Weight I have lost

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Atlanta Half-Marathon 2013

So D and I broke rules on Thanksgiving. Actually we broke rules on the 1.1.13, but those rules were ok to break because we ran a race on a holiday at a brewery.  We don't run on holidays because it interferes with our drinking on a day we have off together. We don't run in half or full marathons in Atlanta because it is too hilly. So in August or September we decided we needed to get back into running.  Of course, Thanksgiving would be the "perfect" time because we only had multiple Saturdays taken up by football or beer festivals or out-of-town trips. What a wonderful idea!  On the plus side, the average temperature is 50 degrees.

We trained half-heartedly.  Although we did train with hills, my longest run was in October.  It was 9 miles.  I don't know if D got that far. He might have run 7 or 8.  I can't really remember.

A week before Thanksgiving, I was walking Lompoc.  I fell in a hole that the prior HOA landscaper never backfilled.  I crawled up the alley to the driveway with the dog, and hobbled to the stairs where I was able to get D to come help me.  I cursed the landscaper who happens to also be a neighbor.  I almost flipped my lid when later that day he commented on how lousy the new landscaper is.  But I refrained from telling him that at least they backfill trees they take out.  I iced the ankle.   Friday it felt fine. Saturday it felt pulled.  I quietly ignored it.  But I didn't run any of the "taper" runs.

Tuesday before Thanksgiving came and D and I met at the Marriot Marquis to pick up our numbers.  We bought some really cute gloves as well, because it was supposed to be cold, and we weren't sure where our gloves were.  I was slightly nervous because the cutoff was 3:30 and my runs weren't all that fast, although somewhere along the way in the past 3 weeks, my 3 milers were getting there.

Old hat, new shirt, and new gloves
Wednesday came and I came home and baked a cake.  And cursed that I couldn't drink the way we normally do the night before Thanksgiving.  (We did have 1 beer each).
Because everyone bakes a cake the night before a half-marathon: Samoa Bundt Cake
D was all into laying out his clothes.  I focused on the fact it was going to be cold, and went to bed.   In the dark we talked about our parking plan.  It was too cold to park in Grant Park and walk to Turner Field.  So we decided to park in the parking lot.

Thursday (Thanksgiving)...I turned on the news.  It was the coldest day so far of 2013. It was the coldest Thanksgiving since 1911. It was 25 degrees.  I looked around for my stuff, and finally found it all. My heart rate monitor said I was dead.  I finally got it to work.  We did multiple things and finally were ready to leave.
I had on 2 pairs of pants, 2 shirts, 2 pairs of gloves and a hat.

We pulled into Turner Field.  It was now 24 degrees.  Fuuuuuuuuck!  We sat in the car for awhile.  Finally at about 715 we got out of the car.  I really was nervous about the 3:30 time limit.  Somehow D landed in Corral A again. He asked me to put him down for 2:30 on the next race.  We decided to get in Corral C.  We talked to 2 women for a little while.  Someone sang the National Anthem (Question: Do you take your hat off during this in 24 degrees?  D was the only one around us who did).  My HRM read that I was dead, again, so I didn't bother to start it.  Finally we were off.

Waiting for the race
We ran up Hank Aaron/Capitol Ave.  It was a hill but nothing exciting.  Most people (shockingly) were passing me.  I kept going.  We crossed over MLK and turned onto Decatur. There were too many people to do my 9/1 thing, so I kept moving.
Mile 1: 12:35

Finally I was able to make it over to the sidewalk to take a walk break.  We passed part of Georgia State and Centennial Olympic Park.  I really thought it was nice. The sun was out and the cops and volunteers were very supportive.  As we approached mile 2 there was a water stop.  The volunteers were throwing sand all over the ground.  I got a water, drank it and then traversed carefully on the sand.  The ice, yes, I could slide on.  But only I could find a pebble and roll my foot and hurt myself.  Luckily no issues.
Mile 2: 12:45

I knew we were turning onto Northside Drive, but for some reason I thought we were turning via Means Street (by the Engineers' Bookstore across from Georgia Tech).  I was a bit sad when we didn't.  We ran passed the the Post Office and finally got to Northside.  Some downhill.  Then I started thinking about the really big hill on Northside by the Westinghouse Building (17th St). Ugh...we will have to run up that.
Mile 3: 13:24

I really was dreading the hill. I ran past McDonald's and Burger King.  I could see it.  Wait? What?  We are turning at 16th Street. No hill?  Yes!!! Past the IKEA to some little street and then to 17th Street.  We were now at Atlantic Station.  The 2:30 pace team passed me.  I have run this section for the Komen.  Ugh!  We are going to have to run up Spring Street and that hill.  Either I was going REALLY slowly or the 2:30 and the 2:45 pace teams were off, because guess who next passed me.  I tried to keep up with the 2:45 pace team, but they ran too fast (they run/walk).  I knew if I kept up with them it would screw up the rest of the race.  We turned onto Spring.
Mile 4: 13:09
Mile 5: 13:29

At this point I had no idea what my time was.  I know that sounds silly but I kept missing the actual lap on my watch.  Eh, whatever.  So we started up Spring Street.  I hate this hill.  I was still fighting with my head to not try to stay up with the 2:45 team.  My run/walk was completely off.  Wait, we are turning.  We turned onto 14th St.  Aha!  A hill.  And a bitch of a one to boot.  I ran next to someone with a 1:45 pace team shirt.  It was obvious he was hurt, also obvious he was going to finish (he was a Marine).  We shuffled up the hill together.  We crossed over Peachtree.  Both of thanked the police there.  Ran down the hill and entered Piedmont Park.
Mile 6: 13:24
Mile 6.33 (said the half-way...my Garmin said 6.33): 1:23:48

I stopped and had a Hammergel and some water.  And was on my way.  Lots of people stopped for the bathrooms.  I kept going.  It was pretty flat.  I knew the last 3 miles of the course, but I couldn't remember Mile 7-10.  I was excited when I saw 10th and Charles Allen. I thought we were going on CA.  I was wrong.  We turned on 10th.  I've run 10th. It is rolling hills.  It isn't horrible, but I also know to get back to Turner Field all roads lead to hills.  Damn!
Mile 7: 14:22

OK, Al.  Never wonder where the hills are again,  you moron.  Really you thought Atlantans didn't know what hills were.  What kind of ass are you?  We turned on Juniper.  Oh shit. Juniper and Courtland are the same street, aren't they.  They are going to take us up Courtland.  Well maybe they'll take us North to Parkway.  Here's hoping.
Mile 8: 14:33

Yay, Sportsbeans.  These taste good.  Crossing over Ponce and North.  No good.  I don't feel like climbing Courtland.  Especially by Georgia State.  Just keep moving.  Do 4/1s.  Just keep moving.  OK, something clicked.  I have some energy.  There's the Marriot Marquis.  Oh we ARE turning onto John Wesley Dobbs.
Mile 9: 14:45

