New-ier and improve-ier for 2007.


Two days from now

. . . I will know.

I don't know what it is that I'll know, exactly. Maybe something new about myself. Maybe something new about the world. Maybe just that 26.2 miles is a long damn way.

I've been getting "good-luck" wishes and emails and texts all day. They're making me a little teary and giddy and nauseated.

Drinking lots of water. Stretching. Resting. Planning on an early bedtime tonight.

And trying to block from my mind the analogy of childbirth -- where you need to dive THROUGH the pain to come out the other side. . . .



My Left Foot

I. . . just. . . seriously. . . WTF?

Hmmm. Okay, incoherent ranting probably not that entertaining to read. So, let's back up a bit.

Last night, I got home from work. I changed out of my work clothes. I walked into the kitchen to start dinner.

And I put my left heel (the heel, btw, of the bruised, battered, not-broken-but-still-sore foot) down on top of a pea-sized glass shard which dug its way a good quarter-inch into my foot. Said glass shard having originated from the super-healthy-no-trans-fats natural peanut butter jar which I dropped onto the floor on Sunday. And thought I'd completely cleaned up. But obviously did not.

Which brings me back to. . . WTF? Is The Universe trying to tell me something? Am I supposed to HOP the effing marathon? Am I supposed to eschew all foods heretofore classified as "healthy?"

WHY do I keep suffering health-food-related injuries?

WHY the left foot?

Y'all, I am thisclose to renting a motorized wheelchair and eating only Doritos and Mountain Dew until Sunday. . . .



Running sucks way less than Not Running

My taper schedule had a 12-miler on tap for today. After a week off of running altogether, I was itchy.

But, The Weez recommended that I halve that distance.

Now, Weez is not a coach, or a sports medicine dude, or much of a runner himself. However, he is an accredited VGHE. (That's Vee Gee Headcase Expert, for the uninitiated.) And he pointed out that running until I found out exactly WHERE the suck might start would not be as good for me as having a good, solid run today.

So, I did six miles at just slightly faster than race pace. Learned some stuff. Wrapped foot = good. Wrap under sock = bad. 60 degrees = still sleeveless weather for me. Crackberry on fuel belt = totally unnoticeable.

It was an absolutely perfect day. It seems reasonable to expect that I will have at least one hour next Sunday that does not suck.

Breathing slightly easier. . . .



Not Running kinda sucks

I want to jump out of my skin.

I am worried about the race and have nightmares about it almost every night.

I can FEEL my ass getting bigger.

But at least I have some time to knit a really cute purse.



Second Chances

It's not a fracture.

And I am going to appreciate the HELL out of every last mile.



Holding Pattern

I'm sitting with my foot propped up, wrapped in an Ace bandage, encased in a Ziploc of ice.

There's a "concerning dark spot" at the end of my left foot's third metatarsal, underneath the spot that causes the sharp intake of breath when prodded with an examining thumb.

The films have been sent off to the radiologist, to determine if the spot is a stress fracture, or a normal "nutritive pathway," whatever that is.

I feel so empty. I refuse to believe this would all have been for nothing.

But right now, I do not see the sense in it.

At all.


Freaking. Again. Some More.

So, last night, in addition to foot pain, and foot bruising, there was a good bit of foot swelling. And also a decent bit of impediment in foot motion.

Which led The Weez to muse that perhaps I should go to the doctor and get an x-ray and ascertain that the Yogurt-Related Injury is not actually a fracture.

Which led to hysterical weeping. Not by The Weez.

But, of course I should go get it checked out. If it's just a bruise, and it's just going to hurt, and I won't be doing any further damage. . . then great. I will suck it up and run.

If it IS broken. . . well, I refuse to acknowledge that possibility until I absolutely have to.

Please think good solid-bone thoughts for me, okay?



Taper, or something like it

12 miles.

Race pace on-the-nose.


It's like I actually think I'm going to be able to do this thing.



Sure. . . it's funny to YOU

So, one of the “symptoms” of taper is apparently Phantom Pains: wherein you, the tapering runner, obsess about each little tick and twinge and worry about its chances for ruining your marathon.

Now, I’m not one to skip a step in a mental-breakdown checklist, but I do tend to be somewhat overrational and mind-over-matter about physical ailments. So, in an effort to make sure that I left no facet un-freaked-over, it seems my subconscious mind and fast-twitch nerve fibers have conspired to give me something worth worrying about.

