Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pre- Race Stats

Confession: I am super psyched about the race this Saturday.

Despite my recent amazing running time (5K at 29:30 winning me a second place medal for my age group thankyouverymuch) I am typically a 11 minute mile.

I am running the first leg of the Baltimore Marathon this Saturday. At 5.7 miles, my leg is the shortest. This kind of disappoints me because I have been training for this for nearly a year. I can run further than that.

When I agreed to do this, I would have begged for the shortest leg of the race. About this time last year I weighed about 15 pounds more than I do now and struggled to lightly jog a 14 minute mile.

When I agreed to do this two of my best friends (one of whom is running the race) were pregnant with their babies, who are now here.

I now have pants I can't wear unless I have a belt and I can run 7 miles if needed (not quickly, but running the whole time). There are a couple different play lists on my ipod specifically for running- long runs, fast runs, I just can't go another second and am in desperate need of motivation runs.

The use of an iPod is discouraged during the marathon.

Participants are encouraged to immerce themselves in the race and enjoy all that Baltimore has to offer. Runners are supposed to be alert and ready in the event a race facilitator needs to redirect them or something. In fact, if you are running in the hopes of earning a reward, you cannot get the reward and accolades if you use an ipod or any other "crutch".

I'm bringing mine anyway. It's a necessary tool and I'm ok with it.

Despite being the shortest leg, my portion does have the highest peak at mile 3- 245 feet above sea level. This is freaking me out a bit. I don't even know what 245 feet above sea level is, in the same way that I don't know what the square footage of Oprah's house is and what 103.5 million dollars looks like.

I know it's a lot, but I have no tangible reference. Knowing that IT'S THE HIGHEST POINT (cue thunderous music) is enough of a psychological blow.

I will do it. That hill is MINE!

Side note: My leg is not the hilliest.  That is leg 3, which we happily gave to Scott because he has already run the whole marathon before and is really the driving force behind all of this craziness.

At this point I am most worried about logistics- will I find my team member quickly after my leg so I can hand her the tracking device? Will Josh and I be able to find each other after my leg? How will we all find each other after the race to have a congratulatory fatty Frappiccino or Mimosa or 64 oz beer?

Promises to myself: I will run my whole leg. I will not beat myself up about my time or how many people may pass me. When I feel like the hill may, in fact, beat me, I will think of all the people who have supported me during my training and who have started running (in some cases again) because of me.

Tina? Scott? Jenn? Let's do the damn thing!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Under Pressure

Confession: Long weekend make me itchy.

Josh works a compressed work schedule (CWS) which means he works about an extra hour every day, but he has off every other Friday.  This is mostly a pretty sweet deal. 

Except when P and I are at odds and there are still 3 hours to kill before J gets home.

This past week Josh had off on Friday, and Monday so we were staring down the barrel of a fun filled four day family weekend.  Whenever we are faced with this uninterrupted family time we get excited, but plan way too much, which means we usually get snarky and snappy under the pressure of making each moment perfect and fun and amazing.

When I returned from work on Friday we headed to the barely there Farmer's Market and then to the store for some wine.  Josh was tired.  Parker was cranky.  I was feeling sticky and was quickly developing a monster headache. 

Saturday morning brought bright new beginnings.  P and I made coffee and pumpkin French Toast.  We ate together as a family, then Josh cleaned up our mess.  At some point though, things started to unravel.

I can't even remember what was said, but it was not a positive conversation.  We pushed on and loaded ourselves and the supplies for the day into the family truckster and headed to a pumpkin patch. 

It was unseasonably hot while we trolled around the patch, making our October Fall day more like a mid-August heat wave. 

We had $20 cash and made a strict agreement to not take out any more.  Somewhere along the way, we had a disagreement about who should be doing what and how to spend our last $10 (we ended up buying 2 beers- parents of the year). 

Last year we went to this same pumpkin farm and it was truly one of the best days of the year.  This time around, the day was just filled with this pressure to make it perfect again. 

We pulled P in our little red wagon, he got out, I let go of the wagon to chase him, leaving J with a run away wagon full of pumpkins, mums and slew of other crap not worth itemizing. 

We were sweaty and frustrated.  It was not like last year.

Then we had plans to hit up a cool German themed restaurant for dinner.  While we ate we played along and sang the songs and, despite missing his nap, we were able to coaxed P into happy baby mode.  We drank Gugunshinmen beer and ate uderbraten soaked in drunkenbrstein.  (I'm pulling out my creative spelling license here).

It was not the same as last year.

Sunday we spend the better part of the day- from 10:30a to about 3p searching for my car keys.  They were in my hands then they weren't. 


It was maddening.  I told Josh to just take P, who I was convinced hid the keys, out of the house. 

I needed to search on my own without someone following me around saying, "Mommy train?  Mommy train?" or "Did you check here?  Did you look there? When did you have them last?"

In the end we found them- in a drawer. 
More specifically, in one of my drawers. 
Most specifically, a drawer that is way too high for P to be able to get into. 

I truly have no clue how they got there.  I was stressed.  I was not very nice.  I felt terrible and if Parker was a wee- bit older he would have taken full advantage of my profound guilt.  I'm talking junior mints for dinner followed by popcorn and Yo Gabba Gabba till midnight guilt.

Today P and I cooked almost all day.  He's awesome.  He will stir gentle, pour carefully and taste anything.  He is a forgiving soul- thankfully.  Josh does not hold a grudge- thankfully.

I learned that when faced with a four day family weekend- not every moment has to be fun-filled and your keys are not in the last place you look, but in the last place you THINK to look.  (These are very different things.)