Birthdays, peaks, rest and races

  • This was printed on my birthday in October of 2013 in The Madera Tribune, a newspaper in Madera, California. This was the 23rd installment of my weekly column, Mind Over Miles.

Today I’m another year older, but from a running standpoint I’m still in

the same age bracket that I was in yesterday, whether the race breaks

it down to 20-29 years or 25-29.

There’s nothing special about this birthday, except for the coincidental

fact that I’ll be 26 and two weeks (and three days) old when I run my

second 26.2.

And let me tell you, Nov. 3 can not come soon enough.

I’m getting antsy and tired as I reach the peak in my Two Cities

Marathon training. Saturday will be my longest training run — 20 miles

— before I taper down to rest my legs before the big show.

This point in training was hard the first time around, before the Santa

Rosa Marathon, and it’s not any easier the second time. In fact, it

might be worse this time because cold and flu season seems to be

peaking along with my weekly mileage. A runner’s immune system

takes a dip as mileage increases. Combine that with a lack of sleep

during a busy time of year, and a bunch of viruses floating around, and

you have a recipe for disaster.

I need rest.

But as any mom will tell you, resting is easier said than done. I have

Pinterest-worthy Halloween costumes to make, delicious Instagram-

worthy dinners to cook, rooms to clean, play dates to attend, columns

to write, news stories to edit, groceries to shop for, books to read,

baths to give… and that’s just an eighth of my to-do list.

I’m just not the resting type. I’m the multitasker, the neat freak, the

OCD chick, the do-it-all Supermom. I haven’t yet learned — and

maybe I never will — how to let go and rely on anyone but myself.

Sometimes I wake up at 4:25 a.m. on “run days” and I’m so tired I

want to turn off my alarm and hide under the covers. I go as far as

thinking up excuses I could text to my running buddies as to why I

couldn’t make it out that morning…then I get my lazy butt up.

On those days I have to hustle to throw on my running gear, watch

and shoes to make up for the time I lost being wishy-washy in my


I’m proud to say I’ve never actually stayed in bed and texted excuses

to my running family. For one, I wouldn’t be able to check the run off

my to-do list for that day — and heaven forbid I skip something on my


Secondly, running gives me a rest of a different kind — a mental

break. I can listen to others or listen to nothing. I can listen to the

cadence of footfalls on the pavement. I can listen to the rhythm of my

breathing. I can zone out. For an hour (or three) out of my day, I can

forget my to-do lists and focus on the task at hand — preparing my

body for the marathon.

For some last-minute speed work, I’ve made plans to race a 5K here in

Madera  the weekend prior to the Two Cities Marathon.

I’ll be at the Run For Your Life 5K at Home Grown Cellars, 13702 Road

20, on Saturday, Oct. 26 to kick off the Madera Pomegranate Festival.

Information and registration forms can be found


Upon the request of the race’s organizers, Alex and Jackie Lehman, my

running buddy Audrey and I ran the course last week, equipped with

our GPS watches, to ensure it is a full 3.1 miles. (My Nike+ watch

showed 3.09 miles once we hit the finish line, and Audrey’s Garmin

watch marked 3.11.)

I hope to see you out there!


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