Tag Archives: half marathon

Post-Race Recap

25 Feb

So I figured that since I wrote a blog about my Pre-Race Jitters, I might as well recap the run (I will spare you the boring details), following a similar format to the original post just for accuracy.  For those of you who didn’t read the initial blog, that’s okay, you can read it here, or where I already linked it above!  Or not at all.  Whatever, it’s your life.

1.  The training, yea, I didn’t really do a good job of it.  I ran the 13.1 miles in roughly the same time I ran it last year, plus a few minutes.  My 2013 time was 1:48:23 and my 2012 time was 1:45:15.  Not too shabby.  But my hips hurt because I stopped doing hip strengthening exercises about halfway through my training cycle.  And today my quads are sore because I don’t like to do squats at the gym because of this stupid trainer there who butted into my workout and gave me bad advice.  I wrote about that here, if you care to refresh.  But all in all, it was what I thought it would be.  Cardiovascularly* I was good to go, muscularly not so much.  But it was fun after I relaxed into it so that’s something.

2.  I decided, with the advice of my good friend C., to wear the old shoes that I had already run too many miles in instead of the new shoes that hurt my ankle bump.  I think this was the right choice although I felt like I ran the entire race with cement feet.  Also, for the second time this week my pinky toenail cut the inside of my fourth toe during the run.  Gross.  Also, ouch.

3.  My period started the day before the race which was exactly the wrong time for it to start but also exactly what I expected because my period is an asshole that wants to ruin my life.  I will spare you the gorey details on that one but suffice it to say that it was necessary for me to wait in the obscenely long port-o-potty line before the race, making me almost late for the race start, and then rush to the port-o-potty again right after the race.  For those of you who might never have used a port-o-potty either before or after a race, there is basically nothing grosser.  In short, runners are disgusting.  Also, there may not be any Purell left by the time you get there.  Not that I had that problem personally…right…okay…moving on.

4.  I know that my initial blog only had 3 worry things, but now that I am recaping I want to add something to this list that I never would have thought to worry about before the race but that then occurred during the race and made me feel really sad.  So, in my experience as a person who has run a lot of races of all different distances, I always find that runners are a good and supportive bunch.  I have seen people encourage others, help them up if they trip, support people over the finish line when they are completely out of energy, run a fallen comrade’s shoe over the final time mat so she could receive her medal.  Never have I encountered someone who was intentionally rude and disrespectful to their fellow runners.  That is until yesterday.  Yesterday I got stuck next to these two bros from miles 2-4, give or take.  One of them didn’t say much but the other…oh man was he a piece of shit.   So, there was this girl who got overheated and pulled over to the side of the course to take her long sleeved shirt off.  This is a normal thing.  And what did the asshole do?  He screamed,

“Oh yea! Take it off!”

I literally almost lost my shit.  I thought about saying something but then I was afraid I would be stuck next to them for the entire race and it would ruin my own experience so instead I sped up to get ahead of them and snarled in the dude’s ear as I passed,

“You’re a real fucking gem.”

He didn’t hear me because he was wearing headphones which he technically shouldn’t have been doing anyway but whatever.  I thought I was safe but then they caught up with me again and there was this guy wearing a tight pink running top and some capri running tights — not at all a weird outfit to see — and the fucking dude hit his friend in the arm, pointed at the guy and started quietly laughing at him.  I had half a mind to say,

“How dare you laugh at people who worked hard to get here. Who do you think you are?  Grow up.”

But I bit my tongue partially for the reason I mentioned before but also because I didn’t want the pink dude to overhear me scolding them and realize they were making fun of him and then feel self-conscious and therefore have a bad race.  I really wish I had written down his bib number so I could have written a letter to the race organizers.  Which I would have done and then shared with you all.  Oh well.  Hindsight.

And now for the good things!

1. I didn’t actually end up running with C. because she is fast and just cannot help herself from running fast.  She kicked butt in the race despite not being super well-trained for it.  What a talented jerk.

2.  There was music!  And some of it was really awesome and fun.  I loved the people who put huge stereos outside of their super cool Southern-looking houses.  What I didn’t love was the band stationed at the mile 3/7 mark who played the most unmotivating music ever.  Purple Rain?  Patience?  Really?  You need a runner friend to lend you their motivating playlist, band.

3.  C. and I did not become friends with either Kara or Shalane.  But I ran with my hands in my armpits anyway.  I am totally kidding.  Or am I?!

