Thursday, October 29, 2009
While the rest of the B.R.A. flew up North on Thursday or Friday, I went up on Saturday morning. I flew into Baltimore, then immediately drove down to D.C. to meet up with the group. They were just finishing lunch (after hitting the expo). However, Fist Deep (who was there as a supporter also) decided to stick around and join me as I ate. O.K., maybe it was an excuse for her to have another beer. Who knows?
After lunch, we went to the expo to say Hi to the ladies at Womens Running Magazine, D and BR. Both seemed relaxed and ready – well, as relaxed as possible. After a quick spin around the expo, we hit the road to Baltimore. The vast majority of the peeps were staying in the Baltimore area.
An early dinner at a quaint Italian restaurant followed. No shenanigans went on, as I think the race was creeping into everyones’ mind. After dinner, we drove back to the respective sleeping places and bedded down early for the next day.
Sunday started at around 3:00 am or so for most, as they went through race preparations. Once everyone assembled, we caravanned down to DC, arriving at the Shuttle buses around 5:45 am. A quick trip to the Pentagon parking lot, and then the wait began. Start time was 8:00 am. Most of the time was spent trying to stay warm (it was around 48 degrees with a 9 mph wind – tough on us Floridians). I saw several huddles, and even a couple of sandwiches (Caribbean Steve surrounded by a group of women, and Coach T in a similar but separate situation). Apart from the runners, there were 4 supporters out there – Fist Deep, HT (local DC runner and friend of Coach T and Coach V), Maryland V, and myself. We all had various plans on supporting the runners.
Time finally came for the runners to head over to the start. Hugs and good wishes abounded. Then, the 4 supporters walked from the parking lot over a bridge to the Lincoln Memorial (mile 10). I have to say it was a beautiful walk. The sun was coming up, the fall colors were out, and there were several excellent views of the various historical memorials. I have never been to D.C. before. If you can go – GO!
We had time before our runners would arrive at Mile 10, so we checked out the Lincoln Memorial (including some warm bathrooms), and settled down to wait. The wheelchairs were first, and as they were going by, we moved closer to mile 10.25 so we could have a good view of the course. The volunteer plan were for myself to pace several BRA members, HT was going to pace Strawberry E from Mile 11 to the end, Maryland V was pacing Coach V from 20 to the end, and Fist Deep was the official cowbell ringer /sign holder.
First up was Quick T, who had planned to try to crack the top 3 women. When she came by, she was 12th woman overall, and appeared to be struggling. Next up was Coach T, running solidly in the 3:10 pace group pack. After a bit, Caribbean Steve came up. I was planning on pacing him as far as I could (he had a possible BQ going). So, I took off with him. Right after I left, Strawberry E, Speedy Jess, and Seth the Brother came by. Strawberry E was going for a BQ, and Speedy Jess and HT were along to help. Unbeknownst to us, Speedy Jess ran into a stopped wheelchair at mile 5 and fell. She picked herself up and continued to run, with a couple of bruises and a nasty head bump.
I ended up pacing Caribbean Steve for about 13 miles. Unfortunately, it was not his day, and the BQ and PR plans fell thorough. But, he never quit. At mile 23, he turned me loose, so I could go pace others.
Next up was Strawberry E and HT. They were 2 minutes ahead of BQ schedule. I ran with them for a bit, while HT made a quick (beer) stop. Once he got back, I let them go and waited for the next runner. Speedy Jess went by, and I missed her (she dropped off their pace about 17). Next up was H. She was trying for a BQ, and was on pace for most of the race. But, by the time she got to me, she had hit Mr. Wall, and was struggling. So I jumped in and helped her along as best I could. For the next 2 miles, it was just trying to get her as close the finish line as possible. She seemed to be o.k. so once we got to mile 25, I turned her loose and went back. Next up was Becs and Jesus John. They were probably separated by 2 minutes, so I ran with them each for a half mile, just to give them a friendly face.
Last up (for me) was P-Funk. I was around the mile 25 sign waiting when I saw her coming. She was struggling, no doubt. So, I decided I was taking her to the finish. We stepped off, and ran as best as possible toward the end. It’s mostly downhill to mile 26, then uphill to the end. I felt sorry for all the runners, even though I understand the symbolism of the uphill to the Iwo Jima Memorial. Anyway, P-Funk never quit and gave it her all as she went up the hill. I dropped off so I would not cross the line. I then ended up taking the not-so-long way around to get to the groups meeting place (Thanks to a friendly marine for a favor).
After a great while, all the runners assembled at the meeting point. While the weather was beautiful, it was a very tough course, and most people ended up short of their time goals. But, I am happy to report that Thanks to HT and Speedy Jess, Strawberry E qualified for Boston with 2 minutes to spare. Congratulations!!
