Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Mother of All Relays

Running a weekend long relay race can be a lot of things as I recently learned, exhausting and a lot of fun are two of them. Bonnie and I ran the infamous Hood to Coast relay race a few weekends ago. We had a great time with the team we joined up with, and our Captain Ed was simply put, "the man." He has done H2C a few times and knew all the ropes. Our ride was a Ford Expedition, but for blog purposes, I will be referring to our ride as the "van" bc that's what the rides are called, whether they're actual vans or not. And seeing as no one in our "van" was driving around with a clown's mask and a bag full of candy in a school zone, it was for sure not a real van for us either.

There are 1,000 teams that participate in this event every year, includingh teams from all over the world. Each team has 2 vans of 6 people in each van, and Bonnie & I hardly knew anyone in our van, except for our one friend Amy. We were excited to do this with strangers though. And what better way to meet someone than to be thrown into a van with them, about to be made completely smelly by all of us, and be part of competition with them. We ate together, we slept together, and we ran and competed together.

12:30 pm The First Exchange

This is where van 1 passes off to us. I am so frigging psyched to be doing this, my adrenaline is pumping for sure. We are at the Fred Myers supermarket, and that's actually who's sponsoring our team. I love all the unknowns that go along with this whole event. This huge parking lot is filled and some of the vans are hilarious. One just drove by and it's the "Top Gun" van and they're all dressed up in the pilot gear, and there's big plastic wings atop the van and the movie soundtrack is blasting. I also just saw a van called " The Cougars" drive by, pretty sure they were all boozing, and one of them actually dove in the back seat window while they were driving. I have that pit in my stomach, like before you are about to play in a big game or something.

5:15pm First Leg Down

I just ran my first leg and it went pretty well. It was a 6.89 mile leg and it went fine, nothing to difficult. I learned that there is a game played by everyone that does this event. It's called Road Kill. And you get one of these by passing another runner, and the teams track how many roadkills they get on the outside of the vans with the car chalk. Well on that one leg I just ran, I was pretty much every one's road kill. It was kind of depressing actually, especially as you get back to the van and you have to let your team know how many you had, shit. Telling the team "none" just does not seem like an acceptable answer to me, so my goal is I just want at least one roadkill on each run. I did get one, thank God. So everyone is blowing by me throughout the run, and then I see this one girl walking, towards the end. I come up on her at right at the end and I know this is my only chance to get a roadkill. So just as I go to pass her, she starts running, I was so pissed. She had no clue I was coming or that I had no raodkills, but she probably would have run even harder if she did know. So I did pass her and roadkilled her ass! Oh and Bonnie absolutely krushed her first leg, her "pregg legs" as I like to call them. She ran her first 5 miler at 8:53, goddamn Bon! That's my girl.

Our second leg was pure insanity, and pure dirt and dust. This leg is the late night run in the woods, and I mean the woods. It is dark as hell. Our van started at this leg at like 1am, and this is in the middle of the woods, running on gravel. But wait, it gets better, the gravel is covered in dirt, and as you are running, all these other vans are constantly driving by you leaving to go to the next spot. And as they all drive by you for almost the entire run, you get to breathe in all of the dust and dirt. This was a 5 miler for me, felt like 10, I could never get in a rhythm. I cannot wait to be done with this late night leg I was so excited to run.

We pull into our final exchange for the night. It's siesta time, if you can. Lots of people say they never sleep a wink when they do this, which is funny to me. I have no clue how people do this with no recharge on the batteries. And the fact that I could sleep on a bed of broken glass helps me for sure.

9am Final Leg/Day
Bonnie & I woke up around 8:30am and our first set of team legs starts in about a 1/2 hr, so off we go. It's gorgeous out by the way, sunny warm and breezy. I am suddenly just excited to run, and not anxious about how my legs will hold up on my final run. It gets you pumped knowing you are about to do your final leg, and it really is perfect weather. My final leg is my longest, and it's 7.8 miles, and it is all rolling hills. This was the one leg I was most worried about, seeing as it's my last and my longest one.

Bonnie's final leg right before mine was a hilly 4 miler, and she krushed it. She ran it at 8:50 min. mile, so impressive too bc it was her 3rd and final run. So she hands me the bracelet and I am off. I wasn't going to let the rumored difficulty of this leg get to me. The first mile was rough, it was hard getting into a rhythm. But by mile 2 I was in the zone baby. I felt so damn good, and my legs felt fresh as ever, I couldn't believe it. I was running up these hills at the same speed I was running the flat parts. And on my downhills I decided to push and run faster to make up time. I suddenly wanted to beat my first leg time of 9:53. I remember feeling bad for van 1 knowing that they would miss running on this amazing day.

