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Martini Fridays: The Long Drive Home

Turns out, Adrienne will also run for cookies. And soon, she'll run for 13.FUN.
Turns out, Adrienne will also run for cookies. And soon, she'll run for 13.FUN. (And if you see her in this outfit, more or less, at this weekend's Vermont City Marathon, please say hi. And give her yarn.)

She's baaack: Adrienne Martini, of the popular Martini Fridays, will be documenting her summer running every other week (biweekly, I believe that's called) until July 7, when she starts in on her 13.FUN journey, and then she's back to add an olive to our Fridays on a weekly basis. (You can join her—and us—in 13.FUN by registering here.)

Journey with me, if you will, back into the halcyon days of two weeks ago, when yours truly had just finished her first half marathon. I’ve talked on and on about race day, what I’ve failed to talk about was the week immediately after the race, which was epic in its own special way.

Deciding to drive the seven hours home the day after the race was not the best call I’ve ever made. It ranks right up there with “getting a perm” and “frosted blue eye shadow.” My body felt OK. I wasn’t going to be racing up and down stairs any time soon but a couple of ibuprofen kept the aches at bay.

The biggest issue was that every 90 minutes I found myself ravenous. It was like having an infant again, only I was the one who was hangry. The solution was easy: I kept an open box of graham crackers and a giant bag of trail mix in the passenger seat. Physically, I managed.

The problem was my brain. The little hamster that spins the wheel was sound asleep. I was epically out of it. So much so, in fact, that I managed to miss my exit—remember: I’ve made this same drive at least two dozen times over the last few years—and take myself 15 minutes in the wrong direction before I even noticed. That half-hour detour made it clear that I needed another day to regroup. Or, at the very least, a second driver. (I’ve already started recruiting, by the way. Let me know if you’re in the area and want to run Pittsburgh in 2015. Graham crackers and trail mix will be provided.)

My most favorite trail mix ever, which I can only get when I go to the big city since my town doesn’t have a Trader Joe’s.
My most favorite trail mix ever, which I can only get when I go to the big city since my town doesn’t have a Trader Joe’s.

In a perfect world, I could have spent another 24 hours cluttering up my friends’ guest room. But I had to get back home because my actual job called. I had to be back in the classroom for the last week of classes and finals. There was zero time to decompress between the race and the push-push-push of the end of the semester, which wound up leaving me pretty wrung-out by the end of the week. A commenter on the last Martini Friday compared the post-race emotional swings to post-partum depression. Having had both, I can honestly say that the comparison is apt.

What didn’t help the whole random sobbing situation was stepping into a brew of office politics, which is just as bad in academia as it is in, say, insurance or welding. Academics tend to be better at sifting through all of the minutia of their perceived slights, capturing them on paper, and firing off passive-aggressive emails. I’m not casting stones, here, nor am I without sin. But I realized that week that I would much rather run another 13.1 than deal with work-related operatics. At least with running, your goals are clear.

Re-entry was rocky, to say the least. The adjustment from super-strong badass to mundane human who has to do laundry and grade exams and pick up dirty socks was a bummer.

By the end of the week, though, I felt together enough on all fronts to go for a run. I went back to the indoor track because sheets of rain were falling. Herr Garmin stayed home. Time away from each other helps keep the relationship fresh, you know?

I ran for 30 minutes, stretched a bit, and called it good. That Sunday, I ran 5 just to see if I still could. The next Sunday, after a week with a 3-mile hill run and interval day, I ran 6.  I’ll be running a 6-ish mile leg at this weekend’s Vermont City Marathon as part of the Fitter Knitters team and wanted to be sure I could make it.

 Lucy would like to know why I’m outside taking pictures of clothes when I could be kicking her soccer ball around. Fair point, dog.
Lucy would like to know why I’m outside taking pictures of clothes when I could be kicking her soccer ball around. Fair point, dog.

I had a realization during one of those long runs: This marathon leg won’t be enough to tide me over until next year’s Pittsburgh Half. It’s sick and it’s sad and I never, ever thought that I would say such a thing but I want to feel like a badass mother runner again. There are days when I’m not sure who I am, either.

