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Everything you need to know about running and life and any other random crap I find bouncing through my mind like a ping pong ball. And always be sure your shoes are happy.

Archive for the tag “beer”

Sorry, I half to run.

(Names have been changed and details obfuscated to protect the not-so-innocent because the Home is still looking for them after that last breakout)

It was dusk and we were following Heather and Maggie along a quiet, lonely, deserted, dusty, rocky Delta road.  We’d been detoured when the original path ended, blocked with large signs covered in X’s.  A dry creek bed had, at one point in the past, been full enough of raging water to wash the road out.  Judging by the quantity, size and condition of the signs some people had managed to miss the message anyway.

Becky and I were trying to call Heather to tell her to turn around and come back as we watched her tailights recede in the dust and distance.  I finally got through.  “Heather, you need to turn back, I think we’ve found another way to get to their house.”

“No, it’s OK,” she replied, “David told me to drive until the road dead ends and then turn left.  Then when that road dead ends, turn left again.”

When the road ends, turn left.  As the sun quickly disappeared on the horizon, looking around at the silent, barren fields, the twisted grey-brown trees, and the leaning, rotted, empty shacks, I asked Heather if she and Maggie heard banjos.

beermug

Now it’s Sunday morning – a steady grey rainy downpour outside my window.

I can hear birds chirping, flitting about while I watch the surface of the lake bounce with the rain.  A large blackbird is hugely pissed and hopping from limb to limb purveying his destroyed beginnings of a nest, screeching at the offending squirrel who apparently misjudged his leap from my roof to the tree, landing smack on the foundations the bird had carefully laid.  Murphy’s cowering under my chair.  He’s going to be staying close to me for the day, I expect, between the thunder, which he abhors, and the fact that I abandoned him and the cats overnight Friday.  Yesterday evening when I got home Mo wouldn’t come out from behind the dryer while Chunk jumped up on the counter and kept grabbing my arm if I started to walk away.

I have Dumper Soup on the stove as I’m (oddly) craving healthy food, and I’m looking back at both the last five months and the last 48 hours, shaking my head in disbelief.

I ran a half marathon yesterday.

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Crazy running nutjobs and beer.

Shortly after the awesome adventure of their first marathon last December my friends Becky and Anne were discussing their next goals.  Anne had discovered the Mississippi River Marathon & Half Marathon in Greenville, MS in February.  I believe beer had to have been involved; she talked Becky into training for it.  Why lose the fitness so diligently obtained training up for the first marathon? they most likely reasoned, probably nodding in sloppy agreement over their cups at the Flying Saucer.

I thought they should.  What would it hurt?  I didn’t have to do the race.

Anne was beside herself happy to show her best running buddy the Land of Her Peoples, having been born and bred in the Mississippi Delta.  An Italian from the heart of the Delta.  She talks fast and southern.

At some point I got tapped to be the DD on the journey, as Becky doubted their ability to run 26.2 miles in the Land of Anne’s Peoples and then drive home.  Later Becky’s hubs, John, decided to come along and do the half also, effectively making him the DD, a fortunate occurence for all involved.

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Last Monday after running the furthest I have gone since 9.9.2012 – 7 miles – on the previous Saturday, I asked Dr. Krackurback if I needed to be scaling back, hanging with the same mileage or if I should try pushing it.  He paused for a moment and looked at me.  “I think I’d like to see you try pushing it.”

Dr. K doesn’t know me very well.

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Thursday night at Flying Saucer while celebrating a birthday we discussed the next day’s plans, in which John would take Anne, Becky and me while Heather and Maggie drove separately to Greenville.  John and I would try to register for the Half, having learned that 100 extra regs had been opened.

Friday morning I laid out my running gear.  I was a Newbie all over again. Shorts.  No, not those shorts.  Those.  Shirt.  Short sleeve.  No, long sleeve.  No, both.  No, not those shorts after all.  Those.  Garmin, charger, HR monitor, gear bag, socks, chews, trail mix bar, lucky hat…for hours I laid things out, looked them over, wandered about the house.  Returning, I looked over everything.  Add, subtract.  Search frantically to see if I’d remembered socks.  Yes, four pair should be enough.  I was going to be gone a whole night, after all.

John helped me load everything in Becky’s car and we picked up Anne.

