Seattle The problem started the Sunday before the marathon. So about 6 days. I had 15-18 miles to run for my big training run I do before each race. About a mile in , my back starts hurting in the spot it has always hurt. It wasn't much at first. I took a walking break and started walking again but my back wasn't getting better. I stopped after 3 miles. Uh oh .
I thought I could lay down and it would get better. I was wrong. I called a close by massage place and went over as soon as I could.
The woman , who has massaged me before, would hit spots my back that would make me wince. She told me I should take medicine.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I went to my chiropractor. By Wednesday I was feeling better but I haven't done the training I usually do. So I started getting very nervous.
At LAX I did a radio interview in a toy store on my phone. It was very quick and I satisfying especially when you can hear the djs giving out slightly off info. Oh well.
I flew in to Seattle and was greeted by my cousin Brian. I was staying with him and his family close by in a town called Redmond.
I was already set to do a radio show so we basically went from the airport to the radio station. The interview went well. I forget everything what the station was or the name of the guy that interviewed me, but it went very well.
I was all set to do my show that night at unexpected productions. Some very nice people spear headed by randy Dixon were volunteering their time, talent and theater to helping me. Brian dropped me off around the theater pretty early. I found this really cool theater by the gum wall. Yes a wall of used gum. It's now a tourist attraction apparently. I was very early, too early so I went across the alley to a little bar/restaurant and ordered some food. I met my camera guy Anthony there who answered my Craigslist ad and was helping me out that weekend because he's just a good damn guy. I gave him the rundown for the weekend and what I was hoping to capture on film.
After eating I went over to the theater and started meeting my fellow playmates. The theater is a really nice theater complete with a bar area in the front and a big tech area and back office. Seats 200 people but sadly only about 10-15 people came to the show. That always saddens me. Mostly for the other performers. They were kind enough to help me and I know the feeling of playing for such a small amount of people. It's discouraging. But the show must go on!
The show and everybody in it was great. Except when I had to do a story in the style of Shakespeare. I bombed, but at least I got to tell an audience member later to stop yelling out suggestions during our Harold. I'm pretty sure that guy didn't pay to get in. Overall, a fun time was had.
I was still worried about my back and looking for a good nearby chiropractor. Luckily, because of yelp, I found one. Nice place, a bit of a wait and then the cracking began! Glorious!
The receptionist asked me about my cane before I left. She said her friend has bad eyes and is going blind. Sounded similar to Choroideremia. RP perhaps? She mentioned that he doesn't drive but doesn't walk with a cane either. I suggested that he get one because his shins would thank him.
Brian and I went to the expo. Janelle my guide once again for the race, went on her own. She was staying with her brother who lived nearby and her parents were visiting too. Anthony met up with us so I could give him his press pass. Anthony does not drive and does not live directly in Seattle so he had to bus it in every time. What a trooper! And basically did this for no money.
Back at Brian's place, he had a full house that weekend. His wife, Lisa a obgyn, son Cameron, 9 I think, Kyle, 14 maybe?, niece Jenna, 18, and baby kaya. Plus me! Brian made a great pasta meal for me. And I needed to wound down early. And to get ready for the race the next morning.
I think the day before Cameron broke his thumb playing at a friends house. Poor kid. He seemed real down about it.
I started taking melatonin around race time to help me get to sleep. I took some before bed and fell asleep around 830pm. Perfect!.... Until...
I got up to pee at 12:20 am I was happy to see I had about 5 more hours to sleep. I lied down and closed my eyes and waited and waited and waited... Before I knew it 2 hours had passed. Then another hour and another. That was it no more sleep for me. Trying to sleep before a race seems next to impossible these days. So I got up and started getting ready. Janelle had showed up the night before while I was sleeping and when I saw her she was just about ready too.
Suck it up, ej, I thought. No turning back now. Or ever. Your running 26.2 miles today on no sleep whether you like it or not. Oh and you'll be blindfolded too. Don't forget that, slim.
I had been keeping track of the weather all week and of course it threatened rain. I was sure of it this time. It was pouring on Friday. Buckets! Brian predicted that the rain would rain itself out and that we'd be good. He was almost right.
