Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Turkey Trot To Go

You know you are a runner when...

...the first thought that pops into your mind, in regards to celebrating a holiday or an event is...there's a race for that.

Thanksgiving? No exception. As most areas seem to, our small hamlet sponsors a Turkey Trot 5K. All proceeds benefit the local food pantry, and all participants are encouraged to bring canned goods and other non-perishable food items to donate.

This is the 4th year that the race has been run, and marked the highest participation to date.

And this year, we helped contribute to those numbers by adding not only my name, but those of the hubster, The Boy Child and The Girl Child to the list of those that ran.

In the last several weeks, leading up to this race, the hubster has been working with me on my pace, pushing me to better my speed by more than a minute on average for shorter distances. Coming in to the race, we all felt pretty confident that I should have no problem blowing the doors off of my old 5K PR. So the goal became - in my words: "To break 25 minutes", in the hubsters: "To do sub 8 minute miles on average".

Thanksgiving morning dawned cold and shiny. And did I mention COLD?

We woke early, bundled up and headed over to the park that would serve as the start and finish of the race, at 7:15AM. It was about 30 degrees. After a brief wait in the registration line, we picked up our bibs and affixed them to our clothes. And then played the waiting game.

Luckily, living in a small town, as we do, the odds are pretty good that, if you are going to have a large gathering of locals? You will know a fair percentage of them. This event was no different, and we were able to kill time for the next hour, socializing with friends and neighbors.

Finally, the clock read 8:30, and it was time to take off. The Boy Child was at the very front of the line with a friend, ready and raring to go. The hubster and I lined up together a bit farther back, while The Girl Child hung back even further with some other friends of ours that were running at a slower pace.

One of the very first things that both hubster and I noticed was that our toes? Were FROZEN. An hour of standing around in frosty grass, waiting to run had rendered them little more than flesh toned icicles. It took the better part of the first mile and a half for them to stop aching.

Happy Turkey Trot Day!
The Turkey Trot is a simple out and back, so there isn't a whole lot along the way that counts as majestic scenery...so I will skip right to the good part.

We reached our goals. I finished the race in 24:29 - which is definitely under 25 minutes. Our overall pace was 7:54 - which is definitely sub-8 minutes. The hubster finished at the same time I did, and The Boy Child finished 5 seconds behind us.

As for The Girl Child? She finished about 10 minutes behind the rest of us, but she finished. And, most importantly, she ran the whole 3.1 miles. I have never seen her so excited and proud of herself.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Return Of the PIC: Training Time

When last we left our hero, he was wondering how to explain to his wife that he had signed up for a marathon after swearing off running forever…

Well, it turns out I didn’t have to break the news myself as someone else did the honor for me on Facebook. After posting an innocent entry about how my dear friend in PA dragged me out on my first run in quite some time, a yoga friend of mine who was in the know on my marathon plans decided to reply with “awesome…you will do great in the marathon!!” or something to that effect. Crap! So that left me with no choice but to reply with, “Thanks! Oh, and by the way wifey, did I forget to mention that I am running a marathon in October?”.

Needless to say, she was not entirely thrilled about my news as she had previously dealt with my incessant whining each of the 4 years I ran the 10-Mile race. I did my best to convince her that this was different and there would be no whining and that I was planning on properly training for this thing. She didn’t give me too much grief, but seemed somewhat unconvinced.

Anyway, after my visit, I did start to run regularly again. I wasn't following a training plan...I wasn't tracking my distances...I wasn't tracking my pace...but I was running. In hindsight, I wish I had gotten on an official training plan earlier than I did. That being said, I was mostly pleased with my progress.

In August, I actually ran in this crazy 200 mile 12-person team relay event...(another story for another day maybe). Completing that event gave me a lot more confidence that I wasn't going to die during the marathon. Shortly thereafter I actually got to briefly visit PA again, this time with the whole family. Our families seemed to get along swimmingly, which pleased me greatly as this would likely lead to future opportunities to get together.

Upon my return home, I kicked it into high gear with my training. I acquired a GPS watch, started following a training plan, and just kept running! As a numbers guy, tracking and charting my progress with my GPS data was very rewarding and motivating...I should have gotten the watch sooner. I was seeing significant improvement in both my endurance and pace.

The big day was rapidly approaching and I was surprised to find myself fairly confident and ready to do this thing. The initial dread I felt when I signed up for this insanity was slowly being replaced with a feeling of excitement and anticipation. What the hell did this girl do to me? Excited?!? About running?!? 26.2 miles?!! ME????

