This is me when I’m trying to fill the last two spots on my Ragnar Tennessee team, with just 22 days to go:
Any takers? DO IT.
This is me when I’m trying to fill the last two spots on my Ragnar Tennessee team, with just 22 days to go:
Any takers? DO IT.
After we grabbed Devon from Exchange 12, we headed out for food. It was late at night but we found ample nourishment at some Portland place. We did not order this as there would be no DNF in the cards for us. Heh.
Team Lemonade Van 2 joined us for the latter part of the meal so it was great to see them. My foam roller had it’s own seat at the table and why yes, I did get down on teh floor and foam roll (and I wasn’t the only one who did!). We also did that food-gamble thing you do after Leg 1: How much is enough to power your next run, but not enough so that you see it on the side of the road or suffer a Code Brown on Leg 2? Always a fun risk to take. I got chicken & fries. And pickles.
After dinner we headed to Exchange 18 for sleep. Hands down this was the most sleep I’ve ever gotten in a relay, but it was also the most uncomfortable. In every other relay I’ve been with guys who are totally up for either sleeping in a field or whatever area has been made available for sleeping. But no one wanted to get out of the van and sleep outside this time–least of all me! So instead of having my usual choice of benches, I was looking at sleeping sitting up or hunched over against a window. No dice. I crawled in the back of the van, pushed all the luggage out of the way, and
cuddled up with the Nuun cooler made myself a nest on the floor. Then, since I didn’t have to run for a long time even after we started again, I claimed a bench when our first runners went back out. I managed two hours of sleep, which is LUXURY during a relay.
Oh, those night runs were surely lonely. This area was extremely rural, so no illumination of any kind beyond headlamps and headlights. There were hills on hills, and it was dusty. But the other gals powered through like champs, and posted some pretty awesome times despite the weirdness that always comes with a night run. (also, no cell service for 8-10 hours. Can I tell you what that does to a group of bloggers? It is a wonder we are still alive, people. TORTURE.)
Soon enough, Lisa was out and I was up. It was first light, and I was excited to have the sunrise leg, though with the Oregon clouds there would be no real sunrise. They must sell loads of Vitamin D supplements there.
Speaking of pills, guess who forgot to take any Advil during the night? THIS GIRL. So when it came time to run, Laura graciously went back to the van to get me some, but it didn’t really kick in until it was too late.
This one hurt from the first step. The van passed me shortly after I began and I faked a big smile and a peace sign as they went by. Then I settled in to just get the miles under my feet. I honestly haven’t had the heart to even look at my Garmin from this trip, and I doubt I ever will. The runner I was on this trip is not the runner I have worked to become, and not the runner I will be once I am healed, so why torture myself?
I got passed. Passed by a man from Atlanta, passed by spry woman after spry woman, passed by ELVIS. Yes, passed even by a man dressed like The King. For future reference, please know that the coverage offered by an ill-fitting Elvis suit is minimal. Oh, if my eyes could un-see…
Then finally I got straight in my head. It was sunrise. We’d made it through the night. I was on the course of the Mother of All Relays, an experience that in all probability I will never have again. I needed to enjoy this. I turned off my pump-up music, which at this point was only weighing on me. I could be mentally pumped up as any person out there, but my body was not going to respond. So I put on music that I really like (Coldplay), and decided to just enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
I was on the side of a mountain. Huge conifers towered overhead. There was a swift-moving creek beside me. The lush, Oregon summer spoke of the beauty of God in ways that I’d never had the privilege to see before in person. The road was a small two-lane, but pretty much empty due to the hour and how very isolated this place is. I passed what I think must have been an athletic training lodge, and thought how perfect this place is for that. I enjoyed the weather, which is so nice for August as compared to Atlanta’s blanked of heat that lingers in to September. IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL.
Yes, part of me wished I’d blazed through this run without noticing all that. But the larger part of me is glad for the pain, because in it, I saw glorious things, and I’m so thankful that I was there.
Up next: I stalk an HTC celeb, and the Lewis and Clark Trail of Tears.
