Weight I have lost

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Third Tri-Cities 5K

So the end of the Couch to 5K led to this race.  Except I really never bothered to check to see when this race coincided with the Couch to 5K.  It turned out to be in Week 7.  I knew I could run 3 miles, because I had been with some walk breaks.  However the week prior I started getting nervous about running total mileage with no walk breaks. I don't like running that way.  And then it occurred to me...Don't!

I had restarted the C25K because I cracked my pelvis and needed to start gradually.  There was no written rule that said I had to follow it once I got up to 3 miles.  So I went back to the Run 4/Walk 1 minute method.  Now after the "long run" the previous Saturday, my pelvis started hurting and there was no rain in the forecast so I just took it easy.  By Saturday, I felt fine although nervous.

SB looks very content that he got to stay in bed.
D and I got ready for the race. Saturday morning we drove out to College Park, the whopping 8 miles away. It was about 50 degrees and sunny. We got our numbers and sat in the car for awhile. At 745 we got out and went to the starting line.

Waiting in the car
We just stood around and waited.   We kissed and then they said, "Go." Despite the chip there was no starting map. There weren't that many people (200 in the 5K, there was also a 10K starting with the 5K) so it wasn't a huge deal. We ran down Main Street to Rugby where the 5Ker's turned left. I knew I was going fast, but I felt ok.  I had already done a 4/1 cycle.  I hit another 4 minutes when I should walk break but I still felt strong and I wanted to see if I could get under 12 minutes on the first mile. We turned down Napoleon,  Mile 1 clicked by at 11:50. YES! Off Napoleon you turn on to Walker. I thought about what comes down, must always go up. I tried to keep a decent pace but my legs said to take a break. My cycles were now messed up, and I knew there were more hills, I took about a 45 second break (pretty much walked up the rest of the hill). Turned onto Victoria and struggled but kept running. Finally got onto Lyle that was kind of flat, and then had a huge downhill. Some kids passed me on the down hill, but I knew there were more uphills. So I tried to keep as steady as possible. On Pierce it was steep/rolling. Somewhere around here was Mile 2. I missed what my time was. I would run up about 3/4 of a hill and walk the rest, and then run again. I seemed to pass a lot of people this way. Cambridge was just a long hill, I kind of cursed, but told myself to go. The hills were ridiculous.  I managed to get myself back in to my cycles, until one just killed me.  The pain that shot through my leg was coming from my pelvis, my knee, my ankle, my shin, etc.  WTF?  I got to the top and there was a bit of flat.  I tried running, and no pain.  OK, whatever.  I was totally turned around on where I was but I finally got onto Hemphill.

Ran down Hemphill to Virginia. On Virginia the first 2 10kers and the cops came by. Yeah, I'm slow. Onto College Avenue. Ah the last hill. It was part of the walk cycle.   I saw D. I started walking. hahaha! I got to the crest and resumed running and ran onto the track for my lap. A lot of little kids were finishing up as well.  I just ran as hard as I could and I started overtaking one of the little girls. I think she was about 7.  Her shirt was too big, and it was sweaty, and she didn't have much left.  Since we were on the last turn on the track, I pointed to one of her friends who was behind us, and told her to try to beat the little boy.  And to listen to the man who was talking about her (the Sports Commentator Guy would give a play by play of everyone crossing the line).  She said ok, looked at the little boy behind us still, and turned on her speed.  I slowed up a bit so that she would definitely come in before me.  But not so much that the little boy would beat me.

I crossed the line at 41:28.  13 seconds slower than last year.  I was happy with it, considering it was my comeback race, it's a hard course, and I slowed down at the end to let a little girl win.   D met me and got me some water. We went and got our T-shirts. We didn't wait to see if either of us placed in our age groups.  It turned out D came in 3rd in his, and I came in 7th for mine.  He didn't get a prize since we left.

Done!


That's ok.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Week 4 Day 1 of Couch to 5K

I have started Week 4 of the Couch to 5K.  On Saturday, D and I went out to the Freedom Parkway Path.  The treadmill is a bit boring, and I wanted to know how I was doing on hills.  Unfortunately for me, I told him where I wanted to go before I looked at what Week 4 was.