It was a nice morning. Janelle and I left our rain panchos in the car and made our way to the start. Anthony was there and ready to film. And Brian helped me get a few shots too.
I was told I could start at the front but one guy said I couldn't because it's too dangerous for what I was doing I told him its the opposite. He turned his head and let me stay. First was the cycle chairs? They aren't wheel chairs and they aren't handicapped people. They get let go early. I was hoping to get let go with them but it didn't happen. When they took off I was already blindfolded. Before I knew it we were all let go. At least the coral I was in.
It started fine. I was making decent time and feeling pretty good. Until I noticed I was needing to pee a lot. It was very strange and uncomfortable. Bladder infection was mentioned, but I think it was a combination of things, stress and no sleep being big contributors. This happened throughout most of the race. And it happened enough times that it was affecting my time and pace. I walked much more than I wanted to. There was one spot where we had to cross a two mile long bridge. I had to pee the whole time and if I tried running it was worse. The belt I wore, hydration belt, would push down right on that spot.
Yeah I know, too much info, ej! Believe me I would've preferred None of that happen, but it did.
The course had a few hills. One hill was incredibly and dangerously steep, but at least it was early on. I was able to run up some of the hills and walk up others.
I asked Brian to carry some spare clothes for me and meet us at the half way mark. And early on I thought that was a good idea. I had a long sleeve under the short sleeve and they were both getting soaked through with sweat. And it was making me cold sometimes and a bit uncomfortable. Brian was going to be ble to get us at the halfway mark due to traffic and whatever. So he met us at mile 18. Ok better late than never.
We got as much footage as we could. Janelle and I took some footage on our own and Brian caught some too.
As usual people were very kind with their words and encouragement. One woman even asked how she can became a guide for the blind. Janelle suggested contacting marathons. So if you're reading this and interested in doing that, give that a shot.
It ended up being a pretty nice day. Until about mile 23. I felt some drops at first and then it came,the rain! My first time officially getting rained on! It was fine though. I didn't care because I was almost done. Janelle however, was shivering, she was not enjoying the rain. The rain was good motivation for me to run a bit faster. I could've avoided the rain altogether if I ran my usual pace.
I crossed the finish line at 6 hours and 8 minutes. My second longest time behind Los Angeles. And the rain was coming down! Wow! Like buckets! Antony my camera guy met me at the end and took some footage I can't wait to see. He had an umbrella to keep the camera and himself as dry as possible.
Janelles parents, and brother met us at the end and brin was there. His wife Lisa came but had to leave when it started raining because she had the baby and wasn't prepared. Brian parked about a mile away so it was a long cold, wet walk to the car.
I still had the weird peeing thing for a while but was clerking up. And a day or two later all was good. I hope it doesn't happen again.
I was beat. We ordered pizza back at the house and I got some good rest in while watching the latest ghost rider movie on DVD. Nic cage is really crazy in that one.
My compression socks were great!
Sunday The next day was the big improv show with Ryan stiles! Ryan was a big influence on me when I started improvising in the late 90s. It was hard getting a hold of home sometimes and getting some definitive yes's but it happened! He was early, he was cool, he was great from top to bottom! I was really excited to perform with him. And doing the form I came up with in 2004 called shootin' the shit. A single scene long form improv show set in a bar and using real beverages. We did the show at Wing it Productions/Jet City improv. A great community of people there. I asked for one of the best at the theater to join Ryan and I. I didn't know who we would get, but Doug willott was fantastic! And it was funny before hand he asked what improv backgrounds have. He was nervous cuz he didn't know if I was any good either.
A few local groups opened for us to an audience of over 100 people. I was excited to see Ryan do an improv show that didn't involve short form games. I think it went fantastic! I didn't feel like I embarrassed myself in from of one of my improv heroes. And Doug was amazing! The audience ate up everything we served. So fun! So worth all the trouble of planning this stuff. Awesome!
Afterwards I went for a celebratory beer with some of the performers and then Brian drove me back to his house. The next day I flew to long island for a family visit.
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