At lunch yesterday, Tina (or maybe Abigail) asked about the race plan for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler tomorrow. A race plan is still a novel concept for me – actually thinking through the race before it happens, rather than just getting out there and hoping to survive. As a race plan novice, this is the best I’ve managed:
- On Friday – two days til the race – think about starting the day with a slow, easy run, but instead get the deepest, longest night’s sleep in weeks, and spend the afternoon walking and talking with a good friend.
- Spend more time than is really logical debating whether I can go to a Depeche Mode dance night at the Cat and still be up for a 730am race. (No.) (What are you thinking?!) (But 3 weeks ago I pulled off dancing til 2am followed by a 9 mile run!) (But that run was in the afternoon, and you were reasonably well rested before!) (But the last dance night at the Cat was amazing!) (But you still have to be up at 530 in the damned morning.)
- Eat other people’s fried food and drink plenty of beer (carbs = fuel!).
- On Saturday, HYDRATE. This is important as race prep and because of the previous step.
- A lot of stretching so that I don’t feel like I’ve broken my butt immediately post-race.
- Avoid weird foods if possible as the actual race plan doesn’t involve any stopping at on-course port-a-potties.
- A solid night’s sleep if such a thing is possible, despite my burning desire to go to the Depeche Mode night.
- Awake by 5:30 in hopes of fitting in coffee, something small to eat, and the all-important pre-race poop. Seriously, you’ll rue the day you skip that step.
- Lube up any part that might chafe. You’ll also rue skipping this step.
- Kit up: my second pair of Kinvaras in the last year, science pants, sleeveless top, toss top for starting line warmth. Bandana because my hair seriously will not stay out of my face. In the pocket of my top: phone, ipod, ID, gel. No Mr. Pickle, alas.
- Head down to the Mall, where Tina and Abigail and I will line up with whatever damn wave we please.
- Feel inadequate as we round the first curve and see the elite women already four miles into the race.
- Pace at a 9 minute mile. I’ve been doing 9:15 in hilly-ass Ann Arbor, so I think this is possible.
- Get choked up running back across the Memorial Bridge as the sun comes out.
- No water before mile 4. First gel around mile 5.
- Stop for beer and Oreos at the tip of Hains Point if such things are on offer this year.
- Don’t save anything for the way back. Regret it on that last little incline.
- Hope for a space blanket or at least a banana at the finish line.
- Find Tina and Abigail. Smile big!
- Eat all the food
In the next three hours, I’ll leave Ann Arbor for good. Yesterday I felt ready, but today, now that the departure is actually imminent, now that I have a time when I need to be on the road, I’m fighting it.
In an effort to avoid work and the storm last night, I spent some time reading old entries in my LiveJournal, and in doing so, came across excerpts from Susan Minot’s Evening, a book that I’d all but forgotten reading. The really breathtaking parts are in the original entry, but the following resonated with me as much now as it did when I first read it eight years ago:
“Later her life would be full of things, full of houses and children and trips to the sea and husbands and hats with brims and dogs catching sticks and tables to set and lists to cross off and she would have left singing behind and the stars would never look this way again, they would be further away but at odd unexpected moments something of the stars might strike her and it would be as if someone had branded her forehead with a hot iron. She could not name it, the thing hitting her for an instant, and would not recall what had once been in her head at another time with other stars, but she would have the sense that she’d lost something and not know what it was and not want to find out. She sensed it might be too great to bear.”
I can’t believe that it took me 2.5 years to go to the Arb. Frankly, I’m disappointed in myself.
I have two weeks left in Ann Arbor. Two weeks from today, I should be in Chicago, and a week after that, I’ll be getting ready to start my new job. I asked the internets for recommendations for my last two weeks here, and they responded in great force. I can’t obviously accomplish all of these things in two weeks, but it’s good to have a place to start.
- Filmfest, foolmoon, festifools
- Get into that little playground on the roof of the old Mott Children’s Hospital.
- Coconut cream batido from frita batidos
- Frita batidos, Sunday brunch at Aut bar
- Canoe the Huron (if they’re open?) If not open or too cold, go to the DIA. That never gets old.
- Dunny purchase from Vault of Midnight. Go see Lewis the orange tabby cat at Downtown Home and Garden. Go to Ashleys for beer on the busiest night, take $20 and play the same song (bad or good) over and over again on the internet juke box. Walk in Gallup Park.
- If the weather is right & you still have your bike, you can take the b2b trail to downtown Ypsilanti.
- Run through the Arb, brunch at Eastern Market, good beer at Jolly Pumpkin and then a bad beer over at the Eightball and definitely go visit Lewis!
- Happy Endings at Berkley Front over City Club this Friday.
This is in addition to the list that Shana and I have been compiling:
- Bell’s bi bim bap with Amanda
- Nachos somewhere with Shana and Javan
- Night out in Detroit with housemates
- Biscuits and chocolate-bacon gravy at the Roadhouse (post-race brunch of dreams
- Brunch at Raven’s Club
- One last bakefest (Oreos!)
- Another Knights of the West Side
Already checked off the list in the last few weeks are:
- Afternoon Delight, which is hands’ down my favorite breakfast place in town.
- Taco Tuesday at Sabor Latino
- Donuts and/or ice cream from Washtenaw Dairy, which has the best donuts on the planet.
- Plastic Passion at Necto
- My first and only visit to the Arb
- A very long walk along Huron River Drive
- Treasure Mart
What am I missing?
“You are magnificent beings, in the perfect place at the perfect time, unfolding perfectly, never getting it done, and never getting it wrong. Be more playful about all of it. ‘Today, no matter where I’m going, no matter what I am doing, and no matter who I’m doing it with — it is my dominant intent to look for that which I’m wanting to see. I’m wanting to find thoughts and words and actions that feel good while I’m finding them. For in doing so, I am, in the moment, practicing the art of allowing all that I’ve been telling the Universe I’m wanting, for all of the days of my existence.’ ” Abraham-Hicks
Here’s what I’ve realized, and what I told Shana earlier:
When we were small, we were told we could have it all. And then at some point we came to believe that we couldn’t. Or someone told us that we couldn’t. Or we tried to have it all and it was too hard.
The fallacy doesn’t lie in believing that we can have it all. The fallacy lies in believing that having it all will be easy. Or that it is without opportunity costs. Or that having it all means the same thing for everyone.