So I had this last hill to go up at mile 7, and I noticed I could pick up a road kill or two on my final mile, and I had no one at this point. I still felt really strong, so I pushed up the hill, let's go I thought. I passed one fool walking and then I came up over the hill and I see the exchange spot, which for me is my official finish line. I always sprint at the end of any of my runs, and I look and see this one dude ahead of me, but I think I can push to roadkill his ass. He is running pretty fast but I convince myself I can catch him. I was gonna haul at the end anyways, why not full on sprint. He appears a few years older than me as I get closer, but he has no shirt on and the dude looks yoked. I know I have to pass this guy to finish. So I start sprinting earlier than normal, and I am about 50 feet away from the finish. And this guy is running pretty fast as well. So I come flying up from the rear and the crowd all sees what I am doing, and there's a bunch of people there. They start cheering, and I think the guy just thought they were cheering him in, so he has no idea I am coming, hard. I think he thought they just loved his form. All of a sudden I come barrelling up on him and he sees me over his shoulder and I know he is thinking "no frigging way I am his roadkill at the very end of our last run." He starts sprinting and we are neck and neck, but one person always wants it a little more than the other, and at that moment, that person was me. I beat him and it was such a sick way for me to finish. And I ran a 10 minute flat mile for my final leg, which I was stoked about.

All in all it was so much fun and thanks for reading whoever finished this long post, cheers!


Monday, August 16, 2010

Put one more on the docket...

Portland has this absolutely incredible relay race, it's called Hood 2 Coast, and Bonnie & I are doing it this year! The only difference is I'm not 3 months preggers, and she is. It is the last weekend of August, and we are both very excited about it. Our history on this particular run is 2 years ago, Bonnie took a pregnancy test 15 minutes before a van came to pick her up for her first Hood 2 Coast endeavor. Well it was a go of course, as we have our awesome little Taylor Kate. That year Bonnie ran it and I met her down at the coast of Oregon and we celebrated big time. This year we both get to run it together, and of course Bonnie is el preggers again, classic!

So the race is next weekend, the last weekend in August. Relay teams from all around the world participate in this race, as it is a very popular run. And it's extremely difficult to even get on a team, so we really lucked out this year. Bonnie's soccer mate's husband needed some people, so we jumped at the chance. Kind of funny too because I have the hardest leg out of the 12 of us, perfect. The funny thing is Bonnie's leg is the one right in front of mine, so wifey gets to pass me the torch. We have no say in this matter with what legs we run, it is what it is.

There are 12 people on each team, so there are two vans of 6 people in each. We run from Mt Hood to the Oregon Coast. Each runner runs 3 legs, totalling about 17 miles. My training up until now has mostly been my soccer leagues, but I need to run more. That's it for now, cheers!


Monday, July 5, 2010

What a day indeed, USA!

I have never been a part of a "qualifying moment." Of course I am referring to the one and only qualifying moment any of us nobles will ever know of. No one in the Sully network is aspiring for any USA Olympic goals, so that really just leaves us with one qualifying event: the one and only marathon in North America that needs qualifying for, the sacred and beloved Boston Marathon. I only know a few people who have even qualified for this (Ivy, Marianne and Coach Karl) but I have never been able to be there for a friend when they qualified, until Sunday, on born on the 4th of July.

And by the way don't let the attached photo throw you off, that's just Karl and I leaving Sauvie Island. We never took any other photos unfortunately, so there ya go. I am wearing Taylor's hat for her at that point, holding my medal up. But I assure you this blog is not about me qualifying or my medal.

Sunday, however, was an incredibly inspiring to me day for many reasons, and as I looked back on it today, I realized I would be doing a real disservice by not sharing the events that took place with you guys. By the way, I am not sending this to my regular blog audience.