Saturday morning we got up and finally got around to leaving the house.  We were half way there when D realized he forgot his Garmin.  I said I could turn around but he said no (which was good, because we both would have gone back in and sat on the couch).  I told him that it was a pretty accurate 3 miles from the 3 mile marker to Boulevard and back.

So D started with me to "warm-up" for 5 minutes.  When we got to the 3 mile marker (if you saw the path, you'd understand), D took off.  I walked another minute.  Then I started.  1/4 mile of running.  And it was on an uphill (or as D called, flat).  I did my best...I wasn't really sure if I held my speed.  It seemed to be the longest 1/4 mile ever.  Finally done.  Walk for 1/8 of a mile.  Then the hard part...run for .5 miles.  I started and hoped that I would hit the downhill but get to walk uphill.  To be honest, I got to .2 miles and wondered how soon I could die.  Seriously, so out of shape.  My legs just didn't want to move.  I no longer cared about the time, just when my watch would hit 1.12 miles (.25 warmup +.25 run + .12 walk + .5 run).  I actually ran down the hill under the tunnel and the hill back up wasn't that bad.  And then I got to walk .25 miles.  Around 1.3, I saw D as he was coming back. I hoped he wouldn't have to wait long.

The next .25 seemed a lot slower than the first one.  It all seemed to be a slow incline.  I haven't looked at my watch data to see if it was.  Finally I got to Boulevard and walked.  Of course back down the incline.  I was trying to psych myself for the .5 miles.  And then it was time to run.  I went for a while and it was definitely easier than the first .5.  Most of it was on a decline.  I really hoped I would have to walk when I got to the tunnel hill.  Finally 2.25 hit on the watch.  I was right before the tunnel!  Yes, no running up the hill.  And I was done the W4D1.  Except I still had .75 miles to get back to the car.  No big deal.  .25 miles was walking.  That would get me to 2.50.

I decided to run from 2.5 to 2.75.  By now my legs were shot. They really didn't want to move.  But I kept going.  Finally could walk.  I crossed North Highland and I knew the 3 mile marker would be there.  I hit 3 miles at 43:28.  Definitely getting faster.

And no pain in my pelvis.

Today it is going to rain.  My pelvis has been talking all morning.

Here is my watch from Saturday. (I did W4D2 on the treadmill).

W4D1 3.23 miles from start to finish


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Quick Update

So I'm on Week 3 of the Couch to 5K.  To be honest, it is really hard to do it like the directions say.
I typically get in one or 2 extra cycles, because I want to run/walk 3 miles.  If the whole workout is 27 minutes and I'm going 46, it can't be that bad can it?  It probably is, but oh well.  I just feel like going to the gym or to a path to run needs a run that is longer than the drive to the place.  So oh well. Overall I feel strong.

Krankcycle has falling by the wayside.  Mostly I'm having some more health issues, and I'm having trouble going without anything less than 11 hours of sleep. And since I'm taking MARTA to work, that means I get up at 5:30am, and I get home at 5:30pm, so you can see how sleeping is running my life right now.  I did figure out that my gym bag has to be in the car in the morning.  Going home from the MARTA station is not an option.  I end up walking a dog and then going to bed.  D and I are still lifting though.  (And yes, I have gone to the doctors...).

So other than that we are pretty much getting on the fitness track.  We have gotten back in to the habit of sharing food when we go out, or eating before we go out.  I think 2 months of eating pretty healthy (just don't ask me about the beer), has become standard.  I could probably stand to put some more vegetables in the diet.  I can't really seem to let go of my granola bar addiction, but oh well.  But the Diet Coke (fountain) is a 7 a week thing, down from the high of 12 a day.  Water is up to 15 cups a day.  

Scuttlebutt still can't figure out STAY.  McMenamin is doing it pretty good, and sitting when I finally call him to me.  He knows walking with me is all about treats, which is very nice (he listens). Lompoc learned STAY by watching McM.  Scuttlebutt is just like, "I'm 6 years old.  I'm too old for this shit, now give me the damn treat."
Lompoc knows a treat is coming.  The other 2 are so serious.



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Changing Things Up

So when I last left you, was kind of in limbo.

