NICE WORK YOU DID, YOU’RE GONNA GO FAR KID…
I can count the number of days until the marathon on one hand now. Which is one of those things that I knew would happen eventually…but EVENTUALLY seemed like it was going to take so much longer than it actually did, you know?
A month or so ago, the idea of the marathon being just a handful of days away would have probably made me hide in my closet in the fetal position with a plate of cookies to console me. Or maybe a cheesecake. And some ice cream. I’d kill for ice cream right now, actually.
So while my mental state of yore (it feels like a lifetime ago, therefore my use of yore is totally acceptable) would have clearly caused some serious stress eating – now…I’m ready. While out for my run this evening, resisting the urge to run longer than scheduled, I tried to imagine myself running on parts of the course. I imagined myself running by crowds of people, with familiar faces mixed in, and could practically hear the cheering, clapping, and cowbells. …I can’t wait. Am I better off compromising my body temperature by wearing an additional item of clothing and loading it up with emergency energy chews and other snacky-type things that I may not end up consuming? Or is this the sort of situation where feeling like I’m being *overly* prepared really just means that I’m *simply* prepared?
I’m guessing with one’s first marathon it’s probably the latter. Vest and I are going to have to spend some quality time together the next few days and learn to love each other. Okay tolerate each other. Alright, alright we simply have to coexist and not kill each other for ONE day…that should be reasonable, right? (If all else fails and I get overly hot in it, which could be a very real situation based on the trial run the other night, I’ll leave it with friends when I see them along the course.) I shall hereby call vest: Mini Monster. I just finished reading WILD for book club…and while my little vest is nowhere near the size and scope of what Cheryl was lugging around and calling Monster while she was hiking the PCT – that’s still how it feels to me since I hate having to carry things.
I think that may be the one thing I miss about running in the gym…yes, you read that right! I’ve actually had a few moments while running in my beloved outdoors where I’ve thought “this wouldn’t be happening if I was IN THE GYM!” This is why I can now present this very short list, in no particular order…
THINGS I DARESAY I MISS ABOUT THE GYM:
- THE TREADMILL HOLDS ALL OF MY THINGS. Sure, it occasionally spits those things back out at me in what I can only assume is an effort to murder me…but at least I’m not loaded up like a pack animal. Or I’m not trying to awkwardly carry something in my hands…which only causes both my hand and the item in question to get uncomfortably sweaty.
- IT’S CLIMATE-CONTROLLED. Yes, this does mean that it’s a constant raging inferno that’s trying to melt the flesh from my bones…but at least it’s predictable. One of my first runs outside it was nearly 60 degrees when I headed out and below 30 on my way home. (I was, of course, in a tank top and nearly froze to death.)
- THERE ARE NO BUGS THERE. I’m not just talking about the ones that fly into your eyes, ears, nose and mouth. Those suicide-bombing jerks have caused much hacking, spitting, flailing, and cursing which, thankfully, has not been witnessed by other people. I’m also talking spiders. On second thought, no. I can’t lump these all together.
- THERE ARE NO SPIDERS THERE. Or if there ARE spiders there, somewhere, within the building then I have not seen them. Or run directly into one of their webs. There is NOTHING worse on this planet than having cobwebs suddenly appear on your face…because then you start to think about how if the cobwebs are there then the SPIDER COULD BE TOO. With all of its creepy and unnatural little legs and eyeballs…UGH. Just ugh!
But back to the things I’m avoiding - the risk for personal injury is much greater since I am a total klutz. I know that sometimes people say that and they mean it in an offhand, almost cute sort of way…but really. If you had any idea how many times in a day that I bump into something, or someone, you’d probably find yourself thinking that I belong in one of those giant protective bubble things. I’m covered in little bruises and scratches and half the time I have no idea where they’ve come from. But I’m TRYING to be more careful…especially this week. (I’ve only seriously whacked my elbow ONCE so far…)
In fact, for the Craft Brew Run on the 21st, I avoided completely mangling my feet by wearing my proper running shoes INSTEAD of the ones I got to go with my costume. I thought maybe if I broke them in for a day or two that maybe, just maybe, I could get away with actually running the race in them…but no. Then I thought that maybe I could wear my running shoes for the race and change into my costume ones while walking around and sampling beer…but no.
The shoes in question are a cheap pair of glittery knock-off Converse sneakers – which totally pull my hipster outfit together…but I think I still managed to pull it off without them.
Brew Run is easily becoming one of my favorite 5ks – and not just because of all of the amazing local breweries who come and show off their tasty brews (Looking at you Good Water Brewery – the InspiRED might just be my new obsession on this earth!) The course itself is pleasant…no major inclines, pretty consistent terrain, and some of the best people watching both before and after the race. While at the starting line this year I got to smack talk a group of leprechauns (who I’m told threw glitter and gold coins in the air when they crossed the finish line…I wish I had been there for that!) but then have a serious discussion about which breweries we liked best or were most curious to sample. Later in the day, after many a sample, while sitting in the sun and soaking up the atmosphere as my friends ate their iced cream cones…I got to watch a girl desperately try and get her french fries back into their cardboard bowl after she dropped them onto the grass. She kept crying out “5 second rule!” in between laughing and trying to get the grass to stop sticking to her precious fries. (I don’t know which vendor was there with fries…but OMG they were SO delicious. It’s completely understandable that the girl I observed wanted to save them so badly!)
I may have to try Brew Runs in neighboring states…has anyone been to one? If you have just let me know how well darker brews are represented so I’ll know if the trek is worth it. (I’m starting to think I’m the only human alive who hates IPA’s…yeah, that’s right. I said it. I even said it when I was standing in the heart of Heady Topper country…which is practically forbidden.)
With this last handful of days before the marathon I’m already planning my outfit. Actually, I’ve been planning it since I first registered…but I kept changing my mind. At first I considered wearing one of the same old things that I run in all the time…but this idea was quickly rejected. Then I thought about having a tank top specially made that said ROOKIE SARAH in huuuuuge sparkling, glittery letters…and although this idea stuck around for quite some time, it was also rejected. I wanted this shirt to really mean something…and not just be all about me.
Then one day, while Ellane and I were talking about what we might wear, we decided that we would honor the memory of two special boys whose lives ended far too soon this year: Drew Bernier & Parker Berry. We got white shirts, tie-dyed them orange and purple, and then went to see MR TEEZ in the University Mall to have the DREWSTRONG and PARKER’S PALS logos applied. We decided that we would each feature the name of the boy whose parent(s) we have a connection with on our fronts and have the other on our backs.
I haven’t worn it yet – but it’s already my favorite shirt.
Until next time,
(Who hasn’t even completed this race yet, but is already starting to plot the next one…)