Sunday, January 18, 2009

OMG...Houston Marathon 2009!

I just ran a 3:52. Wow.

And I didn't walk! Even more wow.

More later....congrats to all who finished, PR'ed, first-timed and a special shoutout to Coach Gilbert who helped me reach my marathon goal this year!!!!!!!


Wow is seriously all I can keep thinking.

3:52, 3:52, 3:52.

I didn’t walk, I didn’t walk, I didn’t walk.

Both are huge accomplishments for me. First of all, I never thought it was possible to run a marathon without stopping. I know top-notch runners who walk during marathons, for crying out loud! (no shame in that, at all…I’m just saying). So for almost 4 hours, I kept doing the only thing my legs wanted to do, and that was run, run, run.

Pre-race I felt a slight scratch in my throat and tiredness in my legs. I worked a trade show earlier in the week and got straight off the plane on Saturday from LAX to the race expo. Yes, I am crazy, and some even say I am hard-core!!! Haha. Anyhow, I ate a huge carb-y dinner (big portion of spaghetti following by a twice-baked potato and an ice-cream bar!!!) No point in going to bed hungry, since the past year’s marathon I struggled with being hungry during the race…I was also good about drinking two huge carb-y Ultra Fuels earlier in the week. Yumm…pure sugar and carbs! I was asleep and not at all nervous by 8pm!!! Perhaps a little dehydrated though?

Woke up at 4am, showered, ate a big breakfast (1/2 bagel with peanut butter, cup of oatmeal, large banana, large Gatorade) and got dropped off by 5:15am at the convention center. Did the normal pre-marathon ritual, listening to loud DMB and Green Day while singing, pinning my number on, stretching, reading and eating a bit of clif bar…drinking, drinking, drinking. Needed to use the portalets at least 2 times before the race. Looked for some Striders at the Hilton after bag drop off. Really warm outside. 62 degrees is what the digital billboard says. Def. not a 3:45 day.

Found my friends, we waited for the potties and talked. Running late to the start, Strider Amalia and I miss the start of the first wave. For some reason though, this might have worked to my favor. Not having to weave through anybody (literally 50 people in front of me) was nice. We were both out for 3:50, but after sticking to her even pace for a few miles, I knew 3:50 would be a struggle today. I slowed down a little but would catch her around mile 6 or 7. Popped Tylenol and a salt tablet. Nothing exciting really happened for quite a while, the ‘donut guys’ weren’t there this year. Lots of smiles though in the crowds. Awesome, awesome crowd support as always. It was exhilarating.

Didn’t see my brother or his finance at mile 7. At mile 8 we bid farwell to the half-marathoners. Saw Strider Janet turn-around. Looking good there! It was quiet until we turned into West U and I was already getting hungry!!! Got blessed by the holy water as normal and hearing the church bells, began to cry thinking about Dwight and the fact he is still in ICU. I had to regain composure though because I found myself unable to breathe. West U is my favorite part of the course. The crowd support is simply amazing. People are drinking mimosas in their front yards. Kids handing out bananas, candy and high-fives. SIMPLY THE BEST.

Up the Westpark hill…piece of cake for me now that I am in Austin and train on hills every day (love them!) I was starting to feel slightly tired by mile 10 though. But not going to walk, just slow off the 3:50 pace slightly. Passing people left and right. Lots of people shouting I looked good. Striders cheering for me. Onwards though the Galleria, and my Houston home for 5 years. I always get sentimental here for some reason. See Wes (my best friend) at mile 17 and Kiki (guy I’m dating) at mile 18. I know this is mentally a tough part of the course. Physically, I haven’t walked yet. Both guys say I look great. I feel…strangely good?! Popped Tylenol and a salt tablet and was chewing on a yummy clif bar Wes gave me and a super strong and tasty Gatorade in my little bottle.

Mile 19 brings the notorious bellydancers (love those ladies!) and usually…the WALL. Not for me today. I keep running. I feel unusually strong. I actually speed up a little. Through Memorial Park, past the beer tent (yes, I drank a beer again!), towards the Houston Striders (love ya’ll!) and then towards HRTC (love you all too!) and the Houston Hashers. I am having fun, waving to people I know. Laughing and smiling. For some reason, although I feel I should be walking, I start to feel more spirited and alert. Determined to finish….knowing I will. NOT WALKING…I know if I don’t walk, I can still do 3:52 at this point…

Don’t remember much after mile 24. I think Kiki met me around mile 25 and ran with me towards to finish. I told him I wanted a Vodka/Vicatin and no tonic before I finished. I think I was really really ready to be done running. I don’t know how I was still running actually. I couldn’t feel anything at this point. No pain, nothing. Just one foot in front of the other…

The finish line finally came and as I was crossing the finished, I started screaming and looking up towards the sky, instantiously crying and yelling “Dwight, this one was for you!” It was absolutely the best feeling in my life, up to that point. I cried for a long time. Totally elated. 3:52. So what, I missed 3:50…but knowing I had a 10 minute PR on a warm day, who am I to complain?!

Next year…hmmm. 3:40 I think. Anyone want to run Boston with me next April?! :) Another fun voyage is totally in store…

Friday, January 9, 2009

Awful news!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just found out that local runner/triathlete and good friend Dwight Benson is in ICU after a serious bike accident this past Sunday.

As I get updates, I will post them here.

update: 1/11 (from a fellow Gazelle):

Here is an update on Beaux; He's been in the comma for a week now. Everyday shows some improvements. He no longer has his lung infection or fever although he most likely still has some organisms in there. RN Alyssa, who knows him from Pure, is his day nurse right now. She brought him a blue koosh ball from Toy Joy that he's been playing with, very actively in his right hand. This is most likely a result of all the hand dexterity from all the mechanic work. A positive bit of movement. Terra & Pat got to see him get some physical therapy today. I believe he sat up and did a few other things. On Thursday night, my friend Michelle was excited to see Beaux leave his eyes open for a few moments after she pulled them open. He was also showing signs of tracking (following movement). When I was there again yesterday, he was asleep the entire time. You're doing great Beaux, wake up soon!

update on Beaux: (1/16)

Just wanted to let you know that the main rehab doc at brack went to see beaux yesterday. she oversees the doc that's been seeing him. overall, she was very optimistic about beaux's condition. she said that his initial assessment may have been a little off . . . that he was never truly comatose. he was on high doses of dilantin (for seizures) and propofol (a general anesthetic that puts people into a coma like state, and is given to anyone who has a trachiotomy). beaux suffered a brainstem injury as well as some bleeding in several areas of the brain t issue and ventricles. but when she saw him yesterday, he was spontaneously opening his eyes and following commands. the PT and OT's are saying that he helps them to sit up and is doing more movement on th is own. he still may be a bit weaker on the left side but he's moving it which is great. these are all great prognostic signs and she thinks he'll make a full recovery. it'll be a long road but she is very postive about the condition. she also remarked that beaux is handsome and seems like a great person. even in his state, she could tell that he has a good vibe. it was nice to hear that.

her name is dr.charlotte smith and she specializes in brain and spina l cord injury. she left a card next to his bed and i would recommend her highly. may want to let his parents know as i think the initial information that they got may have been a bit graver than it truly needed to be. in any case, i feel better after speaking with her. hope this heps. feel free to forward this on to the rest of the lot. cheers, esther

--sidenote: I ran with his name on my singlet on Sunday. it made for a very emotional but empowering marathon. Get better Beaux!!!


From Michelle......progress! (1/20)

This morning when I got to the hospital the nurse was excited. Beaux had sat up on his own and opened his eyes. She said it nearly scared her to death. She asked if he was okay and he gave her a thumbs up. After that the nurses tried to get him to do more and got some eye movements. Ashley arrived after I did. We encouraged him to turn his head, which he did. Then we encouraged him to open his eyes to look at her, which he also did. After that he looked over at me and tried to say something. Nothing came out and I can't read lips so I'm not real sure what he was trying to say. Good chance he was trying to say I'm annoying him. I told him I am sorry for bugging him so much but I want him to wake up, hopefully I'm not on his bad side. I tried to rub his legs and feet to make up for all the pestering.

We asked him some questions and he was answering 'yes' or 'no' with head movements. It was really quite exciting! Mel, Chris, and Kevin soon arrived. After that Beaux seemed to be a lit less reactive. I can't help but wonder how exhausting those few minutes of interaction must have been. I wonder if the 2 visitors at a time rule are too keep the patients from getting too exhausted and frustrated. Keep up the good work Beaux!


From Vania (1/21)

Antonia and I went to see Beaux at his new temporary home today. The new facilities are great (surrounded by a lot of beautiful green spaces) and the staff is extremely helpful. In the hour and a half that we were there, we were visited by Beaux's Speech Therapist, two nurses, one assistant nurse and his doctor. Everyone was glad to answer any of our questions and share with us their feedback. The great news is that Beaux scored a 16 out of 23 in his Speech/Response test this morning, and his Therapist told us that he is doing great. He was able to respond to her commands and questions almost perfectly...she admitted that she is a tough scorer and that she was not going to let him off too easily, so 16/23 is great!

His doctor and his nurses told us that he is going be experiencing some "neuro-storming," a condition that affects some victims of brain injury. The storms come on like seizures, causing B's body to tense and contract, his heart rate to accelerate and his fists to clench. It looks like he is in pain, but it is actually very common. The nurses said that if this happens, the best thing to do is to calm him down...comb his hair, speak to him softly, sing to him (if you have a soothing voice) and tell him that he will be okay. It will pass. Please be sure to call and ask for Shelley, Beaux's main nurse, before you go by. She is enforcing the 4-8pm M-F visiting hours for now.


Update from me 1/30

I hadn’t heard anything about Beaux in a week so I made it a personal mission to get out and see him and make sure he is doing better. Sure enough, he is!!!!

Beaux is a total rock star! Went and visited him Friday and he was awake, making jokes and sitting upright talking about wanting to ride on a real bike already! He told me he wants me to give him dance lessons too! The doctors will hold a meeting with him on Wed., Feb 4th to figure out if he will be able to go home.

everyone cross your fingers! He will have a long road to recovery with physical therapy but he is already walking strong and in good spirits! thanks to all for the support, it has meant a lot to him!


Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Less then two weeks...

Wow is all I can say. In 12 days to be exact, I will be attempting and completing (if all goes well) my third Houston marathon. They say the third time is a charm, and I fully believe it.

4 long runs over 18 miles. At least two pairs of shoes. Two containers of Accerlerade. A new watch since the Polar died.

Can't wait to do it...I'm ready. 3:50, here I come:)