You can buy freshly made tamales at gas stations on Highway 61 in Mississippi.  I didn’t.

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We drove directly to registration and I nearly bowled over three people in my rush to see if I could still register.  Clutching my race bag I ran to Becky and Anne.  I’m IN!

The get ‘er done run.

Success!  I hung with one of my BRFF’s ever, DJ, who is training for Chicago and doing a 4/1 run/walk program right now.  I knew if I hung with her I would not be tempted to go out too fast and maybe my hamstring would not try to desert me.  I’m pretty sure it’s trying to jump ship; it certainly feels like it’s trying to crawl right out of my skin.  Luckily its attempts so far have been thwarted by Ligaments and Skin.  Thank you, Ligaments and Skin, for hanging tight.  Please don’t let go.

All I wanted was to see the finish line.  I didn’t care time, I just wanted to go 14 miles.  I needed it, mentally.  I needed to blow off energy and I needed an accomplishment in my running.  It took 3 hours to go 14.2 miles between walking the water stops, doing the run/walk and the porta john stops, and I didn’t care one bit.  I can wear the shirt, now.  You can see this is a shirt that should be worn often and handled with care so it can be worn for many years – how cool is this shirt!?  Oh, and we made up a poem:  ON ON! to the Portajohn!  At least I was hydrated.

Last year after Tupelo I wrote this (below).  I know you’ve both read it before but I don’t care.  As I’ve noted, it’s my blog and I can do anything I want.  Or I can not post anything I don’t want to post.  For instance,  I’m never posting Brussel Sprouts recipes, because there is not a recipe in the entire world which can make a Brussels Sprout taste good except a garbage disposal so that would be a waste of typing.

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Sunday I ran Crazy Jimmy’s Tupelo Half Marathon which is not even a half but is a Half + 1.1 miles.  The race is every Labor Day Sunday, and if you’ve never run in Mississippi the end of August you won’t appreciate the race’s 5am start — but if you have experienced its soul sucking humidity and heat you are happy for even one hour’s reprieve from the sun.

5am in the Mississippi countryside is dark.  No atmospheric reflection of glimmering city lights, no reflected porch lights of houses sitting shoulder-to-shoulder in the neighborhoods, no glow of business signs and lit front windows.  Houses are spread apart, set back; porch lights shine further from the street; street lights are distant from each other.  The race begins quietly, no gun, no siren, no shouts.  Garmins and Timexes beep shedding greenish light. The figures ahead of us start bobbing, their shadows outlined by the small flashlights held by the other runners in front of them.

I run the first 5 miles with an MRTC friend but can’t keep his pace.  I’ve been out a lot the past couple years; a couple injuries, a couple family issues, some happy, some not so much.  It’s great to be racing.  I find that I don’t mind having no one to talk to.  I like it, this bobbing along in the dark as it begins to lighten. I listen to the softness of the footfalls, my raspy breathing, crickets.  A dog whines from someone’s house.  At mile 6 we turn east and I notice the horizon is lightening.  The shapes of country houses take form, still and flat, one-dimensional in the semi-darkness.  Rolling fences appear and I can see the fields now, see the ponds in the fields, and the treerows further back.  The colors change, from the bluish-black of night to dark shades of greens, then browns, and soon the runners around me aren’t just bobbing shapes but bright yellows and reds and blues and greens.

We run along in the day as it wakes.  I see the road now, and I see my feet as they push the distance behind me.  I look at the faces of the people around me, I hear mutters of conversation; over and under and around all that I hear, constantly, the soft shuffle of feet, the measured breathing of everyone around me, and I know that they are celebrating, as I am, the incredible knowledge that we live, that we exist and we are incredibly, gloriously alive in this brand new day which birth we just witnessed.

Runners may be many different things, but one thing we hold in common:  We are celebratory people.

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Unfortunately, however, this year after the race ended there was a very very sad incident in which my Former BRFF ever, DJ, tried to steal my beer.  B*tch.  You can’t trust blonde German women when a beer shows up, it’s a throw down looking for a place to happen.  Fortunately right after this photo was taken we were directed to the cooler chest containing about 157 more beers and we kissed and made up.  I no longer hope her keg explodes.  Just a small, slow leak would be fine.

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