Thursday, May 30, 2013

End of School Crazy

First-my blog is totally wigging out.  Apparently it no longer lets anyone comment, including me.  Super annoying.  Working on that.  Stay tuned for a fix and a new look asap.  If I say something that strikes you, feel free to email me.  Unless I offend you.  Then...well, then just go eat some ice cream or something.  It will make you feel better.

In other, much more exciting news...
School is out!!

Seriously, I could not be happier.  I know I'm not the only mom who got to this point.  Or the only one who was even more excited than the kids that it's summer vacation.  In fact Aaron sent me to this gem as proof.  Amen.

But as anyone with school kids knows, we must not only find a way to trudge on through homework and projects and deadlines for the last few weeks of school, we also must have every performance possible.
It's not that I don't enjoy these.  I honestly do.  But with this many kids you can imagine what the schedule builds up to in the last couple of weeks of school.  Thankfully this year topped out at 3 events in one day and they all happened to be at the same school, so it was doable.  And none of them overlapped each other!  It was nice not to have to pick a favorite child for the day and leave another feeling neglected and unloved.

And now, a small sampling of the joys we were a part of at the end of this school year.

First up-the orchestra concert.
Both Malia and Taylor play the cello.  I love this.  Next year Alaina will join them in orchestra on the viola.  With any luck I will get my rear in gear and dust off the strings in my closet and start playing again and we'll have a nice little mini orchestra at home.
I didn't get any pictures of the actual concert, but couldn't let the evening go by without preserving this moment.  You know how toddlers and babies make for great series of pictures taken in rapid succession?  Turns out teenagers do too.

I am embracing Malia's fashion choices.  I don't watch Dr Who but apparently the bow tie was a big hit.

After that was the choir concert.  I don't have any photos.  I do have video.  I've already said more than enough about that event.

We had the middle school awards presentation.

I made Malia hold Emily while I wrangled Sam.  It was easier than wrangling him last year while I was timing contractions through this assembly.  But when Malia was accepting her awards I wrangled the 2yr old and the 1yr old and ended up with amazing pictures like these:

Stunning, aren't they?  Feel free to hire me to take blurry unedited non-pictures of your kids as well.

Next up was the 8th grade dinner dance.

Until this year the middle school has been 7th and 8th grade, moving over to the high school starting in 9th grade.  Because there were 1800 kids in 7th-8th grade and 9th grade didn't fit.  The new middle school opens this fall so Malia will actually be in jr high still, but the kids all felt pretty grown up to have a big end of year shin dig. 
But we shouldn't act too grown up for long. 

We had the second grade dance festival.
In my brilliance this was the only picture I managed to get of Dallin.  He's the one next to the girl all in pink in the middle of this picture-suit jacket with jeans and tennis shoes.  Awesome.

This event cracks me up.  Always a favorite of mine to watch a bunch of 7 and 8yr olds doing "traditional" fold dances.  This year included the Macarena.  Obviously.

Apparently this was a favorite of Sam's as well.

He really got into it.

While Charlotte just enjoyed her view.

And Emily was about done with being carted from one school event to another.

Sixth grade performed plays that they wrote.
Alaina's group was The Real Story of Red Riding Hood.

Fourth grade had reader's theater, Jacob narrated.

I bribed Emily through one more performance.

She may have ended up a little sticky, but she was happy and quiet.  Totally worth it.

Rounding out this week we had Kindergarten graduation and 6th grade promotion.
How could you not love Kindergarten graduation?  Dang cute little kids.

Except mine at nearly a head taller than the rest isn't so little.
He's the tallest head in the middle of the back row.

But still dang cute.  So into their songs.  I continue to take awesome pictures.  One big blur of enthusiasm.
And the cutest Kindergarten teacher ever.  Hoping we are lucky enough for Charlotte to land in her class next year.

I'm not sure why I feel the need to capitalize Kindergarten.  But I like it that way.  Even if it is incorrect.  Take that grammar police.

Alaina is moving on from elementary school.  This girl is beside herself with excitement to be moving on to middle school.

She received a couple of awards.

Um, overachiever?  No idea where she would get that from.

Before I go, two friend pictures I had to share.
Alaina and her friend Kayla.

Don't worry, Kayla is also taller than me.

