24 April 2009

lightning strikes

yesterday evening we had one of those summer thunderstorms that appear out of nowhere in the late afternoon and light up the sky with electricity. only yesterday was one of those fierce versions that cause you to rethink your surge protector's capabilities. and rethink your proximity to 8-foot apartment windows.

there's something about those lightning strikes that flashes and thunders nearly simultaneously. really jolts you.

and my horseshoe trembled off of its perch and onto the floor. i'm not sure what that means for my good luck. did it spill out?

17 April 2009

new kids on the block

Today I added about 400 roommates to my rather large apartment.

400, you say?!


I finally committed to vermicomposting.

I have red wigglers currently nesting in a bed of wet, shredded paper and food scraps. They are ready and eager to turn 13% of my daily garbage into compost.

It's actually kind of fun.

13 April 2009

wake low

I've never heard of a wake low, but apparently it's a real weather phenomenon. And it decided to take place across the metro area this morning for about 2 hours. At work we joke about walking through the courtyard on stormy mornings into what we call the 'wind tunnel'. But it's just because of how the building is shaped. Today, however, the wind tunnel was more like a hurricane wind machine. And during breakfast, we watched countless person try to brave the treacherous 25-yard walk to the door and lose control of their umbrella. It was some serious free entertainment.

And then a lot of trees blew over. And mass chaos ensued in the city. 55 mph winds! Awesome!

10 April 2009

anatomy of a full marathon

It has taken me a while to finally write this down, but in typical race style, I have to include the anatomy of the race on here. I find that it's actually more for my benefit as my blog has become an archive of my life for the past 4.5 years that I can search (up top) and find something that I've forgotten. Anyway..

March 29, 2009:
450am: wake-up; wake Ry and Stacey up; toasted everything bagel with wildflower honey, gatorade, coffee, oj, banana.
515: enjoyed a conversation about how Pheidippides ran the first "marathon" in Greece to announce the Greek victory and didn't need electrolyte supplements (that I was packing); only to find out that he died immediately after completing the 26 miles. Great way to start the day, I must say.
6:10: on the train headed towards downtown with 15,000 other runners in the cold, 42-degree temps
6:20: met up with Laurie, Landon and Ashley; wondered why we subjected ourselves to this
7:15: finally realized we can start the race by jumping in the end of the line

mile 1: not so bad. the fact that we were running north during the first mile never seemed to catch on until much later in the race. this was in part because for the next 12 miles we were to be headed due east and i could not wait for that north turn at mile 13 so i would have some sort of inspiration that it was halfway over.
mile 2: wait, we were still going north
mile 3: most of this was a blur as there were so many runners everywhere; passed by MLKjr's house where he was born
mile 5: i never knew there was a hill leading into little 5 points until then
mile 5.5: and there's stacey on the supporting sidelines for her first appearance of the morning; this also marks the first time i was running really close to my apartment (a block away at this point); oh, how i wanted to stop right there and go back to bed
miles 6: jimmy carter's presidential library and one of the nicest green spaces in atlanta
mile 6.5: we made a turn here and i went into panic mode as i had misread my map from earlier and was dreading a certain hill but for some reason they took it out of this route; i got a huge adrenaline rush at that point knowing we didn't have to climb it
mile 7: was the split from where the half-marathoners turned north and ran the rest of their 6 miles and the marathoners continued east on a quest by themselves for the rest of their 19 miles. nineteen!? waved goodbye to laurie. lost ry. landon and ashley were way ahead. ran right past my friend laura's apartment and down into my neighborhood of candler park.
mile 8: the candler park hill. i psyched myself out about this hill for the past 20 weeks. during my training i even ran up it a few times just to show myself it wasn't that bad after all. but for some reason, it seemed steeper than ever. as i approached it, the folks ahead of me looked like the cliff hangers game from the price is right. but i ran it. i survived. and at the top of the hill, i realized i was 3 blocks from my apartment. could have stopped.

