Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Commoner's Birthday Present

For the second week in a row I was off to a city to stay in a hotel and go to an expo and run a super long race.

I'm pretty sure that the fantastic perfection of The Chicago Marathon has ruined every single race to follow.  That's too bad but also awesome.  I now have to put Chicago in a little pocket of perfection and lock it away until next time.

But I was going to give this race a chance because I spent a lot of money on it and because everyone thought it was so great.  People talk about this race all of the time. You enter a lottery to get in and when people don't get in they are distraught. 
I love expos.  I've talked about that.  So much fun to wander around and by fun runner things.  Plus I had not bought my 26.2 sticker for my car yet.  I had business to do besides picking up my number.

I got my number. That was easy.  They gave me a blue tag congratulating me for my many nike plus running miles.  I earned shoe laces but the line was too long so I skipped it.  Once we left the number line-all we saw were lines EVERYWHERE-lines and lines of women.   Lines of them. 

And lines were really long to take your picture in front of mediocre racing signs like these.

And worst of all -there was nothing to really buy.  So we left and went to Niketown or whatever they named it this time. I go to this store ALL THE TIME.  I scope out products that I will later buy at the outlet.  

 But-there were just millions of women every where.  You couldn't walk and you couldn't pick anything up without someone snatching it from you.  I'm like really ladies?  I just finished the Chicago Marathon LAST WEEK-this stuff is over priced!  I bought one little tshirt.  that was it.  Seriously items here were 10 dollars more than the same ones that said Chicago last week.

I'll give them this....they got my name on the NIKE wall so it's all good.

This race started at zero dark thirty.  Really we were running in the dark.  I hated everything about it.  No one even looked to see if I was in the right corall and we stood around while the announcer said the same thing over and over.

"Welcome to 30000 women and a few good men"  Geesh get a new script.  I'm not impressed and there are NO Kenyans to race against.  Oh well, maybe I can win.

I wasn't sure how I would feel given that I raced the marathon last week but I didn't have to worry about being last since about 75% of the women in this race didn't run.  They walked, they strolled, they stopped for pictures at every mile marker and the top of every hill.  

Running was hard because the race had a 2 mile up hill and the road was crowded with strolling women.  I kept thinking-I have a lot of friends who actually run and want to be here and do you know how long it takes to walk 13 miles?  ALL DAY.  

But no matter what I will run in San Francisco every time I can.  I love love love San Francisco and I love running it.  There were no fans or cheering sections like Chicago just some sleepy residents.  I didn't care.

I caught up with the 11:30 pacer and given that I was afraid of breaking something from over use I was happy to follow him and the other 4 runners he was with.  

The aid stations were really under manned and on random sides of the street and often out of aid.  At mile 10 they gave us chocolate bars -which I love but not while running.  How do you eat chocolate and run?  I spit it out.  Then again most people walk this race so that makes chocolate eating easier.

By mile 11 I felt really good and unleashed the hounds and ran really fast.  I felt great. Running 13 miles is easy when you have been training for 26. freaking 2.

 Then we got to the bottle neck finish.

So poorly organized.  It was cold-it was freezing-it was over crowded-GIVE THE HEATING BLANKETS FIRST PEOPLE!  And people were still taking selfies. Finally the guy in the tux gave us the little blue box but I was cold and I had to find Rob and there was no cell service and I was cold.

Later that day -when I got home-I opened the little blue box (my first little blue box I realized) and I saw the necklace.

And I said to everyone who asked


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Commoner Loves Chicago

Hey!  I did it! I ran a marathon and I LOVED it.  I haven't uploaded my pictures so you will have to wait another time for them.  But luckily with Google Images I can steel other people's. Do you see me there?  I'm in orange!

The first  morning when I got up to get DUNKIN DONUTS I knew things had changed because there were runners EVERYwhere.  I noticed some things right away.  
  1. They all wore running clothes all of the time.
  2. They were from a lot of other countries
They were young and skinny.  (that should be a 3)

The expo was so much fun.  It pays to stay in an event hotel because they take care of everything for you.  We shuttled on a school bus to the expo and off we went.  

I love expos I love being around the runners and seeing all of the things that are coming on the market.  I love buying event shirts, but when you make them Nike event shirts, that just does me in.  I can't even guess how much I bought.

I didn't tell anyone that I had been really sick all week.  I had the whole thing, sinuses, headaches, achy throat.  But somehow I slept well and woke up with a clear head.  So down to the lobby to get coffee.  We weren't going to leave until 6:30 but here it was 5 AM and people were dressed and ready to go.  Panic sets in.

