Marathon Widow/Widower

It is no secret that marathon training takes A LOT of time.

Early morning runs, weekend long runs, nights at the gym, stretching at work. It’s just soooooo time consuming.

Very, very early marathon morning (MCM '05)

Oh yes. Get used to this hour of the morning

It’s tough to marathon train when JB isn’t also training. We hardly see each other during the week and I’m gone for hours and hours on Saturday and then sore for the rest of the weekend and all I want to do is sleep.

I’m super-fun during training.

Tons of fun.

Tons of fun.

It’s like he’s a Widower. Well, he’s sort of a perma-Widower for the next three years because of school, but that’s neither here nor there.

Point is, it’s lonely to be married to a marathon runner. And it’s absolutely fair to get a little annoyed at said marathoner.

There are things I do to make sure JB doesn’t feel completely annoyed with me for the three months I am running 40+ miles a week and spending my Saturday afternoons in ice baths instead of at brunch with him.

  1. Make sure he knows my schedule. Like, a weekly hard copy of my workouts schedule. If he knows what days I’m available, we avoid a lot of miscommunication.
  2. Schedule in down-time with him. He likes afternoon/evening quality time so I make sure to get my weekend workouts done in the morning.
  3. Make sure to do things he likes. I’m setting aside time for me to do things I like to do, so I make sure I’m planning things I know HE likes to do. Give-Take.
  4. Ask him to meet me at the end of my run. He likes to run with a buddy (me!) and at the end of my runs I’m fine with just shuffling along the river for the last few miles.
  5. At the end of the season, I make sure to thank him for his support and talk with him before I decide to start up another fun athletic event.

Communication = happy home.

And they lived happily ever after.

And they lived happily ever after.

Now go out and run!

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Don’t Sweat It

Stowe is pretty.

Oh, hey there, Mt. Mansfield. You’re big.

And the air is clean and the sky is blue and there are stars at night. It’s a nice place to visit, FYI my fellow New Yorkers.

But it is COLD.

Don’t let that 34 degrees fool you, it was at least 20!

Weddings ALWAYS throw off my eating, running, life plan, especially when I’m part of the hosting family. Which I have been for four weddings now. And counting…

It’s tough to stay on track when you’re out of town, let alone attending approximately three parties in three days. I am not the girl who freaks out about this. Call me crazy.

We hit up the gym when it was convenient and decided that between chasing our niece around, cleaning up around the house, dancing the night away, and walking in heels (me, not JB) for two days, exercise was had throughout the day.

Big day past the 5-mile mark in Vermont!

So, yeah. I worked out. I also ate my weight in brownies and meatballs. There are no calories in food when it’s on a wedding weekend, so I assume I lost weight on this trip, right?

One weekend out of 52 in a year (or 40-something) is not going to make or break my training or my fitness. I don’t know why people go bananas about missing one workout or a two days to a family vacation. It happens.

I guess I’ve experienced being out a whole lot longer with some…other problems. Perspective.

Walking = victory.

So relax. Have fun. Don’t get crazy about that one run you missed so you could sleep in and be beautiful for the wedding. I mean, “it’s better to look good than to feel good” (famous Obi-wan quote). I see my family once a year, if that. Family > running.

And if running > family time then do it and don’t feel bad.

Make your choices and live with it. Don’t complain to everyone in the world that you can’t do EVERYTHING. I mean, you’re a grown-up. Be a grown-up.

I’m SO grown up.

Next time you have to choose, choose the one that’s most important TO YOU and then get over missing the other.

Now go out and run!

Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Well, it’s Tuesday and since I’m finding my way back from surgery, let’s continue getting back to “normal” with Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

First off, welcome! welcome! welcome! to those of you scooting over from my friend Tina’s blog, Carrots ‘n Cake, who is hosting a 4-Week Plank Challenge and so kindly included me in her post this morning. I hope lots of you are planking as you read (Twitter time = workout time)! Tina is awesome and I seriously love finding #IBDSisters.

Tina is popular, so this is what happens to my normal blog numbers when she gives me a shout-out 🙂

BTAT is all about why no matter how crappy life is today, it’s way better than the alternative. Today: Respect.

