I have all these little nubbins of blog posts sitting in my drafts right now. Half-finished thoughts, half-baked ideas. This is what’s killed every other blog I’ve ever had; those bits sit there, waiting for inspiration that never comes, and eventually I just leave it. But not this time, nosiree. This blog gets the nubbins.
It’s been a weird week. We didn’t get the house we offered on. We decided not to offer on another because it felt like a rebound house. On any given day I waver between “The perfect house will come” and “We might as well just rent this apartment forever.” This was all more fun when I watched it on House Hunters.
Last weekend, I biked across the Golden Gate Bridge, which was one of the goals I set out when I first got my bike. Every time I’d mention that to cycling friends, they’d tell me that it was absolutely something I could do and I’d be so happy to get to ride all the beautiful miles of road in Marin … and then mention that it was crowded and windy and that going around the parts where the sidewalk juts out to accommodate the bridge towers was some of the most frightening riding they’d ever done. I’d pretend to only hear the first part of their sentences.
So we planned this ride that involved crossing the bridge, and all was well on the approach, until I came up on this girl and her (grand?)father on a tandem. The kid was in front. Who lets a 9-year-old steer a tandem bike across a narrow sidewalk over a damn body of water? So I waited to let them get sufficiently ahead, and in doing so got passed by a big group of foreign students, their matching backpack tags blowing in the wind.
And then I finally started riding. Or, coasting, more like, one foot unclipped at all times. I actually hopped off at the first tower because the guy in front of me suddenly braked and threw both of his feet out to the sides of his bike and I really wasn’t sure what was going to happen next. And the towers were made all the scarier by the big groups that would stop there to take pictures, making an already narrow path about 1/3 its normal width.
My first mile of the bridge took more than 10 minutes. When I ran across the bridge in the SF Half two weekends ago, all of the miles started with a 9.
On the way back, it wasn’t so bad; the crowds were mostly our fault anyway for leaving mid-morning when all the bike rental places were open, and most of the out-of-towners seem to take ferries back to the city. But without trying to predict the actions of 70+ people, I had more time to focus on how scary the actual bridge was. Maybe on a sunny, non-windy day, it wouldn’t be so bad, but I think I’ve experienced about six of those on the bridge in six years in San Francisco.
So yeah. I’m glad I did it, I’m glad I can do it, but the next time I want to ride up north, I’m fine driving across the bridge first.
I’ve been watching a lot of the Olympics, and my new favorite Olympian is the teeny tiny platform diver Katie Bell. The minute NBC showed her rocking out with her giant headphones between dives, I was a fan. And I love the way she counts off like a dancer — “five, six, seven, eight!” — before she dives.
But my favorite thing about Katie Bell is her mantra. Right before she walks out to the edge of the platform, she gets this tough little half-smirk on her face and says, “I own this shit.”
I’ve never been big on mantras. I can’t take myself seriously when I use them. I’m not the best at positive self-talk anyway — something I should really get better at for a whole host of reasons — and it’s easy for me to whine right back at myself when I try to say something cheery during a tough workout.
But I feel like Katie Bell has figured out something about mantras for sassy ladies, and I loved watching her stride out onto the edge of that three-story building she was about to throw herself off of and say it every. single. time.
I’m halfway through Berlin training. This weekend I’m going to run 16 miles, which is the longest I’ve ever run in my life. I’m thrilled and terrified. My IT band is still acting like it’s going to freak out at any second but feels fine while I run, so I’m icing and rolling and crossing my fingers. And also digging those fingers into the knot right above my knee at any available opportunity, which might be helping or might not be. I can’t really tell.
My other big problem is my stomach. This is not exactly a new problem; for years, I thought it was the major reason I could never run a marathon, because I struggled to eat anything at all before or during a run. I figured out a combination of food and timing that worked well when I was training for my first half, though, and things have been relatively stable since then.
And things still are stable on long runs. It’s the mid-length weekday runs that are killing me. I can eat and drink appropriately for a 14-mile run but not for a pre-work 7-miler. I’m actually starting to suspect it’s a hydration issue; for long runs, I usually drink water (sometimes with Nuun, sometimes not) half an hour before I go, because I figure it’ll settle in the time it takes me to sunscreen up/download podcasts/walk around the block to warm up. For my weekday runs, I’m trying to get out of the house as quickly as possible, and I typically drink nothing before I go. Which is probably all kinds of stupid. So I’m going to try to change that, even if it means I keep a water bottle by my bed and sip out of it between snoozes. (Potentially reducing the number of those snoozes would be a not entirely undesirable side effect.)
To the person who found this blog looking for “pigeons racing Berlin 2012,” um. I hope you found what you were looking for, and I really hope it wasn’t the Berlin Marathon.