Sunday, January 6, 2013

It Was Like a Cleanse

Sunday mornings are for being lazy and stuff, but I never really do that.  I went for a run first thing – the streets are still snow packed from when it snowed on Christmas (it’s been too cold to melt). The temperature was still 13 degrees at 8:00 a.m. and I knew I just had to suck it up and go because I don't like waiting around and the truth is:

ifyou wait

The run allowed me to cough up and spit out 40 gallons of stuff left over from last week’s flu. It felt like kind of a cleanse, but not the colonic kind. I am not an efficient spitter, however, and I was left with snot marks on most of my clothing. But, that is what washing machines are for (also they are for sharts if you are into that kind of thing).

Next, Ken and I went to a swim technique class. I chose not to wear my white underwear because I didn’t want to intimidate my classmates.


This class was a big risk because I have not had anyone talk to me about swim technique since I was ten and on the swim team.  Back then it was just about getting to one end of the pool as fast as possible so you could have a Slurpee afterwards. These days, I get through my triathlons by training very little in the pool or open water and just making it without drowning. I usually just do the butterfly stroke the whole way.

I dreaded all of the (negative) feedback I would get today. The instructor basically watched us swim and then gave impressions. I was shocked when he said, “Well, your stroke is pretty smooth. If people watched you they would think you swam a lot.” WTF? I know he wasn’t saying that to score a date with me because 1) I am old, 2) Ken was there and would give the stink eye, 3) I wasn’t even wearing my white underwear. Next, he just gave my some feedback about needing more power in my stroke. For the most part I was pretty pleased because I am not a strong swimmer and always feel like I look like a dork.

I got some good news later today that I was picked to be an ambassador for the Colfax Marathon in Denver in May (May 19). One of my (quiet) goals for this year is to become more involved in the running community. I run with a few friends, but I really want to branch out to new races and faces.

The Colfax Marathon is a good choice for a race because it winds throughout the city and goes through several parks as well as Sports Authority Field where the Broncos play. I like it also because it is kind of small – only about 1,200 people ran the marathon last year (plus, if you register before 1/30 it’s only $79 for the marathon and $69 for the half). Heading up the ambassador program is Richard Kalasky – you might remember I interviewed him a year or so ago because he lost a TON of weight and went from couch potato/smoker to endurance athlete extraordinaire.

Do you ever think you might want to get more involved in your own running community? Here are some ways:

  • Volunteer at races. Go see what the other side is like. I guarantee that you will have a new appreciation for volunteers and you’ll meet some cool people.
  • Find a running group. Running’s become so big it seems every community has at least one running group, if not several.
  • Get to know your local running store – a great place to find out about races, clubs, etc. The store near me, the Boulder Running Company, even has a race team you can join.
  • Join a charity team. I trained with Team in Training for my first marathon and it was the perfect way to give back, to meet others and to train SMART.
  • Apply to become a race ambassador. Lots of races have these. In exchange for you spreading the word, leading training runs, helping out with charity stuff and at the expo and basically being a cheerleader for the race, you often get a comped race entry, lots of swag, running clothes, etc. Look at the race’s website for more details.

Have you ever been a race ambassador? Nope. I am an ambassador virgin.

Do you belong to a local running group?  I did for awhile, then got injured and didn’t go back.

What kind of swimmer are you? Sleek and strong/awkward but okay/just trying not to drown? I guess I’d say I’m awkward but okay.



  1. Congrats on the Race ambassador. I grew up in Denver just a block or so up from part of that race. If my May was not already too full I would be there. Instead I will set 2014 as goal to run CO.

  2. No. Am curious about my local runners group, but never went. They run at like 6am! Too early for me! lol I try to just not drown.

  3. Congratulations on becoming a race ambassador! :)

    Have you ever been a race ambassador? No -- Another virgin here

    Do you belong to a local running group? No -- Unless you count my running partner Jenny and my husband a "group" ...

    What kind of swimmer are you? Sleek and strong/awkward but okay/just trying not to drown? Awkward. My goal is not to drown. I'm re-learning. I need goggles. I don't wear white underwear while I swim so maybe that's my issue. ;)

  4. One of my goals this year is to learn how to swim, because right now I would drown in the deep end.

  5. I'm more of a "pretend you're hot stuff because you run occasionally but then get in the pool and have to stop and catch your breath for ten seconds after each and every lap because, wow, swimming is actually really hard" kind of swimmer.

  6. 13degrees - brrr. Great advice for getting involved! It's wonderful to run a race for charity, to give (back) and volunteer. I especially love volunteering for the summer children's track & field events! The kids are so cute!

  7. Congrats on being a race ambassador! I keep meaning to get involved with a local running group, but working late means those uber-early group runs are so hard to make.

    I feel like I flop around a lot in the water- I can swim strong for precisely half a lap, but I have no sense of how to pace myself. Also, I feel like I sink like a rock, so I flap extra hard to stay afloat and waste all my energy before I make it all the way across the pool.

  8. Nope.
    It depends. On my good days I think I'm sleek and strong, at least until I look over in the next lane to see the swim club kids going twice my speed.
    I'm just at the stage where my lungs are working normally again. A careful deep breath does not induce instant coughing spasms, but it's a near thing. So good for you for running. It will be a couple days before I try it.

    40 gallons, huh. All at once? Did you leave it on the road to form lumpy green ice? How about where the neighbor's dog could get at it?

  9. Never been a race ambassador but I'd like to be! I do run with a group and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made running wise. As for swimming, I'm not bad but apparently I need to "relax my arms" during my stroke. I have no idea what that means. How does one relax one's arms without drowning??? Ugh.