Yay!  Downhill.  We must be pretty much done with hills.  Passing streets to Grady.  This is good.  I'll let gravity take over.  We crossed under the Interstate and BOOM!  The biggest damn hill ever.  It was in front of a school.  We were by the MLK National Park (back side of it).  I wanted to cry.  No one around me ran up this hill.  People were going down with leg cramps. I focused on keeping my feet moving.  It was a climb but finally I got to the top and turned onto Boulevard.  There was a water stop.
Mile 10: 15:17

I knew the run through the outer part of Cabbagetown would be initially downhill, but then we had to go up to get upto Memorial (by Oakland Cemetery).  I did well until I actually got onto Memorial.  And then I wanted to be done.  My foot had a blister on it (newer shoes).  I could feel my foot sliding.  Just kill me.  Why did we think this was a good idea?  Whose idea was this?  Finally on flat surface.  We turn again?  Ok.  And another turn...onto MLK
Mile 11: 17:00

OK, if I walk the rest, I can be done in 40 minutes.  But run, Al, and you'll be done sooner.  Shut up, Brain!  Oh wait, I can see people crossing Memorial back to the stadium from here.  Wait...no way that is 2 miles.  I bet we have to run some more. (I know...crazy to run in a half marathon!).  I remember Mitchell is involved. Does Mitchell cross MLK?  Shit!  A bridge.  Ah downhill.  This is a super long mile.  Where the hell is Mitchell? Why is there another god damn hill. Oh there's Central.  That's where D and I got married.  When do we turn?  Ah Peachtree!  Yay!  Downhill.
Mile 12: 16:18

Oh fuck.  If this is taking me to Capitol, I have another hill to climb.  I'm just going to stop.  I don't need to finish.  Keep moving your legs, Al.  It is a lovely Gold Dome (passing the Capitol).  I'm walking this hill.  Finally at the top.  Thank another cop.  And it is downhill.  Yay!  Cross Memorial and the bridge hill.  By now I'm sure the blister on my foot is the size of my head.  Damn it hurts.  Why are you walking with less than half a mile left.  Run, Bitch, Run!  Bitch, Puhleese!  Just walk it in.  Move that ass.

Moving that ass
The last half mile was my brain fighting with itself.  But then over the horizon by the Holiday Inn and the DMV, I could see it.  The FINISH LINE.  I ran, albeit slowly.  But each foot ticked off some distance and finally the blue mats were behind me.
Mile 13: 17:14
Mile .32: 5:00
Total: 3:13:17

I saw D and hugged him and then wandered aimlessly.  I found the medals people and got one.  We got a picture and then walked to the car.  Well D walked, I hobbled.
Us, done
At home, I popped that blister and drank a beer!

Beer and Medal



Monday, November 4, 2013

The 5th Annual Celebrate the Life of Porter

So it is coming up on 4 years ago that Porter passed away.  Although it sometimes seems we've had Scuttlebutt and McMenamin forever (not Lompoc, though), it doesn't seem like Po died in 2009.  However, she did, and thus the weekend rolled around to celebrate her life.

We celebrate it every Romp N Stomp/Chomp N Stomp weekend, well because she passed away the day before.  I still remember D and running bud A going to the 5K and they were both so happy I didn't go.  Apparently the cop missed a turn with the leader, and the race was only ~2 miles long.  D said had I been there, he and A would have had to carry me back to the car.  Later in the day, he forced me to get out of bed, because it was sunny out.  We stopped by A's house to give her and J our football tickets and then we went to Chomp N Stomp.  We had some chili but it was way crowded and I begged to go home.  D said that we should just relax on a rock.  So we did.  Then I asked him for a beer, and he went to wait in line.  When he came back, I was gone.  He looked around, and he realized the rocks had been right next to a dog adoption.  He found me holding a dog.  And thus Celebrate the Life of Porter was born.

We don't go back to Chomp N Stomp anymore, although we still run Romp N Stomp.  Nothing against the Chomp.  Just big crowds and it makes me nervous.  Plus we do things Porter liked to do.  We sit on patios and drink. (She really was the perfect dog).

So this was the 5th Annual Celebrate the Life of Porter (if you are wondering how I got 5 if she has only been gone 4 years, well, you include year 0).

Friday night, D and I went to get our race numbers.  We had a beer at Milltown  (maybe 2).  Then we went home.  I texted A, only to find out she wasn't doing it this year.  The streets are small and with 1500 people, she said it is too crowded.  We were somewhat bummed but oh well.  D and I went to bed.  The next morning we may have cursed A, a little bit, because we had no incentive to get out of bed (usually one of us drives the other 2).  Finally we were able to get ourselves out of the house, and up to the race.

It was about 50 degrees.  People were dressed every which way.  Some dressed for 100 degrees, others for -40.  We had on shorts and light long-sleeved shirts.  We people-watched and finally the race started.  D of course got ahead of me in 3 seconds, and that was the last I saw him.  I was doing decently with the slight uphill on the start.  Then the downhill and then back to up while at the Krog St. Tunnel.  I had a little bit trouble breathing, so I checked my HR and it was soaring.  I decided even though I was at 5 minutes, to walk a minute.  Well that was good, because then I got to a flat spot.  I ran down to Reynoldstown and the Coffee Shop/Bar/Dog Park.  I didn't notice if anyone was out, because I was nearing 13 minutes and I was trying to get to Mile 1 under 13 minutes.  I did...12:57.  My HR was fine and I felt fine.  A lot of downhill was coming up.  I figured eventually I would walk.  I seemed to stay with one woman...she was running the whole thing.  Her stride down hill was longer than mine, but I seemed to go uphill faster.  I got up the hill on Gaskill where you turn (and a water stop). I wasn't thirsty, but my legs were screaming to walk.  I took a 1 minute break and then we turned and turned running back to Gaskill.  I hit Mile 2 at 13:12.  The lady passed me.

Back onto Gaskill.  There were 2 guys on a roof with a Brindle dog.  I had to do a double take because I thought it was McMenamin at first. It made me smile.  By now we were back to Carroll Street (the start) and that uphill was again.  I had another walk break and then continued.  The lady ran stride for stride down the hill with me and then the uphill by Krog, she did something (walk, slow...I don't know).  I entered the Tunnel. My pace was easy.  I saw the lady I had run with  on the return (the tunnel is out and back).  She wasn't going to catch me. I knew I had one more hill (the one where I walked the first time).   It isn't really a hill...more of that slight upturn of the street when you come off a bridge or a tunnel.  I got out of the tunnel, and my legs told me I was walking that hill again.  I walked it, and turned.  The rest was a slanted (down) flat.  I hit mile 3 at 12:40 but that wasn't right because a) Garmin doesn't work in the tunnel and b) the mile marker was about .05 ahead of me.  Still nice.  I knew I wasn't doing any PR, but still happy.  I turned the final turn onto Kirkwood and saw D and the finish.  I crossed at 41:13.  Not my best, not my worst.

