Sunday, May 4, 2008

i'll do it, if you do it


women tend to operate as a tribal unit; going to the bathroom together, holding hands while the mole doctor singes off something potentially malignant, or venturing into victoria's secret during their semi-annual sale. do-ing together means that things happen, they get done. the decision to train for a marathon was a collective one. much like the decision to wear running shoes (and matching socks) to the kentucky derby, the day before a long training run. one person would be sooo; "what not to wear", two would be; "cooler than bjork wears".

today our goal was 23 magical miles, although we planned to walk 3 first, for a total mileage of 26. we did everything "right"; behaved ourselves at derby, went to bed early, wore newly broken in shoes, hydrated, and ate our energy snacks. the only minor snafu was the post-derby strapless dress sunburn now rubbing against straps. in fact, all was well until a misplaced foot resulted in an elegant full body faceplant at mile 18. fortunately this provided delirious giggling to entertain us through mile 20, until numb feet gave way to acute pain in the left hip; my IT band had finally surrendered. while mind games can stave off boredom and fatigue, when the body packs it in, no recitation of the alphabet backwards, or visualization of assorted co-workers in a jello wrestling match, can ameliorate the pain.

so i started to cry. unfortunately i couldn't even do that successfully, as sobbing and trying to breathe while running is just not possible. this led to a downward spiral of self-flagellation that i was now one of "those girls" (who cried). of course, short term memory had already erased a lecture i delivered last week to a new moutain biker; "we have ALL cried on the trail". i cried because i hurt/couldn't breathe/had only come 21.5 of the 23 miles/had to WALK. "other" people (oprah winfrey/katie holmes/puff daddy) had run 26 miles, what was MY problem? my buddy later told me that she was relieved to see me stop and cry; to see that i was "human" (that did not make two of us). i recently saw an interview between kristin and lance armstrong where they agreed that 20 miles is the true, first "half" of a marathon. despite the laws of conventional mathematics, i would have to agree.

ultimately, i committed to marathon training because i felt that it would be an important 'character building life lesson'. to know i could do something challenging, in spite of the pain and self doubt-- like committing to a relationship.

in theatre, a crappy dress rehearsal means a great performance. but i think i forgot that part of a good life lesson, the part where the learning takes place, is not done while coasting along feeling good, but when you have to stop and pull over, recognize where you are, how far you've come, and acknowledge that this is tough right now, but it will get better. and that crying (and walking) is normal, permitted, and even "ok". fortunately i have a very patient, and supportive running buddy who was able to let me drape my crusty self all over her, and "escort" me to the finish.

we burned 2,689 calories, unfortunately i am unable to negotiate the short distance to the fridge to replace any of them.

9 comments:

mansuetude said...

are you'all training in those sun dresses too>?

two soul sisters... tears are good salty.. better than chips>

calorie count looks like it has my name on it.

R u goldilocksing it together here> attracting bears? ')

rest up.

Disa said...

between the crying and the sweating, i had a crusty salt beard working it's way along my jawline.

there is a fundraising group that runs in dresses- although that sounds like a chafing nightmare to me.

i am trying to find the point where things feel "just right"; with myself, my body, my mind and my marathon :)

Kat said...

myself, my body, my mind and my marathon... me too! This blog, you've got to include in the book. good one. oy veh. Rest, rest, rest. Are you taking a few days off?

Melinder said...

Your body will be ready in a few weeks. It is good to know how it feels to crumble. You do not get to practice this when you are preggers! So, this training is good!

Disa said...

yes, i was informed that my marathon pain would be nothing compared to pushing a cantaloupe out of my bits.

mansuetude said...

no cantalope, Disa
think big,
think watermellon :)

Disa said...

and i would guess you mean the mutant size that some overachieving farmers try for their pupmkins at the state fair. i don't believe there are enough drugs available for that kind of rippage.

Sicker Eve Folk said...

What's that on your hand there? Looks like some sort of band around the bone between the bottom and middle knuckles - perhaps fashioned of gold and - I think I can make out - a gem or type of precious stone mounted upon it?

Man, you suck at being a girl - if you were any good at it that thing would have gotten a hi-res, full-screen shot somewhere in your blogscape by now - no?

Disa said...

actually, 20/20, that piece of jewel-ree got passed around all day to try and ward off lecherous drunks, and sleazy frat boys. it didn't work out too well though, because mint julep blindness had one guy approach us because he didnt "notice any rings".

~i am soooo, not a girl. i will take that as a compliment. muted pictures to follow of fuzzy waterfalls by sunset, framed by kissing cupids blowing on bugles, while doves play harps.