Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Marine Corp Marathon 2014

A couple of days before leaving for DC my mom and I found my fathers Marine Dog Tags from when he was in the Marine Reserve from 1961-1968 or 1969. He went through Basic Training but they never called him back in to do his weekend warrior things or anything else. Kinda lost in the shuffle.  Good thing because

Geoff was born in 1966 and me in 1968 so who knows if we would be here today and he married to mom if things were different. Anyways...I put his dog tags on my Umstead 100 necklace I always wear but they clanked with each other too much and I knew that would drive me I found a simple ball chain necklace in my drawer and wore only his dog tag for the run.  I left Saturday morning to drive 8 ish hours and stayed with my friend Nicole and her husband Brett. Another friend of hers from high school was running Sarah
and she and her fiance Albert were staying as well. We had a couple beers and headed to this awesome place for sandwiches. I got to bed early because I knew i would be tossing and turning and even though the race does not start until 7:55am in order to get parking or even take the metro you must leave early. Albert stayed in bed and took the metro over later, we left shortly after 5am and where they are in the service we were able to park on the base and was a short walk to the start. We hung out in the car for a couple hours just resting then headed through security and stopped off for a quick potty trip and got into the start line right as the hand cycles were starting. There were about a dozen paratroopers jumping and in one group they were several jumping with the flag! Then the ospreys did a fly over and they were amazing! I already felt myself starting to get emotional just
watching our flags being flown in the sky.
 I knew I wouldnt be able to keep up with Nicole and Brett but Sarah and I stayed together for a couple miles.
I kept hearing BEAT THE must be at the bridge which is mile 20 by a certain time. They said typically in order to beat the bridge you must be able to hold a 14 min mile or less for the first 20 miles, however those that start in the back of the race and this race does not have timed corrals will be a little less then that due to the amount of time it takes to get to the start.  I really wasnt worried about not beating the bridge and we started in the back of the race, taking us I believe about 10 minutes to get to the start line.
 I dont remember what mile we were on but I came across my friend and hero Steve Bozeman. I met Steve at JFK50 two years ago and got to see him again last year. This is one amazing man and athlete.  Not only a running of marathons and ultras he has done the Double Ironman (4.8 mile swim 224 mile bike and 52.4 mile run 16 times) After meeting him at JFK in 2012 I thought someday I really wanna try a Double Ironman! He has also received two Purple Hearts for combat wounds as well as 18 Air Medals for meritorious achievement and is as humble as they come! I knew it was him from the back and came upon him and got to say hello...I decided to run ahead a little and stand to the side to get a photo of he and his friend as they ran with the flags. Funny too how the word facebook has become part of our daily conversations...he said facebook me with that one Jennifer :)
Sarah dropped off a little while after that to catch up with me a couple miles later. I had just dropped to either a 3 to 1 run walk or a 2 to 1 walk ratio and we got to run together for a little bit but it became a little too much for her. This was her 4th marathon and had not done one since last year. The temperature was super warm and sunny for the time of the year and I think that played a toll on many. Reading the FB post on the marine marathon page there has been so much talk about how hard the course was and how many people didnt get the times that they had planned or wanted. I kinda found it comical as I don't think I have ever had a time goal or time plan at hand...I just go out have fun and take it as it comes!  If I worried myself with a time goal I would be totally stressed out and not having fun!
I came upon what is known as the Blue are signs of fallen soldiers with their photos and memorial - then there are folks lines up holding the American Flag and seeing all this I started to hyperventilate and my emotions were taking over. I found myself looking to the right into the river just to get my barring's back but had to keep looking away. It is so sad to see all those young soldiers photos that gave their life in order for me to have freedom.
As we came into a park area and onto that running trail to the right was the river. There was a lady and her male friend making screwdrivers but they just offered a drink...I took a swig and didnt care about cooties or anything...heck there was enough vodka in that to kill off any germs.  Just ahead a house boat came driving by and the man was holding up a sign that said KICK ASS! This was awesome!!! There were a lot of great signs on this trail and reading them kept me entertained for the entire time. There was a fire boat I believe is what they are called- it was putting on a great water show spitting water out in all directions.  I don't recall seeing one of these in person before and I found it pretty darn cool.  I am terrible when it
comes to remembering what mile was what during these events but I know it was super hot out there and I found myself cramping, I usually don't cramp during runs and I even took a small water from some folks handing them out and refilling at the aid stations so that I had water on me most of the time. I also recall after I BEAT THE BRIDGE my entire right leg and side went totally numb....this really scared me with all the hip,back and foot issues happening with it and running seems to be the only time I am not feeling pain. It scared me to where it has me questioning if I really cant feel the pain while I am running or if I have merely just taught myself how to ignore the pain with my "running highs"  It took a couple minutes of rubbing and mind games to get the feeling back and I just continued on with a slog and walk. My foot never really recovered and still today is totally pins and needles. My calves seized up after the run and I tried to drink as much as I could to rehydrate myself. I got in line for a jacket and met up with Nicole and Brett and shortly after Sarah and Albert found us and we headed back to Nicoles. I took an amazing shower and Nicole had a glass of cold chocolate milk waiting for me when I got out. That was the best chocolate milk in my life and was so needed! I got on the road and headed home. I did have to drive without my shoes on as my feet continued to try to cramp up if I wore them.  I had a super weekend and decided to get into the lottery again in hopes to
get in next year!
I am suppose to do Marshall Marathon this weekend but am considering taking a rest as I don't want to risk not finishing my 50 states. The next weekend is Georgia, one week off then AR and OK double and then Hawaii Dec 14th.  I also have other events in the midst but the most important right now are these 4. I had a lumbar MRI done yesterday and the results from that came in today so am waiting to hear from my Doctor about putting together the back/spine issues with the Hip MRI results as well as the tarsal tunnel syndrome from 2011. And for any haters out there....THESE ISSUES ARE NOT DUE TO RUNNING....SHIT HAPPENS!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