After we were all assembled, we got on shuttles back to the cars, then back to our respective lodging. At our place, pizza and beer (soda for me) were the order of the evening. Then, it was lights out as one tired group of athletes headed for bed.
There a dozens more stories from this group, which would take a week of blogs to tell. But I do want to say this – I am proud of EACH and EVERY ONE of the B.R.A. who ran this race. I never saw quit or surrender in anyone, regardless of how bad they were hurting. It’s one of the best (in my opinion, THE BEST) running groups out there.
Special Thanks to Maryland V for putting the majority of us up in her house, and to all the people who were watching and cheering on-line. The runners definitely appreciated the support.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
- Initial Temperature 72 degrees, high of 86 degrees
- 25% total dropped out (66 out of 265)
- 3 dropped out of the swim (or did not make the cut off)
- 20 dropped out on the bike (or did not make the cut off)
- 15 finished the bike but did not come out of transition (IE - did not start the run)
- 28 did not finish the run
I got to the chip issue place on the morning (instead of giving it out the night before as most have done - not a bad idea though so you have less "lost" chips) and my chip #908 is not on the rack. It is gone. No problems - we'll fix it. Come back a little later, "Here take this one - #1002, you will have no issues." Right! Overall - the volunteer support and logistics of the race were excellent, and I was not too concerned about the chip, but I knew that it would cause problems down the road. Can't worry about it now. As long as this one works it can be fixed later on. As I was righting this, still no official splits on the site - but at least my overall time is there.
Mass start at 7:30 AM.
I swim much better in a wetsuit. The wetsuit is very good in 74 degree water and the water was pretty smooth in the lake. It was two loops. When I got back in after the first loop, I waded out a little longer (as opposed to swimming on the jog back out to the water) to take a quick pee. That was about 8:15. That was my last pee for 14 hours...Seriously.
My folks and wife, Kris, were at transition and cheering like crazy. Looking strong! I was slow to get off my wetsuit so I had to get help to get it unclasped. The "stripper" stripped it off quick and I put my wetsuit in the bag, and put on my helmet and put all my PureFit Bars, ECaps, and Hammer Gels into my pockets in the back of my Tri-Shirt. Everyone went through a changing tent - a number of butt naked folks in there. Nobody cared. I personally did not get butt naked until after the bike.
Actually I passed a fair amount of people on the bike. I was heading around a corner when I heard this metal piece hit the ground. I was thinking, "What was that? Was it important? Should I go back and get it? Is my bike gearing and brakes still working?" I coasted for a few seconds to take stock and my bike seemed fine. Then, I looked at my Garmin. It was now just a watch band with a place where the Garmin electronics used to be. I figured that's ok as I knew I had my other watch and could calculate approximate pace and distance at the aid station. The Garmin was over two years old and the way I sweat [B.o.B. Note: Steve sweats more than ANYONE I have ever seen.], it was about time for a new one. I will get a heart rate one next time and see how long the electronics can last on that with my sweating!! Merry Christmas to me!!
At mile 6 MAJOR cramp in the right thigh - my foot was pointed out at a greater than 45 degree angle! I am thinking, "Am I having a stroke? This is not good." I physically could not dig deep and run. It was not a willpower or effort issue, it was just plain over. Every time I tried to run for the next 8 miles it would cramp up and send shooting pain. I figured walking was better than falling down and getting booted off the course. I have never walked in a race before (except for a 45 second stretch once toward the end of a marathon).
I am not sure when another racer named David came up, but I think it was right after my friend Larry (spectator) ran ahead. When I started to walk David came up behind me and he also started to walk. He was having major cramping in his hamstring. He said that it was better to walk with someone than walk alone. I told him that he would be walking a long time with me. It was his first Ironman as well. He ran a sub 3:00 Boston Marathon this year. I think he walked nearly two miles with me but before the end of the first loop he started to run again and he was gone.
This was probably the toughest part of the race for me. I can see the finish line but it is not the finish line that is the problem. It is the fact that I know I have a great cheering crowd there and I am going to reward them with a relatively SLOW WALK pace as I go by. And there is nothing I can do about it! There were balloons and signs and cowbells and cheering... And there was walking and more walking. If I had not already set in my mind to walk those last 20.2 miles I don't think I would have kept going. This was the true decision point.
*Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion! Great story so far no???
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Have a great rest of the day!
Friday, October 23, 2009
1. I love lists.
2. I like to do math equations in my head while I run, but I am terrible at math.
3. I wanted to be a fashion designer or a writer when I grew up.
4. I am a kid at heart, so that fashion designer thing could still work out.
5. My dad died over 2 years ago and it was the worst thing that ever happened to me.
6. My pantry always has the following items: South Beach High Protein Cereal Bars, canned green beans, Crystal Light Energy water flavor packets (strawberry).
