Monday, October 31, 2011

Taper Madness

Instructions for the Tapering Marathoner:  Print this letter, make a few copies of it and keep them with you at all times.  Hand one to your spouse, your partner, your neighbor, the other mom at the bus stop, the guy who sits next to you in Biology Class, the person who makes your coffee at Starbucks,... anyone, really, who is unfortunate enough to come into contact with you over the next few weeks.  

A letter to the support team
borrowed with permission from Q

As the support team for a Marathoner you are entering a very tricky period.  Your Marathoner has been training hard through the summer and into the fall in preparation for the big day.  The hard work is done and TAPER MADNESS is ahead.
Marathon training is a stair-step type process where muscles are broken down for several weeks and then an easier week is thrown in for recovery.  Finally three weeks before the Marathon, one last long run is completed and it’s time for recovery.  The last three weeks are a period of descending running mileage.  This period allows the body to fully recover from the training and rest in preparation for the Big Day, this period is called the Taper.
This all sounds well and good, however, the Taper is a period of great anxiety for many Marathoners (first-timers and veterans alike).  Over the course of training for a Marathon, an athlete becomes accustomed to running many miles each week and constantly feeling the rush of endorphin driven highs and the persistent fatigue and soreness of effort.  The athlete becomes addicted to these emotions and craves both the highs and lows.
The Tapering Marathoner will be irritable, anxious, nervous, overly emotional, short-tempered, restless, tired, cranky, and depressed (even more than normal).  Sounds like a great three weeks doesn’t it?  It is not unlike the heroin addict going cold turkey.  This is a span of time where most Marathoners go a bit crazy.  For most it passes after Marathon day.  Of course there are the post-marathon blues, but that’s the subject for another day.
The first week is not too bad.  It’s really like most “easy weeks” following a twenty mile run.  Recovery is critical and the mileage is not dropping by a large amount.  They are so tired from the 50 mile week that the rest and recovery is welcomed.  Do yourself a favor, block  HYPERLINK "" and  HYPERLINK "" from your internet service, unless you enjoy continuous updates of the weather forecast for 18 days in the future.  Nerves may begin to fray but the best is yet to come – trust me!
During the first part of Taper Madness you will hear about every small ache and pain and how it may be a broken leg or torn ligament or some other traumatic injury.  Every twinge becomes a reason to think about postponing the marathon effort.  Every sneeze, sniffle, cough or pimple becomes a life-threatening virus or infection.  Tight hammies, inflamed ITB, tweaked Achilles, plantar fascitis, black toenails, bloody nipples, chafing, and this is just during breakfast.  
The second week starts the deep depression.  The tapering Marathoner starts to really miss running.  There are no more double-digit runs before the marathon.  The longest run for the next two weeks will be 8 miles.  Just 8 miles, how many used “just” and “8 miles” in the same sentence prior to training for the marathon.    The body is really starting to recover and therefore has more energy than needed.  Therefore, the Marathoner becomes restless.  No “extra” running is allowed.  The tapering Marathoner can feel the fitness draining out of their body.  Ask them, they will tell you, they are getting slower every day!  This is not happening but the feelings are real.  Physiologically, there is nothing but positives from a 3 week taper prior to running a marathon, however, it feels quite the opposite.  This restlessness often becomes frustration and a very short-tempered athlete.  Understand that this frustration will be projected at anyone and everyone within reach.  It’s nothing personal; it’s the lack of mileage talking.
So it’s now six or seven days before the Marathon.  The last 8 mile run is done and all that’s left is 3 easy short runs and the BIG EVENT.  For the first time Marathoner and some experienced folk, this week is nothing but self-doubt and worry.  “I’ll never make it.  My foot hurts.  My nose is running.  I’m not ready.  My last 20 miler sucked, I’ll die out there.  I’m getting fat and slow.  My shoes are dead, my shoes are too small, my shoes are too big, My legs are different lengths, my head hurts, I have a splinter, I have a hang nail, I hate running.” These are some of the things going through the mind of a Marathoner in their last few days before the Marathon.  Not to mention the nervous energy that is overflowing.  Not to mention that there may be a couple of extra pounds after cutting back on the running for 3 weeks.  Not to mention that the trips to the bathroom are increasing geometrically as the hydration dance starts in earnest.  Many find concentrating on anything other than the upcoming race difficult.  By the way, Marathoners in the final days before a race often make poor babysitters.
Two nights before the marathon are critical to the marathoner.  This night is probably the last chance for a good nights sleep.  The night before is typically restless and worrisome (what if the alarm doesn’t go off).  A sleepless night preceding a marathon will not have a dramatic impact on chances for success.  Adrenaline will offset missing that night’s sleep and get the Marathoner through the race.  The morning of the marathon is all about getting some food, using the bathroom and getting to the race.  My suggestion, don’t get in the way.
I am sure your marathoner appreciates all the support they have received during the training program.  The last few weeks are critical to a successful marathon effort.  Please understand that the emotional wreck will disappear after the marathon.  The Taper can be especially difficult and frustrating for everyone.  The good news, it ends with the race.
I hope this sheds some light on TAPER MADNESS.  Sometimes insight makes things a bit easier to understand.  Of course, your experience may differ greatly but I’ll bet it doesn’t.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Little (random) Things

