Monday, September 28, 2009

Breast Cancer 5k

Team CMarket Represent!

The Susan G. Komen breast cancer 5k went off pretty much as planned on Saturday morning out on Boston's waterfront. The morning started off chill but warmed up fast especially since the course wound its way along flat pavement and black top the entire way. The nauseating smell of fish guts and exhaust fumes choked us out at times but the sea breeze swept in coolly and refreshed me at the hardest times.

Our team CMarket had 12 people runner's mostly and some walkers. Siege, who put the whole thing together ran really fast and placed very high for her age group. What I remember from the run mostly is how deceptive the course was. It went out and around the bend then folded back in on itself so that the mid-pack runners like myself were being passed by the elite runners on the other side of the median. We couldn't at first see the u-turn, the road bent away to the right and as we made our way around it the turn itself was dishearteningly far away.

At the first water table we heard a man shout that we were almost halfway there which I think bolstered my courage more than it ought to since it turned out we were nowhere near halfway. I ran like it was only 2 miles and not 3.1 that we were running. After making that first U-turn
I could see the street we had run up was full of elites and mid-pack runner's doing what I thought was the sprint to the finish. I mistakenly thought all we had to do was go to the end of this long street and make another U-turn directly to the right and boom! we'd be in the home stretch.

I didn't realize until after I muscled my way around the bend exhausted that in fact this wasn't a simple U-turn but rather an impossibly long straight away stretching far far down across this deserted parking lot speckled with sea gull poop and wavering in the heat. I nearly fainted on the spot. My shuffling feet slowed down to a trot and I nearly gave up. I tried to think of all the Runner's World magazines I've ever read that tell you not to give up to keep on going on foot in front of the other. And that's when my knee exploded.

A few years ago I fell off a treadmill at my local gym. Don't laugh... Okay, you can laugh it was pretty hysterical. I was watching the news with my headphones blasting running on the treadmill when bam my foot drops onto the non-moving edge of the platform and my other foot jerks right off the machine. I went ass over tea kettle stumble-falling into the middle of the floor. My headphone rip out of the jack and my knees buckle. Something twanged inside my kneecap when I landed and I had a bit of a limp for a couple of days. That knee just hasn't been right since.

In any case it is at this point when I am staring down the shimmering waves of heat in my long sleeves and spandex pants that my knee decided to give up the ghost. It shifts painfully to the left and flares up. Not good. I put my head down and keep trucking.

In the future I am going to make sure I see a map of the course before I start so I don't get thrown by all the disheartening turns and the 'Oh my god we have that much farther to go?!' moments. After the poop bespeckled parking lot and another bend in the road came the final straight away where the pink archway of balloons could just be seen over the bobbing heads of the hundreds of people in front of me. I hunkered down to finish strong looking up only once when I heard someone call my name. CLICK! It was Greg and Siege taking my picture from their perch on a cement pylon. I crossed the finish line a sweaty uncomfortable mess.

Aside from the initial discomfort the race was an overwhelming success.

Erika ran it almost miraculously after being sick for three whole vomit-ridden days. I don't know how she found the energy in her body to keep going. We started the race side by side but I lost her in my haste to pass some slow pokes who kept practically tripping me with their erratic zig-zagging. By the time I looked back I couldn't find her face. She finished really strong considering she ran it sickly.

The race results.

We spend a little time perusing the booths and eating our free share of snacks post-race then we all went our own ways. We found out that we hadn't in fact gotten a ticket (we could only find 2 quarters in her whole car hence 0:30 parking) and went home to puppy-sit the most adorable vizsla dog (I even let her sleep in the bed). Bailey was his usual growly self but if they had a little more time I'm sure he would have come around.

Football was Sunday and the answer is YES to the question: Did Tana have 2 jager-bombs and drink far too much on Sunday? Yes, yes indeed. But a good time was had by all. Except Nikki who was throwing up behind the bar.

All in all a rather eventful weekend.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Nerds Attack PRIDE!

How did I miss this?!

With all the hoo-ha of conquering PRIDE this year on my very own I somehow missed that Comicopia (my favorite LCS in Boston) totally put on a Pride show, costumes and all.

I remember seeing the aftermath of the caped crusaders milling about government center in some varying stages of undress. but where was I for THIS?!

