First Time Spectator!

I have been road racing for the past 12 years. Yup, 12 years of running/biking/and/or swimming Texas, Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, Las Vegas, Newport Beach, Long Beach, etc etc etc. I have never thought once about watching a race–or coming out to show support. But today was Marathon Sunday in L.A. I usually try to avoid it when I’m not running because I get jealous. I mostly like the post-race meal (and beer), the only meal where you can eat 3,000 calories and not feel one ounce of guilt. You earned it.

Since my focus this year is becoming a faster triathlete (especially at the Olympic distance), I was told a marathon in the off-season (while my body is trying to repair itself) is probably the worst thing I could do. I was super fine with this because I’m not a great marathon runner (or even a good one). I can never get through the proper training, and the long training runs drive me crazy. I’m OK with doing one once every other year (or maybe never again, unless the mood strikes). But I had a friend I wanted to see running this morning, and I had a run to do as part of my training–so I mapped out a 7-miler for me that would have me on the course for 1/2 a mile to show support (and honestly, to break up my own run).

Well, of course, I’m not the greatest at math & I wrote down “10:00am” on a piece of paper the night before after doing my marathon course research. This morning, I figured that meant–I should leave the house at 10am…but as I’m making my way to the course, I map my friend’s location & he’s about to go right past me! So, I sped it up to a really fast pace & breathlessly made my way to mile 19–where I met up with my friend in literally less than a minute (wow, that was a close one!). I jumped onto the course & ran for a bit, which was cool. Definitely not as big of a crowd out–but still more people than I expected with their umbrellas in the pouring rain (in a city that is not used to downpours). It was fun to clap, to say “you’re doing awesome” & to not be the one in some degree of pain/exhaustion.

The best part was turning around, heading towards home & knowing I only had a few miles to go–and no one was watching me. I could WALK back if I wanted to. I could get used to this spectator thing!

The funny part is that I still chose to do my run in the pouring down rain, when I could’ve easily driven down there with an umbrella & stayed relatively dry. Nope, I ended up splashing in so many puddles, that when I got home–I had a blister! Who knows how much I would’ve been suffering if I was out in that for 4+ hours.

So congrats to all the L.A. marathoners. You would think because I’ve done a few, I would be like “ehh, no big deal.”–but it’s quite the opposite. I was in complete awe as I watched them all. I’m still thinking I should have a post-race beer.

In a minor victory of my own, I completed my first week of my new 10 week pretty intense training plan without missing ANY workouts. 10 workouts! In 7 days! I do not know how I will make it through the next 9 weeks, but I’m going to do my best. I must admit it felt great to really push myself again. It felt awesome to get on the bike yesterday morning, come home, eat, pass out for a long nap, and then to the gym for swimming and some weights. Yes, it’s a lot, but it’s all really do-able when you keep switching up the sport. It does require more time than you would think–just getting my bags packed up, getting the bike ready, making it to the pool during lap times, washing ALL THOSE CLOTHES, resting/recovering/refueling–that’s not even about the workout itself. I told myself each time I was trying to talk myself out of it: “just START the workout.” Starting is always the hardest part for me, but I did it! Week One!!! Feeling healthy :). I’m now so ready to go out fast again for my first race (3 weeks!).

And now, after getting completely soaked–I’ve showered, had lunch, & am about to take an awesome nap to the sound of the rain pouring outside. No plans for the rest of the day, and it’s a wonderful feeling.

And so my New Year’s Resolution comes to a sad end.

I wanted to prove you all wrong. I wanted to be the girl that keeps her resolution (though I had started to wonder about how long one was SUPPOSED to keep a resolution…just for that year, for the rest of her life?), but bronchitis got the best of me. Well, for one week anyway. It just became a little absurd that I was jumping into a cold pool with a terrible chest cold for my “health.” Now the burden has been lifted. I can swim as little or as much as I want from now on. I can tell you about it or not. I’m happy that it definitely got me out to the pool more than any other year, but I’m so relieved that I can be more flexible about it from here on out.

But back to this bronchitis–it is no joke! I often just pretend I’m not sick when I’m sick, and I’m over it fast enough. But man, just like that horrible spider bite from June, some things will really get your attention & force you to slow down a bit. I tend to get sick the last week of our sessions, which is really bad timing because it is when everything in every class culminates. It is really a horrible time to take a sick day, so instead–I got away with just taking one & still managing to survive the week. My voice, sadly, was not taking it well. It was all I could manage to get up, shower, make it to work, and drive back home everyday. I had to skip a basketball game I had been looking forward to (and paid good money for) all season. More disappointing than that, I had to cancel my trip back home to attend my brother’s engagement party (and visit with a couple dozen family members in the process=priceless). Instead, I stayed home. And coughed. And coughed.

I’m lucky enough to have a week without classes & already requested the next two days off, so finally I’ve had some solid rest time. I am getting better in slow motion, with the coughing attacks limited to mostly mornings & sexy scratchy voice still in effect. I haven’t worked out in a full week, which hurts the soul–but always makes me so appreciative when I get to return full force to unlimited cardio. I’ve already been touch and go the last two weeks, so training is REALLY starting out slowly this year. I’ve got a good feeling about it, though. Sometimes big breaks end up being awesome for my training–both physically & mentally, so I’m hoping to start back later this week recharged. I had to reschedule the start of my big training program to next week, just to make sure I am completely well. But it has me looking forward to challenging training and racing more than ever.

I have always been so restless, but twice this year I’ve been stuck in bed for a week or more at a time. And all the fears I have about it: I’m missing out, I’m losing muscle-mass, I’m getting fat, I will never have ambition again, I’m living in a bubble!!–are always so ridiculously wrong. There was something wonderful about not having to get up over the weekend because that was my assignment–to lie in bed and get better, to say no to any invitation that came my way without guilt. I do incredible things that never happen in my regular life–I wake up, eat breakfast, & then go back to sleep–which I always thought was just impossible for me to do. I will have to make more of an effort to do this when I’m actually feeling well.

I’m heading to Denver this Thursday (let’s hope I’m completely well by then!), and I can’t wait to see my brother, sis-in-law, & Sam and Sophie. It’s pretty cheap and fast to get to Denver and back, I should really make the trip more often.

Hope you’re feeling better than I am & are enjoying the beginning of March. I’m super excited about the time change later this month–allowing me to get on my bike more on the weekday evenings! Hooray.