ANOTHER
MOTHER RUNNER

Dry Martini: Snot, Sweat, and Tears

On Friday, I finished my last long run of a dozen miles of my training cycle for the Revel Mt. Lemmon half. It was good enough.

The first three miles were great, mind. Fall has definitely arrived here. The leaves are stunning and the temps are chilly. Friday morning was also damp and windy. I wasn’t sure if it was actively raining or just super foggy. A little of both, I imagine.

I was super foggy, too. I’ve spent the last few weeks waking up at 2 a.m. for reasons unknown. Most of the time, I can drift off again. Some of the time, I just lie there with my eyes closed and fret about things I can do absolutely nothing about at 2 a.m. Thursday night was one of those.

Still, the long run waits for no runner. I needed to hit the road for the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival, which is one of the better weekends in the world if you are a knitter. So I hauled myself out of bed and ran.

I didn't run in Rhinebeck this weekend. I did make a friend.

After those first three miles, a significant volume of the fluids in my body decided to leak out. My nose would not stop running and my eyes would not stop watering. My bladder, which is usually well behaved, decided to get in on the act. Finding a bathroom just seemed like too much work. At that point, given how damp I already was from the snot and tears and fog/drizzle, I just let it go.

And go again.

And again.

When I got home, I squished up the stairs to my bedroom. I stripped everything off, left my nasty clothes in a heap on my rain jacket on the bed, and lumbered into the shower. I'd take my clothes to the washer when I had more energy.

The poetic part of my brain wondered if my body was simply remembering what happened this time last year. As part of the Another Mother Runner Cape Cod retreat, I ran the most epic race of my life: 13.1 miles in a nor’easter. While the last four miles of that run tested my limits — I was so cold and so wet and so over it — it is a race convinced me I was a badass.

As I’m writing this column, I’m also running a load of post-Rhinebeck laundry so that I can pack for this year’s retreat out in Falmouth. It doesn’t look like we’ll be faced with lashing rain and gale-force winds during the race this year. That’s one reason why I decided not to run it again. Once you’ve run a course under epic conditions, anything less seems like cheating.

Also: I’m saving my legs for Tucson. Running Cape Cod would have thrown off my taper. I respect the taper because it gives me an excuse to not push-and-push-and-push all the time. Once that last long run is done, I love to lean into the glide path to race day.

Speaking of …

That heap of pee-soaked running clothes stayed in a heap on my bed. While I was in the shower, my brain helpfully connected two observations for me.

Observation #1: Our big dog immediately jumped onto the bed as I left the room for the shower. He spends most of his morning asleep there so this wasn’t unusual. I thought nothing of it at the time.

Observation #2: Both dogs have a routine where, if one pees on familiar turf like our backyard, the other must pee on it, too. Which prompts the first to pee on it again, and so on. They’ll keep at this until distracted by whatever other thoughts wander through their heads.

Between shampoo and conditioner, the thought clicked. My bed is familiar turf and currently smells like pee, which might lead one dog to begin the potentially endless pee cycle. If this started, I was about to do a lot more laundry than anticipated. And, because one of the dogs can hold gallons of urine, was probably about to buy a new mattress.

Never have I ever finished up a shower so quickly. I whipped a towel around myself and dashed into the bedroom. I’d already formulated a plan to deal with the worst of the damage. It involved our shop-vac and all of the old towels that I wanted to get rid of anyway.

Life is full of surprises. Rather than face a sodden Serta, I was greeted by a dog who’d buried his snout deep into my nasty gear and fallen asleep. The other dog was stretched out on the floor near him. Both were ticked that I’d woken them up.

Truth be told, I’m a little bummed I won’t have a reason to buy new towels and a mattress. I do vow, however, to make the washing machine my first stop after a long, gross run.

Vaguely related question: What should I do in Tucson
(besides run 13.1 miles, of course)?

11 responses to “Dry Martini: Snot, Sweat, and Tears

  1. You’ll always be a favorite writer of mine–speaking truth, laughing at it, and finding a lesson loose in there somewhere. There’s nothing I admire more.

