Friday, February 21, 2014

Relay on My Mind

Here we go again. Spring is rolling around and it's time to sign up for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon Relay. As I pointed out in my post Hammer Time last year, in case the italics isn't adequate enough to bring attention to the word 'relay,' I'll just go ahead and iterate it here with its own special statement: we are merely running the relay. I say this because each of the last two years some friend who reads this and obviously believes the best in me says in deep reverence, "Wow! You're running a marathon!" No, friends, no. I run marathons in my dreams; I run marathon relays in real life. I very much love this event and feel that little else brings the city together as much as this annual run seems to do. In remembrance of the 168, we gather together to run our hearts out and we are supported by miles of sideline spectators who do their best to amuse and love us. The high-fivers and sign-holders, both motivational ("You can do it!") and hilarious ("Don't look now, but there's a zombie behind you!", "Shut up, legs!", and "Smile if you're not wearing underwear!") are my favorites. BJ's all-time favorite supporter was an older gentleman reclining in a lawn chair in his yard in an historic neighborhood, clad in a suit and fancy hat while smoking a cigar and sipping a martini. Apart from the amazing support, there is so much motivation to meet one's goals in light of the reason for the race in the first place--the tragedy that took beloved members of our city from us. Last year I chose an angel from the 168 as well as one of my family members to dedicate my race to, and this year I have done the same. I like to keep those kinds of things just between myself and my angel until the race is over though. Here is a photo of my last year's angel, Anthony Cooper, age 2. I also dedicated the race to Silas, who was Anthony's age at the time.

This training season I once again find myself in a postpartum situation, which I seem to be in frequently these days; consequently, my training is stop-and-go depending on how I'm feeling and how much sleep I'm getting. I can hardly seem to make myself get going when I've only had five hours of sleep, and yet two years ago I had no choice because George went on a growth spurt and requested my presence frequently for nighttime feedings during the week leading up the run. Maybe this year will be my last year to run tired. I have committed to running a 10K leg of the relay, which consists of five legs totaling 26.2 miles. The fifth leg of the team remains undecided, but so far I have finagled BJ (always a member), my sister Christa, and my brother-in-law Dave into participating. It should be pretty great. As is the case with every year, I'm getting very little help with deciding a team name and so I threatened my teammates with an obscure Saved By the Bell reference if they didn't help me choose something better. I did the same by threatening "Hammer Time" last year, but was bitten in the ass by that when two of my teammates loved my threatened name and the other two were mortified but not enough to help me choose an alternative, so Hammer Time it was. Now, of course, two of my teammates love the threatened name "The Zack Attack," and voted for it instead of my other ideas (Pumped Up Kicks, Scrantonicity, Sisters & Brothers, The Alternates...). Feel free to weigh in.

Aside from naming the team, I remind myself that I need to get my butt in gear and actually go running. Has anyone else mentioned how hard it is to run when you have three small children and no time? Seriously, the ONLY time I have to run is in the dark, either early in the morning or late at night. I no longer have my 90-pound lab Tex to run with since he lives with my parents, and Chanda moved seven miles away (oh, how I miss her!), so I'm left with the choices of 1. running at a nearby park with a can of mace to deter possible psychos and 2. running around my cul-de-sac over and over and over again. I choose the latter. Hence, my training runs are circling the same six houses at this point until the sun comes out for longer or time somehow becomes available during the day. Could be worse. I'm also in the process of reading The Runner's Handbook, which I am hoping will educate and motivate me. It seems to be doing its job so far! At this point I'm fairly comfortable running about a mile and a half, but I have a lot of work to accomplish in ten weeks. I'll keep you updated!

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