I started running, really running, when I was a new mom of two. I needed a quick calorie burn and mood lifter that would get me home in time to nurse the baby and care for a newly-minted two-year old. It didn’t feel easy, but it was easy to fit in.
Years later, after repeatedly being told “You’re crazy!,” I still maintain that running is one of the easiest things I do. Every time I have to take time off (which, if you’re keeping track, has been the Summer of 2011, Summer of 2012, Summer of… do you see the pattern here?), I am reminded of how simple it is to roll out of bed, put on some super-comfy clothes, lace my shoes, and GO. No bike, no helmet, no travel, no washing-of-hair after a swim.
Don’t be fooled–I look happy , but I’d rather be running.
I really like the gym I go to, but I hate driving there. I love to lift weights, but I don’t have room or money for a set of weights at my house. I adore yoga, but when I do it at home, my monkeys want me to teach them how to do the poses, and I just want to be IN the poses. I’ve detailed my relationship with swimming, but that thing that makes it most un-easy is total vanity–it’s my long hair, that I have to do again after swimming. Just No. Ew. Way too much work.
I had to get up at 4:40AM to get this swim in and make it to Yoga Challenge class. See why running is easier?
So I always come back to: Running is Easy. I want to do it, so I do it. There are so few barriers to running. If I want to just go and enjoy the run, I can leave my Garmin at home. If I want to get faster, I can do repeats. If the run is rough, I can either adjust my pace or adjust my expectations. There’s just nothing about running that is inherently complicated.
In so many ways, running only gets hard in your head. Anyone who has run consistently for a period of time can attest to that. You’re body gets stronger as you run, and it becomes more and more of a mental game. If you take care of your body, it’s your mind that will threaten to get you every time. As much as I hate the forced period of rest I’ve had to take from time to time, I love the desire it builds for this thing I love to do. Once I’m running again, I can remember how I hate to be denied that pleasure if I’m feeling low on a run, or beating myself up for a bad race. I can remember that running is easy. Being out there is a gift. Being denied the joy of the run is what’s hard.
P.S. Speaking of joy–I’m running again!!! Three very difficult weeks of COMPLETE rest from anything but weights and swimming let me all better. I am just working to build up more endurance in the very short window of the next 10 days. It will come–I’m not really having any issues during my runs, thankfully, but I’m pretty sore after the run. Lots of foam rolling, stretching and my beloved Frozen Peaz should fix that right up. *jumps, clicks heels*
I already spent yesterday tweeting about this like it was my job, so Imma just start with the headline:
You may remember my video-the one about Lindsay Locks and the Three Runners. This one:
It got me in as one of 20 runners who get to head to Seattle in August, then on to Portland to run “the Mother of All Relays.”
I am tickled. Beyond thrilled. I CAN’T WAIT.
Now that I have toasted all who made the team, I will now share something with you about the contest, and me:
I almost didn’t send my video in. I had the idea for it swirling in my head since the contest last year. You see, I was a late convert to Nuun. I remember first hearing of it in early ’12 from Krissy, and then being introduced to it by Dimity and Sarah at the TLAM release party in Atlanta last year. I loved it the first time I used it, and haven’t trained without it since. I really am a big, big fan. But due to my late start to fan-dom, I only heard about the Nuun HTC contest two days before the entry deadline. I had the idea (and it really did come to me at night), but knew I didn’t have time to execute it properly. And so it stewed.
Then the contest announcement came this year. I wrote a script, and taped it with my husband and kids on a Saturday. But when I saw how I looked on screen, I came *this* close to telling him I didn’t want to send it. That my whole idea was stupid. That I looked awful. I even sent a few bad-self-image texts to my best friend, and divulged some of the feelings to my sister while we were in Charleston, too.
WELL. THANK GOODNESS FOR AWESOME SISTERS AND FRIENDS. My bestie basically told me to shove it. My sister nearly fell over laughing when she watched it, which is always a good sign. And the other applicants–thank goodness for the other applicants! After submitting the video to Nuun just an hour or so before the deadline, I did a little test. I tweeted the link at one of the quietest Twitter hours–just before Midnight Sunday. When I got up I had a few responses to it that were all extremely positive, and from strangers. I started to feel better, and watched it with fresh eyes. I started to get excited.
