Monday, September 17, 2012

Mesa Falls, Idaho DONE!!! 8 down, 4 to go (August)

My toe is still purple but at least it doesn't hurt as much. Maybe it's because the doctor put a hole in my nail for the puss and blood to be squeezed out of. 

Mesa falls, Idaho

Arrived thursday and I had Arranged a fundraiser with Improv  underground. A short form games group that performs in Idaho falls. That's where the plane flew in. Idaho falls. Not exactly close to the marathon, so I made two hotel reservations, one for Idaho falls the first night and the next two nights inst Anthony. Closer to the Mesa falls area. 

I forgot my blindfold. I realized it when deb was driving me to the airport. That's a first. My mind is getting more and more scattered. She said shed mail it over night when she got back home. Later I would find out that it wouldnt be coming the next day because the towns I was staying in couldn't receive next day packages. It would arrive in Saturday (day of the marathon). Oh well. She sent it anyway just in case. 

Jennifer, my cousin and guide for this race, took a long time to fly in from Syracuse. She had to take 3 flights. So she was pretty tired. I don't think I got as much sleep as I would've liked so I was tired as well. And not looking forward to the first of 3 races with a 6 week time span. 

That's right. Mesa falls then 21 days later, Dayton and 22 days after that is Chicago. 

Jen got in a little before me so she was able to pick up the car rental and go back to the hotel until she needed to pick me up. The hotel was sort of falling apart. I think it was a comfort inn. I was in my rom only minutes when I started hearing a pat tern of banging sounds. I investigated where it was coming from and after calling the front desk to help me figure it out, we figured it was coming from inside the walls in the bathroom. Possibly and probably a loose pipe. That wasn't going to help me sleep that might so I changed rooms to the room next door. 

Jen and I played around with the idea of going to Yellowstone national park. We were a couple of hours away from it but it seemed like a lot of driving just to see Old Faithful. Maybe someday I'll get there. 

We didn't have much time to dilly or to dally. The show was starting at 7pm at the University. Seats 250. We got to the auditorium a little early and I met my contact Ryan, who I found through google and Facebook. Nice guy, looks like Ricky Gervais. Not nearly as obnoxious as Ricky (I love Ricky btw. Ricky if you're reading this I love ya. :) the folks of Idaho falls really went out of their way for me. They got some great local prizes for raffles And had local teen queens there addressing the audience and educating them on my disease. Which was very cool. The audience was low in numbers unfortunately. It happens and I think Ryan felt bad there weren't more people. It happens. It happens most of the time actually. 

This was a first for me though. I had no less than 3 crying babies to perform for. Talk about keeping it family friendly! I ended up buying some raffle tickets myself. Quite a few actually. I was hoping for some local food certificates. I ended up winning a bunch of stuff: gift certificate to a restaurant in a hotel another for a steakhouse type place, 5 haircuts, a thing of brownies form a local bakery, a basket of bread products and I think that was it. I gave the haircuts to Shelby, one of the improv underground peeps, enjoyed eating the brownies over the next 2 days. They were amazing. Had some of the bread from the basket and tried to use one of the certificates the next day. 

It was a fun show but Jenny and I were wiped out. We went back to the hotel. We went in our rooms and I ordered a pizza. I forgot how terrible dominoes is. 

The next morning we got up and went to breakfast at a place to use one of the certificates. It was the worst meal ever I think. Apparently the regular chef wasn't here so a prep cook had to make the meals. We waited about an hour, now there no one at this restaurant. A few people maybe. Most were partaking in the buffet. They brought me a simpler second meal and I ate some or most of it. And they didn't charge us for he meal. That's how bad it was. Oh well. 

I needed a blindfold and looked up on google maps fabric places. There was one close by called Moms Fabric, when we were searching around for it I noticed we wee in a residential area. Sure enough, moms fabric is someone's house. More specifically her store is in her garage. A sweet old lady who we interrupted washing her hair. I explained the situation and hot a piece of fabric for under $2. Turns out that woman has been running that business out of her house for 22 years. Wow. 

