Friday, October 29, 2010

Funny Foto Friday: Twitter in Pictures

I recently stumbled across a website,, that features an artist who takes various tweets and creates comics out of them.  Below are a few of my favorites.  Warning, if you go to the above website, you are guaranteed to kill 60 perfectly good minutes of your day (And probably ruin one perfectly good pair of pants from all of the pee coming out with all of the laughter.)

Hitting my Running Groove

  • After taking a rest day, I had a really solid tempo run on Wednesday. I did 8 miles total, 6 at tempo of 6:49 pace. During the run I got a bit dehydrated so I loaded up on water during the early morning hours. 70 oz of water and 3 hours later, I was a peeing machine!
  • My running is really clicking right now. Clicking a little TOO well. I’ve sort of become (even more) one of those bubble boy guys who is afraid to do anything – lest I fall while screwing around in the parking lot and pull an ass muscle. No more crazy activities for me - unlike the kiddos to the right.  (Of course, since typing that I had a pretty sluggish Marathon Pace run Thursday……hopefully just a blip)
  • Speaking of my running clicking, I’ve recently set two awesome PRs (18:50 5K and 3:23:53 marathon) and I need to up my “normal” training paces. Am I the only one that sort of groans about the thought of faster training paces? I know I can run the faster paces (and need to) but getting in the mindset of actually ratcheting everything up by 15 seconds a mile is a bit hard to wrap my head around. What can I say, I’m a lazy runner.
  • Whitney over at Its What Moves Me just had her baby, 3 weeks early. EEK! For some reason that hit me like a ton of bricks. My wife will be 35 weeks on Monday and therefore is to the point where if it happens, the doctors won’t stop it. More terrifying than a disgruntled Justin Beiber when he runs out of mousse.

  • Finally, I have never (and probably will never) ask for money on this blog. Said in my best George H. W. Bush voice “Not gonna do it, wouldn’t be prudent”. However, a friend of mine is looking for some love - Laura from Absolutly Fit who is the current WORLD record holder for being the youngest person to run a marathon in each of the 50 US states.
Laura was hooked up with Tennis Pro Justin Gimelstob in an effort to train for the NYC Marathon.  The goal is to hopefully beat Andy Roddick in the Marathon because Roddick wins too many things....and his muscles are too big......and he is too attractive.  The regular men of the world need to rise up and strike those guys down a few pegs once in a while.

Together with the training, Laura and Justin Gimelstob are working to raise money for the Justin Gimelstob Children's Fund.  Here is when the fun part comes in.  Like we all would have, Laura started a blog ( As part of the fund raising activities she is raffling off two things:
  • The chance to be her date at the Justin Gimelstob after NYC Marathon party
  • The opportunity to store your stuff / shower / etc at her place if you are running the NYC Marathon since she lives 3 blocks away from the finish
So, for $5 an entry, you can help save the kiddies, beat Roddick, and hang off of a world record holder's arm for a day.  Go to her BeatRoddick blog for more details.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Try it Tues: Wine vs Nuun

Yesterday was a 5 mile recovery run.  It was a pretty solid run at 8:00 pace while watching Monday Night Football on TV.  God bless the person who invented TVs on treadmills.

No running today however.  Work was a bit rough and my knee is being a bit whiny.  Nothing that a correctly placed rest day can't fix.  Hopefully today was the correct day to place that rest day.  Besides, I'm on track to hit 50 miles this week so a rest day isn't going to kill me.

I'm always on the lookout for a good blog post.  I have my sources: Running magazines, Runners World Forums, Fortune cookies, tea leaves, and the homeless guy who lives on the corner and tells me to burn things.  As you would expect, I think of a lot of them while I am running.  That said, I'm never against taking good ideas changing them just enough to call them my own and running with them.  So, when Dr Tri Runner suggested that I do a taste test with Wine and Nuun, I was all in.

You see, while Jamoosh likes beer, I like wine.  I suppose it was only a matter of time before my two passions crossed paths.  So, with a free bottle of hotel wine and a package of Nuun tablets, I was set to do a little experimenting.

