Monday, September 17, 2012

Dayton, OHIO Air Force Base. DONE!!! 9 down 3 to go! (September)

Dayton, Ohio Air Force Base race! 9 down, 3 to go! 

This race started months ago. I was on the Dr. Drew HLN show for a second time talking about my races and what I was doing this year and my hopes and my family and my eye disease. In Georgia a woman named, Kelli Molter, was watching. Kelli is a part of the Air Force and has been an athlete for a very long time. She's done countless tri athalons and even did some tri athalons and runs with visually impaired people. Kelli herself has had a few eye surgeries correcting and recorrecting some muscular problems in her eyes. Someone mentioned to her running the Air Force Base Race this year. She wasn't planning on it, unless she could find a visually impaired runner to do it with. A couple of months later, there I was on Dr. drew. She reached out to the Choroideremia Research Foundation to offer to run with me for that race. The email was forwarded to me. I read it and checked the dates. I was going to run Bismark, North Dakota originally the same weekend and I was already going to be running Ohio in Cleveland in May. Instead I decided to switch some things around. I ran Fargo in May and was planning on Dayton for September.  I hadn't paid for the admission for the other races yet so I was losing any money. I contacted Kelli and said ok let's do it. 

We stayed in occasional contact. Kelli wanted to raise money for Wounded Warriors and the Choroideremia Research Foundation and split what she raised down the middle. Sounded good to me, especially when she set a goal of $12,000 for each charity. That may have been a bit optimistic and grand. After  some months leading up to the race she wasnt able to raise that much, (some is way better than none) but if you'd like to contribute to our goals you can at or And Wounded Warriors for veterans is a great worthy cause as well. 

I was getting nervous about running with a stranger. What was this going to be like? Running with Jennifer, janelle, Ryan, david, I'm familiar with and I'm comfortable with the idea of running with them. This was new. 

My foot (my now purple toe from my last trip -literally) was better after getting it drained at the doctors so that wasn't seeming to present any problems. But earlier in the week I spent some time in my recliner turned desk chair, which when used as a recliner is fine but doesn't work as a desk chair. And I don't have a desktop computer just my laptop. So my form is all wrong and spending too much time in a position I shouldn't be in will cost. After being like that for hours (by the way I was on the computer emailing newspapers, radio stains, news organizations in Dayton looking for publicity all that work got me no where btw.) I got up went into the kitchen and almost immediately felt something crawling in the middle of my back. Felt like an alien. But it was worse, it was a muscle that hurt right away. I tried stretching it out but did no good. This was Friday afternoon. My usual chiropractor is closed on the weekends and Friday afternoons. I was able to find an open place nearby that was open Saturday's and even took my insurance. The place was good and Tom (my doctor) cracked me pretty good. I was suppose to run that day but decided to rest instead. I spent the night before and the rest of that day in bed resting. The next day I wanted to run. 

I felt better, not 100%, but better. I was skeptical about running so I thought I'd walk. I walked about 3 miles on the ole treadmill, and felt warmed up enough to try running. I went slow and took walking breaks. I got up to 10 miles total. Not bad. But in 6 days I'd be running 26.2 miles with a stranger. 

Monday I got adjusted again by Tom. Tuesday adjusted my usual girl, iris. I ran a few miles on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Kelli and I have been keeping in touch every now and then over these past months. I talked to her a couple of days before flying to Dayton when I was just feeling better from my back issues when she told me she's been having back problems for the last couple of weeks. Uh-oh. That's a bombshell to me. She eves aid she was inn the hospital at one point. I don't know exactly what was going on but she was positive she could run. She sitting was a problem. It was too late really for a plan B. ok let's hope for the best. 

I flew iWednesday, hadn't heard anything from any publicity places which is always disappointing and always makes me feel like nobody cares. I tried setting up a fundraiser with a local improv place called the Black Box theater but I guess that was too complicated because that didn't happen either. The up side of not having extra things to do meant that I could just relax. 

