Thursday, April 8, 2010

Light At The End Of The Tunnel

I see it. I'm running toward it.

What can I say about today? It's my only son's sixth birthday. I can't believe my goofy, loving, sometimes turdly-acting, and often hilarious little dude is finishing out his kindergarten school year and turning into this big kid who isn't a baby at all anymore. He's been watching and waiting anxiously to see if our old stand-by for birthday dinners Mexican restaurant would be rebuilt in time for his birthday dinner. Alas, they're not quite finished but he's so bent on the tradition of being sung to with the large hat that he wants to go to their other location on the outskirts of our city, so off we will go tonight.

This is also a day when I'm feeling pretty good about my training, and life in general. The husband and I got word yesterday that we've got a nephew, and the kids have a cousin for the second time. The timing right before my son's birthday was pretty cool, too. I can picture down the road that even though they live across the country from us in Virginia, this may be a future excuse for a major family birthday shebang.

Professionally, my annual licensing process (under new rules this year-which was stressing me out BIG TIME) is finally complete. I survived, and was surprised that I somehow managed to pull together most of what needed to be done to comply with the new rules. I've been working on getting in compliance for three months, and all the stress and planning was worth it to know now that I was on the right track, and managed to accomplish the long list of things I set out to do. My other half also just started with his very unique six month job assignment with a local company while on leave from his regular job-40 hours a week for the first time in over a year-and that's another weight off our shoulders. It's not a forever job but it's a win/win situation for us, and for the co-workers at his regular job in this tight economy. After all these years with one company, the new project is a cool change of scenery and chance to do things still in his area of expertise but just totally different work. You try not to let work and economy stuff rule over your life, but after catching a break or two I can really feel now how much it was always in the background.

Oh, and there was that little matter of the New York City Marathon lottery. When it closed, there were 120,000 entrants, and while I remained hopeful that I'd be selected, I knew it would be a stretch to scrape together the dough to go this year. We agreed as a family that I should still just enter and see what happened, but the possibility of deferring an accepted lottery application was a real one. When I finally could view my lottery status yesterday, I was bummed but not crushed with disappointment to see that I had NOT been selected. This almost seems to have happened perfectly to allow me to really push and train harder for that sub-1:37 that would allow me to bypass lottery and guarantee my way in for 2011. So, with NYC out, I decided to go ahead and enter the St. George Marathon lottery. The race is that perfect medium size-field capped at 7400-that I really like racing. It is a Saturday race (you're typically hard-pressed to find Sunday marathons in Utah), which means I can take a Friday off, drive the 5-6 hours over, race Saturday, and drive home Sunday. If I am drawn, it will be a sweet option B.

If, on the other hand, I become a double fall marathon lottery rejectee, I'll move to ol' faithful and register for plan C, the Rim Rock Marathon. It was way better than my already high expectations last fall, and I swear you can't beat sleeping in your own bed and being a mere five minutes away from the start. Things are kind of falling into place not necessarily the way I would have planned first-off, but in a way that works out well.

Oh, and yeah. BOSTON. The biggest light at the end of the tunnel. I thought I was getting mad with taper, but I think I'm just focusing right now on getting things together and doing things to hit my newly adjusted 3:30 marathon goal. Then there's the arrangements to meet fellow runners from around the country at the various forum subgroups who have become friends and training partners that happen to live in other places. I'm good at seeking out and reading up on training advice, but there's no way I'd learn as much on my own as I have from others in the online running community. It's going to be cool to kick back and hang with people in person, especially since I wasn't alone in having some of the most rotten winter weather many of us have seen in a long time. I've got this ridiculous, fun spring outfit ready to go for race day that is actually highly functional, and should hopefully make it easy for my husband to spot me on the course when I finish. I'm using these new CEP compression socks:

These armwarmers:

And will then pair them with a very springy running skirt and basic workhorse racing singlet. I used to knock arm panties, but really-I am always freezing before races and you sit out there at the athlete's village for a LONG time. Sure, I'll have sweats, but it'll be nice to have something for those first few miles that I can shove down when I get hot. Heck-I think I might even put my name on my singlet with tape. I've never done it before but this is my huge crowd race for the year-might as well get in to it!

So, that's it. My mom gets here next Tuesday to hang with my kids for a few days, and my flight leaves a week from tomorrow. The weather-watching, food-talking, and hydration monitoring have begun. Okay-I guess I was in denial. I've had a taste the taper madness Kool-Aid, and I'm ready for another cup.


L.A. Runner said...

LOVE the arm warmers!!!! Those are adorable. Good luck with your new goal- 3:30! You are going to ROCK it!

Black Bear! said...

Those hot pink sox are AWESOME!!!

What's that saying: "I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member" Boo on NYC marathon.

(Yeah, I didn't get in last year either -LOL)