Oh yeah, I know all about that

“That’s when I started to feel helpless,” Armstrong said afterward, while being driven back to his hotel opposite Central Park. “I thought: Uh-oh, maybe I should have trained a little harder for this. I think I’m in trouble.”

I think that EVERY year, Lance. I will never win 7 Tours de France, but I can tell you this: I have run five more marathons than Lance Armstrong. ;-)

Seriously, though, congratulations are in order…. Welcome to the club, Lance! Sub three hour marathons are nearly superhuman feats of endurance. Hell, yes.

The Marathon and after

I have just woke up here in London, and we’re about to run out and practice some for tomorrow night’s show:

Here is an excerpt from a letter I just sent to my step father:

I did run the marathon, and fortunately, I did not die. I saw that guy lying by the road and wondered if he didn’t make it. (Wouldn’t you rather go doing something more fun that running a marathon?)
My legs feel like an orangutan with a hammer got after them, though.

I ran the fastest 20 miles of my life. Unfortunately, the race is a full 10 kilometers longer than that. Once I ran across the 14th St Bridge, the mechanics of my stride fell apart, and my achilles tendon started to really ache, so I ran/walked in (mostly walked). eponymous really set the world on fire and ran a faster marathon than I have ever run.

The plane ride was fortunately uneventful. I really like flying British Airways. They took good care of me. (Gordon L, I have your British Airways socks.) Their business and club class are the classiest going. Of course, I was back in Sardine class, so I didn’t get to enjoy the FULL British Airways experience, but I did get my free socks, eyeshades, hairbrush and all the tea I could drink.

Rode next to a very nice lady from Ghana who was very understanding that I had to get up and stretch my legs every now and then. She had three lovely daughters with her, aged five, seven and ten. They lived in the US, and mama felt like it was time that the girls saw Africa, because they had never been there.

Getting into Heathrow was a huge pain in the ass, though. I will get to that. We’re about to run off and go to practice for tomorrow night’s show.

More later.

-patrick

Race Day

The most anxious morning on the Runner’s Calendar. I was up at 5:50am. Got a nice phone call from the missus. Showered, put a generous coating of Aquaphor on all my parts that might chafe, and taped up the teats. (You’d be amazed how much one’s nipples will bleed in a race if they are allowed to rub against one’s shirt.)

Just had a bowl of oatmeal and a half a cup of coffee.

Next, we go to the train and we’re off.

Wish me luck.

Tomorrow? Gonna be a long day

Up at six a.m. so that eponymous, my father and I can run 26.2 miles. This is my sixth marathon. This is eponymous’s first. He has trained with me all year until the last month, when I got too sick to run for three weeks.

This last month has not been much for training. I am heavier than I want to be for this run. I have not trained by doing my long, long runs (18+ miles). However, I have done this race in even worse shape than I am now… so it’s possible. It won’t be FUN, but it will get done.

Tomorrow is going to be COLD and WINDY here in DC. Not two of my favorite conditions for running a marathon.

Then, I will come home, eat a little something, soak in a hot bath, nap, and then go get on an airplane and fly to London. As I have mentioned before, I am a very uneasy flier. Not so much a Jet Setter as a Jet Wetter.

However, considering that I will have run nearly 30 miles, I bet I will pass out the second we are airborne. I am probably going to take a Tylenol PM or two, too. I need to sleep as much as possible to rest after the ‘thon. I am gonna be a hurtin’ puppy in London if I don’t.

eleven days and one hell of a wakeup

I am starting to have dreams about the marathon. This happens every year, I don’t know why I am letting it freak me out today.

OK, yes I do. I was on track this year to be more prepared for the marathon than I have in the past four years. Eponymous and I were running a good training schedule and our time per mile was going down fast, and our distances were going up. AND THEN, I got sick for a month, right at the most crucial arc of our training cycle.

So, instead of doing my long run and tapering down to the last week before the marathon, I have been doing…. nothing.

Now, mind you, I was only marginally more prepared last year, I think, and it was fine. My chest feels clear now, and I have no shortness of breath, but I have no idea of where my aerobic capacity is just now. This is making me anxious, and this anxiety is coming out in dreams about getting lost during the marathon (as if that’s even possible) or not being able to finish.

AND THEN, I carry my sorry, tired bones to Dulles and board a flight for the UK that night. I hope the British Airways Flight Attendants can keep me supplied with water, and that no one freaks out and sets the air marshals on me when I start walking around the cabin to keep my legs loose.

Here we go again!

I got this email today:
Confirmation
Dear [Patrick],
YOU HAVE SUCCESSFULLY REGISTERED FOR THE 31st MARINE CORPS MARATHON.

Better start running hard again. Any minute. Yep.