Wednesdays with Wendy: top o’ the mornin’ to ya and marathon madness

My cup of Jo this morning.

My cup of Jo this morning.

I’m Irish.  I explained that all last week.  I was late meeting Wendy this morning because I was busy slicing three loaves of soda bread, one for each of my daughters’ classrooms.  They’re proud to be Irish today, though I’m not sure they know what it means other than wearing green and proudly explaining their first names to people.  If you don’t know me or my children, go ahead and guess what their names are.  Hint: all three suggest locations of the Emerald Isle.  (Duh.  Goldie, Bun Bun and Miss T are not what’s on their birth certificates.)

On our journey this morning, after Libi made me feel like the most important person alive, Wendy and I spoke mostly of the impending marathon, a mere four days away.  (She’s meeting me to run the last eight miles.)  The logistics are worth training for in and of themselves.  How do I get to Dodger Stadium?  (Practice.)  Where should Beth park in Hollywood with the girls to cheer us on?  How do they get to Santa Monica from there with the street closures and then where the hell do they leave the car?  How do we get back to the car once the race is over?  How do we get Wendy back to her car?  What if I get a side ache at Mile 7?  Should I wear my contacts or my glasses?  What about shorts?  Do I get a new pair?  Ponytail or hair down?  Michigan hat or the cute, pink ESPN one?  Can’t forget sunscreen.  It’s supposed to be warmer than I’m comfortable with.  What if I get sick?  It’s been known to happen.  Clip the toenails.  Do we have enough Vaseline?  I need to get to bed by ten for the rest of the week.  What if I don’t?!  Should I start carbo loading now?  Have I ever stopped carbo loading?  Why aren’t my legs thinner with all this running I do?  Should I spray on a fake tan so the gams don’t look so white in the photos?  I should wear my contacts.  I’ll look cuter and probably younger.  The husband wants me to carry my iPhone so, with Loopt, we can keep track of each other during the route.  (He’ll be several miles ahead.)  Do I want to carry my iPhone with me?  My SPIbelt works pretty well for that.  Wendy said she’d carry it during the last part of the race.  What should I eat Saturday night?  Sunday morning?  This afternoon?  What about my left foot?  What about my right foot?  Why did I sign up for this?  How much Irish soda bread is too much?  Should I take my driver’s license with me in case I get lost?  How would that help me find my way?  Is there a compass on the iPhone?  Any chance I can beat Shia LaBeouf?  Doesn’t his name mean ‘beef’ in French?  Will I see Carey Mulligan along the way?  I can tell her how much I loved her in “An Education”.  Maybe she’d run a few miles with me.  What if the lines for the portajohns are too long at Mile 11 and I really, really have to go?  I hope that guy who always runs in a waiter’s uniform and carries a tray with a bottle on top doesn’t pass me.  Wendy mentioned someone dressed up as a tomato during the Jimmy Stewart Relay Marathon years ago.  What if he runs and passes me?  What if it takes me until Monday to finish?  Why are my thighs still touching?  I should have Beth bring Pepto Bismol for the finish.  I should’ve done more sit-ups.  I should eat a banana right now.  How much water is too much?  Why can’t runners park at Dodger Stadium?  Why do we start the race at 7:24?  I wish I was “elite”.  They start at 7:07.  Purple is my favorite color.  I wonder if I can find purple running shorts before Sunday.  What if I can’t?!  Should I run Saturday, or put my feet up?  I hope I don’t get a caffeine headache at Mile 22.  There’s a Starbucks near 26th and San Vicente at Mile 23.  Maybe Wendy could run ahead and get me a half-caff with room.  Why did I sign up for this?!  I’m exhausted.  I don’t think I can run it.  Maybe I can.  I should.  I can eat everything I want to after the race.  What should I eat?  It’ll be like I’m high as a kite and everything will taste excellent.  I’m definitely running.  I love all the freebies they give you in your race packet.  I hope I get some of that Gator gum so I can give it to the girls.  Oh, and Power Bars.  Who buys Power Bars?  I hope I’m one of the first thousand women to finish.  I remember when my running goals were so much loftier.  I remember when I was younger.

I have to go lie down.

But first, I have to put Dorina Allen’s Stout with Beef recipe in the oven.

May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, slow to make enemies, quick to make friends. But rich or poor, quick or slow, may you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.

Again, sláinte.

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  1. Beth says

    JoAnn – jeez, you make our Saturday-night-before-Big Sur seem like a piece of cake (that’s what I think you should eat post-race, a GIANT piece of cake!) Good luck to you and Doug (even though he makes running a marathon SEEM like a piece of cake).

  2. Elizabeth says

    Good luck JoAnn – You’ll do great!
    I’ve done 4 so, here is what I know…..

    YES to the vaseline….lube up your feet, underarms & inner- thighs.
    Won’t be lines at the porta-potties.

    You won’t get lost. Route is clearly and perfectly marked.

    when I did them, we started downtown and took the metro. Does the metro go to Dodger Stadium. Makes it easy & simple.

    Your friend WILL find you. Miles are clearly marked.

    Pasta the night before, protein and light carb the morning of. I carried a power bar or two for the run.

    Say hi to Carey Mulligan when you see her 🙂

    Good luck, have fun, you’ll do great!!! One step at a time.

  3. Mary Anne says

    Run JoAnn Run! I will be there in spirit – which is the only way I will ever run a marathon. Yes to contacts, purple shorts and Iphone, no to spray tan, driver’s license and running Saturday….but really, what do I know. Love the Ballymaloe site (so that’s what happens when I click on those little blue words).

  4. Wendy says

    Oh I am loving this!!! So proud of you and yes that is part of the “fun”. And then on the ride home and at the huge breakfast you will eat afterwards (another question-where will we go for breakfast?) we will rip apart all the logistics of the race and talk about every decision you made and why it was good or bad. But remember by then you will have run 26.2!!!!! I believe in you my friend and will not let you falter and I will do anything to help you including elbowing someone out of the way for you to be first in line at the Portajohn…remember I owe you from the time I passed out at Aroma and you yelled at the woman trying to get in the bathroom!!!!! Love, Wendy

  5. Ann says

    I’m exhausted and exhilarated and happy and nervous and thrilled for you — just reading this!!! You’re gonna do so well. Go JoAnn!!!!!

  6. Mare says

    I marvel that we’re from the same family! Who are you and where did you come from? Clearly six years prior to your birth, I was in the hair line while God was saving up all the drive & competitive edge for you! I admire you beyond belief and still resent the fact that while Mom was encouraging you to exercise, I was at Sears Charm School!
    Love you! Great luck on Sunday, little Sis!

  7. Harry says

    All the best–good speed-I wish I could pace you for part of the race bu alas my speedy running days are over—I will be with you in spirit

  8. j says

    wow….you make the “relay bag switch conversation” the night before Big Sur sound like a cake walk….and we all know it’s very complicated and needs ALOT of discussion. I guess being the middle sister makes me a cross between you & Mariellen…definitely not as much determination as go girl! Should be a gorgeous day and what a beautiful place to end a REALLY long run!! Good luck and have fun. love…jeanine

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