And go HERE to check out Lincoln and his sweet little friend.  He walked her home a couple of times after school when her mom wasn't there yet (read the exact second the bell rang) and it kind of stuck.

At least someone in our family has some hope for height!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ogden part 2 - the actual race

The morning was beautiful.  Overcast and drizzling, clouds hanging low around the mountains and into the meadow where the start area was.  This is where we got to hang out before the race.


Obviously this pic was taken on a different day, but if you are going to have to hang out in rain somewhere, this isn't a bad place to do it.

This is what things looked like down at mile 13-the half marathon start where Aaron's relay leg started.
Pretty much what it looked like up at the start too.

Down there they had tarps.

I think I may take one next time it looks like it will be raining at the start of a race.

Up at the marathon start, everyone huddled together around the fire barrels trying to stay warm and as dry as possible.  There was all of the usual runner chatting, the one big theme throughout the morning was the Salt Lake City Marathon that was one month ago, which took place in a big rainstorm.  We all hoped that we could stick with the drizzle and avoid the downpour that the SLC runners got.  A number of people there had also run SLC, there was a lot of laughing at the fact that it was raining for this race too.

I started getting antsy just sitting there, so I headed back to the port-a-potty line, knowing that it was getting longer by the minute and I would be standing there for at least 15 minutes already.  I think we all spent a little bit more time than necessary once we got in, just because of the shelter from the rain!  Once I was out there was still about 25min till start, but that tends to go pretty quickly.  I wandered around a bit seeing if there was anyone I know (I did see a girl who grew up in my neighborhood, though she was far enough away I didn't chase her down), and then checked my gear bag. This left me without a jacket as I knew I didn't want to run in my jacket.  I had brought some makeshift arm sleeves (cut socks) figuring I would toss them at some point, so I was a little warmer.
I headed out to the road instead of slogging around in the field (that was slowly turning into a swamp) for any longer.  I chatted with a sweet old lady from Florida, who offered me a jacket.  She had a waterproof jacket, and the fashionable garbage bag poncho, so though I refused at first to take her other jacket, she insisted and I caved.  She had brought it as a throw-away anyway, but was plenty warm and dry.  Sweet lady.  She was running her 50th marathon by the way.
I ended up next to another lady who was also in a tank and skirt, but she was shaking and shivering and covered in goosebumps, so I offered to share the jacket.  She also refused at first, but quickly got over the awkward idea of her in one sleeve, me in the other and the two of us huddled in the middle as the sky started to open up and the rain came down harder.  Did I mention it was only about 40 degrees?

A few minutes later good old Jeff Galloway gave the countdown (pretty cool!) and we were off.
(at that point jacket girl took off, it definitely would have been awkward to run together like that!)

I had mulled over my running plans so many times, and even as the gun sounded I still wasn't sure how I wanted to approach this race.
Knowing that had things not fallen apart over the past couple of weeks I should have been able to run a 3:45-3:50, I decided I would hang out near the 4:00 pacer and see how I felt.

About a half a mile in I realized that I don't run well near a pack of people.
My Garmin was tucked under my sleeve anyway, so I decided that I would just run by feel, see how things went, and avoid peeking at the clock.  I ended up a little in front of the 4:00 pacer, in a spot with considerably fewer people, and fell into a comfortable pace.

I was a little surprised at how little downhill there was in the first miles of the race, I expected more simply due to the fact that we were coming out of a canyon.  Technically it was down, but it sure felt flat.
The view was amazing.  The gray skies and rain made everything look so green, it really was incredibly beautiful.  I was feeling good, the rain wasn't bothering me too much, and the temperature was just about perfect.

 Before I knew it I was at mile 5 where the aid station was manned by the Temple Riders motorcycle group.  I was excited to hit this point because I knew my aunt and uncle were going to be there among the volunteers.  I was able to find my uncle and gave him a nice soggy hug, but sadly missed my aunt.  Between the jam of people walking through the aid station and everyone as covered as possible to avoid the rain, I just couldn't see her.  Bummer.  But huge thanks to them and all of the amazing volunteers who spent their morning getting waterlogged to be out there supporting the runners!