LESSON: I don’t want to get all Dove-Sketch-Artist-Commercial on you, but seriously: Don’t talk to yourself in a way that you wouldn’t talk to your friends. I wasted several days saying awful things to myself. Things I would never say to anyone else, I berated myself with. And my mood showed for it. And the worst: I know better! But sometimes you just revert. Don’t do that. (I’m talking to myself here. And to you.)
Anyway, enough about contests bringing out the worst in me. Let’s move on and talk about running.
I’m incredibly excited to meet the other runners on the team. During the whole waiting-for-the-judging process there was a lot of support flying around on Twitter, and I think that’s a good sign for team bonding come August. Here they are–don’t they look like a fun bunch (and well-hydrated, too)?
Kimberly – Healthy Strides
Jolene – Journey of a Canuck Mom on the Run
Megan – Meg Runner Girl
Lisa – Run Wiki
Mallory – Run Eat Run Eat
Leslie – Triathlete Treats
Holly – Leaps of Faith
Kara – Welcome to Karadise
Jesica – runladylike (my fellow Atlantan!)
Catey – Random Thoughts from the Zoo
Lisa – Lisa Runs for Cupcakes
Kristen – Defy Your Limitations
Sarah – Run Far Girl
Meghan – Shoe Stories
Devon – Dev on Running
Karen – Reason to Play
Andrea – the MF Dre
Jenny – We Wander and Ponder
Hannah – Fit Girl Happy Girl
Holly – Fashionable Miles
Melissa – Melissa Runs
Congrats team! Today’s training is dedicated to you! I’ll see you in 127 days (not that I’m counting. Okay, I’m totally counting.)!
When you love a marathoner, you put up with a lot. It’s like you’re in training for something yourself, only all you get is tired, happy smile at the end of race day.
When you love a marathoner, you find your marathoner in the bed alot. You may trip over the running shoes at the end of the bed that barely made it off her feet before she was asleep.
When you love a marathoner, much like when you love your infant child, you never wake her when she’s sleeping.
When you love a marathoner, you feed her. You feed her even though she just finished cleaning up the dinner dishes.
When you love a marathoner, you feed her, ESPECIALLY IF SHE’S CRYING. Again with the infant child thing.
When you love a marathoner, especially when you love a flu-season marathoner, you find a lot of citrus at your house.
When you love that germaphobe marathoner, you use this a lot.
Sometimes, the juice is good.
Sometimes, the mixtures are stranger than others.
When that marathoner you love gets tired of juicing, you eat a lot of pico de gallo. Your tongue may burn from the jalapeno-y-ness of it, because it ‘Gets all the germs out by clearing your sinuses! Really!,’ she says.
When you love a marathoner, you hold her hand, no matter how dry her skin gets from excessive handwashing.
When you love a marathoner, you tell her she’s beautiful, even though the only ‘bare mineral’ she’s wearing is salt.
When you love a marathoner, even when she is too tired to mumble “I love you,” you should know what, YOUR MARATHONER LOVES YOU BACK.
(for my husband, who puts up with the above, and with so much other running weirdness, always with a smile and some encouragement.)
I figure I’d be able to sleep until the alarm went off–I was dead tired, and this was not a race I was worried about. Coming two weeks after the marathon, and really just as a reason to get away with my sister to Charleston, I knew months ago that I’d be making a game-time decision of whether to race it, or just run it. But last week I was feeling good and strong again, and I wanted to challenge myself at a shorter distance, and one that is, let’s face it, just not as common. But still, I wasn’t worried about it…so why did I end up wide awake at 4 AM? Our alarms and wake up call were set for 5, and as soon as my sister’s went off and she groggily rolled over as I fired up some Van Halen “Jump” for her. Lesley laughed and laughed–she gets me and that makes me so grateful that she is my sister!
I got ready and went out to do a little warm up before we left the hotel.