We went back to the hotel grabbed our stuff and headed toward mesa falls. It was packet pick up day. Usually this would be called an expo but since so few people run this race, it's just a packet pick up at the local elementary school. Some nice folks there. Hooked us up with bins and shirts. And we got to run for free. We found out about 150 people were running the marathon and another 250 or so was running the half or the 5k or something. Anyway only about 400 people running the next day. This is my smallest marathon of the year.

 So small I thought maybe I would try to listen to music this time. I happened to bring my iPod although it didn't really have a runners play list on it. It had more easy listening for the fundraiser I did in LA in March. But ok. I'll try it. I would have to leave one ear bud out so I can hear Jenny with no problems. Jen also ran st Louis with me in April. St Louis was my best time wise of the year so far.  

After the packet pick up we were recommended to drive up to Mesa falls and check out the waterfalls. So we did. It wasn't too far about 20 minutes or so. Beautiful country when you started seeing green, other wise a lot of open plains, almost desert like. But the falls were beautiful. We took a bunch of pics and headed back. Jen got distracted by a giant root beer display and it turned out it was a little diner hat specialized in root beer floats. this turned out to be good timing since we were both kind of hungry. But it was about 3pm now and we would need to eat our pasta dinner in a few hours time. So I just ordered a small float and grilled cheese. 

The hotel was ok, I had to switch rooms with Jen because we were each suppose to get a kin size bed Doug one of the rooms had two queen size beds. So she ended up with that room after. I kicked her out of the king size bed room. Look I'm a big guy that doesn't sleep well around marathon weekend. I needed it. 

I was still unclear on who was going to get footage of my run and how we were getting to the start line. They have shuttles but we would have to lose sleep in order to take a shuttle. I didn't want to do that. Ryan was gracious enough to drive out all the way from Idaho falls (about an hour away) came with his wife and baby in the car. And drive Jen and I to the start. And he used my camera to pick up footage. 

There was no place near the t could hook us up with pasta so we just picked up subway sandwhiches and called it a night. 

It was a little disorganized. I think it was 630 start time. We were getting there early by following one of the buses. We get to a point where there are several buses and a lot of people walking around and everybody's asking where the porta potties are. Long story short the porta potties and the start line was still ahead of us another half mile or so. Somehow we all got information wrong or something. It was weird. And by the way, it was freezing. Literally freezing temperatures. We were about 6300 feet up on a mountain. I wasn't expecting that. I had a spare running shirt and running pants in my bag for afte rthe race but it looks like I'd half to put it on early. I'm glad I did. 

By the way again, I gave Ryan the two certificates, leftover breads and the basket for helping me out. It was the very least I could do. He helped me huge! 

So we finally make it to the start line and put on my blindfold. I did my stretching back at the hotel. I went to sleep very early the night before and it paid off! I did it drug free and was able to get anoint 6 hours of pretty decent sleep. That's a first. I was still up at 2am but so what! I was psyched to sleep that much. 

Off we went. Jen was really really cold. Shivering. I felt bad for her. She was in little shorts, but the sun was coming up real soon. It was downhill like in salt lake city, but not as steep as salt lake. BUT the terrain was awful. The worst I ever ran in. The first 9 miles were on loose gravel. And there were impressions in the "road" from big tractors. So I  had to run very strangely many times. Picking up my knees and feet so I don't trip. We could here cows somewhere off in the distance. Everybody blew past us pretty early on. We took pee breaks in the woods every couple miles in the beginning. We thought after the 9 would be roads. And there were but briefly and only until we ran into the forest! We had to run on a trail, now this is where it got really dangerous. To get on the path there were some steep places so steep we had to really stop and walk down carefully. Then we get to the path which was really too narrow for 2 people. There were tracks like from a 4 wheeler with a strip of grass in the middle. So Jen ran on one side on one track and I ran on the other. I was constantly tripping over roots, rocks and who knows what. I really thought I was going to turn my ankle. Until the trail we ere making decent time. And I was feeling good until the trail. 3 miles we ran hat trail. For 3 miles. By the time I got out it felt like I ran the whole marathon. But we were only about half way through. But at least we had Somme roads. We didn't run for too long before the roads went up hill. We were warned about it but it still was tough. And the roads were open to cars and trucks and whatever else. They were wizzing by me just mere inches from me. That freaks me out I must say. Jen was getting pissed at how close they were coming to us and not going around us even thought there was room on the opposite side. That slowed us down too. Because she was constantly pulling me to the side and watching out for my safety but we were definitely slowed down because of it. 