mile 10: found me running on ponce de leon ave! who would have thought. and then a right on east lake shot me up about a mile long hill.
mile 11: hey there's kara and carl volunteering at the water station. and they had my extra shot blok packets! very awesome. and then there's stacey for support appearance #2.
mile 13: i made the north turn and headed into downtown decatur and back on ponce. and it was such a relief. i was feeling good. no pain anywhere. the shot bloks were working perfectly every 6 miles. water was plentiful. i had this!
mile 14: had me on clairmont avenue crossing scott blvd. at this point i looked over at the long line of cars on either side and thought "you're all stopping because of me!" great feeling.
mile 16: found me in the middle of emory univ. they say it's inevitable to hit "the wall" when running the marathon. i say you hit several walls. this was one of my firsts. i was beginning to feel the effects of all the hills and i knew i had quite a few to come in the next few miles. i found myself nearly shuffling to a crawl just going DOWN a steep hill.
mile 17: back in my running territory. back when i started training, i studied the race route and realized that miles 16-20 were in the area called druid hills which is within running distance of my apartment. so i trained on those hills as much as possible. the only thing i didn't fail to take into account is that when i got to these hills in the race, i needed to have run a good 16 miles before then. so the initial ascent up those hills was brutal. but i found some slice of motivation as i walked runners hitting their walls going up the first hill. i knew i had ran lullwater over and over and over again. so why would now be any different? it wasn't. i ran it. i passed people left and right. it was amazing. of course i was exhausted for the next 5 hills, but i got the first one out of the way.
mile 17.5: stacey's 3rd support appearance. i think i stopped and yelled "I JUST RAN UP THAT HILL!" a little excited.
miles 18-20: so many hills. so much training on them. starting to feel the burn in my quads. more shot bloks. and then i exited druid hills and someone yells from the sidelines "the good news is you just left druid hills!"

mile 20.5: i distinctly remember giving a thumbs up to a photographer and he reciprocated with a thumbs up. got me laughin'.
mile 21.5: i think, wait, is it, yep, it sure is.. it's julia and drew! i had been anticipating seeing someone i knew for the past 4 miles. such a great sight. i think i stopped and chatted but i may have been delusional.
mile 22.5: the 10th street hill. oh what a hill. i remember it from the half 2 years back and i hated it. and i still do. but i ran it all the way. then i walked a bit at the top. and i was ok with that. there's some sort of emotional change during all this running. you start out all adrenaline-rushed and free-spirited. and then at some point there's a shift to a feeling that you're so close to fulfilling your goal that the pain doesn't matter anymore and you press on. and on.
mile 24: i felt a blister pop on my toe. and it didn't feel good. but it's not like i was just going to stop right there and say "oh well, forget this race." i figured whatever damage was done was already done.
mile 24.5: and there it was. the. hill. i wrote about it in an earlier blog before the race--the fact that someone put a hill near the end of the course. but i never knew it would be such a long, steep hill like that. who thought that would be fun for someone who had run 24 miles? and this is where i hit another of my walls during the race. everyone did. i don't recall seeing anyone running up that hill. and the ga tech band was playing on the sideline the whole time--just a cheerin' for us walkers. kind of funny. but i think i turned my music up louder.
mile 25: someone yelled "one more mile to go!" and i screamed "are you completely sure?" because folks on the side are notorious for being wrong about things such as this. but he was right. and i ran and ran.

mile 26.1: i started seeing everyone at the end cheering. one by one, there were friends lined up along the street. i gave some high fives, some thumbs up, some 'wooohoos' and then i saw the finish line. but not before i realized a woman in front of me had pulled her 3-yr old daughter from the sideline so she run the last tenth of a mile with her. i did not like this one bit. and selfishly, my first thought was "there's going to be a 3-yr old in my marathon finish photo! no! NO!" so i sprinted--somehow. but alas, she was still in one or two of the photos. but whatever. i know i did it.
mile 26.2: chip time of 4:48:58

things to note: air drumming to songs on the ipod passes the time, don't eat the free pretzels along the way, never listen to anyone who says "it's all downhill from here" but they are wrong on so many levels.

01 April 2009

gimme gimme gimme

#37 on the great things about running a marathon list:

afterward, you get to eat whatever you want for a whole week.

i have had some sort of fried potato product 6 times since sunday afternoon.

and #38 great thing:

my training schedule says i can run 6-8 miles only 7 days afterward. good thing i signed up to run the Bridge Run 10k this weekend in charleston!

i probably will never be able to describe the immense soreness that i was in sun-tues, but i am happy to report that this morning when i got out of bed, the first thing i thought wasn't "how am i going to make it into the kitchen?" all the articles i read were right, it takes 2 days to recover from the first wave of soreness. i could walk up and down stairs today without grimacing with each step! amazing.

(and i may have already started looking at other marathons)