Well it has been quite a ride getting ready for this marathon. A lot has happened in my adventures in training! One Saturday morning I met up with Stacey and Tom to run. We welcomed a new runner with us. I discovered quickly that this was a mom of one of my teenagers in youth group! As we got to talking she mentioned that she may not be able to keep up with us due to the fact that she is still healing from a recent foot surgery. Well, needless to say, not only did she manage to keep up with us but she also just casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of biking 100 freaking miles on bikes AFTER we run 10 miles! WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? What kind of culture am I falling into? I tried to matter-of-factly comment that I was thinking of putting in 20 miles and cool off with a 2 mile swim. Unfortunately this caused mild laughter in between huffs-and-puffs! Well, as I came off of that run I was feeling pretty good as I drove home. But little did I know of the grave mistake I made that morning! As I pulled into the driveway and walked into the house, my family was gathered in the living room eating breakfast and watching Saturday morning TV. But once I walked in the door there was a sudden gasp as I stood looking at my family. The girls looked at me mortified! And then they blurted out loudly, "YOU ARE WEARING CHEERLEADING SOCKS!" These are just normal white socks with the word "Loveland" printed along the top. No big deal. Nothing that screams "girly socks". So the girls got a roll of my eyes and a big "Whatever!".
Then on a different day I was running by myself. I did the long loop around town. As I turned the corner heading up the hill by Whippy Dip there was a guy walking towards me. He made eye contact with me like he wanted to say something. So I popped out my headphones and gave him my attention. That is, until I realized that he was asking me for a cigarette! Now I will admit I did have a 3 year relationship with Marlboro Lights while in college. But that didn't matter. This guy is asking me for a cigarette. DO I LOOK LIKE SOMEONE WHO WOULD JUST HAPPEN TO HAVE A FREAKIN' PACK ON ME!?! REALLY? Then I thought, I must not look like a serious runner if I am being stopped in my tracks and being asked for some smokes!
Then on the Saturday before the race Stacey lined up the big long run for us. Here is the issue. I had a huge Friday night sleepover at the church because it was Confirmation weekend. It was a busy night for me with about 20 junior high boys who would not go to sleep until 2AM. If that weren't bad enough, I could not fall asleep at least an hour after that! Then we were all up at 7AM for donuts and coffee. At 8AM we had our rehearsal for the church services. During this whole time the weather was supposed to be bad. Lots of rain in the forecast. So as we are going through the rehearsal I couldn't help but to look outside and pray for the rain to start pouring. But it chose not to. Sure enough, Stacey should up and we got together with some others and we ran, and ran, and ran, and ran. It actually ended up being a great run. Even with the lack of sleep I felt really good and we were able to do well. We covered about 13 miles or so we thought. Later on the next day I got a call from Stacey. She mapped out the run that we did and much to her surprise, we actually ran 15 miles!This was huge psychologically for me. Up till this point, I mentally struggled with the thought of 13 miles. But after this run, I knew I could nail this half-marathon easy. So it was a really good morning. Then came Monday!
On Monday afternoon I am having a serious father-son talk with my oldest boy. I am sitting in a wooden chair just talking with him when I begin to feel something slip out of joint and throw my entire back out. I couldn't bend over without pain. Standing or sitting was okay but going from one to the other was not! I instantly got a hold of the local chiropractor and went in to see him. The short of the story is that he worked on it for 3 days and I am good to go now!
Today is the day before the race and what a day! We had a dedication of the entire team at church tonight. Our pastor did a great job of tying in the Team Jake effort into his sermon. In case, you haven't read the previous blogs, there are over 90 people in our church and community participating in this race to raise money for a boy at our church who is suffering with cancer. After the service we had a big carb-fest at the local park. We were all down there eating up lasagna wearing our Team Jake shirts. Then we had a big raffle with prizes that were donated for the team. There were a lot of great prizes. The one I had my eyes on though was 2 tickets to the Browns vs. Bengals game in Cleveland! God only knows how bad I wanted it! But someone else's name was called and the long hard sigh came out of me. Bummer. The last two prizes were one week vacations in a condo at Hilton Head. But I have already resigned myself to being the guy who never wins anything. Wouldn't you know it, Jake pulls out the ticket and I FREAKIN' WON! I was in shock! I am so excited right now! It has been a long time since we have done a family vacation with just us. This really couldn't be perfect timing! This is a great Summer for us to get away for a week and just enjoy some quality/quantity family time in a beautiful location!
So now I am watching the Cavs playing against the Celtics and I am too excited to go to bed! I have never been an early-to-bed person. But here we go. My first race since high school and I am actually really looking forward to it! I still need to make my playlist for my I-Pod and the Cavs finally caught up and are winning. So now I want to watch the 4th quarter! I will write a post-race blog so stay tuned!