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Before & After the Napa Marathon

Lost in my Napa Marathon recap was all the fun details from before the race!

The week before, I tapered hardcore, with 23 miles total Monday-through-Saturday before the race.

In some sense it was the easiest its ever been to chain myself back from tying on my shoes for long morning runs because it was a highly busy and stressful work week.

On the other hand, the more stressed I am, the more I need running to save my churning brain--burn off some of that stress that wakes me up at 4:00 a.m. with urgent thoughts about the case(s) that fill my work day.

So taper week had me feeling uncomfortable and out of my element.  I didn't have my normal crutch to turn to when feeling stressed.

I was so relieved when marathon weekend arrived, because it was a release for my mind from the office.  An indulgent weekend.  26+ miles on a beautiful Napa road sounded like bliss.

Saturday morning before the race, I woke up for a 2 mile "shake out" run.  Not sure I believe in the shake out run.  Do you?  I think next marathon, I might take the day before off entirely.

Anyway, turns out the two mile run was the most eventful run I've been on all year.  Because? I had front row seats to a woman in a public park getting pleasured by a fellow.

SORRY for that mental image, but since I have it burned in my brain, so must you.  Public park, and no less, a public park that is WITHIN EYESIGHT of Oakland's "Children's Fairyland."  On a Saturday, at 10:00 a.m.  I was definitely not the only witness.  They were just lying in the open grass! What drugs make you THAT brave? yuuuck.

After running for a total of 16 minutes (such a tease), I jumped in the car with Jessica, who would be my housemate for the weekend in Napa while she ran her casual 26.2 miles as an easy prep to the million ultras she's been running in the trails.  So casual, in fact, that she went Portlandia for her race outfit.

Jessica, too cute

Okay, Portlandia was just her throwaway clothes.  That's an old shirt of mine, by the way, I didn't tell her and instead let her think it was from my mom's giveaway stash ;)


Ah darn, I miss the blonde hair.  And that shirt! Maybe.

Nobody told us it would be so warm in the morning that we wouldn't need throwaway clothes.

Back to Saturday before the race.  We went to the expo, drank some free wine, and I learned a lesson to never expect that a race expo will be selling Honey Stinger gels.  I assumed I could buy some there, and have been strongly preferring the honey flavored Stinger gels to Gu brand (both in taste and how my stomach reacts to it).  I hunted all over Napa and never found any.  Gu it would have to be.  (p.s. check out this Honey Stinger sale, I will be buying some even though they don't have the gel I like on sale.)

After the expo, I hung out with the one, the only, niece Gemma the Great, who wore me out with games and dancing so much that my legs were tired and could only muster a 3:09 marathon the next day (you got that Gemma, I blaming YOU.  Worth it 10000%).

She's my mischievous best friend

Other exciting events related to being totally unprepared for something I have known about for months (not buying Honey Stingers, doing lunges with a 19 month old in my arms the day before), I didn't have any safety pins for my bib.  Realizing this the morning of the race, and learning my parents keep zero safety pins in their home, my dad brilliantly decided at 5:45 in the a.m. to staple the bib to my shirt.  It did the trick! A real MacGuyver my dad is!

The stapling of the bib looks professional, right?  like a professional kindergartner

Did I ever tell you how lonely this race was? Thanks to Will for the pictures!

The week afterwards.

My left calf, that had cramped during the race (and often cramps with this leg-lock sensation), was extremely sore for maybe 30 hours after the marathon.  I was limping on the thing.  Then it healed super fast, and I was left by Tuesday walking normally, just a some expected soreness in the quads.

By Thursday I ran 6 slow miles (mmmm, 10:00 minute miles never felt so right), by Friday I ran another 6 miles at a nice 8:40 pace, and by Saturday it was game on, and I ran a F.U.N. 13.1 miles with a couple girls you probably know from blog land, but that will be its own post as soon as my fingers can spit out the words.

I attribute not being deathly sore after the marathon to one thing: not taking a hot bath.  I always go for the hot bath, despite the warning not to, because basically if you warn me not to do something I will probably do it.  I didn't have the patience for a bath this time because I wanted to get the day on the road, and wise move.  I think baths were enhancing my post-marathon soreness in the past.

Another busy work week, another week of hardly any miles, topped off with some much needed relaxation outdoors with the Gentleman (who has also been swamped with work) in Olompali park in Novato.

Now I know that the backpack I was given at the Napa Marathon expo sucks balls as a hiking backpack.  Do. not. try.
Our relaxing hike included a dynamic conversation about where North Korea psychos will attack when they have the capability, and we settled on San Francisco.  Sooo, that sucks.  Fingers crossed Dennis Rodman is actually a double agent who is teaching all North Korean physicists the wrong periodic chart...