Friday, June 24, 2005

I lied

A little more backwards looking is in order.

Because you know what I finally realized, like, Wednesday-ish? Or maybe Thursday.

I ran a marathon, y’all. An honest-to-goodness, not just kidding around here, mar-a-thon. And that will never be un-true. They can’t take it back. I have the medal and the t-shirt and ALL the bragging rights.

I anticipate that this will come in very handy.

For instance, should I ever choose to go back to school and have to take an exam, a classmate might say to me:

“This test is going to be mega-hard. We need to have a marathon study session tonight.”

And I will be able confidently to reply,

“That will be no problem. I know just what to do, because I ran a real marathon once.”

And my future classmate will certainly be appropriately impressed.

But a more likely scenario, since I’m unlikely to go back to school any time soon, might find me and a friend at the grocery store, and my friend might say:

“Let’s have a marathon ice cream eating session.”

And I will say, “Good idea.”

And my friend will say, “The only question is, Phish Food or Godiva Dark Chocolate.”

And I will say, “Friend, I ran a real marathon once, and I can tell you that it requires a lot of hard work. There is no skimping. You must go the distance. We need to buy BOTH Phish Food AND Godiva Dark Chocolate.”

And my friend will have to concede that I am correct, because I have in fact run a marathon.

So thank you to everyone who patiently waited for me to come to my senses and said such nice things to me like “congratulations” and “we don’t think you’re stupid” and “it took you HOW long? You clearly suck at running marathons,” except for that last one, because nobody actually said that to me.

This doesn’t mean I don’t still plan to have a rematch, because those 26.2 miles are my bitch, and I think they might need another lesson in the ways of my bitch slapping before they fully understand.

But it does mean that I’m done being stupid (about this particular thing).

Thanks also to the very smart people who gave me the answer I wanted to hear about the New York Marathon. I fully expected everyone to say, “Chill out lady. There are plenty of marathons and you have plenty of years to train for them. Why jump in so quickly?”

And you didn’t, because you all have confidence not only in the ability of a person to train for a marathon in four months, but in the ability of THIS person to put in the work required to do that training. Which is pretty awesome, actually.

But. That required me to call my own bluff. Do I really want to jump right back into this? Am I ready? Because training for a marathon is really hard work and takes a pretty big psychological toll. Especially the sense that it all leads up to ONE day, where you have ONE chance to get it right. That makes every twinge and ache feel like it’s going to ruin everything, when really it’s just a twinge or an ache.

I think the truth is that I’m not ready to train for my next marathon. I want to run lots and stay in shape and run half marathons and 10-mile races and who knows what else. But I also want to find a little more balance in my life, and maybe have time to see my friends and, I say again, who knows what else?

Big picture here, I don’t really want to be a person who runs marathons. My goal is to be a person who runs her next marathon really well. Which means that when I train for the next marathon, I want to be fully committed to my training, and I want to be ready to do some high mileage weeks, and take this training to the next level (“Beginner”. As opposed to “novice.” That’s right baby, so hardcore!)

Whew. That feels like a big decision. But I can always change my mind when I get back from Botswana. And even if I can’t get a number for New York, there are plenty of other marathons I could run this fall or winter, if that’s what I decide to do.

Meanwhile, things are back to normal chez Naomi. I can once again walk up- and downstairs in all appearances like a normal person. I can stand from a seated position with no hoisting whatsoever. I no longer limp even a little bit.

And I completely ignored my alarm this morning when it was politely trying to remind me that I had scheduled today as my first attempt at a post-marathon run. According to Hal Higdon’s schedule, I could have started running as early as yesterday, so now I’ve basically skipped two days of running. I’m trying to convince myself that this Does Not mean that I have reverted to my non-exercising ways, even though I also had a giant chocolate chip cookie at lunch today, and it’s been almost a week since I last exercised.

The extremely tiny part of my brain that is rational is yelling as loud as it can that as of two days ago I could hardly walk, and was clearly in no position to run, bike, or ellipse anywhere. And that the exercise last week was a marathon. And that there’s always tomorrow. But the much bigger part of my brain that is crazy is laughing and pointing and saying, “I hope you liked fitting into that adorable sundress this morning because it will never fit again!!! Muah-hahahaha!”

It’s good to know that, despite turning into some unrecognizable, size-8, running chick, I’m still completely neurotic.


Blogger Riona said...

You ran a totally awesome marathon. Enjoy a break! You'll run when it's time.

I think: Godiva Dark Chocolate, Phish Food and Haagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche.

You've run a marathon, after all.

6:33 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Sounds like you've made the right decision for you, so congrats on that.

8:01 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Sounds like you've made the right decision for you, so congrats on that.

8:01 PM  
Blogger Irene said...

It took me a few days to find my mind after my marathon... I think I lost it around mile 22 or so... Yeppers, claim all the bragging rights to having run a marathon, even if people look at you with their heads tiled to the side, as if you just landed from outerspace... Not everyone will understand the enormity of having run 26.2 miles, but that's okay. What you did for yourself is truly monumental. Did someone say Godiva Dark Chocolate? I'm there! Cheers.

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ran one but I am not a person who runs marathons either. I may never run another one. However, if (and this is a huge, enormous, gigantic, IF), I decide to run another one it will be with the goal of qualifying for Boston. That would mean a pace of about 7:30 a mile for 26.2 miles. Not within my reach. Yet. But I'm getting closer. I run and train with this thought in the back of my mind. I don't know if I will ever do it but it gives me something to focus on. My recent 5K has convinced me that it's not an impossible goal.

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also wanted to echo the point that what you did was awesome. It gives you huge bragging rights.

Congratulations on going to Botswana. I've always wanted to go there (or to South Africa). I'm thrilled (and not just a little envious) that you get to go!

11:52 PM  
Blogger Pegleg said...

Let me echo a point for you... you surely do suck some major cock-ass balls.

12:49 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Ummm....(with regard to above post).

I'm glad that you are looking for a balance in your life...however, with that being said, B&J's ice cream just went on sale at the store for $1.99 a pint! Hubby and I bought 3 pints of Phish Food...and I'm planning on going back for more today :-) A person can *never* have too much Phish Food.

And, I think giving your body both a physical and mental break from marathon training is a good decision. You'll come back feeling refreshed and recharged :-)

5:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You sure did run a whole marathon! I have been bragging about you to EVERYONE. I keep saying, "Naomi ran a marathon! ... A MARATHON!!!" It is most certainly a very very big deal and accomplishment. :-)

8:50 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Not only did you run a marathon, you ran a marathon as a first-timer and documented it for those of us who have yet to tackle our first 26.2 miles. Thank you for sharing all of the details. As someone who isn't able to train with TNT, I really appriciate the advice and schedule that TNT offers.(Yes, I am pilfering aspects of it from other TNT runners) I don't know if it redeems me, but whenever I'm out on a long run and see TNT runners, I always say "HEY! GOOD JOB! GO RUNNERS" Which is probably incredibly dorky, but who cares.

Anyhow, I have enjoyed reading your blog, and will refer to some of your archives as I anticipate my own 14,16, 18 20 mile runs this summer — and of course the marathon itself. Thanks.

5:08 PM  
Blogger Noames said...

Thanks guys.

Stephanie--good luck with your marathon! I'm not sure how much practical information you'll find in my posts (except for maybe some commiserating--oh she felt that way too!) but the commenters often had smart, useful things to say.

And if you see TNT people , yell "Go Team!" That's what they always told us to say, so everyone will think you're a TNT alum.

11:01 AM  

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