Thursday, October 30, 2008

Paige vs. The Pavement

Marathon in R E V I E W ! ! !

I know you've been dying to hear about the big day. Here is my photo review of the events that transpired that fateful Sunday morning at the Marine Corps Marathon... (*note: descriptions of photos are above each photo not below)

It started out like any morning. Any morning where you wake up to the pitch blackness of pre-dawn, throw on some sexy black spandex, and head out the door before the cock crows. OK, what am I talking about? I am never out of the house before dawn, so already, day of the race, I had those thick butterflies swarming in the stomach long before the cereal typically hits the spoon.

Due to issues*, travelling the ten blocks from where we stayed to the marathon start took an hour and a half. Here is part of the circuitous line we waited in to catch a shuttle to Runners Village*. 

 *Issues included: some traffic (although minimal), this crazy line, roads closed making the shuttle drive all the way to Maryland to get us to Runner's Village.
*Runner's Village was about 3/4 of a mile of crowds away from the actual race start.

Me and my hubby waiting patiently. (OK, so maybe I wasn't so patient, but at least I was smiling in this picture). 

The weather was perfect. PERFECT. Saturday was stormy, windy, rainy and cold. Sunday was heaven. Here is my friend, Rachel's, photographic genius at work. 

Oh look. I still haven't gotten to the start of the race. Time? 7:50 a.m. Start = 8:00 a.m. Feelings? Stressed.

Before I move on, one of the two comments I received from fellow race-goers during the marathon had to do with my shoulders. That is the second time this month someone has mentioned my shoulders while I was running. That is also the second time anyone has said anything about me while running. What is it with my shoulders? I get it. They're huge. 

Here is my precious baby boy. He was such a happy trooper all day. 

Sorry girls. This one is taken. That's right! He's mine!  (like father like son, much?)

Wooah! Finally I'm running! I know, we all thought it would never happen! Check out this sweet shot caught by Photographic Genius Rachel (PGR). That's my husband and baby cheering for me in the background! 

Talk about a sweet course. Check out those awesome D.C. sights. Unfortunately I was a little more focused on not dying than I was on admiring the scenery. Oh well. :) Still looking and feeling pretty strong here, though.

My dedicated supporters. 

Aw yeah! Work it! I'm pretty sure I was starting to feel the effects of eating 10 gel packs (OK, slight exaggeration) by this point. My stomach had already started its picketing, getting ready for the big anarchic revolution inside my body. 

Still chugging. Probably praying too, with my eyes closed like that. Luckily I'm also still running at this point. At about mile 19 the major revolts inside my stomach started going crazy, forcing me to walk and wishing I would just throw up. Unfortunately the vomit did not actually come until after the race was over (despite my efforts to force it out earlier which included deep nasal inhaling past each portapotty). 

Ah, life is good and the race is OVER! My first words to my husband post race? "I am never doing that again!!!" Hmmm...we'll see if I keep that promise. Here's to 26.2 miles of guts and glory! 
Final time: 4:35  

Monday, October 27, 2008

26 at 26

I did it. It's done. Finito. Check.

I wish I could document everything that happened, but time is of the essence, my friends. I promise to post the most amazing review of a marathon you've ever read in your lives. Ok, maybe that's a bit of an overstatement, but it will be good.

Here's a sneak preview: Sharp knives, hot spandex, gorgeous weather, sweet climbs, and lots of handsome marines. :)

I'll even post a photo or two of myself (which I have YET to do on this blog!)! So get excited. I'll be back.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

To taper or not to taper. That is the question.

Let's talk taper. What does it mean? According to my trusty dictionary widget it means a slender candle. Hmmm... OK, it also means a gradual narrowing. That's better. I'm on my tapering week here before The Big Day and I'm feeling weird. I have Mephistopheles on my shoulder screaming at me to go enjoy the beautiful weather on a nice brisk hour-long run. Then I also have this sweet, tender angel on the other side telling me to take it easy - you don't want to literally die on the D.C. asphalt on Sunday. 

So who do I side with? Good question, but because my head is right in the middle, I, too, make a compromise. I run a nice 3-mile run up the steepest slope and roughest terrain I know. Isn't that nice. 

Here's to tapering! 

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Take your pick

Wow, talk about laziness. Not posting for almost a week?!?! Bad Paige. BAD! Maybe it's because my marathon is this week (AHHHH!) and I'm tapering so everything in my life is tapering along with it. Or maybe it's because my little boy decided last week to go on a hunger strike and throw up everything that actually did enter his mouth. Or maybe it's because the weather suddenly got freeeezing (ok, not really, but 60 degrees is a lot colder than 80) and everything in my body goes into hibernation mode when it gets cold. So maybe that's it. Or maybe I'm just lazy. You decide.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

In or Out?

I'm looking out the window everywhere I go and I see beautiful colors on the trees, Halloween ornaments on the houses, pumpkins at all the stores and I'm really excited that fall is here! Then, I step out of the car and BAM! It's HOT and HUMID! What the heck? I'm totally a fair-weathered girl, but 80 degree weather in October? Crazy. Luckily, this has enabled me to still run outdoors without worrying that my little chubster is going to freeze to death in his mini sports car (what my stroller was referred to today cause it's so sweet). Thank goodness for that.

I might as well talk about my issues with running indoors. Treadmills are so boring, it's stupid. Why do they even put a TV up there anyway? Can people actually see what's going on while bobbing up and down so much? And a magazine rack? OK, this is good for walkers, but runners like me just can't hack it. I think I tried to read a fitness magazine once and gave up after 15 minutes of trying to get through the first sentence of what looked like a good article. And I'm sorry I have to talk about this again, but hello sweat! Indoor running, even with those massive fans blowing, is still stifling. Oh yeah and running for an hour indoors is like running for a century. Not because it's really that long, but because you'll probably watch at least three runners cycle through your neighbor machines. I'm not trying to diss (oh yeah, 90s) people who run shorter distances, it's just hard for me to keep going when everyone next to me finishes their workout in 20 minutes. I start feeling like I'm going to set up base camp right there and live on Gatorade and Cliff Bars from the gym's concessions for the rest of my life.

