Monday, April 9, 2018

Training for the Race

I run the Colorado Marathon in 28 days. In 5 days I get on a plane for Asia, and won't be back in the country until 6 days before the marathon. I've been trying to finish my major training before I leave, since there are no guarantees I can get a long run in while I'm gone.

This means that I'm at the point in training where all of the following are true:

My feet are hideous. They could frighten small children.
    • I resorted to painting my toenails because at least two are black 
    • I have several large blisters on several toes, including blisters over blisters
    • I have at least two large,black blood blisters 
    • Thick skin has grown up over the ends of the remaining toes in self-defense, and appears to be approximately the same density as an armadillo shell
I consume vitamins by the handful. Seriously, it's like popping m&m's over here, except all at the same time. With the amount of travelling I'm about to do (3 continents, 7 countries in the next 5 weeks), there's a good chance I'm going to go through someone's secondary check for drug running.

Middle of the night is prime-wake-up time. Long run earlier in the day? Yep, guaranteed wake up with a body temperature of approximately 1000 degrees. Some day I'm going to wake up to a smoked-filled room and burn marks on the sheets and be like, 'yea, that figures.' If I'm not dealing with heat indexes rivaling the surface of the sun, there's always the well-hydrated runner consequences. Speaking of, I now have to run with a pocket full of tissue, and can spot well-placed foliage at a quarter-mile. 

Things are happening to my skin. I have mostly permanent chafe marks from forgetting to apply Body Glide. I've done enough runs in 30+ mile an hour winds to declare wide swaths of epidermis desert zones. And best of all? I recently had the lovely experience of a boil. In a rather inconvenient location. 

I force myself into ice baths, wherein I've taken to leaving my socks on with the fool hardy idea that the arthritis in my toes will hurt less if I wear socks. I drop into the bath and make noises like a buffalo being shot. I stay in long enough to freeze my legs, and have to hobble into the shower and hope I don't fall over. 

Eric doesn't bat an eye when I tell him "I need you to drive me to the middle of nowhere and leave me for dead." He just asks for the spot on the map, and we get in the car. Several hours later, I have trudged my way back home. 

I have started singing out loud while I run. Only on the downhills, but yesterday's run included a rendition of Hamilton through Woodland Park's downtown. Fortunately, no one called in a 5150. I think it probably sounded something like this:

Who lives... (inhale)...dies (suck wind)... tell your storr-eeee (in-out-in-out)
Self back...narrative
Live...50 years...
More time! 

I plan out when and where I can run. I nearly always have running clothes in my car, and if we are meeting after work, there is great likelihood I will either run there, or run beforehand and show up slightly sweaty. 

I am paranoid about what my stomach might do after a long run- particularly after this first marathon, where 6 hours after finish I have to get on an intercontinental flight. 

So why am I doing this? Because at the end of the day, all this doesn't outweigh the open road, the miles to go, the wind in your hair, the sun on your face and your shoes on the trail. There's nothing like it in the world.

Now excuse me, it's time for an Epson salt soak.


  1. Replies
    1. I love you too! Also, you are way tougher than me, because you are not only dealing with all this, you are dealing with the side effects of biking and swimming too. I want to be you when I grow up.

    2. Except maybe the singing, but that's because you have more sense than I do and don't sing while you run.