Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I am really smart

That is what I heard Beau telling his teacher today as I picked him and Parker (playdate!) up from school. I have to say that everyday I am blown away by the confidence this kid possesses. He goes up to older kids at the pool and says "I'm Beau. You? You can call me Beau. Wanna know how to do a cannonball? Watch this." He is 4 and he has 7 year olds following him around and doing what he says.

Then there is Carmella. Last night I went to her first grade open house and was so blown away, though not surprised, by how neat and organized her desk was. My desk in first grade was always very messy--even when I cleaned it for the desk fairy. Knowing Carmella I expected nothing less but what cracked me up was how artfully organized her desk cubbyhole was. It was arranged and decorated. It was pleasing to look at. A desk to marvel at. I could tell that she took time and put thought in her arrangement.

And then there is me. And today I feel very not so smart. But I am proud, if nothing else, of my tenacity. See, yesterday I bonked in the heat 2 miles into my planned 15 miler. It ended up being 4 miles. Totally brought me down and I was plagued by self doubt and negative thoughts all day long.

So today this little engine that could tried again. I needed at least 11 miles but I told myself that if I got in my 15 miles I would give myself permission for a bike ride tomorrow.

I started running a little late. For some reason getting clean sheets on the beds seemed a priority. So I made the beds and folded a little laundry and paid some bills and made it out to run around 9:30 a.m.

Uhm, it was a little hot. 85 degrees hot to be exact.

I started to feel the pre-bonk signs despite my slow pace around 5 miles. I had planned a break at 7 miles but stopped at 6 and had a crank GU and lots of water. I felt really good and committed myself to what I thought was to a 15 mile loop. And I continued to feel good until I hit the 10th mile and started to struggle up a hill. So I walked until it was flat and then negotiated a walk run for the next 2 miles. At 12 miles I stopped for some Gatorade. Again I felt decent enough and thought about all the times I physically felt worse: last 5k of the ING marathon, 42 hour labor with Carmella, that time I had a stomach flu and was nursing a newborn, the time I did my first 22 miler and had to sit on the curb and cry for a minute because it was so hard, when I broke my pelvis and the morphine had worn off and they moved me for xrays. Every time I stopped to walk I would think; Well, I don't feel nearly as bad I did those times-- and I would start running. I even saw Garmin register a few 6:30 minute mile pace. Embarrassingly, though I also saw some 10 minute mile pace too.

I kept recalling the other more physically demanding and painful times in my life and just kept plugging on. I even pushed on in the 14th mile when I was temporarily blinded by a cloud of dry Georgia red clay a dump truck had just spilled at a construction site I ran past. I ran with my eyes closed past the workers who were not at all sympathetic. Bastards. Again, I still didn't feel as bad as I had those other times so I went on running despite how much I really wanted to call someone, anyone that cared, to come pick up my hot, sweaty and tired ass. But I hung in there and I got through it and it ended up being 16 miles in 2 hours and 29 minutes. A 9:20 pace. So not fast but the temp when I finished? 96 brilliant degrees.

I embraced the ice bath like a long lost lover I never knew I missed. Ahhhh. . . it was bliss. Just divine.

So maybe I am not really smart like my kids but I am persistent. And by persistent I mean kinda dumb.


  1. Bossy Steph says that for a run of 2 hrs and 29 minutes you need to drink and "eat" some kind of fuel at least 3x (more if it's hot). I'm glad you had your Crank gel and gatorade with you. Seriously, though, perhaps it might have been smarter to take a day off or run in the evening?

    Do as I say, though, because I ran at 3pm. My car said it was 107 when I finished. ick.

  2. You've got lots of spunk Ms Natalie! Those are the kinds of runs that build character and makes the other runs seem effortless. Those are the kinds of runs that makes you feel good that you got it done and can reflect on later with satisfaction. wasn't a steady 16 miles without stopping or walking but it was a very challenging one and you conquered it!

    Great Run Ms Natalie!


  3. Steph the way I looked it was I need to get the miles and it is going to be a 100 degrees everyday this week so what was the difference. I am very cautious even though a bit dumb about the heat. I have kids to pick up, carpool and playdates so I can't be laying passed out on the sidewalk somewhere.

    It will all be good come cooler weather. Once it hits the 60's I will feel like I've lost 20lbs. I struggle and bitch about the heat every year but this year is worse because I am starting back with the longer runs a month earlier--in a heat wave no less.

  4. That's one tough training workout, chica! 9:20 is relative (speedy) :-)

  5. Steph, we've been saying you were "persistent" for years. :-)

    Just kidding. I think it's great you did this, and it is also nice to hear that others doubt themselves too. I definitely think that my running the longer distances is more a mental challenge than anything else. Not that i run as long or fast as you do, but, I'm just saying.

    good job. I do think you are kind of crazy for running in that kind of heat and with the crappy air quality.

    p.s. Just read Charlie's comments. Charlie, do you wear a cheerleading costume at all times? You are so positive!

  6. Thanks Wes and Anne and I now I can't stop giggling about my mental picture of Charlie in a cheerleading uniform.

  7. You sound just like me!!!

    FYI: My mom told me that my name was in the paper for the Acworth race. Apparently the local sports section did a write-up on the race and listed everyone who was local with a top-10 AG finish. My paper was for Dekalb and Fulton. Cobb did a write up too, my friend Jenny placed 3rd OA and it was in Cobb's paper!

  8. I found your blog through Wes's and have to say that I laugh everytime I read stories about Beau (love that name!). He reminds me sooo much of my 4-year-old. They are peas in a pod and would be quite scary together! Your workouts are awesome!

  9. Danielle
    I'll have to check the paper. Thanks for the heads up! And read your recent post and our workouts are very similar. Yesterday when I was at the river riding I saw some, i guess, tri people doing a brick and they were not loving it. So we are not alone in our brillance.

    Secret Mom
    Hi, welcome and thanks for reading! Beau drives me absolutely crazy! He is lucky he is so funny and cute. Pretty much everyday when I pick him up from prek the teacher is telling me how naughty he was. It is never that he hit or was mean or anything really serious but instead is stuff like: Ms. Nat when Beau was suppose to be taking a nap he pulled all the cushions off the furniture and made a fort. He also took his shoes off. I had to call the director. Do you think maybe you could talk to him?"
    And I have to be very serious and try to sound sincere in that I will "talk to him" and that it will actually make a difference. Then I will have said talk with Beau who will be smiling while I tell him how whatever he did was naughty and how he can't do it again. And he will kinda look like he is listening and then shrug and say "but it was funny."
    Sigh. I have never had to deal with anything like this with Carmella. With Beau, every single day since he turned 2. He was such an easy baby too that I was totally unprepared for all this.

  10. That's the problem--they're too cute to get that mad at...especially when they have a good reason. Like mine in swimming lessons--they were learning the crawl stroke by doing "ice cream scoops". He REFUSED and would only do a stroke that imitated EATING the ice cream. Of course, why scoop when you can eat. I think he invented a whole new stroke. ugh!

    The payoff, however, is supposed to come in their teenage years when boys are "supposed" to still love their mommies, not be embarrassed to be seen with them, etc.

    Of course then there will be Carmella :)