But believe it or not, I'm really not bitter about everything. In fact, I really appreciate the awesome resources that gyms provide. For example, the gym near me has a free co-op babysitting program for moms who want to workout. It's awesome. On top of that there are so many classes for people in to that (hmmm...I'm not) and a huge amount of weights for strength training. Also, a staff of personal trainers is always on hand to give advice and record your improvements. Running outside definitely doesn't provide all that.

Moral of the story, do what you want, but for now, or at least till the weather gets unbearable, I'm running outside!

What about you? Are you IN or are you OUT?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Winterizing your running routine

Fall is here and it's awesome. I absolutely L O V E the cool weather, bright colors, delicious flavors and fresh smells. Mmmm.... But let's talk logistics here. With fall comes cooler weather and eventually....winter! Ah! If you're as afraid of winter as I am, then you'll really appreciate these Eight Easy Tips to Winterize your Running Routine.
These tips are 10% expert knowlege and 90% my experience. Here goes:

1. Layers. Layers. Layers. I cannot emphasize this enough. Dress in layers.
2. Wear moisture-wicking material. This will keep you warm and dry.
3. Heavy, loose clothes will make you feel lethargic and demotivated. Spandex or other form-fitting clothing will not. Embrace it.
4. Cover your extremities. Ears. Hands. Head. Etc. You'll thank me for this. Most of our body heat escapes from the head, so this is especially important.
5. Hydrate. You will not sweat as much as you do in hot, humid weather, but you're still losing lots of body liquid. Make sure you drink even when you don't think you're thirsty.
6. Chapstick. It's a great way to avoid chapped, cracked lips. Simple.
7. Cool down. Pay attention to your cool down. Make sure you don't cool down too quickly and get cold FAST. This can be dangerous in really cold weather.
8. Use your common sense. If there's a blizzard outside and you'll be running on a road, this is not smart. Stay inside and run tomorrow.

Hope that helps and enjoy the beautiful weather!

Friday, October 10, 2008

I am not a pink version of a man

One of the best magazine ads I ever saw was a Nike (?) women's ad. Despite a very thoughtful Internet search I was unable to locate the ad, but the script said something like this, "I am not a smaller, pink version of a man. I am woman."

I love that.

So when I went to a Nike outlet today why was everything either pink or black? There were several jackets and long-sleeved shirts I would have considered had my color options extended beyond that very limited pallet. Sometimes I really do feel as if women's athletic apparel has to be pink or else no one would tell the difference between an athletic man and an athletic woman.

Yes, I do admit, as Holly made mention in her last comment to me, that I have no hips. Nor do these mosquito bites on my chest actually count as breasts (although thanks to Victoria's Secret, they do now!). My waist is really not a whole lot smaller than my non-existent hips and my shoulders are huge. So, maybe Nike is trying to tell me, and women like me, that we need to wear more pink so the sex line is not so blurry. Is that the reason and I'm just getting it now?

I hate pink, but am I being forced to embrace it to retain my femininity?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Excuse me?

Alright, will someone please just tell me what's the deal?!?! Why does this exist and who is wearing them? I'm talking about RUNNING SKIRTS! They are the new big thing in the running world. All I can say is, NO THANK YOU. There are several reasons why you will never see me sporting this new brand of "hot" this year.

Here are my top 5:

1. I got through four years of high school and four years of college without ever wearing a skirt (to class). I'm not breaking that record now.

2. Remember the 1990s fad of 'skorts'? Yeah, the similarities are just too striking.

3. If the skirt is supposed to make me feel 'sexy', then why the heck am I wearing it while sweating profusely in a crazy-humid environment while pushing my babe in a stroller around a park filled with other moms and their kids? Oh wait, unless you want me to prance through my husband's barracks and pretend I don't have a kid screaming in the car, then maybe we've actually got something going here...(yeah right!)

4. Am I all the sudden ashamed to be a runner and want to somehow conform to tennis and field hockey culture?

5. Skirts are supposed to help women gain confidence and attitude and I'm pretty sure I don't need any attitude and as far as confidence goes, well, I'll get that when I'm passing the girls distracted by their reflection during my marathon.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Some girls don't sweat, but this girl ain't one of 'em

Let's just get one thing straight: I'm not one of those girls. You know who I'm talking about. Maybe you're even one of them. But believe me, I'm not.

That's right. I'm not one of those girls who walks out of the gym smelling like sweet flower petals with her perfectly even-tanned skin and smooth hair. When I walk out of the gym (which is infrequent since I can't stand running indoors) I don't smell like flower petals, my hair is anything but smooth, and you can bet that farmers' tan makes a different kind of scene at the pool. The closest I get is smelling of three-day-old flower stems that have been sitting in the same water since the day you bought them and are starting to get that slimy film. Yeah, I'm that girl. I'll even admit it here - now - I've worn, and occasionally wear, men's deodorant. There, it's out. Sometimes it's because I like the smell (I feel like I was just hugged by my hubby all day long - Here's to Old Spice!) and sometimes it's cause it's the only thing that gets the job done. And hey, I'll take it.

So believe me when I say this girl gets down and she gets dirty. Sometimes it may be in the form of a little healthy sarcasm, and sometimes it's just a good American life story. And that's who I am and that's why I'm here. Welcome to my side of the story.