Sunday, February 05, 2006

Marathon, Part 3: Blisters & the marathons that create them

Hey guys! I hope you're all having a great Super Bowl Sunday! Personally, I'm for the Seahawks because I really like Seattle. This may be the most football I've watched all season since the Titans suck. And mostly we've been skipping the game and bloop-blooping forward to the commercials thanks to TiVo! God Bless TiVo, the greatest invention ever!

So anyway, back to the marathon. I promise these never-ending posts will be over very, very soon! I plan to print out all the comments, write-ups, etc and put them in my 2006 running memories box, so I just have to be thorough since this will all be a distant memory far too soon.

So there it was - the finish line. I'm very connected to music when I run. Music can set the tone for a fast tempo run, or a nice, slow thought provoking run. On solo runs I can often be found singing and dancing my way up the streets of our 'burbs. So it's always very interesting to me to see what my final song of any race ends up being. Right as I started up the drawbridge at mile 25.9 it came into play - A Different Kind of Pain by Cold. Ironic, huh? It's definitely not a fast, upbeat party song, but it has its place in my running mix (always toward the end) as a great song to channel my pain out of my body and into the nano. Here's some excerpts of the lyrics:

Before I let you go
Give me just one more night to show you just how I feel
I lost all my control
If it takes my whole damn life I'll make this up to you
Kind of like the waves
That roll their whole life towards somewhere crashing on the shore
It's blown in by the wind that carries the clouds to
hide my wish on a fallen star
A different kind of pain
Is someone there to hold you?
Is someone there to take you away from me?
I tried to let you go
I wish I could turn back time
And show you just how I feel
I needed you to know
If it takes my whole damn life
I'll make this up to you
Kind of like the waves
That roll their whole life towards somewhere
Crashing on the shore
It's blown in by the wind
That carries the clouds to hide
My wish on a fallen star..........................

It's strange how that song fit exactly my mood at that moment, as I was passing all the throngs of people at the finish line. I managed to "sprint" just a bit and pass a few more people at the finish. I really, really wanted to do a "West-side" for my finish line photo, but I was too incoherent to be able to do it properly and knowing me it would end up being some loser Star Trek symbol or something. So I just smiled and kept it low-key. It was so nice to stop running! They handed me some water and a young boy put my medal around my neck. It felt like it weighed a hundred pounds. I heard the announcer say the children were about to finish the children's portion of the race (the last 1.2 miles of the course) and I thought "Dear God, please don't let a throng of children come tearing through here right now. I am completely unable to defend myself and Brent's at least a mile or two out." Luckily they had some other finisher's chute for them. I wandered around, a bit dazed and confused, seeing if anything looked worth eating. They were giving out bowls of the most disgusting black beans and rice I've ever seen. Ugh. I continued on and found the standard fare of bananas and bagels, which really didn't appeal to me. Then I found some Gatorade, and that just wasn't it either. There were some oatmeal cookies that I took one bite of and then threw away. I was hoping for some Oreos and Pizza, like after the Memphis 1/2, but they didn't have any of that. I was also REALLY hoping for a soda, but they kept it simple with water and G-ade. I grabbed a banana and made my way to a tiny bit of shade under a tiny tree. It felt soooo nice to sit down. I really wanted to go and try to find David or Naomi, but resting on the grass felt oh so nice! I eavesdropped on a group of half-ers next to me who had had their car towed while they ran. Nice! Apparently they had paid someone $2 to park in some sort of lot. It seems like someone made a few bucks that am selling some unauthorized parking spots! Ha! Have you ever only paid $2 to park somewhere, though???? I decided to call Brent and he was still a couple of miles out so I text messaged my results while I waited for him to arrive. About half an hour later he finished his 10 mile race and joined me on the grass. We shared our marathon stories and were just getting up to find the rest of the RBF-ers when we spotted them. Perfect!! It was so great to meet David and Naomi and share this experience with them! David had found two of his O-town (the city, not the band who I will admit owning their CDs once upon a time....) buddies and we also got to meet Naomi's brother and her friend D who ended up running the last 5 or 6 miles with her after they got lost trying to find the extremely elusive mile 16. We hung out on the grass for a bit longer, snapped some photos, shared our marathon stories and parted ways.

