Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Albany Marathon

Hey guys,
I hope you are having a good week.
Not bad over here.

First I wanted to tell you that I am sorry about Friday's blog. I posted it and it didn't come to people's email until Monday morning. I know it seems like when we do this it is seamless. It is because we are "professionals". Sometimes we get off our game. We will work harder to provide a product for you that is second to none....blah, blah, blah, we screwed up, it won't happen again.

I want to tell you the story about my marathon this weekend.
I didn't want to tell you about this marathon because of what happened the last time.
I got you all excited about my running a marathon, and then I didn't finish.

Okay here goes.
Ever since my sucking wind at my last marathon I have been training. I have been training harder and keeping myself ready.
I have been looking for a marathon that I could just drive to. There was a marathon in Tampa, which is about 2 hours away, but we had a 50th birthday party the night before and we knew there was going to be wine-o-plenty. So I didn't want to drink the night before, get up at 3am to drive 2 hours, and poop out again.
So I looked at and looked for a marathon that was close by (driving distance) and was soon. I was ready, and I wanted to do it.
Well, Snickers puts on a marathon in Albany, GA. I looked it up and google said it was 4 hours and 45 minutes away. And it was the next weekend. PERFECT.
I called my wife and asked if she wanted to get away with me. We would take David and leave the bigger kids with my mom.
She was game.
I signed up, and we called my mom and told her it would just be for Saturday night.
She was game.
We called the host hotel, and we were able to get a night stay the night before the marathon.
We booked it.
I went ahead and did the online registration.
Everything was set. We would go to everyone's games on Saturday morning and then drop everyone off and then Hilda, David and I would get in car and go. Like money in the bank.

On Wednesday I went online and looked up what this marathon was all about.
(Before I go on, I need to tell you that I am not someone that is going to go to the Albany marathon website and read all the details. I am assuming that all marathons kind of do things the same.)
So it is Wednesday, and I go to the site and in huge letters and numbers it says, "DAYS TO MARATHON" and it says 2 days, 12 hours and 4 minutes.
I was thinking to myself, "2 days? Hmmm?"
"Holy crap this marathon is on Saturday."
I called up my wife, and we had a good laugh.
It is no wonder we were able to get a room at the host hotel....we got the room on the day after the race.
So all bets are off.
She gets on the phone and gets a hotel room, but this time it is 6 miles away from the start/finish line. No problem.
Mom can't do any kid watching on Friday night so everyone is going to come...ROAD TRIP!!!
So things are still good. It will just be a little less intimate between my wife and I.

