Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day Four: Race Day, I DID IT

(pictures to follow shortly)

If you ever want to experience a day full of emotions ranging from excitement to fear to exhaustion to success… run a marathon.

I started my day at 4:45 am. After eating a granola bar and a banana my stomach was in knots. the streets were loaded with people, it was like after a concert let out but the people in attendance were really fit.

It felt like when I used to swim and my event was the next up. Once at the start line, I realized I could use my IPod. Major.. major... pick up. We got there in enough time to observe the 168 seconds of silence, for all those who were killed in the bombing. It was so quite you could hear a pin-drop.

Then came the National Anthem was sung by Ms. America, and the welcome announcements from the Mayor. We had to then snake our way to the back of the line, since the people up front were not letting anyone in, I stretched and tried to ease my butterflies.

Then the race began… there supposedly was 1,900 racers total. Your time was kept by a little plastic piece, you attach to your shoe, which starts your time once you cross the line.

I split with the person I was running with because I didn’t want to mess up her pacing. I needed to do more warm-up if I was going to be able to complete the finish.

All I can say about the race is, amazing. There we hundreds of volunteers but more then that the residents of the neighbors we were running through, we out on their lawn chairs and in their driveways. Some were waving to us, others were handing out water, food and the rest were just their cheering us on. It was awesome.

I ended up really dragged at mile 5 so I eat the GU I have previously talked about. As an aside there were hundreds of these wrappers all over the place, so i figured if they had side effects I wouldn't be alone. I went on to take it about mile 7 also. However when I rounded the corner and saw mile 12 I started running. During the race I went at a walk run pace, because I knew, since I drove and had not really run in a few days, I was not going to be able to do the whole thing, this was the best way. I started a faster job but when I rounded the corner and saw the finish line I booked it. I ran like I was being chased. My final time was 2 hours and 52 mins.

After I crossed the line I received by medal for completing the race. They had tents set up with food and drinks. The oddest thing was the burgers which were being supplied by Hardees. People who ran the full-marathon got were eating these right away. I know when I was done with the race the last thing I wanted to do was eat.

They had a ton of stuff to do, mostly though people were meeting up with their families and cheering people on at the finish line. I went to see the memorial and then left a little while later. It was weird though, it was this feeling of now what do I do, once I was done with the race.

All I can say was the experience was amazing and I am already looking into doing another race. It is a high that you seriously can not compare much too.

Day Three: Night Before the Race

We got into Oklahoma a few hours ago. I first thing I did when checking in was tell the manager that I was running the marathon. I recommend any person go to a major event like a marathon mention this. We ended up getting a deal on our room and even discovered that they were going to have breakfast earlier.

I met up with the other person I am running the race with and we decided to go “carb-up” for the early start time.However if you are ever in OK don’t I repeat don’t go to the Spaghetti Warehouse. (pictured below)

It was located in this really cool part of town, called Bricktown. Its like Power Plant in Baltimore but cleaner. The service was unbelievably slow. The food was good, however considering that it took us over three hours to get in, eat and leave, the food was not worth it. I did however enjoy the company very much so I can’t complain too bad.

Tomorrows the race and I am so excited and nervous at the same time… I better try and get some rest.

Day Three: On the Road

I miss my food… I don’t claim to have the best diet but I really really miss my semi-healthy foods.

If I have to eat anymore junk food I’m going to scream. I feel all tired and slow. I miss my salads, my veggies, fruits, whole grains. I thought the Holiday Inn I was staying at had whole wheat bread but it was some weird tasting faux-bread. GROSS, next road trip I will pack much more healthy alternatives. I blew through my trail mix and all my fruits a while ago. My advice to travelers who want to stick to a diet… BRING YOUR OWN STUFF, also bring water and drink that when driving.

( see what I mean (the picture to the right) this was our dinner one night ... it was SOOOO good but so bad for you)

---So I am on the final leg of my road trip out to OKC. I am currently in Kansas and at the risk of being ignorant… it is so flat I bet if I squinted I could see Maryland. On the speedometer we have driven 1350 miles and it is starting to get a little old. But there is defiantly something to be said for seeing America through a little backseat window from my sisters Taurus.

People give the Midwest a bad-wrap but they are such nice people out here. I word on the different types of people…I have traveled down south and it is the same type of personality. However this is more working people who will talk only when prompted. In the south people will talk to you first. Up north people don’t really bother outside their own comfort zone unless it is a small community. It’s a slower pace out here but it’s enjoyable.

Not much has changed since the last time I was out here. It has been about eight years and really the only difference in Kansas City where my grandma lived and my mom grew up, is that it has been added onto.

That’s really all for now, it’s back to my little window and more cows. But it is nice to see the pride people take in their land and their stock. It is a cool feeling seeing different places.

Day Two: On the Road

We got up really early today to finish the final leg of the first part of our trip. We got into Kansas City about lunch time and then we started touring the same places I haven’t seen since I was a kid. If you ever go you have to eat at Winsteads. This place has been around for 65 years and they have the best Limeade and burgers ever. O and their MileHigh soda is so good.

I have had this weird anxious feeling last night so I decided to blow off some steam. The gym was crowded at the hotel with what appeared to be a band trip of high-schoolers so I decided to just go for a walk. Not knowing the area well I dropped that option too. Finally I opted instead it walk up and down the hallway of the hotel. At one point I jogged a little almost like suicides. This worked for a little while until this older guy came out of his room and was totally creeped out by me running. He said he heard some noise and wanted to take a peak. All he saw through the peephole was a flash of blue. I said I was sorry and he went back inside. … ahhhh a runners life on the road is not that easy. Especially when the people your with or places you go are not into that lifestyle. .

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Road Trip to OKC Day 1

I am on the way to the OKC Marathon and thought … what better way to remember the experience or pass the long, long journey west then blog about it.

We left this morning at midnight but we had to do a little backtracking because I stupidly forgot the one thing I needed on this excursion. My sneakers… yea kinda hard to run without those.

Well after we got them we were on our way. Then we hit the worst fog I have ever seen. I’d call it death fog (seen on right and below). It took all of those who were driving to get us through it. We were going through West Virginia at 4 am and it was something straight out of M. Night Shyamalan's mind. Cars would literally disappear right in front of our eyes and you couldn’t see two feet in front of you. We were going 20 mph at some points.

Then we continued to drive and eventually hit Warrenton, MO. We stopped at the St. Louis Arch (at the bottom) and just a few places here and there. The Holiday Inn we are staying at it super nice and the Waffle House next door was really good too. We drove a total of 13 hours today and are a little ways away from our next destination.

I tried to drink as much water as I could and stretch whenever I got the chance. That seemed to help.