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I was all set to tell you about how different two long runs can be; then the above email showed up in my inbox and I had to go breathe into a paper bag until I could type again.

Note the subject line, which is “Your Training Journey Begins Today.” Note the sender, which is the New York Road Runners. Note the topic, which is the intimate marathon said Road Runners host in New York City in November. Which I am running. Which I am having second thoughts about running because, seriously. Why did I think this would be a good idea?

This email made the whole marathon thing real in a way that it hadn’t quite yet been. While the subject line is inaccurate in my case — my running training won’t actually start until a little bit into July — my freaking-the-freak out training started the instant I got this email.

I can think of so many reasons why this whole enterprise is doomed. And, yes, I do start every new challenge with a mental run-through of every worse case scenario that I can dream up. I do this so reflexively that I wonder if I should have gone into insurance.

Ranging from most likely to happen to least likely as I try to take on the NYC marathon:

  • I incur some debilitating injury and wind up not being able to run the race. The odds-on favorite injury will involve my right calf, which never wants to be a team player.
  • The hot and humid weather in July, August, and early September saps all of the will to run right out of my body and I give up on the activity entirely to take up full-contact knitting.
  • I can’t find anywhere in Florence, Italy, to do my long runs when we are on our long anticipated 10-day trip there in September. Or, more likely, I get so lost and/or distracted by vineyards in Tuscany that I never manage to find my way home. Which doesn’t really sound so bad, now that I think about it.
  • My 18-weeks of training leaves me so worn out that I fall asleep at my Actual Job one time too many and am replaced by a moderately trained capuchin.
  • My long training runs take so long — I’m really not a fast runner, y’all — that my children turn feral, my husband gives me up for dead, and my dog forgets me.
  • Race day volcano in Brooklyn.

But, realistically, my money is on injury, which seems to be what trips up so many would-be marathoners. My intentions are to foam roll like its my only job, sleep at every opportunity, and book massage/acupuncture sessions on the regular.

Rather than put my question to the Tribe at the end of this post, I’ll stick it here: What else should I do to take care of myself during this training cycle? I’m hoping your answers involve pints of Ben and Jerry’s.

Oh – and about those two long runs that I mentioned in that first sentence. The difference between the two was entirely weather-related because early summer in the Northeast is a fickle mistress.

I talked about my seven mile run on the Father’s Day podcast. In case you missed it, the Facebook status I posted after I’d dried off pretty much sums it up:

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Running in a deluge is a lovely reminder of what it means to be alive — and also a lovely reminder of how great a warm shower and dry clothes can be.

Contrast that with last Saturday’s Eminem run. Those eight miles were as hot and humid as the previous week’s run was wet. It was like a deluge of all that I dislike about summer. I managed to stay both hydrated and zippy through mile six. Then Voldesun climbed all the way above the tree cover and upped the torture level.


Still smiling after my dance with Voldesun. Could be the onset of heatstroke.

After a little bit of a sulk (okay – more than a little) about the situation, I managed to come up with some ideas about how to lessen the misery. I focused on my cadence rather than the sun. I watched the shadow that my kicky new (and now favorite) running skirt made on the bright sidewalk front of me, swishing back and forth with each step. I gave talking about myself in the third person another go. “Adrienne is strong,” I thought. “Adrienne is as fresh as a daisy.”


A lousy shot of my new favorite running skirt, admittedly. But it has so many pockets! And is all kicky! And doesn’t creep up! And, no, not a paid endorsement for Skirt Sports. Just a satisfied runner.

All of that worked. Rather than give up during those last two miles, I kept my head (mostly) in the run. “Adrienne still felt a little dorky with the third person bit,” however, and is trying to work through her issues.

Speaking of the New York City marathon, I’m *thisclose* to my fund-raising goal. All of the donations are for Every Mother Counts. Every two minutes, a mother dies as a result of pregnancy or childbirth. Ninety-eight percent of these deaths are preventable. EMC is working to make sure that every mother has access to health care and support.