The rain finally stopped for 2 minutes and I was able to go outside and run with Scuttlebutt.  It took us 39 minutes to run 2 miles. Actually we walked more than we ran, because I started hurting.  I felt proud.  About 3 hours later I felt in pain. And I said, "No more."  I wanted a clear definition if I hurt because of the rain or because of my pelvis.

The next day (while it was raining), I called the doctor.    A couple days later, I went to see him.  The X-ray showed nothing.  Still he wasn't satisfied and sent me to get an MRI.  It was kind of whirlwind.  I saw him at 2:15 and by 5:30 I'm a couple of buildings over getting ready to go into a big machine.  I never had been in an MRI.  It really wasn't that bad, but if I were a PTSD victim, I could totally see going off in one of those.  There was a lot of banging and knocking.  The technician gave me a CD and sent me on my way.

Here's my X-ray. It's normal.  It's nice...I didn't have to take off my pants for it.
No, the doc didn't know I took a picture of it.  
A few days later, (and my coworker and I may have looked at the CD), the doctor and I read the MRI results.  No crack in the pelvis and nothing wrong with the muscles.  He said, "Go, run."  Actually he didn't say that, but I heard something like that.  He said to take Advil before every run, only run 3 times a week, start slowly, cross train, and lift weights.  So basically, I'm going to try to train differently than I always have...hopefully smarter.

So last Saturday armed with the knowledge of the first day/first week of the Couch to 5K, and filled with 4 Advil, I went to the gym and ran 2 miles.  I was supposed to go .5, but I got excited.  I ran 8 minutes total (not consecutively).   And I did it.  I didn't hurt.

I've also been able to take the dogs for walks.  I did Day 2 on Monday and no problems.  Tuesday was a bit of an issue.  I forgot my Advil.  We went to the gym to lift weights, but I was walking for 10 minutes.  2 minutes in, I had a lot of pain.  I told D I would wait in the car.  He said no, that he would come with me and we would just go home. I was pissed.  WTF?  I got in the car and looked at the weather.  It's supposed to rain tonight, and my leg/pelvis was letting me know yesterday.  So I'm still a little tentative on everything.  I didn't want to walk/exercise with the pain, not knowing what it was.  I probably could have, but it just didn't work out.  Such is life. Today I'm going to try Day 3 before the rain comes. And with Advil.

In other news I have finally given up driving 30 miles to work.  3-3.5 hours in the car a day is just too much, and unless I plan on getting to work at 4AM to leave at 2PM, it just wasn't working out for me, for D, for the dogs.   I finally figured out the MARTA bus system (I know how to use the train, but wasn't sure how the 2 worked in combo).  Today was the first day I tried.  So far so good.  Of course, I didn't plan on the 80 degree days in the afternoon to walk the whopping 0.2 miles (I kid) to the stop.  But we shall see.  It does seem to be a little freeing to not have to worry about gas and stuff during the day.  Hopefully this will become a regular occurrence.  Although, I will have to learn to wake up earlier, because getting ready for work in 15 minutes (shower included) doesn't seem to make me all that put together.  Oh well.

And it was the Boys' Birthdays yesterday. Here is a shot of them.  McMenamin (in the background) has been working on Stay for a few weeks.  Scuttlebutt (foreground) has too, but seems confused if I get more than a foot away.  He doesn't seem to grasp that Stay doesn't mean follow Mom.  Hopefully in 2-3 more weeks he'll get it.

Scuttlebutt (6) and McMenamin (5)












Thursday, February 26, 2015

I know! It's been a long time!

You ever mean to do something, and you go, "Oh, I'll do it tomorrow."  Yeah...pretty much that's been me trying to update this blog.

I didn't run at all in December because of the cracked pelvis.  I ran a 5K in January, ok, albeit slowly at 46:19 (I ran 2 miles, and walked 1.1).  I went and ran at the gym, and yeah...that didn't go so well. I felt I really recracked the damn thing.

The dogs in their scarves from Running with the Dogs 5K.
Lompoc, Miss Underbite

McMenamin and Scuttlebutt
I could feel my head getting the "non-exercise" fog (bitchierness?), and D got to the point he was scared to mention going to the gym much less actually going.  It was kind of like when you ask an unemployed person who is looking for a job how the job hunt is going.  You know they mean well, but when 10 people ask you every day, you start to feel like a failure. So you either burst into tears that you suck or you bite the person's head off.

