Note from Dimity #1: Welcome to Martini Fridays, a new AMR column where one mother runner and writer—Adrienne Martini—is going to chronicle her training for her first half-marathon. Although Adrienne is kind of new to running, she's hardly new to writing: among other things she's written Hillbilly Gothic: A Memoir of Madness and Motherhood and Sweater Quest: My Year of Knitting Dangerously. Based on her first column, it's going to be a fun ride (insert bad olive joke here).
Note from Dimity #2: You are not experiencing deja vu. If you thought you might have seen this already, you have. I got back from San Diego mother runner party (woo! fun times!) feeling a little zapped, and apparently thought Martini Fridays happen on Thursday. They don't, so here she is on her designated day.
I’m never certain what the bets bits of information are in situations like these. And, so, I’ll lead with a simple Q&A:
Who are you?
My name is Adrienne Martini. Yes, that is my real last name and I kept it after I got married. Wouldn’t you?
I currently live in Oneonta, NY, which isn’t a place you’ve heard of, most likely. It’s halfway between Binghamton and Albany and on the extreme Western edge of the Catskills. We’ve been here for ten-ish years. I teach in both the Communication and Theater Departments at the SUNY school here. I’m also a freelance writer -- I have two memoirs in print from Simon and Schuster -- and provide copy for a handful of smaller publications regularly. Like so many, I also have a blog.
Who’s this “we?”
My husband and I have been married for almost twenty years and have two kids: Maddy, who is a 6th grader, and Cory, who is in 3rd. We also have an opinionated corgi, who is almost two, and two cats, whose ages I can never remember. (One of the cats might not be with us for much longer if he keeps stealing my glasses off of my nightstand and hiding them while I’m sleeping. He’s a sweetheart, mostly, but can also be a fuzzy jerk, which actually could describe most of us.)
What are your digits?
I’m 42. I’m 5’8”, which is not Sarah- or Dimity-type tall but still makes finding long enough pants a challenge. When not pregnant, I’ve weighed anywhere between 140, which is way too thin for my frame, and 220, which is way too much. I stopped even looking at the scale toward the enormous ends of both of my pregnancies because I believe in a healthy amount of denial. I’ve hovered around 175 for the last two years, which is more than the charts say is ideal, but that I’m fine with. I try to not get hung up on the numbers as long as my pants fit.
How long have you been running?
Not long, really. A few months before my 40th birthday, I saw a picture of myself taken on a subway platform in Prague. I was on this great adventure with my family and all I could see was how my belly was straining the zipper of my winter coat. Shortly after we got back and I recovered from the jetlag, I started a Couch-to-5K program. It stuck this time, even though the first ten weeks felt like sheer torture.
Why were you in Prague?
Long story, but the gist involves academic friends who were doing a sabbatic year there and my tendency to invite myself places.
How fast do you run?
Not fast at all. I’ve “raced” a handful of 5Ks and two 10Ks. My best 5K was at a local Turkey Trot and I clocked a blistering 34:59. Which was the only thing blistering that day because it was 15 degrees and snowing when the gun went off. It was, however, much faster than my first 5K, which took me 41 minutes. Yes, I’ve cut six minutes off of my PR but I have a lot of room to work with.
Part of my slowness comes from how non-competitive I prefer my running to be. Running is where I get away from all of the pressures of the rest of my life. In general, my A, B, and C race goals are always to not die, not blow out a knee, and finish. Plus, I suspect my general slowness is why I haven’t really injured myself. Apart from a couple of muscle aches that went away after a day or two of rest, I’ve been running 3-4 times a week for two and a half years.
With apologies to Monty Python: What is your quest?
To finish the Pittsburgh Half Marathon on May 4, 2014 without dying or blowing out a knee. I’ll be following the Run Like a Mother: Half-Marathon Finish It plan, because I am nowhere without a plan. I’ll be blogging about my 15 weeks of training through lousy weather, sick kids, student demands, and aching bones. You know: life as usual in the land of the mother runner.
I’d be thrilled if you’d come along on the journey with me. Running is so much more fun when you have someone with running with you, virtually or in-person.
That’s nice and all but why are really you doing this?
Good question—and one that I’ll answer in my next blog post.