They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So here is the equivalent of two thousand more words about my Wineglass Marathon, courtesy of Brightroom Photography. So you can thank Brightroom for the brevity of this post.
And that’s it for the Wineglass Marathon. Time to quit looking behind and time to start looking ahead. Last Sunday, I nearly vowed to never run another marathon. But every day since, that little voice whispering “You can do this. You can run a fast marathon. You should run another one.” has gotten louder and louder, and will probably continue to do so for a while. In the meantime, I still have some recovering to do before I can entertain such crazy thoughts.
What’s that saying? “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Do gimpy steps count? I hope so because after the close-but-no-cigar race on Sunday, I spent Monday through Thursday limping around. But every day saw me limping slightly less than the day before.
By Friday, I was back to walking semi-normally, my limping barely noticeable. I decided it was finally time to try to run again so I accompanied Laura to the Davidson trails for an easy 5 or so.
We hadn’t run a half mile when pain shot through my right groin muscle. I immediately stopped and walked until the pain subsided when I made a feeble attempt to resume running. After a quarter of a mile at about 10:30 pace, I finally convinced Laura to go on without me – pirate, not marine, rules.
I was able to piece together 3.5 miles of slog/walk, made even more embarrassing than usual by the arrival of the Davidson men’s cross country team, blazing through the trails during a fast workout. I felt like Quasimodo. “You don’t have to look at me.” But 3.5 slow Quasimodo-esque miles are still better than zero miles.
Earlier in the week I agreed to meet Bill on Sunday morning for a preview jog of the LungStrong 15K course. Bill was worried that his planned 9:30 pace would be too slow for me. After Friday, I was worried that it would be too fast.
But I tried another run on Saturday, and except for a few residual pains here and there, my 6.5 mile jog felt pretty much like a normal run. So I looked forward to Sunday’s run.
Early Sunday morning, I was awakened by lightning and thunder, never a good sign before your ‘long’ run. But after a fifteen minute postponement, we decided to head out as the thunderstorms dissipated. We got lucky because after that the weather was virtually perfect with temperatures in the 50’s and the sky overcast. I would have paid a lot of money for a day like that in Boston. Sigh.
Things went fine initially as Bill and I ran through lovely Jetton Park with its beautiful fall foliage and lovely views of Lake Norman. But shortly after exiting the park, I felt a little, um, gastrointestinal distress. I thought I could fight it off, but at only mile 2, I knew I wouldn’t make it without a pit stop somewhere.
What made this incident particularly, um, distressing was that we were running through suburbia – not a lot of places to, um, take care of business in the Peninsula. I desperately scanned the area for somewhere to, um, find respite, as I rapidly approached, well, critical mass.
The situation appeared dire. No public restrooms, no port-a-johns, and we were running down a main street. But necessity being the mother of invention, my sight suddenly became as keen as that of an eagle – I spotted a little patch of bushes and trees, apparently planted to hide a power transformer, just ahead. I made a beeline for it.
As far as outside spots to go, um, go, this one was really quite pleasant. Well hidden from the road, an abundance of wide, firm leaves, no insects – it might as well have been a restroom in an elegant restaurant. I handled my business and was back on the road in a flash.
Now I had to run quickly to catch up to Bill before I got lost – we had reached the section of the course that gets quite turn heavy. But luck was on my side this morning – just ahead was none other than UCRR running pal Jon Halter who coincidentally was also running the course and was fortuitously carrying a little laminated course map. We chatted for a couple of minutes before catching up with Bill who had stopped to wait for me.
The rest of the run was pleasant and uneventful. We finished up at the little gazebo in Jetton Village where some of DART, along with Jon and his wife Virginia, had left refreshments. We stayed around a few minutes to chat with the gang before heading out. Bill and I soon learned that in addition to DART, the Davidson Area Running Team, there is also HART, the Harrisburg Area Running Team. Bill joked that he was going to start the Fayetteville Area Running Team. Yes ladies, we men never mentally advance past the age of 13. Just so you know.
Last, but certainly not least, let’s talk DetermiNation. Several of my friends are running the Marine Corps Marathon via the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation program, and they need your help. Now faithful readers, I have never asked you for anything (okay, I might have asked Meagan Nedlo for shoes, but I never asked any of the rest of you for anything), but I believe in helping friends so I’m asking you to help them. I’m sure just about everybody reading this blog is pro-running and anti-cancer, so, in the words of the infamous Ricky, let’s get 2 birds stoned at once by donating to our running friends fighting cancer. Here are each of my friend’s personal links – go ahead and get your tax deductible donations in now by clicking on the links below:
To help Sarah Keen reach her goal, click here.
To help Lo Patania reach her goal, click here.
(Pals Tom Patania and Scott Helms are also running, but I didn’t have their links as of post time. I’ll update if/when I get them.)
Thanks – see you next week, hopefully with a Lungstrong recap!