Stay tuned for my final entry in this series to find out how race day actually turned out.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

In The Running

Finally starting to feel a bit better run-wise...I am not too small to admit that I seriously under-estimated the impact that running 26.2 miles would have on my body! My knee and hip are just finally consistently feeling better. I have spent the last couple of weeks working on doing faster, shorter runs...between 3-4 miles a day at a sub 8 minute pace. The shorter time spent running seemed to help my knee and I have to say, I rather like being able to see an average pace come up of 7:51.

I'm also feeling a little better mentally, as I have a few races on my horizon. Tomorrow is the local turkey trot 5K, which, while not a long distance, is something I am looking forward to for two reasons...1 - the whole family is running it this year, and 2 - I am anxious to see if I can break 25 minutes.

Also coming up soon is a 10K, next weekend, one town over. My husband and "Mildred" will be running with me, so that makes it even more exciting.

Shortly after that, we have our eyes on a half marathon in West Virginia, so there are races for me to focus my training energies on. All good stuff.

I hope you all have a happy and healthy Turkey Day! Cheers!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Liebster List Thing

I recently received the greatest (and also only) honor for my blog that I have ever received, which is a nomination for a Liebster award, from my very favorite upbeat vegetable, The Happy Radish.

Once I finished swooning from the general, heady excitement of the whole thing, I set about trying to figure out what the heck that actually means for me and the rest of the blogiverse. Unfortunately, there seem to be mixed ideas and instructions around this award...so I am going to cobble all that I have read into the version that works best for me...

A Liebster Award is an award given from one small (under 200 followers) blog, to another. It is meant to cause a much needed ego boost to the little blogger who could, even though nobody else may notice. You are supposed to accept your award by stating 11 facts about yourself, answering the 11 questions presented to you by your nominator and coming up with your own 11 questions to pass on to 11 other small bloggers that you would like to nominate.

OK...not that I believe for even a second that anyone wants to know any of this...but because I am a sucker for creating a list...and if I can bullet it out? All the better...

All About Me
  • I am an only child. And I am apparently the poster child for only children. As such, sibling dynamics, specifically those of my children, completely confound and mystify me.
  • I was a Boy Scout in college. This made me gleefully happy.
  • I was a Girl Scout in middle school. This made me woefully sad.
  • I am the world's most graceful person when I am standing still. The moment I begin to move, shit just falls apart.
  • I have never once felt a connection to or an ability to "relate" to a female character on a television show, in a book or in a movie. I do however identify strongly with a number of male characters...Sheldon from Big Bang Theory...Kramer from Seinfeld.
  • My favorite movie of all time is The Princess Bride. I can recite almost all of the lines in this movie by heart.
  • My guilty pleasure movie is Clueless. Which is really a clever adaptation of the novel Emma, by Jane Austen. It doesn't matter what day, time or place it is...if I am flipping through channels, and Clueless is on? I am watching it.
  • I can't stand to be bored. If left to my own devices, I will find something to occupy my time. This is not always a good thing.
  • I feel most myself when I am running.
  • I'm still not sure what I want to be when I grow up. I fear my children will be grown and have figured this out, before I do.
  • I suffer from relatively severe body dysmorphia and am extremely intimidated by people that are overweight.
and, simply because Cait asked me to... Here is my list of answer to her Liebster questions:
1. What is the correct way to pronounce Nutella? (NEW-tella, or NUH-tella??)
 It's NUH-tella. Anything else is unacceptable, and will make my ears jump off of my head and run around the room naked.

2. How do you sign off on emails?
Depends...if it is a "business" email, my tagline is "Attitudes are contagious...is YOURS worth catching?" If it is a personal email, then typically, it is something like "Cancel my subscription, I'm done with your issues."

3. When is the last time you were proud of yourself?
 October 7, 2012, as I crossed the finish line of the Twin Cities Marathon. Well, technically, I have been proud since that moment in time...but that event is the catalyst of those prideful feelings.

4. Do you ever talk to yourself?
I'm the only one that tends to listen, so yes.

5. What do you eat for breakfast most days?
I eat the same thing for breakfast every day, M-F...and that would be a Greek Yogurt. Specifically a Dannon Oikios in either Strawberry or Raspberry flavor. There can be no deviations to this, otherwise the eating thing? Simply won't happen. Which is all part of a conversation for another day.

If it is a weekend, and I manage to remember to eat, it is most likely a piece of toast with Nutella (see NUH-tella, lol) or Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter from Peanut Butter and Company.

