Monday, September 08, 2008

Rainbows and Lollipops

Don’t let that last post fool you. I don’t suffer from lack of confidence. In fact, just this weekend, I was back out there bullying the neighborhood toddlers and, literally, taking candy from a baby. Goo goo ga ga. YOINK! No more candy. Scream all you want but until you develop the motor skills to power yourself across the room, you ain’t getting’ your candy back. Damn bald turtles is what they are.

I think some may have been confused about whether or not I thought it was worth while to even run the marathons. Let me answer that as clearly as possible:

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

And nothing emphasizes the affirmative like increasing font size and rainbow colors.

PR or no Pr. BQ or no BQ. The marathon is the most rewarding of all the race distances I have run. You can’t skip out on the training and just hope to gut it through. You can “gut” through an extra mile or two in a shorter race but try doing that with an extra 10 miles. Uh, yeah, we’ll see you sometime later in the afternoon.

When you cross the finish line, there is a rush like no other. You are part of the club. And not the lame Dungeons and Dragons “club” you were vice president of in seventh grade. No, this is a cool club that doesn’t have you dressing up as a “wizard” or casting spells on “mutant dwarves”.*

If you are an aspiring first time marathoner, I highly recommend running a large marathon first. Big crowds. Big expo. Big excitement. It really adds to the drama as you head down that last .2 miles to the finish amidst a throng of screaming, Nitmos-adoring people.

Friday’s post found me ruminating on that point I reach in all of my races where I need to decide to go for that BIG ALL IMPORTANT GOAL or simply run out the race. Make no mistake, either way I usually have a smile on my face – sometimes concealed by a calve cramp grimace – and dreaming of lollipops, cotton candy clouds, and unicorns. I’m not going to lie, when it gets tough, sometimes I feel like clubbing the unicorn with the lollipop before strangling it to death with the rainbow and concealing the body under the cotton candy cloud. But those are only temporary dark moments.

Last weekend’s long run ended in dehydrated disaster. I blamed this on the fact that I left for the run at 11 AM in 85 degree heat. So I learned, right? What time did I take off this Sunday? 11 AM!! My mom didn’t raise too many idiot kids. Fortunately, it was 70 degrees with a cool breeze. I extended this run from 16 to 17 miles on the fly as it was going so well.

17.0 miles
1:59:14 time
7:01 mile/pace

I probably could have kept that pace for about another two miles before balling up on the sidewalk in the fetal position sucking my thumb.

Next week, my first twenty miler. My last five long runs have been 15, 17, 16, 18, and 17. It’s time to kick it up a notch.

I’ve been reading all about this new fangled idea to raise your legs over your head up against a wall or something post-run to get the bad toxins out of the muscles. I tried this. My left foot immediately cramped up forming a “c”. Or, at least, a lower case printed “r”. My kids found it hilarious. Thanks New Fangled Science! I enjoyed that post run shooting pain in the foot. Are these the same folks that came out with the idea to bleed the illness out of people three hundred years ago?

I’m going to keep my feet on the ground next time. And my head in the cotton candy clouds.

Happy trails.

* For the record, I was not part of a D & D club. Though, considering I was dateless and sporting my share of acne, it might have been a step up on the social ladder for me.


Xenia said...

So if I decide to run in Florence, there'll be a bunch of people screaming 'Nitmos' as I cross the finish? That blows.

Did you know in England they call cotton candy 'candy floss'? Explains the state of their teeth, I guess. :)

Blyfinn said...

Looks like your pace it solid. The foot cramp thing sounds hilarious!

Big said...

it is my belief the unicorn had it coming--man are they arrogant creatures. Nice long run too.

Lily on the Road said...

That's the Nitmos spirit we know and love (well sort of)!

Thank goodness you were beating up a Unicorn this post and left the Llama alone!!

Gah, I never get a cramp in my feet when they're in the air! (don't even let your pervy little mind go there!!)....I was talking Venus Blood return! LMAO

Kristina said...

Unicorns, cotton candy, and rainbows? Where do you get your Vicodin, and are you sharing?

Marcy said...

OMFG DUDE!! This shiz was hee-larious! Just this weekend we drove past one of those D&D outings. A whole group of them were grilling up burgers and stuff behind the shop that sells Magic and D&D stuff. Good way to teach to the kids to laugh and point out the car window :P

The leg drains never work for me. My legs always feel the same. Lame.

Meg said...

Old Nitmos is back!
I'm happy to hear a big marathon is a good first one. I've heard the opposite but I didn't think they made much sense!

RazZDoodle said...

Nice to know that you offered to cheer me on in Des Moines. Oh wait......

I was also hoping I could fake the last 16.2. Looks like I may have to up my mileage.

tfh said...

Is there any way you can send that great-long-run-a-week-after-a-crappy-one thing my way? Nice job. And how nice that the whole family could share in the joy of your foot cramps, too!

Vava said...

Aren't all turtles bald? I laughed at that one! Nice post! DBTs!!!

Viper said...

You finally tried Legs Up! I happy it got the results I was anticipating.

Good luck on the 20-miler!

aham23 said...

D&D rules. and maybe you should drink more water. later.

P.O.M. said...

D&D a step up, eh?
Scary. Very Scarry.
We should have "high school photos" blogger day.

Marlene said...

I'm SO excited about all the hoopla and excitement at my first full. It'sone of the biggest events around here so it should be an amazing finish.

Glad to read your run was better than last week.

I read something about putting the legs up against a wall in the current Runners' World. Iw as dumb enough to try it foot problems, but my hamstrings were none too pleased.

Anonymous said...

I also felt good about my long run this week. How many 20-milers are you going to do before the marathon? Is 20 going to be your longest run?

*aron* said...

awesome job on the run... so nice when a good one follows a not so good one :)

i looove the marathon rush!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

I understood what your last post was about. When going for a goal time, you get to the point where you question whether the extra effort is worth it.

My question yesterday was whether that particular race was worth running with an injury and potentially making it worse. Different situation.

Having said that, I was pretty much in that dark place wanting to strangle the unicorn...

Ms. V. said...

HAHAHA on the foot in the air. I don't know how many times my kids have said, Mom, why are you doing THAT?

It's because Mommy's a runner, honey. Really.

The Sock has them roaring these days.

Good luck on the 20.

AddictedToEndorphins said...

great post. I needed to read one like this.
i liked when you said 'most rewarding experiences'...
and i am running a big race.

Enjoy the 20 miler!:)

MizFit said...

how are you so friggin funny day in and day out?



Jess said...

I'm feeling your pain with the foot cramp...major ouchies!

Rockin' job on the run though!

Frayed Laces said...

I used to elevate my legs after long runs when I was training for my first marathon.

Now....I go straight to the bar.

Priorities, right?

sRod said...

Extended your run from 16 to 17 miles?

Such a feeling has never possessed me.

Steve Stenzel said...

Nice run! And great attitude!!

SLB said...

Great pace, man you have a quick set of heels.

To answer your Endurolyte question, yes you can buy a "starter" pack it has 8-10 tablets, I normally pop one an hour...when I remember to take them!

And if you click on the link on my blog you'll save 15%, also if you buying some other stuff from them and just ask for a sample they're probably just throw you some in to try they're very cool like that.

Marathon Me said...

If you're doing 17 miles at 7/M pace, you should have no problem beating your PR next marathon.

I would say you're ready for a 3:05.

Bring the pain!

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Cut down on the high heels and the foot cramps will subside. ;)