Respect The Specs.

Hello world. It's Annika Ruth reporting in. Sorry I've been MIA but I spent the last week jet setting.
6 flights in 7 days, two train rides, 2 airport shuttles and 4 car rides.
Post marathon day one: My Mom couldn't keep up. The tail of my backpack was the only chance she had to remain in my zip code.
At the end of a long journey I was at Grandmother's at last.
Don't worry I had a little fun along the way at the Chicago Children's Museum.
What fun! Dolls and Dogs!
We celebrated Grandma's birthday. I ate all the raspberries from the cake. I am certain Grandpa baked the cake himself. Yummy!
As for the marathon ....The above picture is how not to pace yourself. Miles 22-26 fell off the page. Oh darn. Well, no need to obtain a perfect picture. A final time of 3:38 equals a 17 minute positive split. Anyone who knows anything about marathon-ing knows that an even split or a negative split is a race well executed.
My Dad says my Mom just started out too fast and crumpled but my Mom swears on a stack of pacifiers that it wasn't going out too fast that caused the crumpling. Yeah, she would have paid up to some degree but it was the dowhill running in the first few miles and at mile 15. Seriously, her quads started cramping at the base of mile 2. She hoped it was lucky marathon number 7 or that she had the luck of the Irish and things would settle but the cramping just got worse.
My Mom does a lot of math when she is racing. She tried to do the math regarding how long it has been since she ran downhill fast. At least 2 years. Eccentric contraction is great for strengthening the quads but since we have been running together she relies on the hand brake of the stroller while going downhill instead of her quads that's probably a good thing for me. Despite increased run volume, the resistance of the stroller, and a happy accident of  weight loss (that a chart in Runner's World claimed would result in a 6 minute time improvement) her time was only one minute faster than the last go round.  No skiing, little cycling, and no downhill running resulted in some pretty unprepared quads. New M.O.  Respect the Specs.  Funny, I specifically remember listening to a podcast with Deena Castor talking about how she added some more downhill running to her prep. I remember my Mom smiling and turning off her I pod as we arrived at story hour. She was thinking downhills are where I run best. I don't need to worry about that.
She's deeming this experience a quad -atrophy catastrophe.  She says the only thing comparable to the pain in her quads was giving birth. Oh! An epidural for the quads so would have helped.'s never available when you need it most. The only thing she executed well that day was the ability to disassociate from pain and keep running. Highlights of the race had to be holding out her water bottle after the painful mile 15 descent and having filled with pretzels. Mile 21 sticking her hand out for a cup, hearing cheering upon grabbing it, and swigging a mouthful of beer. Spitting it out because she gave up alcohol for lent, thinking maybe I shouldn't have spit it.Might have done some good.
 Don't get me wrong, minus the quad atrophy catastrophe, she really loved running the closed off streets of LA. No intersections to worry about and no stroller to push. Crowds to cheer and tunes to groove to was awesome. Heaven for a person who loves to run. In all fairness the City of LA put on a good show with the marathon and accommodated the 30,000 participants well. Finishing on Ocean blvd close to the pier is awesome.  Things could always be worse. The execution of the race is not something my Mom is happy about, but the current execution of her life is. So be it. The heart that wanted to run faster is healed. Heal the heart and the quads will follow. Right ??? Please?? Ok, getting better day by day.
There will be obstacles.
There will be doubters.
There will be mistakes.
But with hard work, there are no limits
Seemingly fitting after the race the above photo and caption was posted on Facebook by 1<3 p="">


Laura said...

Now that I came here and blog-stalked you, I have to say, I think you should get marathon revenge by coming and running the Madison Marathon. Rumor is you guys are coming to be midwesterners again soon. :) Nov 10th :) We don't have a guest room, but we do have a nice living room for crashing in. And I might also just really want to meet Annika

Laura said...

Realized I have no last name on blogspot. That would be, Tim's cousin Laura. :)