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Martini Fridays: bringing booty back

My goal for this year’s Pit Run was pretty simple: run it faster than you have in the past. My mind boiled it down to a simple mantra: Earn Your Chicken.

Chicken successfully earned.
Chicken successfully earned.

On Sunday morning, I changed into my only-at-races Sparkle Skirt, long sleeved Saucony top (because the wind had a bite to it), and my BAMR visor. No, I am not a paid spokesperson, although I’m open if anyone wants a middle-aged, heavy-set, super-slow runner to back your gear. Attention Oiselle: there is more real estate for your logo on my backside than on Lauren Fleshman’s. Just sayin’.

No matter what you’re wearing, there is something to be said for home field advantage. I slept in my own bed and I know how steep the hill in the middle of the course is, which is pretty freakin’ steep. Waiting around at the start is the part of racing that I can’t stand, if only because it’s so hard to time bathroom breaks and stay warm. But because I know the territory, I ran the mile from my house to the start and hit it just as a local high schooler began the national anthem.

Made it just in time.
Made it just in time.

Even though I’d gotten my first mile out of the way — the first mile of any run is the one I find most dreadful — I had some problems with my first official mile. Not only did I completely forget to start Herr Garmin until a good 30 seconds in, I spent the first ten minutes convincing myself that signing up for a race was a good idea as I jostled through the crowd and tried to find a rhythm.

Once that was out of the way, I found that I had been running a 10:30 mile, which is like greased lightening in my world. But I felt good, so I kept it up for the second mile. Right before the dread hill, a group of my students yelled out, “Go, Professor Martini!” I was just as surprised to see them as they were to see me. The shock gave me a little push.

A quarter of the way up the climb, I caught sight of my family, who cheered. My daughter ran the rest of the block with me, which was pretty dang sweet.

I would like to say that I charged the rest of the way up like a champ. I did not. My pace slowed waaaaaay down. I would not call what I did “running” so much as “walking with a mission.” Another runner, who I’d never seen before or since, and I used each other as bunnies. I’d slow down and I’d see her highlighter yellow top fly past. I’d pick it up, reel her in, and pass her, then she’d do the same to me. I couldn’t get a good look at her bib number, which means I can’t find out her name and stalk her at races around the area. Not that I would. Much.

Up and up and up.
Up and up and up.

Eventually, we were up and over the crest and both put the hammer down — I was shocked that I still had quite a bit of pep — and pushed on. During the last two miles, my goal was to keep yellow shirt in sight and to stay ahead of the group of four obnoxious college age wrestlers, if only because it felt good to stay in front of a pack of 18-year old guys. While it’s not quite as satisfying as finishing before a pack of college cross country runners, it’s still pretty dang satisfying. If that makes me petty, call me Tom.

A mile outside of the finish, two things happened: 1) a spectator told me how much she loved my skirt and 2) I realized that I could walk the rest of the way and still get a PR. I didn’t walk the rest of the way, mind, because I still felt good and, well, wrestlers. When yellow shirt passed me just before the finish line, she said, “Good job!” and I returned it, happily.

My time was 1:11:43, which beats the pants off of 2013’s 1:16:32. Go, me. It turns out that all of the speed work in the 13.FUN race plan actually does something more than wear you out. Who knew? (Everyone. I know.)

As for my training, it’s going OK this week. I’m relatively healthy and have enough time to work it all in. I’m starting to get kinda sorta excited about my October 19 13.1. I’ve started my packing list but have not quite made it to the checking it twice phase. The list making helps keep the taper antsy-ness at bay, if nothing else.

Just a reminder, should you also be heading to the Empire State Marathon/Half Marathon. We’re having an informal Mother Runner Meet-up at Nestico’s restaurant on Saturday, Oct. 18 at 5 p.m. Drop me an email at [email protected] if you think you’ll make it, just so that I can get a head count.

Since many of us have big races coming up (or have just run a big one), do you have any gear that you save just for races? Or am I the only one who does that? 

15 responses to “Martini Fridays: bringing booty back

  1. Way to go, Adrienne! I have an Athleta Relay skirt that I love for fall/spring running when it is cool outside. It is thick, so good for cooler weather. The compression shorts on the inside are just long and tight enough (with little grippers) that I can tuck my GU packets in them. I had 2 on each side for the last 2 marathons I ran. Perfect.

  2. Hold on…after all that build up, there was no chicken report? I can’t tell from the photo – grilled? fried? More details please!

    Congrats on the PR!

    1. The Chicken Report: Perfectly grilled half chicken, mopped with the Brook’s Barbecue sauce that’s sweetish but also has a bit of a vinegar tang. Excellent baked potato. Decent white roll. Terrible Little Debbie oatmeal cookie that I devour like a starving beast every single year, even though I really don’t like them.

  3. Isn’t it SO nice to run with someone who pushes you whether they know it or not? My last PR (a local 5K) I hit my first mile marker and the course personnel said “8:30” and I almost fell over BUT I pushed for that PR thanks to a lady just in front of me who, turns out, was just as shocked by that 8:30 as I was! Awesome!

    And your petty reference cracked.me.UP! (although I probably woulda picked Richard…he’s known for his speed) 😛

  4. Greatly amused by your message to Oiselle.

    I took my race day clothes out for a spin the other week. Hoping to avoid the dreaded chafe!

  5. I’m with you Phoebe! I chuckled and am still chuckling over the Tom Petty sentence. Lol!

    I wear whatever I’ve been using for training. Nothing new on race day. Congrats on your HUGE PR and good luck next week!!

  6. I don’t have a special race outfit but I do have a certain bra and skirt combo that I save for my long runs. So I guess that is my race outfit 😉

    Congrats on your race. There is nothing more gratifying then passing the youngsters who don’t know how to pace. I think of them like dogs. Sprint, stop and sniff, then sprint again.

    I am sorry to be missing Empire state this year as I will be running a half in MA with my sister that same day. Empire state is one of my favorite halfs. And I like the shirts.

  7. Sounds like a great race for you!(Did I miss the actual race distance?)

    I save nothing special to wear on race day, if it worked in training it’s fair game. Weather and mood dictate all for me.

  8. Sounds like a great race! I typically wear a Sparkle Althletic sequined running skirt to races but never any other time. Every thing is more fun in sequins! Alas, I will not be wearing one in the Philiadelphia Marathon – too cold.

  9. “If that makes me petty, call me Tom.” Of the countless events of smart, hilarious, and enviable word play I’ve read from Professor Martini, THAT is my favorite. Totally adopting it.

    Congrats on your amazing race… (And don’t dismiss your warm up mile, lady! That’s an amazing day!) The only thing I store up for race day is my incessant need to talk.to.everyone on the course. That’s how I deal with nerves.

    Enjoy your taper and your victory lap in a couple of weeks!

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