It was a long walk back to the hotel, it seemed so much longer than the walk TO the race. We got back to the hotel and I was still dying for a soda. My super sweet hubby paid $1.50 for a Pepsi for me from the machine (heathens) while I snapped pics of my feet. They were swollen and I could easily spot the blister that had been given me trouble. I was pretty happy that was the only one I ended up with, considering the major trouble I had mid-way in my training before I got orthotics. Further investigation revealed chafing all around my back, right above my butt from the Fuel Belt. (I promise I put BG there!) I also had a strange knot in my lower back plus the standard salt in random places. Probably strangest of all was the dirt/sand accumulated in strange places. Check out my belly button! I've never had that happen before! What gives??? The shower felt sooooo nice. I also noticed I had a brand new runner's tan - the nice t-back! Yeah!!! I had worn sunscreen, so no burning.

After some nice deep cleaning we put on our swimmies and headed to get our grub on and hit the beach! I was STARVED! We headed over to S Beach, which took forever. We parked in a garage that was full to the brim. We ended up on the 7th deck of a seven story garage. By the time we made it to the bottom they had a LOT FULL sign posted. No duh. Waiting for the elevator down Evil Rachel appeared. A family with entirely too many children was headed towards us. They were at that point where they have SO many children that losing one or two by allowing them to run around in traffic really isn't a tragedy, and of course they were going to take the elevator. I looked at them, then at Brent and said "This is never going to work. We're taking the stairs." I cursed them every stair down and stopped to hit the down button on every floor before they could get there. Serves them right. I was actually still moving pretty good at this point and we made it out of the garage before them. I was CRAVING mexican food, but after a ton of unsuccessful attempts to locate Mexican we ended up at an Italian place. I wanted one of EVERYTHING on the menu, but settled for a mango margarita, cheesy garlic bread and chicken fettucini alfredo. YUM! It was worth it. I haven't had fettucini alfredo in forever, and it was SO worth every single calorie. I will have to say, drinking a full margarita a few hours after a marathon on a day where you haven't eaten since 5 am and it's now 3 pm will result in some tipsiness. After lunch we walked over to the beach and enjoyed the beautiful ocean and sights of the gorgeous hotels. Every runner we saw on the ocean path got a "I bet YOU didn't run the marathon this morning" or a "Where were you at 6 am" from me.

We headed back to the hotel and propped ourselves up in the super comfy bed and watched some terrible Sunday night TV. The Raddison had about 5 channels, none of them very good. I ended up calling the front desk and complaining because our next door neighbors seemed to be throwing some sort of dance party in their room and I wasn't in the mood for that crap. Not for what the Radisson charged. We ended up ordering room service since nothing decent was nearby and downtown Miami is one large ghetto. (I can say this because I am from Memphis, another large and lovable ghetto. I'm from the West-side, of TN that is. =) ). Monday morning we had the Miami Herald (w/marathon stories and a listing of results!!) waiting for us outside our door. Waiting at the elevator was someone's hair extensions. I don't even want to know. I read all the M Herald marathon coverage and found my name in the listing.

We had spotted a Mexican restaurant near the beach after we ate Sunday, so our plan was to head there and then check in at our SB hotel. Of course it was only 11 am and they didn't open until 12. Blah! We ended up finding the Spanish village part of SB and a ton of Mexican restaurants. The food was SO good!! We walked around and shopped a bit and then headed to Hotel Beacon. It was perfectly situated in the middle of the strip and they even let us check in early. Sweet! Throw in free wi-fi and super friendly staff and it was heaven on earth.

Soreness had set into my legs Sunday night. I remember rolling over a few times in my sleep and groaning. Ha!! Once I got moving it generally wasn't bad, but Brent had great fun making fun of me. Walking was fine, but going down steps hurt. And then afterwards my legs would buckle a bit. But you know what? None of that matters at the beach!! We checked email quickly (I nearly passed out at the 60 emails/comments I had from ppl wishing me luck and congratulating me based on the results Brent had posted from his camera phone) and headed to the beach. $16 bucks and some general haggling with the rude beach Nazi got us two chairs for the day. Ahhhh...heaven!! Monday night we walked around and had a delicious seafood dinner, did some shopping and enjoyed drinks at the Delano with all the cool people. Last time we went to Miami (with some friends in Aug 04) one of them was dressed like a total tourist so he wasn't allowed in. We were only able to briefly walk through the beautiful lounge & outdoor area since he was waiting outside. Ever since then Brent has been pissed about the whole thing so we finally got to enjoy drinks in their beautiful outdoor gardens. I even had a guy hit on me while he went to get our beverages. Ha! It's been a long time since that's happened!

