Embrace the Crazy, Be a Marathon Maniac
This is a blog about fitness, the successes and the failures. I just ran my second marathon in less than 2 months. I could write about the course or the weather; I could write about my time, my training schedule, or my nutrition. But I won’t because training schedules and nutrition advice are not my strong suit. I’d rather write the story you won’t find in a Runner’s World article.
A little more than 3 years ago my husband introduced me to a blog written by the wife of one of his Arkansas State Parks colleagues. The Park Wife and I became blog buddies. Before I knew it she was inviting me to be a part of this cool collective she was orchestrating, the Arkansas Women Bloggers. At the time I thought it was an interesting idea, a way to search and share blogs that were local and written in a variety of women’s voices. Little did I know the impact it would have on my life. It took a couple of years but Stephanie, AKA The Park Wife, convinced me that I needed come face to face time with these women I’d come to know through words and the perfect forum was the Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged conference. I needed a roommate so I asked Stephanie for help. She said, “I know the perfect person.” That is how I met Ashley and that weekend is the cornerstone upon which the madness has been built.
Vintage Ashley and Lisa Shenanigans #RunBloggerRun
Ashley and I keep in touch but we don’t run or train together. She lives an hour away and she runs on the pavement, I prefer the dirt. The one time we tried running together on dirt it ended in disaster
for Ashley. But this year something possessed me to register for a road marathon. I blame the Little Rock Marathon
Chicks in Charge for coming up with such an epic theme that I had no choice. Then there was an email from Ashley, asking if I would consider running the inaugural 3Bridges Marathon with her. Peer pressure at its finest, I acquiesced. I went from saying I’d never run a road marathon to signing up for two just ten weeks apart. And then Ashley dropped the bomb on me, she said “Sign up for the Mississippi River Marathon
, I want to be a Marathon Maniac
and I want you do to it with me.” The requirement to be a Maniac is three marathons completed within 90 days, we would be doing it in 70 days, plus I would have a trail 25K in the middle and a 50K six weeks after marathon #3. “Are you insane?” I had to ask her. I think the answer was something like, “yes I am and so are you, embrace the crazy.”
Grown Woman with a Spiderman Lunchbox. Don’t judge, just accept the crazy
Luckily, the Arkansas Women Bloggers group has other members who have embraced the crazy or are at the very least, supportive of the crazy. During our second Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged conference, Ashley and I were race directors for a 5K run. Kellee Mayfield, the Delta Moxie
, ran the whole thing holding her iPad to capture as much of the crazy as possible. Because you have to capture everything when you’re with a group of bloggers and social media hounds who tweet, instagram, facebook, vine, vlog and G+ the heck out everything, including our #RunBloggerRun 5k. She’s also the beautiful creature who wore a hippopotamus swim ring to our canoe trip on the Mississippi River
. Crazy has been wholly embraced y’all, and she wears skinny camo pants from JCrew, with pearls. She is perfectly Southern.
Camo Skinnies, pearls and a PFD. She’s set.
Before we decided to run the Mississippi River Marathon, Kellee encouraged us to sign up and invited us to stay with her since her house is just a short distance from the starting line in Lake Village, Arkansas. It’s a town known far and wide for the largest oxbow lake in North America, Lake Chicot
, the decorating heaven that is Paul Michael Company
, and Ms. Rhoda’s tamales
Unfortunately, Kellee was unable to be home at the time we needed to arrive to pick up packets and get to bed. Instead she gave us access to her home stocked with kale and avocado salad, homemade marinara, pasta, and red wine for an incredible pre-race dinner. She made us a good luck #RunBLoggerRun banner and left little hot pink post-its all over the house for us.
I wouldn’t expect Delta Moxie, the woman who makes triple strand pearls and statement necklaces not just a fashion Do, but a Must Do, to use anything other than hot pink post-its.
This is how we build a community. This is how Stephanie’s vision spread out in waves to touch hundreds of other women, and a few of us lucky ducks have embraced each other, crazy and all.
Race day dawned with a sprinkle of leftover snow. Ashley and I had our usual issues with which one of us was going to say “I have to pee!” the most times within that 26.2 miles. The cold air only made it worse. Six stops during 3Bridges turned to eight stops and one “I might have to stop because I’m not sure if that’s gas or marathon poops.” I’ve never sugar coated anything, why start now? One beer stop turned to two and we were about three minutes slower at marathon #2 than we were our first marathon together. I wrote more about the race for Arkansas Outside
. We had fun, all the fun, more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Except for mile 25. Mile 25 sucked.