Friday, December 12, 2008

My first Marathon, Twin Cities Marathon 2006

I finished in 4:53:01 (my goal was 5 hours 15 minutes!). So I'm still limping around but glad it's over.
That translates to 6,103rd place. Out of 8,191 finishers.I was the 2,101st woman to finish out of 3,195.I was 638th in my division (women my age.)
Those numbers are nothing to be proud of, just for your information. I told my nephew Miles that I got first place.

Wells Fargo Half Marathon May 2007

It was mayhem. Flying tree branches, farts on the bus...where do I begin? I ran into Anne, Michelle, Jill and Marie at the start, and ran the first mile and a half with Jill and Marie. Jill said we did the first mile in 9:50. A little too fast for me, so I dropped back and decided to stay somewhere in the middle of them and Anne and Michelle giving me time to stretch or walk if I needed it. Unfortunately Anne and Michelle weren't very far behind, so my plan was foiled. Anne ran ahead and Michelle and I stayed together for the rest of the race. We both stopped for about 10 minutes at the ALARC water stop and chatted with friends. It rained for about the first 6 miles or so. When we were running right next to the lake at around 10 miles the wind was so bad I was holding onto my visor. Leaves were flying everywhere and tree branches were flying around. Someone said they saw a tree fall at one point. We joked about getting hit by a tree at mile 12. Wouldn't that be a bummer?We finished when the clock said 2:36:something which I was very happy with. We only walked for brief periods to take some water and/or get up a hill. They bussed us back to the start and a woman told us she and her friend counted 20 hills. 20 ups and 20 downs. And if it was an up then a flat spot and another up, she only counted one hill. So it was a very hilly course. And then someone dropped a** and the whole bus (which already stunk like sweat and armpits) filled up with the stench of the inside of someone's colon.

Grandma's Marathon 2007

Well, I finished. Here are the official stats:
6980 People finished. I was 6388th.2565 Females finished. I was 2251st.
My clock time was 5:39:19, but my actual chip time was 5:33:28.
A couple of notable items:
The female winner, Mary Akor, who is exactly my age (30), finished before I hit the half-way point.
Last year when I trained for Twin Cities I logged a total of 314 miles. I finished that marathon in 4:53:01.This year, while training for Grandma's, I logged a total of 155 miles. I wasn't able to train as hard due to some injuries.
I got mentioned on KFAN on Friday. Not by name, but I was at Famous Dave's where they were broadcasing. Dan Barreiro and I were chatting and I mentioned that I had run Twin Cities and the last six miles were so emotional for me that I couldn't stop crying. I cried for the last six miles and couldn't stop. So, during his broadcast, he was talking about how runners always want to tell you about their bowel movements or gastrointestinal issues during the marathon. He said, "I just talked with a girl, who told me she blubbered the last six miles. She said she was sad, happy, emotional, in pain, feeling awesome, and it made her cry. That I can deal with. Tell me about that. Don't tell me about your poop problems." (or something to that effect.) If he only knew me, right? Also I met Chris Hawkey, he was running his first marathon and cohosts the KFAN morning show with Mike Morris. He was very nice and I actually got to have dinner with he and his wife and their kids as part of a larger group on Friday night.
I also got a signed copy of Dick Beardsley's book, Stay the Course. He was speaking at the DECC and signing books. He is the course record holder. He ran Grandma's in 2:09 I think in 1979 or something and no one has ever beaten that record.
When I got to the starting line I had to go to the bathroom, so I stood in line at a biffy behind about 40 people. When I finally got in there I tucked my sunglasses in my waist pack, and of course they fell on the floor. Right below the urinal. In a puddle of pee. Thank goodness I had a purell wipe, or I would have had to throw them away. Entering the starting area was very surreal. There were 7500 people. People as far in front of me as I could see, and people behind me as far as I could see. This of course is when I jumped up and down to see, because just standing there, I saw someone's back, and someone's chest in front of and behind me. haha
I ran the first six miles in one hour (or, 10 minutes per mile). So I definitely went out of the gate too fast - my overall average was about 12:47 minutes per mile.
It was HOT. And SUNNY. The temp at the start of the race was 66 degrees and finished in the high 70's. I really like it to be in the 50's or maybe 60's for a long run.
Burt Carlson is 81 years old. I saw him throughout the race, sometimes me passing him, sometimes him passing me. It was his 25th Grandma's, and his 287th Marathon overall. Still I felt like if I didn't beat him I was going to have to give up running forever. Well I did beat him. By like five minutes, too. Take that ya ol' sucker!
I met Al Franken. I saw him along the course twice. The first time it was too late and I didn't get a chance to say hello, but the second time I saw him I was on the same side of the road as him. I introduced myself and we shook hands. That was pretty cool. I felt bad because his hands were like perfectly dry and soft and I was sweating like a pig, had rubbed vaseline under my armpits to prevent chafing, had wiped my sweaty nose (not the snotty part of my nose, but the sweaty part of my nose) a million times, had high fived about 500 runners, in other words my hands weren't clean. At all.
I saw two ambulances, one lady down with people hovered around, another lady delirious and not able to put her shoe back on. I saw a guy running with the American flag, I saw a guy running backwards, I saw a girl with huge underwear over her shorts that said "granny panties". I saw two speed walkers. I saw a bunch of "50 staters" - guys who had run a marathon in all 50 states. It was such a fun, cool experience. I'm glad it's over though. A big Thank You to Marie Moore, who ran the entire race - every single step - with me and she never minded if I needed to stop and rest or stretch or whatever.
My sister Kasey came to watch me, and she saw a guy whose shirt said "Phillipines". So she screamed at the top of her lungs "GO PHILLIPINES!" and then her husband Ben told her that his shirt actually said, "Phillipians 3:16".
Stop here if you don't like my potty humor stuff.
On Sunday, the day after the race, Kasey and I went to the public hotel restroom quick and when we walked in were hit in the face with the most horrible stench you have ever smelled. We walked around the corner to find a pile of what looked like vomit on the floor of the first stall. Upon further inspection, it wasn't vomit at all. Somebody had to go number two and didn't make it. There was stuff on the floor, the toilet, everywhere. We went back into the hallway and informed a janitor, and he got on his walky-talky and we heard him say he had a "code brown" in the ladies room. How funny is that?
For the results, go here Click on Race, then results. My bib number is 3167, and its under Kady Hexum.

