Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Dirty Truth


I am writing this sitting at the table while Carmella and Beau eat their dinner. (Ryan is working late so I will wait to eat with him later.) What this means is that I must pause mid sentence to encourage chicken and squash eating or threaten Nintendo restriction if they don't finish their mac n cheese (made from scratch I should add) with spinach or drink all their milk.

You try being witty and composing genius blog posts under such conditions and see what you come up with.

And, for that matter, do you have any idea how annoying it is to go to the effort to make a home-cooked and healthy meal and have those that eat it complain at every bite? You'd think I was asking them to solve quadratic equations. They act like eating dinner is the hardest, most challenging thing they have ever encountered. The very act of food on fork and to mouth? Incomprehensible. Mind boggling difficult.

Okay. Moving on.

So again, apologies for being so lame with the blogging. I know. Yes, I've got my excuses and I am sure you don't want to hear about them. So I won't bother with that. I will just move forward. But there are two event recently worth noting:

First is that I am officially signed up for the Museum of Aviation marathon next Saturday (1/17/2009). Please keep thoughts of good weather and for me to remain injury and sickness free. If all those things stay in my favor I really can't think of a reason why I shouldn't have a great race. I know. I probably just jinxed myself right there. Sigh.

Second is that I ran another 5k last Saturday. My second 5k ever. My friend Brett encouraged me to come out and run the Wonderful Days of Winter 5k. The race benefits the Wonderful Day preschool for low-income children. I liked that I could get a race in at the start of my taper--though I didn't really have any high hopes for it since I had just run a 24 miler the 4 days prior. But a race would force me to run faster than I normally would and I would have exactly 2 weeks until my marathon to recover. Seemed like a good idea to do it. (You know, if there ever is a good reason to run a 5k.)

I woke up race morning and it was raining. I hadn't signed up for the race but figured since it was only 15 minutes from my house I would drive over there and see if the rain stopped. The rain stopped before I even pulled out of my neighborhood. I got myself all excited and rallied for the race. It really was about as perfect racing weather as I can get: cloudy, little humid, 50's. So I got there with plenty of time to spare and signed up.

I warmed up by running around the block a few times for about 10 minutes or so.

Then I met up with Kate-- who was not running-- and Brett who was and a few others. We chatted, wished each other luck and then lined up for the race. I lined up a few back and off to the side trying to eavesdrop every one's goal pace. Hearing a "gonna break out at 5" encouraged me to step a few feet back and even further to the side. I will say I did pass "break out at a 5" guy by the end of the first mile.

After a prayer and a reminder to smile for the cameras; off we went. I felt great for about the first minute and then it was terrible and I was ready to quit. For the first mile there was one girl a good way out in front and another directly in front of me. First split was called: 6:18. And then the hills started coming. Nothing as terrible as the Jingle Jog but certainly not a flat course: roly poly rollers.

Not knowing the course I really had no idea what was coming so while I was definitely running hard I did hold something back. I just can't imagine anything worse than bonking a 5k at the start of your marathon taper.

During the second mile I watched the girl who was in second surge far ahead. I could no longer see the male leaders either. The girl who was in first who was now in second was fading back towards me. I figured--if I didn't die--I would catch her. I think the second split was 6:37 but it may have been 6:57. It was 6 something 7 and my watch had me at 13 something for the 2 miles (it is a new watch and I am still trying to figure out how it works exactly).

You know, it all happens so fast in a 5k. I can only take so much in. Remember, I am also trying not to throw up on myself or die. There is only so much you can expect of me.

Sometime around this point another girl passed me and so did a few guys. I noticed Steve, co owner of Big Peach, pass me and I have to admit I was a little annoyed about it. Random person I don't know pass me, fine. Person I know? Not so happy about it.

Hey, Steve, it is okay. I will still buy all my shoes from you.

Coming up another hill I finally passed the girl who had originally been the lead girl. Then I pretty much held my place and gave what I had left-- knowing that I had to be almost done. But believe me, I was totally ready to quit. Only thing that rallied me was that it was almost over. And THAT right there is the best thing about 5k's. There is no dragging it out. I think coming from marathons and then doing a 5k there is definitely the mentality of: I have been miserable for way longer. This? This I can do.

I cruised under the finish line at 21:15. Over a minute PR from my 5k less than a month ago. The card they handed me said 23rd overall. I haven't looked up my results but I think I was 3rd woman. I did win first in my age group so that was nice. Prize was a flower pot with the kids' hand prints on them. They had put a tulip bulb and some dirt in the pot too.

When I came home the kids were shocked to see me so soon.

Beau said: Wow, that was fast!

And Carmella, disbelieving, said: Did you even do the race?

(This is what happens when you run mostly marathons. The idea that you can go do a race and be home in an hour is something my kids have no experience with. They are use to Mommy being gone forever.)

As always they asked me if I won. For simplicity sake I usually say: Yes. I beat all the other old ladies.

I showed them my prize, the flower pot. Beau, always wanting to inspect my spoils, looked it over and then asked: You won dirt?"

Basically his voice intoned : wah wah wah, loser.

Yeah. The truth hurts. Hey, that's what kids do; they keep it real for you.


  1. You won dirt?

    That is just priceless

  2. I have a daughter in law who WANTS dirt for her birthday! Lala

  3. Have you ever done one of those 100 mile super marathons?

    I'm walking--I'm too big to run--to Stone Mountain and back tomorrow. It's about 18 miles, and I'm not sure I can do it without stopping for booze along the way, and I wouldn't do it all if the hot tub wasn't working. You marathoners are a breed apart.

  4. Eric, no I haven't done an Ultra. I think about doing a 50k which is about 30 miles and possibly a 50 mile but 100 miles is running for 24 hours. I think I would get really bored. I have a hard enough time finding stuff to think about for 3 and half hours.

    Are you seriously walking to Stone Mountain? Why? Just for exercise or is this a race.

  5. You are awesome, Nat! 13:00 at the two mile split, AND you got a hand painted flower pot by the kids your donation helped? That's pretty special. I run around 17:00for the 5K and I've never received a cool prize that's indicative to the event. Good Luck on th 17th, I'll be looking in the results.

  6. Wow! You are sofastsofastsofastsofastsofast!! I can't believe you ran just over a six minute mile for your first mile. I am training a half-marathon on Feb. 1, for which I am desperately trying to break 2 hours, and am contemplating running in a 5K on 1/17. I have not yet signed up because I have been afraid to feel the hurt, just as you described - but I think you've motivated me!

  7. WOW! I feel so special I was mentioned in your blog! Thanks for coming out to race, the preschool is a great thing for these kids and they appreicate every dollar that they get.

  8. Hilarious. I love the part about the shoe store guy.

    From: mirnr RWOL

  9. I think it's so funny you run marathons yet in the two 5ks you've run, you're ready to pack it in after mile 1 and then you go on to do really well! Keep at it and good luck next weekend!

    bigsix from RWOL!

  10. Nat,
    I couldn't find your email address in the contact section, so I will leave it here......
    I respect what you said in the RWOL forum regarding my beef w/SQ. There was a thread (actually) there have been several, where he has gone beyond being sassy, and crossed over into total and utter cruelty. Since it was not in MRT, you may have missed it.

    Changing gears, I am super excited to hear about your upcoming marathon. I KNOW you are going to have a great race NatNat, I just know it.