I spent a remarkable amount of time during the last few days flirting with various mid-October halfs. I made eyes at the Wineglass in Corning, New York,  but it falls on an inconvenient weekend. I tossed my hair at the Runners World Half in Bethlehem, PA, but don’t want to give up my iPod. I was smitten with the Old Orchard Beach Half in Maine but, as much as I love that particular part of the country, I’d like to run a little closer to home.

Finally, after trolling the internet as if it were a singles bar—do singles bars still exist?—I found the Empire State Half in Syracuse. The words “fast” and “flat” were all it had to say to convince me to take it back to my place. Plus, it’s an easy trip and we can make it a family affair.

As if that weren’t enough, the date of the race coincides perfectly with the AMR 13.FUN training period, which didn’t even factor into my plans because I didn’t initially plan to do it until I realized how much I wanted to do a fall half.

Call it kismet. Call it insanity. Call it a plan.

Here we go again, eh?

Question for you mother runners: how long after your first big race did you commit to doing another one? Or are you a one-and-done-r? (Either approach is good.)

 

27 responses to “Martini Fridays: The Long Drive Home

  1. I also ran Pittsburgh (the full) this year. It was my 9th marathon. After a great training cycle, I did not have a great race performance. I saw my husband and kids at mile 21 and told them, “I am never doing this again EVER!!” The next day, I signed up for the Air Force Marathon (Sept.). BTW, I love the team name “Fitter Knitters!”

  2. I signed up for the 13.fun race 3 days after finishing the 10k challenge on mother’s day. I wanted to get the cheapest rate for the half registration and it was scheduled to go up the next day.

  3. After finishing the Holiday Half in Portland, OR in December ’13… I made the commitment to run a half every month in 2014 – finishing with the race that started it all this coming December.
    I just finished #6 a few weeks ago and look forward to my next one in two weeks. It’s been a fantastic experience and I am so glad I made the commitment – although most people just believe I should be committed! They may be correct! But I’ll enjoy every mile until then!

  4. I would run for yarn too. During this long winter I taught myself to crochet and I’m slightly addicted to crocheting baby blankets…

  5. After my first marathon, I said I would never do another one. That evening, I was looking up marathons online for my next one.

  6. I thought I would be a one-and-done-r…until I actually did a one. Then I started looking for others and found one in Hershey, PA (half-way between my college roommates and I so that I can make them do it with me!). You even get tickets to Hershey Park as part of the swag! Woot! I couldn’t make it work last fall but I’m all over it this year (I hope).

  7. I usually commit to a bunch of races all at once. I am about to end my spring race binge. Started with Asheville Half in Asheville, NC; progressed to the local Forks XV followed by the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in DC; followed by my favorite Blue Ridge Half Marathon. I will end up this binge with a half in Buffalo on Sunday.

  8. Yayyyyy!!! I’m so glad you will be back to every Friday!! You crack me up. I would soooo hang out with you if I were the type of lady that “hangs out” with others.

  9. I’ve likened running to a “gateway drug.” You think, “Oh, I’ll just try this half marathon once, then give myself a break…” Pretty soon you’re registering for another half, and even considering if you should up the ante and do a full.

    It is a chemical reaction! I will never forget the high I felt after completing my first half marathon. It was a perfect day — the weather, the crowd… and when I finished I was like, “Wow, I’ve really done something here.”

    My husband is in academia so I know the situation you describe so well. I have a mudane office job myself… but running helps keep me sane and reminds me that we’re all so much more than that.

  10. I’m running the second half of the marathon this weekend. And you’re in luck, we just got a Trader Joe’s in Burlington so you can pick up all of your favorite goodies!

  11. Don’t forget the Palio Half Marathon in Saratoga, NY! We have a fantastic group of AMRs here who would meet up with you.

  12. Yay for you!!!!!!
    My first half was in Dec 2011. I had already signed up for two more in January and one in February. I have since gone on to run four each winter. I like cold weather. I just ran #12 this past March. I like to clump them all together b/c I’m already trained. Why waste the miles?