But I remained calm and we began getting dressed (I had my shoes but lost the safety pins) and marched out with the masses for the very secure very safe (thank you chicago police) starting line.  It was far........

You know why the Kenyans win all the time?  They get a head start.  They started at 7:30 I started at 8:45.  How is that right?  That's okay -the weather was perfect and I was so excited.

Here are some things I can tell you about my run
  •  marathon training was the hardest thing I've done and just as rewarding as it was hard.
  • I really wanted coffee in the first 5 miles.  I was tired-gatorade wasn't cutting it.
  • I made eye contact with every person in the crowd-read every sign-high fived every hand.  (I didn't take any unofficial snacks though)
  • I never hit the wall
  • 5 hours is a long time to spend running -but the time went really fast.
  • I loved being surrounded by all the cement and big buildings
  • I smiled at the cameras
  • I drank from every feed station and thanked every volunteer who gave me anything
  • The security was great
  • Those people who start out really fast?  They hit the wall and started walking at mile 16-I didn't have to do that
  • Chicago is a fantastic city-they have these strange 3 level roads
  • Dunkin Donuts make everything better
  • After a marathon you are supposed to wear your medal every where you go.  In fact if you are going to be in a marathon just wear running clothes all the time.
  • You can be surrounded by SWAT teams, police, and cameras in the sky and never feel afraid-or even really notice
  • Everyone should go to a running race and cheer for all the people.
  • There are a lot of runners who don't run 3 hour marathons and are runners at your pace and speed.  I didn't know that existed.
  • You can't really run through feed stations because you will fall on the cups on the ground. 
I am so glad I did this.  I know next year they are going to a lottery system.  I hope that I get to do this again-it was the perfect experience.

And to all of you that read my blog, listened to me talk about runs on facebook and wished me well?  Thanks for taking part in this with me and you are all invited to my next big event -graduation from graduate school.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Marathon Was Great!

It went really well but right now I am too tired to type!


I would have made my goal if it weren't for the bathroom stop

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Commoner is Finished

Today was my last run in marathon training.  A great 2 mile run -it felt really good. Regardless of what happens Sunday I survived the training.  I would do it again in a heart beat.  Yes I said that.

 I was sad when I was done because like I told you after I hated Marathon training I like it a lot.  Here are some things I will miss about marathon training.

I will miss eating whatever I want whenever want.  I found that I was hungry all of the time but could not eat very much of anything.  I didn't have to worry about what I ate and I could eat all the carbs I wanted.  My metabolism was revving all the time.  I will miss that very much.

 I will miss having a mental focus to place all my stress.  A lot has been happening in my life these days-they've all been good but they all mean stress.  It was nice to be able to focus all that stress on the marathon training.  Oh no! I have a paper due, but I'm really worried about that 15 mile run this weekend!
 I will miss the fact that for the first time ever I like the way my legs look.  When I was a cyclist I had these huge muscles.  I've always had thick legs-but running made wearing shorts a breeze all summer.
This is not how I look in shorts but hey! I wasn't going to show my legs to you!

I will miss not having to do anything on Sundays because I had my long run and then I was recovering by not wearing makeup and putting on sweats and taking a 2 hour nap.  

A short little 5 mile run won't merit that laziness-I mean recovery for me.

But most of all?  I'll miss marathon training.

See you on the other side!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Commoner

I have a few things to say-I'm too tired for words.  3 biggest thoughts of October in Pictures.

 I'm in denial about the above.  How am I that old?  Where did the time go?  I'm so glad I've been running away from that while training for the marathon the past 4 months and that I will be so busy that day I won't even be able to think about it.

I've had enough with that marathon.  I'm tired of talking about it and thinking about it and worrying about it. I'm not tired of the running.  But really? I couldn't rest on my laurels and stick with super fun Half Marathons?  Why am I doing this?  It's my friggin birthday .  I'm so old!  However...I will be the youngest person in my age group so I should win right?
Here is another one of my bright ideas.  I can't have a regular mid life crisis.  you know-buy a sports car, wear super short skirts, go to Vegas.  No my midlife crisis involves running a marathon and going for my Masters Degree.  

I have a great gig as a teacher.  I work in the best school and have the best kids! What am I thinking? I'm thinking I don't want to be one of those teachers who are old and cranky in the classroom.  I need to have options.

Didn't I think this was going to be hard?  This is so hard! They've changed college since I made dean's list at Post.  They have new ways of writing papers, articles to read which I can't even get through, and of course I'm going to school in Silicon Valley.   Everyone in Silicon Valley is super smart.  I'm not kidding.  This was the dumbest thing I've done since-well see number 2.

I'm tired. I have to go to sleep.  Have a great rest of the week.