Friday, February 25, 2011

Countdown to Hyannis

When you order a beer called an “Arrogant Bastard” on a Wednesday night, it should be obvious that there’s going to be some backlash.  It should make you wonder what this beer did to earn such a distinct name.  I unfortunately wasn’t astute enough to make this connection Wednesday night, which made yesterday a physical challenge on many levels. 
                The last couple days have been great for running.  Temperatures in the upper 30’s and widespread sunshine have melted down some of the snow banks, and we took advantage of this and ran on the streets at lunch.  Our last seven runs have taken place in the parking lot around the building, and I just couldn’t bear the thought of running around in circles again.  (I know it’s been seven consecutive runs, thanks to a quick glance of my running log).  We did the best we could with it, using scandalous stories and controversial topics to make the time pass quickly.  We’ve run out of topics to cover and all of us have been getting antsy to hit the road again.  I had checked out some of the side roads on the way in the office and they looked safe enough, so at lunch on Wednesday we headed out.  This was an all-girls run.  Todd was sidelined with a slight knee injury after his half marathon on Sunday.  Kerri, Jaimee and I had a very nice 4.5 mile run and even met up with some guys that are also running Hyannis this weekend.  Their first question was asking if we were marathon training.  For some reason I thought this was fantastic, that two marathon runners thought we looked like marathon runners.  When people drive by, do they look at us and say, “Now there’s a group of real runners.  Did you see that girl’s magic running shoes?  And her seen-from-space windbreaker?  Only a real runner would wear such advanced running attire!”  The two guys also clued us in about a 5 mile trail down the road that makes a nice summer run.  We’ll be checking that out in a few months, for sure!  Overall it was a great run, and we spent most of the time listening to Jaimee’s stories about Sunday’s half marathon and some of the “mistakes” she made along the way.  I’m so glad I did my two dress rehearsals!  The best part about the run was being out on the road again.  For people that never run on the roads, they really don’t know what they are missing.  I’m guessing it’s the equivalent of seeing in shades of gray your whole life, not knowing that there’s a whole world of color all around you. 
                Yesterday was my last run before Hyannis and I planned another 4.5 miles.  It was critical that I got this run in for two reasons:  1.Today it is going to be pouring rain and flooding, changing over to snow, and 2.My super-fancy new sports bra finally came in the mail, and I simply MUST try this out!  This has been the one piece of equipment that has failed the dress rehearsals, and I’ve been watching FedEx like a hawk for this precious cargo to make its way across the country (FedEx ground from Oregon! What was I thinking??)  Of course, I hadn’t anticipated the after effects of the Arrogant Bastards that had entertained me so well the night before.  My stomach was in turmoil and my head pounded heavier with every step I took.  Note to self: No more Arrogant Bastards.  Ok, maybe just one.
                Todd was back running with us yesterday, and when I proudly announced I was using this run to test out the new sports bra, Kerri stuffed her iPod back in her bag.  She knew the running conversation would be more entertaining than any music.   Yes, we spent most of the run discussing undergarments and Vaseline, and I was compelled to give regular status updates on the performance of the new sports bra.  The conversation was good and it distracted me from my pounding head. 
With my final 4.5 miles in the books and the final piece of equipment passing the test, it’s now a waiting game for Hyannis.  I won’t be running at all today or tomorrow.  Just like last week’s 10 miler, I’m giving myself two full days of rest before the race.  Also during this time, I have to be extra cautious of food and beverages.  That means no Arrogant Bastards.  No food I’ve never eaten before.  No food that may not agree with me.  (Last night I had to politely decline a bowl of Jambalaya.  Others see it as a nice hot bowl of food.  I see it has a bowl of stomach acid, with a skull and crossbones on top).  Tomorrow the rules will get stricter: No beer, no vegetables, no popcorn.  So, that pretty much puts me on lockdown for the next two days, all in preparation for Hyannis. 
So here I sit, a monsoon outside with driving rain and flooding.  The Cape and Islands are getting 60-70 MPH winds later this afternoon.  Tomorrow will have gusty wind.  Sunday, the forecast is 2-4 inches of snow (“in spots”) until noon.  Really, after this winter, what did you think the forecast would be?  You know what I say… BRING IT!  I would love to tell people how I ran a marathon in the snow, in a winter where snow was measured only in feet instead of inches.  And I’ll order up another Arrogant Bastard, and we will laugh. 

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