Martini Fridays: Surprise!

For the last few weeks, I’ve been practicing hard-core rest, as suggested by Deena Kastor on an AMR podcast a few weeks ago. I wouldn’t call it outright sloth, mind. I have run since the Empire State Half, just not with any sense of purpose or agenda. It’s been the running equivalent of a meander, truth be told, and it has been delightful. The only downside is that I’m developing quite a backlog of podcasts because I’m not out pounding the pavement for hours and hours each week.

My last really long run post-half was all of seven miles a couple of Saturdays ago. I didn’t really feel like I deserved my ice cold chocolate milk afterwards but forced myself to drink it anyway because I don’t like waste. And, um, love chocolate milk.

Not just chocolate milk. The Best Chocolate Milk.
Not just chocolate milk. The Best Chocolate Milk.

Last weekend, my long run was only four miles, which is, like, nothing after going through half-marathon training. But the circumstances around the run were absolutely divine. My knitting/running friend Lisa and I were at the Knitter's Review Retreat in Canandaigua, New York. It’s an event that I long for every year. They are my carrot. Seriously. While three days with knitters might not be your kettle of tea, those days are precious to me. Plus, there are classes and meals and yarn and so very much laughing.

Anyhoo, Lisa and I have made a tradition of going for a Saturday afternoon run during the retreat. Last year we were cheered on by yellow school buses full of high school kids who were likely returning from some sort of football game, rather than sent by the Canandaigua Chamber of Commerce to make us feel good.

Lisa at the halfway point.
Lisa at the halfway point.

This year, there weren’t any ebullient teens, which was slightly disappointing, but Lisa and I chatted about just about everything, including picking out the houses we were running past that we would also like to own. You know, like you do.

Me at the halfway point -- we didn't notice the big welcome to Canandaigua sign until I'd taken Lisa's picture.
Me at the halfway point -- we didn't notice the big welcome to Canandaigua sign until I'd taken Lisa's picture.

And we also talked about the crazy idea one Dimity McDowell Davis — maybe you’ve heard of her? — had dropped in my ear not minutes before Lisa and I left for our four miler. How would I like to run half of the Philly marathon?

You know the backstory by now. Dimity is not genetically blessed in the foot department, etc. I ran a half not that long ago and am still relatively trained, despite my slacking. I was planning to go down to Philadelphia that weekend anyway to get some facetime with the head mother runners as well as visit with friends I have in the area. Dim’s idea was a sound one.


But, even at my most fit, a half marathon is a big ol’ challenge for me. Plus, I’d have to drive myself home right after the race, which is four-ish hours with a tired bod. Plus, I’m really flipping slow. And, having never coached someone through a race, why on earth did I think I had the knowledge and chutzpah to do so?

I spilled all of this out on Lisa, who seemed to think my doing it was a foregone conclusion and was merely trying to talk myself out of a little extra work. When I got home the next day, I ran it past the spouse, who was already on tap for kid patrol that weekend since I was planning to drive to Philly anyway.

“Are you sure you want to run another 13 miles?” he said.

“Want? No. But …”

Shortly after that I called Our Dimity back and said yes — but that it would probably be better if I did the first leg because I wasn’t sure I’d have enough moxie after Mile 12 to really help someone who was on her Mile 25 and totally over it. My skill, such as it is, is to be a boat ancho at the start. For that first 13 miles, all I need to do is keep Kelly from going out to fast. Challenge accepted.

I’m not terribly certain how to train for the rest of the week leading up to next Sunday’s race. I figure I’ll do eight miles on Saturday’s long run (and try to do most of it using Kelly’s 5/1 interval pattern so that I can get it into my legs) and hope that’s good enough. Can I call the last month a really, really long taper? Or is there something else I should do? Thoughts, Mother Runner Tribe?

16 responses to “Martini Fridays: Surprise!

  1. yeah Adrienne! so glad to see you are back and I think it will be fun for you no pressure just a relaxed day of great girl power! it’s all about that base….bout that base….

  2. You will be fine. What could be better – a race without weeks of fretting and training!?? I agree with “just continue to rest and stay loose”. Maybe I’ll see you on the course.

  3. I say you will make a fine coach/cheerleader. For some reason when my sister an I ran our the pacer we followed reminded me of you (all of the pictures and spunky attitude I know of you). She/you did a fine job for us and we both had a PR. You will rock it! Have fun.

  4. Adrienne Martini is the awesomest. I have missed Martini Fridays. I ran my first half the same weekend as you and am thinking maybe, maybe, next Fall I’ll do another and here you are jumping into #3. Amazing.

  5. Professor Martini-
    I say you have it dialed in and from the podcasts it sounds like Kelly will be a fun run partner- so have a ball and enjoy yourself(ves). You will be earning lots of running-mother-karma also by being there for Kelly. BTW You look great in that photo! Recovery- I am now an ice-bath believer after my recent half- I swear it reduced my recovery by days. So- that is an option if someone will lend you their hotel tub before you drive home.

  6. Can’t wait to meet you in Philly! And Kelly, too. It’s going to be an awesome day! 26.2 mile party! Well 13.1 for each of us. Lucky Kelly gets the whole thing 🙂 And you are so ready for this! I’ll be doing my last long run in frozen MN tomorrow morning and will be thinking about you ladies and a pretzel and beer!

  7. Adrienne, I can’t thank you enough for doing this! I do need someone to keep me from going out too fast. I, too, am slow but I get slower and slower if I go out too fast, until I am barely moving forward. I am sure you would have had enough to keep my spirits up at my 25 (when I, surely, will be over it) but the first 13.1 are the fun miles on this race so we’re in for a good time!

  8. I’m in somewhat of the same boat. I decided a couple of weeks ago to run the Philly Half after completing a marathon in October. I pulled out my TLAM book and jumped into the tapering weeks of the Half Own It plan. I am doing 8 today and then following the last week going into the race. You’ll be fine and I can’t wait to meet you!!

  9. I don’t know what you should do with the training…but the part about getting behind in your podcasts after your race made me seriously laugh! I had the same problem after my last half. I did eventually get caught up – I listened to them while painting a couple rooms. 🙂

  10. What a lovely surprise to see the return of Martini Fridays!
    And how nice of you to jump right in to help out.
    I think you will be fine. You already have the base, and the knowledge that you can run a half, covering both the mental and the physical.
    I often have long car rides after races. 2 suggestions: put on compression socks for the ride home and stop along the way to walk and stretch for a few minutes.
    Good luck!

  11. After running a half marathon a month between June 1 and October with virtually no training in between, I’ve come to the conclusion that as long as you have a base, the half marathon is mostly mental.

    I think 8 miles sounds perfect and I would definitely practice her intervals. In fact, I’d pretty much do every run between now and then as intervals. I find they use my body and mind in a different way and it’s good to get used to them before racing.

    You can do this. Have fun!

  12. I’ve done a lot of racing this past fall and after my key race, I’ve been stuck in this weird pattern of taper, recover, slight build, recover, slight build. I think you have the right idea with the 8 miles at Kelly’s intervals. I think you are awesome for doing this! I wish I could join in the AMR fun but I am not close to Philly and my husband made me promise no more halfs this year. Have a great time!

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