We talked to some people we knew and then I got cold so we left.  Around 1130 we took McMenamin out for some fries (appetizer).  Then we dropped him off and picked up Scuttlebutt.  We took him around Decatur (Po's favorite place).

Lompoc (with her underbite) not understanding why she isn't coming out

McMenamin at Augustines

Founders Oatmeal Stout

Scuttlebutt at Square Pub

Al and Scuttlebutt at Big Tex (UGA/UF Block Party)

Scuttlebutt at Big Tex

Left Hand Beer Week Sauce at Brick Store Pub

Scuttlebutt and Sculpture in Decatur Square

Monday, September 30, 2013

We Got to Climax! (Atlanta SE Beltline 8K)

I'm here.  I'm alive.  I needed a break from running and blogging, but I started running again.  And I have run a few races.  This past weekend, I ran in the SE Atlanta Beltline 8K.

Awhile ago, A and I were looking at a few races for this weekend.  I had that I had to run a 5K.  There was one about 4 miles away.  Then I saw an 8K between A's and my house.  D was fine with the 8K.  A said she was too, so we all signed up for it.  Then A said, "Did you see the course, and all those hills?"  My thought was, "A, do you know those hills that are between our houses?  That would probably be what we were running."  My attitude despite my long hiatus on running was a bit cocky.  I knew every street but one and have run every street on the course but that one (although none of them together).

As the day came closer, I got a little more worried as I would drive home and drive up those hills.  Then I saw the 8K was a run/walk, and stopped.

Friday, D didn't have to work so he got our packets.  We ate pizza and went to bed early...really no different from any other Friday for us.  Saturday the race was late for us...9am.  We got up at 730 which was confusing because normally we are already out (have to incorporate running and tailgating).  So we putzed around and finally left the house at 820.

Me and D
 Yes, we drove, because after 5 miles, who wants to walk up the hills to go home?  We parked across from Boulevard Crossing Fields and walked over.  I told D I was wearing his Garmin (I had charged his by accident, he had charged mine).  He said to wear it because mine somehow didn't charge (actually needed a reset but at the time we didn't know that).  I left my iPod in the car.  His iPod doesn't turn off.  We were electronically challenged.  We found A and talked about the hills.

The race was sponsored by the Atlanta Beltline and they had the Councilwoman speak.  D and I live on the other side of the tracks from A, and it is amazing how much we think differently about her and her helping "the neighborhood."  She pretty much neglects ours, but loves A's.  A's neighborhood average income is a lot higher than ours.  Her neighborhood has way less blight than ours.  And across more tracks...I don't think that councilwoman would know what to do (yes, that's her district too).  So we talked about that for a few minutes.  Then we lined up on Englewood going towards Boulevard, and were off.  About 4 minutes late. 

Everyone passed me.   There was no starting mat although it was a chipped race.  No whoop.  I took it easy down the hill. Then we went up Boulevard and turned East.  That is the trick through SE Atlanta, usually.  Run East/West for flat. Run North/South for hills.  I couldn't wait for 9 minutes to come.  I may have passed one person.  Lots of people were out...we were in the BoHo area.  We ran down a hill to Confederate.  The cops were holding traffic. I saw they were holding a MARTA bus, and wondered how they were going to do that.  Turns out, they let the bus come through.  But that was about it.  I was between .5 and .75 miles, and started feeling good.  Then something happened.  I'm not sure what.  My foot caught a ridge.  My other foot tried to stop it.  I did that weird motion where you are trying to get your balance but at the same time you are going down. "Not my knees, not my knees," I thought.  Then boom.  It would have been a sliding belly flop if I had been in a pool. The palms of my hands hit and slid out hard, and everything else hit at once.  I remembered to close my mouth to prevent my teeth from breaking.  "I'm  ok, " I was getting ready to say.  Except no one was around me.  I got up and looked at my knees. They weren't bleeding, so I started running.  This all took about 15 seconds.  It was weird.  I got about twenty feet and noticed intense pain in my right hand.  I run with my hands in a fist so I saw it was all red.  I opened it up and there was blood everywhere.  By this point, I had to turn and run up a hill.  My East/West Theory was blown, as it was a big hill to get back to Boulevard.  I thought about running back to the starting line since I was only a mile in.  Then I thought about my tattoo.  Guinness crossed the starting line. She needed to cross the finish line.  So I decided to keep going.

Boulevard to Atlanta was uneventful.  Lots of traffic stopped. The APD were awesome with this.  I got to Atlanta, and the cops were cheering us on.  By now I was sure I was back of the pack.  Not a lot of people were in front of me.  I got down the hill and to the water stop.  The guy saw my hand and dumped some water on it, and off I went.  At Intown Healthy Hound (the pups' dog store) tons of people were out.  I don't know who, but someone yelled, "Go Allison!"  That made me feel good.  I knew this part of the course, and just ran.  My hand was throbbing.  My HR was in the 180s, but my heart didn't feel bad, so I kept at it.  We turned on Hill. 

More people were cheering us on.  One lady recognized me. Now I have run Hill a zillion times. And where we turned off of it...um, I never noticed that street.  So we turned again, and then we're in D.H. Stanton Park.  Again, cops and volunteers were cheering us on.  The park seemed pretty nice. I can't believe I didn't know it was there.  I got out of it and another water stop.  I poured more water on my hand (it was really gross, because it was combining with sweat and wet).  My hand was burning. I guess that's why it is road burn.  I started up a hill to Capitol Ave.  At that time 9 minutes passed and I started walking.  This guy caught up to me.  He said the hills were killing him.  I said to be aware, because the next mile was up hill.  The cop heard me and started laughing. Then he said, "She's not lying."  So we turned off Capitol and onto Milton.  I was slowing down. The sun was out and bright. My hand hurt.  I had 2 miles left.  I couldn't figure out how they were going to get 2 miles from here.  Then they took us up Lakewood.  There's how.  More uphill.  (D and A both said they walked this part).

When I got up to McDonough, Historic South Atlanta was representing...some guy poured more water on my hand. Then I turned onto McDonough.  I always run this road.  It was cool to finally run it without the danger of being hit by a car.  Down to the Chosewood Park Neighborhood and through Chosewood Park.  I didn't really pay attention.  I knew I had another hill to climb.  The volunteer told me I had one more hill. I said, "Then I get to Climax."  He didn't get it.  So I finished the hill and turned onto Grant.  I ran a little more.  I could see D.  He was standing at the street sign.  We got to Climax together...(I'm such a kid).  I showed him my hand and then continued. I was almost back to the playing fields.  I got back on Englewood and saw I had one more hill.  I hadn't been paying attention to my time, because at this point, finishing was my goal.  I got over the hill, and saw the finish, and it said 67 something.  I knew all my 5 milers were in the 70s, so I was going to PR.  I sped up a little.   And finally crossed. 
68:44 (PR)

We got my hand some water.  This was probably the hardest course I have ever run.