7. The Redhead and I became better friends after I moved away. (We met shortly before my move.)
8. Moving back home and meeting the BRA has been one of the best things that ever happened to me.
9. I am still on the fence about the whole marriage/kids thing.
10. I love music. Mostly hip-hop but I can get down to just about anything.
11. I strongly dislike people who say running is bad for me.
12. My favorite movie is Say Anything. (Lloyd's namesake.)
13. I think dancing should be America's past time.
14. Blogging sometimes feels so very narcissistic to me, but I love it anyway. (And I love me!)
15. I refuse to walk barefoot unless at home or on the beach. Especially on one of those nights where me and friends are out late in heels. My feet will bleed before I take my shoes off.
16. I think dog parks are the happiest places on earth.
17. My first marathon was a pain filled, under-trained hot mess.
18. I have two scars from moles I had removed in the 8th grade. They were little bitty things, but said to be pre-cancerous.
19. I got my first gray hair when I was 24.
20. My favorite running night of the week is speed work night.
21. My favorite adult beverages are margaritas, champagne, Bailey's, and Hoegaarden.
22. I once used a bathroom with no toilet and it wasn't during a race or run.
23. I have been to Europe twice (hence the no toilets).
24. While swimming, I sing songs in my head that have little to do with athletics and more to do with booty shaking.
25. I once confused two of my clients on the phone and the one who wasn't a doctor got asked my strange medical question.
26. I don't think it's acceptable for celebs to complain. Boo hoo, your life is so rough. Riiiiight.
27. The quote from Steel Magnolias, "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion," is one of my favorites.
28. I love Dolly Parton.
29. My dad was an artist, motorcycle racer, and fellow lover of the burrito.
30. I have an older sister who cracks me up on an hourly basis.
31. I believe in karma and omens.
32. Coffee is the real breakfast of champions.
33. I think you can tell a lot about a person based on their friends.
34. All of my friends are AMAZING.
35. Living in Florida is wonderful. I never want to be cold.
36. The most perfect day to me would be a good run, a little sun, and lots of time with family and friends.
37. I am hosting Thanksgiving for the 2nd time.
38. I refuse to cook another turkey so help me God.
39. The best Halloween costume I ever donned was the year I was "Dorothy in the tornado."
40. My mom can tell more dirty jokes than anyone I have ever met.
41. I never in a million years thought I'd end up in sales.
42. I am completely girly in some respects and a total tomboy in others.
43. I love make-up. I can spend hours in Sephora.
44. I love action, comedy, and horror flicks. Rom-coms, not so much. (Steel Magnolias and Say Anything being the exclusions.)
45. My second toe is longer than my big toe ("The Captain of the Toes").
46. I once stole a car. Not on purpose. Long story.
47. When talking with The Redhead about this post being past the 100 mark she said, "Well you are Discombobulated Running, it would make sense you screw up your 100th post." True.
48. I love cartoons.
49. I can recite Beetlejuice from memory.
50. I hate getting oil changes, putting gas in my car, and car washes.
51. I had to google grey vs gray to see which was the correct spelling.
52. I like to wear underwear underneath my running shorts, even the ones with them already built in.
53. Caribbean Steve dubbed me an honorary "sista."
54. The most exotic things I've eaten are: sea urchin, gator, venison, quail eggs, escargot, and probably cat.
55. My best friend and I met the first day of college orientation.
56. We skipped the sign up for your classes portion. Oops.
57. Blogs that always make me laugh are: Caution: Redhead Running (of course), Feet Meet Street, A little messed up, Let's Have a Cocktail, Punk Rock Tri Guy and Steve in a speedo?! Gross!
58. I truly believe there is less traffic on the high road.
59. Contrary to popular belief, I do not think raisins are nature's candy.
60. My mom used to put fortune cookies in my lunch because I love them.
61. My mom also made my lunch every day until I graduated high school.
62. I hate blow drying my hair and yet I do it almost every. single. day.
63. I really want to buy my own home, although I love my roommate.
64. My roommate and I have known each other since we were 14.
65. I think all women should own pepper spray, a great pair of heels, and a kick a$$ pair of running/walking shoes.
66. I would consider breast implants.
67. I think #66 may be TMI.
68. I am really only smart 50% of my day. As for the remaining 50%, the Redhead has use of our shared brain.
69. This one time at band camp...
70. I had to re-number this entire list because somehow it got messed up. Stupid numbers.
71. Magazines in the mail make my day.
72. My favorite book is Life of Pi by Yann Martel.
73. I totalled a car in 1998 while on the way to get a new stereo system for it.
74. A hooker was the only person at the scene who was nice to me until my mom got there.
75. I peed my pants in pre-k waiting for my grandma to pick me up from school. My sister was mortified. I could not have cared less. I had to go.