6. How does it make you feel when someone tells you that you're beautiful?
Mostly uncomfortable and like cracking a joke.

7. You don't need to elaborate on who you would say this to, but what's one thing you need to say, and haven't yet (or never will)?
No. I am terrible at No. It is how I typically find myself buried under piles of other people's problems.

8. Tell me a memory that involves crazy weather.
So. Late summer 2004...I am on the cusp of turning 29, and am planning to celebrate my birthday for the very last time, as I have no intention of turning 30, ever. I've booked a room on the concierge floor of the Beach Club resort at Disney. Family and friends have been advised that they are more than welcome to join me, but they are on their own as far as making reservations and whatnot.

Two days before, Hurricane Frances decides to show up and help me celebrate. Disney calls, cancels my room, refunds my money and tells me they are closing the park for the first time in history.

I spend my birthday and the days immediately following it, hunkered down with my husband and children, in the dark, listening to the wind howl and the rain beat against the house.

Every ten minutes or so, I ask my husband "What was that?"

His answer "The wind."

It was like an episode of the Three Stooges that never quite made it to the punchline.

9. Which is better, mechanical pencils or good old-fashioned No. 2's?
Mechanical. If I have to sharpen it by hand, it will wind up the size of my pinky, because I can't stand to have a dull point.

10. Should clean underwear be folded?
Yes, it should. And organized by style and color. (Feel bad for my husband...he does the laundry.)

11. What do you do when you can't fall asleep?
I play Words With Friends, in the dark, in the hopes that I will actually fall asleep while doing it.  

Now, as I understand it, I am to nominate 11 others...so...let's see...how about 5? I can give you 5. Because the other people I know are waaaay too cool for school and have more than 200 followers, which is apparently against the rules here. 

 Cultivating The Dragonfly
Have Mat Will Travel
Confessions of a Not-So-Super Mom
 Desperately Seeking Me
A Day In The Life of a Crazy Mom

Should they take the time out of their day to answer...here are my burning questions:

(Look, another list!!!)
  1. Do you believe in astrology?
  2. Tylenol, Advil or Aleve...what do you turn to to cure a headache?
  3. How old would you be if you could be any age?
  4. What is the most exotic food that you have ever eaten?
  5. What is the most thoughtful thing that anyone has ever done for you?
  6. If you had to choose one day to live, again and again, a la Groundhog Day, what day would it be?
  7. Have you ever gone Black Friday shopping?
  8. What do you keep in the trunk of your car?
  9. What was your nickname as a child?
  10. What is your homepage for your Internet browser?
  11. If you were a spy, what would your alias be?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Filling the Void

There is a phenomenon that happens to many brides, immediately following their wedding. They have put so much effort into planning out all of the minute details of their big day...they have given so much of their active, waking (and often sleeping) thoughts to making sure that everything goes off without a hitch, that they wake up the morning after and feel somehow...empty. Deflated. Depressed even.

With the big day come and gone, there is now this big chunk of their time and mental focus that frankly, they are unsure what to do with.

I realized, about 2 months before the race, that I was at risk for succumbing to that same phenomenon. Planning for the marathon had been so all consuming that I was almost as nervous about the day after the race as I was about the race itself. When I woke up on Monday, what was I going to do? I wouldn't have a run scheduled...there would be nothing to hold me accountable. What was going to motivate me to keep going, especially given that it would be colder by then, sometimes even frigidly so, in the mornings? Without a race to plan for, without a goal to work towards, what exactly was going to entice me to roll my happy ass out of my nice warm bed, at 5AM going forward? I am only just so disciplined.

I started at that point, to look tentatively around for other races, in the months following the marathon, for me to set my sights on running.

I also decided, then and there, that I needed to set myself some new goals. Sure, I could decide upon some time goal for a future race, but until I had at least finished one marathon, that seemed a bit premature. Instead, I felt the hazy outline of two, new long range goals materializing in the back of my brain.

One - to complete a triathlon within 18 months of the marathon.

Two - to run a Boston Qualifying time by my 40th birthday. (For those playing along, that gives me roughly 3 years, to shave about 45 minutes off my first official finish time. Yeesh.)

About a month before the race, I first said these out loud, so that someone else knew about them...and you know how that goes. Once you have stated a goal out loud, you are committed to it.

No? Just me? Interesting.

So I started eyeballing other full and half marathons. And realized that there are ALOT of really cool races out there. Enough cool ones that I started a list, of races that I someday want to run...they include the Disney Princess Half Marathon. The Disney Marathon (both at Disney World and Disneyland). The Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. The Las Vegas Rock and Roll Marathon, and a whole host of others. In fact, if I really put my mind to it, I'm fairly certain that I can find a race in just about any state that I am interested in tackling...