2 Days 2 More States and Lots of New Beers

 This was the weekend to knock off States 45 and 46. I flew into Kansas City Mo on friday and headed to the expo for my packet and my friend Larry's as he wasn't going to make it in time. I also was doing the I-35 Challenge so I had to check into that booth. The I-35 Challenge was simply a challenge they created for those running both events whether it be half's or full's and you got an extra shirt and another metal. I usually and in and out of expos fast as I have so much stuff that I really don't need anything but here they had a booth set up to make screen printed shirts on the spot. You picked your style then you picked what you wanted to have printed on the front back or both. I picked out this shirt
 they called game day which is oversized and super comfy.  I was up early to fly out so I grabbed a sandwich for an early super and was in bed by 8:30 which was 9:30 my time zone.  I slept pretty good and woke up the next morning and brought my bag down to the front desk to check as they only had late check out at noon....I tried to turn my gar garmin and it was dead so I took it back to my bag. I heard the cut off was a strict 6 hour cut off and I really thought i would be close to 6 hours, I had only ran a couple times in the past 3 weeks and was running Iowa the next day so all I wanted to do was finish in time. The event was much larger then I expected and thought there is no way Im gonna find Larry for our Pre Race Photo but sure enough there he was! Always a pleasure. We chatted for a bit and the race started and off I went. I actually felt really good and had no watch and no way to watch pace but in reality it didn't matter as long as I got in within 6 hours.  Larry and another friend said the trick they heard was to be at the 13.1 mile mark in 3 hours and they will let you finish within reason...I knew that wouldn't be an issue as I usually am faster the first half then the last.  The town was so many fountains and they were all colored blue for the Royals since they were heading to the World Series. We ran through one area of the
town with some amazing homes!
 One section overlooked a waterway and the changing colors of the trees along this route added to the stunning landscape. There was one huge house with mostly glass windows for the front and the pillsbury doughboy was staring out the window....on up the road across the street was another house with a giant clown peaking at you....I co couldn't et a good shot of the clown being across the roadway but it was actually kinda creepy.  Around mile 13 there was a couple men sitting along the course watching the boring parade going by and their cooler was opened with about 8 Bud lights on I said thank you and grabbed one and headed down the road. It was tough drinking it with the foam spewing from the spout but I drank it fast and just enjoyed the journey. Folks running and watching got a great kick out of as I heard over and over I like your style! Or from runners How can you drink that? My stomach has learned to handle it plus I do go out super hard I just go out to have fun. I notice everything!  I finished that beer in about a mile and continued on. It caught me by surprise how hilly the course was...I guess thinking of Kansas City Mo with tornados you think flatlands. I don't mind the hills at all...I actually like the change of elevation to use different muscles during the course of the day. Arriving at mile 19 was a Second Presbyterian church handing out water and gatorade - at the end of the table was 2 men drinking some Samuel Adams and I said oh thats what I need a beer....they said here ya go and poured a cup about half full, they asked if I was doing Des Moines the next day, they noticed my umstead necklace and asked about it and we just had a great little visit.  I got to around the mile 23 mark and noticed a new sign I had not seen at any other events and loved it!! "Mortuary ahead....look alive!" I tried to take my own photo in front of it but was not successful and a spectator noticed and came over and snapped one for me. Believe it or not I finished this race in 4:59??? All that goofing around and still a sun 5? I headed back to the hotel and changed clothes in the lobby restroom and headed to Des Moines. It was about 180 mile drive not real exciting but wasnt bad either. The weather was absolutely perfect, clear skies, light winds and around 60 degrees. When I arrived in Des Moines I checked into the hotel first, took a shower then headed to grab my packet and check in again at the I35 booth. Tanner was messaging me about different places to go eat and I chose Fongs Pizza. It was a good choice! I was looking forward to Sunday morning run because Cheri and Jeff Linwood were going to be here and I havent seen them since New England series. We found each other at the start a
 and ran together for the first 4 or so miles. At mile 4 was the first alcohol I spotted.....2 older ladies making mimosas- heck I stopped and grabbed one....met another runner here and we ran together telling some stories while we drank our was kinda bad placement for this as it was on a long downhill, so when we were trying to run downhill with our mimosas the beverage was spilling out and getting our hands sticky...we decided to walk down the hill and drink it up. I got to around mile 9 and there was a

