New Column: Martini Fridays

Because the Prague coat photo doesn't exist—or so Adrienne claims—here's a shot of her at her heaviest, before she started running.
Because the Prague coat photo doesn't exist—or so Adrienne claims—here's a shot of her before she started running.

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.


Thing one: Maddy.
Thing one: Maddy.

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.)

Thing Two: Cory.
Thing Two: Cory.

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.

Thing Three: Lucy.
Thing Three: Lucy.

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.

25 responses to “New Column: Martini Fridays

  1. I have been reading your articles New Column: Martini Fridays « another mother runner and they are very useful for me to know something new and intresting. And You can also visit our website also hyip monitors sites.

  2. Hi, Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  3. I am running the Pittsburgh half, too! So many of us, very cool. Good luck with your training, you seem to have the right attitude for it.

  4. Yea! I am running my first marathon on the same day! I know where Oneonta is bc I went to school in Ithaca. Can’t wait to read more!!!! Thx!! Our running digits are pretty close too!! 🙂

  5. I thought you might be a nice addition to the website, I saved your blog…mistake, you in one day offended many on your blog today.
    I hope you enjoy your training and do hope you finish your race.

    The AMR folks rarely if ever talk about politics and other subjects that some families don’t even discuss.

  6. Pittsburgh!!!! It was my very first half and I plan to run the full this year (it will be my 4th marathon and my 3rd time running Pittsburgh full). The other ladies are right … Pittsburgh crowd support is awesome. I have also run a number of other mid-sized city races (Philly, Richmond, Columbus) and while I have loved them all, I think that nothing compares to the energy and crowds you will find on the Pittsburgh course.

    I hope you love it as much as I do!

  7. Wow! So many people running in Pgh this year. Maybe we should plan a meet-up?

    Believe it or not, my next post will be about hills and how they don’t really phase me as much because I’ve been running in Oneonta. I’m not like, “whoopee! Hill!” but I don’t freak out too much about them. One day, I’d like to run in Nebraska, just to know what it’s like.

    There will be other things in the post, too, fyi. Otherwise it would be very short.

    (Confidential to Yet Another Susan – Blue. No green! AIIIEEEE!)

    Please keep the questions and comments coming. And I’ll holler, Nicki, next time I”m in Endicott.

  8. Cool, Adrienne! I am planning to run the Pitt. full this year. I was excited to read all the comments of other Mother Runners who will also be there! I look forward to following your journey.

  9. I too, know Oneonta very well. I grew up about 25 minutes from there in Walton, NY. I now live in Indiana and I really miss the mountains! If you can run there, you can hold your own anywhere!! Good luck!

  10. Judging by the comments, a lot of us mother runners are doing Pittsburgh this year. I’ve done it twice before and volunteered last year. And although 1. I may be biased as I live here and 2. I’ve haven’t done too many halves outside of PA, I have to say the crowd support in Pittsburgh is the BEST. Good luck, maybe I’ll see you there.

  11. I completed the Pittsburgh Half -my first- last year using the same training plan (Thank You, Dimity and Sarah!) in a time of 2:15 (not bad, but room for improvement). I’d love to follow your progress! Pittsburgh is a wonderful city and the crowd is truly fantastic (This year, I’ll be part of the spectators so make sure you post what you’ll wear so I can look for you and cheer by name!). I agree about where you’re training vs. the hill at mile 12. I train in a pretty hilly area and I never even noticed a hill…

  12. Yay! My overall stats are very similar in all regards and I’m really interested in watching how it goes. Thanks Adrienne for doing this.

  13. I got ridiculously excited about this post 🙂 I am from upstate NY too, and will also be running the Pittsburgh Half as my first! Looking forward to following your training journey. 😀

  14. Hey, Adrienne! I’ll be the one to admit to knowing where Oneonta is. I grew up in Owego & until May, had a son at SUCO. I currently live in Endicott. Come down and run some time. And, did I miss it? What half are you training for?

  15. Looking forward to this. I am also an upstater. I was hoping the half you are training for is the Syracuse Half. Pittsburgh looks GREAT judging from WR Jan issue…but it is Mountain Goat Day here!

  16. I loved your book Sweater Quest and am looking forward to reading about your training for your first half. I am running the full in Pittsburgh using the run like a mother finish it plan as well. Pittsburgh is such an awesome town and from everything I read the crowd support is awesome. Good luck!!!

  17. Hi Adrienne! I am looking forward to following your Martini Fridays column. I am also running the Pittsburgh Half! Please let me know if you are wanting another mother to run with you and help you cross the finish line in your first half marathon! Here is my email: [email protected]. Good luck with your training!

  18. Welcome Adrienne! I look forward to your column. I’m a knitter and former resident of the Southern Tier, And still believe Oneonta to be one of the prettiest places I know. I’m doing the half marathon Finish it Plan too and think you’ll find it an excellent way to prep for your race. Happy running!

  19. I look forward to this though the Martini Friday was a bit misleading. Even though it’s 6:43 EST, this mother runner could use a martini … or three.

    Anyway, I look forward to following the journey! Best wishes. I have a few friends doing Pittsburgh.

    1. My bad, Kimberly: I got back really late last night from San Diego party, and published this accidentally. Not thinking. It’s going to go live again on Friday. 🙂

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