Tues morning we headed out for an early morning beach run. (Well, 9 am....but I still look pretty sleepy!). The only thing that hurt at this point was the top part of my legs when going down stairs. I could tell I had greatly improved since I didn't have to grab onto nearly as much stuff getting up and down from the toilet. I didn't really WANT to run, but since we have NO beach it was too great an opportunity to pass up. We started out nice and slow, and each foot step caused pain on the top parts of my legs, especially on the portions of sand that weren't as beaten flat. Within a few minutes the pain greatly diminished and I was really enjoying the ocean view, the sun breaking through the clouds, and all the other runners out. (I wanted to yell at ALL of them that I am normally much faster - that I did just do a marathon and all!) I got distracted by the crazy people feeding birds (I have MAJOR fears of birds!) and we ended up going .65 miles before I knew it. We turned around and ended up running an even 1.5. Average pace of about 12, so not nearly as fast as usual but a great recovery run. I actually felt substantially less sore after the run than before. Sometimes it seems like a short run when I'm really sore from a long run really works the muscles out a little.

If you thought I was underdressed check out this guy (below)! Note to the world, we have a camera on us at all times and are not afraid to use it!

We had a nice breakfast at Johnny Rockets and watched the JR bouncers call the police on some homeless guys who kept harassing customers on the outer edges of the outdoor dining area. We checked out and spent a couple of hours walking along the beach before we had to go to the airport. I could feel the sand scraping my blister - and it hurt. I didn't realize until we got to the airport that the blister had actually popped. Not good. The flight back was beautiful - we could see the ocean for a while and got to enjoy the sunset in air. It was COLD when we got back. 40 something. My tank top no longer made sense and one of my "summer fun" earrings fell off and into the metal grate outside the plane exit door, forever lost to American Airlines. Oh well, there's no need for "summer fun" anything around here for a while. I fished my jacket out of my backpack and cursed the weather gods.

Back to work always sucks, so nothing needs to be said about that. It seemed like everyone was watching me walk on Wednesday - to see if I was sore. I honestly wasn't sore at all by that point, the only thing that still hurt was my blister. I put a blister band-aid on it, and when I tried to change it Thurs morning it ended up taking a large chunk of skin with it. Terribly painful but I was really glad it did - there was a ton of sand in there that would have definitely caused an infection. I cleansed it thoroughly, took some pics (of course!) and re-dressed it. It's doing great now, it should be totally healed in no time.

I got several of the "So YOU ran a marathon?" questions from a few random people at work. One of them is a TOTAL a-hole member of upper management. He even said it with a half laugh. One day I will run over him and not call 911, and people will thank me for it. I said 'Yes, I did. It was fantastic. I'm ready to do it again tomorrow." At which point he half-laughed again and walked off. It's OK, he's a freak of nature and no one likes him. I guess some people expect all runners to be 6.5 with long legs and dark Ethopian skin. If they ever came off their couches they would see that running is a personal thing full of people of all shapes and sizes. I've never had anyone at a race scoff at my 5 ft 2 stature, it seems like the only people who don't get it are the ones who never will. I doubt I'll ever win any race except the Female division of our 'burbs branch of the BRPTT but I am going to have a HUGE time trying!

Here's an update on my exercise lately. All the niggles and wiggles are gone so I'm back to normal exercise mode. We have a great 5K coming up on Saturday! I know it won't be a PR but it'll be a blast.

Sunday 1/29 - 26.2 miles running (Miami), walking at SBeach
Mon - walk at SBeach
Tues - 1.5 mile run, walk at beach
Wed - 40 minutes yoga/toning with Brent - focus: abs & thighs
Thurs - 1 mile am walk with Pippin, 30 minutes elliptical
Fri - 1 mile am walk with Brent and Pippin
Sat - 5 mile run, 2 hours ice skating (oh yeah, there will be a post with pics!!)
Sun - 5 mile run, 20 minutes yoga w/Brent focus:back, 2 mile walk with Brent & Pippin


At 8:25 PM, Anonymous Audrey said...

well, i have never seen a blog with a belly button pictures...i am glad you are feeling better already and back running. excellent! have fun at the 5K. hard to believe it's over after 3.1 miles, huh? :)

At 8:44 PM, Blogger Danny said...

1) I can't believe you were running (and going down stairs!) so soon. It seems like running 600 miles in training for a marathon actually did have you pretty well prepared!

2) The picture of you shoveling in that fettucini is awesome!

3) The picture of brent shadow kissing you is cute.

