Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Majors

Warning: Extra long, extra boring post about races I haven’t done ahead.

This is the first chunk of time in a while without a definitive race on the calendar. I’ve been training for marathons since I signed up for the Columbus Marathon in July of 2009. I think I need a break from marathons for a bit. They are hard, they suck away all my energy for all other leg-based activities and three 26.2s in 12 ½ months is plenty for me.

But, there are at least three more marathons sometime in my future (I hope). Potentially in my distant future – I ran my first marathon in 2001, my second in 2002 and didn’t do the third for seven more years so I don’t feel the need to cram in all the fun before my 33rd birthday (It is coming up soon. Send presents). Or even my 40th.

I hope to do the World Marathon Majors. Boston and New York are all done (although I think I want to do both again at some point in my life), leaving Chicago, Berlin and London. I think I can scrounge up a sofa or two in Chicago but Berlin and London might be logistically and financially challenging.

Before going to grad school, I worked at a job that I hated. Every Sunday night, every, I’d grow increasingly anxious and increasingly sad about having to spend 40 hours over the next five days sitting in a cube doing nothing except being belittled by a boss who thought awesomeness dripped out of his pores. Terrible.

But, multiple times a year, I got to flee from the cubicle for conferences around the country. I got to see places that I would never plan to visit on my own. Salt Lake City? Got to make DIY rusty nails by ordering shots of scotch and drambuie and mixing them myself. Did a sprint workout around the Mormon temple because a lap around it supposedly equals a quarter mile (I asked some official-looking gentlemen in suits outside of the temple if it would be terribly disrespectful to sprint around … “Well, not terribly,” they said.)

Las Vegas? Hated it. In front of a hotel replicating New York City, there is a moderately large (but obviously not nearly as big as the real thing) Statue of Liberty replica. As I walked past, woman stood near it, weeping. “All my life I waited to see her, Lady Liberty, and now I am here,” she sobbed. Get me out of here.

I managed to get lost on a run along the Las Vegas strip and ended up running for almost three hours. I’d left at 5 a.m. in attempt not to melt to death (it was July) and to get to the conference on time. Instead I ran 15 miles, the last 6 in temps in the high 90s and then spent the day in bed dry-heaving and sipping Gatorade, finally dragging myself to the ground floor of the hotel to play nickel slots. I won 45 cents.

And then the job sent me to Chicago! I loved it there. I think. Unfortunately I was working 14-hour days and had to spend after-hours with vendors and clients and blah blah blah. What I managed to see of the city was fantastic and now I want to go back. Seeing 26.2 miles of the city on foot sounds like a good plan to me.

I’ve been to Germany twice, once spending some time in Munich on a backpacking trip right after college with an old roommate, again in Wursburg in 2002 to visit a friend in the Army. She had to spend her days driving tanks around so I spent the days running around, over bridges, through forests and through farms. It was freezing outside and I'd only packed shorts, but the sights were beautiful.

So yeah, I’ve managed to make it to Germany twice, yet never to Berlin, apparently The Greatest City Ever. Everyone I know who has been there wants to marry it, thinks it’s the coolest and laughs at me when I say I’ve never been. My bud Kate, who lived there for a bit, swears she can find a sofa for me to loaf on if I run the marathon and says she will run Berlin (it would be her first marathon) if I do it too. Sold.

I have spent approximately two days in London but have never actually been to London. Between scheduled layovers, weather delays, missed planes and re-routes I’ve spent enough time stuck in Heathrow to officially become a British citizen. I know nothing about London but have always wanted to go. I think it has something to do with loving Bedknobs and Broomsticks. I hope the marathon route goes through Portobello Road.

That is all.

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