Eat Drink Run Woman

Musings from a Seattle personal chef with a fitness problem

Archive for the ‘My Monster Month’

Published July 18th, 2009

Seattle Rock ‘n Roll 2009


The interwebs are turning my brain into mush.  Whereas I USED to find the time to compose pithy prose, nowadays you’re more apt to find me on Facebook and various running forums with nary a pith to my name.  Pretty pithiful, I mean, pitiful (or pithiless?)

Anyhoo, I aim to reverse the trend.  I realize my blathering may not interest many, but it provides me with a great outlet for my writing.  And I’m not just talking race reports, although yes, this one will be.

When Elite Racing announced it was taking over the Seafair Marathon I was ecstatic — for once I’d be running a local inaugural race.  Even better, we managed to nab a couple of the one-day-only $47 registration specials.  Score!  At the time we weren’t yet Marathon Maniacs, so little did I know it would be my 5th race for the month.

I was really excited as not only would the race be held at a better time of year than the Seattle Marathon, it truly was a destination marathon.  Whereas Seattle may attract people primarily from around the Northwest, Seattle Rock ‘n Roll would be bringing in runners from across the country.  I was curious to see how the city would handle 25,000+ runners (the Seattle Marathon typically has about 12,000-14,000).  The race sold out in May, much to the dismay of several (I saw many bibs listed on Craig’s List for an exorbitant amount).

In an attempt to fortify my running karma, I volunteered at the expo the day before.  Fortunately I was placed in registration as I was able to sit (I figured standing all day would not bode well for the marathon).  But while my legs got rest my arm did not; after pointing toward the t-shirt/goody bag pickup about a bajillion times my shoulder started to ache!  Oh well.  The expo itself was one of the largest I’ve seen, rivaled only by Boston’s.  I showed restraint and didn’t buy a thing, save for two $50 registrations for next year’s race.  (It was an expo special; the cost has already increased to $100).


Published June 21st, 2009

Double double, toil & trouble

First of all, I survived once again! But boy, was it TOUGH. Actually, only the first day was tough; Sunday’s race was no more tougher than any other marathon. Saturday was the Lake Young’s Ultra — 28.8 miles comprising three loops around the Lake Youngs reservoir in Renton, Wash. I had run one loop around the lake in January, so I knew what to expect. In fact, I was goaded into doing the double-double after talking to a couple of fellow Maniacs after that race.

After my experience with last weekend’s double, I figured I’d run alone for both races. But my Maniac friend Jessica assured me she too would be taking it slow since she was also running a double that weekend. So once again I decided the company would be nice. We were joined by Shannon, one of my Runner’s World forum buddies, who was running one loop.

Since Matt is hoping to BQ at Seattle Rock ‘n Roll later this month, he didn’t run the race but instead manned the aid station on the other side of the lake. It was a real boost to see him each loop. He brought his camera along and set up some lights so we all have some pretty awesome pictures.


While I knew the course was somewhat hilly, it seemed worse this time, perhaps due to the fact we ran in the opposite direction (yes, I know it shouldn’t make much of a difference, but the uphills seemed steeper!) Jessica and I felt pretty good, but Shannon, who’s not as experienced, started to struggle toward the end. However, she appreciated being pushed. I also made her take one of my gels at about mile 7 and that perked her up.


We took a short break after the first loop to visit the potty, replenish our fuel and kick a few pebbles out of our shoes. We bid Shannon adieu and headed out. I could tell from the start this loop was going to be tough, so I told Jessica I’d be needing a few more walk breaks. But we still managed to chat our way through.


Published June 10th, 2009

Baby’s first double


I survived!  In fact, I feel no more creaky than I normally do after running just one marathon.  But I’m not going to get cocky — I still have another double this coming weekend.

While I rarely get pre-race jitters any more, my trepidation over these two races intensified as the date neared.  I made the mistake of mentioning my plan to the owner of my gym and one of her personal trainers; as expected, they not only thought I was crazy, they were concerned I’d injure myself.  While I’ll cop to being crazy, I certainly was not being reckless.  Still, I had needling self-doubts in the back of my head.

Fortunately I have many enablers mentors among my Maniac brethren.  Not only have they proven my plan CAN be done, they provided excellent advice.  I tried to get as much sleep as possible the week before, and I ate well and heartily.  (I think that was my favorite part — planning out each day’s meal!)  Seattle was hit with a heat wave, so I fired up my grill on several occasions.  We ate lettuce from our garden and spring braising greens from the farmer’s market up the street.  I also made a delicious barley salad with Chinese cabbage, tomatoes, green onions and a lemon vinaigrette that served as both a side dish and a couple days’ lunch.  As for laying off the hooch?  Well, I succumbed, but kept it in moderation (I figured it might ease my anxiety).

Exercise-wise, I took it easy, running just over 13 miles at a 10-minute pace.  While I made it to yoga and did my arm weight routine twice, I skipped the stretch class as it was too darn hot.


Published May 31st, 2009

I’ve created a monster

I must apologize — it appears this blog is turning into simply an account of my race reports.  I’ve had lots of ideas for posts, but no motivation to actually write them.  Mea culpa.

However, this coming week I have no excuse.  You see, I really should NOT be running for the next five days (at least not far).  As you can see by my updated race list/countdown timer, I’ve got one Mother of a marathon month ahead of me: five, yes, FIVE freakin’ marathons in the next four weeks.  Heaven help me!

As with most of my race plans, my “monster month” started innocently enough.  Last August my darling and I jumped at the chance for half-price entry into the inaugural Seattle Rock ‘n Roll Marathon to be held June 27.  Early this year I decided I’d like to try a “double,” which in Maniac-speak means running two marathons in two days.  The Lake Youngs Ultra/Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon looked appealing;  although technically an ultra, Lake Youngs is a 9.6-mile loop run three times for a total of 28.8 miles (a “mini” ultra, if you will).  I figured the Tunnel Marathon, which is an all-downhill race, wouldn’t be too terribly challenging the next day (although it was held in August last year, they moved it to June for 2009).

I then couldn’t pass up the Green River Marathon; after all, it’s free!  I had run the half two years ago, but skipped it last year since it was the day before North Olympic, where I had hoped to BQ.  When I mentioned my plan to another Maniac, he asked, “Why not do a double-double?” (Maniac-speak for doubles on back-to-back weekends).  For some reason I decided that would be a good idea and once again signed us up for North Olympic (I had considered the San Juan Marathon, but not only is it quite hilly, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to catch the ferry in time after running Green River).

Once I committed myself my anxiety started to grow, especially with every ache and pain I felt.  Will my body hold up?  Will I forever destroy myself for running?  Will people think I’m cool, or simply idiotic?  Why do I care what people think?  Is my long-standing need to be liked rearing its ugly head?  Does my butt look big in these pants?

Wait — where was I?