I checked into the comfort inn right next to the Marriott that Kelli, her sister Linda and lindas husband Steve were staying in. Linda and Steve drive up from Milwaukee on Friday. Kelli flew in from georgia on thursday like me from Los Angeles. 

I was able to walk to a nearby Walmart and pick up some supplies and Evette dinner at a nearby ruby Tuesday's. Tried to get to bed early (I was on a three hour time zone difference now) so I could get up early. 

I woke up at 5am and just did almost nothing all day. Listened to al lot of Howard Stern. Watched the movie Battleship that I rented from iTunes. Spoiler Alert: it's not a good movie. 

Kelli was staying with a friend of hers somewhere in Dayton in the night before and wanted to meet at the Expo at about 5pm that night. I wanted to be back in my room no later than 7pm. I needed to do as little as possible so I can hope to get a good nights sleep. 

I took a cab to the expo and met Kelli for the first time. We walked around a little and were waiting for her sister and bro in law to arrive from Milwaukee. I got my packet and passed out a bunch of pamphlets on the expo floor. They arrived and we started driving back to the hotel with a stop off to check out where we would be starting the run the next day at the Air Force museum. It was pretty cool seeing some air planes and the base. But it was getting later and I needed to eat dinner and start winding down. We stopped at a Subway sandwich place and then I got dropped off at the hotel at 7pm while the other guys went out to eat. 

I ended up ordering pasta from Ruby Tuesdays who delivered to the hotel. That hit the spot and I got in bed, put on my noise machine, put me ear plugs in and turned my iPad on. I've learned recently that if I play the movie the Descendants with George Clooney directed by Alexander Payne, I fall asleep with in 10 minutes. I love the movie but for some reason it is exactly the thing to make me go to sleep. It worked I fell asleep somewhere around 9-930. In the past I've fallen asleep early and woken up way too early with not enough sleep. I've tried sleeping aids but they did the same thing. I really think the answer is down time and rest. Because I slept til 415 am. About 15 minutes before my alarm was set. I actually couldn't believe it, I double checked the time on my watch, my iPad, my phone. I got about 7 hours sleep! Wow that's amazing. I still felt a bit tired but that was a good start. 

John Kessler my camera guys camera guy was staying close enough in Indians to come down and help me get video of my run. He had to arrive at the air force base at 5am to get his media pass. 

Linda, Steve, Kelli and I were meeting up at 515 to start driving. We got to the base early. Which was fine. We walked around to the start line and took pics in front of huge planes. It was chilly and I thought I might run with pants and an extra shirt. I decided last minute on just shorts and the short and long sleeve shirt. We stretched interviewed with John and got to the start line. I was able to get a start time at 725am, with the wheelchairs and specialty wheeled people. Which is a great help to me. I put my blindfold on and a coup,e of minutes later we were off!! Later I would learn that the Air Force must've forgotten to turn on the tracking device I signed up for. They forgot to turn it on for the early runners. (maybe the later ones too I don't know). But my end time was around minutes short. Which is really annoying becaus ej don't have and EXACT time. 

The weather felt fine for the most part. Kelli already said she wanted to stop at every water station which I didn't like the sound of. To me that means extra time and extra stops and I didn't like the sound of that. But ok. I had already decided this race was going to take a long time because of both of our recent back problems. The course is mostly flat except for a big hill from mile 1-2. But it wasn't too bad. I brought my iPod with a running mix I made. So I was able to distract myself with music. 

We knew the only time John, Linda and steve was going to see us was around mile 10. Security was tight I guess. So Kelli and I took a little video ourselves with some planes inn the background. We did stop at almost every water stop but it usually wasn't more than a few seconds which was good. We were making good time. Real good time actually. We were doing a 10minutes on and walk one minute pace going on. We only took one pee break at mile 4. I took ibuprofen a couple of times during the race. And next thing you know we are On pace to possibly break the 5 hour time. Which sounded impossible. Originally months before I told Kelli I wanted to get a 5hour time for this race. But I threw out that expectation. And even during the run I wasnt holding my breath. There was a long  way to go. My fastest run ever was in Austin in April. Around 5:14. 