Things continued on well, I was still feeling good, and my pace felt comfortable.  (I still hadn't looked to see what it was.)
But then the rain picked up again.
Around mile 10 that started getting to me.  I was completely water logged, my shoes and socks had already been soaked through for miles (at least I didn't need to bother avoiding big puddles anymore), and one of my earbuds quit working.  I was annoyed.  Then at mile 11 my mind hiccuped for the first time this race.  I was bugged enough that I am quite sure I actually said out loud (instead of just in my mind), "Why do I have mile 18 legs at mile 11?!  Ugh!"
No bueno.
This was also about where the guy who had been running next to me started puking his guts out.  That was fun.  At least I wasn't in that situation.  A good reminder that it definitely could have been worse!

I turned my focus to the fact that I was almost halfway done, and more importantly, Aaron's relay leg started at mile 13.  Realizing that I would get to see him in a matter of minutes was a pick-me-up that I desperately needed at that moment.    
When I passed the sign that indicated the relay exchange leg was 1/4mile away, I started crying.  Yep.  Between race brain and the hormone cocktail I was riding thanks to my body deciding that this was the perfect weekend for my first postpartum cycle (sorry, we runners specialize in TMI), I was a complete mess.

I managed to pull it together as I rounded the corner and could see up ahead where the relay runners were.  With everyone covered in jackets and tarps and blankets I couldn't tell for sure if it was Aaron right up front or not, but he didn't leave me wondering for long.

You see this smile?

(also-do you see that quad?  yes!)

That is true joy people.
(The smile, not the quad.  But the quad does make me pretty happy too.)

I was happy enough that I really didn't slow down much before barreling right into him.  Whoops.  Good thing he was standing firm because otherwise I think I would have knocked him over, along with the people standing closely behind him.  I was a little excited to see him.

After a big bear hug that I desperately needed, a kiss and a quick chat, I was back on my soggy way.

It was at that point I dared to take a peek at the Garmin.  1:56:57 at the halfway mark.  Between that and Aaron I was elated.  Some quick math made me realize that my original goal might actually still be within reach.

That was my demise, right there.

I had worked for a lot of days to let go of my goals and accept that whatever happened would happen, that the most important thing was running comfortably enough to not cause more problems with my back.  Once the number was back in my head I was thinking way too much.  At least I was smart enough to continue to keep the numbers covered under my sleeve so that I wasn't constantly looking.

Mile 14 was the only significant uphill part of the course.  Staying true to my desire to be a strong hill runner, I continued to run the whole thing.  It was awesome to pass dozens of people (I lost count in the high 20s), even if it was tough getting up there.  I did walk the aid station that wasn't too far past the top of the hill, which is when all of those people who run faster than I do but chose to walk the hill came blasting past me.  That was deflating.

Oh well.
Just keep moving.

I managed to stay in my groove until around mile 18 when the real downhills started to catch up with my quads.  And it was then that my mind started to let go.  It made sense (and I remember reasoning with myself that it made sense) that since my legs had felt like mile 18 back at mile 11, that now that I actually was at 18 they should feel like mile 25 legs.  I tried to push the thought out of my mind but boy, it wanted to stick around!  I continued to stick to my plan of running without walking, but my legs were not happy.  I knew I had been running slower for the past few miles, and just didn't seem to have the juice left to pick it back up again.
At mile 20 I ran past two girls on the side of the road with white all over their legs.  I realized that it was Icy Hot.  I turned around and begged some off of them.

Dear girls in the rainbow arm sleeves with the Icy Hot,
I love you.  My plan was to run with some Icy Hot in a ziploc bag in pocket so I had it if I needed it. (St George marathon aid stations spoiled me)  I forgot to get it out of my gear bag when I checked that at the start line.  You are the best.  You saved me.  Seriously.  Thank you.

Still running, fighting only my mind now that my legs were sufficiently placated by the Icy Hot.
It even prompted a smile again.  Kind of.

I was hanging in there mentally until I found myself in a crowd of people and the 4:00 pacer passed me at mile 22.  Dangit.
That was SO incredibly deflating.  I found myself fighting tears again.  I tried again to pick up the pace a little, but my body just didn't have enough left to go any faster.  I had fueled well, I had hydrated well,  I didn't feel the all over exhaustion, but my legs were just so ready to be done.  Feeling the effects of all of those days completely off during the previous three weeks was so frustrating.  The sinus infection and girly issues were not helping.  And my socks being so wet had caused them to bunch all up in my shoes and push in between my toes.  I could feel the skin rubbing off the sides of my toes. That was so incredibly annoying at that moment.

