Weight I have lost

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.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Building up to a Marathon

So it seems like eons ago (7 or 8 months), my friend Yas ran a marathon.  I had been toying with the idea, and my friend Elizabeth kept telling me I should do one.  After Yas ran hers, I bombarded her with a ton of questions.  How hard was the training?  What was her plan?  How long was the plan?  Patiently she answered every question.  She said I should sign up for one.

Then I asked Elizabeth a ton of questions. How hard was the training?  What was her plan?  How long was the plan? She said I should sign up for one.

Then I asked Delane a ton of questions. How hard was the training?  What was her plan?  How long was the plan? She said I should sign up for one.

Then I asked Jenbeast a ton of questions.  How hard was the training?  What was her plan?  How long was the plan? She said I should sign up for one. (Actually I didn't ask her about a plan...I asked her about cutoffs, walking, etc. and she relayed her IronMan experience to me).

D is pretty easy going.  I'm pretty sure he rolled his eyes when I suggested the idea. Then said, "I will need a fuel belt." And then said there was no way he was going to run 10 miles in one day in the middle of the week.   And that was about the extent I got out of him.

So I signed us up for the Rock N Roll Marathon New Orleans.  For 20 weeks we were supposed to train.  We picked this plan, because of mental blocks I get over certain mileages.  So I wanted to be sure I did 26 miles.  We did well in October.  We did great in November.  We did ok in December.  We did lackluster in January. By February we were miserable.

However whenever I made comments or observations, people chimed in with their thoughts or support (Thank you, all!).  I think it was pretty easy to see we were losing steam.   First, D works every other weekend. So he missed the "short long run."  Then every long run starting at 18 miles, the weather was between 25 and 32 degrees.  Every frigging long run. So it was hard to prep for a 70 degree race.  Still we tried.  Then I got the flu.  Then I got strep.  Those were harder for me to mentally overcome.

Then D said he was having a back issue.  This was early February.  He tried a 5 mile run and got through .5 miles.  He said his Achilles was in pain.  He got new work shoes, but also went to see the Orthopedic Surgeon.  He had a strained tendon. Trying to be supportive, I didn't bother to tell him how freaked out I was that he basically became a "game day decision."  But I really was shitting a brick that now I was going to have to do this without him.  And that I needed him.  That knowing he is doing it helps me.  I stayed quiet (as much as I could), and he took Celebrex for a few weeks.  In there, we got a puppy.  Then there was Valentine's Day.  We went to Pet Store Beer Night for V-day.  Running Bud A and her husband J were there.  They asked us about the Marathon and were we going to do another.  I don't think we ever spoke so fast, "NO!"

My birthday rolled around and we still didn't run.  I was sick to my stomach every day from stress.  I wanted to vomit all the time.  I made sure that wasn't a sign for something else (no!).  And finally Friday rolled around. D drove McMenamin and Scuttlebutt to their daycare.  Lompoc is too little, and not fully vaccinated so she stayed with our friends.  On the way home from dropping her off, we witnessed an accident.  It wasn't bad at all, but my God our nerves.

We packed.  Well D packed.  I packed my running bag, my nutrition bag, my camera, my foam roller, and computer.  Then I said I was tired, and went to bed...

Monday, February 25, 2013

I'm a Marathoner!

Completed the RnR New Orleans Marathon in under 7 hours!

More to come.

Also got a new puppy, Lompoc from the pound. She is adorable!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rings, Running and Dates

So I have now run more in 1 week of February than the last 18 days of January.  I'm killer that way.

Do any of you forget to wear your wedding rings?  I do about 4-5 days a week. I'm allergic to the soap in the bathrooms at work, and well, I still use the soap at work.  Usually, I purell my hands after I use the soap, but with all the sickness going around, there is no Purell around the office (if I don't go back to my desk). Yes, I know Purell can make you more sick, but it also prevents my hands from looking like they have been in a chemical burn and feel like they have been bitten by 1000 mosquitoes, so, I go with the Purell.

So anyway, I typically don't wear my wedding rings on Tuesdays-Fridays, as my hands start to get irritated.  I really never noticed that I didn't do this before last week.

Happen to have them on on a Wednesday
 I went back to the gym for my 3 miler.  I ran it decently (37 minutes).  D had already left (I knew he had been there, because no one else watches Futurama on the TV but him, and guess what was on?).  Anyway, I was finished and I went to get the cleaner to wash down the treadmill.  I had the cleaner in my left hand and was reaching above the cubbies to get a paper towel.  This guy who I recognized tells me I'm getting faster.