  2. I totally Peed myself at the Saint George marathon. At around mile three, just like you, I started wondering if I had the visit from aunt Flo that I was super worried about. When I got to the Porta potty at mile four, I realized it wasn’t my period. Somehow I had Peed myself without even realizing I did it. My shorts were soaked. They smelled like funky coffee P. I was still wearing my sweats to throw away when the temperature warmed up so I tried Drying myself with them. The temperature got pretty warm around mile six so I took off the sweats and tossed them on the side of the road, along with my hoodie. My shorts dried off pretty quickly after that. This race turned out being really tough with really bad nausea and bladder cramping. I expected to finish in five hours, but the extra 45 minutes was almost unbearable with the chafing between my legs. Thank God for the aid stations that provided Vaseline and icy hot. I think peeing myself, nausea, and bladder cramping, and finishing a marathon just put me up into another level of bad ass mother runner.

  3. Yay! Welcome to Tucson! I second and third all of everyone’s suggestions of El Charro and Poca Cosa. And you don’t have to eat at Eegees, but at least get an Eegees drink (kind of a slushy) – you can’t come here and not do that! Also, at the base of Mt Lemmon is Le Buzz – a yummy coffee shop where you will find practically every runner and cyclist in Tucson on weekends. Also, if you make it to the University of Arizona, there are a lot of free/almost free museums that are really cool – though beware it’s Homecoming weekend so the campus might have a lot more weekend traffic than normal. And you can do an easy shake out run if you need it on the Loop. It’s pretty flat, accessible almost everywhere in town, and you can see up close how Tucson rivers are really just big ditches! :p

  4. Oh, I love Tucson! Growing up, we spent every summer there with family, and I still go whenever the chance arises (might even waste a little internet bandwidth looking at properties for sale… ).
    Eat at El Charro. More than once. My suggestion would be to go straight there from the airport, and yes, I’ve done that .
    Depending on how much ground you want to cover, and your interests, there is so much to see and do. I recommend Saguaro National Park(s) East and West (they are quite different from each other). There is also Organ Cactus National Monument, and Coronado National Forest (hike a bit of the Arizona Trail). Tumacácori National Historical Park is gorgeous (and has excellent trails for a shake out run). Visit All. The. Missions. Many folks enjoy Old Tucson. My FAVORITE place though, is Pima Air and Space Museum, and a tour of the AMARG (the Boneyard). You have to reserve tour tickets ahead of time due to security for Davis-Monthan AFB, but it is SO worth it.
    This already sounds like a teenage, love-letter to Tucson, so I won’t add more, but enjoy!

  5. Omg hilarious Adrianne! Love this ‘the long run waits for no runner’ – so true!! You are a busy bee three weekends away in a row. Good luck for Tucson

  6. Welcome to Tucson! And holy downhill half marathon!
    In Tucson, you should eat! Seis, Poca Cosa Cafe, Baja Cafe, and El Charro, to name a few. Eegees is a local chain, but it gives me a belly ache. El Guero Canelo for Sonoran hotdogs.
    Antigone Bookstore is a great locally owned bookstore. And there is a lot of unique Tucson in that area.
    Mt Lemmon is beautiful—starting in the desert and end up in the green forest is always great for my Midwest soul. I’d also recommend Sabino Canyon and Saguaro NP.
    I also really like the Desert Museum. It’s like a natural habitat zoo with lots of wonderful views.
    Lots to do here! Enjoy your time!

  7. Saguaro National Park (either east or west side) for a shake out jog/hike. West side is close to Desert Museum. It’s a fascinating place in a beautiful setting and will teach you everything you ever wanted to know about the surrounding flora, fauna, wildlife and land formations. You get to drive over Gates Pass on the way…we used to have a run that went up and over it years ago. Think about the road being filled with runners if you drive out there. Cyclists still frequent the area. Hit a Mexican restaurant on the south side…Mi Nidito on 4th Ave. is good, but gets crowded this time of year. Enjoy the sunshine and perfect temps. (and your race!) P.S. It is currently in the low 40s in the a.m. and as you go up the mountain gets colder. Dress accordingly!

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