Now I just need to pick one for early 2013, so that I can get back to training in earnest, no excuses, no exceptions. And this time? I'm dragging my husband with me.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

He's Baaa-aaack! Its the Return of The Partner In Crime With: Reunited!

A marathon?!?  26.2 miles?  A freaking marathon?!?!?

What the hell was I thinking?  I hate running.  I’ve never experienced a “runner’s high” though I’m pretty sure I’ve experienced a number of “runner’s lows”.  I was sure going a long way just to get my new BFF to visit me.

Once the initial shock wore off, I thought, “ok, I’ve got plenty of time…as long as I put in the training, I can do this.”

As a result of a policy change at work, I found myself with a crap-ton of vacation that I needed to burn before the end of April or lose it.  Determined not to lose any of it, I found myself scrambling to fit it all in.  I decided this was a perfect opportunity to take a solo vacation and visit some family and friends out east.  First stop (of course) would be to PA to spend the weekend with my marathon buddy and to meet the rest of her family for the first time.

Before my visit, the subject of tattoos somehow came up…initially as a post-race commemoration option.  While she already had been inked several times, I have never gone there, nor did I ever think I would.  Not that I was opposed to them…it just didn’t seem like something I would ever do.  What was I saying about never saying “never”? We then started chatting about getting me my first ink during my April trip.  It was at that point that I started to feel like I really wanted to do it.  The problem was that I didn’t know what design I wanted.  Oh, and did I mention that I kept my wife completely in the dark about this whole idea?

Fast-forward a little bit and crazy-runner-tattooed-chick tells me that she figured out what I should get for my first ink.  Her suggestion?  An ohm.  Initially I think she means the “Omega Ohm”, a symbol representing electrical resistance in my world.  Umm, I like my job as an engineer and all, but not that much!  Turns out she meant the “Sanskrit Ohm” (aka Om), given my recent foray into the world of yoga.  Brilliant!  I had a vague recollection of what it looked like, and one Google image search later, I decided I liked that idea a lot.

The visit was phenomenal.  I vow never to go 13 months without seeing the Duchess, much less another 13 years!  It was just pure awesome to be in the same room together after all that time.  Meeting the family was great too…they seemed to like me well enough and my grand scheme to make the girl child my future daughter-in-law was going well (a story for another day).

Sunday’s plans included a 5-mile training run.  Having gotten back into decent shape by practicing my hot yoga nearly every day through the winter, I felt I could do alright.  While performing far better than my failed training runs of the previous fall, I still got my ass kicked.  I’ll admit, I was somewhat worried how I was going to manage a full marathon in 6 months. 

The visit was capped off with our trip to the tattoo parlor.  I got my Om! (she got her 4th tat)  And I loved it!  And don't worry, I did ultimately get the spousal approval before my trip.  Breaking the news to my wife about the marathon, however, did not go according to plan and the way it went down threatened to rip a hole into the fabric of space and time...ok, not really, but it could have been really bad.  

...Stay tuned for the epic conclusion of my guest blog!  I mean, you don't have to...up to you.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Guest Post - The Partner in Crime Asks "What Did I Just Step In??"

Wohoo, look at me! I’m a guest blogger! Well, if there was anything I have ever hated more than running, it is writing. The fact that I am writing this should tell you just how much influence my old friend has over me. In fact, you may notice that as a recurring theme throughout this entry.

Let me start at the beginning of this adventure. I have known the owner of this blog since our days in middle school. We had many of the same classes and extra-curriculars on through high school and I’d consider us friends throughout that time, even though we ran mostly in different social circles. Long-story short, we both graduate and go off on our separate paths…little did either of us realize just how much we would mean to each other a couple decades later.

With the exception of a brief reconnection about 13 years ago, we really didn’t get to see each other or chat at all until the social media explosion of the mid-to-late 2000’s. And other than some friendly FB comments here and there and birthday wishes, it really wasn’t until that last couple of years that we really started chatting a lot. Add Words with Friends to the mix, and now we were practically attached at the hip, even though our hips are nearly 900 miles apart. I guess it is probably better described as being attached at the smartphone.