  13. So glad you are back. Really enjoy reading your posts. We seem to have so much in common – CNY training weather, same age, new to the joys of calling yourself a runner. I’m doing the Wine Glass as my first half and doing 13.fun. Hope to be at the Empire volunteering as the cyclist for the women’s leader. Did it last year and it was so inspiring. You’ll enjoy the course – flat as a pancake out and back – you’ll have the wind at your back at least one half of the course. I’ll keep an eye out for you!

  14. I love Martini Fridays! My half-marathon training coincided with yours, so I was always excited to read about your training. Congratulations on a great finish! I ran the Lincoln (NE) Half Marathon on May 4 and finished it with a great deal of knee pain. I ended up walking most of miles 7-13 because of it. By the time I crossed the finish line, I was limping and in tears, frustrated with my slow time and bum knee. At the same time, I was trying to figure out how soon I could get my knee looked at, the issue resolved, and get back running. Later that same day, my daughter (who ran the race with me) and I were already making plans to run a fall race. I’m happy to say, my knee issue was ITB tendonitis and has been taken care of with a great physical therapist and LOTS and LOTS of stretching.

  15. I ran my 2nd half exactly 2 weeks after my first. Call me crazy. Someone on my friends Nike women’s SF broke their foot so she asked if I wanted his bib. SF and Tiffany’s. heck yes. Was the best race ever.

  16. Oh no – didn’t anyone tell her what “Fast ad Flat” means in Syracuse NY? Just that you won’t run up the big hills! Just kidding. Nice work Adrienne – keep on running and keep us posted on your training. Congrats on Pittsburgh and learning to embrace your inner runner.

  17. Thank you for sharing your 13.1 journey with all of us. You have captured it so perfectly. I look forward to reading more of your running adventures. Please, share with us,where can we get that shirt!!!???

  18. I, too, signed up for my second half before I had finished my first one. My first, the Kansas City Half last October, was my husband’s second, and he wanted to run Rock the Parkway in April , so I signed up too. Then I heard about the AMR Strava Prove it challenge and registered for my third before I started the training plan for my second. In response to the podcast, if you think all of Kansas is flat, you’d be welcome to join me for some runs around the University of Kansas campus. Not mountains, but definitely not flat like a pancake! 😉

  19. I ran the Rock N Roll Raleigh Half Marathon, crossed the finish line, guzzled my chocolate milk and walked right into the registration tent to sign up for next year! So, how long do I wait to sign up for another race? 5 minutes! Of course, I have other races lined up before then. I have to have a race on my agenda or I lose momentum. I’m very goal oriented, I suppose! I also feel depressed after I finish a big race so having another one on the list helps me overcome my post-race depression. Unlike post-partum depression, where immediately planning another baby would NOT have helped the situation in the least! You don’t have to bring anything home from a race and keep it for 18 years!

  20. Cool yarn shirt! I think all type As need to be doing something even while we’re sitting down. I like the fact that making something with your hands also produces an end product. Rock on knitter runners (and quilter runners and needlepoint runners).

  21. I’m doing Wineglass! When I heard you were running another half this fall, before I listened to your AMR podcast, I was hoping you were too, but in any case I’m looking forward to reading your blog posts through another training cycle and being a fellow 13.FUN-er. I ran my first half last month and knew before the race that I wanted to run either another half or the full 26.2 this fall. I had a great race experience, but I feel like I could do it faster, so I decided I want to run 13.1 again and really nail it this time.

  22. I signed up for my second half before I even finished my first. Damn you Disney and your months out registration! By the time I crossed the finish line of my first I was happy I was already committed to another. Too bad half season is over in FL or I’m sure I’d be doing another one before Wine and Dine.

  23. Very glad Martini Fridays are going to be around past your race. You truly represent a lot of us “out here.”

  24. I knew immediately after my first half that I had to do another. Pittsburgh 2011 was my first and within a few days I had signed up for a fall half. Same with my first full … In mile 22 I was saying “never again” but I crossed that finish line and knew without a doubt I would go 26.2 again!

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