After work on Friday, I rush home and we get on the road.
We brought our 8-inch DVD player and the kids are happier than pigs in poop.
We are making pretty good time. It is looking like a 9pm arrival. We stop for dinner, so it pushed us back to 9:45pm.
We get to the hotel, and it is brand new. Awesome. We got a suite. Now when you and I think of suites we think of SWEETS. But apparently Fairfield Inn doesn't do suites like I imagine.
It is just one big room. Well there are six of us in one room. We have our pack-n-play for David.
We asked for a roll away bed for Noah and Madison and Luke get the second double.
Problem is that there is no room for the roll away to fold down. So Noah sleeps on half the bed (we were able to find room to fold one side down, so it was in the shape of an "L".
Perfect, we are still good.
We start to settle (well if you mean the kids and adults are tired and aggravated and yelling at each other).
I have to do some laundry because my cold running outfit (which I only have one because I live in Florida) was dirty. I was going to go to the laundry room and Hilda was going to set up the computer to see about the race from a spectator standpoint.
She comes into the laundry room and drops the bomb on me, "Did you know there is not race day packet pick up? (and yes there was a tone of "you dumbass" on the end of that).
I was like no way.
I am tired. I worked all day. I just drove 5 and a half hours to get here. I am jammed in this room with my awesome wife and my 4 bundles of joy, and now I want to kill someone.
I couldn't believe it.
I went on the website and sure enough on about the fourth page it says at the bottom of the page "no race day packet pick up".
So we email the director thinking someone must be monitoring last minute stuff coming in.
The director emailed me back and it was okay. I just had to pick up my stuff at the start/finish line before the race.
Now remember I told you our hotel is 6 miles from the start line. Well I couldn't take the car and I didn't expect the family to get up at 5:30am to get me to the race that started at 7am.
So I asked the hotel employee to arrange a taxi for me in the morning at about 6:10am. He says the race is literally 5 minutes away.
I wake up and get all my crap together. It is 28 degrees outside. I have on everything I own.
I have three shirts and a sweatshirt, and I am wearing scrubs for my legs.
See, during a cold marathon you over dress and when you get warm you shed clothes.
You throw them on the ground and the community picks them up and gives all the clothes to charity.
I know I am going to be running by myself so the whole week I was getting my ipod shuffle ready.
I walk out to the lobby at 6:05am and asked if they have already called me a taxi. And this new employee had that look on her face. The one that said, "I have no idea what you are talking about."
No problem, don't jump over the counter John. It is not her fault.
She apologized, and said she would take care of it. She pulls out the phone book.
Oh, no you didn't.
Meanwhile, I am watching herds of runners coming out of their rooms and going to the race.
After about 10-15 minutes, I am starting to get anxious. The person behind the counter is not having any luck finding a taxi service that would answer the phone on a Saturday in a small town.
I told myself that the next person who comes down is going to have to give me a ride.
Someone comes down, and I give him my story.
He says, "No problem, you can ride with me."
Turns out the guy is from Great Britain, and he has business in Tallahassee. Nice as can be. We get out to his car and he still doesn't have the steering wheel on the left side of the car thing down.
Or the speed limit is 40 miles an hour and you can probably go faster than 28.
So it is 6:35am, and we are on our way when we get to a point in the drive that is now blocked off.
And he says, "Oh dear". And I say, "Oh sh@###$%^^t".
I ask him if he thinks I should just get out and run for it.
"No way, I will get you there, no problem".
We make a couple of turns and he says, "there is the start/finish line over there."
I ask, "should I make a run for it now."
"No way" he says, "I will get you closer."
Well the dude got me right up to the line, I mean he parked about 15 yards from the line.
I am a nervous wreck by this point. It is 6:50, and I pick up my packet.
I have to put my number on. I have to get rid of some of these clothes. I have get my gloves and hat and ipod on.
I am officially ready to run at 6:58am. I put my ipod in and the f!@#$%^ing thing is not working. I have spent hours on this piece of crap getting all the songs ready and the thing won't turn on. If you don't know the ipod shuffle, it is about the size of a Susanne B. Anthony dollar coin. It only has 4 buttons on it. Play, forward, reverse and up and down volume. There is no display. So I don't know why it isn't working it just isn't. I push every button about a hundreds time and give up on it. I put it in the bag with my wallet and phone and check it in.
I get to the start and
the race starts.

I had a great race. I finished in 4 hours and 8 minutes.
I got to see my family quite a few times during the race.
It was an absolutely beautiful day. The race finished, and it was 55 degrees.
At the end of the race I was a mess. I was totally depleted of nutrients and a woman began to walk besides me and asked if I was okay.
And I said, "No"
So she put her hand on the bend of my elbow and my back.
I said, "walk with me a minute."
And she asked me if I wanted to go to the medical tent.
I was totally out of it but said that I thought I would be alright.
My son brought me a peanut butter something, and I ate just a bit of it and I started to come to.
Man was I am mess.

I know this is a long one so I will finish up.
We were able to get a late check out. I was able to shower and we got out of there.
We were home by 6:30pm on Saturday night.

Crazy. I tell you, being married to me must be very exciting. If I would just read the small print things would be so less dramatic.

My kids were screaming, "There is my daddy."
I have no idea what is going on, this is the finish and I don't remember this.
I couldn't get off this chair for a long time.

Have a great Wednesday,

Oh and the ipod started working as soon as we got in the car.


Anonymous said...

At least you finished this time. I can barely do my 3 miles in 30 mins. I have no Idea how people can go for longer than that. You are better than me.

gatordmd said...

When I started to run I could barely get to the end of my street.
I got up to 2 miles and I was thinking how much I hate to run.
But each time I would run I would go a couple of houses farther.
Then I would mix it up and go on a trial or something I was unfamiliar with.
Then I got a running partner so we could hold each other accountable.
Next thing you know I was able to run 6 miles.
And when you are able to run 6 miles you are allowed to join the marathon training group.
Now when you are running with 25 people somehow it makes it a bit easier.
You can do it.
It takes time though.

Now I love running. And for me it is now more about the relationships that I have. Imagine how well you get to know someone when you are running with them for 3 hours.
I have made some really good friends.


Anonymous said...

Congrats on not only running but also finishing. You put in a very respectable time especially when you consider all you went through just to get to the venue and starting line on time only to have to run without your favorite playlist queued up. Wow! Good job. You are an inspiration to us all.

gatordmd said...

I appreciate the nice words.
I hope I inspire you.
I want to inspire you to be push yourself in so many different ways.
I want you to be a better person.
I want you to be a better dentist (or worker if you are not a dentist).
I want you to be more passionate.
I want you to love better.
I hope I do all the above....but for now I am happy just inspire you in something.

I hope you keep reading


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