Now, it is the gym...you know I don't talk to people. I don't really look at people (I look at the ground).  So how did I recognize him?  He has black socks and Blue and Green Sauconys on.

So, when he told me I'm getting faster, I glanced at his shoes.  I said, "Thank you."  It's a compliment, so you know I was blushing.  He asked me if I'd like to go get a beer or something.  I was still holding the cleaner in my left hand.  Because I had been sick, I hadn't been to work, so guess what was on my hand.  My wedding rings (I have 2) and engagement ring.  I looked at my hand.  He looked at my hand.  He got red, and asked if the rings were new.  I felt so bad, like I had been leading this guy on.  I giggled and said, "No, they are almost 10 years old.  I feel really bad. I'm sorry."  I quickly grabbed the paper towel and rushed back to the treadmill.  When I put the stuff back/in the trash, the guy was gone.

I told D about it when I got home.  He laughed.  He probably laughed more at the fact I felt like I had led the guy on.

Only me...

Monday, February 4, 2013

First Long Run in Awhile

Remember when I got the flu after the 15K? Well, I missed a week of running, including a 24 Mile run.  The next week I ran 4 miles, and then got a scratchy throat that by the end of the week was strep throat, so I missed a 10 Mile run.  I finally got back to the gym and did a 3 mile run.

I was feeling decent (not 100%) so D and I decided we would go back to the Silver Comet for our last long run of 26 miles.  Friday night came and he was later than usual for dinner.  I was starving (we had no food in the house) which turned into a headache.  We went to get pizza and there was no parking spaces in sight.  I said "Fuck it," and we went home.  I found some left over potato soup, ate it, and went to bed.  4 hours later I was wide awake.  2 hours rolled by.  I bitched, said some shit and went to the guest room where I stayed up for another 4 hours. D said it was too cold and hot to run (it was 28 degrees to swing up to 53 by the time we would be done), and we decided to just run on Sunday.  So we did all of our Sunday errands on Saturday.

By 8PM I was ready to fall asleep, but managed to stay awake until 10.  I woke up again at 2, but told D I was turning on the TV. He went to the other room.  I was asleep by 245 and slept until the alarm went off.  We got ready ok.  Same routine as last time.  2 Clif Bars, 3 bottles of water.

We drove over to the Silver Comet.  We were the only ones there. It was 33 degrees.  We talked ourselves into staying, got all of our crap on, said good-bye to each other and took off.  Everything was fine except there was no one out.  It was incredibly desolate.  I tried not to wonder where some woman was kidnapped in murder a few years ago. I was pretty sure it wasn't between Miles 0 and 4 since they are the most traveled area.  I noticed the bridges were all icy.  I walked over them all.  Still nothing exciting.

Times :  15 miler 18 miler 22 miler 26 miler
Mile 1:   14:36    15:20    14:48       15:15
Mile 2:   15:07    15:43    15:42       14:24
Mile 3:   15:08    15:33    15:45       14:56
Mile 4:   14:56    16:06    16:01       14:22

I really couldn't remember how my pace was previously.  I knew I was going fast when I got to a Pearl Jam song at the beginning of Mile 4 instead of 4.5  I ate 2 Clif Shot Blocks.

Again, Miles 4-8 were more desolation.  I was amazed at how empty the lot was at the Depot at Mile 4. There were 4 cars.  The sun was coming out and I was pretty sure none of the rest of the bridges would be slipper.  I ate 2 Shot Blocks at Mile 6 and Mile 8.  The one thing I did notice is my heart rate was running at 171 most of the time which is high for my long runs. My legs felt heavy, and although the song told me I was running faster, I really felt like I wasn't moving.