But early in February, I could tell that D really needed to go and decided I would go. Not to mention, I'm not really fond of pictures or pants right now.  I feel fat.  I walked at 2.5 mph for a mile.   I finally found a pace I can watch TV at without getting motion sickness.  It was incredibly boring.  However, I didn't hurt afterwards.  We saw this weird machine there that didn't look like it used any core muscles as well, called a Krankcycle. We couldn't figure out how it worked so we left.

We went back to the gym and lifted weights.  We went back to the gym, and I did the unmentionable.  I took out my phone at the gym (you know how I HATE that).  I watched the video on how to use the Krankcycle for the 3rd time that day, and did it.  It is hard, but it uses very little core.  The only problem is the gym has it facing a wall.  Since you are unable to physically read or watch a tablet on this thing, it makes it boring.  But I stuck it out for 20 minutes.  I walked another mile the next time I went to the gym.

I have used the Krankcycle a few more times (I asked the gym to move it but due to space constraints, they can't).  I moved it to face a clock so that I can do intervals on it.  I can actually get 250-300 calories burned in 30 minutes (yeah, I'm up to 30 minutes).

On Saturday, I walked 2 miles.  I did 8 30/60 intervals of running/walking at 4/3mph.  Slow.  I honestly cannot tell how my pelvis is anymore.  I can tell you with about 80% accuracy when it is going to rain, so that is part of the issue.  My pelvis has hurt a lot in the past 2 weeks because of the weather.  I am off my Celebrex, now though.  I really want to run outside.  Even intervals.  I'm actually scared to run on the treadmill, since that's where the crack came from to begin with.  I ran up the street with Scuttlebutt the other day.  About 50 yards.  It felt ok.  If just it wouldn't be a downpour every Saturday morning (or 15 degrees).  I have lost so much endurance it isn't funny.

What's odd though, I haven't really lost any arm strength.  However, I'm not really sure there was much to lose.  Tuesday we did weights again.  I added some leg weights but still no ad- or ab-ductor strength training.  And of course it has rained continuously since Wednesday morning, so again hard to tell.

I'm still aiming to do the Kentucky Derby Half in April.  I know I will be walking a large part of it.  If I can run 3 miles of it, I will be happy.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Post Richmond Marathon

Well after the Marathon, you know D and I went to drink.  Richmond was special because we went out with V and E, and as a special bonus, D's best man B drove down to hang with us.  We drank a lot and had a lot of fun.

Unfortunately, my groin was hurting something fierce.  I ended the night early (like 11) and they all went out.  Sunday, E and B left, and V, D, and I all went to Perly's for brunch. If you are in downtown Richmond, you should go.  The food is delicious.  V went to drive home after that. 


Pierogies at Perly's


Reuben at Perly's

Which left D and me to go drink.  I hobbled to the first brewery.  We had beers.

Beers
We took a car to the 2nd brewery.  I hobbled to the bar.  This groin hurt.

Beers
We went to the 3rd brewery which was having a bottle release.

Beers

Finally we went to a bar.  When we got our fill there we walked to the hotel.  The next day we drove back to Atlanta.

I hobbled all week, but seemed to get a little better.  That may have also been to some strange virus both D and I got that resembled food poisoning but lasted 4 days.  So over the weekend the only thing we did was go to the Atlanta Half-Marathon Packet Pickup, not Expo that was not in Atlanta.  I won't go into it, but I did write the ATL HM people to let them know I was both disappointed having to drive 30 miles RT to another city where the race wasn't even going to be (thankfully, I read my emails or I would have had to drive 60 miles, RT), and the reason I find Expos beneficial.   Anyways...

Monday- Wednesday were just going to work.  Monday, I did call the doctor who said he could see me December 26th.  Wednesday night, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to run the half on Thanksgiving, so I made a Pecan Pie Cheesecake (I would have made it anyway).  We worked on cleaning the house since both of us had been sick the week before, and then went to bed.