Hand Cleaned off

 A and D already had their shirts so I went and got mine.  We talked a little and then said our good-byes.  D and I went home.  We decided that my hand was ok enough to go on a date.

Hand Fixed to Drink at Wrecking Bar
Hand still able to hold beer!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Tri-Cities 5K

So maybe I feel like running again.  I got back from the half-marathon and immediately looked for a 5K I could run.  And I found one.  It was up the street in College Park.  It was called the Tri-Cities 10K and 5K.  I thought about the 10K but looked at the race times from the past few years and wondered if there was a cut-off.  I definitely wouldn't make the cut-off (everyone was faster than 70 minutes).  But the 5K looked ok.  So I signed up.  A and D both declined because they both had to work. 

So Friday night, I could pick up my race number.  D and McMenamin drove me to the Airport Marriot.  It was a little weird that Marriot was sponsoring the race (they even had hotel room specials), for the race but oh well.  The proceeds went to a Charter School (I think Main Street Academy), so maybe a parent worked there?  Not sure.  I'm sure if I googled I could find out.  Anyway, I left D and McM in the car and went to get my race packet.  It was a number and 2 cookies (well it was one cookie, but I took 2...no sugar cookies, or I would have taken 3 so McM could have had one).  And we went back home.

Saturday morning, D was running around when I got up...turned out he was late for work.  He said he walked all 3 dogs so they peed but nothing else.  Tjen he left .  It was pouring outside.  52 degrees.  I got dressed, and left.  I got to College Park by 7.  I couldn't find where I was supposed to go though.  It was still pouring and no one was out, although the race path was very well marked.  I pulled into the public parking and decided to check my email to see where I was supposed to go.  Lo and behold, they had emailed where they were.  I wasn't that far away, so I parked and walked to the Auditorium.  OMG!  The wind gusts with the rain were miserable.  No way I was running.  I got in the Auditorium and got my T-shirt and water bottle.  They were really nice to give me a T-shirt because I left my number in the car.  I grabbed a water, and went back to the car.  Another wind gust.  No way I was running.  I got into the parking lot and someone in a car asked me where the auditorium was.  Of course, I said, "Oh, I'm going to move my car over there. Just give me a second and follow me."  What?????????   So I drove closer to the Auditorium.  I pointed to the lady where to go, and sat in my car.  I texted with D for awhile saying no one else was leaving.  I would be a wuss.  At 740 I told him I was going to the gym (which he took for I was leaving and going to the gym we belong to).  I went into the Auditorium and just stood there.  There was a woman there that looked as excited as me to be there.  We talked a little while. She was going to do the 10K but decided to do the 5K because she rather be in bed.  This was her 3rd 5K.  She just started running in November after she finished radiation for cervical cancer.  She decided to lose weight, and she loved running clothes so why not wear them for real.  A really cool lady. 
Finally 8am rolled around and they said the race would go on.  We all walked out to Main Street.  The race was chipped timed, but I noticed there was no starting mat.  Oh well.  We were off.  I started my watch where the lady who called start was. 

We ran with the 10Kers down Main Street and separated at Rugby Avenue.  This was mostly flat. Rugby seemed flat and slightly down hill.  I was keeping a pretty fast pace, which I knew was dangerous for 2 reasons... wearing myself out and if we were going downhill, there was going to be uphill somewhere. 
Mile 1: 11:30

We turned and had one more downhill, and turned again and up.  I ran as much as I could and then walked a minute.  There was a water stop somewhere there, as well.  I was passed on the hill by some walkers.  Eh.  Turned again and resumed running.  I passed some people.  This was mostly rolling hills. Up, down, up , down.  I should have looked at the houses. But because of the rain, I had a hat on and I wasn't to make sure I didn't slip on the road.  So I know it is shocking, but I ran looking down.  What seemed like an absurd uphill was Mile 2.
Mile 2: 13:15

I turned again, and the whole road was uphill.  Really?  I had a good pace, but I knew I wasn't going to hold it.  My legs were tired.  I now know where to practice hill running.  Rain was rolling off the brim of my hat.  Finally I turned on Hemphill (I remember this road because the same named road is on GT's campus, and it has Hemp in the name...yes, I'm 11 years old).  And then we turned onto Virginia.  This is the way I had driven to College Park, and I remembered another hill.  Shit!  Sure enough when I turned onto College, there was the hill.  I focused on the cracks in the road and running to each one (normal wear and tear...the road wasn't bad).  Finally got to the cop at the top of the hill.  I saw the finish line.  It looked like it was on a track.  Hmmm.  I turned onto the track and saw I wasn't at 3 miles yet, so yes, there was a lap around the track. 

I got through the track and crossed the line.  Their time was 40:07, mine was 39:55.  In my age group I was 7/15. Not bad.  I started looking for water, but didn't see any.  As I was walking back to the Auditorium, I saw the lady I talked to before the race.  I cheered her on, and she smiled.  Then I got really cold and went back to my car and drove home. 

I was getting ready for the day.  So I took Lompoc and Scuttlebutt for a walk for their business, separately.  SB is weird in the rain, and pulled me down the stairs.  The rest of the day was spent on my back on the couch, since I hit the stairs outside pretty good. 

Still happy though. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My 4th Kentucky Derby Half Marathon

So back in December (or November) D and I signed up for our 4th KY Derby Mini Marathon.  It would be easy because the hard training starts right as we would come off our Marathon in February.  Great idea.

Except I got sick. And D started working crazy hours. And we had a puppy that likes to play at night.  And  We drank beer. Pounds crept up on our butts. I went to the gym once in  March...to pay the bill.  We started again in April.  And I got sick. And D started working crazy hours. And we had a puppy that likes to play at night.  And  We drank beer. Pounds crept up on our butts. 

The week before the Half (I still don't like Mini-Marathon), I started training.  I ran 6 miles.  I figured out I ran a total of 12 miles since February 24.  My friend Delane had once said, "You can fake 13.1. You can't fake 26.2."  I decided that mean it would take me 4 hours to do the 13.1 and to just enjoy it.  Except our friend V was coming. She had been training diligently.  Oh well.

Beer is good.

So after Boston, I did answer a lot of questions about the Boston Marathon (basically, no, I was not there).  I tried not to think about the fact that I was running into Churchill Downs.  D assured me that it was an isolated incident and running I was not going to be hurt. So then I decided that he would get hurt since he would be spectating (after he finished).  He told me to drink another beer and stop being irrational.  Basically the week before the race, I didn't turn on the TV, so I just didn't have to think about it.