Angel was video taping me and she was doing great. Shelby from improv underground knows her and she is also a runner and wanted to help. She was great. She popped up every couple miles taking video. She got my camera from Ryan after he left the start line. It seemed to work out pretty good. 

So now we are at about mile 20 . I give angel my extra shirt and pants to put in the bag because now its really hot and it's gonna get hotter. I'd say it was in the 80s I think. And the final 6 miles were on a moderate down grade on roads in open environment, so no shade. It was ok though. Jen and I had a pretty good system worked out and I crossed the finish line after 6:00:22.  That's fine. I'll take it. 

At the finish line were some people from the fundraiser writing to congratulate me. I apologized for keeping them waiting :) also who was waiting for me was a man ( and I never saw him becaus I was still blindfolded) who told me hat that race was his 329th race. And that it's his 200th consecutive month of racing. One a month for 200 months. He was trying to. Encourage me to do the same. Keep going! He said. I ask Ed how many of those were blindfolded? None he said. Well do one blindfolded and see how you like it. Maybe you wouldnt do so many and encourage me to keep going :) but it's also financially taxing. This is costing a lot of money flying around the country, usually 2 people, hotel for 2, food, etcetera. It'd be different if I could do it by myself, but ats just no possible right now. Maybe someday :)

I got interviewed by a woman I never saw because even though my blindfold was off now my eyes were closed. It was a little much to open them right away. 

Jen and I went to an ice cream place where runners got a free ice cream. It hit the spot. We swung by the subway again to get some take out. When we got to the hotelmy hands were pretty full and my eyes weren't adjusted yet. We walked up some stairs and there was a point where you turn 90degrees and walk up a few more stairs. But I couldn't really see them. I had one of my pairs of sunglasses on. The rug was brown. I was disoriented and and I tripped up the stairs. I felt a couple of my toe nails catch on my shoes (I should've trimmed them before I left LA, I usually do and didn't this time). My shins were nicely beaten up but could've been worse. I still had my compression socks on. But it felt like a couple of toe nails popped off. When I limped back in my from I was afraid to take the socks off. But I did. Ok they were still there. But a couple of them especially my left big one was throbbing and turned purple/blue. Sigh.

I tried icing it to get the swelling down that night but all I wanted to do was shower, eat and sleep. I got to sleep later than I would've liked. A family moved in next door with very high energy children that though it was fun to run up and down the hall making a racket. The parents seemed to have no problem with it. When I asked about changing rooms to the front desk they said they would have to chage me for another night. Sigh. I stayed and awaited it out. By 10pm it was quiet. And I was up for 20 hours and ran a marathon. 

The next day. Jen and I found a proper breakfast place and feasted. It was really good. We dropped the rental car off and we ended up being crazy early to the airport. we could've slept more! Damn. Poor planning on my part. Oh I got my blindfold when I got back from the marathon at the from desk. 

We were both flying to new York. Her to Syracuse, me to long island. To see Stone Temple Pilots at a little place called the Paramount, my friend rob got the hook up. I've never seen them before and I had a great time. Well worth flying in for 48 hours. While I was in ny I went into the city to have my picture taken by Men's Fitness magazine. They are doing a spread on me for the December issue(or maybe November?). 

After about a week my toe was still purple and still hurting. People suggested I put a hole in my nail and drain it. I didn't lie the idea of me doing it s o I went to a doctor who did it for me. Ever since its been better. And I can still squeeze stuff out of that hole. It's pretty gross. But it shouldn't cause me any problems for Dayton, Ohio. 

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8 down! 4 to go! 

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