Saturday, January 25, 2014

Mississippi Blues/First Light Double Marathon weekened 1-11 thru 1-12-14

This run-cation started out terrible, I should have known the entire weekend was gonna be shit! Got to the airport to fly out and landed in Atlanta- due to the fog they had to downsize the plane and the only flight I was going to be able to get on was one at 8:50pm! Packet pickup was over at 7 and in order for another to get your packet they need it to be notarized or special prior arrangements needed to be made for early morning pick up. UGGGGG Now Im gonna be sitting for 10 hour in the airport not knowing if Im gonna be able to even get my packet. My friend David called and said he was 2 hours from me and would come pick me up then drive me to Jackson which was another 5 hours....OMG there was no way I would allow him to do that but the offer just floored me!! What a friend!  There are 2 flights before the 8:50pm one but 32 folks were booted and where my connection was so close Im one of the lucky last ones so Im stuck on the latest flight.  I decide to do standby for the 2:15 and then after that I can standby for the 4:15- In the meantime my friend Shawn calls and suggest I find a closer airport and he was already in Jackson and would come pick me the closest was 70 miles however it didnt leave till 9:25pm....the next closest was 117 miles and it was leaving in 20 we switch that....he is on his way to packet pickup and I ask him to please call if there is an issue with getting mine I can text them permission email verbally give it over the phone or just let me know the special arrangement can be made for race morning. I said if I dont answer Im in the air.  I didnt hear from him so I assumed all was well and Im sitting on the plane to leave to a different town and he was going to be heading up to pick me up after he got his packet. The doors dont close on the plane and a couple different employees come on and discuss something with the pilot, then the announcement is made, we are sorry there is a mechanical problem and we will be delayed atleast an now I dont need this flight at the 2 hour drive to get me then the 2 hour drive back wont get me to jackson in time so I may as well get back on the flight to Jackson.  I had to check my bags as I boarded also however in the rush of trying to get to the ticket booth, talking with shawn who could not get my packet and being sure he didnt leave I left it there. I get to the ticket counter and by now I'm having a total stress breakdown....she says yes the plane is boarding now but she was referring to a different plane so I had to explain, no I need to get back to Jackson and I really really need to be there for my run packet before they close at 7pm as Im flying to do a run there and one the next day in Alabama.....thats when I realize my luggage is still on the plane.....oh snap...Im at gate 37 and the plane is gate I said oh my gosh my luggage is still on that I took off running for it while she tried to get me back to Jackson....when I arrive at the gate it's locked yet people are standing around and they said start pounding on the door! So I did haha. Finally someone arrives and I said I need my luggage as Im trying to get on my original flight....I grabbed it and off I ran again. By now its way past my 2:15 standby flight and its 4:25 but she is awesome she got me on the 4:15 flight! Yes its 4:25 and its a 4:15 flight but it was too delayed till 5:00!!!! Dont know if she felt sorry for me cause i was having a hard time just speaking words or if others took different flights etc.  This one finally left around 5:30 and I think it was right around 6 ish when we landed due to the hour time difference. Shawn and Alex were outside and picked me up and we immediately went to packet pick up....Our hotel was perfect, walking distance to the start and the weather was perfect! Ran into several friends that morning as well as Cathy and Troy who were doing their 199th in Mississippi and their 200th marathon on Sunday! This course was

