Finally, i’m able to sit down and put my thoughts into words via this blog. As many of you know, I ran the Little Rock Marathon. I will do my best to fill you in on the the pre race, race, and post race thoughts/events/activities. I’ve had plenty of funny, frustratinng, and inspring moments this weekend. I just hope to do them justice as this writing progresses.
Pre Race (Calm before the Storm Dinner)
I arrived in Little Rock early Saturday morning just in time to see the Peabody Ducks march through the hotel lobby and into a water fountain (see earlier vid/post). After checking in, I met up with Richard and Brenda. This is when the fun began….
We went sight seeing. The first stop on the tour was the Little Rock State Capitol Buidling.
Please note that Brenda is trying to get into the above picture.
Next, we have Richard (Brenda’s husband) taking a picture of the same building.
As you can tell, Richard really wanted that picture…no matter what!!! Here’s the result…
We then toured the most important facility….Brenda and Aidan’s favorite…
Thank you Brenda for sharing your undying love for the Porta Potty. FYI…Aidan was in the Porta Potty at the time of the taping.
Now lets fast forward to Saturday night. The night before the big race is a festive time. A time to carb up and give yourself a decent chance of having plenty of energy the next day. Well, that didn’t quite happen. We all met up with some other runners from the Tulsa area. The restaurant was called Bruno’s. Please remember this name in case your in Little Rock area next year for the marathon. Here’s why.
- Got there at 6 and was told of a 45 minute wait.
- Seated around 8 and order placed.
- Still seated around 9, no food yet.
- I leave the restaurant and find a fast food establishiment
- Come back and eat at Bruno’s as others are still waiting for food.
- Manager/Cook comes out just after 9 to apologize
- 9:30 food arrives
Here’s the deal….I waited over three hours at a restaurant. I truly think that they ran out of food and went off and bought more. Cannot prove that but the patrons of this establishiment should have been told of the horribly long wait time. Etch the name in your memory…”Brunos.” Do not go there unless you have hours to burn. I lost out on some valuable carb time.
Finally, I went back to the hotel. Very disappointed and frustrated with the evening. Concerned about my energy level tomorrow.
Race Day…Note to Self: Never taste the Salt that accumulates on your forehead as you run.
I woke up at 5 a.m. ready to run. Atleast mentally I was. My bladder was on a different page. Actually, I was nervous. Made a record…6 trips to the Porta Potty.
As the Sun came up I met up with Brenda and then April and Ashley.
Can you pick me out of the line up? Hint: I’m wearing shorts. Okay, will admit it….i’m surrounded by hot runner gals. The neat thing, they all seem to be really awesome people with a burning desire for the run, not the runs.
Let the race begin….
I started off running pretty good. the first 12 miles went by with no problems. This particular race had lots of participants. The crowds lining the streets also helped motivate me through the race. I heard my name being called several times from various onlookers. No i’m not that popular but my name was on my Bib. I even teared up a few times when I passed a church that had the choir singing to the runners.
I did various things to help pass the time. I yelled “Boomer Sooner” at a spectator who was wearing an OSU jacket. Here’s a secret, I do like OSU. One point in the race, I jumped up to pop bubbles being blown across the road. Joked around with several runners throughout the race. Even took a muffin from a stranger. I was hungry.
The hardest part of the race was around mile 13. The elevation began going up and did not stop going up until three miles later. This was by far the roughest stretch of run that I had faced in my short running career. No matter how steep or how long the hill went….I refused to stop and walk. To me, this hill represented a right of passage. If I can conquer this hill, I can conquer the Little Rock Marathon. What would a marathon be without a little adversity?
Finally, I began hearing loud cheers and cowbells. A strategically placed crowd greeted runners at the very top of this long hill. I admit it I teared up for a second. I looked at a spectator and told him “I made it.” He told me to finish strong.
Shortly after reaching the top of the hill, my right pinky toe began feeling really funny. I knew I had just gave myself a blister. There were times when I could feel my pinky slide and slosh as my foot hit the pavement. Regardless of slight rubbing pain and discomfort, I proceeded on. I couldn’t wait to see what was going on with my toe at the end of the race. My pace lightened due to my pinky but I never did stop.
I ended up gutting it out eleven more miles with a banged up toe and little energy. That is when I saw the finish line.
There are very few feelings like the feeling you get when you see the finish line after running 26.2 miles. I had nothing in the tank. My time was a little longer than expected but I will take it. As I continue to run, I have noticed that I really do not care as much about times and standings. The journey seems to be the important part for me. The interaction with other runners, bummed toe, and hills seem to enhance my experience. The fact is, I would not have changed a thing during that race. I do enjoy the struggle and enjoy overcoming obstacles in order to do something great such as finishing a marathon.
After the race…
Remember the toe?
Sorry I had to show that but I wore that blister like a badge of honor. Well, until I popped it. Hey, I have video of that too….
After that, I went back to the hotel and chilled until the post race party at the Clinton Presidential Library.
Some of you who know me well, know that i’m a librarian. So I was very interested in this library but I was much too tired to fully explore the facility.
However, I wasnt too tired to work on my “Sweet Ninja Skills.”
Well, there you have it…..the ups and downs of the weekend. I am so pleased with the race and look forward to doing it again sometime in the future. Now its on to the OKC Memorial Marathon. I will be running this particular race with Brenda and Alex. Plan to help encourage them as they run they’re first marathon. This race will be about friendship.
FYI..Will be looking for ways to incorporate my Sweet Ninja Skills into my running.