Newly added to the list of things I’m thankful for:  a Statistics professor who puts up nasty looking formulas for finding z scores and standard deviation of the mean that look ~something~ like this:

AND then says:

“Of course, I’m just messing with you people.  We only have to use this formula if there’s a Zombie Apocalypse and we have to use up all our batteries on flashlights….  Cos there’s a button on the calculator for this…”

Professor who shall remain Nameless until the semester is over,  I heart you.

Well, I mean, I already liked her on day one when she gave us the suggestion, “If you want to get an A, just try not to suck”, and I thought – she so speaks my language.

Taper Island ... Day #6

Friday, October 28, 2011


It's FRIDAY and you know what that means?

Week 1 is nearly up, and I gotta tell you, it pains me to do it... but Jess's cute smiling self is being VOTED OFF TAPER ISLAND.

She's a doll.  Go blow up her BLOG with well wishes as she heads off to DESTROY MCM.

Dear Jess, 

Believe it.  Trust it.  Do it like a Nike Ad.  ...and of course, try not to suck. and don't forget that at mile 22 T's words - "you didn't train all this time to not bring it on Race Day" are there for you.  And finally, it's always a good idea to ask for it if you NEED MORE COWBELL.  Happy racing.

To ALL the MCM's out running 26.2 this weekend...  Bring it!

Taper Island... the first of the
vote "offs", and I'm not even
jealous. well maybe a little...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

~so~ freaking highschool

So I grew up.  And ended up back in highschool.

Well that's what it feels like.

Here's why.

Here I am, 35 years old.

I love the insanity of juggling the 9002 social adventures at "school".

I love that one of "The Varsity Boys" gave me a nickname.

I ~like~ totally admit, I have a crush on The Bad Boy.


 I am still surrounded by ~those girls~.

Yeah.  They're a plague.
A nasty little virus.  
They're constantly mutating. like the bat pig flu, right T?

See, there was this girl in my "click" who was always talking trash about me.  It freaking pissed me off, and yet, she continued.

Day after day, she told me I'm too slow, I'm too fat, I will never be a good student, I am unworthy, and I set lofty unattainable goals that shouldn't even be attempted.

She was always nice to me in public though.  The more people around, the more *fabulous* I was in her eyes.  God, I hated her.

And I can't tell you how many times I would look around at all my friends and be like, Man-o, if she EVER talked to my friends the way she talks to me, I would KICK.HER.ASS.  

'nuff said.

I DON'T SUCK, and the reason I don't suck is because as of late August, I stopped saying I did.  See.  I'm not ROCKSTAR at EVERYTHING I do.  I don't deserve or desire a pedestal.  But, I don't suck.

And I'm not taking it from anyone, anymore.  Not her, or anyone else.

AND THAT my friends is why I have stopped trashing myself.

Yeah.  I was THAT GIRL.

My inner voice was the girl I hated.  She was so very negative... and I kicked her a** to the curb.  I still have days where I forget.  I have days where I slip.  But for the most part, I have stopped allowing my inner demon to beat up my inner self.