Running past the waterfall at the end of the canyon was a great reminder to just let it all go and enjoy the beauty that surrounded me on every side.  It was a continual effort, but focusing on looking around helped me get out of my head a little bit.

This is a peek of the canyon from Aaron's leg, I'm guessing it had to be around mile 16.

The last few miles dumped into a paved bike and pedestrian trail surrounded by trees with the river running along next to it.  It really was beautiful.  The whole course had been, and thank goodness for that.  I am grateful that I had enough presence of mind to realize that and to appreciate that. This trail rolled up and down, and each uphill was a little harder for me than the last.  At this point I was continually telling myself that I could finish this.  At each mile marker since 20 I had put myself on my regular run route at home, telling myself "this is just running home from ___".

I was obviously consumed mentally at this point.

Mile 24...only two more miles.  I could finish this.  I could keep running.  Suck it up, don't cry.  Just two more miles till you can dry off.
Mile 25.  So close.  SO close.  One foot in front of the other.  One soggy squishy foot in front of the other.  Just. keep. moving.
Mile 26.  Right there.  RIGHT there.  The few people that I had run right next to for the majority of the race found their finish kick and the distance between us started to grow.  I had no kick left.  Try as I may, digging deep and fighting with everything I had, there just wasn't any speed left.  Which made me want to cry again.  Dangit.

To the man on the sidelines who realized how much I was struggling with myself just two short-and yet infinitely long-blocks from the finish line, and looked at my race bib so he could encourage me by name, thank you.  Hearing "come on Catherine, you can do this! Hang in there!  You've made it!  You're there!  You're right there!", I cannot tell you how much that meant.  I'm sure that sounds silly, but it was awesome.  Thank you for encouraging me through that last little bit.

Those last steps took so long.  But finally, I crossed the finish line.

I saw the clock and immediately had mixed emotions.  It hadn't taken me as long as I had anticipated a couple of weeks ago when I couldn't run at all.  It wasn't the number I wanted to see.  It was a PR, by a decent amount.  It was slower than I know I am capable of running.  Back and forth, back and forth.
I snapped back to reality as I realized that the lady who crossed the finish line just a few seconds before me had really barely made it and was going down.  I turned to help catch her, to find that a volunteer was right there as well, and realized that it was a good thing someone else was watching her go down because my legs wanted to buckle when I stopped walking to turn to her.

Reality check-I was in pretty good shape comparatively.

My back still felt good.  My legs were tired but still (mostly) functioning.  My mind was completely exhausted.

I continued to walk through the finish chute, got my medal, grabbed some water and something to eat, and scanned the crowd for Aaron.  I couldn't find him anywhere.  I mulled around in the still pouring rain trying to find him, sloshing through the park that had become a swamp, grateful that my body was much more accepting of food than right after the last marathon.  After spending 10-15 minutes waiting for my bag and looking for Aaron, I realized that I just needed to get back to the hotel.  I had left my phone behind because I didn't want to risk it getting broken in my bag, so I had no way to connect with him.  I couldn't stop shaking and couldn't even get my teeth to stop chattering so I figured it was best that I get back inside and warm up.  Except I also didn't have a room key.  Dripping wet and shaking at the front desk I begged for a new key, then made my way back up to the room to my phone.
On my way back I had passed a number of people trying to walk back to their hotel that had to have been experiencing some degree of hypothermia...there were some people in bad shape out there!  I was selfishly glad that I wasn't one of them.  I may not be as fast as I'd like to be, but props to my body for being pretty darn resilient!

I got in touch with Aaron who was still on the bus trying to get back to the finish area from where his relay leg had ended.  I didn't feel so bad about being at the hotel when I found out he wasn't roaming around in the rain trying to find me!

(One more installment coming up with all of my post marathon thoughts and some of the damage from spending 4 hours running through the rain.  Then I'll be done, I promise.)


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wherein my snobbishness causes me to have an aneurysm at an end of school concert

(Still waiting on race pics from the marathon, I'll get back to that multi-part novel when I have those)

I freely admit that I am snobby when it comes to concerts and performances.
I was raised on concerts-instrumental and choral.

