I have decided to institute a theme on Wednesdays for my blog. I think it will be enjoyable and it will help me have some consistency and some with fun at the same time. Wednesdays will from now on be “Wish List Wednesdays”. I think its important to have huge dreams and then to look at financially and time feasible ways to achieve them or something like them. So, what exactly will this be? It will NOT only be my pining over race gear and race experiences that I dont have any money for and probably never will (although that will be a part of it for sure). It will instead offer 2 topics weekly, one on a running and one on fitness and then discuss how each fits on my wish list in 4 parts:
1. Set Up– Explaining what the topic is and why I chose it
2. The ideal wish that I have- It IS a wish list right? So I will explain what my absolute ideal scenario, item, thing, or whatever is and why I feel that way. I will probably also discuss why it may never happen
3. The reality– A discussion of what I will do instead.
4. The Possibility– Something that I may be able to accomplish in the future, that bridges the gap betwen the nitty gritty and the pie in the sky.
So….. On that note…..
This weeks running wish is….
I wish I could run this DREAM MARATHON….
Set up– Not Quite an Empire State of Mind
I cant tell you how many runners I have had this conversation with. Under perfect circumstances, with cost, qualifying and time not an issue what marathon/race would you chose? The most common answer I get from people on this one is either Boston/New York. These are top of the line marathons, the pinnacle of what the sport offers too many. They are also both ridiculously expensive and very difficult to qualify for. Most people think that I would chose New York, given that I grew up in Long Island. I would be lying if I said I didnt want to try New York at some point. I cant imaginge how awesome that one would be. However this is not number one on my list. Its close, but something beats it.
THE IDEAL WISH– Get me to the Greek… race
Athens is the ideal to me, and here is why. It is the original, the whole freaking legend of the marathon begins here and this attempts to recreate that particular course. To a history dork like me, that is beyond cool. I can really get into that. In fact, I can totally imagine myself on the course mentally daydreaming about all all aspects of that original run. Hell, check out my avatar here or on twitter and its an image of Phidippides. The famous Greek runner who completed the original run according to legend. In addition to everything else, Athens would also be a chance to go back to Greece, enjoy a wonderful culture and landscape.
It wont ever happen. Its an open race and everything, but flying to Greece and paying for race and accommodations would be incalculably expensive. This one is in the clouds for me only.
THE REALITY- The Space Coast Marathon
This is a good next full for me. Its early in the season in November with an opportunity for more races down the line. The course is apparently the classic Florida fast and flat, it has great reviews, and its extremely convenient for me (at the end of I4 is acceptable driving distance). If I register when I plan on registering, will be 80$, a not unreasonable price for what apparently is a really interesting race. I love space and space themed stuff (they have space themed aid stations, just awesomeness). I cant tell you why, although I think it was my love of Star Wars as a kid that did it. Plus, I very much enjoyed my previous trip to NASA and thought the land out there was beautiful. This one is doable, and I look forward to getting a new PR at this race.
THE POSSIBILITY- Marine Corps Marathon in DC
A little lower down on my marathon bucket list beneath Boston, New York, and possibly London is this race. I have heard it rated as one of the best races in the country, and when I look at the course and who runs it I can see why. I love history and this course reeks of it. I loved my week in DC and I cant imagine how transcendent a marathon through the nations capital would feel. It also comes quite highly recommended through runners scuttlebut. In fact as I was completing my first race at Disney, a fellow spectator was telling my mother that this would be a great race for me to do. Around 30,000 people run this race, which is just massive to me and apparently it fills up quickly. However here is why this one may be possible down the road for me:
1. I have lots of family in the Washington DC/VA area who could support me, and transport me to and from race. I also could make a weekend out of visiting friends and family beforehand.
2. For a bigger race, the fees are expensive but not outrageous. Last year it cost 96$ total to register, compared to 180$ for Disney this year, and the whopping 225$ for New York, and a minimum of 130$ for Boston. 96$ sounds like a bargain to me.
Some day down the road, Ill get to this one.
my nutrition wish…..
I wish I had a taste for coffee….
Set up- My loathing for this beverage
I hate coffee. I absolutely hate it. I cant drink so much as a sip of it. I have attempted to do so in all forms and failed (in gross fashion) every single time. I dislike almost everything that is remotely coffee flavored. I wish I loved it though. Coffee is a great source of caffeine in the morning and often at some point before/after a run. Its cheap at most places, often free at work, and readily available. Its way healthier then what I substitute for it. Simply, it would help me out in a multitude of ways if I liked coffee. But I dont. I loathe it.
The Ideal- Fresh goodness in the morning
That every morning I could get up, have a cup of coffee and be on my way. Get to work after my 40 mile soul sucking commute part 1, have another cup and that would be enough for the day. On race days, I could perk myself up before races (at an appropriate time of course) with a cup. On my 5 am workouts, I could start the day with a delicious cup of coffee goodness brewed from fresh beans from I dont know … wherever. That I would not need to do what I will describe in the next paragraph.
The Reality- Big Gulp Monster
I need caffeine and a good chunk of it, because of my soul sucking commute (80 miles to and from work daily), intense training in the mornings, and long evenings. My hatred of coffee means I need to find it somewhere else. This has made me a total Diet soda/energy drink junkie. I roll through Big Gulps like you wouldnt believe. I once bought 12 bottles at one time of those 1.5 Pepsi Max/Diet Mountain Dew bottles for 99 Cents each to the bewilderment of the cashier. I guzzle down zero calorie can after zero calorie can at my parents house. Its hopeless. I mean it. I have tried multiple times to cut back but I always end up back on that delicious carbonated train. Its likewise bad with energy drinks. There are days and workouts where I need these to function or complete workouts (well, maybe I just think I do..not sure). In fact I have nicknamed my exhaustive Friday morning runs “Energy Drink Fridays”. You name the energy drink and I have probably consumed it at some point.
None of this stuff is good for you. I avoid articles on the harmful effects of all kinds of soda and energy drinks. I avoid them because I dont even want to know how bad it is. I dont want to know the science behind it, even though I should. However in my current situation, I have very little choice. I guess it doesnt help, that I have developed a real taste for a lot of these beverages as well.
The Possibility- But its.. well.. green
My commute situation may be changing soon which will offer the opportunity to alleviate some of this, but I think I will have to, simply have to, learn to like a better, healthier, energy providing beverage source. True, I could take vitamins and supplements but they are out because of total expense. I think I am going to have to force myself to like green tea. I have heard from people that this works well for energy and keeps everything low calorie as long as you watch what you buy. It also apparently has tons of health benefits, that I have read often about it. I have never tried it, but by just looking at I can tell its going to be a struggle to like it. Not to mention how my sister and I used to ridicule Joe Torre towards the end of his term as a Yankees manager for sitting and doing nothing, all while sipping his damn green tea. Oh well, better learn to like it now. Or I could just try coffee again? Yuck