Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Once more around the park.

Let's call this a backwards recovery week.

While most people recover from too much work, too much alcohol, too much food ... I recovered from my marathon by doing just that. As soon as my butt hit my aisle seat on the plane, I ordered a drink. When we walked in the door, exhausted from a day of travel, we ordered cheeseburgers and I popped a Blue Moon from the fridge. Much to Mike's chagrin, I've once again stopped by my favorite wine shop on the way home from to grab a bottle of pinot for the evening (quote from Mike two months ago: "Geez, do you know how much money we're saving when you don't pick up a bottle of wine on the way home every night?" (Okay, Mike doesn't say 'geez" but you get it.))

In short, I'm recovering.

Downside to the Cindy Recovery Plan? You kinda feel like crap when you try to get up at 5am to resume your workout regime.

Other than seeing my trainer Lynne last Wednesday (when she thankfully went easy on me after seeing my eyes were slits and that I may have been limping), I didn't work out at all. At ALL. For nearly two years, I have been dutiful in my early morning gym runs. I can't remember the last time I had a one or two workout week. But I literally could not summon the energy needed to swing my legs over the side of the bed in the week after the marathon, let alone make them move quickly(ish) on a treadmill.

But my marathon season is not yet over. The biggest 26-mile run happens this Sunday - the New York Marathon. Many of my TNT friends are running it, including Jenn, Shari ... and of course, Elkin. Never to be left out, I consider "participating" also to mean holding up signs, donning my TNT purple and ringing a cowbell until I deafen the person next to me. I just don't get a bib number for that. But really, even though I'm not running it, the marathon should be all about me.

As Ramon did with the SF peeps, he held a clinic on Saturday to go over the course mile by mile. Ramon's done NY like a gazillion times and is actually running again this year. As he puts it, "I know evereeee pothollle." After the clinic, the NYers were to run one last loop around CP. A nice, easy run to loosen the legs and ease the nerves.

I'd like to say that my sense of friendship and good will were really the sole reason for joining Elkin on Saturday. In all honestly, I felt like a complete sloth and knew this would be a good butt-kicker to get me out of bed before noon. I also just wanted to take one last TNT loop around the park with my first and best running buddy (yes, you're in there too, Babs ... but I knew Elkin first).

Not sure if I ever shared the story of how Elkin and I came to be running buddies, but we still laugh about it now. We started out with a larger pacing group doing a loop on a hot summer morning and lost them when they all stopped for water. About the last mile, he sidled up to me and asked if he could pace with me. I was unaware he was a fellow TNTer and thought it odd and stalkerish. Of course, I said "sure."

After getting past his name (I was convinced for a couple of weeks his name was "Malcolm" - it wasn't until he was clarifying his name to someone else and made an antler gesture, saying "Elkin. Like an elk" that I realized how far off I was), it turned out we had a lot in common. Neither of us, for instance, liked to stop for water (smart!). We were a bit yin and yang; I hated being a second late for practices while Elkin would just be falling out of a cab at the park as we were well into our run. Many a Tuesday and Saturday, I would start my run without him, convinced he wasn't going to show. Ten minutes later he'd glide up to me, completely out of breath from sprinting to catch the group. After giving him plenty of grief, I was always happy he made it.

So I decided we'd run our last TNT Saturday together.

Of course, I'm in recovery mode, which meant a martini and a couple glasses of red on Friday night.

What an indication of how the seasons change. I stepped out of bed on a chilly Saturday, threw on a long-sleeved running shirt and briefly considered pants over shorts. My slow walk to the park was a dark and damp one - so far from the previous 18 Saturdays when the sun was just waking up the city and the day was full of summer possibility.

I gave Elkin a big hug, truly happy to see him and catch him up on San Francisco. We took off for one last trip around CP and I filled him in on my race, warned him about the Bite Me Zone, told him to write his name really big on his singlet and make sure he does a fist-pump versus jumping up and down Elkin-like because it'll take a lot of energy.

By mile 3, however, I was winded and told him to just read my damned blog.

We finished up at Bethesda Terrace as usual and you could tell the small group was feeling really energized. Different mood than all those previous Saturdays.

Lara and Pam talked about hitting the expo and I was suddenly really jealous I wouldn't be there. Because again, this race is all about me.

For old times sake ... here you go:

Hahahahaha. Seriously. Love this.

So that was it. I know, I know, I sound like a broken record with another "last." But that closed the book on my TNT Saturdays. We started in CP on a bright, sunny Spring Saturday ...

And ended in the same spot on a chilly Fall one.

So best of luck to Elkin, Jenn, Shari, Lara, Pam ... RAMON ... and all the TNT folks on Sunday. (Oh, and a shout out to Javi, who rocked the Marine Corps Marathon last Sunday with an awesome time. Yay Javi!!)

I'll be doing my best Ramon impression, cowbell in hand. You're not supposed to jump in and run with the marathoners, but I just might find myself carried away and do it anyway. I'll come prepared, Nikes firmly tied on my feet. Because really, this race is all about me.

Oh, and if you're thinking this is the end of the blog, think again. Due to popular demand (Ludwig), I'll continue to fill you in on all things ... well, me.

Hmmm ... does that mean I have to change the name to "Ran, Cindy, Ran"?

1 comment:

  1. I wish there were more stories about hook ups in this blog.