Saturday, May 07, 2011

The Longest Mile

Last Saturday, the 30th day of April in the year of our Lord 2011, I ventured out on a journey with one of my best friends to walk 13.1 miles.  As always, I want to give you the behind the scenes scoop of how a marathon works. 

The journey started when I woke up at 4 a.m. and made the decision to get out of bed.  I hadn't felt well the day before and I wasn't even sure I could make it to the shower. My game plan was that I would pack a credit card in my backpack and if I started feeling bad during the marathon then I would call a cab to take me back to my car.  I picked up Alicia and we were on our way.  I had a Gatorade, a banana, and a pack of GU gummies on the way for a little pick me up.  We arrived at LP field and then had to ride a bus to our "starting corral".  On the way to the corral we decided to make a little stop to the Port'O'John.  It was in this Port'O'John that I had to do some quick maneuvering and thinking because this was by far the nastiest restroom experience that I had ever had in my life. From my observations, I think there are some runners (no pun intended) out there that might need to seek the wise counsel of a gastroenterologist.  IN.MY.LIFE!

Here we are in our corral.  The race starts at 7 a.m. but everyone can't start running at the same time so you get sent to a corral according to the number on your shirt and how long it will take you to run walk the race. And no, I'm not wearing a shower cap and thanks to Shawn Hanks, I now know there is not a swim segment during the race. I'm wearing a headband that we bought when from a booth when we went to pick up our number bibs.  And those numbers are called bibs in the marathon world.

The starting line.  It's just us and 30,000 other people going for a stroll.

Before we had even finished mile one I started getting hungry because we kept passing fast food restaurants.  I seriously considered going in McDonald's for an egg mcmuffin because I really was feeling like I was going to need some protein to endure this day of misery, but I decided that it was just too early in the game to do that.  This race was seriously lacking in water and snacks so by mile three I had all I could take and told Alicia I was going into the next convenience store to get some Gatorade and something to eat.  I bought 2 Gatorade's, 2 power bars, 1 bag of beef jerky, 1 pack of peanut butter crackers and a bag of chips.  Yes, I shared with Alicia.  I didn't sit down to eat, I just kept on walking and snacking.  I would also like to mention at this time that when you're walking through all of the Nashville neighborhoods there is a yard party like atmosphere and people are out drinking it up at 8:00...that was somewhat irritating.  I'm running walking a marathon and people are kicking back the jack and having a good ol'time.

I did feel better after my snacks and Gatorade.  Our legs and feet were burning because we had never walked more than 3.5 miles at the rec center and we never practiced walking any hills.  Would have been nice to know about the hills. We did try jogging two segments of the marathon just so we could get it over sooner but it's hard to eat snacks while jogging.  Here is the mile 10 marker just for official documentation purposes.  (I would really like to have this blog post notarized just so people don't ever try to say..."you didn't do the Country Music Marathon" I can pull out an official document from the state of Tennessee to prove it.)

And here is the glorious finish line.  Our official time from start to finish was 3:47:54.  They give you a little tag to put on your shoe so it knows exactly when you cross the start and finish line.  You can view this official document here.  And you might be able to view some pictures and video here.

And here we are with our medals. It is at this time that I would like to point out that a 1/2 marathon is really 14.1 miles if you count the time you have to walk from your car to the shuttle bus and then from the finish line to your car.  We followed up this marathon with a celebration lunch at Five Guys Hamburgers because again there was not an appropriate amount of nourishment offered during this marathon. 

A big thanks to Alicia for talking me through the race and picking me up at 5:55 a.m. for the last 3 months.

1 comment:

Alicia said...

I love that you had an exit strategy right from the beginning....just in case. I love that you pulled a "Sumer" and this day was really about food...before the race, during the race and after the race. And I just love you sweet friend for not giving up and for finishing well. Thanks for being such a great friend!