Sunday, March 10, 2013

Before & After the Napa Marathon

Lost in my Napa Marathon recap was all the fun details from before the race!

The week before, I tapered hardcore, with 23 miles total Monday-through-Saturday before the race.

In some sense it was the easiest its ever been to chain myself back from tying on my shoes for long morning runs because it was a highly busy and stressful work week.

On the other hand, the more stressed I am, the more I need running to save my churning brain--burn off some of that stress that wakes me up at 4:00 a.m. with urgent thoughts about the case(s) that fill my work day.

So taper week had me feeling uncomfortable and out of my element.  I didn't have my normal crutch to turn to when feeling stressed.

I was so relieved when marathon weekend arrived, because it was a release for my mind from the office.  An indulgent weekend.  26+ miles on a beautiful Napa road sounded like bliss.

Saturday morning before the race, I woke up for a 2 mile "shake out" run.  Not sure I believe in the shake out run.  Do you?  I think next marathon, I might take the day before off entirely.

Anyway, turns out the two mile run was the most eventful run I've been on all year.  Because? I had front row seats to a woman in a public park getting pleasured by a fellow.

SORRY for that mental image, but since I have it burned in my brain, so must you.  Public park, and no less, a public park that is WITHIN EYESIGHT of Oakland's "Children's Fairyland."  On a Saturday, at 10:00 a.m.  I was definitely not the only witness.  They were just lying in the open grass! What drugs make you THAT brave? yuuuck.

After running for a total of 16 minutes (such a tease), I jumped in the car with Jessica, who would be my housemate for the weekend in Napa while she ran her casual 26.2 miles as an easy prep to the million ultras she's been running in the trails.  So casual, in fact, that she went Portlandia for her race outfit.

Jessica, too cute

Okay, Portlandia was just her throwaway clothes.  That's an old shirt of mine, by the way, I didn't tell her and instead let her think it was from my mom's giveaway stash ;)


Ah darn, I miss the blonde hair.  And that shirt! Maybe.

Nobody told us it would be so warm in the morning that we wouldn't need throwaway clothes.

Back to Saturday before the race.  We went to the expo, drank some free wine, and I learned a lesson to never expect that a race expo will be selling Honey Stinger gels.  I assumed I could buy some there, and have been strongly preferring the honey flavored Stinger gels to Gu brand (both in taste and how my stomach reacts to it).  I hunted all over Napa and never found any.  Gu it would have to be.  (p.s. check out this Honey Stinger sale, I will be buying some even though they don't have the gel I like on sale.)

After the expo, I hung out with the one, the only, niece Gemma the Great, who wore me out with games and dancing so much that my legs were tired and could only muster a 3:09 marathon the next day (you got that Gemma, I blaming YOU.  Worth it 10000%).

She's my mischievous best friend

Other exciting events related to being totally unprepared for something I have known about for months (not buying Honey Stingers, doing lunges with a 19 month old in my arms the day before), I didn't have any safety pins for my bib.  Realizing this the morning of the race, and learning my parents keep zero safety pins in their home, my dad brilliantly decided at 5:45 in the a.m. to staple the bib to my shirt.  It did the trick! A real MacGuyver my dad is!

The stapling of the bib looks professional, right?  like a professional kindergartner

Did I ever tell you how lonely this race was? Thanks to Will for the pictures!

The week afterwards.

My left calf, that had cramped during the race (and often cramps with this leg-lock sensation), was extremely sore for maybe 30 hours after the marathon.  I was limping on the thing.  Then it healed super fast, and I was left by Tuesday walking normally, just a some expected soreness in the quads.

By Thursday I ran 6 slow miles (mmmm, 10:00 minute miles never felt so right), by Friday I ran another 6 miles at a nice 8:40 pace, and by Saturday it was game on, and I ran a F.U.N. 13.1 miles with a couple girls you probably know from blog land, but that will be its own post as soon as my fingers can spit out the words.

I attribute not being deathly sore after the marathon to one thing: not taking a hot bath.  I always go for the hot bath, despite the warning not to, because basically if you warn me not to do something I will probably do it.  I didn't have the patience for a bath this time because I wanted to get the day on the road, and wise move.  I think baths were enhancing my post-marathon soreness in the past.

Another busy work week, another week of hardly any miles, topped off with some much needed relaxation outdoors with the Gentleman (who has also been swamped with work) in Olompali park in Novato.

Now I know that the backpack I was given at the Napa Marathon expo sucks balls as a hiking backpack.  Do. not. try.
Our relaxing hike included a dynamic conversation about where North Korea psychos will attack when they have the capability, and we settled on San Francisco.  Sooo, that sucks.  Fingers crossed Dennis Rodman is actually a double agent who is teaching all North Korean physicists the wrong periodic chart...

28 comments:

  1. Same thing happened to me recently (unwanted encounter with excessively amorous couple) at a public park in your hometown (no really)! Oakland? No big deal. Napa? Whoa.

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    1. Ew, really!? well 85% of the weirdest people I know are from Napa.....and to their credit a public park in Napa can still be pretty private!

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  2. At least you had an eventful two mile run. I have always found the shorter the run...the slower it goes by ha. That is still super grimey though.

    I'm going to use that idea of stapling bibs because mine is never pinned on well...hahaha. I've run several races in Upstate NY, that are so lonely. You get out on the road and you can't see anywhere for a mile up. It's also makes you wonder if you are going the right way.