  10. I love volunteering at races. It's a great way to reboot motivation if you're feeling burned out, and it's really nice to help once in awhile. You don't realize how much work the volunteers put into a smoothly-running race!

  11. Answers: No, no, and I'm not a good swimmer, which is the reason I don't enter triatholons b/c I would probably need those inflatables floaties on my arms to keep me afloat!

  12. Races and running groups aren't my thing, since the only sentient being I like having with me when I run is my pooch. But I applaud your goal. Getting involved in your community is so satisfying, especially when you can marry it with a passion!

  13. I've never been in a running group but I think it would be fun.
    I'm the kind of swimmer that only gets wet when I get too hot laying out! I suck at swimming - reason I can't ever do a triathlon.

  14. Congrats on being a race ambassador! I've never done it.

    I do not belong to a running group. I've thought about trying to join one but the folks I see running around here are the college cross country team and they're a lot younger/stronger/fitter/male-r than me.

    I don't swim. Ever. The water and I will never be more than "just friends" - mostly because my vision is so awful. Do they make prescription swim goggles?

    PS I just signed up for my first half marathon and I'm scared shitless. I have a plan, but if I start to freak out can I e-mail you with my insanely amateurish questions?

  15. I don't belong to a local runner group because that would require me to be somewhere, at a certain time and place. And I've got commitment phobia after having 5 kids and 1 husband. I always run solo.
    I'm a decent swimmer I think.

  16. I've been trying to convince my husband that the PERFECT way for him to spend his birthday would be to watch me run the Colfax Marathon. He is not yet swayed. I think it sounds like a super fun marathon. My husband asked, "Isn't there another one?" and I said, "I GET TO RUN THROUGH A FIREHOUSE!" I yelled it because it's awesome.

  17. You are a GREAT choice for ambassador!

    I think the white underwear pic is my favorite of all.

  18. I am shocked you did not include this picture from last year's Colfax Marathon:!i=1862625567&k=SrzDKpf&lb=1&s=A

    1. Oh dear God what is on that man's lower half??? I mean, besides the bright green thong??? WTF??? And what does he look like from the front?? LOL!

      Never been a race ambassador, but I was a Team in Training cycling coach for a few years and did several centuries, both as a participant and a coach.

      I was part of a beginner running group for women over the summer, but I'm not part of a group at the moment. I tend to be a loner-type runner, mainly because I don't want to be held to a schedule or specific meet-up time.

      I don't swim. I don't sink, can tread water and move around, but have no swimming technique whatsoever. So triathlons are not in the picture for me.

  19. I’m a “help me I’m drowning” swimmer at best and my economy gym doesn’t have a pool. But I live near the coast and hope to maybe work in open water swims this summer when running temperatures will likely be brutal. Beach humidity is the WORST.

  20. I have family in Lakewood, Golden, and Loveland.....Colfax Marathon might be a good destination/vacation race for this Nor Cal gal.
    The best way to describe my swimming is>I haven't drowned yet!
    I'm a member of Fleet Feet Sports Ultra Trail Racing team out of Roseville/Fair Oaks, Ca. Love the team & being a trail racing ambassador.

  21. My swimming to just plain sad, which is why I don't ever see a tri in my future. Oh, well.

    I do belong to a running group, though, and I love it! The ladies I run with are fantastic and have become good friends. I'm pretty sure I would have given up on running completely after my first half marathon had it not been for them.

  22. Now there's an intersting you spit when you run??!! I usually chew gum when I run to keep from getting parched. (It works!) However, I will shamefully admit I do spit (which must look "real ladylike" and from time to time "miss" and get it on my clothes! LOL
    As far as Swimming, I "hired" my sister last summer to get me all ready for the Swim portion of my first Triathlon. BEST thing I ever did as she was a competitive swimmer and taught me more in two hours about "stroke technique" then I ever knew! I could not believe how much it helped me. It IS all about technique. I was too shy to go to a master's swim class at my local pool so this was the next best thing!

  23. I had my first swim practice this morning in 32 years. I joined a Masters swim club today and today was day one. I managed 1.5 lengths of fly so I bow down to you. I did OK or so the coach said and I have to learn how to do flip turns again. I will aim for 2 lengths of fly on Wednesday as well as the rest of the drills I am given, it's been a long time but felt good.

  24. Have you ever been a race ambassador? Nope. But I would love to. I didn't even know there was such a thing as a race ambassador. I am looking into that this year!

    Do you belong to a local running group? Yup, I belong to 2. We have become super close as a group and love to hang out even in civilian clothes (non-running clothes). I can't imagine being the runner I am without my club. Plus, it gives us an excuse to go out and eat after a run together at the local pub. We're known as "the runners" there.

    What kind of swimmer are you? The kind that needs a strong floaty. :)

  25. Colfax?! I'm envious! My favorite jort-wearing jogger runs Colfax every year. If you see him, please lick him for me:

  26. Congrats on the ambassador position! I love Colfax and have done it every year since 2007. I just got a position with 3W Races as an ambassador! It's local to the Westminster/Arvada area, so it should be fun! I loved the Marathon Bar team, but being involved in the local running community by volunteering is the best. I like to think I am on ok swimmer, so I would hate to hear otherwise from a coach!

  27. Congratulations on becoming a race ambassador! :D
    Now I think I should practice the swimming.
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  28. congratulation to becoming a race ambassador .I think i can also progress on swimming.
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