27 April 2012


So this happened:

Rude. The whole marathon lottery day was kind of a disaster. NYRR sent multiple emails encouraging everyone to watch via livestream the opening day ceremonies, where they promised to scroll a list of names of the people who were accepted into the race. Excited by this concept, Dan, the sports editor, and I sat at his desk for 30 minutes watching the worst opening day video ever. There were professional athletes who the hosts forced to play ping-pong. There was Ridiculously Photogenic Guy, who as far as I can tell had pretty much nothing to do with anything except it was a race photo that catapulted him to internet meme fame.

There were a bunch of bib giveaways for the people who had attended in person the opening day festivities (they all lived in New York, obviously; one guy kept his headphones in while accepting his prize). There was NOT, however, a list of names.

We were pissed. A lot of other people were pissed, too, especially as the day dragged on and the lottery results weren't released, and the NYRR website kept crashing, and the only way to know if you'd been accepted was to refresh your bank account and wait for the magical $255 deduction. Needless to say I got pretty much nothing done on Wednesday, then woke up yesterday to my official rejection letter.

I was pretty bummed. I hadn't realized until I spent eight hours stalking the Chase Bank website how much I really wanted to run New York. I gave myself about 20 minutes to mope and then I headed to active.com and officially registered for the Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon.

I'm excited. It's going to be a totally different game than Chicago. There, I ran with 35,000 other people; Raleigh caps its marathon field at 1,000. Chicago was entirely flat (except, rudely, for the last .2 miles); in the past, the Raleigh course was terrifyingly hilly, but they altered the layout this year so it's much less severe. Still, here's a snippet of the elevation chart:

Yowza. And in Chicago, there were 2 million spectators lining the route for the entire 26.2 miles. In Raleigh, I imagine there will be large stretches of the course with no spectators at all.

All that being said, I'm still pumped. I really want to do another marathon and I really want to do it properly. I feel like I now have a better sense of what marathon training entails, from the mental toughness and the dedication to just getting it done. I really want to see what I can do.

I've been running consistently for the past couple of weeks, which for me is a major victory - consistency tends to be my big problem. I'm currently having oodles of shin pain, which is weird - I am frequently injured as a result of running, but shin pain isn't something I can ever remember contending with - so I ordered some new shoes this morning and am planning to spend a lot of quality time this weekend with ice packs and ibuprofen. Hopefully that'll resolve itself soon so I can continue getting back into shape, building my base and then transition into the meat of training. I sincerely hope to whine less this time, but it would obviously (OBVIOUSLY) be irresponsible to promise that now. Consider yourselves warned.

18 April 2012

I have gone running twice this week, BEHOLD MY GARMIN DATA:



Interestingly my last run (weeks ago, before the Cold of Death) was much slower than these. I have scientifically deduced that this means the germs ate up all of the slow in me. They did not, you understand, eat up the out-of-shape-ness, because I still have that; I just have a slightly faster version of it. This is science. I wore glasses while I figured it out.

After getting back tonight, foam-rolling (ow) and wolfing down dinner (Boca burger), I received this email from the New York Road Runners:

I didn't really read it at first and instead was all, how cute that they think I might forget that the drawing is in a week!, then went to Twitter to send the sports editor another reminder that I will be taking over his desk to watch the drawing. Then I calmed down and actually read it and then had a mini panic attack, because my debit card was stolen about a month ago and I hadn't updated my payment information and HOLY HELL, CAN YOU IMAGINE IF I GOT IN AND THEN GOT REJECTED BECAUSE OF THAT?

So I hightailed it to my lottery profile....only to discover that I had, in fact, updated the card number. Huh. Totally forgot to do that for the cable company, the pet insurance people and my gym membership, but apparently remembered to do it for the marathon people. Priorities, people. Priorities. Seven days to go!

14 April 2012

doesn't even count as an entry

I noticed that dailymile, ostensibly annoyed with my lack of running workouts, decided to just update my race schedule widget with the 2012 Chicago Marathon. Thanks, dailymile! I do love Chicago; I am not, in fact, running it this year. I appreciate your support, though.

Here are some cupcakes for your time:

Pentax K1000, I think expired Fuji film. Cupcake on the left is vanilla (mine), cupcake on the right is lemon raspberry (my friend Shannan's).

No joke, best cupcake I ever had.

13 April 2012

Planz with a Z so you know it's serious

After weeks (months?) of confused Googling and website stalking, I finally got this in my email yesterday:

Booyah. April 25. I had actually found it on the NYC Marathon website a few days before (seriously, I was stalking that mother at least three times a week), but I appreciate email confirmation because I am terrible at all things logistical. Also geographical, I am not quite sure how I survived before Google Maps.

Anyway, now that I have a firm date (which is excitingly less than two weeks away!), I can make a plan. This is extra thrilling for me because I love a good plan, and this is a very good plan. Behold!

Step one: get nothing done at work on April 25 while I sit around and watch the live-streaming of the lottery. I have no idea what this means or looks like, by the way. Do they show the name of everyone who gets in? Do I need to look for my confirmation number? I know that I get an email either way, so do I NEED to watch the lottery? That last question is moot, you understand, because I will watch it either way; the big question here is how to do that in the extremely not-private area that is my newsroom. The sports editor is also in the lottery, so maybe we can watch it at his desk, which is more in a corner than mine, and maybe I will bring popcorn and wear a sweatband or my Chicago medal for good luck. (I'm nothing if not covert.)

