This second official training week was a mixed bag. I had a couple of days where I got home from work, ready to go, was out the door and feeling energized and great. I also had a couple of days where I felt as though I was trying to run in a pool. This can’t be coincidental.
I’ve been jotting down keys to successful runs as I think of them, and maybe you can help me add to the list with your own suggestions. Here’s what I’ve got so far:
-drink a lot of water throughout the day
-eat enough (protein and vitamin-rich foods)
-time my eating before AND after runs to avoid all sorts of catastrophes
-get enough sleep
-listen to “pump up” music before starting run
What are your favorite pre and post run snacks or meals? The whole eating component has actually been the trickiest for me, so perhaps other teachers out there, or others with hectic work schedules, can give me some advice. Sometimes I don’t have time to eat during the day, or I eat inconsistently. What are some great running snacks I can fit in between classes? This might be a bit of a TMI moment, but if I eat too close to my run I get a stomachache, and if I don’t eat soon enough after I get dizzy and nauseated. I had a rather unfortunate incident after my first half marathon that resulted in poor Dave cleaning up after me, as I lay miserable and helpless on the floor. (You’re welcome.)
This week was also one where running provided an excellent outlet for me to channel some thoughts and emotions. February 17 is the five-year anniversary of my stepmother’s passing, and I thought about her and my dad (who passed away last year) a lot. There’s a horse farm on one of my new running routes, and as I ran by I thought about Cherokee, my stepmom’s horse, and how after she passed away, rather than selling him, my father gave him to a little girl at the barn who didn’t have a horse of her own. I also thought of some of the random conversations my stepmom and I had in the car while she drove like a maniac (forgetting her glasses and calmly commanding us to “be my eyes!”), like her insisting that my burly father was “cute,” eliciting pretend groans of disgust and disbelief (ewwww, he’s Dad!). These stories often creep up unannounced, little moments that pop into my head seemingly inexplicably, and would otherwise be very inconsequential but for the fact that I know I can’t make any more of them with my parents. These moments now matter immensely; they’re tiny gifts my memory continues to give me, as though dispensing them at intervals that will last me the rest of my lifetime.
My dad came to cheer me on at both of my half marathons, even positioning himself in the middle of the road in a camp chair with a cooler by his side at the Mad Half so as to get the best view. And the truth of the matter is that in part, I’m running this for him, because I know he’d be proud of me. I always played better, or imagined I did, once I heard his voice cheering me on at all of my high school field hockey and lacrosse games, and seeing him on the side of the road during those halfs bolstered my determination and helped me put some power in my stride. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to feeling cheated out of having him walk me down the aisle this summer, but the beauty of running is that I rarely feel self-pity or sink into sadness, like I easily can while sitting on the couch. Something about moving my body, breathing in fresh air, and being outside (or perhaps the rush of endorphins…) helps me to realize all of the amazing things in my life for which I can and should be thankful. So thank you thank you thank you to my best friends who are running this marathon with me or cheering me on (especially my sister-in-law Meaghan and someday-sister-in-law Lindsay, who could very easily not be a part of my life if they didn’t want to, since Colleen (my stepmom) is no longer alive, and my sister, who almost didn’t survive last year), and for my grandfather walking me down the aisle, and for all of you! Your comments and support is also appreciated! I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite songs to run to, and in return maybe you can share some of yours. Until next week, where I’ll more closely examine my running music and the development of my still red foot!
3. \”Push It\”