***Not to self: I need to find nerdier comic book geeks like myself with which to pal around.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Breast Cancer Race!

My Susan G. Komen Race for the cure 5k is this Saturday at 9am down on the waterfront in Boston. Should be excellent weather for it . I am completely enthralled with the ending of the book The Poisonwood Bible right now and read it for 15 fast miles on the bike last night. Let me just tell you reading makes a work out fly by.

All I can think of though, is the voice of T.Brown from college telling me "If you can read while you work out then you aren't working out." It wasn't until I saw this older lady at my gym who is cut from marble she is so strong who works out everyday and reads sometimes for an hour and a half on her stairmaster, her elliptical machine and on the bike. So I figure, if she can do it I can do it too.

It felt great.

The race this weekend is an easy three miler. I don't expect to do it too fast but we'll see. Thanks to the generosity of my wonderful friends I was able to raise $200 towards breast cancer research. Yeah you guys! Thanks!

The sad news I have is also about money raising. I want to run the Boston Marathon with a number this year (as I have mentioned in early posts) but to become eligible for a number you must first either: qualify for the race by running really really fast in a half marathon or other such dastardly thing OR raise money for research for things like breast cancer and strokes and urgent necessary things like that.

Well, according to Siege (the women hooking me up with the Boston in the first place) the baseline for fund raising rose this year from $3,000 to $5,000. I thought (perhaps mistakenly) that I could raise up 3k to run but 5k? In a recession? It doesn't look good. I may have to revert to the terrifying prospect of running the Boston bandito-style which is just as hard but I wonder, will it be as satisfying? What about the empty place on my wall where my medal and bib number would be?

I don't have answers to these questions yet but they're coming.

Also coming is my trip to Napa Valley! Which I embark on in a week. Just me traipsing through some vineyards half a world away. I can't wait.

But for now it's back to the gym for me.
Maybe I can qualify by running fast after all...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

No more Teachers, No more Books

Happy September 1st everyone.

It's that happy day all across the nation where we welcome the kiddies back to school, where parents rejoice and collapse on the couch. Or, if you are my mother, where you go back to work at the high school (poor mom). Thankfully, my two little babies are only 2 and a half, far too young for the rigors of elementary school thus saving me from having an attack of the weepies as they board a big, yellow school bus for the very first time.

God, kids grow up too fast.

(Pause a moment while I get a bit misty eyed)

September also means football season has started. But who cares? With the retiring of Teddy Bruschi, the only Patriot I know other than Tom Brady, this means my football watching experience will be exactly the same as it has been for the entirety of my adult life. Faking it and using the game as an excuse to drink on a Sunday. (Like I really need one of those).

September also means Flag football season has started and this year, my lovely Erika will be playing for the JP Women's flag football league. I am happy to announce that a comic book shop has opened in JP center and that I will most likely be ditching my Sunday crossword puzzles for comic books while I am languidly taking up space on the sidelines, not paying attention to any of the games.

Glad to be back, ladies!
I'm sure your glad to have me!

I'll also be twisting AP's arm into doing post-game shots at the bar every chance I get. I believe this is my new season-long winter-calling. Getting AP trashed on fudka. Or Red-Headed Sluts. Or something new. Like the AP A-bomb. Or the Paul-SIN-ator. I'll think of something good.


In other athletic news I registered for the Susan B. Komen/Race for the Cure 5k. If you want to throw $5 my way please visit my race page and make a donation. I'm trying to raise $200. My cousin Crin has decided to do this race as well and it will be her first. As the old proverb goes "The longest journey begins with but a single step." I'm proud of her.

Last night Erika, "Siege" (CJ) and I all went for a 4mile run down the bike path through Davis Square to Mass. Ave and back again. My legs are burning today I'll tell you, but mentally, I feel good. I know I can pack the miles into this body of mine and so long as my head stays strong I'll be doing great.

Sore, maybe, but great.


In a classic (if embarrassing) moment of geek last night, Erika walked in from her softball game around 10:30 pm. to find me sprawled out on the couch, bowl of popcorn on my lap, three glasses of red wine into the night watching Star Trek the Next Generation.

Stop judging me! Captain Picard is the man.

Tana out.