February 22, 2008

Spirit of the Marathon

So like all the others who were slow to get their tickets the first time around and then heard what an awesome experience they missed out on, I went to see Spirit of the Marathon last night. Doing so was not an easy task. I normally fly out on Thursday nights, but there was no guarantee that I could get back to New York by 7:30 when the movie started, so I decided to stay in Boston an extra night and fly back early this morning instead.

Unfortunately, there is some crazy winter storm that has cancelled the 7:30 and 8:30 flights, thereby preventing me from making my 9:30 meeting and forcing me to dial into my 10:00 from the plane. I have an important lunch at noon, so I’m just really hoping I can get back for that, or I will really regret staying. I heard from others that the 6:30 flight wasn’t cancelled… but it took off, circled LaGuardia for a while, and then turned back and went back to Boston because it was running out of fuel and LGA wasn’t allowing planes to land. At least I didn’t have to do that… it would have driven me nuts.

But the movie? I didn’t think it was that great. It was decent, but not amazing, and that’s really what I was expecting after hearing all the rave reviews from blogging friends. The stories were interesting, but there was nothing that really inspired me. Being at the beginning of my marathon adventure, I wanted this movie to rev me up and make me get all excited about doing it. However, it just made training look long and tiring.

I did enjoy the little tip I picked up from Lori, the runner who ironed her name onto her race shirt so people would cheer for her. I thought this was a great idea to attract some positive attention and cheering when I do my own marathon! 🙂 My friend Adam, who saw the movie with me, found something different inspiring: the person on the side of the road who held up a sign that read “you’re all crazy.” We may make a sign like that when we watch Boston in a few months (yes, I will still be staffed in Boston then, and I took the day off so I can drink and enjoy the festivities).

Also, watching all the runners with their fuel belts made me think that perhaps I should get one, though I don’t like the idea of adding extra weight to myself. I read in Pigtails Flying yesterday that for every pound you lose, you get two seconds faster per mile. Drinks are heavy, so let’s assume I carry about 3 pounds of beverage plus 2 pounds of chasers (just kidding, I’m not getting Viper’s Booze Belt… yet). That makes me six seconds slower per mile, plus a psychological effect of me allowing myself to go thirty seconds per mile slower because “ohhhh this is sooooooo heavy.” 36 seconds per mile is about 16 minutes slower overall in a marathon, and seeing as I am thinking I’m going to finish about an hour too slow for Boston… can I carry a helium belt instead that will make me 13 pounds lighter? (60 minutes needed / 26.2 miles x 60 seconds / 2 seconds per pound).

The most inspiring thing about the movie for me came in the deleted scenes, when they showed Deena Kastor cooking. She eats 5000 calories a day when she’s training and 3000 a day when she’s not (I’m assuming her ridiculous muscles burn that up). Personally, I think Deena Kastor looks a little more scary-muscle-y than I’d like to look, but if it’s a choice between not-quite-athletic on my 1400 calorie/day diet or so-athletic-it’s-scary at 3000-5000 calories/day… I think I’d choose the latter. However, I think that was supposed to be a funny bit rather than inspiring. It’s a little scary how inspiring I find the idea of eating burritos and ice cream (Deena made Mexican with tons of cheese, and she said that calcium is important, so I’m adding ice cream. Sounds like a great diet to me!)

If you saw the movie, what did you think?


8 thoughts on “Spirit of the Marathon”

  1. YES, definitely make a shirt with your name on it. You can order some pretty cool ones from RunningBanana.com and–as I learned in Las Vegas–people will cheer for you and it makes you feel super special even though you also feel like someone removed your pelvis, hit it with a croquet mallet, then put it back in upside down.

  2. Not to brag, but the Akron Marathon personalizes all the pre-registered runners’ bibs. It’s definitely nice to have others cheering your name and not just your number. It also helps you remember your name after 26 miles.

    Also, I doubt you’ll need a fuel belt for any race. The water stops are usually enough (unless you go back in time to run the Chicago Marathon last year).

  3. I have not see the marathon movie. and your name on your shirt is nice to do. , how ever, drinkbelt take along for the marathon, because water is very important at a marathon. Do not think of water weight because that is unimportant. For the marathon * a marathon starts just at 37km! * drink 1 week before the marathon much water against cramp in the legs * always drink during the marathon!. * At km 34 every marathon runner cursor it difficult. * The last miles of the marathon are there heavy and care for that you continue stand always run and NOT stand still. Many sucses with the marathon. Groet Rinus from Holland

  4. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t a wee bit disappointed. It was a great documentary, but I think the hype influenced my expectations.

    The Kansas City Marathon also prints your first name on the bib. It took me about 8 miles of people yelling my name to figure out how they “knew” who I was.

  5. I wonder if it’s because you haven’t run a marathon yet? Mind you, I didn’t think it was the GREATEST MOVIE EVAH!, but I definitely could relate to it more given I saw it a week after my second marathon (and yes, I was a total geek and wore my Goofy Challenge shirt). Rent it after you’ve run your marathon and perhaps you’ll have a different perspective. (Or perhaps you’ll feel the same way. There’s nothing wrong with that either!)

  6. Ovens2betsy might have a point. For me, it was fun to watch their experiences as I could really relate to the newbie marathoners (but not so much to Deena – ha!) Marathon training was a lot more challenging than I expected it to be as getting ready for my halfs wasn’t too bad. So, yeah, it is a lot of work and is tiring but so much more rewarding! Think how proud you were when you did your 15 miler – you’re going to feel amazing once you’ve done your 18 and 20 mile runs. And after the marathon, you will feel like a Superwoman! 🙂

    Have you picked your marathon yet?

  7. I got a fuel belt a coupla months ago-I won’t use it in a race, but I will during long runs-in the winter, to carry water when all the fountains are off and in the summer to carry Gatorade so I dont have to lug a bottle around.

    I’ve also heard that Deena Kastor has had a glass of red wine a night or 2 before her big races…I had a glass of merlot 2 days before the NYC marathon and did just fine. Coincidence? I think not… :-p

    I missed last month’s showing of the movie due to a work event, and heard mixed reviews from my teammates…decided to pass on the in-theather showing and just wait for DVD or whatever 🙂

  8. i LOVED the documentary. i didn’t see it in the theatre but i bought it on DVD and watched it 4 times in one weekend to impress upon myself the visuals of dedication & sacrifice embodied by deena kastor (for me at least – she’s my hero). my coach was interviewed in it and i found it more than inspirational…there’s something about hard work that is extremely attractive in the sense that you feel truly deserving of the success that follows after. “the will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.”

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