couple of guys at a turn cheering us on and drinking some beers..what else do you do on a sunday when you are stuck because your neighborhood streets are closed down for most of the morning and day. I asked them if I could have one and they looked at me funny and said sure but it's I said yes and it's a beer...I won't be dropping a beer! They opened it and off I ran.  The trick is you have to drink it pretty quick to keep the head from foaming out the top of the bottle. This beer was called All Day Pale Ale - first time I have had that and I

 really liked it. Actually I don't drink often because I usually do things to the extreme and that included drinking if I'm out on the town. I finished this one and was on a part of the course that was split by landscape in the center. On the opposite side of the road I saw and heard some guys pouring beer and stating this is the only Sam Adams on the course...they didnt see me with my bottle in hand. Just past them I was finished and I left the empty on the ground where some musicians were playing, I couldnt find and garbage containers.  I was calculating in my head how far I had to go till I got back to the guys with the beer and figured it was at least 3 I had something to look forward to. I wasn't at all worried about my time for the event as I knew there was a 7 hour cut off- It was around mile 14 and there was no more Sam Adams but they had a Pale Ale called
 Boulevard, another beer I had not had since I really don't just have a beer with dinner or at home sitting around in the evening. They had some smaller cups full and I took one and thanked them and said oh just a baby beer and they asked if I wanted a full and of course I said yes...but I also said with hesitation - lets pour a quarter of it in this cup (after I drank that) because the last bottle a couple miles ago kept foaming so bad and I found myself having to keep blowing the head off...then i went on to say I dont recall ever running a marathon and blowing so much head. Yes I thought that was the funniest thing ever and they also got a giggle. So off I 2 for the day and 1 mimosa - after I finished this one I was going down a hill searching for a place to throw the bottle away and now I come across 3 couples in their front yard at the edge of the street...I asked if I could leave
 the empty with them and they all laughed and one said want a refill and handed me one called a was about half full...perfect but boy was it strong. I drank it pretty quick because it was so strong and by now I am starting to have a buzz...I put my headset on one ear and started singing and just checking out the town. The course moved onto a trail system through a park and ahead of me I noticed a couple with some ruk sacs on and I wanted to catch up to them and see what they were training for.  As I approached I noticed they gal reaching in her pack and then taking her hand and kinda covering her face and she was lighting a cigarette! Awesome...this gal is running with a backpack smoking a cigarette and I am really buzzed!! I had to get a photo of this! I run up to her and said I've had a couple beverages and have a buzz but always
 post play by plays on my FB page of my running adventures...can I take your photo with you smoking and she said sure! Do you need another beer? What do you think we carry in our sacs? We carry our own! My new bestfriend! Her husband took our photo and we chatted for a few and I took off. This was probably around mile 18 or 19 because when we left the park it was mile 20.
 I don't remember which mile but it was before the half way mark we got to run the 400 meter track at Drake University and there was a camera set up and we could see ourself right before we exited on the big screen..I thought that was a nice little touch.
I finished day 2 in 5:25 which completely surprised me as well- 1 mimosa, 4 beers, 2 strands of beads collected on the course and one leigh!  I had a blast out there this weekend. The hotel had a 2pm check out and the run started at 8 so my goal was to get done in around 6 hours so that I didnt hold the hotel house keepers up too long. Got my shower and went to another place my son told me about called zombie burger...the burger was pretty good but the unicorn zombie milkshake was amazing!!! Vanilla ice cream, marshmallow cream topped with fruity pebbles!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