Friday came, and we drove up to Louisville.  It wasn't terribly exciting.  Due to Lompoc still being awake all night, I found out about Starbuck's Energy drinks.  I thought that's why I was so tired.  I didn't particularly feel well.  We stopped and I had to drive when D hit a rumble strip from falling asleep.  Then I found out why I was so tired...great... (yes, I'm 39 and have been getting something since I was 15 and still don't know when I get it...part of taking BC continuously, it just shows up). I basically talked the entire time I drove, and was worried that the tiredness would be worse as the day or the next day wore on... A little before we got to Louisville I felt my blood pressure plunging.  I remembered my doctor telling me to just basically eat salt continuously (she won't prescribe something to make my BP high since stroke is in my family).  We reached Louisville right as V landed  so we bee-lined it to the Shell and got me some food. Potato chips rock.  We met up with V and went to the Convention Center to get our numbers.

I was confused with check-in.  They said no backpacks would be allowed at the race, and no bags, but there would be a bag check and camelbaks were ok.  I decided none of that applied to me, so not to worry about what it meant.  Everything was crazy in the Expo, so we just left and went to a place called Garage Bar.  We grabbed some pizzas.  They were a bit fru-fru-y.  We had Brussel Sprout pizza.  And the Sausage pizza had rapini on it.  They were good though.  We decided to go to Bluegrass Brewing, but ended up at yet another one (this was the 3rd one we've been to in 3 years).  I think this one is next to the brewery because they only had 5 taps and nothing V liked.  She looked like she was fading fast anyway, because she had worked part of the day as well, and was high on cold-medicine.  So she went back to the hotel and we had a beer and called it a night. Back at the hotel we went to bed, only to be awoken by some drunk guys in the hall at 3am.  I listened to them for an eternity (5 minutes) and then got up and swung open the door, and said, "Get in your room and go to sleep!"  I realized later, I constantly tell Lompoc, "Get in your crate and go to sleep!" at 3am.  They went in and I stayed awake.  I finally went to sleep.  I had a crazy dream that I called D and V on the phone to let them know I was in Athens, GA at the Terrapin Brewery with my friend I, and that I hoped they had a good race.  When my alarm went off, I was a little disappointed.

D and I got up and started to get ready. I could tell I hadn't run in awhile. I forgot Body Glide.  He remembered but forgot nipple cups (still makes me laugh).  I took a handful of Advil.
My race-day attire

Me and D's obligatory hotel shot

It was supposed to rain so I found a hat, and then we sat around until 7 when we met V.   She of course was completely awake and talking.  V had a bag to check, and so she left us.  D was in Corral B and I was in F. Neither of us knew how we got into those corrals, but eh.  D walked with me to E and said we would go there.  He knew I was still nervous about my BP.  Right as we stepped into the corral, my contact fell out.  So I had to put that in which took a few tries.  I was getting more and more worried.  They played the National Anthem, and then they did a Moment of Silence for the Boston Victims.  It seemed unusually long.  Afterward, D and I joked that we didn't hear V talk (you could hear some people...I think it was more that further down the Corrals they didn't know there was a M of S...).  I got my music all set and we took the pre-race shot.

Then I turned my music on and it was Amongst the Waves by Pearl Jam which usually I listen to (on my old playlist) at mile 4.  It reminds me of Guinness, so I decided I would be ok.  The race started and my foot fell asleep. I was pretty sure I was going to vomit. I was also pretty sure if I told D all of this, he would say, "Woman! Shut the hell up and run!"  So I stayed quiet.  Finally we started.

Most of the first mile was difficult.  I wanted something to drink.  I ran down Main St.  At Minute 9 I was so happy.  I ran over to the edge of the street and walked for a minute.  This was going to suck balls.  Oh well, you can fake this, Al.  I restarted, and crossed the 1 mile mark.

Mile 1: 12:54

There was a water stop.  We ran more down Main and finally hung a left and another left.  Mile 2?

Mile 2: 13:21

I noticed there were a lot of people out on their front porches.  That was nice.  I really enjoy the race support (although I may not say it enough).  Seniors sat in parking lots. Church groups stood and clapped.  And people had their children out to high-five.  The group in this area is never huge, but support is support and it is much appreciated.  We turned a few more times and were by the McDonalds.  And then was Mile 4.

Mile 3: 13:22
Mile 4: 13:14

I had been taking Shot Blocks every 2 miles and felt decent.  I found a couple to race with (they didn't know this), and kept a decent pace.  I stayed with them all the way to Mile 6.22

Mile 5: 13:11
Mile 6: 13:18
10K: 82:32

I started wondering about the school groups. I hadn't noticed any.  Maybe because I looked down and had a hat on, I didn't see them.  D said later, that he didn't see any either.  We understood if they hadn't been allowed to perform. I always enjoy the dance squads, the bands and the cheerers.  But I get their safety had to be first.  I thought about the news saying that the K-9 units were out. I hadn't seen any.  I saw them last year.  So eh...

Mile 7: 13:34

I hit one of the few hills in the place and took a Hammergel.  Then I was at Mile 8 and Churchill Downs.  Since this was my 4th time being here, I didn't stop to take any pictures.  But I did look at the horses.  It is also the only place I walked out of my 9/1 time (or 4/1).  Going under the track just kills my legs, so I don't bother running.  Finally we were out of Churchill Downs.  I was a bit confused of where I was. I walked a little more because the road had sand on it, and I slid.  Once I got to the real road, I resumed running.  I was excited I managed to hit Mile 9 in time to run the marathon (had I been running the marathon).

Mile 8: 13:45
Mile 9: 14:30

It was during this time I noticed there was a runner that would walk until I passed her and then sprint until I passed her again. It really annoyed me.  This went on for 3 miles.  I really wanted to push her into a cone.  Because she would run, look back to where I was, and then walk directly in front of me (but far away).  So every time I caught up, I had to deviate slightly...then it would happen again.  I hit Mile 10, and still felt pretty good. I was totally confused by this.

Mile 10: 14:29

During the next mile I could see there was an ambulance ahead of me, but couldn't figure out where it was, but it seemed to be a good landmark.  I passed the Beer Team again (I passed around mile 5).  I didn't take any.  I took another Hammergel.  The annoying girl was still playing her game.

Mile 11: 13:59

Mile 11 to 12 was uneventful.

Mile 12: 14:25

This is where all hell broke loose. I still hadn't gotten to the ambulance, but there was a runner down at Mile 12.2.  She was hysterical.  EMTs were by her.  Her friend was with her.  I don't know what her friend was thinking but it really looked like she was annoyed that she had to stop.  I told D that that was SOOOOO me.  He agreed.  I passed them, and got to Mile 12.6.  The Ambulance was there with a gal with an Oxygen Mask who was fighting no to get on the stretcher.  She was yelling at her friend to go ahead. That friend wasn't listening to her.  Then I went under the bridge at the convention center, and back onto Main (or was it Market?).  Last few minutes.  I could get under 3 hours.  My legs were shot.  I was paying way too much attention to my watch.  At Mile 12.9 I told myself to stop looking at my watch.  I finished up and turned to the final block (.18 miles).  I probably should have looked at my watch.  I really didn't speed up.  My attitude was not to speed up but to keep the pace I ran throughout.  Had I looked at my watch I would have thrown that POS theory into the trash.

