Saturday, April 17th, 2010
I’m in Charlottesville gearing up for my marathon which I have now been told twice is “nothing but hills.” Help! Oh well, it actually takes a little pressure off as I am less worried about my time now. It also makes me thankful for the “I am a warrior” playlist I spent hours putting together this morning. And what does a warrior listen to you wonder? ABBA!
I googled “marathon playlists” for a good 30 minutes and many women recommended the timeless ballad, “Dancing Queen.” Brilliant! Running to the sound of perky Swedish people vocalizing in the 70s seems like a wonderful idea. So I immediately downloaded the cast of Mamma Mia the movie singing brilliant little ditties like “Money, Money, Money.”
I of course loved my fellow Vassar alum Meryl Streep in the movie but I also adored Amanda Seyfried who had me at “I can tell the weather with my breasts,” in Mean Girls. She actually looked hot in a one piece bathing suit and sang “Honey Honey” as well as any rhinestone-encrusted Swede. And don’t even get me started on her in the romcom “Dear John.” Boy am I a sucker for chick flicks.
It’s 8:57 pm and I’m off to bed in 33 minutes. Can’t wait to listen to Amanda sing “Fernando” as I crawl up hills in historic Virginia. Here’s to 26.2, woot woot!
Ah the ABBA fest that was Mamma Mia! For some reason I have been inspired to run a chunk of tomorrow's marathon to the sounds of the 70s legends.
I loved that Amanda Seyfried's name in Mean Girls was Karen. An underused name in film. And the weather boob thing was amazing too.
Monday, April 12th, 2010
I have run 386 miles in 15 weeks. That’s just shy of the distance between DC to Boston. Sometimes I wanted to burn the innocent little piece of paper that screamed at me to get my butt out the door with those rows of even numbers and mile calculations. Even that very nice quote from George S. Patton at the bottom of the page sometimes drove me nuts. But now that I’m a week away from the Charlottesville marathon and feel pretty ready, I have a new love for the marathonrookie.com training schedule.
It got me to run even during snowmaggedon. It told me that it didn’t matter if it was January and freezing, I better put on those sneaks and become one with the trail. If it had been a trainer or a friend, I think I might have tried to fake sick or feigned frostbite. But there was no arguing with the chart.
My last longish run was today. I did 10 miles of hills while Craig, always the trooper, biked next to me and gave me water and motivation. Next week the chart actually says the words “walk three miles.” Walk?! Well, what the chart says, I will do and hopefully I will have spry legs to gallop around the land of Thomas Jefferson.
My running inspiration is Terry Fox who ran a marathon a day with one leg and cancer. My other inspiration is that darn piece of paper.
Saturday, April 3rd, 2010
This morning on my run, I decided to do a little tango with the pavement. I was an hour and seventeen minutes into an hour and twenty minute run and blamo! I tripped on some uneven sidewalk and managed to scrape my upper body to shreds.
Then I started to do a baby cry where I just moan for attention, but soon realized I was alone and no one was going to give me any sympathy. So I picked my muddied bloody bod off the ground and went home. The most ridiculous part of the whole ordeal was that my first thought was how thrilled I was that I didn’t skin my knees so I could do my run on Saturday. That’s addiction.
When I got home I sent Craig to CVS to buy out the band-aid section and lots of hydrogen peroxide. Being the nice Nebraskan that he is, he also bought me a stuffed animal duck so I would have a furry friend to appease me while he tortured me with disinfectant. I am not that fantastic with blood and grime. In fact, I almost lost my cookies just looking at my own elbow. And that’s why I love band-aids so much. Because underneath can be a world of road burn, but I can’t see a darn thing.
My bandaged elbows. Not going to help my arm wrestling career, but I should be fine for my run tomorrow.
Sunday, March 28th, 2010
I just showered sitting down. And Craig had to wash and dry my hair. After running for 3 hours and 45 minutes, I don’t really feel like I can stand, but I do feel ready for my marathon on April 17th. This was one of the best runs of my life – great weather, sunshine, and like last week, Craig biked next to me the entire time. This was of course at his own expense because at one point we got in a little spat and I threw my ipod on the ground and attempted to shove him off his bike. Luckily, he outweighs me by a good 75 pounds, so it was like being shoved by a squirrel, but still. The fact that he kept on biking with me after that, well that is just good old Midwestern values. Plus, he had my gatorade strapped to his butt.
At about mile 20, I noticed a sign that said that the path I was running on, the Capital Crescent Trail, was part of the rails-to-trails system. This means that it was a railroad track and is now a trail. But that’s not how I thought of it when I saw the sign. I figured that if I kept running far enough, I would come to a train station and be able to hop on and choo-choo my way down the East Coast.
I actually knew that the trail used to be a railroad track, because when I was growing up, the tracks were still up and they were a very popular spot for a little adolescent pot smoking. There is still a really cool old brick train tunnel, which was where teenagers gathered and drank really cheap beer and smoked until their eyes crossed – or so I heard…
But now it’s a really amazing trail, almost flat with mile markers and water fountains. So perfect for a just short of a marathon run like today. The Rails-to-Trails non-profit is trying to make more of these asphalt bad boys all over the country, and I’m all about it. Helps us city folk remember what birds sound like.
The Dalecarlia Tunnel is now one of my favorite spaces to run through. It's still really eerie, even when mom's with pink jogging strollers are running past you.