The ingredients:

  • Nuun is a low calorie effervescent (alka seltzer) electrolyte tablet that is dissolved in any liquid available for $5 at most running stores
  • Free hotel wine is a half bottle of Meridian Merlot that is available whenever you sell your soul to a hotel  (worth it!)

The Process:
I decided that I should dissolve one tablet of Tri-Berry Nuun into a normal sized glass of wine and taste each of them while blind folded.  Why blindfolded you ask?  I'm not sure.  My wife would have nothing to do with setting up the experiment so I totally knew which glass was which.  I suppose I had to maintain my journalistic credibility.

The Taste Test:

I started out by pouring two glasses of liquid courage (no fruit were harmed in the filming of this experiment)

I then plopped in a tablet of Nuun.  I honestly didn't know what to expect.  Part of me thought that it was going to fizz over like a beer that had been shook up in Shakira's back pocket.  But for the most part, just like me in the bedroom  it was a bit of a disappointment.  It sort of bubbled a bit and then the Nuun tablet sort of floated to the top.

But, disappointing results be damned, I was determined to give the taste test a try.  So, I strapped on my blindfold, surprisingly didn't spill any wine, and starting the tasting.  First up, smelling.  For me, memories are most often correlated to smell.....and this was something that I wanted to remember.

Next, drinking

Followed shortly by gagging.  It tasted horrible!!!  
It tasted like a combination of cheap wine, medicine, and sweet tarts.  Bleh

Quickly, I switched to the regular wine to wash some of the taste out of my mouth

Muuuuuuuuch better

But, at the end of the day, even though it tasted like a mix between frankenberries, frootloops, and wine I still ended up drinking both of them.  After all, it was the night before the Rock and Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon and wine doesn't drink itself!!

What did I learn?  Turns out if you take two good things and combine them, the result is not necessarily a super awesome thing.  But, I guess I already knew that.  Sleeping while running comes to mind....

Monday, October 25, 2010

Rock and Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon Race Report

Time: 1:39:16 – An automatic PR!!
Place: 393/ 9641 Overall, 58/ 569 AG
Pace: 7:35
Distance (via Garmin): 1.5 miles – more on the stupid Garmin later

Kinfolk said Jed move away from there / Said Californy is the place you ought to be / So they loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly. / Hills, that is / Swimmin pools, movie stars.

I've been to Los Angeles before. The last time I was here I played a small part in Kathy Griffin's "My Life on the D List" was laid up with my stupid stress fracture.  In fact, I hadn't even yet been diagnosed with the stress fracture so I went on a 2 mile test run on the treadmill and limped around Hollywood for the rest of the day.  This time, however, I was NOT injured and I was here to race.

After a solid 22 hours in my own house (22 hours in the last 3 weeks *sigh*), on Friday I got on yet another plane and headed to LA.  I've found that there are two types of people who spend a lot of time in hotels: Hookers and Consultants.  Depending on your interaction, you may feel like you're getting screwed over by both of us.  But, process alignment aside, we both seem to always stay in the Presidential suites in hotels:

Don't hate the player, hate the game

Saturday my wife and I mostly relaxed with some people watching and lunch eating at a local farmers market.  I "carbo loaded" with a chicken sandwich and french fries and molested the local produce.

**Insert inappropriate innuendo or bowel movement joke here**
(Sometimes they are just TOO easy)

My wife and I then headed to the expo.  Since this was my first ever half marathon, I wasn't sure what to expect at the expo.  As is usually the case, the Rock and Roll group didn't let me down.  The expo was probably on the larger side  Maybe just a touch bigger than the Denver marathon the week before.  The best part?  The Miller girls had beer!

