Twenty-six point two

53 year-old man vs. 26.2 miles

01/26/14 – day off

I went back to the gym yesterday (it’s been years since I was there on a Saturday). That was the first exercise of any kind since last Sunday. I’ll start running again on Tuesday. Spent the past week reflecting on the marathon that I ran last Sunday. Taking 12 minutes off my time, after all that pain and difficulty, was really amazing. I am so thankful for that race, and for running in general.


01/21/14 – day off

The bling!


01/20/14 – day off

My legs are really really sore today. I’ve been alternating Tylenol with ibuprofen all day long, and just trying to take it easy. After looking at my time for yesterday’s race, and checking my time for the Disney marathon, I discovered that I improved my time yesterday by twelve minutes and eight seconds. Not bad, considering the fact that I didn’t think I would finish. Yesterday’s race, in many ways, means more to me than the first marathon I ran. That’s because I had to overcome much more physical adversity than the first time. The afterglow is still with me, and with any luck, it will last at least a few more days.

01/19/14 – 26.2 miles

The day started well. I got to Coachman Park early, so I got a great parking space. It was chilly, so my thrift shop hoodie was a good idea. The start of the race was pushed back from 7:05 until 7:19 am. Shortly after mile two, I tossed the hoodie. Throwing clothing on the side of the road was a popular thing to do at this race.

The first 13 miles went well. I looked at my watch then, and didn’t check it again until just before I crossed the finish line. Obsessing about my time didn’t seem to be a good idea. Just after mile 15, my right knee started to hurt a lot. As a matter of fact, it almost gave out on me a couple of times. By about mile 18, I really thought that I would not be able to finish the race. Eventually, it settled down.

My plan for hydration went mostly as planned, at least for a while. Yesterday, I drank two and a half quarts of Powerade. I doubled up on Gatorade at all of the tables that offered it, until around mile 18 or so. The nausea had set in, and I was lucky to drink one at a time. The nausea only got worse, until around mile 22, when I started to dry heave a lot. That made me feel better, so I went back to drinking, water this time. At mile 22 I threw up everything I had to drink over the last three miles. As I was standing by someone’s lawn, vomiting, a police officer, who was directing traffic walked up to me and said, “Are you all right?” I looked sideways at him & said “I’m good.” From there, somehow, I made it to the finish line. I haven’t seen the official time yet, but I believe I took ten minutes off my time from last year. Wow!

I will cut to the chase on this last part. Shortly after finishing the race, I ended up at the paramedics tent, where I received around 800 ml of IV fluids. They wanted me to go to the hospital, but I politely declined. After signing a form that warned me of the risks of not going to the hospital, I drove home. The paramedics with Sunstar EMS were polite, professional, and great people. 

Like I said yesterday, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. That  includes running a marathon, at 54 years of age. More tomorrow.


01/18/14 – day off

Just got back from the MMAC grappling tournament in Tampa. It was a nice distraction for me. Last night I watched “Spirit of the Marathon”, and it reminded me why I do what I do with these races. It’s a very inspiring film. I’ve started to lay out my clothes & other gear for tomorrow. After a pasta supper, I’m hoping to watch some mma, and then go to bed early. Up at 4:00 am tomorrow. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Tomorrow is the marathon.

01/17/14 – day off

Skipped the gym this morning, in favor of an extra hour of sleep. After work, I picked up a hooded sweatshirt at the thrift store for $3.99. My plan is to wear it at the beginning of the race on Sunday, and when it starts to get warm enough not to need it, I’ll get rid of it. I imagine the whole race course will be littered with discarded clothing. 2 days until the marathon.

01/16/14 – 2 miles

Nice & chilly this morning. My left hip was very sore after only about a mile. This doesn’t bode well for Sunday, hip-painwise anyway. Got to get my head straight as far as dealing with pain goes. Pain is temporary, pride is forever. 3 days until the marathon.

01/15/14 – 4 miles

52 degrees out this morning, for my second to last run before the marathon. A couple people at work today asked me about the race. Just one more run tomorrow, and then once I watch “Spirit of the Marathon” (yet again), I’ll be all set. 4 days until the marathon.

01/14/14 – 3 miles

It was 68 degrees and really cloudy this morning for my run. Now the weather folks are predicting a overnight low of 44 degrees for Saturday-into-Sunday, with a high in the mid-50’s on Sunday- perfect. I drove down to Fit2Run today after work & picked up my race number (1104, again) & goody bag. It’s starting to get really real now! 5 days until the marathon.

01/13/14 – gym day

Broncos versus Patriots on Sunday at 3 pm- that’s what will be waiting for me on television when I get home from the race! Yee haw!! Went to the gym, in the dark, this morning. Tomorrow morning I’m scheduled for three miles, in the cold & rain. At least it won’t be hot. 6 days until the marathon.