Twin Cities Marathon 2007

So here's my marathon story:
TCM set a record yesterday for being the hottest race ever. And it was. The temperature at the start was in the mid-70s and the dewpoint was in the90s. 10 degrees warmer and they would have cancelled it. 7215 people finished. 900 people who started didn't finish. The Chicago marathon, also held yesterday, was cancelled 3.5 hours into the race due to heat, and the temperatures there were not as hot as they were here.
My friend Mark was working as an emergency radio operator at the Mile 9 Aid Station. He said that there were 24 ambulance calls and 300 drop-outs - and that was just between mile 9 and 18. And - apparently the sweep bus (drives along at a 6-hour pace to pick up slow runners and those who want to quit) left 7 people behind at mile 17 because she was going "too fast". A woman ended up picking them up in her own personal van. One of the radio guys that Mark worked with said that this race had the highest drop-out rate of any of the 20 TCMs he had worked on. Also, they ran out of water at the water stop at mile 23 at 11am. I didn't get there until like 1:00. They were pouring water from nasty, muddy, half crushed milk jugs into cups, and people were standing there, in chunks, waiting for water. MMM...muddy water at mile 23. So refreshing. I'm thinking they were filling them up with somebody's hose or something.
I placed 6252 overall, 2334th out of 2829 females, and 405th out of 485 females in my age group.
My offical chip time was 5:31:04.
If you all remember my Grandma's marathon story, a certain old codger by the name of Burt Carlson (in his 80s, has run 4,000 marathons, my arch nemesis)reared his ugly head again. I couldn't shake him. We were neck and neck...finally I pushed him to the ground, spit on him, and finished a full 9 minutes and 14 seconds ahead of him. Seriously this guy is awesome. I think he was the oldest entrant...not completely sure on that one, but there were only 4 "over-80s" in the race who finished. 2 of them beat me. You better watch it next year Greg Prom and Lloyd Young! If you have a next year. Is that mean? I'm just kidding!
Also I'd like to point out that Mary Akor, or the woman exactly my age who won Grandma's Marathon this year, dropped out at mile 5. I guess she just didn't have what it takes to be a champion, like me.
They busted a guy cheating at one of the lakes, apparently he tried to take the short way around. Dummy! Or maybe he just took a wrong turn? I think if you're going to cheat, you ought to remove your race number when exiting the course. At least that's what I do.
I had a very good run overall. I beat my time from Grandma's by 2 minutes. I stayed very hydrated throughout, and other than being extremely sweaty, the heat didn't affect me too badly. My major complaint aside from having to walk down the stairs backwards is that I have three huge blisters, so huge that I technically have 13 toes today. The one on my pinky toe looks like lego-man hair. I can hardly walk, and did nothing today except watch the entire first season of 30 Rock on DVD.
Oh, by the way, you've heard of these guys who get bloody nipples from their shirts chafing them? Well, we saw a guy with a bloody nipple on his back. Or a mole. Whatever, it was gross. I felt so bad for the guy. Also, is it too much to ask the water stop people handing out water not to stick their fingers IN the water you're about to drink? If you ever want to run a marathon, you have to get over any germ issues quick. You're wiping sweat off your face every five seconds, and sometimes snot, and then some little kid wants a high five. If I had a kid, and we were watching a marathon, I would kabosh any high fiving real quick. FYI to you parents.
Special thanks to Jim Crandall, my running buddy, for staying with me every step of the way and helping me run a very difficult race. I forgive you forwriting JIM so big on your shirt that nobody even noticed my little KADY, thus eliminating any "GO KADY!" cheering.
Here's a link to my photos.

