Monday, February 20, 2012

My Fall Marathon

OK, it's time for some good news.

Last week I got the green light from Linda, my peerless mother-in-law, that she and Patrick, Dan's stepdad, will be able to stay with our twins Will and Ruthie the weekend of October 21. This frees up Dan to travel with me, Kathy and her husband Eric to......Detroit for the Detroit Free Press Talmer Bank Marathon!

I chose this race because of the company (you can't beat having your husband and good friends there; Detroit is Eric's hometown; plus Kathy's friend Melissa, who is a hoot, will be running it in addition to Kathy and me); because it's late enough in the year that it's less likely to be hot (average high on Oct. 21 is 60, average low is 42); and because the course has some bridge hills but nothing horrible (here's the elevation profile).

Another fun thing about this race is that it crosses into Windsor, Canada, for part of the course, so a passport is required to pick up your bib and chip. (No, you don't have to run in place at the border crossing while customs checks your documents! The bib is enough to get you across and back.) This therefore will be my first "international" marathon.

At eight months away, it seems like a long way off, but I know it will be here before I know it.

Anyone out there run Detroit? Kathy did the half-marathon in 2010, so I have some intelligence from her, but all anecdotes are appreciated.

Sidenote about Colds

My cold is still there, not the worst one I've ever had, very much a "first-world problem," but annoying nonetheless. I went to spin class as usual this morning. At first I felt awful--runny nose, slight cough due to post-nasal drip, scratchy throat, fuzzy head--but as the workout ground on, I started to feel better and right now I'm feeling sort of decent. When I got home, I downed a vast amount of tea (I'm still downing it) and took a good steamer of a shower. I'm going to take the kids ice skating in about 20 minutes, which I'm hoping won't set me back to the morning's ugly condition.

While in the shower, I got to thinking about strange things I've tried in the past to rid myself of cold symptoms. The weirdest by far were the ones foisted on me by Russian friends when I was in the Russian Far East in the Peace Corps. These remedies included: a banya (by far my favorite; banyas are Russia's famous steam room/saunas); a menthol-smelling substance applied to my back; vodka pressed through a turnip and mixed with honey (I kid you not; it tasted bad enough to be medicine); vodka with pepper; and of course....straight vodka.

The first six months I lived over there I had a cold like clockwork every two weeks. If those remedies worked, I had no indication of it. The strangest thing I try now is Zicam. I swear it at least minimizes the discomfort.

Do you have any fail-safe cold remedies? (And Caroline, if you're reading, I confess that I've slacked on the probiotics since the Houston Marathon. I'm getting back on the horse, I promise.)