Monday, November 26, 2012

every picture tells a story

I raced the Seattle Half Marathon yesterday to raise funds and awareness for Every Mother Counts. I wasn't sure what I was doing with the event until 5 days prior, when I got up the nerve to ask my coach if I could race it. Aka, dig down and go hard. He said sure. I've never lined up without racing. No matter what shape I'm in.

Difference between running and racing to me: painface or no painface. If there's a starting line, chances are I'll get down to my painface.

Take the 5k photo of NYTimes fame (fame is used loosely here and might be an excuse to bring up the fact that I was in the NYTimes). Yes. It is a fun run. For Valentines Day. Yes, I have hearts drawn in lipstick on my legs. Yes, I am wearing a skirt. And yes, I'm also knocking on death's door. Why? Because of this simple equation: (3 months of egg nog + ass sitting) + (startline + dropping a sub 5:20 first mile) = hair on fire scream impersonation.

If there's a start and a finish and someone is timing it I'll get ugly. If you think you can't break your PR, but have never made the above face I have good news: you can break it. I also have bad news: you might need to make the face.

Anyway, yesterday I lined up to race the Seattle Half. I was proud of how the race went for a few reasons:

  1. My mental state was stronger than Bellingham. At Bellingham I was complimenting everyone but me in my head. I was giving myself excuses and 0 pep talk. This race I had lots of excuses I could have taken: I just got over the flu. I wasn't trained or tapered specifically for the race. My feet were wet. My shoe was coming untied... but I shut myself up and only let my inner voice talk if it had something nice or constructive to say. 
  2. I didn't walk. This is a plus that doesn't need much explanation. I took in little sips of Gatorade. I controlled my breathing and my stride when I got tired. No foot cramps, controlled side cramps.
  3. I warmed up calmly. Could have made a more concrete warm up plan, but what I did was good and I convinced myself it was the best thing ever as I lined up.
I finished 2nd with a time of 1:21:54. I'm sick of running in the :20s but this course was hilly so I'll certainly take it with pride. But my goal is to leave the :20s behind. 

No event is complete without the Sarahism. I have a knack for awkwardness. I blame my eternal 13-year-old. This time it's about mascara. I race in mascara. It's just part of race morning. I used to fully shower and blow dry my hair, but I'm over that. The only ritual I cling to is mascara. It gives me the feeling that I've put myself together. 

I wear DiorShow and I have been assured by the Sephora dealer saleswoman that it's waterproof. What little miss thang doesn't know is that sweat + hanging fog will take Dior down. Way down. Down my face, down my neck... dooooown. 

So while I'm feeling pretty good and quite composed, what I don't know is that my face looks like a dethroned beauty queen after a 3 hour crying jag. My friend Dave was the first to alert me to this. He came over to say good job surpressing a laugh before telling me that I had mascara all over my face. Ugh. I just hoped I was moving fast enough that no one noticed.

Then this morning my sister-in-law sees my photo in a CrossCut newsletter and forwards it to me. WHAT the what!? Someone has taken a photo of me full painface, mascara rivers flowing, right at my kick, and published it to a handful of groups on Flickr. CrossCut has favorited it, and included it in an email blast. 

The random awkwardness that is my life... 

Friday, November 9, 2012

sick? get better faster

If it's not clear by now, I'm not a doctor. But I am sick and I am trying to get better faster. I haven't been this under-the-weather in years. I can usually kick a cold at the first sniffle. I have a master plan and a well stocked Jeffery Campbell shoebox containing all my proven medicinal remedies. I have spent many recent years uninsured, which means... unless you're dying fix it yourself!

What's in my trusty sick-kicker-kit?
1. Dr. Shen's Cold Stop: I picked this up a couple years ago when I felt like I was coming down with something. Who the H knows what it is, but you basically take 5 pills at the first sign of cold or flu. Take another 5 in 4 hours and the last 5 the next morning. You can find it at your hippie grocery store.

2. Gypsy Cold Care: While you're at said hippie grocery store get your mits on some Traditional Medicine tea: Gypsy Cold Care and Breath Easy are my favorites for cold kicking!