Triathlon July 2008

So, on the Friday night before my triathlon I needed to be at the Minneapolis Convention Center to pick up my race packet by 8:30. I figured if I left Rochester by 6:30 I would have plenty of time. On a whim, I called a friend and asked her to get me exact details about location, etc. I found out that the packet pick-up closed at 8pm. I was exactly 90 miles away and had exactly 90 minutes to make the trip, get downtown, park and get my packet. I drove like a madwoman and got to the Convention Center at 7:59. As I was running in flip flops to the pick up area, I saw another girl running. "ARE YOU LATE TOO?!" I screamed across the room. "I WAS JUST COMING FROM ROCHESTER, WOW! I THOUGHT I WOULD MISS IT! AHAHAHAAAA" No response. And thus began a weekend of me trying to strike up conversations with everybody and being met with only blank stares. I had to have my entire transition area ready by 6:15am.

I found out that my wave (Females aged 30-34) would start at 9:19. Three hours to kill. I went home and took a nap. Then it was time to get down there and get ready to go. I arrived at the swim staging area and about 5 feet from shore there were several people, seemingly crouching down and all I could see was like 15 people, just from the shoulders up. So I go, "IS THIS THE BATHROOMS? AHAHAHAHA HA HA! ". No response. Then I got in and there was a drop-off and I realized that the people were standing, not crouching. During the swim, rounding the corner, I screamed out that the bouie looked like a "BIG ORANGE HERSHEY'S KISS!" Nothing. While I was biking, a woman and I were passing eachother for a few miles. The last time when I passed her I said, "IT'S LIKE WE'RE DANCING!!" Crickets. They wrote all of our ages on the backs of our legs so you could see people's ages. I passed another 31-year-old on the bike and yelled out, "GO 31! WOOO! 1977!". At least she gave me a pity, "Right now I feel 100." Then I passed a 64 year old guy and sang the whole way past him, "WILL YOU STILL NEED ME WILL YOU STILL FEED ME, WHEN I'M 64!" He said nothing. That one made me feel really dumb because it took me longer to sing the song than it took me to pass him, so I was still singing it for a while after I was already ahead of him. And then I thought, What if he thought I was being mean? Think about it. Will you still need me? Will you still feed me? Embarrassing. Everytime I passed a cheering section I would yell dumb things like, "CAN I DO IT?" And some would say "YES YOU CAN!" But most of them looked at me with a big question mark. Lesson of the day?  I think my main problem is that I don't give people a chance to realize that I'm talking to them. I just approach talking all loud and "in your face" and they just don't hear me because by the time they see I'm talking to them I'm already done saying what I had to say. Right? It can't be because I'm annoying. Right? Mom, you still love me, right?