I crossed.  I stared at my watch in disbelief.  I PR'd the course with a horrible time.
3:00:03. Oh my God!!!! 3 Fucking seconds.
Oh well.  I'm still very happy with the course PR.  I took 4 minutes off my best time and 6 off last year's time.

Mile 13: 14:13
Total 13.18: 3:00:03

Me and D

Me and V saying the Spot-a-Pots rock!

All 3 of us
I got my medal and found D and V.  V PR'd and D said he just had a good time.  We got some pics and some beers.

Afterwards, we cleaned up and got more beers (and fried bacon!)

Guinness and my medal

Me and D
V and Me
V was done drinking. D and I weren't.  I'm being Obi Beer Kenobi. I was sober...haha!

Nitro Porter Sunday Morning at Cumberland Brewery

Fried Bacon

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Road to the Final Four 5K

Awhile ago (post marathon) D and I decided to run this 5K.  We really didn't think it would be the first time we would run since the marathon.  However, I got sick AGAIN!  D started working all the time (or so it seemed).  And remember we upped our babies up to 3.  So there never seemed to be time.  My commute home seems to have lengthened to 90 minutes on a good day. If D is still at work, that means I have 60-90 minutes of dog walking (and training) to do immediately getting home. And then dinner.  By then it is 8pm at least.  With a puppy that sleeps a maximum of 2 hours before crying to go outside, by 8pm, I'm a zombie.  And to top it off, McMenamin is also taking Manners Classes.  Luckily, I love my babies.

McMenamin, Scuttlebutt and Lompoc
So Friday night came.  Neither of us was that excited about the 5K but we knew we had to do it.  So off to bed (and the couch, which is where I seem to sleep a lot with this puppy).  6AM Saturday came rather early.  First, I couldn't find my running bra.  Then I had to find running socks.  Running capris...I found a pair of shorts.  Good enough.  Then what to wear.  It was 48 degrees.  I decided on a long sleeve shirt.  So did D.  He walked the dogs.  I found my shoes and took the D-tag from the marathon off of them.  D had charged both Garmins.

Downstairs...eat.  Where is my iPod?  Who knows.  Where are D's headphones? He could borrow mine.  We need $20 for parking (it was at the the Georgia World Congress Center which is NEVER free to park). So finally off we went.  I forgot my phone, which was sad, because I could have taken pictures...

I got slightly lost on the way (forgot the street I wanted to go to was one-way).  It put me at the bottom of the GWCC which made parking $10...hooray, and made no one around.  The parking attendant told us where the race was, and off we went.  There weren't a lot of people there.  Everyone seemed to have Michigan shirts on.

The race started pretty much on time at 730 and it took you on the backside of the Dome over to Spring Street.  There were cones everywhere to keep you in one lane.  You turned on to Decatur Street and ran down to Peachtree Street.  It probably would have been very cool if you are a person who runs looking up.  I can tell you the roads are pretty nice.  Some asphalt, some stone mixed stuff, and some bridges.  Mile 1 was small hills (like I would have called it flat).  I was really out of breath at 3 minutes in, but pushed to 9 minutes.  When I saw how far I had gone, I decided to run to 1 mile. Then I would walk. The cops were really good.  They let the cars go, but if a runner was anywhere near a crossing the cars had to stop.  Buses too.

So down Peachtree.  The water stop was the only "rude" thing.  At a church there were a lot of homeless/less fortunate waiting for food.  1 block away (in visible distance) was our water stop.  I think it could have been around the corner.  But oh well. It was the cleanest water stop, I've seen.  NO CUPS were on the ground.  It was odd.    Anyway, I took some water which I rarely do on a 5K.  But my throat was dry.  Turned on Trinity/Peters.  I walked at the crossover from Trinity to Peters.  The hill right there (haha) was killer.  I'm so out of shape.  I'm not really sure where we turned on Peters, but we ended up on Walker.  By now I was a bit bored.  I had no music.  I did pay attention a little to Castleberry (the area), because it seems like a cool little area.  By this point, 2 miles had passed.  I was going a decent pace. I wondered if I would get under 40 minutes.  I wasn't sure though.  I turned onto Nelson which turned into Elliot.  I was getting very tired.  Mitchell Street was downhill, but I knew the finish line was above me (a bridge).  So I turned and ran and saw a hill. I walked up it because my chest was tight. I could see that once I ran up it the rest was flat.

I got to Centennial Olympic Park Drive and ran.  I crossed MLK and got to the entrance of the Dome.  3 miles.  I knew where the Finish Line was.  It really seemed it was longer than .11 miles.   Kept running and saw the NCAA sign (this huge sign).  Still no finish.  I turned and saw the GWCC.  Finally the finish.  I crossed at 3.18 miles/40:11.  D was waiting for me.  We went and go my T-shirt and some water.  Then we left.  Then we went home and hung for a little while.

Then we went and finished my leg/started-finished his leg.

As you may know, if you have been reading for awhile, Guinness was my running buddy. She trained for 5Ks, 10Ks, my triathlon and my first half-marathon.  There isn't a run I don't think about her while out there. I love my other babies (Porter (RIP), SB, McM, and Lompoc), but she was my running buddy/best friend.  Anyone will tell you that.  So my friend Dawn had pointed out an artist, Dean Russo.  My brother went and got me one of his prints (actually he got me 2) for Christmas. It looked incredibly like Guinness too me.  So I decided she was going to cross the finish line every time I do.

Design inspired by Dean Russo
Tattoo Design by Di Quartel
Calf by Al
D decided to get one about how he feels about all of our babies.
Design by Charles Schulz
Tattoo by Di Quartel
Calf by D

Thursday, February 28, 2013

New Orleans Marathon

Saturday before the Marathon, D and I got up and got ready to drive to New Orleans.  He packed the car, while I resumed packing my clothes.  We discussed eating at home or on the road. We picked both.  We would eat once we got out of Atlanta.  D grabbed some food.  Without thinking about it (no reason that he should have) he grabbed me a Fiber One Bar.  In the car, I declined, because I didn't need to add to that issue.  The drive to New Orleans was relatively boring.  I drove the first 300 miles, and he drove the last 150.  I was glad he drove the last.  The bridge of Lake Pontchartrain and I-10 by the Dome were frightening to me (I don't like bridges and I don't like overpasses).

Finally we pulled into our hotel around 2. Stress reducer! We would make it to the Expo before 5pm.  A nice bellman informed us no rooms were ready but we could put everything in storage and go out.  So we did.  He seemed a little confused that our 3 days stay had 8 pieces of luggage including a foam roller.  But eh.

