Me & Chrissie Wellington Post-Run Around Green Lake
Such an impressive lady. Not only is she an incredible athlete, she’s a good human that wants to good things for others and the world. Hopefully some of her awesomeness rubbed off on me during the group jaunt around Green Lake today.
In other news, I’m not as nice as Chrissie is. There were some CRAZY superfans out there and I judged them for being batshit crazy. Yes, I did. But being witness to their insanity was pretty entertaining.
Thank you, Lauren Fleshman, for talking about what we all think about: poop. I’ve raced 3 marathons, soon-to-be 3 halfs, and a 70.3 triathlon, and I think about poop every.single.time. Not in a “I think about shit” way, meaning nothing of importance, but literally, poop. Will I ever not think about it before a race? Probably not. But it’s nice to know that I’m not the only psycho out there.
You or I may just have to go at any moment, really. But after all that training it better not take even one minute away from my race. Yeah, I’m fast. You think that a quick porta potty stop doesn’t cost much, but having to stop is mentally hard, and then having to run again and get back up to pace is even harder.
For days before a race I plan all my meals around the goal of not worrying about it during my race. I practice new meals, food combinations and meal timing on long run weekends to simulate the race and how things will, uh, affect me. I practice my hydration, test new gels, gu’s, bars, electrolyte replacements and then test them again to make sure my stomach’s acceptance wasn’t a fluke.
Now, pee. I don’t worry so much about pee. Much more discreet and much less uncomfortable. Not that I’ve done it, but if I had a peemergency I could be fine with going anywhere, at any time. I’ve been told it’s common courtesy to make sure no one is tailing you before you go, but hey, I sort of think that if you’re drafting payback’s a bitch! And I sweat so much that by the time I’m done with my run you’d have no clue whether it was sweat or otherwise. Heck, I probably wouldn’t know, either! And now you’ll always wonder, huh? 🙂
On Sunday morning, thanks to daylight savings, I woke up at 6am ready to roll and just couldn’t get back to sleep. My body felt like it was 7am, meaning only a matter of time ’till rubber meets the pavement, and I was craving a breakfast treat and coffee. As I was debating whether peanut butter or warm blankets would win out I remembered that the ING NYC Marathon guns fired at 6:30am PST. In the end, it was the TV that got me out of bed.
With coffee and fuel (banana peanut butter toast) I watched the top women and men battle it out for 26.2 miles. I was thrilled to see Mutai win after getting to follow in his footsteps (hours later, and much much more slowly) at Boston last year, especially since his time there can’t be considered a record due to the downhill course. Ridiculous, downhill at that grade is not even close to easier! I was pulling for Mary Keitany, especially with everyone proclaiming her pace too fast for anything but a crash and burn. Alas she didn’t save quite enough juice for the end, but man, she has guts.
I wish that I could live in a world of constant race viewing; watching a marathon just never becomes less inspiring to me. As the pro’s finish you think, “wow, they are amazing athletes!” and the first age groupers cross the line you think, “shit, they’re this good and have ‘real’ jobs too!” and the next groups keep coming in the crowd excitement grows to see their family, friends and people just like them celebrate a major accomplishment. And as the last runners make their way to the finish line you think about the demons that they battled to even get to the starting line, and know that their whole day has been a fight. But they still made it. Maybe it is just me, but I could honestly watch the same marathon over and over on loop, and every single time it would be as uplifting as the last.
After watching just a few hours of the ING NY Marathon I pulled the trigger and registered for the Seattle Half Marathon. I’ve been training for it for weeks, and there was no question that I wanted to race it. But watching the world come together for NY made me want to be part of that club, and the Seattle Half is my way to rejoin the running world, for now.
I’m sort of kicking myself right now, as I sit here in Hawaii, for not better planning our trip. We’re lucky to be here, but how awesome would it have been to extend it for an additional weekend out on the big island for the big event, the Ironman World Championships? Answer: It would have been awesome. Very very awesome.
I’m not set on making Kona a mandatory part of my triathlon resume, but I would have loved to support and cheer those on that have made getting there their entire life. Because that’s what it takes; whether you are a pro or an age grouper it’s competitive, and to get to Kona you have to make both qualifying and training for that one day your.whole.life. I’m pretty dedicated, and fit into the 100%-all-in-or-won’t-play-at-all category of person, but Kona. Deep breath. It’s so inspiring to feel part of something that special and big though, an event that means a lot to everyone but that at the same time means something huge but different to every single person racing.
I’ve put my internet stalking capabilities to good use and am currently following most of the pro’s and products that are in Kona on Twitter. It’s been a really fun way to learn how things work and what happens over there. What’s the underpants run, you ask? Who has heard of a beer brand as an “official” recovery sponsor? Where do lots of athletes stay (no, I won’t be in-person stalking)? Much of the information I’m learning is inconsequential, but it’s fun to know about and feel not so far from. I know, I know, “Welcome to the twittersphere newbie.” It’s such a good way to learn from afar though, especially when you are a listener before a doer, like me.
I very much plan to continue my twitter stalking past Kona and into next year, and hopefully will continue to pick up tips along the way. And I VERY VERY much plan to try to watch some of Kona live next Sunday. My monopolizing of the TV will be a good early b-day present (goodbye NFL, hello triathlon!), anyway…