My dear friend Kurt Bordchardt, the craziest German and one of the best people I know, had the biggest day of his running career waiting for him on this country's birthday. On Sunday Kurt was trying to qualify for the Boston marathon on Sauvie Island, a cool little island near Portland. They offer a full and a half marathon every year, and I knew I was psyched Bonnie pushed me to sign up for the half when I learned the proceeds of the races went towards the Sauvie Island Fire Department. Now for Kurt, he had only tried once before to qualify, and that was in San Diego of 2008. It would not be in the cards for Kurt that year, injuries popped up, and it was his first marathon, etc. And even then, he was only about 10 minutes off of qualifying. Why do I know these things? No it's not because I have a man crush on Kurt. This is when Bonnie and I first met Kurt, on our first TNT season. We trained for Alaska and Kurt was training for San Diego, with our then Coach Karl, and thus the Team in Training family began. Now back to Kurt, he had stayed focused on qualifying and I knew he had a real shot at qualifying on this one. His training was going so well, and he even ran 21 miles the day of my wedding while he was out in Dallas, TX. No big deal. Kurt is from Maine and I am certain I have never met a prouder New Englander in my life. So for him to qualify for this meant the world to him to say the least. I just hoped I would somehow be there for it when he did.

Kurt's wife Michelle was also performing on Sunday; she was walking the half marathon. Michelle was hoping to finish her walk just before Kurt made his way in, if he was able to keep pace and qualify. I ran the half marathon, it was an awesome run for me. I ran it in 2:05 and it was my PR which is always great, I ran 9:33 miles, whoo-hoo.

After I pulled in from my run, we celebrated and then we got prepared for the real reason we were there, Kurt qualifying. I remember as we were driving in that morning, Bonnie, Karl and I briefly had the whole "what if" conversation. No one wanted to even talk about it though. We compared it to Kurt having a No Hitter going into the 9th, we all shut that conversation down fast. Kurt was goint to qualify, we all knew it. And there are just a few hundred people running in this full, and most of them are doing it to qualify because it's a flat course. And fortunately the weather was nice, mostly overcast in the 60's with just some sun, it was never too hot.

So Kurt needs to pull in by 3:30, which has him running 26.2 miles at an 8 minute mile clip. I can't stress how hard that is to do. So at the 3:10 time, we go to the finish line to wait for Kurt. All of a sudden Bonnie goes "is that him?" At first I didn't see him, and then he appears. I look down the road leading up to the finish, and I suddenly see this missile flying down the street. And there is no mistaking this silver fox. I yell "yeah Kurt!" and I noticed I got the long distance thumbs up from him, I was so psyched he heard me. Then Kurt just comes barreling around the short corner to finish and we are all screaming. I stand up on the wooden fence and scream "yeah you crazy German!" And Kurt raises his arm and yells "fu#* yeah!" He knew he did it, and you know what, he not only did it, but he absolutely krushed it! He finished at 3:20! Are you kidding me? Dude ran 7:39 miles for the full, insane.

And to be honest, for me, the best part of the story is yet to come, and I know I am going to get killed for this. So Kurt finishes, and Bonnie and I find him and congratulate him really fast. He tells us he needs to keep walking, of course. About 2 minutes later, I am just standing there facing the finish line and I see Kurt running to the finsih line, it's Michelle! She was coming across the finish from her walk, and Kurt just sprinted to her. She finished right behind him, which may have bummed her out initially, but because she did, we all got to witness an embrace that I have never before seen. You couldn't even find this scene in a movie, and I am not exaggerating at all. Kurt goes running over to his wife and they both knew he had done it, and they kissed and hugged each other and it took about a second for the tears to start streaming down. In my defense, I wasn't expecting that, wow. And I have never seen anything like it before in my life. I remember thinking, THAT is what it's all about. And it was awesome because Michelle has supported Kurt for years while Kurt focused and worked so hard on achieving this huge goal. And to see them both there to celebrate his victory was something special.

So needless to say, we just chilled afterwards. We brought our celebratory BL's to toast with and we just hung out on the grass right by the finish line. It was great because as all the people pulled in from the full marathon, we could cheer for them. And not everyone had family or friends there, so we loved cheering the runners in. So the morning turned to 1pm fast, and it was time to go. We were pretty sure we had seen everyone come in, and the event staff were starting to pack it in too. I asked one of them on the way out "are we all in?" One of them said "we still have one more out there I think." Now we were bummed we were leaving, we thought we saw everyone finish. And this would have been the first time Bonnie or I had seen a full race of runners finish, and we thought we had just done that, what a bummer. And we aren't even sure if this last person is even still running. It started at 6:30 and it was 1pm, that's 6.5 hrs. Fortunately our car was right by the finish line and as we just started packing up our stuff in the car, and Karl goes "there he is." We all look up and see this guy hobbling down the home stretch. Now when I say this person was limp running, I am not exaggerating. We didn't even have to say it, we all headed back to the finish line to greet this soldier.

