Monday, April 23, 2012

In The Long Run: Random Running Rants

Midlife Rambler and I are on two different running plans right now: I just finished the last long run of my marathon training program and he's on 'maintenance' before he starts his marathon training program. 

It's tough to find a shared focus when we're in such different spots. I offered two suggestions: 1) Random and 2) I'm-freaking-out. He thought Random would be a good route. :)

So, we rant. 

1.  There is a 99.99% liklihood that Husband is completely wrong about how I should dress for my long runs.  On Sunday, he advised me to lose the headband/ear-warmer thingy and my arm warmers.  I was out there for 2 hours and 45 minutes and only felt a little warm about 20 minutes of that run.  The wind coming off the lake was strong and brisk. I am thankful that on the 16th week of my long run training, I finally ignored his suggestion.

2.  That said, is there any way I could request a 49 F day, with a brisk wind, on Saturday, May 5th? My best running is done in cool to cold weather and I've trained in enough wind that it doesn't really bother me anymore.

3.  If I get my 49 F race day weather, I promise to look into a better bra or some sort of nipple management.  After an 11.2 mile bathroom break, I caught myself in the mirror of the women's room of Northwestern's student union building.  Despite my lobster red face, the turkey was done (there's that 99.99% rule I was talking about earlier).  For someone with almost no boobies, it was Nippletown, USA.  Two bras? Band aids? I'll figure it out.

4.   I really like the addition of Ong Namo to the beginning of my play list. Listening to it - and actually singing out loud - at the start of my run made me positively happy.  I think I'm going to drop it into the play list a few more times: I'll need some happy around mile 15 and again at 21 for sure.

5.  I do not enjoy being nearly hit by cars at intersections. It is equally unpleasant watching the near miss of a fellow runner.  What I do enjoy is shaking my fist at the driver and smacking my hand* angrily on the hood of his/her car. If my fuel belt had a holster for a gun....ah, well. That's probably a different post for a different time.

6.  Sunday's run was a challenge before I even hit the pavement: I had a lot of doubt, since the previous two long runs were cut short due to pain in the right arch of my foot. I was so happy to not have to roll out my foot until Mile 7.2 (and I mostly took that opportunity because of the little picnic area at Plaza Del Lago) and again at mile 11.2 (ish). There was some tightness/pain, but it was manageable.  That slant board thing really helps.

7.  Rolling out my foot at Mile 11.2 wasn't even totally necessary.  But since I had to pee and was already sitting down, I figured I'd multi-task. And then I achieved supreme multi-tasking and shameless runner status by eating a Power Gel and texting Husband and Coach ... all while peeing and rolling my foot on a golf ball on the toilet in the student union women's room at Northwestern. Eating. Texting. A shoeless foot. Peeing.  And singing along to Talking Heads' Girlfriend is Better since my playlist was still playing.

I'm this close to crossing a finish line with shit sliding down the back of my shorts and into my shoes and not really caring about it.

8.  I thought a lot about two friends on my run today.  Kristen, who's dealing with the same stupid foot problem I have, but hers isn't easing up much. She cut her run to 3 miles and is coming up with a plan b in the event she can't run her race on 5/6. I think she's super smart to be so pragmatic about it, but I know she's hurting - she doesn't miss a single workout: she deserves to run this marathon.

I also thought about my friend Kristina, who ran her first 5k in November. Since then, she's run a few more 5ks,  6 or 7 minutes off her time and has already registered for a 15k.  She's got running by its balls...I love it.

9.  During the run, I thought  about all the crap I'll have to pack for this race. The stretching gear, pre-race food, race fuel and all the various supplements and allergy meds might require a U-Haul trailer.  I need to start writing it all down so I don't forget anything.

10.  I taped both feet before I left.  The picture here is the 'before' picture.  I'm doing my best to hide my bunions by flexing my feet: please know I'm not that emaciated. I will spare you the 'after' picture, but try to  imagine a dime-sized blood blister on the left bunion, which was a total surprise when I pulled off the Smart Wool socks post-run. That blood blister cheated me out of the usual "Mommy just ran XX miles" foot rub that I mooch from someone in the house.  Husband said it has made me an 'untouchable'.