Thanksgiving morning we drove to the race that is over by A's house.  She wasn't doing it, but if you have read the blog, you know she lives relatively close to Turner field, which we do too, but if you are running 13.1 miles, you don't really want to walk 4 miles home, so we drove.  Anyway we were really early, so we sat in the car.  I got out once to go to the bathroom. Up until then, my leg felt fine.  D didn't want to run.  I told him to shut it.  Finally it was 7:25 and it started at 7:30 (or maybe 7:55 with it starting at 8, I don't remember).  So we started to the start line.  For some reason, I decided to try out my leg.  It was nagging while walking just a little.  I went down the parking lot all of 5 feet, and knew I couldn't run on it.  I started to cry.  D said he would drive me home. I said I would wait in the car for him.  He was already in the driver's seat with the car on, when I got in.  We went home.

The Pecan Pie Cheesecake was really awesome.



So...I had called the doctor on Dec 1.  He had an opening for Dec 8.Great, since I have a race on Dec 13.  Dec.2, stepping out of the shower, I slipped on the tile and fell. I hit my head.  I'm not really sure if I knocked myself out, because I don't know what time I took a shower.  I do know it took me forever to get upright.  But after that, my leg felt a lot better. Not really. But I keep telling myself that. Mostly, Dec 1-8 involved a lot of Advil...although on the 7th it might have been because of the Strong Beer Fest and the headache that was involved after.  Dec.8 finally rolled around, and I went to see the Sports Doctor.  We talked, and I showed him where my groin hurt. He was pretty sure it was an adductor strain and was thankful that I hadn't started my lifting regimen, yet.  For shits and giggles, and because I was there, he took an X-ray of my pelvis.  We looked at it.  He goes, "You started hurting on Nov. 5?  And then you ran a marathon?"  I was like, "Yes. Why?"  He pointed to the X-ray.  He goes, "See this black line?  That's a crack. Your pelvis is cracked. That's why your leg hurts." He called it an Inferior Pubic Ramus Stress Fracture (I think, since all I heard was Pubic Ramming).  He looked at the rest of the Pelvis.  The good news is that my hips look great, and the ball/socket joints look great.

So, "Doc, what does this mean? I have a race on Saturday."  He said I could run the 5 miles, but after that no running for 4 weeks.  And if it still hurt, to call him and I then would have to get a MRI.  So he gave me a prescription for Celebrex and sent me on my way.


But seriously, a cracked pelvis????

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Richmond Marathon 2014


So Saturday morning came.  I was nervous.  My leg hurt.  I woke up and immediately took some Advil.  It was early, like 5:30.  My nerves were just "ahh."  I slowly figured out that my compression pants and 1 shirt was going to be my outfit.  (The race started at 30 degrees and was going to end at 45).  I decided on a baseball cap.  And I had throwaway gloves.  I got down 3 bottles of water and 2 Clif Bars between 5:30 and 7:30 and used the bathroom plenty.  I had my 2 Gatorades in my Camelbak, some Margarita Shot Blocks, I thought Advil, and 5 Honey Stinger Waffles.  To be honest, D was doing his own thing, and I really wasn't paying attention. I took 11 Advil.

Selfie in the hotel room
At 7:30 we decided to go downstairs.  From everything I could've read, the race was basically open for 7hour and 10 minutes total.  So I wanted to start upfront.  So I started with D in the C corral.  I was supposed to be in G.  Had someone said something, I may have cried, but no one did.


Us in the hotel lobby right inside of the start line

So someone sang the National Anthem, we watched the Half Marathoners start (different course), and then the start of the marathon began.

I ran and my leg felt ok.  Sigh of relief.  I ran along Broad Street.  It was pretty crowded, but I seemed to be doing ok.  I got over to the side, so I could do my 9/1 run/1walk thing.  My music was going.  There were a ton of people out.  I guess it is the friendliest marathon.  I was really surprised considering it was 30 degrees out.  But maybe it was hotter. My hands were really hot.  I don't know. Miles 1 came and went.  Only 25 more to go.  "Al, if you think that way, this is going to be the longest race ever. God, my hands are hot."  At Mile 1.5, I got rid of my gloves.  Mile 2 was just running and moving out of town.  We turned somewhere and got on Monument.  There were a couple of monuments (duh), and a lot of row houses.  I miss that in Atlanta.  We don't have row houses.  At Mile 4 we turned.  There was a juggler.  He passed me.  I really hate running jugglers.  Yes, it does piss me off they run faster than me with those stupid balls, and yes, I really do hope they'll fall and trip.  This one dropped a ball and I did feel kind of a calm happiness (hey, I never claimed to be nice!).
Mile 1: 13:27
Mile 2: 13:49
Mile 3: 13:38
Mile 4: 14:10