That Weekend didn't turn out as planned

Last weekend I was scheduled to run the Run Like a Girl Half marathon on Saturday in Columbus Ohio then a couple hour drive to Findlay for the Red White and Blue Marathon on Sunday then 4 hour drive home after.  My friend Heather had planned to do this with  me and we also persuaded another friend to sign up for both 10K's. The day before Heather let me know that she could not do Findlay due to some family issues and we have always said Family comes before a run.....Our friend Louvina signed up 2 nights before. So now we were figuring out logistics and I drove up and stayed at my brothers the night before and they were going to drive up the day of the Run Like a Girl, meet me for their packets my sis in law picked up and Heather would drive back and Louvina would go on with me to Findlay.  Several months ago my friend who also works at my gym agreed on the weekends that Im gone for just a night or two he would come take my dog in and out so I would not have to take her to the mother always keeps my little guy but Andi is still too big and wild for her.  Around 8pm I messaged my friend to check on Andi and he informed me that he had some hip issues the day before and had spent the day in Urgent Care and now was unable to take care of Andi due to having crutches and driving a stick shift. I hate that he was hurt but it was soooo frustrating that I didnt leave town till almost 4pm on Friday and all this started on Thursday so there was plenty of time to let me know to take her to the kennel. UGGGGG I am trying to figure out what to I leave now and skip Saturdays run also or just cancel Findlay and Run like a FAST girl Saturday to get home asap. This is the decision I made...I decided to run cancel Findlay...I wouldnt have time and it would be stupid to drive home after the half take Andi to the Kennel then drive 4 hours to Findlay to run it Sunday and 4 hours back after and then get home in time to pick her up at the kennel. I went to bed still stressed and just upset that this could have been brought to my attention so much sooner and I wouldnt have to worry but who knows..maybe I just wasnt suppose to run Findlay?
I woke up Saturday am to a message from Louvina with a photo of her foot in a ACE bandage saying I will find out monday if it's broken....
I got there early because I just couldn't sleep and wanted to get a decent parking spot on the street instead of the garages and I succeeded! It was FREEZING!!!! Yes I checked the weather and the weekend was going to be sunny and high of 57 degrees - perfect running conditions. I only packed short sleeve shirts cause once I get moving I get hot pretty fast. It was cloudy, windy and in the upper 30's????  Around 7:15 I got a message from Heather that said her bed felt too good so she was not driving up.
I decided to run this run naked - no garmin- no watch - I don't typically run half marathons and just decided I would just run and not stress by having a watch on and thinking about getting home to Andi. As soon as the race started it began to sprinkle some. The winds were bitter cold and we were about at mile 5 and it began to SLEET!!! Big time SLEET! Crazy crazy for a sunny high of 57 degrees day.  My hamstring and hip area was hurting that morning but once I start running the hip hamstring did not and it traveled all the way into my calf. I did stop and stretch the calf at one water station and then told myself just keep going and get this done and you can stretch it later. It really felt like a huge knot was on it.
With about 4 miles left to go the SLEET came back again with a headwind that almost brought you to a complete stop. I was freezing!!! Even though I was hot and I did get really sweaty now with the bitter cold wind trying to blow me down I thought I would become a block of ice. I saw mile marker 12 and I thought ok...just kick it in and be done....I was feeling like I was running a decent pace but my calf was sooo damn sore that I just didnt have that finish kick in me. When I got to the finish line I couldnt tell what my time was because the Halfers started about 12 minutes after the 5 and 10K runners but it looked very close to what my half PR was.....ofcourse I wasnt even sure what my Half PR was but knew it was just over 2 hours because I always think if I do more Half's I bet I could break 2 hours.  When I got home I looked up my half PR time and it was 2:02:14 from the Cap City Half in May 4th of 2013 which was 4 weeks after Umstead 100. Results went online for this half and I came in at 2:03:29.....see if I would have worn a watch maybe I would have PRed....I doubt that though cause I never can remember what my PR times are without looking.  My calf continued to hurt for days!! I tried foam rolling and stretching and still 5 days later it is tender but not like it was...I think it could have been from taking a new pair of Newtons straight out of the box....I have done this with lots of other shoes for even longer distance but then again Newtons do make you run more on the forefront causing the calf to work more