gorgeous, some of the homes we went by were just amazing!  I met another maniac named David around mile 14 or so, he was born deaf but could hear a little bit and was good at lip reading, I knew my abcs still a little from my cousin being born deaf. He also went to Gallaudet University where my cousin had gone to college as well as King Jordan who was a professor and then the President, he is the one I helped this year at the JFK50. David and I stayed together the rest of the race, we decided we were gonna be under 5:00.
 I felt really good for this run and just went with it, typically I try to go for at 5:15-5:45 marathon when Im doing a double but finished this is like 4:51. After the finish I headed back to shower quickly then was going to return for food. Alex was getting close to finish but didnt wanna shower so Shawn and I headed back over to meet him at the food area, the Pizza was awesome!! They also had some beans and rice and each person got 3 beers!  Then we were off to Mobil Alabama- about a 3.5 hour drive but the weather was beautiful and the drive was pleasant. We got to the packet pickup here and decided to eat the free pasta dinner.....that wasnt too smart! Got back to the room again walking distance to the start/finish line!! Around 4ish am my tummy was killing me, rumbling and grumbling and I went to the bathroom and thought I would throw up but kept it in. Awoke at 6ish am to get ready for the race and about 6:20 the stomach really got me and I couldnt hold it in, food poisoning! I had the worse diarrhea and no medicine what so ever.  Shortly after I got a call from my friend Rob asking how I was feeling as he and some friends that also ate the pasta dinner all were sick as well, we then check ed FB and more folks asking if anyone and their families were sick on the marathon maniacs page. We went to the lobby and I did manage to eat a egg and bagel but didnt make it out of the lobby before having to go again, we walked to the start line and I had to stop while walking to try to keep things in, got their and the line was huge, everyone discussing and questioning are you sick, did you eat the meatsauce? Those stating their families stayed back at the hotel because they were sick.  How was i going to run without shitting myself!! All I could think about was NOT being on the cover of RUNNERS WORLD magazine as that person who had shit all down their legs at a run!! My legs everything felt amazing too!!! I took off at the start and was at a nice 10ish min mile, my goal was to go as fast as I could till it churned too much and go potty stop to potty stop. The potties were very close which was a blessing!! About a mile and half between them but the lines were long and there were only 2-3 potties per stop. Stop one, barely got there and the line took over 12 min but i couldnt have gone to the next one plus at this time I didnt know where the next one was! At the next stop the medic has some imodium  so I took 2. I tried to drink the water so I would dehydrate too bad. I was not alone as those all around were in the same situation as myself or they knew someone that was. I ran into my friend Bill and he said he was good but his wife was sick, He would pass me while I waited on the potty and then i would pass him when I was done, finally around mile 10ish I saw him again and oppps it had hit him late! Most people complained it started between 3am-6am. I found another aid station and the volunteer had some more imodium...two more!! Now we were on a stretch of roads that had some carryouts-so a couple pit stops I had to go to the gas station as I couldnt make it to the next aid station. The course really was pretty when we got into a park area and also some residential areas. I dont remember much about the first 14 miles as I just paid attention to getting to each aid station.  I believe it was finally
around mile 18 when the imodium kicked in and there was an aid station with real food, I couldnt eat but they had some peppermint so I grabbed a couple of them, they helped sooth things a little or atleast my mind. From mile 18-26.2 I picked up the pace again and didnt have to stop but maybe once or twice more and the only issues I had at this point was terrible stomach pains. I dont remember what mile but I finally saw Troy and Cathy who were doing their 200th and we ran and chatted for some time and Troy had been sick but Cathy didnt eat the meatsauce and was feeling fine. Yes they finished number 200!!! I came across the finish line around 5:29 which shocked me as I was so sick but my legs and all felt great and my goal was to run as fast as I could to each porta potty!! When I finished I waited a bit then tried the post race food but just couldnt do it. This was a well earned medal thats for sure!!
 The YMCA was suppose to be open for showers but were locked up when we went over...My flight wasnt leaving till 6:35 pm so I had a ton of time, Shawn and Alex dropped me at the airport, oh it was a regional airport with NOTHING inside but a greasy small grill with chips that expired the next week and 4 chairs at the bar area. I wanted a sub but I guess google showed a Jimmy Johns in the airport, but upon arrival I knew there was no way there was anything inside there! It was on airport road but 6 miles away. I was so ready for food now but there wasnt anything I could do I was stuck.  The lady was super nice and when she saw how close my connecting flight was in Atlanta she bumped me to an earlier flight out of Mobil, they also asked me to give up my seat in Atlanta and they would give me a $400 voucher as well as a hotel, I said if you can get me a hotel since I havent showered, havent eaten, have had food poisoning all day and still have a 2.5 hour drive home once we land at 11:35pm you bet I'll give up my seat....and so I did.  When I arrived in Atlanta I found FOOD and got to the gate as I had to wait till take off for the voucher etc as I was told. Once at the gate they said the flight is no longer sold out so they gave me a new seat,,,,,yes row 34 out of 36 and I gave up row 5....seriously....why even take my seat until you know you will need it??? Now i have to get off very last with a 2.5 hour drive home!! Not happy and by now the tummy issues have turned into terrible Gas! I get on the plane and I find myself having to explain to the couple beside me and apologize in advance that I suffered food poisoning all day while running and now I have uncontrollable gas, now if my son was with me atleast I could blame him?  Landed fine and got my car and headed home, at this time I really felt sorry for the folks next to me as I was confined by myself in my car for 2.5 hours and it was too cold to roll the windows down!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