4) The picture of your belly button is just gross. :-P

At 8:46 PM, Blogger mouse said...


awesome job, Rae. and a great write up.

you're a MARATHONER! how exciting!

At 9:08 PM, Blogger Running Jayhawk said...

I'm so impressed with how quickly you got back into the exercise zone!! Congratulations!

So when's your next marathon!?

At 10:08 PM, Blogger Kim said...

You give me hope. Sounds like you had a great experience.
BTW,did you fake tan? :) That gives me the funny belly button sometimes.

At 1:38 AM, Blogger CJ said...

Love the photos! I can see you are people after my own heart!

That was an amazing write-up of your marathon and of Miami - and the photos really help f0r those of us on the other side of the world.

I think you asked me on one of my previous posts whether I eat before a long run - yes i do. However, previously before runs of up to about 16km I wouldn't -I would get up, have a coffee and go. But then I was finding that I was really running on empty and my running was suffering so now for any run over 10km i have toast and honey an hour before I run. For extra long runs of over 20km I have toast and honey and banana.

At 3:30 AM, Blogger susie said...

Love the photos...and I can't believe you are so back into workouts already. I would have taken at least two weeks off!! What am I saying?? I wouldn't be functioning for months:) Way to go Rae...

At 4:19 AM, Blogger BuckeyeRunner said...

You've got to enter your toe pictures in Jennifer P's Toe Contest (over at Decaf Please.)

You could win an authentic Canada race T-shirt and run around Tenn. like the fashionista you are!!

Great post!!

At 4:24 AM, Blogger Jack said...

Wow, running already, great comeback! Love your pictures and report, it's refreshing considering all the snow and ice I've been running on lately. Great job marathoner!

At 5:19 AM, Blogger Simba's Mom said...

I love the shadow picture! So cute.

At 6:18 AM, Blogger Cliff said...

I didn't see there is anything wrong with that belly button..unless u dont have one before marathon and have one after u ran it :).

Did u wear the medal wherever u go..i asssume the one where u are reading a book, u are in the airport.

Perhaps u should use that medal as a projectile to that upper management :)

Sounds like you are recovering very nicely from the marathon. I remember when I did mine on Sunday, by Thursday I was doing a 10 km (5-6 mile?) run. I still feel the tireness for about 2 weeks or so.

At 6:36 AM, Blogger Just12Finish said...

Great pics until the bloody one - ouch!

Enjoy your upcoming "short" races. You should be feeling totally indestructible now!

At 8:30 AM, Blogger E-Speed said...

great pictures! Ouch on the blister front! Looks like you had a blast at the beach!

At 11:57 AM, Blogger angie's pink fuzzy said...

I love the pictures! You guys are so cute - my favorite was the one of the shadows where Brent's kissing you.

I can't believe you walked down 7 flights of stairs!! I can't even make it up/down the one flight to my apartment.

You are so going to have some strange hits to your site now that you have a belly button picture...

When's the next marathon??

At 1:40 PM, Blogger Cory said...

I managed to miss the Super Bowl entirely. Football really isn't my thing. I'm more of an MLS nerd. I loves me some soccer anyday. Interesting pics, btw. Semigraphic, but interesting. Hope it alls getting back into order. I've never done 26.2's, just 5K's and 8K's, and from a wheelchair, I'm sure it's a completely different experience. I can't imagine walking any distance, but especially that long. Amazing what that does to the human body, but also amazing how said body can recoop.

I'm all starving now from your food references. All I ever bothered getting foodwise was maybe a powerbar and "G-ade". I never bothered looking for a complete lunch. We'd always just do that elsewhere. Black beans and rice, eh? Sounds better than PBJ and peanuts. Good looking pasta, as well.

Quite the energizer bunny you are. You ought to post some video if you havent. Especially with audio. I'd love to hear you speak, just to complete the picture.

Anyhow, there a race schedule on here? It'd be neat for us to keep track of you.

Till next time.

At 3:11 PM, Anonymous Jay T said...

Great job on the marathon! And on the recaps too. Any chance I can get you to ghost-write my next marathon recap for me?

At 9:23 AM, Blogger Darrell said...

Crappy Sunday night TV??? No Desparate Housewives and Gray's Anatomy for you, huh!

Don't you just love cluesless workers...

At 3:04 PM, Blogger partyrunner said...

sorry for the delay in writing...but congratulations on finishing your marathon! i cant believe how fabulous you look. ah to look so cute after running a marathon.

aren't post marathon meals the best!?


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