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  3. I grew up in Chicago in the michael Jordan era, so I hold a special place in my heart for Rodman (he was my grandmas favorite player). I, too, hope he is just using his celebrity mole training to dupe north Korea. He was pretty good on that show...

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  4. I am so confused by the two people you found doing...whatever...in the park. I mean, that is really beyond.

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  5. In fear of being stuck safety-pinless, I keep four in my travel toiletries bag. I've had to use them twice for races. One was kind of a big race - I think it was Publix marathon in Atlanta - and I was so surprised that they didn't have safety pins at the start. Luckily I'd brought my pins just in case when I realized there weren't pins in my packet. I had to go back to the car and get them.

    I do run the day before a race because I've noticed that I get a heavy-calf feeling after taking a day off running. My calves feel a little tight and heavy in the front. It goes away when I warm up, but I don't want to start a race that way.

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  6. Was plan B to sew your bib on?

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  7. Haha, I'm not sure what I would do if I came upon that in the park...probably run the other way quickly

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  8. Bahahaha, I want to go on a hike with you, because that sounds like the funniest conversation ever!

    I still have very mixed opinions on the pre-race shake-out run. I've always felt better the second day of running, so I've almost always done a mellow day-before run (for NYCM, it served a dual purpose of buying socks because I forgot mine...). For my PR marathon, I ran 2.62 miles the morning before 26.2. But this last weekend I ran six miles on Thursday night, didn't run Friday, and felt fine on Saturday. Similarly, in December I spent an hour tromping through snow that was sometimes knee-high, and felt fabulous the next morning. Hmmmmm. Such complications.

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    1. It is complicated! I never know what it is that makes me feel great one day. Should I swim the day before? Elliptical? Be as motionless as possible? I don't knowwww. Sometimes I feel best the day after a 20 mile run. Go figure.

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  9. *spluttering* a public park?

    wait, maybe that was me.

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  10. I do not even understand how that would happen, the people in the park. I would CERTAINLY not be relaxed enough to enjoy that. What.

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  11. lol on the sight at the public park - anyone intervene, or just let them go on their merry way?

    stapling a bib sounds like a good idea, but I hope you put tape or something on the back of it, sounds easy to get chafed rubbing against staples!

    As for North Korea, the non stop news about them is annoying. Those guys either need to attack South Korea and let's get on with the nuclear war - or stop the empty threats and shut up for once. One thing that's not really covered by the press is that due to all the UN sanctions and the like is that the country's people are starving and suffering. Also the fact that the country isn't really even called North Korea (it's Republic of Korea), due to them never agreeing to the peace treaty. Kim Jon-un may end up being crazier than his Dad Kim Jon-il if that was ever possible.

    As for the EMZ recap, thanks for the heads up, I reread it and I think her PR was 3:17, but I was confused. Maybe she's now going for a 3:09? Who does a race recap and doesn't put their time on the recap when they get a PR? Weird.

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    1. It was a confusing recap, right? Really hiding the ball. Sorry for having to point that out.

      You know who's even crazier than Kim Jon-Un? Dennis Rodman. He doesn't have the excuse of being brainwashed from infancy.

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  12. Oh, and don't go to Santana Row - you will hate it. Parking sucks, things are way overpriced, people are pretentious, chain stores, etc. Pretty much everything you hate is in Santana Row. Picking up my race bib on Saturday was awful, and the reason that I haven't been to Santana Row in a long time.

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  13. You do not make me want to move to Oakland. I was in Berkeley on Saturday and thought I could move there...but Oakland? I'm actually nervous about running there next weekend!

    A Nuke strike on SF would be annoying...I'm all prepared for earthquakes but don't have a Nuclear Attack kit ready. Darn. Must go to REI now!!

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    1. haha. Sorry Oakland...I should probably keep telling only bad stories about Oakland, since my neighborhood is getting too popular--my rent just went up for the first time in 6 years!

      The good thing about nuclear attacks is you don't have to do anything to prepare...cause you die. But I love REI, let's go!

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    2. You're so comforting :) But it's a good excuse for REI and I'll take it.

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  14. I love the plain, no flavor, GU like packaged honey stinger gels. I've been waiting for them to go on sale since most of their products have Lance plastered all over them. Just Googled to see if he was still sponsored by them and it turns out he actually owns part of the company.

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    1. Yup, thats the gel I like. Those must be on sale! I didn't think about the Lance picture! I guess I'm cool with supporting Lance's company, I love Honey Stinger products, and the sport of cycling is on my "do not care" list...

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  15. That's the most professional looking kindergardener I've even seen!!! Impressive, dad, very impressive.

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  16. Oh, and also I wouldn't recommend you going to Santana Row - the place is a nightmare to park, it's overpriced, mainly chain stores, and feels up uppity up. It's basically like a look and not buy place lol. Pretty much everything that you hate is in Santana Row I'd say haha. It was a nightmare picking up my bib on Saturday there since parking was just awful to find a spot anywhere. It's another reason why I almost never go there - I probably only go there once a year or so I'd guess...

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    1. What an endorsement! hehe. I won't rush to visit then.

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  17. I just came across your blog today and I have a question totally unrelated to Napa: what is it that you hate about San Francisco? I went there last summer and LOVED it, and have been trying my hardest to find some meaningful employment out there. I'm just curious as most people that are there have nothing but great things to say :)

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  18. I don't believe in the shake out run either. Staples.... BRILLIANT!

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  19. Eww park grossness. Yuck. But Gemma cuteness made up for it.

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