My grandmother worked for the Utah Symphony for many years, which allowed me the blessing of attending many of their performances through my childhood.  My dad has been a member of the Salt Lake Symphonic Choir my entire life (and for years before I existed), so multiple choir performances each year were also part of the norm.
My piano teacher was also a member of the Salt Lake Symphonic Choir, and was their accompanist, so you can be assured that there was much discussion of proper recital behavior, both on the side of performing and the side of being in the audience.
My parents were wonderful about exposing us to theater as much as they could make it possible, especially musicals, and we were expected to behave appropriately.

Add to that the couple of years in elementary school when I played the viola (wish I would have stuck with that!), and the time in choir in high school with a very particular director (who never hesitated to halt a performance when the audience was not acting appropriately), and you have some guidelines that have been permanently drilled into my noggin.

I vividly remember having the opportunity to see The Nutcracker performed by Ballet West when I was probably around 10 years old, a Christmas gift from my grandparents.  I cannot remember if it was just before the performance started or during intermission, but I can still hear my grandmother's British accent reprimanding the young adults in front of us that "This is the ballet, not a rock concert!".  I was a little embarrassed, but also totally impressed with Gran's feistiness.

Now that it has been established why I am the way I am about concerts...

This week was the choir concert at the middle school.  Last week was the orchestra concert.  Malia and Taylor both play the cello, and Malia has been in a musical theater class and choir this year, so we have had plenty of opportunities to attend performances over this school year.
I can deal with the obnoxious kids in the audience.  While the screaming and shouting names and whistling and "woooooooo!!!"-ing are annoying, I get that most of these kids haven't had audience etiquette drilled into them the way I did.  And they are teenagers so the whole loud obnoxious behavior is normal.  (We get plenty of proof of that at home, I prmoise.)  I can roll my eyes to myself and move on.  Not to mention we usually have all of our herd in tow and are working to teach our littles how to behave appropriately, but we certainly have many many moments of reminding our kids how to behave, and taking littles out to avoid them becoming disruptive is a regular occurrence.  I don't expect the audience made up overwhelmingly of people under the age of 14 to behave the way I would expect an audience to behave at a symphony performance.  Really.

But dear students who are performing.....please.  Help me out.
Your choir teacher this year was a gem.  She really was.  I know you will miss her (she is moving).  You will be lucky if you get another one like her.  She has done an incredible job working with you.  The music you have done this year has been fabulous.  The variety was great!  I love that students have accompanied these pieces on the piano, the drums, and even the ukulele.  I hope you enjoyed it because it really has been a pleasure listening to you perform.  There is a great amount of talent in this choir, and that is obvious to anyone listening.  You sound wonderful!
So what's my issue?  Well, you seem to have missed all of those times that Miss J taught you how to stand as a part of a choir.  (I asked other students.  Apparently she has talked about it multiple times.)  The beauty of a choir is blending so many individuals into one.  It is about presenting a picture of unity.  When you insist on being beyond overly dramatic, it is incredibly distracting.  When you are turning from side to side during an entire song, it's distracting.  When there is a unity of black costumes and you insist on gripping your left elbow with your right hand, your arm really breaks up the line of vision.  Folding your arms, playing with your hair, tossing your head, turning around...all of these things take away from the performance!  Especially when a handful of offenders are on the front row.
Unless you are a soloist, this is not a spotlight on you.  This is not an individual performance.  This is not a dance performance.  If there is choreography that goes with a song, sure, have fun with it.  But even then-within reason.  The audience should not be so distracted by you that it detracts from the performance.  (I promise I'm not the only one who noticed, it was impossible to miss the whispers and comments during and after.  Even if I am the only one embracing my British feisty and actually putting it out there.)

I know, I sound like a jerk.  And I know, I could just close my eyes and enjoy the music or just look away instead of watching.  (Although that might be even more disastrous with toddlers in tow.)  Yet I find myself mystically drawn to it.  It's like a train wreck.  I just can't. look. away.  So what's my point then?  Listen to your teacher when she talks to you about performing, including the little things that you don't think are important.  Because they are.
Also, keep singing your little hearts out.  You really did sounds amazing, props for that.  It's a treat to see so many teenagers-especially so many boys!-interested in music.

And that's all I have to say about that.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013


There is a joke among runners.
"How do you know if someone has run a marathon?  Don't worry, they'll tell you!"

I am a verbal processor.  Lots of processing going on.  If I don't dump it my head may very likely explode.  Or I'll just keep talking to myself and people will continue to think I'm crazy.
And yes, we are looking at multiple installments, I'm still waiting on race pics.