Times :  15 miler 18 miler 22 miler 26 miler
Mile 5:   15:32    15:26     15:27    14:33
Mile 6:   15:33    15:28     15:05    14:56
Mile 7:   15:54    15:24     15:25    15:20
Mile 8:   15:57    15:57     15:38    14:49

After Mile 8 I noticed a few people and how tired I was. I had no clue why.  I switched over to the 4/1 routine from the 9/1.  I wondered where I had done this last run. I couldn't remember.  (TMI (sorry) I also noticed a feminine hygiene product didn't seem to be working, and I was pretty sure there was a leak).  Oh well.  Miles 9-11 seemed to be really hard.  Like turn around and go home hard.  But I hadn't past D at mile 9. I was beginning to worry that he was on the side of the road. so I still kept going.  I had a Hammer Gel at Mile 10. There was D.  I made a face at him.  He did a little dance.  It made me laugh.  Later, he said he was surprised to see me where he had.  He was expecting between Miles 11 and 12.  I had 2 Orange Clif Blocks at Mile 11. They are disgusting.  Taste like Licorice with a hint of orange. D thinks they are awesome.  I crossed Mile 11 and really thought about turning around... oh, Al, what is 2 more miles?  I kept going.  Finally Mile 12 came.

Times :  15 miler 18 miler 22 miler 26 miler
Mile 9:   16:36    15:56    15:49     16:17
Mile 10: 17:00    15:56    15:40     15:37
Mile 11: 17:12    16:14    16:02     16:12
Mile 12: 17:10    16:47    16:46     16:27

I thought Mile 13 would never arrive.  I ran into Paulding County.  My legs were in pain. My nether regions were sloshy. I tried not to think about it.  I turned around and did a little arm shake to congratulate myself that I only had 52 more laps (think around a track) to go.  Easy.  Except that while 12 laps seems like nothing in my head...20 seems insurmountable.  And well 40?  I didn't even want to think about 52.  Orange Clif Blocks are disgusting.  Just get to Mile 15, Al.  Slowly I focused.  A woman walking passed me.  Every minute that I walked (after 4 running) I would notice she was further away.  Bitch.  At Mile 14.5, I had another Hammer Gel.  I wasn't sure why, but I knew I was getting irrational, and decided that should help.  It really seemed that the 4/1 plan wasn't working. It seemed I was only "running" .15 miles in the 4 minutes.  My legs were in pain.  My HR was at 175.  "Come on, AL.  In 4 minutes you can walk.  You can go 4 minutes. " At 15 miles, I was so happy I only had 11 miles left.  I had more Shot Blocks. I really wished I had the Margarita Flavor.  I looked around and except for the dot the walker had become, there was no one around.  Nothing to look at. I hate trees.  Why did I sign up for this?  "Al, look how far you have come.  15 miles. You wanted to quit at 8, or was it 9?  Either way, you are doing this!"  Around Mile 15.6 my knee buckled  I didn't hurt anything, but it did scare me.  How would D get me?  What if I hurt it?  My legs hurt so badly.  Don't cry.   Finally Mile 16 came.  There was some extra walking in there. I also stopped, took off my Camelbak and got out my phone. I 4Squared where I was.  The McDonald's was near.

Times :  15 miler 18 miler 22 miler 26 miler
Mile 13: 17:43    17:31     16:40    16:24
Mile 14: 17:36    17:24     16:14    17:09
Mile 15: 16:22    16:57     16:37    17:12
Mile 16:              17:55     17:19    18:39

By this point I decided I was done.  There was no use torturing myself for 10 more miles. I was a bit confused however because my watch was saying I had almost 3 hours to get the 10 miles done (7 hours).  I could do that.  I was still walking and my other knee buckled.  I couldn't do that.  I tried to run a little.  That lasted all of 30 seconds, mostly because I never put my Camelbak on properly, and I was holding my phone.    I texted D I was going to the McDonald's and to call me when he finished his run.  I plodded to the Mile 9.2 mile marker and turned to go to the McD's.  I had no clue where I was.  I hoped D could find me.  My stomach hurt (Damn being a woman).  Finally I got there and bought a Diet Coke and waited about 10 minutes for D to call.  We figured out the address and he mapquested it.  About another 20 minutes went by and he was there to pick me up.  We mapquested our home address and went home. (The .8 miles was 24:57... it was shorter, but I forgot to turn off the watch when I got to McD's.).
Overall: 16.8 miles in 4:32:23

Things to ponder:
I was feeling a bit lousy.  But D said it was huge to have pushed myself for 8-9 miles while playing head games.  Neither of us know if my period played a factor in the lousy run.  D says yes, considering on the first day, my blood pressure plummets to the point I have trouble walking without passing out (this wasn't the first day, but the 3rd...again sorry, TMI).  I was running significantly faster than I normally run long runs and I probably need to slow down to last the full 26..  Don't use Orange Shot Blocks.  Some days you just have lousy runs.