11.  With friend Kristen's help via g-chat, I got onto Garmin Connect and can finally see my splits. I've been keeping them for 2 or 3 weeks on the watch, but had no idea how to actually view them.  I was REALLY happy with my splits on this run: at one point, my best pace (best, not average) during Lap 12 was a 6:40. I figured out that was right after I peed and came flying back out of the student union.  Boogie Oogie Oogie was on the headphones.  

I also had a really good Mile 8. All credit for Mile 8 goes to Born Slippy, by Underworld.

12. Husband had a full-sized Snickers bar for me when I came home.  That was cool.

13.  I continue to be blown away by the support I get from my friends in PA (and elsewhere, via Facebook and Twitter and Blogger), from my triathlete training buddies, from clients and vendors and even from my chiropractor.  Along with the post-run grit face, the feedback and encouragement I have gotten from everyone is lovely: it gives me some connection to something after spending so much damn time in my own head.

14.  I started to tucker out at Mile 14. I fought to keep going until my run ended at 15.5 miles.  

I am terrified. 

If I had to run another 11 miles at the end of the 15.5 mile run, I don't think I could have done it. 

Coach isn't concerned about my distance training - I've gotten to 21 miles ... once. I think she's concerned about my right foot and my brain.  She's in good company.  I'm over the right foot - I think today's run proved that with better/more stretching of my calves, I'll be fine for race day.  The brain thing...yikes. I've got 12 days to convince myself that I'm ready, I'm strong and that signing up for this race wasn't the stupidest fucking decision I've ever made.

Is this where the real training comes into play?

15.  Despite all the anxiety that I have about this race, I'm still thinking about the rest of the season.  Can I train up to 2:45 throughout the summer, just so I don't lose too much endurance? Can I train to race a half in the fall and try to pull off a sub-2 hour race?  When will I need to start training for a March 50k?

16.  One thing about this race: I don't have to worry about drowning or being beat to death in the water.  That aspect of triathlon is daunting, no matter how well you've trained: you can't control who is kicking you in the face or pulling your legs down in an open water swim.  And at the speed I'll be running for the marathon, I really don't have to worry about other runners throwing 'bows. 

17.  Next week, 1 hour taper run. The following week: Showtime!

See what Midlife Rambler is up to here.  I'm guessing he's neck high in Beer and Beef, but that's just a guess...

* I wrote this post at 3 in the morning, while I wasn't sleeping. Proofing it this morning, I realized that instead of the word "hand", I had typed the word "head", which I find both hysterical and worthy of an asterisked comment.


  1. At mile 12 busting out a 6:40 pace is GREAT! You are going to kick a$$$ in this marathon. I agree that the hard part will be in your head!

    Keep on rolling that foot!

    And I wish you perfect weather for your race!

  2. 6:40...Awesome!!! You will do great and wish we could be there for added support (and to yell inappropriate things as well!!)
    Relax and stay out of your head

  3. Your multi-tasking abilities continue to amaze me. Are you sure you don't have 4 arms?

    I've only had rain for one race - and it was such as nice cool rain that it was actually a blessing. Wind is what I wouldn't be able to handle, but you've got that beat already - and who wouldn't want a tailwind the last couple of miles, right?

    I like how you change from Ong Namo-listening/singing Triple T to punching cars Triple T. It's a perfect example of Yin/Yang.

    Outside of chafing, I've never thought of Nipple management - although I've seen guys at races who should have addressed it. (Let's face it: Man-nipples are creepy)

    Is it really only 2 weeks away? Has time gone by that fast?

    You're going to rock that course!

  4. All of you ... will be with me on 5/5, for sure! And Don, you may forward your inappropriate comments to me and I'll write them on my arms! Dlae -- the funny thing, is that Ong Namo is a good 12 minutes long. It was STILL PLAYING while I was shaking my fist/smacking that idiots volvo station wagon! Rain -- every time I get a new device for stretching, I think of you!!!

    Today, I'm feeling good. I'm going to do this. And ideally, I'm going to smile thru at least 23 miles of it.:)

  5. I love this TTT. #5 I was just saying to Hubby on Saturday that I need to start carrying rocks to throw at the drivers that don't pay attention to ppl in crosswalks; particularly drivers on their phones. He expressed concern I may go to jail for that and suggested hitting the car with my hand... And to #1 - I adore the app from runners world that tells you what to wear - based on current weather conditions. It has yet to be wrong for me and I love to feel cool when I run. I get the weather from the hourly forecast on, pop it in and off I go.

  6. once again, slg: we'd make killer running buddies!