I usually don't want to know how I'm doing. It puts pressure on me but I wanted to know this time. I wanted a sense of how I was doing. And see if I was capable of pushing myself without killing myself. 

When we hit 13.1 it was about 2:23 min which was my fastest half by about a minute. 

By the time we got into the 20s I was feeling some pain, not back pain or sore toes pain, thank goodness.  Muscle pain in my legs. So how long could I last? 

Kelli decided we were breaking 5 hours. I had not decided that. I was going to be happy getting a good time and even beating my own best time. I didn't need the 5 hour break. But she didn't want to hear it. 

I was getting grumpy. I was frustrated, tired, annoyed and I was getting to be not so fun to be around. I think Kelli decided we going to run the last couple of miles no more breaks. I think maybe I can do it but the thought of making it x distant in x time seemed impossible. And I didn't want any additional stress or pressure especially after running 20 something miles. 

We were getting closer and closer and we were getting told wrong information like the finish is only .2 miles away (but we didn't pass a 26 mile mark), but I had it in my head we were that close. So mentally that's what I was ready for. It ended up being much much further. And Kelli was really pushing me to go faster. And I was not appreciating it. The last half mile felt like 10miles. It seemed to take forever! When we were finally close to the finish I some how tripped on keelis hell or something. Now when something like that happens and it happened a couple of times that I stumbled on somebody or bumped into someone, it now changes how my foot lands and now can affected that leg. Which that last time it did. My right calf cramped up. It felt like a crumpled piece of paper. And then my left one did it almost in competition with te other calf. Oh it hurt! But I was so close. I could hear myself making pained moaning sounds as I got closer to the finish. I raised my right arm with my folded cane as I usually do but this time my iPod fell out of the hooded velcroed to my arm. Kelli told me to keep running. It was only a handful of steps when she said shed go get it but I didn't know if I was done or not. I had to yell out to whoever was there. I had finished. And just seconds shy of 5 hours. Wow. 

Kelli got m iPod nd I got my medal. I was hurting tough. Just felt beaten up. I couldn't even enjoy my new time because I was feeling so bad. I tried to compose myself and get my bearings. I took my blindfold off and put on my 2 pairs of sunglasses but still kept my eyes closed for a while. 

It was over. I did it. 9 marathons done. I did what I thought I couldn't. Thanks to Kelli who I gave a hard time to but it paid off. She was actually a great guide. She didn't over do it, she didn't under do it. She was very optimistic. Which when I'm feeling negative is just what I need. 

So we got a beer, I use the porta pottie, needed to eat but I couldn't find food. I really just wanted to go back to the hotel ASAP! We lost Steve and Linda at one point. They had my bag and glasses. We tried waiting for them but I needed to leave. It was bright out and I was not feeling good. The last several miles were pretty hot and I wished I hadn't worn the extra shirt. John drove me back to the hotel while Kelli went looking for Linda and Steve. I'll get my stuff later. 

John did an interview with me at the hotel. I took a shower. I got my stuff from Linda and I ordered food from ruby Tuesdays. I started feeling better. Just laying down not doing anything. Felt great. I watched the Dictator with Sasha Baron Cohen, who I love, but the movie was really bad. 

I almost fell asleep at one point and tried to settle down for a nap or even just to go to sleep in the afternoon, but the bed was too hard and my body was in too much pain. And that combo meant I didn't get to sleep til about 11pm, maybe even midnight. 

But it was good sleep. Deep. 

Got up at 8am to meet Linda, Steve, and Kelli at the cracker barrel for breakfast. Did more laying about in the hotel room and went to the airport. Kelli flew back to Georgia and I am on a plane about to land in LA. 

Another damn marathon done! Please help me reach my goal. I have a long way to go still. I have 3 races left and $70,000 to raise. Please help. Thanks so much!!


Thanks guys! 

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