Drinking out of tiny cups require just a tiny pit of extended pinky

I had been tweeting back and forth with the southern California Brooks "Guru" in the days before the race and we had planned to meet up in the Brooks booth to prove that neither of us were creepers.  I can only assume that she was sorely disappointed with learning that I indeed WAS a creeper - but I LOVE my Brooks shoes which hopefully made up for it.  Follow me on twitter here and follow her on twitter there.  I chatted her up for a while and my stalking social media mastery was rewarded with a sweet long sleeve Brooks polo/jacket.

Yep, she is tall and I am short.  Fail.
And she knows more about running shoes than me.  DOUBLE FAIL!

Finally, I was able to take my picture with my "Super 6" Heavy Medal.  Since this was my 6th Rock and Roll race this year I get all sorts of extra medals.  More details on this in a later post.

Race morning was just like any other race morning.  I rode the shuttles, got to the starting line way too early.  I'm not sure WHY I think that I need to get to the starting line 90 minutes early, but I do almost every time.  Annoying.  Since this was a half marathon instead of a full marathon, I decided to run with my Nathan handheld 20oz water bottle.  Unfortunately, I drank through about half of it before the race even started!!  This meant I had to pee, bad.  BUT, Jen the Brooks Guru set me up with sweet VIP bathroom passes so I pee-danced my way over to those just before the start.

Yep, a stranger took this picture

VIP on the inside:

Shortly there after, just as the sun was coming up through the clouds the race started and we were off.  I wanted to run approximately 8 minute miles that would put me towards a 1:45 finish.  The first mile and a half were right on target if not a little slower than anticipated.  I believe that I was closer to 8:30ish pace.

However, around mile 1.5 my Garmin started freaking out.  It was beeping every 2 seconds or so (literally).  It took me a bit to figure out what the deal was, but it turned out its memory was completely full.  When I sync it with my computer, it downloads the data off of the watch but doesn't delete it off of the watch.  It took me a few minutes to figure out how to delete the data (while running), but eventually I did figure it out and the watch finally shut up. Success!! Unfortunately, during me pushing every button on the watch I must have somehow shut off the GPS - because it didn't work for the remainder of the race.  Bummer.

That meant that I had to run the race by feel only checking my mile splits at the mile with the lap button on my watch.  The first few miles were on track around 8:15, but the rather hilly, surprisingly humid course turned downhill around a third of the way through so I ran way too many miles at sub 7:30 pace.  Good during a race, bad during a training run.

Running by feel is interesting like that.  I feel like I don't have enough experience running a hilly course by feel alone - so I'll probably work to shut out my garmin more often and head to the hills.

Very cool to see this along the course

As I finished, I got my medal and was overcome by a bit of sadness.  Since my wife is around 13 months pregnant (don't tell her doctor she flew 2 weeks past the "ok" period) she didn't make it down to the finish line.  Additionally, not that I am SUPER fast, but there were not a ton of people around meeting up with their families.  I later realized that when I finish marathons in 3 1/2 hours, the 10,000 or so half marathoners are mostly finished.  So, I get to stagger and stumble around all of them trying to find my cheering crew.

When I was able to make a bee-line to the free MGD 64, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I LOVE the crowds of people after finishing a marathon. I love the joy that they all beam after completing what is likely something that they will tell their friends and family for years to come.

So, that is probably my key takeaway from running the half marathon.  As mostly a marathoner, it took me running a half marathon to realize that I really appreciate the half-marathoners and the huge crowds they bring.

But, no worries about me. Just like the Yankee's post season hopes, any dip in my mood is always short lived.  I downed 64 calories of beer faster than any man should and made another bee-line to the hotel room - were my wife was waiting!

Tastes like loneliness

Overall, I really liked the half-marathon distance.  I'll look to do one again as my marathon training slows down, I need a break from the 40+ mile weeks, and I need another test of my marathon fitness.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Rock and Roll Los Angeles Race Preview

I know what you are thinking. "Wait what?  Really Adam, ANOTHER race?" Yeah, I know.  While I'm no Marathon Maniac, I'm the Cal Ripkin of Rock and Roll events.  We've even both got steel blue eyes!  We're basically twins**.  To me, October means three things: Football is on TV, candy is sold by the bucketful for Halloween, it is only a matter of time before girls get dressed up as slutty witches/cats/wonderwomen for Halloween, and it is RUNNING SEASON!!