Now only because he was so hurt, we were able to even beat him back to the finish line. I suddenly decided that I wanted to finish with him, if he didn't mind. I pull up next to this gentleman and say "you mind if I pull in with ya?" and he says "not at all, I'd like that." By the way the guys is gray haired with a small pony tail in the back braided. He has to be late 50's or early 60's, so I am instantly impressed at what he is doing just on that alone. Our brief dialogue was as follows:

"How are you doing?"
"Good, but my knee. I need to have knee replacement surgery in August."
"Sorry to hear that, but good for you today doing this."
"Thanks, I have already done 219 of these damn things."
"What? Are you serious?"
"My name is Sean, congratulations and it is so nice to meet you."
"My name's Tex (something) from South Dakota, nice to meet you too, and thanks for finishing with me."

Are you kidding me? He has run 219 of these damn things??? That is one of the most unbelievable things I have ever heard of. And by the way, I wonder how many miles he ran limping, by himself. He has run 219 full marathons. I cannot imagine there are many people that have ever even done that, maybe one? And if you could have seen Tex finish, like we did, hobbling, but with such dignity, it was incredible. And the fact that we almost missed him is scary. We pulled in to the main lot just before we left to use the restrooms, and we got to see Tex at his car. He had running bumper stickers all over the windows of his white SUV, and then we looked at his front license plate and it reads nothing but "26.2" So frigging bad ass.

So I know this was a really long blog but I hope some of you enjoyed the stories. I felt unbelievable inspired and I hope any of you do as well. Cheers to Kurt & Tex!


Sunday, June 20, 2010

We did it!

I started my final blog on my honeymoon in St Thomas, and it just wasn't there. I needed to be at home, on a Sunday night, feeling inspired. The marathon was 2 weeks ago from today, and it's nice bc it has given me a chance to reflect and take all of this in. It was another amazing experience to say the least. I have been thinking a lot about why I even do these marathons. Why do I put my body through the months of pain and conditioning? Is it just for the end result, just to know I can do a marathon? That's part of it, it is a cool kind of elite club to be a part of for sure. But I realized there are a lot of reasons why I do it. I love the conditioning my body goes through, it is a remarkable feeling of how healthy you feel while you train for one of these. I love the sense of accomplishment when we knock out our long runs during training. Smaller reasons would be so I can pig out on anything and everything for 4 months, and you deserve it all. The post party you get to throw for yourself is always nice as well, and because I do not want to get fat. But I gotta' tell you, the biggest reason why I do it is for the cause, and the cause is to beat cancer, and to comfort cancer victims as they suffer. Who hasn't been touched by cancer? And joining up with Team in Training, again, has been one of the best experiences ever for me. And everyone down from the coaches, to the people we train with, and to the volunteers that come out to work the aid stations, it is amazing. But here is the real deal, none of this, and I mean NONE OF THIS ever even gets off the ground without the people who donate to the cause, you! As a chapter up here in the great Northwest, we raised $93,000! This money will make a difference, a huge difference. And from every $10 donation to the bigger ones, they all matter so much. So thank you all again for your undying support.

Okay, now just a quick recap of the actual race: It was hot, really hot. We were at the start line hanging out at 4:45 and the fact that none of us were cold raised an early concern for me. You could just tell it was going to be a warm one. We made it out the gates at around 6:45, Bonnie, John, Kate & I. It was overcast as it should be in June for the early part of the race. The 4 of us ran together for the first half of the race (13 miles) but at mile 10 or so, I knew I was not going to be keeping up with the Jones'. I needed to run my own race. My plan all along was to take what the run gives me, and at the halfway point it was giving me a lot to deal with. It gets a bit discouraging when you're not running your big race the way you trained, but you just fight through it. The sun came out around mile 9, and when it arrived, it was beaming. We all had sun block on but I probably sweat mine completely off at mile 5, perfect. I cut those guys loose and made my way on to the 2nd half of the race solo. It was good for me, I could stop when I needed to and not feel guilty by having any of them wait for me. There were so many TNT people running so I would rap with people from time to time. I was plugging along doing pretty good until around mile 18 or so. I remember my feet were absolutely killing me, I still am not sure why. I literally stopped and took my shoes and socks off at mile 18to massage my feet, just so I could finish, it did help. But this is the last thing you want to be doing during the end part of your marathon, it's so easy to cramp up. The risk was worth the reward though, it had to be done.