We pre-checked in, and then walked over to the Convention Center.  On the way over, I kind of looked for restaurants, but it seemed we walked past every chain restaurant that I don't particularly care for and no pizza places.  We got to the Expo and looked up our numbers.  There were 2 Als and 2 D's.  So we just went to the Corral Number Pick up with no one in it.  That guy wanted to know where our release forms were.  So back to the beginning and we filled those out.  Back to the guy.  "Why don't you have a number?"
Because I don't know which one it is.  "Over there," he said, pointing to a wall.  "Over where?" D asked.  On another wall was the information booth, so we got in that line.  We got our numbers and then got in the correct lines to get the physical numbers.  After that, shirts and bag.  No one could tell us where to get our parking pass.  We went into the RnR section and the was just a Cluster.  Still no Parking Pass.  A random Security Guy helped us out with that, since no one with RnR knew about it.    We left that part of the Expo and got to a new Information Booth, and as we walked up, the Info Lady and Man looked at us, grabbed a book, stepped back and starting gabbing.  Both D and I in unison said, "Really?"  The other Info Lady helped us to where the Parking Passes were.  We stood in that line, when a random volunteer saw I had a receipt, grabbed it and returned with our pass.  Score!  We looked at the 100 people or so in the line to get wrist bands for beer, said F it and left.  Both of us thought the Expo was way too big.  And of course we weren't going to buy anything BEFORE finishing a race.  I guess we are weird.

After a few tries we found a bar in the Warehouse District, aptly named the District.  The bartender was nice, it was empty and they had an Abita Oyster Stout.  We had a couple of those.  Then he told us where to get pizza.  That didn't work out (the place was not open yet), so we found another place using our phones (or maybe a cab).  That place was odd.  It was takeout, but they had tables.  We ate there (Magazine Pizza).  The pizza was pretty decent.  Then we cabbed it back to the hotel, checked in and got all of our gear.  We watched a lot of TV.  We discussed how we were getting to the race (parking pass, anyone?)  and decided that D would finish the race, take a shuttle back to the hotel and then drive back to the end.  So I packed the camera bag with the parking pass, and we went to bed.

For the next 7 hours, both of us just layed there.  Went to the bathroom a few times, tossed and turned, but sleep was not to be had.  I think we each got about 2 hours. My alarm went off at 5.  I got up and figured out what to wear, and peed about 20 times (nervous).  I had a Clif Bar. D got up at 530 and we both got ready, packing our food and Camelbak (me) and Fuel Belt (him).  His nutrition looks way different than mine.
D's Nutrition for 26.2 Miles

Al's Nutrition for 26.2 Miles

We got everything packed. I used the bathroom about 80 more times, and finally we were ready.

Hotel Room Shot
I worked on finishing my last Clif Bar, and off we went.  The hotel was full of runners.  We were only a block from the starting line, so we walked over there and stood.  We found the corrals.  D knew I was terrified.  He said he would get in my corral with me (he was in the 6th Corral, I was in the 15th).  We got to the 11th or the 12th Corral and stopped there.  We really couldn't tell which one it was, and D knew I was seriously having issues with the 7 hour time limit.  RnR took a picture of us.

Pre-Race Photo by RnR

Finally the corrals started moving.  Finally the corral we were in started and we were on our way.  I just kind of ran.  I had to pee (of course).  I really didn't focus on much.  I periodically checked for my back-up iPod.  About .5 mile in, I realized it wasn't there.  This lady who looked way out of breath, hit me on the shoulder to tell me I dropped it about the same time.  She had picked it up.  I was thankful for her, but praying this wasn't an omen.

We turned and soon were by the Exxon and my watch dinged. I did my 9/1 thing.  Most of the people around me had on fluorescent green numbers (half).  I tried to look for the purple numbers (full).  I think we got to a water/Gatorade stop at Mile 2.5.  I was seriously shocked at how poorly run it was.  There was no water out. You had to wait as they poured each person a cup.  Seriously?  I did get one.  This was because my friend Elizabeth had told me to take everything they give you.  Then I got a Gatorade.  I drank everything and then went about my way.  (D said they had people handing out water with no waiting issues for him).  They had bands playing but I really couldn't hear.  A lot of MS and HS cheerleaders were out. That was nice.  My distances weren't matching the race distances (I was .1 miles ahead).
Mile 1: 12:04 (SLOW DOWN!!!!)
Mile 2: 13:39
Mile 3: 13:43
5K Total: 42:01

I had 2 Bloks here although I didn't think I needed them.  Mile 4 and 5 were a repeat of 2 and 3 but the other way (out and back to Loyola University).  The water station at Mile 5 was the same issue.  This really surprised me being how big a race series this was.  It wasn't worrisome though, because I was drinking from my Camelbak.  I hit mile 6. I wondered what my PR was on a 10K.  I was pretty sure I wasn't going to hit it.  Especially with the .1 mile thing.  That kept me busy until Mile 7.

Mile 4: 14:12
Mile 5: 13:58
Mile 6: 14:16
10K Total: 86:25
Mile 7: 14:28

At Mile 7 we finally turned.  There was a relay transistion there.  I almost went down that chute.  I was now running with a fireman in full gear and with an American Flag.  Mile 8 seemed to pop up out of nowhere.  We ran past the pizza place D and had dinner at the day before.  A couple of little turns.  They were passing out GU's.  I took one of my Hammer Gels here.  Since I had never had a GU, I wasn't going to start today. They were also passing out salt packets.  I didn't take those either.  I wondered what my 15K time was.  I think it was about the same that it had been for the Hot Chocolate 15K.  Around Mile 9, we ran under a Balloon Man.  I was hoping there was no "rain spray" from him.  I think I have a sick mind. I mentioned it to D later. He said, "You ran under someone's crotch?  Do you mean the Rocking Guy playing guitar?"  Yes, that would be him.  We were now in the French Quarter.  We ran by 2 Brew pubs, and Cafe Du Monde (which is how I knew where we were).  At Mile 10 we turned.

Me in the French Quarter...Photo by RnR people
Mile 8: 14:17
Mile 9: 14:33
Mile 10: 14:16
10 Miles Total: 2:21:39

This new road left something to be desired.  The pavement/asphalt was uneven, patched and pot-holed.  D said later he was not a fan. I was only not a fan because I had to watch for people.  A lot of people started speeding up, but a lot were walking.  I was a bit jealous that they were almost done.  I still felt pretty strong. Here I noticed a lot of sunburned people. I wondered where they got sun from.  It wasn't all that hot (65ish) and I had been running under a lot of trees.  We got to Mile 12.8 and the Marathon split.  Would I make it?  The guy told me to go left.  He didn't say, "NO MORE!"  So I did.  I was the only one.  Oh my!  Another guy came up and I ran with him until the 13.1.  We didn't talk, just ran together.  Then he pulled away (or I slowed down).