I am beautiful.
I am smart.
I am funny - of that I was never in doubt.
I don't have to pretend to be awesome for anyone, I AM AWESOME.
And I can FREAKING RUN.  Like you wouldn't believe.

You know, sometimes, I'm the most insightful person I know.
And sometimes, I'm not.

But either way, I like me.

Taper Island... Day #4... and no, I'm not 
over analyzing ever single aspect of my 
life or anything, I have no idea what 
you people are talking about ...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

Taper Island:  Day 3

Maybe this should read, Struck Speechless Wednesday...

you remember *this* photo from my 20 mile recap?  ---->

This photo of Karasmatic, Biola Bud, Me, Random Guy, T & DeNiece's sleeve and knee was taken at around mile 5...

Yeah. The Illusive Dave is missing these days.
He's been elusive.

We really miss Illusive.

He's having trouble eluding his own illusiveness.

And this showed up on my FB Wall.

and I have to think that he misses us too.
Taper Island... day #3

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Taper Island

Imagine for a minute that your entire social circle is made up of runners.

Runners who love run like heroin addicts love H...

Add in that you're all training for a fall marathon or half marathon.

You see these runners every-freaking-where.

You see them ....

At Preschool.

In Micro Biology Class.

At Play Group.

On Facebook.

In your Neighborhood.

In Blog-land.

Some of these people are your closest friends.  Some of these people are the ones that you rely on to keep you sane when you're crazy... only guess what?

You and your 12 or 15 marathoning friends/acquaintances/relatives/"random people you know" are all accustomed to running 50 - 60 miles a week....
Only now it's time to taper.

And you can't run.

And neither can they.

Let the madness begin.

We've arrived on Taper Island.

Taper Island Day 2

Monday, October 24, 2011

20 Miles Last


Just.  Wow.  What an amazing training cycle this has been.  Maybe I’m forgetting the tough times.  Maybe I’m completely blocking out the tough runs… but from where I sit now, I have had a really great training cycle.

Todays run was ~savor~.

The last 20 of the year.  Packing for Taper Island…  Can’t wait.  My body needs it.  I need it.

A smile connected me to my Biolabud and we lined up to run.  A nod to Birch, a giggle with Karasmatic, some knuckle bumps and a few nerves zap through the crowd like electricity.  20 miles.

Through the city, up and back, picking up runners and falling into a groove.  Past MTTographer.  A smile, a wave, light feet that can’t be stopped by the teasing banter exchanged.  The plan was executed.  Pick up T, slow to start, pick it up later.  20 miles.

We crossed the river, suspended by fog and draped in dew coated spider-webs.  We ran in formation marching out single file across the bridge.  Only the shoulders of the beautiful runners ahead of me were visible, their muscles bunching as we powered up the sharp incline.  The rhythmic huh-huh-huff as we climbed was vocal testimony to the work we were performing.  We ascended up out of the river valley.

A slice of negativity tumbled down a hill.  It was quashed under our soles.  No room to carry that today.  20 miles.

Aimless and aiming, we ran.  20 miles.

A yawning chasm, the James River again, the golden landscape stretched before us.  Power up, it’s time to run.  20 miles.

Onto Main, my focus slips.  I feel the uncertainty tangle around my feet, tripping me like an uneven brick sidewalk.  The voice of reason speaks in my ear, to “pull me out of a ditch if I should ever 
fall into one” reminding me.  I am Strong.  1.4 miles.  It’s short.  Last year I threw away my uber goal on that 1.4 mile stretch of pastel lined road.  This year, those bricks don’t stand a chance.  “I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."  20 miles.

Race pace at the Boulevard, up, up, we climb toward our destination.  We don’t suck, crossing Broad, in a groove.  In tandem, as always.  Finishing.  20 miles.

Today was not about the glory of the 20.  
It was about making it good.  Making it count.  Making it last.

~Savor the run~

Friday, October 21, 2011

20 Mile Prep Talk

I don't need therapy...
it's just duct tape...
wrapped around a running shoe...
As my H prepares to take ALL.3.Kids camping this weekend (without me – cue the music), I’m prepping for my last 20 of this training cycle.  There’s a little part of me that’s skipping about doing a happy dance in anticipation of no more long runs before Richmond.  That's right.  I'm packing my bags for Taper Island! 

