Monday, September 27, 2010

Anniversary, Wedding, and Running- September 17-19

Friday, September 17, was my anniversary.  I had asked my husband if he minded if I ran a marathon, since we were gonna be in the area anyway for a wedding.  Being the good husband he is, he agreed.  Hence, we made it to 11 years.  My plan was to leave our house at 1 o'clock, swing by the local running store for my packet for Sunday's race (more on that later), and then head to the running expo in Dayton, Ohio.  We left five minutes after, picked up my packet, and headed on our way.  British chick, who I've since named Penelope, said it would take us about 2 hours 14 minutes to reach Dayton.  Not bad- for some reason I had in my head it'd be a 4 hour trip.  Well, it almost was thanks to traffic in Cincy and traffic leading to the Nutter Center where the expo was held.  After 3 1/2 hours we pulled in to the Nutter Center with much grumbling about p-ping and ready to divorce before the anniversary was over.  We made our way inside, picked up my race packet for the Air Force Marathon, bought a few stickers, and then headed out the doors.  We decided to go out to eat before heading to our hotel room.  The only problem was, they had decided to run a 5K that night and would not let us out of the lot until the last runner had went through- even though the street was blocked and there was another lane to drive down.  Who's dumb idea was that!!!  Finally, we're out, we've ate, and we are tucked in our room for the night.  The race was to begin at 7:30.  My plan was to get up at 4:30 and leave the hotel by 5.
 Plan going well- out the door by 5 and pulling into a parking spot about 5:40.  A little under 2 hours before the race is to begin, so I try to lay down in my bed I made for the trip.  Finally about a quarter til 7, we file out of the truck and make the 1/2 mile trek to the starting line.  I stand in line for about 10 minutes for the port-o-pottie, with not much progress.  A little frustrated with the 1/2 marathon runners being in line, even though their race does not begin for another hour!  Five minutes to go, I give up and tell my husband let's head up to the starting line.  We are almost there when the Star Spangled banner is sung and then the jets fly over.  This could be a really cool race, I think.  Within minutes, the gun is shot and we are off.  My goals
were 1) to finish, 2) shoot for 5 hours, and 3) find the next port-o- pottie.  My plan was to run 9 minutes and then walk a minute, trying to conserve my energy and finish strong.  About 3 minutes into the race, I spot 3 lone port-o-potties just off of the course a little ways.  I'm trying to decide and I hear the couple next to me discussing the same thing.  No one is in line, but I see a few breaking off from the pack, so I decide I better go for it before the couple next to me do.  I head that direction and right before I get my chance, they step in line.  Okay, I do my business and head back onto the course and get going.  There is a slight hill we have to make our way up, then it flattens out fairly quickly.  I have to say, since I am typing this about a week late, I can't really remember the course as well now.  I always marvel at my husband after playing golf with the guys, he can give me a play by play of all 18 holes.  I can't remember what mile we headed up a freeway ramp and onto a highway. I can't remember what mile the Revenge of the Nerds, Dilbert, or Aliens  
aid stations were at (and yes, I am too lazy to look it up).  I do know that unlike my first marathon (in my hometown, Derby Festival Marathon), when the 10K runners split from the marathoners, it was not a desolate place with a lone runner way up ahead.  This was a much better marathon for a first, or in my case a third.  I did meet a guy from Ohio, Ted, who was running his first marathon.  We would trade places back and forth throughout the day, until about mile 15 when he was having some problems.  I gave him a gel and wished him luck. 
There were many great monuments to look at and it was great to get to say thank you to many of our servicemen and women all morning long.  Mile 10 is in Fairborn, Ohio, and it seemed like the whole town was out there cheering us on.  People sitting at the cafe tables eating their breakfasts on the sidewalk, little ole ladies waving their American flags, school band playing and cheerleaders dancing, marquee wishing runners good luck.  Also, lining the streets on almost all of the street poles were small decorated jet planes.  They were so cool.  I only took a pic of one, but I wish I would have taken a few more pics.  We headed back towards the base and it did get a little bit more quieter and another pottie break.  Between mile 15-18, I was really crashing a little bit.  Trying to imagine why I am possible out there.  You make a turn and come out onto an old airstrip, no shade, nothing really to see, just flat land and a controller tower in the distance.

