Oh God. I’m at it again. I’ve picked up my old copy of Marathoning for Mortals by John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield and I’m giving it another go. Edge to Edge 2017. My middle daughter has tentatively agreed to run with me which will definitely make the long runs more fun! So, just pointing out that I’m starting this at about 50 pounds too heavy and zero running as of late. Wish me luck!
Earthathon 2015 here I come! I just signed up and I’m about to complete my first run for my team #RunderfulRunners .
Want to know more? Want to join in?
EARTHATHON is a 25,000-mile running relay. We tweet our running in miles or km to #earthathon. Run anywhere. One team, one planet. Join Us Today. Be A Part of Something Big. Become an “Earthathoner.” Click HERE to visit the official website.
Due to familial commitments, I’ve (sadly and with much moaning) had to revoke my intentions to run the marathon in Victoria with Loreth this fall. The timing just won’t work now and so the hunt is on for a new race.
So far, I’ve found two that have caught my eye.
The Edge to Edge Marathon takes place in June each year and runs from Tofino to Ucluelet in the Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island. Some gorgeous pictures of running on the beach and through the park here.
And then there’s the Gutbuster.
Gutbusters are run on the Island four times a year and though they’re not marathons, they are trail runs which would provide a whole new experience. I’m thinking my gut could use a little busting. I’d have to train way differently for this type of race, though, so this one I’ll have to pondering.
If you see or know of anything in your area, let me know?
So I was out for my long walk on Monday and I was looking for 17 kilometers and all of it was along the highway because it’s so nice and flat and suitable for race walking. It was going to be good. I could tell.
Going with the highway pretty much guarantees “no bears” so I was feeling pretty cocky even with the vehicles roaring past. They’re only inches from me it seems, but it’s something I’ve gotten used to. At the very least, they give me fodder for morbid thoughts such as “what happens to the body upon impact with a fast moving vehicle?”…”wonder how far it would fly?”…”what bones would be broken?”…”how long would a body lie in a grassy ditch before being discovered?”, etc. etc.
For those of you who have just shuddered and thought “Mon Dieu! She’s insane!”, please be assured that thoughts like mine are quite normal when one creates suspense fiction on a regular basis. The best of the worst is always fair game for a plot and so the little twist that makes a good plot great is a wonderful thing. Believe me, my thought processes are relatively fine and I’m okay. Toni and Loreth do it, too.
Okay. So where was I? Ah yes. The highway.
So. Busy highway. Race Walking. La la la la. Minding my own business. Hit my 8.5 km mark, do my turn around and now the wind that was to my front is coming at me from behind. And bringing with it?
You know? Little black things? Couple of stripes? Soft bodies? Innocuous looking?
There weren’t too many. Just enough to annoy me and make me pull my arms out of their swing every once in awhile to swat.
Gradually though, their numbers increased and now I’m race walking and flailing with consistency. (This is where I ask myself — what did the people in the vehicles think was happening? — I’m sure I looked like I was having some sort of epileptic fit — maybe *that’s* why they didn’t stop?).
SO. Flailing. And now I’m getting worried because I was bit by these things a couple of times last week and had googled for information and discovered that a swarm of black flies can kill a person in less than 2 hours with repeated bites.
Yeah. That’s right. Literally, they suck you dry (and there’s that suspense mind coming into play again — good plot twist turned great! NOT!).
I pick up my pace, hoping for a wind change, but I know it’s not coming, because I’m heading into low ground (translation: swampy and black fly paradise). I get there and now more flies have descended and they’ve seemingly sent out word to their cohorts in crime ’cause wouldn’t you know it? Here come the hornets!
Did you know that a hornet likes to repeatedly sting? And that it HURTS? And that anaphylactic shock can set in at anytime in anyone?
This is me now flailing, swatting and running. Screw my knee, I’m thinking, I’m done being dinner. I dig out my cell phone, but it only has one bar of reception. One hand swats, the other holds the cell phone out to the side, up in the air, back to the side, trying in desperation for a good signal.
It doesn’t work. I’m stuck at one bar.
I’ll have to gamble that I can get through and that DH has not gone outside to work in his shop and will answer the phone at home.
I get him. Blab that he needs to come get me. I need help.
He says, “What?” a couple of times like he can’t hear what I’m saying and then my phone cuts out.
At least he knows I’m in trouble. I think.
Still swatting. Still running. My knee is killing me, but I’ve decided that at least it’s that and not the bugs. 10 minutes later our van peels over the top of a hill and DH screeches to a halt in front of me for a dramatic rescue.
My love! My hero! My savior!
I throw myself into the vehicle, panting and sweating and still swatting.
“What’s with you?” he asks. “I couldn’t hear you and you were all garbled. I thought you were being attacked by a bear.” He’s looking at me like I should at least be gushing blood for all his trouble.
I show him my bites, explain the 2 hour time limit to death and he quirks an eyebrow with a modicum of interest. “Yeah?”
“If you say so.”
“Okay.” He gives me this odd little smile that says, “Freak” (but in the nicest possible way and drives me home.
Ah, but isn’t love grand?
The whole idea of goal setting is that somewhere along the road things might not work as well as you’d hoped or planned so you must, as DH would say, adapt and overcome. This is something that applies to every facet of our lives. Staying static accomplishes nothing, especially if things aren’t working in your favor.
Needless to say, I’ve had to revise my marathon goal. About a month ago my right knee started giving me grief. Just a little at first, but it’s gradually worsened to the point where my short runs (10 miles) are painful and as you can guess, not much fun. I won’t even tell you what my long runs do to the old pain threshold.
This is not good. I like my knees and I like them functional and I’m really not big on the whole pain thing either.
However, there is this goal of the marathon. SO, enter my adaptation of the goal to Race Walking it instead of running it.
Race Walking. Yup. You got it.
I’ve discovered it’s quite the sport and I’ve found that I can go, Go, GO! without any pain in my knees. This is me grinning because I’ve also discovered it’s not easy. I must admit that when running I don’t put much effort into my form (perhaps the reason for the injury?), but when race walking, I *must* think to keep my knee straight, *must* think to keep my shoulders down, *must* think to push off with my back foot, because otherwise I tend to look a little like a floppy chicken making its way down the road. When one has proper form, one glides. Much more preferable.
They tell me it gets easier, but so far I’ve found I can’t walk with music because it’s too distracting and my form suffers. I don’t want to have bad form. In fact, I want to have superior form. Judging by the new muscles I’m finding, I’m on my way. Until then, I’ll allow myself the occasion floppy chicken, but the rest of the way, I’m gliding!
Watch me now!
So yes, good things come from being a role model (didn’t Loreth tell me it was so? and now I have 3 little girls who want to run in the Royal Victoria Kids Marathon on the day I run mine! In a nutshell, they do 41 kilometres of running (1 km at a time) before race day and the day of the race they run 1.2 km with all the other kids (and their dad as a chaperone). Wonderful!
So yesterday, my youngest daughter (5) decided her training had begun and that she was running with me. 3 kilometres later (remember she only had to do one) she said, “That’s good for today, Mom” and she veered off and sat on the hay bales, watching as I finished my circuits. What a kid! I won’t mention the other two were still sleeping in their beds.
And here is an interesting article about another marathon child. Amazing. 5 years old and running 65 kilometres in 7 hours!