There’s a little part of me that’s thinking it might be time to get the prescriptions filled because I don’t know if anyone here remembers what the Taper was like last year, but it was ~ah~ entertaining?...  Maybe entertaining’s NOT the word.   I did produce some really weird (and pointless) art last year during the Taper-Tantrum… 

So it’s my last 20.

So, a jug, a triangle and a roll of
tape walk into a bar...
It’s the first 20 for some runners this weekend.  I met two the other night, and I remember walking away from them thinking, “Oh, wait, they have their first 20 this weekend…I should say…” and then, like an ADHD 8 year old I immediately lost my train of thought.  It's not my fault, there were 2891 people vying for my attention.

Ok.  2.  There were 2 people… 

I think though, that what is so exciting about this weekend’s 20 miler is that I know something that the novice runners don’t realize.  There’s NOTHING like laying down a 20 mile run.  No matter how (well) or (not well) it goes. 

Don't Panic!
If it’s EPIC, you can come off euphoric with the knowledge that you are a FREAKING RUNNING MACHINE and you are going to CRUSH the Richmond Marathon.

If it’s an EPIC FAIL, you can come off the run with the knowledge that on race day there’s going to be THOUSANDS of people lining the streets of RVA ready to cheer for you and you are going to CRUSH the Richmond Marathon. 

It’s funny, at the end of my first 20, which was, um… yeah… I remember thinking “huh.  It’s so anticlimactic.”  We were an hour or so later than we should have been.  We were dehydrated as we slogged back down the street to TMB’s house to finish the run.  But we'd RUN 20 MILES, and there was nothing waiting for me except a ride home in a sucky beige minivan. 

On race day, it will feel NOTHING like a 20 miler.  I assure you.  

I’m not sugar coating it, it’s still going to be hard, but seriously people, no one signs up to run a marathon with the idea that it’s going to be easy.  AND if they do, they’re sadly living in The State of Denial.  Heckfireandshoot – they’re probably the Governator of that State…. 

But ON the day of The Show.  When you come out to RUN LIKE SNOT (or to be COOL LIKE SNOW) (or to TRY NOT TO SUCK) (or to COWBOY UP)… or to just hunt down and chick every Red Shirt you see… it won’t be anything like that 20 miles to nowhere.

It will be so much better.

~savor the run~

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Print Worthy Insanity

Insane In The Membrane went to press last month, but I'm a slacker and I didn't share it.  Since I have ZERO time to blog with all the homework and training I'm doing, I'm using it as a fall back Blog Post.

Here's the Text Only version...  Above is the link to Miles & Minutes where it actually published.  And actually, technically I should probably cite this now, since it's owned by them...  

Insane in the Membrane
by gba_gf (ok, in the M/M version they use my "real name", but it's dull compared to galactically bada** girlfriend)

Right before his deployment to Iraq, my brother cornered me at a family gathering.  “You’re not going to become one of those ‘crazy running junkies’, are you?”

As my mouth and brain worked to form an intelligent response to the unexpected question, the non-runner in my life chimed in with, “too late… already insane.”

Me?  I’m not crazy, and insane certainly seems a bit strong.  Passionate about the hobby I enjoy?  Sure.  Dedicated to the training plans that I tackle with single-minded determination?  Absolutely.  Am I addicted, as the word “junkie” implies?  I am not sure that’s a fair assessment.

I run almost every day, so it is possible that the non-runner was referencing the Albert Einstein quote, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.  Then again, maybe not.  Non-runner loves throwing unrelated words together all the time.  Like cheese and crackers.  Peanut butter and jelly.  Crazy and running.

Regardless, in response to the non-runner, I see my running efforts as something slightly more refined than insane.  I approach my running with sense and reason, using cool-headed logic and a detailed agenda that helps me reach my goals.  At least, that’s how I like to think I approach it.

I am not a running junkie.  I am not an addict.  I am able to stop at any time, but I choose not to.

