Sunday, November 1, 2009

Here's to recovery

During my last training cycle, I was strongly advised to change my party-girl ways after my coach, who I know reads this blog, read about a couple of silly drunken escapades and became concerned that this was affecting my training. It was an important reminder that daily hard training takes a toll on your body and, if you expect to maximize that training, lifestyle matters. Well, guess what? I'm in recovery now, and you know what that means? I need to get my party on pronto before I get sidelined from the festivities again with the next round of hard training.

I started the party in Washington D.C., the night of the race. As the second oldest person on the Air Force team, I have a special obligation to show that a piddly little 26.2 mile race can't keep the old folks from throwing down in the hizzie. It is Air Force tradition to dress up for this post-marathon caper, but, of course, I had no costume. I must admit that I was seriously doubting my ability to rise to the occasion as the clock approached 10 p.m.

The team had gathered at a traditional hang out in Adams Morgan called Madam's Organ. I knew that I needed to dress up lest I feel totally lame, so I looked around for potential costume material. The Genius had kept the space blanket given to him after the race, so I tied a top knot with two corners of that above one shoulder to fashion a mylar toga and found an ethernet cable in the closet to use as a belt. Slip on a running skirt, a t-shirt and some Birkenstocks and, voila: toga! I still needed a crown of ivy, but I had seen some in the courtyard in the hotel. So, on our way out, I slipped into a chair next to a potted ivy plant and, while nobody was looking, wrestled a couple of strands off the plant for my head dress. The Genius felt no pressure to dress up though he would end up becoming part of the rotating costume fest throughout the night.

A couple stops (and hundreds of questioning stares) on the Metro and a taxi ride got us to the party house. I asked the bouncer if there were others dressed like me inside and he told me to beware of the Indian. I knew I was among friends. The Indian in our group had actually been accosted on the Metro because an angry woman thought he was being disrespectful to Native Americans. He was lucky to have gotten out of that jam with his loin cloth intact. And thank God for that, because there wasn't much else to that costume.

Aside from my lame ass toga, we had the Jolly Green Giant and his wife represented, a pumpkin, a few species of Coleoptera and Hymenoptera, a running santa, Screech from Saved By the Bell, and the Indian. We danced and drank and drank and danced until nearly 2 a.m. It was a blast, but I was not feeling the love when sunlight broke through the window the next morning. I'm pretty sure the soreness I experienced in my calves over the next couple of days had little to do with the marathon and everything to do with the incessant bouncing I did for nearly 3 hours at Madams Organ.

Last night, we went to two Halloween parties. Once again, recognizing that my party days are numbered, I felt obliged to go all out. The Genius went as Fat Bastard: The Biggest Loser (aka Skinny Bastard), and I recycled a Fem-bot costume I had created 10 years ago. Yes, my jumblies are lighting up in that picture. the secret is a remote control in my left glove. They even operate independently of one another for a true rapid-fire effect. It's fun to be the light show out in the middle of the dance floor with people wondering how you're getting your bosom to light up in sync with the music. We danced, drank countless plastic cups filled with my signature drink--the Go Job (Go Girl and vodka) and stayed out until 2 a.m.

So, I think I have gotten my pent up party energy out of my system for a while. I remember now why I don't party like this much--recovery is a beeotch.

As for my training, I resumed running yesterday and felt good running 5 miles at an easy pace. I am still in negotiations with my coach over the shape that my training plan will take for the next couple of months. She reminds me that, while my legs feel great, there are other parts of my body that require recovery post marathon besides my legs--minor things really like my heart and endocrine system. I know that recovery is key, but damn I want to get back in there and train hard again.

I guess admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, right?

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