76. If I could pick a super power it would be flying.
77. The best Christmas present I ever got was my Garmin, thanks E!
78. I am 99% sure that people are inherently good.
79. I am 99% sure that I can be very naive.
80. I am not good with percentages.
81. As a child I loved Barbies. I had Barbie everything. I am also the kid who cut their hair and clothing.
82. My dad could not have picked a nicer, more caring woman to be my stepmom. (Bless her heart she's survived it this long with me!)
83. I think everyone should know how to drive a stick shift.
84. Top five fantasy dudes: Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Daniel Craig, Jensen Ackles (Supernatural), and Ryan Reynolds.
85. I want all of you to know that the Tony the Tiger in my heading photo is a little light I got in a race goodie bag. I've been asked about it more than once.
86. I was in a sorority but don't consider myself a "sorority girl," well other than the whole poster making thing.
87. I wish I had more muscle in my calves.
88. I got dusted at a 5K by a 10-year-old boy.
89. When I don't blow dry my hair it kind of looks like Samara's from The Ring.
90. For a hot second I thought about putting Ironman on my bucket list. Then I realized that was just bananas.
91. I love getting pampered.
92. My hell would be giving pedicures.
93. I lost 25 lbs after college.
94. I wonder if Lloyd really loves me or if he just pretends to for snacks and belly rubs.
95. The place I would most like to travel to next is Japan. Sushi! Anime! Fashion! Godzirra!
96. I have a total girl crush on Gwen Stefani.
97. I am having a hard time keeping this list clean and entertaining.
98. My favorite joke is:
A pirate walks into a bar. He's got the steering wheel from a ship strapped on his *ahem* unit.
The bartender looks at him and says, "Man, that must be uncomfortable."
The pirate says, "Arrrgh! It's drivin' me nuts!"
99. I was told not to tell that joke to anyone whom I am trying to date.
100. I love you guys.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Today I am thankful for:
1. Music. It soothes the savage beast (and gets her booty shaking!)
2. Poster board and markers. They are magical objects when combined.
3. The gorgeous weather we've been having. Can you say amazing running weather? I knew that you could.
4. Seinfeld. It's been coming up a lot in recent conversation and it's just one of the greatest shows of all time. Without it we wouldn't have: kavorka, "Not that there's anything wrong with that.", Art Vandelay, Yadda yadda yadda, "These pretzels are making me thirsty!", Soup Nazi, and the list goes on and on. Feel free to add yours in the comments.
5. Fall Races.
6. Ragnar Relay. All of the preparation is really getting me pumped up for this event. We have lost a member, but have gained a little runner who has the prettiest red hair....
7. Pumpkin carving! Baked Seeds! Jack-o-Lanterns!
8. Black toe nail polish. You can safely wear it now to cover your busted running toes AND since it's closer to Halloween your grandma won't look at you so funny like when you wear it in February.
9. Surprises. Love 'em.
10. Having made it to 100+ posts. Check back tomorrow for the special 100 things about me edition. You know you want to.
What are you thankful for today?
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I think it's the endorphins. Runners are kind, happy folks and I am proud to be part of this group (go me!).
That alone is enough to make someone come back for more. Even if this article says different. I get what the article is saying about this marathon thing being a bit of a trend, a bit of a passing craze, but to those of us who love it, we're sticking around.
Second thing I wanted to discuss with you all was the use of the word "just". I worked at the Detroit Marathon expo and was saddened to hear so many runners say "just the half" when asked which race they were doing. They said it as if they were ashamed of it. Come on people it's still 13 miles! Yes, I too fall victim to the the "just this many miles" or the "just that many miles" but we are ALL champs.
Bottom line, no matter how many miles we log, getting out there and pounding the pavement, staying healthy, and staying strong are what it's all about. (Walkers, I am talking to you too!)
Sure it's "just" a small number when you are used to logging big digits during serious training mode but it's still mileage. I'll give "just" a pass in this case, but no gold star.
Be proud of your 5K, 10K, 15K and half marathons! I know from now on I am going to be more aware of when that word "just" hops into my speech. I have done it too and promise to work on it myself.
Lastly, can you tell that I am feeling the love right now? I am on some weird post travel high and there is more running in sight. I imagine this is what drugs are like. But drugs are bad, mmmkay...
