Monday, August 30, 2010

Annapolis 10 Mile Race

On Sunday morning, I ran my first 10 mile race. Before I say anymore, I'd like to share a quote that was typed on a piece of paper taped to one of the orange cones marking the course:

There are no failures, only experiences and our reactions to them

I don't know who said it or when, but that is my mantra for this race.

But I regress. So my first 10-mile race. I signed up in early June, and have been training semi-seriously since mid-July. Almost 2 months of 7am Sunday runs with Annapolis Striders... and most... errr some of the runs on our suggested daily schedule.

I spent all day Saturday busy with a family crab feast (so much fun). But kept well hydrated with water. Went to bed but couldn't fall asleep for awhile (as my training leader warned us would probably happen). Woke up with butterflies in my stomach. Arrived to the race in plenty of time.

The start line was small, and it took awhile for 4,600 people to pass over it, but I was probably about 3 minutes back and toward the front of the group. Which is roughly where I stayed for the first few miles. This is me around 1.5 miles, happily trotting along:

I look like I'm enjoying myself, don't I? And I was. I continue down Main Street, then up King George to the Naval Academy bridge, which is around where I suddenly feel weird, dizzy, queasy, sick. I stop. I drink water. I walk. I jog. And at the top of the bridge, I throw up, just a little, for the first time. This is the start of mile 4, which just happens to be the moment when the number one runner is sprinting back over the bridge on mile 8.5. Just fabulous. How do these people run so fast?!

I continue slowly, and weave through beautiful, leafy neighborhoods where sprinklers arch over the road to keep runners cool and families blast motivating music from their lovely homes, waving and cheering as we pass. THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU WONDERFUL PEOPLE!!

And I continue. And I drink a bit more at another water stop. And I feel sick again and throw up for the 2nd time, just a little. But I've come so far, I can't stop now!

So I go onward (and upward) along Route 2. I overhear another runner say this is her favorite part, when the people protest our race because they can't pull into their church parking lot. It is Sunday morning after all. But no one is protesting, or at least I didn't hear them.

The route brings us back down to the bridge, and on my way across I throw up for the 3rd time - it's becoming a cycle, it seems. This time is more than before and a kind athletic trainer (she tells me that's what she is as I hunch over) comes and rubs my back.

But now I'm really almost done, so I keep going, so close. And finally, the finish line at the Navy Stadium is in sight. It's up a hill, though and I need to sprint to the end but I j u s  t  c  a   n  '   t   d  o    i     t

I practically stagger across the finish and am handed a soaking cold towel - just like bikram yoga - and this is how I lay for about 20 minutes in my own savasana:

And then I throw up again. Sorry to keep bringing it up, but it's what happened. At this point, it seems my body is not allowing me to keep any liquids down, which can lead to big problems. So I hook up to an IV. 2 liters later, I feel almost normal again. I truly hate needles, or anything being stuck into my skin period. But I am so thankful to the medics there. And to my family of supporters

who cheered me on and worried when they didn't see me at my goal time and then worried more when I was waaaaaay past my goal time.

I don't exactly know what happened, but I've now learned what not to do when running a 10-mile race.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The New Guys in Town

There's a new band in town, they've got a retro sound
Nothing close to lame, the band is called The Names
5 guys, 2 managers, and some good rock 'n roll
Check them out in my article here
And see their show next Sunday @ The Federal House

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Globes, Silly Bands and Scorpion Bowls: Boston in the Summertime

I landed at Boston’s Logan Airport at 11:50am last Friday morning, more than relieved to be off a plane where I’d been squished between the windows to my right and a woman who probably should’ve bought two seats to my left. It felt great to walk again.

By 1:15, I was lounging in the sun with a cranberry-lime seltzer water, soaking in the warmth that I’d been missing from the depths of my air-conditioned office. I was back in Beantown.

A reunion that evening with five of my lovely BC roomies over Upper Crust Pizza and an assortment of beverages was long-overdue and wonderful. We caught up and planned the night ahead – a trip to Atlantic Beer Garden, ABG as the locals say, a new sports bar/ club/ roof deck right on the harbor. Nice location, right next to Cirque du Soleil, with a random assortment of clientele and stairs that smelled like puke. Yum.

Our Saturday morning sleep-in lasted until our stomachs needed more substance than leftover pizza so we headed to brunch, and then on to the M Street Beach, South Boston’s new summer hot spot. It wasn’t Miami (well, I’ve never been there anyway, so who knows), but it was close. Tons of young people everywhere lounging on somewhat seaweed-strewn sand, their coolers kept close. The water was refreshingly cold, and we watched as a long-distance race ended, feeling only slightly unaccomplished as 70-year olds strode ashore from the competition.

The breeze sent us home mid-afternoon for Thai carry-out and preparation for the night ahead. It started with scorpion bowls at Long Wharf's The Landing where we consumed exactly 1 gallon of drink (minus the ice), then onward to the Sail Loft, a tiny, lodge-like bar seemingly on the edge of teetering into the harbor. It was naturally packed in the middle and on the 1 by 1 meter sized deck, and empty in the back.

We decided this would be a good place to distribute the sea creature and dinosaur silly bands we each had brought along to bestow on whoever we felt was worthy. Which included the doorman, the guy who helped me get gum off my sandal, the guy who worked at EasyBake Oven, the Californian who seemed to think he was in the greatest bar in the world, and an assortment of international travellers, who we decided should spread the craze to their respective countries. No word yet on the progress of this endevour, but we should probably be getting commission from the founder of this little money-making trend.

Alas, the weekend sadly came to an end with Sunday brunch at The Beehive on Tremont Street. Mmmmm turkey hash and poached eggs. I hope it won't be another three years before the six of us reunite... until then, I've got my stegosaurus and jellyfish wrapped safely around my wrist.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dreary Erie a Mistake by the Lake??

If you know Erie, PA, then you know the phrase. But that doesn't mean the saying rings true. I myself have said it before, but there's a lot more to my thoughts on Erie than summing it up as a rainy little town on a great big lake.

To me, Erie is

a long car ride to get to, for which I'd always bring several books to occupy myself, as if the trip would take several days and not 8 hours
the long-awaited arrival, at which time my brother and I were reunited with our cousins and would immediately race to their basement where an unending loop of bumper bikes/ would ensue for hours
trips to the lake for swimming and jetskiing and fireworks and bonfires
seeing the church my great great great grandmother helped found.... and the building my grandmother used to work in..... and the little house where my great grandparents lived, now in the not-so-nice section of town
WALDAMEER - it may not be the biggest amusement park, but it kept us happy for a loooong time
ice cream sundae's at Dairy Queen - I'm not sure why I associate Erie with Dairy Queen but I do
elaborate plans to sneak out of our bedrooms in the middle of the night past "the grown ups" to go downstairs for a snack - and usually failing
sea glass!
drive-by's past "the castle" where my great grandmother once lived - and which, at least now, bears no resemblance to a castle

Erie is all of these things to me. But how could a mistake be so beautiful?