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Mpls, MN, United States

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Incidents & Accidents

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Rock 'n' Roll!

My mom called this morning, and the first thing she asked was, "What were you doing a week ago right now?" Readers, she knew the answer. And although she didn't specifically mention that I hadn't blogged about it, I figure I should probably try to catch up here. Also, I put it on my To Do List, which means that when I publish this, I can check off a box less challenging than "Register for Milwaukee" or "Call Dell."

So one week ago right now, I was running the Phoenix Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. My parents and I drove out through the middle of the desert on Saturday afternoon, arriving in time to experience a gloriously soft, purple sunset; to briefly explore the exquisitely surreal Scottsdale "Old Town"; and then to celebrate my cousin's birthday in high-carb fashion. I slept for a few hours before popping to the airport to retrieve David, who had surprised me Thursday by saying he had a ticket to come out and cheer! He hadn't wanted to disturb my pre-race sleep, but I assured him that this way, if the race went poorly, I had a built-in excuse (and that I'd learned whilst training for my first marathon that as long as you sleep well Friday, Saturday night doesn't actually matter that much).

As it turned out, I didn't need the excuse, because Sunday was more or less perfect. You may not have picked this up from my last post, but I was genuinely worried about how this race might go, mostly because I hadn't really trained. Yet, somewhat miraculously--and thanks in large part to my spectacular support team!--I had my most enjoyable race yet. Early on, I fell in with an Italian and a German, both from Chicago, who were aiming for a 4:30 finish. I told them I didn't know how long I'd be able to keep up with them, but that I'd stick it out as long as I could. As it turned out, I was able to run with them for quite a while, though we lost Roland when he made a pit stop and then I lost Joanna when I stopped for one. I caught up with Roland, though, with whom I ran until, his knee giving him trouble at about mile 19, he (very politely) cut me loose and told me to run ahead. I was quickly able to catch up with a Utahan couple who'd been running at about our pace, and yakked with them through the last few miles.

And this is slightly unbelievable, even to me, but I had a really fantastic time. I remember saying to Roland, at about mile 18, "I feel so good! So good!" That's just not right... especially if you're under-trained. The heat was making him sweat (apparently it was about 75° by the time I finished), but there was a nice breeze (which my dad described later as a vicious headwind) and it felt perfect to me. The course was flat, beautiful, and filled with enjoyable people (around that pace, there seems to be a lot of camaraderie; the runners are generally adequately trained, so comfortable but not competitive). Even better was what I called My People: once my uncle and crew, and at least eight other times along the route, my parents and David (waving signs!). That was a marvelous experience.

When I crossed the finish line, two separate volunteers remarked to me that I looked too good to have just run 26.2 miles. When my neighbor asked me Monday night, driving me home from the train station, how I felt, she laughed at me when I responded that my right calf was a little tight. Actually, I did have some fairly impressive blisters, and will probably lose a couple of toenails, but I do--still!--feel amazingly good.

On the light rail back from the airport, standing by the suitcases I'd wrestled onto the train and staring bleakly at the mountains of snow visible out the window, I thought, "Ugh, snow. Why do I live in Minneapolis?" And then, weirdly, I felt it change, in my head, to "Awwww, snow. I live in Minneapolis." It suddenly felt so good, being there, and thinking that, that I got all misty.

So. I don't know if it was the holidays, or the travel, or the family and friends, or the Integratron, or the marathon, or what. Perhaps the latter released a veritable tide of endorphins that are still crashing through my system. The sound bath might have left me persistently aligned. I don't know, but I feel good--way too good for a Minnesotan January. But I'll take it.

Pictures my mom took (plus a few from my camera phone) are here:


David's album is here:

6 comments:

Carissa J said...

Awesome! Way to go!

I Hope So said...

yay you!!! so impressive! i think i'm even getting a contact high off of your endorphin rush :)

way to go!!!

strovska said...

the fact that you were able to "yakk through the last few miles" amazes and impresses me.

Nothing said...

Congrats on the run! I wish I were in that kind of shape. My under-developed arms and legs envy you.

Yes Is A World said...

yay! congrats!

Ern said...

So, um, I've decided that you just perpetually shoot rainbows out of yourself in every direction. What's up with that? I mean, it's AWESOME! I just want some of what you're having. ;)