Step two, part one: get ridiculously, super excited that I got in, flail around, yell a little, blow my cover, continue to get no work done, get made fun by my editor for being that excited to run 26.2 miles again.


Step two, part two: don't get in (statistically, this is the more realistic option; I think there is less than a 10 percent chance of making it this year), feel bummed for a few minutes, probably complain, and then get over it and register for this guy:

The Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon
. It's on Nov. 4, the same day as New York. Obviously, it is not as exciting (thanks for reminding me Dad!) but Raleigh has its perks. It's way cheaper, it's driveable, I can stay with friends and I really love the idea of running my second marathon in my new home state, even though I am sure it will be approximately one hundred degrees that day because I am not sure if you KNEW, but it is 100 degrees basically all of the time in North Carolina except for a week in January.

If I could pick, I'd choose New York, but honestly not by that big of a margin. Really I just want to run another marathon and the specifics of it don't concern me too much. I am ready to start training again, I am ready to have a goal to look forward to, I am ready to kill my Chicago time and I am ready to be on the starting line again, staring 26.2 miles in the face. (I can't even type it without smiling!) I already emailed my fabulous running coach (the message was just FULL OF CAPSLOCK) and he agreed to deal with my crazy ass through another training cycle. So really all I have to do now is wait for it to be April 25, which is great because being patient is totally one of my strong points and I am not at all annoyed that it's still 12 days away NOT AT ALL.

I plan to cope by talking incessantly about it (check) and by running now that I am over the Cold Of Death and by stalking said running coach as he tries to break 2:30 (you read that right) at Boston. That goal is apparently in jeopardy a bit, as he sent me the following message a bit ago:

"The objective for Boston has quickly turned to, "just get to the finish line and don't die." Get a load of this article.


Yikes. Don't believe him though, he is basically incapable of taking it easy and will probably run a 2:25 and then be all, "What? I don't know. I guess it's kind of warm." And I will be all, "You should have just trained for it in North Carolina, where it is always tropical and I do not complain about it ever."

08 April 2012

Captain Obvious symbology 101

About two weeks ago I started taking Accutane, an oral medication with a host of terrifying potential side effects. I had discussed said side effects with my doctor - I believe my exact words were, "I AM PROBABLY GOING TO DIE, RIGHT?" - and she pointed out that if you actually read the side-effects panel on pretty much any medication you arrive at basically the same conclusion, which is that you are a goner because that ibuprofen is going to skyrocket your inter-cranial pressure and explode your liver. Oh well. At least your tight IT band will feel better!

For this particular medication, the side effect that most riles people is the potential for severe and scary birth defects. Because of this, the prescription is heavily regulated. I have to take a pregnancy test every month before I can get a refill, and I have to log on to a website and correctly answer a bunch of "trivia" questions regarding contraceptives before I can pick up each refill. It all feels weird and invasive to me, but overall the drug makes sense for me right now* and it's only for six months so I can deal with all of that.

What I cannot really deal with is the packaging. Behold:

The pills come in huge blister packs. Each 30-day refill comes in a 5x7 box with three of these monsters. This is the front. That lady is pregnant (she probably got all of her contraception trivia questions wrong) and the pharmaceutical company is ANGRY about it and has thus emblazoned her with a scarlet no-symbol of shame. NO BABIES.

Then you open the package to see the following:

You have to peel back a stomach-of-shame lady every day in order to take your pill. As if her unborn child's severe birth defects aren't enough, she now has to deal with me popping her head off every night just to get to my drugs. Note the bright red "DO NOT GET PREGNANT" warnings, just in case you aren't fluent in symbology and so couldn't understand what the dozens of NO! BABIES! pregnant ladies were trying to tell you.

But really, the best part is the back.

JUST IN CASE the dozens of printed "DO NOT GET PREGNANT" warnings weren't enough, on the OFF CHANCE that the hundreds of silhouetted pregnant women weren't clear, allow us to show you some mongoloid babies. Behold! Get knocked up while you're on this drug and you'll be giving birth to a conehead! Conehead baby looks sad, because his ears are drifting down toward his neck! Conehead baby is so sleepy, because holding that head up is hard work! Conehead baby looks an awful lot like Sweet Pea, Popeye's child!

I guess Olive Oyl was hitting the 'tane pretty hard while she was pregnant. It also reminded me of the Family Circus children:

Lots of irresponsible mothers in comic-land, evidently.

Unrelated bonus bunny picture because it's Easter:

*Accutane is for acne and is usually the last-resort oral medication, recommended for people who haven't gotten results from other prescriptions. I don't have terrible acne, but I do have consistent breakouts which is not really a thing I want to be dealing with in my 30s. (It was not really a thing I wanted to be dealing with in my 20s, either, but Accutane scared me so I put it off for a long time.) I actually wrote this whole post without mentioning the drug by name, but then I decided that would annoy me if I read it on another blog, so here you go! Sharing inappropriate personal information with strangers on the Internet, I am totes a blogger now!

01 April 2012

Photos from life lately (all film):

I'm sort of playing the waiting game, but it's different than before because I'm different, but I'm also still me which means that I still need (and will always need) to talk about things. I can't change that and I don't want to because being able to talk about things saved me from so much when I was younger. So to that end, yes, I am still playing the waiting game. Jellyfish are washing up on shore and it's getting too warm for April and things are messy and imperfect and I walk and I run and I breathe and I laugh and I wait.