This weekend, the Redhead and I are going to watch Navy Steve do his first Ironman. Holy crap. Ironman. Insanity! GO NAVY!
Then on Sunday I am going to root on my fellow BRA members (from my 'puter) as they kick serious butt at MCM.
Yay for running! Yay for racing! Yay for healthy! Yay! Yay! Yay!
Yeah, just blame the endorphins.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
I know you are going to be shocked when I say that it was cold in Detroit. Moi? Cold? Yes. Really. I chose the dread mill route because of the cold. Yes, I am a big baby.
For the record, working marathon expos is AWESOME. I love the running community. It's so positive and inspiring. I just really feel the camaraderie at these events. Between Chicago and Detroit I am chomping at the bit to get going again.
Detroit put on a nice expo AND I got to meet TNT Coach Ken.
Um, yeah, so that's not him, but neither of us had our cameras. We are turrible bloggers. Turrible, turrible (Cleveland Show anyone?)But Ken was as nice and funny as I thought he'd be. Swing by his blog because it's quite entertaining.
Detroit is no where near what I had pictured in my head. I have friends who said it was very dangerous but not one time did I feel un-safe. We stayed in downtown and walked to and from the expo and even took the people mover to eat in Greektown, which was delish. It's a lot smaller downtown then I pictured and could really use some economic help.
I am happy to be back in the F-L-A and have some stuff I want to discuss with you all this week.
Happy Monday - git er done!
UPDATE: Slomo, I did not hear about the three runners who died in Detroit on Sunday until this morning. Very sad news indeed. My thoughts go out to their friends and family as well.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
I have already done my Top Ten Halloween Movies so I figured I should do the Top Ten Halloween Songs. Some of them aren't really Halloween songs, but they lend themselves very well to the holiday and make me think of this fantastic super duper amazing holiday in some way. Just go with me here folks. LIST LIST LIST HERE IS THE LIST!
10. Black Magic Woman, Santana. The guitar god himself makes this song spooky and rockin' enough only the way he can. Plus, I like to fancy myself a black magic woman...
9. Monster Mash, Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Cryptkickers. So yeah this is one is totally obvious but it's such a classic. My Halloween is not complete unless I hear it.
8. Bad Moon Rising, Creedence Clearwater Revival. First of all, I love me some CCR. Pops did too. This song is like a warning about the ghosties and ghoulies that are on the way.
7. Don't Fear the Reaper, Blue Oyster Cult. This song makes me think of Stephen King and that makes me think of all things scary and thus Halloween pops in my brain. I love Halloween. Not sure I mentioned that.
6. I Put a Spell on You, Screamin' Jay Hawkins. This song is such a classic and his voice is so perfectly suited for it. He put a spell on me and he means it!
5. Ghostbusters, Ray Parker Jr. Another well duh song for this list. The movie is great, but the song really does it for me. I also like how he says the ghost likes the girls. Kinky ghost no?
4. Let's Do The Time Warp Again, from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It's funny but just the other day, Fist Deep and I did the entire dance in the parking lot before a run. Yep. Good times.
3. Thriller, Michael Jackson. Groundbreaking video, Vincent Price's voice over, and one of MJ's best songs. The dance from the video alone must have been duplicated millions of times at this point. I know I have done my very own B.o.B.-alicious version many, many times.
2. Werewolves of London, Warren Zevon. Love, love, love this song. It always paints such a funny picture when I think of that werewolf going to a Chinese restaurant. Sing it with me -- Aaaahwoooo! Werewolves of London!
1. Dead Man's Party, Oingo Boingo. Creepy and 80's all at the same time! Plus it's in an excellent Rodney Dangerfield movie, Back to School. As a matter of fact I love this song so much I paid the two bucks to make it my ring tone for the Halloween season.
Ah, don't you all feel better about about your upcoming Halloween parties now? I basically gave you a 100% get 'em dancing list.
Running blog to resume tomorrow. I am more than likely still freezing my butt off in Detroit. And hopefully meeting TNT Coach Ken.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
For the record, anything below 65 is cold to me. Keep this in mind as winter is soon upon us. I know you all look forward to my whining.
Don't get me wrong. I liked our little 2 mile run on Saturday and REALLY enjoyed my 4 mile "pace" session during the Chicago Marathon because of the coolness. But other than that the cold can suck it.
Speedy Jess' friend L picked us up from the airport and had this in the back seat of her car.
"What the crap is this?" I asked in my native Floridian accent. (Yeah, Floridians don't really have accents, but just go with me here.)
L let me know that you put it on your hand like a mitten and it keeps your hand warm when you are scraping the ice off of your windshield. Whoa. That is some heavy duty ice scraping action right there. I admit that last winter I had to scrape some ice off of my windshield and I was not a happy camper.
