Not your average suburban mom. I’m more your typical, normal, commonplace, everyday, garden-variety suburban mom. With a thesaurus.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Goin' Halfsies On a Marathon

I'm not gonna lie.  Half marathon training is kicking my tush.

I still think it was a brilliant plan for me to transition seamlessly from triathlon training to half marathon training.  I do best when I have fitness goals that yield immediate results if I'm faithful (or not), and quite honestly, the temptation to skip my weekly long run only lasts long enough to remember that I have an even longer run the following week.  The promise of extra future misery is a great motivator.

Until now all my runs have been reasonable distances. The first two weeks of half training were filled with 3-5 mile runs.  Then a rude awakening; my first real "long" run : six miles.  Six miles is still a far distance for me. While I've run that distance a few times, it's not something I do once a week or even feel ready for at any moment.  It is still a bit mythical and scary; one of those runs I obsess over a few days before.  I was supposed to run it last Saturday, but with the logistics of the last day of vacation and traveling home, it just wasn't going to work.  Sunday was a no-go as well, because Brian and I stayed up way too late Saturday hashing out school year plans while I cried because I was feeling overwhelmed, so the morning was shot and the rest of our day was full.

I knew Monday was the day of reckoning. While waiting for Brian to come home from work I prepared a super healthful and delicious meal for my family (what - spaghettios don't count?) while downing a late afternoon glass of mocha iced coffee (my second for the day, but who's counting?), and when Brian stepped in, I stepped out.

Here is the unofficial transcript of that run.

First Steps: Walking to the end of my driveway

And it's back by popular demand.
"Dude.  This already sucks.  I'm pretty sure it's going to rain.  I hate running in the rain.  My glasses get all splattered.  I need tiny windshield wipers on my glasses for when I have to run in the rain.  Why hasn't anyone invented that yet? Running Fit could make a killing on that.  I'm sure every runner with glasses would wear them.  I mean, I've seen runners, and some of them aren't at all concerned with what they look like while running. Why can't I just get my act together and wear my contacts already?  I have a bajillion pairs.  Oh, here we go.  The end of the driveway. I have to actually run now.  Kelly, once you start running you can't stop for over an hour.  This first step is a huge commitment."

Begin running down my street

Sabotaging my run like a ninja. 
"Yep.  This is not fun.  And my heart is already pounding.  I'm pretty sure this is as close as I've ever felt to an anxiety attack.  I seriously can't breathe.  And with each step I'm getting farther and farther away from home. WITHOUT MY PHONE.  Doh!  Ohmylanta, I will have to shamefully beg a stranger to borrow their phone when I have to call and ask Brian to come pick me up because I am obviously dying.  Or I just drank too much coffee a few minutes ago.  But I'm sure it's not at all my sensitivity to caffeine that is causing me to feel shaky but really just stress because it's almost the school year and I have to get my crap together to teach the kiddos pretty soon."

(This is when I take a one mile interlude to mentally rearrange the furniture in my house to make it more "education-friendly" without turning my entire life into home school.  This interior design session ends with the revelation that we need all new furniture. For the entire house.)

(This is also when I make many mental notes: Google how to add a laminate kitchen table top to our existing table because refinishing that mess just will not do anymore; make a pro/con list for how mad it would make Brian if I painted the half bath without talking to him first; compose a compelling argument to present to the offspring to let them know we are getting rid of Mac-n-cheese lunches on Tuesdays because this whole "allergen free mac-n-cheese" business on a busy day just ain't happening. (Can you seriously imagine having to make from scratch dairy-free mac-n-cheese in the middle of a busy day?)(Being the Best Mother in the World is just not in the cards, it seems.)

Mile 2.5 - Running through a neighborhood of McMansions

I could put in some serious training
time to excel at that sport.
"Okay, so you aren't going to die.  Seriously, Kel. This is less than a 5k right now.  It only sucks in your mind.  Your body can totally do this.  In fact, you are a total Rock Star Bad-A.  Except for just now when you tripped on the pavement and said, "Ueeegh" in order to regain your balance because that's obviously how balance works ... you know, being controlled with verbal help and all. Good thing no one but that entire lawn crew of strapping young men saw you stumble. Aaaannnnd in about twenty feet or so you are going to have to run through their congregating mass loitering about the sidewalk.  This is a good time to cross the street.  But it might shave a little distance off my run distance! Then it won't be a SIX MILE RUN!  That's totally okay Kel, serious racers always find the shortest way to run the course; crossing the street here only makes you more like a professional athlete."

(*I cross the street* *I also try to make it appear as if I meant to do that all along and not just because these men all witnessed my gracefulness in action*)

Mile 3 - My iPod is mocking me

"Mumford and Sons is singing Lover's Eyes.  'I walk sloooooow, I walk slooooow....'  Very funny, iPod."