Besides, there are plenty of people out there who are far more zealous about running than I am.  Just because I haven’t found many is inconsequential.  I truly have not looked that hard.

Like many runners, I am interested in the mechanics and mental aspects of the sport.  I think about both things frequently.  Sometimes that thinking leads to reading, which builds up to research.  Plenty of people spend hours each day reading and researching about their hobbies. 

Who even notices if I log into a forum to catch a few lines about running while the pasta is boiling?  The box clearly states I have 8 – 11 minutes to spare.  If I happen to peruse an article defending the running skirt, written by a favorite author, as I’m getting ready to plate dinner?  Well, honestly, the kids complain all the time that the food is too hot to eat right out of the oven, so letting it cool for a few minutes while I read is actually a service to my family. 

Admittedly, I sometimes catch myself getting distracted.  Once in a while this results in over cooked noodles or blackened grilled cheese.  This usually only happens when I study my training log, but it’s not like I am over thinking every conceivable aspect of my run.  I am simply reflecting on the valuable information it contains. 

Details like splits, training plans, form, cadence, routes, hills and number of miles run each week are carefully cataloged in a database, just waiting to be analyzed from every possible angle.

The non-runner in my life loathes the time I spend generating reports nearly as much as he resents the time I spend collecting the data.  Recently I have considered the possibility that my coach dreads my lengthy e-mails about splits, training plans, form, cadence, routes, hills and miles run; though he has never actually said so in as many words. 

I guess I can see how a mild case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder might be a bad combination with a detailed training journal.

Sort of like combining a Jack Russell Terrier and a 6-foot sliding glass door that over-looks a bird feeder occupied by squirrels.  The obsession becomes toxic pretty fast.  For the squirrels, the JRT, and the sliding glass door. 

Maybe I’m not making a great case for my sanity here. 

I still argue that I am not an addict.  I am not junkie.  I am just like any other runner.  There’s a small part of me that wonders:  Is that a little like how everyone thinks they’re a good driver, but that’s just not possible?  Or, how everyone thinks they have a good sense of humor, but that’s just not true?

As for my brother, he has returned safe from overseas.  He was bored on the base though.  Apparently there was not a tremendous amount of entertainment after hours, so he took up running.  He learned how to do track repeats and tempo runs, and even completed a few 5K’s, a 10K and a 15K in his time abroad. 

He has also recently remarked on how much easier it would be to record accurate data in his training log if he had a Garmin.

Don’t worry though, he’s assured me, he’s not a running junkie either.

~savor the run~

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tequila Inspired Running

I so rarely drink.

But when I do, it's a GO BIG or GO HOME kind of moment... so on Saturday night we went out and I ordered a margarita with my fajita dinner.

Approximately what I ordered:

approximately what was delivered to my table...  (only I always drink mine on the rocks)

Right.  "It's ONLY 12 MILES TOMORROW".

Aka.  Famous.  Last.  Words.

FYI Fajitas for pre-run meal weren't that bad.  Chicken, some veggies and some wraps.  No harm.  Not ~like~ epic nutrition, but not a Run-tastrophe of the Cheeseburger and Fries variety.

Anyway, today's run went a bit like this....
is it just me, or does this photo
 make me look boob-a-licious?

The Posse & I started with the group we call SNOT.

I watched SNOT pull away like I was barely running.

I was now the last runner on the MTT route.

Alone.  For perspective....
Here --->

This is me on my group run this morning.

MTTographer snagged a photo of me bringing up the rear.  To be perfectly honest with you, I'm running an 8:45 here in "last place".

So.  What now?

Well, I have the best friends in the world.

Karasmatic pretty much ROCKS.  She was coaching from the bike today, as she's still recovering... ahem... from her marathon... ah...  In all seriousness, it doesn't really matter why she was on the bike.  The truth was, I was SO freaking glad she was coaching from the bike today I could have cried.  We hung together for 8 miles of my 12 miler....

And then, around the time that Karasmatic was getting so cold she could hardly stand herself, I looked up to see a familiar set of quads in a white skirt running toward me...

T joined me for the last 5 or so miles.  We got off course because I failed to pick up the route directions that I carefully printed last night.
or this morning.  However you want to look at it.
See above note about tequila.