So Ogden.

All things considered,  I should probably be shouting from the rooftops about how incredibly awesome this race really was.
Not only did I make it to the start line, I made it to the finish line, and not only did I not hobble across in last place, I managed to pull off a PR by almost 10 minutes.

Pretty amazing, right?

It gets better.
The course was gorgeous, I got to see Aaron at the halfway mark, and I had zero back pain the entire 26.2 miles.  What?!  NO pain.  Now that's amazing.

So it's incredibly frustrating that I am not over the moon elated about Saturday's run and have even shed some tears.
Why oh why can't my brain just stop?!

This race was huge for me in many ways.  It was a big learning experience in many ways.

Between all of the efforts of fast-tracking my back to recovery, I was still very nervous about how it would fare over such a long distance.  The longest I ran during my taper weeks after this whole thing happened was 8 miles.  Though I felt ok during those 8, afterward I was fairly uncomfortable and a little concerned about how it would hold up for the long haul.  After chatting with a friend about her use of KT Tape, I decided I had nothing to lose if it didn't work, so I would attempt that as my last ditch effort.  One last adjustment on Thursday afternoon left me feeling good, but I still had that lingering stiffness and soreness in my back.  Not enough to be a nagging pain, but enough to be a constant reminder that things had been bad.  Friday morning I went to the dr I saw for ART nearly 2yrs ago and had him work his magic with the tape.  The result was this:

It left me feeling pretty tough.  And pleasantly surprised with the view of myself from the back.

But the real kicker was that a couple of hours after the taping I realized that I had no pain.  No stiffness, no tenderness, no inkling of any discomfort.  Seriously?!  I was blown away.  For the first time since April 29th I wasn't constantly aware of the state of my back.  I feel like a bad infomercial because I am seriously so amazed by it that I keep talking about it.  100% sold on this stuff.  I hoped and prayed that it would be the case on Saturday-the first real test would be waking up Saturday morning and climbing out of bed.  Those first steps in the morning over the past couple of weeks have been a good indicator on how the day would feel.

Aaron and I headed up to Ogden on Friday afternoon.  Originally my plan was to just drive up on my own and have the fam come and meet me after the race because of other commitments Aaron had.  Plans changed making him available on Friday night to come with me, and not only that, but the nursing company he works for ended up needing another runner for their marathon relay team.  He volunteered since he would be there anyway, so not only was he there to keep me company, he was there to run!  I was so excited for him to get to experience the whole big race atmosphere as a runner!

*WAIT!  Big, HUGE detail that hasn't been shared!  Aaron surprised me two weeks ago by sharing the news that he had registered for the St George Marathon lottery.  Oh. My. Word.  This man of mine who keeps saying he isn't a runner signed up for a marathon?!  I had no idea.  Coolest surprise ever!!  Even better, not only did he register, but he got in!  And so did I!  So he is officially running his first marathon in October!*

We hit the expo, where we rode the event adrenaline and signed up for another race, so we will now be running Big Cottonwood in September as well.  Aaron has gone from doing a couple of 5k's, to doing his first 10k on a whim with no prep, to running a marathon relay leg, planning on Ragnar in a month AND registering for a full and a half!  Wow.  I was riding the race high and signed up for the full, but I think I'm going to change that to the half since it is only 3wks before St George.


After roaming around at the little expo, we walked over to the finish area.

Together at the finish line is just awesome.  

We went over to find the bus loading area so I could see the proximity to our hotel and where I would be headed in the dark of the morning.  Just a couple of blocks away.  Awesome.

You see that sky?  Perfect marathon weather.  Nice and cool, just a little breezy, and overcast.
I prayed that it would hold for Saturday.

We went back to our hotel room to chill and get to bed early.
Everything was laid out and ready to go.
But I didn't have the race nerves.
That kind of freaked me out a little, but helped me sleep well!

3:55 rolled around and I rolled out of bed.
Back felt good.  Awesome.
Coffee maker in the room meant I could do my oatmeal, though I didn't have much of an appetite.  I choked down as much as I could.
I sharpied my arm with my chosen mantra for this race, hoping my brain would shut off enough for me to embrace it.

