Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mellow Marathon and Canton Marathon Double Weekend Sept 6-7 2014

 Another last minute decision to make this a double weekend.  I found out about Canton a month or so ago and thought the medal was pretty cool since it had a spinner on it....I kept sending Heather pictures of the medal and different FB updates when they would talk about the price increase and such to help entice her.....she is so much like me it really d doesn't take much. We had been signed up for Canton now for a month or so and about a week before I realized that Woodstock running weekend was that same weekend and we could easily do a double. Camp out in the tent in Michigan on Friday night, run just the marathon so we could shower at the campground, pack up tent and still get to Canton at a decent hour on Saturday evening and run that marathon on Sunday. We also realized if we did Michigan then that would be state number 10 for Heather so she would now qualify for the 50 State Marathon Club!!! We didn't think we were going to be able to leave until after her labs on Friday which was a little concern because then we would have to set up tent in the dark and it was calling for rain. Since classes just started she ended up not having to have a lab that friday so we headed out earlier. Worked out perfect!!! Not only did we get to set up tent before dark and the storm!!! But we got to surprise my friend Sandy who was going to be starting the 100K at 4:00pm. Found her only 10 minutes before the start which was awesome!!! After seeing her off we drove to town and got some bottled water, ice for the cooler, and some food to bring back for dinner. Upon arriving back we went to the picnic area ate our dinner and decided to hang out, listen to the bands and watch people coming in for their first loop. The 100 milers and 100K runners both started on Friday at 4pm. Temps were so hot!! It was in the mid 90's and very humid. You could tell a nasty storm was brewing as the winds started picking up and the sky was turning black. Looking at the radar there were 2 different strong cells heading our way. Lightening was in the distance but still pretty close. The winds roared as tents were flying everywhere and even the awards tent started blowing over as the wood came so close to hitting us and others. Heather grabbed the chairs so they wouldn't blow and I said no...there is metal on those! So we just let them lie for awhile. Nobody really took shelter as there wasnt really anyplace to take shelter....many did run off to try to secure their tents or find them since they blew away. Ours was a couple rows over and we didnt bother going to check on it but were not super positive that it would be in place since we forgot a hammer to get our stakes deep in the ground! I got to see Keith Straw come through looking good, then saw Shawn come through....many were talking about the trees being blow over in front of them on the course. There was rain but not the pouring rains like the radar was showing so everyone was fortunate for that.  Heather headed back to the tent and I waited to in hopes to see Sandy come through. I could tell something was wrong cause it was taking her much longer then normal and I decided I needed to get back to the tent and get ready for bed so I could be ready to run in the morning. I later found out Sandy got done with the first lap and decided to drop, the heat had totally zapped her then the storm and the mud just brought her spirits down too much.
 During the night I could hear the rain hitting the tent and our tent neighbors were partying up a storm...poor Heather was right next to them and they were so loud and obnoxious all night her earplugs didn't even help. I slept decent but had some dreams about the rain and other things I dont remember. When we got up neither one of us were feeling it but this was state 10 and we pitched a tent and all this so there was NO WAY we were bailing on this one. We met up with Larry Macon at the start as well as some other friends so Heather met some more of her extended running family.  Larry and I started taking selfies before each run we did together a couple months ago....I sure wish we started this earlier! The run was a 2 loop course and the first loop was mostly on the gravel trail with a few sections on single track, the one large hill that the other events have and I remember it from last years 50K...and then a section of MUD and I mean MUD that stretched for what seemed like 1/4 mile. I took a video of it and am sure many shoes were eaten. We kinda just hung to the side trying to get through without losing our shoes or slipping in. We met a maniac on the course Jess Kurti from Texas and she also was running Canton the next day. The second loop was actually like the 50K loop I did last headed up the single track trail and was pretty much all on the trail trail except for a small section on the gravel section.  Heather and I stayed together and both of us were just trying to get through.....I found blue flag markers and made the suggestion to run from flag to flag then walk a flag and run a flag....this kept our brains occupied for awhile...once you get back on the trail your mind is so busy watching where you are running that keeps your mind off the distance. I didn't even wear my garmin for this event as I didn't want to keep looking down and thinking to myself shit we only have gone 4 miles or shit we still have 12 miles to go!  After we finished we packed up the tent and loaded it in the car and waited in line at the shower truck. This was the best even though my shower wouldn't stay on and I had to keep trying to hold the knob down with a shoulder that still doesn't have complete range of motion.  We were so muddy and dirty!! Heathers foot started bothering her again after this run so I made sure she kept it elevated and some ice on it. We headed to Canton got checked into the hotel and crashed.
When we got up for Canton it was only a couple blocks walk to the start. I was hoping to find my
friend Joe but never did see him before the start, however Larry and I got our pre race selfie and I decided that would be a good Guinness's World Record for me to attempt....the MOST PRE RACE SELFIES WITH A GUINNESS'S WORLD RECORD HOLDER- Heather's foot was still bothering her so she decided instead of not doing something and the spinning medal was so cool she would just do the half. I hated that she would have to then wait for me but I gave her the keys so if she wanted to go anywhere or nap in the car she was welcome.
Another 2 loop course. It went through most of Canton and had quite a few hills. I saw Jess out there and a couple other maniacs and on my second loop the sun was getting super hot and I was starting to not care and was walking a little more and along came this guy that said I know you you're Jennifer!! I said yes and it was Chase!! Chase was pacing this marathon at the 5:30 pace and we had been FB friends for awhile but never physically met. We kept each other company for quite awhile and he was dying for a coke but there was no carry outs in site!! I kept thinking in my mind I wanted a photo with a police car like I was being arrested for going to fast...yes the things our mind thinks are so hysterical while we are out there. When we finally found an officer that wasnt on a busy road and just sitting in their car I asked if she would act like she was arresting me....she wouldnt get out of the car caWe were running so many cones and walking so many then I got ahead of him as he had to be in at 5:30 no more no less due to being a pacer and I just was ready to get I stayed with my run/walk and finished it up. I headed straight to the beer tent and got 2 free beers and then all maniacs joined in and we just started visiting at the picnic table. I messaged Heather and told her where we were and to come on over. It was too funny, there were 5 of us all telling different stories at the same time and we were following them all. We decided to wait for Larry to get finished and cheer him in. As Heather and I headed back to the car we saw a guy with watermelon and it looked delish!! We said ohhhh watermelon and he told us the area there in the middle is a food distribution that they have every sunday during the summer for anyone that is hungry...we decided to ask if we could buy a plate of food but they would not accept any money from us and let us eat whatever we wanted. That was perfect, we filled our bellies got to the car and headed on home. Another super fun weekend!!

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