WEATHER: 45 — uncharacteristically cold for May in DC.
MILES: 10, with 8 hill repeats over by the Duke Ellington Bridge
MILES THIS WEEK: 13 (counting my sissy hung-over attempt at running yesterday)
WHERE TO: Adams Morgan, Duke Ellington Bridge, Rock Creek Parkway a little way, home.
MOOD: New lease on life (well, almost).
Well, readers, after a long lapse filled with schoolwork, stress, schoolwork, stress-baking, and a kegger at my house last weekend, I am back with the blog-posting and ready to answer all your running-related questions, as well as to inform you about the finer points of my running, like shinsplints, mental toughness, and intestinal woe. Things are great in grad-school land, except I have yet to get the final OK on my thesis (move it along, advisors…) and the OK from my grad school that I passed the (impossible and arbitrarily-graded, from my understanding) language exit exam (why do you hate me, GWU? WHY?).
This morning’s run was great — I wore my day-glo-yellow 2009 Boston Marathon t-shirt and did hill repeats, which made me feel like a bad-ass. The shirt being relevant here because (sad but true) sometimes wearing a Boston shirt is all that makes me want to get through interval workouts, because interval workouts are as much fun as pap smears (or ear-peeing, as an earlier post put it).
But on to the point, which is, of course, what race to do next. As a still-poor almost-graduated grad student, I can’t be gallavanting off to God-knows-where just to pound the shit out of my legs. So we’re staying local. Which will actually be kind of fun. To wit:
1) Marine Corps Marathon. Yeah, I had promised myself I’d try something new this year, but then the Mountie e-mailed me, saying she was doing it. And since I usually feel selfish and guilty calling up all my friends/coworkers/etc. and telling them to come stand on a chilly corner in Crystal City for 3 hours only to see me jog by in a soggy, mildly coherent, burgundy-faced mess late in the morning, I thought it might be nice to have someone to share the guilt with. So come October 31, the Mountie and I will be rocking that shit, after which I hope she will do me the honor of joining me for my customary shameless use-my-plate-as-a-trough-brunch-fest.
2) JFK 50-Miler. OK. I have a little tale to tell you, and it starts back in April 2004, when I was studying abroad in London. I was 6 years younger and 25 pounds heavier and, on the particular night in question, 12 beers drunker than I am now. My friend Monica and I had been jogging together every day in Hyde Park, and so naturally we thought the Twin Cities Marathon would be a good first race.
“DJ! Let’s do it!” she screamed.
I raised my fists triumphantly and fell off my bar stool.
On Saturday night, 10 marathons later but this time only about 5-beers drunk, I found myself having a similar conversation with my friend Rusty.
“Let’s do the JFK 50-miler!” he screamed.
I raised my fists triumphantly and sloshed beer down my front.
Ultramarathons — these decisions are best made while drunk.
So I will be doing the JFK 50-Miler, a race that sounds awesomely hardcore. I quote the Reston Runners website dedicated to this race:
“Almost all runners experience some serious low points during the run where you forget that it’s actually more fun than the MCM. Usually this occurs between 25-35 miles. Expect this. Know that this will pass. Second, third and fourth winds are almost guaranteed. You are not allowed to drop out because you are tired. You are only allowed to drop out if you are injured. You are not allowed to pretend you are injured.”
…AWESOME. And then there are the tips for crews:
“When your runner arrives, don’t expect him/her to be able to do anything or think clearly. … Offer food- don’t be offended if they refuse-ask again.”
Honestly, this might sound insufferable, but I think this is a logical next step. I mean, I finish a marathon now and sort of shrug and limp home, either pumped or depressed about my time. Now I will run a race in which my ONLY GOAL will be to finish. I will finish and have my post-race/post-partum laugh-cry and then get in the car for a post-race/post-partum flipout at how awesome I feel. Which will probably involve more delirious laugh-crying.
OK, so you may find this all to be an absolutely ridiculous plan, but you have to agree that reading the blog posts will be entertaining. You’re excited. Don’t lie. So here’s to new projects and feeding the obsessive beast that is running. Mmmmmm, this will ROCK.