I was informed I've been neglecting the blog! Yes...I've missed it too, but I've been immersed in a few projects for work and trying to learn some new tricks. I'm an old dog that loves learning new tricks, so I've been up since 2:30 A.M. I went to bed at a decent hour but I woke up, having had a sudden nocturnal epiphany on a nagging computer issue I'd been trying to unravel. I hate it when the breakthrough "ah-ha" moments come at 2:30 A.M., cause there's just no way to go back to sleep until I test it out. So, this is going to be my rare night of insomnia. Let's see how that works out for me today when the group runs the second half of the Akron Road Marathon course. Funny, but I've had some of my best runs and races when totally sleep deprived or bent out of shape about something.
I just dug up an ole pair of Nike Pegasus cause I'm not risking another infestation of seeping water blisters between my toes. Lord knows how many miles this pair of shoes has on it, but I'll take compromised cushioning to another blizzard of blisters. Debi, Roger, Kurt, Jim, and Sara without an "h" are meeting today at the Mustill Store to do the formidable second half of the Road Runner course. And do I hear a pattering of rain on the roof? Should be interesting!
Red-Eye, but Happy Post Run Report
It was sprinkling just a bit when we headed out of Mustill Store. Our so called back down "easy" week is going to closely approximate the second half of the Road Runner marathon. In all, we'd run about 14.5 miles of the marathon course except for the final .6 mile stretch down Main St. into the Stadium. It's aggravating to no end that the park officials won't open the bathrooms till 8AM. Here we are at Mustill before the skies opened up. I had to pee as soon as I started up, but barely made it to Big Bend, holding my crotch like a kindergarten that swilled too much Koolaide, where we indulged in the "always open, but nasty" porto Johns at Big Bend. Then we braced for the formidable 4 mile green corridor through Sand Run Parkway where legions of Road Runner Marathoners have wished for quick and painless deaths, rather than continue the 4 mile gradual upward climb to Revere Road. The worst part about this lonely stretch is that it comes at mile 15 of the marathon, but even today, fresh as a daisies at mile 5--it was only slightly easier. It started pissing down rain too. I was glad I grabbed my husband's hat.
Sara had her handy dandy Garmin which said we were cruising with an 8:30 pace. Jim and Roger were feeling pretty good today, so they barrelled ahead. Jim is doing the final 7 mile segment of the marathon for his relay team and Roger is planning on fast half before tackling the Columbus Marathon with hopes of qualifying for Boston. Debi was feeling pretty good today. She had a fantastic 5K yesterday in Hudson where she averaged an 8:30 pace and placed second in her age group. She said she tried something a little different; rather than just running the race to finish, she decided to push it a bit. Well, about time Debi!! Yeah! I think she finally realized that she can finish a 5K (she's run a freakin ultra after all), so she might as well push the pace. She told a cute little story about her step grandson who had trained for the one mile kids race. The little kids took off like shots, but then they waited...and waited...and no Ethan. They knew he could run a mile. They later found him sitting in a cop's car and told his grandpa, "I just didn't feel like running anymore!" I thought that was pretty darned cute and might do the same thing at this very point in the Road Runner when we aren't so fresh.
The trick with tackling the Road Runner course is to hold back the race day enthusiasm in those first ten to fifteen miles. It's a blast of a course with people lining the streets, bands, and a first half course, that I feel is significantly easier than the last. Get a little too excited and you will pay the piper later...guaranteed.
So, we got through the green swath of Sand Run Parkway hell and turned down Revere where cars torpedoed through puddles at 60 miles an hour, casting waves onto our miserable wet running forms. Roger and Jim were smugly satisfied that they weren't the only profuse sweaters running with completely soaked clothes, since we all carried an extra two pounds in rain soaked clothes. I was feeling pretty good running down Wiltshire. I was looking forward to stopping at Debi's houses. I couldn't wait to see Sarah's face when she explains her, albeit unusual, but wonderful marriage living arrangement. Debi lives next door to her husband in his and hers houses. I think it's marriage genius. They cohabitate mostly on the weekends, but during the week they stick to mostly to their own houses. I'm wondering how I can get my husband to move out to the garage? Debi hopes to sell her little house in time, but I think she should stick with this very nice arrangement. She can watch whatever the heck she wants to on T.V. I would watch more T.V. if my husband wasn't hogging it with Sports. We stopped in to mess up Jerry's house, which I think is the quintessential man's pad. I loved it. He has a beautiful collection of unusual beer bottles lining the bathroom along with the razors and aftershave lotion. We dried off with towels and talked to Jerry a little bit, then headed back out to the blue line winding through Akron like a strong blue winding spine giving strength to our city.
I think we were all feeling great today. My legs felt different--very strong. I had barely a twinge of the right hip ache. My shoes, my old worn out 300 plus mile Nikes, were being good to me even though they were soaking wet. There wasn't a hint of developing blisters. Those treasonous Mizunos have lost all rights to accompany me on another long run. Expensive lesson learned; stick with what works. We finally reached the short steep hill on Garman Road that comes right before entering Stan Hywett Mansion. I had the strength to run up the hill today, but know I probably won't be running it during the marathon. This point comes at mile 22, I believe, and from this point forward, is my personal favorite stretch of the marathon. The last 4 miles are relatively flat. They go by parts of Akron that have real sentimental value for me, like the old beautiful brick apartment building, where my son was born, through Highland Square where I spend so much time in my early college years...I get weepy running the final long stretch down Market Street. Even though it was raining like hell, I was immensely enjoying running down the blue line today. Getting up at 2:30 A.M. made no difference whatsoever...I really think I enjoy running more when I'm tired, when I'm not thinking, worrying, or projecting what may be down the road; but giving myself up completely to the enjoyment of the sport and being with wonderful people that share my passion.
We finished our run, soaking wet, and quickly starting to chill--there was little chance of getting everybody to submit to another post run picture. I was soaked to the bone. I think I had my worse ever case of Raynaud's afflict my fingers and hands--all ten fingers and the base of my hands went completely white. I had the hands of a dead woman. Cool wet conditions and a hard run are the perfect breeding ground for a major attack of it. It freaked my husband out when I showed him my white hands. It took awhile running them under warm water to thaw out. Funny how dead my hands looked, but I felt as alive and happy as I could be. We had so much fun that we're going to do it again next week, but this time it'll be the first 20 miles. If that doesn't prepare us, nothing will.