There were so many people already making their way to the shuttle buses. Lesley and I got ready (see picture of us being ready) left the hotel at 6 and headed toward the boat dock where the Spirit of Charleston would take us to Mount Pleasant.
It was still dark but we could see the outline of the bridge in the distance. So beautiful and exciting!
A woman next to us on the ferry chatted us up the whole time and soon enough we were on the other side and waiting for buses to take us the last two miles to the start.
The last two miles, though, took a little bit of forever! We lurched and stopped for about 25 minutes before we were dropped off… at 7:45…all the way at the end of the corrals. We both really needed to use the porta-potties and it was pretty clear that that was not going to happen if we were going to get to Corral B by the beginning of the race. We started booking it toward the start line, and ended up in bottleneck after bottleneck. It was edging closer to 8 AM, but I knew there were bathrooms close to Corral A and my hunch was the lines for those would be shorter. We heard the first announcement that the race would be delayed as we got in line. Saved! Little did we know how much meandering we could have done and still made it to the start line before the race started. We got in our corral and were met by another announcement that the race was being delayed as they could not yet close the bridge. Strange, considering what a big deal this race was to the city. They made it sound like an outside entity was keeping them from closing the bridge and starting the race. Then they let the wheelchair racers go but still no start for the runners. They kept stressing that it was for our safety, but then the female announcer started to reassure us that the race would start ‘momentarily.’ She did it multiple times.. and each time a space of about 10 minutes would pass. This was what was considered momentary? Finally, the crowd, clearly growing more restless–get this-started booing her every time she or the male announcer said anything. I’ve only been kind of freaked out about crowd behavior in a race once before, when the line for the shuttle buses in the Country Music Marathon and 1/2 had no one directing or qeueing them.
Note the time on the clock above–8:30 and still no sign of the gun…
Guess we have time for another picture…
…and I’m just gonna sit down on the street and wait (kept me out of the wind and the sun, too).
Thankfully, there was no Runner Riot, and they let the elites go at about 8:57. My Garmin says I crossed the start at 9:02. I can’t remember the last time this early morning runner started a run so late! The road was wide, we were at sea level, and it took no time for the crowd to spread out enough to feel free. Thank you, Charleston. Lots of crowd support on this side of the bridge, and the way was flat. I did have a strategy going into this race, and it was inspired recently by my Facebook friend/Ragnar Chicago team captain/Triathlon Beast Tim Bernardo:
So, comparing all the short races I did recently, today has been my best result yet. Going out too fast will kill your race and will most likely keep you from hitting your goal. So, determine your goal time, get the mile pace for that goal time and stick with it. It might seem easy in the beginning but come the end it will be tough, but not tough enough that you can’t keep that pace.”
With that in mind, and with a goal in mind of going sub-1:00, I wanted to do the first 3 miles at 9:40 and the last 3.2 at 9:30 pace. It REALLY was hard to go slower on that nice, flat, open first 1.5 miles. Then the climb up the bridge started. It’s a full mile up to the midpoint of the bridge, at 4% grade. I’d told myself quite vehemently, that it was no big deal; that I run worse in my sleep here in Atlanta.
Guess what? I totally lied to myself! That bridge is NO JOKE. Garmin data shows a gain of 130 feet in .4 miles. I was pushing it, hard, in some warm temps and with some fairly serious wind, and yet, that mile I still averaged a 10:11 pace. Not bad, all things considered, but still, enough to mess with my plan. And enough to get in my head. Here was the dialogue in my head:
Self A: “You can do this.” (this being sub-60)
Self B: “You cannot do this.”
Self A: “You can DO this! You can do this! You’ve run a marathon!”
Self B: “But… I just ran that marathon TWO WEEKS AGO. I can do this, but NOT TODAY.”
Self A: You. Can. Do. This
In the end, I opted to listen to Self A and keep trying. The great thing about the bridge is that you know that, once you hit the middle of the spires, the hill is over. And then–oh, then!– there is the most awesome downhill I have ever experienced. It’s that same, 4% grade, which kills on the uphill but is gentle to the quads on the downhill, and gives you just enough momentum to maintain an effortless speed for a mile or so. I pushed it and tried to make up some time.