Respect /riˈspekt/: A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

The New York City Marathon is next week. The Marine Corps Marathon is this week. We are deep into marathon taper season and, according to my Twitter feed, many of you are struggling to Respect the taper.

Complaining about a taper is like a celebrity complaining about getting their hair and makeup professionally done while their stylist outfits them with a one-of-a-kind designer dress for the Oscars.

Hey Gwynnie, life is tough, I know. Wah, wah, wah. (Image courtesy of grazia.daily.co.uk)

YOU MADE IT TO THE TAPER!!!!! Enjoy it. Relax. Meditate in the healing and recovering that you are doing before your big day.

Respect the taper. It’s there for a reason. And if you don’t Respect the taper, at least Respect your coach.

Duh.

Guys, I am reminded daily (by JB, Mrs. Obi-wan, Obi-wan, The Golden Child, Boz, PAK, and just about everyone else I speak with) that I have to Respect the recovery period.

It’s not that I am putting on my running shoes and trying to sneak out the door for a 15-miler. I am not THAT pig-headed. Mostly, I’m impatient to feel better. To feel like myself. To be able to eat stuff. To get through just one day without being reminded of my recent surgeries/hospitalizations/ER visits/bummer diagnosis.

JB to me: “No, you are not coming to the 4-hour Tough Mudder run OR the outdoor soccer game two weeks after surgery. You are staying home to study and REST.” Husband knows best. Feet up!

I made it through surgery. I don’t have an infection or anything weird like that. If I want to get back to being me, I have to Respect the healing process or I will only hurt myself.

And if you have made it to the taper or made it to the healing process post-op, isn’t that Better Than the Alternative? And don’t you owe it to yourself to Respect this time so you can rock your race or get better?

Nod your head yes with me.

Stretching is good for both tapering and recovery. You should do it. I do it on random streets on the Upper East Side, all clad in matchy-matchy lululemon.

Ok, good. We’ll do it together. I will go to bed early tonight and you will not run anything at race pace this week. Deal?

Good.

Now go out and run.

What I Did With My Summer Vacation

Hello friends. How are you?

Summer is officially over. Well, not “officially” officially since the Summer Solstice is actually the official end of summer. But Labor Day weekend certainly marks the end of summer for most of us in the working/school world, to be sure. So, Summer is over. Welcome to School Year 2012-2013!

What did you do with your Summer? Beach? Vacation? Sleep? BBQs? Trips? All-around fun stuff?

That’s nice.

This is what I did:

Studied.

Studying. Every day.

I got dressed up in scrubs day after day for 4 weeks of Anatomy cadavar lab. My scrubs weren’t comfy. How do those gals on Grey’s Anatomy look so darn cute in theirs?! Oh, btw, there are official Grey’s Anatomy scrubs for sale. Oh yes.

Not the best fit.

I studied every day. Seriously. Every. Day.

Studying…sort of.

And here is what I did with my Summer Vacation:

Immediately after passing my last class, I ate at one of my favorite restaurants with my study buddy and JB.

All dressed up and someplace to go. Finally!

And there were drinks. Lots and lots of drinks. And I was home and in bed by 9. Lightweight.

Mmmmmmm…you know how I love a mojito.

 

I read a non-school book.

I read this on the plane to and from Chicago. I want those 4 hours of my life back.

I ran. A lot.

I’m not real fast but I am BRIGHT!

I went to Chicago where I kayaked down the Chicago River and learned that the Great Chicago Fire jumped the river. Yup. Fire jumps. No pictures from the kayaking, but I did get pretty wet, no thanks to JB constantly paddling water into my back. We did stay at a nice hotel that had chairs that had chairs that made me look like I was in Alice In Wonderland.

GIANT CHAIR!

And then I slept. A lot. And napped. Every day. And walked around my fair city with JB. And had my favorite cupcakes. And slept some more. And ran with JB. A lot. And went to one of my favorite places in the city.

It’s like coming home.