On Friday, I was able to get out for a nice mid morning 7 miler.  I pushed the pace a bit and cranked out a 7:25 overall pace.  I wanted to make sure that my speed was still there post marathon.  More importantly, I wanted to make sure that I could still run!  The little 4 miler that I did the day before was a bit of a struggle so I was a BIT concerned that I was getting slower.  Am I the only one that worries about that?

My strategy this race is to 100% run this race as a training run.  No sand bagging this time - not even in my bikini like the picture to the right (how random is THAT***).  There will be no blazing race times come hell or high water.

Originally I had planned on treating this as an "A" race.  Get the PR, hog-tie a unicorn.  However, when I realized that it was only 3 weeks before my REAL "A" race, Rock and Roll San Antonio, I realized that I had to back it off.  Fortunately though, this is my first ever half marathon so anything that I run is going to be an automatic PR.  So, my goals are as follows:

A Goal: Have fun, don't get hurt
B Goal: I'm going to carry my camera with a new SPI-Belt that I bought, so I want to get some killer mid-race pictures
C Goal: FINALLY look good in a race picture.  Normally I look like I am dying, peeing a kidney stone, or passing a pumpkin through my colon so since this is a training race there is no reason not to have great pictures

Has anyone else ever ran a half marathon as a training run?  Does that cheapen the experience for others if I do?

The cool thing about this race is that it is my Sony Sponsored race.  I'm going to wear my sleeveless shirt that Sony gave me and wear the Walkman that I wore for Rock and Roll Denver.

Finally, earlier in the week, I got an email from the Rock and Roll marathon people with an offer to try on my "Super 6" medal.  It is a medal that you get after running 6+ Rock and Roll events.  It seemingly weighed 10 pounds and would give Flava Flave a run for his money.

My mouth was open wide.  I think like 2 flys got in - carbo loading

**You know, except for baseball skills, unimaginable wealth, TV contracts, huge baseball playing muscles, etc
***And the prize for most random (totally in context) picture in bikinis goes!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Funny Foto Friday: Privacy Screen

I’ll give you two guesses what he is probably doing under there:
  • He is a normal traveling consultant, adding value and creating synergies.
  • He is a financial exec, finalizing the latest private quarterly statements.
  • He is a perv, and some form of “Debbie Does *Insert City Here*” DVD is likely playing.

How would you like to be the guy sitting next to him?   I'm sure there was a very interesting conversation if the guy in the middle seat had to go to the bathroom.  "Hey sweater boy, outta the way!"

Running after Marathon & Boston

I went on my first run since the Denver Marathon yesterday morning. It was ROUGH. 4 miles at 8:00 pace. It was one of those runs that felt like I was running through pudding.  Believe me, if you've tried to run through pudding it is NOT fun. (They've done it on Mythbusters, looked hard.)

I had originally planned on running yesterday but still had some lingering soreness in my quads. This time I'm trying to balance my recovery with knowing that I have my last "A" race of the year in 3 weeks.  So, this week will be a down week, and that is fine, but next week will be pushing 50 miles.  Balance. You know, like a BigMac with large fries and a Diet Coke. Fatty, carbtastic, aspartame balance.

On the bright side, I had been a bit “bound up” since the marathon and running the 4 miles cleared that right up. SO, there is that……..which is nice.


Boston marathon registration opened on Monday. Honestly, I’m still 13 minutes away from qualifying so I could care less. What is interesting though is that in previous years, it took months to fill up. This year? 8 hours. EIGHT HOURS. Or, like I call it, 2/3 of a workday.

That said, while I don’t care about current Boston registering, I DO care about FUTURE Boston registering. I'm on my slow death march towards qualifying.  I'm currently on track to make a run late spring.

Since the race filled up faster than Lidsey Lohan wracks up DUIs, there are calls for the Boston Athletic Association to “fix” the process.  One of the things they are throwing around is to make the qualifcations HARDER.