I knew I had my great friends Geoff and Todd out there somewhere between 18-20, I just wasn't sure where. I prayed I would find them, especially because Geoff promised he would run 2 miles with me. And seeing as I was unexpectedly running solo, I was really looking for these guys. I come up to mile 19 and there is Geoff! I could not have been happier to see him, I was hurting pretty bad. I was so completely exhausted when I saw him, and nauseous. The sun was winning. Geoff and I ran along and my man kept pumping me up the whole time, I needed it. There was never thoughts of stopping or anything, I just needed a friend and a positive source of energy. We ran about a mile and then we saw Todd, so pumped. It was a perfect time to walk for a bit so we walked for about 5 minutes and rapped. Then Geoff and I were off again. At mile 21, Geoff and I approached Fiesta Island, and the last 5 miles were running around this island with the deceptive name, as there was no fiesta to be had I can assure you. Geoff kept telling me to cut him loose whenever I needed to, and I would tell him "you are gonna have to cut yourself loose buddy." He understood. As we approached the island, I had gotten my 2 miles out of him, and by the way Geoff just barely started jogging recently. He ran his first 5 miler the week before. And he had already run a mile with Bonnie earlier on. Bonnie cut him loose and said "now go get my boy."

As we approach the entrance to Fiesta, he tells me he is doing the island with me. I was so psyched! In my head I was praying he was not paying attention and that he was going to enter that final stretch by accident or something. Because once you start, there is not backing out. I could not have been more thrilled. Miles 21-23 were nothing short of a complete runner's nightmare. There was hardly any bands on the island and there was not an ounce of shade. I was roasting. And I was so nauseous I could barely hold down water. I dumped it on my head every chance I got to stay cool but that barely helped. But I was still sweating which was a good thing. If that stops you are in trouble. We ran and walked from miles 21-23, and Geoff told me afterwards he was pretty worried about me at like mile 22. As Geoff puts it, "you were a little wobbly." Then all of a sudden at mile 23 I came back to life, all thanks to the one and only Journey. Yeah that's right, Steven frigging Perry saved my arse! One of the only bands in there was there at mile 23 ripping off a Journey cover and it kicked me into gear. I can't even remember which one it was but I know it's on the greatest hits album. We ran the rest of the way which was awesome, I just wanted to finish so bad, and I wanted off the island! I kept yelling that, calling myself John Locke. Other runners were rolling. It's funny I get this "crazy time" as I like to call it at the end of my marathons. I just start yelling or singing or just talking crazy, and it helps me, and singing journey and yelling I want off the island was my crazy time.

We finally get about 50 yards from the finish and Geoff cuts me loose. He says he can't cross the finish line bc it's be like drinking out of Lord Stanley's Cup without winning it, I understood. So I say my goodbyes and I start hauling. When I tell you I sprinted, I mean I am not even sure I have ever run that fast before in my life. My other friend Gerry said he saw some screwball come flying through the finish and then realized it was me and started cheering 'go Sully!". Classic.

So I finished my race in 5:07 and Bonnie did hers in 4:14, her PR, her personal record. Imagine she runs her best run on a steamer like this? Truly unbelievable. As Bonnie puts it, "I just felt good." My boy John finished but struggled hard at the end, he pushed to hard and tried to run with Bonnie for too long, silly boy. But A for effort Johnny! So the marathon itself was such a huge success; we hit our fundraising goal, and we both finished and didn't hurt ourselves, well permanently. So once again, I am signing off on the blog, at least until another marathon sucks me in. Once again, Bonnie and I can't thank all of you enough for your support and encouragement. You guys reading this are the ones that make this all possible and worth while. Signing off from blogville, I will miss you and terribly miss doing this blog, cheers guys!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

San Diego-Here we come!!!

We are less than a week away from the big dance, oh how the time can fly. Happy Memorial Day to everyone reading. Saturday was our last long distance run, and I couldn't be happier. Not happy to end our TNT experience, but you get to a point as the marathon nears, where you just say "enough already, I am ready!" It is great knowing your training is essentially over, and that the big event you have been training so hard for is just around the corner.