What does this all have to do with running a marathon? Don’t worry, I’m getting to that…

A little over a year ago, after having run the Twin Cities 10 Mile 4 years in a row (despite my hatred of running), I had a failed attempt at a 5th year in a row. I couldn’t get into any sort of rhythm, couldn’t even manage a measly 3-mile training run, and ultimately didn’t run the race. I started looking for alternatives for staying in shape and it was then that I discovered hot yoga. I could sweat, burn a bunch of calories, and not have to run to do it? Hell yeah, I was hooked!

A few weeks into my yoga practice, I made very public proclamations to anyone within earshot (including my wife) that I was NEVER running again. And I meant N-E-V-E-R! What do they say about never saying “never”?

Soooo…a short time later while chatting with my old-friend-turned-new-BFF, she (the avid runner) says to me via iMessage that she really wants to do a marathon soon. Aha! Here’s just the opening I was looking for. As brilliant as I am, I suggest that she come to visit me and run the Twin Cities Marathon that my company sponsors every October. I’ll even cover her entry fee if she does, I propose. Super excited at the prospect, I get just the response I was hoping for. She says “That’s a great idea…”…terrific! I couldn’t be more psyched!... “…on ONE condition…”…uh oh, what did I just step in?... “…you’ve got to run it with me!”

And thus began my training for a marathon. First step? How to explain to everyone, including my wife, that I just agreed to run a marathon when I just vowed a couple weeks earlier that I would never run again. Little did I know this would not be the only out-of-character-for-me thing that would require explaining…

…to be continued

Friday, November 2, 2012

This Is Gonna Leave A Mark...With Pictures

I am not a fun of clutter, or bric-a-brac and nostalgia. I'm that bad mom who, upon seeing most of my childrens' artwork wants nothing so much as to say "this is lovely. Can we throw it away, now that we have all seen it?" Its not that I don't care. Its not that I don't love it. Its not that I don't believe in "sentimental value". Its that I simply can't stand to be surrounded by too much stuff.

I do however like to have something to remember big events by. Which makes me something of a contradiction. Its part of my charm really. (Keep repeating this until you believe it.)

The marathon? Was an event that needed commemoration. It begged for, nay demanded an important memento, beyond the medal and shirt that simply finishing earned for my P.I.C. and I...

In my book? There is really only one way to properly do this..and that is with a tattoo.

Let me back up a bit.

Hi, my name is Duchess Pandora, and I like ink. I have 5 tattoos at the current moment and, if I am absolutely honest about it? I am perpetually on the brink of getting my next one. This is in total juxtaposition to almost everything else about my persona.
Not too shabby for an almost 20 year old bear.

I got my first tattoo when I was 19. I was having a hard time in college and had just spent the summer working in a Boy Scout camp. The Grateful Dead was the soundtrack of that period of my life, and the counterculture that surrounds it was helping me lay the groundwork for who I would ultimately become.

I am, by nature, fussy. The Deadhead lifestyle taught me to relax, and to let it go.
I can be exceedingly self-conscious. The Deadheads taught me to dance whenever and wherever the music moved me.
I can be very reserved with my emotions. I learned to hug like I meant it, even if the other person hadn't showered in a week.

Ask my friends. Ask my family. Ask my co-workers. This? Is huge.

Towards the end of that summer, Jerry Garcia died. It was tragic.

At the end of that summer, I got my very first tattoo. A purple dancing bear, holding a rose, just above my ankle.

Over the years, I would toy with the idea of having this little fellow removed. In the end? I can't see that ever happening. He is a reminder to me of the fact that I am not always in control, and that is OK.

My next ink would happen many, many years later, the day that I ran (finished? I didn't run the whole thing) my first 5K, with my female best friend, "Mildred". Mildred and I wanted to get a shared tattoo, something that would bind us together, no matter how far the distance between us. We thought long and hard about what to get, as we wanted it to be something meaningful.

We finally decided to go with the constellation for Virgo, as it is the sign we were both born under. Today we both have the same image, on the back of our necks.

Number three was added to the mix in 2011, also in the company of Mildred. We each got a tattoo that day, and she did me the honor of allowing me to design and draw her tattoo, which represents her two youngest children. I also designed mine, which adorns my inner right forearm. It is a family crest of sorts. My name is an Aramaic name, that means "bower", which is a poetic way of saying "tree". The tree branch is me, the large, flying bird is my husband, and the two small birds are my chicks, The Boy Child and The Girl Child. The flowers on the tree have hearts built into them, which represents our love.

Three little birds
My next ink would come much more rapidly, and in the company of my P.I.C.. The story there is a whole blog post unto itself, with the end result - for me anyway - being what would be, to date, my most painful addition. Two lines of poetry from Pablo Neruda's 41st Sonnet that remind me of my husband, scrawled across my rib cage:
"I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
In secret, between the shadow and the soul."

