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Dry Martini: Adrienne the Grouch

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Yes, I do have giant thumbs.

Before I get the the complaining, let me take a moment to tell you how full my gratitude cup is. With a couple of months to spare, I hit my NYC marathon fundraising goal of $3500 for Every Mother Counts! Thank you, thank you, thank you. And thank you again. Your dollars are going toward making sure mothers all over the globe get the care they deserve.

The only downside is that I’m now completely on the hook for the actual running part. This week, my confidence is wobbly.

My intention was to write something deep and inspiring about training marathon but then I woke up in a foul mood this morning. I did my four scheduled easy miles, hoping it would help me strip off my grumpy pants. Yeah. Not so much.

Some of the grouch might be PMS related. Given that I had an endometrial ablation a few years ago and no longer do the actual bleeding part of menstruation, I can’t always tell if aches, bloating, and wanting to bite someone is caused by hormones or by too little sleep. Or both. Or neither. Bodies are weird.

FYI: there’s about to be more TMI so either buckle up or bail.

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Even my running buddies passed on hearing the story that follows...

My last long run was 16 miles, which feels crazy to even type. In all honesty, the run was OK, if by “OK” you interpret “hard and exhausting but no harder or more exhausting than anticipated.” The weather was co-operative for August — sunny and warm but not oppressively humid, which is all one can ask at this time of the year. I strategically hid a frozen water bottle at the halfway point and was again really happy with my past-self for doing it.

The only wrinkle in that long run was that I tried something new for breakfast. I KNOW. That bowl of rice Chex and milk seemed like a really good idea before I set out. It felt like a less good idea three miles in where there was a rumbly in my tummy. Around mile seven, I knew a code brown was imminent.

Sadly, when that realization dawned, I was in the middle of a cemetery. And while there are some rules of polite society I can ignore, dropping a deuce near someone’s final resting place is right out of the question. After slowing down to a walk and clenching like I’ve never clenched before, I waddled through the neighborhood that surrounds the cemetery, which was also out of the question vis a vis dropping my running skirt because I’d be in full view on a front lawn.

I was about ten tight little steps from a McDonalds when I was forced to thrust a fart. While the result was unpleasant, it could have been so much worse. SO. MUCH. WORSE. I was did the necessary, then cleaned up and was out of the Mickey-D’s potty in seven minutes — at least two of which were spent wrestling my sweaty and damp but marginally less gross skirt back on. Then I ran nine more miles.

Upside: that was the last truly disgusting running-related bodily function I’d yet to experience. Achievement unlocked, I guess.

Like I said: bodies are weird.

This Saturday’s schedule calls for 17 miles. I will have nothing more exciting than a plain bagel, which is my usual go-to before a long run. I am, however, going to try another new thing and stash a Rice Krispy treat near my frozen water bottle. By the middle of these long runs, I really want more than Gu. Coach suggested a little snap, crackle, and pop. We’ll see how it goes.

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We'll be near here. It looks awful, right? We're just going to be soon miserable. (Also: I am very lucky.)

Part of my over-it-ness this week might be a side effect of prepping for what should be an amazing family trip to Florence and Tuscany next week. [side note: please don’t rob my house.] All told, there will be 11 of us: my immediate clan plus my Dad and some cousins. We’ve spent the better part of a year figuring it all out; now it’s time to pack and go. I’m excited to be there, mind you, but getting there is making me weary. First world problem, I know.

Coach has scheduled a few short and easy runs for the trip.  And just like the trip itself, I’m really, really looking forward to them but the idea of having to find a safe route is making me weary. I’m also sure, however, that I’m likely overthinking all of this. Once I’m under that Tuscan sun and full of gelato, I suspect a path will present itself. Even if it doesn't, I will still be full of gelato. It's a win either way.

And before I forget, which I almost did -- I'm looking for a little booth help during Wineglass weekend in Corning, NY. Anyone available? We'll have some exclusive BoCo trucker hats and shirts, too!

Question of the week:  how many of you crave solid food during a long run? What is your go-to snack?

29 responses to “Dry Martini: Adrienne the Grouch

  1. Italy is fantastic. My daughter and I went last year. We spent two nights in Florence and a few and the Tuscany region. My go to running snack is a granola bar.

  2. Yes, I crave real food on a run but have never been brave enough to try it, even during marathon training. And while I too always enjoy your posts, this one had me laughing so hard I cried – and horrified my 16 yr old son when I read it aloud! He isn’t a distance runner, so just doesn’t relate the same way…

  3. When I was training for my marathon, my brother casually asked, “Have you pooped your pants yet?” To which I replied, “Why, yes, how did you know?!” I guess it’s kind of a right of passage, so congratulations! Best wishes on the rest of your training and your race!

  4. I look forward to your posts. They are always full of the good and bad of life and the pursuit of a good run. And humor. I laughed out loud at the use of be phrase “drop a deuce” while cringing with the memory of some of those full clench running steps. I have never found real food that works while running. The closest to food that I have managed are shot blocks or sport beans. I tried regular jelly beans and fruit snacks as closer to food alternatives but just couldn’t get them down. I’ll be very interested to know how the treat works! And while the day I ran NYC was not my best run day, the day, the experience and the adventure was simply amazing.

  5. For some reason, you can frame grumpy as funny. My grumpy is bitchy :/ When I was in marathon training, I definitely needed something besides the GU/Chomps combo. I tried Fig Newtons, pretzels, pbj quarters. The newtons + pretzels were fine, just crumby by the end. The pbj, a little messier. These worked well but required a lot more water to get them down. Enjoy your trip!

