Saturday, April 23, 2011

Goals: What to DO and what not to DOO

Defcon 1 happened at the Boston Marathon this past Monday.
Oh snap!

Ok, so when I saw this, I just didn't get it. You can typically feel this "issue" coming on, right? (Unless it's a fart gone terribly wrong. NEVER trust a fart!)

Time to do the lamaze breathing and look for an escape route.

Now that I know a little bit more about the facts, I *kind of* get it (but not quite). I guess this elite athlete needed a certain time to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Trials, and by golly, she was going to get it. She showed #2 who was boss. She did what she had to doo'd. Or something like that.

Personally, I would have utilized the Paula Radcliffe method, but that's just me. Hey, she still won the 2005 London Marathon!

At any rate, congrats to this runner (I want to respect her privacy) for qualifying for the Olympic Trials with a MUCHO impressive time of 2:37. Holy cow! That is MOVING!

So let's talk about me and my goals.

#1 Don't want to have to wear this: Need to drive the course on Friday and make contingency plans. KWIM?

#2 Don't go out too fast. The first mile is a warm-up, baby. (Like I'll really have an option with 20,000 other people.)

#3 Stay hydrated and have my GU gel every 45 minutes. Yeah, I pretty much expect to have a pee break during the race. I have yet to make it through my long-training ones without a pit stop.

#4 Have enough gas in the tank at the end to bust out a cartwheel at the finish line. Ha ha! Maybe even a one-handed one! I thought about doing an aerial cartwheel, but there is no freakin' way I'm going to have the energy at the end, especially if I'm looking at goal #5...

#5 Qualify for Boston. Gotta do a 3:45. There's absolutely no guarantee that I'll get into the race because they are making the entry process very competitive but hey. I can still say that I BQ'd and sound all BAD ASS marathonerish and stuff...

We shall see what next Saturday brings!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Am I Tiger Mom?

Good question. It depends on the day. Or more accurately, the season.

As much as I HATE Yuma summers, they at least bring an end to the winter (and essentially non-existent Spring) swim season. Winter is the season where I hear the following frequent complaints/excuses as to why we should skip out on swim practice (every day):

1) I'm cold.

Ok, this one is legit. When the only body fat that you have on you is the amount that surrounds your vital organs, a cold swimming pool can't be fun. Poor guy. That being said, I think it's 50% discomfort and 50% dramatics. The answer lies in getting in the pool and actually swimming, not putzing around like a sourpuss and getting even colder. There are other skinny kids on the team too, and they're just fine.

2) I have a headache.

3) I have diarrhea.

4) I'm tired (It's tough being in second grade.).

5) (crying...with crocodile tears): "My friend Devon keeps talking to me all the time in the pool. All I want to do is swim, and he keeps talking to me! He keeps asking me what's up. What's up, Evan? What's up, Evan? What's up, Evan? He says it after every lap!!"

Ok, that one was my favorite. Hard not to laugh when he was giving me this one. Evan loves Devon. They are like fric and frac during practice and meets.

The next day (after I made him go to practice) he admitted that #5 was ridiculous.

I had to be Tiger Mom during the winter. But I was Tigerish with love. Would Tiger Mom bribe her baby with a doughnut or Dairy Queen before swim practice? Or promise extra dessert after dinner? (Hey, whatever works.) Would Tiger Mom check in with her kid and ask him if he wants to quit? Mike and I have told Evan repeatedly that he does not have to do this. Of course, we see his potential and want him to stick with it, but we're not going to FORCE him to swim. He is welcome to walk away at any time. Really and truly.

After the meet this weekend where Evan PRd on 3 events, I've never been happier that I was Tigerish this winter. My Tiger Baby actually had the "Eye of the Tiger" on Saturday. He raced over to me after each of his events, told me his time and then asked me if he had "shaved off" any time. He actually cared!

"Yes, you did, honey." Each time he came over I got to give him a great report.

14 seconds off your 100 Free
6 seconds off your 50 Breast
2 seconds off your 50 Free.

Seeing his eyes light up when I told him that he may have just qualified for State in the 50 Breast (still waiting for official times) was awesome. He's really been working hard the past few weeks, and it's paying off.

More importantly, he's back to having fun.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

2 Weeks Until Redemption

“You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can't know what's coming." 
Frank Shorter

Pretty much.

In 2 weeks, I’m going to run my second marathon. It’s been almost 11 years since I ran the first one (2000 San Diego Rock ‘N Roll Marathon).

11 years.

That should give you a little bit of a clue as to how it went.