I turned again, down another street.  There were a few hills.  Having looked at the course online, I knew there was a nice downhill at 7, so that's all I focused on getting too. Again a lot of housing (not row anymore) and it was kind of mundane, in terms of scenery.  However, there was a band, and lots of people out.  Still trying to get to Mile 7... Turned on this little road, and it was down hill.  I could see the 10K line.  I only had to do 4 of those.  Yay, 1/4 of the way there (yeah, I know my math was off).  Then there was a hill.  I walked up it, which was fine, and then resumed running.  It was really shady through mile 6 and downhill.  It was cold. I wished I still had my gloves.  Overall I felt good though.  I was keeping my eating to every 2 miles.  Drinking my Gatorade on my stops and water every 2 miles (at the provided stops).  We got to this little town (like a shopping center) with a "festival" for the runners.  It was a little odd, but all the people there were having a good time and they cheered on all the runners.  So it was nice.  Then we started across this bridge.  I had a lot of energy.  This woman in a blue shirt had her shirt riding way up with her belt rubbing.  At my walk break I sprinted up to her and told her to pull it down not to get a blister.  I think at this point I was at my 4/1, but I don't remember.  Anyway she said thanks.  She seemed to be an interval runner as well, although I couldn't figure out her intervals.  On the bridge we crossed over the James River.  I tried to enjoy it.  There were a lot of leaves.  Once over the bridge, I ran down an "on ramp" and got to Mile 8.  I beat the Mile 7 Cutoff.

D between Mile 4 and 6
V between Mile 4 and 6

Mile 5 14:12
Mile 6: 14:08
10K Time: 1:27:19
Mile 7: 14:17
Mile 8: 14:13

Mile 8 and 9 were alongside the river. It was pretty flat but cold.  The houses were HUGE, and I was really surprised the number of people out, considering how cold it was.

Me between Mile 8 and 9
At Mile 9.9 (not really but you know), you passed a band who was singing to all the women (there were a lot out there).  I passed blue shirt lady again.  We had to run up this hill.  It was a pain, but I got up it. I was starting to get tired.  Shit.  I switched to the Shot Blocks because I was getting tired of the Honey Waffles.  Still a lot of people out.  I wove myself through this neighborhood, and finally was out on a main road.  A couple of times I did see some women (never men) get into cars.  I wondered if they were cheating.  I don't know.  I kept going.  Blue lady and I were shuffling past each other.  Mile 11-13 seemed to be a lot of up hill.  We seemed to be heading back into town. At this point I don't know if it was Richmond, but it is a town.  Finally up all these hills, and the 13.1 mile mark. Oh, why didn't I sign up for the half? But I had beat the 12 Mile Cutoff.

Mile 9: 14:51
Mile 10: 15:07
Mile 11: 15:39
Mile 12: 15:31
Mile 13: 15:56
13.1 Time: 3:11:12

Mile 14 and 15 were all about getting to the Key Bridge.  14 brought me to a more industrial section.  A turn to Mile 15 and I was on the bridge.  It was windy. You needed to look down.  It seemed to be a major trip hazard.  A lot of people were stopping.  At one of my walk breaks, I dug around for my Advil. There was none.  FUUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKK! This was concerning to me, because 11 miles there was going to be a problem.  I got over the bridge, and some band dude asked me if I wanted a drink. I was at a party stop.  I was so confused.  No, I didn't want a drink.  Someone handed me some water.  I took a sip. It was Coke. I may have spit it across the road. I don't know why I didn't look at it before drinking but water and Coke are vastly different when you expect one and get the other.  I switched to 2/1 intervals.  These 2 women, Sisters with Sole (I think) came up.  They could do I was limping. I was trying not to cry.  I told them I lost my Advil.  One brought out a baggie and said, she had extra.  To those 2 women, THANK YOU!!!  They went on, I regrouped and restarted.  I turned and went down this winding road.  I hit Mile 17.  They were handing out towels, but I was so far back the kids had started playing swords with them so they didn't really look like something I wanted to put on my face.  I skipped over.  All the water stops were still full.  I just kept moving, but I really wanted to be done.  It was a struggle.  "Just keep moving, AL.  Si se puede."  I kept going.  Finally on BLVD.  I know the Arthur Ashe Center is on this road and it is the last hill.  I was now on 1/1.  My hamstring was killing me.  I wondered if I had over compensated.  I got to the hill and almost cried. In my head, it meant I was going to do it.  I still had to get to Mile 20 which was the last cutoff. I past the lady in the blue shirt.   I saw the Mile 20 sign, and was so deliriously happy.  Only 6 more miles.  Oh Fuck!  6 more miles.  I knew I had to turn into some little neighborhood, so I kept running.  I knew I had slowed down, but I could do it.  Just stay "Si se puede, AL."