But, I am trying to remain calm. Rational. Laser-like in my focus. So, instead of blathering inanely about my fears surrounding The Incident, let’s review the facts:

Fact 1: My children eat what could charitably be defined as “a metric assload” of yogurt. Therefore, my refrigerator is always stocked full of plastic containers full of sticky, plasma-like dairy substance.

Fact 2: My kitchen floor is nicely appointed in ceramic tile.

Fact 3: When yogurt-filled plastic containers plummet from a height of top-refrigerator-shelf level and come to a sudden stop on ceramic tile, the results are. . . explosive.

Fact 4: Fact 3 has been established and validated via the scientific method as infinitely repeatable.

Fact 5: I am The Mama. In my household, all messes explosive, sticky, or nasty are sole purview of The Mama.
Fact 5a: I really, really hate cleaning up all messes explosive, sticky, or nasty.

Fact 6: I have played far, far more hackey-sack than any 30-something woman has a right to admit to. This has led to the development of certain involuntary reactions in my lower extremeties.

Fact 7: A yogurt-filled plastic container on a downward trajectory from a height of top-refrigerator-shelf level will NOT explode when it comes to a sudden stop on top of the foot of a 30-something woman.

Fact 8: But it will leave a big-ass bruise.

Fact 9: And the inability to walk, wear a running shoe, or (surprise) run without pain.

Fact 10: Also: it seems to impart the tendency to freak out, obsess, and cuss. Creatively. Caveat: Scientific method has not yet determined whether or not these effects are solely seen in 30-something women.

So. . . yeah. I have sustained Yogurt-Related Injury. And I'm kinda freaking out. If by "kinda" you mean REALLYREALLYREALLY.

I would appreciate talking-down. But, pointing and laughing is okay, too.



So, I'm Wondering

. . . when does one hit that mythical point in training when all of the long miles that they've done w/ the lower heart-rates magically allows them to go faster?

Because right about now, I could use some of that magic.

Thus far, my heart rate training had allowed me to run for a long, long time without getting above 140. But looking at the data, I am not getting any faster on those long runs.

And on my shorter runs? I'm now slower.

Is this just a "my body is tired" thing? And it will get better during taper? Because when I started training like this, it seemed like a sub-5:00 marathon would be a no-brainer. And now, it's looking like a 5:30 would be a Good Day.

Am I missing something?



The Big Two-Oh.

I was afraid beforehand, I will admit it.

And it did hurt. And in that hurt, I saw what I have ahead of me on October first. And it is big.

But I finished it. And I definitely had six more miles left in my legs.

More importantly, I six more miles left in my head.

My race is going to be slow. And I cannot guarantee that I will finish, because a lot can happen in those last 6.2 miles.

But I am no longer afraid.



Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Missing Blogger

So, yeah. Updating: notsomuch.

BUT! I have a very good justification for this. I've discovered that there's a certain level of peril involved with obsessively reading accounts of preparing for a first marathon, especially when combined with my intrinsic need to seek out patterns.

And that peril is: you realize that everything that you're experiencing is totally normal, and utterly unoriginal, and there's really no need to obsess about it and what it means and whether it's affecting your chances of actually completing your goal.

And if it's totally normal, and utterly unoriginal. . . then what's the point of blogging about it?

I had a fifteen-mile run that su-huh-huh-hucked. Like, actual tears sucked. Like, much cursing sucked. Like, "question everything, want to quit" sucked. What Wil calls the "Prozac patch." But, even in the middle of it. . . AS I was experiencing it, fully in the moment of suckitude. . . there was a little part of me that knew that this was normal. A.Maria went through it. Wil went through it. 21st Century Mom went through it. It's just part of the process -- the razing that has to take place before a new kind of structure can take its place.

Which is to say, I'm in a very meta place these days. The runs during the week after the Run Of Incredible Suckitude were all solid, both physically and mentally. My 18-miler on Friday morning was right where it needed to be. I've got a 20-miler on the deck for Saturday, and then a nice, consistent taper.

I'm wrestling with the idea of throwing in another 20-miler as "insurance." But I know that's normal. And should be ignored.

So, truly, thanks for that y'all. :)