Towards the bottom of the bridge, as we turned into the downtown area of Charleston, I started to feel… weak. The sun was beating down at this point, and I was just in that not-right place. I was carrying water but grabbed some at one of the plentiful water stops just for some extra and to put on my hands and face. At this point, due to the delay, I’d not had anything to eat since my banana at 7:15–nearly 2 1/2 hours earlier. I had packed two Clif Shot Bloks in my pocket, but I’d never tried them before. I bought them when someone told me they kind of melt in your mouth. I knew the weakness and head wars were due to the need to fuel, so I decided to try one. So glad I did, but those things do NOT melt in your mouth! Same consistency as GU Chomps, but hey, it helped for a bit. Grabbed more water and settled in to see what I could pull out in the last mile.
Closing in on mile 6, with my Garmin telling me that I was very close to barely breaking, or barely missing, 1 hour, my head war was something like this:
Self A: You can do this.
Self B: I want to walk.
Self A: WALK?!? You cannot walk.
Self B. Fine, then I want to puke.
Self A: You can’t puke! It’ll cost you time!
Self B. Fine. I’ll puke at the finish line.
Self A: Sounds good. They have medical there. Now, go!
At the six mile marker I pulled out the second Blok and just chewed it like gum the rest of the way in, basically just to give me something to think about other than how much I wanted to puke. I paced off a woman from Atlanta in a Big Peach shirt and followed her in. As we rounded the last corner, two blocks from the finish, I checked my Garmin: 59:43. I counted down in my head and knew it would not be a sub-1:00 finish.
But I did not puke.
Official time: 1:00:13. My heart hurts for those :13, but it was a PR for me, and I think I ran a pretty smart race. And yes, I do wonder if the delay in the start and the fueling issues that come with that cost me those few seconds, but really, what’s 13 seconds when you’re not an elite? (thanks to my sister for reminding me of that).
I really love this race. It’s a great course, and even that rise on the bridge has a reward–a beautiful view of Charleston at the top. The whole city seemed to open it’s doors to us, and be genuinely excited for the runners to be there. The 10k distance meant we could rest a bit and still walk all over that afternoon and evening, seeing what I would argue is the most beautiful and historic city in the South. Also, the finish line festival was amazing–a tractor-trailer length grill with free Johnsonville brats, plus Chick-fil-A and Krispy Kreme donuts there. It was just fun. And if you don’t believe me, here’s the proof:
’cause nothing says running + fitness like the Weinermobile.
AFTER THE RACE
I found Lesley, we tried the brats (full disclosure, I could only stomach about 2 bites. Sorry, Johnsonville.) and went back to the hotel. We stretched in the outdoor patio area they have, where I encountered a group of smug, non-racing men, one of whom said, “You’re stretching?!? Are you HURT?” He also asked me about my time, to which my sister replied “A lady never tells.” Have I mentioned I love my sister?
Back at the hotel, we showered and she napped, and when she got up she was… not right. Dehydration is almost always my first choice in running-related ailments, so I got some bottled water and parted with some of the new NUUN I just got, and also got her a Coke to drink. Then I barked at her to keep drinking till I felt like she’d made a dent in the deyhdration. She was still tired but would not go back to sleep, so we walked. With large, 2-liter water bottles, we walked. And shopped. And drank our water. And walked, and shopped. bought two Athleta tops from a catalog mistake store called Oops. And ate a chocolate croissant from Caviar and Bananas. Delish. More water. More walking. More shopping. Then it was time for dinner at Slightly North of Broad (SNOB).
I can’t really say enough good stuff about this restaurant. Delicious little cornbread bites in the bread basket. Then an appetizer of Sweet Potato Ravioli. Lesley got the Blackened Amberjack that was on a bed of vinegar-laden, wilted chard. I got the shrimp and grits, which was actually Shrimp and Sausage and Ham and grits. Then we split the Key lime Tart with a Pecan Sandies crust. I’m a terrible blogger who forgot to take pics of everything but the pie.
