News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Community News Network

October 23, 2013

On your mark. Get set. Wait!

As if it wasn't stressful enough to check the weather, over and over, every single waking hour of every single day. And worry about whether someone at work has a cold or, my God, something more contagious. And keep an eye on all those acorns that have begun to litter the ground - a person could slip on one of those, twist an ankle, and all that hard work would go right down the drain.

On top of all that, Beth Graham had to live with the threat that Sunday's Marine Corps Marathon would be canceled altogether because of the government shutdown.

Didn't Congress know that Graham was tapering? How much is one woman expected to take?

"You work so long for one day, and it's hard to think something like illness or weather or the government can ruin what you're working for," she said.

If you've noticed more than the usual population of cranky, antsy, obsessive people in the running world this week, there is an explanation: Thousands of runners are winding down their training for the 38th running of Washington's most famous marathon. In running vernacular it's called "tapering."

It's that period two to three weeks before the big race when runners begin to sharply cut back on their mileage, resting their legs for the big day. Their bodies heal, but their nerves take a beating.

Runners preparing to cover 26.2 miles spend several months getting used to rising before dawn four or five times a week, putting in 50-mile weeks, enjoying the freedom to eat what they want and savoring the endorphin rush that accompanies all that exercise. Then they have to cut back, quickly.

It's as if someone stole your morning coffee, every day for two or three weeks. You might not kill him over it, but you'd consider it. Robbed of their favorite pastime, runners brood about losing fitness, gaining weight, injuring themselves and race day weather, to name just a few of their favorite obsessions.

"I hate it," said Graham, a 30-year-old defense contractor from Fairfax, Va. Her husband isn't wild about it either.

Rich Edson, a 32-year-old Washington correspondent for the Fox Business Network who is training for his first marathon, agreed. "I'm getting anxious and I'm getting nervous," he said. "I want to train more. I want to go out [running] more. But fortunately, I'm working quite a lot."

"This is really my first experience with tapering," he added. "I've read enough to have no idea what I'm doing . . . It's so difficult to hold yourself back when you're just pushing, pushing, pushing all the time, and learning to enjoy it."

In his training bible "Marathon," longtime coach and marathoner Hal Higdon polled his readers, asking whether "taper madness" is real. Seventy-five percent said it is.

"There is no real cure," Higdon advised. "Cross-training is not the answer. Going on an eating binge as a mood reliever is a very bad idea. Using the extra time to reconnect with your spouse might be the best choice, unless your spouse is running the marathon too."

Graham's husband, David, is not running the marathon. (Though he is cheerleader-in-chief. His inside jokes on big posters keep her going during marathons.) So he is calm when his otherwise normal wife turns a tad compulsive during her taper.

"I focus on the logistics of the race," she said. "Familiarize myself with water stops, the timing of where I need to be when. I read a lot of race reports.

"I check the weather. I really like the hourly forecast. But it's a little too soon," she said last week, the disappointment evident in her voice.

"Last year I ran [the] Outer Banks [marathon] and there was the hurricane. That added a whole new layer of weather obsession." Sandy hit New Jersey and New York instead, sparing the marathon.

Part of the problem is that distance runners tend to be a little OCD to begin with. They accumulate months of data on miles, pace and calories on their Garmin wristwatch GPS devices or their iPhones. They leave few details to chance.

Before the Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, Pa., "I can't tell you how many times I called the hotel to say 'Am I going to have a king bed or two queen beds? And am I going to have a refrigerator?,' " Graham remembered. Before she eats her yogurt, she checks to make sure it's not hiding something nasty. Several days before a 50-kilometer race two years ago, she came down with shingles. She ran anyway. "It probably wasn't my best decision," she admitted.

Then there are those pesky acorns on Virginia's W&OD trail, where Graham likes to train.

"All it would take is one perfectly placed acorn and you're down for the count," she said.

Again, Graham isn't like this when she isn't tapering. She leads a normal life. She has a good job at the Pentagon and a cat. She's co-leader of the Vienna-Oakton chapter in Virginia of "MomsRUN This Town," a nationwide running group for women. Her chapter has 500 members.

With the government shutdown resolved, the Marine Corps Marathon will go on as planned. So if you see Graham, or any other thin, intense-looking people dressed head-to-toe in running gear around Washington this week, give them a wide berth.

"It's a very stressful time," she said.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year

    Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.3

    July 24, 2014

  • Police Brutality screen shot. Technology plays key part in battling police brutality (VIDEO)

    Allegations of police brutality are nothing new -- as long as there has been law enforcement, citizens have registered claims that some officers cross the line. But in the last few years, the claims of excessive force are being corroborated with new technology from cell phone cameras, police dash-cams and surveillance videos. 

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Facebook continues moneymaking trend

    Facebook seems to have figured out - for now at least - the holy grail for all media right now: how to make money selling mobile ads.

    July 24, 2014

  • Has the ipad lost its swag?

    July 24, 2014

  • Almost half of America's obese youth don't know they're obese

    The good news is that after decades of furious growth, obesity rates finally seem to be leveling off in the U.S.. The bad news is that America's youth still appear to be dangerously unaware of the problem.

    July 23, 2014

  • Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates

    On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65.

    July 23, 2014

  • 072214 Diamond Llama 1.jpg Llama on the loose corralled in Missouri town

    A llama on the lam cruised Main Street Tuesday before it mistook a resident’s fenced backyard for a place to grab a meal and freshen up.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • An oncologist uses scorpion venom to locate cancer cells

    Olson, a pediatric oncologist and research scientist in Seattle, has developed a compound he calls Tumor Paint. When injected into a cancer patient, it seems to light up all the malignant cells so surgeons can easily locate and excise them.

    July 22, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 2.00.42 PM.png VIDEO: Train collides with semi truck carrying lighter fluid

    A truck driver from Washington is fortunate to be alive after driving his semi onto a set of tracks near Somerset, Ky., and being struck by a locomotive, which ignited his load of charcoal lighter fluid.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • mama.jpg What we get wrong about millennials living at home

    If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 21, 2014

  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 21, 2014

  • Starved Pennsylvania 7-year-old weighed only 25 pounds

    A 7-year-old Pennsylvania boy authorities described as being so underweight he looked like a human skeleton has been released from the hospital.

    July 21, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN 3 People Killed, Deputies Wounded in NC Shootout 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Raw: 16 Killed in Gaza Market Strike Raw: Plane Lands on New York Highway Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Raw: Smoke, Explosions Fill Gaza Skyline Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity