Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

Mapping the world, one waxy strand at a time…

Running: The Wonder Drug

Plan C fell by the wayside yesterday when I returned to the gym to discover that not only were all the treadmills in use, but there weren’t even any spots in the parking lot! Silly people, sticking to their New Years Resolutions this year…

So, I came home and Brent and I spent the afternoon of our third anniversary (of dating) reconfiguring the dining room. The best addition to the space – our brand new wedding terrarium. Instead of a sign-in book at our wedding, we had all of the guests leave us messages on river rocks. Our intention has been to build a pond in the backyard and put the smooth stones in the water, but we haven’t gotten around to that yet. Instead, they’ve been gathering dust in a big vase for more than a year and a half. The rocks gained a neighbor on their windowsill perch last summer, when my parents – preparing to move – were cleaning out their home of 18 years. My mom came across a gigantic green glass terrarium that she had kept from the year she spent taking a break from working as a therapist to get a degree in horticulture. She decided that we HAD to take it; at some point, she assured us, we’d find a use for it.

Yesterday, Brent and I decided to fill the base of the terrarium with leftover sand from a backyard patio project, and sprinkle the rocks atop. Then, in a move of tacky brilliance, I suggested that we place our faux-cake topper in the center and surround it with the stones. As a wedding present, Brent’s aunt made homemade rum cakes of varying flavors for all of 250 of our guests (25 cakes in all), so we never had a cake-cutting ceremony. A few weeks before the big day, however, Brent’s colleagues surprised us with a mini two-tiered wedding cake, complete with a statuette of a bride pulling her panicked groom to the aisle. We embraced the kitsch and have displayed the figurine proudly ever since. It was the perfect finishing touch for our wedding terrarium.


When I woke up this morning, my cold had moved into my lungs and I sounded like an emphysemic smoker every time I coughed. Still, I was determined to get in my 12 miles. I headed to the gym, arriving half an hour into Legally Blond 2 on TBS. I amended yesterday’s plan, foregoing all of the channel changing for a chance to watch the effervescent Elle Woods take on Washington in an effort to pass a ban in animal testing.

I mean, how can you not feel inspired by the remixed Star Spangled Banner playing over images of the Million Dog March? The effort it took to run 12 miles paled in comparison to her drive to change the hearts and minds of the nation’s political powerbrokers.

Well, it was a good distraction, at least.

The miles passed relatively comfortably and I finished my twelve with little fanfare. The only catch – I forgot my mint chocolate gu (and the one I left in the water bottle holder yesterday had mysteriously disappeared). I thought I’d be able to grab a bottle of gatorade from the vending machine in the basement, but all they had was orange juice and mountain dew. So I stuck to the water fountains, but definitely felt my energy waning over the last mile and a half.

This is the part of the early marathon training plan that always makes me anxious. As I was counting down the final tenths of a mile, it dawned on me that if I were racing today, I wouldn’t have even reached the halfway point. And while I wasn’t completely spent, I certainly didn’t have another 14.2 miles in me. I know I’ll get there by May 3, but I find it a little bit disheartening to finish a long run only to realize how much further you have to go.

Rather than dwelling on it, I came home, grabbed some yogurt and a challah roll from a local baker, and stretched for a few minutes before trading my road shoes for trail shoes and heading out the door for a short orienteering training session/trail run.

I ran and hiked around in the woods for an hour, enjoying the scenery and loving the brief reprieve from the 25 degree weather. The orienteering was a bit of a bust (largely because I spent the first half looking for the bright orange and white kites that usually mark the checkpoints – I hadn’t realized that they’d been swapped out for white drinking straws flagged with a couples inches of pink ribbon), but it made for a fun afternoon.

And best of all, by the time I made it home, my cough had begun to clear up!

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4 responses to “Running: The Wonder Drug

  1. N.D. February 2, 2009 at 2:19 am

    The terranium looks like a really neat and different thing. That will be great! What a neat idea!! Good job on the run and then going out and doing more! You’re amazing! I do like the mint choc gu – good stuff!!

  2. RunToFinish February 2, 2009 at 3:44 am

    wow what a neat little project!!Ok so I totally watched some of Elle Woods today before I ran! Too funny…seriously dumb movies suck me in.agreed that these inital runs where I’m tired and sore make me nervous…but now i’m going to sleep and visiualize effortlessly running 26.2 🙂

  3. Laurel February 2, 2009 at 3:55 am

    I love the idea of having the guests sign the river rocks. That will be so cool if you ever build the pond. For now it looks great in the terranium.Great job on the run, especially on the mill.

  4. Kim February 2, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    I’m sorry…what did you say after homemade rum cake??

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