We walked back to the hotel, with the intention of getting a cab at some point, but never did. I’d say all told, we put about 10 miles under our feet on Saturday. We were exhausted, but the fun-to-exhaustion ratio was so well worth it. If you get the chance–do this race, and make an awesome weekend of it. Cooper River Bridge Run, we’ll be back!!!
Saturday afternoon: Keep Moving!
After I crossed the finish line and got my medal, I headed for food. I tore into a bagel and a bottle of water, grabbed some chocolate milk (I could do a whole other blog post on how genius the Milk marketing people are for sponsoring races, but I won’t. I’ll just say, I love chocolate milk for recovery and was so glad it was there.). I picked up pretty much everything else they offered but didn’t end up eating any of it, except for the Snickers Marathon bar the next day for lunch. I found Kristiana and Lane and we talked while I stretched out some and then Lane took off. I had read parts of Hal Higdon’s Marathon recently and remembered his advice on what to do directly afterward: keep moving. So after I’d briefly stretched I went to the bathroom. I’d asked Kristiana to bring toilet paper since I figured they’d be out pretty quickly at the finish, and they were. Always bring toilet paper to a race. Always. You can always give it to someone or leave it in the porta potty. If it doesn’t save your day, it will make someone else’s. That’s being a good runner neighbor right there.
We hopped back on the train and rode to the hotel. It’s always fun to hear runner talk on the train. I really love doing races where transit is an option; it’s just fun to be with ‘my people’ and listen (eavesdrop I guess) on their experiences. It also means more walking and moving and not as much post-race tightening up of the muscles. We ended up riding with Dan Evans from The Biggest Loser. I don’t watch the show, but remembered a Biggest Loser guy who is also a musician had played after RnR Nashville last year. He was wearing a Biggest Loser shirt and had RnR VIP bracelets on, so I did a search on him. Didn’t talk to him, but it makes me think races are where the E-list celebs hang out. 😉
Before we went to the hotel we went to Potbelly’s sandwiches so Kristiana could get lunch and I could get my celebratory pickle. You know what is better than chocolate milk after a race? A pickle. I discovered that last year after the Peachtree. Especially if it’s hot… this girl loves a salty, vinegary pickle. Try it. You’ll like it. But don’t try it WITH the chocolate milk.
Back at the hotel, it was more stretching and foam rolling. We lounged a bit; I kept trying to change positions as much as possible. We hemmed and hawed about where to eat and finally settled on Lauriol Plaza. We got ready and I did let Kristiana
talk me twist my rubber leg into taking a cab. We waited, but not for long. I was starting to feel stiff by this point, and everyone in the restaurant was about 10 years younger than us. I did my best to not act like a stiffening up 80-year-old lady recovering marathoner but sitting down to wait for 25 minutes and then sitting down for the meal definitely made things tighter. But the fried plantains, incredible beef fajitas, and quacamole totally made up for any weird looks I may have gotten. I probably should have worn my medal, because then I’d have openly worn my reason for moving so slow, but I’m normally not a medal-wearing-girl. Next time, I think I will be.
Home we went, and we were in bed by 8:30. We talked a little bit, and talked about running music… which somehow got us to Kristiana’s non-running music, and she played me this song. Stuff like that is just one reason I love her! It’s what I drifted off to, and was a pretty great end to a brilliant day.
Sunday: Keep Moving, Part Two
Our initial plan for the weekend had us staying in DC in the morning for church, but in the end, we both booked flights that got us home for church with our families in Chicago and Atlanta. Kristiana was up at 5, and I got up to talk to her before she left. I had every intention of going back to bed after she left, but ended up putting on my shoes and going out for a recovery run–another Higdon tip. A recovery shuffle might be more accurate, but anyway, I was out there. I saw the sun rise over the White House, so that made the “ouch” I felt at every stop and start of the traffic lights a little more worth it. It wasn’t a miserable run, though, I think the moving on Saturday definitely helped.