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Medical things creating some blahs

I wanted to post about the latest MRI results since I finally had my hip, hamstring area checked out a couple weeks ago.  This is the same area that I worried would bother me back in April of 2013 during umstead 100, the same area that had me purchase a Tempur-Pedic mattress on 3 years same as cash and just paid it off about 4months ago- but I purchased the mattress because the hip pain when sleeping was so intense. Massage, deep deep massage and even a couple trip against my judgement to the chiro quaker but nothing has helped.  The past 6 months though the pain has extended into the front of where the hip meets and it just throbs when I sit, stand, lay or walk.  It extend to the back of the hip into the hamstring and up to the lower back and feels like there is also a pinched nerve. My foot will go to sleep on many occasions . Now rewind to 2011 when I was still dealing with all the Doctors telling me I would never run again due to my left knee and then being diagnosed with Tarsel Tunnel in this right foot (the same side of the hip opposite of the knee) I do not have the major discomforts or the crawling to the bathroom each night like I did for so long with the Tarsel Tunnel and after I refused that surgery due to the success rate and recovery time and process I lost about 25 or pounds and I truly believe the excess weight and pressure off that pinch nerve in the tarsel tunnel helped that.  Sorry if this report jumps around everywhere but Im trying to grasp it all in my head at the same time and I believe I have a few answers and conclusions of my own.
So 2 weeks ago I finally had the MRI done on the hip....this was brought up to the Doctor during my last shoulder visit when I made the decision to NOT have the rotator cuff that tore during the recovery of having the bicep tendon re attached fixed. I was having sooo much pain from the hip and was taking the pain medication I had for my elbow just to try to function and it barely takes the edge off the hip!
So here we go with all the medical wording and MRI results readings



There are no recent comparison exams available at the time of dictation.

There is no evidence of acute osseous injury or avascular necrosis. There is mottled marrow signal. There is a sclerotic lesion in the posterior aspect of the intertrochanteric region and 1 in the left femoral head, which may represent bone islands. A 4 mm cartilage defect is seen on the lateral aspect of the right femoral head (sagittal image 21), near the margin of the articular surface. A small bubble is seen at the anterior aspect of the right femoral neck, not in the usual location at the head that is usually seen in femoral acetabular impingement. The femoral heads articulate with the acetabuli in a normal relationship. There is a physiologic amount of fluid in the joint. A small amount of fluid is also seen in the right iliopsoas bursa. There is mild inflammation in the greater trochanteric bursa bilaterally.

No acute soft tissue injury. There is chronic bilateral hamstring tendinopathy. The tendons about the hip are otherwise intact. 

The fat planes surrounding the sciatic nerves are intact. Mild increased signal is seen in the sciatic nerves bilaterally.

There is tear of the anterior aspect of the right acetabular labrum. The lateral aspect the labrum is degenerated and frayed.

There is no sizable inguinal hernia. There is no deep pelvic mass identified. A small amount of free fluid is seen in the pelvis. There is a 2.1 cm cyst in the left ovary. There is a 1.3 cm fibroid in the uterus which protrudes into the endometrium.

1. Tear of the anterior and lateral aspects of the right acetabular labrum.
2. Bilateral mild greater trochanteric bursitis.
3. Mild chondromalacia of the lateral aspect the right femoral head.
4. Small amount of free fluid in the pelvis.
5. Submucosal uterine fibroid. Correlation for history of abnormal bleeding is recommended.
6. Sclerotic lesion in the right intertrochanteric region and left femoral head may be bone islands. Correlation with radiographs is recommended.

