Marathon in Minnesota

Edit: Fixed the title. Nobody noticed "manathon"? Yikes.

(Saturday and Sunday will be edited in to this post)


Today we flew to Minnesota to for the Twin Cities Marathon (on Sunday). This one is a first because I'm running it too! The trip also has bonus fun because we hang out with some people we've met at some of Julie's other races and her online forums.

Our first new experience was the flight out of Manhattan's airport. Usually, we have to drive to Kansas City or Wichita to fly anywhere, but American Airlines added service to Dallas. Now we can fly places from Manhattan without having to switch airlines. This morning was our first attempt and it worked really well. The airport was nice and we arrived in Dallas right on time. In Dallas, we were delayed 2 hours before we got headed back up North, so that sucked :(

After we landed, Elisa was ultra nice and drove us around. Here's her and Julie at the hotel (capitol building in the background).

After we secured the room, Elisa drove us over to the expo and everybody picked up their packets (with the number and timing chip). It was a little under-peopled today, but I imagine it'll be pretty busy tomorrow when we go back.

We noticed that there were no shirts in our packets (packet=big bag o' stuff), so we're gonna need to go back tomorrow and investigate.

The evening wrapped up at a nice restaurant with a few more friends. I'm still trying to be good and I ate mostly green stuff, but I think I snuck enough carby-goodness to fill up the tank a little.

Tomorrow I think we're going to get together with some of the others for a short run. Our hotel (and meeting place) is right next to the finish area, so it'll be fun to see where everything is at in the daylight.

Also, I sent my first text message today! Ever. It was really tricky and I couldn't figure out the punctuation.

Saturday 10:30 am

They're running some shorter races on the course today. Lots of grade-school kids running mile races and similar. The best part is they've got the roads blocked off and the whole area is pedestrian friendly :) Here are a couple picture we took when we went out to go check out the action (and what will be the ending part of our race):

[Here's one of me in front of the capitol building as all the runners scoot down hill toward the finish.]

[This one shows the nice slope down to the finish. I think those guys are running a 5K.]

Breakfast this morning was pancakes. I had 3 big ones and I probably only ate one and a half worth. I'm no good at eating anymore :( I've been munching on some walnuts and pistachios in the room and I'm going to try to nab as much fruit as I can find today. Smoothies might be a good solution...

In other news, I think Julie's starting to come around on the idea of a worm farm in the kitchen (for composting!) I'm pretty sure it's the overwhelming natural charisma of the legendary red wiggler that's helping move things along. Ooh, and this morning Rachael Ray taught me how to chop up tomatillos. I think I see some green salsa happening when I get home...

Next up: Roger (shown in the picture of dinner last night) invited us along to go drive the course, then expo round 2, and throwaway cloths shopping for Julie. She may yet run with me...

Saturday 8:00 pm

...or not. It sounds like Julie's probably going to spectate this one. Smart, but no running buddy for me - ack!

We all had a nice dinner, but I forgot to take a picture this time. I sorta got one of everybody's backs as they walked past a corner, but it's not really the epic traveling pic I was shooting for so this one will just have to go undocumented.

When we went back to the expo, we collected some good free stuff. They had lots of free samples of little food bars. Clifbar had samples of their energy gel balls. Eating 3 or 4 of those was probably about 450 calories. Surprisingly tasty though. Anyway, we collected lots of stuff and Roger let me bum a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast tomorrow. I'm also de-fizzing a mountain dew in the fridge.

Usually the wisdom is to eat something very normal race morning, but that seemed pretty boring. Instead, I think I'm just going to cram all of this space-age expo food, the peanut butter sandwich, and my flat Dew then hope for super powers! Come to think of it, most of what I do ends with "and hope for super powers." Ah well, maybe this time :)

Here's the weather for tomorrow:

It looks really nice. I'd have been more familiar with something in the 50s and 60s but I think 40s and 50s will actually be a bit better in the end. We'll see. I hope it's fun!

Sunday 5:00 am

Race morning! Our group is meeting in the lobby at 6:00 to get on the bus and head to the start. I slept from 10:00 to 4:00 straight through - which I thought was great. Now I just need to decide what to wear, eat a bit, pack my bag and head down to the fun. The final word on the weather is:

So it looks like it's going to be mid-40s with a bit of a breeze. If I were running at home I'd wear a shirt with long sleeves. I brought one of those, but I keep thinking the correct answer is a short-sleeved shirt with gloves and a hat. That was I have stuff I can ditch if I'd like. I suppose if Julie gets any pictures of we we'll all find out what I decided in a few paragraphs ;)

Sunday 9:30 pm

I finished my run! My objectives were accomplished: (1) leave the course under my own power, (2) run under 4:30 :) #2 was a stretch goal. I finished in 4:23 and I only walked at the aid stations. Now, as the race went on, I started grabbing two waters and the drinking/walking pace got a bit more luxurious, but I still never walked up a hill or anything like that. That way I got to feel like I ran kinda strong, and I liked that.

Here's some pictures:

[I'm all geared up and ready to get on the bus.]

[Julie got a picture of me from where she was camped near mile 15.]

[Here's me in the bathtub. It's supposed to be an ice bath, but it was more of a cool, tepid bath. Julie was willing, enthusiastically willing to bring me some ice, but I think she let me off the hook since I was shivering.]

[After the ice bath and a very hot shower, we bummed a ride over to an eat/drink place where all our people were hanging out. I had lots of fun and got lots of attention for my marathon. Since I wore my medal I even got congratulations from stranger, which was new for me and pretty cool.]

Later on this evening I decided the weak link was my joints and I did some serious multi-stage knee icing. The place in the Dallas airport that serves my tasty chicken tortilla soup on sort of an elevated floor so it's absolutely critical that I be able to navigate stairs at least a little bit tomorrow.

Ultra kudos go to Elisa and Tim for arranging everything and driving everybody around this weekend. Traveling to these races is so much more fun when lots of friends are around.


Apolo Imagod said…
Sounds like quite the experience :-) Let us know how you do in the race, being your first one and all... if you finish among the first 30, it'd be quite an accomplishment! :-P
4 Is More said…
Good luck, Charlie!!!! I take it Julie isn't healed enough to run? It will be fun to have a cheering person, though!!
Laura said…
Congratulations! I'm super impressed. I can't run more than 3 miles. Even with practice. :)

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