And watched movies. Snow White & the Huntsman was alright. I still don’t get all the Hunger Games hype. Anchorman is still hilarious. We had both Law & Order and Misfits marathons. I slept so much that the bags under my eyes, previously feared to be age lines, are now gone. It’s amazing what sleep and relaxation will do for a person’s youthful glow. Perhaps I’m not old yet……well, except for that my baby brother turned 30, hence the Chicago trip.

All in all, my Summer Vacation, short though it was, was refreshing and just what this doctor (-al candidate) ordered.

Up next, the Marine Corps Marathon!

What about you? Did you run any fabulous races? Achieve any Summer goals? Have the most savage tan on the beach (you really should wear your sunscreen)?

Here’s hoping you feel refreshed and ready for marathon season to kick off!

Now go out and run!

My “1st” Race

When I first moved to the city, I made it my mission to find a running shoe store that actually knew what they were doing when fitting a runner for shoes. I went to a popular one near a popular running club and it wasn’t great. The shoes were the wrong size for my foot (I would find out later) and I do not, as they insisted, pronate.

I’m not actually sure their salespeople knew what the word “pronate” meant, but they for sure didn’t know it when they saw it.

Thank God I found JackRabbit Sports.

Holla at my homies.

I go to JackRabbit whenever I need new shoes because they know what they’re doing. Really. They spend A LOT of time fitting my Princess and the Pea feet for new (HOT PINK) shoes. I love them. The shoes AND the people.

My feet are on TV!

The best part about being a part of the I ♥ JackRabbit fan club is being in the know on the races going on in the city that they support, sponsor, or host. That other club has a total monopoly but for my money, I’d prefer to be cheered for at road races, not yelled at. Last year was my first Battle of Brooklyn with JackRabbit. The weather was beastly and there were only 7 POJs (my year-long flare had kicked into gear) but the race was a lot of fun.

So I came back for more.

 

So. Much. Fun.

I wanted my 1st race back to be fun, a little challenging, and low-maintenance.

Two school friends committed to running the race and both kicked butt! I mean, one of them CAME IN THIRD PLACE. The other, who had never run farther than something like 8 miles, ran all 10 miles without stopping at 8 minutes per mile pace. JB was out with his cowbell, cheering us on, and I was wearing hot pink. Fun? Check.

Hot. Pink. Saucony + lululemon. Can’t miss me 🙂

Prospect Park, though only 3 and change miles around, has some pretty annoying inclines. They are met with nice, rolling declines, but three loops around the park really makes for an interesting progression of times on one hill in particular. That’s why JackRabbit has the Time Your Climb. Whoever has the most consistent 3 climbs on this hill, man and woman, gets a prize. I never win. My third is consistently markedly slower than my first two. A little challenging? Check!

This map is going in the opposite direction from our race. Think of going from mile 2.75 to mile 2.25 (right to left). That was our hill. We climbed it three times.

I signed up online between classes and even used a $5 off coupon that made registration a grand total of $25. JackRabbit package pickup is always a breeze. The four of us shared a cab to the race. The bathroom line only took 5 minutes thanks to many more than 7 POJs this year. There were signs (and Redcoats!) everywhere. The start of the race was with a gun (maybe it was a musket?) with drums and flutes sending us off and on our way to fight the Brits. There were even British troops spraying us with water cannons on the climb. Fun. Fun. Fun. Low maintenance? Check!

Last of our group to finish, but I had the biggest smile, I think.

I may not have run my best race (1:22, 8:14 avg pace) or won any prizes like soooooome people, but I had a ball. I felt better on my third lap than the previous two and finished strong. I didn’t even notice Rosebud was there, which is the best part of it all and totally the point of having surgery in the first place.

I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t bummed to be the last of our team to finish or that I didn’t match last year’s time. Yeah, I was bummed. For approximately 10 seconds and then I realized how far I’d come and how happy I was to be there and how awesome it felt to run with friends and be smiling afterwards. Not that I don’t have my moments, but this was just too much fun to get down on myself about finishing 30th in my age group. A friend told me to “run happy” and so I did.

🙂

Ready for the Marine Corps? You bet.

Now go out and run!