From Wino to Wineglass Marathon

  I’ve started reading a book called “Mind Gym” in an effort to prepare myself for the marathon next week. Mostly, I feel in a good (enough) headspace. I worked a lot on my race anxiety this year by racing Garmin-blind and racing fairly often. 

I also have kept one eye on the 2016 Boston Marathon registrations. Right now, it looks like the cutoff for those qualifying was even tougher this year since by the time they got to the “squeakers” (those who beat their qualifying times by less than 5 minutes), they had 3,000 fewer spots still left than last year. What this means to me is that I need to do better than just barely qualify if I want a spot in 2017. But no pressure. 

I can’t help but think of how — I don’t know if I should say ironic or fitting — it is that I am running the Wineglass Marathon as my goal race this year. Wine was my chosen poison, and on October 25, it will be 10 years since I admitted myself to rehab for alcoholism and bulimia. I have been trying to visualize that Wineglass medal in my hands. The “medal” has been a melted down wine bottle. A part of me really needs to qualify for the Boston Marathon at this race. But even if something goes wrong, I think having fun at it will be even more important. 

One thing I’ve been under a bit of stress about for the last few months was some questionable results from some blood tests I had done as part of my annual physical. I’m diligent about these doctor visits because I was warned that my liver might have some scarring as a result of my excessive drinking. I was in pretty bad shape by the time I dragged myself into rehab — the head physician there said I wouldn’t have lasted much longer. 

My liver function has been fine, but the last couple years my parathyroid hormone levels have been low.  The problem with this is that it affects the levels of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in the blood, which in turn affects the bones. As in osteoporosis. In general, as a 45 year old lady, that’s not great news. As a runner, I had “stress fractures” buzzing in my head. 

On the one hand, I felt like if I had even early osteoporosis, I would’ve had some sort of stress fracture or reaction by now with all the pounding my training has put on my skeletal system. On the other, I’m freaking out because it seems like parathyroidism is usually caused by some sort of surgical damage, which I’ve never had surgery in that area, and so the cause of my parathyroidism seems like a big question mark. It’s probably hereditary, I suppose. But it bugs me. It especially bugs me that the parathyroid itself can’t be treated — all you can do is treat the symptoms, which basically means calcium and magnesium supplements. 

Anyway, further blood tests continue to show low parathyroid, but my calcium, magnesium and phosphorus levels are fine. My doctor also ordered a bone scan, and it took almost four weeks to get these results, so I’ve been pretty anxious. When I got the note yesterday that the results were back, I almost was going to put off opening it until after my race in the event it was bad news. 

My nerves won out, and the good news is that my bones are normal. Freak out abated. 

It’s hard to not worry about the long term damage I might’ve done to my body. But in a way, I’m glad for this concern because it’s what I bring up when the nasty little voice in my head tries to tell me that it would be so nice to have a glass of wine, to just unwind. I like being healthy. Whatever temporary relief my drinking provided was short lived because it would be enjoyable for a day or two before I would spiral out of control. I didn’t like being a slave to my addictions. So, whatever happens race day, it will be a testament to how far I’ve come. 

I’ll be wearing these Hoka One One beauties for race day. The model is called “Odyssey”. I think it suits my journey. 



Long time no write. 

All is fine here, I’ve just not felt much like blogging. I’m less than 10 days from my marathon and bloody exhausted. So far, I’ve not felt taper madness because all I want to do is nap. 

I had a great final 22-miler on Sunday that was a 6 mile warm up, a half marathon around marathon goal pace then 3 mile cool down. It felt amazing and effortless, but I’ve been feeling it this week. Yesterday I had a kind of crap run that has me a little worried, so I’m going to take it easy the next week. I have a massage scheduled for today and I couldn’t be more excited. 

My husband survived his Ragnar relay, and I’m annoyed he wasn’t more sore. He did great, though, averaging around 9:15/mile for his 16 or so total miles. 

I’m trying not to think too much about the Wineglass Marathon and skipping right over to thinking about the fun half marathons have have scheduled for the rest of the year. I’m still headed towards my coaching certification and trying to meet the challenges of doing right by my coaching client. I do feel some general anxiety right now, but I’m trying to remember a little anxiety is ok and can be lived with. 

I hope everyone is doing great and enjoying the beginning of fall!

It’s Just Not Fair!!!

  My husband is running a Ragnar Relay (Reach the Beach) in less than 2 weeks. 

Let me say that again.

My NON-RUNNING husband is running the  Reach the Beach Ragnar Relay. 

So far he’s run twice this week. The last time he ran was jogging point-to-point when I paced a friend in a half marathon in June. He does not like running. At all. Ragnar is on MY race bucket list. 

What the hell. 

What’s worse is that he can just say yes when a buddy asks if he can run as part of the team. My husband is a swimmer. An excellent distance swimmer (he’ll do a four hour swim for fun). So his aerobic capacity is ridiculous. He could probably beat me in a 5k, but can’t in a 10k (I know because we ran one a year and a half ago and I beat him by 2-3 minutes, and I’m much faster now). 

But it’s not freaking fair that he can just sign up on a whim for a race like Ragnar in which he’ll run three legs for a total distance between 14-22 miles. He’s not even trained! (And he won’t run with me now that he’s getting some runs in or ask my advice either. Insert frownie face here.)

I’m pouting. 

My marathon is less than 4 weeks away, so Ragnar is not an option for me. Yep. I’m pouting.

Will it be awful of me if I make fun of him when he inevitably isn’t able to walk down the stairs for several days after his race?