I went back to the hotel and stretched really well, and foam rolled… again. I may have spent more time stretching and foam rolling over the weekend than running. Then I got ready, packed, and went out to walk the mall before I had to catch my flight home. I got to take in the cherry blossoms at a slower pace, and see the WWII memorial, which I’d never seen before. I also wanted to see the Vietnam Memorial, so I headed that way. The mall was bustling with sightseers and runners, and lots of good people-watching. A runner in a smashing purple shirt was headed for me when we caught each other’s eye and I realized it was my friend from middle school, Sarah. I haven’t seen her in person in at least 15 years. She is training for her first 1/2 in June and while she had known I was going to be in town, it had not worked out for her to join us Friday for dinner. How awesome for this Atlanta girl to see a friend from Danville, KY on the mall in DC! We talked for a bit and then I headed back to the hotel to get ready to go home.
Uneventful flight, ended up sitting next to a 4x marathoner so he showed me his Nike GPS, which I’ve been eyeing for my husband, and I helped him find running routes in New Orleans, where he was headed. Getting off the plane I definitely felt the race in my quads. Food. Nap. Church. Sleep.
Monday: Business as Usual?
Monday I felt… really good actually. Went to BodyPump and Abs class because I’ve gotten so much support from my teacher Lisa and the other people in the class, and because I feel like it’s made a huge difference in my running. I also wanted to cross train and stretch afterward. I was glad I went, because here is what was on the mirror in front of ‘my space!’
The stretching really helped… I’ve not felt an ache or pain since Monday, and I’m so happy to feel this good! I’m working on a post about my thoughts on the marathon–how it went, what I’d change, and if I’ll do another one. Also, specific thoughts on the RnR series and Competitor Group after doing another of their races.
I love a good race expo, and the Rock & Roll series usually puts on a great one. We headed there as soon as we got checked into the hotel and settled. It was also a good way to test the metro route we would take the next day. I was expecting huge security lines and a long wait for packets, but as my friend Kristiana (who flew in from Chicago to be my race support) said, “That’s part of the fun!” When we got to the DC armory, there was no line and we got our packets quickly. Hurrah! Katie decided to run with the 3:55 pace group and need to change corrals. Since all they did was put a green sticker with a hand-written 8 on her bib, I asked to change my corral too, so we could be together as long as possible before the start. Done. On to t-shirts– I’m thrilled that RnR finally took my advice (ha) and offered a women’s cut T. I had ordered a small, because I tend to always end up,with a too-big T that I never wear, and since it’s a tech tee I wanted to not hate it. I have never, ever worn my unisex tech tees from Nashville because they make me look like I’m wearing a big old box. No thank you. But when I saw the small, it was *gulp* truly small! But it does fit and I really like the design, despite it being navy, like so many of the RnR tees seem to be. (pic of the tee in my forthcoming day after race post)
Things I Allowed Myself to Do at The Expo:
Give Brooks my email address so that I could play their carnival games
Give Brooks $25 for the softest, comfiest, brightest fluorescent yellow arm warmers ever.
Touch the Moving Comfort running thong (No. Just no. People, please.)
Have my picture taken with some dude who was on The Bachelor and now hocs chocolate milk as a recovery drink.
Make a video about why I love chocolate milk as a recovery drink (I really do, actually).
Spend $12 on running stickers (some were gifts).
Get tips on foam rolling from the Trigger Point people (ahhhhhhh)
Most Important Thing I Did Not Do at the Expo:
Consume anything. I still had Vegas on the brain.
We left the expo and went straight to Vapiano for dinner: bread, caesar salad, and campardelle olive oil, garlic, and chicken breast. the food was great, but I find their shtick with the cards (you order food from a station, swipe a card each time you add on, and then take your card to pay when you’re done) to be tedious and a great example of technology making things more difficult than it should be.
Katie’s husband and kids joined us for dinner, and Jason told me it was a lot easier to run in DC than in Atlanta–he thinks partly because it’s flat and partly because it’s at sea level, about 800-900 feet lower than us. I tried hard to hide my delight, but it made me happy.
We said goodbye to Katie and Co. after dinner. Kristiana and I took a cab back to the hotel because all the walking had really started to bother my right hip flexor–a totally new pain, which of course had me
worrying myself into a frenzy furrowing my brow.