Electronically signed by: Settonni, Loretta M.D.
Date/time: 09-16-2014, 08:53 AM

I had a follow up appointment with my doctor and we discussed the anterior and acetabular labrum tears and he suggested we could have a scope done, however there are not a lot of Doctors that preform the scope and I had already told him no surgery no matter what the findings were. Let me stress before anyone starts to judge THIS IS NOT A RESULT OF RUNNING!!!!! PEOPLE JUST HAVE SHIT HAPPEN TO THEM!!!!!
His other suggestion was to have a intravenous hip injection, again nobody around here does that so they would have to bring someone in from KDMC out of Kentucky.
I will not find out what needs done with the ovarian cyst until October 14th....but maybe the old tale is true about women who run......"You're uterus is going to fall out" sorry couldnt resist that one!
I now know the hamstring does have some issues and they just called it bilateral tendinopathy- this could explain the tightness in the hamstring and that pain I have had for the past couple years but neither of the Doctors that I have gone to with these results have touched that area yet.......Since my local Doc didnt bring up anything to me about the cyst the hamstring the recommendation of a radiograph and when I asked about some of the other stuff this report listed ( I could pull it up on the patient portal before going in ) but when I asked the response I received was oh..I dont know - I didnt read it all just the top part. Oppps. So I decided to wait and go see the folks in New Albany, the Doctor that was number 4 when I was having all the opinions with my knee from the end of 2009 to middle of 2011, he is the only one that said "I wont tell you not to run, but I would suggest just a couple days a week and build up to a couple miles during these runs" He also did NOT see a new knee in my near future like the other 3. After hearing that I signed up for my first 50 miler!!! So off I head with my Hip test to New Albany. He felt the tears in the labrum were being caused because i have some hip degeneration and going into scope them in reality they would prolly tear again due to the degeneration ( arthur starting)  He did go ahead and do an injection in the bursa sac on the right side of the hip and that has now been a week, this has not helped so now we are in the process of setting up an appointment to do the intravenous injection into the joint. Uggg not looking forward to that. Once we find out the actual source of the pain then we can see how to treat things. The injection will not fix things but will hopefully help take some of the imflamation and reduce the fluids that are present.
So my thinking also is this.....since my hip DOES NOT HURT WHILE I AM RUNNING.....yes you read that correct - it only hurts when i sit, stand, lay or walk. I dont know if it is due to my mind blocking pain so well but I have another analogy. I think there is an impingement either on the hip, sciatica or some area that is causing the pounding pain, the shooting pains down the entire back of the leg and putting the foot to sleep. I believe it DOES NOT HURT while I am running due to the fact that there is a quick step turn over so my weight it not on the ground or sitting in a chair or laying in a bed in the same position with the same amount of weight. So now I have to tell myself that in order to find out if possibly I take off 15 pounds that that excess weight that is hitting the nerve it could possibly help as well?
The hard part is I have not been motivated during the week for my short runs, instead just doing my marathons etc that I travel too. Once I get moving outside I feel better but I just get tired of seeing the same folks driving by me and the trashy men honking and wolf whistling at me. Then that creates the self pities and I sit here and eat crap food and lots of crap food. I was never really a candy eater and have no idea why I have been on a candy kick. I think since November of last year I have said ok....tomorrow I will start watching what im eating and keep track.....I do start that and do great all day until evening comes around...then I go get crap.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Columbia River Marathon Oregon/Beat the Blerch Marathon Washington 2014

