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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Reflections - Part 1

Day 671 - November 2, 2010

Happy to report that I have kept the streak alive despite some really sore legs. My quads are especially sore and do not appreciate stairs at this point. But I still managed to muddle through three mile runs both Monday and today.

After two days to sit and reflect on all the training, I've run the gamut of never wanting to run a marathon again to starting to think about where I might try my next.

But before I get ahead of myself, here's my recollection of how the race went down.

I fell asleep Saturday night while my wife and daughter's watch the Haunted Gingerbread House Challenge on Food Network, so I was out by 10:00. I know I woke up a few times in the night, but I felt rested when the alarm went off at 4:30. I got up, ate some light snacks and was off to the Metro for my ride to the Pentagon. I had about a 30 minutes ride, but at that time, it was only marathon runners on the train. The Metro has a station right at the Pentagon, but it was on the opposite side of the starting area. I felt like a total lemming just following the crowd around the building in the dark, but I had no idea where I was going and that just seemed logical. It felt like we walked for over 15 minutes to get to security. It was recommended that we arrive at the race 2 hours before the start to get through security. I think that was a bit much, especially given that temps were in the 40s. But I found a place to sit on the asphalt, tried to stay warm, and amused myself people watching all the runners in costume.

About 30 minutes before the race, I started making my way to the starting corrals. It was another half mile walk. I've never done a race with this many people and was surprised by how large the starting area needed to be to accommodate 30000 runners.

I found my corral and with about 10 minutes to go before the race, I realized I needed to pee one last time. I jumped out of the corral and started jogging back to the portable toilets and realized i wasn't going to make it. I saw one or two guys peeing through the chain link fence along the highway, and figured what the heck. I mean, why should I take up a spot in the portable toilets that one of the women runners could use, right??? By the time I finished, about 100 other guys decided to make the same concession and we were shoulder to shoulder.

I got back to the corral with plenty of time to spare and they walked us down to the starting line. Unfortunately for my friend Mike, he didn't estimate his timing very well and was actually in the portable toilets when the gun went off. That mistake probably cost him 10-15 minutes of race time as he then had to pass 20000 people to get to the finish line. I know he was disappointed by that.

Tomorrow I'll write about the actual race and how it went mile by mile. I've broken it down by my watch splits, 5k splits, and even my first and second halves. Hope you'll check back.


toilet guy said...

Portable toilets and toilet habits are fascinating. Why do us men feel the need to stand in front of something when we pee? You were in front of a mesh fence which essentially offered no privacy, yet you felt more comfortable doing that than peeing into fresh air. Not sure what I'm getting at? Try going into the middle of a field and peeing against nothing - it just doesn't feel right. PS good luck with your 1000 days (you're mad!)

Chris said...

LOL - so true. I guess I chose the fence just so I wasn't aimed at the people in the starting areas. But yeah, in all the times I've gone hiking, I've always walked over to a tree, even when no one was around for miles. Brilliant observation.

toilet guy said...

It's obviously something deeply ingrained in our psyche from our long distant past; perhaps to do with marking out territories?