Beth Runs!

After sitting on my butt all winter, knitting and watching Craig Ferguson into the wee hours, it's time to get up, get out, and move!!!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Streaking in my Sleep, a.k.a. Insomnia

During the last meditation retreat, in response to my comment that I never get enough sleep, Mark said the only way I'd get to sleep would be to make it into a project with spreadsheets and blog about it. Well, I'm not ready to go that far. But I will devote 1 post to the subject of sleep because it's so important to good athletic performance, and it's one thing that continues to elude me.

I took a chance a few weeks ago and purchased Steven Gurgevich's "Sleepytime Hypnosis" CD. Combined with a Radio Shack pillow speaker, it works great once I'm in bed ready to fall asleep. Gurgevich's soothing drone knocks me out in about 5 minutes. I still haven't found out what's on the rest of the CD.

But my biggest problem is getting to bed in the first place (where the hypnosis CD and pillow speaker can do their job.) Going to bed feels like giving up another day of my life. Not that I was doing anything all that important with it at 2a.m. (unless you consider Spider Solitaire and episodes of "30 Rock" important.) Still, it's hard to let it go.

Sleeping pills help get me to bed, but they leave me groggy and unmotivated the next day. And alcohol? Forget it! I might fall asleep, but then wake up 2 hours later tossing and turning and worrying about my next run.

Which is what happened last night. Restless legs. Churning stomach. How am I going to beat my 5K PR next Sunday? How am I going to to make it up the Hayes Street Hill in May? Got to get to the front of the line! Can't be late! Got to plan my strategy! And what's wrong with these freaking covers twisted around my legs like Octopus tentacles?!?!? Aaaaahhhhhh!!!!!

All I have to do is one mile today (yesterday I completed Week 2 of my Running Streak, by the way) and all I want to do is go back to bed. Why is it so much easier to sleep during the day? (Is it because when I wake up it'll still be the same day? Is it because during the day everyone else is up making sure the earth spins on its axis so I don't have to? Is it some kind of teenage-rebellion driving me to do the opposite of what I'm supposed to?)

Maybe I'll add a column on my training log to keep track of sleep. Or maybe I'll just add it to my list of worries to keep me up tonight.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Streaking in Hawaii

On the way back from the marathon to the hotel, I mumble something like, "Whatever will I do next?" Without missing a beat, Fran says, "Color the void!" We all laughed and felt warm and fuzzy for a few minutes.

So I've been thinking about resolutions and plans for 2007. Yes, I've completed a marathon. But was I prepared for it? Not really. Each long run took so much out of me that I missed quite a few training days afterwards. So this year, instead of focusing on endurance, I'm going to get down to the basics of running and work on form and and consistency.

To that end, I plan to join the United States Running Streak Association. To be a Premier Member, one must have run at least 1 mile in every calendar day for a year. I started my streak on Monday, January 15, along the Ala Wai Canal in Waikiki and have kept it up for 6 days. Today will make 1 week!

Another goal for this year is to get more involved with the Dolphin South End Runners in San Francisco. I joined up last year after their Walt Stack 10K race but then never participated in another DSE event. This year, I'd like to run and volunteer enough to earn a small Mongo Trophy. The requirements are: 250 miles run/walked, and participation in at least 10 DSE runs (at least one point must be from volunteering)

So far on the schedule of races for this year are the Kaiser Permanente SF 5K on February 4, The SF Bay to Breakers (12K) on May 20, and the Disneyland Half Marathon on September 3. My friend, David Richardson, has signed up to do that one too. So I really need to work on my speed if I'm going to keep up with him!

Well, that's all for now. Gotta go out and streak.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sweat and blisters and Vaseline, oh my!

I'm sitting in a Starbucks in Waikiki finally writing about the race. Thank god for photos because I can barely remember it. Maybe running a marathon is like having a baby. If people remembered the pain, they'd never do it again.

I do remember it was freaking hot and humid. The first 2 hours before the sun came up were the fastest and easiest. I ran, slowly, for the first half. Combined running and walking after that. And pretty much walked the entire last 6 miles in the thick 85 degree heat. Each time I tried to run, I felt like passing out or throwing up.

Because of the sign on my back ("It's my 1st Marathon and my 42nd Birthday TODAY!!!") I had hundreds of friends along the way. So many "Happy Birthdays!" from people passing me (many of whom I passed later on!) A few of my "single-serving friends," as Tyler Durden would call them, ran along with me for part of the way and chatted. A grandfather from Pittsburgh whon looked like a character in "Easy Rider." A 20-something from Wisconsin whose parents had signed her up to take her mind off her imminent wedding. A guy with a 5:30 Goal sign on his back who, like me, was falling further and further behind his target pace.

