Last Training Post…

December 2, 2012

Looks awful, right?

Looks awful, right?


This arrived in the mail this week.

So, here we are.  In exactly one week I will be running my first* full marathon.  I am equal parts anxious-anticipation and dread.  I think it’s probably pretty common, but now that I have been on taper a couple of weeks I have this panic settling in, a quiet chorus of, “Are you really ready for this?  Are you going to fall over and die?  What about your asthma?” The list of “what ifs” has become endless and quieting them has become difficult.


You get as prepared as you can, for everything you can think of.


There are days when you will believe that your foam roller is your only real friend.

Ready or not, it is what it is.  And no matter what, crawling, carried, or crying I will cross the finish line next weekend.  My goals here are much the same as with the half marathon this fall:  finish, don’t be last, cross the finish line running (or at least jogging).  That last one is the least important, and I have met with a certain amount of peace regarding my asthma and my own limitations at this point in my training.  Training at high altitude, in a town with more junipers than people, and where no one seems to know how to operate their fireplace without creating a dense, choking smoke has been a learning experience.


This didn't work out as well as I hoped, mostly because I'm pretty sure there's latex in that mask and I got a red, itchy rash.


It's hard to get a picture of, but that's not low hanging fog.


No, seriously, look beyond that tree. High desert, no fog. It's even hard for Spencer to breathe.

The fact that I did train like this, and that my first 9 months of running was an uphill battle with undiagnosed asthma, is kind of a miracle – a testament to my tenacity.  Husband is fond of saying that once I decide to do something, it’s going to happen and I’m glad that running wasn’t the thing that broke that.  (Before the diagnosis there was a time, during that awful 5k, where I thought that this was a dream that would have to die.)  Because this was my gig, my thing that I wanted to do and my husband has been good enough to come along for the ride.  (Bitching and moaning the whole way.)**


Now, to cut the schmaltz a little let’s get down some of the funnier things I have learned on this little journey.


Things I Do That I Never Thought I Would Do (While Running)

(Other than actually running, of course.)


  1. Laugh.  I frequently laugh, and even smile while running.  It’s the one time of day where I have my husband’s almost undivided attention.  Well, there’s no cell phone around anyway.
  2. I spit… like a dude.  I’m a mouth breather when I run and this means I have to spit.  It goes against pretty much everything my mother ever taught me.
  3. …I’m a mouth breather. Like, seriously, a mouth breather. I was so worried about how loud I breathe that I thought people would stare at me during my first 5k.  Pro-tip: most runners are mouth breathers.  A lot of runners are loud mouth breathers.  (Since I’ve been diagnosed with asthma the “loud” makes a lot more sense.  Wheeze, wheeze, wheeze.)
  4. I sweat so much that I leave salt rings on my clothes and when I stretch it drips onto the ground.  It’s pretty gross. (Having to pee in the middle of a long run/race and pull those tightly fitted running tights back up over sweaty thighs is a lot like wrestling your way into too small panty hose.  In a port-a-potty. Have fun with that image.)
  5. I wipe my nose on my sleeves and mittens.  (Between the spitting and the snot wiping my mother would be so proud right now.  Honestly, with my potty mouth I’m pretty close to that cigar chomping baby on Looney Tunes while running because I have some choice words for the drivers of motor vehicles, too.)
  6. I regularly contemplate peeing behind bushes and houses, although it hasn’t come to that yet, and experience “full bladder rage.”  I also sing songs about being scared I’m going to poop my pants.  I’m a lot of fun to run with.


I may not come in first, (or even 500th) but I'm winning this thing.


Next goal? Shorter runs, and losing the last 25lbs. Everyone was right - distance running is no way to lose weight. (I am enjoying the mass quantities of carbs with no weight GAIN though, that's kind of amazing.)



*Since this started I have vehemently stated that this would be my only full marathon, that halves were going to be “my race” and that this was just something I needed to do once.  About three weeks ago, after a really great 16 mile run (what? I don’t even… calm down great = successful, with good breathing and little muscle pain) I thought to myself, “I could do this again, under the right circumstances.”  Meaning: lower elevation, not as much smoke, a better work schedule, safe routes without as much traffic.  The job I have now isn’t the worst for making time for my health (that would be my last job), but it has a lot of odd time commitments and lacks some flexibility that comes in handy in the last month of training.  So, would I do it again? Yes.  Would it need to be a really special race? Yes.  Would I need the support of my husband? Absolutely, and he’s a little more of the “no, never, this is it and you’re on your own after this” camp, but I’m working on him.

**Seriously, the next person to say anything similar to, “He has you out there working, huh?” is going to get cut.  I get that my husband has a 30 inch waist and looks super fit, but if it weren’t for me kicking his ass he would be sitting on it playing xBox 24/7.  The only reason he’s not sitting around covered in dried cereal and root beer foam is because I make him get out and be active.  If I’m not working out with him, he’s not working out, whereas I work out 6 days a week – with or without him.  I wasn’t blessed with his metabolism, so I have to try harder, but there is nothing more irritating than the implication that I am the lazy one in this equation.  (He will back me up on this, and possibly snort with derision at how wrong they are when someone makes this allusion to him directly.)


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jpatterson December 17, 2012 at 10:25 am

You are too much, really spitting and snotting. I am having a hard time believing you admit or said this. Ha!Ha! you are funny. Glad Spence is a good sport and is supportive of you. Just be careful of your health. Couldn’t help that comment I am still mommy.

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