4.  I had a Bloody Mary (or two..).  Melvin shared this one with me:

IMG_04685.  In the afternoon, I went to a bar with my friend Carie and we had a vodka soda and then this ridiculous thing happened which made us mad.  There we were, minding our own business, sipping our insanely-strong vodka sodas with straws when some dude reaches between us where a candle was perched and goes

“I’m just gonna borrow a little light for our candle”

and proceeds to reach into my drink, grab one of my straws, and try to light it using our candle.  He took a straw with his filthy ass hands that he may or may not have washed right out of my drink!  Who the fuck does that?  When I objected by grabbing the straw out of his hand and telling him exactly how not okay it was that he did that he says, like a fucking dickwad would,

“Calm down, killer.”

Ugh!  Needless to say this sent Carie and I into “put a douche in his place” mode.  I will let you imagine how that went.

6.  I am still planning on watching the AT&T American Cup on Sunday (when will USA Gymnastics announce the competitor who is replacing Elizabeth Price for crying out loud?!) and I am still planning on writing a letter to NBC about their need to fire one or all of their commentators and replace them with Alicia Sacramone.

So, yea, that is pretty much that.  Oh, and to the person who came across my blog by searching the term “what melts dog poo” I hope that it answered your question which is nothing.  Nothing melts dog poo you stupid idiot.  Just pick it up.

*I would like to acknowledge the fact that while WordPress does recognize the word “ginormous” as being acceptable in the English language and therefore not in need of a red squiggly line underneath it, it does not feel the same way about the word “cardiovascularly” or its own company name.  Seems fishy to me.

Those Pre-Race Jitters

22 Feb

Tomorrow morning at 4:45am a car, driven by the awesome Leo, will come pick me up to take me to John F. Kennedy International Airport for my 6:50 flight to New Orleans.  I will arrive a few hours later in the Big Easy for my fourth time, and only the third time I’ll make the trip by plane.  At exactly this time last year I was leaving New York by car.  With me behind the wheel and two friends, a cat, a disco ball, and a life-size cardboard cutout of R2D2 taking up the backseat of a rental car with Tennessee plates (glad to avoid New York plates on a drive through the south!) we set off from New York City to New Orleans, by way of about a dozen different states, to set a friend up in her new apartment in her new city to start a new chapter of her life.  It was a fun ride followed by a fantastic few days of exploring a new town and then a great 13.1 miles through a city I knew I would be visiting yearly, if not more.  I had no expectations of that race considering I had spent the better part of the previous week either sitting in a car, sitting in a bar, or exploring every inch of New Orleans by foot.  It turned out better than I had expected.  It was my best time in a half marathon up until that point, my best time, that is, until I bettered it by almost 6 minutes about 3 months later in the Brooklyn Half on a gorgeous day in May.  2012 was my year (for running)!

As I was saying, tomorrow morning I will be en route to New Orleans, about 24 hours after I fell asleep this morning following an 8-hour shift behind the bar.  I will arrive in the city at around 9:30am to the expectant faces of two of my closest girlfriends — one of whom keeps an awesome blog and came in 4th among women in the New Orleans Marathon a few years back (and she didn’t even have a great race! Asthma attacks! Who does that?!) and the other who busies herself bartending, making jewelry, doing investigations, practicing Reiki, and trying to turn herself into a glitter unicorn, she is so close.  I’ll spend the day at the Marathon Expo and catching up with my girls before my third night of minimal sleep leads into a 13.1 mile run, once again through the streets of New Orleans.  I have to say, I am a little nervous.  As I sit here thinking about the upcoming race, I can’t help but focus on all the potential negatives. I can’t help but pressure myself a little bit to better my time from last year, to try and set another personal record.  But then there are those nagging concerns.  So now I am thinking if I mention them here, to you, I can release them and just go into the race with a clear mind the way I have entered all my other successful running experiences.  The way I have always managed to have the most fun.  So, here goes.

1.  My training has really not been the best.  As I think I might have mentioned in this post about a run I took with Ira Glass (sorta), I originally planned on running the full marathon.  I even got through a few 18-20 mile runs.  The thing was, none of them felt all that good.  There was always something.  Three colds; hands that wouldn’t warm up even when I stopped on the side of the road, crouched down on the floor and stuck them in my armpits (I did this, don’t mock me); hips that ached with every step.  All this happened, I know, because I was lazy about doing speed work and strength training.  Did I do something about it?  No, obviously not.  My last super long run was meant to be 20 miles long.  About 12 miles in, my body and my brain had had it.  I called it quits.  It was then that I decided to drop down to the half.  It was, overall, a bad training cycle.  Never the best thing to ease a mind.