There is a LOT of really good chatter about this out on the blogosphere.  For example:

Beth from Shut Up and Run maybe agrees with the Wall Street journal article (written by two MEN by the way) that raising the qualification standards is a good idea - at least for women.  And she can say that as a female (I know I sure have no right to).

DC Rainmaker gives 5 good reasons why the race sold out so fast this year, with "because people thought it would", "because it is cheap", and "more people are running and qualifying now" being a few.

Even the Runners World Forums are a buzz with a number of postings where people speak their mind on what to do with the sellout "epidemic".

I know what you are thinking: where are the foot pictures?  "But Adam, what do YOU think!?".  From my perspective, I'm not quite sure what the right answer is.  I've never qualified, so I am not quite sure that I am even qualified to give any sort of opinion.  But, if someone told me they would kick me in the face if I didn't come up with a solution (happens more than you would think) I would say that they should just increase the field size.

Currently, the Boston Marathon is capped at 25,000 runners.  This is mostly because there are rules in the towns that the race goes through that prohibit any additional racers.  That said, the wave/coral start currently lasts about an hour.  BUT, if I remember right, The Boston Marathon doesn't start until 9:30am.  So, you move back the start time an hour, add some more coral waves and port-o-pots and everyone is happy.  I'm a bit confused as to why that is so hard??

What do you think?  Even if you have no desire to run Boston, what do you think should be done about races filling up as fast as they do now?  Chicago fills up in days/weeks, Flying Pig in 37 minutes, same for any number of very large races, so it isn't just a Boston Marathon issue - it is a MARATHON issue.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Try it Tues: Sony Walkman

Quite some time ago, Sony came a knocking, I ran to the door like a 3 year old on espresso (arms flailing in the air), and answered screaming “yes yes yes” the entire way………then I listened to what they had to offer. Their offer was to take the new Sony Walkman, the new Sony Bloggie, run the Rock and Roll Los Angeles half marathon, and let everyone know what I think. My response, much like a fraternity pledge with a well worn paddle, was: “Please sir, may I have another?”

The Sony (Series W) Walkman is an over the ear (think Bluetooth headset) 2 GB MP3 player made by Sony. It is an MP3 player that is specifically made for working out. It has features that make it great for running including being water proof (for rain or sweat), having no cords (sort of), and having ear buds that actually fit so they don’t fall out while you're running.

One of these on each ear

Now, since I know what you are thinking, I’ll answer the question you all have in your head: is it better than an iPod? In short…. probably…. depending on which iPod you’re talking about. At $60, it is most similar to the iPod shuffle which it is certainly better than: All of the features of the shuffle but no cords to worry about PLUS it is waterproof.  My sweat factory has already killed two shuffles and counting - I've washed the sweat off of the Sony Walkman in my pool.  Like the kids say "nuff said".

I’ve been running with the Walkman for the last two or three months.  I've logged 100s of miles with it pumping out podcasts and various pop hits (I like Katy Perry - leave me alone).  In fact, if you look at the picture to the right, you can see that I wore it during the RnR Denver marathon this past Sunday (along with my killer skull gloves that I got at the Target Dollar Spot).  It is comfortable for both shorter runs as well as marathon distances.

One "feature" that I am not too excited about, however are the magnets that help with storing the MP3 player.  They are in each end so that the two ends stick together like this.  Well, magnets and electronics don't play together very well, so they had to include this stupid plastic piece that protects the magnets and holds it together.  Dumb.  It is annoying and clunky to have to remember to put on the protective magnet condom so that the Walkman doesn't give my laptop the electronic herps.

That said, getting music onto the player is actually quite a bit easier than I thought it would be.  When you plug it into your computer, a little window pops up that you can drag music into that then copies it onto the player.  You can copy from a computer folder or directly from iTunes.  Easy!