Saturday was an 8 miler, just an 8 miler kids, no big deal. Everyone just calm down, please. The weather was kind of crappy, but not actually raining, just damp and chilly. I told Bonnie if there is one week I did not care what the weather was going to be like, this was the week. We are just tapering down now, the trainings done. John, Bonnie, Kate and I ran together, at least for about 7 of the 8 miles we did. We could all tell Bonnie was feeling it and that she was kind of holding back. Then at mile 7 she said she is gonna "pick it up" because she feels like running hard. So I saw her raise, and I sped it up a bit. Well it didn't take long for me to get winded, so I said bye to babe and slowed it down. Then it hits me, this my last run. I have to catch Bonnie, or at least die trying. I turn to John and Kate and say "you think I can catch Bonnie?" I was off, almost sprinting. I was about 50 yards back from her, but she was not jogging. I dug deep to catch her, and I did catch her right at the end. Bonnie was surprised to see me, I was too. Her and I were fully sprinting at the very end, but of course I held her off for the victory. I am not competitive or anything...

So next Sunday June 6th is the marathon. San Diego has this bad boy starting at 6:30am. Bonnie and I hope to see everyone we can while we are in town. Sunday night Longboards looks like the call.

As we near the end of our marathon training, we also near the end of the blog. I will miss the blog, a lot. And once again, this Team in Training experience has been nothing short of amazing. I always seem to be chatting it up about our phenomenal Coach Karl. Our other Coach is Jenn, and this girl is just unreal. She was due to have her first baby last week. She is as pregnant as pregnant can be. She comes to all of our workouts, and for our Wednesday night track workouts, she's always there, cold rainy nights or shine, doesn't matter. She has been such a great coach and inspiration to all of us.

I look forward to letting you all know how my 2nd marathon goes; wish Bonnie and I luck. This will be her 4th marathon, so she doesn't need as much luck as I do. And I have only had a few people ask me to run on behalf of a family/friend, but we both would love nothing more than to fill up our shirts with names, whether it's a Cancer victim or a Cancer survivor. Thank you again everyone for all of your support throughout, and I will work extremely hard to make you all proud of me. This is an amazing cause, and I am blessed to be a part of it, cheers!


Saturday, May 22, 2010

May 22nd-What a day!

Today turned out to be a phenomenal day, and it's so great when you can pull off one of these days on a day when things could be rough. Today is the 3 year anniversary of Big Neil's passing.

For starters, my brother Brendan got a yellow lab puppy, he picked it up today. The breeder called him today and said "he's ready." The breeder had no idea what today was, but they played a nice role didn't they. And what better way to celebrate my dad's anniversary of his death, with life. So Brendan went and got his new puppy and now they had to name it. My mom of course pushed the Irish names (A for effort mom) but in the end, there was really just one name for this special little dude, Ace. My dad's nickname. I love when Neil reminds me how my dad got that nickname, I mean the guy had about ten nicknames. So for about a year, my dad and I worked together everyday doing windows, just the two of us pretty much. And I told him how if we were going to work together everyday, we needed to come up with a nickname for him. Calling him "dad" was too boring. I eventually came up with Ace; it was short, easy and it worked. And he was an Ace in the hole, always was. So cheers to Brendan on the puppy and the awesome name.

And the other good thing that happened today was Bonnie and I went out and smashed our 12 miler! We simply krushed it. Oh, and guess what else happened? My man Kurt came and surprised us for a celebratory run. So John and I had our old partner in crime to run with today, bueno. My run went well at the beginning, pretty standard, just not bad and not great. But as the run went on, I felt better and better. I remember John saying to me at like mile 9, "you got that extra step today Sean, I see it." And I did, I could feel the "pop" today, I was running inspired.

At around mile 10.5 or so, I realized that I still have a ton in the tank, so I cut loose. I took off and I caught up to some other TNT friends and ran with them for a bit, but then I kept going. And two of the people I passed were Kate and Tyler, two of the fastest people we train with. I was now flying for the last mile, and one of the best things about this training is I am learning what I can do with this body I was dealt with. I know how hard I can push it, and when I need to pull back with it. I have had such a great training, no injuries and no bad runs. You cannot ask for more than that. So as I am hauling, I kept looking back at Kate and Tyler to see how far I was distancing myself. And on one of these times I turned around, I see Kurt, flying! I yell "you better not let me beat you" and then I ran even faster. Well that's all he needed to hear and see. A minute later he is right next to me and I was practically sprinting. We finished the run together, and still somehow conversing with one another. John tells me after I finish that I was running sub 8 mile at the end, which is just a cool way of saying we were running less than an 8 minute mile, schwing!