So we just ran around the city until I had all my miles wrapped up.  Then T & I hit coffee with Birch, Karasmatic, KC and DeNiece so we could group stalk the runners out KICKING A** at Detroit today. (congrats again to the MTTr's who CRUSHED Detroit... Detroit didn't even know what hit it).

Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn't give Birch a little shout out for his excellent sportsmanship in his loss of the Plank Off this morning...  KC is a bit like a ringer though.  She.never.loses.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

" in G-U"

They encourage us to make leaps at Nursing school.  To think harder.  Be smarter about where we take our minds each day.

Every time I verbalize my thoughts or write a post on nutrition, I get more questions than I answer.  It’s interesting, and at the same time worrisome.

There are 2 million resources out there for people who want to eat healthy.  There are 2 million resources out there for people who want to run.  There are at least 3 sources of quality material for the runner who wants to eat healthy.  I can only say 3 because most of what I’ve read has either been too vague to be helpful (brown rice is better than white) or too detailed to be understandable (ATP & mitochondria… anyone?).   

For a while there I just wanted someone to tell me the answer to:  WHERE DO I START?”  Where is the book written for the “5’2” mom of 3 kids who runs 30-40 miles a week, spins once a week, and wants to lose weight without losing performance or going insane from lack of calories, oh and is Turkey Hill Natural Chocolate Ice cream on that diet because if it’s not I don’t want it”?

Never found that book.

This is a subject that runners talk about ALL the time. I read it on e-mail, in blogs, on Facebook, and even hear it in person … and overhear it on the run… “I use GU… as in G-U.”  (overheard, on the run, and yes, TMB and I had tears of mirth rolling down our faces in the moment)

Hell, for that matter, I SAY it once a week.  “Carp.  It’s another long run tomorrow.  What nutrition strategy am I going to try this week to see if it’s yet another TOTAL FAIL?”

I’ve had nutrition issues, GI FUNK, yada yada, and been down some dark roads on my nutrition path… and the thing is, as I’m wondering WHY this is a mystery, I’m also noticing that many of the questions/concerns/GI issues with ‘sports nutrition products’ are coming from women like me.

Who am I?
            Well I can tell you who I’m not.

I’m not a man.  
I’m not a 2000 calorie consuming “average” person referenced on everything from the side of your Orange Juice carton to the side of your Frosted Flakes box to The Food Pyramid….
                        …To the side of the GU box…

Wait just a darned minute here. 

Am I obtuse?  Why has it taken me so long to see this for what it is?  The G.U. guidelines, Eat one packet about 15 minutes before your workout. Then take a packet every 35-35 minutes during activity to sustain your energy followed by a few mouthfuls of water or hydration drink  are written for the "average athlete right?"  Should we then assume that is the same as the average 2000 calorie/day person?  I can eat almost 2000 calories a day when I’m running 50 miles per week, and 7 – 9 of those miles are intervals, and I’m cross training on my 6th day, and I walk the dogs on my rest day… in other words, for 49 weeks of my year, I eat substantially less calories than 2000 per day.

The leap I recently made was, “No wonder a whole GU destroys my stomach.  It’s too much sugar for someone my size”.

The 18 miler this season I had SEVERE stomach pain at mile 15 – I thought it was dehydration cramping (it was), but there was something else there too.

The first 20 miler I had SEVERE stomach pain at mile 15 – only, I wasn’t dehydrated.   The pain is on the fundus of the stomach, very high up, at the base of the sternum.  I was burping like I’d consumed a beer… a keg of beer…. TMB said something though, off the cuff that made me stop in my tracks, as I thought “wait, this is like the indigestion when I had that hernia on my stomach… oh. Snap.  I used to describe that pain as a knife from the inside…”

So on my last 20 mile run… what if I treat myself for indigestion?

And that’s what I did.  More details than you EVER wanted or needed. 

I ate a ½ a plain bagel with ½ a banana and 1 Tbl of peanut butter spread on it (about 250 calories).  I consumed about 24 oz of liquid over 1.5 hours before the run (stopping about 20 minutes before the run started).  And in the 1.5 hours, I took 1 salt pill because it was warm-ish and 4 TUMS.  

