So I have been wanting to chronicle this marathon training thing for a while now. I end up chronicling it by sending 20,000 e-mails to everyone i've ever known--why not just write it once, and post it?
So I decided to run a marathon, back in February. I'm training with the National Aids Marathon group, and raising money for Whitman Walker clinic (see left margin if you'd like do donate).
I guess it was five weeks ago that it started? I could look it up in my training manual, which is in my backpack next to the chair i am sitting in, but that would require moving. My body. Which is trying to recover from this morning's pounding.
Ok, got off duff, and looked it up.
April 30, the madness begins: Run 3 miles to figure your pace. I'd been run/walking for three weeks. I came in at at 38 minutes solid, and they put me in the 13min group. Which I didn't realize was really slow. Until I started reading the thousand running blogs out there.
Week two: Four miles. Group dissolves into lots of complaining people. Can't remember who I ran with that day. I think this cool dudette, let's call her HASH, but she had to bail before the end.
Week three: We run five miles, I run with a woman who is on her sixth marathon, and probably in her late 50s. After 2 blocks I peed my pants (note to self: listen when they tell you not to drink a gallon of water right before the run..) luckily i had, um, some emergency equipment with me, and there was a McDonald's right there. Then I ran with a cool gal, Jane, who works on the hill and we talk politics the whole way, past the Capitol, past the Smithsonian, along the Mall to the Washington monument and back to Arena Stage. I think I should get a medal.
Week four: Six miles. I can't remember who I ran with.
Week five: Seven miles. This was the week I ran with someone named oh, something like Marabella, who is into hashing (see dc hashing) and she distracted me the whole way too. Very funny stories. Daughter D volunteered to be water girl, earning me $20 toward my $1,700 goal.
Week six: Today. Was supposed to be eight miles. The mile marks were off though. Mile 1 I ran at about 11:something. Mile two at 16:???? I kept saying, no freakin' way! The race course was altered bcs today was Race for the Cure in downtown D.C., so we had to loop-de-loop around the Capitol, up to Capitol Hill (there's a reason they call it that), past the Supreme Court, through the gorgeous neighborhood of Capitol Hill, past the Library of Congress, then DOWN a big hill, then 2 more loops. I ran the whole way with Monsieur M. and kept up an endless patter of hilarious jokes to keep him and me motivated.
I made him laugh, telling him all my slang about hooptie and kill it and mad cheddar. (I'm trying to learn slang. I have actual slang flash cards. Of course the minute I learn it, it's obsolete.) And I kept yelling at him to drink water, take off his long-sleeve sweatshirt, i sang him the rocky theme, I made him sing the rocky theme.. I didn't know i had so much b.s. in me, bcs I basically talked for two hours straight, just trying to keep us both going! I don't know if I helped him, or if he was ready to punch me..but i made him laugh...the best part was when he guessed my weight--120!!! To which I said, yes, of course, exactly, on the MOON.
We started at 7 a.m. My little group finished in 2:02 hours... We asked the coordinators, "Was that really 8 miles?" and they said, well, it might have been a bit longer. I'm saying nine. Nine miles.
What's really amazing is that for those two hours, I am an entirely different person. I don't think about work at all. Which if you know me, you'll know just how monumental a statement that is. I don't worry, I'm not nervous. All I think about is the people I'm running with and how to get through it, and I try not to even think about that. Just jabber jabber, and distract oneself.
I really love this. It's awesome. Every week I say I fully expect my exploits to be in the paper the next day.
Next week: Nine miles. For real. Note to self: Buy anti-blister socks. Who knew??