Sunday, May 05, 2013

Very Fast Persons

Dear Diary,

I used to refer to the lightweight (i.e., anyone lighter than me) and fast people as "tiny bird people," a somewhat derogatory term until three things happened: 1) some of them became my friends, 2) some of my friends became them, and 3) Sweet Baboo, who is not tiny, became very fast.

Thus, I now refer to them in my mind as Very Fast Persons. You may know some. They chatter about how they're going to try to get under 3:30 FOR THEIR FREAKING MARATHON TIME but then again, "maybe I'll just relax and turn in a relaxed 3:45 time instead."

I wish my skin was this smooth when I'm standing up.

Occasionally , we'll be talking about someone else, but if it's the day before a marathon and we're all competing, er, participating in the marathon, well, eventually the conversation drifts towards working on maintaining an 8 minute pace for 26 miles and not going out too fast, and I start counting the holes in the ceiling tiles, or cracks in the sidewalk. Or whatever.

And so it was at the Lincoln National Guard marathon in Nebraska. We flew in with friends Bones and Miki, and met up with Chief. Chief, Baboo, and Miki are all in the National Guard and they, along with Bones, are all Very Fast Persons. In contrast I try to remind myself that I am a Very Brave Person, or at least, at times, a Somewhat Interesting Person, given that my all time Marathon PR, two years and twenty pounds ago, is around a 4:45 and yet I keep showing up for these things. I think I garner a fair amount of respect, too, even from Very Fast Persons because, after all, in about 3 to 3-1/2 hours they are done and off their feet and resting, and I'm still at least 2 hours out, on my feet, blazing past the walkers with my 12- or 13- mIle pace.

Now, I am in no way saying that everyone doesn't have their concerns. it's just that the concerns are different in the back of the pack. For me it's chaffing and finding a decent bra, and whether or not my new running skirt makes my thighs look heavy. These are both things that tend to fall off my radar when I am in the lower end of my weight. The comparisons I tend to make of others in my corral are different, too. When I'm feeling svelt, I might mentally compare my muscle tone to another Female and wonder what age group she's in. When I'm zeftig, I console myself with things like, "well, my breasts are bigger than hers, so there." Then I feel better.

Consistently, though, since I am merely a Very Brave Person and, at times, a Somewhat Interesting Person I consume my time with having something cute to run in and having a good mix on my shuffle, and wearing lots of Sportslick

And so it is with spirit in mind that I make no attempt to tell you, dear diary, what I might have done to move faster, so much as what I might have done to move cuter and having fun. I tried three new purchases for this one, first, I wore my new Brooks running skort, which has "Marathon Maniacs Diva" embroidered on it.

--> FYI, ipad has just informed me that there is no such word as "skort." Helpfully, it suggests "snort" as one option.

Second, I wore my new Aqua Flood shuffle (purple) and skull candy earbuds (pink and black) and third, I wore a belt that holds gels (black, with pink trim).

I haven't done a big City marathon in a while and they are both interesting and challenging. This is one of the marathons that has a major corporate sponsor (The Army National Guard) and thus, so far, has managed to avoid being taken over by the Rock and Roll series. The day of the marathon was forecast to be in temps mostly between the forties and mid sixties, at least during my run, and mostly cloudy. The course has very gentle rollers, lots of local support--including locals handing out odd things such as donut holes. This is a sports lovin' town, and those are the best towns to run a city marathon in, especially when it's not football season, because the folks are looking for someone to root for, so, it might as well be you. Since the bib numbers are personalized, they'll shout out your name, too.

The good: mostly flat, some gentle rollers here and there, good weather for heavy runners, a nice finish in Husker Stadium at the 50-yard line. There are lots of porta-potties but you will wait in line. The marathon is well-organized, with friendly guardsmen at aid stations that are about every mile, I think. There are pace groups all the way up to 5:30 finishers, something you don't normally see.

The bad: lots of cement. Not blacktop, cement. You'll get a bit beat-up on the course. Also, the first thirteen miles are pretty crowded, given that the half marathoners start at the same time. Also, the massage people left right as I finished. No massage for you!

My finishing song, or songs, are that one song or song sequence that I find particularly motivating, and so will back up my shuffle and play them over and over, especially in the last 5k. This time it was "Rock Me Tonight by Billy Squire" and "Little Bird" by Annie Lennox.

I used a mostly 1:1 Galloway run-walk, and finished just under 5:30.

And I'm tired. And I smell. So this is the end of my report.




  1. I know what you mean, but you & your accomplishments are quite impressive & inspiring on their own! Marathon Maniacs? Javelina Jundred? Awesome. Thanks for blogging from & for the rest of us, who are important & special each in our own snowflake kinda way.

  2. I completed the Lincoln half yesterday as I am from Omaha. Glad you enjoyed and yes, I spent 4 minutes at a porta potty stop! They need more than 3 at a stop! We Husker fans have no professional teams so we will cheer for anyone and anything. I always love to see Elvis and the Nun each year at this event. Also, appreciative to the women who had kleenex for we running up "The Hill"
    As of yet, I cannot bring myself to run the full...bring on the triathlon season -you are awesome! Go Misty Go! P.S. when someone yells my name I cannot get away from looking around for someone I know!???

  3. Love reading about this race! I plan on doing the military slam, but only one a year. This year is Air Force for my sister (who works for the AF) & I. This sounds like a great race and maybe this will be on my list for next year. :) Are you and Baboo coming to Roswell for the Milk Man this year? From one back of the packer to another - if you can't be fast at least be cute. Congratulations on your victory!!!

  4. Anonymous7:19 PM

    3:30-3:45 is not a "fast" marathon time. At least not in my day...

  5. I'm not even sure what that means. In what day?

    My friends are fast. I say that because they finish often in at least the top 25% of the field. I have respect for their effort. I think they have respect for mine, after all. They've sprinted hard, while's I've dragged 165 lbs over 26 miles. I never think it's easy for them. They never think it's easy for me.

  6. LOVE this...this is so me at the start of a race, comparing myself to other people. I'm getting better. And SO glad to know I'm not the only one out there that does this. I just need to get to that next level where I feel like my friends aren't laughing at me/my pace.

  7. Anonymous2:21 PM

    I'm just saying that people I ran/trained with ( for marathons) would not have even attempted the distance if they couldn't finish in under three (men) or under 3:30 (women.) Those were the days...(70s/early 80s)

  8. Whew! I'm glad I'm living in these days Sounds like people weren't very brave back then...I'm glad to be living in a time when people try something extraordinary even when they know they might not win.


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