I used a CD.
It also only happened maybe two or three times. I still have that CD on deck for this season.
Today, I am thankful that I don't need to own one of these.*
*This is certainly a neat device if you live in cold climates, I hate the cold and thus am happy to not need one. I am not hatin', oh wait yes I am. Suck it cold!
What are you thankful for today?
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Saturday was my fun time around the city day with the Cuz. It was phenomenal. I got back to the hotel at about 10:30 PM and hopped in bed. The Cuz and I tried not wake the Redhead but she was awake as most of us are the night before a marathon. We all settled back in to sleep. (I slept, the other two not so much. Must have been the champagne I had at dinner!)
After the Redhead headed out, Cuz and I ate some breakfast and loaded up our signs, cameras, Redhead's post race bag, and we were on our way. I failed to mention in my last post that Gatorate also ran a great race and is now a BQ for 2011. CONGRATS GATORATE!!!!
The Cuz showing our support!
As we headed toward the race start the city was teeming with spectators. The majority were holding signs or balloons. Balloons, by the way, are a great way to let your runner see you. Wish I would have thought of that!
The Cuz and I headed to the start and were amazed at the sheer volume of people milling about. I have run the Disney Marathon and it's a pretty big race, but nothing compares to this. I was a tad worried for the runners I saw still not in their corrals. I am so OCD that I could not do that. But I guess since your race doesn't really start until that chip hits the line...then again, it pays to be in the right pace group area.
The Redhead wanted some photos of the finish area before everyone got there so we obliged and took a few. It was well worth the walk to see it before the runners got there.
We then made our way to about the three mile mark. I got some great photos here. We saw the wheelchair racers, the elites, and then our little Redhead. I was so proud of each and every single one of these runners. I am not gonna lie, I wanted to run. You can't help it.
That little red arrow is our Redhead.
A real viking - real naked that is. WTF? Hahahaha.
A Blues Brother.
You go, Wonder Woman.
Hey! It's the King! Hey Elvis!
At this point we jumped in a cab and headed to the 10.25 mile marker. We missed all of our runners and decided it would be best to head on to Chinatown where I could jump in with the Redhead.
Prior to the race the Redhead decided I should jump in with her to make sure she was going strong. Let me tell you what, I jumped in and you would have thought she was on mile three. It was amazing how pumped up and lively she was. I saw people around her in serious states of suffering and she was not even phased. I am so proud of her!
I was really excited to run those four miles. I jumped out at about mile 25 and sprinted to the meet up area. While we jokingly say I was a "bandit" I was really there as a pacer (banditing is frowned upon). Again, she didn't need it, but was excited to see me.
There was a slight snafu at this point because I had no phone and couldn't find the Cuz. Luckily a friendly Chicago police officer let me use his phone. Thanks 5-0!
I know this has been a super long report but I really want to impress upon you all how great the Chicago Marathon is. From the expo to the race course to the spectators, it's an awesome time.
I am gearing up for my Halloween Half Marathon now and am jazzed about racing again. Even though this is going to be a "fun" run, I am ready to add to my bling.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Yes, that is the actual dog I ate. I know it looks kind of crazy but it was delish. Apparently Chicago dogs incorporate everything but the kitchen sink.
As you all know the Redhead kicked her first marathon's butt and is now more than ever, my hero. Seriously, the girl is indefatigable. CONGRATS REDHEAD!!!!
Redhead, Spike, Speedy Jess, Moi, and Speedy's friend also a first timer
I did have an awesome eat and drink fest and full filled my dreams of pizza, beer, hot dogs, and a fancy pants dinner date with the Cuz at The Signature Room which is on the 95th floor of the Handcock building. Can you say champagne and creme brulee? I knew that you could.
Jamoosh, they have a pretty tasty local beer called three one two. Don't say three twelve or the locals will look at you funny. Not that I did or anything.
In addition to the three one two, I had some other tasty libations and decided that it would be awesome to jump in on keyboard and jam with this handsome fellow.
It had to be done.
The people of Chicago are so amazing and the Chicago Marathon should be on EVERY runner's list. It is a must do. It is certainly on mine now.
Check back soon for the official spectator report.
I missed you guys and have a lot to catch up on!
Saturday, October 10, 2009
I had a friend in Chicago (I was born and raised in the South Suburbs), who used to state the phrase "We're in the minutes". He would say that when there was under an hour to go at his work. Kind of a "we are in the home stretch" deal.
I use that today specifically for the Chicago Marathoners. Today they are figuratively "in the minutes" until race time tomorrow. There is nothing left to do but relax, hydrate, consume pasta, and get some sleep. All the months of hard work, sacrifice, and dedication are about to pay off. The dreams and hopes and desires are literally around the corner.
