Marathon Day -1

For the record, I think Richard gave me the advice to eat a huge pre-marathon LUNCH instead a huge supper. So, the company caf offerings were: fish sandwich, potato pancake, and gumbo. I had all three, chucking the bread from the fish sandwich. The gumbo was a bad idea. The rest was good.

I’m antsy, but I have to be, right? Every little ache is magnified. I feel like, “What if *that* little sore spot on my foot is going to erupt into something horrible?” I wonder about the back twang. My throat feels a little raw. You know, basically, everything’s okay, but I’m so hyper-aware that EVERYTHING feels wrong. Broken. Bent.

Continue Reading

Tunnel Vision

Richard mentioned that lots of people at the New York marathon complained of tunnel vision over the last few miles. I think I’m having the mental equivalent right now, but it’s of my choosing.

Inside my head, I’ve started a process to focus on how I’m going to complete this marathon. I’ve printed two pace bands that show my mile splits for VERY conservative race numbers. One’s a half hour slower than the other. I’ve started to build a few sentences together to remind me why I’m going to finish. I’m trying to carve them down to bare minimum words, so that they’re easy to remember.

Continue Reading

Harriers… Who Knew?

For all of you who said I was taper crazy in my last post, it turns out there’s a real game that approximates what I was talking about. In fact, Tracy sent me that link and information on a wild bunch o’ folks. Read their game names. Man oh man. Here’s the best “official” site I could find. Harrier.net

I’m still sore in the back, but feeling slightly better. I did absolutely nothing this morning. I’m trying not to tempt it.

Continue Reading

Two Things…

First, could all race directors check around and realize that ALL the races on or around Thanksgiving are called Turkey Trot or some such? C’mon… a little variety, folks!

Second, do you think it’d be fun to get a bunch of runners together in a small state park (i.e. lots of trails to run, but not so big that anyone could get lost) and have a MASSIVE game of team tag?

Continue Reading

Boiling Down

For all you experienced marathoners, did you have a weird feeling in the week leading up to your race that you were “boiling down” to a kind of stripped-down essence of all that you’d been doing?

I have this feeling. Part of it deals with twanging pains in my lower back six days (now five) before the race, but I have this sense of just stopping what I’ve been doing, getting inside my skull, and running the race several times in there.

Continue Reading

Six Days

This coming Saturday is my marathon.

I woke this morning at 4:34, headed out the door and hit the gym just after it opened. Mudvayne was blaring on the flatpanels everywhere (I didn’t know who they were, but appreciated the smashing music while lifting). I went through my weight routine, lunging with 50 pound dumbells, pressing the same overhead for shoulders, benching two 65 pound dumbells, and then rowing with 70s. I did my planks (bridges, others call them), my side ones, then that lower back thingy where you fall over the front of the machine and then come back up (know what I mean?) Then a repeat of it all, throwing in a deep low row to continue my efforts to turn my lats into giant king cobra shapes.

Continue Reading

Hauling

I smashed the hell out of my five miles today. My 5K time was 27 minutes. If I could reproduce that at a trail race 5K, I’d kill my PR by fully 8 minutes. Not a bad chunk of change, eh? The other two miles, I never time. I jump off the gerbil and run around the crappy track with the strange view of the swimming pool, the basketball arena, and the women’s gym area.

After my little run, I changed up and hit the metal. Why is it I can lift 200 or so pounds on a flat bench with a bar, but I can only lift two 60 pound dumbells while pressing that way? Richard? Anyone?

Continue Reading

A Little Moment

A coworker was giving away some clothing he’d received as a gift the night before: a couple of hats and one of those pullover windbreakers like golfing and baseball people like to wear. He gave me a hat and said, “that windbreaker won’t really fit well on you.” Of course, I *had* to try it on. It was a Size L.

And of course, it fit fine. I looked mildly superhero-shaped, because it made my shoulders seem extra broad (and they’re fairly broad on their own), and okay, because it wasn’t exceptionally roomy (though not entirely tight).

Continue Reading

Vision

George Carlin was interviewed the other day, and I was struck by the fact he had a complete plan for his ambitions by the time he was thirteen. Not only did he know he wanted to be a professional entertainer, but he knew that he should start with radio first. Why? Because there he could work out his fears of performing in front of people because there wouldn’t be a live audience before him. Then, he’d do comedy. Stand-up. Then, he’d go on to be a film actor. Despite the fact a lengthy film career wasn’t to be, George hit all his goals in the order he planned to hit them. (And I think his role in Kevin Smith’s film counts, don’t you?)

Ask nearly anyone noted for doing what they do, and they say, “I have always known I’d be a painter” or “I used to make up little songs and sing them to kids in the neighborhood.” They have a clear sense of their inner vision, the guiding platform of their life.

Continue Reading