 Double state weekend and getting closer to finishing my 50 States. Had no intentions on finishing them this soon and actually it wasn't really ever a goal until I started doing so many marathons out of town during the winter when I was training for my first 50 miler in April of 2012. I was traveling to run marathons for training because it gets so boring to run all those miles by yourself and when I realized I had like 10 states I thought ok...I'll try to do all 50 states before I turn 50....sounded like a challenging enough goal and that would give me 6 years to do 40 more states! Fast forward to now and not only will I finish all 50 states if all goes as planned at the end of the year the Beat the Blerch marathon marked my 75th lifetime marathon/ultra - number 70 since 3 of the 4 orthopedic doctors told me if I continued to run I would need a new knee in the next 2 years. I love proving people wrong! This was going to be a quick trip since it was just me going, my son is back at college so no travel companion. I landed in Seattle and went ahead and stopped at the packet pickup for Beat The was a 4 hour drive from Seattle to Umatilla Oregon and I had plenty of time to get to that packet pickup. I also didnt want to have to hurry to get back the 4 hour drive after running Oregon on Saturday to make it to packet pick up saturday night. The lines were huge already! It took about 45 min or so and I was already worn out. My flight left columbus ohio at 6am so I was up at 3:45 to get to the airport and get through security. Nothing open for breakfast and the layover in atlanta was only 25 minutes - by the time I got off the plane and had to get the train and get to the other gate I barely had time to grab a bag of chex mix. On the plane I got a package of cookies but I wasnt in the mood for a 700 calorie airplane bagel so I hadnt eaten. Once I got through packet pickup and found they oversold parking so I didnt have a parking pass anymore I was frustrated. I met a lady in line who was doing her first half and she also had her parking pass taken away. They couldnt tell if I had one and the emails went out the night before but my phone wont pull up attachments so there was no way to read if I had one or not and they had no way of knowing...was a little bit of a mess and being so tired and hungry wasn't fun. This lady was great....she was frustrated too but walked me a couple blocks and made me get a sandwich before I headed down the road for a 4 hour drive. I was so thankful for that!! The drive was pretty, I could see Mt Rainier before heading toward Oregon and wow was it gorgeous!! There is just something about the mountains and me.
When I arrived in Oregon I got my packet and headed to the hotel and got checked in, I was 3 hours earlier in time with the time zone change but had been up since 3:45 so I was tired!!! I decided to just drive through taco bell since there really wasnt much at all in this town. The run didnt start until 8am and the weather forecast was suppose to be a hot one.
 I arrived at the start and met a couple marathon maniacs, the race started near the dam in Oregon crossed over and into Washington then back across into Oregon. The first 8-9 miles were mostly road and not a whole lot to look at. When the halfers got off that course we headed on to the Lewis and Clark Commemorative trail which ran along the Columbia River, the view was prettier but the sun was getting super hot and the surface we were now running on was sand!! Ankle sucking sand and almost 90 degrees. It was probably almost till we got to mile 23 that we were on this was an out and back but also switch into a single track larger gravel trail for a couple of miles. Here is where we saw what was called Top Hat Rock....that was cool looking!!!
 I was super glad to finish and met Jamila, I know we had run other events together but we just talked in the passing of each other some on Saturday. When I finish being such a late start race my hotel didn't have any sort of late check out especially that late. The thing was we were in the middle of nowhere....even driving over the 4 hours the day before there were barely any gas station pull offs so I was not looking forward to smelling myself for 4 hours. I decided what the heck, I run into the race host hotel and just ask if there was anyway I could pay them to take a shower, she called someone and they had a room for those that were staying there to shower if they chose, AHHHH that was awesome and when I left I thanked her and gave her a $5.00 tip. Sure there are YMCA's that let you shower but there was no YMCA anywhere around, I have showered at truck stops - but again there was hardly any gas stations on the drive over the day before.
Got into Seattle around 8pm on Saturday night, checked into the hotel and got all my stuff layed out for the next morning run. This event didnt start till 9am. I didnt mind the extra sleep but knew it was suppose to be another hot day.
The event was held in Carnation Washington which is located about 35 miles outside of Seattle. I got to the event and met up with a group of maniacs for a pre race photo and Jamile was there.  We then got talking and remembering several races we had run together and comparing out remaining events for the year so we will be seeing each other quite a bit the rest of
the year.  It was on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail system  and was one of the most beauty course I have ran with lush greenery, nice and shaded for the most part. This run was a blast!!! If you have never read the comic from The Oatmeal you must...this is what the event was created off of.

During the run we had nutella sandwiches, magical grape drink, the Blerch literally chasing you telling you how you really need to take a rest,,,,running is bad for you knees, come sit on the couch over here. Yes there were 2 couches out on the course!!!! Sasquatch was even in the woods!!!
around mile 14 or so Jamile and I would play leap from and at that point I met a younger girl from LA doing her first marathon, she was struggling and was in a walk pace and got listening to Jamile and I talking about what event we had left and discussing how that sand sucked the day before and this girl then became amazed and wanted to hang around and here about our stories and know what she really is capable of doing if she wanted to. Jamile would go on there and there and the younger girl would stay with me....I set my watch to a 3 to 1 run walk ratio and we did that for awhile and then switched on down to a 2 to 1 ....she hung in there and kept thanking me that she would have walked if it wasnt for running into me helping encourage her....this is what it's all about!!! We finally dropped it down to 1:30 to1 and that actually became a perfect pace. I dont recall how many miles were left and I hadnt ordered any HTFU wristbands in forever but I had mine on and at this point I knew she needed this so much more then I did so I took off my Road ID and I told her the story about how I give these out and I can always order more but I felt she really needed this at this time...she was thrilled and yes she totally needed that!!! We got to the finish and I hanging back you run on because this is your first marathon and you dont want me in your finish photo!!! We got to the finish and I grabbed a blueberry muffin and water and she grabbed some cake. She introduced me to her mother and I was just to thrilled for her!!!