And I have to admit something to you all......
I wish I was there. I admit to being envious of them.
I am, by nature and heart, a 5K guy. I have done 9 marathons, including 3 Bostons. So, I know the thoughts going through their heads. And I am glad not to have trained through the Florida summer. And have been able to do my beloved 5K's.
But, while my body will be parked at this computer watching on-line, my heart and soul will be with my friends (and all the others) who toe the line tomorrow.
So to Gatorate, Speedy Jess, and The Redhead, and the other 39,000 plus competitiors, I wish you all the best of luck tomorrow. Know that I will be with you in spirit as you traverse the city.
Readers - please do me a favor and send good wishes, karma, prayers, whatever, to all the Chicago folks for a great race. I know I will.
Have a Super Saturday.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Anyway, on to today's topic - Do you remember your first time? And before we go any farther, we are not talking about *that* first time. Minds out of the gutters - this is a running blog. I am talking about the first time you laced up some running shoes and headed out the door to try this "running" thing.
My first time was way back in the dark ages - the 1970's. It was 1978 to be exact. I was in high school then, and had visions of running on the track team. At my school, track was in the spring, so we had to do a fall sport to prepare. Cross-Country was the logical choice (I mean football? - c'mon). So I had the summer to get ready for the Cross-country thing. And that meant running. O.K. How hard can that be?
So, one morning in June of 1978, I decided it was time to start. Heading out the door, I was dressed in a white cotton T-shirt, jean shorts (very fashionable), tube socks, and $10 K-mart gym shoes. There was no watch, GPS, GU, Sport drink, wicking material, headlamps, or any other modern item. Just me and the open road.
I had planned a 2 mile run, plotting it out from a map in the phone book, It was all of 2 miles. How hard can it be?
I did not know about pace, or splits, or miles, or stride, or any of these modern ideas. It was just go out and run. For about a mile. Until I got a side stitch. And eventually had to stop. And walk home. Yes, running could be hard.
The next day, I was back out and did it again. And this time - I made the 2 miles. And I have not looked back since. And 31 years later, running is one of my best friends, in good times and bad. It has been there for me, to comfort me and test me and teach me.
Who knew, from that one run all those years ago, where the road would take me?
What a journey!
So, do you remember your "first time"?
Thursday, October 8, 2009
As I normally do a thankful Thursday, I think we all know what I am thankful for today. It's my Friday AND I leave for Chicago tomorrow, duh!
As I mentioned, I'm leaving on a jet plane tomorrow morning at the butt crack of dawn. Thank God for Mom's who live close to the airport and get up early anyway!
Just for fun I thought I'd break down the players in my little trip to the Windy City.
I met the Redhead when I lived in Orlando and we worked together. I had started getting more serious about running at the same time she did. Word got out that we both ran and we paired up for some post work running. And by running I mean like oh 2 to 3 miles of dying. And well here we are now. She is now one of my closest friends and the fact that she "gets it" only makes me love her more.
I am probably going to hop in with the Redhead at about mile 22 or so. Here's hoping I can find her. AND here's hoping those few miles I run with her aren't a sprint for me. We all know how speedy she is.
I told her she'd be on pace and I can provide as much comic relief/support as is needed. I know she is going to do amazingly well and am so happy to be there for her. She's been a rock for me lately and is always there to listen. And joke. And cry. And joke and cry some more.
Here's to your first marathon Boo!
Speedy Jess joined the BRA a little after I did. She got wind of the fact that we have some amazing coaches and took them up on their offers to help. She is one of the most dedicated runners I have ever met. She's always got a smile on her face and is so extremely positive. She makes a mean cupcake and she loves cowboys...so if you know any...
She's shooting for a BQ and let's be honest here peeps, she is going to get it. I can't wait to see her coming down the final stretch. I am sure between me, her, and the Redhead we are going to need some Kleenex.
Ok so I met Gatorate way back when I did that hash. You all remember my infamous hash story right? No? Fine. Click HERE. I would tell you his entire hash name, but well, it's not exactly PG rated.
Gator recently started coming out to more BRA runs and I really enjoy him and his girlfriend, Nautical Girl. They have great senses of humor (as most hashers do) and I wish him the best of luck in Chicago!
Bloggy Friends and More
In addition to the above I am hoping to meet bloggers from Running Spike, Irish Cream, Run on Sentence, Fair Weather Runner, Tom from the Runner's Lounge, Pretaporterpb, AND A Viking Running. (The Redhead has coordinated all of this via Excel spreadsheet. Gotta love Type A's!)
I also get to meet some of the Redhead's fam. I can't wait to meet her cousin and hit the town.
