Archive for May 9th, 2007

Poesie Quotidienne – SoCal Parenting Techniques

One the one hand, there are all of the ingenious parents who teach their kids to ride a “big kids bike” while roller-blading behind them down the ocean-side bike path. A parent on roller-blades can steady the bike when necessary, let go when appropriate, yet skate along in hover mode, ready at a the first sign of a twitch to grab onto the handle bars again. And, with twenty-two miles of bike path, there’s no oncoming traffic to worry about.

On the other hand, there was this dad, kicked back in the sand, propped up on his elbows, grinning away like life just couldn’t get any better. Next to him was a five-year-old, buried up to her neck in sand. Mercifully, she was planted so that her face wasn’t in the sun. I think the dad must have dug a pit for her first, because it looked like a blinking sighing head had just rolled across the sand to park itself next to him. She watched me run past with a look of long-suffering patience tinged with mild boredom.

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Running a 1/2 Marathon - An Optimists Guide for the Impatient and Ill-Prepared VII

My last run before the half marathon was straight out of a film. It was long, it was hard, I was slow. I was bored after the first 3 miles with 9 still to go. I was exhausted after 6 miles with the other half still stretching out in front of me. Nothing was any fun – my ears had long since sucked all the energy out of the music in my iPod, the Venice Beach patrons were merely annoying. It was too hot, then too cold. I suffered through the entire run then dragged myself home, terrified about the experience. But Sam was quick to point out that all good Hollywood movies have a moment just like this. The last big test before the EVENT – the match, the race, the dance-off – always sucks. It sets the emotional scene for the big talk, where the mentor convinces the student that she’s had what it takes to be a winner inside all along – she just has to trust herself. And it sets the audience up for a bigger emotional rush – they go down with the excruciatingly bad last practice-run, which sends them even higher when the protagonist pulls it out in the end.

I was reassured. I also knew that pride, and being a public spectacle would keep me going even if the half-marathon were to be the most miserable run of my entire life.

In better news, I forced myself to eat an energy bar immediately after running and didn’t bonk. Next up – three days of no running, all part of the “tapering” that’s recommended before a big race. Hard to imagine that three days of doing nothing will transform me from sucking to being a rock star.

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