Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Epilogue (Part 2)

Ok, the second bite sized chunk.

January 16, Marathon Sunday.

I feel great. Get up at 4:30, shower, grab some grub, get my gear, I'm ready to go.
We arrive around 6:30, I stretch, do the last bits of prep (vaseline on sensitive party, bandaids on other parts, etc), stretch some more, make my way out to the starting queue and we're ready to go. The F-16s fly over, the gun goes off, and we're running. The field is massive. If you haven't seen it, I strongly recommend you do so. Just watching all these people run is excuse enough to go eat a big breakfast a Denny's.
It took awhile to get into a rhythm, but my mile 3 I'd fallen into a good, 5.5 hour rhythm and pace. The field stays pretty intact through mile 8 when the half-marathoners break off at their turn point. I find Rick in the field around mile 4 and we hang for a few miles together. He's going strong but keeping a pace about 15 seconds faster than me and I drop back. I keep my eye on him for at least another 4 miles.
Around mile 7 another co-worker of mine, Jaime, passes me on her half marathon route. She finished in 2.5 hours (way to go, James!). From here on out, I'm in uncharted territory since my longest run is around 6.5 miles.
Mile 11, just south of Mecom Fountain on Main Street, brought the onset of a little twinge in my groin. Not good. I stretch it out and nurse the nagging ankle pain I've been having until that gets right. All is back to normal and I get back on pace. The 11th mile goes down at 12 minutes, 38 seconds. Not a bad pace.
I pass the mid point in a little over 2hours, 45 minutes. Right on target.
Right after the midpoint the twinge comes back and the ankle starts to hurt again. This time it's not getting right. I stretch, massage, cajole, berate, bargain, plead, and demand that it get right, but nothing works. I fight off the pain for another 3 miles until the run observers pass me by signaling that I've fallen behind the 6 hour pace. At mile 16.5 I throw in the towel. I made it 3 hours, 40 minutes, and change. The last 3 miles take me a little under an hour. I opt not to fight the pain in an unsupported run for another 10 miles. On our way back to the convention center, we pick up Rick around mile 20. Way to go Rick!
I'm a little disapointed, but it was a good run all the same. I raised some money for Child Advocates. Jalah, the specific kiddo I was running for, was able to know someone he doesn't even know believes in him enough to try this kind of crazy stunt. But most importantly, I did something. I didn't finish, but I was successful in at least doing something (16.5 miles worth of something). And a lot of times, that all these kids need... for someone to do something.
All in all, it wasn't a bad experience. Next year, January 15, 2006, I finish in under 5 hours. Plus, I've got a couple more runners who are going to do this for a cause rather than just 'cause.

Epilogue (Part 1)

Ok, today is 2 days after the run and I'm going to recap the final bits as well as I can remember. This is in two, easily digestible parts.

Friday, January 14
Last day of work to occupy my mind before the run. I'm getting a bit nervous about my level of training and ability to actually do this. I'm continuously reminding my self that I know my body, I know my general level of fitness, and I know that I can pull this off. I sub for a co-worker at the Marathon Expo passing out runner's packets hoping to get "inspired" by seeing at least one squishy specimen attempting to run the marathon so that I won't feel like the only one... I see a few, but most opt to switch to the half marathon. At this point I make the decision to not fail, but if I'm going to fail, I'd rather fail at the full marathon than succeed at the half marathon. No disrespect to those who do the half, 13.1 miles is a long, long way to run. I went into this looking for a challenge, something I wasn't sure I could do and had to work to do it. I know I can run 13.1. I'm still not sure about this marathon thing.
Anyway, I bump into my old college roommate, Rick Bennett, and we end up going out and chowing pasta later that night. It was good to see Rick again... in college he was not what you'd call athletic. In fact, he was not what you'd call out of shape... you have to be in shape at some point to be out of shape. Since his freshman year at UH he's reformed himself physically into someone who can run a marathon (he ran in 2003). If he can do it, I can do it. No problem. Inspiration found. Thanks Rick.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Home Stretch (1)

Ok, a little more than 5 days and counting.
I ran Thursday and felt pretty ok. I ran again this morning and actually feel pretty good. It's amazing how fast you can get out of shape, and then how fast you can snap back into condition. At this point I'm very confident that I will finish. Not sure how well I'll finish, but I am certain that I will finish.
I also picked up a running buddy. My wife's uncle Doug will be running with me, so I'll at least have someone to hear me complain for 5 hours about how much I hate running.
One last long-ish run this week (tomorrow, probably, but no later than Wednesday and no more than 10 miles), then I coast into the weekend ready to run for what seems like forever!!!
Child Advocates hoopla station is at or near mile 22. First Presbyterian hoopla station is at or near mile 10 (at First Presbyterian church, duh).
That's all for now.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Final stretch...

It's been an unconscionably long time since I posted anything. Let me assure you, it's been an unconscionably long time since I ran, too. I was able to get in some hill work before Christmas, but not much else. Today I plan on getting in a good hour's run after work. Tomorrow will get the same treatment. This weekend will see a good, solid, 10 to 15 mile workout. Run is 1 week from this Sunday. Nervous? You betcha.
Fundraising: I'm at 76% of my goal (thank you Steph). Only a few more bucks and I've fulfilled my commitment to Child Advocates (then I get that new Mazarati--not!).
That's all for now.