Dry Martini: Once More, onto the Beach

Sometimes, life hands you exactly what you need. And what I needed, it turns out, was two hours in a porch swing with a book and a blanket after having run 13.1 miles with six of the best BAMRs ever.

But let me back up.

I made a new friend in Edinburgh.

When last we spoke, I was in Scotland on a family vacation. I ran for exactly zero minutes while in the U.K. While I had the intellectual desire, my body just did not want to. The jet lag really kicked my heiner this time — I’m told it is because I’m getting older but I’ve decided to live in denial on that one — and I never felt quite right. I’ve also been dealing with some general tummy troubles — the details of which no one wants to hear, especially while eating.

So far, my armchair diagnosis has ranged from late-onset lactose intolerance to an ulcer to gall stones to your more exotic cancers. Yes, I’m going to a doctor tomorrow.

I found this two pence while making a coffee run. Does that count?

After we got back, I managed about six easy miles. Not six all at once, mind. Then it was time to repack and head to Florida for the Seaside School Half Marathon, after I made a small stop in Orlando to visit my Mom.

Because of my relationship with Voldesun (spoiler alert: I hates it), I’ve never been a big beach person. If I must beach, I tend to gravitate towards those with boulders and crashing, cold water. This whole white sand and tranquil blue is not really my bliss. However, when there are BAMRs involved, I’m easy to persuade. For the record, Seaside is perfectly lovely. Standing in sugar sand while your husband is texting about the 20” of snow that fell at home overnight is, in fact, priceless.

This isn’t snow.

The weekend exists in its own little bubble of wonderful, one that I’ll keep tucked near my heart for those moments that are less than wonderful. Saturday morning was filled with a long, rambling conversation about imposter syndrome and complicated mothers while we ate home-baked scones. Lisa, the Scone-ista, brought her own special scone whisk. Heidi made Shalane and Elyse’s lasagna, which I couldn’t stop shoving in my face. We all took turns with the clean-up and the random errands that pop up, like a mid-afternoon tampon run.

After the race, the majority of the crew schlepped to the beach, which I lacked the oomph to accomplish. The trans-Atlantic travel, coupled with the nearly seven hour drive from Orlando to Seaside (traffic was terrible), finally caught up with me. I took to the porch swing, read for a bit, napped for a bit, then repeated the cycle. It was absolutely what I needed. I am a lucky, lucky woman.

When you run across a bridge, take a picture. That’s, like, a rule.

As for the race itself, it was perfectly fine. The course is an out-and-back down 30A, which parallels, mostly, the Gulf. It had a hill or two but nothing crazy, if you are used to running in a place with any topography. The weather was kind and stayed in the 50s for most of my 13.1 miles. I found it too sunny but, again, I have issues.

At the end of the race — I ran across the finish line with a friend I don’t see nearly enough — I was handed a medal, a Vera Bradley bag, and a chicken and biscuit sandwich. Would that all runs ended like that.

Did I win my age group? Was it one of my slowest half-marathons ever? Did I enjoy the heck out of the race anyway? Another spoiler alert: nope, yup, and, indeed.

The whale declined to tell us his/her finish time.

Then, at 3 a.m. I drove to the airport and flew home. Boy, are my arms tired … from scraping the ice off of my windshield after I landed in Albany. It’s helpful to know that it is warm somewhere, though, even if it isn’t where you are.

Lisa and I will see each other again soon for the Seneca Seven, which is a relay race around Seneca Lake at the end of April. Before that, I’ll running the Cherry Blossom Ten-miler in D.C. It’s a bucket list race for me and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Any BAMRs want to come to a low-key meet-up before the Blossom? I can’t promise it will have all of the good vibes of a beach weekend but I might have some swag….

Question of the week: do you have any running-related moments that you flash back to when life gets bumpy?

29 responses to “Dry Martini: Once More, onto the Beach

  1. My first, and today, only 26.2 was the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon. Somehow I managed to forget my fuel bag back home-rookie mistake! I was able to borrow a few from a friend who came to watch me but I was still upstairs with snatching some Gu at the aid stations. So I was repeatedly scouring the race map to remember which aid stations had fuel I could stash for the end of the race if I needed it. My friend kept chiding me, saying “Everything would be fine, enough with the map!” So I head out early to the race, leaving her back in the hotel. Of course the crowd of 25,000 or so friends is a bit overwhelming. It’s raining lightly and something is holding up security. We are at a standstill for over an hour and it’s becoming apparent that, at least at this gate, we are going to miss the start of the race! I’m texting all my woes to my friend who is now on her way to the course. She knows I’m stressing so she texts me “You forgot your map.” I bust out laughing and everyone around me stares as if to say “What’s with her?” Everything fell into perspective and I had a great race despite poor planning, rain, and missing the start. It still makes me smile .

  2. My flashback running moment (hours, really), is the 2016 NYC Marathon. #5 for me, threw any time or personal goals to the wind and helped a first-timer finish. Maybe my most proud running memory.

    I am running the Cherry Blossom 10-miler also! What are the plans?

  3. We really ARE NOT Dopples…. 😉 That said, to your query: my heart always feels a lift remembering my second 26.2 finish–my comeback “race” [walk-run, mind you, but you didn’t ask that], being met at 26.1 by my daughter, the IMP [her 12th birthday I might add], and a whole line up of friends cheering for me, then running to the finish with Impie and the sons of one of my BRB’s turned BFF–running does that sometimes. My sister, thankfully, captured the whole moment on her phone, complete with a smiling course marshal in the shot. Yes, Dad made sure that one is in an album…at the beach.

  4. Mine is crossing the finish line at Wineglass – which, at the time, I considered my home marathon. I had family waiting which is not the norm at races.

  5. My moment is seeing my husband at mile 25 of the NYC marathon. I had missed seeing him at all of our other predetermined locations. Seeing this guy standing on one of the stump things along the route in Central Park and thinking to myself damn that guy wants his person to know he’s here only to run a few steps closer and think shit he belongs to me. I was more than over joyed to see him at that point. Good to know I have supportive people in my corner.

  6. We should do a pre seneca 7 BAMER meet up seriously it is an awesome race and I grew up in geneva if any one needs the inside scoop it is the one race that is on my yearly MUST do race (and getting in is NOT easy)

  7. I am looking forward to hearing your Seneca 7 report. That race is on my bucket list.
    I have run 2 marathons in my 60s. I think of them when I need a reminder that I can do hard things.

  8. I HEAR YOU on the weird digestive issues related to lactose intolerance or worse. I’ll be 46 in a month and my tummy is reacting strongly, negatively, to this fact. I too will be seeing a GI doc soon. Glad you were able to have a fun visit and great race nevertheless!

  9. I’m doing the Seneca 7 too. It will be my first relay. Hope to see you there! I’m originally from your neck of the woods and my parents still live there, but I now live in the ADKs.

  10. Seneca Seven has been a bucket list race for me so I hope you do a report! The same guy used to put on the Musselman tri which is dear to my heart.

  11. I ran 5 miles on a track on the top level of a cruise ship. We were in the middle of the ocean surrounded by nothing but blue skies and bright blue water. There was a light breeze. The track was level and spongy and there were very few others around. I was only scheduled to run three miles, it was so lovely, I just kept going.

  12. Yes. The incredible feeling of running my first mile after hip surgery and grueling PT. I always look back and remember the joy and see how far I have come.
    Hooray for Seneca 7! I will be joining you in the race around the lake. Best of luck to your team.

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