I carried 15 Honey Stingers (that's 1 1/2 packages) with me, and averaged around 5 stingers per hour.  I took 2 at 1 hour of running, and 1 every 15 minutes after.  At 2 hours into my run I took 2, and went back to the 1 every 15 minutes.  And I fueled right up until the end of my run.  So, I took 1 stinger at 3 hours, even though I was at mile 19 of a 20.  I finished the run with a few stingers left in the baggie. 

So there you go.  
No VOM SQUAD.  No POTTY PATROL.  No DRY HEAVING.  No KNIFE in my STOMACH (the chicken had a shiv).  

So there you go.  That is my 1200 word over share of how I’m fueling my run on the next 20 and on race day.

  some fine print
***I am not a nutrition expert.  I am a student.  I have no license in anything.  I talk a lot.  I read a lot.  I think a lot – which drives a lot of people crazy.  I have been conducting an experiment of ONE on this subject for a few long runs now, and so far consuming ½ of the recommended GU (or Accel Gel, Chomps, Bloks) serving has been successful for me.  I will be conducting further experiments, and encourage you to do the same and share your success or failure with me if you’re so inspired.***

Friday, October 14, 2011

Taper -Island- in the Sun

On this week's episode of Taper Island, we have many MTT'ers....    Yes, many of the coaches & runners I love and adore and crush on are wrapping up their time here.

They've been going ~crAzy~, and we've all been pretending that they're not INsane in the MEMBRANE... but to be honest, all y'all need to GET OUT OF HERE!

On Saturday a runner I love and a runner I've run with and a runner I crush on and a runner I've slept with and a runner I plan to sleep with... um... are on their way to Baltimore MD to kick some Galactic Bada**.  These ladies mean so much to me....

For example, I never know when ShyA is actually going speak to me, but when she does, those words are often uplifting... as long as she's not making fun of my Old School Music choices... and my beige minivan.  Dear 

Shy A, I ran with you last week, and what I saw is a phenomenally prepared runner.  You looked STRONG.  It’s time to come out and do some OLD SCHOOL running here.  Channel that beautiful relaxed runner I saw last Thursday, and just go for it.  You’re ready to blow the top off of this thing.

  "Capture the moment... OLD SCHOOL STYLE".

PinkJ is so tremendously giving that she gave up part of her morning to support my freaktastic 20 miler this past weekend.  I freaking KNOW.  She rocks/  She just needs to embrace this run in Baltimore.  PinkJ, On Saturday, it's your day to "seize everything you ever wanted...".  You've been here before.  You are well trained.  You have a plan.  Execute the plan.  

And SpeeDee ~ there aren't even words to describe her.  She sacrifices so much for so many others.  I sometimes want to shake her and say, BE SELFISH TODAY.  But even if I did that, she would not.  She just wouldn't.  Cos that's how she rolls...  Dear SpeeDee,  I love you.  You know what you mean to me.  You're always there for me, with a smile or with tears, in support or in action, you are the epitome of RUN LOVE.  I wish I could go with you tomorrow.  I wish I could be there with you.  I want you to just go get what YOU want out of Baltimore.  Do YOUR thing.  Be in YOUR moment.... you might have 99 problems... but.... Baltimore is your b*tch, so... 

Lion and I have some history.  ~huh~ you could read that a lot of ways...  Dear Lion, I believe in you.  You just need to relax and run the race you've trained for... and you KNOW what I'm saying.  Some days are EPIC.  Somedays are SURVIVOR.  But I think somedays are to be SAVORED.  And finally, some days are LESSONS to bring with you to TOMORROW's freaktastic.  Lion, let me also say this... you're the BEST Anacostia Running Partner ever, and, to be clear, I'd choose you again in a hot minute... because I like you just the way you are... oh, I just....  Seriously though, Galactically BadA**.  'nuff said.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably know that Q is my coach and I think he's.... I mean, he gets overheated here in VA on a regular basis.  Cos it's hot here is all.  Dear I.Q...  I think we covered it all yesterday... but just in case:  "Run like snot".  "Try not to suck".  "Don't eat the yellow snow...". wait... that's, whoops, sorry, not sure where that came from... "Be cool like snow, and untouchable like yellow snow".