I thought I was a little nuts…

It’s 86 degrees with 58% humidity and full sun at 1:30 in the afternoon. I spotted this dude:

If you can’t quite tell, he’s got on pants and not only a long sleeve shirt, but also a t-shirt over it. LMAO. I assume he’s training for an event in a hotter environment? Still strikes me as crazy, and I deliberately run at this time of day to heat train myself. But I wear as little clothing as is decent for a lady my age. 

In other silliness, I found these at the grocery yesterday:

I was kind of disappointed in their taste. Kind of like a pungent cucumber that’s not quite self-pickled?

And on Friday this was my dinner:

I sprinkle some Cajun spices on it. Popcorn is totally my biggest vice. I can eat an obscene amount of it. Carbs, right?

On training runs, I’ve been listening to an audiobook called Mean Streak by Sandra Brown. The protagonist is a female doctor and marathoner. I’m seriously irritated by this alleged serious runner because the author has her do a 20 mile training run for a road race on a secluded mountain trail (if you don’t know, it makes more sense to train on a road for a road race, especially on a key long run) in which a snow storm is on its way and the doctor has a recently healed stress fracture. AND there is mention of altitude difficulties (this takes place in the Appalachians), yet the doc drove from Atlanta to the mountain to run the 20-miler the next morning, which wouldn’t allow for any altitude acclimation if any was necessary (the Appalachians are not quite considered high altitude from what I can tell). 

I mean, I get that the author needed a setup for the book, but all of this bugs me so much that it distracts me from the story every time the doctor’s running is mentioned. It’s all I can do to not yell at the protagonist that she is too dumb to survive.😡 😜

You know you’re old enough when the trends come back around 

So I had a really great easy run in the park today. It was about 77 degrees, 43% humidity and overcast for the second half. 

Towards the end, I could hear a sound check being performed in the park’s amphitheater and it sounded kind of interesting, so after my run, I googled the concert schedule. It was 5 Seconds Of Summer (not to be confused with 30 Seconds to Mars), which I only knew about from an appearance they did on the Today Show once when I was in the Y locker room. My impression was that they were a better than average boy band who played their own instruments. 

I decided to take my Ucan post-run drink over to the amphitheater gates and see if I could hear some more, and there was a small gaggle of young women (probably late teens?) with flannel shirts and black and blue dyed hair hanging around. The music I heard wasn’t bad, and I went to iTunes to sample some more. The band reminds me of a cross between LFO, Blink 152 and a number of other mid-to-late 90s groups. The kids were dressed sort of grunge/punk. It struck me as funny, that as old as I am, things felt like they haven’t changed that much. 

Runners Everywhere

A friend of mine spotted this boat when she was out fishing and sent a picture to me (you may need to zoom in to read it):

My butt was truly kicked in Friday with that tough run (followed by about 4 hours of walking), so I shouldn’t be surprised that my mid-afternoon 20 mile run was a tough slog in the 85 degree heat. My legs were just beat. At least my stomach wasn’t bothering me. But I was also slower than last week. 

I’ve got only 6 weeks until my race, so these next few weeks will be pretty tough. I’m really hoping the temperatures will start going down, although anything is possible for race day.  

Quick Trip to Portsmouth & a Butt-kicking Run

I’m so freaking sick of heat and humidity. 

This week, I’ve wimped out on outdoor runs due to icky weather. I’m hoping I’ll get to do my 20-miler tomorrow outdoors. As much as I’m enjoying rewatching Game of Thrones while on the treadmill (got an inexplicable crush on The Hound, lol), I feel like I’m cheating myself out of solid road runs. 


Hot Stone Tuna — you sear the tuna on the granite yourself

 Thursday my husband and I took an overnight trip to Portsmouth, NH because he had a work thing and I tagged along. It was less warm there but humid as hell. We hadn’t made dinner reservations, but we were able to get squeezed in at a place called Surf because we were willing to eat outside. I got the Hot Stone Tuna and the Flax & Quinoa Crusted Halibut. Here was our view:


Thats what you call 100% humidity

 The food was pretty great, so the spastic hairdo from the humidity was worth it. I’m always thrilled to get fresh fish. 

Friday morning it was raining, so I did my workout on the hotel treadmill. I was pretty intimidated when my coach sent me this one. 

20 minute warm up, 5k tempo, 4 minute jog, 8×75 second hill repeats (6-10% incline) at 5k or faster pace, 20 minute cool down. 

I pushed a little too hard on the tempo and ended up taking longer than a 4 minute jog. I also did the lower end of the incline. In other words: wuss. 


I goofed up hitting lap on one of the hill repeats :P

  I don’t think I’ve ever sweat so much after a run. It was disgusting. I dripped all over the hotel lobby and in the elevator car. Ew. 

After showering and a scrambled egg stuffed popover at Popovers, I mosied over to the Strawbery Banke Museum, which is a historic village that showcases the homes and lifestyles of 400 years in the area. I spent about 2 hours wandering through the homes and talking to the museum guides and roll players. If you like places like Plymouth Plantation, Sturbridge Village or Williamsburg, you’ll likely enjoy this exhibit. It was really interesting to see how the area evolved over time. 


I wandered around Portsmouth after my Museum visit and bought my husband a Christmas gift at one of the many lovely shops in town. My feet were pretty beat by the time 5:00 rolled around, so I just hung out for a half hour in the hotel lobby with a cup of coffee. 

We had planned on heading home when my husband was done with work, but we were invited out to dinner, so we went to Brazo for a fantastic Latin/Spanish meal. I had the Fried Green Tomato Napoleon (stuffed with crab and avocado) and the Pumpkin Seed & Poblano Salmon with grilled asparagus and lobster-crab croquettes. It would be dangerous for us to live near Portsmouth for sure — I’d never cook at home again. 

The ride home was a little rough (got in after 2am with several rest stop naps — we’re so old), and I’m awfully glad today is a day off from running.