Friday, 13 June 2008

Sono pazza come la merda del pipistrello

[WARNING: Overly long post ahead!]

The post title means ‘I am bat-shit crazy’ in Italian.* All the talk lately about marathon training is only fueling the fire. What’s a girl to do? Find a reason to train, that’s what.

I’m going to be in the states in mid to late August. I really want to run a race while I’m there, since it appears my chances of getting my grubby little hands on a race shirt are greater in the US than in the UK. I’ve been perusing the listings on Runner’s World and, but have come up with bupkiss. I even emailed Razzdoodle for info since I’ll be in his neck of the woods for a bit as well, but no dice. Last week, however, I uncovered this little gem: the Swanzey Covered Bridges Half Marathon.

Okay, here are the pros:

  • It’s close to where my mom lives
  • I’ll definitely be in NH at this time
  • The course is pretty flat (which, btw, is a miracle in NH)

Now for the cons:

  • To date, the longest distance I’ve run is 6.2 miles
  • I’ve got only 12 weeks to train
  • August is potentially a scheduling disaster considering all the travel I will be doing

I think you all know which way I’m leaning.

I left an innocuous little comment on the blog of the wonderful Lily asking generally if a situation like mine was feasible. Apparently it is. Lily immediately got in touch with me, asking me a bunch of questions about my current mileage and the like. She took it upon herself to devise a training schedule for me. Without being asked. I have to say, Canadians are possibly THE nicest people on the planet. No joke. Thanks SO much, Coach Lily!

I’m REALLY excited about the prospect of training for and running a half marathon. However, considering the cons, I want to go into this with a conservative outlook. I will not be signing up for the race until mid-July to give myself time to adjust to the training and see if this is something that my body can handle. If it will, then I’ll find a way to deal with the scheduling nightmare that is August.

I’m also determined to go into the race with very minimal expectations. Basically, I just want to finish, preferably injury-free. In an ideal world, I’d come in under 2:30:00, but this isn’t Utopia and I’m not a miracle worker. This race, if I run it, will be to get my feet wet, so to speak, in longer distance running. I’ll save time goals for the Reading half marathon in March.

All right, now that I’ve lowered the bar so much a mouse couldn’t even limbo under it, let’s talk about how much fun I’m going to have bitching about my training runs and how much you all are just going to looooove reading about it. Hoo boy, it’s going to be a whole lotta fun! Dontcha think? Anyone? *crickets* Bueller?

Tag, you’re it!
The Laminator has tagged me. I thought I was going to luck out of this, but I guess not. Here goes:

Here are the rules:
Each player answers the 5 questions on their own blog. At the end of your post you tag 5 other people and post their names. Go to their blogs and leave a comment telling them they've been tagged and to look at your blog for details. When they've answered the questions on their own blog, they come back to yours to tell you.
I’m going to defy the rules and issue only one Coach Lily. Come on, you know you want to. ;)

1. How would you describe your running 10 years ago?
Non-existent. I was turned off of running my freshman year in high school when I joined the track and field team (I did two field events) and the devil-coach made me run 2 miles on the first day of practice. I hated every bloody second of it. It would take the passing of thirteen years before I considered trying it again.

2. What is your best and worst race experience?
Worst: I don’t really have a worst. They’ve all been pretty good so far. Give me time, though. I’m sure that will change.
Best: Blenheim 7K. It was my first race, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. It was a frickin’ hilly course which I wasn’t well prepared for, but I promised myself I’d run the entire distance and I did. Crossing the finish line felt utterly amazing.

3. What is the best or worst piece of advice you've been given about running?
Worst: Following a beginning runner’s program that had me running 5 days a week. I nearly put my legs out of commission within the first three weeks of my running career.
Best: I’m going to have to agree with Lam—Listen to your body.

4. Why do you run?
I started because I was looking for a cheap form of exercise (another illusion shattered). I continue to run because I love the feeling of accomplishment I get every time I lace up my shoes and hit the trail.

5. Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know.
I’m half Greek. My father immigrated to the states in the early 70s. He looks like a shorter, six-months pregnant version of Saddam Hussein. Needless to say, I look nothing like him, but my mother assures me I am in fact his daughter and not a by-blow of the milk man. If you want to know what my life was like growing up, watch the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. My dad didn’t have an obsession with etymology or Windex, but he did extol the virtues of Pericles to me every now and then once I had decided on a career in archaeology.

Buon weekend, everyone.

Italian Phrases of the Day
#75 and 74 from the AFI movie quotes list:

Sono dipesa dalla gentilezza dell’estranei.
‘I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.’ (A Streetcar Named Desire, 1951)

Dimenticalo, Jake, c’è Cina-città.
‘Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown,’ (Chinatown, 1974)

*Note: Pazza (‘crazy’) is the feminine form of the adjective. The masculine is pazzo.


Lily on the Road said...

Ha, between you and Kim tagging me, I suppose I'll have to fess up and put it down in writing over the weekend!!

Happy training and bitching, they DO go hand in hand!!! LMAO!!

chia said...

If my fat ass can do it in 10, you can rock that race in 12!

Ted said...

No question that you will rock for the half marathon. Imagine, my wife has not train nothing for the half marathon. She completed the half marathon in 3 hr 20 minutes. She did by mostly 90% walking and 10% running. I am putting the money on the table that you will do it under 2 hr 30 min.

Jamie said...

You can do it! 12 weeks is plenty of time to train for a half - no worries.

Nitmos said...

You already have a good foundation from which to work and that is really the hardest thing to establish. Adding miles is easier than transitioning from "non-runner" to "runner". Sounds like you got a good plan. Go for it!

Viper said...

12 weeks is plenty of time. I got ready in six weeks for my last half marathon. (Pats self on back.) Stick to your plan and rock it! Good luck.

Marcy said...

Ooooo girl you SOOOO can do it!! You've got a great attitude going (as far as expectations, training, etc) there is NO reason why you couldn't do it ;D ;D Whoot!

P.O.M. said...

You can TOTALLY do it in 12 weeks! Just add a mile from your 6 each weekend. Then taper a week. You'll be golden.

Viv said...

i think you totally got in 12, but i am a total newbie. i just was impressed that I know shit in italian. i guess since it is so simialr to shit in spanish. LOL!

The Laminator said...

Good job, Xenia. Enjoyed your answers to the quiz. I think it's awesome that you decided to train for a half-marathon. I think 12 weeks is plenty of time to train well for it. Can't wait to hear your training stories.

Laura said...

I think you definitely have time to train for the half. Good luck!