Mile 3.25 - Playing Chicken with a goose

It was exactly like this except
just one goose.
"Ummmm, Goose?  Dude, you are like fifteen feet away and you see me coming but you show no signs of vacating the sidewalk.  Maybe you didn't realize that I'm bigger than you and a human and you are on my turf.  I don't run in your pond. Seriously.  I'm now like ten feet away. WTHeck, Goose?  Have you no fear?  I'm a predator.  *audibly growl* *Goose looks at me like, "That all you got?"* Uummm, seriously, move.  It's my right of way. Ohmylanta, this goose is going to attack me. And I'm pretty sure that right now I could not outrun this goose.  Being the age of the cell phone camera, someone is going to record this goose attacking me and running me down as I attempt to flee.  I'm going to end up on YouTube.  And probably Jay Leno (which would totally be a conflict of interest because I already have a sweet deal with David Letterman).  Or maybe even Jimmy Fallon, which? would be sorta rad.  Because then I'd be one step closer to my six degrees of being best friends with Jimmy Fallon. TWO FEET AWAY! TWO FEET AWAY. Are we doing this, Goose?  BRING IT O- sweet, you moved.  We're totally cool."

Mile 4 - The Fake Out

"Ok, Kel, just make it to the stoplight. Then you can stop and rest while you wait for the light to change.  This is a super busy road and it's rush hour, so you should have a good amount of time to catch your breath.  Just ... make it ... to ... the light ... OH NO YOU DIDN'T JUST GIVE ME THE LITTLE WHITE MAN THE SECOND I GOT HERE."

Mile 5 - That Time I Got Passed by Dean Karnazes

Dean from behind. Which is how
I would see him if we ran together.
"Kelly, you just ran 6 miles? That's
cute.  I'm running 600. See you at
the finish."
"This is kind of nice.  I'm in the home stretch.  Sure, I'm slowing down a bit, but I'm still going to finish well.  I've had some time to myself, breathing in some fresh air, feeling a slight breeze tickle my beet red face. This might even be a tad relaxi- OHMYLANTA, SLOW DOWN, DUDE. You can't just run up behind a girl with her iPod playing and race past her like a BAT OUT OF HELL.(Meatloaf begins singing in my head "Paradise By the Dashboard Light" drowning out Cypress Hill who "Ain't Goin' Out Like That" which is quite a feat.) That guy who left me in the dust looks just like my legendary running hero Dean Karnazes.  Like a much taller Dean.  A Dean with longer - and lighter - hair.  A Dean who is 30 pounds of heavier. So really, he looks nothing like Dean at all, except that this guy was fast as well.  Guess what, bro? You get in your 6 miles in 30 minutes, I'll get my 6 miles in 60ish, but at the end of the day we are both logging 6 miles. AWWWWW SNAP."


"I totally just ran six miles.  LIKE A BOSS.  I can't wait to do a 7 mile run in six more days.  Awesome."  

I collapse after I stretch and ice like a good girlThe end.

This loveliness is after a 4 mile run during The Great Cottage Get-Away of 2013.  This is totally what I looked like after six miles except I looked like I ran the original 4 miles plus 100 more.  Effortlessly.


  1. Kelly, You made me smile this morning! Always love reading your funny thoughts. ;) And great big congrats on your 6 mile run! I'm impressed!

    1. Thanks, Angela. I felt pretty good ... *afterward* ;-)

  2. Maybe you should do it triathlon training style versus marathon training? Work on increasing your time versus your miles. It might not psych you out as much. But you done good! I'm in the same boat working on my first half marathon. Did a olympic triathlon but this feels harder and I don't WHY. Bah

    1. That is a really good idea. I could just convert the miles to the time it would probably take me and I'm sure it would stress me out waaaay less. Thanks for the suggestion, Imma try it! Also, I think running long distances (and training for long distance running) is a lot harder than triathlon because with tri you are always changing up your training. I get bored so easily, so two hours of running sounds like mental torture. But two hours spent swimming, biking, and running is great. Good luck and thanks for the advice!

  3. Haha! I love this transcript--the goose is my favorite part! Also, sidebar: I have been working on convincing Pete to learn "Paradise By the Dashboard Light" with me for AGES because I think we could really rock that shiz at karaoke!

    1. Promise me that if that ever happens you will capture that mess on film and debut it on your blog, because I don't think I could go on knowing you and Pete nailed Paradise by the Dashboard Light (*giggle*) and I didn't witness it.

  4. you write so well, I love reading your blog, even if you are talking about running which I hate with a passion. Maybe if I could think about something other than how much I hate every second of it, I might enjoy it more too! The Geese pic made me laugh out loud....

    1. Thank you so much, Sue! When I started running I told myself the number one thing to avoid thinking about was how much I hated running. In fact, I actually spent about ten minutes one run chanting, "I love running" in my head because in that moment I totally did NOT love running. Also, the goose freaked me the heck out, truly ;-)

  5. Great job on busting out those 6 miles... looks like I'm a week behind you in training :) so I have only 5 this week, lol (that was funny only 5) Good luck on 7 next week you are gonna rock it girl just stay away from those geese!

    1. I know, I love that: "only 5". Who knew we would ever be these kind of people?! Good luck on your half training as well. Is this your second or third half?

  6. Do you have a half you are specifically training for? I think I'm going to do the ann arbor in june.

    1. Yes, it's in October. I would love to do long runs with you in the spring if you're interested. Go Stephanie, Go!


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