3. Echinanea: I dragged my sick-recently-insured arse down to the clinic yesterday to rule out strep. No strep, but the doctor did give me a print out containing all the remedies I already had locked and loaded PLUS one I didn't have. While it might not be riding the high of the 90's trendy Echinacea craze, the doc recommended Echinacea Purpurea (not angustifolia).

4. Cold Ease (or ANY zinc lozenge): Start sucking these down, one every 2-3 hours.

5. Water: water never tastes good when I need to drink it, so I add Nuun. Or drink hot with lemon and honey. I also count popsicles as hydration.

6. Rest: old movies are best watched while sick. I finally watched The 7 Year Itch yesterday. Lemme tell ya 1950s humor is ... different.

7. If you are a true holistic yuppy, you own a juicer. Get it out. Juice some carrot, apple, ginger root, lemon and then add cayenne pepper and honey. Drink. Then hopefully you're sick enough that your partner/roommate will clean out the juicer for you.

8. I haven't tried it yet, but I came across this Apple Cider Vinegar brew that sounds nasty, so it must be healing. I'll be trying it as soon as my cute grocery boy husband comes home. 
Being sick is the pits. Like a rest that is neither wanted NOR enjoyable. Achy, feverish and hacking up what used to be a perfectly good lung isn't my idea of 'restful'. Feeling weaker and weaker, while watching the running week's goals wash down the drain. Whump, Whump...

What are your sick-kicker tricks?? I'll take anything!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

money, money, money

I'm heading to NYC for the marathon tomorrow. This trip has been on the calendar for many months. Of course in the last three days New York has endured a devastating storm, so the logistics and tone of the trip had shifted for sure. But none-the-less Sally and I are headed out. Sally will be running the NYC marathon to raise money for Every Mother Counts with Team EMC. And I will be cheering my rogas off!

I called my grandparents while I inched towards home on the parking lot called Aurora/Viaduct the other night. When I told my grandfather, known to me (and therefore you) as Tony, I was headed to watch the NYCmarathon he reminisced that in 1980 he drove with my dad down to NYC. They both ran the marathon. My dad had an elite entry. His dream was to make the Olympic Trials until I surprised both my parents in 1983. Surprise! Anyway, my dad had the elite start and Tony started back in one of the waves.

I wanted some more details on this elite NYCM start, and since my drive was turning out to be an epic crawl, I got my dad on the phone. He laughed at the memory. Ah, he said, the money marathon.

He remembered his place and time, 51st, 2:23. One of his first break-through marathons. There would have been a much faster marathon, but that's the infamous 'vaseline in the shoes' marathon...a running-moral story of "don't try something new on race day". A story for another day.

Anyway, I wondered how much money he'd won in New York. Turns out he wasn't talking about prize money.

The morning of race he left the hotel and headed to the start with a $20 bill to buy a coffee. What he didn't think about until after he had his coffee and now no longer a $20, but a handful of small bills, was what was he going to do with the change? No pockets, and too many bills to slide into a shoe.

So he pinned his 18 loose dollars to his bib number. Neighborhood after neighborhood he said that kids would spot the money fluttering from his bib number and run after him shouting, "money! money! money!" And so NYCM is ... the money marathon.

left: my dad, age 26, racing uphill in central park, mile 23 or 24 into the wind with the money pinned;
right: 1980 NYCM race shirt and photo of lead pack

Three years after this race I arrived on the planet, and 29 years later I'll be watching the "money marathon". I can't wait. Maybe someday it will be my turn to race it....

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@smariemack) for all the updates I can manage!

mac jacket

My day is here! I have a namesake Oiselle piece in the Fall 2012 collection! The Mac Jacket. Thanks to Sally I'm known around Oiselle HQ as Mac. For awhile there it was MacDaddy… I would say that Mac fits me a bit better.

I’m greedy for nicknames. As a Sarah I can count on one hand how many nicknames I’ve received (sue, pup, sass, sassmaster).  And now Mac.

Of course, I’m not the first to have a namesake Oiselle piece. Many of Oiselle’s pieces are named for people and places. Find out who else has had a Oiselle piece named for them....