Saturday, August 06, 2005

Remember This in Your Head ...

There's an Indigo Girls song with this refrain:

don’t you write it down, remember this in your head
don’t take a picture, remember this in your heart
don’t leave a message, talk to me face to face

I love this lyric because I am (dare I say "we" are?) so often wrapped up in capturing stuff on film, or writing it down (ahem), that I (we) often miss the moment of actually being there.

Take, for instance, yesterday's 18-mile training run.

Our coaches encouraged us to bring cameras because 18 miles is, well, pretty momentous, and convential wisdom says if you can finish 18 miles, you can finish the marathon. So one gal in our pace group brought a small camera to capture the run. And she took a few photos of several of us along the way, in front of the Capitol, on the trail, etc.

By about mile 7.5 we have our usual bathroom stop at Thompson's Boat Center, right across from the Kennedy Center, along the Potomac River.

All the high school and college crew kids are there taking out their rowing shells to practice on the river. I always love watching this, since Number One Daughter rowed in high school, and in college last year, so it brings back good memories. What a glorious, difficult, and beautiful sport.

Anywho, I went to the bathroom at Thompson's, and did my thing, along with many other AIDS marathoners. I must have taken a wee (he he!) bit too long, though. When I got back, my entire group, along with Divine Miz M, was having their picture taken in front of the scenic Potomac River. I said, "hey wait for me!" Too late. I missed it.

Later, Miz M told me someone in the group said "Wait, Jeanne's missing," and our Pace Group Leader said something to the effect of "Jeanne's out." As in who the hell has time to wait for Jeanne?

Now, when I heard this I had a choice to make. This could have really gotten my knickers in a twist, and I could have definitely spent the rest of the run bitching and moaning about how unfair, and what kind of people, etc. (This is the group who won't wait for someone to tie their shoe.) But I had 11 miles ahead of me. I wanted to have a good run. I love this part of the run because it 's on the Capital Crescent Trail, a paved, divided trail with tons of gorgeous foliage that runs along the Potomac all the way through West Virginia. It's gloriously beautiful, and on an early Saturday morning is filled with people running, biking, walking. I adore it.

So, I said a few nasty things about Miz Pace Group Leader to Divine, mostly just to get it out of my system, but really more in jest and sympathy for her, than out of that dark, spiteful, and ugly place deep down inside. Then, I made a conscious decision not to dwell (ah! becoming a grown up!!) on this ridiculous incident. PGL is just not a natural-born leader, which she can't help. Plus, I noticed she actually tried really hard to stay on pace yesterday. So, I decided to give her a pass.

It was right after this, (after the group photo that I'm not in), that the pace group ditched me and Miz M again. Or maybe we ditched them. I'm not completely sure, and it doesn't matter anymore. So it was me and Miz M from mile 8 to mile 18.

A short recap on the 18-miler: I think I really love long runs. (I know I will eat these words another day.) Yep, my feet starting hurting around mile 11, but this run is so beautiful that I just tried to focus on that. Getting back to base was hard but I did not stress (too much), and given that there is really no choice but to put one foot in front of the other, I just did it. I didn't kill myself either.

We actually ran from D.C. all the way across the Maryland line, where the coaches greated us with "Welcome to Maryland." Very cool.

And, on the way back, exactly when we needed it, one of the water stop guys (let's call him "Mr. Big") was handing out freezing cold towels which this guy, who did I mention is a volunteer? voluntarily buys and hauls around in a big container of ice cold water, simply for us to drape on our necks, exactly when we need it. I'm telling you, this, on a steaming hot day, at mile 11, I can honestly say, from what I remember, is better than sex.

So this is a sort of meandering post, without a punch line. But I think the punch line is that 1) I have reached some peaceful place with the whole group thing; 2) I actually seem to enjoy these long runs, despite the discomfort, and 3) I will remember this run in my head. I don't need a photo to remind me.



NOD and crew taking boat out of water after a regatta last fall. Let's just be glad we don't have to lift an eleventy-million pound shell out of the water and then carry it 20,000 miles after our race .


Barnze said...

I am also's a great age aint it?

Anonymous said...

See? it's not about them, it's about you! Great feeling, isn't it? I ran my first ever 15km yesterday; all my friends were running the half-marathon and what's more doing it at a pace where we more or less finished together,AND I finished stone motherless last in my event, but I honestly don't care a jot becuase I am a legend for doing it. And so are you

Keep posting, I love your blog


David said...

It sounds like that 18 miler was very invigorating. Do you realize you just ran 18 miles? Hoo-ah! Oh, that's Army talk, not Marine talk, but so what.

21st Century Mom said...

Congratulations on your long run and double congrats on enjoying it!

2 things:
1). I have lousy feet that hurt all the time. The best thing in the world for them is those Speedo 'Seaweed Massage' slides with the cruncy, wiry, plastic stuff on the bottom. I wear them first thing in the AM and my feet feel much, much better.

2). PGL is really lucky I live 3,000 miles away or I would have to come out there and bitch slap her - hard!

One more thing - good for you for rising about her and just enjoying yourself.

jeanne said...

21st cent: You make me laugh out loud! and thanks for the feet tip!

David: It was invigorating, if you can call being drenched head to toe in sweat invigorating! Army, Marine, Air Force, whatever!

LBTEPA: Yeah, it takes me a while to get the point of the thing. I think I've got it now though! I love the phrase "stone motherless last." Thanks for the compliment, too!

and barnze: There's not much I can add to what you said!

You guys rock. I'm off to the beach for two days.

a.maria said...

wow, you had a great 18 mile run... that gives me hope for my upcoming 18 miler (im scared im scared im scared)

PGL is a b#^%& and i agree with 21st centuty, she's lucky we live so far away!!!

but, props to you for rising above and enjoying the run!!!

(and by the way, i'm officially jealous of NOD... i'm 5'2 and have ALLLLLL-WAYS wanted to row, but alas, am too short. saw the pic and felt the "no fair dang-it" feeling i had back in college. tell her she's a LUCKY GIRL!)

Lara said...

You know, good for you! When I first read this I got all balled up about that PGL, but you cut through the crap to what really mattered at the time. AND, you ran 18 freakin' miles! So it is you who rocks!

partyrunner said...

stunning photo. great job on your 18 miler!
some people simply have no peoplesmarts. once you accept this, life becomes far less frustrating.

Noames said...

I'm all offended on your behalf at stupid PGL, but you're smarter to just let it slide. She's clearly not equipped to be a leader of a group, and it's a shame that's what you're stuck with, but at least you have the DMM to keep you entertained.

And congratulations on 18 miles! That is seriously far. Think about when you drive 18 miles--and you did that on your own two feet!

o said...

Great job again!

Susan said...

I can't imagine running 18 miles!! Oh wait, I wasn't going to say that anymore...way to go young 'un!! That's some powerful running.

Pink Lemonade Diva said...

I like the part about crossing into Maryland - I bet it's neat to run through multiple states!

jeanne said...

susan: Young 'un! ha ha ha ha ha!!! good one!

and a.: you are the PERFECT size to be a coxswain (the person who yells a lot and steers the boat). hey you have PLENTY of time to be a crew gal yet. no worries there!

and thanks to everyone else for being all mad on my behalf! and for all the props about me rising above it all, and being such a saint, etc. (hmm, did anyone actually say i was a saint? whatever.)

and partyrunner: thanks for the compliment, but the gorgeous photo is not mine, althought I'll take credit for running past the scenery :( -- but the crappy one of the gorgeous Kid is!