Back at the hotel, I got race-ready: pinned my bib on–up high this time so I might actually get an identifiable picture, then used KT tape to put my name on my shirt. I wanted all the support I could get, so on went my name (post-race note: the KT tape stayed on the whole time, didn’t bother me, and came off clean at the end. I recommend it.) Filled my Gatorade and water bottles, put my timing chip on, and made sure my GU, gum and Chapstick were all in their assigned pockets. Garmin, iPod shuffle, and phone went on their chargers. And I stretched and foam rolled. A few good luck texts and FaceTime calls were exchanged with family and friends, and Kristiana and I prayed together. Then, bedtime. Alarm set for 5:15 AM.
I have always been a huge music fan–saw my first concert (U2, The Joshua Tree Tour) when I was in the fifth grade, wrote music reviews for my high school newspaper, still see a fair amount of live music for a mom of two young children, etc., etc. So when I started running it was never a question of whether I would run with or without music. Duh. Of course I would. The whole music vs. no music debate never entered my world until about two years ago.In fact, I credit the receipt of my iPod Shuffle with really launching my post-baby fitness–I loved working out because it was a time to be by myself and to listen to my music. I listened to a lot of 80’s New Wave music (I love a good synthesizer) and some pop/dance/shake your booty stuff that got me motivated. Once I got out of the Y and onto the road, I used my iPhone because it has speakers and I don’t feel safe with headphones. My iPhone (nickname: Baby) allowed me to customize my playlists more, and to mix things up on the fly. Still, I was pretty predictable with my running music and aside from the random Killers or Johnny Cash song, not a whole lot changed in terms of the ‘feel’ of my playlists.Until now.
I’ve always had a rule: What happens on the running playlist, stays on the playlist. You do what you have to do to get through the run. But the changes in my playlist have been so strange that I can only attribute it to the marathon training, and that I feel the need to share in hopes of… oh, I don’t know, Sympathy? Compassion? Camaraderie? So in the interest of
utterly embarrassing myself total honesty, I give you my most recent additions:
Um, what? WHAT?!?
How did I get here? When did this all start? Where did I go wrong? WHO AM I?!?
I guess the simple truth is, I’m just a child of the 80’s. And I LOVE the music of my childhood. But I never listened to 80’s rock. I mean, my dad even had a code on the cable box so my sister and I couldn’t watch MTV (we always cracked it, though, and I do have very vivid memories of changing the channel REAL FAST once when my Dad walked in and ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ was on.) INXS and U2 were okay. GNR, not so much.
But last spring, after running three 1/2’s in relatively short order, I was listening to Def Leppard with my Only Friend Who Likes 80’s Music More Than I Do. Having running on the brain, I thought, ‘Wow, that would be fun stuff to run to.’ Onto the play list went Armageddon It, Rocket, Photograph and Animal. And I began to notice that when I’d land on the -gulp- Oldies stations here in Atlanta that I’d find myself thinking “Also good for running” way more often. I think the final straw were the two BodyPump releases that have Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” and AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck” on them. Les Mills does not fool around when it comes to blood-pumping music, and as much as I enjoyed lifting to the songs, I wanted to run to them even more.
Which bring us to today… as I start to refine (or, perhaps, unrefine) the playlist for Saturday. Y’all, I am checking my cool at the door. In fact, I’m pretty sure I checked it all the way out there in the driveway. I just want to have fun, and if Angus, Axl and JBJ get me to 26.2, then I will take it. Oh, and don’t worry–it’s not like those guys will be solo in their efforts. The Black Keys, Kelly Clarkson, Johnny Cash, the Beasties, Foster the People, INXS, Rihanna and MJ will all be along for the ride too. Among others–there are well over 100 songs on the list, and yes, it does stay on shuffle. And no, it is never boring.
So, here are my questions for you:
1. Have you ever had a sudden, noticeable change in your musical taste?
2. Do you have any insight of why the hard rock is speaking to me these days?
3. DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARRRRRRRE?!? YOU’RE IN THE JUNGLE, BABY!