2013 - Year In Review

Wow.....It's so surreal when I reflect on 2013.  My first event of the year was a 50 miler in beautiful St Croix Virgin Island....what a way to start the year!! I got to visit a friend whom was a couple years older then me in high school and hadnt seen her in 30 years. She lives in St Croix so she was awesome in helping make this trip so memorial. I look back at the numbers and at times it really makes me wanna send all the Doctors that told me after knee surgery from 2010 thru the middle of 2011 not to run again or I'd need a new knee a listing of what I did last year and the year before!! But this repost is looking back at 2013.  I finished 21 marathons 4 50k's 3 50 milers and my first 100 miler.  I met the most amazing people who I believe will remain life time friends. When I look at the relationship I have with so many of them it's hard to comprehend that we have known each other less then a year and it feels like a lifetime already!  I think the most memorial running event would have to be the Center of the Nations series.....started day one as mostly strangers and by day 5 most of us felt like family and stay in touch to this day.  The 100 miler was the most painful experience I have ever experienced, the nighttime after effects mostly....just the throbbing in the feet and legs, the blisters and restless leg and body unable to rest as any movement was dreadful. I was ready to find my next 100 within a couple days after though and signed up for Zion 100 which will be this April in Zion National Park Virgin, UT. Currently there is myself along with 4 other friends and several others have also expressed they are thinking about it!  I did 3 double marathons which is a marathon a day or 2 consecutive days, I did the Center of the nations which was 5 marathons in 5 states in 5 days and also did the Day of the Dead series which for me was 3 marathons in 3 days in 3 states and day 4 I did the 5K to finish the series due to the knee really swelling up.  I find myself shaking my head in disbelief when I finish some of these events that I feel like I did when I first started trying to run and would be lucky to get 3 miles done! I'm not fast and I'm not a snail either and when I finish a marathon or one a day for a couple days in a row and am walking around just fine afterwards I just find myself giggling at times and asking myself who the hell does this shit and how???? Then I answer myself if I can do it anyone can do it! It's just getting them step one the true desire and then step 2 helping them to believe they can!

On the family level my son finished his first year at the University of Cincinnati...where did the time go???  We had a blast when he came with me for the double weekend out in Utah and Idaho exploring the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and getting to visit a super friend from high school!
My father turned 70 years young on Thanksgiving day and as a surprise we had his brother, sister and their families all to my folks house for Thanksgiving/bday dinner! It was awesome! Typically a Thanksgiving at our place is my mom, dad, son, brother his wife and 2 girls,,,this year we had 31 people.

On a business level I find it hard to believe my gym has now been open for over 4 years which also means I have been out of the retail business for over 4 years! 17 years of that was plenty for me.  I also got certified as a Adult Running Coach with Road Runners Club of America.

Goals for the year are to finish my 2nd 100 mile run and start concentrating on getting the 50 states plus DC done. If all goes as planned I will be finished in June of 2015 with Hawaii. June will be a hot month but I want my son and family to be able to celebrate this with me and this is the only Hawaii marathon or ultra that takes place when he is not in school. I decided to try to concentrate more on the states since I really am getting close and my knee gave me a few more frequent issues this year then last so another goal became to finish my 2nd 100 and all 50 states plus DC on my original knee....then after I finish those I can re evaluate my condition and decide how much more I can withstand....I think in a sick sort of way it would be fun to do all 50 states and DC on my original knee and then again on my new one :)