That about sums it up. I should be back to a computer by Monday evening. I don't know how you all are going to make it without me for that long either and I without you all. But rest assured this trip is going to make for some great blogging.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Happy Birthday Coach EK! You keep the BRA members in line and you certainly help us all stay focused and you dole out sage advice for those of us, ahem, who need to be put back on track (train reference!).
I am thankful to have you as a coach, a running guide, a fellow 80's cartoon fan, but most importantly, a friend.
Hope you have a great day EK!
Bloggys guess what? Only 3 days to go...Chi-town...you ready?
P.S. Chi-town, I don't have to go to bed early! Look out!
I was so busy and tired yesterday that I couldn't make it to blog land. I have lots of your wonderful lives to catch up on!
Since Running and I are working things out and getting comfortable again I decided to let you all in on some running stuff that I cannot live without. And of course it's in list form, in no particular order. Hooray!
1. Gu. Strawberry Banana is tasty. I also enjoy the Vanilla Bean. It doesn't upset my stomach, which can be very sensitive. I know some of you don't love the Gu, but honestly I would eat it without running. Not that I have or anything....
2. Headsweats visors. While I never wear visors or hats in my everyday life I find that the headsweats brand does a great job of keeping the sweat out of my eyes. It also helps keep my Miner 49-er headlamp in place.
3. SPIbelt. This is a MUST have for long races. The pouch really expands to hold all the Gu's, keys, cell phones, and other items that you need during the race. Plus, it's pretty light and stretchy.
4. Women's Running Magazine. Sure, this is a shameless plug. But it really is a great magazine. AND I will be at the booth in Detroit should you wish to get an autograph. (There will be a booth to get a subscription at most major marathons. Just you know, FYI.)
5. Hammer Endurolytes Capsules. Also known as ECaps, these are great for those of us who cannot stomach sports drinks. Tape them to a Gu for easy packing in your SPIbelt.
6. The Brandon Running Association (BRA). Sure, this is yet another shameless plug, but I love these people. They are more than just a running group to me. They are my friends.
7. Petzl Tikka Plus Soft Headlamp. This is the actual one I wear. Please refer to this Thankful Thursday for a full explanation.
8. Body Glide. For the love of God newbies, buy this product. It will save you a lot of pain and weirdness. Go buy it. Right now.
9. Nuun. I tried this product after the Redhead got some for herself and absolutely LOVE it. At first I thought it tasted weird but then I found myself really enjoying the flavor. Plus, once again, it doesn't hurt my belly. Yay for no P.C.'s!
10. Champion Sports Bras from Target. Sorry boys, but I had to add this one. The Redhead and I both love these. They are priced great and run small/big enough for everyone. Well, I am not 100% certain on the big enough, but small enough for sure. Ha ha.
I am sure the list will grow, but for now I hope this helps some newbies and maybe some products on here that you veterans can test.
I leave Friday morning for Chicago and can barely contain myself! Get ready for some hilarity as the Redhead and I meet the Windy City.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Quickie post. (We all love quickies don't we?)
I ran 9 miles today with the lovely and always hilarious P-Funk.
I got to the 3 mile mark and somehow missed the 3.5 mile mark for the turn-around. We were gabbing so much that I looked down and saw the 4 mile mark and with only a half mile until the restrooms and official turn-around, I thought, "What the hell? I feel good."
And thus a niner it was.
No pain, lots of gain. Someone's got their running mojo back.
Happy Saturday fools!
Friday, October 2, 2009
Some of you asked about how it is that I work the night job and will be travelling to Detroit to work the Detroit Marathon expo.
Well kids, I work in sales. Yep, 100% commission. And I am not sure if you all have heard but the economy is not that great. Thus the multitude of random things I do and the ability to check all of your lovely blogs, write mine, AND still fit in running. Sure it's hectic and I'm a budgeting machine but it's what I am working with right now. I am stressed about money and it sucks. I know a lot if not all of you have been there. I hope none of you are there with me right now, because again, it sucks.
Sometimes I feel like this:
And that's where running comes in. It has been such a big stabilizing force in my life. Not only does the running help, but all of the wonderful people I have met through running. I could seriously write an entire post on each and every single person. I won't do that because it would take like 4 million posts.
I am aiming for 7 miles tomorrow and really hope I can make it through without any pain in my ankle. I miss running dearly and I miss my running friends more.
When I am running consistently I feel like this:
I know we all go through ups and downs and I totally understand why most of us run. We run for health, bling, pride, and endorphins. We also run because we just plain love it.
Running, you complete me.
Have a great weekend all. Only 6 days until I leave for Chicago, I can't wait!