Sunday, March 21st, 2010
I had to do my second longest run before my marathon in Charlottesville on April 17th today, but what a day to do it. Of course 22 miles is kind of an ass kick even on a gorgeous day and I was still a little traumatized from last week when I had to do 18 in the rain. Craig, sensing I might hurl myself off the Capital Crescent Trail, volunteered to go with me. Not willing to run next to me for 22 miles, he hopped on a bike and peddled slower than a snail as I gabbed along for the first two hours and grunted at him for the last one.
At one point during an uphill portion where my mouth was so dry I felt like I was eating sand, I told him in a gentle bounty hunter kind of way that if he kept singing, I would have to kill him. He just seemed so darn happy peddling along on his bike that I snapped. When I’m in pain and it feels like I have 300 pound weights strapped to my ankles, I want everyone to be in pain. I sort of forgot the fact that he sacrificed three hours of his morning to creep along beside me and chant motivational slogans.
What may be even nicer than keeping me company on my crazy run was the fact that he hasn’t broken up with me even though I am now the proud owner of the ugliest feet in America. Two of my toes are black and blue and I have so many blisters my feet look like I have gangrene. I try to keep them covered so I don’t cause any permanent trauma, but today I had to strip off my socks and shoes after my run and even put my heinous hooves on his lap. And he hasn’t run screaming back to Nebraska yet. What a gem.
Not for the faint of heart! This is my right foot after a 22 mile run. I really have been saving a lot of money on pedicures as I'm afraid to traumatize anyone who dares come close to my foot.
Friday, February 5th, 2010
They’re calling for two feet of snow in Washington starting tomorrow. I absolutely love the snow. Really really love it. I could live in Alaska and be happy as a clam. The one and only thing I don’t like about snow is running in it. It is so darn hard to run on a wet frozen ground. It’s cold, your feet are soaked within seconds, you slip, and you have to look down the entire time to not break every bone in your body. In short, it sucks. According to the marathon training guide taped to my fridge, I have to do a 12 mile run tomorrow and I don’t waaaaaannnnnna. But when I feel really sorry for myself and start pouting like a pudgy little child, I think of the late, and extremely great Terry Fox.
Even though I’ve been running for years, I had never heard of Terry Fox until I read an article about him in Runner’s World. This is a tad embarrassing as Wikipedia just told me that he was voted the most famous Canadian of the 20th century and number two on The Greatest Canadian list. Whoops!
Fox, a Canadian of course, lost his leg to osteosarcoma (that’s a type of unpronounceable cancer) at 19 and decided to run from the east coast of Canada to the west. His hope was to raise money for cancer research by running 26.2 miles a day. That’s an entire marathon a day…on one leg. Before he was forced to stop because his cancer had metastasized to his lungs, he had run 3,339 miles (distance between Miami and Seattle) in 143 days. He died less than a year later.
Terry Fox’s mother Betty is among the finalists to light the Olympic flame in Vancouver, and my fingers and toes are crossed that she is the one picked. Until then, I am going to get my butt out of bed, put on my sneakers and run 12 miles in that blizzard on my two good legs.
Terry Fox on his marathon of hope. He is inspiration personified.
Get out the hankies. This video will give you a new lease on life.
Monday, November 23rd, 2009
As I write this note of thanks, my feet look like they were beaten with a meat tenderizer and I’m still peeing five gallons of Gatorade. But it was all worth it. From the hours of 7-11 am on Sunday, I was running the Philadelphia marathon. Sometimes I wanted to break my own legs so I could just give up, and other times I thought how amazing it was to get to run on a gorgeous morning. But without a doubt, the highlight of the marathon was the benevolent whack jobs that cheer on the runners. I saw everything from a man dressed as the Pillsbury dough boy, a 13 piece rag time band, perverts offering free hugs, college kids handing out beer at mile 24, and of course the infamous frat boys of Drexel University. They inspired me to dream about day drinking and nudity for the next five miles rather than why the fat lady wearing felt antlers was cruising past me. For those minutes of peace, I owe them (naked) thanks.
The only picture taken where I don't look like I have facial paralysis and a desire to off myself. This is after the marathon where I am sporting my medal given to lunatics who pay money to run 26.2 miles for fun.
Frat/Sorority row at Drexel. Every marathon should include a pat on the back from a frat boy drinking Old English at 9:30 am.
Monday, November 23rd, 2009
In direct contrast with Karin’s really great congratulations-worthy thanks-of-the-day, my thank you is not about how I persevered and ran a race, but how my friend did for me. Pathetic on so many levels.
How ironic that for the first time in my life I began really enjoying exercise and when I signed up for my first 10K, I broke my foot. I’m not even sure how I did it. Either the stress fracture came from my new running shoes, or maybe from accidentally kicking the baby gate in the dead of night on my way to the kitchen for a bottle for the 100th time. I’m leaning toward the baby gate scenario…Maybe it’s just bad luck, or maybe it’s God’s way of telling me he likes me resembling a pork sausage. Regardless, I knew I couldn’t hobble six miles to the finish line.
Since Grey was already running in the race, I gave our friend, Hunter, my bib so at least someone could get some use out of it. A little bit about Hunter: he’s the fittest person I know. He’s like a gazelle, maybe a jaguar or lynx. He does triathlons and marathons without even training for them and wins.
I wasn’t even thinking about that when I suggest he run in my place. I didn’t realize his results would be reported as mine. But seeing as he kicked ass — I’m thrilled! It was even printed in one local newspaper that “Arlington’s Stacey Pfarr, 31, covered the course in 42:11, seventh among women.”