Of course, as much as I like it, I can't help but get the fact that wearing this thing makes me look a bit like one of the robots from the latest Terminator movie with Gatling guns on each ear. You know, this little guy:

Also this guy:

Or maybe just this guy (hide your daughters):

  • Waterproof: That means that it is also Adam proof (because I sweat more than a hooker on dollar night)
  • No wires: This means that when I am running without a shirt on my nip nips aren’t rubbed by any wires
  • Good music transfer: You can just drag/drop from iTunes or most other music storage systems
  • The ear buds stay in surprisingly well in spite of the heavier weight - and there are no additional costs to get ear buds that actually fit!!

  • Magnets: Why in the world would they put data erasing magnets in an electronic device? This just seems dumb. The plastic holder that is supplied is fine, but I am still very cautious of letting the Walkman touch anything that can be totally erased with magnets (basically everything)
  • No “lock” mode: (at least that I could figure out) The plastic holder case helps a ton, but there have been a few times where the music has turned on in my bag and drained the battery

Overall, I really like the Sony Walkman. In fact, I’ve completely stopped using my iPod and have switched over to the Walkman. If that isn’t a glowing recommendation I don’t know what is.

So, the Sony Walkman gets my Seal of approval!

FCC Crap: I got this for free, blah blah, didn't get paid for my review, blah blah.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Rock and Roll Denver Marathon: Race Report

Time:3:23:53 – A new PR!!
Place: 176/ 2894 Overall, 33/ 231 AG
Pace: 7:47 (Garmin said 7:40) – that extra 0.4 killed me
Distance (via Garmin): 26.63

If you read my race preview, you'll remember that I said that I was going to treat this race as a training run.  Well, since I ran a PR, I suppose I have some 'splaining to do.  I promise that I didn't intentionally sandbag my goals.  I really didn't.....

I flew to Colorado a few days early to spend some time with my mom who lives in Colorado Springs.  It was great to spend some time with her and take advantage of altitude's effect on drinking alcohol get used to the altitude as best I could.  I went for a rather hilly run on Friday and thought that my lungs were going to jump out of my lungs.  Stupid altitude.

On Saturday, I found myself in Denver meeting up with fellow bloggers JillTara, and Beth.  True to form, we met at a Microbrewery (even though it was a chain one - Rock Bottom).  It was really great to put voices with the names that I've seen - as well as nerd out on running, blogging, and more running.  Although, I couldn't help but wonder what ailment was going to fall on me should I accidentally breathe in any of their germs.  To summarize what I mean:

Jill has been having heel troubles
Tara has a pain in the ass (piriformis)
Beth was on full blown crutches with a femoral neck sFx.  Little did she know that just because she was on crutches that didn't mean that I wouldn't challenge her to a race to the corner.  Little did I know that she is JUST as fast on crutches as she is on 2 feet.

Myself, Jill, Tara, SUAR's husband, and Beth (SUAR)
Surprisingly, Beth's beer did NOT spill!

I love how TALL I look in this picture!  I guess being injured makes you shorter?

The expo was just like any other RnR expo.  It was average sized - smaller than San Diego or Phoenix, but larger than New Orleans.  We did get quite a few free samples even though I was relatively late in getting to the expo on Saturday around 2:30.

My little sister and I basically being normal at the expo

That said, one thing that sort of bugged me was that the Miller 64 booth was missing one important thing..... BEER!!!  They were handing out wrist bands that they expected you to wear the entire race to avoid getting carded for your free beer at the finish line.  Unfortunately, I'm sure that more than one person had a lovely hand-cuff style chafe mark.  Everyone knows those chafe marks are best left to the bedroom.

Miller Girls?  Check.  Beer??  FAIL.