Mile 11: 15:00
Mile 12: 14:32
Mile 13: 14:55
1/2 Marathon Total: 3:07:14

I was very happy with the half-marathon time since none of my runs had produced anything less than 3:25 for 13 miles.  So we (I) ran through this little section of park onto a road that headed out to Lake Pontchartrain.  It was an out and back section.  So I got to see a lot of people try to qualify for Boston.  You could tell in a lot of people's faces when I got to Mile 14, that they weren't going to make it.  It was kind of sad really. And scary.  Some of these people looked like they were going to drop dead.  This may be why there seemed to be a lot of medic tents right there.  On my side of the road, it was rather boring.  Periodically someone would pass me.  After about 3:30 a lot of the people on the other side, kept telling me to keep at it.  I wondered if I looked liked I was going to die.  I had been keeping up with my nutrition, but it really felt that the Bloks (margarita flavor) were getting stuck in my throat.  Mile 16 ticked with over 3 hours left and right at a walk break up the first hill of the race (Marconi RD to Lakeshore DR).  I freaked out here, because the band was playing Florence+the Machine as was my iPod.  Weirdness.  I was wondering about D.  I assumed we had passed and I had just missed him.

Mile 14: 15:37
Mile 15: 16:14
Mile 16: 16:02

I decided somewhere in this time to go to the 4/1 strategy.  As I ran along Lake Pontchartrain, I wondered if not really having good weather when I ran the Smuttynose Half was really all that bad.  The water was water.  There really wasn't that much interesting going on.  I wondered where the turn was.  I finally passed D.  He was walking.  He said he was walking the last 5 miles in.  I told him he had 3 hours to walk it.  He kind of looked at me, oddly.
D probably around Mile 17, not Mile 20
 He was sure he had torn his Achilles around Mile 7.  I wondered how someone could tear that, and yet, I could still not pass them.  I was walking a little more than I was running, because the Bloks really were uncomfortable in my throat.  I decided I would walk up some bridge and run down it.  That was not a good idea.  PAIN shot through my foot.  I walked a little.  At the bottom of the bridge, I ran again, and PAIN.  WTF?  I walked a little more. Finally I had to stop and relace the whole shoe.  It felt better, but man, did it hurt to bend over to fix the damn thing. (No way I would sit down, I might not get back up).  I caught up to another walker.  He was cramping bad.  I let him have some of my Gatorade so he could take a salt packet. We got to the 19 mile mark and the turn.  We stepped on the mat and shook hands (that mat had already been turned off or because it didn't record my time).

Mile 17: 16:33
Mile 18: 17:15
Mile 19: 16:46

At this point, I wondered about running.  I was walking at a good pace.  I was chatting and annoying all those around me. I broke away from the Cramping Man, and just kept walking.  Another lady caught up to me, and we walked for awhile.  Then she broke away on "that" bridge.  While on top of that, I came across a couple. The woman was in tears that she wasn't going to make it.  I gave her one of my packs of Clif Bars.  I kept going.  I caught back up to the woman because I started running to test out my foot.  She asked me what the point of running at this point was.  So I stopped.  The SAG Wagon came by the other way.  They stopped and gave us water, pretzels and a banana. I passed on the banana, because I was still having issues with the Blok.  I ate some pretzels but they were too salty.  I just kept on moving, although I really did seem to be dicking around.  The lady broke away again.  Finally I got back to Marconi.  The band seemed really out of tune at this time.

Mile 20: 17:03
20 Miles Total: 5:00:41
Mile 21: 16:17
Mile 22: 16:38

I was so close.  Only about 90 minutes more.  I was so bored.  Whose idea was this?  I was right.  I was never doing this again.  D was probably showered, napped, and dressed.  Was I a runner?   I walk every 9 minutes.  But I am now closing in on 6 hours of exercise. Can the naysayers who have told me my runs don't count because I walk do that?  Fuck them.

Sent to D and Facebook
I took the last of my Bloks.  Still getting stuck in my throat.  I never want Margarita Bloks again. If I throw up will I feel better. Don't throw up.  Where are the Mickey Mouse People (a water stop).  They are serving martinis.  That'll make you throw up, Al.  I actually caught up to 3 people during this time.  At Mile 24, I resumed running.  I ran .12 or .13 miles and walked .13 or .12 miles.  My legs hurt.  But they still felt they would hold me up.  It made the time go by faster.  Finally I entered the park.

Mile 23: 18:40
Mile 24: 18:11
Mile 25: 16:42

At the last water stop, the ladies there were saints.  They told the cameramen to start clicking.  They hit a car with their fists to say, "We have a runner here."  I think if I had asked them, they would have poured the water and Gatorade in my mouth.  And they said, "You have 1 mile left."  No lying here.    I continued this pace strategy I had cleverly devised.  I ran over a stream.  The camera men played on their phones. That annoyed me.  But eh.  I was almost there.  I started to cry.  Back in 3rd grade, my gym teacher (he was a bully) told me I was fat, and I shouldn't even attempt sports, and then would give me F's for not trying.  3rd Grade, and I've been carrying this shit.  Where the hell did that come from?  I gave him the bird (although he wasn't there to see it).  I was not going to cry on the finish line.  I turned and seemed to be running to a museum.  There was no one around except one girl infront of me.  Where was the finish?  We ran around the museum and my watch dinged. And I saw the 26 mile sign.  And I heard a loud whistle. I know that whistle anywhere.  It was D somewhere.  The girl had started running as well, so she was far enough infront of me.  The announcer called her out and gave her a high-five.  She crossed. Another whistle.   I had about .1 to go. I wondered if anyone was behind me.  The announcer started congratulating me.  No way. I was going to do this.  No one was going to stop me.  He high-fived me.  I was going to do it.  My brain, my legs.  I crossed.

Mile 26: 16:59
Marathon Total Time:  6:47:43 (I was 25 from last).
D's Marathon Total Time (on a bum foot): 4:59:03

The 2 people there, gave me a medal, and stuffed a water in my hand.  I wandered around.  Where was D?  They moved the gate for him to get out and we hugged.  Then they hurried us into the photo booth.
D finishing
Me finishing

Shirt and Medal

Our Medals

Up close

We stood for about a minute when I looked over and the whole RnR City was had been taken down (including the beer tent). They announced the last shuttles were about to leave. Since D had gotten hurt, he never went and got the car.  He just waited for me.  He also told the photographers they weren't leaving until I crossed the line.  It ticked us both off a bit, as we found out from various people the 7 hour time limit started when the last person from the last corral started.  So it was a little insulting to run 26.2 miles, and then have to run across a park to catch a bus.  But we did.  And the girl that I gave the Shot Bloks to?  She finished as well.

The shuttle dropped us off beside our hotel.  We  went up and layed around for a little while.  I was right about the Clif Bloks.  I think I coughed up 2 (hard to tell since they were fluorescent green...could have been phlegm).   We realized we were ravenous. So we went and had food and beer.

The first post run beer!

The next day we did the Bourbon Street thing.   We may have gotten a little drunk.  I know you all are shocked.

On Tuesday we returned to Atlanta.  We had a little shopping to do.  Yes, we went and got this before we even went home.