Sweetly and romantically enough, my husband has a matching tattoo, in the form of a QR code on his forearm that scans to read this same verse. It was my 40th birthday present to him, but really? I see it as a present to me. Go ahead, take a moment and swoon. It gets me every time too.

So it was no major shock when, going in to this marathon, I wanted to get a tattoo to commemorate the event. I talked to my P.I.C. about it, and he was on board too. We spent many a month debating what we should do...and finally decided that the perfect artwork to mark the occasion would be none other than the logo for the race itself. Additionally, it seemed to make perfect sense to have this symbol inked onto our feet.

The evening following the marathon, we headed out to Saint Sabrina's to get our vision realized.

My P.I.C. went first...this wasn't his first tattoo - there will be more on that later I am sure - but this one definitely would leave a lasting impression on him.

Stencil is on...
 But I mean, c'mon, the guy just ran a marathon...this should be nothing in comparison, right???

First prick of the gun...
Right????? Because I am a very caring friend, I of course held his hand through the worst of it...
This is a little pinchy...
 ...any of my friends or sorority sisters (or kids) who have ever had the honor of getting ill with me to tend to them should recognize this position. I am nothing if not an attentive and doting nurse...
Oh owwwwwww
 ...apparently this whole ordeal "smarted" a bit.

"Now smile like you just finished a marathon!!"
Once it was all said and done though, he quickly regained his toothy grin. (And hey, let's give me some props for showing my bare-faced self to the world. Holla!)
The finished product.
 Now...there is a saying that I have come to love...

"Never underestimate the strength of a woman.
NEVER EVER  f*$% with one who runs 26.2 miles for fun."

Shhhh...I'm tryin to sleep here.
  This? Would be why.
All done.
We now have a lasting memory...a proper tribute, to the craziest thing we have ever gotten one another through...until the next time.

And big news!!! Stay tuned for a special post tomorrow, from P.I.C. himself!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Morning After

I remember, when I first birthed the boy child, that almost all of my visitors thought it was hysterically funny to ask me "So, you ready to do this again?"

They'd wink and nod and then wind up mouth agape, when I cheerily responded "Yup! Sign me up!"

Childbirth? Apparently I was built for it. After 26 years of listening to horrific retellings of the story of my arrival into this Earth after 42 hours of labor and a subsequent high forceps delivery, the reality of giving birth to my own child was a walk in the park. Which explains why, a year later I was expecting the girl child.

People called me a glutton for punishment.

As I crossed the finish line, I had absolutely no doubt. I was ready to do it again. Yes please, right now, as soon as possible...if my body would just stop hurting.

When I returned to work, and the real world, I was asked (and am still being asked) at least a dozen times, so? You done running now? You're not going to do another one of those, are you?

No, no I'm not done running. And yes, yes I am going to run another. As soon as I stop hurting.

Towards the end of the race, my hips started to hurt. I kind of figured that was to be expected. I mean, seriously, four and a half hours straight of pounding the pavement? It'd be a little unexpected if something didn't hurt - right? I wasn't truly surprised that I was still a bit hobbly the next day either.

Even the next day, I could excuse being a little stiff.

When I woke Wednesday morning, I was determined that I just needed to stretch my legs, and run the kinks out...nothing huge, no epic distance, no killer pace...just a half an hour alone with my feet on the street.

Ow. Oh ow. Ow, ow, ow, ow.

Not from the very beginning mind you, but about 1 mile or so into my run, my right hip and knee started yelling profanities at me that made the retired sailor down the street blush. Because I am extremely, mmm, how do you say it? BULLHEADED, I kept going, determined to turn in a 30 minute effort, even if it killed me.

When I walked in my house, I felt like I had just finished the marathon all over again. The words "not good as new" rolled derisively across my brain. I stopped them short though, and thought "hey, you ran a marathon 72 hours ago...give yourself a break."

I ran again that Friday. To similar effect.

I gave it another shot on Monday. Still very owie.

So I did the only sensible thing I could do. I Googled it.

Seems that, based upon the description of the symptoms I have irritated my IT band. Basically? The big rubber band of ligament that connects the hip and knee joints? It got rubbed raw during the race, and swelled up and tightened. The pain I feel? Is the result of a that tightening.

Thankfully there are stretches that I can do that help to loosen it, and slowly but surely, I am getting back into form.

Which is good. Because I have a race to train for. I'm just not sure which one.