Once we got checked in at the expo, I went to go get checked in at the hotel.  Turns out that because I spend more time in hotels than I do at home I was upgraded to the Presidential suite (for free!).  The thing was literally bigger than my first apartment.  Proceed to be jealous - I'll wait:

Of course, I assume that some 'light reading' before the race could only help by calming my nerves, feeding my thirst for hunger, and re-energizing my soul.
Just another day at the office.
"Why hello there, sorry - I was just deep in thought after reading this huge book"

This is why I can't have nice things
(See also vase in upper left of previous picture)

A few things about the race. I knew that it was going to be two things: A sharting good time It was going to be at high altitude and was going to have lots of turns. The course looped around 2 large parks and would be very hard to run tangents as it bobbed in and out of the park. Turns out I was correct with both. My Garmin read 26.6 miles at the finish.

Because I’m sure everyone is wondering, I did do my nutrition like a race. Gels every 5.5 miles. I got up an hour or so before I wanted to leave for the race (2 hours before gun time) and had a cup of coffee. I then tried to relax while reading more of those big books dorking around on Facebook waiting for the coffee to “take hold”. It did – and I was 2 pounds lighter for the patience.

I walked to the race from the hotel, got lined up, and before I knew it we were off. As planned, I started out with 13 or so miles of MP running at about 7:30 pace. My wife, mom, and little sister were cruising the course and were able to see me 4 separate times. It never ceases to amaze me how seeing people along the course helps me speed up 30 seconds a mile with no additional perceived effort. Additionally, Jill was cheering on her neighbor and was therefore out on the course and was able to run with me a number of times. It was REALLY great to have her run with me for 20 seconds or so.

Here I am at mile 5 feeling great

Ok, here is my “I wasn’t sandbagging” argument. When I started this race, I wanted to treat it like a training run. However, I always said to myself that if I felt like I was doing good, I’d play it mile by mile during the second half until about mile 21 or so. At that point if I was still feeling good I might as well go for the PR.

I crossed the half in 1:39:00 – right at a 3:18 marathon pace - right where I wanted to be. I.FELT.GREAT! The altitude wasn’t affecting me such that I could tell and I felt like I could run for miles. Which was good, because I still had miles and miles and miles to run.

Unfortunately though, I realized that the curves in the course were starting to take their toll. I was a full 0.3 miles long based on my Garmin. 0.1 miles long is probably fine, 0.3 miles is a full 2 minutes of running. Something that is very hard to make up so late in the race.

Mile 18 – feeling a little less great (but still good) and looking a lot more sweaty

In spite of my drunken mule course, I held a 3:20 marathon pace (7:38 miles) through mile 22. That is when the wheels officially fell off the unicorn pissing rainbows truck. I’m still not sure if it was me hitting the wall or if it was the altitude, but all of a sudden I got dizzy, my hands got really tingly, and I was out of breath. So, while most miles up to this point were right around 7:30, mile 24 was 8:15 – and mile 25 was 10:04. Frick. Head meet wall, lungs meet altitude.

I tried really hard to hold pace but was completely demoralized when I turned a corner during mile 24 and was greeted by a massive bridge to run up and down. I didn’t have it in me and had to walk a bit. The remainder of the race was a death march to the finish.

Mile 26 – feeling like death…….and maybe looking a bit constipated

I eventually crossed the finish line and almost immediately started bitching about how my legs hurt. You know, because they did. But, once I shoehorned on my recovery socks on and got some dry/warm clothes on I started to feel a bit more human.

My cheering squad. I couldn’t have done it without them (and I still look like the uni-bomber)

Since this was my 10th marathon, I thought that I would get a little retrospective and answer a question posed to me by Kim @ iLax studio: Does finishing races ever get old or routine? I’ve ran 35 hours of marathons and I can quite honestly say that it does not, not in the slightest. I still get the same nervous energy at the start, still enjoy every spectator cheering, still want to punch every spectator who says “you’re almost there” at mile 20, and still mist up after finishing and getting my medal.

Oh, and Kim asked if I ever drink beers right after a race. Well, other than this picture, this picturethis picture, or this picture (or even this one from the 2008 Chicago marathon)…………yes, yes I do:

Eyes closed, enjoying the sweet embrace

Finally, since I always forget (and catch hell for not posting it), here is the race medal. The Rock and Roll series really puts some thought into their medals and this one was no exception: