over as we all tried to pretend it was protecting us from the elements until 7:00 a.m. came.  Ran into Joseph, wished upon a star that the VIP port-o-potty didn't get blown over from the wind (I swear this was a REAL possibility!), and headed to the start in my poncho.

Mindset: PR city is out of the question.  May drop out halfway if I feel terrible or like I am risking my health.  But as I mentioned before, somewhat relieved at the prospect of running a marathon without a goal.  It is a freeing feeling!

Body: feeling fine so far.  Stretched the buttcrease out that morning, and it was a little tight, but I hoped it would hold off on causing the leg-lock/numb-leg feeling (which, I am beginning to realize may be a problem that originates with my calf or IT band....this leg lock thing kind of takes over the whole leg.)

Weather: hahaha.

Gear:  despite the rain it was already 60 degrees with 100% humidity, so I stuck with shorts.  Even though I had just purchased capris to run in.  I ran with the new Garmin 410, and it was a success, I like the thing!

Liz and I found each other at 6:58 a.m. for a session of nervous excitement and bewilderment with how to handle nature.  Meeting her was a huge highlight of the day, check out her recap once it's up cause girl was on FIRE in the midst of this storm.  (read: she ran amazingly).

First mile is fast and downhill, but everyone was running in tight little steps to be careful of wet manhole covers, deep puddles, and because of, yeah, the wind.  I hit mile 1 in 7:05, a good 20 seconds slower than one year ago.

Within the first half mile, I saw two runners wipe out, big time.  One of the wipeouts was so, so disturbing, I wish I could remove the mental image from my mind.  Because it was so dark at 7:00 a.m. from the heavy clouds and difficult to see because of the whipping rain, someone ran straight into a street divider and flew into a small signpost.  I really hope he is okay.

Traumatized, truly, by that sight, I pulled it back.  At mile 0.5, I finally knew for sure, no matter how much I wanted to play hard, that I was going to be gentle today.  Drop out if I had to.  Stop and stretch if I had to.

The combination of this mindset, the headwinds, the leg-lock feeling which piped up at mile 5.5 and stayed through the finish line (waaah, the feeling started at mile 13 last year), and my messy training with a two week break 5 weeks ago, led to a time almost 7 minutes slower than last year.

This is to say: I did not run "a great time given the circumstances!"  It was possible to run a PR, even with the headwinds and the rain.  It happened to several people I know! You just had to really want it enough.  And not have a buttcrease/leg-lock issue.  It was not the weather alone that made me 7 minutes slower yesterday; it was the combination of mind, body, training, and weather.

Not a single mile under 7:00 minutes--BUT, I never fell, I stopped long and hard to give my leg-lock/buttcrease/calves a good stretch, and I finished with blissfully fresh legs.  I think this is the first time I can ever say I think I could go for a run the day after a marathon!  I can walk down stairs like a normal person! It's so great!

My only battle wounds are CHAFING, and the side of one of my feet feels bruised.  I had this problem once before, I think it is the Nike Air Pegasus 29's, so I am retiring those from my racing rotation.  Those shoes also felt too cushiony in the heel by mile 20, which caused me some calf pain.

Oh the horror.  I've been making this face every time I look at it.
And yesterday I was walking like I just got off of a horse because the upper inner thigh area is so chafed.  Vaseline and Sports Glide did not work, because these areas were all slathered very well.

The red in the bottom of the pic is the closest you will get to seeing the business on my inner thigh

However, I did finish with nary a blister, so vaseline on the feet does work! (I put some on before bed, no fresh coat in the morning.  That sounds slippery).

Three more thoughts:

1) drafting does not work.  Not a cent.  Are you kidding? The skinny men all around me were like toothpicks blocking a fire-hydrant spray.

2) Page, Aron, Jessica and XLMIC -- they weathered the storm with huge smiles on their faces and screaming cheers, with a bad ankle, an ultra-marathon ran the day prior (Aron & Jessica), and four kids at home, respectively.  It has been a LONG time since I have gone to a race to cheer or volunteer, and I know I need to change this--my turn is due.  It's a wonderful feeling to be on the receiving end.

3) Music earbuds hate staying in your ears when it is wet and windy.  I listened to music from miles 14-26, and had to push the buds back in every minute.

Splits:

Miles 1-10:  7:05, 7:11, 7:00, 7:01, 7:04, (7:14, 7:27, 7:28, 7:31, 7:16) = wind in face miles,
Miles 11-20: 7:12, 7:15, 7:09, 7:08, 7:21, 7:31, 7:20, 7:16, 7:14, 7:15,
Miles 21-26:  7:21, 7:20, 7:30, 7:53 (30 second stretch break), 7:27, 7:18,
0.26 = 1:54.

Passing the crew of friends at mile 10 -- thanks for the pic XLMIC!

Not much to see here


only a blur, mile 26

After finishing, I walked up to the Gentleman with a big smile, happy to be done.

Thanks for standing in the rain and handing me Gu, love

While heading out of the gates to meet him, a friendly newscaster decided to interview me and apparently I made it on the local news -- I am relieved I don't have to see it.

According to Liz (sorry to quote you my dear!) my 11 seconds of fame was as follows: They started off the broadcast showing trees blowing sideways, and wind pelting the runners. Fun to see from a different angle (i.e.:not the one being pelted!)...and they talked about the weather slowing runners down significantly. You were so drenched, but super cute, they sound bited you: "It was my first marathon in the rain. Very tough. About 10-minutes slower than where I wanted to be"

I swigged some chocolate milk (I know, and nobody even paid me to!), picked my jaw up off the floor after hearing how well Liz did, and headed to a pub for lunch to erase the memory of Gu and Gatorade (ew ew sugar sounds SO gross after marathons) with some salt and beer.

Chicken pot pie, fish & (sweet potato) chips, carrot & ginger soup, 18oz. porter

Tell me your story of surviving CIM 2012!