This is what I drank in training, and the Ironman. Now it's the Goofy Challenge

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Official Time of the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon

Wanted to add some more pics and notes about the whole Marathon experience. It started of with dinner at a restaurant in Vancouver with Mandy. We headed to Nadja's house to stay there as we needed to be at the Vancouver airport way to early in the morning. Her house is a little closer to the airport. She had offered to drive us to there as we had to be there very early for our flight. Thanks Nadja!!

Nadja eating a late dinner Mandy prepared for her.

We got to the airport very early>
There are no problems getting on the plane. Mandy and I are seated togeather for the flight. We land in Chicago and jump on the train that takes us to downtown Chicago. We head to the hotel. Kathy arrives a little later, and we all head out to pic up are bib's and shirts and all the pre marathon stuff.

We wake up way to early in the morning. Mandy and I had gone shopping for some breakfast to have in the morning before the Marathon. I didn't want to change my meal to much from what I had used when I was training. So we eat a quick breakfast, and head out to the start line.

After waiting to long to take a pee we say goodbye to Mandy and try to find our pace group section. We get in the group at about the 4:45-5:00 group. The gun goes off!!! The Marathon begins!!!

The next four hours and fourty nine minutes are a mix of excitement, smells, pee breaks, gel shots, and thousands of people all doing the same things. We manage to keep pace with the 4:45 group, and seemed to fluctuate between the 4:00 hour group, and the 4:15 hour group. At some point I realized that passing people was going to be hard. I thought that I could pick up the pase to try and meet the 4:00 hour time I was planning on. I looked at my sister and I relax. Fuck the time. I am running a fucking marathon with my sister!!!! that really hit home about 20 minutes into the marathon. All my training, all my planning, all my work, had come together. Running through Chicago with my sister is beyond my laboured brains ability to express in words. I had achieved something I never thought I could do.

It amazes me when I think about the last 7 years. I never would have thought I would be running a marathon, in Chicago, with my sister, when I was a drug addict. To anyone who is ever been down and out, you know what I mean when it all hits home. The drugs wear off, you have that moment that it all hits home, how did I get here? What am I doing? Why am I doing this to myself, to those that love me? This is not me. I am better than this. All those nights of thinking so little of myself. Doing things I never thought I would do. I did allot of things I am not proud of, I did allot of things I will never forget, brain injured or not. Who would have thought that the guy with no future, no education, no job would get clean and sob re, get a decent job, meet the love of his life. Have his skull removed to stop his brain from exploding inside his skull. Loose his memory, his home, and his job. Spend a year in recovery. Propose to Mandy in Toronto. Get his sorry ass into college and now here he is. Running a Marathon with his sister in Chicago!!! I need to type that again. Running a Marathon with MY sister in Chicago. Life is so amazingly bizarre sometimes.

Mandy is meeting us along the way to try and take pictures.

We finish the Marathon. We are tired, sore, hungry, excited, enjoying the runners high. We cross the finish line and get in line to have the chip removed from our feet. We collect our medal, we get wrapped in a special blanket to keep us warm, we get some banana's and quickly get out the street. It's over. It happened so fast, one minute I am giving every last bit of physical and mental energy I have. The next I am wearing a metal, wrapped in a blanket, and eating a banana. The Marathon is over. I did it.

We start walking back to the hotel. Already talking about the next marathon!!! Perhaps Hawaii, or Disney about a triathlon. God what have I done to myself!!!

We head out to dinner, we went to a fondue place called "The Melting Pot" that was amazing. You get a big pot of oil and veggies, and fruit. Then for the desert CHOCOLATE FONDUE. It was fondue heaven. We were so hungry, so sore....our dinner was incredible, fantastic restaurant staff; who took some pictures for us. What a day!!

We head back to the apartment tired and full.

The strangest thought just went through my head. What if my injury, my memory being wiped out, has somehow giving me a mulligan or a restart on life? I mean I was clean for several years before the injury, met Mandy, had a job. But since I woke up I have gotten engaged, gone back to college, run a marathon. Maybe some of the brain damage somehow took the fear out of me, or flicked some sort of ambition switch. What caused the drive? I mean I have the same ambition I did before. I want the same things. Why do I get it down now? as aposed to before?

I just did alot of whining before the injury, I could find something wrong with everything, lots of reasons as to why I couldnt do things. How life was not working out for me. Since the accident I have the same consequences to my actions, I have the same challenges. I would say even more challenges. Yet I accomplish more! Strange. I don't know what I am trying to say, but as I was editing this post. I started to think about what I have done post injury? Maybe I should have had my head explode years ago...maybe not!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

My Official Time of the Lasalle Bank Chicago Marathon

So my sister and I finished the Chicago Marathon

The Marathon was awesome!! My official time was 4:49:36 and I finished 23857 out of 33,633 participants.

Mandy was with us the whole way taking pictures and offering great support.

Here are some more photos of the race, I am sorry there is not more. I have school tonight, and have homework to do. I will be getting more photo's from Mandy's camera and will do a much better blog entry by the weekend (today is wed, 25Th, of Oct) All these pics were taking with my tiny little camera during the marathon. Holy shit do my legs hurt!

I had the best time in Chicago. I ate so much after the marathon. Nothing felt better than crossing that finish line. OK maybe the desert we had at Bubba Gump shrimp felt better, but that was the best chocolate pie I ever had. It had hot chocolate cake on the bottom of chocolate ice cream!!! hot and cold chocolate combined, worth running a marathon for!! Thanks to everyone for all there support. This was truly one of the greatest weekends of my life. More photos to come

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Chicago Marathon 2006 here I come!

So a fast and dirty email. I have spent 18 weeks training. I have gotten up at 6:00 am on Sunday mornings. I have run over 400kl. I have survived IT band injuries, blisters, cuts, bruises. I have gotten lost. I got to know my running group. I purchased, shoe's, jacket's, sock's, hat's, water bottle's, gel shot's, e-load spots drinks, a Garmin 305 GPS heart rate monitor watch, and of course the training course at the running room. I have had hours of physio therapy, done more hours of stretches. I have talked crap, I have gotten arrogant, I have gotten freaked out. I have wondered why I am doing this. I have wondered why I never did this before. I have downloaded runs to google earth. Taken pictures of my run for my blog. Written down my daily runs.
All the while I have gone back to college, started a job, moved to New Westminster, continued planning my marriage to the worlds most incredible women. I have fallen off my bike, had my bike stolen, ran a crack head out my building. Said goodbye to my parents as they travel north America for god knows how long.
The flight is paid for, the room rented, all necessary items packed. I will add some pictures when I get back
My concerns are whether or not I can finish. Will my knee hold out, will I finish in time. Should I have bought the official jacket of the LaSalle 2006 Chicago Marathon, before I did the run.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Chicago hear I come

Well my training with Running Room is over. My Marathon (Chicago) is a little later than the Marathon most people at the Running Room clinics in Vancouver were training for. They were mostly training for the Vancouver Island Marathon. I think that Marathon is this weekend. A few of us were training for Chicago, so our tapering schedule started at different times. So I am now running by myself. I feel kind of crappy about the way it ended, because I had trained with all these people for 13 weeks. You get to know people, you talk, you encourage each other, get mad at others. I was unable to continue running with them during the week as I started school in September. As I was unable to run the Wednesday and Thursday group runs. I started to run by myself. During one of these group runs I was unable to attend, the group decided to change there long runs to Saturdays, instead of Sundays. I was not there while this decision was made, so I showed up for a 32kl run last Sunday with no one to run with. They also are apparently getting together for Dinner tonight (Thursday) I was also was not aware of this until to late, though I also have school. I wouldn't have been able to attend anyway. Now its no ones fault, but it still kind of hurt.

Enough of that though. I am so excited. After my accident (see previous entries) I get confused very easy. I get worried that I will get lost, and wind up not knowing where I am, or how to get home. That is why I loved running with a group.

A couple of weeks ago I showed up late for one of the Sunday runs, a 32kl run. Everyone had left. Now they knew I was going to be late, and they couldn't hold everyone to wait for me. So I was a left a map of where to go. I have a Garmin 305, which is all set for the ten and ones. So I head out from Broadway and Granville, to the New Westminster key. I have no Ipod. I have my water pack, and gel shots. I start running. Its amazing what goes on in your head when you run by yourself. Now keep in mind that I missed some long runs because of an IT band injury. So this was the first long run I had had in a couple of weeks.

I am running by myself, after some time off. I was not only very concerned about getting lost but also just finishing the distance. I was very up-tight that I may not be able to physically run the Marathon. The flight is paid for, the Marathon is paid for, the Hotel is booked. Plus I had talked crap about "being a marathon runner" Needles to say I was a little stressed. I just didn't want to bow out, whatever the reason.

Nothing felt better than getting to the New Westminster Key, and seeing all my running buddies sitting down and eating a snack. I did it. I was able to run the distance, I did it alone, I did without getting lost. I could go that far without quiting. That walk home was one of the best moments of my life. The Marathon was still on. I phoned my Fiance, my sister, my parents. It was truly an incredible feeling. I was able to run. God that feelingis impossible to describe.

I still have some pain when I hit the 19kl, to 20kl mark. Not enough to end a run, but it is there. I have spent many hours with a physio therapist, I spend a minimum of an hour a day stretching, if not more. I have a heavy duty massager that I pound my leg with every night. I also take an aspirin about 10 minutes before my long runs. I know it will take about an hour for the aspirin to take affect. This is about 10kl give or take into my run, and lasts usually a couple of hours. I find that hills, steps, stairs, heights, and curbs are painful. As long as my run is straight and flat, I can run. I am so glad I am running Chicago. It is flat!!!! New shoes also helped with the distance I could run before the pain started.

So Between starting college, getting used to my new apartment, working, and running. I am very busy, but at the same time excited about the Marathon. I get to see my sister, I get to travel with Mandy. This is truly an exciting time.

School is going well, I had my first test in Psychology yesterday, I have a tutor who is helping me out. I also get to see one of my friends who I haven't seen since the bastard moved to England. He is coming into town tomorrow for a night. Mandy and I will be looking at a possible venue for the wedding!!! Shit, I got a lot going on. Sorry there are no picks, I have been a little busy. The next blog entry should have more pictures in it. I am working on video blogs to.