Mile 14: 16:11
 Mile 15: 16:05
Mile 16: 17:09
Mile 17: 17:16
Mile 18: 17:08
Mile 19: 17:43
Mile 20: 17:34
20 Mile Time: 5:09:16

The blue lady pulled up beside me, right as I started walking.  She was walking full time. I looked over and told her we had beat the cutoff. She started to cry.  I told her to stop.  We walked a little. She said this wasn't the race she wanted. There was no one out and she was injured. I asked if she wanted me to get a medic. She said no.  She stopped to stretch and take some aspirin.  Then she caught up (it wasn't hard).  At this point I realized I could walk to her pace or run to her pace.  So I walked.  She said she was sure the weather had kept the people out.  I told her I was shocked how many people were still cheering us.  I told her to keep walking and I would make sure we didn't slow that much down.  We walked in silence. I periodically told her how many "laps around the track we had."  When we got to 16 laps, I took a picture.

16 more "laps"
She liked the lap idea.   We walked down Brook Road.  Mile 23 passed us.  Some people offered us their last 2 Saltine Crackers. We took them.  Blue Lady was named Kathy and she was from Charlotte.  She had been running with her coach, but told her to go on and get a good time.  She would just go as far as she could.  We turned.  I looked behind us.  There weren't that many left.  I told her we had 9 laps.  Again more quietness.  We got to Mile 24 and I decided I wanted to be done, so I told her I was going to run.  I got to Mile 25 on my own.  I remembered my calf. I remembered my girl who I once said would cross every finish line with me.  Like hell she wasn't crossing today.

Guinness was getting that medal!
She pulled up beside me with another woman, who was also hurt.  They were both pissed. I was too.  Kathy wanted to cry again. I told her she wasn't allowed to. Because at this point we were so tired, there was comraderie, but man if I'm not eloquent.  I told them "This is character building.  This is when a recruiter asks you what your best accomplishment was, it was this, because there was a mental toughness that overrode the physical.  Stupid or not, we would finish.  This is where we grew a set. This was where we became men."  Then we all laughed.

The entire race there were these flourescent green people.  I assume they were coaches for a local running group.  They were pretty awesome because they had been cheering us on for the last several miles.  One of them let us know we had 11 minutes to get to the finish line.  We had less than .5 miles.  The other lady and I said good-bye to Kathy.  The last part of the race was downhill.  My legs hurt.  I wanted to be done.  I saw D among all the people and there were a lot.  I was going to finish.  I crossed.  It wasn't pretty but I did.  I just started to cry.  I got my medal and hugged the medal lady. I got my blanket and hat. I found D. I hugged him.

D finishing

V finishing.

D and V waiting for me
Me finishing

Mile 21: 17:52
Mile 22: 19:20
Mile 23: 18:54
Mile 24: 18:06
Mile 25: 17:23
Mile 26: 17:31
Mile .27: 4:03.7
Marathon (26.27 according to Garmin): 7:01:11
D Marathon (PR): 4:43:15
V Marathon (PR): 4:45:16


 And then I told him I had to find Kathy. I know he was like, "Who is Kathy?"  She crossed (she actually had a better net time than me, but eh), and we hugged.  Then she saw her friends, so I left her.

V and her friend E found us and we all hugged.  While E took our pictures, Kathy's running team came over, and thanked me.  Really?  She helped me.  We cried and got a picture as well.

Me and D
D, me and V
Me and Kathy
Post Marathon Beer
Finisher's Hat, Shirt and Medal
Medal