Run Life's Course

Run Life's Course
It's The Course and the Finish that Counts

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10-10-10 The Date to Motivate

It's 6:30AM and time to go to the starting line. Okay hopefully elite status at Hilton lands me a late check out at the Palmer House ( A FABULOUS HOTEL) and it did! 
Walking down Michigan Avenue and there a thousands of people heading to the start. OMG! This is a lot of people. They did not lie about 45,000 participants.

7AM and the elite runners have started. Rock on! There are over 150 women in line for the bathroom still and we have 20 minutes to the first start. Glad I used the restroom in my hotel room. I am in my corral and now people are climbing the fence to get to their respective corrals. We're starting and the alert is still green.

It's very humid. We're off and running. The new meaning of clustrophobic or not being a "people-person"- running with people in front, behind, and beside you with less than an inch distance and no way to move away from the people. Timeout - I can not get into a rhythm. People are EVERYWHERE!

Someone just stopped suddenly and now we are all bumping into each other.

1 mile down and 26 to go and I am completely drenched. This is a problem at 7:40 in the morning.
6MI - The alert is still green. How can this be? I am drenched and it is humid as hell. Now we need sprinkler systems to run through, wet sponges to hold over our head, and extra water. Event organizers are screaming at us to get water, water, water, and more water! Note to self - Didn't you just run in a hot as hell marathon at the end of August? Why are you putting yourself through this?
10MI - No one should ever ask me where I ran because there are too many people around me to know my surroundings. Medics are called and there are two people on the ground panting. 11MI - Water, water, water, and more water! No gel, no banana, no orange, but WATER! People are taking off there pace wristbands and bibs with their desired completion time. It's hot as hell!
12MI - Alert is now YELLOW! Finally!!! Timeout - Why are there so many people around me? There is no breaking point where I have space. I am a NYer but I still need space.
13MI - 19MI - This is the marathon that 3 participants died at or near the finish line because of the heat.  Lord, please forgive me for running in this heat and humidity.  Don't take me out!  And thank God for churches. Three churches passing out water, orange juice, and ice in between our water stops. And this is why I tithe! You never know when you might need help from a church.
20MI - Alert is now RED! Medics coming to the rescue again. 6 more people down within the last mile right in front of me. This is scary! People are passing out like flies. Timeout: Is it worth trying to reach a time by dying or being hospitalized? HELL TO THE NO!!! I hear my mother in my ear saying USE COMMON SENSE! I am going to run slow and walk in between. 5 more miles using common sense and being able to walk away is the smart way to go.
24MI - Now I get space because people are walking all around me. Pace wristbands are on the ground everywhere. People are out of breath and profusely sweating. The sun is beaming and the humidity is off the chain.
25.5MI - A guy just went down and here comes the medics. Timeout: Dude you were 700M away from the finish. You could have walked it in and finished the marathon with a medal. Probably book smart with no common sense.
FINISH - I could not be more happier that this is over. Two people just requested a wheelchair at the finish. WTH! NEVER AGAIN IN HOT AND HUMID WEATHER unless I start training in Zimbabwe.

Volunteers are walking us from the finish line to keep us moving. Next set of volunteers are placing cold towels on our necks as we are walking out of the finish area. Another set of volunteers are passing out ice and ice water. Okay so I am not the only one that realizes its hot. Finally after a lot of walking we are at the exit. Now how do I get back to the Palmer House? Information booth on the left and this volunteer is informationless. Next information booth and they say 6 blocks to the hotel.

City bus city bus city bus! Take me there. Oh what a feeling to sit down. Some African American passengers congratulate me and not the other finishers on the bus.  I think they were just happy to see someone of color.  I"ll take it but I congratulated the other runners.  Here's my stop.  Step lightly off the bus and walk two blocks east to the hotel. I had a hard enough time motivating myself today so I guess that is the true meaning of the Date to Motivate.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

That's What Friends Are For

Landed at 7:30am at O'hare. Take cab to the Convention Center and wait until Expo opens at 9 to pick up my bib. Get bib after waiting in the long lines. Get back in cab to be at the gate at airport by 10:30AM for an 11AM flight. Arrive at the gate at 10:25AM thanks to a pretty fast cab driver. Land at Newark at 2:20PM and arrive at funeral at 3:15PM to show my respects. My friend sees me and he smiles.
Jump back in car service and head for Long Island. My normal driver sends this IDIOT to pick me up because he is out of town. TIMEOUT - Going through the Lincoln Tunnel from Montclair, New Jersey to take me to Long Island is ludicrous and he tells me that a Saturday afternoon in Manhattan has no traffic. Note to self: Say nothing and pray that I make it with at least 30 minutes to sit with my friend and her fabulous mother. Lord have mercy, could he drive any slower and go down any more of the MOST trafficked streets trying to get from the West side to the East side for the Midtown Tunnel? IDIOT! Okay pulling up at 4:35 and walk in. The look on her face was rewarding. I surprised her, but most importantly, I showed up for her important celebration.
Back in the car. I might make the 6:30PM flight. Arrive at Laguardia at 5:55PM and breeze right through security. Flight is on time. Board and thank God for a beautifully timed day where it was not about me. Job done!
Land in Chicago. It's hot as hell. Why is it 78 degrees? It better be cooler tomorrow. Head to Michigan Avenue and grab liters of water and something to eat from Sweetwater. Geezzzz I am exhausted!

Friday, October 8, 2010

What to Do...What to Do?

10-10-10 is the #2 World Major Marathon in the US behind Boston. I am sitting in my meetings at the office and I received two messages indicating that the alert level is GREEN for the day of the marathon. This means great running conditions - not hot and not cold --just perfect.
Maybe I should not run this because I have a good friend's family member in need and I should probably show up for the funeral of his daughter on Saturday. How am I going to get from LA to NY and be there in time for a 1pm Funeral in New Jersey?  Probably not possible.
I also have a friend whose bridal shower is on Saturday in Long Island. (Although she is a relatively new friend - considering I don't consider anyone a friend I have met within two years unless they really prove the solidarity of the character. Judge me later because discernment is everything.) I have already taken her to dinner and told her I would not be able to make it.  Better yet, as a friend, she gave me a pass to miss it because she knew I had the marathon to run the next day. Now that's a friend and I can vouch that she is by far the BOMB!!!
Okay what will I do?  What can I do?  If anyone can make this happen is United Airlines and me. And United did not fail me.