I headed back to my hotel room and it was about room had not even been touched??? So I went ahead and showered, grabbed my AX card, room key and $40 cash out of my clutch and headed to the Jaks for an amazing dinner then to the space needle. When I got back to the room I started packing  as I wasnt sure if I was going to drive to Rainier or just check out the market and hang around Seattle, my flight wasnt leaving till 11:55pm but I didnt know if I wanted to drive 2:45 min to the mountain drive around there then drive back 2:45 then sit on the place all night and tomorrow morning and drive home 2 hours after that!!! I got up and the maid service now is knocking on my door at 7:30am?? seriously yesterday you hadnt even been here until sometime after 4:30pm now you are knocking at 7:30am!! I ignored it and headed out around 9ish. I went the to market first and had some great pastries at LaPanier and cheese at Beechers, then watched the fish throwers, saw gum alley and just checked it all out. The flowers were absolutely beautiful but I had nowhere to keep them or enjoy them  After hanging out there for awhile I head to Alki Beach and just walked around the loop there and on the beach for a couple hours, had pizza for lunch and then decided to head back to the market and grab some clam chowder for dinner before heading taking my rental car back and then sit and wait in the airport.
A typical weekend marathon excursion always has some sort of adventure and this one did too!! After finishing a bowl of clam chowder I watched the beautiful sunset from the pier! I sat for over an hour just watching each step.
I think this was my favorite shot when the sailboat was dead center as the sun was getting closer go down.  I headed towards my car but went up the wrong street so decided I still had plenty of time and just walked around some....I had to go to the bathroom and stopped into a restaurant, I totally forgot my phone was in my back pocket and bent over to put the seat cover on pulled down my pants and in the toilet my phone dropped....I grabbed it as fast as possible and it already was down to 20% battery life so I was really nervous...sometimes when you plug in a wet phone it fries them immediately. I dried it off as best I could with my shirt and toilet paper and the hand blower and when I got to the car I went ahead and plugged it in. If would charge some them kick off, I could pull up data. When I arrived at the rental return I turned in my car and got on the shuttle to the airport...once I got inside the airport I got my clutch out of my backpack to get my ID and my ID is not there!! Im in a panic but trying to stay calm....The last time I had it was when I checked into the hotel because I didnt bring it with me to run nor did I have my clutch with me for any other time.  I looked up the phone number and tried to call the hotel - I couldnt hear it ring and it kept saying connecting. I tried several times and once it showed like someone was on the other end but I couldnt hear them. It is 9pm MT and midnight at home and I had to call my mother. I called and of course could not hear her but it looked like she had picked up so I was explaining that I had a little issue and I dropped my phone in the toilet so I cant hear her...if she can hear me I can get data service and to please message me on FB. After telling her on the phone where I stayed and what time I checked in on Saturday night and the details I called back one more time to be sure she answered and I wasnt talking to a machine. Seconds later she was on FB messaging me and getting all the details. The hotel claimed they gave it back to me and they did not have it but their is nowhere that I could have put it? I had a blue dress on without pockets and all I have is a very small clutch that I carry and didnt even have it with me until I left the hotel on Monday morning. I didnt need my ID for anything after I checked into the hotel so therefore I never checked to see if it was there.  At this point I decided it was time to go to security and see what could be done. They said hello how are you and I said actually not too good....then proceeded to explain what had happened. I said I could have my mother go get my passport and fax it to them but they said that wouldnt work. After waiting a little while and speaking with the supervisor letting me know of other types of identification that they could use - turned out if I had prescription medication on me and then my credit cards, insurance cards etc then that would work. I still can't understand why someone making a copy of my passport and faxing it is less creditable then the forms of ID they accepted with no photo? I mean if I was a terrorist wouldn't I most likely knock someone out and steal there bags rather then have someone take the time to put a fake photo on my passport and fax it in? Or create fake photos on my smart phone and different social medial outlets that have my actual name and photo? I'm glad I got through security but it still baffles me what was acceptable.