 I didn't put sunblock on and was hoping I was getting burnt.  That would not be enjoyable at the wedding tonight.  Finally, made it back to some tree lined roads.  Started feeling okay until the 5 hour pace group went passing by me singing and looking strong.  Blech........So I started trying to do my 9 minute run, 1 minute walk, since I hadn't all day.  I was watching my time and calculating that hopefully I could get done by 12:30 and hopefully the hotel would give us a late check out time so I could
 shower before the wedding.  Stinnnnkkkyy!!!  Almost there...past the Alien aid station, up the on ramp to the highway again.  A lady cussing the F-bomb because she was struggling.  Didn't want to hear that.   Ahhh....the half marathoners are now mixing in with us.  The Nerds high five me, feeling better.  Gonna make it.  Another pottie break and then on past the Wright Brothers monument.
Getting really close now.  You can see the flyovers more so now, no more tree lined roads.  I can here the crowds.  Finally, up ahead I can see the stretch, then a turn for the finish.  I text my hubby that I'm almost there.  Yes, I've had my phone with me the entire time, texting him twice and facebooking once, or was it twice (?).  What can I say.....
I finish the race in 5 hours 17 minutes and 23 minutes, meeting 2 of my 3 goals.  Yes, if not for 3 port-o-pottie stops and taking a few pics, I may
have met all 3 goals.  Who cares- I had fun and I got a cool medal, shirt, and towel.  I did finish by 12:30 and we headed the heck out of there.  The hotel was allowing us to stay until 3.  So we hurried and dressed for the wedding and was out the door at 2:30.  Thank you Courtyard Marriott for accommodating us.  While Pat was gassing up, I coordinated with Penelope directions to the wedding.  Oh crap- we are only 30 minutes away.  It's 2:30 and the wedding doesn't start until 6:30.  We decide to go to Applebee's and eat, watch some football and try to waste some time.  We wasted about an hour and then gave up and headed for the wedding- just in case Penelope got us lost.  We made it with about 1 1/2 hours to spare. 
Pat found a shady spot to park and we rested.  : )
The wedding went off without a hitch and the reception was wonderful with such yummy food.  Congratulations Chris and Kerri!  We left fairly quickly, Pat needed to get up to deliver the papers and I wanted to try another race in Louisville.  After running a marathon, the only blister I had was from my new shoes I bought for the wedding.  Ooopsie!!!
  Sunday morning, I woke up and actually could move.  I threw some drinks in a cooler, grabbed my Nathan belt, and headed out the door.  Since I had picked up my race packet on Friday before heading to Dayton, I could just arrive right before the race started.  Which is pretty much what I did.  I did happen to see Mrs. Carol Westerman and chatted with her for a few minutes.  I hope that I can be like her when I am her age.  What an inspiration!  Anyhow, the race was the Downtown Doubler.  You could run either 15K or 30K (run one loop or two).  Although I signed up for the 30K, I figured I would be happy if I completed the 15K.  This time I did stick to my plan of running 9 minutes and walking a minute.  This race is fairly well organized, but the only thing that irritates me is that there are basically 3 water stops.  They give out small water bottles.  So you drink it fast or waste it or carry it.  Which is what I did.  I carried my bottle, which slipped out of my hand once, and I managed to grab it before someone slipped on it.  Another lady had the same issue and I caught hers and made the hand off.  The big thing is that there are not enough trash cans throughout the course and just fosters littering in my opinion.  I can't tell you how many bottles I saw lying around and watching one lady set hers down on the sidewalk.  Like I said a great race, but the trash drives me crazy.  Anyhow, I finished my 15K in 1:43:29.  Walked back to my truck, popped open a cold yoo hoo, and headed back home to Indiana- to bed.

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