  6. As always, your posts make my day 🙂 I struggle with being hungry during long runs as sometimes Cliff Shot Blocks aren’t enough but I have a very sensitive (read easy to revolt) belly so eating right before/during is tough. However, at the 2014 Boston Runner’s World half I did shove in a few Dunkin Munchkins (my running partner who was not running needed coffee) and that worked pretty well to stop the grumbling as my banana was long gone. I may now try a Rice Krispie treat. Have a great trip!

  7. I am SO excited for you to run NYCM!!!!! Hang in there and survive the training BD race day will be sweet! I promise! Real food- I did a trail half and they served PB&J and chips. They were perfect fuel for me.

  8. I cut up the cashew cookie Larabar into squares. They hold up well being smooshed in the baggie in my pants and aren’t too sweet.

  9. Enjoy your family vacation! The last marathon I trained for I loved taking gummy bears out for long runs. The chewing kept my mouth busy for hours.

  10. I’m sorry you’re grumpy. But this post made me smile so much.
    I wasn’t aware anyone other than my husband used the phrase “drop a deuce,” and I think I burst out with laughter when I read that. (Also see: “thrust a fart.”)
    I can totally relate to your pain regarding the summer marathon training. It was brutal for me last summer when I was training for NYC. I vowed never to do it again, though I know I really want to run Marine Corps and Chicago at some point, and they are even earlier than NYC. Ugh. But I swear to you that if you put in the miles, your training will not let you down, and running the streets of NYC will be so worth it.

  11. Have a wonderful vacation! And enjoy the runs! You will get to experience Italy in an entirely different way.

    I am keeping an eye on this post for suggestions, as I am also training for a marathon in early November. I now have toast before I run, which was a big adjustment for me. So far the GUs and Huma gels are working, but I think I may need something not as sweet for the longer runs.

  12. I crave salty cashews during long runs and sometimes dried cherries or dried pineapple just to perk me up and give me something else to do with my mouth other than just pant!

  13. My go-to tip for running somewhere new is for my husband to borrow or rent a bike and accompany me. He doesn’t ride along beside me the whole time (that would be awful) but he scopes out the route, and sort of rides back and forth and around, checking in with me every few miles. Added bonus? He can carry more snacks and water than I can!

  14. Hilarious post. We’ve all been there with bathroom troubles on a run. I’m going to try Goldfish and Paydays. I’ve only tried Cliff bars for solids on a run and I’m betting bored with them.

  15. You make me laugh…love seeing the post will be written by Adrienne! I use toaster frozen waffles-Cinnamon Toast waffles, they break apart into 4 small pieces & last a long time.

  16. Loved your blog today. I have experienced tummy troubles too, in always the worst places. I know carry a tissue in the small compartment of my skirt or shorts, just in case no rest room in in sight. I am over eating gus and gels on long runs, I can stomach one, and that’s it. So I depend on the gogo squeeze applesauce packets, pretzel sticks (the salt hits the spot when I am hot), Justin natural nut butters come in small portable pouches, and I love a good payday candy bar. I can break off small bites to eat along the way. Actually payday just came out with bite size candy bites in a jar. So I just put some in a small baggie and go! Good luck on your marathon training and enjoy your trip!!

  17. Running in Italy is THE BOMB. My first marathon ever was Florence, 2006. I predict great things for you. Laughed hard at your story, especially the part where you decided that pooping near dead people was crossing a line.

  18. Great story! Enjoyed it all. A lot more than you did experiencing it. I will occasionally feel a rumble of hunger while on a run, but it never makes me crave a particular food. Same thing if I wake up hungry in the middle of the night. Not time to eat, so easy to ignore. The rest of the time, look out!

  19. I totally crave solid food during theselong-long runs, like I just want buttery toast. Alas, I rely on Endurance Tap (my new favorite natural energy gel that is maple syrup, sea salt and ginger) and slices of clementines to get me through, and mini pretzels too. And I would LOVE to help out at Wineglass, for realz!!!! It’s my favorite Half and I’ve already held the date open on my calendar just to go watch it, I’d love to booth it up with you!

  20. I crave fruit during long runs. My first marathon I had my son give me a pear at mile 11 (or close to that as that was where my hotel was). It worked great but I wanted more at mile 20 and there was none. I frequently take pretzels or other small snacks at stops in races. I prefer real food to gels but can do the gel thing if necessary.

  21. You cheered me up on a morning marked by serious pre-teen moodiness. Thank you! Stop worrying about the runs in Tuscany. You will love love love running in Italy.

  22. Great job! I have 16 tomorrow (also training for TCS NYC 16). I like pretzel goldfish during my runs. They are small and dissove in my mouth. The salt is good esp in TN is August. Sometimes….I just suck on them and spit them out. I figure that some rodent would enjoy the no salt version of my goldfish!

  23. I would love to help you at the booth at Wineglass, but I think that my coach would not approve. I will be running that marathon. But I will definitely visit you!
    I think about things like pizza, maybe waffles, but don’t eat any of that while running. You may want to look at this cookbook called: Feed Zone Portables. By Biju Thomas and Allen Lim. It is designed for endurance athletes.

  24. Sure I crave solid food but know ho it affects me so I stick to gels/U-can powder in my drink. You can’t always get what you want….(and avoid tummy upsets)

  25. Wow, never would have thought rice chex would cause such a problem! Yet you did your 16 miles, awesome! Have a great vacation 🙂

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