Pixie Green is running Baltimore Half Marathon 13.1 mile race this weekend.  Dear PG, Tomorrow you need to run your own race.  You have to follow your own plan.  Listen to your heart.  Not to the inner voice that doubts you, but TO YOUR HEART.  What does it tell you?  It tells you the truth.  Deep down inside you are thinking you can run this thing in (UBER GOAL):00, and you know what... you're right.  Believe that my friend, TRUST the training, TRUST yourself, TRUST your running-mate.  I have so much more that I can't say here.  Hopefully you "heard" it all.

And a little note to Mer - you go girlfriend.  Relax and just be, "and do better" (wink).

And lastly, TMB is out running a last tune up Half 13.1 mile race this weekend in RI.  Hey T, Have fun, look sexy, be smart.   Because sometimes life just gets in the way.... I think T's very brief dedication is going to be benched.... 

may the force be with you, and all the other runners out testing their limits this weekend!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Letter to Q

I.Q, sounds like an SOS!
Holy wack, un-lyrical, lyrics Andre!  You're f*ckin' right...
To the rapmobile, let's go...    .

{I.Q., I.Q.}, b*tches and gentlemen, it's showtime,
hurry hurry, step right up,
introducing the star of our show, his name is, {I.Q.},
you wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world right now,
so without further ado,
I bring to you,
{I.Q. }
You 'bout to witness (running) in it's most
purest, more rawest form, flow almost flawless, most hardest,
most honest known artist,
chip off the old block, but ol' Q is, {back},
looks like Batman brought his own Robin,
oh G, Sadam's got his own Laden,
with his own private plane, his own pilot,
set to blow college dorm rooms doors off the hinges,
oranges, (blacks), (teals), plums,
syringes, {vnn vnn}, yeah here he comes,
he’s inches, away from you, dear fear none,
running is in a state of 911, so...

Let's get down to business,
I don't got no time to play around, what is this,
must be a circus in town, let's shut the sh*t down
on these clowns, can I get a witness?
{hell yeah}

Dear Q-sack,

I thought Detroit Marathon = Eminem.
I.Q. = Bada**
Bada** + Eminem = Angry Rap Lyrics

Hope I didn’t miss the mark, and if I did… WTFC? 
By Sunday afternoon this will all be over.
Now… on to business.

At every moment of our lives, we all have one foot in a fairy tale and the other in the abyss. --Paulo Coelho   (obviously there is only one thing you can get from this:  Paulo is a genius.)

Did I ever tell you about that time that my hot coach went to Detroit and destroyed the Free Press Marathon?  You know what makes the story more amazing?  He had surgery in February of that same year.  This guy can run… you should look him up….  He’s a freaktastic coach.  On the coaching scale, he's way better than me...

Seriously though, of all the athletes I have ever coached to Detroit, you’re my favorite, and in the year it’s been since I first considered giving you CPR, I’ve really enjoyed 'coaching' you.  
(~ah, well, huh~ that sounds a lot more interesting in print than it was in reality)

I know you have some sayings you give to your athletes before a marathon.  Well, I have some too.

The Hay is in the Barn… and that sh*t is rough on the skin and itches like a mo'fo, so don’t forget to glide.

Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint, let the race come to you, and remember it’s only ~like~ 42,000 meters.

Try NOT to suck…   I made that up myself…

You didn’t train for 24 weeks not to bring it on race day…. ^ See above ^.

Galactically Bada** is a state of mind

When you see the mile 22 mile marker, just remember, “You’ve got GREAT STAMINA… call me!

AND when someone says, “JUST KEEP GOING!”, the appropriate response is “THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID.

AND finally, the most important aspect of GBA marathoning... when things feel a little rough, it's always OK to tell the volunteers & spectators that you “NEED MORE COWBELL.

Be in the moment.  This is your day, your season, relax and enjoy it.  
You are great.  The proof is all around you.  
If you can't see that, I will help you figure out where to look....

“It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” ― Paulo Coelho

~savor the run~