Let me start out by saying that I absolutely love reading marathon blog entries that talk about that magical “first time.” The defining moment of crossing the finish line after months of tough training… The tremendous feeling of accomplishment… The feelings of pride…The race to sign up for the next one! The beginning of a new life… A new journey…

Now let me tell you my story.

I remember 3 things about my first marathon experience in June 2000:

1) The elusive 9:00 min/mile pace guy

2) My porta potty nightmare

3) Hitting the wall

In my typical Type-A, overachieving fashion, I decided that I wanted to run my first marathon in under 4 hours. Hindsight being 20/20, I should have changed that goal to simply “finishing and having fun.” My training cycle had been less than stellar. I was a Navy helicopter pilot during that time, and at some point in my training, I had been sent out to a ship for a pre-deployment exercise that lasted 3 weeks. The ship had a Stairmaster and that was it. Crap. 3 weeks with NO running during a marathon training cycle does not bode well for a successful race.

Fast forward to the big day. I was running with my awesome friend, Bridget, so at least I had a partner to keep me on track. There were 20,000 people in the race; therefore, it took a while for the crowd to thin out so we could get to our goal pace. Finally, we see the 9:00 min/mile pace guy, and we hang with him for a bit. Sort of. We find that no matter what, he’s always a few steps ahead of us. Always. Not so much a big deal except for the fact that he is running BACKWARDS. Yes. BACKWARDS. And holding a sign. And looking like he’s not working at all. At least he appeared to be Kenyan, so that made me feel like not as much of a loser.

I get to mile 10 and of course, I have to poop. Figures. You can imagine how clean and fragrant a porta potty is at mile 10 in a race with 20,000 people, right? I duck into the john and try to take care of business without touching ANY part of my bare flesh to ANY surface in the stall.

Unfortunately, in my breathlessness and haste, I misjudged and aimed poorly.

Oh my God! I just crapped all over the back of the toilet seat! SHIT!

(Don’t ask me how. I'm trying to forget.)


**Side note: I'm pretty sure I never told anyone this story. Not even my husband, who will likely be grossed out yet not surprised.**

I cleaned everything up as best as I could and got the hell out of there. I know what you’re thinking. “No way….” Yes, way. I felt really bad for the person who stopped in there next. I’m thinking they took one look at the crime scene and moved over to an adjacent john.

Ok, back to the race. The pace guy is no longer in sight, so I’m not reminded of what slacker I am, and I’ve taken care of my intestinal issues. Life is good.

…was good until I got to mile 15.

I remember asking Bridget how she was feeling. Always peppy and energetic, she tells me, “I’m feeling GREAT!” I, on the other hand, am not feeling great. AT ALL. I tell her that I need to slow down and that she can go ahead. I see her bounce off into the distance, and I meet up with her and Kyle (her husband-who was also running but WAY ahead of us chicks) after the race.

If you’re not a runner, you’re probably unfamiliar with “The Wall.” The simple explanation is that your body has run out of gas; your glycogen stores are GONE. It’s caused by going out too fast and/or not fueling your body properly during your run (I did both). For me, it felt like someone strapped cinder blocks to the bottom of my shoes. I was done.

I ran into Mike right before mile 20, right as I was heading up a hill (yay). I remember him asking, “How are you doing?” (he knew the answer) followed by my flat response, “Not good.”

I shuffled along for another couple of miles and then picked it up again around mile 23. I remember crossing the finish line both relieved that I made it and glad that it was over. Cross one off the bucket list. Not that I even knew what a bucket list was when I was 24. But still.

And hey... Even though I ran it in 4:17:26, I still beat Oprah's time (4:29:15), so it was all good. I could still be proud!

There you go. That’s my first marathon story. There’s nothing glamorous, glorious, inspiring, or even remotely motivating about it. I’m saving that kind of story for the next time. The Comeback Crapper will be back in two weeks after her successful running of the Kentucky Derby Marathon!! (April 30th)

I’m really hoping and praying that it’s sans crap though…

(Bridget, Kyle and myself after the San Diego RNR marathon. Bridget just made her comeback as well. She finished the Shamrock Marathon last month in 3:37:59 and qualified for Boston. So proud of her!!)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Coming Soon! Stay Tuned...

I'm not ready yet!! It's still a work in progress...

Check back on Sunday for my first *real* post. Evan has a mini-meet on Saturday with the Yuma Heat, and I can't wait to tell you all about it. It's AMAZING to see how much progress he's made in 20 months of swimming. Hard work (and hell, even not so hard work...Who are we kidding? He's 7!!) pays off.