I remember wanting to stop soooo bad at one point and also wanting to cry because there was no way I was going to stop. Ellen called me around the 22-mile point to find out my progress and all I could say was, "It hurts!"

Still, I noticed that no matter how much I hurt and wanted to quit, the smile never left my face! Talk about your cognitive dissonance. the 2 thoughts, "I hate this!" and "I'm doing it, oh yeah!" jostled together in my brain all the way to the finish.

Notice, I haven't said anything about Disney World itself. What's to say? It was Disney World. It was cheesier than I remembered. The last time I was there, I was seventeen and concerned with looking good for boys and not losing my retainer. This time, I'm 25 pounds heavier, red and sweaty and slathering on vaseline at every opportunity (there were vaseline stations all along the way to prevent "chub rub") and feeling sexier than I ever have in my life! Yeah Ellen, I AM bringing sexy back!

As I neared the finish line, I saw the spectators in the bleachers cheering, I forgot all about the pain and the heat. Adrenaline kicked in, and I took off, running toward the finish line and looking for my sisters. Such relief and excitement, if not actual joy, I have never felt before. As I crossed the finish line, I saw Ellen and Fran. They were crying and hugging each other and holding up their sign. It was a sister bonding moment like no other!

Fran and Ellen put a "Princess For The Day" crown on my head and helped me to the car as I talked to Michael on my cell phone. And they really did let me be Princess for the Day, although I think they got some secret pleasure at my screams as Fran poured 2 garbage cans full of ice on my swollen legs.

After the ice bath, Fran massaged my legs for 2 hours!

I felt so good afterwards, I dragged them out to see "Dream Girls" with me (my third time) and then to Pleasure Island where we danced until the clubs closed at 2am! Forget Justin Timberlake! WE BROUGHT SEXY BACK, BABY! It was lost and now it's found. (You may not have noticed it was gone, but WE will never be the same again!)

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Friday, January 12, 2007

The Best Birthday Ever!!!

I'm going to write all about the marathon and post pictures when I'm not crazily trying to catch up on work before flying off again to Hawaii. For now, I'll just say, it was the best birthday I've ever had even though I was in pain for A LOT of it. Here's a photo of me celebrating with my sisters at 2am that night, which really says it all:


Sunday, January 07, 2007

RUN Alert

ELIZABETH TERRY, 06:09:44@Finish, Pace 14:06.
WALT DISNEY WORLD(R) Marathon - Disney Destinations LLC.


RUN Alert

ELIZABETH TERRY, 04:35:42@20 Mile, Pace 13:47.
WALT DISNEY WORLD(R) Marathon - Disney Destinations LLC.


RUN Alert

ELIZABETH TERRY, 03:00:23@Half, Pace 13:45.
WALT DISNEY WORLD(R) Marathon - Disney Destinations LLC.


RUN Alert

ELIZABETH TERRY, 02:17:58@10 Mile, Pace 13:47.
WALT DISNEY WORLD(R) Marathon - Disney Destinations LLC.


Rule #1: Get in the Porta-Potty line as often as possible

We drove to Epcot and only had to turn around once. (Have I mentioned how #$%&*@ confusing the highways are here?)

Ellen and Fran helped with last minute preparations and showed the first of 3 signs they made to cheer me on!

Then, as John Bingham advises, I got in the porta-potty line again and again until it was time to line up. I need to stay hydrated, but any fluid in my bladder is just going to cause trouble.

Here are a couple of camera-phone videos before the start of the race. During the race, I forgot all about taking pictures, as I was too preoccupied with SURVIVING!


The race before the race

It's 3:52 am and Beth's been up since 3:04. Apperently there was a wake up call to the room but I (Ellen ) didn't hear it. Beth seems to be doing well, eating her oatmeal, mixing her electolite drink and pinning her race number to her chest. She's definitely amped up and excited. Things got a little tense last night at times so we know she's feelin it.

Happy 42nd Birthday and 1st Marathon Big Sister!!! We love you!

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Fran ate all my #$@%&*!%#$ cupcakes!

This morning, there are big chunky crumbs all over th carpet, making it sticky again, and a hole in the box the size of her big mouth! It's to be expected, as we were all raised by the wolves who are currently partying hard with a bunch of Micronesians on their floor in Hawaii.

