Dun dun duuuuuun...
Although, I’m really not writing this post all about “the taper” for which there is so so much that could be said. (Perhaps we’ll save that for another time?)
Nope. This post is really just ramblings on my last BIG long run before the marathon. Because 20 miles will teach you a thing or two about a thing or two (similar to the kids fun run, although not nearly as insightful).
For starters, one thing I learned fairly early on, in fact, even before I started running, is that it’s not necessarily the best idea to take a full day course on CPR and first aid the day before your long run. Why you might ask? Chest compressions.
And I know what you’re thinking. What on earth do chest compressions have to do with running? Well, nothing really which is why I figured 20 miles the day post CPR training would be, well, 20 miles. Tough? Yes, but not much different from the last time I ran 20 miles (except hopefully a tad faster, since the humidity was not going to be 100% Praise the Lord!).
But what I failed to realize is that in order to do chest compressions you need to flex a little gluteus maximus. Apparently, the right glut, to be more specific (b/c I know you were hoping I would be), is powerfully engaged when attempting to save the life of half a mannequin (at least on me anyway). And after a full day of repeated use, I was sore as all get out the next morning.
On that first mile, I could just hear the inevitable conversation that would ensue later in the day. Random observationalist who happens to know how far I ran: “Wow. 20 miles. You must be sore. In fact, are you limping?” Me: “Yeah. I am. But it wasn’t the run.” Observationalist: “No? You sure about that?” Me: “Yep. Positive. It was the chest compressions.” Observationalist. “Oh right. Because that makes perfect sense.”
But rather quickly thoughts of my conversation with said random observationalist dissipated, as I approached a somewhat eerie scene. It was after all, 5:30 in the morning and still pitch black, but the park I run was hosting an antique car show and the portion of the trail that was usually the darkest which I was fast approaching was lit up with giant spotlights and full of various antique cars, tents, and RVs. But there was no movement, and really no sound except for the hum of the lights. Kinda creepy.
Now, besides the creepiness, my first thought was to be thankful that the usual hideout of some of mother nature’s most vicious wildlife (skunks, raccoons, turkey duck) was completely illuminated. Nobody was going to sneak up on me today. No sir.
But as I ran by my thoughts quickly turned to something to the effect of: “what a bunch a weirdos. What’s with these people who drive way out in their really old souped up cars or even better yet, haul their named car in an aptly marked trailer to some random park, to camp out for the weekend, rev their engine and gawk at somebody else’s car? I don’t get. What a waste of time! What kind of person does that anyway?” I couldn’t help but wonder.
All of which was immediately followed by an audible laugh as I realized, if one of those antique car aficionados happened to peek out their RV window at that moment they’d probably be thinking something along the same lines about me. “Seriously? Who gets up so early on a weekend to run in the pitch black darkness with only the little light of some older dude in very extremely reflective clothing on a bike to light her way? Who does that? Weirdo.” And they wouldn’t even know I was running 20 miles with a lame CPR butt then going home to write about it. (Ok…yeah, maybe I am the weird one).
In my world, what I do makes sense. And I’d suspect, the same’s true for them. I don’t have to get it and they don’t have to get me. I say, do what you love and don’t worry about what other people think because after all, we’re all probably a little weird in our own little way anyway.
As for the rest of the run, it was fairly uneventful. Just the way I like it. The weather was about perfect. Everything went off without a hitch. Really, it was one of those runs where you go THIS is why I run.
Except for the last mile that is. Turkey duck made his re-appearance. ( I know. I know. It’s been so long since we last saw him, I was starting to think he’d moved on to greener pastures. I was almost, dare I say it? Missing him.)
Apparently, turkey duck has joined forces with a gaggle of geese. And it looks as if he’s had to give up his role as head honcho to some other rather vocal goose to do so. My dad plowed through the group on his bike first and about 200 yds back I could hear the master of the river very clearly honk out something like “Hey! I’m walkin’ here!” (read that in your Brooklyn accent. I’m fairly certain these geese aren’t from around here.)
As I crested the bridge and they came into view, there was Big Daddy Goose right smack in the middle of the trail. Now, my dad had been something of a sneak attack as he whizzed by on his bike. Me, let me tell you, that fella had plenty of time to size me up and hiss (what the crack? Geese hiss? I had no idea).
I really had no other options. There was no place to go. I mean this bad mother goose was no more than five feet from the foot of the bridge. So you either turn around and go back up the bridge and then a big hill to get to the road to cross the river, adding another 1/2 mile or so onto your 20 mile run (uh…no) OR you face the fairly angry goose head on.
My dad had stopped, I suppose to come to my defense should a goose attack ensue or maybe just to see what I was going to do. I considered chucking my fuel belt bottles at him to see if he’d move. But you know how I am with those fuel belt bottles. Then I thought about squirting him with my last remaining bit of water, but since this wasn’t a cat, and that foul mouthed fowl is kind of a fan of water, I figured this would be an epic fail on my part.
So without breaking stride (ok maybe a little) I squeaked my body through that little five foot opening and ran way off the trail to the right to make a semi circle around him. And that was when I spotted turkey duck tucked away on the opposite side of the trail with a few other adult geese and some babies just watching the action. He was probably the one that told Big Daddy Goose he wouldn’t have to move. “Just stick your neck out dude and look tough. She’s a sissy.” (thug voice remember).
I must give credit where credit is due though. I mean, Big Daddy truly stood there looking like a bad you know what. I seriously think he would have kicked my sorry sore CPR butt up one side and down another if I had gotten an inch closer. I’m not sure with what exactly since he has no arms and fairly small webbed feet. But I probably would have had a good beaking or maybe he would have strangled me with his super long goose neck. I don’t know. I’m just glad I didn’t find out.
So that was my 20. In and done. It’s on to the taper for me. The Air Force Marathon is so close now I can smell it or I would be able to smell it, if I could breath out of my nose that is. I’m gonna go ahead and call this allergies. Nothing to see here. Let’s move on. Because I absolutely REFUSE to be sick (but feel free to send me all your healthy vibes just in case).
P.S. Yep, I know. I was supposed to post a giveaway tonight. There were issues. Really, I’m a horrible blogger. I don’t know why any of you stick around to read this. There are far better bloggers out there than I, BUT if you stick around just a little while longer, I will post that giveaway and review for you early next week. Just got to get a few ducks in a row. Of the non turkey variety.
P.P.S. And on another exciting news front…we are SO getting Christa’s cookie recipe! Say it with me now WOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!! And it turns out Christa is quite the whiz in the kitchen with all sorts of tips, tricks, and recipes when she’s not busy training for the Chicago marathon that is. So besides a giveaway next week, you’ll also be getting a yummy recipe post. In the meantime, if you’ve got any healthy, tasty and/or quick recipes that you’d like to share with your fellow running moms email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org because I’m kind of sort of thinking of finding a place on here to compile them(why not? I obviously have all sorts of time on my hands). And yes, there will be a link to your blog/website in it for you if you so choose.
P.P.P.S Observationalist is not actually a word. Either that or I’ve so grossly misspelled it that Windows Live Writer can’t even come up with a suggestion for me. But I’ve spelled it the same every time, so at least I’m consistent. And beaking…also not a word fyi. Oh and look, fyi isn’t a word either. I’m just full of made up pretend words now aren’t I?