Monday, June 23, 2008

More thoughts on the marathon

Pro: Did not get bloody nipples.
Con: Could not get cool

Pro: Did not poop my pants
Con: Had to pee mid race and got stuck behind two slow folks at the port a johns so paced to keep moving – looked ridiculous

Pro: Calves don’t hurt
Con: Quads are so sore I actually dread walking down stairs.

Pro: Crossed the finish line running.
Con: Walked more than I anticipated.

Pro: Ran fastest 10K I ever have - 48:52 (the first 10K)*
Con: Ran slowest 10K I ever have – 1:11:01 (the last 10K)*

Pro: Can’t wait to run another one
Con: Sorry honey.

*I have never raced a 10K so these are the only 10K times I have.

Things to remember for the next marathon:

(“Sorry” to anyone reading this post, it is really more for my recollection and isn’t particularly entertaining.)

1) Don’t go out too fast. Really hold your enthusiasm in check for the first seven or so miles. I imagine it feeling like l am walking while all these other people are running past. It will pay dividends at the end.
2) Eat right before the start. I mean right before. A Clif Builder bar. It is what I ate every morning before every run, less than half an hour before we started.
3) Drink the electrolyte drink and the water more consistently during the race, especially if it is warm. Be willing to walk through the water stops to make sure you can get what you need.
4) Eat on the course. Set your watch to go off every 20 minutes and eat half a gel packet.
5) Use the salt tabs. Train to use these on runs to make sure I am getting enough electrolytes.
6) Wear “Todd” somewhere prominently so people will call out your name. It can get damn lonely out there.
7) Train to go fast at the end. During long runs especially, dramatically pick up the pace for the last two to three miles. I mean really push it.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Different Beast

Well, I did it. I finished my first marathon, Grandma’s Marathon, on Saturday. First of all, I have to say thank you to my family for putting up with this hair-brained scheme. Secondly, I have to say thanks to M., L, E., and J. for letting me join their band of merry makers. Without you, I never would have been convinced that; a) a marathon would be a good idea, b) that I could complete it, and c) that training and the race would be fun. During training I raced a couple of half marathons, a 5K and did a sprint triathlon, but the full deal was a completely different beast.

The race did not go as I envisioned it, not at all due to training - because I finished the thing without injury - but due to rookie mistakes and weather. I admittedly had lofty goals going in, but they were all tempered by the acknowledgment that everything was up for reassessment on the starting line and any time during the race. The facts are: I went out too fast; I didn’t remember to use my gels consistently, probably didn’t drink enough electrolyte drink and was hammered by the sun. Recognizing all those factors I am extremely satisfied with my time of 4:03:02 (chip).

I found out a lot about myself and running a marathon. It certainly was a humbling experience. I have more respect for those people who run a marathon well. I also, learned that I have a high pain tolerance and willingness to tough it out. I can’t say I had any thoughts of dropping out. As long as I could run once in awhile between walking, I was determined to keep going. In the midst of it, it was a miserable experience – painful, frustrating, hot. Those last two miles felt like a Death March. But I finished running and never during or now, after, have I thought, “I will never run another marathon again.” It is a puzzle I am determined to keep working at – like the New York Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle. I know that I will never solve the whole thing, but it is fun to see how far you can get.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

An Ode to My Father

My father loved to take pictures of flowers, so it was interesting when I found myself taking pictures of the roses that are growing near our driveway.  My dad documented a flower's beauty, I am documenting the fact that I actually kept these alive over the winter and they are thriving.  They are kind of my babies.  Here you go, dad.

Monday, June 16, 2008


So I have been training for a marathon for like a year.  OK, it's really only been about 16 weeks or so (thank you L.) but I started running about ten months ago.  When I started running and how long I have been training really has nothing to do with this post so just ignore the previous information.  Anyway, Grandma's Marathon is finally upon us (this Saturday).  I have done the training with a great group of gals (I'd call them "ladies", but the way they talk, they don't qualify), I have been working my own weight program and doing cross training (for some triathlons I am doing - more on that on another post) and now I am in the middle of tapering.  Oh and about two months ago I got laid off.  Now I feel like a caged animal.  Up to a few weeks ago, if I felt pent up or anxious, I could go lift or hop on my bike, or go for a run.  But not now, not this close to the big race.  It's driving me crazy!  The job search goes slow, or actually about as expected considering the amount of energy I have invested thus far.  I feel like I really should be doing more (again, that subject will be tackled in a future post.)

Someone let me out of this cage!

Friday, June 13, 2008

This Could Be a Long Summer

I certainly hope I have never made it sound like I think taking care of the kids is a piece of cake, but as I have found out in the last couple of days, it is damn hard work.  I am good with the day to day stuff - eating meals, getting dressed, teeth brushed, etc., but finding stuff to entertain them is hard to do especially when they have scheduled activities like tennis or swimming or soccer.  I am not a creative activity planner.  I feel guilty if they watch too much TV or play on the computer too long, but can't seem to find stuff for them to do to fill an hour or so between activities.

(Hold on a second, I have to hike up my skirt and touch up my lipstick.) 

There isn't a mother in history who has an ounce of sympathy for me, I know.  I certainly have to give A. more credit for keeping the kids occupied.  That, and I need to get a job soon, so I can get some rest.

Rockin' the New Computer

This is the first post on my new MacBook Pro.  I love it!  So quick and smooth and I can run Windows as well.  Too bad I lost so much information when my old laptop was stolen over the Memorial Day weekend.  I will try to post more often now.  So glad I don't have to share with the kids anymore.

Monday, June 9, 2008

R2-D2: Fashion Consultant

E. asked F. to help her pick out something to wear this morning (mind you - this has NEVER happened before). E. begrudgingly agreed after I pointed out he could dress her in the silliest outfit he could find. They were spending a lot of time in E's room and when I went to check on them, E. was holding up a potential ensemble and asked, "What about this?" F. replied "Boop, beep, boop, boop, beep." E. explained that R2-D2 was helping her figure out what to wear. F. replied "Boop, beep, beeeep." This is setting up to be a long, creative summer.