Dressed and ready to go I headed out, leaving Aaron there to start prepping himself. (his bus didn't leave until an hour later than mine)
Waiting for the elevator at the hotel the man standing next to me struck up a conversation.  "So I hear it's pouring down rain out there."
I was so bugged with myself for debating stopping by the store for a box of garbage bags the day before and not following through.
Stepping out into the hotel lobby revealed a mass of runners, most in pants and jackets, hats and gloves, and ponchos-or the makeshift garbage bag poncho.  Others were tying plastic shopping bags around their feet to keep their shoes dry.  Not a good sign!
I figured I had nothing to lose and I was going to get wet anyway, so instead of mulling around like everyone else I just headed out to the bus loading.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was raining, but certainly not pouring.  I did great at avoiding puddles before getting on the bus, and was glad I had stuck with my original wardrobe choice, because it was mid 40's-not warm, but not all that cold either.
I spent the next 40ish minutes on the bus chatting with my seat buddy who was running her first marathon.  It was nice to glean a little of her giddy excitement because I seemed to be lacking any of my own.
I was just ready to get out and start running.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

That moment

Yes, unfortunately THAT one.

The one where you have to let go of all of your ideas for the marathon you have been working toward for so many months.  The one where you scratch not only your A goal, but also your B goal and your C goal, and your goal becomes "Finish".


So the whole tweaked back/back out thing from ten days ago...turns out to be a little bigger than a tweak.  Thankfully it's nothing too horrific, or anything permanent, but to hear "bulging discs" isn't real thrilling when you are 9 days out from what was supposed to be an unbelievably awesome race.

Another visit with the dr today.  When he starts with "how are you holding up?" and then gingerly asks "have you been able to run at all yet?" looking slightly wary of your answer, it's just not good.  He was thrilled that I was able to log 3 miles on Monday and another 4 yesterday.  He was also thrilled that I've recovered as well as I have thus far.  Smart man to not tell me right at first how bad it really was.  And to not tell me ten days ago that I was looking at 6wks till I was feeling back to normal.

Six stinking weeks.  That's a long time people.

To add insult to injury, yesterday I picked up the nasty sinus/cough/sore throat garbage that one of my kids has had.


Ok, so quite frankly that all sucks.  This marathon will not be fast the way I wanted it to be.  My A goal was 3:40 something, with an A+maybethestarswillalignandI'lljusthaveamagicalday goal of slipping in under 3:40 and snagging a BQ.  Now, well, we'll see if I can at least manage to sub-4.  That's my new A+ goal.  I'm not betting on it, but we shall see.

Right this moment I'm focusing on DFL>DNF>DNS.
(DFL: dead freakin' last, DNF: did not finish, DNS: did not start)

But as always, there is good news here too.
First and foremost, Aaron finished off the gelato last night so I can't drown my sorrows in that tonight.
Ok, so that's not the most important, but it is good news.  Really.
(Did I mention that I tend to revert to my old food issues when I can't run?  That I drowned my sorrows over not running last week in a lot of crap food?  Yeah.)
Seriously, big good news is that my back is improving.
I have the go ahead to run, and to go for the marathon if I'm feeling up to it.  With another adjustment next week and a KT Taping the day before the race, I am planning on running it.
Dr was also optimistic about my back being in fine shape to still hit the 5k and half I have in 3wks and 5wks (though I will likely have to let go of PR plans), and be in great shape for Ragnar (did I mention we're on the same team?), that is six weeks from Saturday.

And perhaps the best news is that I get time to digest all of this.  Had something happened that made my race just fall apart mid-race, I know myself well enough to know that I would beat myself up for it for a long time.  Especially since it takes so dang long to prep for a marathon.  I would pick it apart minute by minute and come up with a million ways that I had failed.  There may still be some angry tears, especially since I can't go for an angry run, but if that's the worst that happens, oh well.  Knowing now that this is the pill I get to swallow doesn't make the pill any less bitter, but gives me time to get my head on straight and get a little perspective.  I get to run.  I get to soak up view of a gorgeous canyon.  I get to feel the energy and excitement and just plain awesome that is a marathon.  Even if it may not be quite in the manner I expected it to be.  

It was very appropriate that the Runners World quote of the day that landed in my email late last night was this:

Do the work.  Do the analysis.  But feel your run.  Feel your race.  Feel the joy that is running. 
-Kara Goucher 
  New race mantra for this one: "feel the joy".

We'll see how it goes.