Saturday, October 18, 2008

belated Chicago Marathon 2008 race report

I will let Shannon's photographs speak for me:

Click for larger image

Cannonball half marathon 2008 race report

So despite running the Chicago marathon on Sunday and both having colds, Shannon and I drove to Greensboro this morning to run the Cannonball half marathon. Shannon and I run so many races that we have the pre-race schedule down pat. I get up at 5am and proceed to guzzle Gatorade like I'm in some kind of drinking contest. At 7:15, Shannon has a sudden and nonnegotiable need for an emergency stop at a gas station rest room.
After we parked, we jogged over to get our chips and bibs, and my feet were killing me. In addition to dull ache I've had for the last month there was a new very sharp pain in my right foot. There was no way I was running a half if I couldn't run across the parking lot. Luckily, 15 minutes before the start, Shannon managed to dig out a piece of glass with a rusted bobby pin. She saved the day! Yea! It was 47 degrees at the start, close to perfect. My goal was a somewhat delusional1:29:59 and Shannon's was a 1:39:59. The adrenaline of a race is the best pain killer, and I didn't notice my mangled feet at all. The course is an out and back, with mostly blacktop park "trails", some neighborhoods and about a mile of a busy road with the lane closed to traffic. A little dog ran out from someones front yard and tried to bite me.
I managed to keep a 6:52 pace to mile 10 but after that I struggled up what seemed a 3 mile long hill. About a half mile to go, huffing and puffing, I got a side cramp which stopped me dead in my tracks. It was one of "Drank-too-much-ran-too-fast-you-dumb-ass" cramps I get sometimes in races. I must have looked pretty bad, because a very nice woman running past offered to carry my fuel belt for me. I said "no, thanks", thinking that no other human should ever touch that disgusting thing, which has been washed once in 7 years. So I pressed really hard into the cramp and managed to gimp across the finish line in 1:31:58, grunting in pain.
Shannon blew away her goal in a 1:38:36 finishing with a huge grin like she always does.
We completed our race day schedule with a stop at Starbucks, an hour drive home sitting on horribly inflamed hamstrings, and a handful of Advil.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I might be running too many races


So my sister calls me up last week and says, "hey, my friend Laura can't run the Chicago marathon with me, will you fly up to Chicago this weekend and run it with me?" This is isn’t completely insane because I am already training for the Raleigh marathon (which is in 3 weeks). But I have run a race each of the last 6 weeks, including the Triple Lakes Trail half marathon last week, and it feels like someone has pounded my feet into pulp with a mallet. On the other hand I did have a 22 mile long run scheduled on Sunday anyway, so what the hell. My sister has 2 extra bibs so Shannon decides to come too.

So Shannon and I get up on Saturday, run the Autism Ribbon Run 5K (wouldn’t want to miss that), then fly up to Chicago to make it to the Expo before it closes. Ran the Chicago Marathon on Sunday in the brutal heat, flew back on Monday, and spent 3 days recovering from a brutal cold. Now I am getting ready for the Cannonball Run half marathon on Saturday.

Of course, next week is the American tobacco trail 10 miler and the Empire 5K, and the week after is the City of Oaks marathon. So in 3 weeks, that’s two 5Ks, a 10 miler, a half marathon and 2 marathons. Too much?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I pee on your grave... sorry.

I have a confession to make. About 4 minutes before the gun of Anna's Angels 10 miler, surrounded by several hundred other runners at the start line, I had an urgent and nonnegotiable need to pee. It was probably due to the 40 oz of Gatorade I had guzzled in the preceding hour (which is more appropriate for 3 day trek across the desert instead of a 1 hour run on a cool morning).
The start line was in some sort of commercial office space "park", with acres of concrete and generic brick buildings as far as I could see. No porta-john in sight, I just started running in a random direction looking for some private place to release my excess sport drink. I immediately spotted a clump of trees on an island in a parking lot, ran up into it and immediately started relieving myself. As the bladder emptied and the seconds to the start ticked away, I nervously looked around, expecting to see some old lady or police officer staring at me in disgust. I was quite surprised to instead see several old gravestones behind me, in the middle of the trees. I was peeing in a grave yard.
Now, I don’t believe in an afterlife or ghosts or anything, but still, peeing in a grave yard just seems wrong. It really brought my public urination to a whole new level of inappropriateness. I still had a good 60 seconds and 20 oz to go so I started weighing my options. I could stop and find someplace else to go, but finding a non-graveyard place to pee and making it back to the start in 3 minutes seemed like a long shot. Plus, I wasn’t really peeing ON someone’s grave, just nearby. And I already had discharged one bottle of used Gatorade, so what was one more? So I finished up, and ran back to the start.
So if you have some relatives that were buried on a farm in Morrisville that was then turned into an office park… sorry about that.
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