Showing posts from October, 2012

Marine Corps Marathon: race report (guest post)

Coming into the Marine Corps Marathon my biggest challenge, enemy and hurdle appeared to be the miles ahead and the voices in my head. I knew I can run faster and farther than I did at Philadelphia last fall. I knew I could run faster and farther than I did at National this spring. In both of those races I hit a wall where I simply could not push any more and needed time to walk and slow down before running again. My goal was to push that wall all the way back to Iwo Jima, to shut down the voices in my head, which always give up long before my body. I thought those voices would be my biggest enemy.  But before I could get to that wall I needed to face something I had not expected. The day before the race, the day before my 40th birthday, I went to packet pickup and got my number and shirt, when the Marine who handed me my shirt said “Semper Fi.” I said thank you and turned away, just in time for the image of my father, a mean bastard, SOB who I spent the first half of my life hat

deep rest

I really feel as if Cedar Point was my season-ending race, and everything that came after was just a bunch of half-assed training shenanigans. I wrestled hard with my bicycle motivation in particular throughout October, and last Saturday was thrilled to unpack it from the car and back into the basement, where it has lain, still in pieces and covered with mud, for the past week.   I decided a few days before B2B that I was going to take a solid week off after the race.  I've read a pile of articles/blog posts/chapters in books recently about rest following a long season, and it appealed to me quite strongly.  Last year I felt the same drop in motivation , although it didn't show up until after I ran a half in late November and was staring down a long winter of trainer workouts and time in the pool.  From my training log, I can see that I took off four days in a row, and that was enough.  Poking back through my log even further, I don't think I've taken more than a


So, for someone who is accustomed to documenting every inane detail of her life online, the past few weeks have been really difficult. I've felt like I've had nothing to blog about, but in reality, I've had nothing that I've been able to blog about. Mostly for fear of jinxing myself. I am terrible about keeping secrets, so I've been a giant pain in the internet's ass and have gotten a lot of WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON emails from friends. I did start a new job about three weeks ago, and it's a fabulous job filled with amazing people and I leave every day happier than I was when I got there. And I'm pretty sad to be leaving them, along with everyone else in DC, in a few short weeks. Because last night I accepted a new job, and we are moving . To Boulder, Colorado

a friendly ass

While we were standing around thinking about using the porta-potties one more time Saturday morning, the poet took a couple of quick action shots. I got called out for not posting the most important shot he requested. I fear this is a sign of old age, or perhaps I'm straying too far from core blog content. So I offer this as a penance for my thoughtless error. I had to dig around in the archives, but it turns out I've been storing up a bit of a collection. Heart you, friend.  And the internet hearts your ass.

Beach to Battleship Half: race report

The poet joked that I should call this race, "Beach to Convention Center" instead, to address the elephant right away.  I DNF'd.  I have a lot to say about it and I'm not 100% pleased about the way it happened, obviously, but in the end it was my choice. We drove down Friday morning, caravan-ing with Emily.  The two of us decided together to sign up for this race WAY back in January, and I was glad that we were both still toeing the line.  I had a last-minute crisis of confidence on the way down, mostly because we were expending a lot of time and effort to get to the race, and I was worried that I was going to have a really bad day based on my lackadaisical approach to training over the preceding 5-6 weeks and then I've wasted the poet's life on another race day for nothing and OMG spiral of mental disaster, there I go, falling off the cliff.  However, a chat with Sonja (as usual) set me straight, and somehow I got it in my head that I didn't need to wor

puppy love graham

Dear Graham, You really scared us this year.  Not appreciated. I know that you were sad and lonely while we were gone, and that you didn't do it on purpose.  That's why you got to come to Ohio with us instead of staying home. You're three years old now, and it's easy to say that those three years have been some of the best of my life. You wiggled into my life right around the time I met your daddy, and you've been here through every minute of the story of us.  I loved you the first day I picked you out of the box. I know life has changed a lot for you since then.   You got a sister, and then another one, and you don't understand why they steal your toys and your snuggling, but they are your family too. What I've learned from you is that love comes from everywhere.  It's simple and uncomplicated and it is what saved your life.   It's the reason you are standing here, right now, with your head on my leg while I type, begging me wi

wordless wednesday

After WEEKS of whiny workout notes and "I don't wannnnnna ride" mornings hiding under the covers, my cycling mojo finally poked its little head out of the ground yesterday AM for my last (sigh) ride before my race this weekend. I had a decent ride, but it's easy to tell that my fitness has lost some depth.  That feeling was magnified this morning on the run when, as usual, 45 seconds at race pace left me gasping and snorting and wondering how the F I'm going to do that for 2+ hours AFTER swimming and biking (spoiler: I'm not).  Maybe I'll take bets on how badly I'll PW each distance.  Ohhh, a BLOG CONTEST?!  Sure, why not?  Guess my times at each distance.  Winner gets a beer/cupcake on me.  Live far away?  I'll mail you a pile of Gu.  Hate Gu?  How about a visor, un-sweated upon.  Don't want to shade your precious eyes from the sun?  Fine, I'll mail you Molly.  Don't like golden retrievers?  Then why, exactly, are you here? H

redhead wedding

A certain redhead got hitched this past weekend so I trucked out to Michigan to celebrate her joy.  The first thing I did when getting off the plane, however, was hop in Kevin's car and go for a swim.  My shoulder started acting up while we were swimming but I did manage to scare the shit out of him with my favorite "swim underneath the person doing freestyle and make scary faces" trick so I called it a win.  No pictures of either of us in a bathing suit to put here, you're welcome. The wedding was actually officially subtitled "blogger bonanza" so it seemed only appropriate that I shack up with another one of my favorite redheads and party the city down. We managed to eat our way through the rehearsal dinner and sleep for a solid nine hours before waking up to discover that our long run plans had been thwarted by 40º weather and pouring rain.  Which meant we hit the crappy treadmills in the hotel gym for a solid double-digit run, and then ate our

three things thursday

In order.... 1. Swim.   My back got crunchy and twisty after Cedar Point, and then as stress descended all of my normal extra optional swims got pitched.  That means I've only been in the pool a couple of times in the past few weeks.  On the one hand, when I showed up on Sunday to swim with Caroline for a small chunk of hundreds, my incredibly rested shoulders pumped out some surprising times.  On the other hand, I feel like I've really lost my feel for the water and am flailing a bit.  I'm looking forward to a ton of time in the pool this winter and maybe, finally, possibly joining a master's group to give me the beat-down I need to make progress. 2. Bike.   Motivation is rock-bottom.  I love riding when it's cool and brisk, but the crazy weather-roulette of the past couple of weeks has meant that I've ended up doing some rides in the under-50º weather and it's destroying any desire I have to really be on the bike.  I missed more than a few rides i

mostly wordless wednesday

I've stopped wanting to make a really big fuss about my birthday as I've gotten older and crankier, but I had a lot of fun this weekend with friends and family.  It started out with a trapeze class (never knew I was afraid of jumping off a tiny podium 25 feet off the ground): Saturday was spent riding with friends and hanging out with family: And Sunday night brought the home version of the DC cupcake tour. So I don't necessarily think that such a celebration was in order, but I'm happy to have closed out another year feeling surrounding by love... and completely stuffed with frosting.