It was another great run, and it was a blast running with Kurt. And again, everyone else had a killer run too. Bon crushed her run, and my man John came in right behind Kurt and I, so he was hauling at the end as well. And Bonnie is going to be a joining the Team in Training staff (Congrats Bonnie!). So today she started her run at 7am (we all started ours at 8am) because she had another TNT event to go in the a.m. She did say she would try to come back and see me finish my run. So as I pull into the finish of my run, there's Bonnie waiting there in this crazy wig I own, and she is wearing my official shirt I wore in the Alaska marathon. The shirt is so sweet, it has a huge picture of my dad's firefighter picture on the back, and it has all the names of the people we ran for that year. It was an awesome surprise. It was an amazing finish and a wonderful tribute from Bonnie to Ace. So yeah, what a day right? And of course the Celtics won one for the big guy as well, why not. And lastly, for everyone that has donated to our cause, thank you so much. Let's face it, no one likes to ask their friends and family for donations, and this week was crunch time for us, and so many of you were unbelievable with helping us at our most critical hour. And if anyone still wants to donate it's not too late. But thank you to each and every one of you that donated to our cause in a real crappy economy. And for the people that were unable to contribute, thank you so much for your support. Thanks for the great emails and phone calls of encouragement, and of course the awesome blog comments. Thanks to everyone for doing what they did, as Bonnie & I try to make a difference against Cancer. We are nothing without all of you, I promise. Gracias, and as always, thanks for reading.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Who does # 2 work for???

The task at hand on Saturday morning was daunting, or at least it seemed to be. Go out children, go out and run 20 miles, that's what they told us to do. So what did I do? I went out and took a big dump all over those 20 miles, that's right. And then I said deal with it! Ok sorry, that was disgusting, I appologize, all I was trying to say is I had a great run, and so did Bonnie. That was gross and there will be no more talk of poo, I promise, well, at least not my poo. But everybody does poo you know.

Ok, now that we have that all cleared up, let's talk about the run. Saturday again provided picture perfect temperatures and you couldn't ask for better weather to take on a 20 miler. It was about 65-68 degrees, gorgeous. Bonnie & I hadn't run at all in the last 2 weeks by the way, we've been kind of busy. We did get an 80 minute run in on Thursday though, and it was a nightmare run by the way, but we got it out of our systems. We needed to get the junk out so to speak, and in Bonnie's case on Saturday, literally. Poor Bonnie has been nicknamed "inoppurtune pooer". The last few times we have had long runs, Bonnie's stomach starts going haywire right before we run, or just as we are pulling out of the driveway type of stuff, poor kid. We will be ready ro run and Bon just gives me that look, and it's the "inopportune poo look", and I know it well. Neil, it was the same you look you used to give me outside Ernie's Lunch on the way to school as kids, I know this look. So anyways, poor Bonnie had to make 4 different trips to the latrine along the way, which sucks. I am joking about this bc that is what we runners do, in our "running world", we really yuk it up big time about the inopportune poos...

All joking aside, we both had phenomenal runs, we couldn't have been happier. As were coming into our mile 17 aid station, we were feeling unbelievable, and miles 10-17 were pretty hilly. So Bon had some stomach issues, and my only issue was my legs were really sore, the sorest they have been all season. But the only reason I was so sore is bc I hadn't run in almost 2 full weeks, so that was no concern. At around mile 17 we were realizing how great our breathing was, we weren't winded, at all. So as we came off the big hill of Terwilliger, we are so pumped! It was great bc we kept getting each other pumped up about how great our runs were going, good ol' husband & wife teamwork ya know.

So mile 18 or so we are coming up to some train tracks and this long freight train is about to come through. And the last thing you want to do when you are that close to finishing a run is to stop, you will tighten up within seconds. So we are approaching the tracks and we hear "ding ding ding ding". We are now both sprinting, which is no fun at mile 18. We beat the train by about 10 seconds and otherwise, we would have been stuck there for over 5 minutes, unacceptable. I remember thinking if it were me, solo, and I got stuck, I'd consider walking over it, it's not really going that fast.

We ended our run sprinting, of course, like we always do. And John's GPS said we ran 20.8, can't argue with that. So our marathon is in San Diego in 3 weeks, we hope to see anyone and everyone while we are there. Details on that to follow, and thanks for reading.