2.  I bought new shoes and they hurt.  They are the same models as my old ones and, added bonus, they look really cool!  Bright blue and green!  You can see me from miles away!  My first few runs they felt good, albeit a little stiff, but that’s normal for Mizunos in my experience.  But then after an 8 mile run last week, when I was running the downhill stretch to my house, I felt this super uncomfortable feeling on my right ankle bump (learned that term in anatomy class).  It hurt!  And now it hurts every time I run in them.  It’s too late to buy new shoes so what do I do?  Risk injury by wearing a pair of shoes that already have about 300 miles too many on them or risk bruising the shit out of my ankle bump and having an uncomfortable race?  You’ll be able to find me stuck over there, right between a rock and a hard place.

3.  I think my period is about to start and I am pretty sure the heaviest day is going to be the day of the race.  I won’t go into that.  Just read about it here.

But then there are some really good things!

1.  My running friend, C, is probably going to run with me and we will talk through the whole thing, leading to a slower time but a higher quotient of fun!

2.  Music!  Brass bands!  Other kinds of bands!  All along the route!

3. Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan are running it.  C. and I plan on stalking them down and making them be friends with us.  And then we will all be buddies and we will run together, only Kara and Shalane will be fastest, C. will be almost keeping up with them, and I will be bringing up the rear with my hands in my armpits like an asshole but then we’ll all make jokes about it and it will be great.

4. After the race, regardless of my time, I will take a shower, wash my hair and then drink the biggest bloody mary that New Orleans has to offer.  I have very high expectations for this.

5.  For the glorious week following the race, I will not set foot behind a bar.  In a bar?  Yes.  At a bar?  Yes.  Behind a bar?  Oh, hell no.

6.  When I get back to New York on Saturday, March 2nd it is only 24 hours until the AT&T American Cup, the first big elite gymnastics meet of the 2013 season.  Don’t get me wrong, I could do without Tim Daggett, Elfi Schlegel,  Andrea Joyce, and Al Trautwig’s overuse of the words “catastrophic” and “phenomenal” and I will be writing a letter to NBC telling them to get rid of one of those clowns and hire Alicia Sacramone because she rocks.  Those things aside, I will watch that meet and I will love every second of it.

Oh, hey, look at that. Three bad things, six good things. And those were just the good things that went directly from brain to fingers to keyboard.  I bet I could even think of more if I didn’t have to start packing. (Fingers crossed I don’t forget something important like a sports bra.  That would go into the list of bad things.)  So, okay, my training didn’t go great, I’ll probably be bleeding and I have uncomfortable shoes.  People have run through worse.  I think it will be fine.  And if it isn’t?  I’ll just have to have TWO ginormous* bloody marys.

*Totally didn’t know that was actually a word.  Another wonderful addition by us Americans, no doubt

Remembering Cell Phone Numbers is Important

4 Mar

This morning I ran a half marathon in New Orleans. My friends Cherie and Carie came to support me and we decided, after much deliberation, to convene after the race “near the trees.” Seeing as how the race ended in a park this was probably not the most well thought out plan. There were trees everywhere. Lots of trees and lots of people.  I searched for Cherie and Carie high and low but couldn’t find them. “Why not just call them?” you might wonder.  That’d be because I ingeniously left them with all my things, phone included.  To add insult to injury I, like most cell phone-reliant people these days, have nobody’s number memorized. What to do? After a good 45 minutes of searching I had a moment of clarity: call my mom, have her call my dad, dad has boyfriend’s number from a missent text incident, have boyfriend call friends (that’s right…I forgot the last 4 digits of Pete’s number…sorry Pete).  Borrowed phone, called mom to tell her to pass the message that I would be waiting by the water fountain outside the medical tent, dad was playing tennis. Drats! New plan. Call old friend! He has Carie’s number! Okay, awesome. Borrow another phone, call friend, wrong number. Apparently the only number I have memorized is my boss’s.  Told the nice medical tent phone owner that if my boss called he should not answer…there would be too much confusion. Then, I saw her… Cherie! A lucky encounter 1.5 hours after the end of the race.  I will now proceed to a tattoo parlour and get some numbers tattooed on the inside of my forearm. Or just make some flash cards.