Yeah, we were up until 5am. It was the war of the iPods. Who had the best, weirdest, or just plain wrongest (yes, that's a word today) music.

Of course, the lightbulb burned out as soon as they got here, and since this room is a FREAKING CAVE, it was just like any club in San Francisco. Except for the mosquitoes and humidity.

Fran gave us Restoril to calm us down, but none of us could get sleepy. So Ellen took more, and I took a couple of Valium, and finally, we fell asleep and slept until 2:30pm. It was an awesome nights, I mean morning's, sleep except for the housekeeper who knocked on the door every 1/2 hour to ask if we needed cleaning. Naturally, this place has no "Do Not Disturb" sign to put on the door, and we were too drugged to get up and make one.

Okay, gotta go. We are finally dressed and ready to leave for "Cirque du Soleil" at 6pm.


(Fran's a brick house.)

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Friday, January 05, 2007

I'm Here! In Orlando! For the Walt Disney World Marathon!

I'm happy. I'm peeved. I'm so excited I could throw up and also so irritated I could throw my laptop through Quality Suites Maingate East's windows and break all of them.

I'm sitting by the hotel pool getting eaten by mosquitoes as I write, as it's the only place in the complex I can get decent wireless internet reception. (And yes, Dad, I'm using Roboform so no one can steal my passwords.) The advertised Internet Cafe just off the main lobby does not exist. Nor do sunlight in my room or clean carpets. Well, okay, the carpet is clean today. They must have sent someone to clean it after I complained about my feet sticking to it last night. Now, it's just wet.

But I'm here! I can't show you any pictures at the moment because my laptop suddenly doesn't want to read my camera card. But I will find a way tomorrow.

(Okay, it's a few days later. Here are photos of the hotel.)

It's 9:43pm Eastern Time. In just over 2 hours Ellen and Fran will be joining me. I called Ellen today. She was already in a bad mood over something that happened at school. We are off to a great start.

Marathoning for MortalsOkay, honestly, we ARE off to a great start. I'd been freaking out for 2 weeks about the weather as I watched the forecasted temperature in Orlando go up, up, and away for Sunday, January 7th. It's hot and humid and kind of stinky here. But my attitude changed this afternoon at the Marathon Expo as I listened to a talk by my hero John Bingham, aka The Penguin, and his wife, Coach Jenny Hadfield, the authors of the book, Marathoning for Mortals upon which I based my training plan.

The title of Bingham's talk was "No Need For Speed." He's a big advocate for the slower runners among us. (His catch-phrase is "Waddle on, friends.") First he asked, "How many of you have a time goal?" A couple of people raised their hands. He responded, "Are you nuts? You paid all this money and went through all this training to come to Disney World, and now you want to get through it as fast as you can? Most people who visit Disney World want to stay all day!" He had a point.

Coach Jenny talked about the the unseasonably high heat and advised as to slow down and drink plenty of fluids so as not to become severely dehydrated and die. She also advised us to eat some salt right before the race and around the 18-mile mark so as not to develop hyponatremia and die.

Afterwards, they stayed to chat with people and sign books. I was so excited to get my book signed, I was practically peeing on myself. Once again, I really had to pee! But I just had to tell them that Sunday is my 42nd birthday and my first marathon and that I couldn't have done it without them! They needed this information! The guy behind me in line was kind enough to take my picture with them, but as I mentioned above, this *#!@$%#^ computer will not read my camera card so I can't post it just yet!

Okay: Here are the pictures:

So here I sit in my room, using a dial-up connection because my computer battery died as I was sitting by the pool and I had to come inside to plug it in. My marathon clothes and gear are all lined up on top of the air conditioner in the bedroom.

I tried to take a nap after the expo today (since I have to leave at 11pm to pick up Ellen and Fran, and who knows how long they'll keep me up tonight). Valium helped me get about an hour of uninterrupted sleep, but then my cell phone woke me up. After that I had about another 2 hours of fitful, mind-racing madness until I gave up. I never get enough sleep on most ordinary days. Why should marathon weekend be any different?

At any moment I could burst into tears.

Okay, I just did.

Here are some things to know:

The marathon starts at 6am Eastern time. If you would like to track my progress during the marathon, you can sign up at Live Results to have an e-mail or a text message sent to you as I cross the mats at miles 5, 10, 13.1, 20, and finish line.

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